Tag Archive: entertainment

Meet our match

In June, 2008, Astrid Joosten took a 10-minute treck through a bat cave in Uganda. A couple of weeks later, she was dead, courtesy of a virus closely related to Ebola. The cave was closed, but the Marburg virus lived on.

Discovered in the 1960s and named after the German town hosting the lab full of infectious green monkeys, Marburg laid low for another 30 years. Then 150 cases popped up in the Congo with a 90% mortality rate. (Dr. Stuart Nichol interview)

Zoonotic RNA Viruses can easily be considered the most dangerous of infections, and will very likely source the Next Big One. They don’t respond to antibiotics, frequently ignore antiviral meds, have high death rates, and adapt quickly. Hollywood’s tapped into the entertainment factor: Contagion, Outbreak, even zombie movies put viruses in center stage. Books abound. Imagination is tapped and exploited.

But the reality is a far cry from a two-hour popcornfest where the biggest threat is hoping your bladder will make it. Not even a week ago, the CDC reported 14 cases in Uganda, a country that claimed to be Ebola-free just a month ago. But financial constraints are a problem—Uganda can’t afford protective gear or pay for more healthcare workers. The best they can do is ask people to self-quarantine away from suspected infectious areas.

So what can we do? Sure, we can hand-wash more, or donate to the WHO. But just as dangerous as the rapid evolutionary pace of viruses, we fall victim to the ‘it won’t happen to me’ mentality. Admit it—you don’t care much what happens in Uganda.

We are a global community, which means we must care. We consume products from around the world: Colombian coffee, fish from China, and Italian sausage (yes, they do come from Italy). The only way you might be safe from an outbreak on the other side of the planet is to grown your own food. Even then, E. coli is a common invader.

Does it sometimes feel like we can’t win this war? Excuse me while I go bury my head in a bucket of popcorn.

The how-to of movie trailers

Check out BriTANicK for more…

When did pirates get their own day?

Today is Talk Like A Pirate Day. Seriously. Complete with news bits, a website, and Facebook perks [account settings -> general -> language -> English (Pirate)].

I’m speechless, and not just because Orlando Bloom‘s ‘avast’ makes me vomit a little in my mouth (dude, stick with elves). I suppose there’s something to be said for celebrating insanity, much like Al Pacino having the hots for Adam Sandler a’la drag queen (Jack and Jill…save 2 hours—watch paint dry).

They’ve taken a gory past and made it into a game show. I dunno about you, but if I’m going to celebrate a day about pirates, I’m more likely to visit my dark side and run around with an old cutlass chasing imaginary prey. Talk is way too tame for pirates.

So grab the muskets and give your neighbors something to head-scratch about 😉

Live & die on Mars

Dutch company, Mars One, plans to build a settlement on Mars by 2023. All settlers sign up for a one-way trip and their lives are then put on display via reality show (otherwise known as the source of funding).

Sounds like an awesome plan to become an overnight celebrity, though parties and shopping sprees may be hard to come by.

TV shows we want back!

While Fox, ABC, & NBC spit out new shows like they go through toilet paper, and Hollywood is obsessed with seeing which of them can one-up the Snow White war (really?!), I vote to bring back some of the awesomeness that we miss.

1) I Love Lucy. Really, I do. Anything else on my FIOS guide is upstaged by Lucy.

2) Outsourced. Indian call center managed by a displaced single guy from NY. Truly a gem of a show, especially for viewers with a multi-cultural family or anyone who’s ever had a tech support conversation with Gupta from Mumbai (who introduced himself as Kenneth from Detroit).

3) Dark Angel. Jessica Alba. ’nuff said.

What other candidates are there?