Thursday, April 30, 2020

Samantha Bee explains why we need to save the Postal Service

At the last minute, I changed my mind about what I'm writing about today.  Instead of the retrospective about this blog on Twitter I promised twice to observe Throwback Thursday, I decided to share Full Frontal with Samantha Bee's Why We Need To Save The Postal Service.

Contrary to what you might think, eliminating the Postal Service wouldn’t just pose a threat to the letters filled with cash we all still get from our grandparents. It would also threaten our democracy!
I was wondering what the my mailbox would look like without junk mail.  Now I'm finding out.  As I've written about lower birth rates, "Be careful what you wish for; you might get it."  It's hard to vote by mail without the USPS, along with all the other services it provides.

*I'll post that retrospective next Thursday paired with the final retrospective about the ninth year of this blog for Flashback Friday next week.  In the meantime, stay tuned for May Day.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Justin Amash announces candidacy for Libertarian presidential nomination

"Note that the ABC 13 clip reports that Amash has not ruled out running for the Presidency as a Libertarian," I observed at the end of Justin Amash declares his political independence on July 4th, leaving the G.O.P.  Nine months later, the other shoe dropped, as WOOD-TV reported Justin Amash announces bid for presidency as Libertarian.

U.S. Rep. Justin Amash is making a run for the White House, hoping to be the nominee for the Libertarian Party.
That's not a bad analysis, as far as it goes, but it doesn't look at the effect on the general election should Amash get the nomination.  Amash himself offered his scenario in ABC 13's Interview: Justin Amash talks about launching a presidential exploratory committee.

After months of speculation, Rep. Justin Amash (I-Grand Rapids) announced Tuesday night that he launched an exploratory committee to seek the Libertarian nomination for president.

The congressman made the announcement on Twitter.

Amash said two weeks ago that he had put his congressional campaign on pause to consider running for president. Since then, the congressman said he took time to talk with family and friends about what a run for the White House could look like.
Amash's nomination is not a foregone conclusion, which is why I'm waiting to follow up on the rest of what I wrote last July.
I will likely analyze his ideology at both Voteview and On The Issues, as I have for the Democrats, but that will only happen after I report on the latest scores for the Democrats at On The Issues, which have changed just since last month.
I'll do it along with making drink suggestions, but only after Amash earns the Libertarian Party nomination, which is scheduled for May, but could be delayed.  In the meantime, stay tuned for the retrospective about this blog on Twitter I promised in Comments from the ninth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News for Flashback Friday for Throwback Thursday.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Marching music for the Ohio primary on National Superhero Day

I noted a schedule change in the introduction to Marching music and a drink for the St. Patrick's Day primaries: "At the last minute, Ohio postponed its primary because of the coronavirus pandemic, so I'm postponing posting its corps until the vote is held, possibly on June 2."  Ohio changed both the primary date and the method of voting yet again to a mail-in primary with the ballots due today.
Absentee ballots needed to be postmarked by Monday in order to count. Voters can also bring ballots to county boards of elections before 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. In-person voting is only available on Tuesday to individuals with disabilities who require in-person voting and those who do not have a home mailing address.

A day ahead of the primary, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced that more than 1.9 million Ohioans had requested vote-by-mail ballots and that more than 1.4 million ballots had already been cast.

"In a matter of weeks, we've done something that's taken other states years to do -- transform our state into one capable of voting entirely by mail," LaRose said in a statement.
As I noted first for the Alaska Democratic Primary and the Wyoming Democratic Caucuses, "Since Bernie Sanders dropped out, there is little suspense left in the result...Other than selecting delegates, this election has little meaning.  Just the same, enjoy the music while waiting for the results."  With that, it's time to feature the corps from the Buckeye State I listed in a comment to A drum corps Super Tuesday 2020, Bluecoats, Columbus Saints, and Cincinnati Tradition, plus a bonus performance by the Ohio State University Marching Band.

I begin with the Bluecoats.  Since I didn't write one of these for the 2016 Ohio primary, I'm sharing the performance I most likely would have used then, 2013 Bluecoats - look for America.

Next, last year's crowd-pleaser and almost champion, 2019 Bluecoats | The Bluecoats.

Canton, OH | 2nd Place | 98.238

Drum corps changed a lot in just six years, thanks to the Bluecoats.

Follow over the jump for the rest of the drum corps and marching bands from Ohio.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Vox explains what face masks actually do against coronavirus

After two days mocking dangerously bad advice about how to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, I think it's time to pass out some good advice.  To that end, I'm sharing the latest from Vox explaining how to fight coronavirus beyond hand washing and social distancing, What face masks actually do against coronavirus.

Face masks don't make you invincible.
The fight against coronavirus is global. But the guidelines on whether you should wear a face mask as part of that fight are often completely different from place to place. That means that, for a lot of people, whether you wear a face mask when you leave the house is basically up to you.

Here’s where almost every expert agrees: If you have Covid-19, and you leave the house, you should wear a mask. Masks help keep sick people from spreading their germs. Most of the uncertainty around mask use is related to a totally separate question: Whether healthy people should also wear masks to protect themselves from infection.

The truth is that no mask can actually guarantee that you won’t get sick; experts say one of the most dangerous assumptions about face masks is that they basically make you invincible. Masks have to be used correctly to offer any protection at all, and they’re most effective if used alongside other preventative measures like hand-washing and social distancing.

But experts also say that the question of whether healthy people should wear masks matters a lot less when you consider one of Covid-19’s most dangerous characteristics: Because of the disease’s long incubation period, and the high occurrence of infected people who never feel symptoms at all, it’s almost impossible to be completely sure that you don’t already have it. And that means the safest course of action is ultimately for everyone to behave like a sick person; in other words, to wear a mask.
I started wearing a mask when I returned to going out for errands a couple of weeks ago.  Regardless of how it protects me, it makes me less worried.  I also feel better when I see people I'm interacting with wearing masks.  It means they're being careful as well.  That's a good thing.

