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Fire Up the Grill Baby!!

24 Jun

Ray: Barbeque season is upon us. I don’t know about where you’re from, but in Southern California the people love to cook things on the grill. It doesn’t matter what it is either; chicken, steak, clams, tennis shoes… just add sauce and we’re in business.

I’m not sure if we’ve done any other food articles on this blog, but people in the United States take are BBQs seriously. As such, I thought it be nice to shed light on a pretty cool sight that’s all about grill. GrilledSensations.net is a great site for recipes, techniques, and the best equipment out there. There’s even a store there to buy some of the things you read about. In all, it’s a good site to know about.

From the White House to my house, we’ll all be eating off the grill. Keep it saucy.

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How to Avoid Looking Stupid

4 Mar


Do not show off
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No drama, please!
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Learn the right way to fall
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Revel in the grace of a cat
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Take care of the equipment
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Do not abuse your children
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If you float like a butterfly…
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Make up your mind.. Wrestling, or Soccer?
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Do NOT make up a new dance step on the spur of the moment
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Become familiar with your exercise equipment
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Did I mention.. Do NOT show off???
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Could Your Mom Have This Many Kids?

25 Feb

Ray: It’s cute and disgusting at the same time. A female wolf spider carrying her newborns.

Save Gas with This Electric Car

28 Jul

Ray: Those folks in England sure do know how to build great luxury sport cars. I mean, there’s Aston Martin, and ummmm… well I don’t really know. But perhaps the next great car to come from across the pond is the Lightning GT. This car runs on 100% electricity. But at an estimated $250,000, the engine could probably run on all the cash you’ve burned to buy it.

Each wheel has it’s on electric motor. It does 0-60mph in under 4 seconds but the manufacturers will cap the top speed at 130mph to preserve the range that the car can travel. There is already a 5 year waiting list for the car but you should expect to see these charging up in front of your local Wal-Mart by 2010.

Get Smart #9: R.I.F.

22 Jul

Seth: If you went to public school, you may have had R.I.F. in your earlier years. For those of you who didn’t, the initials stand for Reading Is Fundamental, a children’s literacy operation that I knew for giving away books in school. Once or twice a year, all the kids in school would go to the library with their class and be able to pick a few books from a large selection of grade-appropriate books. For me, this was often a treat because I read a lot as a youngster, and I attribute my hunger for books then to my current interest in the world around me. Today, I’m reminding you that reading is STILL fundamental!

In that spirit, there’s a book I just finished not too long ago that you’ve got to pick up. It’s called Song Yet Sung and it’s written by acclaimed author James McBride, who is known for his bestselling memoir The Color of Water and is respected for his first novel Miracle at St. Anna, a historical novel about a black infantry division fighting in World War 2.

Song Yet Sung focuses on real-life slave stealer, Patty Cannon and a black woman she caught who later escapes her attic jail, Liz Spocott. Liz is truly the star of the show. Similar to Harriet Tubman, Liz is a dreamer, and word of her talents spreads like wildfire through Maryland’s Eastern Shore, where the book takes place.

 

On a grey morning in March, 1850 a colored slave named Liz Spocott dreamed of the future. And it was not pleasant. She dreamed of Negroes driving horseless carriages on shiny rubber wheels with music booming throughout, and fat black children who smoked odd-smelling cigars and walked around with pistols in their pockets and murder in their eyes. She dreamed of Negro women appearing as flickering images in powerfully lighted boxes that could be seen in sitting rooms far distant, and colored men dressed in garish costumes like children, playing odd sporting games and bragging like drunkards – every bit of pride, decency, and morality squeezed clean out of them.

That’s the novel’s first paragraph. The story is a weave of several different subplots; Cannon’s slave stealing posse’s own struggle for financial gain; a retired slave catcher with a heavy heart caused by the death of his son whose internal battle of morality is tearing at him; workers of the Underground Railroad and their tireless efforts to bring slaves to freedom using The Code, a set of secret signs, symbols and songs that direct traffic on the Railroad; a white family grieving the loss of a father and their black slaves torn between their love of the family and their need for freedom; and the Wolfman, a black man who grew up and lives in the woods surrounding this Maryland town who isn’t a slave, but neither knows freedom.

Song Yet Sung is a story of reflection, redemption, and a complex and frightening future.  But also a future filled with hope.  It shows the determination and strength of black who wanted to be free (or help others to freedom) and the kindness of whites who help. But it also shows blacks who help steal slaves and sell free ones into slavery, blacks who are unable to seek true freedom for themselves and the capacity for white to show no sympathy or concern for other humans. Everyone is fighting for or against Liz, and she isn’t certain “freedom” up North is even the best step for her to take.

Song Yet Sung is certainly a story of survival, but also the cry of the author to blacks to hearken back to a “slave mentality.” The book is truly a spectacular read. Freedom, in the novel, is incredible difficult to reach and McBride, in this work, signals that the load remains heavy to this day.

Seth’s Rating: 4 1/4 Brains. Pick Up Your Copy Today. Feel free to get it at your local library, that’s what I did. And if you don’t have a library card, this is a good reason to get one and live R.I.F. everyday!

And just for laughs, our very own President Bush practicing R.I.F.:

How Smart (or Dumb) is Seth?

10 Jul


Ray: Can Seth figure this out by the end of the day? Doubt it. What about you?

1. Riddle me thoughts or riddle me things; What eleven coins make a dollar-nineteen?

2. I have 10 US Bills that total to $143.00. What 10 bills do I have?

Get Smart #8 – The Marine Chronometer

30 Jun

Ray: Why would you ever need to know what a Marine Chronometer is? Well, someday you might be out at sea when a storm hits and damages all of your electronic equipment. At that precise moment, you will remember that you read on Seth and Ray’s Blog that a marine chronometer will allow you to accurately calculate your longitudinal position at sea. We’re basically saving your life right now.

The creation of this instrument can be traced back to London where clockmaker John Harrison was perfecting his craft. After 30 years of experimentation, he created the marine chronometer in 1764. Until that point, no other instrument could be used to accurately guide navigation. In other words, he basically created an 18th century GPS tool.

During this time, Europe was in the ‘Age of Discovery’ which is a nice way of titling the imperialistic policies of England and other nations during that time. Nonetheless, a device that could be used to determine longitude by means of celestial navigation would have been a great aid to many explorers (or as I like to call them, conquerors).

Obviously, Global Positioning technology has replaced the need to use a marine chronometer, but in the event that a signal gets lost, the marine chronometer is still an extremely accurate tool to use while out at sea.