Friday, June 15, 2018

Summer Saturdays Are for Just Plain Ridiculous News

SUMMER STARTS NEXT THURSDAY ON JUNE 21. And summer Saturdays are not meant for serious reading. So this summer, we're going to keep Saturdays a bit lighter with a new topic -- JUST PLAIN RIDICULOUS. • • • Swimming across the Pacific Ocean is just plain ridiculous. I know many people are watching the online streaming of Ben Lecomte who set off from the coast of Choshi, Japan, on June 5 and began a 5,500 mile-long swim across the Pacific Ocean. If all goes according to plan, the 51-year-old Frenchman will not touch dry land again until he reaches San Francisco in six months. Lecomte has already traversed the Atlantic in only 73 days in 1998, but critics argued that his progress was aided by overnight drifting. This time, determined to avoid the imposition of asterisks, his 67-foot-sailboat is equipped with a GPS tracker to ensure that he ends and begins in the same spot each day. I can hear some of you telling me that Lecomte's hoping to help draw attention to the declining state of the oceans, too. And, that is a fine goal. As he makes his way through the water, equipment on his body and his boat will collect invaluable data samples to help scientists study the consequences of pollution. Lecomte will be in the water for six months, only for eight hours a day. He will sleep on a boat at night. Food seems to be a great issue for Lecomte -- he says there's not a lot of food he can take in while swimming, so most of his intake of 8,000 calories per day happens on the boat : "While I’m there, I’ll try to rest and eat as much as possible, and that will continue throughout most of the night." His pantry includes freeze-dried and non-perishable food like pasta, as well as Spam because it's really easy on his intake, contains a lot of calories, and is salty, and non-perishable. He will also be eating high-calorie shakes, multivitamins and a ketone supplement. Two medics will monitor his nutritional intake and adjust it if needed. Lecomte also has to plan what to think about -- during the monotony of eight hours of swimming. He has a schedule that lists what he’ll be thinking about, and when. He says : "If I know ahead of time what I’ll be focusing on, it becomes easier, because my mind won’t go in a hundred different directions. That’s one of biggest elements of my routine: I’ll take a subject, focus my mind on it, and try and separate my mind from my body." • I think the whole gambit is just plain ridiculous. Why don't Lecomte and his sponsors provide 8,000 calories a day to starving children for six months -- there are many possiblities, Syria, for example, or Venezuela -- and focus on taking ocean samples and photos to show the world. • • • If we want the ultimate in just plain ridiculous, how about this -- a new study says that the moon got warmer after astronauts walked on it -- because their footsteps disturbed the rock and dirt, and the impressions were darker than the rest of the terrain. Those darker areas then reflected less sunlight and got warmer. This conclusion comes from a meaningless study called “Examination of the long-term subsurface warming observed at the Apollo 15 and 17 sites utilizing the newly restored heat flow experiment data from 1975 to 1977,” which explains that temperatures of the ground at both sites “rose gradually” and continued “until the end of observations in 1977.” The warming “was more pronounced at shallower depths.” The scientists said they got the answer after they reviewed images from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera of the sites, which revealed “the regolith on the paths of the astronauts turned darker, lowering the [reflective properties]. Simple analytical heat conduction models with constant regolith thermal properties can show that an abrupt increase in surface temperature of 1.6 to 3.5 K at the time of probe deployment best duplicates the magnitude and the time of the observed subsurface warmings at both Apollo sites,” the report said. You can read more at < >. • And, silly us, we thought the Earth's global warming was the top item on the Looney Left's agenda !!! • • • How's this for just plain ridiculosity?? Superman has a new name guiding his adventures : Brian Michael Bendis, an award-winning comics writer who recently joined DC Entertainment after a long period at rival Marvel, where he was the driving force behind the ‘Ultimate Marvel’ universe. Bendis, in a TIME interview, discussed the iconic Superman, who recently had his 80th birthday. Bendis talked about why he’s excited to be taking on such a legendary character, and how he plans to portray Superman’s efforts to have a ‘normal’ family life with his wife and child. ‘You get to really focus on what’s unique about Superman and his relationship to his son, and his relationship to his family. And we’re going to really dig into that in the coming months because they’ve been living a traditional family life, but they are by no means a traditional family,’ said Bendis. • I don't know about you, but I like to see Superman leap tall buildings and catch Lois Lane in mid-air. Who cares about his normal family life -- bring on the phone booth scene where Clark Kent rips off his suit and reveals his Superman muscles. His relationship to his family? Just plain ridiculous !! • • • And, we come at the last to Paris, the City of Lights. But, here are some facts that may make you think that describing Paris as the most beautiful cuity in the world is just plain ridiculous -- at least if you happen to live in an apartment in Paris. Evie Burrows-Taylor at The Local-France listed some things "that everyone who lives in a Paris flat will experience at some time or another... like having to squeeze into a lift that's only big enough for a baby hobbit. As everyone who lives in one knows, there are many, many great things about living in an apartment in Paris. You'll have great bars nearby and restaurants and stunning architecture...and most importantly - there is always a world-class boulangerie within rolling distance from your bed." But, says Evie, "unfortunately apartments in Paris come with their little but infuriating downsides." Here are some of her favorites : 1. 'The City of Leaks' - Everyone knows that Paris apartments are synonymous with leaks and to be honest they're often so frequent you'll need to have your plumber on speed dial. 2. Polite notices about parties...followed by really crazy parties - French people are so polite, is what you'll think to yourself the first time you see a notice in the lobby, letting you know that your neighbors are planning a party this weekend and that you are invited. But fast forward to Saturday and you'll quickly realise how naive you were, as music pounds through the walls and loud shouts of, "Ouuuiiiiiiiii!" can be heard through the walls until the early hours of the morning. 3. The lifts (or lack thereof) - it's the norm...most lifts in Paris apartment blocks (at least the older ones) are are really (really!) tiny or non-existent. This means you have to take your shopping up one bag at a time and it of course it makes moving a nightmare. 4. Sweltering heat during summer - While you might have always dreamed of having a sauna inside your apartment, it's unlikely you ever wanted it to become one. In Paris, it's unlikely you'll have the choice. Either you have to accept that sleep will remain but a distant dream (pun intended) during the months of July and August (and sometimes even June), flee the city along with the French or take to one of the Paris parks open 24-hours a day during the summertime. 5. Packages going missing - Maybe it's the French postal service or it could be the fact that there are so many people living in a typical Paris apartment building, many of whom aren't listed on the post boxes. Either way, your packages will go missing. 6. The Renovations Drilling at 8am.... even on weekends! Get your revenge and have a party one night. 7. Random buzzing - Why does your buzzer ring even when you're not expecting anyone? The phantom buzzes are often just someone who has forgot their keys and is hoping to get buzzed in, a home deliverer or a burglar. 8. Neighbors so close they can see into your kitchen drawers - You can never be naked in a Paris flat with the windows open because often the layout of flats and the windows mean neighbors in a separate building or those who live across the courtyard can see everything that goes on in your flat. This means you either keep the curtains or shutters closed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year or you let your neighbors into your lives. • These are all good resons for not living in Paris, but the just plain ridiculousity of it is that people pay very high rents to be bombarded with these inconveniences. Paris is the City of Lights, after all. • • • DEAR READERS, have a great summer weekend. May your favorite national team win at the World Cup and you favortie golfer take home the US Open title. And, above all, keep looking for the just plain ridiculous side of life -- it's all around us.

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