John Adams “In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress”.
John Adams “In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress”.
Planes, Trains and Automobiles” is founded on the essential natures of its actors. It is perfectly cast and soundly constructed, and all else flows naturally. Steve Martin and John Candy don’t play characters; they embody themselves. That’s why the comedy, which begins securely planted in the twin genres of the road movie and the buddy picture, is able to reveal so much heart and truth.
Some movies are obviously great. Others gradually thrust their greatness upon us. When “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” was released in 1987, I enjoyed it immensely, gave it a favorable review and moved on. But the movie continued to live in my memory. Like certain other popular entertainments (“It’s a Wonderful Life,” “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial,” “Casablanca”) it not only contained a universal theme, but also matched it with the right actors and story, so that it shrugged off the other movies of its kind and stood above them in a kind of perfection. This is the only movie our family watches as a custom, most every Thanksgiving.
Juliana Hatfield, an indie rocker who got her start with the Blake Babies in the late 1980s, has had a lengthy career as a solo artist since the early-’90s alt-rock explosion. But her greatest success came on the one album she recorded with her proper band, called the Juliana Hatfield Three, which scored an alternative hit with My Sister in 1994. (Another song, Spin the Bottle, appeared on the Gen X-approved Reality Bites soundtrack.) Now, the Three is back with a new album, Whatever, My Love, released Tuesday.
Precision, accuracy, and clarity matter, as gestures of respect toward those to whom you speak; toward the subject, whether it’s an individual or the earth itself; and toward the historical record. It’s also a kind of self-respect… The search for meaning is in how you live your life but also in how you describe it and what else is around you.
– Rebecca Solnit, from Call Them by Their True Names
A clip from Morning Joe on MSNBC interviewing Anthony Atamanuik on the key to playing Donald Trump in Comedy Central’s The President Show. Anthony reveals:
“And how worried you should be about each of them.”
The Apprentices: These folks admire Trump’s celebrity, his certainty, and his bluster. They don’t know much about the issues, so Trump’s habitual lying and refusal to learn the basic details about even a single subject is not something they particularly care about (or understand). He says he can solve the problems. Sounds good. They are, in a way, the voters America deserves. Celebrity-obsessed near-imbeciles who want Trump to win because he’s TV’s best show (although it was a lot funnier before they got rid of Little Marco and replaced him with that fat guy who just stands in the background looking like he’s about to throw up). He’s the show they can’t stop binge-watching. And come on, having Melania as the co-star is a major plus. For these voters, Trump’s presidency will be measured not against history, but against other forms of televised entertainment. And by that standard, there’s little doubt this will be the highest rated show on TV.
Danger Level: The existence of these folks can’t come as much of a surprise. Yes, the awareness of them depresses you every election season, but you can usually repress the bulk of your memories by Thanksgiving, and forget they even exist by Christmas. And fortunately, they can be easily distracted by other shiny objects. Worst case, we need to find someone funnier and with better cutdowns. Think President Jeffrey Ross.
Canaries in the Coal Mine: These folks have watched their fellow Americans on the coasts ride a tech, finance and real estate rocket ship, while their mortgages are underwater, their jobs have gone overseas or been automated, and the awareness of their critical value to the country has been systematically diminished. I’m a coal miner from Wyoming or West Virginia. For generations, my family has been powering America; literally providing the fuel that drove economic revolutions. And now, not only is my business shrinking, I’m being told by all the environmentalists, billionaires, and Hollywood types that my industry has been poisoning the world. That my sacrifices, my hard work and health risks, my father and grandfather, are all part of some historic wrongdoing. You have no damn idea how the rest of your country lives and works. You’re worried about climate change? I’m worried about dinner.
Danger Level: These people actually have a point. They’re just expressing that point through the wrong candidate.
The Enraged: These folks are pissed. You got your black community-organizing president. But then you had to stick it in their faces with the gay marriage, the political correctness, the stories that make our cops look bad and our criminals look like victims. F you and your political correctness, your self-righteousness, your gender BS, your Academy Award racial obsession, your thin skin, your campus trigger warnings, and all that shit about Caitlyn Jenner. This has gone far enough. Close the borders. Build the wall. And let’s remind everyone whose damn country this is. In general, these folks run the gamut from harboring an unconscious negative disposition towards members of certain demographics, to a whole-hearted embrace of good old-fashioned racism. In other words, they fall along a spectrum that runs from Archie Bunker to Benito Mussolini.
