Monday, December 31, 2018

The Year in (Google) Search 2018 for New Year's Eve 2018

Finishing up the series of retrospective entries, I am continuing the tradition of posting the year in search.  Watch Google — Year In Search 2018.

In a year of ups and downs, the world searched for "good" more than ever before — according to Google Trends. From the epic headlines to the everyday moments, here’s to all the good that people discovered in 2018.
Farewell 2018!  Happy 2019, everyone!

Sunday, December 30, 2018

YouTube Rewind 2018

For today's installment of retrospective entries, I am continuing a tradition of posting the year's YouTube Rewind as a Sunday entertainment feature.  Watch YouTube Rewind 2018: Everyone Controls Rewind.

YouTube Rewind 2018. Celebrating the videos, people, music and moments that defined 2018.
And that what YouTube wanted people to remember about its service for 2018.  May 2019 be even more entertaining.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

2018's Breakthrough of the year for 2018 from Science Magazine

The next installment of retrospective entries for 2018 is the top science stories of the year.  Here is 2018 Breakthrough of the Year from Science Magazine.

Learn about our Breakthrough of the Year: tracking development cell by cell. Nine other advances are recognized as runners-up.
For another list, read 10 science stories in 2018 that made us go, “Whoa, that’s awesome” from Vox.

Friday, December 28, 2018

2018 at NASA

It's time to begin a series of retrospective entries for the end of 2018.  This is a tradition of sorts on this blog that includes NASA looking back at the year.  On that note, I present NASA Begins America’s New Moon to Mars Exploration Approach in 2018 - The Year @NASA.

With our Moon to Mars effort underway, a new administrator takes over to lead the charge, and – oh yeah – we stuck another nearly flawless landing on Mars! All that and more as we look back at what happened This Year @ NASA!
Here's to another great year in space for 2019!

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Retail Archeology on what may be the last Christmas for Sears, a tale of the Retail Apocalypse

In what serves as a follow-up of sorts to CBS Sunday Morning examines 'the fall of Sears', Eric of Retail Archeology posted The Last Christmas At Sears on Christmas Eve.

In this special Christmas episode of Retail Archaeology we take a look at what will probably be Sears' last Christmas.
As I wrote in Sears and KMart open on Thanksgiving, plus Sears warranties during bankruptcy, a tale of the Retail Apocalypse, "Sears and KMart are not dead yet...but it probably won't be long."

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Best Original Score nominees at the 2019 Golden Globes

Just as I did for Nominated movie songs at the 2019 Grammy Awards and Best Original Song nominees at the 2019 Golden Globes, I am going to be a good environmentalist and recycle, this time from Midweek Cafe and Lounge, Vol. 96.

Happy Hump Day!  I'm continuing to be the DJ and bartender for this weekly series while Don Durito is returning from his walkabout.  For today's theme, I'm sharing selections from soundtracks of movies nominated at the Golden Globe Awards.  This continues the theme of movie music and awards shows that I started in Midweek Cafe and Lounge, Vol. 94 and continued in last week's Midweek Cafe and Lounge, Vol. 95.

I begin with United Nations / End Titles by Ludwig Goransson from "Black Panther."

This score has also been nominated for a Grammy and a Critics' Choice Award and, like all the rest of the Golden Globes nominees, is on the shortlist for an Oscar nomination.

Next, "Isle of Dogs" End Titles by Alexandre Desplat.

This is also nominated for a Critics' Choice Award.

I'm continuing with Marco Beltrami - "A Quiet Life" from "A Quiet Place."

This is the only Golden Globe nomination for this movie.

The selection from the fourth nominated score is "The Landing (from First Man)" by Justin Hurwitz.

This is also nominated for a Critics' Choice Award.

The final selection from a nominated score is Marc Shaiman - Theme from Mary Poppins Returns

This is also nominated for a Critics' Choice Award.

Follow over the jump for the drink I served in the tip jar.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas from Broken Peach and Crazy Eddie's Motie News

Merry Christmas and Seasons Greetings from Crazy Eddie's Motie News!  I am going to be a good environmentalist and recycle by updating Merry Christmas 2017 from Broken Peach and Crazy Eddie's Motie News.  This year, the band from Vigo, Galicia, Spain sings Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.

The heart warming Christmas song Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas was immortalised by Judy Garland when she sang this song to Margaret O'Brien and brought tears to the eyes of the audience. The lyricist for Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas was Ralph Blane and the haunting music was composed by Hugh Martin.

The song Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas was first published in 1943. The title of Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas is undoubtedly one of the saddest Christmas songs of the century. We hope you enjoy it and... Share! :)
¡Feliz Navidad a todos ustedes, tambien!

Monday, December 24, 2018

Apollo 8's Earthrise 50 years later for Christmas Eve

Last year, I took a break from my tradition of wishing my readers Seasons Greetings from NASA but thought I might return this year. It turns out that NASA has the perfect video for the occasion, Apollo 8: Around The Moon and Back, celebrating 50 years of Earthrise on Christmas Eve 1968.

50 years ago, three NASA astronauts embarked on a journey that would take them “Round the moon and back”. The Apollo 8 mission proved the performance of the command and service module. This historic mission launched on December 21, 1968 to demonstrate a lunar trajectory and was the first crewed launch of the Saturn V rocket. On Christmas Eve, Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders were the first humans to orbit the Moon and the first to see an Earthrise above its surface.
I could stop there, but I think Seeker's How Apollo 8 Survived the Risky Trip to the Far Side of the Moon provides a more complete view of the mission as a whole, not just the events leading up to Christmas Eve.

A last minute shake up in 1968 sent a manned crew outside of Earth’s orbit for the first time. The crew of Apollo 8, in a very short amount of time, would have to learn how to reach our nearest celestial neighbor and then return safely to Earth.
That's it for space history for now, although I plan on the 50th anniversaries of the rest of the Apollo missions next year. In the meantime, may my readers have a pleasant Christmas Eve. I will return for a post on Christmas itself.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Feats of animal strength for a Blue Norther on Festivus

Happy Festivus and happy Norther — a double celebration, a "Blue Norther on Festivus!"  I'm sure most of my readers know about Festivus, with its airing of grievances and feats of strength.  However, I think I should remind them about the origins of Norther.
What is Norther?  It's a fake holiday created by John Michael Greer the Archdruid in response to my telling him about Wester and its animal mascot, the Wester Squirrel.
Druids would likely demand a Souther and a Norther, too, with a Souther Wombat and a Norther Lemming as animal mascots; I'll leave you to decide what if anything they do with goodies.
Ah, but which solstice gets which holiday?  At first, I was not amused by your suggestion, as I thought one parody holiday was enough.  Then I slept on it and not only was I OK with it, I decided that Norther would come after the Winter Solstice and Souther would come after the Summer Solstice.  Why would a lemming visit in the middle of summer?
As a result of that conversation, Norther takes place on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Winter Solstice, which is today.
I wrote the above in January, when I realized that I celebrate Norther again today.
[T]he first full moon after the 2018 winter solstice will fall on Saturday December 22nd, so there will be a second Norther on December 23.  Blue Norther on Festivus!
That's why.  I get to do this all over again in 11 months.  Maybe I can find a video about a lemming feat of strength or airing of grievances by then.
I couldn't find any new videos about lemming feats of strength, but SciShow did provide me another video that came close, 7 Ridiculous Feats of Strength in the Animal Kingdom.  Nothing like recycling an idea.

You're probably already familiar with some of the more common examples of super strong animals, like the crocodile with its powerful bite or the leafcutter ant's impressive overhead carry. However, there are lots of lesser-known animals capable of amazing acts of strength.
I like that better than the Animal Planet clip I used three years ago.  However, if one wants a lemming feat of strength, then I can think of no better source than "Norm of the North."

Those are strong lemmings, even if they are just animated characters.

Of course, it isn't a complete holiday post of mine without a drink for it.  I haven't found one for Festivus yet (I'll look), but Tipsy Bartender just happened to have created the perfect one for Norther, The London Lemming.*

All great spies have their own drink. Of course, so does #JohnnyEnglish! Indulge in Mr. English's signature cocktail "The London Lemming".

I have a feeling that the drink is better than the movie, which only earned
, placing it at #156 among movies released this year and falling — "Mary Queen of Scots" and "Welcome to Marwen" will pass it; I am not as optimistic about "The Front Runner."

That's it for Norther until 2020, when the fake holiday won't take place until January 12th.  I promise to find a drink for Festivus in time for next year's celebration, possibly something bitter for an airing of grievances.  Stay tuned.

*ETA: Tipsy Bartender took down the video, so that's now a dead link, but I found a screencap of the preview screen as a substitute. 

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Stocks and oil crash plus a driving update for Pearl

Three economic events happened yesterday that all connect, however weakly, to each other.  That also give me a chance to reassess where the economy is heading, including validating a prediction I made.

First, Business Insider reported the Dow capped off worst week since the financial crisis with 414-point plunge.
Stocks tumbled Friday, with the major averages all closing firmly in negative territory. The Dow fell 414 points, or 2%, bringing its weekly decline to 6.87%.

The S&P 500 also shed 2% on Friday, while the Nasdaq Composite fell 3% — entering a bear market, or down 20% from its highs — as some big tech names posted steep declines.
Business Insider did not quote the closing value of the Dow Jones Industrials Indes, but CNBC showed it in This sell-off has undone most of the Trump rally, says Riverfront's Kevin Nicholson.

Kevin Nicholson of Riverfront Investment Group and Mark Luschini of Janney Montgomery Scott discuss the benefits of investing in cash as it outperforms all other asset classes this year.
The Dow closed at 22,445.37.
 That's at the top of the range I predicted it would fall to in The tax bill and the U.S. economy in 2018 and beyond
I expect the Dow Jones Industrials to get above 25,000, struggle to break 26,000, then sink down to between 20,000 and 22,500 over the next couple of years.
I already counted coup on two of those predictions in John Oliver helps update 'The tax bill and the U.S. economy in 2018 and beyond,' a top post of the seventh year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News when I responded to Paul W.'s Hope You Invested In Manure Futures....
The Dow broke 25,000 early in January, had no trouble getting above 26,000 but then struggled to stay there, and fell about halfway from 26,000 to 22,500, so my predictions look pretty good so far.  At worst, I'm one and one-half out of three and that score will stand no matter what else happens.  As for the future, watch what happens with interest rates.  Janet Yellen's successor and the rest of the Federal Reserve Board may not raise rates as aggressively as they would have before the worst one-day point drop in the Dow.  That may allow stocks to recover to 25,000 before falling below 24,000.
That additional prediction happened, too.  Now I can collect on the Dow falling to between 20,000 and 22,500 by the end of 2020 a year early.  I am now two-and-one-half out of three, three-and-a-half out of four if my response to Paul W. is included, on my predictions about the stock market, which is the final tally.  I'm not going to withdraw that score if the Dow falls below 20,000, which it is likely to do.  Watch Hedge fund veteran says the bear market has arrived, here's where you want to hide out for an expert opinion on CNBC.

Mark Yusko, Morgan Creek Capital, discusses his take on markets and the volatility hitting stocks.
He expects a stock market sell-off like 2000-2002, while I wrote "I expect the next recession to be somewhere between the 2001 recession or the 1990-1991 recession in its effects, probably closer to 2001."  I'm glad to see that someone who knows more than I do support my assessment, even if he doesn't know that he is.

Moving on to the second event, CNBC reported yesterday US crude ends the week down 11% at $45.59 for worst performance since January 2016.
Oil prices extended this week's sell-off on Friday, posting the worst weekly performance in nearly three years, as global oversupply kept buyers away from the market ahead of the long festive break.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude oil ended Friday's session down 29 cents at $45.59, the lowest closing price since January 2016. WTI earlier fell to $45.13, its lowest intraday price since mid-July 2017.

Brent crude was down 40 cents at $53.95 per barrel by 2:30 p.m. ET, bouncing from the session's 15½-month low at $52.79. Brent was on pace for a decline of more than 10 percent for the week.
As CNN noted, oil is in a bear market, having fallen 40% off its highs earlier this year.  That means its time to update Thanksgiving travel up as gas prices falling but still high.  Follow over the jump.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Happy Winter Solstice and Underdog Day from Crazy Eddie's Motie News

Happy Winter Solstice, to my readers!  Last year, I celebrated the occasion by mocking the Fake Mayan Doomsday.  This year, I'm returning to explaining the astronomical reason for the solstice by sharing National Geographic's What is a Solstice?  Nothing like tradition.

What is the definition of a solstice, and when do they happen? Is the winter solstice always the first day of winter? Find out what causes these bi-annual astronomical events, as well as how they bring about the shortest and longest days of the year.
By the way, today is not just the Winter Solstice.  National Day Calendar lists ten (!) other national days today, including Yule, National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day, Humbug Day, National Homeless Persons’ Remembrance Day, Underdog Day, Phileas Fogg Win a Wager Day (I always thought he was Phineas Fogg — learn something new every day), and National French Fried Shrimp Day.  Out of all of them, the one that struck my fancy was Underdog Day.  That was meant for sports teams, but I think of a cartoon from my childhood, Underdog.  Listen to the theme song and watch three different openings.

I took the 3 Underdog intro song themes and made it into one.
There's no need to fear.  Underdog is here!

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Best Original Song nominees at the 2019 Golden Globes

Just as I did for Nominated movie songs at the 2019 Grammy Awards, I am going to be a good environmentalist and recycle, this time from Midweek Cafe and Lounge, Vol. 95 at Booman Tribune.

I'm continuing to be the DJ and bartender for this weekly series while Don Durito is returning from his walkabout.  For today's theme, I'm sharing songs from movies nominated at the Golden Globe Awards.  This continues the theme of movie music and awards shows that I started in last week's Midweek Cafe and Lounge, Vol. 94.

I begin with Dolly Parton: Girl in the Movies from the movie "Dumplin'."  This performance is from The Tonight Show.

Music guest Dolly Parton performs "Girl in the Movies," with special guest Linda Perry, for the Tonight Show audience.
In addition to its Golden Globe nomination, "Girl in the Movies" also earned a nomination for Best Song at the Critics' Choice Awards.

Next, Annie Lennox - Requiem For A Private War from "A Private War."

“Writing ‘Requiem for a Private War’ for the film ‘A Private War’ has not only given me an opportunity to honour Marie Colvin, but also aims to amplify the ‘truth to power’ message she fought all her life to convey to the world, regarding the atrocious consequences of warfare and it’s effects upon innocent civilian populations.” Annie Lennox
The last song I'm sharing in the diary proper is REVELATION (Lyric Video) - Troye Sivan and Jónsi from "Boy Erased."

I mentioned both "A Private War" and "Boy Erased" in 'Vice' may be the best political film of 2018, earning nominations before it even hits theaters, so it was time that I wrote about their nominated songs.

The other two nominees are "All the Stars" from "Black Panther" and "Shallow" from "A Star Is Born."  Follow over the jump for them, as they had their time above the fold last week.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

'Vice' may be the best political film of 2018, earning nominations before it even hits theaters

One of the nominees for this year's Golden Globe Awards completely blindsided me, "Vice."  I really should have seen it coming, but I had no idea until the nominations came out.  It's by the director of "The Big Short," which won the equivalent of best picture at the Producers Guild Awards as well as earning Adam McKay the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.  Two members of that cast, Oscar-winning Christian Bale and Oscar-nominated and Golden-Globe-winning Steve Carell even appear in "Vice" as Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, respectively.  Joining them are Oscar-nominated and Golden-Globe-winning Amy Adams as Lynne Cheney, Oscar- and Golden-Globe-winning Sam Rockwell as George W. Bush, and Image- and Razzie-winning Tyler Perry as Colin Powell, and Emmy-nominated and Critics'-Choice-winning Jesse Plemons in as yet unnamed role.  That's all-star talent!

Without seeing the film, I really can't say how well McKay uses them to tell the story, but I can make a guess based on the trailer.  Watch VICE | Official Trailer from Annapurna Pictures.

VICE explores the epic story about how a bureaucratic Washington insider quietly became the most powerful man in the world as Vice-President to George W. Bush, reshaping the country and the globe in ways that we still feel today.
The ad slogan boils down the point even more as "discover the untold true story that changed the course of history."  That alone would make this the political film of the year, but hold that thought, as I need to finish discussing the cast. 

Based on the trailer, I can say that Bale as Dick Cheney and Rockwell as Bush look and sound very convincing.  I don't know enough about Lynne Cheney to know if Amy Adams caught her essence, but she's an outstanding actress, so I'm confident that she did.  As for Carrell as Rumsfeld, I didn't see or hear enough of him to tell how well he portrays Mr. "Known Unknowns," but I'm sure he'll be funny.

However, my readers don't have to rely on me looking at the trailer.  Watch Grace Randolph of Beyond the Trailer's Vice Movie Review.

Vice Movie Review today! Beyond The Trailer host Grace Randolph's reaction & review of the 2018 movie from Adam McKay starring Christian Bale as Dick Cheney, Amy Adams as Lynne Cheney, and Sam Rockwell as George W Bush! Should you see the full movie?
Grace said that one could not get better acting than is on display in "Vice."  She praised Bale for his willingness to gain the weight to play Cheney.  In addition, she thought this is Adams' best performance ever, which is saying something, Rockwell is Bush, and Perry makes a very convincing Powell.  However, she did not think as highly of McKay's writing and directing and suspected that the mid-credits scene will antagonize its audience.  Huh.  Now I really will have to watch the movie.

As for this being the best political film of the year, that really depends on its competition.  Follow over the jump for the other scripted films about politics and government earning awards nominations so far to see how "Vice" compares.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

COP24 concludes with delegates reaching consensus on how to implement the Paris Climate Agreement

Delegates to COP24, the U.N. climate conference in Poland, have finished their work, apparently successfully.  Euronews reported SaturdayCOP24 announces agreement in Katowice.

The COP24 United Nations climate talks needed overtime and frantic negotiations to succeed, but the success now means nearly 200 nations have a rulebook to follow to implement the 2015 Paris climate accord.
Not all the details have been worked out, as Euronews also reported COP24 agreement sidesteps financial issues.

Observers give guarded welcome to climate change deal.
I suspect money will always be a sticking point.

Even though President Trump has pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement, prompting criticism and mockery from The Weather Channel, Elon Musk, John Oliver, and French President Emmanuel Macron, the U.S. will not formally leave until 2020 and an American delegation to the conference participated in the negotiations.  PBS NewsHour reported on the conference and especially the U.S. role in them in How a global effort could deliver solutions on climate change.

In Poland, a U.N. climate conference concluded with consensus on several ways to achieve the Paris Agreement's goal of limiting global temperature increases. But with a lack of U.S. support, is the progress enough? Nat Keohane, senior vice president of the Environmental Defense Fund, joins William Brangham to discuss international transparency, renewable energy and "urgency" around climate change.
Given that the conference started with a report stating that humans weren't doing enough to slow down climate change, it was an encouraging outcome, one that prompts me to repeat what I wrote when the Paris Agreement was being negotiated three years ago.
[T]he not good enough but better than nothing solution that Grist predicted will be ratified.  I'm enough of a realist that I'll take better than nothing now in the hope of getting good enough later.
It's still not good enough, but I think it's getting better.  Here's to that progress continuing.

Monday, December 17, 2018

CBS News explains how Russia used disinformation on social media to target voters

It's been a while since I wrote about how Russian trolls weaponized social media to interfere in the election and contribute to polarization.  it's time for me to update the topic with CBS News reporting How Russia used disinformation on social media to target voters.

An independent report prepared for the Senate Intelligence Committee details how Russia used social media platforms in an attempt to sway voters and boost Donald Trump's candidacy during the 2016 presidential campaign. CNET senior producer Dan Patterson joins CBSN with details.
It's worse than I thought and I thought it was pretty bad.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

CBS Sunday Morning examines 'the fall of Sears'

I haven't written about the Retail Apocalypse since I posted The Bon-Ton Stores bankruptcy and liquidation, a tale of the Retail Apocalypse for Black Friday/Buy Nothing Day and I haven't written about the Sears Holdings Bankruptcy since Sears and KMart open on Thanksgiving, plus Sears warranties during bankruptcy, a tale of the Retail Apocalypse more than a month ago.  That means it's time for another update, which CBS Sunday Morning provided today with The fall of Sears

At its peak, Sears, Roebuck was the largest retailer in the world. And then, the company that dominated the department store and mail order business for much of the 20th century officially filed for bankruptcy, buckling under its massive debt load and staggering losses. David Pogue looks at the company and its failure to evolve in a changing economy.
While a lot of this repeats the history described in Company Man on the Decline of Sears, a tale of the Retail Apocalypse, the CBS News segment in Sears Holdings files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a tale of the Retail Apocalypse, and the CNBC video in Part 1 of Sears, a tale of the retail apocalypse, but it does personalize it through the stories of its customers, retirees, and at least one former executive.  All of their accounts make the decline of the former retail giant look and sound even more tragic.

Normally, I'd have written an entertainment feature for today, but I am not feeling it.  On top of which, I have papers to grade.  I might get to one Tuesday or Wednesday, just as I did last week, when I posted Nominated movie songs at the 2019 Grammy Awards on Wednesday when I recycled it from Booman Tribune.  Stay tuned.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Vox explains how Saudi Arabia became the largest buyer of U.S. arms and is using them in Yemen

Much to my surprise, I have written nothing about Saudi Arabia's involvement in Yemen.  The closest was Gas prices move up on Yemen fear premium more than three years ago, which didn't mention Saudi Arabia at all.  I have also written nothing about Jamal Khashoggi.  Considering that I'm interested in collapse and have worked as a journalist, those are both oversights on my part.*  Fortunately for me, Vox has just provided me two opportunties to correct them.

First, Vox uploaded how the Saudis ended up with so many American weapons yesterday.

And why they want more.
Saudi Arabia and the US have a partnership that's been in the making for over seven decades. It started after World War II and survived the Iranian Revolution, the Cold War, the Gulf War, September 11, and the proliferation of conflicts across the Middle East. This whole time, the US has been selling weapons to Saudi Arabia -- now its number one customer. Saudis bought bombs, tanks, guns, and planes over the years to defend themselves from various threats. The US supplied those weapons because the Saudi’s threats have usually been a threat to the US as well.

Today, there's a shift in the relationship. Saudi Arabia’s intervention in Yemen has created the worst humanitarian disaster in the world - and thrown the Middle East into chaos. The problem is, the Saudis are using US bombs to do it.
This is not new.  Vox uploaded The US may be aiding war crimes in Yemen two years ago.

The U.S. is helping Saudi Arabia bomb Yemen and it's a disaster.
Nothing came of efforts to disentangle the U.S. from Saudi Arabia's involvement in Yemen then.  That changed this week, as Vox reported The Senate just passed a resolution to end US support for the Saudi war in Yemen, writing "It’s a bipartisan rebuke of the Trump administration in the wake of Jamal Khashoggi’s murder."
Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Chris Murphy (D-CT) co-sponsored the resolution to stop US involvement in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is fighting the Iran-backed Houthi rebels. The nearly four-year conflict has killed an estimated 50,000 people and put nearly 12 million on the brink of famine.

The war in Yemen — and US support for the Saudi-led effort — actually began during the Obama administration. But President Trump has moved the US even closer to Saudi Arabia as part of his administration’s broader Middle East policy, which largely focuses on countering Iran.

The horrific assassination of Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul has put the US-Saudi relationship under a microscope, particularly after the CIA concluded that the country’s de facto leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), ordered Khashoggi’s murder.

The Senate resolution is a major step toward holding the administration accountable and wresting back some control of war powers from the executive branch. Yet it’s still a long way away from actually ending US support for the Saudis in Yemen, or finding a resolution to the conflict altogether.

The White House in particular has pushed back against the Senate’s measure, and if it were to end up on Trump’s desk, it would almost certainly face a presidential veto. Additionally, the House approved a rule on Wednesday that blocks the chamber from taking up any Yemen resolutions before the end of the year, meaning the Senate resolution won’t advance.
Well, phooey.  With any luck, it will be reintroduced next year, when the House rule expires and the Democrats take over control of the body.  If so, I'll re-examine the issue.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Acid rain, climate change, and ozone depletion contributed to the Permian Extinction AKA The Great Dying

I realized I had to write a sequel to PBS Eons on the last time the climate warmed this fast — the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum.
The article notes that humans are releasing cabron dioxide even faster than the Siberian volcanoes did at the end of the Permian, which is known as The Great Dying.  The only saving grace is that we will not release as much carbon dioxide as then.  Still, it looks like I may have to write an entry about The Great Dying as well.  Stay tuned.
It turns out that Seeker/DNews already has a video on the subject: ‘The Great Dying’ Was Our Worst Extinction Ever, And It Could Happen Again.

