Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Breaking News Tweets: Riots in Baltimore

Here a compilation of tweets regarding the rioting in Baltimore which escalated yesterday; the top image is from the 1968 riots which these incidents have been compared to. The middle image is the logo for the Baltimore Orioles; the bottom image is of Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. The riots were caused by alleged criminal wrong-doing by the Baltimore Police Department which resulted in the death of Freddie Gray, 25, while in police custody:

1) Occupy Wall Street: The 'riots' in Baltimore are not a 'civil disturbance' they are a primal scream to fix a systemically racist world.

2) Jeff Barker (Baltimore Sun): There is a doubleline blocking North Ave- row of police and a line of people with arms locked urging non-violence.

3) Mayor Rawlings-Blake: And to those actively demonstrating, I call for peace. Tonight we must be OneBaltimore. Thank you for holding the line.

4) Talking Points Memo: Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) is sending 150 state troopers to join the 2,000 national guardsmen bound for Baltimore.

5) Baltimore Police: A crowd continues to block intersection of Pennsylvania Ave and North Ave. We are asking motorists to avoid this area.

6) Christopher Hayes (MSNBC): Situation is being managed by protestors w tremendous discipline and care right now.

7) Ben Casselman (Five-thirtyeight): The unemployment rate for young black  men in Baltimore is 37 percent. For whites, it's just 10 percent.

8) Reason (Libertarian right journal): Barack Obama on Baltimore_ We need 'political mobilization' to solve problems.

9) Justin Fenton ("Baltimore Sun"): Many comments from officials about looting being 'kids.' Police clarify there were 235 arrests, only 34 of which were juveniles.


Monday, April 27, 2015

Ten Things to Know: Culture Club is Coming to Washington DC

1) Syracuse Stage in Syracuse, NY, will be staging the play "Steve Martin's The Underpants," which depicts a young man who literally drops his drawers and is dealt with public humiliation. The play will be the troupe's season opener and it will run from Oct. 21-Nov. 8. Bill Fennelly directs.

2) The Both: A Rock duet consisting of veteran performers Ted Leo and Aimee Mann performs at Cat's Cradle in Carrboro (Chapel Hill), NC, on May 5th.

3) "While We're Young," a comedy directed by Noah Baumbach and starring Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts opens at the Lyric Theatre in Blacksburg, Va., on May 2nd (there is a concert there on May 1st).

4) Pauline McKee, 90, was refused a $41.8 million jackpot for Miss Kitty at a casino in Iowa, according to the BBC.

5) Bayern Munich won its 25th German title; the team faces Barcelona FC with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez in the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League.

6) The Regulator Bookshop in Durham, NC, named the best bookstore in Raleigh/Durham by "Indy Weekly" will be one of many bookstores celebrating Independent Bookstore on May 2nd.

7) Culture Club will be performing at Wolf Trap in Vienna, Va., a Washington, DC-suburb on August 10th.

8) "The Toronto Star" is reporting that the Canadian province of Ontario will give $1 million to relief efforts for the devastating earthquake which struck Nepal this weekend.

9) According to What the F*** Facts, the top export in America is cars, the top import in America is also cars. You do tend to see lots of Kia, a South Korean car, on the roads these days.

10)  Today is the 39th birthday of British actress Sally Hawkins ("Blue Jasmine," pict. bottom)







Friday, April 24, 2015

Ten Things To Know for Today and This Week: Gallipoli's 100th Anniversary Remembered

Ten things to know for this day and this week:

1) Today marks the 100th anniversary of Gallipoli

2) The Battle of Gallipoli claimed 131,000 soldiers, including 86, 000 Turkish forces, according to the BBC

3) Today, Prince Charles (pict. top) joined in ceremonies with leaders from Turkey, France and New Zealand at the battlefield in Turkey's western Aegean coast.

4) On the occasion of another 100th anniversary, this one marking the alleged genocide of Armenians in Anatolia by the Ottoman Empire, Armenian president Serzh Sargsyan told the Turkish English-language newspaper "Daily Hurriyet" that he would like to see diplomatic relations between Ankara and Yerevan established.

5) The 7th Annual Nazim Hikmet Poetry Festival takes place in the Raleigh-suburb of Cary, NC, on Sunday; this year, the event will recognize the poetry of Russian poet Anna Akhmatova (1889-1976). (The late Turkish poet Hikmet is pict. center)

6) The liberal magazine "Mother Jones" was founded in February of 1976; it has a circulation of 203,251.

7) The neoconservative magazine "The Weekly Standard" was established in September of 1995; it has a circulation of 104, 682.

8) Barbra Streisand (pict. bottom) turns 73 today.

9) Aurora, Colorado, pop. 325, 078, has the third largest population in the western state.

10) The British new wave/ska band The English Beat was formed in 1978.



Thursday, April 23, 2015

Top Ten Things to Know for Today and This Week: William Shakespeare Turns 451

Here are ten things to know for today, April 23rd, 2015:

1) Today is National Children's Day in Turkey (pict. top)

2) Today is William Shakespeare's 451st birthday (pict. center)

3) Tampere is the third largest city in Finland

4) Serdar Kilic is the Turkish ambassador to the United States

5) Seville (Spain), Dnipro (Ukraine), Fiorentina and Napoli (Italy) advanced to the semi-finals of the Europa League.

6) Dynamo Kiev's Jeremain Lens (Netherlands, pict. bottom) got a red card in the team's 2-0 loss to Fiorentina today.

