Friday, February 20, 2015
I cannot wait to see more of this stuff....I was always a Charles Addams fan.
And where have I been?
Well, I have been carping about not feeling well for too long. I visited my local doctor and had some tests done and seemed to be feeling lousier and lousier. I dragged myself into the Hautefort Medical Center today and my doctor said I was going into the Hospital in Perigueux tomorrow morning or else! So tomorrow at 8:30 a medical taxi is collecting me, Hopefully, I will be able to use a laptop to hook into their Hospitals WIFI system so I can do live blogging on the French Medical System in action. Can you believe, so far, I have not had to lay out a centime. The taxi is free and since I do have a mutual health policy, I get a private room. I promise to charm all the nurses. I feel pretty positive about this. I feel bad that my wife will be stuck with our demonic little cute puppy doggie, Romeo. Luckily we have very close network of good friends who will go above and beyond with help and support. I seem to have a tumor developing on my liver and it is causing all kinds of problems. Now we will take care of it and hopefully I'll be back in action on a few weeks!
Monday, February 16, 2015
The Middle East That Might Have Been
In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson dispatched a theologian named Henry King and a plumbing-parts magnate named Charles Crane to sort out the Middle East. Amid the collapse of the Ottoman Empire following World War I, the region’s political future was uncertain, and the two men seemed to provide the necessary combination of business acumen and biblical knowledge. King and Crane’s quest was to find out how the region’s residents wanted to be governed. It would be a major test of Wilson’s belief in national self-determination: the idea that every people should get its own state with clearly defined borders.
Sunday, February 15, 2015
Saturday, February 14, 2015
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
I was thinking of one of my long time heroes, Samuel Franklin Cody, today. He was a Wild West Show entrepreneur, actually and old friend of Buffalo Bill Cody and they were friendly rivals in later years. Sam went to Europe and became a successful showman there, but he had another passion. He invented and designed kites. He incorporated his Bat winged box kites into his shows and kept refining the designs. I've written in this blog quite a bit about him over the years. He offered his kites to the British Admiralty and was a commissioned officer. He is considered the father of the British Air Force. I ran across this video of him today from perhaps 1910? It isn't dated, but he did build the first aeroplane in Britain and held the sustained flight record for a few years. He built flying motorised kite boats and crossed the English Channel. All in all, Sam Cody is a man who deserves a bigger place in history than he is given. One of the great innovators of aviation and a real showman to boot!
Monday, February 09, 2015
Friday, February 06, 2015
Your retro Cold War Paranoia fix for a freezing Friday night!
A 1957 CBS docudrama narrated by Paul Ford about the evacuation of Portland, Oregon in advance of an H Bomb attack. What makes this all the more fascinating is this is 1957 Portland and except for Ford's narration, all of the actors are actual Portland citizens.
Thursday, February 05, 2015
Why do the ISIS militants dress their hostages in Orange Guantanamo Jump suits? Why did FOX choose to show the ISIS video of the execution by public burning of the Jordanian pilot on their website? Why does almost very other civilised and responsible media outlet on the planet refrain from spreading these images? In FOX's case, is it the sheer depraved need to use these images for propaganda purposes, to incite reactions and fuel hatred or simply the the utter irresponsible greed of ratings hype? Which trumps what?
Which ever reason, ISIS learned the value of media exploitation a long time ago. They use social media and carefully choose the images they decide to release to the world knowing full well where they will end up and the panic they will create.
In the video from the NY Times I have embedded here, musing from their lofty aerie, high atop the NY Times Bldg on Times Square, they dare to ask the question, regarding the measles vaccine controversy, "how did we get to a point where personal beliefs can triumph over science?"
We have spent the past 20 years at least pretending that the most anti-science, anti-progress, anti-goddamn-reality people in the world have a right to have their absurd bullshit repeated without challenge or inquiry. We have put these people in Congress, in positions of immense influence in media, with the ability to make pronouncements that are repeated ad nauseum at volumes unthinkable to, say, anti-war protesters or those who want to raise the minimum wage. We have told ourselves this is not only necessary, to listen to people like this, but it is unavoidable. This is just the way the world works now, we have said, so that we do not have to take any responsibility at all for the institutions we run.
As far as I am concerned, most mainstream media has contributed to the deliberate dumbing down of America. Profits and the desire to save their obsolete asses has enabled even the most once noble media outlets to pander to who ever will help them meet their profit targets to keep their erudite nostrils above the water. If you are plugged into the internet, you realise that most media is a few bubbles off center and and a few beats behind reality. I won't even look at or use CNN as an information source. They censor and filter the news you see and hear and try to tell you what to think with out offending the craziest of their audience, because they know the crazies are the most profitable! If you want facts, do your own research...if you want to know what the crazies are really thinking, check out Alex Jones once in a while...
Wednesday, February 04, 2015
History repeats itself. Anti-vac editorial comic from the 1940s.
It appears that we are viewing the rebirth of The Measles Liberation Front. Chris Chrisie is in England trying to establish his International Goombah Creds and in his first Press Conference had to cut it short because of the controversy regarding his non commitment in regards to measle vaccinations. He refused to answer questions and cancelled his interviews, attempting to deal with the British Press the same thug like way he tries to control the American Press. Didn't work. Head to walk back the comments he made in the USA 2 days earlier.
This is only another glaring example of how politicians, like Rand Paul are pandering to the Bad and Fad Hysterical anti Science radicals of the libertarians and the Tea Party Movement and destroying America in the process. Paul is particularly dangerous because he presents himself as a "doctor". He is not a board certified doctor. He is a self certified doctor and tries to present himself as a medical expert to his deluded followers. I guess he is another graduate of the Ayn Rand School of Medicine.
For the record, his heroine, Madam Rand, died addicted to methedrine, and in spite of the bullshit she spewed, she was accepting and both Social Security and Medicaid.
We all know that there have been some problems with vaccinations over the last 200 years, but we have eradicated smallpox and measles and mumps which were serious childhood diseases were for all purposes, are a problem of the past. The latest to weigh in on the measles vaccination controversy was the serial drooler, Pat Robertson on the 700 Club, waxing nostalgic for the good old days when kids got sick, either died or got better and then came down with shingles when they lived long enough to become as senile as he is.
Again, his evidence is based on shaky anecdotal "I knew the mother of a friend" type of hearsay non reasoning.
I guess this is all about protecting our Freedoms! Right?
Okay, I hope you’re not eating while you read this. Seriously.
North Carolina Republican Senator (you’re cringing already, aren’t you) Thom Tillis has decided that requiring restaurant employees wash their hands after going to the bathroom is an infringement on … FREEDOM!
Tillis was discussing this idea with a friend, who seemed, I am fairly certain, a little taken back.
Tillis said his interlocutor was in disbelief, and asked whether he thought businesses should be allowed to “opt out” of requiring employees to wash their hands after using the restroom.
The senator said he’d be fine with it, so long as businesses made this clear in “advertising” and “employment literature.”
And it would say something like, “Come to Starbucks, where we guarantee a little pee in your coffee.”
Okay, so how is requiring the business to have their employees wash their hands any different than requiring the business to post a sign or advertise if they don’t? Unless, of course you quietly eliminate the advertising stipulation when no one is looking.
Republicans: Guaranteeing the freedom to pee in someone’s soup!
Tuesday, February 03, 2015
Monday, February 02, 2015
I have been an admirer of Mark Mothersbaugh since the 1970's when DEVO first appeared in Kent, Ohio. Mark was a pioneering art student at Kent State and musician. DEVO mixed humor, surreal conceptual social commentary with a naive, what ever it takes approach to music that still stands alone to this day. Mark recently has had a few gallery shows of his art work and a custom art book has been released called, MYOPIA. Mark went on to score music for television and many movies. The text for the book, Myopia, was written by Wes Anderson, who has worked with Mark on a few of his films. DEVO has gotten back together a few times in the last few years, but his friend and co founder, Jerry Casales died earlier this year.
I ran across this very recent video today of Mark talking about his approach to electronic music and his fascination with old analogue synths. He talks about his relationship with Robert Moog and how Bob Moog gave him his own personal early Mini Moog prototype back in the early 70's. I had a friend in Toledo who was an early synth freak who purchased the very first production Mini Moog from Moog Studios in Ithaca, NY in 1972. I went with him on a camping trip to Upstate NY to pick it up and met Bob Moog.
I'm not writing a lot today because I am still pretty ill. I have a doctors appointment tomorrow afternoon. I'm walking on the edge of pneumonia and feel like crap. This was the most incredible bout of the flu I have ever experienced. I almost felt okay yesterday, but today seems to have been a relapse. OY VEY..... even my symptoms have symptoms!