Categories
TWTW

The week that was (11-15-19)

The plan was to fly a private plane slow and low and dump 350 gallons of appropriately colored water to reveal the gender of their future baby. Unfortunately the aircraft, suddenly 350 gallons lighter, “aerodynamically stalled, impacted terrain, and came to rest inverted.”

NASA unveiled its first all-electric aircraft. This prototype will most definitely not be used for gender reveals.

Teenagers are pranking high schools with a new and unexploited vector – Google Maps photos. For some reason, Alf is showing up everywhere.

Burners are going mainstream. There are museum openings and there will soon be a musical. Burning Man the Musical follows Sparkle Pony, a recent college grad, and her journey of finding herself at Burning Man. The video promo is a must see.

In what most certainly will be one of their best-selling editions, Railway Modeller magazine ran an exclusive cover story on Rod Stewart’s “magnificent” layout.

Feral hogs raiding an Italian drug dealer’s cocaine stash was too good a headline to resist so everyone wrote about it.

The Baby Trump protest balloon was brutally murdered outside a University of Alabama football game when someone sliced it with a razor blade. There are now competing fundraising efforts, one for the Baby and one for the protestor.

In the Bay Area, a man was handcuffed and cited for eating a sandwich on a train platform. Outrage at the heavy-handed police action sparked sandwich-eating protests and “eat-ins.” BART later apologized.

66-year-old Tay Boon Keh was not happy with his working conditions as a baggage handler so he decided to extract revenge by swapping luggage tags on 286 bags, a real-life version of chaos engineering.

Aeroflot has stripped Mikhail Galin of his frequent flier miles for sneaking his cat into the cabin of an airplane. Viktor, his 17 lbs. cat, was clearly over the weight limit of in-cabin pets and his switcheroo scheme fell apart when he posted photos on Facebook.

Alex Trebek, the host of Jeopardy announced he’s going back into treatment for pancreatic cancer and one of the contestants showed his support and touched a chord.

For the second time in three years coastal Florida modified its building codes to account for rising sea levels caused by climate change. The Veneto regional council in Venice, Italy was not as wise.

All wildlife, including a herd of wild horses, were feared lost months ago when a storm surge swept their island home clean. All except for three cows who managed a 4-mile swim to the island where they were found this week adding new meaning to the phrase, “when the cows come home.”

A dad took a photo of his daughter every week, for 20 years

Photo credit: from r/AccidentalRenaissance

Categories
Current Events

Impeachment Bon Mots

Ambassador Taylor had to reach for his water before dropping this one.

Following that meeting, in the presence of my staff at a restaurant, Ambassador Sondland called President Trump and told him of his meetings in Kyiv. The member of my staff could hear President Trump on the phone, asking Ambassador Sondland about “the investigations.” Ambassador Sondland told President Trump that the Ukrainians were ready to move forward.

Ambassador William B. Taylor, Opening Statement – 11-13-19

Imagine how loud the President must have been talking into his phone for someone sitting nearby to be able to overhear and recognize not only his voice but the words.

Categories
Current Events

Finding Balance

Jeff Sessions visited Northwestern University to give a talk. There were protests. In one, students forced their way into the room and broke some things. Northwestern Daily, the school paper, reported on the event and interviewed some of the protestors and the reporters shared some of their photos.

Some people got mad. Said their privacy was violated. Said they could be kicked out of school now that they’ve been identified.

The editor apologized for publishing names and photographs of the protesting students. “Going forward, we are working on setting guidelines for source outreach, social media and covering marginalized groups.” Said they would try harder to adhere to the SPJ Code of Ethics (a very concise and well-written guide btw.)

Other people got mad. Said that there was no need to apologize for doing what any journalist should do, journalism.

Into this fracas Charles Whitaker, the Dean of the School of Journalism, published a statement which starts out formally but wraps up with this wonderfully folksy appeal that strikes just the right balance, inviting participation amongst the students and telling the adults to respectfully let the kids work things out for themselves.

