Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Truth Behind Dinosaurs

It's kind of funny how certain segments of out community starts sweating and twitching when the topic of dinosaurs comes up.
Ultimately they end up denying that dinosaurs ever existed and explain away dinosaur bones as having been planted by either scientists or G-d to test us...

Well I have a new theory.

After observing a construction site for a few days near my house, and watching these hulking construction vehicles rumbling around I'm convinced that dinosaurs were ancient construction vehicles!

Just look at these pictures...
I mean..if in a million years from now someone digs these things out of a mountain, I'm sure they'll be convinced that they're the remains of some extinct horrible creatures. And then the CGI graphic artists will gleefully fill out what the body must have looked like. Small red eyes and a frightful snare...

Still not convinced?


Friday, June 12, 2009

overheard on a rainy day

New York street..rainy day

excuse me...sir..I bought this umbrella from you..
and somethings terribly wrong
I bought it...2 weeks ago..
and it still

I'd like my money back!

Very strange, whenever it starts to rain in the city, umbrella vendors start magically appearing all over the streets..as if from thin air.
Well the other day, just as it started to drizzle I decided to look closely and get to the bottom of this strange phenomena.
Do you remember those Fisher Price pop up farm toys (see picture below). Thats exactly what happens!
As soon as it starts to rain selected sidewalk squares flip over very fast and voila, there's your umbrella vendor.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

The Death of Newspapers

Much has been said and written in recent months about the inevitable death of the newspaper.
A few high profile closings seem to be a harbinger of things to come.
There are those that might argue that it's no great loss. What's the difference if you get news online or if you read it in a traditional newspaper?

A few months ago I bought a newspaper on ebay from 1737. I received it in the mail and immediately started pouring over its contents. It was remarkably durable for its age and it took some time getting used to the olde englifh of the day. But once I got the hang of it I was glued to that thing until I read the whole thing cover to cover.
It was a London magazine called Gentleman's Magazine and just holding it, feeling the texture and the old scent always gives me a strange kind of thrill. To me it froze a day in time and preserved for me in 2009. Even more than a video clip or photograph from 1737 this gives me a far clearer image of life in those days. But it wasn't just the main contents and news. That I could read in a history book. It was all the side things, the small items printed here and there. Fascinating letters to the editor, poems and riddles sent in by readers, a weekly account of Hif Majeftys comingf and goingf as well as advertisements.
Imagine if historical pictures were all touched up so that only the intended subject were included and the backgrounds cropped out. All those street scenes in a Roman Vishniac black and white portrait of Krakow. The background buildings, signs, passersby and street scenes are perhaps more telling than the subject matter at the forefront.

Here's an example of of one item in the newspaper that is just astounding to 21st century eyes.

It is a run down of deaths in the city of London for the month of December 21 to Jan 25.
Of the 2,296 that dies 796 were under the age of 2 and 213 between 2 and 5!
Only 210 died past 70.
No this isn't a news story, just dry facts on page 62. It's the the street scene of a day in the life....
This is why the death of the Newspaper would be tragic.
Nothing preserves a day in time like the whole of the items that make it to print.