Enough of about the pandemic for today.  Stay tuned for another Marching music for a Democratic primary tomorrow.  It will be for the Ohio primary, which was postponed from St. Patrick's Day.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

SNL at Home on last week's coronavirus news

I wasn't sure what I would write about for this week's Sunday entertainment feature, but I woke up this morning and decided to return to something I haven't done since February's SNL satirizes New Hampshire Democratic Debate, Iowa Caucuses, and impeachment acquittal, see what SNL had to say about our current situation.  So, here are the takes the Emmy-winning variety sketch program had on coronavirus misinformation and the Operation Gridlock protest in Lansing, beginning with Dr. Anthony Fauci Cold Open starring Brad Pitt.

Dr. Anthony Fauci (Brad Pitt) addresses the public to decipher the coronavirus misinformation President Trump has been spreading.
It's not every Saturday an Oscar-winning actor delivers the cold open for SNL.  I think he did a great job, particularly after he took off the wig and glasses and delivered a sincere thanks to the people keeping society going during the lockdown.

Weekend Update Home Edition: Trump Suggests Injecting Disinfectant continued looking at misinformation and transitioned into Operation Gridlock.

Weekend Update anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che tackle the week's biggest news, like Trump’s comments about potential COVID-19 treatments and stay-at-home order protests.
#DontDrinkBleach is more direct than #TidePodPresident, but I got a kick out of calling what Trump suggested the Tide Pod challenge.

Continuing with SNL's take on Operation Lockdown, here's Cecily Strong in Message from Gov. Whitmer

Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer (Cecily Strong) has some safety tips for people protesting stay-at-home orders.
Strong could have used a fuller wig, but otherwise her performance was perfect.  Governor Whitmer should be flattered that she is important enough to be lampooned on SNL.

That's it for the Sunday entertainment feature, which makes me feel better at the news by making me laugh at it.  I hope it has the same effect on my readers.  Stay safe at home, everyone!

Saturday, April 25, 2020

John Oliver and Washington Post examine coronavirus misinformation

I closed Comments from the ninth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News for Flashback Friday by telling my readers to "In the meantime, stay tuned for something about the COVID-19 pandemic tomorrow.  Back to reality, even if I'm in an "I can't be all DOOM all the time" mood."  I'm going to ease into our current crisis with Last Week Tonight with John Oliver's latest on the crisis, Coronavirus V, an update to John Oliver on coronavirus and More John Oliver on coronavirus.*

As COVID-19 continues to dominate the news cycle, John Oliver looks at the various sources of misinformation about the disease - from televangelists and the right wing media, to President Trump himself.
John Oliver recorded this clip on Saturday and HBO broadcast and uploaded it on Sunday, which is why Operation Gridlock protest in Lansing had such a featured position.  However, it ended up being prescient, as Donald Trump himself spread new misinformation this week, which the Washington Post examined in Opinion | The Trump-Fox News coronavirus misinformation campaign has real consequences.

Speculation by Fox News and the president about covid-19 cures is making it more difficult for health officials to do their job, says media critic Erik Wemple. The network and Trump promoted the unproven effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine, a drug prescribed for lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases. And most recently, the president suggested disinfectant could cure the coronavirus, forcing health officials to work overtime to warn people not to drink or inject Lysol.
The day after he suggested disinfectant and ultraviolet light as treatments, #TidePodPresident trended on Twitter, which prompted me to tweet the link to Laundry Detergent Shot from Tipsy Bartender.

This one resembles a tide pod but it certainly tastes better than one!
It's also safer, not only than a Tide Pod, but Clorox and Lysol as well.

Stay tuned for next week's Sunday entertainment feature.  I originally planned to post marching music for the Puerto Rico Primary, but that's been postponed indefinitely, so I'm not sure what I'll write.  Maybe I'll follow up on Coffee Party USA invites you to watch these political movies while staying safe at home with shortlists of actors from feature films and public figures from documentaries.  Any of my readers have other suggestions?  Leave them in the comments!

*Oliver's public feud with AT&T reminds me of David Letterman's feud with General Electric when he was on NBC.  Letterman later left for CBS.  I'll let my readers decide if that was bad or good for Letterman.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Comments from the ninth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News for Flashback Friday

Happy Flashback Friday!  I told my readers "Stay tuned for another of these retrospectives tomorrow" at the end of Alignment charts from the back catalog for Throwback Thursday with music by the Harp Twins.  Since yesterday's tomorrow is today, it's time to follow through with the three most commented on entries of the ninth year of this blog.

Wonkette reacts to its Media Bias Chart placement, an update to 'A comparison of two measures of media bias shows readers and viewers respond to both ideology and quality' from April 4, 2020 had 12 comments, the most comments on an entry posted during the blogging year.  I suspect most of the commenters came from Wonkette and Crooks and Liars.  Add that to being the fourth most read entry posted last year, as I described in Explaining the Media Bias Chart, a popular topic of the past two years of Crazy Eddie's Motie News.  Once again, thanks, Infidel!

Entertainment for the sixth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News from April 23, 2017 tied for the most comments during the posting year with 12 because of a series of persistent spammers.  I recommend it to my readers just for the comedy value of some of the most inept spammers in the history of the blog.  The entry currently has 23 comments, including nine from 2017, which placed it third for the year, so it missed being mentioned in Pins, comments, shares, and likes for the seventh year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News by one comment.  Darn!

Company Man on JCPenney's decline updates tales of the Retail Apocalypse for the eighth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News from April 18, 2020 had 11 comments, the second most comments on an entry posted during the blogging year.  This continues the trend of entries about the Retail Apocalypse eliciting a lot of comments, something I noted in last year's review of the most commented entries, Shopko liquidating, a tale of the Retail Apocalypse.  Here's to posts about the Retail Apocalypse continuing to engage my readers!

As I was writing this, I wondered if I should also select the best comments from my readers for this post.  That's not going to happen today.  First, I really have to get to work (working from home is still work) and that would take too much time.  Sorry.  Second, I turn interesting comments into posts anyway, so I don't need to do that here.  Instead, I'll just thank the commenters I listed in Statistics for the ninth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News, Infidel753, Bukko Boomeranger, Nebris, K-Dog, Paul W., Ranch Chimp, Lady M., jkl, and even my right-wing troll, Ed.  You are better than a spammer.

I close with someone who was inspired to do something creative with her comments, Madilyn Bailey, who composed I Wrote a Song Using Only Your Comments!

I get soooooo many comments every day and you guys are quite creative so I decided to make a song out of them :) Madilyn Bailey
That was fun and I am now a fan.

I plan on posting two more of these retrospectives, one about Twitter on April 30th for Throwback Thursday and another in May about Pinterest to conclude the series.  I doubt I will post the latter next Friday, as that is May Day and I already have something planned for that, so watch for it on May 7.  In the meantime, stay tuned for something about the COVID-19 pandemic tomorrow.  Back to reality, even if I'm in an "I can't be all DOOM all the time" mood.

Previous posts in this series.
Previous retrospectives about comments and likes.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Alignment charts from the back catalog for Throwback Thursday with music by the Harp Twins

I concluded My students are watching 'Chasing Ice' during Earth Week with the following program note.
Stay tuned for the retrospective about alignment charts from the back catalog for Throwback Thursday I promised at the end of Broken Peach sings to update holidays from the back catalog for the ninth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie NewsGame of Thrones and Star Wars!
I'm not even going to pretend to introduce this entry with new material, as I have all the rest of the retrospectives this year, so I'm just going to launch into the most read entries featuring alignment charts about speculative fiction franchises from the back catalog.

The most read entry featuring alignment charts during the ninth year of this blog was Game of Thrones D&D character alignment charts from April 6, 2014.  It earned ~1,160 raw page views between March 21, 2019 and March 20, 2020, enough to rank it 11th overall for the blogging year.  I assume all of it was from web search, as I haven't promoted it at all during the past 12 months.  What's more interesting is it has amassed 9063 raw page views all time, which is enough to rank it seventh on the all-time list, even though it doesn't show up on the default page list at all.  That's definitely been propelled by web search, as "game of thrones dungeons and dragons" is the second most popular search string in this blog's history with 539 hits.  Here's to this entry being popular in years to come, although that's not guaranteed, as the HBO series is over even though the book series is still not finished.

The second most read entry about alignment charts last year was 'Star Wars' alignment charts from August 16, 2015 with 853 raw page views, which ranked 25th overall.  Some of this is most likely coming from web search, but I suspect a lot of these page views is coming from Pinterest, as the pins for this entry were saved 62 times last year and the pin ranked among the five most saved pins eight of the past 12 months.  As of March 20, 2020, this entry had 5592 page views all time, which wasn't enough for it to break into the all-time top 20.  Darn.

Speaking of Pinterest, 'Pirates of the Caribbean' alignment chart from August 2, 2015 earned an honorable mention, as it was the most active on Pinterest during June 2019 with 18 saves.  Along with the rest of its saves, it earned 27 total during the ninth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News.  Pirates!

As I wrote four years ago, "No alignment chart entry of mine would be complete without a fan cover of the theme song."  Follow over the jump for three of them!

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

My students are watching 'Chasing Ice' during Earth Week

Happy Earth Day!  For today's celebration, I'm sharing the worksheet I made yesterday for 'Chasing Ice.'  It only took me six years to follow through with the intention I expressed in 'Years of Living Dangerously', when I wrote "I've been thinking about replacing 'An Inconvenient Truth' with another film.  My first choice is 'Chasing Ice.'"  I repeated this thought two years later in 'Inconvenient Truth 2' being released next year.
I just finished showing my students "An Inconvenient Truth" last week.  It's a very good movie, and it's holding up better than "The End of Suburbia," which I've really had enough of for reasons beyond the age of the film.*  Just the same, it's also getting out of date so I've been looking for a replacement such as "Chasing Ice."  Maybe I can just wait until the sequel comes out on DVD and show that instead.  I know, I'm lazy, but it might just work.
I reported that I made some progress on this effort in June 2018's Sea level rise is already causing coastal flooding in New Jersey and Vox thinks it will get worse.
"An Inconvenient Sequel" portrayed the situations at both locations, although mostly in the context of Hurricane Sandy for New York, while showing the chronic flooding in Florida...I also watched "Chasing Ice."  Right now, I'm favoring the latter to show to my students.
What took me so long?  A combination of laziness, necessity, and available resources, that's what.  First, "An Inconvenient Truth" was still working, even as it was getting dated.  It helped that Al Gore hasn't pissed me off the way James Howard Kunstler did, which played a big part in why 'Treasures of the Earth: Power' replaced 'End of Suburbia.'  Second, Michigan's colleges and universities suspended in-person classes, which prevented me from using the college's DVD to show "An Inconvenient Truth" in front of a classroom of live students.  Third, there are two uploads of "Chasing Ice" on YouTube, while there are none of "An Inconvenient Truth."  Here is one of those uploads.

Chasing Ice is a 2012 documentary film about the efforts of nature photographer James Balog and his Extreme Ice Survey (EIS) to publicize the effects of climate change, directed by Jeff Orlowski.[1] It was released in the United States on November 16, 2012.

The documentary includes scenes from a glacier calving event that took place at Jakobshavn Glacier in Greenland, lasting 75 minutes, the longest such event ever captured on film.[2][3] Two EIS videographers waited several weeks in a small tent overlooking the glacier, and were finally able to witness 7.4 cubic kilometres (1.8 cu mi) of ice crashing off[4] the glacier. "The calving of a massive glacier believed to have produced the ice that sank the Titanic is like watching a city break apart."
Looks like someone copied the movie's description from its Wikipedia entry.

Follow over the jump for the worksheet, which is written in the same style as "Treasures of the Earth: Power" and "Food, Inc."

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Oil falls below $0.00 for the first time ever

Something happened yesterday that I expected would never happen, oil dropping to or even below 1998 levels of $10-$20 a barrel.*  In fact, it fell so far below that price that people holding oil contracts had to pay others to take it off their hands.  CNBC has the story yesterday in Crude settles at -$37 a barrel in worst day ever.

Oil goes negative for the first time ever. Now what? With CNBC's Melissa Lee and the Fast Money traders, Guy Adami, Tim Seymour, Karen Finerman and Dan Nathan.
Wow, do her guests love Melissa Lee!  On a more serious note, my understanding of why oil fell to negative levels is that the people and institutions holding the oil contracts would actually have to take possession of the oil when the contracts came due.  Since they were only doing it for an investment and not for actual consumption, that's not what they really wanted to do.  They needed to get rid of the oil to someone who could store it until it's refined and used.  The problem is that there isn't much storage left as people aren't consuming oil to move around, so they had to pay people to take the oil instead of selling it and getting the money.

I'm an example of people driving a lot less and reducing consumption.  In January, I expected to write the next driving update in early April.  It's now late April and I've driven so little since Michigan colleges and universities suspended in-person classes in March that I may not write that update until June.  The silver lining is that the coronavirus response has reduced air pollution.  The bad news is that unemployment is up dramatically, which will reduce consumption in and of itself.

Follow over the jump for a more entertaining and professionally produced version of the explanation I wrote along with what the lower oil prices mean for consumers and a footnote.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Virginia decriminalizing marijuana leads legalization and decriminalization update for 4/20/20

It's April 20, the date that for the past five years, I've used to update my readers on the status of marijuana legalization.  Last year, I followed up on legalizing recreational marijuana in Michigan.  This year, I look at the status of legalization and decriminalization around the country.

I begin with the most recent news, Virginia decriminalizing marijuana, which happened a week ago.  13News Now included the story in Gov. Ralph Northam pushes back minimum wage hike, signs some bills into law.

The Virginia governor decriminalized marijuana, made election day a state holiday, pushed back the date of the minimum wage increase and promoted a "clean economy."
Other than delaying the minimum wage increase, I approve of all these laws being enacted.  They improve elections, criminal justice, and the environment, all issues I care about.  I can even understand delaying Virginia's minimum wage increase even if I disagree with it; no issue is escaping the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Follow over the jump for the rest of the stories about marijuana legalization and decriminalization from the past year.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

CNBC asks 'Can Hollywood Survive Coronavirus?'

For this week's Sunday entertainment feature, I'm continuing my focus on how entertainment is affected by the COVID-19 pandemic with CNBC asking Can Hollywood Survive Coronavirus?

The coronavirus pandemic is putting a strain on all industries, including films. The call for social distancing shut down theaters and production, impacting all players from studios executives to freelance employees to consumers. Covid-19 will have a lasting impact on entertainment in the U.S. and around the world.
Of course, the answer is yes, but it's going to be rough until movie theaters reopen and film and TV production resumes.  Until both do, the hiatus will add to the record unemployment claims the U.S. is experiencing.  Keep this in mind when watching the political movies I listed two weeks ago, which I hope my readers are doing while staying safe at home.

That's it for this week's Sunday entertainment feature. Stay tuned for marijuana legalization news for 4/20 tomorrow.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Trump tweets 'Liberate Michigan' after Operation Gridlock protest in Lansing

Two events related to the COVID-19 pandemic happened in Michigan this week and made national news.  ABC 13 in Grand Rapids reported on the first in Rally held against Whitmer's stay at home order causes 'gridlock' in Lansing.

Wednesday around noon, numerous cars caused traffic jams near the capitol building in Lansing as people took part in a protest against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's recent executive orders.

The main order people are taking issue with is the extension of the stay at home order and what businesses are considered essential and non-essential. On Thursday, April 9, Whitmer extended that order through the end of the month and also introduced new restrictions on garden centers and stores selling furniture and paint.
As far as I could tell, there were no tax marches on Tax Day.  Instead, several states saw protests like this.

That was Wednesday.  Yesterday, President Trump tweeted "Liberate Minnesota," "Liberate Michigan," and "Liberate Virginia," apparently to encourage more protests like this in swing states.  CBS This Morning reported on those tweets and the protests they supported in "Trump goads protesters to defy stay-at-home orders."

President Trump took to Twitter to back right wing protests in several states, staged against the stay-at-home orders of the Democratic governors of those states. Mr. Trump's expressive "LIBERATION" tweets were met with swift replies from the governors of Minnesota and Michigan, asking what he thought the states could do better and expressing hope that he is not encouraging more protests. Nikole Killion reports on the back-and-forth as well as Mr. Trump's ongoing feud with New York Governor Cuomo.
I'm on Governor Whitmer's side on this one.  These protests were discouraging and counterproductive in terms of slowing the spread of disease and ending the lockdown.  For more opinion, I recommend reading Susan J. Demas: Don’t whitewash the GOP’s extremism on full display during Whitmer protest at Michigan Advance for an analysis of Operation Lockdown in Lansing and Teri Kanefield's Twitter thread on the motivation behind Trump's tweets.  I found them informative and I hope my readers do, too.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Broken Peach sings to update holidays from the back catalog for the ninth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News

Three times now I've told my readers to "stay tuned for a retrospective about holidays for Flashback Friday."  It's time to follow through with that promise, so happy Flashback Friday, especially since three of the most popular posts are from the back catalog.

The most read entry from the back catalog about holidays is Broken Peach: Singing Spanish goths and witches for Halloween posted on October 28, 2017.  Between March 21, 2019 and March 20, 2020, it earned 1,371 raw page views to rank eighth overall during the ninth year of my writing this blog.  The post ended the eighth year of blogging here with 3009 page views.  It ended the ninth year with 4380 page views all time.  It's getting its page views through web search, something I mentioned last year.
I begin with a widely read holiday entry from the back catalog, Broken Peach: Singing Spanish goths and witches for Halloween from 2017.  I noted that in Broken Peach: Singing Spanish goths on parade for Halloween last October.
Speaking of liking things, Infidel 753 wrote "I did a Google search on 'Broken Peach' and your October post about them was in ninth place in the results. You may have a few of their fans reading" in a comment to Merry Christmas 2017 from Broken Peach and Crazy Eddie's Motie News.  My response was "I'm flattered by that. I hope they are!"  It looks we were both right, as this entry had earned 2117 raw page views on the first anniversary of my posting it.  It currently has 2322.  The first would have placed it 32nd among entries posted last year and the second 31st.  Wow!
The post ended the eighth year of blogging here with 3009 page views.  It currently has 3116.  It may not have been the most read holiday entry of the past blogging year, but it certainly came close.  For what it's worth, it is still the highest ranking Google result for "Broken Peach" other than the band's own website and social media accounts.

