Sunday, August 29, 2010

2010 Emmy Awards: What do Americans Find Funny?

Starting back in 1949, the budding television enterprise began to acknowledge "best" products on it's fledgling airwaves. In 1952, these awards formed their first genre based categories: Comedy, Drama, and Variety. Lead Actors and Actresses where also awarded prizes (although the first lead awards in comedy were given in 1951).

So what did we find leading the way of funny shows beginning in 1952? Here's the roster.
1952 ~ The Red Skelton Show (1)
1953 ~ I Love Lucy (1)
1954 ~ I Love Lucy (2)
1955 ~ Make Room For Daddy (1)
1956 ~ The Phil Silvers Show (1)
1957 ~ The Phil Silvers Show (2)
1958 ~ The Phil Silvers Show (3)
1959 ~ The Jack Benny Show (1)
1960 ~ Art Carney Special (1)
1961 ~ The Jack Benny Show (2)
1962 ~ The Bob Newhart Show (1)
1963 ~ The Dick Van Dyke Show (1)
1964 ~ The Dick Van Dyke Show (2)
1965 ~ The Dick Van Dyke Show (3)
1966 ~ The Dick Van Dyke Show (4)
1967 ~ The Monkeys (1)
1968 ~ Get Smart (1)
1969 ~ Get Smart (2)
1970 ~ My World And Welcome To It (1)
1971 ~ All In The Family (1)
1972 ~ All In The Family (2)
1973 ~ All In The Family (3)
1974 ~ M*A*S*H (1)
1975 ~ The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1)
1976 ~ The Mary Tyler Moore Show (2)
1977 ~ The Mary Tyler Moore Show (3)
1978 ~ All In The Family (4)
1979 ~ Taxi (1)
1980 ~ Taxi (2)
1981 ~ Taxi (3)
1982 ~ Barney Miller (1)
1983 ~ Cheers (1)
1984 ~ Cheers (2)
1985 ~ The Cosby Show (1)
1986 ~ The Golden Girls (1)
1987 ~ The Golden Girls (2)
1988 ~ The Wonder Years (1)
1989 ~ Cheers (3)
1990 ~ Murphy Brown (1)
1991 ~ Cheers (4)
1992 ~ Murphy Brown (2)
1993 ~ Seinfeld (1)
1994 ~ Frasier (1)
1995 ~ Frasier (2)
1996 ~ Frasier (3)
1997 ~ Frasier (4)
1998 ~ Frasier (5)
1999 ~ Ally McBeal (1)
2000 ~ Will & Grace (1)
2001 ~ Sex In The City (1)
2002 ~ Friends (1)
2003 ~ Everybody Love Raymond (1)
2004 ~ Arrested Development (1)
2005 ~ Everybody Loves Raymond (2)
2006 ~ The Office (1)
2007 ~ 30 Rock (1)
2008 ~ 30 Rock (2)
2009 ~ 30 Rock (3)
2010 ~ Modern Family

Saturday, August 28, 2010

World Peas

Get it? A world made up of peas, to illustrate World Peas which is a knock off of the phrase World Peace. See. What will they think of next!? I mean the kids, right? They are so dog gone clever....

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thursday Sermon

"The scribes and pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery, and making her stand forward they said to him, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now Moses has commanded us in the Law to stone such creatures; but what do you say?" ~ The Gospel according to St. John, Chapter 8: verses 3-5

So begins one of the most familiar stories in the New Testament. And we know exactly what Jesus thinks, "Let the innocent among you, through the first stone at her." Now it should be said that Biblical scholars recognize that the portion of the Gospel of St. John that encompasses the first 11 verses of chapter 8 are an addition to the original text from an unknown source and post-date the majority of the rest of gospel by a significant number of years. In other words, the story is like a post-a-note on the original manuscript. And how depressing is that? One of the greatest stories in all of the Gospels came from some else and was added later.

And yet how deliciously ironic! A sort of, "let whatever story that demonstrates the heart of Christ more redact out these 11 verses first!" eh?

There is no clearer illustration of the essential prominence of humility in Christ's teaching; a refutation of all of the judgmental things that one finds in the Old Testament and the Letters of Saul of Tarsus in the New Testament. After all, who get's the last word in all of this? Moses? Paul? or Jesus?

To this allow me the audacity to place same-sex marriage. Show me the evidence that demonstrates that opposite sex weddings are without their difficulties? So how is it that anyone can uphold such a flawed and challenging concept as marriage as being uniquely suited to only one type of pairing? It would seem to me that every union that attempts to achieve stability and bliss in this way ought to cause every other union of similar confession and intent to rejoice.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Art I'm Seeing #53: The Murals of Philadelphia

National Public Radio (NPR) had a wonderful story on the wall murals of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. There are cities to go to to visit their museums, Philadelphia is a sort of museum writ large all unto itself. Even a casual visit and you'll see them from the expressways if all you're doing to passing through. But really don't. Pull off and explore, you won't be disappointed.

I don't know how many their actually are, but I would guess 500 to 1,000. Every city in America should be so adorned.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

2010 Midterms: FL-Senate

Marco Rubio is a politician that I do not like.

Simple Sunday Dinner

Open faced English muffins with a side of sauteed spinach.

Take a multi-grain Thomas' English muffin and add in this order, honey mustard, avocado slices, prosciutto, grated sharp cheddar cheese. Place in toaster oven (or conventional oven set to 450˚) for approximately 3 minutes to melt the toast and toast the prosciutto. You can nix the prosciutto for a vegan option, but if you do I recommend adding freshly ground black pepper on the avocado before the cheese.

The spinach is just baby spinach in a bag washed and tossed into a skillet with hot olive oil, chopped garlic, and kosher salt. Let the water that is on the leaves when you washed the spinach enter the skillet, too. Not extra water, just the water on the leaves even if they're dripping when you transfer them. Toss all of it in the skillet and then once mixed, cover and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes. After 2 minutes flop the cooked spinach on the bottom over with the leaves still on the top. Remove from the heat and squeeze the juice of a fresh lemon over the whole. Serve immediately. i.e. don't leave it in the skillet to cook longer, you don't want to eat mush.

Be Still My Sacred Heart

Finally! A Sacred Heart of Jesus that even I can believe in! Nicked from Jesus Silverlake's FB page, a real faith giver!

Today's Sermon #33

ballet dancer Li Cunxin in 1986 when he was dancing with the Houston Ballet

That gorgeous kite
from the beggar's shack.

~ Kobayashi Issa 1763-1827

The Planet IS Melting

The questions are: 1) What are we gonna do about it? AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, 2) What can we do about it?

The bottom picture shows the difference in the glacier on the northern edge of Greenland. It shows how on August 10th, satellite images discovered this now free floating berg of ice with a surface area of 271 sq. Kilometers. It's about 250 miles long and 120 mile wide. 250 miles is approximately the distance between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

Chances of this floating island ever reaching open sea is very slim...which is to say that it will need to become very slim before it will leave it's present fjord enclosure.

With all of this melting, when will the oceans actually start to rise?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Wall Of Stuff

Introducing Charlie, a gosh darn cute ginger boy. And who hasn't had to move a wall? Enjoy!

What I'm Watching #248

"Mr. Right" is a lovely ensemble flick from Britain. It's the story of a cadre of friends, mostly gay, and their season of living queerly. There's bitchy and there's tender, there's lies, and there's grace, and there's no resolution, just stuff on stuff. It's really like life, except you'll like the hearts of the characters presented here even if you disagree with their actions or choices. Nice film.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What's Wrong....

with this picture? Where to begin.....

This is the home of my neighbors. We live in Takoma Park, Maryland. Takoma Park is both an azalea city, and a tree city. We love trees, we love azaleas. We just love!

So back to the photograph that I snapped this afternoon. The home belongs to my neighbors. It's a crime scene. The victim is the power...Monsieur Electricity ~ he's dead. And why? This is the question any good detective asks, non?

Let us begin with the witness interview. I was watching the closing segments of a Law & Order episode on TNT network on my HDTV when suddenly an explosion reverberated though my home and everything went dark and silent. The power, it was dead. I know this, because it has been killed three times in the past month, but before it was assassinated in the midst of power storms. This day, it was simple snuffed out without any apparent cause. Ergo, I began my investigation.

I instinctively drove to the bottom of the hill in my neighborhood, because I have long eyed with suspicion exhibit A. The ancient tree that has grown over my neighbor's home. It is a veritable Sword of Damocles without all of the mythological meaning the metaphor implies. It's just one hulking tree waiting to vivisect one humble home!

All of this pretense aside, here's where things get really ugly. The rain apparently loosened the soil just enough to cause tree "A" to sag into tree "B" just enough to snap one of it's boughs "C", which crossed the live wires and initiated the transformer box explosion and power outage in the neighborhood. Can you say warning shot? Clearly tree "A" only has more havoc in it's future.

