Facepalm Newsoids 36

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Chimp facepalms never get old

Rumors of death were exaggerated. According to New York magazine, Russian media were spreading rumors of the death of King Charles III of England. But for a short time it caught on, and there was also a frantic search for Kate Middleton, who had not been seen since Christmas of 2023. By St. Patrick’s Day, flags were flying at half-mast. By 18 March, the King emerged, showing the rumors of death to have been exaggerated. According to the magazine, “The royal family is still a mess, and their flag remains high”. So we can all go back to sleep now. King Charles had been diagnosed with cancer back in February. He is 75 years old.

Monster in charge. Godzilla, the enormous giant mutant lizard from Japanese thriller movies of decades ago, has been made police chief of Tokyo for a day. This was in a campaign to raise consciousness about traffic safety. Other Japanese movie characters were used for related reasons regarding day-to-day law enforcement. (20 Mar)

The Croissant Bandit of Richmond. In Richmond, a suburb of Melbourne in the province of Victoria, Australia, a 44 year-old woman was charged with burglary of a bakery when she broke in wearing a catsuit. But she would not steal those almond croissants she craved before doing some yoga stretches, as shown on a CCTV camera recording. The woman was charged with theft, and burglary. This incident could be made part of an ad campaign for Phillippa’s Bakery, where she broke in. The name of the Croissant Bandit was not made public. (8 Mar)

Take your poop with you. Climbers in Mount Everest must take their poop with them back down the mountain, to address a growing waste problem, according to a new regulation passed down by the Nepalese government. Most people who climb Everest do so through Nepal, who sells climbing permits at $11,000 apiece. It takes another $25,000 when you factor in food, equipment, oxygen tanks, and Sherpa guides.  Last year, there were a record 478 permits issued to climbers, and on average they would produce 3.5 kg of excrement over the 2-week period climbing the mountain, and coming back down. For the 478 climbers, that’s 1.67 metric tonnes of excrement in one year, illustrating the extent of the problem. An initiative led by the Nepali Army has led to the removal of nearly 36 metric tonnes of excrement, which had not degraded in the frigid and oxygen-poor environment of Everest over the years. (25 Mar)

Men and turkeys look so much alike. A man in Bunnell, Florida was hunting turkeys, when, as he followed three female turkeys on the road, in the hope of finding a male turkey, and soon was shooting at what he thought was his prize, which turned out to be another man yelling in agony that he had been shot. The hunter called 911 and expressed remorse for the shooting. The victim was taken to hospital in Daytona Beach, where he had to have bird shot removed from his head and torso. Neither the hunter nor the victim have been identified to the public. (18 Mar)

Social media being sued by Ontario School Boards. In Ontario, four school boards in the GTA and Ottawa have sued Meta, Snap Inc. and ByteDance Ltd., over their apps which has been shown by research to stunt child brain development. The claim in the lawsuits is that social media are designed for compulsive use and have “rewired the way children think, behave and learn” (quoting the Toronto Star), leaving teachers and school boards to deal with the consequences. The school boards are seeking damages in excess of $4 billion for its disruption to learning and the school system itself. Premier Doug Ford has expressed shock that the boards are suing these companies, who violated no laws, because federal and provincial governments never created any to regulate these companies in the first place. Ford’s reasoning had a sliver of common sense: they are large companies with very deep pockets that could cost the government hundreds of millions of dollars to fight, and past court battles of a similar kind by hundreds of school boards in the states were not always successful. So, how would Ford feel instead about regulating these companies, which would cost them much less? (28 Mar)

Views: 695

Facepalm Newsoids XXVII

Facepalm Panda. Image from tenor.com

Putin Thinks he’s Milli Vanilli. Putin was asked by the South African government that when attending the BRICS Summit, that he simply attend by videoconference. The reason is that, because South Africa is a member of the World Court, they would be obligated to arrest Putin for war crimes should he turn up on their soil. So six days ago, he shows up on video conference, but he was lip-synching his speech to that of a voice actor, who spoke with a much deeper voice which drew associations to 70s soul singer Barry White. (Aug 22)

