Thursday, October 28, 2021

Vox explains why the Victorian mansion is a horror icon for Halloween

Trick or treat! I originally planned another post about Disney's Haunted Mansion for today's Halloween treat, but I changed my mind at the last minute and decided to trick my readers with Vox's Why the Victorian mansion is a horror icon.

The Gilded Age left a legacy of decay on the American landscape.
Haunted houses are often depicted with similar features: decaying woodwork, steep angles, and Gothic-looking towers and turrets. The model for this trope is the Victorian mansion, once a symbol of affluence and taste during the Gilded Age - a period of American history marked by political corruption and severe income inequality.

After World War I, these houses were seen as extravagant and antiquated, and were abandoned. Their sinister relationship to the troubling end of the Victorian Era in America eventually led to their depiction as haunted and ghostly in both fine art and pop culture, and is now an unspoken symbol of dread.
Why write about a copy when I can go to the original?*

Since the Addams Family played a big part in making the Victorian mansion the archetypal haunted house in 20th Century America, I'm going to toast them with Morticia & Gomez: "The Addams Family" Inspired Cocktail | 31 DAYS OF #HALLOWEEN from Secret of the Booze.


2 oz. scotch
½ oz. simple syrup (infused with cigar smoke)
1 dash orange bitters

Add a lit cigar to a decanter and fill with smoke.
Mix ingredients in a cocktail shaker.
Strain into decanter and shake.
Strain over ice.


1 ½ oz. gin
¾ oz. lemon juice
½ oz. simple syrup
1 oz. raspberry liqueur
2 oz. champagne

In a cocktail shaker, combine gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and raspberry liqueur. Shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled champagne flute and top with champagne.
Drink responsibly and stay tuned for more Halloween posts through the end of the month. Trick or treat!

*The irony is that neither of the Haunted Mansions at Disneyland nor the Magic Kingdom in Disney World is a Victorian Mansion. The former is an antebellum plantation house and the latter is a Gothic Revival. On the other hand, Phantom Manor in Disneyland Paris is. Maybe I'll write about it next.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Drink to 1988 Santa Clara Vanguard playing 'The Phantom of the Opera' for a drum corps Halloween 2021

I decribed what I planned to do today in a footnote to last year's Drink to Santa Clara Vanguard playing 'The Phantom of the Opera' for a drum corps Halloween.
I can use the concept for this entry next year, as Santa Clara Vanguard played "The Phantom of the Opera" in 1988 as well and The Phantom of the Opera has at least two more drink recipes. Works for me, as I'm an environmentalist who likes to recycle.
And that's exactly what I'm doing for the second spooky season post. Watch New Zealand Girl Reacts to 1988 SANTA CLARA VANGUARD | PHANTOM OF THE OPERA by Courtney Coulston.*

While I like the opening of 1989's show better, I think this is a more artistic show.

Now for the drink. Here's Cocktails of the Opera: Sweet Intoxication from The Phantom of the Opera on YouTube.

Learn how to make the perfect #PhantomHalloween drink with our spooky #SweetIntoxication cocktail!
Drink responsibly and stay tuned for more Halloween posts through the end of the month. Trick or treat!

*Courtney also has a reaction video to The Academy's "Drum Corpse Bride" show. If it's still up next year and none of the 2021 or 2022 shows inspire me, I might use it.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

I kick off spooky season with Broken Peach

I told my readers "Stay tuned as I go all Halloween from now to the end of the month" at the end Vox explains how 4 companies control the beef industry for a late National Food Day, so I'm following through by kicking off spooky season on my blog with Broken Peach singing Tainted Love (Halloween Special). The band worked in "Sweet Dreams" by the Eurythmics as a bridge to make it a medley.

"Tainted Love" is a song composed by Ed Cobb, formerly of American group The Four Preps, which was originally recorded by Gloria Jones in 1964. It attained worldwide fame after being covered and reworked by British synthpop duo Soft Cell in 1981 and has since been covered by numerous groups and artists.
The inmates are running the asylum!

Next, a TV Peachformance of last year's Halloween special, Remains Of The Day.

Song written by @DannyElfmanVEVO for Tim Burton's Corpse Bride film!
Since I usually cap off my major holiday posts with a drink, I'm capping off this entry with Dranks: Corpse Bride.

Drink responsibly and stay tuned for more Halloween posts through the end of the month. Trick or treat!

Monday, October 25, 2021

Vox explains how 4 companies control the beef industry for a late National Food Day

I foreshadowed the subject for National Food Day in Cyberattack on meat processor JBS shows how the food supply is a national security issue.
National Farmers Union President Rob Larew made a point that Food, Inc. makes about industrial agriculture; food processing has become too centralized and concentrated for the good of farmers, workers, and consumers and a more diverse food system would serve them better. To get students to think about that, I ask them "In 1970, how much of the beef market was controlled by the top beef packers? In 2010?" The answers show how much meat packing has consolidated during those 40 years.
In 1970, the top five meat packers controlled 25% of the beef supply. In 2010, the top four controlled 80%.
"Food, Inc." focused on how this concentration of power led to abuses of workers and outbreaks of food-borne diseases and could lead to disruptions of the food supply from market forces.
Vox shows how the consolidation has only increased in How 4 companies control the beef industry and has made the situation even worse for farmers.

Corporate consolidation is making it impossible for cattle ranchers to stay afloat.
Cattle auctions happen every day throughout the US; they serve a crucial purpose for the cattle markets. Inside one of these auctions, like the one we profile in St. Onge, South Dakota, you can see how a competitive market functions. There are multiple producers and buyers competing for a commodity, which results in a value, or price, for that commodity.

But over the past 40 years, the meatpacking sector — made up of the companies that buy and slaughter cattle for consumption — has undergone a dramatic degree of corporate consolidation. In the 1980s, the US relaxed its approach to antitrust enforcement, one tool the government uses to rein in market concentration. Today, only four companies process 85 percent of all the cattle produced in the US.

Cattle ranchers say this is affecting their ability to compete for good prices and make a living. This is one way industrialized agriculture is making it difficult for independent farmers and ranchers to stay in business in America.
This is approaching the state of chicken farming, where the processors have total control over the animals and near total control over the farmers. That may be good for consumers in the short run, but it will likely drive independent farmers out of business, setting up the chicken model for beef. I don't know if that will be good for anyone but the meatpackers in the long run.

That's it for this year's exploration of "Food, Inc." for Food Day. Stay tuned as I go all Halloween from now to the end of the month.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Be aware of sneaky squirrels for Wester

Happy Wester, the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Autumnal Equinox!* As I have since 2013, I'm featuring the animal mascot for the fake holiday, the squirrel. I begin by noting that October is Squirrel Awareness Month.

Squirrel Awareness Month is an annual designation observed in October. Yes, you read that right. A whole month dedicated to giving those furry, quirky little creatures a little appreciation. It’s a time to look around at a local park, or even right outside your window, and giggle at the silly mannerisms of squirrels.

They may come off as a little mischievous and troublesome when they get into the bird feeders or even your attic, but you may not realize why they do what they do. Squirrels spend most of the warmer months gearing up for winter. Here’s the craziest part: experts estimate that squirrels find and bury three years of food during the warm months! They don’t hibernate during the winter, but they do like to stay cozy in their dens so they can sleep and snack until it warms up again.
SciShow describes how Eastern Gray Squirrels use their mischievousness to defend their food caches in 7 Animals That Can't Be Trusted.

Almost every human has told a lie at some point or another - but did you know that we are not the only species to do this? From dogs to cuttlefish to thornbills, these 7 animals also lie!
For years, I have closed these entries by writing "May the Wester Squirrel not steal anything from you and hide it!" I didn't realize that the squirrels may be thinking the same thing about us!

*Today is also National Food Day. I'm postponing my post about that until tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Saturday, October 23, 2021

'Dune' director and stars on Colbert for National TV Talk Show Host Day

Happy National TV Talk Show Host Day! Since tomorrow is both National Food Day and Wester, I'm going to blog about entertainment today instead of tomorrow for the Sunday entertainment feature. I'm not avoiding politics, just current real-world politics, as the subject of today's entry is "Dune," which features a lot of futuristic politics and political allegory in its science fiction. I should know, as I have read the book and watched both the 1984 David Lynch movie and the current Denis Villneuve release.

Speaking of Villneuve, here he is on "Late Night with Stephen Colbert" in "Dune" Director Denis Villeneuve On His "Brilliant, Intelligent" Star Timothée Chalamet.

Stephen Colbert is a known "Dune" superfan so he delights in picking the brain of director Denis Villeneuve, who explains the delicate process of adapting such a far-reaching novel into a film and expresses his admiration for its star Chalamet.
My wife and I watched "Dune" at home on HBO Max, but I can imagine what the experience would have been like in a theater. Because of the pandemic, we're passing on that.

Follow over the jump for Stephen's interviews with the stars of "Dune."

Friday, October 22, 2021

Traffic accidents down but fatal accidents up in Michigan while drivers overpaid $1 billion for insurance during 2020, a driving update

I wrote "I fully expect to be driving [my car Pearl] at 4,000+ miles per year when I post the next update" in Americans speeding during the pandemic is increasing traffic deaths, a driving update last month. Pearl the Prius passed another 1,000 miles yesterday, so it's time for that update. Just as last month's driving update revisited Most Americans stay home, allowing people to speed on open roads, the first pandemic driving update, today's entry re-examines the second update since the pandemic began, Auto insurance rebates and lower premiums as Americans drive less, a driving update for Snow Bear during July 2020. Watch WXYZ's Michigan drivers overcharged $1 billion in auto premiums during pandemic, study finds, which the Detroit ABC affiliate uploaded last month.

Michigan drivers were overcharged more than $1 billion in auto premiums in 2020, according to a study by a national consumer advocacy group.
This report repeats what I wrote about last month; driving decreased, but fatalities increased. Also, it's a good thing that Michigan drivers received rebates last year, but could have received more, as the follow graphic shows.

At least our rates are lower now.

Follow over the jump for the details of my driving the past month-and-one-half.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

A belated happy Hagfish Day from Bizarre Beasts!

A belated happy Hagfish Day, which was yesterday, the third Wednesday of October. I have just the video to celebrate the occasion, This Slimy Fish Ties Itself in Knots from Bizarre Beasts.

Hagfish are slimy sea noodles that wear their skin like a pair of loose pajamas... and that isn't the weirdest thing about them.
Right now, I'm showing my students the Smithsonian Channel video I embedded four years ago. I might show them this video instead. I think it's more informative and swaps out the sensationalism and horror for humor. Here's to the humor helping my students learn.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Can turning carbon dioxide into stone slow down climate change?

I concluded Vox and PBS Terra examine planting trees to fight climate change by mentioning another carbon capture idea.
Planting trees serves as an example of "Nature knows best" for sequestering carbon, but this video shows it's not a good short-term solution. Another PBS Terra video shows one possible technique, but I'll save that for another video. Stay tuned.
Watch as PBS Terra asks Can Turning CO2 to Stone Help Save the Planet?

Can we turn atmospheric carbon dioxide into stone?
Spoiler Alert: carbon dioxide emissions are causing the planet to get warmer. But we may be able to use chemistry to solve this problem.

Out of Our Elements hosts Caitlin Saks and Arlo Pérez Esquivel, joined by NOVA Producer Alex Clark, investigate how the planet naturally turns CO2 into stone over long periods of time, and how scientists and engineers are trying to speed up this process in hopes of capturing and storing atmospheric CO2.

They’re joined by Cornell University Environmental Engineer Greeshma Gadikota, who illustrates how you can test out a small-scale form of carbon sequestration in your own home, and Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory’s Angela Slagle, who explains which places on Earth and the kinds of oceanic rocks that could play a role in scaling up CO2-to-stone transformation.
The geologist in me approves of this "Nature knows best" method of capturing carbon dioxide and sequestering it. So does the Crazy Eddie in me.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Vox and PBS Terra examine planting trees to fight climate change

I tell my students that income inequality is visible from space. That's because of the relative density of trees, with wealthier neighborhoods having more tree and poorer ones having fewer, which satellites can photograph from orbit. That has important environmental effects, as Vox depicts in How America's hottest city is trying to cool down.

Can trees help save Phoenix from extreme heat?
It’s time to stop looking at trees as a form of “beautification.” They are, instead, a living form of infrastructure, providing a variety of services that include stormwater management, air filtering, carbon sequestration, and, most importantly for a city like Phoenix, Arizona, they cool the environment around them.

