Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Happy New Year 2020 from the Space Alien

The Space Alien wishes all Loyal Readers a Happy and Healthy New Year!  


Once again the Space Alien invites you, wherever you are, to join in a toast of sparkling grape juice to welcome the New Year with joyous celebration!    

May the year 2020 be one of great and beneficent vision for our leaders and for each one of us as well!  
  

The Space Alien also urges Loyal Readers to consider those whose holidays may not be as joyous.  Chicago's Food Bank, the Greater Chicago Food Depository, does this now and each day of the year!   Learn more here:
http://www.chicagofoodbank.org.

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Friday, December 20, 2019

The Space Alien Celebrates Three Holidays

The Space Alien glanced at the calendar on the wall and had to take a deep breath to calm down!
Some exciting holidays that occur close to each other will be at the SAME TIME this year!
Christmas, based on the Gregorian solar calendar,  would fall on December 25th as always.  

In 2019, Hanukkah, based on the ancient  Jewish lunar calendar, would begin on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev, or at sundown on the evening of December 22.  

And Kwanzaa would be celebrated on December 26.

The Space Alien always looks forward to these holidays that brighten the darkest days of winter.   And the prospect of their occurring so close together leaves the Space Alien dizzy with excitement. 

The beautiful lights of this season never fail to spark joy in the Space Alien who often admires them during flights over our nation's capital! 

So many wonderful memories of years past!




The The White House Christmas Tree would be in place, and the National Christmas tree as well!
But there was even more!  The Space Alien could not resist memories of earlier days in the White House.



The First Lady, with family and friends, would light the White House Menorah! 






And the First Family would celebrate Kwanzaa! 
How busy the President and First Lady would be at this time of year with all these duties, thought the Space Alien.

The Space Alien loves the wonderful holiday customs, and especially the delicious food!

-- Fruitcakes loaded with sweet fruit and nuts, and  sometimes soaked in rum that makes the Space Alien just a bit silly, but not in a bad way!


-- Crispy potato pancakes fried in oil commemorating the miracle of the oil for the lamps of Hanukkah, loaded with sweet applesauce and rich sour cream and generously sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar!  






Chocolate Santas and tiny bags of chocolate coins!  





And for seven days of Kwanzaa the Space Alien celebrates family, community and culture with gifts and feasts! 



And for all of these wonderful holidays there will be thoughtful gifts for everyone! 












What a special time this is!
The Space Alien loves to play dreydl, 
spinning the little top to win a prize!
Even Santa joins in on the fun! 






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Best of all are the Miracles! 

There is nothing the Space Alien loves more than a good miracle, and this season is full of them!     

A very special birth in dangerous circumstances! 

 


A victory of a small group of people over a mighty ruler who would deny their religious freedom! 




 Loyal Readers will recall that the Space Alien (along with your Editor) sings each year in Chicago's great Do-It-Yourself-Messiah, lending assistance by moving swiftly from section to section to help faltering singers with their parts. 

https://spacealiengazette.blogspot.com/2018/12/the-space-alien-applies-for-holiday-job.html  

And of course the Space Alien always helps Santa bring gifts to boys and girls (of all ages)!
https://spacealiengazette.blogspot.com/2017/12/the-space-alien-helps-santa.html

On Christmas Eve, the Space Alien loves to join carolers on the streets of the city, wearing warm, colorful clothing, and going from door to door bringing holiday cheer. 
Soon the Space Alien will light the first Hanukkah candles to shine through windows to brighten dark streets, and then join friends to play dreydl and sing lively Hanukkah songs to celebrates the courage of the Maccabees and their heroic fight for religious liberty! 

https://spacealiengazette.blogspot.com/2017/11/the-space-alien-celebrates-hanukkah.html

https://spacealiengazette.blogspot.com/2016/12/the-space-alien-hanukkah-visitor.html

The Space Alien is delighted to know that when winter is the darkest, the lights of Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa will brighten our homes and neighborhoods, while delicious food and lovely gifts, enjoyed together with beloved family and friends, bring joy to all.  "That's the best miracle of all!" exclaims the Space Alien!  

The Space Alien and the entire Editorial Staff of the Space Alien Gazette wish Loyal Readers much happiness and some truly special miracles during this holiday season and in the coming year!
  
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Wednesday, November 27, 2019

The Space Alien Prepares for Thanksgiving 2019

Thanksgiving 2019 will be a busy one for the Space Alien.  So much to do, especially since Your Editor has not been performing customary tasks at her usual warp-speed efficiency.  

