Saturday, March 31, 2018

Update to 'Vox explains how proportional representation can solve gerrymandering and help minor parties,' the second most read entry for the seventh year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News, plus minor parties


The second most read entry of the seventh year of the blog was Vox explains how proportional representation can solve gerrymandering and help minor parties, posted November 9, 2017.  It ended the blogging year with 12,974 raw page views, 12,714 according to the default counter.  It was the first entry to earn more than 10,000 page views the year it was posted and was the number one post between December 2, 2017 and March 4, 2018, when Suit against John Oliver and HBO dismissed passed it to claim the top spot.

Before I explain how this entry climbed to number one and stayed there for three months, I'm will do the same thing here that I did in Update to 'Suit against John Oliver and HBO dismissed,' top post for the seventh year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News, following up with an update to the subject of the original post.  Fortunately, three articles about using proportional representation in the U.S. were published just this month.

The first one by David Wassel in The Hill, asked What is to be done with congressional districts? Try proportional representation in response to the lawsuit fighting gerrymandering in Pennsylvania.
But maybe districts themselves are the problem. Fortunately, an alternative is available: proportional representation. It’s an idea that is beginning to attract the attention of more and more political commentators, grassroots groups and others. Under this system, both major parties (as well as minor ones) might pick slates of 18 nominees in regional geographic primary elections. Instead of voting for one representative in 18 separate districts, a statewide congressional election would be held with each voter casting votes for up to 18 candidates from the various slates. In Pennsylvania, we do this in judicial elections when there are multiple court openings. The number of seats awarded to each party would be determined by the percentage of the vote received by that party, statewide.
...
Proportional representation offers an opportunity to remove politics as much as possible from this particular process while injecting some much-needed clarity and certainty.

Are there problems with this proposal?  Of course; nothing is perfect and, as with drawing districts, there are always trade-offs. But this system is both fairer and more reflective of actual voter intent. It would eliminate, instead of just minimizing, the wasted votes because partisan voters are overwhelmingly concentrated in particular districts. And how better to address the problem of unfair advantage, the basis of the court’s decision to scrap the old map?

The biggest difficulty is political feasibility. Vested interests will cling to status quo, or make cosmetic changes, at best. Anything new is always frightening. But the voters in Pennsylvania deserve an intelligent and workable solution to this problem — one that might become an example for other states facing such challenges.
Next, the U.S. Centre of the London School of Economics analyzed the effect of proportional represenation in Maryland’s electoral maps show how proportional representation could solve the problem of gerrymandering.*
This week the US Supreme Court hears a case concerning the constitutionality of partisan gerrymandering in Maryland. Examining current, past, and alternative electoral maps, Alex Keena, Michael Latner, Anthony J. McGann, and Charles Anthony Smith find that by making districts more competitive, some redistricting plans can actually work against one party or the other. Only the introduction of proportional representation with multi-member districts, they argue, would mean a truly fair electoral system for Maryland.
...
The last alternate, PR plan, divides Maryland into two districts, with district one containing five seats, and district two containing the other three seats.  The larger district includes the more heavily populated region of the state.

Using a neutral electoral formula for seat allocation (one that does not provide a bonus to the largest party), this system would assure two seats to Republicans (assuming two party competition), and would nearly assure them a third seat in the larger district, for a total of 38 percent of the seats, about as proportional as you can get (responsiveness is trickier to estimate for multi-seat districts and is excluded from the table, but it is insignificant, given the low disproportionality).  Moreover, every voter contributes to their party’s seat share.  The votes of rural Democrats and urban Republicans are as valuable as anyone else’s, and racial groups don’t need to be packed into districts to have an equal and effective voice in choosing representatives.

Maryland’s Democratic gerrymander is an excellent case for understanding the dynamics of disproportionality.  Still, it is highly unlikely that a majority of Supreme Court Justices will recognize the direct connection between individual political equality and greater proportionality, indeed greater proportionality than our current electoral system can provide.  But the Justices have before them two clear cases of extreme partisan gerrymandering, each designed by the other political party.  And they have a discernable and manageable standard, symmetry, which provides direction to how the problem might be remedied.   We hope that all voters, regardless of partisan preference, are soon relieved of the very real discrimination that gerrymandering causes.  And we hope that one day soon, party leaders will consider the electoral remedies available to them to advocate for greater political equality.
The authors note one problem with proportional representation in the U.S. House of Representatives but mention a solution.
Multi-seat districts are currently prohibited for Congress, but there is a bill in committee, the Fair Representation Act, that would facilitate multi-seat Congressional districts.  Several states previously elected their Congressional delegates using multi-seat districts, though they used discriminatory plurality formulas.  Several state legislatures, including Maryland, still use multi-seat districts to elect some members.
The Fair Representation Act includes ranked-choice voting in addition to proportional representation in multi-member districts.**  So do two plans from California.  Follow over the jump for those.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Vox and ProPublica rickroll America's old voting machines


It will be April Fools Day in two days, which reminds me that in the very first April Fools post on this blog, I asked my readers "Hey, what did you expect out of me today, a rickroll?"  (Yeah, I rickrolled my readers.)  It turns out the First Lady and I aren't the only ones still using this staple of 21st Century trolling.  ProPublica reported on another in Election Security a High Priority — Until It Comes to Paying for New Voting Machines.
[E]lection officials are still concerned about systems’ vulnerability to hacking by bad actors who gain access to individual machines on Election Day, and about the public’s ability to draw a distinction between small-scale in-person hacks and large-scale remote ones. There is no shortage of demonstrations of the former. Over a long weekend last summer, hackers at a conference in Las Vegas, DefCon, managed to breach all five models of paperless voting machines, as well as an electronic poll book. The hack received a great deal of media attention. One machine, called a WINvote by Advanced Voting Solutions, was hacked in under two hours and reprogrammed to play Rick Astley’s 1987 song “Never Gonna Give You Up.”
That seems silly, but Vox shows how serious it really is in US voting machines are failing. Here’s why.

The greatest threat to American voting machines might not be hacking, but old age.
...
In our latest collaboration with ProPublica, we take a look at US election security and the status of American voting machines.
...
In 2017, hackers Rick Rolled a voting machine in Las Vegas. Even though the machine was out-of-date and the demonstration didn’t replicate real-life conditions, the stunt brought national attention to an election crisis that has been building ever since the “hanging chad” fiasco that occurred during the 2000 Presidential election recount.
In her story on American election security, ProPublica’s Kate Rabinowitz revealed that many state and local election officials are suffering a funding crisis. Without the money needed to maintain and update electronic voting machines, officials are having to make do with equipment that was manufactured in 2008 or even earlier. At that time, most machines had recently been replaced thanks to the 2002 Help America Vote Act, but few have been updated since.
By isolating machines from the internet and keeping them in secure locations, officials are able to reduce the threat of widespread hacking, but the machines are plagued with more mundane technical problems that states have been slow to address and could have major consequences for future elections.
On the bright side, the omnibus spending bill that was passed in March 2018 allocated $380 million dollars for state election officials to update their voting infrastructure. Whether that money is actually provided and how it will be spent, however, remains to be seen.
I hope that money actually makes it to the states and municipalities that need it.  I also hope the state and local governments heed the warning in ProPublica's report: "For others, though, the DefCon report was a resounding signal to end the use of paperless voting machines."  That's no April Fools.

