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Shark week, rich guys in space, fake news, divinely empowered entities immune from laws
(permalink)

Published Monday, July 12, 2021 @ 12:00 AM EDT
Jul 12 2021

In case you missed it, a play-by-play of the Virgin Galactic flight hosted by Stephen Colbert.

This pizza chain owner who pays $16 an hour says there's no labor shortage, just a shortage of businesses willing to pay a decent wage. "If you aren't paying your employees enough to cover basic survival costs, what possible incentive could a person have to take that job?"

Last week's fake news: Graphene in vaccines, fake delta variant, kneeling Biden, veteran snub...

How did my phone number end up for sale on a US database? Ah, the wonders of technology. And social media.

Infections rise in 42 states; Fauci says it's 'horrifying' to see people cheer lack of vaccinations.

Cold weather virus in summer baffles docs, worries parents. RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, is a common cause of cold-like symptoms but can be serious for infants and the elderly. Cases dropped dramatically last year, with people staying home and social distancing, but began cropping up as pandemic restrictions eased.

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From Crazytown:

Trump on Jan. 6 insurrection: 'These were great people'.

Trump wins 2024 CPAC straw poll With 70 percent. (Video)

A seven point plan to reinstate Donald Trump as president 'in days, not years' was handed out at CPAC. It's insane, but constitutional. Sort of.

A Pennsylvania woman who allegedly stormed the Capitol and told a police officer to "bring Nancy Pelosi out here now... we want to hang that f***ing bitch" has filed court documents claiming to be a divinely empowered entity immune from laws.

"F--k him": Rupert Murdoch reportedly made the call to bury Trump's election night dreams in a shallow grave.

Heineken suffers Twitter boycott from anti-vaxxers over disco-themed pro-vaccination ad.

Trump sues eighty-one million voters for banning him from White House.(Satire: Andy Borowitz)

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KGB's daily agglomeration of stuff I find interesting:

This is Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. (Video)

Among other things, today is

On this date:

  • 1804 - Former United States Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton died after being shot in a pistol duel by Vice President Aaron Burr
  • 1862 - The Medal of Honor was authorized by the United States Congress.
  • 1906 - Alfred Dreyfus was found innocent in France
  • 1909 - Congress passed The Sixteenth Amendment (Amendment XVI) to the United States Constitution allowing it to levy an income tax without apportioning it among the states on the basis of population.
  • 1940 - Frederick McKinley Jones received a patent for an air conditioning unit for trucks carrying perishable goods. He later co-founded Thermo King
  • 1960 - The Etch a Sketch toy was introduced, selling for $2.99
  • 1972 - Democrats nominated George McGovern for US president in Miami, Florida
  • 1973 - A fire destroyed the entire sixth floor of the National Personnel Records Center of the United States near St. Louis, MO.
  • 1976 - First "Family Feud" game show debuted on ABC hosted by Richard Dawson (Video)
  • 1979 - "Disco Demolition Night" at Comiskey Park: fans riot destroying disco records and causing the Chicago White Sox to forfeit the second game of a double header to the Detroit Tigers
  • 1984 - Geraldine Ferraro became the first US female major-party vice-presidential candidate, after Walter Mondale selected her as his Democratic Party running mate

Birthdays

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Miscellany

Unopened Legend of Zelda game from 1987 sells for $870,000.

Giant pandas are no longer endangered, thanks to conservation efforts, China says. But they're still "vulnerable."

Colby would be official Wisconsin cheese under bill.

Holding up on that wake-up coffee until the cortisol wears off...

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Categories: Covid-19, Donald Trump, Fact check, Fox News, January 6, Medicine, Richard Branson, Rupert Murdoch, Shark Week, Social Media, Stephen Colbert, Unemployment, Virgin Galactic


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Solar flares, Idaho fireballs, Loser-Palooza overflights, National Fried Chicken Day, The Truth
(permalink)

Published Tuesday, July 06, 2021 @ 12:00 AM EDT
Jul 06 2021

Sun erupted with biggest solar flare in four years in early Fourth of July fireworks (video). Also, Independence Day fireball: Amazing videos show bright meteor changing night sky into day in Idaho.

Over 40 percent of the global workforce is considering leaving their jobs this year. Also, Since the pandemic, employees are leaving the workforce or switching jobs in droves. For many, employers have played a big part in why they're walking away.

Not real news: A look at what didn't happen last week.

