BartCop Entertainment


2 April, 2020

(Updated Daily)

[615 days in a row]


Recommended Reading

from Bruce

Dave Jamieson: "Warehouse Workers' New Health Hazard: Frivolous Online Orders" (Huffington Post)
Retailers see e-commerce as a way to survive the coronavirus pandemic. Their warehouse workers wonder if they'll survive it, too.

Sam Levine: Trump says Republicans would 'never' be elected again if it was easier to vote (The Guardian)
President dismissed Democratic-led push for voter reforms amid coronavirus pandemic during Fox & Friends appearance.

Alison Flood: Michael Rosen 'very poorly but stable' after night in intensive care (The Guardian)
Well-wishers send messages to the former children's laureate, whose book We're Going on a Bear Hunt has inspired a global teddy bear hunt for children in lockdown.

Priya Elan: "Locks down: buzzcuts become the coronavirus craze du jour" (The Guardian)
With barbers closed, actors and footballers have resorted to shaving off their hair - but experts warn it isn't for everyone.

Paul Krugman: This Land of Denial and Death (NY Times Column)
Covid-19 and the dark side of American exceptionalism.

Hayley Miller: "Republican Governor Slaps Down Trump Testing Claim: 'That's Just Not True'" (Huffington Post)
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said there remains a shortage of tests, personal protective equipment and ventilators in every state.

Hadley Freeman: Billionaires, please back off - we can't all self-isolate on a giant yacht (The Guardian)
David Geffen and the world's second-home owners need to stop with their social media smugness. Not everyone can ride out the crisis like them.

Arwa Mahdawi: The coronavirus crisis has exposed the ugly truth about celebrity culture and capitalism (The Guardian)
The rich and famous are desperate to prove we are all in this together - in fact, the outbreak has highlighted just how false that is.

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Michael Egan

Michael Egan


Mike Pence Plans Gigantic National Exorcism to Combat Coronavirus - Michael Egan, Humor Times

Editorial and Political Cartoons


Throwback Thursday Trivia Question of the Day

Inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2000, this plaything is governed by Hooke's law and the effects of gravitational potential. By what name is this toy more commonly known?


Send your answer to Marty

Trivia Question from Yesterday

Blue Öyster Cult's highest chart success, this song was memorialized in the April 2000 Saturday Night Live comedy sketch "More Cowbell". What is the title of this song?

       (Don't Fear) The Reaper                                                      Source

"(Don't Fear) The Reaper" is a song by American rock band Blue Öyster Cult from the band's 1976 album Agents of Fortune. The song, written and sung by lead guitarist Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser, deals with eternal love and the inevitability of death. Dharma wrote the song while picturing an early death for himself.

The song was memorialized in the April 2000 Saturday Night Live comedy sketch "More Cowbell". The six-minute sketch presents a fictionalized version of the recording of "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" on an episode of VH1's Behind the Music. Will Ferrell wrote the sketch and played Gene Frenkle, an overweight cowbell player. "Legendary" producer Bruce Dickinson, played by Christopher Walken, asked Frenkle to "really explore the studio space" and up the ante on his cowbell playing. The rest of the band are visibly annoyed by Frenkle, but Dickinson tells everyone, "I got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell!" Buck Dharma said that the sketch was fantastic and he never gets tired of it but also lamented that it made the song lose its 'creepy' vibe for some time.

Stephen King cited the song as the inspiration for his novel The Stand, and its lyrics are quoted at the beginning of the novel. It also appears as the opening theme song for the TV miniseries based on the novel.        Source

"More Cowbell" is a comedy sketch that aired on Saturday Night Live on April 8, 2000. The sketch is presented as an episode of VH1's documentary series Behind the Music that fictionalizes the recording of the song "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" by Blue Öyster Cult. The sketch featured guest host Christopher Walken as music producer "The Bruce Dickinson", and regular cast member Will Ferrell, who wrote the sketch with playwright Donnell Campbell, as fictional cowbell player Gene Frenkle, whose overzealous playing annoys his bandmates but pleases producer Dickinson. The sketch also starred Chris Parnell as Eric Bloom, Jimmy Fallon as Albert Bouchard, Chris Kattan as Buck Dharma and Horatio Sanz as Joe Bouchard.

