Black Lives Matter and Banksy Has a Boat: What I Learned Today – Monday, August 31

I’m not sure why this is considered such a controversial statement. I have posted it before and have received emails and comments saying “but all lives actually matter,” which, yeah, is kind of the whole point of the Black Lives Matter movement. The slogan doesn’t say “ONLY Black Lives Matter.” The  movement is about equality, not exception. You know, like not getting shot in the back 7 times or being restrained to death with a knee on your neck while white people are allowed to gun people down in the street and walk by police with an assault rifle in hand as people point him out as being a shooter as the police shrug their shoulders and allow him to go on about his business(links to video immediately after the shooting).

Of course, I guess if you do harbor some deeply rooted prejudices or enjoy listening to Tucker Carlson’s nightly show, the White Power Hour, then you would manufacture a reason to object to the indiscriminate state-sanctioned killing of black people by the police.

Or if you happen to be the current President of the United States:

We’re sitting on a tinderbox and Trump’s tweeting out torrents of gasoline.

Trump will be going to Wisconsin on Tuesday to make a bad situation even worse despite the Wisconsin governor and Mayor of Kenosha pleading with him to stay away.

Texas passes 12,500 covid deaths. The US as a whole will surpass 190,000 deaths very soon.

The University of Alabama now has reported over 1,050 new covid cases. And this report is from August 29th.

How bad is Ron DeSantis of Florida?  Well, stats show that Florida had an increase of 950% of covid cases after he reopened the state.

Twitter has removed a post a QAnoner tweeted about there actually being only 9K deaths from covid, not nearly 190,000.  This wouldn’t really be something that would make the news except that it was retweeted by the President of the United States trying to push more batshit insane lies about this very dangerous and lethal pandemic.

Herman Cain’s twitter account which is either being run by his family, his sycophants, or his reincarnated corpse, tweeted how covid really isn’t that deadly, despite Cain, you know, dying from it:

Banksy is funding a rescue boat for refugees in the Mediterranean sea.

The boat, named the Louise Michel, was bought with proceeds from some of the Bristol street artist’s works.

It has already carried out a number of rescue missions, taking on board 89 people from a rubber boat on Tuesday, according to its Twitter account.

The vessel features a painting depicting a young girl holding on to a heart-shaped safety float.

The Louise Michel is named after a 19th Century French anarchist and is captained by a professional crew with a “flat hierarchy and a vegan diet”.

The vessel’s mission statement is “to uphold maritime law and rescue anyone in peril without prejudice”.

“We on board the Louise Michel believe we are all individuals, nationality should not make a difference to what rights one has and how we treat each other,” it says on its website.

“We answer the SOS call of all those in distress, not just to save their souls – but our own.”


A redditor’s garage light is taken over by wasps to build their nest and it doesn’t look scary at all:

Somebody had their drone above the ceiling limit and it nearly collided with a helicopter.

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Chroma Key Dresses and Kayaking in Chile: What I Learned Today – Friday, August 28

Last night I received an email saying that I had logged into my spotify account from Israel. I’m fairly certain I’m not in Israel right now.   I immediately had all spotify locations locked out while I changed my password.  While doing that I got another email from  gmail saying that a device from Morocco attempted to log in. Not taking any chances, I spent the rest of the night changing the passwords on all of my accounts associated with my email address.  Which as it turns out, is quite a few! And I’m sure I missed one or two that I don’t use any longer. For example,  I was about to fall asleep when I got a two-step identity test for BackBlaze, a cloud backup service that I used a few months ago.  Better to be safe than sorry so I got out of bed and changed the password on that as well.  And as I was in computer security hell, worried about my info and accounts, feverishly trying to remember which accounts were tied to my email, the thought passed through my head that it could be worse, and I could be watching the Republican National Convention.

Right Melania?

Wearing a chroma-key colored dress is always a bold move:

Looks like the Trump campaign forgot to buy the domain name Also, having a slogan “Keep America Great” while police are shooting black people in the back when they aren’t kneeling on their necks as protests erupt and rage through our cities while a pandemic burns through the country after having killed more than 185,000 people with no end in sight and as millions of people lose their jobs every single month as everybody associated with your administration is charged with crimes as you sit impotently on your toilet rage tweeting about how some people don’t like you, is quite the rallying cry.

This is a really good point so the media probably won’t cover it:

Kanye West is also breaking campaign finance law. But I guess if Trump can pay hush money to a porn star who he cheated on his wife with, then not many people are going to pay much attention to this either.

Cases of Covid are picking up now in Spain and France.  Spain had an uptick of 9,600 cases in the last 24 hours and France had over 6,000.

University of South Carolina is considering closing down campus after their covid cases doubled in a day. Who thought that this covid thing would be so catchy all of a sudden?

Kayaking the rio Claro river in Chile looks like one amazing experience:

Serious Eats has a post with 10 jam recipes. Homemade jam is a lot easier to make then most people think.  It gets a bit tricky if you want to preserve it of course (there are a few more steps to sterilize the jam properly) but whenever I have made homemade jam, it rarely has last longer than a couple of weeks in the fridge because it’s so good I can’t stop slathering it on everything.  (Apple season is upon us and I usually make a big batch of apple butter. Not sure if it’s technically a jam or not but it sure in hell isn’t butter)

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What I Learned Today – Thursday August 27

Athletes are protesting the police killings by refusing to play. There seems to be some confusion if the teams are striking for the rest of the NBA playoffs, or a few games. The Trump Admin seems to be treating this as shitty as you would expect them to:

This is harsh, but fair:

We can’t trust the CDC. It has completely bowed to Trump.  First, the head of the CDC admitted that he got pushed into going along with Trump’s plasma treatment and now the CDC has changed their testing guidelines claiming that testing is not needed on asymptomatic people.

And the timing of this is suspicious since Dr. Fauci was having surgery at the time:

The thing I will take away from all this, if I survive 2020, is how quickly all of our institutions folded and went along with anything Trump said.

This visitor had the decency to ring the doorbell:

(Do they live on a highway or something?  Those cars are screaming by.)

Playing Flight of the Bumblebee on a toy piano at different tempos. Wow.

Drinking Bleach and the 15-Foot Penguin: What I Learned Today – Wednesday August 26

I woke up thinking that it’s Friday.  It is not Friday.  It’s not even Thursday. And even if it were the weekend, it’s not like there’s much to do outside of the house anyway. So I have no point. But the heat wave has broken and it’s only going to be in the 70s today. My brain stops working at about 84 degrees F (That’s 29 for those of you with socialized healthcare) so let’s get this day started.

The GOP is just one non-stop troll-a-thon at this point:

Trump used the White House as a backdrop for the RNC last night doing several things that are shady if not downright illegal and in violation of the Hatch Act. I’m up for impeaching him again.  I’m sure that he’ll face harsh repercussions  for….  oh nobody seems to give a shit anymore. Nothing matters if a republican does it.

46 North Texans poisoned themselves when they listened to Trump’s covid cure and did some bleach shots.  I won’t tell you what my reaction was to reading this but will say that by most metrics, I’m probably a terrible person. But you knew that already.

There’s trolling and then there is this guy who is the master of all trolling. He made a 30lb cast-iron three-toed pair of shoes, would take them onto a boat to get out to shallow water where he would slip his iron shoes on, and then walk out onto the beach swinging his leg as far as he could to make six-foot strides as he strolled for two miles in order to convince beachgoers and townsfolk that there was huge penguin in the vicinity. Somewhere out there, Andy Kaufman is in awe.

Paris has a lot of fake buildings.  Most of them are ventilation shafts designed to blend into the surroundings without being an eyesore. This Youtuber takes on a tour of a few of them.

Here’s another YouTube video with the fake buildings of New York City:

Artist James Gurney, who has one of my favorite YouTube channels, paints a Grumman LLV, better known as a USPS Delivery truck.


What I Learned Today – Tuesday August 25

Art. It’s been helping me during the pandemic to deal with the uncontrollable.  Poems.  Literature. Paintings. I developed a love for art quite late by most standards. In college I was purely tech, studying programming languages, math, physics. I never had time for art. As I have grown older, I have come to appreciate reading poetry, letting the words paint pictures or standing in front of a painting, allowing yourself to get lost in the artist’s world.

Since I can’t visit a museum anytime soon, art blogs have become that outlet.

