Archive for January 3rd, 2011

Dry Cleaning

Your useless information for this week.

Dry cleaning was discovered by accident. On December 28, 1849, a tailor by the name of M. Jolly-Bellin, knocked over a lamp containing turpentine and oil. Some spilled on his clothes and he noticed that it had a cleaning effect.

I can’t think of many other industrial liquid combinations which could not only be safely spilled on a person’s clothes, but result in cleaner clothes.

Samuel

January 3rd, 2011 at 09:13am

When it comes to weird news…

2011 is off to a strange start with this story from Arkansas which reminds of last year’s TV series FlashForward, minus the blackout. (h/t THV 11 News)

Just before folks in Beebe rang in the New Year, many witnessed an uncanny resemblance to the Hitchcock movie “The Birds.” About 2,000 black birds fell from the sky off Windwood Drive, leaving quite the mess to clean up.

Folks Today’s THV spoke with initially thought the birds were poisoned because they are what they call a nuisance around this time every year, but they are surprised to hear it is more of a mystery.

Stephen Bryant recalls, “Millions, millions fly over every night. You look up at the sky and it’s just black and then last night at about 10:30 I came out here and saw a bird drop.”

In a matter of hours on New Years Eve thousands of birds fell from the sky to their death.

Melissa Weatherly says, “I immediately called mom because I had to go to work, I said you have to come get the kids and get the dog because I don’t know what’s going on.” She continues, “It was horrible; you could not even get down the road without running over hundreds. It was that bad.”

The mystery is unraveling like scenes from a movie, dozens of U.S. Environmental Services crews spent the day picking up the birds, walking between homes and climbing on roofs with protective hazmat suits and breathing masks,.
[..]
Officials with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission flew over the area and determined it’s a one mile stretch. There are a variety of dead black birds, mostly red winged and a duck was also found.

No one has been evacuated because the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) air test came back clean for toxins.

Weatherly is skeptical, “They’re walking around in masks and I’m wondering do we need the same thing because what makes that happen for them to drop out of the sky like that.”

Katherina Yancy with Today’s THV found one bird still living. It was confused, injured, continuously walked in circles and didn’t make a sound or attempt to fly.

Officials will confirm their findings when they get the test results, until then they are giving these possible scenarios: lightning, stress, high altitude hail or startled by fireworks, but neighbors just want answers.

This takes the cake for the strangeness as far as I’m concerned, and really this is the sort of story that, no matter what the officials eventually decide to blame (if they ever do decide to blame anything) there will be a dozen conspiracy theories which will seem more feasible.

I’m not going to pretend to have the faintest clue what actually caused this bizarre localised bird death, but I will say that I’m not in the least bit convinced that any of the officially speculated reasons are the cause.

Samuel

January 3rd, 2011 at 06:12am

Holiday pay rates

An email to 2GB’s Mike Williams

G’day Mike,

I’m with you to an extent on the public holidays. For people who work Monday to Friday I can see a point in having the public holidays held over to the next weekday, but for people like me who work on a seven-day rotating roster, I think it’s nuts.

Case in point, the Christmas weekend. I was rostered on from the Tuesday before Christmas until the Thursday after Christmas, meaning that I worked on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and the two weekday versions of the public holidays on the Monday and Tuesday. I get public holiday rates for all four days…this makes no sense to me whatsoever. I don’t mind the extra pay, but I really can’t see any logic in paying me for four public holidays when there were only two public holidays.

Surely the extra public holidays should only be there for the people who didn’t have to work on the real public holidays.

Have a great day!

Regards,
Samuel Gordon-Stewart
Canberra

January 3rd, 2011 at 01:38am

Samuel’s Musicians Of The Week: Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard

I was reminded of this song almost two weeks ago (it really doesn’t seem that long ago, but it was in the week before Christmas so I suppose it is) when Casey Hendrickson filled in on KCMO is Kansas City. The producer over there goes by the name “Lefty”, which reminded me of this song, not exclusively by Willie and Merle, but I think their version is the best of the bunch. Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard singing Pancho and Lefty.

Livin’ on the road my friend
Was gonna keep you free and clean
And now you wear your skin like iron
And your breath is hard as kerosene

Weren’t you mamma’s only boy?
But her favorite one it seemed
She began to cry when you said
Good-bye, sank to your dream

Pancho was a bandit boy
His horse was fast as polished steel
He wore his gun outside his pants
For all the honest world to feel

Well Pancho met his match, you know
On the deserts down in Mexico
Nobody heard his dyin’ word
Oh, but that’s the way it goes

All the Federales say
They could have had him any day
They only let him slip away
Out of kindness I suppose

Lefty he can’t sing the blues
All night long like he used to
The dust that Pancho bit down South
Ended up in Lefty’s mouth

The day they lay poor Pancho low
Lefty split for Ohio
Where he got the bread to go
There ain’t nobody knows

All the Federales say
They could have had him any day
We only let him slip away
Out of kindness I suppose

The poets tell how Pancho fell
And Lefty’s livin’ in cheap hotels
The desert’s quiet, Cleveland’s cold
And so the story ends we’re told

Pancho needs your prayers, it’s true
Save a few for Lefty too
He only did what he had to do
And now he’s growin’ old

All the Federales say
We could have had him any day
Only let him go so long
Out of kindness I suppose

A few grey Federales say
Could have had him any day
We only let him go so long
Out of kindness I suppose

Samuel

January 3rd, 2011 at 12:19am


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