The Universe and Me

Monday, January 30, 2012

The girl with the most

A couple weekends ago we watched (or read, since they were in Swedish and subtitled in English) two of the "Girl Who" movies. I inadvertently picked up one and three, so we missed the second one. Last fall I'd read the first Stieg Larsson book, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" (or in Swedish, "Men Who Hate Women") and found myself for the first time in my life NOT wishing to grab the next flight to Sweden. Wow, that was a lot of violence and cringe-worthiness. The movie, though more visual, seemed less violent to me. Perhaps because it was shorter and less internal. Meaning, I wasn't always aware of the mental and emotional pain and suffering the book showed.

Found the movies very well produced and acted. My only couple gripes are personal. Knowing some Swedish, I find myself annoyed when the subtitle translation isn't exact. And I see no need for Hollywood to re-do this, as they did, with British (James Bond?) or American actors. The dvd's had dubbing available if one didn't want to read the subtitles. I'll give their version a miss.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Advantage World

Last month, at the recommendation of my friend Dan, we watched Scott Pilgrim vs. the World & loved it. B said it was the most creative film he'd seen all year or more. When they did the shout out to Pizza Pizza, I was like "so cool!" B says, "I thought you were making that up." (I still sing the jingle around the house sometimes. And it goes like this: "967-1111, phone Pizza Pizza hey hey hey.") The girl whose expletives were black boxed over was hysterical. Some quotes I really liked:

Envy : You just headbutted my boyfriend so hard he burst.
Gideon : You made me swallow my gum! That's going to be in my digestive tract for seven years!
Matthew : Didn't you get my email explaining the situation?
Young Neil: He punched the highlights out of her hair!
Crash: This song is called "I Am So Sad. I Am So Very Very Sad."
Crash: Ok this next song goes out to the guy who keeps yelling from the balcony. It's called "We Hate You, Please Die."

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Smitten much?

If you enter your annual salary into the nifty Romney Income Calculator, it will figure out how long it took Mitt (in 2010) to make that amount. In my 10 hours 26 minutes and 1 seconds, he probably didn't even break a sweat.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

I'll be right here when you come back

Having worked the front desk at a public library, I know you can find some interesting things left behind in books. For a while I saved bookmarks that I found and liked. Bookseller Michael Popek has been saving many things he's found and has compiled over 150 of them in his new book Forgotten Bookmarks. Tickets, receipts, love notes, flowers, drawings, grocery lists, postcards, recipes, even money. One of his rarest finds is a 1904 costume ball invitation. File under: wish I'd thought of this book idea, but I didn't so I'm giving this guy credit.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Do we need 'em: Pig speakers

If you have about 50 dollars hanging around & would like to plug your mp3 player or ipod into a pig's behind, you're in luck!

What, no cat model??

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Please Mr Postman

When we got home from work last Friday, B says to me: "Stamps are going up to 61 cents!"
I said: "What?! They are not! They're 44 now. The post office is not going to raise them almost 20 cents."
B: "Yes they are! I saw it on the news."
Me: "Were you watching Canadian news?"
B: ....

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Out on the wiley windy moors

Move: The Trip. When his girlfriend backs out of accompanying him on an assignment to tour Northern England's restaurants, actor Steve Coogan asks his fellow actor/friend Rob Brydon along. The gorgeous & breathtaking scenery made me want to start planning a vacation to Great Britain. The actors holding dueling impressions made tears start rolling down my cheeks. Their Sean Connery's reminded me of my nephews at Thanksgiving. I'm still not sure who had the better Michael Caine. Appreciated the "Wuthering Heights" nod and their trying to do Swedish accents without slipping into the Muppet chef. Fun ride.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

I see that hand

Schools in a Florida county, a healthcare system in the Carolinas, a bank in Japan: they're all using a digital wallet. Instead of paying with cash or credit card, when you buy a lunch or pay a bill, the veins in your palm are scanned by near infrared light and your transation is completed electronically.

The 3D configuration of hand veins has proven more unique than fingerprints and faces. It's easy, quick and offers less chance of error and fraud. So why do I think of a Red Dward episode where they had to chop off someone's hand to use as ID verification in order to open a door? And, put down that carpenter's tool belt, Harrison. They may need you in yet another Fugitive remake.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Address unknown

Yesterday at break while reading Time magazine, I saw a blurb about the US Post Office putting zip codes into place in 1963. When I mentioned it to Carolyn, she asked what they did before that. I tried to kick-start the old brain, because I knew that there was a song which mentioned the previous system. All that came to mind was "Please Mr. Postman" but I knew that wasn't it. So, I was forced to Google and learned that for 20 years pre-63, the PO used zones (usually one or two digit numbers.) And then the light bulb lit. In the Elvis song "Return to Sender" he sings:

Return to sender, address unknown.
No such number, no such zone.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Up in the sky

Although the weather is near blizzarding, Wolfram Alpha says there are airplanes flying above me as I type. They are:

United Airlines from New York to Chicago.
Jet Blue from Buffalo to Ft. Myers, FL.
Jet Blue from New York to Vegas.
Atlantic Southeast from Connecticut to Detroit.
Delta from Newark to Salt Lake City.

To check who's above you, just ask Wolfram Alpha : "What flights are overhead?" In a Big Brother way, it knows.