Thursday, October 19, 2017

'Generation Addicted' wins Outstanding Regional News Story: Investigative Report


I wrote that I had changed my mind at the end of An accident in Oregon for Hagfish Day.
By the way, not only did I write yesterday that I'd celebrate Hagfish Day today, but that I'd feature the Emmy Awards that "The Rachel Maddow Show" won for its coverage of the Flint Water Crisis and its interview of Kellyanne Conway.  I've changed my mind.  I plan on posting an entry about an Emmy winner that covered the opiate crisis, but it wasn't one of the ones I listed in 'Body Team 12' and 'Extremis' both nominated for Outstanding Short Documentary plus other science, health, and environment nominees; it was one I missed entirely.  Stay tuned.
That was because I had found out that there was a winning entry that examined the topic of the first paragraph over the fold in the last post before the winners announced.  I just hadn't mentioned it.  Here's the paragraph.
The opioid epidemic, which I mentioned in U.S. life expectancy falls prompting Russian analogies, inspired three nominees. "Hooked: America's Opioid Epidemic" from NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt is nominated for Outstanding Continuing Coverage of a News Story in a Newscast.  Vice News Tonight's "The Rise of Carfentanil" is nominated for Outstanding Hard News Feature Story in a Newscast.  "Chasing Heroin" from Frontline on PBS, earned a nomination for Outstanding Social Issue Documentary.  Yes, health is a social issue.  Regardless of whether these nominees win their categories, I will probably return to this topic as an example of societal decline and collapse.
It turned out there was a fourth nominee examining the opioid epidemic, "Generation Addicted" from WCAU, NBC 10 in Philadelphia.  Watch as it wins Outstanding Regional News Story: Investigative Report.


When I searched for the segment, I found three copies of the entire report online.  Here is the one from the station itself: Generation Addicted: An NBC10 Exclusive Presentation.

NBC10’s Digital Team spent five months investigating the issue of opioid addiction in the Philadelphia region and beyond. They discovered a generation of addicted people and a public health and law enforcement system ill-equipped to save them.
I'm sure that I'll have more to write about the opioid epidemic in the future, most likely about the prescription pill side of it.

In the meantime, I plan on posting about "The Rachel Maddow Show" and the Flint Water Crisis on the 25th.  In between, I have two posts planned about "The Walking Dead," Sweetest Day, National TV Talk Show Host Day, and Food Day.  Stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

An accident in Oregon for Hagfish Day


Happy Hagfish Day!  Here's the national day's description from National Day Calendar.
Hagfish Day is observed annually on the third Wednesday in October.

Hagfish are considered to be the ugliest of species. The idea behind Hagfish Day is to encourage everyone to look beyond the exterior of the Hagfish and appreciate how highly evolved they are.
In general, O.K., but in detail, no.  I'm sure there are uglier vertebrates.  Also, while hagfish are just as evolved as any other organism on this planet, they are the descendants of the first branch off the vertebrate family tree.  In fact, they branched off so early that they don't even really have vertebrae!  They're the reason why cladists call the group Craniates instead of vertebrates; the most primitive group to have vertebrae are lampreys.  See the phylogenetic diagram below.


However, I did not decide to celebrate Hagfish Day to give a lecture.  Instead, I'm doing so to note that hagfish got in the news this summer.  Watch Sloppy slime eel spill stops traffic from USA Today, which I showed to one of my classes this summer.


All USA Today could muster was "Talk about a traffic jam!"  National Geographic had a more informative description, if a less interesting video.
A car accident caused thousands of hagfish to spill on the highway, coating the road—and even a car—with slime. Hagfish, also called slime eels, secrete huge amounts of an extremely slippery mucus when stressed. The Oregon Department of Transportation used firehoses and a bulldozer to clear away the goo. The fish were likely destined for Asia, where many countries consider them a delicacy.
That was a fun video to show my students, but I think I might show The Hagfish Is the Slimy Sea Creature of Your Nightmares from the Smithsonian Channel to next year's class, either instead or in addition.

The hagfish is a slime-emitting ocean-dweller that's remained unchanged for 300 million years--and it shows. It has a skull (but no spine), velvet smooth skin, and a terrifying pit of a mouth that’s lined with rows of razor-sharp teeth.
That shows and tells a lot more about the animal itself and not just how it interacts with humans.

By the way, not only did I write yesterday that I'd celebrate Hagfish Day today, but that I'd feature the Emmy Awards that "The Rachel Maddow Show" won for its coverage of the Flint Water Crisis and its interview of Kellyanne Conway.  I've changed my mind.  I plan on posting an entry about an Emmy winner that covered the opiate crisis, but it wasn't one of the ones I listed in 'Body Team 12' and 'Extremis' both nominated for Outstanding Short Documentary plus other science, health, and environment nominees; it was one I missed entirely.  Stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Two Emmy winners examine the condition of the Amazon Rain Forest


As I promised yesterday, I'm skipping to the last paragraph in 'Body Team 12' and 'Extremis' both nominated for Outstanding Short Documentary plus other science, health, and environment nominees that mentions a winner for the subject of today's entry.
Two nominees cover the Amazon Rain Forest and its environmental issues.  "La Amazonía: Un Paraíso A La Venta" from Univision earned a nomination for Outstanding Feature Story in Spanish.  "Deforestation in the Amazon InfoGuide" from The Council on Foreign Relations has a nomination for Outstanding New Approaches: Current News, where it is competing with "Carbon's Casualties" from The New York Times.  That story details the first crop of climate refugees, including Americans living in Alaska and Louisiana who have to move away from rising sea levels.  I might blog about that even if it doesn't win.
Looking at the list in the image above, it looks like I missed listing a feature story on Monarch Butterflies in my examination of sustainability themed nominees.  The listing of nominees by Tom Llamas as he presented Outstanding Feature Story in Spanish shows I missed another about living in the shadow of oil.


She's absolutely right; without a healthy Amazon, we can't have a healthy planet.  Also, I was lucky that I had already listed the winner while I missed two other nominees that I should have mentioned.

Here is the briefer of two versions of the award-winning report (En Espanol: sorry, no English subtitles).

El río Amazonas, la gran reserva natural del planeta, está en riesgo. Más de 20 mil animales silvestres traficados sólo en Colombia en 2016 y alrededor de 120 mil hectáreas deforestadas  han puesto la alerta. Un recorrido por la zona deja al descubierto lo que los promotores turísticos no quieren que nadie vea.
Translation: The Amazon River, the great nature reserve of the planet, is at risk. More than 20 thousand wild animals were trafficked in Colombia alone in 2016 and approximately 120 thousand hectares deforested have raised an alarm. A tour of the area left uncovered what tourism promoters do not want anybody to see.

Follow over the jump for the other winner.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Rainbow shots from Tipsy Bartender for National Liqueur Day


Happy National Liqueur Day!  I could have also wished my readers a Happy National Dictionary Day or a Happy National Department Store Day when I wanted to take a break from recapping the News and Documentary Emmy winners, but I decided to do something easy and familiar.  If my readers wish to celebrate those other days instead, they can go right ahead.

To observe today, I'm sharing two of the most popular videos from Tipsy Bartender on YouTube that involve liqueur, in this case, blue curacao.  First, the 31 Shot Glass Rainbow Shot Challenge, which was used in the opening of the rest of Skyy's videos for 2015.

Can it be done?! Rainbow shots using 31 shot glasses!
Now the video that Skyy refers his viewers to, How to make Rainbow Shots!.

The prettiest shots ever...RAINBOW SHOTS! These are the best looking rainbow shots ever!
...
RAINBOW SHOTS
Grenadine
Sweet & Sour
Orange Juice
Vodka
Blue Curacao
Skyy's are pretty.  Emma's, not so much.  Brown isn't a color of the rainbow, but that's what she got instead of yellow.  I'm sure it tastes just fine.

Back to the News and Documentary Emmy winners tomorrow with two statues going to stories about the Amazon.  Stay tuned.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Two Emmy winners examine youth and high school football


The next paragraph from 'Body Team 12' and 'Extremis' both nominated for Outstanding Short Documentary plus other science, health, and environment nominees listing winners after the one that mentioned "Collisions" named the nominees that examined the intersection between sports and health.
Medical issues in sports were the subject of three nominees.  "Russia's Dark Secret" from 60 Minutes on CBS explores doping in Russia's sports teams, particularly in Olympic events.  It's nominated for Outstanding Investigative Report in a Newsmagazine along with the other nominee exploring the health aspects of sports, "Cost of the Game: The Dangers of Youth Football" from Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel on HBO.  The latter segment might just get the U.S. to yes on the question of "Are you ready for no football?"  So might "Friday Night Lights" from Vice News Tonight, which is nominated for Outstanding Feature Story in a Newscast.
Of those three, the only winner was "Cost of the Game: The Dangers of Youth Football" from Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel on HBO, an appropriate awardee to examine on a football Sunday.  Watch Byron Pitts present the award for Outstanding Investigative Report in a News Magazine.


For the rest of the clip seen above, watch The Dangers of Youth Football: Real Sports Trailer (HBO).

Bernard Goldberg investigates the alarming number of high school football deaths-and sits down with Terry O’Neil, a former executive producer of NFL football, to discuss the lack of protection for younger players and researchers at Boston University to hear about their new findings.
As a former high school football player, those statistics are scary and make me glad I seem to have escaped brain damage.  They also make me glad my son played soccer instead of football.

There was a third nominee about football that I missed in last week's listing of nominees.  It won an award, so follow over the jump for two videos about it.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

'Collisions' wins Outstanding New Approaches: Documentary plus the U.K.'s former nuclear test site in Australia


I began the section over the jump in 'Body Team 12' and 'Extremis' both nominated for Outstanding Short Documentary plus other science, health, and environment nominees by naming and describing two nominees for Outstanding New Approaches: Documentary.
I found three nominees that were more science than either health or the environment.  Two of them were nominated for Outstanding New Approaches: Documentary, "A Bear's-Eye View of Yellowstone" and "Collisions."  The former looks like a fun follow-up to 'Wild Yellowstone: The Frozen Frontier' -- last year's Emmy winner for Outstanding Cinematography: Documentary and Long Form.  The second is much more serious and on-topic for this blog, the story of a native tribal elder's recounting of his being witness to an atomic bomb test in the Australian Outback.  Not only does it talk about the event, but also the elder's philosophy on caring for the environment.  For both of these nominees, it is not the content that is being recognized, but the technology used to tell it.
Reading between the lines, one might be able to tell that I was more impressed with "Collisions."  So were the Emmy voters.  Here is Scott Kelly, star of "A Year in Space," announcing the winner of Outstanding New Approaches: Documentary.


Like Lynette Wallworth, I find the timing of this production's release particularly apt.  Here is the trailer that describes both the story and the technology being honored.


A work of stunning visuals and powerful narrative, Collisions tells the story of Aboriginal elder Nyarri Nyarri Morgan who lived as 1000 generations before him in the remote Pilbara desert of Western Australia-- until his life was dramatically impacted by a collision with the extreme edge of Western science and technology.  [Lynette] Wallworth is an acclaimed Australian artist and documentary filmmaker known for producing immersive artworks that provoke a profound emotional response. She is ideally positioned to explore the storytelling potential of VR, and sees the new form as the perfect vehicle for Nyarri to communicate his story.
Congratulations to Wallworth and all the people she named in her acceptance speech.

That's not all.  Follow over the jump for a video of one of the tests and another about the site today.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Nautical superstitions for U.S. Navy Birthday on Friday the 13th


Beware!  It's Friday the 13th!  To observe the occasion, I'm noting that this unlucky day is also the U.S. Navy's birthday, so I'm featuring naval and maritime superstitions.  I begin with Nautical Superstitions Maritime Myths.

A Sea Worthy list of Maritime Superstitions.
Yes, number five is Friday the 13th and it does reference the U.S. Navy.

This ad from Look Insurance -- 7 Superstitions On The 7 Seas -- features a different set of superstitions.

Ahoy sailors! Check out our latest animation video which shows the 7 most common sailing superstitions amongst seafarers!
That's a really well-animated video of the list, but it doesn't explain why any of them exist.  For that, watch Tour Guide Talk: Naval Superstitions from the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.

Join Intrepid Museum Tour Guide Matt Harris as he shares some of the history behind certain naval myths and superstitions. Why are bananas bad luck on ships? Why are cats good luck? Watch to learn more!
Yes, those explanations for why bananas are bad luck and cats are good luck make sense.  Not all superstitions are arbitrary or silly, so I'll remember no bananas on board!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

'Body Team 12' wins Outstanding Short Documentary and Outstanding Editing: Documentary


I concluded 'The End of AIDS?' wins Outstanding Science, Medical and Environmental Report with "Next up, Ebola and 'Body Team 12.'"  From one pandemic to the next.

Katty Kay presented both awards.  First, she announced the winner for Outstanding Editing: Documentary.


I found the story about how the film had plenty of time to be edited because its director/producer was in Ebola quarantine darkly funny, just like the audience.

Next, Kay presented the statue for Outstanding Short Documentary.


I guess there was only one clip of each nominee to show.

I'm pleasantly surprised that "Body Team 12" won.  I thought "A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness" would be the more likely victor with "Extremis" the next most likely winner.  That written, I think it fully deserved both honors.

Before I finish, I'm sharing this interview from the Today Show, Olivia Wilde Talks Ebola-Focused Film ‘Body Team 12’, that includes more clips from the documentary.

Olivia Wilde, David Darg, and Bryn Mooser join TODAY to talk about producing “Body Team 12,” a new documentary about the impact of the Ebola virus in Liberia.
Congratulations to all involved in documenting the work to stop Ebola.  "Body Team 12" can now join Emmy winner 'Outbreak' from Frontline on PBS as worthy examinations of the disease I call "The Red Death."

I'll continue my series on the News and Documentary Emmy winners after I celebrate Friday the 13th.  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

'The End of AIDS?' wins Outstanding Science, Medical and Environmental Report

I plan on returning with the winner of Outstanding Science, Medical and Environmental Report tomorrow and "Body Team 12" and other science, health, and environment winners the rest of the week.  Stay tuned.
That was the program note I used to conclude Three winners about space from the News and Documentary Emmy Awards.  It's time to reward my readers for their patience.

I was rooting for "Vanishing: The Earth's Sixth Mass Extinction" from CNN Digital to win.  It didn't, but I wasn't disappointed as all the nominees were worthy, including "The End of AIDS?" from PBS NewsHour.  Watch Byron Pitts present the award for Outstanding Science, Medical and Environmental Report.


