Categories
Travel

National Native American Veterans Memorial Now Open

In 2013, Congress passed legislation authorizing the National Museum of the American Indian to create a National Native American Veterans Memorial to give “all Americans the opportunity to learn of the proud and courageous tradition of service of Native Americans in the Armed Forces of the United States.”

The Memorial opened on November 11, 2020 on the grounds of the National Museum of the American Indian. Kevin Gover, the Museum’s director, explained in The Washington Post that the “memorial brings long overdue recognition to the tens of thousands of American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians who have served in peace and war for two and a half centuries.”

National Native American Veterans Memorial, Washington, DC © David H. Enzel 2020

The Memorial was designed by Harvey Pratt, a member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma and a Southern Cheyenne Peace Chief. Pratt is an artist, Marine Corps Vietnam veteran, and retired forensic artist. Pratt designed the memorial in partnership with award-winning architectural firm Butzer Architects and Urbanism.

Categories
Statistics

Gross Debt – Selected Countries

CountryGross Debt
as a % of GDP
Japan266
Italy162
United States131
France119
Canada115
United Kingdom108
Germany73
China (PRC)62
Switzerland49
Russian Federation19

SourceIMF October 2020

Categories
Audiobooks

Martin Walker Mysteries

Om Malik recommended a series of mystery books by Martin Walker. Malik said Martin’s “tales of a provincial policeman in the South of France are like a nice glass of chilled wine.” Eric Asimov, The New York Times wine critic, described Mr. Walker’s books as:

rich in atmosphere and personality, with characters bound by the tenacious strictures of history and memory. And almost without fail, everything stops for lunch. It’s impossible to read a Bruno novel without getting hungry and thirsty.

That sounded like a great break during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Martin is a journalist. He divides his time between Washington DC and the Perigord region in the southeast of France.

Martin’s Bruno, Chief of Police series of novels depicts a village policeman named Benoît “Bruno” Courrèges. Bruno is a gourmet cook and former soldier who was wounded on a peacekeeping mission in the Balkans. Bruno loves his region of France. He’s also a compassionate and moral police officer who has a gun but never wears it.

I started with the audiobook version of the first novel in the series entitled Bruno, Chief of Police. This is historical fiction. I learned a lot about the French resistance during WWII (Le Maquis). The descriptions of life and food in rural France are fun and refreshing. The mystery is good. And there is a touch of romance to boot.

There are 13 audiobooks in the series so I am happy to have 12 more audiobooks to mine.

All the books in the series are narrated by Robert Ian Mackenzie, an English actor who did a fine job narrating the first audiobook in the series.

I’m happy that Malik brought this series to my attention through his fine blog. I needed a nice glass of chilled wine.

Categories
Music

Lara Fabian: ‘Lockdown Sessions’

During the COVID pandemic, Lara Fabian created a new album of music called Lockdown Sessions. It is available exclusively through the LaraFabian.com store. Pre-orders are being accepted now. The album is set for release in December 2020. 

I just placed an order.

Categories
Music

Remembering Michel LeGrand

Ever since I was a boy, my ambition has been to live completely surrounded by music. My dream is not to miss out anything. That’s why I’ve never settled on one musical discipline. I love playing, conducting, singing and writing, and in all styles. So I turn my hand to everything – not just a bit of everything. Quite the opposite. I do all these activities at once, seriously, sincerely and with deep commitment.

Michel LeGrand

Michel LeGrand (1932-2019) wrote the scores for more than 250 films including The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964) starring Catherine Deneuve and Yentl (1983), a creation of Barbra Streisand.

He recorded more than 100 albums, with Maurice Chevalier, Kiri Te Kanawa, Sarah Vaughan and Lena Horne among others. Many performers covered his music including Frank Sinatra and Sting.

It’s remarkable that one person could create so much beauty.

The Guardian Obituary

Categories
Music

Bing Crosby Singing in French

Bing Crosby (1903-1977) sings mainly in French about Paris in this wonderful album. Crosby recorded the album in Paris on May 16, 1953. The orchestrations were by Paul Durand (1907-1977) who wrote Je suis seule ce soir which is in the soundtrack of Midnight in Paris. Crosby’s accent isn’t great but it really doesn’t matter. The love comes through.

Apple Music