Finnish YouTube

Wanna see stuff getting crushed by hydraulic press? This is the right channel for you.

That’s is the description for the Hydraulic Press Channel, a YouTube channel where they, uh, crush things. Tyler found this stuff. The channel has been around for a few years already and they even made a video for Obama’s White House. It’s nostalgic for us to watch because of the host’s Finnish accent and attitude.

It’s winter there now so a perfect time to take their experiments outside. For instance, what happens when you put 20kg of red hot steel onto ice? Watch below for some “frozen lake stupidity.”

How do you get your props back again? As the host Lauri Vuohensilta says, “If you want something to be done, you just have to fucking do it.”

For more on Lauri and Anni’s background, ABC News, and the Washington Post have written them up.

A more innocent time

In the early 60’s two guys made a radio show out of wandering the streets and playing pranks of the unsuspecting locals.

In this episode Coyle and Sharpe wander into a drug store to ask for “operating equipment” so he can operate on his friend. “He’s got a pain in there and I’m just going to go in there and look around.”

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They have that guy going for a good eight minutes. I don’t think you could last more than 2 minutes today. If you listen to the end you’ll hear him bemoan his DeSoto. The last DeSoto rolled off the line in 1961.

If you like that one, here’s another.

Edelman’s Epic Catch

Photo: AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

4th quarter, just over 2 minutes to go, Patriots are down by 8. Julian Edelman grabs the pass while surrounded by three defenders, not only grabs the pass, snags it just after it bounced off one of the defender’s knees.

This was the turning point. The Pats moved it down the field to tie it up after a two point conversion and then win in sudden death overtime.

Just posting this here because I’m sure I’ll be looking for this video in the future.

Budweiser Founded by an Immigrant

They say this commercial was in development for a long time so they either had a few alternates ready to go or were just extremely prescient. Either way, Budweiser’s Super Bowl ad airing this Sunday will be sure to tap into what is on everyone’s mind in a way that only a few national brands can do when everyone is looking to grab the spotlight.

By telling the origin story of Adophus Busch’s journey from Germany to America in the mid-1800’s to found his brewery in St. Louis, Budweiser enters the national conversation with its own take on the contribution immigrants have made to this country.

See if you can spot the cameo of the famous Clydesdales who normally are front and center in their national TV commercials.

– via Advertising Age

Caught in the Crossfire

The hastily announced executive order banning people from several Middle Eastern countries for 90 days and all refugees for four months caused confusion, anguish, and anger across the United States this past weekend. As I monitored the stories that were coming in from airports across the nation, it was the stories of innocent people caught up in the mess that drove home the cruelty of this most “un-American” regulation.

5-year old boy separated from his mother at Dulles Airport


Raya Bidshahri studies neuroscience at Boston University. Because her parents are Iranian, she is worried that they will not be able to visit to see her graduation. Once she is out of school, her visa expires and she fears she will not be able to stay in the United States.


Meanwhile, Ivanka Trump shows off her new dress on social media which results in howls of protest


Luca Freschi, an Italian microbial geneticist at Laval University, in Québec, Canada, had planned to move to Harvard Medical School in March. But the US immigration ban has disrupted those plans, because his Iranian wife Maryam will not be able to come with him. She has encouraged Freschi to go without her. – Nature


Suha Abushamma, who is also a Sudanese citizen, was given the choice of withdrawing her visa application “voluntarily” or being forcibly deported and not allowed back to the U.S. for at least five years. – ProPublica


Even BART was getting snarky – suggesting that you could take their train directly to the protests at SFO.

And just in case they weren’t clear enough,


“They called the husband, he’s from Minnesota,” Abi explained to ABC, “They told him that you have to get your children because they’re U.S. citizens, but your wife we will deport to Africa — we’ll send her back to Africa today at 10 a.m. So if you don’t come by 10 a.m. we’ll deport her.” – Woman And Her 2 Children Held At Dulles Airport for 20 Hours With No Food


At 11:45pm Senator Cory Booker showed up and pushed through the crowd to talk with the Customs & Border Patrol agents who, despite a federal court order suspending the detainments, still held several people for questioning.

“I am now of the belief that though this was issued by the judicial branch, that it was violated tonight,” he said. “And so one of the things I will be doing is fighting to make sure that the executive branch abides by the law as it was issued in this state and around the nation. This will be an ongoing battle.”


Then there’s this story of told in a series of tweets from a vet who served in Iraq.


Echoing Gov. Jerry Brown’s remembrance of Woody Guthrie’s anthem, This Land is Your Land, protesters in Philadelphia broke out into song.


Want to do something? Here’s a continually updated list of resources for those in trouble and those that want to help.

Kindness and Tact

One of the local sushi restaurants, Kamakura, suffered a fire a few weeks ago and people have been writing letters to the local paper in support of the restaurant, it’s staff, and the beloved owner, the 92-year old Faith Yamato.

Today’s Alameda Journal has the following story which gives you a sense of Faith and the spirit of the place.

Faith Yamato is a beloved figure in our neighborhood and our lives, and, if I might, I want to share a story: We moved to Alameda six years ago, and my 84-year-old father was already unwell. We lived with him and wouldn’t know until a year later that we would have him in home hospice and he would be gone a few weeks after that. We took him out to Kamakura with some relatives who were visiting and Ms. Yamato was in her usual station, dispensing Botan candy for the kids, writing her signature birthday cards for the evening.

Dad had had a fairly crippling stroke some years earlier, and though he was always brave and positive about it, he had never fully regained the use of his right hand. As you might imagine, this made using chopsticks pretty challenging for him. But being the man he was, he wasn’t going to complain or ask for help, and we knew better than to bring it up in a way that would embarrass him.

Halfway through the meal, a waitress came out to my dad and said: “Excuse me sir, we have a new salad we would like you to try, and this is complements of the house.” She put a plate in front of him of the fine seaweed salad that was a Kamakura favorite. I was confused for a minute, until I saw what was discreetly placed on the dish. It was a fork.

I learned a lot about service that night, that it’s essence is giving someone what they need without their having to ask you for it and without needing credit for your action.

I looked inquiringly at Faith, and she never looked up from her colored pens and birthday cards. I knew she was behind it.

Gren Coffee
Alameda
“Kamakura’s Faith Yamato showed kindness and tact”

Kamakura is closed indefinitely while they rebuild. The restaurant is insured but they estimate the damage to the over $250k and while the restaurant is closed, the staff are obviously not being paid. If you’d like to pitch in to support Faith and the staff of Kamakura, there’s a Go Fund Me page set up by another businessman in Alameda.

California and Sanctuary Cities

I think it’s charming that the California State Legislature opens the session with a prayer from a Buddhist priest. I also love that the Governor begins the swearing in of the new Attorney General with a jocular, “Are you ready?” and ends with a casual, “That’s it! Congratulations!”

But if you want to skip ahead to Governor Jerry Brown’s fiery defense of California’s philosophy of inclusion, scrub up to the 20 minute mark.

I’m proud that not only my congresswoman but also my senator is speaking out for inclusion, Affordable Health Care, and clean energy. Ending his speech with the words of Woody Guthrie, Gov. Jerry Brown quoted “This Land was made for you and me which took on new meaning and emphasis in his speech. “California is not turning back. Not now, not ever!”

But the state’s stance on sanctuary cities is what is front and center today. Up and down and across the country leaders are speaking out against the new administration’s threat to withdraw federal support from sanctuary cities.

There’s a study out today that has shown that communities that devote their resources to actually fighting crime (instead of rounding up illegals) are actually safer.

I’m proud to say that my city too has taken a stance and declared itself a sanctuary city on the eve of Trump’s inauguration. When friends and family ask about the significance of this I point to this speech given in front of the City Council by Reverend Michael Yoshii of the local Buddhist temple who reminded everyone present that it was in Alameda, because of the proximity of the naval base on the West End of the island that the first Japanese-Americans were rounded up to live in the local horse track stables while the internment camps were being built that would house them during WWII.

They were rounded up because, in Michael’s word, war hysteria and paranoia ran high in the days after Pearl Harbor and, “no one spoke up.” Without a law or policy in place that set up a moral true North, no one spoke up.

We must not let this happen again.

h/t to local blogger Lauren Do for the pointer to Reverend Michael Yoshii’s speech

We’ve been hacked before

If you look hard enough, current events always have precedence in history. Maybe the players are different and the circumstances changed but, to turn a phrase from Mark Twain, “History may not repeat itself but it does rhyme.”

In a few days we will swear in a new president whom many think was put in place thanks to third party meddling. True or not, it’s interesting to note that this isn’t the first time strings have been pulled by an overseas power in order to influence our election to favor a particular outcome.

Steve Usdin, who is working on a book about the topic, posts on Politico about a time when our closest ally, the United Kingdom, resorted to all manner of subterfuge to influence the largely isolationist United States to enter into the war against Germany.

British intelligence employed the full range of cloak-and-dagger techniques in America in 1940 and 1941: forgeries, seductions, burglaries, electoral dirty tricks, physical surveillance, intercepting and reading letters sent under diplomatic seal, illegally bugging offices and tapping phones. British intelligence even listened in on a telephone call in June 1940 between President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the White House and his ambassador to Britain, Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. A report on the call was quickly relayed to Churchill, alerting him that the U.S. was making contingency plans in case the U.K. fell to the Nazis.

Wartime England even used another familiar ruse in order to sway public opinion. Fake News went by another name in Churchill’s England.  “Sibs,” short for sibilare, the Latin word for whisper or hiss were the brainchild of a secret clandestine government outfit, the Underground Propaganda Committee.

While rumors spread in Europe by word of mouth, in the U.S., they were disseminated through a network of friendly reporters and, starting in the spring of 1941, by the Overseas News Agency, a news service that received subsidies from, and was controlled by, the BSC. ONA articles appeared in newspapers around the country. Especially prior to Pearl Harbor, these stories were picked up by newspapers in Germany, Japan and occupied countries.

Using intelligence hacking and fake news to swing an election? Same as is everwas.