Speaking of Broken Peach's social media accounts, I mentioned in CNN reports on Trump consulting Twitter for policy advice, that "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas from Broken Peach and Crazy Eddie's Motie News earned an honorable mention for most responded to on Twitter during December 2018 with one reply in one thread from Broken Peach itself."  I quoted that response in my comment on Holiday odds and ends at Infidel 753's blog.
Thanks for linking to my Christmas entry about Broken Peach.  I tweeted a link to Broken Peach and they responded "Oh! Thank U! kisses!"  I couldn't (and shouldn't) ask for more.
It's continued to be popular through web search as the 12th and 13th most searched terms leading to my blog last year were "broken peach cd" with 12 and "broken peach" with 11.  Unlike U.S.-China EcoPartnerships: The CoDominion plans for sustainability from the first year of this blog, the popularity of this entry is no mystery to me.

To celebrate the continued popularity of this entry, I'm sharing two videos by Broken Peach.  The first is Broken Peach - This is Halloween (TV Peachformance), a live reprise of the video in Broken Peach: Singing Spanish goths and witches for Halloween.

Since I'm an environmentalist, I plan on recycling this video for Halloween.

Like every one and everything else, Broken Peach as been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, as Spain is now the second worst hit country by the novel coronavirus and the country is still under lockdown.  That hasn't kept the band from creating videos while practicing social distancing, the most popular of which right now is Friends - I´ll Be There For You (by Broken Peach).

"I'll Be There for You" is a song recorded by American duo The Rembrandts. It is best known as the theme song to the American sitcom Friends, which premiered in September 1994 and ended in May 2004. The song was also released as the first single from the group's third studio album LP, reaching the top 10 in Australia, New Zealand and Norway, as well as in Ireland and the United Kingdom in both 1995 and 1997. In Canada, the song reached number one for five weeks and was the highest-selling single of 1995, while in the United States, the song reached number 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay chart for eight weeks.

"I'll Be There for You" was co-written by Friends producers David Crane and Marta Kauffman, Kauffman's husband, composer Michael Skloff, and songwriter Allee Willis, along with Phil Solem and Danny Wilde, both of the Rembrandts.

The original theme, which is under one minute long, was later re-recorded as a three-minute pop song. After Nashville program director Charlie Quinn, along with radio announcer and music director Tom Peace, looped the original short version into a full-length track and broadcast it on radio station WYHY, it became so popular that they had to re-record it. "Our record label said we had to finish the song and record it. There was no way to get out of it," lead singer Phil Solem said.

We stay at home but... we always find a way to be together :)

We hope you enjoy it and... Share!
I did enjoy it and I am sharing.  I'll also say that these videos are some of the band's most creative work ever in terms of music and video editing.

Follow over the jump for the rest of the top holidays posts from the blogging year that ended on March 20, 2020.

Marching music for the Wyoming Democratic Caucuses

As I told my readers in the final paragraph of Roll Call and Teen Kids News update statehood for Puerto Rico and D.C., popular topics for the past three years of Crazy Eddie's Motie News, "Stay tuned for an update to 2016's Drum corps for the Wyoming Democratic Caucuses."  As Wikipedia states:
The 2020 Wyoming Democratic caucuses were scheduled to take place on April 4, 2020, in the Democratic Party presidential primaries for the 2020 presidential election. However, the in-person caucus was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, and mail-in voting was extended to April 17, 2020.
As I wrote in Marching Music for the Alaska Democratic Primary, "Since Bernie Sanders dropped out, there is little suspense left in the result, although it's possible that Sanders could win, as he did in 2016, which would be a Pyrrhic victory."  Sanders didn't get that as he lost and he has now endorsed Biden, along with former President Barack Obama and Senator Elizabeth Warren.  Other than selecting delegates, this election has little meaning.  Just the same, enjoy the music while waiting for the results.

Still, it is a good excuse for another of my marching music for a primary election entries, especially since Wyoming has a famous drum and bugle corps, the Troopers, who I've featured here before.  I begin with the corps' 2016 show, Hero.

Casper, WY - 14th Place 83.438
"Fanfare" Written by Robert W. Smith Published by Ariana Productions; "War Psalm" Written by Paul Rennick Published by Paul Rennick; "Walking With Heroes" Written by Paul Lovatt-Cooper Published by Prima Vista Musikk Limited; "Symphony No. 1: Of Rage and Rememrance" Written by John Corigliano Published by G. Schirmer, Inc.; "Fire" Written by Robert Smith Published by Ariana Productions;
Now their 2017 show, Duels and Duets.

Casper, WY | 17th Place | 81.275
“Death of Tybalt (from ‘Romeo and Juliet’)”
Written by Sergei Prokofiev
“Black Heart Tango”
Written by Robert W. Smith, Paul Rennick
“Nessun Dorma”
Written by Donald Leslie Reedman, Giacomo Puccini, Chris Cozens, Nick Magnus
Written by Robert W. Smith, Paul Rennick
Unfortunately, neither of these shows have the elements I mentioned four years ago, when I wrote "No Troopers retrospective would be complete without both a sunburst and a color presentation."  To make up for it, here's the corps performing a sunburst from 2008...

...and a color presentation of sorts from 2013 I've used before.

Other traditional aspects of a Troopers show missing are patriotic songs and music from Westerns.  Follow over the jump for a marching band from Wyoming that has preserved that tradition.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Roll Call and Teen Kids News update statehood for Puerto Rico and D.C., popular topics for the past three years of Crazy Eddie's Motie News

I concluded Tax Day postponed to July 15 because of pandemic with a preview of coming attractions.
Stay tuned for retrospectives for Throwback Thursday and Flashback Friday.  The subjects will be adding states to the Union and stars to the flag, followed by holidays.  I've managed to tie the two together on this blog, thanks to Flag Day and Pina Colada Day.
The blast for the past for Throwback Thursday this week is Mitch McConnell calling Puerto Rico statehood 'socialism' drives one to drink on National Pina Colada Day 2019, the most popular post about both Puerto Rico and holidays during the ninth year of this blog.  I'll explain its history after I update the topic of adding Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., as states.

I begin with Roll Call's How statehood is granted to U.S. territories, explained.