Trees can lower neighborhood temperatures in three ways:
1) Their shade prevents solar radiation from hitting paved surfaces like concrete and asphalt, which absorb energy and rerelease it into the air as heat.
2) Their leaves pull heat from the immediate area in order to evapotranspirate water that’s drawn from the soil.
And, 3) If you’re standing under one, a tree protects your body directly from the sun’s rays. If you’ve ever made a summer visit to a dry, hot city like Phoenix, you’ll know how important shade is for making any outdoor experiences tolerable.

As Phoenix deals with a rising frequency of extreme heat waves — which aren’t only deadly, but also cause worrisome spikes in energy demand — the city is looking to trees as part of its heat mitigation strategy. Phoenix isn’t devoid of trees, but they’re distributed unevenly across the city. A quick glance at a satellite image of the metro area reveals substantial green splotches in the north and east and brown ones in the south and west, where many lower-income neighborhoods are located.

So Phoenix recently pledged to reach “tree equity” by 2030, under an agreement with American Forests, a national tree organization. I visited Phoenix recently to take a look at the current state of the city’s urban forest. In this video, we use drone imagery and thermal cameras to understand how the urban design of the city contributes to extreme heat, and what it can do to cool down.
I wish Phoenix luck in achieving "tree equity." They'll need it, especially with the challenges of drought and aridification working against the effort.

PBS Terra also examined planting trees as a method of carbon capture in The Surprising Truth Behind Planting Trees.

For decades we’ve been planting trees in hopes of reducing carbon pollution. But when it comes to carbon sequestration, have we actually been getting it all backward?

As the UN Climate Conference (COP26) approaches this November, the topic of carbon capture and storage will be hotly debated. In this episode, we travel to the Pacific Northwest forests of Oregon to see what we can learn about forest carbon sinks from Beverly Law and her groundbreaking research with Oregon State University’s Department of Forestry.

What do you think about planting trees and forest carbon storage? Let us know in the comments!
Planting trees serves as an example of "Nature knows best" for sequestering carbon, but this video shows it's not a good short-term solution. Another PBS Terra video shows one possible technique, but I'll save that for another video. Stay tuned.

Both of these are great videos to show my students. I'll be sure to find places in my curriculum to do so.

Monday, October 18, 2021

Colbert talks 'Peril' with Woodward and Costa after winning an Emmy

I ended 'Last Week Tonight with John Oliver' examines voting rights after winning three Emmy Awards by telling my readers to "Stay tuned" because "that was one of the funnier 'winnerviews' so far. Let's see if ones for Stephen Colbert and 'Ted Lasso' can outdo this one." We'll see, but only after watching Stephen's Show Won An Emmy! But Our Democracy Is Still In Big Trouble.

Proudly clutching The Late Show's new Emmy statue, Stephen looks back at his acceptance speech, then looks ahead to his conversation with Bob Woodward and Robert Costa about the revelations in their book, "Peril."
I found Colbert's interview with Woodward and Costa important enough to embed all three clips, beginning with "A Secret National Security Crisis" - Woodward & Costa On The Hair-Trigger World Post-Election.

The authors of "Peril," Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, tell Stephen some of the most shocking details they uncovered about the previous president's maneuvers in the months following the 2020 election.
Woodward and Costa move to the present and future in The Big Lie Is "Not Some Passing Storm, It's The Climate In The Republican Party" - Robert Costa.

Robert Costa, co-author with Bob Woodward of the book "Peril," points out that the GOP has largely embraced the previous president's lies about election fraud and have no political will to oppose him.
Hearing Colbert and Costa call the conspiracy theory that the election was stolen reminds me that I think calling the idea that the election was stolen the Big Lie doesn't go far enough.
Personally, I'd rather call it Trump's dangerous delusion, his fixed belief that the election was stolen from him despite all evidence, which I see as related to his vulnerability to conspiracy theories, but "the Big Lie" is the established phrase used by CNBC and others, so I'm calling it that instead. It's a lie, too.
Costa's comments demonstrate once again that Trump's delusion is not just dangerous but contagious.

The interview concludes with "The One Courageous Person Was Gen. Milley" - Bob Woodward Describes Speaker Pelosi's Urgent Call.

Bob Woodward and Robert Costa spoke to many sources on deep background for "Peril," and they found Gen. Mark Milley to be the only brave person in the former president's orbit in the time between the election and President Biden's inauguration.
I'm glad Milley had a plan and stuck with it.

Follow over the jump for Colbert's acceptance speech and "winnerview."

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Trevor Noah, CBS News, and PBS NewsHour explain 'The Great Resignation'

Even as the pandemic rages on, vaccinations and masks are allowing Americans to go back to in-person work, myself included. However, a record number of Americans left their jobs in August, a phenomenon called "The Great Resignation." I'm sharing a silly to serious examination of this subject, beginnin with "The Daily Show with Trevor Noah" asking Why Is Everyone Quitting Their Jobs? - Getting Back To Normal-Ish.

From quitting to take care of family or leaving because of health concerns to the desire to pursue a new career, it seems like everyone is quitting their jobs right now. Here’s everything you need to know about The Great Resignation.
Noah is playing this for laughs, but all of this is true. Watch Millions of workers are quitting their jobs from CBS News for confirmation of the facts.

Businesses across the country are experiencing vacancies as new data shows a record number of people quitting their jobs. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 4.3 million people quit their jobs in the month of August. CBS MoneyWatch reporter Aimee Picchi joins CBSN with the latest.
See? What Noah and his writers noticed is real. It's also the latest in a trend that has been going on all year, as PBS NewsHour reported in The pandemic pushed millions of U.S. workers to join the 'Great Resignation.' Here's why.

The September jobs report shows that the unemployment rate fell to 4.8% and job openings are at a record high with wages increased again last month, as companies tried to attract new employees. But more than 25 million people quit their jobs in the first seven months of this year. And it's now called “the great resignation.” Business and economics correspondent Paul Solman explains.
This segment not only described the stress of returning to in-person work, but the particular stresses of remote work, including for educators like myself. While I joked early during remote work when I asked on Facebook how everyone's commute was from their bedrooms to their home offices, I also observed that working from home is still work. It was also a big adjustment.

All three segments mentioned that "The Great Resignation" is one of the factors leading to a labor shortage. Here is a meme I saw on Twitter this morning that lists the rest of the causes.

That sums it up. Also, I finally have a Spongebob Squarepants meme on this blog more serious than his yelling "It's Leif Erikson Day! Hinga dinga durgen!" May my readers appreciate it as much as I do.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Happy Sweetest Day 2021!

Happy Sweetest Day! To celebrate, here is one of the oldest uploads on YouTube of the song I associate with today, Sweetest Day by Control Freq.

This continues a tradition on this blog that began in 2015. May I be able to continue this tradition next year.

Friday, October 15, 2021

'Last Week Tonight with John Oliver' examines voting rights after winning three Emmy Awards

I closed John Oliver and Samantha Bee on misinformation with this footnote.
Sharing this video reminds me that I need to follow up on 'Last Week Tonight with John Oliver' leads Outstanding Variety Talk Series nominees at the Emmy Awards for the fifth consecutive year. Stay tuned.
Before I write about the Emmy Awards the show won last month, I'm sharing Voting Rights: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO).

John Oliver discusses the current attacks on voting rights, who’s behind them, and what we can do about it.
I wrote "eliminating the filibuster is worth doing, even if it's a double-edged sword" in last year's version of this post and I still think so, as does Oliver. Some things haven't changed.

Follow over the jump for my coverage of the three Emmy Awards won by "Last Week Tonight" last month.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Jimmy Kimmel on William Shatner going into space

I concluded Elizabeth Warren talks about infrastructure and the 'Billionaire Space Race' with Seth Meyers by writing "there is another Blue Origin launch scheduled for today, but I won't write any more about it for fear of jinxing it. Only after it's successfully completed will I say anything else about it. Stay tuned." For a comedy report on the event, I'm sharing Jimmy Kimmel's monologue William Shatner Travels to Space on Jeff Bezos’ Intergalactic Wienermobile.

William Shatner became the oldest person to go to space today after Blue Origin sent up their second round civilian passengers, Jeff Bezos welcomed him back to Earth and they shared a special moment, state run media in North Korea broadcast a defense exhibition where soldiers did their best to dazzle Kim Jong Un, Halloween is coming up and people across the country have started decorating, airlines are refusing to follow Texas Governor Gregg Abbott’s vaccine mandate ban, a Louisiana zoo is giving out vaccines to animals, health experts are warning that cold weather could ramp things up again as people move indoors, and we look back a year ago this week in a new edition of “This Week in COVID History”
I don't blame Kimmel and his writers for making Bezo the butt of the jokes. As for Shatner himself, congratulations! I'm glad he lived long enough to go into space for real and not just on a sound stage.

That's the comedy. Now for's video of the flight itself, Blue Origin launches 'Captain Kirk' and crew to space, nails landings!

Blue Origin NS-18 crew William Shatner, Audrey Powers, Chris Boshuizen and Glen de Vries launched to space atop a New Shepard rocket on Oct. 13, 2021.
Billionaire Space Race aside, I found that thrilling. What about you?

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Elizabeth Warren talks about infrastructure and the 'Billionaire Space Race' with Seth Meyers

Elizabeth Warren was on "Late Night with Seth Meyers" last night talking about infrastructure, taxes, and the Billionaire Space Race. I begin with Sen. Elizabeth Warren Says Manchin and Sinema Don’t Have All the Power.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren talks about Biden’s infrastructure agenda, Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema and why the Democratic Party needs to show how they can help the American people.
I agree with Senator Warren that Manchin and Sinema don't have all the power, but they have enough to gum up the works for the infrastructure bills. Here's to hoping both pass, if in scaled-down form.

Next, Sen. Elizabeth Warren Calls Out Billionaires Shooting Themselves into Space.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren calls out the absurdity of billionaires going into space and talks about writing a children’s book.
I'm not as critical as Senator Warren is to a private space race, which Saturday Night Live called "Ego Quest," but I do think that Jeff Bezos and Amazon could pay more in taxes. He, Branson, and Musk would still have enough money to go into space. Speaking of which, there is another Blue Origin launch scheduled for today, but I won't write any more about it for fear of jinxing it. Only after it's successfully completed will I say anything else about it. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

John Oliver and Samantha Bee on misinformation

I've spent most of the past week ragging on Facebook and its sister platform Instagram for their practices that are harmful to a healthy democracy, so I'm not going to do that today. Instead, I'm turning my attention to other platforms that spread misinformation, beginning with WhatsApp, featured in Misinformation by "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver."*

John Oliver discusses how misinformation spreads among immigrant diaspora communities, how little some platforms have done to stop it, and, most importantly, how to have a very good morning.
After a year and a half of watching John Oliver recording his show in "a blank void" with no one laughing at his jokes, seeing him in the studio was reassuring, but I'm still not used to hearing a studio audience.

WhatsApp isn't the only platform being used for spreading misinformation. "Full Frontal with Samantha Bee" uploaded TikTok Misinformation is Spreading and it’s #Dangerous last month.

Like your most rhythmically-challenged friend, TikTok is having a hell of a time mastering its latest challenge: stopping the spread of harmful misinformation. To prevent dangerous conspiracy theories and lies from going viral, everyone's favorite clock app needs to do better!
Of course, some of the worst misinformation is about the pandemic. Sigh. I wish I were surprised.

*Sharing this video reminds me that I need to follow up on 'Last Week Tonight with John Oliver' leads Outstanding Variety Talk Series nominees at the Emmy Awards for the fifth consecutive year. Stay tuned.

Monday, October 11, 2021

Emmy Awards by 'RuPaul's Drag Race' and 'Queer Eye' to celebrate National Coming Out Day 2021

I remarked on the plethora of days to celebrate today at the end of 'SNL' laughs at Facebook's bad week.
Stay tuned for a multi-holiday pileup tomorrow, as it will be Columbus Day, Canadian Thanksgiving, Indigenous People's Day, and National Coming Out Day. I think I'll celebrate the last the way I did two years ago, by blogging about the Emmy wins for "Queer Eye" and "RuPaul's Drag Race," including the first Emmy for "RuPaul's Drag Race: Untucked." That should be fun.
That's what I'm doing. Before I write about the Emmy Awards won by "RuPaul's Drag Race" and "Queer Eye," I'm sharing the updated description of National Coming Out Day from National Day Calendar.

Each year on October 11th, National Coming Out Day encourages civil awareness recognizing and supporting those in the LGBTQ community.

The day celebrates individuals who publicly identify as bisexual, gay, lesbian, transgender – coming out regarding their sexual orientation and/or gender identity being akin to a cultural rite of passage for LGBT people.

