July Rambling: Weird Al, and the moon walk

I REALLY want to see the movie Life Itself, about Roger Ebert.

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Political language… is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. – George Orwell. To that end, Bible Stories for Newly Formed and Young Corporations and Congratulations: It’s a corporation.

An answer to the child immigrant problem at the US-Mexican border? I note that the Biblical Jesus was a refugee, his parents fleeing Herod’s wrath. Yet so many people who profess to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ “are so uncaring and hateful about hungry children trying to get to a better, safer place to live.”

In the non-surprise category: Stand Your Ground Laws Lead To More Homicides, Don’t Deter Crime.

Misleading on Marriage: how gay marriage opponents twist history to suit their agenda.

Yiddish Professor Miriam Isaacs has dug in a previously unknown treasure of over a thousand unknowns Yiddish songs recorded of Holocaust survivors; the text is in Swedish but can be translated. Miriam was my old racquetball buddy decades ago.

The Creation Myth of 20th Century Fundamentalism by Jeff Sharlet, who I also knew long ago.

Australian swimming great Ian Thorpe came out as gay. Arthur explains why it STILL matters. Also: I Can Be Christian, and Gay, and Live in Alabama.

Portraits of people in 7 days’ worth of their own garbage.

These next several feel of a piece, about understanding life and each other:
Amy B says This is not a bucket list.
It’s Not as Simple as it Seems: Neal Hagberg at TEDx Gustavus Adolphus College.
Technology has taken much away much.
I Dare You To Watch This Entire Video.
*She Sent All Her Text Messages in Calligraphy for a Week.

Our church, First Presbyterian Albany, hosted a work camp in the city the week leading to the 4th of July. Homes were repaired/painted throughout the city; 400+ youth and adults, from several states, including Hawaii, plus folks from Ontario, Canada, were hosted at Myers Middle School; 75+ First Pres folks volunteered to make it all happen. We received some media coverage, including one of the radio stations, WFLY present on opening day. Here’s the web link to the Times Union article. Plus nice coverage from a local public radio station.

The Importance of Eating Together.

Sinful, Scandalous C.S. Lewis, Joy, and the Incarnation.

Interview with Marion Meade, Dorothy Parker biographer.

Jaquandor, via George RR Martin, on writing. While he writes just one word at a time, I write five or six, accidentally leaving one out.

Why Readers, Scientifically, Are The Best People To Fall In Love With.

Why the Myers-Briggs test is totally meaningless.

whyteachmusic
Melanie plays with toys. So does Chuck Miller.

GayProf’s life continues at 40.

Is Dustbury, “prolific” as the inevitable consequence of a desire to maximize his output before the time comes when he cannot put out anything? And, I wondered, am I?

I realize that the 45th anniversary of the moon landing depressed me. Here’s part of the reason. Another part is that, despite disliking violence, I understand why Buzz Aldrin punched Bart Sibrel after being harassed by him suggesting that the July 1969 moonwalk was faked.

Cat Islands.

Louis Zamperini Was More Than A Hero.

Paul Mazursky wrote and directed Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986), Moscow on the Hudson (1984), An Unmarried Woman (1978). But I saw (or heard) him in a number of TV shows and movies.

James Garner’s legacy: A commitment to civil rights and political activism.

Why I want to see the movie Life Itself, about Roger Ebert.

Check out this interview Rebecca Jade, my first niece, did recently through Voices of La Jolla. Click on the microphone/link on the upper right-hand corner to listen to the podcast.

Watching the new Weird Al Yankovic videos, especially Word Crimes. Weird Al is a marketing machine.

Did I mention that Paul McCartney came to Albany, NY? And Omaha, Nebraska? Who performed the mysterious ‘train song’ from the Beatles’ ‘A Hard Day’s Night’? The George Harrison Memorial Tree killed … by beetles.

Some of SamuraiFrog’s favorite Marvel stories; nice reveal in Fantastic Four #21. Also, for round 15 of ABC Wednesday – YOU can still join! – Mr. Frog will “highlight a different Muppet for each letter, hopefully, some of the lesser-known Muppets and milestones in Muppet history.” So far, A is for Arnold, who you WILL recognize; B is for Bobo the bear.

Superman and the Bible.

For the rest of the summer, absolutely everything new that’s published in the New Yorker will be unlocked. “Then, in the fall… an easier-to-use, logical, metered paywall.”

Renting Liechtenstein.

Could “The Big Bang Theory” get canceled? I’ve watched the show maybe thrice, but I find TV machinations interesting.

Mark Evanier wrote about The Battle of the Network Stars, some cheesy TV competition c. 1977. What struck me is that I knew every actor and the associated show from CBS, all but one from ABC, but had serious trouble with the NBC stars. Even I knew of the actor, say, Jane Seymour, I had no idea what show she was representing.

GOOGLE ALERTS (me)

Arthur responds to my TWO posts on Hobby Lobby.

Dustbury cites my Instant Runoff Voting post and my TMI post.

Mr. Frog tackles #1 Songs on My Birthday, which some of the rest of you regular bloggers – you know who you are – might consider.

(not me)
Alison Green, M.D. will join Green Family Practice Clinic on August 1st as the newest family practice doctor in Newport. “Alison joins the practice established by her father, Dr. Roger Green, continuing a rich family heritage of healthcare providers.”

(image from http://teachr.co/1oik2Qr )

May Rambling #1: Depression; and ABCW’s Leslie gets married

The thing I remember most about the 1964-65 World’s Fair in NYC , as was true of many people, was the Belgian waffle.

music.clockMy April was much better than my March, but between blog connectivity problems (more anon), and back pain that kept me out of work for a couple of days, followed by four days out of town for work training, which compressed other tasks, I didn’t a chance to update the April Rambling since April 17. Moreover, I discovered some links from as much as two years ago I was GOING to use but they fell through the cracks. Meaning that I’ll do another one at the end of the month. Always said that if blogging got too hard, I would not do it. And this, comparatively, is the easy post I need right now.

An article about depression I was going to include in a different blog post. Some of the earlier posts from this blog I liked too. The blogger also linked to the TEDx talk Andrew Solomon: Depression, the secret we share. “The opposite of depression is not happiness, but vitality, and it was vitality that seemed to seep away from me at that moment.” When I imagine many people’s understanding of depression, I think of that famous scene in the movie Moonstuck where the Nicolas Cage character says “I’m in love with you,” and the Cher character slaps him and says, “Snap out of it,” as though that were the answer.

Developed in conjunction with the World Health Association (WHO), this link provides a quick adult ADHD screening test. (I scored in the “likely” range.) But I believe that daydreaming is NOT a disorder; so does Amy. Amy also notes: my faith can’t be pegged on whether This Actually Happened or That Actually Didn’t; I concur.

Why Anthony is a bit uncomfortable with fundamentalist Christians, even though they share many of his theological convictions, in a musical motif.

Was Jesus gay? An Anglican priest says, “Probably.” And The Top 8 Ways To Be ‘Traditionally Married,’ According To The Bible.

55,000 Christians: We’re ‘Appalled By Sarah Palin’s Twisted Misrepresentation Of Our Faith’

Helping Kids Deal with Overcoming Loss. Also, LIKE…Ummm Let’s Learn to Communicate…Dude!!

Sometimes, I just like a blog post because I totally agree with it. SamuraiFrog hates second-hand smoke, and goodness knows, my tolerance is extremely low. Dustbury is put off by visiting folks who constantly have the TV on, even when they’re not watching it; also, the assumption of privilege.

Arthur wrote:

Sometimes I offer…information unsolicited, but most of the time I don’t say anything unless asked rather than appear to be a “know-it-all”. How do YOU decide when to share a fact and when to remain silent?

I say less and less, barring someone potentially coming to bodily harm. That is unless we’re having an interactive conversation about a mutually interesting topic, like the chat I recently had with our departing intern about music, which involved Woody Guthrie, the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds album, and Sly & the Family Stone.

Reading Literature Makes Us Smarter and Nicer. As though I didn’t know.

Leslie, my most helpful majordomo on ABC Wednesday, got married on May 1 to her Lorne. She wrote about JOYOUS JUMBLE of JITTERS and Lists and Magical Music and being a little nervous about the nuptials and their Odyssey, which began in 1969; let’s PARTY! A shoutout from Reader Wil.

SCOTUS Justice Antonin Scalia’s Blunder Is Unprecedented.

GayProf is back with University Admini-o-crats.

Man Buys 10,000 Undeveloped Negatives At a Local Auction and Discovers One of The Most Important Street Photographers of the Mid 20th Century. It’s a bit more complicated than that, but great pictures.

The extraordinarily 80s Crossgates promo film, touting the local mall I eventually learned to hate.

Taking Rube Goldberg Seriously: What fictional inventions say about American ingenuity.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License.

5 Clearly Fake News Stories The Media Told You Were True.

List of the 101 Best Written TV Series from the WGA, West.

The insanity of political correctness continues.

This Man Somehow Solved The Hardest ‘Wheel of Fortune’ Puzzle Ever! Hey, I got the first word…

The Comics that Corrupted Our Kids!

Rebecca Jade, niece #1, singing I’d Rather Go Blind, the Etta James song.

Tosy: U2 – ranked 90-81.

50 Years Ago last month: the 1964-65 World’s Fair Opens in Queens, New York. Our family did not go until 1965, and the thing I remember most, as was true of many people, was the Belgian waffle. Frog has a sidebar about the Fair.

What 1939 Thought Fashion in 2000 Would Look Like.

Pavlova and friend.

More on the five-second rule.

Knowing my penchant for Chucks, someone sent me this: Chuck Taylors vs. Jordans: Sneaker love goes head to head.

Viola Smith plays drums on “Snake Charmer” (1939). She was one of the first professional female drummers.

Harry Belafonte’s journey to the top.

Neko Case and the case for/against religion.

Apropos of nothing, almost every time I read something about swimming, the Peter Gabriel song I Go Swimming, from the live album, pops into my head, especially that opening bass line.

Book Review: Abbey Road to Ziggy Stardust by Ken Scott.

Evanier on coincidence, again. This involves Joe Simon, Jack Kirby, Mort Meskin, and a phone call from Sid Jacobson.

Al Feldstein, R.I.P. He was the MAD magazine editor for nearly 30 years, starting in 1956, so I grew up with his iteration of the publication.

What else did I see the late Bob Hoskins in, besides Nixon and of course, Who Framed ROGER Rabbit? (Here’s a bit of music from the latter.) An episode of Frasier, the movie Mrs. Henderson Presents (2005), and most recently, 2010’s Made in Dagenham, which I didn’t see until the following year.

Muppet related: Tick-Tock Sick and The Bug Band play The Beatles and Born to Add and Smoke Gets In Your Eyes and Pöpcørn and Hey, Food.

50 Shades, Chapter 24 and Chapter 25, and Chapter 26. The end, Hallelujah!

The blog is dead, long live the blog.

GOOGLE ALERT (about me)

Be careful what you ask for, Roger! This becomes the music choice when Jaquandor is too busy to pick a “traditional” Something for Thursday. Buying a house WILL do that to one.

Arthur name checks me a tittynope.

Dustbury sympathizes with my new computer purchase. Then the Sooner explains why Oklahoma residents who produce their own energy through solar panels or small wind turbines on their property will now be charged an additional fee.

Dammit, Dan, I’m a librarian, not a meteorologist!

Did you know I have linked to EVERY SINGLE POST you have written?


(Title inspired by We can’t see DeForest for the trees.)

Dan from albanyweblog.com griped:
Okay Roger… How come it’s so damn hot right now?
I want a thorough answer.

Sure.

I went to Google and put in why is it so damn hot. Unfortunately, all that got me is why certain types are hot, e.g., “Why are Canadian girls so damn hot?” Or vegan girls, gingers, emo guys, biracial guys, Norwegian people, bad boys, werewolves, rugby players. And Justin Bieber. I also found the lyrics and the video to You’re So Damn Hot by OK Go.

Meanwhile, Shooting Parrots jumped in:
Ditto: why is it so damn cool in the UK? And wet. Can I feel a climate change answer coming on?

Well, for that question, I went to the only reliable source I could think of, Al Jazeera:

“As the sea ice melts at an alarming rate, the Potsdam Institute points out that the albedo (the reflectivity) over the Arctic Ocean continues to decrease and more heat is absorbed by the waters creating a positive feedback.

“As the polar winter sets in over the upper atmosphere, the warming at low levels causes instability in the atmosphere. The resulting low-pressure systems at sea level disrupt the normal circulation.

“This circulation is measured by the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and the Arctic Oscillation (AO). The Institute believes that such low-pressure systems enhance the NAO and AO early in the season but that, later in the winter, there is a delayed opposite effect. This would give rise to cold late winter spells across Europe.”

But the most thorough answer for both Dan and SP came from Jennifer Francis, who is a “research professor at the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences at Rutgers University, where she studies Arctic climate change and the link between the Arctic and global climates.”

“Does it seem as though your weather has become increasingly ‘stuck’ lately? Day after day of cold, rain, heat, or blue skies may not be a figment of your imagination…

“Arctic amplification describes the tendency for high Northern latitudes to experience enhanced warming or cooling relative to the rest of the Northern Hemisphere. This heightened sensitivity is linked to the presence of snow and sea ice, and the feedback loops that they trigger… [since] World War II, Arctic temperatures have increased at more than twice the global rate. A dramatic indicator of this warming is the loss of Arctic sea ice in summer, which has declined by 40 percent in just the past three decades. The area of lost ice is about 1.3 million square miles or roughly 42 percent of the area of the Lower 48 United States. “

Then there’s a detailed description of the jet stream and its “waviness;” read it yourselves. Point is that we need to limit the carbon pollution that causes global warming, if it’s not too late; the jury’s out on that.
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Steve from Life Crits asked:
If you could pose God just one question, what would it be…aside from the meaning of life, the universe, and everything in it?

So it would have to be mundane, yet something I really want to know. Got it.

When I was a teenager, I was walking down the street, when suddenly something hit the top of one of the lens of the pair of glasses I was wearing, creating a fault line. Fortunately, it didn’t hurt my eye. It wasn’t hailing. I never found anything such as a BB that would explain it. What the heck WAS that?
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GayProf from some university in a Decaying Midwestern Urban Center wrote:
Here is a tough, but fair, question: How did I get to be your favorite blogger?

Assuming the premise is actually true – it is the quality of your pieces. Did you know I have linked to EVERY SINGLE POST you have written since July of last year? Of course, that’s only two posts. But still…
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Alexis, who I know personally, and who USED to blog, wants to know:

If you could have a conversation with any famous person, dead or alive, who would you pick?

I’ll choose Ben Franklin. I’d be quite interested to see what he thought of the current state of both technology and government. Could I bring him back to explain what the Founders meant by the separation of church and state? Or to explain the deadly effects of turtle sex? -I’m sure he’d find that fascinating.

August Rambling

GayProf noted Perry when he wrote: “Numerous songs en vogue right now celebrate women consuming alcohol to the point of blacking out, hooking up, or hurling (not always in that order). ”

Because I was out of town, I managed to miss a couple of significant cultural anniversaries. One was the 50th anniversary of the first real Marvel superhero comic, the Fantastic Four, by Stan Lee and Jack “King” Kirby. Mark Evanier explains why it had a November cover date. Check out this hour-long Kirby documentary. And here’s a link to the intro to the FF TV show.


The other was the 100th anniversary of the birth of Lucille Ball. I watched most, if not all, of the episodes of every single one of her ongoing series, from the seminal I Love Lucy (1951-1957; 8.9 out of 10 on the IMDB scale), which started before even TV Guide and I were born but lives through the clever concept known as the rerun; to the star-studded (and too long, in my recollection) episodes of The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour (1957-1960; 8.6); to The Lucy Show (1962–1968; 7.3), which was the one with Lucy as Lucy Carmichael, Vivian Vance (Ethel Mertz in the earlier shows) as Viv, and Gale Gordon as Lucy’s testy boss, Mr. Mooney.

Then there was Here’s Lucy (1968–1974, 6.8), where “Lucy Carter, a widow with two teen children [played her real kids with Desi Arnaz, Lucie and Desi Jr.] takes a job as a secretary for her stuffy brother-in-law [Gale Gordon, again.] Finally, there was Life with Lucy (1986; 6.0) “Lucy Barker, now a grandmother living with her daughter’s family” Gale Gordon also appeared in this show.

They declined in quality somewhat – Life with Lucy was particularly bad, as I recall – but if I didn’t quite LOVE Lucy, I liked the woman from upstate New York (Jamestown) quite a bit.

I believe this was Lucy’s favorite scene from her first series.

As you may have noticed, Katy Perry becomes the second artist, following Michael Jackson, to send five songs from an album to No. 1 on the Billboard charts, and during his birth month, no less. An accomplishment to be sure, though the charts don’t reflect the same level of sales they used to. (Similarly true of top-rated TV shows: the numbers are far less than they used to be.) Not incidentally, GayProf noted Perry when he wrote: “Numerous songs en vogue right now celebrate women consuming alcohol to the point of blacking out, hooking up, or hurling (not always in that order). “

In pictures of models, “there are women (and occasionally men) contorted into positions that, were you to see actual people in them, you’d find curious or peculiar or perhaps even alarming.”

Natalie Cole with the Allman Brothers. Check out the sidebar for David Crosby, Graham Nash, and others.

On Star Trek: The Next Generation, Data could reproduce the voices of humans with perfect fidelity. Brent Spiner can do the same with the voice of Patrick Stewart.

My new Kickstarter fave: Stripped is a documentary love letter to cartoonists and comic writers who’ve delighted newspaper readers for decades. Since 2008, 166 newspapers have shut down, leaving the future uncertain for many syndicated cartoonists. Amidst this industry upheaval, Stripped follows 60 cartoonists, including luminaries like Jim Davis, Scott McCloud, and Jeff Keane, as they navigate the uncharted waters of a new digital world.

Having seen the trailer for the Spider-Man movie reboot, I have no reason to actually see the movie. The first two movies with Tobey Maguire were great; even own them on DVD.
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Two music legends died this month. Jerry Leiber of the songwriting duo Leiber & Stoller wrote more songs than just about any pop composer. Here’s a list of most of them. Listen to Big Mama Thornton singing “Hound Dog”, some four years before Elvis Presley. Also, hear Charlie Brown by the Coasters; coincidentally, Carl Gardner, leader of the Coasters, died a couple of months ago.

Nickolas Ashford, who died August 22, was the songwriting partner and husband of Valerie Simpson. Ashford & Simpson wrote songs for Motown artists, Aretha Franklin, and others, as well as performing themselves. Hear Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell do You’re All I Need To Get By. Also, here’s a song originally performed by Ray Charles, I Don’t Need No Doctor (live) by Humble Pie.

The Jerry Leiber Cover Story on Coverville.

The Salon story about Leiber and Ashford.

GOOGLE ALERTS

Roger with the hula hoop

Rollie Roger Green T-Shirt

Roger Green, the proprietor of Hair by Roger, said noise and vibrations from the work were spoiling the salon’s ‘peaceful environment’. A spokesperson from United Utilities said: “We are fully aware of the impact this scheme has had on the community…”

“The Black Boardwalk Cat is a distinctive animal that has acquired an unusual place in the hearts of many university employees and students,” said Roger Green, associate professor of political science and public administration.

Forgotten Book: THE THROTTLEPENNY MURDER, Roger J. Green. My contribution this week to Pattinase’s Friday’s Forgotten Books is a book I read in 1993.

Former Wisbech Mayor and Wisbech Standard editor, Roger Green who died in a road traffic collision on the A47 Wisbech bypass…. This particular Roger Green got a LOT of coverage.