Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 237

On Politics
This week’s senseless horrors in Ottawa, Canada is just another reminder of our crazy world. My heart goes out to my northern neighbors.

Not that I don’t think Ebola is serious, but I do wonder how much of the fear and discussion is politically driven.

People are undoubtedly disgusted with members of Congress, and there’s no doubt in my mind that many voters will cast a vote against a candidate rather than for a candidate. Unfortunately, others believe both parties are pathetic, thus will stay home because it doesn’t really matter who wins.

Many of the ads of Grimes-McConnell race for the Kentucky Senate seat focus on coal. Interestingly, the coal industry accounts for 1% of Kentucky jobs, plus has been in decline for over 40 years.

Midterm elections in the US usually don’t get much interest from the voters. Nonetheless, outside groups are spending around $4 BILLION dollars on the election.

This is interesting to ponder, but nothing one can do about it … but still interesting. Given the top leaders in Congress (Boehner, Pelosi, Reid, and McConnell) – If you could get rid of 3 (thus only keep 1), who would you keep? Who do you think I would keep? (My answer next week)

Cheers to The Onion for these election headlines

  • New election rules allows candidates to remain completely anonymous throughout campaign
  • Populist candidate gaining support among underrepresented corporations
  • Bitter concession speeches only thing Americans looking forward to in upcoming elections

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Man coasting through life entirely on benefit of doubt
Hazmat worker sees no reason to throw away all this perfectly good food
Pueblo Indians can’t keep pace with area woman’s appetite for earthenware
New census study finds 40% of US population is filler

The Onion’s infographic about tracking Ebola in the US 

Cake left in breakroom without instructions (photo below)

Photo from The Onion (theonion.com)

Photo from The Onion (theonion.com)

Interesting Reads
How to keep your health-care costs in check in 2015
Ebola and the epidemics of the past
(video) Blue eyes: Endangered and on the road to extinction?
How nature sparkles … literally sparkles
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WS) on poverty
The first Olympics games following WW II: London 1948

On Potpourri
I watch my share of CNN, so imagine my surprise when I learned that CNN and HLN are no longer on my system due to contract negotiations.

One of local college basketball players is known for his big hands … hands measuring 11.75 in (30 cm) from thumb to pinky, and 10.25 in (26 cm) from palm to tip of middle finger. Undoubtedly, that’s a big hand!

10 children, 16 grandchildren, 29 great grandchildren, one great-great grandchild, 73 years of marriage, and they died 28 hours apart. Read this touching story about a Cincinnati couple.

Here’s an update on the two local athletic stories that are getting national attention because of cancer. The Bengals have sold about 15,000 jerseys of Devon Still’s #75 … that’s $1.5 million dollars to fight pediatric cancer. Across town we find Lauren Hill, the college freshman hoping to play in one college basketball game before she dies from the inoperable Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG). Her small college accepted Xavier University’s offer to use their arena for the game, and Tuesday the public responded by buying over 10,000 tickets less than an hour – that is a sell out. (Story)

I anticipate reaching a milestone sometime next week. Stay tuned!

We saw the movie Gone Girl this week. Whew .. talk about two people deserving each other!

Speaking of next week, I hope to raise the curtain on Act 11 of Life: The Musical next week, which also means I will announce the theme in the next Monday Morning Entertainment.

No Saturday Morning Cartoon this week because I don’t have one ready! 😦

Your weekend celebrations

  • (Fri) Food Day, Bologna day, Sour Day, Black Cat Day, World Development Information Day, UN Day
  • (Sat) Cartoonists Against Crime Day, Chuckie the Notorious Killer Doll Day, Pasta Day, Make a Difference Day, Greasy Foods Day, Sourest Day, Pit Bull Awareness Day, Punk-for-a-Day Day
  • (Sun) Mother-in-Law Day, Mule Day, Visit a Cemetery Day, Privacy Day, Mincemeat Day, Horseless Carriage Day

Last weekend was the first of two weddings for us to attend, so those events made me think of this rock song from the early 80s … White Wedding (Billy Idol). Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 236

Embed from Getty Images

On Politics
In the US, the Surgeon General would be the point person in the fight against Ebola. As Republicans are (predictably) attacking President Obama on Ebola, let us not forget that President Obama nominated Dr. Vikey Murthy for the post in November 2013, whose nomination is being blocked by Republicans. Once again I say that Senators should act on any and all presidential nominees regardless of the president’s political affiliation.

In the fight against ISIS, Turkey is remaining on the sidelines as much as possible, which causes me to wonder if its leadership is doing with hopes of eradicating the Kurds. I don’t know, but just a thought to ponder.

I like this statement in a recent Cincinnati Enquirer article regarding climate change and politicians … When you get politicians in the room to talk about climate change, science doesn’t seem to enter into the equation. What does? Money, geography, party politics, and a region’s history.

Recent quotes for talk-show host Bill Maher and some of his guests about Islam has received much media attention. On the topic, I enjoyed this column from Fareed Zakaria (Washington Post).

I always appreciate the Stealers Wheel song clip Michael Smerconish uses on his XM radio show: Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, stuck in the middle with you … and now I see this one from Nancy’s book review: Don’t go to the right, don’t go left, go deeper. Thanks, Nancy!

To lead you into The Onion, I appreciate these two recent gems they provide on our upcoming elections.

  • Voters excited to use midterm elections to put country back on different wrong track
  • Congress waiting until after the midterms to address nationwide plague of hornets

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
TV show under fire for depicting murder
Man thinks people care enough about him to be let down by his failures
Facebook offers to freeze female employees’ newborn children
Entire conversation with parents spent changing subject
Lifelong dream no match for first brush with adversity
Susan G Komen Foundation launches deep-space probe to bring breast cancer awareness to rest of galaxy

Interesting Reads
A white-only town in South Africa
Constitutional balance
Evolution and faith: one’s journey
Columnist David Brooks on campaign spending
Top geologic sights in the UK (great pics, too)
Infographic: Extinction by Numbers
Microsoft Office is not needed

Embed from Getty Images

On Potpourri
Another story of a young lady from the Cincinnati area with cancer is getting national attention. She’s a college freshman with a wish to play in one college basketball game. Here’s the video from a local channel (one in which the reporter has a difficult time) and this written report from Sporting News that has a video for a different local station.

This week I made my first appearance to the weekly dance gathering for those with disabilities. It was a great 45 minutes, plus the dancer teacher was pleasantly surprised to see me. Later, I sent her the link to my post about the event, and she loved it.https://afrankangle.wordpress.com/2014/10/13/on-an-extra-special-event/

CNN has a series (CNN Roots) about the family roots of some of their studio personalities. I’ve enjoyed the three I’ve seen so far, but this one about Michaela Pereira is outstanding, so I encourage you can watch it here. By the way, CNN will have a primetime special regarding this series on October 21st at 9:00 pm (Eastern US). Here’s the CNN page on the series with all the videos.

This week we got a new neighbor, and they used a POD storage system, which I’ve seen – but I’ve never witnessed one either loaded or unloaded to/from a truck. I must say, Very interesting! … so here are two videos for those who want to know more … from the moving company (1+ min) … and … by a user (4+ min).

Another act of Life: The Musical is in the official record, so thanks to all participants … and, as always, I love listening to all the songs. What’s your thought on this idea: Should I compile all the songs for the entire musical?

This weekend is going to be a busy one for us, so there won’t be a Saturday Morning Cartoon this week.

Your weekend celebrations

  • (Fri) Wear Something Gaudy Day, Pasta Day, Alternative Fuel Day, Black Poetry Day, Eradicate Poverty Day, Mulligan Day, Mammography Day
  • (Sat) Bridge Day, Chocolate Cupcake Day, Menopause Day, No Beard Day, Sweetest Day, Boost Your Brain Day
  • (Sun) Toy Camera Day, Evaluate Your Life Day, Get Smart about Credit Day, Seafood Bisque Day

Thought I’d send you into the weekend this week with a 2-fer. First, Stuck in the Middle with You by Stealers Wheel (because I mentioned it in the post), plus one that you may not know .. but I like the beat and its a great dance song … so here’s Ms. Jody with At the Bop. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.


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Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 200

New Header
The time is right for a header change, so I return to deep space. This is from NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory photo gallery, which actually is a computer-stimulated image of a star’s gases falling into a black hole. My header collection is on the Past Headers page (or click here).

I also changed my theme from MistyLook to the update version called Misty Lake, so I imagine adjustments will be necessary. If I don’t like it, I’ll be either switching back to Misty Lake or go for a new look.

On Politics
I didn’t know about this death benefit for families of members of Congress.

Put Congressional Democrats and Republicans in a room to discuss the budget is easy. Getting them to make policy decisions about the budget may not be difficult – but they would have to ignore the big obstacle also in the room – Politics – because policy and politics are not the same, but quite different.

Cheers to ongoing Senator Olympia Snow (R-ME) for this comment: If we (voters) allow our political system to be subjugated to the fringe factions or to ideological interests or the podium-thumping belligerents that we’re witnessing today, then that’s the government we’re going to get.

There is an interesting battle in my state (Ohio) regarding Medicare Expansion between our Republican governor and the Republican legislature.

Republicans using the debacle at healthcare.gov to criticize the Affordable Care Act makes as much sense as Democrats making excuses for healthcare.gov. Meanwhile, a Congressional hearing on the matter is nothing more than political theater.

Given the previous statement, this one from The Onion will lead you into The Onion’s headlines for the week: New and improved Obamacare program released on 35 floppy disks

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion

  • Child sees no reason why Iron Man costume can’t be worn at grandfather’s funeral
  • Proposed immigration law calls for US to shut down border slide
  • Weird man begins every morning by dousing his naked body in water
  • Republicans announce plan to go after Obamacare
  • Mom breaks into son’s apartment to administer latest flu vaccine
  • Johnson & Johnson announces new Leave-In Q-Tip

Interesting Reads
See the video and the article about the person behind Humans of New York
Interesting editorial about fixing Social Security
Eight unlikely animal friendships
How black holes work (timely with my new header)
A book review about Ben Franklin’s science
Enjoy these bioluminescence images
See Jim’s good explanation of timing a launch to Mars

On Potpourri
Think about this one. What if you were from Sudan then came to the US to play basketball and get an education. Six years later, your passport is no longer good because you are from South Sudan, which now has independence. Then recently, you learn that your father died. Here’s the story.

A writer at DeadSpin ranked 51 regional dishes (50 states and DC) and ranked my beloved Cincinnati Chili #52 – behind being hit by a car.

Time: The Musical returns next week featuring short time (a minute or less). I announce the planned date on the next Monday Morning Entertainment, (probably Tuesday). Thinking outside the box is important for this act, but dealing with a tyrant producer is a challenge in itself.

Texting + driving = matches + gasoline … thus begs the question WHY? Here’s an interesting post IAMM3Z about the pair.

Here are your reasons to celebrate this weekend

  • (Friday) International Artist Day, Sourest Day, World Pasta Day, Bandana Day, Breadsticks Day, Greasy Food Day, Punk-for-a-Day Day
  • (Saturday) Make a Difference Day, Mule Day, Forgiveness Day, and Mincemeat Pie Day
  • (Sunday) Cranky Co-workers Day, Mother-in-Law Day, Reformation Sunday, Visit a Cemetery Day, Potato Day

The next Saturday Morning Cartoon post will feature a well-known character – and the post is ready!

This is the perfect occasion to thank ABtwixt for this comment: I’d never willingly deprive myself of your OITS, it’s better than the Sunday paper!

To send you into the weekend in honor of Time: The Musical, here’s one that does not qualify for the next act, but could have been in Act 1: the ‘70s hit from The Babys: Isn’t It Time. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.