Sunday, December 31, 2023

Taylor Swift is most searched for New Year's Eve and second Norther 2023

Happy New Year's Eve and a blue Norther to my readers! I'm celebrating with the final retrospective of 2023, the year in Google search, a revival of a tradition I skipped last year. I begin with The Most Searched: Taylor Swift.

Spanning eras and genres, her music is the soundtrack to our lives. She's won over the charts. She's written her way into our hearts — and history — time and time again. And unsurprisingly, people search for her (her lyrics, her albums, her tour dates, and more) with the same staggering frequency with which she sets records. Here's to the Most Searched Songwriter of all-time, Taylor Swift.
Not only is Taylor Swift Time's 2023 Person of the Year, she's the most searched. That alone makes this a proper Sunday entertainment feature. Just to cement that status, I'm returning to the promise I made in Trevor Noah, Wanda Sykes, and Chris Rock, comedians nominated at the Golden Globes, Grammys, and Emmys, to get to Cinematic and Box Office Achievement in a future post. Swift's concert film earned a nomination in that category, so here are the nominees.
Cinematic and Box Office Achievement
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
John Wick: Chapter 4
Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour
The Super Mario Bros. Movie
Congratulations to Swift and her fans for catapulting her concert film into the top ten at the 2023 box office and into this category! It's also the only nominee I didn't cover in my Saturn Awards series. As Infidel753 remarked in Link round-up for 24 December 2023 today, "Here are the Saturn Awards nominees for 2023. This time I've actually heard of some of them." That's because the top eight grossing films of 2023 are all Saturn Awards nominees. Everyone has heard of them. Revenge of the nerds!*

Swift may be in for more honors, as two of the ten Gold Derby editors think Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour will win this category; the rest picked Barbie. Normally, I'd say this new category is a lock for Barbie, but the two editors choosing Swift's film are Joyce Eng and Christopher Rosen, my two favorite Gold Derby experts, so I'm taking the possibility seriously.

Follow over the jump for the rest of this year's top search results, a bonus 25 years of search, and dancing lemmings for Norther.

Saturday, December 30, 2023

2023 in review from Vox, Time, and ABC News

It's time for the first of two final retrospectives of 2023, this year's version of Vox, Time, and WatchMojo look back at 2022 with ABC News replacing WatchMojo. I begin with the most viewed, Vox replaying 2023, in 7 minutes.

The year’s already over? Let’s look back.
2023 was dominated by a few big stories: climate change making everything hotter; the Israel-Hamas war; blockbuster movies and concert tours. And during all the massive global shifts, celebrations, and devastation — life happened. Watch this video to remember the major events from this turbulent year.
I may have decided not to write an entertainment retrospective this year, but Vox had that covered in this video.

Vox gave short shrift to Trump's legal troubles, but Time's 2023: A Year In Review, the second most viewed of the three videos I'm sharing, gave it more attention.

Here's a look back on the most impactful events of 2023.
I close with 2023: A year in review by ABC News, which made the official end to the pandemic the focus of its opening.

From the ongoing war in Ukraine to the Israel-Gaza conflict, the world experienced many significant events in 2023.

The devastating wildfires in Hawaii, the missing Titan submersible, the coronation of King Charles III, the House GOP speakership — and much more in U.S. politics — here's a look back at some of the top stories of the year.
As soon as I heard Rosalynn Carter's eulogy, I knew that's where I wanted to end this post.

Stay tuned for a New Year's Eve retrospective followed by next year's versions of My favorite bands in the Rose Parade for New Year's Day and the reveal of my Saturn Awards votes on National Science Fiction Day to begin 2024.

Friday, December 29, 2023

DC vs. Marvel on television and home entertainment at the Saturn Awards

I concluded Horror, Fantasy, and Action/Adventure/Thriller TV nominees at the 51st Saturn Awards by telegraphing today's post.
I plan on finishing this series tomorrow with the superhero TV series, television presentations, and home entertainment. I don't know if I'll post a retrospective of 2023 first. Stay tuned to find out.
As my readers can tell, I'm skipping the retrospective today because posting two entries a day is wearing me out, even when I'm not working, and because the topic would have been the year in entertainment and I've been blogging about a year in TV and movies, even if it's not all of 2023, all week, making 'Barbie' vs. 'Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny' for Best Fantasy Film at the Saturn Awards the Sunday entertainment feature. I love my entertainment, but I don't need to do it twice in one day!

Enough of that. Today's post examines two categories that didn't exist at last year's Saturn Awards, superhero television series and television presentations (movies and limited series), and I'm relieved that they returned. That happened because the Saturn Awards abandoned last year's split between network and cable television and streaming video and resumed what they did two years ago, considering linear TV and streaming as one thing, which nearly all other awards shows do. That division between linear TV and streaming eliminated superhero television series as a category, parceling out the superhero shows to science fiction, fantasy, and action/thriller series categories, and only recognized limited series while ignoring television movies entirely. Considering how strong television movies were last season, it's a good thing the Saturn Awards are including television movies in the current categories. I hope they continue doing that, but, as I've written before, "I never know with them, and I'm one of their voters!"

On to the superhero television nominees from Deadline!
Best Superhero Television Series

Doom Patrol (HBO/Max)
The Flash (Warner Bros. Television)
The Sandman (Netflix)
Secret Invasion (Marvel/Disney+)
She-Hulk: Attorney-At-Law (Marvel/Disney+)
Stargirl (Warner Bros. Television)
Superman & Lois (Warner Bros. Television)
Even more so than 'Star Trek' vs. 'Star Wars' at the 51st Saturn Awards, this category is a battle between two franchises, DC and Marvel. Five DC shows with eight nominations among them are contending with two Marvel shows with three nominations among them. Adding in the superhero nominees for Best Television Presentation, Best Television Home Media Release, and Best Animated Television Series or Special yields seven DC shows with ten total nominations and four Marvel shows with six total nominations. At least Amazon didn't stream episodes of The Boys during the eligibility period. That would have messed things up!

