Thursday, September 8, 2016

New Worlds

One Born Every Minute

"Great news! We've doubled the potential for gadget loss!"

The most interesting reveal
at Apple's big event yesterday wasn't the iPhone 7, which most analysts found rather underwhelming, but the fact that, as had been rumored, the new model lacks the popular 3.5mm headphone jack.

Apple is including a ridiculous dongle with the new phone which allows users to connect their existing wired headsets through the phone's proprietary Lightning connector, but what Apple really wants you to do is spring for the $159 Apple Airpods.

The early reviews of those have not been glowing either, and in typical Apple fashion they have diddled with the Bluetooth technology so that the Airpods can only pair with Apple devices. It remains to be seen whether makers of third-party wireless headsets will be allowed to produce models that pair with the new iPhone.

"How many more times are Apple fanboys going to fall for this kind of crap?"

Infinity, old friend...infinity more times...

Feast Day

Stained glass in St. James' Church, Glenbeigh, Ireland

September 8 is the day Catholics celebrate the Nativity of Mary.

The precise date of Mary's birth
is not recorded in scripture, so the General Roman Calendar chose the date precisely nine months after the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, which is celebrated on December 8

The latter is a Holy Day of Obligation for American Catholics, while the Nativity of Mary is not.

Hey, La-Di-La, My Football's Back

Miller's strip of Newton was a key play

The 2016 NFL regular season starts tonight, with the Broncos playing the Panthers in a Super Bowl 50 rematch at the preposterously- named Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver.

I have no great love for the Panthers, but my two favorite teams on any given NFL weekend are my beloved Kansas City Chiefs and whoever is playing the !@#$% Denver Broncos. Now that Peyton Manning has retired to a career of annoying TV commercials, I am hopeful that the Broncos will receive a satisfying beat-down tonight from the defending NFC Champions.

"So, now you'll have one more thing to be screaming at the TV about?"

That would be correct, yes...

To Boldly Go

Title sequence for the debut episode
On September 8, 1966 the television series Star Trek made its prime time debut on NBC.

Everyone in my family liked the show, so on Thursday nights it was "appointment television." No one at the time had any idea it would turn into the cultural phenomenon it became. Back then, it was just an interesting science fiction show.

Of course, like most fans of the show I have seen every episode dozens of times in syndication. I have also enjoyed most of the spin-off projects the original series spawned.

I don't recall asking for your opinion...

Out, Damned Evidence!

From the pen of Lisa Benson, whose editorial cartoons you should read often, as I do.

Until Next Time...

On September 8, 1841 Antonín Leopold Dvořák was born in Nelehozeves, a small village near Prague in what is now called the Czech Republic. As was often the case with classical music geniuses, he was a child prodigy, taking up the violin at age six. He was something of a late bloomer as a composer, not achieving much notice until he was in his 30s. He found a fan in composer Johannes Brahms, however, and from that point on his international reputation continued to grow.

In 1892 Dvořák moved to the United States to become the director of the National Conservatory of Music of America in New York, a post he held for two years. It was during his time in America that he composed some of his most popular works, including the Cello Concerto in B minor and the String Quartet in F major, also known as the American Quartet.

By far the most popular of his American compositions was his Symphony No. 9 in E minor, which he titled "From the New World." It is now popularly known as the New World Symphony, and is one of the most-performed pieces in the entire classical period canon.

To celebrate Pope Benedict XVI's 80th birthday
on April 16, 2007 a special concert was held at the Vatican, with the music selected by the pontiff.

American violinist Hilary Hahn did a marvelous performance of Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 3,
but the highlight of the evening was Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel leading the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra in a spirited performance of Dvořák's symphonic masterpiece.

Today's send-off is the symphony's fourth movement, taken from the film of the historic concert. Enjoy...

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