Opinions in the Shorts: No. 354

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It’s good to return to my little corner of the world with various tidbits, thoughts, and commentary. I sadly report that I didn’t write as much as I hoped during my blog break.

Love this factoid: Stephen Hawking was born on the 300th anniversary of Galileo’s death, then died on Einstein’s birthday (which also happened to be Pi Day). A toast to Dr. Hawking’s contribution.

March Madness of college basketball is officially underway. Cincinnati is proud to support two teams in the top eight seeds. Two teams located 3.5 miles (5.6 km) apart and ranked in the top 6 ,  Interesting that both teams start in Nashville. Meanwhile, besides the two local teams, I’ll be rooting for ABK – Anybody But Kentucky.

The tournament committee got many selections correct, but excluding worthy teams at the expense of selecting teams that we .50o or worse in their conference is pathetic.

We recently saw a play about Sister Rosetta Tharpe, a musical pioneer who influenced greats as Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Jimi Hendrix, and more. She wheeled her guitar as she sung a blend of blues, gospel, and a forerunner to rock and roll. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will induct her next month.


John Tyler, the 10th US President, occupied the White House 1841-1845. Amazingly, his grandson is still alive! Here’s the head-scratching story.

While south for 6 weeks, we danced very little because ballroom wasn’t readily available. Although we are back in cold weather, the good news is we have returned to the dance floor – but rusty. Being away from handbells for 6 weeks creates uncertainty when returning to rehearsal. Both dancing and playing handbells will improve with time and repetition.

A few editions ago I mentioned about I would be dancing a bolero at an upcoming studio event. Unfortunately, my partner and I have respectfully withdrawn.

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Although the quote isn’t by Gloria Steinem, the viral message of gun purchases following similar procedures a woman seeking an abortion in some states is an interesting thought.

This statement in Politico about the success of the National Rifle Association (NRA): It’s not the money. It’s because the NRA has built a movement that has convinced its followers that gun ownership is a way of life, central to one’s freedom and safety, that must be defended on a daily basis.

As Democrats have been loudly complaining about gerrymandering, I have to throw in some bits. 1) Gerrymandering has been around a long time. 2) Democrats do it, too. 3) The use of data and sophisticated software by both parties heightens the problem. Therefore, the time for finding a different way is now.

This week the House Intelligence Committee (and prime example of an oxymoron) concluded its investigation by stating no collusion existed between the Trump campaign. I give them as much credence as I would a Democratic-led committee finding collusion. I patiently await the results by the independent investigation led by Robert Mueller – therefore will accept this findings.

In my response to a poll about tariffs by my representative, I reminded him that I was against tariffs regardless of the president’s party affiliation – then asked him if he would react the same way if a Democratic president proclaimed the tariffs.

Personally, I wish many Republicans would give the party to the President Trump, his minions, and the uber-conservatives – thus walk away. At the same time I wish many Democrats would give the party to the uber-liberals, thus walk away. Too bad they lack the guts to do that.

Not that many years ago Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) was a darling of Republican conservatives. Since withdrawing from the 2016 Republican Presidential primaries, I haven’t heard “boo” from the man – until earlier this week. It seems Gov. Walker is taking a more conciliatory tone and voicing a concern about his party’s direction. (Click here for the article.)

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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion provides an infographic about the pros and cons of open relationships.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Roomba claims another pet gerbil
Beer aisle scanned for something asshole friend won’t mock
New evidence reveals Ancient Greeks immediately regretted inventing theater
Perverted measles virus exposes itself to playground full of children
Barbaric fifth grader gouges paper onto binder ring without so much as hole punch
FDA cancels bacon recall after finding U.S. population already ate it all

Interesting Reads
Bots and misinformation
France and the age of consent
Defining death
Nature on an island abandoned by humans
Life from microbes
The Smithsonian looks at daylight savings time
(Images) Winter Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony

I know I featured this song not long ago, but it fits. Along with my return from Blog Break, April 14th also approaches – the day their long-delayed induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

37 thoughts on “Opinions in the Shorts: No. 354

  1. Fascinating to see Ross Island in the Andaman archipelago returning to its roots.

    Add Newfoundland’s Mistaken Point to Siccar Point, Scotland, as places you should visit before your Charles Darwin inspired voyage to the Galapagos Islands.

    The Republicans giving their party to President Trump and the uber-conservatives is happening this week as we speak. The question I have concerning the Democrats giving their party to the uber-liberals is: “Which policy issue(s), other than a single payer national health care system, constitute(s) “uber-liberalism?”

    No splats.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There were so many interesting bits of information (including quotations of things he said) that have been posted following Hawking’s death. I hope you are feeling refreshed after your break.
    I can always listen to the Moody Blues. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Merril,
      Hawking may be the biggest name in science in our lifetime. Loved the movie about him – Theory of Everything. The man was off-the-charts brilliant. … FYI … probably more Moody Blues to come next week!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Talk about significant dates of arrival and departure of this person, not to mention his life. Bone Voyage Dr. Hawking!
    I can understand why they regretted inventing theater!!!!! 😉
    Have a great weekend, Frank
    and cheers to sister Rosetta [and the Moody Blues]! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Welcome back!
    I think you’re right about the parties. Leave ‘ em to the current residents whose bluster and vitriol has effectively scorched all evidence of their previous selves.
    I forgot all about Scott Walker!
    And RIP Stephen Hawking . . . What a legacy he leaves.
    Moody Blues are always a good thing.
    Have a great weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Carrie,
      Six weeks away from the cold was wonderful! The beach walks (the last one and future ones) will deliver many thoughts.

      Your comment about the rabbit image made my day because I picked it for that reason!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Love Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s version of Down By the Riverside (Study War No More)! I have to go listen–it’s been awhile! It’s good to have you back, Frank–your quirky view of the world makes me smile!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. That factoid about Stephen Hawking is simply amazing! Such an amazing man for so many reasons. I’m glad you’re home and back to your dancing. We attended a birthday party recently and the hosts brought Arthur Murray dance instructors for the guests. Everyone had such a good time. No tango, however. 🙂


  7. Sounds like a fun college basketball playoff season. However, all I think I know is that the Toronto Raptors made the NBA playoffs!
    Loved the Sister Rosetta Tharpe song!!!!
    As a Canadian, i try not to think about your president mocking our Trudeau (who knew the facts and trump did not) at a political gathering. I really don’t like your leader, but will also abide by Muellers’s findings.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Resa,
      Glad you enjoyed Sister Rosetta. As I mentioned, until I saw the play, I knew zero about her.

      College basketball came crashing down on my city yesterday as both teams blew double-digit leads with 10 minutes left in the game – thus both lost. Tough day for the city!

      Meanwhile, President Trump does a great job of making an ass of himself – and the exchange with Mr. Trudeau is one of a long line of examples (which happen daily). My apologies to all Canadians.

      Liked by 1 person

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