The Year That was Issue
Yea that’s right, a Black & White banner. What can I say, its literally the end of the year and our budget is about run out what with all the last minute expenses for ramps and such for a wheelchair bound Impish to get around here so I’m cheeping out a little to make the bean counters happy.
Quitcherbitchin and count yourselves lucky you got both a Christmas and New Years Eve issue already! I don’t get paid extra for working the holidays, in fact I don’t get paid (or thanked other than by Impish) at all for stepping up at the holidays.
Since it’s likely none of you will be sober enough to focus on your computer screens tomorrow &/or caught up in the Parade/Bowl games I’m putting this out early.
Since its supposed to be very chilly and rainy here my plan for New Years Day involves sleeping slightly late, lots of fleece- both clothes and blankets, the couch, coffee (likely with Baileys &/or Irish Whiskey in the unlikely event I am suffer a touch of hangover), an assembled the night before breakfast casserole which was placed in a cold oven for 45 min when I got my coffee and the Tournament of Roses Parade. Once the is over so is any influence I will have on the TV’s remote as Molly the College Football Queen is already hard at work planning her watching vs. recording strategy for all the bowl games.
Finally, since it IS my second holiday issue in as many weeks I have brought in some help to express my thoughts on New Years. Calvin of Calvin & Hobbs fame as graciously agreed to make his views on the subject known to us as we laugh some and look back on the year that was.
Since the Dr. has finally cleared me to have a wee bit o’ cheer for New Years after my recent illness, it could be I’ll be having one of Reader Kismette’s versions o’ Irish Coffee (hence the possibility of a slight hangover). She’s wisely printed the recipe on this mug for me.
Already feel like you’re forgetting the major events of 2013? Well, may we present the perfect CliffsNotes: One image packed to the edges with everything that has happened in the last 12 months, from the Edward Snowden leaks to the smashing power of Pacific Rim‘s Jaegers and kaiju.
Illustrated by Mario Zucca, the image has almost 90 different highlights from the past year. There’s a bit of Katniss Everdeen, the rise of original Netflix content, the cast of Game of Thrones outside of a bridal store (Red Wedding, get it?), some twerking Miley Cyrus and President Obama in front of a 404-ing computer. There also nods to the dominance of Breaking Bad – and the coming dominance of Netflix shows like Orange is the New Black and House of Cards.
“The task was daunting: Illustrate a scene mishmashing all of the major news stories from 2013, almost 90 to be exact,” said Zucca, who created the illustration for Beutler Ink, in a blog post. “We decided the scene should be staged in a Times Square-like setting. I didn’t really know where to start.”
Ultimately Zucca went with a Times Square-style setting, giving him many venues to stick big images and tiny Easter eggs. See how many you can spot in the image above and when you think you’ve found them all, head over to Zucca’s site for a full breakdown of the images to see which ones you missed.
Reuters Pictures of the Year 2013
From the world stage, to the street corner, Reuters presents extraordinary images taken by its global network of photographers in 2013.
5 Myths About the Light Bulb Ban
Marc Lallanilla, LiveScience Published: Dec 18, 2013, 7:57 AM EST
Incandescent light bulbs will still be available in stores after Jan. 1, until supplies run out. (Getty Images)
When the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) was signed into law in 2007, among its provisions was the eventual phasing out of an icon of 20th-century life: the familiar (but notoriously inefficient) incandescent light bulb, which wastes 90 percent of its energy use as heat, not light.
In response, conservative pundits howled in protest, claiming the law would destroy the free market, bankrupt consumers and unravel the very fabric of American life. The destruction and mayhem hasn’t happened yet, but that hasn’t stopped the grumbling from certain hidebound commentators.
As a result, many people have heard a number of ill-founded stories about the effect of the phasing-out of incandescent bulbs, which use a heated tungsten filament to produce light, and the dangers of compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light-emitting diode (LED) lights. Here are a few facts that shine a light on some of the more odious myths being circulated today. [Light Bulbs: Incandescent, Fluorescent, LED (Infographic)]
Myth 1: Incandescent bulbs will become illegal.
No, armed government agents will not smash down your front door to confiscate your light bulbs, despite what you may have read on a fire-breathing conservative blog. The ban only applies to the manufacture and import of incandescent bulbs, not their use by consumers.
In fact, incandescent light bulbs will still be available in stores after Jan. 1, until supplies run out. And some specialty incandescent bulbs — appliance bulbs, rough service bulbs, marine lamps, three-way bulbs — are exempt from the ban and will continue to be available for purchase.
Myth 2: No light bulbs besides CFLs will be available.
There are several options for consumers after Jan. 1: Not only can you buy CFL, LED or halogen lamps, but next-generation, high-efficiency incandescent bulbs will also be available.
EISA doesn’t favor one energy-saving technology over any other; it simply requires that all light bulbs sold meet basic efficiency standards. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), light bulbs that traditionally use between 40 and 100 watts of energy must use at least 27 percent less energy by 2014.
Myth 3: Consumers will lose money buying expensive new light bulbs.
It’s no secret that newer, high-efficiency light bulbs have a somewhat higher price tag than old-fashioned incandescent lamps. But that argument fails to take into account the high electric bills that accompany older, inefficient lamps.
About 12 percent of the average household’s power bill goes to lighting, according to the EPA. A CFL bulb, which uses about 75 percent less energy than a comparable incandescent while lasting 10 times longer, will save consumers more than $40 over the lamp’s lifetime.
Additionally, as lighting companies invest more in research, lighting technology will continue to improve, resulting in a wider array of inexpensive, high-efficiency alternatives.
Myth 4: CFLs will fill the world with toxic mercury.
Mercury is a hazardous material that’s dangerous for human health and the environment. And it’s true that CFLs contain a small amount of mercury.
But coal-fired power plants are the main emitters of mercury in the United States, releasing about 50 percent of all human-caused mercury emissions, according to the EPA, and lower energy demands overall will result in less mercury in the environment, not more.
Nonetheless, if a CFL breaks, the cleanup procedures are onerous (remove all people and pets from the room, air out the room for 10 minutes, do not vacuum, etc.) and CFLs usually must be taken to a recycling center — not thrown in the garbage — at the end of their life span. For that reason, many people are now choosing safer LED lights or other lamps instead of CFLs.
Myth 5: You can’t use dimmers with energy-saving light bulbs.
There are some CFL and LED light bulbs that aren’t compatible with dimmers. However, there are also CFLs, LEDs and halogen lamps that can be used with dimmers, provided the dimmer is the correct kind of dimmer for the bulb. Older styles of dimmers might damage the bulb, so make sure you’re using a dimmer that’s designed to work with high-efficiency lamps.
I have to admit he even makes Impish look like Presidential material…and sane. Just goes to show you nobody is ever truly worthless, they can always make someone else look good or serve as an shining example of what happens when you make all the wrong choices. Then again come to think of it Old Rob there is doing a hell of a stand up job feeding material to comics world wide too.
Published: 12/24/2013 The Legacy
The world saw many truly awful tragedies in the past year, as well as many epic outpourings of sympathy and support for those affected by these events. As the year comes to a close, we remember our neighbors around the world who suffered through the some worst days of 2013.
Boston Marathon Bombing
In Boston, April 15 marks the annual running of the Boston Marathon, a source of pride for the city. In 2013, however, the marathon was tragically marred by two bombs detonated at the finish line as runners completed the course. Three spectators were killed in the tandem blasts, and another 264 people sustained serious injuries. In the following days, police officers tracked down the two perpetrators, killing one in a running gunfight that also claimed the life of one officer and resulted in the injuries of 16 others. Read more
Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion
On April 17, a fertilizer plant in the small community of West, Texas, exploded in the early evening, killing 15 people and injuring more than 160. The plant exploded with the force of a large bomb, leveling homes and businesses in several blocks surrounding the blast, which registered as a 2.1-magnitude earthquake. Read more
Asiana Plane Crash
Three passengers aboard Asiana Flight 214 were killed and another 181 injured on July 6 when their flight crashed at San Francisco International Airport. The flight crashed just short of the runway, with the tail section striking the seawall outside the airport and breaking off from the main fuselage, throwing several people onto the runway. Read more
Washington Navy Yard Shooting
A lone gunman entered the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. on September 16 and opened fire on civilian and military personnel working at the yard’s many offices. Thirteen people were killed, including the gunman, and another 11 were injured in the shooting and ensuing chaos. Information surfaced later that the gunman, who formerly served in the Navy, had a history of mental illness and documented incidents of gun violence. Read more
Moore, Oklahoma, an area known as “Tornado Alley,” endured one of the deadliest storms in its history on May 20. During the EF5-level storm, a tornado with a base one mile wide tore a path of destruction through the small community, killing 24. Among the dead were nine children from Briarwood Elementary. Read more
Super Typhoon Haiyan
In early November, a storm formed above the Pacific Ocean that would become Super Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most destructive storms in recorded history. The storm pounded Micronesia, southern China, Vietnam and the Philippines with torrential rains and deadly winds. The area suffered billions of dollars in damage, and the human toll includes 6,149 deaths, with 1,779 people missing and millions displaced from their ravaged homes. The damage was particularly terrible in the Philippines, coming on the heels of severe earthquakes that killed hundreds and displaced hundreds of thousands from their homes. Read more
Wildfires are a yearly occurrence in Arizona, but 2013 saw one of the most deadly in recent memory. Lightning strikes ignited an area near Yarnell, Arizona, on June 28, and on June 30 the fire overran a crew sent to battle the blaze, killing 19 firefighters. It was the worst loss of life for firefighters in a wildland fire in 80 years. Read more
We remember the victims of these horrible events, as well as countless other deadly tragedies around the world in 2013.
As ’13 closes, we chew on ‘sharknado,’ ‘freedom fries’ and ‘horndog’
Time is running out on 2013 so let’s savor and masticate on this year’s key words and phrases before they get, you know, digested, metabolized or maybe excreted from the body politic.
Remember “teachable moment” or “Snowmagedden” from 2010? Right, they’re so yesterday.
But thanks to help from lexicographer Grant Barrett’s list in The New York Times the other day, and other sources, we see a list heavy on partisan enmity, with some communications and food technology thrown in.
Start with the food: “Cronut” may be delicious and decadent, but it comes from one baker in New York. So we don’t see much longevity for it.
The budget battles in Congress gave new meaning to the term “toxic politics” and made us cringe at cable news stories about “sequestration, shutdown, fiscal cliff and gridlock.”
“Boston strong” was a nice expression of support after the marathon bombing. (Yankees fans point out that we can now drop its use, given the Red Sox championship and all.)
On the pop culture front, there was the word “twerk,” which could mean “a former child star acting like a mentally unhinged stripper,” but instead refers to gyrations by Miley Cyrus, a former child star acting like a … Oops, time’s up on this one!
“Sharknado” comes from a campy cable movie, of course, and (like cronut) signals our Twitter-fueled appreciation for “portmanteaus” (blended words).
“Duck Dynasty” qualifies as a 2013 craze that (just recently) descended into the politically incorrect swamp due to Phil Robertson’s comments about homosexuality. Paula Deen in 2013 lost much of her business empire over a word that should have departed the lexicon a century ago, but somehow has not.
Other terms I’m not sweet on? “Common Core” already makes me testy. “Disruption” is a way-overused word about innovation and upstarts. Snapchat, which sure sounds sleazy in design (although the disappearing images would have saved Anthony Weiner’s career). Also involving smartphones is “no filter,” which is a way of saying a scenic photo has not been altered with filters (Instagram).
And then there’s “bitcoin,” a real techie concept since it replaces conventional money with an experimental, decentralized digital currency. That does bring to mind other digital terms I’d like to see: “Bit-turd” for the hater comments by anonymous “trolls” and “flamers” at the end of stories online and “bit-chow” for “food porn” (Not to be confused with “bitch-ow!,” which is getting bit by a female dog.)
Need evidence the year’s news breeds words and terms? Rewind a decade to 2003, the year the ambitious and delusional men in the White House decided to invade Iraq: “Pre-emptive self-defense” meant attacking a potential enemy before it attacks you. See also “slam dunk.” Then there was “embed” or a journalist who travels with a military or political unit.
We spoke of “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq and (soon) “weapons of mass deception” (see the list at Americandialect.org).
Among the most ridiculous: Replacing “Freedom” for French as in freedom fries.
In other areas, “metrosexual” (male clothes hog) came into vogue, as did off-shoring, which is the practice of CEOs replacing American jobs with ones from other countries and then scoring a huge bonus for it.
That was also the year people uttered the term “The governator” for then-California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was also imaginatively described as “gropenführer.”
Want quaint? It’s the year that “text” became a verb (as in send a text message).
Or 20 years ago? In 1993 (we’re reminded from wordorigins.org), we talked of “casual Friday,” “fashionista” and (then-exotic) “cybershop” and “e-commerce,” not to mention “DVD” and “web site.”
Speaking of “food porn,” it was new 20 years ago when describing food and cooking shows.
“Gentleman’s club” became a term for an upscale strip joint, as did “horndog” (although it did have earlier roots) for men always on the make.
“MP3” was new and the “V-chip” was being pushed by the likes of Sen. Joe Lieberman (it was put in TV sets but never really caught on).
And the term “zone out” was new, which is what you’ll do if I don’t let the clock strike midnight on this topic right now. Happy New Year.