Category Archives: Nuclear Weapons

Hot Air

Hores Sense

Happy National Grammar Day, everyone! Watch your colons.

In trying to learn about NGD, I came upon a neat little organization and its blog, both of which, sadly, no longer exist. Why? Well, prob. because nobody much cares about good grammar ennymore. Nevertheless, skim through the posts of the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar, especially a handwritten essay by a grammar-schooler about his dad’s love of “hores.” A taste:

Hores make you feel good. My dad wants a hores but my mom says no.

Horse

“Sex Worker” Is More Appropriate

Natch, good spelling is as important as good grammar.

BTW: Start making your plans now for National Punctuation Day, September 24th every year.

Plaster Saint?

So, the character who, in the interests of truth, justice and the American way, got the Jackie Robinson West Little League team stripped of its 2014 national title got himself in a bit a jam himself early yesterday morning.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Christopher Janes of suburban Evergreen Park, menaced a woman and her husband in the wee hours a block from his house Tuesday. He allegedly chased the woman, who ran into her house after she pulled into her driveway and saw him causing a ruckus. Janes then pounded on her front door and yelled at the couple to come out — using foul language. The couple called the police as Janes ran away. He was apprehended not far away with his arm bleeding.

Janes has been charged with assault, disorderly conduct, resisting a peace officer, public intoxication, and using threatening and vulgar language. At the time of his arrest, acc’d’g to the Trib, he refused to cooperate with police and would not say how he injured his arm.

Janes

Janes’ Mug Shot

Meanwhile, nine of the 13 members of the Jackie Robinson West team, traveled to the tony northwest suburb of Northbrook where they met and greeted some 300 kids and adults who came to see them at the local YMCA. The Saturday evening event was sponsored by the Northbrook Community Relations Commission. The players talked about their trip to the White House to meet President Obama, visiting Disney World, their work ethic, and what classes they liked in school.

As for Janes, he will be arraigned April 13 in Cook County Circuit Court.

Mayoral Miscellany

Doug Storm hosted all four candidates for Bloomington mayor last night on WFHB’s Interchange program.

Don’t worry: No blood was spilled.

Interchange

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Perspective

The Onion, as always, nailing it:

Onion

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Bim Bam Boom

So, yeah, this holy land possesses thousands of thermonuclear weapons capable of turning our fair world into a smokeball. Russia packs a few thousand pika-don fireworks as well. The United Kingdom, France, and China long have been gleeful members of the nuke club. Add to them India, Pakistan, and Israel, all of whom have tinkered their way into armageddon territory.

Funny thing is, most of the above-mentioned gasp and wring their hands whenever another nation-state hints that it’d like to develop the capability to blow the world to bits. Some otherwise smart citizens even say Well, fair is fair: We have the Bomb, why can’t they?

As ludicrous as this sounds, the leaders of those countries who possess nuclear arsenals seem to have been made less rash by their Bombs. Well, at least ever so minutely less rash. Think of Vietnam and how the US didn’t turn it into a full-blown conflagration for fear the Chinese or the then-Soviets might decide to get trigger happy in response. The USSR itself similarly tampered its urges to kill in any number of conflicts in the last half century lest we blow them to smithereens.

So rather than counting the grateful dead by the millions, we’ve kept the number of war casualties to…, um, oh. Millions.

Bomb Test

Huzzah — We’re In The Club!

Still, those leaders of the nuke club fear the prospect of a wild-man gov’t joining its ranks. To wit, North Korea. It’s still trying to perfect its own penis-envy doomsday weapon and no doubt will put an effective warhead on a dependable missile sooner rather than later. And whereas the pioneer members of Nukes, Inc. seemed content merely to develop and test their big bangers — that being enough to scare the bejesus out of their potential rivals — N. Korea seems to dig verbally assaulting its perceived enemies with threats of leveled cities.

Take yesterday, for inst. Ri Su Yong, the North Korean foreign minister, issued one of his country’s regular and predictable threats against to US. If this nation and its allies, South Korea and Japan, keep on flexing their muscles in the neighborhood of North Korea, Ri said, his land’ll blast a US city into its constituent atoms. He elaborated:

Now the DPRK has the power of deterring the U.S. and conducting a pre-emptive strike as well, if necessary.

The muscle-flexing Ri refers to is the annual joint military exercise conducted by the US and S. Korea happening right now. Every year, the US and SoKo play-act at soldiering intentionally in eye- and earshot of those excitable North Koreans. And every year North Korea pledges to take out Los Angeles or Seattle if they don’t stop it.

I mean, possessing the capability to incinerate hundreds of millions of human beings with the push of a button is one thing, but bragging about it? Well, now, that’s going too far.

H-Bomb Ditty

The Renegades covered this old Bill Haley and His Comets single back in 1966. How bizarre a species are we that we can sing in celebration of global nuclear holocaust because that’d mean there’d be one lucky male survivor along with 13 women?

I beginning to think Darwin was wrong. There is no such thing as evolution — only devolution.

In any case, this is a very cool version of a very deranged song.

Your Daily Hot Air

Hiroshima Day

The nuclear bombings of two cities in Japan were the logical coda of the single most brutal enterprise the species Homo Sapiens sapiens has ever undertaken — and if we’re very, very, very lucky, will ever undertake.

Hiroshima

World War II claimed anywhere from 60-100 million lives. It doesn’t matter how they died; only that the people of this mad planet wanted them dead.

BTW: Shoot over to Neil Steinberg’s blog post today about the excruciatingly unlucky few who survived both bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. True story.

Nixon Resignation Day

Here’s Mike Royko writing Richard M. Nixon’s political eulogy in the Chicago Sun-Times the day after the president quit:

My personal reason for not wanting Mr. Nixon prosecuted is that he really didn’t betray the nation’s trust all that badly.

The country knew what it was getting when it made him president. He was elected by the darker side of the American conscience. His job was to put the brakes on the changes of the 1960s — the growing belief in individual liberties, the push forward by minority groups. He campaigned by appealing to prejudice and suspicion. What he and his followers meant by law and order was “shut up.”

So whose trust he did he betray? Not that of those who thought he was the answer. He was, indeed, their answer.

Nixon

Nixon

The Past Is Prologue

Ukulele savant Susan Sandberg points out this timeless observation by Lyndon Baines Johnson:

If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him someone to look down on and he’ll empty his pockets for you.

LBJ

Johnson

Winning Isn’t Everything

Speaking of the 1960s, I just finished reading a biography of Vince Lombardi entitled When Pride Still Mattered by David Maraniss.

Lombardi was often portrayed as a brutal, tyrannical leader who’d have steamrolled his grandmother to win a football game. Many people felt he was a man without conscience or sensitivity toward his fellow man. As such, some figured he’d be a great political leader for the turbulent ’60s. In fact, soon after Nixon secured the Republican nomination for president 45 years ago this week, the candidate floated the idea of approaching Lombardi to be his running mate. Nixon’s aides took him seriously and looked into Lombardi’s background. What they found surprised them: The iconic Green Bay Packers coached turned out to be a lifelong Democrat who was particularly close to Bobby Kennedy and the slain senator’s family.

Lombardi

Lombardi

Anyway, the coach’s views on civil rights surely would have sunk a Nixon/Lombardi ticket. Here’s an anecdote. Early on in his term as boss of the Pack, Lombardi and his team traveled into the South for an exhibition game. They went to a large restaurant for a meal. Lombardi was told the black players on the team — only a couple of guys, really, in those days — would not be allowed to enter the place through the front door. They’d have to come in through the back door and eat in a special room for blacks just off the kitchen.

Jim Crow

Lombardi was incensed. He realized, though, he couldn’t smash Jim Crow all by himself that day so he did the next best thing. He directed his entire team to enter through the back door and eat their meal in the back room reserved for blacks.

Pretty cool, eh?

Add to that the fact that Lombardi had at least one player on his team whom he knew was gay. The coach said to his assistants, If I hear one insult or snide remark coming out of your mouths you’ll be fired before your ass hits the floor.

Vince Lombardi was no Spiro Agnew.

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“I am leaving soon. and you will forgive me if I speak bluntly.

“The universe grows smaller every day, and the threat of aggression by any group, anywhere, can no longer be tolerated. There must be security for all, or no one is secure.

“Now, this does not mean giving up any freedom, except the freedom to act irresponsibly. Your ancestors knew this when they made laws to govern themselves and hired policemen to enforce them.

“We of the other planets have long accepted this principle. We have an organization for the mutual protection of all the planets and for the complete elimination of aggression.

“The test of any such higher authority is, of course, the police force that supports it. For our policemen, we created a race of robots. Their function is to patrol the planets in spaceships like this one and preserve the peace. In matters of aggression, we have given them absolute power over us. This power cannot be revoked.

“At the first sign of violence, they act automatically against the aggressor. The penalty for provoking their action is too terrible to risk.

“The result is, we live in peace, without arms or armies, secure in the knowledge that we are free from aggression and war. Free to pursue more profitable enterprises.

“Now, we do not pretend to have achieved perfection, but we do have a system, and it works.

“I came here to give you these facts. It is no concern of ours how you run your own planet, but if you threaten to extend your violence, this Earth of yours will be reduced to a burned-out cinder.

“Your choice is simple: Join us and live in peace, or pursue your present course and face obliteration.

“We shall be waiting for your answer. The decision rests with you.” — Klaatu in “The Day the Earth Stood Still.”

SCARE THE BASTARDS & VOTE!

Here’s where, today: The Curry Building, 214 W. Seventh St.; 8am-6pm

A HALLOWE’EN MESSAGE

Oh, baby, “The Day the Earth Stood Still” remains to this day one of my top ten fave movies of all time.

Michael Rennie was so cool and suave as Klaatu, the emissary from another planet. And Gort, the robot! Good heavens, he scared the bejesus out of me when the movie would air on TV on a Friday night. As a kid, I’d run out of the room when Gort would appear. That huge, faceless head! That massive body! The laser that shot out from his visor!

But I couldn’t bear to miss a single second of the movie so I’d tiptoe back into the living room and peek around the corner to see if Gort was still on the screen.

Gort

The thrills of childhood are so visceral and immediate.

It wasn’t until many years later that I realized Klaatu had a message for humanity. And later I read that the whole movie, adapted from a short story by Harry Bates entitled, “Farewell to the Master,” was a modern-day allegory for the arrival of a messiah.

Both Klaatu and Jesus brought a message of peace to humankind. Klaatu, while he roamed the streets of Washington, DC, took on the name Carpenter — Jesus was a carpenter. Klaatu was killed by the 1951 version of the Roman centurions and he was brought back to life so he could deliver his word.

“Carpenter”

Who knew?

Anyway, I was irked when the remake was announced a little more than five years ago. The original version, directed by Robert Wise, was still good enough for me. And then when I heard that the insufferable Keanu Reaves would play the lead, I vowed I’d never watch the remake. I’ve kept that vow.

And, you know, Gort was played by a real man named Lock Martin. In one scene, Gort carries the female lead, Helen Benson, played by Patricia Neal, into the spaceship. The problem was Martin, himself a breathtakingly tall individual, was oddly weak and so unable to carry Neal. The crew had to rig a system of wires to support Neal while Martin pretended to carry her.

“The Day the Earth Stood Still” was scored by the brilliant Bernard Herrmann, who also handled music for “Citizen Kane,” “Psycho,” and “Taxi Driver.” Herrmann employed sophisticated (for his time) overdubbing and used odd and even bizarre instruments including two theremins, vibraphones, glockenspiels, and a celesta, among others.

The Theremin & Its Inventor, Lev Termen

The effect was an aural weirdness that was perfect for the film.

Oddly, “The Day the Earth Stood Still” was shut out of Oscar nominations for pictures made in 1951, not even gaining a technical nod. But there’s no shame in that: Red Buttons once won an Oscar but Cary Grant never did.

One more thing. Klaatu was shot in the opening sequence of the movie. He’s taken to Walter Reed Army Hospital for treatment where the doctors are stunned that he’s healed himself using a salve he’d brought from his home planet. While the doctors discuss Klaatu’s advanced pharmacology, they light up — right in the hospital! Such simpler times.

Now, which movie do you think I’m going to pop into my DVD player tonight?

THE SCARY THEREMIN

How cool is this?

I dug up some audio of the two paleo-technogeek musicians playing separate theremins in a recording session for the score for “The Day the Earth Stood Still.” Their names were Dr. Samuel Hoffman (he was a foot doctor by day) and Paul Shure.

The theremin was played without actually touching the instrument. The player would wave his or her hands in front of a couple of antennae. With no frets, keys, or any other material devices to control pitch, volume, and duration, the theremin was extremely difficult to master.

The Rolling Stones’ musical adventurer, Brian Jones, played the theremin on “Their Satanic Majesties Request.”

Let’s listen to Hoffman and Shure lay down tracks during post-production for the movie.

The only events listings you need in Bloomington.


Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

VOTE ◗ The Curry Building, 214 W. Seventh St.; 8am-6pm

STUDIO TOUR ◗ Brown County, various locationsThe Backroads of Brown County Studio Tour, free, self-guided tour of 16 local artists’ & craftspersons’ studios; 10am-5pm, through October

STORYTELLING ◗ Monroe County Public LibraryStoryhour Extravaganza: Halloween; 10-10:45am

STORYTELLING ◗ Monroe County Public LibraryStoryhour Extravaganza: Halloween; 1:30-2:15pm

LECTURE ◗ IU Memorial Union — “The Future of Urban Education in the US: Where Is It Going?”, Presented by Eugene White, superintendent of Indianapolis Public Schools, and David Harrs CEO of The Mind Trust; 2pm

MUSIC ◗ Cafe DjangoRegal Rhythm Halloween Show, Plus costume contest; 7pm

MUSIC ◗ Muddy Boots Cafe, NashvilleDobbs Project; 7-9pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Ford-Crawford HallStudent Recital: Karen Stafford on historical clarinet; 7pm

PERFORMANCE ◗ Unity of Bloomington ChurchAuditions & rehearsal for Bloomington Peace Choir; 7-8:30pm

MUSIC ◗ The Player’s PubStardusters; 7:30-10:30pm

ASTRONOMY ◗ IU Kirkwood ObservatoryOpen house, Public viewing through the main telescope; 7:30pm

MUSIC ◗ Max’s PlaceOpen mic; 7:30pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Musical Arts CenterConcert Orchestra, Scott Sandmeier, director; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ The BishopThe Wood Brothers, Lyra Lynn; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Auer HallDoctoral Recital: Hanmo Qian on piano; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ The BluebirdRod Tuffcurls & the Benchpress; 9pm

ONGOING:

ART ◗ IU Art MuseumExhibits:

  • “New Acquisitions,” David Hockney; through October 21st
  • “Paragons of Filial Piety,” by Utagawa Kuniyoshi; through December 31st
  • “Intimate Models: Photographs of Husbands, Wives, and Lovers,” by Julia Margaret, Cameron, Edward Weston, & Harry Callahan; through December 31st
  • French Printmaking in the Seventeenth Century;” through December 31st
  • Celebration of Cuban Art & Film: Pop-art by Joe Tilson; through December 31st
  • Threads of Love: Baby Carriers from China’s Minority Nationalities“; through December 23rd
  • Workers of the World, Unite!” through December 31st
  • Embracing Nature,” by Barry Gealt; through December 23rd
  • Pioneers & Exiles: German Expressionism,” through December 23rd

ART ◗ Ivy Tech Waldron CenterExhibits:

  • Ab-Fab — Extreme Quilting,” by Sandy Hill; October 5th through October 27th
  • Street View — Bloomington Scenes,” by Tom Rhea; October 5th through October 27th
  • From the Heartwoods,” by James Alexander Thom; October 5th through October 27th
  • The Spaces in Between,” by Ellen Starr Lyon; October 5th through October 27th

ART ◗ IU SoFA Grunwald GalleryExhibit:

  • Buzz Spector: Off the Shelf; through November 16th
  • Small Is Big; Through November 16th

ART ◗ IU Kinsey Institute GalleryExhibits:

  • A Place Aside: Artists and Their Partners;” through December 20th
  • Gender Expressions;” through December 20th

PHOTOGRAPHY ◗ IU Mathers Museum of World CulturesExhibit:

  • “CUBAmistad” photos

ART ◗ IU Mathers Museum of World CulturesExhibits:

  • “¡Cuba Si! Posters from the Revolution: 1960s and 1970s”
  • “From the Big Bang to the World Wide Web: The Origins of Everything”
  • “Thoughts, Things, and Theories… What Is Culture?”
  • “Picturing Archaeology”
  • “Personal Accents: Accessories from Around the World”
  • “Blended Harmonies: Music and Religion in Nepal”
  • “The Day in Its Color: A Hoosier Photographer’s Journey through Mid-century America”
  • “TOYing with Ideas”
  • “Living Heritage: Performing Arts of Southeast Asia”
  • “On a Wing and a Prayer”

BOOKS ◗ IU Lilly LibraryExhibit:

  • Outsiders and Others: Arkham House, Weird Fiction, and the Legacy of HP Lovecraft;” through November 1st
  • A World of Puzzles,” selections from the Slocum Puzzle Collection

PHOTOGRAPHY ◗ Soup’s OnExhibit:

  • Celebration of Cuban Art & Culture: “CUBAmistad photos; through October

PHOTOGRAPHY ◗ Monroe County History CenterExhibit:

  • Bloomington: Then and Now,” presented by Bloomington Fading; through October 27th

ARTIFACTS ◗ Monroe County History CenterExhibits:

  • Doctors & Dentists: A Look into the Monroe County Medical Professions
  • What Is Your Quilting Story?
  • Garden Glamour: Floral Fashion Frenzy
  • Bloomington Then & Now
  • World War II Uniforms
  • Limestone Industry in Monroe County

The Ryder & The Electron Pencil. All Bloomington. All the time.

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“The environmental crisis arises from a fundamental fault: our systems of production — in industry, agriculture, energy, and transportation — essential as they are, make people sick and die.” — Barry Commoner

THE COMMONER MAN

Barry Commoner is dead.

What a perfect name for a man whose life was dedicated not to captains of industry, titans of wealth, or snake oil salesmen of politics, but to plain folks.

His Wikipedia entry describes him, in part, as a politician, even though that’s the one thing he wasn’t. Commoner ran for president in 1980 as a member of something called the Citizens Party but, fortunately, he didn’t have a chance. He didn’t even get a third of a single percentage point of the vote. Had he won, he would have been chewed up and spit out by the people and institutions that run this world.

Commoner served humanity best from outside the halls of power, shaking his fist, yelling himself hoarse.

He was a biologist and an environmentalist. He came to caring for the Earth after studying up on the Manhattan Project and the proliferation of nuclear weapons. He concluded the the Bomb was simply the most egregious example of humanity’s ignorance of its role in nature.

The “Gadget” And An Unworried Man

Commoner became the planet’s watchdog.

Here are his Four Laws of Ecology:

  • Everything is Connected to Everything Else: Ecosystems and individuals are are complex and interconnected
  • Everything Must Go Somewhere: In nature, there is no final waste; everything is gobbled up by something else
  • Nature Knows Best: He wrote, “The absence of a particular substance from nature is often a sign that it is incompatible with the chemistry of life”
  • Nothing Comes From Nothing: Everything we use comes from something and its end products become something else; in other words, there’s always a price to pay

Contrast Commoner’s laws with these laws of capitalism, as laid out by John Bellamy Foster in his book, “The Vulnerable Planet”:

  • The only real connection between things is cash
  • The end product of any process is irrelevant as long as it doesn’t cost money
  • The market knows best
  • Nature is property, which the owner can do with as he pleases

US presidents, as well as the leaders of virtually every nation on Earth, buy into the latter laws even when they swear up and down that they honor the former. Isn’t it a shame a guy like Commoner could never become president?

HOLY CASH

God hasn’t always been married to cash in this holy land.

According to the US Treasury, the first paper currency bearing the motto “In God We Trust,” a $1 silver certificate, came off the printing press in 1957. That’s a year after Congress declared IGWT to be the national motto.

So, this whole official god-and-country thing is a phenomenon that only came into being during my lifetime!

And, here, I thought this great nation was established by the hand of the creator himself. At least that’s the genesis story much of the Religious Right would have us believe.

Some American coins first bore the motto way back during the Civil War, but who counts coins anyway?

Here’s a list of dates when the various denominations of the nation’s paper dough were first issued with the motto on them:

  • $1 — March 11, 1964
  • $5 — September 16, 1964
  • $10 — April 24, 1964
  • $20 — October 7, 1964
  • $50 — September 28, 1966
  • $100 — September 27, 1966

You know how insecure god is: I’ll be he’s thrilled that we put his name on our most precious possessions.

LIVE FROM JERUSALEM — IT’S JESUS!

Speaking of god, a couple of Christian TV operations are setting up cameras at Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives so they can cover Jesus’ return to Earth, which all red-blooded god-ists believe will happen sooner rather than later.

The two TV firms, Daystar Television Network and Trinity Broadcasting Network, each are angling to be the first to bring the messianic return direct to Mr. & Mrs. America’s living room when the end times begin.

I have to admit, even though I hold the whole Apocalypse myth to be…, well, a myth, it would be awfully cool to see the story played out on live TV — even though I’d be one of the poor suckers smitten down by the Four Horsemen, or whatever else the Christians have in store for non-believers.

Wait’ll I Get My Hands On Big Mike

It would be the ultimate Roland Emmerich movie, recorded live.

CENSORED

It’s Banned Books Week.

I can’t decide between “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” for my fave banned book.

Tough Choice

The only events listings you need in Bloomington.

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

Brought to you by The Electron Pencil: Bloomington Arts, Culture, Politics, and Hot Air. Daily.

FAIR ◗ Monroe County Fairgrounds, Commercial Building West29th Annual American Red Cross Book Fair, +100,000 used books, CDs, DVDs, games, maps, sheet music, etc.; 9am-7pm, through October 2nd

ART ◗ Ivy Tech Waldron Center, outside WFHB StudiosPublic participation in creating a ten-foot sculpture called “The Messenger,” Rain or shine; 9am-5pm

ART ◗ Ivy Tech Waldron Center, outside WFHB StudiosPublic participation in creating a ten-foot sculpture called “The Messenger,” Rain or shine; 9am-5pm

STUDIO TOUR ◗ Brown County, various locationsThe Backroads of Brown County Studio Tour, free, self-guided tour of 16 local artists’ & craftspersons’ studios; 10am-5pm, through October

FILM ◗ IU Neal-Marshall Black Culture CenterDocumentary, “Beyond Boundaries,” about LBGTQ immigrants in the US, Part of Sexploration Week, Director Betsy Jose will take questions after the showing; 4:30pm

LECTURE ◗ IU Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center — “Hunting, Territoriality and Violence in Chimpanzees, Presented by David Watts of Yale University; 6pm

FILM ◗ IU Swain Hall East — “No Habrá Paz Para Los Malvoados,” (Spain);  6pm

READINGS, ETC. ◗ Rachael’s CafePOC Zine Project’s Race Riot tour, featuring readings from zines, Sponsored by Boxcar Books; 7pm

MUSIC ◗ Muddy Boots Cafe, NashvilleIndiana Boys All-Star Jam; 7-9pm

FILM ◗ IU Cinema — “Grand Illusion“; 7pm

LECTURE ◗ Monroe County Public Library — “The Carbon Cycle: Indiana and the World Breathe Together,” Presented by Faiz Rahman on his NASA-funded research at Morgan-Monroe State Forest; 7pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Musical Arts CenterSymphonic Band & Concert Band, Jeffery Gershman & Eric Smedley, Conductors; 8pm

GAMES ◗ The Root Cellar at Farm Bloomington Team trivia; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ The Player’s PubBlues Jam, Hosted by O2R Blues Band; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ The BishopChain and the Gang, The Tsunamis; 9pm

ONGOING:

ART ◗ IU Art MuseumExhibits:

  • “New Acquisitions,” David Hockney; through October 21st
  • Paintings by Contemporary Native American Artists; through October 14th
  • “Paragons of Filial Piety,” by Utagawa Kuniyoshi; through December 31st
  • “Intimate Models: Photographs of Husbands, Wives, and Lovers,” by Julia Margaret, Cameron, Edward Weston, & Harry Callahan; through December 31st
  • French Printmaking in the Seventeenth Century;” through December 31st
  • Celebration of Cuban Art & Film: Pop-art by Joe Tilson; through December 31st
  • Workers of the World, Unite!” through December 31st

ART ◗ Ivy Tech Waldron CenterExhibits:

  • Ab-Fab — Extreme Quilting,” by Sandy Hill; October 5th through October 27th
  • Street View — Bloomington Scenes,” by Tom Rhea; October 5th through October 27th
  • From the Heartwoods,” by James Alexander Thom; October 5th through October 27th
  • The Spaces in Between,” by Ellen Starr Lyon; October 5th through October 27th

ART ◗ IU SoFA Grunwald GalleryExhibit:

  • “Samenwerken,” Interdisciplinary collaborative multi-media works; through October 11th

ART ◗ IU Kinsey Institute GalleryExhibits opening September 28th:

  • A Place Aside: Artists and Their Partners;” through December 20th
  • Gender Expressions;” through December 20th

PHOTOGRAPHY ◗ IU Mathers Museum of World CulturesExhibit:

  • “CUBAmistad” photos

ART ◗ IU Mathers Museum of World CulturesExhibits:

  • “¡Cuba Si! Posters from the Revolution: 1960s and 1970s”
  • “From the Big Bang to the World Wide Web: The Origins of Everything”
  • “Thoughts, Things, and Theories… What Is Culture?”
  • “Picturing Archaeology”
  • “Personal Accents: Accessories from Around the World”
  • “Blended Harmonies: Music and Religion in Nepal”
  • “The Day in Its Color: A Hoosier Photographer’s Journey through Mid-century America”
  • “TOYing with Ideas”
  • “Living Heritage: Performing Arts of Southeast Asia”
  • “On a Wing and a Prayer”

BOOKS ◗ IU Lilly LibraryExhibit:

  • Outsiders and Others:Arkham House, Weird Fiction, and the Legacy of HP Lovecraft;” through November 1st
  • A World of Puzzles,” selections form the Slocum Puzzle Collection

PHOTOGRAPHY ◗ Soup’s OnExhibit:

  • Celebration of Cuban Art & Culture: “CUBAmistad photos; through October

PHOTOGRAPHY ◗ Monroe County History CenterExhibit:

  • Bloomington: Then and Now,” presented by Bloomington Fading; through October 27th

ARTIFACTS ◗ Monroe County History CenterExhibit:

  • “Doctors and Dentists: A Look into the Monroe County Medical professions

The Electron Pencil. Go there. Read. Like. Share.

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“Of course I’ve got lawyers. They are like nuclear weapons. I’ve got ’em because everyone else has. But as soon as you use them, they screw everything up.” — Danny DeVito

UNFORGIVEN?

How long should a man who commits a random dismemberment murder be locked away from society?

Robert Lee will be coming back to town this week, according to a story today in the Herald Times.

Lee in 1986 killed a young woman named Ellie Marks in her home, cut her up, and stuffed the body parts into Hefty bags, which he buried in soil mere yards away. Lee, who had a lengthy police record, kept a notebook in his home with instructions on how to kill, dismember, and dispose of a young woman.

The Shanty Where Ellen Marks Lived And Was Murdered

Judge Kenneth Todd sentenced Lee to 60 years (the max non-death penalty sentence for the crime at the time) after a two-week trial. The crime was described as “barbaric.” At Lee’s sentencing hearing Todd said, “Atrocities were committed.”

Go here for more information on the crime. It’s a video done up in a Hallowe’en motif, so it takes away from the gravity of the whole thing, but it’s informative nonetheless.

Lee behaved well in prison and earned some college degrees, both of which merited sentence reduction. After 25 years in stir, Lee will be sprung from Pendleton Thursday. He’ll live for a while at the Backstreet Mission until he finds a permanent home.

He’ll be walking the streets by this time next weekend.

Can we ever forget? Can he?

TO METER OR NOT TO METER

Bloomingtom, like every other municipality in this holy land — big, small, and in-between, needs dough. One way to rake in some of the quarters city budgeteers crave is to install parking meters, which our town is considering for the entire downtown area.

A Few Tens Of Millions Of These Ought To Do It

Here’s a precis of the situation, sent to the Electron Pencil by a city official familiar with the proposal.

“The current system is a 2-hour limit on free parking that is monitored (and ticketed) by City parking enforcement staff. The new proposal is to place meters everywhere to replace the two-hour free parking spots, allegedly to solve the problems of the “two-hour shuffle” when downtown employees have to move their cars every two hours or be ticketed.

“Patron/customer turnover is needed for vibrant downtown commerce, and so they (city staff) want to incentivize more use of the downtown parking garages, which they claim are underutilized.

Coming Soon To A Parking Spot Near You?

“They also want to de-incentivize car usage in the downtown encouraging more to walk, bike and take public transportation. Noble goals, but not always practical for folks with physical limitations and creaky bones…, families with children, and people who need to shop conveniently and/or transport goods. I’m fine with the current two-hour limit on parking as it also prevents long term parking — [e.g.] students in the downtown rentals who are looking for spots to warehouse their cars at the expense of the downtown turnover.

“I believe the downtown merchants have not been properly informed or surveyed about what their needs actually are in improving the foot traffic and patron support for their businesses. I also am mindful of all residents who come downtown to transact business at the Courthouse and Justice Building, not all are of independent means. Also, downtown employees in low-paying service jobs will be negatively impacted with fewer choices for free or reasonably priced parking options.

Courthouse Square Eateries May Be Affected

“These meters could also extend into the evening hours, having an impact on the arts district and dining establishments. Those in Public Works currently supporting the idea say it isn’t about generating revenue, but about ‘changing behaviors.'”

Big Mike’s Wisdom alert: City big shots and drones always claim the installation of parking meters has nothing to do with the generation of revenue. It’s like the country that throws huge amounts of resources into its nuclear “research” program. Oh, god forbid, it protests, we have no intention of building a nuclear weapon.

And the next thing you know, seismographs all over the planet are recording that country’s initial nuclear test.

Aw, We Just Had Some Enriched Uranium Lying Around….

TEMPUS, MY FRIENDS, FUGIT

From Indexed:

HERE’S A RELIGIOUS LEADER I CAN LIKE

From I Fucking Love Science

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“I’m not saying we wouldn’t get our hair mussed, Mr. President, but I do say not more than ten to twenty million dead depending on the breaks.” — General Buck Turgidson in “Dr. Strangelove: Or How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

A RAIN OF RUIN

This is both stunning and terrifying.

Isao Hashimoto of Japan has created a CGI video depicting every nuclear explosion on Earth since the first one in the New Mexico desert in July, 1945. The first few years plod along but then, by 1962, when Hashimoto’s vid becomes a perverse symphony, it’s as though we’re trying to blow the planet to smithereens.

Z-Z-Z-Z-Z-Z-Z

In the days and weeks leading up to the Republicans’ self-love orgy going on this week in Tampa, people asked me how excited I was to have this glorious opportunity to spout off even more than I usually do about them.

Whatever “It” Is

The answer: Not much. And a correction: the opportunity is not glorious.

Funny, huh?

As in ironic.

As I wrote yesterday, all politics is theater. And the convention on Florida’s west coast is the GOP’s big showbiz opening.

What am I going to write? That they’re liars and alarmists? I may as well recycle any of dozens of posts I’ve already written about that.

What have we learned thus far that we didn’t know already? That Ann Romney still has a schoolgirl crush on her big boy?

He Lights Up My Life

Wake me up when it’s over.

Oh, and I’ll have another fine opportunity to take a well-earned beauty nap when the Dems convene in Charlotte next week.

FAT CHANCE

There never was any chance Chris Christie of New Jersey would be tabbed by Willard Romney to be his running mate. The fact of the matter is Christie’s too fat.

Chris Christie

Last fall when the idea of a Christie run for the White House was floating around, some op-ed writers danced around the topic of his belt size. Pseudo-liberal blowhard Michael Kinsley even suggested that a Christie presidency would set the wrong example for the nation, as if tens of millions of folks would suddenly start scarfing down entire Tombstone pizzas in a sitting (hey, wait a minute — that is happening already.)

His girth precluding him from coming within a couple of blocks of the White House is both an insult and a rather reasonable proposition.

It’s insulting because most people have a prejudice against fat people. The thin harbor within themselves the notion that fat people are greedy pigs who are swallowing too much of the Earth’s resources, primarily Wavy Lays and Sara Lee frozen cakes.

People are fat, the svelte among us believe (whether they admit it or not), because they are lazy cows.

Choose whichever round animal analog you wish, the comparison is never praise.

Not A Bull, Not A Bear, Not A Lion

Republicans might love Christie’s stances but they’d hate to look at him for four or eight years. The fat, we’ve decided, are unsightly. And can you imagine how Dems would jump all over President Christie for his width? He’d be the poster boy for the rapacious rich in progressive cartooning and editorializing.

As wise policy, keeping Christie out of the Oval Office merely insures that we won’t have to suffer the grief of burying him a year and a half into his presidency due to his heart exploding like a water balloon. I mean, even Bill Clinton was thought to be too corpulent when he was first elected. He had to lay off Big Macs and pretend to exercise a bit before the nation felt comfortable that we weren’t an infarct away from a Gore Administration. Still, Clinton twice had to have his cardiac plumbing Roto-Rootered to keep him alive.

Even though we’ve become the fattest nation on Earth, we just don’t like fat people.

WRONG FROM RIGHT

Really, you’ve got to love the Right Wing. They give us so much to laugh at.

For instance, there’s a new book out about the raid to find and kill Osama bin Laden. It’s written by a guy named Richard Miniter and it’s called “Leading from Behind.”

Miniter argues that Barack Obama spent years screwing up the hunt for Obama. Which is odd, considering the fact that the president ordered the raid to get the al Qaeda leader. And it worked.

That is, Obama accomplished something in his first term that George W. Bush failed to do for seven and a half years. Yet Obama screwed up. Miniter so far is silent on Bush telling us the mightiest military in the history of the planet was doing everything it could to round bin Laden up even as the number one terrorist traipsed at will from Afghanistan to Pakistan.

Actually, No

See, that’s the way it is with today’s Republicans and their various Tory pals. Nothing a Democrat does can be praised, even tepidly. Especially Barack Obama. In fact, the Republicans told us early on in his term that their sole raison d’etre until 2012 would be to bring down the president.

Nice patriotic gang, eh?

By the way, those who dared criticize Bush’s handling of Afghanistan and his Family Honor War in Iraq were immediately branded traitors by the same bunch that’s ravaging Obama today.

I’d laugh out loud but too many people buy into the Republican line.

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.

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.

Indexed

I Fucking Love ScienceA Facebook community of science geeks.

I Fucking Love Science

Present/&/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.

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.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Kinsey Institute, Morrison Hall — Volunteer docent training; 3-4:30pm

Monroe County Public LibraryIt’s Your Money series: Free, confidential session with a financial expert; 4:30pm

Bear’s PlaceMusic: Jamey Aebersold All-Star Quintet; 5:30pm

Muddy Boots Cafe, Nashville — Music: 220 Breakers; 6-8:30pm

City Hall, Showers PlazaWomen’s Bike Ride; 6pm

The Player’s PubMusic: Below Zero Blues Band; 6:30pm

◗ IU CinemaFilm: “Little Otik”; 6:30pm

Brown County Playhouse, Nashville — Music: Jeff Nelson & Sylvia McNair host a presentation of performances by Jacobs School of Music students; 7:30pm

The Comedy AtticBest of the Bloomington Comedy Fest; 8pm

Bloomington Playwrights ProjectDrama: “Working”; 8pm

◗ IU Memorial Union, Whittenberger Auditorium — UB Films: “Magic Mike”; 8pm

Serendipity Martini BarTeam trivia; 8:30pm

Max’s PlaceMusic: Americana showcase; 9pm

The BishopMusic: Outdoor Velour; 9pm

◗ IU CinemaFilm: “Conspirators of Pleasure”; 9:30pm

◗ IU Memorial Union, Whittenberger Auditorium — UB Films: “Magic Mike”; 11pm

ONGOING

◗ Ivy Tech Waldron CenterExhibits:

  • “40 Years of Artists from Pygmalion’s”; through September 1st

◗ IU Art MuseumExhibits:

  • “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:

  • “Media Life,” drawings and animation by Miek von Dongen; through September 15th

  • “Axe of Vengeance: Ghanaian Film Posters and Film Viewing Culture”; 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 Cultures — Reopens Tuesday, August 21st

Monroe County History CenterPhoto exhibit, “Bloomington: Then and Now” by Bloomington Fading; through October 27th

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“I don’t say we all ought to misbehave, but we ought to look as if we could.” — Orson Welles

ANOTHER SCHOOL SHOOTING — HO HUM

Gotta wonder why the Indiana State University shooting Friday in Terre Haute didn’t make a bigger splash.

Can it be that we’re becoming jaded about school and campus gunplay?

Let’s See — I’ve Got My Hall Pass, My Civics Book & My Pistol

Apparently, a couple of guys got into a beef with each other at a campus tavern. Next thing anybody knew, one of them pulled out the old equalizer and filled his opponent as well as a couple of bystanders with holes. One man died.

A 21-year-old ISU student is being held in the Vigo County jail on murder charges.

Is this kind of lunacy only newsworthy when a dozen or more poor souls are shot to death per incident?

Adding to the ridiculousness of the whole thing was the Indy Star’s four-graf story yesterday about ISU officials suspending the alleged shooter. Sheesh, I was suspended any number of times when I was a schoolboy for transgressions including ditching class to go to the Cubs game and spitting on the playground (or was it on another kid — I forget which.)

Anyway, blasting a guy into the next world seems to call for something more unpleasant than suspension.

MAD AS HELL

Martin Amis turned 63 Saturday. The author of the 1984 novel, “Money,” and many others, Amis has a well-earned rep as the most curmudgeonly — if not the angriest — man in the world.

Martin Amis

Comic Lewis Black bills himself as the angriest man in the world. But Black’s is an act. Amis really is a bastard. Amis has raised hackles by, for instance, calling for draconian measures to be taken against people who appear to be Muslims until the Islamic world polices itself and clears its ranks of radical extremists.

Amis, on the other hand, has long been a loud voice against nuclear weaponry.

So, like the rest of us, Amis is a puzzling, contradictory being.

Anyway, Flavorwire on the Brit’s birthday ran a list of “10 Things Martin Amis Loves to Hate.” Here are a few of them:

  • Growing old
  • Television and the media
  • Religion

I don’t know about you but so far he seems perfectly reasonable.

PRIVATE PARTY

How can you not love the one-in-a-million Hondo Thompson?

He posted this howler this morning:

IN THE YEAR 2525

This was the Number 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon.

It displaced “Love Them from Romeo and Juliet” by Henry Mancini in the top spot. Just goes to show how diverse pop radio was long, long ago. Now, of course, we can’t have such genre mixing. It isn’t “profitable.”

As a 13-year-old kid, I had to listen to a lot of horrifying crap before I could hear my fave songs like “Crystal Blue Persuasion.” Listening to Henry Mancini at that age was tantamount to hearing to a death knell. But at least I knew Henry Mancini existed.

And I knew my tastes weren’t the only ones that counted.

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.

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.

From I Fucking Love Science

Present/&/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.

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.

The Daily Puppy: Liv, The Border Collie Mix

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

Monday, August 27, 2012

Muddy Boots Cafe, Nashville — Music: Rich Groner; 6-8:30pm

Western SkatelandBleeding Heartland Rollergirls Roller Derby Skills Camp, audition for Bloomington’s WFTDA teams; 6:30pm

City Hall, City Council chambers — State Superintendent of Public Instruction Candidates Forum; 7-9pm

◗ IU CinemaFilm: “Inglorious Basterds”; 7pm

The Player’s PubMusic: Songwriter Showcase; 8pm

◗ IU Memorial Union, Georgian Room — Free lessons, IU Swing Dance Club; 8pm

The BishopMusic: Sundress, Living Well; 9pm

The BluebirdDave Walters karaoke; 9pm

ONGOING

◗ Ivy Tech Waldron CenterExhibits:

  • “40 Years of Artists from Pygmalion’s”; through September 1st

◗ IU Art MuseumExhibits:

  • “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:

  • “Media Life,” drawings and animation by Miek von Dongen; through September 15th

  • “Axe of Vengeance: Ghanaian Film Posters and Film Viewing Culture”; 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 Cultures — Reopens Tuesday, August 21st

Monroe County History CenterPhoto exhibit, “Bloomington: Then and Now” by Bloomington Fading; through October 27th

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“As for the assertion that nuclear weapons prevent wars, how many more wars are needed to refute this argument? Tens of millions have died in the many wars that have taken place since 1945.” — Joseph Rotblat

ANGER LIKE FIRE

Think about Hiroshima today.

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

Think of how some 80,000 people were incinerated, virtually in the snap of a finger.

Think about how 80,000 more people died in ensuing days, weeks, and months from the effects of the nuclear blast that took place 1200 feet above their city on this date 67 years ago.

Don’t forget that World War II claimed more than 60 million lives. Some historians even estimate the death toll to have reached a hundred million.

But let’s stick with 60 million. A country with 60 million residents would be the 24th most populated in the entire world today.

Imagine if, within six years, all the people of Italy, population 60,813,326, were wiped off the face of the Earth.

Imagine.

TO FIRE THE IMAGINATION

Dreams and hopes became reality last night when Curiosity landed some 60 million miles away from Earth on the planet Mars.

The Shadow Of Curiosity

Yes, we can invent weapons that can kill hundreds of thousands and even millions of people in a single act. But we can also travel to another world.

Our desire to learn why and how our physical existence came into being very likely never will be slaked.

That’s why we go to Mars.

READY, AIM, FIRE

Many among us, though, believe they already possess that knowledge. They are so certain of it that they’ll take the lives of people who don’t share their belief — or even those whose belief varies in the slightest.

We are an odd species.

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.

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.

I Fucking Love Science

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.

Caps Off PleaseComics & fun.

Caps Off Please

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.

Brown County Career Resource Center, Nashville — Introduction to Renewable Energy, half-day course; 9am-1pm

Muddy Boots Cafe, Nashville — Rich Groner; 6-8:30pm

Cafe DjangoBloomington Short list, variety show hosted by Marta Jasicki; 7pm

The BishopZoo Animal, The Broderick, Triptides, St. Ranger; 9pm

The BluebirdDave Walters karaoke; 9pm

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

“Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living.” — Omar Bradley

BOOM!

WFIU reports that the US Army is staging a two-week nuclear explosion response simulation through mid-August right here in South Central Indiana.

Some 10,000 soldiers and civilian responders are play-acting what they’ll do in the event that some mad brown people drop a nuke on, say, Bloomington or even Indy.

The big burlesque is happening at the Muscatatuck Urban training Center, about 75 miles east-southeast of Bloomington.

Muscatatuck Urban Training Center (Click to enlarge)

MUTC covers a thousand acres and has more than a hundred training buildings including structures up to seven stories tall as well as good old split-level suburban type homes.

Now, I mention mad brown people because that’s who we’re really afraid is going to hurl the big one at us, no?

Didn’t George W. Bush whisper the words mushroom cloud and Saddam Hussein into our ears back in 2002 and 2003 to convince us to go along with him and his cronies on their war party? How much has changed regarding how we look at Arabs and Muslims since then?

When Michele Bachmann can get media mileage and a sharp increase in campaign donations out of linking one of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s aides with al Qaeda even now, we haven’t moved an inch off that witless, brainless dime in ten years.

Anyway, MUTC is located, appropriately enough, on the former site of the Indiana Farm Colony for Feeble Minded Youth. Adding to the irony of it all, the IFCFMY is where several thousand forced sterilizations took place after Indiana became the first state in the union to allow that eugenic practice.

I wonder if the people who ran IFCFMY instructed the kids to duck and cover back in the ’50s.

And how feeble-minded do we have to be to figure we’ll survive a nuclear blast if only we have enough ambulances and EMTs?

WHAT’S THE ANTIDOTE FOR ANTONIN?

I’ve been taking my time reading Rick Perlstein’s fab book, “Nixonland,” this summer.

Perlstein posits that Dick Nixon was the first television era president to give voice to the bleatings and ramblings of the gleefully uneducated in this holy land.

Rick Perlstein

Nixon’s was truly a grass roots campaign in 1968. He portrayed college-educated people as snobbish, superior, sex- and drug-crazed lunatics who were going to ram blacks, Jews, peace, welfare, and even a little bit of the Communist Manifesto down good people’s throats. Nixon was savvy enough to realize most Americans had a hard enough time getting out of high school.

He rode a wave of self-pity and manufactured paranoia into the White House.

The divisions Nixon capitalized on in the United States at the time make today’s Tea Party/Occupy Wall Street tête-à-tête look like a pillow fight.

Perlstein suggests that this nation avoided an actual second civil war by a hair’s width. Bombings, murders, assassinations, mob actions, and the army on American streets were as common from 1965 through 1973 as texting while driving is today.

Watts, August 1965

Anyway, during Nixon’s early years in the White House, PBS was coming into its own as a news operation to be reckoned with, especially since it didn’t have to answer to advertisers. PBS started nosing into some of the more unsavory aspects of the Nixon administration. The President directed the general counsel for the Office of Telecommunications Policy to draw up a plan to defang PBS.

That general counsel wrote memos spelling out precisely how Nixon could bring PBS to heel. He wrote: “The best possibility for White House influence is through Presidential appointees to the Board of Directors.”

Once Nixon had stacked the board with his boys, they could then work on local PBS stations to play ball with the White House through the granting of moneys that were originally meant to go to the national network. The reason? The national network was top heavy with people from “the liberal Establishment of the Northeast.”

In other words, college-educated men. Bad guys who must be battled.

The author of that strategy was a fellow named Antonin Scalia, now the longest serving member of the US Supreme Court.

Antonin Scalia: Warrior Against Liberals

Yeah, there was a revolution in the ’60s. Only the guys in power staged it — and won it.

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.

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.

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 High School NorthYard sale to benefit the Color Guard; 7am-noon

City Hall, Showers Plaza — Farmers Market; 8am-1pm

Monroe County FairgroundsDay 8, 2012 Monroe County Fair, Veterans Program; 2pm — Dead Giveaway; 5pm — Demolition Derby; 7pm; Noon to 11pm

◗ IU Art MuseumTour: Exploring German Expressionism with docent Yelena Polyanskaya; 2pm

◗ IU Art MuseumTalk: Focus on Hockney with curator Nan Brewer; 2:15pm

◗ IU CinemaFilm: “David Hockney: The Bigger Picture”; 3pm

◗ IU Fine Arts TheaterRyder Film Series: “Kumaré: The True Story of a False Prophet; 7pm

Bloomington Playwrights ProjectOriginal musical, “Dreams & Nightmares”; 7pm

Muddy Boots Cafe, Nashville — Jeb Brester; 7-9pm

Buskirk-Chumley Theater — “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast”; 7:30pm

Brown County Playhouse, Nashville — Cari Ray, The Not Too Bad Bluegrass Band;  7:30pm

◗ IU Woodburn Hall TheaterRyder Film Series: “Polisse”; 8pm

Cafe DjangoDave Gulyas & Dave Bruker; 8pm

The Comedy AtticCostaki Economopolous; 8 & 10:30pm

◗ IU Fine Arts TheaterRyder Film Series: “Oslo: August 31”; 8:30pm

The BishopJason Wilber, e.a. strother; 8:30pm

The BluebirdPam Thrash Retro; 9pm

Max’s PlaceLexi Minich and the Strangers; 9pm

Muddy Boots Cafe, Nashville — Bonz; 9:30pm

Max’s PlaceOtto Mobile; 10:30pm

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

“I’m so fast that last night I turned off the light switch in my hotel room and was in bed before the room was dark.” — Muhammad Ali

BOOM!

I love science and I love baseball. So what could be better than this recent edition of “What If?” (h/t to Al Yellon at Bleed Cubbie Blue.)

“WI?” is a weekly feature of the very cool XKCD site. It is described thusly: “Answering your hypothetical questions with physics, every Tuesday.”

Sort of a super-brain’s New York Times Science Tuesday.

So, this week’s hypothetical is “What would happen if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90% the speed of light?”

Not Even The Cuban Missile, Aroldis Chapman, Can Throw That Fast

As you know, the speed of light is unimaginably fast, almost as fast as Regina Moore‘s crew of  parking ticket scribblers (and, yeah, I’m sitting on a double-sawbuck scold slip from Friday, so that’s why the Moore Militia is on my mind.)

Anyway, you couldn’t begin to guess what would happen in such a hyper-fastball scenario unless you’d spent the last 15 years of your life holed up working out ciphers and avoiding any meaningful contact with the opposite sex.

Suffice it to say if a human baseball pitcher had the physical capability to accelerate an approximately 3-inch-diameter spheroid made of horsehide wrapped around coiled yarn centered on a cork core to a velocity of around 167,653.8 miles per hour (the speed of light, c, times .9), the immediate vicinity around the pitcher’s mound and batter’s box would be transformed indeed.

As in, oh, say, Hiroshima at 8:16 am, August 6th, 1945.

Hit By Pitch, Batter Entitled To First Base

The happy news is the team at bat now has a rally going.

Who sez science isn’t fun?

KEEPING IN TOUCH

Am I gonna have to make this a regular feature?

Last week I ran a screed about the gossipy, reality-show-like news that CNN has been foisting upon the public during these momentous times.

Wars, the potential for economic collapse, dramatic global climate change events, and even the political fight over women’s wombs all seem to be below-the-fold fodder for cable TV’s most venerable news outfit.

Yeah, It’s Dry — Hey, Did That Magazine Really Photoshop Kate Middleton?

At the time, I didn’t think CNN’s editorial choices could get any more ludicrous.

I was wrong.

These are among the most important happenings and issues on planet Earth within the last 24 hours, according to the Cable News Network of Atlanta, USA:

  • Billionaire’s son charged in wife’s death
  • Shark attacks: Is “Jaws” back?
  • Mash up: Jealousy in time of drought
  • Obamas find spotlight on “kiss cam”
  • New diet drug approved by FDA
  • Car falls into elevator shaft
  • Sex with ex helps her lose weight
  • It may be OK to get sick in July
  • Bobcat breaks into prison
  • Michael Vick: I won’t get a pit bull
  • Tattoos: How young is too young?
  • Stunt driver’s video goes viral
  • Parents, let your kids play
  • Daughter’s in love, Dad feels jilted

Now not only are CNN’s stories vacuous, they’re getting downright creepy. I mean, honestly, “Dad feels jilted”?

Sorta reminds me of Cary Grant as the newspaper publisher Walter Burns, shouting orders on the phone to his editors in “His Girl Friday.” (Please click — it’s the entire movie.)

No, no, never mind the Chinese earthquake for heaven’s sake….

Look, I don’t care if there’s a million dead….

No, no, junk the Polish Corridor….

Take all those Miss America pictures off Page Six….

Take Hitler and stick him on the funny page….

No, no, leave the rooster story alone — that’s human interest.

Of course, that was farce. How, then, to describe CNN?

BIG NEWS

Huzzah. Three cheers. Science has developed yet another weight-loss drug.

Just in case you’re tempted to swallow it, take some advice from a man whose girth rivals that of a cement mixer.

Hi!

The only “secret” for losing weight is eat less and exercise more.

End of sermon.

“WASN’T THAT A PERFECT, PERFECT SHOT!”

Finally, speaking of things that go boom, wait’ll you see this vid.

Apparently, the government of this holy land became concerned in the 1950s about the citizenry’s troublesome fears of nuclear annihilation. And, if we weren’t experiencing existential angst over the end of civilization, we were fretting at the very least that a nearby nuclear explosion might muss up our hair.

Ergo, the feds put together some propaganda to dispel such silly talk.

Like this:

Yup. The five knuckleheads clustered underneath the unleashing of the primal forces of the universe actually volunteered to do so. As in, “Sure, I’ll do it. Why not?”

Presumably, they kissed their wives and children goodbye before they dashed off to work that day.

Of even greater fascination is the reaction of the voiceover announcer, who also was present. I’d swear the man is experiencing an orgasm.

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

◗ IU Dowling International CenterEnglish Conversation Club, for non-native speakers of American English; 1pm

Monroe County Public Library“It’s Your Money: Wi$eMoney Game Night,” for ages 15-18; 6:30-8:30pm

◗ IU Musical Arts CenterSummer Arts Festival: Outdoor band concert with conductor Stephen Pratt; 7pm

Max’s PlaceOpen mic; 7:30pm

◗ IU Wells-Metz TheatreMusical, “You Can’t Take It with You”; 7:30pm

The Player’s PubStardusters; 7:30pm

The Comedy AtticBloomington Comedy Festival; 8pm

Boys & Girls Club of BloomingtonContra dancing; 8pm

The BluebirdThe Personnel; 9pm

Bear’s PlaceYou & All the Blind People; 9pm

The BishopMurals, The Natives, Chandelier Ballroom; 9pm

◗ IU Kirkwood ObservatoryFree public viewing through the main telescope; 10pm

Ongoing:

◗ Ivy Tech Waldron CenterExhibits:

  • John D. Shearer, “I’m Too Young For This  @#!%”; through July 30th
  • Claire Swallow, ‘Memoir”; through July 28th
  • Dale Gardner, “Time Machine”; through July 28th
  • Sarah Wain, “That Takes the Cake”; through July 28th
  • Jessica Lucas & Alex Straiker, “Life Under the Lens — The Art of Microscopy”; through July 28th

◗ 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:

  • Kinsey Institute Juried Art Show; through July 21st
  • Bloomington Photography Club Annual Exhibition; July 27th through August 3rd

◗ 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 Cultures — Closed for semester break

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

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