May 22, 2013

Back in a bit...

I'm not shutting the place down just yet, but I'm going to take a little break.

Maybe I'll be back in a bit.

May 11, 2013

Would you like to make a soldier out of your son Ted?

May 9, 2013

Thank you, Bruce Railsback

I love the periodic table.

I've mentioned my love before, but this time I'm mentioning it in conjunction with a nice little coincidence.

The Girl is a couple of weeks away from heading to Saint Louis for the graduation of her (ok, our) niece from high school. From there, the niece is heading to the Missouri University of Science and Technology (in Rolla, MO). There she is planning to major in geological engineering with a focus on explosives.

How geeky is that?

I'm all down with supporting somebody - especially a girl, especially in my family - heading into the sciences, and if she's got explosives in the specialty, that's even better.

So I'm looking to order an Earth Scientist's Periodic Table of the Elements - created by UGA prof, Bruce Railsback - for her graduation present. One of my former co-workers, a petroleum engineer by training before becoming a teacher, commented that he would have loved to have had this periodic table when he was in college, that there were a bunch of relationships that made more sense presented visually (as they are on the table) than they had ever made before.

So maybe it'll be helpful.

The poster's available from the Geological Society of America's online bookstore, but I have a few questions before I order it there (is it in color? is it a single, big poster? can I get it rolled rather than folded?). If ordering it online is the choice, I'll probably add in a geologic time scale poster...and maybe some wallet cards, too.

She'll be the favorite geek in her freshman classes.

May 7, 2013

People don't die on a television show

Posted on Sunday on Futility Closet:
During an appearance on The Dick Cavett Show in 1971, publisher and organic gardening advocate J.I. Rodale boasted, “I’m in such good health that I fell down a long flight of stairs yesterday and I laughed all the way.” When Cavett’s next guest, New York Post columnist Pete Hamill, joined them on the couch, Rodale made a snoring sound. Hamill told Cavett, “This looks bad.”

“The audience laughed at that. I didn’t, because I knew Rodale was dead,” Cavett wrote later in the New York Times. “To this day, I don’t know how I knew. I thought, ‘Good God, I’m in charge here. What do I do?’ Next thing I knew I was holding his wrist, thinking, I don’t know anything about what a wrist is supposed to feel like.”

Rodale had died of a heart attack. The episode was never aired.
I'll admit that I was skeptical. Futility Closet is usually very reliable, though, so I went hunting to remove any doubt in my head.

Turns out it's entirely true - at least according to Dick Cavett who should certainly know. He's told the story on radio shows...

...written an op-ed in the New York Times about it...

...and Wikipedia has most of the details...

...but Cavett's never released the footage...not online, not on air, never.

He did, however, successfully avoided telling a joke when looking to get Mr Rodale some medical attention. Dick Cavett, ever professional.

May 6, 2013

LonnieBurger Baskets: Bobby's Burger Palace

I don't think I promised that I was ever fully retiring the LonnieBurger Basket tag, just putting it on a bit of a hiatus until something interesting showed up. We'd tried pretty much every well-regarded burger in the Cincy area, and nothing seemed to be challenging the top burgers in my rating.

Would the arrival of celebrity chef Bobby Flay in town do anything to rattle the rankings?

Flay's Bobby's Burger Palace in the new Horseshoe Casino drew The Girl and me down into Cincinnati on Reds opening day - not to the ballpark, though.

Let's see how the Flayer did...

  • Bobby does make a tasty enough burger. They're 1/2lb burgers - a little big for my preference - but certainly generous at the price. The burgers had a little spice to them and were nicely juicy. They did lack, however, the dark, crusty bits that are the mark of a great burger to me. Burger - 7 

  • I went with the bacon cheeseburger, lettuce, onion, and tomato. The Girl went for the Santa Fe Burger - queso sauce, pickled jalapenos, and blue corn chips. The bacon was crisp and flavorful; the onion, lettuce, and tomato were solid for being way out of summer time. The queso was slimy and tasty. The pickled jalapenos were sharp but not painful. Topping a very solid offering. Th five custom sauces on the table, though, weren't very good.  Toppings - 7

  • The Girl and I split an order of fries. They were slightly salty and nicely crisp. They were, however, short and kinda stubby, no big, long fries in the tin. They were also served with a weirdo, flavored mayonnaise. It's supposed to be chipotle, but it's mostly just blah-flavored. Fries - 7 

  • The color scheme - gold, browns, rich warm tones - works nicely. The communal, serpentine tables don't work for me. The sharp lighting also not so good. And the music fights with the casino's sounds, which is a little weird. Ambiance - 6 
  • $7.75 for my burger...$3 for fries (we split, so I'll take half the cost)...$2 for Diet Coke...That's $11.25 for burger, fries, and a drink...Cost - 4
Other Stuff
  • It's in a frickin' casino. -2 
  • You have to pay for parking  at the casino.  -1 
  • On our way into the parking garage - where rates were posted as being $10 per car because it was Reds Opening Day when we visited the casino - we asked the parking lot attendant if there was any on-street parking nearby because we're cheapskates. Immediately the manager leaned over and told us that we could park for free because we were welcome. Seriously, outstanding customer service is an easy way to earn points in this competition. +2
  • Seriously, we had to go to a casino and walk through the gambling floor to get to the restaurant. I'm not a big fan of casinos. -1 
  • The restaurant has a full bar. +1
  • Weirdly, alcohol from the restaurant bar cannot be taken out of the restaurant and into the casino. Apparently the casino's liquor outranks the restaurant's liquor. That's weird. -1
  • I do generally like Bobby Flay when I catch him on television. Since this is a celebrity-branded restaurant, and I like the celebrity, I'm giving him a point. +1
Other reviews
 Overall point values...

May 4, 2013

He can start an offense. He can get them in a flow.

May 2, 2013

Googling the Grand Canyon

Google just Street-Viewed (is that a word?) the Grand Canyon, and you can take their tour through Google Maps.

That's awesome.

On their blog, they also shared video about how they did this, with a team of hikers carrying down forty-pound, backpack-mounted cameras. (More photos of the hikers here) They went down Bright Angel Trail and South Kaibab Trail, out to Plateau Point, and eventually all the way to Phantom Ranch.

They have been to the North Rim but only on the roads, no hiking down from there. Maybe that's for next summer.

May 1, 2013

Larry and Bill...heaven...

Holy crap did I enjoy watching this.

I could listen to Bird talk basketball forever, and bringing in Bill Simmons to lead

Simmons is enough of a fanboy to play to Bird's ego, but he's also knowledgeable enough to push Bird to some interesting places.

Watch this today.