Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 261

I know there is a long way to go, but for whatever reason, I have an uneasy feeling about Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Just a perfect time for Vice President Biden to sit on the sidelines.

Although the Republican presidential field is many and growing, how these candidates pander to the right will continue to be a problem in a general election.

I wonder if the television ads by former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) warning of economic have any effect on his son’s candidacy, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).

Given the situation in Iraq , here’s the question I’ve asked before and one that I haven’t notice anyone else asking: Would ISIS/ISIL be a problem if Saddam Hussein was in power?

We recently saw D-Day: Normandy 1944, an Omnimax film at the Cincinnati Museum Center. It’s very well done, so I encourage everyone to see it if you get a chance. To learn more, here’s the film’s website, which includes Find a Theater on the Menu.

The On Satire Bits finale was a lot of fun. Many thanks for the chuckles you gave me in the 134 posts. After all, I’m probably the only person who read every combo! One more series finale to go.

Meals: The Musical – Act 5: Ingredients provide many ingredients. Well done … but no eggs, mustard, ketchup, butter, barbecue sauce, peppermint, chili sauce, cheese, hot sauce, mayonnaise, flour, or coriander … and (as of this time), no buzzers from the producer!  Act 6 should be in two weeks – which means I will announce the theme in next week’s Opinions in the Shorts.

This week has had some unexpected turns, so no Explore or cartoon feature this Saturday, but I’m hoping to toast the new month next week. After all, two more months to go (June and July), and then all 12 months will have a tribute – which is something I didn’t intentionally try to do.

To lead you into this week’s headlines from The Onion, here’s their profile on newly announced presidential candidate Rick Santorum.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Complete idiot forgot to shave between mouth and nose
Toyota recalls 1993 Camry due to fact owner really should have bought something new by now
Amusement park adds sleeper cars to its roller coaster for passenger who prefer more restful ride
Wedding guest blissfully unaware she barely made the cut
Long-time coffee shop employee thought customers would care more about his last day
Toddler adjusting to society after serving 2-minute timeout

Interesting Reads
Negative views of Congress crossing party lines
Changing size of bathing suits
Europe’s next cheap travel destination?
New ancient human species found
An inspired inventor
Gases We Emit

For the last time in OITS, here are Your Weekend Celebrations
(Fri) Gnocchi Day, Put a Pillow on Your Fridge Day, Day of UN Peacekeepers, Learn About Composting Day, Hug Your Cat Day, Bats Day, Paperclip Day, Coq Au Vin Day, Heat Awareness Day, Pink Flamingo Day

(Sat) Mint Julep Day, Water a Flower Day, Macaroon Day, Wicket world of Croquet Day, My Bucket’s Got A Hole In It Day

(Sun) Save Your Hearing Day, What You Think Upon Grows Day, No Tobacco Day, Speak in Sentences Day

Here’s a 2-fer to send you into the weekend – two classics, including an unused song from Act 5. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Meals: The Musical – Act 5: Ingredients

The Story
Meals: The Musical is an original aFa production is about an important aspect of daily life – eating.

Whether a snack, something on the run, a glorious sit-down feast, or something in between and regardless of the time of day, food is a life necessity. There are three aspects to a truly fantastic meal: the food, the occasion, and the company. We know Meals: The Musical is a festive occasion where friends gather to share wonderful music – thus the acts will focus on what the dining friends will encounter.

MealsPlaybillProgram (Past Posts)
Act 1: Meals
Act 2: Fruit
Act 3: Side Dishes
Act 4: Meat

Act 5: Ingredients
No matter if its fish, beef, rice, or pasta, each has many ways to be served as a meal. Not only different ways of cooking, but with an outstanding variety of flavors. Act 5 is about the ingredients that the cook uses to prepare the meal. Spices, herbs, extracts, sweeteners, and other common ingredients meld together to produce the unique flavor for the dish. This act is about the ingredients that do not stand alone as a meal on their own. All song titles must include one of the ingredients that qualifies.

Note: The following are not acceptable:

  • Previous acts, (fruits, vegetables, meats, pastas, grains, side dishes), seafoods, main courses
  • Chocolate

Production Note
To prevent browsers crashing from loading too many videos, please 1) include the song title and artist in your text, and 2) paste the URL as part of your last line (not a new line). The latter will provide a link, thus not embed the actual video … but I don’t mind unembedding, so apologies are not necessary.

Announcement
Ladies and gentleman, this one goes back to my childhood when I owned the 45. Here’s Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs with Sugar Shack.

On Satire Bits: The Finale

The first post I dedicated to a collection of satire from The Onion was on November 8, 2011. Five weeks later, the second post. The weekly feature started the following month, January 10, 2012. Somewhere along the line, Curmudgeon-at-Large suggested what became the Combo Challenge .. .and the rest is history. (Thanks Mudge!)

The previous post explained a change in this blog’s format … and On Satire Bits is a casualty from the reality stick’s blow. That’s OK, after all, it’s been a good run of 134 posts. A special thanks to The Onion for making it easy.

Before we get on to the final Combo Challenge, a reminder that Meals: The Musical continues with Act 5 featuring Ingredients. Although there is much latitude here, song titles must include herbs, flavorings, spices, and common ingredients that aren’t dishes themselves. Herbs and spices are acceptable on their own. On the other hand, stay away from fruits, vegetables, meats, chocolate, and anything that might cause the producer’s shorts to knot. Curtain time is 9:30 pm (Eastern US) Wednesday.

Although some voluntarily participate creating their own headlines in the small collection in Opinions in the Shorts, the time has come for the final Combo Challenge. For the occasion, some of the headlines below the image are from the first Satire Bits. Make your own headline from the words from the headlines below. My Combo is at the end.

Thanks again for supporting On Satire Bits, have a good week, and hope to see you at the theater for Act 5.

Coal lobby warns wind farms may blow Earth off orbit

Adult bookstore to enhance shopping experience with café

An over-the-top Chinese salute to Lady Gaga, with old people

Chickenpox lollipops ineffective

Google “opt-out” feature lets users protect privacy by moving to remote village

Jennifer Lopez comes out with own clothesline line

Facebook increases user control with new ‘Cancel Account’ feature

Tests biased against students who don’t give a shit

Restaurant gives totally unwanted twist to Mexican cuisine

High school student taking rejection from first-choice college in stride as if future not over

Totally unknown guy strolling around your part of office for some reason

Report: Income inequality most apparent during fifth grade classmates birthday party

Parents of crying child must not be any good

Teen makes clever remark in science class

My Combo: Jennifer Lopez crying in adult bookstore over Lady Gaga experience

On Them Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

I’ll admit it – when I started blogging, I wasn’t sure what I was doing and certainly didn’t know the most efficient way to get readers. I wasn’t marketing anything or trying to make money – and I certainly wasn’t trying to become a blogging giant.

Somewhere along the way I must have believed that more was better – more posts, more readers, more comments, more stats, more likes, more followers – after all, more means more and I probably feared losing readers.

After almost seven years of blogging, I’ve learned many things, such as blogging is about

  • Relationships between the host and the readers
  • Quality, not quantity
  • Celebrating stats as milestones
  • The writing process

Replying to comments and reciprocating have always been important to me during my entire journey. Between writing, replying, and life, not being able to visit your blogs as much as possible bothers me … it bothers me a lot.

I’ve been thinking about this for some time, and the solution is finally obvious – don’t post as often! (Gotcha … and some of you thought I was quitting.) Sometime in the near future I will transition to a new posting schedule with hopes that it gives me more time to visit others.

The following posts and topics have been fun and easy to do, but because they are also frivolous, their time to retire has arrived.

  • Monday Morning Entertainment
  • On Satire Bits (mid-week satire with the Combo Challenge)
  • Daily and weekly list of celebrations (a time-consuming task)

Friday’s Opinion in the Shorts, my longest running series, stays. Outside of the celebrations, the format remains the same while also serving as a place for announcements as upcoming musical acts.

For now, Saturday’s Explore series and the occasional cartoon post remain because I believe readers enjoy a short look on the weekend about a person, place, or thing or a trip to a cartoon past.

Tuesdays and Thursdays have been my main futures for the week. Along with the musicals, these posts have been the feature articles of my magazine format … the ones with depth, information, and fodder … the ones involving the research and thought process that I enjoy … the ones where I share a personal experience … the ones that have always been the core of this blog.

Maybe these changes are just my way of saying that I’m finally content with my little corner of the world. There’s no need to post as often and no longer wonder about if frequent posts have been burdening readers.

No … I wouldn’t say I have a case of the Blogging Blues … but getting hit by the reality stick can be reflective. There will be a transition, after all, the two terminated series need a send off. With hopes of a  greater presence outside of my little corner of the world, thanks everyone for faithfulness and understanding.

On a Memorial Salute

Greetings on this holiday Monday in the USA!

Given the 3-day holiday weekend, I’ve developed this post ahead of schedule. If all goes as planned, our weekend will include two ballroom events, visiting the Cincinnati Museum Center for at least one (maybe two) Omnimax films, a bit of work around the condo, a long walk to town  (and back) for lunch, work, and hopefully some infrequent down time at home. What did you do this weekend?

Meals: The Musical returns this week. I wanted “Seafood” as a theme, but after researching the topic, I’m not convinced about the availability of songs. Therefore, Ingredients is the theme. Think flavors as herbs, spices, extracts, and other common ingredients that aren’t dishes themselves … however, no fruits or vegetables (a previous act) and no chocolate (reserved for later). There is a lot of leeway here, so chose judiciously.

Celebrations For Your Week

  • (Week) Week of Solidarity with the People of Non-Self-Governing Territories, Hurricane Preparedness Week, Frozen Yogurt Week, American Beer Week, Emergency Services Week
  • (Mon) Something Day, Wine Day, Tap Dance Day, Brown Bag-It Day, Missing Children’s Day. Nerd/Geek Pride Day, Cookie Monster Day, Towel Day
  • (Tues) Lindy Hop Day, Blueberry Cheesecake Day, Sally Ride Day, Cheery Dessert Day
  • (Wed) Cellophane Tape Day, Popsicle Day, Senior Health & Fitness Day, Sun Screen Day, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Day
  • (Thurs) Brisket Day, Hamburger Day, Slugs Return from Capistrano Day, Whooping Crane Day

Monday is Memorial Day in the US, so I’m passing on the normal Monday frivolity for one of my favorite military tributes. Have a good week.

