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Fire at Susan B. Anthony House in Rochester ruled suspicious

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Fire at Susan B. Anthony House in Rochester ruled suspicious

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC/NEWS10) — On Sunday, the Firefighters responded to a fire at the Susan B. Anthony House, on Madison Street, in Rochester.

Upon arrival, the porch of the Susan B. Anthony House was on fire said Firefighters, as they began to enter the building to evacuate smoke, protecting artifacts from being damaged.

“A great job was done by the firefighters tonight in limiting the effects of the fire on both the museum and its displays,” Battalion Chief Joseph Luna said.

The Rochester Fire Investigation Unit has listed the cause of the fire as suspicious.

“The Rochester Fire Department has long understood the significance that this property holds both to our local community as well as the nation,” said Chief Luna.

No civilians or firefighters were injured Officials said the investigation remains ongoing.

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‘Dune’ is a Sprawling Orientalist Fever Dream

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‘Dune’ is a Sprawling Orientalist Fever Dream
Dune feels like a beautifully composed excuse for white savior colonialism. Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures

The strangest thing about Denis Villeneuve’s Dune—or Dune: Part One, as it’s titled on screenis not anything that happens in the story, or that it took Hollywood so long to re-adapt Frank Herbet’s 1965 novel after the 1984 film by David Lynch. Rather, it’s that a new work based only on a single source can arrive amidst a sea of sequels and shared universes and still feel like it has its tendrils in so many other texts. Dune is enormous in scale, and that enormity is matched by its evocations of a vast and winding history of the Middle East—which is to say, the Middle East that has existed in the Western consciousness for decades, across books, films, video games and other media, all of which have cross-pollinated to create a nebulous identity. The film itself is mostly fine, with breathtaking visuals broken up by a less captivating story that often drags its feet (despite several great performances). But its place within Western traditions—both real and imagined—is strange, unsavory, and fascinating.

One of the rare Hollywood films where the story begins even before the studio logos, Dune kicks off with a harsh and mysterious whisper about dreams, before the Warner Bros. water tower slides across the screen. An odd introduction, though one that frames not only the story as a dream of sorts, but perhaps even the film’s making, as a studio product written, developed, budgeted (etcetera) with closed eyes, and heads filled with fantasies about Star Wars, Lawrence of Arabia and Herbet’s novel, side by side with memories of mid-2000s American news broadcasts. These are all distinct entities which share similar aesthetic hallmarks vis-à-vis “the Muslim world,” with varying degrees of verisimilitude. Villeneuve’s film collapses this history—of Western media’s perspective on the Middle East—whether or not it means to.


Dune ★★1/2
(2.5/4 stars)
Directed by: Denis Villeneuve
Written by: Jon Spaihts, Denis Villeneuve, Eric Roth
Starring: Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Oscar Isaac, Rebecca Ferguson
Running time: 155 mins.


The film’s sprawling plot elements are established with more clarity and more panache than in Lynch’s version—action and dialogue stand in for dense exposition, while seeds are planted more carefully along the way, through character interactions. It wastes little time establishing who’s who, from the militaristic House Atreides—Duke Leto (Oscar Isaac), their firm but kindly leader, his love Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson), a member of a secret matronly order, and their son Paul (Timothée Chalamet), a prince who searches for purpose and appears to dream of the future—to the desert planet Arrakis, where most of the action unfolds. Also known as “Dune,” the planet is littered with giant sand worms, populated by Bedouin-coded locals called the Fremen, and mined by colonial forces for a spice, “melange,” that’s part drug, part intergalactic fuel. The details are mostly unimportant, outside of knowing that an unseen Emperor has granted House Atreides the right to mine melange, thus replacing the gloomy House Harkonnen, led by a cartoonishly rotund Baron named Vladimir (Stellan Skarsgård in an airy fatsuit).

The names and concepts date back to Herbert’s books, which were inspired by accounts of mid-19th century wars between Imperial Russia and Muslim tribes in the Caucasus, but over time, Arrakis has stood in for whatever conflict the Western world has wrought on “the desert”—call it prescient, or merely aware of the flow of history. The 1984 film, for instance, was a perfect match for the era’s Afghanistan conflict between American and Soviet forces. In the new version, the minor Fremen character Chani (Zendaya) hints at this dynamic in her opening voiceover. As she explains the recent history of her planet, and the handover of power from the Harkonnens, she wonders not about freedom, but about which colonial powers will rule them next.

In this vein, Dune: Part One is mapped onto the post-9/11 “forever wars.” Little in the plot needs to change for this to happen but some of the designs are tweaked specifically for this parallel, like the interiors of the bug-like helicopters, which closely resemble modern U.S. military equipment. Atreides’ weapons master Gurney Halleck feels plucked out of a modern Hollywood war film, between his gung-ho bloodlust and the tough presence of Josh Brolin, who Villeneuve previously cast as a CIA operative in 2015’s Sicario. The general attitude of House Atreides towards the Fremen is one of othership and disdain, unless of course someone like Duke Leto wants to harness their strategic power.

It’s an obvious and not altogether terrible approach to critiquing American militarism, but it soon breaks down in amusing fashion, when the father-son duo is revealed to have been coaxed into colonizing Arrakis, summoning forth the pervasive lie about the Bush administration being fooled into invading Iraq. Is it a stretch to draw such a comparison? Yes, and no. On one hand, the plot of Dune existed for nearly 40 years before the aforementioned events. On the other, such volatile subject matter is never far from the production’s mind, and the movie is, by its very nature, part of a larger history wherein images and stories about the Middle East are contorted, not only as a means to comment on the region, but to reaffirm the West’s conception of itself.

The blue-eyed, golden-haired Luke Skywalker was once a victim of the ruthless “Sand People,” monsters draped in Bedouin garb, and his heroism was partially established in contrast to their villainy. These optics exist all across western sci-fi, and while Dune: Part Two may eventually subvert them, Part One plays like an unapologetic fixture of that legacy. Lawrence of Arabia served as a partial inspiration for Herbet, so the story of T.E. Lawrence—a real person with real experiences—becomes watered down and takes the shape of Paul Atreides, who similarly wears desert clothing with the culturally appropriate fit, presaging his entrance into Fremen culture as their Western savior. However, unlike Lawrence, who travelled and studied extensively, Paul’s familiarity with Fremen customs is despite him having spent no time at all with the locals, who feature only briefly in the film, and are a mostly homogenous bunch, whose faces are obscured behind their keffiyeh. Most of what we learn about them in Part One is their combat rituals, and their prophecy that paves the way for the heroic ascendancy of the clairvoyant Paul, like a white Prophet Muhammad hearing the word of God. 

Perhaps the presence of more Middle Eastern actors might have helped balance some of this iffy-ness, but Hollywood has created few Middle Eastern stars despite making the region a frequent setting for the last 20 years, so it has a built-in excuse. Besides, Dune (much like Aladdin) isn’t exactly the kind of story that can be decoupled from its permeating orientalism, without which it would barely exist. However, while the characters and dialogue always circle this ugly dynamic, the film is actually at its most thematically effective when cinema’s otherwise most useful tools—people’s faces and their words—are removed entirely. Dune is spellbinding when it captures architecture shaped by oblique light, sleek ships gliding across an unforgiving desert, and enormous industrial machines extracting natural resources from beneath the sand. At 155 minutes in length, the film has plenty of room for such scenes, where individual characters are no longer the focus, and the terrain tells its own story. 

These images echo, more directly and more powerfully, the central conceit of colonial forces sucking a culture dry. Villeneuve and cinematographer Greig Fraser speak volumes with the way they portray scale, with human beings and their airships being dwarfed by these extraction devices, and the devices in turn looking minuscule and insignificant when the desert (via those gigantic sand worms) eventually strikes back and returns things to their natural order. 

If there’s a cut of Dune: Part One that’s all establishing and wide shots, it would probably play like a sci-fi remix of documentaries by Ron Fricke or Godfrey Reggio. It would also avoid silliness like composer Hans Zimmer—whose percussions are certainly propulsive—accompanying every third close up of Paul with vocals bordering ululating. Or the sloppiness of coding House Atreides as a Western military power while dressing their women in vaguely Middle Eastern clothes. Or the disappointment of carefully choreographed hand-to-hand fights lacking any real weight or impact (Jason Momoa’s energy notwithstanding, as Paul’s fantastically named mentor Duncan Idaho).