Stay tuned for the last post of March, followed by a real April Fools post.  A drum corps Easter on April Fools Day anyone?

Thursday, March 29, 2018

The latest from Vox on the gun control debate


It looks like I'm in a mood to write about guns and gun control.  Yesterday, it was the music at March For Our Lives.  Today, it's an examination of two videos posted by Vox about the debate over gun control.  The first was What students really think about school shootings posted on March 23rd.

We asked students across the US to share their thoughts on school shootings. Over 1,600 responded.
...
To see how students across the country really felt about school shootings, we put out an open request for students to send us their thoughts. Here are some of their responses.
Gun violence, particularly school shootings, ranks among the most contentious issues in America. Since the February 14, 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, mass shootings have again become a staple of the news cycle.
This school shooting is distinguished from previous ones, because students around the nation have rallied to organize for safer schools. Whether that means stricter gun control, metal detectors, regulating ammunition sales, or arming teachers, remains unclear.
That's gripping testimony from our youth.

The next day, Vox posted How the NRA hijacks gun control debates.

Why is the NRA -- a group that represents the interests of gun manufacturers -- taken seriously in debates about reducing gun violence?
...
After the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, news networks are once again focused on the debate over gun control. These debates often pit gun control activists against the National Rifle Association (NRA), which claims to speak on behalf of gun owners. But in reality, the NRA represents the interest of gun manufacturers.
The group gets millions of dollars in donations from gun companies every year, and millions more through the sale of ad space in NRA publications. That financial allegiance means the NRA is similar to organizations like the Tobacco Institute -- an industry lobbying group primarily interested in protecting their product.
So why do news networks keep inviting them to debate gun violence?
I agree with the analysis; the NRA may have started off as a public interest group, but it's now an industry lobbying group.  I found comparing them to the Tobacco Institute to be a clever one; not only does it point out how the NRA is a lobbying group, but gives hope to the proponents of gun control.  Prolonged activism and legal action eventually defeated the tobacco companies and smoking declined.  The same could happen to the NRA.

I have more to say about this topic, as two of the top posts of the seventh year of this blog, Doctors to Congress: Fund gun violence research at the CDC and NIH and Instructions on how to deal with an active shooter, cover the topic.  Look for a retrospective entry on those two posts along with an update on at least one of them.  Stay tuned.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Music at March For Our Lives


I watched March For Our Lives Saturday and I was impressed with the pop stars who came out in support of the demonstration, providing their support through song.  My favorite was Ariana Grande, who sang Be Alright.


This isn't the first time she has performed this song at an event against violence.  She used as her entrance at One Love Manchester, a benefit concert for the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund in coordination with the Red Cross in response to the bombing of her previous concert in the U.K. city.

Following along with the image I used to illustrate this entry, I present Miley Cyrus singing The Climb.

Miley Cyrus performing singing The Climb Live At March For Our Lives.
Continuing along the image, the next singer is Demi Lovato performing Skyscraper.

Its time. Change is happening. Let's go save our lives!
This was the first performance I saw and I was impressed.

I conclude with a performance I mentioned in the comments to Midweek Cafe and Lounge, Vol. 57 at Booman Tribune.
I'd try any of the songs performed by the singers at the rally in Washington, DC.  I would post "Be Alright" by Ariana Grande, but I'm planning on using that for No. 58 this coming Wednesday.  How about "The Times They are a Changin'" by Bob Dylan?  Jennifer Hudson sang that today.
...
I'll have Jennifer Hudson's rendition on Wednesday so long as it's still up on YouTube, along with videos of the rest of the performers.
Here it is, D.C. choir sings with Jennifer Hudson, 'The Times They Are A Changin' at March For Our Lives Rally.


Yes, I will be posting all of these videos at Booman Tribune later today.  That means two things.  First, I'll post the link here when I do.  Also, I'll be posting a drink recipe in the tip jar.  This time, it won't be a cocktail from Tipsy Bartender.  Instead, it's Ariana Grande Frappuccino | Starbucks Secret Menu.

How to order:
Start with a Vanilla Bean Frappuccino w/ Raspberry Syrup (aka the Cotton Candy Frappuccino)
Add extra mocha syrup
Add extra mocha chips
Blend
Top with extra whipped cream
Finish with a generous caramel drizzle
That looks like it tastes better than a unicorn frappucchino.

ETA: Posted at Booman Tribune.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Update to 'Suit against John Oliver and HBO dismissed,' top post for the seventh year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News


Suit against John Oliver and HBO dismissed from March 2, 2018 was the most read entry of March 2018, the seventh year of this blog, and of all time with 20,111 raw page views, 20067 according to the default counter.  Wow!  Before I write about how it got that way, it's time for an update.  Thanks to Lawful Masses with Leonard French on YouTube, I have one: Bob Murray Goes Nuts, Gets Squirrelly Over John Oliver Case Dismissal.

Judge Cramer in Marshall County, West Virginia posted a letter on the docket shortly after dismissing Bob Murray's lawsuit against John Oliver, Last Week Tonight, and HBO. The letter comes from Mr. Murray, himself, and he's pretty salty. Let's read his attempt to guilt-trip the judge into reconsidering the dismissal.
TechDirt quoted Judge Jeffrey Cramer's response to the letter as well as his rationale for making it public.
This date the Court received the attached unsolicited missive from the Plaintiff, Robert E. Murray. As it does not appear Mr. Murray forwarded copies of the same to Defense Counsel, pursuant to Rule 2.9(B) of the West Virginia Rules of Judicial Conduct, the Court has copied and enclosed the correspondence herein and filed the original in the Court's file.

Mr. Murray's letter is an improper ex parte communication with the Court, therefore the request to reconsider the Court's decision cannot and will not be entertained.

The Court respectfully requests Plaintiffs' Counsel to advise Mr. Murray against future ex parte correspondence which could result in sanctions against the Plaintiffs in this matter.
In other words, don't do that again.  Also, this is not how to file an appeal, something Murray and his lawyers have been promising to do since Judge Cramer notified them that he was dismissing the case.
“This decision contains absolutely no legal reasoning whatsoever, and instead blindly adopts the defendants deeply flawed arguments. This is a flagrant disregard of the law, the facts, and the substantial damages intentionally inflicted by the defendants,” according to a statement from the company.

“We will immediately appeal, and we are confident that we will prevail.”
Immediately?  That hasn't happened yet.

I'll give Jamie Lynn Crofts of the ACLU of West Virginia the final say on the letter.
“Other than the fact that Bob Murray’s case against John Oliver is a ridiculous attempt to quell speech by abusing our legal system, it really is the gift that keeps on giving. With the disdain Mr. Murray has shown for our constitution and our legal system, I’m not surprised that he would also improperly try to influence a judge in this way (or with such a hilarious letter). Unfortunately for Bob, everything John Oliver has said on his show was and continues to be protected speech. It is, in fact, legal for anyone to say, ‘Consume defecation, Bob.'”
I'm tempted, but I won't.  It's not civil.  Besides, I can't top what Crofts wrote.

Follow over the jump for my recollection and analysis of how the original post reached number one.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Driving update for March 2017: Snow Bear


Last week, I wrote the first driving update for March 2017 as Pearl rolled her odometer 39,000 miles.  This week, Snow Bear turned over her first 1,000 miles on November 22, 2017 as she turned over 2,000 miles yesterday, March 25, 2018.   That means it's time to write a second driving update for the month.

From November 22, 2017 to March 25, 2018 was 123 days, so Snow Bear averaged 8.13 miles per day and 247.97 miles per standard month.  That's a lot less than the 26.31 miles per day and 863.38 miles per standard month my wife and I drove her during October.  It's also a bit more than the 7.19 miles per day or 219.42 miles per standard month my wife drove Dez during November 2016 to March 2017, the comparable period last year.

Three factors contributed to the slight mileage increase.  First, I drove Snow Bear for a couple of weeks as my car was snowed in and then briefly disabled, pushing the new car's miles up and mine down.  Second, Snow Bear was disabled for more than two weeks as she had to have two tires and a rim replaced after hitting a pothole, taking the miles I drove off.  Finally, my wife drove to visit our daughter in Chicago.  Just under half of the trip will show up on the next report, so the increase was smaller than it could have been.  Just the same, I don't regret it.  As I've written before, family is a priority.

During the same time, I drove Pearl about 2,000 miles.  From November 15, 2017 to January 25, 2018, she traveled an average of 14.08 miles per day and 429.58 miles per standard month.  Between January 25 and March 19, the comparable averages were 18.87 miles per day and 575.5 miles per standard month.  The average was then 16.48 miles per day and 502.54 miles per standard month.  Added to Snow Bear's miles and the result are 24.61 miles per day and 750.51 miles per standard month combined between the two cars.  Those are much less than the estimated 46.31 miles per day and 1473.38 miles per month we drove our cars during October and November of last year.  They're also less than the 26.26 miles per day and 800.90 miles per month we drove our cars during November 2016 to March 2017.  In the really important statistic, how much both cars travel, we are doing better.

Our efforts won't show up on the next graph from Doug Short, which only records total vehicle miles driven in the U.S. up to the end of last year.  Still, it does show that the rate of increase is still slow.

"Travel on all roads and streets changed by 0.7% (1.8 billion vehicle miles) for December 2017 as compared with December 2016. Travel for the month is estimated to be 261.8 billion vehicle miles." The 12-month moving average was up 0.06% month-over-month and 1.2% year-over-year. If we factor in population growth, the 12-month MA of the civilian population-adjusted data (age 16-and-over) is unchanged at 0.00% month-over-month and up only 0.7% year-over-year.
All the growth is from increased population, not from increased driving per person.  That's relatively good news.

I expect April to be a month without a driving update.  The next one, for Pearl, should come in May.  Let's see if I'm right.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Nain Rouge movie for Marche du Nain Rouge 2018


Today is the Marche du Nain Rouge.  Last year, as MLive showed, it looked and sounded like this.


Hipster Nain is such a jerk.  Note of all the threats and insults he makes, the one that got the marchers most upset was preventing the Stanley Cup from returning to Detroit.  He should know not to mess with people's entertainment, whether it's the Red Wings, the fireworks show, or the parade.  Then again, his remark and the reaction to it did highlight our screwed up priorities, so it wasn't completely useless.

Like last year, where I featured clips promoting a book about Detroit ostensibly written by the Nain Rouge, I'm showcasing videos promoting a movie about Detroit and the Nain Rouge.  Follow over the jump for those.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

#Connect2Earth for Earth Hour 2018


Happy Earth Hour, when people all over the planet shut their lights off for an hour after dark.  Witness skylines go dark in solidarity with global efforts to protect Earth!

Every year, landmarks around the world go dark to support their support for our planet, our home. This year, 24 March 2018, 8:30pm local time, you can join us too!
It isn't just turning off the lights.  Earth Hour is a celebration of fighting climate change.  Watch Official Earth Hour 2018 Video: #Connect2Earth to see.

This #EarthHour, join us on a journey to spark never-before conversations and show us how you, your friends and family #Connect2Earth!
All of that is fun, but UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' message for Earth Hour 2018 states the seriousness of the event.

"Earth Hour is an opportunity to show our resolve to change." Join WWF's Earth Hour on Saturday, 24 March at 8:30 p.m. local time www.earthhour.org. Together, let's #Connect2Earth and start a conversation to protect our planet.
As I noted in Ten years of Earth Hour for 2017, "I've been celebrating the event since 2011, making this my seventh Earth Hour.  It also makes this the very first special day of any kind that I observed on the blog, second only to April Fools Day."  Today makes it the eighth celebration of Earth Hour in this blog's history.  I plan on observing it as long as both the event and I exist.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Stats for the seventh year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News


I twice promised a statistics entry, so it's time to deliver.

As of 11:59 P.M. E.D.T. on March 20, 2017, I had posted 3101 total entries, the blog had earned 948,385 page views, and the readers and I together posted 1,903 comments over the blog's first seven years.  As of that same time on March 20, 2018, those totals had reached 3465 entries, 1,630,513 page views, and 2,391 comments during the first six years of the blog.  Consequently, the seventh year of the blog saw me post 364 entries, which earned 682,128 page views and 488 comments from my readers and me.*  For comparison, the sixth year of the blog recorded 377 entries, which earned 352,764 page views and 596 comments.

Follow over the jump for my analysis of these numbers.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Cape Town's Day Zero for World Water Day 2018


Happy World Water DayLast year, I wrote the following about my non-observance of the holiday and what I intended to do about it.
World Water Day is exactly the kind of holiday I should be celebrating on this blog, but it falls right when I've been doing statistics for the past six years...Here's to my remembering to observe World Water Day on time beginning next year, delaying the statistics post to March 23rd.  Water is more important than meta.
It is, indeed.  I begin this year's timely observance with UN-Water's World Water Day 2018: Nature for Water.

Every drop of water is on an endless journey through the sky, the soil and streams… …through our lives… and back into nature. In many places, our environment is damaged,  leaving us with polluted water or no water at all.
Nature is green infrastructure A system supplying us with the water we need to survive and thrive. Healthy forests and fields prevent soil and chemicals being washed into rivers. Lakes, wetlands and floodplains store, purify and control water. This World Water Day, explore nature-based solutions to our water challenges. World Water Day 2018 The answer is in nature.
Last year, I focused on the Flint Water Crisis.*  This year, it's the water crisis in Cape Town, South Africa.  Follow over the jump for three videos from CBC's The National about this water story.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Happy Birthday to the blog and Twitter and Happy Nowruz!


Nowruz Mubarak!  Happy Persian New Year to my readers, a happy 12th birthday to Twitter, and a happy seventh birthday to this blog!  I already found a cake for both Nowruz and this blog's birthday.  Now for a birthday song with a birthday cake.  Here's Katy Perry - Birthday (Lyric Video).


Yum.  I'll be back tomorrow with World Water Day followed by statistics, Earth Hour, and Marche du Nain Rouge.  I have my blogging work cut out for me.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Songs about Spring for the Vernal Equinox


Happy arrival of astronomical Spring!  For this year's celebration of the Vernal Equinox, I'm following the same format as I did for Pi Day and the Ides of March, posting the videos I will share later at Booman Tribune for another edition of Midweek Cafe and Lounge.  This week's theme is Spring, of course.

I begin with Ella Fitzgerald's version of Rogers and Hart's Spring Is Here.*


This was originally from the 1938 stage musical I Married an Angel, which became a 1942 film of the same name.  As I observed at Midweek Cafe and Lounge, Vol. 56, "I never get too far away from movie music," a tendency I'll indulge later in this post.

The next song is Lou Rawls Spring Again.


He talks about young love.  That's a theme of the next song, .Spring Fever by Elvis Presley from the movie "Girl Happy."


As I wrote above, "I never get too far away from movie music."

Finally, here is a drink for the turning of the season that also fits the themes of the last two songs, Spring Time Love from Tipsy Bartender.

Here's the recipe:

SPRING TIME LOVE
1 oz. (30ml) Gin
1/2 oz. (15ml) Elderflower Liqueur
1/2 oz. (15ml) Hibiscus Simple Syrup
1/2 oz. (15ml) Lime Juice
Pineapple
Hard Cider
Blackberries
Lime Zest

PREPARATION
1. Middle Blackberries in the base of a shaking glass.
2. Add gin, elderflower liqueur, hibiscus simple syrup, and lime juice. Add ice and shake well.
3. Add some crushed ice to a serving glass and strain mix.
4. Top with pineapple hard cider and garnish with lime zest and blackberries.

Enjoy responsibly!
I will post all of these videos at Booman Tribune tomorrow as part of Midweek Cafe and Lounge, Vol. 57.  I'll add the link here when that happens.  (ETA: Link added.)

That's it for the last post of the seventh year of this Crazy Eddie's Motie News.  Stay tuned for this year's celebration of Persian New Year and the birthdays of Twitter and this blog.

*There are radically different versions by Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy, Peter Nero, Frank Sinatra, and Carly Simon.  I'll post those some other time.  After all, I'm an environmentalist; I not only recycle my ideas, I conserve my resources.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Driving update for March 2017: Pearl


Pearl the Prius will turn over 39,000 miles by the time I roll into the driveway tonight, so it's time for a driving update.

Pearl turned over 38,000 miles on January 25th, 53 days ago.  That translates to 18.87 miles per day and 575.5 miles per standard month.  On the one hand, that's much higher than the 14.08 miles per day and 429.58 miles per standard month I drove her from November 15, 2017 to January 25, 2018.  However, that's normal, as I didn't work for the last two weeks of December and the first week of January, whereas I worked all but one week of January through March.  Increased driving is expected.

What's more telling is the difference between January through March of this year compared to  January 2017 through February 2017, which covers the the first half of the comparable period last year.  During January and February of 2017, I drove an average of 24.39 miles per day and 743.9 miles per month.  It took me a dozen more days to drive 1000 miles during the same period this year, resulting in me driving 5.52 miles per day and 168.4 miles per month less than the comparable period last year!

The other gauge of my overall driving is how long it took me to drive 7,000 miles, which had been almost exactly a year from February 2016 until September 2017.  Pearl passed 32,000 miles on February 16, 2017.  It passed 39,000 miles today, March 19th.  That's a total of 395 days.  That translates to 17.72 miles per day.  Multipled by 365, that becomes 6468.4 miles per year.  Hot damn, I finally dropped below the 6,500 miles per year I set for myself last September!

In other news, Pearl's 12 volt battery died last month, which meant some of the programming the car had when I bought her was lost.*   Before, the dashboard showed the number of miles worth of gas left.  After the new battery was installed, it showed the miles per gallon.  That's when I found out that the car could get 99.9 MPG while coasting, hence the image I used to illustrate this entry.  It's much more entertaining, but not as informative as knowing how many miles of gas remain in the tank.

Follow over the jump for three videos about Tesla, a topic that has become a tradition with these updates.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Winners of the first Coffee Party Entertainment Awards for movies


It's March 18th, and the volunteers of Coffee Party USA have finished voting on the 2017 Coffee Party Entertainment Awards for Movies in four categories plus a special award.  As a reminder, here at the nominees for Best Drama or Comedy about Politics or Government of 2017 (Best Political Scripted Movie for short).
Darkest Hour
Dunkirk
Molly's Game
The Post
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
And the winner is "The Post."


In lieu of an acceptance speech, here is its trailer.

Steven Spielberg directs Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks in The Post, a thrilling drama about the unlikely partnership between The Washington Post’s Katharine Graham (Streep), the first female publisher of a major American newspaper, and editor Ben Bradlee (Hanks), as they race to catch up with The New York Times to expose a massive cover-up of government secrets that spanned three decades and four U.S. Presidents. The two must overcome their differences as they risk their careers – and their very freedom – to help bring long-buried truths to light.

