The week that was (09-21-2018)

Parents in South Korea are hiring intimidating ‘uncles’ to protect their child from bullies. With the ‘Uncle Package’ a big, intimidating man pretends to be a student’s uncle and gives a stern warning to the bullies, and accompanies the student on their way to school. The service costs about $450/day.

A TV station abruptly went off the air during their weather update on on Hurricane Florence because the newsroom was flooded by Hurricane Florence.

Fed up with the unwinding of proven science, Governor Jerry Brown announced that California will be launching “our own damn satellite” to track climate change.

Police in Alabama are testing an electric lasso that can ensnare a suspect up to 25 feet away and has been likened to a Spider-Man technology.

Golfers at the King’s Walk Golf Course in North Dakota can order food from the clubhouse and have it delivered to them by drone.

The 2nd oldest lightbulb in the world celebrated its 110th birthday.

The airline Cathy Pacific misspelled it’s name on one of its new Boeing 777s.

Coca-Cola is jumping on the CBD train and thinking about making a cannabis-infused drink.

That container ship that set off to attempt passage through the Arctic, over Russia, made it through and is due in St. Petersburg next week.

It was decided that if you’re going to have your kidney stones dislodged by a roller coaster at Disneyland, Big Thunder Mountain was the best one for the task.

After “months of torment” the Ipswich Borough Council finally tracked down why the children’s nursery rhyme  It’s Raining, It’s Pouring was eerily playing from the industrial park in the middle of the night. Spiders.

Photo credit: Reddit user logangrey123

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Questions about Kavanaugh

Two things nagging at me as we await what is gearing up to be the showdown of the decade. There’s no about-ness about this. Someone is not telling the truth. It’ll be winner takes all.

Brett Kavanaugh has categorically denied being at the party where  Christine Blasey Ford alleges that she was pinned down and almost raped by the current nominee for the Supreme Court.

Late night TV host Seth Meyers has this observation on curious timing of the release of list of women that support Kavanaugh,

Yet, Chuck Todd from NBC asks,

The problem with the denial is Dr. Ford didn’t make a specific allegation of a specific event. She admitted she couldn’t remember which house where this was. So, why does he have a very specific ability to deny?

How can Kavanaugh deny being at party when accuser never said which party it was?

Then there’s this tweet that makes you go hmm,

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

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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

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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

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