Category Archives: Media

FRFF 2020

I have come to love Winona’s film festival , which happens each winter after the Superbowl, and celebrated 15 years this past weekend. At the same time, I sort of brace myself because I know I’ll probably attend close to a dozen films or film sets over the span of five days, and there’s precious little time for anything else.

The films are documentaries from 4 to 84 minutes in length, concentrated on Saturday-Sunday on the WSU Campus. At the atrium of the Science Lab Center are food vendors, ticket sales and merchandise, display booths, and conversation corners for those who would like to continue discussing what they just viewed. Other local venues include the Winona Cinema 7, Senior High School, and this year there was an early day of films in Lanesboro, MN, the previous weekend. Clusters of shorter ones include the Adventure Set, Moving Mountains Set, Indomitable Spirit Set, a Local Set…

Husband and I volunteer as ushers/ticket-takers for two of the sets, which gets us a weekend pass to all films. (!) My favorite mind-bending films this time around began on Wednesday evening with Hillbilly – how we have stereotyped people of Appalachia, and how that has created the perfect “soil” for Trumpism.

Frozen Friday was wonderful:

– at the Library: I wish everyone could see The Economics of Happiness, an overview of how globalization has changed the world, and how we might survive this.

– at the Sr. Friendship Center:  Love is Listening: Dementia without Loneliness – who knew this is how to get under all the surface stuff and just be with people?

– at St. Mary’s Univ. Student Center:  The Francis Effect – the impact the current Pope has made in the world, on groups and individuals.

Saturday, I started out with The Serengeti Rules – a cadre of nature researchers have discovered that the natural world operates differently than previously though (another “must see” in my opinion), if you look over the long term. While “working” as ushers, we viewed Singing in the Grain, highlighting the music that holds Minnesota’s Czech communities together, in New Prague et al; and Blood Memory, on reparations just now being made to First Nations People who were impacted by adoption/foster care forced on them in the last century.

Sunday featured a rather disjointed but still powerful film (produced and narrated by Jeff Bridges), an overview of our current global situation:  Living in the Future’s Past.

Lest you think it sounds way too “heavy”, I also saw a horse painting pictures (My Paintbrush Bites), a goatherd high in the Tibetan steppes on her cell phone as her son played stick hockey (Jagrlama), and a club that predicts when celebrities are going to kick the bucket (Riplist).

What was the last documentary you saw?  Do you ever attend film festivals?

What’s in a Name

Husband had to get prescription eye drops for after his cataract surgery. One option involved two different drops administered to the affected eye three times a day. Those drops could be obtained at our local pharmacy.  The other, more expensive, option involved getting one eye drop mixture from an East Coast company called Designer Drugs.  I thought that the company name was pretty clever and spoke volumes to its mission and activity. I wonder if it also leads to regular visits from the drug enforcement agency where it is located.

We ate in a Thai restaurant called Eat Thai Cafe after Husband’s surgery. That, too, has a clever name. Where are you going? Oh, we’re going to Eat Thai. (The food, by the way, was fabulous!)

What are some memorable names you have encountered? What are some product names you would like to see? How do you choose names for your pets?

 

 

Mail Delivery Update

I am happy to report that we had mail delivery every day possible for the past week, and on only one occasion did it come after 8:00 pm.  I spoke with the carrier, who told me that there still isn’t anyone permanently assigned to our route, but that a couple of new Postal Service hires are making it possible for the mail for our route to be delivered on a regular basis.

We needed some good mail news. In fact, I think we need a lot more good news all around these days.

What good news have you run across lately?

Comedy Tonight

On February 5, 1967, the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour premiered on CBS. I remember watching it, as well as Laugh In, Carol  Burnett, Jackie Gleason,  Jonathan Winters, Jack Benny, and Red Skelton.

I was only 9 years old at the time, and sometimes I just didn’t get the humor.

I think I liked Carol Burnett the best.

It was such an unhappy time, the late 60’s, yet  such shows proliferated. One thing that surprised me as I researched this was how long the sketches were that I found.

What was your favorite comedy show? Know any good jokes?

Too Much Tech

I realized the other day that between the two of us,  Husband and I have five computers we use on a regular basis. I think that is kind of excessive.

We have a desktop computer at home that we both use.  I have a personal laptop that I use for my regulatory board work,  when I travel , or I need one when I am out and about.  (I  also use it at work to live stream MPR  since  I am not allowed to use my work computer for that.)   I have a  work laptop supplied by the State  that I use in my office and that I  can also  bring home to  access my work email as well as the Electronic Health Care Record system. That means I can do paperwork anywhere.  I used it at home yesterday just for that purpose when I was ill and at home with a fever and a cough. Husband uses a personal laptop for his private practice,  as well as a work laptop supplied by the Tribe for his work on the Rez.

I suppose that is how it goes when one has work and personal business to take care of, but it seems like too much tech in our lives. Thank goodness we don’t have work cell phones. It is hard enough to keep track of the two we have.

When have you had too much of a good thing?  How many computers in your life?

Too Hot to Handle

KELT 9-B seems an innocuous-enough name for an exoplanet. It was discovered in 2017 and is apparently an “ultra-hot Jupiter” – huge gas giants hotter than anything in our solar system.  In fact, some of the new data coming in suggests that it is three times larger than our Jupiter and approximately  7,800 degrees Fahrenheit on its surface.  So hot in fact, that hydrogen atoms are shredded by the heat during the daytime and can only re-form until they appear on the dark side of the planet; KELT 9-B is tidally locked to its star, so the hot side always faces its sun.

It’s amazing to me that we can figure this stuff out since we can’t just look it up on the internet. All the data on KELT 9-B has come from two robotic telescopes in the Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope project, one telescope in South Africa and the other in southern Arizona.  And of course, it makes me wonder how a planet like KELT 9-B comes into existence.  And can it survive its own heat?

How do you cool down when you’re angry?

Death of a Salesman

Photo credit: Tomas Fano

There’s yet more news about the upcoming death of Mr. Peanut. The Planters folks, apparently in an effort to top last year’s Super Bowl ad, looked at how other fictional characters are mourned. They liken Mr. Peanut’s death to Iron Man’s death in Avengers: Endgame, since the leggy legume will also sacrifice himself for others. Iron’s Man’s demise was met with an outpouring of social media activity and the Planters team encourages fans to “tune in to Mr. Peanut’s funeral during the third quarter of the Super Bowl to celebrate his life.”

I like Planters as much as the next person but I’m having trouble imaging myself emoting over the peanut mascot. I will admit I was a little bummed about Iron Man in Endgame; he was, after all, my favorite character in the Avenger universe. But certainly not enough to go to an Avenger funeral or send any sympathy cards. I can only hope that Mr. Peanut’s death brings as much social clamor as the company wishes for.

Personally I’d prefer to keep Mr. Peanut and dump Limo Emu.

Do you have a favorite mascot? Least favorite?