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The Action of New York City

The Action of New York City (Photo credit: Stuck in Customs)

One of my most popular and consistently viewed blog posts is the one I did on the Top Ten Things To Do in New York City during Christmas.   If you haven’t read it, here’s the link to that one: https://pbenjay.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=4694&action=edit.

New York City is the capital of the world, a tourist magnet and the home to over 8 million residents which can sometimes make our streets and sidewalks very, very busy!  People from all over the world come here;  We invite them, you know – haven’t you ever seen the I Love New York ads on TV?  So you’re welcome to visit and see and experience this amazing place we call home BUT there are few things you sometimes (often) do while you’re here and they just annoy the s___ out of us!  Summertime is also a BIG time for tourists in the City (could be why so many residents head to the Hamptons) and if you don’t want to be a persona non grata, you will find this list helpful – and we will be grateful and welcome you back with open arms.  These are definite NO-NO’s

1. No need to avoid walking on the grates in the sidewalks when you are wearing sneakers (that’s how we know who is a visitor and who is a resident).  When you walk around the grate it forces others, who may be wearing heels, to walk over them.  Don’t be afraid of the grate;  What’s the worse that could happen?  It caves in and you drop 10 feet, maybe break your arm, just think of how much you can sue the City for!

2.  PLEASE do not walk holding hands;  You’re strolling, we’re walking behind you and we have to be somewhere soon!  Also trying to pass you is like trying to get around a tractor trailer and a solid white line.

3.  PLEASE do NOT stop in the middle of the sidewalk, the top of the escalator, just outside the revolving door!  I mean really, really?

4.  Renting a Citibike?  Don’t pull an Alec Baldwin and peddle down the wrong way on a one-way street.

5. Whispering on the subway, we can hear you!  

6. It’s not funny when you tawk with a fake New York accent!

7.  Acting like  we might hurt you!  This ain’t the 70’s anymore!

8. You drive your car into town and then complain about the traffic.

9. Asking for directions and not telling us where your ultimate destination is.  How can we help if we don’t know where you’re going.

10.  Umbrellas!  Yes the sidewalks are crowded so please remember you are not the only one with walking here and that thing is a weapon when you’re not careful.

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English: An American actually discovered durin...

Microwave Oven

And you thought your microwave was just for reheating take-out food or rewarming your cup of coffee.  Well check out this list of 10 things you never thought your microwave could do!

 

  1. Cutting Onions Just Got Easier – Trim the ends off your onions and put them in the microwave for 30 seconds on HIGH.  Your eyes won’t sting when you peel them.
  2. Brown Sugar Rock Solid – Place a dampened paper towel in the box and close the lid.  Put in the microwave on HIGH for 20-30 seconds.
  3. Cleaning the Microwave – uh oh you put the spaghetti in the micro for too long and too high.  Fill a small bowl with water and add some white vinegar.  Place bowl in the microwave and heat it on HIGH for a couple of minutes until the mess softens and will wipe clean easily.
  4. Fix Your Old Honey –  a jar of crystalized honey can be restored in your microwave.  Remove the lid and heat on 50% power for 2 minutes.
  5. Get A Hot Compress Quick – Wet a wash cloth or hand towel and heat on HIGH for one minute.
  6. Juicier Lemons + Limes – Put the whole lemon or lime in the microwave and heat for 10-20 seconds on HIGH.  It will be easier to squeeze and yield more juice.
  7. Make Sure Your Containers Are Safe To Use – we’ve all heard about the danger in re-using take out food containers to reheat food.  You can check it out by placing a mug, that you know is microwave safe, with cold water in it.  Put the mug in the container and heat on HIGH for one minute. If the water is hot and the container is cold, it’s safe to re-use.
  8. Don’t Blanch, Just Microwave – You can peel tomatoes and peaches easily by placing in your microwave and heating on HIGH for 30 seconds and then let them sit for 2 minutes.  They should peel easily.
  9. Long Live The Potato Chip – If your potato chips have gotten soggy, place them on a paper towel and heat them briefly in the microwave till they crisp.
  10. Forget To Soak The Beans Overnight? – Place the beans in a bowl and cover completely with water.  Add a pinch of bicarbonate of soda and heat on high for 10 minutes and then let them rest for 30-40 minutes.