The sketch is often considered one of the greatest SNL sketches ever made, and in many "best of" lists regarding SNL sketches, it is often placed in the top ten, being ranked number nine by Rolling Stone. As a result of its popularity, "more cowbell" became an American pop culture catchphrase.        Source

Blue Oyster Cult - (Don't Fear) The Reaper (Official Audio)

More Cowbell - SNL

Mark. was first, and correct, with:
   (Don't Fear) The Reaper.

Randall wrote:
   Don't Fear the Reaper

Stephen F said:
   Don't Fear the Reaper

Alan J answered:
   (Don't Fear) The Reaper.

mj replied:
   One of my favorite songs
  Don't Fear the Reaper.

zorch responded:
   (Don't Fear) The Reaper

Mac Mac said:
   (Don't Fear) The Reaper

Jacqueline wrote:
   (Dont fear) The Reaper. One of the most hilarious skits on SNL. It resonates in these times. I play it alot on my way to work .

Adam answered:
   (Don't Fear) The Reaper

Cal in Vermont replied:
   (Don't Fear) The Reaper

Dave responded:
   Don't Fear the Reaper. Blue Oyster Cult can't get no respect. The band still tours and has been active since 1967, and has sold 25 million albums (mostly prior to 1986). But the hard rockers can't get into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, even though the hall has (absurdly) honored such non-rockers as Janet Jackson and Whitney Huston. As far as the SNL skit, 2 decades after the show aired, Christopher Walken is so sick of strangers yelling "It needs more cowbell" at him, he told sketch writer/cast member Will Ferrell, "You ruined my life."
  Photos: Don't Fear the Reaper was on the Agents of Fortune album (1976) | Extraterrestrial Live (1982) was a highly regarded live album that has typically bizarre cover art | SNL players during the More Cowbell sketch | the real BOC in the '70s.

Jon L said:
   Is it Don't Fear the Reaper?

Jim from CA, retired to ID, wrote:
   Don't Fear The Reaper

Harry M. answered:
   Don't Fear the Reaper

Deborah responded:
   I'm going with "Don't Fear the Reaper," and I'm prepared to be wrong. I've been listening to BOC since the 70s and they've had a number of hits, and I may be confused. I barely know what day it is. But I have plenty of TP, so it's as good as it's gonna get.
  Stay safe, people.

John I from Hawai`i says,
   Don't Fear the Reaper

Rosemary in Columbus replied:
   Don't Fear the Reaper

DJ Useo wrote:
   The answer, I believe. is "( Don't Fear ) The Reaper". A funny skit, somehow. & I love that song, & BOC, in general.
  Also, I have the acapella & it's great for mashing. It fits with just about everything. Here's one I did you may like -
  konrad useo - Love Rocket Reaper ( Blue Oyster Cult vs Donna Summer vs Suicide ) | SowndHaus

Daniel in The City said:
   (Don't Fear) the Reaper

Barbara, of Peppy Tech fame took the day off.
Saskplanner took the day off.
Billy in Cypress U$A took the day off.
Kevin K. in Washington, DC, took the day off.
Roy, the Snowflake Libtard, self-isolating in Tyler, TX took the day off.
David of Moon Valley took the day off.
Joe ( -- Vote Blue, No Matter Who -- ) took the day off.
Doug in Albuquerque took the day off.
Michelle in AZ took the day off.
Kenn B took the day off.
Dave in Tucson took the day off.
Micki took the day off.
Ed K took the day off.
Steve in Wonderful Sacramento, CA, took the day off.
Gary K took the day off.
Leo in Boise took the day off.
PGW. 94087 took the day off.
MarilynofTC took the day off.
George M. took the day off.
Gateway Mike took the day off.
Paul of Seattle took the day off.
Peter W took the day off.
Brian S. took the day off.
Gene took the day off.
Tony K. took the day off.
Noel S. took the day off.
James of Alhambra took the day off.

BttbBob   has returned to semi-retired status.

  April 2 Birthdays - Celebrities Born April 2 | Famous Birthdays

Sally has retired.

MAM     In memory.




