Monday, October 31, 2022

'SNL' shares scary news for Halloween 2022

Happy Halloween! I closed David Pumpkins returns as 'Saturday Night Live' celebrates Halloween 2022 by telling my readers "stay tuned for part two, which has Halloween content in the middle of all the politics and current events, tomorrow. Trick or treat!" I open, like the show did, with PBS NewsHour-Republican Momentum Cold Open - SNL.

PBS NewsHour host Judy Woodruff (Heidi Gardner) interviews Republican candidates Herschel Walker (Kenan Thompson), Dr. Oz (Mikey Day) and Kari Lake (Cecily Strong) as their numbers continue to surge in the polls.
As I wrote yesterday, "I'm glad to see Cecily Strong return this season. I have another video featuring her that I'm saving for tomorrow." This is that video, where she nails another politician. She also nails Arizona, "the Florida of the West." Now I hope my daughter votes against her and for Katie Hobbs next week.

Not only is the 2022 election scary, so is 2024, as satirized in Horror Movie Trailer - SNL.

A horrifying movie trailer depicts the scariest outcomes for the 2024 election.
Re-nominating Joe Biden might be scary, but all the other potential candidates mentioned were even scarier, so back to Biden we go. I'm OK with that.

For the rest of the news worth making fun of, I'm sharing Weekend Update: Elon Musk Buys Twitter, Companies Cut Ties with Kanye West - SNL.

Weekend Update anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che tackle the week's biggest news, like John Fetterman and Dr. Oz facing off in a senate debate.
'SNL' shares Easter wishes in its cold open included a Weekend Update clip about Elon Musk buying Twitter, but I haven't said anything about since because I wasn't sure it would happen and I wanted to see how would work out if it did. It has and so far I'm not positively impressed. I'm not surprised about that, either.

Follow over the jump for the rest of the political clips from this past weekend's show.

Sunday, October 30, 2022

David Pumpkins returns as 'Saturday Night Live' celebrates Halloween 2022

Last night's "Saturday Night Live" had enough content for two posts, a fun holiday celebration today and a more serious but still funny look at the 2022 election, Elon Musk buying Twitter, and other current issues tomorrow. I continue going full spooky season with David Pumpkins Returns - SNL.

A terrifying prison tour ride tries to spook its riders (Jack Harlow, Ego Nwodim, Andrew Dismukes) with an original character, David S. Pumpkins (Tom Hanks).
HAHAHAHA! That was hilarious and worth the revival.

For comparison, here's the original, which has accumulated twenty-three million page views over the past six years.

A haunted elevator attraction tries to spook its riders (Beck Bennett, Kate McKinnon) with an original character, David Pumpkins (Tom Hanks). [Season 42, 2016]
I can see why it's a classic and I can't believe it took me until now to watch this. I should have viewed it years ago.

Follow over the jump for the rest of the purely holiday Halloween sketches from last night's show; the political ones I'm saving for tomorrow.

Saturday, October 29, 2022

PBS Digital's Storied examines the legacies of Lovecraft and Poe for Halloween

PBS Digital's Storied uploaded two videos about seminal horror authors this year, H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe. I think they would be excellent subjects for spooky season, so I'm sharing them, beginning with How Cthulhu Transcended its Creator, H.P. Lovecraft | Monstrum.

The tentacle-faced creature Cthulhu is H.P. Lovecraft’s most enduring eldritch creation. But while Lovecraft may be Cthulhu’s inventor, this monster has outgrown its creator, impacting both horror fiction and the real world in significant and unexpected ways.
The Chaosium game Call of Cthulhu introduced me to the Cthulhu Mythos. I never played it, as I preferred role-playing characters who became more skilled and powerful instead of progressively more insane because of their knowledge, but it did induce me to read "The Color Out of Space," a scary science fiction story. It also influenced my view of the Ghostbusters role playing game, which I called "Call of Cthulhu for laughs" and a gaming acquaintance called "Scooby-Do except the monsters are real but don't matter." I actually played Ghostbusters with my kids, who thought it was a hoot.

By the way, while I've mentioned "Lovecraft Country" many times, a cursory search of my blog indicates I've never mentioned H.P. Lovecraft himself before today. Considering his retrograde views on race, I think that's appropriate.

Next, Why Edgar Allan Poe Isn't Just a Sad Boy | It's Lit.

We remember Edgar Allan Poe for his tales of horror and the macabre as well as inventing the entire Detective Fiction Genre. But unlike many of the great authors of Western classic literature, he has become an icon unto himself, recognized to this day by name and face almost more than the titles of his stories and poems. But his legacy is more complicated than school books may have lead us to believe.
On the other hand, I've mentioned Poe three times on this blog, mostly in reference to the Opera Ghost dressing up as The Red Death in "The Phantom of the Opera." Welcome to the intersection of drum corps, horror, and pandemics.

As I have for the rest of this year's (and last year's) Halloween entries, I'm closing with a drink recipe video. Today, it's Cocktails With Cthulhu! Velveteen Lounge Kitsch-en.

Ponder Cthulhu's return and the attendant appalling destruction of humanity with our delicious cocktail and snack!
Drink responsibly and stay tuned for more Halloween posts through the end of the month. Trick or treat!

Friday, October 28, 2022

Haunted theme parks for Halloween 2022

I've come to the point in my week of Halloween posts to share an entry about theme parks. Instead of writing about spooky and scary attractions like the Haunted Mansion, Phantom Manor, or The Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror, I'm going to write about the alleged hauntings of theme parks, beginning with Offhand Disney's Top 5 Ghost Sightings at Disneyland.

Ghosts are spooky and scary, sure. They're fun when you're on the Haunted Mansion gliding through the ballroom, laughing as they swing from the lighting fixtures. But sometimes, those ghosts leave the Mansion. I'm not talking animatronics either.
Disneyland isn't the only southern California theme park that is reputed to be haunted. Fastpass Facts asked Is Universal Studios HAUNTED? (UNSOLVED MYSTERIES).

Do you think Universal Studios Hollywood is haunted? Today we're taking a look at some of the most creepy and terrifying ghost stories from the park as we try to solve if the park is haunted or if is it just the overactive imaginations of scared people. What do you think?
These stories mostly tie into the history of Universal Studios as an actual movie studio, not as the theme park it has become. The exception seems to be the sightings around "The Revenge of the Mummy" ride, including the Holloween Horror Nights maze, which are a little too on the nose. Even those seem to date back to the first half of the 20th Century, when it was a working studio with public tours. I'd have to see if there are any stories like this for Universal Studios Florida, which does not share that history.

However, that doesn't seem to stop scary stories being told about Walt Disney World, which is 19 years older than Universal Studios Florida. Watch's tell about Ghosts and Urban Legends of Disney World.

When you’re dreaming about Walt Disney World, there are a lot of words you might use to describe the way you feel.

Happy. Joyful. Excited. Terrified.

Wait what? Sorry. Terrified?

Yep! It turns out there‘s some scary stuff that’s happened within the gates of Walt Disney World. Magic Kingdom. EPCOT. Hollywood Studios. Disney’s Animal Kingdom. You might not think these happy places have scary secrets. But The Ghosts and Urban Legends of Disney World might change the way you feel about these parks forever.
I couldn't stay away from science fiction ideas like Walt Disney's frozen head, which isn't true because he died before that technology became available (yes, there are real-life corpsicles, but Walt isn't one of them) and actual scary attractions. As for how seriously I take these stories, I'll repeat what I wrote about astrology: "I consider all of this harmless but fun nonsense that I'm presenting for entertainment purposes only."

As I have for the rest of this year's (and last year's) Halloween entries, I'm closing with a drink recipe video. Today, it's Spooky Halloween Cocktails | Disney Recipes from Angie Bellemare.

All of my FAV Disney Spooky Cocktails. Recipes Included
Trick or treat yourself, indeed! Drink responsibly and stay tuned for more Halloween posts through the end of the month.

Thursday, October 27, 2022

A Halloween concert from Broken Peach

One of my Halloween traditions on this blog is to share songs by Broken Peach. I'm continuing that tradition by embedding Broken Peach - The Night Of The Halloween Specials (Live), which includes all of their Halloweeen songs.

This concert was recorded on September 28, 2022, completely live in one take, completely self-produced and edited by the band and their crew.
I held off on posting this entry until this video came out. It was worth the wait.

Next, this year's Halloween Special, Don't You Want Me.

"Don't You Want Me" is a song by British synthpop group The Human League (credited on the cover as The Human League 100). It was released on 27 November 1981 as the fourth single from their third studio album, Dare (1981). The band's best known and most commercially successful song, it was the biggest selling UK single of 1981, that year's Christmas number one, and has since sold over 1,560,000 copies in the UK, making it the 23rd-most successful single in UK Singles Chart history. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 in the US on 3 July 1982, where it stayed for three weeks.
I'll be frank, I'm not a big fan of this song. I got sick of hearing it 40 years ago and it didn't help that I crashed my mom's car while the song played on the radio. Luckily, I was unhurt, my mom wasn't too upset at me, and the car survived. Also, the other driver got a ticket, not me. Whew! However, Broken Peach might get me to like it.

The band from Vigo, Galicia, Spain has included horror elements in their videos of their original non-Halloween songs. Watch Broken Peach - Like A Gale (Official Video) to see for yourself.

"Like A Gale" is a song written, arranged, produced and mixed by Broken Peach.
I think that hits the right mix of stylish, sexy, and creepy.

For today's drink, I'm going to be a good environmentalist by recycling Sandra Lee - Pink Elephant Cocktail inspired by "Pink Elephants on Parade."

Originally aired as part of the "Cottage Chic" episode (Episode SH0807H) on the Food Network, June 16th, 2007.

• 1 part white cranberry juice
• 1 part berry vodka
• 1/2 part raspberry liqueur (recommended: Chambord)
• 1/2 part Limoncello
To a shaker full of ice, add all ingredients. Shake well and pour into chilled martini glasses.
Drink responsibly and stay tuned for more Halloween posts through the end of the month. Trick or treat!

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Spooky songs from the Harp Twins for Halloween

I'm continuing my celebration of spooky season with music from Camille and Kennerly, the Harp Twins. I'm working backwards from their most recent video, BITTEN (Original Vampire Song) Harp Twins.

BITTEN is the first song release from our new spooky supernatural ORIGINAL album 'Twin Destinies'...

Be sure to also pre-order the companion horror fantasy novel by New York Times Bestselling author, Debbie Viguié!!...

Book & album teaser:
When their great-grandmother Kaia, a world-famous harpist, dies, two sisters find themselves the heirs to twin harps, an ancient book of music, and a legacy that stretches back centuries.
That looks like an ambitious project.

Last year's Halloween video, FRIGHT NIGHT (1985) - Harp Twins (Camille and Kennerly), fits the duo's history of covering songs from movies, television, and video games.

“Fright Night” – the theme from the 1985 comedy horror cult classic! We had a blast arranging this spooktacular song for electric harps and voices! For our video location, we found the perfect haunted house in the woods at Haunted Overload in Lee, New Hampshire!
I'm glad I embarked on this project so that I could watch and listen to this song.

Two years ago, the duo uploaded DEATH WALTZ - Original Song - Harp Twins, Camille and Kennerly - Electric Harp for Halloween.

A Harp Twins original song! “Death Waltz” is one of our favorite original songs to date and we knew it would be the perfect music video to release near Halloween this year! We wrote “Death Waltz” this past January while Kennerly was incredibly sick from a nasty bug she and mom caught during our concert performance trip to Las Vegas over the New Year. But we had a deadline we made for ourselves to finish our ICEBORN all-original album, so Kennerly continued to work with Camille on this song. So we guess that the result of writing an original song while Kennerly was feeling deathly ill was “Death Waltz”. We hope that the eerie macabre feeling will be the perfect addition to your spooky season, and beyond!
Welcome to art as a response to near tragedy.

Now the earliest song of theirs I found tied to Halloween, The Hearse Song (The Worms Crawl In) - Harp Twins - Electric Harp, Camille and Kennerly.

The Hearse Song (The Worms Crawl In) is an old children’s song dating back to before World War I. We first heard this song from our mom singing little bits and pieces that she remembered from her childhood. This piqued our interest and we started talking to relatives and doing research on the full lyrics and song origin. Interestingly, we found that there are no “set” lyrics, but only reoccurring words and themes. When telling our grandma about our newest arrangement, we were surprised to learn that she, too, learned a version of The Hearse Song when she was a child, which would have been over 80 years ago!
That's both gross and funny.

I conclude with today's drink, Spirit Cocktails Horrorfest Vampire's Kiss Cocktail.

If you love Vermouth you'll be sure to love this cocktail. For a cocktail that's primary focus is based off a Bloody Mary using tomato juice and Vodka with a bit of spice, the overall flavor is very dry from the Vermouth and Gin flavors. In general this isn't a bad cocktail but tends to have a very dry overpowering flavor with a slightly bitter finish taking away from the tart and tangy tomato juice flavor.

2 oz. Vodka
1/2 oz. Gin
1/2 oz. Dry Vermouth
1 tbsp Tequila
1 pinch Salt
2 oz. Tomato Juice

Preparation: Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into a rocks glass over ice and serve.
Drink responsibly and stay tuned for more Halloween posts through the end of the month. Trick or treat!

