Thursday, April 18, 2024

CityNerd mocks 'Long Beach's Innovative Approach to Climate Change' for Throwback Thursday

For Throwback Thursday, I'm sharing CityNerd's latest, Long Beach's Innovative Approach to Climate Change.

Long Beach, California. Home of one of the busiest container ports in the world, expensive housing, a very long beach, and...over 2500 active oil wells. Yes, you heard that right.
I worked on the construction of L.A.'s subway, which intersected with the Long Beach light rail on the south side of downtown. At that time, the line's northern terminus was at that intersection. I'm glad to read that it was extended into the San Gabriel Valley to become the longest light rail line in the world.

As for all the oil wells, I'm not surprised. I grew up in Los Angeles and just accepted the pump jacks, which my family called grasshoppers, as part of the landscape. I expect a lot of them will be pumping oil for decades to come, regardless of how bad fossil fuels are for the environment in general and climate change in particular.

That's it for the current post. Follow over the jump for a retrospective of the top post featuring CityNerd from the 13th year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News.

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

'Bankrupt - Borders Book Store' by Bright Sun Films, a tale of the Retail Apocalypse for Wayback Wednesday

Happy Wayback Wednesday! I'm observing today's social media day by sharing Bright Sun Film's latest, Bankrupt - Borders Book Store.

Since the 1970's, Borders Bookstores have been a place of comfort and peace for millions of shoppers. Their unique strategy of offering a cozy place to shop, with tens of thousands of highly trained employees was a winning one that earned the company billions in sales. But, it all came crashing down in 2011 and now, the brand is non existent. Join me today as we find out why.
The two YouTube creators I consider best able to cover this story have now examined it, as Company Man asked "The Decline of Borders...What Happened?" last year. I'm being a good environmentalist by reusing what I wrote then.
I'm revisiting my thoughts about Borders Books from Ten of the companies that went out of business this decade and 9,300+ stores closed this year, two tales of the Retail Apocalypse.
While I didn't realize it at the time, the first Retail Apocalypse story I wrote about on this blog was the demise of Borders Books. I thought it was like the bankruptcies of Jacobson's, whose space in Ann Arbor Borders occupied after Jacobson's moved out to Briarwood Mall, and Montgomery Ward's, which was the first anchor to abandon Northland Mall, the second Retail Apocalypse story I covered here. Both of those were weak companies that went under during a recession, which is when I expect businesses would fail. I thought much the same of Borders at the time, in addition to it being a personal loss. In retrospect, the failure of Borders was much bigger than that and turned out to be a taste of things to come.
At the time, I concentrated on what the store meant to me and outsourced my analysis of why it failed to a LiveJournal account where the analysis is now unavailable...the disappearance of that analysis was a big loss...[it described] a mismatch in corporate culture between the employees, who really believed in the way company had been run, and the top executives, who I think caught something bad when KMart owned the company, the same thing that eventually caught up with both KMart and Sears. Sigh.

All that survives is the Borders.com domain, which Barnes & Noble bought. That's like Toys R Us buying KB Toys — ironic. It's also a sign that the rest of the company's intellectual property wasn't worth saving. Even Hostess had a better fate.
All I have to add to that is that Jake Williams included more of the human story than Company Man Mike and followed up on the fate of the original store number one, although I didn't consider that my store. That was the old Jacobson's location around the corner, the second store number one. When I last visited Ann Arbor for the March for Science during 2017, I saw that it had been partitioned into a bunch of smaller stores. That might have been an even sadder end than the one Jake had.

Follow over the jump for a retrospective of the top posts about the Retail Apocalypse during the 13th year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

SciShow invites you to 'Actually Understand Type 2 Diabetes'

I wrote that "I'm a diabetic and...I consider it to be a central organizing fact of my life" in Today is World Diabetes Day and November is National Diabetes Month. Normally, I'd wait until World Diabetes Day to blog about my condition, but SciShow uploaded Actually Understand Type 2 Diabetes on Friday, so I sharing it with my readers.

Type 2 diabetes affects over 400 million people. It can be confusing and difficult to manage, so in this video we'll answer all your questions about type 2 diabetes, including what to eat, what affects your risk, and is there a cure.

Hosted by: Reid Reimers (he/him)
I'm a type 1 diabetic (adult onset), but I found much of the information in this video useful. A1C levels, diet, and exercise are all things I have to be mindful of, too. In addition, the video briefly explained how type 1 diabetes happens as well. As I'm fond of writing, It's always a good day when I learn something new. I hope my readers learned something new, too.

Monday, April 15, 2024

The New York Times explains 'There’s a Tax Season Villain, and It’s Not the I.R.S.' for Tax Day

For Tax Day, I'm sharing There’s a Tax Season Villain, and It’s Not the I.R.S. | NYT Opinion.

It’s the most miserable time of the year: tax season.

Americans are about to spend millions of hours and billions of dollars filing their federal income taxes, and they are pretty sure they know who is responsible for their pain: The misanthropes at the Internal Revenue Service.

But we’re here to convince you that the I.R.S. is not the problem.

Yes, it should be easy to file taxes. And yes, it should be free. That’s how it works in the rest of the developed world, and it could very easily work that way here, too. It is absurd that America’s tax system is so antiquated and complicated that most people must pay someone else to help them pay the government.

So what is standing in the way of progress?

Watch.
I have two things to say about this video. First, I knew I was going to use it today as soon as I saw the preview image. It's Johnny Harris, who demonstrated his skills when he was working for Vox, now working for the New York Times, so I knew the video would be good. Second, I had a good idea who the villain was, and I was not disappointed. May the U.S. finally get a free tax-filing portal. It may be too late today, but maybe next year. Happy Tax Day!

Sunday, April 14, 2024

'Godzilla Minus One' wins two Critics Choice Super Awards plus an entertainment retrospective

I foreshadowed today's topic at the end of Troopers, drum corps for the Wyoming Democratic Primary.
Normally, I'd tell my readers to stay tuned for highlights of tonight's Saturday Night Live except that I reached my page view goals for the month already, so I'm going to post something else for the Sunday entertainment feature. An retrospective of the top entertainment posts of the 13th year of this blog? That's certainly a possibility!
The only question is what new material I would use to lead into the look back. Since all the posts I'm featuring below the jump are about awards shows, I'm revisiting the most recent awards show I covered the Critics Choice Super Awards. I already expressed my annoyance at no Star Trek show winning an award in 'Star Trek: Discovery' trailers for First Contact Day, so I want to use today's post to brag, sort of. Fortunately, I found an opportunity to do so that connects to a current movie.


I wrote "I'd get a kick out of MEGAN or Godzilla winning this award. Oh, no, there goes Tokyo. Go, go, Godzilla!" As the graphic above shows, I got my wish. On the other hand, I completely blew my pick for Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Movie, as I thought "it's between The Boy and the Heron and Poor Things with the latter favored." Nope, the third Oscar winner Godzilla Minus One won. Here are the paragraph announcing the movie winners from the press release.
Garnering two wins each, “Godzilla Minus One,” “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning,” “Poor Things,” and “Talk to Me” lead the film winners. “Godzilla Minus One” triumphed as the Best Science Fiction/Fantasy Movie and Godzilla was named the overall Best Villain in a Movie. Tom Cruise received Best Actor in an Action Movie for “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning,” while Rebecca Ferguson took home Best Actress in an Action Movie. For their roles in “Poor Things,” Mark Ruffalo was awarded Best Actor in a Science Fiction/Fantasy Movie and Emma Stone won Best Actress in a Science Fiction/Fantasy Movie. “Talk to Me” won Best Horror Movie and Sophie Wilde earned the award for Best Actress in a Horror Movie.
While I whiffed on Best Science Fiction/Fantasy Movie, I did call Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Emma Stone, Mark Ruffalo, and Talk To Me to win their awards. My wife and I finally watched Talk To Me last night and we saw why it won Best Horror Movie/Film here and at the Saturn Awards. It was smart and scary!

As for Godzilla Minus One, I'm looking forward to seeing it on my Saturn Awards ballot later this year, where I have it penciled in as my vote for Best International Film, along with Poor Things and The Boy and the Heron, which are my current choices for Best Fantasy Film and Best Animated Film, respectively. That written, I already think Poor Things will lose to the kaiju movie currently in theaters, Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire for Best Fantasy Film. In addition Godzilla will face friendly fire, as I would not be surprised if both Godzilla Minus One and Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire both earn nominations for Best Fantasy Film. Only if the kaiju fans split their votes in this category does Poor Things stand a chance of winning at the Saturn Awards, given that "the Saturn Awards are about entertainment not art, they don't care for subtle, and they love to stick it to the experts."

I could end here, but that would leave this post without a preview image on mobile view, so I'm embedding Godzilla and Mothra: King and Queen of the Kaiju | Monstrum to elevate the entry with educational content.

Godzilla is one of the most recognizable monsters in film, and he should be. After all, he is part of the longest running film franchise in the world, but you might be surprised to learn that his history in literature is just as prolific. Without his giant footsteps paving the way, we wouldn’t have the female kaiju Mothra, who is perhaps even more beloved.

In this episode, Dr. Zarka shows how kaiju are deeply rooted in past events in Japan including the deployment of nuclear weapons there during World War II. She explains how both Godzilla and Mothra serve as metaphors and looks at how these monsters continue to shed light on social history.
Dr. Z is in the middle of a series about Kong and has a review of Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire up, which I'm saving until she finishes her series. I'm an environmentalist. I don't just recycle, I conserve my resources! Until then, I'm ending this section the way I opened it, with a quote from Blue Öyster Cult's "Godzilla."
History shows again and again
How nature points up the folly of man
Godzilla!
Follow over the jump for last year's top posts about entertainment in general and awards shows other than the Saturn Awards in particular.

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Troopers, drum corps for the Wyoming Democratic Primary

I'm making good on the promise I made in Marching music for the Alaska, Hawaii, and North Dakota Democratic primaries and repeated in NASA experts answer questions about asteroids for Apophis Day: "stay tuned for this year's edition of Marching music for the Wyoming Democratic Caucuses. Troopers!"

I kick off the music to watch and listen while waiting for results with Troopers | #dci2022 | VorAcious from Drum Corps International (DCI).

Casper, Wyoming's Troopers perform a segment from the corps' #DCI2022 production, "VorAcious," during the 2022 DCI World Championships hosted August 12-14 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
That's a great moment that DCI featured twice more. Watch for it in Troopers 2022 designer on "one of the BEST moments of the summer" | Inside Drum Corps Ep. 2.

Troopers visual designer Lindsey Schueller breaks down the ideas and stories behind the Casper, Wyoming corps' 2022 production, "VorAcious," in Episode 2 of "Inside Drum Corps."
Yes, it really was "one of the best moments of the summer," including Genevieve Batman screaming while doing what I want to say is her best Tina Guo impression, except that Tina would be playing while standing up and wearing a skimpier costume. I think it's safer and better for the performance that Genevieve sat down while wearing a guard uniform.

Genevieve and her electric cello get a final encore in Troopers: Road Back to the DCI Finals | 2009-2022.

In 2022 the Troopers earned a spot among DCI's elite Top 12 for the first time in more than a decade. Take a look back at the timeline of the Wyoming corps' roadmap back to the finale of the DCI World Championships.
As I first wrote in 2016, "No Troopers retrospective would be complete without both a sunburst and a color presentation" and this compilation and lots of sunbursts and one that was also a color presentation.

Follow over the jump for highlights of 2021 and 2023.

NASA experts answer questions about asteroids for Apophis Day

Yesterday was Yuri's Night, when I celebrate the promise of space. Today is Apophis Day, when I report on the perils of space, especially asteroids. I'm featuring a series from NASA's archives that I could have used in 2022, but Russia's invasion of Ukraine intruded. It's time to make up for a missed opportunity, beginning with Will an Asteroid Ever Hit Earth? We Asked a NASA Scientist.

Will an asteroid ever hit Earth? There are no known impact threats, but tiny meteors burn up in Earth’s atmosphere all the time! NASA asteroid expert Dr. Kelly Fast tells us more. Learn more about NASA’s planetary defense efforts: nasa.gov/planetarydefense
Technically, the answer is yes; small meteors burn up in Earth's atmosphere all the time. That relates to the answer to When Was the Last Time an Asteroid Hit Earth? We Asked a NASA Expert.

When was the last time an asteroid hit Earth? Small asteroids and other tiny particles bombard our planet daily, but almost all of them burn up safely in the atmosphere. Bigger impacts are extremely rare, but scientists like Marina Brozovic are keeping their eyes on the sky.
Again, small particles are hitting the atmosphere, burning up, and falling to the ground all the time. Ones large enough to cause damage and harm people? Marina Brozovic mentioned the last major one, which I blogged about in Russian meteor one year later and In Russia, space explores you! That's a once in a century event, so we're not likely to see another like it this century. That's the point of Is NASA Aware of Any Earth-Threatening Asteroids? We Asked a NASA Expert.

Is NASA aware of any Earth-threatening asteroids? Luckily there are no known asteroid threats to Earth for at least 100 years. But that doesn’t mean we’re not looking. Asteroid expert Davide Farnocchia of our@NASAJPL breaks it down.
That's reassuring. So is Does NASA Know About All the Asteroids? We Asked a NASA Scientist.

Does NASA know about ALL the asteroids? We know about the vast majority of larger ones and none of those pose a threat, but space is big, so we're always on the lookout. NASA asteroid expert Dr. Amy Mainzer explains.
The answer is no, not yet, but NASA is working on it.

Of course, the "so what?" question is What if an Asteroid Were Going to Hit Earth? We Asked a NASA Scientist.

There are no known threats to Earth, but NASA asteroid expert Dr. Kelly Fast says it’s important to find the asteroids before they find us. That’s why NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office keeps its eyes on the skies.
This video explains DART, which was a success and one of the reasons 2022 was another great year in space. Proof of concept!

I will have more about asteroids on Asteroid Day. Until then, stay tuned for this year's edition of Marching music for the Wyoming Democratic Caucuses. Troopers!

Friday, April 12, 2024

Artemis and Starship for Yuri's Night

Happy Yuri's Night AKA International Day for Human Space Flight! Instead of a retrospective of last year's top posts for today's Flashback Friday, I'm looking back at two tests of spacecraft intended for crewed flight and ahead at a piece of equipment to be developed to support crewed missions. I begin with Farther and Faster: NASA's Journey to the Moon with Artemis.

At 1:47 a.m. EST (6:47 UTC) on Nov. 16, 2022, NASA’s Orion spacecraft launched atop the SLS (Space Launch System) rocket from historic Launch Pad 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on a path to the Moon, officially beginning the Artemis I mission.

Over the course of 25.5 days, Orion performed two lunar flybys, coming within 80 miles (129 kilometers) of the lunar surface. At its farthest distance during the mission, Orion traveled nearly 270,000 miles (435,000 kilometers) from our home planet. On Dec. 11, 2022, NASA’s Orion spacecraft successfully completed a parachute-assisted splashdown in the Pacific Ocean at 9:40 a.m. PST (12:40 p.m. EST) as the final major milestone of the Artemis I mission.

Artemis I set new performance records, exceeded efficiency expectations, and established new safety baselines for humans in deep space. This is a prelude to what comes next—following the success of Artemis I, human beings will fly around the Moon on Artemis II.

We have demonstrated our ability to go farther and faster than ever before, opening the door to explore Mars and other destinations throughout the solar system. This is the story of Artemis I.
I'm being a good environmentalist by recycling what I wrote in Seeker and Vintage Space look back at Apollo 17 and ahead to Artemis for Moon Day.
The successful test flight of the Orion capsule around the Moon was one of the reasons I declared that 2022 has been another great year in space. Stephen Colbert interviews the Artemis II crew for Yuri's Night covered the next step. After that, landing on the Moon again. Here's to my covering the Artemis II mission for next year's Moon Day!
The Artemis II mission will not happen by this year's National Moon Day, but there will be more preparations and there are other Moon missions, so I will have something to blog about.

NASA announced one of those preparations in NASA Artemis Lunar Terrain Vehicle (Official NASA Trailer).

NASA hosted a news conference from the Johnson Space Center in Houston April 3, 2024, to announce the companies selected to move forward in the development of the Lunar Terrain Vehicle under the LTVS (Lunar Terrain Vehicle Services) contract. The award leverages NASA’s expertise in developing and operating these next generation "Moon buggies" to build commercial capabilities that support scientific discovery and long-term human exploration on the Moon. NASA intends to begin using the LTV for crewed operations during the Artemis V mission on the surface of the Moon.
Artemis V is a long ways off. SpaceX will have to develop a landing vehicle and NASA will have to test it first for Artemis III.

Speaking of SpaceX, it had its own successful launch of a crewed vehicle in Starship | Third Flight Test.

On March 14, 2024, Starship successfully lifted off at 8:25 a.m. CT from Starbase in Texas and went on to accomplish several major milestones and firsts.

Starship's six second stage Raptor engines all started successfully and powered the vehicle to its expected orbit, becoming the first Starship to complete its full-duration ascent burn. Starship went on to experience its first ever entry from space, providing valuable data on heating and vehicle control during hypersonic reentry. Live views of entry were made possible by Starlink terminals operating on Starship.

This rapid iterative development approach has been the basis for all of SpaceX’s major innovative advancements, including Falcon, Dragon, and Starlink. Recursive improvement is essential as we work to build a fully reusable transportation system capable of carrying both crew and cargo to Earth orbit, help humanity return to the Moon, and ultimately travel to Mars and beyond.
This is corporate PR, so it only portrayed the positive parts of the project. LiveScience covered the rest when it reported SpaceX's incredibly powerful Starship lost in the Indian Ocean after reaching orbit for 1st time.
SpaceX's powerful Starship system spent roughly an hour in orbit performing test maneuvers for the first time ever. But two simultaneous communications errors means the rocket won't be recoverable.

SpaceX's Starship rocket just reached orbit for the very first time, but now it's gotten lost upon reentry.
...
After conducting a number of maneuvers during the spacecraft's hour-long flight in orbit, mission control reportedly lost contact with Starship as it reentered Earth's atmosphere somewhere over the Indian Ocean.

Starship likely broke up or exploded over the ocean, SpaceX confirmed.

"The team has made the call that the ship has been lost, so no splashdown today," Dan Huot, SpaceX's communications manager, said during the company's livestream of the launch. "But again, just it's incredible to see how much further we got this time around."
Here's to the fourth launch being a complete success from start to finish.

That's a wrap for Yuri's Night, when I celebrate the promise of space. Now stay tuned for Apophis Day, when I report on the perils of space.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

PBS Voices explores 'The Evolution of Science Fiction' for Throwback Thursday

Happy Throwback Thursday! I'm celebrating by featuring an older video that I should have used years ago, but which happens to fit one of the top posts from the back catalog that doesn't fit any of the established themes I plan on using, It's Lit! on PBS Voices exploring The Evolution of Science Fiction (Feat. Lindsay Ellis).

Stories, tales, and myths from all around the world posing speculative questions around technologies have existed long before Ray Bradbury and Frank Herbert, from the time-traveling Japanese fairy tale "Urashima Taro” to some of the speculative elements of 1001 Arabian Nights. But there are a few eras that begin to shape what we’ve come to know as science fiction today.
That Frankenstein is considered to be the first work of science fiction means that horror is its sister genre, not fantasy, as the movie and television versions of Frankenstein are portrayed as horror. This reminds me of what I wrote most recently about M3GAN and Prey at the Saturn Awards; "if the terror is technological, not supernatural, the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Films considers it science fiction, not horror." Now I wonder how the Saturn Awards would classify a new movie or TV show about Frankenstein. Hmm.

Just the same, this video is very much about how science fiction reflects the anxieties of its time, which happens to be the featured post from the back catalog in today's retrospective. Follow over the jump.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

John Oliver examines student loans for Wayback Wednesday

Happy Wayback Wednesday! Today's topic is Student Loans. Take it away, John Oliver!

With over 43 million Americans paying off student loans, John Oliver discusses how so many people have come to take on student loan debt, why it’s so hard to pay off, and what we can do about it, mama.
I'm lucky to have been able to get my education without borrowing, so I escaped student loan debt. My wife and daughter were not so fortunate, and my daughter is still paying hers off. Sigh.

I'm looking forward to Last Week Tonight's future examinations of the cost of college. Until then, follow over the jump for a retrospective of the most read entries featuring John Oliver during the 13th year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News.

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Colbert and Kimmel recap the eclipse

I'm examining the eclipse and earthquake one last time through comedy. Take it away, Stephen Colbert with last night's monologue, Strange Eclipse Behavior | NYC’s Earthquake | Mt. Etna Blows Smoke Rings | Trump’s $50M Fundraiser.

Pets, zoo animals, political candidates and cable news anchors all exhibited odd behavior related to the solar eclipse, Stephen shares the details of his earthquake experience, an Italian volcano is blowing smoke rings, and the former president claims he raised $50 million in one night.
Three science stories in a row — I'm glad I decided to watch this monologue! I'm almost as thrilled as I was seeing the eclipse myself yesterday, but with much less work. Catching the end of totality by pulling off to the side of the freeway when the sky finally went dark and pulling out my special glasses was a reward for getting stuck in traffic and worrying I wouldn't make it to the umbra. I can say "yes, I saw it." Cross that off my bucket list, although I am now thinking about traveling to the one in Spain two years from now. Too bad the path of totality just misses Vigo. I can imagine Broken Peach having an eclipse concert where they sing "Total Eclipse of the Heart" when the Moon covers the Sun, but it won't work out for them to perform in their home town.  Maybe they should do it in A Coruña.

The eclipse also provided material for Jimmy Kimmel. Watch Jimmy's monologue, Trump’s Eclipse Message, Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Display of Dim-bulbery & A.I. for STDs!

We had a Total Solar Eclipse today, people were lining up all across the country to buy viewing glasses, Biden put out an official White House message warning us not to look up, Team Trump used the Eclipse to make a point on Truth Social, Marjorie Taylor Greene posted about the earthquake in New York and eclipse, Trump accepted an award on behalf of his wife Melania who was too busy to attend, he is working hard to reimagine his official stance on abortion, there is a new app that uses A.I. to determine if you have an STI, and we headed out to Hollywood Blvd to ask people “What is an Eclipse?”
Merry Eclipsemas, indeed!

Both Stephen and Jimmy made fun of Donald Trump's eclipse ad, but Stephen's writers and editors did the best job of mocking it in Trump’s Eclipse Ad, Adjusted For Scientific Accuracy.



You might want to cover your eyes.

That's quite the moon!

That's it for today's comedic reflection upon the eclipse and the reaction to it. Stay tuned for Wayback Wednesday!

Monday, April 8, 2024

NOVA examines the 'Great American Eclipse'

I concluded Earthquake, eclipse, and other news on 'SNL' by telling my readers to stay tuned for today's eclipse! In the spirit of NOVA warns of 'The Next Pompeii' for the Ides of March, last month's most popular entry posted during March 2023, I'm embedding Great American Eclipse | Full Documentary | NOVA | PBS.

Explore the spectacular cosmic phenomenon of a total solar eclipse. In April 2024, the Moon’s shadow is sweeping from Texas to Maine, as the U.S. witnesses its last total solar eclipse until 2044. This extraordinary astronomical event is plunging locations in the path of totality into darkness for more than four minutes – nearly twice as long as the last American eclipse in 2017. Learn how to watch an eclipse safely and follow scientists as they work to unlock secrets of our Sun – from why its atmosphere is hundreds of times hotter than its surface, to what causes solar storms and how we might one day predict them.
That was everything I was hoping it would be and more — lots of science, history, and even archeology!

NOVA has more in NOVA goes eclipse hunting!.

Join members of the NOVA team for a behind the scenes look at the preparations being made in Kerrville, TX for the April 8 total solar eclipse!
Nothing like asking a NASA scientist!

Watch the eclipse as it happens in NOVA Solar Eclipse Livestream.

On April 8, 2024, millions of Americans will witness the rare event of a solar eclipse that will cross the continental United States. Join NOVA for a live stream prior to the eclipse where we will be joined by NASA scientists at the Kerrville Eclipse Festival in Texas!
Learn how to watch an eclipse safely, discover what eclipses can reveal to scientists about the secrets of the Sun, and hear from the eclipse festival attendees.
You can watch the eclipse here. I'm less than an hour away from totality, as long as there isn't a traffic jam on the way, so I'm planning on traveling there to see it in person. Wish me a safe journey!

Like the post I'm modeling this one on, I'm ending with a relevant song, Bonnie Tyler - Total Eclipse of the Heart - Symphonic Orchestra 430 Broken Peach - 20th Century Rock.

Increíble actuación de Bonnie Tyler, Symphonic Orchestra 430 bajo la batuta de Carlos Rodríguez, y Broken Peach, interpretando Total Eclipse of the Heart, en la Gala 18 Aniversario que tuvo lugar el 11 de junio de 2017 en el Auditorio Mar de Vigo.
Translation: "Incredible performance by Bonnie Tyler, Symphonic Orchestra 430 under the baton of Carlos Rodríguez, and Broken Peach, performing Total Eclipse of the Heart, at the 18th Anniversary Gala that took place on June 11, 2017 at the Mar de Vigo Auditorium."

Yes, Broken Peach are Bonnie Tyler's backup singers. Otherwise, I wouldn't have used this song — too on the nose.

See you all later and enjoy the eclipse!

Sunday, April 7, 2024

Earthquake, eclipse, and other news on 'SNL'

As I promised yesterday, it's time for highlights of last night's Saturday Night Live. Since the cold open was about sports, not politics, I'm saving that for later and beginning with Weekend Update: Trump Claims Biden Is on Cocaine, Earthquake Rattles Northeast - SNL.

Weekend Update anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che tackle the week's biggest news, like the women's NCAA Final Four matchup of Iowa vs. UConn becoming the most-viewed women's basketball game with 14.2 million viewers.
I'm a geologist as well as a paleontologist (paleontology is a subfield of both geology and biology, and I have advanced degrees in both fields), so I'm grateful for an opportunity to blog about earthquakes for the first time since PBS Terra asks 'What's the ONE THING You Can Do To Survive a Tsunami?' I learned about the Ramapo Fault from news coverage of this earthquake and further reading revealed the Newark Rift to me. It's always a good day when I learn something new, especially when it can become one of the stories I tell my students. Since I'm going to be lecturing about earthquakes tomorrow, I can add this earthquake to my list of examples. Perfect timing!

Weekend Update continued with United Airlines' Leaky Toilet, Kanye West Compares Himself to Hitler.

Weekend Update anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che tackle the week's biggest news, like Jane Goodall celebrating her 90th birthday with 90 dogs.
Happy birthday, Dame Jane! The news about Kanye West and Sean "Diddy" Combs qualifies this as the Sunday entertainment feature, but the best part of this segment is the funny science. Speaking of which, the earthquake returned in Earthquake and Eclipse on the 4.8 Magnitude Earthquake and the Solar Eclipse.

Earthquake (Marcello Hernández) and Eclipse (Kenan Thompson) stop by Weekend Update to discuss the earthquake that shook the northeast and the solar eclipse.
"An earthquake during an eclipse? That would be biblical, Brother!" You both missed your chance, as Good Friday passed already, but, hey, close enough.

Follow over the jump for the rest of the highlights from last night's episode.

Saturday, April 6, 2024

Marching music for the Alaska, Hawaii, and North Dakota Democratic primaries

It's time for this election cycle's edition of marching music for the Alaska, Hawaii, and North Dakota Democratic primaries. I should go from east to west to follow poll closing times, but I'm going the other direction because Hawaii has the better marching bands (sorry, no drum corps in these states), followed by Alaska, then North Dakota. Hey, it's my blog; I can do that.

I kick off the music to watch and listen while waiting for results with a band that I featured four years ago presenting a new pair of performances, Na Koa Ali'i - Hawai'i All-State Marching Band - 2024 Pasadena Bandfest from Luis of Music213.

Representing the state of Hawaii,
Na Koa Ali'i Hawai'i All-State Marching Band performing their musical selections at the 43rd Annual Pasadena Tournament of Roses Bandfest at Pasadena City College on Friday, December 29, 2023.
I wrote that I was saving this band's performances for this post in Some of my favorite bands at the 2024 Rose Parade for New Year's Day. The dances alone made it worth the wait.

Luis of Music213 also captured Na Koa Ali'i - Hawai'i All-State Marching Band - 2024 Pasadena Rose Parade.

Representing the state of Hawaii,
Na Koa Ali'i Hawai'i All-State Marching Band performing at the 135th Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade on Monday, January 1, 2024.
Great performances! No wonder they got invited back. Here's to seeing them marching down Colorado Boulevard in 2029!

Follow over the jump for marching bands from Alaska and North Dakota along with a cameo of a band from the Aloha State.

Friday, April 5, 2024

'Star Trek: Discovery' trailers for First Contact Day

Happy First Contact Day! I was so confident that either Star Trek: Picard or Star Trek: Strange New Worlds would win at least one reward that my planned post today was "Star Trek winners at the Critics Choice Super Awards." Neither Star Trek show won anything. Instead, Black Mirror: Joan Is Awful won two awards for Best Science Fiction/Fantasy Series, Limited Series or Made-For-TV Movie and Best Actress in a Science Fiction/Fantasy Series, Limited Series or Made-For-TV Movie for Annie Murphy, Kurt Russell won Best Actor in a Science Fiction/Fantasy Series, Limited Series or Made-For-TV Movie for Monarch: Legacy of Monsters, and Melanie Lynskey took home Best Villain in a Series, Limited Series or Made-For-TV Movie in The Last of Us. So much for that idea, at least for today.

Instead, I'm taking my inspiration from watching the first two episodes of Season 5 of Star Trek: Discovery last night, which is the final season of this series. Watch Star Trek: Discovery | Season 5 Official Trailer | Paramount+.

The fifth and final season will find Captain Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) and the crew of the U.S.S. Discovery uncovering a mystery that will send them on an epic adventure across the galaxy to find an ancient power whose very existence has been deliberately hidden for centuries. But there are others on the hunt as well… dangerous foes who are desperate to claim the prize for themselves and will stop at nothing to get it.
The first sentence of the video description for This Season on Star Trek: Discovery | Season 5 Sneak Peek | StarTrek.com hints at the nature of the "ancient power whose very existence has been deliberately hidden for centuries."



Power of creation, here we come!

"Power of creation" refers back to Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Chase."
The argument is silenced when the tricorder begins projecting a holographic image of a humanoid. She explains that her civilization existed alone in the galaxy, billions of lonely years before any of the others developed. They decided to spread their genetic material to other planets, in the hopes of creating a rich ecosystem of humanoids who could fulfill the joys of finding and integrating with alien cultures that these first beings never had.
What the Progenitors, the species of ancient humanoid in the referenced holographic image, also shown in the video above, did was a form of exogenesis or panspermia, which I called "a fringe scientific idea." That written, it works much better in science fiction than science fact and helps explain (away) why there are so many humanoid aliens in science fiction shows and movies, which has a real-world practical reason, using human actors in makeup to play aliens. Only recently has CGI been able to affordably and convincingly create non-humanoid aliens, such as the Gelatin and Katrudian from The Orville. Those don't need the same in-universe rationale for existing that humanoid aliens do.

My wife and I are looking forward to the rest of the final season. I hope the writers do as good job of sending off Discovery's crew as Star Trek: Picard did for the crews of Enterprise-D, Enterprise-E, and, to a lesser extent, Voyager.

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Television nominees at the Critics Choice Super Awards


I told my readers "I plan on continuing this with the TV nominees on April 4th, the day the CCA presents the awards" at the conclusion of 'Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning' and 'The Last of Us' lead nominees at the fourth Critics Choice Super Awards, which means I'm continuing a streak of examining awards shows honoring speculative fiction on television that I began with My Saturn Awards votes vs. winners for Wayback 'Wednesday'. Time to recycle the relevant paragraph from the movie nominees post.
“The Last of Us” leads this year’s television nominees with seven nominations including Best Superhero Series, Limited Series or Made-For-TV Movie and Best Horror Series, Limited Series or Made-For-TV Movie. Pedro Pascal received nods for both Best Actor in a Superhero Series, Limited Series or Made-For-TV Movie and Best Actor in a Horror Series, Limited Series or Made-For-TV Movie, while Bella Ramsey earned a nominations for both Best Actress in a Superhero Series, Limited Series or Made-For-TV Movie and Best Actress in a Horror Series, Limited Series or Made-For-TV Movie. Melanie Lynskey was also nominated for Best Villain in a Series, Limited Series or Made-For-TV Movie. (Superhero categories also include Comic Book and Video Game Inspired series.)
Follow over the jump for the nominees and my opinions of them.

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

My Saturn Awards votes vs. winners for Wayback 'Wednesday'


It's Wayback Wednesday! I couldn't resist a good visual pun to introduce this retrospective of the top posts of the 13th year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News, as the most read entry of the past year, both calendar and blogging, was about the Saturn Awards, which honored Wednesday at this year's ceremony with the show winning Best Fantasy Television Series and its star Jenna Ortega winning Best Younger Performer in a Television Series. I'm thrilled to remind my readers that I voted for both winners, so congratulations to me for getting those categories correct and the show and Miss Ortega on their awards!

Of course, not all my votes were for winners, so it's time to compare my picks with the actual awardees.


