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TWTW

The week that was

Mardis Gras kicked off in New Orleans but there was nothing Fat about the Tuesday – bars were closed due to Covid regulations and the temps dipped near freezing.

ERCOT, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas was forced to initiate a series of rolling blackouts due to power plants being knocked offline due to the cold weather.

Will we finally get our flying cars? The FAA granted one company a special Light-Sport Aircraft certificate but meanwhile residents near Gatwick Airport were nearly killed by a prototype gone out of control.

Need water? Chinese scientists have figured out a way to literally shake rain out of clouds with low-frequency sound waves.

A UK man wanted by the police couldn’t stand being locked down with his roommates anymore and turned himself in so he could get some “peace and quiet.”

Researchers at Northwestern University have figured out a way to communicate to people while they are dreaming.

Video graphics card maker NVidia announced a version of their popular GeForce GPU optimized for cryptocurrency mining.

It snowed in Jerusalem.

3000 sticks of dynamite brought down Trump Plaza in Atlantic City and there was much rejoicing. Probably loudest from the ex-employees.

Bill Dorris, a successful Nashville business man, was often on the road, away from his beloved Lulu. When he passed, he specified that $5 million of his fortune be put into a trust to care for Lulu. Lulu is a boarder collie.

Someone paid nearly $600,000 for a digital Nyan Cat gif.

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.

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TWTW

The week that was

A Canadian couple was fined $880 for violating lockdown restrictions and traveling outside on non-essential business. They were playing Pokémon GO.

Bruce Springsteen had one of the more poignant Super Bowl ads featuring the Boss driving a Jeep. Then his recent DUI arrest came to light so they pulled down the commercial.

Trump’s impeachment defense team misspelled the “United States” again.

“I’m here live, I’m not a cat” said the Texas prosecutor on his now infamous Zoom call. Internet sleuths are calling foul because that particular filter is hard to find and he may have been trying to whitewash his Google results to hide a darker past.

A photo of a purple daisy was responsible for 90 million hits/day on a Wikimedia server. The company tracked down the spiking traffic to a Tik Tok knock-off app in India with some sloppy code,

A hacker infiltrated a Florida water plant and attempted to poison the water supply. The water system was controlled by an outdated Windows 7 machine connected to the internet without a firewall running remote access software with a shared password. The intrusion was detected when the person on duty saw the mouse pointer on his computer “move across the screen.”

An Israeli company unveiled the first 3-D-printed rib-eye steak. Aleph Farms uses living animal cells instead of plant-based alternatives in their new bio-printing system.

Why be an old man yelling at clouds when you can take out a $10k ad in the Wall Street Journal to complain directly to AT&T’s CEO?

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.

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Current Events

Impeachment #2

As we dive back into Impeachment Trial #2, let us all review where we left off last time. During Adam Schiff’s closing arguments he levels this charge at his GOP colleagues.

History will not be kind to Donald Trump. If you find that the House has proved its case, and still vote to acquit, your name will be tied to his with a cord of steel and for all of history. But if you find the courage to stand up to him, to speak the awful truth to his rank falsehood, your place will be among the Davids who took on Goliath—if only you will say, ‘Enough.’

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., closing arguments – February 3, 2020

I can’t believe we’re here again. Let’s hope that our representatives rise to their moment in history this time.

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TWTW

The week that was

A YouTuber with the handle of “Stephen Ignoramus” was arrested by the FBI who watched his videos of his “epic” tour thru the capitol and thought otherwise.

A Russian man was disciplined by authorities for cooking shish-kabab over the eternal flame honoring soldiers who died in World War II.

New Yorkers who fled the pandemic-inflicted city for their summer cottages in the Hamptons are discovering life on Long Island in February isn’t so great. The septic tanks have overflowed and it’s impossible to get a tin of caviar anywhere.

The rapper Lil Uzi Vert had an 11-carat pink diamond worth $24 million attached to his forehead.

A German man was arrested for playing air traffic controller and giving directions to aircraft over Berlin. He had become increasingly professional with his communications, but gave “potentially dangerous” instructions.

