1. How do you commemorate the passing of the last Titanic survivor? Skydiving, of course, according to Express & Echo. They report that two sisters, relatives of Milvina Dean, have pledged to do a charity skydive on the fifth anniversary of her death. Christina and Laura Squire (20 and 17 years old respectively) along with two friends plan to take the 15,000 feet plunge for cancer research. According to the news report, they were inspired to do the jump because family members and friends have battled the disease. As for their great aunt, Christina Squire says “We knew her as our Great Aunty. She lived such an amazing life and had so many stories to tell. We always had a chair next to the phone for when she called!” The skydive will take place on 31 May 2014.
Source:Last Titanic Survivor’s Devon Relatives To Do Charity Skydive To Mark 5th Anniversary Of Her Death(15 May 2014,Express & Echo)
2. Robert Ballard’s recent explorations of the Caribbean will be in an upcoming National Geographic Wild special Caribbean’s Deadly Underworld with Bob Ballard on 18 May. According to Mother Nature Network, Ballard says the Caribbean plate is active on four of its boundaries with earthquakes and volcanic eruptions capable of creating tsunamis. “ It is not a question of if these violent behaviors of the earth are going to occur but when and where,” says Ballard, noting that “the potential impact can vary as it has in the past in Haiti, for example, resulting in a tremendous loss of life and property.”
Source:Titanic Explorer Investigates The ‘Caribbean’s Deadly Underworld’
(16 Fri 2014,Mother Nature Network)
3. Godzilla is back and bigger than before say many reviews. But Netflix has put up many of the original Godzilla movies on its streaming side. So I spent the morning watching the original 1956 movie but it is the American not the Japanese version. The big difference between the two is the addition of Raymond Burr (later to become famous as Perry Mason) and how the movie unfolds the story. The original version has a different plot point (anti nuclear testing) while the American version was more of the monster movie (although it is suggested nuclear tests were responsible for its resurrection) The reason was to make it more marketable for U.S. audiences that may not want to watch an all Japanese movie. Burr’s character provides the narration for the movie (and thus avoiding lots of subtitles translating the Japanese to English). I have not seen this movie in a long time. I think the last time was years ago when Bob Wilkens had the old Creature Features show on a local station (that show long since gone).
I was pleasantly surprised at how well it holds up. Sure today we can do the special effects much better than back then. And it was a guy in a zipped up suit walking around. But the story was good and the destruction that Godzilla causes (pretty much leveling Tokyo) is done in a spectacular matter. And they make it clear Godzilla was no childs plaything but caused death and destruction in its path. And not just that it could level buildings with its atomic breath. I had forgotten the fact the creature is radioactive so anything it comes into contact gets contaminated like groundwater and people. The American version may not be as anti-nuke as the original but it makes clear Godzilla did not get its radioactivity from nature. And it of course opened the possibility other creatures might be out there as well (like another Godzilla perhaps?). So if you want to see the movie that started it all, either watch it at Netflix or you can purchase the dvd from Amazon that has both the U.S. and Japanese version on it. [Editor’s note: The original Godzilla (Gojira) movie was 1954 but the second American version (Godzilla! King of the Monsters)with Raymond Burr was 1956. According to Wikipedia, the 1956 movie “combined the original Japanese footage of Godzilla with new American-made footage of Raymond Burr as an American reporter covering the monster’s activities who would explain the action for an English-speaking audience with minimal dubbing.”]
4. I happen to watch court television. It usually is entertaining and sometimes informative. Small claims courts handle those cases too small for a regular court (usually for cases under $10,000 though states often cap lower around $5,000) and usually cases that deal with issues like car sales, loss of property, loans, tenant issues, evictions, and traffic accidents to name a few. It is a interesting assortment of cases that flow into these lesser courts and a long time ago the creators of The People’s Court picked up on it and turned into interesting television. Today you have a wide variety to choose from and different judges. Each one is different because of the format and how the judges review the cases. In these cases there are no juries and no lawyers either (unless one of the people involved is a lawyer). Unlike a real small claims court case there is almost no appeal because legally it is a binding arbitration since both parties give up that right to have it settled in this forum.
I tend to gravitate between The People’s Court, Judge Alex, and Judge Judy. All three have their own styles. Judge Judy is the most severe of all three. She wastes no time, cuts to the chase, and will not hesitate to tell your testimony is balderdash. Judge Alex tends to be a just a bit more relaxed (each case on his show is about 24 minutes and is the whole show), while People’s Court manages three or four in a hour and Judge Judy usually two (s0metimes three if one is dismissed right away). You get some cases at times that are head scratchers. Like the one just recently on People’s Court.
A fellow buys a dump truck planning to use it for a new hauling business. But rather than right away heading off to DMV to register, he waits a year. He has all kinds of reasons for Judge Milian, who is grilling him why it took so long to do this and learn the title was defective. You see when you buy something, especially a car, one absolute requirement is the seller has clear title. Does not matter whether the car is new or used, sold by dealer or by private party. The title has to be clear. In this case the seller’s name did not match the name on the title. The seller says he bought it from a guy who is now deceased. Now had this been learned right away, normally a judge would cancel the sale, return the money, and the seller gets the car back. But this was peculiar because the plaintiff sat on it for a year and knew the title had a different name from that of the seller.
So on one hand you had a seller who knowingly sold a car with a defective title and a buyer who had to have seen it but failed to do anything about it for a year. And during that year that dump truck sat around somewhere. So now the guy wants to sell it but cannot since the title is defective. Leaving the judge with a thorny problem. A seller who wanted to pass on a problem and an idiot who sat on the problem for a year. So she decides to hold her judgment back and asks the seller to fix the problem and awards no money to the plaintiff. And she was going to bang her gavel on it but before she did explained to the plaintiff why he got nothing. She goes through the reasons including her disbelief that the truck was unused during that time. Then the guy decides to pop off by talking back to her about some local rules or something. She slams down the title on her desk, rules for the defendant, and tells the plaintiff to solve the problem on his own. So he walks out as he came in, with a vehicle he cannot register nor sell unless the seller can fix it (which he says will try to do probably to avoid the state coming after him for fraud). I suspect though there will be a dump truck found somewhere with long expired registration, tagged and towed, and eventually sold for scrap by the tow company.
Judge Judy would have laughed at his story and told him “You’re a fool!” and then dismissed his case.