Thursday, May 23, 2019

'Slay the Dragon' examines the campaign to eliminate gerrymandering in Michigan


Happy Throwback Thursday!  After I wrote "I'm almost done with this series.  Next week I plan on looking at the top posts on social media followed by a combination of the back catalog and holidays" at the end of Watch reports on the 2019 March for Science from Green Bay and Sacramento, an update to the March for Science for the eighth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News, I found out that I had skipped a top 40 entry, Michigan Supreme Court allows anti-gerrymandering proposal to remain on ballot.  Oops.*  I'll have to delay those last two entries until tomorrow and next Thursday, respectively, while I give Voters Not Politicians their turn in the spotlight.

Speaking of which, Voters Not Politicians and their campaign to eliminate gerrymandering are the subjects of a documentary that debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival last month, "Slay the Dragon."  Both director Barak Goodman and star Katie Fahey promoted the film in The Fight Against Partisan Gerrymandering | All In | MSNBC with Ali Velshi guest-hosting.

Michigan has become the latest state to strike down unfairly drawn voting districts. The tide may finally be turning -- but the Supreme Court could get in the way.
Goodman showed up with his co-director Chris Durrance appeared on CBS News in "Slay the Dragon" explores gerrymandering and its impact on the American electoral process.

The Supreme Court is set to rule this term on whether partisan gerrymandering is unconstitutional, and a new film, "Slay the Dragon," takes a look at how districts are drawn. Directors Barak Goodman and Chris Durrance join "Red and Blue" to discuss their documentary, premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival this month.
At this point, I would normally embed the trailer, but it's a private link on Vimeo so I can't.  Axios managed the trick, so my readers can watch it there.  In the meantime, here's to hoping it earns a nomination for Best Political Documentary at the Critics' Choice Documentary Awards this fall. 

Follow over the jump for the story of how Michigan Supreme Court allows anti-gerrymandering proposal to remain on ballot earned its page views.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Dressbarn closing all 650 stores, a tale of the Retail Apocalypse


My plans changed since I posted Retail Archeology looks at Family Dollar, a tale of the Retail Apocalypse, which I concluded by writing "Unless something more dramatic intervenes, I know which tale of the Retail Apocalypse I'm telling next."  Something more dramatic just happened, Dressbarn announcing that it will close all 650 of its stores, which my friend John Henry AKA LowGenius brought to my attention on Facebook.  Shopko will have to wait.

I begin with WWLP of Springfield, Massachusetts, reporting Women's clothing chain Dressbarn to close all its 650 stores.

Dressbarn announced Monday that all 650 locations across the U.S. will soon close their doors for good.
NPR has more details.
Ascena Retail Group announced the closure of about 650 stores late Monday, saying the "wind-down" would help the company focus on its more profitable brands.
...
The New Jersey-based women's retailer also owns Ann Taylor, LOFT, Lane Bryant, Lou & Grey, Catherines, Cacique and Justice. The company sold its Maurice brand earlier this month.

The closures could be a blow for some malls across the country where vacancy rates have shot up in recent years, following the shuttering of anchor stores, including Sears, Kmart, and J.C. Penney. In 2018, approximately 9% of storefronts in regional malls remained empty, according to the latest figures from Reis, a real estate research firm.
...
A final Dressbarn shut down date has not been announced. Stores will remain open with no changes to return, refund or gift card policies. About 6,800 people are employed by the chain.
Of course, if I can find a local angle to a story, I will use it.  WXYZ in Detroit provided me one with its man (or in this case, woman) on the street interviews, which the station excels at, in Dressbarn is going out of business.

The retail industry suffered another blow Monday after Dressbarn's parent company announced it was shutting down the clothing chain's operations.
As I wrote in April's 6,000 stores have already announced they are closing in 2019, more than all of 2018, a tale of the Retail Apocalypse, "this year alone I've written about the closing down of Payless ShoeSource, Gymboree, and Charlotte Russe, all of which happened in February and March.  The year is yet young and many more stores and several chains could still go out of business."  Dressbarn has proved my prediction right and it's only been a month.  Just think, there are seven more months to go in the year.  Any of my readers care to guess how many more chains will go out of business?

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

A conversation about the Australian election with a reader from Down Under


Bukko Boomeranger and I had quite the conversation about the Australian election in the comments to John Oliver explains trade.  I found it so engrossing that I first responded "Just for you, I might cover it [the Australian election] next week," and finished with "I'll respond to the rest of your comment when I feature it in a post about the Australian elections."  Here are his comments with my responses about ranked-choice voting, mandatory voting, and the outcome of the election.

Here's Bukko's first comment, which he posted before the voting began.
Ah well -- soon off to accost voters (national Parliamentary election today.) It's good fun. Citizens expect to pass through a line of people waving flyers telling them what various parties recommend in Australia's ranked multiple-choice voting system. I try to make it funny, with quips like "If you're sick of the big parties!" or "Who's leaning Green today?" And when the polls close, I'll be "scrutineering." That means watching the Australian Election Commission's paid workers when they unseal the ballot boxes, dump the paper ballots onto a table, sort them by which candidate got the voter's #1 choice, then eliminating the piles with the fewest votes. THOSE ballots are shuffled onto the candidates that each voter marked as their #2 choice, so the person's vote is not entirely ignored. From then, it goes to the top 2 vote-getters, and the winner at that polling station is determined. Combine the results from polling places across the electorate, and bingo! we have a winner. It's pretty quick -- less than 2 hours -- and honest, with observers from Labor, us Greenies, sometimes the Liberals (the conservative party), Socialists or other minor parties looking on. Much better than black box electronic voting. It's one of the reasons I have a bit of faith in this country, because everyone has to vote (or face a small fine) and the counting is done transparently, so who's in Parliament can be said to represent the will of the people.
I knew that Australia had mandatory voting, but I didn't know that the country also had ranked-choice voting.  While I'm not a fan of mandatory voting with fines for not voting, I am in favor of other ways of increasing turnout, particularly by reducing barriers to access.  That's why I was thrilled when Proposal 3 passed here in Michigan allowing same-day registration and no-reason absentee voting.  On the other hand, I am definitely a fan of ranked-choice voting, which I mentioned as an election reform before.  I am so glad to see that it works so smoothly in a major country like Australia.

On the gripping hand (yes, a Motie reference), I'm not sure I'd like to walk through a throng of volunteers trying to get me to vote for their party or candidate on the way to the polling station.  It's bad enough seeing all the lawn signs on the way in, and I'm a fan of lawn signs and have placed them myself the night before an election.

That was about the process.  Follow over the jump for the outcome, which came as a bit of surprise.

Monday, May 20, 2019

May 20th is World Bee Day


Happy World Bee Day!  I first mentioned the holiday in Happy World Honey Bee Day 2018!
There is also a World Bee Day recognized by the United Nations on May 20th.  That happens to be the anniversary of my marriage to my ex-wife, a day that I have used to reflect on my mistakes.  I'd much rather consider the importance of bees.
To that end, here is the United Nations celebrates First Ever World Bee Day (20 May).

Bees and other pollinators, such as butterflies, bats and hummingbirds, are increasingly under threat from human activities.

Pollinators allow many plants, including many food crops, to reproduce. Not only do pollinators contribute directly to food security, but they are key to conserving biodiversity - a cornerstone of the Sustainable Development Goals. They also serve as sentinels for emergent environmental risks, signaling the health of local ecosystems.

Invasive insects, pesticides, land-use change and monocropping practices may reduce available nutrients and pose threats to bee colonies.

To raise awareness of the importance of pollinators, the threats they face and their contribution to sustainable development, the UN designated 20 May as World Bee Day.
That was last year's announcement.  Here is the FAO Director-General's message on World Bee Day 2019 from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations for this year.

World Bee Day is celebrated on 20 May each year to raise awareness of the importance of bees and other pollinators for food and agriculture.
The FAO Director-General was informative, but not very lively or practical.  For those two qualities, I conclude with KUSI in San Diego's Saving the bees for World Bee Day.


That was definitely more fun than this year's official video from the FAO, just as considering the importance of bees is more fun than reflecting on my mistakes.  I'll find another day for that, I'm sure.

While this is the first time I've officially celebrated World Bee Day on this blog, I managed to do so unofficially four years ago.
In an interesting coincidence, I posted President Obama's plan to save the bees on May 20, 2015.  The holiday wasn't declared until 2017, so I accidentally predicted it.  Sometimes, it's better to be lucky than to be good.
Happy World Bee Day!

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Political film and TV nominees at the MTV Awards

"Game of Thrones, Avengers: Endgame and documentary RBG lead the 2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards nominations, with each project picking up four nominations." — The Hollywood Reporter.
For today's Sunday entertainment feature, I'm going to be a good environmentalist by recycling and updating the idea behind last year's Beyond the Trailer on speculative fiction nominees at the MTV Movie and TV Awards.  This year, I'm focusing on the nominees that celebrate films and television shows that have political themes, some of which were also nominated for and won the 2018 Golden Coffee Cups for movies.  Nothing like finding entertaining portrayals of politics and government in unexpected places.  For my readers who might be disappointed that I'm not featuring speculative fiction, have no fear; there is a significant overlap between politics and speculative fiction among the nominees.

I begin by returning to where I stood last year, right next to Grace Randolph of Beyond The Trailer playing a game of who should win and who will win the MTV Movie & TV Awards 2019 Nominations.

MTV Movie & TV Awards 2019 today! Beyond The Trailer host Grace Randolph's reaction and breakdown of the nominations plus predictions for which nominees will be the winners! Avengers Endgame, Captain Marvel, Game of Thrones, To All the Boys I've Loved Before, Sandra Bullock in Bird Box and more lead the nominations!
I generally agree with Grace, but I think she is underestimating the power of the "Riverdale" fandom unless it has lost a lot of steam this season.  Also, I will look at the nominees for Best Documentary, which she blew off.  Follow over the jump for my analysis and votes.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Retail Archeology looks at Family Dollar, a tale of the Retail Apocalypse


I concluded 6,000 stores have already announced they are closing in 2019, more than all of 2018, a tale of the Retail Apocalypse by writing "this year alone I've written about the closing down of Payless ShoeSource, Gymboree, and Charlotte Russe, all of which happened in February and March.  The year is yet young and many more stores and several chains could still go out of business."  Those three chains were top first three in the following graph that I used to illustrate that article.


Full-sized original here.

The next chain listed is Family Dollar, which is closing 390 stores and converting humdreds more into Dollar Tree stores.  I've been waiting for an opportunity to blog about it since.  Fortunately, Retail Archeology uploaded a video yesterday that asked What Is Going On With Family Dollar?  For the answer, please watch.

In this episode we take a look at Family Dollar, a discount store chain that just recently announced they will be closing hundreds of stores.
International Business Times had more details in Store Closings 2019: Full List Of Retailers Closing This Year.
Dollar Tree is also closing locations as it said that it would shut the doors at 390 Family Dollar stores in fiscal 2019. The closures are a part of Dollar Tree’s 2019 store optimization program. The company also closed 84 stores in the fourth quarter, up from the 37 planned.
By the way, Dollar Tree could get into even more trouble because of the U.S.-China and then trade war.  CNBC explains in Dollar Tree is the ‘poster child’ for tariff risk, according to Credit Suisse.
Discount retailer Dollar Tree’s core business model is a lightning rod for tariff impact, according to Credit Suisse.

With direct imports from China on 40% to 42% of its merchandise, Dollar Tree is the perfect candidate to get hit hard by the trade war, the firm said. Despite this exposure, the stock may have fallen too much too fast given there is still a good chance for a trade deal, the analyst said.
...
“Approximately 9% of products, measured by sales volume, would have been affected” when the initial 10% tariffs were implements, according to the company’s most recent 10-K filing.

Credit Suisse said Dollar Tree would undoubtedly be hit hard if the U.S. decides to further raise tariffs on a broader basket of goods including toys, greeting cards and small electronics. However, the bank stands by its 70% likelihood of a deal getting passed between the two countries, eventually reversing the latest tariffs.
I hope Credit Suisse's optimism is warranted, as I'm still of the opinion that "trade, which I haven't written enough about, is likely to be straw that breaks the camel's back of the economic expansion and that a recession is inevitable."

Speaking of optimism, while 390 stores closing looks ominous, there are "7,000 Dollar Tree locations and more than 8,000 Family Dollar locations across the country" according to CNBC, so the percentage of stores being affected is relatively small.  That's good news.

Not good news is what International Business Times reported about Shopko.
After filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Shopko said it will close all of its store locations by June 16. The closures affect 360 stores in 26 states.
Unless something more dramatic intervenes, I know which tale of the Retail Apocalypse I'm telling next.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Watch reports on the 2019 March for Science from Green Bay and Sacramento, an update to the March for Science for the eighth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News


In yesterday's retrospective, I promised that "the next installment in this series...will be about the March for Science and other Resistance events [today] for Flashback Friday."  Before I tell the story of how Watch reports on March for Science 2018 from four U.S. cities earned its page views, I am sharing reports from this year's events.

I begin with the Sacramento Bee, which invited its viewers and readers to Watch the Sacramento March for Science

The Sacramento March for Science on May 4, 2019 brought out a presidential candidate, a state senator and an anti-vaccination activist in Star Wars attire.
That anti-vaccine activist may not realize it, but he's actually advocating an anti-science position to a bunch of scientifically literate people.  He picked the wrong crowd.  At least he was properly dressed for Star Wars Day.

The person who picked the right crowd was Jay Inslee.  He knew they would agree with his message about science and climate change  He also knew it would be big enough to be worth talking to.


Green Bay had a smaller event, but WFRV promoted it heavily.  The station's first segment on the March for Science featured the Green Bay March for Science's organizer, Gary Lefko.


Lefko did a good job of explaining the event and demonstrating some cool science.  He will show up again in another video.

WFRV promoted the event again in its second March for Science the day before the event.


That looked like it was fun.

WFRV covered the actual event in March for Science in Green Bay for residents.  Lefko played a prominent part in the video, where he not only speaks, but implodes the 55-gallon drum he brought to the studio in the first video.


SCIENCE!

That's all for news videos about this year's March for Science on YouTube.  Follow over the jump for how the one entry about the Resistance to enter the top 40 earned its page views.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

2019 Environmental Media Association Awards update politics in entertainment for the eighth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News


Happy Throwback Thursday!  I told my readers to "Stay tuned" at the conclusion of 'Last Week Tonight with John Oliver' on opioids updates decreasing life expectancy for the eighth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News as "I plan on posting the next installment in the series next Thursday, when I plan on recapping the top entries about entertainment."  Two entries about entertainment that did not also feature Last Week Tonight with John Oliver made the 40 most read posts of last year and I will tell their stories over the jump.

Before I do, I am updating the topic of serious issues in entertainment by examining this year's nominees for the Environmental Media Association Awards for film and television AKA the EMA Awards.  As the Environmental Media Association Awards page states, "The EMA Awards honor film and television productions and individuals that increase public awareness of environmental issues and inspire personal action on these issues."  Here are the nominees along with my comments on them.
Feature Film

Aquaman (Warner Bros.)
Isle of Dogs (Twentieth Century Fox)
This reminds me of the 2017 field of "Moana" and "Okja."  The first just showed the beauty of nature, while the second actually explored an environmental issue.  "Okja," the more serious nominee, won.  I think the same will happen here with "Isle of Dogs" beating "Aquaman."  Just the same, "Aquaman" is getting surprising recognition for its themes, as it was also one of the Coffee Party Entertainment Awards movie nominees for 2018 for examining politics in film.
Documentary Film

Above and Beyond: NASA's Journey to Tomorrow (Discovery Channel)
Eating Animals (IFC Films)
Living in the Future's Past (Vision Films)
Unlike the past two years, when “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power” and "Jane" were clear leaders, I don't see a prohibitive favorite in this field.  I'd root for "Above and Beyond: NASA's Journey to Tomorrow" but I suspect "Eating Animals" has the edge.
Television Episodic Drama

The Blacklist "General Shiro" (Sony Pictures Television)
"The Blacklist" was nominated two years ago and won last year, so I'm not surprised that it repeated.  I am surprised that it was the only television drama nominated, so of course it has already won.  Maybe I should start watching "The Blacklist."
Television Episodic Comedy

Full Frontal With Samantha Bee (TBS)
The Good Place "Don't Let the Good Life Pass You By" (NBCUniversal)
Saturday Night Live "Season 44, Episode 3" (NBCUniversal)
Of all these, only my favorite fantasy television series "The Good Place" is really an episodic comedy.  The others are variety shows, talk in the case of "Full Frontal With Samantha Bee" and sketch in the case of "SNL."  I think the variety shows have an edge, as "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver" won two years ago for Coal, which got him sued, and "Adam Ruins Everything" won last year, but that won't stop me from rooting for "The Good Place."
Reality Television

Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown "Bhutan" (CNN)
Jimmy Kimmel Live! "Kids Explain Climate Change" (ABC Studios)
One Strange Rock (Nutopia Ltd for National Geographic)
VICE "Engineering Earth" (HBO)
None of these are really reality television except for Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown and even the Television Academy considers it an Informational Series, not reality TV.  Just the same, a conventional entertainment electorate would vote for the late chef's show, but this isn't a conventional electorate.  They might vote for "Kids Explain Climate Change," which I included in Noah, Colbert, and Kimmel find the humor in the polar vortex and Trump's 'Global Waming' (sic) tweet.  It was both hilarious and effective.
Children's Television

Cousins for Life "Hot Dog Day Afternoon" (Nickelodeon)
Mission Force One "Sea Change" (Disney Junior)
Peg + Cat "The Compost Problem" (PBS Kids)
No Sesame Street?  I'm surprised.  Other than that, I don't have a dog (or a hot dog) in this fight, but my gut says to root for "The Compost Problem."

That's it for this year's nominees, which I finally covered in a timely fashion, until the first Sunday in June, when I plan on reporting on the winners.  Follow over the jump for the top posts about politics in entertainment from the eighth year of this blog.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

John Oliver explains trade


I have a habit of following up a serious post with a humorous if not downright silly one, as I did for the polar vortex, Howard Schultz exploring a run for president, the Green New Deal , and most recently the Media Bias Chart placement.  Today, I'm doing the same for yesterday's MSNBC's 'Morning Joe' and CNBC's 'Fast Money' expound on the U.S.-China trade war and its fallout with Trade: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO).

Donald Trump is waging a trade war that hurts a lot of American workers. Maybe he would understand that if our heavy-handed documentaries about the global trading system were more informative.
Last Week Tonight uploaded this video eight months ago, but it's still current.  Our Cartoon President is like a stuck clock on the issue of trade.  Unfortunately, I don't think this is one of the two times a day when he's correct.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

MSNBC's 'Morning Joe' and CNBC's 'Fast Money' expound on the U.S.-China trade war and its fallout


When I wrote about the yield curve inverting and sending another recession signal, I predicted that "trade, which I haven't written enough about, is likely to be straw that breaks the camel's back of the economic expansion and that a recession is inevitable."  It looks like that straw has just been loaded, even if the camel is still standing.  Yesterday morning, the day began on MSNBC with Joe Scarborough saying of the tariffs on Chinese goods " This Is A $200B Tax Increase On Americans" on Morning Joe.

The Morning Joe panel discusses the costs of the president's trade tariffs on China and the impact the tariffs are having on U.S. businesses and households.
Yesterday's futures forecast a 200-point drop in the Dow.  It ended up being more than 600 points by the end of the day with the Dow falling 700 points during the session.  CNBC dissected yesterday's market activity looking for a cause in Stocks are getting crushed as the trade war heats up, here's how bad traders think it could get.

The Dow sinks 600 points as trade turmoil roils Wall Street. How bad could it get? With CNBC's Eamon Javers and Melissa Lee, and the Fast Money traders, Tim Seymour, Karen Finerman, Dan Nathan and Guy Adami.
It should come as no surprise that I agree with Guy Adami and Dan Nathan that the market was overvalued and ready to fall and the trade war gave investors just the excuse they needed to sell.  I've been bearish and on recession watch since December 2017 and still stand behind the prediction I made in Ten years ago, we were partying like it was 1929. Are we about to do it again?
Based on New Deal Democrat's analysis at Seeking Alpha, that should happen in the second half of next year, so I'm moving my recession call to between July and December 2019.  The bad news is that my readers and I may not know until the middle of 2020.  The good news is that it would be perfectly timed to screw up Trump's re-election, should he last that long, or Pence's should he not.  I can live with that.
I hope the American people can as well.

Monday, May 13, 2019

NASA's plans to deflect an asteroid plus what happens if one hits NYC


Happy Monday the 13th!  Because it's exactly one month after Apophis Day, I decided to return to the subject of asteroids and planetary defense instead of posting another Garfield cartoon.  I begin with 7 Ways to Save Earth from a Killer Asteroid from Space.com.

Gravity tractors, rocket engines, lasers, nukes and more could be used to deflect a potentially hazardous asteroid.
One the one hand, as one of the commenters to the video wrote, it's good to have a plan, actually seven of them.  On the other, if none of those work, USA Today describes what could happen in Asteroid simulation sparks scary outcome for New York City

In a NASA simulation of a fictional scenario, New York City was hit with an asteroid packing 1,000 times the destruction of the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
The "1,000 times the destruction of the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima" is no exaggeration. The meteor that exploded over Russia six years ago was twenty times more powerful than Hiroshima and that space rock broke up miles up in the atmosphere.  On the other hand, this hypothetical event would be comparable to the impact that created Barringer Crater AKA Meteor Crater in Arizona, which yielded ten megatons when it blew up.

Just the same, it's good to know that NASA is working on a plan to protect Earth from asteroid impact.  That makes for a good opportunity to recycle this meme.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Toast mom and the most popular baby names of 2018 for Mother's Day plus an update to 'Game of Thrones' baby names


Happy Mother's Day!  To celebrate, I'm following up on Baby names from entertainment for Mother's Day 2018, itself an installment of a series that goes all the way back to Game of Thrones--names, geology, and security theater in 2014.

I begin, as I did last year, with the Social Security Administration reporting Social Security’s Top Ten Baby Names of 2018.

Just arrived! Find out the top 10 baby names of 2018 from Social Security, the source for baby names each year!
Once again, Emma, as in Stone and Watson, is the most popular girl's name and Liam, as in Hemsworth and Neeson, is the most popular boy's name.  As for Logan, Wolverine's first name, it has fallen all the way down to tenth.


Of course, no examination of baby names on this blog would be complete without a reference to either Game of Thrones or Star Wars.*  Since I wrote on the Revenge of the Sixth that "That's it for Star Wars until the Saturn Award nominations are announced, whenever that may be," it's Game of Thrones' turn.  For that, I turn to IndieWire.
2,545 girls have a name, and it’s Arya. That’s according to Social Security data on last year’s baby names, which continues the trend of new parents naming their children after “Game of Thrones” characters. And though everyone’s favorite knife-wielding daughter of Winterfell was once again the show’s most popular namesake, other inhabitants of Westeros had a good showing as well: 516 girls named Khaleesi were born last year (as were, somewhat distressingly, 19 Caleesis, 14 Khaleesias, and five Khaleesies) in addition to 434 Yaras, 319 Lyannas, 125 Shaes, and 102 Renlys.

But wait, there’s more! 2018 also introduced the world to 58 Tyrions, 33 Briennes, 30 Jorahs, 29 Sansas, 21 Catelyns, 17 Ellarias, 15 Oberyns, 14 Theons, and 11 Gregors whom one hopes weren’t actually named after the Mountain. (His track record with children isn’t exactly great.)
CBS News reported on the change in rank instead of the raw numbers in "Game of Thrones" baby names are more popular than ever.
The name Arya ranked 119th for female names, making a significant jump from 942nd place in 2010 - the year the show debuted. But another spelling of the name, Aria, was much more popular in 2018, ranking 19th.

Khaleesi, the title given to wives of nomadic warlords, rose nearly 100 spots in 2017, ranking 549th. Yara made one of the largest increases last year, jumping a few hundred spots to 672nd.
Khaleesi actually ranked 549th in 2018, not 2019.  As for Yara, I associate that name with Yara Martinez, who acts in both "Jane the Virgin" and "The Tick," more than "Game of Thrones."  Speaking of "Jane the Virgin," Xiomara, the name of Jane's mother, continued to increase in popularity, rising 130 places from 855 to 725.  It might do that one more year, as this is the final season of the show.

I'm finishing this entry with some drink recipes for mom.  Instead of one from Tipsy Bartender, I'm sharing Mother's Day Drink Recipes from Coborn's Family of Stores.

Jayne is back with some delicious, easy-to-make drink recipes - perfect for Mother's Day!
A toast to mom!  Speaking of which, it's time for me to call mine.  Happy Mother's Day!

*I'm saving Star Wars names for Father's Day.  Stay tuned.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

United Nations report warns 1 million species could go extinct


While I was both following a blog tradition and indulging my "I can't be all DOOM all the time" mood when I wrote about Star Wars for the Revenge of the Sixth, some serious DOOM news came out that day.  CBS News has the story in One million species facing extinction, U.N. report warns.

A new report involving hundreds of scientists worldwide warns that humans are accelerating the pace of extinction for many of earth's species, and the loss of biodiversity could be devastating. Patricia Miloslavich, a professor who contributed to the report, joins CBSN with more on the problem and what needs to be done.
It was only last Friday that I mentioned "population and affluence, the P and A in I (impact) = P * A * T, where T is technology, which ideally could counteract the effects of the other two variables" in the comments to Going South at Kunstler's blog.  Both the demand for resources caused by population and affluence and the amount of pollution produced by human consumption and abetted by inefficient technologies and bad habits are contributing to the impact of more than 7 billion people competing for resources with the rest of life on Earth.  As I wrote first for last year's World Oceans Day and quoted for this year's World Wildlife Day, "Climate change, plastic pollution, and overfishing make a deadly trifecta of threats to all the world's oceans, not just the coral reefs."  Many of the same phenomena are threats to life on land, too.  Here's to hoping people's attitudes and government policy change to prevent the worst damage and technology catches up to the need.

Enough DOOM.  Stay tuned for a post about Mother's Day.

Coffee Party USA joins with Stamp Stampede to stamp money out of politics


Campaign finance reform and corporate reform are serious issues, but that doesn't mean that members and supporters of the Coffee Party can't have fun while working to "pass campaign finance laws that limit the impact of special interest groups such as corporations, major political parties, and lobbyists" and affirm that "Corporations are not people, but consist of people" as the Coffee Party's own goals declare.  To that end, Coffee Party USA has partnered with Stamp Stampede to "stamp money out of politics."

Simply order the Coffee Party USA custom stamp from our partners at Stamp Stampede by clicking on the link.  When your stamp arrives, start stamping your dollar bills.  As Stamp Stampede says on its website, "Every dollar you stamp will reach 875 people, if you stamp 5 dollars a day for a year, that's over a million. Together, we can create a stampede that Congress can't ignore."

By the way, this is all perfectly legal.  As our partners at Stamp Stampede have written, "it’s illegal to destroy paper currency or deface it so much that it’s no longer recognizable and has to be taken out of circulation. But that’s definitely not what we’re up to... Because we all want these bills to stay in circulation and we're stamping to send a message about an issue that's important to us, it's legal!"

What do our partners at Stamp Stampede expect once the people get the attention of Congress?  They want "a constitutional amendment declaring that: 1) Money is not speech; [and] 2) Corporations are not people."  Coffee Party USA supports these goals and asks that you, our members and supporters, get the message out through stamping your money.  The results will be a lot more concrete and enduring than sharing one of our posts on Facebook, which we still want you to do, too.

Once we limit the power of special interest groups to influence our elections, we can work on making the rest of our vision true, that of "empower[ing] and connect[ing] communities to reclaim our government for the people" and making America "a nation of diverse communities sharing a culture of informed public engagement where our our solemn duty to vote is the only currency of our representative democracy."

In addition to spreading the word about getting money out of politics, purchasing a stamp will help support the Coffee Party.  Stamp Stampede forwards a share of the price of each stamp to Coffee Party USA.  Not only does each stamp get our message out, it acts as a fundraiser.*

So get your stamp and start stamping!

Coffee Party USA ia a 501c(4) nonprofit social welfare organization dedicated to empowering and connecting communities to reclaim our government for the people.  To support its efforts, which include educating the public on our website and on our Facebook page, registering people to vote with our partners TurboVote and National Voter Registration Day, and reminding them to vote through our Voter Buddy program, please consider donating.  A donation of $10.00 for ten years of Coffee Party USA is recommended.  For those who wish to give at a higher level of support and be more involved in the organization, please consider becoming a member.  To do the valuable work of the Coffee Party, volunteer.  Not only will Coffee Party USA thank you for it, so will the country!

*I've already bought one.

Friday, May 10, 2019

'Last Week Tonight with John Oliver' on opioids updates decreasing life expectancy for the eighth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News


Happy Flashback Friday!  I promised my readers that I would write about "lower life expectancy in the U.S." to conclude yesterday's 'Knock Down the House' updates Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez/AOC for the eighth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News.  One of the main reasons why Life expectancy declined in the U.S. for three consecutive years has been the opioid epidemic.  It turns out that "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver" has two videos on the subject.  Here is the older one, Opioids from 2016, just as overdoses started to pull down life expectancy.

John Oliver discusses the extent and root of the nation’s epidemic of opioid addiction.
That segment is just as chilling and bitingly funny today as it was when my wife and I first watched it three years ago.  It was worth watching again.

Oliver updated the opioid crisis just last month.  I'm saving that for another update.  After all, I'm an environmentalist.  I don't just recycle, I conserve my resources.

Follow over the jump for the story of the top 40 entry about the opioid epidemic.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

'Knock Down the House' updates Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez/AOC for the eighth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News


Happy Throwback Thursday!  For today's retrospective, I'm updating and looking back at Anderson Cooper shows other politicians besides Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez dance on The Rediculist.  I'll have the story of that entry over the jump.  First, I'm looking at a documentary featuring Ocasio-Cortez and three other women who ran for Congress last year, "Knock Down
the House."  Here is the official trailer from Netflix.

Follow the stories of four inspiring women who took on history in the 2018 midterm election. Knock Down The House, only on Netflix May 1.
It turns out that my old hometown paper, the Los Angeles Times, posted a review of the documentary by Kenneth Turan on YouTube.  Watch it.

"Knock Down the House" captures Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez during her campaign and historical election victory.
That's a glowing review.

I'm sure I'll see this movie nominated for a Best Political Documentary nominees at the 2018 Critics' Choice Documentary Award or two, likely an Emmy, and possibly even an Oscar.  Also, I'll try to remember to nominate it at Coffee Party Entertainment Awards later this summer for television shows or next year for movies.

Follow over the jump for the top post about Representative Ocasio-Cortez and how it became so popular.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

The Ellen Show pays tribute to teachers for National Teacher Appreciation Week


It's the middle of National Teacher Appreciation Week and the day after National Teacher Appreciation Day.  Since I'm an educator and the son, nephew, and brother of teachers and I'm also in an "I can't be all DOOM all the time mood," I'm sharing The Ellen Show's Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

Celebrate the heroes who make a difference in their students’ lives, both in and out of the classroom. These inspiring teachers deserve to be celebrated all year!
I hope my readers found that as heartwarming and inspiring as I did.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Vox on congestion pricing plus a driving update for May 2019: Pearl


'Yesterday, I told my readers to "Stay tuned for a driving update."  That's because Pearl the Prius rolled over 46,000 miles yesterday.  I'll run the numbers of how I'm reducing my driving over the jump, but first I'm sharing how London has reduced driving and New York is thinking of following suit in Vox's The traffic solution most cities haven't tried.

Congestion pricing works – just look at London.
...
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently announced a plan to bring congestion pricing to New York City. The goal is to raise money for the city’s crumbling public transit system and reclaim the dangerously busy city streets. But what is congestion pricing, and can it actually solve all our transit woes? We took a look at London, a city that enacted a congestion charge in 2003, to see some of the benefits.
I wouldn't need congestion pricing to get me to not drive in New York.  The traffic and availability of other alternatives would be enough.  Besides, I'm originally from Los Angeles, where the traffic is terrible and one of the things I don't miss about the place.  It's much easier to drive around Detroit, even though I'm trying to drive less.  For how I'm reducing my driving, follow over the jump.

Monday, May 6, 2019

'Rise of Skywalker,' 'The Mandalorian,' and 'Galaxy's Edge' — New Star Wars for the Revenge of the Sixth


Beware the Revenge of the Sixth, the Dark Side of Star Wars  Day!  As I promised on this year's Star Wars Day, I am looking forward to upcoming Star Wars properties today.

The one that everyone is looking forward to the most is Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker.  Here is Grace Randolph of Beyond The Trailer with her Star Wars Episode 9 Trailer REACTION.

Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker Trailer REACTION today! Beyond The Trailer's reaction & review of official teaser trailer for 2019! Episode 9!
Grace wasn't done with the teaser trailer.  She also made a Star Wars Episode 9 Trailer BREAKDOWN.

Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker Trailer BREAKDOWN today! Beyond The Trailer reaction & review official teaser trailer 2019! Episode 9!
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Star Wars Episode 9 Trailer review & breakdown today! Beyond The Trailer host Grace Randolph's reaction to the official teaser trailer for Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker in 2019! Rey vs Zorii! Emperor Palpatine returns to the second Death Star, for Kylo Ren! Lando and Chewie on the Millennium Falcon! Finn and Poe! Enjoy this breakdown of the official teaser trailer for Star Wars Episode 9 before you see the full movie in 2019.
I'm looking forward to the last installment of the Skywalker Saga and I'm curious about how Palpatine survived.  Maybe he's just a Force ghost, or maybe he pulled off a Houdini like Darth Maul.  I'll get to Maul after the jump.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Celebrate the real reason for Cinco De Mayo, a Mexican victory over the French that may have helped save the Union


¡Feliz Cinco De Mayo!  I begin today's celebration with an excerpt from David Von Drehle of The Washington Post about American's misunderstanding of today — We get Cinco de Mayo wrong. But we’re not wrong to celebrate it.*
This annual celebration of Mexican culture gets bigger every year, fueled mainly by America’s love of a good party. Folks who aren’t from Mexico are often surprised to learn, as they quaff margaritas or savor tacos al carbon, that the holiday matters much less south of the border. Many mistakenly believe that May 5 is Mexican Independence Day, but that’s Sept. 16.

But it’s entirely appropriate that Cinco de Mayo matters more in the United States. The event commemorated on this holiday was a triumph of Mexican spirit and courage. For us, though, it just might have saved our nation.
I'll get to why the event the day celebrates is important to Americans later.  First, I'll let The History Channel explain the origin of the holiday in Cinco De Mayo: A Celebration of Mexican Heritage.

Cinco De Mayo commemorates the Mexican Army's successful defense of the city of Puebla against invading French forces in 1862.
The timing of all these events was important for the United States, as it took place during the American Civil War.  David Von Drehle makes that point clear as well.
As it happened, the tide of the Civil War was just about to swing away from the North. In the summer of 1862, a Union campaign against the Confederate capital of Richmond fell to pieces and the rebels advanced on all fronts. Pressure for European intervention reached the boiling point.

Had a triumphant French army been raising the flag in Mexico City that summer, it might have made all the difference. The wavering Napoleon might have been emboldened to recognize the Confederacy, pulling the British along with him. Instead, the French army was licking its wounds, mangled by a smaller force of Mexican irregulars, and the emperor was momentarily chastened. Though France managed to topple the Mexican government the following year, its brief reign there came too late to help the South. The North had regained its momentum, and Lincoln was on his way to saving the Union.
So the Mexican victory over the French, while it only delayed the conquest of the country, ended up being important in preventing European intervention in favor of the Confederacy.  That alone is reason for Americans to celebrate.

Follow over the jump for videos about the Detroit's Cinco De Mayo festivities and two drink recipes from Tipsy Bartender.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

'Solo' won awards for its trailer and music, a Star Wars Day story


Happy Star Wars Day!  I was expecting to write about the Star Wars franchise's nominations at the Saturn Awards, but those nominations haven't been announced yet.*  So instead of looking ahead to the Saturn Awards, I'm looking backwards at the awards won and major nominations received by "Solo: A Star Wars Story."

"Solo" won its first award at the Golden Trailer Awards.
"Solo: A Star Wars Story" earned its first award — Best Summer Blockbuster TV Spot (for a Feature Film).  It should enjoy it; I'm not sure how many other awards it will win.
Even then, I did not think it would enjoy much success at awards shows.  I was right, as "Solo" so far has only four wins and 21 nominations.  The film really needs the Saturn Awards to beef up the nominations and possibly add another win or two for one or more of Best Science Fiction Film, Best Film Music, and Best Film Special/Visual Effects.  I'm not as optimistic about other categories, especially acting, directing, and screenwriting, where it may miss being nominated for some awards.

That written, here is the winning TV Spot, Solo: A Star Wars Story "Big Game" TV Spot (:45).


Two other trailers earned nominations.  "Crew" competed with the winner above for Best Summer Blockbuster TV Spot (for a Feature Film) and “Something” contended for Best Fantasy Adventure trailer, losing to "The Crimes of Grindelwald."

The film's three other wins came from the International Film Music Critics Award (IFMCA).  "Solo" won Film Score of the Year and Best Original Score for a Fantasy/Science Fiction/Horror Film for John Powell and Film Music Composition of the Year for John Williams' "The Adventures of Han."  Here it is for my readers' listening pleasure.

Music video by John Williams performing The Adventures of Han. © 2018 Lucasfilm Ltd.
The track "Mine Mission" by John Powell also earned a nomination, competing with "The Adventures of Han" for Film Music Composition of the Year.  Since it also earned a nomination at the Grammy Awards for Best Instrumental Composition and Powell needs music to represent his two awards, I'm sharing it here as well.

