Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Star grazing

This is seriously cool. It's only theoretical and it's an animation, not a video of the actual event, but I never cease to be amazed by how far scientists have advanced in studying space. Behold, a giant black hole, eating a star.

If the video didn't embed on your browser, you can see it here, along with a single image illustration. This stuff makes me wish I could live enough to join the Star Trek Federation and see this stuff for real.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hell's Bells

Having been a fan of cartoons all my life and having grown up with access to a NYC TV station that played really old cartoons all day and night long, I doubt if there's a single American cartoon ever made that I haven't seen at least once, even if I don't remember them all. Oddly, though I recall many in this old Disney Symphony series, this is one I don't recall. Maybe they didn't play it much because of the hell theme. Certainly, when I was young, they never worried about the violence.

Anyway, this one just crossed the radar and have to admit, I kind of love it.

They don't make them like this anymore. For many reasons. But try to tell me you don't think the artists were stoned off their gourd on something while they drawing them, one cell at a time.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Well, I didn't feel the earthquake where I am right now, but I followed the reaction to it on the social media. Lot of people I know felt it. If you're wondering what caused it, it appears there's a natural geological explanation. If you click that link there's a lot of very cool maps. I had no idea there were so many major fault lines along the East Coast. And apparently the reason the tremors could be felt for such long distances is because the rock layers in the East are old and cold. Which could describe me too, actually.

If you're wondering just how strong was that tremor you felt, you can look up your Richter Scale rating by zip code here.

And I thought this was interesting. The National Zoo reports the animals' reaction to the quake. Click the link for the whole list, but these were my favorites:
The red ruffed lemurs sounded an alarm call about 15 minutes before the quake and then again just after it occurred.

The lion pride was outside. They all stood still and faced the building, which rattled during the quake. All settled down within minutes.

The Zoo has a flock of 64 flamingos. Just before the quake, the birds rushed about and grouped themselves together. They remained huddled during the quake.
Apparently no damage to the Zoo and the animals are all safe and accounted for. Wondering how the five people who still read this blog made out? Hope you're all safe and no property damage to report.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Coolest houseboat ever

I've toyed with the idea of living in a houseboat for many years now. Thought it would be a cheap way to get a house. I discovered they're not that cheap anymore and then there's the docking fees and all but for this houseboat it would be worth it. This couple "retrofitted an old Ellis Island Ferry as their very own floating home." Very cool history to the boat as well:
"The 1907 Yankee Ferry was affixed with guns and canons and was first used by the U.S. Army to patrol the Boston Harbor during World War I. In the 1920s, the Yankee was used by Ellis Island to transport newly arrived immigrants from the island to Manhattan, many of whom were kept below decks on their transatlantic voyage and are said to have obtained their first views of New York City from the decks of the [ship]."
Love the way they decorated it too. It even has a chicken coop on board. Lots more photos here at the guy's flickr account.

If I ever win the lottery or write a best selling book or something, houseboat living is back on my list of possible retirement options. That is, if it's a houseboat like this.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Crazy but awesome

I'm in a holding pattern at the moment so nothing to tell about my life, but this guy is sure making his own excitement:
A tightrope walker has made a bid for a new world record by scaling the support cables of a mountain cable car in Germany.

Freddy Nock climbed up to the summit of the Zugspitze - Germany's highest peak - without a balancing pole. The mountain is 2,962 metres (9,718ft) high.

It was the first of a series of record-breaking tightrope walking feats the Swiss man is attempting over the next week.
They don't say what his next trick will be but hard to imagine how he'll top that. Video of the cable walk at the link above.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Travel babble

I have mixed feelings about google maps. They're useful for general information on routes but I've found they tend to overestimate traveling time. Also their written directions often seem to be a little convoluted and hard to follow. Not a huge deal and I do still use it a lot but it's never going to replace the utility of the GPS. However, this is very cool and is something the GPS can't do.
Today, we’re adding a weather layer on Google Maps that displays current temps and conditions around the globe, and will hopefully make travel and activity planning easier.

To add the weather layer, hover over the widget in the upper right corner of Google Maps and select the weather layer from the list of options. When zoomed out, you’ll see a map with current weather conditions from weather.com for various locations, with icons to denote sun, clouds, rain and so on. You can also see cloud coverage, thanks to our partners at the U.S. Naval Research Lab.
Going to fall in love with Google maps all over again for doing this. Click the link to see all the other fun features.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Reports of this blog's death are greatly exaggerated

No, I haven't dropped off the face of the earth. And I really am going to start posting here more often again someday. It's just that my life changed so dramatically. I went from having a miserable existence, with virtually no life at all, to a life so full, I don't have time to talk about it. And with what little time I have, I've been posting to my political blogs.

Anyway, I'm still going out with the ex-Marine. It's a strange friendship, since we're so different, but somehow it's working. He took me literally to the middle of nowhere last week, to a great barbecue joint. It's down a quarter of a mile gravel road in the middle of a farm. It's only open two days a week. It's in a huge old barn with a stage and stadium seating on one side. Probably seats 1.000 people. Well, maybe a few hundred, but they have a bluegrass band every night. And clog dancers. I'm talking old guys in denim coveralls clicking their shoes on the dance floor.

Had a great chat with the cashier, who was 92 years old. And the food was great. Limited menu, but all you can eat. All the years I've lived in the south now, it was my first authentic barbecue. It was worth the wait.