Someone must have sang like a canary.

I know this stupid blog has readers across the country, so I must ask our Milwaukee correspondents what they make of the Stradivarius theft — and subsequent recovery — in their fair city.

I first heard about it via this New York Times story, which did not disappoint:

It should have been one of those nights musicians live for. Frank Almond, the concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra for nearly two decades, had just closed a chamber concert in his own “Frankly Music” series with Messiaen’s hushed, eerily intense “Quartet for the End of Time.” Mr. Almond drew the graceful, ringing high notes of the finale from his prized 1715 Stradivarius violin, producing a tone so intensely focused that the audience in the Wisconsin Lutheran College’s 388-seat auditorium sat in awed silence for 20 seconds before applauding.

But the glow of the moment evaporated quickly, once Mr. Almond, 49, stepped into the college art center’s parking lot at 10:20 p.m. Monday, his violin carefully swaddled against the subzero temperatures and minus-25-degree wind chill. And as he neared his car, a figure stepped up to him and shot him with a stun gun.

It happened in a matter of seconds: Mr. Almond dropped the violin, the attacker scooped it up and jumped into a late 1980s or early ’90s maroon or burgundy minivan, where an accomplice was waiting to speed away.

Based on that early information, I figured the violin was already halfway around the world, bound for a Russian, Chinese or perhaps a Japanese mobster’s bunker, there to lie in suspended animation, decay setting in for lack of proper care and play, until it was found years later, maybe when the mobster’s junkie nephew tried to pawn it.

I mean, clearly, this was the work of professionals, no?

No. Or, at least, not very skilled ones. The instrument was recovered in Milwaukee, in the attic of a home, and two guys, one of them named Universal Allah, are in custody. Neither one looks anything like like Alan Rickman or Jeremy Irons, which is the only acceptable face for this crime, IMO — European, faded good looks and a deep appreciation for classical music as played by stringed instruments. Hell, I’d believe Hannibal Lecter stole the thing before these guys.

What, do you suppose, is the story here? More will be revealed, I expect.

Alan informed me that most Stradivari and similar violins are technically owned by zillionaires, who form buyers’ syndicates and lend them to worthy musicians to play. Makes sense. They really need to be played to stay in shape, just as pearls need to be worn to stay pretty. I expect Frank Almond will continue to play this one, but he’ll be walked to his car by orchestra hall security now.

So, then. In the bloggage today, a friend sent this along, one of those great data maps on the most pleasant places to live. I notice that when I moved from Fort Wayne to Detroit, I gained eight “pleasant” days a year along with a radically higher homicide rate, so hey! Win! The most pleasant places are all in coastal or near-coastal California, the least-pleasant in Montana, Nevada, Wyoming and some place called East of Cedarville, Calif. Discuss. (The fact North Dakota isn’t contributing to the least-pleasant list is a mystery to me, too.)

I only read two sections of the Detroit Free Press when it arrives on Sunday, so I missed the Great Cleavage Debate, which followed this story, which is probably good, because if I’d read this sentence cold, my head might have exploded:

Cleavage is a powerful, powerful thing.

The story became a journalism story, mainly because of a poll attached about who has the best cleavage, blah blah blah. That’s not what interests me today. Rather, I don’t think I’m working with the same definition as everybody else. What, exactly, is cleavage? I thought cleavage occurred when you had enough breast heft that, when displayed in a low-cut neckline, you actually had a cleft. By that measure, two of the three women in the accompanying photo don’t actually have cleavage at all. Am I wrong? Don’t misunderstand, they all look great, but in that picture, only Sofia Vergara is rocking cleavage. Amy Adams has a lovely top half, but she’s slight-breasted enough, in the ’70s style, to be free of it. And Lupita Nyong’o has one of those enviable rock-hard fashion bodies that makes every dress look fantastic, in large part because she doesn’t have much boobage at all.

You guys take 20 or 30 minutes, examine the picture, maybe do some outside research, and get back to me on that. I have a weekend to start. Hope yours is great.

Posted at 12:30 am in Current events |

69 responses to “Someone must have sang like a canary.”

  1. Deborah said on February 7, 2014 at 3:14 am

    My initial thought was that the owner of the Stradivarius had it stolen for the insurance.

    Since when is 34DD the average size bra? I attribute that to vanity sizing not that women are bigger breasted now. Just like jeans sizing numbers get ridiculously lower and lower to make you feel better in the dressing room. And I agree that cleavage means you need a cleft not just a hump.

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  2. Dexter said on February 7, 2014 at 3:22 am

    So who is this mysterious “Char”, the owner/caretaker/custodian of the Stradivari? I assume Char is a woman, a patron of the arts, and inherited the duty of making sure the violin stayed alive and in the hands of the best possible candidate appointed to play it. The violin has been in the same family for fifty years. Violins have been a part of my life, though I wasn’t involved. My dad played his violin at our house when I was a kid but just quit playing one day and never touched it again.
    My daughters all played, the first two played the viola and my daughter played the violin. It was a proud day when she was first chair in the high school orchestra for one concert, even if it was because the first chair was ill that day. Being a parent has rewards like that if you’re lucky.

    East of Cedarville, California isn’t a town, but a vast wasteland stretching through Nevada and it goes on forever. I’d hate to be stranded there.

    It is minus nine degrees Fahrenheit right now, here. I don’t recall a cold winter like this since early 1963, when I was a morning paperboy. Oh well. Power is on, been holding steady. Those poor people over in Pennsylvania, in the cold, power lines knocked down by frozen tree limbs….

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  3. Dexter said on February 7, 2014 at 3:30 am

    I hope this works. If not, here’s what it is: A man who appreciates cleavage. It’s Bogart with his wife and also Marilyn. And his eyes are quite focussed on …yep.

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  4. Snarkworth said on February 7, 2014 at 6:01 am

    As one of those poor people in Pennsylvania, Dexter, I appreciate your sympathy. Finally got the generator working, so we have the basics. But the devastation is worse than Sandy. And it’s much colder.

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  5. coozledad said on February 7, 2014 at 8:33 am

    Janet Baker had a pair of Stradivari. Apparently she had to have someone hold them when she sang. There’s a line in this song “Remember my face”. HA.

    Warning: Soprano on soprano action:

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  6. Deborah said on February 7, 2014 at 8:38 am

    We already have a thread winner, Coozledad at #5.

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  7. beb said on February 7, 2014 at 8:43 am

    I like this picture better (assuming the link works)

    There’s Sophia Loren checking out the cleavage of Jayne Mansfield with a hint of disapproval.

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  8. Connie said on February 7, 2014 at 8:55 am

    Google doodle today is a rainbow of Olympic sports. Go google!

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  9. MarkH said on February 7, 2014 at 9:14 am

    Dexter, in that iconic Loren/Mansfield photo, Sophia appears to show regret on her own choice of ‘display’, if not who was in charge of the seating arrangement. That is a remarkably lousy photo of Vergara to demonstrate and idea of cleavage, hers in particular. She has displayed the goods far better.

    Whoever decided on western Montana towns of McAllister and Clancy for the bottom five has clearly never been in the eastern quarter of the state, say, Broadus, which would make Nancy’s case for western and southern North Dakota. Same for Douglas, Wyoming. At least there’s agriculture there. Ever been to Rawlins, Wamsutter, Baggs, or Jeffrey City?

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  10. BigHank53 said on February 7, 2014 at 9:16 am

    You’re not wrong about cleavage, Nancy. The word that’s escaped the Freep is decolletage, which has sadly fallen out of favor. One can (like Ms. Adams) have an impressive decolletage without a hint of cleavage. As the root of cleavage is cleave, (see also cleft) my feeling is that if something can’t get stuck in it, it’s not cleavage.

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  11. Judybusy said on February 7, 2014 at 9:16 am

    Hmph. Minneapolis has 55 pleasant days of the year. Well, it’s all in how you difine pleasant. Sure, I believe I really should be living in a tropical paradise given my natural inclination to revel in languid, humid days, but there I am, in a somewhat northerly latitude, working the zone 4 gardening season as best I can. OF COURSE 80 degrees and sunny is pleasant. But some of my best outdoor memories are: cycling 25 miles on a foggy, 40-degree morning training to do one of the 500-mile AIDS rides; raking leaves on a similar day one autumn, and noting in my garden journal that it was so peaceful and quiet, because none of the pleasant but noisy neighbor kids were outside; pretty much any recent winter day at the dog park, but the one of sun dogs and mist rising from the Mississippi and the dog running madly through the snow really springs to mind. Last Saturday, while XC skiing, I encountered lots of deer, incuding some who paused on the trail 20 feet away and stayed for 10 minutes before I moved forward gently, so they didn’t spook and plow me over.

    The windchill is -25, but I got the gear. I’m just wearing long underwear all the time. And we did spend 10 days in Puerto Rico, which really, really helped.

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  12. Peter said on February 7, 2014 at 9:39 am

    I would agree with Nancy about the breast evaluation – my wife has a term for Ms. Lupita’s figure – “Yoga Tits”.

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  13. DellaDash said on February 7, 2014 at 10:15 am

    Los Angeles, Oxnard, and Simi Valley…ah! Orange blossom scented smog…most pleasant.

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  14. Bitter Scribe said on February 7, 2014 at 10:31 am

    Mary Schmich, the Chicago Tribune columnist who inexplicably won a Pulitzer, had a column this morning saying she could relate to this violinist because once her mandolin was stolen. Sheesh.

    Years ago in Chicago there was this horrible incident where a violinist was getting off a train and the doors closed on her violin, which was slung across her back. The train started moving and she was dragged beneath the wheels, severing a leg.

    When her lawsuit against the railroad went to trial, the defense team turned out to be weapons-grade assholes, repeatedly accusing her of failing to slip out of the backpack because she wanted to preserve her violin. What astonished me was the stream of vituperation unleashed against her. When an alt-weekly–which would presumably have enlightened readers–ran a feature about her, there was a storm of comments calling her a malingerer, gold-digger, opportunist–and that was some of the nicer stuff. Misogyny meets anti-intellectualism, I guess.

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  15. coozledad said on February 7, 2014 at 10:51 am

    Leonidas Kavakos has owned two Stradivari and one Guadagnini. He sold one of the Stradivari. He is playing the 1724 Abergavenny Stradivarius here:

    I like the way he plays Stravinky’s chamber pieces.

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  16. Charlotte said on February 7, 2014 at 11:01 am

    Pleasant? Well, we have cold temps, but one reason I never went back to the East or Midwest after moving out here is that at least we get sunshine. Even my -25 trudge home yesterday morning was sunny, and for once, that-word-that-starts-with-w-that-we-don’t-say-out-loud wasn’t blowing. Today it’s up to -2, and grey. Tomorrow I’m supposed to go x-c skiing with a girlfriend and her kid up at the B-Bar Ranch — which is down near the park and quite a bit higher elevation. We’ll see. Forecast calls for 20s, which would be great, but I’m not sure I believe them.

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  17. Dorothy said on February 7, 2014 at 11:12 am

    My son is back in the USA! Thanks for all the well wishes along the way since he left last May. He called last night and we were so excited to hear his voice all the way from Bangor, Maine. I asked him if he shouted out the window a big helloooo to Stephen King. The thing he was happiest to have so far? Fresh cold milk! (Wait ’til he gets ahold of his first beer. He’ll be tipsy in 10 minutes.) He’s in the southern states now and a week from today we’re hoping to hold him in a huge bear hug. Wooo hoooo I’m a happy girl today!

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  18. MarkH said on February 7, 2014 at 11:25 am

    GREAT News, Dorothy!!

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  19. Julie Robinson said on February 7, 2014 at 11:30 am

    Dorothy, so happy for you! Here’s hoping he’ll be home for awhile. Another friend just posted pics of her son deploying yet again, 🙁

    Perhaps the Freep was just trying to give the men of Detroit an additional Pleasant Day?

    It’s overcast and 55 in Orlando, which makes it 55 degrees warmer than at home. No complaints from me. Plus, I slept until 10 and boy howdy did that feel wonderful.

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  20. LAMary said on February 7, 2014 at 11:49 am

    It isn’t that bad Della. The air quality has been improving every year I’ve been here. It was funky a month ago when there was a big fire about thirty miles east of here but seriously? I used to work in the Bronx and had to check for hookers doing the deed leaning on my car to service truck drivers.

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  21. Connie said on February 7, 2014 at 11:50 am

    Good news, Dorothy!

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  22. Judybusy said on February 7, 2014 at 11:50 am

    Fantastic, Dorothy!

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  23. Sherri said on February 7, 2014 at 11:56 am

    Wonderful news, Dorothy!

    Temperature isn’t everything when it comes to pleasant, as visitors to San Francisco in July learn. Yes, the temperature may be above 55 (barely), but the fog is going to make it feel colder.

    This map says I gave up 50 pleasant days when I moved from the Bay Area to Redmond.

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  24. beb said on February 7, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    The cleavage as power thing is best summed by by Ann-Margaret singing “I enjoy being a girl.” It’s hard to avoid drooling as she strips on camera.

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  25. Deborah said on February 7, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    Great news Dorothy!

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  26. Kirk said on February 7, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    Please forgive my being a scold, but ouch.

    “must have sung,” please

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  27. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 7, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    Ooh rah, Dorothy. Just sent a guy from our congregation, and watching to see how we can get back to the only Marines there being embassy guards.

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  28. Deborah said on February 7, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    Another geezer gazillionaire has weighed in on how persecuted the one percent are. This time it’s Sam Zell, the Chicago real estate tycoon. Didn’t he buy the Trib and run it into the ground even further than it was? What is with these guys? Are they completely tone deaf? How not to win friends and influence people. What a maroon.

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  29. brian stouder said on February 7, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    Kirk, you a very brave editor, my good sir!

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  30. coozledad said on February 7, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    Turn off your mind, relax and read this thing
    It is Dick Cohen, it is Dick Cohen

    Lay down that bong, surrender to the dreck
    It is stunning, what they are printing

    Yet you may see that spliff will make you dense
    For he has smoked it, Dick Cohen smoked it

    And it may make you think she thinks you’re hot
    You will be hearing from her attorney

    but ignorance will never shut him up
    You can’t believe it, you must believe it

    But when you hear Dick Cohen in your dreams
    It’s not worth living, it’s not worth living

    So play Dick Cohen backwards what’s it say?
    it says No-ah-kid, it says No-ah-kid
    it says No-ah-kid, it says No-ah-kid

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  31. Joe K said on February 7, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    Had a short trip up to AnArbor today and had a really good sub at DiBellas,
    Wish I could have had time to meet some of the Detroit gang but it was a short stop.
    Hopefully next time.
    Pilot Joe

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  32. brian stouder said on February 7, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    I read the article about boobs, and was amused that breasts got referred to as ‘the girls’ a time or two… and then I read the passage that no man could possibly have written, without

    Said Padgett: “When it comes to cleavage … I think you have to be appropriate. If you’re a bartender and you’re working evenings, you can show your girls a lot more. You still have to be under control. If you’re a nurse, is showing your cleavage still appropriate?”

    So the most important thing for women to remember, said Dale, is to “wield your boob power responsibly.”

    Let me just say, my lovely wife lives the wisdom found in the Superman(?) movie, to the effect that ‘with great power comes great responsibility’…..usually!

