Mental Debris

If it’s interesting but doesn’t fit into one of the main site categories, it’s Mental Debris.

The New York State Pavilion Gets Its Day in the Sun

The New York State Pavilion Gets Its Day in the Sun

Featured Posts, Mental Debris
I was not born until a decade after the 1964-65 New York World's Fair ended, so I've only ever been able to experience it through home movies, photographs, and postcards. Having never attended a World's Fair in the United States -- the last of which was held in 1984 -- it's always been a little difficult to understand the spell that those events cast over millions of Americans in the 20th century. The most visible remnants of that once-glittering spectacle in Queens are the Unisphere, which sits a stone's throw from Citi Field, and the New York State Pavilion. The Pavilion, actually comprised of three distinct elements -- the Tent of Tomorrow, a trio of concrete observation towers, and the Theaterama -- has been abandoned since the 1970s, its metal portions rusting and its paint fading.
A How-To Guide for Scanning View-Master Reels

A How-To Guide for Scanning View-Master Reels

Mental Debris
Recently a visitor to my View-Master gallery wrote in and asked how I scan my reels and get them ready for publication. So as a public service I'll go through the steps I take to get an image from a reel to you. Note that I don't profess to be an expert in this area, and by no means do I claim to have the best technique. I also tend to make things much more complicated than necessary, so keep that in mind. So here is my humble guide to scanning View-Master reels and getting them cleaned up. The Hardware For my reel scanning I use an Epson Perfection 1660 Photo Scanner. It's a rather old model -- at least a decade -- but does the job. If memory serves it came with plastic photo scan adapters, but they have long since been lost. See that opaque strip in the middle of the lid's un...
A polite request for Steve Jobs bashers to STFU

A polite request for Steve Jobs bashers to STFU

Mental Debris
I can't pretend to be personally moved by Steve Jobs' death. I can acknowledge the impact he had on modern technology and our society, and still not be all that upset that he's no longer with us. But here's the thing -- last night, while the internet poured out its sympathy and grief over Steve Jobs, I decided that instead of being a phony I just wouldn't say anything at all. I really wish some of you Steve Jobs/Apple bashers would do the same. I read a lot of negative commentary yesterday regarding Jobs, and it seems to break down into a few major gripes. Allow me to address them here. You say: Why should I care about Steve Jobs? I don't even own an iPod. I say: Good job on demonstrating your short-sightedness. The fact that you don't own an iPod or any other Apple products, beli...
Even though nobody asked, here are my thoughts on bin Laden

Even though nobody asked, here are my thoughts on bin Laden

Mental Debris
So Osama bin Laden is dead at last. Maybe. Probably. It's been fewer than 12 hours since I saw the news, but here are my thoughts and impressions so far: 1 -- I feel not one ounce of joy that he is dead, as this hardly means the so-called War on Terror is over. You better believe there will be another bin Laden popping up any time now. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if there were already plans in place for more attacks to take place in the event that bin Laden was killed or captured. 2 -- This is not the same thing as getting rid of Hitler at the end of World War II, despite many people making that clumsy comparison. This killing is a symbolic victory, nothing more. Its military or strategic value is negligible. 3 -- We lost hundreds, maybe thousands, of lives and spent billions...
License plate countdown redux

License plate countdown redux

Mental Debris
Residents of the Empire State are not shy about voicing their opinion when it comes to their state government, and the recent imbroglio concerning a potential new license plate is no exception.  At issue was last week's announcement that all New Yorkers would be forced to pony up $25 to pay for a newly designed license plate, starting in April 2010.  The new plates were projected to bring an additional $260 million into the state's cash-strapped coffers. But the people have spoken, and now it appears that Governor David A. Paterson is ready to rescind the plan, as long as the state legislature can find another way to make up for the revenue.  What Gov. Patterson didn't want to admit, but what I know to be the truth, is that he could ill afford the PR black eye of having his state knocke
OK God, lemme have it!  (‘it’ being a natural gas pipeline)

OK God, lemme have it! (‘it’ being a natural gas pipeline)

Mental Debris
I try to keep things light around here, and therefore relatively free of politics.  But this is simply too rich to pass up.  It's a video of vice presidential candidate and current Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, delivering a speech to the Wasilla Assembly of God (her one-time church). According to the video uploader, the speech was delivered about three months ago, so it's not a long-lost nugget from Palin's past like the video of her as a young sportscaster or the pictures of her as an aspiring beauty queen.  And that means it's fair game. I'm not going to get into the strictly spiritual aspects of this clip, as I try to maintain a healthy level of respect for the religious beliefs of others.  But a few things stood out as rather disturbing - see if you can guess what they are!
The first 5,000 popped collars win a free home tanning kit!

The first 5,000 popped collars win a free home tanning kit!

Mental Debris
I can't believe I missed this little announcement that Continental Airlines Arena (formerly Brendan Byrne Arena) is now going to be called the IZOD Center, but it is now abundantly clear that New Jersey isn't even trying to stop making itself the butt of jokes.  And to think, according to the article we just missed being home to the Southpole Dome or Rocawear Arena!  I suppose it could be worse -- we could see the Jets and Giants playing next door in Zubaz Stadium. Anyway, see you next year at IROC-a-Thon '08!
Hit the road Jack

Hit the road Jack

Mental Debris
I can't believe I missed this while I was away, but apparently last week it was announced that WCBS-FM, the long-running New York oldies station, will be returning to the airwaves this week. This is great news not only for oldies fans (of which I am one), but also for listeners who felt shafted by WCBS's unceremonious departure in June 2005. The details of the switch from oldies to Jack FM are chronicled here, but here's the short version - After 33 years as an oldies station (and with still healthy ratings), WCBS was yanked off the air with no notice and replaced by the Jack FM format. Local institutions like Cousin Brucie Morrow were dumped after decades of service, and loyal listeners were left in the lurch. The change was a slap in the face to fans of the station, and epitomized ...