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Going maskless, Arizona madness, birthdays, more memes
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Published Wednesday, April 28, 2021 @ 12:56 AM EDT
Apr 28 2021

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased its guidelines Tuesday on the wearing of masks outdoors, saying fully vaccinated Americans don’t need to cover their faces anymore unless they are in a big crowd of strangers. So we grabbed the dogs and some grandkids and headed to the park to enjoy the 80° temperatures.

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A so-called audit of the 2020 election in Arizona was always going to be crazy. This is something else. The counting has just begun, but already the audit has become almost inextricable from the far-right internet. There, audit-watchers share tips and concerns about security offered by Ron Watkins, a man suspected of helping birth the QAnon craze.

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Thought of the day: "I think perhaps the most important problem is that we are trying to understand the fundamental workings of the universe via a language devised for telling one another where the best fruit is."
-Terry Pratchett (b. Terence David John Pratchett on April 28, 1948 – March 12, 2015) (More Terry Pratchett quotes)

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Among other things, today is Biological Clock Day, Clean Comedy Day, Denim Day, Great Poetry Reading Day, International Guide Dog Day, International Noise Awareness Day, International Pay it Forward Day, National Blueberry Pie Day, National Cubicle Day, National Kiss Your Mate Day, National Superhero Day, Stop Food Waste Day, Workers' Memorial Day, and World Day for Safety and Health at Work.

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Remembering Lee Falk (b. Leon Harrison Gross; April 28, 1911 – March 13, 1999), American writer, theater director and producer, best known as the creator of the popular comic strips Mandrake the Magician (1934–2013) and The Phantom (1936–present). At the height of their popularity, these strips attracted over 100 million readers every day.

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Remembering Harper Lee (b. Nelle Harper Lee; April 28, 1926 – February 19, 2016), novelist best known for her 1960 novel "To Kill a Mockingbird", which won the 1961 Pulitzer Prize and has become a classic of modern American literature. (Quotes by Harper Lee)

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Remembering Carolyn Jones (b. Carolyn Sue Jones; April 28, 1930 – August 3, 1983) American actress of television and film. Jones began her film career in the early 1950s, and by the end of the decade had achieved recognition with a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for "The Bachelor Party" (1957) and a Golden Globe Award as one of the most promising new actresses of 1959. Her film career continued for another 20 years. In 1964, she began playing the role of Morticia Addams in the original black and white television series The Addams Family.

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On this day in 1930, the Independence Producers hosted the first night_game in the history of organized baseball in Independence, Kansas.

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Remembering Madge Sinclair (b. Madge Dorita Walters on April 28, 1938 – December 20, 1995) Jamaican actress best known for her roles in "Cornbread, Earl and Me" (1975), "Convoy" (1978), "Coming to America" (1988), Trapper John, M.D. (1980–1986), and the ABC TV miniseries "Roots" (1977). Sinclair also voiced the character of Sarabi, Mufasa's wife and Simba's mother, in the Disney animated feature film "The Lion King" (1994). A five-time Emmy Award nominee, Sinclair won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress – Drama Series for her role as Empress Josephine in Gabriel's Fire in 1991. Sinclair, in her brief uncredited role as the captain of the USS Saratoga in "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home", is commonly cited as the first female Starfleet starship captain to appear in Star Trek. Years later, Sinclair played Geordi La Forge's mother, captain of the USS Hera, in Star Trek: The Next Generation's "Interface".

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Ann-Margret (b. Ann-Margret Olsson on April 28, 1941) is 80 today.

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On this day in 1947, Thor Heyerdahl and five crew mates set out from Peru on the Kon-Tiki to demonstrate that Peruvian natives could have settled Polynesia.

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Jay Leno (b. James Douglas Muir Leno on April 28, 1950) is 71 today. (Jay Leno quotes)



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On this date in 1965, CBS aired the special "My Name Is Barbra," Barbra Streisand's first television special. A solo performance, she sang 26 songs during the one hour program. The show was nominated for six Primetime Emmy Awards in 1965, for which it won five. Streisand won the award for "Outstanding Individual Achievements in Entertainment." It also won the Directors Guild of America Award for "Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Television" in 1966.

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On this date in 1973, The Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd, recorded at Abbey Road Studios reached number one on the US Billboard 200 chart, beginning a record-breaking 971-week chart run. The album is in the top 25 of the list of best-selling albums in the United States. Although it held the number one spot in the US for only a week, it remained in the Billboard album chart from 1973 to 1988. The album re-appeared on the Billboard charts with the introduction of the Top Pop Catalog Albums chart in May 1991. (Older "catalog albums" had been dropped from the weekly list between May 1999 and December 2009). In the UK, it is the seventh-best-selling album of all time and the highest selling album never to reach number one.

