Friday, August 12, 2022

The Friday Link for 8/12/22

Back when the pandemic began to really shut things down, in late March/early April 2020, along with the fear and concern we all had, I remember noticing little things which we had not experienced too much.  One of the things was how weird it felt to not have something which is a mainstay in America, nightly sports. 

Everything shut down, and although they did eventually start playing a more condensed version of sports for a year, it was still a bit odd.  That's when I stumbled upon Jelle's Marble Runs.

I featured them on a few different Friday Links back then, but they are still going strong.  They just finished up their latest Marbula One Grand Prix.  

It's just marbles, but I'll be damned if you don't start rooting for a certain one after a little bit.

Enjoy the final two races of this year's Grand Prix.  

Stay safe.  If you are not, please get vaccinated, and wear a mask in large crowded indoor settings.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Friday, August 5, 2022

The Friday Link for 8/5/22

This week we head back to The History Guy.   

I really enjoy his YouTube page as he does something a lot of historians will not do, tell stories that are not as glamorous or exciting, when compared to more celebrated historical moments.  But what The History Guys gets is that not every major historical change started with a major event.

Take for example the Great Olive Poisoning of 1919.  Now, I know 99.999% of the readers will have no idea there was a Great Olive Poisoning of 1919. There indeed was one!  

It's amazing how dangerous preserving food was until recently.  Back then in 1919, there were no set standards for plant sanitation and preservation.  That all changed after the poisoning, as new regulations, new methods of preservation and new packaging all came about from the sad tale of the Great Olive Poisoning. 

You see, even though a small event (forgotten to history) the impact of what happened was felt by many people.

I'll Let The History Guy take it from there, plus two more videos from him on your Friday.

Have a great weekend everyone.  Wear a mask in crowded places and make sure you're vaccinated. 

Friday, July 29, 2022

The Friday Link for 7/29/22

TV is great but TV today is a far cry from TV in my youth.  

Not because it was better.  No, not at all.  A lot of TV back then was absolute garbage.  Just in the last month, I've watched 'Obi-Wan Kenobi,' 'Stranger Things,' 'Umbrella Academy,' 'The Boys,' 'Ms. Marvel,' and 'The Only Murders in the Building.'  Point, modern TV!

TV in the 1970s and 1980s was still BIG time entertainment.  There were three networks and PBS (this in the days before FOX came about). The TV season kicked off in September with all the new and returning shows having their premiers.  Trying to explain this to a kid today is impossible ('Why did they release everything in September and only one episode at a time?  That's stupid!').

The TV Networks would buy five-page spreads in magazines and newspapers to advertise their new lineup.  There was panache! There was style!  There was a real Hollywood feel to the new TV schedules you don't get today. 

There was a promo!

Each year the networks would put out a promotional video for their upcoming season.  A lot of times on CBS and NBC there were just clips from the upcoming shows to get you enticed, but ABC put together a special video that was a call back to the glory days of Hollywood, where a studio would pull together their biggest stars for a photo op or quick video, just because they could!

The Friday Link for tonight is revisiting these new network season promos, and nothing is better than the 1980 ABC promotional video for the 80/81 season. All the stars from 'Happy Days,' 'Lavern and Shirley,' 'Threes Company,' 'Fantasy Island,' 'Benson, 'The Love Boat,' 'Barney Miller,' and Ted Freaking Knight were there, but keep an eye out.  Danny Thomas is there, Debbie Reynolds is there, Burgess Meredith is there, and see if you can spot a young Tom Hanks, whose show 'Bosom Buddies' debuted in 1980.  

OUTSTANDING!  The 1981 version was not nearly as good, but you do get to see a young Scott Baio before he became a loon, and Greatest American Hero and Hart to Hart shows up.

And here is a clip-heavy NBC promo video from the 1982 season. Speaking of pre-loon ball loon balls, Ricky Schroder shows up, and how young do Pierce Brosnan and David Letterman look?  JUST WATCH US NOW!!!

Finally tonight, in commemoration of Comic-Con wrapping up, here are the trailers they released at the event.  There are some good-looking ones in there. 

Please get vaccinated and wear a mask in any crowded area, especially indoors.  I don't want you dead, sick, or bankrupt for life.

Have a good weekend everyone.

Friday, July 22, 2022

The Friday Link for 7/22/22

This week I found a fantastic video that really highlights a stunning historical find, a story that I hardly believe even after watching this sensational video.

The video from Simon Whistler of SideProjects is about a story I'd heard about, the search for King Richard the III's body.  No, I will not explain much, as this video does an amazing job at telling the full history, as well as the history surrounding the find itself, but take away this main fact; the first hole they dug revealed the late King's body.  It has to be the luckiest archeological dig of all time!

And Whistler is so darn entertaining with his videos; exceptionally laid out.  Enjoy! 

Also tonight, Honest Trailers finds a real gem to break down, the 1988 Hulk vs. Thor TV movie, and is it horrific! (Warning, a touch of rougher language.)

Have a great weekend everyone.

Remember to keep safe from COVID.  Get vaccinated, boosted, and wear a mask in large crowds.  It could be the difference between a mild case and a trip to the hospital! 

Friday, July 15, 2022

The Friday Link for 7/15/22

Another busy week for me, with the added joy of a 45-minute drive to a soccer tournament, multiple times! Sweet Lord!  I haven't shaved this week because I quite literally could not find 20 minutes to do it. 

But I regress, the Friday Link is not for me to complain, but for you to enjoy some good videos I've found this week.

I'll start with a beauty from Jordan Klepper and the Daily Show folks.  This video actually came out while I was on vacation and I wanted to eventually post it.  It's another trip to a Trump rally but there is a twist.  He confronts these people with video evidence that Trump is horrible, and two young women seem truly stunned at the truth.  I'm not sure if they left the rally (the blonde certainly seemed bothered by the videos of Barr and Ivanka talking about reality while the brunette seemed to want to just end the interview) but there seemed to be someone off camera who got incensed when they started to believe what their own eyes were showing them.  Watch the whole thing for yourself. 

Also tonight a very cool science video from Physics Girl.  She visits a tunnel in Alaska which is the world's only research facility for permafrost, any part of the underground that is permanently frozen for two or more years.  In Alaska, some areas have been frozen for thousands of years.  This is a very cool visit to a part of the Earth we rarely get to see. 

Finally tonight, the trailer for the new Lord of the Rings TV series on Amazon is out, and it looks spectacular. 

BA.5 is out and it is starting to surge.  Be careful!

Make sure you're vaccinated and boosted, and make sure you start wearing masks in large crowds. 

Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, July 8, 2022

The Friday Link for 7/8/22

Howdy, everyone.  

This week we start with a fantastic scene from The Umbrella Academy, the Netflix show based on a very strange comic book.  It's back for its 3rd season and it starts off with a humdinger of a scene. 

First, a warning.  If you watch The Umbrella Academy thinking it'll be a lot like this scene, it's not.  This scene is basically one of the members of the Academy (Diego) being infected with a toxin that causes delusions.  This time the delusion ends up being an epic dance-off. 

Luther does a great job starting this off, and everyone there is dancing wonderfully, but truly one of the best elements of this show is the character Klaus (the guy says "get him, Luther").  Klaus could be an all-time top 10 TV character.  I encourage you to watch the show from the beginning.  This season is great, but the highlight so far is this dance-off.

Also tonight, in commemoration of the newest Thor movie coming out, Thor: Love and Thunder, I present the Thor/Hulk fight scene from Thor - Ragnarok.  Earlier this year I placed Ragnarok as the best Marvel movie yet released, and this fight scene is one of the reasons why. 

Here are 5 minutes of what every comic book fan really wants to see, Thor and Hulk in a battle arena. 

The pandemic is not over.  Please get vaccinated, wear a mask in crowded indoor places, and be careful.

Have a nice weekend.

Friday, July 1, 2022

The Friday Link for 7/1/22

It is Independence Day Weekend, and I will ALWAYS post Sam the American Eagle from the Muppets. 

Also tonight, it's the return of the Auralnauts, the brilliant guys who have a very different (and hilarious) take on the Star Wars movies  They have a new video where they do their thing to the Obi-Wan Kenobi series, something they call Larry (watch the recap at the beginning).  By the way, turning those guys into "influencers" is brilliant! 

To give you an idea of what the Araulnauts are all about, I'll post their take on the original Star Wars movie too.  Warning, there is some naughty language involved! 

Happy Canada Day to my friends up north! Happy Independence Day weekend everyone here in the USA.

Arrest the traitors who tried to overthrow the government on January 6th! 

Get vaccinated, boosted, and wear a mask! Thanks!

Saturday, June 25, 2022

The Friday Link for 6/24/22

This week we start with my ultimate 1980s crush, Kate Bush. 

My friend Steve had me over to his house to watch MTV in 1984 and when Kate Bush's 'Suspended in Gaffa' came on, we both instantly fell in love with her.  Kate is having a bit of a resurgence lately because of the TV show 'Stranger Things,' which prominently features the song 'Running Up That Hill' as a major plot point in the 1980s-based show.  The song re-entered the charts, hit #4 in the US (way above its original #30), and it has been the #1 song globally for the last two weeks, now falling to #3.  

Hounds of Love (where 'Running Up That Hill' is from) is a GREAT album, but for me, her best album hands down is 'The Dreaming.'  That album was far and away ahead of its time.  If you played it for a person today and said "it's a new artist," no one would even question it.  It inspired pretty much every major alternative female artist of the 90s, and still, today many artists point to Kate as a major inspiration.

Three videos from her, including the one which turned my love into a pure infatuation, 'The Dreaming.'  There was 1980s hot, and then there was Kate Bush. 

Here are 'Running Up That Hill' and 'The Big Sky' too.

Finally this week, we head back to ZeFrank and his True Facts: The Mosquito!  Just in time for summertime fun! 

Have a good weekend! Stay safe and get vaccinated, including the young kiddos! 

Friday, June 17, 2022

The Friday Link for 6/17/22

This week we enjoy science...well kind of.

First up is a look at all we learned from the New Horizons probe going to Pluto and beyond.  We forget before that probe we only saw a smudge of a planet (don't at me scientists! I still call it a planet).  Not only do we understand Pluto and its moons a lot better now, but all the far distant objects in the solar system too. 

Enjoy Astrum's recap of the fun! 

Also this week, we head back to Eons to find something we still have very little idea about, and the crazy part is this time it's not some fossil we are head-scratching.  Even though this creature goes back deep into the fossil record, it's still around today, and scientists don't quite know how to explain it. 

Finally tonight, the science of cricket! Okay, I know 'science' is a reach here.

There are a few parks around the metro where there are regular cricket leagues, but I frankly knew very little about the sport.  Then I found this video and I'll be danged, this does a really good job of explaining the sport of cricket to someone who already understands baseball.  I think knowing baseball makes it easier to relate to what exactly is going on with the game.  

Watch this video and you'll understand cricket by the time you get to the end. 

It'll be really hot in Minneapolis this weekend so make sure to stay hydrated.

Get vaccinated, please wear a mask in crowded spots, and be careful. Have a great weekend. 

Friday, June 10, 2022

The Friday Link for 6/10/22

If you are a regular follower of the blog, you know I LOVE cooking. I really enjoy it, and one of my favorite modern cooking channels used to be Bon Appétit.  It was great.  I posted their videos a lot, but then they had some nasty behind the scene things and...I don't watch it too often anymore.

What has replaced it has been Binging with Babish, an enjoyable cooking YouTube channel which features a lot of recipes.  One of my favorite things he does is to take food references from TV and movies (some real, and some made up) and he tries to recreate the item in his kitchen.  

He also shows how easy it is to cook fancy, nicer food.  With Babish showing you the entire process, it gives you a great perspective on what to expect if you try it at home.  All and all a very enjoyable watch.

Here are four videos from him this week.

By the way, I noticed he uses my radio show's theme song in this episode. 

Have a great weekend!  Get vaccinated, and stay safe! 

Friday, June 3, 2022

The Friday Link for 6/3/22

I am going to start this week with a video from 11 Films about the sad state of America today.  It makes no sense after ONE massacre of elementary school kids that everyone in the country wouldn't be doing everything in their power to stop it from happening EVER again, let alone after the multiple slaughters of young children. 

If you think the founding fathers of this country wanted this, you're an idiot.

If you ever said "School gun massacres are wrong, BUT..." you're horrible.

If you ever said an 18 year old buying a weapon whose purpose when it was designed was to be used in military combat to kill other human beings was MORE IMPORTANT than stopping gun massacres, YOU'RE THE PROBLEM, NOT THE SOLUTION!

And these pro-gun fools still claim to be Christian...

There is some rough language here, and the imagery is hard to watch. 

On a much different note, the advances in slow-motion film are amazing.  It really gives you a different perspective the slower you can observe something.  In some cases, it becomes quite artistic.  

Meet the Slo Mo Guys.  They slow things down so you can see what really happens.  Here is a trio of videos from them.

Have a nice weekend.  

Please get vaccinated if you aren't already. 

Friday, May 27, 2022

The Friday Link for 5/27/22

I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe Memorial Day Weekend!  Remember those who served this Memorial Day.

The Friday Link is my guilty pleasure.  I'm hard-pressed to find a better casting decision in all of television history than when a genius decided to hand the reins of 'Family Feud' over to Steve Harvey.  Sweet Lord is that a match made in heaven.  

Alex Trebek was also perfectly cast for the game show he hosted but then you really can't compare the two shows because they are so different, with incredibly different styles and delivery. 

Harvey is just perfect.  His first role is to keep the show rolling to its conclusion, which he does with a tremendous ability like its second hand.  But it's the funny reactions and double-takes which make this show work.  He's not faking it.  He is truly stunned by some of the behavior and answers he gets, making his reactions even better.  He's a master of commanding live TV.

Three videos for you tonight which make me laugh, and laugh hard! We'll start with the worst answers ever.  Then it's just general screw-ups. And finally his celebrity Feud moments. 

Please be safe. One in five people who get COVID will suffer from Long COVID. One in four if they are over the age of 65.  PLEASE get vaccinated!  Please wear a mask.  Please socially distance. 


Friday, May 20, 2022

The Friday Link for 5/20/22

I am running short on time so this week's Friday Link is short and sweet.  Two hours of MST3K shorts! You will laugh on this ride! 

Have a great weekend and please wear a mask. COVID numbers are rising again.

I don't want you sick, I don't want you dead, and I don't want you bankrupt with medical debt. 

Friday, May 13, 2022

The Friday Link for 5/13/22

This week we start with the Eurovision Song Contest. This year's grand finale is set for tomorrow night.  I lived in Germany for four years and was stunned at how popular this contest is. This is a massive event in Europe every year.  

This first video is a look back at all the previous winners of the Eurovision contest.  Most people know the most popular band to ever win was ABBA, but Celine Dion shows up in the 1980s as well. And for some reason, Katrina and the Waves, a band with a massive hit in the 1980s with Walking on Sunshine, shows up in the 1990s.

The highlight in my opinion is the 1975 winner.  From The Netherlands, the band Teach-In does what could be the whitest song ever recorded.  It will turn you Mormon! 

Also tonight, I will throw in the exceptional opening sketch from Saturday Night Live, where they address Justice Alito turning to 13th Century rulings to determine his cutting edge modern take on overturning Roe V Wade. 

Have a wonderful weekend everyone.  Be safe.  Social Distance, wear a mask, and please get vaccinated.  The Pandemic is not over yet and the latest studies on the long-term effects are terrifying.  

Please be careful.

Friday, May 6, 2022

The Friday Link for 5/6/22

Some smiles for you this week, starting with the hilarious speech by David Cross at the Hollywood Walk of Fame dedication ceremony for his former 'Mr. Show' partner Bob Odenkirk.  Cross' delivery is just SO good. I love how he lampoons Hollywood/showbiz culture. 

By the way, if you've never seen Mr. Show, it is beyond brilliant. 

Speaking of great comedy teams, John Krasinski and Rainn Wilson from 'The Office'' have to be considered in that realm.  The interactions they had only worked because of those two pulling it off.  I've often said The Office was one of the best-casted shows in all of TV history. Here are some of the better pranks Jim played on Dwight. 

And finally tonight, I can't remember if I ever posted this one before, but the game show Dylan McDermott or Dermot Mulroney is one of my all-time favorite 'SNL' skits.  It kind of fizzles out in the end, but it's pure gold! 

Have a great weekend.  

COVID cases are once again rising so please get vaccinated and wear a mask, especially indoors.  

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Kangaroo Court

 Yesterday evening, the ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark court decision which made abortion legal in all 50 states, was leaked to Politico and quickly ignited the country.  The judiciary blabbering by Justice Alito makes very little sense, but it does expose what the real agenda of the Republicans is, the elements of Constitutional law that are the real targets of the Republican puppet masters.

Let's start with the most outrageous element of the Alito decision, the suggestion that abortion is not a protected right because "abortion" isn't specifically mentioned in the Constitution. A LOT of things are not specifically mentioned in the Constitution: cars, planes, the internet, billionaire space rockets.  This false argument opens the door to the far right, allowing them to regulate anything discovered or invented after the Constitution was written.  This undercuts the long-established legal principle that the Constitution is a living document that's supposed to evolve.  This argument basically says unless it was specifically mentioned in the Constitution, it can be restricted and taken away from the public.

But this is also an AMAZINGLY stupid argument for the Republicans to put out there. Yes, the 2nd Amendment says you have the Right to Bear arms as part of a well-regulated militia, but the weapon of the day when the Constitution was written was a single-shot, muzzle-loading rifle that had to be reloaded after every shot. Nowhere in the Constitution does it mention pistols, semi-automatic weapons, silencers, banana clips, or bazookas. As long as you make legal the single-shot, muzzle-loading rifle, you are in compliance with the Constitution, and gun owners will have the Alito ruling to thank for it. 

This is the point where gun guy screams "but the founding fathers intended for new inventions to be included in legal precedent."  Did they?  "New inventions" are not mentioned in the Constitution either.  You can't have a Constitution which is evolving for one Amendment, but rigid to the day it was written for everything else.  Alito and the Conservatives just handed the left a viable legal path to make guns illegal in many states when they take back over the court.

How did abortion initially become legal in Roe V. Wade?  Basically, the ruling fell back to the Due Process clause in the 5th and 14th Amendments which prohibits the arbitrary restriction of Life, Liberty, and Property by the government.  The keyword here is "Liberty." The SCOTUS ruled that people had the liberty to get an abortion.  This is the same ruling that has made contraception legal, made same-sex marriage legal, and knocked down sodomy laws across the country.

The Alito ruling is VERY telling about where the far right in this country really wants to go. This is the beginning of their agenda.  Once they establish you have no right to the personal liberty of choosing to have an abortion, they open the door for states to immediately revisit every ruling where sex was a part of the decision, a decision based on the liberty of personal privacy. 

Republicans want to regulate your bedroom.  THEY DO!  They want to return us to the days when police were kicking open the door of your house, and if you are having a non-approved type of sex, you'd be arrested and jailed for moral depravity.  This ruling spells out the road ahead for the GOP.  No more contraception, no more choosing what kind of sex you and your partner want to engage in, and no more being able to choose your partner.  In some states, you'll be subjected to three or four Republican-approved types of intercourse, with no deviation allowed.  Eventually, these Republican rulings will spell out you no longer are able to love the person you love, and I guarantee a few states will QUICKLY revisit interracial heterosexual marriage as well. 

When Republicans read this and feign outrage ("How dare you insist we would try to regulate people in the bedroom!") they're lying.  This is their agenda, something the inner workings of the Republican Party has dreamed of undoing since these bedroom regulations started getting struck down by the SCOTUS decades ago.  And this garbage argument by Alito sets them on their course!

Another astounding element of this ruling is the way Alito wrote this to feed Fox News and all other far-right media outlets the talking points they need to try to shame anyone who dares disagrees with this ruling. 

Alito specifically mentions other SCOTUS rulings which have been overturned as a red herring argument, a false equivocation of epic proportions. Alito clearly implies if you were for the SCOTUS overturning Plessy v. Ferguson (which legalized racial segregation) or Korematsu v. the USA (which made the detention of Japanese Americans during WWII legal), then you are a hypocrite if you don't fully support the current SCOTUS overturning Roe v. Wade.  For the record, those other rulings have NO RELATABLE CONNECTION to Alito's ruling and are only there to give Republican talking heads the ability to spew a fake moral superiority about this garbage decision. You can already see the fake smugness on a Fox News host as they shake their head into the camera bellowing "I bet these liberals wish Dred Scott was still the law of the land!"

There is a whole bunch of crazy in this Alito ruling.  Seriously, it is a cornucopia of pompous right-wing stereotypes, suggesting their decision is in line with the moral compass of antiquated America, that there are no consequences for forcing a woman to give birth to a child, that this is really a ruling showing how much they are standing up for the Black community, and how the viability argument of Roe v. Wade "makes no sense," but Alito doesn't really try to explain why.

Months ago, Alito and fellow zealot JUSTICE Amy Coney Barrett went on a PR tour; a preemptive strike to argue their soon-to-be grossly political rulings were not political, only based on established Judicial parameters.  

This first ruling shows the truth.  Far-right, Christianity first Republicans have taken over the SCOTUS and legal precedent be damned!  They're intent on returning this country to the time when local politicians decided who you had sex with, how you had sex, and then forced you to live with the consequences, including if you were raped.

So much for the Republican party being the party of personal freedom.

Friday, April 29, 2022

The Friday Link for 4/29/22

I hope everyone's week went well.

First up this week on the Link is a look at some of the highest-scoring Science Fiction movies of all time.  Looper did a nice piece on this and I was impressed they included a lot of movies that are left off of most lists.

Whenever you see a list like this, it usually is so modern movie loaded, and Looper does feature a lot of modern fare, such as the insanely good 'Mad Max: Fury Road,' 'Her,' 'Gravity,' and a very deserving 'WALL-E.'  But Looper also looks back on classic Science Fiction too.  

I agree it's hard not to see the racism in the original 'King Kong,' and although the movie's makers insisted that was not their intent, racism was very prevalent in movies of the 1930s, so unintentional could easily be described as intentional.  It's great to see 'Solaris' and 'Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind' featured here, and 'Frankenstein' still today is an all-time classic.  But 'Metropolis' is the gold standard.  That movie seems to be 80 years ahead of its time. 

Also tonight more of The Daily Show's Jordan Klepper, this time heading to Hungary to investigate why so many Republicans are in love with the anti-Democracy autocrat Viktor Orbán.  Heck, DeSantis seems to be cosplaying Orbán constantly lately. That's scary.

And finally tonight, the English language is a mess.  It actually is, but it's not a mess because of modern lingo.  Nope, it's been a mess since it was invented over time.  Many friends I know who have learned English as a second language say how weird it is English has so many weird rules that never seem to be consistent. Storied from PBS breaks it all down.

COVID cases are rising again.  Get vaccinated and boosted.  Wear a mask and be careful.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Friday, April 22, 2022

The Friday Link for 4/22/22

It's been a long week so short and sweet.  

First, animals in ball form! Yes, that's all it is, and it's adorable! 

Also tonight is a great interview from four years ago between Stephen Colbert and Jason Bateman. The reason this clip came up is due to Colbert getting COVID and having to cancel last night's show where he was scheduled to interview Bateman. They played back and forth the real reason Colbert got COVID was to get out of interviewing Bateman. 

For some reason, the story posted this old video of Bateman and Colbert from 2018 when he was on tour promoting the last season of Arrested Development. This is just a perfect late-night talk show interview.  A great host and an engaging guest interacting well.  

The pandemic is not over.  Case numbers are going up again.  

Get vaccinated, wear a mask, and try to social distance yourself.  I don't want you dead, sick, or bankrupt with a lifetime of medical debt. 

Friday, April 15, 2022

The Friday Link for 4/15/22

I can't say why but this week has been exhausting. Ex...




Okay that was a little dramatic, but not by much. Starting off the Friday Link this week is the latest in one of the best ad campaigns I've ever seen, the Apple at Work campaign.  This episode is 'Escape from the Office.'  If you've not seen the other two mini-movie/ads they're great. This one continues the trend. 

Also this week, a song that's been running through my head all week long, the Roundball Rock skit from Saturday night Live from a few years back. In honor of the T-Wolves going the playoffs - B-b-b-b-b-basketball!

Finally, my love of historic cooking videos is well known, and I love when they can give you perspective from the time the recipe came from. Townsends has a great one from early America.  If you were on hard times, with every limited funds, what did you eat.  Frankly I don't think this would be that bad. 

Have a great weekend everyone.  Be safe!  Get vaccinated, wear a mask!

Friday, April 8, 2022

The Friday Link for 4/8/22

This week let's start with Will Smith and the infamous slap heard round the world. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences banned Smith from attending any Academy function for the next ten years for his assault of comedian Chris Rock during the Oscar's broadcast nearly two weeks ago.  It's the right decision.

Smith was out of line attacking a presenter(!). Rock was on stage to hand out the award for Best Documentary Feature. His joke was lame and dated, but he sure as heck didn't deserve to be attacked in front of a worldwide audience for it.  

Smith's reaction was so out of line when you consider what other comedians have said at awards shows.  Nothing comes close to the widespread insults and viciousness of Ricky Gervais during his final run as the host of the 2020 Golden Globes.  This is freaking brutal, and yet no one walked up on stage and slapped him. Warning - ***ADULT LANGUAGE!***

I also want to include Saturday Night Live's very funny take on Will Smith at the Oscars.  The seat fillers had a very different perspective. 

Also tonight The Daily Show is back in top form with their latest observation on what the far right media is going after Joe Biden for...spicy pizza.  

And finally tonight, Randy Rainbow being spectacular! 

The pandemic is not over! Please get vaccinated, wear a mask and be safe.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Sunday, April 3, 2022

Sunrise, Sunset (or The Trouble with Ugly Populism)

A few years back I was stunned at the response from voters aged 30 and under to a political issue which would be generous to describe as fringe; the ban on Sunday liquor sales in Minnesota.

I'll agree the ban was stupid, a remnant of Minnesota's Puritan, Euro immigrant, religious restrictive standards, mutilated into a self righteous victory for morality.  What stunned me wasn't that people were willing to entertain getting rid of the old standards, but rather the fervent attitude of those who were screaming for this political injustice to end, primarily 30 and under voters.

This is a group of voters who hopeful Democrats (nervously) bank on showing up for them during election season, but who fail to appear time and time again.  Suddenly here they were, and they were loud; so loud they scared the politicians in St. Paul into updating the rules, allowing people to stop by and get booze on the way home from church. Progress!

I call this 'Ugly Populism;' not because the issue itself (Sunday liquor sales) was an ugly issue, but rather because it was a minor issue, a problem which really only affected heavy drinkers who had a penchant for failing to plan ahead.  This issue suddenly became a life or death issue for many young voters.  These voters don't show up in impressive numbers when it really mattered, like when Trump was on the ballot in 2016, or as their rights as students and workers were on the ballot, or as the environment was on the ballot, or as funding for the arts was on the ballot, or when a woman being able to legally get an abortion was on the ballot.  Those things didn't get them angry and to the polls, but the desire to get a pony keg of Special Export on a Sunday: "You're violating my rights!!!"

We just had another example of Ugly Populism a few weeks back when the bellyaching over turning the clocks ahead one hour for Daylight Saving Time (DST) brought an obscene amount of overly dramatic pleas to "stop the insanity!"

Daylights Saving Time in the United States (the process of taking the hour of sunlight early in the morning during Spring, Summer and the first half of Autumn and moving it to the evening hours, to cut back on energy consumption) began in 1918 as a tactic to conserve energy during war time.  The idea behind it makes a lot of sense; if people, companies, and municipalities did not have to turn on lights until an hour later in the evening by taking the hour of daylight from the morning when we are mostly still in bed, springing the clocks ahead one hour in Spring, that's one hour less of fuel that needs to be spent.  Then in mid Autumn, when the tilt of the earth started working against energy conservation, the people Fall back, get an extra hour of sleep and move on with their lives.  A lot of countries started Daylight Savings during wartime, and the concept grew over time. Most of the United States partakes in the process still today.

But now a contrarian view has emerged: "Daylight Saving Time kills so many people and really doesn't save us any money, so why are we losing ONE HOUR of sleep in Spring?!?"  Having followed Republican politics, I know when someone adds horrible outcomes to a minor issue to try to give them more righteousness, provenance and followers to their cause.  After talking with a Democratic lawmaker who is 100% convinced the changing of the clocks is one of the worst things in American culture today, I stepped back. Was this argument simply 'Ugly Populism,' or was there validity in their claims that Daylight Savings Time should be stopped at all costs? 

I just spent far more time than I ever wanted reading up on this issue, and the real answer (as usual) is more complicated than it seems.  Let's start with the question:

Does Daylight Saving Time actually save on energy use?

Yes it does, and while it's nowhere near what it did when it was originally started, it still saves a lot of energy.  

Many of the studies you find on DST energy use are focused only on domestic energy use (energy you use in your residence).  A lot of people have honed in specifically on one study which is quoted a lot, one that looked at domestic use in Indiana.  Most 'domestic only' studies show indeed DST is no longer saving on energy consumption when it comes to US citizens in their home.  Some studies even show DST uses more energy, but those studies are generally confined to a region or state, where other factors effect consumption (not circumstances that can be applied across the country).  Domestically, energy use today is (in most cases) the same in both DST and Standard time, and one or two studies show regional domestic energy use is actually higher under DST.

This shouldn't be too much of a surprise.  When Daylight Saving Time began, most households had only a few electrical appliances; lights, an iron, and possibly one or two other appliances.  Compare that to the modern house, with electric heating and cooling, fans, computers, charging cords, televisions, a bevy of 'smart' household appliances.  The main reason domestic energy use is not curbed by DST is the modern household never really shuts down, so electricity use is a constant.

But here's the problem with these studies.  They only focus on domestic use, and many of them also (as I mentioned earlier) look at a specific regional slant of domestic energy consumption.  Domestic energy use is only one part of our energy consumption, so it's somewhat dishonest to present Domestic energy use as overall energy use. Part of the reason there are very few studies which factor the 3 major uses of electrical consumption (domestic, commercial and municipal) is because this is a massive study to undertake.

Management of the time zones in the United States, and hence Daylight Saving Time, falls under the prevue of the Department of Transportation (who knew!), who state, when factoring all energy consumption into the equation (domestic, commercial, and municipal), the United States still saves about 1% of their total energy consumption while observing Daylight Saving Time.  A lot of this savings comes from commercial buildings shutting down before it gets dark and municipalities not having to turn on lights for community activities (but it does bring up a HUGE question mark when you factor in the last two years of workers working from home).

Let me add, from a study from the Department of Energy, who in 2008 were looking into the cost savings of expanding DST.  Their study showed a four week extension of DST would end up saving enough energy to power 100,000 households per year, JUST IN THOSE FOUR WEEKS! 

So yes, Daylight Saving Time does still today save energy, even with domestic use far higher than it was in the past.  If someone says "No it doesn't," I guarantee the report they are about to quote only looked at domestic use, and likely was the aforementioned Indiana report which only looked at domestic use in Indiana.

Does Daylight Saving Time lead to a massive die off every year?

This question is also not so cut and dry. 

There definitely is a mysterious rise in heart attacks (not all of which equal death) in the first week of Daylight Saving Time.  Studies in both the USA and Europe point to the disruption of sleep patterns and biological rhythms as likely culprits, but the medical experts really can't say for sure why this phenomena happens.  The rise in heart attacks is about 5% for the first week of DST, and that means, definitively, some people are dying. 

Also there are studies which point to increases in fatal traffic accidents in the first week of Daylight Saving Time, somewhere around 6%.  This is mostly chalked up to sleepy drivers, but is the problem DST or drivers who just refuse to go to bed a little earlier to combat the KNOWN shift in time? 

On the other side of the traffic death argument is a RAND Corporation study which shows the increase in sunlight during evening driving hours in the summer decreases traffic accidents involving vehicles at 6% to 10%, and traffic accidents involving a vehicle and pedestrians 8% to 11%, undoubtedly saving countless lives. 

Not dismissing the increase in heart attacks and traffic accidents in the week after DST, but cutting traffic accidents for the entire run of DST probably has saved far more lives than are lost in the first week of Daylight Saving.

What are the consequences of getting rid of Daylight Saving Time?

Let me start with the things we can say definitively about this question.  First there isn't a consensus on getting rid of DST.  Some people want to get rid of DST and stay on Standard time all year, like we used to be.  The other side wants to just adopt DST all year long.  Both sides will make their argument on which one is better but there is no consensus on which path we should take.

The one undeniable benefactor of getting rid of DST permanently is the energy industry, primarily oil, gas and coal.  Demand for their product will go up.  It is not easy to see how many of the studies which are anti-DST are funded in part by the oil, gas and coal industries, but considering the movement away from fossil fuels, this might be an attempt by them to maximize profits before the shoe drops.  One could make the argument, to make sure the energy industry is not pushing an agenda here, to only get rid of DST when energy production in the US is mostly renewable.

As far as consequences in regards to health and mental well being, most of this is speculative, but I think there will be a whole slew of issues people will be upset about, regardless if we adopt DST for the year or if we return to Standard time permanently.

In Minneapolis, if we were to stay on Daylight Saving Time year round, the sun would not even rise until 8:50 AM, almost 9 in the morning in late December! And Minneapolis is in the middle of the time zone. For a city in the western side of a time zone, like Indianapolis, the sun will rise on January 1st around 9:05 AM.  I can't say for sure what the impact on such a late sunrise would be for people who suffer with Season Affective Disorder but undoubtedly you will have more depression and more suicides with the darker mornings.

You say "Fine! We'll just go back to Standard time year round!" Overlooking the increase in traffic accidents we'll get with the loss of extra light on summer evenings, let's focus on the quality of sleep a person would get with Standard Time.  The sunrise in late June in Minneapolis will be 4:24 AM.  That's sunrise! The day will start getting light at 3:45 AM.  And once again, we're in the middle of a time zone.  In Portland Maine, on the far eastern side of the Eastern Time Zone, their SUNRISE will be at 3:57 AM! 

People will have to spend money buying heavy duty drapes and blinds to keep their rooms dark, and undoubtedly many people will be losing sleep, or will have restless sleep, for a large portion of summer. As anti-DST people complain about the dangers of sleepy drivers for the one week after we spring ahead, will they downplay the undoubtedly FAR large amount of sleepy drivers we'll have from mid-May to mid July if we were to return to Standard Time year round?

To all the Anti-Daylight Saving Time people out ther, stop whining and just suck it up.  It's just one hour in March, an hour you get back in November.  Although it does not save energy like it used to, it still does save energy.  Although DST undeniably causes health issues and even death, there is a likely far larger cost of life to get rid of DST, regardless of how we get rid of it.

This article will not save DST.  Quite the contrary!  It's likely politicians will get rid of Daylight Saving Time.  They desperately want to look like populists, so even thought the evidence DST still works is out there for anyone to read, they'll ignore the truth and go along with the lemmings in an effort to embrace the irrational zealots rallying around their cause sélèbre.  They could be populists by embracing healthcare for all, or equality for all, but those issues are hard to achieve, and this one gives them a participation trophy they can proudly display on their mantle. 

This is just Ugly Populism, and if we follow through with getting rid of Daylight Saving Time, we will soon be treated to the next bout of Ugly Populism, the SAME EXACT PEOPLE who bitch and moan about losing an hour in Spring with DST will either be bitching and moaning about the late sunrise in late December, or bitching and moaning about the early sunrise in late June.  When that does happen, AND IT WILL HAPPEN, how long before we suddenly have a politicians insist "we need to get back on Daylight Saving Time!"

Friday, April 1, 2022

The Friday Link For 4/1/22

Happy April Fools Day...okay, now that's out of the way.

Short and sweet this week and I've been really busy and I want to relax.  For your viewing pleasure it's two videos from Jim Gaffigan.  The first 40 minutes is him talking about fast food from his various comedy tours.  He debuted this back in 2020 when the pandemic was so young. I'm glad he has kept it up online. 

The second video is his comedy bits about animals!  I love when he's talking about bears.

Have a great weekend! 

Get vaccinated and wear a mask! 

Friday, March 25, 2022

The Friday Link for 3/25/22

God Bless Randy Rainbow!

Your first clip tonight is another of his fantastic song parodies and he's got Marjory Taylor Green and Lauren Boebert in his sights.

***Warning*** There is some naughty language but 'Gurl You're a Karen' is freaking hilarious! 

Also tonight, two clips from recent movies.  The first is a deleted clip from the new movie 'The Batman.'  Although the main villain in this movie is The Riddler, Batman apparently goes to get advice from The Joker. Played by Barry Keoghan, who also was in 'The Eternals' and 'Dunkirk,' I'm somewhat fascinated by this clip.  I do want to see more of him in this role. 

Also tonight, I really did enjoy the latest entry in 'The Matrix' franchise, 'The Matrix Resurrections.' It's worth watching and if nothing else a dynamite popcorn movie. Here's one of the fight scenes:

Have a good weekend.  Get vaccinated and wear a mask.  The Pandemic is still going on. 

Failing to Deliver

In 2014, leading up to the midterm elections, there was only one story covered in the news, Ebola.  It was EVERYWHERE!  The 24 hour news networks were wall to wall with the total of 11 total cases linked to the USA.  That's right, eleven.  Two of those 11 people died (tragically), but it clearly wasn't the national crisis being presented in the news.

Then, on Election Day 2014, something incredible happened.  The story disappeared!  I'm not saying the story went completely away, but it was mostly gone overnight. Two local news stations in Minneapolis/St. Paul didn't even mention it on Election Day, or ever again to my knowledge, and most papers (AT BEST) relegated the story to deep within the folds of the paper.  By the end of the week, the news media had completely forgotten about the Ebola crisis they had intensely reported on for the last two months.

This story was a plant, a made up crisis pushed by Republicans and their puppet masters to prevent the news media from covering the Election clearly, and to try to scare people away from the polls on Election Day.  After they accomplished their goals, they themselves stopped pushing the story, and the news media, whether in compliance with the Republicans, or blindly following the rest of the lemmings, stoped talking about the story.  It was the all the proof you needed the media of this country was hopelessly controlled by the Right.

Speaking of pandemics, the last two years we've had a bit of a rough go.  Near 80 million people in the US have contracted COVID (including yours truly), and near 975,000 people have died.  Now, if Republicans had the same intensity as they had with Ebola with COVID, those two numbers would've likely been dramatically lower.  Instead, Republicans found political value in denying vaccines worked, discouraging face masks and vilifying the medial and scientific community as a whole. 

The Republicans were so good at their messaging, there are families where a loved one DIED of Corona Virus, and yet they still refused to get vaccinated or wear a mask because the Right told them they didn't need it.  Politicians, drunk on their own press releases, started trying to tell hospitals, including the World's Best Hospital(!!!), The Mayo Clinic, how to do medicine!  And psychopathic, deranged loon balls showed up at school board meetings to threaten to murder them all if they dared shut down schools or even demand a facemark, DURING A PANDEMIC!  And the news media covered all of this as viable 'counterpoint.'

The real failure in both of these cases is not the Republicans.  Quite the contrary, their messaging exceeds  expectations EVERY SINGLE TIME!  They are masters at controlling narrative.  The real problem here is the Democrats, who even though have facts, science and evidence on their side, can't seem to put out an effective messaging campaign to save their asses.  BOTH of these Republican narratives would easily be countered if Democrats created uniform messaging and demanded equal time in all news outlets.  Instead they get so caught up in trying to sound nuanced and clever, trying to make themselves sound bipartisan, tolerating (or even agreeing) with Republican lunacy, and thinking a plucky attitude will win the day (it won't).

Democrats lack of follow through on messaging is so toxic right now, it's my opinion their fear of how they'll be perceived if they hold a Republican accountable for their undeniable criminal activity creates a self induced deterrent to charging CLEALY guilty people (like Trump) for their crimes.

We saw the beginnings of this failure in the W. Bush Administration.  Not only did we know W., Cheney and his Administration LIED us into the Iraq War, we actually had evidence they did so, enough to charge them!  Then suddenly, Democrats came out like whipped pups, starting at the ground, pretending to shift unseeable dirt and sand with their feet, as they meekly said they weren't going to file any charges. They had them dead to rights, and they just let them go.

Compare that to the next 8 years under President Obama. Republican MADE UP a fake narrative that something nefarious actually happened in Benghazi and then initiated 8, EIGHT(!!!), investigations into the attack.  They would have an investigation, they themselves would find absolutely ZERO evidence of the wrongdoing they claimed happened, and immediately open another investigation, claiming "We still have a lot of unanswered questions!"  They didn't.  This was only about controlling narrative. By the way, when the Trump Administration's actions clearly contributed to the deaths of US soldiers in Niger, the same Republicans said "nothing to see here," as the meek Democrats went along.

Today, I've gotten to the point where I've lost all faith the Democrats will actually hold Trump, or any Republican guilty of their crimes. Currently Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has, inexplicably, decided to not charge Trump with financial crimes his own prosecutors have said are a SLAM DUNK conviction. He's even started sending the evidence collected of Trump's crimes back to their respective witnesses. He might be bought off to make the case go away, or he might be afraid his political future might take a hit if he follows through and jails Trump.  Regardless, it's a clear failure to deliver.

As much as what the Manhattan DA is doing is a head scratcher, it's nothing compared to the lack of real action by the 1/6 Commission and the Department of Justice in regards to the Insurrection, the clear attempt to overthrow the government of the United States.  Between clearly guilty rioters getting relative slaps on the wrist, to the mountain of evidence pointing to major coordination and involvement with militia groups, the RNC, Republican Congresspeople and Senators, the Trump 2020 campaign, major factions of the Republican fund raising and organizing operations, a string of incompetent Trump lawyers, the Administration, and Trump himself, it's mind numbing there are not already REAL HARSH CHARGES being filed.  I get the impression this will be W. and the Iraqi War all over again.

And last night, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas's wife Ginni was exposed as actively communicating with the Trump Administration, encouraging the overthrow of the government of the United States.  Not only that, but her husband was the lone justice (ON THAT COURT) to rule against Trump (and any future President???) from ever having to release internal communications to an active investigation, something we now know he was doing to prevent his wife from getting exposed as being a player in the attempted overthrow of Biden. 

Now, either Justice Thomas is making rulings which he feels his wife would want him to make, OR his wife is directly telling him how to rule on cases.  Regardless there should be an immediate impeachment hearing in the House and a trial in the Senate. I guarantee, if this was a liberal Justice's spouse caught in the same scandal, Republicans would have have 15 investigations already this morning, and a big ol' pot of impeachment brewing, as every news outlet in the country would be demanding accountability, not just reporting on the case.  I can't wait to see how the Democrats drop this ball.

Meanwhile the Republicans are still having a field day with President Biden's son, Hunter Biden, and his laptop.  Not only has the entire Joe Biden/Burisma story been proven to be a made up lie, but the supposed laptop with the supposed email which is the Right's so called "smoking gun evidence" is a laughing stock.  A computer repair store in Delaware apparently found his laptop, and instead of looking at the service ticket to figure out whose it is, they opened it up and found ONE email allegedly from Hunter Biden to someone which confirms the entire scandal...which has already been proven fraudulent. 

Yet look at how intently the Right is still screaming this story! Every week I get Republicans saying to me "just you wait until Monday! It'll be the biggest scandal in the history of the country." But when Monday comes, and no scandalous news story drops, it's always "Biden and the mainstream media are covering up the truth!"

The Republican Party and their voters might just be the greatest mind control experiment in human history.

Dear Democrats, FILE THE FREAKING CHARGES!  We've all seen the evidence!  We all know who did what and when!  We all know they're guilty of the crimes!  The Republicans will not be your friends or give you a pass even if you don't file charges, so file them!  Stop sitting there and smugly thinking "we don't have to prosecute these criminals, as 'history' will harshly condemn them for all time!"

Well, that depends on who writes the history books...

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Swipe Right For Sloth!

During the Trump years, I made the following observation:  A Trump supporter could walk into their house, find Trump actively having sex with their spouse, and the first words out of their mouth would be "Damn Democrats!"

I want to update that.  It's clear at this point most Republicans could walk into their house, find a deranged Trump chainsawing their loved ones into cubes, and, after watching in adoration, cheering on the carnage, scream "Damn Democrats! Now why haven't they helped me after the loss of my family!  I'm the REAL victim!!!"

I've come to this determination after I stumbled across this meme floating around Republican circles on social media: 

It's stunning a politician and/or his allies would even attempt this farce. The argument of 'you have to stop all investigations into a CLEARLY GUILTY corrupt jackass, because if you don't they'll come after everyone else' is a laughable, pathetic escape attempt.  Any moron should be able to look at this ad and clearly see all Trump is trying to do is prevent himself from being held accountable for his actions.  

But yet the paranoid Trump fans eagerly gobble up this drivel. 

Piggy backing on my point about Trump fans finding him sleeping with their spouse, there is another ugly truth about Trump fans.  Trump fans know Trump is a horrible person, but because he validates their racism, and/or allows them to blame everyone else for their lifetime of mistakes, they create fantastical, laughable conspiracy theories about the other side to validate their love of Trump.  "Sure Trump is not perfect, but Hillary Clinton drinks blood from babies in the basement of a Maryland Pizza parlor, so I'm on the right side of this fight!"

THAT ARGUMENT ACTUALLY HAPPENED!  And it still happens today.

Like all things with the Republicans, when they have success with something, they replicate it.  This deflection technique is now not just for the extreme, far right loon balls in QAnon, but is now a mainstream argument, basically saying "Don't believe what your eyes are seeing, and your ears are hearing.  HERE is what you should believe!"  And this year it's becoming the rallying cry of the Republican politicians.  

Already I've seen at least 20 Republicans who openly railed against vaccines, calling them "dangerous" and something people should avoid, NOW insist they never once bad mouthed vaccines, only said individuals should have the choice of getting vaccinated.  They're now even freely admitting they got vaccinated early on in the process as they were spewing anti-vaxx propaganda, stating, "If I was against the vaccine, why did I get vaccinated right away (something I've intensely kept secret)."

There have already been a few dozen Republicans who PROUDLY voted against the Infrastructure and earmark bills, meaning they were against those bills passing, claiming credit for the elements of those bills which help their district. The argument they put forward is something to the effect of "I was proudly against the bill, but I did convince Biden and the Democrats to put this spending in the bill I VOTED AGAINST, so I deserve credit for it."  It Minnesota, the inclusion of those projects was not due to any Republicans, but rather the two Democratic US Senators.

And with Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson getting peppered in the US Senate, Republicans are not only smearing her with racist statements, argument and tropes, which they try to reframe by intensely screaming "HOW DARE YOU CALL ME RACIST (for the clearly racist things I said)," but they're also floating the evil villain story they've been floating the last few years: "Sure we're horrible at leading this country, but the other side of the aisle are all child molesters, or openly supporting child molesters, so my racism, bigotry, hate, pandering to the wealthy, corporations over citizens stances, and forcing of Christianity on all people is noble and justified!"

By the way, they scream the "all Democrats are child molesters" lie as it seems the VAST majority of people arrested for child sex crimes in this country seem to be staunch Republicans. This would be what a psychologist would call 'classic projection.'  It's like when the most anti-gay politicians come out as gay, or Putin claiming he's attacking Ukraine because "they're the real Nazis."

The worst part of all of this is a weakened news media which refuses to do their job.  In the last three weeks, I've seen the news media run pro-Republican political stories obnoxiously full of lies(!), lies which are laughably easy to fact check.  Instead of simply holding the Republicans up to their own record, they instead either fail to bring up the truth surrounding the 'new found' Republican stances, or they outright publish Republican campaign talking points as 'news' but really are designed to erase the truth.  It's one or the other.

This is what we are up against this election cycle, easily fact checked lies being presented by Republicans and the news media as "truth."  It'd be like if Sloth, from the movie the Goonies (the less nauseating photo above) got on an online dating site. Knowing he has a few things going against him, to make himself more palatable, the argument he makes is "Don't let your eyes fool you!  Everyone else on this dating site is a Nazi, Fascist, Communist, Vampire, child molester who wants to force you to have an abortion, wants to abort already born children, wants to force your kids to beg for forgiveness for being white, wants to make every woman athlete in Division I sports transgender, wants to make Christianity illegal, wants to kill grandma, take your house, kill your dog and take all your money!"  Meanwhile the supposedly independent watchdog tasked with shining a light on the truth gives a big thumbs up to Sloth's claims, calling it "a bold new strategy geared to finding that special loved one!"

Swipe right for Sloth.

Friday, March 18, 2022

Friday Link for 3/18/22

I have two Star Wars related videos this week.

I love Star Wars, but one thing that hasn't aged well is the original battle in A New Hope between Darth Vader and Obi Wan Kenobi.  Especially when you look at how bad ass Jedi's get when the special effects can match their true powers (think Luke Skywalker taking on the Empire in The Last Jedi).

As Lucas has revisited his old movies and added Ewoks, lizards and far too many droids, I wondered if he'd ever try to remaster the original lightsaber duel, to make it worthy of the series.

Leave it to some fans to put together a sensational lightsaber duel which should be inserted into A New Hope.  The images are not framed perfectly, and the special effects need to be cleaned up a little, but it's worthy of inclusion on the Star Wars universe. 

Then again, I think our minds would've exploded if this was the lightsaber fight in the original film in the 1970's. 

Also tonight another Star Wars clip, this from one of their video games which talks about the Old Republic, stories from long before the current Star Wars universe.  

When the last few Star Wars movies came out, I though they were very good.  I'm a defender of The Rise of Skywalker.  Sure Palpatine returning out of nowhere with very little explanation is a massive MacGuffin, but I think it was hard to wrap up all of those plot points and not have a few holes. 

That being said, The Empire Strikes Back is still the high-water mark for all Star Wars films, and as good as the final three were, they are still no where near as complete and as entertaining as Empire.  That's why this simple 6 minute Old Republic video game trailer is astonishing.  I think this is as good as Empire! Watching this makes me want to see a movie around all of these characters.  

Watch for yourself and see if you're like me, wanting more! 

Have a great weekend and please get vaccinated if you haven't already!