Middle Class Political Economist



Reader Suggestion

Michelle in AZ

You Know, I Don't Think This Trump Fellow Is Going to Work Out

Columbia Sportswear Co. CEO reduces salary to $10K to avoid layoffs, pay employees during pandemic

Will the coronavirus kill the oil industry and help save the climate? | Environment | The Guardian

Renewable Wednesday: Heartland Grifters Grifted from Within

Meet the conservative legal scholar who impressed Team Trump with his brand-new virus theory

Megachurch pastors defy coronavirus pandemic, insisting on right to worship - Los Angeles Times

Don't Nag Your Husband During Lockdown, Malaysia's Government Advises Women : NPR

Trump's Coronavirus Claim Is His Biggest Lie Yet - And It Could Be Working | HuffPost

Opinion | Fox's Fake News Contagion - The New York Times

Obamacare Markets Will Not Reopen, Trump Decides - The New York Times

When All the Zingers Were Fit to Print - The New York Times
     "Sprots" indeed

BBC - Culture - The Golden Girls: The most treasured TV show ever

Republicans were warned. Yet, they persisted - in enabling Trump's coronavirus debacle. - The Washington Post

Exclusive: The Military Knew Years Ago That a Coronavirus Was Coming | The Nation

CNN, MSNBC Cut Off Trump's Wednesday Coronavirus Briefing

Sean Hannity Melts Down Over Kara Swisher's NY Times Column
     Pass the popcorn

This Coronavirus Lockdown May Just Be the First of Several

Jazz patriarch Ellis Marsalis dead at 85

Arizona mayors slam COVID-19 stay-at-home order that allows hair salons, golf courses to remain open

Tracking the development of coronavirus treatments

Pennsylvania county facing the coronavirus crisis without a health department

The Emperor's nakedness has turned deadly. Where are the mass calls for resignation?

Praise the Lord and Pass the Coronavirus: Kentucky Revival Meeting Infected 28 and Killed Two.

Brainwashed by Fox, some Americans are put at risk. Gaslighting has become a pyrotechnic show


Trump doesn't care about the dead. He only cares if they selfishly cost him his reelection

Thanks, Michelle!



New Venture

Michael Egan

A Cartoon Page for Non-Cartoonists

Michael Egan

Editorial and Political Cartoons



Reader Comment


In cast you haven't seen this one yet. . .


Thanks, Barb!



from Bruce



• Adelina Patti was a very popular prima donna of the late 1880s. While on an American tour, Ms. Patti was introduced to the Governor of Missouri, General Crittenden, who was so overwhelmed at meeting her that he gave her a kiss - quite a liberty in those days. Ms. Patti later told reporters that she did not object to the kiss, seeing as how the General was "such a nice old gentleman." Ms. Patti's leading rival, Etelka Gerster, also told reporters that she saw nothing to object to in the General's kissing Ms. Patti, saying, "There is nothing wrong in a man kissing a woman old enough to be his mother."

• Singer Emma Abbott was very popular around the beginning of the 20th century. Very religious, Ms. Abbott always attended church in whatever town or city she was singing. At a church in Nashville, Tennessee, the minister began to preach a sermon on the evil of show business. That made Ms. Abbott so angry that she stood up in church and denounced the minister, pointing out that many women in show business led lives as irreproachable as those of any wife in the congregation.

• Violinist Fritz Kreisler was once asked by a snooty society lady to play at one of her affairs. Mr. Kreisler replied that his fee would be $3,000. The society lady agreed to the price, but told him that he must not mingle with the guests. "In that case," Mr. Kreisler said, "my fee will be $2,000."


• African-American diva Marian Anderson was capable of true humility. Some people regarded her use of third-person pronouns to refer to herself - "We felt we sang well" - as affected, but she disliked "I" and "me" because she felt their use implied vanity. Once, New York vocal coach Lola Hayes rode the Eighth Avenue subway on her way to a Marian Anderson concert at Town Hall; at a stop, she saw a woman who looked like Ms. Anderson board the subway. When they both got off at Town Hall, she asked, "Miss Anderson?" It was she. Today, it's difficult to imagine any music superstar taking the subway.

• Latin singer Mark Anthony revolutionized salsa music with his album Todo a Su Tiempo ("Everything in Its Time"), which merged Latin dance rhythms with 1990s pop, yet early in his music career he had trouble giving interviews to members of the Spanish-speaking media. Having been raised in New York City, Mr. Anthony was not fluent in Spanish, and therefore he had to take Spanish lessons in order to be prepared to give interviews in that language after his albums became huge sellers in Latin American countries.

• Music can transcend cultures. Salsa music is a blend of many musical styles, including Spanish guitar, African rhythms, and North American rock, jazz, and rhythm and blues. Nevertheless, in Japan is a salsa band called Orquesta De La Luz. Its members speak Japanese, not Spanish, but sing the Spanish lyrics phonetically. People who know salsa music say that the music of Orquesta De La Luz sounds like real salsa.

• Opera singer Geraldine Farrar was imperfect in French early in her career. During her first trip to France, she and her mother went to a small family hotel in Boulogne, where Geraldine - speaking stammering French - told the landlady what they needed and what they were willing to pay. The landlady - speaking perfect English - replied, "If you will only tell me in English, I can understand you better."

© Copyright Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved

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Bonus Links

Jeannie the Teed-Off Temp

LA Times' Billionaire Owner Buys a Hospital. Next Day, CA Supreme Court Tosses My Case. | Ted Rall

Not an April Fool: This humiliating failure is actually our president during a national crisis | Salon | Digby

Pence, in Craziest Lie Yet, Denies Trump Ever Downplayed the Coronavirus | NY Mag

Pence Confronted by CNN for Claim That Trump Never 'Belittled' Coronavirus Threat | Daily Beast

This Researcher Wrote the Book on Presidential Failure. She's Never See Anything like Trump's | Smirking Chimp

Trump finds the presidency distracting | Digby

"The Campaign Panicked": Inside Trump's Decision to Back Off of His Easter Coronavirus Miracle | Vanity Fair

The Trump coronavirus task force's new stance should bury it in shame | AlterNet

Why America is scared and confused: Even the experts are getting it wrong | Politico

'Exposes Fox News to potential legal action': 11 times Fox lied to viewers about coronavirus threat | Front Page Live

How to Prepare for the Trump Recession | Robert Reich

McConnell Rewrites History to Blame Massive Fail on Coronavirus on (Checks Notes) Impeachment | Smirking Chimp

Sen. Kelly Loeffler sold at least $18 million more in stocks before the coronavirus crash than previously reported | Vox

Sean Hannity Absolutely Melts Down Over Kara Swisher's NY Times Column | Daily Beast

Coast Guard Directs Cruise Ships To Remain At Sea 'Indefinitely' | TPM

Trump-Connected Lobby Shop Gets Laundry Machine Company Deemed 'Essential' | Daily Beast

Desperate lawmakers hunt for medical supplies as Trump takes hands-off approach | Politico

Republicans Could Kill Obamacare In The Middle Of Coronavirus Recovery | Vanity Fair

Trump rejects Obamacare special enrollment period amid pandemic | Politico

Trump's Clean Car Standards Rollback Is Based on Too Many Lies to Count | Slate

States overwhelmed by previously unimaginable layoff numbers | Politico

Man Charged With Intentionally Derailing Train Near Hospital Ship At LA's Port | LAist

Scoop: Netanyahu shared fake video as proof of Iranian virus cover-up | Axios

How Late-Night TV Is Adapting to the Social-Distancing Era | Slate

Fountains of Wayne's Adam Schlesinger Dead at 52 From Coronavirus

"Stay The Fuck At Home" by Samuel L. Jackson | YouTube





Selected Readings

from that Mad Cat, JD

JD is on vacation.


In The Chaos Household

Last Night

Sunny and seasonal.

Tonight, Thursday:

CBS opens the night with a FRESH 'Young Sheldon', followed by a FRESH 'Man With A Plan', then a FRESH 'Mom', followed by a FRESH 'Broke', then a FRESH 'Tommy'.
Scheduled on a FRESH Stephen Colbert is Alicia Keys.
On a RERUN James Corden, OBE, (from 2/26/20) are Cedric the Entertainer, Dave Bautista, and Princess Nokia.

NBC begins the night with a FRESH 'Superstore', followed by a FRESH 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine', then a RERUN 'Will & Grace', followed by a FRESH 'Indebted', then a FRESH 'L&O: SVU'.
Scheduled on a FRESH Jimmy Fallon are Adam Sandler and Hot Country Knights.
Scheduled on a FRESH Seth Meyers is Amy Poehler.
Scheduled on a FRESH Lilly Singh are Aisha Tyler and Rob Huebel.

