Saturday, July 31, 2004

Blue Moon:
"'Blue moon' seemed to be a truly modern piece of folklore, masquerading as something old. Then my brother-in-law reminded me that the term was a question in one of the Trivial Pursuit boxes, the 'Genus II edition,' which was published in 1986. Trivial Pursuit is a fine company for scholars--they keep all their files and they can tell you the source of any bit of information in their games. Yes, they told me, that question came from a certain children's 'Facts and Records' book, published in 1985. Where the authors of that book got it, no one seemed to know." Posted by Hello

Blue Moon
"'On September 23, 1950, several muskeg fires that had been quietly smoldering for several years in Alberta suddenly blew up into major--and very smoky--fires,' writes physics professor Sue Ann Bowling of the University of Alaska. 'Winds carried the smoke eastward and southward with unusual speed, and the conditions of the fire produced large quantities of oily droplets of just the right size (about 1 micron in diameter) to scatter red and yellow light. Wherever the smoke cleared enough so that the sun was visible, it was lavender or blue. Ontario and much of the east coast of the U.S. were affected by the following day, but the smoke kept going. Two days later, observers in England reported an indigo sun in smoke-dimmed skies, followed by an equally blue moon that evening.'" Posted by Hello

Stay up and gaze at the Blue Moon: "Though it will be its usual pearly white hue, the full moon would be the second to be spotted this month after July 2, an occurrence from which the oft-used English saying 'once in a blue moon' is surmised to have originated.  Posted by Hello
A message from White House West

"Why don't they get new jobs if they're unhappy -- or go on Prozac?' said Susan Sheybani, an assistant to Bush campaign spokesman Terry Holt.

The comment was apparently directed to a colleague who was transferring a phone call from a reporter asking about job quality, and who overheard the remark.

When told the Prozac comment had been overheard, Sheybani said: 'Oh, I was just kidding.'

Friday, July 30, 2004

<$Xvarenah$> has a great list of favorite cover versions so I'd thought I'd list some of mine--

Walk Don't Run--Penguin Cafe Orchestra
Summertime Blues--T. Rex/Blue Cheer
Its All Over Now, Baby Blue--Them
It's Not Easy Being Green--Van Morrison
Reason to Believe--Rod Stewart (other great Tim Hardin covers include
Red Balloon--The Small Faces
How Can You Hang On to a Dream--Fleetwood Mac)
Who Knows Where the Time Goes--Nina Simone (used to great effect in John Malcovich's The Dancer Upstairs)
To Sir With Love--Al Green
Beginnings--Astrud Gilberto (like the Chicago version, with a longer trombone solo and percussion breakdown)
These Days--Jennifer Warnes (John Cale, who played on Nico's original, produced this version for her '72 Jennifer album)
Sister Ray--Joy Division (great, but worth it for Ian Curtis' "You should hear us do Louie Louie..."
Police on My Back--the Clash
Heartbreak Hotel--John Cale
At Last I Am Free--Robert Wyatt
Tomorrow is a Long Time--Elvis (Dylan's favorite Dylan cover)
Tomorrow Never Knows--801
Early Morning Rain--Jerry Lee Lewis (on his '72 London Sessions"unplugged", he puts you on that sad runway like Gordie never could)
Spooky--Lydia Lunch (great Robert Quine guitar on this)
Mary Tyler Moore Show Theme--Husker Du
Top of the World--Sugarcubes (I miss Einar)
Summertime--Billy Stewart (completely over the top)
Danny Boy--Jackie Wilson (and then some)
Gloria--Patti Smith
Move on Up--the Jam (the Curtis Mayfield version was a British hit--you flipped it over, like What I'd Say)
Honey Don't--the Beatles (who could sound like a Bakersfield bar band when they had to)
Layla--John Fahey
Are Your Ready For the Country?--Waylon Jennings
Different Drum--Linda Ronstadt
The Bells--Laura Nyro
Now I Wanna Be Your Dog--Alejandro Escovedo
Feel Like I'm Fixin to Die--Bob Dylan
Whole Lotta Love/Whiter Shade of Pale--King Curtis
Somewhere--Aretha Franklin
Some Other Time--Tony Bennett/Bill Evans
Trouble Man--Stanley Turrentine
Four Strong Winds--Neil Young
Work to Do--Average White Band
The Things We Did Last Summer--Lesley Gore
Come Down in Time--Lani Hall (from Brasil 66)
Hello It's Me--Isley Bros.
Only Love Can Break Your Heart--St. Etienne
A Walk on Gilded Splinters--Humble Pie/Johnny Jenkins
I Heard it Through the Grapevine--The Slits/CCR
Gimme Shelter--Mitch Ryder
Go Now--the Moody Blues

Creme Filled Red Velvet Bingles "The name alone is thoroughly delightful, though the snack itself resembles Twinkies soaked in blood."
CJR Campaign Desk has a good critique of CNN's faux Fox convention coverage...

