Monday, April 26th, 2021


Grammy’s Oscar

Like every Academy Awards show, this one brought out a variety of opinions from viewers and reviewers. It was a year when small films took the big awards, so it makes sense that the awards show was more intimate as well. Overall, I liked most of the changes and thought the show seemed more real and personal, which makes perfect sense following year that was all too real and personal. Among the highlights: Yuh-Jung Youn's acceptance speech for best supporting actress for her role as the grandmother in Minari. The moving speech by director Thomas Vinterberg who lost his daughter during the filming of the best International Feature Film, Denmark's Another Round. And, of course, Glenn Close dancing to Da Butt, which moved this exchange down to her second greatest television moment. Meanwhile, Frances McDormand howled like a wolf (which made my beagles howl back), and the show switched around the awards to present best actor last, to create an emotional Chadwick Boseman win, only to find that Anthony Hopkins won the award. He wasn't there, so Joaquin Phoenix had to accept on his behalf. But really, there's no better way to mark a return to normal than Joaquin Phoenix being weird. Here's a look at all the best and worst moments from the Oscars and a full list of winners.

+ Variety: Behind the decisions to change the show order, air fewer clips and bring in ‘Da Butt.' Plus, snubs and surprises, and Tyler Perry's excellent humanitarian award acceptance speech. "I refuse to hate someone because they're Mexican or because they are black or white. Or LGBTQ. I refuse to hate someone because they're a police officer or because they're Asian. I would hope we would refuse hit hate. And I want to take this humanitarian award and dedicate it to anyone who wants to stand in the middle. Because that's where healing, where conversation, where change happens. It happens in the middle. Anyone who wants to meet me in the middle to refuse hate and blanket judgment, this one is for you."


Solar’s Flare

"This rapid radical reduction in the price of PV solar is a story about Chinese industrial might backed by American capital, fanned by European political sensibilities and made possible largely thanks to the pioneering work of an Australian research team." ‘Insanely cheap energy': how solar power continues to shock the world. "We've got to the point where solar is the cheapest source of energy in the world in most places."


Modi Operandi

"What is taking place in India isn't so much a wave as it is a wall: Charts showing the country's infection rate and death toll, which has also reached record numbers in the country, depict curves that have shot up into vertical lines. Public-health experts aren't optimistic that they will slope down anytime soon. India's outbreak is an enormous tragedy for its own people, but it's also a catastrophe for the rest of the world. Ninety-two developing nations rely on India, home to the Serum Institute, the world's largest vaccine maker, for the doses to protect their own populations." The Atlantic: Why the World Should Worry About India.

+ "Anger mounted in India on Monday after the government ordered Twitter to remove posts critical of its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has devastated large swaths of the country."


Pay Dirt

"Norwegian Cruise Line barely survived the year. With the cruise industry at a standstill, the company lost $4 billion and furloughed 20 percent of its staff. That didn't stop Norwegian from more than doubling the pay of Frank Del Rio, its chief executive, to $36.4 million. And at Hilton, where nearly a quarter of the corporate staff were laid off as hotels around the world sat empty and the company lost $720 million, it was a good year for the man in charge. Hilton reported in a securities filing that Chris Nassetta, its chief executive, received compensation worth $55.9 million in 2020." The pandemic exposed and expanded the economic divide. Even in cases where companies had terrible years, CEO's had wonderful paydays. NYT: C.E.O. Pay Remains Stratospheric, Even at Companies Battered by Pandemic.


Scotus on Notice

Supreme Court To Take Up First Major Gun Rights Case In More Than A Decade. "At issue in the case, NY State Rifle & Pistol Assoc. v. Corlett, is how much the Second Amendment protects the right of individuals to carry concealed weapons outside their home for self-defense. The case will likely be argued in the fall."

+ The fall has been going on for decades. Example: Police search for suspect after 3-year-old boy shot and killed at birthday party.

+ The impending supreme court case will likely increase gun buying. It seems like everything else does. 1st-Time Gun Buyers Help Push Record U.S. Gun Sales Amid String Of Mass Shootings.


The Flight of the Zuckerberg

"Facebook depends on data about its users to target them with online ads and to make money. By urging Facebook to stop gathering that information, Mr. Cook was in effect telling Mr. Zuckerberg that his business was untenable. He ignored Mr. Cook's advice. Two years later, Mr. Zuckerberg and Mr. Cook's opposing positions have exploded into an all-out war." NYT: Breaking Point: How Mark Zuckerberg and Tim Cook Became Foes. Fee Fi Fo Shizzle.



Well, Biden foes finally found something they could attack him over. The only problem is that it's based on make believe (which, at this point, is more of a feature than a bug). "'Joe Biden's climate plan includes cutting 90% of red meat from our diets by 2030,' Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) tweeted on Saturday. 'They want to limit us to about four pounds a year. Why doesn't Joe stay out of my kitchen?'" That is bullshit. And no one really wants to hang out in Lauren Boebert's kitchen, because she's crazy and usually packing heat. Politico: Biden isn't banning meat. But that won't stop these craven jackholes from spreading the same falsehoods until the cows come home.


Frequent ‘Napping

"Virtually all of the money flowed through U.S. companies, mostly through Western Union and MoneyGram but also Walmart and lesser-known companies like Ria. By our rough estimate, criminal organizations in Mexico have made around $800 million on migrant kidnappings alone over the past decade, and money-transfer companies received a cut on nearly every transaction through fees and exchange rates. American corporations are profiting from kidnappings." Vice: US Companies Are Helping Mexican Cartels Get Rich Kidnapping Migrants.


Liquid Paper Route

"On a warm Texas night in 1956, Bette Nesmith — later known as Bette Nesmith Graham — sat in a garage surrounded by buckets of white tempera paint, empty nail polish bottles, and handmade labels. She didn't know it then, but she was on the brink of something magical." The secretary who turned Liquid Paper into a multimillion-dollar business. (It's just so difficult to clean if off my screen...)


Bottom of the News

"A bank employee wed his partner on April 6, 2020. They got divorced days later, on April 16. Then they remarried the following day. Another divorce and a third marriage followed on April 28 and April 29. After a third divorce, on May 11, they got married for the fourth time, on May 12." NYT: A bank in Taiwan said an employee had a rapid succession of nuptials to the same woman to take advantage of the country's paid marriage leave. (Maybe the honeymoon phase can last forever...)

+ There are easier ways to get time off. BBC: Italian hospital employee accused of skipping work for 15 years.