What you have always wanted, but never knew it. Enjoy.
Archive for the ‘Gee whiz’ Category
You may remember my post on Emiliano Mercado del Toro, supercentenarian and then the world’s oldest person. Today we have a new oldest man, Henry Allingham, age 113, who takes the title after today’s death of Tomoji Tanabe from Japan. (What happened to Emilano? I don’t know, but I think we can all guess.)
Allingham is a special man. Born in 1896, he is one of two surviving World War I veterans in the UK, has a great-great-great grandchild, is adored by his family, and wears dentures made in the Churchill era.
To celebrate his stunning achievement, Allingham said:
“I’m still two years younger than the world’s oldest lady, one Mrs. Gertrude Baines from America. I hate her.”
Wisdom borne of experience. If I live to be eleventy-three, I want a giant flag cake too.
My middle sister has a blog. It is a good blog. A very good blog. A riveting, engrossing, colorful, spectacular, heavy-lifting blog with few if any sentence fragments. BUT…it contains precious little on yours truly!! After an anonymous tip, she posted this spot-on piece. Read, absorb, enjoy.
Jaimard, I heap laudatory sentiment upon you.
Word of the day: tautology
Today is the greatest day on earth: my birthday. Summer has fled, the air crisp, the leaves turn gold and yellow. Yes, I have graced the world with my presence for one more year. To celebrate, I give a list of famous people who are grateful to share this day with me in birth or in death. There were more names on Wikipedia, but those I didn’t recognize got the boot.
The fortunate few:
1927 – Tommy Lasorda, baseball manager
1942 – David Stern, American basketball commissioner
1943 – Toni Basil, American singer
1951 – David Coverdale, English singer
1954 – Shari Belafonte, American singer
1956 – Debby Boone, American singer
1958 – Andrea Bocelli, Italian tenor
1958 – Neil Cavuto, American television commentator
1958 – Joan Jett, American musician
1961 – Scott Baio, American actor
1961 – Bonnie Hunt, American actress
1969 – Matt Sharp, American Musician (Weezer), (The Rentals)
1971 – Princess Märtha Louise of Norway
1974 – Bob Sapp, American boxer and kickboxer
1975 – Mystikal, American rapper
1980 – Fernanda Tavares, Brazilian supermodel
1982 – Billie Piper, English singer and actress
Those blessed to expire:
1253 – Dogen, Japanese Zen Buddhist (b. 1200)
1554 – Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, Spanish explorer
1776 – Nathan Hale, hung by the British as a spy (b. 1755)
1989 – Irving Berlin, American songwriter (b. 1888)
1999 – George C. Scott, American actor (b. 1927)
2003 – Gordon Jump, American television actor (b. 1932)
The Japanese have beat us to the punch once again. How often have you laid awake at night thinking, “If only my soda tasted more like a salad?” We all have. But the people of Japan, forward-thinking as always, have now brought the dream to life. Introducing “Pepsi Ice Cucumber”, Japan’s new vegetable-flavored cola. That’s right — cucumber.
Now, the breakthrough salad pop does not contain any real cucumber. According to Aya Takemoto, spokesperson for Suntory Ltd, Japan’s Pepsi distributor, developers artificially flavored the fizzy drink to taste like “the refreshing taste of a fresh cucumber.” Thirsty?
I’ve traveled some in my day. I love to run off — tell me to “begone” and I probably will. And now you can see where! My footsteps can be seen in 23 U.S. states and several nations. My only regret thus far is many of the countries I have visited are tiny, rendering my world travel map seemingly unimpressive. Be not fooled! This is false indeed. The careful reader will note small yet fun highlights such as Tahiti and New Zealand in the South Pacific Ocean, the Bahamas in the Carribean Sea, and several European countries including Greece. Fantastasuperiffic!
In my quest for death by degrees, I have again returned to school, this time to earn a PhD from Utah State University. This makes for my sixth institution of learning (not counting prison), begging the question: have these schools’ mascots and colors sculpted me as a human being? Yes. I have indeed descried a pattern over the years, so let’s take a look.
CORY’S LONG LIST of SCHOOLS
East Sandy Elementary Mustangs (Sandy, UT)
Royal blue & white
Shelledy Elementary Bobcats (Fruita, CO)
Light blue & white
Fruita Middle School Cougars (Fruita, CO)
Purple & yellow
Fruita Monument High Wildcats (Fruita, CO)
Blue & white
Brigham Young University Cougars (Provo, UT)
Blue & white
Utah State University Aggies (Logan, UT)
Navy blue & white
How did I do? The data clearly show I am an undomesticated mountain feline with white fur and blue blood from Coloutah. That sounds about right.*
*Apologies to yellow, wild horses, and the color purple. And the cattle. Can’t leave out the cattle.
Today we mark the demise of Pluto as our ninth planet. Those astronomy guys reacted to last weeks 12-planet proposal with fury, rushing to vote Pluto right out. Their argument: yes, a planet must have enough self-gravity to pull itself into a ball (I definitely do when I’m feeling down), but it also must be the dominant body in its region. Ceres the asteroid? Gonzo. You were a planet again for just one week. Charon? Nice try, little moon. Pluto? Flushed! You and Charon revolve around each other, so you don’t dominate your region. Into the new “dwarf planet” category for you. Now you’re first of the worst, but not even the largest. That honor goes to 2003 UB313 or “Xena”, the Kuiper belt object a gazillion miles farther out than Pluto.
Goodbye Pluto. Our textbooks are going to miss you. Yeah, yeah, I’m a big nerd.
Meet Emiliano Mercado del Toro, supercentenarian and world’s oldest person. Today is Emiliano’s 115th birthday. Boy, does he look good.
This prompts the question, “How in the Underworld has the dude lived so long?” Did he sell his pick-up sticks to the devil? Was he frozen in a glacier for several decades?
Here’s the secret:
Emiliano Mercado del Toro, who was a boy when the United States seized Puerto Rico from Spain in 1898, attributed his long life to a healthy diet and avoiding alcohol.
“I never damaged my body with liquor,” said Mercado, who quit a 76-year smoking habit when he was 90.
Get me some of those cigarettes, I say.
IAU’s New Solar System
Is Pluto a planet? The nerd debate may at last draw to a close. For decades, the Anti-Pluto Crybabies have issued statements from their mom’s basement saying the tiny sphere is not a true planet, but was rather humanity’s first discovery of a Kuiper Belt object, a distant cloud of comets and ice balls with inclined orbits beyond the path of Neptune. The Pro-Pluto Crew contends Pluto achieves planetary status because it is not another planet’s satellite, it formed into a sphere from its own gravity, and they really like it a lot. To them, Pluto’s membership in the Kuiper Belt is not in dispute. It just also qualifies as a planet.
Three new planets?
Now the International Astronomical Union (the people who bestow on celestial objects such names as “Sombrero Galaxy” and “Wild Duck Cluster”) want to nail down the the definition of a planet once and for all. Their proposed definition states:
“A planet is a celestial body that (a) has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly spherical) shape, and (b) is in orbit around a star, and is neither a star nor a satellite of a planet.” source — International Astronomical Union
Translation: Spherical objects orbiting stars will be called planets.
Translation of translation: Pluto stays. Take that, Crybabies.
What does all this mean for our solar system? Poof, it’s maaaaaagic! we suddenly have three brand new planets. The first is a former planet-turned-asteriod, the second is Pluto’s former moon, and the last is waaaaaaay out there and was named, naturally, after Xena the Warrior Princess. Whoever said the IAU were a bunch of doofuses was dead wrong.
Additional details from Space.com:
- The asteroid Ceres, which is round, would be recast as a dwarf planet in the new scheme.
- Pluto would remain a planet, and its moon Charon would be reclassified as a planet. Both would be called “plutons,” however, to distinguish them from the eight “classical” planets.
- A far-out Pluto-sized object known as 2003 UB313, currently nicknamed Xena, would also be called a pluton.