Las Vegas, NV
May 20, 2020
Garrison Keillor hits Las Vegas with a new solo show!
April 18, 2020
Garrison Keillor comes to the Rochester Civic Theatre for a night of stories, songs, poetry, and humor. Tickets $50 and up
February 19, 2020
Garrison Keillor with Heather Masse at the Dakota. Night 2 of 2. Tickets $30+
February 18, 2020
Garrison Keillor with Heather Masse at the Dakota. Night 1 of 2. Tickets $30+
by Michael Dennis Browne
Today I explained telepathy to you,
and telephone, and television,
on the way to day care,
and I said, sometimes when I’m at work
I’ll think of you,
and if I could send you that thought with my mind,
you’d get it right then,
and maybe you’d smile, stopping a moment at whatever
you were doing, or maybe not
but just going on with it, making a mask out of paper plates
and orange and green cards
with markers and scissors and paste,
or screaming circles in the gym
either being a monster
or being chased by a gang of them, but still you’d get
the picture I was beaming
and you’d brighten inside and flash me something back,
which I’d get, where I was, and smile at.
That’s telepathy, I said
pulling into the parking lot,
looking at you in the mirror.
Michael Dennis Browne, “Telepathy” from You Won’t Remember This. © 1992 by Michael Dennis Browne. Used by permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Carnegie Mellon University Press, www.cmu.edu/universitypress. (buy now)
It’s the birthday of artist, performer, writer, and filmmaker Miranda July (books by this author), born Miranda Grossinger in Barre, Vermont (1974). She grew up in Berkeley and attended the University of California at Santa Cruz, but dropped out after a couple of years — she was frustrated with her film class, which she said was “all guys, and every project had a gun or a dog in it.” So she moved to Portland and started doing performance art. She said:
“Nothing I can come up with these days is as scary as opening for punk bands in bars back before anyone knew who I was. Sometimes these audiences were so confounded, so unfamiliar with the idea of ‘performance’ that they would get angry and yell at me while I performed.”
But she kept at it, and eventually was invited to do installations and performance art at such prestigious museums as the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney, and the Guggenheim Museum.
The novelist Rick Moody came to see one of her performances and told her that he was secretly in a rock band. She told him that she was secretly a writer, and he offered to read her stories. He thought they were great, although he gave her some suggestions like: “It would be good if something happens outside the narrator’s head.” So she worked on her fiction and soon she was getting published in prestigious journals, and she published a book of short stories, No One Belongs Here More Than You (2007).
She said, “We humans are here because nothing can be perfect. There always have to be some living things that are unsatisfied, itchy, trying too hard. If it was all just animals and rocks and lettuce, the gods wouldn’t feel like they had enough to do.”
July’s third and most recent full-length movie is Kajillionaire (2020) and her latest full- length publication is The First Bad Man (2015).
It’s the birthday of American composer and pianist Harold Arlen, born Hyman Arluck, in Buffalo (1905), the son of a musician. In the mid-1920s, he met lyricist Ted Koehler; together they collaborated on such tunes as “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea” and “I’ve Got the World on a String.” Among his many Broadway and Hollywood songs are “It’s Only a Paper Moon,” “That Old Black Magic,” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Arlen wrote over 400 songs, including other favorites Stormy Weather and Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive.
On this date in 2001 a working draft of the human genome was published in the journal Nature. This draft covered about 83 percent of the genome. The entire Human Genome Project was completed in April 2003 — two years ahead of schedule.
The goal of the Human Genome Project was to sequence and map all the genes in the blueprint that makes up a human being, using the resources and brainpower of scientists all over the world. It’s the largest single biological investigation in modern science.
Scientists expected to find that humans had more than 100,000 genes; it turns out we have only about 20,000 to 30,000 — about the same as mice. The genes themselves are mostly similar to mice and other mammals too, with only a few exceptions. The Human Genome Project is the highest profile DNA sequencing project, but there are others that map the genomes of other organisms, like fruit flies, yeast, plants, and microbes.
Biotech companies hoped as many as 300 genes, but President Clinton declared in 2000 that the genome sequences could not be patented. That the results should be made available to the public. As a result, the human gene sequence is freely available on the Internet, but Clinton’s announcement sent biotech stocks plummeting and cost the biotech sector about $50 billion in market capitalization.
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®