The most nominated superhero series is Superman & Lois with three nominations, including Tyler Hoechlin for Best Actor in a Television Series and Elizabeth Tulloch for Best Actress in a Television Series. She-Hulk: Attorney-At-Law and Stargirl tie for second with two nominations each, Tatiana Maslany for Best Actress in a Television Series and Brec Bassinger for Best Younger Performer in a Television Series. The rest have only this one nomination. Superman & Lois is the favorite, not only because it leads in nominations but also because won Best Science Fiction Television Series: Network/Cable last year. I'm pretty sure it will win, but I'm not voting for it. I may historically be a DC fan, but that's because of Batman, not Superman. I've also become a Marvel fan thanks to the Disney+ shows and movies, so I'm going to vote for She-Hulk: Attorney-At-Law. On that note, I'm sharing Gold Derby's interview of Tatiana Maslany ('She-Hulk: Attorney at Law'): 'Ireverent of any expectations of what superhero is'.

Tatiana Maslany ('She-Hulk: Attorney at Law'): This show is 'so irreverent of any expectations of what a superhero is.' Her character becomes a 6-foot-7-inch green superhuman after being accidentally cross-contaminated with her cousin Bruce Banner's blood. Gold Derby editor Rob Licuria hosts this webchat.
After watching that, I'm changing my vote for Best Actress in a Television Series from Caitriona Balfe to Tatiana Maslany, who I think is the professional choice.

Best Television Presentation

Black Mirror (Netflix)
Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities (Netflix)
Hocus Pocus 2 (Disney+)
Marvel’s Werewolf by Night (Marvel/Disney+)
The Midnight Club (Netflix)
Mrs. Davis (Peacock)
The Munsters (Universal 1440 Entertainment)
Marvel’s Werewolf by Night ties with The Midnight Club for the most nominated in this category with the former's Gael Garcia Bernal earning a nomination for Best Guest Star in a Television Series and and the latter's Igby Rigney for Best Younger Performer in a Television Series. The rest have only this one nomination. The professional choices are Black Mirror and Hocus Pocus 2, both of which have Emmy nominations. Between the two of them, I'm voting for Black Mirror.

I couldn't find any recent interviews of the creatives behind Black Mirror on Gold Derby's YouTube channel, but I did find an interview of Betty Gilpin on ‘Mrs. Davis’: ‘It was my favorite experience I’ve ever had’, who not only serves as a representative of Mrs. Davis, but also mentions Black Mirror.

Betty Gilpin on ‘Mrs. Davis’: ‘It was my favorite experience I’ve ever had.’ The three-time Emmy Award nominee explains why the Peacock series was her most fulfilling project yet. Gold Derby editor Christopher Rosen hosts this webchat.
Now I want to watch this series!

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Horror, Fantasy, and Action/Adventure/Thriller TV nominees at the 51st Saturn Awards

I begin today's installment of my Saturn Awards series, as I have most previous ones, by quoting Deadline: "HBO/Max’s The Last of Us had five...including acting noms for stars...Pedro Pascal" and Bella Ramsey. It's the leading horror TV series nominee. I'm also examining the nominees for Fantasy and Action/Adventure/Thriller TV Series, as the leading shows in both genres, Wednesday, House of the Dragon, and Outlander, have four nominations each. This is at least the second time I've combined my examinations of Outlander, fantasy, and horror nominees, as I did so in 'Outlander,' 'The Walking Dead,' and other fantasy, horror, and science fiction nominees at the Saturn Awards two years ago. Precedent!

Follow over the jump for the nominees in these genres plus one acting category I didn't cover yesterday.

2023 in space from NASA, ESA, Reuters, and PBS NewsHour

I decided to write this year's version of the year in space with inspiration from 2021 in space from NASA, ESA, and Reuters. First, NASA 2023: Nothing is Beyond Our Reach.

NASA’s mission is to explore the unknown in air and space, innovate for the benefit of humanity, and inspire the world through discovery. NASA showed the world that anything is possible in 2023.
That was fun and inspiring, but not as informative as the usual This Year @NASA video. I'm turning to the European Space Agency's 2023: ESA’s year in space for something comparable to what I was hoping for from NASA.

2023’s highlight was the highly anticipated launch of Juice, Europe’s Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer. The Juice spacecraft was placed on course to Jupiter on the second-to-last Ariane 5 launch vehicle in April. After an eight-year journey, Juice will begin observing the giant gas planet and its three large ocean-bearing moons – Ganymede, Calisto and Europa.
I learned a lot from that video and, as I'm fond of writing, it's always a good day when I learn something new.

Space agencies and companies outside of NASA and ESA made space news as well, which Reuters reported in 2023 Year in Review: Space highlights | Reuters.

India's Chandrayaan-3 moon mission, SpaceX's Starship launches, and more. A look at some major events in the field of space exploration in 2023.
SpaceX's Starship launches were certainly spectacular, but I don't know if I'd call them successes.

I close with WATCH: Miles O’Brien explains the major space discoveries of 2023 from PBS NewsHour.

This year brought incredible discoveries as humanity ventured further into space than ever before.

PBS NewsHour science correspondent Miles O’Brien joins digital video producer Casey Kuhn to talk about those discoveries including the "hum of the universe," the James Webb Space Telescope, and the OSIRIS-REx mission to the asteroid Bennu.
Miles O’Brien managed to connect space news to science, tying this entry to Weight loss drugs Science Magazine's Breakthrough of the Year for 2023. Good. I like connections.

I plan on posting another retrospective of 2023 after examining the horror TV nominees at the Saturn Awards. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

'Star Trek' vs. 'Star Wars' at the 51st Saturn Awards

As I promised twice, it's time for this year's version of 'Star Trek' vs. 'Star Wars' at the Saturn Awards as I begin examining the television nominees in earnest. I begin with the relevant paragraph from Deadline.
In the TV categories, the final season of Paramount+’s Star Trek: Picard leads all nominees with seven, while universe mate Star Trek: Strange New Worlds had six. Lucasfilm/Disney’s Andor and HBO/Max’s The Last of Us had five apiece including acting noms for stars Diego Luna and Pedro Pascal, respectively.
In addition, Star Trek: Lower Decks and Star Trek: The Motion Picture earned a nomination each for the total of 15 in the preview image above, which should really read "'Star Trek' Franchise Picks Up 15 Saturn Awards Nominations." Also, The Mandalorian earned three nominations and Star Wars: The Bad Batch earned another for a total of nine for the franchise. This is a muted mirror image of the Emmy Awards, where Star Trek: Picard earned two Emmy nominations for the entire Star Trek franchise, while the Star Wars franchise earned 23 Emmy nominations, nine for The Mandalorian, eight for Andor, and five for Obi-Wan. Even after throwing out Obi-Wan, which the Saturn Awards recognized at their 50th ceremony, it's still seventeen to two. Talk about a contrast between the two academies! This exemplifies the difference between fan and entertainment professional opinion that I summarize as "entertainment over art, not into subtle, and sticking it to the experts."

Follow over the jump for the nominees, my opinions of them, and my likely votes.

2023 is the hottest year on record and other climate and weather stories

Change of plans. Instead of this year's version of the year in space today, I'm doing this year's version of 2022 in climate and weather from NBC News, DW News, and ABC News. NASA hasn't uploaded this year at NASA yet. I think they'll do it Friday, so I'm holding off until then. On the other hand, there are lots of year in climate videos available. I'm beginning with Joe Hanson of PBS Digital's Be Smart saying I Don’t Know How to Feel About 2023.

2023 was a wild year with everything from scorching temperatures to massive wildfires. Even with more renewable energy than ever, 2023’s climate data still seems really bad. So how should we think about climate change today? And what can we do about it? Learn what climate scientists think about 2023’s climate milestones, what the models tell us about the future of Earth’s climate, and how we can tackle climate doomerism.
That's a good overview of the situation with great guests, Katharine Hayhoe and Michael Mann, to explain the problem and give us hope, especially the progress in electric vehicles and renewable energy. As a Crazy Eddie, I approve.

Follow over the jump for summaries of the year in extreme weather related to climate change.

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

'Renfield,' 'John Wick 4,' 'Jules,' and 'Pearl' lead horror, action, and independent films at the Saturn Awards

I told my readers to "stay tuned for the final movie installment of my Saturn Award nominations series" this morning, so I'm covering the four final movie categories, horror, action/adventure, independent, and international films. Follow over the jump for the nominees in those categories plus a bonus home entertainment category from Deadline followed by some music.

Weight loss drugs Science Magazine's Breakthrough of the Year for 2023

When I told my readers to "Stay tuned for this year's version of the top science story," I had no idea what it would be. Imagine my surprise to find out Science Magazine declared it was How these weight loss drugs offer benefits beyond the scale. Yes, Ozempic. Surprise!

Weight loss medications like Ozempic and Wegovy are examples of GLP-1 receptor agonist drugs. By mimicking a hormone produced in the body, this class of drugs has proven to be an effective way to treat diabetes and, more recently, obesity. This year, clinical trials revealed their beneficial effects on other chronic conditions that can be associated with obesity like heart failure and kidney disease. Despite their widespread and growing use, GLP-1 receptor agonist drugs were by no means an overnight success – decades of developments, unexpected discoveries, and some notable failures all paved the way to the 2023 Breakthrough of the Year.
On the one hand, I'm slightly disappointed. Wasn't there something more impressive among the runners-up? On the other, this is a scientific breakthrough that is improving the health of millions of people, possibly including me.* That is probably enough to justify its designation as Breakthrough of the Year.

Speaking of the runners-up, Science Magazine named nine of them for a top ten list of 2023's science breakthroughs:
  • Earth’s carbon pump is slowing
  • Hunt for natural hydrogen heats up
  • The AI weather forecaster arrives
  • New hope against malaria
  • At last, modest headway against Alzheimer’s
  • Early peopling of the Americas steps closer to acceptance
  • The din of giant black hole mergers overheard
  • Early-career scientists rise up
  • The dawn of exascale computing
Science also listed four breakdowns of 2023.
  • U.S. Antarctic meltdown
  • COVID-19 aftershocks
  • Superconductor claims hit resistance
  • Research on Twitter goes down the drain
Grouping the stories by area, that's four health stories, three business of science stories, two climate and weather stories, one energy story, one astronomy story, one physics story, one archeology story, and one technology story. I guess 2023 was a good year for health breakthroughs but not a great year for the business of science. I can accept that.

I plan on continuing the retrospectives covering the year about to end until New Year's Eve with this year's version of the year in space tomorrow. In the meantime, stay tuned for the final movie installment of my Saturn Award nominations series.

*I've been proscribed Ozempic and have completed my free sample. Now I have to convince my insurance company to cover it to continue. Wish me luck!

Monday, December 25, 2023

'Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3' leads Best Superhero Film nominees at the Saturn Awards

Merry Christmas! It's bonus post time! I'm continuing my Saturn Awards series with the nominees for Superhero Film, Best Animated Film, and Best Animated Television Series or Special from Deadline.

Best Superhero Film

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (Marvel/Walt Disney Studios)
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Marvel/Walt Disney Studios)
Blue Beetle (DC/Warner Bros. Pictures)
The Flash (DC/Warner Bros. Pictures)
Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3 (Marvel/Walt Disney Studios)
Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3 leads this category with seven nominations, followed by Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Blue Beetle, and The Flash with two each and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania with just this one. Based on its lead in nominations and it having been the only nominee my wife and I have watched (and enjoyed!), I'm currently planning on voting for Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3. The only other nominees I could foresee voting for would be Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and The Flash, the former because it has an Oscar and the latter because I am more of a DC than Marvel fan who enjoyed the Batman scenes featured in the trailers, but I don't think it stands a chance at these awards. Besides, Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3 has a Golden Globe nomination for Cinematic and Box Office Achievement, a Critics Choice Awards nomination for Best Visual Effects, and is on the Oscar shortlist for Visual Effects. That makes it enough of a professional choice for me.

Best Animated Film
Elemental (Pixar/Walt Disney Studios)
Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (Dreamworks/Universal)
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Sony Pictures/Marvel)
The Super Mario Bros. Movie (Universal Pictures)
Suzume (Crunchyroll)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (Paramount Pictures)
Two of these nominees are also comic-book superhero films Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, which is why I'm covering this category today. One of them also leads the field in nominations, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse with two. All the rest have only this one nomination. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse also leads the nominations at the Critics Choice awards and Golden Globes with three, while Elemental and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem are only nominated for Animated Film at the Critics Choice Awards and The Super Mario Bros. Movie and Suzume joining Elemental and Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse at the Golden Globes. That makes Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse the clear professional choice. Gold Derby's editors cement it as the leader, with seven of eight picking it to win the Critics Choice Award and eight of ten choosing it to win the Golden Globe. The dissenting editor in both groups is Gold Derby's animation expert, Charles Bright, who thinks The Boy and the Heron will win instead. Fortunately, The Boy and the Heron is not nominated at this year's Saturn Awards, so I don't have to worry about it now. Like Poor Things, I expect to see it among next year's nominees and I have it as my likely vote then. This year, I'm voting for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.

Speaking of Bright, he led interviews of animators for Gold Derby. I'm embedding three of them, beginning with Kemp Powers ('Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse' director): Movie was approached as a standalone.