ABC starts the night with a FRESH 'Station 19', followed by a FRESH 'Grey's Anatomy', then a FRESH 'How To Get Away With Murder'.
Scheduled on a FRESH Jimmy Kimmel are Jennifer Aniston and Grouplove.

The CW offers a RERUN 'Katy Keene', followed by a RERUN 'Legacies'.

Faux has a FRESH 'Last Man Standing', followed by a RERUN 'Last Man Standing', then a RERUN 'Mental Samurai'.

MY recycles an old 'L&O: CI', followed by another old 'L&O: CI'.

A&E has 'The First 48', followed by a FRESH 'The First 48', then a FRESH 'Live PD: Wanted', followed by a FRESH '60 Days In'.

AMC offers the movie 'Jumanji', followed by the movie 'Major League', then the movie 'Footloose'.

BBC  -   
 [6:00AM]   STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - The Measure of a Man
 [10:00AM]   STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - Time Squared
 [11:00AM]   STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - The Icarus Factor
 [2:00PM]   STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - Samaritan Snare
 [3:00PM]   STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - Up the Long Ladder
 [6:00PM]   STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - Peak Performance
 [7:00PM]   STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - Shades of Gray

Bravo has 'Real Housewives Of NYC', another 'Real Housewives Of NYC', followed by a FRESH 'Real Housewives Of NYC', then a FRESH 'Top Chef', followed by a FRESH 'Watch What Happens: Live'.

Comedy Central has all old 'The Office' all night.
Scheduled on a FRESH The Daily Show it's The Daily Social Distancing Show with Trevor Noah.
Lights Out with David Spade is pre-empted.

FX has the movie 'X-Men: Apocalypse', followed by a FRESH 'Better Things', and 'Breeders'.

History has 'Swamp People', another 'Swamp People', followed by a FRESH 'Swamp People', then a FRESH 'Swamp People: Serpent Invasion'.

IFC  -   
 [6:45A]   Bad News Bears
 [9:45A]   Up in Smoke
 [11:45A]   Hot Tub Time Machine
 [2:00P]   That '70s Show
 [2:30P]   That '70s Show
 [3:00P]   That '70s Show
 [3:30P]   That '70s Show
 [4:00P]   That '70s Show
 [4:30P]   That '70s Show
 [5:00P]   That '70s Show
 [5:30P]   That '70s Show
 [6:00P]   That '70s Show
 [6:30P]   That '70s Show
 [7:00P]   Two and a Half Men
 [7:30P]   Two and a Half Men
 [8:00P]   Two and a Half Men
 [8:30P]   Two and a Half Men
 [9:00P]   Two and a Half Men
 [9:30P]   Two and a Half Men
 [10:00P]   Two and a Half Men
 [10:30P]   Two and a Half Men
 [11:00P]   Two and a Half Men
 [11:30P]   Two and a Half Men
 [12:00A]   That '70s Show
 [12:30A]   That '70s Show
 [1:00A]   That '70s Show
 [1:30A]   That '70s Show
 [2:00A]   That '70s Show
 [2:30A]   That '70s Show
 [3:00A]   That '70s Show
 [3:30A]   That '70s Show
 [4:00A]   That '70s Show
 [4:30A]   That '70s Show
 [5:00A]   That '70s Show
 [5:30A]   Brockmire - Low and Away    (ALL TIMES EST)

Sundance  -   
 [6:00am]   The Andy Griffith Show
 [6:30am]   The Andy Griffith Show
 [7:00am]   The Andy Griffith Show
 [7:30am]   The Andy Griffith Show
 [8:00am]   The Andy Griffith Show
 [8:30am]   The Andy Griffith Show
 [9:00am]   The Andy Griffith Show
 [9:30am]   The Andy Griffith Show
 [10:00am]   Urban Cowboy
 [1:00pm]   Law & Order
 [2:00pm]   Law & Order
 [3:00pm]   Law & Order
 [4:00pm]   Law & Order
 [5:00pm]   Law & Order
 [6:00pm]   Law & Order
 [7:00pm]   Law & Order
 [8:00pm]   Law & Order
 [9:00pm]   Law & Order
 [10:00pm]   Law & Order
 [11:00pm]   Law & Order
 [12:00am]   Law & Order
 [1:00am]   Law & Order
 [2:00am]   The Preppy Murder: Death in Central Park - Parts 1 & 2: Woman Down In Central Park; Rough Sex
 [4:00am]   The Andy Griffith Show
 [4:30am]   The Andy Griffith Show
 [5:00am]   The Andy Griffith Show
 [5:30am]   The Andy Griffith Show    (ALL TIMES EST)

SyFy has the movie 'The Goonies', followed by the movie 'Pitch Black', then the movie 'John Wick'.

Scheduled on a FRESH Conan is Sean Hayes.

 [6:00 AM]      A Damsel in Distress (1937)
 [7:45 AM]      The Man who Found Himself (1937)
 [9:00 AM]      You Can't Beat Love (1937)
 [10:15 AM]      You Can't Buy Luck (1937)
 [11:30 AM]      You Can't Escape Forever (1942)
 [1:00 PM]      You Can't Buy Everything (1934)
 [2:30 PM]      You Can't Get Away with Murder (1939)
 [4:00 PM]      You Can't Fool Your Wife (1940)
 [5:15 PM]      You Can't Take It With You (1938)
 [7:30 PM]      You Can't Fool a Camera (1941)
 [7:45 PM]      You Can't Win (1948)
 [8:00 PM]      The Panic in Needle Park (1971)
 [10:00 PM]      The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974)
 [12:00 AM]      Klute (1971)
 [2:15 AM]      Fingers (1978)
 [4:00 AM]      Report to the Commissioner (1975)    (ALL TIMES EST)

Friday   -  04/03/20

 [6:00 AM]      Emma (1932) [ *Pre-Hayes Code* ]
 [7:30 AM]      It All Came True (1940)
 [9:15 AM]      Captain Hurricane (1935)
 [10:30 AM]      Panama Flo (1932) [ *Pre-Hayes Code* ]
 [12:00 PM]      The Courtship of Eddie's Father (1963)
 [2:15 PM]      Make Your Own Bed (1944)
 [3:45 PM]      The Girl Downstairs (1938)
 [5:15 PM]      Personal Maid's Secret (1935)
 [6:30 PM]      The Man with a Cloak (1951)
 [8:00 PM]      Baby Boom (1987)
 [10:00 PM]      Bachelor Mother (1939)
 [11:45 PM]      Father Is a Bachelor (1950)
 [1:30 AM]      So You're Going to Be a Father (1947)
 [1:45 AM]      Calling All Pa's (1942)
 [2:00 AM]      Cover Me Babe (1970)
 [3:45 AM]      Jennifer on My Mind (1971)
 [5:30 AM]      Distant Drummer: The Flowers of Darkness (1972)    (ALL TIMES EST)

Antenna TV - Johnny Carson (from 04/02/92) - Craig T. Nelson, Michael Crawford, and Bob Costas.

Bounce TV



Comet TV

Cozi TV


Decades TV Network


Find Justice - Justice Network

FNX - First Nations Experience

Get TV

Grit - Television With Backbone - Grit

Heroes and Icons

ION Television - Positively Entertaining

Laff - You Know You Want To. - Laff


MOVIES! TV Network

Quest Television Network

RTV - The Retro Television Network

Start TV

TBD - Schedule

the works

This TV

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Or reviews?   Marty

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The Sideshow - by Avedon Carol


Previously Unseen Duet

Stephen Colbert

On the latest at-home episode of The Late Show, Stephen Colbert paid tribute to his friend John Prine, who is currently hospitalized due to complications with the coronavirus. The late-night host shared a previously unaired performance from 2016, where he joined Prine for a duet of "That's the Way the World Goes Round."

"I'd like to take a moment right now to send out a personal message to a friend," Colbert said. "Last week, our friend - and yours - the musical great John Prine was placed on a ventilator with coronavirus symptoms. My thoughts are with John and his wife, Fiona, and his family. And everybody out there touched by this virus."

He added, "I'd like to share with you right now one of the happiest moments I've had on my show or any show. And that's when John and I sang a duet in 2016 that we never broadcast, but we'd like to now."

In the clip, filmed in the Ed Sullivan Theater, Colbert asks to duet with Prine and then notes: "We'll probably do this for the internet. Unless, you know, something terrible happens and we have to cheer up the world on the TV show."

Stephen Colbert



San Francisco Raided Reporter

Bryan Carmody

San Francisco will pay $369,000 to a freelance journalist who whose home and office were raided by police trying to find the confidential source of a leaked report into the death of the city's former public defender.

