No words necessary. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3O-o5gwi4HI
Make of this what you will.
Beyonce loves the singing and artistry of Etta James whom she also regards as one of the true legends of popular music. Accordingly, she has sung a song associated with Etta at concerts and even at the presidential ball. Here it is:
And what does Etta think of this tribute? Despite being dragged onto the stage by Beyonce at the conclusion of a performance by Her Loveliness and being forced to be nice, Etta has made clear on other occasions what she really thinks. Roughly this: “Get lost, you bitch. How dare you try to imitate me? What’s more, you can’t sing a lick.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVzr4poS-vA
Strange bedfellows. Here’s Etta’s version of that song:
For some people, the music in this video is the thing. For most of us, I hope, it is an astonishing revelation of the way the world turns.
I had a 36 hour pass and since I was stationed at Ft. Dix, New Jersey, it was a quick bus ride home. For some reason, instead of going to my actual home, I found myself in an apartment on Howard Avenue in the heart of Brownsville. Believe me, I have no idea why. Five guys were standing around naked. One stood on a small ottoman, playing the Mozart clarinet concerto while below him a young woman was sucking on his penis with real vigor. I remember it was causing him some difficulty hitting all the right notes, and he almost fell off. I knew only one of these five guys and that fellow was singing his own version of the famous Neapolitan street song, Funiculi, Funicula popularized by Mario Lanza. Only this guy was substituting the words “stinky finger, stinky finger.” Granted that in this company, I was out of my depth so I stood there amazed, (astounded and astonished, too) for ten minutes or so and then left. Someone called, “Don’t leave until you first have some hits of mary jane (marijuana). Politely I declined, as I always did and still do. The episode was short but the memory lingers on.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJd-SHzqUC4 If you can sing even a lick [pardon the expression in this context] you’ll know when you should jump in with the revised lyrics.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3EJqvKhYzY A half hour of your time well spent. That woman. What’s her name, who sleeps in my bed every night went to college on a full scholarship because she could play this damn thing like nobody’s business.
March Madness, overflowing into April, and it is time for you to be even more stupid than you usually are, basketball fans, and that is plenty.
You want to watch a basketball game on TV. It should be 40 minutes long, but it is not. Here are the facts. [Provided by Wall St. Journal Research]
The game itself – 40 minutes.
Halftime – 22 minutes. Only because you are too dumb to complain. It is supposed to be 20 minutes.
Time-outs – 16 minutes and 11 seconds.
Foul shots (the clock stops) – 12 minutes 58 seconds.
TV time-outs to badger you with commercials, knowing you are too stupid to switch channels for fear you will miss something – 28 minutes six seconds.
“Stoppages” for no good reason. Example, a player crumbles to the floor with a broken leg. He should be rolled off the court and out of sight and not waste our time. We can give him sympathy the next day. That’s how Julie Bender, the HES director of basketball, used to order it back in the 40s and 50s.
Grand total – basketball 40 minutes, garbage 1 hour 36 minutes 24 seconds.
There was a time when 9 minutes 29 seconds of entertainment was………….
9 minutes, 29 seconds. Here, for example.
She’s feisty, plucky, intrepid, spirited, dauntless, gutsy, spunky, and usually keeps her promises. You know who she is but I cannot mention her name. Hints: she has shared my bed for a couple of decades and she is highly regarded as a scholar and teacher at a certain “college” [sic] in southeastern Michigan. She is 73 years old and has the same light red hair she has had all her life. God hasn’t got the guts to put gray hairs on her head.
She promises (or threatens) to start a new career in a dozen years – A BANK ROBBER! I really don’t know why; I guess she is getting bored, having been a college professor since age 22 (around the age I was being let out of junior high school). She no longer tools around the world by foot but goes everywhere via her scooter. (I can’t keep up.) She figures nobody will want to apprehend, arrest and send her to jail. In any case, with her speedy scooter, she can be out of the bank faster than you can gulp down a glass of bourbon, which is about the same time it takes her to swallow a bottle full. Don’t mess with her over the cocktail hour!