Friday, March 11, 2022

The Friday Link for 3/11/22

Here in Minnesota, we are almost out of winter.  One more morning of really cold temperatures and then we enjoy 40 and 50 degrees beginning next week.  I know a lot of people, especially people in the south, will hear that and be shocked we're excited about what sounds like cool temperatures, but most Minnesotans will be showing off their pasty white thighs in shorts if it breaks 55. 

It's been a long winter.

This week we say goodbye to the cold by remembering one of the worst snow storms of all time.  The Blizzard of 1888 was a monster, killing a lot of people along the Eastern Seaboard.  I'll let The History Guy give you the history of the storm.  He even does a very good job explaining how the storm affected city planning across the globe, but one of the things he doesn't really delve into is how the storm was also one of the first dominos in what was to become the labor movement in the United States.

This storm happened on a Sunday, but many people ended up dying because they were headed into work, or trying to get home from it. People worked 7 days a week and even in the face of a life threatening storm were headed into the office.  They ended up finding people in Philadelphia frozen to death in snowbanks, succumbed to the weather as they tried to get to work.  It's no surprise people started asking the question of "why people were trying to get into the office on a massive snowstorm," and "why was there such need for offices to be opened on a Sunday anyway."

This wasn't the one thing that borough change, but combine this with the Johnstown Flood disaster, the ruthlessness of company towns, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire and the rise of the union movement, brought into the US via immigrants, and the days of businesses mistreating their employees were numbered.

Speaking of old things, the other video this week is a restoration video.  This genre of videos is where they find something old and rusty and they go about painstakingly restoring it to its former glory. You see this a lot with cast iron pans, lighters and knives, but a corn sheller?

Sometimes technology of the past is so cool.  Enjoy this restoration video from Lost & Restored, but the incredible part is when they use it at the end.  That is an amazing machine! It makes me want to grow my own corn, dry it and then use the...well never mind.  That sounds exhausting, but I still can enjoy the ingenuity of the designers. 

Have a great weekend and if you still haven't gotten vaccinated, please do.  Thanks! 

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Troll Bridge

The Republicans have gone NUTS in the last 24 hours.  After President Joe Biden banned Russian oil imports to prevent American dollars from supporting their evil slaughter of innocent Ukrainians, something which was achieved via a fairly large bipartisan majority, Republican spin doctors immediately began screaming about how Joe Biden was directly responsible for raising gas prices.  When the White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki corrected that notion and specifically mentioned the current 9000 oil and gas leases the oil and gas industry already have in hand that are not being utilized as a contributing factor to limited gas and oil production, they lost their freaking minds.

Nothing angers Republicans today like a proud Democrat using facts to defend their position. NOTHING!

I could spend this blog post talking about how the real culprits in regards to gas price increases are the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the unused 9000 gas and oil leases not being utilized (by intention), and about how Trump in April of 2020 specifically coordinated a worldwide 10% decrease in oil production, knowing it would lead to soaring gas prices (if Trump won in 2020, he could use the high gas prices to justify opening up all the pristine wilderness to drilling/If Biden won, Republicans could blame him directly for something he did not do [WHICH THEY HAVE!]), but I want to address the mindset of these clowns.

Trump Republicans are in a delusional state today.  Most of them were 15 time losers, many of whom were racists, who couldn't get out of their own way, living a life full of angry bitterness, constantly running their endless would've, could've, should've scenarios in their mind.  Trump changed that.  He looked at them and said "you're not the loser, EVERYONE ELSE IS!"  They gobbled it up.  He recklessly validated the losers, knowing their blind allegiance would never subside.

But Trump lost, and not only that but he's become an endless embarrassment of scandals and anti-American behavior.  The Trump Republican's golden calf is now a hollow shell of it's former self, but considering the Trump Republicans are determined to never go back to reality, incapable of looking in the mirror and saying "wow! I'm the screw up!," they have decided they will gladly sink on the USS Trump.

My daughter asked me to describe the mindset of the modern Trump Republican and I can up with four distinct features.

1) They will do ANYTHING to avoid having to acknowledge a reality or fact they disagree with.  Trump didn't lose.  Trump was the smartest president of all time. Trump was beloved on the world stage. Trump did a fantastic job with CoronaVirus! These delusional gems are just part of the daily affirmations the standard Trump Republican has to believe.  They even go as far as believing things which contradict other things they believe; stuff like: 1/6 wasn't an insurrection, but Antifa was behind the 1/6 insurrection! Even when the world plays along with them, like in Arizona, with the election recount.  They were allowed to control every aspect of that investigation into the wrong doing they KNEW happened.  When they found no wrong doing at all, do they sit back and say "I guess we were wrong"?  NOPE! They are so convinced of the lie they just keep muttering how the election was fraudulent and EVERYONE knows it.  

They lies they convince themselves are truths are infallible in their mind, and they will NEVER not believe their made up 'truths,' even when it whacks them in the face like a 2 X 4.

2) They speak with conviction and confidence on things they know absolutely nothing about.  It is stunning.  Used to be if you didn't know about something, you said nothing. Only fools or grifters tried to sound authoritative beyond their ability.  Today, the standard Republican will tell you everything you need to know about politics, racial relations, societal breakdowns, foreign policy, medicine, voting, Russia, Ukraine, oil production, the stock matter what, they all pretend to know what is REALLY going on. They don't have a freaking clue.

3) They create super villains.  It's my theory, down deep inside, most Republicans know Trump is a horrible person.  They do, but to allow themselves to feel like they are on the right side of it all, they create super villains to compare Trump with, so they can feel better about supporting him.  Example: "Sure Trump is a horrible person who clearly treats women, veterans, minorities and the poor horrifically, and seems to be a very dishonest person, but Hillary Clinton kills babies and has Satanic rituals in the basement of a Maryland pizza parlor, so I'm on the right side of this argument.  He might not be perfect, but we're fighting the devil people!"  They convince themselves these outrageous slanders are real and this is how they walk around with a clear conscious.

4) They will always consider themselves to be victims.  They are the biggest whiners I've ever met.  There is nothing they can't turn into a slight against them.  They go on television and scream their 1st Amendment Rights are violated.  They scream their rights are being taken away if you merely suggest equal rights for all people. The same people who mocked and taunted Democrats for four years of Trump can't stop blubbering about how they're the victims of a massive conspiracy to cheat them of their golden idol.  And when it came to the pandemic...SWEET LORD! Used to be we would tolerate mild inconvenience as long are we were stopping needless suffering and needless death.  Not anymore!  You need to wear a mask, "You're forcing me to wear a face diaper!" We are going to shut down schools to prevent a massive outbreak, "I don't care about the health of teachers, why aren't you doing what I want?" And suggest a vaccine to prevent the outbreak from getting worse, "You are trying to turn me into a lizard person!"  

In their minds, if they'e not the victim, then even they realize they're just massive douche bags.  They will never admit their own faults, so they quickly jump aboard the victimhood train! 

I'm not saying understanding all of this makes it any easier to deal with these clowns, but what it does do is give you an idea if someone is even worth your time.  It's gotten to the point where I can spy a waste of my time in the first sentence of their social media post.  You start to see the tell tale signs of a Trump Republican, save your brain cells and just block them.  I do, and I love it.  Down deep inside, what Trump Republicans want is to be validated, so by ignoring them, you are denying them of their much desired attention. 

Every time I block a troll, a Trump Republican sheds a tear.  I'm okay with that.