Monday, June 21, 2021

June 21 2021 - Hindustan Times Summer Solstice on International Yoga Day


It is International Yoga Day.  Is this the reason that the number 1 hit on first day of summer search is the Hindustan Times? Here's their lead paragraph:

"Summer Solstice 2021: On the occasion, Union petroleum and steel minister Dharmendra Pradhan said he hopes the rising sun would lead to disease-free earth. Last year, the day witnessed an annular solar eclipse, which was visible in many parts of the world including India."

But what does it mean: union petroleum and steel minister?  Wikipedia gives me a different title: He is is an Indian politician who is the Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas and Steel in the Government of India.  His role is also referenced as the Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural gas.

That Union word really captures my attention, so a bit more reading is required. I find that the Union Cabinet is one of the federal government executive bodies.  It is "the supreme decision-making body in India".  So Union is explained, and now I know a tiny bit more about India's government structure. But I am drawn into the terminology that governments use to self-describe.  I guess that is a much longer investigation. 

And looking at the news today, what could be right up there in importance -  that is, after it being Summer Solstice and International Yoga Day? And even more important than the Coronavirus update?  It is "Who's getting sued:  June 21, 2021 - a listing of filings with the BC Supreme Court.   

Searching is a game of Google "Get Lucky." Surprises pop up every time.  Did the BC Supreme Court pay to have its placement this high in the search queue?  These are curious times.

We are entering Cherry Season.  I took pictures on Saturday:  look at the number of cherries on these trees.  I wonder why some trees are more ripe than others?  Or are they two different varieties? How many varieties of sour cherries are there? There are Montmorency and Morello sour cherries. These ripen earlier than the  much darker sweet eating cherries.  But there are yellow sweet cherries, too.  To not know the answer, it is clear that I didn't steal any cherries in the making of these pictures.
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Sunday, June 20, 2021

June 20 2021 - Hollywood Cigarette, please


Terry O'Reilly is a podcaster whose program "Under the Influence" covers advertising and marketing topics.  Yesterday he covered fake Hollywood brands.  His CBC podcast is HERE.

Maybe you know all this - about Hollywood brand cigarettes and beer.  Cigarettes are the most interesting:  Red Apple is Quentin Tarantino's brand.  It is fake, and shows up exclusively in his movies.  It first showed up in Pulp Fiction in 1994.

But the first appearance of the Hollywood brand of cigarettes is Alfred Hitchcock who brought Morley's to life in the movie Psycho.  That was in 1960.  The name Morley is a play on Marleys for Marlboro cigarettes.  It was created by a prop packaging service - The Earl Hays Press. This gets around clearance and fees for real brands.

Where else did it occur? The MeTV article HERE says: "The brand would soon repeatedly pop up in tobacco form on The Twilight Zone. Jack Klugman, William Shatner and Telly Savalas all carry packs of Morleys in the classic fifth season episodes "In Praise of Pip," "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" and "Living Doll." The smokes also surface in "The Thirty-Fathom Grave" and "Stopover in a Quiet Town."  

The brand's earliest known television appearance is April 5, 1961, on an episode of Naked City. At the opening of "Tombstone for a Derelict," a young punk played by Robert Redford offers a cigarette to a bum, before his gang murders the poor fellow. After the credits, the police show up, and a pack of Morleys is discovered as a key piece of evidence. 

The really well-known appearance is Richie's "chocolate treat"  on the Dick Van Dyke show when Pickles the wife of Buddey Sorrell visits the Petries and pulls a pack of cigarettes from her purse - "Here I brought you a pack of chocolate cigarettes". 

And where do the cigarettes occur in Psycho? At the end of Psycho, Dr. Fred Richman shakes a smoke from a pack of Morleys before explaining what happened.

I should have told you about this earlier, as you can buy a prop pack for $26.00 online.  Consider this a great gift - you can put it beside Jack's All Play and No Work Book from The Shining.  

And what is this sculpture today?  It is at 13th Street Winery in their greatly expanded Sculpture Garden - Floyd Elzinga's pinecone scale cut-outs are in the in the bundles. They look like shovel pieces. And then consider Locust Lane Winery - can you see the skyline of Toronto on the left?  That Skydome half-circle is the marker.  Another great location.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

June 16 2021 - Pivot


Aren't there words that come into usage and they are unendingly repeated?  Is pivot one of them?  I see it in the Globe and Mail, and in google headlines all the time.

Pivot tables started off in lotus, then moved on to excel. They let you switch columns with rows so one could change the layout of a table's information. And then those who enjoy basketball will know the action of pivoting. 

That's pivot as a verb.  It seemed to me that the pandemic press got hold of it, and off it went.

It has had quite a long life as a popular phrase:  the tech industry turned it into one of their  "unofficial" strategies - coined in 2009.  
Here's how it is used:  "Represents some of the best methodology that the Valley has invented. Starting something, determining it's not working, and then leveraging aspects of [that] technology is extremely powerful."

What does Forbes think pivot means?  "Flip flop".  "You pivot as many times as you can, as fast as you can, until you run out of money." Or, if you're outside of the tech industry, just until you're dizzy.  The Atlantic is more direct:  "you mess up and need to start over, just call it a "pivot" and press on."

The TV series that took on the expression "Pivot" is Friends.  It is the sofa up the stairs episode that brought this about: 

“I can handle this. Handle is my middle name. Actually, handle is the middle of my first name.” (Chandler)

Ross: “Pivot! Pivot! Pivot! Pivot! Pivot!” (while trying to lift his sofa up a flight of stairs)
Chandler: “Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!”

Pivot is one of those inflated expressions so it must have a few jokes: 

I won $4 during the Mega Millions lottery today
Please respect our privacy as our family decides how to move forward in this exciting and pivotal moment in time.

I recently had surgery on my knee and have been going to physical therapy every week.

It’s pivotal to my recovery.

Here's train day images.
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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

June 15 20321 - Join jeff and Mark in Space


It's actually a "spare ticket" and it auctioned for $28 million.  It is an 11-minute trip into suborbital space alongside Jeff Bezos. Jeff will be with his brother Mark, so don't think you'll get some special treatment.  There were 7,600 people from 159 countries who registered to bid in the auction. The Blue Origin flight is expected to take off on July 20th.  

Jeff is on the flight because Blue Origin is the rocket venture Bezos founded in 2000. It has spent almost a decade testing New Shepard, the 60-foot-tall rocket and capsule system. It will mark the first time humans have flown aboard the fully autonomous New Shepard vehicle after 15 uncrewed test flights carried out by the company since 2015.  The $28 million price point the ticket sold for is far more than what Blue Origin's direct competitor, Virgin Galactic, has sold its tickets for. Though Galactic has yet to fly paying customers, it has already sold roughly 600 tickets for between $200,000 and $250,000 each.

Now I wonder what makes him want a rocket venture?  Shipping things from the Moon to Earth?  Here's a quote from when he was 18 and interviewed as the valedictorian of his high school class: The 18-year-old Bezos said he wanted "to build space hotels, amusement parks and colonies for 2 million or 3 million people who would be in orbit. 'The whole idea is to preserve the earth' he told the newspaper ... The goal was to be able to evacuate humans. The planet would become a park.

A happy flower day - this is a Gazania - they open with the sun.

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Monday, June 14, 2021

June 14 3032 - Wieners or Hot Dogs


Wieners or hot dogs?  What's the difference? And while we're at it what about frankfurters and sausages?  So many words - are they all the same thing?  I've concluded that they are.

Wiener is the result of shortening Vienna sausage - in America.  I add that as I can't imagine confusing pronouncing Vienna with Wienna.  

And what about hot dog - what is the origin of the name?

"The credit of naming hot dogs goes to a sports cartoonist for the New York Times, Tad Dorgon. Hot dogs were called ‘red hots’ or ‘dachshund sausages’ before it took its current elusive name. When vendors in the New York Polo Grounds in 1901 were screaming, “They’re red hot! Get your dachshund sausages while they’re red hot!”, the cartoonist observed and drew barking dachshund sausages in a warm roll. He didn’t know how to spell ‘dachshund’ so he simply wrote ‘hot dog!’. This cartoon went on to become a sensation and the term ‘hot dog’ was coined. Although the historians have been unable to find a copy of the cartoon, the term was already in use in the 20th century."

The Spruce has a recipe and instructions for making hot dogs.  You can imagine there's a lot of equipment involved if you are going to grind the meat yourself, prepare the casings and use a sausage stuffer to make the uniform links.  All this to elevate the hot dog to gourmet status.

Do you want to eat fancy hot dogs in Toronto?  Check out this article HERE.  

Do you want to know 14 hot dog varieties in America?  They are listed HERE. There are a few great names: 
Junkyard Dog, Blazin' Dog, Das Brat.  And this one? Cincinnati Coney – a pork and beef hot dog topped with cinnamon and chocolate-tinged chili and Cheddar cheese.  Not so tempting...

Let's give hot dogs credit - they are fun to look at and easy to eat.  Kids love them so picnics work out all round. And picnics are happening again, so that's a good thing.

Here's the humble 'bluebell', except in pink.  Aren't these amazing for their delicate shape?

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