I hope everyone enjoyed their Labor Day weekend (and the week before) because now it’s time to catch up on everything you missed. Let’s all clear a half hour of our day to peruse links on another episode of In Case You Missed It.
We’re kind of married to this title now but you definitely missed a lot of this stuff and, unlike the former author, I don’t feel like being passive about letting you know it. This story about the Holocaust denier? No way you knew about it. The mayor who got killed by a donkey? I bet that one’s new.
A month ending also means it’s time for one of those fail compilations – it’s hilarious. And there’s only one piece of shark news this week. I know. I’m sorry.
Good afternoon. I just returned from the middle of nowhere and subsequently had no knowledge of anything that happened in the news the past week – what’s your excuse? Well, I just caught myself up on a bunch of last week’s events and am bringing you a litany of information you might not have known. Read forth:
STOP EVERYTHING YOU ARE DOING AND WATCH THIS VIDEO:
Alright, are we good? Hello from the middle of nowhere. It’s Monday, isn’t it? Consistently working through weekends really kills my concept of “Monday.” But to the majority of you reading this, today is the first day of a new work week. There’s a lot to- okay seriously can we talk about how cute that video was? The part when the dolphin was swimming in circles around the dog and she was just rotating in place was awesome. And when she wore the life vest? Or how about when she jumped in? Or the nap at the end? Even when the dolphins swam through the wave. Any part with the dog really. Or Dolphins. Really actually that whole video was the best part of the video.
Okay I got a little sidetracked there. Anyway, yet more things happened last week that you probably missed because you’re busy at your job daydreaming about taking your dog to swim with dolphins. But that’s why I’m here and have a whole new Plethora of Links™ that you may or may not find interesting. Of course you should find them interesting unless you’re a god damn philistine.
There’s enough shark news alone that you missed out on, nevermind the other stuff in the world. Can we seriously lay off the shark news? I think I’m terrifying Clifford over here.
You probably don’t even know 3/4 of the things I’m about to list even happened. Well, that’s what I’m here for. Here’s what you missed last week:
Alan here. Clifford was unable to do this week’s post so I’m filling in at the helm. There’s a lot I want to cover, so in lieu of the usual couple items plus commentary I’m just going to barrage you with news and hope you take something away from one of the stories.
Let’s get started:
Again… I’m captured by the amazing title of this article. “Three-hour sex sessions exhaust squid.” Absolutely incredible. Who wouldn’t be exhausted? AMIRITE? Then there is this stellar journalistic opening. “If you’ve ever felt sleepy after sex, you’re not alone.” Jeeze- I feel so connected to this squid now! You’ve roped me in by making this article no longer a piece of scientific journalism, but a window into my own sex life. “New research finds that after a long bout of mating, squid are too tired to do much swimming.” That’s odd because human studies show after long hours of mating we love to swim at rapid speeds.
This article addresses some serious questions:
Q. How many shark attacks have occurred in Australia?
A: No way of actually knowing this because little known fact, most sharks kill humans on land and cover it up with things like “gang related violence” or “car accidents.”
Q. Has there been a sudden increase in shark attacks in Western Australia?
A: Probably because everything in Australia is trying to kill you. Think about it. They have some of the most poisonous snakes & insects, they have dingos, great white sharks, sea crocodiles, and tons of offspring of criminals.
Q. What brings sharks to Western Australia?
A: Um… More people swimming in the water, and sharks find people incredibly delicious. (No I won’t listen to your bullshit- “they think we’re too skinny” argument. That makes no sense. Sure they’re used to eating seals and stuff, but think about how much harder seals are to catch. Sharks have to expend all this energy to catch a seal but only a tiny bit to snag up a human. Plus, if there are lots of American tourists then I’d say our BMI is pretty close to that of a seal.
Q. Should I be worried about future shark attacks?
A: YES! All the time. On your way to the grocery store, sitting in your car, and especially in Western Australia.
Q. What are people doing wrong?
First of all, we’re too delicious. Second of all, we’re swimming anywhere NEAR Great Whites. To quote McCannon “The ocean is fucked up man.” Double true.
Thanks to a viral online campaign to send the “musician” Pitbull to a far flung Wal-Mart, the cueball headed Miami resident will be in for a bit of a change of scenery. Pitbull will be heading to Kodiak Alaska for a Wal-mart sponsored concert. I’m not entirely sure what kind of crowd he’ll draw in a place where the most popular past times are probably ice fishing, hunting, and hockey. Still, Pitbull’s comments about it are pretty classy. He has stayed positive throughout and says he “You have to understand I will go anywhere in the world for my fans.” I’m pretty sure more of his fans voted for him to head to Kodiak than there are Pitbull fans in Kodiak.
Crazy! I had the same exact thing happen on a Delta flight to Charlotte. Bit into a piece of iceberg lettuce that might as well have been a needle. Maybe I should be suing or taking anti-virals. Probably both. I’m surprised this hasn’t been directly linked to terrorism. Al Qaeda- taking down the American airline food industry one hoagie at a time… No doubt TSA will soon create a food and beverage department and all food will be x-rayed, patted down, and just overall molested like everyone else.
As a final and very somber note- obviously had absolutely horrible news story from Colorado. Nothing funny about what happened. I read this article and thought it was really interesting, especially #6 Everyone talks about healing, but the healing can’t start until the media leaves town. What a pithy statement. The 24 news cycle really disgusts me. I just saw a couple minutes of Mike Huckabee interviewing a survivor from the event and couldn’t believe the questions he was asking. Talking about what happened is part of healing, but soon the media will do the most good by leaving town and letting people heal without the glare of the national media. Doubtful the media shows the people of Aurora this much respect.
The annoying part is how true to our generation this article really is. I actually hate reposting articles like this because it really just gets the author exactly what she wanted. More publicity. You know she wants it because in response to the article she put on twitter, “You guys, this is only the second-most controversy I’ve created this year. And it’s only July!” Ugh. Excuse me while I vomit in my mouth. For the majority of you who have not read this, it is essentially a young and somewhat successful journalist writing about how she wishes she’d struggled more. The insensitivity of such a commentary on our currently underemployed generation is not lost on the comments section under her article where she is pretty much torn apart. I imagine that’s exactly what she was hoping to happen, so good job Taylor. I wouldn’t be surprised if she somehow spins the vitriol against her as “adversity” and writes about overcoming it to further publicize her beyond mediocre writing.
This article is taken directly from the latest Planet of the Apes screenplay. It opens up by nonchalantly with “Two chimpanzees escaped a Las Vegas backyard Thursday…” Ok, let’s stop right there. First of all, who the hell has a pair of chimpanzees just hanging out in their backyard? There is zero back story here and I really need more on that front. Maybe these two were being tortured by some maniacal zoologist gone rogue who was trying to force them to mate when they just weren’t that into each other, ya know? The chimps were eventually hunted down and killed after- and you can’t make this up- “at least one of them jumping on a police car.” WHAT? How has this not made it onto youtube yet? The article also glosses over another gem when it states that, “police warning residents through Twitter not to leave their vehicles or homes.” I just scoured Las Vegas police department Twitter names to no avail, but I would LOVE to read that tweet… how could you get all the madness into 140 characters?
This article about dinosaur sex is amazing because it answers all those questions that I have running through my head all day like, “How could T-rexes hold themselves up during sex with those tiny arms” and “Why can’t we find paleontologists who will talk candidly about dinosaur mating?” You’re welcome loyal readers, now these answers are all yours. Highlight of the entire article- this statement, “As you might imagine, a dinosaur penis might have been pretty big– perhaps up to 12 feet in length for T. Rexes.” I don’t know if it’s more insane that T. Rexes had schlongs twice as long as I am tall or that there are legitimate scientists who discuss it.
