Friday, December 31, 2021

WatchMojo rewound YouTube again, Google's Year in Search, and top memes for New Year's Eve

Happy New Year's Eve! I told my readers what to expect in yesterday's Vox, TODAY, and ABC News look back at 2021.
Stay tuned for one last retrospective, a combination of Google's Year in Search and YouTube didn't rewind 2020, so WatchMojo did it for them to send off 2021. It's New Year's Eve and I want to throw a party, at least on this blog.
I'm starting the party with WatchMojo's YouTube Rewind 2021.

YouTube is STILL not doing a Rewind! In October, Youtube announced that not only would they not be making a YouTube Rewind for 2021, but that they will stop making YouTube Rewinds entirely. So we decided to make one for them...again! 2021 was stacked with epic videos, trailers, trends, and announcements, including Sora Comes to “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate”, Logan Paul vs. Floyd Mayweather, ”Resident Evil Village” Release, and more! What was your favorite video of 2021? Let us know in the comments!
I'll miss YouTube's official rewinds; they were a lot of fun. I'm glad WatchMojo, producers of "high-quality, well-researched clickbait," picked up the slack so I could continue my year-end tradition.

WatchMojo continued with Top 10 YouTube Channels of 2021.

2021 has seen a lot of really great YouTube Channels grow and succeed. For this list, we’ll be looking at YouTubers you suggested and voted for on our community poll. You told us who you wanted to see and here are your favorite content creators! Our countdown includes Arcade Crainiacs, Mark Rober, Dead Meat, CrankGamePlays, and more! Did we miss a YouTuber that really impressed you in 2021? Let us know in the comments!
Unlike last year's video, which only mentioned one channel I knew, this year's lists three, First We Feast, PewDiePie, and Good Mythical Morning. In addition, the host of Mr. Beast looks familiar, even though I didn't know his channel name. The channel I most want to watch of all of them is Mark Rober. His videos look both fun and educational.

I close out WatchMojo's YouTube lists for this year with Top 10 Most Liked YouTube Videos of All Time.

To say that people enjoyed these YouTube videos would be a massive understatement. For this list, we’ll be looking at videos with the most likes on the video sharing platform! Our countdown includes Ping Pong Trick Shots 3, Me at the Zoo, How Zach King Gets Away With Doing Graffiti, and more! Do you think these videos deserve the likes? Let us know what you think in the comments!
Dude Perfect, PewDiePie, and Mr. Beast all have videos in this top 10, which also showcases creators outside of the English-speaking world. YouTube is global. So are TikTok and Twitter. ABC News covered some of their most popular videos in 2021’s top memes.

ABC News’ Will Ganss shares the best and funniest internet moments of 2021, from Zoom cat lawyer to Gorilla Glue girl!
Ha ha!

I close with the other end-of-year tradition, Google — Year In Search 2021.

In a year that continued to test many, the world searched “how to heal” more than ever. Whether they’re taking care of mental health, honoring a loved one, or reuniting with family, people are finding ways to come back stronger than before.
Ah, the feels!

That concludes my blogging for 2021. Stay tuned for 2022. Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Vox, TODAY, and ABC News look back at 2021

For the penultimate retrospective of the year about to end, I'm posting this year's edition of Farewell to 2020 from Vox, TODAY, and CBS Sunday Morning on New Year's Eve. As I did last year, I begin with Vox's look back, 2021, in 6 minutes.

Year two of the coronavirus pandemic was filled with vaccines and variants, summer Olympics, joys, and sorrows.
2021 was a year like no other. Vox looks back on the biggest moments that defined an unpredictable year.
Yes, the pandemic was the big story, which is why held off covering it in the year in review until now. For what it's worth, I received my booster shot last Wednesday, keeping my promise to my readers and, more importantly, to my wife.

Like last year, I follow Vox with the Today Show's compilation of the year's top news stories, Look Back At The Biggest Stories of 2021.

The past 12 months saw so many enormous stories, from a new president in the White House, to the ongoing battle against the coronavirus, to a game-changing Summer Olympics. Weekend TODAY recaps how 2021 unfolded.
The natural disasters segment should look familiar, as 2021 in climate and weather from ABC News, NBC News, and WeatherNation showed nearly all those events and much of the same footage.

I close with ABC News, which uploaded A look back at 2021 in 5 minutes an hour before I expect to post this entry.

An insurrection and inauguration happened at the U.S. Capitol, while the death toll from COVID-19 continued to rise.
ABC News mentioned the latest in the billionaire space race, Michael Strahan's trip to space aboard Blue Origin, which Vox and TODAY left out. I'm sure Strahan being one of the hosts of "Good Morning America" has something to do with that. To recycle what I wrote about CNN defending Big Bird, "It's not just news value that's driving it."

Stay tuned for one last retrospective, a combination of Google's Year in Search and YouTube didn't rewind 2020, so WatchMojo did it for them to send off 2021. It's New Year's Eve and I want to throw a party, at least on this blog.

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

2021 in climate and weather from ABC News, NBC News, and WeatherNation

I foreshadowed the subject of today's entry in the middle of 2021's top science stories from Science Magazine, WatchMojo, and Nerdist when I observed that "all [Science Magazine's 2021 breakthroughs of the year] needed was a story about the environment" for it to hit all of my interests, but I was getting ahead of myself. Without any further ado, it's time to post this year's version of Hurricanes, fires, floods, and drought, the top climate and weather stories of 2020. I begin with The Year 2021: How leaders are innovating to save a climate in crisis from ABC News.

ABC News’ “The Year: 2021” reports on how Americans coped with extreme weather and some innovations in the race to combat global warming.
I blogged about some of these events this year. Going back through posts with the weather label, I wrote about the American West's drought, the Pacific Northwest's heat wave, and the Texas blackout. I did not write about what was probably the number one U.S. weather story, Hurricane Ida, beyond "I hope Ida isn't about to leave such a long-lasting legacy of loss." That has already not aged well.

NBC News' focused more on extreme weather in the U.S. and less on international stories in Looking Back At Extreme Weather's Impact in 2021.

NBC's Al Roker looks back on the major weather extremes that impacted the country in 2021. The Biden administration took a step to address climate change by rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement as the world faces the impacts of everything from wildfires and droughts to catastrophic hurricanes.
I'm glad NBC included that the 2021 hurricane season as the third most active ever. One of the facts it missed was that, while the report listed all 21 named storms, what it didn't mention was that the season used all the names on the primary list.

