Dispatch from hiatus... Wednesday, July 29th quickie...
Mars "Perseverance" lander launch is Thursday,
July 30, 2020 at 4:50 am PDT
Online Participation opportunities are today and Thursday.
Launch is bright and early tomorrow! Be sure to log-on a bit early to catch the countdown and make sure all your systems are go.
The broadcast will start at 4:00 am Pacific and is available here:
There’s still time to catch some of today’s interaction opportunities and ask questions live or watch the replays here:
Get access to more, share with friends, family, or your nerdy space enthusiast pals you haven't seen face-to-face since March. NASA tells us, "We're happy to have them. Just forward them the Virtual Guest web page to start."
That link is:
|The size of an automobile, this lander incorporates improvements from lessons learned|
-- plus it has its own helicopter!
|Think drone scenes over concerts are cool, and you're a fan of the "Aerial America" tv show?|
Wait'll you see aerial Mars, courtesy of Perseverance's own helicopter!
|Thursday morning is the launch, and this is what it will produce when|
Perseverance reaches the Red Planet. Pretty sophisticated A.I. eh?
See why it's a big deal? And a hopeful escape from excruciating times?
See ya when the countdown goes to internal power.
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A dispatch from hiatus... Sunday, July 26th:
The Trump administration placed armed paramilitary federal agents in the streets of Portland, Oregon, where they fired tear gas, smoke grenades, and rubber bullets into crowds of protesters who were exercising their Constitutional rights -- Freedom of Speech, Freedom of assembly -- and attacked reporters there covering the story, depriving them of their Constitutional right to cover the developments.
|Uninvited Fed robocop agent in a scene his presence helped to create in Portland, Oregon.|
24 hours earlier, the city's mayor was teargassed by these paramilitary agents.
Photo is in this morning's Washington Post.
The founder of the California Legal Rights Foundation, Geo. McCalip, sent us the following on Friday night. We put him in touch with other media, since we are on hiatus and this needs to be verified and pursued by major media. Nevertheless, once we found he had put the first version on social media the middle of the week, we thought you should see it here.
"The federal officers are in Portland under the authority of the Secretary of Homeland Security per 40 USC 1315.
"The interesting twist is this: Chad Wolf is the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security and has not been approved by the Senate.
"In most cases, that would be no big deal because an Acting Secretary has all of the authority of a confirmed Secretary.
"This case is different because Mr. Wolf assumed office on November 13, 2019 and, per 5 USC 3346 he may serve as an Acting Secretary no more than 210 days. That means that since June 10, 2020 he has had no legal authority.
"Actually, it’s even worse than that. The clock starts ticking on the 210 day limit 'beginning on the date the vacancy occurs.' For the record, the vacancy occurred when the last Senate-appointed DHS Secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, stepped down on April 10, 2019.
"By the time Chad Wolf took office as the Acting Secretary he had no legal right to do so per 5 USC 3346.
"In other words, he has never had the legal authority to do anything as Acting Secretary. Everything happening now in Portland, and soon in other cities, is an unauthorized criminal use of force."
"After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music."
"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored."
"You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad."
"Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards."
"To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries."
"There's only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self."
"Every man's memory is his private literature."
"Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly -- they'll go through anything. You read and you're pierced."
"Man is an intelligence in servitude to his organs."
"My father considered a walk among the mountains as the equivalent of churchgoing."
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell."
~ Aldous Huxley, English author, writer and philosopher. He wrote nearly fifty books --including the dystopian classic, Brave New World. His influential works ranged through novels and non-fiction works, wide-ranging essays, narratives, and poems. He was born on this day in 1894. He died of cancer on November 22, 1963 -- just hours after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. The rest of the story? When cancer brought him to his death bed, he asked his wife to inject him with "LSD, 100 µg, intramuscular." He died later that day. Three years later, LSD was officially banned in California. For more on this fascinating man, see Garrison Keillor's tribute, below.
Iron & Wine, American singer-songwriter
Jim Lindberg, American singer and guitarist
Angela Hewitt, Canadian-English pianist
Betty Davis, American singer-songwriter
Dorothy Hamill, American figure skater; Sandra Bullock, American actress and producer; Kate Beckinsale, English actress; Nana Visitor, American actress known for her "Star Trek" character; Helen Mirren, English actress; Peter Hyams, American director, screenwriter, and cinematographer.
Aldous Huxley, English author, writer and philosopher, And source if today's quotes (1894-1963)
Dobie Gray, American singer-songwriter and producer, famous for singing "Drift Away" (1940-2011)
Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart, Austrian pianist, composer, and conductor (1791-1844)
Erskine Hawkins, American trumpet player and bandleader (1914-1993)
Jim Foglesong, American record producer (1922-2013)
Serge Koussevitzky, Russian-American bassist, composer, and conductor (1874-1951)
Stanley Kubrick, American director, producer, screenwriter, and cinematographer, the genius behind filming "2001: A Space Odyssey" (1928-1999)
George Catlin, American painter, author, and traveler whose paintings of the American wild and still-natural west and its Native American inhabitants at the zenith of their cultures are still stunning, and still references for what was lost (1796-1872)
Jason Robards, American actor (1922-2000); Blake Edwards, American director, producer, and screenwriter (1922-2010); Vivian Vance, American actress and singer, Lucille Ball's "Lucy Show" sidekick (1909-1979); Gracie Allen, American actress and comedian, spouse and foil of George Burns (1895-1964); Carl Jung, Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist (1875-1961).
Today is the birthday of English author Aldous Huxley (books by this author), born in Godalming, Surrey (1894). He was the grandson of Thomas Henry Huxley, a scientist and man of letters who was known as "Darwin's bulldog" for his defense of the theory of evolution. Huxley wrote a few novels that satirized English literary society, and these established him as a writer; it was his fifth book, Brave New World (1932), which arose out of his distrust of 20th-century politics and technology, for which he is most remembered. Huxley started out intending to write a parody of H.G. Wells' utopian novel Men Like Gods (1923). He ended by envisioning a future where society functions like one of Henry Ford's assembly lines: a mass-produced culture in which people are fed a steady diet of bland amusements and take an antidepressant called soma to keep themselves from feeling anything negative.
Dispatch from our continuing hiatus, Saturday, July 25:
Covidology 101 update -- money edition
by Larry Wines
There have been 52 million unemployment claims filed in the US since March 20.
Today the "extra $600" per week of federal unemployment benefits expires. Democrats in the House of Representatives passed the Heroes Act weeks ago, with its provision to extend the $600 through January 2021. But it remains stuck in the Republican-controlled Senate, along with dozens of pieces of other legislation the House has passed.
Prior to shutting down and leaving for the weekend, some Senate Republicans were considering several of their party's own proposals for a partial reinstatement of lesser amounts for a shorter time.
Republicans are obsessed with their own notion that $600 a week is more money than somebody can earn by working, and the lazy are cashing-in by doing nothing.
One GOP idea calls for no unemployment support, but a $450/week "return-to-work" payment in addition to whatever the job pays. As if everyone could simply go back to work despite the continuing reason they were laid-off in the first place.
That fantasyland seems intended as an interlocking corollary with the Trump administration's demand for prompt full reopening of public schools. Since most American parents rely on schools as free daytime child care, returning to work requires someplace to dump the kids.
Meanwhile, with the positivity rate for kids in Florida in the double-digits, many large urban school districts nationwide have already announced they will resume instruction only as distance learning this fall. Meaning students will remain at home. The Trump administration counters with threats to withold unspecified federal funding from any state that refuses full physical return of all students to classrooms.
Anger, frustration, and desperation are rising for those who want to know right now how they will feed their kids and keep a roof over the family without the extra unemployment benefit. Today begins a drop from the expired federal $600 per week plus an amount from their state that typically varies from $118 to $224.
As of today, only the latter, smaller, amount is there. And in some states, it, too, is expiring, based on the number of weeks of eligibility.
Along with that, many recipients began in a hole because the flood of applicants overtaxed unemployment compensation systems and it took weeks to get logged into application filing to establish qualification for benefits. Remember, the agencies who determine and process eligibility were universally using, and some still use, employees who were shifted to work from home. That means working in blind parallel, rather than together in offices where they were each others' support, information, and backup systems, and urgent claims could be hand-carried to cashiers' windows.
That's not all. Federal protections for suddenly unemployed renters are also expiring. Once again, that's because the Senate is not acting on extensions passed by the House. Renters who couldn't pay were protected from eviction if the landlord received any federal money for his rental property, like Section 8 housing funds for low income tenants or those with disabilities.
In the 2008 financial crises there were 860,000 foreclosures and homelessness permanently rose. This time, 13 million Americans face imminent eviction, with more of the 52 million unemployed being added each week.
America needs an FDR New Deal. Instead it gets a pile of legislation trapped in the limbo of Mitch McConnell's desk, a sudden dramatic drop of finances needed to pay rent, a necessary shift to eating ramen noodles, and an eviction notice posted on the door.
All flying in the face of a proven myriad of medical findings that psychological and emotional stress, inadequate shelter, and inadequate nutrition harm the body's immune system and greatly increase the likelihood of getting sick.
In the middle of a deadly pandemic. Where low income people have proven the most susceptible to infection.
Our thanks to Garrison Keillor for all three items of today's history, which appear in his daily "Writer's Almanac."
It was on this day in 1788 that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart entered into his catalog the completion of one of his most beloved works, Symphony Number 40 in G Minor (sometimes called "The Great G Minor Symphony"). It was written in the final years of Mozart's life, when things were not going well. An infant daughter had died a few weeks earlier, he had moved into a cheaper apartment, and he was begging friends and acquaintances for loans. But he wrote his last three symphonies, in the summer of 1788: Symphony Number 39 in E-Flat, Symphony in G Minor, and the Jupiter symphony. It is not known for sure whether Mozart ever heard any of these symphonies performed.
It was on this day in 1897 that Jack London, (books by this author) 21 years old, set off for the Klondike Gold Rush. He developed scurvy and severe muscle pain, and he didn't make any money. But he was inspired by the adventurous lifestyle and wrote about it. Five years later, his book The Call of the Wild (1903) made him suddenly famous.
On this date in 1956, the SS Andrea Doria sank off of Nantucket Island. The Italian ocean liner was a source of pride for Italy, still trying to rebuild itself after World War II. The ship was bound for New York; at about 11 p.m., she collided with the eastbound Swedish-American ship, the SS Stockholm, while traveling in a fog bank.
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Friday, July 24: latest dispatches from hiatus...
A couple nights ago, Stephen Colbert opened "A Late Show" with a very funny parody music video. No word yet from Dolly Parton.
Check out "Karen"
So, what music genre would you call this?
TAYLOR SWIFT just did a middle-of-the night debut -- a few hours ago -- of a music video for her surprise new CD and vinyl release album, which is titled "Folklore."
In fact, the vid opens with imagery that's about as deep backwoods roots folk genre as you can get. But just when you expect to hear fiddle and mandolin and banjo? Well, you be the judge of what you get instead.
Visually you get a trip Through the Looking Glass to see Rose after the Titanic sank, with truly "flowing" piano and sylvan green fantasy along the way. It already had over 3 million views in its first five nocturnal hours.
Likewise out in the middle of the night as Thursday had vanished into Friday, was a missive from Brian Stelter, who talked about the album and the vid just before it was available for him (or anybody else) to hear it. His piece is just below:
Covidology 101 quickie:
New York Times reporter Lauren Leatherby charts the countries with the worst known coronavirus outbreaks now. The top five: Oman, Bahrain, Panama, South Africa, and the U.S.
With shockingly awful numbers going vertical off the top of the graph (see yesterday's entry) the Trump administration is playing an extreme version of his favorite game:
Divert and distract to take attention away from what you deny.
Thus, we get...
Benghazi on the Willamette
|Uninvited Fed robocop agent in a scene his presence helped to create in Portland, Oregon. |
24 hours earlier, the city's mayor was teargassed by these paramilitary agents.
Photo is in this morning's Washington Post.
ONLINE WATCHABLE, word from this morning's New York Times...
"There's no money in poetry, but then there's no poetry in money, either."
~ Robert Graves, poet and novelist (born July 24, 1895, died 1985)
Happy birthday today to
Kristin Chenoweth, American actress and singer
Pam Tillis, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actress
Gallagher, American comedian and actor
Pat Oliphant, Australian cartoonist
In memoriam to departed artists and other influencers born on this date
John Newton (1725-1807), writer of "Amazing Grace," one of the world's best-know works of vocal music and a classic on both the organ and the bagpipes. The ex-slave ship captain had himself, early in life, been flogged by the British Navy. He became one of Britain's leading and most diligent abolitionists, and was instrumental in bringing an end to slavery in the British Empire, just a few months before his death.
Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870), French novelist who wrote swashbuckling adventure novels that include The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo, both published in 1844.
Amelia Earhart (1897-1937), American pilot and author, celebrated in song as the "First Lady of the Air," she disappeared on an attempted 'round the world flight.
Billy Taylor (1921-2010), American pianist and composer.
Back to our hiatus.
Stay sane, stay healthy, don't be a Maskhole, stay away from maskless aggregations of Branch Covidians, and be careful out there.
Thursday, July 23: a few dispatches from hiatus...
Major League Baseball's opening day schedule is here
ESPN will carry the Yankees at the Nationals at 4 pm Pacific and the Giants at the Dodgers at 7 pm Pacific.
Check out the full broadcast schedule at the link here.
Why are WE the ones bringing you a link for all the schedules? Well, the ballpark's organist might be the first live music performance you've heard in months, unless you play an instrument or sing in the shower. We don't know if someone will sing the National Anthem live before the game, or lead the at-home singing of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" -- perhaps with appropriately modified lyrics.
|Dodger fans paid for seats to make themselves virtually present at the ballpark. |
"Thursday's games will take place in a nation hungry for normalcy. And while this truncated season is not 'normal' at all, it is like a gift basket for millions of people who want to see live sports back on TV," notes CNN's Brian Stelter.
Wait. Stelter isn't a sports reporter. No, but he is the guy who examines what the media is doing. And the big bucks, no-spectator, broadcast sports back story is THE entertainment biz news.
So we are sending this note from our hiatus with the news that he sent us. Stelter says:
"The MLB is the latest league to resume play with lots of covid-related adjustments."
Right away, Stelter asks whether there really is "Pent-up demand?"
"TV networks have high hopes for a mostly homebound audience. Ratings for the recent preseason games were strong. 'Nobody knows if a pent-up demand of sports viewers actually exists, but MLB advertisers are banking that it does, and have been flocking to the regular season at an unprecedented pace,' SBJ's John Ourand wrote Wednesday.
"Fox Sports said that ads in its regular-season package are 90 percent sold out already. And Disney Advertising Sales described 'high demand:' A spokesman said 'we are sold out of inventory for the opening week and the rest of the regular season.'
"A caveat in Brian Steinberg's story for Variety: 'Advertisers continue to worry over whether the leagues will be able to guarantee player health and complete their seasons. Once teams get on to the field, however, sponsors seem eager to play...'
Stelter singles out some "Great advice."
"Per Ourand's subscribers-only newsletter, 'MLB Network President Rob McGlarry had one main message when he met with his channel's on-air talent this afternoon, on the eve of Opening Day. "We’re already in the middle of the season," McGlarry said. "We don’t have time. We have to hit the ground running. We only have 60 games."'
"McGlarry's advice can apply to all of us, pandemic or no pandemic: 'Do as much as we can in the limited time that we have.'
Of course "limited" time isn't the way a lot of folks see things right now. For most people these days, it's been a question of what to do with all this time off. Though we, here at the Guide, are willing to bet that when this whole corona'd epoch is behind us all, there will be a lot of folks lamenting how they used, so poorly, all that never-to-be-had-again time. And that'll give rise to a new thing -- rationalizing about all the reasons why you couldn't learn a new language or learn to play a new instrument. There are imposed limitations and there are self-imposed limitations. Just sayin'...
"'As U.S. team sports prepare to resume,' the AP's Joe Reedy wrote recently, 'journalists are facing the same reckoning that their colleagues who cover politics and entertainment have encountered -- coming up with new approaches despite reduced access.' Reedy noted, 'Many journalists worry that less access can mean less oversight...'"