Kemp Powers ('Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse' director) on how the movie was approached as a standalone film. It is the follow-up to 2018’s “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” which won that year’s Oscar for Best Animated Feature. Gold Derby editor Charles Bright hosts this special 'Meet the Experts' panel with film animation contenders.
Next, Aaron Horvath (The Super Mario Bros. Movie director): 'Cinematic expression of gameplay experience'.

Aaron Horvath ('The Super Mario Bros. Movie' director) on making 'a cinematic expression of a gameplay experience.' For this animated blockbuster film, Mario and Luigi are two Brooklyn-based plumbers/brothers who end up in the Mushroom Kingdom. Gold Derby editor Charles Bright hosts this special 'Meet the Experts' panel with film animation contenders.
While I'm not doing it, I wouldn't be surprised if the Saturn Awards voters picked The Super Mario Bros. Movie as the popular choice.

I conclude with 'Puss in Boots: The Last Wish' director Joel Crawford on a sequel over a decade after the first one.

'Puss in Boots: The Last Wish' director Joel Crawford on doing a sequel over a decade after the first one. For the DreamWorks film, Puss (Antonio Banderas) seeks out a mystical wish in order to restore his previous lives. This segment is part of the Gold Derby 'Meet the Experts' animation panel hosted by contributing editor Charles Bright.
Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is a holdover from 2022 and lost to my choice in the next category for Best Animated Feature at the Oscars.

Best Animated Television Series or Special
Chainsaw Man (Crunchyroll)
Gremlins: Secrets of Mogwai (HBO/Max)
Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (Netflix)
Harley Quinn (HBO/Max)
My Adventures with Superman (Cartoon Network/Adult Swim)
Star Trek: Lower Decks (Paramount+)
Star Wars: The Bad Batch (Lucasfilm/Disney+)
Speaking of animated features, last year's Oscar winner for Animated Feature, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, is among the nominees for Best Animated Television Series or Special. I think it's a ringer, but it's not any worse than Prey being nominated for Best Science Fiction Film. Given the competition, it's also the best choice, so I'm voting for it.

Bright returns as the interviewer in 'Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio' co-director Mark Gustafson on how the film persevered through COVID.

'Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio' co-director Mark Gustafson reveals how the film persevered through COVID. The film will be available December 9 on Netflix and is an adaptation of the classic tale of a father’s wish bringing a wooden boy to life. This segment is part of the Gold Derby 'Meet the Experts' animation panel hosted by contributing editor Charles Bright.
I might return to this category when I examine this year's version of 'Star Trek' vs. 'Star Wars' in streaming science fiction at the 2022 Saturn Awards even though I won't change my mind.

Follow over the jump for the individual nominations, both in front of and behind the camera, from 'Avatar: The Way of Water' leads Saturn Awards with 12 nominations and 'Oppenheimer' leads thriller films at the Saturn Awards with 11 nominations.

Broken Peach sings 'Sleigh Ride' and 'Jingle Bells' for Christmas

Merry Christmas with songs from Broken Peach! Yes, I've been doing this long enough that every word links to a different Broken Peach post, all the way back to 2017! I begin with this year's holiday selection, Broken Peach - Sleigh Ride (Christmas Special).

"Sleigh Ride" is a light orchestra standard composed by Leroy Anderson. The composer had formed the original idea for the piece during a heat wave in July 1946, and he finished the work in February 1948. Its first performance was by the Boston Pops, Arthur Fiedler conducting, on June 7, 1948. The Ronettes recorded a cover of "Sleigh Ride" in 1963 for Phil Spector's A Christmas Gift for You, which was commercially successful in the United States and featured in various media. The song has since been associated with the Christmas and holiday season.
Like last year's video, this is a new addition to the band's Christmas repertoire. Maybe next year, we'll get "Silent Night," like the band teased last year.

Speaking of 2017, here is the latest upload of that year's Christmas special, which I featured in the first post in the series, Broken Peach - Jingle Bells (Official Audio).

"Jingle Bells" is one of the best-known and most commonly sung American songs in the world. It was written in 1850 by James Lord Pierpont (1822–1893) at Simpson Tavern in Medford, Massachusetts. It was published under the title "The One Horse Open Sleigh" in September 1857.
Just as fun as it was in 2017!

I have been neglecting one of my holiday traditions this year, including a drink recipe video. To make up for it, I'm sharing Sleigh Ride Cocktail from Monaco Vodka and Cocktails.

1. One loose handful of mint
2. One egg white
3. One oz honey simple syrup
4. 1/2 oz cranberry juice
5. 1/4 oz lime juice
6. 1.5 oz Monaco Vodka
7. 1 Dash Aromatic Bitters
8. 1 Dash Orange Bitters
9. Shake for 20 seconds with no ice
10. Shake for 5 seconds with ice
11. Strain and Garnish
Drink responsibly!

Finally, as Broken Peach themselves wrote nine years ago, "¡Feliz Navidad! - ¡Bo Nadal! - ¡Bon Nadal! - Eguberri! …. Merry Christmas!"

Sunday, December 24, 2023

'Barbie' vs. 'Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny' for Best Fantasy Film at the Saturn Awards

I wrote a snarky footnote to 'Oppenheimer' leads thriller films at the Saturn Awards with 11 nominations.
As I wrote in yesterday's footnote, "I found math errors in Deadline's previous two Saturn Awards nominations articles, so I know to look." I found another math error, or at least an omission, in this year's. That will feature prominently in the next installment of this series.
I found both an error and an omission, but first I'm sharing what Deadline reported correctly.
Movies from Oppenheimer‘s Universal scored a leading 23 noms overall with titles like Renfield, M3GAN and Fast X. Paramount had 18, including nine for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny and four for Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One.

Warner Bros’ Barbie, the year’s top-grossing blockbuster, had eight noms including for Best Fantasy Film, Best Actress for Margot Robbie and Best Supporting Actor for Ryan Gosling. Greta Gerwig is up for Best Film Directing in a loaded category that includes Cameron, Nolan, James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy-Vol. 3), James Mangold (Indiana Jones), Mark Mylod (The Menu) and Danny & Michael Philippou (Talk to Me).
First, the totals by studio dramatically undercounted Disney's contributions because the reporter assigned Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny to Paramount and ignored Disney productions under other names, like 20th Century Studios and Searchlight Pictures. Disney's own count included 50 movie nominations among the 68 total nominations for the company. That's well ahead of Universal's 23 to rank as the real number one.

