Archive for the ‘Clippings’ Category

Obit watch: March 23, 2015.

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

Izola Ware Curry passed away on March 7th. This is slightly old news, but I’ve been waiting for a good link.

For those of you who are saying, “Who?”: Ms. Curry was the woman who stabbed Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The stabbing nearly cost Dr. King his life, requiring hours of delicate surgery to remove Ms. Curry’s blade, a seven-inch ivory-handled steel letter opener, which had lodged near his heart. If he had so much as sneezed, his doctors later told him, he would not have survived.

Ms. Curry was found incompetent to stand trial and spent the rest of her life in a series of institutions.

Chinua Achebe, noted Nigerian author, has also passed away. Somewhere I have a copy of Things Fall Apart. I need to dig that out, as I’ve been meaning to read it, and I seem to be out of Ross Thomas books at the moment.

Gonzaga!

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

They’ve made the final 16. And their next game is against UCLA, who they beat in the regular season.

I’m liking their chances. I might even order a shirt.

CINO.

Friday, March 20th, 2015

That’s “Cardinal In Name Only”, similar to “RINO“.

Scottish Cardinal Keith O’Brien has resigned his position.

O’Brien reportedly had long and multiple relationships with other men during his tenure, and at least five – including four priests – accused him of sexually harassing or pressuring them into sex in allegations that went back to the 1980s.

There were formal written complaints from multiple priests to the British papal nuncio; Cardinal O’Brien had stepped down from his regular duties in 2013 during the Vatican investigation.

Why is this interesting, other than my odd fascination with the inner workings of the Catholic church? Reason #1: there hasn’t been a resignation of a cardinal in the church since 1927 (according to this source).

Reason number two is that Cardinal O’Brien is still “Cardinal” O’Brien:

On Friday, the Vatican announced that O’Brien would become a cardinal in name only. He loses the rights and privileges of a cardinal, such as voting for pope, but is still a priest and a retired bishop.

You say Go-zinga, I say Gonzaga!

Monday, March 16th, 2015

Once again, Lawrence and I have agreed to a small ($5) wager on the NCAA bracket: I’m taking Gonzaga, he’s taking the field.

I like Gonzaga’s chances this year. And as I always say, even if I lose, I get $5 worth of entertainment out of the deal.

Pratchett.

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

NYT. BBC. Tam. A/V Club. The discussion there, and on Fark, is surprisingly civil (at least, last time I looked).

I think I’m an outlier here. I’ve only read one and half Pratchett books. The half was Good Omens (which, as I recall, I read in an advance reading copy I picked up at an ABA convention).

One of my friends and cow orkers at Dell pushed Guards! Guards! on me when he found out I hadn’t read any Discworld novels. I liked it about as much as I liked Good Omens, which is to say quite a bit. But one thing that struck me about it was that, buried in this funny story, was actually a kind of nice and sweet vision of how the police should work: how they should combat crime, and how they should relate with the citizens they protect. In some ways (and I’m not sure Pratchett knew it), Guards! Guards! was very much like “Dragnet”, except funnier. Other people have made a similar point: Pratchett overlapped silly fantasy with contemporary social commentary.

I haven’t picked up any of his books since Guards! Guards!. That’s because I wanted to hold them in reserve. Now, I feel like I’ve got enough to keep me busy for several years.

There may be additional links tomorrow, but I’ll leave off with this. I wanted to purchase a membership in the NRA (or the British equivalent) for Pratchett when I first encountered it. From Night Watch:

There had been that Weapons Law, for a start. Weapons were involved in so many crimes that, Swing reasoned, reducing the number of weapons had to reduce the crime rate.
Vimes wondered if he’d sat up in bed in the middle of the night and hugged himself when he’d dreamed that one up. Confiscate all weapons, and crime would go down. It made sense. It would have worked, too, if only there had been enough coppers – say, three per citizen.
Amazingly, quite a few weapons were handed in. The flaw, though, was one that had somehow managed to escape Swing, and it was this: criminals don’t obey the law. It’s more or less a requirement for the job. They had no particular interest in making the streets safer for anyone except themselves. And they couldn’t believe what was happening. It was like Hogswatch every day.

Edited to add: LAT.

Edited to add 2: WP.

Art, damn it, art! watch. (#47 in a series)

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

Headline:

Dead Drops: what to do if you see a USB stick sticking out of a wall

Stop! Don’t touch! Tell an adult!

