Space Aliens and Quickies

I’m still on travel, with an early flight tomorrow morning (650 AM–what was I thinking?). So, here’s another quickie. The White House has made it official: There is no evidence of space aliens. None. They haven’t visited earth. Right? Like the wackos that believe we have been visited will believe this White House pronouncement anymore than they believe other pronouncements, such as Barack Obama was born in Hawaii, or the US was not founded as a Christian nation.


Imponderable of the Day

I’ve spent most of today in a conference of, to put it bluntly, rocket scientists. So I’m wondering: Why does every speaker seem to feel the need to use the phrase “Now, this isn’t rocket science….”. So what if it was? We’re rocket scientists! Now, if they were talking about brain surgery….


You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

From an article I’m reading:

“The Governator is going to be a great superhero, but he’ll also be Arnold Schwarzenegger,” Lee says of the semi-fictional character. “We’re using all the personal elements of Arnold’s life. We’re using his wife [Maria Shriver]. We’re using his kids. We’re using the fact that he used to be governor. Only after he leaves the governor’s office, Arnold decides to become a crime fighter and builds a secret high-tech crime-fighting center under his house in Brentwood.”

There will be an Arnold Cave, a closet full of Super Suits that allow him to fly and perofrm other stunts and a team of colorful sidekicks….

No, this isn’t my April Fools post. According to USA Today, “The Governator” is a new comic book and animated TV show being developed by Stan Lee.


Humpday News Chum: Transportion is the Theme of the Day, Plus Something Bizarre

Ah, humpday news chum. These are some items collected over the last two days. The first few all have to do with transportation in one way or another:

  • From the “Getting Framed” Department: Fast Company has a nice piece on cleaning up the graphics on license plates. I’m not sure how practical their ideas are, but who cares about practicality. I found this via LA Observed, IIRC, which was commenting on the California version that is loaded with personal information, including a bar code, religious preference, political party, and regional markings.
  • From the “Give ‘Em an Inch” Department: USA Today has an article on I-19, one of the few Interstates that is all metric. Given everything else happening in Arizona, is it a surprise to anyone that they want to change this back to good old English American units? This has merchants upset, because all their advertising material has the metric exit numbers.
  • From the “Living in the Past” Department: You yunguns out there might not remember it, but there were days when you would get full service when you got gas—and I mean real-full, not New Jersey-full, service—checking the oil, tire pressure, etc. Guess what? There’s still such a station in Missouri! At the Chippewa and Giles Service Station (Sinclair), George or Walter Wiesehan will pump the gas, check the oil and tires and wash the windshield. Customers can pay at the pump, but only by handing George or Walter cash or a credit card. The owner doesn’t want to install new pumps, “They’re $9,000 a pump, and I don’t need ’em”. He says the old pumps, installed around 40 years ago, work just fine. He swipes cards in a machine inside the station. The station was opened in 1957, and is one of only two Sinclair stations remaining in the St. Louis area.
  • From the “Riding the Rails” Department: You may not believe it, but there is mass transit in Los Angeles. The LA Times has an interesting article on the street theatre that is the Blue Line. For those of us into history, it is worth noting that much of the old Blue Line route is the old PE Long Beach line.

And now, for the bizarre:

  • From the “Being a Boob” Department: A Saudi cleric is advocating adult breast feeding, so that unrelated men and women become maternally related… and thus not subject to the rules about men and women not mixing. Specifically, Sheikh Al Obeikan, an adviser to the royal Saudi court and consultant to the Saudi Ministry of Justice said on TV that women who come into regular contact with men who aren’t related to them ought to give them their breast milk so they will be considered relatives. There is disagreement about the best (ahem) way to deliver the liquid.

    I should note that I’m not posting this to criticise Islam—I have no problem with the basic religion. However, as with any religion, the ultra-Orthodox sects (cough, Mea Sharim, cough) often have weird rulings like this. Some are true. Some are not (cough, hole in a sheet, cough). Although this is weird, I can see the logic, and it is no more of a stretch than the logic behind an eruv.


“Catch It and Keep It”: Coming to your ABC station…

Back when I was in high school, the National Lampoon had a routine we loved to listen to: “Catch It and Keep It”. In this routine, large appliances were tossed off a tall building… you catch it, you keep it.

Guess what? ABC has a new idea for a reality show. Quoting from Curbed LA:

“ABC is casting this weekend for a new primetime game show called Downfall. The show will be shot on the roof of a skyscraper somewhere in Los Angeles, and gameplay will involve throwing shit off of that roof. There will be a huge cash prize, and the game format adds the excitement of watching much-hoped-for prizes head for the side of a skyscraper as contestants work against the clock to answer the trivia questions. If they fail at the game contestants will see what they’re playing for drop off the side of the building!”

Yup. Both cash and prizes will be tossed off the building. Catch it, and you keep it!


Words. Words. Words.

A few articles of interest from my lunchtime reading of the news…

  • From the “Dongda Anus Hospital” Department: We’ve all made fun of it: Engrish, or more properly Chinglish—the poorly translated Chinese-to-English signage that is so funny to read. Well, the NY Times has an article on Chinglish, and how the Shanghai Commission for the Management of Language Use (perhaps we need one of those in the DOD) is working to correct the more egregous cases. However, some feel that Chinglish is an endangered species that deserves preservation.
  • From the “I Don’t Know Which is Scarier?” Department: In reading my RSS feeds today, I saw the following Playbill headline: “Flynn to Direct and Janki to Choreograph Family Matters, the Musical”. This scared me, for it made me envision a musical version of the Family Matters sitcom, with a singing and dancing Steve Urkel and all the other members of the Winslow family. Then I read the article and got scared a second time: they weren’t talking about Family Matters, the sitcom, they were referring to “The Berenstain Bears in Family Matters, the Musical.”. Singing and dancing Berenstain Bears. Argh. Where’s that brain bleach when you need it.

And this, this pointless poll: