The snow Venus
While the real Venus de Milo is safely residing in the Louvre in France, a neighborhood in Rahway, New Jersey was able to see her late last week when a family decided building a snowman just was too ordinary and instead sculpted a replica of the Venus de Milo out of snow. The statue stood on their front lawn in all her glory until an anonymous complaint brought police to their door. Apparently their artistic flair wasn't shared in the neighborhood and the officer asked the family to make Ms. de Milo more presentable. To honor the request, the family dressed her in a green bikini top and blue sarong bottom. I guess it's a good thing they chose not to sculpt David.
Next week is the start of Daylight Savings Time when we set the clocks ahead one hour on March 13, 2010. It is hard to believe we are already at the beginning of spring especially since it seemed like we just turned the clocks back. Unfortunately, this year some scientists are telling us that our days may be slightly shorter anyway. Before you fret about it however, the time difference is much more miniscule in that it is only about one millionth of a second or more specifically 1.26 microseconds.
According to the Associated Press, the Jet Propulsion Labs have calculated that since the earthquake in Chile, the earth has been rotating faster, a little over one microsecond faster. The good news is this will make spring come quicker and melt the Venus de Milo in Jersey, but the bad news is our days will be shorter.
The principle behind this is the earthquake pushed some of the earth's mass toward the poles and according to the article this creates a situation similar to that of a spinning ice skater who pulls in their arms to create less drag and cause their speed to increase. Scientist say this spinning increases when mass is pushed toward the poles and decreased when it is pushed toward the equator. Of course, it will take millions of earthquakes before any of us see this difference and thank goodness, tectonic activity at that extreme is almost non-existent on this planet.
When I was young, I was blessed or cursed with fine, natural curly blond hair that managed to frustrate and tangle on a daily basis. I had quite a bit of it and it stuck out of my head in every direction you can imagine. As I got older it became quite annoying to deal with and it always bothered me. By the time I went to college, I guess I got used to dealing with it and by the time I graduated I had it under control or it seemed to be more manageable.
A few years after graduation I reunited with some of my fellow grads at a beach house at the shore, the location I must keep confidential to fulfill a promise you will soon learn. During this weekend of celebration, we went to the beach. My friend whom I will call Pete and I were standing in the water about knee high and a somewhat powerful wave hit us by surprise and knocked us down into the surf.
When I got my bearings and stood up again, I couldn't find my friend, but I noticed this bald guy chasing his hair up the shore as it floated in the water. Chuckling, I turned to find Paul to point out this poor guy's misfortune but Paul was nowhere to be found. I glanced back at the man again only to realize I knew him. t was my friend! At that point, he grabbed the hairpiece with one hand and my arm with the other and dragged me back to the beach house where he explained to me as he reattached it that a condition had caused him to prematurely lose much of his hair and that I was now in on a secret only a few people knew. To this day, no one knows his true identity and I will keep my word, but my reason for relating this slight digression is because it was close to the experience I had watching the tape of one of my first wrestling shows.
As I viewed the tape, I noticed this guy with his back to the camera and a large bare spot on his head. I looked around the ring for me, and I couldn't figure out where I was. I knew I was out there, but for a second or two I had no idea where I was until it dawned on me the partially bald guy was me! To this day, I have continued to have that slightly bare spot and a receding hair line, but fortunately I suppose I still have most of my hair although it is much shorter these days.
Anyway, I know many people share this frustrating characteristic but apparently we are not alone. An AP story this week said that DNA found in a man in a deep freeze in Greenland showed that he carried a trait that greatly increased the risk of male baldness. Something tells me though that he probably found out about 3,950 years too late to care.
Til next time…