Second, the story gave short shrift to Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny by making it part of a paragraph about studio totals instead of the film's nominations, which included Best Fantasy Film, Best Actor for Harrison Ford, Best Supporting Actor for Mads Mikkelsen, and Best Supporting Actress for Phoebe Waller-Bridge. At least Deadline noticed how star-studded the directing nominations are, including for both Barbie and Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, the main subjects of today's post. Still, that's now three years of errors or omissions in Deadline's Saturn Awards coverage that I've found.

Follow over the jump for the nominations for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, Barbie, The Little Mermaid, and two other fantasy films.

'Happy Holidays from Interior!' for Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas Eve! In year's past, I've passed along Season's Greetings from NASA, which I last observed in 2021. This year, I'm changing government agencies to one I actually worked for by sharing Happy Holidays from Interior!

From everyone in our Interior family to yours, our best wishes for a safe and happy Holiday season!
Happy holidays! Stay tuned for the next installment of my series on the Saturn Awards followed by this year's version of Merry Christmas 2022 with songs from Broken Peach!

Saturday, December 23, 2023

'Oppenheimer' leads thriller films at the Saturn Awards with 11 nominations

Bonus post time again! As I promised yesterday and today, I'm continuing my examination of the Saturn Awards nominees so that I can vote by the December 30th deadline and share my votes on National Science Fiction Day. To that end, here is the paragraph about the second most nominated film, Oppenheimer from Deadline.
Oppenheimer has 11 noms including for Best Thriller Film, Best Actor (Cillian Murphy), Best Supporting Actor (Robert Downey Jr.) and Best Supporting Actress (Emily Blunt), with Nolan up for Best Direction and Best Screenwriting.
Follow over the jump for Oppenheimer's nominations at the Saturn Awards along with my analysis and provisional votes.

Closer looks at Trump disqualified in Colorado, a Festivus miracle

Happy Festivusfeats of strength, airing of grievances, and maybe a Festivus pole! How about a Festivus miracle? I have one for you, Trump Is Disqualified from 2024 Ballot, Colorado Court Says in Shock Ruling: A Closer Look.

Seth takes a closer look at the Colorado Supreme Court ruling that Donald Trump is disqualified from the 2024 presidential race because he violated the Constitution by engaging in insurrection against the United States.
I know I wrote, "I think the insurrection clause applies, but, like much of the rest of the 14th Amendment, the courts are too timid or ideologically opposed to enforce it," but I'm glad to be wrong. Like I wrote, a Festivus miracle!

Seth wasn't alone in making jokes about the ruling. Stephen Colbert Colorado Kicks Trump Off Primary Ballot | Clarence Thomas’ Greed | Trump Keeps Quoting Hitler.

Colorado’s Supreme Court ruled that Trump is disqualified from holding office, we’re learning more about the origins of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ love of bribe-taking, and the former president refuses to stop quoting Hitler on the campaign trail.
I'll take the rest of the monologue as an airing of grievances.

Speaking of which, watch "The Indict-Mare Before Christmas" A Late Show Animated Holiday Classic Narrated By Liam Neeson.

Donald Trump, on trial for 91 counts of naughtiness, tries a wild gambit: getting Santa to testify that he is on the nice list, pardoning him of all charges. Santa refuses, but that doesn’t stop Trump as he enlists the help of Elon Musk to turn him into Santa himself to clear his name. Can the real Santa stop Trumpy Claus in time to save Christmas?
Ho, ho, ho and a Festivus pole!

Stay tuned for another Saturn Awards entry tonight and Christmas Eve tomorrow. I love holidays!

Friday, December 22, 2023

'Avatar: The Way of Water' leads Saturn Awards with 12 nominations

Bonus post time! I was planning on only writing holiday and year-end retrospective entries until I checked the Saturn Awards website yesterday and found out that they not only had announced the nominees, but also that voting is open and will be until December 30th. Time to start my series on the Saturn Awards so I can vote by the deadline and share my votes by National Science Fiction Day. Here is the paragraph about the leading nominee, Avatar: The Way of Water from Deadline.
Disney and Lightstorm’s Avatar sequel scored 12 nominations overall — two more than the original Avatar got here in 2010. It’s up in the categories of Best Science Fiction Film, Best Actor in a Film (Sam Worthington), Best Actress in a Film (Zoe Saldana), Best Supporting Actor in a Film (Stephen Lang) and Best Younger Performer in a Film (Jack Champion), along with directing and writing noms for Cameron and screenwriting partners Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver.
Follow over the jump for Avatar: The Way of Water's nominations at the Saturn Awards.

DCI's '5 summertime hits sure to put you in the holiday mood' for a merry drum corps Christmas

I'm continuing the holiday posts I promised yesterday with Drum Corps International's 5 summertime hits sure to put you in the holiday mood.

The sounds of the Christmas season have long been heard as part of drum corps' competitive productions, despite being performed in the months of June, July and August.
So continues my tradition of drum corps Christmas posts that I began with Christmas music from the Cadets and Crazy Eddie's Motie News eleven years ago and revived for The Cadets '12.25' for a drum corps Christmas and A merry drum corps Christmas from March or Die and DCI. DCI included some of the same corps and shows in this video, making it a greatest holiday hits collection. That written, there is still a lot of material to share for future celebrations. As I wrote most recently yesterday, "I'm an environmentalist, so I don't just recycle, I conserve my resources."

I plan on continuing my holiday posts by observing Festivus tomorrow. In the meantime, stay tuned for a bonus entertainment post later today. It's awards season, too, and I have to catch up!

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Monstrum on 'Mari Lwyd: The Skeleton Horse's Deep Past with Christmas Tradition' for Winter Solstice/Yule

Happy Winter Solstice and Yule! Like last year, I'm celebrating by sharing the latest video from Monstrum on PBS Storied, Mari Lwyd: The Skeleton Horse's Deep Past with Christmas Tradition | Monstrum.

The coastal villages of Wales around the winter holidays have a bizarre nighttime visitor: a grim skeletal horse who roams the streets with a rag tag group, demanding food and drink from neighborhood families. But is this really a monster to be feared, or one that is rather cheered?
First, I'd never heard of Mari Lwyd before watching this video, so I learned something new. It's always a good day when I learn something new. Second, I enjoyed Dr. Z connecting this monster to both the Winter Solstice and to other European Christmas monsters, including Krampus, who has a video of his own. I'm an environmentalist, so I don't just recycle, I conserve my resources. I'm saving that episode of Monstrum for a future Yule. Finally, I have a holiday meme for my readers.

Stay tuned for more holiday posts. I love holidays!

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

TIME Earth Award winner Claire Vlases, CEO of the Year Sam Altman, Athlete of the Year Lionel Messi, plus bonus Padma Lakshmi

I closed Taylor Swift is Time's 2023 Person of the Year by noting "At least one of [the candidates for 2023's Person of the Year], Sam Altman, has won another accolade for CEO of the Year. I'm waiting to see if any of the others earn consolation prizes." They didn't, so it's time to follow through. Before I get to Altman, I'm sharing Youth Climate Activist Claire Vlases Accepts TIME Earth Award After Major Legal Victory.

Climate activist Claire Vlases received the Earth Award from TIME on Tuesday after the 20-year-old helped secure victory in a landmark climate case earlier this year.

Vlases is one of 16 young plaintiffs who sued Montana for violating their right to a clean environment. In August, a judge ruled that Montana must consider climate change effects when approving fossil fuel projects. The court declared that Montana’s laws promoting fossil fuels violated constitutional rights.
In the absence of TIME announcing its Heroes of the Year, although Swift could be that, too, I'll take Vlases and her fellow plaintiffs as suitable stand-ins. Congratulations to them for their victory on behalf of kids and the climate!

Now I'm sharing TIME CEO of the Year 2023 | Sam Altman.

It was a strange Thanksgiving for Sam Altman. Normally, the CEO of OpenAI flies home to St. Louis to visit family. But this time the holiday came after an existential struggle for control of a company that some believe holds the fate of humanity in its hands. Altman was weary. He went to his Napa Valley ranch for a hike, then returned to San Francisco to spend a few hours with one of the board members who had just fired and reinstated him in the span of five frantic days. He put his computer away for a few hours to cook vegetarian pasta, play loud music, and drink wine with his fiancĂ© Oliver Mulherin. “This was a 10-out-of-10 crazy thing to live through,” Altman tells TIME on Nov. 30. “So I’m still just reeling from that.”

We’re speaking exactly one year after OpenAI released Chat-GPT, the most rapidly adopted tech product ever. The impact of the chatbot and its successor, GPT-4, was transformative—for the company and the world. “For many people,” Altman says, 2023 was “the year that they started taking AI seriously.” Born as a nonprofit research lab dedicated to building artificial intelligence for the benefit of humanity, OpenAI became an $80 billion rocket ship. Altman emerged as one of the most powerful and venerated executives in the world, the public face and leading prophet of a technological revolution.
I think Altman does double duty as Innovator of the Year. Normally, I'd have given him first billing, but I realized I hadn't given Vlases and her fellow plaintiffs in Montana any attention at all, let alone what they deserved, so they got it instead. Priorities.

Follow over the jump for the videos honoring Lionel Messi and Padma Lakshmi.

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

PBS Terra examines geoengineering, 'The Riskiest Way to Save the Planet'

I'm in the middle of giving and grading final exams, so I'm posting an entry light on analysis. Watch two videos from PBS Terra on geoengineering, a topic I first explored here in Greenfinger eleven years ago. I begin with the more recent, Geoengineering: The Riskiest Way to Save the Planet.

How do we reduce the impact of climate change, and could geoengineering be the solution? Host Sinead Bovell is joined by sci-fi writer Kim Stanley Robinson and other experts to examine the goal of Global Net Zero Emissions, direct air capture strategies, and why geoengineering is a risky strategy – that may be our only hope.
Kim Stanley Robinson is right about the risks of geoengineering. Geoengineering gone wrong is the premise of Snowpiercer, both the movie and TV show, after all. He's also right about uncontrolled climate change. Life will persist, but humanity would be clobbered. That's exactly what I tell my students.

The effects of injecting a lot of aerosols into the atmosphere aren't just science fiction. PBS Terra documented the results of an unintentional release when it asked Cool Us or Kill Us? Did Geoengineering ALREADY Cause a Massive Famine?

This episode of Weathered explores the controversial world of solar geoengineering by injecting sulfate aerosols into the stratosphere, looking at both the controversial promises and profound risks associated with manipulating the Earth's climate. Luke Iseman, the founder of Make Sunsets, tells us about his start up that is already releasing small amounts of sulfur dioxide into our skies. And then we speak with leading scientists from the non-use initiative against solar geoengineering or solar radiation management who warn against the potential dangers of this untested technology. Then we discuss the tragic drought and famine of the 1980s in the Sahel region of Africa and and its likely link to air pollution from the US and Europe. This episode sheds light on the intricate balance of our planet's weather and climate, and the human interventions that could change it forever.
Speaking of stories I tell my students, Mt. Pinatubo is another I include in my lectures. I actually prayed for a milder summer in 1992. Because of the eruption, I got one and regretted it. File that under "be careful what you wish for, you might get it."

Back to grading final exams. See you tomorrow.

Monday, December 18, 2023

Elon Musk examined by John Oliver

I should have suspected that John Oliver would mention Tesla recalling 2 million cars because of autopilot issues, but I didn't expect an entire episode devoted to Elon Musk.

John Oliver discusses Elon Musk, the influence he has over more than just his businesses, and the perfect place for him and Mark Zuckerberg to finally have that cage match.
Wow! That's a lot to examine about Musk, from PayPal to SpaceX, Tesla, StarLink, and Twitter. I'll just begin by saying that Musk thinks he's Tony Stark (the "real-life Iron Man"), but he's really a Bond villain, specifically a cooler version of Hugo Drax. At least he's cooler than someone in the movies.

I'm in the middle of giving and grading final exams, so I'm going to leave it here for today. See you tomorrow!

Sunday, December 17, 2023

Trevor Noah, Wanda Sykes, and Chris Rock, comedians nominated at the Golden Globes, Grammys, and Emmys

I may not be posting the highlights of last night's Saturday Night Live, but I'm still blogging about comedy for the Sunday entertainment feature. The Golden Globes have returned to primetime television and will be the first major awards show, again, on January 7, 2024, beating the Critics Choice Awards on January 14, 2024. The Golden Globes, the Iowa Caucus/New Hampshire Primary of awards shows — they have to be first! This is still true under the show's new management, Dick Clark Productions, which took over the awards upon the dissolution of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA). Good riddance, as scandals plagued the HFPA. May Dick Clark Productions be less controversial now that they control the show.

