Monday, August 30, 2010

AUS Television: Offspring, Episode 1.2

Series One, Episode Two
Original Air Date:  August 29, 2010

A couple with an overdue baby comes into the hospital for an induced labor.  They want everyone involved in the delivery to be naked because they want their child born into a "room of natural bodies".  Cherie and Darcy are trying to figure out how to deal with the constant crying of their son.  Geraldine Proudman wants to enter the field of online dating and gets advice from her children.

Nina is extremely uncomfortable throughout the entire episode.  She goes in to buy some junk food after her night shift is over and encounters two young girls that insult her and she immediately categorizes in her mind as less than moral ladies.  Once the couple makes the request for everyone in the delivery room to be nude Nina's neurosis and imagination kicks into full speed.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday Funnies: Can Cold Water Clean Dishes?

This is for all the germ conscious folks that worry about using cold water to clean.

John went to visit his 90 year old grandfather in a very secluded, rural area of Saskatchewan.  After spending a great evening chatting the night away, the next morning John's grandfather prepared breakfast of bacon, eggs and toast.

However, John noticed a film-like substance on his plate, and questioned his grandfather asking, "'Are these plates clean?"

His grandfather replied, "They're as clean as cold water can get 'em.  Just you go ahead and finish your meal, Sonny!"

For lunch, the old man made hamburgers.  Again, John was concerned about the plates, as his appeared to have tiny specks around the edge that looked like dried egg and asked, "Are you sure these plates are clean?"

Without looking up the old man said, "I told you before, Sonny, those dishes are as clean as cold water can get them. Now don't you fret, I don't want to hear another word about it!"

Later that afternoon, John was on his way to a nearby town and as he was leaving, his grandfather's dog started to growl, and wouldn't let him pass.

John yelled and said, "Grandfather, your dog won't let me get to my car."

Without diverting his attention from the football game he was watching on TV, the old man shouted:  "Coldwater, go lay down now, ya hear me?!"

Saturday, August 28, 2010

CDN Television: Rookie Blue, Episode 1.10 "Big Nickel"

Rookie Blue
Season One, Episode Ten, Big Nickel
Original Air Date:  August 26, 2010

The rookies spend some time with Shaw at the shooting range for re-certification.  McNally is the only one who qualifies.  Swarek and McNally are assigned to transfer a prisoner.  Peck and Epstein are assigned to the case of a naked John Doe claiming to have amnesia.  Detective Barber has lost the case notebook for a case he has coming up and Nash and Diaz help him try to reconstruct the case in his mind.  The four rookies who didn't qualify go back to the shooting range for a second chance.

McNally doesn't like the thought of spending 10 hours in a car with Swarek and even he begs Williams to take over for him.  Williams refuses, of course.  Swarek doesn't want to talk at all and Andy is uncomfortable with that.  While at a diner, the atmosphere between the two gets very awkward so to ease the tension a bit, Swarek makes some old jokes with the waitress that McNally gets a good laugh from.

US Television: The Vampire Diaries, Season 1, Episodes 12-22

Episode 12:  Unpleasantville
Original Air Date:  January 28, 2010

Elena tells Stefan about the mysterious dark man in the road the night she had her accident.  Jeremy unknowingly later invites that man into the Gilbert home when he arrives as a pizza delivery man.  Alaric gives Jeremy an A on his history paper and Jeremy loans him the Gilbert journal.  Bonnie meets Ben, a charming guy she used to go to school with, at the Mystic Grill who is more than he seems.  The dark man from the road continues to torment Elena.  Jenna tells Elena all she knows about Elena's birth mother and that her name was Isobel.  The man from the road attacks Elena in her home but Stefan arrives just in time to save her from being bitten.  Knowing the man was invited into the Gilbert house, Damon and Stefan know there is only one thing they can do.  Elena goes to a school dance with Damon and Stefan to protect her.  Alaric introduces himself to Damon.  Anna shows up at the dance to see Jeremy and presses him to give her the Gilbert journal.  Elena faces danger from the dark man at the dance and Damon and Stefan must save her.  Caroline and Matt begin a relationship.  Stefan confides in Elena about promising to help Damon free Katherine. 

Friday, August 27, 2010

US Television: The Vampire Diaries, Season 1, Episodes 1-11

Episode 1:  Pilot
Original Air Date:  September 10, 2009

As news of mysterious deaths begin to appear in the local news, Elena Gilbert returns to school after the death of her parents in a car accident four months earlier.  Elena tries to hide her pain beneath a cool exterior while her brother Jeremy becomes involved in drugs and partying and holds onto his anger.  Elena sees Stefan Salvatore and is immediately drawn to him and the feeling is mutual.  When Elena shows up at the local hang-out with Stefan at her side it's a surprise and disappointment to Caroline, her friend that has her sights set on Stefan and Matt, the boyfriend Elena broke up with.  Vicki Donovan is attacked in the woods.  Damon arrives to complicate things in Mystic Falls.  Damon draws Caroline's attention.

Episode 2:  The Night of the Comet
Original Air Date:  September 17, 2010

As more mysterious deaths begin to plague Mystic Falls, the local officials become more and more suspicious and start to suspect something sinister.  The town prepares a celebration to mark the appearance of a rare comet.  Jeremy and Elena's legal guardian, their aunt Jenna attends a parent/teacher meeting with one of Jeremy's teachers to discuss his poor performance in school.  Elena and Damon meet when she goes to the Salvatore house to speak with Stefan.  Despite Stefan's efforts to remove Vicki's memories of being attacked, she begins to regain all of her memories.  Stefan and Elena speak about Damon and Katherine and how things are too complicated for them to be dating.  Damon attacks Vicki a second time and uses her as a pawn in a game he's playing with Stefan.  Stefan and Elena tell each other what they would write in their diaries.  Damon takes control of Caroline.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

AUS Television: City Homicide, Episode 4.8 "In Harm's Way"

City Homicide
Season Four, Episode Eight, In Harm's Way
Original Air Date:  August 25, 2010

The press is reporting on Ivan Bosnich who is extending an olive branch to the man who violently kicked his son to death three years ago.  Three young men are murdered and homicide is called in.  The press is swarming over the scene.  Two more young men are murdered by the man they try to rob.  A quick and quiet arrest goes south when the killer has other ideas.  Meanwhile, Matt and Emma's relationship ends.

