Auto industry’s continued fail

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cool carMy wife’s car is 13 years old now, and (thanks to her long commute) beginning to fall apart; so she has begun that old American pastime, the search for a new car.  And as I watch her process (and remember the processes I went through so many times), I’m reminded of how little the auto industry has actually progressed in the past decades… not to mention, how little American auto buyers have learned. Continue reading

MONDO Is Doing Toys!

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Steven Lyle Jordan:

Yessir… saving up now, sir.

Iron Giant by Mondo

Iron Giant by Mondo

Originally posted on :

MONDO is doing toys! The launch of figures for The Iron Giant, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Alfred Hitchcock are Mondo’s first foray into toy collectibles, with the subjects and diversity of design reflecting Mondo’s unique passions. The initial offerings include replicas as well as toys from artist-based designs, which can be previewed at San Diego Comic-Con in Mondo’s booth (#835).

Toys join Mondo’s growing list of pop culture passions in posters, vinyl, gallery events, VHS and apparel. “I am so pumped to announce toys! We’ve been working on this in secrecy for a year and now it’s time to let you guys know about it. We’ll be focusing on existing properties that we love as well as working with artists to bring their own creations to life. This is a new area for us, but I resist the term ‘expansion’ since the goal for Mondo has always been to…

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Extant’s dubious technological mix

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Halle Berry in Extant

Halle Berry in Extant (CBS)

American audiences are presently being treated to a miniseries on CBS: Extant, the story of an astronaut (Halle Berry as Molly) who discovers that she somehow became pregnant while on a 13-month solo mission in space.

Naturally, I’m all for science fiction series, including mini-series (and I have no problem whatsoever with watching Halle Berry for an hour each week), so I was ready for a ride when the series started.

I was also hoping to see some interesting science and technology depicted in a story about an astronaut.  But there are some things about Extant that I didn’t expect, because… well, let me say that I’m not sure they’re well thought out. Continue reading

Machine uprising? Please.

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robot caregiverWhy’s everybody worrying about the machine uprising?  We’re much more likely to see an uprising of people against the machines.

So says sociologist Zeynep Tufekci in her article about the Third Machine Age.  After the first age, in which machines replaced manual laborers, and the second age, in which machines took over thinking for us, many believe the Third Machine Age will be about machines taking over emotional labor—caring for our children, our sick and infirm, our old.  Tufekci believes that could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Continue reading

Tree of 40 fruits

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Tree of 40 fruitsI’m just slightly skeptical about this, given that the picture here is quite obviously photoshopped… but if true, this is a fascinating application of horticulture. Artist Sam Van Aken worked out a way to graft the branches of 40 different stone fruit trees onto one tree, creating a tree that not only blooms in a rainbow of colors, but produces varieties of plums, peaches, apricots, nectarines, cherries and almonds during the summer months!

He has so far produced sixteen of these trees, which adorn museums, community centers and private art collections around the US. Read more about it (and how it’s done) in Science News.

RIP James Garner

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James GarnerRIP to one of my favorite actors, James Garner (1928 – 2014).

I happen to have a great Father, and I’m glad I have him.  But if I hadn’t had him… James Garner’s most popular roles and characters have represented, to me, the kind of guy whom I would’ve wanted my father to be like. Garner played my surrogate dad, the Man’s Man Par Excellence. Continue reading

Apollo 11

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Apollo11

This weekend marks the 45 year anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission landing the first men on the Moon.

The very first time a member of the human race stepped onto another planet besides the one on which it was born.

The only sentient life form on Earth that has developed the technological ability to leave its planetary home, visit another, and return safely.

The only other heavenly body besides the Earth that has had members of the human race standing upon it.  Perhaps—who knows?—the only heavenly body that has been visited by a sentient life form from another heavenly body.

Just take a moment to dwell on that.  Happy weekend.

 EDIT: If you’d like to relive the experience, try WeChooseTheMoon to enjoy the entire mission.