On Exploring a Piece of Pi

I am ashamed to tell you to how many figures I carried these calculations, having no other business at the time. (Isaac Newton; philosopher, astronomer, physicist)

If equations are trains threading the landscape of numbers, then no train stops at pi.
~Richard Preston, journalist

This mysterious 3.141592…, which comes in at every door and window, and down every chimney. It is easier to square the circle than to get round a mathematician. (Augustus De Morgan, mathematician)

Whether any other Mathematician will appear, possessing sufficient leisure, patience, and facility of computation, to calculate the value of pi to a still greater extent, remains to be seen: all that the Author can say is, he takes leave of the subject for the present … (William Shanks, mathematician who spent a great part of his life in huge hand calculations of constants )

Ten decimal places of pi are sufficient to give the circumference of the earth to a fraction of an inch, and thirty decimal places would give the circumference of the visible universe to a quantity imperceptible to the most powerful microscope. (Simon Newcomb, astronomer)

The value of pi has engaged the attention of many mathematicians and calculators from the time of Archimedes to the present day, and has been computed from so many different formulae, that a complete account of its calculation would almost amount to a history of mathematics. ( James Glaisher, meteorologist)

A bell cannot tell time, but it can be moved in just such a way as to say twelve o’clock – similarly, a man cannot calculate infinite numbers, but he can be moved in just such a way as to say pi. (Daniel Tammet, author Thinking in Numbers: How Maths Illuminates Our)

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 260

Generally avoiding questions by Hillary Clinton (D-NY) is an interesting strategy. I wonder if it will cost her votes in the long run. Then again, there is plenty of time.

At least three more Republicans could very soon be joining the fray of seeking the nomination: Sen.Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Gov. John Kasich (R-OH), and former Gov. George Pataki (R-NY) … and more are on the way. It also appears former Gov. Martin O’Malley (D-Md) will be announcing on the Democratic side.

Fox News and CNN recently announced their selection criteria for the early Republican presidential debates. Although CNN has a Segment B for additional candidates, I would like to see a debate with the top 5 candidates being excluded.

Politico is a popular and reputable online news source about US politics. They recently expanded into Europe at politico.eu.

Speaking of Politico, here’s a gallery for political junkies about political guests with David Letterman.

This is interesting: A conservative economist and member of the Reagan White House explains how he believes Fox News hurts Republicans. For those wanting to know more, click here.

Here’s an excellent report by CNN about surveillance over the South China Sea.

Speaking of China, I want to know if one can read this blog in mainland China. Do you have any connections that can answer my burning question?

Attention bacon lovers. US bacon prices are 25% lower than a year ago.

It’s Memorial Day weekend – a 3-day weekend – the official start of summer vacation season- the Indianapolis 500 – parades, ceremonies, 21-gun salutes, pools open, picnics, outdoor activities, and more.

I thought the Dancing With the Stars Finals show was very entertaining … and Sharna Burgess was on every week. Cheers to Season 20!

Meals: The Musical returns next week, so I’ll announce the theme on the next Monday Morning Entertainment.

There will be a Saturday post as the Explore series resumes.

To lead you into this week’s headlines from The Onion, here’s their pros and cons about raising the minimum wage.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Anthropologists discover Ancient Greek Super PAC that helped shape first democracy
One year old still waiting for father’s first words
God realizes he forgot to put souls in humans
Child visits Ellis Island to see where grandparents once toured
McDonald’s reintroduces Hamburgler as attractive suburban dad

Interesting Reads
Cyber-archaeology saving relics
Islam and feminism
Photo gallery honoring BB King
Trains: driven by drivers or engineers
Columnist Roger Cohen’s thoughts about living in Italy
Smartphones and personal medicine

Your Weekend Celebrations
(Weekend) Mudbug Madness Days, Polka Weekend, Old-Time Player-Piano Days

(Fri) Toothpaste Tube Day, Buy a Musical Instrument Day, Don’t Fry Day, Vanilla Pudding Day, Canadian Immigrants Day, Harvey Milk Day, Heat Awareness Day, Biological Diversity Day, Maritime Day, Goth Day, Title Track Day, Wig Out Day, Maritime Day

(Sat) Lucky Penny Day, Jazz Day, Polka Day, Pickle Day, Crohn’s & Colitis Day, Turtle Day, Heritage Breeds Day, Taffy Day, Day to End Obstetric Fistula

(Sun) Scavenger Hunt Day, Escargot Day, Judgment in Paris Day, Brothers Day, Tiara Day, Mary Had A Little Lamb Day

The start of a 3-day weekend in a USA is a good reason for a 2-fer to send you into the weekend .. one from 1981 and one from today (which happens to be a Cincinnati band) … and both are timely. Which did you watch? Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.