Sunday, August 24, 2008

Trivial thoughts

It's been over a week since my last missive, so I feel like it's time to say something - even if I don't feel like there's anything important to say. So I'll throw out assorted trivial thoughts:

Now that the Olympics are wrapping up, brace yourself for an onslaught of political 'news'. First the Democratic, and then the Republican national conventions. Uggh. Too bad they can't run them concurrently.
Oh my cow - Parrots for Obama!

And speaking of the Olympics, I guess by now you've heard about the fakery perpetrated in the televised version of the opening ceremony: the fireworks were digitally enhanced, and the singer wasn't actually singing. See here:

Oh, and apparently some of the Chinese competitors may have been underage (fake ID's, anyone? And I thought this was just of concern with tobacco and alcohol sales). Meanwhile, in Japan, where cigarettes are still sold in vending machines, they're working to cut down on sales to underage buyers - by installing video cameras in the vending machines:

Something else interesting I heard recently: TV chef Julia Child served in the OSS (predecessor to the CIA) during WWII. While now best known for cooking up goodies in her studio kitchen, she apparently helped come up with a recipe for shark repellent:,0,5754614.story

And here's a celebrity chef recipe to avoid: Henbane in your salad:

In a previous post, I mentioned an Australian suggestion that kangaroos replace cattle for meat production. Now there's another idea, this time from Cuba, that miniat
ure cows may be a better source for dairy production:

This idea is not limited to Cuba; just like purse poodles and pot belly pigs, there are now US breeders working on mini cows:

As both of my loyal readers know, I'm a fan of NPR's Car Talk ( This summer, PBS has been running a Car Talk-inspired cartoon series,
Click & Clack's As the Wrench Turns. My local PBS station has chosen to run this weekly at ten p.m., which is dangerously close to my bedtime. As such, I have yet to make it through an entire half-hour episode. Nevertheless, the bits that I have seen are enough for me to pan it. Basically, take the radio show and strip out the actual useful information, thus leaving just the stupid bits; then combine with today's cheesy cartoon animation, and this TV show is the result. If they can't bother to continue Wired Science (, there's certainly no excuse for this show to endure - and I hope it doesn't. Sorry Tom and Ray, but stick to the radio!

And on the subject of cars in general, the hot topic of late seems to be the hybrid. Toyota's Prius is definitely the best known and best selling example of the genera. All others on the market right now are hybrid versions of existing models: Honda Civic, Ford Escape, Toyota Camry and Highlander, along with a few from Lexus and maybe Nissan; Chevy's gotten into the game in a limited way with hybrid Tahoes and Malibus - both of which are in such limited supply that they're almost imaginary. As far as I know, Chrysler has no offering in this market at all. Here are a couple of existing cars that I think would be very successful as hybrids: the Honda Element and the Mini Cooper. Honda and BMW, are you listening?

I've just got time for one gratuitous airplane picture:

While at first glance it looks like they parked it on the wrong side of town, this is reportedly the largest piece of artwork in the world!

1 comment:

  1. Good grief! The latest entry has just raised time wasting on the computer to a whole new level.