It’s Saturday at lunchtime, and you know by now what that means — it is time for some tasty news chum stew. Let’s see what we find floating in the broth this week:
- The Perils of DNA Testing. All of our new technology brings with it risks that we often don’t think about until it is too late. We’ve seen that with privacy and the Internet. Here’s another: DNA testing for geneology. This article from Vox has been circulating: “With genetic testing, I gave my parents the gift of divorce” What happened is this: one man got genetic testing for fun and geneology from 23andme. Through it, he discovered an unknown-half brother. The result of investigating this surprise tore his family apart.
- Go Jump in a … Pool. Those of us living in the West know about the drought big time. Some of us live in houses with pools, which creates the question: How much water does a pool waste? Here’s the interesting results of an investigation that show that a typical pool (presuming no leaks) uses less water than a traditional lawn, but a drought-tolerant lawn does better than a pool, … but a pool with a cover does better than a drought-tolerant lawn.
- Theater of Note. Yes, I used the movie spelling, because I’m referring to the Beverly Theater, on Beverly Blvd in the Fairfax district. Once a 2nd run house, later a revival house, it is now being programmed by Quentin Tarantino. He aims to show movies as they were meant to be seen: projected from film, not digital. In fact, much of the programming will be from his own film-print collection.
- Politics and Bedfellows. A couple of interesting political items. It is increasingly looking like Barbara Boxer will not run for another term. This could lead to a nasty political campaign in California. Speaking of nasty, a new reality program aims to strand a Republican senator and a Democratic senator on a deserted island for a week to see if they survive. At least they aren’t on Naked and Afraid.
- A Mental Mindfuck. Anyone who has read the Illuminatus trilogy knows about Markov Chaney, who would go around playing with people’s minds. Mel Brook’s just did a mental mindfuck. He left his handprints a TCI Chinese Theatre, but with a prosthetic finger on one hand. Years from now, Wikipedia will note that Brooks had 11 fingers, and that’s why he made such great comedy.
- Not Vegas. You probably know I like Las Vegas History. So you know I will like this site that allows you to read about Vegas projects that never happened. Alas, they don’t mention the Viva Casino (which I think inspired a hotel in Colorado Springs).
- Leaving a Bad Taste. My favorite apple is the Pippin. Alas, I can rarely find it these days — it’s been pushed out by the Granny Smith (which is markedly inferior). Here’s another history of a bad apple: In this case, why the tasteless Red Delicious has become the most ubiquitous apple. It’s almost as tasteless as an iPhone as a music player for people with large music collections. But I digress.
- Some Useful Info. Here are some useful things to know. Berkeley is going to offer a mobile option for paying for parking. That should be handy for people going near campus. Second, if you use Gmail or (ugh) Yahoo, here’s info on how to make webmail your default mail in a number of browsers. Lastly, here’s a guide to Mongolian BBQ in LA, but (alas) they leave off the valley.