Friday, May 27, 2016

Music Friday: "Left Hand Free"

Last night the Nasty family finally got around to watching Captain America Civil War

It was your typical Marvel Studios fare. I'm sure there are all kinds of differences between what actually happened in the comic books and how the movie presents the events, but I'll leave that to those who are reading Avengers comics. 

As is their bent, this Marvel-based movie had two bonus scenes/trailers after the main film was over. 

Before the second one featuring yet another permutation of Spiderman, this song was playing by a band I wasn't familiar with named Alt-J. 


Friday, May 20, 2016

Music Friday: "Sing a Simple Song"

It's time to get your funk on. 

And sing a simple song. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Random Notes from a Crank

I'm tired of hearing all this crap about bathroom bills related to transgender people. Backers of the bill tout that they are to protect people, especially kids, from being sexually harassed. Where is there any proof that transgender people mess with kids? Not long ago regular gay people were associated with child molestation, so these political moves aren't much different than that anti-gay nonsense. 

To keep it real here, check out "All the Things You Can No Longer Buy If You're Really Boycotting Trans-Friendly Businesses." A portion of the second ¶ of the article is noteworthy: "The American Family Association (AFA), a fundamentalist Christian nonprofit that is considered a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)." 

If you really want to protect children, young boys in particular, from sexual abuse, legislators might want to pass some kind of bill about priests

Hell, the New York Times has a whole section of its website devoted to "Roman Catholic Church Sex Abuse Cases." When a topic has its own section on the New York Times, it's likely to be a significant problem. 

For a while now I've been entering The New Yorker's Cartoon Caption Contest. Recently the guy in charge of comics started partially crowd-sourcing those who submitted captions to rate others' submissions, a peer review of sorts. The other day I rated a bunch of submissions, and it was interesting to see how people's comic minds work in similar ways. It's hard to be original. 

Chris Cillizza thinks Mark Cuban will run for president sometime in the future. He may be right. 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Random Notes from a Crank

I abhor how religion mixes in with politics. One of the most annoying things I find is when some politician prattles on about God this or Jesus that or how America is a "divine" nation. I especially hate when our so-called leaders cite Scripture as some "reason" for whatever @#$%ed up policy they want to implement. Regardless of all that and my distaste for organized religion and my agnosticism, Bonnie Kristian's "The Idolatry of the Donald" on The American Conservative is worth a read. 

John Oliver had a great segment on scientific studies and how they're reported on TV morning programs and elsewhere. It's a solid take on what is real science and what are good sources. We need many more replication studies. Check it out. 

Friday, May 13, 2016

Music Friday: "Fell on Black Days"

It's been a rough spring here in east central Illinois and other parts of the state whose economies are tied to state universities. Yet the Governor and the rest of the dunces in Springfield twiddle their beans and use higher ed appropriations as a political pawn. 

So I offer you an appropriate song. 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Random Notes from a Crank

Mother Jones has a short piece online, "Here's Why Libertarians Are Mostly Men," that's worth a read. It does seem odd that most libertarians are men. 

I purchased a couple of shirts from 6 Dollar T-Shirts. One says "Somewhat Functional Introvert," and the other one is below except I got it in heather grey. 

If I want to go all the way, I could also get a certificate of achievement

If you're an owner of a business, you would think you wouldn't want to spout divisive and dumb political claptrap on Facebook. I'm taking my union-supporting and liberal-leaning money elsewhere.  

Friday, May 6, 2016

Music Friday: "Brace for Impact (Live a Little)" & "In Bloom"

Sturgill Simpson put out a new album recently, and it's good. 

Here's a couple of tunes from it. The second song is a Nirvana cover. Enjoy. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Random Notes from a Crank

I was happily surprised to read Tom Philpott's article in the May/June issue of Mother Jones. In "Playing Chicken," the author informs readers about how Perdue, the chicken industry giant, has gone to not using antibiotics. Let's hope other meat producers follow their lead because Perdue has based its decision on science and the fact that antibiotics really don't significantly increase weight gain. 

The President killed it at this year's White House Correspondents' Dinner. 

I'm not surprised at all that students who have a "consumer" mindset to their coursework often get lower grades than students who see themselves as learners. Read all about it in "Students with Consumer Mindset Get Lower Grades." The final ¶ is noteworthy because students are getting that attitude from somewhere: "Government, too, should be cautious when talking about the ‘value’ of higher education purely in terms of a financial transaction as it may encourage students to feel like they are simply buying their degree. As a result, they may start to develop a ‘you teach me’ attitude rather than one that fosters effortful engagement with their chosen subject.”

I'm glad to see the Game of Thrones tv series has rediscovered the Iron Islands. I suspect they'll play catch-up with the books as new happenings unfold. I had suspected Ian McShane will play Victarion Greyjoy, one of my favorite characters in the books, but that doesn't seem to be the case

Saturday, April 30, 2016

[Belated] Music Friday: "Bring It On Home"

Sometimes you just gotta get back to the basics: a blues song about wanting some nooky.  

I give you Sonny Boy Williamson. 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Stay Positive: Charlie Murphy's True Hollywood Stories-Prince

"Assemble your crew. I'll be outside." 

"Is anyone up for a game of basketball?"

"The shirts against the blouses"

"Computer Blue"

"Why don't you purify yourself in the waters of Lake Minnetonka." 

"Game ... Blouses"

Click HERE to watch the video from Chappelle's Show

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Music Friday: "Sign O' the Times," "I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man," & "Starfish and Coffee"

Unfortunately, Prince died this week. 

I was never a huge fan of the guy. I liked his music but was never "in to him." I always thought he was talented as hell, and I sure know a number of high school girls in the 80s who loved his music. 

My favorite album of his was Sign O' the Times

Here are a few of my favorite tunes from that fine album. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Random Notes from a Crank

If you're like me, you'll enjoy Bill Maher's points about US taxpayers subsidizing religions. For the short version, here's an article on RawStory: "Bill Maher Calls for Taxes on All Religions." 

For the full argument, here's the video.

His argument works nicely with the fact that many of the founding fathers were freemasons who believed fiercely in the strict separation of church from state.

Grist has an interview with a chef who tries to have his restaurant be sustainable. I had never heard of blue fish, but I like his point about using broccoli leaves. I am growing baby broccoli in my garden this summer. Something to remember. 

Also from Grist, there's an article about how "More Californians Work in 'Advanced Energy' Jobs than Farming or Hollywood." The final ¶ of the article sums up what we might see more of from politicians: "In the world of politics, 'jobs' are solid political gold. They are the glittering beacon that politicians will cross party lines to get closer to, in their eternal quest to find the perfect factory floor for shaking hands. This particular study is only in its second year, but it already bodes well for even more legislation in support of clean energy, in California and beyond."

Monday, April 18, 2016

[Belated] Sunday Hangover: A-Day Game

The defenses dominated this season's spring game at Bryant-Denny. 

I feel bad for the poor guy who had to try to block Tim Williams. He and Rashaan Evans, who had 17 tackles, took over the game. Quarterbacks rarely had time to throw passes, so it was difficult finding out who won the quarterback battle. The four players vying for the job will take the competition into fall practice as has been usual the past few seasons. 

The quarterback Jalen Hurts, who is expected to redshirt, this season arguably had the best day of the four quarterbacks. He's a dual-threat qb who has quite a bit of quickness. 

The first-team offense was able to do very little against the first-team defense. In contrast, Damien Harris, who worked at running back for the second-team offense, had a very good day. Scarbrough has generated a lot of attention because of his similarities to Henry, but Harris reminded me of a cross between Kenneth Darby and Mark Ingram. 

From my perspective, I'm feeling good about the defense. The offense has an outstanding receiving corps at wide receiver and tight end, but the quarterbacks had little time to get them the ball. The work in the off-season will determine who starts on the o-line and at quarterback. 

Friday, April 15, 2016

Random Notes from a Crank

Here's some positive news about what could be possibly coming: "The Future Will Be Quiet." The author points to five probable changes that will ease noise pollution. I'm especially pleased about number two because I hate gas-powered leaf blowers and weed whackers because those small engines pollute the hell out of the environment. And they're loud. 

Speaking of noise pollution, the family that moved in up the street has a son. I guess he's probably somewhere in his mid-teens and doesn't seem the sharpest. This kid enjoys driving his noisy, rickety lawn tractor up and down the street. He approached me the other day about him possibly mowing my lawn on a regular basis, which is not going to happen since I have lawn mower, and using a lawn tractor in my front and back yards is silly. I don't think riding up and down the street is a sound marketing plan. Instead of wasting gas, he should read a damn book or something. 

I've lived in this area of east central Illinois for years now, but not until recently did I start shopping at Aldi. The grocery store is in the town that is about eight miles away, but I go to that town usually three days a week to drop off or pick up my daughter from dance and tumbling practice. So I'm now finally reveling in how much good stuff I getting for good prices. Just last week it was announced that my town will be getting an Aldi this fall. Huzzah for the frugal shoppers of Coles County. 

Last night I finished the first season of Marco Polo, which is an Netflix series. I really enjoyed it. I don't know much about Marco Polo or Kubla Khan or Chinese history, so I see a book purchase or two about Polo or Khan in my future. 

Music Friday: "Birdhouse In Your Soul" & "Your Racist Friend"

I'm going back to the late 80s with this one. When I entered college in 1989, the guy across the hall and two doors down from my dorm room loved playing Flood by They Might Be Giants. 

It's a good album. 

And these are two of my favorite songs on the album. The second video is their appearance on Letterman's old show.