Historically, territorial status has been granted as a precursor to statehood, yet 1959 was the last time any stars were added to Old Glory.

The United States controls five inhabited territories. While their citizens are American, their homes are not considered states — but someday they could be. Watch as CQ Roll Call explains the statehood process.
Moving from the general to the specific, Roll Call updated the status of D.C. Statehood in Coronavirus funding slight emboldens DC statehood fight.

In what seems like a lifetime ago — February — D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton attended trivia night at a crowded local brewery, celebrating the House Oversight Committee’s approval of a bill to make the District of Columbia the 51st state.

Just a few long weeks later, that brewery is selling beer only online for delivery or pickup. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, non-essential D.C. businesses have shut down, the Metro is running reduced service, and nine district residents have died as of Sunday night.

Late last week Congress passed a coronavirus relief package that provides millions less in funding to D.C. than states, because the district was grouped with federal territories rather than states.

“This is why you’ve seen me pressing so hard for statehood for the District of Columbia,” Holmes Norton told CQ Roll Call in a video interview Thursday.

“Hear me, I’m going to get it fixed in the next bill, and mind you, there is going to be a next coronavirus bill,” Holmes Norton said.

With D.C.’s non-statehood status affecting its access to emergency funding, CQ Roll Call took a look at where Holmes Norton’s decades-long push for statehood lies, including Republicans’ myriad Constitutional objections to making the nation’s capital a state.
Yes, every issue has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Also, Mitch McConnell calling statehood for D.C. and Puerto Rico "socialism" made a cameo in this video, tying the two together and connecting the video to the reason I'm writing this post today.

Since the original post was about Puerto Rico, it's time for an update on its struggle for statehood.  Watch Teen Kids News ask Should Puerto Rico pursue Statehood or Independence?

Nicole tells us about Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory that could become America's 51 state. She travels to Washington D.C. where she meets Pedro Pierluisi, the Resident Commissioner for Puerto Rico. Mr. Pierluisi serves in the U.S. House of Representatives. It's his job to make sure Puerto Rico's interests are represented in our government.
I wish both Eleanor Holmes Norton and Pedro Pierluisi luck in obtaining statehood for their home jurisdictions.  It looks like they'll need it.

Follow over the jump for how Mitch McConnell calling Puerto Rico statehood 'socialism' drives one to drink on National Pina Colada Day 2019 earned its page views.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Tax Day postponed to July 15 because of pandemic

Happy Tax Day!  I mean that sincerely this year because the deadline for filing federal and most state income taxes, including here in Michigan, has been delayed until July 15 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  CBS News has the story in What the 2020 Tax Day deadline extension means for you.

In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, the IRS and Treasury Department extended the tax filing and payment deadline from April 15 to July 15.  Tax attorney Sahang-Hee Hahn joins CBSN to discuss the implications of the delay and how it could also impact the anticipated stimulus check.
No tax marches, at least in person.  Instead, Tax March is hosting a petition-signing campaign on their website.  Clicktivism while staying safe at home — that's better than marching in person right now.  Maybe conditions will be safer for public assemblies in July, the new tax filing and payment deadline.  Either way, that's when I plan on returning to my usual topics for Tax Day of highlighting inequitable taxation and demanding President Trump release his tax returns.  There are more immediate concerns today.

Stay tuned for retrospectives for Throwback Thursday and Flashback Friday.  The subjects will be adding states to the Union and stars to the flag, followed by holidays.  I've managed to tie the two together on this blog, thanks to Flag Day and Pina Colada Day.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

NASA's 'Apollo 13: Home Safe' for the 50th anniversary of a 'successful failure'

I didn't keep all of the promise I made in Apollo 8's Earthrise 50 years later for Christmas Eve to blog about the 50th anniversaries of the rest of the Apollo missions.  I did get around to writing about Apollo 11 but skipped Apollos 9, 10, and 12.  Sorry.  I needed a reminder to write about them and I didn't see any.  That's not the case with Apollo 13, as NASA created Apollo 13: Home Safe and uploaded it to its YouTube channel on Friday.  Watch along with me.

"Houston, we've had a problem." Apollo 13 has become known as “a successful failure” that saw a safe return of the crew in spite of a catastrophic explosion in the middle of their lunar journey. This 30-minute documentary features interviews with Apollo 13 Astronauts Jim Lovell and Fred Haise, as well as Flight Directors Gene Kranz and Glynn Lunney, with engineer Hank Rotter. Parts of their interviews take place in the restored Apollo mission control room. This documentary also features original NASA footage and newly synchronized audio from Mission Control.

Thanks to Stephen Slater and Ben Feist/Apollo in Real-Time ( for providing additional footage and audio.
Let this serve as an example of what some of the best minds in the U.S. government can do in an emergency.  May the best minds we have now do their best to get us out of our current crisis.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Pandemic effects from and on space, an April asteroid flyby, and NASA at Home for Apophis Day on Monday the 13th

Happy Apophis Day on Monday the 13th!  Normally, I treat this date as "my version of Asteroid Day, when I warn of dangers from space — other than plagues" — and I will do some of that, but, just as yesterday's Yuri's Night entry looked at both the promise and peril of space through the lens of the coronavirus pandemic, so will today's observance of the day I declared in 2012.  As I wrote in Pandemics and collapse in 2013:
This blog is still about how to avoid the collapse of the current civilization and takes a science-fiction slant on the topic.  An asteroid impact is the perfect merger of the two.
So are pandemics.  We need to be prepared for them, too.
My readers don't have to guess which one happened first, as we're living through it and we're finding out that we weren't prepared!  Let that be a lesson to us.

Before I examine hazards from space, From Space shows its viewers Coronavirus impact seen from space in before and after satellite images.

The coronavirus pandemic has led to a massive decrease in movement of people around the world, which is evident in these satellite images.
I found all of these striking, but particularly the before and after images of Tokyo Disneyland.  When I'm really in an "I can't be all DOOM all the time mood," I de-stress by watching videos about theme parks, particularly Disney's theme parks.  The closure of all of Disney's theme parks at once has really affected those video bloggers and made their videos less stress-relieving.  Escapism doesn't work when you know there was a place to escape to that isn't available any more.*

Video From Space examined both the effects of the pandemic on space travel and an April asteroid flyby in What's Up in Space by (April 2020).

The team, like everyone else, may be stuck at home amid the coronavirus pandemic, but space exploration is still going on. Here's what to expect in April with Editor-in-Chief Tariq Malik and Community Manager Stevie Ward!
Yes, space industries and agencies are having people work from home while keeping essential personnel on site as well as shifting production, too.  Also, the video mentioned an asteroid flyby on April 29th.  Fortunately, it will miss Earth by a safe distance, which reported today.
"On April 29, asteroid 1998 OR2 will safely pass by 3.9 million miles/6.2 million kilometers," scientists with NASA's Asteroid Watch program said in a Twitter update as they debunked a Daily Express report warning of the flyby. "There is no warning about this asteroid," they added in another Twitter post.
"The orbit is well understood and it will pass harmlessly at 16 times the distance to our moon," NASA wrote on Twitter. "No one should have any concern about it."
That's a relief, especially after seeing all the alarmist YouTube videos about the flyby when I searched for asteroids yesterday.  Those alone were enough to make me change the focus of today's post from asteroid impacts to the pandemic.

Speaking of NASA, they opened A Universe of Possibilities to Explore at Home on This Week @NASA – April 3, 2020 with how they are serving the public while people are staying safe at home.

You, plus “NASA at Home” equals a universe of possibilities, the first delivery service selected for our lunar Gateway, and an astronaut added to a future Commercial Crew flight … a few of the stories to tell you about – This Week at NASA!
Virtual field trips and science experiments — I should check them out to see if there are any I can recommend to my students.  Since I can't run my geology field trip in person, I'll have to find one the students can do themselves.  Wish me luck as my students and I stay safe at home.

*For my readers who are wondering how a doomer blogger such as myself came across this community, it's because they form a branch of urban exploration, which also includes all the video bloggers about the Retail Apocalypse.  When I started looking at videos about dead malls, YouTube suggested videos about closed Disney park attractions, so I starting watching them and looking at YouTube's recommendations for those videos.  Behold the power of the YouTube algorithm!

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Vox and Vintage Space explain why Apollo 11's crew was quarantined for Yuri's Night 2020

Not only is today Easter, but it's also Yuri's Night, the anniversary of the first crewed space flight and the first operational launch of the space shuttle.  As I noted four years ago, it's the first of two space days in a row I observe on this blog with Yuri's Night celebrating the promise of space and Apophis Day examining its perils.  For this year's edition of Yuri's Night, I'm looking at both the promise and peril of space through the lens of the coronavirus pandemic with a history lesson from two of my favorite YouTube channels, Vox and The Vintage Space.  Both of them cooperated in Vox's Why NASA quarantined the Apollo 11 astronauts.

In this episode of History Club, Vox's Phil Edwards and Coleman Lowndes chat with Amy Shira Teitel of The Vintage Space about the Apollo 11 quarantine.
It was an unusual process for an unprecedented task: keeping potential moon germs from entering the Earth’s atmosphere (and affecting its population).

To try to isolate the Apollo astronauts from the Earth, NASA went to extraordinary lengths. They clothed them in “Biological Isolation Garments,” transported them on a converted Airstream trailer, and then quarantined them for weeks in a Lunar Receiving Lab specially built to analyze moon samples and, of course, the men who went there.

The quarantine was a strange capstone to the journey to the moon — but also a necessary one that’s surprisingly resonant today.
Vox recommended The Vintage Space, so I'm sharing Amy Shira Teitel's How Apollo Astronauts Passed Time in Quarantine, which she produced first.

If only our period of staying at home lasted a mere three weeks with celebrations afterwards.  Who knows, after months to more than a year of social distancing and working from home, we'll celebrate, too, just like the participants in Yuri's Night last year in Los Angeles!

Watch this video to see all of the awesome things that happened at Yuri's Night Los Angeles 2019 - there is so much to do that you literally can't see, hear, and do it all!
Now, that's a party!  Too bad this year's was virtual, not real.  Next year.

That's it for both Easter and Yuri's Night.  Stay tuned for Apophis Day, my version of Asteroid Day, when I warn of dangers from space — other than plagues.

Madison Scouts 'Judas' for a drum corps Easter

A happy drum corps Easter to my readers!  For an explanation, I'm going to be a good environmentalist and recycle what I wrote for Easter 2019.
Since I first started observing Easter on this blog in 2015, I've been alternating between my two default holiday themes, drinks from Tipsy Bartender on odd-numbered years and drum corps on even-numbered years.
Because this is an even-numbered year, it's drum corps.

I foreshadowed today's selections four years ago, when I told my readers "the Madison Scouts will play selections from ["Jesus Christ Superstar"] this coming summer.  Stay tuned."  Without any further ado, I present 2016 Madison Scouts - FULL SHOW by Vic Firth Marching.

Vic Firth takes you BEYOND the lot with MADISON SCOUTS as they perform their 2016 production "Judas" during finals week in Indianapolis, IN! NINE HD cameras you WON'T see anywhere else!
That's a rehearsal run-through that will stay up for as long as Vic Firth wants it to.  For a competitive performance, watch 2016 Madison Scouts Closer.

Enjoy it while it lasts.  It's been on YouTube for four years, but that's no guarantee it will be here tomorrow.

That's it for this year's celebration of Easter.  Next year, the theme will be Easter drinks.

Stay tuned for a celebration of Yuri's Night later today.  Space!

Saturday, April 11, 2020

I missed Bill Weld dropping out in March when Trump clinched the GOP nomination

I expressed my pessimism about the last significant primary opponent to Trump in Joe Walsh walks away from the Republican primary and says he'll support the Democratic nominee.
Now it's up to William Weld to serve as the internal opposition to Trump within the Republican Party.  I wish Weld luck, but I don't know if he'll even get enough delegates to earn a speaking spot at the Republican National Convention — this is, if the party bothers to follow their own rules.  I'm not optimistic about that, either.
I was right to be pessimistic — Weld received only one delegate to Trump's 1,330 so far — but as I observed in Bye, Bye, Bernie, the Sequel, I didn't see the confirmation of my opinion when it happened.
I'm not done with this series, as I missed Bill Weld dropping out on March 18, 2020.  My excuse was that I was busy with Vox explains how its viewers and readers can fight the coronavirus.  I'll get around to it on Saturday after I post retrospectives for Throwback Thursday and Flashback Friday.  In the meantime, on to the conventions (no matter how they will be held) and the general election!
Well, at least it wasn't like the last candidate I missed leaving the race, when I wrote I missed Messam dropping out three months ago.  It only took me three weeks.

Enough of the introduction.  Watch Newsy's Bill Weld ends GOP primary campaign.

The announcement comes after  president cleared the number of delegates needed to be the GOP nominee.
Most Americans dislike Trump, but the overwhelming majority of those who remain in the Republican Party appear to be very enthusiatic about supporting him.  Sigh.

Since I never suggested any drinks for him, I don't have to retire any.  Besides, there have been four candidates from Massachusetts, so I've suggested, retired, re-used, and re-retired so many drink suggestions for the Bay State that I don't feel like repeating myself.  Sometimes, even an environmentalist gets tired of recycling.

On the other hand, I will look at what On The Issues says about Weld's ideological position.  It lists Weld as having an economic score of 53 and a social score of 78, which On The Issues considers to be a Progressive Libertarian.  That puts him closer to Tulsi Gabbard than to Trump, who has an economic score of 83 and a social score of 20, a Hard-Core Conservative according to On The Issues.  I guess that's why the Republicans are enthusiastic about Trump and barely gave Weld the time of day.

That's it for this stage of The Hungry for Power Games or Fury Road to the White House, whichever Colbert meme one wants to use, unless I feel like doing something for the Libertarian or Green Party conventions.  Otherwise, I might do it for the general election.  We'll see.

Stay tuned for a drum corps Easter followed by a celebration of Yuri's Night.

Friday, April 10, 2020

CNBC's 'Why Coronavirus May Change How Americans Vote' updates pandemics and outbreaks for the ninth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News

Happy Flashback Friday!  For today's retrospective, the topic is the coronavirus pandemic, as if nearly all the posts here for the past four weeks haven't been on that topic in one way or another.  I'll review the top posts on the subject during the ninth year of this blog over the jump.  Above the fold, I'm going to focus on yet another aspect of American life the pandemic may change when it's over, elections.  Watch CNBC explain Why Coronavirus May Change How Americans Vote.

As states and jurisdictions move elections later in the calendar and call for voters to request absentee ballots, the country faces the possibility of holding a presidential election in the middle of a pandemic. As states and jurisdictions move elections later in the calendar and call for voters to request absentee ballots, the country faces the possibility of holding a presidential election in the middle of a pandemic. Recently, Governors from both parties have attempted to postpone primary elections, but courts have upheld election dates.

In Ohio, a judge rejected a lawsuit backed by Republican Governor Mike DeWine to extend the state’s presidential primary elections scheduled for April 9 to June 2. DeWine said he made the recommendation following guidance from public health officials, but claimed that he lacked the legal authority to suspend the election.

Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper said he supported the recommendation to do away with Tuesday’s in-person voting, but added that the party was considering other ways of extending the election, including switching entirely to vote-by-mail with a “much earlier” deadline than June 2.
In the case of Wisconsin, the United States Supreme Court voted 5-4 on Monday to reverse an order extending the absentee ballot deadline for voting in the elections scheduled for Tuesday, stepping into a back-and-forth between Tony Evers, the state’s Democratic governor and the GOP-controlled state legislature.

The Supreme Court, which was considering a case brought before Evers issued his executive order, was not considering whether voting would take place on Tuesday, but only whether to keep in place an order that extended the deadline for absentee ballots to be postmarked.

In an unsigned order from which the court’s four liberal justices dissented, the court did away with the extension. The top court’s five Republican-appointees, none of whom attached their name to the court’s order, reasoned that extending the date by which voters could mail absentee ballots “fundamentally alters the nature of the election.”

Democrats and voting rights groups had gone to court to push for an extended deadline, warning that coronavirus fears could keep voters from the polls. On Friday, a federal appeals court upheld a one-week extension for absentee ballots.
Michigan to mail ballots and $400 million for elections in coronavirus stimulus bill update the election news and views for the ninth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News wasn't enough, especially when I saw that CNBC had uploaded a video on the subject.  CNBC explores why coronavirus is more dangerous for diabetics convinced me that they were a good source of videos about the wide-ranging effects of COVID-19.

Follow over the jump for the most read entries about the pandemic from the ninth year of this blog.

Marching Music for the Alaska Democratic Primary

Today is the deadline for ballots to be received in the 2020 Alaska Democratic primary.
The 2020 Alaska Democratic primary was scheduled to take place on Saturday, April 4, 2020, in the Democratic Party presidential primaries for the 2020 presidential election. However, in person voting was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, while mail-in voting was extended to April 10, 2020.[1] The Alaska primary is a closed party-run primary, with the state awarding 19 delegates, of which 15 are pledged delegates allocated on the basis of the results of the primary.
Since Bernie Sanders dropped out, there is little suspense left in the result, although it's possible that Sanders could win, as he did in 2016, which would be a Pyrrhic victory.

That written, I'm still going to post one of my marching music for a primary election entries, just as I did for the Wisconsin Primary.  Since there are no drum corps in Alaska, it's a marching band's turn.  In this case, it's the Colony HS Knights Marching Band, which Music213 captured at the 2014 Pasadena Rose Parade.

From Palmer, Alaska
Colony High School Knights Marching Band "THEE Northern Sound", performing at the 125th Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade on Wednesday, January 1st 2014.
Music213 also recorded their performance at Bandfest.

From Palmer, Alaska
Colony High School Knights Marching Band "THEE Northern Sound", performing their musical selections at the 34th Annual Pasadena Tournament of Roses Bandfest on Monday, December 30th 2013.
In addition to performing at the Rose Parade, the band peformed at the 2017 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, where the video identifies them merely as Alaska Marching Band Macys Day Parade NYC.

Enjoy the music as you're awaiting the results, even if they don't mean as much anymore.  In the meantime, stay tuned for the Flashback Friday  retrospective I promised yesterday.