Today being the 4th of July, I thought it would be appropriate to talk about something we all know and love, America. But what is there to talk about you might ask? I could write about how we should be celebrating 2 days earlier than we actually do. Or perhaps we should talk about two of the founding fathers died on the same day with a third passing away years later also on the 4th. Instead I thought it would be interesting to talk about a true American symbol, the bald eagle, and how Benjaminn Franklin was wrong.
Bald eagles and Americans share many things in common. Like most Americans, the eagle can be found all over North America. Last I checked, it is also illegal to shoot both bald eagles and Americans. Apparently these many many reasons were not enough to convince big Ben and he still had his doubts about the eagle being on the national crest. You see way back in 1784, Benjaminn Franklin wrote a letter to his daughter where he talked about his real thoughts on the bald eagle being on the new republics crest. In part of the letter he wrote:
“Others object to the Bald Eagle, as looking too much like a Dindon, or Turkey. For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him.”
When he puts it like that, it does make a little sense but if you stop to think about it for a second, it turns out the the eagle was a perfect bird to represent the most badass nation in the world. After all why go through all the work of catching the prey yourself if you could just wait until it is done for you and then eat the rewards? Does it really matter how you got the fish or does it only matter that you ended up with the fish in the end?
So what did he think should be the bird to represent America? The turkey. I guess it could make sense to make a big fat bird the official bird of a big fat nation. But if we did do that, then what would we eat at Thanksgiving?
Over at Game Gavel the owner of the largest video game collection in the world recently put that collection for sale. It is quite an impressive collection featuring over 11,000 different video games. I knew it was going to sell for more than the couple hundred thousand that I originally thought of, but I didn’t think it was going to make it up to $750k. Of course it contains many games from the systems you would expect including: Atari, Nintendo, Sega Genesis, and Dreamcast. But it also contains many games from systems that you might not expect to see like: Tomy Tutor, V Flash, and Leap Frog Leapster.
How was this guy able to get his hands on all these games you might ask? Well it’s pretty easy when you manage a chain of retail gaming stores. Even with that being able to get this many games and resist tearing into them to have week long gaming marathons is pretty impressive. It might sound like a collection that he will never be able to come close to acquiring again, but it’s not the first time he has sold his massive collections. Hopefully by selling this collection he will be able to give the help his family needs. Maybe with all the new found space, he can turn his home into the best house ever.
Probably the last thing that comes to my mind when I think of new ways to create car parts would be to take the skins from tomatoes. That’s what Ford is going to start experimenting with in a new partnership with Heinz. I don’t know about anyone else but when I first heard about this idea, all I could think about was how amazing it would be to have the interior of your car made out of tomatoes so that if you ever got hungry you could just lean over and take a bite out of your dashboard. Then I started thinking about how long I’ve had my current car and how it probably wouldn’t taste very good after sitting around for about 14 years.
According to Ford, they are only going to use the skins of the tomato to create small things in the car like coin holders or wire brackets. Not quite the giant tomato car that I was hoping for but I’ll take what I can get. Heinz now also gets a new way to use the skins from the two million tonnes of tomatoes it uses every year. I know what you’re thinking, “But Mumbo, what about the smell?” and Ford has that covered as well. They have their crack team of smell police to make sure that any tomato parts don’t stink up the place.
Can I get a little automobile with my food:
Apparently this isn’t the first time the Ford has used food to create parts of their cars. For a little while now they have been experimenting with using rice hulls and coconuts in some of their trucks. Some of the resins found in leaves from plants have also been used as a replacement for the patrollium based resins that are found throughout cars.
Thankfully they are passing the savings onto us by giving out thousands of dollars with every car they sell. It will be difficult to use the money of course, since it is shredded. But at least if you drive a Ford, you can tell all your friends about the giant pile of cash you have been sitting on.
Growing up, the one thing I wish I always had in my house was a personal arcade. Sure we had our Nintendo or Sega Genesis but that just couldn’t compare to the fun of going into an arcade and playing all the cool games you could only find in arcades. Even today when I go down to the beach, one of the things I enjoy the most is going to the boardwalk and spending some time in the giant arcades that are still there. That’s why it brought a huge smile to my face reading this story about a man who turned his one bedroom apartment in New York into his own personal arcade.
Sure he might have lost his fiancé in the process and it cost him a little over $26,000 to build, but you just have to admire a guy following his dreams. And when he does find that perfect gamer girl that we all dream of, he already has the perfect place to bring her back to. I guess he really has his old fiancé to thank for this, since I can only imagine it all started when she wouldn’t let him build his man cave.
What he got:
- One custom built 4 player cabinet with thousands of MAME roms loaded
- Arcade machines for Ms. Pac-Man, Tron, Street Fighter, Punch-Out, and Fix-it Felix Jr
- Futon with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sheets
- Street Fighter 2 action figures
This story made me remember that you should always follow your passions. Now I just need to find the money to turn a few rooms of my place into a giant sloth cage and get my sloth buddy.
Today is national doughnut day, also known to many as the day where you can walk into your nearest Dunkin’ Donuts or Krispy Kreme and grab yourself a free pastry. There is so much more to it then that though, which makes this holiday one of the coolest holidays of the year. Although it might sound like a holiday created by some marketing department trying to advertise a new doughnut; it was actually created by the Salvation Army as a way to raise funds?
It all started back during World War I. I would imagine spending all day in the trenches fighting for your life would be pretty demoralizing. That’s why during the war the Salvation Army sent people to the front lines to meet with the soldiers and bring little goodies to take their mind off the horrors that were going on around them. One of the things that they would do is bake some doughnuts for the soldiers out of one of their helmets. Soon these sweet people were affectionately referred to as “donut lassies”.
Fast forward about 20 years to 1938, the Salvation Army needed a new way to raise money for all the extremely nice things they do. As a tribute the doughnut lassies, they decided to create a doughnut day, where they would give out doughnuts to people and in return many people would donate some money. It was such a hit that it became an annual occasion to help raise money.
Unlike some holidays that have completely lost their roots, national doughnut day is still just as important to the Salvation Army as it was back in 1938. They still do their fundraisers through doughnut drives and still provide a vital service to many people in need. In addition commercial companies like Krispy Kreme and Dunkin’ Donuts have taken hold of the holiday as a way to give back by giving out a free doughnut to whoever is brave enough to sit through the lines.
So next time you’re stuffing your face with your Gay Bar or Maple Blazer Blunt, think about the Salvation Army, and how awesome they were for creating this wonderful holiday.
Note: I thought about not writing this as the first post on the site and instead writing about one of the many interesting game related things that I read about today. But with today being not only D-Day but also Doughnut Day, and reading the history behind it, I just couldn’t pass up the chance. It’s just so interesting!