August 03, 2016
Kohei Uchimura is a top-bracket gymnast representing Japan at the Rio Olympics. He's been playing Pokemon Go in Brazil while waiting for the games to start, and has managed to rack up (I'm tempted to say "wrack up") a $5000 phone bill through roaming charges.
July 22, 2016
It's a real head-scratcher.
The gunman in Munich killed 9 people, wounded 16 more, and then shot himself. He was 18 and held citizenships in both Germany and Iran.
Hubertus Andrae told reporters the gunman's motive was "fully unclear"...
Of course it was. We all knew that before you told us!
July 21, 2016
The Town of Hugo has been warned not to drink, cook or bathe using the local water supply, due to evidence of THC.
Thursday afternoon, Hugo Public Works told the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office about the issue in the town's water supply and investigators are assessing the situation with state authoritiesincluding the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Colorado Bureau of Investigation, Colorado State Patrol and federal authorities.
In other news, local motels and hotels report a flood of reservations being made from Berkeley.
July 15, 2016
In the mean time, someone pushed the "Live in interesting times" button, or more like started pounding on it with a hammer. Monstrous terror attack in France yesterday, and now there's been a military coup in Turkey.
Actually, the coup I've been expecting has been Venezuala but that keeps not happening. (If I was an insurance company I sure wouldn't be willing to offer a life insurance policy to Maduro.)
The whole world is going crazy, and all I want is to see Amane in the bath without fog. Is that too much to ask? (My luck, it'll turn out that the AT-X version isn't decensored.)
July 14, 2016
Bastille Day is often described as being France's equivalent of America's Independence Day (i.e. July 4), but it isn't really true.
Independence Day commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence, which was later delivered to King George by some amazingly brave men. (King George could have ordered them all to be executed for treason, after all.) That began the American Revolutionary War, which is unquestionably one of the most important political events of the last 500 years, one which completely changed the history of the World. So we Americans celebrate the Declaration of Independence because our revolution was successful and established our nation, which continues to this day.
Such as not the case for Bastille Day. It commemorates the storming of the Bastille, a prison in Paris where political prisoners were being kept. This began the French Revolution, which is another major political event, in which the French people deposed the Bourbon monarchy. But it was a fiasco. The French Republic only lasted a few years, and then the French people got so sick of it that they turned everything over to Napoleon, who reigned as Emperor for about 10 years while plunging Europe into the biggest and bloodiest war there before World War I. Once Napoleon had been defeated and imprisoned by foreign countries, the Bourbon's once again took over rule of the nation.
Bastille Day was July 14, 1789. Napoleon took power May 18, 1804 and reigned until April 11, 1814. (Not counting the Hundred Days), which meant that the whole business lasted 25 years yielding nothing except a huge pile of dead bodies.
And since then they have changed governments an appallingly large number of times by their own will. Currently they're on their Fourth Republic (UPDATE: Actually, the Fifth Republic), intermixed with two bouts of monarchy not counting Napoleon.
Anyway, Bastille Day is theirs, and they celebrate it, and today during a fireworks display in Nice a truck driven by a Tunisian deliberately plowed into the crowd. As I write this the death toll is 77 and there are hundreds of injured. The death toll is sure to keep rising. After the truck stopped, the driver popped out and started shooting at such people as were still around, until police showed up and started shooting at him. He's been "neutralized" but whether that means he's dead or captured or seriously wounded we'll find out later.
It's a terrible tragedy. The Guardian says that the biggest concern now is anti-Muslim backlash. Of course. Obama hasn't said anything that stupid yet, but it's only a matter of time.
After the suicide attack last November Hollande invoked a National State of Emergency and there were a lot of raids in Paris and elsewhere to try to root out terrorist cells. Obviously very successful. This morning he announced he was going to lift the State of Emergency. The man's timing is impeccable.
I have a feeling that Hollande's name is going to be "Mud" fairly soon in France, if it isn't already. He's running for reelection, and good luck to him.
In the mean time, the Guardian not withstanding, our main concern should be the wounded in today's attack and the families of all the casualties.
And then maybe the French will consider nuking ISIS.
July 13, 2016
I am fully aware that this is an obnoxious First-World problem, and yet... I've been an ethical vegetarian for over 30 years. I've felt that I want no part in farming or killing animals and I never wanted to eat them. Anyway, yesterday I accidentally ate bacon. I now love bacon and want to eat more bacon. My question SPECIFICALLY for people who didn't eat meat for ethical reasons but then started is how did you make it okay in your heart?
(I didn't post an answer but I've been sitting here chuckling for five minutes. So I thought I'd share.)
July 12, 2016
So you thought Dennou Coil was just a TV show, eh?
Pokemon Go is making people do crazy things. An American in Iraq who is fighting against ISIS captured a pokemon on his cell phone. People have been hunting for pokemon in the Holocaust museum in DC, to the point where the museum has publicly asked them all to stop. (Reportedly someone captured a poison-gas pokemon there, but other people are saying they think it's a hoax.)
I wonder who will be the first to capture a pokemon inside the White House? or the Pentagon?
Cell phone use in public places is already obnoxious, and it's about to get worse.
July 04, 2016
But these days they aren't really very important; I don't even know where the last couple were held, indeed if they were held recently at all. The Vancouver world's fair was rather lackluster but I think it was Nashville that started the death spiral.
Now I think that the Olympics are going to face the same fate, and this year is the beginnning of the end. All reports are that the games in Rio de Janeiro are going to be a disaster. It's supposed to take place in August and some of the facilities aren't complete yet. The drinking water there is contaminated and the area around the site is crime-ridden. The area of ocean where all the yachting events are supposed to take place is contaminated with unprocessed sewage.
And there's the Zika virus and the mosquitos that carry it. Plus the Russian track team isn't being permitted to attend because of a drugging scandal. And the laboratory which was supposed to do all the drug tests can't because its equipment doesn't work and its people have been bribed. Or something like that.
Meanwhile, the City of Rio is broke and may not be able to provide the services (like police) that are required.
So this game will be a disaster. But will it begin the downturn, like Nashville did for the World's Fairs?
UPDATE: Sorry, Knoxville, not Nashville!
July 01, 2016
Now, what do you do with it? How do you fence ten tons of cheese? Who do you sell it to?
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