Search Trends on Google, 2022

Hits: 26

Unless something major happens in December to upset all stats (which can happen these days), I will embark on an end-of-year reflection on search trends in 2022, in a timelier fashion than I did for 2021.

Worldwide Rankings

Worldwide, according to the SEO specialists at SimilarWeb, searches for YouTube and Facebook led the rankings at 3 billion and 1.7 billion searches over the past 11 months, respectively. About 1% of these were the result of paid searches, or search results that were the result of a user clicking on a paid link at the top of the seach results. For the record, I am only considering non-paid seaches in my rankings.

“Translate” was in third place, leading to Google Translate. But this might need to be combined with the search term “google translate”, which is at #7; and “traductor”, which is at #10.

Search terms for four porn sites rank in the top 20 worldwide: pornhub (#4), xvideos (#11), xnxx (#15), and just “porn” (#20). Two of those search terms led to PornHub, who ranks fourth in the world for search terms. Other blogs I have noticed tried to not mention how porn ranks in searches, and even tries to bleep out who they are and where they lie on table screenshots. But I think people know about porn. It’s too late for that. 11 porn sites are in the top 100 searches worldwide. I am counting OnlyFans in the 11. The horses have all escaped, so there is no sense closing the barn door now.

More people care about PornHub than about the weather. Weather is the 5th most searched term in the world, while “amazon” is at #6, as the top retail search term. The top brick-and-mortar retail search term worldwide appears to be Ikea (#60). The next most popular brick-and-mortar retailer appears to be Home Depot (#86).

Google promotes itself quite a bit, since it suggests itself in 11 of the top 100 search terms wordwide. But that might not be entirely their fault. “Google” (#14) has been a Google search term more often than more often than most porn sites, Twitter (#16) , Netflix (#17), or NFL (#28), and certainly more often than the next-used search engine, Yahoo (#33). Bing is not mentioned in the top 100.

C appears to be the most-searched for programming language at the #46 spot; and searches for news sources trail that: “news” (#48), “BBC news” (#85), and “ukraine” (leads to CNN.com) (#92). “wordle” (#53) has been searched more often than “paypal” (#54), indicating the degree of popularity this game has earned over the 2022 year.

Necessity-based search terms appear to be popular. “calculator” (#49) appears to be more popular than “google docs” (#67), “reddit” (#78), and “discord” (#96). Discord is a social media/academic site popular with high school kids and undergrads in college.

People have been googling “speedtest” (#73) to test their internet speed, and this search term beat out searches for “bitcoin” (#75), “airbnb” (#76), and “spotify” (#89). It is no surpise that Bitcoin has plummeted in popularity, as curiosity is drying up regarding its presumed value and novelty. The price of Bitcoin began the year at around $60,000 per coin, and has entered December losing 2/3 of that value.

Worldwide trends

“Trending” seaches or “trending” anything is a misleading word. There is a misguided tendency to conflate “trending” with “popular”.  When something is said to be “trending” in the online world, it means that the number of searches for that “thing” has increased by so many per cent relative to some time in the past, such as last year. For example, if I wrote something that got 1 hit last month, and this month it got 2 hits, my article is “trending”, since it is getting 100% more hits from last month to this month. It is a stat that hides the absolute number of hits by just reporting relative increases or decreases, and might be used to exaggerate the popularity of that search term in discussions.

I will skip foreign-language searches, which are present everywhere under this umbrella.

Not a single “trending” seach term is present in the above-mentioned top 100 in the year 2022. The top trend was “Amazon Prime Day”, a sale that was on a little while ago, which hadn’t existed before. From the initial advertising traffic to Amazon.com increased 67-fold by the end of the sale. It was the #1 trending search term on Google in 2022.

At #3 “amtrak” has trended, possibly in connection with a looming labour dispute recently. It appears apparent that other trends are often in connection with fleeting events and entertainment news, such as “wimbledon” (#10), “johnny depp verdict” (#16), “the summer i turned pretty” (#6) (the name of an online video series), “bjork” (#14) who returned to Iceland this year after living in the US for some decades.

Lots of people use eset antivirus, since license renewals are trending at #32 and #35, with a 17 to 19-fold increase over the year. It kind of stands out among the “trendy” stuff, and wasn’t intended as a plug.

Search Trends in the USA

I will skip the top 100 terms in the USA, since there are many similarities to the top worldwide search terms.

But something about the “trending” list for United States offered by SimilarWeb gave me pause. The #2 search term trending in 2022, up 129-fold since supposedly last year, is “what is a woman”.

It is interesting that “us map”, trending at #9 worldwide, is trending at #6 in America. “Disney Plus” (#10) trended more than “oil prices” (#17), “roe v wade overturn” (#33), “student loan forgiveness 2022” (#57), and “disinformation” (#87).

The American trends show their current fixation on celebrity and scandal. “duchess kate” (#19), “beyonce” (#22), “sid vicious” (#24), “anna nicole smith” (#26) are just a few. At least 20 of the top 100 trending searches had celebrity names. Johnny Depp appears three times in search trends, but all below #90.

“amazon prime day” didn’t trend nearly as well as it did globally, being at #70. It trended less than searches for “brett kavanaugh” (#65) and “bill nye” (#46). It was slightly less trendy than searches for “republicans” (#69). Judging by search trends, there is not as much curiosity for republicans or their causes as the media would have us believe.

 

Florida Man Made an Announcement

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The greatest headline ever, circled in red.

This is when some media have nailed it. The New York Post wrote a news article yesterday regarding a certain Florida retiree making an announcement. The headline is below the fold and cross-references you to turn to page 26 to see the actual article. When you turn there, you see the article referenced, this time with the headline “Been there, Don that” (sic).

This is Rupert Murdoch doing the ultimate in damning someone with faint praise. The retiree referred to here is apparently an avid golfer and collector of classified documents. He is also senile and is known to throw ketchup at the television. The retiree, a certain Donald J. Trump, is saying he will run for president in 2024. The article, which was not much over 100 words in its entirety, was bylined by “Post staff”.

That day’s issue headlined the wounding of a 3 year-old and another about a crackdown on gangs as the day’s top stories, the usual fare in the Murdoch-owned tabloid daily.

The entire article from start to finish.

A century of Gasoline Alley

Hits: 28

This title card is from the mid-1960s. The comic had already been around for nearly 50 years by this time.

I see that the Toronto Star has purchased rights to publish the continuation of Gasoline Alley, a comic strip started in 1918 and originally written by Frank King, and is just over 104 years old since its first printing on November 24, 1918, around the day of the American Thanksgiving holiday.

The innovations that seemed to impress people at the time regarding this strip, is that it was one of the first to be in color, and one where King took the trouble to show its characters ageing over the progress of the comic strip.  It would then make sense that the comic strip would not have anyone recognizable from the original comic strip. The current cartoonist for this comic is Jim Scancarelli.

By the time Mad Magazine had its own parody of Gasoline Alley (Gasoline Valley), the strip was at least 35 years old.

There was a Mad Magazine parody in their 15th edition, possibly around 1954 called Gasoline Valley. Skeezix, one of the main characters from the original strip, had been renamed “Skizziks” in the parody, turning his name into a palindrome. Frank King was still writing for the comic during this time.

One of the main things Mad parodied was the ageing of the characters, climaxing by Skizziks’s shocking discovery that by his reckoning, he must be his own grandpa.

I had always wondered how King thought up the name Skeezix. It is not a common name. I have spent a bit of time looking up occurrences of the name on the internet, and there are many utterances around the ‘net. skizzix.com is a gamer website. On another website, they are referred to as a fictitious race of humans in a fantasy game. Or maybe it is a goblin wizard. On many sites, Skizzix appears as screen name for a computer nerd. But a real name of a real person? That’s much less common, and would be far from the top 10 of names for your baby.

To see the Mad parody in its entirety, Jeff Overturf has preserved the comic in excellent scans and posted images of the pages on his website.

(Almost) Binge Watching Monarchy News

Hits: 61

queen and kermit
Queen Elizabeth shaking hands with Kermit The Frog.

I can say that I have not sat in front of the television for a sustained number of hours watching all things related to the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, but I can see that the networks are trying hard to make it a reality.

Thank God I have a PVR so I can think of other things to do, but still not miss too many details over the couse of time. Most of these docs were made only in recent years before her death, but on CBC’s The Documentary Channel, here they are, all presented in one go, for a good 6-8 hours or so. So I surf to each show on the programming schedule timeline, and press Record, so that I can view them on my own time.

What can I say in these bizarre days of tribalism, global warming, political wingnuts, poverty and social decay, except that this news is the closest thing to normal I have heard about in a long time. Not that British monarchs die every day; but that I think it just connects us to a more normal past.

Bob Dylan’s only #1 Billboard hit, and Armageddon

Hits: 29

In my series on Crappy Album Covers, Bob Dylan has appeared at least twice. I had also written about his singing skills or lack thereof at least once before. Needless to say, I have established my not-very-high opinion of Dylan’s singing and album covers on this blog.

However, I had always complimented him on his songwriting and poetry skill. His skill was good enough to win him the Nobel Prize for literature in 2017. However, the songs Dylan wrote were always best sung by other people.

Among the most frequent cover artists were Joan Baez; Judy Collins; The Band; The Byrds; Glen Campbell; Johnny Cash; Cher; Eric Clapton; Joe Cocker; Fairport Convention; Bryan Ferry; Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs; The Grateful Dead; George Harrisson; Jimi Hendrix; The Hollies; Peter, Paul and Mary; Tom Petty (with and without The Heartbreakers); Elvis Presley; Pete Seeger; Yes; Steve Howe; and Neil Young.

More modern artists cover him less frequently. They include: XTC; The White Stripes; The Red Hot Chili Peppers; Sinead O’Connor; My Morning Jacket; Jason Mraz; Ministry; Maroon 5; Dave Matthews Band; Diana Krall; Alicia Keys; Kesha; Norah Jones; Indigo Girls; Robyn Hitchcock (with and without The Egyptians); Green Day; Dream Syndicate; Miley Cyrus; Nick Cave and The Badseeds; and The Black Crowes.

And what I didn’t know until earlier today, is that at age 79, Dylan’s hit song, “Murder Most Foul”, has reached #1 on the Billboard chart for “US Digital Song Sales”, which is the first time he had a #1 hit singing in his own voice on any of the Billboard charts. This song will be part of his up-coming album “Rough and Rowdy Ways”, to be released at the end of next week.

The 17-minute hit beats Don Maclean’s “American Pie” by 7 minutes, and The Beatles’ “Hey Jude” by 10 minutes.

“Murder Most Foul” is a montage of artist titles, singer names, and cultural references that keep going back to the Kennedy assassination. At first listen, it is difficult to understand why all of the name-dropping and song title mentions are there. It feels kind of chaotic, and you feel like there is no structure. It requires another listen. And when you listen again, try not to make sense of anything. Then the song works perfectly, in that it begins to make its own sense. It objectively refers to Kennedy, and a multitude of artists and songs contemporary to the early sixties, with the odd mention of artists from later and earlier decades. Like a painting, you can’t examine the painting by examining each brushstroke. You need to listen to this song by allowing your mind to “step back” so to speak, and admire the song as a whole piece as you would a painting.

To say it is a sad song is an understatement. It seems more like a funeral march. It is a eulogy to a dying culture, and the end of an era. It reveals to us all what we already know: it’s not the sixties anymore. American culture is wounded, and the prospects appear grim.

Tampering with Freedom of the Press

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I have tried to hold off on writing about the latest kerfuffle regarding Donald Trump being cut out of the CBC televised version of the 1992 film Home Alone 2 during the time that Trump was still a private citizen, and not at all in politics. It is predictable, and right out of the Daily Stormer playbook that the Trump family would exaggerate this entirely out of proportion as a political slight against Trump.

This has now migrated from the CBC News desks to the New York Times, and what is newsworthy to me is that these big-money media organs found it newsworthy. This is man-baby syndrome at its worst. And the major media reports on the man-baby every time the man-baby coos, belches, spits up, bawls, throws a tantrum or tweets.

The thing is, we already know that Trump has a screw loose, so can we just get past that and have more journalistic efforts concentrated on normal tragedies like wars, homelessness and global warming?

Why I am glad I don’t have cable TV

Hits: 43

In the early nineties, Bruce Springsteen had a hit with the song “57 Channels and Nothing On”. It was the precursor to the same feeling we felt over the “500 channel universe” we experience today.

I have no cable by choice. I can afford to put it in, but apart from educational channels and the news station, I really have little to no interest in what passes for entertainment, and, frankly, no time to sit down and watch what appears to be mostly pointless programming spread out over hundreds of television stations. Here is a small list of programming explaining why I feel this way.

  • My 600-lb life (and related TV shows)
    • A century and a half ago, we locked up anyone who was a freak in a cage and charged admission for patrons to pass by, point, and either express shock, or laugh at them. I see this programming is kind of like that.
    • Ah, the life and escapades of the morbidly obese. I am doubtful that any show that depicts the private hell of individuals (whatever the problem is), when it is presented as “reality TV”, is helpful to the individual whose problem is being flaunted for TV ratings, nor is it helpful to anyone watching the show who shares the same problem, as that is not effectively the reason this show is being broadcast. Shows like this are effectively human suffering, served up as lighthearted entertainment.
  • Faux News
    • From pie charts that add up to more than 100 per cent, to unapologetic right-wing bias, the secret to Faux News high ratings is sensationalism and incendiary reporting.
    • And when it isn’t racist, it is merely cheerleading for Republicans and very nearly their every wrong move. It is a more socially-acceptable version of InfoWars (or is it In-Faux-Wars?).
  • The Bachelor/Bachelorette
  • Real Housewives
    • Real housewives? What does that mean? Purportedly married but dressed as if they are single and hot to trot, this is now a franchise of blondes, brunettes and redheads who more or less look and dress alike, and are nowadays from all parts of the United States, ready to make you feel like you don’t belong. Face it, you don’t look like them, you can’t afford to dress like them, you also probably can’t afford the houses they live in. They are not real in any sense that matters to most viewers.
    • The franchise consists of “Real Housewives of ” <fill in the name of an American city>. Every time I think I have a complete list of cities, I always find one more not in my list. The last one I found was “Atlanta”. Atlanta was notable because most of the ladies were black. I doubt that you are going to hear about racial inequality in a way that broadens or enhances the discussion. They dressed and appeared to live more lavishly than any woman of colour I know.
    • These are the stories of domesticated dramas. Whether it is about unmarried people on the make, or married women (who cares about married men?), don’t expect too many challenges to traditional stereotypes, or to the norms of sexual roles we have all come to accept. Wake me up if there are any surprises, since I don’t expect any. You might expect surprises that are there for shock value, such as the guy finding out that she was a he, or whatever.
  • Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo
    • Time to clear the room
  • 'American Pickers' Season 2 premiere on History Channel ...History Channel
    • There is not much actual history on this channel
  • Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire/Multi-Millionaire/etc.
    • And this is because, indeed, the only thing on a woman’s mind is marrying for money.
    • Notice how I am writing as if it is understood that the millionaire is a man, and that the ones chasing him are women; not the other way around.
    • It just a way of extending the women are “x”, men are “y” trope.
  • Dr. Pimple Popper
    • About the only doctor Americans can afford without the Affordable Healthcare programme.
    • Again, it’s the kind of TV program which makes you question what you are doing with your spare time. And the depressing reality is that the 500 channel universe is filled with such vapidity and emptiness, that there is probably nothing else on.
  • Project Blue Book
    • This is one of the reasons that anyone who likes history has found to their disappointment that the History Channel no longer discusses anything about history. Project Blue Book is about UFOs.
  • Pawn Stars. You Could Learn A Thing Or Two.Pawn Stars
  • Rust Valley Restorers
  • The Antique Road Show
    • Pawn Stars and Rust Valley Restorers are both on the History Channel, and The Antique Road Show is on PBS. The Antique Road Show gives a better history education.
    • One line you will never hear on the Antique Road Show, regarding something like a curious object bought at a garage sale for $100: “Why does this say ‘Made in Taiwan?'”. Or, regarding an heirloom passed down for several generations: “I don’t know what it is. Well, at least it has sentimental value. Have a nice day.”
  • Lego City
    • It’s pretty bad when we mistrust the imaginations of children with toys so much that toy companies feel the need to sponsor cartoons which depict a universe made of toys from one manufacturer.
    • I suppose that nowadays the idea of children playing with toys from different manufacturers is now regarded as an anti-competitive practice.
  • The “W” Channel
    • used to be “The Women’s Network”
    • of 58 titles listed in their annual lineup of shows and movies, 42 cover the themes of marriage and romance
    • Feminist? One show if you count “Ms. Matched” — still a marriage theme, because that’s all women think about, apparently, especially in this small-screen movie. I think only the “Ms.” in the title makes it appear feminist.
  • Much
    • Was “Much Music”, but is now minus most of its music videos.

The indices of Harper’s Magazine

Hits: 45

I have been a fan of Harper’s Magazine since the 1980s. In particular, I loved the Readings section, as well as the factoids list (with citations) known as Harper’s Index, near the front of each issue. Here are 100 factoids I’ve researched from over the years, dates not important, but they have been taken from issues since 2000. I have favoured factoids that are not dated, but that was difficult as many good ones with dates crept in. The URL for Harper’s magazine is http://harpers.org, and is available on some newsstands, but not as many these days as in days previous.

