Saturday, April 30, 2016

Dez's turn for an April driving update plus bonus gas prices

Dez turned over 51,000 miles on Wednesday April 27th, exactly six weeks after she passed 50,000 miles on March 16th.  That puts it right on the schedule I expected in this month's update for Pearl when I wrote I'll see how much the household is adding to the total when I update Dez at the end of the month."  That means my wife and I drove her car an average of 23.81 miles per day or 726.2 miles per standard month.  That's a lot more than the 9.9 miles/per day or 302.0 (301.98) miles per standard month we drove it between December and March and even more than the 16.67 miles per day or 508.33 miles per standard month we drove the car between October and December.  What increased the mileage so dramatically?  Simple--my wife took the car in for service, then drove to see our daughter in Chicago.  As I wrote in December, "sustainability is a priority, but so is family, and driving while gas is cheap makes keeping in touch more practical."

Combined with the 17.86 miles per day or 544.6 miles per standard month I drove Pearl this month, my wife and I drove a total average of 40.48 miles per day and 1270.8 miles per month.  WOW!  For once, we really are contributing to the trend of increased driving by Americans, as shown by this graph from Doug Short.

"Travel on all roads and streets changed by 5.6% (12.4 billion vehicle miles) for February 2016 as compared with February 2015." The less volatile 12-month moving average was up 0.39% month-over-month and 3.0% year-over-year.
As for what the immediate future holds, expect less driving for Pearl over the summer as I have fewer meetings to attend, I drive to only the nearest campus to teach, and I walk more as the weather improves.  That the sidewalk has been extended on the way to the nearest store will help, as does my having a Fitbit.  Nothing like monitoring my activity to induce me to walk more.

Dez will probably be more in line with the 16.67 miles per day or 508.33 miles per standard month she logged between October and December.  Consequently, the family will drive a little less next time.

Follow over the jump for the gas price report.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Air pollution from everyday items: Student Sustainability Video Festival 53


I know I promised "another retrospective for Flashback Friday" in the conclusion to Alignment charts for the fifth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News, but I'm not feeling it this morning.  Since I'm in the middle of giving my students their final exams, which means I should be grading papers instead of blogging, I'm going to return to my old standby for the end of the semester, the student sustainability video festival.  The last one was Cloning endangered animals: Student sustainability video festival 52, so I resume with number 53.*  Without any further ado, here's 5 Everyday Things Ruining Our Air from Discovery News.

Each and every day, you might be using some common items that are terrible for the environment and depleting Earth's atmosphere!
I'll get around to that retrospective later.  Stay tuned for a mileage/gas price update as the last post of April followed by two entertainment entries for Sunday, and another student sustainability video on Monday.

*It really should be 54 as I duplicated a number by accident, but that's a story for another day.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Alignment charts for the fifth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News


I'm enjoying posting retrospectives on Throwback Thursday, so I'm continuing with the series about the top entries of the past blogging year.  Today' theme uses alignment charts of characters from speculative fiction.  I begin with D&D alignment charts for 'The Walking Dead', the seventh most read post of the fifth year of the blog.  As of March 20, 2016, it 1287 page views according ot the raw counter and was the highest ranking post of the past year not to get on the all-time top ten. 

Like my previous entries, I'm going to be a good environmentalist and recycle how it earned most of those page views, this time from Monthly meta for April 2015: record page views plus goals, top posts, and Nablopomo for May 2015.
The final honorable mention for April 2015 belongs to "D&D alignment charts for 'The Walking Dead'."  Before it fell off the monthly top ten a couple days before the end of the month, it had 135 page views, 192 according to the raw counter.  It earned nearly all of its page views from normal social media promotion and web search.  The rest came from sharing the link in a comment at Michigan Liberal.
The entry returned to the monthly top ten several times.  Here is what I wrote about it for August.
The second alignment chart entry as well as the second entry about zombies to make August's top ten was "D&D alignment charts for 'The Walking Dead'."  This blast from the past, posted March 29, 2015, earned its 159 page views by being first searched for during a marathon of "The Walking Dead" to promote "Fear the Walking Dead," and then shared on the science fiction and horror groups on Facebook that same day.  Nothing like striking while the iron is hot to return it to the top ten, where it placed seventh overall.
It returned again in October.
"D&D alignment charts for 'The Walking Dead'" was the first of three entries from the back catalog to make October's top ten.  This entry came in eighth with 167 page views, earning them solely through search.  I don't recall sharing this in time for the premiere of season 6, so I had nothing to do with its renewed success.
Finally, November.
"D&D alignment charts for 'The Walking Dead'" posted March 29, 2015 was the next entry from the back catalog to make the top ten.  It came in seventh with 133 page views, which it earned entirely from web search.  Like last month, when it was the eighth most read entry, I did not promote it on communities and groups for "The Walking Dead" on Facebook and Google Plus.
Looks like I created an entry with evergreen interest.  I'll be sure to promote it when "The Walking Dead" returns in October.

Follow over the jump for the other alignment chart entry to make this year's top ten.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Drink to Chernobyl 30 years later


I introduced Drink to nuclear reactors on the anniversary of Three Mile Island by noting the proximity on the calendar of the three most famous nuclear disasters.
March is a good month for this drink.  Fukushima happened on March 11, 2011, and Three Mile Island happened on March 28, 1979.  As for Chernobyl, that has to wait until next month, when April 26 will be the 30th anniversary of the disaster.
That was yesterday.  I then concluded with this program note.
I already have an appropriate drink selected for the 30th anniversary of Chernobyl...
With that introduction, I'll leave the serious observations of yesterday's anniversary over the jump and begin with the drink humor from Tipsy Bartender: How to make the Nuclear Rainbow.

It's a beautiful drink and it's very potent....THE NUCLEAR RAINBOW! This is a layered cocktail with a gorgeous array of colors. This drink is all about presentation and perfect for impressing your friends with your awesome bartending skills! The layering effect takes some practice so watch and learn how to do it successfully. Layering is a great skill to have in your repertoire and if you can master it you'll be able to make all kinds of badass cocktails like this one!
...
NUCLEAR RAINBOW
1oz Melon Liqueur
1oz Sweet & Sour
1oz Grenadine
1oz Blue Curacao
1oz Bacardi 151
I picked this drink because of the colors seen from the open reactor core.
A shimmering plume of rainbow-colored light shot straight up, lighting the sky for miles. According to our guide, some residents rushed closer to watch the exploding reactor — unaware of the danger — later claiming it was the most beautiful thing they’d ever seen.
On that note, follow over the jump for more serious videos about the disaster.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Drum corps for the Pennsylvania and Connecticut primaries


I wrote "The next installment of this series should be next Tuesday, when I'll feature corps from Connecticut and Pennsylvania" in the conclusion to Drum corps for the New York primary.  It's "next Tuesday," so it's time to follow through on that promise.

