Facts of Life: the world is going crazy

I perused Harper’s Weekly Report several times, searching for either weird animal news or a central theme. And the only one I’ve come up with is (above post title). (The bolding is mine.)

To wit. Or to witless, in our current U.S. federal government:

[T]he U.S. Secret Service said it believes Nigerian fraudsters have stolen millions of dollars from state unemployment insurance systems; and a new report showed that U.S. billionaires increased their total wealth by $369 billion in the past two months.

Pentagon officials expressed concern that pandemic relief might hurt the nation’s nuclear weapons budget; Donald Trump announced the development of a “super-duper missile”; and NASA revealed plans to slam a spacecraft into an asteroid named Didymoon in order to test its capacity to prevent a larger asteroid from destroying Earth. Department of Homeland Security officials said American telecom companies should expect attacks on 5G cell phone towers because of a conspiracy theory that claims the technology causes COVID-19.

NASA’s plans knock me out. Especially the name of the asteroid. Didymoon.

In our states, violence by white terrorists:

In several states, protesters armed with assault rifles were stationed outside of small businesses that had reopened prematurely. “We’re the Wild West,” said Governor Tony Evers, whose stay-at-home order was overturned by the Wisconsin Supreme Court. “It’s a frightening place to be.” In Oklahoma, two white men trapped a black delivery driver in a gated community after he refused to reveal the name of the customer who allowed him to enter, and in Kentucky, the governor called for an investigation into an incident in which Louisville police killed a black emergency medical technician in her home.

And around the world:

Iran proposed a prisoner swap with the United States, citing concern for the health of Iranians in the U.S., then fired a missile at its own ship during a training exercise, killing 19 sailors.

Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro cancelled a large party, which critics had called “the barbecue of death,” then rode a Jet Ski to another barbecue on a boat. In Hong Kong, a shop began selling tear-gas-flavored ice cream [!!!!!!!]

Dutch officials advised single men and women to procure quarantine “sex buddies,” and police in Siberia cited two teenagers for breaking stay-at-home orders after they reported being raped on the street.



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Very brief notes from a plague town

My hair is an undiagnosible mop and I’m out of Lilac chocolates.

Century21 is selling “staycation outfits starting under $15.” I’m not sure what a “staycation outfit” is (which is why I went into their website and provided the link), but that’s a damn good price. I live with the notion that any garment selling for under $15 is basically free.

With profound sorrow, I’ve (temporarily) given up nibbling Happy Herbert’s wild rice snack crackers because Fairway stopped selling them and Fairway was the only place around here that did sell them.

I decided I’d order them directly from Herbert himself. He has a really Happy website, does Herbert — who dwells in Jersey City, so for a while I was thinking of taking the easy trip out to Jersey City and buying them in situ. The only viable in situ now is me in my apartment. And Online Herbert was only selling boxes containing 12 bags, which would last me, I dunno, maybe until late January 2021.

So I’ve gone back to popcorn and whatever flavored cardboard crackers I can find in Duane Reade or wherever (I’ve made a firm commitment not to investigate the ingredients). This means I must keep my vacuum out and plugged in constantly because I’ve found squashed popcorn bits napping in a number of peculiar corners.

Wondering How That Popcorn Bit Got There is an activity on my schedule, replacing long-standing doctors’ appointments.


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Who is winning the 538 polls of…pollsters?

Bless 538. They’ve just published their new pollster ratings.

And there’s a search function, especially useful since the pollsters listed on the screen are not all the pollsters.

This means that whenever we read about election polls not yet evaluated by 538 (I assume they’ll be getting into this whenever…they get into this [hurry up, Nate, I’m getting antsy!]), we can search for the quality of the pollster before we get all excited or all pessimistic.

Now, I’m sure we all know that 538 isn’t a polling organization. It’s a pollster analyst, and for all the public sulking and spitting about polling accuracy, 538 has been remarkably accurate throughout its reign. And I am a loyal subject.

Spoiler alert: Monmouth is one of the few pollsters with an A+ rating.



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