|It's the thought that counts|
[Posted by Adam Forrest on Friday, 02/14/14 11:04 am] [Permalink] [Tweet This]
A Valentine's Day greeting to weather forecasters from the florists that couldn't receive their shipments of flowers or were closed altogether on their biggest day of the year because of the epic snowstorm on the East Coast:
How to make a grown astronomer cry
[Posted by Adam Forrest on Tuesday, 12/10/13 5:28 pm] [Permalink] [Related Posts] [Tweet This]
Comet ISON, once optimistically called the comet of the century, has been officially pronounced dead, the victim of a way-too-close brush with the sun. It was barely a year old.
The comet, which excited astronomers and the media as it zipped within 730,000 miles of the sun on Thanksgiving Day, was declared as having bit the cosmic dust at a scientific conference today. Astronomers who had followed the ice ball mourned the loss of the sky show that had promised to dazzle the northern hemisphere during December.
Astronomers had hoped it would survive because while most comets do not make it past close approaches with the sun, some do survive the ordeal. But unlike comets that are "hardened" by several trips around the sun, it seems ISON just couldn't survive its maiden voyage.
As the comet neared its closest approach to the sun, astronomers said they felt a sense of loss. Naval Research Lab astronomer Karl Battams, who headed the observing campaign for the comet, called watching it in those final hours "a process of heartbreak."
Life imitates art
[Posted by Adam Forrest on Friday, 10/18/13 7:57 pm] [Permalink] [Tweet This]
I saw this on one of my daily walks around my neighborhood of Canoga Park last week.
George Harrison fans will understand why this caught my eye.
The lights went out ten years ago today
[Posted by Adam Forrest on Wednesday, 08/14/13 9:32 am] [Permalink] [Tweet This]
On August 14, 2003, the lights went out in much of the Northeastern and Midwestern United States and Southeastern Canada. Affecting 55 million people, it remains today the most widespread blackout in United States history (hurricane Sandy in October, 2012, in comparison, only left 8 million customers without power).
The blackout was primarily caused by a software bug in the alarm system at a control room of a power station in Ohio. What could have been a manageable local blackout quickly cascaded into failure of the electric grid across eight U.S. states and Ontario, Canada.
Some areas lost water pressure because pumps lacked power, causing potential contamination of the water supply, putting four million customers of the Detroit water system under a boil-water advisory for four days. Sewage spills into waterways required beach closures in Cleveland and New York.
Gridlock ensued as Amtrak's Northeast Corridor railroad service was stopped north of Philadelphia, and all trains running into and out of New York City were shut down. Airports were closed and gas stations could not operate without power.
Most of the affected areas did not get power back for two days.
Superman: Man of Boring
[Posted by Adam Forrest on Monday, 06/24/13 9:11 am] [Permalink] [Related Posts] [Tweet This]
I went with a friend last night to see the new Superman movie, Man of Steel. This is not a review, it is just my personal venting. Also, warning: Some of this blog post may be considered SPOILERS.
So, let me just say, that I'm not a really big comic book fan, but I have generally enjoyed modern super-hero movies, including the original Superman movies, and other flicks like Batman and Robin and X-Men, and more recently Spiderman and Captain America.
But Man of Steel gets off to a bad start, I was genuinely bored by the first 45 minutes. OK, we know Zod (that's General Zod to you) is going to be the bad guy, but the film spends way too much time establishing the beginning of the story on the planet Krypton. There's no new information here, only graphic representations of life on Krypton which, frankly, did not impress me.
|The town of Smallville being destroyed in Man of Steel|
When they finally do get to earth, somewhat confusingly interspersed with flashbacks to Clark's childhood, literally all they do for the rest of the film is crash people into stuff, destroy towns and blow stuff up. I wasn't appalled by the violence, I was just extremely tired by it.
I do not generally go to see movies with bloody violence, but for me, occasional blow-em-up violence is OK, for example, the kind of blow-em-up violence in the last two Star Trek films (which I originally disliked for completely different reasons). However, Man of Steel just way overdoes it.
There were some good parts of the movie. Russell Crowe was good as Jor-El, but there wasn't enough of him. Had they done a whole movie about Jor-El starring Russell Crowe, I'd pay good money to see that.
|The world's not ready for you yet, son.|
Similarly, the bits of the movie involving Kevin Coster as Clark's dad and the teenage Clark were interesting and might make a good movie, alas, they already did a whole TV series about that.
I never walk out of movies, but I did last night, with somewhat less than an hour left to go. How does the movie end? I don't know, and I don't care, because nothing in the movie caused me to care about any of those people. I was too distracted by the constant cataclysmic big orange fire-balls.
So, if you like movies with LOTS of stuff that blows up, go see this movie. Otherwise, save your money and watch Captain America on Netflix.
These vitamins don't add up
[Posted by Adam Forrest on Tuesday, 06/11/13 11:52 am] [Permalink] [Related Posts] [Tweet This]
I've been taking these vitamins for about a year, but I just noticed this today.
One A Day is a brand of vitamins that has been popular in the United States since 1940. My doctor has OK'd them, and I enjoy the flavor of these and take them every morning.
However, it just occurred to me today that, compliant with the instructions on the bottle, I take two of these every day.
What?! These are called "One A Day" and you're supposed to take two of them? Does that make sense to anybody? Especially when you consider they could have easily designed these gummies to be bigger so that you'd only have to take one a day.
They could have been marketed under a different brand name, or at least the "One A Day" brand name could have been down-played on the label.
But no, the Bayer Company would rather join with the fast-food industry and confuse us with faulty vitamin math.
Yes, he's dead, but doesn't he look great?
[Posted by Adam Forrest on Saturday, 05/18/13 5:43 pm] [Permalink] [Tweet This]
A Utah man says he has a McDonald's hamburger he bought 14 years ago, and it looks the same as it did the day he bought it.
|All-beef time warp|
David Whipple of St. George, Utah, said he bought the hamburger, topped with a pickle, mustard and ketchup, on July 7, 1999, put the burger in his jacket pocket, discovered it a few years later, and still has it. He says that to this day, it shows no signs of mold, fungus or even a strange odor. The only thing that has changed over the years is that the pickle has disintegrated. He went on to state, "The fact that it has not decomposed shows you how unhealthy it is for children."
But I'm calling B.S. on this story for several reasons: First, if the pickle disintegrated, it would have had to decompose to do that, and I can't believe it did that without creating an odor. Also, the hamburger bun is just bread, even if it's got preservatives in it, all bread goes bad and turns green after a few months.
Most of all, why is eating preservatives that would keep a burger undecomposed for 14 years necessarily a bad thing? Wouldn't it do the same thing for our body, slowing down the aging process and allowing us to live longer?
Coincidentally, McDonald's has also been in the news recently for another reason. Earlier this year, to celebrate Australlia Day, 13 McDonald's franchises in Australia temporarily changed their signs to reflect their Australian nickname.
In the same way that in American urban areas McDonald's is called "Mickey D's", it seems that in Australia, fast food fans call McDonald's "Macca's".
That's funny, because "Macca" is also former Beatle Paul McCartney's nickname. John Lennon can be heard calling him "Macca" on one track of the Beatles Anthology album. But, Paul McCartney is famously a vegetarian, so I wonder if he knows about this, and if so, how he feels about having his name in big letters outside burger joints all over Australia?
Hm... Maybe it's called Macca's because he used to eat there a lot in the sixties, and maybe because of all those preservatives in the burgers, Paul really is dead the way the rumors said he was.
Update: Twinkies and Ho Hos back on the streets this summer
[Posted by Adam Forrest on Friday, 04/26/13 10:36 pm] [Permalink] [Related Posts] [Tweet This]
Twinkie lovers rejoice! Hostess Brands announced today it will reopen its eastern Kansas bakery this summer.
The investment partnership that bought Hostess Brands' snack cake product lines paid $410 million for the rights to the Hostess and Dolly Madison snack cake brands, along with five plants, and says they hope to expand the bakery, aiming for total employment of about 300 people within the next few years.
More than 500 people lost their jobs when Hostess, then in bankruptcy proceedings, closed the plant in Emporia, Kansas, last November following a strike by union bakers. The new Hostess plant will not be unionized.
The new owners of Hostess also own Pabst Blue Ribbon and Vlasic. Do we foresee some interesting new flavored snack cakes on the horizon? Beer flavored Sno Balls? Dill Pickle Ding Dongs?
Um... maybe not.
Our thoughts are with Boston
[Posted by Adam Forrest on Monday, 04/15/13 3:05 pm] [Permalink] [Tweet This]
This afternoon at about 2:50, the unthinkable happened again in Boston at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
This is the first act of terrorism on our homeland since the World Trade Center in 2001. Three people are probably dead, and possibly two hundred injured, and the injuries are horrific, many victims losing limbs.
It's important at times like this, as Americans always do, to stick together, and stand up for the people of Boston to let them know we're all neighbors and we're all in this together.
It's also important to remember that life is precious, and we must never take it for granted. A personal event last month reminded me of that, and we must all remember to live life to its fullest every day, as if it might be your last.
In the daily rat race, it's important to do the every day things that enable us to get by every day, but it's also just as important, perhaps more so, to remember the ones we love every day, and let them know we care about them.
Bostonians are strong, we'll get through this together, and we'll get who's responsible for this heinous atrocity. But while we're offering our support for the people of Boston, it's also really important to hug someone today and tell them that you love them.
End of a radio era in Los Angeles
[Posted by Adam Forrest on Wednesday, 02/27/13 9:30 pm] [Permalink] [Tweet This]
For 27 years they stood as a monument to the memory of the heydey of Top 40 Rock and Roll radio. Today, the towers that used to transmit the signal of Boss Radio KHJ were torn down.
Radio station KHJ went on the air in Los Angeles in 1922, and in 1941 was moved to 930 on the AM dial, where it stayed until it went off the air at midnight on January 31, 1986.
At its height in the sixties and seventies, KHJ started playing rock and roll when programming consultant Bill Drake was brought in to craft KHJ's new Top 40 format in April 1965. It famous disc jockeys included Robert W. Morgan, The Real Don Steele, Charlie Tuna and Machine Gun Kelly. They set the tone for what Top 40 radio was supposed to sound like.
KHJ has undergone several ownership changes since then, and is now owned by a Spanish language broadcaster playing a format it calls "La Ranchera," which broadcasts from towers on a site near downtown L.A.
The two original KHJ towers were 300 feet tall and were located at Venice Blvd. and Fairfax Ave. in Los Angeles.
(Pictures courtesy of KTLA TV, Los Angeles.)