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.

Embed from Getty Images

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).

Embed from Getty Images

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.

58 thoughts on “Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 288

  1. Fabulous pic taken by Mrs. Right Angle!
    Tina Fey was simply brilliant (as usual) – So then I actually watched five minutes of the real Sarah Palin to see if she was on the ball… Is that woman for real?

    Bullshit Boxing Happening in Family Kingdom, Disney Boss No Longer Friendly


  2. Many of us have been waiting for the Trump candidacy to come back to Earth. However, much like that Halo around the Moon “The Donald” has an aura around him. It remains to be seen at the moment of truth if those angry polled people pull that lever next to his name. Time will tell…soon.


    • Bruce,
      Although The Bloviator has lasted longer than I’ve anticipated, I still don’t think he’ll get the nomination – let alone the presidency. No candidate has ever gotten away with so much, then again, his supporters either buy into his words or give me a free pass. … Nonetheless, time will tell … and I remain set on March 1st.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. We see those moon halo from time to time – Night skies are always awesome
    Thanks for the videos. Music and moons much better than anything the media is turning out right now. Debates – YAWN. By now no one cares – so please media stop spending 48 hours before one talking about what may be said and then another 48 hours afterwards talking about what was said (and their body language) No one cares. We’ll see after the primaries ( which should all be done on the same day as far as I’m concerned.)
    Now must run back and check out the musical episodes! I’m late!


    • Mouse,
      Glad you’ve noticed the moon halos. I’m curious how often that happens in my area.

      Regarding the primaries, I think there is a lot of interest … however, I also believe that people are tired of the long process … and to think the primaries are about to get start! YIKES!!!! At least I’m not seeing a lot of TV ads … YET!


      • Our weather guys even tell us when moon halos will be appearing – I guess it’s the high humidity here. There are a remarkable sight. Last night the starts seemed especially blue-white bright with cold clear skies.
        We have be pounded by election ads since before Christmas. UGH. People are interested, but for a few things. First these aren’t real debates and appear very scripted. Primaries unfortunately do not draw as many voters as they should – either don’t care or don’t realize the importance or feel like no matter what they do, it doesn’t make a difference as the Parties will pick who they want. (And those choices are not always so great). Really disturbing is the fact that once at the conventions, some states’ primary vote winner can be ignored and that vote switched to another candidate even if the actual voters indicated otherwise. Guess that’s why so many say they will pay attention when the “real” election gets here. It is what it is. The media is certainly thrilled with the process and having something to babble about
        Meanwhile moon struck is more entertaining


  4. Wasn’t Tina Fey’s skit hilarious? So spot-on it’s scary. Palin is the gift that keeps on giving. In fact, this entire election is an endless gift to satirists. The material is endless.

    Very cool you got to see the DWTS tour. I’m sure it was fun to see those pros live. And wonderful moon pic!


    • Carrie,
      Politicians do keep on giving … even during the non-election season – after all, the nightly shows use them every day. Meanwhile, the DWTS tour show was a lot of fun, and I would go again. Glad you enjoyed the moon pic.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hope to get over to The latest musical. My computer is acting up again. 😦 That’s great you got to see the Dancing Stars! How fun, Frank! Love Tina Fey. Wasn’t she a hoot? She nailed it.


    • Amy,
      That skit could have been Fey’s best! … and Yes, the DWTS tour show was outstanding. I’m still astounded of their physical nature. Wow. Bummer on the computer issue, so I’m going over to post a song dedicated to you (after I submit this comment).

      Liked by 1 person

  6. My husband tried to get a photo of the moon the other night. Great job by your wife. It seems like you’ve had a fun week. I had seen the Tina Fey clip during the week–brilliant and spot on!


  7. I watched the GOP debate last night and FINALLY I get what you’ve been saying about Ted Cruz winning the Republican nomination.

    I look forward to the conclusion(s) you draw from “Consumers and health-care shopping.”

    Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin act in 2008 was a game changer, but doing the Nincompoop’s craziness now is a waste of time. P.S. The brilliant movie “Game Change” is a MUST for anyone wanting to know how Sarah Palin came to be what she is-was-could have been.

    No direct Onion splats, but “Boss wants friendly, relaxed company culture in place by Friday” nipped an earlobe.


    • Tim,
      My debate non-watching remains intact. In terms of Ted Cruz, I will be curious if you discover my point.

      Regarding, Nincompoop and Game Change, she is not worth that much of my time … and I discourage my readers that time would be better spent watching QVC reruns.

      As for the health-care shopping article, very early after passing of ACA, I criticized the Feds for poorly informing and educating the public about the ACA and its direct implications on people …. and I still stand by that.


      • The reason people don’t shop for healthcare, it seems to me, is basic psychology. When a person is hurting, sick or impaired, quality is paramount. But in the human mind, cheaper equates to lower quality. There’s a name for this effect, but I can’t think of it. Salespersons all know it. Big Medical knows it too, which is why so much money is spent on making hospitals look so good. Also, there’s the time factor, the urgency to get something fixed. This is never going to get fixed until we have universal, single-payer healthcare.

        The David Ignatius article is a good one, but he errs in blaming the president for sending a mixed message. He said,

        President Obama pledged that “priority number one is protecting the American people and going after terrorist networks” and then said a few moments later that these networks “do not threaten our national existence.” That sends a mixed message — one that Hillary Clinton has echoed in her campaign.

        That’s not a mixed message to me. Both statements are true. Terrorism is “priority number one” because the body politic wants it to be and the kind of government we have responds accordingly. But terrorism doesn’t come close to endangering us as much as, for example, gun violence or medical errors or lack of preventive healthcare.


  8. Love the moon pic, Frank. I’ve seen one similar–it looks rather eerie, doesn’t it? We watch Anthony Bourdain’s program regularly and did see the one on Iran. Very well done. What a gig he has, huh? Travel, adventure, eats, exploring. Where do I sign up? Happy weekend!


    • Brigitte,
      When looking at the moon that night, the halo’s distance from the moon surprised me … it caused me to stop, stare, and wonder .. and we were happy to get the pic once we got home (about 30 minutes later).

      Many thanks for supporting the thought about Bourdain’s show from Iran. Oh yes .. a great gig … not sure I’m as an adventuresome eater as he, but gotta love the travel!


  9. I haven’t seen moon like that before too dear Frank, your wife took a nice photograph. And also I didn’t know the details about this halo. Dance is amazing world and I wished everybody to dance… 🙂 you know my passion…. And is this Sting? How much I love his music, his voice… Thank you dear Frank, have a nice and enjoyable weekend, Love, nia


  10. That’s a great photo, Frank, normally when I take a photo of the Moon it’s so bright the image doesn’t do it any justice at all. I’ve seen the halo around the Moon a few times, I always think it looks special… and when you see a Moonbow, well…!


  11. I took the Quick Quiz about the body. Got the first five in under a minute, but then it wouldn’t take Iron or Magnesium because they weren’t as plentiful. I just sat there, deflated, till the time ran out.
    I’ve been fortunate to see moon haloes like that on occasion. Now I’m off back up to watch Tina before I leave. 🙂


  12. Luv your wife’s shot of the moon! Well done, as is the post!
    I’ve been hiding out in my Art Gowns blog. I’ve got a new girl, and it takes time to present her. So, I’ll have some dinner & resume my tale of Mnesomyne! Hope you’re having a wonderful Sunday night!


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