Almost every tangible fixture pales in comparison to the film’s haunting atmosphere, from the way its interior and exterior locations envelope the senses, to the way its premonitions create a haunting tapestry of pictures and ideas. These visions don’t quite work when they portray entire scenes, which have little bearing on this half of the story, but when Paul straddles the line of consciousness, these moments become fleeting and ethereal, as they portray impressionistic hints of people and events—or even design elements, like desert sandals or scarves twisting in the wind, brief shots which strip the film’s exoticism of displeasurable context, and briefly transform it into something dreamlike and inviting. That is, until the two-part saga’s awkward and tensionless midpoint jolts you awake.


Observer Reviews are regular assessments of new and noteworthy cinema.

‘Dune’ is a Sprawling Orientalist Fever Dream

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Forget the Honda Civic—Japanese Auto Giant Aims for Space Industry in Grand 2030 Plan

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Forget the Honda Civic—Japanese Auto Giant Aims for Space Industry in Grand 2030 Plan
A Honda auto dealership in, Lewiston, Idaho. Don and Melinda Crawford/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

In a few years, the manufacturer of the Honda Civic and CR-V may be operating air taxis above cities and launching reusable rockets into Earth’s orbit like SpaceX and Rocket Lab.

Last week, Japanese auto giant Honda announced a grand ten-year plan that involves developing flying cars, robots and small reusable rockets that can carry satellites weighing less than 1 ton to low Earth orbit before 2030.

The carmaker, with a market cap of $55 billion, plans to invest $45 billion in the next six years on the research and development of these new projects and expects to create a rocket division as big as its electric vehicle unit.

This idea to build reusable rockets is initiated by “young Honda engineers” who wanted to utilize the company’s “core technologies, such as combustion and control technologies” in new areas, Honda said in a press release on September 30.

Specifically, Honda says it will apply its combustion technology developed for gas cars to build a liquid fuel system for rockets and autonomous driving technology to rocket flight control and guidance. The company formed a team of combustion engineers in 2019 and has built a prototype rocket engine.

“Technologies for rocket combustion and control and lower costs are already in the hands of automakers. We will just change the field where the technologies are applied,” Honda CEO Toshihiro Mibe told Japan’s Nikkei Asia.

“This is not surprising, and Honda is not the first auto company to enter the space industry recently,” said Micah Walter-Range, President of Caelus Partners, a consulting firm specializing in the commercial space industry. Chinese automaker Geely is working on a satellite network to support self-driving cars.

“The rationale offered by the company makes sense,” Walter-Range added. “They know how to produce highly reliable components at a large scale, and they have the engineering expertise to apply to the challenge of rocketry.”

Honda’s rocket initiative will put the 73-year-old automaker in a tough race against billionaire and SPAC-backed companies like SpaceX, Blue Origin, Virgin Orbit and Rocket Lab.

All these companies—many of which are unprofitable—are betting on the booming business of small satellite launch. The demand for low Earth orbit imaging and communications satellites has soared in recent years. By one estimate, by the market research firm Mordor Intelligence, the small satellite launch industry is on track to grow from this year’s $4 billion to $7.2 billion by 2026.

But options for launching these satellites are still limited and largely dominated by a handful of companies. Competition to lower the cost of launch is intense. Delivering a full load of satellites to Earth orbit using a SpaceX Falcon 9 can cost as much as $70 million per launch, which is already much cheaper than traditional single-use rockets. SpaceX has made it less expensive for small satellite makers through its satellite “ride-share” program. And its competitors, such as Rocket Lab, have been able to significantly lower per-launch prices by making smaller reusable boosters.

Honda says its reusable rockets will be able to launch satellites for half what it costs today. Yet, it’s hard to say how competitive that proposition will be in ten year when its rockets are finally commercially ready.

Honda plans to build its first reusable rocket and test launch it with a satellite before the end of this decade.

Forget the Honda Civic—Japanese Auto Giant Aims for Space Industry in Grand 2030 Plan

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What to Watch on Streaming This Week: Oct 8 – 14

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What to Watch on Streaming This Week: Oct 8 – 14
Kaitlyn Dever and Michael Keaton in the first episode of Dopesick. Antony Platt/Hulu

Another week, another great slate of content to watch! From series premieres to new movies, returning favorites to cult classics, there’s plenty to pay attention to this week. Whether you want a powerfully emotional new show, some good scares, or to drag up your dragging week, we’ve got more than enough to recommend to you.

What to watch on Netflix:

Maid

If The Queen’s Gambit made anything clear about Netflix, it’s that they can produce an arresting limited series surrounding a complex, tortured female character. Instead of chess and Anya Taylor Joy, though, Maid offers actress Margaret Qualley a chance to struggle and shine as an impoverished single mother who’s escaped an abusive relationship and finds work as a house cleaner. The series has received universally positive reviews so far, making it more than worth the watch. Maid premiered earlier this month and is streaming on Netflix now.

Raw

Cannibalism, veterinary school, and the French – oh my! Raw was the 2016 feature directorial debut of French filmmaker Julia Ducournau, a rising star in international film after her body-horror flick Titane won the prestigious Palme d’Or earlier this year. This coming-of-age tale is tinged with horror, as lifelong vegetarian Justine starts her training as a vet and begins to develop a taste for meat—from all sorts of sources. It’s a movie that wants you to be squirming in your seat, so if you’re in the mood to watch something thoroughly freaky, this is the perfect choice. Raw is available to stream on Netflix now.

What to watch on Hulu:

Dopesick

This new limited series promises to be a dramatic look into the greed, trauma, and tragedy that helped to propel the U.S. into its current opioid crisis. Dopesick starts with the creation of OxyContin by Big Pharma company Purdue, then follows all of the unfortunate threads that result from the drug. From suspicious small-town doctor Michael Keaton to DEA agent Rosario Dawson and addict Kaitlyn Dever to CEO Michael Stuhlbarg, this show promises a wide-ranging look at the devastating effects of one company’s decision to prioritize profits over people. Dopesick premieres October 13.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

If the incoming Halloween holiday makes you shiver in antici… pation, then you’ll be happy to hear that the campy cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show is available on streaming. This wonderfully absurd and gleefully obscene movie has remained a staple in theaters for its devoted troupes of audience participants, and while all should try to support their local theaters by attending an interactive showing or two this spooky season, this movie packs more than enough fun and weirdness to experience from the comfort of your own home. The Rocky Horror Picture Show is available to stream on Hulu now.

What to watch on Amazon Prime:

The Manor

In addition to last week’s Bingo Hell, Amazon is partnering with horror juggernaut Blumhouse (Get Out, The Purge series) to bring another scary movie to streamers this week. The Manor, in an interesting addition to last year’s I Care A Lot, centers around an old woman who has been forcibly moved into an assisted living facility following a stroke. Here, she encounters unexplainable supernatural threats, but her incapacitated status forces her to remain in this den of danger. It’s always interesting when a horror movie makes the active choice to subvert the final girl trope, as The Manor does by casting 73-year-old Barbara Hershey as its protagonist, so it makes sense that this film will pack more than a few twists and turns. The Manor premieres October 8.

What to watch on HBO Max:

It: Chapter 2

With It: Chapter 2 becoming available to stream this week, HBO Max has given you the perfect opportunity to set up a great horror movie marathon. Not only could you make a double feature out of It: Chapter 2 and its predecessor It, but you can add a third film onto the roster with It franchise director Andy Muschietti’s directorial debut, Mama. Two out of three of these movies also star Jessica Chastain, which is never NOT a plus. It: Chapter 2 will be available starting October 10.

We’re Here 

For some lighter fare, HBO’s Emmy-nominated reality show is returning. We’re Here brings back drag queens Shangela, Eureka O’Hara, and Bob the Drag Queen—all three made famous by their stints on RuPaul’s Drag Race—to venture to small, rural towns, recruiting people in need of a means of personal expression and helping them perform in one-night-only drag performances. It’s a show that provides a winning combination of heart and humor, equally emotional and uplifting, and with only six episodes in the first season, it’s the perfect show for a quick binge before its second season comes around. We’re Here – Season 2 premieres October 11.


Keeping Watch is a regular endorsement of TV and movies worth your time.

What to Watch on Streaming This Week: Oct 8 – 14

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Ahead of Columbus Day, the Roosevelt Statue Uptown Has Been Doused in Red Paint

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Ahead of Columbus Day, the Roosevelt Statue Uptown Has Been Doused in Red Paint

The statue of Theodore Roosevelt outside the Museum of Natural History on June 22, 2020. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

On Wednesday, the controversial statue of Theodore Roosevelt that still stands sentry outside the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan was splattered with red paint, seemingly in anticipation of Columbus Day on Monday. The statue, which depicts Roosevelt on horseback and flanked by an Indigenous man and a Black man, has attracted controversy for years for its colonialist viewpoint and execution. Earlier this year, the New York City Public Design Commission unanimously voted to take down the statue and relocate it to a cultural institution that has not yet been named that will be dedicated to the former president’s legacy.

Even in anticipation of the statue being removed, it appears that the figure of Roosevelt is nevertheless still a target. “Other big cities have been proactive in removing offensive monuments and renaming Columbus Day,” Decolonize This Place told Hyperallergic while emphasizing that the organization had nothing to do with the recent paint splattering. “What is wrong with New York? It’s been 16 months since the Mayor agreed to take away the Roosevelt triptych, and he still has not moved to properly recognize Indigenous Peoples Day.”

The statue in question is officially entitled Equestrian Statue of Theodore Roosevelt, and it was commissioned in the 1930s by the Roosevelt Memorial Association and sculpted by the artist James Earle Fraser. “It has become clear that removing the statue would be a symbol of progress toward an inclusive and equitable community,” Dan Slippen, the vice president of government relations at the Museum of Natural History, said this summer.

Meanwhile, a statue of George Floyd that had been set up in Union Square was also vandalized this week. No matter the motivation of the vandals, it appears that this is a dangerous time for New York City’s public art.

Ahead of Columbus Day, the Roosevelt Statue Uptown Has Been Doused in Red Paint

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National Geographic film documents ‘The Rescue’ from flooded Thai cave

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National Geographic film documents ‘The Rescue’ from flooded Thai cave

In the summer of 2018, the unimaginable ordeal of a dozen boys and their soccer coach trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand for weeks on end won the world’s attention.

Now comes “The Rescue,” a National Geographic documentary from the Oscar-winning “Free Solo” duo of Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin.

The couple, married with two kids, tell this extraordinary saga with its still-incredible happy ending through re-enactments, never-before-seen footage and cooperation from an international cast of volunteers, the operation’s unsung heroes.

“Jimmy and I were riveted by the story and watched beat by beat the highs, the lows,” said Vasarhelyi, 42, in a joint Zoom interview.

They began over a year after the rescue. “We chased this uplifting story,” she said. “But also, there are very few positive nonfiction Asian stories and as Asian-American filmmakers, here is one that we were in a unique position to listen really closely to everyone involved.”

That includes two years negotiating with the Thai Navy Seals whose input — and footage — were crucial.

“It was incredibly challenging. Where in fiction filmmaking you can write your way out of a problem, in nonfiction the obstacles inspire the craft.

“We weren’t there for the principal action and no civilian was permitted to film inside the cave. So there was ‘no footage’ and it just became this hunt, like a forensic investigation of combing through all the media. CNN would have one angle and a local Thai website has another, so maybe we have two shots now.

“When I was in Thailand,” she continued, “people just began sending us footage. They knew we were there. Then other sources came forward.”

“You have to remember the Thai Navy Seals are a covert operations team. They don’t advertise what they do,” Chin, 47, said. “So it was a small coup to even get them on camera.

“Then, like when your child just won’t take no for an answer, she flew to Thailand and literally went up to the admiral of the Seals and I’m still unclear how she did it — but she convinced them to give us the footage and appear in the film.”

One of the most emotional ‘You are there!’ moments is when, after 14 days in the stinking cave, the lads will be carried out one-by-one unconscious.

We see Australia’s Dr. Eric Harris, a diver, via his GoPro, film putting the first boy to sleep, packing him in a body shell with his oxygen for the two-and-a-half hour underwater swim to the Thai Seals’ base station where he can be carried out.

“It’s a good example,” Chin said, “of those little moments that were critical to the rest.”

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Ask the Vet: Does my fat cat have diabetes?

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Ask the Vet: Does my fat cat have diabetes?

One of our cats is almost 15 and has recently developed issues that have had her in and out of the ER. We hope you might shed some light on the situation because, while things now seem to be under control, for a while it seemed as if her health was all over the place and we are still confused as to what happened yet relieved that she is stable now. She used to be a heavy cat and had lost at least 6 pounds over three to four months’ time. One day she developed severe lethargy and stopped eating so we were concerned. Of note is that she had also been drinking more water in the previous month. Maybe you know where this leads to. She had been otherwise always healthy and current with check-ups and shots. The ER admitted her and after blood tests and an ultrasound, we were informed that she had moderate to severe pancreatitis and her glucose was elevated. What could have caused the pancreatitis or the possibility of diabetes? They stabilized her quickly and then suddenly the pancreatitis resolved almost immediately, and she came home on insulin for diabetes. After a seizure episode at home returned her to the ER, we adjusted the insulin dose and things are good. Could they have been that confused, and can pancreatitis resolve so quickly? Any information would be appreciated!

You may want to do some independent reading on pancreatitis and diabetes in cats. Both are, as the name suggests, related to the pancreas, which is an organ that produces digestive enzymes that break down foods thereby allowing digestion to take place. It also is the body organ that produces insulin in cells called Beta cells, as well as a few other hormones. Pancreatitis can be caused by eating toxins, having parasites or even trauma including that brought on by inflammatory bowel disease, however the cause is usually unknown. Pancreatitis is an inflammatory condition in which some of the enzymes normally produced are shed almost eating away at local tissues.

In the case of your cat, despite the confusion, I suspect that she may have had an underlying mild pancreatitis for some time that fully manifested itself leading to the acute need for hospitalization. This probably also led to a reduction in insulin production causing diabetes mellitus over the previous month. That your cat was overweight before also likely led to the diabetes. In other words, the situation is complex and both conditions often have an unknown cause.

Pancreatitis in cats can often resolve in two or three days with hospitalized care and IV fluid therapies. Since you do not specify how long the cat was there, I suspect that might have been the case. Insulin dosing can be a challenge and while cats are usually started at a low level, I suspect an initial dose was too high, causing the seizure and the dose was lowered to a manageable level that you have seem to have achieved now. It seems as if good care was given to your cat and I am glad that things are now under control.

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Dear Abby: Sibling questions large funeral during COVID

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Danny V ‘s Thursday Pickorama

Dear Abby: We live in a small town where everyone knows everyone. People here have dropped like flies from COVID-19. My brother recently died from the virus, which is now coursing through his family, including the grandchildren. He was a big presence in our town and held public office.

While everyone else has been delaying memorials until a safer time, his wife (my sister-in-law) is insisting on a church service. We have tried to encourage her to wait, but she says she needs to get this behind her. Because my brother was so popular, we expect the whole town to show up. My siblings are all going, but I am refusing to attend. There will be live-streaming for those who can’t be there in person, which I plan to take advantage of.

How do you get through to people to take this virus seriously, especially since now there are new variants that are even more easily transmitted?

— Responsible Sister in the South

Dear Responsible Sister: Please accept my condolences for the loss of your brother. I am sure his absence will be felt by many members of your community. With COVID-19 continuing to spread, one would think people would accept the necessity to be cautious, even when paying last respects to such an important person as your brother. It’s possible that in her grief your sister-in-law doesn’t fully grasp the fact that what she’s planning could endanger people she cares about.

Talk to the pastor who will officiate at the funeral and relate your concern for public safety. Then ask if there is a way for mourners who show up in person to socially distance during the service. It’s worth a try, and might prevent more tragedy.

Dear Abby: My husband and I have been together for 15 years. Over the last couple of them, he has grown distant. We were living with family for nearly 10 years. At the beginning of the year, we finally got a place of our own, but nothing has changed. He likes to drink his beer after work. I have asked him not to, but he does it anyway. I have caught him in lie after lie about his alcohol intake and jobs he has left in years past.

As long as I go with the flow, everything is fine. When I get upset, he always promises to do better, but it never lasts long. Last month, I caught him messaging another woman and inviting her to lunch. He even texted he would plan a trip and let her know! When I asked about it, he told me he was drunk and it was stupid. Am I overreacting, or is my husband of 15 years no longer into this marriage?

— Anguished in Alabama

Dear Anguished: You are not overreacting. Whether your husband is drinking because he’s no longer “into” your marriage or because he is unhappy about other things going on in his life is anybody’s guess. The question is, are YOU still into this marriage and the person your husband has become? Unless those issues are resolved, your marriage doesn’t stand a chance.


Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at DearAbby.com.

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Today’s child: 11-year-old Yomiah likes to explore

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Today’s child: 11-year-old Yomiah likes to explore

Yomiah is an active and energetic child who demonstrates strong intuition when interacting with others. Yomiah generally appears happy and loves spending time outside on the swings, going for walks, and bouncing on his trampoline. Yomiah likes to explore his surroundings. He loves sensory items and responds well to the caregivers he has involved in his life. One of Yomiah’s favorite foods is bananas. He loves to listen to Christmas music, country music and songs by Mariah Carey and Taylor Swift. He is learning American Sign Language in school and is learning to read Braille.

Legally freed for adoption, Yomiah could be placed in a two-parent family of any constellation that could meet his needs. Caregivers who are patient, nurturing, affectionate and strong advocates would be the best match for him.

Who can adopt?

Can you provide the guidance, love and stability that a child needs?  If you’re at least 18 years old, have a stable source of income and room in your heart, you may be a perfect match to adopt a waiting child. Adoptive parents can be single, married or partnered; experienced or not; renters or homeowners; LGBTQ singles and couples.

The process to adopt a child from foster care requires training, interviews and home visits to determine if adoption is right for you, and if so, to help connect you with a child or sibling group that your family will be a good match for.

To learn more about adoption from foster care, call the Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange at 617-964-6273 or go to mareinc.org. The sooner you call, the sooner a waiting child will have a permanent place to call home.

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Person to Person: How to protect yourself against adult bullies

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Person to Person: How to protect yourself against adult bullies

Do people you know make comments about an ugly divorce you experienced? Do your in-laws tell secrets about your spouse that cause embarrassment for both of you?

If so, you’ve experienced adult bullying. It’s hurtful, and it can cause you decades of bad feelings. To protect yourself, think ahead.

“Jealous people can carry some very sharp sticks,” says a psychologist we’ll call Jason. “Those who see you as happy, moving on with your life and financially secure can be mean. It pays to practice going temporarily deaf when certain people are around.”

Jason says that adults bullying each other follows the same patterns as teenagers bullying each other. But the key is to avoid the bullies as much as possible. Attend family functions, but simply keep your distance. Do decide which individuals are friends or foes.

“Mean people are very unhappy people,” says Jason. “I’ve heard all kinds of stories about women cutting down other women in family groups. Insults from calling someone fat to making fun of family members who aren’t having luck with getting pregnant are common. The ones doing the insulting are not satisfied with their own lives.”

It pays to live life from your own perspective. Stay in control of your own goals and plans. Seeking approval from other adults is a dangerous way to live.

“My 30-year-old son is a full-time musician,” says a nurse practitioner we’ll call Liz. “My family members always made fun of him and labeled him as a loser. Last year, a top music publisher chose three of his songs for a very famous singer. My son is now making more money than anyone in the family.”

If someone is making fun of your lifestyle or choices in life, remember to be true to yourself. Ask yourself the following questions:

Where do I want to be 20 years from now? To get where you want to go, you have to focus like a laser beam. Getting distracted by bullies is not an option.

