This weekend, my husband and daughter went to see "Antman", and came home raving about the movie. Part of what they liked was the originality of it - no one has made an Antman movie before. This isn't a reboot of a franchise, a prequel, a sequel, or a even simple remake. That's the problem - a scary majority of films in the theater are either remakes or sequels. "Minions", "Mission Impossible - Rogue Nation", "Jurassic World", "Terminator Genisys", "Magic Mike XXL", "Ted 2", ... The list goes on and on. Last week, I read an article listing all of Disney's older cartoon movies, such as "The Sword in the Stone" and "The Little Mermaid", that will be remade as live action flicks. What ever happened to original material? In the days of YouTube and Twitch, small and/or amateur filmmakers are showing up the Big Guys with amazing short films on every subject possible. Fro
An alligator going for a walk in New York City this week. (Photo: NYPD 34th Precinct) Cats, Cats, Everywhere... The drought in California has many expected side effects, mostly on water usage and farming. But there are a few unexpected side effects as well. On top of increased numbers of rattlesnakes, scorpions, and spiders, a rise in rabies, and a better chance to find Bigfoot, we now have.... The Kitten Apocalypse!!!! You see, cats are seasonal breeders, meaning they only mate during the spring. But with the plethora of warm, spring days more cats have mated than normal. Some of the animal shelters report a 30% increase in the influx of kittens. The Silicon Valley Humane Society even sponsors a "kitten rental program" to help get all the newborn kittens fed and taken care of until they are old enough to adopt out. The influx of kittens causes problems other than full animal shelters. Cats are, as far as I know, the only species other tha
Okay, I admit I'm a creature of habit. I have habits surrounding myself, finances, writing, my family... Sometimes I like the habits and sometimes... well, some of my habits aren't as healthy as others. My Avatar on HabitRPG For example, I used to drink soda at least twice a day. If I missed a day, I felt off, the world felt a bit wrong. Last summer, I decided I needed to change that habit. Diet sodas are unhealthy; so I decided to quit. At first, no sweat. But about two weeks into the change, I started to think about getting a soda constantly. It took another 2-3 weeks before that stopped, but then I would be hit with the need to get a soda in varying situations. I never realized how much soda I drank until I stopped drinking it. I'm happy to say it will be a year next month that I quit drinking soda, and I am very proud of myself. It wasn't easy, but now I don't even want something other than water. Or coffee (the drink of the gods).
A few weeks ago, Google sent me an announcement of Google Public Data Explorer, a set of tools that helps gather statistics and other information for bloggers, writers, etc... Thinking about the current gun control debate, I decided to look up the number of firearm deaths in the U.S. After a little bit of finagling, I managed to produce the following graph, with shows the number of deaths per state from 1999 - 2010: The overall number of death hangs between 20,000 and 30,000 per year overall, but there is a wide gap between the current state with the most, California at 2,935, and the least, Hawaii at 49. But numbers such as these do not make a complete picture. So I looked up the population of the U.S. Interestingly, the population graph goes from July 1900 to July 2014. Watch how the U.S. grew during those decades. The graphs show a general correlation between the population of a state and the number of firearm deaths. But if you look closely, you see tha