My iPhone is Possessed

The other night I was trying to get to sleep, and my iPhone kept making alert sounds. But not any alert sounds that I used. It was scrolling through the many alert variations it had in storage.

I wonder what it is up to when my back is turned.

Frequently my iPhone is brought back from sleep and I catch it playing a game I have never seen, or calculating my net worth.

Now I am naturally of a suspicious turn of mind. My husband is always telling me night vision goggles are not necessary to take out the trash. Still, I am vigilant.

But this iPhone thing has me worried. What if a bunch of them got together? Do they have texting parties at night? Do they pass pictures of us around to each other and laugh at our round heads? I wonder.

Still, even if all this were true, it wouldn't change anything. I would be just a little more depressed.

Sent by iPhone (heh heh heh)


Meteor Outburst Possible Tonight

Space Weather News for May 23, 2014
> http://spaceweather.com
> METEOR ALERT: This weekend, Earth will pass through a stream of debris from Comet 209P/LINEAR. If forecasters are correct, the encounter could produce an outburst of bright meteors numbering more than 200 per hour. Most models agree that peak rates should occur between the hours of 0600 UT and 0800 UT (2 a.m. and 4 a.m. EDT) on Saturday morning, May 24th, a time frame that favors observers in North America. It is worth noting, however, that Earth has never encountered this stream of debris before, so forecasters cannot be certain of their predictions. The display could be a complete dud, a fantastic "meteor storm," or anything in between. Visit http://spaceweather.com for full coverage.
> SOLAR FLARE ALERTS: Solar Max has arrived. Would you like a call when the sun erupts? Solar flare alerts are available from http://spaceweathertext.com (text) and http://spaceweatherphone.com (voice).


Superhero and American Myth

Just got out of Spiderman II movie with my husband.  Superhero movies are really not my thing.  Nothing bores me faster than things blowing up and people jumping around.  Modern movies have made an industry of getting action scenes to last far too long.

Spiderman II was a copy of every Spiderman movie I've seen before.  In fact, it is the same plot as almost every American superhero movie.

Hero - bullied, put-upon, not appreciated, very valuable skill no one knows about, and no one can ever know about.  Except the Pretty Girl.  She knows.  But don't worry, they'll get rid of her by the next movie.  Sometimes the Hero is very wealthy, like Batman and Thor.  In Spiderman, Hulk, Captain America and Superman, he is not. 

Captain America didn't have superpowers, per se.  He just was a perfect specimen of a man: bench pressing 1200 pounds, for instance.  His powers came from a serum to make him a great soldier.  Given that the comic Captain America started in 1942, it's not too hard to see the propaganda purpose there. 

The Avengers is a collection of superheroes, including Thor, which I always found really funny.  Seriously?  A German god?  Who teams up with Captain America, who exists only because we were at war with Germany?  A lot of my "everyman as hero" theme goes out the window with Thor.  But we Americans have always had a thing for royalty, and as Thor is the son of Odin, we include him in our myths.  Love the hammer thing, though.

The Incredible Hulk is the ultimate "mad as hell and not going to take it anymore" hero.  I think at some point they put him on antidepressants.  Although he could make a pretty penny doing bachelorette parties with his getting big, turning green and ripping-off-his-clothes thing.

Villain - corporate America, evil scientists, human experimenters.  Something to note, however.  The villain and the hero have almost identical formative experiences, to include the "accident" that led them to have special powers to begin with.  "Captain America Actor and activist Mark Ruffalo is a member of both "The Avengers" and Occupy Wall Street, and as he told the Wall Street Journal, he sees major parallels between his upcoming Marvel film and the economic protests that have swept the world."  See Huffington Post.

So is "hero" is a choice.  You could just as easily be a villain.  You have the tragic experience.  You have the "accident" that gives you special powers.  Evil is simply a choice.  You could have easily chosen to do something constructive and heroic.  Anger and vengeance outweigh other feelings, and evil is chosen.  That makes it a character issue.  Anybody can be a hero, then.  You have only to decide.

Pretty Girl - the obligatory Pretty Girl is also smart and talented.  She is scientific, but more importantly, she is an emotional anchor for the Hero, who often has to choose between his fight against evil and her.  She is strong and brave, and never lasts more than one movie.  I guess women come and go, but the fight for truth, justice and the American way continues.  Comic books are a little kinder to Pretty Girls, and don't write them out of the story line as often.

The American myth, in the form of Superheroes, is glorification of the American everyman.  Not everyperson.  Everyman.  The exploited, overworked, lonely, and critically important guy.  He is angry, justifiably so.  Others take his glory, often while wearing expensive suits.  His is a grinding life of little pleasure, except to serve others. There is very little separating him from Villain status. 

But what does this all mean?  What does it say about the United States now, in light of the popularity of these movies? 

Spiderman II spoke of hope.  Spiderman himself said his role was to give people hope.

That may be it.  Our country needs hope and the only way to get it is to imagine the existence of people with super powers, to hold our own against evil men in well-tailored suits.


I think Blue Cross Blue Shield Was Hacked

I paid by phone last month and was completely up to date.

Then Blue Cross Blue Shield took out the monthly premium from the old account I used to pay for health insurance.

Then Blue Cross Blue Shield took out almost triple the amount of the monthly premium from the account it is currently being paid from.

So I phone Blue Cross Blue Shield to get answers as to how this happened.  I was on hold for 21 minutes.  Then the customer service representative, who was very nice, couldn't understand how this happened.  I am getting at least a partial refund.  But it is via check and will take 14 - 21 days.  The withdrawal was via electronic transfer and happened instantly.  And I am not convinced that I am getting the whole refund back.

Fortunately, there is a cushion in my account.  But this is an inconvenience, and at another time, could have been a real problem for us.