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Phil in the Blank A column by Phil Custodio


Summer heat



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July 24, 2013 - Ninety degree heat with high humidity my least favorite weather ever and there's been lots of it lately. It's Michigan though, so it won't last. I'm not one of those who wish for weather like this in the bone numbing cold of February, though. I like the cold.

The blockbuster movies of summer 2013 haven't been nearly as hot. Box office has been sagging for a reason.

Star Trek into Darkness? Pretty good, but they gave me a remake with a twist when I wanted something new.

Man of Steel? Good, but another remake.

Lone Ranger? Hopeless. Didn't even see it. Needless to say but I will anyway another remake.

World War Z? It would have been better if it stuck more to the book. So we get termite-like fast zombies instead of the Battle of Yonkers, U.S. Army versus 2 million shamblers. The army lost.

It also turned its nose up at the idea of a rebuilt army of average joe soldiers in blue (camo doesn't work on zombies) forming up in squares to take down hordes of the undead with semiauto rifles and sharpened spades.

Pacific Rim was good, with giant robots fighting giant monsters. Still, I was nagged by the idea that being smaller than your enemy can be considered an advantage, like David vs. Goliath. So they could have put the new weapons they designed for the robots on fighters, helicopters, and tanks. Or just nuke the breach whenever a monster showed up.

Speaking of robots, the signature summer event of Clarkston for me is coming up this weekend. Team RUSH is hitting Deer Lake to put their engineering skills to the test. We get to watch them and maybe take a dip in the water.

The Clarkston High School robotics group has been taking a break from designing increasingly intelligent machines to design and build boats out of cardboard and duck tape.

Did they put too much emphasis on a fancy design or decoration? Did they put on enough sealant, early enough for it to dry?

The lake will let them know.

Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.
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