This episode focused on the lives of those left behind when a loved one is the victim of a violent crime.  It went beyond the usual story lines of a murder happens, you see a family member crying then you go back to the investigation.  The devastation left after a violent death were the investigation.

AUS Television: Tangle, Episode 2.6

Season Two, Episode Six
Original Air Date:  August 24, 2010

Gabriel breaks up with Sophie telling her his "heart isn't in it".  Tim goes to Singapore and tells Max to look after Christine.  Ally confronts Tanya about the money she's getting and finds out it is for her daughter Ophelia who is Vince's daughter.  Gigi overhears Ally and Christine talking about Vince and Ophelia.  Max and Nat tell Christine that he wants to live with Nat.  Christine is angry, Max tells her she disgusts him and Christine slaps him.  Max leaves and goes to Ally's house.  Christine and Spiros' relationship goes to another level.  Gigi ends up missing and she has gone to see Ophelia.

What an episode!

US Television: The Vampire Diaries, An Introduction

The Vampire Diaries is a weekly scripted drama that airs on the CW network.  It is based on a series of novels of the same name by L.J. Smith.  The series stars Ian Somerhalder as Damon Salvatore, Paul Wesley as Stefan Salvatore and Nina Dobrev and Elena Gilbert.  Set in the fictional town of Mystic Falls, Virginia, The Vampire Diaries is filmed on location in various locations in the state of Georgia with the pilot episode having been filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  Vampire Diaries currently has one successful season of twenty-two one-hour episodes under its belt.  Filming for the second season began on July 13, 2010 and the show will be returning to the CW network on Thursday, September 9, 2010 for its second season.

The Vampire Diaries focuses on the lives (albeit undead lives) of the Salvatore brothers, Damon and Stefan, and the girl they are both in love with, Elena Gilbert.  Elena is the spitting image of a girl they both loved in their past and the one who turned them into vampires, Katherine Pierce.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Furry, Four-Legged Heroes to the Rescue!

Dogs can be trained to do any number of things.  Sit, roll over, lay down, speak and fetch.  They can also be trained to do more serious activities that enrich a humans daily life such as assisting the blind and even locating tumors in the human body.  Dogs can also be trained to jump from helicopters and speeding boats to rescue swimmers in distress.

In Italy, 300 specially trained Newfoundland dogs, Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers (among other breeds) form the corps of canine lifeguards that help stranded swimmers each summer.

The dogs are equipped with harnesses, tow buoys for swimmers to grab or rafts for swimmers to sit on to be towed back to shore.  The Italian Coast Guard and their big furry friends rescue around 3,000 people each summer.

The Italian School of Canine Lifeguards outside of Rome in Civitavecchia trains the dogs for the Italian Coast Guard and the criteria for a rescue dog is tough.  While any breed will be trained, the school prefers Labrador Retrievers, Newfoundlands and Golden Retrievers because of their natural swimming abilities and instincts.  All dogs must weigh at least 33 kilograms (66 pounds) and works with a human lifeguard who serves in the capacity as the trainer.  The animals train for three years to reach expert rescue status.  The school has been training expert lifeguard canines for more than twenty years.  Its very first trainee was the Newfoundland dog belonging to the founder, Ferruccio Pilenga.

I loved this story and I loved the pictures even more.  The best picture I've seen in a very long time is the boat full of Newfoundland dogs.  I positively adore Newfoundlands and seeing an entire boat full of them is awesome!  The photo of the Newfoundland jumping from the helicopter amazed me.  They are truly remarkable dogs and kudos to Italy for allowing these dogs to use their natural skills the same way the monks of St. Bernard at one time allowed the gorgeous St. Bernard dogs to use their natural skills in the Swiss Alps rescuing stranded skiers. 

For more information and to see some amazing pictures (they are a must see!) of these awesome dogs, visit these articles:
MSNBC Health & Pet Health Article (article & Photos)
Times Union (photos with description only)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Humpback Whale Treats Australians to Spectacular Display

A humpback whale swimming close to Hamilton Island, Australia on Monday gave quite the show to bystanders.  In an effort aimed at attracting female attention, the whale leapt out of the water, twisting and slapping its tail. 

August is prime mating season for humpback whales when they swim into warmer tropical waters to breed before returning Antarctic waters in September.

I don't know how many ladies he managed to attract, but he sure did attract the attention of a lot of bystanders!

Check out this amazing video courtesy of

Life of Derby, UK Man Saved 28 Times By Doctors & Medics

Steve Nixon, a 44 year-old Derby, England man had a heart attack while riding his motorbike causing him to swerve into the path of an oncoming car.  Nixon's heart stopped several times at the scene and he was revived by paramedics before being airlifted to University Hospital Coventry.  Once there, his heart stopped an additional twenty-three times.  Doctors were able to restart Nixon's heart each time and were finally able to fit him with a pacemaker to stabilize his heartbeat so they could repair a torn artery.

Dr. Dawn Adamson, Consultant Cardiologist at the hospital said Nixon was suffering from a tear in the main artery supplying the heart.  He wasn't stable enough to survive heart surgery.  Instead, doctors opted for a two-hour surgery that provided scaffolding to the damaged arteries supplying blood to the heart.

Nixon, a father of three, is thankful to the doctors for working so hard to save his life.  He credits not only the doctors but the love of his family for his amazing recovery.  Nixon's wife, Miriam, put a family photograph on the back of his door so it would be the first thing he saw if he didn't perish.

This story could have had a tragic ending but, thankfully, it didn't.  I love a happy ending and this most certainly is one.


Monday, August 23, 2010

AUS Television: Offspring, Episode 1.1

Series One, Episode One
Original Air Date:  August 22, 2010

Nina is struggling with the knowledge that her ex-husband blew up Chris' car and she feels it is up to her to catch him.  She sets her ex-husband up so the police can catch him but he doesn't show up until she is leaving with the police.  Chris and his daughter are staying with his mother-in-law because the police feel he shouldn't stay at home in case Brendan knows where he lives.  Darcy is still being the grand father to his new son.  Nina and Chris do an emergency C-section on another doctors patient when the baby is in distress and the doctor cannot be reached.  Brendan accosts Nina in the lift at work and traps her there.

Chris is awfully nice about the whole situation with his car.  Nina feels horrible about it but he doesn't want her to feel bad.  He's got a lot going on in his life and he doesn't want to share any of it with Nina because he doesn't want to put his problems on her.  He's a nice guy through and through.

