The Wires
The Ledes

Thursday, April 19, 2018.

New York Times: "Two years after the sudden death of Prince by accidental fentanyl overdose, one of the lingering mysteries surrounding the enigmatic musician concerned how and where he obtained the powerful synthetic opioid that killed him and whether anyone would be held responsible. On Thursday, law enforcement authorities in Minnesota closed a major part of their investigation, announcing that no one would be criminally charged in the case. The Carver County attorney, Mark Metz, said in a news conference that Prince died after unknowingly taking counterfeit Vicodin that contained fentanyl, but that there was 'no reliable evidence of how Prince obtained' the fatal drug."

Especially if you're into very high-end decorative porcelain, here are some highlights of David & Peggy Rockefeller's collection that will go on auction beginning May 1. Unless you're a Rockefeller, your grandmother's curio cabinet never looked quite like this. To access the full Christie's catalog on the Rockefeller estate objets, start here.

Oh Noes! The Local: "Rome's Jewish community is embroiled in a standoff with Israel's top religious authority after it declared the Eternal City's cherished dish of 'carciofi alla giudia' (deep-fried whole artichoke) not kosher. The crisp golden delicacies are a speciality of the Roman-Jewish cuisine and a prominent feature on menus. But Israel's Chief Rabbinate said the method of cooking the artichoke whole made it impossible to clean properly and it didn't therefore adhere to kosher standards. 'The heart of the artichoke is full of worms, there's no way you can clean it,' said the head of imports of Israel's Rabbinate, Yitzhak Arazi, in an interview with national newspaper Haaretz. 'It can't be kosher. It's not our politics, this is Jewish religious law.'" ...

     ... Mrs. McCrabbie: This would be a tragedy. I've had Jewish-style artichokes in Rome's old Jewish quarter, & I'm pretty sure god would approve.

New York Times: Turns out the reboot of "Roseanne" is the result of ABC Entertainment's plan to become the Trump Nation's go-to teevee network, a strategy that began to take shape the day after Trump's election. "The top markets for the debut [of "Roseanne"] read like a political pollster’s red-state checklist: Cincinnati; Kansas City, Mo.; Tulsa, Okla. Liberal enclaves like New York and Los Angeles did not crack the top 20." ...

... Mrs. Bea McCrabbie: If, like Medlar & me, you happened to miss the premiere/reboot of the "Roseanne" show, where Roseanne Barr plays a Trump supporter (as she is in real life),

This video is dedicated to the Wives of Trump. Thanks to a friend for the link:

Here's a related story by Avi Selk of the Washington Post: "Deep-sea anglerfish sex ... is an endless horror. Every. Single. Time. A male anglerfish's first and only sexual adventure results in his becoming permanently fused — by his lips, no less — to the side of a relatively gargantuan female that resembles David Cronenberg's nightmare about the shark from 'Jaws.'”


An Outsider Artist Who Changed Modern Painting. New York: "In the 1940s, a 16-year-old girl captured the minds of the art world’s elite. The self-taught Algerian artist, Baya Mahieddine (1931-1988) — known as Baya — is finally being celebrated in the first North American exhibition of her work, at NYU’s Grey Art Gallery, through March 31. Baya used gouache as her primary medium, depicting a world without men but full of bright images of women, nature, and animals." Baya influenced, among others, Picasso & Matisse, which is kinda obvious.

I posted this for no other reason than this is the first time I've seen it. But the "national policy" Tommy announces is more true today than ever in American history. To those of you too young to have seen a Carson monologue, I apologize:

ObamaTV. New York Times: "Former President Barack Obama is in advanced negotiations with Netflix to produce a series of high-profile shows that will provide him a global platform after his departure from the White House, according to people familiar with the discussions.Under terms of a proposed deal, which is not yet final, Netflix would pay Mr. Obama and his wife, Michelle, for exclusive content that would be available only on the streaming service.... The Netflix deal, while not a direct answer to Fox News or, would give Mr. Obama an unfiltered method of communication with the public similar to the audiences he already reaches through social media...."

Chicago Tribune: "A new scientific study claims that bones found in 1940 on the Pacific Island of Nikumaroro belong to [American aviator Amelia] Earhart, despite a forensic analysis of the remains conducted in 1941 that linked the bones to a male. The bones, revisited in the study 'Amelia Earhart and the Nikumaroro Bones' by University of Tennessee professor Richard Jantz, were discarded. For decades they have remained an enigma, as some have speculated that Earhart died a castaway on the island after her plane crashed." Jantz's conclusion is based on measurements of the bones taken by a medical doctor in 1941.

... Michael Rosenwald of the Washington Post has the full story.

Here's the L.A. Times' main Academy Awards page. ...


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.


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


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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