Something to Smile About (Updated 3/31/20)

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These are fun things I’ve found online from a variety of people, famous and not, offering their talents while we all stay at home and flatten the curve. Please enjoy.

Do What You Can – new song from Jon Bon Jovi. Write and sing the second verse and post on social media with the hashtag: #DoWhatYouCan

The Broadway Coronavirus Medley – from Zach Timson

Social Distance – a parody by Randy Rainbow – check out his other videos on YouTube

Follow @avantgame on Twitter for a Stay at Home Daily Challenge similar to a scavenger hunt.

Steve Martin Plays the Banjo

Will Smith et al on The Graham Norton Show (2013) This never fails to make me grin from ear to ear. It is the definition of feel good.

Neil Patrick Harris – 2013 Tonys Opening Number

Your Moment of Zen – Hiking, Stream, Woods (Video)

Follow Patrick Stewart on Facebook and he will read a sonnet from Shakespeare daily.

LeVar Burton reads Chivalry by Neil Gaiman

The Rotterdam Philharmonic Plays “Ode to Joy” from their Homes

Daniel Matarazzo on You Tube – he has two Coronavirus Parody songs

Rick Springfield Sings (No) Human Touch

Radio Free Burrito: Wil Wheaton Reads Star Mother (Soundcloud)

Wash Your Hands by Lin-Manuel Miranda

From the NE Ohio Sewer Service: Is it Flushable? Ask them on Twitter and they will answer. As useful as it is fun.

Text the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and they will reply with an SMS message to your phone with a related picture. Text “Send me ____” to 57251. Fill in the blank, and see what they send!

My Dad Looks like the Food Critic in Ratatoille

Andy Slavitt’s Twitter Thread: The Best of Us

Meet Dr. Fauci

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Dr. Anthony Fauci receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush, 2008. Getty Image. (c)2020

Dr. Anthony Fauci is the director of the NIAID, the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, a part of the NIH, the National Institute of Health for the US Government. He has been in that position since 1984 and has worked as Director successfully with six Presidents, both Democrats and Repulicans. You may have seen him at various press conferences, coronavirus task force updates, and in television interviews. Here are a few more things if you want to read about him and his response and outlook for this unprecedented COVID-19 outbreak. He has been serving in a public health capacity for over fifty years.

The Atlantic
Axios
A Conversation with Dr. Fauci (at Regis HS President’s Dinner)
Facebook Live with Mark Zuckerberg
The Atlantic
Politico
Washington Post

Science Magazine

Interview with comedian, Desus Nice

Supernatural Lists: Time Travel Episodes

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Time travel.

Love it or hate it, it will give you a headache.

I think the most apt description I’ve ever found for time are a combination of Quantum Leap which relies on the string theory that time is like a ball of yarn and you can jump from one to the other, and Doctor Who where time is a wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey ball of stuff, which really sums it up nicely and succinctly.

I thought there were many more time travel episodes in the Supernatural universe, and I could only remember about five. The rest that were in my head were more of flashbacks, which aren’t time travel per se, but in doing my research in the Supernatural wiki, I saw that they counted twelve, which I will list here even though there are a couple that I didn’t particularly consider them for my personal list. For example, in As Time Goes By, Henry Winchester travels forward from 1958 to 2013 and in Lebanon John Winchester travels to current day Kansas despite his being dead canonically. I was looking for the episodes where the brothers traveled through time.

At any rate, these all have something to love, and yes, they will still give you a headache.

1. In the Beginning [4.03]

2. The End [5.04]

3. The Song Remains the Same [5.13]

4. My Heart Will Go On [6.17]

5. Frontierland [6.18]

6. The Man Who Would Be King [6.20]

7. Time After Time [7.12]

8. As Time Goes By [8.12]

9. King of the Damned [9.21]

10. The Vessel [11.14]

11. Family Feud [12.13]

12. Lebanon [14.13]

Juneteenth

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Juneteenth is a celebration of African-American Emancipation. It commemorates the day in 1865 in Texas that General Gordon Granger read the proclamation declaring that ALL SLAVES ARE FREE. While Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves in his Emancipation Proclamation in 1862 with an effective date of January 1, 1863 that did not include border states not in rebellion or Texas where slaveowners moved to escape the fighting (unless these slaves escaped to non-slave states).

Now, they were all free with all the rights and privileges of all Americans (except of course for the reality of being Black in America in 1865). 

One year later, in 1866, Freedmen celebrated the first anniversary of Juneteenth in Texas.

Contending with whites only spaces that continued for too many years, many pooled their money to buy land of their own in order to congregate and celebrate. Emancipation Park in Houston, Booker T. Washington Park in Mexia, and Emancipation Park in Austin are three of these places.

While celebrated in several states as a recognized holiday or observance, the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation is seeking an official designation of Juneteenth as an observation in all 50 states through Congress.

What is Juneteenth by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Juneteenth Holiday (from Vox)

Slate (from 2015): The Black American Holiday Everyone Should Celebrate But Doesn’t

Juneteenth Honors March to Freedom (from 2008)

From the television series, Black-ish:

Sister Thea Bowman, A Ministry of Joy

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Sister Thea Bowman addressing the USCCB:

Sr. Thea Bowman was born in 1937 on December 29th. This was in Mississippi and her parents named her Bertha. She was the granddaughter of slaves; her parents were a doctor and a teacher. She was raised Methodist, but when she was nine years old, she converted to Roman Catholicism. At 15, she joined the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration.

Over the years, she received a B.A., a M.A., and a PhD in English and then went on to teach. She also received an honorary doctorate in theology from Boston College. She was a poet, a preacher, and a teacher, and she used all of those embodiments to bring a light to her calling that couldn’t help but be infectious to her contemporaries and those of us who have come after and continue to read of her works.

“When we understand our history and culture, then we can develop the ritual, the music and the devotional expression that satisfy us in the Church.”

She said this and it illustrates her impact on the development of a particular worship dedicated to and for Black Catholics. She was invaluable in the 1987 publication of the Catholic Hymnal, Lead Me, Guide Me: The Arican-American Catholic Hymnal.

Her essay, The Gift of African-American Sacred Song can be downloaded by clicking on the title.

Her “ministry of joy” led the Diocese of Mississippi to bring her on as a consultant for intercultural awareness. In reading up on Sr. Thea, I really preferred this descriptor of intercultural rather than multi-cultural. It feels more natural to me. A person who knew her called her “the springtime in everyone’s life,” a visual that leaps out in color and light and blue sky.

Imagine what more she could have done and influenced in the past twenty-nine years had she not died at the young age of 52, on today’s date in 1990 of bone cancer.

There are at least twelve institutions named for her from Boston in the east to as far west as Illinois.

The Diocese (of Mississippi) has begun the research into Sr. Thea’s “heroic virtues” after which a cause for canonization can be opened in Rome if warranted.

Two of her written works you could look into for more from Sr. Thea are:

Families, Black and Catholic, Catholic and Black. Washington, D.C.: United States Catholic Conference. Commission on Marriage and Family Life, 1985.

Thea Bowman: In My Own Words. Liguori, Mo.: Liguori Publications, 2009. ISBN 978-0-7648-1782-3. index of Bowman’s speeches, writings, and interviews, with a brief biographical sketch and epilogue (with Maurice J. Nutt)

I will leave you with her own words that spoke to me prayerfully earlier this week:

“Maybe I’m not making big changes in the world, but if I have somehow helped or encouraged somebody along the journey, then I’ve done what I’m called to do.