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Kevin Arnold's Blog

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People representing 17 countries were sworn in as United States citizens. (Kayana Szymczak for the Boston Globe)
  He made this Fourth of July memorable for me.  As described in the Boston Globe:      Simon Winchester, 66, an author and journalist born in the United Kingdom, published a book in 2010 about the history of the Atlantic Ocean. The book featured stories about the travails and triumphs of the...
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Simon Winchester at the University of Chicago
Internationally-known author and journalist, Oxford-educated Simon Winchester is becoming an American Citizen.  He came to San Jose State as a Lurie Fellow when I was doing my MFA there.  I enjoyed his wit and irreverent style and always thought of him as the consummate British Citizen.  But in...
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Once a Grand Juror flashed a Badge at a Traffic Officer, They Were No-longer Issued
I’m just finishing a year on the Grand Jury and thought it might be a good idea to record some of the unexpected concepts I didn’t know before.   1.       It’s Nearly Impossible to Unseat an Elected Official When elected officials misbehave but don’t commit a felony, it’s pretty much up to their...
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The Lowest Form of Humor, Perhaps, but Funny
  I have now had three people recommend this to me and it is indeed somewhat cheesy but incredibly funny.  Currently the number one YouTube video, it's called the "Ultimate Dog Tease."   http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=nGeKSiCQkPw
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Five hundred images per second allow us to see them clearly
The hummingbirds at the  feeder outside our kitchen window move so fast it’s almost impossible to see them.  They’re one place, then another.  Now technology has slowed them down and has created a truly remarkable documentary. Using newly-developed Phantom high-speed cameras able to capture five...
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Me, Holding a Fall River Deb, or is that Richard Gere and Debra Winger?
Because three films portray the U. S. Navy when I was serving, THE LAST DETAIL, AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN, and CINDERELLA LIBERTY each hold a special place for me.  Together they paint a picture of how the Navy affected people.  Each one is worth a rental on Netflix or however you get your films....
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Janet has followed White Oleander with Paint It Black
Janet Fitch, the author of the blockbuster White Oleander and a teacher at USC and The Squaw Valley Community of Writers, approved the publication of this list -- intended for fiction writers but good for many of us -- in its entirety  in the Los Angeles Times:  http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/...
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Rumor is We Don't Get Badges Any More Since A Juror Flashed His at a Traffic Officer
We’ve been meeting for eleven months now and our reports are coming out fast and furious.  Three days ago the report on Bullying in Schools was reported on in the local press.  How do such investigation subjects get chosen?  While a handful of requests come in from the outside, the majority of the...
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Good Times: Kate, Scotty, and their Dad
Kate and Scotty, who put up with me writing so many poems about them in the house where we raised them, are now very much out in the world.  This is a picture from Scotty’s graduation from NYU’s Tisch School of Performing Arts.  Although he started his undergraduate program at Santa Clara...
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The Unexpected Patina of Sweetness Seduced Me
Trey Parker and Matt Stone and will be on Fresh Air today at 1PM and 7PM PST. I’ve figured out why I’m so taken with the musical.    If you can get past the potty-mouth language, the play is covered in an unexpected patina of sweetness.  Instead of bashing the Mormon Church, the play raises it to...
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Word Seldom Breaks, But . . .
I had an early flight to NYC the next morning and made the mistake of fiddling with alternate backup files with Microsoft Word.   I use Word 2007 several times a day.  Indeed, I’m writing this blog on Word and will cut-and-paste to Red Room when I’m finished.  To cut to the chase, I bollixed up the...
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Not Sure Why I'm So Nuts about This Play--But I Am
Tony Nominations: Kevin got one, Arnold got one, the female lead whose name Arnold, in a running gag, botches consistently—as I remember he calls her calls her Noxema and Neosporin among others—got one, and Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, and so on.  See: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/04/...
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Music Notes by Susan Osborne
I’m posting a New York Times article from about three weeks ago because I it’s so non-intuitive and edifying that I keep studying it.  It’s called “To Tug Hearts, Music First Must Tickle the Neurons.”  I enjoy reading that while computers may be able to play a mean game of Jeopardy!  it’ll be a...
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Medieval Image of Easter
This weekend forms the center of the Christian church and its influence on Western culture.  The familiar story includes Roman Governor Pontius Pilate presiding over the crucifixion but washing his hands of it.  The body taken down and buried in a cave.  Whatever hope came from Jesus seemed quite...
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Mormons, Ringing Doorbells in Africa
I’m back in New York City with my son.  Tomorrow a play he’s written the music to will be produced at NYU as part of his MFA work.  He was able to find us tickets to the play The Book of Mormon. The high-concept musical, one of the hottest tickets in recent years, was written by the guys who...
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