FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Tardigrade Expiration Date ♬♫♪

Good friend (and maven of Arbor Teas) Aubrey Lopatin recently shared this song with me and reminded me I wrote this novella for her and her hubbie roughly one-billion years ago: Expiration Date.

In honor of this Season of Joy and New Beginnings, I offer this free read and song to you, my all my Best Belovéd Readers.

Enjoy!

UPDATE: OMFG! In late December a frozen tardigrade became the first ‘quantum entangled’ animal in history (researchers claim). If you’re a child of the 1970s, you no doubt appreciate the fact that this is the first ever successful creation of artificial extra-sensory perception (ESP) in an animal!!!1!

(Meanwhile, if you are a scientist or someone who read the entire article, you more likely appreciate that these researchers “did not entangle a tardigrade with a qubit in any meaningful sense”—but it’s still neat that they took a tardigrade down to nearly absolute zero and successfully revived it. Hearty lil fellas, right?)

FLASHBACK THURSDAY: Our Most Important Thanksgiving Traditions #gobblegobblegobble 🦃💀

I’m a child of the 1980s, so most of my nostalgic holiday memories are TV-related. 🤷‍♀️

1. “As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly!”

THANKSGIVING TURKEY GIVEAWAY! (WKRP in Cincinnati) from Tony DeSanto on Vimeo.

(Yeah, I repost this every year, because I love this gag, and because watching this on TV—and rehashing it with my mom and sisters each year—is one of my fondest holiday memories. But it is, in my humble, a damn-near perfect gag. That’s saying something, because I find single-camera laugh-track situation comedies almost entirely unbearable to watch. If you wanna read more of my thoughts on this specific gag and what it can teach writers, you can do so here.)

2. “…your people will wear cardigans and drink highballs; we will sell our bracelets by the road sides…”

3. ♬♫♪ “Caught his eye on turkey day / As we both ate Pumpkin Pie … ” ♬♫♪

4. “What do Jews do on Thanksgiving?”

(I wrote this essay a few years back; every word is both true and factual—which is a harder trick than you’d think.)

You’ll be 15 minutes into that Lesser Family Feast in Michigan when your mother-in-law will turn to you and ask:

“What do Jews do on Thanksgiving?”

You should be prepared for this sort of thing in Michigan. But even though I’m warning you in advance, you still won’t be prepared.…

(excerpt from IN MICHIGAN: A PRIMER, A TRAVELOGUE)

I hope your day is good and sweet.  Gobblegobble! 🦃💀

I was never a “Union Forever” kinda guy . . .

. . . but Elon Musk’s breathtaking lack of shits to give for human life and limb pretty much makes me want to perpetually barf down his throat.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk, whose factory in Fremont, California, has more OSHA violations and fines than the big three automakers combined from 2014 to 2018, announced that he was moving the company’s corporate offices to Austin

source

I recently spoke to an expert on automative safety testing for things like human-AI interaction, and that person characterized Tesla’s attitude toward developing their Autopilot™ and Full-Self Driving™ systems* as “deploy first, test later, and use real life experiences for their testing.”

* FUN FACT: Despite using the names “Autopilot™” and “Full-Self Driving™”, neither system can actually function autonomously. They are both considered, at best, “Level 2” ADAS.

I sorta love local investigative reporters…

… yes, they are cheesy showboats—no doubt—but they are cheesy showboats performing what is likely the ONLY FUNCTION most folks ACTUALLY want out of the Fourth Estate: to warn them about shit that might harm them on a regular day-to-day basis.

A huge portion of “news” focuses on opinion and “analysis” (which is just another kind of opinion) and “commentary” (a third name for opinion).  All of these are technically forms of fiction: a person takes a nugget of reality and weaves whatever the hell they want around it.  (DISCLOSURE: I was an op-ed writer for years. I’ve looked hard and long at how these particular sausages are made. It has lead to me being pretty goddamned disgusted by the prospect of eating any.)

Meanwhile, the easily maligned local TV investigative reporter?  Say what you like about the smarm and histrionic gotcha!ness, but those bastards are speaking facts: they smell something fishy, go and get pics, take samples to a lab, and report the results. God Bless ’em

Hold Up: Is that emblematic 1967 Armour hot dog commercial an homage to Ingmar Bergman’s classic film SEVENTH SEAL?

I mean, it’s weird that no one talks about the obvious visual similarities between the beginning of hot dog ad (top image) and the final image from Bergman’s Seventh Seal (bottom image), right?

The opening frame of the classic ’67 “Armour Hotdogs” ad
The final frame of Bergman’s Seventh Seal, often referred to as the “Dance of Death” by scholars

Are we to understand that the Armour hotdog ad takes placed in some purgatorial afterlife, where we are all condemned to revert to a childlike state of un-knowing and follow a sinister hot dog man, terrified and singing? ’cause that’s a dark, dark Easter Egg, folks.

Here’s the entire VINTAGE 1967 ARMOUR HOT DOGS COMMERCIAL – KIDS MARCHING & SINGING:

And here’s the end of Bergman’s 1957 film, Seventh Seal: