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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Insignificant Facts

Jared Polis reads Boing Boing.

If you don't know who Jared Polis is, he's the coolest pot-legalizing self-made millionaire openly-gay father father in the House of Representatives.  No, scratch that.  He's just the coolest rep in the House of Representatives.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Guess What I Got?

Food poisoning.

These guys did it to me, which is weird because it's no buck-a-scoop Chinese place.  Never going there again...

Haven't been able to keep anything down since Wednesday morning, not even water.  I don't want to get dehydrated so I've been sipping Pedialyte.  Sometimes I don't puke it back up.

Yesterday was a nightmare.  I thought I'd tough it out and go to work.  I had to pull over halfway through my commute to empty my angry stomach, puking on the highway, cars whipping by at 65.  What a dumbass.  Once I got in, I was sweating and looking like shit.  I sat down, told everyone what was up, then had to go throw up again.

We're shorthanded (again...as we have been during this whole recession) so some guys stayed late and phone calls were made to get other guys to come in and cover.  What a joke.  I went home, having to stop halfway to puke again.

I think I'm going to scratch today off too.  I still feel like shit.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Nerd Chic

I think it's funny that ever since the NBA instituted its dress code years back, everyone dresses like they're a bunch of Urkels.




I have to say, I'm a little sad that the Heat are up in the series, even though I really do think they have the better team.  Truth be told, though, I'm more sad the season is ending.  Could be one more game left and then what....baseball? 

Who gives a shit about no-hitters and perfect games?  I wanna see concussions and Oscar-worthy flops, dammit.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Stages

Another stage collapsed and more people died.  Maybe stages have been collapsing and killing people for decades, but it seems like in the last two years there have been a surge in wobbly stages across the globe, as this article makes clear:

In Canada, one person died and several people were injured when the stage went down at Bluesfest in Ottawa last July, and one person died and more than a dozen were injured in 2009 when a powerful windstorm caused the main stage to collapse at the Big Valley Jamboree near Camrose

Six people died last August when the stage collapsed at a Sugarland concert in Indianapolis; five died in Belgium when a storm swept in and toppled the stage at the Pukkelpop Festival.
And this is not like commercial fishing or patrolling in Afghanistan.  In those scenarios, death is not only possible and likely, but it's statistically inevitable.  Does it have to be so for temporary concert stages?

I think part of this is an engineering problem.  We may think these things are designed to serve as stages, but it's only going to live a very small piece of its life as a stage.  The rest of the time it will be disassembled components, stacks of bars, bins of bolts.  From an engineering perspective, the stage aspect is relatively easy to accomplish.  You need an elevated flat area and something from which to hang the rigging.  That's it. 

But to accomplish that and to break it down, load it on a truck, and set it up somewhere else, that's where the engineers start to wear out their pencils.  Add trap doors, pyro, an understage area, the whole thing gets more complicated.

No matter how clever an engineer you are, though, you're still going to be limited by the requirements.  It's still going to be constructed hastily, not really anchored to the ground, not rated for freak windstorms, etc.

I think at this point, evolution is going to take over.  Either some company is going to design a stage that won't collapse, even in the worst possible situation, or no one's going to want to mount one of these shows.  I'm pretty sure Radiohead are not too happy their stage collapsed.  Relieved, perhaps, that it didn't occur during their performance, but that's small consolation.