Thursday, March 31, 2022

Stephen Colbert on missing Trump White House phone records and Ginni Thomas's texts updates the attempt to overturn the 2020 election

Happy Throwback Thursday! I'm beginning my retrospectives with an update to Stephen Colbert remembering the insurrection on January 6th along with other efforts to overturn the 2020 election.* I begin with Stephen's monologue from Tuesday night, Why Is T**** Hiding His Jan 6th Phone Records? | Cawthorne's Cocaine Claims Rattle GOP.

We know the former president spoke to Kevin McCarthy and Jim Jordan as the January 6th insurrection unfolded, but his missing phone records leave a lot of open questions. Elsewhere in Washington, Republican congressman Madison Cawthorne's allegations of cocaine use and orgies among lawmakers have drawn rebukes from members of his party.
The person in charge of the show's YouTube channel neglected to mention that the first half of the monologue focused on Putin's war on Ukraine. The material about The Former Guy's missing phone records begins about halfway through. The lack of records certainly looks suspicious.

Stephen opened Tuesday's show with his and the show's writers speculating on This Is Who T**** Called During The Capitol Insurrection.

Ordering a pizza for someone who isn't expecting one is a well-know hacker prank. Imagining that the prankster is also trying to poison the target is something much more sinister. That The Former Guy has such a bad reputation that anyone would think it's funny is scary!

The night before, Stephen's first segment at the host desk was Ginni Thomas's Texts To Meadows Are Full Of B-Movie Quotes And Conspiracy Theories.

The Jan 6th committee wants to hear from two people who may have committed crimes in their efforts to help the former president overturn Joe Biden's electoral victory: disgraced attorney John Eastman, and Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
That all sounds even loopier than I expected, although I shouldn't be surprised after listening to double Razzie winner Mike Lindell. I just had hope that the wife of a Supreme Court Justice would be less susceptible to conspiracy theories. Nope, she's not.

I'm sure this won't be the last I'll write about the investigation into last year's attempted self-coup. In the meantime, follow over the jump for the top posts about it and the other attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election from the eleventh year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News.

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

PBS Terra reveals 'the Safest Place to Live as the Climate Changes'

It's time to return to climate change as PBS Terra reveals THIS Is the Safest Place to Live as the Climate Changes.

We asked six experts where the safest, or least risky, places will be to live as the climate changes and weather becomes more extreme. And the answer is pretty surprising. In this episode, we look at many hazards from temperature, storms, drought, farming, wildfire, polar vortex, hurricanes, sea-level rise, crop failure, extreme heat, and even economics. We look at the effect of climate on future migration patterns in the US and talk to someone who left New York City after Hurricane Sandy and identifies as a climate migrant. She ended up moving to the safest county in the United States from a weather and climate perspective. We’ll reveal where she went and why.
I was hoping it would be somewhere in Michigan, as I keep telling my students that Michigan is currently the safest state in the Union for natural disasters and Michigan's Upper Peninsula has been named the best place to move in advance of a changing climate. Instead, it was Lamoille County, Vermont. The best Michigan could do in the ProPublica study was Keweenaw County, the northernmost and least populated county in the Great Lakes State, at 22nd. Nine counties in Vermont, three counties each in Maine and Virginia, two counties in Colorado, and one county each in New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, and Wisconsin all beat it. May they all start getting prepared for climate refugees moving in like Lamoille County is. Still, I'll take it. It reinforces my feeling that leaving California for Michigan has turned out to be a smart move, literally, the longer I live here.

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

CNBC explains 'How There Could Finally Be A Cure For Diabetes'

I have some news that can't wait for World Diabetes Day from CNBC, How There Could Finally Be A Cure For Diabetes.

Over the past 20 years, significant advancements in stem cell research and therapies have been one of the most promising methods of creating new insulin making cells needed to cure type 1 diabetes.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals, a biotech company, recently began a clinical trial where it plans to treat 17 participants who have type 1 diabetes with new stem cell derived insulin making cells. The first patient in the trial has had positive results.

Other companies around the world including ViaCyte and CRISPR, as well as Novo Nordisk, one of the biggest insulin manufacturers in the world, are also working on curing the disease. CNBC explores why finding a cure for diabetes is so hard and just how close Vertex and other companies are to solving this problem.
As a Type I diabetic, this is better news than I had ever hoped for. I did not think that my condition could be cured and fully expected to be injecting insulin for the rest of my life. That could still happen, but at least the possibility now exists. It's enough to tempt me to post Professor Farnsworth, but I will resist that temptation until the clinical trials are over and the treatment is approved.

Monday, March 28, 2022

'Diana the Musical' and 'Space Jam: A New Legacy' the biggest Razzie 'winners'

I'm not up to writing about the Oscar winners today, so I'm returning to the Razzies. Watch the 42nd Razzie® Award Winners!

Beamed live from outer space ... Razz Barry solicits the help of local aliens to deliver Hollywood's most un-coveted $4.97 trophy for 2021's worst achievements in film. Even they were stupefied by the glut of Razzie fodder.
I like calling the mascot "Razz Barry." I've been following these awards for years and haven't seen it used before. it's about time, if not a little late, as Google search reveals previous uses of "Razz Barry." I hope the Razzies manage to hold onto the name.

The Razzies press release summarizes the "winners."
The bulk of the tacky, gold-spray-painted statuettes were “won” by two films. The NetFlix/streaming version of the year’s biggest Broadway bomb, Diana: The Musical “won” in five categories: Worst Picture (which critics said “makes Cats “Look like a masterpiece!”); Worst Actress (Jeanna deWaal as a twitterpated version of the Princess of Wales), Worst Supporting Actress (Judy Kaye in a dual role), Worst Director (Christopher Ashley) and Worst Screenplay (featuring some of the year’s most ridiculed dialogue and lyrics – Including rhyming “Camilla” with both “Manilla” and “Godzilla”).

Dribbling into second place with three “wins” was Space Jam: A New Legacy, more of a remake than a sequel, called out as a 115 minute commercial for all things WarnerMedia. Basketball phenom LeBron James was the MVP in both Worst Actor and Worst Screen Couple (along with all those cartoon co-stars and product plugs) while the film itself was chosen Worst Remake/Rip-Off or Sequel.

Other winners included Jared Leto (rhymes with “Gepetto”) for Supporting Actor, giving a controversial performance as “Paolo” in House of Gucci; 4-time past Razzie® “winner” Will Smith, praised for his performance in Oscar favorite King Richard and awarded as this year’s Razzie® Redeemer; and Bruce Willis in Cosmic Sin, chosen from among eight low budget movies nominated in the special category Worst Performance by Bruce Willis in a 2021 Movie.
Not only did "Diana the Musical," which is about the British Royal Family, so politics and government by default, earn the most nominations, it earned the most trophies, making it the worst movie (actually a variety special like "Hamilton") about politics and government last year. Also, "Space Jam: A New Legacy" earned the second highest number of statuettes, making it the worst big-budget speculative fiction movie of 2021. That covered both of my interests in movies and television.

Speaking of speculative fiction, Jared Leto will be starring in "Morbius," which premieres on April 1st — no fooling. His award fits a pattern I noticed six years ago.
In addition to the covert misogyny I suspect among the voters, there is overt Schadenfreude; the voters seem to delight in finding bad performances by big name performers and creators and using them to bring the highest low. I don't have a problem with that, so I find it to be a useful role for the Razzies.
I just hope his Razzie win doesn't ruin his reception as Marvel's "living vampire." Instead, I hope it helps for making people prepared for the comic, pun intended, dimensions of his anti-heroic character, which just might make the movie succeed.

As for success and anti-heroic behavior, I wonder what the Razzies think of Will Smith winning Razzie Redeemer after his performance last night. That's all I'll write about that for now. Stay tuned for my coverage of my Oscar winners to see if I have anything more to say about it.

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Beyond The Trailer vs. Gold Derby predictions of tonight's Oscar winners

The Academy Awards are today and I'm feeling the same way I did when I wrote CNBC explores 'Why The Future Of The Oscars And Emmys Might Be In Jeopardy'.
I'd normally be all awards shows all the time now, just like I was before the Emmy Awards, but I'm just not feeling it. Yes, I'll get to the posts about "Flee" and "Dune" I promised in Trevor Noah, Joy Reid, and Tiffany Cross interview Questlove, director of Oscar-nominated documentary 'Summer of Soul', but, like the declining viewership for awards shows in general, my interest is starting to wane mostly because those posts might be more work than I want to put in today...
I sort of got to "Dune" in 'Shang-Chi' vs. 'Spider-Man' among movie nominees at the 2022 Critics Choice Super Awards, when I wrote "'Dune' all the way" for Best Science Fiction/Fantasy Movie, which it won along with Best Actress in a Science Fiction/Fantasy Movie for Rebecca Ferguson. I'll likely have more on "Dune" when it wins some Oscars and definitely when it is nominated at the Saturn Awards. I'm not sure about "Flee," which won't likely win Animated Feature or International Film tonight. I think it's best shot is upsetting "Summer of Soul" for Documentary Feature. On the other hand, Grace Randolph of Beyond The Trailer has a higher opinion of its chances for Animated Feature than I do. Watch Oscars 2022 PRE-SHOW - Last Minute Predictions, Nominations, Winners!

I think Grace has a good sense of how Hollywood politics influence the nominees, although the word I'd use is egalitarian instead of democratic for voting to spread the awards around (the documentary branch is definitely like that by not nominating films by previous winners), but she lets her taste override her reading of the tastes of the Academy voters. As I write often about awards shows, electorates matter. Speaking of her taste, she's notorious for not being a fan of Jessica Chastain, but Grace was very complimentary of Chastain's performance in "The Eyes of Tammy Faye." Huh.

On the other hand, Joyce Eng of Gold Derby has a very clear and objective view of the nominees, which she displays in 2022 Oscars winner predictions slugfest: Our experts make their final picks in all 23 categories.

The Oscars are not presenting all 23 categories on the main ceremony, but Gold Derby editors and Experts Christopher Rosen and Joyce Eng are here to present all 23 of their final predictions.
In case my readers don't want to watch an hour-long video for all 23 predictions, here are Joyce's choices from the Gold Derby website.
Best Picture: The Power of the Dog
Best Director: Jane Campion
Best Actress: Penelope Cruz
Best Actor: Will Smith
Best Supporting Actress: Ariana DeBose
Best Supporting Actor: Troy Kotsur
Best Adapted Screenplay: CODA
Best Original Screenplay: Don't Look Up
Best Cinematography: The Power of the Dog
Best Costume Design: Cruella
Best Film Editing: tick, tick... Boom!
Best Makeup and Hairstyling: The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Best Production Design: Nightmare Alley
Best Score: Dune
Best Song: No Time to Die
Best Sound: Dune
Best Visual Effects: Dune
Best Animated Feature: Encanto
Best Documentary Feature: Summer of Soul
Best International Film: Drive My Car
Best Animated Short: Robin Robin
Best Documentary Short: The Queen of Basketball
Best Live Action Short: The Long Goodbye
Looking up and down this list, I only see two categories where Joyce has a good likelihood of getting it wrong, Best Actress, which I think is the most up-in-the-air acting category, and Production Design, where I think "Dune" has a good chance of winning. Other than that, I agree with her.

That's as much as I want to think about tonight's show today. May the most worthy nominees win

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Earth Hour 2022

Earth Hour is tonight at 8:30 P.M. local time all across the face of the planet, which means that it's Earth Hour as I type this and has already been Earth Hour between East Africa and the International Date Line. Instead of leading off with one of the official videos from the Earth Hour YouTube channel, I begin with Storybook Moments' Earth Hour, A light-out event for our planet - read aloud book.

Thank for joining me as I read to you Earth Hour, A Lights-Out Event for our planet! This book is written by Nanette Heffernan and Illustrated by Bao Luu.
I found that both appropriately written and effective at getting the message to young children. I also enjoyed it, as I hope my readers did, too.

Now for the Earth Hour 2022 Official Video (ft. "This Is Our Time" by Where Oceans Meet).

The stakes involved are high when making choices that will #ShapeOurFuture. But with your support over the past years, we’ve achieved so much for our planet and home. Let's keep making planet-friendly choices and on 26th March, 8:30pm your local time, switch off and #Connect2Earth. Learn more at

Featured song: "This Is Our Time" by Where Oceans Meet
That's the message for this year. Earth Hour 2021 - Global highlights video shows how last year worked out.

This past March, people from 192 countries and territories came together for #EarthHour to show they care for the future of our planet. Millions put the spotlight on Earth and created an unmissable sight on social media timelines and newsfeeds everywhere. We were also joined by public figures and celebrities, such as Antonio Guterres, Pope Francis, Sofia Vergara, Dia Mirza, Park Seo-Joon, Eliud Kipchoge, DJ Armin van Buuren and many more, speaking up for nature to safeguard the health of our planet and our own future.

Join us next year for Earth Hour 2022 - Saturday, 26 March, 8:30 pm local time.
Looks like it was a success.

See you tomorrow for the final Sunday entertainment feature of March. Until then, lights out for the planet tonight!

Friday, March 25, 2022

CNBC explains 'Why Traffic Is So Bad In Los Angeles,' a driving update

Pearl passed another milestone yesterday, so it's time for a post about driving in general followed by a driving update. I begin with CNBC explaining Why Traffic Is So Bad In Los Angeles. Consider it a sequel to CNBC explains 'Why U.S. Speed Limits Are Wrong,' a driving update for a Flashback Friday.

Los Angeles consistently ranks among the most traffic-clogged cities in America. The county has been trying to reduce its traffic for decades and nothing has worked. Many researchers and economists suggest charging people for using the road in a system called congestion pricing.
I grew up in Los Angeles and worked on the construction of its subway. I know first hand how bad its traffic was and still is and at least did something to relieve it. I'm not surprised that it wasn't enough, but I wonder how Angelenos, who weren't even used to paying tolls on expressways — they took the "free" in freeway quite seriously when I lived there, but some of the express/high-occupancy-vehicle lanes now charge tolls — would accept congestion pricing. I suppose they will tolerate it if it means they can get somewhere faster. As the saying goes, time is money and people have shown they are willing to spend money to save time.

Follow over the jump for my personal driving update.

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Statistics for the eleventh year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News

It's time to review the statistics for the eleventh year of this blog.

As of 11:59 PM EDT March 20, 2022, this blog had a lifetime total of 3,402,674 page views, 5039 total posts, and 3857 comments. Minus the 2,869,693 page views, 4672 posts, and 3622 comments as of March 20, 2021, that means this blog earned 532,981 page views and 235 comments on 367 posts during the past 365 days. This is close to but not exactly the same as the 532K page views and 238 comments that the 12-month stats view on Blogger showed. I suspect the latter includes spam comments that never appeared on the blog. Just the same, the blog once again saw more page views on fewer posts than the 384,773 page views and 411 or 412 comments on 398 posts during the tenth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News, although the comments still decreased. Still, it greatly exceeded the page view goal I set for the blog of 25,000 page views per 30 days, which translates to 304,167 page views if converted directly or 304,410 if calculated using 834 page views per day times 365 days, by 228,814 or 228,571 page views, depending on which I use; upon re-examining last year's entry, I should use 304,167 total (I omitted the 0 last year — oops), resulting in 228,814 over my goal. Either way, I was right to write "I'm not worried" again about reaching my page view goals. I easily surpassed them.

Follow over the jump for my analysis of the past year.

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Retail Archaeology thinks 'The End Is Near' for Sears and Kmart, a tale of the Retail Apocalypse

It's been exactly two weeks since I last wrote about the Retail Apocalypse in Company Man asks 'The Decline of FYE...What Happened?' A tale of the Retail Apocalypse but it's been nearly a full year since I last mentioned Sears in CDC offering zombie apocalypse tips updates 'Zombie Apocalypse Index for Day of the (Walking) Dead,' the top post of the tenth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News for Throwback Thursday, and that was merely in passing and even longer since I mentioned Kmart in Today and WXYZ examine Small Business Saturday during the pandemic. It's been even longer, almost two years, since I posted any substantial news about both chains in Many stores closing for good even as economy reopens, a tale of the Retail Apocalypse and COVID-19 pandemic, when I reported "Sears is closing 51 stores and Kmart 45 stores." It's about time I checked in on the chains.

The outlook is not good. In fact, Erik of Retail Archaeology thinks that for Sears & Kmart In 2022: The End Is Near.

In this episode of Retail Archaeology we take a look at how Sears and Kmart are doing in 2022.
As a commenter on the video observed, "The opening shot with the crow perched atop the Sears sign cawing was a perfect visual metaphor!" I responded "I agree. It would only have been improved if it had been a raven, which would have set up a joke: 'Will there be Sears and Kmart after next year? Quoth the raven, nevermore!'"

On a more serious note, seeing Erik's list of surviving Sears stores astounded me. There are only 25 of them. Look at the screenshot and count for yourself.

I found that there are only four Kmarts still around even more astonishing. Worse, there will be only three after next month. Lo, how the once mighty have fallen!

Seeing this reminds me of a meme I first used in Sears and KMart open on Thanksgiving, plus Sears warranties during bankruptcy, a tale of the Retail Apocalypse and repeated in Sears Holdings still 'not dead yet' as deadline extended for rescue offer. Watch the 5th Avenue Theatre's clip of Not Dead Yet.

The cast of Spamalot performs "Not Dead Yet" at The 5th Avenue Theatre.
Even though it's been four years since I first wrote it, I'm still sticking with my reaction from 2018: "No, but it probably won't be long."

That's it for the Retail Apocalypse for today. Stay tuned for statistics for (Throwback) Thursday tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Vox and Netflix's 'Explained: World's Water Crisis' for World Water Day

Happy World Water Day! For this year's observance of the global environmental day, I'm sharing Explained | World's Water Crisis | FULL EPISODE from Vox and Netflix.

In this episode: The global water crisis is at an inflection point. How do we price our most valuable resource, while also ensuring access to it as a human right?
I'm scheduled to lecture about water use in my environmental science class next week and I'm very tempted to show this video. I might, if I have time. If not, I'm still glad I embedded it here so my readers can enjoy it while they learn.

Monday, March 21, 2022

Happy International Day of Nowruz 1401 (2022) and happy 11th birthday to Crazy Eddie's Motie News

Nowruz Mubarak! Happy International Day of Nowruz AKA Persian New Year and happy 11th birthday of the blog! Like last year, I'm celebrating Nowruz first with CBS 8 San Diego's The New Year | Persians celebrate Nowruz on the first day of spring.

On the first day of spring Persians celebrate Nowruz, also known as the New Year. On Sunday at 8:33 a.m. it will be celebration time among thousands of families across San Diego and millions across the world.

Before the New Year, Neda wanted to share some of the rich traditions and meanings behind them. So as a Persian herself, she says “khosh omadeen” which means thanks for being here. We hope you enjoy a little taste of Iran.

“Har Roozetan Nowruz, Nowruzetan Pirooz.” That’s the wish for a happy new year from the Persian Cultural Center of San Diego. The Persian Cultural Center of San Diego (PCC) is dedicated to sharing the rich history and culture of Iran with San Diegans.

Shahla Salah, President of the Persian Cultural Center says, “Persian culture is such an ancient culture and it has really influenced culture around the world.”
I've watched a lot of explanations of the holiday over the years and I can say that I really enjoyed this one. Good work, Neda Iranpour!

I'm continuing the Persian theme by embedding Tavalodet Mobarak (Happy Birthday) by Jalal Hemati.

It's about time I featured a Farsi happy birthday song for my blog's birthday.

I'm not through celebrating the eleventh anniversary of my posting First post: Why this blog? I'll continue with statistics followed by retrospectives on (Throwback) Thursdays and (Flashback) Fridays all the way through April. Those will start after I observe World Water Day tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Sunday, March 20, 2022

WDIV and TODAY explain the Vernal Equinox

Happy Vernal Equinox! Instead of Neil deGrasse Tyson explaining the Vernal Equinox, I have two sets of weather and science reporters along with anchors and other hosts doing the honors, beginning with WDIV asking and answering What happens during the vernal equinox? Paul Gross explains.

The vernal equinox occurs at 11:33 a.m. this Sunday morning. That’s the official start of spring. But have you ever wondered exactly what will happen at that exact moment? Local 4Caster Paul Gross has a pretty cool explanation.
If I ever see a story in which Jason Calthorp displays a lack of science comprehension, I will remember this segment and understand why.

TODAY had an even goofier group participating in What Actually Is The Spring Equinox? Dylan Dreyer Explains.

This weekend the calendar will flip to the spring equinox, which is the time when the sun crosses equator line, heading north. TODAY’s Dylan Dreyer explains that this event marks the spring season in the northern half of the globe.
I like using models better than diagrams for this kind of demonstration. It gives not only depth but a tactile/kinesthetic dimension to the explanation. As the video shows, it also gives some opportunity for mischief. This segment in particular gave Al Roker an opening to fail the Butt-Head half of the Beavis and Butt-Head test by enjoying himself a little too much when he said Uranus.

Enough comedy. I hope you all enjoyed this moment of science to conclude the eleventh year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News. Stay tuned for International Day of Nowruz and this blog's 11th birthday to begin my twelfth year of blogging here.

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Marvel movies and series sweep superhero categories at the Critics Choice Super Awards

I wrote "I might cover the winners of the Critics Choice Super Awards on the 19th, as they will be announced in the 17th" at the end of 'Shang-Chi' vs. 'Spider-Man' among movie nominees at the 2022 Critics Choice Super Awards. It's time to follow through with the winners and a post-mortem on my predictions. First, the relevant passages from the press release by the Critics Choice Association (CCA).
“Spider-Man: No Way Home” led the film winners this year, garnering three awards overall. The film was awarded Best Superhero Movie, while Andrew Garfield took the prize for Best Actor in a Superhero Movie, and Willem Dafoe won Best Villain in a Movie.
Watch Sony producer Amy Pascal accepting the award in Best Superhero Movie - Spider-Man: No Way Home.

Best Superhero Movie - Amy Pascal accepting for Spider-Man: No Way Home

I more than half-expected this happening.
Even without tallying the nominations, “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” and “Spider-Man: No Way Home” are my co-favorites for winning this award. I might lean to "Shang-Chi" if I were a voter, but “Spider-Man: No Way Home” is literally the popular choice and the Critics Choice Association (CCA) might just agree...
The critics made the popular choice. While electorates matter, sometimes different electorates will agree.

First, my handicapping.
I can pick Best Actor in a Superhero Movie two ways. For best overall actor, I'd choose Idris Elba and Andrew Garfield. However, this is really best performance by an actor in a superhero movie and I suspect Simu Liu and Tom Holland gave those. I would vote for Liu, but I'm not in the CCA. They might go for Holland or Garfield.
They went with Garfield, who is the better actor between the two Spider-Man nominees.

And now for a category I completely blew.
The same dichotomy applies to Best Actress in a Superhero Movie. I think the best overall best actresses are Margot Robbie, who won for the same role in "Birds of Prey" last year, Michelle Yeoh, and Emmy winner Zendaya. For the best performances, I'd say it's between Robbie and Zendaya. I'd vote for Robbie, but if there is a wave for "Spider-Man: No Way Home," it will sweep Zendaya to the podium.
There was a wave for "Spider-Man: No Way Home," but it didn't sweep Zendaya onto the virtual platform. Instead, Florence Pugh won. This is one case where I'm not unhappy about being wrong. The "Black Widow" movie did a great job of setting Pugh up to be the next Black Widow, which she has already played in "Hawkeye."

On the other hand, the wave did wash the next winner into the winners circle, much to my surprise.

I blew this one, too.
The scariest nominee for Best Villain in a Movie was the evil conjoined twin in "Malignant." It made for a terrifying monster. Still, that's not the kind of performance I expect the critics to vote for. Instead, I expect it will be between Idris Elba and Tony Leung, both of whom have nominations for best actor. I'd choose Leung only because that other nomination is for the same role, while Elba's isn't.
I guess Willem Dafoe really was a better villain than the people who were nominated for their overall acting.

Now for the superhero TV winners.

“Squid Game” and “WandaVision” tied for most series wins, earning three awards each. “Squid Game” swept the Action Series categories, with Lee Jung-jae winning Best Actor in an Action Series, HoYeon Jung winning Best Actress in an Action Series, and the show taking home the Best Action Series award. “WandaVision” was named Best Superhero Series, and Elizabeth Olsen was awarded Best Actress in a Superhero Series, while her co-star Kathryn Hahn won Best Villain in a Series.
Not surprised by any of these wins, so here are the Twitter graphics announcing Olsen's and Hahn's wins.

Hahn also sent in an acceptance speech video.

Best Villain In a Series - Kathryn Hahn for WandaVision

Hahn managed to be hilarious in victory, too.

In addition, Tom Hiddleston won Best Actor in a Superhero Series, making it a sweep for Marvel in the superhero series categories as well. I'm leading this section with his acceptance speech.

Best Actor in a Super Hero Series - Tom Hiddleston for Loki

Congratulations to all the winners, not only of the Marvel movies and series, but of the rest of the categories. I'd love to write about all of you, but as I've written before, this blog is a hobby and I have work to do. Maybe later, possibly as part of the discussion of the 2022 Saturn Awards, which should be interesting for a number of reasons.

Stay tuned for a post about the Vernal Equinox marking the end of the current blogging year.

Friday, March 18, 2022

Janina Gavankar and drum corps for Holi

Happy Holi! Two years ago,  I wrote "Maybe I'll redo My three favorite Israeli actresses for Purim and write another post for my favorite Indian or Indian-American actresses as well on Holi. I have a year to think about it." I deferred the idea last year, but noted "That doesn't mean I have given up on the idea for Holi...I might still do it if Inside Edition doesn't make a video for the Hindu holiday this year. Who knows? It could happen." Since Inside Edition still hasn't gotten around to making a video about Holi, I'm featuring one Indian-American actress today who shares my love for drum corps, Janina Gavankar. Watch and listen to her describe her passion for the activity and how she almost marched in Janina Gavankar Interview from Drum Corps International.

Janina Gavankar, star of the TV show True Blood, is a drum corps fan! Dan Potter got the chance to talk to her down on the field during semifinals.
When Gavankar said "Don't be surprised if some of the faces on this field are in her next music video," she wasn't kidding. She followed through in DON'T LOOK DOWN - #JustAddDrumCorps Edition by Janina Gavankar.

Actress and musician, Janina Gavankar, reimagines Martin Garrix's EDM single "Don't Look Down" featuring Usher. By returning to her roots, her vision and arrangement included 50 members of The Jersey Surf Drum and Bugle Corps to turn this song on its head.
I may have heard of Gavankar before, but this video finally brought her to my attention. I've been a fan of hers ever since.

Gavankar had a serious message in addition to the music and entertainment, which she explained in DON'T LOOK DOWN - behind the scenes.

Behind the scenes of Janina Gavankar's reimagining of "Don't Look Down", the #JustAddDrumCorps edition.
She said much of this in the description to the music video itself.
Why’d she do this?
“I’ve been in love with drum corps since I was 13 years old. The level of musicianship, precision, the passion grabbed me and engrained a work ethic in my brain.I’ve been wanting to get back to my roots.”
“Drum Corps International groups are atop the scholastic performing arts pyramid. Faster, higher, louder... standard-setting for marching arts around the world.” More than 8,000 students will audition for less than 3,500 available positions in top-tier DCI ensembles. It’s the best of the best in scholastic marching music.
American arts education funding is in trouble. Support is being taken from programs, robbing students of opportunities to develop important life skills, which pay dividends forever.
”Having an arts education makes you better at whatever you’re going to be. It doesn’t mean you have to end up an artist. I’ve ended up in a completely different field than what I trained in, growing up. But, I am so much stronger, every day, because I have a platform based on an arts education.”
I couldn't say it better myself, so I'm glad to quote her.

I have much more to write about Gavankar and her entertainment career, but I'll save it for a future post. After all, I'm an environmentalist. Not only do I recycle my ideas, I conserve my resources.

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Tipsy Bartender drink recipes for St. Patrick's Day 2022

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Instead of something educational like last year's PBS Digital's Storied tells the tale of leprechauns for St. Patrick's Day, I'm returning to an older theme, holiday drinks from Tipsy Bartender. I begin with St Paddy's Day Punch.

Lemon-Lime Kool-Aid
Melon Liqueur
Pineapple Juice
Apple Slices (Shamrock Shaped)
Lemon-Lime Soda
Edible Gold Sprinkles
Rainbow Gummy Belts
Next, Boozy Shamrock Shake.

Creme de Cacao
White Chocolate Liqueur
Green Creme de Menthe
Ice Cream
Melted Green Chocolate
Finally, Irish Whiskey Pot O’ Gold Jello Shots.

Yellow Jello
Cool Whip
Rainbow Belt
Gold Sprinkles
Sláinte! It wouldn't be a St. Patrick's Day post of mine without a drink recipe and this one has three. Stay tipsy and drink responsibly!

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

The story of hamentaschen, the Purim cookie

Happy Purim! I'm a bit early, as the holiday doesn't begin until sundown, but I'm not going to let that stop me celebrating the first of three fun holidays in a row.* For this year's observance, I'm sharing Unpacked's The Meaning Behind Purim's Hamantaschen.

This week, we’re unpacking the story of Purim and asking why the holiday is commemorated by a three-cornered filled pastry.

But first, let’s back it up. There’s a common saying that Jewish holidays can be summed up as “They tried to kill us, we survived, let’s eat.” It certainly holds true for Purim, when the evil Haman tried to convince the king of Persia to kill all his Jewish subjects -- a plan that was thwarted by the queen who, unbeknownst to the king, happened to be Jewish.

So why the hamantaschen? One tradition says it represents Haman’s ear; another, his three-cornered hat. A more recent interpretation goes below the belt and, citing the young (read: fertile) Queen Esther, claims the filled pastry pocket is none other than a uterus.

We’ll let you decide.

Whether you’re in camp hat, camp ear or even camp uterus, here’s wishing you a freilichen (happy) Purim.
As I wrote in 2015, seven years ago: "I don't celebrate Purim anywhere else but on this blog, but I'm all in favor of fun holidays and this one certainly qualifies. Happy Purim!"

*The other two are St. Patrick's Day tomorrow and Holi on Friday. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Courtney Coulston reacts to Phantom Regiment's Spartacus for a drum corps Ides of March

Beware the Ides of March! For this year's celebration, I'm recycling the concept behind A Drum Corps Ides of March for an election year as I foretold in 'Pines of Rome' for a drum corps Ides of March when I wrote "If [Courtney Coulston's DCI videos] are still up next year, I know which video I want to use in 2022." They're still up, so watch New Zealand Girl Reacts to 2008 PHANTOM REGIMENT - SPARTACUS!!!

Welcome back to another Drum Corps video!!! This one was such an interesting one for me. Stay tuned to hear all my thoughts!!
When Phantom Regiment first performed a Spartacus show in 1981 and again in 1982, a lot of people, including me, thought this show was ahead of its time. I had no idea it was 27 years ahead of its time until this show won in 2008.

I conclude with this meme from the show.

Remember, we are all Spartacus!

Monday, March 14, 2022

Pi Day and International Day of Mathematics 2022

Happy Pi Day and International Day of Mathematics! To celebrate today, I'm sharing two videos beginning with National Day Calendar's National Pi Day on March 14.

National Pi Day on March 14th recognizes the mathematical constant p. Also known as pi, the first three and most recognized digits are 3.14. The day is celebrated by pi enthusiasts and pie lovers alike!
ABC News has more fact but no narration in What is Pi Day?

March 14 is a day to celebrate the mathematical constant.
It figures MIT would notify its applicants on Pi Day.

That's it for today's mathematical holiday. Stay tuned for the Ides of March.

Sunday, March 13, 2022

'Shang-Chi' vs. 'Spider-Man' among movie nominees at the 2022 Critics' Choice Super Awards

Two weeks ago, I wrote "I'd normally be all awards shows all the time now... but I'm just not feeling interest is starting to wane" in CNBC explores 'Why The Future Of The Oscars And Emmys Might Be In Jeopardy'. That's because I haven't watch enough of the nominated films to have good opinions of their prospects. That's not true of the nominees for the Second Annual Critics Choice Super Awards, the subject of today's Sunday entertainment feature. I've watched most of them and have strong opinions about them.

I begin with the summary of the top movie nominees from the press release.
“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” and “Spider-Man: No Way Home” lead this year’s film nominations, with five nods apiece including Best Superhero Movie. Both Tony Leung and Simu Liu garnered Best Actor in a Superhero Movie nods for their performances in “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” while Michelle Yeoh is up for Best Actress in a Superhero Movie, and Tony Leung could also take home the award for Best Villain in a Movie. The cast of “Spider-Man: No Way Home” also earned top acting nods, with both Tom Holland and Andrew Garfield recognized with Best Actor in a Superhero Movie nominations. Additionally, Zendaya is up for Best Actress in a Superhero Movie, and Willem Dafoe could take home the trophy for Best Villain in a Movie.
Even without tallying the nominations, “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” and “Spider-Man: No Way Home” are my co-favorites for winning this award. I might lean to "Shang-Chi" if I were a voter, but “Spider-Man: No Way Home” is literally the popular choice and the Critics Choice Association (CCA) might just agree, despite them not nominating the film at the main awards tonight while nominating "Shang-Chi" for Best Visual Effects. As for the other nominees, they should just be happy to be nominated, particularly "Zack Snyder’s Justice League," which was only on streaming. At least it wasn't "Thunder Force," which was more fun than I expected, but neither bad enough for the Razzies nor good enough to be nominated for any award of merit. That might change with the next Saturn Awards nominations, which might have the eligibility period end before the release date of “Spider-Man: No Way Home” or if it doesn't, have "Thunder Force" and "Zack Snyder’s Justice League" earn nominations for Best Film Presentation on Streaming Media, should they keep that category. I never know with them, and I'm one of their voters!

I can pick Best Actor in a Superhero Movie two ways. For best overall actor, I'd choose Idris Elba and Andrew Garfield. However, this is really best performance by an actor in a superhero movie and I suspect Simu Liu and Tom Holland gave those. I would vote for Liu, but I'm not in the CCA. They might go for Holland or Garfield. That John Cena earned a nomination shows that he's punching above his weight as an actor, if not in real life. I think it bodes well for his nomination prospects for "Peacemaker," where he is the star.

The same dichotomy applies to Best Actress in a Superhero Movie. I think the best overall best actresses are Margot Robbie, who won for the same role in "Birds of Prey" last year, Michelle Yeoh, and Emmy winner Zendaya. For the best performances, I'd say it's between Robbie and Zendaya. I'd vote for Robbie, but if there is a wave for "Spider-Man: No Way Home," it will sweep Zendaya to the podium.

Follow over the jump for the rest of the movie nominees.

Saturday, March 12, 2022

ABC News and TODAY on 'locking the clock' as Daylight Saving Time begins

I concluded Invasive species riding plastic debris from Fukushima 11 years later by telling my readers "Stay tuned as Daylight Saving Time begins tomorrow, a practice Colbert says 'is not helpful and has no upside.'" Anyone who has been reading my blog for the past decade knows that I used to like Daylight Saving Time, but have become much less of a fan of switching the clocks back and forth. My readers also know that I'm not alone in thinking and feeling that way. ABC News reported on that sentiment, asking Daylight Saving Time: Make it permanent?

ABC News’ Will Ganss has details on the new effort in Washington to stop changing the clocks.
That's a succinct yet very thorough summary of the bad health and safety effects of changing times and of the level of support for ending the practice.

NBC News' TODAY had even more on the topic in It's That Time Of Year Again: Inside The Daylight Saving Time Debate.

On Sunday morning, clocks in 48 states will spring forward, causing millions to lose a precious hour of sleep but gaining more sunlight in the evening. The adjustment to the time has many sounding off on whether it’s worth the trouble, including sleep scientists who say by not moving clocks forward, the sunrise and sunset stays in line with our circadian rhythm. NBC’s Joe Fryer reports for TODAY.
Between the two reports, both Senate sponsors got their say, showing that support for "locking the clock" is bipartisan. Also, TODAY gave more time to the pro-Standard-Time side of the debate, which also needs to be aired. As the TODAY clip mentioned, the U.S. tried "permanent" Daylight Saving Time in 1974 and didn't like it. I remember walking to school before sunrise growing up in Southern California and found it a strange experience. It would be worse here in Michigan, where the sun wouldn't rise until 9:00 A.M. during early January. Ugh.

Whether we like it or not, the time is changing tonight. Let's see how long that lasts.

Friday, March 11, 2022

Invasive species riding plastic debris from Fukushima 11 years later

Today marks the 11th anniversary of the Fukushima triple disaster, an earthquake followed by a tsunami and nuclear meltdown. Instead of concentrating on the effects of the nuclear plant disaster in Japan, I'm examining the aftereffects of the the tsunami in the United States and Canada by sharing the VICE News report Invasive Species Are Riding Plastics Across Oceans.

When debris from the 2011 tsunami in Japan started washing up in North America, scientists knew they had a mystery—and a potential environmental disaster—on their hands.
In this episode of Weathered, we explore a “mass rafting event” that carried colonies of invasive species across the Pacific, revealing ominous new changes in how our oceans function.
On of my students gave a presentation on this subject years ago and showed photos of the fishing dock, motorcycle, and other debris to the class. I thought this story served as a good example of "Everything is connected to everything else," one of Commoner's Laws, as well as an unexpected consequence of the triple disaster. Radiation isn't the only threat traveling across the Pacific because of what happened 11 years ago.

That's it for this year's observance of the anniversary. Stay tuned as Daylight Saving Time begins tomorrow, a practice Colbert says "is not helpful and has no upside."

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Two years of the COVID-19 pandemic in Michigan

One year ago, I observed One year of the COVID-19 pandemic in Michigan. It's time for the two year check-in on the state of Michigan during the pandemic, beginning with WXYZ asking Return to normal-ish: Is Michigan entering the endemic phase of COVID-19?

At the popular Cantoro Italian Market & Trattoria in Plymouth, curbside pickup and cross-trained employees have become seamless parts of operating thanks to the pandemic.
This looks like what passed for "good news" in SciShow explains what the Omicron variant means for the pandemic's future and ASAPScience asks 'When Will COVID End?'
The pandemic may finally end, but COVID-19 may always be with us, as another common cold virus, although I think it will be an "uncommon cold" in its effects for years, if not decades, to come if it becomes endemic. That's not reassuring. I expect to be wearing masks during cold and flu season and getting annual booster shots for new strains for the foreseeable future. Sigh.
Even so, people, including those in state and local government, seem to be optimistic and are acting on that optimism, as Fox 2 Detroit reported in At 2-year mark of Covid in Michigan, health expert thinks we've turned corner.

State health officials withdrew their indoor mask guidance recently signaling a change in the fight against COVID-19.
WXYZ responded to this same news when it asked To mask or not to mask? How CDC community levels impact our masking decision.

The CDC has categorized most of Michigan in the low or medium risk COVID-19 category. These categories can help us decide if we need to mask up.
I live in a "green" county, which means it's up to me. I'm going out for a haircut for the first time in three months today and I'm still planning on wearing my mask despite my being vaxxed and boosted. I still think the rate of transmission is on the high side and my health condition puts me at risk.

That's the good news. Follow over the jump for the bad news.

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Company Man asks 'The Decline of FYE...What Happened?' A tale of the Retail Apocalypse

I closed National Day Calendar and NASA on International Women's Day and Women's History Month by telling my readers "Stay tuned for a tale of the Retail Apocalypse, which I haven't written about since I posted Company Man on the decline of KB Toys, a tale of the Retail Apocalypse last November." Without any further ado, here is Company asking and answering The Decline of FYE...What Happened?

Remember when there used to be a music store in just about every shopping mall? This video talks about what has happened to them while focusing on one of the longest-lasting and significant ones, FYE.
Once again, Company Man Mike has made one of his trademark thorough yet succinct summary histories of a company. In the case of FYE, changing consumer tastes driven by technology have been the cause of the company's decline. While FYE had a history of aggressive expansion, the kind of leveraged buyout with private equity that has been gutting retail didn't seem to play a part. Neither does recent poor management. Instead, FYE started its decline about the same time that Borders Books did. Borders has been gone for a decade, but FYE is still hanging on. A badly managed company wouldn't have lasted this long. Still, it seems like the chain may not be around much longer, despite trying to move adjacent to Hot Topic's retail niche by selling pop culture collectables.

Enough of the Retail Apocalypse for now. Stay tuned for two years of the COVID-19 pandemic in Michigan.

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

National Day Calendar and NASA on International Women's Day and Women's History Month

Happy International Women's Day! I begin by sharing National Day Calendar's International Women's Day on March 8.

Around the world, organizations, communities, and individuals organize events focused on the mission of gender parity, celebrating the achievements of women worldwide and education.

* Attend a lecture, seminar, or festival.
* Organize an event.
* Speak or perform at a local fundraiser.
* Participate in a march for women's equal rights.
* Learn about the women who paved the way for many of the rights and freedoms we have today.
* Become involved in your local, state, or national political system.
* Invite others to join you, including other women, sons, brothers, sisters, and daughters.
* Share your job skills at a local career fair.
* Celebrate all month long. It is also National Women's History Month.
Speaking of Women's History Month, here's NASA's video observing it, Pioneers to New Frontiers: NASA Women Through the Decades.

Celebrate #WomensHistoryMonth with us as we pay tribute to scientists, engineers, astronauts, and leaders who continue to pave the way for future generations of explorers.
This video ties into Black History Month because of the women who were "Hidden Figures." Intersectionality, anyone?

Stay tuned for a tale of the Retail Apocalypse, which I haven't written about since I posted Company Man on the decline of KB Toys, a tale of the Retail Apocalypse last November.

Monday, March 7, 2022

Vox explains Putin's war on Ukraine

Two months ago, I posted CNBC asks 'Can Sanctions Deter Russia From Invading Ukraine?' The answer to that question was no. To understand why, watch Putin's war on Ukraine, explained.

Ukraine is under attack.
On February 24th, Russia launched a military invasion of Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin called it a “special military operation,” but the scale of the attack shows this is a full-scale war that has already caused more than 100 casualties and forced more than half a million Ukrainians to flee their homes.

Ukraine and Russia’s conflict goes back to 2014, when Russia invaded and annexed Crimea and Russian-backed separatist forces took over parts of southeastern Ukraine’s Donbas region. But to understand the full context behind the invasion, it’s important to go even farther back, to the time when Europe’s current-day divisions began, and see how that shaped Europe’s power balance today.

To understand the current conflict’s history in less than 10 minutes, watch the video above.
After examining the Russian invasion of Ukraine through comedy, it was time to share a serious news and history perspective, which Vox provided.

I'll have more on the war later. In the meantime, stay tuned for International Women's Day.

Sunday, March 6, 2022

'SNL' lampoons Fox News in its Ukraine cold open

Last weekend, "Saturday Night Live" opened with the Ukrainian Chorus Dumka of New York. Last night, "SNL" put on a full skit for Fox News Ukraine Cold Open.

Fox News' Laura Ingraham (Kate McKinnon) and Tucker Carlson (Alex Moffat) host a Ukrainian Invasion Celebration Spectacular with special guests Donald Trump (James Austin Johnson), Steven Seagal (Bowen Yang), Donald Trump Jr. (Mikey Day) and Kimberly Gui[l]foyle (Cecily Strong).
Alex Moffat's Tucker Carlson impression is dead-on and reminds me that I still haven't watched John Oliver's video about Carlson yet. James Austin Johnson's Trump is also very good and enough to make me not miss Alec Baldwin. Kate McKinnon as Laura Ingraham, Cecily Strong as Kimberly Guilfoyle, and Mikey Day as Donald Trump Jr. all looked the part and Strong certainly captured Guilfoyle's energy on stage. She should sing more often. Seeing Bowen Yang as Steven Seagal reminded me that my ex-wife went to school with Seagal's older sister in Fullerton, California, and she was not impressed with him at the time. As for the real victims being the oligarchs, that's very on-brand for Fox News. So was the list of sponsors, which made me realize that the advertisers on MSNBC cater to a slightly younger viewership. I don't feel quite as old now.

Follow over the jump for last night's Weekend Update.

Saturday, March 5, 2022

Seth Meyers takes closer looks at the State of the Union and Russian invasion of Ukraine

I approved of Colbert's writers' judgement in a footnote to Colbert's live monologue after the State of the Union plus reactions from Kimmel and FiveThirtyEight.
I don't know if that was a fair summary of the speech, but it sure was a good highlight reel of the evening's funnier moments...Excluding Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert heckling Biden. I think Stephen and his writers made the right decision to ignore "Bizarro Betty and Veronica" except for connecting Greene to mental health. That could have come off as meaner, but I'm not very sympathetic to her.
Seth Meyers' writers had no such compunction, as the pair's antics played a featured role in Biden Warns Putin "Has No Idea What's Coming," Greene & Boebert Heckle SOTU: A Closer Look.

Seth takes a closer look at President Biden using his first State of the Union address to condemn Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine and warn him that he has no idea what the U.S. and its allies will do next.
On the one hand, I think this sketch worked as a fair summary of Biden's speech, at least concerning the Russian invasion of Ukraine. On the other, Seth couldn't resist Boebert and Greene as easy comedy targets. I just hope his prediction that they will eventually turn on each other comes true. If so, it would be life imitating art, or at least reality TV.

Seth returned to the well of the State of the Union in the next day's Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Scolds High School Students for Wearing Masks: A Closer Look.

Seth takes a closer look at the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, berating high school students for wearing masks while Fox News continues to attack Biden's response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
I think that mades five times that Seth made fun of Chuck Schumer's false start. I also think that's enough.

Seth made fun of Greene even before the State of the Union, as Putin Rattles World with Nuclear Threat as Trump Calls Him Smart Again: A Closer Look opened with her appearances at CPAC and another political conference.

Seth takes a closer look at Vladimir Putin rattling the world by raising the alert status of Russia's nuclear forces as Republicans gathered for the Conservative Political Action Conference and refused to condemn Trump for praising Putin.
I think Greene was showing her true colors, even if she's denying them. The same with Mike Lindell, who showed why he deserved his two Razzies.
Not only was "Absolute Proof" the worst political film of 2020, but, according to the Razzies, the Worst Picture overall last year. I can't think of a more deserving stinker of a bad (faith) documentary.
As for Vladimir Putin making nuclear threats, that's why I wrote "Here's to the Russian invasion of Ukraine not spiraling out of control to prevent next year's parade from happening" yesterday. It's also not how I want him to be the Most Interesting Man in the World.

Speaking of Trump calling Putin "smart," I'm not the least bit surprised. I think it's just another example of Trump and Putin's Bad Bromance and why the FBI investigated Trump possibly worked for Russia.

After all that, I'm ready to leave reality and search for a good fantasy. Stay tuned for the Sunday entertainment feature.

Friday, March 4, 2022

Which drum corps played 'Amazing Grace' best plus the 2022 Rose Parade bands for Marching Music Day

Happy Marching Music Day! March Forth! As I did last year, I open today's post with Drum Corps International asking a musical question, Who Did It Best? | Amazing Grace.

"Amazing Grace" performed by five different corps over more than 40 years. Who did it best?

0:00 - Introduction
0:07 - 1975 Royal Crusaders
1:15 - 1987 Spirit of Atlanta
2:58 - 2008 Blue Knights
4:14 - 2011 Cadets
5:55 - 2018 Boston Crusaders
Out of the above, my choice was 2018 Boston Crusaders, who I featured in 2018 Boston Crusaders 'SOS' for a drum corps 'Mayday!' However, most of the commenters voted for none of the above, instead considering Phantom Regiment's standstill performance of the song from 1993 to be the best. Listen to Phantom Regiment - Amazing Grace, uploaded by my friend goldsmith1210.

Recorded in 1993

Now who did it best?

I conclude with Music213's Marching Bands of the 2022 Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade.

Recap of the 21 marching bands and Herald Trumpets that performed at the 133rd Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade on Saturday, January 1, 2022.
I'm glad to see the Rose Parade return after its pandemic pause in 2021. Here's to the Russian invasion of Ukraine not spiraling out of control to prevent next year's parade from happening.

Thursday, March 3, 2022

The wildlife of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone for World Wildlife Day 2022

Happy World Wildlife Day! I am taking my cue from the Russian invasion of Ukraine to re-examine the wildlife inhabiting the exclusion zone around Chernobyl. I begin with Channel 4 News in the UK's Chernobyl: inside the exclusion zone.

Channel 4 reuploaded this clip in 2019 and updated the description.
In 2015, we travelled to the Chernobyl exclusion zone. While the accident was a human catastrophe, it's providing scientists a unique living experiment in how nature copes with radiation..
As I wrote in 2015's Radioactive wolves: student sustainability video festival 35, "If anyone wants to see a post-human, post-apocalyptic landscape, one doesn't have to watch 'The Walking Dead.' One simply has to view images of the exclusion zone around Chernobyl."

I knew about the wolves and boars inside the exclusion zone, but the presence of Przewalski's horses and European bison surprised me. It turned out humans deliberately introduced both the horses and the bison, but the latter introduction happened in Belarus and the animals wandered into Ukraine's exclusion zone on their own. The giant catfish surprised me less, as I've seen the effect of people feeding fish in an area protected from fishing. My family used to visit a fish hatchery on vacation and feed them our leftover bait. Those were the largest rainbow trout I've ever seen!

Channel 4 showed that the removal of almost all resident humans has had a positive effect on biodiversity within the exclusion zone. What about the radiation? The Animals of Chernobyl by The New York Times shows the deleterious effects of radiation on the smaller organisms.

Biologist Timothy Mousseau has been studying the lasting effects of radiation on the flora and fauna of Chernobyl, Ukraine.
After the Chernobyl disaster humans haven't been allowed to live in the vicinity. That hasn't stopped animals and wildlife from moving into the radioactive area.
While the absence of humans is allowing the megafauna to return and apparently thrive, the smaller organisms, like the insects, spiders, and birds, are showing the effects of the persistent radiation.

Because Science looked at the research in its own smart but sensational way in Did Chernobyl Create Mutant Animals?

It's been over three decades since the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl, and while the area remains unsafe for humans to return for long term inhabitation, the wildlife has remained and undergone its own changes in that time. While many might image that sort of radiation would result in bizarre mutations like two-headed deer or giant insects, could the aftermath of such an event actually be positive for the plants and animals that remained? Kyle ventures into the Exclusion Zone to take a closer look in this week's Because Science!
I'm going to say the same thing about Because Science, which I last embedded here in 2015, that I did about WatchMojo, that it's "high-quality, well-researched clickbait," albeit even better researched. As for the conclusion, I agree with Kyle Hill; it needs more research. Here's to hoping that the war hasn't destroyed the populations of large animals and caused even more devastation than the nuclear accident. I'm not optimistic about that.

That's it for World Wildlife Day. Stay tuned for Marching Music Day tomorrow.