Saturday, October 6, 2018

North Dakota #1 In Lignite Production -- October 6, 2018

Link here.
North Dakota overtook Texas as the country's top producer of lignite coal in the first half of 2018, as power plant retirements led to mine closures in the Lone Star state.
Vistra Energy Corp.'s decision to close three of its lignite-fired power plants contributed to production cutbacks, along with Westmoreland Coal Co. shutting down its Jewett mine. "
Texas produced 11.4 million tons of lignite coal in the half, compared to North Dakota's 14.4 million tons. Overall, lignite coal production in the U.S. dropped by 14.9% from the first half of 2017 to the same period of 2018.
Mistaken Identity?
Mistaken Recollection?

From Understanding The Great Gatsby, Dalton Gross and MaryJean Gross, c. 1998, p. 8:
Another conservative thinker of the 1920s (in attitude, not, certainly in poetic technique) was T. S. Eliot, whose The Wasteland (1922) became the most influential poem in English of the decade. Eliot, who was going through agonizing spiritual and emotional struggles when this poem was written, announced in 1929 that he had become a member of the Church of England and a royalist in politics. The theme of The Wasteland is the spiritual sterility of modern life, symbolized by images of desert, dust, rock, and decay, in a world waiting for rain that may or may not come. The rain is a deliberately ambiguous symbol that seems to stand for life, fertility, spiritual fulfillment, and salvation, but may also at the same time somehow be menacing, since it is sometimes associated with death.
The German thinker Oswald Spengler argued in The Decline of the West (1918 - 19922) that cultures had an approximate life span of one thousand years and that Western culture, which began in the tenth century AD was now dying.
Both Eliot and Spengler had a profound influence on Fitzgerald. Fitzgerals admired Eliot greatly and sent him a copy of The Great Gatsby. Eliot responded by saying that he thought the book was "the first step that American fiction had taken since Henry James." Eliot's approval may have been based partially on the fact that the novel is saturated with symbols and images from The Wasteland.
Spengler's influence was perhaps as strong as Eliot's. In 1940 Fitzgerald claimed ot have read Spengler while writing The Great Gatsby and to have permanently affected by him. About this early reading, however, he was mistaken. The Decline of the West was not translated into English until 1926, after The Great Gatsby was published, and Fitzgerald did not read German. The least attractive explanation for this discrepancy is that Fitzgerald realized that his novel could be taken as Spenglerian and decided to claim that the resemblance was intentional. The more likely explanation is that Fitzgerald read descriptions and analyses of Spengler's work in magazines, and later remembered incorrectly that he read Spengler before he actually did.
I have watched Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby countless times. It is amazing how much I missed, symbolically. The rain is particularly interesting. So is the scene in which Gatsby nearly knocks over a clock during the awkwardness of his reunion with Daisy.

I am absolutely amazed how Luhrman captured, it seems, every important detail in the book.

Young and Beautiful, Lana del Rey

On long cross-country trips, by oneself, one really gets the opportunity to pay attention to the lyrics of the music being played on the radio. This one I've always enjoyed; I never realized how good it actually is/was. Written by a US Army helicopter pilot. Wow.

Help Me Make It Through The Night, Sammi Smith

From wiki:
Smith's recording of the song remains the most commercially successful and most well-known version in the United States. Her recording ranks among the most successful country singles of all time in terms of sales, popularity, and radio airplay. It topped the country singles chart, and was also a crossover hit, reaching number eight on the U.S. pop singles chart.


  1. You are referring to Kris Kristofferson, the helicopter pilot who, early in his carrier flew crews to drilling rigs in the gulf. He learned the trade in the service, which he endured at the bequest of his family who were strong military supporters. He, incidentally, wants the first three lines of Leonard Cohen’s “Like a bird on the wire” on his epitaph. Per Wiki, that is.

    1. Yes, you are correct. And coincidentally, Leonard Cohen is one of my favorite songwriters/singers. Particularly his "Ten New Songs" CD which is now quite old.