The Universe and Me

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Separated at birth GBBO 2

Jane from The Great British Bake Off and singer Dusty Springfield.


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Separated at Birth?

Candice from The Great British Baking Show and Natalie Dormer, Anne Boleyn from The Tudors.


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Look me in the eye and say goodbye

For the past few years I've noticed more often that people I've known, some for decades, do not look me in the eye. I can ask them a question and they can answer, but there will be zero eye contact. Zipping around the internet gives these possible explanations:

  • Social Anxiety
  • They Like You
  • They Aren’t Interested in What You are Saying
  • You Aren’t Visually Appealing
  • Low Self Esteem
  • They Are Hiding Something
  • They Are Having a Bad Day
  • They Don’t Want You to Think They Like You or Come Across as Flirty
  •  They feel that you know a part of him that them they are ashamed of.
  • They feel guilty of something
  • You did something that they don't approve of and are trying to avoid you and the no eye contact is a hint for you to stay away.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

You're a shining star no matter who you are

The Galaxy Name Generator will, at the press of a button, give you a list of ten random galaxy names. Very cool. And if that wasn't fun enough, there's the Song Title Generator. The same Fantasy Name Generator site offers vampire names, elf names, library names, and hundreds of others in every imaginable category. I could spend a very long time at this site and I think I will!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Nothing can stop them

In the  Genesis song "Return of the Giant Hogweed," they mention the plant's name as Heracleum mantegazzianum, a name I thought they made up as something that sounded botanical and similar to regular hogweed's real name. Being far more into music than vegetation, I honestly didn't know giant hogweed was real. Come to find out, giant hogweed is native to the Caucasus ("The Russian Hills") and central Asia. It may or may not have been a "Victorian explorer" but someone brought it "long ago" in the 19th century to Britain as an ornamental plant. It has also spread to the northeast and northwest US, southern Canada and parts of Europe. It's considered a noxious weed that displaces native plants. Described as "Queen Anne's lace on steroids," a phrase Genesis may wish they thought up, umbrella shaped white flowers might be attractive but the plant's sap is phototoxic and can cause blisters and black or purple scars on human skin. Maybe next I'll find out Triffids are real.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

18 and I like it

Starting this past  month every 18 year old (about 575,000) in Italy, including foreigners, is entitled to a bonus of 500 euros, about $550 US dollars. It's the idea of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi who wanted to match the billion euro increased defense and security spending with another billion designated to be spent on culture since "culture beats ignorance." Take that, rock paper scissors lizard Spock. The teens have until the end of next year to spend the entire bonus. After they register, which can be done online, they can choose from museums and galleries, theatre, ballet, concerts, movies, books, archaeological and heritage sites. Says Renzi about this unique way to fight terrorism, “They imagine terror, we answer with culture. They destroy statues, we love art. They destroy books, we are the country of libraries.”

Monday, August 22, 2016

It's cool for cats


While watching Celebrity Name Game, I heard a contestant say if she won, she wanted to visit Cat Island. Not Catalina. Cat Island. Sounded like a place out of a children’s fantasy book. Turns out, there are many Cat Islands. The one she most likely meant was Japan’s Aoshima Island.

With an elderly declining population of about 100 people, Aoshima residents are now outnumbered by the stray/feral cats living there. In the past the islanders raised silkworms so cats were kept to help keep mice from the silkworms. Now they seem to be kept because people believe feeding them will bring good luck and prosperity. The only way to reach Aoshima is by a ferry which can transport 34 visitors per day. Not a lot of tourist trade, especially since no stores exist on the island. At least it sounds like the cats are being fed.