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. ...


Things I Learned Yesterday Filing My Taxes

You can pay your estimated federal taxes online, something I'm about to try as I'm snowed & iced in today. Update: I did it. It's a bit more complicated that writing a check as you may have to dig up a previously-filed 1040 for verification purposes. But it appears to have worked, & was less perilous (I hope) than hiking through snow, sleet, ice & rain to my local PO dropoff box.

You can pay any federal taxes due online, too. For once I overpaid my estimated taxes, so I didn't try this.

Having trouble getting your computer & printer to communicate? I was able to scan from my PC to the printer yesterday, but I could no longer scan from the printer to the computer (which I needed to do to send the signed tax docs back to my accountant -- [tho to save time, I sent her a electronic signature first]). I spent about 6 hours doing all things sensible & superstitious to rectify the matter & finally gave up & called Best Buy's Geek Squad. It turns out that Windows has an app built into the software called "Windows Fax & Scan." You should be able to find it by typing "WFS" in the Windows search box (bottom left-hand corner of the screen). The Geek guy made me a desktop button for the app, which is helpful if you're going to use it a lot. Of course you have to have already established a wireless connection between your computer & printer, but my annoying Canon printer would tell me the connection was good -- until I wanted to scan. The Windows Fax & Scan is super-easy to use; the instructions are self-explanatory.

The Trump-Ryan-McConnell Republican tax "reform" law will raise my federal taxes by 15% to 20% next year, according to my accountant. ...

     ... Update: To add insult to injury, Trump went to the town where I grew up -- Hialeah, Florida -- to lie about all the big tax breaks ordinary people like me would get under his favorite tax bill. Then he left to go to Mar-a-Lago, the resort he owns which I could not afford to visit if I wanted to (and I don't).

If you have any wise tips (or corrections to mine) learned in the tax-filing process, please share.

Reader Comments (2)

Tangentially relevant?

An old idea updated recently on "Vox".

Makes sense so it probably has a snowball's chance.

April 16, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterKen Winkes

Bea, you are a far braver woman than I am. The very thought of filing electronically is alarming to me. My accountant knows I will only file on paper and via certified mail. Yeah, she always makes me sign a document that this is what I want...but, I have a deep skepticism about how well the IRS online security is...that goes for Social Security, too. With budget cuts...I have to wonder how much money goes into supporting and creating the safety factors needed for sites where such invaluable info goes.

Yeah, I know...once they get my paper filings they probably have someone input the data into their computer system so it is there electronically anyhow. But, at least I don't feel complicit.

April 16, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMAG
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