July 2010 Continues

APA’s in the news: I don’t envy the position that US Energy Secretary, Steven Chu, is in; he has a steep learning curve on the oil leak disaster, even if it’s pretty darn good that we do have a Nobel Laureate like him on the matter.

Speaking of the oil leak disaster, would a Republican President have done any better or worse?  Slate’s Christopher Beam ponders on the subject.  I’m of the view that – considering the complexity and the depth and horror of the situation – it couldn’t be any better or worse under any other Presidency.  But, that’s all very speculative.

Oh, wow – the return of the Rapping Doctor, Dr. John Clarke (who had his big break last year, with his rap on H1N1 virus), telling us to step over the gap on the subway (yeah, that’s a public service announcement in dire need of reminding, and probably does count as a public health and safety concern). (btw, he’s the rapping doctor who had the video about the H1N1 virus last year; pretty nifty).

I thought this NY Times article by Randy Kennedy on the restoration of the Thomas Eakins painting, “The Gross Clinic,” fascinating, because it’s about a well-known American painting, by a significant American painter (reminding me of the great American Painting art history course that I had taken back in college); plus the writing on the subject of restoration reminded me of the lectures by an art history professor I had back in college, who really had strong concerns about what it means to “restore” art (granted, Prof. James Beck focused on Italian Renaissance art (see the well-written obit about him in the NY Times awhile back), but the criticism’s sort of transferable and “restoration” can be tricky stuff).

NY Times’ Linda Greenhouse asks whether Justice Kennedy’s influence – hence a so-called Kennedy Court on the US Supreme Court – is really extant anymore, when it’s becoming clearer that he’s on the right-leaning side of the Court and not exactly that centric after all.

My Soap Box moment: Bob Herbert, in today’s NY Times’ editorial section, is right – kind of scary to push nuclear power when we kind of suck at trying to get oil, such as it is with the mess in the Gulf of Mexico.   Getting off the Soap Box now.

A nice Q&A on NPR’s website, with Jesse Tyler Ferguson of the ABC sitcom, “Modern Family” and currently in the city doing the Shakespeare in the Park repertoire of “Merchant of Venice” and “The Winter’s Tale.”  He’s been nominated for an Emmy for “Modern Family” – in which he plays the former child ice skater and now lawyer (sadly funny episode, where he’s trying to land a new job – and there was that episode where he was scared of a pigeon – which I empathize).

And, let’s end on a positive note: former US Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky on the subject of writing poetry for kids.  Thought this was interesting, since I was – coincidentally – recently reading some Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear work – writings for children, yet darkly funny and weird – not what you’d think as mere kids’ stuff.

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