The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Sense8

The Apollo Chorus of Chicago are literally in the mix of the upcoming Netflix show Sense8. You can hear us in this promo.

We haven't been able to share this information until just now. The chorus recorded a cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" at our November 21st rehearsal. (I unfortunately missed the rehearsal, so I'm not singing in the episode. Boo.)

Halleluja!

Yesterday the Apollo Chorus of Chicago sang Händel's Messiah for (possibly) the 274th time since we first sang it in 1879. We're going to do it again this afternoon. Our local ABC affiliate has more:

For nearly a century and a half, the Apollo Chorus has brought beautiful music to Chicago. On this night, the all-volunteer choir is rehearsing for one of the city's most cherished holiday traditions: a performance of Handel's "Messiah."

"When we sing Messiah, since Handel wrote it - think of how many thousands and how many choruses have sung it in how many countries and we're a part of that," chorus [president] David Beer said.

So, it's a fluff piece, but apparently I was on TV. Thus the link.

Seats are still available for today's 2pm performance.

A century old, and he remembers 1933

Today is Kirk Douglas' 100th birthday. And back in September, he had a warning for us young 'uns:

I’ve also lived through the horrors of a Great Depression and two World Wars, the second of which was started by a man who promised that he would restore his country it to its former greatness.

I was 16 when that man came to power in 1933.  For almost a decade before his rise he was laughed at ― not taken seriously.  He was seen as a buffoon who couldn’t possibly deceive an educated, civilized population with his nationalistic, hateful rhetoric.

I have lived a long, good life. I will not be here to see the consequences if this evil takes root in our country.  But your children and mine will be. And their children. And their children’s children.

Well, I hope so. But you never know, with the unqualified loose cannon who likely will be formally elected president in 10 days.

Fighting something

I wasn't quite 100% today and neither was a fried of mine, so we're taking the opportunity to re-watch (or watch for the first time in the friend's case) HBO's Westworld. I've seen the first 9 episodes—tomorrow night is the 10th and final episode of the season—so the nuances and clues are making a lot more sense on second viewing.

This show is almost as good as Game of Thrones. Seriously.

Google Earth Engine

Google now has a tool that will show you a time-lapse of any part of the world from 1984 to present:

In 2013, we released Google Earth Timelapse, our most comprehensive picture of the Earth's changing surface. This interactive experience enabled people to explore these changes like never before—to watch the sprouting of Dubai’s artificial Palm Islands, the retreat of Alaska’s Columbia Glacier, and the impressive urban expansion of Las Vegas, Nevada. Today, we're making our largest update to Timelapse yet, with four additional years of imagery, petabytes of new data, and a sharper view of the Earth from 1984 to 2016. We’ve even teamed up again with our friends at TIME to give you an updated take on compelling locations.

The examples on the demo page are striking. I would also suggest a few more to check out: Las Vegas (the city quadrupled in size in 22 years); North Suburban Illinois (watch the Glenview Naval Air Station disappear like a leaf in winter); Dubai; Mount St. Helens (watch the forest grow back and logging operations resume). Very cool stuff.

Redress of grievances

Vice President-elect Mike Pence attended a performance of "Hamilton" in New York last night, and at the curtain call, actor Brandon Victor Dixon (who plays Aaron Burr) had something to say:

WaPo:

Pence reportedly left the auditorium before Dixon finished speaking, but a show spokesman told the Associated Press that the vice president-elect stood in the hallway and heard the full message.

Apparently unaware that (a) the Constitution grants all Americans the right to free speech and "to petition the government for redress of grievances," and (b) elected politicians should, by virtue of their jobs, expect direct and public criticism at all times, President-elect Donald Trump took to Twitter:

Just, wow. The person almost half the voters chose to be president can't help himself, can he? I really look forward to this idiot blowing up our relationships with most of the world over Twitter. And to think, more than half the voters thought he hasn't got the temperament to be president.

Second of two posts: Sportsing!

You couldn't script the game better: tied at 6 going into the 9th, then the 10th, then a rain delay, then a 2-run homer top of 10 followed by a nail-biting run and out to end the game. The Cubs won the World Series for the first time in 108 years. And Chicago went nuts.

There are, as you can imagine, a ton of stories about it. The best I thought came from the Guardian, but of course the Chicago Tribune, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the New York Times, the Atlantic, and Chicago Public Media all had things to say. And let's not forget the Onion.

The New York Times explained how the Cubs did it. Crain's Chicago Business said the curse is finally dead. And the Washington Post provided context around how the world has changed since 1908. 

AdWeek highlighted a Nike commercial that aired right after the final out. Crain's reported that the game had the highest ratings of any baseball game since 1991, and the highest-rated sporting event in Chicago history, with 40 million people watching.

DNAInfo chuckled that more people called in sick today than usual (myself included). We'll probably miss some more work tomorrow because of the parade, which starts at Wrigley Field and ends at Grand Park. Metra, our local heavy-rail system, is throwing every locomotive and rail car they have into the morning commute and tossing their schedules tomorrow, and asking people to work from home if they can.

It was an incredible night. I'm still amazed and agog. And hung over—but that's another story.

AC000000

I'm having trouble typing these words: The Cubs have won the World Series.

I'm sure I'll have more to say later.

But: the Cubs have won the World Series.

Where do you go from there? A woman president, maybe?

Holy fuck.

I hope against all the evidence I see that 2016 isn't the best year of my life. And I will sweat day and night to ensure this is merely the landing on the staircase.

Meanwhile, my neighborhood is all sirens and shouting, so...I'll leave the wordsmithing until later.

But the Cubs have won the World Series.

The Cubs.

Have won.

The World Series.

I don't even know what to do with that fact yet.

Some thoughts about tonight

The Cubs' World Series Game 7 tonight in Cleveland may be "the biggest game in Chicago sports history," according to Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville. I agree.

But still, I'm trying to maintain perspective:

  • This is the only the second time in franchise history they've played in November. Last night was the first.
  • They won the National League pennant after a 71-year drought. That's not trivial.
  • If Cleveland wins, maybe they'll be so happy there it will tip Ohio into Hillary Clinton's column.
  • They have played some amazing baseball during this series, and during this season.
  • They'll be back next year.

So let's see what happens. And go, Cubs, go!