Nina is as all over the map this week as she was in the premiere movie.  She is still fantasizing every chance she gets.  About Chris.  About her ex-husband.  About the people she works with.

Billie is a big softie for Mick.  All he has to do is start singing "Billie's Song" to her and she jumps right into his arms.  He drives up outside a house she's showing and plays the song and she kisses him rather than being angry.  She's completely unpredictable.

Jimmy's girlfriend has completely given up on her education.  He clearly doesn't want the relationship the way Odile does.  He tries to get her to go back to France but the story he gives her fails miserably.  He finally tells her the truth about the relationship and, in turn, Odile drops a big secret of her own on him.

There were some great humorous moments in this episode.  A nurse who was keeping a vial of fresh sperm between her breasts to keep it at body temperature dropped it and stepped on it by accident.  As she was cleaning it up, a doctor walked by and muttered "what a waste" beneath his breath.  Nina's fantasies were funny. 

The hour format felt better this week than last weeks much longer 2 hour show.  At times last week it felt like the show was going on a bit too long and even this week things sometimes felt a tad slow.  While I'm not as much in love with Offspring as I am another show by the same creative team, Tangle, I do like it.  There have been some great moments thus far and the characters are good.  I'm hoping that with a bit more time and a few more episodes, I'll come to love it as much as I do Tangle.

Offspring airs on Sundays at 8:30 p.m. on Ten Network.
Official Site:
The Internet Movie Database:
TV Rage:

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Proof of Alien Life Could Come Within 25 Years, Astronomer Says

Astronomer Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute (SETI) in Mountain View, California said on Sunday, August 15, 2010 that he believes the chances are pretty good they will be able to find ET within the next twenty-five years.  Shostak made his comments at the SETIcon convention.

Shostak is using the Drake Equation, a formula invented by SETI pioneer Frank Drake that calculates the number of alien civilizations (N) we might be able to communicate with.  The equation uses factors like rate of star formation in the galaxy, fraction of stars with planets, fraction of habitable planets, planets that actually develop life and the fraction of civilizations that have a technology that can broadcast into space, among other things.

The late Carl Sagan estimated the Drake Equation amounted to N=1 million.  Isaac Asimov estimated N=670,000.  Frank Drake estimated N=10,000.

SETI's quest to make ET contact will take a giant step when the Allen Telescope Array becomes fully operational, hopefully by 2015.  The ATA is a network of radio dishes that should be able to scan hundreds of thousands of stars for signs of extraterrestrial life and intelligence.

For more information:
Source article:
SETIcon Convention:
SETI Institute:

Sunday Funnies: Things Dogs & Cats Should Remember

Things Dogs Should Remember
  1. I will not play tug-of-war with Dad's underwear when he's on the toilet.
  2. The garbage collector is NOT stealing our stuff.
  3. I do not need to suddenly stand straight up when I'm lying under the coffee table.
  4. I will not roll my toys behind the fridge.
  5. I must shake the rainwater out of my fur BEFORE entering the house.
  6. I will not eat the cats' food, before or after they eat it.
  7. I will stop trying to find the few remaining pieces of clean carpet in the house when I am about to throw up.
  8. I will not throw up in the car.
  9. I will not roll on dead seagulls, fish, crabs, etc.
  10. I will not lick my humans face after eating animal poop.
  11. Kitty box crunchies are not food.
  12. I will not eat any more socks and then redeposit them in the backyard after processing.
  13. The diaper pail is not a cookie jar.
  14. I will not chew my humans toothbrush and not tell them.
  15. I will not chew crayons or pens, especially not the red ones, or my people will think I am hemorrhaging.
  16. When in the car, I will not insist on having the window rolled down when it's raining outside.
  17. We do not have a doorbell. I will not bark each time I hear one on TV.
  18. I will not steal my Mom's underwear and dance all over the back yard with it.
  19. The sofa is not a face towel. Neither are Mom and Dad's laps.
  20. My head does not belong in the refrigerator.
  21. I will not bite the officer's hand when he reaches in for Mom's driver's license and car registration.
Things Cats Should Remember
  1. Screaming at the can of food will not make it open by itself.
  2. Leaping from the very top of the condo onto the curtain rod makes my human very annoyed with me. If I do it, I will get a time out, squirted with The Water Bottle Of Death and yelled at.  
  3. I must perfect a death stare to give my human every time I am disturbed.
  4. If I vomit on the carpet after overeating yet again I must stand up and walk away without the slightest hint of a care.
  5. I should not assume the patio door is open when I race outside to chase leaves.
  6. If I put a live mouse in my food bowl, I should not expect it to stay there until I get hungry.
  7. The guinea pig likes to sleep once in a while. I will not watch him constantly.
  8. If I bite the cactus, it will bite back.
  9. I will not stand on the bathroom counter, stare down the hall, and growl at nothing (especially right after my human has finished watching "The X-Files" or "Supernatural").
  10. Television and computer screens do not exist to back light my lovely tail.
  11. No matter how dangly and attractive they are, my humans earrings are not cat toys.
  12. If I play 'dead cat on the stairs' while people are trying to bring in groceries or laundry, one of these days it will really come true.
  13. My human is capable of cooking bacon and eggs without my help.
  14. The cat food is already dead. I do not need to kill it by swatting bits of it all over the floor.
  15. I am a carnivore. Potted plants are not meat.
  16. I will never be able to walk on the ceiling, and staring up the wall and screaming at it will not bring it any closer.
  17. It is not a good idea to try to lap up the powdered creamer before it all dissolves in the boiling coffee.
  18. The goldfish likes living in water and should be allowed to remain in its bowl.
  19. If my human wants to share her sandwich with me, she will give me a piece. She will notice if I start eating it from the other end.
  20. I cannot leap through closed windows to catch birds outside.
  21. The large dog in the back yard has lived there for six years. I will not freak out every time I see it.
  22. If I must give a present to my humans overnight guests, my toy mouse is much more socially acceptable than a live cockroach, even if it isn't as tasty.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

AUS Television: Tangle, Episode 2.5

Season Two, Episode Five
Original Air Date:  August 17, 2010

Ally, who appears to have developed a case of sleepwalking, is awakened walking down the middle of the street at night.  Gabriel drops in to see Ally once the kids and Joe are gone for the day.  Tim starts looking for apartments in Singapore.  Christine takes Max to see a therapist because of his lying about his hearing while seeing a therapist herself.  Gigi goes to see her friend again.  Max has a serious question for Nat.  Christine tells Tim she doesn't want to go to Singapore.  Spiros steps up his pursuit of Christine.

CDN Television: Rookie Blue, Episode 1.9 "Girlfriend of the Year"

Rookie Blue
Season One, Episode Nine, Girlfriend of the Year
Original Air Date:  August 19, 2010

Andy confides in Tracy that she hooked up with Swarek but that nothing happened because the lights came back on.  Swarek gives McNally and Nash the job of putting shredded documents back together until a bigger case calls them all away.  Epstein and Shaw are working together and Peck and Diaz are partnered this week catching speeders.  A routine speeding case ends up as the search for an abducted little girl, Rebecca.

A car and a truck that speed past Shaw and Epstein end up in an accident.  The driver of the truck is nowhere to be found but the woman driving the car is in serious condition.  After running the plates, they learn that an Amber Alert was issued for a little girl last seen in that truck.

Friday, August 20, 2010

"Bearded" Antelope Photographed in Kenya

Paolo Torchio is a wildlife photographer who has lived and worked in Kenya for twenty years.  He's seen just about everything known to man when it comes to wildlife.  Or has he?

A few weeks ago while doing some photography on the Masai Mara National Reserve Torchio saw something unusual.  There was a fuzzy face looking up out of the tall grasses.  At first he thought he was seeing a dog.  When the animal stepped out of the grass he was astonished to see it wasn't a dog but an animal with the markings of a Thomson's gazelle. 

Torchio spent fifteen minutes watching and photographing the unusual animal before it dashed away.  After searching for five days to try and find the gazelle again he couldn't.

Experts are baffled by the photographs.  From all appearances, it is most definitely a gazelle but no animal experts know of a hairy Thomson's gazelle or antelope.  There have been suggestions that the animal could be suffering from illnesses such as hypertrichosis or Cushing's disease.

You will most certainly smile when you see the photos.  Regardless of what has caused this little gazelle to look the way she does, she's very adorable.

For more information and to see a couple of photographs of this remarkable animal, you can check out this article.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

AUS Television: City Homicide, Episode 4.7 "No Smoke"

City Homicide
Season Four, Episode Seven, No Smoke
Original Air Date:  August 18, 2010

After a fire that claimed the lives of five people the suspected arsonist is found bludgeoned and hanging from a tree.  On Jarvis' insistence, an old friend and colleague is assigned to the case and provides both conflict and insight as the detectives work to find the killer among the long list of suspects.

The biggest news from this episode:  Wilton Sparks!!  Sparks is a Community Liaison and on the scene when Matt and Duncan arrive.  Jarvis, knowing that the residents in the community where the victim lived know and trust Sparks, insists Sparks will be assisting in the investigation.  Sparks genuinely likes the residents in the community and doesn't feel that any of them would actually be capable of killing the victim and it seems like, at times, he's too close for objectivity.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

100 Year-Old Scotch Whiskey Found in Frozen Crate

It was trapped in Antarctic ice for a century and finally unveiled on Friday, August 13, 2010.  Bad news, whiskey lovers.  The Scotch whiskey won't be available to drink.  Instead, it is being preserved for historical significance and for possible replication by master blenders.

Eleven bottles of Mackinlay's Scotch whiskey dating to 1896 or 1897 were found in a crate that was discovered in the Antarctic hut of Sir Ernest Shackleton in 2006 and slowly thawed at the Canterbury Museum in Christchurch, New Zealand.  The whiskey was found wrapped in paper and straw to protect it during transit for Sir Shackletons 1907 Nimrod expedition.  The crate itself was frozen solid but the whiskey still sloshed in its bottles as the -22F (-30C) Antarctic weather wasn't enough to freeze the liquor.

Samples will be taken from the whiskey and sent to Scottish distiller Whyte and Mackay.  Once that is done, all eleven bottles will be returned to where they were found:  beneath the floorboards of Shackleton's hut at Cape Royds on Ross Island, near Antarctica's McMurdo Sound.  The samples have been taken so master blenders can try and replicate the liquor since the recipe for it no longer exists.

For more information and to watch a news video of the Scotch whiskey, you can refer to this article.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

US Television: The Vampire Diaries, Season 2 Previews

Season two of the wildly popular CW Network program, The Vampire Diaries is almost here!  On Thursday, September 9, 2010 at 8:00 p.m. EST the series returns and fans will find out what plans the newly returned Katherine Pierce has in store for Damon and Stefan Salvatore and Elena Gilbert.

In the meantime, to give you something to make you wish the next three weeks will rush right by, has eight brand new photos from the set of The Vampire Diaries!  The photos are of super hot Damon and Stefan Salvatore, Elena Gilbert and Tyler Lockwood.

You can see the photos here as well as read up on season two of The Vampire Diaries.

You can also see a brief teaser at the Official CW Vampire Diaries site.

Albino Humpback Whale Caught on Film Near Australia

This one definitely needs to be filed in the "stunningly beautiful" category.

A completely white humpback whale has been professionally filmed traveling south about 2 km (approximately 1.2-1.3 miles) from Green Island off the coast of Australia.  This was the first time the whale, named Migaloo, was filmed professionally.  Migaloo was filmed in Cairns on the Great Barrier Reef.

Pilot Chris Rose and cinematographer David Farmer obtained the footage of Migaloo.  The BBC is reportedly making a documentary about Migaloo and the footage will be used for that.

For more information and to see a gorgeous photo of Migaloo (you must see this picture!!), you can read this article.

Monday, August 16, 2010

AUS Television: Offspring, Premiere Episode

Season One, Episode 1
Original Air Date:  August 15, 2010

Obstetrician Nina Proudman struggles with her busy life delivering babies, dealing with hard-to-handle family members, an even harder-to-handle ex-husband and the gorgeous new pediatrician at the hospital where she works.  In this episode, we're introduced to each of the characters, find out who they are, who they love, what they do and what they want.  Life becomes even more complicated when one of Nina's friends returns to work at the hospital with a big surprise:  she's pregnant!  But the surprises don't stop there.  During labor Nina learns that the baby belongs to none other than her father!

