Remote Area Medical

Like many Americans, I hope most Americans, I follow the national debate about the Affordable Care Act (better known as Obamacare). Readers with a longish memory may recall I took the time to read the original, infamous 1,018 page health care bill when it seemed like no one was going to bother. This is why when I got word of a new documentary being released I wanted to make sure to share it with you.

During the U.S. debate about healthcare reform, the media—reporters and news crews and filmmakers— failed to put a human face on what it means to not have access to healthcare. “Remote Area Medical” fills that gap—it is a film about people, not policy. Focusing on a single three-day clinic held in the Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee, “Remote Area Medical” affords us an insider’s perspective on the ebb and flow of the event—from the tense 3:30 a.m. ticket distribution that determines who gets seen to the routine check-ups that take dramatic turns for the worse, to the risky means to which some patients resort for pain relief. We meet a doctor who also drives an 18-wheeler, a denture maker who moonlights as a jeweler, and the organization’s founder, Stan Brock, who first imagined Remote Area Medical while living as a cowboy in the Amazon rainforest, hundreds of miles from the nearest doctor. But it is the extraordinary stories of the patients, desperate for medical attention, that create a lasting impression about the state of modern health care in America.

Born in Lancashire, England, Stan Brock is perhaps best known for his years as the co-host of NBC’s “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom” from 1963-1971.

In 1985 Stan Brock founded Remote Area Medical (RAM). Since then RAM has mobilized over 80,000 volunteers and healthcare professionals to deliver over $75,000,000 worth of free quality medical procedures and services. He has addressed The United States Congress on the needs of providing free quality healthcare to those who cannot afford it nor have direct access to it. Stan has received numerous accolades for his work with Remote Area Medical, including the prestigious Inamori Ethics Prize for humanitarian leaders in 2010 and CNN’s Hero Award in 2012.

I can tell just from the trailer I’m going to need a tissue or two to get through this one, but I’m so totally going to watch it.

“Remote Area Medical” opens in New York on November 28, 2014 and nationwide on December 5, 2014.

UPDATE: A bit of news broke shortly after I wrote this up. It looks like NYC was going to have a visit from Remote Area Medical on November 28, 2014 to provide free health care to those who were willing to make the trip and lucky enough to get picked in the lottery. However New York Governor Andrew Cuomo decided to cancel the event. You can read the details here. (It’s written by the directors/producers of the documentary.)

Creature Double Feature

Now that October, and Halloween, are behind us we can dig in and talk horror movies. Sure, you thought that because Hollywood’s traditional month of terror has passed that with it they took all the scary movies. Well I’m here to tell you that I’m not a fan of horror movies but two have been brought to my attention that look really cool and both of them are releasing in November. So take THAT October!


First up is “Late Phases”, written by Eric Stolze and directed by Adrian Garcia Bogliano.

Crescent Bay is not the ideal place to spend one’s golden years, especially since the once-idyllic retirement community has been beset by a series of deadly animal attacks from the ominous forest surrounding it. When grizzled war veteran Ambrose McKinley (Nick Damici) is forced into moving there by his yuppie son Will (Ethan Embry), the residents immediately take offense to Ambrose’s abrasive personality. But that take-no-prisoners attitude may be just what Ambrose needs to survive as it becomes clear that the attacks are being caused by creatures that are neither animal nor man, and that the tight-knit community of Crescent Bay is hiding something truly sinister in its midst…

“Late Phases” opens in New York on November 21, 2014 with national expansion to follow.

The other is “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night”, written and directed by Ana Lily Amirpour.

Strange things are afoot in Bad City. The Iranian ghost town, home to prostitutes, junkies, pimps and other sordid souls, is a bastion of depravity and hopelessness where a lonely vampire stalks its most unsavory inhabitants.