This season, the World Meteorological Organization prepared for the possibility by proposing a secondary list in case it needed more. No more Greek letter names for storms unless there are more than 42 in a season!

WeatherNation covered nearly all the weather disasters ABC News and NBC News did in its examinations of the top domestic weather stories, so I'm skipping those for its international wrap up, 2021 Top Weather Headlines From Around The World, which covered events beyond those included in ABC News' report.

The weather in the United States was certainly wild in 2021, but let's take a quick trip around the world to discuss this year's top international weather headlines.
Volcanic eruptions are not really weather by themselves, but they can certainly cause disruptions in the weather. One of these days, I should blog about the effects of Pinatubo's 1991 eruption on global climate. May the news slow down enough for me to find a day to do that.

That's it for last year's climate and weather until NASA and NOAA weigh in on how 2021 ranks among the hottest years on record. In the meantime, stay tuned for two more retrospectives of the year about to end.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

2021's top science stories from Science Magazine, WatchMojo, and Nerdist

After looking at 2021 in space, it's time for me to examine the year in science as a whole. I begin, as I have the past four years, with Science Magazine and Science’s 2021 Breakthrough of the Year: AI brings protein structures to all.

Bounty of new structures will forever change biology and medicine
0:00 Introduction
0:13 Runner-up: Ancient human DNA in soil
1:07 Runner-up: NASA lander detects Red Planet's core
1:56 Runner-up: Psychedelic treatment for PTSD
2:39 Runner-up: Potent pills boost COVID-19 arsenal
3:35 The 2021 Breakthrough of the Year: Protein structures for all
This top five list pretty much covered my scientific interests, biology, including paleontology and medicine, and space. All it needed was a story about the environment. That will be the subject of tomorrow's retrospective, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

The video above reflects the expert's opinions about what was important in science this year. Now for the first of two popular lists, beginning with WatchMojo's Top 10 Biggest Scientific Discoveries of 2021.

These scientific discoveries will shape the world for years to come. For this list, we’ll be looking at the most fascinating and significant things that scientists learned about the world in 2021. Our countdown includes The Maximum Human Lifespan, Complex Thoughts Mirror Fractals, New Organic Molecules on Mars, and more! What recent scientific discovery excites you? Tell us in the comments.
I'm going to be a good environmentalist by recycling my reaction from last year.
As much as I'm aware that WatchMojo and its sister channel MsMojo are premiere clickbait factories, at least they produce high-quality, well-researched clickbait, so I'm going to keep using their videos. Besides, this was a good list.
I'm not as sure about the next source whose video I'm embedding, Nerdist's The Best Tech and Science Breakthroughs of 2021 (Nerdist Now w/ Dan Casey).

With 2021 coming to an end, it’s time to look back on all the year’s most exciting and bizarre contributions in the world of science and tech. From monkey’s playing pong with their minds to helicopters on Mars, Dan’s here’s to break down everything you might have missed on today’s episode of Nerdist Now!
The one topic all three videos agreed on was NASA's exploration of Mars, although the scientists preferred Mars InSight to the popular journalists choice of Perseverance and Ingenuity. Give the latter time and I expect it will produce amazing scientific data to go along with its amazing technology.

Stay tuned for more retrospectives through to New Year's Eve.

Monday, December 27, 2021

2021 in space from NASA, ESA, and Reuters

As I wrote twice, "Here's to 2021 being another great year in space!" and "If all goes as NASA plans, it will be." NASA shows that it was in We Did Some Amazing Things This Year @ NASA – December 21, 2021.

2021 was the busiest year yet for NASA in low-Earth orbit, we also made progress preparing for a flight test around the Moon, and had a very active year exploring space, studying Earth, testing technologies for next generation aircraft, and much more. Here’s a look back at those and other things we did this year at NASA.
Congratulations to NASA, including on the successful launch of the James Webb Space Telescope, which occurred after the U.S. space agency uploaded this video. I plan on writing an entry about it next year, but I'm moving on to NASA's partner in this and other missions, the European Space Agency (ESA), which uploaded their own summary of their year in space, ESA highlights 2021.

We’re almost ready to say goodbye to 2021, a year in which ESA once more succeeded in continuing operations in a challenging global situation, and creating some important milestones in the field of European spaceflight. As always, ESA has been at the forefront of science, with several science missions en route to their destinations or being prepared for flight, such as BepiColombo, Solar Orbiter, JUICE and ExoMars, and not least rounding off the year with the impending launch of the James Webb Space Telescope. Europe’s Copernicus programme continues to be the largest Earth observation system in the world, and ESA is even preparing more Earth observation missions. In 2021, ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet carried out his Alpha mission to the Space Station, and Matthias Maurer began his Cosmic Kiss mission, continuing into 2022. As we said farewell to Prof. Jan Wörner, a new Director General took the helm of ESA and we welcomed Dr Josef Aschbacher with his ambition to accelerate the use of space in Europe. Meanwhile, the latest Vega rocket flight has paved the way for the transition to Vega-C, and the new Ariane 6 launchpad was inaugurated.
In addition, the ESA is also involved in the Orion capsule and Artemis mission to return to the Moon and hopefully go on to Mars, another cooperative venture with NASA. May next year's mission help pave the way.

Organizations and people beyond the western space agencies also made news in space this year. Reuters captured some of that in 2021’s space exploration highlights.

NASA's Mars landing, billionaires in space, first Arab woman astronaut and more – here are some of the highlights in space exploration this year.
In addition to the billionaire space race, China, Russia, and the United Arab Emirates all made space news this year. Here's to 2022 being another great year in space for all participants!

Stay tuned as the retrospectives continue through New Year's Eve.

Sunday, December 26, 2021

The best TV series of 2021 according to WatchMojo and IGN

It's the last week of 2021, so it's time for me to look back at the year about to end with retrospectives until New Year's Eve. As I did for last year's edition of the final Sunday entertainment feature, I'm beginning with IGN's The Best TV Series of 2021: IGN's Nominations.

The world of television offered an embarrassment of riches in 2021. Whether it was a shocking twist or an unbelievable cameo, there was always a show that had us talking. With the year coming to a close, we've rounded up the best of the best TV shows 2021 had to offer.

From dangerous games that double as a commentary on modern-day capitalism to animated adaptations of online games, murder mysteries with a twist, meditations on religion through a horrific lens, MCU stories on the small screen, and much more, these are our nominees for the best TV series of 2021. Check out IGN's full list of TV awards for 2021 on, but otherwise dig in here on our list of potential TV series of the year winners, including Arcane, Loki, Midnight Mass, Only Murders in the Building, Squid Game, Succession, Ted Lasso, The White Lotus, WandaVision, and What We Do in the Shadows.
I think that's a very good list. IGN chose the winner a week later in IGN's Best TV Series of the Year 2021.

Every year brings with it at least one new Netflix series that dominates the pop culture sphere for a few weeks, and 2021 was no exception. This year, everyone was obsessed with Squid Game, a bizarre yet fascinating dystopian survival drama slash fictional game show slash social satire.

It's tough to pin a series as weird as Squid Game down to just one genre... but the important thing is it's IGN's pick for the best TV series of the year 2021.

Like many great satires, Squid Game manages to be both completely ridiculous and wholly believable at the same time. Lee Jung-jae stars as Seong Gi-hun, a struggling South Korean man who becomes one of 500 participants who agree to take part in a series of potentially very lucrative games. Who wouldn't agree to play a few simple childhood games in exchange for ludicrous amounts of prize money? But there's always a catch, and the contestants quickly learn these games have literal life and death consequences.

Squid Game is easily one of the most unique additions to Netflix's library, but it's a show that clicks on a number of levels. Its central mysteries are reason enough to watch on their own: Who are these mysterious masked captors, and how does it benefit them to offer such a large payout for people who are down on their luck? Why not find a less sadistic way to be altruistic? And what could drive a person to be so desperate to willingly play in these games? The tightly paced nine-episode structure ensures we don't have to wait too long before the pieces start falling into place.

Watch the full video to learn why Netflix's Squid Game is the winner of IGN's Best TV Show of 2021 award.
It's been a while since I used the Hunger Games label. I going to revive it for "Squid Game."

WatchMojo produced its own top ten, but only for series premiering this year, so no "Succession," "What We Do in the Shadows," or, as the channel points out, "Ted Lasso." Watch Top 10 Best TV Shows of 2021 to see their picks for best new series of the year.

2021 has been a dynamite year for TV. For this list, we’ll be looking at 2021 shows that had us fully engrossed one minute and buzzing on social media the next. Given the sheer amount of quality out there, we’re only focusing on shows that premiered this year. Sadly, that means no “Ted Lasso” Season 2. Our countdown includes "Invincible" (2021-), "Mare of Easttown" (2021), "Squid Game" (2021), "WandaVision" (2021), and more! What’s your favorite show of 2021? Let us know in the comments.
WatchMojo's top show is "Arcane," not "Squid Game," reinforcing the point I make about awards shows that electorates matter. Speaking of which, "Arcane" has nine nominations at the Annie Awards, more than any other nominated TV program. In contrast, "Invincible" has only one and "The Bad Batch" none; the nominated Star Wars show is "Star Wars: Visions." I think that puts "Arcane" in the driver's seat for next year's Emmy Awards in the animated categories and maybe even next year's Saturn Awards.*

As for the best drama, I think that will go to "Succession" again. "Squid Game" will certainly earn Emmy nominations; the only question is whether it will do so in the Primetime and Creative Arts Emmy Awards or the International Emmy Awards. As CNet reports, it's eligible for both but can only compete in one, not both. I think it has a better chance at the TCA Awards for Best New Show where I expect it will compete with "Only Murders in the Building," which my wife and I enjoyed. That written, "Only Murders in the Building" has the same strengths and weaknesses as "The Flight Attendant." Both succeed as comedies while also being good thrillers and mysteries but both have the bad luck to be competing against "Ted Lasso," which I expect to win Outstanding Comedy Series again.

Stay tuned for more retrospectives of the year about to end through the rest of the week.

*I plan on covering this year's Saturn Awards winners on National Science Fiction Day, January 2, 2022.

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Merry Christmas 2021 with songs from Broken Peach and a drink from Tipsy Bartender!

Merry Christmas with songs from Broken Peach and a drink from Tipsy Bartender! I begin with this year's holiday selection, Broken Peach - Let It Snow (Christmas Special).

"Let It Snow" a song written by lyricist Sammy Cahn and composer Jule Styne in July 1945. It was written in Hollywood, California during a heat wave as Cahn and Styne imagined cooler conditions. Despite the lyrics making no mention of any holiday, the song has come to be regarded as a Christmas song worldwide due to its winter theme, being played on radio stations during the Christmas and holiday season, and having often been covered by various artists on Christmas-themed albums.
This is a new song for the band from Vigo, Galicia, Spain. I'm also glad to see them return to wearing seasonal outfits for the holiday like they do for Halloween.

Next, a concert performance of the band's biggest holiday hits in last year's Broken Peach - Christmas Special Live.

Broken Peach released six of the seven songs as individual videos earlier this year and I was tempted to embed all of them. I'm happier to just embed this one video instead.

It wouldn't be a major holiday post of mine without a drink recipe video, so I'm sharing Sangria Snow Cones from Tipsy Bartender.

What?! It's a wine snow cone!

This is more of a summer concoction than a winter one, but it combines sangria with snow, so I'm using it.

I conclude with a Christmas greeting in Galician, since Broken Peach is from Galicia.

Friday, December 24, 2021

Season's Greetings from NASA for Christmas Eve and history and recipe for National Eggnog Day

A merry Christmas Eve and National Eggnog Day to my readers! I begin today's double celebration by reviving my old tradition of sharing Season's Greetings from NASA, which I last observed in 2016, with this year's version of Season’s Greetings from NASA.

From the Moon to Mars to the solar system and beyond, season's greetings from all of us at NASA!
Not only does the video serve as a moving Christmas card, but also as a fun promotion of NASA's missions in space but also inside the Earth's atmosphere. After all, the first A in NASA stands for aeronautics.

Now for two videos about the other holiday I'm celebrating today, National Eggnog Day - National Day Calendar TV Minute.

Today we celebrate a holiday drink with a confusing history. Pour a stiff dram as this foggy tale unfolds.
I'm surprised it took me a full year to find this channel.

Since eggnog is a drink, I'm going to close with Eggnog White Russian from Tipsy Bartender.

I love egg nog and I love white russians...let's bring them together!
Too bad Skyy didn't include Inna in the video.

Stay tuned as I'll be back tomorrow with another Tipsy Bartender recipe and Christmas songs from Broken Peach, my new Christmas tradition.

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Feats of strength in the animal kingdom for Festivus

Happy Festivus! After two years featuring airing of grievances, it's time to return to feats of strength. Watch Strongest Animals for Their Size and Their Abilities from The Infographics Show.

Which animals are the strongest in the wild? Which animal is actually much stronger than the rest based on its size and its abilities? Are these animals the dominant ones, or are they small and often not seen? Today, let's look at Strongest Animals for Their Size and Their Abilities that live on the planet Earth!
First, I'm glad to see this list include humans. We are members of the animal kingdom, after all. Second, the image used for the oribatid mite was of a beetle. Here's what an oribatid mite really looks like.

I can see why the team at Dark Matter Design, the company behind The Infographics Show, could be confused. The mite looks a beetle with an extra pair of legs (mites are arachnids, the class that includes spiders) and Wikipedia even lists "beetle mites" as one of the group's common names, so I'll let it pass.

I conclude with an e-card for today.

Once again, happy Festivus!

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

The Cadets '12.25' for a drum corps Christmas

I told my readers to "Stay tuned for more holiday programming through the rest of this year and into the next as I celebrate Festivus, Christmas, and New Years" to conclude A joke and a song for Winter Solstice and Yule 2021. I'm following through by being a good environmentalist and recycling the concept behind Christmas music from the Cadets and Crazy Eddie's Motie News, itself a recycling of Christmas in July.
I present to you the 2012 Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps, who are performing a show they call "12.25." It's easily the most accessible show they've done this century and a lot of fun to watch and listen to. See how many Christmas-themed sets the corps forms during the show. I count at least two Christmas trees, a snowflake, a bow, a bell, and an ICHTHYS fish. How many do you see?
I begin by embedding "Carol of the Bells" - The 2012 Cadets, 12.25 from The Cadets YouTube channel.

Merry Christmas! Enjoy The 2012 Cadets playing "Carol of the Bells."
That's the opening of the show. The Cadets also uploaded a clip of the middle of the show, Cadets All Access - J. Birney Jingle.

I close the show with Drum Corps International's 2012 The Cadets.

2012 The Cadets - 12.25

Yes, I embedded this clip nine years ago, but I think it's held up well over the years. Besides, I'm an environmentalist; I recycle. Speaking of which, this show has become such a Christmas classic that there are at least three reaction videos to it and two other official uploads of the opener from The Cadets and DCI. As long as they all stay up, I have material for a drum corps Christmas until 2026. Let's hope conserving my resources doesn't backfire on me by having the videos taken down in the meantime.

Stay tuned for holiday festivities continuing tomorrow, as I celebrate Festivus. Feats of strength and airing of grievances!

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

A joke and a song for Winter Solstice and Yule 2021

Happy Winter Solstice to my readers! After correcting my students' final exams and entering grades over the weekend, which I finished doing last night, I'm in no mood to give a science lesson. Instead, I want to share some entertainment, beginning with Happy First Day of Winter from Fozzie Bear! | The Muppets.

Happy First Day of Winter 2021! Warm up with a laugh from Fozzie Bear – or Fozzie Brrrr depending on the weather!
While I groaned, I actually liked Fozzie Bear's pun. It helped earn this post a bees label.

Now a song for a holiday I've mentioned before but never explictly celebrated until now, Yule. Watch and listen to NORDIC SOLSTICE (Original Song) – Camille and Kennerly, Harp Twins.

A Harp Twins original Holiday song – the 7th track of our new WINTER LIGHTS album (links below)! We wrote both the music and the lyrics of NORDIC SOLSTICE. This original song pays homage to our Scandinavian heritage. We found out recently that some of our Norwegian ancestors lived north of the Arctic Circle in Norway. The Winter Solstice has an important place in life, mythology and history – especially in northern parts of the world when the days are dark and the nights are long. The Scandinavian people of northern Europe celebrated the period of “midwinter”/winter solstice with the holiday, Jul/Yule, from which many modern day Christmas traditions are descended. We wanted the song to celebrate the rebirth of the sun after the longest night of the year. Everything that you hear in the video is just our harps and our voices – exactly like we can perform it live with no overlays or backtracks. It was 5 °F (-15 °C) when we filmed this video, so we guess we’re lucky our fingers didn’t get frostbitten!

We are incredibly excited to share this original song with all of you. Please let us know if you enjoyed “Nordic Solstice” by liking the video, favoriting, leaving a comment, and sharing it with your friends. We look forward to releasing more of our original compositions! Please subscribe and stay tuned!
I featured the Harp Twins playing a song for the Summer Solstice three years ago, so it was time to do so for the Winter Solstice. They have another music video for Yule, but I'm being a good environmentalist and conserving my resources to use them in the future.

Stay tuned for more holiday programming through the rest of this year and into the next as I celebrate Festivus, Christmas, and New Years.

Monday, December 20, 2021

Vox answers questions about the COVID booster shot, a pandemic update

I closed U.S. passes 800,000 dead from COVID-19, a pandemic update with a promise to my readers.
I'm going to follow the advice to get a booster shot next week. That way, I can be a good example to my readers in addition to keeping myself healthy and safe.
On that topic, Vox uploaded Big questions about the Covid booster shot, answered two weeks ago.

How omicron has reframed the booster debate.
Much of the messaging from authorities around Covid-19 booster shots has been confusing — and that’s partly because scientists themselves haven’t always agreed on who needs them. When many countries began to recommend boosters not just for the older and high-risk, but for all adults, they were essentially taking sides in a still-unresolved debate around that question: Why give an extra dose to healthy adults who are still very protected against severe Covid-19 cases from their original dose?

But since the omicron variant has emerged, many have changed their minds. To understand why, we talked to one formerly skeptical expert who scheduled her own booster shot based on what she learned about omicron. We spoke to her about what happens in your immune system when you get that third (or second) shot, and why it could be especially useful in stopping the spread of omicron.
That answered a lot of my questions. Today, I grade final exams. Tomorrow, I schedule my appointment for a booster shot. I hope my readers follow my example so we can speed up the end of the pandemic.

Sunday, December 19, 2021

'Summer of Soul,' my pick for best documentary of 2021

For today's Sunday entertainment feature, I'm returning to the closing paragraph of 'Hamilton,' 'Inside,' and 'American Utopia' all winners at the 2021 Emmy Awards.
Good luck to Burnham on his two Grammy nominations for Best Song Written for Visual Media, which went to "All Eyes on Me" instead of "Comedy" — remember, electorates matter — and Best Music Film for "Inside." I don't think he'll win either, as he's contending with Emmy winner "Agatha All Along," Oscar nominee "Stand Up," and Oscar winner "Fight for You" in the first category and "American Utopia" and especially "Summer of Soul," which won six Critics Choice Documentary Awards and is my choice to win Documentary Feature at next year's Oscars [in the second category]. That's extremely tough competition.
The other nominees for Best Music Film at the Grammys are "Happier Than Ever: A Love Letter To Los Angeles" featuring Billie Eilish (I'm surprised "Billie Eilish: The World's a Little Blurry" with four Emmy nominations wasn't nominated instead, but "Happier Than Ever" is eligible for next year's Emmy Awards and may be a better film) and "Music, Money, Madness...Jimi Hendrix In Maui." I still think "Summer of Soul" is the favorite.

Before I continue discussing the documentary, I'm sharing SUMMER OF SOUL | Official Trailer from Searchlight Pictures, which is now Disney's prestige film division since it acquired it from Fox.

In his acclaimed debut as a filmmaker, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson presents a powerful and transporting documentary—part music film, part historical record created around an epic event that celebrated Black history, culture and fashion. Over the course of six weeks in the summer of 1969, just one hundred miles south of Woodstock, The Harlem Cultural Festival was filmed in Mount Morris Park (now Marcus Garvey Park). The footage was never seen and largely forgotten–until now. SUMMER OF SOUL shines a light on the importance of history to our spiritual well-being and stands as a testament to the healing power of music during times of unrest, both past and present. The feature includes never-before-seen concert performances by Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Sly & the Family Stone, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Mahalia Jackson, B.B. King, The 5th Dimension and more.
That really makes me want to watch the film. I'll show it to my wife, who loves Motown, to see if it makes her want to watch it with me. Yes, I'm praising a film based on its reputation, but I think it deserves its reputation. In addition to earning six Critics Choice Documentary Awards, Best Documentary Feature, Best First Documentary Feature, Best Editing for Joshua L. Pearson, Best Archival Documentary, Best Music Documentary, and Best Director for Questlove, and the Grammy nomination for Best Music Film, "Summer of Soul" has earned a special award from the American Film Institute, two nominations at the Black Reel Awards, six nominations from the Cinema Eye Honors Awards, two nominations at the Film Independent Spirit Awards, a nomination at the Gotham Independent Film Awards (it lost to "Flee," which tags it as strong competition), four nominations from the International Documentary Association, one nomination each from the PGA Awards and Satellite Awards, and won Best Documentary from the National Board of Review. Wow!

About the only thing that would stop "Summer of Soul" from winning Documentary Feature at the Oscars is if it's not nominated for the reasons I listed in 'Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution' at the Critics' Choice Documentary Awards (corrected for grammar).
[T]he Documentary Branch of the Motion Picture Academy...deliberately do[es] not nominate documentaries that will earn votes from the entire academy as a whole that they don't agree [are] the very best. They also don't like documentaries made with archive footage. They also have political axes to grind.
The only prejudice that definitely applies is the second against archival documentaries, but I think it won't be enough to prevent its nomination, as it's very high quality, even if Questlove wasn't an established documentarian until now, and the film's politics work in its favor. Follow over the jump for two interviews of Questlove in which he discusses the film's political and social implications.

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Vox explains 'Why we need a better flu shot'

In the comments to 'SNL' opens with holiday greetings from Fauci and others, Liberty Felix linked to a video of Dr. Fauci discussing a universal flu vaccine. My response in the comments was "It's a good thing he was thinking like that. It made us better prepared for SARS-COV2, which isn't a flu." Vox uploaded Why we need a better flu shot yesterday, which allows me to give a better response that explains what a universal flu vaccine really is.

A universal flu vaccine is closer than you think.
The flu vaccine is something many of us take for granted. Every year, starting in the early fall, “free flu shot available” signs start to line pharmacies and clinics – and yet in the US, only around half the population actually gets the vaccine. When talking about the flu, many equate it to a terrible cold, inconvenient at worst. But annual strains of influenza are estimated to cause hundreds of thousands of deaths worldwide. The reality is, we’ve been living with influenza for so long that we often forget just how dangerous it can be.

The reason we need an annual vaccine for the flu is that it’s particularly prone to changing. That ability to mutate is also what makes it particularly good at causing pandemic-level threats. The last four global pandemics before Covid-19 were caused by an influenza virus. Experts warn that another one is inevitable and that our seasonal flu vaccine isn’t going to stop it.

For 80 years, the way we research and make our annual flu vaccine has remained the same. It’s a costly and timely process that involves predictions and chicken eggs. The result is a seasonal flu vaccine that’s certainly good enough, but we can do better. And now researchers are closer than ever to something new - something like a flu vaccine that remains effective year after year, regardless of the strain. Something that could stop an outbreak before it starts; something like a universal flu vaccine.
One of the episodes of the Netflix documentary series "Pandemic," which earned a nomination for Outstanding Science and Technology Documentary at the News & Documentary Emmy Awards is about the search for a universal flu vaccine. I don't recall it mentioning mRNA technology, but that would be a logical next step. It would be one way to avoid the problem I described in Skipping last flu season may be an example of 'there is no free lunch,' a pandemic update: "Suppressing last winter's flu season prevented a lot of suffering and death but it could come at a price of not being prepared for the next flu season." It's too late for this flu season, but here's to hoping a universal flu vaccine is available by the end of the decade.

Friday, December 17, 2021

U.S. passes 800,000 dead from COVID-19, a pandemic update

It's been only 5 weeks since I reported 750,000 dead in U.S. from the pandemic. Monday the 13th proved to be an unlucky day, as Inside Edition reported 800,000 Americans Have Now Died of COVID-19.

America is in the midst of another COVID-19 surge. This weekend, America reached a grim milestone: 800,000 dead from COVID-19. One in 100 older Americans have lost their lives to the virus, with the majority of those being over 65. But many younger people seem to be throwing caution to the wind. In New York and San Francisco, thousands took to the streets for the annual pub crawl known as SantaCon, which was cancelled last year.
It doesn't surprise me that Inside Edition, a syndicated infotainment newsmagazine that is not the hardest news source, framed its report in terms of the pandemic's effects on entertainment. Just the same, Americans care about their entertainment, the core of the report was serious news, and the video description is the most informative I found, so it leads.

