Here is a selection of somewhat recent positive developments in the world of American railroad heritage preservation.

Read the rest of this entry »


While I generally don’t like to complain and rant on complaints, in my web-browsing I found myself facing a rather awkward Google Map.
I have know that the GIS data they use can be erroneous at times (often based on census-data, which uses its own created “places” that often don’t correspond to the residents’ or historians’ conception of an area), but this example is rather atrocious in terms of classic cartography.

Read the rest of this entry »

My series of short posts on mathematically fun dates presents an appropriate timing for another calendrical quandry that I have been mulling over several years.

In the classic MGM musical film “Singing in the Rain”, the main characters are sitting around in a raining night, when they have a flash of inspiration on how to turn their film fiasco upside-down. One looks at the tear-off calendar, proclaiming that that would be the day to be remembered – and another promptly notes that it was past midnight, and was actually the next day. Yet is this always the morning?

Read the rest of this entry »

A happy binary day to all. Namely “30” day. Further, binary aside, the short form of the date is also a palindrome!

Just how special are such days? There are only 2^4 binary dates (16) in any given century (although a calendar format would allow for 2^6, the lack of any month or date that is “00” reduces it down). After today, there are only six such dates remaining this century.

Furthermore, there are only THREE binary palindromes PER CENTURY – today included! (the others being 10/11/01 and 11/11/11 (which will be quite a party indeed – Veteran’s day to boot (11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month… enough!!) )

What a fun year this is for those who love calendar mathematics!

Today is the rarest of occurences – a date which happens to be a palindrome!

That said, this occurrence is in the American system of dates (M/D/Y). We have to wait for Groundhog Day (February 1st) for the same to occur in the English system (D/M/Y).

The Year We Make Contact

January 1, 2010

So, as the first movie of the year, if not the decade, I watched the largely forgotten sci-fi classic 2010: The Year We Make Contact.

The lesser know sequel to the enormously famous 2001: A Space Odyssey, 2010 (dir. Peter Hyams) departs from the heavy high artistry of the former (dir. Stanley Kubrick), to instead take a conventional yet still scenic route. Whereas 2001 tends to bewilder, befuddle, and for many bore (all part of its mistique), 2010 instead seeks to clarify and explain what-on-Jupiter happened in the first filmed. In doing this, 2o1o is a very different film, and yet is nonetheless worthy of being sequel to one of the most famous films in cinema history.

Read the rest of this entry »

Is a Red Ryder BB gun not enough to meet your Christmas cinematic ordnance needs? How about a 45 MM anti-aircraft cannon in your front yard?

Steven Spielberg’s  “1941”  is the most unconventional sort of “Christmas film” – one set in the middle of December 1941 and the hysteria enveloping Los Angeles and its surrounds at the outset of WWII. Yet there are enough Christmas trees, lights, santas, and wreaths to make it thematic enough to have an excuse to go out and rent it.

Released on December 14, 1979, it may not be in the hall of the greatest films ever made, yet it is far from the alleged flop and forgotten film it has become, and deserves to be reconsidered.

Read the rest of this entry »