Ventipop #229 :: A Glimmer, The Study of Dreams & Windex Tears


Laugh. Think. Feel.

2 Patrons…and Counting

You may have noticed, I removed all ads from Ventipop when I rebooted the site last month. So…the only revenue I receive is from “Buy Me A Coffee” link on the homepage and the “Become A Patron” link on the top of every page of Venti. Last week, I received a coffee and gained my 2nd Patron which is a monthly contribution. (Thanks Lisa!) I don’t expect it, but it sure is appreciated and good people affirming when it happens. If you can click one of those links and give even a little, it helps offset the costs associated with the site.

Working in a mirror factory is something I can totally see myself doing.
— Anonymous

Ask For Rick Astley…and Ye Shall Receive


Charlesgate Confidential is terrific.
— Stephen King

Book Recommendation - Charlesgate Confidential by Scott Von Doviak

A breathtakingly clever, twist-filled narrative that moves from 1946 to 1988 to 2014 and back again. Charlesgate Confidential is a tremendous modern-day pulp story that combines fact, fiction, legend, and baseball. It reads like an unassisted triple play and is so fun.

I’m not usually attracted to this genre, but even the Wall Street Journal gave it a good review so I decided to check it out. Read it in almost one sitting. Von Doviak does a fantastic job of creating setting, tone, dialogue and characters for each distinctive decade. From the 40’s rat-a-tat-tat rapid fire made-guy dialogue to the 1980’s record shop, big hair-trying to get laid in college narrative to the present day detective looking for treasure storyline, Charlesgate Confidential is a throwback and a flashforward joy of a read all-in-one.

Charlesgate Confidential
By Scott Von Doviak

Album Recommendation - There’s Always Glimmer by Gia Margaret - Official Site, Featured Song “Groceries”

…The Best Tradition of All

Giving the Gift of Gift Guides

I used to put out a Ventipop Gift Guide, but then I decided my gift to the world would be to stop putting out another gift guide into the world. There’s already way too many of them. But here are my favorite go-to Gift Guides:

Tom Cruise & Christopher McQuarrie Explain The Proper Way To Watch Action Movies On Your TV

Movie Trailer of the Week

Inappropriate Non-PC Comment of the Week

This little gem ran through my brain as I was attending my daughter’s choir concert tonight: “I'd like to start a choir that stars only kids with speech impediments.”

Sway bells wing, aw you wistenin’?

In da wayne, snowis gwistenin’…

Seriously, who wouldn’t be entertained by that?


Pause-vertising is the latest attempt by advertisers to get tv viewer’s eyeballs and ears on their commercials. Ads that only run when you pause a tv show while streaming. "Imagine an ad for soda or beer that comes on the screen just as you decide to stop the action during a run of an episode of Black-ish on Hulu to go to the kitchen for a snack, or a pitch for toilet paper that begins to move in the moments before you choose to halt the video stream for a bathroom break," reports Brian Steinberg. "And yet, there’s no guarantee viewers will welcome 'pause-vertising' any more than they do the current crop of 30-second pitches." Read more about Pause-vertising…here.

Snaps & Buckles & Japanese Things…

Science, Bitch!

JAXA new research center

JAXA new research center

Interview of the Week

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel started season two this week. Here’s an interview with the starring actress Rachel Brosnahan. “[Frances McDormand] said something to me that I will never forget, that there seem to be 27,000 new products a day out there to alter your face… but that your face is a road map to your life and to everything that has made you who you are up until that point. And why would you ever want to erase any part of that? That every line on her face is every smile she’s ever smiled and every tear she’s ever cried and frown she’s ever frowned. And she wears them with pride.”

Fall Asleep In Two Minutes

This military secret formula for falling asleep in two minutes is said to work for 96 per cent of people after six weeks of practice.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Relax the muscles in your face, including tongue, jaw and the muscles around the eyes

  2. Drop your shoulders as far down as they’ll go, followed by your upper and lower arm, one side at a time

  3. Breathe out, relaxing your chest followed by your legs, starting from the thighs and working down

  4. You should then spend 10 seconds trying to clear your mind before thinking about one of the three following images:

  • You’re lying in a canoe on a calm lake with nothing but a clear blue sky above you

  • You’re lying in a black velvet hammock in a pitch-black room

  • You say “don’t think, don’t think, don’t think” to yourself over and over for about 10 seconds.

A Beautiful Thing

Can a Windex ad move you to tears?




In a world that has decided that it’s going to lose its mind, be more kind my friend. Try to be more kind.
— Frank Turner


The Best Thing I Saw Yesterday :: Surgery Resident

And it’s not like he can only be partially in V-tach, that’s like being a little bit pregnant. You’re either in V-tach or you’re not.
— Annie Onishi

...The Best Thing I Saw Yesterday: 

Annie Onishi, general surgery resident at Columbia University, takes a look at emergency room and operating room scenes from a variety of television shows and movies and breaks down how accurate they really are. Would the adrenaline scene from Pulp Fiction actually play out that way? Is all that medical jargon we hear in shows like Grey's Anatomy and House true-to-life? Is removing a bullet really a cure-all for a gunshot wound?

A Less Than Perfect Dynamic Tripod

Call it reverse evolution as kids around the world lose the ability to hold a pen correctly.

David Lynch Teaches Typing

Do you have five minutes? Then master writer-director David Lynch can teach you how to type. Developer Rhino Stew has just unleashed an excellent parody of Lynch’s work in the form of an early 1990s style typing program.

Computational Scatterography

Researchers are developing a camera that can see through skin which will make it easier for doctors to diagnose a wide range of health conditions. Dermatologists are not overly impressed with the new technology.

"Clean Meat" Is Coming

The Frustrated Pharmacist

Why can't your pharmacist tell you that your $20 prescription could cost only $8? All of that may be about to change.

Sadly, Bulletproof Clothing

"From bespoke suits to safari jackets, the new breed of bulletproof clothing is comfortable and undetectable."

Inside America’s Growing Bulletproof Clothing Industry: Retailers are offering ballistic apparel to wary US citizens, and it’s not cheap.

Circadian Rhythm Is Gonna Get You

Rather than jar ourselves awake with an alarm, we prefer this gentle sunrise digital clock, good for heavy sleepers and kids alike. Helps with mood and circadian rhythm modulation. 

And in a related note...Late Sleepers Rejoice! Science says you should never apologize for sleeping's why.

A Newfangled Intervention Called Community

"It could, if the results stand up, be one of the most dramatic medical breakthroughs of recent decades. It could transform treatment regimes, save lives, and save health services a fortune. Is it a drug? A device? A surgical procedure?" The GuardianThe town that's found a potent cure for illness – community.

...More Science Stories:

Daily Grind :: We Shouldn't Have To Google Stuff To Be Interesting People

I think we're all getting dumbed down in the world of Google and info at your finger tips. We don't know anything anymore. We don't even make an effort to store data. We know, if we need it, it's only an internet search away. I remember, one time spending an entire week trying to remember the name of the blind guy band from the movie Roadhouse. That was like my hobby for an entire week. Every waking second, all my free time, every lazy minute, racking my brain, calling friends who couldn't remember either. They'd say stupid things like, "Was he really blind?" just to piss me off. 

Nowadays, you'd Bing or iMDB the movie Roadhouse and boom. You'd have the answer. If you really want verification we're getting dumber, ask a person from an older generation anything about something that really matters. Let's make the cut-off age 50+. Go ahead, ask them. I bet they know it or at the very least, they know more than you do. You see, they were raised to know stuff, not remember stuff. They didn't grow up with the internet, a computer, a smart phone or empathetic adults coddling them with a "Good Job!" every five minutes.

"I thought your brain would be bigger."

"I thought your brain would be bigger."

We shouldn't have to Google stuff to be interesting people. That's the point of today's Daily Grind. Here are a bunch of interesting tidbits on everything from cars to science to sex to relationships. When I read these articles, I really tried to store them away, and hopefully you will too. Store all this up so you can recall it the next time you head out with some friends or family. They'll be amazed at how interesting you've suddenly become. Then, maybe stumble over to the juke box, drop a quarter and play some Jeff Healey Band. (I wasn't going to leave you hanging like that; I know the pain.)

  • If your "Low Fuel" light on your car burns out, you have a problem and may need to seek help or  get another job so you can afford more gas. Do you know how far you can go once your low fuel light illuminates? Here's a vehicle specific handy guide that may save you from getting stranded on the side of the road.
  • I'd never heard of paratransit before reading this article. Technology offers numerous ways to help Grandma get around.
  • I haven't played this game since I was like eight or nine: "Will It Flush?"

...The Last Drop

The Maps Are Wrong, Onions Are Apples and The Brits Are Off Their Rockers

"Science does not know its debt to imagination."

                                                   ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Turns out all the maps are wrong, you don't live where you think you live and we've been taught to look at the Earth upside-down. Cartographers use a 2D projection to convert our spherical world into a flat world for mapping purposes; which distorts the hell out of everything and misrepresents the sizes of geography everywhere. This projection is called the Mercator Projection. After a couple scientists watched an episode of The West Wing (see clip below), they created this app, The True Size Of.., with the hope teachers would use it to show their students just how big the world is.

We continue with even more science below as we get all nerdy on a Friday up in dis hizzy.