Monday, March 9, 2015

Did I Miss Anything Important While Hospitalized?

I have not read the newspaper or watched the news in over a month. I had not once even watched tv or read online news. As I girded myself to return to the real world, I wondered what I would encounter. Certainly I would have heard something if there had been another terrorist attack but barring that I wondered if the world had tilted at all. Frankly, I doubted it. So here are some of my discoveries.

The first thing to greet me was a blonde Kim Kardashian, 34, falling out of her dress, as per usual, at Paris Fashion Week. Oddly the first thing that occurs to me, having worked with dyes and bleach for years, is that she is going to have to cut it short soon because at least four inches of the hair is already badly damaged. Plus women with roots as dark as hers need to bleach constantly. Then I take in the whole picture and wonder if there's anyone else who needs this much public attention. Oh, yeah, Kanye West her husband who last year sold himself literally as the Second Coming.

Next up has to be one of the luckiest men in the world., Harrison Ford. Not only did he manage to crash land a vintage plane from WWII but he also happened to land near a spinal surgeon who was golfing. The surgeon examined him in the plane and pulled him out along with other volunteers. The surgeon also told other golfers to pick up dirt and throw it on the fuel oil so that they could eliminate combustion (the plane blowing up). They did so and that was basically that. No one else was injured and he is listed in moderate condition at the hospital. This plane killed a fair amount of pilots in WWII. It was a difficult plane to fly and even more difficult to land, especially if in trouble. This is why it became so quickly a valuable vintage plane. Experts in piloting said Ford landed the plane the only way it could be landed without a total crash. So yes, skill was involved, but how many of us could hope to land practically atop a spinal surgeon who would take charge of the rescue?

Yes, I will admit it. I first went to the Daily Mirror as I didn't think I could handle regular news. Next I went to the New York Times, expecting much worse. This would be stuff that affected me after all whereas what happens to celebs does not.

Well, I was correct. The hard news is pretty much the same as before my month away. I have voted in every election and I sometimes wonder why.

Another Bush trying for Presidency despite latest failure revealed. We have three family names which keep cropping up since I was a kid when it comes to the presidency: Kennedy, Bush, Clinton. Too bad if we're going the family route that we can't grab John Adams and John Quincy Adams back. Whatever else you could say ill about them, they got things done, like creating a new country.

Race Relations in America still need improving.  Well, duh..... This American Life has a great two part series on the white police vs murdered black males controversy. It is rough listening but very well done. It exists as both an NPR show and a weekly podcast series.

The very odd fact about the death penalty is that when any of those on death row get a very bad medical diagnosis, the mercy factor starts moving forward. Usually it is terminal cancer but losing part of your brain might do it too.

Geez, the Jihadists wrecked an ancient site in Iraq, the Middle East. I have no idea why they would hit their own part of the world but I have never been able to figure out any of the attacks.

The above is the reason why I continue subscribing to the Times. Not only can I read well written recaps of my favorite shows, but even better, I can participate in these great discussions which occur with each recap. There were 422 comments made to just this recap of Downton Abbey alone. You can see in the middle the shows which are covered.

I did listen to podcasts while recovering during the last month, Here are some of my favorites pictured here. However, I have many more shows than this on my podcasts app. The reason is that many of these shows keep the complete archives of their shows online. In some cases, you may want to listen to all of them. Podcasts are free. A few of them charge for archived versions (past shows). Some of them have apps, like This American Life, which charges you $5 to get every show which it has had from the very beginning, which is hundreds of shows. You can buy it here. Best $5 I ever spent. My summation of the Serial podcast remains the most well read entry I've written on this Blog. Andrew Solomon's two talks on TED Talks are probably the best talks I've ever heard. He was the one who got the interview with the father of Adam Lanza, Stony Hill school shooting, for the New Yorker this past year. The Moth has the performance of true stories whereas Selected Shorts has some of the finest actors and audiobook narrators perform short stories. Marc Maron's WTF has had some brilliant interviews. Louis C.K., Jeff Garlin and one he recorded with Robin Williams shortly before his death remain his best. Invisibilia is another new spinoff from This American Life and deals with facets of the hidden things going on in life. Rebecca and I both loved this newest entry. Fresh Air I tend to listen to when I have just seen something which I want to learn more. Terri Gross interviews just about everyone in the arts.

One thing I learned from just writing this. I missed very little by taking my podcasts in with me for a month of recovery as my only aspect of "news"! Also, to my amazement, the Skilled Nursing facility almost has no one watching a tv whereas in a hospital you cannot escape a playing tv anywhere in it. I don't think a tv is in the OR but I'm out cold so what do I know?

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