What daily routine do I enjoy? Your overall lifestyle must support what you’re trying to accomplish. That’s why you have to plan the “rhythm” of each day. This harmony protects your mental health.

Is my lifestyle hurting anyone else? As long as your goals and projects aren’t injuring your spouse or family, you have the right to stick to your chosen path. Review what’s going on periodically, and do make changes if you have to.

“When I started a home remodeling business, my two brothers-in-law made fun of me,” says a small business owner we’ll call Tyler. “They are stuck working for other contractors, but I had the nerve to borrow money and hire my own crew.”

Tyler says that reaching for more always causes conflict. Every single time you do something, there will be somebody who doesn’t like it.

He’s absolutely correct. Each of us make others look a little inferior if we’re trying something different. People can grow jealous of you because there’s a chance you will succeed.

“Make sure you like yourself, feel comfortable within your own skin, and desire to invest your time in reaching your own unique goals,” says a career coach we’ll call Robert. “When you feel good about yourself, you can look any bully in the eye and ask, ‘Well, what’s eating you today? Do you need some new goals?’ ”

Avoiding bullies doesn’t mean we can’t confront them. “By asking a question of the bully,” says Robert, “you’re giving that person a little shove backwards. There’s nothing wrong with that.”

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GA-20 is a magical blues trio

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GA-20 is a magical blues trio

Alligator Records founder Bruce Iglauer heard something magical in the sound of New England band GA-20. He wasn’t the first to fall under the blues trio’s spell.

“Bruce has seen us in Chicago the last time we went through and really liked us,” guitarist Matt Stubbs told the Herald. “He reached out in July of 2020 about working with Alligator but we were already committed to Colemine.”

This is a good problem for a band. Alligator, a definitive Chicago blues label, wanted GA-20 but Colemine, a hot soul label centered on vinyl, already had GA-20 signed. Stubbs got the idea that maybe both labels could get something out of a unique collaboration. He was right and the two companies came together for the band’s new album, “Try  It …You Might Like It! GA-20 Does Hound Dog Taylor.”

“We were at home, had no tour dates, and we had a couple records of original music already done, but were holding off releasing that stuff until we could support it with a tour,” Stubbs said. “I emailed both labels with this idea of a tribute record to Hound Dog and I wanted both labels to be part of it.”

Alligator has been celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and the landmark release of Taylor’s “Hound Dog Taylor and the HouseRockers” in 1971. Since the band’s founding in 2017, GA-20 has been championing Chicago blues with the same fire and chaos as Taylor — like many acts of the style, GA-20 has no bassist and is rounded out by guitarist/vocalist Pat Faherty and drummer Tim Carman.

Listening to the two records back-to-back, two LPs separated by 50 years, you can hear the same energy pulsing through them. (Fans and radio agree, “Try  It …You Might Like It!” has been burning up the blues sales and airplay charts.)

“I got to talk to Bruce about how he produced those first few Hound Dog records,” Stubbs said. “I got all the information from Bruce about how those sessions were, all the gear, how they miked it, what the mood in the room was, because I was producing our record. I built a studio at my house, had an engineer, Matt Girard, come in, and we recorded the record in November in about a day and a half. We did ten songs all live in the room in about two or three takes.”

Stubbs and Faherty formed the band when Stubbs found himself with some unexpected free time when his regular boss, blues legend Charlie Musselwhite, spent a year on the road with Ben Harper. Since then, they haven’t wasted time. The trio writes and records at a quick clip and have jumped back into live dates. The big homecoming gig will be Brighton Music Hall on Dec. 17 but before that the weeks will be spent between Rochester and Kansas City, Albuquerque and Alberta.

“This October it’s six nights a week on tour, about a week off in November, and then six nights a week again, come home in December for the Brighton Music Hall show, then the holidays, then in January it’s six nights a week all the way through February.”

It’s nice to see Stubbs and the band this busy (it’s nice to see any band this busy). And it’s equally great to know that GA-20 has a few albums of original tunes in the can.

“During the lockdown we had one record totally done and ended up doing three more,” Stubbs said.


For details and tickets, go to ga20band.com.

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