What exactly caused the greatest extinction on earth? New research may finally hold the answer to this long time mystery.
As Trace said, global warming, acid rain, and ozone depletion — does that look familiar?  Also, we could get a trophy for first place, as long as there is anyone around to award it.  I'd rather not.

Those same themes show up in ASAP Science's The 6 Craziest Extinctions Ever, especially the relationship between carbon dioxide levels and climate change.

The earth has been through some major changes!
Both of these videos look good enough to play to my classes.  Welcome to blogging as professional development.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Nominated movie songs at the 2019 Grammy Awards

Today, I'm posting a belated entertainment entry that I'm recycling from Midweek Cafe and Lounge, Vol. 94 at Booman Tribune.

A belated Happy Hump Day!  I'm continuing to be the DJ and bartender for this weekly series while Don Durito is returning from his walkabout.  For today's theme, I'm sharing songs from movies nominated at the Grammy Awards.  Yes, I'm a sucker for movie music and awards shows.  Today's category is Best Song Written For Visual Media.

I begin with a song that I predicted would earn a Grammy nomination last May, Kendrick Lamar, SZA - All The Stars from "Black Panther."

I also predicted that it would earn an Oscar nomination.  I'll have to wait until next month to find out if I'm right, but it did earn a Golden Globe nomination, so that's a start.  In the meantime, I'll note that "All the Stars" is also nominated for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Rap/Sung Performance.

Also earning nominations at both the Grammy Awards and Golden Globes is "Shallow" by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper from "A Star Is Born."

Like "All the Stars," "Shallow" has four Grammy nominations.  In addition to Best Song Written For Visual Media, it is also nominated for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.

Those are the songs from this year's movies.  Follow over the jump for nominees from 2017.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

PBS Eons on the last time the climate warmed this fast — the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum

I've been writing a lot about disbelieving climate, change lately.  Tonight, I'm continuing the discussion, but this time, I'm combining it with my professional interest in ancient life to examine the last time climate changed anywhere near as quickly as it is now.  Watch PBS Eons The Last Time the Globe Warmed.

Imagine an enormous, lush rainforest teeming with the Arctic. Well there was a time -- and not too long ago -- when the world warmed more than any human has ever seen. (So far)
The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) marked the end of an epoch — literally, as it ended the Paleocene with the Eocene beginning when it abated.  New geologic time periods are marked by changes in the fauna and the PETM was no different.  The PETM Wikipedia page includes the following extinctions and originations.
The PETM is accompanied by a mass extinction of 35-50% of benthic foraminifera (especially in deeper waters) over the course of ~1,000 years – the group suffering more than during the dinosaur-slaying K-T extinction...Contrarily, planktonic foraminifera diversified, and dinoflagellates bloomed. Success was also enjoyed by the mammals, who radiated extensively around this time...Humid conditions caused migration of modern Asian mammals northward, dependent on the climatic belts. Uncertainty remains for the timing and tempo of migration.
All of this happened with an event that, as rapid as it was, happened much more slowly than modern climate change.  For the effects of something as severe as what's happening now, I suggest my readers click on the New York Times' The Planet Has Seen Sudden Warming Before. It Wiped Out Almost Everything.
Dr. Deutsch and Justin Penn, a graduate student, recreated the world at the end of the Permian Period with a large-scale computer simulation, complete with a heat-trapping atmosphere and a circulating ocean.

As the Siberian volcanoes flooded the virtual atmosphere with carbon dioxide, the atmosphere warmed. The ocean warmed, too — and according to the model, it began losing oxygen.

Some parts lost more than others. On the surface, for example, fresh oxygen was produced by photosynthetic algae. But as the ocean warmed, its circulatory currents also slowed, the model demonstrated.

Oxygen-poor water settled to the bottom of the oceans, and before long, the deep was gasping.

Rising temperatures and plunging oxygen must have made huge swaths of the oceans uninhabitable. Some species survived here and there. But most disappeared completely.
Eep!  The article notes that humans are releasing cabron dioxide even faster than the Siberian volcanoes did at the end of the Permian, which is known as The Great Dying.  The only saving grace is that we will not release as much carbon dioxide as then.  Still, it looks like I may have to write an entry about The Great Dying as well.  Stay tuned.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

EPA Administrator nominee Andrew Wheeler worked for Bob Murray and James Inhofe, CNN reports

Last month, Seth Meyers checked in on Andrew Wheeler, who Trump announced he'd nominate for permanent head of EPA.  This month, CNN reported Trump's EPA pick worked for climate change skeptic.

Andrew Wheeler, the former coal lobbyist who is now acting administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, was a "driving force" behind the agenda of Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), who called climate change a "hoax," according to people familiar with Wheeler's work for the senator. CNN's Drew Griffin reports.
In case Murray Energy looks and sounds familiar, I wrote about the company and its CEO in both Seth Meyers and John Oliver on coal and hawks for Cut Your Energy Costs Day and Save the Eagles Day, Suit against John Oliver and HBO dismissed, and Update to 'Suit against John Oliver and HBO dismissed,' top post for the seventh year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News.  That did not turn out well for Bob Murray.  On the other hand, John Oliver's 'Coal'" won Television Episodic Comedy at the 2017 Environmental Media Association Awards for film and television.

As for James Inhofe, I have only mentioned him once, back in 2011's Silly Sustainability Saturday: The Onion, more manatees, heat wave denial, and a poem.  There, I reproduced my friend Nonnie's fake movie poster from Stoopid Warmed Over

After seven years, it's about time I mocked James Inhofe again.  Katherine Hayhoe can't have all the fun laughing at Rick Santorum claiming she's in it for the money.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Celebrate Peace, Economics, and science winners for Nobel Prize Day 2018

Happy Nobel Prize Day!  I'm going to be a good environmentalist and recycle the description from National Day Calendar.
The Nobel Laureates are announced at the beginning of October each year. A couple of months later, on 10 December, the anniversary of Alfred Nobel’s death, they receive their prizes from the Swedish King – a Nobel diploma, a medal, and 10 million Swedish crowns per prize. All Nobel Prizes are awarded in Stockholm, Sweden, except for the Nobel Peace Prize, which is awarded in Oslo, Norway. (When Alfred Nobel was alive, Norway and Sweden were united under one monarch, until 1905 when Norway became an independent kingdom with its own king.)
Since today is also Human Rights Day, I'm beginning with a video from The Washington Post reporting 2018 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad.