  • Cost to produce Safeguard, the only U.S. ground-based long-range missile shield ever deployed: $23,500,000,000
  • Number of days in the 1970s that the system was operational before it was abandoned as inadequate: 135
  • Pounds of fuel required to maintain this year’s 11,500 Olympic torches: 2,029
  • Ratio of the amount of energy generated by 1 gallon of ethanol to the amount of energy required to produce it : 1:0.9
  • Number of times Colin Powell said, “I don’t recall” or, “I can’t recall” during his 1987 Iran-Contra testimony: 56
  • Percentage of global economic activity accounted for by the world’s 200 largest corporations: 27.5
  • Percentage of the world’s population that these corporations employ: 0.8
  • Minimum number of mentally retarded Americans who have been executed by the justice system since 1976 : 35
  • Estimated chance that a U.S. prisoner is mentally retarded: 1 in 14
  • Days after Time named George W. Bush 2000’s man of the year that Russians named Vladimir Lenin man of the century: 4
  • Places by which Russia’s ranking in the U.N.’s Human Development Index of living standards has fallen since 1990 : 31
  • Rank of the United States and Britain among nations whose residents are most likely to be obese: 1,2
  • Rank of Hungary: 3
  • Ratio of the number of pardons George W. Bush has issued turkeys to those he has issued human beings: 2:1
  • Ratio of the average life span of a commercially bred turkey to that of a wild one: 1:7
  • Year in which Disney’s Mickey Mouse copyright will expire if the Supreme Court reverses a 1998 extension this winter (2002): 2003
  • Minutes that a Massachusetts surgeon left a patient with an open incision while he went to deposit a check: 35
  • Percentage change since 1990 (to 2003) in the number of U.S. schoolchildren labeled “disabled” : +37
  • Chances that a U.S. adult does not want to live to be 120 under any circumstances: 2 in 3
  • Chance that an American adult believes that “politics and government are too complicated to understand” : 1 in 3
  • Chance that an American who was home-schooled feels this way: 1 in 25
  • Acreage of a Christian nudist colony under development in Florida (in 2004): 240
  • Percentage of the 13,129 varieties of dirt in the United States that are endangered: 4
  • Years in prison to which two ex-Pentagon officials were sentenced last year for taking bribes of money and prostitutes: 24
  • Number of years a North Carolina man has been in prison for stealing a television: 33
  • Rank, on the Turkish bestseller list in March (2005), of a thriller depicting a U.S. invasion of Turkey: 1
  • Rank of Mein Kampf: 2
  • Average percentage by which the power of the male heart declines between the ages of 18 and 75 : 20
  • Average percentage by which the female heart does: 0
  • Amount a Chinese online gamer made last year (in 2004) by selling a virtual sword he had borrowed from a friend: $850
  • Months later that the friend retaliated by stabbing him to death with a real knife: 6
  • Number of beetles that right-wing entomologists have named after Bush Administration officials: 3
  • Number of times that Mary, Jesus’ mother, is referenced by name in the Bible and the Koran, respectively: 19,34
  • Number of “Wal-ocaust” T-shirts sold by a Georgia man before Wal-Mart ordered him to cease and desist: 1
  • Ratio, in the United States, of the number of Wal-Mart employees to the number of high school teachers: 1:1
  • Portion of states where the projected climate in 2100 will not be able to sustain their official tree or flower: 3/5
  • Number of words spoken by Clarence Thomas during Supreme Court oral arguments since February 2006 (until Aug 2007): 132
  • Number by Samuel Alito, the Justice who spoke the second-fewest words: 14,404
  • Percentage of single U.S. women in their twenties who are “very” or “extremely” willing to marry for money: 61
  • Percentage of women in their thirties who are : 74
  • Percentage change since 1985 (to 2009) in the number of U.S. newspapers with reporters covering Congress : –72
  • Percentage of six- to nine-year-old American girls (in 2009) who wear lipstick or lip gloss : 46
  • Number of poppyseed bagels that could be made with Afghanistan’s annual poppy harvest : 357,000,000
  • Percentage of British elementary-school students who think Isaac Newton discovered fire : 60
  • Number of U.S. states that have more pigs than people : 3
  • Minimum number of birds that die from crashing into New York City windows each year : 100,000
  • Number of Bentleys purchased in Russia in 2000 and in 2010, respectively : 0, 113
  • Estimated portion of registered voters in Zimbabwe who are dead : 1/4
  • Average minutes more exercise per week that a heavy drinker gets than a non-drinker : 21
  • Portion of the total U.S. corn crop that goes to make ethanol : 2/5
  • Projected worldwide surplus of low-skill workers by 2020 : 93,000,000
  • Projected worldwide deficit of high- and medium-skill workers by that time : 85,000,000
  • Rank of China among global beer producers by volume : 1
  • Rank of the United States : 2
  • Percentage change since 1988 (to 2012) in U.S. teen-pregnancy rates : –36
  • In abstinence rates among white teens : +31
  • Among black teens : +56
  • Portion of Americans who don’t walk for at least ten continuous minutes at any point in an average week : 2/5
  • Percentage of American cats that are overweight : 58
  • Percentage of men in dual-income marriages who said they struggled with work-family conflict in 1977 : 35
  • Who say they do today (2013): 60.
  • Average annual cost of detaining an inmate at the military prison at Guantánamo Bay : $900,000
  • At a supermax prison in the United States : $65,000
  • Portion of all online advertising that is never seen by a human being : 1/2
  • Percentage of U.S. children in 1960 who lived in households headed by heterosexuals in their first marriage : 73
  • Who do today (2015) : 46
  • Estimated minimum gallons of water used annually to produce Coca-Cola products : 8,000,000,000,000
  • Ratio of money spent by Britons on prostitution to that spent on hairdressing : 1:1
  • Years in prison to which a New Mexico man was sentenced last year (in 2015) for shooting children with a semen-filled squirt gun : 18
  • Estimated number of people who will be driven into extreme poverty by 2030 because of climate change : 100,000,000
  • Percentage of the world’s civilian-owned firearms that are owned by Americans : 48
  • Number of Americans aged 60 and older who have outstanding student loans : 2,800,000
  • Portion of those borrowers who have taken on debt to pay for a child or grandchild’s education : 3/4
  • Percentage of children’s toys available in Sweden that contain banned chemicals : 15
  • Of sex toys available in Sweden : 2
  • Average number of people who die in avalanches in the United States each year : 27
  • Number of FBI confidential informants (in 2017) who worked for Best Buy’s Geek Squad between 2008 and 2012 : 8
  • Rank of Nebraska among states with the least liked state flags : 1
  • Number of days in January that the flag at the state capitol flew upside down before anyone noticed : 7
  • Number of US states in which fluorescent pink is a legal color for hunting apparel : 6
  • Chance an American has taken an “active shooter” preparedness class : 1 in 10
  • Percentage of US “active shooters” from 2000 to 2016 who were killed by police : 21
  • Who were killed by armed civilians : 1
  • Number of universities in which half of all the US tenured and tenure-track history professors are trained : 8
  • Number of the twenty largest German companies that are headquartered in the former East Germany : 0
  • Rank of Germany in consumption of nonalcoholic beer : 2
  • Of Iran : 1
  • Portion of Hawaii’s drinking water that comes from underground wells : 9/10
  • Gallons of raw sewage that leak into the ground from Hawaii cesspools each day : 53,000,000
  • Percentage change since 2009 in reports of human waste on San Francisco streets (in 2018): +391
  • Chance that a given day is a public holiday in Cambodia : 1 in 13
  • Rank of Disneyland among the happiest places on earth, according to Disneyland : 1
  • Percentage of Disneyland employees who worry about being evicted from their homes : 56
  • Number of dead people Americans have elected to Congress : 6
  • Factor by which a millennial is more likely than a baby boomer to claim they have a food allergy : 2
  • Number of states that allow roadkill to be salvaged for food : 31
  • Rank of Arabic among France’s most spoken languages : 2
  • Factor by which graduate students are more likely to experience depression or anxiety than the general population : 6
  • Percentage of Americans aged 18 to 34 who say they’d like to live forever : 24
  • Of Americans over 55 : 13

Political Correctness

Hits: 13

Today, I am going to possibly offend both sides of a sensitive discussion about political correctness, and that’s because my opinion here is neither on the “left” nor “right”. I think that means I will piss just about everyone off with this article. If discussions on political correctness make you angry, then feel free to skip this article.

To me, PC has a good and a bad side. We like to put an end to prejudice and stereotypes, and doing so, means to address people with labels that show respect. It would seem a good thing, and would have a civilizing effect on how we treat each other in discourse. In fact, is it wrong to give added opportunity to marginalized groups? Once again, giving eveyone equal opportunity can’t be wrong.

