Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 342

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Fiona, Cincinnati Zoo’s mega-star, has this major article in the New York Times Sunday edition.

The Kennedy Center Honors are this week, but the telecast is December 27th (9-11 pm US Eastern) on CBS. For me, this annual event is must-watch television! The 2017 honorees are Carmen de Lavallade, Gloria Estefan, LL Cool J, Norman Lear, and Lionel Richie.

If you enjoy “Oh Come Emmanuel”, you may enjoy this handbell piece that we are playing next week. Very interesting rhythms  – and not easy! –  but at least it’s not like the late-October monster. Click here to listen.

Congratulations to Jordan Fisher and partner Lindsay Arnold for winning Dancing With the Stars. He was outstanding from the very start. To our eyes, his technique was over-the-top good. Here’s his Week 1 Tango. (The dance starts at 1:30.)

Cincinnati is lucky to be home to two top-level college basketball teams Xavier University and the University of Cincinnati. The rivalry between the two schools that are only 3.5 miles (5.6 km) apart is intense – and this weekend is the annual meeting known as the Crosstown Shootout. Go UC! … but this is the only game of the year where I hope XU loses.

Here’s the beginning of an interesting local story.

Suliman Abdul-Mutakallim was shot in the back of his head, as he walked home, carrying food for himself and his wife. Authorities say he was an innocent and unsuspecting victim. After two teenagers pleaded guilty this month at separate court hearings and were sentenced to prison terms, Abdul-Mutakallim’s mother, Rukiye, offered to hug them. Javon Coulter said she could. Rukiye wants to visit them in prison regularly and help them become better people. (Cincinnati Enquirer)

Just learned about a company named d.light.  Very interesting products! This is a way to help the people of Puerto Rico and other places without electricity. Click to see their products.

Saturday I’m posting a collaboration with an artist. Hope you stop by.

My little corner of the world is approaching several milestones, including 75,000th comment. I wonder who will get the recognition.

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Brilliantly said by Michael Gerson (Washington Post): Not only do we have tribal politics in this country, we also have tribal morality.

2108 is an election year for Ohio’s governor. The four top Republican candidates were in my area recently for a forum. Here’s the way the Cincinnati Enquirer started the report: The Republican nomination for Ohio governor might come down to who loves President Donald Trump more. And who’s least like current Republican governor John Kasich.

I continue to think Roy Moore will win in Alabama.

Two weeks I mentioned writing my Congressional Representative and Senator because their party like to claim, “It’s a mental health issue” when it comes to mass shootings. I asked what the Republican Party has done about mental health issues (purposefully without mentioning gun control.) My Representative responded: 1) Without answering my question. 2) Stating the issue with the Air Force files on the most recent incident has been corrected, and 3) focusing on gun control.

In terms of the plan for the tax cuts, interesting how the effects of the debt is less important to those who previously said the debt is of utmost importance. Ah yes – the nature of politics.

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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion offers tips for clean eating.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Buick introduces new self-buying car
Nutella briefly entertained as lubricant
New historic evidence suggests most Pilgrims sailed back home to celebrate first Thanksgiving
Smithsonian acquires rare photograph where whole family looks really nice
Substitute teacher can tell he’s filling in for real asshole

Interesting Reads
Can machines become moral?
26 words we don’t want to lose
Ocean’s most-dedicated mothers
Digital privacy upcoming in the high court
60 years after Brown v. Board of Education
(Images) Bumper stickers for subway riders
(Photos) Random photos of the week

For your weekend entertainment, I continue the stretch of Fab Four songs. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

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On Simply Two Birds

First of all, they are more than simply two birds – more than two bluebirds – they are two Charley Harper bluebirds.

One on the left …

… one on the right.

Two bluebirds – a male and a female – coming home

Known for his minimalist, geometric style commonly featuring wildlife in his work, Charley Harper (1922-2007) is a local artist who became accomplished and celebrated. I didn’t realize Harper’s impact until I saw his work in a bookstore of a Frank Lloyd Wright home.

Homecoming (Bluebirds) is an ArtWorks mural honoring Charley Harper. Simplistic in style, this work is for Harper and his wife (Edie) whose studios were in their home. A past post I did on Charley Harper is further below.

ArtWorks is a unique non-profit organization that employs and trains local youth to create art in the community. To date, ArtWorks is responsible for over 125 murals throughout Cincinnati – which many are in the main part of the city.

Basic Information
Homecoming (Bluebirds)
Location: 119 East Court Street (Downtown Cincinnati)
Designer: Charley Harper

A past post about Charley Harper

To see more of my posts about the murals of Cincinnati, click here.

