Categories
Current Events

Dock Ellis and the LSD No-Hitter

On June 12th, 1970 Dock Ellis, a pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates threw a no hitter against San Diego – while high on LSD. The story has so many twists and turns that make it even more incredible including one tidbit I only learned about later – Dock woke up the next day and didn’t even recall he pitched or threw a no-hitter.

“I’m as high as a Georgia pine,” Ellis said.

Dock Ellis’s no-hitter on LSD, 50 years on

Would you believe some yarn from a puckish ball player who claimed he “couldn’t pitch without pills” and was known to pull a leg or two (look up the curler incident)? Dunno. There is no footage of the game so any visual evidence has been lost to the sands of time. But it’s a great story and, as a comment on the YouTube video above notes that Dock’s entry in the box score would have been, “Ellis, D.”

Watch the video above to hear the story in his own words.

The story of the no-hitter was told by Ellis in an interview on NPR. That audio is used for the animation by cartoonist James Blagden above.

Categories
Current Events

Little Big

Anybody who thinks that the Russians have no sense of humor has not seen Little Big, Russia’s entry in this year’s Eurovision contest.

With over 125M views, Little Big’s Uno video is the most watched video on the Eurovision channel. The annual contest was unfortunately cancelled this year due to the pandemic but there’s plenty more to see on the Eurovision YouTube channel.

Categories
Current Events

Racism and Forgetting

“this country is really gifted at forgetting.”

Boston University recently held an all day symposium for its students to discuss the events surrounding the killing of George Floyd and connecting the current civic unrest to the long history of institutionalized racism in the United States.

Most of the sessions were closed to only BU students but, thankfully, the opening discussion was uploaded for the public and is well-worth watching. Attending were:

  • Ibram X. Kendi (Moderator), Professor of History (as of July 1, 2020), Founder, BU Center for Antiracist Research
  • Paula Austin, Assistant Professor of History and African American Studies
  • Louis Chude-Sokei, Professor of English, George and Joyce Wein Chair in African American Studies, Director of the African American Studies Program
  • Saida Grundy, Assistant Professor of Sociology and African American Studies

A snippet. . .

This country is really gifted at forgetting. Forgetting is built into capitalism, into the kind of predatory capitalism we have here. Forgetting is crucial to how you create constant obsession with newness, innovation and commodities.

Dr. Louis Chude-Sokei

The context of that quote being, of course, that racism in America continues to persist because we never come to terms with this country’s history of racism.

Categories
Current Events

Post-Pandemic Wuhan

Japanese documentary film maker Takeuchi Ryo has been living in Nanjing, China for seven years sharing. with his YouTube audience what it is like for a Japanese ex-pats living in China.

Long Time No See, Wuhan

In May, Mr. Takeuchi spent 10-days in the newly opened Wuhan, the Chinese city that was at the epicenter and perhaps source of the Coronavirus pandemic. We get a glimpse of a city flickering to life after a long, hard lockdown.

There’s the harsh economic reality of restaurant owners having to cut their prices to attract back customers who are also hurting from lost wages. We learn how contract tracing works in practice, movements are tracked everywhere, it’s Foursquare check-ins, enforced by law. QR codes have finally found widespread adoption. We experience life in the city through several individuals we meet up close.

There’s a nurse who volunteered on the front lines. She’s normally bubbly and would dance to help lift the spirits of her patients but asks to stop the interview when asked to recall what it was like to see so much death. She almost quit her job before the pandemic hit but now she has found a new purpose in her career.

There’s the construction worker who didn’t sleep for three nights while building that famous insta-hospital that went up in just 10-days. His future is uncertain as goods manufactured in Wuhan factories are shunned across China due to fears of contamination. Yet he’s just happy to be alive to raise his family after seeing complete civic panic and the potential collapse of society, up close.

There is also a newlywed couple that re-unite after quarantine forced their separation. Their joy to be together is infectious and through them you feel a giddiness that comes only when happiness has been denied for a long time.

The exuberant optimism of the city’s residents today in Long Time No See, Wuhan hint at what must have been a horrible period of sadness and despair. Only someone who has suppressed happiness for a long time could be this joyful and optimistic.

I am happy for the future of Wuhan but it’s those hints of what they went through that has me worried. I don’t feel like Americans are prepared to give up their freedoms in the same way that those in Wuhan did and still do so today. Americans cannot even agree to wear a mask in public. How will we ever enforce mandatory temperature checks, location tracking, and regular testing to reduce the spread of this disease? I hope we can pull together and do what needs to be done to turn things around.

Categories
TWTW

The week that was

Milton Glaser, the designer of the I ♥  NY logo and founder of New York Magazine died this week.

We all know now that alt-TikTok duped the Trump campaign into thinking they were going to need an overflow stage in Tulsa. What’s even cooler is that the TikTok army took their inspiration from a 51-year old grandma from Iowa.

About that rally, apparently one of the highlights was when Donald Trump demonstrated that he could successfully drink a glass of water, after which, the crowd broke out into chants of U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!

Temperatures were over 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the arctic last week. That is not a typo.

Eskimo Pie is rebranding to drop its derogatory name and the Dixie Chicks are dropping the Dixie and will be just the Chicks.

Botched art restoration has put Spanish curators on the front pages again. Remember the last time?

The Barcelona Opera played its first concert since the shutdown to an audience of plants.

Apparently 30% of the 860 commercial pilots in Pakistan do not have a valid pilot’s license.

The highly anticipated (in some circles) Dior – Air Jordan collab dropped. If you an find a pair, they go for $2,200. If you can’t, be prepared to shell out $10k on the secondary market.

A truck traveling through the intersection of Portage Avenue and Race Track Road collided with another truck and scattered french fries all over the road. The story did not say which had right of way, the Race Track or the Portage.

Looking for something to do next week? Put your finger down and don’t move it to win $25k.

This week’s cute pet video comes to you from Georgia (the country) where a stray dog shows up every day to escort kids across a busy intersection.

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.

@yarri requested the audiobook version of TWTW so I indulged him. It’s not quite Walter Cronkite but it’s got hints of the late-newscaster’s flourishes.

created with the voices from LOVO @ www.lovo.ai
Categories
Office

Apple Publishes Mobility Data

Apple published an interesting visualization of data they have on the number of times Apple Maps users looked up directions and how the frequency has changed during the pandemic.

The Mobility Trends Report is not only a great way to show the value of Apple’s aggregate data but also an opportunity for the company to explain it’s privacy policies.

Privacy is a fundamental human right. At Apple, it’s also one of our core values, so Maps doesn’t associate your data with your Apple ID, and Apple doesn’t keep a history of where you’ve been.

This data is generated by counting the number of requests made to Apple Maps for directions in select countries/regions, sub-regions, and cities. Data that is sent from users’ devices to the Maps service is associated with random, rotating identifiers so Apple doesn’t have a profile of your movements and searches. The availability of data in a particular country/region, sub-region, or city is based on a number of factors, including minimum thresholds for direction requests per day.

Apple – Our Commitment to Privacy
Categories
TWTW

The week that was

The jokers at MSCHF are at it again with some kicks that will allow you to walk on holy water. While it’s still up, here’s a link to their crazy promo page.

Ford is bringing the Bronco back and will debut the new model on the July 9th, the birthday of one of its more infamous drivers. (update: Ford thought it best to postpone).

The soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful is going back to production. But how do you maintain distance during those steamy love scenes? Dolls.

Tear gas was used on civilians in over 100 US cities last week.

I used to subscribe to Popular Mechanics magazine. Each issue had helpful tips on how to fix something around the schematics of how something works. This week they had some helpful tips on how to topple a confederate statue.

Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben’s and Cream of Wheat are all taking a hard look at updating their branding.

We learned one thing this week. The Swiss take money really fucking seriously.

When you use Reddit as a source, you really need to be careful because someone’s always joking around. Fox News wasn’t careful.

The 24 Hours of Le Mans auto race was held. Virtually. And 63 million watched.

Professional football started up again in Europe but to empty stadiums. Even then, a fan managed to, true to form, to break in and run onto the pitch.

Those scary Boston Dynamics nightmare machines? You can now buy one and take it home with you.

Scientists ran the numbers and came up with the answer. It’s not 42. It is 36.

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.

Categories
Current Events

Trump 404

Swap out HRC for your latest opponent.

The 404 page on donaldjtrump.com is a re-work of his one from the last election but instead of trolling Clinton, it’s trolling Biden.

Minor tweaks.

Meanwhile, on joebiden.com, the 404 page is the same error page used during the primaries.

To see the full gallery from all the primary candidates, you can view them here.

Categories
Current Events

For Deadheads Only

When Deadheads try to explain their appreciation for the Grateful Dead, they will probably point you to a concert at Cornell University in 1977, in particular the sequence from Scarlet Begonias to Fire on the Mountain.

YouTuber Michael Palmisano has built up his channel, Guitar Teacher REACTS around the deconstruction of live music jams. To celebrate his 100,000th subscriber, Michael deconstructed Scarlet > Fire from 5/8/77.

I’ve listened to this version many times but following the Guitar Teacher through his hour-long analysis revealed flourishes that I knew all along were there but never fully appreciated or had the vocabulary to explain. From Scarlet’s “mixolidian lick” to Keith’s arpeggiating progressions – he calls out all the shiny bits and holds each one up to the light like its own little gem.

At the transition into Fire at around 21 minutes, Michael breaks down how each musician transitions over “step-by-step” until the band collectively agree it’s time to jump over. Watching him walk you thru the magic, painted in real-time as only a band that plays together, night after night, can do is infectious.

Related:

Listener’s Notes

Live for Live review

Jambase review

If you’re interested in hearing the recording, straight thru, without interruption, here’s a link to the recording.

Categories
TWTW

The week that was

A COVID-19 testing swab factory said that they had to trash all swabs created during President Trump’s visit last week. The president flew to the factory in Maine to celebrate the factory’s increased production and insisted on touring the factory without a mask.

Band-Aid announced it will launch a new line of bandages in a range of different skin tone colors — from beige to dark brown — to  “embrace the beauty of diverse skin.”

Engineers did not take into consideration the wind when designing new pedestrian railings on the Golden Gate Bridge. The barrier emits a high-pitch howl that is carries well across the water and can be heard all across the Bay.

Motortrend magazine is celebrating a rare, mint-condition Honda Civic Si that sold for $50,000.

350,000 people searched for it. Five people died trying. The search is over. The $2 million Forrest Fenn treasure has been found.

James Micioni, a 96-year old New Jersey man, passed away and left to his family a collection of baseball cards that is now known as The Uncle Jimmy Collection. A signed Babe Ruth card is a rare find, Uncle Jimmy had six. This treasure trove of vintage, baseball cards that is the single most incredible find in the history of the hobby. 

After three months of Shelter in Place people are sharing how they’ve been keeping busy. One built the ultimate Rube Goldberg machine and another calculated the distance he walked since putting a treadmill in his home office.

What do you do when your country is overrun by locusts? Ask China to send in their ducks.

Mad Magazine’s Al Jaffee, the inventor of the iconic fold-in and the longest working cartoonist in history, retired at 99. His last issue will be one of the last issues of the print magazine.

Photo via @banksy

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.