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News Summary for Week of July 02, 2020

8/02/2020 0700 HST

Global Covid Cases: 18,134,406

Global Covid Deaths: 690,787

New Deaths: 40,065 average of 5724 per day – this is down slightly from last week’s 6235

US Covid Cases: 4,783,757

US Covid Deaths: 158,094

New Deaths: 8537 average of 1,220 per day, up significantly from last week’s 947

Hawaii Covid Cases: 2197

Hawaii Covid Deaths: 26

Oahu Covid Cases: 1842

577 new cases last week. Average of 82 per day. Currently 902 active cases up from 427 last week.

Other Covid News: Several members of congress were diagnosed with Covid-19. Herman Cain, a prominent former presidential candidate who attended Trump’s rally in Tulsa died of Covid-19. The virus continues to spread in the US at a faster pace. Hundreds of children at a camp in Georgia were diagnosed with Covid but schools continue to rush headlong into opening. Hawaii pushed back the start date. In Indiana on the first day of school, at least one student tested positive – which is a nice catch but how many are missed? Major League Baseball began again and quickly had to shut down games due to many players testing positive. A cruise ship returned to sea and immediately had 36 crew members test positive. Trump administration says to expect about 30,000 deaths in the next month in the USA. Internationally, Brazil, India, Mexico, and South Africa appear to be turning into virus hotspots. Just about everything is Covid news right now, but let’s move on.

BLM and Civil Liberties Protests: The Federal Government agreed to remove Trumps CBP/ICE stormtroopers from Portland and big surprise, the demonstrations once again turned peaceful. The protests are reaching a point where people are losing interest from what I can see. The Federal crackdown re-enlivened them but with that stopping, I suspect that they will dwindle.

Economic News: The $600 supplement was not replaced and nothing has been agreed on to replace the now expired CARES act which boosted unemployment, put moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures, and gave other assitance. The titans of tech were called before congress for a video conference (which lacks all the impact of an actual sitting at those tables) and were grilled for monopoly and exploitation. Then they announced earnings and all earned billions of more dollars. Markets continue to be blown up larger than seems possible. Gold reached an all time new high. Silver is climbing but still sits far below its all time high. Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrency were on a massive tear with Bitcoin passing $12k but then bringing down the entire crypto market in a minutes long flash crash that dropped the price to $10.5k before recovering to about $11.3k. The craziest market on the planet but in the long term, the one that I think will be the most important. Kodak made a deal with Trump to make chemicals for Covid testing and jumped from $3 per share to $36 per share. U.S. GDP lost 31% in the first quarter- far more than during the Great Depression. Unemployment numbers remain in the tens of millions and no relief is in sight. Bankruptcies and permanent closures appear to have accelerated.

Political News: China called out the USA for owing more than a billion dollars to the UN. Trump (after his humiliating Tampa rally where he was trolled by Tik-Tok users and K-pop fans) has said he is going to ban Tik-Tok because it is a national security risk. The RNC has barred the media from the Republican Convention. Trump floated the idea of delaying the election – which it seems certain he would do if he had the power, but we can expcet disruptions even if it does happen.

Severe Weather:

Hurricane Douglas missed the entire Hawaiian Island Chain last week, but it’s early in Hurricane Season. Hurricane I-whatever hit Puerto Rico and the Caribbean but didn’t do enough damage to merit Trump going on a paper-towel throwing mission. It’s lost power and become a tropical storm and will mostly miss Florida. Mother Nature is showing some mercy.

I’m going to take a one week break from Facebook starting now. Why not join me for a Facebook detox?

As always, please comment with any stories I may have missed.

obituaries shananapocalypse

Mr. Roarke is dead!

There will be no more fantasies.

Ricardo Montalban, the Mexican-born actor who became a star in splashy MGM musicals and later as the wish-fulfilling Mr. Roarke in TV’s Fantasy Island and the title character in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan, died Wednesday morning at his home. He was 88.

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News from Sacramento, Portland, Oahu

This catches my eye as I arrive in Sacramento:

George Francis, the nation’s oldest man, who lived through both world wars, man’s first walk on the moon and the election of the first black president, has died. He was 112.

and here is some of that vibe I didn’t like in Portland:

PORTLAND — On the streets of Portland, the brawny twin brothers James and Michael Johnson were known as the “Twin Towers,” 32-year-olds whose mere presence could strike terror among the homeless.
Police say they have linked them so far to five unprovoked assaults against transients at Colonel Summers Park in Southeast Portland, and say they suspect more victims are out there.
“They’re always picking on people who are older and frailer. There’s no fair fights here,” Portland Detective Kevin Warren said. “For the most part, it’s just a beat-down. They’re just beating people up because they’re thinking they’ll get away with it.”
One man sleeping on a park bench was pounded with his own bicycle, and another homeless man who yelled at the twins to stop was stabbed in the leg, police said.
In November, one of them allegedly threw a homeless woman in her 50s down a flight of stairs at the park after she asked them why they attacked the homeless. A witness who tried to intervene was then assaulted.
“I’ve never seen a couple of guys doing serial assaults like this with no apparent motivation … which got us motivated to find and locate other victims,” Warren said.

Meanwhile, back in Hawaii there was a blackout and the Obama girls caused a ruckus:

Barack Obama, trying to enjoy the last semblance of normal life before he becomes U.S. president on January 20, caused a commotion when he took his daughters to a shopping mall in Hawaii on Friday.
It made for a surreal scene — the president-elect, daughters Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, and family friends eating at a table at the mall watched by a crowd of onlookers and surrounded by anxious-looking Secret Service agents.
The agents struggled to hold back people trying to get closer to snap pictures of Obama eating a tuna and melted cheese sandwich and the girls enjoying shave ices, a local treat made from finely shaved ice and fruit syrup.

Anthropology Crime and Punishment making the impossible obituaries possible Uncategorized we know nothing

Mountains that shouldn't be there.

We like to think that science can give us all the answers but sometimes we don’t know as much as we think we do. Take the huge range of mountains that goes across Antarctica and the fact that scientists can’t explain why they are there, they can explain why they shouldn’t be there though.

An Antarctic mountain range that rivals the Alps in elevation will be probed this month by an expedition of scientists using airborne radar and other Information Age tools to virtually “peel away” more than 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) of ice covering the peaks. One of the mysteries of the mountain range is that current evidence suggests that it “shouldn’t be there” at all.

And while the UFO’s that an Australian Psychic predicted would hover over Alabama didn’t materialize, a recently released report shows that U.S. fighters have been scrambled to see UFO’s in Britain.The files are online at:

One pilot said he was seconds away from firing 24 rockets at the object, which moved erratically and gave a radar reading like “a flying aircraft carrier.” The pilot, Milton Torres, now 77 and living in Miami, said it spent periods motionless in the sky before reaching estimated speeds of more than 7,600 mph (12,000 kph).After the alert, a shadowy figure told Torres he must never talk about the incident and he duly kept silent for more than 30 years.His story was among dozens of UFO sightings in defence ministry files released at the National Archives in London.

And here is a story even more bizarre…who the hell would do this?

The Asheville (N.C.) Citizen Times reports, “A dead bear was found dumped this morning on the Western Carolina University campus, draped with a pair of Obama campaign signs, university police said.”
Maintenance workers at 7:45 a.m. found a 75-pound bear cub dumped at the roundabout at the entrance to campus, said Tom Johnson, chief of university police. “It looked like it had been shot in the head as best we can tell. A couple of Obama campaign signs had been stapled together and stuck over its head,” Johnson said. University police called in N.C. Wildlife Resources officials to remove the body and help in the investigation. “This is certainly unacceptable,” Johnson said. “Someone was wanting to draw attention to the election.
“If we find out who they are, we’ll make sure Western Carolina University deplores the inappropriate behavior that led to this troubling incident,” said Leila Tvedt, associate vice chancellor “We cannot speculate on the motives of the people involved, nor who those people might be. Campus police are cooperating with authorities to investigate this matter.”

So, what is real? Can you steal something that doesn’t actually exist in the real world? Apparently you can. You can even get punished for it.

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands – A Dutch court has convicted two youths of theft for stealing virtual items in a computer game and sentenced them to community service.
Only a handful of such cases have been heard in the world, and they have reached varying conclusions about the legal status of “virtual goods.”
The Leeuwarden District Court says the culprits, 15 and 14 years old, coerced a 13-year-old boy into transferring a “virtual amulet and a virtual mask” from the online adventure game RuneScape to their game accounts.
“These virtual goods are goods (under Dutch law), so this is theft,” the court said Tuesday in a summary of its ruling. Identities of the minors were not released. The 15-year-old was sentenced to 200 hours service, and the 14-year-old to 160 hours.

Here is another question that needs an answer since we don’t have one…why are middle aged American white women killing themselves?

U.S. suicide rates appear to be on the rise, driven mostly by middle-aged white women, researchers reported on Tuesday. They found a disturbing increase in suicides between 1999 and 2005 and said the pattern had changed in an unmistakable way — although the reasons behind the change are not clear.

One can certainly speculate…especially about the emptiness of the career track.

Finally, it appears that we are close to the time when we can make cars and planes out of paper. Now who in the world would believe that?

Crime and Punishment obituaries

Unhappy Birthday for Americans- even The Optimists

This is a long article and I am posting it in full below. On another sad note, Larry Harmon, aka Bozo the Clown died on July 3rd. Once my brother and I subsisted on Larry Harmon peanut butter and bread plus coconut rum when we were marooned in the bahamas in squeaking slippers…but that is another story.

Even folks in the Optimist Club are having a tough time toeing an upbeat line these days.

making the impossible obituaries possible

Woman who lived for 58 years in Iron Lung dies during power outage

I post this not because it is sad or ironic, although it is both, but because of the amzing quality of the story. This woman spent all of her life since she was three years old living in this contraption and still managed to graduate high school, take college courses, and get a write a book for children. I wouldn’t imagine anyone would have expected her to go when the power went out, but one has to wonder if she felt relief or sadness or regrets as she left this world.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Dianne Odell, 61, had been confined to the 7-foot-long machine since she was stricken by polio at 3 years old.
Family members were unable to get an emergency generator working for the iron lung after a power failure knocked out electricity to the Odell family’s residence near Jackson, about 80 miles northeast of Memphis, brother-in-law Will Beyer said.
Odell was afflicted with “bulbo-spinal” polio three years before a polio vaccine was discovered and largely stopped the spread of the crippling childhood disease.
She spent her life in the iron lung, cared for by her parents and other family members. Though confined inside the 750-pound apparatus, Odell managed to get a high school diploma, take college courses and write a children’s book.
The iron lung that she used was a cylindrical chamber with a seal at the neck. She lay on her back in the device with only her head exposed, and made eye contact with visitors using an angled mirror above her head. The lung worked by producing positive and negative pressure on the lungs that caused them to expand and contract so that she could breathe.
Iron lungs were first used to sustain life in 1928, and were largely replaced by positive-pressure airway ventilators in the late 1950s. A spinal deformity from the polio made it impossible for Odell to wear a more modern, portable breathing apparatus, so she continued to use the older machine.
It is not known how many polio survivors still use iron lungs, but Odell was believed to have used it for longer than most.
Odell was determined to live a full life — she earned a diploma from Jackson High School as a home-bound student and an honorary degree from Freed-Hardeman College. A voice-activated computer allowed her to write a children’s book, “Less Light,” about Blinky, a tiny star who dreams of becoming a wishing star.
In a 2001 interview with The Associated Press, she said she wanted to show children, especially those with physical disabilities, that they should never give up.
“It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you see someone do the same thing,” she said.


'Father' of LSD dies at 102

NEW YORK (AP) — Albert Hofmann, father of the mind-altering drug LSD whose medical discovery grew into a notorious “problem child,” died Tuesday. He was 102.
Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann, in 1998, long maintained that LSD had many medical uses.
Hofmann died of a heart attack at his home in Basel, Switzerland, according to Rick Doblin, president of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, in a statement posted on the association’s Web site.
Hofmann’s hallucinogen inspired — and arguably corrupted — millions in the 1960’s hippie generation. For decades after LSD was banned in the late 1960s, Hofmann defended his invention.
“I produced the substance as a medicine. … It’s not my fault if people abused it,” he said.
The Swiss chemist discovered lysergic acid diethylamide-25 in 1938 while studying the medicinal uses of a fungus found on wheat and other grains at the Sandoz pharmaceuticals firm in Basel.
He became the first human guinea pig of the drug when a tiny amount of the substance seeped onto his finger during a repeat of the laboratory experiment April 16, 1943.

‘Father’ of LSD dies at 102 –

obituaries other worlds

Edward Lorenz, Father of Chaos Theory- RIP

NEW YORK (AFP) – Edward Lorenz, a meteorologist who became the father of the modern field of chaos theory, died Wednesday of cancer in Massachusetts aged 90, MIT announced Thursday.
A professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Lorenz was the first to identify chaotic behavior in the mathematical modeling of weather systems, in which small differences in a dynamic system, like the weather, “could trigger vast and often unsuspected results,” the university said.


RIP – The Omega Man – Charlton Heston

I’ve always been a big fan of Charlton Heston. One of my all time favorite movies is The Omega Man, a much more campy and fun version of the recent piece of crap “I am Legend”. Maybe I only disliked Legend so much because of my love for Omega Man. Anyway, Charlton Heston was an ardent fighter for civil rights, protecting the freedoms given us in the constitution, and one hell of an over actor. I can only imagine that as he walks through the pearly gates and ST. Peter goes to stop him, he will growl in his best Moses voice “Get your filthy paws off of me you dirty saint” and then will proceed into Heaven clutching his .45, somehow I think not even death will loosen the grip of his cold dead hands. I’ll miss knowing you are out there Chuck. Rest in Peace.

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'Killing Fields' journalist dies

A Cambodian-born US journalist whose enslavement and escape from the Khmer Rouge became the subject of the famous film, The Killing Fields, has died.
Dith Pran died at a hospital in New Jersey from pancreatic cancer at the age of 65, according to his former New York Times colleague, Sydney Schanberg.

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | ‘Killing Fields’ journalist dies