Thursday, February 29, 2024

Neil deGrasse Tyson explains leap years on StarTalk, twice

Happy Leap Year Day! Once again, I'm sharing the science and history of the day with Neil deGrasse Explains Why We Have Leap Days on StarTalk.

What’s going on with Leap Year? Neil deGrasse Tyson and comedian Chuck Nice explain why we sometimes have that extra day in February.

Learn about the rotation and orbit of the Earth and how our orbit isn’t exactly 365 days. What is the difference between the Gregorian and Julian Calendar? We take a trip back to 1582 to find out why The Pope took out 10 days of October. Plus, find out why 2000 was such a special leap year.
Neil and Chuck laughing about a new year observance that changes its hour and sometimes even day every year reminds me that celebrations of Nowruz follow the Vernal Equinox around the clock and occasionally the calendar instead of being fixed on March 21, which is why I celebrate on International Day of Nowruz instead.

By the way, as Neil alluded to, this is not the first time he's explained leap years on StarTalk. I found The Leap Year as Explained by Neil deGrasse Tyson | StarTalk on National Geographic's YouTube channel from 2016.

Neil deGrasse Tyson explains the logic behind the leap year, with a brief history in calendars as well.
It's still the same basic story, so I can tell he's been telling it for a long time, but in fairness, Chuck wasn't there, so this year's video was the first time he dedicated an entire episode with Chuck present.

This concludes February's blogging. Stay tuned for the first post of March, when I plan on celebrating a bunch of holidays, including this blog's 13th birthday. My blog will become a teenager!

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

SciShow explains the connection between the age of the Earth and unleaded gasoline plus more about lead

Today's topic for an evergreen entry is lead and today's source is SciShow. I begin with SciShow asking How Do We Know How Old the Earth Is?

In the wake of World War 2, Clair Patterson embarked on a scientific quest to find out how old the Earth really is. His hard work paid off, but it also revealed a modern danger.
I have already shown this to my geology students to explain how scientists know how old the Earth is using radiometric dating of meteorites and I might show it to my environmental science students to illustrate how prevalent lead was and still is in our environment and the long-running effort to remove lead from gasoline, at least in the U.S. If I do, it would serve as an example of three of Commoner's Laws: Everything is connected to everything else, there is no away, and there is no free lunch. Nature knows best? Whatever that would be, it doesn't involve lead!

SciShow uploaded the above video on January 30th. The channel continued examining lead yesterday when it posted Why Does Everything Decay Into Lead.

If you look at a copy of the periodic table, you might notice that basically every element after lead is labelled as radioactive. And the vast majority of those elements wind up decaying into some version of lead eventually. But why is lead so special?
I may have heard of magic numbers and nuclear shells before, but I don't recall it sticking. If it doesn't stick, have I really learned anything? If not and it sticks this time, then I have learned something new. It's always a good day when I learn something new. I hope my readers agree.

These weren't SciShow's first videos about lead. A good candidate for that would be Lead: The Original Artificial Sweetener from 2015.

Lead is really useful when you add it to things like paint and gasoline. Problem is, it’s also poisonous.

Hosted by: Hank Green
I think I'm more likely to show this to my environmental science students. It's shorter and more focused on lead's hazards. Besides, Hank Green is an entertaining host. Newer is not always better!

That's it for today's science lesson. Stay tuned for Leap Year Day!

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Marching music for the Michigan Primary — Legends, U of M, MSU, Rockford, and DeWitt

I announced today's post yesterday.
I've already decided to post this year's version of Marching music for the Michigan, Washington, Mississippi, and Democrats Abroad primaries focusing on my adopted home state of Michigan, which has the date all to itself, thanks to Democrats rearranging the dates of their primaries and caucuses to make them more representative. I guess that counts as reality through my idiosyncratic lens. Now off to select the videos to watch and listen to while waiting for the results!
Since I emphasize competitive drum corps in this series, I begin with what was Michigan's only competitive drum corps, Legends | #dci2022 | May Your Light Shine Forever from Drum Corps International (DCI).

Kalamazoo, Michigan's Legends perform a segment from the corps' #DCI2022 production, "May Your Light Shine Forever," during the 2022 DCI World Championships hosted August 12-14 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
That's the official upload. Drum Corps Library uploaded the complete show, which pays tribute to three adults who worked with the corps and were lost during the pandemic.

As the title and description of the DCI video explaining the show say, "'Three special people'...Legends' emotional 2022 production, 'May Your Light Shine Forever,' honors three individuals from the Legends community who passed away during the COVID-19 pandemic." May the same be said about Legends, who did not field a corps last year and apparently won't field a corps this year, as they are not included among the List of Drum Corps International member corps. Sigh. Legends are already missed.

I like transitions and connections and I have one for this post from DCI, From Boston to "The Big House:" Crusaders Trumpet Excels as Michigan Drum Major.

Boston Crusaders member Blake Brdak has made incredible memories on the DCI Tour and as the 58th drum major of the University of Michigan Marching Band.
Read more at DCI's website. By the way, Blake should look familiar, as he led the band in the final video I featured in Some of my favorite bands at the 2024 Rose Parade for New Year's Day.

Follow over the jump for four featured marching bands from Michigan.

Monday, February 26, 2024

Susan Lozier at TED asks 'Is Climate Change Slowing Down the Ocean?'

I told my readers "Stay tuned for a more evergreen post tomorrow." That's today, so I'm sharing Is Climate Change Slowing Down the Ocean? | Susan Lozier | TED.

Ocean waters are constantly on the move, traveling far distances in complex currents that regulate Earth's climate and weather patterns. How might climate change impact this critical system? Oceanographer Susan Lozier dives into the data, which suggests that ocean overturning is slowing down as waters gradually warm — and takes us on board the international effort to track these changes and set us on the right course while we still have time.

Countdown is TED's global initiative to accelerate solutions to the climate crisis. The goal: to build a better future by cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030, in the race to a zero-carbon world. Get involved at
For my response, I'm reusing my comments from PBS Terra asks 'Is Earth's Largest Heat Transfer Really Shutting Down?'
This is not a new concern, as Al Gore described it in "An Inconvenient Truth." I asked about it specifically in the worksheet I used in one of my classes, which I reproduced in Hot (not): a cold blast from the past along with an answer.
What is the likely effect of the melting of the Greenland ice cap on ocean circulation and global climate?
In the movie, the idea is that the release of meltwater from a large glacial lake diluted the Gulf Stream, causing the water to become less dense and unable to sink to the bottom of the ocean off Greenland, jamming up the global thermohaline circulation and sending the planet back into an ice age for another thousand years. An analogous melt of water from the Greenland icecap, which is beginning to happen, would do much the same thing, slowing ocean circulation and cooling Europe. Both of those are indeed taking place.
The movie came out seventeen years ago and I wrote the above more than ten years ago. It's not as if we weren't warned.

Speaking of which, PBS Terra listed the Greenland ice sheet and the AMOC (Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation) last September in PBS Terra asks 'What Will Earth Look Like When These 6 Tipping Points Hit?' I'm reusing my reaction from that post as well.
Watching all that reminds me that none of these threats are new, so my reaction isn't either.
First, welcome to the 400 ppm world. Second, are you scared enough by climate change? My readers should be.
Hey, I'm an environmentalist; I recycle.

I'll see if I can resume my awards show coverage tomorrow or if it's easier to stick to reality. Stay tuned to find out.
Even that outro works for today.
The outro works for today, too, although I've already decided to post this year's version of Marching music for the Michigan, Washington, Mississippi, and Democrats Abroad primaries focusing on my adopted home state of Michigan, which has the date all to itself, thanks to Democrats rearranging the dates of their primaries and caucuses to make them more representative. I guess that counts as reality through my idiosyncratic lens. Now off to select the videos to watch and listen to while waiting for the results!

Sunday, February 25, 2024

'SNL' opens with a Trump victory party after the South Carolina Republican Primary

I wondered what I would do today at the end of PBS Terra explains 'How An Ancient Ocean Shaped US History'.
Stay tuned for the final Sunday entertainment feature of February. I could still compile a highlights post of tonight's Saturday Night Live, but I'll see if I'm feeling it tomorrow.
I'm feeling it. Watch Trump Victory Party Cold Open.

Senators Tim Scott, James Risch, Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio (Devon Walker, Mikey Day, James Austin Johnson, Marcello Hernandez) discuss Donald Trump over a meal.
It's enough to make me feel a bit sorry for the actual politicians, as much as I've made fun of them, particularly Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio. Then I remember what they did for party unity and discipline — party over country — and I don't feel so sorry for them anymore.

The cold open was ostensibly a victory celebration of Donald Trump winning the 2024 South Carolina Republican Primary, so it's time to watch Weekend Update: Trump Wins South Carolina Primary, Biden Raises $56 Million For Campaign.

Weekend Update anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che tackle the week's biggest news, like the Alabama Supreme Court ruling frozen embryos are children.
I was wondering if the South Carolina Republican Primary would be called early enough for it to be the lead story on Weekend Update. I shouldn't have been concerned; it was called just after 9:00 P.M. EST. On the one hand, that's not great for Trump; he's not getting the numbers Joe Biden got. I'm recycling my comment from George Santos sues Jimmy Kimmel and Trump sells sneakers for the other hand.
Nikki Haley is staying in for the same reasons Liz Cheney is opposing Trump: "As I wrote in July 2022, 'In Liz Cheney's case, she'd like her pre-2015 Republican Party back. I doubt she'll get it any time soon, so she'll settle for damaging TFG instead. I wish her luck.' She's certainly doing her best." Too bad her best won't be good enough to win the nomination.
But it might be enough to damage Trump. I hope she's happy with that. I know I am.

Weekend Update continued with Zombie Deer Disease, Red Lobster’s Endless Lobster Experience.

Weekend Update anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che tackle the week’s biggest news, like a study showing women benefit from exercise more than men.
"Zombie deer disease" is formally known as Chronic wasting disease (CWD), a prion disease. That's as bad, if not worse, than COVID-19 in deer. Cooking deactivates viruses, but not prions. Yikes!

The joke about putting Romeo and Juliet where no one would see it on Paramount+ is a funny version of a whine I wrote six years ago and repeated the next year: "'The Good Fight'...only seems to earn Emmy nominations for its music. At least the musicians are watching the show; other branches of the Television Academy don't seem to be watching." Something similar has been going on with the Star Trek shows, as the hair and makeup artists are nominating it, including two Emmy nominations for Star Trek: Picard last year and five nominations for Star Trek: Picard in 2020 including two for makeup, one for hairstyling, and two for sound. At least the the Saturn Awards committees were watching and nominated the franchise for a bunch of awards and people like me voted for them. Let's see if the next season of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds fares any better with the entertainment professionals.

SNL hasn't uploaded the interviews from Weekend Update yet, so I'm ending this post with Trump Sneakers.

Things turn around for a struggling man (Shane Gillis) when he's gifted a pair of magical sneakers from Donald Trump.
"White Men Can Trump." Unfortunately, a lot of us can. Sigh. Also, SNL couldn't resist a "Biden is old" joke. Double sigh.

Enough topical humor. Stay tuned for a more evergreen post tomorrow.

Saturday, February 24, 2024

PBS Terra explains 'How An Ancient Ocean Shaped US History'

As I wrote yesterday, "I'm planning on writing posts with a longer shelf life than the daily or weekly news cycle for the rest of this month." In that vein, I'm sharing PBS Terra's How An Ancient Ocean Shaped US History.

From ancient seas to fertile soils, evolutionary biologist Shane Campbell-Staton explores the remarkable journey that transformed the Cretaceous coastline into the fertile “Black Belt” region of the American South. He joins oceanographer Craig McClain, professor Sven Beckert, and geneticist Steven Micheletti to learn how millions of years of deposits shaped the events of Black American history.
A lesson I teach my geology students is how the underlying rocks and sediments influence how humans use the landscape. The example I use involves stranded shorelines when lake levels were higher during the terminal Pleistocene here in metro Detroit. People like to site cemeteries and parks on them, particularly the shoreline of Lake Whittlesey, map below.

My explanation is that these ancient beaches are elevated benches of sand that are relatively easy to excavate, wide enough for cemeteries, and provide good views. The first two are practical considerations, while I think the last is cultural. We may fancy that the dead would like a vista, but it's really for the living.

I drive this lesson home the Saturday before Halloween, when I lead a field trip past all these cemeteries, calling it a Halloween Graveyard Tour, that ends at a local cider mill. Students enjoy it, as long as they don't get lost, which does happen. I plan on adding addresses and GPS coordinates to the landmarks for future trips so my students stay on course. That's not exactly what I had in mind by incorporating technology into my teaching, but welcome to meeting my students where they are in third decade of the 21st Century.

All of that pales in comparison with the journey through time and space that Shane Campbell-Staton took his viewers through. It shows how connected history, economy, culture, and politics are to the Earth on a scale that dwarfs my example from the end of the Pleistocene to today. It also reminds me of my favorite William Faulkner quote, “The past is never dead. It's not even past.” Faulkner was a Southerner, so he was in a position to know, but even he had no idea how the deep past from the time of the dinosaurs still hasn't died and is still with us.