The problem is, as I have always maintained, when any “good idea” becomes a totality (as in totalitarianism), the idea is ruined, no matter how good it is. So, some dude with a high-level degree, who spent way too long researching marginalized groups, was given a job where he or she gets a little power to decide who gets to participate in programming at, say the British Broadcasting Corporation, decides to place racially-mixed people into his/her comedy programming, and cancels programming from the former members of Monty Python. That’s right, if you click on that link, former Python member Terry Gilliam is now telling the world he is a “black lesbian in transition” in order to get back into the BBC’s good graces.

You may have your own take on this discussion. Maybe Gilliam is an aging crank who should come off it and go retire some place. It is as if, the zeal of showing a lack of discrimination has created a new form of discrimination. Can anyone dispute that Monty Python has a place, then and now, in the annals of British comedy? The effort to be non-prejudicial has created another kind of prejudice. And this is the bad side of being too PC. It’s all well and good so long as you have contributed to a civil and egalitarian society. It fails when your actions and words amount to a new kind of hostility, a new kind of discrimination. Then, society is less civil, and the worse for it. In fact, the PC movement will, in the effort to be egalitarian, completely fail to meet its own object, at a time of increased racism, tribalism and prejudice. It is a sad crisis of their own making.

We need political correctness more than ever. But we need the civilizing kind. PC people will always offend racists. Racists will always be offended, and I am not concerned for them. PC’s have the power to put an end to tribalism, but are actually making it worse, by trying to define new marginalized groups at every turn. There is now such a complex maze of marginalized groups that it is hard to keep track, making it nearly impossible to have a casual conversation about people without fearing that you have offended this-or-that group by referring to them with the wrong name.

I don’t need a scorecard for certiain folks. African-American people probably shouldn’t be labelled with the N-word, since that has a very obvious history. Calling aboriginal peole “Indian” is wrong (people from India already have that label). In Canada, we call them “indigenous”,  as a catch-all to refer to Metis, Inuit and First Nations peoples. But this is after several changes. In fact, I just found out I may have offended someone by using the word “aboriginal” earlier in this paragraph, and had to look up “indigenous”. It is thus a bit discomforting to write such articles as these, since any reference to racialized and marginalized groups in a blog will require a mini-research project, which I am OK with, but I think that an open-minded discussion on these topics requires that we not be too casual in using what we know to discuss things about people we don’t know. We live in a big world, and it wouldn’t hurt us to challenge our own stereotypes.

There are groups calling themselves trans-gendered; and I have some rather touchy questions: why do we need to refer to the rest of us as “cis-gendered”? Will anyone listen to me if I say I am offended by that label? Where are the PC police now? I am sure most of us did not agree to that label, not that I can say I am terribly offended. It just sounds like the “cis” labelling is a rhetorical device to make trans people feel better. I am not denying I am “cis”, I just don’t see  the point in using that label at all. And to trans people, please feel free to strip yourselves of labels also.

“Trans people” are, I am sure not a unified group. Each consists of a collection of individuals with their own lives, concerns, interests, hangups, like most of us. I think the ultimate goal of the PC police should be, not to refer to “trans people” or “indigenous people” as a group, but to rid ourselves of all labels one day for all groups. Because to label is to stereotype, and we ultimately should be concerned with the lives of individuals rather than of people we envision as belonging to “groups”. To label people is to tribalize and separate. To not label is to re-engineer a society based on individual concerns and needs, in a way that is doomed to be non-judgemental. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that.

Young Trump staffers and their dating troubles

Hits: 23

They just had “the talk”.

I think we can agree that Business Insider is not exactly a Leftist online publication. The news item has been echoed on MSNBC, GQ, The Cut, Vice – and possibly many other media (Politico apparently broke the story), and it lays bare a rather painful on-the-job hazard of a Trump Employee or supporter working in the DC area.

They can’t get laid.

Being a Trump staffer or supporter takes a toll on their private lives, apparently. Young staffers going on online dating find that the lifespan of the relationship is cut short soon after they have “the talk” with their partner. “The talk” is when the date comes out of the closet and admits to being a Trump staffer or supporter. It appears you would have better luck admitting that you’re bisexual or that you howl at the moon.

So, you don’t even need to work for him. This is also happening to people who came out of the closet during “the talk” saying they voted for Trump. One of the reasons reported for the impending break-up in this case is that they voted against birth control by voting for Trump. If this “talk” is happening over a text messaging, then it could devolve into the partner screaming in all caps calling the Trump supporter a “RACIST” and a “BIGOT”. One staffer was asked: “Did you rip babies from their mothers and send their parents to Mexico?”

DC. Whether you want to call it the District of Columbia or the District of Calamity, it is one of the most Democratic districts in America. Where coming out the building from work at your Trump-appointed government job at the end of the day means you have to endure getting yelled at, or having people flipping the bird at you.

The coping mechanism for dates has become either evasive, vague answers, or simply lying about their job or support. Looks like dating people who work for a racist, corrupt demagogue is falling out of style these days. Staffers will now be well advised to steer clear of bars where people might heckle them; or in restaruants where protestors might suddenly gather and loudly play recordings of crying babies and toddlers held in detention centres while they are quietly eating Mexican food.

In the end, they may be forced to look at each other for companionship. In fact, they do tend to gather with friends at home rather than go out into the town. But every niche needs to be filled. There are now Trump-friendly dating apps. And rumor has it that there are local bars in the DC area which cater to Trump supporters.

In most of these articles, including Business Insider, the article usually ends up with some kind of equivocal statement about the great career prospects and connections of the Trump staffers more than compensating for a decreased level of popularity.

But there is a deeper question here that is not getting looked at. The divisiveness of Trump’s style of governing is being felt to not too small a degree by his employees. Divisiveness, sustained as it is, is a sign of society devolving.

Oh yeah, and by the way: JFK Documents released

Hits: 17

Back on 26 April, what I understand should have been the last of the JFK documents released to the general public and made available for download. Apparently, the deadline to release the last of them has been now moved to 2021.

With all the distractions surrounding Donald Trump, including those distractions Trump made for himself, you could be excused for not hearing about these rather ground-breaking developments, moving toward trying to end over 50 years of speculation and conspiracy theories.

The irony is, you can thank Trump for allowing the release of these documents. You wouldn’t know it from his preoccupation with making angry tweets about the news of the day. This would have actually made him look good, had one of his tweets mentioned it.

Since 24 July 2017, over 54,000 documents were released relating to the JFK assassination, made available largely as PDF scanned copies. A good deal of the early releases are listed as “NBR” or “Not believed relevant” on the Excel spreadsheet I downloaded, which lists the files and their links. There are hundreds of documents that are just plain illegible. I noticed a lot of newspaper clipping among the interviews and transcriptions of what must have been handwritten notes. There are also official correspondences on government letterhead., memos, and so on.

