Category Archives: Huffington Post

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” — Michael Jordan

THE DEAD DO IMPROVE

NPR marked today’s 50th anniversary of the death of Marilyn Monroe with the usual navel-gazing about whether the movie biz used her or she used it.

Marilyn Monroe is becoming smarter by the year. By 2025, she’ll probably be known as an intellectual who dabbled in acting.

Blonde Bombshell Or Scientific Genius?

HURRY!

One of my fave annoyances is the growing tendency of people to write “Love you” when they mean “I love you.”

Is it really that much of an ordeal to key in the letter I and the extra space? Will doing so make the writer late for an important appointment?

I’m Late! (I’m Late, I’m Late, I’m Late)

“Love you” strikes me as impersonal and lazy.

ONE FOR ALL

If you’ve kept up with the screeds in these precincts of late, you know how spectacularly bored I’ve always been with the Olympics.

The track and field events are going on now. Funny thing is, I really like these competitions.

A Pole Vaulter Narrowly Misses The Sun

It occurs to me I’d actually like the Olympics if the games were limited to track and field, tests of the capabilities of individuals representing their countries.

That was the original intent of Olympics, not only in ancient Greek times but when the Olympiads were re-instituted back in 1896.

POT O’GOLD

It’s a good bet marijuana may be legalized in my lifetime (assuming I don’t drop dead tomorrow afternoon.)

Oh, Wow.

Will there be any more important catalyst in the long, slow slide toward legalization than the career of one Michael Fred Phelps II, history’s most decorated Olympic athlete and noted pot smoker?

PERFORMANCE ENHANCING

One last Olympics note (today).

Look, I admire Oscar Pistorius‘s dedication and discipline as much as you do.

AKA: “The Blade Runner”

But, honestly, the man is wearing a pair of springs.

How is that different from another athlete using performance enhancing drugs?

Sure, you might say poor Oscar was born without fibulae in his legs and had to undergo a double amputation when he was 11 months old so how can we deny this courageous man the use of his springs?

Well, that’s the point. I was born without the exquisite musculature and fantastic hand-eye coordination of Willie Mays. So why can’t I try to ameliorate those disadvantages with a few cycles of anabolic steroids?

Willie Mays On A New York City Street

See, sports competitions aren’t democratic contests. When it comes to games, not all men or women are created equal.

That’s why some people win Gold Medals or Most Valuable Player awards and others don’t.

HUMOR IS A ROUGH GAME

The Onion‘s taking heat for doing a faux news video showing a jet headed for a crash into the Willis Tower.

Formerly known as Sears Tower, the Willis was, until recently, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. The joke is Sears operatives, flying the company jet, are attacking the interloper into their formerly sacred space.

From The Onion

Sound familiar?

Again, it’s a joke.

The Onion is a joke newspaper.

Many in New York and elsewhere detest the idea of jokes about 9/11. One woman was quoted as saying in the Huffington Post, “That’s not funny.”

She’s right. To her, it’s not funny. My suggestion? Don’t laugh.

Here’s how I waste my time. How about you? Share your fave sites with us via the comments section. Just type in the name of the site, not the url; we’ll find them. If we like them, we’ll include them — if not, we’ll ignore them.

I Love ChartsLife as seen through charts.

I Love Charts

XKCD — “A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.”

SkepchickWomen scientists look at the world and the universe.

IndexedAll the answers in graph form, on index cards.

I Fucking Love ScienceA Facebook community of science geeks.

Present and CorrectFun, compelling, gorgeous and/or scary graphic designs and visual creations throughout the years and from all over the world.

Flip Flop Fly BallBaseball as seen through infographics, haikus, song lyrics, and other odd communications devices.

Mental FlossFacts.

Click For Entire Story

Caps Off PleaseComics & fun.

SodaplayCreate your own models or play with other people’s models.

Eat Sleep DrawAn endless stream of artwork submitted by an endless stream of people.

Big ThinkTapping the brains of notable intellectuals for their opinions, predictions, and diagnoses.

The Daily PuppySo shoot me.

Electron Pencil event listings: Music, art, movies, lectures, parties, receptions, games, benefits, plays, meetings, fairs, conspiracies, rituals, etc.

Bloomington Playwrights ProjectOriginal musical written by young people, grades 4-11, “Dream & Nightmares”; 2pm

Fairview United Methodist ChurchConcert of songs, arias, and duets from Broadway & opera; 2pm

Buskirk-Chumley Theater“Disney’s Beauty and the Beast”; 3pm

Muddy Boots Cafe, Nashville — Weeds of Eden; 5-7pm

Bryan ParkSunday outdoor concert series: Afro Hoosier International; 6:30pm

Bear’s PlaceRyder Film Series: “Polisse”; 7pm

Ongoing:

◗ Ivy Tech Waldron CenterExhibits:

  • “40 Years of Artists from Pygmalion’s”; opens Friday, August 3rd, through September 1st

◗ IU Art MuseumExhibits:

  • Qiao Xiaoguang, “Urban Landscape: A Selection of Papercuts” ; through August 12th
  • “A Tribute to William Zimmerman,” wildlife artist; through September 9th
  • Willi Baumeister, “Baumeister in Print”; through September 9th
  • Annibale and Agostino Carracci, “The Bolognese School”; through September 16th
  • “Contemporary Explorations: Paintings by Contemporary Native American Artists”; through October 14th
  • David Hockney, “New Acquisitions”; through October 21st
  • Utagawa Kuniyoshi, “Paragons of Filial Piety”; through fall semester 2012
  • Julia Margaret Cameron, Edward Weston, & Harry Callahan, “Intimate Models: Photographs of Husbands, Wives, and Lovers”; through December 31st
  • “French Printmaking in the Seventeenth Century”; through December 31st

◗ IU SoFA Grunwald GalleryExhibits:

  • Coming — Media Life; August 24th through September 15th
  • Coming — Axe of Vengeance: Ghanaian Film Posters and Film Viewing Culture; August 24th through September 15th

◗ IU Kinsey Institute Gallery“Ephemeral Ink: Selections of Tattoo Art from the Kinsey Institute Collection”; through September 21st

◗ IU Lilly LibraryExhibit, “Translating the Canon: Building Special Collections in the 21st Century”; through September 1st

◗ IU Mathers Museum of World CulturesClosed for semester break, reopens Tuesday, August 21st

Monroe County History Center Exhibits:

  • “What Is Your Quilting Story?”; through July 31st
  • Photo exhibit, “Bloomington: Then and Now” by Bloomington Fading; through October 27th

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“Republicans have nothing but bad ideas and Democrats have no ideas.” — Lewis Black

OFFICIAL STATE GUN BILL REQUIRES A SEQUEL

So, the deep thinkers who populate the statehouse have sent a bill to Governor Mitch Daniels’ desk declaring something known as the Grouseland Rifle as the Official Indiana State Gun.

Daniels is expected to sign the bill.

A Hoosier Treasure

I hereby request my local state legislators, Vi Simpson and Peggy Welch, co-sponsor a follow-up bill that names an Official State Gunshot Wound.

I’ve done a little (believe me, a very little) research on the topic. According to the National Institutes of Health, the most common gunshot wounds occur in the extremities. Why? Search me.

Perhaps too many people who have no formal training mess around with firearms.

So, I suggest the Official State Gunshot Wound be a hole blown in the shooter’s own left biceps. Every time an aspiring gun lover accidentally puts a slug in his own arm, he’ll be brought to Indianapolis to display his wound to legislators. His photo will appear in the Indy Star, he’ll be taken for a nice lunch at Shapiro’s Deli, and he’ll get two free tickets to whatever game is in season.

And A Treasured Wound

He’ll be declared a True Hoosier, an honor I just invented. As such, he’ll receive a plaque as well as a little sticker he can affix to his drivers license.

Hoosier pride.

FAREWELL, LITTLE GUY

Super Tuesday, huh? Not so super for good old Dennis Kucinich. Perhaps the only remaining unabashed liberal (or progressive, or whatever) politician left in this holy land, Kucinich lost his Democratic primary battle with fellow Congressbeing Marcy Kaptur.

K & K: House Colleagues No More

Redistricting had combined Kucinich and Kaptur’s districts and the longest-serving woman in Congress wiped the floor with her opponent in her home county, providing her margin of victory.

Kucinich was probably the one national pol nearest to me in philosophy, save for his initial antediluvian views on abortion. He was a strong opponent of the Iraq War, pushed for universal health care, was big on workers’ rights, and even once proposed a Cabinet-level Department of Peace. Still, I never would have wanted him to be president.

He ran for the White House, you know, in 2004. That’s when he suddenly realized he was for abortion rights. I don’t demand that my fave pols walk in lockstep with me on every single issue, and I suppose I cut Kucinich slack because his early abortion stance likely was based upon the ideal Roman Catholic notion of respect for all life. He did oppose the death penalty as well so he seemed to be consistent in that regard.

But President Kucinich? Never. He would have been chewed up and spit out by the big-money boys. That’s the sad thing about today’s America, I guess. The nearest we can ever come to having a real liberal (or progressive, or whatever) in the White House would be the pair of Rockefeller Republicans who’ve carried the Democratic banner to victory in the last 20 years.

Anyway, Kucinich’ll be gone from Washington come the new year. And the nation continues its inexorable move to the right.

STAND-UP RICK

Come on admit it: With Rick Santorum’s chances of gaining the Republican nomination fading ever so gradually, you know you’ll miss him when he’s gone.

As long as it remains highly unlikely he’ll ascend to the chancellorship in November, Santorum serves as the evil jester of the 2012 presidential race.

Take these little tidbits dug up by the folks at Mother Jones. When Rickey-baby was running for Senator from Pennsylvania back in 1994, he had lots to say about single mothers. Not that theirs was a thankless task, nor that we as a people ought to lend a hand to women trying to raise families and keep jobs without the assistance of partner daddy-o’s.

Wrecking The Nation

No. Santorum told supporters at one point, “We are seeing the fabric of this country fall apart, and it’s falling apart because of single moms.”

Oh.

A couple of weeks later, he amplified this view. “What we have,” he explained, “is moms raising children in single-parent households simply breeding more criminals.”

Let’s not even trouble ourselves with his faulty logic and his obsessive need to blame people’s sexual behavior for everything that’s wrong in the lord god’s creation. Just consider his use of the word breeding.

You know, as in what we humans do with livestock.

Breeding

There are a million scary places in this world but the scariest of all just might be the inner recesses of Rick Santorum’s mind.

THE HILLER POST

Bloomington’s own Nancy Hiller writes in her blog about the first time she saw Arianna Huffington speak publicly back in 1978.

The young Huffington took to the rostrum in England, where Hiller spent part of her callow youth. Hiller writes glowingly of the then-28-year-old future media magnate. Hiller also expresses gratitude for The Huffington Post naming her tome, “A Home of Her Own,” one of its Books We Love last year.

Now, Hiller’s the ideal role model for young girls. She has struck out on her own to create a successful business, she makes art, and she has thrived in a trade usually dominated by men.

It’s understandable that Hiller would speak kindly of Huffington, who also has made it big in a man’s world. I’m happy Hiller’s getting ink (and electrons) for her terrific book. And, hell, I’m a regular reader of The Huffington Post. But I’m gonna throw a bucket of ice water on this Arianna love fest.

Born Arianna Stassinopoulos, she has been working her way up the ranks of the world’s most opportunistic human beings for all of her 61 years. She has tied her star to men who could advance her career since she was a schoolgirl.

Fresh out of college, she hooked up with British television personality Bernard Levin, known as the most famous UK journalist of his day. He was also a game show panelist. She helped Levin become an adherent of a woo religion and he helped her write books and get them published. She called him the love of her life.

In the mid ’80s, she took a job as the closeted wannabe-politician Michael Huffington’s beard. She got tired of that charade in 1997 but has been known as Arianna Huffington ever since.

Huffington started her American media career as a conservative commentator when Bill Clinton was in office. Lots of conservative talking heads made hay back then. But as time passed and it appeared there was only room for the likes of Rush Limbaugh and some other blowhards, she switched to the liberal side. It was an inspired career move.

She started up The Huffington Post and built it into a powerhouse. She sold the shebang in 2011 for $315M. That’s a pretty nifty payday. Oh yes, payday. A concept whose absence she employed to make that concern wildly successful. Arianna Huffington was a capitalist visonary: she finally found the way to get labor to work for free.

I suppose what I’m really trying to say is Nancy Hiller is a far better person than Arianna Huffington.

It’s Huffington who should be expressing admiration for Hiller rather than vice-versa.

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