I've had a lot to do at work the last couple of days, leading to an absolute pile-up of unread press:
- Casey Michael outlines how Russian President Vladimir Putin's aims in Ukraine have little to do with NATO and a lot to do with him wanting to restore the Russian Empire.
- Tom Nichols calls Putin's actions the beginning of "a forever war," and Julia Ioffe calls Putin "a furious and clearly deranged old man, threatening to drag us all into World War III."
- Col. Jerad Harper USA, a professor at the US Army War College, warns that an insurgency in Ukraine could easily bring Russian to blows with NATO directly.
- Max Boot points out just how foolish the XPOTUS's apologists look after his unhinged praise of Putin yesterday.
- John Judis criticizes both the US and Russia for getting us to this point.
- Inae Oh sees Rick Scott's "unhinged, right-wing fever dream" as pretty normal for the GOP.
- Two Manhattan Assistant District Attorneys have resigned amid reports that new DA Alvin Bragg has pulled back from the office's criminal investigation of the XPOTUS.
- John Lee Anderson explains how the Taliban have caught the car they were chasing and don't know how to govern it.
- Illinois State Senator Thomas Cullerton (D-Villa Park) resigned from office as part of a plea deal on charges he drew $275,000 in salary from the Teamsters union despite doing nothing at all for them.
- Paul Krugman wonders whether the Democrats have "a technocrat problem."
- Fourteen restaurants, bars, and chefs in Chicago are James Beard Awards semi-finalists.
- The Chicago Transit Authority plans to have an all-electric bus fleet by 2040. When I'm 70. Yay.
- Professional musicians, particularly the self-taught, find that their playing styles wreak havoc on their bodies, cutting careers short.
- Children brought up in the last few years think the web browser is the computer, and get completely stymied using actual programs.
Finally, on this day in 1940, Woody Guthrie released "This Land is Your Land," a song even more misunderstood than Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA."
It turns out, tenors don't actually spread Covid more readily than the other three sections, despite what you may have heard from the Welsh Government:
The advice appears to have been motivated by a spoof social media news post, created by meme page Quire Memes to appear as if written by us here at Classic FM. A doctored headline claimed that ‘Tenors should sit three metres away from other choir members, COVID study says’.
The post, which is categorically fake news, is captioned: “Tenors found to disperse aerosols the furthest, in this in-depth coronavirus study.”
A government spokesperson denied that the advice was based on a spoof post, but said they “apologise unreservedly for this error and for any confusion it may have caused”.
Professional tenor and choral director Charles MacDougall told The Telegraph it was “preposterous” that the Welsh government appeared to have based their official guidance on a meme.
Believe me, tenors have enough problems without being blamed for spreading this particular disease. Gonorrhea, however...
In no particular order:
- Dale Clevenger played French horn for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 1966 to 2013. He was 81.
- Sheldon Silver went to jail for taking bribes while New York Assembly Speaker. He was 77.
- Lisa Goddard made climate predictions that came true, to the horror of everyone who denies anthropogenic climate change. She was 55.
In a tangential story, the New Yorker profiles author Kim Stanley Robinson, who has written several novels about climate change. (Robinson hasn't died, though; don't worry.)
The snow has finally stopped for, we think, a couple of days, and the city has cleared most of the streets already. (Thank you, Mike Bilandic.) What else happened today?
Finally, Weber Grills apologized today for its really unfortunate timing last week, when it emailed thousands of customers a recipe for BBQ meat loaf—on the day singer Meat Loaf died.
Nathan Evans recorded his original 59-second TikTok on 27 December 2020. By January 18th...this had happened:
As I understand it, Evans has launched a recording career now. I hope a couple of other contributors to this mash-up get some recognition as well.
When I got home from our Messiah performance yesterday, my car ended up here:
If you don't have International System conversion factors ready to hand, just know that one statute mile is 1,609.344 meters. So right before I got to my garage last night, my car hit 10,000 miles exactly. And how about that average fuel economy? For the luddites, 2.2 L/100 km is about 105 MPG.
If you recall, I bought the car just shy of 3 years ago. So in three years, I've driven about 10,000 miles and filled up the car 12 times with about 350 liters (93 gallons) of fuel for just over $240. That works out to an operating cost of 2.9¢ per kilometer (4.6¢ per mile). Not bad.
Oh, and I also got this shortly after walking in (and walking out and walking back in and feeding her):
Not a bad way to end Messiah week.
Just two of note. First, on this day 21 years ago, Al Gore conceded the 2000 election to George W Bush. Good thing that made almost no difference at all in world events.
Another anniversary is the one that happens every January 1st to works of art created a certain point in the past. A whole bunch of books, films, and musical compositions pass into the public domain as their copyrights expire, including:
- The Sun Also Rises and Winnie-the-Pooh, both published in 1926;
- The works of Louis Armstrong and Jim Morrison, who died in 1971 (except in the U.S.); and
- All musical recordings made before January 1, 1923.
Have fun adapting!
We're all set to perform Handel's Messiah tomorrow and Sunday, which got noticed by both the local news service and local TV station. Otherwise, the week just keeps getting odder:
And to cap all that off, the National Weather Service has announced a Hazardous Weather Outlook for tonight that includes...tornados? I hope the weather gets better before our performance.
Having a day off with no real responsibilities gives me the space to take care of some niggling projects I've put off for a while. First, I finished updating a document for the Apollo Chorus that lists every sit and stand cue and every score marking for our Messiah performances. That took about 8 hours altogether.
I also updated my main NuGet packages to .NET 6. As a nice bonus, because of a quirk in how .NET assemblies get versioned, today's release is version 4.2.8000. (I kept the previous release active just in case someone needs it for an existing .NET 5 project.)
Oh, and I've got a pot of stew going that should finish in about an hour. I made a lot of it. I hope it freezes all right. Good thing I have tons of Mason jars. It looked like this at 3½ hours: