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.


The week that was

TEPCO, operators of the flawed Fukushima nuclear power plant, announced that they finished removing all fuel rods from a second reactor. They hope to clean up the remaining two by 20231.

Sakae Kato stayed behind in the Fukushima contaminated quarantine zone and spends $7,000 a month feeding the abandoned cats and wild boar.

The publisher of the Dr. Seuss books took several of the books off the market because of their insensitive depictions from another era. The books in question immediately shot up in value with a copy of McElligot’s Pool going for $620 earlier in the week on eBay. The company later announced the listings were removed as the books violated the company’s offensive material policy.

Mass confusion in Canada as the temps get warmer but the butter isn’t getting any softer. Sleuths are thinking that increased palm oil has gotten into the cow’s feed supply.

A Sudanese airliner was forced to make an emergency landing after a cat emerged in the cockpit and attacked the pilot. The plane was bound for Khartoum airport that (coincidentally) has the airport code of HSSS.

It’s what every New Yorker dreams of, more space. Samantha Hartsoe went in through the bathroom mirror and found an unoccupied three bedroom apartment.

An intern working at a German prison thought it’d be cool to share a photo of him at his new job and share it with his mates on social media. Wrong. In the photo was a clear shot of the single key that unlocks all cells and passage doors in the prison. The prison was forced to replace all 600 locks.

One lucky flea market shopper picked up a porcelain bowl at a yard sale in Connecticut for $35 only to discover that the item was a rare 15th-century Chinese artifact worth up to $500,000. “There are only six (other) such bowls known in the world,” said the head of Chinese artworks at Sotheby’s in New York.

My criticism of many of the films that are up for awards this year is that they feel like sketches with no core message. That is not the case with 15-minute documentary about nurses in the Covid ward. It’s about as real as it gets.

Photo credit: James Crombie of The Irish Times

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

Scientists cloned a black-footed ferret from the frozen cells of another black-footed ferret that died 30 years ago when the species was declared extinct.

The NYPD deployed a Boston Robotics “dog” into a tense hostage situation. “We can send it into complete darkness and get an idea of what’s going on inside” said a member of the Technical Assistance Response Unit. Meanwhile, performance art group MSCHF’s attempt to use a similar robot for an art project flamed out spectacularly.

China apologized to the State Department after acknowledging that they were giving US diplomats anal Covid swab tests, “in error.”

19-year-old Brandon Soules hated his job at the local tire repair shop. He hated it so much that he staged an elaborate kidnapping “excuse to get out of work”. He was fired instead.

52-year-old Latvian sailor Vidam Perevertilov fell overboard in the middle of the South Pacific without a life jacket at 4am. As his supply freighter steamed off into the distance he spotted an old fishing buoy which saved his life.

Federal agents in Cincinnati seized $2.8M in cocaine sprinkled on a shipment of corn flakes from Peru.

The Jeep brand has had a tough couple of weeks. First there was the on again/off again drill around Bruce Springsteen’s DWI arrest that ruined their expensive Super Bowl spot. Now an actual Chief Cherokee is asking they no longer use the Cherokee name because it’s literally wiping out the tribe on Google.

Silicon Valley electronics retailer Fry’s closed its doors for good. They blame Covid but we all know “change in retail environment” is code for Amazon.

Japanese contractor Taisei developed a method to convert carbon dioxide into concrete using CO2-infused calcium and blast furnace slag. At the same time, Purdue University researchers developed a new concrete recipe that will double the speed that concrete naturally absorbs carbon dioxide over its lifetime. It’s not clear if these two groups are talking to each other.

NYC, Portland, and Seattle are happy to report that they are no longer “anarchist jurisdictions” thanks to Biden unwinding another Trump proclamation.

Hasbro announced that Mr. Potato Head will become just Potato Head in order to “broaden the franchise” and “allow it to be a platform for many characters.”

Someone is recreating the entire Hamilton musical inside the video game Animal Crossing. What have you been up to lately?

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

Mardis Gras kicked off in New Orleans but there was nothing Fat about the Tuesday – bars were closed due to Covid regulations and the temps dipped near freezing.

ERCOT, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas was forced to initiate a series of rolling blackouts due to power plants being knocked offline due to the cold weather.

Will we finally get our flying cars? The FAA granted one company a special Light-Sport Aircraft certificate but meanwhile residents near Gatwick Airport were nearly killed by a prototype gone out of control.

Need water? Chinese scientists have figured out a way to literally shake rain out of clouds with low-frequency sound waves.

A UK man wanted by the police couldn’t stand being locked down with his roommates anymore and turned himself in so he could get some “peace and quiet.”

Researchers at Northwestern University have figured out a way to communicate to people while they are dreaming.

Video graphics card maker NVidia announced a version of their popular GeForce GPU optimized for cryptocurrency mining.

It snowed in Jerusalem.

3000 sticks of dynamite brought down Trump Plaza in Atlantic City and there was much rejoicing. Probably loudest from the ex-employees.

Bill Dorris, a successful Nashville business man, was often on the road, away from his beloved Lulu. When he passed, he specified that $5 million of his fortune be put into a trust to care for Lulu. Lulu is a boarder collie.

Someone paid nearly $600,000 for a digital Nyan Cat gif.

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

A Canadian couple was fined $880 for violating lockdown restrictions and traveling outside on non-essential business. They were playing Pokémon GO.

Bruce Springsteen had one of the more poignant Super Bowl ads featuring the Boss driving a Jeep. Then his recent DUI arrest came to light so they pulled down the commercial.

Trump’s impeachment defense team misspelled the “United States” again.

“I’m here live, I’m not a cat” said the Texas prosecutor on his now infamous Zoom call. Internet sleuths are calling foul because that particular filter is hard to find and he may have been trying to whitewash his Google results to hide a darker past.

A photo of a purple daisy was responsible for 90 million hits/day on a Wikimedia server. The company tracked down the spiking traffic to a Tik Tok knock-off app in India with some sloppy code,

A hacker infiltrated a Florida water plant and attempted to poison the water supply. The water system was controlled by an outdated Windows 7 machine connected to the internet without a firewall running remote access software with a shared password. The intrusion was detected when the person on duty saw the mouse pointer on his computer “move across the screen.”

An Israeli company unveiled the first 3-D-printed rib-eye steak. Aleph Farms uses living animal cells instead of plant-based alternatives in their new bio-printing system.

Why be an old man yelling at clouds when you can take out a $10k ad in the Wall Street Journal to complain directly to AT&T’s CEO?

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

Impeachment #2

As we dive back into Impeachment Trial #2, let us all review where we left off last time. During Adam Schiff’s closing arguments he levels this charge at his GOP colleagues.

History will not be kind to Donald Trump. If you find that the House has proved its case, and still vote to acquit, your name will be tied to his with a cord of steel and for all of history. But if you find the courage to stand up to him, to speak the awful truth to his rank falsehood, your place will be among the Davids who took on Goliath—if only you will say, ‘Enough.’

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., closing arguments – February 3, 2020

I can’t believe we’re here again. Let’s hope that our representatives rise to their moment in history this time.


The week that was

A YouTuber with the handle of “Stephen Ignoramus” was arrested by the FBI who watched his videos of his “epic” tour thru the capitol and thought otherwise.

A Russian man was disciplined by authorities for cooking shish-kabab over the eternal flame honoring soldiers who died in World War II.

New Yorkers who fled the pandemic-inflicted city for their summer cottages in the Hamptons are discovering life on Long Island in February isn’t so great. The septic tanks have overflowed and it’s impossible to get a tin of caviar anywhere.

The rapper Lil Uzi Vert had an 11-carat pink diamond worth $24 million attached to his forehead.

A German man was arrested for playing air traffic controller and giving directions to aircraft over Berlin. He had become increasingly professional with his communications, but gave “potentially dangerous” instructions.

After claims that their foot-long sandwich was only 11″ and their bread wasn’t really bread, Subway is now having to defend its tunafish sandwich containing ingredients that only imitate the appearance of tuna.

A K-pop girl band profusely apologized after it was pointed out that their video showing one of their stars dreamily embracing a mannequin dressed as a Nazi soldier was probably not in the best taste.

A fitness instructor in Myanmar became world-famous after her daily workout streamed on Facebook featurea military coup in the background.

Police in Mount Vernon, NY were called to investigate a suspicious packaged that turned out to be banana bread.

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

As the capitol rioters start coming before judges, we are seeing a variety of creative defense strategies. Former Houston police Officer Tam Dinh Pham says he broke into the Capitol “to see the art.”

Cosplay is big business and Japan wants to cash in. Under a proposed extension of copyright law, Japan’s professional cosplayers would have to pay for use of the characters they bring to life.

A 58-year-old woman in France was declared dead by a French appeals court and she has been spending her life trying to untangle the legal imbroglio and prove she is still very much alive.

An IRS agent who was responsible for investigating criminal activity was arrested for falsifying bank statements and paychecks in order to purchase a three bedroom duplex on the UES of Manhattan.

A casino company CEO and his wife allegedly chartered a plane to a remote Indigenous community in Canada and pretended to be members in order to get the coronavirus vaccine.

Oregon health workers, stuck in a snowstorm with several coronavirus vaccine doses that were about to go bad, walked down the line of stranded cars giving shots to anyone that wanted one.

A South Carolina town that was having trouble running its drive thru vaccination clinic hired local a Chick-fil-A manager to direct traffic. “When you need help, call the pros,” he said.

Four airline travelers in China, trying to avoid extra fees for their 30kg box of oranges, decided to eat the contents at the gate, in 30 minutes. And made the news. “We never want to have any oranges again,” Wang said.

A snowy owl visited Central Park.

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.