Tuesday’s News Dump

I’m actually working on a new History Blog post today, but in the meantime, here’s a quick news dump to tide you over:

– You’ve probably heard about the mysterious stranger who left roses and cognac on Edgar Allen Poe’s grave on his birthday every year… well, this year he (or she) didn’t show up. Or at least, he hasn’t shown up yet. For the past sixty years, he’s shown up every January 19th before 5:30 am… but there’s been no sign of him so far.

– The folks over at Audioholics have noticed something interesting: the Lexicon BD-30, a high-end ($3,500!) Blu-Ray player is nothing more than a $500 Oppo BDP-83 Blu-Ray player stuffed into a fancy case. Apparently the people over at Lexicon didn’t even bother taking the Oppo out of its chassis: the Lexicon is literally an Oppo (chassis and all) stuffed into a fancy aluminum chassis and marked up $3,000. Nice. Read more here.

Speaking of disc players, here’s Stereophile Magazines’ very first review of a CD player from 1983: the Sony CDP-101. It’s kind of funny how they worried whether there’d be enough “software” (music) to make the purchase worthwhile! Also interesting: the player’s $1,000 list price is $2,134.47 in 2008 dollars. To think that you can buy one for $13.96 these days.

– Baltimore football fans are a special kind of crazy.

– Want to make sure that your luggage arrives safe and sound on your next flight? Pack a gun in your bag. As you might know, carrying a handgun in checked luggage is not only not a crime, it only involves filling out a simple form at the check-in counter at the airport. And once your hand your bag over, your bag is placed in a high security area that’s constantly monitored (TSA really doesn’t want to lose a bag with a gun in it). What you may not know is that starter pistols are included on the list. Yes, those blank-firing “guns” used to start track and swim meets are considered “firearms” by the FAA. So you can buy one – no background check or waiting period needed, and legal in every state – and stuff it right into your bag. Even better: a used starter pistol should only set you back around $20.

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