I’m not sure if this qualifies as “intelligent risk”

My sister has been scanning in family slides and I have been crazy busy, working on our Taste the Passion and Traverse City Wine & Art Festival Winter Wine Wonderland events closing our office in Leland (where we’d been piling up stuff for 12 years) and opening an office at the Village at Grand Traverse Commons aka Building 50. Here’s my porch.

I believe that my dad is explaining to me the finer points of being a stock broker.

2012, Monument Six, Bolon Yokte & using the End of the World to sell a movie

ChichenItza Sun God by Mananetwork

In 2012 Isn’t The End Of The World, Mayans Insist, the AP’s Mark Stevenson took a look at mounting 2012 hysteria:

It may sound all too much like other doomsday scenarios of recent decades — the 1987 Harmonic Convergence, the Jupiter Effect or “Planet X.” But this one has some grains of archaeological basis.

One of them is Monument Six.

Found at an obscure ruin in southern Mexico during highway construction in the 1960s, the stone tablet almost didn’t survive; the site was largely paved over and parts of the tablet were looted.

It’s unique in that the remaining parts contain the equivalent of the date 2012. The inscription describes something that is supposed to occur in 2012 involving Bolon Yokte, a mysterious Mayan god associated with both war and creation.

However — shades of Indiana Jones — erosion and a crack in the stone make the end of the passage almost illegible.

Archaeologist Guillermo Bernal of Mexico’s National Autonomous University interprets the last eroded glyphs as maybe saying, “He will descend from the sky.”

Spooky, perhaps, but Bernal notes there are other inscriptions at Mayan sites for dates far beyond 2012 — including one that roughly translates into the year 4772.

You can go a lot deeper into the hysteria – including that manufactured (this site for one) by the 2012 movie promoters – along with the actual archaeology at Monument Six on the Toltec I Ching Blog.

Be sure and check this out bigger in Mananetwork’s Mexico slideshow and see a lot more of his travel photography on his blog.

A long time ago … when special effects were really hard

Computer Graphics From a Long, Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Far, Far Away from Topless Robot:

Oh man. /Film started my day with this 10-minute documentary from Larry Cuba about how he made the computer graphics for Star Wars, specifically, the Death Star assault video Dodonna plays for the Rebel pilots, and it is so, so awesome. Cuba is obviously so proud when he says he’s moving his Death Star model in real time, and he should be, since back in 1976 that probably needed 400 computers glued together and the blood sacrifice of a white calf. Anyways, it’s fun for Star Wars fans and a neat look back for computer nerds alike.

Imagine the movie industry doing what they do now without the plastic reality offered by oceans of computing power and unbelievable software.

Topless Robot is a kickin’ site that features geek chum like Teenage Mutant Reservoir Turtles and The 10 Best ’60s Batman TV Villains Who Should Make the Leap to Comic Books (10 villains, 10 videos including Vincent Price as the Egghead).


What is it with Gordon Lightfoot and internet video?

I was noticing the other day that two of my absolute favorite videos on the internet have one surprising thing in common: Gordon Lightfoot.

He of course wrote the classic ballad The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald which is the soundtrack for this amazing video by Joseph Fulton:

He also wrote a little known song, Black Day in July about the Detroit Riot of 1967, which captured in equally stunning fashion by KeylaBb:

Both of these videos are ridiculously well done – watch them please.


Home at last

Another Andy McFarlane, this one 47 and serving under the Union Jack in Afganistan writes:


The leviathan of the sky does land
In England’s green and pleasant land
Its cargo more precious than gold
The body of a hero, bold

Once the giant’s engines stopped
The cargo ramp is gently dropped
Carried by six on shoulders true
The hero is saluted by the crew

The coffin draped in Union Jack
Is slowly carried out the back
Out of the dark and into light
Slowly down the ramp and to the right

The six approach the hearse all black
And place the hero gently in the back
The six then turn and march away
Their duty has been done this day

Politicians usually have much to say
No sign of them near here this day.
They hide away and out of danger
Much easier if the hero is a stranger

The hearse with its precious load
Moves slowly out onto the road
The floral tributes line the route
While comrades snap a smart salute

At the edge of a Wiltshire town
The cortege slows its pace right down
The streets are packed, many deep
Some throw flowers, most just weep

The crowd have come to say farewell
The church bell rings a low death knell
Regimental standards are lowered down
As the hero passed through the town

The cortege stops and silence reigns
The townsfolk feel the family’s pain.
The nations’ flag lowered to half mast
Our brave hero is home at last

How many times has the Union Jack or Old Glory or Whatever They Affectionately Call Your Flag come “home” atop a coffin? And how many more?

It’s hard to select a photo of someone else’s flag. M,! didn’t name hers. It’s part of her i am not a robot set.

Interview with Mark “The Bird” Fidrych

This  great interview with Mark Fydrich is featured today in Remembering Mark “The Bird” Fidrych on Absolute Michigan. The Tiger phenom died yesterday at the age of 54 and was one of my all-time favorite baseball players.

If you can, consider doing what Samara Pearlstein at Roar of the Tigers suggests:

I suggest a memorial to one of the best things about him– his ability to bring fun to a sometimes deeply (some would say ‘overly’) serious sport. Baseball is, after all, a game, and it’s SUPPOSED to be fun; Fidrych understood that.

So, tomorrow, go out and do a little something ‘willfully eccentric’ (thanks for the phrase, commenter Matt). Talk to your car. Groom the seat of your office chair with your hands. Change pens because the old one doesn’t have enough great ideas in it. Smile at yourself a little, and think of the Bird.

Cliff Branch is still probably faster than you

My brother just got my son a pair of wide receiver gloves signed by Cliff Branch*. Apparently he was at a Wal Mart in Vegas signing stuff.

Cliff was a rockin awesome receiver who featured prominently in the playground games of my youth. On that field as on the gridirons of the NFL, Cliff dropped a lot of balls as he tried to make those tough catches … he caught a lot of them too.

From Whatever Happened to Cliff Branch?:

What was your favorite route to run?

Cliff Branch: I always like to run to “Cliff’s Corner” as much as possible. Whenever we faced that direction in the Coliseum, it would a deep pattern in the direction of the Cliff’s Corner. For one thing when I used to line up we didn’t flip-flop the receivers so I was always on the left and when we were heading in that direction that would be heading north of the Coliseum so that would always be on the side where John Madden and our team players would be on that side of the bench. I scored a lot of touchdowns in that particular corner. My whole game was playing the team deep and coming up with big plays on deep patterns. It was a good luck corner.

Video: Cliff Branch – Cover Me from RaideRants.

* Hey NFL, can we have just ONE picture of each of your players for Wikipedia? It’s not all about you . Seriously, it’s total BS that there’s a total lack of available media from 1950 on – I get copyright law, but this is ridiculous.