Where Did The Week Go…

Not your ordinary home

I knew that one day the zombie apocalypse would happen, but who knew the origin to the end of mankind would be bath salts?

Last week in Miami, a man under the influence of the drug allegedly ate off 80 percent of a homeless man’s face. 80 percent! The rise of bath salts, which is a synthetic drug made up of constantly changing chemicals, three of which — mephedrone, MDPV and methylone — were banned last year by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, is becoming more and more popular because the drug is still easily available online. The drug comes in brand names such as “Purple Wave,” “Zoom” or “Cloud Nine.” A 50-milligram packet sells for $25 to $50.

A new drug on the rise

The availability of this drug as caused the number of calls to poison centers concerning “bath salts” to rise 6,138 in 2011 from 304 in 2010, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers. More than 1,000 calls have already been made this year.

But unlike other drugs whose side effects might result in a dream-like state of relaxation or a hyper-like state full of energy, bath salts can lead to paranoia, violence and hallucinations. Google effects of bath salts and you find incidents like, “A man high on bath salts thought he was being chased by electricity during a burglary; man high on bath salts kills his neighbor’s goat.”

As I said before, it’s only a matter of time before the world is overrun by some unknown force and we’re all forced to live “Road Warrior” life styles. Based on everything I’ve read about bath salts, we might just be in the stages of phase one so be prepared.

Oregon man turns airplane into a house

When I think about the inside of an airplane, I picture crying children, a stuffy odor in the air and a constant kicking of my seat as I try to sleep through it all. But for Bruce Campbell, he sees home.

In the woods of Hillsboro, Oregon, Campbell has spent 10 years and hundreds of thousands of dollars converting a 1969 727-200 passenger jet into his dream home.

Not your ordinary home

The Building Services & Environmental Engineer bought the plane for $100,000 and spent at least another $100,000 on expenses like moving it from the airport to his home and temporarily removing the wings and tail. The plane has a working bathroom — all be it a cramped bathroom — a rudimentary shower, working electricity and a computer monitor in the cockpit. He’s also managed to get one of the plane’s three toilets working and uses the plane’s wings as decks.

When asked why he prefers living in an airplane rather than a house, Campbell says wood is just a terrible building material and refers to it as “termite and microbe chow.” .If you go to his website, airplanehome.com, he talks about  the benefits of living in a plane.

“Airplanes are well designed, high-tech, aerospace quality sealed pressure canisters that can withstand 575 mph winds and seven G acceleration forces with ease, could last for centuries, are highly fire resistant, and provide superior security.”

It’s quite an endeavor, but I have only two questions; Will there be peanuts available and what’s the inflight movie today?

Netflix Pick: 12 Angry Men

I’m cheating a bit this week because my Netflix pick isn’t available on streaming. But after revisiting it recently, I felt compelled to recommend that you see 12 Angry Men. It is available for rent on Netflix, as well as Blockbuster and Amazon Instant Video.

Sidney Lumet made more than 40 feature films between 1957 and 2007.  He was nominated for 5 Academy Awards but never won one. He received an Honorary Oscar in 2005. His most notable films included Dog Day Afternoon, Serpico, Network and The Verdict.

A classic thriller that never leaves the room

I could have picked any one of the films I mentioned, but I decided on his first film, 12 Angry Men. Released in 1957 and nominated for three Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director, Men tells the story of 12 jurors deliberating over whether a young man murdered his father. At first count, eleven are convinced that the defendant is guilty. But one (Henry Fonda), is certain of his innocence and for the next 90 minutes the twelve men go over the case again and again until all of them agree on a verdict.

Despite being confined to one room for the majority of the film, a challenge for any director making his first picture, Lumet is able to sustain a level of suspense and tension throughout.

The young director is creative in his choice of shots: Behind the fan near the ceiling, on the table rotating around each man seated and in each corner of the room. We are not given any of the juror’s names and there are no flashback scenes to guide the audience. Everything is from the perspective of the 12 men and each of them is defined and developed based on how they feel about the case in relation to their own beliefs.

The film is timeless, compelling and important in its commentary on prejudices and preconceptions we have against people who come from a hard life. This should be required viewing for any jury about to get involved in a murder case.

Sidney Lumet made his first film in 1957 and his last film, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, in 2007. Not many directors can say their first and last film, made 50 years apart were masterpieces.







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