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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Writer's Life 10/25 - Life & Death

From the NY Post, edited by yours truly: Manhattan celebrated its own Forrest Gump on Monday, when 29-year-old Pete Kostelnick reached City Hall, setting the Guinness Book of World Records on a cross country run. He started on the steps of San Francisco’s City Hall on Sept. 12, his birthday. The Iowa native, who now lives in Nebraska, said he had been to Manhattan before and felt right at home running on Sixth Avenue, where he'd once chased a bus down. He reached City Hall at around 5:45 p.m,, 42 days, six hours, 34 minutes, six seconds after he'd begun, shattering the previous record of 46 days. As he crossed the line, he quipped, “Well, I’m definitely not going to run back. All I want is a beer and my wife." Kudos, sir.

The music world has lost two singers. Pete Burns, who founded pop group Dead Or Alive, has died of cardiac arrest at 57. He rose to fame in the 1980s with the band’s hit song You Spin Me Round (Like a Record), which I fondly remembering dancing to at a company Christmas party, holding my right index finger above my partner's head and spinning it as if it were a record needle, and she spinning in turn... Bobby Vee, 73, a teen idol in the late 50's and early '60's fondly remembered by baby-boomers, has succumbed to the effects of Alzheimer's. According to Billboard magazine, he had 38 Hot 100 chart hits, ten reaching the Top 20. His career began in the midst of tragedy. On February 3, 1959, "The Day the Music Died," Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper, were killed, along with the 21-year-old pilot, Roger Peterson, in that infamous crash. Dion DiMucci, the second headliner, had opted not fly. Vee, born Velline, then 15, and a hastily assembled band of Fargo schoolboys calling themselves the Shadows, were given the unenviable task of filling in for Holly and the Crickets. The performance was a success, setting in motion a chain of events that led to Vee's career as a popular singer. His best known songs are Rubber Ball, Take Good Care of My Baby, Run to Him, The Night Has a Thousand Eyes, and Come Back When You Grow Up. His wife, the mother of his four children, died in 2015. RIP, gentlemen, and thank you. (Facts from Wiki)

I don't know why Donald Trump's comments about Mosul haven't aroused more ire. It is by far his most egregious campaign comment. It's a sin to badmouth an operation when American lives may be at stake. It has affected me so much I'm seriously contemplating sitting out the election. A vote for Gary Johnson would be tantamount to one for Hillary, so I wouldn't do that... There's an interesting article on the region at the NY Post website. Here are excerpts, edited by yt: A renegade sniper has been striking fear into the hearts of terrorists in Mosul, picking off local jihadis, including an ISIS executioner moments before he was able to behead a teenage boy. The mysterious marksman, dubbed the “Sniper of Mosul,” is believed to be behind shootings in four separate neighborhoods. Despite his efforts, sources said ISIS fighters shot and killed the boy before he was able to escape. Some believe the sniper may be part of an elite, special forces team, though it is unclear whether they would be Iraqi or allied soldiers. In January, another mysterious marksman, dubbed the “Daesh Hunter,” had extremists on the run in Libya after he assassinated a few terror chiefs. At least three were killed by the lone gunman over a span of 10 days, sparking a state of terror in the ranks.

The Rasmussen  and Investor's Daily polls show Trump with a slight lead. Now the Post has found someone else who predicts victory for the Donald -- Helmut Norpoth, political science professor at SUNY Stony Brook. He developed a model that, applied retroactively, would have correctly predicted the winner of every presidential election since 1912 — with the exception of 2000, when predicted winner Al Gore barely lost to George W. Bush. The model looks at which of the candidates performed better in the primaries and caucuses and concludes that the stronger performer there will enter the White House. Potential Trump supporters who are feeling demoralized by other numbers should look at these and vote. Conversely, Hillary's supporters should take nothing for granted.

The Oxford University Press' new edition of Shakespeare's works gives co-credit to Christopher Marlowe on the three plays on Henry VI. There has long been speculation about the "true" author of the plays. I don't know that it really matters, since the works are now and always will be part of the universal voice of mankind.

The floating book shop got its first taste of winter today, as a stiff breeze and cloud cover made it feel the temperature was a lot lower than 50. My Tuesday benefactress showed up despite the cold, bringing along beautiful pictorials on old Rock n Roll performers, and Barbie and Edward Hopper, as well as two novels by the ever popular Sidney Sheldon in hardcover, which a woman bought, along with a cookbook, about an hour later. My thanks, and to the gentleman who purchased Beverly Sill's bio, Bubbles, and The Jewish Connection by Hirsh M. Goldberg.
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