Is she right? Is it true that cops won’t pursue an 85-year old bank robber cruising around on a 7 MPH scooter? Is it true that when the bailiff announces, “Here come de judge,” the judge’s sides will be splitting with laughter and he will toss the case against her right out? Should I worry? What inclines me not to worry is that since I am more than half a decade her senior, I am not anticipating being around to watch what may turn out to be the greatest crime fiasco since Tawana Brawley accused nearly all mankind of trying to rape her. This time, if I am alive, I won’t laugh, as I did in the Tawana days. I wish the lady well because I really do think it is never too late to start over.
You have been given the job of helping to devise a criminal code for misbehaviors of all kinds. Each crime may have subtleties that need refining. For example, there can be, but only if you wish, degrees of culpability. Such things as murder in the second degree can have a listing separate from plain old fashioned murder. Felonious larceny as well as petty larceny can be included in your list, but for now all you need do is rank them broadly. You will list them in order of horribleness, if you want (but I have an alternative two paragraphs below this one), and then the job of making distinctions based on circumstances, motives, etcetera will be turned over to others. You can add to the preliminary list as you wish and you may even eliminate some as too trivial to bother with. Among those you will want to consider are these:
Murder, negligent homicide, rape, assault, battery, burglary, robbery, airplane hijacking, terrorist bombing, sex with underage children, cheating on exams, trafficking in street drugs, illegal entry into the country, failure to repay your contractual debts, fake whiplash injury claims to gain insurance money, using performance enhancing drugs, stealing groceries, telling nasty stories about your mother, vandalism, driving without a license, driving above posted speed limits, shooting squirrels, drunk driving, kidnapping, jay-walking, sexual harassment, falsifying college entrance exam scores, stealing candy from a baby, not letting women and children into lifeboats before able-bodied seamen, doctoring income tax returns, torture, blackmail, extortion, intentionally farting in public places, littering, failure to keep a promise to show up at a hospital to visit a dying friend, hiding your toothbrush upon boarding an airplane, joining a police force, making too much noise in a “Quiet Zone”, smoking in hospital parking lots,whistling Dixie on dark streets. Anything else you want except poking fun at Sidney Gendin is allowable. (Poking fun at yourself may be included – and should be).
To make your task easier, you have only to rate these (and any others you want) as Class A or Class B Offenses. Don’t even bother making your lists alphabetical. If you want, you may list them by seriousness and urgency. It’s all up to you. You will probably want to break some of these down further before beginning. For example, there is robbery with and without a dangerous weapon, speeding 15 MPH over a limit compared with 35 MPH over the limit, taking lollypops from a baby vs. taking Godiva chocolates from it, etc. You may think that perjured testimony before a Senate committee is not nearly as bad as lying over your qualifications to be the neighborhood dog catcher. You may feel you need to add 625 more categories. You may want to eliminate many of the above. YOU DECIDE.
Be nice and submit your list of crimes TODAY. These, without further refinement, are CLASS A or CLASS B DASTARDLY DEEDS. You don’t have to make changes to the above list in any way, form, fashion, shape, design, guise, configuration, or arrangement. The first two persons to respond will be ignored. The next six win a letter of commendation and their names will be acknowledged in this august journal. The next seven [i.e. places 11-16] will win $500 gift certificates usable at world class department stores. All others who humor me will receive my heartfelt thanks. If your list exactly matches my own then you receive a bonus of $435.26. You may as well go for it; you have nothing to lose but your chains to conventional wisdom.
This may help to stimulate those sluggish protein molecules that barely oscillate within your skull: The Code of Hammurabi. Go to
In the spirit of Joe McCarthy I can say, “I have here in my hands a list of names…” Instead of evil-doing Reds, the names are the names of songwriters and songs. The list is made up of 1000 songs and it represents the best American songs ever. The songs were not chosen by anybody. The list was computer generated by researchers who assembled it from hundreds of reference books and historical documents with additional commentary by jazz performers, historians, and musicologists. Hundreds of thousands of tracks were tabulated and sorted using extensive rules-based algorithms to normalize the names for programmatic matching purposes. Each song is accompanied by more detailed analysis than you would ever want to know. Here is a sample:
“No value is placed upon CD sales figures. The phrase “commonly used as the basis of jazz arrangements or improvisations” implies the jazz artist’s choice of composition is what is important, not popularity amongst consumers. Based on a sampling of hundreds of thousands tracks on currently available CDs by 700 jazz artists,
The number one ranked song, “Body and Soul,” was found on CDs by well over 100 different jazz artists.
Compositions having a rank of 750 or higher were found on CDs by at least 10 different jazz artists
The number 1000 ranked composition was found on CDs by 6 different artists.”
Now, try this: “A very motivic melody, thus easily remembered. Noteworthy is the use of the penultimate “blue note” (flatted third) at the end of “A,” -easily missed by the untrained or novice performer. The harmonic progression seems to be controlled by the movement of the bass line, descending and ascending by step (Ebm -Bb7/D -Ebm7/Db – Ab/C -Db -Ab9/Eb -Db/F -E°7 -Ebm -Ebm7/Db -Cm7(b5)) before returning to the tonic via the circle of fifths, using parallel minor substitutions. “B” works essentially the same way a half-step higher for the first four measures. The “tonic of the moment” then becomes minor, turning into the ii7 of the chord a whole step below, then repeats the a variation of the same melodic sequence, this time in a key a half-step below the original tonic. Instead of the linear progression, these four measures start with a ii7- V7 -I -vi -ii7 (substituting aiii for the I and a ct°7, or “common-tone diminished seventh” for vi), then returns to the ii7 of the original tonic key via a circle of fifths, using a tri-tone substitution on beat two of measure eight (in the original, C7 – B7 -Bb7 instead of C7 -F7 -Bb7).”
See what I mean when I said it has more information than you ever wanted to know?
The greatest problem by far with the list is that for persons under age 60 it is way out of date. Nabobs of negativism should construct their own updated lists. In the meanwhile, in keeping with the theme of not making this too heavy, I invite readers to submit their own five favorite songs without bothering to explain their choices.
While I wait, trembling with excitement, here are the top twelve.
1 …..1930… Body and Soul
2……1939… All the Things You Are
4……1944… ‘Round Midnight
5……1935….I Can’t Get Started (with You)
6……1937….My Funny Valentine
7……1942….Lover Man (Oh, Where Can You Be?)
8……1930….What Is This Thing Called Love?
10…..1946….Stella By Starlight
11…..1947….Autumn Leaves (Les Feuilles Mortes)
If I were making a list, #’s 1, 3, 6, 9, 11 and 12 would be in my top 100. It’s just too damned hard to aim for more precision than that because it is sure as sure can be that if you make a short list of 15 and don’t check back until one year has gone by, then, when you make up your list, half your top 15 will have disappeared.
VH1 made a list of the top 100 of the last 30 years: [Confession: I don't know who or what VH1 is]
1 “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (1992) from the LP Nevermind Nirvana – “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (Single)
2 “Billie Jean” (1983) from the LP Thriller/ Michael Jackson
3 “Sweet Child O’ Mine” (1988) from the LP Appetite For Destruction/ Guns ‘N Roses – “Sweet Child O’ Mine” (CD Single)
4 “Lose Yourself” (2002) from the 8 Mile soundtrack/ Eminem – Lose Yourself (CD Single)
5 “One” (1992) from the LP Achtung Baby/U2 – (CD Single)
6 “Walk This Way” (1986) from the LP Raising Hell/ Run-D.M.C.
7 “When Doves Cry” (1984) from the LP Purple Rain/ Prince – “When Doves Cry” (CD Single)
8 “I Will Always Love You” (1993) from The Bodyguard soundtrack/ Whitney Houston
I know only #8 and I would place it on my list of the top 100.
Want to know if and how you will die THIS YEAR? Here’s the good word.
If you don’t like clicking, here are some highlights.
Chance that you will die from a bee sting this year – 1 in 25 million.
From an asteroid impact – 1 in 75 million. Better chance of winning a big lottery.
From dog bite – 1 in 11 million. Struck by lightning – 1 in 10 million.
Firearms discharge – 1 in 514,000.
From falling down stairs – 1 in 157,000.
Killed by acts of war – 1 in 135,000.
Post-Surgical complications – 1 in 117,000. [This does not include deaths by surgical negligence and incompetence. The odds against the latter are not given but these events occur 100,000 times per year.]
In a fire – 1 in 107,000.
Suicide – 1 in 9000.
Vehicular accident – 1 in 6500.
HEART DISEASE – 1 in 467.
If you live long enough, something will get you.
Cause of Death Lifetime Odds
Heart Disease 1-in-5
Accidental Injury 1-in-36
Motor Vehicle Accident* 1-in-100
Intentional Self-harm (suicide) 1-in-121
Falling Down 1-in-246
Assault by Firearm 1-in-325
Fire or Smoke 1-in-1,116
Natural Forces (heat, cold, storms, quakes, etc.) 1-in-3,357
Air Travel Accident* 1-in-20,000
Flood* (included also in Natural Forces above) 1-in-30,000
Legal Execution 1-in-58,618
Tornado* (included also in Natural Forces above) 1-in-60,000
Lightning Strike (included also in Natural Forces above) 1-in-83,930
Snake, Bee or other Venomous Bite or Sting* 1-in-100,000
Earthquake (included also in Natural Forces above) 1-in-131,890
Dog Attack 1-in-147,717
Asteroid Impact* 1-in-200,000**
Fireworks Discharge 1-in-615,488
Odds against writing a NY Times best seller 220 to 1
Odds against dating a supermodel 88,000 to 1 Odds against dating a millionaire 215 to 1.
Odds against winning a powerball jackpot 146 million to 1.
Odds against being audited by the IRS 175 to 1.
THE REALLY GOOD NEWS – ODDS OF GETTING AWAY WITH MURDER 1 IN 2.
Discovery Channel has favored us with a list of the 100 greatest Americans ever. It is NOT a terrible list and, if I had the patience to draw up one of my own, I suspect that at least half these greatest Americans would crack my own list of top 5000. As it is, I didn’t spot the names of any persons I would put in my top 1000. Dear Reader: Do you see any person you would put in your top 1000? If so, send it (them) on in a comment.
