static, interference, intervention, intervene, get involved so as to alter or hinder an action, white noise, snow, fuzz, fuzzy, Fuzzy, ME

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

What can I say?

I often say that the pun is the lowest form of humor. I frequently give my friends a hard time when they tell me a pun or forward a pun via email. Puns are frequently groaners and hopefully when you hear one, it doesn't have to be explained because the humor is then lost. Having said all of that, I have to admit that I received a pun today that made me laugh out loud and forwarded it to all of my friends. What was it ? May I present to you: Chicken Surprise.

On another note, Oscar Nominations were named today. Over the past many years, I have managed to see at least one of the Oscar nominated films for best picture before the Oscar ceremony. I was sure that this year was going to be the exception because I hadn't seen many movies recently. I did however, manage to see Crash (on DVD) and it was nominated for Best Picture. While I really liked the picture, I was surprised it was nominated simply because of the timing. It was released very early for a prospective Oscar Nominated film.

Monday, January 23, 2006


Last year, my friend Bob complained to me that he had just wasted 100 minutes of his life watching Lost In Translation and he wanted them back. I can now say that I know from where he comes. While I really liked Lost in Translation, I have just seen a movie that felt like an enormous waste of time. That movie was Indochine. It was 156 minutes long and it was one of the most boring movies I have ever seen in my life. While it was very beautifully shot and won the Golden Globe and Oscar for best Foreign Language Film in 1992, I did not find it compelling. I suppose part of the problem was the fact that it told the story of the French colonial period in Viet Nam from the perspective of the French. I was very turned off by the colonizers treatment of the natives. I suppose it would be kind of like watching a film on WWII from the perspective of the Germans or the Japanese.

On a completely different front, I had a busy volunteering weekend this weekend. On Saturday, I was at the Greater Chicago Food Depository. I saw several friends that I haven't seen in a while and its a good event because after finishing you definitely feel like you have done something. On Sunday, I worked at Spring Brook Nature Center in Itasca. They were having a Winter Festival and as they are a bird rehabilitation center, they had several owls and raptors out for educational purposes so visitors could view them. I worked for about half the time on helping people into and out of snowshoes and the rest of the time I helped children set up to do ice sculptures.

In the news in the last week, R&B legend Wilson Pickett died of a heart attack in Reston, Va on Thursday. He was 64. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991, he was best known for the songs, "Mustang Sally", "Land of a 1000 Dances", and "In the Midnight Hour". Wilson Pickett became famous in Detroit on the Motown label, the next story I have has a Detroit connection as well, its just odd. A man driving on I-96 in Livonia died as a result of injuries from a dog falling on him after falling off an overpass and crashing through his windshield. The man had the presence of mind to continue driving in a straight line and pulled to the side of the highway. The dog, a 60 to 70 pound Labrador Retriever, that police suspect fell off the overpass as a result of trying to avoid an accident, succumbed to injuries at the scene.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Various and Sundry

I saw a few things within the last few days that I wanted to post about . I wanted to post yesterday but Blogger seemed to be down when I tried to post. None of what I have seen has to do with anything or even each other but here they are.

First I will start with a picture I happened to see to day of a freak frog. I am not sure that this is a real picture but it is definitely bizarre.

Next we have the story of the truck accident in Hubbard Tunnel yesterday morning. Now, under normal circumstances while it may be news, especially since it crashed during morning rush hour, it wouldn't warrant a comment from me because it really is not that unusual. What raised its status however, was its cargo which soilled all over Hubbard Tunnel. It had been carrying 40,000 pounds of Victoria's Secret merchandise. Lingerie is very light so it blows my mind to think at the number of pink boxes that had to be scattered through the tunnel in order to make up 40, 000 pounds.

Last, on Sunday, The Chicago Tribune listed the 10 most important indie music labels in Chicago. I am really into music and particularly indie rock so I was familiar with most of the labels although because I am not that versed in blues or jazz, I was not familiar with all of them. Of the labels listed, I really like Thrill Jockey, Touch and Go, and Bloodshot Records, I'm going to have to check out Flameshovel, and I think Drag City, and Southern Records should have also been included.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Things That Shouldn't

I don't think that I ever mentioned Alba, the glow-in-the-dark rabbit on this blog. The rabbit was born and died before I started this blog. Having said that, I did talk and write a lot about it. It was an albino rabbit that was commissioned by artist Eduardo Kac to be created in a French genetics lab using a gene from a jellyfish. His idea was to have the rabbit created in a laboratory, let the public know about it so a discussion could be had about the research, and finally the rabbit would be brought home to live with the Kac family. The first two of these things occured but the head of the laboratory was unfortable about letting the rabbit leave the lab so it lived its life in the laboratory. I had nothing against the rabbit, it was not the fault of the rabbit that it glowed in the dark. I had a problem with the ethics of the experiment and with the fact that public funds were used to run this experiment. I also agree with the lab director not releasing the rabbit. It has been shown that genetic contamination happens fairly easily in the wild (which is a major reason I am opposed to transgenic foods). If the rabbit had been fed on by a parasite of any kind, the gene could have traveled.

Now, I brought all of that up because I wanted to talk about this. A Taiwanese Laboratory has succeeded in making glow-in-the-dark pigs. Embryonic pigs were injected with fluorescent green protein. The plan, apparently is to use the pigs in stem-cell research. I honestly don't see how making a glow-in-the-dark animal is going to help stem-cell research. If the thought was to make glow-in-the-dark stem-cells, I would think that that would be tried. Stem-cells exist only in very small areas of the body and it would seem to me a waste to make an an entire animal glow.

On a completely different subject, engineers at MIT have created an alarm clock for those people that have a hard time getting up the first time the alarm goes off. Called Clocky, it is an alarm clock with wheels and, I am guessing, some sort of visual sensor that will roll off the nightstand, run around the bedroom and look for a place to hide. It will apparently try to find different places to hide each day so you can't go to the same place to turn it off. It is presently in production and will be on the market soon. It is also the winner of the 2005 Ig Nobel Prize for economics.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Stop Means Stop

That hotbed of criminal activity Park Ridge has gotten tired of people blowing through Stop signs. While going through at speed is unusual, rolling stops are relatively common. The city has decided to do something. In several places throughout the city in "high crime" areas, a second sign has been added to the Stop sign; another red octagonal sign that say, "Stop Means Stop". The signs presently are having an effect. People do notice them and are talking about them. I saw one, it cracked me up, and it did make me stop. People have joked that when the novelty of these signs wear off they may have to add another sign that says, "We Really Mean It!"

Monday, January 09, 2006

A Change for Now

I guess I like writing too much to stop. There are a lot of things that I am interested that I could talk about specifically in politics like Samuel Alito's Confirmation Hearings or the Domestic Spying by the NSA or the Tom Delay/Jack Abramoff corruption scandal or even the Iraq War. I feel very strongly about all of these things but as I said before, there are many people that express how I feel much better. If you want to get something besides MSM's take on these things check out Daily Kos for everything Alito, The Huffington Post for Abramoff, Americablog for spying, for coverage on the Iraq War try Alternet or if you just want to know casualties go to Iraq Coalition Casualties.

Now, on to things I will cover. I saw a story today that reminded me of one of the most popular stories on This American Life; the program was called First Days and the story was Squirrel Cop. It was a story of a rookie police officer that was called to a newlyweds house to rid them of an invading squirrel. To make a long story short, the cop scared the squirrel into a burning fireplace, it caught fire, rushed out and burned the couples living room. In the story I recently read, a retired man living in New Mexico caught a mouse in his house and decided to be rid of it by disposing of it in a bonfire he had burning outside. The only problem was that the mouse was still alive and it jumped out of the fire burning and ran back into the house. The man is now living in a hotel.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

That Didn't Last Long

Yes I said that I was going to stop blogging but this picture was just too funny not to share. As can be seen, its a 20 dollar bill that had had a Del Monte sticker stuck on before it was printed. Somehow it made it out of the Treasury and was sold on Ebay this week for 10 grand. The owner is going to auction it in Orlando and expects to get between 20 and 25 thousand dollars.

Thursday, January 05, 2006


I have been doing this blog for about 18 months and while it was really fun in the beginning, lately it has become a job to come up with something interesting to post. I have many other things to take up my time and besides there are many people that blog regularly that are much better than I am. I may decide to post at a later date but for now this will be it.

So Goodbye...

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year!