Thanks to Resa (Toronto’s leading lady) whose posts about street art in Toronto and Winnipeg, got me interested in outdoor art in my area. I invite readers to visit Resa’s blog (but tell her I sent you.)

On a Fresh Harvest

The table is a plenty ….

 

… a bounty of freshness …

 

… filled with nature’s nutrition …

 

… delivered with vivid colors

Classic 17th century European painters influenced artist Jonathan Queen to display the products of farming through vibrant colors and dense composition. Interestingly, this mural is about the fresh produce that makes it to our tables. Interestingly, the mural is located on the side of the Kroger headquarters in downtown Cincinnati. FYI: Kroger is the largest grocery store chain in the USA.

Light sets up a visual hierarchy emphasizing area of contrast with objects in shadow become subdued. I want to give the illusion of real life or even a heightened realism. I work like a pendulum, back and forth between areas of the painting refining the image as I go. I explore how the use of visual elements can drive meaning, and I want to start a visual dialogue that viewers can further develop through their own viewing experience.” (Jonathan Queen, artist)

ArtWorks is a non-profit organization employing local youth to create over 125 through the Greater Cincinnati area.

Mural Facts
Fresh Harvest Mural
Artist: Jonathan Queen
Location: 1014 Vine Street, downtown Cincinnati
Surface: 48 ft by 90 ft (14.6 m by 27.4 m )

To see more of my posts about the murals of Cincinnati, click here.

Thanks to Resa (Toronto’s leading lady) whose posts about street art in Toronto and Winnipeg, got me interested in outdoor art in my area. I invite readers to visit Resa’s blog (but tell her I sent you.)

On Projecting Color

There’s a camera …

… a camera displaying colors across the building.

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At the far end of the building we find ET.

Another colorful array exists in the opposite corner …

… as well as beautiful designs behind the camera

A patch serves as a hint of the one behind the colors ….

… his face looming large in black and white … but he was a quiet man with a large place in history

The man is an astronaut in a colorful spacesuit …

… holding the camera as he stands on the moon.

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Armstrong is an ArtWorks tribute to Neil Armstrong (1930-2012), an Ohio native who was the first person on the moon. After retiring as an astronaut, Armstrong lived in the Cincinnati area for many years; including time on the engineering faculty at the University of Cincinnati.

ArtWorks is a unique non-profit organization that employs and trains local youth to create art in the community … .and to date responsible for over 125 murals throughout Cincinnati – which many are in the main part of the city.

Basic Information
Armstrong
Location: on the Fifth-Third Bank Headquarters
511 Walnut Street (just off of Fountain Square)
Surface: 7,632 sq feet (709 sq meters)
Creator: Eduardo Korba, world-famous Brazilian street artist

Thanks to Resa (Toronto’s leading lady) whose posts about street art in Toronto and Winnipeg, got me interested in outdoor art in my area. I invite readers to visit Resa’s blog (and tell her I sent you).

To see other posts I’ve done about Cincinnati murals, click here.

On Shine

You may not know what this is …

… and seeing this piece may not help.

Interesting how this delicate stand played such a large role in our lives – but is actually less so today.

This better hint may give you an idea because you have have it in your hand.

We forget just how painfully dim the world was before electricity. A candle, a good candle, provides barely a hundredth of the illumination of a single 100 watt light bulb.” (Bill Bryson, writer)

I consider myself an inventor first and an entrepreneur second. In real life, my hero is Thomas Edison. He was a great inventor, but also an outstanding entrepreneur who was able to sell his inventions to the masses. He didn’t just develop the light bulb; he invented the entire electric grid and power distribution system.” (Aaron Patzer, Business leader)

Sometimes we don’t know what we are seeing.

… even when we see more.

Even with more we still may not know.

In time, we see the light

… and then there was more.”

To think about the impact on our lives of not only the light bulb, but electricity, boggles the mind. Shine, an ArtWorks mural, illustrates the beauty, elegance, and uniqueness of antique light bulbs as it takes us back in time while honoring one of greatest human innovations.

Interestingly, this mural is located on the outside wall of a Duke Energy electric substation.

ArtWorks is a unique non-profit organization that employs and trains local youth to create art in the community. To date, ArtWorks is responsible for over 125 murals throughout Cincinnati – which many are in the main part of the city.

Basic Information
Shine
Location: Central Parkway & Central Parkway
Designer: Tim Parsley

To see more of my posts about the murals of Cincinnati, click here.

Thanks to Resa (Toronto’s leading lady) whose posts about street art in Toronto and Winnipeg, got me interested in outdoor arr in my area. I invite readers to visit Resa’s blog (but tell her I sent you.)

