New Year’s Brunch, December 28 2019

Hello, friends, and welcome to the weekend. Ready for a New Year’s Brunch?

I actually don’t have any items about New Years in the New Year’s Brunch. I just like saying New Year’s Brunch. It makes me feel sophisticated and cosmopolitan. Don’t judge.

But it is still holiday time, so this week’s entries are all on the light side. Hope you don’t mind.

Octopus jail-break. Determined to find his way to freedom, an octopus named Inky apparently broke out of his tank, slithered across an aquarium floor and slid through narrow drain pipe into to the ocean.

The amazing stunt took place in the middle of the night at New Zealand’s national aquarium, after an employee apparently left the lid to the octopus’ tank slightly ajar.

Staff believe Inky took the opportunity to climb up over the top of his glass enclosure, slide down the side of the tank and slither across 8 feet of flooring to a drainpipe that empties into the ocean.

If you’re like me then no doubt you have spent countless thousands of sleepless nights wondering, “How long would it take a resurface a frozen Lake Superior with a Zamboni if we started tomorrow?”

Now, thanks to a study conducted by U.P. Supply Co., we have an answer.

1 frozen Lake Superior = 52,020,513 ice rinks.

At about 7 minutes per rink it would take 364,143,591 minutes to resurface all of Lake Superior. That is 252,877 days.

In all, that means it would take approximately 693 years to resurface Lake Superior in its entirety. The ice resurfacer will have driven approximately 39,015,384 miles.

So, the bad news is that you’ll be long dead by the time it’s done. But at least you can sleep tonight.

I know what you’re thinking: what about the other Great Lakes. Here you go:

Lake Superior: 693 years

Lake Huron: 502 years

Lake Michigan: 489 years

Lake Erie: 217 years

Lake Ontario: 160 years

Total: 2,061 years

Matty James ordered an inflatable Santa on ebay this month. He was expecting an eight foot high Santa, but when he plugged in the fan it got a bit larger:

"When I woke up in the morning, I looked out and his head would eclipse the window,” the man said. "Downstairs in the front room, when you opened the curtains, there was a big Santa bum in your face.”

Matty decided to leave it up, though the first morning or two were kind of weird. “When I woke up in the morning, I looked out and his head would eclipse the window. Downstairs in the front room, when you opened the curtains, there was a big Santa bum in your face.”

If you have to live in Canada in the winter, you might as well make the best of it. That seems to be the idea behind the annual International Hair Freezing Contest hosted by the Takhini Hot Pools resort. Since 2011 hundreds of people from around the world arrive to create wild ‘dos out of nothing but hair and ice. “The purpose of the contest is to create the most creative frozen hairdos possible,” reads the resort’s website. “You soak in the hot springs and allow the steam to accumulate on your head while the cold air freezes your hair.” Here are some pics.


A Roman Catholic church in Louisiana used an unusual method to spread blessings all over town on Sunday: a crop duster

Members of St. Anne Church in Cow Island loaded 100 gallons of the blessed liquid onto the plane to be sprayed on the surrounding town and nearby farms, according to a Facebook post by the Diocese of Lafayette. Parishioners also brought water from their homes to the airstrip to be blessed by Rev. Matthew Barzare.

Amazon takes over. In 2018, Amazon became the second company in the world (after Microsoft) to be worth a trillion dollars. In 2019, Amazon surpassed Microsoft and became the world’s most valuable company.

By the way, if you run across a time machine you might want to scrounge up some bucks and buy Amazon stock in 1997:

Amazon is also the leader (or near leader) in the two areas most likely to see profits and growth in the next ten years: cloud storage, and AI.

Even their CEO has transformed: from Fred Rogers to Bond villain:

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Yep, pretty sure Amazon is going to take over the world. Maybe it already has:

But wait…There’s Disney. Incredible fact: in 2019, of the top ten grossing films, eight were put out by Disney. Now, I’m not too good at math, but isn’t that like 80 percent? From one company?

Oh, and Disney also launched Disney Plus, their new streaming service. They also now control ABC, Hulu, ESPN, and a crap-ton of other content creators.

Here is a timeline or some of the larger acquisitions:

– 1995: Disney buys ABC

– 2006: Disney buys Pixar

– 2009: Disney enters 30 film deal with Dreamworks

– 2009: Disney buys Marvel

– 2012: Disney buys Lucasfilms

– 2015: Disney buys National Geographic

– 2017: Disney buys 21st Century Fox

– 2018: Disney buys Hulu

-2019: Disney Launches Disney plus


I think we can extrapolate a little to when these two companies begin to clash:

2020: Amazon buys Universal Studios, Dreamworks,  and Sony, starting a content war with Disney.

2021 Disney retaliates by buying the 90 percent of the cardboard stock in the country, and the van divisions of all major automakers.

2025 Disney creates new religion, an innovate blend of Jedi mysticism and Superhero iconography.

2027 Amazon buys The New York Times, Facebook, and Belgium.

2028 Disney buys the remainder of US copyrights and Microsoft. Windows 13 renamed Enchanted Mirror.

2030 US faces bankruptcy. Jeff Bezos cashes in half his Amazon stock to pay off the 4 quadrillion national deficit. Assumes presidency and renames the country the United States of Amazon. Begins plan to outlaw Disney.

2031 Disney declares itself a sovereign state. Meanwhile, President Bezos annexes Canada.

2032 Disney uses all its opinion-making power (movies, tv, games, music) to convince consumers that nationalism and borders are antiquated and evil.

2033 Worldwide protests against national governments erupt. Bezos responds by bribing UN members with free Kindles and Amazon prime subscriptions. The UN outlaws Disney.

2034 Disney, tired of relying on propaganda, creates a droid army.

2035 Transnational and transcontinental wars break out. Bezos uses the crisis to buy Europe, thus solving the still unresolved Brexit issue. He also picks up Japan, and most of South America. Disney allies itself with China.

2037 Disney is soundly defeated, and uses its remaining resources to start a colony on Mars. Bezo takes over the rest of the planet.

2040 Great Leader Bezo dies. His reanimated corpse, however, powered by Amazon’s decades of AI research, continues to guide world politics.

2051 Disney’s martian colony perfects faster-than-light travel and perpetual motion.

2056 Earth is ravaged by wildfires and rising sea levels. The main effect: Amazon packages can no longer be delivered. Amazon’s value tanks. World chaos and anarchy ensues.

2057 Disney offers to transfer all surviving humans to Mars for the low, low cost of 6.99 a month and unquestioned submission. Only a few scrappy rebels refuse.

2061 Disney launches military strikes against the rebels, whom mostly are able to flee on a stolen Disney ship to another solar system.

2091 Disney proclaims itself the Order of the Milky Way. Makes plans to “pacify” all sentient life-forms not under its control.

2112 After repeated battles with those scrappy rebels, The Order of the Milky Way gives it’s CEO unlimited political and military power.

2113 He builds a death star.

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Well, that’s it for this week, my friends. Let’s end with a very young U2 playing New Year’s Day:


44 thoughts on “New Year’s Brunch, December 28 2019

  1. Coincidentally, re-reading Dune now. Great book. Lots of interesting underlying thoughts and philosophies relevant outside the Dune universe.


  2. Amazon owns ABE books? I may not shop at Whole Foods (it’s not called Whole Paycheck for nothing), but ABE Books is my favorite used book site. I don’t know whether I will find another, or keep giving Bezos my money. Rats! Corporations have taken over the world–or at least the United States.


  3. I thought that I remembered this, from Warren Throckmorton’s series on the Constitutional Convention–which I couldn’t find, but they’re on his site somewhere: Benjamin Franklin did address the Constitutional Convention, suggesting that the sessions should open with a prayer. It is useful to remember, though, that the delegates rejected his proposal.

    Libby Anne, on Love Joy Feminism, also wrote about Franklin’s proposed prayer:


  4. For the most part I’m in agreement, but I’m hoping that Denis Villeneuve’s remake of Herbert’s classic will do it justice.