Stay tuned for the final Sunday entertainment feature of February. I could still compile a highlights post of tonight's Saturday Night Live, but I'll see if I'm feeling it tomorrow. If not, I might continue covering the Oscar nominees as I promised in '20 Days in Mariupol' and 'The ABCs of Book Banning' leading documentary nominees according to Gold Derby or revisit My Saturn Awards votes for National Science Fiction Day 2024. Return tomorrow to find out.

Friday, February 23, 2024

Future Proof examines 'The RISE and FALL of Malls in America,' a tale of the Retail Apocalypse

I am in a Flashback Friday mood, so I'm revisiting the Retail Apocalypse with Future Proof's The RISE and FALL of Malls in America.

Future Proof's origin story looks and sounds familiar because I wrote "CNBC reviewed the history of malls, including the role of architect Victor Gruen in designing...the Southdale Shopping Center in Edina, Minnesota, and how they fit in the history of suburbia" in CNBC explains why U.S. malls are disappearing, plus Forever 21 and Brooks Brothers saved for now, tales of the Retail Apocalypse and pandemic. I could have written about Gruen's disowned contribution to the creation of shopping malls earlier, as I mentioned "the video series Sam of Brick Immortar has created on the history of malls" in The rise and fall of the mall from Business Insider, a tale of the Retail Apocalypse and pandemic. I never used those videos, which turned out to be a good thing. Sam has since changed the focus of his channel and made most if not all of his Retail Apocalypse videos private. Darn. I was closer to Sam than any of the other Retail Apocalypse YouTubers and I miss his presence in that space.

Future Proof seems to agree with me that "blaming Amazon for the loss of brick-and-mortar retail is a popular but slightly lazy reason" for the decline in anchor stores. He points to poor public transportation and the disconnection between malls and mass transit in North America, noting that malls in Europe, which are better connected to public transportation, are thriving. That reminds me of one of CityNerd's peeves about shopping centers, particularly lifestyle centers and power centers, being bad urban land uses. I might use those videos, as well as his tongue-in-cheek video about Spirit Halloween, in future Retail Apocalypse posts.

Finally, the paid promotion by Ground News reminds me that I promised a comparison and contrast between AllSides and the Media Bias Chart three years ago. I haven't done that, but I'm planning on writing posts with a longer shelf life than the daily or weekly news cycle for the rest of this month. It might be time. Stay tuned.

Thursday, February 22, 2024

John Oliver examines Clarence Thomas and makes him an offer on 'Last Week Tonight'

As I whined about Tuesday and promised yesterday, I'm sharing Last Week Tonight with John Oliver's official season premiere, Supreme Court Ethics.

John Oliver discusses the Supreme Court, the ethically questionable gifts some of the justices receive, and an offer for Clarence Thomas that could ruin John’s life. Genuinely. You’ll see.
Thomas's gift trips should sound familiar, as MSNBC interviews ProPublica about Justice Thomas's unreported vacations paid for by Harlan Crow covered most of them as did Legal Eagle asks is there 'Astonishing Corruption at The Supreme Court?' While Jordan Klepper on the NRA Convention, Clarence Thomas, and AOC and Colbert's monologue examined security leaks, Justice Thomas, and Tennessee expelling two legislators turned this into comedy, it was time that John Oliver and his writers turned their attention to the subject. Thomas and his ethical issues deserve the scrutiny.

I conclude by repeating what I wrote on Tuesday: "I'm sure Thomas won't retire, at least while Joe Biden is President, despite Oliver's generous offer." Too bad.

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

George Santos sues Jimmy Kimmel and Trump sells sneakers

I know I wrote "George Santos — that's a name I was hoping never to write about again," but the man managed to make himself relevant again as George Santos Sues Jimmy Kimmel for Fraud, Trump Hit with Bigly Fine & He Drops New Sneakers.

Jimmy got sued by former Congressman George Santos for fraud after we ordered some of his Cameo videos, Donald Trump was ordered to pay $355 million dollars by a judge in New York, supporters have started GoFundMe pages to help pay the penalty off, Donny made an appearance at Sneaker Con in Philadelphia to sell “The Never Surrender High-Top Sneaker,” and all of the American Presidents were ranked by political science experts and Presidential historians.
The hypocrisy of Santos suing someone for fraud just confirms what I first wrote a dozen years ago, Projection is the Right's favorite defense mechanism, although I think that's the least of Santos's psychological issues. I mean, it takes one to know one. Also, he's suing Disney, which has some of the sharpest lawyers in Hollywood. I'm sure they vetted what Kimmel was doing with Santos's Cameo videos and said it was O.K. It's even more hilarious that Santos sued Disney for copyright violation. I'll let TechDirt comment on this.
Over the weekend, Santos actually sued Kimmel, along with ABC/Disney, claiming copyright infringement. Because, I’m sure, Disney doesn’t employ any copyright lawyers who will eat Santos and his lawyer for lunch and spit out the remains into bowls made out of Mickey Mouse.

The lawsuit is not good. The crux is that Kimmel (1) misrepresented himself and (2) purchased videos under a “personal” license instead of a “commercial” one, and therefore this is both fraud and copyright infringement.

It is likely neither.

On the copyright side, Kimmel has a strong fair use claim. He used them for commentary and criticism without harming the market for Santos’ Cameos (in fact, they likely increased it). The fraud part is just nonsense. Santos didn’t lose money out of this, he made money.
Bingo. The only good thing this does for Santos is keep his name in the public eye. Otherwise, he should look up Streisand effect for how this will backfire on him. He runs a good risk of paying Kimmel's, ABC's, and Disney's legal fees.

Speaking of frauds, Kimmel also made light of Donald Trump's latest legal troubles and attempts to raise money off of them. Trump saying that "it's a very sad day for...the country" reminds me that he has long had a very bad case of "L'État, c'est moi." As far as he's concerned, he is the country. He's also the worst president, something I wish I had written for Presidents Day. Oh, well, better late than never.

Desi Lydic had more to say in Trump Debuts New Cologne and Sneakers & Nikki Haley Won't Drop Out on The Daily Show last night.

Desi Lydic dives into Nikki Haley's struggle to remind people she's still running for President, Trump's ludicrous comparisons to Alexei Navalny, and his latest grifts, which include a shoe line and fragrances. Plus, Josh Johnson chats with some sneakerheads to see if Trump's new sneakers pass the eye test.
Nikki Haley is staying in for the same reasons Liz Cheney is opposing Trump: "As I wrote in July 2022, 'In Liz Cheney's case, she'd like her pre-2015 Republican Party back. I doubt she'll get it any time soon, so she'll settle for damaging TFG instead. I wish her luck.' She's certainly doing her best." Too bad her best won't be good enough to win the nomination.

