Wednesday, February 22, 2017

How Lucky We Are, Indeed

NASA held a press conference to announce that a small star designated TRAPPIST-1 about 40 light years away has seven terrestrial planets orbiting it with three well within the goldilocks zone and prime candidates for hosting life.

Take this quote from Carl Sagan:
How lucky we are to live in this time – the first moment in human history when we are, in fact, visiting other worlds. 
I consider myself fortunate to be a witness to human discoveries. I know things that people who came before did not know maybe never even dreamed of. Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto but I have seen the geological feature named after him. I have seen Pluto’s demise as a planet but may be around to see its replacement.

What makes me sad, though, is that I will not be around to see some other fantastic discoveries. While I am optimistic that one day humans will explore other worlds outside our solar system, I am not so optimistic that that I will be around to see it happen. Forty light years doesn’t seem far and at the same time, it is depressingly far. Even the nearest star system seems just beyond our reach.

When those new worlds come into view and when new life is discovered, I hope that our descendants will realize how lucky they are to be living in their time. Each generation gets to make their mark on history and I must remind myself that we don’t get to make all of them.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Happy Singles' Day

I am not ashamed to say that I love Valentine's Day. Actually, I love the day after Valentine's Day when chocolates go on discount!

I woke up early to stock up on chocolate. The first-yes, first-place that I went to was Walmart. Would you believe that most of their stock seemed to be sold? Seriously, all their Valentines stuff was moved to one small aisle. The boxes of chocolate were on shelves maybe three feet long. If anyone was hoping to find some tonight, I think they are going to be SOL.

In the past it kinda bothered me that I never had someone to celebrate the holiday with. My recent experience being in a "relationship" with someone has got me looking at the silver lining in this cloud.

Besides when you can swear that the guy who wrote this sounds like the guy you broke up with, you may count yourself lucky.
...DAMN IT! Why are most of these things creme filled?!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Verizon Brings Back Unlimited* Data

I have been holding on the a grandfathered unlimited data plan with Verizon for years. And I vowed that they would have to pry it from my cold dead fingers. Taking away the phone subsidy didn't work nor did their raising the data plan from $29.99 to $49.99 shake me off. Verizon seemed hellbent that they were going to see unlimited data plans die. Thanks to T-Mobile and, to a lesser extent, Sprint, the competition has caused Verizon to reverse themselves and offer an unlimited data plan again. I admit that I am a bit wary of the announcement because for a long time I have been waiting for them to come and take my grandfathered plan away.
So I took a look at the plan.
Currently, I pay $89 and change when you include plan, taxes, and fees. The plan they are offering would save me a few bucks. If I decline enrolling in Auto Pay, it's a few dollars more expensive. I haven't made up my mind on giving up my grandfathered data plan but I think I might.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Maybe Get Rid of Comment Sections?

I generally don’t like to read comments made on news articles. Maybe I’m a bit of a snob but I am surrounded by idiots and I don’t want to read their opinions on things.

Recently, a local man was reported missing. His body was then found. Things like this aren’t unheard of around here. What made this bit of news stick out for me were the reactions to it. Granted, most people commenting were expressing messages of sympathy but there were quite a few people who could not help but stir up the pot with their ignorance and bigotry.

Mostly, it was the assumption that this man was Muslim. It amazed me that people because this man was wearing a turban, he must be Muslim. Because he has dark skin and hair, he must be from the middle east. Therefore—terrorist. It made me so mad because all the information was there so show that this man was a Sikh from South Asia. Pointing that out to some of these commenters didn’t make a difference. It's bad enough that people equate Muslims with Terrorism. It's just another layer of fuckery when they equate other people with Muslims--which make them terrorists as well.

One comment that boiled by blood was something along the effect of, “I hope he rests in peace with his ‘God’.” As if his god is lesser. I would challenge anyone to go up to a Christian when he or she sneezes and say, “God bless you,” with air-quotes. See how they take it.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

We Survived!

Count me as one of those people riding on the Fuck 2016 Bandwagon. With the election of Donald Trump and the latest spate of celebrity deaths it is the popular thing to do—hating on this past year. Personally, the year wasn’t that great for me either. Not to say that there weren’t some highlights but overall, I’m glad to put it behind me. So I have survived and now am looking forward to this upcoming year. I’m not going to make any resolutions but I am going to make new attempts at making my life better.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Rogue One - Thumbs Up

I went to the first local showing of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. I didn't want any spoilers to come my way and I knew that they would be coming at me if I waited for the weekend when I usually go to the movies. Paying the premium and ahead of time was a good decision.

So I'm not going to ruin it for anyone else with important spoilers but I will say:

Yes, some familiar characters make appearances. Technology is almost there where you can believe you are looking at the same person you saw almost 40 years ago. 

A lot of the scenes in trailers were not in the movie. I would be interested in how many changes were made--how the story evolved during production.

Now that I've seen how people have have rated this against other Star Wars movies, I would have to disagree with them. I would place this in the middle of the pack. From favorite to least:
  • The Empire Strikes Back
  • A New Hope
  • Return of the Jedi
  • Rogue One
  • The Force Awakens
  • Revenge of the Sith
  • The Phantom Menace
  • Attack of the Clones