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)

 

Simple Minded Weekly Recap-ITATION! – 11/15/2019

PASO DEL NORTE-CENTRIC NEWS

UTEP IS MANUFACTURING SUCCESS ……. LITERALLY! – $70 million has been approved at the state level for UTEP to expand on its additive engineering and rocket research programs.  The money will be used to build a new facility for the Center For Advanced Manufacturing And Aerospace and to update UTEP’s aerospace research facilities at the old Fabens Airport.  The projects will support work in high tech fields that constantly need new employees and UTEP will be helping fill the need for these jobs in the future.  To infinity and beyond, UTEP.  (cbs4local.com)

JEFFERSON HAS A NEW PAIR OF MASCOTS THAT DOESN’T INVOLVE A TRANSFORMER LOWRIDER.  WHEN WILL A CENTRAL EL PASO SCHOOL FINALLY ACCEPT FATE AND CHOOSE A TRANSFORMER LOWRIDER AS A MASCOT? – Please welcome Jeffrey and Sylvia Fox to the El Paso mascot community.  The Jefferson/Sylvia mascots have cool new costumes that replace the old ones that have been around for years.  Jeffrey is a classic red fox and a boy, while Sylvia is a silver fox and a girl wearing a pink skirt.  The new costumes look great and Jefferson should be proud of their new ambassadors.  Though if they wanted to be completely accurate; the silver fox should be a retired body shop owner who works out a lot, is recently widowed and now spends all his cash at strip clubs.  Becoming a silver fox is the only way to retire.  (elpasoheraldpost.com)

IT’S GOOD TO SEE THAT THE CITY OF EL PASO GOVERNMENT TAKES THEIR MARCHING ORDERS FROM WAL-MART.  HEAVEN FORBID THE CITY NOT BE BEHOLDEN TO CORPORATE INTERESTS – The City Of El Paso recently moved the makeshift memorial in honor of the victims of the August 3 terrorist attack from its natural site on the road behind Wal-Mart to the nearby, and  out of the way, Ponder Park.  It’s only a coincidence that the city moved the memorial a few days before Wal-Mart rushed its reopening just in time for Black Friday.  It’s not like the city bent over backwards for a large corporation that has been largely indifferent to the terrorist attack.  Wal-Mart is also building a memorial for the victims, but that won’t be completed by Black Friday because memorials don’t sell Chinese goods at enormously marked up prices and thus can’t turn a profit.  ALSO, DON’T FORGET TO SHOP AT THE CIELO VISTA WAL-MART – IT HAS REOPENED AND HAS SPECIALS FOR ALL!  This message has been approved by the City Of El Paso.  (elpasoheraldposst.com)

REST OF THE WORLD-CENTRIC NEWS

I THINK THIS IS HOW WATERWORLD STARTED.  NICE KNOWING YOU, VENICE – Flooding in Venice, Italy has reached near record levels and 80% of the city was flooded at one point this week.  The flooding was a result of storms and a wind-aided tide that raised the high tide to a near record 187 cm on Tuesday, just below the 194 cm reached in 1966.  Although global climate change cannot be blamed for causing this specific event, the rising temperatures globally are having a chaotic change in global weather patterns that will make events like this the norm and not just a “once in a generation” event.  In fact, of the top ten high tides that have hit Venice since records began in 1923, around half have occurred in the past decade or so.  So while climate change isn’t creating monster storms, it is creating conditions that make them more frequent.  Visit Venice while you can before Kevin Costner buys it and turns it into Waterworldland.  Kevin Costner was right all along.  (bbc.com)

I THINK I’VE READ THIS BOOK BEFORE.  I BELIEVE IT WAS CALLED HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES UP TO 1900 – As the world’s attention regarding China focuses on Hong Kong and its trade war with the U.S., China has been using the distractions to expand its program to move thousands of the Uighur population away from their homeland.  The Uighurs are an ethnic minority in China that are predominantly Muslim and live in the northwest portion of the country.  The Chinese want to drive them out of their homeland and have been settling the area with ethnic Han Chinese for decades.  Reservations, internment camps and settlers sent to forcibly replace a population – where have we seen that before?  Hmmmmm?  In a perfect world the Uighurs would gain their independence and a portion of northwest China and Central Asia would be set aside to form a new nation.  But the world we live in is not fair and we’ll be lucky if a couple hundred Uighur are alive a hundred years from now and the Chinese government is “fair” enough to “allow” them to have a casino on their own land.  Then the government can capitalize on their greed and create a bullshit blood quantum gatekeeper to ensure that the tribe becomes inbred and ends up disappearing entirely in a few generations.  At least China learned from the best.  (independent.co.uk)

