Where Did The Week Go…

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An impressive collection for any gamer.

A great summer tradition in America is barbecue. As someone who is very slowly learning the art, I’ve been mostly concerned with burning the meat or lighting my apartment deck on fire. But one thing I didn’t even consider being hazardous is that brush you use to clean your grill. For one Washington state man, something as innocuous as a grill brush nearly cost him his life.

Adam Wojtanowicz went to the hospital last Sunday complaining of abdominal pain that wouldn’t go away despite his taking medication. Doctors poured over some x-rays and found a metal bristle inside of Mr. Wojtanozicz. As a result they had to perform emergency surgery to remove it.

Don’t be brushing your teeth with that.

Adam says he recently hosted a cookout, and he thinks a steel bristle from his grill brush fell into his steak and he swallowed it hole without even realizing it.

Wojtanowicz is expected to make a full recovery, but this incident isn’t an anomaly. The Center for Disease Control says it knows of at least six people within the last two years who have suffered similar injuries from brush bristles.

Back in May, Sen. Charles Schumer became aware of similar incidents involving the barbeque utensils and called for a federal review of grill brush safety by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Food and Drug Administration.

In response to Schumer’s request, the CPSC collected data on injuries from hospital emergency departments around the U.S. and found nine cases of people injured by swallowing brush bristles reported since 2007. Grill brushes were also responsible for 28 other injuries since 2007.

Fortunately no deaths have occurred and the commission is reviewing the reports to see if there is an identifiable pattern of defect in the products.

So if you’re like me and you recently began grilling, or if you’re a master of the barbecue, pay attention to that brush and inspect your food a little more closely before eating it. The only thing we should be worried about killing us is what’s cooking on the grill and not what’s used to clean it.

The million dollar game collection

Some of us have a hard time letting things go. For nostalgic reasons, we like occasional reminders of things that brought us joy back in the day. One of the things that used to bring me a lot of joy (and occasionally still does) is video games. I remember getting the Nintendo 64 for Christmas and playing games like Mario 64, Wave Race and Goldeneye for hours on end.

But eventually I moved on to other forms of entertainment: Movies, sports, girls and newer game systems. All my games for the 64 were eventually sold or given away, but strangely I still have the console sitting in my old room at my parent’s house. It’s probably not worth much now, but what if I had kept all those games with the system? Could they have become a long-term investment down the road? Absolutely. But I was a kid who didn’t know words like nostalgia, retro or old school. That was my mistake because a man living in France knew the value of those words and he’s hoping someone out there does too.

An impressive collection for any gamer.

Andre is a 32-year-old man who works in law. Since the age of five he has been an avid gamer and for most of his life he has been collecting games. Last week, he decided to sell a significant proportion of his collection, a $1.22 million collection consisting of full-sets for 22 consoles and game-devices totaling 7,000 games. A bidder — who lives in Canada — supposedly is willing to buy this collection.

The collection includes a complete set of every game released in Japan on Nintendo systems from NES to N64 to GameCube, as well as every game for every Sega system and a full, factory-sealed collection of all NEC games.

It took Andre 15 years to collect every game for Nintendo, Sega and NEC.  He was intent on finding every game for every system because “I’m not what you’d call a hoarder, more like a completionist. I like to achieve challenges, and getting all games for a specific system was one.”

The big question is whether or not the bidder in Canada will actually fork over the cash. Andre isn’t fully convinced the bidder will follow through so he may be putting the collection up for sale again.

So if you’re in your late twenties or early thirties,  have $1.22 million laying around and feel like reliving the past, look up Andre on eBay. He’d be happy to fulfill your childhood memories.

Amazon employee stole $160,000 in electronics

While someone in Canada is unsure about opening their wallet on a game collection, an Amazon employee apparently decided he wasn’t willing to spend money to be entertained.

Todd Anthony Cofield, Jr. turned himself in to the police last Thursday after allegedly taking 726 iPod touch players and 49 HP laptops between April and May. A warehouse worker at the company’s distribution center in Cayce, South Carolina, Cofield hid his actions by forging paperwork to make it look like he stocked the electronics in the warehouse, but instead he took it all for himself. Security guards from FedEx Freight and Amazon managed to discover that the items were missing and reported the theft to the local police.

Not sure how he was going to unload more than 700 iPods or nearly 50 laptops. You never know, maybe he was going to give them away at Christmas like Santa Claus or start his own small electronic business. At least he did the right thing by turning himself in. Now the only money he’s concerned about is the $50,000 he would need to be freed on bail.

Stretch Armstrong movie coming

A couple of weeks ago I read a book on the struggles of screenwriters in Hollywood. They talked about projects that they failed to sell, scripts that they sold but were never turned into a movie and the rare times when they actually sold a script that made it to the big screen.

I see a story here that needs to be told on the big screen.

Some of the great ones interviewed included William Goldman (All the President’s Men, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) and Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull). These are some of the greatest scripts ever written. But these movies were made in the golden age of cinema, the ’70s. Before corporations took over the movie studios in the early ’80s, Hollywood produced some of the best original films. They cared about the quality of a picture.

Now it’s about how much money they can make. Looking just about anywhere to make a buck in the business, movie studios have been relegated to producing scripts based on toys (Transformers), video games (Resident Evil) and even boardgames (Battleship). Add another toy (ironically made in the ’70s) to the slow decline of originality in Hollywood.

The Hollywood Reporter says that Relativity has been “quietly developing” a Stretch Armstrong movie since the company acquired the rights from Universal in January. At one point Taylor Lautner was attached to the film when it was at Universal and way back in the ’90s Danny DeVito was interested in playing the role.

Now it looks like the long wait for a Stretch Armstrong movie is almost over. But you won’t find William Goldman or Paul Schrader writing it. That much-anticipated screenplay will be written by Greg Poirier who you might recall (or won’t) wrote such cinematic classics as Tomcats and See Spot Run. He was also one of eight people who wrote National Treasure: Book of Secrets. (Really? Eight people wrote that?)

The book talked about how scripts are often rewritten dozens of times. Who knows how many drafts or how many writers it will take to get to the true core of a Stretch Armstrong movie. Because that’s what we need, an origins story about a guy in his underwear who has stretchy limbs.

Passionate about movies, sports and writing, Ryan hails from Bend but lives in Springfield now. He earned his college degree in journalism from the University of Oregon and hopes to one day write a novel. He also enjoys sunsets and long walks on the beach.

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