But I digress.

But in 2010, Berlin-based artist Aram Bartholl decided to adapt the idea for public use. His Dead Drops involve people hiding USB flash drives in cities around the world and embedding them into walls, fences and kerbs. The idea is that you look up their location, access the drive, and do what you see fit with the files – add your own, remove or copy them over.

I’m not going to say this is the dumbest idea I’ve heard recently. But it is in the top 100.

(Per the DeadDrops.com database, there are six of these within 100 km of Austin. Five are marked as broken or missing. The sixth is actually in Bastrop. While it is marked as working, the status hasn’t been updated since 2011.)

Badger badger badger…

Friday, March 6th, 2015

…hotel room hotel room!

Random notes: March 6, 2015.

Friday, March 6th, 2015

Pigeon King International sold breeding pairs of pigeons to farmers with a guarantee to buy back their offspring at fixed prices for 10 years. Initially, Galbraith told farmers that the birds were high-end racing pigeons and that he planned to sell the offspring to the lucrative markets that support the sport overseas. Later, Galbraith changed his story, telling farmers that the birds were part of his trailblazing plan to elevate pigeon meat, known as squab, from a fringe delicacy in North America into the next ubiquitous chicken. But in the end, “they were neither,” the prosecutor said; Galbraith never sold a single pigeon for sport or meat. He seemed to have merely taken the young birds he bought from Pigeon King International farmers and resold them, as breeding pairs, to other Pigeon King International farmers, shuttling pigeons from one barn to another. And this meant continually recruiting new investors so he would have the cash to buy the pigeons his existing investors produced every month. When Galbraith’s scheme finally fell apart, Pigeon King International had almost a thousand breeders under contract in five Canadian provinces and 20 U.S. states. He’d taken nearly $42 million from farmers and walked away from obligations to buy back $356 million worth of their baby birds, ruining many of those investors. A forensic accountant determined that signing up enough new pigeon breeders to pay off those contracts would have dug him into an even deeper, $1.5 billion hole.

Speaking of fringe delicacies, your yearly slideshow of rodeo food from the HouChron is here. The deep-fried bacon-wrapped Reese’s peanut butter cup sounds interesting, but it looks a little small; I have to wonder what the value proposition is. Deep-fried Nutella also intrigues me, as does deep-fried pecan pie.

Obit watch, continued: Albert Maysles, noted documentary filmmaker. A/V Club.

Confession: I have a fair number of Maysles’ films on Criterion DVDs. I tried to watch “Grey Gardens”: I got about 10 minutes into it and just couldn’t watch any more. I’m not exactly sure why, but there was something about it that just made me extremely uncomfortable…

Obit watch: March 6, 2015.

Friday, March 6th, 2015

Natalia Revuelta Clews, aka “Fidel Castro’s mistress”.

Cardinal Edward M. Egan, Archdiocese of New York.

Harve Bennett, Star Trek guy. (Hattip: Lawrence.) (Edited to add: A/V Club.)

Cold Shaw.

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

Brian Shaw out as head coach of the Denver Nuggets.

56-85 over a season and a half.

News of his firing comes days after general manager Tim Connelly said Shaw is “absolutely” safe as the team’s coach for the remainder of the season.

And also…

Friday, February 27th, 2015

I don’t want this one to get lost: Earl Lloyd has died.

For those who don’t recognize the name, Mr. Lloyd was the first black NBA player.

A rugged 6-foot-6, 220-pound forward, Lloyd played in the N.B.A. for nine seasons. He was a strong rebounder and so tenacious on defense that he sometimes guarded the Minneapolis Lakers’ 6-foot-10 center George Mikan, the league’s first superstar. In 1955, Lloyd joined with Jim Tucker, also a forward, as the first two black players on an N.B.A. championship team, playing for the Syracuse Nationals.

Nimoy.

Friday, February 27th, 2015

For the historical record: NYT. LAT. WP. A/V Club. Lawrence.

Other people have pointed this out, too, but he went beyond Spock. He replaced Martin Landau in the original “Mission: Impossible”, and is described as being one of the more memorable “Columbo” villains.

And here’s a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore I ran across while searching for “M:I” episode openings featuring Nimoy:

Kids, ask your parents about Y2K.

One more for the road: