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TWTW

The week that was

Friday last week they canceled SXSW. I think at that moment something they may have been reading about started to impact their life. Silicon Valley collectively gasped.

There was other news, I had a few stories in the TWTW notepad. . .

An 8-year old in Canada entered a raffle contest at his local hockey league and won a gift basket of $200 worth of cannabis products.

Reporters Without Borders is using the online game Minecraft to distribute suppressed journalism past government censors.

A Ukrainian chess grand master and his girlfriend were found dead after inhaling too much laughing gas.

An Italian winery had a mishap with their water supply sending 300 gallons of their product into the town’s pipes. For a brief moment, water became wine.

As the week progressed, more stories mentioned the coronavirus.

Scientists used AI to develop an antibody that has been shown to be effective against bacteria that no existing drug can eliminate. They named it halicin after HAL 9000. Could it be used to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus?

Looking for their own coronavirus angle, lifestyle site, Askmen, did a piece on how to look presentable from the chest-up while working from home.

The TSA changed its rules and was now allowing up to 12 oz bottles of hand sanitizers on all flights. I took a flight and the Southwest flight attendant walked the aisle with a trash bag to collect used handi-wipes.

Mexico, worried about the spread of the virus from the US, is considering mechanisms to control the flow of people from North to South.

The International Antiviral Society conference in Boston was canceled because of the Coronavirus. The TV soap opera, General Hospital, stopped filming because of the virus as well. By the end of the week, over 70 TV shows had halted production. Perhaps in anticipation of growing interest in dystopian sci-fi, filming of the latest Batman and Matrix films are carrying on, without delay.

Other events were canceled.

On Wednesday night, the NBA postponed all games. The NHL and MLS and Champions League soocer soon followed and the MLB postponed opening day. The Boston Marathon was pushed back and the PGA Tour as well. The NCAA canceled the March Madness tournament and all other contests. 146th running of the Kentucky Derby is still scheduled to run as normal on May 2 but organizers are closely monitoring the situation.

The Phoenix Suns decided to play out the rest of their scheduled season online in the game, NBA 2K20 and stream matches via Twitch.

The Olympic torch relay has been delayed but Japan insists the Summer Games will go ahead as planned.

With many schools shutting down and teaching students online,m video conferencing company Zoom is letting schools sign up to their service for free.

In an abundance of caution, organizers of Sweatfest and Fluid Swap 2020 felt it best to hold off.

Los Angeles and San Francisco postponed trials in the courts. Apple closed all their stores and Patagonia shut down not only its stores but also it’s online business.

Louisiana and Georgia postponed their presidential primary elections (don’t worry, the president cannot postpone the general election).

England postponed their local and mayoral elections for a year.

Following in the footsteps of China and South Korea, Italy, Spain, and France all issued orders for a lockdown to limit their population’s movement. On the bright side, lockdown didn’t keep them from singing from their balconies),

I am hunkered down with the family; social distancing as they call it. Stay away from others, #flattenthecurve and lessen your chances of catching the virus at the same time as others so that our hospitals do not get overwhelmed. We’ve canceled dinners, went food shopping at the crack of dawn to avoid crowds, binged on HBO and Spotify. I will most likely be joining many others and working from home for the next few weeks.

Stay safe, wash your hands, and rest up for the days ahead.


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TWTW

The week that was

New York City announced that the last few pay phones will be removed by the end of the month.

The crowdsourced science experiment SETI@home will pull the plug and stop scanning the skies for intelligent life. Maybe they found something?

Coronavirus panic hit Australia this week and the police had to be called in after a fight broke out over toilet paper. Rushing in to meet the need, a local paper started to include several extra blank pages for its subscribers.

The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society canceled its annual conference due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Research in England concluded that slow public transportation leads to poor school results.

The NHL will use a new type of hockey puck embedded with electronics that should help fans keep track of the tiny thing while watching a game on TV.

Hackers have figured out how to break into a phone sitting on a table with inaudible micro-vibrations that communicate via the phone’s voice control.

Fed up with having to change their clocks twice a year, the Yukon Territory in Canada will spring forward one last time and then call it quits.

A San Jose woman was crushed when she realized the plant she had been caring for tenderly for the past two years was a fake.


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Current Events

Goodbye Super Tuesday

Big day yesterday with Bloomberg dropping out this morning, all eyes looking to see what Warren will do and everyone wondering why Tulsi Gabbard is still hanging in there.

More details at The Race.

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Home

Same as it, everwas

David Byrne was on SNL last night, performing this blog’s namesake.

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TWTW

The week that was

A unsuspecting weather reporter in North Carolina gave us another case of a TV reporter getting unknowingly embellished by his Facebook livestream filters. Remember that Pakistani minister?

Homeland Security’s algorithm designed to keep out terrorists identified and denied a visa to a war crimes investigator.

What do you do when your country is overrun with a locust swarm? Release the ducks!

Scientists looking down have discovered a the first known animal that can live without breathing.

Scientists looking up discovered the biggest explosion ever. How big? 15 Milky Ways big. Oh, and apparently this is old news but the earth has a second moon orbiting the earth?

Despite his company owning over 5% of Apple, the famously frugal Warren Buffet finally traded in his old flip-phone for an iPhone.

It’s now a thing to snatch defenseless pigeons and glue tiny hats to their heads. Trump supporters in Las Vegas are forcing pigeons to spread the MAGA news probably inspired by someone who did this with sombreros last month in Reno.

A start-up in Denver has made a pill that you swallow that doctors can control over wifi to, as needed, remotely release medicine inside you. What could possibly go wrong?

