Soccer, a.k.a. football; and lies on the Internet

The first time I ever even had a passing interest in soccer was watching some eight-year olds play in the early 1980s. Now my daughter has participated the last couple years, so I’ve become vaguely informed about the nuances. The Daughter wants one of those new soccer balls, called a brazuca, but I hear it costs $160; not happening.

Not that I would dis anyone who didn’t like the sport because they thought it was boring; I used to think so myself. But I figuratively rolled my eyes at certain Americans with their observations. Continue reading

October Rambling: artist Indigo Anderson; Arthur and Nigel get married


Amen, 39.
***
The Perfect Epitaph for Establishment Journalism: “In other words, if the government tells me I shouldn’t publish something, who I am as a journalist to disobey? Put that on the tombstone of western establishment journalism.”
***
I just don’t have the energy to blast the jerks responsible for the 16-day US federal government partial shutdown. Fortunately, Dan is both willing and able to do so.
***
Reader Wil: After our time as p.o.w.’s in Japanese concentration camps, we were liberated by the British. Two months after the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki we could escape a new danger.
***
Arthur and Nigel got married today. Or yesterday – that New Zealand time zone stuff always confounds me. Arthur’s observations before the big day. (I still think it’s because of the broken stemware.) Congratulations!
***
Amy’s Sharp Little Pencil wrote The Migraine Speaks (much to my dismay) and In the Palm of God’s Hand.
***
Mark Evanier’s Tales of My Childhood #3, which made me cry.
***
Leslie on setting boundaries as a teacher.
***
Steve ponders The Things We Say When Drunk.
***
Young Indigo Anderson is passionate about manga, anime, cosplay and making comics. “That is why when her tenth grade AP World History teacher asked for a paper about the relationship between North and South Korea, she requested to do it as a comic.
Continue reading

August mid-month bailing-out Rambling

©www.jimbenton.com. Used by permission.

Here’s the truth of the matter: I was away last weekend, overbooked. (Will explain, eventually.) I’ve been exhausted much of the week, rather ticked by something else, and it’s difficult to write. I’ve created ONE blog post for this site this week (the one about the possible Olympic boycott in 2014).

Since I write ahead, it wasn’t an IMMEDIATE problem, but eventually, it would be. At the same time, I hit on a whole bunch of linkage, enough (as of August 9, as I write this) for a whole post, with three weeks to (I hope) find more linking goodness for the end of the month. So consider this my summer vacation/”it’s my blog and I’ll cheat if I want” post.

The Mark Evanier News from ME section, in honor of him being named by TIME magazine, as one of the 25 Best Bloggers of 2013:
While I am very fond of his stories about his parents individually, I love Tales of My Mother and My Father #1. “My parents met in Hartford, Connecticut in the mid-forties. They dated for a time but there was enormous pressure for them to not do this. My father, you see, was Jewish. My mother, you see, was Catholic.” Continue reading

June Rambling: an atheist’s prayers, and stillness of the soul

Useful phrases for the surveillance state.

Long-lost diary of Nazi racial theorist and Hitler confidant recovered.

George Takei remember the internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII, which included himself.

Why three states dumped major private prison company in one month. I’ve long been suspicious private prisons with them “extracting guarantees of 100 percent occupancy.”

Cereal bigotry Continue reading

Television as a cultural anthropological prism

Ike and Mamie watching TV

I think I keep reading about, and therefore writing about television, despite the fact that I watch it in decreasing amounts, because I find it a fascinating cultural phenomenon. I was at our choir party this month, and we were talking about how networks, particularly ABC, will start broadcasting a serialized show and either never show the ending (The Nine, which I watched) or truncate it badly (this season’s Last Resort, which I wouldn’t watch for that reason) Continue reading

Dream three-hour night of television

Someone asked Ken Levine, who wrote for the TV sitcoms Cheers, Frasier, MASH and several other shows: “What’s your dream three-hour night of television, including any shows from any decade, including now.” He explained: “I’m going to cheat. I’m just going to concentrate on comedies. Dramas take up two slots. So here are my all-time favorite sitcoms.”
Continue reading

May Rambling: Faraway fire; faux news; second chances

Chuck Miller has taken on the task of promoting the work of his “fellow Times Union community bloggers, until that day when the Times Union itself will restore the ‘Best of Our Blogs’ feature to the print edition of the paper.” And one of those “well-written articles” was mine. Merci, Chuck.

