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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

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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

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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
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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?”

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.