News of the Week: Graduation, Google Pants, and the Grabbing of Drones

This week’s pop culture roundup: Commencements by the rich and famous, Google’s new smart fabric, and Enrique Iglesias’ drone incident.

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Advice for Graduates

Mother takes photos of college graduation

College Graduation
Thornton Utz
June 4, 1960

It’s graduation season, with lots of young people leaving college and going off into the “real world.” It’s also the season for advice to those graduates and commencement speeches.

CNN has a rundown of the celebrities and politicians who have made commencement speeches the past month, including Robert DeNiro, who spoke at New York University’s Tisch School of Arts; Anthony Hopkins, who spoke at Pepperdine University; and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who spoke at William & Mary.

My favorite commencement speaker this year just might be Stephanie Courtney, who spoke at the Binghamton University in New York. You might know her better from these commercials.

Google Glass Is Sooooooo 2014

l i g h t p o e t /
l i g h t p o e t /

If you’re like me, you often find yourself sitting on your couch, watching television, wearing your ordinary pants, and you look down at those pants and wonder: Why aren’t these digital?

Google is developing what they call “smart fabrics,” clothing that can actually function in the same way a touchscreen does. So with just a touch or a swipe of your fingers you can control your laptop, your phone, maybe even the music or lighting in your house or other appliances. I’ve been hoping one day that someone will make a sweatshirt that will help me control my toaster remotely.



Could the earthquake and tsunami depicted in the current box-office champ San Andreas actually hit California? Yes, say scientists. So run, run away to Maine, Californians!

Okay, it might not happen exactly the way it happens in the movie, with utter and complete destruction of everything, everywhere. But scientists say that not enough attention is being paid to faults that lie offshore of Southern California and the faults should be taken more seriously. It’s not just the famous San Andreas Fault that people have to worry about.

Part of me would love to experience an earthquake. Is that weird? Not a big one, of course, just something that would make me feel the shaking a bit. On a related note, I got this for Christmas one year when I was a kid. After the first couple of times it wasn’t really fun to play with anymore.

Drones: 1, Pop Singers: 0


You can put this in the same category as “don’t stick your foot down a garbage disposal” and “don’t stick your tongue in a fan.” Singer Enrique Iglesias tried to playfully grab a drone that was filming his concert performance in Tijuana, Mexico. He promptly got his fingers sliced and a very bloody shirt and had to go offstage to get bandaged up. He came back and played for another 30 minutes and then stopped the show because he was still bleeding. He later had surgery on the hand to repair the damage and will continue his tour on July 3.

What’s remarkable is that you can see in the video that Iglesias grabs the drone a first time and gets hurt, but he still decides to grab it a second time. The moral here? Never grab a drone.

Don’t Go on Waikiki Beach at Night


I went to Hawaii in 1989. I’m not a warm weather person at all, but I really enjoyed it. A few nights we walked along Waikiki Beach (one night encountering a bunch of guys in their underwear swimming in the water), which is something I’m sure a lot of people do, especially if you don’t like the heat of the sun during the day.

Or should I say “used to do.” Police are now giving citations to people who go on Waikiki Beach and nearby parks at night. It’s an effort to crack down on homeless people who have gathered in the area in large numbers.

It’s not really the amount of the fine, it’s the fact that some of the people being fined are actually tourists who are unaware of (or don’t care about) the law. The fines go on your permanent police record (which could be a problem if you’re from out of the country and want to come back in the future), and if there’s a court date set for a hearing, you have to be present for that. If you don’t show up — which some tourists might not be able to do because they live out of state —there might be a criminal warrant issued.

I guess what I’m saying is if you want to hang out on Oahu at night, maybe you can try the Magnum, P.I. house. You’ll have to make arrangements with the new owners though.

National Ketchup Day

Yes, today is the day we celebrate ketchup! Also: catsup! Though I’m not sure if anyone spells it that way anymore. Not sure if ketchup is something I would bother to make myself, but if that’s something that strikes your fancy, Epicurious has a recipe. I don’t know, it seems like more trouble than it’s worth.

Did you know they sell ketchup in stores now?

Upcoming Anniversaries and Events

The Belmont Stakes (June 6)
American Pharoah, who has already won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, goes for the Triple Crown. The race starts at approximately 6:50 p.m.

Secretariat wins the Triple Crown (June 9, 1973)
The last horse to win the Triple Crown did it 42 years ago.

Judy Garland born (June 10, 1922)
Did you know there is a Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota and an official international fan club endorsed by Garland herself?

John Wayne died (June 11, 1979)
The Duke has his own official web site (not to mention his own small batch bourbon).

President Reagan’s “tear down this wall” speech (June 12, 1987)
Here’s a transcript of the historic speech the President made in West Berlin, Germany.

Anne Frank born (June 12, 1929)
This is the site for the official Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam.

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  1. The last horse to win the Triple Crown was Affirmed. Secretariat, in 1973, was the first to win it in 25 years.

  2. Some good advice concerning college might start years earlier watching the one hour documentary ‘The College Conspiracy’ and making a much more informed choice afterward. Just Google the name, click and watch.

    Personally, I’ll pass on the ‘smart fabrics’. Thanks for the Tech Times link on the ‘Southern California Earthquake and Tsunami Threat’. Living in Northwest L.A. I really SHOULD see ‘San Andreas’ if nothing else to slap me out of my current complacency of not being better prepared, even if the film itself does go over the top.

    The Northridge quake on 1/17/94 was the scariest thing I’d ever experienced. I lived in Sherman Oaks (10 miles southeast). It was very sudden, loud, violent, intense shaking that went on for 25-30 seconds–a long time. You really felt like you were going to die falling deep into an earthly sink hole.

    The aftershocks are bad too, and can catch you off guard. 2 months after that on a Sunday afternoon, I was in the nearby Thrifty Drug Store when a 5.1 hit in an aisle with glass products around and above me when the shaking started, with nothing to hold onto. The power went out that time also, and I was lucky to have escaped without injury having to walk slowly and methodically to the entrance/exit in almost complete darkness. There were almost no other people in the store.

    Not grabbing drones IS something within our control; Enrique Iglesias is lucky his hand injury wasn’t worse–or that he didn’t lose his fingers all together. Didn’t know about the problems over on Waikiki Beach; all the more reason to know the laws and restrictions of where you’re traveling ahead of time.


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