I Have Very Mixed Emotions About This

Yesterday The Los Angeles Times reported on a concert by Roy Orbison. Roy Orbison died in 1988. The concert was done with a hologram.

The article reports:

Thirty years after his death, Orbison (at least the digital version of him) is going on a national tour, the latest and possibly the most ambitious example to date of how holographic technology is transforming the music industry. The hologram’s 65-minute show, which features 16 songs and orchestral accompaniment, is among the first full-length concerts to feature a holographic dead singer.

Such images and shows are becoming more common, as families of deceased celebrities look for new ways to prolong and capitalize on their legacies. But as technology evolves and it becomes easier to create three-dimensional, lifelike visuals of artists, there’s growing debate over how those images will be portrayed — and whether they truly represent how the artists behaved when they were alive. That has prompted some celebrities to add language in their contracts about holograms and to be more meticulous about selecting who is in charge of their estates. It has also sparked threats of lawsuits from estates to bar companies from profiting from a celebrity’s image without their permission.

“This is a big issue,” said Aaron Moss, a partner with law firm Greenberg Glusker. “With new technology, you could essentially make somebody an unwitting and involuntary actor in a film that a celebrity has no part of.”

The article further reports:

The hologram took about a year to create. The company worked with the Orbison family to create a concert that included songs that the legendary rocker had never performed live on stage before.

Orbison (Alex Orbison) said he was nervous when the show had its first opening night in London. The pressure was so great, “it was almost like stage fright,” Orbison said.

But as the holographic version of his father reached the high notes and fans cheered during “Crying,” it was Orbison’s turn to cry — from relief.

“It was seeing couples holding hands and the way that these families looked at each other,” Orbison said. “The fact that these people were having the experience of my dad … in 2018 is just so incredible.”

Still, there were some awkward moments during Tuesday night’s performance. When a song finished and the hologram said “Thank you,” some audience members laughed, unsure of the appropriate response to a programmed event.

Orbison’s hologram wasn’t static during the concert. He turned to acknowledge the orchestra, though for most of the concert, he faced the audience. There were no dance moves. Organizers said that was typical of concerts Orbison did in his lifetime.

Sho Guo, 34, said she would have liked to see Orbison interact more with the audience. When people yelled “Encore!” Orbison didn’t acknowledge them.

“You don’t have that in the hologram,” Guo said.

I have very mixed emotions about this. It is encouraging to me that Alex Orbison, Roy Orbison’s son, was part of the project and approved of the project. However, I really wonder about how this type of concert blurs the line between reality and something that isn’t real. I am also concerned about what had to be the static nature of the concert. Artists in concert do not always follow the script, and that is part of what makes live concerts fun. It seems to me that a hologram concert would simply be like listening to the artist sing on a recording–it wouldn’t have the spark of life to it.

After saying that, I love Roy Orbison’s music, and I am willing to bet that even a hologram concert by Roy Orbison would be a really fantastic concert.

 

The Quiet Scandal

The most underreported scandal in Washington today is the information technology scandal involving the Democrat Party. The American Thinker posted an article today about the continuing investigation and legal action regarding that scandal.

The scandal involves the strange circumstances involved in the hiring of Imran Awan to handle information technology for 44 House Democrats. Awan was originally hired by Debbie Wasserman Schultz. During his hiring process, background checks were waived for Awan and the family members he later brought on as his staff. There is also evidence that he accessed and transferred data that he was not supposed to have access to.

The American Thinker reminds us:

Schultz was forced to step down after hacked emails revealed that she and the DNC had their finger on the scales and actively worked to defeat Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic primaries in favor of Hillary Clinton.

…Like Al Capone and tax evasion, Imran Awan was charged with bank fraud regarding the millions he was paid and handled with his family. But the court case against him has mysteriously been delayed a seventh time. Is a plea deal in the works against Wasserman Schultz or is this just another case of the criminality can being kicked down the road? At issue may be that laptop with initials “REPDWS” on it:

…Many of the delays appear to be related to a laptop that Awan left in a decommissioned phone booth in a House building in April last year. The laptop, which had the username “RepDWS,” was accompanied by several copies of ID cards belonging to Awan and a letter he wrote to prosecutors.