Amazing New York times documentary of January 6 insurrection. (Video) Funny, they don't look like tourists.

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From Crazytown:

Marjorie Taylor Greene reports sightings of Jewish space lasers across U.S. (on July 4) (satire, Andy Borowitz in The New Yorker).

Pence got ten minutes to talk about 'how hard he was working' during weekly lunches before Trump turned on the TV and began complaining, book says.

Rioters accused of erasing content from social media, phones.

Epic-est of Epic Trolls Fly 'Loser-Palooza' Planes Over Donald Trump Event in Florida. Every Time Trump claims a non-stolen election was stolen from him, a troll gets its wings. In this case, literally.

Trump seemingly acknowledges facts of prosecutors' case against Trump Organization while criticizing charges over 'fringe benefits'. (Video)

Trump: 'One Law for Hungry Pizza Thieves, Another for Me'. Trump endorsed a textbook for his scam Trump University. This is from Trump University Asset Protection 101: Tax and Legal Strategies of the Rich: "When you own your own business, you determine how much income tax you pay." That's not true, but it sure tells you how Trump thinks.

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KGB's daily agglomeration of stuff I find interesting:

Among other things, today is

On this date:

Birthdays

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Miscellany

How technology destroyed the truth. (Video)

Who decides what is true?

Ukraine criticized for making female cadets parade in heels.

The CIA's plan to spy... with cats.(Video)

Authorities: Guard hid pills in Rice Krispies treats.

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Categories: Donald Trump, Fact check, January 6, Jewish space lasers, July 4, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Mike Pence, The Big Lie, The Sun, The Truth, Unemployment


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Heat, wildfires, IRS, flesh eating parasites, governors gone wild, Airplane!
(permalink)

Published Friday, July 02, 2021 @ 12:00 AM EDT
Jul 02 2021

KGB Report will return on Tuesday, July 6. Have a safe Independence Day holiday!

Be A Patriot
(Salt Lake Tribune)

Town that recorded highest temperature in Canada's history destroyed by wildfire. More than 1,000 people living in and around Lytton, B.C., northeast of Vancouver, were forced to leave with little notice Wednesday. They raced out of town in every direction as smoke and flames swallowed the community in minutes.

The IRS is swamped with 35 million unprocessed tax returns, meaning people will have to wait longer for refunds. Former IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told The Washington Post's Jeff Stein that "the problem is not with IRS employees who work very hard. It's with Republicans in Congress who have refused to provide adequate funding for 10 years."

China building more than 100 'nuclear' missile silos in desert. Satellite footage shows 'alarming development' that signals possible expansion of nuclear capabilities.

The biggest threat to America is America itself. We Americans repeat the mantra that "we're No. 1" even though the latest Social Progress Index, a measure of health, safety and well-being around the world, ranked the United States No. 28. Even worse, the United States was one of only three countries, out of 163, that went backward in well-being over the last decade.

Flesh eating parasites skyrocket in the US.

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From Crazytown:

Trump calls U.S. military generals 'woke,' 'weak and ineffective leaders'.

Trump Organization and CFO Allen Weisselberg plead not guilty to tax crimes. Prosecutors described a yearslong scheme to compensate executives "off the books" to avoid paying taxes.

Govs Gone Wild: Unhinged, Uncensored, Uninformed (Video)

Seditionists' roundup... "not the tightest zip ties in the bag..." And a vertical penile fracture. (Video)

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KGB's daily agglomeration of stuff I find interesting:

Among other things, today is

On this date:

  • 1698 - Thomas Savery patented the first steam engine.
  • 1776 - The Continental Congress adopted a resolution severing ties with the Kingdom of Great Britain although the wording of the formal Declaration of Independence was not published until July 4.
  • 1839 - Twenty miles off the coast of Cuba, 53 kidnapped Africans led by Joseph Cinqué mutiny and took over the slave ship Amistad.
  • 1881 - Charles J. Guiteau shot and fatally wounded U.S. President James A. Garfield (who died of complications from his wounds on September 19).
  • 1890 - The U.S. Congress passed the Sherman Antitrust Act.
  • 1897 - British-Italian engineer Guglielmo Marconi obtained a patent for radio in London.
  • 1900 - The first Zeppelin flight took place on Lake Constance near Friedrichshafen, Germany.
  • 1900 - Jean Sibelius' Finlandia received its première performance in Helsinki with the Helsinki Philharmonic Society conducted by Robert Kajanus. (Video)
  • 1921 - U.S. President Warren G. Harding signed the Knox-Porter Resolution formally ending the war between the United States and Germany.
  • 1928 - The Jenkins Television Corporation goes on air with W3XK, the first television broadcasting station in the USA
  • 1937 - Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan were last heard from over the Pacific Ocean while attempting to make the first equatorial round-the-world flight.
  • 1955 - "Lawrence Welk Show" premiered on ABC (Video)
  • 1956 - Elvis Presley recorded "Hound Dog" and "Don't Be Cruel" (Video)
  • 1962 - The first Walmart store, then known as Wal-Mart, opened for business in Rogers, Arkansas.
  • 1964 - U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 meant to prohibit segregation in public places.
  • 1980 - The movie "Airplane!" premiered (Video: Airplane! is actually a remake of Zero Hour!)
  • 2002 - Steve Fossett became the first person to fly solo around the world nonstop in a balloon. Fossett disappeared on September 3, 2007 while flying a light aircraft over the Great Basin Desert, between Nevada and California. Extensive searches proved unsuccessful, and he was declared legally dead in February of the following year.

Birthdays

  • 1877 - Hermann Hesse, German-born Swiss poet, novelist, and painter, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1962)
  • 1906 - Hans Bethe, German-American physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2005)
  • 1908 - Thurgood Marshall, American lawyer and jurist, 32nd Solicitor General of the United States (d. 1993)
  • 1916 - Ken Curtis, American actor and singer (d. 1991)
  • 1922 - Pierre Cardin, Italian-French fashion designer (d. 2020)
  • 1925 - Medgar Evers, American soldier and activist (d. 1963)
  • 1927 - Brock Peters, American actor (d. 2005)
  • 1929 - Imelda Marcos, Filipino politician; 10th First Lady of the Philippines
  • 1931 - Robert Ito, Canadian-born actor (Sam-Quincy ME)
  • 1932 - Dave Thomas, American businessman and philanthropist, founded Wendy's (d. 2002)
  • 1937 - Polly Holliday, American actress
  • 1946 - Ron Silver, American actor, director, and political activist (d. 2009)
  • 1947 - Larry David, American actor, comedian, producer, and screenwriter
  • 1948 - Saul Rubinek, German-born Canadian character actor, director, playwright, and producer of television, theatre, and film
  • 1986 - Lindsay Lohan, American actress and singer
  • 1990 - Margot Robbie, Australian actress and producer

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Miscellany

Senate passes bill wishing younger generations best of luck stopping climate change. (The Onion)

Parents of children called Alexa say their daughters are being bullied because it is the same name that Amazon uses for its virtual assistant.

Yes, a Florida man is actually accused of hiding meth inside this body part. Crystal rocks found in private area, deputies say.

Picasso kept in Maine house closet for 50 years is sold for $150K.

No, you can't recycle a bowling ball (but people sure keep trying). Why do 1,200 balls end up at New York City’s main recycling plant each year? People seem to think that because they are plastic, they are the same as, say, takeout containers. They are not.

Excruciating slip-up sees BBC News report confuse Bill Clinton with Bill Cosby. Oops.

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Categories: Alexa, Allen Weisselberg, amazon.com, America is..., Bill Clinton, Bill Cosby, China, Climate change, Environment, Florida, IRS, January 6, Pablo Picasso, Republicans, The Onion


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Martian watermelons, rich untaxed, beware the Delta Variant, they broke the Internet
(permalink)

Published Wednesday, June 09, 2021 @ 12:00 AM EDT
Jun 09 2021

New York Times: Fields of watermelons found on Mars, police say. Authorities say rise of fruit aliens is to blame for glut of outer space watermelons. Oops.

The secret IRS files: trove of never-before-seen records reveal how the wealthiest avoid income tax. In 2007, Jeff Bezos, then a multibillionaire and now the world's richest man, did not pay a penny in federal income taxes. He achieved the feat again in 2011. In 2018, Tesla founder Elon Musk, the second-richest person in the world, also paid no federal income taxes. Michael Bloomberg managed to do the same in recent years. Billionaire investor Carl Icahn did it twice. George Soros paid no federal income tax three years in a row. The reaction? Biden administration investigates 'illegal' leak of Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Warren Buffett's tax information.

Beware the Delta Variant. A new and deadlier variant of Covid-19 may cause another wave this summer among the unvaccinated and those who only received the first shot.

Fastly outage: why it just broke Amazon, Reddit, Twitch and much of the internet. As Corinne Cath-Speth, a Ph.D. candidate at Oxford Internet Institute and the Alan Turing Institute pointed out on Twitter, this means "a technical hiccup in a single company can have huge ramifications." Here's an more detailed and mostly non-technical explanation of CDNs (Content Delivery Networks) (Video).

And if that wasn't bad enough, CyberNews reported that an anonymous forum poster uploaded a 100GB text file containing 8.4 billion entries of passwords.

Global crime bust involving U.S., 15 other nations nabs hundreds, drugs, cash. Authorities worldwide have arrested hundreds of suspects connected to organized crime after decrypting messages sent over an FBI-controlled smartphone application popular with the criminal underworld.

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From Dementialand:

Rejecting Biden's win, rising Republicans attack legitimacy of elections. The next generation of aspiring G.O.P. congressional leaders has aggressively pushed Donald Trump’s false fraud claims, raising the prospect that the results of elections will continue to be challenged through 2024.

How America fractured into four parts. People in the United States no longer agree on the nation's purpose, values, history, or meaning. Is reconciliation possible?

Trump feared Democrats would replace Biden with Michelle Obama, book claims. Donald Trump called Joe Biden a "mental retard" during the 2020 election, a new book says, but was reluctant to attack him too strongly for fear the Democrats would replace him with Hillary Clinton or Michelle Obama.

QAnon supporter who chased Capitol police officer says he was deceived by 'pack of lies'. His attorney said he "fell victim to this barrage of internet sourced info" and came to the Capitol at the urging of former President Trump to "demonstrate that he was a 'true patriot.'"

Wisconsin ex-pharmacist gets prison for ruining vaccine. A former pharmacist in Wisconsin who purposefully ruined more than 500 doses of COVID-19 vaccine was sentenced to three years in prison on Tuesday. He is an admitted conspiracy theorist who believes he is a prophet and vaccines are a product of the devil. He also professed a belief that the Earth is flat and the 9/11 terrorist attacks were faked.

An anti-vaccine film targeted to black Americans spreads false information

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KGB's daily agglomeration of stuff I find interesting:

Among other things, today is

On this date:

  • 68 - Roman emperor Nero committed suicide, after quoting Vergil's Aeneid, thus ending the Julio-Claudian dynasty and starting the civil war known as the Year of the Four Emperors.
  • 1856 - Five hundred Mormons left Iowa City, Iowa for the Mormon Trail.
  • 1934 - first appearance of Donald Duck in the cartoon, "The Wise Little Hen".
  • 1954 - Joseph Welch, special counsel for the United States Army, lashed out at Senator Joseph McCarthy during the Army-McCarthy hearings, giving McCarthy the famous rebuke, "You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?" (Video)
  • 1958 - "The Purple People Eater" by Sheb Wooley hit #1 in the U.S. (Video)
  • 1959 - The USS George Washington was launched, the first nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine. (Video)
  • 1973 - Secretariat (March 30, 1970 - October 4, 1989) won the U.S. Triple Crown. He still holds the fastest speed records in all three races.
  • 1980 - Comedian Richard Pryor suffered burns from freebasing cocaine. (NSFW Video)
  • 1989 - "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier" premiered in USA. This was the one directed by Shatner. The less said the better.

Birthdays

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Miscellany

Hartlepool's monkey statue
(Sky News)

Hartlepool's monkey statue to be given 'explanatory sign' to avoid offending visitors. Unless you're a visitor from France: "Legend states that the animal was the only survivor of a shipwreck off the northeast coast of England and because the villagers had never seen a monkey before, they mistook it for a Frenchman and convicted it of being a spy."

Las Vegas woman crushes three watermelons in 7.5 seconds for world record. Olson used her thighs to smash three watermelons in 7.5 seconds, nearly halving Ukrainian bodybuilder Olga Liashchuk's Guinness World Record of 14.65 seconds.

I really wasn't planning to, but here's another good reason: FDA issues warning not to eat cicadas if you're allergic to seafood. The insects share a family relation to shrimp and lobsters.

South African woman gives birth to decuplets. A South Africa woman who was expecting eight babies is believed to be a new record holder after she gave birth to 10 infants.


Categories: Covid-19, Cybercrime, Donald Trump, Internet, IRS, January 6, QAnon, Republicans, Taxes, The Big Lie


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Trump's backward pants, Apple scams, fast food secrets, singers' birthdays
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Published Monday, June 07, 2021 @ 12:00 AM EDT
Jun 07 2021

Donald Trump gave his big speech with his pants on backwards? No, he didn't.

Apple's tightly controlled App Store is teeming with scams. Nearly two percent of Apple's top-grossing apps on one day were scams — and they have cost people $48 million.

AP's not real news: what didn't happen last week: Claim about airline meeting on vaccine liability is false; Cervical cancer screening letter is routine, not linked to COVID-19 vaccines; US military did not arrest Dr. Deborah Birx; and Dominion Voting Systems lawsuits against Powell and Giuliani are ongoing. I'm really beginning to wonder if a large portion of our population is insane.

I'm a billionaire politician, but you, a regular person, have to save the world. Purchase your world-saving equipment from Amazon. Amazon cares about bringing people together, as long as those people aren't coming together to form a union.

Sackler family empire poised to win immunity from opioid lawsuits While Purdue Pharma has twice pleaded guilty to federal crimes relating to its opioid marketing schemes, no member of the Sackler family has faced criminal charges.

25 secrets fast-food chains don't want you to know. My favorite: "the tastes and aromas of fast food items are often manufactured at special chemical plants in New Jersey." Why does the lab's New Jersey location make it seem worse?

MeidasTouch.com made a $184,854 TV buy with this ad on Fox News this week. Fox News denied airing the ad. You know what to do...

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KGB's daily agglomeration of stuff I find interesting:

Among other things, today is Daniel Boone Day, June Bug Day, National Chocolate Ice Cream Day, and VCR Day.

On this date in 1776, Richard Henry Lee presented the Lee Resolution to the Continental Congress. The motion was seconded by John Adams and led to the United States Declaration of Independence. (Video)

On this date in 1942, the battle of Midway ended in American victory. (Video)

On this date in 1955, Dwight D. Eisenhower became the first U.S. president to appear in a live telecast on color television.

On this date in 1965, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down its decision in Griswold v. Connecticut, prohibiting the states from criminalizing the use of contraception by married couples.

On this date in 1968, Sirhan Sirhan was indicted for the assassination of US Senator Robert F. Kennedy.

On this date in 1969, Tommy James and the Shondells released their single Crystal Blue Persuasion. (Video)

On this date in 1972, the musical "Grease" opened at the Broadhurst Theater in New York City, where it ran for 3,388 performances. (Video)

Birthdays

Miscellany

After years of detecting land mines, a heroic rat is hanging up his sniffer. In four years he has helped to clear more than 2.4 million square feet of land. In the process, he has found 71 land mines and 38 items of unexploded ordnance.

Single's ad

Speaking of UFOs and related topics: "Preserving our way of life, because we care about the future - just not yours":

(This is a joke, of course...)


Categories: amazon.com, Apple, Associated Press, Battle of Midway, Bear Grylls, Dean Martin, Donald Trump, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Fast food, Fox News, Grease, January 6, Liam Neeson, Mike Pence, Opioids, Prince, Richard Henry Lee, Robert F. Kennedy, Sacker family, Sirhan Sirhan, Supreme Court, Tom Jones, Tommy James


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Stupidity as a defense, KGB on WNN, Orson Welles on Noah
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Published Thursday, June 03, 2021 @ 10:25 AM EDT
Jun 03 2021

Defense for some Capitol rioters: election misinformation. Falsehoods about the election helped bring insurrectionists to the Capitol on Jan. 6, and now some who are facing criminal charges for their actions during the riot hope their gullibility might save them or at least engender some sympathy.

Earth's ancient climate warns that we need to take urgent action, study suggests. "If we allow fossil fuel burning to continue to grow, our grandchildren may experience CO2 levels that haven't been seen on Earth for around 50 million years, a time when crocodiles roamed the Arctic"...

Pupil size is a marker of intelligence. There is a surprising correlation between baseline pupil size and several measures of cognitive ability.

Trump blog page shuts down for good. "...asked online later Wednesday whether the move was a "precursor" to the former president joining another "social media platform,"" Miller replied: "Yes, actually, it is. Stay tuned!" Someone should say something to them about the status of MySpace...

Danish radio journalist interviewed man while having sex with him at swingers club. "My mother just thinks it's funny and laughs, my father thought it was really cool." That explains a lot.

Aquakarma: A boat burst into flames after its passengers allegedly harassed a group flying LGBTQ pride flags.

Millions of Americans could face eviction as housing protection expires in June. Around 15% of adult renters are not current on their housing payments, according to an analysis by The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Florida Man: 'Stand your ground' defense rejected in iguana killing. A judge has rejected the “stand your ground” defense of a Florida man who said he beat an iguana to death only after it attacked him, biting him on the arm.

Candidate interrupted by sex toy on drone, punched at event. A New Mexico sheriff who is running for mayor of Albuquerque was interrupted while on stage at a campaign event by a flying drone with a sex toy attached to it and a man who punched him.

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KGB's daily agglomeration of stuff I find interesting:

Among other things, today is Chimborazo Day, Corpus Christi, National Chocolate Macaroon Day, National Egg Day, National Itch Day, National Moonshine Day, Repeat Day, and World Clubfoot Day.

Birthdays

That time I did the weather with Anderson Cooper and Juju Chang on ABC World News Now. (Video)

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Special bonus: a wonderful monologue by Orson Welles from an old Dick Cavett show. (Video)


Categories: ABC World News Now, Cartoons, Dick Cavett, Donald Trump, Environment, Florida, January 6, Orson Welles


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Way too much stuff happened on this date
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Published Tuesday, May 25, 2021 @ 12:00 AM EDT
May 25 2021

Wow... lots of things happened on May 25:

1803, Ralph Waldo Emerson was born;
1878, Gilbert and Sullivan's comic opera "H.M.S. Pinafore" opened at the Opera Comique in London;
1921, Hal David was born;
1925, John T. Scopes was indicted for teaching human evolution in Tennessee;
1926, Claude Akins was born;
1929, Beverly Sills was born;
1936, Tom T. Hall was born;
1939, Sir Ian McKellen and Dixie Carter were born;
1943, Leslie Uggams was born;
1944, birth of Frank Oz;
1947, Karen Valentine was born;
1955, birth of Connie Selleca;
1960, Amy Klobuchar was born;
1961, U.S. President John F. Kennedy announced, before a special joint session of the US Congress, his goal to initiate a project to put a "man on the Moon" before the end of the decade. (video);
1962, The Isley Brothers release "Twist and Shout" (video) ;
1963, birth of Mike Myers;
1968, The Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri was dedicated;
1969, "Midnight Cowboy" was released and Anne Heche was born;
1970, Octavia Spencer was born;
1977, the original "Star Wars" movie premiered (without the Episode IV-A New Hope subtitle);
1979, "Alien" debuted;
1983, "Return of the Jedi" hit theaters;
1986, The Hands Across America event took place;
1990, Vic Tayback died;
1992, Jay Leno became host of "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno";
2001, the first Towel Day;
2007, Charles Nelson Reilly died;
2011, the last episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" aired; (video)
2017, "Wonder Woman" was released;
2020, George Floyd was murdered in Minneapolis, Minnesota during an arrest.

Five years ago today:

"Donald Trump is now ahead of Hillary Clinton in the polls. This was reported today in the Washington Post and 2,000 years ago in the Book of Revelations."
-Conan O'Brien

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The Havana Syndrome first affected spies and diplomats in Cuba. Now it has spread to the White House. US officials suspect Russian spies are aiming microwave radiation devices at targets to collect intelligence from their computers and cell phones. Brain frying is just collateral- not intentional- damage.

re: spies: Jeff Bezos, a real-life Bond villain, may own James Bond very soon. The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon's recently rumored plans to acquire MGM have taken a major step forward, in a roughly $9 billion deal that is one of the e-commerce giant's largest acquisitions.

re: wealth: Wikipedia is swimming in money— why is it begging people to donate? The site is way richer than it wants you to know.

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Why is Anthony Fauci hedging on the origins of the coronavirus? Three researchers from China's Wuhan Institute of Virology became sick enough in November 2019 that they sought hospital care, according to a previously undisclosed U.S. intelligence report that could add weight to growing calls for a fuller probe of whether the Covid-19 virus may have escaped from the laboratory. Nah. It was the takeout pangolin nuggets they got from Wuhan's Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market.

The 2021 vaccination map looks like the 2020 election map. The scary thing is if something that can save a lot of lives has fallen into the usual political traps, then pretty much anything can.

Speaking of scary things: Once nearly extinct, the Florida panther is making a comeback. Not as scary and aggressive as the Florida cougar.

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Republicans claim January 6th rioters were middle schoolers on field trip. (Andy Borowitz satire)

Senate GOP misrepresents Jan. 6 riot panel. (Associated Press; not satire, alas.)

cartoon: What Insurrection?

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Body of missing man found inside dinosaur statue. While police have not confirmed how he got inside, local media reports that the man dropped his phone inside the statue and was trying to retrieve it, BBC News reports. He fell inside, hanging upside down, and was unable to call for help.

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John Oliver humiliates local TV stations with 'sexual wellness blanket' sponsored content.

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A mysterious rise in methane levels is sparking global warming fears.

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US warns against all travel to Japan as Olympics loom. The State Department's warning, which followed the CDC alert, was more blunt. "Do not travel to Japan due to COVID-19, it said in the announcement, which raised the department's travel alert from Level 3 — Reconsider travel — to Level 4 — Do not travel. The previous alert was issued on April 21.

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"I assume the person who first said 'to coin a phrase' said it twice in a row."
-The Covert Comic


Categories: Andy Borowitz, Anthony Fauci, Covert Comic, Covid-19, Cuba, Florida, Havana Syndrome, James Bond, January 6, Japan, Jeff Bezos, John Oliver, May 25, MGM, Olympics, Republicans


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Zero tolerance, zero brains; Bob Dylan; solar storms; spermageddon; canine-spread coronavirus
(permalink)

Published Monday, May 24, 2021 @ 12:00 AM EDT
May 24 2021

One of the problems associated with being thrown into Facebook jail is ignorance of the alleged offense.

The announcement states that your post has violated Facebook's "Community Standards," a dense, 27-page litany of offenses that will get you kicked off the platform.

I found the section which I believe addresses my post:

"We care deeply about the safety of the people who use our apps. We regularly consult with experts in suicide and self-injury to help inform our policies and enforcement, and work with organizations around the world to provide assistance to people in distress.

"While we do not allow people to intentionally or unintentionally celebrate or promote suicide or self-injury, we do allow people to discuss these topics because we want Facebook to be a space where people can share their experiences, raise awareness about these issues, and seek support from one another."

"We define self-injury as the intentional and direct injuring of the body, including self-mutilation and eating disorders. We remove any content that encourages suicide or self-injury, including fictional content such as memes or illustrations and any self-injury content which is graphic, regardless of context."

Here's the offending cartoon:

I maintain this isn't a cartoon about suicide- it's a cartoon addressing the power of social media to influence otherwise sane people to do insane things. If anything, it's an anti-suicide cartoon.

I've appealed prior suspensions and won, because it was obvious the artificially intelligent bot or stressed human outside contractor didn't grasp the concepts of satire, parody, or irony and made a bad call. Most of the time Facebook admitted it was in error and unhid the post. But I don't think it's going to work in this instance, because self-injury is one of those categories of which Facebook seems to have a zero tolerance policy. There is no way to contact any human at Facebook to offer a defense. And a small potatoes page administrator with a mere 10,134 followers really can't create enough media outrage to get Facebook executives involved.

I suspect Facebook adopted this policy to aggregate a number it can use in its "we're doing our best, but we can't catch everything" defense. They can point to their mountain of context-free suspensions and say, "Look, we suspended n accounts in the last month for violating our policy against self-injury."

Supplementary viewing/reading:

25+ best memes about jumping off a cliff

Little evidence supports the claimed effectiveness of zero-tolerance policies.

"The whole principle is wrong (censorship); it's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't eat steak."
-Robert A. Heinlein

"The written word will soon disappear and we'll no longer be able to read good prose like we used to could. This prospect does not gentle my thoughts or tranquil me toward the future."
-James Thurber

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"The first way to answer the questions in the song ('Blowin' in the Wind') is by asking them. But lots of people first have to find the wind."
-Bob Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman. He's 80 today.)

Actor Gary Burghoff is 78 today. The video above is the 1984 pilot episode of a M*A*S*H spinoff that wasn't picked up.

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The first text message: On this day in 1844, Samuel Morse sent the message "What hath God wrought" (a biblical quotation, Numbers 23:23) from a committee room in the United States Capitol to his assistant, Alfred Vail, in Baltimore, Maryland, to inaugurate a commercial telegraph line between Baltimore and Washington D.C.

On this day in 1940, Igor Sikorsky performed the first successful single-rotor helicopter flight.

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NOT REAL NEWS: a look at what didn't happen last week.

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Pentagon's UFO footage- and Obama's curiosity- ratchet up expectations for a big reveal. When Congress passed the $2.3 trillion omnibus appropriations bill in December, it included a requirement that the Pentagon and a number of intelligence agencies prepare a report laying out what they know about UAPs (unidentified aerial phenomena), which is the new military-speak for UFOs. The report is expected to be delivered as early as June 1, and at least part of it will be made available to the public.

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Good news for a Monday morning: "...greater coffee consumption is associated with a decreased risk of all-cause mortality."

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Liz Cheney's GOP primary challenger admits to impregnating 14-year-old when he was 18. Liz Cheney's GOP primary challenger admits to impregnating 14-year-old when he was 18. The Facebook video he released, called "Senator Bouchard takes on the fake news media," claimed "I was young" and "you've heard those stories before. She was a little younger than me, so it's like the Romeo and Juliet story," he said, neglecting several glaring differences like the Shakespearean characters were fictional and neither was running for Congress in the so-called "family values" party.

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Can the news be fixed? The fix is already in. Oh, you mean like repaired.

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The Great Amazon Purge... "About three weeks ago, several major Amazon brands were suddenly kicked out. Most people were unaware of the names of more than 12 disappearing Chinese companies, such as Mpow and Aukey. However, these two sell a number of electronic devices, such as phone chargers and external batteries for smartphones. If you click "Buy" on Amazon's first phone charger or wireless headphones, it could be from one of the sellers currently suspended."

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Alabama will now allow yoga in its public schools (but students can't say 'namaste'). But on the other hand, Alabama becomes latest state to legalize medical marijuana.

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Life as we know it:

Solar storms are back, threatening life as we know it on Earth.

A massive heat dome is about to make the Southeast sweat. "Temperatures starting on Monday will run between 10-15 degrees above normal, and border on record maximum temperatures, both for daily highs and lows."

Spermageddon: Could men be infertile by 2045? One word: parthenogenesis.

New coronavirus discovered- and dogs are spreading it. It could be the eighth coronavirus known to cause illnesses in humans.


Categories: Alabama, amazon.com, Anthony Bouchard, Bob Dylan, Coffee, Covert Comic, Dogs, Drugs, Facebook, Fact check, Gary Burghoff, Helicopters, Igor Sikorsky, James Thurber, January 6, Liz Cheney, M*A*S*H, News Media, Republicans, Robert A. Heinlein, Romeo and Juliet, Samuel Morse, Self-injury, Spermageddon, Suicide, Telegraph, The Sun, Weather, William Shakespeare


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Cockroaches and Cher, reality check, Charles Grodin
(permalink)

Published Thursday, May 20, 2021 @ 12:00 AM EDT
May 20 2021

"I've come back so many times. Someone once told me that after World War III, the only things that will still be around are cockroaches and Cher."
-Cher (Cher is 75 today. Born Cherilyn Sarkisian on May 20, 1946)

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On this date in 2015, David Letterman, after 33 years on late night, hosts the "Late Show with David Letterman" for the last time.

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Reality check:

Covid-19 vaccines do not contain magnetic microchips.

Trump fans claim their ballots were fed to chickens. And then the chickens were incinerated to destroy the evidence.

A state senator in Texas falsely claimed at a hearing that animal tests were "stopped" because the "animals were dying" and that "they didn’t do the human testing."

QAnon revives America's "Satanic Panic."

Arizona's election audit is worse than you think.

This IRS letter isn't a scam, and you should keep it.

A fungus is pushing cicada sex into hyperdrive and leaving them dismembered.

New York's probe into Trump Organization is now a criminal inquiry.

House approves January 6 commission over GOP objections. Lawmakers passed the bill in a 252-175 vote, with 35 Republicans joining all Democrats in support. Of course, unless ten GOP senators go along, it's an exercise in futility.

An amazing photo of a west Texas thunderstorm.

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Pittsburgh's Charles Grodin (April 21, 1935 – May 18, 2021) was valedictorian of his class at Peabody High School and was elected class president all four years. An accomplished actor, I remember him mainly from his many appearances as a talk show guest with an attitude:

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The World Health Organization says overworking is a major killer worldwide. So I'm outta here.


Categories: Arizona, Charles Grodin, Cher, Conspiracy Theorists, Covid-19, Donald Trump, IRS, January 6, Johnny Carson, QAnon, The Big Lie, The Tonight Show, Weather, World Health Organization


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