The Wires
The Ledes

Monday, March 18, 2019.

NBC News: “Heavy rain and melting snow that overpowered the Missouri River forced hundreds of families out of their homes in the Midwest and forced the base that is home to U.S. Strategic Command to sharply scale back operations on Sunday. At least three people are confirmed to have died in what the National Weather Service called 'major and historical river flooding' along parts of the Missouri and Mississippi river basins.”

TPM: "Fox News has hired former interim DNC chairwoman Donna Brazile as a contributor, the network announced Monday. According to the press release, Brazile will offer political analysis on Fox News and Fox Business News. A source close to the situation told TPM that Brazile will not play any role related to the debate or town hall process."

New York Post's Page Six: "Brian Williams could come back from TV news exile, Page Six is told. The anchor was booted from the 'NBC Nightly News' in 2015 after it was revealed that he’d embellished some stories with fictional details — and sent to the relative Siberia of 11 p.m. on sister station MSNBC. But despite his tarnished reputation and graveyard-adjacent time slot, Williams has made his '11th Hour With Brian Williams' show a legit hit, beating CNN and Fox News for three months straight. Now 30 Rock insiders say Williams could move to a more prominent time slot, possibly replacing vet Chris Matthews at 7 p.m." ...

     ... Mrs. McCrabbie: Despite his less-than-liberal views, Williams' 11 pm newscast is really pretty good. He's a pro. Another pro at MSNBC who impresses me is Richard Liu. The other night, a feed from Los Angeles went dark, and within 90 seconds, Liu got himself on the air & conducted a full segment (with Ken Dilanian as one of the last-second guests) with what I would guess was zero prep. Years ago, when I was not much younger than Liu appears to be now, I worked for a national news network, and I had actual nightmares that I might get stuck on-air with no copy. (I was not an on-air personality, but I could have got stuck with an on-air spot during a strike.) I could not have done then what Liu did this week.

Everybody liked this Oscar moment:


Cartoon by R.J. Matson. Thanks to forrest m. ... The Verge has the complete list of Oscar winners.

Ars Technia: "Excavations at two ancient quarry sites in western Wales suggest how ancient people probably quarried some of the stones now standing at Stonehenge. The 42 stones in question are some of the smaller parts at Stonehenge, relatively speaking: they still weigh two to four tons each. They're called the bluestones, and they came all the way from western Wales [about 180 miles from the Stonehenge site]. Chemical analysis has even matched some of them to two particular quarries on the northern slopes of the Preseli Hills. One, an outcrop called Carn Goedog, seems to have supplied most of the bluish-gray, white-speckled dolerite at Stonehenge. And another outcrop in the valley below, Craig Rhos-y-felin, supplied most of the rhyolite. University College London archaeologist Michael Parker Pearson and his colleagues have spent the last eight years excavating the ancient quarry sites, and that work has revealed some new information about the origins of Stonehenge.... The ancient quarry-workers left behind mudstone wedges and stone hammers, which they would have driven into the cracks between the pillars to carefully pry them apart.”

The dollhouse of Petronella Oortman, in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.Emily Landau in the New York Times: "The whole point of a dollhouse is that it’s not to be played with. It’s untarnished by the workaday furniture we get for our real homes, the Sears dining tables and cheap Ikea Billy bookcases. And for many people, it’s the only place where ludicrously opulent décor is attainable, where you can go all out on mother-of-pearl doorknobs or Versailles-worthy brocade chaises without losing your savings or your dignity." Mrs. McC: I think Laudau helps explain why I have so enjoyed moving from a mansion-sized house to one that is one-tenth the size of the "mansion."

The Los Angeles Times has the full list of Oscar nominees here.

NBC Sports: "Mariano Rivera, Roy Halladay, Edgar Martínez, and Mike Mussina have been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers Association of America as part of the 2019 class. The results were just announced on MLB Network. Rivera received votes from every single writer who submitted a ballot, becoming the first player ever to be unanimously inducted into the Hall of Fame. Halladay and Edgar Martínez each received 85.4 percent of the vote and Mussina appeared on 76.7 percent of ballots. Rivera, 49, spent all 19 of his seasons in the majors with the Yankees. He was initially used as a starter, but quickly moved to the bullpen, becoming the greatest closer of all-time. He racked up 652 saves — the most in baseball history — during the regular season along with a 2.21 ERA anda 1,173 strikeouts across 1,283 2/3 innings. He saved his best work for the postseason. Rivera appeared in 96 postseason games, saving 42 saves in 47 opportunities with a 0.70 ERA and a 110/21 K/BB ratio in 141 innings. Rivera won five championships, five Rolaids Relief Awards, as well as MVP awards in the World Series, ALCS, and All-Star Game. He made the AL All-Star team 13 times."

Mrs. Bea McCrabbie: If you're a shut-out Trump Shutdown victim tooling around the Internets with nothing to do today, let's assume that some day some time, Trump will de-furlough you and you can get back to work enthusiastically serving the American people in your appointed capacity. In case Trump has rendered you a bit rusty in the area of job skills, Conan here provides some useful tools that may help you get to work on time, even on casual Friday:

ABC News: "Breathtaking drone video of a pod of friendly, playful dolphins joining a surfer as he took to the waves near the coast of Ventura, California, is making the rounds on social media and bringing smiles -- and wow's -- to viewers. ABC station KABC-TV's meteorologist Kimi Evans met the drone's owner Craig Badger, who shared the footage, and spoke to surfer Alden Blair.... The video has been seen more than 3 million times on social media." ...

NBC Suits Are Such Geniuses. New York Times: "After a drawn-out negotiation period, NBC and Megyn Kelly have formally agreed to part ways. The network and the onetime cable news star reached a final agreement on Friday, nearly three months after she wondered aloud on-air why it was inappropriate for white people to dress up in blackface for Halloween. NBC and a representative for Ms. Kelly declined to reveal the details of the exit package. But according to two people familiar with the negotiations, Ms. Kelly was paid the outstanding balance on her contract, a figure that amounts to roughly $30 million. At the time of the separation, Ms. Kelly was in the middle of a three-year, $69 million contract with the network."

Sunday
Apr152018

An Alternative to Facebook

By Anonymous*

 

To others of my generation who still do not and cannot comprehend why Facebook even exists, here’s what I’m doing to gain a better understanding:

I’m trying to make new friends without using Facebook, but using the same principles.

Every day I walk down the street and tell passers-by what I have eaten, how I feel at the moment, what I have done the night before, what I will do later, and with whom.

I show them pictures of my family, my dog, and of me gardening, taking things apart in the garage, watering the lawn, standing in front of landmarks, driving around town, having lunch, and doing what anybody and everybody does every day.

I also listen to their conversations. 

Then I give them the “thumbs up” and tell them I like them.

And…

Guess what? It’s working!

I already have four people “following” me.

Two police officers, a private investigator, and a psychiatrist.


* Mrs. Bea McCrabbie
: This came to me via a friend of a friend. The earliest publication I can find on the Internet is here, but there's no particular reason to think it's original to the writer here (actually, to the writer's mother). If the "real" author contacts me, I'll certain credit her or take it down, if she wishes. At any rate, thanks to my friend & to the writer, whoever she may be.

Reader Comments (4)

I have a friend who says she's on FB because she has friends all over the world and this is the easiest way to keep in touch. Huh? how about cc via email? Nein, she says, then she'd have to read all their separate emails which takes too much time. Knowing her as I do I'd guess it's more––"Let me tell you about ME" format. I think I'll send her this very funny piece––I give it three thumbs up!

April 15, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPD Pepe

The dilemmas keep coming, this time not national or international but personal.

PD will send this delicious piece to a "friend," she says, but I would hesitate to do the same because it strikes me that a personality addicted to Facebook has already demonstrated that he or she (is there a gender breakdown here?) tends so much to the self-centered that there's not much room left for a sense of humor.

With that in mind, if I were a "friend" and sent this arch tidbit along, I'd be prepared to be "unfriended."

But then that's me. I live in constant fear.

April 15, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterKen Winkes

To my "constant fear friend": My other friend, the one I sent this to, has, indeed, already come back with lengthy explanations of why she's on FB but concedes her "stuff" is not private as she had once hoped. She found it funny––but–-and the ""Buts" were of the same as before. We have a relationship that goes back decades–-there is nothing I can think of that would sully that except for me to stop listening to her––I'm a good listener and she needs to talk.

April 15, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPD Pepe

PD:

Hope you understand I wasn't 't giving advice, and I certainly wasn't making judgements about friends of others I do not know. I was merely amusing myself (my own best friend) while making a point about the relationship I detect between FB addiction and self-absorption.

April 15, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterKen Winkes
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