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


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.  (

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.  (

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.  (


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.  (

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.  (

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.  (


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


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.  (

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.  (

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.  (


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.  (

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).  (

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).  (


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


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.  (

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.  (

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.  (


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.  (

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.  (

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.  (


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


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.  (

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.  (

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.  (


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.  (

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.  (

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.  (