So I asked the owner of the house about this. Apparently all of their concern about the tree has fallen upon the deaf ears of the Takoma Park arborist. An paid employee with the only and last word upon the fate of trees in Takoma Park.

The home owners have only recently been given (after multiple attempts) the right to have the dangerous tree removed, but because it is a living tree, they must also pay my town a fee of $1,500 in addition to the cost of removal. Now, I have to ask you to LOOK AT THE PHOTO AGAIN! This tree's topple could easily cost the homeowners' $100,000.00 to repair, not to mention the injury and/or death to anyone inside the structure when the tree finally gives way.

Further, there is the neighborhood to consider. At least one inhabitant of this neighborhood is elderly and in failing health. Should this tree give way to gravity and crash into this house taking with it all of the power lines around it, who is responsible for the domino effect that could likely lead to his death in a time of prolonged exposure to heat or cold? And what of the fact that the homeowners, in spite of their own desire to have it removed where blocked first by Herr Arborist and, finally by a ridiculous and unreasonable fine placed upon then by a city that values the life of one mis-shapen and ill-placed tree over the welfare of its citizens?

Let's hope it never comes to this.

UPDATE: The Tree is Gone!

I sent an email about the situation to my city council member, Fred, and he visited the home, got a waiver on the tax, and helped the home owner find a company to remove the tree. I learned later that the home owner also called Fred for assistance. From crisis to solution: 36 hours. Sometimes government works. Who knew?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

i love mountains, too!

If not us, who? If not now, when?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Freedom Of Speech Is Rightfully Blind!

Sorry for the crudeness...but I just love the chuztpa of this "little brother". Free speech can be a bitch...and a blessing!--A cuter, funnier, 165 lb slightly nervous, yet radical little sweet blessing!

What I'm Listening to #92

The Script is a fairly inde- pendent British band in the finest boychick tradition. I bought this CD for the song The Man Who Can't Be Moved and then discovered that Breakeven was also on it. I hear good stuff all the time, but don't pay too much attention to it all. It's silly, I know.

And If You See Kay I thought was Brittany Spears' clever little anti-social jingle, but here it is on this CD, too....go figure. Hard to keep a good aural gag down.

Monday, August 09, 2010

A Few Of My Favorite Words....

I found this amazing ariel view of Ashtabula, Ohio on Wikipedia and it sent me into a reflection of words and phrases that I love!

Au jour d'hui
Mon Dieu
Sous Chef
Varicose Vein
and Zane

Art I'm Seeing #52

The Smithsonian American Art Museum has just opened an exhibition of the paintings of iconic American illustrator/painter Norman Rockwell from the collections of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, two American icons in their own right. Included are many familiar paintings by the somewhat reclusive New Englander. Cartainly this image titled The Connoisseur from 1962,
or this one from 1941 titled The Flirts. But that's the thing about Rockwell you get the feeling that you've seen any and everything that he's ever painted!

As a child in the 60's and 70's I lived in a world for more attuned to the message of The Connoisseur than that of The Flirts. The world was leaving Rockwell's innocence and charm and grappling with paradigms of honesty and rapid social change; a social order that was learning how to let go of nostalgia in favor of an unknown and radically more egalitarian future. A world that made about as much sense to the establishment as the abstract painting in the first image.

As I look at these painting now, through the shattered window pane of history, I am; however, far less critical. There was a time when I rejected Rockwell as quaint and out of touch. Now I see just how in touch he actually was. There lies within his paintings, at least some of them, an absurdity. What starts out as a joke, ends up as a pathetic and embarrassing, or in the case of The Jury, (a scene in a jury room where eleven chain smoking, bedraggled men beseech the lone hold out, an Audrey Hepburn look-a-like who sits calmly with her arms folded across her chest at the end of the table) amazed that a world run by men ever existed or managed to survive.

And the times, he loves to define the power and masculinity of men with cigars! I can't imagine how people survived the stench! Even poor Gary Cooper in this 1930 painting called Gary Cooper As The Texan.

Remember, I mentioned that whenever I see a Norman Rockwell painting, I feel like I've seen it before? That isn't always true, and this last image was quite an interesting example. Especially, since Rockwell traded on the truth of his fantasies (Santa Claus not-with-standing.)

So Mermaid from 1955 was a delightful discovery.

It's a wonderful little show. Enter from the west side of the atrium, it's there through the first of the new year.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Sunday Funny #28

My World, My Way

Designer Allen Solly's latest campaign. Very clever, great images....

....And a great website, too!

