Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 288

Circled Moon

A Halo for the Moon – 23rd January 2016 – Cincinnati, OH

My wife took this picture last Saturday night. We’ve never seen anything like this before – the moon enclosed in a perfect ring – a halo. A little bit of research led me to an explanation. The refraction (bending) and reflection of light by ice crystals in high cirrus clouds create the halo. This article at EarthSky explains – plus it has fabulous images.

An FYI: I saw this in Consumer Reports, and notice a difference. If you feel eye strain from your time on the computer, consider wearing UVEX Skyper glasses (available from Amazon).

We recently watched a fascinating episode about Iran on Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown (CNN). The time was very well spent, and you can watch it on Vimeo. The recent release of journalist Jason Rezaian makes this episode even more compelling.

Last weekend we attended the latest Dancing With the Stars touring show. Wow – and they ever talented! Interesting how each dancer transforms their different physique into their own unique expression. Pros at this show were Peta, Sharna, Emma, Lindsay, Val, Keo, Artem, and extras Jenna, Alan, & Brittney – plus last season’s participant Alex Skarlatos. The way their stage set worked was awesome, but I’m bummed that I didn’t get to dance with Sharna.

Colors: The Musical is off to a good start. “Black” offered a long list of available songs – so many that I could have easily added a song in my responses (but my time was limited). Nonetheless, at the time of this writing, Act 1 contains over 30 songs. Well done! Information about Act 2’s theme and date will appear in next week’s OITS – however, the info will first appear on the Hear Ye page.

There will be an Explore this weekend about a person, place, or thing.

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I laugh and shake my head at the contradiction in something I frequently hear from candidates: We must return to the basics of the US Constitution, and then pass a balanced-budget amendment (or a term-limits amendment).

The latest Republican debate is airing at the time of this posting. In advance, there is a lot of buzz about Donald Trump (R-NY) skipping the event. Yawn.

A few weeks ago I stated the importance of the March 1 Republican primaries. With less than a week before the Iowa caucus, I believe the March 15th primaries are key to the Democratic race.

The concept of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg making an independent run for the White House got my attention. Then again, the odds of a perfect storm are remote, so I don’t think it will happen. Besides, a strong third-party candidate could cause the House of Representatives to determine the next US President – and I don’t trust that group!

In case you missed it, Tina Fey’s on the last SNL was awesome! (Watch here)

My normal fact check resources didn’t have information regarding the Democratic Town Hall event in Iowa … but CNN had one.

FactCheck.org (from the Annenberg Public Policy Center) put together a set of statistics gathered during President Obama’s term (20 January 2009 up to 12 January 2016).

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To lead you into your weekly dose of satire, The Onion explains how dating sites match their users.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Disney World opens new Ordeal Kingdom for family meltdowns
Boss wants friendly, relaxed company culture in place by Friday
Lazy, overweight cockroach no longer has segmented abdomen
90% of workplace injuries caused by bare-knuckle boxing
Breaking News: Some bullshit happening somewhere

Interesting Reads
Consumers and health-care shopping
Columnist David Ignatius about battling the Islamic State
The first person diagnosed with autism
A fun 3-minute quiz
Ten greatest military blunders of WW II
(Mainly images) The salt-flats of Bolivia

Time for a 2-fer with an Act 1-leftover of jazz (Diana Krall),  and popular rock (Police) to lead you into the weekend. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.