Bag of Randomness for Wednesday, October 21, 2020

The 14 coolest features of the $113,000 2022 Hummer EV ‘Edition 1’ — GMC’s all-electric ‘super truck’ coming next year

  • For instance, it has a four-wheel-steering feature that lets the vehicle drive diagonally in a move GMC calls a “crab walk.”
  • The Hummer EV Edition 1 boasts front and rear underbody cameras to help drivers tackle challenging terrain and choose the best path over obstacles.
  • They can choose how much torque to send to the front and rear axles, or choose a “terrain mode,” which bumps up the truck’s ride height by 2 inches.
  • It also comes with a transparent roof made of removable panels that can stow away in the truck’s frunk.

Not $50k, fifty dollars.

Lawyers spurn Trump campaign in individual donations, including from Jones Day

Lawyers at Jones Day, which has earned millions as outside counsel to U.S. President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign, have donated nearly $90,000 to the campaign committee of Trump’s Democratic rival Joe Biden. Contributions to the Trump campaign by Jones Day lawyers totaled just $50, records show.

Some people are wondering where Troy Aikman stands politically. Well, I remember a story he told the Musers one time about some Oklahoma lawmakers recruiting him to run for office. Basically, it turned out they were Democrats and Troy revealed in a subtle manner that he was a conservative. My guess, he’s still conservative at heart but like so many in his party, this administration has disheartened him. Either way, I agree with this statement, “It’s unclear whether Aikman and Buck are against the flyovers or are mocking critics who oppose them.”

The story also states flyovers don’t cost the taxpayer anything, which surprised me. “Flyovers are conducted at no additional cost to the taxpayer and serve as training and meet proficiency requirements for our pilots,” Navy spokesman Lt. Rob Reinheimer told CNN.

Broadcasters Joe Buck and Troy Aikman caught on hot mic appearing to mock military flyovers as wasteful

Las Vegas is getting an Atari Hotel. Austin will get a later version.

Guests will be immersed in the culture with amenities aimed at esports fans and creators including nostalgia-inducing arcades and retro-themed speakeasies, nightclubs, and restaurants.

This event happened in the geographically confusing town of Nashville, Indiana.

Superintendent issues apology after student listed as ‘Black Guy’ in Brown County High School yearbook

Funeral homes to offer older voters free rides to polls on Nov. 3 nationwide

I still haven’t seen the first Avatar, which is very unusual for me.

Sigourney Weaver Filmed ‘Avatar 2’ Underwater by Tying Weights to Herself, Holding Breath for Six MinutesSigourney Weaver was 70 years old while filming “Avatar 2,” but that only motivated her to pull off her own stunts.

How North Texans can track mail-in ballotsOnce filled out and mailed, counties offer ways to confirm your ballot was received and counted.

This Texas farm connects special-needs kids with injured animals: ‘They’re just like me’

Just as they welcome all animals, all people are welcome, too: “We don’t care about the choices you made in the past, what you look like, who you love or what you eat. We concentrate on no judgment at all,” said Wallace-Griner.

This big old flag once flew on a ship.

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Bag of Randomness for Tuesday, October 20, 2020

I voted yesterday at Music City Mall in Lewisville. Walking through the mall felt like walking through an abandoned haunted house, but I was in and out in less than ten minutes.

Every time I vote, I’m required to fill in a rectangle (about 1 cm x 1 1/2 cm) with a ball-point pen they provide me. The process would go by much fast if felt-tip pens were provided.

Yesterday, around 10:00 AM, one of WifeGeeding’s students was removed from class because a parent was COVID-19 positive. Supposedly, no one had contact with the student and a cleaning crew immediately sanitized the classroom.

This is the kind of crap that happens in Trump’s America – 2020 Marks the first year since 1955 that “It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” will not air on television. It’s now an AppleTV+ exclusive.

Our Dallas Stars lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Stanley Cup Finals, and now the Tampa Bay Rays will play in the World Series in our new ballpark. Luckily, the Cowboys don’t play the Bucs this year.

How one man became an assistant coach for a small Alaskan high school without ever leaving his California home.

Welcome to the story of Zank, Dal Bon and the upstart Homer Mariners. Capping a year of virtual happy hours, virtual masses, virtual funerals, virtual birthday parties and virtual road races, they may have unintentionally presented the nation with its first Zoom football team. And they finished the season as conference champions.

Texas leads nation in early voting totals, with 4 million ballots cast

Matthew McConaughey speaks about his father’s death:

“I got a call from my Mom. ‘Your dad died.’ My knees buckled. I couldn’t believe it. He was my dad. Nobody or nothing could kill him. Except mom. He’d always told me and my brothers, ‘Boys, when I go, I’m gonna be makin’ love to your mother.’ And that’s what happened. He had a heart attack when he climaxed.”

Man breaks into home during children’s remote learning class, teacher calls 911

A California teacher jumped into action after she noticed fear on the faces of two students who didn’t immediately sign off after a remote learning session Thursday.

“I was just watching their faces and I can see their faces go from concern to panic,” teacher Jennifer Petersen told KOVR. Petersen said she never logs off until the last student does.

Mother Reyna Luna said the source of her children’s fear was a stranger who broke into the family’s Galt home during the class while she was out.

In Peter King’s latest column, he reported that Ben Roethlisberger said he has the huddle back a couple more yards further back from the line of scrimmage this season because he fears defenders might hear what he’s calling since there’s no crowd noise.

Discover Which Words Made Their Print Debut The Year You Were Born With This Merriam-Webster Tool

Taiwanese baseball player robs homer, but plays possum & lets batter circle bases before revealing prize


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Bag of Randomness for Monday, October 19, 2020

The way I’ve scheduled my remaining earned vacation days I have to take (use it or leave it), I shouldn’t be working a full work week for the remainder of the year. Most of my days off are on Mondays and federal holidays helped make it easier. One day off will be the day after election day, I have a feeling I may be up late the night before and the next day will be packed with news. Yet, I have the understanding we may not know results for weeks.

One of the more interesting local political commercials has a Chinese-born candidate accusing her white blonde0-hair opponent of having Chinese ties.

This Arkansas school turned solar savings into better teacher pay

The project that resulted has helped slash the district’s annual energy consumption by 1.6 million kilowatts and in three years generated enough savings to transform the district’s $250,000 budget deficit into a $1.8 million surplus.

Just as Hester envisioned at the outset, a major chunk of the money is going toward teachers’ salaries — fueling pay raises that average between $2,000 and $3,000 per educator.

Cornyn says he broke with Trump on deficit, border wall, but kept opposition private

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said Friday that he disagreed with President Trump on issues such as the deficit and a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, but that Senate Republicans doubted their capacity to “change” the president on such issues.

The Texas Republican told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that his relationship with the president was “maybe like a lot of women who get married and think they’re going to change their spouse, and that doesn’t usually work out very well.”

Well, I know who’s not going to win the political Profile in Courage award. Sheesh, what a coward. He wouldn’t be admitting this unless he considers Trump an albatross, thinks the president will lose, or think the race with Hegar is uncomfortably close.

Why Bruce Lee’s daughter, Shannon, is telling the story her father wanted to tell

  • Helping to produce Warrior, the HBO and Cinemax series based on Lee’s idea, has allowed his daughter to emerge from his long shadow
  • His original pitch has been rumoured to have been the basis of the 70s hit series, Kung Fu. Seeing her father’s vision now realised is a vindication, she says

Mark Cuban’s brother on finding success: ‘I’m never going to be a billionaire and I’m ok with that’

Brian Cuban, billionaire Mark Cuban’s younger brother, says people often ask him about his work, especially since his brother is a famous entrepreneur.

But Brian, 59, isn’t anything like Mark or their younger brother, Jeff.

“We’re different people. My brother [Mark] is driven by different things,” Brian tells CNBC Make It.

“I’m never going to be a billionaire and I’m okay with that,” Brian says.

Brian is a former Dallas-based personal injury attorney, author and addiction recovery advocate. For the last 13 years, he has been in recovery from alcohol, cocaine and bulimia.

I’m sure our governor is proud of this achievement and will claim we are the most “secure” in the nation.

Texas ranks worst in national cost-of-voting study

Texas was rated highest for both the time and cost of voting. In particular, the state does not have widespread online voter registration, limits mail-in voting, closes registration a month before Election Day and has cut the number of polling stations in some areas by more than 50 percent.

Other factors that limit access include staunch voter ID laws and minimal early voting options.

The same study four years ago ranked Texas as the fifth-most restrictive state, behind Mississippi, Virginia, Tennessee and Indiana. Researchers said Virginia has markedly improved access to voting since then by passing an automatic voter registration law, getting rid of its in-person registration deadline and making Election Day a state holiday, among other steps.

Oregon, Washington and Utah topped the 2020 list. Each state has a permanent mail-in voting process.

This reminds me of the time John Ashcroft lost to a man who died in a plane crash and then got appointed to be the Attorney General by president-elect George W. Bush. Ashcroft has the unique distinction of being the only incumbent U.S. Senator defeated for re-election by a dead person.

North Dakota legislative candidate who died of COVID-19 still on the ballot

Do we really need two Dakotas? They were both admitted to the union at the same time and it’s not like they need to be divided because of a hefty population.

Eruption of Sakurajima

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Bag of Randomness for Friday, October 16, 2020

Yesterday, a parent of one of WifeGeeding’s students dropped off Raising Cane’s for lunch. She was enjoying it until she bit into her coleslaw and found a press-on nail. WifeGeeding brought it up to the restaurant manager’s attention who assured her the employee with the missing press-on nail will wear gloves for now on.

Amazon took a page out of the Sears catalog. In yesterday’s mail was a decently sized toy catalog, which brought back memories of me flipping through the Sears Wishbook as a kid.

The Richards Group sure had a bad week.

My very close friend battling COVID-19 in the hospital was given convalescent plasma and Remdesivir. He’s been hospitalized for over a week, is a non-smoker, only 44 years old, and relatively healthy. This is the first time he’s ever had to visit the hospital as a patient.