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Kicking off spooky season with 2014 Cavaliers 'Immortal' for a Drum corps Halloween

Happy spooky season! I searched for "scary drum corps shows" on Sunday and retrieved FloMarching's 10 Scary Good Shows To Get You In The Halloween Spirit. The one that caught my attention was Cavaliers' 2014 production "Immortal." Drum corps vampires!

Watch The Cavaliers 2014 Immortal, an unofficial upload of the entire show, which I am tempted to recommend to Courtney Coulston for a reaction video.

Now for the official clip from Drum Corps International: 2014 The Cavaliers - Immortal.

This clip will still be here when the first video is taken down. As I write repeatedly about unofficial uploads, enjoy them while they last.

By the way, when I first heard about this show, I recalled that my acquaintance Lee Rudnicki wrote My Immortal the Vampires of Berlin in 2010. Lee marched, instructed, and directed drum corps, so I suspect his book helped inspire this show.

For today's cocktail, I'm sharing Spirit Cocktails' Magic the Gathering Elixer of Immortality Cocktail.

In the game of Magic the Gathering, this card can become the saving grace for many decks allowing you to reshuffle your entire graveyard back into your deck. When creating this into a cocktail I wanted to bring in an element of life so I used Acai Mixed Berry Juice for Acai's life prolonging properties. The flavor is very sweet with a bit of citrus notes complimenting the multitude of berry flavors. Overall this is a very refreshing and well balanced cocktail with a very enjoyable flavor.

2 oz. Vodka
1/2 oz. Triple Sec
3 oz. V8 Fusion Acai Mixed Berry
Top with Sprite

Preparation: Build all ingredients in order into a highball glass over ice and give it a quick stir then serve.
Drink responsibly and stay tuned for more Halloween posts through the end of the month. Trick or treat!

Monday, October 24, 2022

Vox explains 'The chicken industry’s worker safety problem' for Food Day 2022

Happy National Food Day! For this year's celebration, I'm following up on last year's Vox explains how 4 companies control the beef industry for a late National Food Day with the next video in the series, The chicken industry’s worker safety problem.

There's a human cost to factory-processed chicken.
In the 1960s, the US began a love affair with chicken, and poultry workers paid the cost. Over the past few decades, poultry processing line speeds have increased to meet demand. But that’s happened in tandem with the decline of unions and deregulation of the industry. The result is a high rate of workplace injuries and repetitive motion disorders, with gaps in workplace safety oversight.
This is the second episode in a series of three by producer Laura Bult and Vox’s Future Perfect team, which explores big problems and the big ideas to solve them. This series explores the human cost of the meat industry.
I already covered chicken raising in John Oliver and 'Food, Inc.' explain chicken farming, so I'm moving on to the question about working conditions in meatpacking. One of the questions I covered in Joel Salatin from 'Food, Inc.' for Food Day sets up the question and answer.
21. What ethical effects does he think the treatment of pigs as “a pile of protoplasmic material” would have on the treatment of people and other countries?

He thinks the people who do not respect "the pigness of the pig," will treat other people and other countries in the community of nations as disdainfully as they do the pigs and will try to control them the same way. The film then jumps to a segment about Smithfield Farms that supports Salatin's contention.
The next question asks "Does the portrayal of the working and living conditions of the Smithfield meatpackers support the opinion of the owner of Polyface Farms that you described in question 21?" The answer is yes. The video shows the same is true of the workers processing chickens. Remember, there is no such thing as a free lunch.

One of the things that occurred to me when the video described how the USDA regulated the line speed in the plant for food safety but OSHA could not for worker safety was Upton Sinclair's remark about how he aimed for the heart when he wrote "The Jungle" but hit the stomach instead. I appreciated Laura Bult using that as a postscript for this episode. It really shows what Americans value.

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

Sunday, October 23, 2022

My 2022 Saturn Awards votes

I closed I found an eighth Saturn Award nomination for 'Everything Everywhere All at Once' in home entertainment by telling my readers "With that, it's time to cast my votes. I'll report back when I have. Stay tuned." Here they are for this week's Sunday entertainment update.

Best Action / Adventure Film: Top Gun: Maverick
Best Actor in a Film: Timothee Chalamet (Dune)
Best Actress in a Film: Emma Stone (Cruella)
Best Animated Film: Encanto
Best Fantasy Film: Cruella
Best Film Costume Design: Cruella (Jenny Beavan)
Best Film Direction: Steve Spielberg (West Side Story)
Best Film Editing: Top Gun: Maverick (Eddie Hamilton)
Best Film Make Up: The Batman (Mike Marino, Naomi Donne)
Best Film Music: Cruella (Nicholas Britell)
Best Film Production Design: Dune (Patrice Vermette)
Best Film Visual / Special Effects: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (Janek Sirrs, Erik Winquist, Alexis Wajbrot, Olivier...)
Best Film Writing: Nope (Jordan Peele)
Best Horror Film: A Quiet Place Part II
Best Independent Film: Mass
Best International Film: RRR - Rise Roar Revolt
Best Science Fiction Film: Dune
Best Superhero Film: The Batman
Best Supporting Actor in a Film: Paul Dano (The Batman)
Best Supporting Actress in a Film: Jodie Comer (Free Guy)
Best Thriller Film: Nightmare Alley
Best Younger Actor in a Film: Millicent Simmonds (A Quiet Place Part II)

Follow over the jump for my votes in television and home entertainment.

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Wall Street Journal on 'Las Vegas: A Water Conservation Trailblazer Amid the Worst Drought in 1,200 Years'

I promised "a more positive story about dealing with the drought to share with my readers" in PBS NewsHour on Great Salt Lake shrinking during the current drought. It's the Wall Street Journal's Las Vegas: A Water Conservation Trailblazer Amid the Worst Drought in 1,200 Years, which YouTube also recommended to me. Behold the power of the YouTube algorithm!

As severe drought in the West forces states to make drastic water cuts, Las Vegas offers a road map to making the most out of every drop of water. Since 2002, Southern Nevada has cut its Colorado River water use by 26% while its population has grown by 750,000.
The video I embedded in PBS Terra asks 'What Will Life Look Like as MAJOR Rivers Run Dry?' mentioned the water conservation measures Las Vegas was taking before it moved on to more efficient irrigation practices for agriculture, itself an expansion of the policies in Vox asks and answers 'Who's really using up the water in the American West?' I'm glad Las Vegas can serve as good example to Salt Lake City, Phoenix, where my stepdaughter lives, and other cities in the arid and semiarid west and southwest. We could use more good examples. Speaking of which, I might show this to my students as an example of household water conservation. If so, welcome to blogging as professional development.

Since there is no new episode of "Saturday Night Live" tonight, stay tuned for a real Sunday entertainment update.