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Part One of Kevin Killian's Orono Report--

"The cell phone has a picture of Catherine Zeta-Jones inside of it, so
every time I turn it on, I see her. People mock 'Zeta,' saying she
cheapens herself doing ads for T-Mobile. I don't see it like that. I
bet Mercury had a bad reputation back in the day, flitting around
sending messages. I like her. I touched her brightly colored face
framed in its postage-stamp square of light. 'Good night.' Then I
realized I had brought a lot of things with me but I'd forgotten the
talk I was supposed to give Saturday morning." Posted by Hello

looking forward to turkey dinner at Huber's: Portland's Oldest Restaurant Posted by Hello

Genetics Pioneer Francis Crick Dies at 88

"He literally reasoned his way to the solution, and he was a 36-year-old mediocrity at the time."

Double helix
in the sky tonight
throw out the hardware
let's do it right.... Posted by Hello

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Scott Moncrieff's Beowulf

Charles Spear

In the curdled afterglow of night
The long ship leaves the cliff, the ness, the cave;
Unending arcs of icy light
Flicker about her on the climbing wave;

And coming close fierce warriors crowd
To shout across the Swan's Way. See! They pass.
She drives through trailing veils of cloud,
And time pours down like rain on weeping glass.

(thanks <$Xvarenah$>Posted by Hello

CORN REPORT: Daphne and I drove through Cedar and Yellowpoint and saw lots of corn and very high for late July but still a bit young. We did find some decent looking Fraser Valley corn at the Cedar store. Its just matter of a few days in this heat.  (Later: not bad, and it roasted up a treat, but...) Posted by Hello

How and Why Wonder Books--I have this one and the Dinosaur one. Posted by Hello

"SIMPSONS' GAY WEDDING" no mention of Lenny and Carl?? Posted by Hello

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle: "As surreal as the movie gets, though, it never quite reaches the pungent contact high of Dude, Where's My Car?, a virtuoso demonstration of the pothead paradox that what isn't funny the first or second time absolutely kills the 11th or 12th time. Still, while H&K's larger point may be that its protagonists' ethnicity is incidental, it's indicative of the film's basic decency that the pesky racial stuff is allowed to interfere with its buzz--the repeated run-ins with bigoted white cops and extreme-sports rednecks have less comic value than social import. The titular destination would simply be noxious product placement if it didn't also serve a symbolic purpose. 'This night is about the American dream,' Kumar declares only semi-facetiously, and indeed, by the time our heroes finally approach their holy grail--having battled the usual impediments that go with being half baked as well as a lifetime of cultural expectations and heaps of dumbass racist bullshit--it's not just about a soggy case of greasy sliders anymore. " Posted by Hello

My Demographic

"Ma and Pa Kettle Back on the Farm- The Kettles become grandparents and decide it's time to get back to basics on the farm after meeting their blue-blooded in-laws, who have some very different ideas about rearing children. To get away from the complexities of modern life, Ma and Pa move back to their farm shack. Meanwhile, Pa gets into trouble again--he strikes uranium, but promptly gets caught up in two crooks' swindle!" Posted by Hello

Monday, July 26, 2004

more on the election of 1912: "Had Theodore Roosevelt been nominated by the Republican Party -- and he would have been had he not been cheated out of the votes he had gained in the primaries -- he would have been president in 1912 and Woodrow Wilson would have lost. This would have meant that Roosevelt would have continued to make the Republican Party a party of reform, which is what he stood for at the time, indeed, almost radical reform. In terms of foreign policy he might very well have brought the United States into the First World War after the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915, in which case the war might have ended far sooner and certainly with a less drastic peace than the one imposed on Germany. This might well have changed the course of the 20th century. "
DNC 2004 Weblogs: News Aggregator

(Teddy Roosevelt, mounting a third party challenge in 1912, trying to baptise the Republicans (his protege Taft is the tug-of-war anchor, left)in the progressive waters of "Teddyism")

Harper's Weekly Elections 1860-1912--a trove of info, cartoons, etc... Posted by Hello
Some favorite US presidential campaign books--1988

Richard Ben Cramer What It Takes : The Way to the White House

Besides the Hunter Thompson, this book would be the most fun for non-wonk readers. W appears as the hot-headed son of a ruthless dad. You end up liking Dole & Dukakis.