Awan had been employed by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) — whose initials (RepDWS) were on the laptop — since 2005…

After the laptop was found by Capitol Police, Wasserman Schultz attempted for months to have the laptop returned to her, including hiring an outside lawyer to prevent prosecutors from looking at it.

During a May 18 hearing, Wasserman Schultz told the Capitol Police chief there would be “consequences” if the laptop was not returned to her.

According to a recent article in The Daily Caller, Mr. Awan’s lawyer, Chris Gowen, is associated with the Clinton family and has done work for the Clinton Foundation. Mr. Gowen has accused the investigators in the case of being anti-Muslim. He really has no other defense.

The article at The American Thinker concludes:

This is just one of many shoes waiting to drop from the Democrat’s centipede of corruption. Crimes were committed here, possibly including Wasserman Schultz and leading Democrats. Yet a cover-up could be in the works. Let’s not take our eves off this corner of the swamp.

 

 

 

Education Run Amok

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article about the study of mathematics.

The article reports:

A University of Illinois math professor believes that algebra and geometry perpetuate “white privilege” because Greek terms give Caucasians unearned credit for the subject.

But that isn’t the professor’s only complaint. She also believes that evaluations for math proficiency perpetuates discrimination against minority students, if they do worse than their white counterparts.

Rochelle Gutierrez argues in a newly published math education book for teachers that they must be aware of the identity politics surrounding the subject of mathematics.

“On many levels, mathematics itself operates as Whiteness,” she argues with complete sincerity, according to Campus Reform. “Who gets credit for doing and developing mathematics, who is capable in mathematics, and who is seen as part of the mathematical community is generally viewed as White.”

…Gutierrez claims that the importance of math skills in the real world also places what she calls an “unearned privilege” for those who are good at it. Because most math teachers in the United States are white, white people stand to benefit from their grasp of the subject disproportionate to members of other races.

One wonders what this professor teaches in her math class. One also wonders why she is teaching math.

Has it occurred to this woman that the study of math is either directly or indirectly responsible for all of the modern conveniences she enjoys? Would we have electricity without math? Would we have potable water without the math to know how to purify it?

It frightens me to consider that this woman is teaching our college students.

From A Friend On Facebook

This is not new, but it is more relevant every day:

This is an actual letter sent to a man named Ryan DeVries regarding a pond on his property. It was sent by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Quality, State of Pennsylvania. This guy’s response is Hilarious, but read The State’s letter before you get to the response letter.

This is an actual letter: State of Pennsylvania ‘s letter to Mr. DeVries: SUBJECT: DEQ … File No.97-59-0023; T11N; R10W, Sec 20;Lycoming County

Dear Mr. DeVries:

It has come to the attention of the Department of Environmental Quality that there has been recent unauthorized activity on the above referenced parcel of property. You have been certified as the legal landowner and/or contractor who did the following unauthorized activity:

Construction and maintenance of two wood debris dams across the outlet stream of Spring Pond.

A permit must be issued prior to the start of this type of activity.. A review of the Department’s files shows that no permits have been issued Therefore, the Department has determined that this activity is in violation of Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams, of the Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, being sections 324.30101 to 324.30113 of the Pennsylvania Compiled Laws, annotated.

The Department has been informed that one or both of the dams partially failed during a recent rain event, causing debris and flooding at downstream locations.. We find that dams of this nature are inherently hazardous and cannot be permitted. The Department therefore orders you to cease and desist all activities at this location, and to restore the stream to a free-flow condition by removing all wood and brush forming the dams from the stream channel. All restoration work shall be completed no later than January 31, 2013.

Please notify this office when the restoration has been completed so that a follow-up site inspection may be scheduled by our staff. Failure to comply with this request or any further unauthorized activity on the site may result in this case being referred for elevated enforcement action..

We anticipate and would appreciate your full cooperation in this matter. Please feel free to contact me at this office if you have any questions.

Sincerely,
David L. Price
District Representative and Water Management Division.

Here is the actual response sent back by Mr. DeVries: Re: DEQ File
No.. 97-59-0023; T11N; R10W, Sec. 20; Lycoming County

Dear Mr..Price,

Your certified letter dated 11/17/09 has been handed to me. I am the legal landowner but not the Contractor at 2088 Dagget Lane , Trout Run, Pennsylvania .

A couple of beavers are in the process of constructing and maintaining two wood ‘debris’ dams across the outlet stream of my Spring Pond. While I did not pay for, authorize, nor supervise their dam project, I think they would be highly offended that you call their skillful use of natures building materials ‘debris.’

I would like to challenge your department to attempt to emulate their dam project any time and/or any place you choose. I believe I can safely state there is no way you could ever match their dam skills, their dam resourcefulness, their dam ingenuity, their dam persistence, their dam determination and/or their dam work ethic.

These are the beavers/contractors you are seeking. As to your request, I do not think the beavers are aware that they must first fill out a dam permit prior to the start of this type of dam activity.

My first dam question to you is:
(1) Are you trying to discriminate against my Spring Pond Beavers, or
(2) do you require all beavers throughout this State to conform to said dam request?

If you are not discriminating against these particular beavers, through the Freedom of Information Act, I request completed copies of all those other applicable beaver dam permits that have been issued. (Perhaps we will see if there really is a dam violation of Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams, of the Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, being sections 324.30101 to 324.30113 of the Pennsylvania Compiled Laws, annotated.)

I have several dam concerns. My first dam concern is, aren’t the beavers entitled to legal representation? The Spring Pond Beavers are financially destitute and are unable to pay for said representation — so the State will have to provide them with a dam lawyer.

The Department’s dam concern that either one or both of the dams failed during a recent rain event, causing flooding, is proof that this is a natural occurrence, which the Department is required to protect. In other words, we should leave the Spring Pond Beavers alone rather than harassing them and calling them dam names.

If you want the damed stream ‘restored’ to a dam free-flow condition please contact the beavers — but if you are going to arrest them, they obviously did not pay any attention to your dam letter, they being unable to read English.

In my humble opinion, the Spring Pond Beavers have a right to build their unauthorized dams as long as the sky is blue, the grass is green and water flows downstream. They have more dam rights than I do to live and enjoy Spring Pond. If the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection lives up to its name, it should protect the natural resources (Beavers) and the environment (Beavers’ Dams).

So, as far as the beavers and I are concerned, this dam case can be referred for more elevated enforcement action right now. Why wait until 1/31/2013? The Spring Pond Beavers may be under the dam ice by then and there will be no way for you or your dam staff to contact/harass them.

In conclusion, I would like to bring to your attention to a real environmental quality, health, problem in the area It is the bears! Bears are actually defecating in our woods. I definitely believe you should be persecuting the defecating bears and leave the beavers alone. If you are going to investigate the beaver dam, watch your dam step! The bears are not careful where they dump!

Being unable to comply with your dam request, and being unable to contact you on your dam answering machine, I am sending this response to your dam office.
THANK YOU, RYAN DEVRIES & THE DAM BEAVERS

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Overlooking The Obvious In Dealing With High Unemployment

A coal mine in Wyoming, United States. The Uni...

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John HInderaker at Power Line posted an article yesterday about a simple solution to the high unemployment numbers we currently have in America. Developing America’s domestic energy sources would not only employ people, it would have many other positive side effects on the economy. This is one of the charts from the article:

The increased employment that would result from developing America’s domestic energy resources would result in more taxpayers paying taxes. Developing domestic energy sources would also result in lower energy costs to Americans, allowing Americans to spend more money on other things, thus stimulating economic growth. Developing domestic oil resources would also help America become energy independent, rather than sending billions of dollars to people who hate us. It’s a winning situation for the country for many reasons.

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