THE HISTORY OF PLAGUE IS ALMOST AS EXCITING AS THE HISTORY OF HUMANS – New research has found that Yersinia pestis, the delightful bacteria that causes plague, has been found in humans for thousands of years before the first major plague was recorded.  Overall, the plague is believed to have claimed the lives of over 200 million people over the course of human history and is quite the nasty infection.  Discover Magazine has a great summary of the plague’s history and the most up to date research that is showing us just how far back it has harmed humans, so go check it out and learn about our deadly little friend.  (blogs.discovermagazine.com)

 

Simple Minded Weekly Recap-ITATION! – 11/08/2019

PASO DEL NORTE-CENTRIC NEWS

HOORAY!  NEW MEXICO STATE UNIVERSITY IS #710! – U.S. News And World Report just released their annual list of the best universities in the world and NMSU came in at #710 of the 1,500 universities that made the cut.  Considering all the universities in the world, this is quite the accomplishment.  UTEP didn’t even make the list, so we’ll assume that they are number #10,000 or something.  Or maybe they’re so awesome that they can’t even be ranked.  Congratulations NMSU you are a great university and some of your programs have been acknowledged as world class.  In our hearts your Green Chile Agricultural degree will always be the greatest education program in the universe.  (elpasoheraldpost.com)

AFTER DECADES OF DOMINATING EL PASO’S AIRWAVES, ESTELA CASAS IS MOVING ON TO A NEW CAREER – Estela Casas announced her retirement from KVIA this week as she embarks on her new career as Executive Director of the University Medical Center Foundation.  Estela has become the face of TV news in the region and she will be missed by all.  But don’t worry about her, she has a new career now and will do much more meaningful work as leader of the charitable arm of UMC/Thomason Hospital.  Even though the ownership group had turned KVIA into a right wing mouthpiece (like most other local stations), Estela Casas was always a professional and reported on stories without bias.  This is a big loss for KVIA and we will see how they respond once general manager Kevin Lovell removes his mouth from Donald Trump’s dick while prominent Texas right wing nut jobs cheer him on.  Estela will finish out the year at KVIA and will begin her new endeavor in 2020.  Godspeed, Estela.  (kvia.com)

DIG A LITTLE DEEP AND HELP A CITY OUT – El Paso Giving Day, the holiday created by the Paso Del Norte Community Foundation to get El Pasoans to donate money before they blow it all on Black Friday, will take place again this year on November 14.  The early giving period has already begun and the donations currently outpace the rate of giving seen in other years.  This year matching funds will be provided by Wal-Mart – and its $1 million match – along with other organizations.  So make sure to donate to your favorite local charity now or on November 14 and keep making El Paso a great place to live.  (elpasoheraldpost.com)

REST OF THE WORLD-CENTRIC NEWS

EVO MORALES MAY HAVE JUST OVERESTIMATED HOW MUCH THE PEOPLE OF BOLIVIA LOVED HIM.  SPOILER ALERT:  IT APPEARS THE MAJORITY OF THE COUNTRY LOATHED HIM ENOUGH TO RIOT – Almost all of Bolivia is being gripped by protests and riots after Evo Morales got cute in the last election.  During the first round of elections last month, the vote count mysteriously stopped for almost a day and then it was announced that Evo Morales won the 1st round of voting by more than 10% – thus avoiding a run-off election.  The funny thing is that Evo Morales would have probably won the run-off election in a landslide so he didn’t really need to dick around with the first round of voting.  But I guess he got cocky after he basically annulled term limits and was on his way to becoming dictator for life.  Congratulations, Venezuela.  You are no longer the biggest clusterfuck in South America.  We now wait anxiously to see if Argentina or Brazil take the bait and do something amazingly stupid in the coming week.  (bbc.com)

NOT TO BE OUTDONE BY CALIFORNIA, AUSTRALIA IS ALSO ON FIRE – Dozens of large bushfires are burning around New South Wales and Queensland states in Australia as evacuation orders have been given to thousands of residents.  Much like California; dry conditions, crazy winds and unbridled development are the root cause of the fires that will only be exasperated in the future by climate change.  Unlike California, Australia has precious kangaroos and koalas that can’t run away from the fires.  Will someone please help the kangaroos and koalas!  (reuters.com)

