The spectacular – and spectacularly upsetting, it looks like to me – Our Planet series of episodes from renowned filmmaker Sir David Attenborough (he’s 92) is set to debut on Friday on Netflix in 190 countries. It may draw a total audience of one billion viewers.
The material has been four years in the making, with filming done in 50 countries and with the collaboration of the World Wildlife Fund. No bones are made about the impact that human activity has had on the planet. Humans are accelerating what is called the Sixth Extinction, of plant and animal species across the globe.
Below is a preview and a few photos from the series, that the Irish Times had published over the weekend. The octopus in the last picture is off the coast of South Africa.
Alright .. I’m done for now with my iTunes tune-up. It was a lot of fun. In some cases I broke the ‘rules’: uploaded a singles album cover from online, if I had only imported the hit song from a full CD, and I did not like the CD cover much. In other cases where I had multiple CDs for one artist or group (ABBA), I could upload several cool old vinyl covers or CD covers.
I’m still doggedly maintaining my iTunes library of music, even though music purveyors like Apple and Amazon are trying hard to make me let go and subscribe to their online music. For about $10 a month, one can get access to a vast library of old and new music (50 million songs), as well as curated playlists from music buffs.
But if one has listened to recorded music for several decades (me), and have bought music CDs in places all over the world*, it’s really hard to let go of all that. Why not keep the music on CDs AND upload it into a searchable collection of 2,000 songs to carry on your smartphone? It
*I left my vinyl collection behind in South Africa in 1995; gave it all to a friend .. but have replaced some of them with CDs, since.
What happens now — now that the apocalyptic Brexit deadline of March 29 has come and gone?
Will British PM Theresa May resign?
Will there be a second referendum?
The Daily Mail newspaper was having none of it (not moving forward with Brexiting, that is). In a full-page editorial they called the Members of Parliament ‘utterly beneath contempt‘. (Shout-out to the MP looking up from his phone and waving at the camera in that last picture! He looks like a friendly guy, even though I don’t know his politics).
We don’t even know exactly what’s in the Mueller Report yet (we only know the Barr Summary of the Mueller Report), but Trump and his supporters have been taking a victory lap all week.
There Trump was on TV, in all his fake news & lying glory, gesturing while saying ‘the report is a complete and total exoneration‘ – while the report took great pains to specifically say its findings are not an exoneration.
Here’s 16th Avenue at 7.08 pm today. (Sunset is at 7.32 pm).
Green leaf and flower buds are starting to sprout everywhere. These big gnarly trees that have seen many winters, are a little slower to wake up from their slumber.
I went down to check on the construction of Seattle’s sleek new $209 million substation in South Lake Union today. Its construction has been three years in the making – and its planning much longer than that. Seattle City Light purchased the site from the Greyhound bus company in October 2008.
The work inside the substation is basically done, and the equipment has been energized. The walkways on its perimeter and the little public park are not yet open, though. There is also ongoing work done for building out an underground distribution network, scheduled to be completed in 2020.
*bollocks: a word of Middle English origin, in this context meaning blatant lies or unfathomable rubbish
There was a big anti-Brexit protest in London today. Protesters are demanding a second referendum, something that Prime Minister Theresa May has resisted until now.
The original March 29 deadline for Brexit is now on the doorstep, and here is the latest. A short delay for Brexit until May 22 is available if lawmakers in the House of Commons approve May’s overall withdrawal deal next week. If May loses that vote, the UK must make a decision by Apr 12 to take part in the European parliamentary elections in May to seek a delay to Brexit, or leave on Apr 12 without any deal.
Word broke at 5 pm Eastern Time that Robert Mueller had just submitted his long-awaited report about his inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 elections to Attorney-General William Barr. No further indictments are recommended or to be made by Mueller himself, we are told, but we don’t know much more than that right now. It is nevertheless quite possible that information damaging Trump, or pointing to collusion with the Russians, or obstruction of justice, may be described in the report.
It is worth remembering that Mueller have already secured guilty pleas or convictions of Trump’s campaign manager, Trump’s deputy campaign manager, Trump’s campaign foreign policy adviser, Trump’s national security adviser and Trump’s longtime lawyer.
AG Barr will provide the principal conclusions of the report to Congress as soon as this weekend.
How much of the report will the public see? Will Trump fight releasing its contents, and precipitate a constitutional crisis?
We will soon find out.
Mon 3/25: Here are the surprising conclusions of the Mueller Report, with what could be gleaned from AG Barr’s letter sent to Congress on Sunday. Barr only quoted fragments of sentences from the full Mueller Report.
1. Russia meddled with the 2016 elections (we knew that already).
2. Russia tried to get Trump & company to collude but did not succeed/ succeed completely (hey: the Trump campaign & Trump Jr did meet with them in June 2016 .. and did Trump not call out to Russia on camera, to ‘see if they can find’ Hillary Clinton’s e-mails?).
3. Mueller could not/ did not want to decide if Trump obstructed justice. So it was left up to AG William Barr & Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein, who decided not to prosecute. Was it because there was no underlying crime? Was it because Trump displayed his obstruction on national television? (He admitted why he fired FBI Director James Comey, lied about Trump Jr meeting the Russians, lied about his payment to Stormy Daniels, vilified the DOJ, the FBI and the media, for two years).
The Dutch provincial elections of Wednesday yielded unexpected, strong results for Thierry Baudet’s far-right Forum for Democracy (FvD) party.
The Green Left party did very well too, though, but their support is strongest in the urban areas and among highly educated voters. (A familiar theme in western liberal democracies, not?).
Spring has arrived here in the North.
We experienced freakishly warm spring temperatures here in the city yesterday and today: 79 °F (26 °C).
A supermoon tonight coincided with the start of spring, the third and final supermoon for the year. (A supermoon is called a perigean full moon by astronomers. It occurs when a full moon reaches its closest point to the Earth in its elliptical orbit, making it appear unusually bright and large).
The ‘worm’ in the moon’s description refers to little creatures like worms that resume squirming out of the ground, along with the leaves and flowers that start budding in spring.
There is increasing chatter on cable news here in the US, and among watchers of the Mueller Investigation, that the investigation is wrapping up and that its report is imminent. Several high-profile Mueller team members have departed from the investigation. Trump’s weekend tweet storms seem to become increasingly unhinged.
House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi has taken a Trump impeachment (with what we know now), off the table. She’s right that it’s no use that the House vote to impeach him, only for impeachment to die in the Senate (2/3 majority needed).
Senate Republicans used to stand for decency, for law and order, and for upholding the Constitution. Now they are all Trumpsters, and they belong to the Trump Party.
I went out to the annual book sale of the Seattle Public Library on Saturday. Part of the attraction for me to the sale, is just the browsing through all the books – not so much the cheap prices.
There was a long line to get in to the cavernous hall at Seattle Center, and all the while people were leaving with armsful and roller bags full of books. Will there be any left? wondered those of us in line. But once we got in, there were still plenty to choose from.
Sunday was St Patrick’s Day, all over the Western world.
From Wikipedia: Saint Patrick’s Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick (Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig, “the Day of the Festival of Patrick”), is a cultural and religious celebration held on 17 March, the traditional death date of Saint Patrick (c. AD 385–461), the foremost patron saint of Ireland.
I made it down to Belltown and Pike Place Market on Thursday to check out some of the Alaskan Way Viaduct demolition, from up close.
It’s going to be another 6 months before all the demolition work is done.
From Wikipedia: The number π (/paɪ/) is a mathematical constant.
Originally defined as the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, it now has various equivalent definitions and appears in many formulas in all areas of mathematics and physics. It is approximately equal to 3.14159. It has been represented by the Greek letter “π” since the mid-18th century, though it is also sometimes spelled out as “pi”. It is also called Archimedes’ constant.