Filmed In New Mexico: The Lost Room

ThelostroomI saw the Lost Room expecting it to be some cheesy SciFi channel B movie. Instead I found the mini series has a good story, good acting and I couldn’t stop watching until I found out what happened at the end. From Wikipedia:

The series revolves around the titular room and some of the everyday items from that room which possess unusual powers. The show’s protagonist, Joe Miller, is searching for these objects to rescue his daughter, Anna, who has disappeared inside the Room. Once a typical room at a 1960s motel along U.S. Route 66, the Lost Room has existed outside of normal time and space since 1961, when what is only referred to as “the Event” took place.

It was completely filmed in New Mexico. In one scene that was supposed to take place in Las Vegas, NV a Albuquerque city bus drives by.

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The Trestle At Kirtland Air Force Base

Boing Boing explains what The Trestle is at Kirtland Air Force Base. Further information is available at the wikipedia page for the the ATLAS-I (Air Force Weapons Lab Transmission-Line Aircraft Simulator), along with some photos showing aircraft on the Trestle being tested. The Trestle is easily viewable when landing or taking off from the Albuquerque Sunport.

The Trestle, Kirtland Air Force Base, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Constructed over four years in the late 1950s at a then-astronomical cost of $58 million, the Trestle is still the largest all-wooden structure in the world, comprising over 6 million feet of timber. Part of the Air Force’s research into the after effects of a nuclear blast, a range of aircraft, including huge B-52 bombers and Air Force One were hauled up onto the Trestle, where they would be bombarded with electromagnetic pulse waves (EMP) fired from an emitter on either side.

EMP waves travel long distances in a very short amount of time and can seriously disrupt electronic systems, as we also know from powerful solar emissions. Understanding how EMP might affect the functioning of retaliatory nukes, bombers or command and control aircraft was therefore an essential part of post-apocalyptic preparations.

Every element of the Trestle, right down to its oversized nuts and bolts, had to be wooden so that none of its own components would interfere with the effects of the EMP wave on the aircraft being tested (though apparently there are some small metal o-ring components deep in the mix). Inspecting all the joints took a dedicated team a whole year; as soon as they had finished it was time to start again.

A unique monument to Cold War rigor and ingenuity, reminiscent of a huge fairground ride, perhaps the Cyclone, Coney Island’s wooden roller coaster, or a wooden labyrinth, the Trestle is now a condemned structure, too unstable to use, too expensive to dismantle. Today it provides a home to local wildlife, including a colony of great horned owls who can be heard screeching from within its depths. Our guide tells us that she likes to collect the skulls of their prey, which they leave scattered around the base of the structure.

What Movies Represent New Mexico

Movies By State

On social networking site Reddit, user subtonix posted a map of the US which shows movies that represent each state. I saw it reposted too many places to not comment on it. Some good movies represented some states well, like Raising Arizona for Arizona but New Mexico was not well represented by the movie The Tao of Steve.

I never heard of The Tao of Steve so I put it in my Netflix queue and moved it to the top. Generally I found the movie too predictable, kind of slow and didn’t care about the characters. Other than the movie taking place in Santa Fe, New Mexico, I didn’t see how it had anything to do with New Mexico. The characters and story could have taken place anywhere and it wouldn’t have made any difference to the movie.

There’s several other movies I think would make better representation of New Mexico with the top of the list being The Milagro Beanfield War. While the movie is not a true accounting of any story, I think it represents something that could really happen. Wikipedia describe the film.

Filmed on location in Truchas, New Mexico, the film is set in the fictional rural town of Milagro, with a population of 426. In keeping with the northern New Mexico setting that it is depicted as being a part of, Milagro is a predominantly Hispanic and Catholic town, with a largely interrelated population.
The picture tells of one man’s quixotic struggle as he defends his small beanfield and his community against much larger business and New Mexico state political interests.

There are several other movies that could do a better job. Listed are a few: White Sands, Gas Food Lodging, Wild Wild West, Wyatt Earp, Young Guns. What suggestions do you have?

Fake Picture Of Mechanically Separated Chicken

MSC.jpg

A tumblr blog called Early Onset Of Night posted a picture of that they claim is mechanically separated chicken. The substance looks like a extruded pink ice cream.

Basically, the entire chicken is smashed and pressed through a sieve—bones, eyes, guts, and all. it comes out looking like this.

I’m by no means an expert on mechanically separated chicken but I think some critical thinking would be helpful. According to Wikipedia, mechanically separated meat machines are designed to separate the bone from the meat, not grind everything together into a paste. The picture and text has been reposted all over the internet as if it was true and many sites like Gizmodo are even claiming this is what Chicken Nuggets from McDonalds are made of (Lack of story verification is why I don’t read Gizmodo anymore and what does this have to do with gizmos). I’ve eaten Chicken McNuggets and they don’t look anything like this. I don’t believe that the FDA would allow a product on the market made of a whole chicken ground up into unrecognizable pulp with bacteria intact. I don’t know what this is a picture of but I’m pretty sure it’s not mechanically separated chicken.

Gizmodo commenter Jackdilla discribes MSC:

I sell over 100,000lbs of this monthly to companies all over the country. It’s not gonna kill you but let me clear up some confusion.

You would never find yourself eating a chicken nugget or a patty made from MSC. They are mostly made for lost cost feeding programs such as prisons.

The people below saying that its made from ground up chickens are incorrect. After the chicken is deboned and you have removed the breasts, drums, wings and so on you are left with the chicken carcass, which is just a bunch of bone with tiny pieces of meat attached. That is thrown into a special machine that grinds it up and separates the meat from the bone fragments. There are no eyes, skin, organs, claws, beaks or anything of that nature.

AND Mcdonalds uses all white breast meat in their chicken nuggets. So does every other fast food restaurant chain.

MSC is mostly used in hot dogs. Unless it says All beef or all pork then its made with chicken MSC. If it says meat then it can be a mixture of beef/pork/MSC.

It’s just a way for manufacturers to cut down on waste and provide a cheaper product for us.

A YouTube video shows a automatic poultry deboner in action.

http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/v/_eAc5DC1KE0?fs=1&hl=en_US&border=1

Snopes has an article with this same picture and text. They provide additional information about MSC and how the information that is with the picture is incorrect. They don’t have any information about where the picture is from.

I probably should have named this entry “This Is Not A Picture Of Mechanically Separated Chicken” because it’s clearly a real picture of something, I just don’t think it was ever an animal product. It looks to me to be some sort of foam rubber product possibly used for insulation.

Note: Also NOT PINK SLIME!

Green2V: Non Existence Solar Company To Build Big Ass Factory In Rio Rancho

http://www.krqe.com/video/videoplayer.swf?dppversion=7267

Governor Richardson was with Mayor Tom Swisstack of Rio Rancho today to announce that Green2V will build a million square-foot factory and headquarters in Rio Rancho. With Advent Solar and Schott AG building solar factories in Albuquerque, I wondered when one would build in Rio Rancho.

I have a number of concerns about this company, primarily that the company doesn’t seem to exist. As far as I can tell the privately owned Green2V doesn’t have any buildings or even a website and Wikipedia doesn’t have a page for them. The companies CEO, Bill Sheppard, is a former Intel New Mexico manager. Convenient since I suspect a large number of Green2V employees will come from the Intel New Mexico site. I don’t know where they are getting their money to build this company, what experience they have or what their business plan is.

The only thing I know is that their ambitious plan involves building in downtown Rio Rancho and that they want to start shipping in 2011. I hope this works out.

Update: Just to be clear, I’m not suggesting this is some sort of scam. I really want this to work out and I may even want to work for Green2V. I’m suggesting it’s a little early to get excited. It could turn out like Tesla, Lions Gate or Signet Solar, all established companies that planned to build in the Albuquerque area and didn’t for one reason or another.

Ahwatukee Arizona's House Of The Future

SafariScreenSnapz001.jpg

When I was a kid growing up in Arizona one of the few memories I can recall is visiting the Ahwatukee Arizona “House of the Future” with my Cub Scout group. The house was built in 1979 at a cost $1,200,000 dollars. It was a demonstration for a planned community. It appears to have lost money every year it was sold.

Surprisingly there is no Wikipedia entry on the subject but I did find a June 23rd, 1980 article from InfoWorld on Google Book Search.

The house was designed by Charles R. Schiffner of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. Built over 30 years ago it featured an advanced home automation system with five Motorola 6800 processors linked together. The system was designed by Motorola who was the major employer in Arizona at the time.

It’s important to note that the Ahwatukee home is not a computer controlled home, rather the home permits the tenant to to be in complete control of his environment, making the important decisions which will then be carried out by the microcomputer system.

That’s a quote from Charles E. Thompson, some marketing genius who seems to want to keep people from being scared of the computer controlled house. It’s also worth mentioning that 30 years later, I have been able to reproduce everything that house was capable of for a few thousand dollars and that such home automation capabilities have not yet caught on although the energy saving technologies have.

The house still exists today at 3713 Equestrian Trail, Phoenix, Az and can be seen on Google Maps. Although they gave tours back in the day for $3, I can’t seem to find any information on who the current owner is or even pictures of the interior on the internet.

Update 2016-01-14 More pictures of the house can be found at PrairieMod’s “More House Of The Future“.

Update 2012-12-27: I have found 10 photos from my trip from the early 1980’s.

Ahwatukee House Of The Future 1

Ahwatukee House Of The Future 2

Ahwatukee House Of The Future 3

Ahwatukee House Of The Future 4

Ahwatukee House Of The Future 5

Ahwatukee House Of The Future 6

Ahwatukee House Of The Future 7

Ahwatukee House Of The Future 8

Ahwatukee House Of The Future 9

Ahwatukee House Of The Future 10

The Cocoa Conspiracy: Albuquerque's iPhone Developers

KOB recently did an interesting article on a group of independent iPhone developers in Albuquerque who work at a coffee shop and call themselves the Cocoa Conspiracy. The group includes Andrew Stone of Stone Design who has a number of both Mac and iPhone applications.

Apparently Stone Design’s Twittelator Proicon is doing well. The article also talks about a very cool sounding hot air balloon and chase crew app.

“It can actually overlay the chase group’s position and the balloon’s location and speed over a map live. That way people can plan their routes to get to the balloon and where it’s going to land,”

That’s an awesome idea, I wish I would have thought of it. Albuquerque has “Largest balloon convention in the world” according to Wikipedia so it’s fitting that a app like this should be developed in Albuquerque.

I want to hook up with these guys perhaps they can give me some help in developing my own apps. The article fails to mention what coffee shop the “The Cocoa Conspiracy” hang out at.

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Update: The group has a website at cocoaconspiracy.com and apparently meet at the RB Winnings Coffee Thursdays at 9:30 am.