Is Johann Sebastian Bach the Greatest Composer of All Time?

January 24, 2011 by  
Filed under Music, Top Story

Anthony Tommasini, classical critic with the New York Times, has put together a list of the ten greatest composers. I will provide you with his list and also give you a link to his article (The Greatest), which explains his thinking. 1. Johann Sebastian Bach, 2. Beethoven, 3. Mozart, 4. Schubert, 5. Debussy, 6. Stravinsky, 7. Brahms, 8. Verdi, 9. Wagner, 10. Bartok. Boy, these ten dudes have penned some mighty nice ditties! I probably would have picked Mozart myself, but I respect Tommasini`s choice.

For just $7.99 I`m picking up a CD on itunes with 100 Bach compositions, so I can hear for myself how Johann puts together a tune. It begins with the Brandenburg Concerto No. 31 and ends with a sonata in e flat for flute. This will take some time to sort through all of this music. Something about harmonies and counterpoint that puts Bach to the top? I can live with Bach as the greatest all time composer. Without Bach, one might argue, we couldn`t have Beethoven or Mozart. I wonder how the poor man could eat or sleep, what with those tunes flowing through his brain all day? Must have felt like the Mad Hatter`s Tea Party every day!

Cop Suspended For Issuing Ticket To 7-Year-Old Boy

January 21, 2011 by  
Filed under Weird Stuff

“Police in Kentucky said an officer received a 15-day suspension for issuing a ticket to a 7-year-old who struck his truck with a ball.

Louisville Metro Police said an internal investigation concluded with the suspension issued Friday to officer Cody Chapelle, who was found to have issued a ticket for third-degree criminal mischief to a 7-year-old boy who threw a ball that hit the officer’s truck, The (Louisville, Ky.) Courier-Journal reported Thursday.”

UPI
Instead of being suspended the officer should have been commended for going the extra mile in service to his community. Instead of ignoring the little brat, the officer taught the kid that actions have consequences, something he apparently hasn’t learned from his parents.
The UPI article doesn’t say if the officer was suspended because the parents complained. The parents should have sent the officer a thank you note for taking the time to teach their son a valuable.
Most cops wouldn’t have issued a ticket to the boy, only because they hate paperwork. Officer Cody Chapelle is a credit to the Louisville Metro Police department.

“But Let Us Begin”-It`s the 50th Anniversary of JFK`s Inaugural Address!

January 20, 2011 by  
Filed under Celebrity, Top Story

Today is the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy`s Inaugural Address. That was January 20, 1961, a cold day in Washington D.C. You can tell how cold it is from the President`s breath which has the vapors of chilliness (cold smoke?). How do you say that? Anyway, one quality that stood out for me, as I watched JFK`s historic speech this morning, is how nonchalant his celebrity audience was. It`s as if they were witnessing an ordinary, everyday speech.

Perhaps it was taking a moment for the words and ideas to sink in. It still does today. One thing I get from it, however,  is that JFK was attempting to break the iron grip of the Cold War, the tyranny of nuclear weapons, and the oppressive cloak of world poverty. By addressing this issue, and by the United States taking on the responsibility of helping the needy of the world, we could better counter the threat of International Communism. Thus, we have the Peace Corp, where people would commit to help the needy around the globe.

There`s much more, oh so much more! That pic is of my family from 1961. That`s my Dad, Eugene, Terry and Jenny, and my sister, Meredy (my older sister). That`s me on the end. Oh, my mother, Shirley was taking the photo, so she`s not in the frame. This is on Easter, I believe. We lived in Houston, Texas. This is what it was like to live in America during the New Frontier. Americans were filled with hope and vigor and a commitment to make our country great. The President told us we had a moral commitment to serve, and we listened and followed what he said.

The plain black and white photos help me to remember. It was so long ago it seems like a faded dream. A different era, a more trusting time. WWII had ended only 16 years before. People were still healing from that war. And so the early 1960s was a time of new hope. I was 8 years old at the time of JFK`s Inaugural Address. Our family was actually invited to the event. Hopefully, my Mom still has this invitation in the family vault. An important keepsake to “pass the torch to a new generation of Americans,” you might say.

