Author Archives: Ian Kennedy

The week that was (Ides of March)

Fed chairman Jerome Powell used a piece of fine art to illustrate how too much focus on the details can sometimes obscure the bigger picture.

“We have artificially created a state that evolves in a direction opposite to that of the thermodynamic arrow of time,” said Gordey Lesovik, a quantum physicist from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. In other words, his team has figured out how to reverse time.

A crematorium in Germany caught fire.

A suspected burglar broke into a garage in Indiana and was crushed to death by the 900-pound safe he was trying to steal.

Police in a small town outside of Denver posted a selfie of a suspected shoplifter discovered on a phone he left behind. “Please contact the Lakeside Police Department for your cellphone and your Shoplifting Charge. Hope to see you soon,” said the caption.

A Florida man dressed as Spiderman robbed a Winn-Dixie Wine and Spirits Store.

A trio of scientists realized the planets are not consistently on the same side of the sun so if you calculate average absolute distance from each other, it turns out Mercury, not Venus, is closer to Earth.

New research suggests changes in diet from agriculture lead to an evolution of the human jawbone and allowed for new sounds that require the lower lip to touch the upper teeth such as v and f.

Photo credit: Reddit user AhsanXD

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The week that was (03-08-19)

I’m in Austin at SXSW for the next few days so hit me up if you want to meet.

The Israeli Ministry of Health approved the use of MDMA to treat symptoms of PTSD.

North Korean chefs visiting Vietnam for the Trump – Kim summit were intrigued by several dishes being prepared by chefs of the Metropole Hotel. Shrimp Cocktail and Thousand Island dressing was something they had never seen before.

A snowbound Oregon man survived for five days by eating taco sauce packets. “Taco Bell Fire Sauce saves lives!” said Jeremy Taylor, 36, of Sunriver. “We know our sauce packets are amazing, but this takes it to a whole new level.” said a Taco Bell representative, “We’re in touch with Jeremy and getting him some well-deserved tacos and a care package.”

Jeep announced its first plug-in hybrid car.

Jetpack Aviation is taking orders for its flying jet motorcycle. At $380k they stress that this is not a toy. Only 20 will be made available for for recreation. “Future production will be dedicated to military and government.”

Former American pro-wrestler The Destroyer “slipped peacefully away” at his home in Buffalo, NY.

A psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital finally got his wish when CVS changed their staticky, scratchy piano hold music which had been driving him crazy.

Photo credit: Reddit user lysolmax

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Serena Williams is Crazy

For me, the highlight of this year’s Oscars was the new Nike commercial.

This piece is the latest in their campaign celebrating 20 years of Just Do It and setting the company up to lead the charge US Women’s Soccer heads to France to defend the World Cup.

Kevin Kelly on Mirrorworld

Kevin Kelly is the master of optimistic projection. Drawing a line Just as VR and AR start their decent into the trough of disillusionment, Kevin Kelly and Wired comes out with a cover story that looks beyond the immediate applications and imagines the opportunities in the great beyond.

The first big technology platform was the web, which digitized information, subjecting knowledge to the power of algorithms; it came to be dominated by Google. The second great platform was social media, running primarily on mobile phones. It digitized people and subjected human behavior and relationships to the power of algorithms, and it is ruled by Facebook and WeChat.

We are now at the dawn of the third platform, which will digitize the rest of the world. On this platform, all things and places will be machine-­readable, subject to the power of algorithms. Whoever dominates this grand third platform will become among the wealthiest and most powerful people and companies in history, just as those who now dominate the first two platforms have. Also, like its predecessors, this new platform will unleash the prosperity of thousands more companies in its ecosystem, and a million new ideas—and problems—that weren’t possible before machines could read the world.


AR WILL SPARK THE NEXT BIG TECH PLATFORM—CALL IT MIRRORWORLD

Information – People – Places & Objects. Who is going to figure out search on the mirrorworld? The social graph was the innovation that organized the social web. What will be the innovation to organize the world of places and objects? Voice UI?

The week that was (03-01-19)

Scientists are trying to figure out how an 8-foot humpback whale ended up in the Amazon jungle.

Harvard University wearily denied published rumors that Rapper Lil Pump was replacing German Chancellor Angela Merkel as this year’s commencement speaker.

A brewer decided the world needed a Lucky Charms-flavored beer. Morning Marshmallow IPA goes on sale on March 2nd.

DC bars opened early Wednesday morning for “watch parties” of Michael Cohen’s testimony to the House Oversight Committee. Missed opportunity for the afore-mentioned Lucky Charms IPA.

I learned earlier this week about Andy Warhol-branded skateboard decks you can buy at the MoMA store for $1650. Not to be outdone, Chanel announced a $7,700 skateboard.

We learned that Stevie Nicks has a “temperature-controlled” vault for her thousands of shawls.

Kalashnikov, makers of the AK-47, machine gun of choice of terrorists and jungle guerrilla fighters, announced a low cost drone that can deliver, “three kilograms of explosives and detonate on impact.”

Boeing announced an unmanned fighter jet that has a range of 2,000 nautical miles and, “designed to fly alongside crewed aircraft in combat for a fraction of the cost.”

A Florida man was arrested for assaulting his girlfriend with a cookie.

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We’re better than this

Elijah Cummings implores the United States to, “get back to normal”

I know that this has been hard. I know that you face a lot. I know that you are worried about your family. But this is a part of your destiny. And hopefully this portion of your destiny will lead to a better Michael Cohen, a better Donald Trump, a better United States of America, and a better world.

Elijah Cummings closing remarks, House Oversight Committee hearing of Michael Cohen

Amen.

Let the healing begin.

Contrasts

Tomorrow morning Michael Cohen will give public testimony that, at least according to his written opening statement, looks to be pretty historic. Cohen paints a picture of a selfish and narcissistic megalomaniac. Sprinkled throughout are vignettes such as these.

When telling me in 2008 that he was cutting employees’ salaries in half – including mine – he showed me what he claimed was a $10 million IRS tax refund, and he said that he could not believe how stupid the government was for giving “someone like him” that much money back.

Michael Cohen’s opening statement

Contrast this with the selfless and generous actions of Hall of Fame basketball great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar who announced that he’s gone all Marie Kondo and is clearing out his basement of all his old sports memorabilia including his four NBA championship rings in order to raise money for his charity that helps kids learn about science, technology, engineering and math.

So, when it comes to choosing between storing a championship ring or trophy in a room, or providing kids with an opportunity to change their lives, the choice is pretty simple. Sell it all.

Looking back on what I have done with my life, instead of gazing at the sparkle of jewels or gold plating celebrating something I did a long time ago, I’d rather look into the delighted face of a child holding their first caterpillar and think about what I might be doing for their future. That’s a history that has no price.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on why he’s auctioning off his sports memorabilia

The week that was (02-22-19)

Chimpanzees from the Belfast Zoo in Northern Ireland used downed branches from a recent storm to fashion a ladder to get them up and over their enclosure wall and take a bit of a walk-about.

What started out as a prank snowballed into a full-fledged movement. Someone created an online petition to sell Montana to Canada for $1. “We have too much debt and Montana is useless. Just tell them it has beavers or something,” says the preamble.

Nike’s new self-lacing sneakers were all the rage and the shoe to get. Until a software update bricked them.

Someone discovered an old Saturn V rocket engine, sitting in a junkyard in Missouri.

Starting next week advertisements for junk food will no longer be allowed anywhere on London’s public transit system. The ban on foods that are, “too high in fat, salt and sugar” extends to all subways, buses and bus shelters and is to combat child obesity.

Breakdancing is now a sport and is expected to be included in the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

Photo credit: Reddit user topcatthomas

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The week that was (02-15-19)

A library in Maryland received a book in the mail (ironically titled The Postman) that was checked out back in 1946.

A member of the Slovenian parliament stepped down after admitting to stealing a sandwich.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are investigating the heist of melted iceberg water from a vodka distillery in Newfoundland. They are unaware of black market for iceberg melt are asking people to be on the lookout for anyone trying to unload 30,000 liters in a tanker.

A phone lottery scammer picked the wrong 94-year old to try and shake down. William Webster was director of the FBI and then the CIA under Presidents Carter and Reagan. Webster worked with his old colleagues to collect evidence, record conversations, and finally arrest 29 year-old Keniel Thomas from Jamaica to 71 months in prison.

Denmark began construction of a 43-mile barrier with Germany, to keep out wild boar.

The White House put out a statement declaring the imminent declaration of a national emergency, using the iPhone Notes app.

The classic game of Tetris got an update with a feature that gives a nod to the battle royale format made popular by Fortnite. You can now play against 99 other players at the same time which apparently changes the game completely.

A couple in Houston broke into an abandoned house to find a quiet place to smoke some pot and found a caged tiger instead. At first the police had a hard time believing the story and dismissed the couple as over-imaginative stoners.

Photo credit: Reddit user MrPinky79

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