Photo: The most popular image was this bit of graffiti at Hong Kong Polytechnic which I learned from commenters is a Winston Churchill quote. Seems appropriate to leave this here as Hong Kongers are still protesting since mid-March 2019.
So here it is, the top links from this year’s The Week That Was – these are the stories that most interested you this past year in order of popularity. Thank you for your time and attention this year and see you in the next!
Special Operations Command Is Experimenting With Bullets That Shoot Through Water – Defense One
A night of drinking, a closed strip joint and a White Castle shooting bring suspensions for 3 judges – CNN
Meet the $50 Strawberries That NYC’s High-End Chefs Are Fawning Over – Eater
A sharp-eyed researcher discovered that Department of Agriculture listed Marvel’s mythical East African country, Wakanda, as a trading partner on a website built to track tariffs on nations signed on to the free trade agreement. The developer had forgotten to remove the test files from the prototype.
A woman in San Francisco, desperate to locate her dog, stolen while it was waiting for her outside a local grocery store, hired a plane for $7,000 to fly a banner with the website she set up to find her her dog. BTW, the website is www.bringjacksonhome.com/
San Francisco had to quietly revise the government’s well-intentioned blanket ban on facial recognition technology when they realized that the City Supervisors’ use of their government-issued iPhone Face ID was made illegal.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 California-based company has developed a digital camera no larger than a grain of sand. It is designed to be swallowed or even injected for medical diagnoses.
California signed into law the roadkill bill that allows for meat salvaged from roadways to be cooked and eaten. On the other side of the country, researchers at the University of Richmond taught rats how to drive.
Russian scientists tracking migrating eagles were bankrupted after some of the birds took unexpected detours to Iran and Pakistan and their SMS transmitters generated huge data roaming charges.
A Michigan couple posted a video of what appeared to be a satellite that crash- landed in their backyard. A few hours later, someone from Raven Industries (one of the makers of the satellite) collected the wreckage but offered no details about the device or what had happened.
Rather than preventing illegal border crossings, President Trump’s border wall is enabling them. Migrants are donning orange work vests and blending with the construction crews until they can later slip and cross over, undetected.
After discovering that their online game Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was being used as part of massive money laundering scheme, Valve blocked the trading of weapons and cosmetic upgrades on their online marketplace.
The UK was given an extension by the EU beyond the October 31 planned date for Brexit. This proved inconvenient for the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer who had to quietly announce that they will be melting down the millions of commemorative coins minted for the occasion.
A man dressed as Jesus for Halloween sucker-punched a San Diego police officer when the policeman tried to break up a brawl involving Jesus and others. Police are still looking for Jesus.
A man was airlifted was airlifted to a local Alabama hospital after being run over by his own four wheeler operated by his dog.
Face-to-face with a cougar on a mountain trail, Dee Gallant had to think quickly. She reached into her pocked and flipped thru her phone’s music library, set it on speaker and played Metallica.
Tan, a real estate developer in China paid Xi, a hitman, to take out his competitor, Wei. As is popular in the construction industry, the Xi subcontracted the job to Mo, who hired Yang, who hired another Yang, who hired Ling. The whole thing fell apart and Tan, Xi, Mo, the two Yangs, and Ling were all hauled into court and sentenced to intentional homicide.
Scientists have developed a skin-like mobile phone case that responds to being pinched and tickled. Tapping on the surface can be interpreted as seeking attention while stroking can be associated with providing comfort.
A former Apple lawyer in charge of preventing insider trading was indicted for insider trading.
Mats Järlström, a Swedish engineer visiting Oregon, challenged and successfully reversed his wife’s traffic violation there with a judgement that ended up changing the timing of traffic lights around the world. Never cross an engineer.
Qantas Airways completed the longest, non-stop passenger flight ever. Forty-nine passengers flew for 19 hours and 16 minutes from New York to Sydney. One Bloomberg reporter was on board and wrote about it.
The Society of Professional Journalists have trademarked the term “fake news” and plan to send the president a cease and desist notice for using the term incorrectly.