This is good news, even if it only means keeping the pandemic under control and saving lives.  That's not all.  PBS NewsHour has a playlist with all six segments, but YouTube user Jason Kane has compiled all of them plus the promo I was looking for but couldn't find into PBS NewsHour -- End of AIDS -- Full Series.


Congratulations to PBS NewsHour and to the researchers and public health professionals the show profiled.

Next up, Ebola and "Body Team 12."

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Three winners about space from the News and Documentary Emmy Awards

I will return to the winners of the News and Documentary Emmy Awards next week after I wish my readers a Happy Wester tomorrow.  Stay tuned.
That was my promise at the end of 'Nature: Super Hummingbirds' wins Outstanding Cinematography: Documentary.  I had to delay fulfilling it because I forgot yesterday was Canadian Thanksgiving, Leif Erikson Day, and Native American Day.  So, here I am, a day late.  It's not as if this hasn't happened before.

To make up for it, I'm featuring three Emmy winners about space, beginning with the documentary that headlined Space, Ebola, volcanoes, stroke, and human expansion the topics of Science and Technology Documentary nominees, "A Year in Space."  From the National Television Academy, here is Clarissa Ward presenting the Emmy for Outstanding Science & Technology Documentary.


I am glad they brought Scott Kelly up there.  Most of the acceptance speeches have the crew up there, not the stars.  Kelly is the star of this show and he deserved the recognition.  Also, I'm glad this show won; it's the nominee that was most about science and technology.  I was afraid the star power of Werner Herzog and David Lynch would drive their projects to victory instead.

Follow over the jump for the other two winners.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving 2017! Also Leif Erikson Day and Native American Day


Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!  I'm celebrating today by featuring two reasons that Canadians should be thankful.  One of them was the subject of last year's entry for the holiday, Justin Trudeau.  Here he is before the United Nations last month in Trudeau UN speech shines global spotlight on Canada's Indigenous issues from CBC's The National.

PM Justin Trudeau conceded that Canada is flawed and drew attention to the current plight of Canada's Indigenous people in his second-ever speech before the UN General Assembly today.
While it is not the most positive portrayal of Canada, Trudeau is at least willing to own up to his country's faults, as few as they are, and is interested in rectifying them, not only for the First Nations people directly affected, but to enhance Canada's standing in the world.  Canada should be thankful for that, as the U.S. currently doesn't have a leader like that.

Trudeau is not the only leader Canada should be thankful for.  While he is the head of government, he isn't the head of state.  Former astronaut Julie Payette is the Governor General of Canada.

From astronaut to Governor General: Julie Payette journeyed to space twice, but her next mission at Rideau Hall is expected to come with its own kind of challenges.
Canadians should be thankful to have someone as accomplished as their head of state.  I wish we had a former astronaut as President!

Trudeau's remarks about the plight of the First Nations in Canada, reminds me that it's also Indigenous People's Day or Native American Day here in the U.S.  It's also a day to celebrate the real first European to land in North America, Leif Erikson.  Follow over the jump for more on both from National Day Calendar.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Silly Squirrels for Happy Wester 2017!


Happy Wester!*  For my readers who don't yet know the story of Wester, I'm quoting For Winter Solstice 2016, the Archdruid and I discuss Discordianism and fake holidays.
[Me:] Oh, I'm familiar with Discordianism.  I'm single-handedly keeping alive a fake holiday called Wester, which is the first Sunday following the first Full Moon after the Autumnal Equinox.  When I first posted about it, my Discordian friend claimed it for Discordianism.  As far as I'm concerned, it's still a Discordian holiday.
...
[Greer:] Pinku-Sensei, yes, I thought I remembered you were a closet Discordian. Wester is funny; presumably that was the day that some messiah or other descended from the living?
...
[Me:] I agree, Wester is funny.  As for an anointed one descending from the living, sorry, that wasn't part of the Wester story that I heard.  However, the holiday has its own animal mascot, the Wester Squirrel, which goes around and gathers goodies to hide instead of hiding goodies to pass out like the Easter Bunny.
The coversation led to Greer suggesting Norther and Souther with lemming and wombat mascots respectively, suggestions I followed through on -- but that's not the subject of today's post.**  Instead, since I've been featuring the best in last year's nature films and TV shows, I'm continuing on with funny clips of squirrels from nature shows.  I begin with Squirrel Uses 'Walking Dead' Move to Hide from Snakes from Nature on PBS.

Has this squirrel species been watching "The Walking Dead"?
...
In the popular TV series "The Walking Dead" humans can hide from zombies by covering themselves in zombie guts, masking their scent. The California ground squirrel (Otospermophilus beecheyi) uses a similar tactic to hide from a major predator, the rattlesnake, which relies on smell to track down its prey.
Last year, I celebrated Wester with an image of a zombie squirrel.  This year, it's only fitting I post a video of a squirrel using an anti-zombie snake defense.

Since the Wester squirrel takes treats away and hides them, it's also only fitting that I share Squirrel steals a fake nut - Spy in the Wild: Episode 2 Preview - BBC One.

A squirrel uses his intelligence to outwit a nut thief by pretending he's burying a nut.
Serves that squirrel right.  That reminds me, it's time for a Wester blessing.  May the Wester Squirrel not steal anything from you and hide it!

*In the first Happy Wester post here, I passed along the observation that Wester usually falls during the Jewish festival of Sukkot or The Feast of Tabernacles.  This is true this year and my wife and I have been invited to a sukkuh decorating party.  I've never been to one, despite growing up in a Jewish neighborhood.  I've been told it will be fun.

**The next Norther will be January 7, as the full moon falls on New Year's Day, so there will be a Blue Moon on January 31.  Speaking of blue lunar holidays, the first full moon after the 2018 winter solstice will fall on Saturday December 22nd, so there will be a second Norther on December 23.  Blue Norther on Festivus!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

'Nature: Super Hummingbirds' wins Outstanding Cinematography: Documentary


I noted my intentions for today in the introduction to 'Sonic Sea' wins Outstanding Nature Documentary and Outstanding Music and Sound and returned to it to conclude yesterday's entry.
Outstanding Cinematography: Documentary, a category I'll return to tomorrow.
...
I plan on posting more about the other winners in science, nature, health, and the environment tomorrow and next week, continuing with the winner of Outstanding Cinematography: Documentary.  Stay tuned.
The nominee that earned the statue for  was the episode that I featured in Nature documentary nominees are well photographed at the 2017 News and Documentary Emmy Awards, "Nature: Super Hummingbirds."  Here is Katty Kay presenting the award.


To celebrate, here are two clips from Nature on PBS that show both the "super hummingbirds" and the amazing camera work that captured them.  First, Hummingbird's Face Resembles Baby Octopus.

Do female Costa's hummingbirds really find this look attractive?
...
Spring is the time to nest for the Costa's hummingbirds, before the desert gets too hot. Both males and females are looking for a partner, but it's up to him to impress her. Though his back shimmers with green, it’s not until we get her point of view that we see his true splendor. He flexes the iridescent feathers of his mantle until they become a glowing mask of violet.
Next, Hummingbirds Battle in the Air.

Hummingbirds may look cute, but they have a fierce warrior within.
...
Hummingbirds sometimes use their unmatched flying skills for something other than feeding on flowers--for fighting over them. Flowers in full bloom are a call to arms. It’s fight and flight – a display of skill and fiery tempers.
I don't know if I'll use these videos in my classes, but I certainly will recommend this show to my students for extra credit.  In fact, I did so yesterday.

