Okay, here’s the scenario.
I have an elderly grandmother who lives alone and requires an oxygen tank set at a fairly high flow rate, even when she’s just sitting in a chair. Throw in the fact that she lives up in Detroit and we’re down here in Atlanta, and all relatives in that area live at least twenty minutes away, and you get the picture.
We’re considering getting her a Personal Emergency Response System, similar to the product in those Life Alert commercials. I have first-hand experience with ADT’s Companion Service (one of my co-workers there installed them, and I’ve seen them in action), so I generally know how they work and what features are better than others.
When doing online shopping, I came across this company, VRI. They have their own Medical Alert, and, of course, they claim that they are the best in the industry. Whatever.
The latest episode of Destination Truth had the team investigating reports of paranormal activity along part of the Great Wall of China, and then hunting for evidence of a mermaid that is said to live along part of Israel’s coastline.
Ghosts of the Great Wall:
I don’t know if it was just me, but the first half of the episode was pretty weak.
The show started off with the usual reality show format, showing Josh and the gang heading off to China and doing all of the “fish out of water” jokes. It’s interesting when the show goes to exotic locations, but it needs to focus more on the actual investigation and less about how different the location and people compare to back home in the States.
The problem with ghost hunting (as proven by all ghost hunting and paranormal shows on TV), is that you really need solid visual evidence to convince the skeptics that spirits can exist in that format. Seeing mysterious shadows out of the corner of your eye and having feelings of being touched, grabbed or pushed make for some great storytelling, but that’s just it. Stories. Not concrete proof. Read more…
Or in other words, where did the “global warming” go?
As it was noted in a previous posting last month, the U.S. has been experiencing an El Nino weather pattern this past winter. And when looking at the recent climate data for my three favorite cities (Atlanta, GA; Detroit, MI; and Orlando, FL), more evidence fits the pattern.
The El Nino weather conditions typically bring colder than normal temperature and precipitation to the southern and southeastern part of the country, and warmer and drier conditions to the upper Midwest and Northeast amongst other locations. This can basically be viewed as a “reverse winter” where you’ll find more snow and freezing temperatures than usual down South, and less of the winter weather up North.
Looking at this temperature chart from the NOAA, sure enough, the southern and southeastern parts of the country had a significantly colder-than-normal winter, while the northern areas generally experienced at to above normal temperatures.
But wait! Read more…
Just when you thought that you were safe from further 2010 Census harassment, along comes this nifty little postcard in the mail.
Okay people, this is really getting ridiculous with this massive push for people to fill out and mail back the Census.
Was it really necessary for the Department of Commerce to mail out a letter stating that we’ll be receiving the official 2010 Census form in a few days? Read more…
As most of you theme park fans should know, Universal Studios Singapore opened a few days ago.
From what I’ve seen of the concept artwork and a few videos, this latest Universal park looks nothing but spectacular!
Having a Jurassic Park water ride in a Universal theme park is a necessity, like having a Space Mountain ride in a Disney park. It’s a signature ride and the fans would be deeply disappointed if it’s not included in the latest and greatest version of the park.
Universal Studios Singapore does have a Jurassic Park boat ride, but unlike the river adventures at Universal Studios Hollywood, Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando, and Universal Studios Japan, this new version of the ride is a river rapids ride! Read more…
Last night saw the return of the Season 3 episodes for Destination Truth.
For the first half of the episode, the investigative team headed to Israel and conducted paranormal research at Masada, a site of mass suicide during the First Roman-Jewish War. The ancient fortress high on the steep plateau made it an isolated and protected spot on the edge of the Judean Desert. After this, the episode had the team heading to western Ireland in search of the mythological leprechaun. The team spent a night in a forest, hunting for the small but fast creatures.
As a whole, the investigation at Masada was much more entertaining than looking for leprechauns in Ireland.
Ghosts of Masada:
The investigation at Masada started out great as the team headed to Jerusalem, Israel. It was fascinating seeing some of the sights, and of course, taking a stroll through one of the markets. After Jerusalem, the team made a stop at the famous Dead Sea before proceeding to Masada. Read more…
Okay people, the 2010 NCAA March Madness tournament starts tomorrow, so it’s time to fill out those brackets before the games begin.
This past Winter I paid zero attention to college basketball. The most I watched were parts of the ACC and SEC tournaments. Otherwise, during the regular season I was watching ice hockey or other shows. Sorry, but basketball isn’t one of my favorite sports.
So with basically no knowledge about how well certain teams are doing this year, I decided to let the flip of a coin decide my bracket picks.
My original idea was to use a state quarter for each of the arenas hosting games in this year’s tournament, and using the Indiana state quarter for the Final Four. However, some of my coins are in better condition than others and there could be inconsistencies with the actual flipping between the different quarters. I wanted to keep an even playing field, so I instead opted to use a 1987 one dollar game token from the Circus Circus resort and casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is a large, heavy coin, and it would land solid on my mattress with each flip.
Sure enough, the 2010 edition of the United States Census form arrived in the mail today.
It’s hard to express the amount of joy that I’m feeling by telling the federal government important issues such as the names of people who live here, their race, the home phone number, and even if my home’s mortgage has been paid yet.
But then again, do you really have to answer some of those questions that are more of an invasion of privacy than anything?
Christopher Walken handles the Census fairly well in this video clip:
For the past year or so, I’ve noticed a rather disturbing marketing trend that shifts away the blame for whatever problem you’re trying to solve.
For example, a couple of diet companies (always selling those miracle diet pills or basically a stomach staple) like to remind you that it’s not your fault for not being able to lose weight like everybody else in the world.
Another surprising example is for the Rosetta Stone learning language software. Sure enough, in one of their TV commercials, the sales rep tells the female customer that it’s not her fault for not being able to learn a foreign language. All of those other learning language companies just suck in comparison.
Are we looking at a marketing trend that preys on generally lazy people with low self-esteem, or is this just another fault with today’s society, always passing the blame to somebody else besides themselves? Read more…
Here are two of the coolest Disney videos using tilt-shift photography that I’ve ever seen.
Tilt-shift photography, refers to the actual movement of the camera’s lens to limit the depth of field and create an area of selective focus. This optical effect has a variety of uses, but one of the more popular trends is to create “fake” pictures of miniatures or models. Having a special tilt-shift lens is not required to create these pictures as digital postprocessing techniques can easily blur areas of the picture and create a similar final effect.
The best tilt-shift pictures simulating miniatures occurs when you have a top-down, shallow to medium angle perspective of the subject.
In the Disney parks, finding elevated views can be quite tricky, especially if you’re not a cast member with special permission.
Each video shows a typical day at the Magic Kingdom and Epcot, complete with going on a few rides and seeing the Illuminations fireworks show at Epcot and Spectromagic parade in the Magic Kingdom.
“A Model Day at Magic Kingdom”