Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 280

To the victims and their families, and to the French people for strength, unity, and peace.

Shame to the American candidates for politicizing the event by playing the blame game while offering suggestions that amount to (at best) meager gibberish.

It was good seeing Americans displaying the French flag this weekend … especially when the Army football team came onto the field with for a game at West Point.

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Sky: The Musical’s Act 2 featuring the sun is in the books … and we were nearing 40 songs. With the Thanksgiving holiday approaching us in the US, the production won’t return until December. Act 3 features clouds, so song titles must include Cloud, Clouds, or Cloudy. Curtain time is Tuesday, December 3rd at 9:30 pm (Eastern US). Acts 4 and 5 information is on the Hear Ye page, along with another important announcement.

There will be an Explore post this weekend.

Although no kids for us, we enjoy our 4 nieces and nephews. Last weekend we attended the wedding (the third to be marriage) – but it was out first to attend. We were a proud aunt and uncle, and wish them the best.

While in Cleveland last weekend, I saw my first white stuff of winter.

Because both of us volunteer at the weekly Downs Syndrome ballroom dance event, earlier this week my tango partner and I danced for the group. Considering we haven’t danced the routine in over 10 days, we did well. Most importantly, we had fun and it was well received.

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Even with the recent attacks in France, Lebanon, and over the skies of Egypt, I still say no US troops on the ground against ISIS – unless a coalition of Arab forces decide to take action.

Since the latest terrorist attack in Paris, it’s interesting to compare and contrast the French and US responses to Syrian and Iraqi refugees.

The Atlantic published What ISIS Really Wants this past February. It continue to be on the front page of their website, plus other news agencies promote it. I listed it as an Interesting Read months ago, but I want to promote it again. It’s a long read – but interesting – however, it is a view – and not the only view. For the interested, here’s the link.

The next Republican debate is December 15th (Tuesday) on CNN. Yawn .. .but another one for me to miss as I go for 7 in a row.

Something to ponder – If political candidates submitted their own questions to answer in a debate, would they truly answer the question?

Last week the Democrats had their second debate, and I missed another one. Damn … that makes me 6 for 6. Here are multiple fact checks from the event: Annenberg FactCheckAssociated Press, PolitiFact, Politico, Washington Post.

I continue to believe that if a governor, senator, or representative wants to run for president, they need to resign their position immediately upon announcing their candidacy. Our states and districts play them to do a job that does not include campaigning around the country while being paid.

To lead you into The Onion, here are their suggestions for talking to your children about sex.

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Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Nation’s conservationist warn there are only 8 trillion rats left
Minimalism Overdone
US Mathematicians Round Pi Down To Three
Historians Politely Remind Nation To Check What’s Happened In Past Before Making Any Big Decisions
Experts Warn Number Of Retirees Will Completely Overwhelm Scenic Railway Industry By 2030
Economists Recommend Setting Aside Part Of Every Paycheck In Case Of Dire Straits Reunion Tour

Interesting Reads
The man who invented relaxation
Russian psychics
The beauty of winter in Greenland
Dietrich Bonhoeffer and daily worship
The Owen: an Aussie weapon
The evolution of toxic toad eaters
Photo gallery of Spots

It’s time for a musical two-fer to send you into the weekend – a leftover from Act 2 and a golden oldie. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.


Sky: The Musical – Act 2: Sun

The Story
The sky towers above – seemingly endless, but is it.

The sky is a place for imagination – imagine the swift flight of a local bird – imagining the float of a butterfly – imagining the soar like an eagle – imagining being on a plane to an exotic land

The sky is a place for dreams – of course, the dreams to fly – but also the dreams to go beyond – dreams of a future love we don’t yet know – dreams of the love we have – dreams of a love that remains for someone who is gone.

The sky – a place for contemplation – wondering about what to do – wondering what will be – wondering what has been.

The sky as a metaphor – a smoke – whether haunting or hopeful – a sign of brightness and darkness – for calm and storm – a blanket – infinity.

The sky is a place for everyday things – a place that never seems the same – the place that is the steadiness of the sun, the moon, the clouds, and the stars.

Welcome to Sky: The Musical.

PlaybillSkyProgram
Act 1: Sky

Act 2: Sun

The sun – the foundation of all living things on Earth.

The sun – it rises, it shines, then it sets …. then a new sun returns.

The sun – it carries all the colors in the world around us, but the objects determine their display.

The sun – the brightness of joy – the guide to brightness and hope while casting the shadow of burden.

The sun – it shines rays of memories, which sadden the heart which we can convert into smiles.

The sun not only displaces the darkness of night, it works to remove hatred.

Guidelines

  • Songs with either Sun, Suns, or Sunny must be in the title
  • Caution: No songs using Sun as a compound word (sunshine, sunbeam, sundown etc)
  • No versions of Son are acceptable
  • No duplicates songs regardless of artists

Production Note
To prevent browsers crashing from loading too many videos, please 1) include the song title and artist in your text, and 2) paste the URL as part of your last line (not a new line). The latter will provide a link, thus not embed the actual video … but I don’t mind unembedding, so apologies are not necessary.

Announcement
The sun not only provides our daily light, it also serves as the basis for many enjoyable songs. Our production team not only works hard at securing a quality opening performance to start each act, they try not to take the most-popular songs. However, this time is an exception because the song title is most fitting for what is to come. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome the great George Harrison and some of his friends with Here Comes the Sun.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 279

Gone since late September, OITS are back! .. .and this is the 1750th post (which is sort-of-a milestone) … and this post is loaded.

I stopped into one of those large (but temporary/seasonal) Halloween stores .. .and I was surprised to see the Banana Flasher. For those who dare and want to know, here’s the link.

