Find out the story in my next post. Coming soon.
Have you ever been to a carnival or fair where they had cotton candy in a variety of different colors. I specifically remember pink (the most commom), light blue and yellow.
I was fascinated watching the cotton candy machine operator circulating a white paper cone inside a large drum like contraption and this web-like mass started to get larger and larger on the end of the cone. What was this stuff, I thought.
Well, I eventually found out, when we (me and my sisters) got our very own cotton candy machine. I don’t know how we happened to get this. It must have been a Christmas or birthday present, I say that because it just doesn’t seem like one of those, ‘Just because you’re good kids’ type gifts.
I remember it was my dad who helped us operate this thing. There was a metal dish-like thing with a bunch of holes around the perimeter and you put granulated sugar in this dish and heat it up on the stove until the sugar melted. Then you quickly place this metal dish on the center spindle of the cotton candy machine, grab a white paper cone, turn on the machine and start circulating the cone inside the large drum to gather up the webs of sugar fibers.
Here’s how it works: The center spindle is attached to a motor and it spins the metal dish (I’m making up all these different part names, but hopefully you get the idea). The centrifugal force causes the molten sugar to be thrown out of the dish through the small holes and then the molten sugar quickly cools and creates strings of sugar. All you have to do then, is move the paper cone around the inside of the drum and pickup the mass of sugar strings and voila! Cotton candy!
I remember the cotton candy that we made was sometimes a yellowish-brown color because the sugar was overheated and started to caramelize (I know that’s the reason now, I didn’t know this back then). We didn’t use food coloring, so the cotton candy we made was white and not pink.
Cotton candy was not always called cotton candy. Back in 1904, it was introduced at the World’s Fair as Fairy Floss. Fairy Floss was renamed to Cotton Candy in the 1920′s.
Machine-spun cotton candy was invented in 1897 by of all people, a dentist by the name of William Morrison. Wouldn’t you know it, that a dentist would be behind peddling an all sugar treat to future patients.
For more information on the Cotton Candy machine, visit wikipedia.com:
For many of us on the West Coast of the United States, we were probably still in bed sleeping. I was awoken by my wife’s alarm clock at around 6am in the morning. The alarm turns on the radio and I was half awake listening to whatever was on the radio. Then I heard the radio personality announce that a plane flew into one of the World Trade Center towers (I’m paraphrasing here). I immediately sat up in bed and turned on the television to see if there was any news stations covering this, and that’s when I saw it. They were televising smoke billowing out from the North tower of the World Trade Center–it was 8:46am in New York (Eastern Daylight Time). At this point in time, it was just thought that this was a terrible accident, but then the unthinkable happened, at 9:03am Eastern Daylight Time, another plane flew into the South tower of the World Trade Center. This scene was played on every news station all throughout the day and for many days and weeks after, the image of these jets flying into the World Trade Center towers is something I will never forget. The following video clip is what I remember seeing when I switched on the television that morning. I’ve only included this first clip in the series, the actual news broadcast starts at time code 1:30.
After the first jet hit the North tower, more and more news crews were on the scene and they had videos from every conceivable vantage point. Here’s a short video showing the 2nd jet flying into the South tower.
Although the World Trade Center gets most of the press due to the shear magnitude of the event, we must not forget all those that lost their lives at the Pentagon and Pennsylvania sites. American Airlines flights 77 and United Airlines flight 93 respectively.
All together, nearly 3,000 people lost their lives on September 11, 2001.
I really don’t remember anything in particular about that day, except that I was watching a lot of different news stations. And remember, back 10 years ago, we didn’t have Facebook or Twitter to get up to the minute news tidbits.
If you haven’t seen it yet, Nova just aired a great episode called “Engineering Ground Zero”. I enjoyed it because it was a behind the scenes look at what’s going into the building of “One World Trade Center” and the National 9/11 Memorial and Museum.
The City of Manhattan Beach, California had a dedication ceremony on September 11, 2007 on the corner of 15th St and Valley Dr. in front of the Manhattan Beach Fire Department. The two sections of the World Trade Center beams were donated to the city so they could construct a memorial site. Here are some photos that I took of this memorial.
If you’d like to read more about the City of Manhattan Beach memorial, you can visit their website:
I am going to skip posting for this coming Friday, but will have a teaser for you the following Sunday.
Following are a couple YouTube videos I found on the web that meld together photographs and music. The first was put to Josh Groban’s “You Raise Me Up” and the second to Jo Dee Messina’s, “Heaven Was Needing A Hero”.
If you’d like more details on the September 11, 2001 attack, visit the wikipedia.com link below:
The Man From U.N.C.L.E aired on American television between 1964 to 1968, it was one of my favorite shows of the time. It had action, intrigue, and best of all, marketing hype in the form of toys–what kid doesn’t like that! The show starred Robert Vaughn who played Napoleon Solo and David McCallum who played Illya Kuryakin, two secret agents for the U.N.C.L.E organization.
An interesting bit of trivia (I didn’t know this), Ian Fleming, the creator and writer of twelve novels and nine short stories of the fictional British spy character, James Bond, had a hand in creating The Man From U.N.C.L.E series.
Illya Kuryakin had a very slick self defense move in the series and I remember it to this day. He would run at a person jump up, scissor the person’s neck between his legs and drop him to the ground. Hard to describe it in words, but I was unable to find a photo or video clip of this move.
U.N.C.L.E. headquarters was based in New York city and had a secret entrance in Del Floria’s Tailor Shop. This video clip shows them entering the secret entrance and it also shows one of the co-stars in this particular episode, Jill Ireland, who was married to David McCallum in real life, from 1957 to 1967. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZuErXLfQlM&feature=related
Check out this reference to Ducky’s past in this clip from another one of my current favorite shows, NCIS (it happens around time marker 1:00):
More details at wikipedia.com: