The Salton Sea

February 20, 2007

The Salton Sea is an inland saline lake, located in the Colorado Desert in Southern California, north of the Imperial Valley. The lake covers a surface area of approximately 376 square miles making it the largest lake in California.

The creation of Salton Sea of today started in 1905, when heavy rainfall and snowmelt caused the Colorado River to swell and breach an Imperial Valley dike. It took nearly two years to control the Colorado River’s flow into the formerly dry Salton Sink and stop the flooding and the water instantly created a rival to Lake Tahoe, where Angelenos & San Diegans could go for sportsfishing & recreational waterboating, etc.

The place thrived, and by the 1950s was a booming resort with several surrounding cities. Unfortunately, the unnatural existence of the lake, with no real inflow & no real drainage eventually led to trouble – what water that does flow in from farm irrigation, etc, arrives with a reasonable measure of salinity & a reasonable measure of toxicity (pesticides, etc). What water that exits does so via evaporation, which takes the water, but none of the salt or poison. So every year, the water that remains gets saltier, and more toxic.

In the mid 1970s, things went south, and by the 1990s the whole area was largely abandoned. A series of fishkills had lined the beaches with tens of thousands of dead fish, even as the government restocked with hardier species like tilapia.

The future of the Salton Sea is unclear, as intervention is required to manage the increasingly unstable system. Such intervention would require massive policy and financial commitments from the state and federal governments.

Meanwhile, the entire area has become predominantly known for being a haven for societal outcasts, methamphetamine makers & users, and the very poor. Along with some crazy sites and groups, including Salavation Mountain and the Cabazon Dinosaurs. When they say “There is somethng in the water” they mean it here.

Here is a great pictorial tour of the Salton Sea


Australia to Ban Sale of Incandescent Light Bulbs

February 20, 2007

The Australian government today announced they will be phasing in a ban on incandescent light bulbs, over the next three years. Householders replacing them with compact fluorescent bulbs are expected to save $30 per year, while Australia reduces its per annum CO2 emissions by up 4 million tonnes.

read more | digg story

Unsigned Bands Site

February 19, 2007

So this site has been around for a while. And you know my opinion of the music industry right? Well, say your in a New-Wave Band and actually WANT to try and get signed, this site allows you to set up an account ala myspace, and not only publish your music independently but also supposedly solicit it to label.

You can set up listening groups and also browse for unsigned artists to listen to and “Discover”. That latter part I think is great, and I think most bands should market themselves with these type of sites and NOT worry about career ending “Major Labels”.

M-Kay, soapbox is vacant.

If you turn off the water, you could help save the planet.

February 18, 2007

On average, your bathroom sink sends four gallons of water down the drain in a minute. If you’re following your dentist’s orders, and brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day, and doing so with the water on, you’re sending sixteen gallons down the drain a day. That’s over a month’s worth of drinking water. Keep a glass next to your toothbrush and fill it up with a little water for rinsing, and you’ll end up using about 70 ounces of water in a week, rather than 14, 336.

Read more

Museum With The Really Long Name

February 12, 2007

…or so my kids refer to it by.

This weekend we went to Marvins Marvelous Mechanical Museum in farmington Michigan. The museum, or more appropriately  arcade, is conspicuously sandwiched in between store in a strip mall.

The museum is owned and operated by Marvin Yagoda, a 60-year old pharmacist, and claims it is a hobby that has gone out of control. Marvin has collect hundreds (and quite possibly thousands) of arcade games, sideshow posters, neon signs, sideshow artifacts and old vintage arcade machines and has them not only all on display, but working. The fare is usually 25 cents, but some are only a dime, nickel or even a penny.

Displays hang from every corner of the ceiling, posters adorn every inch of wall, and the overload of lights, bells and carnival-like attractions could set even the sanest into a stimuli induced seizure. There is even a snack counter and the ticket dispensing games like skee-ball.

One of the more disturbing coinop oddities on display is “Dr. BingenPurge”, which shows a quite realistic mannequin of an old man smiling at you behind a bucket of empty booze bottles. For 50 cents the doctor (and what he’s a doctor of I have no idea) rocks back and forth and then throws up his lunch which is obvious the contents of the booze bottles before him. Good family fun! There is also the animated diorama of the spanish inquisition feature tiny slaves being flogged and prodded with red hot pokers. Yet another has you putting your hand through a hole only to have The Great ChopAndOff guillotining your hand to spurting blood. Although slightly disturbing, none of the displays are more horrifying than a Saturday cartoon nowadays.

I also saw several machines “in the wings” in stages of repair which means that the fare is constantly changing making it an attraction to come back for. We had a blast. You can even have your birthday parties here.

Click here for more photos, or here for more information.

Grammy Round-Up

February 12, 2007

So first off – THE POLICE ROCKED!

Second, the Dixie Chicks scored a buttload of awards including album of the year. It was well deserved.

Everyone who won a grammy please step forward…..not so fast Toby!

So, if you’re keeping score:

Free Speech = 5
Thoughless Patriotic Redneck Conservative Hate Speak = 0

Local Commercials

February 8, 2007