Saturday, October 29, 2016

Saturday & Sundries

At Free Will Astrology this week Rob Brezsny told Aquarian types that:
In 1938, a chef named Ruth Wakefield dreamed up a brilliant invention: chocolate chip cookies. She sold her recipe to the Nestlé company in return for one dollar and a lifetime supply of chocolate. Maybe she was happy with that arrangement, but I think she cheated herself........(etc.)

Ms Wakefield did the world a favour! In my opinion, though, choc chip cookies do not beat wonderful British Chocolate Digestives by McVitie. From the Wikipedia page on Digestive Biscuits in general - sc roll down:
Chocolate digestive biscuits also are available, coated on one side with milk, dark or white chocolate. Originally produced by McVitie's in 1925 in the UK as the Chocolate Homewheat Digestive....American travel writer Bill Bryson described the chocolate digestive as "a British masterpiece". The McVitie's chocolate digestive is the most popular biscuit in the UK to dunk into tea.

The Sartorialist website one day this week (a daily stop for me) inadvertently introduced me to another artist I'd not heard of: Ai Weiwei, when The Sartorialist's photographer and the artist decided to take photographs of one another at the same time.

Ai Weiwei, I discovered, once created a set of bronze sculptures representing the Chinese Zodiac
See Zodiac Heads
and The Meaning of Ai Weiwei's 12 Zodiac Heads

An interesting topic upon which to exercise imagination:

The Amazing Cloud Cities we Could Build on Venus by Adam Becker
Space scientists are pouring much time and effort into colonising Mars. But could we also live in the atmosphere of Venus? BBC Future investigates.

It’s hot enough to melt lead, the acid rain will scorch the flesh from your bones – and it’s the perfect place to raise a family. Venus, not Mars, might be the off-world destination of choice for future space colonists..........

So how could we ever possibly hope to live there? The key is to avoid the surface. “The problem with Venus is that the surface is too far below the one-Earth-atmosphere [of air pressure] level,” says Geoffrey Landis, the Nasa scientist and science fiction writer who was among the first to propose the idea. “The atmosphere of Venus is the most Earth-like environment in the Solar System (other than the Earth).” Some 50 kilometres (30 miles) above the surface, Venus is surprisingly hospitable........

To live on Venus, then, just fill a balloon with nitrogen and oxygen, and live inside the balloon. A big enough balloon will have enough lifting power to support you and your supplies – and a really big balloon could do even more. “A one-kilometre diameter spherical [balloon] will lift 700,000 tons – two Empire State Buildings. A two-kilometre diameter [balloon] would lift six million tons,” says Landis. “The result would be an environment as spacious as a typical city.”.........

All of which brought to mind this ditty:

Hat-tip to Avedon's Sideshow (link in sidebar) for this -

Watching This Rare Color Film Of London In 1927 Makes You Feel Like You're There, by Emily Davis.
This wonderful short film was shot by early film pioneer Claude Friese-Greene in 1927, and is some of the first-ever color film footage of London.

Which, in turn, brought to mind that we've been watching a new TV series on NBC "Timeless" (mainly because it follows "The Voice", so we're already on TV rather than partaking of Netflix offerings).

We've seen 4 weekly episodes so far. The series is not awful, but it isn't great time travel fare either. The episodes need to be longer, dialogue needs more depth. To date the time travellers have tried: to stop a rogue time traveller from preventing the Hindenberg disaster; from preventing the assassination of Abe Lincoln, from something we hadn't quite worked out, and this week from preventing the Nazis using an atomic weapon on Belgium, and preventing Werner Von Braun from going to work in the USA. What the plot's characters are doing isn't travelling back to change stuff themselves, but to prevent a rogue traveller from changing stuff, and in the process causing numerous potentially catastrophic "butterfly effects".

As we told one another on Monday evening, "This theme, done this way, could get old quite quickly now!"


mike said...

Yum...didn't know that McVitie's biscuits came with chocolate frosting variations...thought they were uncoated. I quite buying the HEB brand of digestives, because the price has doubled over the last couple of years, but still fairly reasonable at $2 per sleeve. I'm always thinking that I'll make my own, as they are fairly easy, but then I get real.

Perhaps a couple of Mr Ai's zodiac heads will be stolen, in keeping with the originals. 800 pounds each would increase the worthiness of the task!, but it's always surprising what enterprising thieves can manage to haul.

I find it very sad that extraterrestrial colonization of any sort is being considered, with Elon Musk actually applying the effort toward Mars. Hey, what's wrong with the planet we have? Why not apply some major effort to keep what we have? Reminds me of those renters we hear about that destroy a rental over the weekend to the horror of the home owners returning home the following Monday. It should be obvious that we humans are not good tenants and don't deserve new caves on other planets. I just read somewhere that half of all species may be extinct by the end of our lifetime (I think the article must have had 30-somethings in mind, not my age range!).

Yes, "Timeless" sounds droll, like so many other series on ABC, NBC, or CBS. Are you two going to watch Netflix' "The Crown"? I think the first 10 of 60 expisodes start November 4th. The most expensive series Netflix has produced thus far. I'll give it a try.

mike (again) said...

Should be: I QUIT buying the HEB brand of digestives.

Twilight said...

mike ~ I doubt the Venus idea would ever come to pass, unless in a science fiction novel or movie - just some bored scientists exercising their imaginations. They might be more profitably occupied in imagining ways to heal and help our already only-known inhabited planet - as you have observed above. :-/

We'll probably give "The Crown" a try-out. We caught the last part of an interview with John Lithgow last evening on one of the late shows - Jimmy Fallon's, I think. Lithgow plays Winston Churchill in the series. Odd choice, I thought, perhaps its an enticement for US viewers - it's very unlikely they couldn't find a British actor to play Churchill. Lithgow is way too tall to start with. Doesn't really matter, I guess. I'm not a big fan of royalty, "The Crown" will have to be good stuff to ensure it doesn't get dumped after the first episode!

We've been watching a few episodes of "The Grinder" - a funny series of 21 minute episodes about a guy (Rob Lowe) who played a lawyer in a ridiculously successful fictional TV series which has ended. He then returns to his home, where his father and brother are actual lawyers, and tries to involve himself in their business. It's spoof fodder - The Grinder is to Boston Legal what Blazing Saddles was to John Wayne Westerns (I think so anyway).
Anyjazz laughs from start to finish! Rob Lowe drives it and does so very well - he's probably the only current actor who could do it so well.

The "Grinder" plot is a bit like Donald Trump trying to be a presidential candidate!

In other news: What fun it is today, reading around both Dem and Repub-leaning blogs and websites regarding Comey's letter yesterday re e-mails discovered on Huma's Anthony Weiner's devices - LOL!!
Dems (Clintocrats) clasping pearls and declaring "it's a nothingburger". Repubs (Trumpublicans) rejoicing as though Jebus had returned, bearing gifts. :-D

mike (again) said...

Re The Hil and Don Show - Too much,eh?! I see that Donald's poll numbers have risen, just as Jebus did. It's still quite conceivable he could be victor, I think, though a very unpleasant thought at this point. A number of prognostications of various sorts point to Trump, including the one by Michael Moore. Gary Johnson was riled over questions about his tax policy, when asked by a Guardian journalist...Gary's fangs came out for all to see, spilling those voters over to Trump. Bloomberg and Seattle Times had essays about Donald's family fortune originating from brothels (in Seattle, then Canada) started by Grampa Drumpf. There are enough days remaining prior to the election to completely distort all reality, maybe several times over.

Have you read this piece from Bill Herbst, "The Astrological Road Ahead"? It's 11 insightful pages regarding the astrology of 2015 to 2020.

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ Yes, just over a week to go before voting - not enough time for the new e-mail investigations to even get underway, never mind to be finalised and assessed. As I surmised regarding Clinton's health iffies a few weeks ago, they (Powers That Be) will find some way to drag her over the finish line and onto the throne, then worry what to do about the rest of whatever turns up. A President Kaine could well be in our future, and long before 2020. I have a gut-feeling difficulty in seeing a President Trump in our future though.

Thanks for the Bill Herbst link. I always highly respected his writings, used to go to his site regularly - then he had a stroke, was absent for a while, and I got out of the habit of visiting. It's a long complex article - I skimmed it and have bookmarked it for further reading - too much to take in at one session!

mike (again) said...

I believe that James Comey will greatly regret his October surprise for Hillary. The chart you prepared:
has him suffering a recent transiting Pluto opposed his natal Mars, now transiting Pluto will conjunct his Saturn exactly in January for the third time (forward, retrograde, forward) this year, while he's having a Nodal return, with transiting N Node soon transiting his natal Pluto. His Pluto transit of natal Saturn is significant, as Pluto was on his Saturn last spring and early summer, concurrent to his email investigation conclusion.

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ Hmm - that sounds ominous. He'll likely, by the end of January, have lost his position in the FBI, at the very least, either by resignation or, "You're fired!".

Whatever has been found on Weiner's "devices" involving Huma Abedin and Clinton has to be significant enough for him to put his job at risk. Some commenters think he has needed to "get ahead of Wikileaks", who threaten to reveal a new cache of e-mails next week, containing some important stuff. Alternative theory is that he needed to say something before some irate member of his staff (annoyed for reason related to either his refusal to indict Clinton earlier, or to some other recent aggravation) leaked it to the media.

Next week promises to be interesting.