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Current Events

Gif Peanut Butter

The limited run is already sold out on Amazon. From the listing:

  • Limited edition jar with double-sided JIF/GIF label.
  • Perfect for sandwiches, baking, and shutting down internet debates.
  • Contains about 34 servings of peanut butter, and 0 looping images.
Categories
Current Events

Coronavirus and our Dystopian Future

Due to mandatory quarantines across China, people have resorted to using new and old technology in new ways to serve their needs that has hints of a dark, post-apocalytic, sci fi world. A few examples;

So people do not have to touch potentially infected elevator buttons, many have set out containers of disposable toothpicks which can be used to press the buttons and then discarded.

Sending out a remote-controlled car to get food.

Drones are used to spray neighborhoods of disinfectant, remotely take temperature reading of apartment block residents, and disperse pubic gatherings.

Empty movie theaters are forced to sell their snack inventory online.

Many museums are livestreaming events and tours and nightclubs are streaming home party mixes.

With schools in extended shutdown, teachers have resorted to streaming their classes.

Online maps show outbreak clusters in real time so the healthy can avoid going nearby. Apparently several location-based apps (such as your mobile wallet) stop working once you leave the quarantine zone, limiting movement.

Farmers, unable to sell their crops in the market, are selling via live-streaming and shipping direct to customers.

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TWTW

The week that was

Supreme published its latest collection of branded goods including Ziploc bags, an Oreo cookie and even a Mac Tools rolling toolbox. The Oreos are already re-selling on eBay for $4000.

Do you miss the sweet smell of McDonald’s ketchup? What about the pickles or hamburgers? Not to worry, the golden arches will sell you a set of scented candles. Eater, points out the idea is to light all six candles to re-create the smell of a quarter-pounder. Ugh.

People in Mexico have figured out that they can get over Trump’s multi-billion dollar border wall with about $5 of re-bar.

An Indiana man with a Crime Pays tattoo on his forehead was arrested, again.

The emotional support animal bar was raised yet again (remember peacocks and alligators?) when Ronica Froese flew first-class with her mini service horse.

The coronavirus scare has driven up the price of essential goods in Hong Kong, including toilet paper. So much so, opportunistic gang members held up a supermarket and stole 600 rolls.

Climate change has hit the European ski resorts hard. So hard some resorts in the Alps and Pyrenees are bringing snow to their slopes with helicopters.

Tesla cars are smart. They come with cameras that can read speed limit signs and set their speed accordingly. Telsas are dumb. Hackers used some black tape to fool the car to rapidly accelerate from 35 to 85.

Glen Davis drove a school bus in Minnesota since his graduation from high school in 1949. He enjoyed driving the bus so much, he asked to be buried in a lovingly custom-built, school bus casket.

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TWTW

The week that was

Aided by 200 MPH tailwinds, a British Airways flight set the record for the fastest commercial flight from New York to London. Flight 112 made the trip just under 5 hours, 80 minutes ahead of schedule.

In San Francisco, similarly strong winds blew the glass out of the 41st floor of the hapless and slightly-leaning Millennium Tower.

In a touching application of VR technology, a South Korean mother was able to play with her deceased young daughter.

A small museum in Pennsylvania sent out one of their older paintings for a routine cleaning and was informed that said painting was a 400-year old Rembrandt.

The Girl Scouts are out with cookies again so everyone’s got a story of the entrepreneurial ones setting up shop outside their local marijuana dispensary.

Prescription medication is so expensive in Utah one insurance company is sending its workers to Mexico or Canada to pick up medicine for its members.

Engineers in Hong Kong have figured out how to harness electricity from raindrops.

Modern Farmer reports that someone has invented an autonomous robot that can weed your garden.

Someone fell for one of those phishing emails. Unfortunately that someone was a worker for the government of Puerto Rico and they ended up transferring 2.6 million taxpayer dollars to a fraudulent account.

She thought something was funny about her date. He insisted she come pick her up in her car. He then asked her to stop by a bank for a quick moment. Her fears were confirmed when “he came running back, sweating with sunglasses, a hat, a gun and $1,000 cash in hand.”

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TWTW

The week that was

Kansas City beat San Francisco in the Super Bowl. It’s been a long time coming for KC (50 years for those counting) so residents were excited to see their team win, disrupting weather radar with their fireworks and setting couches on fire.

Kansas’ defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi melted everyone’s heart when he lay down in the celebratory confetti (made up of fan’s hopeful tweets), made a snow angel, then went out and paid off the adoption fees for all dogs in the area.

A performance artist made headlines when he caused a virtual traffic jam on Google Maps towing a wagon full of burner phones running Google Maps across various bridges in Berlin.

The Philadelphia Flyers mascot, Gritty, was cleared of physical assault after a tussle with a fan. Tough town, Philly is.

Costa Rica announced that it gets its energy from nearly 100% renewable sources.

A draft executive order titled “Making Federal Buildings Beautiful Again,” proposes strict guidelines for acceptable design. Following the tradition of “Mussolini, Franco and a particular failed German art student (who) all pushed for a singular, classically inspired state architecture intended to project tradition, order and the superiority of the state.”

It was determined that the Apple Watch outsold the entire Swiss watch industry last year, by a large margin.

Keith Richards announced he hasn’t smoked a cigarette since October.

A parking space in San Francisco went on the market for $100,000. A bargain compared to the one, “closer to the lobby” that went for $140k.

A Oakland man rammed a police car and sped off hoping for a quick getaway but things didn’t quite work out that way when all four tires on his car fell off.

They thought they were so clever, hiding all their drugs in two bags with the words Bag Full of Drugs blazoned on the side. “They’ll never look in here,” they must have thought to themselves. They were wrong.