PS: To the people of Puerto Rico, many of whom have lost this precious utility. I encourage readers to give to the charity of their choice that is assisting the people of Puerto Rico with their recovery efforts.

On Displaying Elegance

It’s an elegant lady ….

 

… wearing white glove at the end of her bare arms.

 

She catches one’s eye other ways …

 

Her voices captures your attention as she sings …

 

She displays elegance, beauty, and charm as she sings with confidence

 

Greetings Rosemary Clooney (1928-2002)

Through Swing Around Rosie, ArtWorks honors a local legend who went onto become an entertainment star – Rosemary Clooney. From a small town about an hour from Cincinnati, she came to the city and made a name for herself, then moved on to be a film and recording star in the 1950s and 60s. Yes, George is her nephew.

ArtWorks is a unique non-profit organization that employs and trains local youth to create art in the community. To date, ArtWorks is responsible for over 125 murals throughout Cincinnati – which many are in the main part of the city.

Basic Information
Swing Around Rosie
Location: 1606 Pleasant Street 1606 Pleasant St., facing West Liberty Street near Findlay Market
Surface: 3283 sq ft (305 sq meters)
A local story about this mural and its honoree

Thanks to Resa (Toronto’s leading lady) whose posts about street art in Toronto and Winnipeg, got me interested in outdoor arr in my area. I invite readers to visit Resa’s blog (but tell her I sent you.)

To see past posts on other murals in Cincinnati, click here.

I close with a song from White Christmas, in which the dress will look familiar.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 332

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When I published my return post, it was nice to see the spike on the graph of daily statistics. More importantly, it was great get to comments from friends all of the world. Thanks to all for the kind words and welcoming return.

I hope to announce a writing challenge in the next edition of this series.

Baby Fiona, (Cincinnati Zoo’s rock star baby hippo) continues to make great progress. Fiona now has a beer named after her, she is featured in a set of playing cards (we have), and continues to be a media darling. She does not regularly appear at the zoo’s exhibit, but she is making great progress bonding with her mother (Bibi) and father (Henry). Below are several links for videos.

With Amazon bid to purchase Whole Foods, this short clip (1-minute) is perfect.

 

In a pile of recyclable materials at a recycling center, what color do you think is the most dominant? (Answer later in this post.)

My wife and I are still enjoying ballroom dancing. Big news would be that we have changed instructors, and a big thumbs-up to our new one.

Did you know:

  • Otto Warmbier, the college student detained in North Korea who returned to the US in a coma and then died within days, was a Cincinnatian. I happened to be in his community the day before his funeral … and the trees lining the streets had blue and white ribbons tied around them.
  • Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH), the congressman who first attended to Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) at the unfortunate, despicable shooting, is my representative.

Cardboard brown from all the shipping boxes is the most common color in a recycling pile. This has changed through the years, and given all the online purchasing people do today, this shouldn’t be surprising.

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American politics is not only frustrating, but is also has become a waste of my time and energy. It reminds of playground squabbles in order to see who gets their way, which actually solves nothing more than determining who gets their way – but this doesn’t mean I’m completely disengaging! No matter the political party, this is what I hear when politicians talk.

I’m no longer listing items for blaming former President Obama because (by now) realizes that he is responsible for everything wrong in the world over the past 10 years and for all ills to come over the next 30 years.

President Trump is a bully who disregards the institution and traditions of government because he thinks he is king.

After the House vote on the Republican-written health care law (AHCA) designed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA/Obamacare), I wrote these words to Rep. Wenstrup after the Cincinnati Enquirer published his column.

Thank you for sharing your story of the health issues in your family as well as your point of view concerning the ACA and the AHCA. You should know that as a political independent, I characterize your “Yes” vote for the AHCA without an assessment by the Congressional Budget Office as incompetent and a prime example of favoring the interest of your party over serving the best interests of the people in our district and all Americans. Health care and health care insurance is a very serious issue that demands more than a frivolous attempt based on partisanship and political gain.”

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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion explains how cell phones have changed our lives.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Health scare prompts man to overeat healthier
Earth ranked as number 1 party planet
New study finds no long-term health benefits
Man pulling on loose hangnail slowly unravels skin from entire body
Beauty industry exec keeps photo of crying 15-year-old girl on desk to remind himself why he does this

Interesting Reads
Sagan’s baloney detection kit
Continued fascination with Phineas Gage
Tree-climbing goats
A personal view of cystic fibrosis and the benefits of research
(Photos) 91 picture of 91 years of Queen Elizabeth II

To send you into the weekend, here’s a fun song that you may not know. Enjoy! In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.