I expected Trump and Clinton to win their primaries last week in New York and both did by convincing margins, Trump winning 60% and Clinton winning 58%, ending the streak of Sanders and Cruz victories in Utah, Idaho, Wisconsin, and other states ending in Wyoming.  New York didn't turn out to be another Michigan.  As I wrote, "As a Sanders supporter, I'd say I would be disappointed, if not surprised, but I don't even have high enough hopes for Sanders to really be disappointed."  Instead, I had my low expectations for his performance confirmed.

Both Clinton and Trump appear set to repeat their victories in tonight's states, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island.  Of those, only Rhode Island looks favorable to Sanders, as it holds a "semi-closed" primary that allows independents to vote for one of the major parties, while the rest hold purely closed primaries.  Even so, both Clinton and Trump are leading in the most recent poll of the Ocean State.  That's the bad news.  The good news is that neither has a majority and there are lots of undecideds; Sanders and Kasich could still win the state.

Enough about the politics.  Time for my readers to enjoy the drum corps while they are waiting for the results.  I begin with The Cadets, who have hailed from Allentown, Pennsylvania since 2003.*  Here's a clip from their 2015 show, The Power of 10.

"The Power of 10" turned every yard line into a 10-yard line, and if you count up each of the number sequences in the corps’ “Mulholland Drive” ballad, you’ll come up with the number 10. Check out the Periodic Table of Elements to learn why the color guard was clad in neon colors. And any Romans in the audience had to be giddy every time there was an “X” prominently displayed in the drill formations. The entire production was goose bump inducing to the factor of … well, you know.
That wasn't even the most buzzworthy part of the show; this was: The Cadets 2015 Horn Feature.


It's been a long time since French horn bugles were in drum corps, so having actual French horns makes up for it.

Follow over the jump for the rest of the corps from the states involved in today's primary.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Solar Impulse 2 lands in California


The last I wrote about Solar Impulse 2, the plane had landed in Hawaii.  That was in July.  It took until yesterday for it to complete the next leg of its around-the-world flight.  CNN has the story in Solar-powered plane lands in California.

An experimental plane flying around the world without a single drop of fuel landed in California after a two-and-a-half day flight across the Pacific. Video footage from KGO.
CNN has more in Solar Impulse 2 lands in California after Pacific flight.
An experimental plane flying around the world without a single drop of fuel landed in California after a two-and-a-half day flight across the Pacific.

Piloted by Swiss explorer and psychiatrist Bertrand Piccard, Solar Impulse 2 touched down in Mountain View just before midnight (3 a.m. ET).
...
The plane took off from Hawaii on Thursday, resuming a journey that had stalled on the island of Oahu for almost 10 months.
Tomonews had more about that 10 month day last week in Solar Impulse to set to resume round-the-world journey in late April.

HONOLULU — Solar Impulse 2, an aircraft that is attempting to make the first round-the-world solar-powered flight, is set to resume its journey in late April.

Solar Impulse 2 left Abu Dhabi on March 9, 2015 and had flown to Muscat, Ahmedabad, Varanasi, Mandalay, Chongqing, Nanjing, Nagoya and Hawaii, where it has been grounded since July after its batteries were damaged on the trip from Japan.

The plane's batteries became overheated after a quick ascent on the first day during the flight from Nagoya to Hawaii. The batteries had to be replaced before the plane could resume flying.

"The first half of the adventure was already a success, because we showed that solar energy made it possible to fly five days and five nights, and remaining airborne longer than any plane in history," Bertrand Piccard, one of the two pilots of the plane told The Billionaire.

The plane is ready to depart in late April, depending on the weather. It will continue the remaining half of its journey from Hawaii to North America, southern Europe before returning to Abu Dhabi this summer.
As soon as I watched the video last week, I had a feeling the plane would be flying on Earth Day.  I was right.

Stay tuned for more updates on the plane's circumnavigation of the planet, including its stops in the U.S. and eventual return to Abu Dhabi.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

2016 Saturn Awards for Movies, part 3: People behind the camera


Yesterday, I told my readers to "Stay tuned for Entertainment Sunday, which should be last installment about this year's Saturn Awards nominees."  Here are the final batch of nominees, beginning with the nominees for best director as listed on the Saturn Awards website and presented in the order given at the Wikipedia page.

    Best Director

    J. J. Abrams – Star Wars: The Force Awakens
    Guillermo del Toro – Crimson Peak
    Alex Garland – Ex Machina
    George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road
    Peyton Reed – Ant-Man
    Ridley Scott – The Martian
    Colin Trevorrow – Jurassic World

Out of this distinguished group, I'd vote for George Miller.  He was able to tell a great story with lots of visuals and very little dialog.  My second choice would be Ridley Scott and the third would be Alex Garland.  As for who will win, I expect this electorate might give the award to J. J. Abrams, who is my fourth choice.

Follow over the jump for the rest.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Examiner.com article on MSU sustainability for Earth Week


MSU served tea, algae, and lemurs for Earth Week
On Friday, Michigan State University served sustainable tea for Earth Day, capping off an Earth Week full of environmental news from Michigan's Land Grant University.  On Wednesday, MSU reported on two other environmental stories, growing algae for fuel and using grassroots tactics to reduce poaching of endangered lemurs in Madagascar.  All three stories show that MSU is green for reasons other than its school colors.

MSU students grew the herbs for the "green" tea in the greenhouse outside of Bailey Hall, then dried, processed, blended, and packaged the tea before selling it to the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center and other students around campus.  The student enterprise, known as the Bailey Tea Project, is part of the Residential Initiative on the Study of the Environment (RISE) program, a living-learning program focused on sustainability and environmental stewardship.  The Bailey Tea Project, run by what the students call the "Tea Team," demonstrates student commitment to sustainability and serves as a constant reminder of MSU’s agricultural history.
...
Earlier in the week, MSU reported that an algae photo bioreactor could capture carbon dioxide(CO2) emissions from MSU’s T.B. Simon Power Plant and turn those greenhouse gas emissions into algae.  This was the first time that such technology was able to capture CO2 and promote the growth of algae in an environment without sunlight, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  This finding is important because many believe that algae is the renewable, alternative energy source of the future and the technology could also help keep CO2 from escaping into the atmosphere.
...
The same day, MSU publicized the results of a study documenting the attitudes of people in Madagascar toward the risks of breaking laws and the value of preserving their environment.  The study found that if local residents don’t perceive actions such as hunting lemurs or burning forests for charcoal as crimes or they believe there’s a low risk of getting caught, then poaching and deforestation will continue.
Details and quotes for all three topics at the link, as well as a video that summarizes Paris Agreement on Climate being signed on Earth Day.

I posted the above because I needed to maintain my ability to publish at Examiner.com as much as to publicize local environmental education, research, and outreach.  Stay tuned for Entertainment Sunday, which should be last installment about this year's Saturn Awards nominees.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Paris Agreement on Climate being signed on Earth Day


Happy Earth Day!  Today's celebration has global significance, as the Paris Climate Agreement, which prompted Colbert to say goodbye to oil, itself the fifth most read entry of the blogging year just completed, is being signed at the U.N. in New York.  Here is U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry giving the opening address to the Signing Ceremony of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivers remarks at the signing ceremony of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change at the United Nations in New York on April 22, 2016.
Next, here is Kerry signing the agreement on behalf of the U.S. with his granddaughter

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry signs the Paris Agreement on Climate Change with his granddaughter at the United Nations on April 22, 2016.
This is a great green day!

Follow over the jump for two videos from The Weather Channel and Test Tube News explaining the significance of the agreement being signed today.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Doctors for the fifth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News


I've been promising "another retrospective for Throwback Thursday" so here it is with only a couple of hours to spare.

The sixth most read entry of the fifth year of the blog was Doctors to Congress: Fund gun violence research at the CDC and NIH.  I'll be a good environmentalist and recycle the explanation of how it earned that status from Monthly Meta for December 2015.
The pattern continued with "Doctors to Congress: Fund gun violence research at the CDC and NIH" from December 3rd, which was the second most popular entry shared at the Coffee Party USA's Facebook page and the second most read for December.  It earned 1261 page views by the end of the month, 1274 according to the raw counter.  It ended the fifth year of the blog as sixth most read entry for that blogging year and ninth in the history of the blog with 1266 page views, 1309 from the raw counter.  It's now in 10th all time.
It has now fallen out of the top ten, being supplanted by Slow drip of Flint Water Crisis erodes Rick Snyder's approval, which has itself since been pushed out by John Oliver and FiveThirtyEight on Tax DaySic transit gloria mundi.

Follow over the the jump for another post about doctors, or rather, one doctor in particular.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Tipsy Bartender Drinks for 4/20


I've been promising "marijuana legalization news for 4/20 on Wednesday" all week, but this morning I have other things I need to do and am not feeling like writing a serious post.  Instead, I'm referring my readers to Reclassifying Marijuana Would Be Game-Changing at You Might Notice A Trend as well as three posts here and posting something less serious--drink recipes from Tipsy Bartender.  Welcome to another of my "I can't be all DOOM all the time" moods!

I begin with yesterday's Marijuana Jungle Juice Bowl with Banana Leaf Straws.

Celebrate this 420 with our super potent MARIJUANA JUNGLE JUICE BOWL with Banana Leaf Straws!
...
MARIJUANA JUNGLE JUICE BOWL
Kiwi Slices
Pineapple Slices (shaped like marijuana leaves)
3 oz. (90ml) Bacardi 151
3 oz. (90ml) Everclear
4 oz. (120ml) Coconut Rum
4 oz. (120ml) Melon Liqueur
4 oz. (120ml) Captain Morgan 100
10 oz. (300ml) Pineapple Juice
Normally, Skyy uses Nickey, who is an adult film model, for drinks about sex, which is why I usually don't post videos with her here.  Today, he's using her for a video about drugs because she's from Colorado, where pot is legal.  Sex and drugs--now all she has to do is host a video for a drink about rock'n'roll.

Now last year's offering, Marijuana Jello Shots.

What better way to start your 420 party that with marijuana leaf shaped jello shots! We also used the Liquid Marijuana Shot recipe.
...
420 MARIJUANA LEAF SHAPED JELLO SHOTS
*Marijuana Cookie Cutter: http://amzn.to/1FZhBKk

White Layer:
1 Cup Water
2 Packets Gelatin
1 Can Condensed Milk
1 Cup Coconut Rum

Green Layer:
1 Cup Pineapple Juice
2 Packets Gelatin
1/3 Cup Spiced Rum
1/3 Cup Midori Melon Liqueur
1/3 Cup Blue Curacao
So it's food instead of a drink--munchies!

There are lots more, but I'm going to be a good environmentalist and conserve my resources.  I'll also recycle and point my readers to 2014's drink on this theme at Tipsy Bartender drinks for St. Patrick's Day.

Here's a toast to marijuana legalization following in the tracks of marriage equality!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Drum corps for the New York primary


Today is the primary in the home state of three of the candidates, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders.*  According to FiveThirtyEight, Clinton and Trump each have a 99% chance of winning the Democratic and Republican primaries, respectively.  If true, this should end the streak of Sanders and Cruz victories in Utah, Idaho, Wisconsin, and other states ending in Wyoming.  As a Sanders supporter, I'd say I would be disappointed, if not surprised, but I don't even have high enough hopes for Sanders to really be disappointed.  Then again, New York could be like Michigan, which Sanders won in a shocker.  Honestly, I don't think the polls in New York will be that off.

While my readers are awaiting the results, I present three New York drum corps to watch and listen.  As I promised two weeks ago, today is "a senior corps spectacular."  I begin with the 2015 Long Island Sunrisers.


Follow over the jump for two more New York senior corps.

Monday, April 18, 2016

John Oliver and FiveThirtyEight on Tax Day


Yesterday's program note was "Tax Day on Monday."  I'd wish you a happy Tax Day, but if you're like most Americans, you're filing your taxes this week, according to FiveThirtyEight.
Americans are a nation of procrastinators. Our tax returns prove it.

Last year, 21.5 million Americans1 waited until the last minute – or at least the last week – to submit their tax returns. That’s roughly one in seven filers, according to data from the Internal Revenue Service.

If anything, that count probably understates the number of people leaving it to the last minute.
However, it's not just the taxpayers who deserve our sympathy and support today, it's also the tax collectors.  John Oliver makes that surprising argument very effectively in Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: The IRS (HBO).

Nobody likes the IRS. But recent budget and staff cuts have made it increasingly difficult for the department to do its very important job. Don’t take our word for it. Ask Michael Bolton.
Oliver makes the point that Tax Day combines two of Americans' least favorite things, taking money away from them and math.  Follow over the jump for a proposal to minimize the math.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

2016 Saturn Awards for Movies, part 2: Actors and Actresses


Last Sunday and Monday, I listed the films nominated for this year's Saturn Awards along with my opinions of the nominees and which of them I was likely to vote for.  Today, as I complete the schedule I planned out in that same post, I do the same for the people on the set, the actors and actresses.

I begin with the nominees for lead actor and actresses as listed on the Saturn Awards website and presented in the order given at the Wikipedia page.

    Best Actor

    John Boyega – Star Wars: The Force Awakens as Finn
    Matt Damon – The Martian as Mark Watney
    Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant as Hugh Glass
    Taron Egerton – Kingsman: The Secret Service as Gary "Eggsy" Unwin
    Harrison Ford – Star Wars: The Force Awakens as Han Solo
    Domhnall Gleeson – Ex Machina as Caleb Smith
    Samuel L. Jackson – The Hateful Eight as Major Marquis Warren
    Paul Rudd – Ant-Man as Scott Lang / Ant-Man

I know Leonardo DiCaprio won Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role and its equivalent at the Oscars and a whole bunch of other award shows, but I'm not voting for him.  Instead, I'm voting for Matt Damon.  Not only did I enjoy his performance more and think "The Martian" is the much better entertainment experience, but the main argument for DiCaprio, that he was due an Oscar, works even more strongly for Damon, as demonstrated by Walt Hickey at FiveThirtyEight.
But here’s what’s absolutely crazy about this year and the narrative that’s built up around the best actor race. Let’s say DiCaprio deserves an Oscar. You know who deserves one more? Matt Damon, a guy who’s also nominated for best actor this year!

Not only is DiCaprio not the actor most overdue for an Oscar, he’s not even the most overdue among this year’s nominees.
With this electorate, he might not get the award.  Instead, I suspect they'll vote in Harrison Ford for his final turn and best performance as Han Solo.

    Best Actress

    Emily Blunt – Sicario as Kate Macer
    Jessica Chastain – The Martian as Melissa Lewis
    Blake Lively – The Age of Adaline as Adaline Bowman
    Daisy Ridley – Star Wars: The Force Awakens as Rey
    Charlize Theron – Mad Max: Fury Road as Imperator Furiosa
    Mia Wasikowska – Crimson Peak as Edith Cushing

I've been saying for months that Charlize Theron is my pick in this category, and she still is.  However, she is competing in a strong field and could lose to any of the other nominees, even Daisy Ridley, who will have at least two more shots with this role.

Follow over the jump for the rest of the acting nominees

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Driving update for April 2016: Pearl plus bonus gas price report


I noted that "Pearl turned over another 1000 miles yesterday, so a post about that is still on tap for Saturday" in Climate for the fifth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News.  It's now Saturday, so it's time to update my driving diary, which is one of the ways I monitor my consumption.

Pearl the Prius turned over 26,000 miles on Wednesday the 13th, exactly eight weeks or 56 days since she passed 25,000 miles on Wednesday February 17th.  That translates into 17.86 miles per day or 544.6 miles per standard month.  That's more than the 15.87 miles/day and 484.13 miles/month I drove her between December and February, but more in line with the 17.54 miles/day and 535.09 miles/standard month I drove her between October and December.  Again, I returned to work, complete with all the driving to meetings.  In fact, I'm surprised I didn't drive much more, as I now have two more meetings per month to attend.*  Even so, I'm still adding to the increase in miles driven as reported by the U.S. Department of Transportation as quoted by Calculated Risk: DOT: Vehicle Miles Driven increased 2.0% year-over-year in January.
The Department of Transportation (DOT) reported today:
Travel on all roads and streets changed by 2.0% (4.8 billion vehicle miles) for January 2016 as compared with January 2015.

Travel for the month is estimated to be 240.7 billion vehicle miles.

The seasonally adjusted vehicle miles traveled for January 2016 is 264.3 billion miles, a 2.7% (7.0 billion vehicle miles) increase over January 2015. It also represents a -0.8% change (-2.1 billion vehicle miles) compared with December 2015.
The following graph shows the rolling 12 month total vehicle miles driven to remove the seasonal factors.

The rolling 12 month total is moving up - mostly due to lower gasoline prices - after moving sideways for several years.

I'll see how much the household is adding to the total when I update Dez at the end of the month.

Speaking of lower gas prices, follow over the jump for the latest on them.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Clinton vs. Sanders for the fifth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News


It's Flashback Friday!  As I promised in yesterday's entry, here's another retrospective.  The fourth most read entry of the fifth year of the blog as well as the fourth most popular in the entire history of the blog is Clinton wins the news media while Sanders wins the Internet posted October 15, 2015.  It ended the year with 2163 page views, 2239 according to the raw counter.  It's a companion piece to Trump thinks Sanders is the right enemy, making this entry a follow-up to Trump vs. Sanders, the top post of the fifth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News.  As for how it got its page views, I'll be a good environmentalist and recycle what I wrote in Record page views, comments, and 100th follower: Monthly meta for October 2015.
The most liked entry of October with 12 pluses on Google Plus was "Clinton wins the news media while Sanders wins the Internet."  Being shared at the Bernie Sanders communities of G+ did most of that.  It was also the second most read entry posted during the month as well as overall with 2163 page views, 2172 according to the raw counter.  This post earned 2157 page views the first week, all but 40 from being shared at the Coffee Party Facebook page.  The first hour of being shared, it brought 427 page views to the blog, part of 1714 that day.  It's currently the third most viewed entry in the history of the blog.
I also shared the link at Greer's blog in February, four months later.  This entry has managed to stay current and will continue to do so until the Democratic convention.

Two more entries on this topic fell just short of the top twenty, Drinks for the Democratic debates: Hillary Clinton and Drinks for the Democratic debates: Bernie Sanders.  These are also still current, as the two candidates debated just last night.  I tweeted both links, as I have for every Democratic debate.