Boy, do we get that concern. When you can't confront your subjects, they do tend to do wacky things as if they can just get away with 'em. Like sending camo-clad storm troopers into your town to tear gas your mayor. (Ask Portland. Of course asking is something the feds did NOT do. And how come the Trumpist conspiracy theory addicts aren't looking for the black helicopters NOW, when those are the only things missing? See why we're on hiatus?)
Gad-effing-zooks, play ball. Enjoy your peanuts and Cracker Jack -- if you're at home where you can drop the mask to eat 'em. And since we continue to be on hiatus, we might actually have time to watch a ball game -- and enjoy the ballpark organist's performance -- too.
Our thanks today to Brian Stelter.
Covidology 101 quickie:
It has taken only 15 days for the US to go from 3 million infections to 4 million infections.
More than 3 months elapsed for the number of cases to reach its first million. Here are the milestone numbers and how many days elapsed, since the previous event, to reach the next one:
Days: Millions of US COVID-19 cases:
Researchers from several studies are finding that extreme narcissists are the ones most likely to refuse to wear masks AND to hoard all the toilet paper and hand sanitizer. They may even be the ones who hoarded the N-95 respirator masks that front line health care workers needed. Even though they refuse to wear masks. Some people need to be slapped up 'side the head. Seriously.
There were more than 71,000 new cases overnight in the US. That one-day number for newly-detected infected Americans is more than the total cumulative numbers for some countries to date, since the virus arrived.
413,000 cases are in California, as the Golden State rapidly closes on New York State's all-time number which has climbed very slowly from its peak in April.
While we're here with you...
Happy birthday today to
Ronny Cox, American actor, singer-songwriter, guitarist. (Great trivia question: He is the "Star Trek " captain of the Enterprise that nobody ever gets...)
Ron Sarfety, American concert series and music for charity events presenter, videographer, and music vid producer.
On this day
Today in 1903, the Ford Motor Company sold its first car, a two-cylinder Model A. It was bought by a Chicago dentist for $850. The world has struggled with the blessing and the curse of the automobile ever since, with its attendant curse of oil addiction, pollution, suburban sprawl, and gridlocked roads and freeways.
THOUGHTS FOR TODAY from one born on this date
"The most durable thing in writing is style, and style is the most valuable investment a writer can make with his time. It pays off slowly, your agent will sneer at it, your publisher will misunderstand it, and it will take people you have never heard of to convince them by slow degrees that the writer who puts his individual mark on the way he writes will always pay off."
"At least half the mystery novels published violate the law that the solution, once revealed, must seem to be inevitable."
~ Raymond Chandler, American writer (born July 23, 1888, died in 1959). in 1939 he published his first novel, The Big Sleep. In addition to his short stories, he wrote seven novels that were all narrated by a wisecracking private eye named Philip Marlowe.
One more. This just in...
Back to our hiatus.
Stay sane, stay healthy, don't be a Maskhole, stay away from maskless aggregations of Branch Covidians, and be careful out there.
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Wednesday, July 22 -- a quickie from our time on hiatus
Last two nights (Wed & Thu) to see the comet before the Moon gets too bright. It's in the vicinity of the Big Dipper, a bit below it. You'll need a dark sky, without urban "light pollution."
Here's the report from ESA:
These are from "EarthSky"
While we're here...
THOUGHT FOR TODAY from one born on this date
"Life is not lost by dying; life is lost minute by minute, day by dragging day, in all the thousand small uncaring ways."
~ Stephen Vincent Benét, American poet (1898-1943), best known for his Pulitzer Prize winner for Poetry, "John Brown's Body," a long poem he wrote while in Paris in 1928. It's an epic in eight sections and tells the story of the Civil War, beginning with John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry and ending just after Lincoln's assassination. He also remains remembered for his short stories "The Devil and Daniel Webster" and "By the Waters of Babylon."
"Between the years 1928 and 1943, Stephen Vincent Benét was one of the best-known living American poets, more widely read than Robert Frost, T.S. Eliot, William Carlos Williams, or Wallace Stevens and as well respected in book review columns. He was a rarity among 20th-century authors, a poet whose books sold in the tens of thousands and who was honored in the poetry workshops and lecture halls of prestigious universities." ~ from his Poetry Foundation listing.
And now, back to our much-needed, well-deserved hiatus.
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We've previously sneaked these "extras" to you from our otherwise ongoing time off...
We are still on hiatus, though we have shared a few posts on major events over the weekend just past. Today will be the first time in years that we have not advocated for a "National Space Day" holiday on this date. But with the idiotic militarization of space over the past year, things now require contextualization before that advocacy can continue.
EXTRA: posted Sunday, July 19th, from beyond our continuing hiatus...
"Sing Gently as One" Eric Whitacre's virtual choir of 17,000+ global voices
Premieres Sunday, July 19th on YouTube
Stunning music vid goes up at 10:30 am PDT, at:
Eric Whitacre is the Grammy-winning composer who, in 2010, created what’s considered the very first virtual choir, amassing, to date, 6.4 million views. But THIS one, written in April 2020 for choir and piano -- and attracting over 17,000 performing voices -- sets the world record for participating singers, by far.
The exact numbers? 17,572 singers, ages 5–88, in 129 countries, who individually recorded and submitted their vocal solo (soprano, alto, tenor, and bass) videos, and one piano track recorded by Sam Glicklich, a student at the Colburn School in Los Angeles -- all combined to form "Virtual Choir 6," with collaborative participation from the Colburn School and the NAMM Foundation. All during the COVID pandemic.