The Post marks the first time Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg have collaborated on a project. In addition to directing, Spielberg produces along with Amy Pascal and Kristie Macosko Krieger. The script was written by Liz Hannah and Josh Singer, and the film features an acclaimed ensemble cast including Alison Brie, Carrie Coon, David Cross, Bruce Greenwood, Tracy Letts, Bob Odenkirk, Sarah Paulson, Jesse Plemons, Matthew Rhys, Michael Stuhlbarg, Bradley Whitford and Zach Woods.
The American Film Institute had the following to say about the movie when the AFI awarded it Film of the Year for 2017.
THE POST demands America remember a time when heroism was the headline. Steven Spielberg's inarguable place in the pantheon is further etched in granite by the mastery of craft exhibited in this heart-pounding ode to journalism. Guided by Liz Hannah and Josh Singer's words in print and Tom Hanks' embodiment of Ben Bradlee, Meryl Streep captures the insightful ferociousness of Katharine Graham, proving that the fight for truth, justice and the American way is not the purview of superheroes, but fearless women and men willing to do what is just - for without them, democracy dies in darkness.
Coffee Party USA and AFI were not the only organizations to award "The Post" some form of Best Picture.  It won The Most Valuable Movie of the Year from the Cinema for Peace Awards, National Board of Review, USA awarded it Best Film, and the Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Awards bestoyed Best Portrayal of Washington, DC.  Its virtual award for Best Drama or Comedy about Politics or Government looks to be in good company.

Follow over the jump for the rest of the winners.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

St. Patrick's Day food, drink, and dance from WXYZ


Happy St. Patrick's Day!  This year, I'm taking a break from Tipsy Bartender to share food and drink ideas from WXYZ.  I just needed a change of pace and ideas from local sources fit the bill for a Detroit-based sustainability and entertainment blog.  Fortunately, WXYZ had four food and drink clips just from this week.

I begin with St. Patrick's Day Drinks.


Whiskey drinks, of course, including Irish Coffee.*

Follow over the jump for the food and dance.

Friday, March 16, 2018

R.I.P. Stephen Hawking 1942-2018


CNN has sad news; Physicist Stephen Hawking has died.

World renowned theoretical physicist, cosmologist, astronomer and mathematician Stephen Hawking has passed away at age 76.
I'm sad but neither surprised nor disappointed.  Hawking managed to live a full accomplished life while being paralyzed from ALS for more than 50 years.  That's extraordinary.

Here at Crazy Eddie's Motie News, I mentioned him in the following entries, listed in reverse chronological order:
I'm sure I won't be done writing about Hawking, as I expect Stephen Hawking's Favorite Places 2 is almost certain to be nominated for a couple of News and Documentary Emmy Awards, so I will write about the show in the fall.  Here is its trailer.

Stephen Hawking is back in episode two of our Emmy® Award-winning original series. This time, he's searching for the single idea than can explain the nature of reality, where it all came from, and why we exist at all:  the theory of everything.  Spoiler alert: he thinks he's found the answer.
I'm looking forward to its nomination(s) already.  Too bad Hawking won't be around to see it.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Two songs about Pompeii and a volcano drink for the Ides of March


"Beware The Ides of March!"  That's how I concluded Three pie songs and a pie drink for Pi Day 2018.  Over at Booman Tribune, I told my readers there what form today's doom would take, writing "I'll return tomorrow with songs and drinks inspired by the destruction of Pompeii" in the comments there.  More death and destruction in the Roman World for the Ides of March!

I begin the festivities with Siouxsie & The Banshees - Cities In Dust [Music Video].


That's a 20th Century song inspired by the disaster.  For a 21st Century take, here's Bastille - Pompeii.



Music video by Bastille performing Pompeii.

Those are the songs for today.  Now for the drink, the Lava Flow from Tipsy Bartender.

The most awesome blended drink ever...THE LAVA FLOW! Cocktails are mighty personal things, and people can have vastly different preferences for what kind they like. But we're going to go out on a limb here and say that EVERYONE will love this drink! Fruit and rum is already a badass combination, and with the extra sweetness of cream of coconut, this drink is unbeatable. Close your eyes as you take a sip and it's easy to imagine that you're laying on a tropical white sand beach. Mmm!
...
LAVA FLOW
1oz Light Rum
1oz Coconut Rum
2oz Strawberries
1 Banana
2oz Pineapple Juice
2oz Cream of Coconut
I'm an environmentalist and I recycle, which is why I beg my readers' forgiveness by not reusing the recipes in Drink a Flaming Volcano for Jindal.  I decided to do something new today, even if the readers of Booman Tribune haven't seen my old material before.  Surprise!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Three pie songs and a pie drink for Pi Day 2018


Happy Pi Day!  To celebrate, I'm previewing the songs and drink I'll post later today at Booman Tribune for this week's edition of Midweek Cafe and Lounge #56, a weekly music feature there.  In keeping with the last two Pi Days, the songs and drink share a pie theme.

I begin with Madonna's cover of Don McLean's iconic American Pie.


Go get 'em, local girl!

Next, Jay & the Techniques with their 1967 hit Apples Peaches Pumpkin Pie.


That was a fun discovery on YouTube.

The final song on a pie theme is I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch) by The Four Tops.


I enjoyed working backwards in time with these songs.

Now for the drink, Flaming Pumpkin Pie Shots from Tipsy Bartender, of course.

Here's the recipe:

FLAMING PUMPKIN PIE SHOT
1 part Coffee Liqueur
1 part Irish Cream
1 part Goldschl├Ąger
Pumpkin Pie Spice
PREPARATION
1. Pour coffee liqueur into the base of a shot glass before layering on Irish cream
2. Carefully top with a layer of goldschl├Ąger.
3. Ignite the top of the drink and sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice.
DRINK RESPONSIBLY!
When I post the Booman Tribune version, which will be modified and expanded, I'll post the link here.  In the meantime, Happy Pi Day and Beware The Ides of March!

ETA: Booman Tribune version, Midweek Cafe and Lounge, Vol. 56, has been posted.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

How did my Oscar predictions fare? Pretty well, actually


I opened and closed Diversity, representation, inclusion, and fantasy all winners at the 90th Academy Awards with a summary report and a promise to expand on it later.
I want to get fantasy out of the way.  The big winner was "The Shape of Water" with four Oscars, Best Picture, Best Director, Original Score, and Production Design.  Two speculative fiction movies won two awards each, "Blade Runner 2049" earning Cinematography and Visual Effects and "Coco" winning Animated Feature Film and Original Song.  Two other speculative fiction films won one Oscar each, "Get Out" for Original Screenplay and "Dear Basketball" for Animated Short Film.  That's a total of ten awards out of the nineteen categories in which speculative fiction films were nominated.  That's definitely better than the six wins out of sixteen nominations speculative fiction films earned last year and better in an absolute sense than the nine wins out of fifteen nominations in 2016, most of which went to "Mad Max: Fury Road."