The 2018 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded Oct. 5 to Denis Mukwege, a Congolese gynecologist, and Nadia Murad, a Yazidi activist. Both have worked to place the spotlight on ending sexual violence in armed conflicts.
Congratulations to both, but especially Murad, who I consider to be a hero in the struggle against the Daesh AKA the Sith Jihad.

Next, the winners of the Economics Prize, which isn't really a Nobel Prize, but is important nonetheless.  I have particular reason to celebrate this year, as the Financial Times reported Nobel economics prize winners change how we think about growth.

Technological and environmental change have transformed economies. The FT's Martin Sandbu says next time you marvel at your app or worry about extreme weather give a thought to Paul Romer and William Nordhaus, the winners of this year’s Nobel prize in economics.
Technology and environment in economics — these are definitely on-topic for my blog!  I should probably examine Nordhaus and his ideas in depth in a future entry, as I consider myself a supporter of the field he founded, environmental economics.

Next, the prizes I usually examine first, Chemistry, Medicine, and Physics.  Seeker/DNews describes all three in The Science Nobel Prizes Explained in 3 Minutes.

Science that’s worthy of a Nobel Prize is bound to be complicated. Here’s everything you need to know about this year’s winners.
Congratulations to all the winners!

Those readers who pay attention to the Nobel Prizes might notice that the Literature Prize was not awarded this year.  CBC's The National explains why in No Nobel Prize for Literature after sex assault scandal.

There will be no Nobel Prize for Literature awarded this year, because the organization that decides the winner is dealing with a scandal over sexual assault allegations. The Swedish Academy says it will announce the 2018 winner along with the 2019 winner next year.
I did not plan on closing the circle by making the first and last videos about sexual violence; it just worked out that way.  Still, I find it grimly satisfying that the Literature Prize selection committee has to follow the lead of the Peace Prize in fighting against sexual violence.  May they clean up their act enough to be able to award two prizes next year. one for 2018 and another for 2019.

Vice and CNN show their viewers the doomsday bunkers of the well-to-do

It's been more than a year since I've written about preppers, so when Vice uploaded The Apocalypse Escape Plan Of The One Percent, I could not resist this shiny object.*

Doomsday prep is bigger than ever, and it's all thanks to the one percent. Thomas Morton reports.
I'm not that sure that the couple from Georgia being interviewed are from the richest one percent, but they have enough spare cash to afford one of these bunkers.

This isn't the first time the news media have looked at the doomsday bunkers of the well-to-do.  Last year, CNN showed its audience This doomsday bunker costs $3 million.

For $3 million you could have a fully loaded bunker converted from a nuclear missile silo in Kansas. Developer Larry Hall explains why the units are sold out.
When Vox wrote about the rise and fall of the American fallout shelter, which I embedded in Vox on nukes for another fake doomsday, it may have been premature.  These are fallout shelters with style!

*I know I promised "something about the Golden Globes," but I when I saw an opportunity to get back to this blog's roots, I took it.  I'm still in a somewhat serious mood.  Don't worry; I'll get to it.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

A tale of two reports about the state of the climate

I realized today that I wrote a lot about the reaction to the National Climate Assessment but did not look at the report itself.  It's time to correct that oversight by watching Report reveals dire consequences of climate change from CBS News.

A government report released [the] Friday [after Thanksgiving] reveals the dire consequences of climate change. Jeff Berardelli, a CBS News climate and weather contributor, joined CBSN to discuss the report's findings.
That's as bad as anything in the IPCC report that came out earlier this year.  As far as doing something about the situation, another United Nations report came out the next week on progress toward the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.  It did not have good news.  DW (Deutsche Welle) English uploaded a segment about that in UN climate report warns world lagging on climate goals.

The UN say the world needs to step up its efforts to stop catastrophic climate change, A new report from the United Nations environment agency found greenhouse gas emissions rose in 2017 - after three years of decline. It say the world is losing the race to cap global warming at two degrees Celsius - the target set out in the 2015 Paris climate treaty.
This report came out in advance of COP24, the U.N. climate conference in Poland.  I plan on writing more about that after I post something about the Golden Globes.  After all, it's Sunday, so it's time to kick off awards season with an entertainment feature.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Part of the yield curve inverts, sending a possible recession signal

I made a prediction in The tax bill and the U.S. economy in 2018 and beyond that I repeated in Dow falls 1,200+ points as bond yields rise about one of the signs of an upcoming recession.
The most likely would be an inversion of the yield curve, which means that short-term interest rates would rise higher than long-term interest rates.  The Federal Reserve has been raising short-term rates for the past two years while long-term rates have been rising much more slowly.  If present trends continue, short-term rates will rise above long-term ones within a year or two, which always signals a recession within a year.
That prediction starting coming true in October, when the TIPS or Treasury Inflation Protected Securities yield curve inverted.  This week, the next shoe fell when the short- and medium-term portion of the yield curve inverted with interest rates on 2-year and 3-year Treasury bonds rising above the rate of return for 5-year bonds.  That added to the worry in the stock markets, where all the major indexes fell more than four percent during the week, including a one-day drop of 800 points in the Dow.  It also created a lot of chatter on CNBC on Tuesday, most of which mentioned that at least this isn't the yield curve inversion to worry about, which involves the 2-year and 10-year bonds.

I begin with Here's what a flattening yield curve means for the US economy on "Squawk Box," the morning show.

CNBC's Steve Liesman reports on what the yield curve is signaling in terms of a recession. Jim Paulsen of The Leuthold Group joins 'Squawk Box' to discuss.
Continuing with "Squawk Box," I'm sharing Cramer says too early to make investments based on yield curve for the graphic showing the actual interest rates for Treasury bonds and Jim Cramer's observations on Larry Kudlow.

