Simple Minded Monthly Recap-ITATION! – April 2020

PASO DEL NORTE-CENTRIC NEWS

EVEN A GLOBAL PANDEMIC CAN’T KEEP SAN ELIZARIO DOWN – The City of San Elizario has been ahead of the curve when it comes to urban agriculture and their City-To-Table program was one of the best urban garden programs in the region before the pandemic hit us all.  Not to be deterred, San Elizario has launched the City-In-A-Box program that will give every household in the city the opportunity to have their own mini-garden at home to grow desert-friendly vegetables.  The kits they are giving out for free include a 2×2 raised bed, soil, seeds and instructions.  So if you live in San Elizario, make sure to contact the city’s Urban Agriculture Department and start your own little farm.  (elpasoheraldpost.com)

TONY THE TIGER IS IN EL PASO TO HELP FEED THE HUNGRY.  WE ARE SAVED! – Among the many issues the pandemic and lockdown have brought to the region, food scarcity is one of the bigger ones.  Fortunately, El Pasoans Fighting Hunger has been doing all they can to make sure everyone that needs help can get food for their family.  And now they have the combined might of Tony The Tiger and the National Guard to make sure even more food is distributed to the community!  I was a bit disappointed to see that Tony The Tiger was not wearing a face mask while giving out food, but I assume cartoon tigers are immune to this virus.  I still love you, Mr. Tiger.  (elpasoheraldpost.com)

MINOR LEAGUE SPORTS MAY BE OFF THE MENU FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE, BUT OUR LOCAL SPORTS TEAMS HAVEN’T FORGOTTEN ABOUT US – In an effort to boost morale and show solidarity with the community, local professional sports teams have come together to showcase a message of hope for the region.  The Bravos De Juarez, El Paso Locomotive and El Paso Chihuahuas have joined forces and will be lighting up their stadiums and showing positive messages on their video boards in a show of solidarity between communities on both sides of the border.  The first event was livestreamed on April 29 and the next one will occur on May 6 and will also be shown on the team’s respective internet outlets.  We miss you too, Chico The Chihuahua.  (cbs4local.com)

HAPPY TRAILS TO OUR GREATER MOGOLLON FRIENDS LOST IN APRIL – Butterfield Trail Golf Club is officially closing as the City of El Paso tries to find ways to NOT lose money.  Municipal golf courses aren’t that profitable during times of prosperity and are a giant albatross around the neck during borderline economic recessions.  The course was out in the desert and never really made any money for the city, so its closing was sort of predictable.  But fret not, the course is very good and there is hope that a developer will end up buying it for pennies on the dollar and finally develop the area around Butterfield Trail.  The airport has a bunch of land it doesn’t need and maybe this will lead to more sales and development on these vacant lands.  (cbs4local.com)

REST OF THE WORLD-CENTRIC NEWS

PROBLEM SOLVED, EVERYONE!  IF WE JUST DRINK LYSOL WE CAN KILL THE CORONAVIRUS.  WE ALSO DIE IN THE PROCESS, BUT AT LEAST THE VIRUS IS KILLED AND WE CAN “REOPEN THE ECONOMY” – The COVID-19 Pandemic is still raging across the globe and Donald Trump is still babbling on like a dementia-riddled old man.  This month, Dr. Donald Trump gave us his ideas on using disinfectants and UV rays in fighting the virus in a rant that was incoherent and stupid even by Trump’s standards.  The only reason he is so desperate to “cure” the disease is because his entire re-election hinges on the strength of the economy – Donald Trump could care less if average people live or die.  Amazingly, the idiot has managed to turn “reopen the economy” as a campaign slogan even though the economy is already open and is just limiting non-essential businesses.  As long as Wal-Mart and Amazon are open, THE ECONOMY IS FUCKING OPEN.  Hell, Wal-Mart and McDonald’s are hiring at this moment!  If you are a shuttered business owner and you need cash you can go there.  But at least we now have a scapegoat for the overinflated economy’s collapse.  Now every shitty business that goes under can claim the coronavirus.  (bbc.com)

FOR IT’S NEXT TRICK, OIL WILL NOW GO TO A NEGATIVE VALUE AND PEOPLE WILL STILL THINK THAT IT IS A GREAT INVESTMENT FOR THE FUTURE – They finally did it.  Oil producers have kept putting product on the market despite low demand and now we are at a point where they will pay people to take the oil due to storage issues.  This unprecedented phenomenon occurred this month when WTI oil contracts for April were about to be closed and traders were scrambling to sell them off.  Unlike stocks, when you buy commodity contracts on the market you have to either sell them off or actually pick up the product or pay a fee when the contract comes to term.  Oil prices have stabilized now, but the roller coaster will continue until the middle of May when the contracts start hitting the month’s deadline and all hell breaks loose when they realize that the storage and demand isn’t there for the oil they keep pumping.  Though rest assured, the Fed is working overtime to figure out a way to use their magic money printing machine to inflate this commodity as well.  (Bloomberg.com)

YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE BIG TO BE TOUGH.  MEET THE HERO SHREW, THE ANIMAL WITH THE WORLD’S STRONGEST BACKBONE – Scientists have begun to unravel the secrets of the interlocked vertebrae of the hero shrew that allows it to withstand an amazing amount of pressure for an animal of its size.  A new study has come out that sheds more light onto the inner workings of this amazing animal.  The hero shrew is so tough that there are stories of full grown men stepping on them with no damage to the little shrew.  Thankfully, that experiment was not repeated for these studies.  So grow a backbone and be strong like the hero shrew.  It might be small, but the hero shrew is tougher than most.  Go read the full report for more detailed info on this fascinating little mammal.  (sciencenews.org)

 

Simple Minded Monthly Recap-ITATION! – March 2020

PASO DEL NORTE CENTRIC-NEWS

WE ARE ALL AWARE OF THE PANDEMIC THAT IS OFFICIALLY TAKING OVER THE WORLD.  NOW IS THE TIME FOR ALL OF US IN THE GREATER MOGOLLON REGION TO COME TOGETHER AND HELP OTHERS – COVID-19 has reached El Paso and the surrounding areas and, although things aren’t as bad as other parts of the world, we can’t let our guard down.  In addition to health issues, the pandemic and its related lockdowns are financially hurting many unprepared businesses and individuals.  Kudos to the Paso Del Norte Community Foundation and all the other local organizations and individuals that are donating money and food to help the community in this time of need.  If you have the means to do so, please help out your fellow citizens.  Every little bit helps.  Together we can get through this safely, no matter how long it takes.  (cbs4local.com)

SO IF KILLER VIRUSES WEREN’T ENOUGH, NOW WE HAVE EARTHQUAKES TO WORRY ABOUT.  WHAT’S NEXT?  VOLCANOES?  GODZILLAS? – A magnitude 5.0 earthquake struck between Pecos and Carlsbad this month and was felt here in El Paso.  Although not a terribly big tremor, it was felt by many people in the region and was a reminder that, although we are not in a major seismic zone, the surrounding area is prone to a tremor every now and then.  But at least the nearby volcanoes are still dormant – so we got that going for us.  But let’s not jinx it.  (cbs4local.com)

LOOKS LIKE THEY’RE MAKING PROGRESS IN STOPPING THE DUST STORMS OF DEATH THAT BLOW ACROSS I-1O NEAR LORDSBURG.  AT THE VERY LEAST THEY ARE TRYING TO MAKE THE DUST STORMS IN THE AREA LESS DEADLY – If you’ve ever driven along I-10 in the playa area near Lordsburg during any type of storm, you know that visibility can drop at a moment’s notice.  Since 1980, 117 major crashes have been caused by dust storms in the area resulting in 41 deaths and countless road closures.  Various government agencies have been working on making this stretch of road safer and NMSU researchers have made great progress in monitoring the area.  Working together, the hope is to create an early warning system for severe dust storms that can turn deadly and cause major accidents.  It’s a start and hopefully the dust storms around the Lordsburg playas will no longer be a deadly threat to drivers.  (elpasoheraldpost.com)

S-H-E-N-E-L-I IS HOW YOU SPELL ‘WINNER’ – Congratulations go out to Sheneli De Silva from Mesita Elementary for winning the 2020 El Paso region spelling bee.  It looks like the Scripps National Spelling Bee might be canceled, but maybe they’ll make a digital version so that kids like Sheneli can battle it out for the national crown.  Either way, Sheneli is the English spelling master of the Greater Mogollon region for 2020 and even a major pandemic can’t take that away.  (elpasoheraldpost.com)

REST OF THE WORLD-CENTRIC NEWS

MARCH 11, 2020 WILL BE LOOKED BACK ON AS THE DAY THAT SHIT HIT THE FAN FOR MOST PEOPLE AND WHEN THEY FINALLY STARTED TAKING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC SERIOUSLY – The COVID-19 pandemic is still going strong and will be with the world for the foreseeable future.  On March 11, three things happened that finally made people see that this was a serious issue that was not just happening in foreign lands.  First, the NBA postponed the remaining games of the season after Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz tested positive for the virus just before their game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.  The situation was surreal as officials stopped the game before tipoff and left everyone scratching their heads wondering what was going on.  Eventually other sports would follow the NBA’s lead and virtually all events with thousands of spectators have been postponed since.  Also on this day, it was announced that Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson had both been infected by the coronavirus while in Australia.  If wealthy celebrities could get the disease it was now apparent that no one was safe and that everyone was in danger of getting the disease.  Finally, March 11 was the first time that Donald Trump addressed the nation on the serious nature of the disease after weeks of downplaying things and saying it was nothing more than a “little flu”.  And now here we are, waiting for the worst to pass us by so that we can try to cope with a virus that will be a part of our lives for the next couple of months – if not years as the 1918 influenza pandemic showed us.  (Bloomberg.com)

WE ALSO HAVE AN OIL CRASH IF ANYONE IS NOTICING – The price of oil has crashed to prices not seen in decades and the prices look to collapse even lower.  Unlike the stock market and other parts of the economy, the government can’t really prop up oil and inflate this sector as much because if you buy oil you eventually have to store it somewhere.  The government has been buying up oil as a form of welfare for the oil industry and now we find ourselves in a situation where storage space is running out and there is no demand to process the oil.  So things will only get worse from here.  But hey, maybe if we “open up the economy” again by letting shithole bars and restaurants in the middle of bumfuck towns operate at 50% we can “save the economy”.  Sure more people will die, but at least Donald Trump can point to the clown world numbers in the stock market and claim he’s doing an excellent job and thus deserves to get re-elected.  (bbc.com)

EVEN A GIANT CLOUD OF DEATH HAS A SILVER LINING – UN Security-Gerneral  Antonio Guterres has called for a global ceasefire for all conflicts around the world due to the giant pressing issue that is engulfing the world at the moment.  Normally the UN has very little pull, but it appears most warring factions around the world are taking heed and looking at declaring a ceasefire until the COVID-19 pandemic passes or it kills off their enemies.  So it looks like the coronavirus has given us a brief taste of world peace.  Someone give that precocious little virus the Nobel Peace Prize.  (businessinsider.com)

WE POUR ONE OUT TO THOSE WE LOST IN MARCH – This pandemic will claim a lot of lives in the coming months.  We remember all those that died this month and the countless lives that will be extinguished by this global pandemic.  Stay safe and hunker down, everyone.  This will be a long fight.

