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TWTW

The week that was

While a shocking number of Americans can’t be bothered to wear a mask, this Indian businessman threw down $4000 his own custom gold mask.

A Japanese robotics company turned its attention to the mask problem and made one that does more than just save lives. The charmingly named Donut Robotics invented an internet-enabled mask that can can transcribe and translate speech into text, make calls, or amplify the mask wearer’s voice.

As sports leagues around the world stumble thru working out protocols that will keep everyone safe, the Women’s Roller Derby League surprised everyone with their sensible & straightforward plan.

Of course the Parisians have figured out how to keep everyone socially distanced and look cool doing it.

Coronavirus fashion is now a thing.

Covid-19 has reached the remote jungles of the Peruvian Amazon where there are now six cases among the Nahua tribe who have been living in voluntary isolation since first contact in the 1980s.

Melbourne police were tipped off when someone came into a KFC at 1:30 am and placed a “suspiciously huge order.” Following the car home, they broke up a party in violation of group gatherings and handed out $26k in fines.

Refrigerators stocked with free food are popping up all over Oakland. “Take what you want, leave what you don’t.” The fridges are part of the Town Fridge volunteer network to feed those in need.

A Japanese Inn bought some grapes for $12,200.

The Secret Service dropped $25k on two jet skis to keep the Trump family safe while they swim. Mavericks anyone?

Florida’s command center for statewide emergencies (such as Covid) shut down on Thursday after 12 staffers tested positive for . . . Covid.

Just when you think it can’t get any worse we learn that a squirrel in Colorado tested positive for the bubonic plague.

Trump supporters are getting fed up with the candidate’s pushy text messages. “Pres. Trump texted & YOU didn’t respond. Don’t let him down AGAIN.” Unsubscribe.

Scientists looking up determined that an Andean condor can fly 100 miles without flapping its wings.

Scientists looking down figured out how to make a camera small enough to put on the back of a beetle so they can see things from their perspective.

Scientists looking way up found the oldest star so they could confirm the age of the universe. Happy 13.8 billion years!

Nissan re-designed its logo so it looks better on its electric cars. As far as branding videos go, this one is pretty epic (headphones recommended).

Want a room with a view? Try WindowSwap.

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

Nearly $5.5M worth of counterfeit pajamas were confiscated at Port of Los Angeles.

Nudists are debating if wearing a face mask makes you no longer a true nudist.

Billionaire Kanye West’s company was awarded a multimillion-dollar coronavirus stimulus grant so they can continue to make shoes like this.

Ringo Starr celebrated his 80th birthday and Judas Priest announced their 50th anniversary tour.

Olympian sprinter Usain Bolt has a daughter named Olympia. Her middle name is Lightning.

All types of retailers have been hit hard by the lack of shoppers during the pandemic. Both the 202-year old Brooks Brothers and the North American branch of the Japanese brand retailer Muji filed for bankruptcy.

The great scrubbing continued as the North American Scrabble Players Association took a hard look at its dictionary of acceptable words and removed 236 words that it found potentially offensive.

Elon Musk, who surpassed Warren Buffet in wealth this week, sold out of his limited edition red satin Tesla gym shorts that were going for $69.420.

Due to the pandemic, fashion catwalks have gone virtual at this year’s Haute Couture Week. Each fashion house posted videos online to show off this year’s collection. Here’s Chanel.

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

The president will be spending the Forth of July at Mount Rushmore watching a half-million dollar “fireworks extravaganza.” Meanwhile, the Covid situation in Arizona has gotten to the point where Mexico is seriously thinking maybe they should finish that wall themselves, to keep out the Americans.

Xiaojie Zheng of San Francisco was assaulted while out walking her dog. When the police asked for a description, she did one better. Xiao has a photographic memory and is a renown portrait artist.

Protestors traveled out to Michael Bloomberg’s estate in the Hamptons to protest income inequality and brought pitchforks* with them.

Principals from 40 schools in the Bay Area gathered for a in-person meeting to coordinate the complicated procedures required for schools to open in Fall. Public confidence in those protocols were shattered when they learned everyone was exposed to the coronavirus at the meeting.

A film with a $70 million budget about the dangers of trying to perfect human DNA will have a robot as the lead actor.

Perhaps taking inspiration from the Barcelona Opera, a local bluegrass band played to the animals at the Oakland Zoo (which have become quite lonely lately). We later read that the zoo is in deep financial trouble.

After 50 years, Boeing will stop production of the 747 Jumbo Jet.

The Finger on the App thing announced last week finished last night with the final four contestants winning $20k each for keeping their finger on the app for a 3 whole days. If you haven’t seen it, check out the compilation video of people getting booted after Siri tried to “help.”

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.

*article updated later to say they were plastic

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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
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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.

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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.

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TWTW

The week that was

Protestors in Oakland were joined by Brianna Noble, 25, who rode atop her massive gelding, Dapper Dan, fist held high, like a living Valkyrie.

In Portland, protesters were joined by Caesar, the No Drama Llama.

The hacktivist group Anonymous hacked Chicago Police radio frequencies to play NWA’s Fuck tha Police. Apple Music turned off browse on their radio streams and left a single playlist of black music in honor of #blackouttuesday ending with the same NWA song.

The police in Dallas were thwarted from crowdsourcing videos of illegal protest activity when their iWatch service was flooded with fancam videos of K-Pop bands.

Columbus and Cleveland declared racism a public health crisis.

Even the Amish joined in the protests in Minneapolis.

The headline of the week award goes to the AFP which ran with Spain porn star held after man dies in toad venom ritual

Necco Wafers are back after a two-year hiatus. The 174-year old confectionery that got its start with Union troops in the Civil War re-started production with a minor adjustment to the less-popular chocolate flavor to appeal to the modern palate.

In Canada, the re-introduction of Cool-Ranch Doritos made headlines as deprived residents breathed a sigh of relief.

Alfa Romeo is planning on launching an electric SUV in 2022.

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

Big stories sucked up much of the oxygen this week. Cities are on fire and two guys left earth in a rocket (some say they’re lucky). Other than that, here’s a few stories you may have missed.

In a tragic twist, we learned that George Floyd and Officer Derek Chauvin worked at the same night club in Minneapolis. If only they knew each other, maybe there might have been more empathy.

When the order to shelter in place came down, couples who were dating had to make a quick choice, stay apart or stay together. One couple in NYC has been together in an apartment after just one date, another has been stuck in Costa Rica after just three.

One silver lining resulting from the pandemic? Have you noticed that the volume of robocalls are down?

David Rush from Idaho drank a liter of lemon juice in under 17 seconds setting a new world record (they keep records for this?).

Microsoft decided to downsize the humans doing news curation in their newsroom and give the algorithm more work. Let’s hope it turns out better than it did with Tay, the racist chatbot.

A rare bottle of French Cognac from 1762 sold for almost $150k.

A Canadian man received an expedited delivery of a tube of Brylcreem that he ordered in 2012.

Two men were hired to sneak into a house to fulfill someone’s sexual fantasy, but got the address wrong.

A Texas high school principal drove over 1,500 miles to personally deliver diplomas to each of his graduating students. Closer to home, my daughter’s math teacher from Alameda High made the rounds to personally visit with each of her 100+ students and deliver a gift bag of hand-crafted goods.

Stay safe and take care of your neighbors everyone – see you next week.

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TWTW

The week that was

A California church invited its congregation for a Mother’s Day service in defiance of stay-at-home orders. A few days later, more than 180 people tested positive for Covid-19.

Protestors that drove hundreds of miles to Michigan for “Operation Gridlock” may have caught the virus and brought it back home. Anonymized location trails from cellphones show travelers returning home to neighboring states including Wyoming, Nebraska, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Utah.

A man who wrote on April 2nd, “my God is bigger than this Virus will ever be” is thinking twice after being struck down by Covid and passing it to his wife.

Maybe God’s plan is just to have us all pass the dutchie and chill. Researchers in Canada have discovered that cannabis sativa strains high in CDB reduce infection by 70 to 80 per cent.

Adding new irony to David Crosby’s song, Almost Cut My Hair, getting your hair cut is now an act of defiance.

A signed pair of Air Jordan’s worn by Michael Jordan during his 1984-85 rookie season was sold by Sotheby’s for $560,000, breaking a record for the most anyone paid for a pair of used sneakers.

Pandemic Fashion is here. For the beach we have the Trikini, a bikini with a matching mask.

The NFL is building in helmets with integrated masks.

The Oakland A’s missed their April rent payment on the Oakland Coliseum. Citing financial difficulty due to the pandemic, they owe $1.2 million or a little over two pair of Air Jordan sneaks. Then again, maybe they should ask Stripchat.com who wants to buy naming rights to the New Orleans Superdome from Mercedes-Benz.

The town of Fairfield, Alabama declared bankruptcy.

Everyone has tried their hand at baking sourdough bread. As expected, hacker types are extracting efficiencies with technology.

Zoom parodies. Zoom performances, Zoom reunions, Zoom weddings. Zoom adoptions and this week a trial by Zoom and broadcasted public confessions by Zoom.

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TWTW

The week that was

Joe Exotic announced (from prison) a new fashion line. The Revenge line includes tiger-branded face masks.

Weather forecasting accuracy has been impacted by of the drop in air travel. Real-time data on temperature, wind and humidity from commercial airliners has been cut nearly 90 percent.

The Double-Rainbow guy passed away. Paul “Bear” Vasquez was 57.

Zoom conference calls are so common that they are now parodied. There are Zoom performances, Zoom reunions and Zoom weddings. And now you can adopt a dog over Zoom.

So far American Samoa has dodged the Covid pandemic. Zero deaths, zero cases. This week they announced their version of the state quarter, with a most unfortunate design.

Facebook spent $400 million for a collection of animated GIFs.

Americans spent $10.9 billion on video games in the first quarter of 2020, a new record. I’m pretty sure that record will be broken next quarter. It’s still impossible to buy a Nintendo Switch.

Taking a queue from a Chinese Elementary school, a cafe in Germany is asking customers to wear special hats to enforce social distancing.

Here in America, some restaurants are allowed to open for dining but require patrons to wear masks. Wondering how to eat with a mask? A woman in Florida is on the case.

A three-star restaurant is seating mannequins at tables to fill up the required empty space between diners.

Facial recognition technology providers are scrambling to recalibrate their software to a world where everyone is wearing a face mask. The next release of iOS will support a mask mode on Face ID.

Spotting an opportunity, DEVO has brushed off their stock of iconic red, energy dome caps and fitting them with face shields to make the perfect PPE.

Tune in today at 2pm Pacific to witness the graduation ceremony for the UC Berkeley Class of 2020 at which will take place entirely within the virtual Minecraft recreation of the campus.

Looking for some way to help those less fortunate? Check out the 1kproject and connect directly with families in need.