Thu 30 Aug 2007
Posted by me under Adventures1 Comment
I live in an apartment shared with two other guys. One of them pays the utility bills and then we write checks to him. Or at least that is how it is supposed to work. This roommate, whom I’ll call “S” to preserve his anonymity, forgot to pay the power bill last month. and the month before that. and the month before that. Then yesterday a representative from Rocky Mountain Power stopped by while S was home and told him that, due to our delinquency, they would be shutting off the power unless we payed our bill. I guess S thought they were bluffing.
They weren’t. They turned off the power today. I arrived home to a dark apartment. S was dumbfounded, “I didn’t think they would turn off the power so quickly,” he stammered.
I am typing this blog entry on my battery powered laptop, hooked to the Internet through my Verizon phone all by the light of a head-lamp and a camping lantern. Careful review of the photo will show that I also have a battery-operated, small fan on a cord around my neck. It will also show that my room is a mess. It’s not that I’m a messy person, per se, but just that I have other things on my to do list above cleaning stuff.
But all this lack of alternating current electricity got me thinking about our over-dependence on it. How long would modern society function without power? If, for example, the Hoover dam, which supplies electricity to several western states, broke in the middle of the winter (or summer), what would happen?
Could you survive for a month without electricity?
Thu 30 Aug 2007
Posted by me under funny1 Comment
We pause now from our regularly scheduled serious content for a moment of levity (and perhaps profound sadness)…
Q. “Recent polls have shown a fifth of Americans can’t locate the US on a world map. Why do you think this is?”
A. (South Carolina representative* at Miss Teen USA 2007 pageant)
I personally believe that US Americans are unable to do so because some people out there in our nation don’t have maps. And I believe that our education like such as South Africa and the Iraq everywhere like such as. And I believe that they should, our education over here in the US, should help the US or should help the South Africa and the Iraq and the Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future for us.
* Click for more photos of Lauren Caitlin Upland, the 3rd Runner Up at the Teen USA 2007 competition.
Hint: click on Lauren’s picture for the video.
Here’s the same video, now with subtitles!
Tue 28 Aug 2007
Sun 26 Aug 2007
Most prescription drugs have side effects. For example, at the end of a Mirapex (for restless leg syndrome) TV commercial, it gives the following, not-too-uncommon, warning: “Miraplex may cause you to fall asleep without any warning, even while doing normal daily activities such as driving. When taking Miraplex hallucinations may occur and sometimes you may feel dizzy, sweaty or nauseated upon standing up. The most common side effects in clinical trials for RLS were nausea, headache, and tiredness. You should talk with your doctor if you experience these problems.” So, you feel sleepy and maybe a bit dizzy. That’s not remarkable. Then, at the very end of the commercial the voiceover says,
“Tell a doctor if you experience increased gambling, sexual or other intense urges.”
WHAT?!? As it turns out, Miraplex occasionally unlocks bizarre behavior in the elderly. “According to a University of Toronto study presented last month, as many as 1 in 15 patients taking the drugs — potentially thousands of people — may have compulsive reactions.”
First, he started buying things in EBay auctions — a camera, a leather reclining chair, a big-screen TV, sunglasses, costume jewelry and dozens of other items. He dived into online gambling, lottery tickets and penny stocks. Before long, he was disappearing for days to play slot machines at Indian casinos near his home in Rancho Cucamonga. He ran through his savings and pawned his CD collection, his children’s video game player and his wedding ring. Gambling “was something I could not turn off,” said Sweet, a 45-year-old former middle school teacher. … An elderly California widower started wearing dresses, heels and lipstick; one man became obsessed with fast driving and abandoned his job to ride a jet ski up the California coast, according to a study by USC researchers.
What’s in your pill box today?
For more reading: http://www.mirapexclaimcenter.org/ http://www.laleva.org/eng/2006/05/compulsive_behavior_triggered_by_mirapex.html http://www.lawyersandsettlements.com/case/mirapex.html
Thu 23 Aug 2007
Posted by me under cool
, health Comments
Our friends over at Utah’s best health technology blog have produced a Real Age calculator. The difference between your calendar age and your so-called Real Age is based largely on your health and lifestyle decisions.
Maybe you were born in 1980, but if you drink, smoke and skip breakfast, you’ll likely live a lot less than the average of 74. That would mean that your Real Age is greater than your biological age.
What is your Real Age?
Mon 20 Aug 2007
I was just forwarded this Craig’s List housing classified advertisement. I found the ad hilarious, particularly the part about sharing a single room when there are 6 available:
i am an extremely tall man seeking a roommate. I live in a house with VERY high ceilings. it is important to me i do not bump my head while moving around my house. i occasionally find myself stricken with bouts of melancholy and loneliness. keep in mind my extreme hight if you are not comfortable with this i suggest not responding, however, if my hight poses no problems for you then we may be in luck! the room available for you will be shared with myself. the house has six bedrooms, all are empty except the one you will be sharing with me. if this sounds interesting to you, send me an email telling me about yourself,and perhaps experiences you have had with other tall men.
Here is the tall man link, though owing to its fictitious nature, it might not last long.
Mon 20 Aug 2007
I’m told that the official name for these hot, sulfury springs is “Fifth Water Creek Springs.” Some time ago I drove down south to make the hike. How did I get there?
Directions from SLC:
spanish fork hot springsClick the image for the complete gallery
- Take 1-15 south to the Price/Manti Exit (exit 258)
- After getting off the freeway, hit the odometer and go 11 miles east
- To the left is a road called “Diamond Fork”
- Take Diamond Fork for 10 miles
- The trail is marked with a sign, “Three Forks Trailhead” and the site was under construction due to flood damage when we went. Consequently, we had to park 1 mile up the road at a nearby camping ground called “Dry Canyon” and walk back to trail on the road.
I’ve read that if you park alongside the narrow road you are likely to get towed. Oh, and at the very beginning of the trail is a gated side bridge. Don’t take that. The hike is about 2.5 miles, and is not particularly rigorous. In fact, we managed to speed hike it in 30 minutes. Most normal people, I’m told, take an hour or so. For 1/2 of the way, you’ll walk adjacent to a roaring stream, then you cross over a bridge (which features a sign warning hikers of the nude bathers ahead.) After the bridge, you’ll begin to follow a smaller spring-fed stream. At the end of the hike, three rock pools (of varying temperatures and colors) await you! It can get hot along the trail, so be sure to bring adequate water. You’ll need a towel and perhaps your swimsuit, of course, if you plan on joining the bathers. Caution: one of the pools is boiling hot and all of them have areas that are incredibly slippery.
Sat 18 Aug 2007
Here below is some video I shot of the Key Bank implosion from the 13th floor of an adjacent building. The clip is a little long and it takes a minute or so to get to the collapse, but I was able to get it all, from the initial earth-shaking rumbles to the massive dust cloud:
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Fri 17 Aug 2007
Thanks to a heroic last minute effort by RBDN senior engineer, Nathan Peel, we will have a crew on the ground and be broadcasting tomorrow’s Key Bank Implosion LIVE at 6:30 Mountain Time.
Here’s a pre-implosion video:
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Thu 16 Aug 2007
First, the facts:
- This Saturday, August 18th, at 6:30am, the Key Bank Tower, a 20 story building in the old Crossroads Mall in Salt Lake City (50S Main) will be imploded (explosively taken down.)
- The implosion is part of the Downtown SLC renovation project and makes way for the City Creek Center.
- The last big building implosion in Utah was Hotel Newhouse in 1983.
- The Key Bank Tower did contain asbestos and mercury (though Okland Construction claims to have removed them recently.)
- The LDS Church Office Building (with 28 floors) is NOT Salt Lake’s tallest building. The American Stores Tower (the Wells Fargo Center) is taller by two feet (though it has fewer floors.)
A lot of readers have emailed in asking if RBDN was planning on sending in a camera crew to film the demolition. I’ve been on the phone all morning with our photographers, technicians and engineers trying to pull this together. Nothing has been finalized, but stay tuned for an announcement soon.
UPDATE: Even though I’m told there will be 9 square blocks of restricted access around the Key Bank Tower, just moments ago, I obtained exclusive access to a nearby building with a great view of the demolition. No promises, but our guys here are trying to get the pieces in place to be able to stream real time footage of the event (a la justin.tv style.) Obviously, streaming or not, recorded footage and stills will be available shortly thereafter.
UNRELATED: Funny Bot Quote of the Day:
Some person: your stupid
Bot: I may be stupid, but I know the difference between “you’re” and “your”.
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