THE NEFF ZONE -- BY JIM NEFF
CADILLAC NEWS -- DECEMBER 2, 2017
What constitutes awesome for one person may not be considered awesome by another person. However, since I am easily entertained, I run across “awesomedudity” on a fairly regular basis.
For example, have you ever gone to a drive-in bank and sent your transaction to the teller through a vacuum tube? Keep that in mind. Now, how would you like to “drive” in your car to Detroit in an hour? Technology is being proposed in Colorado to meld these two things. It's called a hyperloop.
“Colorado drivers may be the first to escape traffic thanks to a new partnership between state officials and a Los Angeles-based hyperloop tech company...to create a network of roadside tubes at the congested heart of the city that promises to whisk drivers and their cars to their destinations at speeds of up to 200 mph. That Colorado project would transport people or freight in pods at up to the speed of sound. The idea is to use existing highway right-of-ways to install above-ground tubes to help commuters cheat traffic by granting them express trips in their own cars to popular destinations.”
In simple terms, your car would drive onto a pod and then the pod would enter the tube and shoot you to your destination. Think of it. Go to a sports event in Detroit in an hour. Go to Traverse City in fifteen minutes. Need a break from winter? Enter the hyperloop at midnight in Cadillac and be on a beach in Florida in time to see the sunrise. All with your own car. Pretty awesome stuff. (https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2017/11/14/colorado-drivers-may-first-escape-traffic/860696001/)
Speaking of winter (and by association the weather in Northern Michigan), have you ever wondered if there are other places in the world with the same weather as Cadillac? “A new interactive map will show you places around the world that have similar climate to your location in Michigan. Michigan has two climate classifications. Northern Lower Michigan and the Upper Peninsula is called snowy, fully humid with a warm summer. There are places in the U.S. and around the world that are climate twins to Northern Michigan.”
Input “Cadillac” into the interactive map's search box and it yields some interesting results. One country is our 100 percent exact weather twin – Belarus. That is followed by Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Moldova. “All of Belarus and over half of Poland have a climate similar...25 percent of Japan has weather similar...only 13 percent of the United States has a climate similar to Northern Michigan.” For fun, if you want to see the climate twins of other cities, check out the awesome interactive map at: https://www.saveonenergy.com/climate-equivalences/.
As winter settles in many of us will watch more television. I love TV and I am not ashamed to say it. My dad, Big Don, had one of the first TV stores in Flint, On the Spot TV, so the Neffs have always had an affinity for television.
Some of you young old-timers may recall a show called Cash Cab on the Discovery Channel. It went like this. “Open the door, clamber in and see the flashing colored ceiling lights and a familiar face at the wheel: Ben Bailey, the stand-up comedian. Cash Cab, pays you money to answer trivia questions while riding to the destination of your choice.”
They did 400 episodes of the show, it won Emmy Awards, and no one ever had a good answer as to why it was canceled. Reruns are now on the Game Show Network and get high ratings. But here's some awesome news. Cash Cab is back! “It's re-emerging from the garage Dec. 4 (10 ET/PT) on Discovery for a six-episode run of shows on consecutive Mondays.”
“Bailey’s passengers will take on classic Cash Cab trivia en route to their destination. If they get stumped, pedestrians and friends can help them out via phone, text or social media. There will be a new spin to the show as some unsuspecting passengers will be ambushed by celebrities.” (http://deadline.com/2017/11/cash-cab-revival-premiere-date-discovery-ben-bailey-1202204358/)
My DVR will be humming on those nights. Answering Cash Cab trivia is wonderful family fun. My hope if for a full return of this awesome series. (https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/tv/2017/11/28/cash-cab-ben-bailey-discovery-celebrities-revival/887237001/)
While you are watching Cash Cab, you might need some snacks. If candy is your choice, you may be interested to know what are Michigan's favorite holiday candies. According to CandyStore.com: “Michigan's favorite Christmas candy is...Reindeer corn? You read that right. Jelly's Belly's red, green and white vanilla-flavored kernels are Michigan's most popular holiday treat. The candy finished just ahead of Reese's Pieces and M&M's.”
The National Confectionary Association estimates that holiday candy sales will be $1.93 billion this year, a 2 percent increase over last year. That includes 1.76 billion candy canes and 150 million chocolate Santas. To see the favorites of other states, CandyStore.com has a really awesome interactive Christmas Candy map at: https://www.candystore.com/blog/holidays/christmas-candy-popular-states/.
Finally, remember the awesome NeffZone holidays web page at: https://www.neffzone.com/holidays/. On the page are all sorts child-friendly activities, games, puzzles, recipes, crafts, coloring sheets, jokes, videos, and hundreds of other things. Plus I just added that interactive map of America's Favorite Christmas Candy. It's a pretty awesome web page, if I do say so myself.
Jim Neff is a local columnist. Read Neff Zone columns online at CadillacNews.com and NeffZone.com/cadillacnews.
On a computer, put your cursor over a state to see that state's favorite candies. On an iPad, use your finger as a cursor.