Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Evidently winter is approaching as we have had some morning temperatures in the 20's in the last week.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Mercedes S class (W140)

Mercedes Benz produced the S class between 1991 and 1998.  Nice examples of these fine German cars are still available in the used car market.  Cost varies of course, but a very nice one with 80,000 miles should be available for around $7000.

Bear in mind that the car will be 20 years old and maintaining it can be very expensive.  Just one example I saw recently was the task of changing the AC evaporator.  To say it is not easy to access is an understatement.  Apparently the replacement of the $150 part can approach $5000 in labor.

Monday, October 28, 2013


The Dutch take their bicycling seriously.  This is the world's first elevated bicycle roundabout in the world.  it is on the border between the municipalities of Eindhoven and Veldhoven.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Government investigation

Officials in Malaysia are conducting DNA tests on these langurs to determine if they are the biological parents of the young one which does not look at all like the adults.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Happy anniversary

Paul Derthick surprised his wife in Mantua, Ohio with an unusual 50th  wedding anniversary gift.  He created a 17 acre corn maze that resembles their 1963 wedding photo

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Monday, October 21, 2013

Saturday, October 19, 2013


About 150 years prior to the animated gif Joseph Plateau invented the phenakistoscope.  It was a spinning disc that had a "curb" surrounding it.  The curb had a number of equally spaced slits in it.  The disc had a series of drawings that were viewed as a mirrored reflection through the slits in the curb.

See additional examples of this early form of animation here.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Joshua Tree meteor shower

Lillian Boyer

This photo from about 1921 shows 19 year old wing walker Lillian Boyer dangling from an aircraft wing as part of her art.  Despite her dangerous occupation she died of natural causes at the age of 79.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Banksy is in NYC

If you were in Central Park yesterday and walked past this vendor's table you missed an extremely rare opportunity.  These pieces of original Banksy art were available for $60 each.  Of course they were not signed and you would have had to recognize his work.  You think there would have been a huge run at this opportunity, but only six pieces sold all day.

See additional information as well as a video here.

Snowball fight

 Princeton students after a freshman vs. sophomores snowball fight in 1893.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

George Clooney in wax

George Clooney at Madame Tussauds in London is seated on a purple leather sofa with an empty seat beside him.  Guests like to sit beside him and have their picture taken.  George has been displayed since February.  So many visitors have sat beside him that the custom made sofa is showing excessive wear and Madame Tussauds has had to order a replacement.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Age reduction

An interesting application of .gif  files to turn back the pages of time.  See additional images of this type here.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013



Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Irv Gordon and his Volvo P1800

Irv was in Alaska last month when he logged his three millionth mile in his legendary 1966 Volvo.  Obviously Irv spends a lot of time on the road.  Read more about Irv here.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Morning fitness rave

Early risers in Shoreditch, London can enjoy "Rave Your Way Into The Day" at Village Underground.  The morning dance experience is aimed at people looking for an alternative way to keep fit in the morning.  It features live DJ's and the stereo-typical drugs and alcohol are replaced by massages.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Woodshed serpent


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Paris Starbucks

I am an espresso drinker and enjoy the fact that it is the most abundant coffee drink in Europe.  There are times, though, that a change of pace calls for a latte or mocha.  I am not a huge fan of Starbucks, but they are consistent in their product line- when you place your order, you pretty much know what you are going to get.

The routine is fairly consistent as well; place your order, they ask your name and they write it on the cup. Once your drink is ready, they call your name.  Simple, or so it would seem.  The initial exchange was something along these lines:

Cashier:  "Your name?"
Me:  "Vector"
Cashier:  (blank stare...)
Me:  "Vector, V... E... C... T... O... R"
Cashier: "V... E..." (back to original blank stare)
Me: "V....... E....... C....... T....... O....... R"

It seemed as though slowing down the spelling did the trick as she wrote on the cup and thanked me.

When my drink was ready the barista looked at the cup and called out, "Vincetior".  I knew it had to be my drink.  I acknowledged her call and accepted my drink.  When I saw the name on the cup I realized that spelling it out had not conveyed the message.  I sent myself a mental text:   **KEEP IT SMPL**

Fast forward several days to a different Starbucks.  The young man working the register started the familiar routine:

Man:  "Your name?"
Me: "Z" (remember, I wanted to keep it simple...)
Man: "Z ?!?"
Me: "Yes, Z"
Man: "Z?,  like Zorro?"
Me: "Yes, Z, like Zorro"
Man: "OK, Zorro, merci"

When my drink was ready the barista looked at the cup and without hesitation called out "Zorro!"

So the world knows about Zorro, and there is most likely not going to be more than one Zorro at a time in any given Starbucks.  In an effort to save time and reduce confusion, go ahead- tell them you are Zorro.