Jefferson's Website (It's coming, it's coming...)

"What is it you would see? If aught of woe or wonder, cease your search." - Hamlet, act V, sc ii
"Behind this door all of my dreams become reality... and some of my realities become dreams." - Willy Wonka
"The difference between dreams and nightmares--we chase one, the other chases us." - me

- J e f f e r s o n' s -
W e b s i t e - O f - W o n d e r
Jefferson Hall, Savannah, Georgia

Fun (and slightly disturbing) Fact... 99.9956% of the earth’s history took place before our species existed. Single-celled microbes ruled the earth 17,500 times longer than we've been around. We've existed for 1/22,835ths of the earth’s history.
To give this abstraction perspective:
*If the earth were a house built 100 years ago, we moved in 38 hours ago.
*If the history of the earth were bundled into a sum of $10,000 our contribution to the total would be... 44 cents.
*The largest capacity football stadium in the US is Michigan Stadium, with 107,601 seats; if the number of seats were to represent the history of the earth, our species would occupy 4 seats.
*If the earth began exactly 24 hours ago the entirety of our species would comprise the most recent three-and-a-half seconds.

Welcome to my home... As Willy Wonka warned of his factory, "Little surprises around every corner but nothing dangerous!"

Fun fact: There are approximately 200 billion stars in our galaxy. You could name a star for every person on earth and still leave 96% of the galaxy unnamed.

The Incredible and Improbable Physics of Santa's Journey

THESE are the things I think about.... If Santa were to begin delivering gifts at 8pm Christmas Eve on the east coast (and I think we all agree he couldn't start much earlier than that) and finish delivering by 6am Christmas morning on the west coast, that would give him 13 hours to cover the continental US. (Putting aside Canada and Mexico, and for that matter, the rest of the world!)

According to the US Census Bureau, in 2015 there were some 124.6 million households in the US. Now clearly, many of these households are merged at Christmastime, others don't celebrate Christmas at all while still others are just... naughty. BUT ~ even presuming that Santa visits just 1% (just ONE percent!!) of those 124.6 million households in the US, in order to accomplish this task in 13-hours he would have to visit 1600 homes per minute, or 27 houses per second.

And talk about eating on the run -- just as problematic is the tradition of leaving out milk & cookies. If even ONE percent OF THAT ONE PERCENT of the populace left milk out for him and he were to politely sip one ounce from each... that's 12,460 ounces of milk. This is 97.3 gallons of milk in 13 hours. (97.3 gallons = 807 POUNDS of milk.... Where is he going to pee?) A single bite from each cookie amounting to to one-tenth of an ounce (or 5 grams each) would be 137.35 lbs of food, and not just food, but cookie, which I can only imagine would impact like a brick and be unable to pass. To be clear, just nibbles and sips from .0001% of the US population's households would equal nearly HALF a TON of milk & cookie dough consumed in a window of 13 hours.

Now a bigger issue to consider is that payload atop the sleigh. If Santa were to pack just ONE GIFT per house for his "one percent of US households" -- and even if each box were to contain NOTHING at all -- the sheer weight of 1,246,000 empty boxes (each empty box weighing 11 ounces) would result in a payload clocking in at 856,625 lbs, or 428 tons. That's the weight of 65 elephants, 11 eighteen-wheelers, 5 space shuttles, or two 747s. Again, this is without a single toy... just the boxes (and I presume IOU notes inside, though I didn't factor the weight of a million+ sheets of paper into the above). Now placing such a weight equal to 245 SUVs atop a house would subject its roof to structural stresses no house in America was designed to bear and no structural codes were created to accommodate. In short, every house Santa's sleigh would land on would collapse under the weight, and by Christmas morning each household on Santa's list would have suffered catastrophic damage or complete collapse... with an empty gift from Santa nearby.
-Jefferson, 2017

Fun fact: You're balanced on a planet rotating at 1000 miles per hour, revolving around the sun at 67,000 miles an hour, within a galaxy rotating at 600,000 miles an hour, which itself is speeding away from other galaxies at 5-10 million miles an hour depending upon their position to us. Do Not Trip.

Some of my favorite videos from the world of the Web:
Let Me In

Seriously, the most moving vampire flick ever...
Neil Degrasse Tyson--Secret of the Universe

| 3 min 34 seconds |
So, he climbed up the cliff, like, every time? (Compilation by me!)
Ricky Gervais EVISCERATES Noah's Ark

| 14 min 25 seconds |

Fun fact: Before our current Gregorian calendar was adopted three centuries ago, the New Year was not celebrated in January but instead in March. And while we might think it odd to consider March as the beginning of the year... I'm sure our ancestors would think it even more peculiar that because of this discrepancy we now observe "Sept"-ember (seventh month) as the 9th, "Oct"-ober (eighth month) as the 10th, "Nov"-ember (ninth) as 11th, and finish the 12 month year with the tenth month ("Dec"-ember).

WHO AM I? I'm Jefferson. I'm a passionate student of literature, mythology, history, physics and even the violin (which I picked up for the first time at 45). The average human life lasts just two and a half billion seconds. Do something cool today.
HOW OLD AM I? Born... a.) 1968 b.) 1970 c.) 1972 d.) all of the above e.) Eternal f.) "not all here yet"
WHERE DO I LIVE?: Savannah, Georgia, est. 1733. I've been a tour guide and obsessive researcher/fact-checker since 1991, even written an unpublished 500 page manuscript, detailing the Savannah settlement's first five years. That's right, I'm just that anal.
I GREW UP... In Atlanta (an empty sprawling metropolis, mistaking its multitude of Peachtree Streets for a soul). Oh, yeah, I lived for a short time in New York when I was three, where I innately picked up this smart-ass attitude.
EDUCATION: Magna cum laude 1995 BFA degree in art history from the Savannah College of Art and Design, which over-qualifies me to look at pictures.
MARITAL STATUS: Single. Straight. Never married and no kids. But I do have a family of finches that nest every year on the porch (hey, that nest has produced 33 offspring since 2011).
FAVORITE TV SHOWS: LOST, until that awful sixth season. The WALKING DEAD, until it's similar sixth-season collapse. CW's The 100. Anything on the Science Channel. (History Channel airs too many weird Ax and Trucker reality shows to be considered history anymore.)
HOBBIES: Taking care of my banana trees, teaching myself the violin, studying -- I'm such a nerd -- but I love to learn.
FORMER HOBBIES: As a child I did commercials, print work & stage work and such in Atlanta--Emory University, Flat Rock Playhouse, my most recent adult appearance was in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil... Take a look at the footage below. (Existential query: What's worse... being in a bad film or not being in any film at all? Hmmm.)As a child I did commercials, print work & stage work and such in Atlanta--Emory University, Flat Rock Playhouse, my most recent adult appearance was in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil... Take a look at the footage below. (Existential query: What's worse... being in a bad film or not being in any film at all? Hmmm.)
FAVORITE SPORT: Women's gymnastics. Little girls in tights bending over backwards to please me.... Second favorite: Women's ice skating. Little girls in small skirts flashing me for scores of artistic merit. Hehe. (I'm not a dirty old man, but I do hope to be one one day.)
MY MOST USELESS TALENT: I can name every Roman Emperor through Trajanus Decius (251 c.e.). Now you try at home. It's not even good for free fries anyplace... I've checked.
FAVORITE QUOTE: In the words of Voltaire, "Common sense is not so common." Dictionaire Philosophique, 1764
"GROCERY STORE AS LIFE" ANALOGY: There are two types of people in the world--Those who won't go in the ten items or less aisle because they have nine, and those who will because they have eleven.

Fun fact: Like Baskin Robbins and its 32 flavors or like a vocabulary made out of 26 letters, our entire universe is made up of just 92 types of naturally occurring atoms. But every atom is composed mostly empty space. In fact, 99.9999999999999% of an atom (that's 13 nines after the decimal!) is empty space. Given that you are are made 100% of atoms, only 0.0000000000001% of you is solid space.

Jefferson's appearances in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997)
(Over John Cusack's right shoulder, then on the other side of every door he walks through)

| 73 seconds |
Take a moment to meet the great big life-sized Alien in my kitchen (Or he'll eat you...)
People are incredibly curious about this thing,
so I finally took some footage.

| 151 seconds |

Fun fact: Sound travels at 768 miles per hour. Light travels at 670 million miles per hour.... The moon that you see in the sky is one second & a half in the past, and at 93 million miles distant the sun we see is a full eight minutes in the past. If the sun were to abruptly disappear from existence it would continue shining in our sky for another eight minutes.

Failing Interior Design, 101

For 141/2 years -- one-tenth of its existence--I lived at 115 West Gaston Street.... Whatever poor soul lives there now probably still gets my junk mail thru the slot. Hehe. Behold, my crap legacy. I always said that when I died I was going to come back and haunt the place. (Still might... I haven't decided.) I loved that place, but in Dec. '04 I moved to the suburbs. Now I have more room to scare children, heckle passing golfers and showcase my vast array of memorabilia. An incurable collector (I say incurable--if they found a cure and started giving me the pills instead of taking them I'd begin carefully collecting them too), I have countless movie posters spanning eight decades, 10 classic arcade games (Asteroids, Ms. Pacman, Tron, Galaga & Defender, etc.), old Mickey Mouse and Chuck Jones production drawings, a ten-foot movie screen for the enjoyment of la cinema, a full-sized Han Solo in Carbonite, a seven foot Alien and two Michael Myers mannequins (because one is never enough).

Dangerous Roomates....
Yes, I actually live with all this, and frequently stub my toe on my dinosaur. R2-M5 is always in my way and Gollum never cheers up.

"Gentleman Journalist" Bruce Hall passed in May 2017, a 50-year veteran of radio, local tv and 2 national networks. He covered 40+ Shuttle launches, equal number of hurricanes, aired some 3000 reports on the CBS Evening News and was twice nominated for an Emmy (won in 1984) before moving to NBC as anchor, correspondent, producer & mentor.

Fun fact: There are approximately 10,000 species of birds on the earth, and approximately 40,000 species of spiders. Hell, there are even currently 13 different types of Cheerios on the supermarket shelves...(!) but only one species of humans. As recently as 30,000 years ago there were as many as 5 different species of humans on the earth... Homo erectus, Homo floresiensis, and the Homo heidelbergensis descendants of Neatherthals, Denisovans and us... today we alone remain.

So who's your daddy? How about the Entire Population of Europe 1200 years ago....
Okay... so we have 2 parents, 4 grandparents, 8 great-grandparents and 16 great-greats... but few people think beyond those 3 or 4 generations of ancestors closest to us and whose pictures might be found while dusting in the attic. In short, every generation doubles the number of ancestors, across the board and without exception. After 32 "great-great-greats" and 64 "great-great-great-greats" the number really accelerates. By the 10th generation there are 1024 direct ancestors mixed into your DNA, and by the 15th generation, 32,768. By the 20th you cross the million ancestor mark at 1,048,576. (In the past 600 years it has taken more than a million ancestors… to make YOU!) By the 30th generation 1,073,741,824 and by the 40th a staggering 1,099,511,627,776 grandmas & grandpas (Yes, for the record, that's a TRILLION... it's a lot of cards and anniversaries to keep track of... and a lot of grudges against you should you forget).

Given that this journey through 40 generations of time takes us back to the 9th century (+/- several decades)-- a time when the world population hovered near 250 million and the European population is estimated on the generous side at 30 million -- it would be safe to say that everyone in the Western World who is derived from any European or Scandinavian stock is descended from EACH and EVERY successful child-bearing line of 9th century Europe--and not just once... but on average, 36,650 times over. (And that number is conservative, in that 30 million represents the entire population, not just child bearing lines.) Some ancestors would be represented more often while others less, but regional and cultural isolation (Jewish enclaves, Moors in Spain) offers no exception to the rule...all it takes is one ancestor, a "gateway grandpa" to bridge the narrow into every nook & cranny in the genealogical atlas. In the end, the odds average out to 36,651 to 1 that you are NOT directly descended from every man & woman who walked European soil in 800 AD and who happened to have a child, who had a child, who had a child....
-Jefferson, 2006-2012

Excerpts from my daddy's retirement retrospective

(thanks to Bob Horner, Sharon Houston and the entire Newschannel team who so thoughtfully compiled this)

| 7 minutes |
My Michael Myers Mannequins

One is based on Halloween, the other on Halloween II, after the trick r treating was done and he'd been shot 14 times.

| 1 minute |

Speaking of Xmas, here's MadTV's "Raging Rudolph," from '95:

MY EARLIEST CHRISTMAS WISH: I was either five or six when I engaged in my first plot to take over the world... asking Santa for a "real" magic wand. You see, I thought myself the smartest kid on earth; knowing well that other kids would ask for toys, my plan was much more fully realized and ambitious, a back-door clause, like foiling the genie on the third wish by wishing for a thousand more. I want... a REAL magic wand, I whispered to the mall Santa. What else do you want? Silly Mall Santa, I require no more, no back up or plan B for you to fall back on should you fail your task. I want a REAL magic wand. I said it politely, of course, but I knew I had him on the technicality--I'd been good most of the year and he had to give me at least one thing on my list, so I kept the list short. (Always thinkin', this guy is...) Santa Claus would be my bitch.

My parents looked over my letter to Santa (I had to do the letter thing too for the sake of redundancy, you see; there could be no misunderstanding. I had a vision...). But don't you want anything else, my parents carefully asked. No, of course not, why be selfish? I asked, innocently wiping away my drool, concealing the depths of my megalomania with a safety-wipe. It seemed to me perfectly straightforward; why waste anyone's time with anything else when the magic wand would surely provide? But alas, my carefully crafted scheme was thwarted! destroyed! and undone at the last minute like the scheme of every James Bond villain from 1962's "Dr. No" to today's "I'm So Tired Let Me Die." (... or whatever Bond film they're up to these days) I had been foiled by realities I could not yet grasp, but felt in the depths of my soul that Christmas morning as I plucked from the mantle an apologetic note from Santa--my dreams of world conquest dashed as I sat in footie pajamas. Sure, he had other toys for me, but to me they were merely boxes and paper. The world had slipped through my grasp. I grew up a lot that day. All that time I had been good for nothing.

Some would say I'm still good for nothing. Hehe. I mean, ho ho.

Thanksgiving used to scare me the way Halloween scares most kids. See, in many ways Halloween was MY Thanksgiving; I could make a five course meal out of the M&Ms alone. Mmm, candy.... I know, I know, Thanksgiving is supposed to be more about Family than the Turkey, but hey, I don't eat the family. My appetite stopped maturing at the age of three. Hot dogs, hamburgers, tacos and pizza are the only reason I'm still alive this day. And the only reason I'll be dead ten years from now. There doesn't exist on the earth a fruit I like, and vegetables might as well be called "carrots," because that's all I know of them. Fish? Processed into a McDonalds fillet it's good. Chicken? Oh yes... as long as it's one of those mysterious breeds known as McNugget. And while I'm on the subject, woe to the guy who doesn't like chicken, 'cause everything tastes like it...

Gone from my universe--wiped away, if you will--are the Four Food Groups, replaced by my Four "C"s.... Chips, Cookies, Candy and Cokes. Hehe.

Come to think of it, the letter "C" is well represented; it may be that I'm not picky against food, just the other 25 letters of the alphabet, really... Take Asparagus, for example--it starts with the letter "A" and I don't like it. Broccoli--now that's "B," and well, no thank you. BUT... Cake starts with a "C," and it's delicious. So too, Cookies! Now, Cotton Candy (note the 2 "C"s there), I like twice as much as cotton or candy alone.... Maybe it's the Caffeine that I like in Coke. Or the Calcium in the Cream in my Coffee. Pizza I like, but Cold pizza? Even better. And when it's Covered with Cheese? Cascading over the Crust? Or, for that matter, Complementary and without Charge because they Care about their Customers? (Especially when it's Carryout) Yumm. SEE, THIS IS MY THESIS: everything just tastes better with more "C"s. Really, the more "C"s in a food's name, the better. Oh, now, I know what you're thinking.... I just said I didn't like broccoli, and it's got two "C"s, right? Fatal flaw? No, I don't think so(!); it just makes my point; think how much worse it might taste if it didn't have those "C"s. Who's to say the "C"s don't make it taste as good as it does? I mean, if it were just "Brooli", that doesn't even sound good. I'd never even try something called brooli. And without the "C" chips would be hips, where I think they go anyway. See, I'm on to something; the whole food pyramid rests on the "C"rux of the "C". And without the "C" it doesn't quite "crumble," but it does... "rumble."

Today is A.D.
of the Holocene epoch of the Neogene period of the Cenozoic era of the planet Earth

...Remember where you parked....

Fun fact: Everyone is familiar with the term needle in a haystack. Well, if the observable universe (and to be clear–that’s not the whole universe, just the universe we can SEE from here…) were scaled down to the size of the Earth, our solar system would be smaller than a single grain of sand a random beach somewhere on the planet.
Pictures, text and design: Jefferson Hall, between 2000 - 2018
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