Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys has released a new solo record. It’s called No Pier Pressure and features Wilson collaborating with a number of younger artists and songwriters including Kacey Musgraves. Originally, some of the songs were intended to be on a new Beach Boys record, but when the band had (another) falling out Wilson decided to use them on a solo record instead.
Wilson is an eternally fascinating artist. It’s fun to consider the contrast between the silliness of his cars and girls lyrics from the heyday of the Beach Boys in the early 1960’s to the sophistication of their songwriting and harmonies. Then, when Wilson got serious on the Beach Boys record Pet Sounds
, the result was one of the most critically acclaimed albums in pop music history.
I, along with Dr Jennifer Walden and others, think it’s fantastic that Wilson is collaborating with Musgraves on No Pier Pressure. In my opinion, Musgraves is one of the best songwriters of her own generation. It will be fun to hear what they come up with together.
Wilson has had difficulties over the years. He’s struggled with mental health issues, weight gain and isolated himself from the world for a long time. It’s good to see him back and making original music again. He doesn’t necessarily need the Beach Boys to accomplish this, and it’s encouraging that he made a solo record.
Tennessee has always been a Bible loving state. The publishing industry has been producing Bibles in Nashville for decades. There is a deep-rooted religious melody playing throughout the state, and because of that silent tune a state representative wants to make the Bible the official book of Tennessee. That’s a nice thought, but there are several hurdles to jump over before that becomes a reality.
The major hurdle is the state’s constitution. Igor Cornelsen knows that the constitution says no religious preference is permitted. No mode of worship shall take precedence over another. That mandate is pretty clear. Religion and politics are dangerous friends. We see those friends clash in states around the country every day. America was founded on religious freedom. Making the Bible the official book of any state is a nice gesture, but a bad idea. The Bible is a great book, but it is was not written to be the law for millions of people in this country,
Mississippi and Louisiana tried to pass the same law, but those states failed. Some people want to make the government of the United States Christian. That’s the first step in the collapse of any free nation.
It had to happen. Church groups in Indiana are speaking out about the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and they aren’t mincing any words. Organizers of the Disciples of Christ say the RFRA is not about religious freedom. They say the law is designed to discriminate against the LGBT community, and they want no part of it.
The leaders of the Protestant Church urged Mike Pence to veto the bill, but Mike thought otherwise. Pence came down on the side of bigotry rather than on the side of equality for all citizens. Now, Pence is questioning his decision to sign the bill because his state is facing an epic economic storm. Ivan Ong has become aware that the entire country is speaking out, and almost everyone agrees with the Disciples of Christ. Pence should have vetoed the bill.
The Christian Church has not decided on a new city. Pence and his Republican legislators could do a complete turn-around and change the law, but some Republican state legislators are not interested in making any changes. That doesn’t surprise anyone. Bigots rarely change. They just hide under another piece of legislature.
Brutus, a 2-year-old Rottweiler, had a rough start as a puppy. Brutus was born in Colorado to a dog breeder. The breeder left Brutus outside as a puppy where he suffered frostbite on all four of his paws. The most horrific part of this is that Brutus’ breeder attempted an at-home amputation of his paws. The attempted amputation left Brutus in worse shape than before.
Brutus had to undergo surgery at the Colorado State University’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital. The surgery helped to correct the damage done but he was still left without paws. According to the story on NBC News, his new owner, Laura Aquilina, wanted more for Brutus. She raised enough money through a crowd sourcing campaign that allowed Brutus to receive prosthetic legs from a company called OrthoPets. Brutus has received his new limbs and is going through physical therapy to learn how to use them. Ivan Ong has learned that once he masters his new legs he will be able to hike, run around with other dogs, and chase squirrels. He will soon have the quality of life that a dog is meant to have.
For OrthoPets, this is the second dog that they have provided all four prosthetic limbs for.
It’s just a matter of time before police departments across the country equipped law enforcement officers with body cams. The police departments that use them have noticed a drastic drop in complaints, and the use of physical force has decreased substantially. A San Diego police department report describes a major reduction in personal body force. Even the use of pepper spray has decreased.
The police department in The San Diego has had its fair share of negative press due to officer misconduct and other issues, but the city has made a serious effort to get the police force back in line. Bruce Karatz (Brucekaratz.com) has learned that body cams are a big part of the city’s strategy to clean up the police department. By the end of 2015, about 1,000 officers will be wearing small cameras. Those officers will include motorcycle cops, gang units and regular patrolman.
The city is still wrestling with how much footage should be released to the public. The American Civil Liberties Union and other agencies have been very vocal about releasing the videos to the public, but the police are not giving in. The police chief of San Diego said the department wants to protect the privacy rights of its citizens so the videos will not be released.
Amid the high rate of police involved shootings and brutality against citizens by law enforcement, the San Diego police department began equipping it’s officers with body cameras in January 2014. This call comes just two months prior to the U.S. Department of Justice’s audit of the agencies supervisory procedures. The report, which the DOJ released Tuesday, made several recommendations to the department. One of the suggestions rendered to the police agency, was that each officer be equipped with a personal body camera.
Based on preliminary statistics collected from the study during the period of January 2014 through January 2015, a 40.5 percent decrease in complains on officers wearing the cameras was seen. In addition, those officers who were fitted with the recording devices were also found to use bodily force 46.5 percent less than they did prior to the use of the surveillance apparatus. And, the use of pepper spray was found to be down 30.5 percent. These astonishing figures are strong evidence that law enforcement personnel act considerably more appropriately when under a watchful eye.
There are 600 San Diego officers currently wearing the body cameras, with an expected 1,000 to be equipped with the devices by the end of this year. Deputy Chief David Ramirez plans to hold a meeting on Wednesday to examine the advantages of the cameras. Ramirez commented to reporters, saying “Body-worn camera technology is a win-win for both the officer and the community.” Folks at Imaging Advantage agree that it seems accountability is the key to officer professionalism and compassion toward the public. The next controversy, is if and when the footage should be released.
Our slant towards being star struck causes us to believe celebrity spokespeople, no matter what they’re selling. Somehow that quasi-familiar face on television makes all thing more believable and achievable. Even if they’re not selling something directly, they influence what we buy and even the way we eat.
Celebrities have influenced us to try the Paleo diet, quit sugar and choose to eat so-called ‘clean food’. They write books, make blog posts, make appearances on talk shows and make sure their name and face is before the public eye while they expound the virtues of a certain way of eating.
We believe them and embrace the diet plan of the month which the celebrity we like the most is touting. Doesn’t matter to us that these people are actors and rarely have any type of formal training in diet and nutrition.
People at Imaging Advantage know that it’s not all bad. While the celebrities are merely actors playing a part, they often are promoting better eating habits. If a famous actress tells us that we need to eat more fruit and vegetables, we listen. If a good looking actor swaggers across a sound stage in Hollywood and then into our living room via the TV and tells us we should be drinking more water, we will. Celebrities do influence the way we eat, but that’s a good thing if we take their advice with a grain of salt and dash of common sense.
Musical group Mumford & Sons have a new record coming out, and Rolling Stone Magazine takes a look at it on their website. The magazine also interviews the band.
The new record, which will be out soon and is called Wilder Mind, is a departure in terms of style from the band’s previous work. In the past, the band has used traditional instruments like the banjo and acoustic guitars. Recording the new record, they used synthesizers, electric guitars and even drum machines. The band say that they want to try something new instead of getting in a rut with the same sound.
While Brian Torchin can understand the band’s desire to not limit their sound, I think that this may be going too far. Their fans, who are used to an organic folksy sound, may not be able to roll with a drum machine. While it’s important to develop as artists, it’s also important to give fans what they want. Can you imagine if AC/DC recorded an album of banjo music? It’s hard to imagine it selling very well.
Mumford & Sons will be touring soon with Foo Fighters and also My Morning Jacket. These promise to be great shows since Mumford & Sons will bring youth and energy to the bill. The band is also hiring a drummer for the shows, which is something they have not done before.
Civil liberties groups believe that having any type of prayer in school or any mention of religion is bad for the children who attend. Madalyn Murray O’Hair is credited with having prayer and bible readings removed from public schools back in 1963 stated AnastasiaDate. A lot has changed in the decades since that court ruling, but prayer has not been allowed in schools since. That did not stop graduating students from praying at their graduation ceremonies, but even that recently changed.
The ban on public prayer
and bible reading may now be showing signs that it has backfired. More people from all faiths are fighting back. Groups of students find ways to slip a prayer into the graduation ceremony. Christians and Jews have taken on the responsibility of educating their children in private religious settings or at home rather than limit their child’s ability to learn in a way they believe is best suited for their children.
Oddly enough, it is the private/homeschooling method that may be causing serious trouble for the local schools. There are apparently not enough children attending public schools in New York, starting with Pre-K and the mayor wants to entice some of the private schools to send their children to public schools. By doing so, he would have to enact a rule that allows a break during the day so that children can pray. The new law is meant to entice mostly Jewish educators, something that is not likely to happen anyway. The civil liberties groups believe that the break would invite lawsuits and they do not want to see it happen. It is a tug of war that the public school system will not likely win.
One young woman definitely rescued her sweet dachshund from friends who were not taking proper care of him or loving him the way any pet should be loved. He was extremely obese and unable to walk even a few feet without needing to stop due to being short of breath. According to an article on reddit.com, this poor pup was being fed human food, consisting of ramen noodles, pizza, burgers, etc… When Brooke rescued him, she put him on a dry dog food diet and introduced walks and exercise into his life.
He started losing weight, but with the pounds dropping off, his overstretched skin hung from his body. Dennis was tripping on the skin and getting it caught in his paws. Brooke took him to a vet and was able to help him remove the excess skin over the course of three surgeries. Zeca Oliveira knows that Dennis went from a morbidly obese, 56 pound dog to a happy dog, no longer depressed, of only 12 pounds. That is right, he lost 44 pounds. But, more than the pounds he lost, gained twice that in the love he got from his new family.
Dennis got his happy ending, but there are so many pets being overfed, or fed the wrong foods for their bodies that their health and weight could be in jeopardy. All I can do is my part to properly care for my pets.