(Photo stolen from these guys)
The solar eclipse just rolled through, and correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't that the biggest NONevent in the history of This Weekend?
I mean really. We live in the prime viewing zone for the thing, and *meh*. There were people who drove over SIX. MILES. to view it, or so I heard.
My daughters and I were out helping my dad put the door on the latest wing of his Winchester Mystery Bird House: The Chicken Wing, when we noticed that the light hitting grandpa had a rusty, metallic look to it. It's possible it was just my dad's effect on the sun, but we decided to be good sports anyway, and walk home to make a Pinhole Eclipse Viewing Thingy©.
Sparky opted to stay inside, close to the kitchen, when she found out Daddy had made corn on the cob for dinner, but Smedley and I rallied to the cause. We stabbed a sheet of paper, rushed outside, turned our backs to the solar mashup happening in the west, and . . . well, I tried to be Science Mom, but inside I was thinking, yeah. That's it, Smed. I'm pretty sure it's a big deal if your moniker ends in onomer or ologist or irley McLaine, but I'll wait for the internutz to spew forth the PhotoShopped spectacular versions, already showing up now.
But wait, what about all the stories we've been told about ancient people thinking solar eclipses were omens?
I Googled sloar eclispe effects on ancient poeple, then I did it right, and here's what I read:
"The Emperor Zhong Kang supposedly beheaded two astronomers, Hsi and Ho, who failed to predict an eclipse 4000 years ago."
"Eclipses have been interpreted as omens, or portents. The ancient Greek historian Herodotus wrote that Thales of Miletus predicted an eclipse that occurred during a war between the Medians and the Lydians. Both sides put down their weapons and declared peace as a result of the eclipse."
Forgive me my lack of imagination, but I'm having a hard time picturing Zhong Kang losing his cool over slightly rusty sunlight and fuzzy shadows. (Hsi and Ho must have deserved it.) So ancient people looked up and said, "Hey Shirley McLaine*, do you see what I see? The sunlight is 25% less intense! RELEASE THE HOUNDS!" And if eclipses could stop wars, Hell, we should have sent a lot of umbrellas into orbit YEARS ago.
I'm not usually such a troglodyte**, but I missed the word "annular" in all of the media build-up to this eclipse, so I was expecting something a bit more noticeable -- relative darkness and maybe a healthy downpour of frogs or blood or something. The average unprepared Luddite person, lacking good equipment and a scientist on hand, may have had the same experience we did.
(Photo stolen from these guys)
But things were looking up: there was still the corn on the cob.
*Thanks to Daryl for pointing out that I originally butchered the spelling of Shirley McLaine's name (DUHHHH)!
**Two things: I am sometimes such a troglodyte, but I'm also kind of pulling your leg here.
I didn't grow up with Maurice Sendak's books.
I was introduced to Where the Wild Things Are in my 20s, and I immediately bought the hardcover book. "For my children, someday," I said, but I didn't even know if I would have children. I really bought it because I loved it.
(Image stolen from this site)
My youngest brother once said that although he didn't like tattoos, if ever he were moved to get a tattoo, it would be of Max, from Where the Wild Things Are. I had to agree.
My daughters grew up with this book, and I'm so glad. We still read it now and then, and I probably always will.
Maurice Sendak passed away today. He left us with a great gift.
Possible reasons for her decision today to file for divorce from her husband of 72 days, Kris Humphries:
"He was, like, summer wear. It's fall now."
"Not enough Ks in his name."
"He was very shiny 72 days ago. He's not shiny anymore."
"Wait, what was the question?"
I struggled over adding to this week's swirl of media surrounding Charlie Sheen, but I have zero qualms about slinging mud at Moammar al-Gaddafi, outrageous liar, despot and murderer that he is. And while these two men are vastly different people with vastly different demons, somehow, they sounded an awful lot alike to me all week. I'm not sure why this works so well, but it does. At least, it does in my head, but maybe that's because I have no Adonis DNA?
(Photos grabbed from Charlie Sheen interviews with Piers Morgan of CNN, Andrea Canning of ABC, and NBC's Jeff Rossen)
(Entire Gaddafi interview with Jeremy Bowen of the BBC, Christiane Amanpour of ABC, and the Sunday Times of London, found here)
I personally transcribed all quotes but one (and I can't remember which one) to be sure they were exact. While I've been working on this abstraction for days, I recognize that I'm not the first to draw the parallel between these two delusional public figures this week. For a wry take on this subject, check out this site.
You may have heard about the recent fire on Carnival Cruise Line's largest ship, Splendor, which resulted in a loss of electricity and civilized living conditions on board.
While the nearly 4500 passengers and crew members made the best of things, some took the crisis harder than others.
Gourmands, for instance.
Residents of Haiti, for example, who probably wouldn't have minded an airdrop of mini croissants and Spam.
But the group who had the hardest time of all were bloggers, Tweeters and others with various internet addictions. For those people, two days without a cell signal or an on-line connection became one of Dante's nine circles of Hell.
On the other hand, none of the honeymoon couples had any idea that any crisis had occurred and were quite surprised to find that the ship had been towed into San Diego this morning.
(Original photo stolen from these guys; all other photos stolen from Kansas City Star)
We're happy you're all home safe. A tip of the hat to the Mexican tug boats and to the U.S. Navy.
You: Think I'll go for a drive.
You: That didn't needa be there!
You: They put that WAY too close to the shtreet.
You: It'sh RAINING allashudden?
You: It'sh reeeally raining. I better get home.
(Original photo stolen from these guys)You leave the scene, but your front bumper and license plate stay behind.
You: Car'sh runnin' kinda rough today.
You: Shleep tight, little car -- hey, whuthahell happened to my bumper?!
You: Wha' kin I do fer you gennnelmen?
(Original photo stolen from this guy)
The officers had followed a trail of automotive fluids right to your
closed garage door, where they promptly arrest you for DUI,
hit-and-run, driving on a suspended license, and possession of drug
You: I was ffframed.
Like, getting naked, apparently.
The following Tweets appeared this afternoon on Twitter amid a sea of OMGs and RIPs and sales pitches and nervous jocularity, in a period of about two hours. The only thing omitted from this man's Tweets are identifying links.
Pop icon Michael Jackson has been rushed to L.A. hospital in cardiac arrest, according to CNN affiliate KTLA.
Michael Jackson... I am patiently waiting for further confirmed news.
Michael Jackson was always that young Michael Jackson. I cannot fathom this. This is such bad news. I am very upset.
He had changed 100s of millions. 100,000,000+ people. Even after his gloomy days in trial, he had already influenced enough.
Michael was 50.
GENEVA (Reuters) – WHO is on the verge of declaring the first influenza pandemic in more than 40 years, but wants to ensure countries are well prepared to prevent a panic, a top flu expert said on Tuesday. "The last thing we need is a stampede," said an anonymous source close to the band.
The WHO are working hard to prepare for a pandemic, for instance developing vaccines and building up supplies of anti-viral drugs, said a spokesman Tuesday. Also, passing out earplugs and Bic lighters.
(Photo stolen from these guys)
In a related story, Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones has volunteered his services giving flu shots. "We're all meant to do what we're good at, you know?" said Richards Tuesday.
*This is a parody. I am completely lying. The WHO has probably never even heard of The Who, much less Keith Richards. Carry on.
It seems that the Swine Flu
has missed me, at least for the time being. I'm surprised, actually, since the Chicken Pox
got me twice, and who could doubt that Mad Cow Disease
has already made swiss cheese of my gray matter?
would have taken me out, for sure.
I'm healthy as a horse, actually. I just don't like zoos.
(Original photo stolen from these guys)
Some of you may have heard about a health problem called the Swine Flu. As an official Hick Who Has Actually Seen a Pig And Perhaps Even Touched It, I Don't Recall, I would like to shed some light on the situation.
People, people, people. It's NOT time to panic! Pigs are nothing to be afraid of.
Okay, so Swine Flu? Is apparently not about pigs. Forget that.
Swine Flu is an illness you get from eating pork.
you're hurting me! Jeeze louise, don't kick me under the table when I'm
talking to my -- well whaddya mean pork meat doesn't cause the Swi --
really? It doesn't? Oh. It really is a flu bug? Oh.
Ahem. So . . . right. Not from pork. Heh heh heh . . . ju-u-u-ust testin' ya. Apparently the Swine Flu is really a flu-like illness people get from going to Mexico.
Dammit, DON'T KICK ME AGAIN! I swear -- huh? What? But half of Mexico
is -- are you sure? But that's the way it sounds on the news . . . all
right . . . just . . . BACK OFF, I mean it!
Turns out you DON'T get Swine Flu from going to Mexico, necessarily. But there's one thing everyone agrees on: the World Health Organization (the WHO) is working overtime on the Swine Flu outbreak. It's been pretty tough sledding for The WHO since there are only two of them, but really? How much help would Keith Moon have been, anyway?
(Photo stolen from The Who's official web site)
Right, right? SEE? I know this one! Okay, no more kicking.
In a speech before, um, a bunch of people today, at 5:15, WHO spokesman and pretty cool guitarist Pete Townsend said, "We just want to make sure the kids are alright. There's no substitute for caution. Anyway, anyhow, anywhere, avoid crowded places where germs congregate, like public transportation. Stay off the Magic Bus. Sneeze on your elbow. Stuff like that."
I rock at this citizen journalist stuff. OW!