Archive for the 'General Stuff' Category

The Appliances That Would Not Die

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Every once in a while, an appliance will defy its planned obsolescence and last a whole lot longer than corporate America — or even nature — intended. Have you heard about the famous lightbulb that wouldn’t die? It’s 110 years old, and still chugging along. Here’s a photo of it.

The world’s longest lasting light bulb is the Centennial Light located at 4550 East Avenue, Livermore, California. It is maintained by the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department. The fire department claims that the bulb is at least 110 years old and has only been turned off a handful of times. The bulb has been noted by the Guinness Book of World Records, Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, and General Electric as being the world’s longest-lasting light bulb.

There’s a whole website devoted to the long-lasting bulb. And there’s a Bulb Cam, so you can keep an eye on the miracle bulb. And a Facebook page. I’m certain it’s the only Facebook page created for a lightbulb.

Well, I have a hair dryer made by Conair that’s a long-lasting little bugger. Maybe not breaking records, but pretty cool just the same. It’s a compact travel model, made for occasional use, not daily use. Yet despite it being put through its paces day after day, year after year, despite being dropped numerous times, despite it even shooting out a scary flame once a few years ago, it goes on, just like Celine Dion’s heart in the Titanic theme song.

Friday Links Variety Show (February 10, 2012)

Friday, February 10th, 2012

30 facts about Debt in America that will blow your mind

Can 1,400 daily newspapers die in five years?

A video showing a human interaction with a wild gorilla in Uganda

The shock of realizing how old you really are

The Jobs Report is Misleading

Monday, February 6th, 2012

Between December 2011 and January 2012, the number of Americans “not in the labor force” increased by a whopping 1.2 million. That was the largest increase ever in that category for a single month. That is how the federal government is getting the unemployment rate to go down. The government is simply pretending that huge numbers of unemployed Americans don’t want to be part of the labor force anymore. Read more at The Economic Collapse blog.

A Taste of New England

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

Check out this webcam at the Birds of Vermont Museum. You can get a taste of winter in northern New England.

BloggingBoomers Carnival #244

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Laura Lee is hosting our carnival for baby boomers over at Midlife Crisis Queen.

Could a Self-Driving Car Be in Our Future?

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

As a kid growing up in New Jersey I went to the New York World’s Fair a bunch of times. The single exhibit that I remember best is this one: the General Motors self-driving car. I remember seeing a typical American family (whatever that is) playing checkers or something while the car drove itself down the highway. I’ve been waiting 45 years for this invention to come to light. And here they are: Google invented them! The New York Times has a story on it today:

What happens if a police officer wants to pull one of these vehicles over? When it stops at a four-way intersection, would it be too polite to take its turn ahead of aggressive human drivers (or equally polite robots)? What sort of insurance would it need? These and other implications of what Google calls autonomous vehicles were debated by Silicon Valley technologists, legal scholars and government regulators last week at a daylong symposium sponsored by the Law Review and High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University.

Over the last two years, Google and automobile makers have been lobbying for legislative changes to permit autonomous vehicles on the nation’s roads. Nevada became the first state to legalize driverless vehicles last year, and similar laws have now been introduced before legislatures in Florida and Hawaii. Several participants at the Santa Clara event said a similar bill would soon be introduced in California.

Does anyone else remember that World’s Fair exhibit?

If My Dog Worked for Bain Capital…

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

The Freakiest, No-Snow Winter Ever

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Last year at this time, I cursed the day I decided to make my home in Boston because the snow and ice were so severe that I thought I wouldn’t make it through the winter. This year, it’s the opposite. Our fall was warm, our winter has been relatively warm, and, except for a freak Halloween storm, we have had virtually no snowfall.

Yet, I’m still not content. Don’t get me wrong: I am thrilled to death that we don’t have to contend with snow. But the freaky occurrences around the world that signal global climate change are too blatant to ignore. The fierce hurricanes, the failing crops in the Southern Hemisphere, off-the-charts levels of pollen, icebergs crumbling, and other catastrophic events are like death throes.

Have you ever seen someone die? It doesn’t often happen suddenly. No. It’s erratic. Their temperature is high, then it’s low. They have an appetite, then they don’t. They are alert, then they’re not. Same with climate change. Erratic. And scary.

Snack Cakes are Your Friends

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

I grew up on snack cakes: Hostess, TastyKakes, Drake’s, you name it. Now, when I say I ‘grew up on them’, this is no exaggeration. I ate this stuff EVERY DAY. You could say I was a real Snack Cake Aficionado. I hardly ever met a snack cake I didn’t like, except for TastyKakes peanut butter tandy cakes. I just don’t like peanut butter-flavored foods.

I loved cupcakes, Krimpets, chocolate Juniors, fruit pies, devil dogs.

Now, I would hardly touch the stuff today, but back then, who needed broccoli when you could scarf a butterscotch Krimpet.

Sadly, Hostess declared bankruptcy today. But I think they will restructure and survive.

Friday Links Variety Show (January 6, 2012)

Friday, January 6th, 2012

Remembering a friendly neighborhood bar

Martha Stewart documents her emergency room experience (warning: it involves stitches)

Jane Fonda gives an inspiring TED talk on the Third Act of life

The New York Times on a cool community time bank for skill sharing