IT’S SINGLES DAY ON MONDAY (11/11), THE CHINESE HOLIDAY INVENTED TO CELEBRATE BEING SINGLE AND WASTING MONEY.  IT’S ALSO VETERAN’S DAY.  HOORAY, CAPITALISM WON! – Have a safe weekend and have fun with whatever you have planned for this Monday’s Veteran’s Day and/or Singles Day.  Veteran’s day celebrates all the members of the armed forces present and past who have mainly fought in America’s wars to spread Western values, like capitalism, around the world.  Meanwhile, Singles Day is a Chinese holiday that started out as a way for college students to celebrate being single (11/11 is just a bunch of lone ‘1’s) and that later evolved into Alibaba’s shameless celebration of Chinese consumerism and capitalism.  Who says America’s push for Western ideals hasn’t had an impact globally.  (bloomberg.com)

 

Simple Minded Weekly Recap-ITATION! – 11/01/2019

PASO DEL NORTE-CENTRIC NEWS

HUGS NOT WALLS IS THE MESSAGE THE WORLD NEEDS TODAY – After a bit of a delay, the annual Hugs Not Walls event was held on the Rio Grande along El Paso and Juarez.  Even after all the bullshit that the Trumpublicans have done to the nation, it’s good to see that this event is still going strong.  It only lasted for a few minutes but 300 families had the chance to meet face to face after being separated by antiquated immigration laws.  Maybe one day North America will be advanced enough to become something similar to the European Union where commerce and people flow freely with maximum economic output, but I’m not holding my breath.  (elpasoheraldpost.com)

WE ALL NOW THAT EL PASO HIGH’S R.R. JONES STADIUM IS THE BEST HIGH SCHOOL STADIUM IN THE WORLD.  NOW LET’S MAKE IT SEMI-OFFICIAL – USA Today has an online poll for best high school football stadium in America and El Paso High’s R.R. Jones Stadium has made the championship round.  The stadium was up against mostly large stadiums that don’t really have any aesthetic value outside of size so it should be a cinch for the stadium to win.  Regardless, go to the website and vote to make it known to everyone that our stadium rocks.  It’s the best and we really don’t need a USA Today poll to prove it, but winning would be pretty cool.  (cbs4local.com)

A SUPER LIGHT SHOW IS COMING TO CONNECT EL PASO AND JUAREZ WITH THE POWER OF PHOTONS!  AS LONG AS IT INVOLVES LAZER TAG AND/OR LIGHTSABERS, I AM IN – The Border Tuner art installation doesn’t launch until November 13, but their website is already up and is accepting submissions to provide “community voices”.  The art installation will feature lights and audio to create a visual connection between El Paso and Juarez right on the Rio Grande near Bowie High.  The entire art project will run for 12 days starting on November 13 and will feature various artists from around the region and the world.  The art installation provides a message of unity that we all need right now and looks to be a very impressive project.  So go check it out!  (elpasoheraldpost.com)

REST OF THE WORLD-CENTRIC NEWS

THE POLLUTION IN DELHI, INDIA IS REALLY BAD RIGHT NOW.  A LOT WORSE THAN NORMAL AND THAT’S PRETTY FUCKING BAD – The pollution in Delhi has reached such a severe level that classes have been canceled until next week and all construction in the region has been halted.  The current level for particulate pollution is about 20 times the World Health Organization allowed maximum, so things are pretty bad.  The Indian government is busy pointing fingers at each other and nothing will really be done to stop the pollution.  India is currently the poster child for unbridled capitalism and even though it has resulted in some tremendous economic growth it has come at a high price when it comes to the environment and income equality.  But hey, everyone in India is getting cell phones and streaming entertainment.  Who cares if they don’t live long enough to enjoy it.  (bbc.com)

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE MONTREAL EXPOS FOR WINNING THEIR FIRST WORLD SERIES.  FELICITATIONS! – In true Halloween spirit, the Montreal Expos went into this year’s World Series dressed up as the “Washington Nationals” and won the championship in 7 games.  The series was surprisingly exciting and featured no wins for the home team over the entire series.  Kudos to the Expos and may they have continued success in the future.  (sbnation.com)

DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME HAS ENDED.  DON’T FORGET TO “FALL BACK” – Remember to turn back the clock one hour on Sunday at 2 AM, unless you live in a weirdo place like Arizona that doesn’t believe in things.  This is a special time of the year where you get an extra hour to party at bars as the 2 AM last call magically turns into 1 AM.  Just don’t forget to change your clock; because you’ll end up showing up early to church or work or school or some other thing instead of staying home and getting an extra hour of comfy sleep.  Don’t miss out on the free sleep!  (cbs4local.com)

 