Stay tuned for the rest of the posts I have planned.
As for the rest of the week, Pearl turned over another 1000 miles yesterday, so a post about that is still on tap for Saturday.  Next week, I should have part 2 of 2016 Saturn Awards for Movies, Tax Day on Monday, Drum Corps for the New York Primary on Tuesday, marijuana legalization news for 4/20 on Wednesday, another retrospective for Throwback Thursday, and Earth Day news on Friday.  Looks like another busy week, which pleases me.
Previous entries in this series.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Climate for the fifth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News


Monday, I wrote that "I'll have a retrospective post for Throwback Thursday."  Throwback Thursday is today, so it's time to pick up where I left off at Redistricting reform, the second most read post of blog year five with the third most read entry of the past blogging year, Republicans on climate change and energy at the CNBC debate.  This entry from October 29, 2015 ended the blogging year not only in third place for the year, but third place in the history of the blog so far with 2457 page views, 2597 according to the raw counter.  I'll be a good environmentalist and recycle from Best November ever and other monthly meta to explain how it earned its ranking.
The winner of the Revenge of the Back Catalog trophy and the number one entry for all of last month was "Republicans on climate change and energy at the CNBC Debate" posted October 29, 2015.  It earned its 2416 page views during the November by being shared at the Coffee Party Facebook page.  It also ended up on the all-time top ten with 2486 page views, 2513 raw, during both October and November.  It's currently in third place all time after knocking "Corn questions from 'Food, Inc.' worksheet" out of the top ten  It's one of six posts shared at the Coffee Party Facebook page to get in the top ten so far this year.
This was the second entry to dislodge Corn questions from 'Food, Inc.' worksheet, the first being WXYZ on redistricting reform.  The post climbed back on the leaderboard in between and has since returned, but that's a story for another entry.  As for the Republicans who were actually talking sense about climate, as much as their ideology would allow, none of them are still in the contest.  Why am I not surprised?

Follow over the jump for another entry about climate that made the top ten.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Impacts and near misses for Apophis Day 2016


I opened and closed Yuri's Night 2016 by mentioning the proxity of two days about space that I celebrate on this blog.
Tomorrow is Yuri's Night followed by Apophis Day.  I don't think I realized that I celebrate two space days one right after the other, the first about the promise of space and the second about its perils.  Now that I do, I'm appreciating the juxtaposition.
...
Stay tuned for stories about near misses and other risks from space in tomorrow's Apophis Day post.
It turns out last month was an active month for misses and at least one actual collision.  I begin with Jupiter Collision! Impact Burst Captured By Amateur Astronomer from Space.com.

John McKeon captured an impact on the gas giant on March 17th, 2016 (00:18:45 UT). The video was snapped using an an 11" SCT with an ASI120mm camera and Ir-pass 742nm filter. It was most likely an asteroid or comet colliding with Jupiter.
Space.com has more on this impact and a history of others with Jupiter that have been observed since 1994.

Next, Wochit News reported Comet Speeds By Earth on March 22nd.

This morning a comet sped past Earth, coming closer to our planet than all but two other space objects in recorded history. It will be another 150 years before another comet comes as close. The comet was still a safe 2.2 million miles away, and was only visible through a telescope. The fly-by was an excellent opportunity for NASA scientists to work on the advancement of the study of comets. The study of comets aides in a better understanding of the universe, as well as providing information on how to handle a possible asteroid strike on Earth.
The last close encounter for March was reported a month in advance by Tomonews US: Asteroid near miss: NASA says 2013-TX68 could pass as close as 11,000 miles from Earth

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory announced on Tuesday that an asteroid could pass extremely close to Earth next month, much closer than the Moon.

Asteroid 2013 TX68 will make its closest pass by Earth on March 5. The asteroid, which has a diameter of 100 feet (30 meters), could pass as far out as 9 million miles (14 million kilometers) or as close as 11,000 miles (17,000 kilometers). The average distance of the Moon from the Earth, by comparison, is 238,555 miles (384,400 kilometers), according to NASA.

According to NASA, the variation in the distance depends on the trajectory of the asteroid, which scientists could not predict, since they were only able to track the asteroid for a few days after it was discovered on Oct. 6, 2013.

What NASA scientists are sure about is that there is no chance the asteroid could hit the Earth this time, although there is a 1-in-250-million chance it could hit our planet on its next pass, on Sep. 28, 2017.

Even if it does hit the Earth, it is too small to cause any real damage. It would likely break up in the atmosphere and blow apart in an explosion from an incoming asteroid called an "air burst."
Follow over the jump for a year's worth of stories from Tomonews about asteroid near misses plus a warning from Wochit about comets.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Yuri's Night 2016


I made the following program note in the concluding paragraph of Saturn Awards leftovers plus 'Batman vs. Superman' loses to 'The Boss'.
Tomorrow is Yuri's Night followed by Apophis Day.  I don't think I realized that I celebrate two space days one right after the other, the first about the promise of space and the second about its perils.  Now that I do, I'm appreciating the juxtaposition.
It's tomorrow, so it's time to celebrate the 55th anniversary of the first crewed space flight and the 35th anniversary of the first operational launch of the space shuttle.  I begin by embedding the video I should have used last year, when I forgot Yuri's Night, instead posting a retrospective, a driving update, and an entertainment feature.  I present Yuri's Night Greetings from Samantha Cristoforetti from April 2015.

Italian Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, who is on the ESA Futura mission onboard the International Space Station, sends her greetings to Yuri's Night events around the world that are planned around April 12, the anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's spaceflight in 1961. Yuri's Night would like to thank Samantha and our friends at the European Space Agency for sending us this video to share with events worldwide. Rock the planet!
Samantha is celebrating Yuri's Night this year, albeit on Earth.  The Planetary Society posted a podcast this morning, Celebrating Yuri’s Night 2016 with Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti.
Happy Yuri’s Night! We’re partying under Space Shuttle Endeavour in the first of two shows featuring interviews from the worldwide celebration of space. Star Trek’s Robert Picardo will talk about his new video newsletter, the Planetary Post, and we’ll visit with Samantha Cristoforetti, who returned last June from 200 days aboard the International Space Station. Emily Lakdawalla reports on the spacecraft exploring our solar system this month, while Bruce Betts tells us What’s Up.
Also, to make up for missing last year, I'm sharing NASA Johnson's Yuri’s Night Greeting from Expedition 43 Commander Terry Virts.

Expedition 43 commander Terry Virts of NASA took time to send a special message to celebrators around the globe recognizing the anniversary of the first human space flight. On April 12, 1961, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space, making a 108-minute orbital flight in his Vostok 1 spacecraft.

Space cooperation has been a hallmark of U.S.-Russia relations, including during the height of the Cold War, and most notably, in the past 14 consecutive years of continuous human presence on board the International Space Station.
since today is a celebration of space exploration, follow over the jump for the latest news, especially for crewed spaceflight.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Saturn Awards leftovers plus 'Batman vs. Superman' loses to 'The Boss'


I forgot one category from yesterday's 2016 Saturn Awards for Movies, part 1: Films, animated films.  Here they are from the Saturn Awards website, presented in the order given at the Wikipedia page.

Best Animated Film

    Anomalisa
    The Good Dinosaur
    Inside Out
    Kung Fu Panda 3
    Minions
    When Marnie Was There

My vote is for "Inside Out," which won the Oscar.  Of course, it might not win with this electorate, as "Minions" won the People's Choice Award, which prompted the following reaction from me.
I'm surprised, as I expected "Inside Out" would win.  Well, maybe with the critics, actors, and animators voting, it will win the more prestigious awards later in the year.
It did.

Follow over the jump for the weekend box office news.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

2016 Saturn Awards for Movies, part 1: Films


I concluded 2016 Saturn Awards for Television with "I have to say that this past year has been a very good one for speculative fiction and other genre entertainment.  That is even more true with the movies, which I'll write about next week.  Stay tuned."  Next week has arrived and with it my post on the movie nominations.

Like last week, I begin with the 42nd Annual Saturn Awards - Movie Nominations.

VOTE for your favorites, become a Saturn Awards Affiliate Member...
[UPDATE to NOMINATIONS]
Dear Friends of the Saturn Awards:

It has been an exciting time for all genre fans with the release of this year’s Saturn Awards nominations. After careful consideration, we are making an adjustment on our nomination list. We are moving actor John Boyega to the category of Best Actor in a Film. This more correctly reflects his contributions to the success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. We all look forward to voting and honoring the best in genre entertainment.
I wasn't keeping count, but Wikipedia was, and it found "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" the most nominated movie with 15 nominations.  Among the science fiction films, "Mad Max: Fury Road" earned ten, "Jurassic World" had eight, and "Ex Machina" and "The Martian" each had six.

Follow over the jump for my opinions of the nominees and which ones I currently intend to vote for.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Drum corps for the Wyoming Democratic Caucuses


Today is yet another stop on the campaign trail, the Wyoming Democratic County Caucuses, where 14 delegates are at stake.  This is probably the smallest delegation from a state up for grabs, fewer than Alaska's 16, but every delegate counts.

As for who will win, there appear to have been no polls, but three of four reporters at the San Diego Union Tribune think Sanders will win.  I think they're probably right; Wyoming is Sanders' kind of state and caucuses are his best type of contest.  All four of them also think Clinton will win the nomination.  I think they're right about that, too.

Enough of today's politics.  As I wrote at the conclusion of Drum corps for the Wisconsin Primary:
Enjoy the marching music for a primary election.  Expect more on Saturday, when the Wyoming Democratic Caucus will be held.  Troopers!
I begin with the 2014 show, A People's House, a theme appropriate for today.


That's not all from this show.  I'm going to be a good environmentalist and recycle the second video from Presenting the colors for Flag Day, Troopers 2014 Closer - "America The Beautiful."


Follow over the jump for 2013 and 2011.*

Friday, April 8, 2016

Monthly Meta for December 2015


It's Flashback Friday, so I'm going to count down the top posts of December 2015, something I neglected to do in January.  Better late than never.  Besides, I promised I'd resume the series and I have.

The blog earned 15,596 page views and 38 comments for 34 entries over 31 days that month.  That translates to 503.1 page views per day, 458.7 page views per entry, 1.23 comments per day, and 1.12 comments per entry.  It was the second best month for page views at the time and is now the third best behind October 2015 and January 2016.  It was also the best December so far.  For comparison, December 2014 had 13,251 page views and only 4 comments on its 41 entries, which translates to 427.5 page views per day and 323.2 page views per entry.  Year-over-year, readership per day improved 17.7% and per post 41.9%.  Wow!

I begin with the most liked and shared entries on social media.  First, the most shared and liked entry on Pinterest during December was "Three Star Wars trailers: movie, television, and video game" with 2 pins.  The most liked on was "Driving update for December: Dez" with 4 pluses on Google Plus. Those likes didn't help it much, as it only had 46 page views according to the raw counter.

The most commented on entry was "The smart money is moving from Rubio to Cruz but the endorsements aren't" with 8 comments.  It also had 81 page views.

Follow over the jump for the entries with the most page views.

Congressional inquiries, emails, and lawsuits in the Flint Water Crisis this week


I began Slow drip of Flint Water Crisis erodes Rick Snyder's approval with a program note.
At the end of Task force findings on the Flint Water Crisis, I told my readers to "Stay tuned.  I'm sure I'll have more, including the effects the crisis has had on Snyder's favorability ratings."  That's really the least of the state's worries, but it has been in the news lately.
As I wrote, Michigan and Snyder have worse problems resulting from the Flint Water Crisis than his sinking approval ratings.  Yesterday, WXYZ reported on three of them.

Leading the pack is a direct follow-up to Snyder testifies before Congress about the Flint Water Crisis.  U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings sent a letter to Snyder about the latter's testimony as well as questions about the process and transparency behing the Governor's Task Force findings.  Here's the WXYZ report: Cummings questions Snyder on Flint.

Congress continues to look into the Flint water crisis, Rep. Elijah Cummings is questioning some of the answers provided by Governor Rick Snyder.
Another Congressional committee hearing into the Flint Water Crisis that is sure to feature attacks on the EPA from the Republicans and attacks on Snyder and the Emergency Manager Law from the Democrats--that should produce a lot of heat and smoke.  I'll pass along all of that, along with any light it manages to shed, when it happens.

Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley, who has managed to stay out of the scandal, got sucked into it the same day.  Follow over the jump for that.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Slow drip of Flint Water Crisis erodes Rick Snyder's approval


At the end of Task force findings on the Flint Water Crisis, I told my readers to "Stay tuned.  I'm sure I'll have more, including the effects the crisis has had on Snyder's favorability ratings."  That's really the least of the state's worries, but it has been in the news lately.  Following my policy of "if it moves, it leads" (pun not intended, given the context), I begin with WXYZ reporting POLL: Governor Rick Snyder takes big political hit over Flint water crisis.

