The week that was (06-29-2018)

Trump’s trade war backfired spectacularly when Harley-Davidson announced that it was moving production overseas to avoid crippling tariffs levied by the EU in retaliation.

Shawn Mendes, Bryan Adams, Foo Fighters and the Dave Matthews Band were facing delays because a protected bird built a nest and laid her eggs on the exact spot where construction of the main stage for the Ottawa Bluesfest was due to begin. Two days later, after a special permit from the Canada’s environmental authorities, they were able to move the nest and begin construction.

The NFL’s sole medical degree-holder was denied a request to put “M.D.” after his name on the back of his Kansas City Chiefs jersey.

Hundreds of Iranian soccer fans spent several overnight hours surrounding the hotel where Portugal’s national team was staying. They spent the night making loud noises in an attempt to disrupt their opponents’ sleep before a decisive match.

Masafumi Nagasaki, a hermit who retreated from the Japanese mainland to an isolated island near Taiwan, has been asked to return to civilization to look after his health. Nagasaki-san had been living there since 1989 and spent his days cleaning the beach of his island with a rake while wearing white gloves (and little else).

The first hamburger-making robot opened for business in San Francisco while the robot barista is moving on to version 2.0.

West Japan Railway started regular service between Osaka and Fukuoka on its Hello Kitty bullet train.

“Of course, we chose the cheaper foam agent. That’s how we survived,” said a worker at a Chinese refrigerator factory that was found to be the source of dangerous CFC-11 plume which mysteriously turned up in the atmosphere, threatening the earth’s ozone layer. “They never told us until last year that it was damaging the atmosphere. Nobody came to check what we were using, so we thought it was O.K.” Read the full investigative report by the New York Times who tracked the source of the leak to a single town in China.

Meanwhile, in Alberta, we bring you this“magnificently, almost suspiciously well-edited surveillance footage” of a convenience story robbery gone horribly wrong.

Photo credit: Reddit user Raqped

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez campaign ad

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shocked everyone last night with her huge upset the in New York’s 14th congressional district primary. The 28-year-old newcomer unseated Democrat Joe Crowley, a 10-term incumbent and one of the more powerful old guards of the party. Not only that, headlines screamed, she was a socialist.

She was outspent 18-to-1 and Congressman Crowley didn’t even bother to show up to two of the debates. By giving her something to push against, her supporters found purpose and Alexandria brought them along for the ride.

Here campaign video is powerful and gives me hope because it lays out a vision which is one that has been missing. She speaks to her voters because she is one of them in a way that the establishment is not.

We’ve all seen the “my story” candidate ads (some of which are powerful and mold-breaking). But there was something decidedly different, intoxicatingly defiant but also accessible in this film. The aforementioned, fleeting hallmarks of empathy and authenticity are everywhere in this work. For all the talk of storytelling, the little more than two minutes in the film is a master class in compacting passion, honesty and, yes, empathy and authenticity into a compelling package. Ocasio-Cortez isn’t merely telling her story; she’s telling everyone’s story in the district.

One could very easily deconstruct the tight copy, the beautiful film craft, the pacing leading to an anthemic crescendo, the excellent structure. Yes, there are the trappings of political ads, but what makes this ad special is that there isn’t a full-service ad agency behind it. Ocasio-Cortez wrote it, and she relied on volunteers to coordinate the shoot and real people, including the candidate’s campaign workers, are present throughout.

AdWeek

Border Wall

My twitter feed blew up last weekend. I had to turn off notifications and, even now, four days later, the number of retweets, likes, and responses are still coming in above the usual trickle. I clearly touched a nerve.

The original story is really quite amazing and has to be read to be believed.

Responses ranged from outrage from people that have been to the border fighting with people that were incredulous there was no kind of fence or marking of the Canada/US border. . .

. . . to those that felt the runner was the victim of selective enforcement because of the color of her skin. There were a surprising number of doubters and others who thought the whole story was made up fake news. Several people misread my tweet and dismissed the whole thing as bogus because,  “No one could jog all the way to Canada from France!”

The best replies came from those that pointed out that back in 2016 when 1,500 partying inner-tubers were blown off-course into Canadian waters our Northern neighbors scooped up the cold, wet, and tired into 19 buses to bring them back over the border. On top of that, “Sarnia city spokeswoman Katarina Ovens said workers spent several hours cleaning up after the invasion, picking up beer cans, coolers and even picnic tables that had washed up on the shore.”

I miss those innocent times before “zero tolerance”

The week that was (06-22-2018)

The agency that monitors seismic activity in Mexico said an “artificial quake” was registered in Mexico City, possibly caused by “massive jumps during the goal from the Mexico national soccer team.”