FILM AWARDS
Best Action / Adventure Film: My vote — The Woman King. Winner — Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, one of the films I thought would win.
Best Actor in a Film: My vote — Cillian Murphy (Oppenheimer). Winner — "I expect the plurality of Saturn Award voters will cast their ballots for Harrison Ford" and they did.
Best Actress in a Film: My vote — Margot Robbie (Barbie). Winner — Margot Robbie.
Best Animated Film: My vote — Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. Winner — Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.
Best Fantasy Film: My vote — Barbie. Winner — "Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny has one more nomination and it might win because 'the Saturn Awards are about entertainment not art, they don't care for subtle, and they love to stick it to the experts.' Voting for what is supposed to be Harrison Ford's last outing as Indiana Jones would do all three. So would voting for Ford himself." Both won.
Best Film Costume Design: My vote — Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Ruth E. Carter). Winner — Barbie, and I'm happy it won instead, as it was the other professional choice and my second choice.
Best Film Direction: My vote — Greta Gerwig (Barbie). Winner — "I wouldn't put it past them to vote for Cameron because the Oscars snubbed him. As I've written about the Saturn Awards for years, 'the Saturn Awards are about entertainment not art, they don't care for subtle, and they love to stick it to the experts.' Voting for Cameron would do all three." The Saturn Awards electorate did as I expected.
Best Film Editing: My vote — Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (Andrew Buckland, Michael McCusker, Dirk Westervelt). Winner — Oppenheimer, which I conscientiously objected to, but was still the Oscar winner.
Best Film Make Up: My vote — Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 3 (Alexei Dmitriew, Lindsay Macgowen and Shane Mahan). Winner — The Covenant, first surprise, although I wrote "The rest of the Saturn Award electorate will probably vote for a horror film."
Best Film Music: My vote — Barbie (Mark Ronson & Andrew Wyatt). Winner — "I fully expect the plurality of the Saturn Awards electorate will vote for John Williams" so he won.
Best Film Production Design: My vote — Barbie (Sara Greenwood). Winner — Barbie.
Best Film Screenwriting: My vote — Barbie (Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach). Winner — Avatar: The Way of Water (James Cameron and Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver. "I don't care what the rest of the Saturn Awards voters think about this category."
Best Film Visual / Special Effects: My vote — Avatar: The Way of Water (Joe Letteri, Richard Baneham, Eric Saindon, Daniel Barrett). Winner — Avatar: The Way of Water.
Best Horror Film: My vote — Renfield. Winner — Talk to Me, which had the second most nominations.
Best Independent Film: My vote — Pearl. Winner — Pearl.
Best International Film: My vote — Speak No Evil (Denmark). Winner — "Before I researched the nominees, Sisu was first choice." My gut was right and I should have listened to it.
Best Science Fiction Film: My vote — Avatar: The Way of Water. Winner — Avatar: The Way of Water.
Best Superhero Film: My vote — Guardians of the Galaxy - Volume 3. Winner — Guardians of the Galaxy - Volume 3.
Best Supporting Actor in a Film: My vote — Ryan Gosling (Barbie). Winner — Nicolas Cage (Renfield). That was a complete surprise, although it fits the pattern of "the Saturn Awards are about entertainment not art, they don't care for subtle, and they love to stick it to the experts."
Best Supporting Actress in a Film: My vote — Angela Bassett (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever). Winner — "Emily Blunt has nominations for Supporting Actress in a film at both the Critics Choice Awards and Golden Globes, which the other actresses in this year's nominated films didn't earn" — a legitimate choice.
Best Thriller Film: My vote — Oppenheimer. Winner — Oppenheimer.
Best Younger Performer in a Film: My vote — Halle Bailey (The Little Mermaid). Winner — Xolo Maridueña, Blue Beetle, my second choice.


TELEVISION AWARDS
Best Action / Adventure / Thriller Television Series: My vote — Outlander. Winner — Outlander.
Best Actor in a Television Series: My vote — Pedro Pascal (The Last of Us). Winner — "I wouldn't be surprised if Patrick Stewart wins, as he won two years ago."
Best Actress in a Television Series: My vote — Tatiana Maslany (She-Hulk: Attorney-at-Law). Winner — Caitriona Balfe, Outlander, who I was going to vote for until I changed my mind on the next-to-last day.
Best Animated Television Series or Special: My vote — Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio. Winner — "The Bad Batch won that match and might win again, but they'll do it without my vote." The show did.
Best Fantasy Television Series: My vote — Wednesday. Winner — Wednesday.
Best Guest Star in a Television Series: My vote — Nick Offerman (The Last of Us). Winner — "I don't know if the Saturn Awards electorate can resist a good James Kirk, and [Paul] Wesley makes a good Kirk." Paul Wesley, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.
Best Horror Television Series: My vote — The Last of Us. Winner — The Last of Us.
Best New Genre Television Series: My vote — The Last of Us. Winner — Andor. That's a legitimate choice given its Emmy nominations.
Best Science Fiction Television Series: My vote — Star Trek: Picard. Winner — Star Trek: Picard.
Best Superhero Television Series: My vote — She-Hulk: Attorney-at-Law. Winner — "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." It still won.
Best Supporting Actor in a Television Series: My vote — Ethan Peck (Star Trek: Strange New Worlds). Winner — Jonathan Frakes, Star Trek: Picard. "My choice is between the once and future Number Ones, Frakes and Peck." I chose the wrong Number One.
Best Supporting Actress in a Television Series: My vote — Jeri Ryan (Star Trek: Picard). Winner — Jeri Ryan (Star Trek: Picard).
Best Television Presentation: My vote — Black Mirror. Winner — Marvel’s Werewolf by Night. "Marvel’s Werewolf by Night ties with The Midnight Club for the most nominated in this category" and I should have paid more attention to that.
Best Young Performer in a Television Series: My vote — Jenna Ortega (Wednesday). Winner — Jenna Ortega (Wednesday).


HOME ENTERTAINMENT AWARDS
Best 4K Home Media Release: My vote — Star Trek: The Motion Picture - The Director's Edition 4K. Winner — John Wick, Chapter 4 – 4K (Lionsgate Home Entertainment), my second choice.
Best Classic Film Home Media Release: My vote — The Manchurian Candidate 4K. Winner — Invaders from Mars 4K (Ignite). Not surprised.
Best Film Home Media Collection: My vote — Universal Classic Monsters: Icons of Horror, Volume 2. Winner — Superman 1978-1987 4K Collection (Warner Home Video). I thought about it and I chose wrong.
Best Television Home Media Release: My vote — Loki (Season 1) – 4K Steelbook. Winner — Night Gallery, Season 3 (Kino Lorber). Not surprised here, either.

Follow over the jump for the top posts about the Saturn Awards from the 13th year of the blog, all of which are from the back catalog.

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Marching music for Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin primaries

I'm resuming my series of marching music for primaries and caucuses with this year's edition of Marching music for the Wisconsin and New York primaries. I should go from east to west to follow poll closing times, but I'm going the other direction because Wisconsin has the better corps, followed by New York, then Connecticut. Hey, it's my blog; I can do that.

I kick off the music to watch and listen while waiting for results with Blue Stars | #dci2022 | Of War & Peace from Drum Corps International (DCI).

La Crosse, WI | 7th Place | 92.775

La Crosse, Wisconsin's Blue Stars perform a segment from the corps' #DCI2022 production, "Of War & Peace," during the 2022 DCI World Championships hosted August 12-14 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
It didn't hit me at the time, but now I think a Russian show about war and peace has become a little on the nose given what's happening in Ukraine. Otherwise, this is a great show, and oddly daring in other ways while simulutaneously being old-fashioned. All-girls corps put their musicians in skirts, but I don't recall seeing women in a co-ed corps doing that before. It worked.

FloMarching has the 2021 Blue Stars Full Show [with audio], an official upload DCI doesn't have.

The 2021 Blue Stars performing at Music on the March on August 1, 2021!
The 2021 shows didn't have to be competitive; they just had to be entertaining and fun to perform and this show succeeded at that.

Moving on to the other Wisconsin corps, Madison Scouts | #dci2022 | Installation 85.

Madison, WI | 15th Place | 83.725

Madison Wisconsin's Madison Scouts perform a segment from the corps' #DCI2022 production, "Installation 85," during the 2022 DCI World Championships hosted August 12-14 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
I'm still not completely sold on electric guitars in a drum corps pit, but in this case, it works. Also, the Scouts are just as jazzy as ever, but they're not as powerful as they were in the 20th Century. I miss that.

The marching band representative from the Badger State is Wisconsin Northwoods Marching Band - 2023 Pasadena Rose Parade, courtesy of Luis at Music213.

From Minocqua, Wisconsin
The Wisconsin Northwoods Marching Band performing their musical selections at the 134th Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade on Monday, January 2, 2023. This is a composite group of 8 high schools: Lakeland, Northland Pines, Three Lakes, Merrill, Antigo, Wausau East, DC Everest, and Mosinee high schools and is making their first appearance at this event.
On, Wisconsin!

Follow over the jump for units from the rest of today's primary states.

Monday, April 1, 2024

IgNobel Prizes for April Fools Day, a holiday special

Happy April Fools Day! I considered today's topic in PBS Eons and SciShow on Piltdown Man for April Fools Day, a Science Saturday holiday special.
I might write about the IgNobel Prizes next year, which I haven't done for nearly a decade. Time to return to them.
My readers reinforced this idea, as Science awards from the ridiculous to the sublime, 2013 edition has seen a surge in interest so far this year, earning 305 page views from December 1st to now. Without any further ado, listen to Ig Nobel prize 2023: Science that makes you laugh (and think) | New Scientist Weekly podcast 215.

A smart toilet with a camera inside that analyses your poop, plus a study of people who are fluent in speaking backwards – these are just two recipients of this year’s Ig Nobel prize. As the satirical sister to the Nobel prize, the Ig Nobels honour scientific achievements that make people laugh…then think. Prize founder Marc Abrahams on this year’s hilarious winners - and why even robots made from reanimating dead spiders can have a more serious side.
Two of the prizes connect to stories I tell my students, geologists, particularly paleontologists, licking rocks and spiders moving their limbs by hydraulic action. Science Friday went into more detail on both in Saluting Science’s Silly Side, Virtually (click to listen).
This year’s awards included prizes for explaining why many scientists like to lick rocks, for re-animating dead spiders to use as mechanical gripping tools, and for using cadavers to explore whether there is an equal number of hairs in each of a person’s two nostrils.
I'm a paleontologist, so I know what geologists do in the field, including tasting rocks for composition and chewing on them for texture. I tell my students about the chew test for siltstone versus shale, but I also tell them not to do it to their specimens; the rocks are already identified. Besides, they can tell by rubbing them.

Using reanimated spiders as robots is creepy, but it makes perfect sense given the anatomy of spiders. I'll try to remember this research when I lecture about spiders this summer and fall in Organismal Biology.

The Education Prize touches on my teaching philosophy: "If I'm bored, my students are bored, and nobody is learning." I try to keep my lectures interesting for that reason, including telling jokes and, hopefully, interesting stories. That's a third story I tell my students that I now know has scientific support, thanks to the IgNobel Prizes.

Ars Technica has detailed descriptions of all the winners, including ones New Scientist and Science Friday missed, such as the Nutrition Prize recognizing "Homei Miyashita and Hiromi Nakamura, for experiments to determine how electrified chopsticks and drinking straws can change the taste of food" and the Physics prize acknowledging "Bieito Fernández Castro, Marian Peña, Enrique Nogueira, Miguel Gilcoto, Esperanza Broullón, Antonio Comesaña, Damien Bouffard, Alberto C. Naveira Garabato, and Beatriz Mouriño-Carballido, for measuring the extent to which ocean-water mixing is affected by the sexual activity of anchovies."

I hope my readers enjoyed today's excursion into "achievements that first make people LAUGH, then make them THINK." All of them are real research. No hoaxes today!

Follow over the jump for a retrospective of the most read posts about holidays during the 13th year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News.

Sunday, March 31, 2024

'Trump' hijacks the Resurrection to sell Bibles on 'SNL' for Easter

Happy Easter! As I have the past two years, I'm celebrating with the Easter cold open from the previous night's Saturday Night Live. Watch as James Austin Johnson's Trump hijacks the Resurrection to sell Bibles in Easter Cold Open - SNL.

Donald Trump (James Austin Johnson) advertises his God Bless the USA bible.
With luck and hard work by his opponents, we won't have Donald Trump in power and possibly even the news next Easter. If we do, we'll have worse things to worry about than an SNL Easter skit with Trump as Pontius Pilate or the equivalent.

Mocking of TFG selling Bibles resumed in Weekend Update: Trump Selling $60 Bibles, Francis Scott Key Bridge Collapses.

Weekend Update anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che tackle the week's biggest news, like former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama attending a fundraiser for President Joe Biden in New York City.
Wow, it was a busy news week! At least the SNL writers found time for Boeing's current problems, including Boeing’s embattled CEO being poised to walk away with millions. Nothing like a golden parachute for jumping out of a malfunctioning airplane!

Weekend Update continued with Robotic Police Dog Shot, Oppenheimer Premiers in Japan.

Weekend Update anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che tackle the week’s biggest news, like a famous Washington D.C. cherry blossom tree getting chopped down.
The Oscar-winning Oppenheimer opening in Japan makes today's post worthy of being the Sunday entertainment feature. A robotic police "dog" being shot reminds us that we live in science fiction times complete with 21st Century crime scenes. Also, pour one out for poor Stumpy, although the tree's genes will live on.

Follow over the jump for the rest of Weekend Update, two Ramadan skits, and a recap of last year's top SNL posts.

Saturday, March 30, 2024

'Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning' and 'The Last of Us' lead nominees at the fourth Critics Choice Super Awards


It's time to examine the nominees for the Critics Choice Super Awards!
The Critics Choice Association (CCA) announced today the nominees for the 4th annual Critics Choice Super Awards, honoring the most popular, fan-obsessed genres across both television and movies, including Superhero, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Horror, and Action. Winners will be revealed on Thursday, April 4, 2024. “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning” leads this year’s film nominees, earning five nominations including Best Action Movie. Tom Cruise received a nomination for Best Actor in an Action Movie, while Hayley Atwell, Rebecca Ferguson and Pom Klementieff all received nods for Best Actress in an Action Movie.

“The Last of Us” leads this year’s television nominees with seven nominations including Best Superhero Series, Limited Series or Made-For-TV Movie and Best Horror Series, Limited Series or Made-For-TV Movie. Pedro Pascal received nods for both Best Actor in a Superhero Series, Limited Series or Made-For-TV Movie and Best Actor in a Horror Series, Limited Series or Made-For-TV Movie, while Bella Ramsey earned a nominations for both Best Actress in a Superhero Series, Limited Series or Made-For-TV Movie and Best Actress in a Horror Series, Limited Series or Made-For-TV Movie. Melanie Lynskey was also nominated for Best Villain in a Series, Limited Series or Made-For-TV Movie. (Superhero categories also include Comic Book and Video Game Inspired series.)

“The Super Awards consistently shine a bright light on the outstanding work being done in genre cinema and television,” said Sean O’Connell, CCA Director of the Super Awards. “We were blown away by the performances and craftsmanship that went into the slate of films and series recognized this year. These nominations represent the absolute best in popular culture, and we’re excited to see which winners emerge.”
Consistently, yes, but only for the past four years, while the Saturn Awards have done so 51 times since 1973, when Slaughterhouse Five and Blacula won. As a Saturn Awards voter since 2017, I feel I have to point that out. That written, I usually vote what I like to consider to be the professional over the popular choice, so I'm very interested in what one group of entertainment professionals, the critics, think of speculative fiction movies and TV shows and how that compares to the more heterogeneous electorate for the Saturn Awards. Follow over the jump for the movie nominees.

Friday, March 29, 2024

Randy Rainbow asks 'HOW WILL YOU VOTE?' for Flashback Friday

Happy Flashback Friday! It's finally time to start my retrospectives of the top posts of the 13th year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News with the subject of the top entry actually posted during the blogging year just ended, Randy Rainbow.* Since this is a Flashback Friday, Randy is not putting out new videos while he's on tour, and the major party presidential nominees will almost certainly be the same as four years ago, I'm celebrating today with a video that turns out to be just as timely now as it was then, Randy asking HOW WILL YOU VOTE? - A Randy Rainbow Song Parody.


I know who I'm voting for in November. Do you?

Follow over the jump for the top posts featuring Randy Rainbow during the 13th year of this blog.

Thursday, March 28, 2024

CityNerd explains 'All the Ways Car Dependency Is Wrecking Us'

I told my readers to "Stay tuned for a regular post" and I'm delivering with Ray Delahanty as CityNerd explaining All the Ways Car Dependency Is Wrecking Us.

By popular demand -- a comprehensive review of all the ways car dependency destroys our communities, our health, and our planet. With gratuitous commentary by your host!
It looks like I have to update the headline statistic in U.S. traffic deaths reached nearly 43,000 in 2021, the most in 16 years, a driving update, which I had telling my students to make a point. The actual number is 4,000 higher, 46,980. They would be even more shocked if I told them more than one million people die every year in car crashes, including collisions with pedestrians, worldwide. Yikes! Also, I make that comparison between the safety of cars and commercial airlines every year as an analogy for the day-to-day safety of coal-fired power plants and nuclear plants. Both commercial air travel and nuclear power plants are much safer than personal automobile travel and coal-powered plants, even accounting for Boeing's current problems and meltdowns. Nuclear waste? We haven't got there yet.

The rest of the list is just as enlightening and I plan on sharing the highlights as stories I tell my students. I hope they learn them, too. As for me, it's always a good day when I learn something new and I learned a lot from this video.

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

It's Wayback 'Wednesday'

I was working on a post that was going to take too long, so I made this meme instead. I like the idea of Wednesday Addams as a mascot for Wayback Wednesday. I hope my readers do, too.

Stay tuned for a regular post tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Stats for the 13th year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News on Throwback Tuesday

As I wrote yesterday, "Stay tuned for stats!"

As of 11:59 PM EDT March 20, 2024, this blog had a lifetime total of 4,463,208 page views, 5,798 total posts, and 4,057 comments. Minus the 3,821,974 page views, 5,418 total posts, and 3,979 comments as of just before March 20, 2023, that means this blog earned 641,234 page views and 78 published comments on 380 posts during the 366 days of the 13th year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News. My calculated page views are close to the ~640,000 page views Blogger's counter showed during the past twelve months, which I think covered April 1, 2023 to March 20, 2024, but wildly off from the 199 comments it counted during the same period. Blogger aggressively threw a lot of comments into the spam filter beginning about February 2023, including some that were not spam and which I had to approve to display again, which would explain the more than 100 comment difference. Blogger also aggressively held a lot of comments in the spam filter and never published them. That's O.K. I don't miss the spam.

I also don't miss the anxiety I was feeling when I wrote last year's post. This past year's 641,234 page views beats the year before's 419,300 page views on 379 posts between March 21, 2022 and March 20, 2023. It's also more than the 532,981 page views the blog earned between March 21, 2021 and March 20, 2022. Had I actually followed through on raising my page view goal to 25,000 per 29 days, which translates to 862 page views per day, I would have easily exceeded the 315,517 page view goal for the 366 days of the blogging year. Yay!

I'm also no longer working harder for fewer page views, as the blog earned 1,687.46 page views per post and 1,752.01 page views per day. That's much better than the 1,106.33 page views per post and 1,148.77 page views per day last year and the 1,452.26 page views per post and 1,460.22 page views per day the year before that. Whew. Still, I'm not tempted to increase my page view goals this coming year.

While the raw number of comments, including spam never released from the spam filter, increased from 168 to 199, the published comments remaining at the end of the blogging year decreased from 122 to 78. Since I don't have comment goals, I'm not concerned. I'd prefer fewer quality comments than a lot of spam.

As for my commenters who aren't spammers, I'd like to thank them, beginning with continuing commenters Infidel753, Nebris, the first commenter on my blog, Friend of the Court, and best man at my first wedding Narb Xorbian. Keep up the good work! I also want to thank H-bob, tronvillain, August Johnson, Noah, Marc McKenzie, Realityhold, Steve in Manhattan, and my student Ecogranite for making their first posts here. Unfortunately, I seem to have lost longtime commenters Paul W. and Sarnia Sam, while last year's first-time commenters Powers, Sicko Ricko, Expat, verbum, Buzzcook, Bruce.desertrat, and emjayjay didn't return. Come back, I miss you!

Follow over the jump for the rest of the analysis.

Monday, March 25, 2024

CityNerd examines 'Why Americans Live So Far Away From Everything,' a driving update

Happy Holi! Normally, I'd write an entire post about the holiday, but, like Purim, I'm just not feeling it.* Besides, I have something else in mind, a driving update. I begin with CityNerd examining Why Americans Live So Far Away From Everything.

"Super commuting": when your job is in one metropolitan area and you live in a completely different metro area. With the intensifying housing affordability crisis and the increase in hybrid work schedules, there are more long work trips than ever...but are they really "super"?
Ray "CityNerd" Delahanty has interesting things to say about super commuting, but that's not what prompted me to leave a comment on this video. Instead, I focused on something more personal.
The preview image looked eerily familiar, so I zoomed in the sign listing the exits and read "Yorba Linda Blvd. Weir Canyon Road" then CA 241. That's heading east on CA 91 just past the intersection with CA 90 in Anaheim Hills. Hey, I used to live within a mile of where that picture was taken! Appropriately for the video, I commuted to downtown LA from there.
I elaborated on this at my Dreamwidth, adding "That was about the background, which probably came from a drone carrying a telephoto lens, because the mountains would otherwise be much smaller. The foreground has been added from a traffic jam in Arizona." Check out the Arizona license plate and U of A sticker to see why I think so.

That's my personal reaction to the general driving update. Follow over the jump for my personal driving update.