Friday, November 13, 2015

Fish for Friday

The new economics of horse racing
are making an always-dangerous game even more so
Edited by Morris Dean

[Anonymous selections from recent correspondence]

Bettina Sperry’s column this week reminded me of this March 2012 article from the NY Times: “Mangled Horses, Maimed Jockeys” [Walt Bogdanich, Joe Drape, Dara L. Miles, & Griffin Palmer] Excerpt:
On average, 24 horses die each week at racetracks across America. Many are inexpensive horses racing with little regulatory protection in pursuit of bigger and bigger prizes. These deaths often go unexamined, the bodies shipped to rendering plants and landfills rather than to pathologists who might have discovered why the horses broke down.
    In 2008, after a Kentucky Derby horse, Eight Belles, broke two ankles on national television and was euthanized, Congress extracted promises from the racing industry to make its sport safer. While safety measures like bans on anabolic steroids have been enacted, assessing their impact has been difficult because many tracks do not keep accurate accident figures or will not release them.
    But an investigation by The New York Times has found that industry practices continue to put animal and rider at risk. A computer analysis of data from more than 150,000 races, along with injury reports, drug test results and interviews, shows an industry still mired in a culture of drugs and lax regulation and a fatal breakdown rate that remains far worse than in most of the world. [read more]
Tim Pigott-Smith, center,
as the title character in King Charles III
Morris, you must go to New York to see this play. I wish I could. Let me know what you think of it. “Mike Bartlett Turns to Shakespeare to Voice His ‘King Charles III’” [ Sarah Lyall, NY Times] Excerpt:
How do you write a play about the British royal family without making its members seem risible, banal or irrelevant? Except for Queen Elizabeth, who orbits in her own special universe, today’s royals often appear to be trapped in a dreary reality show whose ostensible dramas (Who did Kate wear? What did Charles say?) are anything but dramatic.
   That was the challenge faced by the British playwright Mike Bartlett when he set out to write “King Charles III,” which imagines a shaky monarchy thrown into crisis after the death of Elizabeth. He solved it in an unexpected way, by employing the language of Shakespeare to transform his protagonists from cardboard figures of ridicule into full-blown characters of tragedy and pathos.
   Using blank verse written mostly in iambic pentameter, Mr. Bartlett took a crowd of easily lampoonable people — Prince Charles, his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, and the like — and imbued them with philosophical acuity, subtle motivation, Machiavellian cunning, tortured self-doubt and even principled heroism. The experiment has paid off. The play, a hit in London, opened at the Music Box Theater on Broadway this month to rapturous reviews. [read more]
Only in Australia:

I’m more sad these days about the right wing nuts than mad, so it is hard to get any fire in my belly about them. What the hell were those voters in Kentucky thinking? As crazy as it sounds, I can see a Trump or one of those other nuts in the White House. Has the entire country lost every sense of reason?

A walking roller coaster in Germany

It was late afternoon on my fourth day in hospital. The 82-yr-old man in the bed next to me – his name was Norman – was a little hard of hearing, plus his body chemicals were out of balance, so his head was too.
    Norman had torn his IV out of his arm, so a nurse came in to put another IV one in. She was a very pretty East Indian nurse. Her English, or at least her use of it, was limited and she had a very broad Indian accent. Indians, like Mexicans, verbalize the letter V as a W.
    “Hello, Norrrman.”
    Norman was mostly asleep. “Huh?” he said.
    “Are you Norrrman?”
    “I am here to put you a new IV.”
    “A what?”
    “I’m going to put a needle in your wayne.”
    “A what? Where?!!!” He said loudly.

Always remember the “child” within you & laugh—often—with your whole body, being, & self! It releases endorphins & other beneficial hormones & substances to keep you in the peak of health.

Limerick of the week:
Hey Siri, tell me a limerick.
Sorry, Moristotle, I can’t provide maps or directions in Ireland.
Copyright © 2015 by Morris Dean


  1. ​Mangled ​horses, ​maimed ​jockeys​. New Shakespearean voice writes about possible future Charles III. Only in Australia. The ​sad-making ​right​-wing nuts​. Walking roller coaster. Needle in the WHAT? ​The “child” within.​ Hey Siri, tell me a limerick.[Thanks for the correspondence!]