Category Archives: Science

Introducing an Orange Alligator: the “Trumpagator!”

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*I still remember the “horse of a different color” scene in the 1939 Hollywood remake of The Wizard of Oz. 

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Remember it?  That horse changed into several bright colors during that segment, and has prompted smiles for generations of movie lovers.

Well, THAT was a horse…in a movie.   I wouldn’t have been smiling at the sight of this:  a 4- to 5-foot orange alligator.  He or she — you can’t blame anyone for not wanting to get close enough to discern the beast’s gender! — turned heads earlier this week near a pond just outside of Charleston, South Carolina.  Residents have begun joking that it should be called a “Trumpagator.” Continue reading

TNT Film Review: Hidden Figures Is The Year’s Best Movie

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*I’m tempted to tell you that the exceptional new Hidden Figures is the best movie I’ve seen this year. Since 2017 is just out of the gate, that comment might be seen as more than a little glib.

So I’ll go out on a limb and say this: Hidden Figures is the best movie I WILL see this year.

Usually, period pieces that are based on history don’t hold my attention, largely because we already know how the movie’s going to turn out. (We KNEW the Titanic was iceberg-bound and doomed, right? So who really cares about Leo DiCaprio’s “I’m the king of the world!” moment?)

With the story behind Hidden Figures, we already know that Neil Armstrong helps America win the space race, and that he walked on the moon eight years later. What most of us didn’t know was that a group of black women — “Colored Computers” they were called — were largely responsible for getting him there. Told from their perspective, THIS period piece kept me, literally, on the edge of my seat through the film’s final act. Continue reading

Minnesota Braces for Arctic Blast After More Severe Winter Storms

winterJust a day after winter storms brought fresh ice and sleet to Minnesota, the state had to brace itself for arctic cold on Tuesday. The National Weather Service reported that a cold front moving down from Canada is what brought the frigid temperatures to the state.

In normal circumstances, a roof should be inspected once or twice annually, but these severe low temperatures combined with winter storms just may call for an extra inspection this season. Tuesday brought single-digit temperatures to the Twin Cities.

Strong winds at speeds of up to 35 MPH made it feel much colder than just single digits. The cold followed a night of freezing rain in parts of Southern Minnesota and many commuters were discouraged from driving as a result. Travel on Interstate 94 north wasn’t advised at all due to issues with black ice.

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Family Adds Baby To Transplant List at 10:15am. At 10:55am, A Match

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*One of my former in-laws used to talk about needing to know someone who knew how “to get a prayer through” to God.  After reading about the McCabe family of Chicago, you’ll agree that they’re on that list of folks!

Five-month old Daniel McCabe had been fighting a rare liver disorder since he was born.  Just before Christmas, things got so dire that doctors placed him on a waiting list for a new liver, and prepared the family for a wait of several weeks, if not months.  (The average wait for a liver is 86 days for kids and up to 149 days for adults.)

Paperwork was processed and little Daniel went on the donor request list at 10:15am one recent morning.  At 10:55am a doctor received word that a donor match had been identified and that Daniel’s new liver was on the way.

The infant had successful surgery the following evening and is now recuperating.

“I was just speechless,” mom Melody McCabe said.

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Family Blames FaceTime for Fatal Crash, Death of Five-Year Old

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*I’m filing this one in my new GMFB file:  Give Me (a) Break.  (I’ll let you fill in the “F” for yourself, just in case there are children in the room.) 

Five-year old Moriah Modisette was killed and her father was seriously injured when another driver, Garrett Willhelm slammed into their car at 65 mph on a Texas highway in 2014, according to her family.  Willhelm was chatting away on a FaceTime video chat at the time of the crash.  FaceTime was still running as rescue workers removed Moriah’s lifeless body and her dad from the demolished car.

Instead of holding Willhelm liable, the family has gone after Apple, according to Fortune.com, as it’s their FaceTime program that runs on their mobile platforms.  The family claims the company has failed to install a “lock out” feature on FaceTime, thereby preventing drivers from using the app while on the road.  The family’s lawsuit alleges that Apple was granted a patent to install the feature earlier in 2014, and the feature could have prevented the catastrophic crash. Continue reading

Look! Up In The Sky! It’s the Biggest, Brightest Supermoon in Nearly 70 Years

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*November 14th’s supermoon will be the second of three we will have been treated to at the end of this year, with the first having shown up October 16 and the last one due on December 13.

Pardon me?  What’s that?  Could it be that you don’t know what a “supermoon” is?  Where have YOU been?

(I’m fronting.  I didn’t either!) Continue reading