Cinema’s first Iranian vampire western, Ana Lily Amirpour’s debut feature basks in the sheer pleasure of pulp. A joyful mash-up of genre, archetype, and iconography, its prolific influences span spaghetti westerns, graphic novels, horror films, and the Iranian New Wave. Amped by a mix of Iranian rock, techno, and Morricone-inspired riffs, its airy, anamorphic, black-and-white aesthetic and artfully drawn-out scenes combine the simmering tension of Sergio Leone with the weird surrealism of David Lynch.

“A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night” opens in New York and Los Angeles on November 21, 2014 with national expansion to follow.

The Geek Month in Review: August 2014

By JB Sanders

Is it still summer?

Live Inside a Volcano
This sounds like an ideal villain lair, and the pictures in the article support that claim.

Ape Selfies!
This is how the end begins: ape selfies. Read how a photojournalist, whose camera was pinched by a black macaca nigra monkey who then took thousands of photos (including a selfie), is now claiming that Wikipedia has no right to use the picture. Wikipedia is claiming that the copyright “belongs” to the monkey, and therefore is in the public domain.

The monkey’s lawyers were unavailable for comment.

Babylon5 on the Big Screen?
It could happen! Seriously, JMS is working on a script and seeking funding right now.

Self-Assembling Origami Robots
Sure, they start out flat and uninteresting, but they don’t stay that way. Watch as a robot assembles itself out of flat metal and walks away.

Glow-accented Shelving
Got a crack in that nice piece of lumber you bought for shelves? No worries! Fill it in with glowing resin. Not sure how that would look? Check out this album.

Neuronic Processors
IBM has released a chip that includes synapse-like elements on the chip. The coming future of AI? Probably. But it’s no photonics.

The Perhapsatron
So in the 50’s, this guy (scientist Jim Tuck) built what he hoped was going to be a fusion reactor, and it looks a lot like the arc reactor from Tony Stark’s lab. That’s Iron Man, folks. What a great kick-off to a scifi story, though. And he really did call it the Perhapsatron.

Best Birthday Present Ever? Secret Treasure Room
So these parents discover a storage space next to their kid’s bedroom, but instead of telling him about it, they hide the entrance behind a heavy dresser, wait until his 4th birthday, have it secretly renovated, and make it into his own Secret Treasure Room. Personally, I would have gone for more of a pirate motif in my Secret Treasure Room, but it’s not bad.

Dr Who Themed Restaurant
Who’d have thunk it? Tucked away in a sleepy upstate NY town, this eatery features “fish fingers” (french toast sticks) and pudding, plus a smashing decor.

Pyramids and Beehives of Mars
MakerBot (3D printer makers) and JPL (without rockets, it’s just science) solicited entries in a contest for a Mars habitat design that could be constructed using — you guessed it — 3D printers. Check out the three entries that one, including one pyramid design and one based on beehives.

How to Build a 1KB Hard Drive — In Minecraft
That’s right, build a virtual digital storage device inside the game (“game”) Minecraft. Essentially, this person builds a giant assembly of blocks and moving bits to create the drive. It gives me ideas for a way to “store” some kind of special encryption key — just encode it onto a virtual storage device you built inside a game, and let’s see someone figure that out.

Robot-driven 3D-Printed Hoverbike
I think we may have reached a nirvana of geek topics: 3D printed, robots, and hover bikes. Woo!

The Space Economy
What benefits there will be to mining the asteroid belt, in a handy bunch of info graphics.

About John:
John’s a geek from way back. He’s been floating between various computer-related jobs for years, until he settled into doing tech support in higher ed. Now he rules the Macs on campus with an iron hand (really, it’s on his desk).

