The Wires

Washington Post: "Cheap Chinese caviar is flooding the U.S. market, causing prices to plummet, and with it, the product’s cachet. Wholesale prices have fallen more than 50 percent since 2012, down 13 percent just in the past year. According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, the import price has gone from $850,000 per ton in January 2012 to $350,000 per ton in November 2018." Mrs. McC: This makes me very happy. I love caviar (I've only had the cheaper kind), but I seldom buy it because of the expense. I have some in the pantry now, but I'm going to check the price at the grocery store now in hopes it's something I can enjoy more often. Status symbol? I couldn't care less.

New York Times: "Pulitzer Prizes were awarded on Monday [April 15] to news organizations that uncovered instances of malfeasance and outright fraud in President Trump’s financial past, a nod to journalists’ perseverance in the face of the president’s ever-sharper attacks on a free press. The New York Times received the explanatory reporting prize for an 18-month investigation that revealed how the future president and his relatives avoided paying roughly half a billion dollars’ worth of taxes. The Wall Street Journal won the national reporting prize for disclosing clandestine payoffs by the president’s associates to two women who were said to have had affairs with Mr. Trump in the weeks before the 2016 election. The South Florida Sun Sentinel won the prize for public service, considered the most prestigious of the Pulitzers, for documenting the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. The paper’s in-depth articles revealed a series of failures by local officials and law enforcement that, the paper wrote, cost children their lives."

Medlar's Sports Report. New York Times: "Tiger Woods’s comeback from personal and professional adversity is complete: He captured his fifth Masters title and his 15th major tournament on Sunday, snapping a championship drought of nearly 11 years. It was a monumental triumph for Woods, a magical, come-from-behind win for a player who had not won a major championship since his personal life began to unravel on Thanksgiving night in 2009, when a marital dispute led to a car accident and a succession of lurid tabloid headlines. On the golf course, he had a series of back and leg injuries that led to an addiction to painkillers and culminated in pain so searing that, before surgery in 2017, he had questioned whether he could play professionally again." ...

     ... Mrs. McCrabbie: Oh yeah? Trump can beat Tiger any day.

Tom Jones of Poynter picks the top 25 movies ever about journalism.

New York Times: "For 340 days, Scott Kelly circled the Earth aboard the International Space Station, gathering data about himself." His twin brother Mark Kelly, planted on Earth, did the same. "On Thursday..., NASA researchers reported that [Scott Kelly's] body experienced a vast number of changes while in orbit. DNA mutated in some of his cells. His immune system produced a host of new signals. His microbiome gained new species of bacteria. Many of these biological changes seemed harmless, disappearing after he returned to Earth. But others — including genetic mutations and, after his return, declines in cognitive test scores — did not correct themselves, provoking concern among scientists."

Farhad Manjoo of the New York Times: now does his first drafts of columns as well as other traditional writing tasks by speaking into his phone. "I open RecUp, a cloud-connected voice-recording app on my phone.... Every few days, I load the recordings into Descript, an app that bills itself as a “word processor for audio.” Some of my voice memos are more than an hour long, but Descript quickly (and cheaply) transcribes the text, truncates the silences and renders my speech editable and searchable.... New advances — like smarter and more ubiquitous voice assistants; better text-to-speech synthesis; easy-to-use audio and video production apps like Descript and Anchor; and gadgets that burrow the internet into your ears, like Apple’s AirPods and Amazon’s reported forthcoming AirPod clones — point to a profound shift in computing. Soon it might be possible to conduct a large slice of digital life, including work, without being glued to a screen."

New York Times: "In a cave in the Philippines, scientists have discovered a new branch of the human family tree. At least 50,000 years ago, an extinct human species lived on what is now the island of Luzon, researchers reported on Wednesday. It’s possible that Homo luzonensis, as they’re calling the species, stood less than three feet tall. The discovery adds growing complexity to the story of human evolution. It was not a simple march forward, as it once seemed. Instead, our lineage assumed an exuberant burst of strange forms along the way.Our species, Homo sapiens, now inhabits a comparatively lonely world. 'The more fossils that people pull out of the ground, the more we realize that the variation that was present in the past far exceeds what we see in us today,' said Matthew Tocheri, a paleoanthropologist at Lakehead University in Canada, who was not involved in the new discovery."

New York Times: "At 9 a.m. Eastern time on Wednesday, [April 10,] a group of astronomers who run a globe-girdling network of radio telescopes called the Event Horizon Telescope are expected to unveil the first-ever images of a black hole. For some years now, scientific literature, news media and films have featured remarkably sophisticated and academic computer simulations of black holes. If all has gone well, the images today will reveal the real thing, and scientists at last will catch a glimpse of what had seemed unseeable."

      ... Update: "Astronomers announced on Wednesday that at last they had observed the unobserveable: a black hole, a cosmic abyss so deep and dense that not even light can escape it.... To capture the image, astronomers reached across intergalactic space to Messier 87, a giant galaxy in the constellation Virgo. There, a black hole several billion times more massive than the sun is unleashing a violent jet of energy some 5,000 light-years into space."

"A commemorative print from 2008 of Mr. Robbins’s original paint-by-numbers creation in 1950, an abstract still-life. His boss then asked him to make something more representational, and an industry was born." CLICK ON PICTURE TO SEE LARGER IMAGE.New York Times: "Dan Robbins was no Leonardo da Vinci. But he copied one of the master’s basic techniques and thereby enabled children to grow up believing that they, too, could paint 'The Last Supper.' Mr. Robbins, a package designer who died on Monday at 93, helped to conceive what became known as paint by numbers. He copied the idea from Leonardo, who numbered the objects in the background of his paintings and had his apprentices paint them with designated colors. With paint-by-numbers kits, young baby boomers in the 1950s followed the same mechanics as those Renaissance artisans, coloring inside the outlines of images of everything from seascapes and the Matterhorn to kittens and Queen Elizabeth II. The process opened up art to the masses — another notch on the continuum of a limitless democratic American ethos that promised “a chicken in every pot” and 'every man a king.'”

Guardian: "In the 50s, the American art world took itself extremely seriously. Abstract painters such as Barnett Newman and Mark Rothko painted sublime slabs that were praised in hushed voices. Painting-by-numbers may not have been intended as a parody of this modernist reverence – but it sure looked that way. Robbins designed quaint scenes of farmhouses and mountain valleys that anyone could complete – they were good, solid pictures for good, solid middle-American homes. Yet the relationship between painting-by-numbers and modern art is more complicated than it looks. The earliest kit Robbins devised was a cubist still life in the style of Picasso, for the sharp planes of colour were, he said, easy to adapt. He called it Abstract No 1. It was his boss at the Palmer paint company in Detroit, where he worked as a package designer, who insisted he create homely American scenes instead. Robbins was thrilled when, as he remembered: 'Someone entered a completed Abstract No 1 in an art show and won. The judges were quite embarrassed, but the prize resulted in lots of debate about the concept of art …'”

NBC News: “Researchers who used DNA to identify ... the bones [of] Casimir Pulaski, hero of the Revolutionary War and the pride of the Polish-American community..., are convinced the gallant Pole who died fighting for America’s freedom was either a biological woman who lived as a man, or potentially was intersex, meaning a person whose body doesn’t fit the standard definitions of male or female. That’s the eye-opening takeaway from a new Smithsonian Channel documentary titled 'The General Was Female?,' which premieres Monday and is part of the 'America’s Hidden Stories' series.”

Sunday
Feb102019

An American's Guide to the Seven Deadly Sins

By Brother Akhilleus

... I put it to all the evangelicals, deliriously worshipful of Fatty, to consider how many of the Seven Deadly Sins can be ascribed to his wonderfulness.

Let’s check them off, shall we?

Pride.

In spades. Enough for seven additional variations of this particular sin. Also, smarter than all the generals. Check. Got it.

Envy.

Has there ever been a leader so envious of his predecessor that he sought, so furiously, to diminish his every accomplishment? I’m sure if Fatty could make the sweet, smart, decent Obama kids vanish, he would, they showing up his own venal, rapacious rabble.

Wrath.

There is no wrath like that of an ignorant, narcissistic, needy knucklehead scorned. A glance at a single day’s worth of angry, contemptuous tweets seals the case.

Sloth.

How many hours a day does he actually work? One? Two, at most? Sloth, like you read about. He couldn’t be slothier if he had three toes and hung upside down in a tree.

Avarice.

Why, just today we find that he had organized a scheme to weasel money at his inauguration. He was a clutching, scheming, avaricious ass hat before he was even sworn in.

Gluttony.

Keeping McDonalds in the black by himself. Plus, just look at that fat ass.

Lust.

Pussy grabbing, porn star banging, adultery on a scale with sex mad philanderers from Victorian pornographic novels.


Of course, I’m leaving off other sins that could be a lot more deadly: stupidity, ignorance of world affairs, and treason for just a few.

Is this the guy chosen by god? He must been having a bad deity day.

Let us just say that evangelicals clearly don’t care if their Glorious Leader runs the gamut of sins, venal, mortal, deadly, or doofus. As long as they can stick it to their enemies.

I’m thinking that’s a sin too. But I’m too exhausted of all this evil now to go on. Time to watch some Mr. Rogers on YouTube and clear the mind of such Trumpian-winger foulness.

Reader Comments (4)

""What matters isn't how a person's inner life finally puts together the alphabet and numbers of his outer life. What really matters is whether he uses the alphabet for the declaration of a war or the description of a sunrise--his numbers for the final count at Buchenwald or the specifics of a brand-new [WALL]" Mr. Rogers

February 10, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPD Pepe

I watched "Won't You Be My Neighbor" last night. In the first fifteen minutes, it showed King Friday the 13th being afraid of change and wanting to build a wall. I think that was the first episode. Wow!

It looks as if Fred Rogers tried to treat every person with respect and kindness. Sounds pretty Christian to me.

February 10, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterNiskyGuy

@Nisky Guy: From the Pittsburgh City Paper (June 2018):

"Connected over a week’s worth of episodes, one plot line addresses change, violence and border issues. Fearful of change, King Friday XIII (the puppet ruler of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe) orders a border wall to be built to keep the neighborhood safe. Lady Aberlin takes balloons, tied with messages of peace and love to them, and floats them across the wall, convincing the king to tear down the wall. Those episodes were the first five shows."

Just in case somebody didn't realize Donald Trump is a throwback to the bad ole days.

February 10, 2019 | Registered CommenterMrs. Bea McCrabbie

Marie,

Nice selection of images of president* sinner. Reminds me of medieval stained glass windows created to show the largely illiterate worshipers how not to be. Unfortunately, these images depicting Fatty’s many sins show his largely illiterate worshippers how to be exactly like their hero.

February 10, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAkhilleus
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