Saturday, March 05, 2016

Koch Industries

Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries I do this occasionally because Koch Industries watches everything that happens on the Internet and crap like this just annoys the hell out of them Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries Koch Industries

Friday, March 04, 2016

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Mitt Romney's Speech and Talk of a Third Party

Some Republicans are talking third party. As a temporary, expedient thing, of course. Not binding (like Bush v. Gore wasn't binding). A once-over.
“That ticket would simply be a one-time, emergency adjustment to the unfortunate circumstance (if it happens) of a Trump nomination,” Mr. Kristol wrote in an email. It “would support other Republicans running for Congress and other offices, and would allow voters to correct the temporary mistake (if they make it) of nominating Trump.”

Well, we'll see where this thing goes....

Mitt Romney doesn't hold back in lambasting Donald Trump

JUST IN: Mitt Romney doesn't hold back in lambasting Donald Trump: "His is not the temperament of a stable, thoughtful leader. His imagination must not be married to real power." http://nbcnews.to/219mqLU

Posted by NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt on Thursday, March 3, 2016

Delightful Documentary About The Vaganova Ballet Academy

This is a delightful documentary about the Vaganova Ballet Academy. What a place! The best! According to Wikipedia:
Auditions for the school begin in June, and children must be at least 10 years old to apply. The audition process is divided into three sections.

Aptitude: to assess the candidate's proportions, height of jump, degree of turnout and general appearance etc.

Physical: an examination by a specialist medical practitioner to assess the physiological possibilities of the candidate

Artistic: to assess the candidate's musicality, rhythm, co-ordination and artistic talent

Originally founded as the Imperial Theatrical School in 1738, the Vaganova Ballet Academy was renamed in 1957 for Agrippina Vaganova, whose teaching methods have proven so influential that virtually everyone in the world can trace their ballet educations, however varied or imperfect, directly to her. Since she died as recently as 1951, educational lineages are still short (mine is Vaganova, Olga Preobajenska, George Zoritch, me).

The Etudes (Vagnova Ballet Academy). 2015

This 14-minuts film about the Vaganova Ballet Academy was made in 2015.#vaganova #vaganovaacademy #vaganovastudents

Posted by Академия Русского балета имени А.Я.Вагановой on Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

A Well-Timed "Auto Accident"

"Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out":
The Oklahoma City Police Department confirmed McClendon's identity after the car crash occurred around 9 a.m. CT.

...Per Reuters News on Twitter, police said McClendon's car had "plenty of opportunity to get back on the roadway and that didn't occur." They also stated the vehicle was "so badly burned" that officers were unable to determine if McClendon was wearing a seat belt.

A Pessimistic Read On Junk Bonds

Looming problems:
The pile of toxic corporate bonds in the US, euphemistically called “distressed” debt, ballooned 15% in the single month of February to $327.8 billion, up 265% from a year ago, according to S&P Capital IQ. The number of S&P rated US companies with distressed debt rose 9% in February to 353, up 128% from a year ago.

The last time the pile of distressed debt had soared to this level was in November 2008, and the last time the number of distressed issuers had shot up to these levels was in October 2008; Lehman had declared bankruptcy in September.

...These are some of the companies with the most distressed debt, in the top five sectors:

Oil-and-gas: Chesapeake with $6.4 billion in distressed debt; Linn Energy with $6.9 billion, and Continental Resources with $4.1 billion.

Mining and Metals: the three entities of Freeport-McMoRan with a total of $15.8 billion; Peabody Energy, $4.8 billion; Cliffs Natural Resources, $2.9 billion.

Telecom: the three Sprint entities with a total of $20.8 billion; Frontier, $5.5 billion.

Utilities: NRG Energy, $4.4 billion; Targa Resources $3.7 billion; Talen Energy Supply, $2.6 billion.

Media and Entertainment: iHeartCommunications, $8.7 billion; the two entities of Scientific Games with a total of $3.2 billion; Clear Channel Worldwide with $2.2 billion.

Don't Be The Bunny

There have always been bunnies, and always will be bunnies. I'm glad that small school faculty still have enough power to push aside sham 'duty of loyalty':
The president of a small Maryland college who likened struggling freshmen to bunnies that should be drowned resigned Monday, nearly six weeks after the student newspaper published the comment and ignited a national firestorm of criticism.

..."The board is grateful to President Newman for his many accomplishments over the past year, including strengthening the university's finances, developing a comprehensive strategic plan for our future and bringing many new ideas to campus that have benefited the entire Mount community," Coyne said.

...The story that triggered the firings described Newman's plan to identify struggling freshmen and offer them help, or tuition refunds if they chose to leave school early in their first semester. The story quoted from a Newman email saying he hoped 20 to 25 students would leave before the cutoff date for reporting the school's enrollment to the federal government, thereby boosting the student-retention rate, one of the factors publications such as U.S. News & World Report use in ranking desirable colleges. Critics said the plan seemed more focused on weeding out struggling students than helping them succeed.

The newspaper reported that Newman had told a faculty member opposed to the plan: "This is hard for you because you think of the students as cuddly bunnies, but you can't. You just have to drown the bunnies ... put a Glock to their heads." Newman later acknowledged he used those words and apologized for them.

Regarding hapless bunnies, in the time since DMTC presented "Urinetown" in 2013, people have posted more videos on YouTube:




I'm particularly fond of "Cop Song":

Re: Trump

Matt Taibbi is in fine form:
[T]his boorish, monosyllabic TV tyrant with the attention span of an Xbox-playing 11-year-old really is set to lay waste to the most impenetrable oligarchy the Western world ever devised.

It turns out we let our electoral process devolve into something so fake and dysfunctional that any half-bright con man with the stones to try it could walk right through the front door and tear it to shreds on the first go.

...No one should be surprised that he's tearing through the Republican primaries, because everything he's saying about his GOP opponents is true. They really are all stooges on the take, unable to stand up to Trump because they're not even people, but are, like Jeb and Rubio, just robo-babbling representatives of unseen donors.

You think the media sucks now? Just wait until reporters have to kiss a brass Trump-sphinx before they enter the White House press room.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Today is Young Frederick's Birthday!

In 2006, I got to see Opera Australia's production of "The Pirates of Penzance" (starring Anthony Warlow as the Pirate King), the plot of which is driven by young Frederick's Feb. 29th birthday!

Congratulations to Alicia Vikander!

I'm pleased Sacramento-born actress Brie Larson won Best Actress at the Academy Awards tonight for "Room" (but have yet to see it).

I liked Best Supporting Actress' Alicia Vikander's performance in "The Danish Girl" - very spirited - but still liked better her performance in "Ex Machina".

In this video, among other things, they explain the importance of ballet in "Ex Machina":

Vivaldi - Griselda - Cecilia Bartoli - Agitata Da Due Venti

Such control!

It Never Rains in Southern (or Northern) California

The California rainy season died in February. We've been back in drought all month.

After several false starts this week, beginning about Saturday, March 5th, we'll be back in rainy good times. Hope we can make up some of the loss.

An Impressive Landmark in Hollywood's New Golden Age

I'm of the opinion we are living through a new Golden Age of Hollywood. This Oscars item pleased me very much:

"The Revenant's" director, Alejandro González Iñárritu, won best director for the second year in a row. He's the first person to pull off that feat since Joseph L. Mankiewicz in 1949-50. John Ford also won consecutive Oscars.

What is Poverty?

"Breaking Bad" Cocktail Lounge in London

This has the potential to be completely amazing!

The Astonishing Diversity and High Quality of New Anti-Trump Videos

From UK's "The Independent":

Donald J. Trump fits into Game of Thrones scarily well

Posted by The Independent on Wednesday, February 24, 2016


From "Jimmy Kimmel Live":




From "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver":




Then there is this link that explains Trump's rise in terms of "hate and nonsense debt".
If we do a project in a rough and ready way, which is often what we can manage under the time and budget constraints we face, we will build up a "debt" we'll eventually have to pay back. Basically, if we do it fast, we'll later have to go back and rework or even replace the code to make it robust enough for the long haul, interoperate with other code that runs our site or simply be truly functional as opposed just barely doing what we need it to. There's no right or wrong answer; it's simply a management challenge to know when to lean one way or the other. But if you build up too much of this debt the problem can start to grow not in a linear but an exponential fashion, until the system begins to cave in on itself with internal decay, breakdowns of interoperability and emergent failures which grow from both.

This is a fairly good description of what the media is now wrongly defining as the GOP's 'Trump problem', only in this case the problem isn't programming debt. It's a build up of what we might call 'hate debt' and 'nonsense debt' that has been growing up for years.

This crystallized for me after the last GOP debate when Trump told Chris Cuomo in a post-debate interview that the IRS might be coming after him because he's a "strong Christian." Set aside for the moment how this unchurched libertine was able to rebrand himself as a "strong Christian." What about the preposterous claim that he is being persecuted by the IRS because he is a devout member of the country's dominant religion? Republicans simply aren't in any position to criticize this ludicrous claim because they have spent years telling their voters that this sort of thing happens all the time - to Christians, conservatives, everyone the liberals at the IRS hate. And this, of course, is just one example of hate and nonsense debt coming due. Shift gears now and they're "RINOs."

Take Trump's plan to deport 11 million people living in the US illegally or build the planned Trump Taj MaWall. As John Kasich has futilely tried to explain in debate after debate, whatever the rights and wrongs of it, this is simply never going to happen. Such an effort would be more on the order of a post-War World II population transfer than anything remotely like a conventional immigration enforcement action, costing probably hundreds of billions of dollars and perhaps even constituting something approaching a war crime. As for the Wall, of course, in the real world net immigration across the US-Mexico border has actually gone into reverse in recent years. More are leaving than coming. But in the Republican/Fox news world, hordes of feral Mexicans are still streaming across the Southern border - them and a layering of ISIS death squads who fly from Ankara to Belize and then walk to the Arizona border.

But this is just the hate and nonsense debt coming due from 2013. You can either let the status quo go on or you can devise a way to regularize at least the majority of people who are here illegally. There's no other option. Unless you just want to say 'No Amnesty' and pretend the problem will go away with 'self-deportation' or some other such nonsense. And that of course is precisely what Republican congressional leaders did. All Trump did was say openly, clearly, more coherently what Republicans were already saying themselves, while also saying out of the sides of their mouths that somehow they'd get to the mass deportation later.


Matt Taibbi is in fine form:
"[T]his boorish, monosyllabic TV tyrant with the attention span of an Xbox-playing 11-year-old really is set to lay waste to the most impenetrable oligarchy the Western world ever devised.

It turns out we let our electoral process devolve into something so fake and dysfunctional that any half-bright con man with the stones to try it could walk right through the front door and tear it to shreds on the first go.

...No one should be surprised that he's tearing through the Republican primaries, because everything he's saying about his GOP opponents is true. They really are all stooges on the take, unable to stand up to Trump because they're not even people, but are, like Jeb and Rubio, just robo-babbling representatives of unseen donors.

...You think the media sucks now? Just wait until reporters have to kiss a brass Trump-sphinx before they enter the White House press room."

Bobby McFerrin Demonstrates the Pentatonic Scale

Powerful!

The Story of Dune, Recreated with Gummi Worms

Interesting candy link.

Bella on the Porch

(Early morning, Feb. 27): After making her nightly check on the smelly garbage heaved over the Highway 50 chain link fence at 26th and W St., which tonight included eggs, Bella suddenly started limping. We sat down on the curb in the 26th St. underpass next to several sleeping homeless men and their piles of recyclable junk. I carefully checked Bella's paw, pulled out a sticker, and we quietly pressed on.

(Early morning, Feb. 29): Tonight, Bella and I headed north, as we often have lately, but when we reached Broadway, I could tell she was getting bored of the route. Instead, she pulled me west, then south, then west again - west, west, west - into the Land Park neighborhood, before finally heading north again back to Broadway.

We ended up next to the offices of Dr. Ibrahim, the humble Egyptian-born veterinarian, who has made it his mission for the last FIVE decades - praise be to Allah! - to bring low-cost and no-cost veterinary services to the streets of Sacramento. Joe the Plumber had said that, during her homeless years, he had brought Bella here for shots. Would Bella remember this place?

Too much time has passed. Bella doesn't remember. Before Dr. Ibrahim retires, I have to bring Bella back for a visit.

Ride the Tides Through the Throat of Kraken

Dyer posted JPL's recent Titan poster:

Casual-dehyde

Rickie Lee Jones - Danny's All Star Joint

1979 nostalgia.

Donald Trump = Kanye West

Future Dancing

... people Dance Strange in the Futuuure!

... people Dance Strange in the Futuuure! ( from the 60's sci-fi German TV show- "Raumpatrouille Orion"

Posted by James Vaughan on Monday, January 4, 2016