CNBC's Jim Cramer joins 'Squawk Box' to weigh in on the flattening yield curve and the Toll Brothers quarterly earnings.
I'm not a fan of Cramer's, as he tends to be too bullish and emotional, but I think he's absolutely right about Kudlow; he's too consistently positive to be reliable.  Remember, Kudlow is Trump's chief economic advisor, so that's a cause for concern.

CNBC resumed examining the topic on "Power Lunch," the midday program, with Yield curve a good recession indicator: Steve Liesman explains.

CNBC's Steve Liesman explains how the yield curve may indicate recession.
CNBC continued talking about the relation among the bond market, stock market, and economy in Yield curve inversion a test for Fed, says expert, where the panel discussed the current inversion involving the 5-year bond instead of the 10-year bond.

CNBC's "Power Lunch" team talks with John Augustine, chief investment officer at Huntington Private Bank, and Paul Christopher, head of global market strategy at Wells Fargo Investment Institute, about what the yield curve inversion may mean for the U.S. economy.
The panel on "Fast Money," the late afternoon show, analyzed the financial results of the day in This is the chart that just created widespread panic on Wall Street.

Stocks get slammed as the Dow drops 800 points. What's next? With CNBC's Melissa Lee and the Fast Money traders, Tim Seymour, Brian Kelly, Steve Grasso and Guy Adami.
That's enough of one day's talking heads on CNBC, but not the channel's reporting.  John Harwood wrote Thursday Donald Trump could be the first president since Jimmy Carter to run for re-election during a recession.
"A strong dollar, weaker growth abroad, mounting corporate debt, a slowdown in housing and the ongoing havoc that tariffs are wreaking on global supply chains are each taking a toll," Diane Swonk, chief economist for Grant Thornton LLP, wrote this week. "No one knows for sure which straw will break the camel's back, only that they are piling up."

Swonk has accelerated her previous prediction of recession from the second half of 2020 to the first half. In October, the National Association for Business Economics reported that two-thirds of forecasters it surveyed expect recession by the end of Trump's re-election year.

That would represent a historically rare event – and an ominous one for the president's chances of a second term.
The last president burdened with recession as he sought a second term was Carter, in 1980. The results weren't pretty.
I made another prediction about the economy 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.
The clouds of the next recession are now visible on the radar, but at least they have a silver lining.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Lancet reports climate change is a 'medical emergency'

Amongst all the news of Trump disbelieving the National Climate Assessment, the U.N. climate conference in Poland, and U.S. life expectancy dropping for a third straight year, the Lancet published a report on the effects of climate change on human health, which touches on all three topics.  USA Today summarized it in a video: Climate change turning into ‘medical emergency,’ experts say.

Human-caused climate change is turning into a “medical emergency” that could result in death and disease for millions, according to British medical journal, The Lancet.
Researchers from Colorado State University contributed to the report and summarized its main findings as well.
Some of the new health impacts of heat documented in The 2018 Report of The Lancet Countdown on health and climate change include:
  • 157 million more vulnerable people were subjected to a heatwave last year than in 2000, and 18 million more than in 2016.
  • 153 billion hours of work were lost in 2017 due to extreme heat as a result of climate change. China alone lost 21 billion hours, the equivalent of a year’s work for 1.4% of their working population. India lost 75 billion hours, equivalent to 7% of their total working population. New methodologies have captured this data for the first time.
  • Rising ambient temperatures are placing vulnerable populations at increased risks across all regions of the world. Europe and the East Mediterranean are particularly at risk, most likely due to ageing populations living in cities, with 42% and 43% of over 65s vulnerable to heat exposure. Markedly higher than Africa (38%) and southeast Asia (34%).
  • Heat greatly exacerbates urban air pollution, with 97% of cities in low- and middle- income countries not meeting WHO air quality guidelines.
  • Heat stress, an early and severe effect of climate change, is commonplace and we, and the health systems we rely on, are ill equipped to cope.
  • Rising temperatures and unseasonable warmth is responsible for cholera and dengue fever spreading, with vectorial capacity for their transmission increasing across many endemic areas.
  • The mean global temperature change to which humans are exposed is more than double the global average change, with temperatures rising 0·8°C versus 0·3°C.
To read the report at The Lancet, click here.

Speaking of climate change, health, and safety, the death toll for the California's Camp and Woolsey fires is now 88, 85 for the Camp Fire and 3 for the Woolsey FireWelcome to the 400 ppm world.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Schwartzenegger and Attenborough address U.N. climate conference in Poland

President Trump's rejection of the National Climate Assessment is not the only climate news going on lately.  The United Nations is holding the COP24 climate change conference in Katowice, Poland.  While I have found very little coverage in the mainstream American press, foreign outlets appear to be covering it well.  I begin with the CBC, which reported on Monday, Celebrity voices call for change at global climate conference.

Famed British naturalist Sir David Attenborough told the UN climate conference in Poland that the "collapse of our civilizations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizons" if no urgent action is taken against global warming. He was joined by the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger in calling for change at the COP 24 United Nations climate change conference.
Guardian News has more of Emmy winner Attenborough's remarks in 'Continuation of civilisation is in your hands,' Attenborough tells world leaders.

The broadcaster David Attenborough told delegates at a UN climate summit: 'If we don't take action the collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon.' The naturalist was chosen to represent the world’s people at the summit in Poland.
That's an appropriately scary pronouncement, one that I couldn't have said better myself.  I hope the conference attendees take heed.

Speaking of hope, actor and former California Governor Schwarzenegger offered some in Arnold vs. Donald: Schwarzenegger takes shots at Trump during COP24 from Global News (Canada).

Arnold Schwarzenegger says he wishes he could travel back in time like the cyborg he played in "The Terminator" so he could stop fossil fuels from being used.

"If we would've never started in that direction and used other technology, we'd be much better off," the actor and former California governor said December 3 at the start of a U.N. climate conference in Poland. "The biggest evil is fossil fuels: it's coal, it's gasoline, it's the natural gas," he told conference delegates.

Schwarzenegger also insisted that the United States was "still in" an international accord to curb global warming despite U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to walk away from the agreement. Calling Trump "meshugge" - Yiddish for "crazy" - for abandoning the accord, Schwarzenegger said the 2015 agreement has widespread support at the local and state levels even if the federal government isn't on board.
Now, that's both a Hollywood and a Crazy Eddie solution to the problem.  I approve the sentiment, even though I know it's scientifically impossible.

