Categories
Geek

So it begins…

Elon Musk and Gary Oldman as Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg from “The Fifth Element,” side by side, pretty much with the same haircut.
Thanks to Jeannie Cool for the find!
Categories
Florida The Current Situation

Happy National Florida Day!

“Florida Man” comic book cover featuring the titular character riding an alligator as it jumps over a convertible.
There’s plenty more of this at Florida Man Comics’ site!

As far as I’m concerned, every day is National Florida Day, but in the official sense, that day happens today and every January 25th.

Joey deVilla and Anitra Pavka smiling in front of the Henry B. Plant Museum building and its silver minarets and palm trees.
Me and Anitra last Sunday.

For the past nine years — yes, it’s been that long since I moved here — the Sunshine State has also been the Accordion Guy State. I’ve made a home and found my place here, and I’ve somehow managed to not become a “Florida Man” news story (I still have time…).

“This is Florida” promotional map graphic.

Florida became a state on March 3, 1845, but “for reasons” — a perfectly legal defense in Florida — National Florida Day is celebrated on January 25 each year.

I am now legally required to present a list of Florida facts, so here you go:

  • Wherever you are in Florida, you are never more than 60 miles (100 km) away from the ocean.
  • The average Florida temperature ranges from 65° to 70° F (18° to 21° C) in the northern region and 74° to 77° F (23° to 25° C) degrees in the southern region.
  • No dinosaur fossils have ever been found in Florida. [Joey’s note: Clearly whoever wrote this fact has never been to The Villages.]
  • The only place on the planet where crocodiles and alligators live together is in the Florida Everglades.
  • Every public building in Florida has an outward opening door due to strong winds during hurricane season.
  • Florida is the flattest state in the United States of America. Florida is so flat in fact that its highest point is the lowest high point of any state in the USA. At just 345 feet (105 meters), Britton Hill, Florida’s highest peak, is lower than many of Miami’s skyscrapers.
  • Florida got its name from Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León, who named it ‘La Florida’, meaning “land of flowers”.
  • Florida has the longest coastline in the continental US.
  • Florida is the only state that borders the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Florida is the southernmost point in the USA. Technically Hawaii is the southernmost state in the country, but geographically, Florida is the southernmost point.
  • Greater Miami is the only metropolitan area in the country with two national parks. Miami is home to Everglades National Park and Biscayne National Park.
Joey deVilla in a lei and aloha shirt holding an oversized beer stein.
Livin’ it up Florida style.

How do I plan on celebrating National Florida Day? The Florida Way, of course: golf and drinks! Anitra and I both won a raffle that gets us a free session at Top Golf this evening!

The patio at Top Golf.
The deck at Top Golf.

I may also have to pick up some Florida Man comics…

Categories
Slice of Life

I’m in this tweet, and I’m okay with it.

Tweet by Victoria Paris (@VictoriaParis): I’m a firm believer that only one person in the relationship can be annoying on the internet. The other has to be a mysterious minimal poster.
Click to see the original.
Categories
The Current Situation

Happy Lunar New Year!

The rabbit is giving the traditional Lunar New Year greeting,
which translates to “congratulations and good luck.”

It’s another Lunar New Year, and this one is the year of the Rabbit, which starts today (January 22nd, 2023) and end on February 9, 2024. In Chinese culture and folklore, the Rabbit astrological sign is connected with peace, prosperity, and long life, and 2023 is supposed to be a year of hope. You might want to look back at previous Rabbit years (2011 and 1999) and see how they went for you.

Here’s hoping that this Year of the Rabbit goes better than the one in this video:

More about the Year of the Rabbit

Categories
Slice of Life

Bumper sticker of the day: “There’s no ‘I’ in ‘denial’”

Tap to view at full size.

It has a certain hand-made charm, doesn’t it?

Categories
It Happened to Me

Just another day at the office…

Joey deVilla in his home office, playing accordion in a triceratops mask.
Tap to view at full size.

I got the mask for an upcoming fundraiser gala for the Glazer Children’s Museum, who recently became the home of the world’s largest triceratops.

Categories
Tampa Bay

The world’s largest triceratops is moving to Tampa Bay!

Profile view of Big John, a triceratops skeleton.
Photo courtesy of Glazer Children’s Museum.
Tap to view at fill size.

Big John, the largest triceratops skeleton ever found (he’s in the Guinness Book of Records) is making his North American debut by moving to his new home: Tampa Bay, but more specifically, the Glazer Children’s Museum!

Banner: “Big John the Triceratops — Glazer Children’s Museum”

Named after the South Dakota rancher on whose land he was found, Big John is 8 meters (26 feet) long, 3 meters (10 feet) tall, and about the size of an RV. He’s also surprisingly intact, with 60% of his body bones and 75% of skull present.

Walter Stein poses beside one of Big John’s bones in the area where the skeleton was found.
Walter Stein poses beside one of Big John’s bones.
Photo courtesy of Glazer Children’s Museum.
Tap to view at fill size.

Big John is a recent find — 2014! He was found by Walter Stein, founder of PaleoAdventures, who are in the business of digging up fossils for commercial sale.

A lab worker works on one of Big John’s horns.
One of Big John’s horns.
Photo courtesy of Glazer Children’s Museum.
Tap to view at fill size.

The Italian firm Zoic srl purchased Big John, after which they removed the rocks from his skeleton and replicated the missing bones using a combination of sculpting, casting and 3-D printing.

Head-on view of Big John, a triceratops skeleton.
Photo courtesy of Glazer Children’s Museum.
Tap to view at fill size.

Big John then went on display in Europe and was put up for auction in 2021. He was purchased by the Pagidipati family of Tampa for almost $8 million. Rather than have it sit in a private collection which almost nobody would see, the Pagidipatis chose to find a place where everyone could see it, and that place is the Glazer Children’s Museum, located right on Tampa’s Riverwalk.

Detail view of the skull and horns of Big John, a triceratops skeleton.
Photo courtesy of Glazer Children’s Museum.
Tap to view at fill size.

“Our interest in purchasing Big John and other specimens is first and foremost to make them available to
the public and for research,” said Siddhartha Pagidipati. We want to do our part to help the Tampa Bay area become the best place in our country for families to live and raise their children.”

Artist’s concept illustration of the Big John exhibit for the Glazer Children’s Museum: “Big John Reveal”.
Illustration courtesy of Glazer Children’s Museum.
Tap to view at fill size.
Artist’s concept illustration of the Big John exhibit for the Glazer Children’s Museum: “Big John Side View”.
Illustration courtesy of Glazer Children’s Museum.
Tap to view at fill size.

You’d better believe there are big plans to show off Big John properly. He’s going to be the centerpiece of a brand new exhibit at the Glazer Children’s Museum, and I’ve included the exhibit designs in this article.

Artist’s concept illustration of the Big John exhibit for the Glazer Children’s Museum: A long hallway with displays about Big John.
Illustration courtesy of Glazer Children’s Museum.
Tap to view at fill size.
Artist’s concept illustration of the Big John exhibit for the Glazer Children’s Museum: A long hallway with displays about Big John.
Illustration courtesy of Glazer Children’s Museum.
Tap to view at fill size.
Artist’s concept illustration of the Big John exhibit for the Glazer Children’s Museum: A tunnel where visitors can see and touch dinosaur bones embedded in rock.
Illustration courtesy of Glazer Children’s Museum.
Tap to view at fill size.
Artist’s concept illustration of the Big John exhibit for the Glazer Children’s Museum: “Who Weighs More?” - a scale where people can compare their weight to the weight of Big John’s skull.
Illustration courtesy of Glazer Children’s Museum.
Tap to view at fill size.

You won’t have to wait long to see Big John — his exhibit at the Glazer Children’s Museum will open on Memorial Day Weekend (Saturday, May 27th)!

Want to know more? The Tampa Bay Times has an article: Tampa’s Glazer Children’s Museum to receive record-setting dinosaur skeleton for new display.

What’s the Glazer Children’s Museum?

The front of the Glazer Children’s Museum.
The front of the Glazer Children’s Museum.
Tap to view at full size.

The Glazer Children’s Museum is Tampa’s children’s museum, located in downtown Tampa. It’s the home of a lot of interactive exhibits, hands-on activities, and space to run around, climb, read, and make friends.

Need a kid-friendly summary of the triceratops? Click here, or click the pic!

Children’s museums are important. They provide a place to learn and explore interests through hands-on experiences and activities. When you’re young, nothing expands your mind like interactivity that engages all the senses, and that’s something that children’s museums do very, very well.

The Glazer Children’s Museum’s mission is to serve the children of Tampa Bay by providing a clean, safe, and fun outlet for imagination and discovery.