"Together, they found strength in the simple, collective initiative of the project and saw it as a way to not only replenish from within but also to offer hope and relief for the sadness and suffering of others... 'Sing Gently' marks Whitacre’s largest Virtual Choir to date since his first more than ten years ago. The film will include videos from each of the participants, unified in a unique collection, which serves as a testament to diversity, accessibility, and inclusivity to be much more than a musical project, it’s a community," writes "Music & Sound Retailer" magazine.
“People write to me and ask, ‘How do we make one?’” he says. “I say, ‘Just don’t. Please. Your life will be so much better without this,’” Whitacre said in a techno geek piece published June 20.
"Rising to the technical and creative challenge of combining 17,000+ audio and video files is the Tony & Olivier award-winning 59 Productions (filmmakers) and BAFTA-winning, Floating Earth (audio engineers). The copyright is administered by Boosey and Hawkes, and the sheet music will be available from Hal Leonard later in 2020," reports "Music & Sound Retailer."
To mark the premiere, "CBS Sunday Morning" aired a David Pogue segment today, titled "All Together Now: the largest virtual chour ever assembled" about how it was done. The shows promo read: "What to do when choir practice has been cancelled because of COVID-19? David Pogue has the answer and explores the very first virtual choir with its creator Eric Whitacre, just as Virtual Choir 6, the largest of its kind (with over 17,000 singers) makes its premiere after our Sunday Morning broadcast."
The segment is on Whitacre's website, but the traffic load today may result in a lot of time percolating:
Pogue's story, in the full episode of "Sunday Morning" -- and all recent editions of the very arts-friendly show -- are available to watch on demand on CBSNews.com, CBS.com and CBS All Access; that includes availability on Apple TV, Android TV, Roku, Chromecast, Amazon FireTV/FireTV stick and Xbox.
There are teasers to hear the "Sing Gently as One" soundtrack without the stunning visuals:
But the links to all the streaming outlets won't work until the magic moment when the YouTube track goes up.
"How to Make Your Virtual Jam Session Sound—and Look—Good"
SPECIAL ADDITION (Friday night, July 17th) from beyond hiatus, added to our previous edition:
TWO FESTIVALS online Saturday, July 18th. The editor asked us to get this out to readers, even though we are on hiatus:
AND, a folk classic...
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Also added Saturday morning, July 18th...
Overnight Friday night / Saturday morning...
Within hours, two pivotal people died. Both are giants in American history.
|U.S. President Barack Obama awards the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Vivian in the East Room at the White House in November 2013 (Win McNamee/Getty Images)|
~ Larry Wines, editor, 7-18-20
|How America saw the marchers on the bridge in 1965. |
That's John Lewis in the gray trench coat at the front.
|John Lewis being beaten by state troopers with night sticks. His skull was fractured.|
|Retreating demonstrators, maintaining their nonviolence, were tear-gassed. |
Lewis doesn't remember who carried him off the bridge into a church.
He said, "I thought I was going to die on that bridge."
|Throughout his long career in politics, John Lewis always spoke of hope and reconciliation, |
as he did when returning to the bridge. NBC News photo.
|Then-President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama clasp hands with Congressman |
John Lewis as they lead others -- including survivors of "Bloody Sunday" -- for a return to the bridge.
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♡ ♡ ♡
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Before the special additions above, here's the last word going into hiatus...
Tuesday's updates include a click-to-see-and-hear musical gallery of songs by tuneful luminaries about Billy the Kid, on this, the date he was killed; and today's update of our "Covidology 101" series; and the news features following the daily bits for Tuesday.
All are here, and are intended to leave plenty for you to peruse and enjoy, as they are the last word for a few days.
We are now on hiatus.
Monday's ONLINE EVENTS were updated through the day, and include NEWS OF NEW RELEASES. So take a gander. Or two. Or three. "Covidology 101" was updated for Monday at 9 am PDT.
When this was first published, it went like this...
Here's a new edition for Sunday. As we bring you fresh music news herein, please remember that our two most recent previous editions are loaded with news that's still current.
Both those editions are still easy to access.
So don't be bashful. When you have your way with us here, you can still give them a whirl.
~ Enrico Fermi
• Not a "respiratory disease" but a multi-organ failure syndrome? Data from autopsies on COVID victims shows blood clots that cause organ failure are not just in the lungs, but in multiple organs, including the heart, liver, and kidneys. There are even questions of the disease getting past the blood/brain barrier, AND of it killing T-cells, particularly in younger victims. What tissues can recover / regenerate post-COVID, and what does not ever come back? Are COVID survivors at increased risk of other diseases, including cancers, because their immune systems are compromised? Will dementia strike them at a young age? Watch for more research on some of this. Other aspects will take years to become clear. For now, there is no single source to click -- doctors and researchers throughout the world are sharing anecdotal findings, and no one has had time to do a peer-reviewed compilation paper with referenced studies. Point is, it CERTAINLY isn't "just the flu."
Sunday, July 12th
1. Arizona: With 113,000 cases and 2,047 deaths, Arizona is wracked with coronavirus—and an upcoming heat wave won't help. "Arizona is currently suffering from one of the worst outbreaks of Covid-19 with the highest daily reported cases per capita in the country," reports Vox. "Meanwhile, Phoenix hit a high of 109 degrees Fahrenheit in recent weeks…From hampering surge capacity plans for hospitals to increasing people's likelihood of getting exposed to the virus while sheltering indoors from the heat, heat can make things harder." Meanwhile, Republican "Gov. Doug Ducey did not announce significant new measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Arizona on Thursday despite pleas for aggressive action from doctors, mayors and some state lawmakers," reports AZ Central.
2. Alabama: Causing 49,174 cases and 1,068 deaths, coronavirus has already claimed at least one official. "A longtime mayor in Alabama has died of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). He was 84," reports People. "Billy Joe Driver, the mayor of Clanton, Alabama, was diagnosed with the contagious respiratory virus last month." Meanwhile, another official said he'd like to see more people catch the disease. "I'm not as concerned as much as the number of cases—and in fact, quite honestly—I want to see more people, because we start reaching an immunity as more people have it and get through it," State Senator Del Marsh, a Republican, said. He's on the state's coronavirus task force.
3. Florida: "Mickey, Minnie and Goofy are going back to work Saturday as Disney World is pushing ahead with plans to reopen even as Florida continue to rack up a near-record number of new coronavirus cases," reports NBC News. "The 11,433 new COVID-19 cases reported Friday was the state's biggest daily increase since July 3, when 11,458 cases were recorded. Additionally, the state health department reported 435 more hospitalizations—the state's largest single-day increase. Florida also reported 93 additional deaths Friday, bringing the statewide COVID-19 death toll above 4,100." "There's no need to be fearful," Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday.
4. Idaho: "Citing an 'incredible surge' in confirmed COVID-19 cases, Gov. Brad Little, a Republican, announced Thursday that Idaho will remain in Stage 4 of its coronavirus rebound plan for at least two more weeks," reports Idaho Mountain Express. "There were a total of 8,969 cases statewide as of Thursday afternoon, according to the state's dedicated coronavirus website—more than double the 3,399 cases that had been reported by June 13, when Idaho first advanced from Stage 3 to Stage 4." The state has seen 101 deaths.
5. Montana: "Montana state health officials reported 127 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, a new single-day record, according to the Montana Response COVID-19 tracking map. The previous single-day record for COVID-19 cases in Montana was 96 which was set on Thursday," reports KPAX. "Friday's data shows the total number of cases in the state now stands at 1,632." Montana has 25 deaths.
6. North Dakota: "The North Dakota Department of Health on Friday, July 10, announced 84 new cases of COVID-19 on another high-testing day," reports Inforum. "There are now 573 residents of the state known to be infected with the illness—more than double the number of active cases on North Dakota's recent low point of June 22." The state has had 4,074 confirmed cases and 89 deaths.
7. Nevada: "Bars in Clark County and some additional counties in Nevada will reclose on Friday after health officials warned Gov. Steve Sisolak," a Democrat, "that the number of COVID-19 cases could surge," reports Eater. "He says federal health officials warned of a new potential surge in cases that would cause a strain on hospitals. The governor also recommends that restaurants should encourage outdoor dining and no longer serve more than six people at a table." Nevada has had 25,055 cases and 574 deaths.
8. Ohio: "Ohio has seen a spike in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases across the state over the last few weeks. Twelve counties have now been placed on the state's COVID-19 risk alert system," reports Fox 8. "There were 62,856 total confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in the state, which is an addition of 1,525 cases and the highest daily cases reported in Ohio since the pandemic began. The virus has also resulted in a total of 3,032 deaths (up 26 from Thursday) across the state."
9. South Carolina: South Carolina has 50,691 cases and 905 deaths, and a 400%+ increase in cases for young adults since June 1st. "We're going to be worse than New York," one Charleston ER nurse told The Daily Beast, which notes that the state is reporting more cases per capita than most countries. "But at least in New York, people took the virus seriously. Here, we're in a war zone that people refuse to accept." Folks are partying, there are bike shows and beach fests. "We've completely lost control of the situation," one doctor told the Beast. Republican Gov. Henry McMaster reiterated he won't issue a mask mandate.
10. Tennessee: "The Vanderbilt COVID-19 Report for Tennessee expects the state to keep with previous projections and reach 1,000 hospitalizations in the next two weeks," reports Fox 17. "The report cites a number of concerning indicators as the state sees more positive cases, hospitalizations, and a growing rate of spread." The state has had 56,941 cases and 700 deaths. Republican Gov. Bill Lee extended the state of emergency.
11. Texas: "As COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths continue surging throughout Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott said Friday there are no plans for an imminent economic shutdown as long as Texans are able to reduce the spread of the virus," reports KSAT. "Let me be clear about this because a lot of people are asking about that question," Abbott, a Republican, said. "There are rumors out there that there will be an imminent shutdown and that is not the case." He has mandated face masks and shut down bars.
12. West Virginia: COVID-19-related hospitalizations in West Virginia grew to 56 Friday, the highest number since May 1. Hospitalizations have more than doubled in the past week. "State Coronavirus Czar Dr. Clay Marsh said during a Friday appearance on MetroNews 'Talkline' those numbers could go up even more because hospitalizations tend to lag behind the reporting of positive cases," according to WV Metro News. "Over the last two weeks we've seen about a doubling of the number of active cases, so we know that COVID is spreading (in WV) and we know that there is a delay between when the positives happen and the hospital stuff starts to really jump," Marsh said. The state has 3,882 confirmed cases and 95 deaths.
How to Stay Healthy in Your State
1) On the Big Coronavirus Surge
2) Did Some States Open Too Quickly?
3) Can the Surge Be Blamed on Politicians Not Following Guidelines and People Not Following Orders?
4) How the U.S. is Doing Overall?
5) Does Partisanship Make Things More Difficult?
Sunday, July 12...
We open by turning to Garrison Keillor, from his daily "Writer's Almanac," for our eerily resonant note about today:
When this was published Sunday, the day's listings and the "Covidology 101" led right into the news features. Since then, the added daily listings got between here and the feature stories.