After claims that their foot-long sandwich was only 11″ and their bread wasn’t really bread, Subway is now having to defend its tunafish sandwich containing ingredients that only imitate the appearance of tuna.

A K-pop girl band profusely apologized after it was pointed out that their video showing one of their stars dreamily embracing a mannequin dressed as a Nazi soldier was probably not in the best taste.

A fitness instructor in Myanmar became world-famous after her daily workout streamed on Facebook featurea military coup in the background.

Police in Mount Vernon, NY were called to investigate a suspicious packaged that turned out to be banana bread.

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.

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TWTW

The week that was

As the capitol rioters start coming before judges, we are seeing a variety of creative defense strategies. Former Houston police Officer Tam Dinh Pham says he broke into the Capitol “to see the art.”

Cosplay is big business and Japan wants to cash in. Under a proposed extension of copyright law, Japan’s professional cosplayers would have to pay for use of the characters they bring to life.

A 58-year-old woman in France was declared dead by a French appeals court and she has been spending her life trying to untangle the legal imbroglio and prove she is still very much alive.

An IRS agent who was responsible for investigating criminal activity was arrested for falsifying bank statements and paychecks in order to purchase a three bedroom duplex on the UES of Manhattan.

A casino company CEO and his wife allegedly chartered a plane to a remote Indigenous community in Canada and pretended to be members in order to get the coronavirus vaccine.

Oregon health workers, stuck in a snowstorm with several coronavirus vaccine doses that were about to go bad, walked down the line of stranded cars giving shots to anyone that wanted one.

A South Carolina town that was having trouble running its drive thru vaccination clinic hired local a Chick-fil-A manager to direct traffic. “When you need help, call the pros,” he said.

Four airline travelers in China, trying to avoid extra fees for their 30kg box of oranges, decided to eat the contents at the gate, in 30 minutes. And made the news. “We never want to have any oranges again,” Wang said.

A snowy owl visited Central Park.

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.

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TWTW

The week that was

I took last week off to reset. Both to shake out four year’s worth of fight-or-flight crouching and also to finish moving into a new home. I’m now a New Yorker!

Feeling much more relieved and refreshed. Now back to the groove. Here’s some news I dropped in the basket over the past two weeks.

Some countries have amnesty programs for crimes previously committed but in England they just press the delete key.

A San Francisco developer who has $220 million in Bitcoin stored on a hard drive has only two guesses at the password (which he has long since forgotten) before he’s locked out permanently. He seems at peace with it though.

12 bottles of Bordeaux came back to earth after spending a year aging in weightlessness at the International Space Station as part of an experiment funded by, you guessed it, the French. No word on if any bottles were consumed in space.

Oakley, known for their sports sunglasses, solved the foggy-glasses-because-of-mask problem with a new design, meet the MSK3.

Coronavirus infections are spreading in China again and Covid-19 has now been detected in the ice cream supply.

It was revealed that Rudy Giuliani, who pinned much of his legal attack on the legitimacy of the presidential election on provisional ballots, voted with a provisional ballot.

Its future may be uncertain under the new administration but at least the Space Force knows that its HQ will be in Alabama.

A top gamer has retired from the professional circuit at 25 because of an injury to his thumb.

The Queen Mary went bankrupt.

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.

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Current Events

Amanda Gorman

When day comes we step out of the shade,
aflame and unafraid
The new dawn blooms as we free it
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it
If only we’re brave enough to be it

The Hill We Climb
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TWTW

The week that was

It’s tough to be pithy after this week but here it goes:

The official hockey puck of the NHL will change for the first time in the league’s history. Each 6-ounce hunk of vulcanized rubber will be embedded with a battery-powered infrared light to help track the tiny puck to make it more visible on the TV.

The collectable community was in shock to learn that a shipment of rare Goku statues were lost at sea when the ship on which they travelled was caught in a storm that tipped its containers (almost 1,800 of them) into the sea.

44 hospital workers were infected with Covid-19 after a staff member walked though the emergency room in an air-powered inflatable Christmas Tree costume. “Obviously, we will no longer allow air-powered costumes at our facilities,” stated the spokesperson for the hospital.

The freezer storing Covid vaccines broke down and a Northern California town went into overdrive to quickly vaccinate 600 people as fast as they could, before the vaccines spoiled.

Hipster bicycle saddles from the 140-year old Brooks company are no longer available in England where they are manufactured because Brexit tariffs make them prohibitively costly to ship from their Italian distribution center back into the UK.

The irony desk reports that rioters who broke into the US Capitol may face up to 10 years in prison under President Trump’s executive order designed to protect various statues and monuments from Black Lives Matter protestors. Also, a woman carrying a Don’t Tread on Me flag was tragically trampled in the rush to get into the Capitol building.

The fallout from Wednesday’s riot in DC continues as the FBI combs through social media to identify the clearly identified maskless perpetrators. The dragnet has netted so far:

Contested election results aside, a dead heat in the Dickinson, Texas mayoral campaign was decided in accordance to the local election law, by drawing a name out of a hat.

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.

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TWTW

2020: In Hindsight

Each week I highlight a handful of stories that I run across during the course of my work. I try and pick stories that might have been missed, ones that celebrate our quirky nature as fallible human beings. It’s a labor of love that distracts me from the breathless grind of the daily headlines and helps to mark the passage of time.

If you’re a regular reader, thank you! If not, you can always read The Week That Was on this site or subscribe to the newsletter for something to read as you start your weekend.

This week is a year-end run down of the most popular stories that readers clicked on in 2020. You picked some real doozies and it’s fun to go back pull them up. I’ve adjusted the rankings a bit because the number of subscribers to the TWTW newsletter grew over the year so more recent posts got more airtime and thus more clicks.

On to the countdown:

10 The caper of the small town in Wales that kept losing its internet at the same time every day and the delightful resolution.

9 The man who blew up part of his house while chasing a fly.

8 The hapless Frenchman who pulled the wrong lever while riding along in a jet fighter.

7 The weather reporter who inadvertently activated Facebook filters while broadcasting.

6 The San Francisco thug that made the mistake of attacking a portrait artist with a photographic memory.

5 The story of the Walla Walla onions that tripped off Facebook’s porn filter.

4 The story of the “weird-ass” Soviet propaganda-themed cookie monster mural in Peoria.

3 The robot guard dogs working at the Air Force base in Nevada. BTW, if you liked that one, you should really check out what their siblings are doing.

2 Y’all loved Oreo’s tear-jerker mini-movie posted on Twitter, #proudparent.

1 But the most popular link of the year? The thing you came back to and watched multiple times? I think this says something about 2020 and the year it’s been? Maybe it indicates our collective yearning for simpler times. Here it is, a video of popcorn popping in ultra-slow motion.

Have a wonderful and peaceful (as in the contemplative, 108-tolls on the buddhist temple bell) New Year’s Eve. It’s been a tough year, I’m happy to pass it by and leave it behind. Let’s now turn and face forward and collectively squint at the faint sliver of a sunrise on the horizon.

See you next year.

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.

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TWTW

The week that was

An artist visiting NYC from Budapest posed as a Hungarian billionaire in order to visit luxury apartments in Manhattan, take photos, and publish a coffee table photo book.

The president of Chile was fined the equivalent of $3,500 for breaking protocol because he took off his mask to pose for a selfie on the beach.

The Monolith appeared once again, this time in Quincy, Massachusetts, with a crop circle.

Portland residents reported and animal looked like a cheetah, but “did not appear to be aggressive.” Deputy Sullivan used his “ninja-like skills to sneak up on the beast” only discover it was a stuffed animal.

If you’re still looking for a post-Christmas gift, may we suggest the Louis Vitton monogramed kite for a mere $10,400? (screenshot for posterity)

Scientists now think that early humans survived the long winters by hibernating. Now I know where my tendency to nap comes from.

Not to knock the scientific achievement but the headline of this piece is way more impressive than the actual result.

Hope you had a wonderful and safely intimate Christmas. TWTW will be early next week with our 2020 (good riddance) wrap-up.

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.