Language Liberalism Freethought Birds
Verbing Weirds Language only if you're expecting it to work in a simple way. This is a special case of the more general truth that Language Weirds.
Only when a republic's life is in danger should a man uphold his government when it is in the wrong. There is no other time.
The church says Earth is flat; but I have seen its shadow on the moon, and I have more confidence in a shadow than the church.
If we can't find Heaven, there are always bluejays.
Thursday, March 06, 2014
Sunday, March 02, 2014
The Week in Entertainment
Live: First, the fabulous The Book of Mormon at the Hippodrome. What a blast! Such a fun show. Then Prince Igor at the Met, with Ildar Abdrazakov in the title role and the splendid Oksana Dyka (who must have been thinking about her homeland's troubles, reflecting the plot of the opera) but who really stole the show. The staging was new and kind of odd (why do they insist on describing things as "timeless" when they have stuff like rifles, electricity and late-19th or early-20th century uniforms in them???) but intriguing. Having the first act take place in a poppy field of Igor's injury-haunted mind sets the stage for his return (though having the scene where his son elects to stay behind rather than escape back home is rather confusing; at first I thought they were saying that she had followed all the way). Igor is a mess, of course, since Borodin died before he'd finished it, and at least in this version it's all his music.
TV: A very funny and moving The Crazy Ones. I had no idea bar mitzvahs were such big business! The Middle was good, too. Perception is back, which surprised me (thanks, DVR!), with a nice twisty little story. Modern Family. Psych is winding down, with Juliet leaving, the Chief gone, and Lassie now Chief of Police...
Read: Dust, the ending to the Wook saga, which raised a few more questions than it answered, but was satisfying nonetheless. And finished Carthage, Joyce Carol Oates's intricate, bizarre and engrossing new novel.
Yay! Robbie's coming back!
An eighth season of Lewis is coming this year! YAY!
The description reads:
A man who spins fables and fantastic tales from his life is dying - his journalist son finally wants his father to tell the truth in director Tim Burton's colorful, eye-popping story.I'm not sure, but I'd bet this is the result of a fear of infinitive splitting.
He doesn't "finally want" him to tell the truth; he's wanted that for a long time, as we see in the movie's opening scenes. No, he wants him to finally tell it.
Friday, February 28, 2014
Wait, what? We are?
Caitlin Dewey takes to her WP blog to tell us "Why we’re actually mad at ruthless ‘Jeopardy!’ contestant Arthur Chu".
Except "we" aren't. Not if "we" includes me and a few other people I know.
Granted, though, many of "us" are, according to Ken Jennings in Slate, which is kind of sad. But I'm not - I like watching him win.
I have a couple of nits to pick with her - first of all, for claiming that
Since time immemorial — read: at least September 1984, when the Alex Trebek-hosted daily syndicated version of the show launched — “Jeopardy” has almost always followed a simple pattern: Contestants pick a category; they progress through the category from top to bottom; they earn winnings when they, through their hard-earned and admirable knowledge, get the questions right.O rly? I can't think of a time when running the category was the norm. Many contestants do some bouncing around, working from closer to the bottom if they're confident of the category, and sticking to the top when they're not. Heck, it was way back in 1985 that one of them invented the "Forrest Bounce" strategy for hunting the Daily Doubles...
And as for
Most unforgivably to many, Chu tries to squeeze in the most questions per round by pounding the bejesus out of his buzzer and interrupting Alex Trebek. This is Alex Trebek, North American icon (he’s Canadian by birth), we’re talking about here.well. Come on. I love it when they clear the board. And you can't ring in before he's finished reading the question; the buzzer doesn't work. Buzzer timing is what made Ken Jennings such a killer, not to mention that machine Brad Rutter, who was handicapped by playing in the "only five games" era and still is the biggest money winner. As for interrupting Alex, well, Alex does occasionally just start to make some little point, and you never know when. If Chu's into the game, he won't be expecting that.
... OMG. I just read through Jennings and Chu's talk and I'm stunned. "We" do seem to be mad. Wow.
From one of Fred's excellent linkfests, a lesson about lying:
Here, then, is another consequence of encouraging a bit of paranoid conspiratorial delusion and fiscal magical thinking among your base for decades: The crazy letters are coming from inside the House. Various people on the inside now actually believe these formerly convenient fictions! If the emails didn’t come directly from a member, they were most likely sent from someone who got the list of internal email addresses from a member.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
One story, two worlds
It's not often that the two Washington papers have the same story on the front page. Today is a good case study.
While the Post's front page had stories about nutrition, movies being made in Washington, the Texas gay-marriage-ban falling, Ukraine and Crimea, and Republicans worrying that the GOP is spending too much time and effort on the ACA, they had this on page 4:
Arizona governor vetoes bill allowing businesses to shun gays | Measure would have allowed exemption for religious rights
The Times, on the other hand is taking on the Iran, Hagel, the Pope (a picture of him with a crying child), sloppiness at DHS, and bin Laden (yes), with this headline front and center:
Brewer veto backs gay rights over Arizona business's religious rights
It's no wonder there's such a divide in the country.
