Thursday, July 31, 2014

3 minutes well spent

Hi all.:

Need a little cheering up today?  Well then hop on this.  Makes me smile and feel real swell.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Inside joke

If you are not a "Game of Thrones" fan you won't get this at all.  If you are a fan, you will be laughing or at least smiling.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

BBC rejects false equivalency

I was about to give up on any hope that false equivalency in the media would be combated and rejected by "responsible" media.  It turns out that the BBC has kindled some hope in me, as explained in this excellent WAPO article by Katrina vanden Heuvel.  I love the John Oliver solution of staging an actual climate change debate with 3 deniers vs. 97 reputable scientists armed with proof.  At some point the deniers would be viewed as Humphry Bogart was giving his paranoid rant while rolling the steel balls around in his hand  in "The Caine Mutiny."

Thursday, July 10, 2014

An apt quotation

Even though I am now retired, I must always remember to make sure I'm not working:

"Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else" 
~ J.M. Barrie

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Climate change: Lest you forget

The facts concerning climate change are so conclusive that it's hard to imagine how the right wing tea party crowd can ignore them.  I probably could offer a newspaper, magazine, or television analysis of the problem each day, but I refrain from doing so because I know that I would be preaching to the choir. Nevertheless, occasionally I run across something on the subject that is succinct, informative, and  wryly humorous, which I am compelled to share.  Such is Richard Cohen's wonderful piece in today's WaPo. I love the opening anecdote about the newspaper weather report.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Seven Nation Army - A pop icon

Several years ago I was at a Cal football game when the rooting section began a chant that immediately gripped my attention.  It was one of those things where "I know what this is, and I've heard it before, but I can't place it."  Then I started hearing it all over the place chanted by fans of various sports in various countries.  It was spreading like wildfire.  I finally realized that it was simply the signature riff of "Seven Nation Army" released in 2003 by The White Stripes.

Now, watching the World Cup, I hear the riff chanted by one group of fans or another each day.   So how did this come about?  I have done some research that I will share with you, but first, let's listen to the original "Seven Nation Army" track released in 2003 on an album titled "Elephant."  You will recognize the riff immediately.

Apparently, the chant phenomenon was born in Italy (or Belgium)  in October 2003 and began to mushroom thereafter within Italy reaching its apex at the time of the 2006 World Cup matches.  By that time it had become a theme chanted in support of Italy's World Cup team, "Azzurri." You can read how this all came about by clicking right here.  Another version, which also discusses migration to the US, and includes a Belgian role, can be found here.

Care for some real-life videos of the chant?  Try Spain v. Greece.  Or, Ohio State fans giving it to Penn State fans.  Or this, where San Antonio fans are rubbing it in the face of rival Miami.

Well, now you know the story.  I find it to be fascinating.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Another movie list

I really like lists of movies, books, or music that are based upon a theme conjured up by their creators.  I like them even if I disagree with some of the inclusions or fume over the omissions.  I also enjoy them because they often make me aware of content I have not yet seen or heard.  I just stumbled across a list titled "25 Spectacular Movies You (Probably) Haven't Seen."  It turns out I have probably seen about half of them and I'm going to try to see the one's I have missed out on.  I can say that I have enjoyed all of the one's I have seen (of course "The Big Lebowski" had to be included).  For example, I still dig "Waking Life," which some of my friends just don't get.  And, I dig "Kung Fu Hustle," which it seems none of my friends have seen, but which I find to be insanely funny and entertaining.  And, I always recommend "Downfall" if only to alert folks to the epic performance turned in by Bruno Ganz playing Hitler in the final days.  For a taste of the latter check this out.  Be sure to click on the little "cc" button at bottom right to get the subtitles.

So by all means check out this interesting list.