Friday, January 16, 2009

It Came From the Blog Fodder File, Bwa-ha-ha!!

Yogi Berra once supposedly said, "You can observe a lot just by watching." And for someone who likes to observe the world as it passes by, there is never any lack of stuff about which to blog. Here are a few more items from my ever-expanding "Blog Fodder" file...

Two famous actors passed away this past week: Ricardo Montalban and Patrick McGoohan. Mr Montalban was famous, of course, as Mr Rourke of the TV show Fantasy Island, a character that gradually morphed from the original vaguely sinister ringmaster to a more grandfatherly foil to Herve Villechaise's silly character of Tattoo. Suave Patrick McGoohan starred as television's Danger Man (a great series, in my opinion, and the forerunner of many other secret agent shows), and as the title character of the weird series The Prisoner. I'll miss them both.

I wrote the other day about the dangers of using the "Reply All" button when responding to an e-mail. Over at Indexed today, Jessica posted this clever diagram:

In California (where else?) this past week, a man was arrested for selling his 14 year-old daughter to an 18-year old man for marriage in exchange for $16,000, 160 cases of beer, 100 cases of soda, 50 cases of Gatorade, two cases of wine, and six cases of meat...and then complaining to police when the prospective bridegroom didn't pay up as promised. Evidently, such deals are common in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, where such deals are considered "normal and honorable;" however, they are frowned upon in the United States (even in California). And you thought all the crazy people were in the Middle East.

Back in my parochial grade school, when I was young and impressionable and frequently swatted by the nuns for various transgressions, I learned to fear the terrible place called hell. I've since learned that we don't need nuns and priestly sermons to tell us about hell...we are perfectly capable of creating it ourselves in places like Rwanda, Iraq, Congo, and other garden spots. I stumbled upon the website Entrances to Hell some time features a series of photos of strange doors, cave entrances, and other portals that could remind one of the path Dante might have followed on his visit. Some are truly spooky.

And finally, if you like Jazz (which I do), you may be interested in this interactive diagram of the various Jazz styles. There's a similar diagram (not interactive) of rock and roll history in one of the marvelous books by Edward Tufte, but I can't remember which one right now...I'll let you know when I find it again.

Time to get ready to go to work. It's 13 degrees outside, with a wind chill of minus 2 degrees, and I'm not looking forward to waiting for the bus. No need to make any smart comments about the joys of retirement, Mike.

Have a good day. Tomorrow is Cartoon Saturday...more thoughts then.



Amanda said...

I would never have thought that people bartered their daughters in the US. I must let our driver know since he's currently preparing the 'goods' he has to delivery to his future bride's house.

That website of entrances is indeed a strange and spooky one.

anOCgirl said...

interesting about the man who tried to sell his daughter. i work with a couple of people from oaxaca (my parents are from veracruz and the DF so they probably do things differently there). so i was talking about this yesterday with my coworkers and they know of no such custom unless it's from the old, OLD days (which also doesn't make sense b/c there was no gatorade in the old, OLD days). basically, i think this guy is just full of crazy.

fiona said...

I think I was "sold" to SB for a couple of beers :(

Bilbo said...

Amanda - it doesn't happen often. It's part of the downside of being a truly multicultural country where new arrivals expect to be able to do what they did in the "old country." I don't think Iwan is having to pay quite this much.

OCgirl - I think you may be right... the "that's the way we do things at home" argument doesn't hold much water.

Fiona - He got a good deal, didn't he?

Mike said...

I feel your cold pain. I had to walk outside and get the newspaper. 52 seconds of pure hell.

Mike said...

So I forgot to look at the entrances to hell which I now have done. And it seems like one of the is here in St. Louis. And if it indeed on an abandoned industrial site the is no way in hell that I would go in there. Not around here. Can you say radioactive waste? How about dioxin?

KKTSews said...

Many years ago the Minister at my church took his family to the Holy Land. He let his 16 yr old son and 18 yr old daughter go to the bazaar in Old Jerusalem together (without adults). Son ALMOST sold daughter for 40 camels, which he deemed to be a very generous offer. What dissuaded him? He couldn't think what to DO with said camels. Thank goodness they didn't offer gold.