The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved the payout to Bryan Carmody, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

"This was a shame to the city and county of San Francisco, and I am delighted that we are settling this case," Supervisor Aaron Peskin said. "And I hope that we never in this town, ever again, suppress the rights of the free press."

Carmody filed a claim against the city and county of San Francisco last August after the widely condemned May 2019 raids in which Carmody was handcuffed and police seized computers, cameras and phones. Five different San Francisco judges authorized the searches, despite a California shield law that specifically protects journalists from such searches.

San Francisco police chief William Scott initially defended the searches, saying that Carmody had "crossed the line" and conspired with police employees to steal the report. Days later, he acknowledged the searches were probably illegal and apologized.

Bryan Carmody


Newhead News


'Starry Night' Replica

Peacock Spider

Peacock spiders (genus Maratus) are known for their luminous badonkadonks, which males use to dazzle potential mates through sexy spider courtship dances. Scientists have discovered 85 species of peacock spiders since the late 1800s, each arachnid decked out in a unique pattern of iridescent scales that some researchers have labeled "the world's smallest rainbows."

Now, an entomologist with Museums Victoria in Australia has described seven brand new species of peacock spiders, thanks largely to crowd-sourced photos sent in from citizen scientists across the continent. (All but one Maratus spider lives in Australia; the outlier was discovered in China). Included among the new species is the looker shown in the photo above - Maratus constellatus, which entomologist Joseph Schubert named in honor of the twinkling blue-and-yellow heavens in Vincent Van Gogh's iconic painting "The Starry Night."

M. constellatus and his six fellow additions to the peacock spider family - named M. azureus, M. laurenae, M. noggerup, M. suae, M. volpei and M. inaquosus - are described in a study published March 27 in the journal Zootaxa. You can take a look at the whole shimming crew in the gallery below.

Peacock Spider




South Pole

Once upon a time, there was a swampy rainforest near the bottom of the world.

Buried sediment extracted from the seafloor off West Antarctica contains ancient pollen, fossilized roots and other chemical evidence of a diverse forest that flourished millions of years ago, less than a thousand kilometers from the South Pole.

The sediment offers the southernmost glimpse yet into just how warm Earth was during the mid-Cretaceous Period, between 92 million and 83 million years ago. By analyzing traces of vegetation in the sediment, researchers reconstructed climate conditions at the site. Average annual temperatures in the forest were about 13° Celsius, with summertime temperatures reaching as high as 20° or 25° C, the team reports in the April 2 Nature.

But for a forest to thrive so far south, even more potent greenhouse conditions must have existed than previously thought, with atmospheric carbon dioxide levels between 1,120 and 1,680 ppm, says marine geologist Johann Klages.

South Pole


Digby's Hullabaloo



Port of Los Angeles

Prosecutors charged a locomotive engineer who worked at the Port of Los Angeles with intentionally derailing a train at full speed near the US Navy Hospital Ship Mercy because of suspicions over it and activities surrounding COVID-19, according to a federal criminal complaint.

Eduardo Moreno, 44, of San Pedro was charged with one count under little known Federal statute of train wrecking in connection which carries a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in with the incident which took place Tuesday, according to the 10-page criminal complaint unsealed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

After he was arrested, Moreno was held overnight and subsequently turned over to FBI agents Wednesday morning. Moreno is expected to make an initial appearance in federal court Wednesday afternoon. Prosecutors allege Moreno ran the train off the end of tracks, and crashed through a series of barriers before coming to rest more than 250 yards from the Mercy in an incident that was captured on video.

Although, the train leaked fuel oil, which required clean up by fire and other hazardous materials personnel, no one was hurt in the incident. A CHP officer who witnessed the crash and took Moreno into custody told authorities he saw the train is used to haul shipping cargo smash through a barrier at the end of the tracks before driving through several obstacles including a steel barrier, chain-link fence, slide through a parking lot, slide across another lot filled with gravel, and smash into a second chain-link fence," according to the affidavit.

Moreno, who waived his right to speak to an attorney before being interviewed by investigators, admitted in two post-arrest interviews, that he intentionally ran the train off the track because wanted to bring attention to the government's activities regarding COVID-19, and was suspicious of the U.S.N.S. Mercy.

