Bobby's Blog
18 July

Holy Free Comics, Batman!

DC Comics has declared Wednesday July 23, 2014 “Batman Day” in recognition of the 75th anniversary of the Dark Knight, one of the most popular comic book characters and pop culture icons ever. But that's not all. DC is giving away free comics to honor Batman's special day. “As part of the festivities, fans who visit participating retailers will receive a free, special edition of Detective Comics #27, featuring a reimagining of Batman’s 1939 comic book debut," says the comic book giant. Can't make it to the store? You can get a free download here and it's also available for all digital platforms like Kindle, iBooks, Nook, and Google Play.

In addition to the free comic book, DC is giving retailers access to other Batman collectibles, including a Batman 75th anniversary cape. Four Batman masks spotlighting iconic interpretations of the character will also be available including Batman’s first appearance, as drawn by Bob Kane, Batman ’66, Inspired by the 60s TV series starring Adam West, The Dark Knight Returns, as drawn by Frank Miller and The New 52, As drawn by Greg Capullo.

But that's not all. The festivities will stretch all the way to the weekend when DC and Random House partner up to bring Batman Day to over 1,000 libraries across the country on Saturday, July 26. For more information, you can visit Batman75.com or, better yet, just drop by your local comic book store any time to celebrate the Caped Crusader's special day with friends and fans of the 75-year-old superhero.

See you next time,
Bobby

11 July

Road Trip!

Planning a summer road trip? There's an app for that! Actually, there are several apps for that. Made for both Android and iOS systems, the apps range in price from free to four bucks and give you varying levels of details for planning your trip, your pit stops and the Things you want to see along the way. I think they're pretty useful Things, though you might not want to spend all your time with your face buried in your smartphone screen, especially if for you, like me, that screen is one of the Things you're trying to take a vacation from.

Apps aside, there are some Things you'll want and/or need to make your trip easier, safer and more fun. If you're going to be using your phone to help you plan and keep you on course, these Things might help. Our Universal Smart Phone holder fits into most cup holders on cars and other Things, it has a handy hidey-hole to stash your mad money and it's made of soft foam so as not to mar the surface of your spendy device. If you need a Thing to hold your phone and keep it powered up, try out this handy Smartphone Power Dock. It works with most phones, but if it isn't compatible with your phone, you can use your own USB cable to stay powered up and on track.

Drive more safely with this Panoramic Rear View Mirror and HD Vision Visor, which make it easier to see in all types of road and weather conditions. The rear view mirror clips right on to your existing mirror to reduce blind spots. It also has an attached smaller mirror so you can keep an eye on the kids (or the dog) in the backseat. Add the HD visor to reduce glare from the sun during the day and from oncoming lights at night for a safer and more relaxing driving experience.

And just for fun, how about taking along a Parking Space Goddess? She's supposed to help you find a space even under the roughest of conditions. You just recite a brief incantation, wind her up and wait for that perfect "rock star parking" space to magically appear. She really does work -- try it for yourself if you don't believe me.

Wherever you roam this summer, have fun, be safe and I'll see you next week!
Bobby

04 July

Turn Your Mouth into a Speaker for Your iPod. Or not.

I saw a Thing online that said you could use your head, or more precisely, your mouth as a speaker for an iPod. Of course, I was curious about how this Thing works. I mean, we have lots of ways to share our music these days, but using your noggin as a speaker? It sounded like one of those Things that go around the internet to victimize the gullible.

Call me a victim, but I couldn't help but try it for myself. And you know what? It works. But not very well. First, you have to shove those ear buds way up your nostrils to produce any sound through your mouth, which is uncomfortable, take my word. Second, you have to open your mouth really wide to get a decent volume. Third, there's no real practical application. Imagine trying to DJ your next party: there you stand with ear buds stuffed way up your nose and your mouth open so wide a terodactyl could fly in there. Seriously, do you want to be the death of your own party?

My experiment left me wondering: who was the first person to figure this out? And why? The truth, it seems, is not out there. I searched high and low for the innovator who brought us this new life hack and found a few how-to videos, but no one taking credit for the invention of the nostril speakers. So I can't tell you the who or the why of this new Thing, but you can try it yourself if you need to see (or hear) that it really works. Or you could just buy one of these Things and forget about where those iPod ear buds have been.

See you next week!
Bobby

27 June

World UFO Day

Every year on July 2nd, UFO and alien enthusiasts as well as debunkers and skeptics look to the skies in search of evidence (or absence of evidence) that UFOs 1) exist and/or 2) that UFOs are visiting planet earth. It's called World UFO day and it's one of my favorite Things to celebrate.

Because of the date's connection to the famous UFO "incident" at Roswell, New Mexico, UFO believers have been celebrating the holiday on July 2nd for over ten years. And how do they celebrate? By watching UFO documentaries and films, visiting UFO museums like the one in Roswell, having a skywatch parties and having fun with the Drake equation, which attempts to estimate the number of technological civilizations that might exist beyond our own sun.

My favorite Thing to do is grab the dog and head to a place above the light pollution of the city. I let the dog off his leash and just lay on my back and watch the stars. I've seen some pretty cool Things including meteors, satellites and even the space station, but I've yet to see any unidentified flying Things. Still, I'll keep on looking. Who knows, maybe one day while working out the Drake equation in my head, the aliens will decide to make Contact!

Don't forget to turn your eyes to the skies on July 2nd and look for me next week!
Bobby

UFOs Wicked This Way Comes BookUFO Chronicles DVD The Government UFO Files Book

20 June

Fascinating Flatulence Facts

Farts Happen T-shirtYou might not have given it much thought, and maybe you don't want to, but there are some Things you should know about farts. Really. There are Things like a fart is 80% nitrogen and hydrogen - methane only accounts for 7%. But methane isn't the Thing that makes farts smelly as many people believe. No, it's hydrogen sulfide that gives the gas its noxious quality. And that's pretty interesting.

Fart Ninja T-shirt

But then there are the Things you couldn't possibly live without knowing about your farts. Things like:

  • A fart can come flying out of you at a speed of 7 miles per hour!
  • The average person farts 14 times a day, producing half a liter of fart gas, but...
  • Vegetarians fart more than non-vegetarians.
  • Beans are indeed the fartiest of all foods because the human body can't digest them properly.
  • Farts are flammable.
  • Termites are the top farters on the planet; they produce more methane than cows.
  • A "shart" or "mudd butt" happens when the nerve endings in your rectal area get confused.
  • Loud farts come from mostly swallowed air while quieter farts are the byproduct of digestion and bacterial fermentation, which is why...
  • "Silent but deadly" is true!

Fart SignWe've always been fans of flatulence here at Things, but the more we know about farts, the better equipped we are to use them to our (and your) andvantage. Because the old saying is just as true of farts as it is of any old Thing: knowledge is power.

See you next week,
Bobby

Who Farted? ClockRemote Control Fart MachineFart Game

13 June

Enterprising Physicist

For the last four years, NASA physicist Harold White has been working on developing a warp drive so spaceships can travel faster than the universal speed limit, the speed of light, which is 186,000 miles per second. White heads up NASA's Advanced Propulsion team and though he's been working on the project for years, interest in his ideas reached critical velocity when his team unveiled images of what the warp-capapble ship might look like.

Look vaguely familiar? It should. Named IXS Enterprise after the "Star Trek" spaceship, it looks a lot like the series of crafts piloted by Captains Kirk and Picard. With good reason. White says he drew his concept from sketches of the Enterprise, saying "parts of that ship were mathematically correct." He worked with an artist and a graphic designer, updating the math and producing "a design for a viable spacecraft."

I won’t go into all the gritty details, in this blog, of how a warp-driven starship might work. But if you want to get the "status of the warp drive", NASA has it here. And you can see all the drawings -- from the nacelles to the tertiary power source here. And if you just can't wait for them to build it, you can always get a "Star Trek" Enterprise here.

See you next week,
Bobby

Starship Enterprise Model

06 June

Cute Pups!

There's a famous wolf out in the western wilderness. Named OR-7 by the wildlife biologists who have been tracking him for years, he made headlines when he trekked from Oregon to California. Why did the wolf cross state lines? To find a mate, of course.

And find a mate he did. It's a happy note for a species whose swan song was thought to have been written when they were hunted to complete extinction in North America. Reintroduced to the Northern Rockies in the 90s, the gray wolf is on the rebound, migrating from Idaho to Oregon and beyond. And now we learn that OR-7 has not only found a mate, he fathered the first known litter of wolf cubs born in the Cascade Mountain Range since 1940.

Here's a picture of two of the cubs peering out of their den deep in the wooded Cascades and wildlife biologists suspect there are more since wolf pairs usually have four to six puppies per litter. While the states do their part to protect the endangered canines, OR-7 is doing his part to help his species rebound and re-take its place as top dog in the West. And I think that's really someThing to howl about!

I'll see you next week,
Bobby

Wolf ClockWolf JacketWolf Moon Pendant

30 May

Summer Reading List

Memorial Day is over and you know what that means: the unofficial start of summer! And that means it's time to start building your list of Things to read on those long, hot, dog days. On my list this year? Five Things I can't wait to read...

People's History of the Peculiar Book1. The first Thing on my reading list is "People's History Of The Peculiar," which promises to reveal all kinds of secrets and stories of the weird, the crazy, the obscure and the peculiar. Author Nicholas Belardes has been called a “bizarre fact hunter” and “master of the last thing you need to know” and I can't wait to read his latest work.

The Secret Lost Diary Of Admiral Richard E. Byrd2. Next up is another book of of strange Things, "The Secret Lost Diary Of Admiral Richard E. Byrd." You might remember adventurer Richard Byrd -- he's the one responsible for the Hollow Earth Theory, claiming that he visited the inner Earth and found paradise there. I don't know if it's all true or not, but I can't wait to read this lost work!

Lies They Teach in School Book3. The third Thing on my list is Lies They Teach in School. It promises to uncover 250 myths and lies we've all come to believe as truth. For example, the United States did not vote for independence on July 4 and the 18th amendment did not outlaw liquor. Charles Lindbergh was not the first man to fly across the Atlantic and Charles Darwin didn't coin the term "survival of the fittest."

100 Things You're Not Supposed to Know Book4. And another book of secrets: 100 Things You're Not Supposed To Know. For example, while self-appointed censors warn constantly about the dangers of pornography, the fact is that pornography has existed since the first cave people carved dirty pictures on the walls. And it's true that two atomic bombs were dropped on North Carolina and that George Washington embezzled government funds. I'm looking forward to learning all these Things I'm not supposed to know.

5. And finally, I thought I'd learn some fun Things, like "Sharp Retorts, Ripostes, Caustic Quips, and Impolite Put-Downs" from the " Gargantuan Book Of Insult, Offense And Effrontery." It will teach you some choice Things to say in any given situation. Like this one: You have a very striking face. How many times were you struck there? It's the perfect Thing for the perfect comeback and the perfect finish to my summer reading list.

Happy reading! I'll see you next week,
Bobby

23 May

Free Dirty Light Show

Don't let the title fool you -- this blog post isn't one of those NSFW (Not Suitable For Work) Things. No, this dirty light show is a G-rated, all-ages, family event that the whole Earth can enjoy. And it's free!

On May 23-24, our humble little planet will pass through a 200-year-old cloud of space dirt from the 209P/LINEAR comet. For the first time since the icy space rock was discovered 10 years ago, we're about to enter its debris field and the show promises to be nothing less than spectacular. The May Camelopardalids are expected to outshine the annual Perseid meteor shower (July), with over 200 meteors per hour. But that's not the strangest Thing about this event. The dirty cloud of debris is about 700,000 miles wide and it isn't attached to its comet anymore! The comet will arrive near Earth about five days after we've sailed through its dust cloud.

To see the meteor shower, head outside at around 2 a.m. (EDT) on the morning of May 24 and wait for the light show to begin. NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke says the show should last about two hours. NASA will offer a live Ustream view of the skies over Huntsville, Alabama and Cooke will host a live web chat from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. EDT for those who want to discuss all that dirt and dust. Though the space agency isn't certain that the shower will live up to its expectations, I know one Thing for sure: I'll be outside and online for the very first viewing of the May Camelopardalids!

Eyes to the skies! I'll see you next week,
Bobby

TelescopeMeteorite NecklaceI need my space t-shirt

16 May

The Simpsons Meet The Griffins

A long-time cartoon rivalry could be a Thing of the past when Fox airs its Simpsons/Family Guy crossover episode this season. The two animated sit-coms are well-known for hurling in-episode jibes at each other, but they seem to be mending fences now.

Fox screened a teaser of the hour-long episode during a network presentation. The clip is rumored to show the families getting along famously: Stewie and Bart skateboarding together, Meg and Lisa hanging out and the animated wives ditching the kitchen. But the clip also reveals a knock-down-drag-out fight between the two dads, so maybe there won't be a family-wide meeting of the minds.

There are also rumors of a Futurama crossover episode, as difficult as that might be to imagine. But what about South Park, which is known for poking fun at both sitcoms? I don't know about you, but all this crossover talk makes me wonder one Thing: where's Cartman? Don't they know they have to respect his author-i-tay?

See you next week,
Bobby