How many calls is the unemployment office getting every day? What do you have to do to get tasered around here? Why was a Guadalupe County sheriff arrested? Problems plague the first few days of Rail Runner service to Santa Fe.
Most of the Dec. 15 City Council meeting was deferred due to icy roads and snow. The councilors still managed to get a couple things out of the way. The most interesting items—sweeping water conservation measures, sector plan approvals and what to do with all those water-hog city toilets—will be heard sometime in the new year.
Dateline: China—London’s Telegraph reports a Chinese man was struck and killed by a wayward weather rocket—a fact that was not discovered until the man’s body exploded while being cremated. The body of Wang Diange, from the Chinese province of Inner Mongolia, was found in the wreckage of a house where he had been overseeing the wake of a recently deceased family member. As it was raining and thundering at the time, family members concluded Wang had been struck by lightning. Several days later, after his own funeral, Mr. Wang’s body blew up as it was being fed into the cremation chamber, blasting the metal doors from their hinges. When the fire had been put out, the only clue left was a small, twisted piece of metal, which seemed to be the glowing remnant of a screw. A military serial number was found on the metal and a lengthy investigation traced it back to the local weather bureau. The day that Mr. Wang died, the weather bureau had been firing shells into the atmosphere to break up hail in a bid to protect the local tobacco crop. Inside the shells was silver iodide, a chemical that helps break hail into rain. The weather bureau’s own investigation concluded that one shell must have failed to explode, hit the house in which the wake was being held and lodged inside Mr. Wang’s body. As a result of the investigation, the weather bureau paid out a 80,000 yuan (about $15,000) settlement to the Wang family.
The year 2008 comes to a close, ushering out a mostly fine year at the movie theater. This summer, Marvel’s Iron Man and DC’s Dark Knight duked it out in a giant-sized crossover for superhero supremacy. The winner? Moviegoing audiences, who got two great films. Pixar delivered another winner with the adorable WALL-E. Three-dimensional movies had their best year since The Creature from the Black Lagoon terrorized audiences back in the ’50s. Among the new, higher-tech wave of 3-D flicks: Hannah Montana, Journey to the Center of the Earth and Bolt. Sex and the City made the leap from the small screen and scored a $150 million payday, proving it’s not just teenage boys who buy movie tickets. And a rush of Oscar contenders packed December theaters with critical faves (Milk, Slumdog Millionaire, Frost/Nixon, Doubt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Wrestler, Revolutionary Road).
The bad news is STOVE is closing. The good news is the space isn't going away--it's getting passed on to the folks of Black Market Goods, an underground traveling gallery (skip to the arts section to read about the details of the handover). The bad news is that means no more (ir)regular live music at 114 Morningside NE. But the good news is the last music event at the East Nob Hill artspace/venue will be a reunion of Albuquerque pirate queens Potty Mouth Sherry's. Relocated bandmate Cassady Fernandez is back in New Mexico for Christmas, and so PMS is rebooting for a quickie. Say “hi” to PMS and “bye” to STOVE as a music venue this Friday, Dec. 26, with Fando and Roñoso. The show starts at 8:30 p.m. and cover's $5.
So, how was your Christmas? What's that? Mom dipped a bit heavily into the egg nog? Yeesh. Oh, your brother was visiting from Seattle—that's nice. And he brought up the time you auctioned off his underwear on the first day of his freshman year? Oooh. Accused you of ruining his life, blaming you for his arson spree? Huh. Well. How was mine, you ask? Pretty much the same, actually. Virtually identical. What's say we get out of the house so we won't be around when those emotional vultures come to pick our bones clean: Let’s go see some art. Even better, let's catch some shows that are wrapping up their run in the next week or so before we miss our chance.