Mark Evanier posted this afternoon:
On the contrary, Gay Marriage was approved today in Ireland, and what appeared immediately in the skies? Not burning sulfur, but rainbow after rainbow!
If I were gay, Id be inspired by these scenes. If I believed in signs from God, Id say loving couples whom some Christians revile have been promised Gods blessing.
I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Genesis 9:13
Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven. Matthew 5:11-12
MAY 22, 2015 THROUGH THESE DOORS
It was a Friday afternoon in New York City, August 6, 1993. Traveling with KDKAs crew for Pittsburgh Pirates telecasts, I had flown in from Chicago that morning.
The Pirates had the day off before playing a Sign Day doubleheader against the Mets on Saturday. Therefore, I had the day off too.
There was much discussion in the TV industry about late-night host David Lettermans move from NBC to CBS. Massive renovations were taking place at New Yorks Ed Sullivan Theater. Some wondered whether the studio would be ready in time for Daves CBS premiere on August 30.
On a map of Manhattan I located the theater. From our hotel next to Grand Central Station, it was eleven blocks north and about the same distance west. That wasnt far away, little more than a mile, so I decided to walk over there to see what was going on.
The theater's lobby is on Broadway, but I remembered from watching the original Ed Sullivan show that the auditorium has ground-level exit doors on the left side of the audience. From the map, I learned that those doors open onto West 53rd Street. If during a show, Dave wanted to leave the studio and talk to people on the street or something, it would be very convenient unlike NBCs Studio 6A, from which one needed an elevator to access the outside world.
When I arrived, there were those doors, and they were open. Crews were carrying in various pieces of scenery and seats and equipment. I walked up and down the sidewalk a few times, glimpsing a few details of the interior through the open doors. I didnt see much. There was a magenta light on the stage, which didnt mean anything. But apparently the technical work was progressing on schedule, because a monitor hanging from the underside of the balcony was functioning and displaying a color-bars test signal.
Yesterday, as shown in pictures from the New York Post, those doors onto West 53rd Street were open again. Crews were again carrying scenery, but this time it was coming out.
They have only 15 weeks to remodel the theater again for the next late-night host, Stephen Colbert.
If these critters ever learn to read, we'll be defenseless!
But the bait (doughnuts) worked this time, and all is well.
MAY 15, 2015 STEEL TOWN
Though I grew up in Ohio, I moved to the environs of Pittsburgh (the Steel City) in 1974. Around that time, most of the dirty old mills were shutting down. Nowadays visitors are surprised to find that this region, despite its former reputation as a home of heavy industry, is no longer smoky.
But steel hasnt faded away in my neighborhood. Only eight blocks from my suburban apartment, theres a brand new billion-dollar mill! A company official says, You're not going to find another factory like this one in the world.
In the 19th century, coal-fired steel mills made Pittsburgh an industrial giant and a fearsome sight to behold. James Parton famously described the view from atop one of the surrounding hills as looking over into hell with the lid taken off.
In the 20th century, my uncle and many others noted that in the middle of the day, street lights had to stay on and businessmen had to replace their white shirts with clean ones.
However, a 1959 strike shut down the mills for four months. Other industries needed the metal, so for the first time in American history they began importing large amounts of cheaper steel from foreign countries. That virtually killed the domestic steel industry. Within 30 years, over 75% of Pittsburghs steelmaking capacity was shut down.
But as I mentioned, not all the steel mills are gone. Theres a gleaming new hot-rolling mill along the Allegheny River, only half a mile down the hill from my apartment.
Built just downriver from Allegheny Technologies Inc.'s existing plant (formerly Allegheny Ludlum), the $1.2-billion dollar facility is the largest investment in the companys history. Last week, ATI gave the media a tour.
So is the company hiring? Well, not right now. To get government approval for the construction, ATI pledged not to reduce its work force, but it didnt promise to increase it either. When current employees eventually retire, new workers will be added to replace them. However, unlike the old days, laborers wont be able to get a job straight out of high school. Wetherbee said any new hires will likely need at least an associate degree in engineering, electronics, or other technical fields.
But youre wondering how I like living close to a steel mill.
Its no problem. The only noise pollution came from pile drivers building the foundation a few years ago, but thats all gone now. A street next to the plant had to be relocated, but its open again now. And the mill is clean.
ATI spokesman Dan Greenfield said, The whole vision of a dusty, grimy facility is just not the right image of this facility. There's no smoke. There's no coal being burned there. There are no pollutants. The plant operates on electricity and the re-heat furnaces run on natural gas.
As far as water quality is concerned, project manager Darin Sarin said the plant re-uses water taken from the Allegheny River, and what does go back into the river will be cleaner than when it came in. The EPA has said it will use this as an example for other companies building new plants.
So far, my neighborhood hot-rolling mill has proven to be a good citizen.
MAY 11, 2015 LADIES CHOICE
Fifty years ago this month, I graduated from Richwood High School. Our Class of 1965 broke the mold. The authorities, despairing that any better class would ever come along, retired the schools name. By that fall it had become North Union High School.
MAY 6, 2015 MY EYES ARE BACK
The local headlines mentioned hockey players.
Sid To Play In Worlds
I interpreted the second one the wrong way. Who or what is the Pens Eye? Apparently it has recovered its health, and the second coming of the Eye sounds like good news.
Reading further, I discovered the headline was trying to say, Ailing Penguins Each Look Forward To Returning. Oh. I suppose that would not have fit the allotted space.
APRIL 24, 2015 PLAYING THE OVERTURE
The Chicago Cubs were in town this week, and I worked for the visiting broadcaster. During our preparations for the telecast, the lead-off man was frequently mentioned. At first I thought the Cubs Dexter Fowler was being discussed, but it turned out they were talking about WGNs 15-minute pregame show, called The Hyundai Lead-Off Man.
Im reminded of certain telecasts I worked in Cleveland some years back. The producer said, Its a seven oclock game, so game time is at 6:30. That made no sense until I realized that the pregame show was illogically titled Game Time.
Why confuse the viewers? Why not simply call it Indians Pregame? Or, if you want a less obvious title, borrow from other sports and call it Indians Tipoff or Drop the Puck or Hyundai Hyuddle.
Or borrow from other genres and call it Prelude or Sinfonia or Foreword or Preamble.
Its only a name.
APRIL 20, 2015 MR. FORBES & MISS ROGERS
Exactly 80 years ago tonight, a man and a woman met in New York. They had nothing to say to each other. But then, he pulled something from his pocket.
find this little drama in my new article, Im
Your Best Friend! Get Lucky!
APRIL 10, 2015 HATRED vs INDIFFERENCE
Atheists dont believe in God. But do they actively hate God? Why bother? To them, he doesnt even exist. How about the Ten Commandments? Do atheists hate the Ten Commandments?
Some Christians fear their faith is the target of such hatred. I disagree, in a sermon on Hate Speech.
APRIL 4, 2015 SPORTS GRAPHICS SUGGESTION
The seasons of winter sports (like basketball and hockey) begin in one calendar year and end in the next. We customarily label a season like that by mentioning both years, separated by a hyphen. For example, suppose that during the current season of 2014-2015, Current Phenom is closing in on 200 blocked shots. TV graphics might prepare a table like this.
To improve the graphic, I wish we were allowed to reduce the clutter by listing only the second year. After all, the date of the championship tournament is -2015, not 2014-2015. We could retain the hyphen to indicate that were citing the deciding year. And while were at it, we could save more space by dropping the digits that indicate the century; its not like were risking another Y2K meltdown. Wouldnt this be easier to read?