Monthly Archives: September 2019

In Memoriam – Eddie Money, 1949-2019

“To me, the glass is always half full – never half empty.”

Eddie Money (Edward Joseph Mahoney)

“Baby, Hold On”

“Shakin’”

“Think I’m in Love”

“Two Tickets to Paradise”

“Walk on Water”

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In Memoriam – Francisco López Toledo, 1940-2019

“We add our voice … to those who struggle for the recognition and protection for their rights and cultures, because to the extent that we respect our differences, we shall build a life with more justice.”

Francisco López Toledo

Cocodrilo Rojo (Red Crocodile), 2009
El Perro de Olga (Olga’s Dog), 1976
La Madre de los Alacranes (Mother of the Scorpions), 1976
Libertad-a-Victor-Yodo, (Freedom to Victor)
Mujer Toro (Bull Woman), 1987
Rabbit Goes to War, 1993
Vaca Mala (Bad Cow), undated
Venado con Zapatos (Deer with Shoes), 1970
Kites with images of 43 murdered students at Mexico City’s Memory and Tolerance Museum in 2015

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In Memoriam – Robert Frank, 1924-2019

“The eye should learn to listen before it looks.”

Robert Frank

Charleston, South Carolina, 1955
14th Street White Tower – New York City, 1948
Mary with Pablo and Andrea, 1950s
Mr. and Mrs. Feiertag, Late Afternoon, 1951
Couple – Paris, 1952
Welsh miners, 1953
Fourth of July – Jay, New York, 1954
Chattanooga, Tennessee, 1955
Funeral – St. Helena, South Carolina, 1955
Movie premiere – Los Angeles, 1955
Trolley – New Orleans, 1955
Drug store – Detroit, 1955
Rodeo – New York City, 1955
Indianapolis, 1956
San Francisco, 1956
Daytona Beach, Florida, 1958

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Worst Quote of the Week – September 13, 2019

People await evacuation at a dock in Marsh Harbour, Bahamas, on September 7.

“We have to be very careful.  Everybody needs totally proper documentation.  Because, look, the Bahamas had some tremendous problems with people going to the Bahamas that weren’t supposed to be there.  I don’t want to allow people that weren’t supposed to be in the Bahamas to come into the United States — including some very bad people and very bad gang members.”

– Faux President Donald Trump on the prospect of Bahamian citizens being evacuated to the U.S. after Hurricane Dorian.

The death toll following Dorian’s rampage continues to rise, as workers clear debris, and the number of missing remains around 2,500.

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Best Quote of the Week – September 13, 2019

“At this point I call the women’s marches ‘parades,’ with white women doing arts and crafts the night before.  This is an event for them.  It wasn’t until white women were personally affected that they came out in the millions.  All of a sudden they knew how to organize.  Women of color have been marching a long time.”

Rachel Cargle, author and activist who has criticized feminist movements around the world as exclusive of non-White women.

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The Very Storms

As Hurricane Dorian continues its slow trek up the eastern coastline of the U.S. (the bastard just won’t die!), I think of the storm-related terminology people keep using to describe these systems.  Most every description includes the word “very”.  It’s the same verbiage recycled again and again – the way companies recycle workers during economic downturns and politicians recycle promises with each campaign.  But it’s also somewhat laughable in that, each time, meteorologists, law enforcement officials and reporters (you know, the dumbasses who stand in the middle of a rain-torn street or an inundated beach, as if we’re too stupid to understand how bad it is out that way) utter these same words with just about every hurricane.  More specifically, though, the tones of their voices and the inflections they apply to these characterizations insinuate that said terminology has never been used before.

The word “very” is an adverb meaning, ‘In a high degree, extremely, or exceedingly.’

I had a high school English teacher who grew weary of students constantly using the word “very” to emphasize certain conditions.  “They’re not very poor,” she groused, highlighting one example.  “They’re just poor!”

Okay, boss-lady, got it!  Sending “very” into a dark place from where it will not emerge until after I graduate.

With all of that rigmarole behind us now, I have compiled a short list of frequently used – and overused – terms that meteorologists, law enforcement and those dumbass reporters utilize to describe tropical storm systems.  Keep in mind the adverb “very” is almost always the precursor.

This storm is very…

Dangerous – this is the 2nd most used term to describe tropical storms; apparently, there are such things as safe hurricanes, but I don’t believe one has developed in a while.

Fluid – this generally refers to the actual travel speed of the storm and not the water, which in case you failed Science 101, is one of the most common fluids available.

Intense – this most often indicates the severity of the sustained winds (those closest to the eye) and wind gusts (those furthest from the eye that fluctuate wildly as their speed increases).  This can also describe the persona of those reporters trying to make a name for themselves on the beach, as well as residents and visitors who decide they’re going to tough it out because, after all, what could possibly go wrong amidst 150 mph (241 kph) winds and rain falling sideways?

Powerful – this one competes with “dangerous” as a common description for hurricanes and simply refers to the overall magnitude of the storm.  Considering that an average hurricane can generate 6.0 x 10^14 Watts or 5.2 x 10^19 Joules/day (equivalent to about 200 times Earth’s total electrical generating capacity), it’s tough to imagine a tropical storm system as being weak.  In fact, though, the word “weak” has been used to describe some hurricanes, which means – from a meteorological perspective – it’s all relative.  Think of it as comparing Donald Trump’s intellectual capacity to that of Barack Obama.  Obama would a Category 5 hurricane, while Trump would barely make it out of tropical disturbance status.

Unpredictable – this is undoubtedly the most commonly used term to describe hurricanes.  Understand that these tempests have been bombarding the coastlines of the world since the beginning of time; yet, we modern humans keep trying to predict exactly where one such storm will go.  However, contemporary meteorology has advanced to the point where such estimations are accurate.  But coastal residents and visitors still want weather prognosticators to determine precisely where a storm will make landfall, so they won’t have to ruin their vacations or run to Home Depot at the last minutes to buy generators, batteries, plywood and wine.  Stupid humans!

Wet – this word isn’t utilized too often amidst hurricane descriptions, but every once in a while, it gets tossed into the mix.  Because tropical storm systems develop over large bodies of warm water, I don’t believe “dry” would be an appropriate term.  But that’s just my opinion!  What do you folks think?

Windy – this is actually the most curious description for a hurricane.  Realizing that tropical storm systems are gauged and ranked according to their wind speed, it’s difficult to imagine that even a Category 1 hurricane could pass by without knocking a few trash cans over.  Again, I’m just speculating.

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Worst Quote of the Week – September 6, 2019

“I am NOT going to use the evil acts of a handful of people to diminish the God-given rights of my fellow Texans.  Period.  None of these so-called gun-control solutions will work to stop a person with evil intent. I say NO to ‘red flag’ pre-crime laws.  NO to universal background checks.  NO to bans on AR-15s, or high capacity magazines.  NO to mandatory gun buybacks.”

Texas State Congressman Matt Schaefer, in the aftermath of a shooting spree in Odessa, Texas August 31

There is no reference to any types of firearms in any known version of religious texts.  After the invention of gunpowder in China in the 9th century C.E., the earliest documented firearm is the Chinese Heilongjiang hand cannon, which appeared around the end of the 13th century C.E.

Surviving example of a Chinese Heilongjiang hand cannon

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