Just poke around so you don't miss anything.
Monday, July 13...
THOUGHT FOR TODAY from one born on this date
"The man dies in all who keep silent in the face of tyranny."
~ Wole Soyinka, Nigerian playwright, poet and essayist, Nobel laureate (born July 13, 1934). He was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize in Literature, the first sub-Saharan African to be honoured in that category.
(our thanks to A.Word.A.Day for the quote)
Online concert tonight at 5 pm, new video today from Cidny Bullens
The former Elton John guitarist continues a socially relevant solo career
The video of 'The Gender Line' is now on my Youtube and it's starting to get some great reviews."
News feature stories
Acoustic Eidolon's recent "Drive Up Car Concert" brings a mini documentary
Entertaining small successes as lessons in our creative world
Hannah and Joe, the (usually) touring duo that is Acoustic Eidolon, is making focused use of online shows. In their latest email, they tell us, "We seem to have a car theme going... because we miss all our days spent touring and traveling... so in addition to the Drive Up Concert link, here are some 'Concerts in our Car' for you in these recent months."
It's innovative, attention-grabbing, and the kind of thing that creates a quasi-quarantine trademark.
Take a look.
It really is a clever theme.
For this next one they say, "Welcome to Episode 4 in our "Concert in the Car" series! It's time for 'One Old Wreck' in our Toyota Sienna minivan... as well as some general banter as we play this old fave!" The link, so you can share easily, is https://youtu.be/UYZI-d6mbbQ
Here's Episode 3 in their "Concert in the Car" series. Hannah says, "Let the music take you away... to Hawaii with this Acoustic Eidolon original tune."
If you've seen 'em perform, it won't surprise you that their delightful acoustic rendition of Led Zep's "Stairway to Heaven" was Episode 2 in their "Concerts in the Car" series.
Hannah tells us, "...we miss traveling in our tour van," which plenty can say.
These two are a model for using the time off.
First, she says, "The silver lining of our quarantine is that we're deciding to embrace this time as a sabbatical, and are recording our 13th CD. It's a cello-heavy CD, with a warm scattering of brand new vocals and pieces that take you from the Faroe Islands to Utqiagvik (Barrow), Alaska, and through our lives in between. We can't wait to share some of this brand new music with you all soon!"
Yeah, well, they're hardly the only ones to cut a new record in the midst of pandamania.
But what about that when she adds this:
"We get to take LOTS of walks as we stay home in these crazy times. We're also taking bike rides and kayaking, playing music and brainstorming more ways to get our music out to all of YOU.
"We've found that reaching for our creativity and each other has helped us hold onto hope and light and moments of peace in these times."
Damn. Here at the Guide, nobody's escaped to go kayaking. Or even done enough long bike rides (okay, the last part isn't appealing because it's just too hot).
You've gotta love the spirit of these two. They close with, "Stick together, stay healthy and keep listening to music! We'll weather this together... and we'll see you on the other side of all of this."
You can check-out and subscribe to Acoustic Eidolon's YouTube Channel (you know the drill: if you hit the little bell next to the subscribe button, you'll receive notifications of new vids when they post): https://www.youtube.com/user/acousticeidolon
Their full site is: www.acousticeidolon.com
30th Quarantine Livestream for California duo happens today
Andy & Renee, who lead award winning Hard Rain & host "Dylanfest," still delight with online shows
Youtube Sunday, 5 pm PDT / 8 pm EDT; Facebook Live on Wednesday, July 15th, 7 pm PDT / 10 pm EDT is # 31
"Can you believe we've been doing the Livestreams since March 19th?" asks Renee Safier, half of the always exciting duo with the encyclopedic catalog. She adds, "Well, be have reached a milestone! It's our Youtube Livestream # 30!"
Sunday, 5 pm Pacific.
• Watch at: https://youtu.be/UzAeKNjnAs4
She adds, "As you know, our 'In-Person' gigs have been cancelled for the last several months. We turned to doing Livestream shows to make a living and deliver the music to you. The shows are FREE TO WATCH, but the option to tip us is there (for those who are in a position to do so) if you are enjoying the music."
You can tip at:
• PayPal: paypal.me/andyandrenee
• Or Venmo: www.venmo.com/Renee-Safier
"A portion of the proceeds goes to the Los Angeles Midnight Mission. We are sustained by the generosity and support of the fans who love the music, and who tip as they are able," says Renee. She continues, "If you haven't tuned in to one of our live-streaming shows, we hope you will soon. They are a lot of fun, and you can interact with the other viewers in the 'Chat Room.' Put the show on your Smart TV or watch on your computer, phone, or tablet!"
Plus, who else offers THIS, with such a deep song mine in which to dig:
Make requests from their list of 470 songs, and they get to as many requests as possible.
See the list HERE, and send your requests to email@example.com before the show.
Catch up with their "Canada Day" show, recorded July 1st, with all songs written by Canadian artists.
"Dylanfest 30 -- The Virtual Edition" marked the 30th year of the best tribute festival around. If you missed it or want to give back in, watch any or all of the Dylanfest 30 Videos HERE.
The entirety of the 3 Live shows is there, all free to enjoy, including (or plus) the 6 Hard Rain videos, the 40 individual performer videos, and the Dylanfest Historical videos. Enjoy these wonderful performances on-demand.
As Bob Dylan said, "Always do for others, and let others do for you". Peace.
