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    • And They Made A Desert: 80 to 90% Drop In Nutrients In Food
      Stumbled across this lovely chart the other day. The core fact most people, including the folks in the “best every world” Panglossian movement (like Pinker) don’t seem to understand, is that even if they were right (questionable), the prosperity we have is based on burning down our house. “Sure is hot! Hottest it’s every been!” […]
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Happy Fourth of July!

How many of you learned about the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution from SchoolHouse Rock?  C’mon, raise your hand.  You’re not that old.  If you were a kid in the 70’s like I was, you can sing the Preamble – in harmony!

That was a great time to be a kid, am I right?  Those were the days of ZOOM, Jacques Cousteau and The Electric Company.  Back then, kids were not just consumers, they were future citizens and organizations like the CPB and the people behind Schoolhouse Rock produced quality programming to teach us important concepts like revolution, the ideals that formed the basis of the Constitution and how we pass bills in Congress.

So, enjoy the videos below and sing the Preamble on your way to the beach. Tonight, I’m going to watch the fireworks from a penthouse on the beach (not mine but there’s a par-tay there tonight and I’m going to enjoy it).  Let me know what your plans are and what’s on your menu today. And check out the right way to sing the anthem in the bottom video (it’s a personal favorite of mine).

Have a great day!

Sing it, Caitie-babe!

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Twilight’s Last Reaming?

Who writes the ads for the superbowl these days? What happened to all of those clever people? The good thing is they seem to have realized that women also watch the game so there were fewer stupid looking young guys being presented with beautiful, scantily clad women who normally wouldn’t give the time of day while they are studying for some advanced degree. But most of the ads were just uninspired. Like, the opposable thumbs on the android? Google/Sony couldn’t come up with something better than that? Then there were the disturbing ones, like the Doritos weirdo who was sucking other people’s fingers and smelling their pants. Or the test baby’s squished face on the window. Yeah, we get the point but that kind of stuff just brings out those tut-tutting uber nanny types who lecture us all about child abuse and sensitivity and personal responsibility and yadayadayada. They have no sense of humor and since the ad wasn’t all that funny anyway, was it worth all the grief that will come over it?
The best ads, imho, were from Sealy, Teleflora and Chrysler. Really liked the Chysler one. Beautiful.
Then there was the damn anthem. Sigh. Where to start?
I understand why they pick pop singers. *Presumably* professional singers can carry a tune in a bucket and won’t flat the high notes. And sure, it was based on an old drinking song. But we did choose the music for our ANTHEM. Therefore, sing it like a fricking anthem, not the opening song of your Vegas show. A few grace notes are permissable to show how the swelling of emotion inspires you. Endless, interminable, Handelesque runs of R&B style melisma are just painful to listen to. I kept asking myself if she was done yet. And then she reamed the twilight. The worst rendition I’d ever heard. But you be the judge. Here’s Christina Aguilera’s version:

And here’s my kid’s version from last year.

[YouTube= http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLg9Q9DT_qA&%5D

The kid is taking voice this semester but she hit all the notes and sang it like an anthem.

Not that hard, Christina.

America

I’ve been kind of depressed for the past few days. I think it is just the weight of the ugliness I have experienced during this endless presidential campaign. I’m sure a lot of you feel the same way. I love America with all my heart. I’ve lived in a number of places in this great country and have traveled to many others. Since I was a child, I have loved to travel by car. Now as an adult, I always drive everywhere–even if I’m going a long distance. I love to look at the countryside and to interact with other Americans along the way. I’ve driven from Boston to Albuquerque, to LA and San Francisco. I’ve driven all over the Midwest, up to North Dakota, Minnesota, across Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, New York, and Pennsylvania. I’ve driven down south to Florida, and made stops in Georgia, North Carolina. And of course I’ve driven all over the Northeast, from Maine down to NYC. America is a beautiful country.

Today while I was driving home and listening to NPR, a story came on about Jose Feliciano and his performance of the national anthem at the 1968 world series in Detroit. It was an amazing rendition of the anthem–probably the first time many heard it sung in a more informal, idiosyncratic style. It was beautiful, but many people thought that Feliciano was trying to make some kind of political statement. He wasn’t. He was just singing for his beloved country. When I heard him sing, I started to sob. His voice and the words struck a cord in me. I felt the deep love for America and Americans that has always been there. I also remembered another rendition of the National Anthem that affected me similarly. Continue reading