A friend of mine (hi Gregg) shared with me this remarkable interview with someone who can hear music through his finger tips.

The Oscar-nominated film The Sound of Metal (the best of the year frankly) has several scenes in which the director really tried to convey what it is like to be going deaf.

Both the film and interview with Bob Lichtenburg are wonderful examples of how the human spirit can rise up and overcome even the most daunting of obstacles.



The week that was

Lots of shipping stories this week including stories about the ever stuck Ever Given. The World Shipping Council reports that at least 2,980 containers fell off cargo ships in the Pacific since November including one hapless crew that lost 1,800 in one storm.

In Toronto, one wandering beaver brought the rush hour subways to a standstill.

Everyone is cashing in on the NFT craze. A guy in Brooklyn is selling a year’s worth of fart audio clips recorded during quarantine. He must be incredulous of his good fortune to take the time to document his flatulence.

A Los Angeles man was arrested for using a drone to deliver heroin to his customers. Makes sense, the traffic is terrible.

In second grade, Kim Janey was bused across Boston as part of a contentious desegregation initiative. Now she’s the mayor.

Walt Disney World will start testing facial recognition (“with the future in mind”) to track all its guests.

A local Brazilian politician, fed up with lack of federal response to the pandemic, has offered his own solution. He would like to use planes and helicopters to spray his entire town with hand sanitizer.

The pentagon wanted to post a meme “on the cyber domain” to get into the halloween spirit last October. The 20-page paper trail of requisitions and approvals takes absolutely all the fun out it.

The Bank of England announced that famed cryptographer, Alan Turing, will be featured on the new £50 note. In celebration, GCHQ posted a challenge.

A Georgia man received his last paycheck of $915, in pennies.

Like a dinner party you are no longer excited about hosting, Japan is finding it hard to get into the mood for the upcoming Olympics. Due to the pandemic, no visitors will be allowed into the country to see the games (which is kind of the whole point of hosting). Also because of health concerns, no boisterous cheering is allowed the torch relay (polite golf claps perhaps?). This week, on the first day of the relay, the torch flame went out. . . twice.

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

After reviewing whaling logs from the 19th century, a study suggests that sperm whales taught each other how to avoid sail-powered whaling ships by swimming upwind

To celebrate the arrival of a Van Gogh at their museum, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art shared the story of how a grasshopper carcass came to be embedded in one painting.

During the 15-minute observation period following his 2nd Covid vaccination shot, the famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma played an impromptu concert for all in attendance.

Police in Green Bay chased after a car that ran thru several stop lights and took them five miles across the county at speeds between 25 – 35 miles per hour.

Pennsylvania State Police will be paying $475k to the estate of a man they were chasing for growing ten marijuana plants. He was run over by a commandeered bulldozer.

Four never before seen bacterial strains were discovered, on the International Space Station.

Scientists from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have figured out a way to turn leftover food into jet fuel.

Tussaud’s Waxworks Museum in San Antonio had to remove the wax likeness of President Trump because too many people were punching it. Trump’s statue was taken out of its display where it stood between Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-Un.

Mar-A-Lago, Trump’s residence since he left the White House, has been partially shutdown due to a Covid outbreak.

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.


The week that was

In yet another sign that we’re in a crypto-currency bubble, a jpg file (also known as a non-fungible token) by the artist Beeple was sold to a crypto-investor for $69 million in a crypto-currency called Ether.

Susan Rice, the incoming director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, moved into her office in the West Wing and promptly burned sage to clear out the bad juju from the office’s previous occupant, Stephan Miller.

Much to the disappointment of British motoring fans everywhere, the electric version of the 3-wheeled Morgan announced at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show was cancelled.

The World Pork Expo will return to Des Moines but with a few changes to account for the pandemic. “Organizers said no animals will be allowed at this year’s show, and they will not hold a cookout or barbeque contest.” One wonders what there will be to do. Powerpoint presentations perhaps?

One sign that things are getting back to normal, the Plumbers Union Local 130 dyed the Chicago River green for Saint Patrick’s Day.

Lou Ottens, the Dutch inventor of the cassette tape passed away. For someone that one could say is the father of mixtape culture, he is strangely unsentimental. Watch the documentary and see for yourself.

A much younger Dutch serial entrepreneur has come up with a new Covid test that doesn’t involve sticking cotton swabs up your nose. All you need to do is scream.

A Texas man robbed a bank using a car he borrowed from a BMW dealer and attempted to use $3000 of the money he stole as down-payment on a new car.

And then there was this.


The week that was

TEPCO, operators of the flawed Fukushima nuclear power plant, announced that they finished removing all fuel rods from a second reactor. They hope to clean up the remaining two by 20231.

Sakae Kato stayed behind in the Fukushima contaminated quarantine zone and spends $7,000 a month feeding the abandoned cats and wild boar.

The publisher of the Dr. Seuss books took several of the books off the market because of their insensitive depictions from another era. The books in question immediately shot up in value with a copy of McElligot’s Pool going for $620 earlier in the week on eBay. The company later announced the listings were removed as the books violated the company’s offensive material policy.

Mass confusion in Canada as the temps get warmer but the butter isn’t getting any softer. Sleuths are thinking that increased palm oil has gotten into the cow’s feed supply.

A Sudanese airliner was forced to make an emergency landing after a cat emerged in the cockpit and attacked the pilot. The plane was bound for Khartoum airport that (coincidentally) has the airport code of HSSS.

It’s what every New Yorker dreams of, more space. Samantha Hartsoe went in through the bathroom mirror and found an unoccupied three bedroom apartment.

An intern working at a German prison thought it’d be cool to share a photo of him at his new job and share it with his mates on social media. Wrong. In the photo was a clear shot of the single key that unlocks all cells and passage doors in the prison. The prison was forced to replace all 600 locks.

One lucky flea market shopper picked up a porcelain bowl at a yard sale in Connecticut for $35 only to discover that the item was a rare 15th-century Chinese artifact worth up to $500,000. “There are only six (other) such bowls known in the world,” said the head of Chinese artworks at Sotheby’s in New York.

My criticism of many of the films that are up for awards this year is that they feel like sketches with no core message. That is not the case with 15-minute documentary about nurses in the Covid ward. It’s about as real as it gets.

Photo credit: James Crombie of The Irish Times

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.