"‘An expert is one who knows so much about so little that he neither can be contradicted, nor is worth contradicting.’ — Henry Ward"
"The music is terrific, and then comes the finale - Tchaikovsky's explosive 1812 Overture, ending with dramatic drumrolls and real cannon fire, while church bells ring throughout the city."
We’ve never been quite sure how a Russian composer’s overture to a Napoleonic war became associated with July 4th (and there’s that thing about bagpipes being played by men in skirts we don’t get either) except it’s noisy and has real cannons in the score. So why not?
If it’s not noisy enough where you are this afternoon you might try one of the URLs above.
[LATER: Neither one of the streaming URLS seem to be working as of 10:00 PM EST.]
I’ve been in six of the 50 towns listed by Esquire here; in one of them I went to school for four years. In another I babysat a dog.
“See how many frankfurters have been consumed by the winners of every Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest between 1972 and 2014."
"Jenner is an Olympic champion and reality show star formerly known to the world as Bruce. Last week, after a Vanity Fair story about Jenner appeared online, she became the most searched item on Google, and her Twitter profile gained more than one million followers in four hours, topping a record previously held by Barack Obama."
"The commissioner had more good news: In the past five years, between 2010 and 2014, there were fewer fire fatalities citywide than during any five-year period on record, he said."
"INDIANAPOLIS — On the altar, behind a row of flickering candles, the silhouette outline of a marijuana leaf shined in lights. Colored balloons occasionally bounced through the air as the minister of music led a band in a pew-shaking rendition of ‘Mary Jane,’ the funk tribute to the drug. And Bill Levin, who was introduced as ‘the Grand Poobah’ of this new church, finished the gathering with a simple message: ‘Light up, folks!’"
"Over 75% of Americans argue during car trips, a new study reveals, with roughly half of the fights starting because one person told the driver how or where to go."
But the big question is, how does the GPS know this?
"Yes, the 2016 Republican field is so wide and diverse it includes perhaps the nation’s first presidential candidate with his own fragrance, and, it must be noted, not just any fragrance. Success has ‘a masculine combination of rich vetiver, tonka bean, birchwood and musk,’ and ‘captures the spirit of the driven man.’"
And in other Trump news…
And (Wait! There’s more!)…
"2 weeks ago we found 42% of Ohioans had a favorable opinion of the state of Michigan to 30% with an unfavorable one, a much dimmer view than it had of any of its other neighbors. It turns out Michigan feels pretty much the same way- 39% of its voters see Ohio favorably to 30% with a negative one. Much of this animosity ties back to Ohio stealing the city of Toledo from Michigan in the 1830s but 72% of Michiganders think they came out ahead in the long run on that one by getting the Upper Peninsula to only 8% who would have rather had Toledo."
"Television advertisements, which begin airing next week, feature stock video of peaceful waves rolling onto a beach, high mountains, clouds, and a prairie with the sun beaming in the distance. A male voice-over says catch phrases like ‘In our book, gluttony isn’t a sin. It’s a commandment.’ The ads end with a call to become a pescatarian."
"Whatever it’s called – just-in-time scheduling, on-call staffing, on-demand work, independent contracting, or the ‘share economy’ – the result is the same: No predictability, no economic security.
"This makes businesses more efficient, but it’s a nightmare for working families."
"‘It’s like everyone revved up their engines again,’ said Pamela Liebman, the chief executive of the Corcoran Group, which put the record average sales price at $1.81 million and the median at $960,000."
“[Kiddies today] have become, in the words of the philosopher Hannah Arendt, ‘atomized,’ sucked alone into systems of information and entertainment that cater to America’s prurient fascination with the tawdry, the cruel and the deadening cult of the self.
Wow. And he doesn’t stop there, this Chris Hedges.
"The entrapment in a world of nonstop electronic sounds and images, begun with the phonograph and radio, advanced by cinema and television and perfected by video games, the Internet and hand-held devices, is making it impossible to build relationships and structures that are vital for civic engagement and resistance to corporate power."
Feel like tapping your toes about now? Yep, here’s the song you’re thinking of.
"'My religious convictions will not allow me to in good conscience issue same-sex marriage licenses,' Davis said. 'And I don't want to be discriminatory toward them, or anyone else, so I choose not issue a marriage license, period.'"
"Broussard said Principal Teri Grosey told her the haircut -- which the family noticed on white and Asian students -- would 'unduly influence the student body.'"
Luckily I don’t have to worry about this myself. But still.
"Broome County Sheriff David Harder told The Post Sweat picked up outdoor skills in his youth when he took part in a program intended to keep him from a life of crime."
"A gigantic rubber duck failed to make a splash at the Philadelphia Camden Tall Ships Festival after it punctured and had to be taken away for repairs."
"International inspectors reported that Iran’s stockpile of nuclear fuel increased about 20 percent over the last 18 months of negotiations, partly undercutting the Obama administration’s contention that the Iranian program had been ‘frozen’ during that period."
It was a fuzzy-wuzzy rainbow-colored weekend, thanks to the Supremes’ rulings on Obamacare and gay marriage a few days ago, but now…
…and maybe even…
Oh well. nobody doesn’t like them sometimes.
"Today, having a concierge ready at the tap of a thumb is an amenity offered mostly at luxury-line hotels. But more hotels of all types are beginning to accommodate guests unwilling or unable to fumble with a room phone to call a concierge…"
…if you’re too far gone to fumble with the phone you probably ought to keep your thumbs off your keyboard, if you know what I mean.
From this morning’s New York Times daily briefing…
"Tuesday is considered the deadline for a final deal [with Iraq], but negotiators remain divided over how to limit and monitor Iran’s nuclear program and even on how to interpret the preliminary agreement they reached two months ago."
I added the italics. It seemed appropriate.
And another thing: WTF?
"The gods of news are working overtime. They delivered the twin bombshells from the Supreme Court, President Obama’s moving eulogy for one of the victims of the savage South Carolina church massacre and then the dramatic hunt for the two escaped New York convicts.
"After those events, most people had no attention span left for anything else, including, unfortunately, the most far-reaching news of all.…"
Go figure. Right? Also it was chilly today (we barely broke 60º) and rainy, and I went walking and got chilly and wet. Shoulda stayed in bed.
Or wait, maybe it’s not too late.
"Meyer's post showed him in a bathrobe, holding a sword, smoking a pipe and reading the Marine Corps handbook."
Also Puffins, Walrus (Walruses?) and other stuff.
"The Supreme Court decision Friday making homosexual marriage not only legal but giving it a status superior to heterosexual marriage* was ominous (never mind that the lead defendant’s name sounded like a rank in the Wehrmacht)."
"Haley’s change of heart wasn’t the result of a moral epiphany, or even really an admission that the people who’ve been seeking the flag’s removal for years were right all along."