Google Autocomplete Follies

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Humans are a curious species. We like to ask the questions about why things exist/happen/not happen, and so on.

When I built my search engine questions, I began with the word “WHY”, then gradually built on that, one word at a time. Now, I pass on the list of questions to you.

If the list of Google autocomplete suggestions which is to follow is taken to be the true distillation of human thought, we seem to be very preoccupied with aches and pains, bodily functions, and weather events, and not a whole lot outside of that.

WHY

⦁ him
⦁ is the sky blue
⦁ don’t we
⦁ him cast (sic)
⦁ do whales beach
⦁ am i so tired
⦁ are you running
⦁ do cats purr
⦁ am I always tired
⦁ do we yawn

WHY DOES

⦁ my cat lick me
⦁ my dog lick me
⦁ it hurt when i pee
⦁ salt melt ice
⦁ ice float
⦁ my stomach hurt
⦁ my head hurt
⦁ my jaw hurt

WHY DOES IT

⦁ snow
⦁ snow in Canada
⦁ rain
⦁ always rain on me
⦁ hurt to swallow
⦁ hurt to poop
⦁ hurt to have sex
⦁ hurt to breathe
⦁ hurt when I cough

WHY DOES IT SEEM

⦁ like everyone is rich
⦁ impossible to lose weight
⦁ impossible to get a girlfriend
⦁ hard to breathe
⦁ hard to swallow

WHY DOES IT NEVER

⦁ work out with guys
⦁ snow in London/Manchester/Swansea/England/Florida
⦁ snow on Christmas
⦁ snow
⦁ rain in California
⦁ get dark in Alaska

WHY DOES IT ALWAYS SEEM

⦁ to be (Phil Collins lyric)
⦁ to rain at night
⦁ to rain on the weekend
⦁ to rain on Good Friday
⦁ to be my fault

The most annoying sound on radio

Hits: 23

This picture was shot at Square One … no, in Vaughan, no, in Scarborough, … Edmonton?, … oh, well… they all look alike.

Why do jewellery commercials have to be so tasteless and annoying? I single out jewellery commericals, since they are more annoying even then furniture commercials, their main competitor for the gold standard of tastelessness.

But no. We have sharpers like Russell Oliver, and others who will go on TV and radio and in the most garish manner known to man, tell you how you can trade in your jewellery for cash, in a way that seems to rob your most prized possessions of all the dignity and memory they once had. But I don’t believe he is the worst.

On the radio station I listen to, which doesn’t play a lot of ads, I admit, there is that infernal commercial from Spence Diamonds. Oh, that Scream! I didn’t know that it has been dubbed the “Spence Scream”, and even hashtagged #SpenceScream since at least 2014. It has even attracted some imitators, and an attempt had been made to vote it out of existence (Spence didn’t listen and it still persists to this afternoon). Since it was Spence that initiated the vote, I believe that maybe they thought it was too memorable, and couldn’t come up with a less annoying idea.

I am annoyed because I am already married, been there, done that. Having been through it, it is a tad degrading to hear it. The marriage (mine, at least), was about love. Clearly, Spence is agaisnt this idea. They want it to be about their diamonds.

Curiously, the comment sections of the YouTube videos of Spence promos have curiously well-worded and lucid critiques of Spence’s advertising practices. These are not your normal trolls. These apparently well-educated and erudite people seemed to have a lot of time on their hands, and are gravely preoccupied with dignity and class.

I think: look, the couple sounds very much in-character on the radio, just get rid of the scream.

The Government is telling me who I am: The voting Survey: a lesson in sampling bias part III

Hits: 11

As a response for participating in the survey, I finally know who I am, because the government told me so. Apparently I am a pragmatist. In an earlier one of these online surveys, I was someone on the loony left. These labels are, on some level, amusing. It’s kind of like reading a Horoscope characterization of yourself, with about the same level of scientific accuracy. Most things on this list as so broadly-defined that they can apply to just about anyone. I will just show this characterization below without comment:

YOUR VIEWS MOST ALIGN WITH

  1. Pragmatists
    • My democracy is balancedand straight-forward
    • Pragmatists generally want governments to strike a balance between decisive action and compromise. They tend to prefer a clear line of accountability to voters, but not at the expense of collaboration between parties.
    • Pragmatists are split about whether special measures are needed to help increase the diversity of representation in Parliament.
    • Pragmatists typically prefer that election ballots are easy to use and to understand.
    • Pragmatists generally view voting as a democratic duty rather than a personal choice and are slightly more inclined to support mandatory voting. They are among the least likely archetypes to support online voting.

Who are Pragmatists?

  1. MEDIAN AGE
    • 52
  2. MALE
    • 48%
  3. FEMALE
    • 52%
  4. OTHER
    • *
  5. RURAL
    • 25%
  6. SUBURBAN
    • 29%
  7. URBAN
    • 46%

In Memoriam, 2016

Hits: 96

What a year. A lot of really well-liked musicians and entertainers have shuffled off this mortal coil. Indeed, it was a depressing year for celebrity deaths, and increased global warming and Trump winning the election didn’t help things. We witness the cosmically interconnected deaths of multiple people within the same sitcom; both Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia in Star Wars) and mother Debbie Reynolds (Co-starred with Gene Kelly in Singin’ in the Rain) die within a day of each other. And the actor behind R2-D2 in the same year. This is to say nothing about ’70s and ’80s music icons. This list of more than 45 people who died this year are just the ones that most easily come to mind. It still seems like a long list. Of course, if you are an “in memoriam” junkie, there is always the much, much longer list at http://www.nndb.com

Abe Vigoda
Abe Vigoda (1921-2016)

Abe Vigoda – One of two former members who passed away this year, from the now-syndicated TV comedy series Barney Miller. Abe played detective “Fish”.

Alan Thicke
Alan Thicke (1947-2016)

Alan Thicke – Sitcom actor mostly known for his role as a father in Growing Pains. He was also host of the talk show The Alan Thicke Show

Alvin Toffler
Alvin Toffler (1928-2016)

Alvin Toffler – Author of the much read and much studied ’70s social commentary “Future Shock

Arnold Palmer
Arnold Palmer (1929-2016)

Arnold Palmer – Recognized as one of the greatest golfers in sports history.

Billy Paul
Billy Paul (1934-2016)

Billy Paul – Writer and singer of the soul hit Me and Mrs. Jones, and possibly the originator of the word “jonesin'” whenever someone has a romantic obsession with someone else, or with an idea.