Rank Name Profession / reputation Died
1 Ronald Reagan president during 1980′s 2004
2 Abraham Lincoln president who abolished slavery 1865
3 Martin Luther King Jr. assassinated anti-segregation activist 1968
4 George Washington independence leader, first president 1799
5 Ben Franklin founding father, inventor 1790
6 George W. Bush current president [Obviously, this list is a bit dated.]
7 Bill Clinton liberal president during 1990′s
8 Elvis Presley rock / blues singer 1977
9 Oprah Winfrey talk-show host
10 Franklin D. Roosevelt president during WW2 1945
Top 11 through 25
11 Billy Graham evangelical Christian preacher
12 Thomas Jefferson founding father, president 1826
13 Walt Disney animation pioneer, founder of Dinsey corp. 1966
14 Albert Einstein scientist, founder of theory of relativity 1955
15 Thomas Edison inventor of the light bulb, film projector, and many other things 1931
16 John F. Kennedy liberal president who served during early 1960′s 1963
17 Bob Hope actor / comedian 2003
18 Bill Gates founder of Microsoft Corporation
19 Eleanor Roosevelt first lady, wife of Franklin Roosevelt, human rights activist 1962
20 Lance Armstrong Tour-de-France champion cyclist
21 Muhammaed Ali boxer
22 Rosa Parks anti-segregation activist
23 Wilbur and Orville Wright inventors of the airplane 1948, 1912
24 Henry Ford automobile technology pioneer, founder of Ford Auto Co. 1947
25 Neil Armstrong astronaut, first man to walk on the moon
Top 26 through 75
Discovery Channel did not reveal the ordered rankings of the next batch. Here they are in alphabetical order:
rank Name Profession / reputation Died
? Maya Angelou poet, civil rights activist
? Susan B. Anthony female suffrage activist 1906
? Lucille Ball actress 1989
? Alexander Graham Bell purported inventor of the telephone 1922
? Barbara Bush first lady, wife of George H.W. Bush
? George H.W. Bush conservative president during 1990′s
? Laura Bush current first lady
? Andrew Carnegie businessman, philanthropist 1919
? Johnny Carson comedian, talk show host 2005
? Jimmy Carter liberal president during 1970′s, human rights activist
? George Washington Carver agriculture scientist 1943
? Ray Charles soul / gospel musician 2004
? Ceasar Chavez union leader, labor activist 1993
? Hillary Clinton current senator, former first lady, wife of Bill Clinton
? Bill Cosby comedian, actor
? Tom Cruise actor
? Ellen DeGeneres actress
? Frederick Douglass anti-slavery activist 1895
? Amelia Earhart pilot 1937
? Clint Eastwood actor, director
? John Edwards senator, Vice-president nominee in 2004
? Dwight D. Eisenhower Allied commander during WW2, president during 1950′s 1969
? Brett Favre football player
? Mel Gibson actor, director
? Rudolph Guliani Mayor of New York City during September 11, 2001
? John Glenn astronaut, senator
? Alexander Hamilton founding father, first treasury secretary 1804
? Tom Hanks actor
? Hugh Hefner founder of Playboy magazine
? Katherine Hepburn actress 2003
? Howard Hughes pilot, eccentric millionaire 1976
? Michael Jackson pop singer
? Steve Jobs founder of Apple Computers
? Lyndon Johnson president during 1960′s 1973
? Michael Jordan basketball player
? Helen Keller author 1968
? Robert F. Kennedy assassinated senator and brother of John Kennedy 1968
? Jacqueline Kennedy first lady, wife of John Kennedy 1994
? Rush Limbaugh conservative radio talk-show host
? Charles Lindbergh pilot 1974
? George Lucas director, creator of Star Wars
? Madonna singer, actress
? Malcom X assassinated radical black activist 1965
? Dr. Phil McGraw self-help author
? Marilyn Monroe actress 1962
? Michael Moore director, author, left-wing activist
? Audie Murphy WW2 soldier, actor 1971
? Richard Nixon conservative president during 1970′s 1994
? Barack Obama current senator
? Jesse Owens Olympic sprinter
? George Patton WW2 allied commander 1945
? Colin Powell general, Secretary of State
? Christopher Reeve actor, handicapped rights activist 2004
? Condeleezza Rice current Secretary of State
? Jackie Robinson first black professional baseball player 1972
? Theodore Roosevelt progressive president during late 19th century 1919
? Babe Ruth baseball player 1948
? Carl Sagan astronomer 1996
? Jonas Salk inventor of Polio cure 1995
? Arnold Schwarzenegger bodybuilder, actor, current Governor of California
? Frank Sinatra jazz singer 1998
? Joseph Smith Jr. founder of Mormonism 1844
? Stephen Spielberg director
? Jimmy Stewart actor 1997
? Martha Stewart cooking / homemaking TV show host, businesswoman
? Nikola Tesla electricity pioneer 1943
? Pat Tillman pro football player, slain soldier in War on Terror 2004
? Harry S. Truman president during 40′s and 50′s 1972
? Donald Trump businessman, reality TV show host
? Harriet Tubman anti-slavery activist 1913
? Mark Twain author 1910
? Sam Walton founder of Wal-Mart
? John Wayne actor 1979
? Tiger Woods golf champion
? Chuck Yeagar pilot, first man to break the sound barrier
- Nations of the World
- Social Science
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