I will return to the winners of the News and Documentary Emmy Awards next week after I wish my readers a Happy Wester tomorrow.  Stay tuned.

Friday, October 6, 2017

'Sonic Sea' wins Outstanding Nature Documentary and Outstanding Music and Sound


This year's nature documentary nominees were so well photographed that the 2017 News and Documentary Emmy Awards used them for a promotion.


Pretty and cool.  No wonder two of them were also nominated for Outstanding Cinematography: Documentary, a category I'll return to tomorrow.

As for the winner, it proved that I was right to give "Sonic Sea" its own entry.


The executive producer of the film stating that the Natural Resources Defense Council has sued the Trump Adminstration more than two dozen times this year over its destructive environmental policies -- and it's only October -- caught my attention.  I searched for "NRDC sues Trump" and immediately found these three headlines from the NRDC's website:

September 27: The Truth Behind Trump's Brazen Attempt to Kill the Clean Water Rule
The president's scheme is unlawful and reckless—and we're doing everything we can to stop it.
September 29: The Gloves Are Off
Trump is going after America’s most pristine wildland. Literally the “last best place” in the country. It’s a brazen move—and proof that no part of our natural heritage is safe from commercial exploitation these days.
October 4: Zinke’s Illegal Suspension of Methane Rules Will Not Stand
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s illegal suspension of rules to cut methane pollution from drilling operations on public lands is the latest example of the Trump administration’s cavalier disregard for vital public health and environmental safeguards.

The last action was almost immediately successful.

Update: in a rebuke for Secretary Zinke, late today the federal court in San Francisco overturned the BLM’s first stay of the methane rule, and ordered the rule back into full effect.

All three of these were only from the past two weeks.  I don't need to search any more to be persuaded that NRDC has sued the Trump Adminstration at least 25 times this year.

Follow over the jump for the presentation and acceptance of  the other award "Sonic Sea" won.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

'Body Team 12' and 'Extremis' both nominated for Outstanding Short Documentary plus other science, health, and environment nominees

That's it for the nominees in the categories devoted to science, space, medicine, nature, and the environment.  I'll return tomorrow with the final installment on the nominees, when I plan on collecting all the leftovers in these topics in one place.  Stay tuned.
So I ended Extinction, water, astronomy, and HIV among 2017 Emmy nominees for Outstanding Science, Medical and Environmental Report and so I begin today's entry.  I begin my examination with this passage from Space, Ebola, volcanoes, stroke, and human expansion the topics of Science and Technology Documentary nominees.
I made an observation and a promise yesterday.
There are three programs about Ebola nominated this year.  I could have made an entire post about The Red Death!  Instead, I promise I'll get to all of them before the winners are announced.
I was wrong; there really are four, as all three episodes of HBO's "Ebola Trilogy" were nominated separately.  Added to "Spillover--Zika, Ebola & Beyond" and that makes four.  Here is the trailer for all of the "Ebola Trilogy" from HBO.

A special presentation of three films on one night.  “Ebola: The Doctors’ Story,” “Body Team 12,” and “Orphans of Ebola” premiere March 14 on HBO.
This trailer won't have to serve as the video introduction to all three episodes; “Body Team 12,” which was nominated for an Academy Award, has its own.  “Orphans of Ebola” doesn't seem to have one on YouTube.
Here is the trailer for "Body Team 12."

Body Team 12 follows a team of Liberian Red Cross workers tasked with collecting the dead during the height of the Ebola outbreak. The story is told on the ground in Monrovia, Liberia, through the eyes of the only female member of the team, who reveals the lifesaving work of removing bodies from family and loved ones in order to halt transmission of the disease.
Yes, another Oscar nominee for Best Documentary Short Subject is getting another shot at recognition at the News and Documentary Emmy Awards.*  Here, it is nominated for Outstanding Short Documentary and Outstanding Editing: Documentary.  In the latter category, it is competing with the third part of HBO's "Ebola Trilogy," "Orphans of Ebola."  In both categories, "Body Team 12" is also competing against the end-of-life medical documentary "Extremis," another nominee for Best Documentary Short Subject.  Here is its trailer from Netflix.

Witness the wrenching emotions that accompany end-of-life decisions as doctors, patients and families in a hospital ICU face harrowing choices.
This last film makes a point about medicine that it is not purely a science; it is an art as well.  I make that same point to my students every semester.  As for which one I think will win, it depends on the category.  I'd say "Extremis" would have a better shot at both, but I have my doubts either will win Outstanding Short Documentary.   "A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness" is also nominated (and was a former Academy Award nominee), so it offers stiff competition.  For Outstanding Editing: Documentary, the chances for the health documentaries are better.

Follow over the jump for the rest of the nominees in science, health, and the environment.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Extinction, water, astronomy, and HIV among 2017 Emmy nominees for Outstanding Science, Medical and Environmental Report


"Stay tuned for the nominees in Outstanding Science, Medical and Environmental Report tomorrow" was my closing for Space, Ebola, volcanoes, stroke, and human expansion the topics of Science and Technology Documentary nominees.  It's tomorrow, so it's time to review the nominees in this category.

The first one listed at the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences website is "Vanishing: The Earth's Sixth Mass Extinction" from CNN Digital.

We're entering the Earth's sixth era of extinction -- and it's the first time humans are to blame. CNN introduces you to the species that are already going.
As I've written before, the sixth mass extinction is likely underway with humans as the asteroid.  While that's depressing news, I'm glad that CNN is covering it and being recognized for doing so.

Follow over the jump for the rest of the nominees.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Space, Ebola, volcanoes, stroke, and human expansion the topics of Science and Technology Documentary nominees


"Stay tuned for Science and Technology Documentary nominees tomorrow" was my closing for 'Sonic Sea,' a triple nominee, and its competitors.  It's tomorrow, so it's time to examine the competitors in this category.

In alphabetical order, the first nominee is "A Year in Space" from PBS.

On March 27, 2015, astronaut Scott Kelly began a historic year in space. Follow Scott and his identical twin Mark Kelly as the two-part program tells the story of what it takes, mentally and physically, to spend a year in space.
I blogged about Scott and Mark Kelly's twin experiment in Twins on Earth and Space.  That was three years ago.  It's about time I followed up!

Speaking of following up, Time Magazine, which co-produced this documentary, announced that a "second installment, Beyond a Year in Space, will air this fall on PBS.  Here's to it being nominated for an Emmy next year.  If so, I'm looking forward to blogging about it.

Follow over the jump for the other four nominees.

Monday, October 2, 2017

'Sonic Sea,' a triple nominee, and its competitors


"There is one nominee for Outstanding Nature Documentary left, 'Sonic Sea.'  That one deserves a post of its own.  Stay tuned."  That was the program note I left near the end of Nature documentary nominees are well photographed at the 2017 News and Documentary Emmy Awards.  Here is that entry, in which I give "Sonic Sea" top billing so it doesn't mind sharing it with its fellow nominees in two categories.

Here is the trailer from the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Sonic Sea ( http://www.sonicsea.org ) is a 60-minute documentary about the impact of industrial and military ocean noise on whales and other marine life. It tells the story of a former U.S. Navy officer who solved a tragic mystery and changed forever the way we understand our impact on the ocean.

The film is narrated by Rachel McAdams and features Sting, in addition to the renowned ocean experts Dr. Sylvia Earle, Dr. Paul Spong, Dr. Christopher Clark and Jean-Michel Cousteau.