The specter of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory looms over the garment factory that collapsed last month in Bangladesh, killing more than [1100] workers…. But the world is smaller than it was 102 years ago. Tragedies of this sort in the Third World aren’t engendered only by forces in their proximity, and they won’t be averted unless the responsibility for change is embraced globally. Also, Is Rana Disaster Bangladesh’s Triangle Fire? I wrote about the Triangle fire HERE.

Meryl’s quite reasonable concern: ‘truth’ is becoming ever-more illusive with advancing photoshop technology and our modern vehicles of ‘news resources’ and communication. Related: Since Twitter hasn’t built a correction feature, here are 3 things journalists can do instead. And Who’s The Biggest Liar?
Continue reading

April Rambling: Kiwi marriage equality; Eddie’s aunts

moi, a couple years ago

“If every kid having a mom and a dad is really what you are concerned about,” Miriam Axel-Lute expects “to also see you showing up” for these struggles.

The Fagbug meets Equality House.

Arthur: “When I was a kid, I expected life to be a certain way, and that way did not include being true to myself. I simply couldn’t imagine that one day I might be a full citizen.” Here is his favorite speech (it IS a hoot) and his favorite moment in the marriage equality passage in New Zealand.

The Man On the Street: Three Decades of Street Harassment.

This month in 1889, the so-called “Unassigned Lands” in what is now central Oklahoma were opened to white settlement, the celebrated Oklahoma Land Run. “The Native tribes, you may be sure, aren’t quite so enthusiastic about celebrating.”

Mr. Frog re: Spike Lee’s School Daze and a Ramble About Racism.

10 Cover-ups That Just Made Things Worse.

27 science fictions that became fact in 2012.

Meryl: Logos: The power of grounding logic and expectations in our communications. Also, Optical Illusions and their role in Education, Brain Training, and Visual Literacy; at least check out the video at the end of the latter one.

J: The sexiest letter.

Neil Gaiman: There wasn’t anything in there that indicated that I was going to be a writer, a real writer, with something to say, except for one thing, and it was this: I was writing. There was lots of writing going on.

I whine a lot about writing, but I never have whined quite so persuasively as this.

Healing the Wounded Womb.

MY FAVORITE STORY OF THE MONTH: Continue reading

Loss of data

I was putting together my monthly list of links, when it struck me that some of the pieces were of a type. They were all about information of one form or another and how sometimes, it goes away.

JEOPARDY! wiz Ken Jennings – he won 74 games in a row – gave a TEDx talk at Seattle University in February 2013 called The Obsolete Know-It-All. It runs about 18 minutes, in which he discusses the JEOPARDY! competition with Brad Rutter (human) and the IBM computer named Watson, as. He talks, among other things, about how a part of the brain shrinks when one uses GPS, or uses the cellphone to look up your friends’ numbers. This is one of those issues I respond to viscerally. Looking it up on Google may be more “efficient,” but it doesn’t compare with knowing stuff.

If the technologies fail us – power grid crashes, computers compromised by cyberattacks – what will we still know? What does it all mean in terms of our human interaction? By contrast, 5 ways robots can improve accuracy, journalism quality.

Andy Marx writes about the day he and his grandfather Groucho saved the television show ‘You Bet Your Life’ from ending up in a Dumpster. If he hadn’t answered the phone, the shows would have been lost forever. In the comments, there was an interesting link to a story of how much of our cultural history depends on one person’s decision to preserve something instead of throwing it away.

Speaking of TV, Ken Levine’s comment about the late Bonnie Franklin, and her TV show ONE DAY AT A TIME falling between the cracks prompted the question about why some shows remain perennially popular while others fade out. “It doesn’t necessarily seem to be question of quality.” Interesting responses in the comments section.

Mark Twain Captured on Film by Thomas Edison in 1909. It’s the only known footage of the author.

Finally, since Jaquandor inspired this with his lazy linkage, I appreciated reading what he has to say: When going back to edit your writing, how do you determine what to keep and what to weed out? I imagine novelists in particular whether to exorcise a scene, or just save it for another book.
***
My first thoughts about the end of this year’s Boston Marathon. Probably not my last.

Book Review: THE ME GENERATION…BY ME (Growing Up In The ’60s)

Ken Levine is a blogger I’ve been following for about five years, and whose observations about the entertainment industry I enjoy a lot. He is “an Emmy winning writer/director/producer/major league baseball announcer.” So I was interested in a book by a guy who both wrote shows I’ve watched, such as MASH, Cheers and Frasier AND has done play-by-play for Seattle Mariners and other baseball teams.

I put his new book on my Amazon wish list and received it for Christmas. The premise of the book he dedicated a blog post to is that:

“They say if you can remember the’60s you didn’t live through them. Continue reading