2010 Midterms: Zogby Dipstick

I just visited the Zogby poling sight that I joined back in 2007 as part of my tracking of the 2008 elections. It's still early for congressional race poles specific to states and/or districts, but there was a very interesting congress overall approval rating pole from July 28, 2010 that really seems to support my general sense of things. Clearly Americans are unhappy with Congress. And they are happy to blame it as an institution as the first graph I created from the pole results illustrates.

Not even a quarter of those poled held a positive disposition toward the United States Congress. And who can blame them? One side plays the constant "No, no, no" card and the other flounders for leaders with balls! Given the mandate for change that the general election of 2008 represented, the bickering and cow-towing to corporate interests on the part of the congress is discouraging in the least and disheartening at best. If you're going to be disliked, why would you chose to be disliked for doing nothing as opposed to being held accountable for the things you've done? I, too, don't get it when it comes to Congress in general. I mean, why the hell would anyone go through the hoops to be elected and then sit on their hands and be afraid to be accused of doing something?

So what's the good news?

American's appear to dislike Democrats less that Republicans. A total of 37% of those poled had positive feelings toward Democrats compared to 25% who approved of Republicans. That's a 12 percent differential and that's significant.

In addition, the degree to which Americans dislike Republican members of Congress over their Democratic colleagues was astounding. While half of those poled somewhat disapproved of Democrats, half of them strongly disapproved of Republicans.

This is a really affirming statistic. Americans everywhere are unhappy. The economy sucks. The future is a far more challenging enterprise than it has previously been viewed. And who are you going to blame?--the government, of course. Yet, given these results, it would seem that being a Republican incumbent is a far greater liability than being a Democrat. All the Faux News hype and propaganda aside, the people still get to vote.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

August Gardens 01

After my dismal success with hollyhocks in this little bed, I'm ending the year with meadow sage (surrounded by impatiens) along my back walk. I may have no more luck with them, but they look nice and the bees and butterflies are all very much happy with my choice!

Canadians As Slaves -- Why Not?

There is this person in the United States who has a radio entertainment program. She knows a lot about the "Effects of Insulin on 3-0-Methylglucose Transport in Isolated Rat Adipocytes". She even has a Ph. D. from Columbia University on the subject! so she's no dummy; however, she does tend to make up stuff about stuff and pretend that she knows stuff about this stuff because she is, after all, a Doctor.

And well, that's where she opens up the door for comedy. In her radio show, Dr Laura Schlesinger said that, as an observant
Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstance.

The following response is an open letter to Dr. Laura, written by Dr. James M. Kauffman, and posted on the Internet. It's funny, as well as informative:

Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I
have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that
knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend
the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that
Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination ... End of

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other
elements of God's Laws and how to follow them.

1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and
female, provided they are from neighboring nations. A friend of mine
claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you
clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in
Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair
price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her
period of Menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how
do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a
pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors.
They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus
35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated
to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an
abomination, Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than
homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there
'degrees' of abomination?

7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I
have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading
glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair
around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev.
19:27. How should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes
me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two
different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments
made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also
tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go
to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them?
Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family
affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)
I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy
considerable expertise in such matters, so I'm confident you can help.
Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Your adoring fan.

James M. Kauffman, Ed.D. Professor Emeritus,
Dept. Of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education
University of Virginia PS (It would be a damn shame if we couldn't own a

2010 Midterms: MI-13

Much is being said about the up-coming mid-term elections. And as pendulums tend to swing, I expect that at the end of the night Republicans will have made some gains in congress. However, the landslides predicted by the slew of FOX Re-pundit-icans I just don't see happening. Nothing they show can be trusted, because they will stop at nothing to create a sense of hype. And it's a shame really. Given their siamese twin relationship with the ever entertaining Tea Party movement, the leading source of conservative news is really just a propaganda machine. And rumor has it that the Tea Party movement itself has hit it's zenith back in February with it's first and only "National Convention" in Nashville. 600 were slated to attend the event according to organizers, although in the end not everyone showed up. A quote from the Washington Post at the time stated that "scores more" of wannabe attendees were "turned away". Remember a score is 20, and you get beyond say four score, you stop using the term score and speak instead in terms of hundreds. So, at best, 680 people were up to attend...let's see that's something like 0.0000017894% of the United States' population. In fact, it's not even one hundredth's of one percent of the population of Nashville! Ergo, it's NOTHING. The Tea Party's second national convention was slated for mid July in Las Vegas, but was cancelled for lack of interest, or as their spokesperson said, "The heat in Las Vegas in July is keeping many who would like to participate from attending"--since when has the heat kept anyone away from Las Vegas!?--and "We have also received numerous emails from people who were forced to decide between family vacations and attending the convention." Well, when it comes to saving America, you've just got to have your priorities.

All this to say, things are still wide open as far as I can see. And I'm looking.

Yet one thing, at least, is now abundantly clear, the people of Michigan's 13th congressional district are about to elect the first Bangledeshi-American to the United States congress. And why not? The candidate is state Senator Hansen Clarke, a very popular state legislator and life long resident of the 13th district which includes the heart of the city of Detroit.

Last week, Hansen ousted incumbent 13 term representative Carolyn Kirkpatrick, a veritable institution in Detroit politics. Kirkpatrick was gracious in conceding her defeat and pledged to work to serve the people of the district. Vulnerable, due to her associate with her son, the defrocked former mayor of Detroit who's legal woes could very likely land him in prison, the people turned to Hansen a smart, effective, and constituency oriented politician.

And what's more interesting, he's also an artist.

This work takes on the iconic sculpture and symbol of the motor city entitled The Spirit of Detroit and rechristens it The New Spirit of Detroit, featuring a health black woman as it's subject versus the original's neo-classical Greek God. More fitting even is the fact that Hansen, like so many men in America's urban settings was raise by his mother alone, after the death of his father at age 3.

I'm not willing to predict much at this point about the mid-term elections, but I am will to call this one in favor of Hansen Clarke.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Art I'm Seeing #51, VHS

Not a video format, but the Virginia Historical Society! While on my recent trip to Richmond and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, I also walked next door to the Virginia Historical Society's museum.
As the banner reads, it's "Free Museum Admission" and there's "Neat Stuff Inside".

This museum is chock-a-block full of stuff. It's a veritable sensory overload that goes from the ice age to pretty much the present.

There are a couple of notable throw backs to idiosyncratic moments in history. An amazing set of murals in gallery 28 to honor the soldiers, and generals of the "War of Northern Aggression" a.k.a. the Civil War felt a little mis-guided, but hey it's history. Gallery 26 is a celebration of guns. Another oddly yesterday sort of thing.

The main galleries ramble and provide you with so much stuff to look at that it almost becomes pointless. to appreciate it, you need to take your time and in doing so you will discover a few real gems. A painting by Thomas Moran depicting run away slaves in the great dismal swamp is one excellent example.

Another is this beautiful Rockwell Kent painting.

And a moment of real irony and mirth for me was a display celebrating the accomplishments of women in Virginia. And since there really aren't any to speak of, some curator with a wry sense of humor placed a photo by the French artist Henri Cartier Bresson depicting a prim and droll group of ladies at a Daughters of the Confederation meeting taken in 1960.

It's really a great space and museum. If the proper goal of any museum is to present information and provoke ideas, this one is very successful.

Adorable, Talented....and Gay!

On the evening of December 17, 2009, 18 year old Joseph McElderry of South Side, United Kingdom became the 4th winner of the BBC talent show, The X Factor. From the beginning of competition, Joseph won hearts all across the U.K. and on that fateful night, he received in excess of 19 million votes.

And on July 30, 2010 he posted this message to his website. a scant 6 weeks after his 19th birthday, he wanted to tell his fans that he is gay. In this day and age, it's still a courageous act. Add to this the fact that he's adorable and talented and well, it doesn't get much better in my book.

From week one of The X Factor competition.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Marriage Equality TOP 10

Having read United States District Chief Judge, Vaughn A. Walker's decision in the Proposition 8 case # C 09-2292 Perry, Stier, Katami and Zarrillo v Schwarzenegger, Brown, Horton, Scott, O'Connell, Logan et. al. I have chosen 10 very salient statements for consderation and praise.
1) "Marriage in the United States has always been a civil matter. Civil authorities may permit religious leaders to solemnize marriages but not to determine who may enter or leave a civil marriage. Religious leaders may determine independently whether to recognize a civil marriage or divorce but that recognition of lack thereof has no effect on the relationship under state law." ~ page 60, lines 6-12

2) "California, like every other state, has never required that individuals entering a marriage be willing or able to procreate." ~ page 60, lines 23-25

3) "California has eliminated marital obligations based on the gender of the spouse. Regardless of their sex or gender, marital partners share the same obligations to one another and to their dependents." ~ page 66, lines 8-11

4) "Eliminating gender and race restrictions in marriage has not deprived the institution of marriage of its vitality." ~ page 66, lines 16 & 17