Nina Proudman is a character I think some people will find easy to relate to.  She has a busy life both at home and at work.  She's often tired from the long hours she works.  Too tired to even stay awake during the sexual fantasy she has about Chris Havel.  She's got her hands full with her family and completely crazy ex-husband.  Everything about her life is hectic.  Don't we all have lives that are a bit more complicated and hectic than we'd like them to be?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Mystery of the Bermuda Triangle Solved?

For decades the area of the North Atlantic Ocean known as the "Bermuda Triangle" or "Devil's Triangle" has both intrigued and terrified people around the world.  It's been known as a place where strange disappearances and disasters are the norm and answers have been elusive, at best.

But, all that may have changed.

Using the "mystery areas" identified by Ivan T. Sanderson in the 1960's, Professor Joseph Monaghan and honor student David May conducted their own research at the Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.  Monaghan and May believe they have come up with an answer to the mysterious disasters and disappearances of the Bermuda Triangle.

Their paper, published in the American Journal of Physics attributes the mysteries of the Triangle not to the supernatural but to gas, specifically methane gas.

The paper suggests that the methane gas, which is normally frozen at great pressure as gas hydrates embedded in subterranean rock, becomes dislodged.  It then transforms into gaseous bubbles and expands as the bubbles explode upwards.  When the bubbles reach the surface of the ocean, they rise into the air while still expanding up and out.  Any ships caught in the bubbles lose buoyancy and sink to the bottom of the ocean.  Larger bubbles that carry enough density can unexpectedly knock aircraft from the sky.

After all these years of speculation, what do you think of this possible explanation?

For more information you can read this article.

Sunday Funnies: Things I Learned (Lernt) in the South

  1. A possum is a flat animal that sleeps in the middle of the road.
  2. There are 5,000 types of snakes and 4,998 of them live in the South.
  3. There are 10,000 types of spiders. All 10,000 of them live in the South, plus a couple no one's seen  before.
  4. If it grows, it'll stick ya. If it crawls, it'll bite cha.
  5. 'Onced' and 'Twiced' are  words.
  6. It is not a shopping cart, it is a buggy!
  7. 'Jaw-P'? means 'Did ya'll go to the bathroom'?
  8. People actually grow and eat okra.
  9. 'Fixinto' is one word. It means  'I'm fixing to do  that'.
  10. There is no such thing as 'lunch'. There is only dinner and then there is supper.
  11. Iced tea is appropriate for all meals and you start drinking it when you're two.. We do like a little tea with our sugar.
  12. Backwards and forwards means 'I know everything about  you'.
  13. The word 'jeet' is actually a phrase meaning 'Did you eat?'
  14. You don't have to wear a watch, because it doesn't matter what time it is, you work until you're done or it's too dark to see.
  15. You don't PUSH buttons, you MASH  'em.
  16. You measure distance in minutes.
  17. You switch from heat to A/C in the same day.
  18. All the festivals across the state are named after a fruit, vegetable, grain, insect, or animal.
  19. You know what a 'DAWG' is.
  20. You carry jumper cables in your car - for your OWN car.
  21. You only own five spices: salt, pepper, Tony's, Tabasco and ketchup.
  22. The local papers cover national and international news on one page, but require 6 pages for college football, local high school sports and motor sports, and gossip.
  23. You think that the first day of deer season is a national holiday.
  24. You find 100 degrees Fahrenheit 'a bit warm'.
  25. You know all four seasons: Almost summer, summer, still summer, and Christmas.
  26. Going to Wal-Mart is a favorite pastime known as  'goin' Wal-Martin' or  'off to Wally World'.
  27. You describe the first cool snap (below 70 degrees) as good chicken stew weather.
  28. Fried catfish is the other white meat.
  29. We don't need no dang Driver's Ed. If our mama says we can drive, we can drive dag-nabbit.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Fossils Suggest "Lucy" Species Used Stone Tools & Ate Meat

Two animal bones, both over three million years old, have yielded information to researchers that stone tools were used to butcher the animals for eating by early human ancestors, known as Australopithecus afarensis, the species best known for the "Lucy" fossil.

The study of the bones was published in the Thursday issue of the journal Nature by Zeresenay Alemseged and colleagues from the California Academy of Sciences.

The study claims afarensis carved the meat from the animal carcasses and used other stones to smash the bones to get the marrow.  Researchers believe this discovery is the earliest evidence of meat eating among hominins.  They believe the afarensis probably scavenged carcasses instead of actually hunting live prey.

Two female afarensis fossils have been found near the same site where the two animal bones were found.  In 1974 "Lucy" was found and latter, a female skeleton named "Selam" was found approximately 200 yards from the bone site.

Not all scientists are convinced by the research done by Alemseged and the California Academy of Sciences researchers. 

Paleoanthropologist Nicholas Toth of Indiana University has doubts because of the fact the bones were found on the surface rather than buried beneath the earth requiring excavation.  He also believes the markings on the bones differ from marks commonly left by stone tools, an area Toth studies.  Toth speculates the marks could have even been made by animal bites.

Other scientists agree with the Nature paper.

According to Bernard Wood of George Washington University, "I'd be willing to bet a month's salary that those are cut marks (from stone tools) and not tooth marks."

For more information about this interesting research and to see a photograph of the two animal bones you can read this MSNBC Technology and Science article.

Friday, August 13, 2010

CDN Television: Rookie Blue, Episode 1.8 "Honor Roll"

Rookie Blue
Season One, Episode Eight, Honor Roll
Original Air Date:  August 12, 2010

Detective Callaghan asks Swarek to help get McNally out of work on time so they can sneak away to Callaghan's fishing cabin for the weekend.  Senior officers are scheduled for off-duty retraining and rookies are assigned to work community outreach at local high schools.  Peck gets to help with the re-tests.  Nash and Epstein are assigned to a prep school while McNally and Diaz go to a public school.  McNally and Diaz become involved in a case of police corruption when their outreach at the public school falls through.

Peck strikes again.  As Nash is getting ready to leave for the prep school with Epstein, Nash mentions she doesn't want to spend the day with teenagers.  Peck just has to take the opportunity to say it's because it brings up bad memories for Nash:  teen mother, unpopular and shunned.  I really dislike Peck but I've got to give Charlotte Sullivan major credit for her portrayal of her.  She knows how to bring a very unlikeable character to life vividly. 

Things are tense between McNally and Swarek.  Wonder why?  I've said it before and I'll say it again:  she's with the wrong guy.  Mr. Pretty Boy Detective is the wrong guy for her.  Swarek is tough, smart, cool and he really seems to care about her a lot.  I know if I had to make the choice, it wouldn't take me very long to make it and there wouldn't need to be that much thought involved!

Swarek challenges the detectives at the retraining session.  Officer Williams takes down the detective she goes against pretty swiftly.  Swarek and Callaghan go head to head and Swarek takes all of his aggression out on him during the session.

The dates are wrong with the school McNally and Diaz were assigned to and, after they leave, they see a beaten man in an alley.  A policeman is implicated in the beating by witnesses.  The case goes downhill fast when it becomes clear that the policeman, the partner of Gail Peck's brother, is a dirty cop.  They take what they know upstairs and Swarek steps up and admits that they tried to talk to him about it but he was distracted. 

McNally and Diaz do the right thing but it causes a lot of problems for them.  Gail chooses her brother over Diaz.  Steve Peck warns Diaz to watch his own back because no one else will.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out in future episodes.  Just how hard things will get for the two of them before they get better.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Somerville, Massachusetts: Mummified Squirrel National Park

Can I be wordy?  Yes, I can.  Sometimes, you need to be because you have to fully explain some things.  Then, there are the times when it is best to let things explain themselves.

This, my friends, is one of those times...

AUS Television: City Homicide, Episode 4.6 "Last Seen"

City Homicide
Season Four, Episode Six, Last Seen
Original Air Date:  August 11, 2010

The decomposing body of a woman missing for 18 months is found in the bush.  Her parents are asking about her in the Homicide office before Freeman and Kingston have even returned from the scene raising suspicions about a leak in the office.  The suspects are varied and range from a boyfriend to a cab driver to a stalker of the young woman.  Meanwhile, Emma is increasingly more unsettled about Matt's unwillingness to talk about her job opportunity.

Ally Kingston makes a mistake on this case.  She calls an old colleague who, in turn, releases information about the discovery of the body to the victims parents.  Kingston seems quite mistake prone and when she messes up she doesn't fool around with the little mistakes, it's usually a big mistake.  Ally is driven to solve this murder and she does just that.

I like the pairing of Kingston and Freeman.  They work rather well together.  Duncan Freeman has been one of my favorite characters since day one so any chance to see him on screen is a major plus, in my very humble opinion.

I always knew Stanley Wolfe was cool.  When Kingston pushes a press photographer and the photographer ends up calling for her suspension Wolfe speaks to her about the issue.  He warns her to protect the victims family by protecting herself and if she wants to shove a member of the press "do it off camera".  I had to smile when he said that.

I find it very interesting how angry Matt appears to be towards Emma right now.  They always seemed to be such a good couple.  I don't know if he's angry because her new job opportunity will take her out of the country or angry for another reason and using the job as an excuse.  I guess time will tell that.  I've always thought it would be cool for Matt and Jennifer to get together.  I thought they might early in the series before Emma came along.  If Matt and Emma part ways maybe there's a chance for Matt and Jen yet.

AUS Television: Tangle, Episode 2.4

Season Two, Episode Four
Original Air Date:  August 10, 2010

Tim is angry over recent political developments and says some things he shouldn't have.  Max has an appointment to be fit for a hearing aid.  Ally's credit card is declined at the grocery leading her to look into her finances and finds that Vince left $50,000 to a Tanya Hicks.  Christine and Spiros almost have an encounter in her office but she cannot go through with it.  Nat goes out with Conrad.  Tim calls Nat and tells her he really needs to see her.  The girl next door sneaks into Max's room again and Christine catches them together.

Tim talks himself into a corner when he makes some ill-chosen comments about the Premier to a journalist.  He's advised to lay low for a couple years and offered a job in Singapore.  He clearly doesn't want that job but I think he slowly came to realize that he made a huge mistake and left himself few options.  Spiros is told to talk up the Singapore job to Tim.  Tim actually asked Nat to run away to Singapore with him!  Did it really not come as a big surprise to anyone else that Tim would want to run away with Nat over Christine?  He's still got a thing for Nat.  We all know that! 

At the hearing aid appointment, Christine learns that Max has been faking his hearing loss.  She gets an even bigger shock when she finds Max and the girl from next door in bed.  Everything seems to be crumbling for Christine and Tim right now.  It doesn't look good for their marriage and with Tim's professional life going downhill fast things are only going to go from bad to worse.

Poor Ally.  Vince still manages to make her life miserable even from the grave.  His leaving $50,000 to Tanya Hicks has caused her problems and the one person she turns to for help, Gabriel, has disappointed her too.  Joe has his secrets (and I can't wait to find out what they are!) but he comes through for Ally and raises some money to give her for rent for him staying with her.  He's there for her when she feels horrible after finally seeing Tanya Hicks, and he has kind things to say to her.  Joe gets more interesting to me with each week.

Oh, Nat!  She just doesn't disappoint, does she?  I knew there would be something starting up between Nat and Conrad.  That she couldn't resist him.  Nat seemed so down to earth in this episode.  She was giving good advice, nurturing in her relationship with Max and generally someone people could turn to.  That's not our normal Nat, is it?  Her being so complex and never knowing what to expect from her is exactly why she's one of my very favorite characters on the show.

At this point in the season it's good news/bad news time.  The good news is that there are two more episodes to go.  The bad news is that there are two more episodes to go.  With all the interesting developments going on and with the writers on this show being so good at ending with a bang the wait between the end of the second season and the start of the third  (there has to be a third!) will be excruciating!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

AUS Television: Offspring, Premiers August 15, 2010 on Ten

The producers of The Secret Life of Us, Tangle, Love My Way and Rush are bringing a new drama to the Australian network Ten.  It's called Offspring and stars Asher Keddie, Don Hany, Kat Stewart, Deborah Mailman and John Waters.

Nina Proudman’s (Keddie) career as an obstetrician is full of surprises; her ex-husband is an explosives expert who detonates to demonstrate his undying love for her; her family life is never short of emergencies; and Nina is the person everyone turns to for help in the midst of their crises.  Charting her way through the Proudman maelstrom, Nina is totally thrown off course when she meets dreamy new workmate Chris Havel.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Massive Ice Island Breaks Off From Greenland Glacier

Scientists announced this past Friday that on Thursday, August 5, 2010 a massive island of ice four times the size of Manhattan broke off from one of the two main glaciers belonging to Greenland.  This is the biggest event of this kind in almost 50 years.  The massive island of ice will enter the Nares Straight between Greenland and Canada.  The ice island is as thick as half the height of the Empire State Building and has an area of 100 square miles. 

Andreas Muenchow, a professor of ocean science and engineering at the University of Delaware said he expected a portion of ice to break off from the Petermann Glacier but he didn't believe the portion would be so large.  The glacier was one of the two largest remaining glaciers in Greenland and had been growing in size for seven or eight years. 

Muenchow says the fresh water in the island could keep the Delaware or Hudson Rivers flowing for more than two years or keep all public tap water in the United States flowing for 120 days.

Questions have been raised as to whether or not global warming has played a hand in the breaking off of this massive chunk of ice.  As records of the sea water around the glacier have only been kept since 2003, Muenchow said, "Nobody can claim this was caused by global warming.  On the other hand, nobody can claim that it wasn't."

This isn't the first chunk of ice to break off Greenland this year.  In July, a piece of ice roughly one-eighth the size of Manhattan island fell from Greenland's Jakobshaven Isbrae glacier.

Muenchow speculates the ice island could do one of three things:  fuse to land, break up into smaller pieces or slowly move south and block shipping routes.

For more information and to see a photograph of the ice island, you can check out this article at

For further information about the ice that fell from the Jakobshaven Isbrae glacier, and to see photos from NASA, you can read this article.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sunday Funnies: Diary of a Floridian Who Moved North

December 8 - 6:00 PM
It started to snow.  The first snow of the season and the wife and I took our cocktails and sat for hours by the window watching the huge soft flakes drift down from heaven.  It looked like a Grandma Moses Print.  So romantic we felt like newlyweds again.  I love snow!

December 9
We woke to a beautiful blanket of crystal white snow covering every inch of the landscape.  What a fantastic sight!  Can there be a more lovely place in the whole world?  Moving here was the best idea I've ever had!  Shoveled for the first time in years and felt like a boy again.  I did both our driveway and the sidewalks.  This afternoon the snowplough came along and covered up the sidewalks and closed in the driveway, so I got to shovel again.  What a perfect life!

December 12
The sun has melted all our lovely snow...  Such a disappointment!  My neighbor tells me not to worry- we'll definitely have a white Christmas.  No snow on Christmas would be awful!  Bob says we'll have so much snow by the end of winter, that I'll never want to see snow again.  I don't think that's possible.  Bob is such a nice man, I'm glad he's our neighbor.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

CDN Television: Rookie Blue, Episode 1.7 "Hot & Bothered"

Rookie Blue
Season One, Episode Seven, Hot & Bothered
Original Air Date:  August 5, 2010

A heat wave is going through causing some people to act strangely, thus causing more work for the police.  Swarek and McNally pull over an ice cream truck that is being driven erratically only to find that the truck was being driven by a young girl.  Peck and Epstein find themselves faced with caring for an agoraphobic woman going into labor in her home.  Shaw and McNally respond to a case that might possibly tie into the ice cream truck incident earlier that morning.  The power goes out across the city turning things into a nightmare for the police. 

Peck and Epstein must deliver the baby on their own as they can't reach emergency services because of the power outage and ambulances are backed up and cannot get to them.  Peck is rather whiny about the entire situation and actually wants to arrest an agoraphobic woman in the middle of labor to get her out of the house and to a hospital.  Great people skills, huh?  Epstein refuses to let her do that and they end up delivering the baby beautifully.  Epstein's caring nature even succeeds in getting the woman to leave the house to accompany her premature baby to the hospital.  Of course, later, Peck thinks she was "pretty great" during the whole delivery.  I don't think so! 

Swarek and McNally seem to be joined at the hip much to McNally's displeasure.  She doesn't feel he trusts her as a police officer much and is writing all the reports and getting his coffee.  As Epstein put it, she's his "hot secretary with a gun". 

When Swarek is injured and his nurse "friend" arrives at the station to administer nitroglycerin to someone else, the nurse insists he stay to get stitches in his hand.  Rather than send McNally out on her own, Swarek partners her up with Shaw.  They respond to a call of shots fired but instead find it to be a case of a missing young girl.  The mother was worried about her daughter and feared the police wouldn't respond if they didn't think the situation was more dire. 

Swarek talks to the little girl who stole the ice cream truck for McNally and finds out that she was running from a man at the park.  Swan is in a mess of trouble when the man the girl was running from hits him over the head when Swan comes too close to discovering his secret.  The man shoots Swan but, thankfully, his vest saves his life but McNally must go after the man before he can kill the little girl.

McNally is forced to shoot the man when he draws on her.  She did as Swarek advised her at the beginning of the show, she followed her instincts.  Of course, she's shaken by what happened.  Callaghan surprises her by wanting to spend time working on the case of the man McNally just shot instead of spending the evening with her.  She talks with Swarek for a few minutes and he tells her if she needs to talk just call him.  She goes home and spends some time crying then leaves and goes to Swarek's house.  She doesn't want to talk and she and Swarek end up in his bedroom when the power comes back on.  He gets up to turn a few things off (WTF??!!) and McNally gets a call from Callaghan.  She doesn't answer it but she gets dressed to leave all the same.

What was Swarek thinking?  Let the TV blare!  Let the radio go.  Let the blender blend to its heart content.  When he got up to turn things off he really turned things off.  Just when I thought Team Swarek was going to score some major points.  Sigh.  I guess we'll just have to wait and see what comes about from all this.  McNally is clearly having serious doubts about her relationship with Mr. Pretty Boy Detective so I'm holding out hope that Swarek still has a good chance.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Australian Television: City Homicide, Episode 4.5 "Ratters"

City Homicide
Season Four, Episode Five, Ratters
Original Air Date:  August 4, 2010

A young man who works for the coroners office is murdered while he and his partner stop for a coffee on the way back to the morgue with a body and the body is stolen.  Things go from strange to chilling when the detectives delve deeper into the murdered man and the goings on at the coroners office.  While Jennifer and Nick focus on the coroner's office, Ally and Duncan do the legwork on the victim and his extracurricular activities.

Episodes like this is why I love City Homicide so much.  The stories are always so unique and driven by strong and interesting characters and this one is no exception.

Hic locus est ubi mors gaudet succurrere vitae:  This is the place where death rejoices to help the living.