But never fear!  The Space Alien insists Your Editor will not lose her job at the Space Alien Gazette, as her help is still needed with spelling and punctuation.

The Space Alien is making a list of things to be thankful for, and urges Loyal Readers to do this too!  

Here's the the beginning of the Space Alien's list:


Your Editor is thankful that she will be with her family for Thanksgiving, and she and the Space Alien and the entire staff of the Space Alien Gazette wish all our Loyal Readers a peaceful and loving Thanksgiving.  



Saturday, October 26, 2019

The Space Alien Addresses the Newspaper Ban

Hallowe'en was approaching and Your Editor asked the Space Alien about this year's costume.

"This Hallowe'en I'll be dressed as a United States Senate Page!" announced the Space Alien.  "In fact, I'm even working undercover right now disguised as a Senate Page in Washington, D.C.!"


"What?  Who appointed you, and why?" 

"Several Washington officials who preferred not to be named asked me to serve and I'll be on a special mission for them."

"What do you mean?"  

"Well, you know the President has banned government subscriptions to the New York Times and Washington Post."

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/10/donald-trump-times-post-subscriptions

"Yes," said Your Editor, "I read about that!"  


"So, with my easy access to federal buildings disguised as a Senate Page,  I'll be carrying the usual load of documents, but hidden among them will be copies of the New York Times and Washington Post.  And I'll also have flashlights for White House staffers who prefer to take no chances by reading their copies secretly in bathroom stalls!"   


"You will be very convincing!" agreed Your Editor, examining the Space Alien's disguise as a Senate Page.  

The Space Alien, cleverly disguised as a 
Senate Page, brings the New York Times & Washington Post to Federal buildings where subscriptions were recently banned.
"I thought so too," said The Space Alien. "And this will be a twofer because besides smuggling these major newspapers of record to places that may no longer receive subscriptions, I can wear the same costume and go dressed as a United States Senate Page to Hallowe'en Parties as well!"

"Very practical," agreed Your Editor.


And so, Loyal Reader, if you attend any Hallowe'en parties and encounter someone dressed as a United States Senate Page, that is likely to be the Space Alien!  Just ask, and perhaps there will be an extra copy of the New York Times or Washington Post for you as well!  


All of us here in the unbelievably busy offices of the Space Alien Gazette wish our Loyal Readers a Happy Hallowe'en!  

###


Editor's Note:  Your Editor would like to remind Loyal Readers that when you read the Space Alien Gazette you may not even need the New York Times or Washington Post.

Editor's Note: A Loyal Reader asked about the real Senate Page who let the Space Alien wear her suit as a disguise.  We are happy to report that she was able to take the day off, put on a pretty flowered silk dress and join friends for lunch at American CafĂ© near the Capitol. 

Saturday, September 28, 2019

The Space Alien Welcomes 5780

Your Editor found the Space Alien surrounded by newspapers from all over the world.


"What are you doing?" she cried.  "Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown September 29 this year.  That's this Sunday evening!   I thought you would be baking a honey cake or practicing your shofar, as you always do at this time of year!"

The Space Alien looked up sadly.

"I know, but I'm so worried about something else!"

"What is that?" asked Your Editor.

"You know that Rosh Hashanah celebrates the Creation of the World, a wonderful world, with so much beauty and life-giving support!"

"Of course," answered Your Editor.  "And you have reminded us of this before!"  

And here, Loyal Reader, if you have mislaid it, is an example:  

http://spacealiengazette.blogspot.com/2016/09/a-new-year-for-space-alien.html

The Space Alien continued:

"Now I'm reading that because of Man's thoughtlessness, we may be destroying our life-giving world!"

"What do you mean?" cried Your Editor.

"Well, you know I've been concerned about Climate Change for a long time!"

"I know!  You nearly left Earth for good because of that, but you decided to stay and fight it."

https://spacealiengazette.blogspot.com/2019/03/the-space-alien-considers-move.html

"Well, it's much more serious than I thought even then!" said the Space Alien.  "And I'm not alone in this!  On September 20, young people (and many of their elders as well) marched in cities all over the U.S. and all over the world to call attention to the devastation resulting from this man-made disaster.  I did all I could to support them."  

https://news.yahoo.com/skip-school-strike-students-across-114236428.html


Your Editor shook her head.  "You know that some people think that Climate Change is just a hoax!" she said.