Penis Squeezing Not Penalogically Appropriate in a Penal Institution.  Minnesota prisoner Wilbert Glover accused prison guard Richard Paul of squeezing his penis during a strip search. The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals determined in its 9 pages of findings that squeezing his penis was not “penalogically necessary”, and constitute an “unreasonable use of force”. A possible interpretation of this ruling is that he should be more gentle next time. (25 Aug)

Latest Findings in Medicine.  According to the UK Daily Mail, doctors are now saying that you shouldn’t toss your kid or ride a child on your shoulders in a room with a ceiling fan. In a recent 8-year period, there were over 20,000 ceiling fan related injuries involving children, according to the medical journal Pediatrics. (18 Aug)

Latest Florida Headlines.  5 young women arrested for intentionally clogging a toilet with toilet paper at a wing joint, leading to a chaotic brawl with employees. (24 Aug) Grade 3 teacher shows up drunk on the first day of school. (24 Aug) Jealous spat leads to girlfriend’s head being dunked in a bucket of tar. (31 Jul) Woman uses cockroach spray to poison man’s drink. (18 Aug) Man arrested in Ocala, Fla., for stuffing $300 worth of Wal-Mart meachandise down his pants. (17 Aug)

Police Blotter. In Daytona Beach, Fla., 38 year-old Nicole Maks murdered her male roommate, and was covered with his blood. She doused herself in Diet Moutain Dew, thinking it would erase the DNA evidence, but she only ended up being covered in blood and a sticky soft drink. She was charged with first-degree murder. (16 Aug) An 83 year-old man in Chester County, Pa, has been charged with murder after fatally shooting his 61 year-old roommate over an argument about a dog. (22 Aug) The Porch Bandit of Georgia. Robin Swinger is being charged with a felony theft of an entire $3000 porch sitting on private property, but not attached to a house. (23 Aug)

Views: 650

Self-defeating behaviour during the Covid-19 pandemic

A protestor with no understanding of communism, thinks that it is its opposite, and winds up supporting communism by being against that which separates us from being communal.
  • According to a Google search, a Madison media organ will say that a protest against social distancing back on April 25th will be reported by TV stations if their channels are a multiple of 9. Channels 9, 18, and 27 in Madison have reported that the protests where people had been refused a permit to hold the rally in the first place, and violated social distancing orders have defeated their own object by inadvertently shutting down businesses that would normally be open.
  • There has been a spike in serious illnesses and deaths from people ingesting household cleaners, following a suggestion made by Dr. Donald Trump about a week ago. Emergency hotlines from all over the country are receiving calls asking about ingesting household disinfectants.
  • For their Covid-19 medical stats, some countries are counting as “no longer contagious”, dead people.
  • Among the protestors in Michigan, was a woman who told a reporter that there was nowhere where she could get her hair colored. Another told a reporter that it was now difficult to obtain lawn fertilizer or grass seed, body piercings or tattoo services.
  • Florida governor Ron DeSantis has classified live professional wrestling as an essential service.
  • Missouri, a state which begain the re-opening process on May 3, is suing China for economic losses and suffering.
  • Donald Trump, after bragging about brokering a deal with OPEC, saw the oil prices in the United States become negative (-38 dollars a barrel) by April 20. Oil producers were paying buyers to take oil they couldn’t store.
  • Arkansas, whose state had not issued stay-at-home orders except for schools, has now denied visas to Chinese students who wish to study the sciences.
  • Maybe lawyer and former drug company lobbyist Alex Azar, the head of the U. S. Health and Human Services Department, could have done better than to pick Brian Harrisson, a labradoodle breeder, as head of the Coronavirus Task Force (a position later replaced by Vice President Mike Pence, whose background was as a lawyer and former Congressman). Remember to keep away people with science backgrounds at all times.
  • Florida corrections ordered inmates to manufacture face masks without wearing facemasks themselves, or any other protection, risking contamination to the facemasks they were making for the wardens and guards in the correctional facility.

Views: 100

The indices of Harper’s Magazine

I have been a fan of Harper’s Magazine since the 1980s. In particular, I loved the Readings section, as well as the factoids list (with citations) known as Harper’s Index, near the front of each issue. Here are 100 factoids I’ve researched from over the years, dates not important, but they have been taken from issues since 2000. I have favoured factoids that are not dated, but that was difficult as many good ones with dates crept in. The URL for Harper’s magazine is http://harpers.org, and is available on some newsstands, but not as many these days as in days previous.

  • Cost to produce Safeguard, the only U.S. ground-based long-range missile shield ever deployed: $23,500,000,000
  • Number of days in the 1970s that the system was operational before it was abandoned as inadequate: 135
  • Pounds of fuel required to maintain this year’s 11,500 Olympic torches: 2,029
  • Ratio of the amount of energy generated by 1 gallon of ethanol to the amount of energy required to produce it : 1:0.9
  • Number of times Colin Powell said, “I don’t recall” or, “I can’t recall” during his 1987 Iran-Contra testimony: 56
  • Percentage of global economic activity accounted for by the world’s 200 largest corporations: 27.5
  • Percentage of the world’s population that these corporations employ: 0.8
  • Minimum number of mentally retarded Americans who have been executed by the justice system since 1976 : 35
  • Estimated chance that a U.S. prisoner is mentally retarded: 1 in 14
  • Days after Time named George W. Bush 2000’s man of the year that Russians named Vladimir Lenin man of the century: 4
  • Places by which Russia’s ranking in the U.N.’s Human Development Index of living standards has fallen since 1990 : 31
  • Rank of the United States and Britain among nations whose residents are most likely to be obese: 1,2
  • Rank of Hungary: 3
  • Ratio of the number of pardons George W. Bush has issued turkeys to those he has issued human beings: 2:1
  • Ratio of the average life span of a commercially bred turkey to that of a wild one: 1:7
  • Year in which Disney’s Mickey Mouse copyright will expire if the Supreme Court reverses a 1998 extension this winter (2002): 2003
  • Minutes that a Massachusetts surgeon left a patient with an open incision while he went to deposit a check: 35
  • Percentage change since 1990 (to 2003) in the number of U.S. schoolchildren labeled “disabled” : +37
  • Chances that a U.S. adult does not want to live to be 120 under any circumstances: 2 in 3
  • Chance that an American adult believes that “politics and government are too complicated to understand” : 1 in 3
  • Chance that an American who was home-schooled feels this way: 1 in 25
  • Acreage of a Christian nudist colony under development in Florida (in 2004): 240
  • Percentage of the 13,129 varieties of dirt in the United States that are endangered: 4
  • Years in prison to which two ex-Pentagon officials were sentenced last year for taking bribes of money and prostitutes: 24
  • Number of years a North Carolina man has been in prison for stealing a television: 33
  • Rank, on the Turkish bestseller list in March (2005), of a thriller depicting a U.S. invasion of Turkey: 1
  • Rank of Mein Kampf: 2
  • Average percentage by which the power of the male heart declines between the ages of 18 and 75 : 20
  • Average percentage by which the female heart does: 0
  • Amount a Chinese online gamer made last year (in 2004) by selling a virtual sword he had borrowed from a friend: $850
  • Months later that the friend retaliated by stabbing him to death with a real knife: 6
  • Number of beetles that right-wing entomologists have named after Bush Administration officials: 3
  • Number of times that Mary, Jesus’ mother, is referenced by name in the Bible and the Koran, respectively: 19,34
  • Number of “Wal-ocaust” T-shirts sold by a Georgia man before Wal-Mart ordered him to cease and desist: 1
  • Ratio, in the United States, of the number of Wal-Mart employees to the number of high school teachers: 1:1
  • Portion of states where the projected climate in 2100 will not be able to sustain their official tree or flower: 3/5
  • Number of words spoken by Clarence Thomas during Supreme Court oral arguments since February 2006 (until Aug 2007): 132
  • Number by Samuel Alito, the Justice who spoke the second-fewest words: 14,404
  • Percentage of single U.S. women in their twenties who are “very” or “extremely” willing to marry for money: 61
  • Percentage of women in their thirties who are : 74
  • Percentage change since 1985 (to 2009) in the number of U.S. newspapers with reporters covering Congress : –72
  • Percentage of six- to nine-year-old American girls (in 2009) who wear lipstick or lip gloss : 46
  • Number of poppyseed bagels that could be made with Afghanistan’s annual poppy harvest : 357,000,000
  • Percentage of British elementary-school students who think Isaac Newton discovered fire : 60
  • Number of U.S. states that have more pigs than people : 3