One in two Americans knows someone who is gay or lesbian. The ratio applied to transgendered Americans is one in ten.

The day is dedicated to rais[ing] awareness of the civil rights of the LGBTQ community. Through education and support, and sharing their stories, it is hoped they may be more able to live openly and safely.
Both "RuPaul's Drag Race" and "Queer Eye" support that message. Earlier this year, I wrote that "RuPaul's Drag Race" led competition program nominees at the 2021 Emmy Awards while modeling diversity and acceptance and its success came from being "in tune with the culture's increasing diversity and acceptance." I also called "Queer Eye" "a good show for inclusion and mutual respect, to say nothing of great fashion and grooming tips." Both shows demonstrate the importance of entertainment.

Without any further ado, here are the five Emmy Awards won by "RuPaul's Drag Race," along with one each by its spinoff series "RuPaul's Drag Race: Untucked" and "Queer Eye."
Outstanding Competition Program

The Amazing Race (CBS)
Nailed It! (Netflix)
RuPaul's Drag Race (VH1)
Top Chef (Bravo)
The Voice (NBC)
... "RuPaul's Drag Race" has won this award three years in a row, so I consider it the favorite on that criterion as well as its leading in nominations among competition programs with nine for the main show as well as two for "RuPaul's Drag Race: Untucked."
As I expected, it won. Watch Competition Program: 73rd Emmys to see RuPaul accept the award.

RuPaul's Drag Race wins the Emmy for Competition Program at the 73rd Emmys.
Congratulations, not only for this win but for the four others at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards. Follow over the jump for those.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

'SNL' laughs at Facebook's bad week

After Facebook's bad day became Facebook's bad week, it's no surprise that "Saturday Night Live" lampooned the scandal in Facebook Hearings Cold Open.

Senators (Cecily Strong, Mikey Day, Kyle Mooney, Aidy Bryant, Chris Redd, James Austin Johnson) on Capitol Hill question the Facebook whistleblower (Heidi Gardner), Mark Zuckerberg (Alex Moffat) and Tom from Myspace (Pete Davidson) during a hearing.
That was more fun than watching the actual hearings and it still got the point across.

"SNL" continued laughing at Facebook's problems in Weekend Update: Facebook Under Fire.

Weekend Update anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che tackle the week’s biggest news, like Bill Cosby defending R. Kelly.
I'd have used this for the first video because of the preview image, but that description was not what I wanted to share. Talk about not helping!

I think that's enough about Facebook for now. Stay tuned for a multi-holiday pileup tomorrow, as it will be Columbus Day, Canadian Thanksgiving, Indigenous People's Day, and National Coming Out Day. I think I'll celebrate the last the way I did two years ago, by blogging about the Emmy wins for "Queer Eye" and "RuPaul's Drag Race," including the first Emmy for "RuPaul's Drag Race: Untucked." That should be fun.

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Part 3 of the 2020 Golden Coffee Cups movie shortlists: updated documentaries.

I promised "the third installment of the movie shortlists, which will recognize the appearances by public officials in shortlisted documentaries" in Part 2 of the 2020 Golden Coffee Cups movie shortlists: actors. That was two months ago. The reason for the delay was that I realized I needed to add the documentaries that qualified by being nominated at the News and Documentary Emmy Awards to the shortlisted films for the 2020 Golden Coffee Cups movie awards. Here is the updated list, which Coffee Party USA invites its followers to stream as a way of encouraging their appreciation of politics and government in film.

Best Documentary about Politics or Government of 2020 (Best Political Documentary)

20/20: In the Cold Dark Night
31 Days in March: The Month Coronavirus Unraveled American Business
76 Days
A Concerto Is a Conversation
A Love Song for Latasha
Agents of Chaos
All In: The Fight for Democracy
Athlete A
Belly of the Beast
Boys State
Bully. Coward. Victim. The Story of Roy Cohn
Challenger: The Final Flight
City Hall
Coded Bias
Crip Camp
Do Not Split
Essential but Deportable: Undocumented Immigrants in the Trump Era
Father Soldier Son
Feels Good Man
Finding Yingying
Frontline: Amazon Empire: The Rise and Reign of Jeff Bezos
Frontline: Inside Italy’s COVID War
Frontline: Opioids, Inc.
Frontline: Policing the Police 2020
Frontline: Return From ISIS
Frontline: Tutwiler
Frontline: United States of Conspiracy
Hunger Ward
I Am Greta
In Event of Moon Disaster John Lewis: Good Trouble
Kill Chain: The Cyber War on America's Election
Kingdom of Silence
Lessons of Auschwitz VR project
Mr. Soul!
Not Done: Women Remaking America
Once Upon A Time In Iraq
Rebuilding Paradise
Rising Phoenix
Scandalous: The Untold Story of the National Enquirer
Stockton on My Mind
The Art of Political Murder
The Fight
The Last Ice
The New Yorker Documentary: When Humanitarian Aid Is Considered a Crime
The Perfect Weapon
The Social Dilemma
The Trade
The Zo
The Way I See It
The Weekly: The Sicario
This Ain't Normal
Totally Under Control
Trafficked with Mariana van Zeller: Scams
VOCES: Building the American Dream
Welcome to Chechnya
With Drawn Arms

Now that I've finished the updated list, I'll post the shortlist for Best Appearance of a Government Official in a Documentary during 2020 in part 4. I'm already compiling it, so stay tuned.

Coffee Party USA is a project of the Bridge Alliance Education Fund, the public education arm of Bridge Alliance, a coalition of 100 organizations working together for a thriving, just, and healthy democracy based on a culture of inclusivity and equity. Readers can support the Coffee Party's and Bridge Alliance's work by becoming a Friend of Bridge, which is tax deductible. Follow the Coffee Party at our website and on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

To be cross-posted to the Coffee Party USA blog.

Friday, October 8, 2021

Gold Derby interviews the director and producer of 'The Social Dilemma,' which won two Emmy Awards for documentaries

After writing Colbert on Facebook's bad day plus '60 Minutes' whistleblower interview and Seth Meyers and Trevor Noah take closer looks at Facebook's bad week, I reversed the decision I made in 'Saturday Night Live' returns after winning eight Emmy Awards.
[Tristan] Harris is one of the subjects of "The Social Dilemma," which won two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Writing for Nonfiction Programming and Outstanding Picture Editing for Nonfiction Programming last month. This week's events might be enough to change my mind about featuring "Ted Lasso" in my next installment of Emmy coverage and look at "The Social Network" instead. Stay tuned.
I'm following through with my change of plans by featuring three interviews of the director and producer of the documentary by Gold Derby, beginning with 'The Social Dilemma's' Jeff Orlowski on illustrating the amorality of social media algorithms.

'The Social Dilemma's' Jeff Orlowski on illustrating the amorality of social media algorithms. Gold Derby senior editor Joyce Eng hosts our 2021 Emmy documentary panel series.
I think it's no accident that Orlowski compared social media to fossil fuels. His previous award-winning films are Chasing Ice and Chasing Coral, both about the effects of climate change, so he's quite well-versed in the ill effects of fossil fuels on the environment.

Gold Derby interviewed him again in 'The Social Dilemma' documentary director Jeff Orlowski: Social media is not healthy for democracy.

'The Social Dilemma' documentary director Jeff Orlowski on how he believes social media is incompatible with a healthy democracy. The Netflix program examines how social media companies rely on getting people addicted to consuming content through their platforms. Gold Derby's Charles Bright hosts this 'Meet the Experts' documentary panel.
I going to be a good environmentalist and recycle my comment on this video for my reaction.
"If you're not paying for the service, you're not the customer. You're the product being sold." I'm glad Jeff Orlowski, who has shown in "Chasing Ice" and "Chasing Coral" that he knows how to portray scientific and technological issues, understands this.
Here's the meme.

Again, still true.

The final Gold Derby interview, Larissa Rhodes ('Social Dilemma' producer) on how she was skeptical of tackling harm of social media, connects the pollution of the natural environment depicted in "Chasing Ice" and "Chasing Coral" to the pollution of the social and information environment in "The Social Dilemma."

Larissa Rhodes ('Social Dilemma' producer) describes how she was skeptical of tackling the harm of social media. Gold Derby's Charles Bright hosts this interview about the Netflix documentary nominated for 7 Emmys.
Not only does Orlowski understand the subject, so does Rhodes. As Netflix's advertising slogan for the movie states, "The technology that connects us also controls us."

Follow over the jump for post-mortems of my prognostications about the awards and my congratulations to the Emmy winners.

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Seth Meyers and Trevor Noah take closer looks at Facebook's bad week

I wrote "Facebook's bad 24 hours will become a bad 48 hours, as Haugen will be testifying before the Senate" in Colbert on Facebook's bad day plus '60 Minutes' whistleblower interview. That has turned into a bad week so far, which Seth Meyers chronicled in Facebook's Disastrous Week, from Whistleblower Bombshell to Global Outage: A Closer Look.

Seth takes a closer look at Facebook’s absolutely disastrous week filled with a damning whistleblower interview, an unprecedented outage and a shocking Senate hearing.
While Mark Zuckerberg is right that advertisers say they don't want their ads next to angry or depressing content, Seth is right that all that really matters are eyeballs on the ads. What about consumer boycotts? That only works if the people who don't like the content they dislike can see the ads supporting it. If the algorithms don't show them the offending content and they don't know whose ads appear alongside it, then activists and consumers can't target the advertisers. That's one of the topics discussed in Tristan Harris - Facebook & Rethinking Big Tech | The Daily Show.

Tristan Harris explains why he thinks Facebook’s business model is a threat to democracy, discusses China’s latest tech regulations and shares his hope for technology becoming a force for good in society.
"Democracy plus technology equals a stronger democracy" — I like that goal! Tristan Harris is now officially a fellow Crazy Eddie.

Speaking of which, Harris is one of the subjects of "The Social Dilemma," which won two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Writing for Nonfiction Programming and Outstanding Picture Editing for Nonfiction Programming last month. This week's events might be enough to change my mind about featuring "Ted Lasso" in my next installment of Emmy coverage and look at "The Social Network" instead. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

U.S. passes 700,000 dying from COVID-19, a pandemic update

Only two weeks after I reported COVID-19 death toll passes 1918 flu epidemic as 1 in 500 Americans have died from coronavirus, I'm reporting another grim milestone. Watch CityNews in Toronto, Canada, announce U.S. COVID-19 death toll surpasses 700,000.

COVID-19 has now taken more than 700,000 American lives. Caryn Ceolin with why health officials say the most recent 100,000 deaths could have been prevented.
I foresaw this happening in March, when I wrote "Total U.S. mortality from the pandemic could exceed 700,000 before this is all over. YIKES! May none of my readers be among this toll." This is one of those times when I wish I hadn't been right.

I'm outsourcing the rest of my reaction to CNN and Dr. Anthony Fauci: 700,000 Covid-19 deaths is 'staggering' and 'painful'.

Dr. Anthony Fauci discusses the grim milestone of 700,000 Covid-19 deaths in the United States, religious exemptions from vaccines, and Covid-19 vaccines for children in an interview with CNN's Dana Bash.
The message is clear: If you aren't vaccinated and you can be, get vaccinated! I did that six months ago, which means that I'm eligible for a booster shot because of my age and diabetes. I'm planning on getting that, too, to protect me and help protect my readers as it will prevent me from spreading the disease. May my readers follow my good example.

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Colbert on Facebook's bad day plus '60 Minutes' whistleblower interview

Facebook had a very bad 24 hours beginning with a "60 Minutes" interview Sunday night and all day yesterday. Stephen Colbert summarized it as comedy in Facebook's Bad Day: Whistleblower's Claims Go Viral Before Global Outage Takes It All Down.

Stephen investigates the worldwide outage at Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, which came one day after dark corporate secrets were revealed by a company whistleblower.
I'm with Stephen. As appalling as Facebook's conduct has been, it shouldn't be surprising. "Are you telling me a corporation chose money over the safety of consumers?" Of course it did, which is why it needs more regulation. At least Twitter was having a good day yesterday at Facebook's expense, just like Stephen.

Stephen showed clips from "60 Minutes." Here is the clip of the interview broadcast on Sunday night, Facebook Whistleblower Frances Haugen: The 60 Minutes Interview.

Frances Haugen says in her time with Facebook she saw, "conflicts of interest between what was good for the public and what was good for Facebook." Scott Pelley reports.
I have been critical of Facebook ever since I wrote Facebook: There is no such thing as a free lunch ten years ago, so while I'm appalled, I'm not surprised. That's when I first used the following meme.

It's still true.

By the way, Facebook's bad 24 hours will become a bad 48 hours, as Haugen will be testifying before the Senate today. MSNBC covered that in Facebook Whistleblower: They Put Profits Over Safety.