CBS Miami has more of the CBS News reporting that Inside Edition used in Total Number Of U.S. COVID Deaths Hits 800,000 for a harder news report.

CBS4’s Naomi Ruchim has the latest.

Yikes! That's serious!

I conclude with ABC News providing commentary and analysis in Total Number Of U.S. COVID Deaths Hits 800,000.

The WHO warned that the omicron variant is spreading at a higher rate than any previous variants and Dr. Simone Wildes discusses the concerns.
I'm going to follow the advice to get a booster shot next week. That way, I can be a good example to my readers in addition to keeping myself healthy and safe. When that happens, I hope my readers follow it.

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Olivia Rodrigo is Time Magazine's Entertainer of the Year

I've covered Time Magazine's Person of the Year, Heroes of the Year, and Athlete of the Year. It's time to wrap this series up with TIME Entertainer of the Year: Olivia Rodrigo.

Her rise to pop stardom was swift and definitive: it started on Jan. 8, when Rodrigo, already a Disney actor with an audience, released her first single, “Drivers License,” a torch song that took off on TikTok and stirred up theories about who inspired it. By Jan. 23, she became the youngest solo artist ever to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, where her song stayed for eight weeks.

Any questions about whether Rodrigo could repeat the success of “Drivers License” were put to rest when she released Sour on May 21. The album, scruffier than the symmetrical, beat-driven music that tends to dominate pop culture, announced her as a serious artist. With moody, confessional lyrics that added chapters to the story told in “Drivers License,” Sour offered something we needed after more than a year of unending distress: an outlet for anger and permission to cry. Hailed by critics, it also continued Rodrigo’s streak of smashing records: with approximately 385 million streams, Sour became Spotify’s most popular release by a female artist in its first week.

After dropping her music in pandemic-era isolation, Rodrigo sang at multiple awards shows, earned seven Grammy nominations—including Best New Artist, and Song, Record and Album of the Year—and was revealed to have the most-streamed album and song of the year around the world on Spotify. Somewhere along the way, she even appeared at the White House with President Joe Biden to encourage young people to get vaccinated. And on Dec. 6, she announced a 41-city tour for 2022.
I am glad Rodrigo is using her star power to help fight the pandemic.

Rodrigo's seven Grammy nominations include Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Pop Solo Performance for "Drivers License," Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album for "Sour," Best Music Video for "Good 4 U," and Best New Artist. To celebrate Rodrigo's honor and nominations, I'm embedding her Grammy-nominated video, Olivia Rodrigo - good 4 u (Official Video).

Music video by Olivia Rodrigo performing good 4 u.

I know this is as much a character as it is her, but after watching this video, I don't think I want to piss her off.

I close this post and the series as whole with Rodrigo's cover.

Congratulations and good luck!

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Simone Biles is Time Magazine's Athlete of the Year

I told my readers "Stay tuned for posts about the Athlete and Entertainer of the Year" at the end of Vaccine scientists are Time Magazine's Heroes of the Year, so without any further ado, I'm sharing TIME Athlete of the Year: Simone Biles.

As the Greatest of All Time (GOAT) in a sport that captivates the globe every four years, Biles is all about control. Her life is dedicated to micromanaging every possible element—her diet, her training, her sleep—that goes into performing, so when the lights are brightest, and the stakes highest, little is left to chance. But for Biles, control isn’t just about winning; it can be the difference between life and death. She now has four skills named after her, each a breathtaking combination of daring flips and twists. Avoiding disaster requires a constant, firm grip on mental acuity.
Congratulations to Biles on receiving this honor!

The video mentioned Larry Nassar's abuse scandal. PBS NewsHour reported the latest on it in Why the $380 million settlement in gymnast sexual abuse suit is just a start.

After a five-year legal battle, USA Gymnastics, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee and their insurance companies reached a settlement with the victims of former physician Larry Nassar. The settlement — totaling $380 million — is one of the largest ever awarded in a sexual abuse case. John Yang reports.
May this be at least a down payment on justice for Biles, the rest of the USA Gymnastics team, and all the others abused by Nassar.

I plan on finishing this series tomorrow with Olivia Rodrigo as Entertainer of the Year. In the meantime, here is Biles' cover as Athlete of the year.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Vaccine scientists are Time Magazine's Heroes of the Year

I closed Elon Musk is Time Magazine's Person of the Year with a preview of coming attractions.
I think Time Magazine's choices for Heroes of the Year, Athlete of the Year, and Entertainer of the Year are all worthy of attention. Now that Time has uploaded the video for Heroes of the Year, I plan on sharing that next as a pandemic update. Stay tuned.
Without any further ado, I'm sharing Doctor Mike Reveals TIME Heroes of the Year 2021: Vaccine Scientists.

For those of us lucky enough to live in wealthy countries with access to these top-shelf vaccines, it has made all the difference. The miracle workers behind the COVID-19 vaccines are the TIME Heroes of the Year not only because they gave the world a defense against a pathogen, but also because the manner of that astonishing achievement guards more than our health: they channeled their ambitions to the common good, talked to one another and trusted in facts.
I like Heroes of the Year better than Guardians of the Year, which Frontline health workers, Dr. Fauci, Porche Bennett-Bey and racial-justice organizers won last year. Too bad they couldn't have won people of the year, like The Ebola Fighters did in 2014, but I think this is still appropriate recognition. Congratulations!

Stay tuned for posts about the Athlete and Entertainer of the Year. In the meantime, here is the cover featuring the vaccine scientists, heroes of the year.

Monday, December 13, 2021

Elon Musk is Time Magazine's Person of the Year

Happy Monday the 13th! To celebrate Garfield the Cat's least favorite day, I'm sharing TIME Person of the Year: Elon Musk.

Person of the Year is a marker of influence, and few individuals have had more influence than Musk on life on Earth, and potentially life off Earth too. In 2021, Musk emerged not just as the world's richest person but also as perhaps the richest example of a massive shift in our society.
The video surprised me pleasantly by both praising and criticizing Musk; he deserves both. On the one hand, I consider him to be a fellow Crazy Eddie by trying to save humanity, or at least civilization, by promoting sustainable energy and space colonization. On the other, I think his level of wealth accumulation is not good for society. At least he's doing something interesting and generally useful with his money instead of just consuming conspicuously. That would be worse.