  • Minimum number of birds that die from crashing into New York City windows each year : 100,000
  • Number of Bentleys purchased in Russia in 2000 and in 2010, respectively : 0, 113
  • Estimated portion of registered voters in Zimbabwe who are dead : 1/4
  • Average minutes more exercise per week that a heavy drinker gets than a non-drinker : 21
  • Portion of the total U.S. corn crop that goes to make ethanol : 2/5
  • Projected worldwide surplus of low-skill workers by 2020 : 93,000,000
  • Projected worldwide deficit of high- and medium-skill workers by that time : 85,000,000
  • Rank of China among global beer producers by volume : 1
  • Rank of the United States : 2
  • Percentage change since 1988 (to 2012) in U.S. teen-pregnancy rates : –36
  • In abstinence rates among white teens : +31
  • Among black teens : +56
  • Portion of Americans who don’t walk for at least ten continuous minutes at any point in an average week : 2/5
  • Percentage of American cats that are overweight : 58
  • Percentage of men in dual-income marriages who said they struggled with work-family conflict in 1977 : 35
  • Who say they do today (2013): 60.
  • Average annual cost of detaining an inmate at the military prison at Guantánamo Bay : $900,000
  • At a supermax prison in the United States : $65,000
  • Portion of all online advertising that is never seen by a human being : 1/2
  • Percentage of U.S. children in 1960 who lived in households headed by heterosexuals in their first marriage : 73
  • Who do today (2015) : 46
  • Estimated minimum gallons of water used annually to produce Coca-Cola products : 8,000,000,000,000
  • Ratio of money spent by Britons on prostitution to that spent on hairdressing : 1:1
  • Years in prison to which a New Mexico man was sentenced last year (in 2015) for shooting children with a semen-filled squirt gun : 18
  • Estimated number of people who will be driven into extreme poverty by 2030 because of climate change : 100,000,000
  • Percentage of the world’s civilian-owned firearms that are owned by Americans : 48
  • Number of Americans aged 60 and older who have outstanding student loans : 2,800,000
  • Portion of those borrowers who have taken on debt to pay for a child or grandchild’s education : 3/4
  • Percentage of children’s toys available in Sweden that contain banned chemicals : 15
  • Of sex toys available in Sweden : 2
  • Average number of people who die in avalanches in the United States each year : 27
  • Number of FBI confidential informants (in 2017) who worked for Best Buy’s Geek Squad between 2008 and 2012 : 8
  • Rank of Nebraska among states with the least liked state flags : 1
  • Number of days in January that the flag at the state capitol flew upside down before anyone noticed : 7
  • Number of US states in which fluorescent pink is a legal color for hunting apparel : 6
  • Chance an American has taken an “active shooter” preparedness class : 1 in 10
  • Percentage of US “active shooters” from 2000 to 2016 who were killed by police : 21
  • Who were killed by armed civilians : 1
  • Number of universities in which half of all the US tenured and tenure-track history professors are trained : 8
  • Number of the twenty largest German companies that are headquartered in the former East Germany : 0
  • Rank of Germany in consumption of nonalcoholic beer : 2
  • Of Iran : 1
  • Portion of Hawaii’s drinking water that comes from underground wells : 9/10
  • Gallons of raw sewage that leak into the ground from Hawaii cesspools each day : 53,000,000
  • Percentage change since 2009 in reports of human waste on San Francisco streets (in 2018): +391
  • Chance that a given day is a public holiday in Cambodia : 1 in 13
  • Rank of Disneyland among the happiest places on earth, according to Disneyland : 1
  • Percentage of Disneyland employees who worry about being evicted from their homes : 56
  • Number of dead people Americans have elected to Congress : 6
  • Factor by which a millennial is more likely than a baby boomer to claim they have a food allergy : 2
  • Number of states that allow roadkill to be salvaged for food : 31
  • Rank of Arabic among France’s most spoken languages : 2
  • Factor by which graduate students are more likely to experience depression or anxiety than the general population : 6
  • Percentage of Americans aged 18 to 34 who say they’d like to live forever : 24
  • Of Americans over 55 : 13

Views: 247