Simple Minded Weekly Recap-ITATION! – 10/25/2019

PASO DEL NORTE-CENTRIC NEWS

THE PLAYA DRAIN TRAIL HAS QUIETLY BECOME ONE OF THE MOST IMPRESSIVE PUBLIC WORKS PROJECTS IN EL PASO.  WHO NEEDS LOUD FANFARE WHEN QUIET EFFICIENCY GETS THE JOB DONE – The Playa Drain Trail project started a few years ago with the first phase of the project that created a trail from Ascarate Park to Riverside Park.  Since then, another phase was completed that connected Ysleta to Capistrano Park.  Multiple local agencies are now working together to get public input on how best to build phase 2 of the project that will connect Riverside with Ysleta and create a continuous 8.4 mile multi-use trail from Ascarate to Capistrano Park.  Who knows, maybe one day they’ll create a super trail that will connect all the communities of the Greater Mogollon region from the middle of New Mexico down the Rio Grande into west Texas.  Kudos to the Paso Del Norte Health Foundation and all the other local government agencies for working together to get this done.  (elpasoheraldpost.com)

JEFFERSON HIGH SCHOOL IS GETTING RENOVATIONS.  I’LL BE REALLY DISAPPOINTED IF THEY DON’T BUILD TWENTY REBOTE COURTS AND A GIANT STATUE OF A CHOLO – As part of EPISD’s last mega bond election Jefferson High School and Silva Magnet will be getting extensive improvements.  The project just started construction and is expected to be completed sometime in 2022.  The $36 million project includes a new 3-story building, new sports facilities and extensive renovations.  Jefferson hasn’t seen any major construction in a while so it’s nice to see them get something new.  (cbs4local.com)

GET WELL SOON, JUNO THE ELEPHANT – This week, Juno the Elephant at the El Paso Zoo successfully completed a 4th cancer treatment.  She was diagnosed with a malignant growth in 2016 and has been receiving treatment ever since.  Juno is 52 years old and, because of her age, zoo staff has pursued a less aggressive plan to treat her cancer.  So far the growth has been controlled and has not become too much of a threat.  The growth might never fully be eliminated, but here’s hoping that Juno can still live a long and productive elephant life.  (elpasoheraldpost.com)

REST OF THE WORLD-CENTRIC NEWS

AMERICA REALLY FUCKED THE KURDS.  THANKS, DONALD – Of all the stupid ass things that Donald Trump has done (and he’s done plenty of stupid ass shit), betraying the Kurds in Syria was perhaps the biggest cunt move he has ever pulled.  After helping American forces fight the daesh in Syria and giving America a foothold in the region over the past few years, the Kurds have been abandoned by America.  American forces have simply tucked their tail between their legs and run away because Daddy Putin willed it.  The great dealmaker Trump basically gave Turkey and Russia everything they wanted and got nothing in return.  If Obama would have done anything this shameless and stupid, Republicans would have already removed him from office and shot him into space.  So now America has lost influence in the Middle East and our allies will never trust us because America’s word is worthless as long as Republican cowards are in office.  Nice going, Donald.  Putin must be so proud of you.  (bbc.com)

LIKE HURRICANES ON THE ATLANTIC COAST AND THE SWALLOWS OF SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, WILDFIRES HAVE RETURNED TO CALIFORNIA – It’s fire season throughout California and the season is living up to its name.  Fires are currently raging north of San Francisco and north of Los Angeles and the high wind risk has led the electric utility to shut down electricity for thousand – if not millions of people.  On the bright side, there are so many fires in California that the local fire departments are practically experts on these types of blazes and via their hard work they have minimized damage and loss of life.  But yeah; unbridled growth into overgrown natural areas, shoddy power lines, ultra dry climate and high winds are sort of the perfect tinder box for this type of natural disaster.  (ktla.com)

RATS DRIVING TEENY, TINY CARS ARE NOT ONLY ADORABLE BUT HELP SHED SOME LIGHT ON STRESS MANAGEMENT IN HUMANS – Researchers at the University of Richmond have found that rats that were taught to drive little cars showed less stress than other rats.  The rats were trained to drive little custom cars created with small plastic tub, attached to a metallic plate with wheels and controlled by copper wires.  The rats were taught to “drive” to get treats and the study found that the rats had high levels of anti-stress hormones in their feces at the end of the study.  It is believed that learning a new activity brought some satisfaction to the rats and lowered their stress.  Hopefully these findings can be used to find alternative treatments for people with mental disorders that cannot be controlled by a ton of meds.  Good job, car-driving rats.  (bbc.com)

 