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"Florida hasn't always been the weird state claims the book "The Thing About Florida" which was written by, er, a Florida man. Speaking of Florida, here's a stupendous obituary from the Tampa Bay Times.

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Memes of the day:


Categories: Ann-Margret, Barbra Streisand, Baseball, Carolyn Jones, CDC, Covid-19, Florida, Harper Lee, Jay Leno, Kon-Tiki, Madge Sinclair, Meme of the day, Obituaries, Pink Floyd, QAnon, Republicans, Star Trek, Terry Pratchett, The Big Lie, The Dark Side of the Moon, Thor Heyerdahl


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Facebook jail, Grant's Tomb, Für Elise, why McDonalds ice cream machines are always broken
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Published Tuesday, April 27, 2021 @ 12:01 AM EDT
Apr 27 2021

I'm scheduled to be released from Facebook "jail" today, a week after I was suspended from the social networking platform for a satirical cartoon I posted six years ago that supposedly violated "Community Standards." My only guess is that it popped up in the daily "Memories" feed and got tagged there. Bear in mind, the post was perfectly okay in 2015, when I shared it from another account.

Ah, Community Standards... a vague set of rules established to protect Facebook from criticism that it harbors Bad People Thinking Bad Thoughts. But the standards are subjectively interpreted, and randomly and arbitrarily enforced by buggy AI software that doesn't understand the concepts of satire, sarcasm, and parody.

I was suspended two years ago for this picture, which Facebook's artificial intelligence bots tagged as "hate speech":

It's an obvious, self-deprecating male joke. I was offending men? Women? The dog?

Facebook has an appeal process, and for several times each day in the past week I stated my case in the form supplied, hit the send button, and received this:

I think it's hard coded into the page.

What's particularly frustrating is the whole banning business is totally opaque. You're told you can't post for a specified period of time, and then are directed to review the Community Standards to make certain you don't do it again. But in many cases, Facebook doesn't tell you what it was you were doing that triggered the censorbot: violating some advertising rule, promoting hate speech, etc. It's like being pinched by the feds, having them hand you the U.S. Code, and telling you to read it to discover why you were arrested.

And of course, there's no way to actually contact a human being at Facebook. If you go to the page to report a problem and send them the details, you just get a pop-up acknowledging submission.

The guy in the video sums up the whole thing. Understandably NSFW language, but it's no worse than some of the stuff that appears on Facebook that, for some reason, doesn't get flagged for violating community standards:

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Thought of the day: "I rise only to say that I do not intend to say anything. I thank you for your hearty welcomes and good cheers." (Known as Grant's perfect speech.)
-Ulysses S. Grant (born Hiram Ulysses Grant, April 27, 1822 – July 23, 1885) (More Ulysses S. Grant quotes)
Speaking of dead presidents... on this day in 1994, Richard M. Nixon was buried on the grounds of the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, California.

Contemporary Thought of the Day: Just think, in 30 years this country will be run by people who were home schooled by alcoholics.

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Among other things, today is Babe Ruth Day, Marine Mammal Rescue Day, Matanzas Mule Day, Morse Code Day, National Devil Dog Day, National Prime Rib Day, National Tell a Story Day, International Design Day, and World Tapir Day.

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On this date in 1810, Ludwig van Beethoven wrote Bagatelle No. 25 in A minor (WoO 59, Bia 515) for solo piano, commonly known as Für Elise. One of his most popular compositions, and one of the most famous piano pieces of all time, it was not published during his lifetime, only being discovered (by Ludwig Nohl ) 40 years after his death.

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On this day in 1897, Grant's Tomb was dedicated. Officially the General Grant National Memorial, President Ulysses S. Grant and his wife Julia Grant are entombed there. Thus, "Who is buried in Grant's Tomb?" is a pedantic, trick question. No one is buried there.

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Sheena Easton (b. Sheena Shirley Orr, 27 April 1959) is 62 today. She had 15 US Top 40 singles, seven US top tens and one US No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100 between 1981 and 1991.

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The current junior United States Senator from New York, Cory Booker, (b. Cory Anthony Booker, April 27, 1969) is 52 today. Notable quote: "Before you speak to me about your religion, first show it to me in how you treat other people. Before you tell me how much you love your God, show me in how much you love all His children." (More Cory Booker quotes)

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On this date in 1981, Xerox introduced the first commercially available computer mouse.