 

Simple Minded Monthly Recap-ITATION! – February 2020

PASO DEL NORTE-CENTRIC NEWS

THE NEW WILLIAM BEAUMONT ARMY MEDICAL CENTER IS FINALLY COMPLETE.  FOR REAL THIS TIME! – After what felt like decades and over a billion dollars later, the new William Beaumont Army Medical Center on the far east side of El Paso is finally complete.  The building is now officially “done” and it will open its doors later this year once the hospital is “outfitted” and is determined to be in operating condition.  The VA will now be able to better serve El Paso area veterans and is a big upgrade from the old William Beaumont Center.  And remember, all the delays and cost overruns were not because the building will also serve as a top secret government facility involving aliens.  That’s just a silly conspiracy theory.  Wink Wink (cbs4local.com)

MONTANA VISTA IS GETTING A SEWER SYSTEM AND IS GETTING ONE STEP CLOSER TO BEING A LEGITIMATE CITY!  ALL THEY HAVE TO DO NOW IS INCORPORATE AND THEY CAN GET EVEN MORE PUBLIC SERVICES IN THEIR AREA – We normally don’t hear much news from Montana Vista, but it looks like there is some good news afoot for the community in the far, far east area of El Paso County.  Montana Vista is finally getting a sewer system thanks to the help of various government agencies and community outreach.  This will help development and health in the area greatly and the community might just take the next step to becoming a legitimate town sometime in the near future.  And according to the plans it looks like there will be some rather deep manholes in the system that will be filled with giraffes and other large animals.  So it looks like Montana Vista might get a zoo as well.  Good show, Montana Vista.  (elpasoheraldpost.com)

ZUILL BAILEY DAY IS THE HOLIDAY YOU NEVER KNEW YOU NEEDED – The City of El Paso has just given the Conquistador Award (the highest honor the city gives out) to internationally renowned cellist Zuill Bailey.  In addition, the city proclaimed February 4 to be Zuill Bailey Day.  The cellist and music instructor is perhaps the most renowned musician in the Greater Mogollon region and has won numerous awards and has contributed to the community in many ways to numerous to list.  Let us all celebrate Zuill Bailey Day by listening to cello music and getting hammered – it’s the El Paso way.  (elpasoheraldpost.com)

HAPPY TRAILS TO OUR GREATER MOGOLLON FRIENDS WE LOST IN FEBRUARY – Wolves usually get a bad wrap, but the El Paso Zoo has done a good job educating the public about them with their Mexican Gray Wolf exhibit.  Zephyr, a 14-year old gray wolf, was euthanized by the El Paso Zoo due to health issues this month and it was a great loss to the zoo family.  The outdoor music festival market is a bit oversaturated at this point and the latest casualties are Music Under The Stars and the Las Cruces Country Music Festival.  Both fests were run with the help of local government agencies and the costs associated with the fests were too much to justify continuing with the projects.  Though they could have just focused on local artists and been fine, they would not have been the big events that people are used too.  Maybe one day the fests will come back in another form.  But for now the festivals will only take place in music festival heaven.  (elpasoheraldpost.com / cbs4local.com)

REST OF THE WORLD-CENTRIC NEWS

WELL, THIS DOESN’T LOOK GOOD – The artist formerly known as the Wuhan Virus has an official name now thanks to the World Health Organization and will henceforth be officially known as COVID-19 as caused by coronavirus.  The infections seems to be growing substantially and we now have major clusters popping up in Italy and Iran.  Things aren’t looking too good at the moment, but this is a great opportunity for anybody who has ever dreamed of doing a real-world reenactment of 12 Monkeys.  (bbc.com)

ARROKOTH THE CELESTIAL SNOWMAN IS JUST FULL OF SURPRISES – The New Horizons spacecraft flew by Pluto and then later passed by the Kuiper Belt orb Arrokoth on its way to further deep space exploration.  The spacecraft passed by Arrokoth over a year ago but scientists are still receiving and analyzing data from that spectacular visit to the Kuiper Belt orb.  Arrokoth was found to have a snowman shape as a result of two orbs fused together and now scientists are determining how the odd little snowman came to be.  The preferred theory for the formation involves a low speed collision that was as slow as 2 miles per hour, but I like to think it was fused together by aliens creating an art installation in the Kuiper Belt.  Who knows what other secrets the Kuiper Belt snowman holds for us?  (popsci.com)

THESE COLORS DON’T RUN ……. UNLESS DONALD TRUMP COMMANDS A ONE-SIDED PEACE TREATY AND RETREAT – After more than a decade of pointless fighting in Afghanistan by the American government, Donald Trump and company have announced a “peace treaty” with the Taliban in Afghanistan.  The treaty pretty much offers the Taliban free reign while the United States removes all troops from the region – all while the Taliban offers minimal-to-zero concessions to the Afghan government and America.  So basically the Taliban won the “War On Terror”.  Congratulations, Taliban!  Have fun destroying Afghanistan all over again!  (npr.org)

WE POUR ONE OUT TO THOSE WE LOST IN FEBRUARYKirk Douglas was a Hollywood Legend who not only excelled in front of the camera but was an instrumental force behind the scenes on many classic movies.  He passed away this month at the age of 103 and leaves a cinematic legacy that few will ever match.  His legend will live on via his family and the countless people that were influenced by his work.  Lee Phillip Bell passed away this month and she will now go up to the big soap opera in the sky.  She is best known as being the co-creator, along with her husband William J. Bell, of the long-running soap operas The Young And The Restless along with The Bold And The Beautiful.  Most people don’t give soap operas the respect they deserve and just write them off as trivial throwaway entertainment.  But soap operas have been offering some of the best character development and plots for decades and the recent surge in serialized television owes a great deal of gratitude to soap operas.  Lee Phillip Bell was a true pioneer.  Robert Conrad was best known for his iconic TV roles, but was an accomplished actor who had an amazing career that spanned decades.  He will always be remembered for his lead roles on The Wild Wild West and on Baa Baa Black Sheep and is an icon of the early years of television’s rise.  Rest in peace, Robert Conrad.  (deadline.com / Bloomberg.com)

 

Simple Minded Monthly Recap-ITATION! – January 2020

PASO DEL NORTE-CENTRIC NEWS

I’LL TAKE A LUCKY GUESS AND ASSUME THAT THE NEW RIDE WILL HAVE THE WORDS ‘SPLASH’, ‘WET’ AND/OR ‘SPLOOGETASTIC’ SOMEWHERE IN THE TITLE – Wet ‘N’ Wild Waterworld is building a new ride for the coming summer season and it promises to be their biggest ride yet.  A groundbreaking ceremony was held this month – complete with frog mascot – and park officials are optimistic about what the new year will bring.  The ride hasn’t been named yet and there are scant details on what the actual ride will look like, but the water park promises to drop hints on the new ride in the coming weeks.  (elpasoheraldpost.com)

