Wednesday, July 1, 2020

With one floppy footstep we have stumbled, blinded and amazed, into the second half of 2020 and the second half of this project. Halftime has happened. Were you impressed by the halftime show? We tried to get Beyonce, or even that old 3D Coca-Cola Halftime Spectacular from the 1989 Super Bowl, but alas, we got nothing. Feel free to throw us some money at our Patreon link above, and maybe we’ll have enough for a half-decent show after the third quarter. I think Wayne Newton is available. In the meantime, we’re going to keep ourselves busy with this:

National Meteor Watch Day / International Asteroid Day

The photo above is a shot of the sky outside my office window at 1:30pm yesterday afternoon. The forecast called for an 80-90% chance of rain through the night, so there was no way we were doing a lot of meteor watching or asteroid spotting yesterday. I mean, we tried, but if we’d seen a meteor or asteroid it would have been blasting through that veil of clouds and likely be wiping out a significant amount of the human race at that point. So we were satisfied with the goose-egg.

A meteoroid is a chunk of stuff (to use the accurate, scientific lingo) flying through space. An asteroid is significantly larger, to the extent that some have can even have their own moons. Most folks are aware that there is a massive ring of asteroids scooting in orbit around the sun between Mars and Jupiter, and that others are likely swooshing through space out in the Kuiper Belt. Sometimes asteroids change their plans and find their orbits somewhat askew, and this can put them on a trajectory that intersects with Earth. Ask the dinosaurs how well that went for them when an asteroid hit just off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico 65 million years back.

Meteoroids don’t get their own moons, and in fact they may only be a few millimeters in diameter. This type of debris often hits us, though most of them dissolve in the atmosphere. Remember that explosion in the sky over Chelyabinsk, Russia that was all over Youtube in 2013? Sometimes meteoroids explode in our atmosphere – they call that a bolide – and they can cause shock waves on the planet’s surface. As a meteoroid is vaporizing in the atmosphere, creating a streak of light we call a shooting star, they are considered meteors. We’ll hopefully be able to catch a glimpse of the Perseid Meteor Shower in August if the weather is right. And of course, if they hit the earth they become meteorites. So many terms, and it’s all just space-junk.

Last night was a bit of a bust for this holiday, but we appreciate its spirit. Maybe we’ll get to do this one properly soon.

Social Media Day

Mashable launched this day in 2010, back when we were first beginning to embrace the reality that social media had redefined our lives, our relationships, and how we connect to the world. It wasn’t so long ago that email was hailed as the magnificent replacement for writing a letter, and now we can put in even less effort to connect with people we know. Now we can simply ‘poke’ them, which means clicking on a thing that tells the other person that you clicked on a thing, but were thinking of them. Neat.

Social media also gets a lot of fire these days, whether you’re concerned about how your privacy is being handled by Facebook or whether it’s right to warn the public when the president is outright lying on Twitter. People – in particular on Facebook – seem to really hate Facebook right now. Me, I can’t stomach the vitriol, and have no place for it in my life. I like Facebook. Without it I wouldn’t know what my best friend from high school would be up to, as he’s lived in another hemisphere for the last 26 years. I wouldn’t hang on to relationships with old friends and coworkers. And my lovely aunties – among my most loyal fans – wouldn’t see all the dumb shit we post.

People clamour for retweets, likes, or even the coveted replies from celebrities. And it’s great that they get them – some celebrities are terrific about reaching out to fans. At the very least, we can see what our beloved stars do in their free time. Did you know the Fonz loves to fish? Were you hoping to see filmmaker Kevin Smith try out his new strain of custom-grown marijuana? Even beloved entertainer Carl Reiner, whom we lost yesterday and my heart still aches about it, was active on Twitter, voicing his political beliefs in passionate rants.

Social media is a burden – in particular for kids and teenagers who now have to incorporate it into their banquet of peer pressure and social stresses – but it is also a blessing. Yesterday we reached out to a couple folks we don’t often talk to on social media, and we tried to see it for the great benefit to humanity that it can be.

And not simply to find out which Ms. Pac-Man ghost we are, based on our profile picture. I don’t need a Facebook quiz for that. I know I’m a Clyde.

National Outfit of the Day Day

If you’re a fan of the reality show Vanderpump Rules then you’re probably aware that Stassi Schroeder launched this day in 2016 in order to… post pictures of outfits?

Stassi, who may be an ‘influencer’ but I don’t care enough to really find out, believes that expressing yourself with your outfit affects your self-confidence. “For realsies.” She documents her daily outfits and probably posts them to her social media, which is a great synergy with the previous celebration, but so far from the limits of my being able to give a shit I can’t even be bothered to check.

The intent of this day is for everyone to don a special outfit and take a pic of it. Above is my contribution. And Stassi was right – my self-confidence went through the roof for the entire 35-40 seconds I kept that outfit on. Thanks, Stassi!

Blink-182 Day

Today has nothing to do with the pop-punk band mentioned in its title. Still, we listened to some, because that’s what we do. We follow blindly when the calendar says we should do something on a specific day. Are we really only halfway through this debacle?

Usually the 182nd day of the year lands on July 1, but as this is a leap year, we get to celebrate this one early. And that’s really all the day is about. 182 days in, and 184 days to go. What’s my age again? And what will it be when I’m done all this? Gotta be at least six or seven years older, I’m guessing.

International Sailor Moon Day

If there is any anime franchise that we care nothing about – and really, there are all of them – it’s Sailor Moon. I get it, a lot of people are huge fans (I assume they call themselves Sailor-Heads or Moon-Peeps or something). We simply don’t have the time, energy or desire to commit ourselves to this sort of thing. Like, not even a little.

But, for the sake of our unfettered devotion to the calendar, here we go. Sailor Moon is about a school girl who can turn into ‘Sailor Moon’ to try to search for, or perhaps defend an artifact called the Legendary Silver Crystal. Apparently the bad guys want to use this crystal to destroy the solar system, as bad guys are wont to do. This is known as a shojo manga series, meaning its audience is teenage girls. So if you meet a 40-something male who is deeply into Sailor Moon, you may want to be concerned.

Sailor Moon was first a hit in comic book form, where it ran from 1991 through 1997. That’s roughly the duration of the anime TV series. It has since been brought back to TV, and it even had a live-action run for a while in 2003-4. Lest you were worried it may not make it to Broadway, 30 musicals based on Sailor Moon have been produced in Japan. There are also novels, video games, tabletop games, a 4-D ride at Universal Studios Japan, and an ice show.

Sailor Moon has earned over 13 billion dollars in its run, making it one of the most successful manga series ever. While we’ll stop short of actually imbibing the stuff for this project, we will begrudgingly admit this is a powerhouse. It’s just not meant for us.

We cross the threshold of the halfway mark with a number of top-notch celebrations, albeit an unusually short list for the first of a month:

  • Canada Day. No fireworks this year, but we’ve got plenty of love for this country.
  • National Postal Worker Day. We’ll send out some love to our postal workers, who have the day off today.
  • National Creative Ice Cream Flavors Day. We’ll see how creative that 80 Flavours place is in town.
  • National Gingersnap Day. Jodie made some great ones, though due to the cannabis content we’ll have to limit ourselves to one.
  • International Joke Day. Knock knock…
  • July Morning. Did we begin our July by heading out for a great view of the sunrise? Tune in to find out!
  • Early Bird Day. See above.
  • International Reggae Day. Much more our sort of vibe in comparison to the Blink-182 from yesterday.
  • National Television Heritage Day. Maybe a good day to watch some Honeymooners?
  • Midway Day. Jodie’s invention of a holiday – a day to reflect on the first half of a very weird year.