I’m part of the fandom that waited for a reunion.
Today, we’re being treated to the music of ABBA.
ABBA (stylized ᗅᗺᗷᗅ) was a Swedish pop group formed in Stockholm in 1972, comprising Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. ABBA is an acronym of the first letters of the band members’ first names and is sometimes stylized as the registered trademark ᗅᗺᗷᗅ. The band became one of the most commercially successful acts in the history of popular music, topping the charts worldwide from 1975 to 1982. They also won the Eurovision Song Contest 1974 at the Dome in Brighton, UK, giving Sweden its first triumph in the history of the contest and being the most successful group ever to take part in the competition. Ulvaeus and Andersson are also known for writing the Broadway musical “Chess” in 1980.
ABBA has sold over 380 million albums and singles worldwide, which makes them one of the best-selling music artists of all time, and the second best-selling music group of all time. ABBA was the first group to come from a non-English-speaking country that enjoyed consistent success in the charts of English-speaking countries, including the UK, Ireland, the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. The group also enjoyed significant success in Latin American markets, and recorded a collection of their hit songs in Spanish.
During the band’s active years, Fältskog and Ulvaeus were married, as were Lyngstad and Andersson, although both couples later divorced. At the height of their popularity, both relationships were suffering strain which ultimately resulted in the collapse of the Ulvaeus–Fältskog marriage in 1979 and the Andersson–Lyngstad marriage in 1981. These relationship changes were reflected in the group’s music, with later compositions including more introspective, brooding, dark lyrics.
After ABBA broke up in late 1982, Andersson and Ulvaeus achieved success writing music for the stage while Lyngstad and Fältskog pursued solo careers with mixed success. ABBA’s music declined in popularity until several films, notably Muriel’s Wedding and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, revived interest in the group and the spawning of several tribute bands. In 1999, ABBA’s music was adapted into the successful musical Mamma Mia! that toured worldwide. A film of the same name, released in 2008, became the highest-grossing film in the United Kingdom that year. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on 15 March 2010.
ABBA were honored at the 50th anniversary celebration of the Eurovision Song Contest in 2005, when their hit “Waterloo” was chosen as the best song in the competition’s history.
Drive across this?
they voted these people in. elections have consequences
A Good Professor Is an Exhausted Professor
A North Carolina education bill would be a disaster for research and pedagogy.
By Rebecca Schuman
In higher-ed parlance the herculean act of teaching eight courses per year is what’s known as “a 4-4 load” or, alternatively, a “metric ass-ton” of classroom time. And yet a new bill currently under consideration in the North Carolina General Assembly would require every professor in the state’s public university system to do just that. The results would be catastrophic for North Carolina’s major research universities. The region known as the Research Triangle—Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, so named because of the three “Research-I”–level universities that anchor it—would quickly lose two of its prongs—the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University—were this bill to pass. And it just might
According to the official press release from its sponsor, Republican state Sen. Tom McInnis, Senate Bill 593—called “Improve Professor Quality/UNC System”—would “ensure that students attending UNC system schools actually have professors, rather than student assistants, teaching their classes.” Another result would be more courses taught by fewer professors. But that shouldn’t matter, according to Jay Schalin of North Carolina’s Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, who recently explained to the Daily Tar Heel that “the university system is not a jobs program for academics.” What the bill’s supporters either fail to realize—or, more likely, realize with utter glee—is that this bill actually has nothing to do with “professor quality” and everything to do with destroying public education and research. Forcing everyone into a 4-4 minimum (so ideally an excruciating 5-5, I guess?) is a “solution” that could only be proposed by someone who either doesn’t know how research works or hates it. It’s like saying: Hey, I’ll fix this car by treating it like a microwave.
Feds investigating $20 million SUPES contract, Byrd-Bennett ties
Federal authorities are investigating a “matter” at CPS that sources tell Catalyst Chicago involves CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett and the $20 million no-bid contract given to SUPES Academy.
The CPS inspector general has been investigating Byrd-Bennett and the controversial SUPES contract since 2013. Inspector General Nick Schuler declined to comment Wednesday on whether the investigation is ongoing or on the inquiries from the federal government.
The inspector general’s investigation was spurred by a Catalyst investigation that detailed Byrd-Bennett’s connection with the for-profit, Wilmette-based SUPES Academy. Byrd-Bennett had worked as a coach for SUPES until she was hired at CPS and there’s some evidence that she continued to consult with related companies after she was on CPS’ payroll. In June 2013, the School Board quietly awarded SUPES the $20 million contract, which was the largest no-bid contract in the district’s recent history, according to Catalyst’s review of board reports.
Wendy Katten of the parent group Raise Your Hand called it “frustrating” that the board ignored the apparent conflict of interest.
“When this came out, it should have been addressed immediately. This is why there is so little trust in the district,” she said. “We went to the board and asked them to end this contract and redirect the money to schools. It shouldn’t have to lead to a federal investigation to get action.”
Katten said the issue isn’t just one of ethics, but of how CPS chooses to spend its limited cash. “Those are valuable resources that are being taken away from our schools,” she added.
Byrd-Bennett’s three-year, $250,000 annual contract is up this year.
When Mayor Rahm Emanuel was asked by reporters at City Hall about whether he had confidence in Byrd-Bennett, he said he “couldn’t answer that question,” according to the Chicago Tribune.
CPS spokesman Bill McCaffrey said Wednesday that Byrd-Bennett is still actively working at CPS.
A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago declined to comment, as did an FBI spokesperson.
Terrified ‘Tea Party Patriot’ realizes he could lose Obamacare if GOP wins in 2016
“And I’m serious because I asked myself, ‘Which party has helped me out the most in the last, I don’t know, 15 years, 20?’ And it was the Democrat [SIC] Party,” Webb lamented. “If it wasn’t for Obama and that Obamacare, I would still be working.”
“But you know, the Republican Party, they haven’t done nothing for me, man. Nothing,” he remarked. “So, I’m leaning toward voting for Hillary unless something major comes up. I don’t trust the Republicans anymore because they’re wanting to repeal the Obamacare. And I don’t want them to do that, man, because then I’ll have to go to work again. My life’s already planned out.”
Vatican Announces Major Summit On Climate Change
Catholic officials announced on Tuesday plans for a landmark climate change-themed conference to be hosted at Vatican later this month, the latest in Pope Francis’ faith-rooted campaign to raise awareness about global warming.
The summit, which is scheduled for April 28 and entitled “Protect the Earth, Dignify Humanity. The Moral Dimensions of Climate Change and Sustainable Development,” will draw together a combination of scientists, global faith leaders, and influential conservation advocates such as Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is slotted to offer the opening address, and organizers say the goal of the conference is to “build a consensus that the values of sustainable development cohere with values of the leading religious traditions, with a special focus on the most vulnerable.”
“[The conference hopes to] help build a global movement across all religions for sustainable development and climate change throughout 2015 and beyond,” read a statementposted on several Vatican-run websites.
According to a preliminary schedule of events for the convening, attendees hope to offer a joint statement highlighting the “intrinsic connection” between caring for the earth and caring for fellow human beings, “especially the poor, the excluded, victims of human trafficking and modern slavery, children, and future generations.”..
caught up on The Following this week.
I’m sitting, rocking back and forth, with shivers because of the grizzliness I watched this week.
I will never view Michael Ealy the same way again.
Shoveling While Black
Doug Glanville knows what its like to be unfairly targeted by the cops. Here’s how he’s fighting back.
April 14, 2015
When North Charleston, South Carolina, police officer Michael Slager pulled over Walter Scott last week for a broken third taillight, the confrontation ended, after a brief foot chase, with Slager shooting and killing Scott. That could have been Doug Glanville. He knows exactly how terrifying an unwanted police encounter could be—and how unnecessary such “microaggressions” truly are.
After all, he’d once shoveled his driveway.
Last winter, Glanville was shoveling snow at his house in Hartford, Connecticut, when a white cop pulled up across the street.
The officer apparently didn’t recognize Glanville—a 44-year-old African-American engineering graduate from the University of Pennsylvania, former star centerfielder for the Cubs and Phillies, New York Times contributor and ESPN commentator.
“Trying to make a few extra bucks shoveling people’s driveways around here?” Glanville recalls the cop asking, by way of greeting. The officer may have thought that the man shoveling the snow was in violation of laws on the books in the Hartford area that prohibit individuals from going door-to-door offering services or products. But in Glanville’s case, there was an additional twist.
According to the Hartford Courant, the officer was following up on a report by a homeowner in nearby West Hartford who was unsatisfied with snow shoveling work done for her; the homeowner described the worker as a black man and told police she felt “threatened when the man banged on her door late one night, and when the man returned to her neighborhood a week later police were dispatched to confront him.”
The officer in Glanville’s case made an assumption based purely on skin color that the man shoveling the driveway couldn’t possibly be the homeowner. Adding insult to injury, the officer was from another town and had no jurisdiction or cause to question Glanville. The officer left after being convinced that Glanville was, in fact, was working on his own property, but the incident left Glanville feeling shaken.
Attorney for Tulsa ‘pay to play’ cop blames victim Eric Harris for taking ‘the fight to him’
15 APR 2015 AT 12:24 ET
Appearing on CNN’s New Day with host Chris Cuomo, the attorney for the Tulsa insurance executive who accidentally shot and killed a man after buying his way into the sheriff’s reserves said his client should not be facing charges in the man’s death.
Attorney Scott Wood believes the second degree manslaughter charge levied against Robert Bates is “inappropriate.” Bates shot and killed Eric Harris when he accidentally used his service weapon instead of his Taser.
“Well, this was truly an accident. Something that occurred by accident and misfortune which is an essential element of an excusable homicide defense here in Oklahoma, ” Wood explained. “There was no culpable negligence under this circumstance.”
They all look alike to me. The only differentiation is age.
BWA HA HA HA HA HA AH HA
Quote of the Day
April 15, 2015
“I don’t really care. I think they’re all losers.”
— Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), quoted by CNBC, when asked to assess prospects for the 2016 Republican presidential field.
Jessye Norman: ‘Racialism’ is rife in US politics
6 Hours Ago CNBC.com
Opera superstar Jessye Norman has launched a blistering attack on the “unprecedented roadblocks” U.S. Congress has put in the way of President Barack Obama just because he is an African American.
The celebrated opera soprano said “racialism was practiced at the highest levels of government” in the U.S. — something, she insisted, should no longer be allowed.
“I’m disappointed by the Congress with which he (President Obama) has to work. Because the roadblocks that members of Congress put in front of this President are unprecedented. And they have very little to do with his policies, and very much to do with the fact that he’s African American. And I say that very loudly because I know it to be true,” she told Tania Bryer, host of CNBC Meets.
As she sings it her fullest OPERATIC VOICE!
Investigation underway into racist bullies at Bloomfield Hills school
Legal expert: Minors could face ethnic intimidation charges
Apr 13 2015 06:45:28 PM EDT
BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. – Instead of being in school Monday with classmates at Bloomfield Hills Middle School, 8th-grader Phoenix Williams was home working to keep up on assignments.
He’s too scared to return to school.
“I really don’t feel safe going back to school, at all, because both of them are going to be there,” he said.Quick Clicks
Threats, bullying on school bus caught on video
Phoenix is talking about the two classmates he videotaped calling the n-word. They were suspended but those close to the case say both students returned to class on Monday.
The district and Phoenix’s mother contacted police and an investigation was launched. Since Phoenix was repeatedly called the n-word, verbally harassed and allegedly threatened that his phone would be broken if he told on them, some believe the minors may face ethnic intimidation charges.
Legal expert Neil Rockind said the video Phoenix captured helps tell the story and is key to an investigation.
“I’m so pleased that this young man had the wherewithal to take a video. Because the video tells us that it happened. Now the question is, how bad was it?” said Rockind.
Police have interviewed Phoenix and others onboard the school bus including two chaperones and a driver.
OMG! The media is trying to gin up excitement about Hillary. The Scooby mobile/van, look look what Hillary ordered for lunch. I’m about to throw up.