Facebook had an hours-long outage the day before a whistleblower, who is alleging the company of behaving dangerously, is set to testify to a Senate panel. We discuss with Kara Swisher, Philip Rucker, and A.B. Stoddard.
Haugen's testimony should be interesting. Stay tuned.

Monday, October 4, 2021

Saturday's Women's March for the first Monday in October

I opened Trevor Noah and Samantha Bee on reproductive rights for today's Women's Marches by noting that "MSNBC reported...Hundreds Of Women's Rights Marches Planned Nationwide Against Texas Abortion Law, but I'm waiting until they're all finished and the news departments of the networks and local stations have digested the story to share videos of the protests." I'm still sharing that video to begin today's entry.

NBC's Stephanie Stanton reports outside of the Texas Capitol where more than 5,000 people are rallying against Gov. Greg Abbot's new law that bans nearly all abortions in the state.
That report focused on Texas, particularly in Austin and Houston, but the important action will took place in Washington, D.C., where the Supreme Court, which begins its session today, will decide on a case involving Mississippi restricting the time period for legal access to abortion. CBS Evening News reported on that demonstration in Thousands gather in D.C. for 2021 Women’s March.

Thousands gathered in the nation’s capital Saturday for the 2021 Women’s March. This year’s march focused on reproductive rights as a response to abortion restrictions implemented in some conservative states. Nikole Killion has more.
Yes, that's Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel being interviewed at the end. Go Dana!

NBC News covered the demonstrations nationwide in As Thousands March, Women’s Reproductive Rights Divide The Nation.

Across the country thousands of women rallied for their reproductive rights, becoming the largest women’s marches since 2017. This comes as Texas recently placed a ban on abortions once a heartbeat is detected.
While I find the circumstances distressing, I'm glad this event had the highest attendance since the first Women's March in 2017. The causes needs that level of popular support.

Attorney General Nessel participating in the Washington, D.C., Women's March wasn't the only Michigan angle to this story. Follow over the jump for two reports from the west side of the state.

Sunday, October 3, 2021

'Saturday Night Live' returns after winning eight Emmy Awards

"Saturday Night Live" returned last night, so with no further ado, here's Biden Unites Democrats Cold Open - SNL.

President Biden (James Austin Johnson), Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (Cecily Strong), Sen. Joe Manchin (Aidy Bryant), Rep. Ilhan Omar (Ego Nwodim) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Melissa Villaseñor) address the president’s infrastructure bill.
I got my wish for this episode right off the bat. Cecily Strong played Kyrsten Sinema. Perfect.

The coverage continued on Weekend Update: Democrats Delay Infrastructure Vote, R. Kelly Found Guilty.

Weekend Update anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che tackle the week’s biggest news, like Biden getting his COVID booster shot.
I guess Jost and the "SNL" writers don't find infrastructure as exciting as the pandemic or 2020 election, but the joke about it was still funny, if a bit dark.

Speaking of the pandemic, "SNL" had masks on the agenda in School Board Meeting.

Two board members (Alex Moffat, Ego Nwodim) try to keep the school board meeting attendees focused on one topic.
That captures how chaotic and heated school board meetings have become in a funny and not scary way.

I close the clips from last night's episode with a satire of the Billionaire Space Race, Billionaire Star Trek.

A new Star Trek spinoff follows the adventures of Captain Jeff Bezos (Owen Wilson) and his brother (Luke Wilson).
Ha, ha, "Ego Quest" — that's exactly what this three-way contest deserves.

Follow over the jump for the eight awards "SNL" won at the Emmys.

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Trevor Noah and Samantha Bee on reproductive rights for today's Women's Marches

As MSNBC reported today, Hundreds Of Women's Rights Marches Planned Nationwide Against Texas Abortion Law, but I'm waiting until they're all finished and the news departments of the networks and local stations have digested the story to share videos of the protests. Instead, I'm sharing two "ha-ha, only serious" takes on the issue beginning with The Daily Show with Trevor Noah asking What Happens When a State Bans Abortions? - If You Don’t Know, Now You Know.

Texas’s new abortion law is the most restrictive in the country. Here’s why banning abortions isn’t an effective (or safe) way to lower the abortion rate.
None of this comes as a surprise to me, so I'm saddened but not disappointed. It's also the bad news. Full Frontal with Samantha Bee has some good news for reproductive rights in New Jersey Is Paving The Way For Reproductive Rights.

We love...New Jersey? As shocking as it may be, the Garden State has been planting seeds to ensure that Roe V. Wade always thrives within its borders. Sam breaks out the celebratory pork rolls with NJ Governor Phil Murphy and Kaitlyn Wojtowicz, VP Public Affairs at Planned Parenthood Access Fund of NJ.

This piece was produced by Amber Watson with Annie Kopp and edited by Daphne Gomez-Mena.
I wish Governor Murphy, Planned Parenthood of New Jersey, and all of the bill's sponsors and supporters good luck and success in passing the bill next month so the Governor can sign it.

Enough serious business, even if I filtered it through comedy. Stay tuned for more on the winners of the Primetime Emmy Awards, probably about "Saturday Night Live," the next biggest winner with eight Emmy Awards, as the Sunday entertainment feature.

Friday, October 1, 2021

Meyers and Colbert take closer looks at Manchin and Sinema

I have good, bad, and ugly news about the federal government. The good news is that it avoided a partial shutdown, as Congress passed and Biden signed a continuing resolution to fund the federal government. The bad news is that the debt ceiling still looms. The ugly news is that both infrastructure bills are being held up by two senators who are saying little or nothing about what they want. Seth Meyers talks about the last topic in last night's Manchin and Sinema Derail Biden's Agenda as Fox Fearmongers About It: A Closer Look.

Seth takes a closer look at two centrist Democrats blocking the entire Democratic agenda without saying what they want.
Seth implied it, but I'll come right out and say it: Fox News shouldn't threaten my readers and me with a good time. Also, Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema need to state their demands instead of merely grandstanding while obstructing.

Stephen Colbert, who found the humor in using reconciliation to raise the debt ceiling the past two days, expressed relief about the good news, but frustration about the bad and ugly in Let's Not Reward Congress For Doing The Bare Minimum.