I remember Benito Santiago mostly as San Diego Padre and thought it was cool that he wore the number 09. He’s the first professional player I can recall wearing a jersey with a leading zero as part of his uniform number.

Instead of watching any town hall I watched the theatrical version of HBO Max’s The West Wing. I loved it. However, I wasn’t fond of the choice of Sterling K. Brown as Leo McGarry. Brown just wasn’t old and weathered enough. Of course, there’s no replacing John Spencer. If I were in charge of casting, I would have drafted Michael Douglas. Sure, it would be a long shot. But, Douglas played the president in Aaron Sorkin’s The American President.  Martin Sheen played the president’s chief of staff, and he was exceptional. It would have been neat to see a bit of a role swap.

Ireland’s post office is called An Post. They are selling U2 commemorative stamps. Yesterday, I made my very first purchase from Ireland. My personal Holy Grail of stamps is the reverse number Sisyphus from one of the seasons of Fargo. Those who know me well know I identify a lot from the story of Sisyphus. I’d love to have it framed and hang it on the wall in my office.

Sometimes I get that phantom sensation of my phone ringing/vibrating in my pocket, and that’s when I feel like I’ve totally lost my mind.

Star Wars actors to reprise iconic roles for Disney+’s Lego Holiday SpecialAnthony Daniels (C-3PO), Kelly Marie Tran (Rose Tico), and Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian) are returning to the Star Wars universe

The Lego Star Wars Holiday Special also marks a redemptive return for the saga’s Holiday Special brand, as the project is a successor of sorts to the infamous 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special that aired once on CBS (and never again).

A New Star Wars Theory Explains the Real Meaning Behind Obi-Wan’s High Ground AdvantageA brilliant reading of the Revenge of the Sith scene connects all the way back to the Darth Maul duel in Episode I.

Rudy Giuliani Is My Father. Please, Everyone, Vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

I have a difficult confession—something I usually save for at least the second date. My father is Rudy Giuliani. We are multiverses apart, politically and otherwise. I’ve spent a lifetime forging an identity in the arts separate from my last name, so publicly declaring myself as a “Giuliani” feels counterintuitive, but I’ve come to realize that none of us can afford to be silent right now. The stakes are too high. I accept that most people will start reading this piece because you saw the headline with my father’s name. But now that you’re here, I’d like to tell you how urgent I think this moment is.

Boston News Anchor Says Appearing in Adam Sandler’s ‘Hubie Halloween’ Got Her FiredThe reporter says she “violated her contract” by making a cameo in the new Adam Sandler Netflix comedy.

GOP senator unloads on Trump in constituent call, saying ‘he mocks evangelicals’ and has ‘flirted with White supremacists’

“The way he kisses dictators’ butts. I mean, the way he ignores that the Uyghurs are in literal concentration camps in Xinjiang right now. He hasn’t lifted a finger on behalf of the Hong Kongers,” Sasse said in response to a constituent’s question about his relationship with Trump and his past criticisms of the President.
“The United States now regularly sells out our allies under his leadership. The way he treats women and spends like a drunken sailor. The ways I criticized President (Barack) Obama for that kind of spending I’ve criticized President Trump for as well. He mocks evangelicals behind closed doors. His family has treated the presidency like a business opportunity. He’s flirted with White supremacists,” the Nebraska Republican said.

The DC Universe is taking a giant leap into the future

In Gotham, Bruce Wayne is dead, and an all new Batman steps up to save the city. In Metropolis, Jon Kent steps into the boots of Superman after his father is exiled to space. And in the Amazon rainforest, a new Wonder Woman is chosen by the gods.

The dystopian lake filled by the world’s tech lustHidden in an unknown corner of Inner Mongolia is a toxic, nightmarish lake created by our thirst for smartphones, consumer gadgets and green tech, discovers Tim Maughan.

From where I’m standing, the city-sized Baogang Steel and Rare Earth complex dominates the horizon, its endless cooling towers and chimneys reaching up into grey, washed-out sky. Between it and me, stretching into the distance, lies an artificial lake filled with a black, barely-liquid, toxic sludge.

Dozens of pipes line the shore, churning out a torrent of thick, black, chemical waste from the refineries that surround the lake. The smell of sulphur and the roar of the pipes invades my senses. It feels like hell on Earth.

Welcome to Baotou, the largest industrial city in Inner Mongolia. I’m here with a group of architects and designers called the Unknown Fields Division, and this is the final stop on a three-week-long journey up the global supply chain, tracing back the route consumer goods take from China to our shops and homes, via container ships and factories.

You may not have heard of Baotou, but the mines and factories here help to keep our modern lives ticking. It is one of the world’s biggest suppliers of “rare earth” minerals. These elements can be found in everything from magnets in wind turbines and electric car motors, to the electronic guts of smartphones and flatscreen TVs. In 2009 China produced 95% of the world’s supply of these elements, and it’s estimated that the Bayan Obo mines just north of Baotou contain 70% of the world’s reserves. But, as we would discover, at what cost?

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