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  33. brian stouder said on February 7, 2014 at 6:03 pm


    … and then I read the passage that no man could possibly have written, without great heaping gobs of disapprobation

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  34. Sherri said on February 7, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    As the topic of the day is breasts, and the Olympics are going on, here’s a link to an article about the challenges of breasts in sports:

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  35. MichaelG said on February 7, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    That’s fantastic to hear, Dorothy. What a horrible thing war is for a mother.

    That weather thing shows Sacramento as having, variously, 57, 59 and 72 nice days per year and West Sacto (same thing) as having 69 nice days. I guess somebody must have taken temps at various locations but the disparities are rather large. Plus Sacramento has a ton of days with temps between 85 and 90. I think the range is a tad tight. No way St. Paul, MN, 69 nice days, has better weather than Sacto.

    I like Big Hank’s take on cleavage at #10. I’m not certain that the three pix shown in the article show cleavage. Breasts, yes, cleavage not so sure. I must say, I sympathize with women athletes and the problem they face.

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  36. Deborah said on February 7, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    Well, good to know if I had been athletic, breasts would not have been a problem for me.

    My husband took a fall on the ice in Chicago and probably fractured something around his left elbow. He had on his pork pie hat that started to blow off in the wind, and while he was wrestling with his hat he hit some ice and went down hard. Of course he won’t go to the Dr until Monday. He is weird that way. When he was in a motorcycle accident a few years back I had to beg him to go to the Dr. He waited a few days before he went, and had a couple of broken ribs.

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  37. Kim said on February 7, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    Bitter Scribe – That violinist is Rachel Barton Pine and she is a talent who never left behind her passion for metal, even as she became internationally known (as a teen) for her classical performances. If you haven’t heard her, check her out. I’d like to think Prospero would have been outraged at how she was treated following the train incident that severed one of her legs, and inspired by how she recovered.

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  38. Kim said on February 7, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    And welcome home, Dorothy’s boy!

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  39. LAMary said on February 7, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    All you people in more easterly time zones have already seen this but I so love it:

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  40. Deborah said on February 7, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    Little Bird is into watching the Olympic skating events. A friend of hers (in St. Louis) has a cousin who’s a figure skater in the Olympics, couples dance skating or something like that. His name is Charlie White and he and his partner Meryl Davis are supposed to be pretty good, supposedly gold material. Other than that we’re not all that interested.

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  41. Connie said on February 7, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    Had to watch the opening ceremonies where we got a quick glimpse of my husband’s cousin’s son who is coach for Peru’s one cross country skier. Very cool. Andy has been a high level cross country and biathlon skier himself, and currently has a start up in northern Michigan where he is manufacturing super light weight ski poles.

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  42. basset said on February 7, 2014 at 10:07 pm

    Cooz@30, maybe you should tell us what songs you’re working from there so the less culturally current of us can understand what the hell you’re talking about. I recognize “Tomorrow Never Knows” tonight, but it’s the first one in awhile.

    The Olympic opening ceremonies are still going on but I have watched all I can stand. Damn, is it ever depressing; not the walk of the various nations itself, although the Paraguayan entry looks like my high school girlfriend, but the commercials in between.

    They’re supposed to be these heartwarming tales of initiative and dedication – for those who haven’t seen them tonight, they start with some Olympic athlete or at least a representation of one performing in his/her sport and work backward, film of early practice, film of a little kid dreaming of being an Olympian, back to the current day and mothers tearing up as their children ace the grand slalom or whatever, overall an uplifting message as you see the kind of concentration and hard work it takes to be an Olympic athlete.

    Thing is, I keep seeing all the children who didn’t make it. Three-year-old skater falls over, next image is the same kid five years later skating with strength and confidence – in my mind, the three-year-old falls and mom and/or dad comes steaming onto the practice ice, kicks him in the ass, grabs him by the back of his collar and starts screaming in his face about how worthless he is, what a disappointment, you’re never gonna make the Olympics unless you straighten up, get back out there and don’t you even THINK about falling this time.

    And I’m sure it happened that way for some of them, but not the ones who are walking behind the flag tonight; maybe the next flight of motivational announcements will start with some twenty-year-old stocking shelves on the overnight shift at Walmart and work backward to a cautionary tale of how they could have been somebody if they’d only been good enough at some sport.

    Probably should mention as well that I don’t remember what any of tonight’s commercials were selling.

    Just went back into the other room and saw a group of maybe 100 doing a precision dance routine in purple suits. You could not make that up.

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  43. Deborah said on February 7, 2014 at 10:40 pm

    Holy Cow, I watched the “Up All Night to Get Lucky” Russian Police Chorus link that LA Mary posted. Priceless and hilarious. You must see it it you haven’t already. So good.

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  44. MichaelG said on February 7, 2014 at 11:26 pm

    It’s a quarter after eight here in Sacto and NBC is still assing around with their stupid interviews and features. The TV listings advertised the Sochi opening ceremonies showing at 7:30 our time. Earlier today I had lunch with my (Ex) wife. God, is she a beautiful woman. I left the restaurant around 2:00 PM and listened to the reviews of the opening ceremonies on the radio while driving home. The reviews seemed fairly favorable. That was over six hours ago. I have no idea when fucking NBC will finally deign to allow we west coast suckers to see the event.

    I don’t know what their thought is but it sure seems that they don’t want youngsters to watch the Olympics. They could have easily put this on at five or six o’clock.

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  45. MichaelG said on February 7, 2014 at 11:37 pm

    It’s finally on and there’s a choir of men in ill fitting suits singing the Anthem while . . . well, I guess you’ve all seen it.

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  46. Jolene said on February 8, 2014 at 1:32 am

    The Police Choir wasn’t shown as part of the broadcast, though there were numerous references to it on Twitter. The chorus MichaelG mentioned was made up of students from a monastery.

    Does anyone know if male choirs are a big thing in Russia? In the US, we have the Yale Russian Choir, a student group with alumni groups around the US. I have a friend who was part of it during his student days, and he sang with them when they visited Chicago (back in my student days).

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  47. Jolene said on February 8, 2014 at 1:46 am

    basset, I have two suggestions.

    1. Get a DVR. You can record anything you want to watch, and you can skip the commercials.
    2. Consider antidepressants. Your speculations about what those commercials didn’t show are some of the most remarkable expressions of depressive thinking I have ever heard,* and I have heard a lot–much of it coming out of my own mouth. Treatment helps.

    *Diagnostic procedures learned from Bill Frist.

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  48. Maggie Jochild said on February 8, 2014 at 9:14 am

    I watched the opening ceremonies via the BBC. Vastly more intelligent (and less intrusive) commentary not centered on mythic American exceptionalism, no use of the word “inspirational”, great humour and background, no commercials, and best of all, NO CHANCE OF HAVING TO HEAR MICHAEL PHELPS’ NAME GRATUITOUSLY TOSSED IN. The hard-on American men have for Phelps is baffling to me. I will stick with the BBC, where I am actually learning substantive things about other cultures and I can fast-forward or replay when necessary.

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  49. coozledad said on February 8, 2014 at 9:34 am

    March on Raleigh.

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  50. Julie Robinson said on February 8, 2014 at 10:19 am

    LAMary, that was hilarious. Thanks for my first laugh of the day.

    Little Bird & Deborah, I love figure skating too and have followed it ardently since my childhood. Davis & White represent our best (and perhaps only) chance at a medal but it may not be gold. They’re very evenly matched with their rivals, and they’ve traded titles the last three years. But get this: they train under the same coach–can you imagine the tension at the rink?

    Maggie, did you watch BBC online or through a paid provider? I’ve been hunting around to find coverage online and found a fair amount on the NBC site, but they really make you work for it.

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  51. Maggie Jochild said on February 8, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    Through a (very cheap) paid provider that creates an international VPN for you and thus you can watch via the BBC’s own I-player. There are many available; one is which costs £6 per month. Plus a large bandwitch, of course.

    Pam Spaulding this morning revealed that the following section of IOC chair Thomas Bach’s speech that emphasized diversity and equal rights was deleted from the NBC broadcast in the U.S. There is no explanation for this aside from censorship. I got to hear it on the BBC:

    “Now you are living in an Olympic Region. I am sure you will enjoy the benefits for many, many years to come. Thousands of volunteers have welcomed us with the well-known warm Russian hospitality. Many thanks to all the wonderful volunteers. Bolshoi spasiba, valantyoram! Thank you very much to everyone. Russia and the Russians have set the stage for you, the best winter athletes on our planet. From this moment on you are not only the best athletes, you are Olympic Athletes. You will inspire us with your outstanding sports performances. You have come here for sports. You have come here with your Olympic dream. The International Olympic Committee wants your Olympic Dream to come true. This is why we are investing almost all of our revenues in the development of sports. The universal Olympic rules apply to each and every athlete- no matter where you come from or what your background is. You are living together in the Olympic Village. You will celebrate victory with dignity and accept defeat with dignity. You are bringing the Olympic Values to life. In this way, the Olympic Games, wherever they take place, set an example for a peaceful society. Olympic Sport unites people. This is the Olympic Message the athletes spread to the host country and to the whole world. Yes, it is possible to strive even for the greatest victory with respect for the dignity of your competitors. Yes, Yes, it is possible – even as competitors – to live together under one roof in harmony, with tolerance and without any form of discrimination for whatever reason. Yes, it is possible – even as competitors – to listen, to understand and to give an example for a peaceful society.”

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  52. Julie Robinson said on February 8, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    Thanks Maggie. Her internet is kinda slow so probably not worth it.

    And Jolene, there is a long tradition of male choirs in Russia, and you hear their very distinctive harmonies in that clip. They use a different scale from western do-re-mi intervals, so it may sound exotic or even discordant to many. It’s very dark and brooding, even on a catchy number like Get Lucky.

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  53. Deb said on February 8, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    This Milwaukee reader is battling winter fatigue and seasonal affective disorder and behind on her reading, so I’m weighing in late on the Strad. I suspected an inside job, either for insurance or a well-heeled overseas buyer–the perps knew enough to ditch the case, which contained a tracking device. But it was just a couple guys, one of whom did time for a previous fine-art theft from a local gallery. (That crime remained unsolved until he called the gallery owner four years later, wondering what it might be worth to him to get his statue back.)

    Fun fact: The other guy, Universal Knowleedge Allah (the middle name just makes the story so much better), offered the mayor a free haircut when he popped in during a neighborhood walkabout last summer. Then he spilled the beans about the violin theft to another client warming the same chair. You can’t make this stuff up,

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  54. beb said on February 8, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    “With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility” is usually trademmarked Stan Lee. It was used in the first Spider-Man movie.

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  55. basset said on February 8, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    Jolene@47, why would you say that? TV is off tonight, at least for the next twenty minutes till “Mollie B’s Polka Party” appears on the RFD channel.

    Meanwhile, this:

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  56. Little Bird said on February 8, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    FYI, 8:08 is when Meryl Davis and Charlie White should be skating. My friend texted md to let me know EXACTLY when to watch.

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  57. LAMary said on February 8, 2014 at 11:42 pm

    Connie, you see the men’s 5k speed skating? Go Orange!

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  58. MichaelG said on February 8, 2014 at 11:44 pm

    I enjoyed watching that old Norwegian guy win the ski ‘n shoot.

    Miller was clocked at 90 miles an hour in a practice run. Holy shit.

