Property damage costs in Godzilla (1998)

I haven’t had chance to see the new “Godzilla” with Bryan Cranston, but I did see the one with Matthew Broderick where the big lizard (is that what Godzilla is) wrecked New York City.

How much do you think it would cost to fix New York after that one?

A substantial figure. But I suspect the new “Godzilla” is going to top that number.

What the hail? A weather delay in Brussels.

You know, when the weather guy says there was hail the size of golf balls, I used to think it would be cool to see that. I’ve seen hail before, but it’s usually the size of BBs.

But there was a football (soccer) match in Brussels today at King Baudoin Stadium (which, as all of you Bruxellois out there know is near the Atomium and Bruparck) between Belgium and Tunisia, and this happened.

There you are. Hail the size of golf balls, and, according to photos, a few chunks the size of tennis balls. Any ideas what the broadcaster is saying. It isn’t French (which I understand) or Dutch or German (which I don’t), and those are the three official languages of Belgium. (Actually, it’s Portuguese.)

Now, for an attitude adjustment. I’ve decided it would not be cool to see that. And it would be horrific to be in it. But if you want a similar experience, go to a crowded golf driving range and stand in the middle of the open field as dozens of golfers all swing full force and take shots at you.

And note that is you were to do than, it would be less dangerous than what happened in Brussels. When the sky dumps chunks of ice on you, there’s no way you can avoid them in the open,

(Oh, the match was suspended until the storm ended. Belgium ended up winning 1-0.)

 

Let’s destroy the world: A musical climate change chart

It’s lovely to watch your world collapse in a graphic. I wonder what Pat Sajak would say (via MSN):

Wheel of Fortune” host Pat Sajak sparked a social media backlash Tuesday after calling people concerned about climate change “unpatriotic racists.”

“I now believe global warming alarmists are unpatriotic racists knowingly misleading for their own ends. Good night,” Sajak tweeted late Monday.

I mean, really, who are you going to believe? The world’s scientists or a game show host who emcees a sophisticated version of Hangman? And where does the idea of racism and climate change come from?

And now, the right wing’s favorite rancher, Cliven Bundy!

So, yeah, I’ve been trying to ignore this “rancher agin’ the gubment” TV orgy. But honestly, when you see a story about flag wavin’, tax hatin’, Stetson wearin’ defenders of the Amurkin’ way bearin’ arms to protect FREEDOM!!! … Do you REALLY expect their inevitable discourse on race to be all …

And as for the conservative politicians and pundits who all were featured entertainers in the Cliven Bundy Travelin’ Salvation Show only a few short days ago … well let’s just say I never saw roaches scatter as fast when the lights came on.

For some reason, this whole circus has been like watching Maximus Decimus Meridius in the Colosseum:

Welcome to the Anthropocene

Scientists are now examining the current epoch in geologic science as the Anthropocene. According to the site Welcome to the Anthropocene:

Our species’ whole recorded history has taken place in the geological period called the Holocene – the brief interval stretching back 10,000 years. But our collective actions have brought us into uncharted territory. A growing number of scientists think we’ve entered a new geological epoch that needs a new name – the Anthropocene.

The Anthropocene period appears to encompass the past 250 years, prompted by the Industrial Revolution. The impact on the planet is noted in urbanization, global warming and diminishing water resources (the video above). Click here to learn more about how human activity has transformed the Earth’s geology.

Transformation: Michael Bay and ‘The Birds’

The nightmare begins:

After successfully remaking several 80s slasher films, Michael Bay and his Platinum Dunes banner look ready to remake one of the master of suspense’s classic films alongside Peter Guber’s Mandalay Pictures.

Platinum Dunes, Mandalay Pictures and Universal have tapped Dutch filmmaker Diederik Van Rooijen to direct the remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds.”

As a longtime Hitchcock fan, I am so ready to hate this movie. This is the trailer for “The Birds”:

This is the trailer for the next big Michael Bay extravaganza:

The only thing that could make this worse is Michael Bay decides to cast Shia LaBeouf and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in the lead roles for “The Birds.”

More evidence of the mass extinction

There are a number of books out referring to how we’re in the midst of another mass extinction. I’ve recently finished reading “Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction,” and have just picked up “The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History.”

As the promotional material for “The Sixth Extinction” explains:

Over the last half a billion years, there have been five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs.

(First of all, to the creationists: Yes, the Earth is billions of years old.)

That’s the theme of both books. We regularly see stories about disappearing bees, millions of dying bats and regular mysterious deaths of sea creatures.

But let’s look at what this really means. This is a chart of the total weight of land animals on Earth (via XKCD):

land_mammals

There aren’t that many wild animals left. Human behavior is killing everything. Mass extinctions take thousands of years. None of us will be around when the one we’re currently in is over, but more important, the way things are going, the human species may not exist when this mass extinction runs its course.

Was it really that cold, recently?

cold

It used to always be cold, but with global warming, when it gets cold today, we think it’s colder than usual. Which means, were getting used to global warming. Like the frog in boiling water.

Hey, folks. That sudden jolt Al Gore is talking about is our freaking out about cold temperatures that were once something we were used to.

Which means we’re acclimating to warmer weather.

Which means the planet is warming.

Louisville letdown: Drowning the St. James Court Art Show

I traveled from Washington to Louisville to participate in the three-day St. James Court Art Show. Things were pretty odd in Washington the past couple of weeks (A mass shooting, a psychotic driver, a human torch on the Mall, and the Republican shutdown of the government), so I wanted to get away to do something fun.

bilde

The deluge before the flood

And then:

Organizers shut down the St. James Court Art Show an hour early on Saturday and called off today’s final day because of heavy rain and the threat of thundershowers — cutting the popular event short for the first time in 57 years.

“You have to think about safety. Lightning and metal poles don’t mix,” said Bette Kennedy, volunteer coordinator for the show. “It’s just really, really sad.”

The show was one of at least three local events washed out by the rain. Also canceled was the Hosparus Lunar 5K, which had been scheduled to take place Saturday evening starting at the New Albany (Ind.) Riverfront Amphitheater, and the Big Rock Jazz and Blues Fest, which had been scheduled for today in Cherokee Park.

Unbelievable. But it rained all day Sunday. Parts of Louisville were flooded and at least a dozen people had to be rescued from the water. And it was totally soaked around my house, where some of the art show takes place.

And it really sucked for the artists. They came from all over the country because the show draws hundreds of thousands of people during the three-day period. More than 700 booths were set up, and occupied, with all kinds of art: painting, photography, sculpture, textiles, jewelry.

Tile painters, who were set up in front of my house, had driven all the way from New Mexico. Jade sculptors, who were also located in front of my house, were about to break down their tent when a last minute buyer showed up. And hour later, they had sold $5,000 worth of jewelry. Can you imagine how much more they would have made if they had another day to work with?

What a letdown. I wanted to hear the artists’ stories and my door was open to anyone who wanted to come in (and a bunch did). Instead, I was stuck indoors on Sunday, no art show outside.