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Steven Paradise
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Attended University of Utah
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Steven Paradise

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The Marshall Islands were at the top of CNN today.
It's one of the clearest injustices of climate change: The Marshall Islands likely won't exist if we warm the planet 2 degrees. I traveled to the remote Pacific to learn what it's like to try to process that doomsday forecast. And why some people already are making the painful decision to leave. You voted for this coverage as part of CNN's two° series.
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Alas, the inventor of the plastic lawn flamingo has passed away.  Heh, his last name is Featherstone.

Why do I share this?  Because a few years ago, on two occasions, we had flocks of such flamingos show up on our front lawn as fundraising events, and paid for them to reappear elsewhere.

In the Avenues in Salt Lake City, there's a house that dresses up their flock of flamingos for holidays.  We saw them once on Independence Day, and the birds were dressed as American figures such as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Neil Armstrong, Rosa Parks, Captain America, and more.  I have photos somewhere, but for now, here's an article: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/600146488/Flamingos-dress-up-for-holidays.html?pg=all
Donald Featherstone modeled the lawn ornament after images he saw in National Geographic. "Things I did made people happy, and that's what life is all about," he said in 2006.
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I don't usually go the route of the corporate shill, but after watching this commercial, I want to go buy something from them just to thank them for portraying dads as tender, loving men (as I think so many of them are) instead of the bumbling, unfeeling stooges that much of the media portray them as. Happy Father's Day!

(Another link to their Super Bowl commercial coming in a minute.)
Looking for a good cry this Father's Day? This ad has you covered.
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I just got a call at work from somebody asking if I'd asked for customer support from Remax.  I was baffled, as to my knowledge I've never dealt with said real estate company, much less given them my work phone number.

My confusion only got worse when he said that maybe the help was requested by my former officemate, +Ann Lehman Harren.  Okay, this is really not adding up...

Finally, he asked me if I was the chief optical engineer -- and then I was able to put two and two together.  "Are you calling about ZEMAX?  Not REMAX?"  Yeah, that was it. 

He didn't really have an accent, but he was a bit mumbly, but those are different enough that I don't know how he could screw it up so badly.  Lesson learned: if nothing shows up on caller ID, let it go to voicemail.
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It feels good to leave a trail of confusion in some way. :)
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I overheard a pretty hilarious conversation while I was at this estate sale yesterday. 

One of the ladies helping with the sale asked a little boy, who was probably 4 or so, if he liked the panda-shaped cookie jar that was on the table near him.  He responded, rather indignantly, "I don't even like cookies."  If that wasn't odd enough, after a few seconds he added, "I like VINEGAR."

(Sadly, I didn't take a  photo of the item in question, so I'll just use this Italian onyx phone instead.)
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A little slo-mo insanity to boggle your mind...
The Slow Mo Guys spun a CD (a Spotify playlist shaped like a circle mirror, kids) so fast that it started warping and then eventually shattered into a hundred little pieces. You can see the disc spinning at 23,000 RPM and getting bent out of shape until it just gives out, all at once. So cool.
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Steven Paradise

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Anybody want some Tiramusi?  No, that's not a typo ;-)

I overheard somebody refer to Tiramisu ("tier-a-MEE-soo") as Tiramusi ("tier-a-MOO-see") the other day, and even had her repeat herself so I knew I didn't imagine it.  It was funny enough (and comes up seldom enough) that I decided that the chuckle was worth it, but correcting it wasn't.

And besides, somebody could recreate the dessert in mousse form ("Tira-moussey"?) and I'm sure people would love it.
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Steven Paradise

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I don't usually go the route of the corporate shill, but after watching this commercial, I want to go buy something from them just to thank them for portraying dads as tender, loving men (as I think so many of them are) instead of the bumbling, unfeeling stooges that much of the media portray them as. Happy Father's Day!

(Another link to their Super Bowl commercial coming in a minute.)
Looking for a good cry this Father's Day? This ad has you covered.
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We watched Interstellar the other night.  It turns out that the problem of visualizing the black hole was given to a renowned astrophysicist.  So not only is it scientifically sound, but the process also led to some discoveries, with two papers being prepared for publication.
Kip Thorne looks into the black hole he helped create and thinks, “Why, of course. That's what it would do.” This particular black hole is a simulation of unprecedented accuracy. It appears to spin at nearly the speed of light, dragging bits of the universe along with it. (That's gravity for you; relativity is superweird.) In theory it was once a star, but instead of fading or exploding, it collapsed like a failed soufflé into a tiny point of ...
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I've often wondered how all of these random people I don't know stumble upon my posts.  After looking at some profiles, some of them are pretty obvious (+Andres Munoz  is clearly interested in space), and some of them have me scratching my head.  And some of the profiles have me hitting "block" (not naming names here, but....)
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An unbearably cute video for your weekend. So cute it might even make up for my bad pun.
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And now for your daily dose of weird...
Most animals are naturally so darn cute that it's virtually impossible to imagine how they could be made any cuter, but thanks to the magical power of Photoshop we can multiply that cuteness factor by a million.These awe inspiringly adorable animal hybrids may not exist in the wild (yet...), but they can, and will, run around in the fields of our critter loving imaginations for an eternity. Thanks teh internet!Let's start this collection off with...
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Have him in circles
224 people
Lydia Zotto, Harpist's profile photo
Laura Plosser's profile photo
Myrline Paradise's profile photo
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William Loo's profile photo
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Sheila B. DuBois's profile photo
Jennie Hokanson's profile photo
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  • University of Utah
  • Kwajalein High School
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A friend of ours told us that Bella Roma was much improved after the last time they changed hands, and we finally got around to giving it a try. I'd give it 2.5 stars if I could, but I'm afraid I have to round it down. The pizza itself was three stars ('it's okay") -- it wasn't phenomenal, but it was at least pretty good. However, it seemed like they were skimpy on the toppings, especially the cheese; while it's not unusual for our kids not to eat the crust, there was a large zone next to the crust that only had sauce, which our kids also wouldn't eat. It seemed quite overpriced for what we got. What drives the rating down, though, was the ordering experience. We tried it because the coupon bundle we'd received in the mail the day before had coupons for Bella Roma, and we decided to go for the "2 large, 2-topping pizzas for $29.99", and planned to do half-and-half on them (half with cheese only, and 2 different toppings on each of the other halves). When I called, I was told that there was no such deal. When I said I was looking right at the coupon sheet that just came in the mail, he said that they must have misprinted it, and they wouldn't honor it. He then told me (not asked, told) that I should use the better deal -- one cheese pizza, and one supreme (or up to 4 toppings) for $28.99. Well, that's not really the same, is it? I want at most two toppings on each half, not 4 toppings anywhere. But I went along with it, and had him add two toppings to half of the cheese (for more, of course). Then when I told him what I wanted on the halves of the other pizza, he told me (with attitude) that their computer wouldn't let him do halves. Seriously? Yeah, try it on their website -- they can do half-and-half pizzas, but not as part of the special. Fine, give me the same two toppings on the whole thing. If I'd known how skimpy they'd be on the cheese, I would have added extra cheese -- oh, wait, they don't offer it. We went ahead with it because the kids were hungry and crazy, and because we were expecting great pizza. I wish I'd listened to my gut, which was telling me to be put off by the attitude I was getting on the phone. After being told brusquely that I couldn't get what I wanted (which didn't seem unreasonable), I ended up with mediocre pizza. Not bad enough to drop it to one star, but we won't be going back.
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Public - in the last week
reviewed in the last week
I tried La Original for the first time last week -- and have been back twice since then for delicious ice cream. The first thing I noticed was the array of flavors you won't find at Baskin Robbins -- flavors like guava, corn, avocado, pecan, tamarind, guanabana (soursop), zapote, prickly pear, "Mexican snack", and others that I've never heard of and can't remember. They also have more "mainstream" fruit flavors like mango, pineapple, coconut, and strawberry, plus a few "traditional" flavors like chocolate, vanilla, pistachio, and cookies and cream. On my first visit, I got a scoop each of mango (which could be dairy-based or water-based) and guava, and was really impressed with the flavor. My wife commented on their texture, saying that they were fibrous -- so you know they're made from real fruit! We've loved almost everything we've had there -- the lone exception being the cookies & cream, which was okay, but couldn't compare to the great fruit-based options. The prices are excellent for the quality (real fruit, remember) and size of what you get -- a single (huge) scoop in a waffle cone is around $2.50 if I recall correctly. They also have other things on their menu, including aguas frescas, paletas (popsicles) and some snacks (a bag of chips with various toppings?). The staff is friendly and helpful.
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Public - 2 months ago
reviewed 2 months ago
3 reviews
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I'd give 2.5 stars if I could. Since I can't, unfortunately, I think I need to round down. My family ate here during the long drive between Utah and California. We were looking for something fairly quick (still a long drive ahead of us!), something that wasn't burgers or other typical fast food, and preferably something locally-owned. On the plus side, the service was very fast, and we got a lot of food for our money. We got three family meals, and I expected a little bowl of soup with each -- instead, we got a larger container, probably a pint with each. A lot of food for the money. Quantity-wise, we probably could have fed everybody (2 adults and three kids, ages 7, 5, and 2) with just two meals. The hot and sour soup was very good. I don't usually care for sweet & sour chicken, but my daughter insisted, and the chicken itself was very good, but had WAY too much sauce. We received another plateful (!) of the sauce to dip our eggrolls and crab rangoons in. On the negative side, the service was fast -- but unfortunately, not great. The lady helping us was friendly, but had a really hard time understanding that we were going to feed our family of 5 with 3 family meals -- meaning that we needed extra bowls and plates. And we had to ask repeatedly for more things before we eventually got what we needed. Furthermore, the other food wasn't so good. The beef with broccoli tasted pretty fishy, and my kids wouldn't eat it -- even the ones who love broccoli. We also got the spicy "shredded pork in Szechuan sauce" -- which was more like "sliced pork" and seemed like half of the dish was celery, with a lot of green pepper and a little pork. I really wanted to rate this place a little higher, figuring that my experience was probably ruined a bit by cranky kids (the 7yo in particular), and thought about rounding my 2.5 stars up to 3. However, given that food is supposed to taste even better when you're really hungry (which we were), and we still found it to be mediocre, makes me round it down. If we lived in Sparks then we might give it another try, but since we only stop in a time or two per year on our way through, I'm pretty sure we'll find other places to try. Sorry, Egg Roll King.
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Public - 11 months ago
reviewed 11 months ago