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  59. Sherri said on February 9, 2014 at 3:37 am

    Thank goodness for CBC and proximity to Canada! We get CBC as part of our cable package, and they actually show live sports, rather than tape delaying everything. The men’s downhill began at 11:15 pm Pacific time. I’ve seen all the likely medal candidates now, and there have been a few DQ’s for missing a gate, but no crashes. No spoilers from me, though.

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  60. coozledad said on February 9, 2014 at 9:23 am

    Not a lot of national coverage of this, but that’s understandable, since it wasn’t a dozen pricks in tricorn hats leaking oxycodone shite in their trousers. CBS and ABC would have been fighting each other to get a big nose full.

    Eighty to a hundred thousand people in the streets of a neo-south bumfuck? Why that’s just communism.

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  61. Ann said on February 9, 2014 at 10:36 am

    Deb, thanks so much for those additional Milwaukee details.

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  62. brian stouder said on February 9, 2014 at 11:05 am

    Cooz – a great (and greatly troubling) article.

    The metaphorical refrain about planting America on higher ground captures much. None of the problems and issues that need addressed* will yield fast (let alone instant) results.

    Maybe this points to the real American political dynamic in 2014: the reactionaries and rightwing ‘culture war’ people with the tricorn hats have the fizz and flash of instant gratification political activism, while the people who stand for public education and non-discrimination and affordable health care have the long-term challenge of mobilizing voters to look at these things and how they will affect their own families, the better to vote in accordance with what is best over the long term.

    Anyway, that’s the hope from here.

    *quality public education is my #1 issue, and probably will remain so, to the end. Vouchers and other assaults on the public education system we spent a century building are what gall me the most, and indeed – this constitutes my #1 disappointment with President Obama. At some point – hopefully more than a year from now! – HRC will begin running for president, and public education will be the issue that drives my vote

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  63. Dorothy said on February 9, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    I recorded the opening ceremonies and watched only what I wanted to watch. I found much of it beautiful. Even some of the commercials made me cry. Chevrolet was one if the sponsors and Proctor and Gamble was the other. I’m sappy that way, I guess. Especially when I’m just days away from hugging the hell out of my baby for the first time in 10 months.

    Little Bird I love watching Charlie and Meryl ice dance , but I truly think Charlie would look much more polished if he got a haircut. Just my opinion.

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  64. MichaelG said on February 9, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    There are several other regular cable channels that are airing Olympic coverage. For example, I’m watching live figure skating now on NBCSN. They’re showing it fully, start to finish. The highlights will be on NBC tonight.

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  65. MichaelG said on February 9, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    That was the team figure skating, by the way. Now they’re showing men’s ski jumping. Also live. I know that Sochi is 12 hours ahead of PST. The announcer noted that it is 10:00 PM local time and it is 10:00 AM here. That makes it live. So for those who have cable or satellite, search around all those channels. Chances are you will be able to see something live and in its entirety. The announcers are mostly second stringers but that’s fine. Seeing an event live and complete is most definitely worth it.

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  66. Julie Robinson said on February 9, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Dorothy, I’ve seen Charlie with short & tidy hair, and it’s not a good look for him. I think he rocks the tousled hair look. Actually, now that I’m Florida I’ve got almost the same do!

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  67. Sherri said on February 9, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    Dorothy, I’m with Julie; Charlie pulled off the tousled hair look. He had the Colin Firth Mr. Darcy thing going.

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  68. Dorothy said on February 9, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    I will take you word for it then since you’ve seen him both ways! I’m just partial to the clean cut look on guys.

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  69. burnt said on February 10, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    MarkH, I’m sure I’m too late to this comment party but you are so right. Broadus. Broadus–30 pleasant days a year. Nearby is Ashland at 26 days a year. And how about moving north to highway 200 and Jordan? 25 days a year.

    Frankly, unless I was a fossil hunter I don’t see how Jordan ever has a pleasant day. Same thing with Sand Springs west of Jordan. If you haven’t driven highway 200 from Cooperstown, ND, to Great Falls, MT you have missed out on a lonesome stretch of highway.

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