Simple Minded Weekly Recap-ITATION! – 10/18/2019

PASO DEL NORTE-CENTRIC NEWS

NEW MEXICO, AND THE MESILLA VALLEY IN GENERAL, IS NOW THE LARGEST PECAN PRODUCING REGION IN AMERICA.  HOORAY!  BUT LET’S NOT GET CARRIED AWAY WITH THE WATER INTENSIVE CROPS IN THE DESERT – A recent report by the United States Department of Agriculture shows that pecan production in New Mexico grew by almost 7% from 2018 to 2019 and much of that was in southern New Mexico around the Mesilla Valley into El Paso.  More and more farmers in the region are even switching to pecans as one of their main crops.  And while this is good for the local economy, it should be noted that pecans are very water intensive and not the best choice of crop for an arid desert environment.  Luckily, NMSU is one of the premiere agricultural study institutions in the world and the New Mexico Pecan Growers Association are on top of all the pecan-related issues in the region.  Using technology and the knowledgeable agricultural organizations in the area, it is possible to create a sustainable and economically viable pecan growing industry in the region.  At least we hope that their not just focusing on the money.  (cbs4local.com)

SUPPORT THE WYLER AERIAL TRAMWAY.  FILL OUT A SURVEY – In order to determine how much interest there is and how much money to spend, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is doing a feasibility study on the tramway.  One of the main parts of the study is an online survey that everyone in El Paso and beyond can participate in.  So go fill out the survey and show that there is tremendous interest in the tramway.  You’ll even have the chance to give some ideas on what you think the new and improved project should look like.  Hell, it doesn’t look like they’re tracking multiple surveys from the same location.  Feel free to fill out the survey as many times as you want.  Let’s show them we want the Wyler Aerial Tramway back in service and better than ever.  (elpasoheraldpost.com)

I CHOO-CHOO-CHOOSE YOU, EL PASO LOCOMOTIVE –Congratulations to the El Paso Locomotive futball club for making the playoffs in their inaugural season.  The team secured their place in the postseason after defeating the Portland Timbers II by a score of 4 to 1.  The team now has one more game and a chance to move up in the rankings and maybe secure a home playoff game.  Good show, Choo-Choos.  (elpasoheraldpost.com)

REST OF THE WORLD-CENTRIC NEWS

SANTIAGO, CHILE IS RIOTING BECAUSE OF RATE HIKES ON PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION.  MEANWHILE, SUN METRO RAISED RATES IN EL PASO AND NOBODY REALLY CARED – Anti rate hike protests have descended into full blown riots in Santiago, Chile today as demonstrations grow across the country.  The root cause of the initial protest was the rate hike across Santiago’s metro system and the rest of their public transportation, but the protests have highlighted the unease and inequality that has been growing across the country.  Although Chile is one of the most prosperous countries in South America, it also has some of the highest inequality rates in the world with rich people getting richer and the poor getting left behind at an alarming rate.  According to many, the tension has been in the air for a long time in Chile and all that was missing was a spark to get the ball rolling.  So this week Chile did the impossible and made Argentina look stable and competent by comparison.  Get it together, Chile.  (reuters.com)

CANADA VOTES ON MONDAY AFTER ONLY A FEW WEEKS OF CAMPAIGNING BY THE CANDIDATES.  IN AMERICA, WE ARE CURRENTLY IN YEAR 3 OF CAMPAIGNING FOR THE 2020 ELECTION.  AMAZING AMERICAN EFFICIENCY AT WORK – Canada will be holding a national election on Monday as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Liberal Party seek to hold on to power  for another term.  The race is really too close to call and can go in a number of directions come Monday.  Of note is that – like other civilized countries – Canada’s parliamentary system has elections that only last a few weeks.  Compare this to America and its never ending primaries and “campaigning while still in office” mentality that leads to years of wasted time and money.  But who are we kidding, the reason America has such long elections is so that corporations can suck up all that sweet campaign advertising money.  Who cares about the people as long as the rich get richer.  It’s no wonder that America and its magical constitution and political system is emulated around the globe (SARCASM ALERT:  No other country on Earth is stupid enough to follow America’s system and every advanced nation on Earth follows a parliamentary government sprinkled with civil law).  (bbc.com)

NOTHING LIKE EATING SOME STEAMED HAMS WHILE WATCHING THE AURORA BOREALIS AT AN EXTREMELY LOW LATITUDE – A report in The Astrophysical Journal Letters has revealed that the earliest written record of the northern lights occurred sometime between 680 and 650 B.C.  The observation was found on Babylonian and Assyrian cuneiform tablets and correspond with a spike in solar activity found in tree rings of that time period.  The increased solar activity would explain why the northern lights were seen at such a low latitude and showcases the impact of solar storms throughout history.  Luckily the Babylonians and Assyrians didn’t have satellites or electrical networks, otherwise they would have been wrecked.  Or maybe they did and that’s why their societies faded away (cue spooky music).  (blogs.discovermagazine.com)

 