NBC's Today Show covered the announcement in Elon Musk Is TIME Magazine’s Person Of The Year.

Edward Felsenthal, editor-in-chief of TIME, joins TODAY live to reveal the magazine’s pick for its 2021 Person of the Year: Elon Musk. “He is reshaping life on Earth and possibly off Earth as well,” Felsenthal says. “He really speaks to the moment we’re in.”
I think Time Magazine's choices for Heroes of the Year, Athlete of the Year, and Entertainer of the Year are all worthy of attention. Now that Time has uploaded the video for Heroes of the Year, I plan on sharing that next as a pandemic update. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, I'm sharing Musk's Person of the Year cover.

Sunday, December 12, 2021

'SNL' opens with holiday greetings from Fauci and others

I accidentally began my Christmas posts with Debbie Allen accepts the Governors Award from the Television Academy after winning two Emmy Awards because those Emmy Awards were for "Dolly Parton's Christmas on The Square." I decided that was premature and started celebrating Thanksgiving the next day. With the return of "Saturday Night Live" last night featuring a strong holiday theme, I think it's time to return to Christmas in earnest.* I begin, as last night's show did, with Fauci Holiday Message Cold Open.

Dr. Anthony Fauci (Kate McKinnon) delivers a special holiday message about the Omicron variant with help from members of the CDC (Cecily Strong, Aidy Bryant, Kyle Mooney, Pete Davidson, Mikey Day, Melissa Villaseñor, Heidi Gardner, Ego Nwodim, Bowen Yang, Andrew Dismukes, Sarah Sherman).
"SNL" is always timely, so making fun of the Omicron variant as the latest development of the pandemic is exactly what I expect. Speaking about what I expect, I don't expect much from Marjorie Taylor Green. She wouldn't know what communism is if the ghost of Karl Marx swatted her on the butt with "The Communist Manifesto."

Now on to the rest of the news with Weekend Update: Jussie Smollett Found Guilty.

Weekend Update anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che tackle the week's biggest news, like Biden announcing a diplomatic boycott of Beijing's Winter Olympics.
While I've ignored Smollett's false police report until now, the results of his trial alone qualify this post as the Sunday entertainment feature. I'd rather point to the pandemic and Olympics news in this segment as reasons I included it.

Weekend Update: Pot Sleep Study and Oreo Wine continued making fun of last week's news.

Weekend Update anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che tackle the week's biggest news, like a study revealing cats would be classified as psychopaths if they were humans.
As someone who has kept cats since I was eight, I can agree with that assessment of their personalities. That doesn't mean that I love my cat any less. As for the Oreo wine, it reminds me of these comments to Ta-ta, Tulsi, as Gabbard gives up:

Infidel753: Gaack! If there are any two things that don't go together, it's chocolate and alcohol.

Me: [T]hat's a matter of taste. I guess that means you're not a fan of Creme de Cacao.

I suspect Infidel would like Oreo wine even less.

This episode has a lot more holiday content, which I plan on saving for a future entry. Better yet, there will be another episode this Saturday, which should provide even more. Two bonus "SNL" holiday entries? That's one of the advantages to being an environmentalist who conserves his resources!

*It's a good day to start, as it's National Gingerbread House Day.

Stay tuned for more Christmas content, although probably not tomorrow. I have something else in mind.

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Maddow asks if the filibuster can be waived for the debt ceiling, why can't it be waived for voting rights?

Rachel Maddow asked a very good question at the end of Senate Adds Filibuster Exception For Debt Ceiling. So, What Next?

Rachel Maddow reports on the Senate adding raising the debt ceiling to the existing list of exceptions to the filibuster rule, and wonders why, if it's as simple as that, they have not added an exception for voting rights.
Probably because voting rights are not the emergency that hitting the debt ceiling would be, even though they're a critical chronic issue with our democracy and because, as I wrote nine years ago and repeated the day before yesterday, that the GOP is "an authoritarian movement" and "an undead party in a democratic system." They see no need to expand and protect voting rights for everyone. As long as they prevent a majority of the U.S. Senate from supporting such an exception, it will never pass. Sigh.

Enough reality. Stay tuned for the Sunday entertainment feature. In the meantime, here's a meme for today's post.

Friday, December 10, 2021

Journalists, climate modelers, and others recognized for Nobel Prize Day 2021

Happy Nobel Prize Day! As I have the past three years, I begin by recognizing the recipients of the Peace Prize. Watch Why the Nobel Peace Prize was won by 2 journalists, and what that means for press freedom from PBS NewsHour.

The Nobel Committee often likes to make a statement when it awards the Nobel Peace Prize every year, and 2021 is no different. Two journalists, one from the Philippines, the other from Russia, were recipients — at a time when the free press is under global attack, and the truth is hard to find. Nick Schifrin reports.
The Peace Prize recipients generally piss people off and I'm O.K. with that as long they piss off the right people. I think this year's prize qualifies.

Moving on to the sciences, two researchers who work on climate change were among those honored today. Watch DW News report Climate modelers awarded with the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics.

The 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded jointly to Syukuro Manabe, Klaus Hasselmann and Giorgio Parisi for "groundbreaking contributions to our understanding of complex physical systems."

The 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to three scientists whose cumulative work can be summed up in two words: Climate change. Half of the prize went to Syukuro Manabe and Klaus Hasselmann "for the physical modeling of Earth’s climate, quantifying variability and reliably predicting global warming." And the other half went to Giorgio Parisi "for the discovery of the interplay of disorder and fluctuations in physical systems from atomic to planetary scales." The Nobel Committee got Parisi on the line from his home in Rome to Stockholm, and when asked whether he had a message for politicians meeting at the COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference, he said simply: "We have to act now."
I tell my students that modeling was the original scientific method, at least for the oldest science, astronomy, but that it generally doesn't get the respect that controlled experiments do. Now I can tell them that modeling has earned two of its practitioners a Nobel Prize.

Follow over the jump for the rest of this year's Nobel Prize recipients.

Thursday, December 9, 2021

MSNBC asks if Michigan's Representative Meijer can survive in the GOP after voting to impeach Trump

Yesterday, Nicolle Wallace interviewed Tim Alberta on her MSNBC show to answer the question After Voting To Impeach Trump, Can Rep. Meijer Survive The GOP?

Staff writer for The Atlantic Tim Alberta discusses with Nicolle Wallace his profile of Rep. Peter Meijer, which reports on how he came to decision to vote to impeach Donald Trump and where the Republican Party is heading.
Nearly one year later, the attempted self-coup and Trump's subsequent second impeachment are having lasting effects. One of them might be the loss of Representative Meijer in next year's election, whether in the primary to a more radical Republican candidate or to a Democrat. While I might consider the latter to be an improvement, the former would be bad both for the GOP and the country. It would be further confirmation of what I wrote nine years ago, that the GOP is "an authoritarian movement" and "an undead party in a democratic system."
As Bela Lugosi's Dracula said in the eponymous movie, "There are far worse things awaiting Man than Death." Yeah, and one of them has happened to the GOP.
I had no idea how right I was then and now I wish I hadn't been. Break out the garlic.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Seth Meyers and CNN take closer looks at Trump exposing 500 people to COVID last year, a pandemic 'update'

The Omicron variant is spreading, so it's the how pandemic topic on serious news, but the late-night talk show hosts were more interested in old news, former President Trump's COVID diagnosis last year. I begin with Seth Meyers Trump's Secret Positive COVID Test; GOP's Omicron Conspiracy Theories: A Closer Look.

Seth takes a closer look at Trump secretly testing positive for COVID before coming into contact with more than 500 people, including President Biden at their first debate, while Republicans and Fox News suggest the new coronavirus variant is a liberal hoax.
I wish I could say I am surprised by this, but I'm not. It's totally on brand for the former guy. Also, I'm not surprised by the conspiracy theories about Omicron. It's as if they watched Desi Lydic's sketch at the end of Trevor Noah and 'The Daily Show' explain why gas prices are so high and took it seriously. Hey, it's satire not news!

CNN had a more serious reaction to the story in 'Unbelievable': Revelation about Trump's condition angers Haberman.

In his new memoir, former Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows says the President's blood oxygen levels reached dangerously low levels during his 2020 bout with Covid-19.
That's scary, not funny.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Remembering the 80th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor

Today is the 80th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.* NBC's Today Show uploaded two videos about the event yesterday. I begin with Remembering Pearl Harbor On 80th Anniversary Of Attack.

Tuesday marks the 80th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the moment that thrust a reluctant United States into World War II. Harry Smith, just back from Hawaii, looks back at the momentous event.
I agree with Dr. Satino; the U.S. would have stayed out of the war so long as none of the Axis powers attacked us. If not the Japanese, then the Germans attacking American ships supplying the U.K. through Lend-Lease might have done the trick, which would have echoed what brought the U.S. into World War I. Seen that way, Pearl Harbor was a tactical victory for Japan, but a strategic blunder. So were Germany and Italy declaring war on the U.S. It's possible that America might have only fought Japan if they hadn't done so. I'll let alternative history authors speculate on that. We'll never know.

Today returned with a more personal remembrance in Pearl Harbor Survivors Gather For 80th Anniversary Of Attack.

Of the millions of Americans who fought in World War II, fewer than 2 percent are still alive. Some of them have made the trip to Pearl Harbor in Hawaii this week for solemn remembrance on the 80th anniversary of the attack. NBC’s Kerry Sanders reports from there for TODAY.
I'm glad Jack H. didn't transfer his anger at Japan to fellow veteran Ralph Matsumoto. All things considered, I feel he gave the right answer. May we all learn a lesson from that.

WXMI reported on a Michigan angle to the observance in this morning's Local singing group performs in Hawaii to mark 80 years since Pearl Harbor.

May the Grand Rapids Sweet Adelines represent the Great Lakes State well today.

*Oddly enough, I've never observed to anniversary here before. I was more interested in the end of the war than the American entry into it.

Monday, December 6, 2021

R.I.P. Bob Dole, the last Republican presidential nominee I voted for

Three years ago, I wrote R.I.P. John McCain, the last Republican presidential candidate I voted for. I cast my vote for McCain in the 2000 Michigan Republican Primary, my last act as a GOP voter.* That means he was not the last Republican nominee that I voted for. That honor went to Bob Dole, who I voted for in 1996. Dole died yesterday at the age of 98. NBC's Today Show uploaded two clips celebrating his life, beginning with Nation Mourns Bob Dole: Senator, Presidential Candidate, War Hero.

The nation pauses to remember Bob Dole, who died Sunday at age 98: a decorated war hero who became a defining voice in American politics for decades as a senator and presidential nominee. NBC chief Washington correspondent Andrea Mitchell reports for TODAY.
While he was a partisan, Dole was interested in solutions, so he worked across the aisle to achieve them. He also remained friends with his Democratic colleagues. Both of those are rare these days and I miss those qualities in today's politicians.

Today continued its remembrance of Dole in Bob Dole ‘Embodied Sacrifice,’ Says Presidential Historian.

Presidential historian Jon Meacham joins TODAY to assess the legacy of Bob Dole, who died Sunday at age 98. “His is the most American of stories,” Meacham says. “Bob Dole really did embody sacrifice.”
Hearing that "May You Never Walk Alone" was one of Dole's favorite songs inspired me to conclude this entry with this musical dedication to the late Senator, Phantom Regiment & Madison Scouts: You'll Never Walk Alone.

The Phantom Regiment joins the Madison Scouts in playing "You'll Never Walk Alone" at the Show of Shows in celebration of the Scouts' 75th Anniversary.
R.I.P. Senator. You will be missed.

*I left the party shortly after that for reasons I described in If I were still a conservative a decade ago and cast my vote in the general election for Ralph Nader, much to my later shame. After seeing the results of that contest, I vowed not to make that mistake again and became a Democrat in 2004.

Dole helped contribute to my leaving the party when he made the following remarks about teachers unions at the 1996 Republican National Convention.
"I say this not to the teachers, but to their unions...if education were a war, you would be losing it. If it were a business, you would be driving it into bankruptcy. If it were a patient, it would be dying.

"And to the teachers unions I say, when I am president, I will disregard your political power, for the sake of the parents, the children, the schools and the nation."
I was a member of a teachers union at the time, so Dole's remarks disturbed me, although I still voted for him. After four years of them gnawing on me, they helped contribute to my leaving the GOP. I decided I didn't want to be part of a party that didn't like what I did and what I believed in.