Travel decals: another lost art form. From Atlantic Cities:


Our travel is more transient these days, at least physically speaking; the documentation of our journeys less tangible, more digital. When we dig out our luggage for a trip, we think of TSA regulations and packing light; we don’t allow much time for falling down the rabbit-hole of memories that a chance glimpse of an old, well-traveled suitcase can ideally inspire.

True. The piece interviews Francisca Mattéoli, who's written a book about the art of the travel label. She makes a wise point:

Nowadays things are not made to last. We don’t know if all the new technology is going to exist 10 years from now, but I still have my parents’ travel albums and the labels they used to attach to their suitcases. It is the duration that also makes these luggage labels so fascinating. They still exist centuries later. They made it across time, keeping their elegance and dream. I am not sure that Instagram is going to pass the centuries.

Oh, I can answer that one. We all can.

I used to have a cheap suitcase that smelled of old soap; whenever I could pick up a decal and slap it on, I could. Unfortunately I didn’t travel much, so there was just a few decals from the usual childhood destinations - Rushmore, Reptile Gardens. Since then I’ve collected a few. None of which I can find right now. So here are some examples from the Dover Royalty-free Suitcase Labels CD:





If you're boarding the S.S.  Lurline, you might get one of these:





Here are two example I photographed; any idea where I took these shots?








Why, yes, I did find those on a suitcase in the Ice Capades train car at Heritage Square at the State Fair. They'll be there this year. Nothing ever changes in that train. 

AHHHHHHH Another video of the tornado. The fellow was in a shelter, saw a crack in the wall, and held up his phone. Watch for the flying tire at :37.



Via Petapixel, which notes "Gafford says the video is vertical due to the simple fact that the tiny hole in his storm shelter was just large enough to stick his phone through vertically. It was just pure chance that the gap offered a perfect view of the funnel as it passed through the area." So don't berate him for vertical video. That is the only situation in which vertical video is permitted.


NERD They were going to make “Jurassic Park 4” and then they weren’t and then it was on again but now . . . . limbo. Why? Because they can’t get Bill Murray to commit to playing his beloved Ghostbuster character. No, that’s not it. Because . . . I don’t know. No one can figure out how to shake the money tree so everyone standing around with a bucket is happy for a while, I guess. But here’s the good news: it’ll be a reboot! Because that’s what everyone wants. A new version of the original classic by a lesser director, with updated CGI that gives everything that plastic sheen of unreality that keeps your brain from saying “this is real.” Besides, the original has Samuel L. Jackson smoking cigarettes, which is a bad influence, as well as a peculiar computer interface that kids today cannot relate to whatsoever. So it must be remade.

Everything must be remade! I pity the kid who’s playing Peter Parker now, because he’s going to be sent to Carousel in a few years when it’s time to reboot Spiderman for the next generation.

On the other hand, there’s good news, also from Slashfilm:

Microsoft is announcing the new Xbox, called Xbox One, right now, and is promoting the box as an all-in-one home entertainment solution. As part of the hardware announcement, the company has been touting new ways to interact with television, gaming, and other content. We’ve known that Xbox Live has been planning to move into some of the original TV space that Netflix has been doing, and now we know what the vehicle will be: a live-action Halo TV series, with involvement from Steven Spielberg.

The bad news is that you’ll only be able to see it on Xbox Live.  Man, this “a la carte” model stinks. Aren’t you nostalgic for the days when we just had four stations, and you didn’t have to pay extra to get the good stuff?

No, didn’t think so.

In related geekery,  today’s irritating YOU headline comes from Moviefone:


'Return of the Jedi': 25 Things You Didn't Know About the Original 'Star Wars' Trilogy Finale


What if I know some of them? Can I ask them to change the title? Oh, no one believes anything Moviefone writes; they said they had 25 things I didn’t know about the Star Wars trilogy, but it was actually something like 19. They’re sloppy like that all the time. 

Here’s one of those Things You Didn’t Know:

The Ewoks also got their own animated TV series, "Star Wars: Ewoks," which aired 35 episodes from 1985 to '86. It also took place during the interval between "Empire" and "Jedi."

You don’t say. Perhaps the author assumes everyone just blocked that part out of their mind. Ah well. The next three movies will be good, and make up for the other Star Wars movies that suffer from the leaden-handed artistic halitosis of George Lucas.

In other related news - inasmuch as these things are dorky, all of ‘em - Microsoft’s Xbox One launch wasn’t all hugs & bunnies, Engadget says:

Surely they must have known these were the issues people - real people, spending their hard-earned money - would be most interested to hear about? Yet when the questions started coming in about used games, about forced connectivity, about word that you can't even lend games to a friend, Microsoft reps went to pieces. Twitter accounts contradicted executive statements. Answers that should have been given in full were only given in half. And when clear responses were given, well, the news still sucked.

People are unhappy and they are unhappy on the internet, which just makes it worse. Example from an engadget comments thread:

The new xbox one is a big flop .Why dont they just update the servers for xbox live.Know one wont to watch usa soccer .If you in the u.k.The U.K wont free football tennis cricket channel.Not a crap usa soccer one .grrrrr

You can just imagine the executive reading that, fingers steepled, thinking “this is just the sort of voice we need to heed.” But some complaints seem spot-on: no used games, no backward compatibility, and the always-on feature so it wakes up when you speak to it.

All of which will be standard across all consoles in five years. It's what they want to do; it's what you'll end up buying.