I’ve Got My Mind Set On You

May 28, 2016

“Got My Mind Set On You,” written by Rudy Clark, recorded by James Ray in 1962. the tune was a hit for George Harrison in 1987:

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Virginia Woolf: an Animation of One’s Own

May 28, 2016

The School of Life humanities series takes on writer Virginia Woolf (1882-1941).

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Burnt Offerings

May 27, 2016

Burnt Offerings

It’s Memorial Day weekend, and patriotic citizens honor America’s fallen heroes by incinerating and ingesting meat outdoors. Other observances include mass motorcycle runs, traffic jams, parades of children and pets, and ceremonial retail frenzy.

This weekend will fatten U.S. meat sales and heat up the economy. Citizens who do not eat meat grill veggies; religious Jews grill kosher meat. It might be said that burger burning, bargain-hunting Americans are celebrating the values our fallen heroes were defending, but only if gluttony and consumerism are mistaken for expressions of freedom.

Anyway, have a thoughtful weekend. Observe the traditional moment of silence on Monday at 3:00 PM. And try to avoid the traditional outbreak of Memorial Day motor accidentsboating mishapshouse fires, and food poisoning.

Related:

“National WWII Museum Poll Shows 80 percent of Americans Unfamiliar with Memorial Day’s Real Meaning” (Press Release).

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com [Note: I imagined this outrageous grill a few years ago; now someone is selling it].

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NASA’s Bouncy Castle in Space Stays Flat

May 27, 2016

Bouncy Castle in Space!

Last month NASA sent an inflatable room — the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module or BEAM — into space via SpaceX as a home improvement for the International Space Station’s Tranquility Module. Like many home improvement projects, all did not go according to plan, and yesterday the big balloon didn’t inflate worth a damn. Perhaps a Rubbermaid garden shed will do? Home Depot is open until 10 tonight.

More:

“The ISS’s New Space Module Fails Its First Inflation Attempt,” Emma Grey Ellis, Wired

“ISS controllers defer BEAM module expansion,” Pete Harding, NASASpaceFlight.com

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Image (“BEAM deployed – artist concept”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Sumo Match of the Century!

May 26, 2016

Sumo Match of the Century!

In sports news, the Haru Basho (Spring Tournament) in Osaka made Sumo wrestling history earlier this month as defending champ Hakuhō Shō faced off with Harumafuji Kōhei. It was over faster than the 2nd Ali-Liston fight.

Harumafuji lunged at Hakuhō, who sidestepped. Harumafuji couldn’t stop, and staggered out of the ring to lose. It was over in 1 second. Hakuhō had won his 36th Emperor’s Cup.

Some Sumo fans are saying that Hakuhō, a 31-year-old veteran, should hang up his mawashi and go out a winner after this wild match, but he plans to fight on for his 37th Emperor’s Cup title.

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Isao Tomita, 1932 – 2016

May 25, 2016

Isao Tomita, a pioneer of electronic music, died earlier this month at the age of 84. A composer, he was best known for his analog synthesizer arrangements of the classical music canon.

More:

“Isao Tomita Dies at 84; Combined Electronic and Classical Music,” Margalit Fox, New York Times

“Isao Tomita, Japanese pioneer of synthesizer music, dies at 84,” Daisuke Kikuchi, Japan Times

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Iratus aves. O tempora, o mores!

May 24, 2016

Iratus aves. O tempora, o mores!

The movie that scored number 1 at the box office last weekend, with $39 million in ticket sales, was Angry Birds, based on a mobile phone game. Few audience members liked the film, but of course they’d already spent their money. Anger is entertaining, but not for more than a few minutes. Will Trump voters have this kind of buyer’s remorse if he wins the general election?

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Image (“Field Guide to Angry Birds [Iratus aves]”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Trump Paid Nothing in Taxes

May 23, 2016

Trump Paid Nothing in Taxes

“The last time information from Donald Trump’s income-tax returns was made public, the bottom line was striking: He had paid the federal government $0 in income taxes.

The disclosure, in a 1981 report by New Jersey gambling regulators, revealed that the wealthy Manhattan investor had for at least two years in the late 1970s taken advantage of a tax-code provision popular with developers that allowed him to report negative income.

Today, as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Trump regularly denounces corporate executives for using loopholes and ‘false deductions’ to ‘get away with murder’ when it comes to avoiding taxes.

‘They make a fortune. They pay no tax,’ Trump said last year on CBS. ‘It’s ridiculous, okay?'”

— “Trump once revealed his income tax returns. They showed he didn’t pay a cent.” Drew Harwell, Washington Post

More:

“Donald Trump, the welfare king,” Dana Milbank, Washington Post

“Donald Trump signed off deal designed to deprive US of tens of millions of dollars in tax,” Ruth Sherlock, Edward Malnick, and Claire Newell, The Telegraph

See Kim Warp’s New Yorker take here.

Related:

“Trump’s Chip-Shot Charity,” NotionsCapital

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Hobo’s Lullaby

May 22, 2016

“Hobo’s Lullaby,” written by Goebel Reeves, sung by Emmylou Harris, with Mark O’Connor on violin.

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A Message to You

May 22, 2016

A message to you rude boys, from Dandy Livingstone, recorded in 1967. The song was a hit for The Specials in 1979.

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