Friday, August 30, 2013

Ip Freely Man

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
It’s been a busy few days… but never too busy for my loyal readers… either of you… and yeah, don’t worry about the past two years were it was 2-3 times a month, that was different. First off, we won softball last night… even though I technically didn’t play, but showed great moral support. It was a late game so we had about 15 players, which meant 13 guys for 8 spots. I was about to get into the lineup but they called the game because we were winning & everybody wanted to go home. Oh well… next week maybe.
A few days ago, I watched a movie called “Ip Man” starring Donnie Yen as the titular character who is most famous for being a master of the Wing Chun discipline of martial arts… and the teacher of Bruce Lee… but this story takes place back in China in the 1940’s. It starts out that Ip Man is a noble statesman and well-respected master in the city of Foshan, where there seems to be a martial arts school on every corner… but he’s the best… and there are fights to prove it. However, the plot takes a turn when the Japanese invade & take over… and of course, they round up some of the masters to fight their own soldiers to show their dominance… and they kind of do (or at least bust a few caps if there’s a moral victory). Well, the mouthy locals mention that Ip Man is the best… and so now he’s forced to come out & face the main Japanese general… and a bunch of other guys… and… Okay, it’s supposed to be semi-biographical… and they make very liberal use of the term semi… but yeah, it’s a martial arts movie & I enjoyed it. Don’t really care if it’s historically correct. If you’re looking for that in a martial arts movie, then I don’t know what to tell you. Let somebody else tell you about Santa Claus & the Easter Bunny too. I enjoyed it… and if you like martial arts movies, check it out. It’s on Netflix. Now here’s some news…

Old School Calculator - It will take someone with pretty deep pockets to purchase and transport what is being described by auction house Christie's as one of four surviving 17th-century French "pocket" calculating machines, to be sold in London in October. With an estimated price of between 70,000 pounds and 100,000 pounds (35-50 tons?), and with dimensions of 14.5 cm by 32.5 cm (5.7 by 12.8 inches), the "pocket" description is pretty much a euphemism… more of a phablet. But the compact size of the paper-and-wood box with a fascinating array of 24 dials embedded in the lid was one of its main selling points, James Hyslop, head of Christie's science department, said. It was the invention of Rouen inventor and watchmaker Rene Grillet, who marketed his smaller and lighter device as a competitor to the sturdy but heavier brass machine invented by Blaise Pascal in 1642. "I'd love to be able to tell you whose this was, but basically those stories never survive and if they did we'd be crowing about it from the rooftops," Hyslop told Reuters in a telephone interview. "But we do know the creator went around to the equivalent of world's fairs, in Paris and Amsterdam, advertising the new calculating device. He was a canny businessman and he was very canny about how these things worked." The calculator used a logarithm called "Napier's bones", a type of abacus named for the Scottish mathematician John Napier, and was capable of performing addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. But 17th-century proto computers and calculating machines were not true computers, Hyslop said. The user could not enter a number, choose an operation and get a result. "There's still a manual step needed, and with this one, you have to physically carry the 10s yourself," he said. The calculating machine is being given pride of place in Christie's bi-annual "Travel, Science and Natural History" auction on October 10th in case you’re interested. It will also feature art, books and other scientific artifacts of the 16th through 19th centuries, including, Hyslop said, a first edition of "Napier's Bones". So… wait… you do your own math on the calculator? Okay, it’s a fancy 17th century French abacus… that’s worth six digits. That’s kinda cool, right? You’re welcome.
LA KISS – Speaking of old people with money, the guys dressed in black and silver are bringing football back to the Los Angeles area!!! The Raiders? Not quite. Legendary rock & roll band KISS has bought a stake in an L.A. arena football team. That’s right… KISS, the heavy metal band known for performing in black, white and silver that has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide during a 40-year career. A few weeks back, the Arena Football League announced it was awarding an expansion team to a group of individuals that includes KISS band members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. The team, called the LA KISS, will begin playing in March at the Honda Center in Anaheim. "As a fast-paced, high-action band, this partnership with the AFL was an obvious fit for us," Simmons said in a statement. "Attending an LA KISS game in 2014 will be similar to a live KISS show, with thrilling, heart-pounding action." Season tickets, which went on sale Thursday starting at $99 and will also include a free KISS concert (free with purchase?). While the team will use the band's logo, it is not known whether the team's uniforms will be silver and black. Next season will mark the 27th season for the Arena Football League, which begins its games in March and culminates with the Arena Bowl in August. The league and the music world have joined forces before. The Philadelphia Soul, who played in the championship game earlier this month, were partly owned by Jon Bon Jovi until 2010. So yeah… football coming back to LA… at least a little bit. I am also pretty curious how the uniforms will look too. I can imagine them all coming out looking like Gene Simmons with the fire breathing & the spike on the shoulders. “Now taking the field… THE KISS ARMY!!! RAAARRRRRR!!!” Fireball!!! Should be exciting…