Sonic Sea was produced by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Imaginary Forces in association with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and Diamond Docs.
Unlike the other nominees for Outstanding Nature Documentary, in particular "Nature: Super Hummingbirds" and "David Attenborough's Light on Earth," the best parts of "Sonic Sea" are auditory, not visual.  It won Best Sound & Music Editing: Television; Documentary Short Form at the Golden Reel Awards.  World Animal News covered the event in Sonic Sea -Winner Of The Golden Reel Award For Best Sound.


I made a nuisance of myself in the comments.
Congratulations to Discovery Channel and to Trevor Gates, Ryan Briley, Ron Aston, and Christopher Bonis for their win in the category of BEST SOUND & MUSIC EDITING: TELEVISION DOCUMENTARY SHORT FORM.  You deserved it.

On the other hand, the host/interviewer, while well-meaning, deserved the chuckles from the sound editors when she said that the film deserved an Academy Award.  If she meant the Motion Picture Academy, that's not happening, as "Sonic Sea" is not a movie, so it wasn't nominated.  If she meant the Television Academy, which awards the Emmys, that ship sailed in September.  "Sonic Sea" was not nominated for Outstanding Music and Sound at the News and Documentary Emmy Awards for the 2015-2016 season, when it aired on Discovery.  That trophy went to "The Last Orangutan Eden."

Next time, do your research on the awards for which a show is eligible before reporting on it.
I then realized I could be wrong.
Actually, I take that back about the Emmy Awards.  While "Sonic Sea" missed the deadline for the prime time Emmys, which had a cut-off date of May 31st, it may still be eligible for the News & Documentary Emmys, which have an earlier deadline.  This year, it will be April 20th.  While the documentary was released as a film on January 15, 2016, its initial air date on Discovery was May 19th.  Assuming the same deadline last year as this year, it would then be eligible for consideration for this year's awards.  In that case, I apologize for being so snotty about the Emmy Awards.  My criticism about the interviewer imploring the Oscars to recognize a film that the Motion Picture Academy didn't nominate still stands.
When "Sonic Sea" actually was nominated, I acknowledged it.
The Television Academy did recognize "Sonic Sea."  It was nominated today for three News and Documentary Emmy Awards, Outstanding Nature Documentary, Outstanding Graphic Design and Art Direction, and Outstanding Music and Sound.  Congratulations and good luck.  The awards will be given on October 5th.
If the show wins any of the three awards, I'll go back and leave another comment.

Follow over the jump for the other nominees for Outstanding Graphic Design and Art Direction and Outstanding Music and Sound.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Nature documentary nominees are well photographed at the 2017 News and Documentary Emmy Awards


"It's time to move on to the News and Documentary Emmys, which will be awarded October 5th.  Stay tuned!"  So I finished 'Saturday Night Live' wins big on political satire with nine Emmy Awards.  I'm starting this series by following up on a passage in More nature and science at the Primetime Emmy Awards, which mentioned noted that "Wild New Zealand" was nominated for awards in both the Primetime Emmy Awards and the News and Documentary Emmys, the only show I've found with that distinction.
In the News and Documentary Emmys, the show is nominated for Outstanding Cinematography: Documentary along with four other nature shows, "David Attenborough's Light on Earth," "Desert Warriors: Lions of the Namib," "Forces of Nature," and "Nature: Super Hummingbirds."  I watched the last one at my mom's house in Utah immediately after I watched the Nova episode " Treasures of the Earth: Power."  It deserves its nomination.  As for "Wild New Zealand," its nominations prove it was well-narrated and well-photographed.
"Planet Earth II" won't be the only nature documentary recognized for its spectacular cinematography.

Since I've already featured "Wild New Zealand" in an earlier entry and I've praised "Nature: Super Hummingbirds," I'll write about the latter one first (and the first one last).  Here is the preview from PBS.

Hummingbirds are amazing creatures to behold. They are the tiniest of birds, yet possess natural born super powers that enable them to fly backwards, upside-down, and float in mid-air. Their wings beat faster than the eye can see and the speed at which they travel makes people wonder if it was indeed a hummingbird they actually saw. They also are only found in the Americas. These attributes have both intrigued scientists and made it challenging to study the species, but with the latest high-speed cameras and other technologies, Super Hummingbirds reveals new scientific breakthroughs about these magical birds.
In addition to being nominated for Outstanding Cinematography: Documentary, the Nature episode is nominated for Outstanding Nature Documentary.  So is another nominee, CuriosityStream's "David Attenborough's Light on Earth."

Why do animals produce light of their own? For centuries, we could only marvel at the mystery of bioluminescence. Now we can begin to reveal the amazing truth about these living lights. Sir David Attenborough is our guide, as we venture into a world he describes as "utterly unlike our own".
Yes, Sir David narrates nominees in the News and Documentary Emmys as well.  Follow over the jump for the rest of them as well as the remaining nominees in both Outstanding Cinematography: Documentary and Outstanding Nature Documentary.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

'Saturday Night Live' wins big on political satire with nine Emmy Awards

I have one more Emmy winner to examine, "Saturday Night Live," which tied for most Emmy nominations with 22, 24 counting its web series and interactive program.  Stay tuned.
Thus I concluded 'Last Week Tonight With John Oliver' examines corporate consolidation after winning four Emmy Awards, so it's time to report on the final Emmy-winning program about politics.  I begin with an overview of the theme of the night, Emmy awards 2017: Political satire wins the night from Al Jazeera English, which features Saturday Night Live.

The EMMY Awards are all about television entertainment.

This year the spotlight was on political satire.

From dramas to comedies, US politics played a major role.

Al Jazeera's Katia Lopez-Hodoyan reports.
While the video mentions "The Handmaid's Tale" and "Veep," its main emphasis was on the comedy acting awards that SNL won.  I expected three of them, beginning with Melissa McCarthy winning Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series.  Earlier this month, I wrote "I'd say either McCarthy or Wiig will win, probably McCarthy.  She made an outstanding Sean Spicer."  She did and she won.  Next was Kate McKinnon earning a second statuette for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.  My prediction was "I expect that Kate McKinnon, who won last year, will repeat."  She did.  My final prediction was "I suspect Alec Baldwin might win [Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series] based on his Trump impersonations," which I foreshadowed last month by writing "He can earn his Emmy for portraying Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live" instead for "Match Game"; I'm glad that Emmy for host of a reality competition show went to RuPaul Charles.

The comedy acting award that took me by surprise was Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series, which went to Dave Chappelle.  Wochit Entertainment has the story in Dave Chappelle Wins Emmy For Hosting SNL.

Dave Chappelle has officially won an Emmy Award for his hosting of Saturday Night Live in the fall of 2016. The episode aired on November 12, 2016. During Chappelle's Saturday Night Live episode, the comedian and former star of Chappelle's Show took aim at the Presidential election which had taken place in the weeks leading up to the episode. He did, however, manage to squeeze in a hilarious and unforgettable sketch which parodied The Walking Dead's iconic Season 6 finale and Season 7 premiere, which introduced the villainous Negan character portrayed by Jeffrey Dean Morgan on the AMC series.
I thought the statuette might go to a host of SNL, just not him.
Hugh Laurie is my choice for the best actor of the bunch, but I wouldn't put it past the Emmy voters to pick either Lin-Manuel Miranda or Tom Hanks.  I might have more to say about them and SNL next week.
Between the two, I would say that Hanks has better name recognition and a more memorable performance on SNL, but the voters might think Miranda might send a stronger message to the country.  Yes, it's that kind of year.
I was right that it has been that kind of year, as selecting Dave Chappelle sent an even stronger message.  While it came as a surprise to me, it was also well deserved, as well as being another victory for diversity.