Simple Minded Weekly Recap-ITATION! – 10/11/2019

PASO DEL NORTE-CENTRIC NEWS

CHALK THE BLOCK IS BACK IN DOWNTOWN EL PASO.  HOW MANY OBSCENE CHALK DRAWINGS WILL BE DRAWN THIS WEEKEND? – If you’re a fan of chalk and chalk-related activities, then this weekend was made especially for you.  The Chalk The Block art festival returns to Downtown El Paso this weekend and it will be “chalk” full of chalky goodness including live music, art installations, chalk art and opportunities to create your own chalk drawings all over Downtown El Paso.  My regards to anyone who draws a picture of Mayor Dee Margo bending over for Donald Trump anywhere within the festival grounds.  Bonus points if you write “Dee Margo Sucks Chalk” and draw a giant penis next to his face.  (elpasoheraldpost.com)

FOR THOSE THAT DON’T LIKE CHALK, THERE’S ALSO A BENEFIT SHOW HOSTED BY JIM WARD GOING ON IN DOWNTOWN.  BUT IF YOU’RE REALLY COOL YOU’LL GO TO BOTH EVENTS – The 2nd Annual El Paso Forever Concert will take place on Saturday and will feature Cold War Kids, Emily Davis And The Murder Police and Sleepspent.  The event will take place around the Union Plaza area and most proceeds will go to local charities.  The event is put together by local legend Jim Ward in association with the El Paso Community Foundation and focuses on giving as much money from ticket sales as possible to charity.  So go support great music and local projects at the El Paso Forever Concert.  (elpasoheraldpost.com)

RON STALLWORTH HAS JUST BEEN NAMED THE SUN BOWL THANKSGIVING PARADE GRAND MARSHALL.  KUDOS! – The annual Sun Bowl Thanksgiving parade will honor Ron Stallworth as he leads the parade for this year’s edition.  Ron Stallworth has been having a great year as BlacKKKlansman, the movie based on his book and exploits going undercover in the KKK, won multiple awards including an Oscar.  The theme for this year’s parade is “Bobbleheads On Parade” but the poster sort of makes it seem like an unauthorized Funko Pop parade theme.  So check out the Thanksgiving Parade in just over a month.  How time flies.  (elpasoheraldpost.com)

REST OF THE WORLD-CENTRIC NEWS

I GUESS SUPER POWERFUL SPINNY STORMS ARE GOING TO BE THE NEW NORMAL AROUND THE WORLD – In a season that has given us record breaking storms in the Atlantic and the South Pacific, Typhoon Hagibis (a cousin to hurricanes and cyclones) has just struck the Tokyo area as one of the largest storms to hit that part of the world in decades.  Japan is an advanced and stable country, so the storm should not have as crippling an effect as major storms in other parts of the world.  Though the storm has disrupted and canceled some games in the Japan-hosted Rugby World Cup, that’s much better than thousands of dead and cities sent back decades in development.  Take care, Japan.  But if you can survive earthquakes and tsunamis, you can survive typhoons.  (reuters.com)

LOS ANGELES IS BURNING!  THIS HAPPENS EVERY YEAR BUT WE’RE STILL GOING TO ACT SHOCKED – The north part of the Los Angeles area is currently experiencing a massive wild fire and Sylmar and the rest of the northern San Fernando Valley are on high alert.  The fire has already destroyed dozens of structures and has shut down multiple roads in the area causing a traffic nightmare that has a ripple effect on most of the city.  It should be noted that Los Angeles is so massive that most of the city barely notices that a massive natural disaster is taking place aside from the traffic issues and – let’s face it – most of the people in Los Angeles barely know that Sylmar exists and wouldn’t be able to find it on a map.  But if the fire takes out a major cocaine stash house, you can rest assured that the city will notice.  (ktla.com)

IT’S NOBEL PRIZE TIME!  THEY’RE LIKE THE TONY AWARDS ONLY WITH EVEN LESS PRESS COVERAGE AND VIEWERS – It’s Nobel Prize season and the super smart committee of Nordic smarties are getting together and handing out their awards.  This year’s winners run the gamut from people that worked on lithium-ion batteries to someone who helped end the conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea.  But most of the prizes went to discoveries that are really hard to explain in a few smart ass sentences.  So if you really love science, go to the official Nobel Prize site and do your best trying to make sense out of all these important discoveries.  (nobelprize.org)

 