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On this date in 2011, the 2011 Super Outbreak devastated parts of the Southeastern United States, especially the states of Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and Tennessee. 205 tornadoes touched down on April 27 alone, killing more than 300 and injuring hundreds more.

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Florida man indicted for selling over $1 million worth of toxic COVID-19 'miracle cure' that was bleach.

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Why the world should worry about India. The world's largest vaccine producer is struggling to overcome its latest COVID-19 surge—and that's everyone's problem.

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When you see a headline like Biden isn't banning meat, USDA chief says, you just know it's just another conservative delusion.

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Now this is great investigative journalism, no sarcasm intended: the REAL reason McDonalds' ice cream machines are always broken.

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This looks interesting, but is it really necessary? Of course, the original 1961 film was a yet another take on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, which itself was based on the 1562 narrative poem The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet and a 1556 work by William Painter.

And speaking of movies, the television rating for the Oscars® plunged 58% from 2020, with less than ten million viewers tuning in.


Categories: Computers, Cory Booker, Covid-19, Facebook, Florida, Ice Cream, Ludwig Nohl, Ludwig van Beethoven, McDonald's, Oscars, Republicans, Richard Nixon, Romeo and Juliet, Sheena Easton, Steven Spielberg, Ulysses S. Grant, Weather, West Side Story, Xerox


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Earth Day is tomorrow
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Published Wednesday, April 21, 2021 @ 5:24 PM EDT
Apr 21 2021

Lest we forget:

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Among other things, today is Administrative Professionals Day, Big Word Day, Bulldogs are Beautiful Day, Keep Off the Grass Day, Kindergarten Day, National Banana Day, National Chocolate-Covered Cashews Day, National Tea Day, National Yellow Bat Day, San Jacinto Day, Thank You for Libraries Day, Tuna Rights Day, and World Creativity and Innovation Day.

On this date in 1986, Geraldo Rivera opened Al Capone's vault on live television and found nothing.

On this date in 1956, Elvis Presley's first hit record, "Heartbreak Hotel", reached #1 on the charts. Co-written by Mae Boren Axton, her son Hoyt wrote Three Dog Night's 1971 hit "Joy to the World," which also hit #1 and stayed there for six weeks.

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When you try to post something after Facebook blocks you, they give you a chance to tell them why you think they're wrong. When you enter your text and press the button, you get this:

Every. Single. Time. Over 20 attempts in two days. I got this the last time they suspended me a month or so ago, so it's obvious their feedback request is just a hypocritical sham. And is appears they're getting more stupid and/or evil each day.

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But there are more important things about which to be concerned. Humungous flare from sun's nearest neighbor breaks records. Why should you care? This guy thinks the thing that caused it is heading this way and that Old Sol is next.

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Interesting approach: The Bible makes way more sense as a series of "Florida Man" stories.


Categories: Bible, Catastrophism, Earth Day, Environment, Facebook, Florida, Humpback Whales, Star Trek


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Adios Facebook
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Published Tuesday, April 20, 2021 @ 12:13 PM EDT
Apr 20 2021

I think I'm done with Facebook. Just got suspended for a week for a post that violates "community standards." Problem is, the item their moronic AI finds offensive was posted six years ago.

I'm still a bit away from updating the software here on the website, but I'm going to post something here daily to stay in practice.

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Granddaughter Leanna turns 18 on Friday. She's graduating from Taylor Allderdice High School next month and heading off to Edinboro University in the fall, probably majoring in math and computer science. Here she's taking a break from homeschooling with her beagle/basset rescue, Pepper.

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My mother is upset because her home appliances are failing. She bought them when she bought the house, back in the mid-1960s before consumer goods became mostly disposable. She's not upset that she has to purchase replacements; it's just that she'll be 95 this year, and she says she hates buying stuff that will last longer than she will. I'm not so sure... the day after Christmas she went shopping for the half-off Christmas cards she plans on sending next year.

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Speaking of the sixties, I went through all this social upheaval back then. I really don't need to experience it again. At least in the sixties we had good music.

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I tried to get into this, but I just end up fast-forwarding to see the special effects. I don't find the concept of Superman being unable to deal with his moody teenage twins particularly engaging.

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Florida sheriff tells people moving to state not to "Vote the stupid way you did up north."

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Republicans blame Biden for making millions of Americans' arms hurt.


Categories: Andy Borowitz, Florida, Joe Biden, KGB Blog News, KGB Family, Peter, Paul and Mary, Sixties, Superman


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