Friday, August 20, 2010

Gene Roddenberry was born today

From Wikipedia:  Eugene Wesley "Gene" Roddenberry (August 19, 1921 – October 24, 1991) was an American screenwriter, producer and futurist, best known for creating the American science fiction series Star Trek. Born in El Paso, Texas, he grew up in Los Angeles, California where his father worked as a police officer. Roddenberry flew combat missions in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II, and worked as a commercial pilot after the war. He later followed in his father's footsteps, joining the Los Angeles Police Department to provide for his family, but began focusing on writing scripts for television.

15 Things You Didn't Know about Star Trek
Via: Online Schools

I don't know what our world would be like with out the references to Star Trek. It is as much a part of our national fabric as American football. If you are listening on a sub-space frequency out there somewhere, thank you Gene.

It is also interesting that Orville Wright shares this birthday. One man dreamed of flying and did. The other man dreamed of a future universe and created it.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Ten Things Kids Today Will Never Experience

Every few years a list like this comes out. This one has the gall to call itself a "TOP" Ten List. I don't know if they are the TOP of anything. I also wonder who thought that a cable TV channel changing its line up is something special.

The best TV on Nickelodeon is iCarly and its shown in the early evening most evenings. That show cracks me up. But I digress.

This are SOME of the things kids today won't know anything about. I'd prefer to make my own list of...

Sports without steroids.
Everyone in professional and pre-professional sports uses one form of body enhancing medicine chemical or another. Some have been banned and are strongly discouraged. But for everyone of those there are probably two waiting to come to market. The true athletes of yesteryear no longer exist. Men and women like, Jim Thorpe, Babe Ruth, Jim Brown, Pele, Sonja Henie, Wilma Rudolp, Dorothy Kamenshek, Sophia Loren (trust me, she was athletic).By the time the kids today will have begun competing in High School most of them will have been exposed to one or more forms of performance enhancing drugs.

Record Albums.
How awesome were record albums. The art of the covers (or lack there of), the liner notes, the fact they took up an entire shelf of your homemade cinderblock bookcase, the crappy quality of the music. Truly awesome things kids today will miss due to iTunes, Napster and the like.

Private Phone Calls in a Phone Booth
In just a few decades there will be no phone booths. None. The children today all have cellular phones. They talk endlessly on them and share those conversations with EVERYONE AROUND THEM. It is for me one of the most rude things kids do today. So much so I told my nephew how it was rude and asked him to stop doing it. No one wants to hear your conversation, move to somewhere private and finish.

Being out of Completely Out of Touch
Nothing annoys me more than when I can't get a signal and make a call with my cellular phone. Perhaps the only thing more annoying is when I need to get a hold of one of my kids and they don't INSTANTLY call me back or text me. Very few kids today will never experience a quiet walk in the woods where no one will know where they are, can reach them 24/7 via cell phone, and the amazing feeling of no one knows where I am and I like it that way.

Not only can I safely say most kids today will need to look this word up on their Internet-ready PDAs, kids today will never be anonymous. They will never know a world where every little detail of your existence is available to just about anyone willing to open an internet (or whatever they call it in the future) browser or pay for it from a service. The days are gone when you can walk into a business and they aren't trying to collect a thousand pieces of information about you, the shopper, so they can market even more crap to you. When you can go to a bar and introduce yourself with a fake name and have a meaningful one night stand with that woman who's name you forgot ten seconds after buying her a drink.

Fear of Communism
This is another one of those words kids today will have to look up. What they will read will be a description of this form of government. What they will not read in that description is the genuine concern that your way of life will end if we let those RED BASTARDS take over the world. While there are still some communist countries out there, by the time kids today are adults it won't really look like the communism of yesterday. And if the current regime in America is any indication of the future, many of these kids will wonder if that isn't a better way of living. I mean, how bad can it be if we are all equal and have equal shares in everything and no one has to work very hard to make it happen?

Natural Food Products
This entry is a little less easy to put on the list but I firmly believe the majority of the world's kids today will not eat food that was not modified genetically. Is it a bad thing? That is for another generation to decide. Already today most of the corn you eat has been modified genetically. Even the corn that you plant and grow on your own. There is already evidence that genetically modified corn pollen is being unintentionally deposited on non-modified corn plants, creating hybrid corn.

With the popularity of laser eye surgery and the advances in eye care the children of today will not know the pain of being called "four-eyes", "specks", "Poindexter", "nerd", and dumbass. While today's kids have much more hurtful things to say to other kids, a generation or two ago it was directed at kids with glasses. But at least eye wear will live on at the movies. Once thought to be a gimmick, "three dimensional movies" are back and back in a big way. I find them entertaining but no substitute for a good script and great actors. This is just another way Hollywood has dreamed up a way to sell us movies we would probably not see normally. When they remake Terminator in 3d I may have to picket the movie theatre.

Forget the tactile feel of a book printed in quality paper and bound in leather. Forget the need for shelves in your home to store the cumbersome tombs. Forget something? Look it up on your internet ready phone, PDA, Game Console, whatever. Just type in your query on Google or Bing or Dog Pile or Fling or Get'em or whatever search engine takes over the world and get a revised and consolidated view of the subject presented to you by whoever wants you to think what they think about the subject. My nephew is starting 8th grade today with a new laptop provided by a grant from somewhere. His school work will be emailed to him, worked on a computer, tracked and graded by a computer and stored forever mined for patterns and data until they complete the study and then lost to him and the world when it is dumped. It doesn't matter because it was probably wrong anyway and they wanted him to learn their point of view anyway and for that, he can Google it. By the time kids today graduate college most, if not all, of their textbooks will be electronic.