  5. As soon as I found out that Amazon had bought Whole Foods, I quit shopping there (not that I could afford to shop there much anyway). Too bad A. owns ABE Books too. I already stopped buying most things from A. Jeff Bezos doesn’t need any more of my $ – he has plenty. God help him.

    Good for Inky, I say!



  6. I once had the wonderful fortune to be in Maui and go out in a glass-bottom boat. A wet-suit diver would go over the rail and swim alongside, showing us wonderful stuff underwater, such as a sea turtle. She picked up a softball-size octopus, which I figured would try to get away as fast as possible. Instead, she just let it go, and it spent time carefully crawling over her fist, exploring it. The guide on the boat explained that this was an adolescent octopus, and they were very smart, curious creatures. Good memories.

    Spice addict? Is that from Dune? Didn’t like those books. People were always looking for Worms.


  7. Sue Lyon – died; age 73. Cast as “Lolita” at age 14. Married and divorced 5 times. I bet she had some “#metoo” stories – sadly. R.I.P.


  8. Those outfits sucked all the pink out of the universe. That’s why it’s against the law for men to buy pink clothes anymore.


  9. At least as intelligent as dogs I’m told. There is a famous video of an octopus being presented with a closed mason jar containing a tasty morsel and the octopus figures out how to unscrew the lid! I once knew a guy who favored home aquariums. He kept missing tropical fish and he finally figured out that the octopus in a nearby case was crawling out at night and shimmying across the wall to the other case and having dinner and then crawling back.


  10. I checked Google before I posted the quote to insurer, as much as possible, that Franklin actually was the author.. Seems he was


  11. Thinking of you all as you enjoy the ‘cool’ weather.
    My cat and I just lie in front of the aircon during the day. She knows just where the cool air flows under the dining table. No, I don’t join her quite there as I am told very firmly it is her spot.
    We had a small forest fire nearby last night but the ‘Firies’ got onto it quick smart. Very good.
    I might have mentioned out town garbage dump caught fire. That is OK now too.
    What I can’t understand is the mentality of the young kids who think it is fun to light grass fires in town on vacant land.
    The men and women who fight fires are amazing in their dedication.
    I have two families of friends who are very near to separate fire fronts.
    One family have lost land line telephone so the poles must be down.
    Their cell phones are OK.
    We have a website showing fire progress throughout the state with ten minute updates.
    I could compare it to watching paint dry except it is scarier.



  12. As a result of your reply to senecagriggs, I internet searched whether this quote is falsely attributed to Franklin, but from what I’ve found he apparently did make this remark in an address on prayer given to the Constitutional Convention. What surprised me is that, though in young adulthood he came to hold Deist views, as he got older Franklin reverted to views more like those of his devout Puritan parents. Since he was in his eighties during the Convention, such a remark would’ve been completely in character with his beliefs at the time. I had thought that he remained a lifelong Deist, but apparently not.


  13. A crop duster spreading holy water? I am SO stealing that idea for a modern horror RPG campaign.

    And an Amazon–Disney war would make a great cyberpunk dystopian campaign too.


  14. “I have lived, sir, a long time; and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this Truth, that God governs in the Affairs of Men.” Ben Franklin


  15. In a few decades people will be calling Daniel’s Amazon vs Disney outline prophetic, and him the new Nostradamus. Danieldamus.


  16. Apparently octopi are known to be highly intelligent, and great escape artists. Like Houdini with eight arms.


  17. Wonderful post, thank you. The giant blow-up Santa looks more like a Macy’s Parade Balloon than a yard ornament, but hey, it’s Christmas. Strange days coming at us next year.

    Thoughts of Susan in Australia. I heard a temp of 111 degrees Fahrenheit was measured there yesterday. The fires, the terrible smoke, the newly homeless, the gentle animals dying from the fires . . . all heart-breaking. My father once said that the Aussies were strong people, and indeed they must be. To survive all this trouble. Yes.

    well, let me go find my Mickey Mouse hat up in the attic to wear on NY Eve . . .

    U2 . . . eternally young


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