Last time I wrote, I started by describing what a warm, wonderful spring day it was. That was Wednesday, and it was, indeed, a wonderful spring day. Now, two days later (TWO!) it is SNOWING. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages, as I look out my window, there are honking big flakes coming down. I know, I know, it won't stick, but still. *sheesh* From 74 to 34 in 48 hours. I'm going to think happy thoughts about going on vacation again because this is. . . Just. Not. Right.
I get the feeling that my mother is thrilled about my choice of vacation destinations. She clued me into this:
PORT MORESBY (Reuters) - Up to 36 people may have died in a landslide in Papua New Guinea's rugged, jungle-clad mountains this week, even though only nine bodies have been pulled from the mud, the national disaster office said on Thursday.
Papua New Guinea, which lies between Australia and Indonesia, is prone to natural disasters. Landslides, volcanoes, earthquakes and tidal waves have killed thousands in the past 10 years.
I'll only be facing the landslides, volcanos and earthquakes for a couple of days on this trip. The rest of the time, we're on a boat, so it will just be the tidal waves.
[And the sharks of course.]
Speaking of sharks, apparently Sydney, Australia has had a recent inundation of all sorts of wildlife, including a colony of koalas that have taken up residence in a parkland surrounded by homes in Pennant Hills, a well-populated suburb just 10 miles from Sydney's business district and harbor bridge. OK, so that's cute and nice, but they have also started finding other critters where they haven't been in decades.
Like sharks - in some of their most popular bays. Big, aggressive ones, too. They recently fished a ten-foot, 441 pound bull shark out of Rushcutters bay, a favorite spot for sailing. The sharks are attracted to an increased number of baitfish that have repopulated the waterways around Sydney; the baitfish have returned, along with other animals such as mussels and oysters as a result of the community concern and government legislation to clean up the harbors and stop companies from discharging waste into the water. But now that they have returned the water to its natural state, they'll probably have to start a campaign to kill all those horrible nasty sharks. After all, we don't want nature to inconvenience us.
From the Land Shark file - I just loved this story from the Arts & Entertainment section of the NY Times on-line. The underlines are my own emphasis.
LONDON (Reuters) - So Solid Crew rapper Ashley Walters, currently serving a prison sentence for possession of a loaded gun, is to release a single while in jail, the Daily Mail newspaper reported Friday.
The single, a double A-side, will be the 19-year-old's first solo effort and the news of its release comes just two weeks after he was sentenced to 18 months in a young offenders' institution.
Thursday, the singer's record company Independiente released a statement on his behalf, which said: "I can see a future now. A year and a half ago all you heard from So Solid Crew was depressing talk...Now I feel more relaxed and less paranoid."
The Daily Mail said the single, "Why Me/Back in the Day," was recorded before Walters, who goes by the stage name Asher D, was sentenced. It will be released on May 20.
The father of two was arrested last July after a heated argument with a traffic warden in central London. He subsequently pleaded guilty to illegal possession of a firearm and threats to kill.
So Solid Crew, which has up to 30 members, has been plagued by controversy. Two men were shot at a gig in London's Astoria last year, forcing them to cancel a British tour, and in October group member Darren Weir was convicted of breaking a fan's jaw.
[No, I don't know why people always think so poorly of rappers.]
I'm such a geek. I wrote an e-mail to James Lileks in reference to his column today. He wrote that he had watched an animated feature created by a company called "Pepper's Ghost," and mused about the origins of the name. I knew the origin and wrote to tell him.
Not geeky, you think? Well, it IS because a) I was excited about writing to him and called him [I'm not kidding] "a Deity in the Pantheon of Bloggers", b) I did the little gushy fan thing at the bottom of my note and c) I DO KNOW what a "Pepper's Ghost" is. Without Googling it, either. I even had a link that I sent to Lileks.
Any ideas? I'll give you a hint: it's what creates the "Ballroom" scene at Disney's "Haunted Mansion" ride. Ah, OK, go ahead and peek.
~ ~ ~
Quote du jour:
"Security is an illusion.
Life is either a daring adventure
or it is nothing at all."
-- Helen Keller
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