Current Events

Computer Simulation

This ad for Pocari Sweat, a Japanese sports drink, simulates computer graphics but is actually shot almost entirely analog. Check out the second video for a look at the behind the scenes magic.


The week that was

Dozens of people in Cuba have complained that croquetas made by a state company are exploding when cooked and causing burns. The company, Prodal, admitted its croquetas are prone to “violence” and warned customers to prepare them more carefully.

A couple in South Korea mistook cans of paint and brushes strewn about in front of an untitled painting on display at a mall as an invitation to participate and ended up defacing a $500,000 work.

Hyundai announced the arrival of their Genesis brand in China by breaking the world record using 3,281 drones to display its logo over the nighttime skies of Shanghai.

The United States Postal Service, tired of getting its copyright ripped off without compensation, put its foot down and threw serious shade towards Nike.

“We can’t see you” said the control tower to Ethiopian Airlines flight ET3891 that was scheduled to land at Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe Airport. The pilot landed at the Copperbelt International Airport, still under construction, 15 miles away.

A South London man was stabbed to death at a vigil for a man who was stabbed to death.

100 tourists were kicked out of their Florida hotel rooms when they got a call in their rooms saying that the hotel had been sold and they had to get out of their rooms by 4 p.m.

About the photo: taken at the 2013 Outside Lands festival, Land’s End stage in San Francisco during the Young the Giant set

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.

Current Events

Vaccine side effects

Business Insider pulled together data from the FDA and put together a visualization that’s the answer to the question on everyone’s mind. I’ve been forwarding the article to everyone and then telling them to scroll down to the graphic but it’s easier to just highlight it here.

Current Events


NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt gave a talk upon accepting the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication. In his televised speech, he spoke not only of his career in broadcast journalism but also gave his perspective on recent events and the importance of distinguishing between balanced and truthful coverage.

The idea that we should always give two sides equal weight and merit does not reflect the world we find ourselves in. That the sun sets in the west is a fact. Any contrary view does not deserve our time or attention. I know recent events assure that you won’t have to look far to find more current and relevant examples, I think you get my point.

Decisions to not give unsupported arguments equal time are not a dereliction of journalistic responsibility or some kind of an agenda. In fact, it’s just the opposite. Providing an open platform for misinformation, for anyone to come say whatever they want, especially when issues of public health and safety are at stake, can be quite dangerous.

Lester Holt, March 30, 2021
Current Events

Manhattan Life

We are loving our city life. Izumi went off to meet with some friends at a beer garden (it’s nice out today, not too hot, not too cold) so Julia and I popped into the Guggenheim where a young man played cello in the enormous belly of the building.

The lonely cello

We wanted to make pizza at home but didn’t trust ourselves to make the dough so I googled “pizza dough” and was directed to an old Italian grocer on the lower east side that’s been there since 1905. On their recommendation I also picked up some of their fresh mozzarella.

Russo’s Mozzarella & Pasta – 344 E 11th St

Living here affords you the flexibility to be spontaneous. That is the true wealth of living in a great city.


The week that was

The FBI is still hauling in those that were part of the January 6th invasion of the capitol. Suspects identified from social media posts are brought in for questioning to dispel any doubt. That was not necessary for the guy who answered the door wearing his, “I Was There, Washington D.C., January 6, 2021” t-shirt.

Leave your computer open while you go off to do something and sometimes your kid gets in there and fiddles with things. All fun and games and a teachable moment, unless you’re working for U.S. Strategic Command.

A 53-year old fugitive ex-mafioso, who has been on the run from the Italian police for 7 years, was finally tracked down to his home in the Dominican Republic because of his YouTube cooking videos.

The Nerf company will pay someone $10,000 a month to be their Chief TikTok Officer.

In a brilliant, jiu jitsu move, Zoe Scaman has created a service that turns unsolicited dick pics into one of a kind NFTs available for sale on the blockchain where they need to be purchased to be taken down.

Someone hooked up an old Game Boy and hacked it so it can mine Bitcoin. He figures it would take “several quadrillion years to mine one bitcoin (worth $52k in USD).

An unopened copy of Super Mario Brothers for the original Nintendo sold for $660,000.

An April Fool’s joke went horribly wrong when mayhem ensued after thousands showed up for a fake Daft Punk concert.

A family of Scottish rabbits unwittingly made an important archeological discovery when they uncovered relics from the Bronze age while burrowing a hole for their new shelter.

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.



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.