Bob Elliott (1923-2016) with comedy partner Ray Goulding (1922-1990)
Bob Elliott (1923-2016) with comedy partner Ray Goulding (1922-1990)

Bob Elliott – one half of the duo “Bob and Ray“. Bob and Ray was a radio comedy program which was popular during the 1940s and 1950s. And many of their skits have stood the test of time. Ray Goulding died in 1990.

Bobby Vee
Bobby Vee (1943-2016)

Bobby Vee – Early 1960s pop singer, with over 10 hits in reaching the top 20.

Brock Yates
Brock Yates (1933-2016)

Brock Yates – Contributor to Car and Driver magazine, and invented the concept of the Cannonball Run, which inspired many 70s car-oriented movies such as Smoky and the Bandit, and the actual movie named Cannonball Run.

Charmaine Carr
Charmaine Carr (1942-2016)

Charmaine Carr – Played the eldest von Trapp sister Liesel in the movie The Sound of Music.

David Bowie
David Bowie (1947-2016)

David Bowie – Singer/songwriter/gender bender/fashion plate. More here and here.

Edgar Mitchell
Edgar Mitchell (1930-2016)

Edgar Mitchell – the 6th man to walk on the moon during Apollo 14.

Fidel Castro
Fidel Castro (1926-2016)

Fidel Castro –  President of Cuba for around 55 years. He turned American holdings into public holdings while thumbing his nose at the American government. Along the way, he killed off a lot of his opponents, restricted free speech, but also had free education, and free healthcare, which was the envy of Central America, causing average life expectancy to extend beyond those of Americans. So, while reviews are mixed, he is, on balance, revered as one the great leaders of the 20th century.

Florence Henderson
Florence Henderson (1934-2016)

Florence Henderson – Played mother Carol in The Brady Bunch.

Frank Sinatra Jr.
Frank Sinatra Jr., (1944-2016)

Frank Sinatra, Jr. – Son of Frank Sinatra.

Garry Shandling
Garry Shandling (1949-2016)

Garry Shandling – Played host on the quasi-reality-sitcom The Gary Shandling Show.

Gene Wilder – I prefer to remember him for his roles in the Mel Brooks movies Young Frankenstein and Blazing Saddles. More here.

Gene Wilder
Gene Wilder (1933-2016)

George Kennedy
George Kennedy (1925-2016)

George Kennedy – Most famous for his starring roles in Naked Gun, and all four sequels of the Airport films, based on an Arthur Haley novel.

George Michael
George Michael (1963-2016)

George Michael – Lead singer of Wham! and later soloist. Died of heart failure.

George Martin
George Martin (1926-2016)

 Sir George Martin – Producer for The Beatles.

Glenn Frey
Glenn Frey (1948-2016)

Glenn Frey – Solo musician, and former lead singer of The Eagles.

Greg Lake
Greg Lake (1947-2016)

Greg Lake – The “L” in ELP (Emerson, Lake, and Palmer). Before that, he was the drummer for King Crimson.  Died on 7 December.

Gordie Howe
Gordie Howe (1928-2016)

Gordie Howe, OC — Played in the NHL for just over a quarter century, and another six years in the WHA. Known as “Mr. Hockey”.

Harper Lee
Harper Lee (1926-2016)

Harper Lee – Author of To Kill a Mockingbird.

Henry Heimlich
Henry Heimlich (1920-2016)

Henry Heimlich – American physician and inventor of the Heimlich Maneuver.

Henry McCullough
Henry McCullough (1943-2016)

Henry McCullough – Played lead guitar for Joe Cocker and for Wings. He was also a solo performer at the original Woodstock festival in 1969.

Bob Newhart (left) and Jack Riley (right) (1935-2016)
Bob Newhart (left) and Jack Riley (right) (1935-2016)

Jack Riley – Played the neurotic patient Elliott Carlin in The Bob Newhart Show. He also has a movie career that dates back to playing a doctor in the original version of the movie Catch-22.

Joe Santos (1931-2016)
Joe Santos (1931-2016)

Joe Santos – Played Lt. Becker on The Rockford Files; also played in Magnum P. I., and The Sopranos.

John Glenn (1921-2016)
John Glenn (1921-2016)

John Glenn – First man to circle the globe in a space capsule, aviator, astronaut, and Ohio state senator.

Kenny Baker (1934-2016) next to R2-D2.
Kenny Baker (1934-2016) next to R2-D2.

Kenny Baker – The man inside R2-D2.

Leon Russell (1942-2016)
Leon Russell (1942-2016)

Leon Russell (Claude Russell Bridges) – Soloist and session musician to some of the best names in ’60s and ’70s music: The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, John Lennon, Eric Clapton, The Carpenters, Jan and Dean, Dave Mason, B. B. King, and Rita Coolidge, to begin to scratch the surface.

Leonard Cohen (1934-2016)
Leonard Cohen (1934-2016)

Leonard Cohen – Folk/Pop singer, poet, painter.

Marvin Minsky (1927-2016)
Marvin Minsky (1927-2016)

Marvin Minsky – Father of artificial intelligence.

Maurice White
Maurice White (1941-2016)

Maurice White – Founding member of the 70s dance band Earth, Wind and Fire.

Merle Haggard
Merle Haggard (1937-2016)

Merle Haggard – Country and Western singer.

Morley Safer (1931-2016)
Morley Safer (1931-2016)

Morley Safer – News anchor for CBS’s 60 Minutes. He was in television journalism for 61 years.

Muhammad Ali – Three-time world heavyweight champion in boxing. More here.

Muhammad Ali (1942-2016)
Muhammad Ali (1942-2016)
Pat Harrington – Played Duane Schneider on the sitcom One Day at a Time.

pat-harrington-1-sized
Pat Harrington (1929-2016)

Patty Duke (1946-2016)
Patty Duke (1946-2016)

Patty Duke – Played both Helen Keller and Ann Sullivan in both best-known film adaptations of the movie The Miracle Worker. She won an Oscar for the first one in 1963. She has been either on film or TV fairly steadily between 1958 and 2012.

Paul Kantner (1941-2016)
Paul Kantner (1941-2016)

Paul Kantner – One of the founding members of Jefferson Airplane.

Sir Peter Shaffer (1926-2016)
Sir Peter Shaffer (1926-2016)

Peter Shaffer – British Playwright best known for Amadeus and Equus.

Prince (Prince Rogers Nelson) – Prolific pop musician, talent scout, and record producer. More here.

prince_nodrugs
Prince (1958-2016)

Richard Adams (1920-2016)
Richard Adams (1920-2016)

Richard Adams — Author of the children’s novel Watership Down.

Robert Vaughn (1932-2016)
Robert Vaughn (1932-2016)

Robert Vaughn – Starred in Man from U. N. C. L. E. He also had a number of movie roles throughout the 1970s.

Ron Glass (1945-2016)
Ron Glass (1945-2016)

Ron Glass – Played Detective Harris on the sitcom Barney Miller.

Scotty Moore (1931-2016)
Scotty Moore (1931-2016)

Scotty Moore – Elvis Presley’s first guitarist.

Steve Young (1942-2016)
Steve Young (1942-2016)

Steve Young – Wrote Seven Bridges Road, which became a hit for The Eagles.

Susannah Mushatt Jones (1899-2016)
Susannah Mushatt Jones (1899-2016)

Susannah Mushatt Jones – World’s oldest living person at time of death, born in Alabama in 1899 to sharecroppers, and was the granddaughter of slaves. Since high school, she spent most of her life in Brooklyn, New York City, and had retired since 1965. She attributes her longevity to never having smoked or consumed alcohol.

Umberto Eco (1932-2016)
Umberto Eco (1932-2016)

Umberto Eco – Professor of semiotics, University of Boston

Denise Matthews (1959-2016) (post-Vanity)
Denise Matthews (1959-2016) (post-Vanity)

Vanity (Denise Katrina Matthews) – Singer, Songwriter. Boy-pal Prince was about to introduce her and her lingerie-clad all-girl band to the world as “Vaginia and the Hookers”. Late into the night, she persuaded Prince that her stage name was to be called “Vanity”, and her lingerie-clad all-girl band was to be called “Vanity 6”. Prince said: “Wha’? Why ‘6’? There’s only three of you”. The group lasted for one album and one tour. Two years later, she would land several movie and TV roles. Among her other boyfriends during her life of glamour were Adam Ant and Nikki Sixx. By 1996 she had renounced her drug use (oh yeah, she was also battling drug addiction) and all ties to the entertainment industry by finding God and creating her own ministry.

William Christopher (1932-2016)
William Christopher (1932-2016)

William Christopher  — Played Father Mulcahy in the hit TV series M*A*S*H.

W. P. Kinsella (1935-2016)
W. P. Kinsella (1935-2016)

William Patrick (W. P.) Kinsella — Canadian novelist known for Shoeless Joe, which was adapted to film.

Zsa Zsa Gabor (1917-2016)
Zsa Zsa Gabor (1917-2016)

Zsa Zsa Gabor — Hungarian-American Beauty queen, socialite and actress.

 

Famous Teetotalers 012: Right-wingers

Hits: 12

thenuge
Theodore Anthony Nugent

Ted Nugent or “The Nuge” is a hard rock/psychedelic guitarist whose musical career dates back to 1963. He has made his stance against drug and alcohol abuse part of his right-wing activism. He is an ardent Republican supporter, and is strongly in favour of gun rights. It is said that his stance against substance abuse had an influence on a part of the Punk Rock movement known as the “Straight Edge” movement.

Bill O'Reilly
Bill O’Reilly

Bill O’Reilly, a host on Fox-TV, also won’t ever be accused of accusing the Republicans of anything wrong, unless it involves Donald Trump. And he is also teetotal. His show The O’Reilly Factor, was the highest-rated news show on the Fox network, and brought in the style of news commentary where afflicting the afflicted and comforting the comforted becomes the norm. But he would tell you that his roots are working class. This, like much of what he says, is disputed. However, he there is no disputing that he studied at Harvard; that he has had much experience in journalism before becoming part of the punditry machine that is Fox News.

Famous teetotalers 011: Muhammad Ali

Hits: 13

StangoAli
Pop art impression of Ali by artist John Stango.

Muhammad Ali, formerly Cassius Clay, was a lot of things to people living in the 1960s and 1970s. Apart from being thrice awarded the world championship in boxing as a heavyweight (1964, 1974, and 1978), he would be a draft dodger and peace activist, a devotee of Islam, and pop culture icon. Like most elite athletes, he never drank or smoked. It is likely that being a devotee of Islam also helped.

 

OOC Receipients 07: Entertainers

Hits: 17

ConnieKaldor
Connie Kaldor

While Connie Kaldor won Juno awards on three occasions (1989, 2004, and 2005) for her work on Children’s albums, she is better known for her amazing talent in folk music and live performances. She has made 14 albums to date, not including her children’s albums. She became a member of the Order of Canada in 2006.

Mary Walsh

Mary Walsh is the uproariously funny comedienne from St. John’s who was trained in theatre in Toronto. She was itching to do the real how to buy tramadol thing, though. She joined CODCO, which became a TV series alongside Andy and Cathy Jones, Tommy Sexton, and Greg Malone. This spurred a series on CBC Television from 1987 to 1992. She was most recently known for her stunt where she did a This-Hour-Has-Seven-Days-style ambush of former mayor Rob Ford in late 2011. Walsh became a member of The Order of Canada in 2001.

Famous Teetotalers 04: Politicians staying on the wagon

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Scarfing down some OJ: about as alcoholic as it gets with Trump these days ...
About as alcoholic as it gets with Trump these days …

There was never any indication that Donald Trump over-indulged in alcohol, but any indulging he ever did came to a halt in 1981 when his brother died of complications from alcholism. From then on, the billionaire politician eventually put an end to all bad habits: no alcohol, cigarettes, or recreational drugs. In all the brouhaha he creates in politics these days, it is easy to forget that when he says all those outrageous things, he does it sober, and in his best sense of mental acuity. Scary.

whothef-k
Most people don’t, but they like the T-shirt anyway.

Ernesto (“Che”) Guevara (1928-1967) is a tad to the political left of Trump, I would suppose, but they have a lot in common. Both Che and Trump are loved or reviled, depending on who you talk to. Both were political outsiders that want to upset the political establishment apple cart for the sake of their own passionately-held beliefs. Che’s likeness, similar to the image you see to the right, was once used to sell strong drink (30% alcohol) that many people find hard to classify. Not a great homage to someone who not only was a non-drinker, but even tried to get alcohol banned in Cuba. The estate of the photographer of the image, one Korda Gutierrez, sued Smirnoff, the maker of the beverage, in 2000, for breach of copyright in using the photo on their bottles.

Recognizable OOC Recipients 002: Anita Best

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Anita Best

Newfoundland is known for, among other things, its own brand of music. Anita Best was music in a space of her own. People not hep to Newfoundland culture would very likely take to her music, since most of it is free of button accordions, harmonicas, bagpipes and the like (sometimes she’s a capella). In my opinion, some of her best music was done alongside Pamela Morgan, and I am not sure if I am the only one who wore out their cassette of The Color of Amber.  She was born on an island in Placentia Bay, and currently is active in preserving Newfoundland folk culture though her office at Norris Point, near Corner Brook.

She received her appointment to the Order of Canada in 2011.

 

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