I'll discuss the speculative fiction movies more later.*
...
*I plan on writing about the political implications of "Icarus" winning Best Documentary Feature, the political themes in some of the Live Action Short Films and Documentary Short nominees, and finally comparing my predictions from 'The Shape of Water' and 'Blade Runner 2049' lead speculative fiction nominees at the Oscars and other entries with reality.  Stay tuned.
I took care of the first two goals with 'Icarus' wins Best Documentary, making a political point at Putin's expense and Politics and diversity among Oscar nominated short subjects, so it's time to follow through with the third.  Follow over the jump for my Oscar predictions with reality.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Seeker/DNews tells its viewers to chill about Fukushima


Yesterday marked the seventh anniversary of the Fukushima triple disaster.  When I looked for graphics and videos to observe the occasion, I ran into so many conspiracy theories that I decided to look for calmer sources.  I found one in Seeker/DNews, which has been telling its viewers not to panic for at least five years.  Here are the channel's videos on the topic, all with Trace Dominguez as the host.

I begin with 2013's Fukushima Radiation: What You've Heard are LIES!  Despite the sensational title, it's not denouncing what the professionals and authorities are saying, but what the sensationalist amateurs are shouting.

You may have seen that image purportedly showing the alarming spread of Fukushima radiation across the Pacific. But dig deeper, and you'll find that's not the case at all. And that's not the only piece of false information spreading about this scary nuclear disaster. Trace dispels the rumors and tells us what's really going on.
The next year, Trace and DNews told their viewers to Stop Worrying About Fukushima Radiation!

Since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, people have been quick to blame radiation levels across the Pacific on the deteriorating power plant. Is the radiation spreading that far, and is there any way to tell if it's actually from Japan? Trace explains why even with the best technology, we can't make Fukushima the culprit. So stop worrying!
Last year saw two videos, the first under the old DNews label, the second as Seeker.  Here's the earlier one, The Internet Is Overreacting About Fukushima's Radiation, Here's Why.

Over 6 years later, new readings from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant show that radiation levels are still very high, but should you be worried?
Yes, DNews is still telling its viewers to chill.

As Seeker, the channel became a little more concerned, but at least it had a scientific basis.  Watch A New Source of Fukushima Radiation Was Just Found, Now What?.

Researchers found radioactive particles from Fukushima on beaches miles away, but how did it get there? And should we be worried?
Make no mistake, things are bad, but there is no need to make them worse than they really are.  I'm glad DNews and now Seeker does not exaggerate for views and just tells the truth.  May I continue to follow its example.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Spring ahead for Daylight Saving Time even if you hate it


Daylight Saving Time starts in two hours.  Watch USA Today's video that means it's time to "get ready for clock confusion."

This Sunday at 2 a.m., your clocks will jump ahead one hour, the start of more evening sunlight for months to come.
Ever since I first mentioned Daylight Saving Time on this blog in 2012, I've become increasingly skeptical of its benefits.  Wochit News summarizes many if not most of my concerns in There Are So Many Reasons To Hate Daylight Savings Time!

If you live in an area that engages in daylight savings, prepare to lose an hour of sleep Sunday morning. Daylight saving time has been linked to a host of mental and physical health issues. It can put people at greater risk for cardiovascular conditions. It's also the reason why some individuals experience Seasonal Affective Disorder. Even worse, it costs us money! Although it was invented to save energy, people use more electricity once DST starts!
All of this has made "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver" ask how is this still a thing?"  I myself observed "I used to like Daylight Saving Time, but I'm beginning to wonder if the dozen states considering getting rid of it have the right idea."  John Oliver and I are not alone, as WGRZ in Buffalo asks Should New York Get Rid of Daylight Saving Time?


In the unscientific survey of viewers, 78% responded yes.  John Oliver is right.  How is this still a thing?

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Politics and diversity among Oscar nominated short subjects


I made an observation and a promise at the end of Diversity, representation, inclusion, and fantasy all winners at the 90th Academy Awards on Monday.  The observation was "Sex, ethnicity, race, gender, and disability -- that's a pretty thorough examination of diversity, representation, and inclusion.  It's also a big improvement from 'Oscars so white' just two years ago," while the promise was to examine "the political themes in some of the Live Action Short Films and Documentary Short nominees."  It's time for me to follow through with the promise by noting that the observation applies just as much to the nominees in both categories as it does to the winners, something that struck me as I watched the nominees being announced Sunday night.

I noted that "The Documentary Short winner, 'Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405,' told the story of an female artist who struggled with mental illness" and "'The Silent Child,' the winner of the Live Action Short Film, was about the struggles of a deaf girl."   All the other nominees in both categories had social issue themes as they examined political or diversity issues with some examining the intersection between the two.

Indiewire has a better summary of the nominees for Documentary Short than I could write.
The Oscar-nominated documentary shorts program has always been a chance for the Academy to highlight urgent social issues, and this year is no different. Sticking close to home during a year of political unease, all five of the nominated films hail from the United States, and clearly the country has plenty to examine. Ranging in topic from police brutality to mental illness to the opioid crisis, each nominee uses human stories as an entry point. Clocking in between 30 and 40 minutes, this crop of films offers a deeper dive beneath the headlines — revealing the personal toll a crisis exacts from real people.
The reviewer picked out two films as "standouts," "Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405" and "Traffic Stop," giving both of them an A-.  Both of them stood out to me, too.

As soon as I saw the clip of "Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405" when its nomination was being announced, I knew it would win.  That's because it's a film about Hollywood, which is enough to get the Motion Picture Academy members to vote for it if all other factors are equal, an observation I made about "Birdman," "La La Land," and "O.J.: Made in America" last year.  That was before I found out that the film's subject, Mindy Alper, was known to show business people in Los Angeles.  According to Wikipedia, she was a friend of Catherine Coulson, the "Log Lady" on "Twin Peaks," and a consultant on "Benny & Joon" about how to play a mentally ill woman.  Of course the Oscar electorate would vote for a film about her.  Watch Frank Stiefel's Oscar 2018 Acceptance Speech for Documentary Short Subject and notice the shout-out to Mindy, who is in the audience.

Watch Frank Stiefel's Oscar 2018 acceptance speech for Documentary Short Subject for HEAVEN IS A TRAFFIC JAM ON THE 405 at the 90th Academy Awards.
Enough people know her that one can hear the applause for her, as much as for Stiefel and his wife.

The other thing that struck me was how violent the clip from "Traffic Stop" appeared and how topical the subject was.  Variety had a concise summary explaining the violence.
“Traffic Stop” is lauded documentarian Kate Davis’ first short. (She previously won a Sundance Documentary Grand Jury prize for “Southern Comfort.”) An Austin, Texas, traffic stop leads to the brutalization of driver Breaion King, an African-American school teacher with no record. The short, which will air on HBO in early spring, tackles questions about racism, law enforcement and gender.
In the era of Black Lives Matter, which I've mentioned on this blog only once before, this is a very important film.  Given an electorate that looked like America and not like Hollywood, it might have won.

Moving down the list from Indiewire, which is arranged by the critic's grade, is "Heroin(e)," a film about the opioid crisis in West Virginia.  The critic at Indiewire found it to be the most imaginatively named of the nominees and appreciated its focus on women who are trying to help the addicts, a judge, a fire chief, and a volunteer at a religious charity.

The film that at first looked least like a social-issues documentary was "Knife Skills," which on the surface is about the restaurant business.  What makes it about social issues is that all of the cooking staff are recently released ex-convicts.  That's an angle that fits in with "The Work," one of the most feature-length documentaries of 2017 that I examined about prison life.

Finally, "Edith+Eddie" examines the life and love of the oldest interracial couple in America.  Despite the billing, it is more the broken elder care system and about how adult children use legal guardianships to control the assests of their elderly parents than about race.  It was also the lowest rated of the nominated short documentaries by the critic at Indiewire.

Follow over the jump for my observations on the live-action short subject nominees.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Coffee Party Entertainment Awards movie nominees for 2017


While I have been blogging about the Academy Awards, I've been running another awards program for the Coffee Party, The Coffee Party Entertainment Awards AKA The Golden Coffee Cups.*  The volunteers of Coffee Party USA and I have been voting on which awards to give and which movies and people to recognize for the past two months and last week we finally came up with nominees in four categories showcasing the best in movies about politics and government from 2017.


Here are the nominees in the first category, Best Drama or Comedy about Politics or Government of 2017 (Best Political Scripted Movie for short).

Darkest Hour
Dunkirk
Molly's Game
The Post
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri


To go along with the movies, the volunteers of Coffee Party USA also chose the following performers for Best Portrayal of a Government Official in a Film during 2017.

Ben Mendelsohn as King George VI in "Darkest Hour"
David Strathairn as FDR in "Darkest Hour"
Francis McDormand in "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"
Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill in "Darkest Hour"
Judi Dench as Queen Victoria in "Victoria & Abdul"
Woody Harrelson as Chief Willoughby in "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"

Yes, there was a tie, so there are six nominees.  In addition, Francis McDormand's character in "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" is not a government official, but an activist.  However, activists in movies deserve to be recognized as well, so I decided to let this nomination stand in this category.  Next year, there will be a separate category for activists in film.


There are also two Golden Coffee Cup categories for documentaries.  The first is Best Documentary about Politics or Government of 2017 (Best Political Documentary for short).

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power
Chasing Coral
Icarus
LA 92
Last Men in Aleppo
Saving Capitalism
Strong Island


This time, there was an eight-way tie, so there are eight nominees.  Considering the strength of last year's documentaries, I'm not surprised.

Just as there is a category to recognize actors playing politicians and activists in scripted films, there is also one to recognize actual politicians and government officials in documentaries, Best Appearance of a Government Official in a Documentary during 2017.

Al Gore in "An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power"
Hillary Clinton in "Dolores"
Maxine Waters in "LA 92"
Robert Reich in "Saving Capitalism"
Ronald Reagan in "The Reagan Show"

This time, there was no tie, so like Best Political Scripted Movie, there are only five nominees.

The volunteers will vote the nominees this week and next.  I plan on announcing the winners here on March 18.  Stay tuned.

*There is another blog that has presented Golden Coffee Cup Awards to movies, The Morning After...The Movies.  However, the blogger hasn't presented those awards since 2014.  I've asked him (I think it's a him, since the blogger goes by Cooper) if the Coffee Party and I can use the name.  So far, no response.

Also, the volunteers of the Coffee Party plan on doing the same for television shows aired during the 2017-2018 season this coming July.  Stay tuned for that, too.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Record numbers of women running for office on International Women's Day


Happy International Women's Day!  To celebrate this year, I'm expanding on something I reported last year, record numbers of women running for office.  Last year, it was CNN.  This year, it's CBS Evening News.

A record number of women are running for office this year, including nearly 500 who have their sights set on the nation's capital. CBS News' Meg Oliver tells us about two female candidates who are hoping for big wins in Texas, which holds its primary elections Tuesday.
ABC News included a similar story on Nightline that focused even more on women running for Congress in Texas, noting the record numbers.

ABC News' "Nightline" met with three women, who were first time candidates and could make history if they won.
That's what the picture looks like in tight focus.  What about the entire picture?  NPR lists the total numbers of women running for the Senate, House of Representatives, and Governor across the country.
At latest count, 431 women were running for or were likely to run for the House nationwide — 339 Democrats and 92 Republicans. At this point in 2016, there were fewer than half that: 212. Likewise, 50 women are running for or likely to run for Senate, compared with 25 at this point in 2016. Many have not officially filed for office yet — filing deadlines have not occurred in many states. But thus far, this year is on track to break records.
In addition, the article has a graphic showing that 82 women are running for governor this year, up from ~28 four years ago.  One of them is Gretchen Whitmer, who is running for Governor in Michigan.

Democratic Nominee for Governor, Gretchen Whitmer stopped by WBKB to discuss her campaign and the bright future of Michigan.
I'm already planning on voting for her in the August primary so she can get the nomination.  I also plan on voting for other women running for office, so I'll be doing my part to make the political leadership here in Michigan more equal.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

'Icarus' wins Best Documentary, making a political point at Putin's expense


One of the tasks I set out for myself at the end of Diversity, representation, inclusion, and fantasy all winners at the 90th Academy Awards was to write about the political implications of "Icarus" winning Best Documentary FeatureWatch ICARUS Oscar 2018 Acceptance Speech for Best Documentary Feature from ABC The Oscars.

Watch Bryan Fogel and Dan Cogan's Oscar 2018 acceptance speech for Documentary Feature for ICARUS at the 90th Academy Awards.
Greta Gerwig and Laura Dern present Bryan Fogel and Dan Cogan with the Oscar® for Documentary Feature for "Icarus" at the 90th Oscars® in 2018.Greta Gerwig and Laura Dern present Bryan Fogel and Dan Cogan with the Oscar® for Documentary Feature for "Icarus" at the 90th Oscars® in 2018.
Frankly, that came as a surprise to me, as I thought "Faces, Places" would win, writing "'Faces, Places' looks like the clear favorite among documentaries" with 40 points total according to my giving it two points for every awards show win and one point for every nomination.  In contrast, "Icarus" appeared to be the weakest of all the nominees with only 11 points based on the same scoring system.  However, I shouldn't have been completely surprised, as FiveThirtyEight had it tied with "Faces, Places" in their weighted scoring system and claimed it as a win, albeit halfheartedly.

Still, this win means something, especially because the entire Motion Picture Academy membership votes on documentaries, not just the documentarians.  I have a feeling they wanted to send a message, just like the Television Academy did at the Emmy Awards.  The TV people reacted to Donald Trump at their awards; how could voting for "Icarus" be a sign that the movie people did?  The answer is indirectly.  Follow over the jump to read how.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Diversity, representation, inclusion, and fantasy all winners at the 90th Academy Awards


I told my readers to "Stay tuned for a post about the Oscar winners" at the end of 'The Emoji Movie' the biggest winner (loser) at the 2018 Razzie Awards.  I think it has been worth the wait for them, as the ceremony was a good night for two things I care about, social progress and speculative fiction, in that order.

First, let's get the announcement of the winners out of the way.  Courtesy of Brian Sanchez on YouTube, here are The 90th Academy Awards Winners!



See who took home the Oscars.

I want to get fantasy out of the way.  The big winner was "The Shape of Water" with four Oscars, Best Picture, Best Director, Original Score, and Production Design.  Two speculative fiction movies won two awards each, "Blade Runner 2049" earning Cinematography and Visual Effects and "Coco" winning Animated Feature Film and Original Song.  Two other speculative fiction films won one Oscar each, "Get Out" for Original Screenplay and "Dear Basketball" for Animated Short Film.  That's a total of ten awards out of the nineteen categories in which speculative fiction films were nominated.  That's definitely better than the six wins out of sixteen nominations speculative fiction films earned last year and better in an absolute sense than the nine wins out of fifteen nominations in 2016, most of which went to "Mad Max: Fury Road."

I'll discuss the speculative fiction movies more later.*  Follow over the jump for the social progress on display.

Monday, March 5, 2018

'The Emoji Movie' the biggest winner (loser) at the 2018 Razzie Awards


I told my readers to "Stay tuned for the winners of the Razzie Awards" at the end of The UCLA Marching Band at the 1969 Oscars for Marching Music Day yesterday.  Wochit Entertainment is helping me follow through with Razzie Awards Name Worst Film Of 2017.

Maybe it was destiny for a movie with a pile of poop as a central character. "The Emoji Movie" has received Hollywood's most famous frown, the Razzie Award , for worst picture of 2017, making it the first animated feature in 38 years to earn the top dishonor. "The Emoji Movie" landed four of the 10 Razzies given out this year, also taking worst screenplay, worst director, and worst screen combo, which was given to "any two obnoxious emojis" from the movie. Tom Cruise's attempted reboot of the "Mummy" franchise landed him worst actor.
I'm glad "The Emoji Movie" won Worst Picture and the rest of its awards.  It would have been my choice had I paid the $40 to vote.  As for Tom Cruise, I didn't think he was that bad.  I might have voted for Zac Efron or Mark Wahlberg instead.  There is nothing so unfunny as a bad comedy.  Speaking of which, Tyler Perry would have been my choice for Worst Actress out of that field.  The rest of the nominees didn't deserve it.

CNN has the rest of the "winners" in Razzie winners announced.
WORST PICTURE
"The Emoji Movie"
WORST ACTRESS
Tyler Perry for "BOO! 2: A Medea Halloween"
WORST ACTOR
Tom Cruise for "The Mummy"
WORST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Mel Gibson for "Daddy's Home 2"
WORST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Kim Basinger for "Fifty Shades Darker"
WORST SCREEN COMBO
Any Two Obnoxious Emojis in "The Emoji Movie"
WORST REMAKE, RIP-OFF or SEQUEL
"Fifty Shades Darker"
WORST DIRECTOR
Anthony (Tony) Leondis for "The Emoji Movie"
SPECIAL ROTTEN TOMATOES AWARD: THE RAZZIE NOMINEE SO BAD YOU LOVED IT!
"Baywatch"
WORST SCREENPLAY
"The Emoji Movie" screenplay by Tony Leondis, Eric Siegel and Mike White.
"Transformers: The Last Knight" may have been the most nominated, but it walked away empty-handed.  I'm sure the people who made the film are relieved.  So are the makers of "Baywatch," which only won a "So Bad It's Good" award.  On the other hand, "Fifty Shades Darker" earned two awards.  I'm not surprised.

Stay tuned for a post about the Oscar winners tomorrow.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

The UCLA Marching Band at the 1969 Oscars for Marching Music Day

via GIPHY

Happy Marching Music Day!  Since the Academy Awards are also tonight, I've decided to make today's theme marching music at the Academy Awards.  To that end, here is my the marching band of my undergraduate alma mater in Ingrid Bergman, Sidney Poitier and the UCLA Marching Band: 1969 Oscars.

Ingrid Bergman, Sidney Poitier, Paula Kelly and the UCLA Marching Band offer their own interpretations of "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" at the 41st Academy Awards in 1969.
I watched that as a nine-year-old and was enthralled.  I suppose it was one of the reasons why I marched in the UCLA Band beginning eight years later.

That's it for Marching Music Day.  Stay tuned for the winners of the Razzie Awards tomorrow.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

'Jane' the best documentary not nominated at the 2018 Oscars for World Wildlife Day


Happy World Wildlife Day!*  To celebrate, I'm following up on a promise to write about "Jane" I first made in 'Get Out,' 'The Handmaid's Tale,' and 'BoJack Horseman' win WGA Awards for Fat Tuesday/Paczki Day when I wrote "I plan to write about "Jane" and the awards it has won plus its Oscar snub after the BAFTA Awards.  Stay tuned."  I repeated that promise at the end of 'Blade Runner 2049,' 'Coco,' 'Game of Thrones,' and 'War for the Planet of the Apes' among Golden Reel Awards winners.  I made and repeated that promisie because I'm irked that it was not nominated for an Academy Award. I thought that was an injustice, as I mentioned in the comments to 'The Shape of Water,' 'Wonder Woman,' 'Game of Thrones,' and 'The Handmaid's Tale' all winners at the Costume Designers Guild Awards in my reply to Infidel 753.
Infidel: Unfortunately, "Wonder Woman" is not nominated in any category at the Oscars

Good grief, how stupid. There's something of a "WTF were they thinking" history of omissions at the Oscars, and this one will certainly join them.

Me: I agree. It's one of the two snubs of the year, the other being "Jane," the story of Jane Goodall, not being nominated for Best Documentary Feature.
Before I follow through with listing the awards the film has won and comparing it to the films that were nominated, I'm sharing the Official Film Trailer from National Geographic.

Drawing from never-before-seen footage that has been tucked away in the National Geographic archives, director Brett Morgen tells the story of JANE, a woman whose chimpanzee research revolutionized our understanding of the natural world.
My readers will see Brett Morgan's name again.  Just follow over the jump.