In America?

October 8, 2009 at 12:52 pm | Posted in I can't think of a clever category | 1 Comment
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I haven’t posted here in a while, and for that I apologize, but I hope to make up for it with this absolutely fascinating tidbit.

There is, right now, in the state of Pennsylvania, a town that has been essentially erased from existence due to the fact that it has been on fire for the past 50 years. Go ahead and read that again. This is not a bad movie, or a joke, or a gag.

You see, there was a town, once, Centralia, that numbered roughly 2,000 Pennsylvanians. In 1962, the local fire department lit the town dump on fire (a standard practice apparently) and accidentally ignited the coal mine running beneath the entire town.

It started burning. And it is still burning because it’s, you know, coal. And you cannot, I gather, live and work atop a continuously burning coal mine fire without experiencing some rather serious side effects. The ground there actually smokes and belches flame, and the temperature several feet below the surface is over 170 degrees.

We have managed to create, in the middle of Pennsylvania, an actual, physical, manifestation of Hell.

So, in 1984, Congress allocated $84 million to relocate all of the residents of the town. In 1992, the state claimed the entire town via eminent domain, and in 2002, the Federal Government cancelled the town’s zip code. There is essentially a several square mile dead-zone, a non-existent place, that is literally on fire, in the middle of our country.

It is estimated that the mines beneath the town will continue burning for another 250 years.

I am absolutely speechless upon learning this. Did you know about this? Did you know that this was even possible? Why has nobody ever told me about this? Why does the national news not report on this story every single night?

And who is joining me for a road trip?

Apropos

March 4, 2009 at 9:11 am | Posted in I can't think of a clever category | Leave a comment
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This cartoon was my daily “New Yorker Desk Calendar” cartoon this morning.

The New Yorker

The New Yorker

Ha.

We are a silly, self-possessed little people.

Angry Eyes

January 14, 2009 at 6:23 pm | Posted in I can't think of a clever category | Leave a comment
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My eyes hurt.

To normal people this would be a minor inconvenience. Me? I have spent the last thirty minutes on WebMD searching for diseases of the eye. Two things you should know about me in order to better understand this. One – I had LASIK a few years ago. Two – I am a minor hypochondriac.

So, when my eyes are sore for, oh, I don’t know, let’s say twenty-five minutes, I will manage to convince myself, in that short amount of time, that I have eyeball tumors. Or that the LASIK wore off and my eyes are about to fall out. Or that I’m going blind.

The process usually goes something like this:

1) Do a general search on Google for something vague, like “eyeball pain.”

2) Read and dismiss all of the articles that suggest something as mundane as eyestrain or not getting enough sleep.

3) Focus in on an article on some website that you’ve never heard of, regarding some ailment you’ve never encountered (usually  somewhere around page six of the Google results), and convince yourself that you have that.

Maybe minor hypochondriac was a bit of an understatement.

How far have I taken this in the past?

Years ago, while living in Los Angeles, I actually spent four months going to specialists, having tests run, and getting put on Flomax before discovering that what had actually happened was that I had gained ten pounds and all of my pants were now too tight.

Yup. I got put on make-you-not-go-pee medicine because I got too fat for my pants. 

True story.

Not to nitpick…

December 17, 2008 at 8:46 pm | Posted in I can't think of a clever category | Leave a comment
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…but I’m going to nitpick.

I read this article today over at cnet. I actually read it about four times. The topic is, at best, moderately interesting. Go read it anyway, though. Then come back. I’ll wait.

Ah! There you are.

Is it me, or is this article written, just, horribly? Missing punctuation, incomplete thoughts, no real conclusion. I expect this type of thing from websites with wordpress in their URL (or, you know, from this site)…but from cnet? From a guy that writes for the Washington Post?

Is this the future of journalism? Maybe I’m overreacting a wee bit.

The comedy skit known as “Jizz in My Pants” starring SNL cast member Andy Samberg has recorded nearly 8 million views since being posted on Dec. 6 and is YouTube’s most watched video this month. NBC hadn’t ordered the clipped pulled from YouTube it has no right to do so.

No. No I’m not.

Subtext

November 11, 2008 at 3:32 pm | Posted in Business, I can't think of a clever category | 3 Comments
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Sad news this week that Circuit City, that last great refuge from the twits at Best Buy, is filing for bankruptcy.

On a personal note, Circuit City was the site of one of my earliest lessons on the workings of the female mind. Turns out, when your girlfriend states that she doesn’t want anything for Valentines Day, that is not code for “buy yourself a new home theater system instead.”

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