Marathon: the Pursuit of the Presidency 1972-6

Hardly gonzo, but Witcover is a sharp guy. Every thrift store in Canada has a copy of this book.

Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail

Hunter Thompson

I read this in installments in Rolling Stone when I was 14, with the Ralph Steadman drawings spread across those huge newsprint pages. A pretty sound education & Thompson's best book.

An American Melodrama Lewis Chester, Godfrey Hodgson, Bruce Page

"In its essence 1968 was like the great European revolution year of 1848 during which even the bourgeoisie perforce chose the streets as the only available forum to assert their unacknowledged power. Like 1848, its aftermath resulted in a flood of spiritual exiles who colonized the world in their diaspora. And as with 1848, the official structures of political and economic repression were reassembled afterward in slightly more disguised, but nonetheless excruciatingly durable form.

The four political tragedies for America were tied together by more than chronology. In a Shakespeare play, not just the hero is tragic, but all the characters as well. Both our leaders and ourselves failed to rise to the occasion. And the best book about the year remains the work of three journalists from the London Sunday Times, called with typical British approximation, An American Melodrama. (Lewis Chester, Godfrey Hodgson, Bruce Page: Viking Press, 1969) "

"An American Melodrama" is a superb book and widely available. Reading it, you get the sense of the gravity and momentousness of events constantly challenging the writers professional reserve.

looks like CPAC is carrying a feed of the gavel-to-gavel C-Span coverage of the Democratic convention--Miss Teen New Mexico just did the anthem... Posted by Hello

Letter by Thomas Nashe to William Cotton 1596

"[Address, at back] To my worshipfull good freinde Mr. William Cotton geue these

Sir this tedious dead vacation is to mee as vnfortunate as a
terme at Hertford or St Albons to poore cuntry clients or Iack
Cades rebellion to the lawyers, wherein they hanged up the L cheife
iustice / In towne I stayd (being earnestly inuited elsewhere) vpon
had I wist hopes, & an after harvest I expected by writing
for the stage & for the presse, when now the players as if they
had writt another Christs tears, ar piteously psecuted by the
L. Maior & the aldermen, & however in there old Lords tyme
they thought there state setled, it is now so vncertayne they cannot
build vpon it; & for the printers there is sutch gaping amongst
them for the coppy of my L. of essex voyage and the ballet of
the threscore and four knights that though my lord Marquesse
write a second parte of his feuer lurden or idlenesse..........
..................................................... or Churchyarde
[e]nlarge his Chips, saying they were the very same wch christ in
[Car]penters hall is paynted gathering vp as Ioseph his father
[sta]nds hewing a peice of timber, & Mary his mother sitts
[sp]inning by, yet wold not they giue for them the price of a
[pr]oclamation out of date, or which is the contemptiblest summe
[tha]t may bee, (worse than a scute or a dandiprat) the price of
[ ] Harveys works bound up together. Only mr harrington
{of} late hath sett up sutch filthy stinking iakes in pouls
churchyard, that the stationers wold giue any mony for a couer
[fo]r it. what shold moue him to it I know not, except he
[m]eant to bid a turd in all gentle readers teeth, or whereas
[D]onDiego & Brokkenbury beshitt pouls, to prevent the like incon-
[u]enience, he hath reuiued an old innes a court tricke of turning
[ ]out in a paper, & framed close stools for them t[o] carry
[in] there pockets as gentlewomen do there spuges th[ ]
[ ] O it is detestable and abhominable, farre worse then
[Mu]nday[s] ballet of vntruesse, or Gillian a Braynfords
[Wi]ll in which she bequeathed a score of farts amongst her frends
[&] able to make any man haue a stinking breath that lookes
[b]ut on the outstide of it. Sure had I beene of his
cousayle he shold haue sett for ye mott or word before it
Fah, & dedicated it to the house of the shakerlies that
giue for there armes thre doggs turds reaking, For my
paarte I pitty him & pray for him that he may haue
many good stooles to his last ending, & so I wold wish
all his frends to pray, for otherwise it is to be feared
yt according as Seneca reports the last words Claudi-
ius Ces was hard to speake were Hei mihi vereor
concacaui me so he will die with a turd in his mouth at
his last gaspe & bee coffind vp in a iakes farmer tunne
no other nosewise christian, for his horrible pfume being
able to come nere him. well some men for sorrow singe as
it is in the ballet of Iohn Carelesse in the booke of
martirs & I am merry whe[n] I haue nere a penny in my
purse. God may moue you though I say nothing, in wch
hope that that wch wilbee shalbe I take my leaue. yours in acknowledgement
of the deepest [bond] " Posted by Hello
essays & effluvia: 100 MP3 blogs