OMG Epic Squeee YESYESYES
According to this story at Tor, they are seriously considering making an HBO series out of those fabulous George C. Chesbro Mongo novels - starring Peter Dinklage!
Oh my yes.
Please let this happen.
(ps - in case you click through, I'm not sure I want a story about D'Argo Crichton... much as I adore his parents)
Just got my 2014-15 Met season brochure. My subscription doesn't have Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk! Oh noes!
Actually, of course, I'm delighted. That is, in my opinion, the ugliest opera ever written. So, though I did add one (a full-length Zauberflote), I won't be adding it.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Two good news items today
First, Jan Brewer woke up and smelled the coffee - the angry, angry economic coffee, of course - and vetoed Arizona's Jim Queer law. This doesn't by any means change the hearts of those in the legislature who voted for it, or those in the state who support it, but it does avoid enshrining hate and discrimination into the law there.
(Plus, won't someone think of those poor Christian bakers having to make cakes for adulterous second marriages? Or atheists?)
Also, a federal judge struck down marriage discrimination in Texas - that's even bigger than Utah! Sure, it's on hold pending appeal, but (as Scalia predicted, much to his I'm sure chagrin) since Windsor knocked off DOMA, not one federal or state court has upheld bans.
Two worlds in the snow
Sort of snow, anyhow, though only the Post acknowledges it. The Times is, as usual, fixated on domestic troubles and old, desperately-clung-to scandals while the Post admits the rest of the world (though only GWOT-related countries) do exist...
Terrorism FBI source had '93 contact with bin Laden | Revelation missing from Sept. 11 reviews, surfaces in obscure court case
Immigration Obama eases penalties for businesses hiring illegals | 40 percent decrease in fines belies rhetoric
Internal Revenue Service GOP recalls Lerner to explain IRS targeting | House panel will compel testimony
Religion No Judgment Day: Biker church welcomes the rough and the ragged
Energy Health links are hyped to raise fear of fracking
Accountability Marrone's resume glosses over work for crooked pol
The big picture is a couple of guys hugging at the biker church
Pakistan plans military push in tribal area | Offensive against Taliban, others | Recent attack, sputtering peace talks spur mov
FDA panel debates idea of three-parent babies | Procedure aims to create embryos without inherited genetic defects
New pitch would make baseball's opener a holiday
In San Jose, retirement's haves and have-nots | Generous pensions for city workers are coming at the expense of nearly everything else
With pullout near, U.S. in fix over some detainees
The big picture is "A hazy shade of winter", featuring Canada geese flying though the snow. There's a big, below-the-fold photo of the San Jose mayor looking out over his city
Sunday, February 23, 2014
The Weeks in Entertainment
with the dead laptop, I missed a couple of weeks...
Live: Werther at the Met, with the incomparable Jonas Kaufmann, along with Sophie Koch as Charlotte. I wasn't crazy about the production, which took all the subtlety out of it, not letting anything come to the audience from the libretto (like the death of Charlotte's mother). Plus, the final moment is Charlotte picking up the pistol before the curtain drops. What the hell? She's not the type to kill herself, too. It's completely wrong. I choose to believe she's packing it back into its case to take it home so Werther's suicide will look like murder and he can get buried by the linden trees in the cemetery, and also so she and Albert won't get mired in the scandal. However, Kaufmann's glorious voice - those floating high notes, and delicious dark overtones - and delightful acting really made it worthwhile.
DVD: Binged through Leverage. I miss that show
TV: Murder on the Homefront, which was quite entertaining though with a very disheartening ending (though not as much of a downer as it could have beeen). The Crazy Ones, funny as usual. Psych - Gus quit his job! And got a girlfriend! And Lassie's back on the detective force! And Shawn ... is pretending to look for a job? Almost Human, which is going somewhere odd with the androids. I'll bet Karl Urban enjoyed his brief moment with his own accent, too. Agents of SHIELD had a really good episode, showcasing the abilities of May, FitzSimmons, and a cliffhanger. And of course Sherlock's final episode of the season, which is simply stunning. Love that mind palace!
Read: All eleven of Elizabeth Daly's Henry Gamadge books, very good mysteries in the 1930s-40s, not one of which I had figured out. The Third Rule of Ten, which I'd been waiting for and enjoyed very much. Also the wonderful A Burnable Book, with John Gower and Geoffrey Chaucer up to their ears in treasonable plots and mysterious books, not to mention some very engagingly drawn maudlyns (prostitutes). Started Carthage by Joyce Carol Oates.
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
So, I got this comment in my spam filter:
I usually do not leave a comment, however I read a lot of responses on this page "NPM: Goldengrove". I actually do have 2 questions for you if it's okay. Is it only me or do some of the responses appear as if they are coming from brain dead visitors? :-P And, if you are posting on other places, I would like to follow you. Could you make a list of all of all your social networking pages like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile? Feel free to surf to my blog -This would be more convincing if (a) "Me on Facebook" and "Me on Twitter" weren't right there in the sidebar and (b) there were actually any other comments on NPM: Goldengrove. Which there aren't.