Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Packzi Obsession

Through the glory of Facebook, I have been following the day of my friends who are Detroit expats, who are looking for their regular paczki (poonch-ki) fix on what around Detroit, is passionately known as Paczki Day, or more colloquially, Fat Tuesday. The idea is to load up on calories before the supposed Lenten fast, but of course, now we just pig out for the purpose of pigging out. We do this by eating VERY LARGE doughnuts ALL DAY LONG. If you think that picture above is the standard Dunkin' Doughnut's affair, rest assured it at least 6 inches in diameter and probably weighs a half pound. If you are unfamiliar with this tradition, read this article about it in the Detroit News.

I was happily steering clear of this until I walked into a bank lobby at 1:30 p.m. There on the table was a huge platter of glistening massively sized heart attack inducing paczki. Yes, the tradition is so ingrained that banks hand them out. I asked the ladies why they would do that, and they just smiled, telling me they had "only" given out 2 dozen. I thoughtfully resisted (Wife should be proud), and went about my day. Then I had an idea...

This sounds like something that Detroit COULD export to the rest of the country. In these poor economic times, Detroit needs something to push on the rest of the country. We should declare this a state holiday, and build tourism around it. We could Hamtramck into the New Orleans of the Midwest. Want to do something fun for Mardi Gras, but don't want to be shot or be exposed to all that debauchery, come to Detroit for Fat Tuesday! Just think of the tourist dollars flowing into the state!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

NASA Tries to Remain Relevant

This is a great picture. I almost don't even have to explain it. It looks as if it could come from the Onion, everyone's favorite satirical newspaper. But of course it is a real picture, of an Astronaut named Rex Walheim modeling NASA's next generation space suit for the new President during the inaugural parade. I believe that if you look close at the picture you will see that President Obama has a sly smirk on his face, which means: "I cannot believe they put a guy marching in a spacesuit in the parade just to get a photo op." Of course that is exactly what they did.

So here is my question, is NASA still relevant? Does NASA still produce enough new scientific information to warrant the governments expense? Don't get me wrong, I love space and other planets and all the jazz. I WANT to live on a moonbase, so I do think that it is essential that we continue to explore space. My question is whether NASA is still a relevant organization for doing so.

There are people in the private sector that are pushing the envelope when it comes to manned space flight. You have Virgin Galactic, and you know when Richard Branson and his billions get behind something, it gets dome. About the only thing NASA has gotten right recently were the Mars Rovers, which admittedly were an amazing success. The designer of those things gets an American Life Gold Star. So is this something that we should had off to the private sector? Maybe we should just use NASA to maintain our military hardware in space. Any thoughts?

Friday, February 6, 2009

A Phelpsian Dilema

First, I want to congratulate myself on coming up with the word "Phelpsian." That is a pretty sweet word! Moving on.

So, Mr. Golden Boy himself has a weakness, he likes to smoke down. Apparently if there is a bong anywhere within a 100 foot radius of Mr. Phelps, his innate "bong radar" goes off and he grabs a lighter and heads on over. Like many people, I am disappointed to see a recent Olympic champion, and perhaps the best swimmer of all time do something this stupid. Shame on him.

But here is my dilemma, and I am sure that it is shared by millions of people across the world.... SO WHAT? I find myself mildly amused that they guy thought this would not get out, but really....honestly, if I ask myself, I don't care. I still will root for the guy in the Olympics or elsewhere. If my kid one day grows up with Michael Phelps as an hero, I would not be disappointed. It is not like he was out beating up women or selling meth to kids. He took a hit off a bong. If that disqualifies you from succeeding in life then MANY MANY people in high positions would have to step aside. The current and last two Presidents could not have been President. I know that as a responsible citizen I should be condemning the guy, but I just can't. It was a stupid move, and he is going to pay financially; he has already lost an endorsement deal from Kellogg. There are so many "role-models" out there that do far worse, I just can't bring myself to hate on Michael Phelps.