Friday, July 31, 2009
A couple of weeks ago I was crawling around searching for a coffee cup just past the crack of dawn. I was groggy but I was able to flip on the TV and navigate to channel 10, my NBC affiliate, for the Today Show. As I poured myself a cup of coffee and took my first sip my senses began to return to me. Some well quaffed gentleman was delivering a news story that by the sound of his voice and the seriousness of his cadence was somewhere on the importance scale of a meteor hurtling towards our planet roughly around the size of Mexico. My head cleared further as I listened…
“…But the custody of Michael Jackson’s children is still in question…”
Next up was a segment with Hoddah and Kathy Lee. “Really?” I said out loud to no one at all. My prognosis was not looking good for getting ANY relevant news of the day from the Today Show so I flipped over to channel 6, my local ABC affiliate to see what was happening on Good Morning America. There I found a health segment already in progress. All of the morning anchors were gathered around a wonderfully honed and Arobisized Beautiful Person. The table in front of them held bunches of green produce, some apples, lemons, pears, a blender and a glass filled to perfection with Green Smoothie. She, the Beautiful Person, turns out to be Nutritionist Kimberly Snyder and she appeared quite knowledgeable on the topic of detoxification of the human body and was firm in her stance that fad diets did not work. She suggested using the Green Smoothie as a meal replacement for three or more meals a week.
Hmm… I’m a fat guy in my forties and know that I have to do something to become less of a fat guy so I listened more intently; besides, who am I to argue with spandex? The recipe is as follows:
Green Smoothie Recipe:
1 1/2 cup of water
1 head of organic romaine lettuce, chopped
3-4 stalks of organic celery
1 organic apple, cored and chopped
1 organic pear, cored and chopped
1/3 bunch of organic cilantro
1/3 bunch of organic parsley
Juice of ½ fresh organic lemon
Combine the water and chopped head of romaine into your blender. Starting the blender on a low speed, mix until smooth. Gradually moving to higher speeds, add the herbs, celery, apple and pear. Add lemon juice last. Serve chilled or at room temperature. This recipe makes about four servings.
“Hmm…” I thought to myself, “I think I’m gonna try that out.” Last night I did the shopping and this morning I made my first blender full of Green Smoothie! After sampling said Green Smoothie I can not help but believe that half a bottle of vodka (your choice) would certainly improve the overall meal replacement experience. The recipe says that it can be served at “room temperature”, I do not subscribe to this theory. Chill it. If it is colder it will go down quicker. My first few sips reminded me of that story from the movie “Creepshow” where Stephen King turns into that plant – do you remember? Well if not, Gentle Reader, then know that the Green Smoothie is as close as you can get to performing photosynthesis yourself.
I do not mean to sound all together negative; the Green Smoothie is healthy and, since it is all pureed together, you really don’t have to digest it! Mmm… I’m going to stick with it though, Yours Truly knows that he has to do something and the Green Smoothie just may be a part of that.
I’ll let you know how it goes.
Recipe and picture of the Green Smoothie were found at http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Weekend/Story?id=8052138&page=1
Saturday, July 25, 2009
An old friend of mine, Scott Champion, is raising funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society by participating in the “Nation’s Triathlon” down in Washington DC on September 13, 2009. He is on the Team In Training team. As his email to several people including yours truly states the following, “The race is structured beginning with the swim (1.5 miles) in the Potomac River, then transitioning to the cycling portion (approx. 25 miles), and ending with the run (6.1 miles). I believe in the hope and support we can bring to finding a cure through endurance races, such as the Nation’s Triathlon.” This will be the second time that he does this and, please allow me a little aside, as a fat man I am very impressed.
He is seeking sponsors. I have not yet but I will be and when I do I will go to this link right here: http://pages.teamintraining.org/snj/nattri09/schampion where I’m told that it is possible to “donate online quickly and securely plus learn more about my (or rather Scotty’s) progress. You will receive a confirmation of your donation by email, and I will be notified as soon as you make your donation.”
Gentle Readers if you are so inclined Scott thanks you for your generosity, come to think of it, so do I.
All the best Scotty, good luck and God bless.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
It is that time of year again where Geeks the world over bow to the west and worship at the Mecca that is the San Diego Comic-Con. At one time Comic-Con was only about the gushing of fan-boys over all things new, bright and shiny. While that is still the case it has grown to a multi-media, panel discussing, pop culture phenomenon. It is a place where movie makers, publishers, writers, actors, videogame developers, artists and everything in between present their wares for the next year to the world. Those with their finger on the pulse of such things, both buying and selling, recognize Comic-Con as the BIG one.
As for yours truly, I do not worship all things bright and shiny but I am a HUGE fan of storytelling and all of the ways that a story’s plot can be delivered. It is for this reason that Comic-Con captures my attention. …Well that and I am a card carrying Geek. This year I am looking forward to the “Tron 2.0” Trailer, the Doctor Who panel, Tim Burton’s panel on “Alice in Wonderland” and the film’s trailer and any dark horses that might separate themselves from the pack.
The 2009 Comic-Con starts today and runs all weekend.
Monday, July 20, 2009
The top three are Coffee, Hot Soup, and Tacos. And here I was pulling for Fondue, Lobster, or Alaskan King Crab legs.
Now Behold “The 10 Most Dangerous Foods to Eat While Driving” from Wired Magazine: http://www.wired.com/autopia/2009/07/dangerous-foods/. Insure.com has the information presented in a clear, concise fashion too: http://www.insure.com/car-insurance/driver-distractions.html.
People do stupid things. It’s like a moth to the flame. It’s just what we do and driving is no different. It is for this reason that I am petitioning congress to have the purchase and consumption of an Extra Value Meal part of the standardized driving test of these United States. One should be able to safely suck down a cheeseburger on the way from Point A to Point B. If this is too much to ask then you don’t deserve a license. You can join the fight by donating heavily to the cause as often as possible; please make checks payable to Evil Chicken. Together we CAN make a difference.
Gentle Reader; never forget the most dangerous part of a car is the nut behind the wheel.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
One day late... 153 years ago, on July 10, 1856, Nikola Tesla was born in Serbia. He later moved to Paris and then to the United States. Tesla was brilliant, he was eccentric and he, quite literally, changed course of the world.
Nikola Tesla was one of the founding fathers of the harnessing of electricity and how it is used by each and every one of us today. His experiments with electricity and magnetism are the foundation on which our power grids are presently built. Tesla was on the frontlines of the “War of the Currents” between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse. This war was to see who would dominate the future, Edison with Direct Current or Westinghouse with Alternating Current. Tesla had, at one time worked for Edison but Edison thought that his ideas for Alternating Current were foolish and could not be realized in the real world. Edison said of Tesla, “His ideas are splendid but they are utterly impractical.” Edison cheated Tesla out of work that he did for him and it was not long before that Tesla was working for Westinghouse. Westinghouse & Tesla won out in the end but that was not before Edison, seeing that his hold on the future was in jeopardy, went on a huge publicity campaign against AC power which included the electrocution of “Topsy” the elephant and the covert funding of the Electric Chair. The “Wizard of Menlo Park” had a bit of a dark side.
Tesla was also one of the original pioneers of Radio and was credited by the United States Supreme Court in 1943 for being the “Inventor of Radio”. Chances are he would have been the father of transatlantic communication via his Wardenclyffe Tower (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wardenclyffe_Tower) project but his funding ran out. Wikipedia (my favorite second brain and the main source of the data found in this particular blog) states this: “After his demonstration of wireless communication (radio) in 1894 and after being the victor in the "War of Currents", he was widely respected as one of the greatest electrical engineers who worked in America. Much of his early work pioneered modern electrical engineering and many of his discoveries were of groundbreaking importance. During this period, in the United States, Tesla's fame rivaled that of any other inventor or scientist in history or popular culture, but due to his eccentric personality and his seemingly unbelievable and sometimes bizarre claims about possible scientific and technological developments, Tesla was ultimately ostracized and regarded as a mad scientist. Never having put much focus on his finances, Tesla died impoverished at the age of 86.”
I wonder what the world would look like today if the whole Wardenclyffe Tower project was funded and successful. Wireless internet, that glorious modern wonder that we now take for granted, may have been available decades earlier. Yes, I know that’s pure, unadulterated speculation on my part but what if? Tesla was “ultimately ostracized and regarded as a mad scientist” and he “died impoverished at the age of 86.” He was too busy envisioning the future to take care of the present. Of his failure to find the backers needed to complete the construction of the Wardenclyffe Tower Tesla said, “It is not a dream, it is a simple feat of scientific electrical engineering, only expensive — blind, faint-hearted, doubting world! [...] Humanity is not yet sufficiently advanced to be willingly led by the discoverer's keen searching sense. But who knows? Perhaps it is better in this present world of ours that a revolutionary idea or invention instead of being helped and patted, be hampered and ill-treated in its adolescence — by want of means, by selfish interest, pedantry, stupidity and ignorance; that it be attacked and stifled; that it pass through bitter trials and tribulations, through the strife of commercial existence. So do we get our light. So all that was great in the past was ridiculed, condemned, combatted, suppressed — only to emerge all the more powerfully, all the more triumphantly from the struggle."
Nikola Tesla towards the end of his life may have been ridiculed and ostracized but he was a brilliant inventor and innovator who deserves a far better epitaph.
Happy Birthday Mr. Tesla
Thursday, July 09, 2009
Someday, not today but sometime in the near future, from one electronic device you will be able to have an entire library of books in the palm of your hand. It will be a wonderful thing. Instead of lugging around a wheelbarrow full of textbooks or best sellers you will have it all at your fingertips wherever you go and whatever you want to read. Perhaps you will be able to download different books from online libraries the world over or, if you are in college, download the semester’s curriculum in one fell swoop. But that day has not arrived. Perhaps we will be able to procure new E-books from a variety of sources including the big three, Amazon, Boarders and Barnes & Noble – who’s to say? Again, that day has not yet come.
Alas, Amazon has the Kindle 2.0, which has now dropped in price to $299.00 from $360.00, is nice enough but the only place that you can get your E-books from is, shockingly, Amazon. Even with the price drop three hundred bucks is, at least for yours truly, a decent chunk of change; and then there’re all those books to buy at $10.00 a pop – discounted from an honest to goodness book in your hands but ten bucks, nonetheless (see: http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/04/kindle-readers/). And that’s just the Kindle. There’s a slue of these puppies hitting the marketplace and there are things to consider if you feel so inclined such at the jetBook (http://www.geardiary.com/2009/03/09/the-ectaco-jetbook-universal-portable-reading-device-review/) and the Cool-er (http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/05/cool-er-e-book-reader-turns-up-the-heat/). You are going to need to know if you can get the books/data that you want to read, you will want to know what formats are supported (very important) and, of course, you are going to want to know how much you are spending. I don’t know what to tell you, Gentle Reader, other than steering you to this nice little article on choosing an E-book Reader that may help clear things up a bit: http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/05/buying-guide-e-book-reader/. If that does not assuage your thirst for knowledge check out what my favorite second brain has to say on the subject: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-book_reader.
Man, I love me some Wikipedia.
Someday the book publishers and electronic media makers will come to some consensus. When that day arrives I will see about making the jump. Until then I will wait and dream of the titles that I would put onto such a device; several versions of the Bible, the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, the Hobbit, the entire Harry Potter and Gunslinger series would be worth rereading. I am also quite fond of Neil Gaiman, Jules Verne, Ian Fleming, Christopher Moore, Ray Bradbury, Edgar Allen Poe, Stephen King, Kurt Vonnegut, Mark Twain, Anne Rice, Shakespeare, Robert E. Howard, Edgar Rice Burroughs… the list really is endless and the idea of having THAT library with me waiting to be read on one device is wildly appealing. I’m probably not alone with this little desire for the future.
So on that one day in the not too distant future, just what will be on your E-book Reader?
Monday, July 06, 2009
Get a good look at the logo to the left; it’s about to disappear.
Yup. That’s right the Sci-Fi Channel is changing up tomorrow to the Syfy or, perhaps, Syfy Channel.
I think it boils down to the idea that Syfy is copyrightable whereas Sci-Fi is not. Here’s a good article of the nuts and bolts of the decision: http://www.wired.com/underwire/2009/07/sci-fi-channel-reboots-as-syfy-with-eye-on-expanding-empire/.
So there you have it. Out with the old and in with the new. Sci-Fi is still Syfy its just that now Syfy can be trademarked. I enjoy some of the programming on the network; I absolutely loved Battlestar Galactica and Ghost Hunters is a guilty pleasure of mine. Who knows what’s next?
Ladies and Gentlemen… set your Tivos!