2019 December

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Letters to the editor with pictures since 2002. Published on Big Pine Key’s garbage days, Tuesdays and Fridays.

[Movie Review] The much-touted Martin Scorsese movie The Irishman premiered on Netflix this week instead of in theaters. I can see why. The Irishman was the same movie Scorsese has been making for thirty years—even with the same actors. The problem is that the actors aged, so he used computer generated de-aging software to manipulate the faces of DeNiro, Pacino, Pesci, Kitel so they looked younger. I found that effect disturbing and unpleasant to look at, even creepy.

The story is basically a documentary about Jimmy Hoffa’s leg-breaker (DeNiro). Scorsese tells the same old mob story he’s been telling for decades. I did like the action scenes because they were so realistic. It was a very good movie, don’t get me wrong, but it was the same predictable story with the same predictable characters. Scorsese is one of the best directors out there. I hardly noticed it took 3 1/2 hours to watch because like all good directors there was never a pause in the action.
My wife fell asleep. Link

Dynamite is seventeen times more powerful than gunpowder. It revolutionized warfare. Now a single bomb could kill hundreds. Shells and bombs could blow up entire buildings, bridges, and factories. With the invention of the airplane, bombs could level entire city blocks, burn cities to the ground, murder thousands. We tend to focus on the terror of nuclear weapons, but the fact is, dynamite and its derivatives have killed and maimed millions more than the atomic bomb ever did, or probably ever will.

Alfred Nobel had a patent on modern warfare. At the height of his success, he had hundreds of factories all over Europe making dynamite. These factories had to be built on large campuses because no matter how carefully they handled their materials, once in a while it went off. Hundreds of people were killed in explosions at his factories. On top of that, many thousands were devastated by some of the chemicals used in the manufacture of dynamite, chemicals that affected the brain. Nobel sited his factories in impoverished areas which would provide an endless source of desperate, expendable workers.

Nobel might have gone down in history as a thoroughly evil man had not a curious thing happened. In 1888 his brother died, and the newspapers of Europe mistakenly reported his brother’s death as his own. “The Merchant of Death Is Dead,” ran the headlines. Reading his own obituary shocked Nobel deeply, and made him realize how history would see him. His reaction was to establish the Nobel prizes-including the famed Peace Prize as a way to redirect what would certainly have been the dreadful judgment of history on his life.

[Before the Sanctuary] I remember when we could find wahoo and cobia on the chalk board menus. I remember when fishermen would sell their catch to local restaurants and locals got to eat fresh catch of the day. I remember trading for fresh seafood – everything from lobster to dolphin, to kingfish, to amberjack – and Big George, formally of the Half Shell & Geiger Key,  had a smoker! Sadly, the Keys are now suffering from what the rest of the State suffers from – northern reflux – you know, that little bit of bile that creeps up in your throat when you hear Cape Cod, NY, NJ accents telling you about the good old days in the Keys. I’d give anything for the fishermen and drug smugglers to return and for all the “new” to go away.

Always carry a flask of whiskey in case of snakebite (and a small snake).
[Coral Reef Sounds] Sounds of the past give new hope for coral reef restoration. Young fish can be drawn to degraded coral reefs by loudspeakers playing the sounds of healthy reefs, according to new research published today in Nature Communications. Link



[Socialist Ice Cream] To defy the United States, Fidel Castro built the world’s greatest ice cream parlor. The socialist establishment, which is still slinging scoops, seated 1,000 customers. Link

[Rockabilly] 1956 Gene Vincent & His Blue Caps Be Bop A Lula. Video
[National Debt Has No Effect] Other than for moral reasons I’m not affected by this great national debt or our wars. The national debt is an abstract concept to me (like the Electoral College, what’s that all about). We always have a war going on, it’s in the budget. If I was made to send a check for a thousand dollars to the government to pay down the national debt, then I would understand it. Thus far it has no effect on my life in any way. It only affects me because it’s immoral. It’s the same with our wars. War too, is an abstract thought that rests in the back of my mind because it doesn’t affect me in the least. It happens somewhere else that I’d never go to anyway. Although if I knew someone killed over there, I’d be singing a different tune. If war and the debt affected us we would do something about it and make sure it doesn’t happen again. But it doesn’t. Lately most of our wars are subcontracted anyway. So I’ll just continue ignoring the wars and national debt until something affects me that I notice.
The plastic problem. By 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean. Massachusetts farmers are turning manure and food waste into power. Video



[Leftovers] One of the best things about Thanksgiving is that I don’t have to cook for several days after. There are so many things you can do with turkey meat.

[Losing The Night] Astronomers concerned about too many satellites lighting up the sky. Link
Climate change is not a hoax. Anthrogenic climate change surly is. We are in an interglacial warming period- glaciers have been melting for more than 11000 years. Sea level rise is inevitable. Humans cannot accelerate this process or slow it down. These little fluctuations we obverse have not a thing to do with it. What is Key largo now has experienced similar super high and persistent king tides over the centuries, one devastating one in 1897, long before carbon dioxide emissions from man. As I express this point of view, I will be taken as a science denier. I assure you I am not. I possess a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from the Collage of Environmental Science and Forestry at Syracuse University. I have worked for the  US Geological Service in water quality management  and the management of large watersheds in North America. Any questioning of the man-caused climate change acceleration dogma instantly brings down the wrath of the brainwashed; brainwashed by politicians, environmentalists, scientists, with an agenda: control of governments, corporations, and money to their socialist ends. I believe in climate change. It is ridiculous to write that. Of course the climate changes. We cannot affect its change one way or the other. It’s gonna slowly get warmer. Then it’s gonna slowly get really cold as the Earth wobbles slightly in its orbit. Humans can’t do a thing about it. And you reading this will be long gone by then.
[Media Circus] When the politicians complain that TV turns the proceedings into a circus, it should be made clear that the circus was already there, and that TV has merely demonstrated that not all the performers are well trained.  ~Edward R. Murrow. 1959
[Black Gold] England’s Anglo-Persian Oil Company was formed to rape Iran of its oil in 1909. When Iran elected it’s only democratic ruler who nationalized the oil for the people of Iran, the CIA undermined everything he did with lies and murders until the CIA could put in their own Shah to insure England kept the oil and the money.



Shopping at Winn Dixie the onion soup said in big letters: Made With Real Onions. That was three aisles over from peanut butter that “may contain peanuts”.

Want to see a baby manatee who just entered the world? A manatee last month gave birth to a calf in a Florida Keys canal. Jeff Qualls, of Rockland Key, captured it on video. He believes it’s not the instant moment of birth but very soon afterward. Video



I’m pretty sure this is a Florida reindeer.

[Names] “Nosh” would be a good name for a restaurant.
The cold front has arrived in Florida. When will it end? Link


[Funny Exercise] I’m not waiting till after the new year to start my get in shape resolution. Video

[Weather] My big, fat, blonde, snowbird neighbor from New Jersey states, “They are calling for rain today.”  Tell me, who is “they” and “who” are “they” calling?
[Censor] What does the Coconut Telegraph use to automatically sensor incoming posts? Seems most anything with certain words does not go through.




[Weapons] What is legal to carry? a baseball bat, tire checker, rebar cane, shovel, or a heavy-duty broom? Guns and knives are too messy. It’s getting scary out there!