"Sad but true," answered the Space Alien. "But overwhelmingly, responsible climate scientists understand that this is a very real threat and some believe that we may even have passed a point of no return." 

The Space Alien scurried to a nearby computer and quickly found more information about Climate Change in hopes that Loyal Readers would do so as well.  

Since many Loyal Readers may spend time in thoughtful reflection over the next ten days, here are some more sources that might be of particular interest:  

1. Climate Change; a Jewish Issue:  
https://www.jpost.com/Jerusalem-Report/Climate-change-is-a-Jewish-issue-597230

2. Published for a different occasion but equally applicable here:   https://orjewishlife.com/SHOULD-AVERTING-A-CLIMATE-CATASTROPHE-BE-A-JEWISH-PRIORITY-ON-TISHA-BAV/

3. How could we invest our resources?  One example:
https://www.jta.org/2018/04/17/united-states/brooklyn-synagogue-pulls-money-chase-bank-promote-climate-change-will-others-follow-suit

4. Concern in Israel today:
https://www.jta.org/2017/06/02/united-states/israels-government-is-right-wing-but-its-taking-climate-change-seriously

5. Innovation in Israel:
 https://www.israel21c.org/tel-aviv-museum-explores-creative-answers-to-climate-change/

"What a meaningful list!" exclaimed Your Editor. "You truly did a mitzvah compiling it!"

"I tried my best," answered the Space Alien.
"And, this year, in addition to reflecting, as I always do, on how I can be a better, kinder, more helpful Space Alien, I will also consider how I can do my part to keep this wondrous creation, our planet Earth, safe and livable!"

The Space Alien, Your Editor, and the Entire Editorial and Production Staff of the Space Alien Gazette wish You and Your Dear Ones a Good, Sweet and Healthy Year!


************

Sunday, September 1, 2019

The Space Alien Bids Farewell to Summer

As summer draws to a close the Space Alien enjoys sailing on Long Island Sound where crowds of spectators gather on the shore to watch yacht races where the Space Alien excels as skipper at the helm of a specially designed schooner.       

The Space Alien also loves to frolic in the waves!   When open water seems too tame, the Space Alien scurries to Chicago's Art Institute for more exciting adventures in the surf!

But there is nothing more refreshing than a relaxing sunset swim off Chicago's fashionable Oak Street Beach!

The Space Alien hopes Loyal Readers -- whether boating or swimming -- have enjoyed many delightful days on the water this summer!  
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Sunday, August 18, 2019

The Space Alien at Chicago's 2019 Air and Water Show

Once again the Space Alien participated in Chicago's famed Air and Water Show, held this year on Saturday and Sunday, August 17 and 18.  

Cloudy weather, rain and even thunderstorms on Saturday did not deter the brave Space Alien and the other participants in this amazing spectacle.   

This was the scene last year, when huge crowds used umbrellas as sunshades.  
This year a sparser crowd assembled, as seen here at popular Oak Street Beach.  Low clouds were visible against the background of the majestic John Hancock Building, and umbrellas offered little protection from rain.
This in no way dampened the spirits of those
watching this show and eagerly awaiting the Space Alien's appearance!  

Early in the show the Space Alien tried out the new USAF F-22 Raptor.  You can see this amazing plane in action here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVPQiadgnl8 

The Space Alien was invited to assist the Raptor pilot in the cockpit during this act.  While security concerns prevented this from being photographed, the Space Alien was able to find more information about this astonishing aircraft. 
https://www.airplaneupdate.com/2019/04/lockheed-martin-f-22.html 
The Space Alien was so impressed with the performance of the Raptor that upon learning that the purchase price was just $120 million urged your Editor to consider this, saying:  "Just think how much more efficiently we could deliver the news!"  

Your Editor was dubious, but still appreciated the Space Alien's concern for getting this publication to our Loyal Readers as efficiently as possible!

But there was even more excitement to come!  Once again Sean Tucker performed amazing stunts in his plane, Oracle

Here is an example of Sean Tucker's act: 
https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=aaplw&p=video+oracle+chicago+air#id=17&vid=6bc5279a3de62fbad052ec24d9dc8975&action=view 

And here is the Space Alien participating in last year's show! 
This year, at the request of Mr. Tucker, the Space Alien did not ride on the wing but flew alongside during Tucker's maneuvers. 
(Your Editor believes Mr. Tucker's request had to do with the Space Alien eating lunch in mid-flight last year, spilling crumbs and kombucha all over the wing!)

Later in the show the Space Alien thrilled the crowd in a specially designed aircraft: 

First the Space Alien flew right side up! 



