Your Republican frontrunners for the presidential nomination

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CPAC met a few miles south of me this past week, and the conservatives decided who they preferred as their presidential candidate. Honestly, I see at most two viable candidates, and neither one is anywhere near the lead.

Cue the circus music:

Yes, I’m being too harsh:

Phil Robertson, the man infamous for his role on the A&E reality series “Duck Dynasty” and for his controversial comments on gay sex, gave a speech on Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference that was long, bizarre, and at times even a little incoherent.

As Robertson was introduced at CPAC, it was noted that he was the recipient of the 2015 Andrew Breitbart Defender of the First Amendment Award. He then used his First Amendment freedom to speak for nearly half an hour, touching on off-brand topics like sexually transmitted diseases, Nazis, communism, and Jesus.

Strike that, I’m not being harsh enough. The strange thing isn’t what he said. It’s that he got an award as a defender of free speech.

A few charts to help you through the Oscars tonight

For those of you who enjoy looking at the past, here’s an infographic that shows the films with the most nominations and the most wins (click throughout to enlarge):

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For you fashion mavens, here’s an updated chart of all the gowns worn by the best actress winners (check out Joanne Woodward and Julie Christie for the best acting seamstress award):

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And finally, if you’re in an Oscar pool and have to wager on the winner in all of the categories except best actress and best supporting actress, put your money on the middle-age white guy:

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And the winner is …

Time Machine: San Francisco 1906

I haven’t done a Time Machine entry in a while, so here’s a look at life in America more than 100 years ago. This is Market Street in San Francisco, on April 14, 1906, as taken from the front of a trolley car. Horse drawn carriages, cars dodging in and out without any sense of safety and people just walking in the middle of the street. Also notice how well-dressed folks are.

The first thing that strikes me is the total anarchy of the street. The automobile drivers are lunatics. People just walk out in the middle of the street. Kids play chicken with the trolley. How many bodies were they picking up off the streets every day? This is not safe. But you sense this is what life was like throughout American cities. The streets were packed and lawless. People survived.

Some history, from YouTube:

The origin of the film was an enigma for many decades, and it was long thought to have been shot in September of 1905, after being dated as such by the Library of Congress based on the state of construction of several buildings. However, in 2009 and 2010, film historian David Kiehn, co-founder of Niles Film Museum in Niles, California, dated the film to the spring of 1906 from automobile registrations and weather records. Kiehn eventually found promotional materials from the film’s original release and dated the film to April 14th, 1906, and finally gave credit to the filmmakers, the Mills Brothers.

Four days later, the great San Francisco Earthquake hit. Thousands dead. The city destroyed.

And the city looked like this:

It’s the same route, but notice that the film is reversed.