The Universe and Me

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.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Separated at Birth?

Tove Jansson's Moomin character Little My and Olympic gymnast Aly Reisman? It's the bun, really.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

I am envied by senior girls

Movie: The Bronze. Starring Melissa Rauch and co-written by her and her husband Winston. This is not your Big Bang Theory's Bernadette. This is a raunchy, potty mouthed, graphic but very funny (I LOL'd several times) view of Olympic gymnasts. Released just in time for the Rio games. Melissa's character, Hope, has a moment of glory at a previous Olympics. After an injury sidelines her, she continues to use her celebrity to manipulate and try to make everyone around her as miserable and bitter as she is. As events progress, she does learn something (how to give back) and changes her lifestyle a little. She was and will always remain a hometown hero. Guest stars and cameos from the likes of: Dominique Dawes, Dominique Moceanu, Olga Korbut. Not for the faint of heart, but neither is gymnastics.

Wavelength you never let me down, no

The Great Mica Plate Search of 2016. One Sunday I was about to make cookies. When I went to soften some butter in the microwave, sparks started flying around inside the thing. Hit stop. Not what I was going for. Take out butter. Look inside. Is that something stuck to the metal thing on the side? No, it's a hole in the metal thing on the side. The metal thing, the internet informs me, is called the Wave Guard. It protects food from the micro waves, logically. Rather than buying a new microwave, all one has to do is go to your local appliance or hardware store, buy a $5 mica sheet (see photo above) and cut it to the appropriate side. Replace.

Not so fast, Blofeld. I apparently live in the Middle of Nowhere. Every store I checked for mica had never heard of it. Bringing along my hole-y sample did not help. Employees looked at it like it was some strange metal from an alien spaceship or similar and looked at me as if I was from Mars. "I've never seen anything like this," they said, one after another. So much for shopping locally. Frustrated, I went home and magically ordered some mica sheets off the internet. They needed to take the slow boat from Hong Kong but arrived safely after about three weeks of microwaveless living. With scissors, I carefully cut one sheet to size and slid it in the wave guard spot and voila! Microwave works perfectly. It was a four dollar fix. Worth the wait. And since the mica comes in sheets of two, I still have a spare should this ever happen again.