TORNILLO IS FINALLY GETTING A PUBLIC PARK!  GOOD TO SEE THE EL PASO COUNTY GOVERNMENT FINALLY NOTICED THERE IS LIFE BEYOND SOCORRO ON THE EASTSIDE – The El Paso County Government along with Tornillo ISD have come together to build Coyote Park in Tornillo.  The park is named after one of the most dangerous things in the immediate vicinity of the park area – apparently Redneck Rapist Park was already taken.  Coyote Park will feature many amenities including new trees, trails, playgrounds and sidewalks and will connect with the $2.1 million hike and bike trail that will one day stretch from Alameda to Aguilera International Highway.  Now that El Paso County is finally showing some efficiency, maybe they can build some more parks in Fabens, San Elizario, Sparks, Clint and some of the other communities in the county.  (elpasoheraldpost.com)

THE BILLY ABRAHAM BOOZE IMPLOSION – Just days after getting probation for his skeevy business dealings, Billy Abraham decided to fight the system by getting drunk and driving to the El Paso Times building to yell at the newspaper.  It appears he wasn’t yelling at any specific person but at the newspaper itself.  I guess he was mad at the media but sort of chose the most irrelevant form of journalism he could find in this day and age.  Needless to say, he was arrested for drunk driving because he was visibly perturbed, parked incorrectly and the influence of booze was obvious to everyone at the scene.  Most people would just be sent to jail after doing something like this while on probation, but Billy Abraham will just get an award and live to drink another day.  (kvia.com)

HAPPY TRAILS TO OUR GREATER MOGOLLON FRIENDS LOST THIS MONTH – January saw long time El Paso Zoo tiger Melor pass away after living a long life.  She was brought to the El Paso Zoo in 2001 and was beloved by many from the very beginning.  This month also saw Monsignor Francis J. Smith leave this world at the age of 85.  He served the El Paso community for decades, including 29 years at St. Raphael Parish.  Happy trails, friends.  (elpasoheraldpost.com)

REST OF THE WORLD-CENTRIC NEWS

WUHAN!  THEY GOT YOU ALL IN CHECK – Looks like the Wuhan Coronavirus is a lot tougher to control than originally thought and now we have cases popping up in different places around the world.  The Chinese government has practically shut down the country and isolated all of Wuhan and Hubei province but it seems like that wasn’t enough to keep the virus from spreading from the hot zone.  Technology is way more advanced today than what our ancestors had on hand during the bubonic plague/Black Death and the 1918 Influenza Pandemic.  So this will hopefully be stopped or somewhat controlled ……. I hope.  (bbc.com)

IN MORE SIGNS OF IMPENDING ARMAGEDDON, A RATHER LARGE VOLCANO IN PHILIPPINES IS THREATENING TO BLOW UP – The Taal volcano in the Philippines has been very active lately spewing tons of ash and lava in the surrounding area as scientists fear the eruptions will only get bigger.  The volcano is in a highly populated area and less than 100 miles from Manila.  Taal has already disrupted the lives of millions of people and the hope is that it doesn’t go off in a giant mega explosion.  Because a much bigger eruption would be very, very bad for the area.  (nature.com)

IN OTHER NEWS, AUSTRALIA IS STILL ON FIRE – The brushfires that have been raging across Australia continue to burn, with the southeast portion of the country getting some of the most vicious fires.  The ecological disaster is already one for the record books and the social and economic impact is also quite massive.  The only thing that will stop this is eventual rains or if the fire just gets bored after burning the entire country to the ground.  Stay safe, Australia.  (npr.org)

WE POUR ONE OUT TO THOSE WE LOST IN JANUARY – One of the most shocking events this past month occurred when NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter and others died in a helicopter crash just north of Los Angeles.  The loss was unexpected and the outpouring of grief has been massive around the world.  Fans of Lamb Chop and Shari Lewis would be saddened to know that Lan O’Kun has passed away.  He was vital in helping create the songs and stories of the Lamb Chop extended universe and with his passing only Lamb Chop and her other puppet friends remain as part of the original team.  Fortunately, Lamb Chop and her puppet friends are in good health and will outlive us all.  In January we also saw some great musicians, performers and writers pass away including Buck Henry, David Olney, Harriet Frank Jr. and Mary Higgins Clark.  Rest in peace, friends.  (deadline.com)

 

 

Simple Minded Weekly Recap-ITATION! – 12/27/2019

PASO DEL NORTE-CENTRIC NEWS

AFTER OVER 100 YEARS, WHITE SANDS WILL FINALLY BE A NATIONAL PARK – Due to land issues and multiple agreements, White Sands has only been classified as a national monument and has never received the full national park treatment.  But that should all change in 2020 as recently passed legislation in Washington includes a designation for White Sands to become a national park.  There will be a land-swap with the White Sands Military Base as part of the agreement, but as long as there is no environmental harm in this land deal it should be a win-win for everyone.  White Sands National Park has a nice ring to it.  (elpasoheraldpost.com)

THEY SAID IT COULDN’T BE DONE, BUT EL PASO CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL HAS FINALLY TURNED A PROFIT!  HOORAY! – After around 7 years, and a bankruptcy, El Paso’s Children’s Hospital turned a profit for the first time in fiscal year 2019.  The hospital was expected to lose close to $4 million this year, but instead brought in a tidy $2.6 million in profit.  The hospital is on track to pay off its bankruptcy and will use the sudden influx in cash to expand services and help even more children – which is exactly what a children’s hospital should do instead of losing tons of money.  What a difference competent leadership and rigorous oversight can do for an organization.  (cbs4local.com)

NEVER CHANGE, EL PASO – Santa Claus celebrated Christmas this year in typical El Paso fashion by being stranded in traffic on I-10.  He was witness to a minor traffic accident that then turned into a foot chase along I-10 when an off-duty officer and other bystanders subdued the guy who crashed into multiple cars.  Naturally, the overtime commandos of the El Paso Police Department shut down the freeway for hours because even fender benders deserve full blown investigations – it’s not because they want to rack up easy overtime hours, honest.  (kvia.com)

REST OF THE WORLD-CENTRIC NEWS

WHAT BETTER WAY TO SAY GOODBYE TO 2019 THAN WITH YET ANOTHER DEADLY GIANT WHIRLY STORM – Another deadly typhoon has struck the Philippines and, sadly, the world will continue to see more of these deadly storms in greater frequency in the years to come.  Typhoon Phanfone made landfall over the Christmas holiday and the storm has so far claimed the lives of 28 people.  It wasn’t the biggest storm to hit the Philippines this year, but that’s just because many large storms hit this season.  Goodbye 2019, we hope for less storms next year but know that will probably not be the case.  (bbc.com)

BELOVED STAR BETELGEUSE MIGHT EXPLODE INTO A SUPERNOVA ……. SOMETIME IN THE NEXT 100,000 YEARS – The media has been abuzz this week as news spread that Betelgeuse, one of the brightest stars in the night sky and a part of the Orion constellation, has been dimming at an alarming rate over the past few months.  Though the star normally varies in brightness, the substantial drop in brightness was rare and led to speculation that the star was dying and on the verge of exploding as a spectacular supernova.  Scientists aren’t exactly saying that an explosion is imminent, but it does appear that the star will probably go boom in the next couple of thousand years.  Or perhaps it already has exploded and we still haven’t seen it because light from the red supergiant takes about 600 years to get here.  Regardless, if we do see the explosion in our lifetime it will produce an amazing visual in the night sky that will be very memorable.  None of the effects of the explosion will be felt on earth, however.  But maybe the scientists are lying to us and super gamma radiation is on its way and that’s why they raided the solar observatory in Cloudcroft last year.  Just playing ……. or am I?  (universetoday.com)

HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM SIMPLE MINDED ENTERTAINMENT.  NEW AND BETTER THINGS ARE ON THE HORIZON – Just want to wish everyone a Happy New Year and hope you keep on periodically perusing our website.  Next year should bring some new and improved changes and perhaps some new features.  Starting next month we’ll be doing the Recap-ITATION! on a monthly basis, so we’ll see you in 30 days for a recap of what we found important/amusing/perturbing for January.  Happy Holidays one and all.  (simplemindedentertainment.com)

 

Simple Minded Weekly Recap-ITATION! – 12/20/2019

PASO DEL NORTE-CENTRIC NEWS

IN THE CITY OF EL PASO’S DEFENSE, THE CITY GOVERNMENT CAN BARELY MANAGE THEIR CURRENT PRIORITIES.  YOU REALLY WANT THEM OWNING AN ELECTRIC COMPANY? – The greedy fuckers at El Paso Electric have decided to sell out to the even greedier fuckers at JP Morgan and now we will have a completely privatized electric company.  The City Of El Paso had a shot to buy it and turn it into a municipal utility, but it just didn’t make much sense financially.  Even though virtually every other government group in the region wanted to block the sale, the City Of El Paso had the final say and decided not to risk their finances on owning a public utility.  So now we are left at the mercy of a private company to manage our electricity and, judging by privatized companies in the past, we’ll be lucky if they leave the headquarters in El Paso and only raise rates by a couple dozen percentage points.  (cbs4local.com)

THE PONIES ARE BACK JUST IN TIME FOR THE HOLIDAYS! – Horse racing is back at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino starting on December 26.  This will be the 61st season of racing at the track and will run through April 21, 2020.  As always, the highlight of the race schedule will be the Sunland Derby at the end of the season but many big purse races will also take place from now until April.  So go cheer on your favorite ponies and jockeys at the track and make some money in the process.  (elpasoheraldpost.com)

GOOD SHOW, EL PASO SYMPHONY – Starting in 2020, the Tocando after school music project will expand to Tornillo Elementary School.  The program is sponsored by the El Paso Symphony and provides instruments and instruction to students from low-income schools.  The program currently serves Aoy and Hart Elementary as well as Guillen Middle School and the Young Women’s Academy.  This is a great program that provides music opportunities to student’s that would not regularly get a chance to seek out musical extracurricular activities.  It’s good to see Tornillo get some love.  (elpasoheraldpost.com)

REST OF THE WORLD-CENTRIC NEWS

THE LATEST UN CLIMATE SUMMIT IS REACHING THE END AND REMARKABLY LITTLE HAS BEEN ACCOMPLISHED.  BUT AT LEAST THE ATTENDEES GOT A NICE CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST OUT OF THE DEAL – The Chile-hosted climate summit (that was moved to Madrid, Spain for rioting reasons) is about to close and the developed world and the developing world are as far apart as before.  So basically the big and rich countries don’t care anymore and just want to make as much money as possible before shit really hits the fan and small countries – particularly island nations – want something done immediately because they are already getting screwed over by rising sea levels.  As it stands, we’re all sort of fucked and it appears that climate change is here to stay and temperatures will keep on rising because there is very little that can actually be done in today’s political environment.  But at least rich people will be able to make even more money.  (reuters.com)

AUSTRALIA IS HOTTER THAN HELL AT THE MOMENT.  LITERALLY HOTTER THAN HELL – A massive heatwave is hitting Australia at the same moment that large brushfires are burning across New South Wales.  It was so hot in Australia that the record for hottest day ever was broken on Tuesday and then again on Wednesday as the average maximum temperature in the nation reached 41.9C (107.4F) – or an average summer day in El Paso.  So the fires and heat rage on as the forecast shows little cold/rain relief in the forecast.  (bbc.com)

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!  AS AN EARLY CHRISTMAS PRESENT, THE IDIOT DONALD TRUMP HAS JUST BEEN IMPEACHED! – Christmas is next week, so be sure to enjoy time with your loved ones as you eat tons of food, get lots of presents and watch a bunch of Star Wars movies.  As an early present, Congress finally impeached Donald Trump for only a few of the corrupt things the idiot has done while in power.  Unfortunately, the Republican controlled Senate – led by Mitch McConnell and other bootlickers – are already on their knees ready to suck Donald Trump’s dick and let him go free once the Senate trial begins.  But at least history will know how horrible Donald Trump is as he becomes only the 3rd  American president in history to be impeached.  MERRY CHRISTMAS!  (bbc.com)

 

Simple Minded Weekly Recap-ITATION! – 12/13/2019

PASO DEL NORTE-CENTRIC NEWS

ALL HAIL TONY THE TIGER.  HE HAS DETHRONED OSCAR LEESER AS THE KING OF THE SUN BOWL AND WILL NOW RUN FOR MAYOR OF EL PASO – The Sun Bowl is now the Tony The Tiger Sun Bowl and this year the match up will feature Arizona State Vs. Florida State.  This is a solid match-up and will be the first time in over 50 years that Florida State has played in the Sun Bowl.  The game will be played at noon on December 31 and will be broadcast on CBS.  Get your tickets now and make Tony The Tiger proud.  (elpasoheraldpost.com)

SANTA KHALIDAUS STRIKES AGAIN – Among all the local organizations that hand out toys and gifts for the less fortunate in El Paso, The Great Khalid Foundation is one of the most memorable ones.  Every year since his rise to fame, Khalid and the foundation led by his mother has given out toys to various schools throughout the region.  This year, The Great Khalid Foundation chose Whitaker Elementary as one of the schools they would surprise this year and every student received a present.  Kudos to Khalid and everyone else in the region who gives a little extra during the holidays.  (elpasoheraldpost.com)

IF EVERY OTHER RANDOM EVENT CAN BE A LEGITIMATE HIGH SCHOOL COMPETITION, THEN REBOTE HAS EVERY RIGHT TO BE RECOGNIZED.  NEXT STOP, COMPETITIVE SYNCHRONIZED LOWRIDER HYDRAULIC SHOWS – Recently, Bowie High School hosted one of the first high school Rebote tournaments that featured teams from Chapin, Jefferson as well as Bowie.  The inaugural championship was won by the team from Chapin and we hope this is the first of many officially sanctioned Rebote events in the region.  Although many people are not familiar with the sport, it’s in the same family as Squash which is a fully sanctioned international sport.  And would it kill them to make high school e-sports an actual thing – video game nerds need a shot at highs school glory too.  (elpasoheraldpost.com)

REST OF THE WORLD-CENTRIC NEWS

AND THE SLOW MOTION CAR WRECK KNOWN AS BREXIT LOOKS TO BE HEADING TO ITS INEVITABLE CONCLUSION – The Pro-Brexit conservative party has won a majority in the UK election and now Boris Johnson will finally sign off on the amazingly shitty exit deal that they were able to negotiate.  The UK will now be at a worse economic position on the global stage and will have to renegotiate trade deals from a weaker position.  But at least they get to stick it to the immigrants and liberals!  This is what it must feel like to look at Donald Trump and his stupidity parade from the comfort of a foreign country.  It’s only funny when you’re not in the middle of it.  (bbc.com)

SAUDI ARABIA NOW HAS EVEN MORE MONEY!  IT’S ALWAYS NICE WHEN THE POOR UNDERDOG FINALLY MAKES IT – As Saudi Arabia sees the writing on the wall regarding the future of oil, it has decided to privatize some of its oil assets in order to “cash out” and raise funds for non-energy investments.  Last week, Saudi Aramco raised over $25 billion in its initial offering and the company is hovering around the $2 trillion valuation.  Meanwhile in America, the idiots are doubling down on “muh oil” and fracking the shit out of everything to sell barrels of oil below the breakeven price.  But once the oil sector implodes we can just rely on “the internet” and the “thoughts and prayers” sectors to prop up the economy.  (bbc.com)

IT’S THE GOLDEN AGE OF THE MILF!  WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE – A study by the Pew Research Center has found that 23% of children in America live in single parent households.  That rate is the highest in the world and is around 3 times larger than the global rate of 7%.  Most of these are single mom households and America is leading the way in milf-appreciation and milf hunting activities.  Long live the milfs!  (pewresearch.org)

 

Simple Minded Weekly Recap-ITATION! – 12/06/2019

PASO DEL NORTE-CENTRIC NEWS

FAREWELL, SILVA’S SUPERMARKET.  YOU ARE A SEGUNDO BARRIO INSTITUTION AND YOU WILL FOREVER BE MISSED – Sad news was revealed this week when the Silva family announced that their landmark store and business would be shutting down on December 31, 2019.  The store was started in 1918 under the El Faro name by Jose Felix Silva and for over 100 years it has served Downtown El Paso in an ever evolving business model that spanned multiple locations and various names.  According to the owners, they just wanted to retire and the newer generation of the family did not want to continue the store and were unwilling to sell to another non-family ownership group.  Silva’s provided a great service to the Segundo Barrio and was an icon of independent business ownership throughout the region.  Where will the cholo’s buy their tall boys now?  Will someone please think of the cholos!  (cbs4local.com)

HOORAY FOR ELECTRIC BUSES!  A NEW HYBRID ELECTRIC BUS LINE WILL CONNECT EL PASO TO SUNLAND PARK AND BEYOND.  ELECTRIC BUSES WILL SAVE US ALL! – In an attempt to increase connectivity and public transit options between El Paso and Southern New Mexico, the South Central Regional Transit District has announced expanded projects thanks to funding from the El Paso Metropolitan Planning Organization.  The plans include purchasing two hybrid-electric buses to improve service on the upgraded Yellow Route connecting El Paso and Sunland Park.  In addition, enhanced service will be provided on the Purple Route that connects Las Cruces, the communities in Southern New Mexico and El Paso.  Now if we could only get a train line to connect El Paso and Las Cruces and everything in between.  (cbs4local.com)

ALL THAT MUSIC & VIDEO IS TRULY THE LITTLE RECORD STORE THAT COULD – Perhaps the most well known record store in the greater Paso Del Norte region, All That Music is announcing expansion plans for 2020.  The business has been open for decades and George Reynoso has led the business through the ups and downs of the music industry including the digital wave that destroyed the majority of record stores and physical media sellers throughout the world.  In 2020, All That Music will move its main retail operations to a space at The Fountains but will keep its current location as a retail warehouse that will process online orders and give visitors a chance to browse through their massive used music/movie collection.  And for fans of selling and trading, don’t fret; it appears the much loved sell/trade option will still be alive and well at the warehouse location.  So support your local businesses and go buy some kick ass vinyl at All That Music.  (elpasoheraldpost.com)

