I love the Times’ mini crossword puzzles, and I love analyzing statistics, so I combined the two. See them here.

Not really sure why that one puzzle took over one hour and 15 minutes. I’d like to think that I fell asleep before finishing it and it kept counting, but then it really should be four or eight hours.

Melting Toht Candle

January 24, 2016

When I saw that someone had made a candle that looked like Toht melting from Raiders of the Lost Ark, I had to get one! And of course, I had to make a timelapse video of it melting. Here’s the important part:

Ziegfeld Theater to close

The Ziegfeld Theater, NYC’s largest single-screen theater, is closing.

The massive Art Deco movie theater, which opened in 1969 and is now showing, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” is expected to shut its doors in just a few weeks.

The theater is expected to reopen in the fall of 2017 as the Ziegfeld Ballroom — a high-end event space for corporate events.

This is such a shame. I first saw The Force Awakens in a small 50-seat multiplex, and again at the Ziegfeld. The Ziegfeld was a much better experience. I’m going to miss this place.

January 23, 2016

Profile of a coat-check clerk

James Barron profiles Nina Rochelle for the Times’ Grace Notes column.

Ms. Rochelle never lost a coat. But she had one close call, when she worked at Sfuzzi, a rather loud cafe that opened on West 65th Street near Lincoln Center in the 1980s and, like Hawaii Kai, has long since closed. The mix-up came at the end of a long evening, and involved a regular customer, his nephew and their coats, which looked alike.

“We finally figured out the uncle showed up with the nephew’s coat,” Ms. Rochelle said. “The switch was made by them, right? Not by me. But they delayed my getting out of there when the uncle said, ‘This is not my coat.’ No, it’s not, it’s your nephew’s coat, but I didn’t realize that. The nephew had already left. I don’t remember whether the nephew called and said, ‘You’ve got my coat and I’ve got yours,’ but it was resolved in my favor.”

She seems to really like purple.

January 21, 2016

The Eagles were the worst band

Gersh Kuntzman at the NY Daily News explains why The Eagles were the worst rock and roll band:

Through the early 1970s, the Eagles defined the “easy listening” genre, as if rock and roll is supposed to be a warm glass of milk to get you to bed.

“The worst” may be going a bit far, but this needed to be said.

January 20, 2016

Everything you wanted to know about sauce packets

Atlas Obscura brings us every interesting fact about those ubiquitous sauce packets from purveyors of fast food.

Heinz sells an absurd number of these packets each single year—according to the company, that’s around 11 billion or so every 365 days, or two for every person on the planet. At nine grams each, that’s about 109,000 tons of ketchup. (Heinz uses more tomatoes than anyone else on the planet.)

I almost never use any of them, but I’m a better person for reading about them.

January 15, 2016

Star Wars and career trajectory

Walt Hickey at FiveThirtyEight looks at actor’s careers after being in a Star Wars movie.

Across the whole set, appearing in a Star Wars film is no guarantee of future success. Only half of the performers appeared in two or more subsequent non-Star Wars films. Only 1 in five managed to do eight or more subsequent films. About 36 percent never worked again.

January 2, 2016

On The Force Awakens

December 29, 2015

STOP READING IMMEDIATELY IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS.

MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD

You have been warned…

Continue reading ‘On The Force Awakens’ . . .

Ken Burns’ Star Wars

The Washington Post brings us Star Wars (the original trilogy) as if it were made by Ken Burns.

It’s pretty cute, but it makes me want Ken Burns to actually make one.

December 19, 2015

Squirrels attacking people

Squirrels in Novato, California have been attacking people, sometimes even jumping at them from trees.

The Marin County government and Marin Humane Society are warning residents to be on the lookout for angry squirrels in Novato, a city about 25 miles north of San Francisco. “The attacks have sent several people to the hospital. Squirrel teeth are sharp!” emails Lisa Bloch, a humane-society spokeswoman.

Expanding on the previous post, Australia has bears that drop out of trees and attack people.

December 6, 2015