The final award the show won on the final night of the Emmy Awards was Outstanding Variety Sketch Series, which opens ET Canada's 2017 Emmy Awards 'SNL' Highlights: Alec Baldwin, Melissa McCarthy, Ben Affleck's Appearance.

Highlights from the 2017 Emmy Awards including Ben Affleck making an appearance to support girlfriend Lindsay Shookus, a surprise appearance by Sean Spicer and more wins for “SNL”.
I expected SNL winning this category.
I'd say "Saturday Night Live" is favored because of its number of nominations (22, tied with "Westworld"), number of previous nominations (2), and the general zeitgeist.  The two shows with the best but still slim chance of upsetting SNL are "Drunk History" and "Portlandia," the only other shows also nominated all three times the category has been offered.  Of the two, "Drunk History" has four nominations and "Portlandia" has three.  As for the rest, the next best bet is "Tracy Ullman's Show."  Other than that, this should be the beginning of the second part of an SNL near-sweep.
It was a near-sweep on the final night of the Emmys, as SNL won four of the five categories in which it was nominated, winning Outstanding Directing for a Variety Series, which I predicted, while losing only to "Last Week Tonight With John Oliver" in Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series.  Congratulations!

SNL won three more awards at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards the week before, Outstanding Make-up for a Multi-Camera Series or Special (Non-Prosthetic), Outstanding Production Design for a Variety, Nonfiction, Reality, or Reality-Competition Series, and Outstanding Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video Control for a Series.  I predicted the first two (turning Alec Baldwin into Trump alone deserved the first) and thought the third could happen because of a sweep.  Nine out of twenty-two or twenty-four, depending on the web series counting, isn't really a sweep, but it was enough to make SNL the most awarded program at the Emmys.  One last time, congratulations!

Now my series on the 2017 Primetime Emmy Awards is complete.  It's time to move on to the News and Documentary Emmys, which will be awarded October 5th.  Stay tuned!

Friday, September 29, 2017

'Last Week Tonight With John Oliver' examines corporate consolidation after winning four Emmy Awards


After writing about Samantha Bee and Trevor Noah winning their first Emmy Awards, I promised that I'd report on the Emmy Awards won by "Last Week Tonight With John Oliver" today.  It's time to follow through.

"Last Week Tonight With John Oliver" won half of the eight Primetime Emmy Awards for which it was nominated, including repeating all three categories it won last year, Outstanding Talk Variety Series, Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series, and Outstanding Picture Editing for a Variety Series.  It also won Outstanding Interactive Program, unseating “The Late Late Show with James Corden” and holding off SNL in the face of a near sweep.

Oliver went up to the stage twice last week, the first time to accept Outstanding Writing For a Variety Series.


That gave rise to a running joke about thanking Oprah Winfrey, which popped up in his second acceptance speech for winning Outstanding Variety Talk Show.

Emmys 2017 - John Oliver Wins His Second Emmy Award for Last Week Tonight With John Oliver. Check out John Oliver acceptance speech.
Oprah wasn't there any more, but he thanked the person in her seat anyway.

The episode after his four wins, Oliver and his crew kept up the outstanding work with Corporate Consolidation, in which he actually tries to tank the merger between HBO's parent company Time Warner and AT&T.

Big businesses are getting even bigger thanks to a rise in corporate mergers. John Oliver explains why that could make you want to physically destroy your cable box.
The ubiquitous tribute to small business reminds me of this exchange between Greer the Archdruid and me in Donald Trump and the Politics of Resentment.
"Even the once-mighty profit class, the people who get their income from the profit they make on their own business activities, is small enough these days that it lacks a significant collective presence."

The odd thing is that the small business owner still plays an important political and cultural role, even if they don't actually have much political clout.  Lots of politicians craft the appeals for their policies as promoting "small business," even if they don't really do anything of the sort.  There's also the repeated fantasy of running a business, such as a restaurant or store, as a way of achieving independence.  The reality is that it's usually the interests of the investment class that get promoted when politicians talk about policies that are "good for business," not the profit class.  Also, running a small business is much more work than people realize.  In the current system, it's a lot more remunerative for less work to be a member of the salary class.
Thanks to John Oliver and his writers, researchers, and editors for pointing out how true my observation still is.

In addition to blowing up a cable box to point out the problems with monopolies, Oliver also took aim at the airlines.  Here is his most savage dig, which might earn yet another nomination for Picture Editing.


Mean, but true and funny.  Just for that, congratulations, John Oliver and the crew of "Last Week Tonight."  Keep up the good work of being the most entertaining informational program on television.

I have one more Emmy winner to examine, "Saturday Night Live," which tied for most Emmy nominations with 22, 24 counting its web series and interactive program.  Stay tuned.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Samantha Bee and Trevor Noah win one Emmy Award each


I told my readers to "Stay tuned for more about the Emmy Awards after another driving update."  I took care of the driving update yesterday, so it's time to follow up on 'Last Week Tonight With John Oliver' leads variety talk shows at the Primetime Emmy Awards.

I'll write about "Last Week Tonight With John Oliver" tomorrow.  Today, I'm featuring the other winners who host variety talk shows, beginning with “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee Presents Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner,” which won Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special.  I was rooting for either Bee or Stephen Colbert and I got my wish.  Here she is with the rest of her winning writing team in Gold Derby's Samantha Bee (Full Frontal) Exclusive 2017 Emmy Awards Press Room Winner Interview.

Samantha Bee (Not the White House Correspondents Dinner), 2017 Emmy winner for Variety Special Writing. She won at the Creative Arts Emmys ceremony in downtown Los Angeles on September 9. She and her team are on stage in the press room answering questions.
Congratulations to Bee and her fellow writers on winning their first Emmy Award!

Also winning his first Emmy Award was Trevor Noah and “The Daily Show – Between the Scenes” for Outstanding Short Form Variety Series.  I had been rooting for "The Star Wars Show," but I did write that I'd be O.K. with Noah pulling off an upset, which he did.  Unfortunately, he wasn't there to accept the award, so I'm sharing Trevor Noah Accepts the Award for Best Host at the MTV Movie & TV Awards instead.

Trevor Noah accepts the Best Host award for 'The Daily Show' at the 2017 MTV Movie & TV Awards.
Like Bee, Noah credits Trump as the inspiration for his comedy.  May we all be able to laugh at him as much as Bee and Noah do.

Speaking of laughing at Trump, here is Between the Scenes - Trump Praises Nonexistent Country “Nambia.”

Trevor looks at President Trump's "Nambia" gaffe from the African perspective.
Once again, congratulations!

Stay tuned for my reports on the Emmy Awards won by "Last Week Tonight With John Oliver" tomorrow and "Saturday Night Live" Friday, which will be the last post of the month.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

September 2017 Driving update: Pearl


I set myself a challenge at the end of Driving update: two years of Pearl as Tesla begins deliveries of Model 3 today.
As for the next update, to roll over 36,000 miles on Pearl on September 21st, a year to the day after the car passed 29,000 miles, might be a challenge, as I'm working three more weeks during August than I worked last year.  I'd have to walk more and run my errands on the way home from work more to keep my driving down enough to make that happen.  Here's to hoping I succeed.
I should be careful what I wish for, as I might get it.  Pearl turned over 36,000 miles yesterday, September 26th, exactly five days later than the anniversary of her passing 29,000 miles.  How did I manage that?  I was in the hospital for five days.  Without that experience, I would likely have driven exactly 7,000 miles a year as I have been doing all year long.  I didn't need to wish for anything to decrease my driving to meet my goal, but I got it anyway.

My illness dropped my annual mileage from exactly 7,000 miles per year to 6905.4 miles per year.  Hey, I didn't drive 95 miles because I was sick!  Actually, that's about right.  7,000 miles divided by 52 weeks equals 134.6 miles per week.  Divided by seven days per week gives 19.2 miles per day.  Multiplied by five days yields 96.2 miles.  Both my health and the planet's improved by my being hospitalized -- that is, if I don't count whatever carbon footprint resulted from my being in the hospital instead of home.  Some other time.

As for my monthly mileage, it took 61 days from July 27 to September 26 to drive 1,000 miles, which is an average of 16.39 miles per day and exactly 500 miles per standard month.  That's six days longer than the 55 days it took to drive 1,000 miles, or 18.18 miles per day and 554.55 miles per standard month during June and July this year.  I drove 1.79 miles per day and 54.55 miles per month less than I did during the first half of the summer.

Last year between July and September, I drove 17.54 miles per day and 535.1 (535.09) miles per standard month, which means I drove 1.15 miles per day and 35.1 miles per month less this year than during the comparable period last year.  Yeah, I'm still driving less by whatever measure I'm taking, but not because of anything I did voluntarily.

As for the next driving anniversary, that would be November 9th.  I'm fairly confident that Pearl will pass 37,000 miles weeks later than that, as I drove a lot last October and November for the election.  There is no election this year, so no driving around dropping off lawn signs.  That means I should be driving closer to 6.500 miles per year than 7,000 miles per year at the next driving update and it won't be because I was sick -- I hope.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

'Atlanta' and 'Master of None' showcase diversity at the Emmy Awards


I concluded 'Veep' leads comedy series with five Emmy Awards with "I'm not done with comedy.  I plan on writing about the rest of the winners in comedy series tomorrow, then the variety winners beginning on Wednesday."  It's Wednesday, so I'm following up on two comedies that tied for second in their genre with two awards, "Atlanta" and "Master of None."  Both of them were cited by Wochit News, which I quoted first in "Fear the Walking Dead: Passage" contributes to diversity at the 2017 Primetime Emmy Awards and again in 'Veep' leads nominated comedies at the Primetime Emmy Awards with 17 nominations.
The 69th Primetime Emmy nominees are the most diverse in the program's history.
25 people of color were nominated across 18 onscreen acting awards, while 22 were nominated in 2016. Last year, people of color represented 24.6 percent of the major acting nominees. In 2015, that percentage was 21.9. In 2014, it was 9.7. In addition to the acting nominees, "Atlanta," "black-ish" and "Master of None" received nominations for Outstanding Comedy Series. The shows' leads, Donald Glover, Anthony Anderson and Aziz Ansari, will compete for the Lead Actor in a Comedy category.
While "Veep" won the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series, Donald Glover won both Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series and Outstanding Directing For A Comedy Series.  The Hollywood Reporter reports on that win in 'Atlanta's' Donald Glover Nabs Lead Actor, Best Director for Comedy Series at 2017 Emmys.

Donald Glover cleaned up at the 2017 Emmy Awards winning beast lead actor and best director for a comedy series for 'Atlanta.'
Glover thinks Trump may be responsible for his award.  Not entirely, as he won for Best Actor in a Comedy Series at the Golden Globes and the Critics' Choice Awards, both of which awarded him their statues before Trump was inaugurated.  Still, the Emmys cap a very good year for Glover.

It turns out I called one of Glover's victories and half-called another.  For directing:
Last year's winner, Jill Soloway ("Transparent") isn't returning, so this is an open field.  David Mandel and Dale Stern of "Veep" are returning nominees, as is Mike Judge of "Silicon Valley," so under normal circumstances I'd say they were the favorites.  I'm not sure this year is normal and it may not work in favor of "Veep." Instead, I suspect Donald Glover will pull an upset.
And he did.

I was less optimistic about his winning the acting award, as I wrote "The one wild card is Donald Glover.  I don't think he's ready to beat Tambor, even if it seems like his year."  I was wrong; it was Glover's year, but at least I acknowledged the possiblity that he could win.

The Hollywood Reporter also mentioned Lena Waithe and Aziz Ansari's win for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series.  Ansari was a returning winner, so I called this win.  On the other hand, I did not expect "Master of None" to win Outstanding Single camera Picture Editing For A Comedy Series.  I thought that would go to "Veep" or "Silicon Valley."  Still, I'm glad to be pleasantly surprised with a victory for diversity instead.

Stay tuned for more about the Emmy Awards after another driving update.

Monday, September 25, 2017

'Veep' leads comedy series with five Emmy Awards


I promised I would return to the Emmy Award winners Friday at the end of Jeff Beal wins the only Emmy for 'House of Cards' this year, but that was a mistake from the get go.  First, even if I had stuck to my schedule, I would have returned Saturday, as Friday was the Autumnal Equinox.  Second, I found more pressing things to blog about, like Vox on nukes for another fake doomsday and 'Star Trek: Discovery' debuting on CBS.  It's not the first time I promised to write about something on this blog and ended up being late about it.  Just the same, it is time to return to the Emmy winners.

Today, I'm revisiting "Veep, which had more nominations than any other scripted comedy series.  It also ended up with more wins, five, for Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series, Outstanding Cinematography for A Single-Camera Series (Half-Hour), and Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Program (Half-Hour or Less).  The first two were awarded on the final night and CBS posted both of the acceptance speeches on its YouTube channel.  First, Julia Louis-Dreyfus Wins Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series At The 69th Emmy Awards, which I called earlier this month, calling Dreyfus "a prohibitive favorite."  In between my composing this entry and it being posted, CBS took down its videos, so I'm substituting ones that are still up.  It's now 'Veep's' Julia Louis-Dreyfus Breaks Record With 6th Consecutive Emmy Win from The Hollywood Reporter.


'Veep' and Julia Louis-Dreyfus have done it again. The HBO series won for best comedy series at the Emmy Awards on Sunday and the show's star, Louis-Dreyfus, took home her sixth consecutive win for her role as ex-president Selina Meyer, a record run for any actor.
That was hysterical, although I suspect "House of Cards" will do the impeachment story line first, not the Trump White House (note that Dreyfus is sitting next to Kevin Spacey in the front row -- the two TV presidents together got VIP treatment).  It was also worthy of a record-setting string of wins for the same actress playing the same character.

The other was Veep Wins Outstanding Comedy Series At The 69th Emmy Awards, which I also called, declaring the now three-time winner the favorite.  CBS struck again, so I'm replacing it with 69th Emmys: Veep Press Room Interview from the Television Academy.

Norman Lear and Carol Burnett presented the award. The team from Veep give a press room interview after their Emmy win for Outstanding Comedy Series.
I'm glad to see the comedy legends of Lear and Burnett are still with us.  As for "Veep," if the producer is this funny, no wonder the show is a hoot.  I'm looking forward to the final season, which will air next year.  Until then, congratulations!