Danger Level: Look, I’m not gonna kid you here. Steam is escaping the pot, and it’s not unthinkable that the lid could blow off. And let’s be clear; Mitt Romney and David Brooks are not going to convince these folks with calm, reasoned arguments. You can’t push people to the limit for three decades and then reel them back in with a few speeches. It wasn’t unpredictable that we’d see a backlash to the historic breakthrough of the first black president and the long-overdue adoption of more progressive social values. It’s less predictable how that backlash will play out in the long run.
Source: Morning Joe - MSNBC, Dave Pell
Few periods of ancient history sum up mathematical precision in quite as dramatic a fashion as Ancient Egypt. Against a rugged landscape of rocky mountains, rolling sand dunes, and the wide emptiness of an endless blue sky, the architects in the Land of the Pharaohs embraced geometric design with a passion by any other civilization.
The Pyramids at Giza remain one of the great architectural wonders of the world, and the giant sculpture of the Sphinx is unrivaled example of the Egyptian ability to represent the natural form within a geometric methodology. Equally interested in the mystical power of numerology were the Ancient Greeks.
With their elegant marble temples and fertile landscapes, the Greeks built a civilization of which the number three was an object of passion. Its legacy has continued to live on as a core element of more modern cultural codes and religions, suggesting that three may be more important to the way that we currently view the world than we necessarily realize.
The plurality of three offered a sense of balance, order, and geometric precision. This is something that was held with such reverence that it is present at all levels of Ancient Egyptian and Ancient Greek culture and design, including the very fabric of their buildings. Finding opportunities to include representations of the number three was a crucial element of architectural design in Greece. For instance, Doric friezes on temples feature triglyphs, which are a rectangular panel of three vertical lines.
Created by carving two angular channels (known as hemiglyphs), Greek triglyphs are thought to be a recreation of the Egyptian hieroglyph for the number three, which appears as three straight lines ( I I I ). The Doric design is thought to have represented harmony whilst invoking the powerful magic of the pluralism concept, an important consideration for a building as important as a temple.
This design remains popular today, and is a common feature of many modern skills in arts and crafts such as wood carving and metalwork. Museums frequently offer craft workshops and exhibitions exploring the exceptional skill and unique design of classical landscapes.
Such is its legacy that the triglyph is also found in many modern buildings. These include neoclassical buildings, such as those common on Broadway, and also in aspects of quintessentially modern buildings. In a nod to the civilization that gave us Democracy, the Cabinet Room, Roosevelt Room and Independence Hall of t
he White House triglyphs as part of their ceiling moldings.
It would seem that there is something irresistible about this simple representation of the number three that has caused its legacy to live on beyond the lifespan of the civilizations that created it, raising the tantalizing possibility that it will also appear in the landscapes of the distant future.
Aside from triglyphs, the number three is found in triangles throughout both Ancient Egyptian and Ancient Greek architecture. Perhaps the most overt three in Ancient Greek architecture is the triangle on the front and back of the Parthenon in Athens. Known as pediments, these triangles are considered to contain some of the finest examples of Doric sculpture, and contained images of the most important moments in the lives of the Olympic triad.
Another example of the triangle, The Great Pyramid of Giza, also features a prominent number three in the form of its three triangular faces. This is part of the complex numerology of the pyramids, the various mathematical elements of which represent the Pythagorean concept of all universal rhythms being modeled from the triangle (three), the square (four), and the pentagon (five).
Again, the triangles in Egypt are closely related to mythology, and deictic triangles in particular. The shortest side of the Pythagorean triangle (known as “Ausar”) corresponds to the Father, the longer side (known as “Auset”) corresponds to the Mother, and the hypotenuse (called “Heru”) is the son.
The power of the triangle became important amongst Ancient alchemists, and was later embraced by Medieval architects. The natural ease with which a triangle can be divided into parts whilst still remaining a whole proved an attractive idea for those who were aiming to explore the fundamental harmony of biological life.
For instance, the Egyptian Alchemical Triangle had three, four, and five divisions for the Father, Mother, and Son sides respectively. The three divisions on the Ausar side represented the three vital principles that formed the known world: salt, sulfur, and mercury, a vital part of the process of the Spirit manifesting as Matter.
The irresistible geometry of the triangle has seen the concept reappear throughout cultures and religions, making it one of the most recognized symbols in the world. Crucial to the Christian realization of the Father, Son, and Spirit trinity, the three-sided polygon also appears in Buddhism as part of the Eye of Consciousness (the so-called “third eye”), as as part of the Sri Yantra of Hinduism.
n a world where consumerism drives a fast-paced life, the importance of the fundamental building blocks of culture and civilization can easily become lost. Three may appear to be a simple number, useful for a quick bit of mental arithmetic or jotting down a phone number, but its historical importance remains all around us in the form of triangles and triglyphs.
From the ancients who truly believed in the mystical power of not simply the number three but also the concept behind it, to the geometric balance that continues to attract architects and designers to its fan club, to its integral role in constructing modern religions, the number three is a part of the ancient world that has refused to succumb to the ravages of time.
Hi Jenny, I just read your article, ‘What Should I Do During the Off Season?’. Very helpful, thanks! Could you briefly explain to me the difference between fartlek, tempo, and interval runs? Thanks! Mary
Hi, Mary. Thanks for the kudos. Ask and you shall receive: Here is a brief 411 on fartlek, tempo, and interval workouts.
Fartlek Workouts are not only fun to say out loud, but they’re fun to run. Fartlek is Swedish for “speed play,” and that is exactly what it’s all about. Unlike tempo and interval work, fartlek is unstructured and alternates moderate-to-hard efforts with easy throughout. After a warmup, you play with speed by running at faster efforts for short periods of time (to that tree, to the sign) followed by easy-effort running to recover. It’s fun in a group setting as you can alternate the leader and mix up the pace and time. And in doing so, you reap the mental benefits of being pushed by your buddies through an unpredictable workout. The goal is to keep it free-flowing so you’re untethered to the watch or a plan, and to run at harder efforts but not a specific pace.
Benefits: Stress-free workout that improves mind-body awareness, mental strength, and stamina.
Tempo Workouts are like an Oreo cookie, with the warmup and cooldown as the cookie, and a run at an effort at or slightly above your anaerobic threshold (the place where your body shifts to using more glycogen for energy) as the filling. This is the effort level just outside your comfort zone—you can hear your breathing, but you’re not gasping for air. If you can talk easily, you’re not in the tempo zone, and if you can’t talk at all, you’re above the zone. It should be at an effort somewhere in the middle, so you can talk in broken words. Pace is not an effective means for running a tempo workout, as there are many variables that can affect pace including heat, wind, fatigue, and terrain. Learn how to find your threshold and run a tempo workout that is spot on every time here.
Benefits: Increased lactate threshold to run faster at easier effort levels. Improves focus, race simulation, and mental strength.
Interval Workouts are short, intense efforts followed by equal or slightly longer recovery time. For example, after a warmup, run two minutes at a hard effort, followed by two to three minutes of easy jogging or walking to catch your breath. Unlike tempo workouts, you’re running above your red line and at an effort where you are reaching hard for air and counting the seconds until you can stop—a controlled fast effort followed by a truly easy jog. The secret is in the recovery as patience and discipline while you’re running easy allows you to run the next interval strong and finish the entire workout fatigued but not completely spent. Just like rest, your body adapts and gets stronger in the recovery mode.
Benefits: Improved running form and economy, endurance, mind-body coordination, motivation, and fat-burning.
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A person or thing with only one special feature, talent, or area of expertise. The first known use of one-trick pony was in 1980.
For example: Her boldness in style, prowess and mood highlighted her viability as more than a one-trick pony.— Jason Scott, Billboard, “Carrie Underwood’s ‘Carnival Ride’ Turns 10: How the ‘Idol’ Winner Proved She’s a Country Mainstay,” 23 Oct. 2017
Paul Simon – One Trick Pony
One-Trick Pony, Paul Simon’s fifth solo studio album, was released in 1980. It was Simon’s first album for Warner Bros. Records, and his first new studio album since 1975’s Still Crazy After All These Years. His back catalog from Columbia Records would also move to Warner Bros. as a result of his signing with the label.
Callan Wink: More Than A One-Trick Pony
About the Book:
In the tradition of Richard Ford, Annie Proulx, and Kent Haruf comes a dazzling debut story collection by a young writer from the American West who has been published in The New Yorker, Granta, and The Best American Short Stories.
A construction worker on the run from the shady local businessman whose dog he has stolen; a Custer’s Last Stand reenactor engaged in a long-running affair with the Native American woman who slays him on the battlefield every year; a middle-aged high school janitor caught in a scary dispute over land and cattle with her former stepson: Callan Wink’s characters are often confronted with predicaments few of us can imagine. But thanks to the humor and remarkable empathy of this supremely gifted writer, the nine stories gathered in Dog Run Moon are universally transporting and resonant.
Set mostly in Montana and Wyoming, near the borders of Yellowstone National Park, this revelatory collection combines unforgettable insight into the fierce beauty of the West with a powerful understanding of human beings. Tender, frequently hilarious, and always electrifying, Dog Run Moon announces the arrival of a bold new talent writing deep in the American grain.