While most everyone in the coroners office respects the solemn task they are entrusted with on a daily basis, some do not.  This episode focuses on those who, for whatever reasons known to them, have chosen to not extend that respect.

I found this episode to be a bit sad.  Every single one of the secondary characters was deeply flawed or tormented by something.  Call it desperation, insanity, depravity...whatever you want.  I think I felt the worst about was James Boyd, the morgue director.  I genuinely felt sorry for him.  He had suffered the greatest loss a parent can suffer and he felt that what he was doing was right even though it definitely wasn't.  I can't rationalize what he did but I did feel for him with the loss he'd suffered.

Ally Kingston keeps proving herself as a tough, no-nonsense kind of gal.  She clearly doesn't like or trust the money advance guy in this episode.  I find it more than a bit amusing when she sets her sights on someone.  She refuses to give up and keeps going until she gets her man.  She sugar coats nothing and calls it like she sees it.  I like her style.

Next weeks episode looks set to deliver some fireworks.  Who is the turncoat amongst the team? 

British Documents Reveal Secret UFO Study

On Thursday, August 5, 2010, Britain released hundreds of secret "UFO files".  Included in the documents was a letter detailing a 50-year cover-up of a wartime encounter between a British military pilot and a UFO.

The documents contain various witness accounts, briefing notes and sketches regarding sightings of unidentified flying objects.

One of the most interesting documents is a Military of Defense note referring to a 1999 letter by an unidentified author regarding a Royal Air Force plane that was "approached by a metallic UFO" while returning from a European mission during World War II.  The author of the letter claims his grandfather was in attendance during a meeting between Winston Churchill and United States president Dwight D. Eisenhower when both leaders "decided to keep it secret", referring to the UFO incident. 

This isn't the first release of classified documents detailing unidentified flying objects that by Britain.  Other documents have slowly been released to the public and are accessible on the Internet for anyone who wishes to read them.

While some of the cases have explanations such as meteors burning up in the atmosphere, many of the cases remain unsolved.  The incidents span decades and cover all areas of Britain from Kent to Manchester to northern England.  Also included in this release is information about the infamous Rendelsham Forest Incident at Suffolk in December of 1980.

For more information and to download and read the newly released documents as well as previously released British UFO files, visit the United Kingdom National Archives.  The documents are in PDF format and the size ranges from 3 to 54 MB in size so you may wish to download them before viewing.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Australian Television: Tangle, Episode 2.3

Season Two, Episode Three
Original Air Date:  August 3, 2010

Ally finds a second will that is signed and names Gabriel as executor.  Romeo finds and takes one of Vince's guns from a packing box and later wants to join a gun club.  Ally and Nat go out together for a night on the town.  Gigi spends the evening playing cards with a guy she met that she thought was following her on her way home from school.  Gabriel has dinner at the home of a patient and her teenage son while Ally meets a guy at the party she went to with Nat and goes home with him.  Romeo and Max continue smoking weed on a regular basis, especially Max.  Nat goes to Gabriel to work out some kind of peace between he and Ally.  Nat goes out with Mel and her boyfriend Conrad for a drink.  Something starts to happen between Christine and Spiros.

Poor Ally.  She's carrying so much baggage around with her.  She feels guilty about Vince having affairs on her.  Like it was her fault he was a dog.  The tension between she and Gabriel is still pretty strong even though it appears it's starting to loosen up a bit.  I hope they get back on good terms with one another because I really like both characters.  Ally deserves something good in her life and she needs to reach out and grab it. 

We learn a little bit more about Joe in this episode.  He has a criminal record but is unwilling to elaborate on it when asked by Romeo what he did.  He comes to stay a week with Ally and the kids instead of returning to Broom because he is rethinking his career path.

I have a really hard time NOT liking Nat.  She's wild, unpredictable, funny and she cares a great deal about the people she loves.  While she has her problems, she's always so likable.

The beginning of some great fireworks has quite possibly started in this episode.  Christine and Spiros are "playing a very dangerous game with a lot to lose".  I know there is more to Spiros than meets the eye and can't wait to find out more about him.  He obviously wants to begin an affair with Christine and I think she wants to as well but she's afraid of what will happen.

I can only imagine that the next three weeks are going to be packed full of tension, fireworks and bombshells because the scene is most certainly being set for it!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sunday Funnies: Advice for Northerners Moving to the South

Save all manner of bacon grease. You will be instructed on how to use it shortly.

Just because you can drive on snow and ice does not mean Southerners can. Stay home the two days of the year it snows.

If you DO run your car into a ditch, don't panic. Four men in the cab of a four-wheel pick-up with a 12-pack of beer and a tow chain will be along shortly. Don't try to help them. Just stay out of their way. This is what they live for.

You can ask Southerners for directions, but unless you already know the positions of key hills, trees and rocks, you're better off trying to find it yourself.

Remember: "Y'all" is singular.  "All y'all" is plural.  "All y'all's" is plural possessive.

Get used to hearing, "You ain't from around here, are you?"

Don't be worried that you don't understand anyone. They don't understand you either.

The first Southern expression to creep into a transplanted Northerner's vocabulary is the adjective "big 'ol", as in "big 'ol truck", or "big 'ol boy". "Fixin'" (as in "I'm fixin' to go to the store") is 2nd, and "Y'all" is 3rd.

As you are cursing the person driving 15 mph in a 55 mph zone directly in the middle of the road, remember: ALL Southern folks learned to drive on a John Deere, and this is the proper speed and lane position for that vehicle.

If you hear a Southerner exclaim, "Hey, y'all, watch this!", get out of his way. These are likely the last words he will ever say, or worse still, that you will ever hear.

Most Southerners do not use turn signals; they ignore those who do. In fact, if you see a signal blinking on a car with a Southern license plate, you may rest assured that it was already turned on when the car was purchased.

If it can't be fried in bacon grease, it ain't worth cookin', let alone eatin'.

If there is the prediction of the slightest chance of even the most minuscule accumulation of snow, your presence is required at the local grocery store. It does not matter if you need anything from the store. It is just something you're supposed to do.

Satellite dishes are very popular in the South. When you purchase one, it is positioned directly in front of the house. This is logical, bearing in mind that the dish cost considerably more than the house and should, therefore, be prominently displayed.

One last warning but probably the most important one to remember: Be advised that in the South, "He needed killin'" is a valid defense.