I'm not done with comedy.  I plan on writing about the rest of the winners in comedy series tomorrow, then the variety winners beginning on Wednesday.  Stay tuned!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

'Star Trek: Discovery' debuts today on CBS


I've posted the trailers for "Star Trek: Discovery" twice, first in May and again in July.  True to the every other month pattern, I'm posting something about it in September.  The difference is that the show is premiering tonight on CBS before it moves to CBS All Access.*  Therefore, I'm posting news stories instead of trailers.  I'm all in favor of corporate PR once removed as information.

First, The Hollywood Reporter introduces the characters in 'Star Trek: Discovery' Character Guide to CBS All Access Drama.

'Star Trek: Discovery' is plotting a game-changing new course. In addition to running on a digital platform, Discovery marks the first time a Star Trek series has been led by a woman of color as well as someone who isn't captain of the ship with The Walking Dead grad Sonequa Martin-Green having that distinction in her role as First Officer Michael Burnham. What's more, Discovery picks up at a time of rising tensions between Starfleet and the Klingon race.
The captain of Discovery is the most messed up Star Fleet commanding officer?  That I'll have to see; I can think of a couple from the original series that had serious issues and Chris Pine's Kirk is pretty damaged.  Also, Spock has a foster sister?  That makes me want to watch the series even more.

Next, KTLA is at the premiere of Star Trek: Discovery to get the reactions of the actors, both from the current series and the original one.

The next chapter of the Star Trek franchise is heading to CBS All Access. KTLA was at the red carpet premiere with the stars of Star Trek: Discovery.
I hope the actors from "Star Trek: Discovery" are right about their show.

Finally, since I'm a musician and love theme songs, I'm going to post corporate PR direct from the source: Star Trek: Discovery's Main Title Theme Takes A Cue From The Past.

When it comes to Star Trek, a dynamic main title theme is key. In this behind-the-scenes video for Star Trek: Discovery, composer Jeff Russo leads a 60-piece orchestra in recording the new series' theme. Star Trek: Discovery premieres in the U.S. on CBS All Access Sunday, Sept. 24, following a broadcast premiere on the CBS Television Network.
Here's to hoping this gets nominated for Outstanding Main Title Music at next year's Emmy Awards.  May it have a title sequence worthy of the franchise to accompany it.

*Here's to hoping it isn't delayed by football.  As for the show being on CBS All Access, I hope it doesn't interfere with growing the show's audience the way it seemed to with "The Good Fight."  That show was just as good as the last season of the "The Good Wife" but earned only one Emmy nomination in contrast to the four nominations the last season of "The Good Wife" earned.  I have a suspicion that the members of the Television Academy just weren't watching.  May that not happen to "Star Trek: Discovery."

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Vox on nukes for another fake doomsday


Today is yet another predicted doomsday and it would a dereliction of my duty as a doomer blogger to ignore it.  That doesn't mean I have to take it at face value -- quite the contrary.  This particular doomsday, like the Rapture and Judgment Day of 2011, the Fake Mayan Doomsday 2012 and Ragnorak of 2014, deserves my mockery.  Today's apocalypse not features both Biblical numerology and Nibiru, the Planet X of conspiracy theory.*  At least this end of the world idea is eclectic.

That doesn't mean that the possibility of the end of western industrial civilization isn't real.  It's just that it will happen as a result of natural causes explanable by science.  One of those, which I examined at the beginning of the year in Trump helps move the Doomsday Clock 30 seconds closer to midnight and Nuclear war and how to survive it from ASAP Science and ASAP Thought then more recently but less seriously in SNL mocks Trump for Presidential Joke Day and Colbert on the nuclear crisis with North Korea, is the threat of nuclear war, particularly between the U.S. and North Korea.  Follow over the jump for three videos from Vox on the Doomsday Clock and nuclear war.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Elephants and hobbits but no cars on the Autumnal Equinox


Happy Autumnal Equinox!  I've written enough about the astronomical reason for the season, so I'm celebrating three other holidays that share this day according to National Day Calendar and that have some connection to the themes of this blog.  Follow over the jump for them.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Jeff Beal wins the only Emmy for 'House of Cards' this year


I listed six nominated series in "House of Cards" leads contemporary American political dramas with six nominations with 20 nominations among them: "House of Cards" (6), "Mr. Robot" (4), "The Americans" (4), "Homeland" (3), "Orange is the New Black" (2), and "The Good Fight" (1).  Only one show earned one Emmy Award out of all that, "House of Cards" with Jeff Beal winning Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Original Dramatic Score) for his work on "Chapter 63."  "Westworld," "Stranger Things," and especially "The Handmaid's Tale" crushed the competition in drama series.  I'm not surprised.  As I wrote last week, "Jeff Beal won this category for "House of Cards" in 2015.  Along with "Mr. Robot" not being renominated, that gives Beal and "House of Cards" an advantage."  Once again, I can say that I picked a winner, even though I was rooting for Jacob Shea and Jasha Klebe to win for “Planet Earth II.”

To celebrate, I'm sharing two selections from the current season of "House of Cards."  First, House Of Cards, Chapter 63 "Saved My Life" by Jeff Beal, which is from the nominated episode.


Next, "Nothing to be Afraid of."


Congratulations!

That's all I feel like writing about today, as it's my birthday.  I'll return to the Emmy Award winners Friday, as tomorrow is the Autumnal Equinox, along with a couple of other holidays listed on National Day Calendar that I'll celebrate as well.  Stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Emmy winners in animation and children's programming


Before I move on to Emmy winners that are about modern American politics (in contrast to politics in science fiction), I am taking care of the winners in animation and children's programming, which I touched on in Star Wars at the Primetime Emmy Awards, 'Gotham' leads superhero shows at the Primetime Emmy Awards with three nominations, and 'Veep' leads nominated comedies at the Primetime Emmy Awards with 17 nominations.  Here they are from Wikipedia.

"Samurai Jack" earned four Emmy Awards for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation, one each for Bryan Andrews (storyboard artist), Scott Wills (production design), Craig Kellman (character design), and Lou Romano (background design).  "Wander Over Yonder" also won an Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation for Justin Nichols (character animation).  All of these are juried awards, so I had no comment on them in advance.  Just the same, congratulations!

"Bob's Burgers" won Outstanding Animated Program.  This came as a pleasant surprise.  I was expecting "Archer" to repeat.

I was also expecting "Adventure Time" to repeat as Outstanding Short-Format Animation.  It did, so I can brag that I picked the winner.

One category I missed was Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance, which I might have included in the post about "Black Mirror" and "American Horror Story: Roanoke" I was planning on writing before I was hospitalized.  Seth MacFarlane won that award for his work on "Family Guy" as the voices of Peter Griffin, Stewie Griffin, Brian Griffin, and Glenn Quagmire.  The man is just as talented as a voice artist as he is a humorist.  Here's to hoping he can put those talents to good use in "The Orville."

I was rooting for "Star Wars Rebels" to win Outstanding Children's Program, but I expected "Once Upon a Sesame Street Christmas" to take home the statuette.  As predicted, the Muppets beat the rebels.  Maybe "Star Wars Rebels" will win for its last season, which is this year.

And now, two videos from the winner with the strongest claim to being science fiction, "Wonder Over Yonder" and "Adventure Time."  First, If You Wonder Over Yonder.


Next, Adventure Time Islands Theme Song.


Yesterday was Talk like a Pirate Day, but there is still a Jolly Roger flag for today.

Enough fantasy.  Time to move on to reality in the form of politics and news!