Music video by John Powell performing Mine Mission. © 2018 Lucasfilm Ltd.
This track lost to "Blut und Boden" from "BlacKKKlansman," which I featured in How do I think the political drama nominees will fare at tonight's Oscars?  The other nominees from speculative fiction movies were Alan Silverstri, for Avengers: Infinity War and Alexandre Desplat for "The Shape of Water," which won Best Original Score at the 90th Academy Awards.

Of course, the biggest honor for a movie is an Academy Award.  "Solo" earned one nomination for Best Achievement in Visual Effects.  BBC Click has a fun and informative video on the topic: Solo: A Star Wars Story: Behind the VFX - BBC Click.

The film Solo: A Star Wars Story has been Oscar nominated in the category of Best Visual Effects. Visual Effects Supervisor Julian Foddy from ILM spoke to Al Moloney about making the film.
"Solo" lost to "First Man" for the award, an upset I halfway expected, as I thought "Avengers: Infinity Wars" and "Ready Player One" were the favorites for Best Visual Effects based on the former's four wins and the latter's two wins at the Visual Effects Society Awards, where "First Man" earned only one award while "Solo" earned three nominations.  The other Oscar nominee was "Christopher Robin," which I didn't think had a shot, although I expect it will get a nomination for Best Fantasy Film when the Saturn Awards finally announce.

I close out today's entry by updating the ranking of "Solo" among the highest grossing speculative fiction films of 2018.  While it is still the second highest grossing film of 2018 at the North American box office with $213,767,512, Box Office Mojo shows that it has fallen from 10th to 12th, as Oscar winners "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "A Star Is Born" both passed it for 10th and 11th place respectively.  I think the Golden Schmoes nominations of the film for Biggest Disappointment of the Year, won by "The Predator," and Most Underrated Movie of the Year, won by "Annihilation," are the best summaries of the performance of "Solo" so far.  "Solo" ended up being both underrated and a (box office) disappointment.  I thought it deserved better from the fans.

Stay tuned for Cinco De Mayo and an entry looking forward to upcoming Star Wars properties for the Revenge of the Sixth.

*I am becoming frustrated with this delay in announcing the nominees.  I put a lot of work into putting together a slate of television submissions, but didn't finish it by the time the Saturn Awards tweeted that the nominations would "be released in a few short weeks," so I didn't finish the project.  That was on March 20th, more than six weeks ago.  I'm not the only one who feels this way; read the responses to the original tweet and see others who have become impatient.  I might just submit my slate of TV shows as is just to see if it gets the selection committee and the Academy off the dime.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Neil DeGrasse Tyson on Colbert updates Space Force for the eighth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News on National Space Day


Happy National Space Day!  As I promised in yesterday's retrospective, I am skipping over a couple of topics to post a retrospective about Space Force.  I'll explain how these entries got their page views over the jump after I update the topic with a couple of clips from The Late Show with Stephen Colbert featuring Neil DeGrasse Tyson.  First, Dr. Tyson explains why Trump's Space Force is not a crazy idea.

America's favorite astrophysicist returns to The Late Show with a surprising argument for why Trump's call for a Space Force may be a good thing.
Next, Tyson returns with The Military/Space Alliance Runs Deep.

The author of 'Accessory to War' describes his realization that, despite the tendency for members of the space sciences to lean anti-war, there has long been a connection between their field and the art of modern warfare.
Tyson gives pretty much the same history and justification that Amy Shira Teitel of Vintage Space gave in Pence on Space Force plus space law from Vintage Space, a Veep Day bonus.  Since both are space experts, I'll accept their stories.  As for Trump and Space Force, I'll consider it an example of a stuck clock being right twice a day.


Thursday, May 2, 2019

Another bill introduced to admit Puerto Rico to the Union, an update on Puerto Rico statehood for the eighth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News


Happy Throwback Thursday!  As I promised in last month's James Corden, Global News, and Kamala Harris on CNN update gun control for the eighth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News, today's retrospective is about statehood for Puerto Rico, a topic of two of the forty most read entries of the eighth year of this blog.

I'm updating the topic with three videos about the introduction of a bill at the end of March, beginning with WKMG News 6 ClickOrlando asking Could Puerto Rico be the country's 51st state?

Rep. Darren Soto, D- Fla., announced a bill on Thursday that would admit Puerto Rico into the union as the 51st state, without referendum.
FOX 35 News interviewed Soto in Push to make Puerto Rico the nation's 51st state.

Florida Rep. Darren Soto wants to make Puerto Rico the nation's 51st state.
That was the Representative himself advocating for his bill.  CBS News took a different tack, offering outside analysis on the bill in Lawmakers announce bill to grant Puerto Rico statehood.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers has introduced a bill that would make Puerto Rico the 51st U.S. state. President Trump has said he opposes granting the territory statehood. CBS News correspondent David Begnaud joined CBSN to explain the implications.
I wish Soto and the rest of the bill's sponsors luck.  On the one hand, I have been advocating for statehood on this blog since I posted A 51st star for Puerto Rico on Flag Day two years ago.  On the other, with Trump's opposition, they'll need it.

Follow over the jump for the two entries from last year about Puerto Rico statehood and how they earned their page views.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

2018 Boston Crusaders 'SOS' for a drum corps 'Mayday!'


Happy drum corps May  Day!  As I promised yesterday, I'm delivering this year's entry with a different spin.  Instead of posting shows with maypoles or their equivalent, I'm making a pun on May Day with a show about beseeching anyone listening for help with 2018 Boston Crusaders - "S.O.S."*  Here is the official video clip from DCI.


Boston, MA | 5th Place | 94.313

Now for a complete show run-through from Vic Firth Marching: 2018 Boston Crusaders - FULL SHOW.

Vic Firth takes you BEYOND the lot with the BOSTON CRUSADERS as they perform their 2018 production "SOS" during finals week in Indianapolis, IN! ELEVEN HD cameras you WON'T see anywhere else!
That's it for this year's May Day.  At least I managed to avoid what I was worrying about having to do for this year's celebration.
As for next year, I can post videos of 2013 Phantom Regiment with their fake trees, upload clips of 1978 Guardsmen and 1978 and 1979 Santa Clara Vanguard for actual drum corps maypoles in motion, or abandon the idea and return to an idea I've been avoiding for four year, the socialist meaning of May Day.  The first and last ideas have videos, while the middle idea does not.  I rather hope someone else uploads them instead, as I'm lazy.  Anyone, anyone, Bueller, anyone?
"Ferris Bueller" didn't just take a day off; he took a year off.  Here's to hoping that either someone plays the role of "Bueller" or that one of this year's shows takes up the slack.

Stay tuned for the retrospective about Puerto Rican statehood I promised in James Corden, Global News, and Kamala Harris on CNN update gun control for the eighth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News.

*Just the same, the show still features poles as props, so it ties into the previous theme.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

The 2019 measles outbreak is the worst in the U.S. since 1994 and it's only April


I am closing the month with an update to Following the measles outbreak in the U.S. and Michigan.  As feared, the disease has continued to spread.  CBS News has the latest in More than 700 measles cases in U.S. as outbreaks spread.

CBS News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook joined CBSN to discuss the latest on the growing measles problem in the U.S. and answer some common questions about the vaccine.
The North Jersey Record breaks down the numbers.
There have been 704 confirmed cases of measles in 22 states so far this year, the highest number in 25 years, the federal Centers for Disease Control said today. That includes 202 cases in Rockland County, New York, 423 in New York City and 14 in New Jersey. An outbreak in Washington State, where 72 people were sickened, is over.
That's the state of the outbreak so far.  For more background, watch Vox explain Why measles is back in the US.

Almost all US states allow parents to opt their children out of vaccinations.
...
Measles is back in the United States, and to understand why, you have to understand where. When anti-vaccination misinformation leads to a drop in the number of children immunized, a community can lose its “herd immunity.” This happens most often in small, tight-knit communities, in which measles can spread like wildfire. 75% of all recent measles cases have happened in those types of communities.

In order for everyone to be protected from measles, all people who can get vaccinated need to. But most states allow parents to opt out of vaccinating their children for any philosophical reason - and that’s allowing measles to make a comeback.
Those are the health costs of the outbreak.  CNBC has more in The economic and human toll of a measles outbreak.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, joins 'Squawk Box' to discuss the measles outbreak spreading throughout the United States and how certain industries are bracing for the uncertainty of the economic impact.
All three videos share the same message — get vaccinated if not already vaccinated and vaccinate your children!

That's it for April.  Stay tuned for the first entry of May, which will be a different take on a drum corps May  Day.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Drink to 'Avengers: Endgame' having the best opening weekend box office ever


Exactly a year ago, I told my readers to Drink to 'Avengers: Infinity War' having the best opening weekend box office of 2018 so far.  I am doing the same thing today in honor of "Avengers: Endgame" setting box office records.  As I promised in yesterday's National Superhero Day entry, I am embedding Beyond The Trailer's Avengers Endgame Box Office Opening Weekend - $350 MILLION.

Avengers Endgame Box Office today! Beyond The Trailer breakdown of biggest all-time opening weekend! $350 million, $1.2 billion global!
...
Avengers Endgame Box Office today! Beyond The Trailer host Grace Randolph's reaction and breakdown to the record breaking opening weekend box office for Avengers Endgame! How Kevin Feige, Marvel and Disney did it! Domestic, Foreign, including China and Global aka Worldwide!
First, the opening weekend box office exceeded my expectations, as I thought it would be between $250 and $300 million.  Second, Grace's reaction was as entertaining and informative as I thought it would be.

For the drink, I'm serving Cocktail Chemistry's Advanced Techniques - Avengers "Infinity Cocktail."

What would Thanos drink after a long day of battling Avengers and snapping fingers? I imagine a complex man like Thanos would go for a Pousse Café, a labor-intensive cocktail of layered liqueurs. To prepare for the Endgame, here I made a version that represents each of the six infinity stones to celebrate the launch of my new "perfectly balanced" t-shirt.
Drink up to superheroes and their villains!

Stay tuned for the last post of the month, which should post at 8:00 P.M. EDT tomorrow.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

MSU and USC play music from 'Guardians of the Galaxy' and 'The Avengers' for National Superhero Day


Happy National Superhero Day!  In honor of the national day and also "Avengers: Endgame" setting box office records, I am following through on my suggestion to myself from last year by embedding the official video of the Spartan Marching Band: Marvel Halftime | MSU vs Michigan : 10.17.2015.*


In the associated Dreamwidth entry where I embedded the above video and wrote that I might use this video this year, I also wrote that I might also embed U$C playing their Guardians of the Galaxy show.  Here it is.

The Trojan Marching Band salutes "Guardians of the Galaxy" and USC alumnus and President of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige at the rivalry game versus UCLA on Nov. 18, 2017 featuring: "Hooked on a Feeling" by Blue Swede "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)" by Looking Glass "Mr. Blue Sky" by Electric Light Orchestra "Surrender" by Cheap Trick "I Want You Back" by The Jackson 5.
Coincidentally, both of these shows are by arch-rivals to my alma maters and both were played at games with my alma maters.  I guess rivalry inspires the best out of the rivals.

*I might embed Beyond The Trailer's movie math video in tomorrow's entry.  Grace's reaction should be entertaining and informative.  Stay tuned.

ETA: Speaking of staying tuned, I've embedded a video of the Marching Illini's superhero show that I might use here next year in my Dreamwidth entry that links to this one.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

6,000 stores have already announced they are closing in 2019, more than all of 2018, a tale of the Retail Apocalypse


Full-sized original here.

I found another video about the Retail Apocalypse when I looked for a video for Lampert and Mnuchin sued by Sears, a tale of the Retail Apocalypse, but it had nothing to do with Sears, "Fast Eddie Lamprey," or Treasury Secretary Mnuchin.  Instead, it was about the ongoing loss of stores and malls as a whole.  Watch CNBC's Retail concerns return as 6,000 stores announce they will close, more than all of last year.

Jan Kniffen, J Rogers Kniffen Worldwide, and CNBC's Lauren Hirsch discuss a new study from Coresight Research that has found nearly 6,000 stores have announced they were closing this year--that's higher than all of last year, and it's only April.
I stumbled across the Retail Apocalypse last year and it was a mild year for store closures?  Wow!  Maybe it was seeing Toys R Us close down and the near-loss of Kmart and Sears while realizing that Radio Shack was already gone that got my attention, but this year alone I've written about the closing down of Payless ShoeSource, Gymboree, and Charlotte Russe, all of which happened in February and March.  The year is yet young and many more stores and several chains could still go out of business.