Thanks to Gail who sent me these clever time-saving ideas.

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I’ve been experiencing a lot of issues lately uploading photos, previewing posts and actually being able to access my admin bar. I’ve been in touch with the Support staff at WordPress.com and am trying a few things.  I need to see if a photo I upload will show in my preview screen before I publish it.  That’s why today you are seeing our oh so cute 1958 Metropolitan.

In 2010 I posted a photo on Facebook and a couple of days ago my cousin who must have been scrolling thru my photos came across it and hit LIKE.  Well, you know that brings the picture to the forefront again and in the last few day 45 people have LIKED it and we’ve received several comments.  OMG! The photo is not reaching “friends of friends” and has gone far and beyond.

A Perfect Match

A Perfect Match

This isn’t the same photo BUT it is of our adorable little Metropolitan with it’s SOCUTE license plate and here are 10 reasons why we love it.

1. It’s a people-stopper! Parked in front of the cottage, people stop constantly to look and take a picture.

2. When my husband drives it, it’s a chick-magnet.

3. When I drive it, men follow me to where I park it and ask me all kinds of questions and admire it.

4. It’s small enough to fit in most parking spaces

5. We get to belong to a national car club MOCNA-Metropolitan Owners Club of North America

6. We actually get to drive it – it’s not so classic that it only sits in a garage.

7. It gets great mileage and always gets a big smile at the gas station

8. When we drive it, people in other cars or on the sidewalks hoot, holler, toot and give us a thumbs-up sign.

9. Peter sits on the front porch with his martini and greets all the pretty young girls who stop and squeal over how cute the car it is.

10. We get to go to Vintage Car Shows and are the only Metropolitan included!

So Cute at a Vintage Car Show

So Cute at a Vintage Car Show

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I was walking past a local bakery yesterday and they had chocolate  covered Easter Egg cakes in the window.  I know they weren’t left overs so maybe their regular customers were not ready to give up on these delicious treats and then again, religious observance of this holy day includes the following week until the Sunday of Mercy which is the following Sunday.

Of course the title of this blog  is a trick question because the rest of the query should read “…in movies”?  That’s right, Easter eggs in movie terms means something very different from the colored hard-boiled eggs we hunt for on Easter Sunday.  In fact an Easter egg in a movie is…well let me first tell you about the origin of the term as it applies to movies.  One day the cast of The Rocky Horror Show decided to hold an Easter egg hunt.  Some of the eggs were not found, until a couple of them appeared in some of the movie frames!   So now, in movie terms, Easter eggs are those hidden jokes and messages and finding one or more of them gives us the opportunity to point it out to other people to make ourselves look really smart.  Here are 10 you probably overlooked yourself!

I'll Have A Grande Americano

I’ll Have A Grande Americano

There’s a Starbucks coffee cup in every scene in Fight Club. 

Considering the movie is focused on analyzing how we are being duped by giant corporations, Director David Fincher decided it would be fitting  to include a Starbucks coffee cup in every single scene in the movie.  Some of them might be difficult to find, but I assure you they are there.

The DHARMA Initiative Logo Appears At The Beginning Of Cloverfield.  

If you’ve watched even one season of LOST, you know what the DHARMA logo looks like.  Odd that it should show up in the movie, Cloverfield or maybe not considering  director J.J. Abrams was a man involved with both Lost and Cloverfield.  So it may come of no surprise that he slipped the DHARMA Initiative logo into Cloverfield, ’cause DHARMA probably had something to do with that giant lizard monster coming out of the ocean, huh? It’s always easier to blame DHARMA. Anyway, check out the opening sequence for the movie and you’ll catch a glimpse of that now very iconic logo.

Hello Buzz!

Hello Buzz!

Buzz Lightyear Can Be Glimpsed In Finding Nemo.

Both Pixar and Disney are reknowed for their obsession with easter eggs – Yep, that’s him there, thrown amidst a pile of other toys in the dentist’s office. This begs the question, of course: is this the same Buzz Lightyear that we’ve come to love, or another model with his own life and history and everything? Does this, in fact, foreshadow future Toy Story installments where Buzz Lightyear somehow winds up in Australia, and the other toys have to come rescue him? No, it doesn’t, and that’s why I don’t work at Pixar.

There’s An “O. Penderghast” Sign Visible In Friends With Benefits.

During the scene where the lovely Mila Kunis is waiting at the airport, you’ll see that the name on one of her signs is “O. Penderghast.”
Who’s that, you’re wondering? The detective from Psycho? Uh, no. It’s the main character from the much better movie Easy A, which was also directed by Friends With Benefits director Will Gluck. Emma Stone played the character Olive Penderghast in that movie, so here’s a nice bit of meta self-reflection from the movie’s director, when he was, you know, working from a much better script, though – to his credit – it was devoid of any Kunis nudity, so I understand his motives.

There’s A Xenomorph Skull In The Trophy Room In Predator 2

Predator 2 is the sequel to Predator, and the sort of sequel that fans like to forget about. It doesn’t star Arnold Schwarzenegger, it isn’t very good, and Danny Glover is the main character – not a sidekick or anything. It might also, indirectly, be the one movie responsible for hellishly bad spin-off flicks like Alien vs. Predator, because – look – there’s a Xenomorph skull in the Predator’s trophy room, which kind of (almost definitely) implies that these two alien beings are part of the same universe.

Jack Burton's Vest

Jack Burton’s Vest

Jack Burton’s Vest From Big Trouble In Little Is Hanging On The Wall In Death Proof

Quentin Tarantino’s movies are renowned for their intricate references and homages to movies from across the span of time, though this one likely went over your head unless you happen to be a dedicated fan of John Carpenter’s brilliantly underrated B-movie extravaganza Big Trouble In Little China. Carpenter’s movie starred Kurt Russell, of course, who played ironic John Wayne-like hero Jack Burton. Russell also stars in Death Proof as Stuntman Mike, a murderous psychopath with a car crash fetish.
During the scene set in the Texas Chilli Parlor towards the beginning of the movie, then, keep your eyes peeled for this wonderful easter egg that acknowledges the fact that Kurt Russell is in a freakin’ Tarantino movie. That vest hanging on the wall admist all the other memorabilia? That, my friend, is Jack Burton’s iconic Asian-themed vest from Big Trouble In Little China. Being a trucker and all, it wouldn’t be hard to imagine Burton pulling over for a beer at this, uh, “fine” establishment.

Han’s Full Name Is Revealed As “Han Seoul-Oh” In Fast Five

The character is called Han and is of Asian descent, it made super-natural sense that the Fast and Furious writers would give him a surname that plays homage to the iconic character of Han Solo from Star Wars, as played by Harrison Ford.  Anyway, this character started out being known as Han Lue, back at a time when somebody hadn’t made the obvious and undeniable connection between the words “Solo” and “Seoul” (capital of South Korea, if you’re wondering), and then we were gifted with this little easter egg-ish moment where we were given the chance to glimpse Han’s surname on one of Fast Five‘s many computer screens

X Marks The Spot

X Marks The Spot

X Marks The Spot To Imply Death Or Impending Doom Throughout The Departed

Remember how in Howard Hawks’ original 1932 version of Scarface the director included a bunch of Xs in lots of the scenes to imply that a character was going to end up die? Well, Martin Scorsese was apparently inspired by this little trope when he came around to making his own Oscar-winning crime masterpiece in The Departed: Scorsese opted to use an “X” as his own motif for implying that certain character wouldn’t be so lucky.

 There’s A Hidden Waldo In A Single Frame Of Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto

For some totally bewildering, unexplained reason, Mel Gibson decided that – for a singular frame at this part of the movie – he’d include a shot of human being dressed as Waldo (the famous stripy-clad fellow whose job is to make himself hard to spot in all those kids’ books). Yes, in this very serious and gruesome scene, Gibson opted to have somebody dress up like Waldo and lay on top of all the dead bodies. That was how he spent a brief period of time and money on the set of his movie. Doing this. It was so important that it had to go into the movie.