In addition to moving the show to CBS/Paramount+, Dick Clark Productions added two new awards to the program, Cinematic and Box Office Achievement and Best Stand-Up Comedian on Television. I'll get to the former in a future post; I'm concentrating on the latter for now because it overlaps with both the Grammy Awards and Emmy Awards — three shows with one post!

Three comedians earned nominations at all three shows, Trevor Noah, Chris Rock, and Wanda Sykes. All three are nominated for Best Stand-Up Comedian on Television at the Golden Globes and Best Comedy Album at the Grammys, while Noah and Sykes are nominated for Outstanding Variety Special (Pre-Recorded) at the Emmys, Rock is nominated for Outstanding Variety Special (Live), and both Rock and Sykes earned nominations for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special. Congratulations!

Follow over the jump.

Saturday, December 16, 2023

The authors of 'The Big Fail' interviewed, a pandemic post-mortem and update

I haven't written an entry focusing on the COVID-19 pandemic since Mehdi Hasan takes a deep dive into 'The truth about DeSantis’ awful record on covid', a pandemic and primary election update last May, although I've mentioned it it passing since. That means it's time to return to the topic, especially since a book on the subject just came out. Watch Midday Fix - THE BIG FAIL: What the Pandemic Revealed about Who America Saves and Who It Leaves Behind from WGN News, an interview of Bethany McLean, who wrote the book along with Joe Nocera.

That's just a brief taste of the issues the authors raise in the book. MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle explored some of them as she interviewed both McLean and Nocera on 'The 11th Hour' in Authors of 'The Big Fail' on what the U.S. learned from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nearly four years after the start of the pandemic, the U.S. is still learning about what went wrong. Stephanie Ruhle sits down with Joe Nocera and Bethany McLean to talk about their book on the virus, our response, and whether the U.S. can do better in the future.
McLean and Nocera are probably the best people to write this book from an economic perspective, since McLean co-wrote Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, and got writing credit for the documentary, and she and Nocera co-wrote All the Devils Are Here about the 2008 Financial Crisis. From a scientific perspective, I'm not so sure. McLean and Nocera are very critical of school lockdowns, which weren't good for K-12 students' educations. I'm still dealing with all the effects of them on my students as a community college instructor. However, while the students didn't need them as protection, their teachers certainly did. I glad I was able to conduct classes over Zoom and built up the ability to run lectures and "labs" remotely. As I half-jokingly tell my students, that was probably the last new trick this old dog will learn in his teaching career.

I close with Forbes interviewing Nocera in 'The Big Fail': How America Failed To Manage The COVID Pandemic.

Joe Nocerra, co-author of "The Big Fail: What the Pandemic Revealed About Who America Protects and Who It Leaves Behind," speaks to "Forbes Talks" about his new book, what the U.S. did wrong during the COVID-19 pandemic, former President Trump's role in the failures, and more.
All this talk about fraud, inflation, supply chain issues, and labor shortages and activism reminds me of my analysis in Vox asks 'Why is everything getting so expensive?'
The traditional explanation for inflation is "too much money chasing too few goods." The people who give this answer, like Larry Summers, are usually arguing for less money. Summers thought the U.S. and other industrial democracies were pumping too much money into the economy to keep it on life support during the pandemic. While I think that money could have been better targeted to consumers and workers and not so much to business owners — I should write at least one entry about business owners being prosecuted for fraudulent use of these funds — that money helped end that recession almost as soon as it began. The alternative would have been much worse, especially since peak unemployment was the highest since the Great Depression. As much as it could be an example of "everything is connected to everything else and there is no free lunch," I'll take a temporary surge in inflation as the price to pay for preventing more suffering while people were staying safe at home.

In addition to being callous, the advocates of "too much money chasing too few goods" usually aren't as vocal about making more goods, which leads directly to supply shocks, the second explanation for inflation. I've written about supply shocks to explain the causes and effects of the chip shortage, baby formula shortage, and gas prices. That works very well as an explanation for why specific goods increase in price, but other than energy prices, which affect the prices of everything else, it doesn't work as a general explanation.

By the way, it's not just goods that are in short supply relative to demand; services and labor are in short supply as well. That means that the full version of the first explanation should be "too much money chasing too few goods, services, and employees." Increasing interest rates, which is inverting the yield curve, would be counterproductive on the supply side of the equation. Instead, it works by reducing demand. I'm an environmentalist who thinks over-consumption is a problem, but deliberately increasing suffering to destroy demand is not the way I want to do this. I'd prefer greater efficiency to reduce waste and a more educated populace who will choose to consume more responsibly and sustainably. Inflation while keeping people employed might actually help that goal.

Companies investing in their factories or other facilities and hiring more employees and paying them better would also help with increasing supply of goods and services, as well as induce more people to join the labor force.
As the MSNBC interview pointed out, a lot of companies have returned to their pre-pandemic ways. They haven't really learned anything. Sigh.

Stay tuned for the Sunday entertainment feature, which probably won't be highlights of tonight's Saturday Night Live. Instead, I'm thinking of covering awards shows.

Friday, December 15, 2023

Celebrate Bill of Rights Day with cupcakes on Cupcake Day!

Happy Bill of Rights Day! Take it away, National Day Calendar!

The first 10 amendments to the United States Constitution make up the Bill of Rights. Passed by Congress on September 25, 1789, these rights place limits on government power.

The bill was introduced by James Madison. He later became the 4th President of the United States.

Congress passed 12 of Madison’s proposed amendments. The states only ratified 10 of them. One of the two rejected by the states concerned the number of constituents for each Representative. The other limited when and how members of Congress are compensated. Neither was ratified at the time.
The previous year's video told the rest of that story.
The latter of the two rejected amendments was ratified 203 years later. The 27th Amendment restricted compensation for members of Congress.
The Bill of Rights is displayed in The Rotunda of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC.

There were 14 copies made; one for each of the 13 states to sign and one for the federal archives. Only 12 copies survive today.
The National Day Calendar's entry on its website opens with the origin of the day.
"Now, Therefore, I, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate December 15, 1941, as Bill of Rights Day. And I call upon the officials of the Government, and upon the people of the United States, to observe the day by displaying the flag of the United States on public buildings and by meeting together for such prayers and such ceremonies as may seem to them appropriate."
That's the history of the Bill of Rights and Bill of Rights Day. For the amendments themselves, I turn to TED-Ed's A 3-minute guide to the Bill of Rights - Belinda Stutzman.

Daily, Americans exercise their rights secured by the Constitution. The most widely discussed and debated part of the Constitution is known as the Bill of Rights. Belinda Stutzman provides a refresher course on exactly what the first ten amendments grant each and every American citizen.

Lesson by Belinda Stutzman, animation by Jacques Khouri.
"The First Amendment...may be the most revered of the amendments." I would hope so, especially since it mentions religion, making "revered" just a bit on the nose for a description. However, I think the Second Amendment has just as passionate if not more numerous adherents, although for the version I mock as the "Second Ammoment." A well-regulated militia — what's that?

Today is also NATIONAL CUPCAKE DAY | December 15th - National Day Calendar.

I couldn't find any Bill of Rights cupcakes, so here are some Constitution Day cupcakes instead.

No images of Bill of Rights cupcakes for a day that celebrates both? That's an opportunity! Any of my readers interested in seizing it?

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Tesla recalls 2 million cars because of autopilot issues, a driving update

I told my readers yesterday "I might post a driving update" today. Do I ever have a driving update for you! Watch as Yahoo Finance reports Tesla recalls over 2 million vehicles on Autopilot defect.

Tesla (TSLA) is recalling over 2 million of its EVs to correct a defect in its self-driving Autopilot system and address overall safety concerns. An over-the-air software update will be deployed.
Yahoo Finance's Brad Smith and Seana Smith monitor Tesla's stock in pre-market trading, outlining previous crashes tied to Tesla's Autopilot feature and how these events may weigh on the electric vehicle maker's US strategy.
That was informative and had a great preview image, but the purely in-studio report was a bit bloodless, in more ways than one. For a livelier but more gruesome take, watch MSNBC's Tesla recalls more than 2 million cars over autopilot safety concerns.

Tesla has issued a recall for more than 2 million of its vehicles after an investigation into autopilot safety system concerns. NBC News' Tom Costello has details on the vehicles recalled and the necessary update Tesla is pushing for the software.
That had more "if it bleeds, it leads" energy, but it was light on analysis. PBS NewsHour included that in The self-driving safety concerns that led to Tesla's recall of 2 million cars while still showing the graphic results of crashes.

Tesla has recalled 2 million cars, nearly all of its vehicles sold in the U.S. since 2012, because of issues with its self-driving features. Safety regulators have investigated nearly a thousand crashes involving Tesla's autopilot system, which can fully take over steering, braking and acceleration. William Brangham discussed the recall with Faiz Siddiqui of The Washington Post.
I hope that the software update improves the issue, but this looks like a case of being unable to make something foolproof because people can always be bigger fools. Sigh. At least the stat at the end of Americans buying a record one million EVs is both good news and an answer to the question I asked last summer: "Are High Gas Prices Pushing People To Electric Vehicles?" Looks like yes to me!

Follow over the jump for my personal driving update.

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Stephen Colbert returns after his illness with Liz Cheney

I opened Meyers, Kimmel, and 'The Daily Show' take closer looks at Santos being expelled with a program note and well wishes.
I closed 'Bankrupt - Ruby Tuesday' by Bright Sun Films, a tale of the Retail Apocalypse by telling my readers "Stay tuned for comedy tomorrow, when I expect 'Stephen Colbert, Seth Meyers, and especially Jimmy Kimmel will run a victory lap as they dunk on his departure while mourning the loss of a great subject for comedy.'" I got two-thirds of my wish, as both Meyers and Kimmel featured George Santos in their sketches and monologues, while Colbert is at home recovering from a ruptured appendix. Get well soon, Stephen! Your fans miss you!
Stephen returned Monday night. Yay! Welcome back! Watch Monday's monologue, If Trump Gets Unlimited Power He Won’t Be Giving It Up | George Santos Cashes In On Cameo.

The former president doubled down on his assertion that he would only be a dictator on day one if elected again, and former Congressman George Santos already has a lucrative new career.
Hearing Stephen quote others calling Trump "Julius Caesar" and "Orange Jesus" reminds me that John Michael Greer the Archdruid has been calling him "Orange Julius" since at least 2017, if not earlier. I rather like that and if my wife hadn't already likened him to The Penguin running for Mayor of Gotham City, I'd use it as his label. Instead, I want both Greer and his nickname for the 45th President to become better known among the American Left. If he becomes more widely disliked, so be it.

Stephen returned with The Story of Stephen Colbert’s Ruptured Appendix.

Stephen shares the frightening details of his emergency surgery for appendicitis, and thanks everyone for their support during his recovery.
Evie literally made the right call to get Stephen to the hospital. Thank you, Evie!

Follow over the jump for Stephen interviewing Liz Cheney and a bonus cold open.

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Disney resorts' gingerbread decorations for Gingerbread House Day

Happy Gingerbread House Day! As I have the past two times I've celebrated the day, I'm sharing Disney gingerbread houses and other decorations. This year, I'm returning to the gingerbread houses and other gingerbread decorations at Disney's resorts, beginning with Disney Parks own FESTIVE Gingerbread House CRAWL at Disney Resorts.

Are you ready for some mind-blowing Disney gingerbread displays? Come along as we go on an in-depth crawl through 7 Disney Resorts to check out these festive displays. After months of hard work and creativity from the talented culinary teams, these displays are brought to life before our very eyes and are well worth the visit.
Yes, this means I'm using the corporate PR on this post, but I still found the video up-to-date, informative, and entertaining.  I can say that DFBGuide's Tour Disney World's MEGA Gingerbread Displays (And Watch Them MAKE The Carousel!) is also informative and entertaining, but it's from 2018, so it has more historic interest.

Did you know that Disney World creates life-size gingerbread displays every year? Like, big enough to WALK INSIDE?! Yep, we're taking you on a tour of ALL of Disney World's gingerbread displays and showing you how one is actually created!
I found AJ's video even more educational than Disney Parks, which is why I included it. I'm glad I saved it for today. As I wrote in 2019, "I'm an environmentalist; not only do I recycle, I conserve my resources."

I opened 2019's entry with National Day Calendar, so I'm closing today's post with the channel's video for today, NATIONAL GINGERBREAD HOUSE DAY | December 12th - National Day Calendar.

December 12th is National Gingerbread House Day on the National Day Calendar!
That closed the circle and I like closing circles.

Today is also Poinsettia Day, so I recommend my readers click on The histories of Christmas trees and Poinsettia from Vox for Christmas Eve. Happy holidays!