Simple Minded Weekly Recap-ITATION! – 10/04/2019

PASO DEL NORTE-CENTRIC NEWS

LOOP 375 IS FINALLY “COMPLETE”.  THIS BEING A TXDOT PROJECT, IT WON’T ACTUALLY BE A LOOP AROUND EL PASO BUT A SERIES OF INCOMPETENTLY DESIGNED ON AND OFF RAMPS THAT SORT OF RESEMBLE A LOOP – The Border West Expressway is finally open and people on the Westside finally have another path to get to the other side of town besides I-10 and Mesa.  The project was decades in the making and completes the final piece of Loop 375 – connecting the Racetrack Drive area with Downtown El Paso.  Though if you want to get technical, there still is no controlled access highway that runs from the Racetrack drive area to Transmountain.  The road will be a toll road but it is currently free, so ride it all you want while you can.  It’s good to see projects like this finally be completed, though since txdot is involved it will probably become a giant mass of on ramps and exits that make no sense and just increase traffic in the area.  But hey, at least we have a “finished” Loop in El Paso.  (elpasoheraldpost.com)

SUNLAND PARK MALL IS NOT DEAD.  IT’S GRAVELY WOUNDED, BUT IT’S NOT DEAD YET – After seeing multiple anchor stores leave or simply disappear, Sunland Park Mall appears to be showing some signs of life.  Road construction in the area is coming to a close, so more people should return in the coming months.  In addition, mall management is aggressively pursuing new tenants with over 15 new stores, restaurants and businesses opening in the last few months or planning to open in the coming months.  So give Sunland Park Mall another try and let’s try to prevent the area from becoming the site of a bloated whale carcass of a shopping center.  (cbs4local.com)

RIDE THE TROLLEY AND HELP THE EL PASO STRONG CAMPAIGN!  THAT’S A GOOD TROLLEY! – The El Paso Strong Ride offer will be extended through the end of October to encourage more donations to the El Paso Strong campaign.  Fares for the trolley will continue to be waived for the remainder of the month with people encouraged to donate instead to the El Paso Strong campaign that is working on creating a memorial to honor the victims of the August 3 terrorist attack at Wal-Mart.  You’re a scholar and a saint, El Paso Streetcar System.  (elpasoheraldpost.com)

REST OF THE WORLD-CENTRIC NEWS

PEOPLE ARE NOW GETTING SHOT WITH LIVE AMMUNITION IN THE HONG KONG PROTESTS.  THINGS ARE DEFINITELY GETTING WORSE.  AND IN OTHER NEWS, HAPPY 70TH ANNIVERSARY CHINESE REPUBLIC UNDER COMMUNIST RULE! – October 1st was the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China and communist rule in the country.  Naturally, people in Beijing and Hong Kong celebrated differently – with Beijing opting for parades and Hong Kong opting for riots.  The protests in Hong Kong keep on getting more violent and now the government is banning face masks and using live rounds in more cases.  We’ve said it before, but something’s got to give by 2047.  The ‘One Country, Two Systems’ philosophy is imploding on itself and it probably won’t work for a few more decades.  (bbc.com)

SPEAKING OF RIOTS WITH LIVE AMMUNITION, IRAQ IS IN THE MIDST OF MASSIVE PROTESTS – Over 20 people have died around Iraq as a result of large protests and riots against the government and its apparent incompetence.  Unlike Hong Kong, the people here aren’t asking for more autonomy or independence – but they might as well just ask for independence at this point.  Iraq is ‘one system, three countries’ and as soon as the Shia, Sunni and Kurds get their own lands we might actually have something resembling peace and prosperity in the region.  Only foolish pride is holding the “country” together and maybe they should all just admit that smaller countries here make more sense and are more efficient.  (bbc.com)

TURNS OUT PLANET NINE/NIBIRU/PLANET X MIGHT ACTUALLY BE A MINI BLACK HOLE.  SURE, WHY NOT? – The existence of a massive planet outside the orbit of Pluto has been debated for years.  The weirdo orbit of Trans-Neptunian Objects on the outer reaches of the Solar System has led many to hypothesize that a massive planet is altering their orbit.  But new research has led some scientists to hypothesize that a primordial black hole about the size of a softball is what is causing the observed manipulation of the TNOs.  Although small, the black hole is still very strong and one hopes that it doesn’t decide to visit Earth anytime soon.  (blogs.discovermagazine.com)

 

Simple Minded Weekly Recap-ITATION! – 09/27/2019

PASO DEL NORTE-CENTRIC NEWS

GO SUPPORT LOCAL MUSIC.  AND I’M NOT JUST TALKING ABOUT KHALID – The El Paso International Music Foundation is sponsoring “Locals Week” again this year and it promises to showcase even more local musicians.  The event is spread out over multiple venues and multiple days and includes many free events.  The event is finishing up this weekend, so be sure to go to your nearest music-centric bar and jam out to some talented El Paso-area artists.  The bands, venues and schedules are too numerous to list.  So just check out the neat little write up on El Paso Herald Post for more details.  (elpasoheraldpost.com)

THE EL PASO MUSEUM OF ART HAS FINALLY FINISHED ITS RENOVATION PROJECT AND THE NEW AND IMPROVED MUSEUM IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS.  I WONDER IF THEY FINALLY CREATED A SPACE FOR MURALS AND PRISON ART FEATURING SAD CLOWNS AND OLD ENGLISH LETTERING – This Friday, the El Paso Museum Of Art will be holding the grand opening for the newly renovated second floor of the museum.  This renovation is a few years in the making and was part of the museum’s Refresh Project that also saw the renovation of the museum’s Kress collection.  The renovation promises to make the museum more accessible for patrons as well as allowing more of the museum’s collection to be shown to the public.  As long as they have paintings of pretty naked girls, I support all the city’s arts and culture expenditures.  (elpasoheraldpost.com)

GOOD SHOW, DONA ANA COUNTY PUBLIC TRANSIT!  THERE’S GOING TO BE A BUS LINE THAT CONNECTS HATCH AND OTHER COMMUNITIES TO LAS CRUCES!  MEANWHILE IN EL PASO, SOCORRO HAS NEGATIVE BUS STOPS AND EL PASO HAS ANTI-CONNECTIVITY WITH NEARBY CITIES LIKE HORIZON – Dona Ana County’s South Central Regional Transit will be adding the ‘Green Line’ that will connect locations such as Hatch, Salem, La Placitas, Rincon, Radium Springs, Doña Ana, Doña Ana Community College, Mountain View Hospital and Memorial Hospital.  The planned service is decades in the making and will give much needed regional connectivity to the growing communities north of Las Cruces.  Public transit is a very good use of a community’s limited resources and it’s good to see that the Mesilla Valley is taking the lead in the region’s public transit needs.  (cbs4local.com)

REST OF THE WORLD-CENTRIC NEWS

 FORCING PEOPLE TO LIVE “HAPPILY” UNDER A COMMON FLAG AND GOVERNMENT IS A HORRIBLE IDEA.  IT RARELY WORKS.  AND WHEN IT DOES, IT WORKS BADLY – Once upon a time, the vast of majority of Africa was divided up by idiot European powers for the sole purpose of exploiting the people and natural resources.  No care was given to existing cultural and tribal divisions and the borders were drawn haphazardly by people who were equal parts greedy and stupid.  When African “nations” gained independence, they kept the exact same borders and even expanded upon them because the new people in power liked the greedy part of the European drawn borders.  One of the victims of this clusterfuck was Cameroon which combined different peoples that eventually led to French-speaking and English-speaking parts of the country.  This linguistic conflict runs deeper than simply language and a good portion of the country has suffered because of the greedy powers-that-be that want as much territory as they can get their hands on.  The government will be holding a “national dialogue” on September 30 to try and solve this crisis, but when the leaders of Cameroon are a borderline dictatorship – it’s very hard to get anything meaningful done.  And on top of all that, very few of the separatists will be involved in the talks.  It’s good to see that they’re at least acknowledging the problem.  But the world has a long way to go before the issue of Frankenstein countries finally gets fixed.  (africanews.com)

A MILLION PEOPLE ON MARS IN A HUNDRED YEARS.  SOUNDS GREAT, LET’S START NOW – A paper in the journal New Space showcases a plan to sustain a population of one million Martian colonists using only locally-sourced foods.  The plan would take about one hundred years, but eventually a large Martian population would not have to depend on imported food from Earth.  The plan focuses on plant-based, insect-based and lab grown foods that could be efficiently grown on Mars.  In addition, these sustainable food options could be used on Earth and on space-based colonies to make more efficient use of limited resources.  I vote for fungus.  We can eat them AND use them as a construction material.  Everybody wins!  (blogs.discovermagazine.com)

SADLY, THIS IS HOW THE REST OF THE WORLD LOOKS AT DONALD TRUMP AND AMERICA.  HELL, EVERYONE IN AMERICA THAT ISN’T A FASCIST BOOTLICKER LOOKS AT IDIOT TRUMP THE SAME WAY – Activist Greta Thunberg gave a stirring speech at this week’s UN climate summit and Donald Trump just waddled around the whole place as everyone stared at him like he was some sort of imbecile.  But the look that Greta Thunberg gave him was a great metaphor for the disdain every sane person in the world has for this moron.  Donald Trump did a lot of stupid shit this week (when doesn’t he do stupid shit?) and is well on his way to an impeachment hearing because of it.  But the perfect visual for Donald Trump’s week – and entire life – is the disgusted look on Greta Thunberg’s face.  We all feel that way, Greta.  We all feel that way.  (bbc.com)