So to our student activists, I say let’s have a dialogue about what journalism is and what you might expect when you hold a protest in a public setting. Feel free to critique the coverage. That’s what The Daily’s opinion pages are for. Better yet, join the staff. The Daily is not and should not be the lone provenance of Medill students. I assure you, your input would be welcomed. But waging war on our students on social media—threatening them both physically and emotionally—is beyond the pale. Our community deserves a more civil level of discourse.

And to the swarm of alums and journalists who are outraged about The Daily editorial and have been equally rancorous in their condemnation of our students on social media, I say, give the young people a break. I know you feel that you were made of sterner stuff and would have the fortitude and courage of your conviction to fend off the campus critics. But you are not living with them through this firestorm, facing the brutal onslaught of venom and hostility that has been directed their way on weaponized social media. Don’t make judgments about them or their mettle until you’ve walked in their shoes. What they need at this moment is our support and the encouragement to stay the course.

Charles Whitaker, Dean, Northwestern University, Medill School of Journalism

We are living in different times. The sooner we can let the kids work things out, the sooner they can teach us how things have changed.

Categories
Current Events

A lifetime in two minutes

It’s been awhile since I’ve used the advertising tag to highlight ads that cross over that line to something more than just marketing. This two-minute commercial from Renault qualifies.

“Many things have changed in those thirty years,” added Dave Monk, Executive Creative Director at Publicis-Poke, who produced the ad. “While technology, design, attitudes and culture will always shift and change, one thing will always stay the same as long as humans have hearts. The love story. This is a simple and universal tale of two souls on their own enduring journey of life, love and passion.”

Out
Categories
Current Events

A night at the museum

Stopped by the Oakland Museum of California on the way home from work yesterday to check out the Burning Man block party. All the Burner Royalty were there with folks dressed to the nines. Lots of families but also many older folks that dusted off their old playa gear (furry coats, top hats, scarves, lights, and goggles) to show up for a celebration of their culture.

The Fire Dancers from The Crucible were there,

There was a temple,

Bliss was there as well, under a full moon,

Truth is Beauty by Marco Cochrane

There was this crazy gamelan band that sounded like Thai monks on speed. They were doing this funny dance/performance with these Tibetan cymbals that sounded like nothing I’ve ever heard before.

Gamelan X

Finally there was a funky brass band that sounded like a you feel when you’re running really fast on the top of a ridge, just barely in control.

Mission Delirium

Definitely had a good time – always worth it taking the long way home!

Categories
TWTW

The week that was (11-8-19)

So Oliva Newton-John’s iconic leather jacket and skintight pants she wore in the movie Grease ended up going for over $400,000. Next up are Michael Jackson’s Moonwalk socks that Footwear News optimistically expects to fetch over $1 million.

Russia decided to crack down on hip-hop music because of it’s rebellious and anti-authoritarian message, which made it even more popular.

The makers of the game Grand Theft Auto have not paid corporate tax for the past 10 years.

Stepping up their service animal game, one person brought a small horse on the BART train.

The Marines are getting soft. Umbrellas are now allowed, “at their option during inclement weather.”

UC San Diego is experimenting with roads made from recycled plastic.

Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry stepped down after being accused of gifting his constituents over-priced melons.

A Virginia woman who was fired from her job at a federal contractor after flipping off President Trump’s motorcade in 2017 turned her political frustrations into action, and won a local election on Tuesday.

Krispy Kreme realized they had a PR disaster on their hands when the news got out that they were cease-and-desisting one student entrepreneur’s grey market importing operation. They backed off and will pay for his college tuition as well.

We learned that Google serves pizza topped, upon special request, with mealworms.

Enjoy your lunch!

Photo credit: Senator Mitch McConnell gets photo-bombed

Categories
TWTW

The week that was (11-1-19)

A California-based company has developed a digital camera no larger than a grain of sand. It is designed to be swallowed or even injected for medical diagnoses.

California signed into law the roadkill bill that allows for meat salvaged from roadways to be cooked and eaten. On the other side of the country, researchers at the University of Richmond taught rats how to drive.

Russian scientists tracking migrating eagles were bankrupted after some of the birds took unexpected detours to Iran and Pakistan and their SMS transmitters generated huge data roaming charges.

Moscow police are charging a man for using a cat as a weapon.

The Reagan Presidential Library was saved from a wild grass fire by a herd of goats set loose on a hillside to clear away brush and create a fire break.

A Michigan couple posted a video of what appeared to be a satellite that crash- landed in their backyard. A few hours later, someone from Raven Industries (one of the makers of the satellite) collected the wreckage but offered no details about the device or what had happened.

Mourners at a funeral in Germany experienced nausea and dizziness after eating the wrong cake at a restaurant. The “hash cake” was for a separate occasion.

A suspicious package at a train station in Metro New York turned out to be an emergency call device for people to report suspicious packages.

An Indonesian man who helped draft strict adultery laws that called for public floggings as punishment was publicly flogged when he was caught for adultery.

Rather than preventing illegal border crossings, President Trump’s border wall is enabling them. Migrants are donning orange work vests and blending with the construction crews until they can later slip and cross over, undetected.

A bottle of whisky was auctioned off for $1.9 million. Kurt Cobain’s cardigan sold for $334,000 and Oliva Newton-John’s leather jacket and pants from Grease are expected to fetch $200k.

After discovering that their online game Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was being used as part of massive money laundering scheme, Valve blocked the trading of weapons and cosmetic upgrades on their online marketplace.

The UK was given an extension by the EU beyond the October 31 planned date for Brexit. This proved inconvenient for the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer who had to quietly announce that they will be melting down the millions of commemorative coins minted for the occasion.

A man dressed as Jesus for Halloween sucker-punched a San Diego police officer when the policeman tried to break up a brawl involving Jesus and others. Police are still looking for Jesus.

Categories
TWTW

The week that was (10-25-19)

Soaring demand for avocado (to spread on toast?) has lead to extortion, kidnapping and theft in Mexico where it is referred to as “green gold.” Further north, apple thieves snuck onto a family farm and stole more than 3 tons of fruit right off of the trees. Meanwhile, there is a record surplus of bacon.

A man was airlifted was airlifted to a local Alabama hospital after being run over by his own four wheeler operated by his dog.

Face-to-face with a cougar on a mountain trail, Dee Gallant had to think quickly. She reached into her pocked and flipped thru her phone’s music library, set it on speaker and played Metallica.

Tan, a real estate developer in China paid Xi, a hitman, to take out his competitor, Wei. As is popular in the construction industry, the Xi subcontracted the job to Mo, who hired Yang, who hired another Yang, who hired Ling. The whole thing fell apart and Tan, Xi, Mo, the two Yangs, and Ling were all hauled into court and sentenced to intentional homicide.

Scientists have developed a skin-like mobile phone case that responds to being pinched and tickled. Tapping on the surface can be interpreted as seeking attention while stroking can be associated with providing comfort.

In order to prevent students from the sidelong glance during testing, Bhagat Pre-University College in southern India put cardboard boxes on the student’s heads.

A Bangladeshi lawmaker has been expelled from university after allegedly hiring as many as eight lookalikes to take exams in her place.

A former Apple lawyer in charge of preventing insider trading was indicted for insider trading.

Mats Järlström, a Swedish engineer visiting Oregon, challenged and successfully reversed his wife’s traffic violation there with a judgement that ended up changing the timing of traffic lights around the world. Never cross an engineer.

Qantas Airways completed the longest, non-stop passenger flight ever. Forty-nine passengers flew for 19 hours and 16 minutes from New York to Sydney. One Bloomberg reporter was on board and wrote about it.

The Society of Professional Journalists have trademarked the term “fake news” and plan to send the president a cease and desist notice for using the term incorrectly.

Categories
TWTW

The week that was (10-18-19)

Los Angeles has hired robots to police one of its parks but it’s not working out. When a woman tried to report a crime, the robot told her to go away and then “trundled away while singing a song . . . pausing periodically to say ‘Please keep the park clean.’

Eliud Kipchoge, a 34-year old Kenyan, broke the two-hour barrier for the marathon. But it wasn’t exactly a marathon. To hit 1:59:40 in 26.2 miles you would need to run approximately 4:30 minutes/mile 26-times in a row!

Scholars in Japan found a missing chapter from The Tale of Genji in a storage closet. Game of Thrones fans complained about the one-year hiatus until the final season. The Tale’s final chapter had been missing since the 11th century. Junko Yamamoto, a professor who specializes in literature of the Heian Period could hardly contain her excitement.

A 73-year-old activist Berliner was arrested and fined for painting over racist and xenophobic graffiti with hearts.

Maybe just make the graffiti invisible? A Canadian company has invented something they call Quantum Stealth, “material is as thin as paper, inexpensive, and requires no power source” that can make things effectively invisible.

A GOP congressman (and former Army staff sergeant) wished the US Navy happy birthday on twitter with a photo of a battleship that others helpfully pointed out was a Kirov-class battlecruiser in the Russian navy.

The Air Force upgraded its nuclear missile command and control centers so they no longer require 1970s era 8-inch floppy disks.

The mayor of a village in rural Italy is blaming Google Maps for sending tourists down impassable roads where they get stuck and have to be rescued. In the past year, they’ve had to send out the local mountain rescue team 144 times.

Of course you could just send your robot. In a curious case of technology looking for a use, Japanese airline ANA unveiled a robot that they say will allow people to “experience faraway places without having to travel there.”

Isn’t the journey half the fun? Unless you’re on Amtrak.

Categories
TWTW

The week that was (10-11-19)

A Nigerian palace announced that its resident tortoise has died following a short illness. Alagba, which means elderly one was 344 years old.

After hearing about the new border wall designed so that no one can climb over it, a group of rock climbers built an exact replica and held a contest to see if anyone could make it over. One climber was up and over in 40 seconds and eight-year old made it as well.

The Glenlivet company took inspiration from the Tide Pod controversy and designed a new way to consume their whiskey.

A Seattle man broke into an office building downtown and “devoured” $200 of chocolate and promptly passed out. Sugar coma?

An agricultural researcher discovered that pigs use tools to prepare their nests.

The Sacramento Kings basketball team is getting into crypto and will be giving their fans an Ethereum-based crypto coin which can be redeemed for future games or concessions within the stadium.

The Spanish maritime patrol agents were in hot pursuit of drug smugglers when their boats collided and all three agents fell into the ocean. After responding to a plea to help, the smugglers spun around and picked up the patrol agents. The smugglers were still arrested.

Idaho State Police responded to an overturned truck that spilled potatoes all across the interstate, delaying traffic. In Beverley Hills, a restaurant is serving a baked potato with caviar and creme fraiché for $100.

A man in Tokyo was arrested on suspicion of stalking a female pop idol by studying reflections of her pupils in photos she shared on social media and using Google Street View to find out where she lived.

The new arena for the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team features a “rage room” where angry fans can go break shit because that’s how Philly fans roll. The room is available only via advance reservations so you need to plan for your anger.

$2.2 million worth of counterfeit Nike sneakers were found in a Long Beach container labeled as “napkins.”

In order to comply with a US Government executive order prohibiting “transactions and services” with Venezuela, software-as-a-service company Adobe done gone and cancelled all accounts in the country and is not give refunds.

I made it to 142 cities and 22% of the population on this page. Off the top of your head, how many US cities can you name?

For extra credit, how many of these 50 songs in this video below can you name?