We have Halloween memories of dressing up as our favorite cartoon character (which, if you were my age involved wearing an uncomfortable plastic mask held on by a flesh digging elastic band and a cheap plastic smock that had the named of the character printed on it. Not that it mattered, since you had to wear your jacket over it anyway since it was too cold.)
But I think a lot of us will remember not being allowed to accept anything unwrapped or homemade. And most important, not to eat any candy until it had been inspected by our parents.
It seems their were people poisoning candy, sticking razor blades in apples, replacing M&Ms with generic “W&Ws”.
It got so bad that local hospitals starting offering to X-Ray candy to make sure it was okay. I think the radiated Milky Way bar tasted better anyway.
What kind of sick people would want to poison innocent children? None. It was all a myth. It never happened. There was never a recorded case of a child being poisoned or hurt by candy given them to halloween.
So how did this horrible lie to ruin the day for children start? The local news of course. Local news has one way to get you to watch, by scaring you. Next time you’re watching Modern Family on your DVR, stop fast forwarding for when the advertisement comes up for the news at 11. The ad will only be a few seconds long, but it’ll be quick enough to convince you it could be a matter of life or death to watch.
“What local town could have poison water,” they might tease, or maybe, “How can you tell if your neighbor is really the ghost of Bin Laden.”
In that aspect the local news has not changed much. What better way to scare you then by telling you that your children will die by doing something they love to do.
But there was a small amount of truth in the story. In 1974 a boy was poisoned by eating a Pixy Stick laced with cyanide. At first it was thought it came from Trick-or-Treating, but the truth is it came from the boy’s own father.
It wasn’t until 2000 that a case of needles in candy actually happened. That year a man, probably inspired by the lies being spread by parents about tampered candy, put needles in Snickers bars. But even then the injuries were so minor that not a single can had to go to the doctor. It wasn’t disclosed if it made the Snickers bar taste any less nasty.
The point is the odds of being hurt by halloween candy, your probably more likely to have a heart attack worrying about it than actually getting a minor boo-boo from a Snickers bar. I’d rather eat a razor blade than a Candy Corn anyway.
Have fun this Halloween. Eat some candy, watch some scary movies, and please don’t spray me with shaving cream as I just shaved and it would be a waste.
Once you become an expert in something, it becomes harder to enjoy works of fiction that have to do with it. For example doctors can point out everything wrong with medical dramas and aliens have a hard time enjoying Third Rock From The Sun.
So when Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson saw the space drama Gravity this weekend, you know he would have some issues. He made sure to let all his twitter followers know:
He starts off innocently enough with this tweet:
The film #Gravity depicts a scenario of catastrophic satellite destruction that can actually happen.
But he quickly follows up with these problems he found:
Mysteries of #Gravity: Astronaut Clooney informs medical doctor Bullock what happens medically during oxygen deprivation.
Mysteries of #Gravity: Why we enjoy a SciFi film set in make-believe space more than we enjoy actual people set in real space
Mysteries of #Gravity: Satellite communications were disrupted at 230 mi up, but communications satellites orbit 100x higher.
Mysteries of #Gravity: Nearly all satellites orbit Earth west to east yet all satellite debris portrayed orbited east to west
Mysteries of #Gravity: Why Bullock’s hair, in otherwise convincing zero-G scenes, did not float freely on her head.
Mysteries of #Gravity: Why anyone is impressed with a zero-G film 45 years after being impressed with “2001:A Space Odyssey”
Mysteries of #Gravity: When Clooney releases Bullock’s tether, he drifts away. In zero-G a single tug brings them together.
Mysteries of #Gravity: How Hubble (350mi up) ISS (230mi up) & a Chinese Space Station are all in sight lines of one another.
Mysteries of #Gravity: Why Bullock, a medical Doctor, is servicing the Hubble Space Telescope.
The film #Gravity should be renamed “Angular Momentum”
11. The film #Gravity should be renamed “Zero Gravity”
Mr. Tyson does end by saying he did like the film and, channeling Mr. Wizard, a couple of experiments one can try at home:
Thought Experiment: Stand on a scale in an elevator. Cut the cable. You, the scale, and the elevator fall — scale reads zero
Cool Experiment: Poke a hole anywhere in a paper cup of water. Drop cup. Water, while weightless in free fall, stops spewing.
- My Tweets hardly ever convey opinion. Mostly perspectives on the world. But if you must know, I enjoyed #Gravity very much.
We have taken to watching the part Independence Day before they blow up the White House to remember what it was once like in Washington DC.
Because the Panda cam is down I’ve taken to watch my own dog. she is cute I’m not fat black and white bear eating bamboo kind of way.
So many people are out of work, it’s beginning too feel like a Bush presidency.
We tell tales of what it was like “Before Shutdown” or as we like to refer to it as B.S.. We talk about what it was like when the NSA listened to all of our phone calls, instead of just some of them.
But we are “Presently In Shutdown Situation” or as I like to forward to it as P.I.S.S. Bill is beginning to smell pretty bad. I beg him to take a shower, but the chances of passing a clean bill seem more and more unlikely.
We’re longing for the days of A.S.S. or “After Shutdown Situation”. Until then we have to do with our rations of overpriced souvenir postcards and Lincoln monument PEZ dispenses.
Not sure what it is about China, but parents don’t seem to care where their children go number one or two.
A pal recently told of his trip to China earlier this year, when parents would just hold there defecating kids over bushes. If you let your dog crap on the sidewalk here in America people go ballistic, a kid takes a dump in the middle of a train station in China, no one bats an eye.
Now this horrible phenomenon seems to be limited to the more rural areas. If you visit China and stick to the main areas like Beijing or Tienanmen Square you should be free of seeing pooping kids. The worse thing that might happen to you is that maybe you’ll get run over by a tank.
China is a country known for not wanting to have girls, perhaps it’s just because it’s easier for boys to participate in public urination.
Here are a few more pictures of the people we owe money too: