Monday, March 14, 2016

American Pi

Does Anything Matter, Anymore?

"Coal miners? Yeah, fuck 'em."

One of the most depressing aspects of the current presidential campaign is the extent to which it simply no longer matters what outrageous thing a candidate says. Statements which once upon a time would have doomed a candidate are now shrugged off by that candidate's supporters, if not outright cheered by them.

During a town hall yesterday in Columbus, Ohio, Democratic presidential hopeful and black-eyed skank Hillary Clinton actually said "We're going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business."

This was obviously not a slip of the tongue. She's actually boasting of her intentions.
And it won't hurt her one bit with Democrats.

Asshat Donald Trump says similarly outrageous things every day, and his constituents don't seem to mind, either.

Our politics is broken, perhaps beyond repair, if it simply no longer matters to voters what the people they're voting for actually say, or believe.

"How is the search for hiding places coming along?"

British Columbia looks pretty good, but I'm not sure it's far enough away...

Pi Day

I am certainly no math nerd, but even I can understand why they celebrate March 14 as "Pi Day." Rendered in the common month/day format, today is 3/14, the first three digits of the mathematical constant called pi.

Pi Day is an annual celebration, but last year's was especially meaningful to the math nerds because that date (3/14/15) represented the first FIVE digits of pi.
Good times.

Of course, I'm always a little resentful of the day-long exhortations to eat pie to celebrate pi, because I have given up such treats as part of my Lenten sacrifices.

"Say, isn't March 14 Albert Einstein's birthday, too?"

Yes, it is like Christmas for math nerds...

Another Reason to Hate Daylight Saving Time

From the amusingly off-kilter webcomic xkcd, by Randall Munroe, which you should read every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, as I do.

[For younger readers who may not know what the cartoon is spoofing, read this.]

Until Next Time...

One of the hazards of having a really big hit song is that its success can actually make it more difficult for the rest of the artist's work to get a fair hearing. To a certain extent, such hits can give the impression that the artist was a one-hit wonder even if they were not. Folk singer-songwriter Don McLean could tell you all about it.

When his second album American Pie was released in late October 1971 I was well into my freshman year of college. No one saw the phenomenon coming because McLean's first album had barely caused a ripple the year before. American Pie certainly caused more than a ripple.

Original 1971 45 rpm single

To say that the title song was a hit would be a ridiculous understatement. It was played a couple of times per hour on every pop/rock radio station on the dial. It hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart on January 15, 1972, a position it would hold for four weeks.

One week later the album hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Albums and held the top spot for seven weeks. It would spend more than a year in the Top 200.

The album produced a second Top 20 hit, the elegiac and haunting "Vincent," but even people who remember that song rarely remember that it was McLean who wrote it.

Today's send-off is a 1989 video production which pairs McLean's original hit recording with film clips related to the song's lyrics. Enjoy...

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