One of the oldest and biggest names in cannabis, High Times, announced that it is officially going public on the NASDAQ.

Multiple people in Michigan received, unprompted, an audio CD of a man telling a story. People were suspicious.

To prevent high school students from cheating on their final exams, the entire nation of Algeria cut off access its access to the internet.

Electricity providers used to have to spend valuable time on bucket trucks to clear debris such as kites, sheets, or parachutes from their power lines. Now they have a high-tech, lightweight (and pretty bad-ass) solution. Flame-thrower drones.

Phillie Phanatic is one of the more annoying team mascots. Especially so to Kathy McVay who was nailed in the face by a duct-tapped hot dog projectile fired from the Phanatic’s hot dog launcher.

Archaeologists began work on digging up the 1969 Woodstock festival site.

Harley-Davidson is selling bicycles. More specifically, a $4200 replica of their 1917 model they built when the company first started.

A jogger, visiting Canada from France, accidentally crossed the border, was apprehended by US Border Patrol, put into the back of a caged vehicle and driven 200 kms away to a DHS processing facility which took two weeks to clear her.

The Pokémon Go game added trading.

Photo credit: reddit user wetbathtub

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The week that was (06-15-2018)

A New York apple orchard was the first to have it’s trees pollinated by unmanned drones.

A shopping mall in China set aside walking lanes for people glued to their phones to keep them from bumping into other shoppers.

Bloomberg writes about a new breed of real estate agents selling virtual plots in Genesis City, a blockchain-based virtual world. Lots go for as much as $200,000, giving birth to a mortgage industry to finance these purchases.

A town in South Wales celebrated going “plastic-free” with a huge banner, made out of plastic.

The group Menage Life failed to break the world record for “the largest orgy in human history” when they couldn’t get enough people to show up.

A raccoon climbing up the outside walls of the UBS Plaza tower in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota was the lead story for most of Tuesday.

While designs for the US/Mexico border wall are still being decided, Australia has just completed installation of the world’s longest cat-proof fence.

Palmer Luckey, the founder of VR firm Oculus and pro-Trump supporter, is working on a virtual border-wall company.

Jamie Dupree, a radio newsman, went back on the air after losing his voice to illness two years ago. He now types into a text-to-speech application that uses years of his archived audio to create his new voice.

A Japanese woman was shocked when her husband, who the family cremated and buried, showed up on her doorstep almost a year later. “The incident is extremely regrettable. We’re determined to prevent a recurrence,” said the Tokyo Metropolitan Police in a statement.

Photo credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

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The week that was (06-08-2018)

Researchers recommended that humming the Spanish dance song Macarena while performing CPR will help keep you on rhythm.

Renovators discovered secret diary written by a worker on the underside of the floorboards at a French chateau uncovered a tale of infidelity and infanticide and gave historians a unique record of village life in the 1880s.

A flight from the Netherlands to Gran Canaria in Spain was diverted for an emergency landing due to a single man’s overpowering smell described as, “chemical weapons-grade stench.”

All flights out of Houston’s Hobby airport were delayed after a TSA agent screamed “Shut it down, shut it down, shut it down!” and ordered everyone to clear the area. The culprit, a plastic toy grenade (ed. who makes toy grenades?). This was less than 24 hours after Houston’s other airport, George Bush International, was shut down when an impatient passenger waiting in line to be searched said something about explosives.

The meditation app, Calm, published an audio reading of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) narrated by former BBC radio announcer Peter Jefferson to help its subscribers drift off to sleep.

The goalkeeper on the Tunisian World Cup team devised a brilliant scheme to give his ramadan-fasting teammates a quick break at sundown so they could load up on figs and water. He fakes injury.

The Miss America pageant announced that it’s getting rid of the swimsuit competition and will no longer judge contestants based on physical appearance.

Sometimes it feels like fashion designers are playing a joke on us. One side of the world were baffled by Balenciaga’s $1300 shirt-on-a-shirt while the other side of the world is puzzled by Gu’s khaki’s with a codpiece.

80 people lined up to be baptized on Sunday morning at Lake Abaya in Ethiopia. While the second baptism was being conducted, a crocodile leapt from the waters and attacked the pastor killing him. No word on what happened to the remaining 77 prospective converts.

An eight-floor “car vending machine” opened for business in Maryland.

A speed-climbing duo set a new record and scaled the sheer granite face of El Capitan in Yosemite in less than two hours. Pleased with their effort, Alex Honnold, one of the climbers texted “Yay!”

Photo credit: Reddit

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