Save The Earth: Eat Bugs Instead Of Burgers

January 20, 2011 by  
Filed under Weird Stuff

“All you need to do to save the rainforest, improve your diet, better your health, cut global carbon emissions and slash your food budget is eat bugs.

Mealworm quiche, grasshopper springrolls and cuisine made from other creepy crawlies is the answer to the global food crisis, shrinking land and water resources and climate-changing carbon emissions, Dutch scientist Arnold van Huis says.

The professor at Wageningen University in the Netherlands said insects have more protein than cattle per bite, cost less to raise, consume less water and don’t have much of a carbon footprint. He even has plans for a cookbook to make bug food a more appetising prospect for mature palates.”

Reuters

I don’t mind riding a bike instead of driving my car on short trips, and I recycle paper and plastic, but I draw the line at eating bugs to save the Earth.

I don’t care if a grasshopper has more protein than a Big Mac, insects are for rodents and for people in developing countries who don’t have McDonald’s.

The  nutty professor is fighting a losing battle, his cookbook isn’t going to make bug food more appetizing. Even if I were in a deserted island where the only things to eat were bugs I’d rather starve to death than munch on insects.

New Yorkers Grieve Over The Presumed Death Of Lola The Hawk

January 19, 2011 by  
Filed under Weird Stuff

New York birdwatchers said a red-tailed hawk living with her mate in Central Park since 2002 hasn’t been seen for a month and is presumed dead.

The hawk enthusiasts said Lola, the mate of Central Park hawk Pale Male, a 20-year fixture of the park, hasn’t been seen since Dec. 18. Pale Male appears to have moved on with a new mate, the New York Post reported Tuesday.

UPI

Fans of Lola may be devastated that she is probably dead, but Lola’s mate Pale Male has already moved on with a new mate.

Pale Male is quit a stud, he’s had at least five mates since moving to the park in 1991, and he has fathered at least 23 chicks.

All this drama over a missing hawk, I hope that if I turn up missing on day, that my friends and family will be just as upset.

Red-tailed hawks are voracious predators, they dine on small mammals, birds and reptiles. I wonder if Lola’s fans shed any tears for the hundreds, if not thousands, of animals that Lola consumed during her lifetime.

Wife Thought Dead Husband Was Sleeping! He’d Been Dead For Days

January 18, 2011 by  
Filed under Weird Stuff

“Russian authorities said a woman believed her husband to be sleeping for four days before she realized he was dead.

Police in Volgograd said the 57-year-old man died Jan. 14, but his wife believed him to merely be sleeping until she noticed ‘putrid spots’ on his body four days later, RIA Novosti reported Tuesday.”

UPI
Authorities are trying to determine the cause of death. It seems to me that the cause of death was criminal negligence, the evil woman let her ill husband die in his bead without calling for help.

I know some dudes are real lazy, but there is no way in hell that this woman didn’t realize her husband was dead when he hadn’t so much as lifted a finger in days.

The woman would have smelled the putrid stench of death, days before she noticed the “putrid spot” on her husband’s body. This lady is either very evil or very stupid.

Winter Jacket Saves Tiny Dog From Owl

January 18, 2011 by  
Filed under Weird Stuff

“George Kalomiris said he was walking the 4-pound dog, Chico, in the early hours Wednesday in Crystal Lake when the owl swooped out of the darkness and tried to grab the canine, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Tuesday.

However, Kalomiris said the owl could not get a good grip on Chico because of the dog’s puffy winter jacket. He said the dog suffered scratches to his head and a puncture wound, but quickly recovered from the injuries.”

UPI

Forcing a dog or a cat to wear clothes, even in the winter, makes as much sense as using sponges instead of buns for your hamburger.

Whenever I see a person walking a dog with a sweater or a silly hat, I feel sorry for the poor creature and anger at the owner.

However in this case the tiny dog’s winter jacket undoubtedly saved his life. Chico’s pride may be offended by having to wear a silly coat, but thank goodness he suffered only minor wounds.

“You Always Hurt the One You Love”-A ‘Blue Valentine’ Moment

January 18, 2011 by  
Filed under Movies/TV, Top Story

On Sunday I saw Blue Valentine, and was really getting into it. Didn`t read any reviews beforehand, and that was a smart move. It`s been very cold and rainy, really miserable here in Austin, so I was getting chronic cabin fever. Blue Valentine helped fill the void, once I got the projectionist to adjust the sound, which was so loud, it was distorting on the previews. *(This is too bad, since I love to view the previews for a good catch, film wise, down the road).

Yesterday I got down to the gritty business of reading some reviews, to see whether I was on the same page as the Big Boys. Some of them were ripping this film apart to shreds, but I don`t know why actually? Rotten Tomatoes gives it an 88 for critics and an 83 for the audience. I would fall somewhere in this rage, I should think. Let me back up a little, and say many of these critics were writing a positive review, but it was somewhat hard to tell, since they qualified it so much.

My favorite attribute of Blue Valentine is the flashbacks, which come frequently and unexpectedly, filling in tiny details about how and why this misbegotten couple got where they did (a sour place) in their relationship. The Future Room scene defines what that is. My defense of the organic nature of the flashbacks is: does your reverie come about for particularly logical reasons? My doesn`t. Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling nailed these roles of an ill-fitting couple who had a few bright moments.

The center of the film is the romantic scene where Dean plays his ukulele to the tune You Always Hurt the One You Love, while Cindy soft-shoes a rare moment of bliss. The remainder of scenes are built around this one, the Blue Valentine moment! For a moment there, I fancied Dean breaking into Tiptoe Through the Tulips….

Evil Grandma Hides Drugs In Backback Of Her Granddaughter

January 14, 2011 by  
Filed under Weird Stuff

“Authorities in Florida said they arrested a woman who allegedly concealed cocaine in her 5-year-old granddaughter’s backpack during a police raid.

Police said Kathleen Hobbs, 47, of Melbourne was allowed to help her grandchildren prepare for school during a raid on her home Wednesday morning and officers spotted her placing a white bag in her granddaughter’s book bag, Florida Today reported Thursday.

Officers said they searched the book bag and discovered concealed cocaine and prescription pills.”

UPI

This grandmother straight from the pit of hell endangered her granddaughter and her schoolmates. If the cop hadn’t noticed the hellish grandma hide the drugs in her granddaughter’s backpack, the little girl and her friends could have eaten the cocaine and prescription drugs thinking it was candy.

This monster was charged with the possession of cocaine with the intent to sell, and aggravated child neglect.
I hope the child’s mother forbids the grandmother from ever again seeing her granddaughter.

Peter Fonda Finds A Dead Body In A Car On Sunset Boulevard!

January 14, 2011 by  
Filed under Celebrity, Top Story

Peter Fonda finds a body in a car by the side of the road. This is the best story I`ve seen on the news this morning. Somewhat under reported, but at least the Daily Mail ran a nice little piece on it. I didn`t get as must detail as I desired, but I did learn Peter found the body right on Sunset Boulevard on Wednesday afternoon, after he had noticed that this car was parked in the exact spot the day before. Why didn`t anyone else notice this oddity? Fonda has a sharp eye and should be commended for this public service. (It`s good copy too!)

They`re saying it`s a suicide, the man died from exhaust fumes. One wonders how or why this unidentified man would commit Harry Karry in his car right on historic Sunset Boulevard? Perhaps he was connected with show business? He did find a post mortem fortune of fame though, since it was the famous actor who discovered his corpse. A gifted screenwriter couldn`t have penned a more intriguing demise, I surmise!

Just a coincidence maybe, but I had just viewed Roger Corman`s campy flick, The Trip, last weekend, which stars Peter Fonda going on an LSD Trip. The film dates from 1967 (Duh!) and had Jack Nicholson writing the quirky script. My favorite scene is when Peter watches a lady`s laundry tumble in an industrial dryer. Naturally, he hallucinates people`s faces in the twirling dryer. This mysterious tale of Fonda finding the body in a car should be developed into an internet movie, or an instant watch produced by Netflix. Maybe I`ll write it myself!

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