Amway? No way!
I have a co-worker who often asks my advice or to get clarification on a topic about which he has some confusion. Recently, he told me of a friend of his who has gotten into a multi-level marketing (MLM) scheme. I wasn’t surprised to hear that this friend was attempting to get my co-worker to sign up as well. That’s one of the main tasks of being part of an MLM scheme: Recruit others into the scheme. .
I asked if the money was rolling in for this guy. It’s not. I’m shocked!
Actually, I’m not shocked. MLMs rely on people’s gullibility in thinking it will be easy to convince other people to join in and their hopes for big money. The big money never materializes, but their own money does disappear. The members need to maintain a monthly minimum of product. The friend of my co-worker is shelling out $300 a month, but the big money is just around the corner. Or is it? Well, when it comes to Amway 99.99% of its members lose money.
I advised my co-worker against getting involved. I hope he listens.
Brian Dunning produced a video from which I got much of my information as part of his InFact YouTube video series. Check it out here.
HBO’s John Olivier gives a longer, more detailed look at MLMs. Click here.
Cool Thing #1:
I decided to try an experiment this week and not run through the Three Cool Things at the end of the show. Instead I would intersperse the cool items throughout the show, giving more time to each one.
The first is the fact that because of the power of science the human species now has two interstellar spacecraft cruising through space. Voyager 2, launched 41 years ago, has finally joined Voyager 1 in interstellar space, which means both spacecraft are now outside the influence of our sun.
The image above has a few of the astounding facts. And this link is to information on the documentary The Farthest: Voyager In Space, which tells the story of NASA’s Voyager mission.
This Really Isn’t Much Of A Problem Anymore But…
In the not so old days, when widescreen movies went on television the scourge that is “pan and scan” was invited. Until recently, television screens were more square, while movie screens are much wider, so in order to fit the movie picture onto a TV screen someone had to reformat the image.
Sure, they could have opted to put the black bars at the top and bottom to approximate the shape of a movie screen to accommodate the full picture, but then people would complain about the black bars. Such rubes!
I gave a couple examples. One was Mackenna’s Gold (1969), which is generally a mess of a movie and pan and scan didn’t help; and Star Wars (1977), which lopped off a Tusken Raider (calling them “sand people” seems racist to me) from a shot and that led my younger self to some confusion. Luke says he can see one of them now. I can’t.
|MacKenna’s Gold – Pan and scan.
|What we should see. Oh, look! Telly Salaves!
|Star Wars – Pan and scan. Where’s that Tusken Raider?
|Widescreen – Ah! There he is!
|Turner Classic Movies produced a short film featuring filmmakers discussing why pan and scan is bad and that audiences should be bothered by what they are missing in the picture and not by the black bars across the top and bottom of the screen.
Of course, nowadays televisions are formatted more like movie screens so pan and scan isn’t the problem it once was. Except now the old TV shows have black bars on the sides.
Cool Thing #2:
In the world today, our lives are very well documented visually. From photographs to video, most of us in the developed world, anyway, has plenty of pictorial evidence of our existence. That hasn’t always been the case. One hundred years this sort of documentation was much more rare, so how cool is it that a website has posted a video featuring film footage of four artistic masters? Well, it’s very cool.
At this link there is a nine minute video of film taken of Monet, Renior, Rodin, and Degas. The artists are old man at the time they were filmed. You can see the ravages of time evident in each, especially Renoir.
They were just as alive then as we are today. These films give us a look back in time and it is so awesome!
Movie Recommendation: Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)
It is said this movie suffered from Star Wars fatigue or possibly from audiences having trouble accepting anyone other than Harrison Ford playing Han Solo, and those factors led to this film not performing as well at the box office. It might also be due to the switching of directors while the film was in production. Ron Howard took over after directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (directing as a duo) were fired.
Well, I recently watched the movie and I really liked it. It’s fun! Star Wars movies should be fun, right? Yeah, some can get a bit dark. Empire Strikes Back and Rogue One were pretty dark, but they were still fun.
Solo is more light-hearted and filled with Easter Eggs for the fans. And I think Alden Ehrenich and Donald Glover both do a fine job playing Solo and Lando Calrissian. They don’t do impressions of Ford and Billy Dee Williams, but they do capture their essence and attitude, with an gesture or voice inflection here and there that get pretty close to the original actors.
As I said, it’s fun. The special effects are terrific. Watch it.
Cool Thing #3:
I found the above photograph in the trash of an office I cleaned years ago. The fellow on the left is a stranger to me, but the man on the right is former MN Twins pitching ace Frankie “Sweet Music” Viola. I fished this picture out of the trash and have kept it ever since. I think it’s cool.
Music heard on the show…
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