January rambling: surreal logic

conductor and pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy

weird_hill.xkcd
Weird Hill from xkcd

4 Ways to Detect Media Bias and Step Out of the Partisan Bubble.

Virtually All Major US Drinking Water Sources Likely Contaminated With PFAS.

Can Bankers Become Allies Against Climate Change?

The forgotten assassination of MLK’s mother Alberta King in 1974.

How do you keep that Christmas Eve feeling?

The Day That Changed Everything. The subhead: “They lost the biggest N.J. high school football game ever played.”

How to treat tennis elbow.

Komodo dragon destroyed BBC camera by trying to have sex with it.

The Critical Importance of Church Choirs.

Can’t find a marriage record? Try looking for a “Gretna Green” marriage location.

Jack Burns, R.I.P.

Every guest star on the TV series Cannon, starring William Conrad. CBS, 1971 to 1976, 122 episodes.

Inequality

World’s 2,153 billionaires hold more wealth than poorest 4.6 billion combined.

Rising inequality affecting 70% of the world.

Americans’ Drinking, Drug Use, Despair Wiping Out Life Expectancy Gains.

Structural Racism in Medicine Worsens the Health of Black Women and Infants.

Healthcare Algorithms Are Biased, and the Results Can Be Deadly.

IRS grabs the money.

The Liberation of Auschwitz: January 27, 1945.

Recommended reading: Joe Kubert’s Yossel.

Work

Illegal Interview Questions You Thought Were Harmless.

Were Your Rights Violated at the Workplace?

FTC Received Nearly 1.7 Million Fraud Reports, and FTC Lawsuits Returned $232 Million to Consumers in 2019.

Astrogate.

Language… has created the word ‘loneliness’ to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word ‘solitude’ to express the glory of being alone.
– Paul Tillich

Books, language, and librarians

Proposed Book Banning Bill in Missouri Could Imprison Librarians.

How One Librarian Tried to Squash Goodnight Moon.

Writing a book series.

You can write “embedded” but you can’t write “imbedded.”

English Needs a Word for the Relationship Between Your Parents and Your In-Laws.

The 5th Annual Tucker Awards for Excellence in Swearing.

IMPOTUS

Expansive Executive Privilege Claims Pose Serious Constitutional Crisis.

The Imperial Presidency Is Alive and Well.

He Boasts Of Obstruction At Davos Press Conference.

Doral Resort Spikes Its Room Rates Ahead Of His RNC Visit.

The Surreal Logic of the China Trade Deal.

“Reckless” Decision to Loosen Firearm Exports Regulations.

The Cost of an Incoherent Foreign Policy.

His Supporters And The Denial Of Reality.

Ten Principles that Unify Democrats (and most of the country).

Now I Know

This Is The Poem That Never Ends. It Just Goes On And On, My Friends. and The Town With No Name and What To Do When Iguanas Fall From the Sky and How a Rock Band Helped Runaway Kids Find Their Way Home and It’s Art Because Someone Says It Is and Why Do Bakers Have Bigger Dozens? and Behold the Power of Dried Plums.

MUSIC

That Don – Randy Rainbow.

On the retirement of conductor and pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy: conducting Debussy’s La Mer; playing Rach and Bach and more.

Coverville 1293: The Neil Peart Tribute and Rush Cover Story III.

The Golden Spinning Wheel by Antonin Dvorak.

Tall Skinny Papa– Annie & The Hedonists [Caffè Lena Late Night Sessions]

All About Falling In Love – MonaLisa Twins

Fiddler on the Roof: Dear, Sweet Sewing Machine – Motel (Adam Kantor) and Tzeitel (Alexandra Silber) and Tradition – Tevye is Anthony Warlow, production done in Australia.

How Long Has This Been Going On – Audrey Hepburn, from Funny Face.

The Inner Light – The Beatles.

The true dwelling of the holy

something in the here and now

true identity of the holyThis being Advent, that period roughly between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I’m thinking a lot of theology. As it turns out, fillyjonk wrote about what I have experienced and what I believe.

“The ‘true dwelling of the holy’ – I was thinking today of how there seem to be competing ideas in Christianity that I’ve seen; where some groups within it are bent on withdrawing from the ‘”world’ as much as possible, and, I guess, waiting on either the Second Coming* or the Afterlife, because that’s the Kingdom of Heaven, and then things will be right.

“And others – and this is more traditionally the congregations I’ve been a part of – have tried to do what they can to bring a little bit of the Kingdom of Heaven here and now. And I admit, with all the loss in my life lately, and some sad old doubts reawakening….well, if maybe the here and now is all we have, shouldn’t we strive to make it as good for everyone around us, and ourselves as well? All we know we have is this day, and so it probably behooves us to be both happy and kind in it.”

The Dustbury connection

I should note that fillyjonk lost her father this year. She was a friend and follower of the late blogger Dustbury. In fact, I became aware of her blog from him.

“(*At one point in my childhood, we briefly attended a church where a lot of the members were really hot on the “End Times” ideas, where the faithful would be raptured and the rest of us would be left to wait out the horrible things that were to come… I admit as an anxious child, that thing scared me a lot – what if I was one of the people who realized one day ‘Hey where is this person? And that person?’ and then realized with dawning horror that they had been raptured away and I hadn’t been ‘good enough.'”

I had received that Rapture message, which ultimately drove me AWAY from the church, ironically.

“And based on my Bible reading as an adult, that doesn’t seem a terribly Biblical thing, or at least, it’s a stretch of stuff John of Patmos wrote, but….I remember being uncomfortable with it as a child. And I would so much rather be the person working in a food bank or welcoming a newcomer or doing something in the here and now to try to make someone’s life here and now better, and not to build up Good Place points for myself so much as….well, because I would like other people to do the same for me.)”

That Matthew 25 message of feeding the hungry, et al., is what helped draw me back to the church. That is, for me, the “true dwelling of the holy.”

Dec. rambling: Lean on Me

I Love Trash

UN: Climate Change Will Create “New Great Divergence” Between Rich and Poor.

Were Other Human Species the First Victims of the Sixth Mass Extinction?

three years running Suicides and overdoses among factors fueling drop in U.S. life expectancy.

The Illusions Underlying our Foreign Policy Discussions.

ALEC Is an Incubator for Efforts to Protect White Supremacy.

“Calvin and the Colonel” – a kids’ cartoon with a shady past.

James Ussher, polyglot, prolific scholar, a man of the church and the man responsible for what we know today as ‘creationism’.

How gender-neutral pronouns can change a culture.

When America Starts to Feel a Little More Soviet.

Articles of Impeachment: Broad or Narrow? – they went narrow.

What Does Trump’s Inner Party Believe?

Letter to the editor: Pattern of misbehavior – Roger Green, Scottsbluff, NE.

Plan to Strip Food Aid From 750,000 Low-Income People by 2020.

He wanted to ban feeding homeless people. Now he’s about to lead a federal homeless agency.

Even if a Democrat wins in 2020, the next president isn’t likely to resurrect a Pax Americana.

The US-Mexico-Canada Trade Deal Is Not as Good as Nafta.

Devin Nunes may regret SLAPPing his critics.

Vicki Van Meter is the youngest female pilot to have made a transatlantic flight when she was aged twelve.

Gender-neutral pronouns can nudge people to see the world a little differently.

Rejection: A Wilderness Guide for Writers, Part 25.

Memories of a map.

How Costco gained a cult following — by breaking every rule of retail.

The Easiest Way to Bike Up a Hill and The One Thing You Can’t Take Home from The Price is Right and The State of Indiana versus Robin Hood and There’s Snow Better Way to Measure and Picasso with the Sharp Elbows and The Federal Bacon Law That Protects Truth in Advertising and The Best Way to Have Your House Cleaned Out By an Intruder.

Obits

Caroll Spinney, Big Bird Muppeteer for Nearly 50 Years, Dies at 85. Check out the 2014 documentary I Am Big Bird.

René Auberjonois, ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Benson’ Actor, Dies at 79. He was also in Boston Legal and a tons of other roles.

D.C. Fontana wrote many great stories and not all of them were for Star Trek, “which is the impression you’ll probably get from some of the obits.”

Ron Leibman, Tony Winner for ‘Angels,’ Is Dead at 82. His IMDB page.

Pete Frates, A Driving Force Behind The Viral Ice Bucket Challenge, Dies At 34.

Wrecked locomotive discovered after 106 years under Lake Superior.

Former chairman of the Federal Reserve Paul Volcker, who was 92 when he died in New York City blasted ‘nihilistic’ Trumpism in final testament.

unshelved
Daily syndication of Unshelved is available for free to any noncommercial web site.
MUSIC

I Love Trash – Oscar the Grouch.

ABC-DEF-GHI Song – Big Bird.

Going Home, per Dvorak – BYU choir.

Othello Overture – Dvorak.

Coverville 1287: The 15th Annual Beatles Thanksgiving Cover Story and 1288: The 40th Anniversary Tribute to Pink Floyd’s The Wall.

Baby’s in Black – MonaLisa Twins.

21st Century Schizoid Man [Radio Edit] – King Crimson at 1:55.

Lean on Me – Bill Withers.

Why you should learn about the Teskey Brothers.

These men just released their first music album — at age 102 and 88.

Advent / Christmas music 2019

I LOVE Thurl’s voice

Christmas House Advent CalendarOK, NOW I’m getting into the Advent season. Music is the linchpin for almost everything. Jaquandor has his Daily Dose of Christmas. Someone else posted The Top 100 Christmas Songs, some of which may be replicated below. I’m OK with that.

Since I finally saw Hamilton this year, I should post Hamildolph!, which is really good at what it does.

I believe these are new tunes:
Snow Falls Softly At Night -MonaLisa Twins
Merry Xmas Everybody – Robbie Williams, featuring Jamie Cullum

The Usual Suspects

Most of these I’ve posted in some prior year.

Getting Ready for Christmas Day – Paul Simon. Interesting that the sermon sampled was delivered in 1941, the same year Paul was born.

2000 Miles – Pretenders

White Christmas – the Drifters. One of my favorite bits of animation, ever.

Jingle Bells – The Fab 4. NOT the Beatles.

Linus And Lucy– Vince Guaraldi Trio. I read a bio about Vince some years back

Christmas All Over Again – Tom Petty. I still miss Petty.

What Christmas Means To Me – Stevie Wonder

The Bells of Christmas – Julie Andrews. There are at least three different versions of this on those old Firestone tire LPs my parents used to buy. One has an unnecessary one-minute instrumental in the middle, and the other has too cheery background singers. This is the best one.

The Coventry Carol – Alison Moyet. From that first A Very Special Christmas album in 1987.
Gabriel’s Message – Sting. Ditto. I had a girlfriend who HATED Sting’s voice.

The Christmas Song – Nat King Cole. My late mom LOVED Nat Cole.
Mary’s Boy Child – Harry Belafonte. My late father incorporated elements of Belafonte in his folk-singing career.

Every valley– Handel’s Messiah, A Soulful Celebration

Santa’s Too Fat For the Hula Hoop – The Pixies Featuring Thurl Ravenscroft. I LOVE Thurl’s voice.

I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas. A truly terrible song. Not as bad as Dominic the Donkey, but still.

More holiday stuff

The 60 Best Christmas Movies To Watch This Holiday Season

The Book of Dreams (Extended Version) – Argos Christmas advert 2019

Movie’s E.T. And Elliott Reunite 40 Years Later In A Commercial Sequel. I feel I should hate this, yet I don’t

fillyjonk’s tree

Mary and Joseph’s Battle Against the State

September rambling: end the stigma

Musicians Across Five Continents

post-apocalyptic section
The Most Segregated City

Vlogbrothers: End the stigma

What happened to Jaye McBride could have happened to any of us

WAVE 3 News reporter kissed on live TV; here’s why it’s not cool – Sara Rivest is the daughter of Michael, a guy I know in Albany IRL

The differential privacy video the Census Bureau sponsored from MinutePhysics

Unmarried Partners More Diverse Than 20 Years Ago

Cokie Roberts, Pioneering Journalist Who Helped Shape NPR, Dies at 75

Longtime TV newsman Sander Vanocur dies at 91

Bill Schelly, R.I.P.

Amy Biancolli turns 56

The Surreal End of an American College

What Happens Right Before Your Best Employee Quits

Alan Zweig’s Vinyl documentary – a record collector’s expose

Baking Isn’t Hard When You’ve Got a Library Card

The Guardian: 100 best films movies of the 21st century. 1) I’ve seen 26 of them, at least two of which I disliked; 2) the year 2000 is NOT in the 21st century

Save on Internet Safety guide

Chef Boyardee: The Sine Qua Non of Homemade Pizza

Alex Trebek saying “genre”

Epergne: It’s time this Kitschiest of Obscure Vintage Treasures had a Comeback

The Evolution of a Fractured Coin of the Rebellion

The Modern Jonah

Now I Know: Who is MP and Why Are His Initials on My Checks? and An Aria a Day Keeps the Cougars Away and The Aquarium That Turned a Blind Eye Toward Bullies and The Island That Floated To Safety and Why We Give 21-Gun Salutes

English

The Beauty of Being Bilingual

Merriam-Webster dictionary adds ‘they’ as a nonbinary pronoun – America’s oldest dictionary claps back at grammar snobs as it embraces a more inclusive definition

Public is or Public are: “British English tends to see either a plural or singular verb, pronoun or noun as acceptable, depending on the context in which the collective noun is used. American English, however, is considerably more rigid in sticking with the singular. Though they too may reconsider occasionally, based on context.”

Harry Potter and the Poorly Read Exorcist

Boss Tweet

New Yorker.20191007
He is a threat to virtually everything that the United States should stand for

If This Isn’t Impeachable, Nothing Is and If Democrats put off impeachment until he does something worse, he’ll do something worse and His call to Zelensky was not out of the ordinary – for him and With the Gears of Impeachment Finally Grinding, the Hard Part Begins; also Lindsey Graham’s Impeachment Views in 1999 Vs. 2019

Iran Policy Is a Failure

Health Insurance That Doesn’t Cover the Bills Has Flooded the Market

The Race to Prepare for a Potential U.S. Exit From the World’s Mail System

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Legal Immigration

Travel ban really was a Muslim ban, data suggests

Comedian John Mulaney has the perfect analogy for what’s going on in our country today [explicit language]

MUSIC

What’s My Name – Ringo Starr

Playing for Change: The Weight – Robbie Robertson, Ringo Starr, and Musicians Across Five Continents

Old Town Road -Courtney Hadwin

Overture: L’italiana in Algeri, or The Italian Girl in Algiers by Giacchino Rossini

I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) – Sleeping At Last

Happy Birthday, Hans Zimmer edition

Coverville 1278: The Leonard Cohen Cover Story V

Love’s Creeping Up on Me – United Image, a 1971 Stax song that sounds more like Motown to me, and is billed as Northern Soul

All Kinds of Kinds – Miranda Lambert

Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris Trio Documentary

The importance of choir: John Rutter (there are about 20 seconds of him in b&w before he actually begins to speak)

Real Arrogance Over False Humility: The Beautiful Honesty of Joni Mitchell

The First Time I Met Prince, by Sheila E