Categories
TWTW

The Year That Was – 2019 TWTW Round-up

Photo: The most popular image was this bit of graffiti at Hong Kong Polytechnic which I learned from commenters is a Winston Churchill quote. Seems appropriate to leave this here as Hong Kongers are still protesting since mid-March 2019.

So here it is, the top links from this year’s The Week That Was – these are the stories that most interested you this past year in order of popularity. Thank you for your time and attention this year and see you in the next!

Special Operations Command Is Experimenting With Bullets That Shoot Through Water – Defense One

A night of drinking, a closed strip joint and a White Castle shooting bring suspensions for 3 judges – CNN

Meet the $50 Strawberries That NYC’s High-End Chefs Are Fawning Over – Eater

Fake guns banned in downtown Las Vegas district, but real guns OK – Las Vegas Review-Journal

Tiny Hand Will Be Your New Comic Sans – BuzzFeed

Miami-Dade Commissioner Joe Martinez Involved in Active Criminal Probe – Miami New Times

Memphis youth builds home nuclear fusion reactor – Memphis Commercial Appeal

I Just Took the World’s First 20-Hour Flight. Here’s What It Did to Me – Bloomberg

There’s a Dramatic Beef in the Quilting Community, Over a Pair of Scissors – Jezebel

Garfield phones beach mystery finally solved after 35 years – BBC

Categories
TWTW

The week that was (12-21-19)

Photo credit: Electronic machine used to vote on articles of impeachment.

Jeep, the company behind four-wheeler brands such as Wrangler and Gladiator announced that its entire lineup will go hybrid or full-on electric by 2022

A sharp-eyed researcher discovered that Department of Agriculture listed Marvel’s mythical East African country, Wakanda, as a trading partner on a website built to track tariffs on nations signed on to the free trade agreement. The developer had forgotten to remove the test files from the prototype.

A woman in San Francisco, desperate to locate her dog, stolen while it was waiting for her outside a local grocery store, hired a plane for $7,000 to fly a banner with the website she set up to find her her dog. BTW, the website is www.bringjacksonhome.com/

Merck received FDA approval for the world’s first vaccine for the Ebola virus.

Now that it’s legal in increasingly more counties, marijuana has become a major export for the African country of Lesotho and a “critical piece of the government’s agricultural strategy.”

With the recent proliferation of metal credit cards, those looking for something more distinctive can opt for the $200,000, gemstone-encrusted Visa card from the Insignia Group.

San Francisco had to quietly revise the government’s well-intentioned blanket ban on facial recognition technology when they realized that the City Supervisors’ use of their government-issued iPhone Face ID was made illegal.

A shoplifter at a Walmart in Ohio was quickly apprehended when she made the poor choice to commit her crime during the annual Cops and Kids shopping event.

Categories
TWTW

The week that was (12-15-19)

A bank employee allegedly stole $88,000 from his bank and was found out after posing with stacks of cash, on his social media account.

An all-electric powered seaplane took off from Vancouver, Canada, in what the operators describe as a “world first” for the aviation industry.

The man who placed the winning $243,200 bid for Olivia Newton-John’s leather jacket that she wore in the movie Grease, returned it to her as a gift.

The art world continues to debate the significance of the duct-taped banana.

A beach in Northern California was overrun by thousands of penis fish.

A self-driving truck delivered 40,000 pounds of butter from Tulare, California to Quakertown, Pennsylvania, finishing a 2,800-mile-trip in under three days.

Photo credit: Tokyo from above

Categories
TWTW

The week that was (12-07-19)

Scientists at the University of Bath have developed an artificial neuron chip that behaves just like biological neurons.

A team of researchers in Poland worked on eye-tracking technology to give them hints at the ideally shape of a woman’s boob.

Finland just elected the youngest Prime Minister in the world. Sanna Marin is 34 and leads a coalition of four other parties, all led by women, three in their thirties.

Willie Nelson quit smoking weed. and Big Bird died.

Wal-Mart is selling the KFC-scented yule log that smells like warm fried chicken.

Someone duct-taped a banana to a wall and called it art, and sold two of them for $120K and another for $150K. Then a performance artist ate one in a performance he called, Hungry Artist.

Wasatch County in Utah has a tax revenue shortfall of $6 million when they realized that a single property was over-valued by $1 billion. “I’m thinking it was a data entry that would be something like they dropped their phone on the keyboard and it kicked out all these numbers without verifying,” said County Assessor Maureen “Buff” Griffiths.

Your long read of the week is a fantastic story of lost gold. The Fishermen’s Secret is told by The SF Chronicle.

Categories
TWTW

The week that was (turkey edition)

Someone hosted an entire Thanksgiving banquet (and all were invited) on a NYC subway L train.

The White House went into full lockdown on Tuesday when something violated the immediate airspace. No, it was not Governor Ernie Fletcher, just a flock of birds.

Someone starting posting advertisements for trips to Eroda. The only problem was that it doesn’t exist.

From the ‘this can’t be good’ department, mercury has been found in Northern California coastal mountain lions and researchers are fingering the famous regional fog as the culprit.

It’s been reported that Trump’s golfing budget exceeds $115 million. Considerably more (287-times more) than the annual presidential salary Trump promised to give up.

This week’s dystopian news comes from Moscow where farmers have concluded that cows jacked into VR projections of greener pastures have less anxiety and may potentially produce more and better tasting milk.

Lee Sedol, the former Go champion beaten by Google’s DeepMind AI, retired after declaring AI invincible. Even if I become the number one, there is an entity that cannot be defeated’

Extra Credit: The amazing story of The Jungle Prince of Dehli is an fascinating read and wonderful four-part podcast.

Categories
TWTW

The week that was (11-22-19)

In Las Vegas you can be put away for 6 months or fined $1,000 for carrying around a fake or toy gun. But, because of Nevada’s open carry laws, it’s totally OK to walk around with a real firearm.

Frogmen can now emerge from the water, guns a-blazing now that US Special Ops has developed special bullets that can be fired underwater.

A man in Oregon, who lost his cat five years ago, got a call from someone who found Sasha, in New Mexico.

Things did not go well for three state superior court judges at an educational conference. 3am – strip club – White Castle parking lot – verbal altercation – gun.

Everyone was making fun of Trump’s giant, sharpie note. It was made into a Ramones song, compared it to his predecessor’s note, put in Morrissey voice, and made into a downloadable font.

A University of Miami professor who is the nation’s foremost expert on money laundering in Latin America got arrested for money laundering for Latin America.

There’s a hotel in Japan where you can spend the night for 100 yen, as long as you agree to livestream your entire stay.

A farmer in New Jersey is selling a box of eight perfect strawberries for $50.

Photo credit: Graffiti at Hong Kong Polytech

Categories
Current Events

Impeachment Bon Mots

I know that members of this committee have frequently framed these complicated issues in the form of a simple question: Was there a ‘quid pro quo?’ As I testified previously, with regard to the requested White House call and White House meeting, the answer is ‘yes.’

Ambassador Gordon Sondland, November 21, 2019
Categories
Current Events

Impeachment Bon Mots

Because this is America. This is the country I’ve served and defended, that all of my brothers have served, and here, right matters.

Lt. Col. Vindman testimony, November 19, 2019
Categories
Current Events

Real time harassment

In this surreal moment, at the same moment when they were talking about Trump on twitter, Trump tweeted and may have earned himself another article of impeachment for threatening a witness. Did he walk into a trap? Surreal.

Categories
Current Events

Impeachment Bon Mots

David Holmes had a front row seat to a follow up phone call between Ambassador Sondland and the President. Here is a selection from his testimony,

The four of us went to a nearby restaurant and sat on an outdoor terrace. I sat directly across from Ambassador Sondland and the two staffers sat off to our sides. At first, the lunch was largely social. Ambassador Sondland selected a bottle of wine that he shared among the four of us, and we discussed topics such as marketing strategies for his hotel business.

During the lunch, Ambassador Sondland said that he was going to call President Trump to give him an update. Ambassador Sondland placed a call on his mobile phone, and I heard him announce himself several times, along the lines of “Gordon Sondland holding for the President.” It appeared that he was being transferred through several layers of switchboards and assistants. I then noticed Ambassador Sondland’s demeanor change, and understood that he had been connected to President Trump. While Ambassador Sondland’s phone was not on speakerphone, I could hear the President’s voice through the earpiece of the phone. The President’s voice was very loud and recognizable, and Ambassador Sondland held the phone away from his ear for a period of time, presumably because of the loud volume.

I heard Ambassador Sondland greet the President and explain that he was calling from Kyiv. I heard President Trump then clarify that Ambassador Sondland was in Ukraine. Ambassador Sondland replied, yes, he was in Ukraine, and went on to state that President Zelenskyy “loves your ass.” I then heard President Trump ask, “So, he’s gonna do the investigation?” Ambassador Sondland replied that “he’s gonna do it,” adding that President Zelenskyy will do “anything you ask him to.” Even though I did not take notes of these statements, I have a clear recollection that these statements were made. I believe that my colleagues who were sitting at the table also knew that Ambassador Sondland was speaking with the President.

David Holmes testimony, November 15, 2019

Trump was speaking so loudly, Sondland had to hold the earpiece of his phone away from his face, that is why David Holmes could overhear Trump say, “So, he’s gonna do the investigation?”