Congress passed a bill to fund the government for two more months, but moved no closer to solving the other crises on our hands: raising the debt ceiling and avoiding a catastrophic debt default.
At least Manchin gave a dollar figure. As I wrote in Seth Meyers and James Corden team up for Climate Night, I am "annoyed but not disappointed that Senator Manchin is gumming up the works; I didn't expect any different from him." On the other hand, Kyrsten Sinema Can't Seem To Figure Out What She Wants, which is disappointing; I did expect better out of her.

She truly can't be budged.

I think that's what Sinema really wants, the attention. The rest is secondary.

I'm sure I'll have more on both the debt ceiling and infrastructure. In the meantime, here is a meme I haven't used in ten years.

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Colbert finds the humor on using reconciliation to raise the debt ceiling

Two years ago, I wrote Crisis averted as Congress lifts debt ceiling for two years. Those two years are now over, so the debt ceiling has returned, along with all the drama that comes with it. On top of which, the country is facing a federal government shutdown less than three years after the last one. Stephen Colbert made both of them the subjects of his past two nights' monologues. Here's Tuesday's McConnell Risks Financial Armageddon, Grisham's Book Shines A Light In Some Dark Places.

Stephen walks through the disastrous consequences facing the world economy if Republicans stand in the way of raising the debt ceiling, and reacts to some uncomfortable revelations in former White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham's new book about the previous administration.
Yikes! Stephen updated the situation last night in Senators Square Off Over Reconciliation, Pope Francis Bans Vaccine Exemptions.

While McConnell and Schumer stay locked in a high-stakes staring contest over the infrastructure bills and America's debt ceiling, The Vatican made headlines by announcing that all employees must be vaccinated, without leaving room for exemptions on religious grounds.
I have the same reaction that Stephen did. we already have enough apocalyptic events; we don't need a financial apocalypse on top of the pandemic, climate, and democracy apocalypses we are already experiencing. We don't need one that is completely avoidable. Still, I like calling it "Apocalypse Dow." That's clever.

So ends September's blogging. See you next month, when I start celebrating Halloween! Boo!

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

KDKA examines coffee and health on National Coffee Day

National Coffee Day!* KDKA in Pittsburgh observed today with a two-part report the intersection of coffee drinking and health. Part 1 concentrated on how coffee consumption changed during the pandemic.

Wednesday is National Coffee Day and even throughout the pandemic, consumption of coffee continued, but it changed. KDKA's John Shumway has more.
That was a look at how working from home and ordering our groceries online in response to a global health crisis changed the way Americans consumed coffee. Part 2 examined the direct health benefits of coffee drinking.

It's pumpkin spice season and while it may be delicious, it also might not be the healthiest start to the day. KDKA's John Shumway has more on National Coffee Day.
The warning about pumpkin spice latte being "dessert in a cup" is one I have been heeding since 2017, when I developed diabetes. That much sugar is not good for me. Also, the observation that pumpkin spice season has been starting earlier and now begins in August shows that it's another sign of retail desperation. That means I should have posted the following meme a month ago.

Too late. It's already here.

*No fundraising today or any other coffee-related day from now on. I explain why in Colbert and Meyers take closer looks at the Taliban taking over Afghanistan.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

'The Last Ice' vs. 'Nature: Cuba's Wild Revolution' for Outstanding Nature Documentary at the News & Doc Emmy Awards

I told my readers "The next installment in this series should be about National Geographic's 'The Last Ice' and the other nominees for Outstanding Nature Documentary. Stay tuned" at the end of 'Human Nature' vs. 'Connected' for Outstanding Science and Technology Documentary at the News & Documentary Emmy Awards. Without any further ado, here are the nominations at the News and Documentary Emmy Awards for "The Last Ice" and its competitors.
Outstanding Nature Documentary

Jade Eyed Leopard (National Geographic Wild)

Jane Goodall: The Hope (National Geographic)

Nature (PBS) Cuba's Wild Revolution

Nature's Fear Factor

The Last Ice (National Geographic)
Now, The Last Ice | Trailer from National Geographic.

THE LAST ICE tells the story of the Inuit communities fighting to protect the disappearing Arctic that has been their home for centuries. From National Geographic Pristine Seas, THE LAST ICE, premieres on National Geographic Channel this October.
The matchup is between "The Last Ice" and "Nature: Cuba's Wild Revolution," each with three nominations. The spoiler would be National Geographic's "Jade Eyed Leopard" with two nominations. Both of the latter are competing in the next category, which is missing "The Last Ice."

Outstanding Sound

Great Performances (PBS)
Now Hear This: The Schubert Generation

Jade Eyed Leopard (National Geographic) Wild

Alchemy Immersive (Oculus TV)
Micro Monsters with David Attenborough

Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool (PBS)

Nature (PBS)
Cuba's Wild Revolution
Now the trailers for both of the multiple nominees, beginning with Official Preview | Cuba's Wild Revolution | NATURE | PBS.

Get a glimpse of Cuba’s spectacular wildlife and landscapes, left virtually untouched for 50 years.
In the crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean, Cuba is an island teeming with exotic biodiversity: from coral reefs pulsating with life to five-foot-long Cuban rock iguanas. As international relations ease, what will become of this wildlife sanctuary?
Next, a special video from Great Plains Conservation | Jade Eyed Leopard Emmy Nomination.

Last week, our film Jade Eyed Leopard (made for National Geographic) was nominated for two Emmy Awards, and most notably, one Emmy was specifically allocated to Beverly for Best Sound. To record the sound around a leopard, one needs total silence. That can only be found a long way from engines and talking. So thank you again, Olare Motorogi Conservancy and every one of the guides operating in the area, who immediately silenced their guests, and engines, when Beverly hauled out her sound equipment. We could not have done this just a few miles south in the main reserve.

Spending time in these quiet places enriches the soul, allows you to ponder on all things, and here, in the Masai Mara at our camps, do that in style.
This is the first time I've seen a special promotional video by one of the nominees for a News & Documentary Emmy Award nomination. I like the idea, but I am not confident it will be enough to push it over its competition. I think music documentaries have the advantage and "Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool" also has a nomination for Outstanding Arts and Culture Documentary. Even if a nature documentary would win, I would bet on "Cuba's Wild Revolution" over "Jade Eyed Leopard," although I think this video might have swayed a few votes. I consider the wild card to be "Micro Monsters with David Attenborough," which has a second nomination for Outstanding Interactive Media: Documentary.

Follow over the jump for the two other categories in which "The Last Ice" is competing.