7) "Laverne and Shirley,"  an American sitcom, lasted 178 episodes over eight seasons (1976-83).

8) Nicholas Smith, 81, (Mr. Rumbold) is the surviving original cast member of "Are You Being Served?," a British sitcom that debuted in 1972, and lasted 10 seasons.

9) James Earl Ray, the accused murderer of Martin Luther King, Jr., in Memphis, Tennessee, died on this date of natural causes at age 70 in 1998.

10) Chile's Calbuco Volcano erupted for the first time in 42 years yesterday.

Friday, April 17, 2015

NCAA Gymnastic Champions Tweets: Greetings from Forth Worth, Texas

The NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championships are underway in Forth Worth, Texas, which is not where we actually are. But, even though some local folks may be more interested in the Assassination City Roller Derby match in Dallas, Tex., given that no Texas Superconference school has a women's gymnastics program, we thought we'd post some tweets from some of the participating schools.

We are going with an image of former North Carolina State Wolfpack gymnast Ashley Shepard to show neutrality as the school did qualify at regionals for the championships, and we wanted to go with an image of Cam the Ram, the mascot for Colorado State University, as well. But, since Colorado State doesn't even have a gymnastics team, we figured none of our blog-readers would be amused.

Here are the tweets (Note: Some schools have gymnasts competing individually even though their teams did not qualify):

1) Kentucky Gymnastics: NCAA gym warmups are underway! Sydney Waltz will compete in Stanford's rotation of bye, bars, beam, bye, floor, vault.

2) Florida Gators Gymnastics: Gator senior Rachel Spicer returns to Texas as NCAA Championships cap emotional senior year.

3) Samantha Peszeck: It's game time Bruins, lezzzgoooo

4) LSU Gymnastics: LSU competes for a spot in the Super Six in NCAA Semifinal II.

5) NC State Gymnastics: Brittni Watkins and Michaela Jayne ready to go!

6) WVU Gymnastics: Congratulations, Jaida Lawrence to co-Big 12 Scholar-Athlete of the Week!

7) CSU Cam the Ram: Happy Friday, Rams! Hope that rain jacket is green and gold! (The tweet actually featured a sheep wearing a raincoat!)

8) UCLA Gymnastics: All gymnasts master difficult skills. Danusia Francis likes to invent new ones.

9) Urban Dictionary: Hater_ A person that simply cannot be happy for another person's success.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Things To Do List Satire: Calling the Baltimore Sun

It's a Sunday night here in Roanoke, Va., and that only means one thing: Listening to music from the '30s and '40s on our local NPR radio station (to the folks at WVTF, just kidding, we love what you do for us and I am actually listening to '30s and '40s music........even though Steely Dan and Supertramp are really my speed)......

Oh, about our last entry, yeah, that was an April Fool's Joke, but we did watch the Final 4 games on tv. And, we didn't tape them, so there was no avoiding the annoying Southwest Airlines ads.

So, since there is not too much going on tonight until "Mad Men" comes on, we thought we would do a satirical things to do list for this coming week:

1. Get the current issue of "Writer's Digest"

2. Actually write something, even a haiku.

3. Drive to Winchester, Va., to find the late country singer Patsy Cline's grave (pict. center)

4. Call "The Baltimore Sun" and ask them to send today's Sunday edition of their newspaper to my address even though I live six hours away from them (the Baltimore Orioles start their season tomorrow....we think)....

5. Mapquest directions to Portland, Maine, so you can see a Portland Sea Dogs minor league baseball team, even though Maine is pretty freaking far from Virginia.

6. Play Ms. Pac-Mac for 6.5 hours

7. Watch the entire first two seasons of the '70s BBC comedy series "Are You Being Served?" (pictured bottom......I think my friend Chris Knight is the only person my age who actually watches this show regularly....)

8. Laundry

9. Carwash

10. Dishes








Wednesday, April 1, 2015

We Are Going to the Final Four in Indy............

Yes, indeed, a good friend of mine from Charlotte, NC, backed out of going to the NCAA Tournament so he could tend to the health of his ailing Yorkie terrier B.B. King (named after the blues legend, of course). We wish B.B. the best, but we are going to Indianapolis!

For those of you who are politically liberal, you will be delighted to learn that because of a hotel shortage in the Indiana capital, where Republican governor Mike Pence signed a stupid gay discrimination bill cloaked as religious freedom, I will be staying in Louisville, Ky., instead.

The issue has been the talk of both the political and sports world circuit. Dave Zirin of "The Nation" said that Duke University Coach Mike Krzyzewski (also known as Coach K) was a coward for not standing up to the measure. But, we did learn that the Duke coach recently wrote a letter to a struggling grade school kid in Oklahoma, urging him to make a strong effort in school. Unlike Zirin, a rare progressive sports writer, David Brooks, who is center-right politically, criticized gay rights groups for being too political, or something to that effect.

But, I am nevertheless pleased to go to the Final Four; the ironic thing is that I would have been just as happy to go to the Frozen Four in Philadelphia!

Images: 1) the retired jersey of Kentucky Wildcats great Sam Bowie wh played there in the early eighties, 2) the Duke Blue Devils mascot who is simply known as Blue Devil, 3) Frank Kaminisky, number 44 in red, in action for the Wisconisn Badgers.

The Michigan State Spartans are the fourth team in the Final Four.