Remember the post earlier in the week about the email? Ever since that post, I haven’t heard from any of the ladies. Not one!

Sky: The Musical is off to a good start as Opening Night was a success. I want to complete this musical before the December holiday season, so Act 2 is next week!

  • Theme – Sun
  • All song titles must include Sun, Suns, or Sunny in the title
  • No compound words (sunlit, sunlight, etc) and No variations as Son, Sons, or Sonny
  • Showtime – Tuesday, November 17th, 9:30 pm (Eastern US)

I like black licorice, so I pounced on the deal at Costco when I spotted a display offering a 2 lb (0.9 kg) bag for $2.50. Hey Canadians … it’s from your country.

Earlier this week marked the anniversary of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald. These words touched me.

The wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald wasn’t the worst maritime tragedy in the history of the Great Lakes. Another early November storm in 1913 took a dozen ships and more than 250 sailors’ lives. The bodies of the Fitz’s crew were never recovered, but the ship’s bell was. And when it is tolled 29 times today, as it is every year, it will be for those men — and for the 25,000 others who have lost their lives on those waters down through the centuries. (Carl Cannon, Editor, Real Clear Politics)

Do you remember my tango routine? Well, my partner and I successfully did it without a major glitch! … and that also means it is over … Whew – a lot of work!

Dale (A Deleciable Life) made me aware of this wonderful dance video from the Montreal Swing Riot – and quite the riot it is. Whew – lots of energy and skill. The entire video is about 20 minutes, but even short stays are worth the time. Enjoy.

Speaking of dancing, the official Dance: The Musical song list is coming soon!

I’ve enjoyed Dancing With the Stars season 21 … and I’m pulling for Bindi. Best wishes to Tamara Braxton because she has withdrawn due to a serious health issue. As a dancer, she’s been very good.

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Early this week, I saw (live on CNN) Alysin Camerota’s interview with Republican candidate Ben Carson – and his answers to her good questions were pathetic.

George (The Off Key of Life) had this outstanding post about the 2016 presidential election.

Woo hoo … I missed another one this week, so I’m 5 for 5 when it comes to avoiding the party-specific presidential debates. Here are some fact checks from the event:
Annenberg FactCheckAssociated PressPolitiFactPoliticoWashington Post

From all indications, I tend to agree that the CNBC moderators did a poor job – but that is no excuse for poor answers. Given my rules, candidates in both parties should be thankful that I’m not running the debates. However, Jimmy Kimmel’s comedic take on the event is priceless!

To lead you into this week’s satire, The Onion offers these tips for conquering phobias.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Chinese buffet has french fries
Group of friends shouting “Shots” make compelling point
Robert De Niro stunned to learn of man who can “Goodfellas”
Scientists Find Strong Link Between Male Virility, Wearing Mötley Crüe Denim Jacket
Beijing Fire Department Extinguishes Massive Five-Alarm Burning Cloud Of Smog

Interesting Reads (a few more than normal)
A good almost 3-minute video report about a Brooklyn high school (from CBS News)
Columnist David Ignatius on power Ignatius on power
Columnist Kathleen Parker of demonizing in campaigns Parker on demonizing 
Melancholy as a good thing (Thanks Elyse)
The human body: on 4 facts or fiction
New hidden chambers in King Tut’s tomb?
A church and the Hawaiian leper colony
Barcelona’s La Sagrada from The Atlantic (article & pics) (Thanks Merril)
Rare Photos of early Peking

No Explore post this weekend, but don’t forget Act 2 is next week.

Here’s a two-fer to send you into the weekend – a leftover for Act 1 and a golden oldie. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.


Sky: The Musical – Act 1: Sky

The Story
The sky towers above – seemingly endless, but is it?

The sky is a place for imagination – imagining the swift flight of a bird – imagining  floating like a butterfly – imagining soaring like an eagle – imagining being on a plane that takes you to an exotic land.

The sky is a place for dreams – the dreams to fly – the dreams to go beyond – the dreams of a future love we don’t yet know – the dreams of the love we have – the dreams of a love that remains – the dreams serving as memories of a loved one who is gone.

The sky – a place for contemplation – wondering about what to do – wondering what will be – wondering what has been.

The sky as a metaphor – a smoke – whether haunting or hopeful, a sign of brightness and darkness – for calm and storm – a blanket – infinity.

The sky is a place for everyday things – a place that never seems the same – the place that is the steadiness of the sun, the moon, the clouds, and the stars.

Welcome to Sky: The Musical.

Program
PlaybillSkyAct 1: The Sky

Together we can face any challenges as deep as the ocean and as high as the sky. (Sonia Gandhi)

The sky is an infinite movie to me. I never get tired of looking at what’s happening up there. (K. D. Lang)

The sky is the daily bread of the eyes. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Excuse me while I kiss the sky. (Jimi Hendrix)

The way of fortune is like the Milky Way in the sky; which is a number of small stars, not seen asunder, but giving light together: so it is a number of little and scarce discerned virtues, or rather faculties and customs, that make men fortunate. (Francis Bacon)

Guidelines

  • Songs with either Sky or Skies must be in the title
  • Caution: No songs using Sky/Skies as a compound word (skyward, skylark, skydive, etc)
  • No duplicates (first-come, first-serve)

Production Note
To prevent browsers crashing from loading too many videos, please 1) include the song title and artist in your text, and 2) paste the URL as part of your last line (not a new line). The latter will provide a link, thus not embed the actual video … but I don’t mind unembedding, so apologies are not necessary.

Announcement
Welcome to Opening Night for Sky: The Musical. This blog musical has great potential, so let’s get on with the show. Any classic rockers in the crowd? Let’s hear for The Alan Parsons Project with Eye in the Sky.