An Unoriginal Blog talks about Gustave Caillebotte’s Paris Street: A Rainy Day:

There is a .41% chance that we may get hit with an asteroid on November 2nd, the day before the election. And sure, why not? An asteroid crashing into the planet could potentially be the second worst thing that would happen that week.

Oh, we’ll survive it. Bummer.

The Univ. of Alabama has reported 566 covid cases since last week. So, opening up colleges are going about as well as expected.

Another Trump supporter has resigned (twice in one day!) in shame and disgrace. Honestly, whenever I see a Falwell in the news, my eyes kind of glaze over and I want nothing to do with whatever story is going on.  He is a homophobe christian nutbag who is a huge Trumpy so a fresh batch of schadenfreude cookies are in the oven for anybody who wants one:

I did not watch the Happy Fun Racist and Felon Variety Show Republican Convention which means I missed out on this magical moment:

Hurricane Laura is forecast to hit the Gulf Coast as a category 3 storm. Be safe!

John Oliver takes a look at the progress of Trump’s Border Wall which is going about as well as Trump’s casinos, Trump wine, Trump university, Trump steaks, Trump Airlines, Trump vodka, Trump mortgages, Trump Ice, Trump magazine, Trump’s football team, Trump’s tv network, Trump’s presidency…

Food52 has a list of 23 slow cooker recipes up for fall. It’s still a bit too hot here for anything too heavy but bookmarking this for when the weather starts to change in a few weeks.

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Monday, August 24 – The GOP is Totally Trump now and Bill Murray is Art

It’s Monday and the beginning of the last full week of August. Usually, I would be happy that August is over since Autumn is my favorite time of year by far. But given schools opening up and this country absolutely refusing to fret about a little ol’ pandemic, I’m not as enthusiastic about what September will bring. 181,000 deaths now if you’re still counting.

South Korea is warning that it’s on the brink of another nationwide pandemic with 397 new covid cases.  To put it in perspective how differently they are handling it compared to the US, we had 40,000 new cases Saturday and aren’t even breaking a sweat about it. (But Chris, the US has a bigger population.  Ok, fair enough, Florida’s population is less than half of Korea’s, and they had 3,000 new cases alone and that was actually a good day!)

A man driving by a Univ. of Kansas COVID Party (technically, ALL parties are covid parties whether they are intentionally trying to spread the disease or not) and the weird part happens after somebody throws his drink on the driver:

Kellyanne Conway is leaving the White House to “focus on her family” after her 15-year-old daughter says she is seeking emancipation from her parents. This could actually be true but given that Kellyanne has lied about everything in the last 4 years, call me skeptical to believe that anything that goes on in her world isn’t manufactured to maximize exposure and profit. I also see a lot of people with the “families are off limits so leave Kellyanne alone” position, which is  fair. Although considering that she enthusiastically defended children being ripped from their parents for crossing a border while seeking asylum, well I’m a little less empathetic about her family’s dirty laundry being twitter fodder. Personally, I wish the best for her daughter and hope we never hear from Kellyanne Conway again. (Spoiler warning: Oh, we sooooooo will see her and hear from her again. And soon. And as a media darling who selflessly gave up her high powered career to care for her daughter only to return with a book, talk show, movie deal and Senate candidacy.)

The Republicans have decided that their platform is just to do whatever Trump wants, whenever he wants it and if you have any other questions tough.

In most political presidential conventions, the nominee gives a speech on the last night, having been built up over the previous three or four days. Trump has announced he will be speaking at the Republican National Convention every. Single. Day.  Fasten your seatbelts and remove the bleach from drinking distance, this could will get weird really fast.

This is not a good answer from Biden:

The Dems and Joe probably should have a better solution than relying on the American people to get Trump out of office if he loses the election. And what does this even mean?  Storm the White House?  Angry tweets?

Matt Shirley asks his Instagram followers to name the worst tourist attraction in their state.

So Plymouth Rock is the worst one for MA. And yeah, I guess one would call it disappointing if they expected it to do more than sit around, like most rocks do. But it’s a rock. It says it’s a rock in the title. There’s even a nice canopy over the rock where one could go (free of charge mind you) to gaze down with starry eyes over the mighty stone before turning to a companion and saying “oh, it’s indeed a rock. Let’s go get a lobster roll.”

An artist transposes Bill Murray’s face on famous paintings and it works!