Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Law & Order SVU's Smart Casting

In these days of Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Vudu and so on, we can have police procedurals, detective series, and law court oriented dramas coming out of our ears! They do tend to become wearying at times. One such, a long-established TV series, also available for streaming, never gets old for us: Law and Order SVU.

The pairing in SVU of Benson and Stabler (played to perfection by Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni) had a lot to do with the original attraction. When Stabler left the show we wondered whether it'd die a gradual death, at least on our own viewing schedule - it didn't! We still watch episodes of the series both on the USA channel, where re-runs are common, as well an occasional 'live' episode on NBC, or on whichever streaming source is offering 'em. For us, SVU is the only TV series with the "it never gets old" accolade.

I recently read the following pieces of trivia, but interesting trivia, about Law and Order SVU. See more in the whole piece at screenrant.com HERE

Hargitay & Meloni’s Chemistry was Instantaneous, even at Their Audition

Chris Meloni and Mariska Hargitay met for the first time at their audition. The final casting call was down to three women (Hargitay, Reiko Aylesoworth, and Samantha Mathis) and three men (Meloni, Tim Matheson, and Nick Chinlund). Hargitay had heard that a friend-of-a-friend would be among them, so she walked in, saw Meloni, who she didn't know, and assumed that he was the guy. She shouted the actor's name, and Meloni stood up and shouted his own name instead, in fake recognition. Since she was already standing, they ended up in a huge hug, despite having never met before.

She noticed the big tattoo on his arm of Jesus on the cross, and asked, hopefully, if he was a Christian. When he said no, she asked why he had the tattoo. "Just liked his commitment," he told her.

They auditioned individually, and then the casting directors started pairing up the finalists. Hargitay crossed her fingers, and knew as soon as they said, "Mariska and Chris" that they were going to make magic. So did producers; as soon as the actors all left, no debate was needed. They'd found their stars...

SVU is currently in its 18th season, and while Chris Meloni isn't on the show anymore, he's still tight with former co-star Mariska Hargitay. She's the godmother to one of his children, and they recently got together and posted a selfie on Instagram, making fans drool at the possibility that Stabler might one day make his way back to the show. Fingers crossed!


What about the astrology of this pair of actors? I'd already spotted that Ms Hargitay and I share a Sun sign in early Aquarius ( - see this archived post), but I've never posted her chart, nor have I looked into Chris Meloni's astrology until now. So....

Mariska Hargitay, born 23 January 1964 in Santa Monica, California, at 5.58 AM

Christopher Meloni born on 2 April 1961 in Washington DC, at 1.52 AM

Alrighty then...not far to seek for the key ingredients linking these two charts and these two personalities! His natal Sun at 12 Aries conjoins her natal Jupiter at 13 Aries; Her Sun and Mars at 2 and 8 degrees of Aquarius respectively, conjoin his Jupiter at 2 Aquarius, with natal Saturn conjoined, over the cusp from 28 Capricorn.

Natal Jupiter would appear to be key here to the 'chemistry' between the two actors. Additionally, in Ms Hargitay's chart there are 2 Yods (Fingers of Fate) involving Jupiter. One Yod links generational Neptune to generational Uranus/Pluto by sextile, then links both to natal Jupiter via two 150 degree angles known as quincunxes. The other Yod links Jupiter to Mars by sextile and both to generational Uranus by quincunx. What does all of that mean? "Proper" astrologers might differ, but I see it as more evidence that Jupiter (expansion, abundance, generosity, publication - of which acting is a form) is a strong "vibe" in her personality. Chris Meloni's Jupiter lay in his first house of self at time of birth, which puts Jupiter (along with Saturn (matters relating to the law) in the front seat of his personality too.

A passing thought unrelated to the TV series: my husband, anyjazz, has Sun in Aries (like Chris) and I have Sun in early Aquarius (like Mariska) - we gelled immediately too. His natal Jupiter at 23 Capricorn conjoins my Mercury at 21 Capricorn! My natal Jupiter at 6 Aquarius is close enough to his natal Sun at 1 Aries to be termed conjunct. Hmm! Yet many would still say astrology is nothing but rubbish!!

Monday, July 16, 2018

Music Monday ~ The Poetry of It

Country music may be an acquired taste, I know that it is viewed with a certain disdain by some so-called liberals in the USA, perhaps due to the genre's connection to a perceived (rightly or wrongly) right-wing political flavour. I'm not a 'liberal', I suppose my label, if I must have a label, would be 'lefty', but I've loved country music from my first introduction to it in the late 1990s, back in Europe - not in the UK, but in the Canary Islands. There, of course, country music didn't have the taint of politics attached, so I experienced it clean and unadulterated.

What brought on that rantette? Well, I caught a few bars of a well-loved country song the other day, hadn't heard it for years. It struck me, once again, that there's a lot of poetry embedded in country lyrics! Rodney Crowell's lovely words in "'Til I Can Gain Control Again" are what inspired this post.

Just like the sun over the mountain top
You know I'll always come again
You know I love to spend my morning time
Like sunlight dancing on your skin

I've never gone so wrong as to telling lies to you
What you've seen is what I've been
There is nothing I could hide from you
You see me better than I can

Out on the road that lies before me now
There are some turns where I will spin
I only hope that you can hold me now
Till I can gain control again

Like a lighthouse you must stand alone
Landmark the sailor's journeys end
No matter what sea I've have been sailing on
I'll always roll this way again

Out on the road that lies before me now
There are some turns where I will spin
I only hope that you can hold me now
Till I can gain control again

Songwriter: Rodney J. Crowell.

The song has been recorded by numerous artists, as well as by its writer; best known recordings are by Emmy Lou Harris and Willy Nelson. Just for a change though, I enjoy hearing the Walker Brothers' cover version, I've always loved Scott Walker's voice:

Here's Emmy Lou's classic version:

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Saturday & Sundry Pieces of Interest

 Mabel Lucie Attwell's illustration
Why the Democrats Are Also to Blame for Brett Kavanaugh by Joshua Frank at Counterpunch this week:

If the Democrats cannot cobble together a solidified opposition to Trump’s most egregious policies, why would the Kavanaugh nomination be any different? Instead of drawing up a visionary blueprint that aims to excite a true grassroots movement against the corporate establishment, they continue to shiver in the face of internal upheaval as they have with the recent victory of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York.

The Democrats don’t control the Senate for a reason. They have not galvanized the majority of Americans who oppose the Wall Street takeover of our government and the perpetual wars that prop it up. Why? Because the Democrats don’t actually oppose either. They aren’t inept, Democrats are simply professional defenders of the status-quo................

Remember, this is the same party that demonized Bernie Sanders’ supporters and believed the movement he sparked and the issues he raised were unworthy of recognition.

This is the same party that rubber-stamped the endless wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, the slaughters in Libya, Yemen, and more. This is the same party that backs Israel’s brutal occupation of Paletine. This is the same party that overwhelmingly backed the PATRIOT Act and the ongoing evisceration of our civil liberties. This is the same party that dismantled the welfare system while increasing corporate welfare. This is the same party that claims to believe in climate change but hasn’t done a damn thing to stop Big Oil. This is the same party that supports the death penalty, mass incarceration and a militarized Police State. This is the same party that claims to support women’s rights in the US but outright ignores the horrible working conditions and abuse their neoliberal policies inflict upon the women, many of them girls, who toil away in sweatshops around the globe in the name of profit.

They will whine that they’ve been steamrolled by Trump and the Republicans, but shed no tears for the Democrats. You can’t be steamrolled if you aren’t even standing in front of the machine that’s about to crush us.

The New Age of Astrology
In a stressful, data-driven era, many young people find comfort and insight in the zodiac—even if they don’t exactly believe in it. An interesting piece by Julie Beck in The Atlantic earlier this year.

It begins:

Astrology is a meme, and it’s spreading in that blooming, unfurling way that memes do. On social media, astrologers and astrology meme machines amass tens or hundreds of thousands of followers, people joke about Mercury retrograde, and categorize “the signs as ...” literally anything: cat breeds, Oscar Wilde quotes, Stranger Things characters, types of french fries. In online publications, daily, weekly, and monthly horoscopes, and zodiac-themed listicles flourish.
This isn’t the first moment astrology’s had and it won’t be the last. The practice has been around in various forms for thousands of years. More recently, the New Age movement of the 1960s and ’70s came with a heaping helping of the zodiac.

In the decades between the New Age boom and now, while astrology certainly didn’t go away—you could still regularly find horoscopes in the back pages of magazines—it “went back to being a little bit more in the background,” says Chani Nicholas, an astrologer based in Los Angeles. “Then there’s something that’s happened in the last five years that’s given it an edginess, a relevance for this time and place, that it hasn’t had for a good 35 years. Millennials have taken it and run with it.”
Lots more at the link!

A recent challenge at Quora brought about many answers, all entertaining: Remove one letter from the name of a TV show or movie. What's the premise of the new show or movie?
Here's one of the first, and more compact answers I stumbled upon, it's by a Quora friend Charlie Anne Excell, who gave her permission for its use on my blog.

I enjoyed the chuckles:


Mad Ma - Crazy mother of a hero takes the car keys, for pimpin' her car again. Gets to bingo quicker tho..

Forrest Gum - Mentally challenged son learns to blow impressive bubbles, which rise & save him after falls off shrimp boat. Mum likes it, she really really likes it…

One With The Wind - Frankly, people not giving a damn about openly farting during their public meditations.

Lord Of The Rigs - Tall hatted magician helps hairy-footed kids, hairy-faced equestrians and pointy-eared models drive an evil semi-trailer smack into a fireplace.

0 Shades Of Grey - Smartass guy and oddball chick sit round knitting, reading the phonebook and yawning. (I know.. I removed a number, not “a letter!” Sheesh, CHILL!, hava cold shower..)

Crocodile Undee - ‘Tables are turned' as U.S. journo chick pervs at reptile wrangler's bum cheeks in U.S. thong undees, as he gratuitously bends to look in water for a croc.

Star War
- Basic type space movie. Doubt there'll be a sequel.

COMING ATTRACTIONS: Harry Otter; Py Kids; The Leg Movie; SharkNad!; When Harry Et Sally; Fiddler On The Roo; and, Itchcock.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Arty Farty Architectural Friday

I found this collection of photographs of:
The most beautiful building in every US state, according to people who live there
well worth wandering through. I did worry and wonder about what our home state of Oklahoma's input would be, I needn't have done so, it's absolutely fine, as are the two "Honorable Mentions" for the state.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Pop Goes.....Us?

Today, July 11, is
World Population Day.

Borrowed from ScienceNet

It is set aside to raise awareness about population issues around the world. The United Nations designated July 11th as an annual observance in 1989, two years after the international organization marked the Day of 5 Billion.

Scientists and statisticians estimate that the world population hit seven billion near October 31, 2011. The world population is growing rapidly due to improvements in health care, life expectancy, and infant mortality rates, adding 83 million more people to the planet every year. The earth's human population only hit one billion concurrent residents in 1804.

While it took 123 years for it to reach two billion in 1927, each additional billion was achieved far more quickly -- 32 (in 1959), 15 (1974), 13 (1987), and 11 (1998) years respectively. Population growth has slowed slightly. This most recent billion mark took 14 years to reach, and experts estimate the eight billion mark will arrive 12 years after the last full billion -- in 2023. However, even assuming a declining birth rate, estimates predict the global population will reach 9.8 billion in 2050 and 11.2 billion in 2100.

Scientists study demography and population trends because of the underlying implications they have for human health, planetary resources, climate change, and a variety of other scientific fields.

The 2018 theme for World Population Day is "Family Planning is a Human Right!" which focuses attention on providing safe, voluntary access to family planning, particularly to the 225 million women living in the poorest nations on earth who want improved family planning options. Experts agree that securing women this access decreases poverty, while improving women's empowerment, gender equity, economic gains, and development at a national level. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the 1968 International Conference on Human Rights, where family planning was, for the first time, globally affirmed to be a human right.


My archived posts on the theme of population explosion:

Every Sperm is Sacred - or so They Say

Too Many of Us - What's to be Done?

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Pitch with an Imperfect Purpose

Interesting, and a tad disturbing, piece by Caitlin Johnstone:

I Paid To See A Movie About Singing. I Got Ninety Minutes Of Pentagon Propaganda.

It begins:
To cap off a long, strange day, my husband and I took the kids out last night to see Pitch Perfect 3. The first Pitch Perfect is a firm favorite in our household, the kind of movie we end up watching when we can’t agree on what to watch. We’d been waiting til we all had a night to see the latest one together, so we made a night of it and went out for some dinner, too. I even had a Coke. The sugary kind. This was a big night, people! So we were all in high spirits and I entered the theater excited to see some good music and have a good time.

I wasn’t expecting a masterpiece, but I also wasn’t expecting to be blasted in the face with ninety minutes of blatant war propaganda from the United States Department of Defense...........

I'm pretty sure we saw the original Pitch Perfect movie, and enjoyed it, not sure about #2. #3, having read what Ms Johnstone has to say about it, will be on our 'movies to avoid' list.