Current Events


The internet is full of link rot. Things that you point to for their brilliance submerge out of view years later, lost to the sands of time. The wayback machine may be your only salvation but it’s like looking for lost scraps of paper in the attic.

For this reason, I have copy/pasted this bit of internet brilliance below for you to enjoy today and forever. The context is an adoption listing for a 2-year old Chihuahua in a brutally honest Facebook post that went wildly viral.

Ok, I’ve tried. I’ve tried for the last several months to post this dog for adoption and make him sound…palatable. The problem is, he’s just not. There’s not a very big market for neurotic, man hating, animal hating, children hating dogs that look like gremlins. But I have to believe there’s someone out there for Prancer, because I am tired and so is my family. Every day we live in the grips of the demonic Chihuahua hellscape he has created in our home. If you own a Chihuahua you probably know what I’m talking about. He’s literally the Chihuahua meme that describes them as being 50% hate and 50% tremble. If you’re intrigued and horrified at how this animal sounds already, just wait….there’s more. Prancer came to me obese, wearing a cashmere sweater, with a bacon egg n cheese stuffed in his crate with him. I should have known in that moment this dog would be a problem. He was owned by an elderly woman who treated him like a human and never socialized him. Sprinkle in a little genetic predisposition for being nervous, and you’ve concocted a neurotic mess, AKA Prancer. His first week he was too terrified to have a personality. As awful as it sounds, I kind of liked him better that way. He was quiet, and just laid on the couch. Didn’t bother anyone. I was excited to see him come out of his shell and become a real dog. I am convinced at this point he is not a real dog, but more like a vessel for a traumatized Victorian child that now haunts our home. Prancer only likes women. Nothing else. He hates men more than women do, which says a lot. If you have a husband don’t bother applying, unless you hate him. Prancer has lived with a man for 6 months and still has not accepted him. He bonds to a woman/women, and takes his job of protection seriously. He offers better protection than capitol security. This also extends to other animals. Have other dogs? Cats? Don’t apply unless they like being shaken up like a ragdoll by a 13lb rage machine. This may be confusing to people, as he currently lives with my other 7 dogs and 12 cats. That’s because we have somewhat come to an agreement that it’s wrong to attack the other animals. But you know that episode of The Office where Michael Scott silently whispers “I’ll kill you.” to Toby? That’s Prancer having to begrudgingly coexist with everyone when I’m around. We also mentioned no kids for Prancer. I think at this point, you can imagine why. He’s never been in the presence of a child, but I can already imagine the demonic noises and shaking fury that would erupt from his body if he was. Prancer wants to be your only child. So what are his good traits? He is loyal beyond belief, although to tell you a secret his complex is really just a facade for his fear. If someone tried to kill you I can guarantee he would run away screeching. But as far as companionship, you will never be alone again. He likes to go for car rides, he is housebroken, he knows a few basic commands, he is quiet and non destructive when left alone at home, and even though we call him bologna face he is kind of cute to look at. He also “smiles” when he is excited. His ideal home would be with a single woman, a mother and daughter, or a lesbian couple. You can’t live in an apartment or a condo unless you want him to ankle bite your neighbors. We already addressed the men and children situation. If you have people over he would have to be put away like he’s a vacuum. I know finding someone who wants a chucky doll in a dogs body is hard, but I have to try. Prancer is available through Second Chance Pet Adoption League. He is in New Jersey but can be adopted anywhere in the general tri state area. If you’ve always wanted your own haunted Victorian child in the body of a small dog that hates men and children, please email [email protected] Oh, also he’s only 2yrs old and will probably live to be 21 through pure spite, so take that into account if you’re interested.

Second Chance Pet Adoption League

The good news is that Prancer has been adopted and now has his own Instagram account @prancerthechihuahua

Hat-tipping Devon for the pointer.