Friday, October 21, 2022

PBS NewsHour on Great Salt Lake shrinking during the current drought

I showed the video I embedded in Vox asks and answers 'Who's really using up the water in the American West?' to my class yesterday, which may have been enough for YouTube to recommend PBS NewsHour's Utah's Great Salt Lake shrinks to unsustainable levels amid a decades-long megadrought. I watched and decided to share it here. Behold the power of the YouTube algorithm!

The Great Salt Lake in Utah is the largest body of water in the western hemisphere without an outlet to the sea. Its levels fluctuate naturally, but scientists say the record-low water levels the lake has seen in recent years are worrying. A megadrought means less precipitation, and a growing population is taking more water before the lake can refill. Stephanie Sy reports.
I find this personally worrying as well as a general risk because I have family connections to Utah and particularly the Salt Lake City area as My father went to Judge Memorial High School in Salt Lake City, which was the only Catholic High School in Utah at the time. That led my parents and middle sister to buy houses in and around Park City for investments and retirement. My middle sister and my nephew moved to Park City permanently and my mother summers there. They're very concerned about this and I'm concerned for them.

By the way, this story touches on one of my favorite sayings: "no one, or in this case, no place, is completely useless; it can always be used as a bad example," as well as a story I tell my students about Owens Dry Lake. Here's what Owens Lake looked like before and after its water was diverted.

Striking and an image I should probably add to my lectures. Speaking of which, I show a grayscale version of the following painting, which depicts a steamboat that plied the waters of Owens Lake when it was full of water.

I might replace the grayscale print of this image with this one, although the one I have looks like a photograph, while this is obviously a painting. I'll think about it.

By the way, this is what Owens Lake looks like today.

Yikes! I can see why the residents of greater Salt Lake City don't want this to happen to their lake.

ETA: The YouTube algorithm suggested KSL News' Lessons learned in California could help save the Great Salt Lake and I decided to add it to this post and possibly to my lectures after I watched it.

As Utahns look for ways to save the shrinking Great Salt Lake, there are two other salt lakes to our west that we can look to as examples of what to do and what not to do.
I'm glad to see this crisis is prompting more sustainable use of water in Utah.

I have a more positive story about dealing with the drought to share with my readers tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Vox asks 'Are zoos...bad?'

It's time for a question that with an answer I'm not entirely happy about as Vox asks Are zoos...bad?

Do the benefits of zoos justify the fact that some animals are clearly stressed out?
Many of us have fond memories of visiting the zoo as a child (or at any age), and more than a few of us probably credit those visits with turning us into animal-lovers. So, how should we square those warm fuzzy feelings with research that shows the psychological harms of captivity for some animals?

That’s what Vox subscriber Gaurav Patil wanted to know, so producer Liz Scheltens started digging in. One way that zoos maintain their social license to operate despite our growing understanding of the harms to certain species is by marketing themselves as beacons of conservation.

Proponents argue that not only do zoos help preserve endangered wild populations, they also help make humans better conservationists. But when you look at the research, a different picture starts to emerge.
I don't make a secret of my being a fan of the Detroit Zoo and my students like zoos, too, so I'm disappointed to find out that people come out of zoos being less supportive of preserving wildlife habitat than when they came in. Habitat destruction is one of the key reasons why the Monarch butterfly is endangered, for example and preserving habitat is the best way to keep species from becoming extinct in the wild. Sigh. Zoos might have to emphasize preserving animals' natural habitat in their signs and other educational material to counteract that.

Also, I've written about a reintroduction program by the Detroit Zoo for a species that went extinct in the wild, so I know those work. However, it was for a snail, so it definitely wasn't for a "cognitively complex species." I like my snails, but I know they're not bright animals.

I don't know if I will show this video to my students, but I wouldn't be surprised if one of them shows part of it as their visual aid in a presentation. In the meantime, welcome to more blogging as professional development.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

PBS Terra explains 'Here's EXACTLY What to Do When the Next Megaquake Hits: Cascadia Subduction Zone'

PBS Terra's Weathered series just uploaded a sequel to the video I embedded in PBS examines the risks from a major earthquake in the Pacific Northwest, Here's EXACTLY What to Do When the Next Megaquake Hits: Cascadia Subduction Zone.

Subduction zone earthquakes are the largest and most destructive on earth. In 2004 a 9.1 megaquake hit Sumatra off the coast of Indonesia, unleashing a massive tsunami and killing 227,898 people. And in 2011, the Tohoku earthquake struck Japan, killing around 20,000 and triggering the infamous Fukushima nuclear disaster. In the Pacific northwest lurks the Cascadia Subduction Zone, which has been dormant for centuries and is overdue for its next “big one.”

In this episode we’re going to tell you what experts think is the best way to survive this inevitable disaster.
I was trained to drop, cover, and hold growing up in Los Angeles and I even tell my students about one time I did that when the Whittier Narrows Earthquake hit. The earthquake shook me awake in bed and I jumped out bed, past an office chair, and under the oak desk that my father had left me when he gave me his home office for my bedroom. I stayed there until the shaking stopped, at which point I got up, got a muffin out of the refrigerator, poured myself a glass of orange juice, and ate breakfast outside until the power came on again. Then I went into the house and watched the news to see what had happened. That's where I stayed, as I certainly wasn't going to work on building L.A.'s subway right after an earthquake. I was sure it would be closed for inspection, and it was.

That was one story I tell my students. Another is the previous PBS Terra video I embedded last year. I don't know if I have time to show this one as well and I'm not sure I should replace last year's video with this one. Stay tuned to see if I do. In the meantime, welcome to blogging as professional development.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Mark Zandi explains 'What Broke U.S. Recession Indicators' on CNBC

I made the following observation in Wall Street Journal and CNBC explain 'Why a 2022 Recession Would Be Unlike Any Other' this past July.
The GDP numbers may signal a recession, but consumers and possibly even businesses aren't showing signs of it. We may end up having a "Wile E. Coyote moment" where both look down and realize they are over an abyss and then start falling, but that hasn't happened yet.
That still hasn't happened, at least where jobs and inflation are concerned. The result has been that despite GDP declining (slightly) during the first half of 2022, no recession has been declared. CNBC examined this paradoxical situation in What Broke U.S. Recession Indicators | Mark Zandi.

Moody's Analytics' chief economist Mark Zandi cautions that a recession may be on the horizon.

In an interview with CNBC's Andrea Miller, Zandi said a recession did not occur in the first half of this year. Zandi called employment levels the "most important indicator[s]" of a recession. With unemployment at the low rate of 3.5%, he doesn't buy the view that two back-to-back quarters of negative growth alone are sufficient to make for a recession.

But Zandi did warn that he expects layoffs to increase in the days ahead.
I made my forecast of a possible recession in July as well.
I expect it would be like the recession I predicted at the end of 2017 to happen by the end of the last decade, not the one we actually got in 2020 because of the pandemic.
By the way, there won't be a recession called this year for another reason third quarter GDP is estimated to have increased 1.9% to 2.8%. Good news, everyone, but not enough for me to post Professor Farnsworth.

Monday, October 17, 2022

PBS NewsHour and WUSA explain 'How climate change is impacting the wine and spirits industries'

I've gone more than halfway through October without examining climate change and extreme weather, so it's time I return to discussing this long-term threat. Fortunately, PBS NewsHour provided the perfect video for this topic last night, How climate change is impacting the wine and spirits industries.

From destructive wildfires to floods that threaten grape and grain harvests, climate change is altering the nature of wine and spirit production around the world. Food and travel writer Brian Freedman's new book, "Crushed," captures how growers and producers are adapting to sudden and dramatic climate shifts. He joins Geoff Bennett to discuss.
The story about how Tabor is recreating an ecosystem in its vinyards reminds me of one of Commoner's Laws: Nature knows best. That's a lesson I think more of us will have to learn.

WUSA had earlier had Freedman on as a guest in How winemakers are adapting to changes in global climate.

Author Brian Freedman explains how climate change affects wine production as outlined in his book "Crushed: How a Changing Climate Is Altering the Way We Drink".
Since this is about food and farming, another of Commoner's Laws applies: There is no free lunch. Everything has hidden and sometimes not-so-hidden environmental, social, and economic costs. That includes our food and drink. Freedman mentioning the winery in Texas that grows more sustainable grapes that require fewer chemical inputs resulting in less pollution also ties into everything is connected to everything else and there is no away. While I really don't have time in my environmental science class to add either of these videos, I can at least mention some of the findings. Welcome to blogging as professional development.

Sunday, October 16, 2022

'SNL' opens by spoofing the last January 6th Committee hearing

I'm not done with comedians on this week's January 6th Committee hearing. Last night's "Saturday Night Live" began with Jan 6th Final Hearing Cold Open - SNL.

The January 6th committee (Kenan Thompson, Mikey Day, Heidi Gardner, Andrew Dismukes, Michael Longfellow) gives their closing statements for the investigation of the attack on the Capitol.
"Big Dick Cheney energy" — on the one hand, LOL. On the other, I wrote "In Liz Cheney's case, she'd like her pre-2015 Republican Party back. I doubt she'll get it any time soon, so she'll settle for damaging TFG instead. I wish her luck." She'll need it.

Weekend Update followed up by opening with Weekend Update: Trump's 14-Page Response to Jan. 6 Subpoena, Kanye West's Anti-Semitic Tweets - SNL.

Weekend Update anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che tackle the week's biggest news, like a newly released video of a phone call between Nancy Pelosi and Mike Pence during the January 6 insurrection.
That's a surprisingly more dignified take on Trump's response than CNN's John Avlon, who called it "vomit." As for Herschel Walker's stunt with what looks like a fake police badge, that looked like an "SNL" skit, so the show couldn't top it by re-enacting it.

The segment continued with Weekend Update: Congressional Candidate Stars in Own Sex Tape, Meth-Filled Pumpkins - SNL.

Weekend Update anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che tackle the week's biggest news, like a doctor removing nearly two dozen contact lenses from a patient's eyes.
I had to look up Mikhail Itkis to find out that he is an actual candidate and this is a real story. I think Jerrold Nadler, the Democratic incumbent, has nothing to fear from Itkis.

I close with Squirrel Awareness Month - October from National Day Calendar for Wester, the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Autumnal Equinox, which has a squirrel for a mascot.

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

They may come off as a little mischievous and troublesome when they get into the bird feeders or even your attic, but you may not realize why they do what they do. Squirrels spend most of the warmer months gearing up for winter. Here’s the craziest part: experts estimate that squirrels find and bury three years of food during the warm months! They don’t hibernate during the winter, but they do like to stay cozy in their dens so they can sleep and snack until it warms up again.
Happy Squirrel Awareness Month and Happy Wester! May the Wester Squirrel not steal anything from you and hide it!

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Happy Sweetest Day 2022!

Happy Sweetest Day! I begin today's celebration of a day unfairly called a Hallmark Holiday by sharing WKYC asking and answering What is Sweetest Day? Mike Polk Jr. explains.

Saturday marks Sweetest Day. Mike Polk Jr. is here to share some misconceptions about the holiday.
That's good as far as it goes, but WKYC is a Cleveland station, so it ignores Detroit's contribution to the origin of the holiday, which I mentioned in Happy Sweetest Day! and Happy Sweetest Day 2017! On the one hand, I shouldn't be surprised. On the other, hmph! The cure for that would be one of the Detroit TV stations putting out their own versions of the history of the holiday, but I the best I could find is What's The Buzz - Sweetest Day on Live in the D from WDIV's Live in the D.

Jason Carr started off a popular but factually wrong opinion of the day but at least mentioned the involvement of the candy industry in its origin. He still neglected to include that the part Detroit played in the holiday's history. Maybe if he actually liked the day, he would. Here's to hoping someone in the local media does that in the future. In the meantime, here's a Sweetest Day meme.

Happy Sweetest Day!

Friday, October 14, 2022

Colbert, Meyers, and Kimmel take closer looks at yesterday's January 6th hearing

I promised to cover the next and maybe last January 6th Committee hearing today, so I begin with Shocking Twist: Jan 6 Committee Votes To Subpoena The Former President from "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert."

Stephen Colbert just finished watching the tenth live hearing of the January 6 Committee and he recaps all the chilling moments including the surprise ending where the committee issued a subpoena for the former president to testify.
"Trick or Treason! A Boo-d'etat!" That's both scary and funny.

Stephen returned after break with Speaker Pelosi Displayed Superhuman Composure During Jan 6 Attack On The U.S. Capitol.

Stephen's monologue continues with a look at footage of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Schumer and other leaders as they fought to defend the U.S. Capitol and reassemble Congress to certify President Biden's victory in the 2020 election.
Sure, Stephen, threaten "Hell Toupee" with a good time to get him to comply. It might even work.

"Late Night with Seth Meyers" uploaded their own comedic synopsis, Dramatic Jan. 6 Hearing Issues Trump Subpoena, Hints at Criminal Referrals: A Closer Look.

Seth takes a closer look at the January 6 committee voting to subpoena Trump while also hinting at possible criminal referrals for key figures involved in the coup and revealing new evidence from the Secret Service corroborating key details about the insurrection.
I think "Chicago Southern Lawyer" is a great character for a sketch, but an entire series built around him? Dream on!

Jimmy Kimmel open his show last night with Crazy Series Finale of Jan 6th Hearings, Trump’s Little Subpoena & Biden Wants Your Sperm.

It was another historic day in our nation’s capitol as the January 6th hearings started up again, we learned that Trump knew the election wasn’t stolen and even told Mark Meadows that he didn’t want anyone to know he lost, new video footage showed leaders hiding from rioters during the attack, the bipartisan committee voted unanimously to subpoena Donald Trump, Donny is still at war with the National Archives, it’s getting to the point where Trump will never ever leave us alone, Herschel Walker claimed that his grandmother is Native American but she’s not, President Biden took a break during his trip to LA today to encourage Democrats to get to work making babies, and a new edition of Mean Tweets!
As I've observed before, Kimmel has the most complete video descriptions of all the late-night talk show hosts.

Watching Kimmel's cold open reminded me that Colbert has great cold opens, so I watched Meet The Flynnstones! It lived up to my expectations.


Roger Stone does look like one of Batman's Rogues Gallery, although I think he looks more like Louie the Lilac than Oswald "Penguin" Cobblepot.

Stay tuned for Happy Sweetest Day followed by Wester.

Thursday, October 13, 2022

SciShow explains 'Monkeypox Isn’t New, But There Are Many Ways It’s Different'

This past May, I posted SciShow asks 'What Is Monkeypox?' At that time, I wrote that "I found this video both concerning and reassuring" but changed my mind the next month.
As I wrote in June, "it looks like I may have been too sanguine about monkeypox." I didn't think it would get this bad. Now I expect it will get worse.
After I wrote that, the Biden Administration declared monkeypox a public health emergency and 'Last Week Tonight' examined monkeypox. Since I alternated between serious and comedic looks at the diseasse, it was time for me to share a serious examination. SciShow gave me exactly that in Monkeypox Isn’t New, But There Are Many Ways It’s Different.

The current human monkeypox outbreak has left many feeling uneasy about the potential of another pandemic. Through public health messaging, destigmatization, and a longer history of research on the disease, we're diminishing that potential.
Early in the outbreak, my wife figured out that either the disease changed or people have changed, possibly because COVID-19 affected immune response. As SciShow pointed out, the virus did change and so did people, but because of younger people no longer being vaccinated against smallpox, not because of COVID-19. Still, that's enough to prove my wife right. Smart woman.

The next and maybe last January 6th Committee hearing is today, so stay tuned as I cover that tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

National Fossil Day from National Day Calendar, PBS Eons, and SciShow

Happy National Fossil Day! I begin with National Day Calendar's video about National Fossil Day.

And now the text description from National Day Calendar's website.
National Fossil Day promotes the scientific and educational value fossils present to us every day. Not only that, they’re just cool! The observance takes place annually on Wednesday of the second full week in October.
Visit a local museum, or do some research about fossils. Attend an event or sponsor one. While you’re out discovering the world of fossils, tell us about your favorites. Let us know by using #NationalFossilDay to post on social media.
On October 13, 2010, the first National Fossil Day launched across the country during Earth Science Week to celebrate the educational and scientific value fossils provide. The National Park Service and over 270 partners hosted events across the United States, allowing the public opportunities to learn more about the world’s fossil heritage. The partners include museums, institutions, organizations, and many other groups.

Each year the sponsors create a new National Fossil Day logo depicting a prehistoric organism. The logos promote National Fossil Day and provide educational opportunities to share more information about fossils. The original National Fossil Day logo was created in 2010 and featured a fossil mammal known as the titanothere.
I hadn't realized my former employer the National Park Service was one of the organizers of the day until I started doing the research for today's entry. It's always a good day when I learn something new.

Speaking of learning something new, I learned a lot, and not necessarily about paleontology, when I watched Fossil Feud: Eons vs SciShow!

You’ve heard of Family Feud… but how about Fossil Feud? Join us for a National Fossil Day livestream to watch the Eons team compete against some of our friends from SciShow! Gabriel-Philip Santos from the Alf Museum of Paleontology will be our host.

Kallie Moore, Blake de Pastino and Michelle Barboza-Ramirez will be up against SciShow's Sarah Suta, Stefan Chin, and Savannah Geary. Let’s see which team will be crowned the Champions of Deep Time!
My comment on this video was "Too bad Hank Green wasn't here. He could have played for either team!"

I could continue observing holidays with U.S. Navy's birthday tomorrow, but I think I'll return to current events. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

National Coming Out Day and Emmy Awards for 'RuPaul's Drag Race,' 'Queer Eye,' 'We're Here,' and 'Legendary'

Happy National Coming Out Day! I telegraphed today's topic at the end of Lizzo made headlines and history playing James Madison's crystal flute after winning an Emmy, when I told my readers "By the way, don't feel too sorry for 'Queer Eye' and 'RuPaul's Drag Race.' Both took home Emmys, which I will probably cover on National Coming Out Day. Stay tuned." But first, I'm sharing Bustle's Coming Out with Queer Eye's Fab Five.

"We weren't any different than anybody else." To celebrate Pride Month, Bustle sat down with the Fab Five from Netflix's Queer Eye to hear their coming out stories. Try not to tear up while watching Jonathan, Karamo, Tan, Bobby and Antoni share their stories.
That was as moving as advertised.

Follow over the jump as I revisit my predictions for the categories "Queer Eye" "RuPaul's Drag Race" won that I covered in 'Queer Eye' leads structured reality programs with six nominations at the 2022 Emmy Awards.

Monday, October 10, 2022

VOA explains Indigenous Peoples' Day plus Canadian Thanksgiving and Leif Erikson Day

Happy Indigenous People's Day, Canadian Thanksgiving, and a late Leif Erikson Day! I begin today's celebration of multiple holidays with Voice of America's Understanding Indigenous Peoples' Day.

That's a good explanation of both the history and the ideology behind the observation, which is still not a federal holiday in the same way Columbus Day is. Let's see how long that lasts.

For an explanation of another holiday's history with a lighter tone, I'm turning to Squirreled History asking and answering What Is Canadian Thanksgiving?

Today we're looking at Canadian Thanksgiving, how did it start, how is it celebrated and how is if different from its American counterpart, that's what we're here to talk about.
I might just return to Squirreled History for Wester, which I plan on celebrating this coming Sunday.

I close with National Day Calendar's National Leif Erickson Day | October 9.

National Leif Erickson Day honors the Icelandic-born explorer, Leif Erikson. The Norse explorer earns credit for bringing the first Europeans known to have set foot in North America. Leif Erikson left the European continent in 999 and landed in North America around the year 1,000.


Tour a Norwegian heritage museum. Learn about Norse heritage, their exploration, and more. Dive into the story of this exploration in books, too. We suggest Who was Leif Erikson by Nico Medina or Before Columbus: The Leif Eriksson Expedition by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel. Share your Norse heritage.
Hinga, dinga, durgen!

Stay tuned for National Coming Out Day tomorrow.

Sunday, October 9, 2022

'SNL' shows the week's headlines are enough to make you snap

Happy Sunday! It's time to looke at the highlights from last night's "Saturday Night Live" beginning with Weekend Update: Dr. Oz Experiments Killed 300 Dogs, Planned Parenthood Opens Mobile Clinic.

Weekend Update anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che tackle the week's biggest news, like President Biden pardoning thousands with marijuana convictions.
With that, I've taken comedic looks at both PBS NewsHour explains 'How Pennsylvania's midterm races impact the future of politics' and Biden announces pardons for federal marijuana possession. I already used comedy in Trevor Noah asks 'Who Is Herschel Walker?' — but the story deserves a second laugh.

Next, the part of the report that justifies my using this as the Sunday entertainment update, Weekend Update: Velma Comes Out as a Lesbian, Artist Sells Urine for $500.

Weekend Update anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che tackle the week's biggest news, like Hefty coming out with pumpkin spice scented trash bags.
Hey, National Vodka Day and National Coffee with a Cop Day! I bet someone in the SNL writing room likes National Day Calendar!

All those headlines and more are enough to get people to snap, so I'm skipping back to So You Think You Won't Snap Cold Open.

Game show contestants (Kenan Thompson, Heidi Gardner, Chloe Fineman, Devon Walker) compete to see who can keep their cool the longest.
I think Heidi Gardner's character lasted the longest. What do you think?

Enough of laughing at the week's headlines because it hurts too much to cry. Stay tuned for Columbus Day, Canadian Thanksgiving, Indigenous People's Day, and National Coming Out Day. More holidays!

Saturday, October 8, 2022

2022 EMA Awards nominees

I closed The 2021 EMA Awards for World Environment Day 2022 with "I promise not to be so tardy recognizing the 2022 nominees and winners." Since the award ceremony is tonight, I need to write about the nominees today before that part of my promise turns into a pumpkin. Here are the nominees being recognized as the best in environmental storytelling in movies, television, and streaming media.

I'm glad to see two science fiction movies nominated in this category, "Don't Look Up" and "Jurassic World: Dominion." I also think these are better choices than last year's nominees. "Don't Look Up" got snubbed at the Saturn Awards while "Jurassic World: Dominion" earned two nominations, but I think "Don't Look Up" will win tonight.

On the other hand, I had not heard of any of the Documentary Film nominees before. "Eating Our Way to Extinction" has the kind of star power that might sway the EMA voters. "Fin" has a more focused subject. I like the subjects of "Youth Unstoppable," but IMDB has a 2018 date for it, so what's it doing being nominated this year? Speaking of IMDB, I can't find an entry there for "Burning." I think it's a good field, but other than all the celebrities involved with "Eating Our Way to Extinction" and the two festival awards for "Youth Unstoppable," I have no good way to handicap their prospects. Any of them could win tonight.

Follow over the jump for the television nominees.

Friday, October 7, 2022

Biden announces pardons for federal marijuana possession

I called marijuana legalization "an opening for Democrats" and closed the entry with "Here's to the Democrats taking advantage of this issue." Yesterday, President Biden did, as WUSA9 reported Biden announces pardon for all prior federal offenses for the simple possession of marijuana.

President Joe Biden announced several key marijuana reforms on Thursday, Oct. 6, fulfilling a promise he made on the campaign trail.
PBS NewsHour had more news and analysis in Biden pardons thousands convicted on federal marijuana charges.

President Biden pardoned thousands of Americans convicted on federal charges of simple possession of marijuana and encouraged governors to do the same. The president also directed his administration to review how marijuana is classified as a drug under federal law. Law professor and former federal prosecutor Mark Osler joined Laura Barrón-López to discuss the announcement.
Wow! That's even more bold than forgiving (some) student loan debt, which, along with lower gas prices, has contributed to Biden's higher approval ratings. It's also more than I expected from this Administration. I'm glad to be pleasantly surprised.

I plan on returning to entertainment tomorrow with the EMA Awards nominees. Stay tuned.

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Trevor Noah asks 'Who Is Herschel Walker?'

I wrote about Dr. Oz's latest scandal in PBS NewsHour explains 'How Pennsylvania’s midterm races impact the future of politics'. Now it's time to examine the even bigger news about a U.S. Senate contest as "The Daily Show with Trevor Noah" asks Who Is Herschel Walker?

Meet Herschel Walker: COVID conspiracy theorist, storyteller, and pro-life Republican.
I'd forgotten about Walker playing for the New Jersey Generals when Trump owned them, so the two do go way back. However, like Trump Vodka and Trump University, the New Jersey Generals folded along with the old USFL. Welcome to Everything Trump Touches Dies. Good thing he has nothing to do with the current incarnations of either the USFL or the New Jersey Generals. Those might live.

Trevor's point that politicians who complain about actions they claim to be morally questionable often turn out to be doing themselves reminds me of my favorite link to tweet, Projection is the Right's favorite defense mechanism. That has proven to be even more true during the past decade. Too bad their own hypocrisy doesn't seem to bother them or their voters. The flip side of that is that many times when they complain of liberal hypocrisy, they're not seeing an inconsistency between what liberals espouse and what they do, but what they think liberal ideals are. They expose that they don't really understand liberal principles at all. That deserves a good example, but that's a subject for another time.

What's not a subject for another time is why this contest matters. Watch FiveThirtyEight explain how Georgia Is The Key To Control Of The Senate.

In the Senate, tipping-point states are the states most likely to give the winning party control of the chamber. According to the Deluxe version of the FiveThirtyEight Senate forecast, the four likeliest tipping-point states in this year's midterms are Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Galen Druke uses the interactive model to go through the possible scenarios in each state.
Wow! Winning Georgia certainly makes a difference in both parties' odds of controlling the Senate! Despite Walker's issues, this contest is no laughing matter.

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Vox explains why Americans want the spotted lanternfly dead

I admitted "I couldn't resist a Bowen Yang segment about an invasive species." in 'SNL' returns after winning an Emmy Award. I can't resist a Vox video about an invasive species, either. Watch as Vox explains Why Americans want these insects dead.

Can we actually kill all the spotted lanternflies?
Over the summer, for the first time in what feels like a while, Americans united under a single cause: to murder an invasive bug.

Okay, that’s a bit dramatic, but the situation itself was a bit dramatic. Social media was flooded with people in New York City, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey striking down spotted lanternflies in the most creative ways. Videos of the plant-sucking bugs that are native to parts of Asia showed them overtaking trees. Reports from Pennsylvania said they were capable of wiping out vineyards. Researchers warned they also threaten fruit trees and the hardwoods like black walnut. The public went on high alert. The messaging was clear: Stop this bug before it decimates the fruit and timber industries and costs the US tons of money.

People struck them down all summer long, and now that it’s fall … well, they’re still here. And they’ve spread.

Is it futile? That depends. If you set out with your flyswatters and sticky traps thinking we could wipe out every lanternfly, then you were a bit misguided. But just because we can’t stop them entirely doesn’t mean we should quit.

Kristie Reddick, an entomologist and director of The Bug Chicks, put it best: “People cleaning trash out of creeks aren't going to be like, ‘Oh, I picked up, like, three bags of trash and there's still more trash. I guess there's just trash now.’” Spotted lanternflies are the trash in this metaphor.

Check out the video above to find out more about spotted lanternflies and the part humans have played in spreading them around the US.
I lecture about invasive species in two of my classes, environmental science and organismal biology, and I think this video would fit right in. So would this image from the USDA.

Welcome to blogging as professional development.

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

PBS NewsHour explains 'How Pennsylvania’s midterm races impact the future of politics'

I'm taking a break from Emmy Awards winners to cover this year's elections, beginning with PBS NewsHour explaining How Pennsylvania’s midterm races impact the future of politics.

With just over five weeks left until the midterm elections, we look at Pennsylvania and two high-profile races expected to have a significant impact on both the state and country's political futures. Jonathan Tamari, national political reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, and Candy Woodall, Congress and campaigns reporter for USA Today, join Geoff Bennett to dig into the dynamics of both races.
In addition to portraying the Keystone State's contests for Governor and U.S. Senate as mirror images of each other in terms of primary vs. general election dynamics within the Democratic and Republican parties, resulting in a widening margin for Josh Shapiro over Doug Mastriano but a tightening margin between John Fetterman and Mehmet Oz, this segment pointed out the effect of outside spending. Another segment on last night's PBS NewsHour brought up outside spending as well and placed the Pennsylvania Senate contest in a national context. Watch Tamara Keith and Amy Walter on candidates and their midterm messages ahead of election.

NPR’s Tamara Keith and Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report with Amy Walter join Laura Barrón-López to discuss the latest political news, including the politics of hurricane relief aid and lawmakers launching their final midterm messages ahead of election.
I am not the least bit surprised that the Democrats are running on protecting reproductive rights while Republicans are running on crime and immigration. Those are all classic issues for their respective parties and ones the parties consider winners. I am a bit surprised that the Republicans are running on education, which I consider to be a Democratic issue, although the GOP appears to be using it as a way to reinforce morality and social order, not improving students' academic achievement. That doesn't surprise me at all.

BTW, PBS NewsHour ignored a scandal involving animals in research that Jezebel covered when it reported Dr. Oz’s Scientific Experiments Killed Over 300 Dogs, Entire Litter of Puppies: "Columbia's internal investigation found that Oz's research team inflicted extensive suffering on canine test subjects in violation of the Animal Welfare Act." I wish I could say I was surprised, but I am merely appalled. Let's see if Pennsylvania voters are, too. Stay tuned.

Monday, October 3, 2022

'The First Wave' wins three News & Documentary Emmy Awards

While I told my readers to "Stay tuned as I have more Emmy Awards coverage coming up," I didn't say which Emmy Awards I'd be covering, so I feel O.K. covering the News & Documentary Emmy Awards winners today, better than how I feel physically because I'm stuck at home with COVID-19. So far, it feels like a really nasty cold, but that's probably because my wife and I are vaxxed and boosted. If we hadn't done that, we'd likely be in much worse shape. Also, my wife and I got Paxlovid today. Here's to that helping us recover.

Because my wife and I are both at home recuperating, I've decided to blog about The First Wave, which earned seven nominations at the News & Documentary Emmy Awards, and took home three statuettes for Best Documentary, Outstanding Editing: Documentary, and Outstanding Cinematography: Documentary, tying it with "The Rescue" for most honored documentary at last week's ceremony. Watch The First Wave - Trailer | National Geographic.

With exclusive access inside one of New York’s hardest hit hospital systems during the terrifying first four months of the pandemic, Oscar®-nominated and Emmy® Award-winning director Matthew Heineman’s THE FIRST WAVE spotlights the everyday heroes at the epicenter of COVID-19 as they come together to fight one of the greatest threats the world has ever encountered.
Wow, powerful! I can see why it won.

For more, watch The First Wave: The Human Face of Covid-19 | Interview with Matthew Heineman from friend of the blog Factual America Podcast.

The National Geographic documentary "The First Wave" captures the first months of the Covid-19 pandemic as it played out in one of New York City’s hardest-hit hospital systems...

The National Geographic documentary The First Wave captures the harrowing first four months of the Covid-19 pandemic as it played out in one of New York City’s hardest-hit hospital systems.

Joining us is Matthew Heineman, an Academy Award-nominated and Emmy-winning filmmaker who directed and produced this film. The incredible footage he obtained and shaped into The First Wave represents a testimony to the strength of the human spirit and how people come together in the face of crisis.

He shares how he gained access to the hospital at the beginning of the crisis, the heroes he filmed, and the inevitable emotional toll the production had on him and his crew.

“I saw an obligation to take this issue that was so relegated to stats, headlines, and misinformation, and try to put a human face to it.” - Matthew Heineman
Again, powerful. Congratulations to Matthew Heineman and his fellow producers, cinematographers, and editors!

Another News & Documentary Emmy Award winner covered the pandemic as well, the PBS FRONTLINE episode "Yemen's COVID Cover-Up," which won Outstanding Investigative News Coverage: Long Form. The entire episode is on YouTube. Watch Yemen's COVID Cover-Up (full documentary) | FRONTLINE.

Correspondent Nawal al-Maghafi reports from inside Yemen on how the coronavirus pandemic is worsening what the UN has called the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.

This journalism is made possible by viewers like you. Support your local PBS station here:

Following six years of war between the Houthis, a rebel group backed by Iran, and a Saudi-led coalition, an estimated 2 million children in Yemen are suffering from starvation, and 3.5 million people have been internally displaced. In “Yemen’s COVID Cover-Up,” the Yemen-born al-Maghafi returns to her home country to investigate how COVID-19 has impacted these compounding crises.

She finds evidence of a far higher death toll than Houthi authorities in the country’s north are admitting, and reveals that the Houthi suspension of doctors' salaries, international aid cuts and the Saudi blockade have had a dire impact on Yemeni doctors’ ability to treat COVID patients.
“Lack of oxygen caused most of the deaths,” one doctor tells her.

As President Biden commits to ending U.S. support for Saudi offensives in Yemen, this documentary is a powerful look at the situation on the ground.
And I thought the U.S. had political problems with the pandemic! At least we don't have a civil war to make it worse.

Stay tuned for more Emmy Awards coverage.

Previous entries in this series