30 July 2007

Coffee Cures Cancer?!?

Oh, boy. I can hardly wait for those coffee houses to start advertising that their product cures skin cancer.

I am no fan of caffeine, as anyone who knows me knows. It is a very unhealthy part of our daily lives and does a lot of damage -- especially to women. But, according to a preliminary study, caffeine -- combined with exercise -- can reduce skin cancers.

You can read more about it here.

27 July 2007

27 July 2007

27 July 2007 (pictured).

Why? Just 'cause.

P.S. Today is Bugs Bunny's birthday.

P.P.S. Today is mine, too.

25 July 2007

Death Walks in Silence -- Like a Cat

Okay. This is really weird.

Back in March, when I was sick with influenza, I wrote
this entry about how my lovely cat, Eero, stayed by me nearly the entire four days.

Now there is an article about a cat, Oscar (pictured), who is able to sense the pending deaths of nursing home patients, as recounted

Do cats have some special power to determine who is sick or dying?

I dunno.

24 July 2007


A really fascinating film on elements of typography is to be found here.

Created by Boca and Ryan Uhrich of the Vancouver Film School.

23 July 2007

Can You Say "Conspiracy"?

This morning's episode of "What's My Line?" re-broadcast from 14 November 1965, is the first after the mysterious death of columnist Dorothy Kilgallen (pictured, center). Was her death an accident, suicide -- or murder?

You decide.

Brief biography.

The case for murder.

The case for accident / suicide.

The FBI files on Kilgallen.

20 July 2007

No, NOT the One from "Lost in Space"

I have a great deal of respect for an actor with genuine talent, for someone who goes to work, does her job, and eschews the perks that come with "celebrity."

Usually, those people are living in England or Europe where acting is about art, not about how quickly it will make you famous (as in this great country of America).

Sadly, there are only a few American actors to whom I can ascribe those qualities: Patricia Clarkson, Dennis Haysbert, Julianne Moore among them.

However, the one actor for whose work I have the highest possible respect is Veronica Cartwright (pictured) who has been acting since shortly after birth (it would seem), who has appeared with the great and near-great, who has been nominated for an unfairly small amount of awards; and yet, an actor who gives a unique turn to every role she plays, disappearing so completely as to make me say "Wow! She's good. Who is that? Oh, wait: it's Veronica Cartwright -- again!"

Whether it is as a scared member of the crew Nostromo ("Alien"), an alien abductee who comes back to Earth ("The X-Files") or, in perhaps her best turn as Jack's clueless mom ("Will and Grace"), Cartwright never fails to deliver a believable, honest and exact performance.

You may find out more about this wonderful actor here.

You may find out more about her work here.

P.S. She is the older sister of Angela Cartwright -- the one from "Lost in Space."

18 July 2007

Are You Talkin' to Me?

According to results of a study detailed in the July issue of the journal Psychological Science, Americans are not as likely to understand other humans as some other cultures.

The report, while admittedly simple in its scope and conclusions, compares the American society of "individualism" with other societies in which the welfare of the whole group takes precedence over individuality.

I can say from personal experience that I would agree with the study's findings, as America is one of the few countries that demonstrates little real concern for the less fortunate (whether human or other animals) as compared to, say, France or Canada. (Can you say "47 million Americans without health insurance"?)

This is not to say individualism is a bad thing. After all, more modern technological advances have been generated in America and by Americans than by any other society of people. There is a lot to be said for one man or woman striking out to do something beneficial to himself or herself that -- oh, by the way -- also happens to benefit the world at large.

But, do we really need so many technological advances that come at the cost of considering the welfare of our fellow humans? Sometimes, I wonder.

You can read an article about the survey here.

15 July 2007

Dewey or Don't We?

Apparently a new trend started in Arizona last month -- in a little library in what was once the little town of Gilbert.

It is there where they have their books organized in a more casual system based on retail book stores, having done away with the classic Dewey Decimal system invented in 1876 by Melvil Dewey (pictured).

Hmmm. I have been hesitant to write about this because I do not really know what I think about it.

On the one hand, organizing it like a book store might be good -- especially if it helps encourage people to read; on the other hand, in book stores it is notoriously difficult to find a specific book without reading through every title, or following long stretches of shelving looking for a book based on the author's last name (sometimes alphabetized, sometimes not). So, if you come to browse without any specific book in mind it might work; if you are looking for something specific, maybe not.

So, here it is, without any opinion from me:

An article about the library is

The library's website is

10 July 2007

18 Jan 08

I don't know what's going on with the movie currently being called "Cloverfield," but I am so there on 18 Jan 2008 when it opens.

What's all the excitement about? Click here.

09 July 2007

But We Do Rate One of These

Yesterday I was bemoaning the fact that, apparently, the good people at Twentieth Century Fox Television and 7-Eleven Corp do not think Phoenix rates a Kwik-E-Mart.

Today, I visited the closest 7-Eleven to our house (15th Avenue and Indian School) because it was my understanding that ALL 7-Elevens in the country would have "Simpsons" merchandise. Not only did this store NOT have any "Simpsons" merchandise, the clerk did not appear to have any clue what I was talking about.

So, trying to be understanding, I asked him if there was a 7-Eleven near by that might have any "Simpsons" merchandise. After thinking a moment, he said "Maybe, no."


I can report sighting one promotional piece for the upcoming "The Simpsons Movie": at the cinema near our house they actually have one of the cardboard Simpsons couches complete with plastic family (similar to the one pictured). The only difference is that the couch is starting to come apart, and someone stole Homer's arm (which is apparently becoming the thing to do).

08 July 2007

We May Not Be Springfield, But...

Phoenix has the fifth or sixth largest population in America (depending on how many people are visiting Philadelphia on any given day).

But, apparently, that is not reason enough for the good people at 7-Eleven to include Phoenix in its
promotion for "The Simpsons Movie."

How can that be?

06 July 2007

The Fire

History has always been a favorite subject of mine -- especially the early-to-mid 20th century.

One subject that has fascinated me since I first heard of it is the 1944 Hartford (Connecticut) circus fire (pictured) -- at the time, one of the worst non-military losses of life due to fire in the country's history.

The fire occurred 63 years ago today.

You can read Time magazine's original coverage of the event

More information about the fire will be found

03 July 2007

Beverly Sills RIP

Beverly Sills (1929-2007)

N.P.R. did a very nice biography / tribute today. You may listen to it

01 July 2007

Right Whale, Indeed

The most endangered of all whales might have a better chance of survival, thanks to a decision recently made in Boston.

Starting today, the shipping lanes in Boston Harbor will be shifted slightly northward, and made slightly smaller to afford these rare whales a better chance at not being killed in collisions with shipping traffic.

With a population estimated at only 350, the right whale (pictured) could become extinct in our lifetimes.

It is thought that the right whale got its name because it was the "right whale" to kill in the days when whaling was a big industry. As of the 21st century, it is the "right whale" to save from extinction.

You can read the article here.

You can learn more about this beautiful animal here.