If Bill and Melinda are successful, Malaria will be eradicated. The big killer and crippler of my generation was Polio and by the time I was born it was already seriously on the decline in the developed world. 99% eradicated world wide in just 50 years. Malaria, I predict, will be the next one. Its a good thing we are genetically modifying our crops to increase production, because 1 million new mouths and stomachs (and their children's mouths and stomachs) to feed in the poorest of countries will be hard to fill.

But this list goes to eleven...
Manufacturing Jobs
It seems as every new generation of business magnates takes over and tries to make their billions in stock options, more and more jobs leave our shores for lands where cheap labor abound. I am comfortable in my prediction on this one in both directions. As the developing world catches up buys more and more American dollars to prop up their own worthless currency, manufacturing jobs leave the United States. But this is something the children of today's children will see again. The children of today's children will have no concept of manufacturing anything. Sure a few car companies will continue for a while but nearly all of the other jobs will leave. They will leave long enough that the developing world becomes "developed" and those companies will then go looking for a newer cheaper source of labor, which will come in the form of today's children's grand children (or there abouts).

Yes it may be hard for us living today to imagine an America where labor is cheaper at home than that of today's India or China or Mexico or Brazil but it can happen. As the standard of living goes up in those countries and the politics of the world change, cheap labor could be found in the masses of people recovering from the next great collapse of the world economy. And those children of today's children will grow up with a "good paying job" and the feeling they did something today when they get home from their 12 hours shift. And it will usher in a new economy and a new era of prosperity for America, that is until history repeats itself and the labor unions and socialists get a hold of it and drive the jobs over seas again.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

'Two Tone' is dead

TWO Tone - Britain's legendary monster carp and the aquatic Holy Grail for legions of fishermen - has been found dead in his home lake of apparent natural causes.

He was believed to be between 40 and 45 years old.

Two Tone - named for his distinctive coloration - was a mere 5.4kg when he was plunked into Conningbrook Lake near Canterbury, southeastern England, in 1982 as part of a stocking program.

This is a very famous fish in England. He is also called the "marriage wrecking fish" due to the number of marriages that broke up over some angler's obsession to catch him. Several articles mention that Two Tone only "allows himself" to be caught once or twice a year. It's probably more likely that he gets hungry enough to eat bait fish once or twice a year. Considering his size he probably did not have trouble finding food.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Pencil Art

‘Pencils’ can sometime be more useful other than simply writing, sketching, taking down notes etc. What if you see a pencil being used as an artwork itself? During the process of preparing an artwork, a pencil is used as a medium to bring down the imagination to reality but what happens when an artist use ‘Pencil’ as his ‘Canvas.’ The result which comes up is as astonishing as Michelangelo’s work who once said that
“I saw an angel in the marble and carved until I set him free”
Here, we have got one such craftsman who uses pencil, instead of canvas to bring out his creation into the real world. Today in this post, we will learn about Pencil Sculpture and Dalton Ghetti who is one such artist.

This is one of those things that I see and say...why didn't I think of that? Then my sub conscience slaps me in the side of the head and says because you are a no talent ass clown. This guy obviously sees things different than the rest of us. Bravo my man, bravo.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Parlez vous Starbucks?

College English professor Lynne Rosenthal was threatened with arrest yesterday when she caused a nasty scene at a Starbucks on Columbus Avenue at 86th Street. Rosenthal's offense? Refusing to submit to Starbucks' corporate-speak, which requires customers to purchase "Tall" or "Venti" coffees.

Granted, Rosenthal's first mistake was going to a Starbucks for a bagel when she was on the Upper West Side. But after ordering her multigrain bagel, she was peppered with the irksome question, "Do you want butter or cheese?"

I don't know anything about New.York.City, but it is funny the columnist called the prof out for ordering a bagel at Starbucks instead of at one of I'm sure many Jewish deli's located on the Upper West Side.

From Wikipedia, "The Upper West Side is a significant Jewish neighborhood, populated with both German Jews who moved in at the turn of the century, and Jewish refugees escaping Hitler's Europe in the 1930s. Today the area between 85th Street and 100th Street is home to the largest community of young Modern Orthodox singles outside of Israel."

So I'm guessing you can get a better bagel across the street and you don't have to order it using some corporate language designed to make you sound like an elitist snob. I'm thinking you could get a cup of joe just about of those bagel places that would rival Starbucks.

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Three Star Coffee Shop is right across the street! As one commenter on the story posted Barney Greengrass is "just across the street". Well it's down the block anyway and must be a great place for a bagel.

Why do people continue to give their money to businesses that they feel don't treat them well or that they have a problem with? Why? Speak with your wallet, shop somewhere people appreciate you.

Free speech? or free money?

FRESNO, Calif. - A California school district sued by a former sixth-grade student who was asked to remove an anti-abortion T-shirt has agreed to pay $50,000 to settle the suit.

Attorneys for Tiffany Amador said Friday that officials at Merced's McSwain Union Elementary School called the T-shirt disruptive when she wore it in April 2008.

Los Angeles attorney William Becker says the resolution amounted to a victory for free speech rights in schools.

Personally, I find the t-shirt offensive and wholly inappropriate for school. But for the lawyer to claim "free speech" that's a stretch. And as far as a victory? The school has now banned nearly ALL GRAPHIC t-shirts, so now no one has any speech rights via t-shirt at the school, if even such a thing exists. Sounds like a victory alright.