The ongoing Flint water crisis has taken a huge political toll on Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. That’s the finding of a brand new EPIC MRA Poll released first to WXYZ/Channel 7 and their statewide media partners in Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids and Lansing.
The article on WXYZ's website quoted Bernie Porn, President & CEO of EPIC MRA, who said, “In all measurements for the Governor, he has taken a serious hit because of the Flint water crisis!”  The Detroit Free Press quoted Porn again.  "I think the slow drip, drip of it -- the e-mails, the hearings ... I don't think any public relations firm in the world was going to change the direction that this has gone."

That's just from Michigan media.  Follow over the jump for Fortune Magazine listing Snyder among the most disappointing leaders of the past year.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

WXYZ on Detroit gas prices


Two days after I posted Gas prices rise but are still (mostly) below $2, WXYZ uploaded Gas prices on the rise across metro Detroit.

Gas prices in metro Detroit are on the rise, with some stations having prices at more than $2 per gallon.
That would have been the perfect video to use with my blog entry.  Oh, well, better late than never.

The irony is that GasBuddy lists the prices as unchanged or even down for the stations in my old neighborhood.  The corner station dropped its price from $2.15, like the one in the video, to $1.93, while the two stations down the street held steady at $1.90.  So much for that charge into No Mans Land!  Even more ironic, the Detroit average for regular has also gone sideways at $1.97.  So has the national average, which is still at $2.05.  Rising gas prices?  April Fools!

I gave a hint this might happen during my last report.
While the retail environment is pushing the price a the pump up, the wholesale environment is not.  Oil-Price.Net shows yesterday's closes for WTI at $38.28 and Brent at $39.14, about $2 less than the $40.20 and $41.54 of two weeks ago.  Also, RBOB fell more than a penny to $1.45.  Those trends should moderate the rate of increase.
Oil has continued to fall.  Oil-Price.Net lists yesterday's closes for WTI at $35.89 and Brent at $37.87, another drop of about $2.  Also, it shows RBOB at $1.38.  As long as these trends continue, prices at the pump will rise little if at all, and may even drop for a bit.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Drum corps for the Wisconsin Primary


Today is the Wisconsin Presidential Primary, in which Cruz is favored over Trump on the Republican side and Sanders is leading Clinton on the Democratic side. Neither are absolute locks, so it will be worth seeing if Wisconsin is the speed bump that keeps Trump from getting to 1,237 delegates and a first ballot nomination and keeps Bernie's victory streak alive.  While my readers are waiting for the results, I'm going to do the same thing I did for Iowa Caucuses, Super Tuesday, The Ides of March, and Arizona, Utah, and Idaho--share music from marching units from the state having an election.  Drum corps fans already know that Wisconsin has some outstanding drum and bugle corps that I'm pleased to feature, beginning with 2015 Madison Scouts - 78th and Madison.

Madison, WI - 8TH PLACE 88.750

Classic MGM movies staring Gene Kelly influenced "78th & Madison," the title referencing Manhattan and the corps' 78th anniversary year. Listen for the roar of the MGM lion and look for the travel stickers on the prop suitcases that featured cities along the DCI Tour. Be on the lookout for the aspiring Broadway performer who made a performing troupe on his third audition and became smitten with a starlet he saw on a billboard, fantasizing about her while dancing with her silhouette.
The presidential campaigns are often called "The Circus," which happens to be the name of Showtime's series on the electionI've even called the 2012 campaign that  Another Wisconsin corps has the perfect show for this trope: 2015 Blue Stars - Sideshow.

La Crosse, WI – 11TH PLACE 85.150

In "Sideshow," the color guard section gradually transitioned from being rural members of a circus audience to become circus performers on various sideshow stages. Among those under the big top seen rising in the opener were clowns, a contortionist, a juggler, a unicyclist, a sword-swallower, conjoined twins, a tightrope walker walking over members of the horn line, and a fortuneteller reading the palm of a flugelhorn soloist.
Follow over the jump for more corps.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Happy Square Root Day!


Pi Day isn't the only mathematical holiday this spring.  Fox 4 reminds everyone that it's Square Root Day 4/4/16.


Scientific American has more in It's Square Root Day! Prepare to Be Somewhat Underwhelmed...
Math geeks and those who love them are probably still in withdrawal: Pi Day, the holiday that commemorates everyone’s favorite irrational number, has come and gone, and the next one won’t happen until March 14, 2017—an agonizing 11-plus months in the future.

But wait, you say. Isn’t today another major math-related holiday? Four times four, or 42, is 16, and since today’s date is 4/4/16, this is—wait for it—square root day! It happens every time this sort of configuration rolls around: the last square root day was March 3, 2009, or 3/3/09, and the next will happen on May 5, 2025, or 5/5/25.

Before you get too excited, though, you need to face a sad truth: square root day is a second-rate math holiday at best—it’s like trying to get your pulse pounding over Arbor Day, compared with, say, Christmas or Thanksgiving or any other self-respecting festival.
...
But if you think there’s no such thing as too many math celebrations, Square Root Day is by definition something to celebrate. While you’re at it, you might as well gear up for Fibonacci Day (11/23), Pythagorean Theorem Day (the date varies), and Math Storytelling Day (9/25).

When it comes to math holidays, in short, the fun—such as it is—never stops.
I'm all in favor of geeky fun holidays, even fake ones.

Task force findings on the Flint Water Crisis


More than a week ago, I promised "entries about the second most read post of the past year, the Sunday entertainment entry, a humorous take on nuclear meltdowns, and an update on the Flint Water Crisis."  I've taken care of all of those except the very last, a follow-up of sorts to Snyder testifies before Congress about the Flint Water Crisis.  It's well past time to follow through.

I begin with WOOD-TV's report, Inquiry: State “fundamentally accountable” for Flint crisis.

An investigation has found that the state of Michigan is “fundamentally accountable” for Flint’s lead-contaminated water crisis.
The panel minced no words about how bad the situation was and still is and who was to blame.  The key finding from my perspective was that the Emergency Manager Law needed to be modified.  I thought so back in 2011, when I wrote "The solutions devised here will be exported, including the bad ones."  One of the worst was the Emergency Manager Law.  When the Emergency Manager took over, he eliminated the Pontiac Police Department and replaced it with Oakland County Sheriffs.  In 2012, the Emergency Manager Law was repealed by a vote of the people.  That didn't matter to the legislature, who passed a new version in the lame duck session a few months later.  It may take this crisis four years later to convince lawmakers to change the law so man-made disasters like this don't happen again.  Or not--I'm not optimistic about the current crop of legislators.

Follow over the jump for WXYZ's reports.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

2016 Saturn Awards for Television


At the conclusion of Paul Wartenberg, Infidel753, and The Archdruid comment on me, I told my readers to "stay tuned for Entertainment Sunday. I have more awards shows to write about!"  Today's subject will be a show I first mentioned in 'The Walking Dead' at Comic-Con, the Emmys, and the Saturn Awards.  Since today is the season finale for "The Walking Dead," the most nominated series this year, I begin with the 42nd Annual Saturn Awards - Television Nominations.

Greetings fellow Genre Entertainment Enthusiast,

As fans and devotees of the genre, we invite you to go to our website: www.SaturnAwards.org where we are offering a special membership for the next few months which will allow you to VOTE for your favorite actors, actresses, movies and TV shows, so please join, tell your friends & fans and spread the word -- !!!

The Saturn Awards (and Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror) was founded in 1972 by noted film historian Dr. Donald A. Reed to honor and recognize films often overlooked by mainstream awards. These are the Films and TV shows that we all know and love -- and its our mission to honor and acknowledge the many talents that entertain and enlighten us!
Yes, I will be paying the $40 so that I can vote for my favorite among all nominees.  After all, that was one of my New Year's resolutions.

Follow over the jump for my opinions of the nominees and which ones I currently intend to vote for.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Paul Wartenberg, Infidel753, and The Archdruid comment on me


Monday's prompt reads "Have you ever had another blogger write about you? How did you feel reading the post?"  I mentioned this in passing as part of STORY is the theme for April 2016.
Also, I like the idea of writing about what other bloggers have to say about me.  I can think of two who have been complimentary, Paul Wartenberg and Infidel 753, and one who has been not necessarily critical but not friendly either, John Michael Greer the Archdruid.  I've mentioned the first two writing about me before, including in two of the recent retrospectives, but I've never passed along what Greer thinks of me when he's not responding to me directly.  Time for that to change.
I rather enjoy when Paul and Infidel write about me, which usually include links to my blog.  Here's an example from Paul Wartenberg that I quoted in Super Bowl drinks from Tipsy Bartender.
This year, I'm going to take a cue from Paul W., who mentioned about the topic he most associates with my blog:
So I need to point out, as this is the Internet, LINKS are everything around here. They link to me, I link to them, people can follow through those links to new and exciting places that offer up drink recipes and NSFW comments about crazy Republicans.
Super Bowl drink recipes it is.
I took it as useful feedback about what he most values in my blogging, so I chose my topic for that day accordingly.

The same is true of Infidel 753, who regularly includes me in his Sunday linkspams.  For example, this past Sunday's referenced me in the sentence "A week ago it was Nowr├╗z (Persian new year), and Obama once again took stock of our relations with Iran."  The first one of last month linked to me twice, beginning with "It's Springtime for Trump!"  He paid me the favor again by writing "here's what genuine popular anger looks like."  My response was to comment "You linked to me twice! That's an honor usually reserved for the likes of Rosa Rubicondior! I'm not worthy! /WayneandGarth." Infidel753 was quite complementary in return, writing "Pinku: Hey, they're good posts."  I'm glad he thinks so!

The Archdruid, on the other hand, was less positive.  Follow over the jump for what he wrote in response to another commenter at his blog.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Vox on April Fools Day


I told my readers to "Stay tuned to see what pranks I find on the web today" in last night's STORY is the theme for April 2016.  I found a good collection of them from Vox--one-stop shopping!

First, a good story about When the BBC won April Fools' Day in 1957.

How all those dorky April Fools' Day news jokes started: Spaghetti on trees.
Those are some of the best April Fools Day news hoaxes of the past century.  What about the best ones today?  Vox has those in How brands celebrated April Fools’ Day with imaginary products.
April Fools' Day is always a good reminder of how much time someone spent to come up with and market products that will almost certainly never exist, all while trying to be funny.

So far, Google fared worst: Its Mic Drop button infuriated users so much that they had to apologize. But buyer beware: If you thought about purchasing any of these new products announced today, the good (or bad) news is that they don't exist.
Along with the hoaxes, there are also products and services intended to be jokes that actually exist, including the following.
This Zumba-Roomba collaboration on a vacuum that also plays music was already invented by Tom Haverford, Aziz Ansari's character on Parks and Rec.
...
Horrifyingly, preschool student loans, an April Fools' Day joke from CommonBond, actually already exist in New York.
...
And you actually can search the Google Photos service by emoji.
Happy April Fools Day!  Of course, if you hate the day, John Oliver wants you to boycott April Fools' Day.

April Fools’ Day is awful. Please stand with John Oliver and take the Last Week Tonight No-Prank Pledge.
Good luck with that.  After all, you're reading this entry.  April Fools!

STORY is the theme for April 2016


From BlogHer:
So what is the BlogHer Writing Lab theme this month?

STORY

Hamilton ends the play with an important question: "Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?" Is it you? If it isn't you, is there someone you trust shaping the narrative? Is your story fated to be lost to time? And what becomes of all those ideas floating around inside your brain?

The beauty of the Internet age is that everyone has the ability to get their story out there. You can write a blog, Tweet your world, or photograph the whole thing for Instagram. Doing so not only records the important moments in your life but tells the rest of the world who you are, what is important to you, and what you believe.

This month, we're talking stories over at the BlogHer Writing Lab. We're looking at who owns a story, how you write about other people who are characters in your story, and how you set some firm blogging boundaries.
...
So join the April BlogHer Writing Lab and tell your story.
The prompts for this month actually look interesting, especially the first two and a few others.  I might use them.  After all, I almost always observe April Fools Day on this blog, even if I sometimes observe it a day late.  Stay tuned to see what pranks I find on the web today.

Also, I like the idea of writing about what other bloggers have to say about me.  I can think of two who have been complimentary, Paul Wartenberg and Infidel 753, and one who has been not necessarily critical but not friendly either, John Michael Greer the Archdruid.  I've mentioned the first two writing about me before, including in two of the recent retrospectives, but I've never passed along what Greer thinks of me when he's not responding to me directly.  Time for that to change.

As for the rest, I have lots of my story, the story of Detroit and Michigan, and stories about and from speculative fiction media to pass along.  I expect it will be as fun for my readers aa it will be for me!