At Bloomberg, Tony Capaccio reports the new long-range bomber planned by the Air Force may cost 50 percent more than it had projected. The figure thrown around is $810 million for one, up from $737,000,000 for the B-2. Bear in mind that, during World War II, a number quoted for B-17s ― one of its predecessors ― was 12,731 manufactured. Let’s see how many of previous generations of bombers you could buy with the money spent on one of the new bomber (figures from Wikipedia). Continue reading
I shall be with you on your wedding-night. – Frankenstein’s Monster
You may have noticed that a new “bipartisan budget compromise” has emerged on Capitol Hill, largely brokered by conservative darling Paul Ryan and “pragmatic liberal” Patty Murray. The howls of outrage from the Tea Party wing commenced on cue. Which is why, earlier this morning, I found myself joking that I was looking forward to seeing Ryan primaried from the right. Continue reading
And while we’re considering 20th century British composers and the thousands of great Christmas choral songs they’ve produced, here’s John Gardner’s updated 1960s version of TSBMDD, which first appeared in a choral collection in 1833. We’re doing this in our Christmas concert tomorrow evening–I hope we sound as good as this. A wonderful song–this is actually an early 19th century carol (with 16th century Cornish roots) that retells the story of Jesus in his own voice, where his life takes the form of a dance. Gardner’s version is probably the best known version, for good reason. Continue reading
A wonderful recent discovery. They might remind you of Death Cab for Cutie, and there are moments where I might compare them to The Shins, Ben Folds Five or Jets Overhead, even. Thoughtful, literate Chamber Pop from my new city.
Brewed back in early 2010 to commemorate Elliott Bay Brewing’s 1000th batch (hence the name), this anniversary brew was divided into four separate barrels. This year’s release has been aging since then in Merlot casks after having brettanomyces yeast and a souring bacterium added. Notes of vanilla and grape.
Please, please, please, save enough to take to the Great American Brew Festival. They have a gold medal waiting for you. Continue reading
In an ongoing effort to discredit mainstream climate science, climate contrarians have incorrectly asserted that there is a “pause” in the rate of global warming. This was never true, but now, it is even less true.
Greg Laden teaches anthropology at Century College and blogs for National Geographic Scienceblogs.com. He is a long time resident of the Twin Cities and has written extensively on matters of climate change and other areas of science.
To any objective observer, the Earth is now a world warmed. The decade 2001-2010 was the hottest decade on record, and every single month since March 1985 has been warmer than the 20th century average. Continue reading
British composers had good run this past century composing Christmas songs. One of my favorites Is William Walton’s “What Cheer?” Walton composed some great choral pieces, but was better known for his orchestral pieces, including some amazing film scores (especially Lawrence Olivier’s Henry V). And some lovely guitar pieces. Anyway, here are the Cambridge Singers:
And there’s a lot of wisdom in her words. Mamma knows best and Mamma knows her man. That’s “man” as in my old man or more appropriately, her old man.
Anyhow, the old man — what an entrepreneur!
First, it was having us all pick strawberries on weekends. Then it was potato picking and later, baling hay. Continue reading
Not an oxymoron—Scandinavians take Christmas seriously, as anyone who has been to any of the major cities at Christmas knows. In spite of Scandinavian Noir and those gripping television shows, Christmas in Stockholm or Helsinki or Oslo is quite joyful. We start off with a suggestion from Cat White, Mitt hjerte alltid vanker (My Heart Always Wanders), which I’m pretty sure you need to be Norwegian to understand, but is quite lovely anyway. That’s what’s great about Christmas songs—they often sound great even when you don’t get the literal meaning.
Or, as it has been known for 600 years, “Greensleeves.” This is a lovely version by Liz Story, pianist extraordinaire, from her Christmas album, The Gift. The lyrics to “What Child is This?” were written in the 19th century, but “Greensleeves” itself has been associated with Christmas since the 1660s. Continue reading
It seems like every year, starting with November, the damned wheels fall off for Chelsea. It’s been baffling. This November wasn’t the Greek tragedy that the last couple have been, but it wasn’t awesome, either. The Blues kicked this season’s chokefest off by losing to Newcastle. They tied West Brom, and in the Champions League found a way to lose to Basel. (In fairness, they’d lost to Basel before November, too.) So not a complete disaster, but that’s five points dropped in the league that a legitimate elite side simply doesn’t drop. Continue reading
Weird thing happened this morning. I stopped at a little gas station/convenience store to fill up. Ran inside to grab a drink. As I was standing there I got this odd feeling. Something was wrong. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but something just didn’t feel right. I walked around the place, looked down the aisles, nothing. Continue reading
The first time Slick Taylor told me I’d been sent to him by God, I should have known enough to bolt. But instead, seated with a musician who was legendary for all the wrong reasons, plus his abrasive manager, in an only-in-LA-setting, a Westside Mexican restaurant helmed by a French chef and catering to an upscale, almost entirely gringo crowd, I continued to speak — or should I say pontificate — about what could, or should, be done to rehabilitate a shattered image and thereby increase the ability to bring in revenue. Continue reading
Another wonderful 20th century piece, one I was unfamiliar with before moving to England. The not-at-all-apocryphal story is that Peter Warlock (music) and Bruce Blunt (lyrics), broke and living in the country, decided to enter The Telegraph’s annual Christmas song competition. This was decided in the middle of a bender, following which the two staggered back to the cottage they were renting. Blunt wrote some lyrics and passed out. Warlock found them in the morning, wrote the music, and they sent it off to finance an “immortal carouse,” as Warlock later put it. And won. Beauty can appear anywhere. I refuse to listen to Sting’s version. This version is by Polyphony. This is a haunting, stunningly beautiful song. Continue reading
US drawn into the toughest group in the 2014 Copa. You heard it here first.
FIFA held the draw for the 2014 World Cup this morning, and I was really disappointed to be proven right. I predicted back in November that the US national team was screwed. Today we got official confirmation, as the USMNT was drawn into a group with Germany, Ghana and Portugal.
At the end of the 2010 World Cup I predicted that the 2014 final would feature Germany and Ghana. Continue reading