Browsing "observations"

The Future Of (Food) ‘Reality’ TV

In a fit of insomniac insanity, I found myself watching the new Spike TV series “Bar Rescue“, and it got me thinking. That series, and “Restaurant Impossible“, “Kitchen Nightmares“, “Hotel Impossible“, “Mystery Diners“, and the others all deal with bailing out failing businesses run by people who may not have made the right career calling in the first place, yet they’re brought back from the brink of disaster by a team that works around the clock to pull off the impossible in just a few days.

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And the Lights Went Out, All Over the ‘Net.

This is fiction. Maybe:

“This morning, people around the world are waking up to a new internet.  A different internet. An internet where we at last can reap the benefits of the diligence, expertise, and forethought of our benevolent leaders who, guided by the selfless work of the great media engine and those in power over it, saw with crystal clarity the need for a strong response to the insipid cancer that is intellectual property piracy. No longer will the hard-working creatives who produce the great works of art and information be trodden underfoot by the lowlife, belly-crawling, bottom-feeding thieving scum that are everywhere, into everything, and beholding to nobody. Today, we take back what is rightfully ours. A clean internet. A pure internet. A safe internet…”

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The (Apocalyptic) Future is … Now?

Science fiction writers have, historically, been very accurate seers into mankind’s future, both near and distant.  When Jules Verne penned “From the Earth to the Moon” in 1865, he envisioned an event so strikingly similar to the Apollo missions it’s uncanny, and he did it 92 years before Sputnik launched.  The following year (1958) saw the movie adaptation of Verne’s adventure and the creation of NASA, but it would take 11 more years before Neil Armstrong would walk on the moon, something Verne saw with crystal clarity 104 years earlier.

Another popular theme of science fiction evolves around a future, post-apocalyptic Earth, with movies like The Road Warrior, Mad Max, Escape from L.A., Terminator (pick one), and Solarbabies (there’s one from the B pile), to name a few.  Watch any of them and you’d see the same thing:  rusting hulks of old automobiles used like oversized cinder blocks in the creation of walls, barricades, and fortresses.  I enjoyed the movies, comforting myself that this was far from reality and could never happen, if for no other reason than where the heck would all the cars come from?

I’m such an idiot at times.

While Chrysler and GM are cutting dealerships left and right, Chrysler’s also not buying back the inventory off the lots.  So, we’re going to see dealerships dissolve … and vast lots of cars start to appear … and rust … hmmm.  Raw materials for future events?

Think I’m crazy?  You may be right … but I have to ask:  What does that say about the rash of “natural disaster films” (Day After Tomorrow, 10.5, Nuclear Twister, Earthquake, The Core, Armageddon, Space Cowboys, Outbreak, Volcano, Dante’s Peak, etc.) we’ve been “plagued” with lately?

Jun 1, 2009 - observations    No Comments

He Who Dealt It Can Now Measure It

Here is yet more proof that, in spite of the current economic situation, there are people with too much free time.  The only thing odder is that it was a final project for a class at Cornell University.

On one hand, I applaud them, because they’ve provided an answer to an age old question:  How corrosive is my gas?

On the other hand … I’m afraid.

Jun 16, 2008 - observations, opinion, science    No Comments

(Don’t) Sleep on It!

According to a study conducted by the University of Minnesota, if you don’t have a consistent, regular sleep habit (i.e. same number of hours, same level of relaxation, same time of night, etc.) you’re more likely to have “aging issues” (i.e. you’ll die).

There’s a part of me that went “duh!?!” when I heard this (it seems intuitively obvious), but then I had to take a step back and rethink things.  Is it really your screwed up sleeping habits that adversely affect your health (and, potentially, lead to your death) …

OR … is it the waking early and staying up late that affect your health … or the driving while drunk (because you’re out later) and driving hung over (because you were out later the night before) that kills you?

OR … it that (according to another survey) too little sleep leads to snacking … which leads to weight gain … and fat gain, and cholesterol gain … which leads to health issues?

OR … is it because we’re all getting fatter, and being overweight (which apparently ups the changes of shortened sleeping) has it’s own mortality issues?

Bottom line:  You can’t draw significant conclusions from a study unless the study addresses all possible variables and variations that may affect the outcome.

Oh, and don’t go thinking that all you have to do is get a lot of sleep.  Too much sleep can also lead to restless nights … which puts you right back in the same leaking boat.

As for what this all really means, I’ll have to get back to you … after I take a nap.