Tony Stark Rethinks His Life After Eating A Burger In Iron Man – Just Like Robert Downey Jr. Did For Real

Here’s an incredibly dense and somewhat insane easter egg that will probably blow your mind in eight or nine ways (though probably just one, to be fair). Think back to the first Iron Man movie, when Tony Stark manages to break free from that terrorist-filled cave and gets rescued. You’ll remember that the first thing that Tony wants having survived such an ordeal is an American cheeseburger. Nothing strange about that, right? It’s at this point, though, cheeseburger on his mind, that Tony decides to change his ways and re-evaluate his life.
Without the right context, you could be forgiven for thinking that this is just another scene in another movie. But when I tell you that it was a Burger King which made a real-life Robert Downey Jr. change his own life in the pre-Iron Man days, things start to get a little bit meta. Yes, according to Downey, it was a Burger King that gave him the inspiration to re-think his position (he was a drug addict at the time) and start afresh. This isn’t some strange coincidence by the way – it was implemented purposely by Downey Jr. as a reference to the bad times.

 

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We have to get silly every once in a while at least that’s what my husband reminds me.  I’m much more serious than I should be and I wish I had my sister-in-law Juanita’s capacity to laugh and laugh heartily.  She really has the most contagious laugh!  So today I giving you at least 10 totally useless facts to do with what you will.  Next time you’re at a cocktail party and need to start a conversation, maybe one of these will spark the talk.  Thanks to my consistent content contributor, Gail – she sent me this Buzz Feed post.  I have just decided to put initials after Gail’s name;  From now on she’s Gail C.C.C. !

  1. The founders of Hewlett-Packard flipped a coin to see whose name would come first in the company’s name.
  2. People with higher incomes prefer their toilet paper to roll from the top whereas people with lower incomes prefer it to roll out from the bottom.  In a 1989 book, Barry Sinrod and Mel Poretz revealed that 60% of people making more than $50,000 a year preferred the toilet paper to come over the roll, while 73% of those making under $20,000 preferred it to go under.   

    Toilet paper Español: Papel higiénico

    Toilet paper 

  3. The lint that collects at the bottom of your pocket actually has a name, gnurr.
  4. Some animals like the Western Spotted Skunk are able to delay their pregnancies for months.  In these cases, the embryos cease developing for a certain period of time before attaching to the uterine wall. Other animals with types of delayed pregnancies include otters and kangaroos.  
  5. Sigmund Freud once believed that Cocaine could be used to treat Morphine addiction.
  6. Flamingos get their color from the carotenoid pigments in the foods that they eat, like algae and shrimp.  Once their feathers shed, they quickly lose their color.   

    Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink

  7. The line between the two numbers in a fraction is called the vinculum.
  8. The U.S. pizza industry serves up to 100 acres of pizza every day.  GTY_pizza_dm_130807_16x9_608
  9. If you type in 52.376552, 5.198303 on Google Maps, you can see what is allegedly two guys dragging a dead body into a lake. 
  10. A standard 3×3 Rubik’s Cube has 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 different possible configurations.  

    Go Figure…

    Go Figure…

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OH my, somehow I’ve been bitten by the March Madness bug.  I am writing this post and listening/watching the Syracuse/Michigan game.  I can relax during this one because it was assumed that Syracuse would win and right now they are leading by 22 points! “Oh how sweet it is”.  

I was going to make Thursday’s Top Ten about the crazy stunt taking place in Brooklyn this week where Franny’s is creating March Madness Pies.  Starting at Sweet Sixteen, they will be offering 16 different pizza pie toppings with cute names.  I thought the names were going to somehow correspond to the teams but they don’t so I’ve opted out of using Franny’s for my post;  Besides, I only like the purest of Neapolitan pizza – rich tomato sauce, some basil and oregano and some blobs of mozzarella with grated Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top!

I found this CAKE vs PIE tournament bracket and thought it was too cool!  HEY GUYS, THIS WOULD REALLY BE FUN IF YOU WOULD COMMENT WITH YOUR CHOICES and advance the bracket till we get to the WINNER.  If you don’t help me and I do it all by myself, I can tell you right now that Ice Cream Cake would probably win.  So let’s do it!!

Tasty Treats Oh So Sweet Bracketology

Tasty Treats Oh So Sweet Bracketology

I’m not sure exactly who I should be crediting for this bracket which appeared in 2010.  I think JEZEBEL.com, Jessica Coen and Gawker Media are all responsible for this so THANK YOU!

I’m starting it off since today is ROUND 1 in the NCAA Tournament.  I pick Birthday Cake and Apple Pie.  What are your picks?  You might want to copy this and play with a group of your friends.  I hope you’ll play along with me…By Saturday we move to Round 2. 

 

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A box of Redheads matches.

A box of Redheads matches. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Did you know that only about 1-2% of the world’s population are natural redheads?  What we don’t know is how many people ( I would imagine mostly women) dye their hair red.  I’ve been thinking about how many people I know who are real redheads and out of all the people I know, it’s not very many.  There’s my friend Marylou in CT who has always been a redhead and has the accompanying fair skin.  Then there’s my cousin Christine who looks like a redhead to me but not too red.  I was told that my father was a redhead when he was a baby and his grandfather was a notable redhead with a red handlebar mustache.  For a couple of years my friend Susan was a redhead (from the bottle) and I once saw a photo of my friend Helen who had this gorgeous red mane!  How many redheads do you know?

Today my cousin Barbara posted a link to article from Huff Post , a blog from the UK,  and I thought what a neat idea it would be to use their list of facts about redheads as my Thursday’s Top Ten.

  1. Natural red hair is harder to dye than other shades

    Headstrong as it is, ginger hair holds its pigment much firmer than any other hair colour. If redheads desired to dye their hair to any other colour (why would you?), it would only have a noticeable difference after bleaching the hair beforehand. Otherwise, the colour won’t take.

  2.  Redheads have less hair on their headsIn terms of total number of strands, gingers have far fewer atop their red heads than any other colour.

    On average, flame-haired beauties have 90,000 strands, compared to blondes with 110,000, and brunettes with 140,000.

    They’re not exactly going bald though, as each strand of natural ginger hair is much thicker, so the appearance is often that redheads have more hair in general.

  3. Redheads don’t go greyStaying true to its stubborn stereotype, ginger hair retains its natural pigment a lot longer than other shades.

    So there’s no need to panic about going grey – red hair simply fades with age through a glorious spectrum of faded copper to rosy-blonde colours, then to silvery-white.

  4. Red hair and blue eyes is the rarest combination in the worldThe majority of natural redheads have brown eyes, with others likely to have hazel or green shades.

    But like red hair, blue eye colour is a recessive trait, meaning that both parents must carry the gene for a child to be blessed with it. This makes those with red hair and blue eyes the rarest minority in the world, with only 1% having both.

    So, each one is about as rare as a four-leaf clover.

  5. They’re more sensitive to thermal painCountless studies have looked into the genetics behind redheads claiming that they are more or less sensitive to pain.

    Research shows that redheads are more sensitive to hot and cold pain, with their bodies able to change temperature much quicker.

    Also, in surgery, gingers might require approximately 20% more anaesthesia than other hair colours. The exact reason for this is unknown, but it is thought that a link to the mutated MC1R gene could be the culprit to its effectiveness.

  6. The Romans kept redheaded slaves at a higher priceThose with fiery-coloured hair were held in high esteem in Roman art and culture. Thought to be strong and determined, they were more expensive than other slaves, and prisoners would even have their hair dyed to be displayed as trophies.
  7. Russia means ‘Land of Reds’Translating to mean ‘Land of Reds’, Russia boasts a high density of gingers located in its Kazan region, at over 10% redheads, a similar density to Scotland and Ireland.
  8.  40% of Brits are ‘Secret GingersExtensive research conducted by BritainsDNA has found that more than 40% of the population carry the mutated MC1R gene that’s responsible for red hair.

    Both parents must carry the gene to be able to spawn a ginger baby, which lies at 25% if they’re not ginger themselves, but still carry the ‘secret gene’.

  9. Adolf Hitler reportedly banned ginger marriages…For fear of ‘deviant offspring’. Of course.
  10. Gingers generate their own Vitamin DHaving pale skin may mean that redheads burn more easily when exposed to UV rays, but their paleness can serve as an advantage.

    Redheads can’t absorb sufficient Vitamin D due to low concentrations of eumelanin in their body.

     

 

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