I may have more from COP24.  Stay tuned.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Katharine Hayhoe, lead author of the National Climate Assessment, responds to Santorum and others claiming she's in it for the money

I couldn't resist the following aside in Trump disbelieves his own administration's climate change report to the astonishment of Trevor Noah.
LOL, Rick Santorum.  I thought I was done with him.  Nope, Frothy is still not taking climate change seriously.  Furthermore, I find his line about the scientists being in it for the money really insulting and ignorant, as well as a step backwards for him.
I then dismissed him as a sideshow.  That written, I stumbled across CNN interviewing Katharine Hayhoe, the lead author of the National Climate Assessment that Santorum and Trump both dismissed, who responded to both of them better than I could manage.  Watch and listen to her in Scientist laughs at climate change skeptics.

Katharine Hayhoe, an atmospheric scientist who assisted government agencies in publishing a report predicting devastating damages from climate change, said she in no way benefited financially from helping to write it.
As an academic and scientist, I can tell my readers that she's absolutely right.  Her salary from Texas Tech would be the same if she were studying climate change or astrophysics.  Also, she may be comfortable and secure in being tenured, but she's not going to be rich from her science.  The idea is indeed laughable.  "Rolling in dough?  More like rolling on the floor laughing."

By the way, I have mentioned Hayhoe in this blog before.  She's the narrator of a video from Texas Tech about the likely spread of dengue fever this century because of climate change that I embedded in Heat wave and climate change news for the week of Bastille Day.  Hey, Dr. Hayhoe, it's good to see you again!

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

U.S. life expectancy drops for third straight year because of suicides and drug overdoses

In June, I reported that life expectancy was down for a second consecutive year in the U.S. and promised "I'll be sure to report on the final numbers for 2017, which should come out at the end of the year."  Those numbers have been reported, which Time Magazine summarized as U.S. Life Expectancy Dropped For The Third Year In A Row: Drugs & Suicide Are Partly To Blame.

U.S. life expectancy dropped in 2017 for the third consecutive year, as deaths by suicide and drug overdose continue to claim more American lives.
That was the headline.  Smithsonian Magazine provided more details.
As Lenny Bernstein notes for The Washington Post, the three-year drop represents the longest sustained decline in expected lifespan since the tumultuous period of 1915 to 1918. Then, the decrease could be at least partially attributed to World War I and the devastating 1918 influenza pandemic. Now, the drivers are drug overdoses, which claimed 70,237 lives in 2017, and suicides, which numbered more than 47,000 over the same period. Both of these figures rose between 2016 and 2017.

“Life expectancy gives us a snapshot of the Nation’s overall health,” CDC Director Robert R. Redfield said in a statement, “and these sobering statistics are a wakeup call that we are losing too many Americans, too early and too often, to conditions that are preventable.”

According to Ars Technica’s Beth Mole, 2015 marked the first recorded drop in U.S. life expectancy since 1993, with Americans shaving an average of 0.1 years off of their lifespans. The same proved true in 2016 and 2017, Cathleen O’Grady writes in a separate Ars Technica piece, making the latest projection 78.6 years, down 0.3 years from 2015’s 78.8. Broken down by gender, men could expect to live an average of 76.1 years, down from 76.2 in 2016, while women could anticipate living until 81.1, the same age projected in 2016.

Although the country’s aging Baby Boomer population factored into the decline, Mike Stobbe of the Associated Press reports that increased deaths amongst younger and middle-aged individuals (particularly those between 24 and 44) had an outsized effect on calculations.

As Kathryn McHugh of Harvard Medical School tells NPR’s Richard Harris, “We're seeing the drop in life expectancy not because we're hitting a cap [for lifespans of] people in their 80s, [but] because people are dying in their 20s [and] 30s.”

The overall number of deaths across the U.S. totaled 2.8 million, or 69,255 more than in 2016, Erin Durkin notes for The Guardian. Of the top 10 leading causes of death—heart disease, cancer, unintentional injuries (drug overdoses constituted slightly less than half of this category in 2017), chronic lower respiratory disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, influenza and pneumonia, kidney disease, and suicide—only cancer witnessed a decrease in mortality rates. Seven, including suicide and unintentional injuries, experienced increases.
I am not surprised by any of these findings, as I covered rising suicide rates in the context of Anthony Bourdain's and Kate Spade's deaths, influenza in the context of 80,000 Americans killed by the flu last year, and drug overdoses in the contexts of a Pew Research Center survey and the News & Documentary Emmy Awards.  I'm also doing my best to reduce the death rates from cancer and diabetes by being a five-year and counting cancer survivor and treating my diabetes.  As for what others can do about drug overdoses and suicides, WXYZ gives some advice in Ask Dr. Nandi: What's causing U.S. life expectancy to drop for the 3rd year in a row?

For the third year in a row, U.S. life expectancy has dropped.  Experts say the data is “troubling."
All good advice.  I hope people take some of it.  Otherwise, I expect another decline in life expectancy to be reported this year.  When I first wrote about the phenomenon, I said prompted Russian analogies, reflecting the loss of social support accompanying the collapse of the USSR.  That is not a good comparison to make, and I don't like making it about the United States.  Remember, I'm a Crazy Eddie and I'd like to offer some hope in solutions, not doom.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Happy Hanukkah 5779 (2018) from Michigan

Happy Hanukkah!  I begin the celebration with WOOD-TV reporting Grand Menorah lit to mark start of Hanukkah in Grand Rapids.

Faithful gathered at Grand Rapids' Calder Plaza Sunday afternoon to light a giant menorah and mark the beginning of Hanukkah.
Now to move across the state to Detroit, where WDIV uploaded a feature segment on Hanukkah Traditions and celebrations.

Jewish community in Metro Detroit prepares for Hanukkah.
Speaking of the Menorah in the D, here is the WXYZ feature on the holiday and the event, which also shows how to make sufganiyot (Hanukkah donuts) and describes more about last night's menorah lighting.

That's the fun part of the holiday.  WXYZ also reported on the serious part of the observance in Menorah in the D to pay tribute to victims of the synagogue massacre.

The Menorah in the D ceremony in Downtown Detroit for Hanukkah will pay tribute to the victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre.
Here's to the menorah lighting shedding light in these dark times.