Street Police Station, Rotherhithe. A uniformed sergeant, pale and gaunt behind a magnificent moustache, was exhaling evenly and audibly, as if at a medical inspection. But his eyes were closed, in the proper manner of a medium in a trance.
-- Peter Lovesey, A Case of Spirits (1975)
Hurricane/Tropical Storm/Big Bad Wind Barry: Missed us. Nyah,nyah! Didn't miss others. Oh, shit!
Although the storm did not hit us, it did a number on the Gulf. Please take a moment to think about those affected. And if there are legitimate ways to contribute, please give that your consideration. Danke.
Racist, Racist, Who's Got the Racist?: We do. And he's living in the White House. His recent tweet suggesting four congresswomen of color go back to "the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came" is just the latest icing on Trump's bigoted and xenophobic cake. I realize he is appealing to his base. I also realize that he using his tweets (and his policies) to divide America. What I don't understand is why so many people go along with this hatred. There are a good many bad, ignorant, and hateful people in his base, but there are also a lot of decent people who have been gulled into supporting him, some of them with what they think are legitimate fears of being disenfranchised. In the meantime the Republican Party, emboldened by the president, continue their ongoing efforts to disenfranchise others. There is a mania sweeping parts of the electorate that is making America suspiciously look like pre-Nazi Germany.
We have an administration built on a tower of lies, hatred, greed, and fear -- and it's heading us in a direction we should all be afraid of.
As comedian Bill Maher said (and I'm paraphrasing), "To all those Trumps supporters who are upset that I'm calling them stupid, I'll stop calling them stupid when they stop being stupid."
Turing: The Bank of England has announced that its new 50-pound banknote will feature mathematician, computer pioneer, and World War II code-breaker Alan Turing. Turing, a man of immense talent and intellect, was demonized after the war for his homosexuality. He was convicted of gross indecency, stripped of his job, and chemically castrated. He committed suicide in 1954 at age 41. Britain's laws against homosexuality were overturned in 1967 and Queen Elizabeth issued a posthumous pardon to Turing in 2013.
The current 50-pound banknote carried the images of James Watt and Matthew Boulton, the developer and marketers of the steam engine.
Not Quite a New Bond: Actress Lashana Lynch appears set to become the new 007 in the James Bond film franchise. She will not play Bond, but will his replacement with the 007 designation after Bond's retirement in the upcoming film, the 25th in the series. Daniel Craig, the current Bond, is expected to make a brief appearance in the movie.
Lynch is best known for her role as Maria Rambeau, the best friend of Carol Danvers in this year's film Captain Marvel. She will be both the first woman and the first Black to take on the 007 mantle.
Can't wait to see it!
Paging the Late Bill Crider: Yes, there are gators in the news (many of them in Florida, natch!) and Bill would have been proud to report them if he were still around. So...
- Clearwater, Florida, police responded to a report of a "suspicious subject hanging out in front to rooms 144 and 155" at the local Super 8 motel. It was an alligator, evidently acting suspiciously, and police removed to a nearby lake.
- Two alligators were removed from Rodney's Barber Kings shop in Eastpointe, Michigan. The owner, whom I presume is Rodney, told police that he did not know he needed a special license to keep alligators, or even to keep alligators in his barber shop. The gators are now happily settled in at an alligator sanctuary.
- An alligator is on the loose at Humboldt Park Lagoon in Chicago. although officials have not yet been able to catch it, it has been caught on camera. The alligator is estimated to be 4 to 5 feet long. Wisely, people are cautioned not to swim in the Lagoon until the gator is caught.
- In the Osprey Cove neighborhood of Myrtle Beach in South Carolina, a pair of wildlife trappers were called in when an alligator -- described as a beloved local resident -- was found with a soccer ball wedged between his jaws at a local retention pond. "It almost looked like he wasn't alive at the time. but then I did see him moving so I know he was alive," the lead trapper said. The gator then managed to pull him into the water -- the first time that had happened to him while on the job. So I guess the gator really was alive. The gator was caught and the soccer ball removed to the cheers of local residents.
- Two albino alligators at a Florida wildlife park have successfully mated, the first known such instance on record. The sexual capers of Snowflake (the female) and Blizzard (the male) have resulted in another first -- a clutch of albino alligator eggs. Because of her albinism snowflake is blind, so park wildlife experts have removed the eggs to an incubator for their protection.
- A 463-pound alligator tried to cross Interstate 10 in Tallahassee when it was struck by a semi-truck. The highway was closed while rescuers moved the alligator. Unfortunately its injuries were so sever that the gator had to be euthanized a few days late.
- In Sarasota, Florida, a not-too-bright alligator got into a residential garage and managed to get itself wedged under a car -- nothing that jacking up the back of the car couldn't handle. Police then wrestled the gator out of the garage and into a nearby body of water.
- A five-foot alligator was found wandering in a Pittsburgh neighborhood. Two other alligators were found loos in the city that month. Strangely, the incidents do not appear to be related
- And in Caddo Parish, Louisiana, an 8-feet alligator took a bite out of a sheriff's deputy's patrol car. Perhaps he thought it was a soccer ball.
As the immense dew of Florida
The big-finned palm
And the green vine angering for life,
As the immense dew of Florida
Brings forth hymn and hymn
From the beholder,
Beholding all these green sides
And gold sides of green sides,
And blessed mornings,
Meet for the eye of the young alligator,
And lightning colors
So, in me, comes flinging
Forms, flames, and the flakes of flames.
-- Kenneth Patchen
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