Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 284

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I hate it when life gets in the way of blogging – hence why my posts are less frequent, and my visits elsewhere have been horrible.

Sky: The Musical is over – and participants have come through in flying colors. A tip of the cap to all who took us on a 5-act musical journey across the sky and clouds to the sun, moon stars.

No Explore post this weekend because the my 2016 Holiday Blog Party is the entire weekend. Start time is 1:30 AM (Eastern US), thus the gifts will be available for the European morning and even the late-night Friday crowd on the US west coast. Because of my lack of presence over the past few weeks, I’m expecting a smaller crowd than normal. 😦 … nonetheless, I will enjoy the company! Bring your friends.

Bomb threats at schools have recently made the news – which reminded me of a Darwin Award candidate. It was probably in the 1980s, a person called the principal during school hours to issue a bomb threat. The principal asked the caller, “Who is this?” … and the caller gave his name – yes, a current student.

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Prior to the last debate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) reminded everyone that one of the commonalities all the GOP candidates have in common is that none of them are Socialists. Former Governor Mike Huckabee (R-AR) also made the point during the debate. Even though all the candidates want to overturn the Affordable Care Act, none of them are against defunding public education, public schools, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Unemployment Insurance, and other programs grounded in Socialism.

Here are various fact checks regarding the most-recent Republican debate: Annenberg, PolitiFacts, Associated Press, Washington Post, Politico

A reminder for the Democrats who may have a burr in their shorts about Donald Trump (R-NY). The Republican nomination process requires 1,236 delegate votes to win the nomination – and at this point, all candidates have zero candidates … plus the process involves proportional allocation.

For those wondering about a brokered Republican convention, it’s possible – but today is also too early in the process. However, it that happens, remember this name – Mitt Romney.

The next Democratic debate is this Saturday night on ABC … and I won’t be watching.

To lead you into a bit of satire, here’s The Onion’s review of the latest Star Wars movie.

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Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

  • Guy Wearing Chewbacca Costume Torn Between Seeing ‘Star Wars’ And ‘The Big Short’
  • Legendary Paparazzo Gets Star On Roof Across From Hollywood Walk Of Fame
  • Geneticists Debate Ethics Of Cloning Humans And Forcing Them To Fight To Death In Pit For Our Amusement
  • Victoria’s Secret Introduces 3-Inch Patch Of Satin To Place Anywhere On Body
  • Study Finds Majority Of Accidental Heroin Overdoses Could Be Prevented With Less Heroin
  • Odorite Introduces New Three-Tier Urinal Cake

Interesting Reads
Guns and race in America
A story involving the history of passports
The strange science of self
The mystery of the saxophone opening to Baker Street (by Gerry Raferty)
Art challenging perceptions
Royal Society Photo Award winners

Here are multiple tunes to send you into the weekend. The first is a leftover from Act 5 that is also a shout-out to Cynthia because I think she’ll enjoy the song, the singer, and the video. The second is also a leftover that I enjoy. The last song title serves as a bit of advise for those dealing with the holiday crazies. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch … and I hope to see you at the party this weekend!

Opinion in the Shorts: Vol. 283

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Sky: The Musical – Act 4: Moon is about 50 songs. A tip of the cap to all!

Act 5, the final act, focuses on Stars – so Star or Stars must be in the song title – but no compound words involving stars (as starlight, stardust, etc). Curtain time is Tuesday, December 15th at 9:30 pm (Eastern US) … and yes, I know it’s competing with the next Republican debate.

Explore series returns this weekend with a place that is on my bucket list to visit.

My Holiday Blog Party is next weekend – starting Saturday morning for the Europeans, but Saturday afternoon for the Aussies, Kiwis, and others in that part of the world – and it will go well into Sunday. Past guest know they will get to pick a gift, and to the first-timers, who knows what you will find. Music will also fill the air, plus I hope to convince Dale to provide the culinary treats. Feel free to invite your friends … and feel free to check in throughout the weekend.

Microsoft shortened this video into a commercial, which caused me to pause when I saw it.

Looking for a unique gift? Don’t forget to visit two of artist Marina’s sales sites: Marina’s Art Shop (artwork for sale) and Society 6 (where her artwork is transformed into other items). Besides her artistic talent, she’s a good person!

A high school football player in New Mexico had a concussion, in which policy requires to miss the next game. Because the next game is the state championship, the player and his parents sought and got a court order overturning the policy.

Numbers of Arabic-speaking people in the US continues to increase. Here’s an interesting article about the complicated matter for a school district in the Cincinnati area.

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I recently discovered a little known perk with taxpayer dollars. Retired House Speakers (most recently, John Boehner, R-OH) have a budget to establish an office, hire staff, and send mail for up to five years. I’m far from a Tea Party supporter, but cheers to Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) for wanting to defund this perk.

As Republicans continue use mental illness to explain gun violence, I ask this question: What legislation have Republicans advanced to address mental illness?

I’ll ask this tough question: Why wasn’t the shooter at the Planned Parenthood Center in Colorado Springs labeled as a Christian terrorist?

Donald Trump’s (R-NY) latest bloviation has created quite the stir. His followers are loyal, and will remain loyal. His numbers may dip – but the campaign continues to crack while the ceiling strengthens. Over time, the two candidates benefiting the most from him remaining in the race are Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Hillary Clinton (D-NY).

Donald Trump is smart, very good at thinking on his feet, and is using television to his benefit … thus, he is out marketing the rest of the field. After all, his strategies successfully aims at a segment of Republicans – thus is not intended for independents, moderates, or cross-over Democrats.

Given recent events, the next Republican debate could be a good one. It is this Tuesday (December 15th) on CNN … but I won’t be watching.

My wife (the Right Angle) laughed at this from one of her Facebook friends.

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To lead you into The Onion, here’s a headline of an actual event that one would think is from The Onion: Man named Bud Weisser arrested at Budweiser brewery (True story here)

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Employee returns from vacation refreshed, ready to waste time
Hitchhiker with machete, driver with machete can’t help but laugh
Shamefaced man stands stock-still as acquaintance zips up backpack for him
After watching news, man checks wallet to make sure cash still there
Study: Heart transplant group significantly healthier than heart transplant placebo group
Vacuum cleaner salesman asks that ashes be spread on potential customers’ carpets

Interesting Reads
Smiling for photos hasn’t always been the way
Problem for Democrats: Little faith in government
An effect of finger-pointing in a free-speech society
Muslim Americans and ISIS
How to never forget a name
(Photos) Windows

Here’s a two-fer to send you into the weekend. The first is a leftover from Act 4 that features a sexy song by Maria Muldaur, JJ Cale, and Eric Clapton. The second helps celebrate Frank Sinatra’s 100th birthday celebration on Saturday. 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. 277

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Cheers to your efforts of making Act 3 of Dance The Musical a success.

In the next and last act for Dance: The Musical, Act 4 provides the biggest challenge of any musical act.

  • Songs must feature the name of a dance in the title
  • Waltz, Macarena, and Hokey Pokey are acceptable examples … BUT ….
  • No dance can be used more than once
  • No children songs
  • Info is on the Hear Ye page
  • Performance time: next Tuesday at 9:30 pm (Eastern US)

I will probably have an Explore post this weekend.

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Wouldn’t you know it. Kim Davis (the Kentucky County Clerk) finally made a good decision, and then screws it up when she added a disclaimer line to the marriage license. The lady doesn’t get it and I think she’s getting lousy legal advice. Meanwhile, The Onion got their word in by doing this profile on her.

In terms of the second Republican Debate, yep – I followed my same format as before: deciding not to watch, then get some information from a variety of talking heads. The day after I watched both CNN and Fox News … and I came away with the same conclusion about these two networks – There’s no way they were talking about the same event – although the difference wasn’t as vastly different as after the first debate.

I discovered (from NPR) the amount of talk-time for each candidate in the second debate. The data supports my idea that the “debate” is the wrong term. Although the evening’s rules naturally skew the results.
TalkTime2For the interested, here are various FactChecks from the event: PolitiFactsWashington PostCNNFox NewsAssociated Press

To lead you into this week’s satire, here’s The Onion’s help to parent when talking to children about death.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (Combos welcome)

  • Juggler’s Medication Wears Off Halfway Through Routine
  • Report: 92% Of Americans Would Have Gotten Over Ex By Now
  • Report: Oyster Cracker–Wise, Nation Doing Pretty Good
  • Google Engineers Invent New Body Part To Strap Gadgets Onto
  • Weather Report: Upturned earthworms imminent
  • Gender Guessed Correctly On Second Try

Interesting Reads
Pope Francis and the Vatican: Who changes who?
The blind hiker
China’s growing middle class
Africa’s population boom
(Video) Connection in and through dance (Thanks Lame)
Headless chicken
(Photos) Autumn in Alaska

Here is another two-fer to lead you into the weekend. A leftover from Act 4 (I was surprised it wasn’t used) and a rock classic. 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. 272

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As Donald Trump (R-NY) successfully sidesteps his own explosive devices, something to ponder. The Bloviator’s base is very loyal, but his disapproval numbers are high. Therefore, could his current poll numbers be both his ceiling and his floor?

Speaking of The Bloviator, he’s not stupid – so his talk about a third-party candidacy is (in my opinion) just more hot air. After all, he cannot get on the ballot in Ohio (a must-win state) because Ohio has a “sore loser law” preventing him from getting on the ballot. Yes, Ohio’s Secretary of State has already declared it so.

Although “debate” is the descriptor, this statistic helps demonstrate why these aren’t debates while also providing rationale for my pods-of-4 model.

GOP1stDebateTalkTimeFor the interested, he next Republican debate is Wednesday, September 16th on CNN.

Here are two articles for the political wonks who want to read about the conservative media’s influence on the Republican party: Recent and one from Oct. 2014.

For those who remember Mr. Haney on Green Acres, this is a must see. Of course, I’m curious to see who checks it out.

This new commercial from GEICO insurance made me laugh.

It wasn’t a good week for me visiting blogs. 😦

Collaborating with Marina for On Blue was a pleasure, and readers appreciated the dualism we provided through words and art. Marina made me two images that she posted on her blog when reblogging our post. For space purposes here, I melded them together as one, but you can tell where the two meet. Thank you, Marina.
MarinaCombo

On a personal note, I know my first gay couple who recently married – and I’m proud of the fact I went out of my way to congratulate them when I saw them at church.

Mark this date on your calendar – Tuesday, August 25th at 9:30 pm for the opening act of Dance: The Musical. (The musical will be running on Tuesdays, not Wednesdays.) More information is on the Here Ye page.

The Explore series continues on Saturday featuring a wonderful video about a person, place, or thing.

To lead you into The Onion, here’s their video explaining Putin’s Russia.

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Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Nation’s pansies announce plan to slowly acclimate to pool
Single women with 3 young children unaware she is subject to 984 judgments today
Coworker retreats to remote corner of office to complete disgusting food order
Rescuers heroically help beached garbage back into ocean
New statewide education standards require teachers to forever change lives of 30% of students

Interesting Reads
The future of America’s slums
Cars in Cuba
Not everyone likes kissing
Now 40 years old – The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Selling lingerie in Egypt

To send you into the weekend, here’s a flashback to a before expressways. I enjoy Asleep at the Wheel, but this version from them is new to me. 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. 271

The new header is an artist’s impression of supergiant star Betelgeuse that is based on work done by the European Southern Observatory.

I’m not watching/didn’t watch the recent Republican debate for three reasons: It’s too early for such a spectacle, I won’t be voting in the Republican primary in my state, and it would be a waste of my time. For the record, I won’t be voting in the Democratic primary. Remember, I’m an authentic independent, thus not a Democrat or Republican pretending to be an independent.

Columnist Kathleen Parker (in my opinion, a right-center writer) took 3 Republicans to task for making ridiculous cliches. About Sen Ted Cruz (R-TX), Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), and candidate Mike Huckabee (R-AR), Parker wrote, Put these three in a cocktail shaker and you get a rather mixed metaphor that nonetheless pours like a narrative: Pontius Kerry is leading the Jews to the Auschwitz oven in the terrorist act orchestrated by the president of the United States. Here’s her entire column.

I find it interesting that both leaders in the Democratic and Republican poles (Clinton and Trump) have similar disapproval ratings.

The last week in July gave us a Blue Moon. I saw many great photographs. I especially enjoyed this creation by Marina, thus knew I had to use it. Thanks, Marina … and you can visit her here.

Blue Moon and Sea - Copyright © of Marina Kanavaki

Blue Moon and Sea – Copyright © of Marina Kanavaki

Cincinnati has been in the national news due to a police officer shooting a man. Interestingly, the citizens in the city did not react in the same manner as people in Ferguson and Baltimore. To be fair, at least not yet.

Because of the high number of regulars here who no longer blog, I’m trying to expand readership here by venturing outside of my circle. I’m amazed so few bloggers are welcoming to their blog and don’t reciprocate.

The Meals: The Musical is over. I have compiled a list of songs, so for those eager to make their own songlist, it will appear in a future post.

Although the topic is not finalized, the next musical will be a short one (less than 5 acts). I will announce its theme in a future OITS (hopefully within the next 2 weeks).

While on the musicals topic, in order to keep the producer on the aFa team, I am honoring his request for being known as The Producer from this point forward.

The Explore series continues on Saturday featuring a wonderful video about a person, place, or thing.

To lead you into The Onion, here it explains how campaigns spend money.

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Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
FDA reports food prevents hunger 98% of time when properly used
Condo board maintains purity of bloodline through generations of intermarriage
Worker who forgot email attachments expects coworkers to forgive her just like that
Actual problem nice change of pace for anxious man
Study links meat, sugar consumption to early death among those who choose to be happy in life

Interesting Reads
The workplace is unquestionably different
(Interactive) Gaps between the views of scientists and the public
How writers can find meaning in nonsense
The evolving HIV virus
Churches with strange names
Is animal sex spicy?
2014 National Geographic Best Wildlife Photos
Metal: a BBC short photo gallery

To send you into the weekend, here’s a flashback that also seems fitting for the recent GOP debate. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.