LOL Meanwhile PBO’s PRES-I-DENTIN’
I think her big announcement went over like a lead balloon. Everyone expected her to run, that was no surprise, but being a “champion of the people” is such a joke. It’s like saying I am something that I’m not, never was, and never can be, but I said it therefore it’s true. I wish these politicians would stop taking us for fools. It’s insulting.
White privilege can get away with stunts like this and live. Unarmed black men running away from police are shot dead.
What’s the difference HERE?
It’s a sad state of affairs when I hear the words “suspect is in custody” and say to myself, “Suspect must be white”.
On another note, my daughter, who lives in Ruskin, posted link to Tampa Bay Times story and snarkily said, “Makes me proud to be a Ruskinite”.
why of course, this is just another ploy for attention, and a distraction from the KILLINGS by killer cops.
What does Michelle Obama need? Ask Kristen Jarvis, her former chief of stuff.
She was Michelle Obama’s intermediary, her message-passer, her play-date arranger, her mentee, her purse, her occasional workout buddy, her escort, her surrogate little sister, her scheduler, her coin collector, her human briefing book, her travel concierge and her constant car companion.
But you’ve probably never heard of Kristen Jarvis. Discreet and loyal, Jarvis spent the past seven years by Obama’s side. She ended her long run on the first lady’s staff this month after deciding it was time to start a new chapter.
It was a difficult decision. Jarvis, 34, entered the inner orbit of the East Wing by embodying the kind of deep, personal commitment the Obamas value. As an all-purpose personal aide, her role was roughly comparable to the job held by Reggie Love, the president’s longtime “body man.” But while Love, a charismatic former Duke University basketball player, published a memoir after his four-year White House stint, it was not until Jarvis prepared to leave the first family’s employ that she was willing to reflect publicly on her time there.
Even then, she was careful. Speaking to a reporter at a Starbucks two blocks from the White House, Jarvis brought along a member of the first lady’s communications team and shared only the most positive aspects of her experience. Michelle Obama has a reputation as being a perfectionist, but Jarvis recalled the first lady as perfectly calm during a recent minor catastrophe, when her teleprompter went missing just before a speech in New York.
Breaking News: A helicopter landed on the lawn near the U.S. Capitol. police take pilot into custody.
face, hair, lips, everything about her is FLAWLESS.
I am so happy to be black and loving it!
“He was never in a gang, he never picked up guns, and this is how he died?”
These statements were just heart wrenching. The family is devastated, absolutely devastated.
It’s heart-rending, Liza.
I listened to the victim impact statements this morning. So very, very, sad.
It was sad. I cried along with Odin Lloyd’s mother.
Odin Lloyd would say to his mother…did you get my permission to go out? I smiled b/c my Josh says to me all the time ..who told you that you can go somewhere?
I cried through the statements of Odin Lloyd’s mother, uncle, and sister. So little is known about him because the whole media focus has been on the celebrity defendant. Odin Lloyd sounds like a nice guy who tried to do the right thing for all of his short life, and it was just unfortunate that his path crossed that of Hernandez. I’m just glad that AH didn’t get a hung jury. I was worried when they were out for so long, but of course, he’s got another murder trial coming up.
Why in the world would he throw his life away? Why?
Everyone is asking that same question. The answer probably lies in some kind of personality disorder. If he hadn’t become an NFL star with millions of dollars in the bank, maybe things wouldn’t have gone this far. But he apparently surrounded himself with marginal people who just wanted to be around him and would do anything for him. And then there’s the guns. When people like Aaron Hernandez carry a gun, someone will eventually get killed.
If you want good, thoughtful pieces on Mad Men and Fashion, just go to Tom and Lorenzo’s site, and put Mad Men into their search engine. Their posts on Mad Men and fashion is how I found their site. They’re on our blogroll.
Thanks. Betty Draper’s clothes, LOVE THEM!
Betty’s clothes are definitely the best and the actress January Jones wears those 60s clothes better than anyone else on the show. Joan is just too full figured and Peggy seldom got to wear anything that really flatters her.
I rather liked Joan’s full figure. It was very Marilyn Monroe-esque. It was a time that women’s figures were appreciated before the “Twiggy” craze.
and the way Joan saunters about, I love it!
Yeah, Joan is really pretty but limited in what she can wear. Remember those full skirts from the 60s? They never had Joan in a full skirt, just straight cut dresses and suits. And low cut evening gowns, of course.
NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR WOMEN? *CRICKETS* Wrong color, I suppose
I called them out on Twitter. Emily’s List too.
NOW can go straight to HELL.
Christie shapes platform, eyes Social Security cuts
04/14/15 12:56 PM—UPDATED 04/14/15 01:10 PM
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By Steve Benen
About a month ago, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) started telling party insiders that he’s ready to make “overhauling” Medicare and Social Security the centerpiece of his national campaign.
He apparently wasn’t kidding. The scandal-plagued Republican is launching a major swing through New Hampshire this week, announcing a nine-stop tour in the nation’s first primary state, starting today at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College in Manchester. According to the Wall Street Journal, social-insurance programs are at the top of the agenda.
Gov. Chris Christie called for reduced Social Security benefits for seniors earning over $80,000 and eliminating the benefit entirely for individuals making $200,000 and up, along with raising the retirement age to 69 from 67.
In a speech here Tuesday morning, the potential Republican candidate spoke about the need to overhaul Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare and disability insurance – perhaps the most significant policy proposal to date in the 2016 race.
Though some of specific details are not yet available, according to a copy of the speech made available to the media, Christie intends to raise the Medicare eligibility age to 67 by 2040, and again to 69 for the following generation.
As for Social Security, the GOP governor and likely presidential candidate envisions benefit cuts for those making more than $80,000 per year, as well as phasing out Social Security payments “entirely for those that have $200,000 a year” of non-Social Security income.
Christie apparently sees this as part of his bold persona, telling his audience today, “Washington is afraid to have an honest conversation about Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid with the people of our country. I am not.”
No, he’s afraid to have an honest conversation about a variety of other things.
In the context of the 2016 race, Christie no doubt realizes how challenging it is to cut through and generate interest in his candidacy with so many high-profile rivals already on the campaign trail. The governor has apparently concluded running as the guy who supports Medicare and Social Security cuts is the way to differentiate himself from the pack. I’m skeptical of the gambit – much of the Republican base tends to be older – but he’s evidently prepared to take the risk.
It also sets the stage for a terrific debate with Democrats, many of whom are “pushing the party not just to defend benefits but to increase them”
The call for higher benefits is a marked difference from recent years in which the White House and Republicans were negotiating deficit-cutting deals, leaving liberals to argue merely for staving off benefit cutbacks. Separately, many experts in both parties have long argued that extending the solvency of the program would require a combination of benefit cuts and tax increases.
The liberals’ argument is that Social Security benefits are meager and that people in retirement need more, not less, money. Some also contend that concerns about the program’s solvency are exaggerated. And inside the Democratic Party, that argument is gaining traction. Legislation increasing benefits, and boosting payroll taxes to cover the cost, now has 58 co-sponsors in the House.
ABBA! Dancing Queen’s my fav.
Roller skating jam. Skateland Macomb IL in the 70s.
I just took my taxes downstairs to the mailbox.
Yes, I’m one of those who mails the taxes in.
LOL Filing ours today and sending electronically.
You’re in good company. I just finished mine at @ 8:30 PM EST. Every year I say I’m going to do better, but I never do because I hate doing my taxes.
Hope they got it all
Rita Wilson Reveals She Has Breast Cancer, Undergoes Double Mastectomy and Reconstructive Surgery
Actress and singer Rita Wilson was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and has undergone a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery.
“I have taken a leave from the play Fish in the Dark to deal with a personal health issue. Last week, with my husband [two-time Academy Award winner Tom Hanks] by my side, and with the love and support of family and friends, I underwent a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction for breast cancer after a diagnosis of invasive lobular carcinoma,” she said in a statement. “I am recovering and most importantly, expected to make a full recovery. Why? Because I caught this early, have excellent doctors and because I got a second opinion.”
Wilson, 58, shared the news of her diagnosis and surgeries with People
Have a blessed healing, Rita.
Good Morning, Everyone :)
Good Morning, Rikyrah & Everyone! :-)))))
Season 2 of “Mad Men” is getting juicy!