Austin roots music mainstays
Hot Club of Cowtown 20-year member departs
Well, there WAS that hiatus, a few years back, when Elana took off to be the fiddle player for BOB DYLAN's very lengthy 'round-the-world tour. And there were the days when Whit returned to New York City to lead an impossibly big band. But the bonds among the three members of the HOT CLUB OF COWTOWN had always seemed as tight as the none-better music they've brought the world, including live performances in more countries than you can count.
Until word came July 9th from Elana James & Whit Smith -- two-thirds of the classic trio that has made music for twenty years with Jake Erwin. They tell us:
"First and foremost, we have heard from Jake that he is going to be moving forward into his own new adventures.
"As you are -- and have been for decades in some cases! -- our loyal fans, we wanted to share this news with you first, here, today, and will soon of course make it public as well.
"This is certainly the end of a magnificent era, but by no means the end of the band."
Here's a note from Jake:
"Hello Dear Hot Club of Cowtown Friends and Fans!
"This is Jake Erwin, your long time bass player and backing vocalist, and I'm writing now to say goodbye to you all.
I've been with this mighty band for about 20 years now and after much consideration, I have decided to leave the stage professionally and take a new path into the future.
I count myself very fortunate and am truly honored to have been a part of what I believe is a unique and special group in the world of the musical arts and entertainment.
I will always cherish my memories of traveling the world and playing for all of you wonderful folks and I Thank You very sincerely for all the many years of kind attention and enthusiastic support.
I hope that I will get to see many of you again from a smaller stage perhaps or in some other regard altogether but for now, I wish the band and all of you my very best and hope that we all may have a healthy and happy future!
- Jake Erwin 07/06/2020”
Here at the Guide, that threw us for a loop. After all, the trio had planned a very full summer tour schedule together. But as we all know, this contemplative time is bringing many of us to choosing changes, including life-changing and hopefully life-affirming ones.
Elena and Whit commented, "What more can we say? The nature of life is change! Jake has given us two decades of his life and we have only gratitude for that. You can leave a note for him or us in our Guestbook, on our facebook page, or even respond directly to this email (we will forward any and all replies or messages directly to Jake)."
But there is still their incomparable hybrid of Western Swing, Bob Wills, and Djangostyle Gypsy Jazz. Which brings us to their latest LIVE SET
And their assurance, "Today marks the 120th day of our unexpected sabbatical! But the show goes on! And to that end, you can find our recent live set from a few weeks ago here where we are joined by the wonderful Kevin Smith on bass (Willie Nelson's, High Noon and Heybale) and Damien Llanes (Marcia Ball, Hot Club of Cowtown:) on drums.
"We wanted to quickly share with you today are our recent one-and-only facebook live set (a work in progress!), in case you’d like to grab a cold drink and join us in Elana’s backyard for an hour from a few weeks back.
They add, "If you are compelled to donate to our facebook live set, we would be thrilled. The best link is here or you can copy and paste this link: https://www.paypal.me/hotclubofcowtown
"We’ll likely do another live set in early August and will keep you posted about that and would love to have you join us in real time. In the meantime, you can always log onto Whit's facebook page and Elana's facebook page as we continue to experiment and broadcast our own stuff, if you'd like to join us there for whatever we come up with!"
They have partly re-done their website with a new gift shop page. And hidden in their word about that is a chance to grab a surefire collectible. Check it out:
"...we finally moved all our merch over to a new format and website, where there is a TON of autographed stuff, as well as at least one thing we’ve never been able to sell online: our limited-edition, signed "White Buffalo" poster. So please come and visit our new Gift Shop and let us know how you like it. We have also pulled Wild Kingdom from the created world for now and will re-release it once we are able to tour again. That said, there are still copies available at our new merch store—and they are signed by all three of us!"
There were a couple of late night chats with Jake, in addition to their live performance on the L.A. broadcast radio show with web simulcast that we hosted. And there was the deliciously memorable jam that brought the three of them to join a piano player we knew, an astounding musician whose repertoire featured a couple thousand of the same songs they knew... making for one night of musical valhalla into the wee hours in the California desert.
And thus, to Jake, we wish you the sincerest Happy Trails. And to Elana and Whit, we'll be seein' ya up around the bend, pards!
The Alternate Root magazine offers new tunage
|FRASER & HAAS. Photo by Irene Young.|
Fraser has a concert and recording career spanning over 30 years, with a long list of awards, accolades, radio and television credits, and feature performances on top movie soundtracks, including Last of the Mohicans and Titanic. In 2011, he was inducted into the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame.
Haas, a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music, is one of the most sought after cellists in traditional music today, and has performed and recorded with Mark O'Connor, Natalie MacMaster, Irish supergroups Solas and Altan, Liz Carroll, Dirk Powell, Brittany Haas, Darol Anger, Laura Cortese, and many more.
Together, the duo of Fraser & Haas has toured internationally for over 18 years, to great acclaim at festivals and concerts worldwide. They have released five critically acclaimed and award winning albums. Though they are physically separated for now, they will play together for Homegrown through the magic of technology.
HOMEGROWN CONCERTS: Homegrown at Home
A free noon concert series (Eastern time) presented by the American Folklife Center and the Music Division of the Library of Congress. Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, the 2020 concerts will stream on the American Folklife Center’s Facebook page, Wednesdays from June 24-September 30. Artists will be present in the chat area to say hello and answer questions during the concert and for a few minutes after it ends. Video will also be posted online here and on the Library of Congress YouTube channel-- NO TICKETS REQUIRED.
WATCH HERE: https://www.loc.gov/concerts/folklife/fraser-haas.html
in this new world of the improbable unknown...