Husbands and Wives
• Texas actor Marco Perella has a lot of respect for Drew Barrymore, with whom he worked in a movie titled Home Fries — he played a bad guy to her good girl. After the filming of the movie was completed, a bouquet of flowers arrived at Mr. Perella’s home with a note reading, “Thanks for a wonderful time. Love, Drew.” Underneath the signature was a lipstick kiss. Of course, Mrs. Perella was very interested in this bouquet and note, although nothing unprofessional had ever occurred between her husband and Ms. Barrymore. Mr. Perella finally convinced his wife that Ms. Barrymore had no doubt sent flowers and notes to every actor involved in the movie, but he noticed when the movie came out that his wife watched — very carefully — the scenes between him and Ms. Barrymore.
• Donna Kloker of Great Falls, Montana, had a match-making student in one of the junior high courses she taught. The boy tried to match Donna with a barber in a barbershop where the boy shined shoes, even giving the barber Donna’s telephone number. (Unfortunately, she was busy on the night that the barber wanted to set up a date.) One day, when she took the class on a field trip to the police station, the barber was inside, paying a traffic ticket. The student yelled, “That’s him! That’s him!” Then he pointed to Donna and told the barber, “That’s her!” A few days later, Donna visited the barbershop — with the excuse of wanting to talk to her student — and some time afterward she and the barber were married.
• At a performance of Tannhaeuser at the Metropolitan Opera, the singer playing the part of the Shepherd Boy became ill, so the stage manager, Paul Schumann, asked his wife, Ernestine Schumann-Heink, to take over the part. However, when the Shepherd Boy was supposed to come on stage and sing, Ms. Schumann-Heink simply stuck her head above a stage rock and sang without showing more of herself. Later, when she was asked why she had done that, she explained, “The Shepherd’s Boy costume calls for tights, and that husband of mine — do you think he would let me step out before an audience and show my legs? Not he!”
• Ashe King worked at a dance studio and taught ballet. One day, a woman called to ask about the required clothing for her husband, who was thinking of taking a beginners’ class. Mr. King explained that her husband would need ballet slippers, ballet tights, and a dance belt. When the woman asked what a dance belt was, Mr. King answered that all male dancers wore one, as it served to keep everything from flopping around. The woman then responded, “I can assure you, my husband does not need one of those — he is too small!” (The woman’s husband never showed up for dance class, probably because he was too embarrassed.)
• One day, Jay Leno and his wife, Mavis, decided to get in their car and go out for pizza. On this particular day, a Gay Pride March was being held, and they drove into the midst of a confusing scene. A police officer motioned them forward, and since Jay thought the officer was trying to help him get through the confusion, he followed the officer’s directions. However, the officer put him in the midst of the parade. Jay and his wife drove for five miles as part of the parade, and all along the route he kept hearing people say, “Hey, look! I didn’t know Jay Leno was gay!” Mr. Leno’s wife thought this was hilarious.
• One cold night, children’s book author Joanna Cole and her husband, Phil, put an electric blanket on their bed incorrectly — her controls made his part of the blanket warmer or cooler, while his controls made her part of the blanket warmer or cooler. Joanna was freezing, so she kept turning up the heat. Eventually, she had turned up the heat as high as it would go and her husband jumped out of bed because he was burning up — only then did they figure out what had happened. According to Ms. Cole, she and her husband are not quite as mixed up as her characters Big Goof and Little Goof.
© Copyright Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved
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BRUCE'S RECOMMENDATION OF BANDCAMP MUSIC
Music: "Fake It ’Til You Make It"
Artist: Annie Hendrix
Artist Location: California
Info: San Francisco Bay Area-based songwriter, composer, music producer.
Lyra, a fan, wrote, “This is a really beautiful, personal album! I love the instrumentation; it feels like I'm listening to a traveling band of bards. Favorite track: ‘Joan.’”
Music & Lyrics by Annie Hendrix, except "Silence," music by Travis W. Hendrix, lyrics by Annie Hendrix
Annie Hendrix - vocals, guitar, violin
Travis W. Hendrix - oud, ocarina, guitar, mandolin, bass, backing vocals, additional tambourine
Ben Weiner - percussion, piano
Fionna Lane - backing vocals
Kalei Yamanoha - steel guitar
Seb Shader - violin
Andrew Cohen - helicon
Price: $1.29 for track; $11.99 for 11-track album
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Michelle in AZ
Jeannie the Teed-Off Temp
I too subscribed to my hometown newspaper for years--published twice weekly. For the longest time it was 10 cents a copy; then went up to twenty-five cents. Really well known for featuring pictures of big vegetables grown locally on the front page. Most infamous issue featured the picture of a dead dog he road crew had striped over. Let my subscription lapse after my father died--hadn't lived there since I was 6 and didn't know many of the people any longer.
We are all only temporarily able bodied.
that Mad Cat, JD
In The Chaos Household
A very seasonal May gray morning.
‘Demon Slayer’ Overtakes ‘Mortal Kombat’
After narrowly losing first place in its opening weekend, “Demon Slayer: Mugen Train” has surged ahead of “Mortal Kombat” on U.S. box office charts.
The anime action adventure “Demon Slayer” is expected to end the weekend with $6.4 million in ticket sales, while “Mortal Kombat” trails closely behind with $6.2 million between Friday and Sunday. Both films debuted last weekend and dipped roughly 70% from their initial outings.
“Demon Slayer,” which is playing in 1,915 North American venues, has earned an impressive $34.1 million in the U.S. and Canada to date. The film, from Funimation and Aniplex, has surpassed “Dragon Ball: Super Broly” ($30 million) to become the third-highest grossing anime title in North America.
In third place, “Godzilla vs. Kong,” a Warner Bros. and Legendary film, collected $2.7 million from 2,753 screens. That brings its domestic total to $90 million. The monster mashup has become a hit overseas, where it has grossed $325 million, pushing its global bounty to $415 million.
Horror movie “Separation” opened in forth, pulling in $1.8 million from 1,751 venues. The Open Road and Briarcliff release got terrible reviews, with Variety’s critic Nick Schager calling the supernatural thriller about a creepy doll that haunts a widower and his daughter a “dull and misogynistic affair.” On Rotten Tomatoes, it averaged a dismal 11%.
Universal’s action thriller “Nobody” rounded out the top five, amassing $1.2 million in its sixth weekend of release. In total, the Bob Odenkirk-led film has made $23 million. The movie is currently available to rent on demand for $20 due to an agreement between Universal and movie theater chains like AMC and Cinemark, which allows the studio to debut its films on digital rental services early.
New Beverly Cinema Reopening in June
Los Angeles’ New Beverly Cinema is set to reopen on June 1 after being closed for over a year due to COVID-19.
The theater’s official Twitter account posted a photo on May 1 of their marquee, which reads: “Re-opening June 1, 2021 because we love showing movies.” No other information was given on the reopening.
With vaccination rates rising and COVID-19 infections slowing down, L.A. movie theaters have been allowed to reopen at limited capacity. The capacity was first set at 25% (maximum 100 people) and now has been cleared to expand to 50% (maximum 200 people) as L.A. moves into California’s orange tier.
The historic New Beverly Cinema has been owned by director Quentin Tarantino since 2007, when he bought the building that houses the theater to save it from redevelopment. It seats 300 and is known for its double features shown on 35mm film, particularly of Tarantino’s movies.
Girl In The Kent State Photo
Mary Ann Vecchio
Last May, when Mary Ann Vecchio watched the video of George Floyd’s dying moments, she felt herself plummet through time and space — to a day almost exactly 50 years earlier. On that May 4 afternoon in 1970, the world was just as riveted by an image that showed the life draining out of a young man on the ground, this one a black-and-white still photo.
Mary Ann was at the center of that photo, her arms raised in anguish, begging for help.
That photo, of her kneeling over the body of Kent State University student Jeffrey Miller, is one of the most important images of the 20th century. Taken by student photographer John Filo, it captures Mary Ann’s raw grief and disbelief at the realization that the nation’s soldiers had just fired at its own children.
The Kent State Pietà, as it’s sometimes called, is one of those rare photos that fundamentally changed the way we see ourselves and the world around us. Like the image of the solitary protester standing in front of a line of tanks in Tiananmen Square. Or the photo of Kim Phuc, the naked Vietnamese girl fleeing the napalm that has just incinerated her home. Or the image of Aylan Kurdi’s tiny, 3-year-old body facedown in the sand, he and his mother and brother having drowned while fleeing Syria.
Before Kent State, she says, she was a free spirit. “I was the kid rolling down the river on a raft,” she recalls. “I was magic. In my childhood, I believed anything was possible.” But her home in Opa-locka, Florida, not far from Miami International Airport, where her father was a carpenter, could be volatile. When her parents fought, she and her brothers and sisters would scatter, with Mary Ann hiding out in spots as far away as Miami Beach, some 15 miles from home.
Mary Ann Vecchio
When Xueli was a baby her parents left her on the ground outside an orphanage. In China, albinism is seen by some as a curse.
The rare genetic condition causes a lack of pigment which makes Xueli's skin and hair very pale and also makes her extremely sensitive to sunlight.
But looking different led Xueli to her modelling career. Now aged 16, she has graced the pages of Vogue and fronted campaigns for top designers.
The staff at the orphanage named me Xue Li. Xue means snow and Li means beautiful. I was adopted when I was three and went to live with my mum and sister in the Netherlands. My mother said she could not think of a more perfect name and she thought it was important to keep a reference to my Chinese roots.
At the time I was born in China, the government enforced a one child policy on families. You were extremely unlucky if you had a child with albinism. Some children, like me, were abandoned, others were locked away or if they did go to school their hair was painted black.
‘Spirit Of Forgiveness’
Republican Senator Roger Marshall (R-Lock Him Up) of Kansas says he is “just so ready to move on” after supporting GOP attempts to reject election results in an effort to install Donald Trump for a second term.
The senator was asked by CNN’s Pamela Brown on Saturday whether he believes his actions have contributed to the ongoing misinformation campaigns surrounding the election results, including an ongoing audit in Arizona hired by the state’s Republican party.
“Republicans continue to believe in the lie that this election, the last election was stolen,” she said. “You voted to toss out millions of votes in Arizona and Pennsylvania. You also joined the Texas lawsuit attempting to throw out votes cast in four states.”
“We’re just so ready to move on,” the senator said on Saturday. “It’s time for this country to heal. It’s time for a spirit of forgiveness to be happening.”
On 2 January, Mr Marshall joined 10 other Republican senators – citing no evidence – who said that they would reject Electoral College results four days later on grounds of “multiple allegations of serious voter fraud.”
Drone Strikes Outside War Zones
The Biden administration has disclosed a set of rules secretly issued by President Donald Trump (R-Lock Him Up) in 2017 for counterterrorism “direct action” operations — like drone strikes and commando raids outside conventional war zones — which the White House has suspended as it weighs whether and how to tighten the guidelines.
While the Biden administration censored some passages, the visible portions show that in the Trump era, commanders in the field were given latitude to make decisions about attacks so long as they fit within broad sets of “operating principles,” including that there should be “near certainty” that civilians “will not be injured or killed in the course of operations.”
At the same time, however, the Trump-era rules were flexible about permitting exceptions to that and other standards, saying that “variations” could be made “where necessary” so long as certain bureaucratic procedures were followed in approving them.
In October, Judge Edgardo Ramos of the Southern District of New York had ordered the government turn over the 11-page document in response to Freedom of Information Act lawsuits filed by The New York Times and by the American Civil Liberties Union. The Biden administration inherited that case and sought a delay but has now complied, providing a copy to both plaintiffs late Friday.
The Biden administration suspended the Trump-era rules on its first day in office and imposed an interim policy of requiring White House approval for proposed strikes outside of the war zones of Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. At the same time, the Biden team began a review of how both Obama- and Trump-era policies had worked — both on paper and in practice — with an eye toward developing its own policy.
'Too Much Propaganda'
A Pennsylvania man who used his dead mother's name to vote for former President Donald Trump in last year's presidential election blamed "too much propaganda."
Bruce Bartman on Friday plead guilty to one count of unlawful voting and two counts of perjury, according to the Associated Press. The 70-year-old was sentenced to five years probation. He is also barred from voting for four years and he can't serve on a jury, the report said.
"I was isolated last year in lockdown," Bartman said in Delaware County Common Pleas Court, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer."I listened to too much propaganda and made a stupid mistake."
Bartman was accused of registering his deceased mother and mother-in-law on Pennsylvania online voter registration portal last August. He successfully cast a ballot in his mother's name to vote for Trump and other Republicans, Insider's Jacob Shamsian previously reported.
In an interview with Insider in December, Stretton said his client thought he was participating in "civil disobedience" by illegally voting on behalf of his mother.
Wildlife Lover/Bloodiest Poacher
The California department of fish and wildlife relies on an intricate network of citizen-informants to help do its job. The agency’s secret tip line is a critical tool in the fight against wildlife crimes because, in more rural areas of the state, a single wildlife officer can be responsible for thousands of miles of territory.
Todd Kinnard is one such officer – tasked with overseeing agency operations across the expansive Lassen county, five hours north-east of San Francisco by car. He was on duty when an anonymous tip came in that someone in the county was shooting raptors, birds of prey such as red-tailed and ferruginous hawks.
Kinnard took the tip with a grain of salt. In Lassen county, it is not unheard of for neighbors to weaponize the department’s anonymous tip line against one another out of spite. Because something as seemingly innocuous as taking one too many fish from a local pond can result in substantial government fines, grazing-rights or property-line disputes can quickly mushroom-cloud into frenzies of sometimes bogus, sometimes legitimate, tit-for-tat poaching complaints.
Kinnard drove out to the site of the alleged raptor killings to carry out a preliminary, informal knock-and-talk inquiry. It was a large-tract property, roughly 80 acres, in the unincorporated town of Standish. The property sat perched on the banks of the Susan River, a few miles east of the county seat, Susanville. The owners, Richard Parker and his wife, Tonya, were not at home at the time.
But what Kinnard saw upon entering the property was stomach-churning. A cottonwood tree near the Parkers’ home was strung up with grisly ornamentation – several dead raptors, all at varying stages of decomposition. Other bodies were scattered around the tree’s base, approximately a dozen in all.
Snakes are unique animals, with their limbless bodies, flicking tongues and the ability to devour prey whole. They mostly rely on their sense of smell to hunt prey, although they do use sight and sound too. But do snakes have ears?
Yes and no, Sara Ruane, a herpetologist at Rutgers University in New Jersey, told Live Science. Like many reptiles, snakes don't have an external ear structure. However, they do have ear bones in their heads that they use to hear.
Ears are typically made up of three major parts. The outer ear focuses sound on the eardrum, which separates the outer ear from the middle ear. The middle ear contains three bones that transmit sound from the eardrum to the inner ear via vibrations. The inner ear turns these vibrations into nerve impulses that travel to the brain.
Snakes lack both an outer ear and middle ear, according to a 2012 study in the Journal of Experimental Biology. However, they have one middle ear bone that connects the inner ear to the jaw. This enables snakes to hear vibrations, such as a predator creeping closer on the forest floor. However, they're not as proficient at hearing sounds transmitted through the air.
Due to this ear setup, snakes hear only a narrow range of frequencies. They can hear low frequencies but not high frequencies, because those sounds are mostly transmitted through the air. For example, royal pythons are best at hearing frequencies between 80 and160 Hertz, according to the 2012 study. For comparison, the normal human frequency range is 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz, according to "Neuroscience" (Sinauer Associates, Inc. 2001).