originally published July 7, 2012
Today seems like a good day to take out the trash.
I have been compiling an extensive list of potential topics for the past few months. Some (like yesterday’s barbershop article) have been collecting dust on the proverbial shelf for quite some time, Wikipedia’s fickle ‘Random Article’ button having failed to lure me into a must-write-now scenario.
These topics were intriguing enough to warrant a scribble as a bullet-point in my ‘Article Ideas’ document, but they don’t have a thousand words in them. So, in the interest of thinning out my herd of musery and lending a shovel-full of words (but not much more) to topics that merit them, I present this collection of… stuff.
This follicle-challlenged gentleman is Dragan Zivadinov. He is a theatre director from Slovenia. A number of the sentences in his Wiki-bio only serve to make me feel like a theatre neophyte. Zivadinov “constructed the style formation retro-gardism.” Apparently he is also known for having started some theatrical process “through the style formation of telecosmism.”
I don’t understand any of that, and if it was explained to me I probably wouldn’t care. What does fascinate me though, is that Zivadinov created a theatrical production called Biomechanics Noordung in 1999. This was the first fully zero-gravity production in theatre history.
Zivadinov was trained as a cosmonaut in the late 90’s. On December 15, he staged the play in an Ilyushin 76 MDK airplane, one of those giant zero-gravity simulator planes that flies up and down in parabolic arcs. This is similar to the plane known as the ‘Vomit Comet’, which was used to shoot the weightless scenes in Apollo 13. On board were eight performers, eight audience members, eight stage techs / camera operators, and the plane’s crew.
The performance was divided into mini-scenes that were played out in zero-gravity, regular gravity, and double-gravity, depending on where in the parabola the plane happened to be. There’s a 71-second segment of the show online, and it looks… well, chaotic. I’d certainly love to see what dramatic possibilities exist within this type of situation, but the price of admission would be through the roof, and I’m still scraping my pennies together in anticipation of The Dark Knight Rises.
I couldn’t wait to blow this one off the list. The Panic of 1819 was the first major economic crisis in the United States. The country had been experiencing a post-War-of-1812 period of calm known as the Era of Good Feelings. That sounds like such a joyous time to be alive, doesn’t it? I’m hoping that if we can get America out of its Mideast debacles, maybe we can have a repeat of this, call it the Era of Righteous Vibes or something.
Depending on who you believe, the nation may have hit a natural bust-after-boom in its economy, inflation and a new banking system may have caused things to go wrong, or it might be partly due to Europe having been turned into a post-war slab of decimation thanks to the Napoleonic Wars. Either way, it was the Great Depression, but worse. They didn’t even have jazz music and talkie movies to keep people amused.
President Monroe didn’t splash a bucket of new jobs all over the economy’s white t-shirt, stimulating the nipples of the workforce into a perky, erect state the way that Roosevelt did with his New Deal. He offered up the Land Act of 1920 and the Relief Act of 1921, neither of which have their own Wikipedia pages, so I’ll just hang up the phone on this topic without really figuring out what they’re about.
Sorry, but this is Take Out The Trash Day.
No fat jokes please. This is Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, or ‘Iz’ (because… well, come on, he’s in show business). You probably know him best from his ukulele cover, blending “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” and “What A Wonderful World”. If you’ve never heard it, then you probably haven’t seen any movies made in the last 15 years, because this song has been in roughly six thousand of them. Here. Enjoy.
Iz was a strong advocate for Hawaiian independence, a topic which may someday warrant its own kilograph on this site. From what I’ve read about him, he was a funny, kind guy. I’ve listened to a lot of his music, and while I’m not a fan of some of his arrangement choices, his voice is soulful and warm as the Kaimuki sun, and it glides over the strums of his ukulele like a scoop of cool ice cream down the grooves of a palm frond.
As you may have guessed, Iz’s downfall was his size. At his peak he was 757 pounds. As with many people that large, respiratory problems caught up to him, and he passed away on June 26, 1997, at the young age of 38.
To give you an idea of how important Iz was to Hawaiian culture, his coffin lay in state at the capitol building in Honolulu, only the third time that has ever happened (the first for someone who wasn’t in politics). Ten thousand people attended his funeral. Iz was a big guy, and a big deal.
The last scrap of trash in the heap is a number. 1510.
1510 is natural. A natural number is a typical, normal, countable whole number.
1510 is deficient. If you add up all the divisors of the number (1, 2, 5, 10, 151, 302, 755, 1510), it totals 2736. That is less than double the number (which would be 3020), so that means it’s a deficient number. I don’t know why this is a thing.
1510 is odious. This means that if you write it out in binary (which Google tells me is 0b10111100110), there are an odd number of ones. Again, I think some mathematical terms were invented simply because mathematicians were bored.
1510 is untouchable. An untouchable number can’t be expressed as the sum of all the proper divisors of another number. For example, the only proper divisors of 9 are 1 and 3. Add those together and you get 4. Therefore, 4 is not an untouchable number. 1510 is, which makes it as bad-ass as these guys:
1510 is subprime. This has nothing to do with mortgage rates; it means it’s one away from 1511, which is a prime number (only dividable by itself and 1).
1510 is a palindrome. Sort of. You need to stick a zero in front of it, then it can be read right-to-left the same as left-to-right.
That’s as much math as I can handle, and as much trash as I need to haul to the proverbial curb today.