The week that was

Judges in the UK reversed a decades-old decision by an errant (and some would say malicious) computer accounting system that convicted 39 former UK postmasters of theft, fraud and false accounting.

In India someone stole a bag that they found contained thousands of doses of the Covid vaccine. The bag was returned anonymously with an apologetic note.

Thieves of a Big Bird costume in Australia were not so lucky. Despite returning it after a night of mischief, charges will be pressed.

The internet went out for 900 customers in a small town in Canada. Beavers were to blame.

An eagle-eyed Argentinian renewed for a couple of bucks and briefly owned all of Google’s traffic in that country.

The subject of the Disaster Girl meme has taken back control of her image by selling the photo as an NFT.

Sean Culkin of the Kansas City Chief’s is the first NFL player to get paid in Bitcoin.

Citizen Kane was knocked off its 100% perch on top of the Rotten Tomatoes leaderboard, replaced by . . . Paddington 2. In celebration or perhaps an homage, a Reddit user is photoshopping Paddington into a movie still “every day until I forget.”

The headline of the week award goes to CTV with Boulders block Boulder Canyon road near Boulder, Colorado, Boulder County Sheriff’s Office says

A pair of Yeezy sneakers worn by Kanye West at the Grammys were sold for $1.8 million.

There is a good chance that the former Flint, Michigan Police Academy building will be used to grow marijuana.

An Australian farmer had to destroy his entire crop of hemp because cooler than expected temperatures raised the levels of THC beyond the legal limit. He should just ship the crop to Flint.

Oh, and Prancer found a home.

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.

Hat-tips to Devon, Jane and Roberto.

Current Events

Biko’s Manna

Biko and Manna Nhlangothi are a sister and brother duo raised by musician parents that perform as Biko Manna. They’ve been dazzling crowds with their street performances in their home county of South Africa for several years but have recently hit it big by covering Japanese pop songs on YouTube.

Biko’s Manna’s cover of Pretender

Apparently the story is the father visited Japan and fell in love with Japanese pop music and brought back some music with him. His kids picked up the lyrics by ear and they’ve made their own cover versions.

I’d love to learn more about them, there’s very little written in English but I could see them touring Japan someday. Biko’s voice will knock your socks off but her brother and younger (friend?) that joins in to ham it up are a kick too.

Here’s a documentary I found that talks a little about their background.

If you want more Biko’s Manna, here’s a good playlist.


NYC Subways

I found this short video on how to get around the New York subway system useful.

  • 472 stations
  • 675 miles of track
  • 5.5 million daily riders (pre-covid)

Express v. Local – usually the local train will be up against the wall, express trains on the inside

Uptown v. Downtown – if you’re getting on the train on a local stop, make sure you’re going down the right side. Trains follow traffic on the avenues so downtown trains will be on the right of the road if you face downtown. Brooklyn-bound trains are going downtown, Bronx-bound trains go uptown.

Price v. Practicality – unlimited metro cards (week or monthly) are most cost-effective but per-use cards can be shared among people. You can use the metro card to take the Roosevelt Island tram and the Staten Island ferry is free.

The new MTA realtime map is pretty cool.


The week that was

Covid-19 was discovered at Everest base camp when a member of an expedition tested positive for the disease.

Vaccines are available in New York City for anyone that wants them, no appointment necessary. On 4/20, marijuana activists with Joints for Jabs gave out free joints to anyone that showed them their vaccination card.

In Maine, where recreational marijuana is ok but delivery is not, an enterprising startup is offering to help “find” your lost stash for a “finders fee.”

There is a boba tea shortage in San Francisco.

People are using $5 ladders to go up and over Trump’s $27 million/mile border wall.

Japanese police have hauled in a 39-year-old Osaka man who is suspected of lying about his birthday to more than 30 different girlfriends in order to receive their gifts.

A man dressed in a cute bear suit with an over-sized head is walking from Los Angeles to San Francisco. The trip has taking longer than anticipated but he said he is not in a huge rush.

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

George Floyd

The entire nation was listening with a lump in their throat as it could have gone either way. When the verdict was read, guilty on all charges, I had the window open and could hear the car horns on the street all go off at the same time. It was the same when they called Pennsylvania for Biden – like seeing the sun rise over the horizon.

The defense was unable to surmount the overwhelming video evidence of George Floyd’s murder. We all saw it and nothing could change our minds from what we saw on camera. There was no other way to “frame” the story, no broader narrative could justify what we all saw before us.

Today’s The Daily podcast had a good wrap-up of the significance of this verdict along with excerpts from the Floyd family speaking at a post-trial press conference which really brought home the emotional significance of the judgement for the Floyd family and really, all of us.

Excerpts from Floyd Family post-trial press conference, April 20, 2021

The healing for George Floyd’s family can begin but the struggle will continue.

Today America took an important step. It is but one step and many more remain. It is no assurance that we will continue to stride forward in justice. But it is also a day to pause and reflect that a better, more just, more equitable America, a more perfect union for all our citizens, is indeed possible. We cannot, will not, be perfect. We can, we must be better – ever improving. Today’s verdict has made the embers of hope glow a little brighter.

Dan Rather – Guilty on All Charges

Ambient Antarctica

I’m feeling a lot of emotions now. It’s a mix of things that contribute to a marking of time. Hearing the Derrick Chauvin verdict feels like the end of a chapter that started at the beginning of the pandemic (even though I know it’s only the beginning of another chapter).

I also video-chatted with my parents tonight and see that my father is losing his hearing. He can’t hear what I’m saying and he’s too stubborn to try out a hearing aid. This leaves him to only excitedly talk about something and then leave me to watch disappoint cross his face when he realizes, once again, that he cannot hear my response.

I’m feeling mortal – conscious of the passage of time. If you are feeling the same way, may I recommend this beautiful video-scape of Antarctica, preferably on a big, flat screen TV, in a dark room, with a tumbler of your favorite whiskey by your side.

Balm for the soul.

Current Events

Alps Raw Run

Grace under pressure, poetry in motion. I do not recommend you attempt skateboarding down the Alps but I do suggest you witness Josh Neuman’s 11:27 minute crazy-ass decent.


The week that was

Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached the highest level in 3.6 million years and Scientific American editors made the decision to call it what it is, a climate emergency. Some scientists recommend leaning in the trend with something called “stratospheric aerosol intervention” to block the sun to cool down the planet.

Eleven Madison Park, a three-star Michelin restaurant where New Yorkers normally pay $300+ for a meal, will serve high-quality, basic meals to those in need out of the back of a subtly-marked truck that will visit the “culinary-deprived neighborhoods.”

“Everything Trump has done since he’s been in office has been really shady and all backwards and messed up,” said one of the co-plaintiffs in a $1 trillion class action lawsuit brought by a self-educated ex-convict against the former president for the deaths of 570,000 Americans from Covid.

On the bright side, you can now watch an animated counter that totals the number of vaccinations given over on

Dominos will start delivering pizza in Houston by autonomous robots. Driverless buses are shuttling people around Tennessee.

Darius, the world’s longest rabbit, is missing from his home in Worcestershire. Twitter erupted with suggestions to ask Alice.

A flight from the UK to Majorca was dangerously under-fueled when a programming error allocated everyone with the title “Miss” the average child’s weight instead of that of an adult.

More NFT shenanigans as the market cap for Dogecoin, a cryptocurrency founded as a joke, soared to $51 billion. The New York Stock Exchange started selling their own NFTs and an artist sold a single, grey pixel for $1.36 million dollars.

If you’re looking for fungible assets, there is a deli in New Jersey worth $100 million.

Citizens in the Polish city of Krakow were trapped, afraid to go outside because of an unknown animal that lurked in a tree. Animal welfare was called and discovered . . . a croissant.

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

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.