Bird Poop Facials – That’s right ladies… line up for bird poop bukkake for beauty? That's what goes into facials at a luxury spa where the traditional Japanese treatment using imported Asian nightingale excrement mixed with rice bran. How else do you think they get it? Also… this facial goes for $180 a pop. About 100 women and men go into the Shizuka New York skin care salon, just off Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, each month to get the treatment, which is promoted as a way to keep the face soft and smooth using an enzyme in the poop to gently exfoliate the skin. Spa owner Shizuka Bernstein, a Tokyo native married to an American, has been offering what she calls the Geisha Facial (HA!!! And you thought my bukkake joke was in poor taste!!!) for about five years. "I try to bring Japanese beauty secrets to the United States," said Bernstein, who learned the treatment from her mother. The Geisha Facial poop treatment, while relatively rare in the United States, is no secret in Japan, where it was first used in the 1600s by actors and geishas. "That's why Japanese grandmothers have beautiful complexions," said Duke Klauck, owner of the Ten Thousand Waves health spa in Santa Fe, N.M., which offers a Nightingale Facial for $129. On a recent afternoon in Manhattan, Mari Miyoshi arrived at the sixth-floor Shizuka New York spa to try the treatment for the first time. "I'm a stressed-out New Yorker," the 35-year-old occupational therapist announced as she reclined on a table, relaxing amid aromas of camellia, lavender and rose. The treatment begins with steam to open the pores and soften the skin. Cream is applied. And then comes what Bernstein calls "the nightingale part." She pours the cream-colored poop, dried and finely ground, into a bowl, mixing it with the rice bran using a small spatula. She applies the potion to Miyoshi's face with a brush, rubbing it in with her hands. I know what you’re thinking… does it smell? "Yes, but like toasted rice," Miyoshi said. After about five minutes, it comes off with a foaming cleanser and Miyoshi's face is draped in a warm, wet towel bathed in lavender and geranium essences. Finally, the grand finale — a green-tea collagen mask. "Sooooo nice," Bernstein said softly, looking at Miyoshi's radiant face. Dr. Michele Green, a Manhattan cosmetic dermatologist, said that while the nightingale facial "definitely has some rejuvenating effect, I don't think it's any different than, say, an apricot scrub or a mask that you could buy in a local pharmacy." A common misconception is that any old bird poop, even from pigeons, is used. Bernstein said only droppings from birds of the nightingale species are used because they live on seeds, producing the natural enzyme that is the active ingredient. "We don't do Central Park facials," she said, "because those birds eat garbage." Good point… so what I’m hearing… is that human feces may be considered some of the finest for these facials… since some of us eat pretty good. Hmm… maybe I can corner the market on “Vegan Fudge Facials” in my area… and charge only $150 per load. That sounds like a plan to me.
Well, think I’ll just do a quick one today. Let you think about the bird poo facials for a minute… Have a great day everybody!!!

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