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A former congressional staffer explains how to best stand up to Trump through Congress

‘…[A]  lot of Americans are looking for new ways to make a difference and do their part to stop what they consider a dangerous agenda. And some are hoping that their representatives in Congress can act as a check on Trump.For those taking this approach, blogger Emily Ellsworth has some advice: Don’t just tweet, write, or email your representatives. Call them — and go to town halls…’

Source: Vox

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How Arrival Turned Linguistics Into One of the Most Gripping Dramas of the Year

‘If you’ve ever been to a foreign country where you don’t speak the language, you know that an inability to communicate can be frustrating, if not a bit scary. But in Arrival, when 12 shell-shaped UFOs land across the world, everything seems to hinge on the skills of Amy Adams’ linguistics expert, Louise—just as the movie itself hinges on making communication compelling.It was up to screenwriter Eric Heisserer and production designer Patrice Vermette to not only bring Ted Chaing’s short story “Story of Your Life” to the

It was up to screenwriter Eric Heisserer and production designer Patrice Vermette to not only bring Ted Chaing’s short story “Story of Your Life” to the screen, but also to create the language the aliens used—and then translate all of it into a gripping drama. Having seen the movie, which opened this past weekend, we can tell you they succeeded. Here’s how…’

Source: Gizmodo

How It Took More Than 100 Script Drafts to Think Like an Alien

“So many of our conflicts and our problems stem from miscommunication.”

Source: Vox

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America needs progressive Tea Party to fight Trump

‘Shocked by Donald Trump’s surprise victory and the wave of white supremacism he left in his wake, many Americans have taken to the streets to protest. But if progressives really want to fight back against Trumpism, they need to build a mass national movement, the likes of which hasn’t been seen since the 1960s. Put another way, they need a Tea Party of the left.

Fortunately, progressives won’t have to start from scratch. A justice coalition that includes existing advocacy groups could be built up quickly, as proven by Forward Together; for the past four years, this movement has served as a model for how progressives can unite to combat retrograde and sometimes hateful policies by state and federal governments…’

Source: Fusion

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There is no such thing as a good Trump voter.

‘Millions of Americans are justifiably afraid of what they’ll face under a Trump administration. If any group demands our support and sympathy, it’s these people, not the Americans who backed Trump and his threat of state-sanctioned violence against Hispanic immigrants and Muslim Americans. All the solicitude, outrage, and moral telepathy being deployed in defense of Trump supporters—who voted for a racist who promised racist outcomes—is perverse, bordering on abhorrent…’

Source: Jamelle Bouie, Slate

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Frank Zappa’s Amazing Final Concerts: Prague and Budapest, 1991

‘We say goodbye to musical icons in many different ways, from flashmobs, SNL intros, and long retrospectives to live concert tributes featuring the biggest cover band on earth. No matter how outsized the gesture, it never quite seems out of place when it comes to artists of a certain stature. In the case of Frank Zappa, we’ve recently seen jazz orchestra tributes, a “monumental live performance” of one of his own orchestral works, and several Zappa tribute concerts by his son Dweezil.For all their heart and stamina, however, no tribute can compete with the power of those artists’ farewells to us. Both David Bowie and Leonard Cohen, too fragile to perform in their last years, left phenomenal albums we’ll pore over for decades to come. Southern rock great Leon Russell, who just passed away this week at 74, put on rollicking live shows into his final years, and had concerts booked into 2017 when he died. Prince’s final performance was, like all of his performances, stunning. And Zappa? Well see for yourself. Zappa played his way out of the world as he’d played his way into it, with sardonic humor and blistering virtuosity…’

Source: Open Culture

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R.I.P. Mose Allison

Fount of Jazz and Blues Dies at 89

Mose Allison, a pianist, singer and songwriter who straddled modern jazz and Delta blues, belonging to both styles even as he became a touchstone for British Invasion rockers and folksy troubadours, died on Tuesday at his home in Hilton Head, S.C. He was 89.

Source: The New York Times obituary

2016: We are continuing to lose giants of musicat an alarming rate.