As for the sneakers and cologne, the former is a crime against fashion, even if it's not prosecutable in a court of law, and both Kimmel and Lydic think the bottle for the latter looks like a sex toy. *Snork*

By the way, this Sunday's episode of Last Week Tonight should be available tomorrow. Stay tuned for that.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Jon Stewart roasts Tucker Carlson's Putin interview and Russia visit

It's time to laugh at some not actually funny news with Jon Stewart on Tucker Carlson’s Putin Interview & Trip to Russia on The Daily Show.

In response to online backlash over his criticism of Joe Biden last week, Jon studies Tucker Carlson's interview with Vladimir Putin in Russia for a lesson in speaking "of course" to power. Plus, Michael Kosta reports from North Korea to demonstrate how nice life under a dictatorship can be.
I shouldn't be surprised that Carlson is carrying Putin's water. As I asked Nebris in a comment to Jon Stewart examines the problem with Fox News, "did you know that his dad was head of the Voice of America during the closing years of the Cold War? Broadcasting propaganda runs in the family." Also, a moment of silence for Alexei Navalny. May the Oscar-winning Navalny not be the only thing that carries on his memory and cause.

By the way, I was hoping to write a post around John Oliver offering Clarence Thomas $1 million dollars a year and an RV to retire from the Supreme Court, but HBO hasn't uploaded a video of it. Darn. Good thing I posted 'Last Week Tonight with John Oliver' returns after winning two Emmy Awards with 'A History of Chuck E. Cheese,' a tale of the Retail Apocalypse to welcome him back. Fortunately, Stewart and his guests discussed that deal in Melissa Murray & Kate Shaw - “Strict Scrutiny” & Trump’s Fight for Immunity.

Constitutional experts and “Strict Scrutiny” podcast co-hosts, Melissa Murray and Kate Shaw, join Jon Stewart to discuss Donald Trump’s “platinum due process plan” and the judicial system’s handling of the cases against Trump. The law professors also discuss the threat of Trump’s presidential immunity and whether the former president will ever stand trial for the Jan. 6th insurrection.
I'm sure Thomas won't retire, at least while Joe Biden is President, despite Oliver's generous offer. Also, consider this to be the comedy update to Updates on three Trump trials. So is this.

We're already halfway through this schedule. Time for an update!

Monday, February 19, 2024

National Day Calendar and WFMY explain Presidents Day and National Cherry Pie Day

Happy Presidents Day! For today's celebration, I'm being a good environmentalist by upcycling National Day Calendar and KUSA explain Presidents Day. I begin with this year's version of National Day Calendar's Presidents Day | February 19th - National Day Calendar.

The third Monday in February is Presidents Day!
I think the text on the preview screen should read "The Third Monday In February" instead of the current year's date. That way, it could be evergreen. But, hey, it's not my channel and am a bit lazy. Why do you think I'm recycling an idea?

WFMY News 2 explained why the holiday is on the third Monday of February and why it's still officially Washington's birthday on the federal calendar in The History of Presidents Day.

Presidents Day is a federal holiday celebrating George Washington's birthday on the third Monday in February every year.
I can relate to the anchors' complaints. I don't get today off, either, although I do get Labor Day and Memorial Day off. My teaching schedule can only tolerate so many holidays!

Cherry trees and cherry pie are associated with Washington, so it's no surprise that tomorrow is National Cherry Pie Day | February 20.

Pull up a chair and have a slice of cherry pie with us while we continue to research the origins of this pie-celebrating day.

Cherry Pie FAQ
Q. Which is more popular, apple or cherry pie?
A. According to a poll by National Day Calendar, apple pie is more popular than cherry pie.

Q. Can I use fresh or canned cherries to make cherry pie?
A. Either one can be used to make cherry pie. Canned cherries are always in season and are convenient. Fresh cherries, while more work, bring a fresh flavor to the pie.

Q. How many calories are in one slice of cherry pie?
A. One slice of cherry pie contains approximately 486 calories.
I wish my readers an early National Cherry Pie Day, as I'm sure I'll be writing about something else tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Sunday, February 18, 2024

'20 Days in Mariupol' and 'The ABCs of Book Banning' leading documentary nominees according to Gold Derby

I told my readers "Gold Derby hasn't made any predictions for the Razzies or the Oscars yet. When they do, I'll return with their odds. Stay tuned" to conclude 'Exorcist: Believer' and 'Expend4bles' tie for most Razzie nominations as the Golden Raspberry Awards' poor math skills strike again! Gold Derby's editors and experts have made their Oscar predictions, so I'm making good on my promise for today's Sunday entertainment feature, beginning with the nominees for documentaries.

Both the editors and experts are picking 20 Days in Mariupol to win, with eleven editors ranking it first and the twelfth choosing Four Daughters. Eighteen experts have also made 20 Days in Mariupol their first choice, while two have picked The Eternal Memory and one choosing Four Daughters. I'm with them on this, for the same reasons that helped Icarus and Navalny win this category before, the quality of the films and the importance of their subject matter, which made a political points at Putin's expense. The bulk of entertainment professionals in Hollywood have neither forgotten nor forgiven Putin for his role in the 2016 election and what he's done in Ukraine has only incensed the members of the Motion Picture Academy even more.

Speaking of what has happened in Ukraine, watch 20 Days In Mariupol (trailer) | FRONTLINE.

Ukrainian filmmaker and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Mstyslav Chernov offers a window into the practices of conflict zone reporters and an unflinching, anguishing account of the 20 days he and colleagues spent covering Mariupol. "20 Days in Mariupol" is a @frontline and @AssociatedPress collaboration. The documentary premieres in select theaters this summer and comes to PBS this fall.
Seeing that this is a Frontline documentary makes me sorry that there is a rule prohibiting Oscar nominees from being eligible for Emmy Awards: "programs that have received an Oscar® nomination from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS) are ineligible for submission to any Emmy® award contest administered by NATAS." This includes the News & Documentary Emmys. Darn. Otherwise, I would have expected 20 Days in Mariupol to earn multiple nominations later this year. Not happening, not that Frontline is lacking in potential documentary nominees.

Gold Derby interviewed '20 Days in Mariupol' filmmakers Mstyslav Chernov and Raney Aronson: 'This is a symbolic story'.

'20 Days in Mariupol' filmmakers Mstyslav Chernov and Raney Aronson: 'This is a symbolic story.' The director and producer are nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 96th Academy Awards. Gold Derby editor Denton Davidson hosts this webchat.
In addition to winning the DGA Award, which Denton Davidson mentioned, 20 Days in Mariupol won 24 other awards, including two Critics Choice Documentary Awards, two Cinema Eye Honors Awards, one Online Film Critics Society Award, one Cinema for Peace Award, one of the Top Five Documentaries by the National Board of Review, and a number of film festival and local critics groups awards, including the Audience Award at the Sundance Film festival. Wow!

As for the Oscar and other awards, including today's BAFTA Award for Documentary, which all eighteen Gold Derby experts and eleven Gold Derby editors have predicted will go to 20 Days in Mariupol, bringing more visibility to the film, I believe they will, but the film has plenty of viewers already, with the upload of the entire documentary already having 1,582,039 views on Frontline's YouTube channel. Again, wow!

I'll get to the rest of the nominees later, especially after Gold Derby and Factual America upload more interviews with their creators. Until then, follow over the jump for the trailer for The ABCs of Book Banning, a report from MSNBC, and an interview of its director.

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Updates on three Trump trials

This week, especially yesterday, was a busy day for Trump's legal troubles, including the two state cases among Vox's four "Trump investigations you should actually care about" and a state civil case. I begin with MSNBC reporting the results of the civil case, Trump 'body blow!' Donald hit with 'seismic' $355 million penalty for lying.

Sue Craig, New York Times Investigative Reporter, Lisa Rubin, MSNBC Legal Correspondent, Rev. Al Sharpton, President of the National Action Network, and Harry Litman, Former U.S. Attorney, join Alicia Menendez in for Nicolle Wallace on Deadline White House to discuss New York Judge Arthur Engoron dealing a body blow to the Trump Business Empire, ruling that Trump must pay $355 million in penalties.
While this isn't one of the four criminal trials, it is still a big deal along with the E. Jean Carroll judgment.

The next clip riffed off of one phrase by Judge Arthur Engoron in ‘Borders on pathological’: Michael Cohen reacts to judge trashing Trump in $355 million bomb.

Michael Cohen, Former Personal Attorney for Donald Trump, joins Alicia Menendez in for Nicolle Wallace on Deadline White House to discuss how damaging Judge Engoron's ruling is to Trump.
"Bordering on the pathological" — it is pathological! Speaking of pathologies, I've only mentioned narcissism in connection with Trump once in Since Trump is acting like Dr. Evil, it's time to read The Evil Overlord List.
I will see a competent psychiatrist and get cured of all extremely unusual phobias and bizarre compulsive habits which could prove to be a disadvantage.

Does malignant narcissism count?
Yes, it does, but I've made more of his his vulnerability to conspiracy theories. Now I wish I had mentioned Bandy X. Lee before. She understood Trump's pathologies and warned people about them in 2017!

On another note, Cohen pleading guilty without a plea deal looks better for him all the time. It made him and his testimony appear more trustworthy when it counted.

Cohen mentioned that a Trial date set in Donald Trump New York criminal case as 13News Now (WVEC) in Hampton Roads, Virginia reported along with an update on the sideshow involving Fani Willis in Georgia, the other state criminal case involving Trump.

If it moves ahead as planned, it would be the first of Trump’s four criminal cases to go to trial.
Just as it was the first case to return an indictment, it is almost certainly going to be the first criminal case to go to trial. I find that appropriate, even if it's the weakest in terms of expected outcome.
"Jail to the chief" is a great line, but it's going to be a while. I expect he'll be sentenced to house arrest in Trump Tower with the Secret Service as his guards, at least for this set of crimes. He might get a more severe punishment if he's indicted and convicted for crimes in Georgia and Washington, D.C.
Trump will be lucky to have a Trump Tower to be sentenced to house arrest after his civil fraud judgment. That's O.K. I still have patience: "'The wheels of justice are grinding slowly in this case, but I expect they will indeed grind exceedingly fine.' May they also grind exceedingly fine for Trump and his seditious supporters, if not as slowly." Three years later, they're still grinding away. As I wrote last year, "New York today, Georgia and the Federal Government tomorrow. Stay tuned." Be patient and have faith.

Friday, February 16, 2024

CityNerd describes how to 'Live Your Best Life In These 18 Swing-State Cities'

How dedicated are my readers to maximizing the power of their votes? Are they (you) dedicated enough to move? If my readers are, and care about urbanism, then CityNerd has a list of places to move to as he describes how to Live Your Best Life In These 18 Swing-State Cities.

It's 2024. Ever think about moving to a state where your vote might actually make a difference? It's what I did in 2022 and I highly recommend it -- if you can "swing" it. Today we're looking at this year's likely swing states and affordable neighborhoods in each with great urban qualities.
I'm pleasantly surprised Ray Delahanty, CityNerd's real name, listed two neighborhoods in Detroit as destinations, praising the Motor City's potential and predicting, like I have for the past dozen plus years, the city's comeback. I would choose Midtown over Downtown, because of the Whole Foods store, where my wife and I have shopped, but both are good choices.

I also appreciate Grand Rapids earning an honorable mention as well as Ypsilanti being mentioned in passing. I'd also recommend Royal Oak, where I used to live, and Ferndale. Any one of those are good places to live, although my wife and I got priced out of Royal Oak and moved to a municipality with a more prestigious name yet better housing at a lower price. I wouldn't recommend my current neighborhood for urbanism. My miles driven increased enough that I made good on my promise to buy a hybrid by trading in my mini-SUV for a Prius to compensate.

I close by noting that I don't have to do anything to live where my vote matters. I have lived in Michigan for 35 years already. To see why my adopted home state is important, read 'How Michigan explains American politics' by Vox. Now I'm wondering what my readers who live in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin think of CityNerd's recommendations. Comments?

Thursday, February 15, 2024

A closer look at Suozzi winning Santos's former seat and Mayorkas impeachment

Yesterday, I asked "Comedy, anyone?" No one responded, but the answer is still yes. Watch Trump and GOP Suffer Major Defeat as Democrats Win Back George Santos Seat: A Closer Look.

Seth takes a closer look at the Republican majority in the House shrinking after Democrats win back George Santos' seat while Republicans plow ahead with a pointless impeachment of the homeland security secretary.
I know, I wrote "George Santos — that's a name I was hoping never to write about again," but I'm happy to make an exception for a Democrat replacing him in Congress. Welcome back, Representative Suozzi!

As for last week's failed impeachment vote, the best I can say is "if at first you don't succeed, try, try again." There was definitely a time constraint on the vote. If they had waited even a few days longer, Suozzi would have been sworn in and the vote would have failed again and probably permanently. It will still fail in the Senate, where I'm sure that the upper chamber will not convict. Seth discussed this and more with his first guest, Jake Tapper on Alejandro Mayorkas' Impeachment and United States of Scandal.

Jake Tapper talks about this Congress being the least productive Congress since the Great Depression, calls out an issue he had with the New York Times News Quiz and discusses his show United States of Scandal.
The reason for Alejandro Mayorkas' impeachment is simple; Donald Trump wants revenge for his two impeachments and he demanded someone in Joe Biden's Administration get impeached. He'd prefer Biden himself, but there is no evidence that he did anything impeachable, so Mayorkas it is.

It's time for me to get to work, so I'm ending this here. Stay tuned for a more involved post tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

MSU shooting remembered one year later plus new Michigan gun laws take effect

I told my readers yesterday "stay tuned for Valentines Day. May it not be a sad occasion." Once again, I'm not feeling it. I'm in an Ash Wednesday mood and I'm not even a practicing Catholic. I'm also in a Spartan Strong mood and I went to Michigan. I'm going to give into both feelings by sharing Emotional day on MSU campus one year after mass shooting from Fox 2 Detroit.

Most students had the day off at Michigan State University Tuesday to honor the victims of a mass shooting that shook the campus and traumatized both students and their parents.
Fox 2's clip had the better preview image. WZZM/ABC 13 On You Side had the better story in SPARTAN STRONG | Michigan State marks 1 year since deadly campus shooting.

A gunman killed three Michigan State University students and wounded five others on Feb. 13, 2023. This is where the campus and community stand one year later.
One of my students wore a Spartan Strong sweatshirt to class yesterday. I told her I appreciated that.

At least the response to this mass shooting was stronger than Thoughts and Prayers as new gun laws took effect yesterday. Click On Detroit/Local 4/WDIV explained those in What to know about Michigan's new gun laws.

Following the deadly and horrific mass shootings at Michigan State University in February 2023 -- which occurred just over a year after the deadly mass shooting at Oxford High School in 2021 -- state lawmakers quickly passed a series of bills related to firearms in an effort to address gun violence.
Gun store owner Bill Kucyk was pretty pessimistic about how well the laws will work, but, as The Dude says, "that's, like, just your opinion, man." I think the new laws are a good thing.

That's a good place to end this post. Stay tuned for some non-holiday programming tomorrow. Comedy, anyone?

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Fat Tuesday is Paczki Day in Michigan!

Happy Paczki Day AKA Fat Tuesday! I couldn't find a clip of Debbie Dingell delivering paczki and talking about democracy on WDIV in Detroit for Fat Tuesday, so straight to the Polish pastries I go with WXYZ asking What is Paczki Day? Taking you inside the beloved tradition.

Fat Tuesday is tomorrow -- kicking off Paczki Day in Metro Detroit. Where is your favorite place around town to get paczki.
I got lucky with this clip, as WXYZ has disabled embedding on most of their YouTube videos the past couple of years. That's why I haven't used them, despite them being a staple of this blog until the pandemic. I wasn't so lucky with Fox 17 WXMI in Grand Rapids' How they're made: Sandy's Donuts celebrating Fat Tuesday with Paczki all day! I didn't find out it wouldn't embed until after I got the following screengrab.

Very pretty! Too bad I couldn't embed the video. Fortunately, MLive has a similar story in Preparing for Paczki Day at Sandy’s Donuts in Grand Rapids.

It’s paczki time again, and the seasonal Polish treat is available at Sandy’s Donuts on Leonard Street in Grand Rapids, Mich. starting Monday, Feb. 12, until Saturday. (Rebecca Particka/MLive)
This would be the perfect place to sign off, but I can't resist a Fat Tuesday tradition from New Orleans, where today is the last day of Mardi Gras. Watch Southern University Human Jukebox | Boogie Oogie Oogie | Krewe of Poseidon 2024 from Human Jukebox Media.

Enjoy your Fat Tuesday and your local traditions of celebrating it. Now stay tuned for Valentines Day. May it not be a sad occasion.

Monday, February 12, 2024

'Darwin Missed An Example of Evolution Right Under His Nose' by PBS Eons on Darwin Day

Happy Darwin Day! For today's tale of the scientist credited with formulating the theory of evolution by natural selection, I'm turning once again to PBS Eons for Darwin Missed An Example of Evolution Right Under His Nose.

Charles Darwin encountered a tiny fox-like creature during his famous voyage but instead of discovering its fascinating evolutionary story, he just knocked it on the head with his geology hammer.
Darwin got the credit for discovering this species of fox, but didn't figure out how it supported evolution by natural selection. People usually give that distinction to the Galapagos finches, but it was originally the Galapagos mockingbirds that got his attention. Only later did he and others realize the archipelago's finches made better examples. This includes me, as I show Galapagos finches in my evolution lectures when I explain adaptive radiation.

Enough of today's science holiday. Stay tuned for Paczki Day/Fat Tuesday tomorrow.

Sunday, February 11, 2024

Emmy nominees and winners at the Super Bowl — commercials and halftime show

Did you know that when you watch (or watched, depending on when you read this entry) today's Super Bowl, you'll probably see several Emmy nominees and probably an Emmy winner or two? You will, because you did last year and several of the years before that. That's thanks to the commercials and halftime show, which has been a repeat nominee going back as far as Beyoncé's Super Bowl XLVII halftime show, which won Outstanding Lighting Design/Lighting Direction for a Variety Special in 2013. I didn't cover that at the time, waiting until after I wrote Predictions vs. reality for Katy Perry at the Super Bowl in 2015 to post Conversations on the 2013 Super Bowl Blackout with Chad of the Hipcrime Vocab. Took me long enough. Speaking of Perry, her show won two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lighting Design | Lighting Direction For A Variety Special and Outstanding Costumes For A Variety Program Or A Special. It's Katy Perry — of course she'd win for costumes!

As for Emmy nominees for Outstanding Commercial, those go back to at least 1998, the second year of the award, when Super Bowl ad American Express – Virtual Reality earned a nomination. Since then, Super Bowl ads have been regular nominees in the category. This includes the 2023 Emmy nominees for Outstanding Commercial with "Forever": The Farmer’s Dog 2023 Super Bowl Commercial and The Singularity (Extended) | Big Game Commercial 2023 | Squarespace being the Super Bowl ads nominated. Neither won, but at least they were nominated.

Follow over the jump for the Outstanding Commercial winner and the categories won by the 2023 Super Bowl halftime at last month's Creative Arts Emmy Awards along with a look at today's commercials and halftime show for the Sunday entertainment feature.

Saturday, February 10, 2024

'The Year of the Dragon' from The Cadets and Sacramento Mandarins for a drum corps Lunar New Year

Happy Lunar New Year! So long, Year of the Water Rabbit! Welcome to the Year of the Wood Dragon! I'm celebrating this year's holiday differently than I have before, but in a way I've observed many others, through drum corps, thanks to two DCI corps playing "The Year of the Dragon" by Philip Sparke. I begin with Spotlight: 1997 Cadets from Drum Corps International (DCI), which features the opening of the show with the last movement of the piece.

Placing between the Devils and Vanguard were the Cadets of Bergen County with their production “Celebration,” based entirely on the music of British composer Philip Sparke. Originally, Sparke was mostly known in British brass band circles, resulting in a number of awards, honors, and commissions from brass band associations in western Europe, as well as Australia and New Zealand.
DCI has the rest of the description, written by the late Michael Boo, on its website.
Most of the show was devoted to the three movements of Sparke’s “Year of the Dragon,” originally a 1984 commission for a championship Welsh brass band, later arranged by the composer for concert band. Sparke conceived the work as a virtuosic piece to display the talents of each of the band’s instrumental sections.
Just as the lion is the animal symbol of England and the unicorn is the animal symbol of Scotland, the dragon is the animal symbol of Wales, so this music is not originally about the Chinese Zodiac sign. That didn't stop a historically Chinese-American corps, the Sacramento Mandarins, from playing it in 2002. Watch Mandarins 2002 DCI Championships, uploaded by the corps to its YouTube channel.

2002 DCI Championships. Program: Year of the Dragon. Repertoire: Year of the Dragon, Montage, A London Overture, Diversions.
The Mandarins adopted it as the corps song and played it 20 years later in Year of the Dragon, again uploaded by the corps itself.

Mandarins Brass and Mandarins Alumni Brass perform the corps' anthem, Year of the Dragon at the 2022 DCI Capital Classic.
The Mandarins have definitely made the music their own.

Those are the official uploads. Follow over the jump for the unofficial uploads, previews of coming attractions, and my traditional salutations I use to end my Lunar New Year posts.

Friday, February 9, 2024

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

'Last Week Tonight with John Oliver' returns after winning two Emmy Awards with 'A History of Chuck E. Cheese,' a tale of the Retail Apocalypse was such a success with Steve in Manhattan linking to it at Crooks and Liars, earning 800+ page views, that I decided to return to the well with Company Man asking The Decline of Barnes & Noble...What Happened?

Barnes & Noble has had some tough years lately. This video talks about the history of the company while highlighting what I believe to be some of the biggest reasons behind its decline.
It was about time that Company Man Mike covered Barnes & Noble, the flip side of the story he told in Company Man asks 'The Decline of Borders...What Happened?' A tale of the Retail Apocalypse for Flashback Friday. Borders died while Barnes & Noble lived. When I was first writing this blog, I would have said the wrong chain went under. Just the same, I'm not happy about the decline of Barnes & Noble. When I moved to my current location, there was a Barnes & Noble 2.5 miles away. It closed within a year and the property is being redeveloped. The nearest store is now 13 miles away. It's easier to go to Books-A-Million, which took over a closed Borders location six miles away more-or-less on my route to and from work. It's not the same. Sigh.

As for the lessons from the video, blaming Amazon for the loss of brick-and-mortar retail is a popular but slightly lazy reason, but in this case it might be justified. I first became aware of Amazon in the 1990s, when it sold books online.

Another cause I've written about in the past was of private equity buying public companies, which I wrote about most recently in 'Bankrupt - Ruby Tuesday' by Bright Sun Films, a tale of the Retail Apocalypse.
I listed a who's who of retail chains gutted by private equity in CNN Business explains retail bankruptcies and how private equity is gutting retail, tales of the Retail Apocalypse and again in Business Insider and CNBC explain the rise and fall of Chuck E. Cheese, a tale of the Retail Apocalypse and pandemic. In this case, private equity seems to have saved the chain, for now.
The same could be said of private equity saving Barnes & Noble; the chain appears to be recovering under its new ownership and management. One can only hope.

That's it for today's brief post, which I promised yesterday. Stay tuned for a more elaborate entry tomorrow. On what, I don't know yet, but that's an adventure for later. Right now, it's time for me to go to my meeting. See you!

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Closer looks at failed impeachment vote and Haley losing to 'none of these candidates' in Nevada

Stephen Colbert asked Joy-Ann Reid about the then-pending impeachment vote of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas in the interview of her I embedded in Colbert talks 'Trump has no immunity' plus Joy-Ann Reid and Katy Tur on the election. That vote took place shortly after and failed with literally comic results. Watch Seth Meyers recount MTG and House Republicans Humiliated as Mayorkas Impeachment Crashes and Burns: A Closer Look.

Seth takes a closer look at House Republicans' attempt to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas crashing and burning when a Democratic lawmaker they thought would be absent made a surprise appearance to cast the decisive vote.
Green vs. Greene with Al Green providing the decisive vote from a wheelchair after temporarily leaving the hospital. Wow, that really was dramatic, even if the result was comic. Nancy Pelosi wouldn't have made that mistake; she could count.

Speaking of comic, I shouldn't be surprised that Nikki Haley lost to "None of these candidates" in the 2024 Nevada Republican Primary since Donald Trump was not on the ballot. Colbert made that the second topic in Speaker Johnson Gets Spanked | Nobody Wins Nevada GOP Primary | Trump’s Pick To Run The RNC.

The House GOP achieved new levels of dysfunction this week with their botched impeachment vote, Nikki Haley took second place in Nevada’s primary despite running unopposed, and the former president is pushing RNC chair Ronna McDaniel to resign.
It gets worse for Haley. She isn't even registered for tonight's Nevada Republican Caucuses, while Trump is, and those will pick Nevada's convention delegates, so she'll get none of them. Instead, she's focusing on the Republican caucuses in the U.S. Virgin Islands. I hope she gets delegates there.

Finally, the end of Ronna McDaniel's time as RNC chair comes as no surprise to me other than it took longer than I expected. After all, everything Trump touches dies — eventually.

Stay tuned for another short post tomorrow. Normally, I'd have something longer planned for Friday, but I have an appointment in the morning and a work meeting in the afternoon, so brief it will have to be.

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Colbert talks 'Trump has no immunity' plus Joy-Ann Reid and Katy Tur on the election

Just after I posted Marching music for the 2024 Nevada Primary from University of Nevada, Reno, and UNLV, the D.C. Court of Appeals ruled that ex-Presidents have no immunity from prosecution. Stephen Colbert addressed that in last night's monologue, Rejected: Trump Has No Immunity | Biden Speaks To The Dead | Super Bowl LVIII Is A Biden-Swift Psyop.

A three-judge panel smacked down the former president’s claim of absolute immunity from prosecution, the current president might be talking to ghosts, and conspiracy theorists believe the CIA is rigging the Super Bowl to help Taylor Swift get President Biden reelected.
Donald Trump's legal troubles can get worse than the E. Jean Carroll judgment. This ruling allows Trump's trial for election interference to continue. With any luck, it might actually result in a verdict before the election. My readers and I can hope.

Speaking of hope, Stephen's guest last night was Joy-Ann Reid: Donald Trump Wants To Run On A Border That’s On Fire.

Author and political analyst Joy-Ann Reid offers an explanation for why Republicans in Congress have withdrawn support for a bipartisan bill to reform America’s immigration and border policies. Stick around for more with Joy-Ann Reid and watch her show, “The ReidOut,” on MSNBC.
I wrote The Right learned all the wrong lessons from 1984 a dozen years ago and "Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia" is one of them.

Joy was more confident that I was four years ago. I was confident that Biden should win then, but I wasn't confident that he would. As for her being terrified now, Joy, I feel you. People know what Trump's like, and they're still voting for him. Yikes!

Hearing Joy talk about the election reminded me of Katy Tur Breaks Down the Similarities of Trump's Presidential Runs on Late Night with Seth Meyers last week.

Katy Tur compares Trump's presidential run to 2016, talks about Trump choosing to campaign in courtrooms and discusses getting interrupted by her husband while filming Katy Tur Reports during the pandemic.
I can't complain about Trump recycling and reusing his material, since I do the same, but I will point out that he's showing his age. Too bad Nikki Haley is nearly alone in pointing this out. Trump deserves the "Biden is old" treatment, too.

Finally, I'm glad Katy, her husband, and their marriage survived the pandemic. I can relate. There were good things about working from home, but much of my work is easier in person.

Stay tuned for a short post tomorrow, maybe about California's weather or a Closer Look from Seth Meyers. I haven't decided yet.

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Marching music for the 2024 Nevada Primary from University of Nevada, Reno, and UNLV

It's time for this year's edition of Marching music for the Nevada Primary! This is a continuation of my marching music for presidential primaries series — songs to listen and watch as my readers and I wait for results for results from the primary tonight and the Republican caucuses on Thursday. There are no competitive drum corps in Nevada, so I'm featuring the Silver State's top marching bands, beginning with SPACE - University of Nevada Wolf Pack Marching Band.

The University of Nevada Wolf Pack Marching Band performs SPACE. Musical selections include Also Sprach Zarathustra, Mars, Star Trek, and Space Oddity.
That's a pretty conventional selection of space-themed music, which reminds me that the Saturn Awards were Sunday night and Star Trek: Picard won four awards, while Star Trek: Strange New Worlds won one. I'll get to that in a future post, maybe as early as this weekend. In the meantime, I'm sharing UNLV 2015 LVI Performance.

UNLV's Star of Nevada Exhibition Performance at the Las Vegas Invitational at Las Vegas High School 11/7/15
This is the second best and second most recent complete performance I could find on YouTube. As I wrote four years ago, "The Star of Nevada Band could use better videographers among its fans!" The university could also record more of the band's shows!

I close with Joint Halftime by University of Nevada and UNLV #NevadaStrong from College Marching Productions.

Watch as the University of Nevada and UNLV combine at halftime to honor those lost in the Las Vegas Shooting
As I wrote about 11 Minutes in 'Retrograde' about the final 9 months of the U.S. in Afghanistan earned 6 nominations at the News & Doc Emmy Awards: "I took one look at the title and preview image and suspected this series was about the 2017 Las Vegas Massacre, coverage of which earned eight nominations and three awards at the 2018 News and Documentary Emmys. Nearly six years time hasn't made the incident any less horrific." That's still true today.

I'm skipping the Virgin Islands Caucus on Thursday, February 8, so watch for this series to return on February 27, 2024 for the Michigan Primary. Stay tuned.

Previous marching music for 2024 primaries and caucuses posts.

Monday, February 5, 2024

'Last Week Tonight with John Oliver' returns after winning two Emmy Awards with 'A History of Chuck E. Cheese,' a tale of the Retail Apocalypse

I got two unexpected surprises this morning. First, I found that the video I wanted to feature today, Plastic Recycling is a Myth – Here’s How We Fix That, had playback on other sites disabled by PBS Terra. Shoot! I was looking forward to revisiting the plastic questions from Treasures of the Earth: Power. That was the unpleasant surprise. The pleasant surprise was that Last Week Tonight with John Oliver uploaded A History of Chuck E. Cheese: Last Squeak Tonight with John Oliver (Web Exclusive). I wasn't expecting any new content until the show returned to HBO next week for its season premiere. I may not be religious, but the saying that when one door closes, another door (or at least a window) opens holds true in this case. Besides, it's been two months since I posted 'Bankrupt - Ruby Tuesday' by Bright Sun Films, a tale of the Retail Apocalypse, so it's time to re-examine the subject. Take it away, John Oliver!

Last season, we made a hard-hitting piece on homeowners associations. And then, we made this. For those of you who are under 35 and will never own a home. Season 11 starts February 18th!
I've blogged repeatedly about Chuck E. Cheese this decade, beginning with Chuck E. Cheese, GNC, and Tuesday Morning all file for bankruptcy, tales of the Retail Apocalypse during the pandemic, then Company Man explains the rise and fall of Chuck E. Cheese's, a tale of the Retail Apocalypse and pandemic, Business Insider and CNBC explain the rise and fall of Chuck E. Cheese, a tale of the Retail Apocalypse and pandemic, The rise, fall, rise, and fall again of Chuck E. Cheese, a tale of the Retail Apocalypse, and Bright Sun Films presents 'Bankrupt - Chuck E Cheese's', a tale of the Retail Apocalypse. All of these have been serious recountings of the pizza chain's history and problems, so it was time for a re-examination of the tale through comedy. I have to say, it was fun. In fact, it may be too much fun. Oliver and his studio audience are having almost too good a time! That written, welcome back! I missed you.

Now follow over the jump for the Emmy Awards Last Night with John Oliver won that I previewed in Pete Davidson hosts as 'Saturday Night Live' returns.