5) "Marriage is the state recognition and approval of a couple's choice to live with each other, to remain committed to one another and to form a household based on their own feelings about one another and to join in an economic partnership and support one another and any dependents" ~ page 67, lines 11-15

6) "Same-sex love and intimacy are well-documented in human history. The concept of an identity based on object desire; that is , whether an individual desires a relationship with someone of the opposite sex (heterosexual), same sex (homosexual) or either sex (bisexual), developed in the late 19th century." ~ page 71, lines 10-15

7) "Individuals do not generally choose their sexual orientation. No credible evidence supports a finding that an individual may, through conscious decision, therapeutic intervention or any other method, change his or her sexual orientation." ~ page 74, lines 19-22

8) "Same-sex couples are identical to opposite-sex couples int he characteristics relevant to the ability to form successful marital unions. Like opposite-sex couples, same-sex couples have happy, satisfying relationships and form deep emotional bonds and strong commitments to their partners. Standardized measures of relationship satisfaction, relationship adjustment and love do not differ depending on whether a couple is same-sex or opposite-sex." ~ page 77, lines 1-8

9) "Marrying a person of the opposite sex is an unrealistic option for gay and lesbian individuals." ~ page 79, lines 25 & 26

10) "Permitting same-sex couples to marry will not affect the number of opposite-sex couples who marry, divorce, cohabit, or have children outside of marriage or otherwise affect the stability of opposite-sex marriage." ~ page 83, lines 20-23

ERGO, The bottom line!

Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples. Because California has no interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians, and because proposition 8 presents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.

Earthquake Up-date! What's Up with Papua-New Guinea...

Today the little island of New Britian was rocked by a 7.0 quake. and this region of the pacific plate has been racking like crazy lately. When you look at the squares the large one to the left is a 6.4 quake. The quakes around the principle one registered as 5.1, 5.1, 5.2, and 5.6.

This on top of so many recent quakes, check out my post of 22 JUL 10.

It's really an amazing set of quakes on a specific place short of a new volcano erupting....

My Own American Idol #02

Contestant #2 is Ben Sharkey. Cute. Sincere. Adorable.

Wednesday's Lunch Treat

My father's name was Bill and my mother's Virginia. So where did I stop for a late lunch in Richmond, VA yesterday? It's a no brainer! At Bill's Virginia Barbecue, I got the sliced pork combo featuring a melt in your mouth sliced pork sandwich on a white bun dressed in a hickory vinaigrette barbecue sauce and cole slaw. The side was a nasty basket of thick fries. A once in a lifetime experience...that is ONCE. Once is enough!

The entire waitstaff and kitchen crew was made up of middle aged African American women. And while I waited I was entertained by a lively discussion of the pros and cons of knee replacement surgery versus physical therapy. It was two customers attempting to influence their obese black cashier on her future surgical options. The white lady was all for surgery, the black man promoted PT. My order arrived, and I excused myself from the drama graciously... Although, I thought she ought to go for Laparoscopy, if it was available to her!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Art I'm Seeing #49, VMFA 01

The first reason to visit the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is to see the new addition. Named for the principle contributors, the new James W. and Frances G. McGlothlin Wing opened to the public this past May 1, 2010. Always a wonderful regional museum, the expansion that included a new multilevel parking facility, sculpture garden and sloping hillside "amphitheater" transforms it into a major regional art museum.

The new addition creates an impressive 3 story atrium with glass elevators and glass enclosed causeways on various levels between the old and the new.

The space is designed as town commons with a nearly irresistible set of comfortable sets that quickly became the place some patrons found to await the arrival of others, or sit out their companion's visit to the expanded gift shop. Treated like another gallery the space included additional works from the series on display in the new sculpture gardens; as well as, affording the museum the perfect showplace for exhibiting large works of art like this by the late Sol LeWitt, entitled Splotch #22.

Areas within the new space our opened to the world without via glass walls giving you wonderful views of the new exterior landscaping, like the reflecting pools and sculpture gardens.

To inaugurate the E. Claiborne and Lora Robins Sculpture Gardens the VMFA has an exhibition featuring colossal sculpture by master ceramicist Jun Kaneko. Seen here from a second floor vantage point in the new atrium, the ability to enjoy the works of art from various angles and in the comfort of the climate controlled interior of the museum is assured.

And judging from the crowds I encountered today, the museum's popularity among Richmond's citizenry is a pretty sure bet, too. Always a personal favorite, at free to the public, it's a museum worth going out of your way to experience.