And then, to the cheers of the crowd, the Space Alien flew upside down! 


This daring act has deservedly become one of the most popular at Chicago's Air and Water Show!  


(Loyal readers may recall pictures of this act from years past, as not much changes from year to year at this Chicago summertime tradition.)

We'll look forward to this exciting event again next year! 

To visit previous articles about this exciting show:

2018:

2016:

NOTE: Thunderstorms may delay or even prevent the opening of this show on Sunday, August 18.  But in any event the Space Alien wants loyal readers to have this special 2019 Air Show issue!

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Friday, July 19, 2019

The Space Alien Honors the Moon Landing

This weekend the Space Alien honors the brave American Astronauts who were the first men on the Moon fifty years ago. 

Loyal Readers, especially younger ones, can read more about this in many places, including:  https://www.space.com/16758-apollo-11-first-moon-landing.html

The Space Alien traveled independently at a respectful distance from the Apollo 11 spacecraft carrying U. S. Astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin to the Moon.  
While not qualifying as an astronaut, the Space Alien was proud to have been included in this historic event, as shown in this photograph, exclusive to the Space Alien Gazette.
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Note: A Loyal Reader reminds us that Lieutenant Armstrong was famously taciturn after his journey, and suggests that it is therefore not surprising that he never mentioned the extra subject who snuck* into one of his previously unprocessed photos, and further notes that nobody ever asked.   

And this same Loyal Reader also found it not surprising that Buzz Aldrin, always focused on the task at hand, noticed nothing but the flag as he saluted!

This is why Your Editor recommends that Loyal Readers rely on the Space Alien Gazette as their most reliable source of unreliable facts!  
____________

*Loyal Readers questioning the use of "snuck" as the past tense of the verb "to sneak" can explore this important grammar point here:
While Your Editor remains uncomfortable with "snuck" she will leave it stet. 

Friday, July 12, 2019

The Space Alien Considers ICE Activity

Your Editor found the Space Alien whimpering in bed.  

"What's wrong?" asked Your Editor.


"I just saw on TV that Immigration and Customs Enforcement -- ICE -- will be rounding up anyone without the right paperwork and taking them away, and I don't have any papers at all!"


The Space Alien's Greatest Fear

"You know I wouldn't let this happen to you," said Your Editor, trying hard to be reassuring, despite serious concerns.  

"Why, you pose no threat to our country," she continued, "and besides, you are imaginary, so they probably wouldn't even know where to look for you!  And wouldn't it be irrational to spend valuable resources searching for something that posed no threat?"

The Space Alien exhaled in relief.  

"You're right!  Our government would never do anything irrational!"  

And with that, the Space Alien fell into a peaceful sleep. 

Your Editor, however,  remains concerned.  

Read more here: 
https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/11/politics/ice-raids-explainer/index.html

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

The Space Alien Celebrates our Nation's Birthday

The Space Alien loves to participate in reenactments of great historical events, especially on July 4, Independence Day.  

















Besides enjoying a picnic, the Space Alien will study the Declaration of Independence and consider its meaning for today, and how best to enhance life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all.  

Here is the Space Alien's reading list: 

1. The complete text of the Declaration of Independence from the National Archives:

https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/declaration-transcript

2. More detailed information about the history and text of the Declaration of Independence: 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Declaration_of_Independence

3. Additional (and most interesting) history of this remarkable document: 

https://history.state.gov/milestones/1776-1783/declaration 


This issue of the Space Alien Gazette is lovingly dedicated to the memory of my dear Uncle Al who reminded us each year to read the Declaration of Independence on July 4th. 

Thursday, June 20, 2019

The Space Alien Observes the Summer Solstice 2019

June 21, 2019 marks this year's Summer Solstice, sometimes known in the Northern Hemisphere as Midsummer Night.  This is when the sun hangs around until late evening, takes a short nap, and is up again bright and very early the next morning!

The Space Alien loves this time of year when movements of sun and earth combine to produce seemingly endless days.

Most of all, the Space Alien enjoys playing the role of Puck in summer theatre productions of Shakespeare's play, A Midsummer Night's Dream.


The Space Alien as Puck in Elizabethan Garb


The Space Alien as Puck in Rustic Garb

If you have forgotten some details of this play, please review this account by the Royal Shakespeare Company (with a helpful video!):
https://www.rsc.org.uk/a-midsummer-nights-dream/the-plot

If you still find this plot too involved to comprehend, don't worry; so does the Space Alien!

But some confusion has never hindered the Space Alien's joyful participation in these summer theatre productions!  And, as you can see from these exclusive photos, the Space Alien is totally believable as Puck, the naughty mischief-maker!


While Loyal Readers may not have a chance to see a production featuring the Space Alien as Puck, we hope many will have an opportunity to attend a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream in their own communities.  

To enhance your enjoyment, the Space Alien recommends these interesting articles about Puck at the websites below!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puck_(A_Midsummer_Night%27s_Dream)

and 

https://www.thoughtco.com/character-analysis-puck-midsummer-nights-dream-2984577
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Sunday, May 26, 2019

The Space Alien Observes Memorial Day 2019

Your Editor noticed the Space Alien becoming quite agitated while watching the news. 
  
"What's wrong?" asked Your Editor. 

"I had planned to observe Memorial Day by paying respects at the graves of brave men and women who died protecting our country's freedom," said the Space Alien.  "But I see that the President has declared our free press to be an Enemy of the People!" 

"I saw that as well," answered Your Editor sadly.   

"Would that be something like what happened in An Enemy of the People, by the great Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen?" asked the Space Alien?

"Yes," answered Your Editor. "Back in 1882 Ibsen wrote this play about a doctor who was called the Enemy of the People because he warned that the water in a local natural spa that was important to the town's economy had become polluted and could make people sick."

(Loyal Readers seeking more information about this play that inspired Steven Spielberg's 1975 movie "Jaws" may click here:   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/An_Enemy_of_the_People.)


The Space Alien thought deeply about this for a moment and then spoke.

"So you are saying that just as the townspeople in An Enemy of the People attacked the doctor for reporting a public health hazard, our President has attacked our free press, calling it an Enemy of the People for investigating and reporting presidential misdeeds that could endanger us all?"

"That's right" said Your Editor.  "And our President has even called this reporting 'treason,' a crime punishable by death!"

"Well, the President might be mistaken charging the press with treason for reporting on this behavior," said the Space Alien, reaching for a volume of the U. S. Code on a nearby shelf.   "I was just reading this:  https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2381.  I hope our Loyal Readers will examine it too!"

"But this is important news," the Space Alien continued," and I must report it immediately in the Space Alien Gazette!"

"Be careful," warned Your Editor, "because the President might try to declare YOU to be An Enemy of the People as well!"

"No worries," said the Space Alien.  "Remember, I'm imaginary and only live in the hearts and minds of you and our Loyal Readers!   I will get on this right away.  But first I shall pay my respects at the graves of brave men and women who died protecting our freedom, including our freedoms of speech and press." 




The Space Alien Gazette respectfully urges Loyal Readers to take time on Memorial Day to remember those who gave their lives to secure the freedoms we cherish. 

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Saturday, May 11, 2019

The Space Alien Celebrates Mother's Day and a Birthday

The Space Alien looked at the calendar and saw that the next day was Mother's Day!  

"Oh my goodness," exclaimed the Space Alien, "tomorrow is Mother's Day AND My Editor's birthday as well!  Both on the same day!  This has only happened a few times since she's been a mother, so it's really special!"

I don't know if I even have a mother," continued the Space Alien, thinking out loud, "but My Editor" (who is, Loyal Reader, known here as "Your Editor"), has been like a mother to me!  I don't know if I even have a real birthday, but My Editor always lets me celebrate hers!"

"But My Editor is SO OLD," murmured the Space Alien!  "If I made a birthday cake with so many candles I could burn down the house!  But I know she'll love my portrait in a beautiful frame!" 


So the Space Alien whooshed downtown to buy a picture frame.  "I'll pay with her credit card as usual; it's the thought that counts!"


Then the Space Alien found a friendly photographer to take a photograph to put into the beautiful frame.  

"I know she'll treasure this more than anything!" exclaimed the Space Alien! 



But the Space Alien did not stop here!


"I want My Editor to be healthy, so besides my picture I'll bring some delicious, healthful dishes from Amitabul, a restaurant she loves!"  





Owner Bill Choi helped the Space Alien select a perfect dinner!





The Space Alien left with many delicious plant-based dishes, including a platter of special dinner pancakes! 





"Oooh so yummy!" exclaimed the Space Alien.



Visit https://amitabulvegan.com!!  
You'll love it and you may even see the Space Alien there!  

And to all you great Moms out there, all of us here at the Space Alien Gazette wish you a Happy Mother's Day!