The week that was (09-13-2018)

A Mississippi high schooler was chosen first as the homecoming queen, then later kicked the game-winning field goal in overtime at the homecoming game as the football place kicker. Kaylee Foster later posed for a photo in her tiara and football uniform.

You know stressed jeans right? A company in Venice is selling sneakers that simulate the old sneaker look. Price? $560.

A man in Florida ran from his car after getting pulled over for speeding. Jumping into a canal to escape pursuit, he later can be heard calling for help. The canal was full of brackish water, overrun by toxic algae. The police rescued him, hosed him off and rinsed his mouth out before taking him in.

A 75-year old Cleveland man spent 14 hours locked in his Cadillac when the electrical system failed and prevented him from opening the doors. Screaming for help from inside his garage and without his cellphone, his neighbors went blissfully about their day until they discovered him later that evening. He was without the car manual that would have guided him to the manual override tucked below his seat.

Two visiting Australian firefighters, volunteering to fight forest fires near the California/Oregon border, reported they were shot at by “men with scoped rifles.” When asked, the people with the rifles said they were hunting bears.

In Portland, the author of How to Murder Your Husband was charged with murdering her husband.

An “enthusiastic parishioner” thought a 500-year old wooden sculpture of Mary, Joseph and Jesus needed a little color and painted them in day-glo jumpers to disastrous effect.

The company that owns Cadbury chocolate, Mondelez International, is stockpiling chocolate and biscuits in case of a hard Brexit.

Photo credit:  “There is a separation of colored people from white people in the United States. That separation is not a disease of colored people. It is a disease of white people. I do not intend to be quiet about it.” – Albert Einstein

Sign up to receive The week that was by email!

The week that was (09-07-2018)

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station were forced to temporarily plug a small hole with someone’s finger and later with some duct tape and epoxy.  As the week progressed, blame shifted from nature (a micrometeoroid) to internal (sabotage) before finally settling on institutional (shoddy workmanship).

Headline of the week award goes to:  Left behind: Thieves raid Virginia store of right foot shoes  h/t to Jane Costello for this one.

A fishmonger in Kuwait was shut down by authorities after it was discovered that they were sticking googly eyes on fish to make them appear fresher.

Researchers from the University of Minnesota have built a bionic eye prototype that could restore sight to the blind.

Africa will, for the first time ever, be host to genetically modified mosquitoes in the wild that produce mostly male offspring as a method of population control.

A motorcycle broke a speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats, topping out at 113 mph, powered by vodka.

Scientists are developing a new type of metal alloy that changes shape and composition at higher temperatures. Such shape-shifting technology holds promise to make more efficient jet engines for quieter airplanes.

A 53-foot trailer loaded with nearly $100,000 worth of ramen noodles was stolen from behind a gas station in Georgia. h/t to Rick Kennedy for this one.

A farmer on the island of Crete who was struggling to free his truck from a mud patch accidentally uncovered an ancient tomb from a civilization that vanished thousands of years ago.

A congressional candidate in Georgia will be running his campaign for office from behind bars after being thrown in jail for drunk driving.

After they were stolen over 13 years ago, Dorothy’s ruby red slippers from the Wizard of Oz were recovered by the FBI and returned to their owner.

Photo credit: reddit user qweratos

Sign up to receive The week that was by email!

Crazy Town

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Infowars host Alex Jones with cameos from Google Glass and an old-school casio calculator wrist watch converge on Washington DC.
Jack Dorsey and Alex Jones converge on Washington with cameos by Google Glass and a Casio calculator wristwatch. Read about how this photo came to be in Wired.

If I had to choose one photo to sum up how crazy things were this past week, this would be it. Here’s a run down of SmartNews’ breaking push alerts from last week after a relatively quiet Labor Day weekend:

Then there was this

It’s all just words. Rep. Billy Long (NPR)

The Week That Was will publish a bit earlier tomorrow, I’ll be off to Portland to visit the XOXO conference. Look me up (@iankennedy) and say “hi” if you’re there.

Putting it on the line

“As I’ve been saying from the beginning, this process has been a sham,” Senator Booker said. “The fact that tens of thousands of documents revealing a Supreme Court nominee’s views on key issues were deemed Committee Confidential and not available to the public reflects the absurdity of this process. The public has a right to access documents about a Supreme Court nominee’s views on issues that are profoundly important, such as race and the law. This process has demonstrated an unprecedented level of secrecy and opaqueness that undermines the Senate’s Constitutional duty to advice and consent.”

www.booker.senate.gov

Meghan McCain’s eulogy of her father

Meghan McCain’s full eulogy of her father, Senator John S. McCain

The America of John McCain is generous and welcoming and bold. She’s resourceful, confident, secure. She meets her responsibilities. She speaks quietly because she’s strong. America does not boast because she has no need to. The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again because America was always great. That fervent faith, that proven devotion, that abiding love, that is what drove my father from the fiery skies above the Red River delta to the brink of the presidency itself.

Read the full text here.


The week that was (08-31-2018)

Scientists found evidence for universes beyond our own. Other scientists discovered a giant deep-sea coral reef deep off the coast of South Carolina.

Senators Jeff Flake and the late John McCain (in one of his last acts before his passing) requested the Pentagon “prohibit the use of funds for the development of beerbots or other robot bartenders.” 

A 69-year-old man was pulled over on suspicion of theft of agricultural products. Inside the trunk of his car, police discovered 800 lbs of stolen lemons.

A sexually frustrated bottle nose dolphin has prompted a French coastal town to issue a swimming ban. At first the dolphin delighted visitors because of its eagerness to interact but the last straw appeared to come last week when the dolphin tossed a young woman bather in the air with its nose.

Animal rights group PETA asked the Maine Department of Transportation for permission to erect a 5-foot tombstone to mark the site of a truck crash that poured over 7,000 lbs of lobsters onto a road. The site will memorialize the “countless sensitive crustaceans” killed in the crash with a gravestone that will read “In memory of the lobsters who suffered and died at this spot August 2018, Try Vegan.”

Thieves in Paraguay replaced working police rifles with toy replicas.

Anthony Scaramucci, the gone-before-you-knew-him White House Communications Director,  is promoting a new, off-Broadway, cabaret-themed show featuring singing performers lampooning Trump’s children, wife, and ex-wives.

A large mural, commissioned by Chicago’s Lakeview Chamber of Commerce, was destroyed just days after the it was completed because it was mistaken as graffiti by the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation.

Coffee is now banned in South Korean schools, even for teachers.

Photo credit: MrRogersGhost on Reddit

Sign up to receive The week that was by email!

The week that was (08-24-2018)

It costs 2.6 billion bolivars to buy one roll of toilet paper in Venezuela where inflation is 82,700%.

Researchers, faced with a large collection of uncategorized medical images, worked with the developers of the online game, EVE Online, to reward gamers for helping them classify images. “The players are very fast,” they noted.

The Russian maker of the AK-47 announced it’s getting into the electric car business.

Two runaway goats delayed subway service in NYC. The transit authority tweeted out a photo, calling them “very baaaaad boys.”

Chanel announced that it is launching its first line of makeup products for men. The “Boy” line will be available in South Korea starting September 1st.

Michelle Terry, the new head of the historic Globe Theater in London, has said she wants a fifty-fifty male-female ratio in casting from now on. The theater’s new production of Hamlet casts her as Hamlet.

A Pittsburgh production of Romeo and Juliet has been adopted for an all-female cast.

1st Lt. Misa Matsushima became Japan’s first female fighter pilot. She was inspired after watching the movie, Top Gun.

The Danish shipping company, Maersk, announced that Arctic ice has opened up enough to send a container ship over the northern coast of Russia. They join China’s COSCO that has been plying this route for the past three years.

After 110 years, Nabisco’s Animal Crackers have been freed from their cage and now roam free, no longer behind bars.

Photo credit: Carlos Garcia Rawlins for Reuters


Sign up to receive The week that was by email!

Turn of the Screw

August 21st felt like a turning point. With the simultaneous trials of Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort popping out new bits of information about how Donald Trump ran his campaign, we learned that our President may be an “unindicted co-conspirator” in a crime. That’s an especially loaded term commonly associated with Nixon and Watergate (Wikipedia has already updated itself to include Trump) that indicates we may be headed into impeachment territory depending on the outcome of our midterm elections.

Joe Kahn, Managing Editor at the New York Times gave a very measured summary of the events of the day on The Daily podcast, part of what I’ve transcribed below.

This was the day that a series of possible charges turned into something that really is a direct legal and direct political threat to Trump’s longevity in office. It is quite likely that this will become a central issue in the midterm elections and force voters to decide whether or not they want to put Democrats back into majority in the house precisely because impeachment proceedings are the constitutional way to adjudicate a accusation of criminal activity by the President United States.

Up until now, even Democrats, had been reluctant to waive the impeachment flag as part of their campaign in the midterm elections. But you now have the President effectively being an unindicted co-conspirator in a crime. It seems highly likely that that then becomes a serious political if not a direct legal threat to the President. So this is a historic shift in the nature of the threat that we’ve been hearing about, writing about, talking about for so many months.

Impeachment is an unavoidable topic. It doesn’t mean he will be impeached. It doesn’t mean that if he is impeached he will be convicted but it is unavoidable topic when the president is an unindicted co-conspirator in a crime. That is the constitutional mechanism for adjudicating a credible accusation of illegal activity by the President of the United States.

Joe Kahn, Managing Editor, The New York Times

The following morning, here is the President’s response.