Cast Iron Fish

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Cast Iron Fish Tank

Did you know that in the Victorian era, elaborate cast iron fish tanks were all the rage among the nobility?  I didn’t.  I assumed fish tanks, because of the glass, plastic, electricity, and silicone necessary were a relatively recent commodity.  I would be wrong.  Tropical Fish Magazine has a detailed write up on what went into designing and making these fascinating works of art.  The most ornate and sought after were those made by J.W. Fiske, an Ironworks company out of New York. Now a days, ornate fish tanks can fetch upwards of $15,000.  Which if, you ask me, is far, far too much to spend on a simple (freshwater only) fist tank.  Do you realize the amount of pond I could build with $15,000?  It would be insane.  You’d never get to look at it at eye level like this.  But if I could spend $15,000 on a pond, I would make sure to have some sort of underwater viewing.  Maybe a tunnel, or window underground.  Yea, that’s right.  A window to the sky underground…

{reddit}

Skyline Shades

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Skyline Shades

The Ukraine company HoleRoll has these ace blackout blinds for windows.  Through (I assume) laser cutting fabric and material, you get a gorgeous shadow/lightbox view of either the Manhattan Skyline, the London Skyline, or the general night sky.  Unfortunately, the prices are quite high – $178 for one pane of the panel.  That’s the base price, before you put measurements in and choose other options.  I can tell you this much, I’m not about to spend over $500 on window shades – for a single room.  They look high quality, I bet I could make my own though.

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Alternate History Thursday: – Mexico

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Those lights were bright on Broadway you know.  Wonderful, colorful, beautiful lights.  In a geological instant they were snuffed out, flooded, and destroyed.  SONY (Sinking of New York), had cataclysmic effects across the world, though none as great as the immediate south of The United States of America.  I’m talking about Mexico.  Specifically, the sovereignty of Mexico.  A couple hundred billion dollars of gold bullion is enough to buy pretty much any country.  When you couple that gold with the organized crime families of NY, you get an offer you can’t refuse. The NY Crime families collapsed under a singular rule.  The name of the family is not important, it actually changed to a combination of all the remaining names.  While the mafia was well connected, the only way the could survive SONY was by joining together.  Additionally, a common enemy in the US Federal government (which I guess was always an enemy, but now it was different), forged bonds which never existed before.

The mafia – under the control of Sidney, slowly moved anyone which wanted off the island out.  They bought boats and submarines, tunnel boring machines and go-karts.  Anything they could that would help them move forward.  Scouts originally in Florida took in the general public from the north, and moved further South and West.  The Government of Mexico was very welcoming to this influx of (mostly) legal wealth.  Within months, the mafia was in total control of the country of Mexico.

Having spent quite a bit of money bribing the Mexican Government, the Mafia was now in possession of a legal money making machine, and a sovereign government to make themselves legitimate across the globe.  The FBI supported this move, and it’s speculated that FBI moles within the NY Crime families secretly helped with the covert evacuation of Manhattan.  The citizens of NYC didn’t really know what or how anything was happening, most of them were moved in darkness.  The census of 2000 however showed a huge spike in the residents of Florida, an unnatural spike.

Now, 17 years later, people are still alive, but memories fade.  Children remember tall tales of epic adventures, which were really normal car rides underground.  It’s hard to tell what is fact and what is fiction.  Most of the adults are keeping quiet because the Mafia did help them move, and you never tattle on the Mafia, especially now that they are a major trading partner of the United States.  The older generation on the other hand, they are more open about the past, once you get a drink or two in them that is.  But their tales are almost as far-fetched as the children’s.  Media coverage of the time was lost in a global EMP event that happened 2 years later (the cause of that is still classified, and perhaps a story for next year).  Since then the world has been on high alert.  We like to think that it’s made us stronger as a species, but it’s still the same.  Corrupt politicians in power, crazy programming preventing the robot apocalypse from rising.

One way or another though SONY effected everyone.  Each year on the anniversary different parts of the world remember it in their own way.  After all, New York City was the melting pot for so many different cultures, it’s no surprise that each culture would commemorate it some how.  A full inquiry into the events was undertaken by Congress.  Even through pressure from the media, the public, and the rest of the world, the President would not step down.  His party lost handily in the election of 2000.  In fact, it was credited with starting the Sinker party which pretty much swept the election.  For the time being, The United States is back to a 3 party system.  Though winners are being chosen now, and by the 2024 election, it’s speculated we’ll be back to a 2 party system.  Still, SONY changed the world.  Perhaps for the better.

Now, for one last time, take gander at the music while you listen to the tale:

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It’s a Halo Christmas

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I like the nice poem, and the overviews of the different custom made maps.  Overall the video above is a good throw back to the golden days of Halo.  I’m not particularly confident that 343 will manage to fix Halo with the eventual release of Halo 6. though I reserve the right to be wrong.  In the mean time, enjoy the video, and remember, The Forerunners are watching.

{reddit}

Stuck in a Crevasse

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Jamie Mullner was skiing in Switzerland when he fell into a crevasse in the ice.  Honestly, this is one of those things that terrifies me, even though I have no intention of ever skiing in the back country where this happens.  He does seem extremely calm throughout the whole ordeal, I wouldn’t be that’s for sure.

Anyway, there’s a nice video to get you all worked up for the coming Ski Season.

{F Stoppers}

The Winter Marblympics

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The Qualification rounds for the 2018 Winter Marblympics are on.  So far there are 2 events, Snow race and Curling.  Unlike Curling in real life, the Marblelympic version was quite boring.  Like the Summer games, this looks like it’s on track for a very fun filled series of events, and if the snow race was an indication, surprises are in store.  Please watch the event and show your support for the Marble team of your choice!

Would you like a Kool Kandy Kane?

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Candy Canes are a traditional Christmas delicacy.  And I use the word delicacy lightly.  It’s not exactly rare.  It is one of those things though that you really only see at one time of the year.  If you ever wondered how they are made, here are a series of videos curtesy of MAKE that show you just that.  Check after the jump for them all, I don’t want to bog down the home page with YouTube.

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Russia != Olympics

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Earlier this week the International Olympic Committee decided to ban Russia from the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.  This is sad news for a variety of reasons. None of them will come off as good, or nice, but it’s terrible to make the entire group of athletes pay for the sins of a few.  Really, does the Curling team need to worry about doping?  What about all the NHL players?  Surly the NHL does their own drug testing to prevent them from cheating.  (Not that it matters because the NHL isn’t allowing the players to participate in this year’s Olympics anyway).  But still, you get my drift.

Anyway, there’s still a chance some of them will choose to compete under a neutral flag.  Such a shame though.