Geek Credentials:
RPG: Blue box D&D, lead minis, been to GenCon in Milwaukee.
Computer: TRS-80 Color Computer, Amiga 1000, UNIX system w/reel-to-reel backup tape
Card games: bought Magic cards at GenCon in 1993
Science: Met Phil Plait, got time on a mainframe for astronomy project in 1983
His Blog:http://www.glenandtyler.com/

73 Questions with Daniel Radcliffe

Vogue magazine has a web series called “73 Questions”. As you might suspect involves asking someone 73 questions. In the past they’ve featured Sarah Jessica Parker and Olivia Munn, which I didn’t bother mentioning to you guys. However when I received notice of the episode “73 Questions with Daniel Radcliffe” I thought that some of you might want to know about it. Particularly since at the very end he reveals a dirty little secret about Harry Potter.

So for those of you who want to see Daniel Radcliffe play some ping pong, talk movies, and give facial hair advice, this video is for you.

Television and Film

A cool sounding PBS show was brought to my attention recently, it’s called “On Story: Presented by Austin Film Festival”. It is currently in its fourth season and we all should be watching and here are 5 reasons why:

1. Support the Public Broadcasting System. They’re there for more than Sesame Street people!

2. The Austin Film Festival is bad ass. If they’re involved you know it’s a good time.

3. The third episode of the season features veteran screenwriters John August (X-Men First Class, Thor) and Ashley Miller (Big Fish, Charlie & The Chocolate Factory) deconstructing the 1979 film Alien’s pacing, tension, and craftsmanship.

4. In case that wasn’t enough, the fourth episode features House of Cards creator, Beau Willimon, who discusses writing for Netflix, working with David Fincher and delving into the psychology of narrative power struggles.

5. Do my endorsements mean anything to you?

Check with your local PBS stations to see if they carry “On Story”. However, if they don’t, there is no need to despair! You can watch episodes and clips at http://www.onstory.tv/.

Illy Presents a Liberatum Film

Those seeking creative inspiration should look no further, illy, the Trieste based Italian coffee company, is presenting Inspiring Creativity, a compilation of interviews captured on film by global multidisciplinary cultural organization Liberatum, which explores what creativity means and the catalysts that inspire it.

Featuring 21 artists and cultural figures from art, fashion, film, design, technology and music — Inspiring Creativity is an insider’s perspective on inspiration from the minds of well-known creative personalities including: Hans Zimmer, Inez and Vinoodh, James Franco, Joan Smalls, Johan Lindeberg, Jonas Mekas, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Karen Elson, Klaus Biesenbach, Lee Daniels, Lola Montes Schnabel, Marilyn Minter, Nico Muly, Mark Romanek, Tracey Emin, Moby, Paul Schrader, and Richard Saul Wurman.

Through the authentic interpretation and responses from these individuals, the overall project communicates what inspires creative thinking and behaviors for nurturing inspiration, while provoking thoughts on how culture, society, and technology continue to affect creativity.

You can view the 12 minute film right here:

Vanity Fair’s Hollywood Issue

Guess who is feeling fancy this February? This gal! And why? Because just like my heroes over at Go Fug Yourself, Vanity Fair sent me an advance image of the cover of Vanity Fair’s 20th anniversary Hollywood issue. Little did the classy folks at Vanity Fair realize how I was going to give my readers the short geek interpretation of their cover.

Let’s go to the cover, shall we?

Here it is!

We’ve got Chiwetel Ejiofor all the way to the left. Surely he’s there for his performance in “12 Years a Slave”, but I don’t care even the slightest about that. For us Browncoats he’s The Operative in the film “Serenity”. The next handsome gent with Julia Roberts in his lap is Idris Elba. I’ve got to assume he’s on the cover for his portrayal of Nelson Mandela in “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”. However all of us geeks are excited to see him because he starred in, say it together now, “Luther”! Also, hubba hubba! Thanks to “Dallas Buyer Club’s” 6 Oscar nominations Jared Leto is front and center on the cover, and women of a center age know Jared Leto better as Jordan Catalano from “My So-Called Life”. Your band 30 Seconds to Mars can release as many albums as you want, and you can star in as many movies that you can get cast in, but you will always be freakin’ Jordan Catalano to us.

Lastly, standing in the middle like the glorious beacon of awesome that she is, Lupita Nyong’o. I know this actress entirely from her dazzling beauty and amazing fashion sense. In terms of Hollywood, kudos may be in order to her stylist. This is seriously sad, but it wasn’t until I looked her up on IMDB.com that I learned she was in “12 Years a Slave”. Until about 5 minutes ago I only knew Lupita Nyong’o for being a woman who can do no wrong when it comes to dressing for the red carpet. I had no idea why she was walking those carpets. This isn’t traditional geek, but it touches on my fashion geekness. (Did I mention my love for Go Fug Yourself?)

But wait! I’ve got a little something more. Not only was Vanity Fair kind enough to share their cover image but they also sent along a video of some behind the scene footage of the photo shoot! Getting to watch world famous photographer Annie Leibovitz work is a special treat. I’ve been a fan of hers since high school!

Consider this an early Valentine’s gift from Vanity Fair to Magical Buffet readers!

Lights, Camera, Booze!

I’ve always had a soft spot for the movie “The Princess Bride”. Then when my husband and I got married we made reference to the book at our ceremony so we never officially declared it, but the movie sort of became “our” film. So obviously we did what any reasonable married couple would do with such a special film, we invited our friends over for “The Princess Bride”: The Drinking Game.

Yes my friends, you read that correctly. I received a review copy of “Lights, Camera, Booze: Drinking Games for Your Favorite Movies” by Kourtney Jason and Lauren Metz and illustrated by Amanda Lanzone, and you can’t get a book like that and not take it for a test drive. There were tons of tempting options: “The Goonies”, “Back to the Future”, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”, “Clerks”, “Fight Club”, “Monty Python & the Holy Grail”, and so many more! Yet when everything was said and done my husband and I picked “our” movie, “The Princess Bride”.

With the difficult decision of film picked out, we all gathered and prepared for the fun. “Lights, Camera, Booze” tells you when to drink. In this case, drink when….
1. “Farmboy”
2. As you wish
3. Mawwiage
4. Anyone mentions Andre the Giant’s size
5. Inconceivable
6. “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”
7. True love
8. The grandson interrupts
9. Sword fight
10. The Machine
11. Horse Rides
12. Dread Pirate Roberts
13. Rodents of Unusual Size
14. Man in Black
15. Westley defeats a foe.
16. 6-fingered man.
17. Prince Humperdinck
18. Buttercup is referred to as Highness or Princess

Each movie, along with the “drink when”, has a cocktail paired up with it. For “The Princess Bride” the drink is the True Love Cocktail. A mix of coconut rum (RUM!), peach schnapps, and cranberry juice. The first few to try it proclaimed that it “tasted like college” and others agreed. It was pretty sweet and needless to say, tasted better the more you had.

Being the super hostess, I had provided potato chips. I refer to them as fried sliced potato tapas. Fortunately a few of our friends had other things in mind. One friend brought roasted in the shell peanuts (“Anybody want a peanut?”), and snack size Snickers (to emulate the oversized chocolate Miracle Max pill). A different pair brought beer bread (Yum!) and M.L.T.s, yep, mutton, lettuce, and tomato sandwiches (Miracle Max’s favorite!). They were DELICIOUS!

The book stresses that when you “drink”, it’s a sip, not a pounding back the whole glass. Although even with that rule in place most of us thought we were in trouble with just the plot background at the start of the film. We were like, Buttercup, quit saying Farmboy and for the love of God Westley, shut up on the “As you wish”! Depending on the size of the glass, some folks were refilling by the time Buttercup was vowing she would never love again. It was ugly and it was HILARIOUS!

We all had a great time and when it was over I shared the trivia that “Lights, Camera, Booze” provides. They also have a game, which for The Princess Bride was a toy sword fight. Being adults, full of True Love Cocktails, in our crowded apartment; we opted to pass on the game. There’s also a Hot Topics section with some conversational questions which I totally forgot about and by this point my friends wanted to go through and look at other movies.

By the end of the evening people were talking about what the next movie/drinking game night should be and what other movies should have been in the book. With that in mind, I would give Jason & Metz’s “Lights, Camera, Booze” two thumbs up, way up.

Think Before You Pink 2013

Here it is again, another October. Instead of stores being a sea of orange and black for Halloween they’re flooded with pink. Pink scissors, pink watches, pink hats, pink cameras, pink candy, of course pink ribbons, and so much more.

Each year I encourage you to take action and Think Before You Pink, and this year is no different. First, please consider donating to a great breast cancer charity like Breast Cancer Action. They take no donations from corporations that contribute to or profit from breast cancer. This way I know they’re beholden to no one when issuing statements of findings or when making calls to action. I donate to them every October. See:

Dear Rebecca,

Breast Cancer Action is deeply grateful for your generous online donation of $25 dated September 29, 2013. Thank you so much for your commitment to women’s health.

With your support, we will continue to:

• Put Patients First by ensuring that the FDA advances the needs of people over those of the pharmaceutical industry.

• Create Healthy Environments by reducing the involuntary environmental exposures that contribute to the breast cancer epidemic.

• Eliminate Social Inequities by creating awareness of the social injustices, rather than just genetics or personal decisions, that lead to inequities in breast cancer incidence and outcomes.

For the past 21 years, we’ve created a better world for those affected by breast cancer and, with your help, we’ll continue this important work. We are in the unique position to do this because we are one of the only national breast cancer organizations that refuses funding from corporations that profit from or contribute to cancer. This means that over 75% of our support comes from individuals just like you. We are deeply grateful.

Sincerely,

Karuna Jaggar
Executive Director

Second, you can watch the movie “Pink Ribbons, Inc.”. It’s available for streaming on Netflix.

“Who really benefits from the pink ribbon campaigns: the cause or the company? In showing the real story of breast cancer and the lives of those who fight it, this film reveals the co-opting of what marketing experts have labeled a ‘dream cause.’”

You can also get in touch with Breast Cancer Action about setting up a screening.

Lastly, I am SO fed up with “pink October” that in protest I have decided that I will wear absolutely NO PINK the entire month of October. And before you think this is a simple thing, I made a video showing you guys everything I’ll be giving up.

Not so easy, is it. If you feel like me, ditch your pink. Breast cancer has enough “awareness” what it really needs is money for research and support for the women and men dealing with this disease.

The Geek Handbook and The Unofficial Hobbit Handbook

By JB Sanders

Reviewing these two books together is kind of fun. Although their covers would lead you to believe two very different things about them, they’re actually quite similar.

The Unofficial Hobbit Handbook purports to be a humor/trivia book, though it veers quietly towards a kind of hobbit-ish self-help book. The Geek Handbook, on the other hand, is very upfront about being a self-help book, but is also chock-full of great quotes and trivia about a wide variety of geek culture tidbits.

Together the books are a lot of fun.

My take away? Embrace being a geek, and setup your home like a Hobbit.*

The Unofficial Hobbit Handbook
Let’s start with what I feel is the weaker of the two: the Hobbit Handbook. It’s pretty fun, don’t get me wrong, but as either a humor/trivia book or a subtle self-help book, it feels a bit flat. The book includes an exhaustive discussion of the ways of Hobbits, and includes some amusing trivia. For example, just about every riddle from the books (including the Hobbit, of course) is reproduced, and a bunch more besides.

There’s a lot, I mean a LOT, of detail on food. As you’d expect. There are even some recipes, both humorous (Lembas pie crust! Savory garlic dragon!) and straight up (e.g. Waybread Blueberry Tart). There’s extensive advice on what to keep in the larder, and what to serve at every meal. Yes, all the meals are listed, along with when you should have them.

Where the self-help bits come in (besides keeping a well-stocked larder, which really everyone should know) is when it gets to discussing things like how to treat guests and how to talk to trolls. It’s terribly important to know how to talk to trolls, let me assure you.

On the trivia front, there’s quite a bit, but a diehard Tolkien fan probably won’t find much to sate them. Though knowing that Rivendell’s checkout time is 11am is terribly useful on those longer trips.

Look, if you’re going to cosplay a hobbit at a con — you have to buy this book. No question. There’s just every possible relevant detail in there, though the discussion on clothing (pg 130) is pretty darn light. But for everything else — pipe-smoking, travel tips, riddling — it’s a must.

The Geek Handbook
Although this is a self-help book, it’s really, really funny. It was worth reading just for the humor, good advice or not.

The Geek Handbook is a soup-to-nuts guide to being a geek, dealing with a geek or raising a geek. Really, all three! And it gives all this great advice using the “spoonful of sugar” method — and in this analogy humor is the sweet, sweet sugar. I had several laugh out loud moments, and I’m sure anyone familiar with geekiness will, too.

“Much like ice cream and Christopher Walken, geeks come in many different flavors.”

Sure, the discussion of stereotypical geeks is — you know, a stereotypical. But even when doing the cliche “type” discussion, Alex Langley (the author) does it with humor and a certain sensitivity. He both mocks the stereotype and discusses the valid bits at the same time. He uses this same technique on all sorts of topics throughout the book, too. On college majors, D&D gamer types, internet personas and the perennial Trek vs Wars camps.

I especially like the chapter on social interaction, and his advice for socially awkward people. Particularly the part on social cues, which was very well done.

There’s even a section on what to and what NOT to wear, with this priceless footnote on sweatpants:

“The only exception to this are guys who are so well endowed that sweatpants are pretty much the only pants that fit them comfortably, or people who are getting laid so much that pants are almost an afterthought. However, unless you’re Jason Stackhouse, you may not need to worry about such things, and if you are Jason Stackhouse, I feel it’s my duty to let you know that your sister has porked a lot of vampires.”

Then there are things like the hairstyles discussion. I swear, this part is practically worth the price of the book by itself.

The styles are in the section on grooming, named for the fictional character they resemble most. Some examples:

The Tony Stark: heavy on bangs and don’t forget the goatee.

The Rogue: longish hair, with that front-facing dual strips of grey.

The Professor X: bald, of course.

There are more, and each is rated on Complexity, Coolness if Done Right and Likelihood You’ll Look Like a Jackass.

For all the humor and advice, there’s also some great stuff to explore on your own, like his picks for best webcomics (broken into several categories), and the ten movies every geek should see.

I heartily recommend it, although obviously you should buy the e-book version, for maximum geekiness. (You might want to slip your favorite clueless relative a paper copy for Holiday X.)

* Though you may also want to invest in a gym membership, if you’re going to seriously eat like a Hobbit.

About John:
John’s a geek from way back. He’s been floating between various computer-related jobs for years, until he settled into doing tech support in higher ed. Now he rules the Macs on campus with an iron hand (really, it’s on his desk).

Geek Credentials:
RPG: Blue box D&D, lead minis, been to GenCon in Milwaukee.
Computer: TRS-80 Color Computer, Amiga 1000, UNIX system w/reel-to-reel backup tape
Card games: bought Magic cards at GenCon in 1993
Science: Met Phil Plait, got time on a mainframe for astronomy project in 1983
His Blog: http://glenandtyler.blogspot.com

Geek Month in Review: October 2012

By JB Sanders

Onwards to Halloween!

What’s Invisible? More Than You Think.
Great educational (but fun!) animated TED talk about what you can’t see and other random weird things.

How to Survive a Plane Crash
Watch news footage (and some commentary) of safety experts crashing a big jet into the ground, and see what effect where you sit and what you do to prepare for the crash can do for you.

Molotov Cocktail in Slow Motion
Very cool flame blossom on this super-slo-mo video of a molotov cocktail thrown against the side of a house.
Obviously, don’t try this at home without a company of firefighters and an ambulance handy.

And for reference, the Molotov Cocktail got its name during Winter War between the Soviet Union and Finland. It was not complimentary to Mr Molotov.

Stop-Motion LEGO Dr Strangelove
And you’ve already clicked on the link, haven’t you? If you haven’t, it’s part of the war-room scene.

Safest Country in Europe?
Albania: home of 750,000 bunkers. Seriously. That’s one bunker for every 4 Albanians. Apparently the paranoid dictator who ruled there had them built between 1967 and 1986. They’re being repurposed as restaurants, nightclubs, tattoo parlors, and storage facilities.

Dr Who a Religion?
Video posits whether Dr Who fans constitute a religion. Interesting discussion, and no spoilers.

Enjoy Rain Without the Wet
A new 3D art installation at London’s Barbican Centre fills a room with rain — except where each visitor is standing. No running, though, or the detection systems that prevent rain from falling on you won’t be able to keep up.

Behind the Scenes Photos: Raiders of the Lost Ark
See Lucas and Spielberg before the billionaire years. See laughs. See the way they did the melting faces.

How to Control Your Own Dreams
Ever wondered how to control your own dreams? To perform Lucid Dreaming? Wonder know more!
(Controlling the dreams of others is covered in a different video.)

Does D&D Make You More Successful?
This question posed by the IDEA channel guy and then discussed. LOTS of geeky gaming references contained within!

Underwater Atomic Explosion for Your Files
Apparently a lot of the footage taken of the early atomic experiments has been declassified and put up on YouTube. This one is an underwater explosion, with a ship in the foreground for scale.

Are We All in a Computer Sim? Ask Physicists!
It is all really just the matrix/system/virtual world? Cosmologists and particle physicists are looking for the answers in some high energy cosmic rays. Extreme science geekiness within.

Two Suns? Pshaw!
How about 4 suns? There’s a planet out there, just discovered, which has four suns: two in it’s own binary system (which it orbits) and another binary star pair that orbits the first binary pair. Woo!

Alpha Centauri Has an Earth-like Planet
The nearest solar system to ours apparently also has a planet Earth-sized. That is SUPER handy, and not just for all the scifi that now becomes possible.

The Science of Blushing
Ever wonder why people blush? I mean, besides putting their foot in their mouth or when someone makes a rude suggestion. Here’s the science.

You’ve Never Seen Lightning Like This
Watch a video of lightning capture at 7,207 frames per second. Yes, you can see just about everywhere it goes. No sound, so feel free to watch it anywhere.

And Speaking of Lightning
Here’s a great article on various lightning safety tips and myths, with some great links (including that previous video of a slo-mo lightning strike).

What You Know About Galaxy Formation is Wrong
Astronomers are discovering that what everyone generally thought about how galaxies form and change over time is wrong.

Original Star Trek Goodness
So here’s a poster-sized picture of practically every major character to have appeared in the original Star Trek series, plus tons of bad guys and ships, too. Enjoy!

70’s Scifi and Superheroes of Television
While we’re on the subject of giant posters of scifi, here’s a character and ship from every scifi or superhero thing made in the 1970’s (same artist). See how many you can identify.

About John:
John’s a geek from way back. He’s been floating between various computer-related jobs for years, until he settled into doing tech support in higher ed. Now he rules the Macs on campus with an iron hand (really, it’s on his desk).

Geek Credentials:
RPG: Blue box D&D, lead minis, been to GenCon in Milwaukee.
Computer: TRS-80 Color Computer, Amiga 1000, UNIX system w/reel-to-reel backup tape
Card games: bought Magic cards at GenCon in 1993
Science: Met Phil Plait, got time on a mainframe for astronomy project in 1983
His Blog: http://glenandtyler.blogspot.com