REST OF THE WORLD-CENTRIC NEWS

JUST IN CASE ANYONE HAS FORGOTTEN, INDIA IS STILL FUCKING OVER KASHMIR FOUR MONTHS AFTER THEIR “SECURITY TAKEOVER”.  JUST A REMINDER – While most of the international news focuses on what is happening in Hong Kong or the Earth’s inevitable climate collapse, it should be noted that four months after stripping Kashmir of its autonomy and taking over for “security reasons” – the people in Kashmir are basically prisoners and don’t even have internet access, among other things.  The right wing nationalist nut jobs in control of the Indian government think this is great because it buys votes from the ignorant and makes them feel like tough guys for invading someone else’s land and calling it their own.  Hell, if other Frankenstein countries like Brazil, Russia, China and the U.S.A. can do it – why not India?  So Kashmir continues to be isolated and now most of the people will lose their WhatsApp accounts.  WhatsApp is basically the only form of reliable communication in most underdeveloped areas where the government doesn’t particularly care about infrastructure or freedom or anything besides bribery and exploitation.  (bbc.com)

YUP, WE’RE FUCKED – The once mighty Victoria Falls is now a mere trickle as the increased frequency of droughts and changes to the rain pattern have taken their toll on the amount of water feeding the Zambezi river and the waterfalls.  The drought this year is one of the worst in the last 100 years and most of southern Africa is feeling the pain.  Climate change cannot be blamed for individual instances of drought and specific events such as this one, but the increased frequency of droughts and low levels of rain can be attributed to climate change and things will only get worse.  If this can happen at the mighty Victoria Falls, what chance do the rest of us have?  (reuters.com)

THIS IS HOW SYFY CHANNEL MOVIES USUALLY START.  COMING SOON ……. POLAR BEAR APOCALYPSE! – Thanks to melting sea ice and warmer temperatures, polar bears are traveling farther south in search for food.  The Russian village of Ryrkaypiy has recently been visited by over 50 polar bears this year and authorities are fearful that the visits will increase and somebody will get hurt.  On the bright side, most people thought that the melting arctic ice would kill off all polar bears.  But now we know that they will move to Russian villages where they will drink vodka and complain about the world around them.  Meanwhile – in Derbyshire, England – swans go house by house and knock on the doors asking for food.  The swans aren’t forced into town by warmer temperatures, they just find it easier to waddle around asking people for food.  Invasion Of The Derbyshire Swans isn’t a particularly scary movie.  (bbc.com)

 

Simple Minded Weekly Recap-ITATION! – 11/29/2019

PASO DEL NORTE-CENTRIC NEWS

DAMN!  TXDOT HAS A GOOD IDEA FOR ONCE.  THE END OF THE WORLD MIGHT BE COMING SOON – As a result of all the pedestrian safety issues along Mesa in the Kern Place/Cincinnati/UTEP party zone, txdot has unveiled preliminary plans for a pedestrian deck that stretches across North Mesa.  The street itself will tunnel under the pedestrian deck to allow pedestrians to simply walk from one side of the street to the other with minimal change in grading.  A pedestrian bridge across North Mesa has also been suggested in the past for this area, but history and studies show that people are too fucking lazy to climb stairs and would rather risk their lives than add a few extra steps to their journey.  This is just preliminary and part of the 20 year plan for Mesa, but it’s a start and is a much needed improvement after all the countless pedestrian casualties that have happened in that area over the years.  We don’t say this often – but good show, txdot.  (cbs4local.com)

MORE PEOPLE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT BUDDY WANZER AND HIS IMPACT ON THE LAS CRUCES CINEMATIC SCENE.  AND NOW PEOPLE WILL GET A CHANCE TO SEE HIS MOST MEMORABLE MOVIE ON THE BIG SCREEN! – Orville “Buddy” Wanzer was a pioneer in the region’s movie-making scene and an underrated icon in the Las Cruces community.  In addition to creating films, he was also a professor at NMSU who encouraged the art of cinema in the region.  Wanzer’s “The Devil’s Mistress” was an acid western made in 1965 and was the first documented feature length movie to be created and produced in Las Cruces.  That movie will be screening next week at the Rio Grande Theatre in Las Cruces as a memorial to Buddy Wanzer and as a way to raise funds to finish a documentary on his work.  Buddy Wanzer passed away earlier this year but his legacy will live on and hopefully more people will become familiar with his work.  (elpasoheraldpost.com)

MAYBE IF WE GIVE THEM ANOTHER HALF A BILLION DOLLARS, THE EL PASO POLICE DEPARTMENT CAN JUST CREATE A GESTAPO AND KILL EVERYONE IN THE CITY.  THAT WILL SOLVE ALL THE CRIMES! – It says a lot about the local media, and local bootlickers in general, that KVIA was the only news organization to make a major story out of the video of an El Paso police officer threatening to kill a civilian because he made a stupid comment.  But the worst thing about this has been the official police response that blamed the guy who was threatened because he didn’t report a naked guy running in the street.  Apparently he should have been a psychic and known that the guy was high on drugs and had just attacked his kids inside his house.  How can the EPPD do its job when civilians aren’t psychics?  That’s just too hard.  And worst of all, the civilian “insulted the badge”.  Oh no, he insulted the badge.  How will the badge survive such trauma and pain.  Who will explain to the badge’s wife and little badge children that the badge was insulted and died of emotional injuries.  Oh, the horror!  Naturally, nothing will come of this and the cop will just get a slap on the wrist – if anything – while the city gives them hundreds of millions of dollars with no accountability.  The guy that mouthed off to the cop was a moron, but that’s no excuse for a public servant that gets paid to carry a gun to threaten to kill him.  That’s not how a public servant should act.  (kvia.com)

REST OF THE WORLD-CENTRIC NEWS

ALBANIA IS NOT EXACTLY KNOWN AS A HOTBED OF SEISMIC ACTIVITY, BUT WE WERE REMINDED THIS WEEK THAT MAJOR EARTHQUAKES DON’T ALWAYS HAPPEN ALONG ULTRA-ACTIVE FAULT LINES – A 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck Albania on Tuesday and the tremor caught many by surprise.  The death toll is at 30 but that number is expected to rise.  Most of the major damage occurred in the cities of Durres and Thumane with scenes coming out of the area showing many collapsed buildings.  Building standards in Albania are not at the same level as can be found in major earthquake zones and that is one of the factors that contributed to the heavy damage.  Stay safe, Albania.  (bbc.com)

WELL, THAT SEEMED LIKE A FUN THANKSGIVING VOYAGE FOR MOST OF THE PEOPLE IN AMERICA – Large winter storms hit the western part of the United States earlier this week and have trudged eastward over the course of the week.  In their wake they have left delayed flights and closed roads that have had knock-on effects from coast to coast.  So if you didn’t have to get out of your house this week and travel, lucky you.  Who says being a shut-in with no family doesn’t have its benefits.  (reuters.com)

ACCORDING TO BRAZILIAN IDIOT AND APPARENT PRESIDENT, JAIR BOLSONARO, LEONARDO DICAPRIO IS FINANCING THE FIRES IN THE AMAZON IN ORDER TO GAIN PUBLICITY FOR ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES. THAT’S NOT A JOKE, THE PRESIDENT OF A COUNTRY ACTUALLY SAID SOMETHING THAT STUPID – So Leonardo DiCaprio is an arsonist and environmentalists are burning down the Amazon in order to get more money to use in stopping the destruction of the rainforest that they are burning down.  Yup, that sounds like a pretty solid conspiracy theory – not at all stupid.  At least we now know that right wing nutjobs around the world are all equally vapid and moronic.  Meanwhile, the world is approaching multiple climate change tipping points and we are all pretty much fucked.  Maybe we can blame this one on other random Hollywood celebrities as well.  (reuters.com/discovermagazine.com)

 

Simple Minded Weekly Recap-ITATION! – 11/22/2019

PASO DEL NORTE-CENTRIC NEWS

TREES!  LIGHT PARADES!  LITTLE TRAINS!  ICE!  YES, IT IS TIME FOR DOWNTOWN WINTERFEST! – The annual Downtown El Paso winter festival is back again this year and it is bigger than ever.  The downtown event that expanded on the tree lighting started back in the late ‘90s, by my estimates, and it has slowly become one of the better family traditions in the area.  This year the decades old tree lighting ceremony will be accompanied by the now traditional light parade.  In addition, the Downtown Winterfest will continue through the new year with vendors, an ice skating rink and a little train near the Plaza De Los Lagartos festival area.  So embrace the cold and head to Downtown El Paso and welcome even colder temperatures.  (elpasoheraldpost.com)

I THANK THE NATURALLY OCCURRING LITHIUM IN THE GREATER PASO DEL NORTE REGION’S WATER SUPPLY FOR THE LOW LEVELS OF DEPRESSION.  SWEET, SWEET LITHIUM – A new study has found that El Paso has the second lowest rate of depression among mid-size cities in the United States and is in the top 20 overall among all cities.  Though the study isn’t part of a major scientific research project, it’s still nice to see El Paso come among the top-tier in lists like this.  There are many factors that contribute to El Paso’s good mental health ratings, but I’m just going to give 100% credit to the lithium in the water supply.  Thank you, lithium.  (cbs4local.com)

LET’S BUILD A CHIHUAHUAN DESERT EXHIBIT INSIDE OF A ZOO THAT’S IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CHIHUAHUAN DESERT! [MIND BLOWN] THE EL PASO ZOO IS THE MOST META ZOO IN THE UNIVERSE – Although at first glance it seems a bit absurd that a zoo in the Chihuahuan Desert spent millions on a Chihuahuan Desert exhibit, the fact that the exhibit will focus on preservation of local species makes it all worth it.  There are many species in our surrounding desert – including Mexican grey wolves, mountain lions, jaguars and parrots – that are threatened and some that are practically extinct in certain areas and this new zoo section will bring awareness to all the amazing animals that live in the desert and perhaps create an opportunity to re-introduce these species back into the wild.  They also have a Copper Canyon themed rope course so you can make a fool of yourself when you realize just how out of shape you really are.  Let’s protect the Chihuahuan Desert.  (elpasoheraldpost.com)

REST OF THE WORLD-CENTRIC NEWS

IF EBOLA DOESN’T KILL YOU IN THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, THE MEASLES WILL AT LEAST FUCK YOU UP A LITTLE MORE.  SEE KIDS, THAT’S WHY VACCINES ARE IMPORTANT – More than twice as many people have died from the measles virus as have died from the Ebola outbreak in DR Congo in this year alone.  Around 250,000 people have been infected this year alone and the epidemic has been compounded by a shortage of vaccines and attacks on medical personnel.  If there’s a silver lining it’s that if the Ebola virus didn’t destroy DR Congo, no virus known to man will ever cripple it completely.  (bbc.com)

HONG KONG IS STILL A MESS AND IT LOOKS LIKE CHINA IS JUST GOING TO LET THE WHOLE COMMUNITY IMPLODE AS IT SLOWLY TAKES IT OVER FROM WITHIN – The unrest continues in Hong Kong as elections loom next week.  Protesters are being arrested, including young students, and it looks like China is more than happy to let the territory tear itself apart as it gradually turns it into official China province #1194583.  And regardless of the results of the election, the world will just wag their finger and won’t do anything else because trying to force China to do the right thing is as pointless an endeavor as getting Russia or America to do the right thing and not be selfish.  (bbc.com)

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! – It’s Thanksgiving next week, so have fun with your family that you only see once or twice a year and try not to get too wasted and argue with your loved ones.  And if you’re going to the Sun Bowl Thanksgiving parade be safe and be on the lookout for the Dragons Of Thrones float by the Delta Academy – this one wasn’t built with taxpayer money!  See that, El Paso County government?  (elpasoheraldpost.com)