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In a completely un-asteroid-related event, the Ural area of Russia was hit this morning by several chunks of meteorite. Videos can be seen all over the place at LiveLeaks (where you won’t suffer stupid advertisements from news outlets):
This definitely had nothing to do with the asteroid event; the streaks came from the opposite direction the asteroid’s coming from, and these events happened earlier this morning, while the asteroid’s due to pass nearest earth around 2 PM this afternoon.
You might, after watching the 6th video, wonder why so many Russians had car-cams ready to go to capture the event. The short answer is: the majority of Russians always have car-cams ready to go, for the same reason a number of US States require insurance – it’s necessary before even getting behind the wheel as a preventative measure. Russia’s had such a problem with accident fraud that the majority of drivers now just record their entire daily drives to have objective proof of events that happened.
This has been a positively bizarre week for news. The pope retires (and hopefully has a better go of it than past Popes), a straight up body was found in the home of an Olympic athlete with murder looking likely, and of course, today is the day we celebrate the beheading of a note-passing monk, Valentine’s Day. So it’s understandable major media outlets are too busy to hype up something like a chunk of rock from space hurtling closer to Earth than any ever detected.
Yes, tomorrow asteroid 2012 DA14 whizzes by a mere 17,100 miles from Earth’s surface. For reference, the Moon orbits 238,900 miles away. Despite the thing being ‘half a football field’ large, it can’t be seen with the naked eye, and certainly not from where I’m sitting. Its closest fly-by point will be Sumatra, and it will be visible via telescope from Asia, South America, and parts of Europe. Man, they get to see the asteroid and all the good eclipses. Also, it’s just adorable NASA trying to make things relevant by referencing sports:
This means absolutely nothing to me. For all I know this is a Foosball field and the asteroid’s the size of a baked potato. Of greater pertinence, it’s the same size as the alleged ‘object’ causing the Tunguska Event (supposedly a meteor or comet fragment, but come on- it was aliens). If despite numerous assurances you don’t believe this will be the nearest miss we’ve had, the Tunguska link has all sorts of first-person accounts of the impact and its destruction, to better prepare yourselves…or more likely not. Happy Near-Miss Friday!
I recently discovered the wonderful site Cinema Treasures. Celebrating not films but the places showing them, Cinema Treasures digs, documents and shares all the information they can find about classic movie theaters across America.
Plugging my zip code into their search feature, I was surprised to find this gem right near my subway stop:
Unfortunately this theater is past tense – long since demolished, here’s what currently occupies the space:
An empty lot! A fenced-in, weed-choked, garbage-filled empty lot. While any hint of green space in the neighborhood is appreciated, it’s depressing this wonderful building was razed with nothing replacing it in the 10+ years since its destruction. At best one hopes it became such a fire hazard it had to be torn down with no plans for the space, instead of imagining some developer sitting on this plot greedily anticipating the day the neighborhood perks up to the point they can build more glass fishbowls to shove upper-class Manhattan expats into (see: Williamsburg).
But there is yet hope! To my utter surprise and delight, all five of the original Lowe’s ‘Wonder Theaters‘ still stand! The Wonder Theaters were flagship Lowe’s outposts built outside main Manhattan, with the specific idea of bringing the glamour and luxury of city moviegoing to the outer boros.
(the United Palace Theater in Washington Heights)
(the Valencia Theater in Queens)
Two live on as churches – the United Palace Theater is now Christ Community United Church, who also use the space to host concerts and events for the surrounding community. The Valencia is more exclusively Tabernacle of Prayer church, but they’ve done an amazing job preserving the beautiful, byzantine interior (really, click on and check out the photos – it’s absolutely stunning).
(the Kings Theater in Brooklyn)
The Kings Theater in Brooklyn got a recent reprieve – the building is currently under construction to restore it to its former glory (you can see its current deteriorated condition here).
(the Paradise Theater in the Bronx)
(Jersey Lowe’s in Journal Square)
Bronx’s Paradise theater still shows movies and hosts concerts and other arts-related events, as does Jersey City’s Lowe’s Theater. The Jersey Lowe’s can even be rented out for weddings (one of the rental perks being you and your betrothed’s names on the marquee. Cute).
I swear there’s a logic behind this madness!!! After coming across an actual movie called ‘The Gay Bed and Breakfast Terror’ on Netflix Instant I (obviously) had to look it up, which led to finding a trailer for it. Which led to some other bad movie trailers. Which led to MST3K trailers, which of course led to looking up MSt3k quotes on Wikipedia, where I found a page for Tom Servo. What’s that? There’s a category for ‘Fictional Robots’? Why yes, I will click that….SWEET LORD THERE’S OVER 18 SEPARATE CATEGORIES!
Whiiiiich somehow led to clicking on some fairly bad movies, in turn leading to Roger Ebert’s list of his personal Most Hated, which for some bizarre reason includes ‘Stargate’, starring the delightfully miscast James Spader and Kurt Russell.
Yes, the role that earned him money. Then I started digging deeper on ‘Stargate’, a movie watched nearly as much as ‘Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves’ (and so I fully reveal my masochistic love of history-butchering movies with outstanding villains).
If you can’t read the above, the important takeaway is a shot was reframed due to Ra’s refusal to remove his nipple rings.
Oh, the ‘Talk’ page on that one. I also was not aware Cliff Richard (the UK’s watered-down Elvis) was still recording in 1999.
This quickly led to ‘controversy: Music’ which led to controversial music, which led to Boyd Rice and NON, where I found out amongst other projects Mr. Rice is a staff write for ‘Modern Drunkard Magazine‘. Curious as to who even entered that as a thing, I found the ‘Talk’ page marked it as ‘Category: Unknown Importance-Magazines’. Such depressing things listed under that header. Of them, this may be the most boring-sounding one:
….this is where I stopped, though really, I can never stop again. As I stared deep into the chasms of Wikipedia, they stared back into me. Like the narrator of ‘The Raven’, my soul is trapped within these dark shadows, to be lifted…nevermore. Speaking of which, did you know Joaquin Phoenix was up for the role of ‘Edgar Allen Poe’ in ‘The Raven’?