Cast your vote today!

I’ll get back to my regularly scheduled commercial enterprises pronto. But today is an exciting, scary, American day – please, to all my U.S. viewers and customers, go vote! It matters.

And stay tuned!

Dame Helen Mirren Tony Award Winner

I know, this isn’t my usual. But I so adore Helen Mirren, I just had to applaud and add one more voice to the “You are fabulous” list of fangirls!

Read all about it here (and thank you to the Entertainment section of www.independent.co.uk::

Helen Mirren, Tony Award winner for Best Actgress 2015

Dame Mirren has already won an Academy Award for playing Queen Elizabeth – but this is her first Tony. I haven’t seen her performance – yet – but if I get a chance to get to NY I will definitely be in line!

P.S. And did I hear you ask, why do I love Helen Mirren? No, you probably already know. But I’ll say it anyway. Not only is she a great actor – and gorgeous – but she seems to have fun. And like herself. Talk about a great role model!

Tippi Hedren is now my hero

I’ve always loved watching her. “The Birds” and “Marnie” come to mind first, and while I think I would’ve run screaming (how appropriate) from Alfred Hitchcock as a person, he did make good films. And Tippi Hedren has always been a classy actor.

But I didn’t know till recently what a terrific role model she is, as well!

I recently read a very informative article from the BBC about Miss Hedren:

Tippi Hedren
“How Tippi Hedren helped Vietnamese refugees get jobs and establish an industry in the US”

Please go read that article – it is inspiring! In short form – in the mid 60s, she realized that displaced Vietnamese women, homeless because of the war, needed not just charity – but jobs. She established a school that taught the women sewing, typing, and most importantly – nail care and fashion. It worked so well that by now, 51% of the nail technicians in the U.S. are Vietnamese.

Ms. Hedren wasn’t just sympathetic to their plight. She DID something to help. Truly a hero!

P.S. And her other, very personal cause? is the Shambala Preserve, a sanctuary she established to care for abandoned and orphaned exotic big cats.

Like I said – a class act!

The Challenger

It’s January 28, and of course I’m rememering the Challenger.

This pretty much says it all:

The Challenger astronauts - civvies here

Why did I put that pic first? Because before they were astronauts – even more important than that they were astronauts – first they were just people. Courageous, outrageous, fun-loving, silly, ordinary people. Well. Maybe not ordinary.

And here’s the official one:

The official Challenger Crew pic

Yes, they are heroes. Not because they died. That was just – stuff happens. Bad stuff happens. They were heroes because they wanted to go, and worked for it, and knew it was risky, and WANTED to go.

So this is for Greg Jarvis, Christa Mcauliffe, Ron McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Judy Resnick, Dick Scobee, and Michael Smith. Thanks, guys. You’re not forgotten. R.I.P. and God bless.

Rare Pink Diamond – or, What Planet Do You Live On?

Saw this in the news today: Sotheby’s is going to be offering a 24.78 karat, uber rare pink diamond for sale next month:

Rare Pink Diamond offered at Sotheby's

Just for giggles, let’s compare it to these:

Pink Octagon Vintage Glass Jewels

Pink 12mm x 10mm vintage glass diamond jewels I have available in my Etsy shop.

Of course the two are worlds apart, and the cut of the diamond is incomparable.

However – the diamond is expected to fetch up to $38 million dollars at auction. Yes. That was “thirty eight MILLION”.

The vintage glass jewels sell for $3.19 a pair.

So my point is, both are pretty. Yes, absolutely, the diamond is rare and incalculable and like that, but — who buys stuff like that? This isn’t even sour grapes on my part. Why would a person want something like that? Just to show it off? Well, yeah, but — I mean, who cares? It’s simply a cultural / ethnic / socioeconomic gap so wide it’s funny.

I mean – what planet do THEY live on?

Let Vermontasaurus Live!

I’m probably joining a very big bandwagon here, but I don’t care – they need to find a way to let Vermontasaurus live.

You’ve probably heard about it, but if not, here’s the short form: Brian Boland, a gentleman in Vermont, decided to turn a bunch of trash, scrap lumber, discarded broken ladders, and you name it, into a… well, a dinosaur-ish creature. This was apparently a spontaneous idea, and a fun one, and the stuff was just trash and junk, and he (and a bunch of volunteers) made – Ta Da – Vermontasaurus:

Vermontasaurus
Vermontasaurus, The Only One Of His Kind

And they – the guvmint, the revooners, the permit people, the Official Nameless Ones, are probably going to make him tear it down. It’s probably a fire hazard, or somebody might stab themselves on a rusty nail, or maybe kids will god forbid play on it.

Yes, kids should probably stay off it. And I guess they have to think about the fire thing – although the ‘raw materials’ trash was allowed to collect, and nobody hollered about it. But either way, dammit, this is Art, or at least Fresh Air, this was spontaneous or so we’re told, and it’s fun. At a time when we could use a little of that – well we always need fun, truly – but right now? with all the bad news out there? Come on.

Let the Vermontasaurus live.

Captain Phillips is rescued!

Woo hoo! I don’t know details yet but it doesn’t matter – we’ve rescued Captain Phillips!
Check out Drudge Report or Yahoo News.

Back to our regular programming shortly 🙂

Artificial Intelligence, Part 2

I just saw a revised mention of the article I talked about earlier. Now it says that the university (in Amsterdam I think? I’m hurrying so not sure right now) – anyway, the people who developed the “intelligent programs” have a robot working with their programs.

They named the robot Adam. And they have already made a second robot. Named Eve.

Insert Twilight Zone music here.

Artificial Intelligence – Robots that can reason?

Wow. Just saw an article from Reuters that says some scientists are developing “robots (computers anyway) that can think”.

Of course that’s an oversimplification designed to get headlines, but it does say that programs have been developed that can reason and create hypotheses, determine and then check results. It’s on a baby scale so far but still… wow.

Old Univac Computer
Talk about a double-edged sword. The article talks about how these programs could “take over much of the routine work in research laboratories”. This would be terrific for efficiency (and probably cost-savings). It could also lead to, well, all those computers-take-over-the-world-scenarios that SF has loved for years.

“Terminator”, anyone?