Port of Los Angeles



Abandons Hostile Bid For HP


U.S. printer maker Xerox Holdings Corp walked away from its $35 billion hostile cash-and-stock bid for HP Inc on Tuesday, after the coronavirus outbreak weighed on its campaign to take over the PC and printing equipment manufacturer.

Xerox's decision came after it said earlier this month it would postpone meetings with HP shareholders to focus on coping with the coronavirus pandemic.

It represents a victory for HP CEO Enrique Lores, who faced a takeover battle as soon as he took over the reins of the Palo Alto, California-based company in November, and a defeat for Xerox CEO John Visentin, a former Hewlett-Packard and IBM Corp executive with ties to the private equity industry who took over as Xerox CEO in 2018.

It is also a blow for billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who owns big stakes in both companies and had pushed for their merger.




African 'Ghost' Population

Broken Hill Skull

A mysterious but well-preserved hominid skull found nearly a century ago comes from a population that lived in Africa around 300,000 years ago, as the earliest Homo sapiens were evolving, a new study finds.

This discovery indicates that a separate Homo population, perhaps a species some researchers call H. heidelbergensis (SN: 6/22/19), inhabited Africa at the same time as both H. sapiens and a recently discovered population dubbed H. naledi (SN: 6/10/17), say geochronologist Rainer Grün and his colleagues. African H. heidelbergensis could have been a recently reported "ghost population" (SN: 3/14/20) that interbred with ancient H. sapiens and passed a small amount of DNA to present-day West Africans, the researchers suggest April 1 in Nature.

Researchers have puzzled over the age of the Broken Hill skull since its 1921 discovery in south-central Africa. Metal ore mining at what was then Northern Rhodesia's Broken Hill mine revealed deposits bearing the skull and two associated leg fossils. The site, located in what's now known as Zambia, has been named Kabwe. Previous age estimates for the fossils, based on clues such rodent fossils and stone tools found at the site, have ranged widely from around 500,000 to 125,000 years old.

Because quarrying destroyed the site, sediment that may have yielded fossils can't be dated. Instead, Grün, of Griffith University in Nathan, Australia, and his team dated small samples of bone and teeth from the Broken Hill skull using measures of the radioactive decay of uranium and the accumulation of natural radioactivity from sediment and cosmic rays. Based on these techniques, the team estimates the skull's age at between 324,000 and 276,000 years old.

Broken Hill Skull




Future Astronauts

Early last year, NASA announced an ambitious plan to return American astronauts to the Moon and establish a permanent base there, with an eye toward eventually placing astronauts on Mars. The Artemis Moon Program has its share of critics, including many in the US House of Representatives, who appear to prefer a stronger focus on a crewed mission to Mars. As Ars' Eric Berger reported last August, "NASA stands a very real risk of turning the Artemis Program into a repeat of the Apollo Program-a flags-and-footprints sprint back to the Moon with no follow-through in the form of a lunar base or a sustained presence in deep space."

But if the Artemis Program's ambitious objectives survive the appropriations process, materials science will be crucial to its success, particularly when it comes to the materials needed to construct a viable lunar base. Concrete, for instance, requires a substantial amount of added water in order to be usable in situ, and there is a pronounced short supply of water on the moon. In a new paper in the Journal of Cleaner Production, an international team of scientists suggests that astronauts setting up a base on the moon could use the urea in their urine as a plasticizer to create a concrete-like building material out of lunar soil.

Spiking lunar regolith (the fine powdery soil on the surface of the Moon) with geopolymers could provide a solution. Geopolymers bring several advantages to the concrete mix: they are resistant to fire and have low thermal conductivity, provide radiation shielding, and can withstand the elements of the harsh lunar environment (high amounts of sulfates, for example, as well as attacks from acid and salt). They typically show good freeze/thaw resistance and high compressive strength, too.

3D printing is favored for lunar construction to minimize risks to humans on the Moon during construction, but that layer-by-layer manufacturing approach requires a material that is pliable enough for extrusion, among other desirable properties. On Earth, one could just add extra water, but this is not feasible on the Moon. There are so-called super-plasticizers that would be ideal for this purpose, but there are no naturally occurring super-plasticizers on the Moon either, so this, too, would require expensive transport. (Plasticizers are chemical additives that serve to soften initial concrete mixtures so that they are pliable enough to pour or shape before hardening.)

Future Astronauts






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