This one may not be totally acceptable for work. It’s not pornographic or anything, it’s simply a brief article and picture of Annie Hawkins-Turner, a Georgia native with the largest natural breasts in the world… how is this news? In this case I’ll tell you why, because it’s freaking INSANE. People like to see weird shit like this because it reminds them of how normal they are.
Apparently the biggest issue Google is running into with its self-driving vehicles is that they are forced to go the speed limit. This sounds to me like one of those situations where technology is outpacing governance. If the technology works then I imagine future highways will have “auto-pilot lanes” where the speed limit is much higher than “manual lanes.” There are also lots of other possible benefits to include; driving down transportation costs, improving mass transit, and reducing carbon emissions. If there were tons of auto-pilot cars driving around that could take you from place to place why would you need your own vehicle? The idea that I could get drunk with my buddies and have my car drive me home is enough to sell me on the whole endeavor.
What I find interesting about this week’s decision to formally apologize to Pakistan for a cross border attack, that from most accounts was justified, is what it signals for the long term U.S. plans for the region. It effectively states that the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan is real and imminent. The administration has shown no signs of shifting away from it’s 2014 exit deadline, but this is a sign that the administration sees losing some political face is worth the squeeze of a quicker and cheaper exit from Afghanistan. Internally to the US Foreign Policy machine I wonder how Hilary was chosen to give this expertly worded “apology” which sounds more like a joint saving of face for both parties. Did Obama call on her to do it because he thought she was the only one with the political acumen? This should have been a DOD apology. State is apologizing for an SF team killing Afghans? I don’t get that. So what is Pakistan getting out of this? They get about a billion dollars of withheld “counter-terrorism money.” How anyone can say the money we give to Pakistan is “counter-terrorism money” with a straight face baffles me.
Seemed like a drove of massive news stories this week. The largest three being the death of Galapagos Tortoise Lonely George, me finding this tumblr, and the fact that the earth lost a second. When the media wasn’t going on and on about these topics they did cover a couple other smaller news pieces like two decisions from the SCOTUS (didn’t know this was an acronym till this week- and I’m totally digging it now), and Eric Holder’s contempt of congress mess which actually had some Democratic backing surprisingly. What this all means for the Presidential election? Everyone has an opinion but nobody actually knows. Is it November yet so we can wrap this thing up already; I feel like the Presidential election has been happening for two years already… probably because it has been.
Egyptians choose their first freely elected President; the Islamist Party leader, Mohamed Mursi, has already seen his power slightly curbed by the Army. Transition from an autocracy to a democracy is rarely a smooth one. Let’s just hope this goes more along the lines of Turkey, with a continuing back and forth between civilian and military rule but with the military’s power slowly ebbing, and not along the lines of Algeria where a democratically elected government of Islamists was quickly overpowered by the military. The good news is the process has been mostly non-violent and that the country has started to see some of the positive signs of having a legitimate government.
On the technology front this week there were some interesting happenings. Google has started hyping a really interesting new product called Google Glass. Watching the video of this thing makes it seem like people are going to use it to become more social and interact with their surroundings more, but I imagine this will just escalate the already huge problem of people constantly looking at their phones. Imagine if you didn’t know if people you were with were looking/ talking to you or watching hardcore porn. Speaking of porn, I totally fell for the trap that is this article and clicked on the link- Man Suffers Porn Headaches. This is possibly the worst article I have ever read on a relatively reputable news website (ABC news is stretching the use of the word reputable). This is obviously an attempt to get people to click on their article purely because the title of the article has porn in it.* Facebook also released it’s new attempt to know everything about you- via telling you about your friends, Best Buy is lowering the prices of Apple laptops, Microsoft & Google are getting into tablets, and there was an interesting piece on the large ambitious projects that Google is taking on.
In a new book titled Little America- Rajiv Chandrasekaran elaborates on some of the institutional failures in the U.S. decision making process leading up to the surge of troops into Afghanistan in 2009. He also outlines some interesting facts about inter service relationships (read Army vs. Marine corps), and how this pushed DOD policy in the wrong direction. Also trying to make America littler is a new FDA approved obesity drug. This humble author is no scientist or dietician, but I’m sticking with diet and exercise over drugs to keep the lbs off.
Tiger Woods won the AT&T National at Congressional this weekend, his 3rd win on tour this year, propelling him to first place on the FedEx Cup Standings. Now all he needs to do is win a major to complete the comeback from his embarassing episode a couple years ago. In NBA news, the New Orleans Hornets took Anthony “Unibrow” Davis with the #1 overall pick in the NBA draft. Has there ever been an uglier top draft pick in the history of major sports? Seriously dude, get some tweezers. For you baseball heads, the MLB announced their All-Star teams over the weekend, and the snub talks begin. In soccer news, Spain defeated Italy 4-0 in the Euro Cup Final, opening up the dreaded discussion of, “Greatest Soccer Team of All Time.” But more importantly, Fletch and his partner won the Po Life Euro Cup of Beer Pong tournament in dramatic, OT fashion. Well done, sir.
Honorable Mention: Out of control Colorado fires, NOVA power outages, and record setting heat.
The international economic slow down seems to be continuing as Eurozone member Spain apparently requires 65 billion euros to shore up their banking sector. Spain has stated they believe 100 billion euros should do the trick, but CNN Money Ben Rooney really hits the nail on the head here when he says, ” It is also unclear exactly where the money will come from.” I don’t know about everyone else, but I feel like I’ve been brainwashed over the past 5 years to basically believe any astronomical amount of money can just be created straight out of thin air, especially when it’s for the banking sector.
A shocking video of a New York state bus monitor named Karen Klein was released on youtube and proved two things. 1) Yes, kids really do go Lord of the Flies on the school bus and 2) the internet can coalesce people around a completely wacky theme. As of the writing of this post over $600k had been raised through a viral campaign to send her on a vacation. According to mashable she won’t even have to pay taxes on this money.
Gas prices have continued to drop to an average below $80 a barrel due to a continued slow down in demand. Foreign Policy online did a solid piece on the effects of the coming oil crash on international autocrats, and Vladimir Putin in particular. The article also gives some good perspective on Saudi Arabia’s long economic plan and answers the question of why they would continue to pump so much oil and contribute to the falling price of petrol. Speaking of Saudi Arabia, the death of Crown Prince Naif bin Abdul Aziz brings to light many questions of succession in the Kingdom that will be interesting to watch as the original sons of Saudi founder Abdul-Aziz bin Saud are all getting really old.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder was held in contempt of Congress this week for essentially refusing to share documents pertaining to the ATF program called “Fast and Furious.” Reuters gives a good explanation here of exactly what Contempt of Congress really means. Being held in Contempt of Congress seems slightly ironic when Congress is in fact held in contempt by the American people, due to its inability to come to a resolution pretty much anything. As a side note I feel the media needs to stop asking the question if a decision made in a Presidential election year was made “for political reasons” or because it was the right thing to do. The answer is always “both.” For instance, the Republicans’ shameful smear job on Brett McGurk and the President’s decision to use a new legal framework to essentially give amnesty (though Dems have tried to say it isn’t Amnesty) to 800,000 illegal immigrants are both prime examples. Everything until the election will have some level of political motivation.
Looks like fellow polife writer Joey got his wish this week as Lebron James won his first NBA title. Though I too was pulling for Lebron I have to say I’m most pleased about what the NBA Finals meant for ESPN First Take and Skip Bayless. Mark Cuban and Skip went back and forth on Twitter about the NBA Finals and Mr. Cuban decided to fly out to Miami to crush Skip’s soul. Mark calls Skip out for his massive generalizing, his egocentric outlook on sports, and his utter lack of basketball knowledge. It’s the worst public thrashing since the Nixon vs. Kennedy debates of 1960, and when Mark asks Skip questions about basketball that he has no idea how to respond to, it’s more awkward than The Office and twice as entertaining.