The week that was

The fact-checkers at Snopes spent 90-minutes trying to figure out if former President Trump was wearing his trousers backwards.

Concerned about climate change, a Texas congressman asked the National Forest Service if they could do anything, “to change the course of the moon’s orbit or the Earth’s orbit around the sun.”

Arizona’s Department of Corrections is prepping to restart its gas chamber on death row and plan to use hydrogen cyanide, also known as Zyklon B, the gas used by the Nazis. Google’s head of diversity was fired over an anti-Semitic blog post.

National Geographic officially recognized a fifth ocean adding the Southern Ocean to all its maps. The people at are pissed.

Following his ban from Facebook and Twitter, the former president started a blog, From the Desk of Donald J. Trump. Last week he shut it down due to lack of interest.

Cicadas were so thick in the air that they were showing up weather radar. They also got into the engines of the White House press corps plane, delaying their departure to Europe until 2am. Isn’t there something in the Bible about this?

Engineers at MIT have discovered a new way to generate electricity.

A South African woman gave birth to ten babies joining her six-year old twins. Guinness World Records is heading to Pretoria to verify but there’s drama around the marital status of the father.

A lobster diver, plucking crustaceans off the ocean floor near Cape Code, was swallowed whole by a whale and spat back up to tell the tale.

TWTW is a weekly collection of bits and pieces I run across each week while looking after things at SmartNews. Feel free to sign-up to get this via email, follow on Facebook, or forward to a friend.


The week that was

A UN report stated that a drone aircraft autonomously attacked humans for the first time ever in Libya last year. Closer to home, a candidate for mayor in Albuquerque, had his speech interrupted (griefed?) by a drone-carrying a dildo.

In a reversal of last week’s policy that brought us the ConocoPhillips “chillers” used to firm up the melting tundra, the Biden administration will freeze oil leases in the Alaska Arctic National Wildlife Refuge pending further environmental review.

Someone discovered, tucked away in the royal decree of laws governing Belgium, specifically, Book V of the Code of Economic Law, paragraph nine of the French translation of article 13 of the section on pricing for drugs and medical devices, a recipe for asparagus gratin.

The Barron County sheriff’s office is thanking the Bovine Unit for shuffling into action and blocking a suspect in their car during a 13-mile chase.

Something any Japanese onsen fan could have told you, a Coventry University study found that a good long soak in piping hot water has some of the same health benefits as vigorous exercise.

A hat store in Nashville started selling yellow “not vaccinated” Star of David patches and were promptly cut off from Stetson, Kangol, and several other milliners. A Tennessee woman was arrested for driving her SUV at a high rate of speed through a drive-in vaccination facility yelling “no vaccine” and nearly hitting some workers.

A parking spot in Hong Kong sold for the equivalent of $1.3M breaking the record also set in Hong Kong.

TWTW is a weekly collection of bits and pieces I run across each week while looking after things at SmartNews. Feel free to sign-up to get this via email or forward to a friend.

Current Events

Michael Menchaca

A Cage without Borders

It was soggy out on Saturday so I took a look my NYC Museums twitter list to see what was going on. Izumi and I settled on visiting the Museum of New York City uptown and with our admission came a free pass to check out El Museo del Barrio which has an exhibit of Latinx contemporary art next door.

There were many thought-provoking exhibits, you can read about them here or here, but the one that captivated me was Michael Menchacha’s video installation, A Cage Without Borders.

Image credit: Michael Palma Mir

From the artist:

A Cage Without Borders hijacks the commercial appeal of motion graphics on social media platforms in order to critique the US carceral state. This three-channel video installation runs a synchronized HD animation on three TV’s that are vertically oriented, mimicking the visual presentation of mobile devices. This installation addresses the ways in which Big Tech is currently operating as a de facto neo-colonial project enabling racialized state surveillance to oppress the most vulnerable communities.

Michael Menchacha

The video (see embed up top) is overwhelming but that is the intent. I dare you to keep up with the commentary while assaulted by glittery animations that scroll by on the screen like a digital slot machine. Little snippets jump out at you and lodge in your brain like morsels of insight, something to chew over and ponder later in your day.

  • State-sanctioned bias bots
  • Your behavior is now their private property
  • The truth does not generate surveillance profits
  • Facebook has created a political whitelist which has exempted over 100,000 officials from fact-checking in order to maximize user engagement
  • A digital caste system
  • Digital re-incarnation
  • Become a digital vegan

With those thoughts jangling around in our heads, we sought refuge across the street and discovered the Conservatory Garden in Central Park, the perfect digestif to the technological assault we just experienced.

Another weekend adventure in our new home.


The week that was

Climate change is moving vampire bats north to Florida. In California, Pacific lampreys, also known as “vampire fish,” are returning to rivers where they have not been seen for 40 years.

UK police nabbed a drug dealer because of his love of Stilton cheese.

Lawmakers in Texas passed a bill to allow people to carry handguns without a license. The governor signed into law a ban on abortions as early as six weeks, and another law that prevents Texas cities, counties, and public schools from asking people to wear a mask.

After their smash debut at the Los Angeles Public Library, the Linda Lindas signed a record deal.

To drill for oil under the tundra of Alaska, ConocoPhillips will install “chillers” into the permafrost (which is melting because of climate change) to keep it solid enough to support the equipment to drill for oil, the burning of which will continue to worsen ice melt.

It is now cool to wear socks with your sandals in a non-ironic way.

“The one high-stakes moment where they fucked up in a minor way that escalated into a really big deal,” is the summation of how a stripped wheel nut scuttled the Mercedes-AMG F1 team at the Monaco Grand Prix.

A mother died in motorcycle crash during memorial ride for her son who also died in a motorcycle crash.

A survey of over 5,000 people from across America found that 15% believe that the government, media, and financial worlds in the U.S. are controlled by a group of Satan-worshipping pedophiles who run a global child sex trafficking operation.

My old hometown, Alameda, made the news as hundreds lined up to find out what death smells like.

TWTW is a weekly collection of bits and pieces I run across each week while looking after things at SmartNews. Feel free to sign-up to get this via email, follow on Facebook, or forward to a friend.


The week that was

A piece of Antarctica the size of Rhode Island broke off and created the world’s largest iceberg.

Five counties in eastern Oregon voted to secede the state and become part of Idaho.

The first case of Covid was detected at Everest base camp in April. This week it is estimated that there are more than 100 cases with reports of people coughing in their tents.

An online lending platform called Kabbage was found to have sent pandemic Paycheck Protection Program checks to hundreds of fraudulent businesses with names such as Deely Nuts and Tomato Cramber.

The US Treasury is sending people in Japan $1400 stimulus checks, causing much confusion. A 79-year-old man from Kamakura, who last worked in the United States in 1978, called the US embassy and asked what he should do.

Krispy Kreme is giving anyone who shows their vaccination card a free doughnut. Since then, a 45-year old comic book artist from New Jersey has made the daily trek to get his free honey glaze, almost every day and intends to keep going until the end of the year.

A group of African green monkeys that have been living near an airport in Florida were determined to be decedents of a troop of monkeys that escaped from a zoo in 1948.

Occupants of a skyscraper in Shenzhen were asked to stay away while authorities figure out what is making it shake. There is talk of putting a spoiler on the roof to help it ride out the wind more smoothly.

Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea, banned skinny or ripped jeans which he deemed “decadent.” He also prohibited all “non-socialist” hairstyles as part of an on-going campaign to block the yellow wind of capitalism.

TWTW is a weekly collection of bits and pieces I run across each week while looking after things at SmartNews. Feel free to sign-up to get this via email, follow on Facebook, or forward to a friend.

Current Events

Social Then, Social Now

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Frothy expectations bring out the cringe. Social Media was all the rage during Web 2.0 and at the crest of that wave brought us this little ditty, Let’s Get Social.

Now it’s crypto. The clip below is a couple years old but I’m putting this here for posterity. Carlos Matos & Bitconnect (which turned out to be a huge scam)

Looks like the crypto scene is taking off in Miami where the Mayor is talking about accepting tax payments in crypto. More on the Miami scene from Coindesk.

Current Events


After moving to NYC, the cover art of the The New Yorker has taken on a new significance as I recognize the buildings and street scenes depicted and appreciate the weekly snapshots of the world around me.

Tokyoiter is an art project which challenges participants to depict the cover of an imaginary Tokyo city magazine in much the same way. As you can see, it takes its inspiration from The New Yorker (except the price, 500 JPY is a bargain). There are many images on the site but here are some of my favorites.

Follow them on Instagram to see new submissions and learn about when they make prints available for purchase.

Thank you dad for introducing me to The New Yorker many years ago and buying me a subscription as soon as I moved here.

insta: @waneella

Tyler’s BU Graduation

It was just a few short years ago that I posted Tyler’s send off to college. Yesterday he graduated from Boston University. While the last year, for various reasons, has moved a bit slower than the others, the collective four years have flown by in hindsight. I can only imagine what a journey it’s been like for Tyler.

So now he’s a college graduate and we couldn’t be prouder. He not only graduated from a school that was his top choice, he graduated with honors with a major in a department that he chose after an early flirtation with physics at Temple University.

What’s next? He had a few good runs where he made it to the final round at a few jobs and has a few more irons in the fire but no offer on the table as of yet. Today he drives down with his roommate who is also from New York City and will live with us while he nails down his next steps.

I have no doubt he’ll find something. He hustled to secure an internship with the Celtics back office staff and did a paper on the application of options pricing to pricing NBA player contracts. Tyler’s passion is sports, always has been. He has all sorts of interesting ideas about how professional sports can evolve to take advantage of the interactivity offered by new technologies such as streaming and mobility.

But for now, we are just happy to have Tyler back with us and a Summer in a new city before us. Congratulations Tyler, welcome home.


The week that was

While the cryptocurrency Dogecoin spiked to new highs we learned its co-creator sold off all his holdings in 2015 so he could pay his rent.

Buzzfeed found Joe Biden’s Venmo account.

Trump supporters are recounting ballots in Arizona, again, in order to prove the election was rigged. This time they are looking for traces of bamboo.

A Tibetan sherpa scaled Everest for a record 25th time.

Remember the birds from last week? Now it’s condors and they will not leave.

Colombian cocaine traffickers, tired of getting ripped off by their Texas lawyer, filed charges and hauled him before a federal judge.

It took a review of security cam footage to find the person who bought the $26 million lottery ticket but when asked for it, the winner realized she sent it through the wash.

A cat in Chicago took a flying leap from a fifth floor window to escape an apartment fire and casually walked away and somebody got it on video.

The United Kingdom has passed a law that declares animals as sentient beings.

TWTW is a weekly collection of bits and pieces I run across each week while looking after things at SmartNews. Feel free to sign-up to get this via email, follow on Facebook, or forward to a friend.


The week that was

Hundreds of migrating birds had to be freed from a chimney of a home in Santa Barbara. Not having learned their lesson, the next day they apparently flew down another chimney in Los Angeles.

A man’s bathroom break was extended longer than he bargained for when high winds knocked a tree over on to the porta potty he occupied, pinning him inside. The local fire department had to free him with chainsaws and a Sawzall.

Record-sized hailstones fell on Texas.

The booster stage of a Chinese rocket is due to plummet from the heavens sometime tonight. The size of this randomly falling space junk is 20 tons, breaking last year’s record of 18 tons.

The world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge opened in Portugal.

The government of the Maldives, tired of asking the rest of the world to help reverse climate change, announced that they will build a floating city.

A Japanese town blew its Covid relief funds on a giant statue of a squid.

A Canadian town erupted in a sign war as local businesses competed to outwit each other.

Verizon sold off Yahoo and Aol and we learned that there are 1.5 million people still paying their Aol monthly subscription fees.

A man decided to throw “good luck coins” into the jet engine of a plane he was boarding and grounded the flight for all passengers and had to pay a steep fine for the trouble he caused.

A Belgian farmer, annoyed with a stone marker that was blocking his tractor, moved it out of the way and unwittingly re-drew the border between France and Belgium.

Remember those bottles of wine that spent a year in space? One will be auctioned off to raise money for research. Wine connoisseurs have tasted one of the other bottles sent up and said the taste was, “hard to describe.”

TWTW is a weekly collection of bits and pieces I run across each week while looking after things at SmartNews. Feel free to sign-up to get this via email, follow on Facebook, or forward to a friend.