Category Archives: Rick Dietz

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do.” — BF Skinner

GEEK LOVE

Rick Dietz‘s Humanetrix outfit started up The Combine three years ago to help Bloomington area tech geeks get even geekier.

Rick Dietz

Humanetrix is a non-profit dedicated to helping technology savants meet each other and find opportunities to grow and earn in this crazy, mixed-up world. The Combine is an annual weekend orgy of gamers, hackers (in the positive sense of the word), electronics wizards, and other advanced forms of life getting together and listening to big shot entrepreneurs who’ve rolled sevens in their chosen tech fields. With luck one or two of them might interest a venture capitalist into funding their idea to wire everybody’s cerebral cortex into a worldwide network.

The Combine starts tonight at The Atlas Bar (no website) on South College Avenue with bunches of cerebra on legs giving 5-minute presentations on their utopian, wild brain children.

Dietz et al call the weekend “3 days of tech-y goodness.” You ought click over to Humanetrix to see what’s what with local efforts to foster cutting edge creativity. You might even want to pitch in a few bucks for the cause.

DUALITIES

Sex-positive cool chick Susie Bright points out a story that illustrates how different people can look at the same snapshot and see two different things.

Here’s the shot:

Yeah, it’s two guys holding hands and smooching in front of the Brooklyn Bridge. It’s their official engagement picture, taken by a professional photographer. See, they love each other and probably will have sex at some time in the near future at the moment the shutter is clicked. It’s all happy and, well, gay.

And that sickens too many folks in this holy land.

Among the nauseated many who’ve viewed this tableau were the prigs of some holier-than-thou gang that calls itself Public Advocate of the United States, although it must be noted I never asked these dopes to say anything for me. PAUS essentially stole the photo and turned it into a couple of polemic campaign mailers against some godless commie liberal abortionist Satanist Democratic candidates in backwater states. Here’s what the photo looked like after PAUS got their lily-white hands on it:

The Jean White in the doctored photo’s overlay was running in the Dem primary in Colorado earlier this year. PAUS PhotoShopped the New York City skyline to a more Colorado-friendly pine vista. Because, you know, those sick New York fags are gonna be taking over our virgin forests before you know it unless you vote against civil-union advocates like Jean White.

Someone had to do a lot of thinking about men kissing and having sex together to come up with this piece of work.

Which reminds me of a neat Tweet put out by the voice of god, Morgan Freeman:

THAT ORANGE GLOW

Good news from Sarah Sandberg. Her sister Susan, a charter-member Pencillista and political animal around town, came out of thoracic surgery yesterday morning alive and kicking.

Well, as much as anyone emerging from general anesthetic can kick.

Sarah sez sis Susan is going to lay low for a time till she gets her jungle cat strength back. Susan already is prowling hospital halls even though she’s still hooked up to enough tubes and wires to make her look like a deep sea diver.

Actually, according to Sarah, because Susan hasn’t had the opportunity to wash the surgical Betadine off herself yet, she looks sort of like an Oompa-Loompa.

Where’s Susan?

In any case, Susan was a Chicago chick for a time in her callow youth, so that means she’s tough as nails. Can’t wait to see her at the Book Corner again.

SUSAN

From one of my fave 60s garage bands, The Buckinghams. Dedicated to you know who (NB: I only like Susan, so don’t take the band’s lyrics to heart — plus, I’d hate to have The Loved One clunk me on the head with a frying pan.)

The only events listings you need in Bloomington.

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

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

ART ◗ Ivy Tech Waldron Center, outside WFHB StudiosParticipate in the construction of “The Messenger,” recycled metal sculpture to be installed at B-Line Trail; 9am-5pm

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

WORKSHOP ◗ Monroe County Public LibraryIt’s Your Money: Talk To an Expert, free, confidential consultations with financial professionals; 4:30-6:30pm

MUSIC ◗ Muddy Boots Cafe, NashvilleDobbs Project; 6-8:30pm

WORKSHOP ◗ Monroe County Public LibraryArtists After Hours: Digital Artists & Web Designers, presented by Arts Alliance of Greater Bloomington; 6-9pm

SEMINAR ◗ Various venuesThe Combine, 3rd annual display of talent , innovation, and entrepreneurial spirit, featuring speakers, workshops, idea pitches, and mixers; through Sunday, September 30th, today’s event:

The Atlas Bar, 209 S. College Ave.Ignite Bloomington #9 — 5-minute presentations by area tech geeks; 7pm

POLITICS ◗ Ivy Tech-BloomingtonLeague of Women Voters Candidate Forum, candidates for Monroe County Community Schools Corporation board; 7pm

FILM ◗ IU Memorial Union, Whittenberger AuditoriumUB Films: “Katy Perry: Part of Me;” 7pm

STAGE ◗ IU Halls TheatreDrama, “When the Rain Stops Falling;” 7:30pm

MUSIC ◗ Cafe DjangoUp Folk! with Travis Puntarelli & Friends; 7:30pm

MUSIC ◗ The Player’s PubOpen mic hosted by Martina Samm; 7:30pm

COMEDY ◗ The Comedy AtticGreg Behrendt; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Auer HallNew Music Ensemble, David Dzubay, director; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ Max’s PlaceAmericana showcase; 8pm

GAMES ◗ Serendipity Martini BarTeam trivia; 8:30pm

MUSIC ◗ The BluebirdMurder by Death, Maps and Atlases; 9pm

FILM ◗ IU Memorial Union, Whittenberger AuditoriumUB Films: “Perfect Pitch,” sneak preview; 11pm

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
  • Workers of the World, Unite!” through December 31st

ART ◗ Ivy Tech Waldron CenterExhibits:

  • What It Means to Be Human,” by Michele Heather Pollock; through September 29th
  • Land and Water,” by Ruth Kelly; through September 29th

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

ART ◗ Boxcar BooksExhibit:

  • Celebration of Cuban Art & Film: Papercuts by Ned Powell; through September

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

“He had seen me several times, and had intended to call on me long before, but a peculiar combination of circumstances had prevented it.” — F. Scott Fitzgerald, from “The Great Gatsby

DIETZ’ DUTY

Perhaps the most touching obit yet for the beloved Sophia Travis comes from Monroe County Democratic Party boss Rick Dietz.

It was Dietz’ unhappy task to break the news of Travis’ passing to party loyalists Thursday.

Here is his statement in its entirety:

Democrats:

I have sad news that I can barely bring myself to write. Last night Sophia Travis passed away.

Sophia was a dear friend, a community leader, a creative & musical spirit, and a caring mother & wife. Sophia had suffered since early in the year from an undiagnosed heart-related condition and had just returned from the Cleveland Clinic where she, Greg and young Finnegan had traveled for care.

Sophia personified kindness — a dense gravitation kindness — and wielded a gentle strength that could move mountains. And move all those around her. And did many times over.

There are times when one wonders how this world can just keep turning with loss after loss we can hardly bear. Please keep Finnegan, Greg and all of Sophia’s family and friends in your thoughts today.

Rick

“Where I am, I don’t know. I’ll never know, in the silence you don’t know, you must go on, I can’t go on, I’ll go on.” — Samuel Beckett

People all around me are walking around in a dazed state in the wake of the news. Such a shame that I never had the chance to meet Sophia Travis. I’d heard about her seemingly constantly whenever the conversation would turn to the arts, politics, community service, and just life in this town itself. Apparently, Sophia was one of those rare folks who simply personify a place.

Lesson: If you want to meet someone, do it now. The opportunity may be lost forever at any time.

THIS JUST IN: WE DIDN’T INVENT SEX

Overheard at Soma Coffee this morning:

[Two people are talking about treasures they’ve found at flea markets and yard sales.]

Man: “Back in June, I found a 1908 Hamilton Beach vibrator at a yard sale.”

Woman: “What? Really? You mean a personal satisfaction device? Is there such a thing or did I just invent a new term?”

Man: “A PSD, hmm.”

[The woman looks up the device online.]

Woman: “Here’s an ad for this thing. [Reading] ‘Very useful and satisfactory for home service.’ That’s it. From a hundred years ago. Actually, more than that.”

Man: “Home service.”

Woman: “Home service.”

An ad from 1908, huh? More proof there’s little new under the sun.

PATHOLOGICAL CAPITALISM

Hell, I’ve been saying this all along:

DO IT YOURSELF HISTORY

Do not miss the Shouts & Murmurs column in this week’s New Yorker.

Writer Jack Hitt aggregates a dung heap of misquotes, faulty interpretations, and outright lies uttered by some of the Republican Party’s finest examples of humanity regarding the history of this holy land.

He takes these fictions and creates a timeline of America, according to those who tend to believe that Barack Obama is a Kenyan, Indonesian, Russian, Muslim, Communist patsy/stooge or that just saying no will magically end drug abuse and teen pregnancy.

Among the revelations the Republications have foisted upon their ovine faithful are:

  • 56 men, “mostly clergymen,” signed the Declaration of Independence
  • Blacks made up much of the fighting force of the Confederate States of America
  • John Kerry shot himself
  • Bill & Hillary Clinton were personally responsible for more than 80 political murders

Okay, so we’ve outlawed literacy tests, poll taxes, and other obstacles to voting. But what about a sanity test?

I’m all for it.

Yep, we’re back here for the time being.

The spanking new Ryder website is…, well, it’s somewhere. While Peter LoPilato and his army of computer geeks perfect the new site, we’ll be running Bloomington’s best events listings here, again.

Enjoy.

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

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

MUSIC FESTIVAL ◗ Downtown Bloomington, various locationsLotus World Music & Arts Festival; though Sunday, September 23rd, various times, today’s lineups:

Buskirk Chumley Theater:

  • Deolinda; 7pm
  • Deolinda; 8:45pm
  • Karen Casey & John Doyle with the Vallely Bros.; 10:30pm

First United Methodist Church:

  • Vida; 7:30pm
  • JPP; 8:45pm
  • Galant, Tu Perds Ton Temps; 10:30pm

Ivy Tech Tent:

  • Panorama Jazz Band; 7pm
  • Daniel Kahn & the Painted Bird; 8:45pm
  • Delhi 2 Dublin; 10:30pm

IU Tent:

  • MC Rai; 7pm
  • Canteca de Macao; 8:45pm
  • Movits!; 10:30pm

First Presbyterian Church:

  • May Monday; 7pm
  • Keith Terry & Evie Ladin; 8:45pm
  • Trio Brasileiro; 10:30pm

Jake’s Nightclub:

  • Fishtank Ensemble; 7:30pm
  • Taj Weekes & Adowa; 10pm

MUSIC FESTIVAL ◗ Bill Monroe Memorial Music Park & Campground38th Annual Bill Monroe Bluegrass Hall of Fame & Uncle Pen Days; through Saturday, September 22nd, today’s acts:

  • Dr. Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys, Paul Williams & the Victory Trio, JD CRowe & the New South, Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time, Larry Stephenson Band, Tommy Brown & the County Line Grass, Don Stanley & Middle Creek

FOOD ◗ City Hall, Showers PlazaFarmers Market; 8am-1pm

WORKSHOP & RETREAT ◗ Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural CenterWhat Is Natural — And What Seems To Go Against Nature?,” led by Ani Choekye; 10am-4:30pm

WINE & MUSIC ◗ Oliver WineryHarvest Wine Festival, wine-tasting, tour of the vineyard, and live performances:

  • Monika Herzig; Noon-2pm
  • Not Too Bad Bluegrass Band; 2:30-4:30pm
  • Jon Strahl Band; 5-7pm

FILM ◗ IU Cinema — “Sleepwalking with Me;” 3pm

FOOD & MUSIC ◗ First Presbyterian Church of Bloomington — 3rd Annual Eat Around the Equator, dishes from Nicaragua, performances by Don’t Call Me Betty, Evan Main & Stefan Lenthe, Hank Ruff; 4-6:30pm

WINE & MUSIC ◗ Owen Valley Winery, SpencerMusic in the Graden Series: The Davis Harlow Project; 5-8pm

FILM ◗ IU Fine Arts TheaterRyder Film Series: “The Imposter;” 6:15pm

FILM ◗ IU Cinema — “Old Dog;” 6:30pm

FILM ◗ IU Fine Arts TheaterRyder Film Series: “Meet the Fokkens;” 7pm

MUSIC ◗ Muddy Boots Cafe, NashvilleLittle Merrie Simmons, 7-9pm

STAGE ◗ IU Halls TheatreDrama, “When the Rain Stops Falling;” 7:30pm

MUSIC ◗ Bloomington High School NorthBloomington Symphony Orchestra presents “Mustaches & Melodies,” compositions by Brahms, Fauré, & Dvorak; 7:30pm

MUSIC ◗ Brown County Playhouse, NashvilleFred Jones Band, Shelflife; 7:30pm

MUSIC ◗ Rachael’s CafeXoe Wise; 7:30-8:30pm

OPERA ◗ IU Musical Arts Center — “Don Giovanni;” 8pm

FILM ◗ IU Woodburn Hall Theater Ryder Film Series: “Marina Abramovic: The Artists Is Present;” 8pm

MUSIC ◗ The Player’s PubGordon Bonham Blues Band; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ Cafe DjangoPost Modern Jazz Quartet; 8pm

MUSIC ◗ The Palace Theatre of Brown CountyConcert saluting the 60th anniversary of Sun Records, starring Robert Shaw and the Lonely Street Band; 8pm

FILM ◗ IU Memorial UnionUB Films: “The Amazing Spiderman;” 8pm

MUSIC ◗ Max’s PlaceIndiana Boys, White Lightning Boys; 8pm

FILM ◗ IU Fine Arts TheaterRyder Film Series: “The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls;” 8:30pm

MUSIC ◗ Bear’s PlaceUp Draft, Text Auction; 9pm

MUSIC ◗ The BluebirdMain Squeeze; 9pm

MUSIC ◗ The BishopDinosaur Feathers, Shark, Firemoose; 9pm

FILM ◗ IU Cinema — “Neighboring Sounds;” 9:30pm

FILM ◗ IU Memorial UnionUB Films: “The Amazing Spiderman;”11pm

ONGOING:

ART ◗ IU Art MuseumExhibits:

  • “The Bolognese School,” by Annibale & Agostino Carracci, through September 16th
  • “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
  • Workers of the World, Unite!” through December 31st

ART ◗ Ivy Tech Waldron CenterExhibits:

  • What It Means to Be Human,” by Michele Heather Pollock; through September 29th
  • Land and Water,” by Ruth Kelly; through September 29th

ART ◗ IU SoFA Grunwald GalleryExhibit:

  • “Samenwerken,” Interdisciplinary collaborative multi-media works

ART ◗ IU Kinsey Institute GalleryExhibit:

  • Ephemeral Ink: Selections of Tattoo Art from the Kinsey Institute Collection;” through September 21st

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

ART ◗ Boxcar BooksExhibit:

  • Celebration of Cuban Art & Film: Papercuts by Ned Powell; through September

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 (VIDEO) QUOTE

Courtesy of the White Rabbit.

RICK ‘N ROLL

A couple of things about my favorite Martian, Rick Santorum, before I get into the meat of today’s post.

  1. Yesterday, speaking before a crowd in Arizona, Rickey-girl slammed the Obama health care bill, natch. But he acknowledged that part of Obama’s reasoning was that every citizen should have the right to health care. Haharights. “When the government gives you rights, they can take those rights away,” he spewed. I’ve never thought about it that way before. I guess Martin Luther King, Jr. and all his cronies, were they still alive, would regret the enactments of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights acts. Because, after all, who cares about rights when they can be taken away?
  2. Pennsylvania’s man-in-the-closet is taking heat for casting aspersions on Obama’s “theology.” He has declared he will not step back from the statements because they came from his heart. You know, that’s why Republican Cro-Magnons are attractive to a lot of voters. They won’t back down. It’d be refreshing to hear a Democrat once in a while saying, Screw it, I said it and I believe it, no matter how many people think I should apologize.

BALLOT BOXERS

Speaking of Democrats, the Monroe County party faithful gathered together last night in the Fountain Square ballroom to pat themselves on the back and tell each other how badly they’re going to spank the GOP this coming November.

Even Mayor Mark Kruzan emerged from his cocoon to press the flesh.

Kruzan Has Been Seen In Public Before

Dem hopefuls running in the May primary for city, county, and statewide offices were introduced by the somnolent county party chair Rick Dietz during last evening’s finger-food love fest.

BTW: perhaps Dietz does a fine job maintaining the records of the party, or maybe he finds the best deals on yard signs and bumper stickers. But when it comes to rallying the troops, Steven Wright would be a more emphatic orator.

Anyway, the star of the show was the mustachioed John Gregg, who’s running for governor. He grabbed the mic out of Dietz’s hand when he was introduced and wowed the crowd. The man has charisma in addition to that big furry thing on his upper lip.

A Hirsute Governor?

The five brave souls running for US Congress from Indiana’s 9th District met the flock as a unit for the first time. In fact, some of them met the flock for the first time, period.

At least three of the contenders threw their hats into the ring within the last few weeks. They’re all earnest and most of them paid lip-service to the memory of liberal Dem representative Frank McCloskey as well as the sainted Lee Hamilton. But from this vantage point, it seems likely the only one with a ghost of a chance to unseat Congressboy Todd Young is Shelli Yoder.

McCloskey: Local Hero

I came down hard on Yoder Monday. She’s best known as Miss Indiana 1992 and earned a second runner-up spot in that year’s Miss America drool-fest. Apparently, she’d earned her second-lieutenancy by smoking up the pageant stage in her swimsuit.

Being a licensed and certified smart-ass, I felt compelled to make fun of her beauty-queen past. But smart pols like Regina Moore and Linda Robbins dig her the most, so I can’t discount their evaluations.

On the other hand, I spoke to a couple of female pols last night who want to see more from Yoder — and they weren’t talking skin, either.

Here are the Dems running for the nomination:

I haven’t got time right now to reveal my impressions of the gang (there’s the little matter of catching my bus to get to the Book Corner) but I’ll run them all through my wringer within the next few days. It should be fun.

SEX, SEX, SEX!

Back to the-man-whom-Google-made-famous, Neil Steinberg of the Chicago Sun-Times decided to check out his website. Steinberg reveals the results of his research in today’s column.

Steinberg

His conclusions? What I’ve been saying all along, these theocratic right wingers think about sex, sex, sex, and more sex.

To be frank, I do, too. As do you, I’ll bet. But, speaking for myself, I don’t flagellate myself for those thoughts.

And yeah, I tried the whole whipping-for-fun trick once. Didn’t do much for me. Still, I don’t run around screaming that my S&M pals ought to be banished to a desert island.

Maybe, Rickey-girl should try it. Could it be that’s what he really wants?

THE REAL RICK?

 

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