Play Them for the Funky Behavior 

Friday, June 18th, 2021

Recently, I learned that playing A Tribe Called Quest produces the best cheese. That’s important news you can use.

The article in question also contained this stinky gem:

Perhaps now the band will consider renaming themselves A Tribe Called Queso.

That is both quite clever and utterly awful. Well done.

A Tattooed Testicle 

Thursday, June 17th, 2021

It’s obvious that this guy isn’t very smart. Still, I hope he’s smart enough to lie when when he’s asked what he’s in prison for.

Mirth About Perth 

Wednesday, June 16th, 2021

Exactly six years ago today, I wrote about Milwaukee’s Mark Gubin, whose roof has been welcoming visitors to “Cleveland” for decades. Now, it seems the prank has gone down under.

Alas, His Name Is Not Jonah 

Tuesday, June 15th, 2021

In other news that contains the letter J twice, the captain of a vessel called the “J ‘an J” recently found himself in an unusual location: somewhere inside of a humpback whale. That’s a rough day at what already sounds like a pretty tough job.

J&J Can’t Catch a Break

Monday, June 14th, 2021

Let’s recap a few things when it comes to COVID-19 vaccines, and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in particular:

  • Many people are worried about the COVID-19 vaccines, period, and hesitant to get them.

  • People are also worried about the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine specifically, due to both its slightly lower efficacy numbers, and the temporary pause which was implemented back in April.

  • Further, previously reported problems with the Emergent Biosolutions factory in Baltimore have given reason to be wary of recent doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

With that in mind, here’s a ridiculous plan (emphasis added):

About 60 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine that were produced at a troubled factory in Baltimore will have to be thrown out, the Food and Drug Administration announced Friday. The FDA determined that the tens of millions of vaccine doses that were produced at the factory, operated by Emergent BioSolutions, were possibly contaminated, The New York Times reports. The FDA will, however, reportedly allow 10 million vaccine doses to still be distributed with warning labels noting that regulators can’t guarantee that Emergent “followed good manufacturing practices,” the Times reports.

Just throw these doses out! By mixing these dubious doses in with J&J doses that are not so labeled, the entire supply becomes questionable. As a patient, who would want that risk? No one should have to worry that they’re receiving a dose that “might not have followed good manufacturing practices”.

Pictures of Engines of Old Farm Equipment 

Friday, June 11th, 2021

Thanks to friend of the site Colin T., I learned about this supposed big fan of big fans. Unfortunately for the unnamed trespasser, his supposed avocation led to him getting trapped for multiple days, ultimately necessitating a rescue by the authorities.

“The man indicated he liked to take pictures of the engines of old farm equipment,” the statement said. “After a thorough investigation, which revealed the farm equipment wasn’t antique and the man had far more methamphetamine than camera equipment, the motivation to climb into the fan shaft remains a total mystery.”

It’s almost always possible to inject a little levity, no matter what your job is.

They’ll Have to Follow-Up on That One 

Thursday, June 10th, 2021

Texas congressman Louie Gohmert has never been thought of as the brightest crayon in the box. However, his recent question to the U.S. Forest Service was enormously stupid on two distinct levels.

An Unexpected Consequence of Bitcoin Volatility

Wednesday, June 9th, 2021

Yesterday, I saw the following news summary:

DOJ recovers most of Colonial Pipeline ransom
The Justice Department announced Monday that it had recovered about $2.3 million of the $4.4 million in bitcoin

Now, my first thought when I read this was “That is not most!”. However, by the barest margin of the dictionary definition of “most”, it is.

$2.3 million is indeed a razor-thin majority of $4.4 million. Of course, that’s not really what we think of when we hear “most”. If I borrow $100 from you and then pay you back just $51, you would not tell people “Oh, it’s fine, Paul paid me back most of my money”. “Never loan Paul money”, that is what you’d say.

Upon reading more about this story, I realized that headline was actually correct, though the sub-head was quite misleading. By way of explanation, here’s a brief timeline:

May 7, 2021: The DarkSide ransomware gang attacked Colonial Pipeline, taking pipeline management systems down.

May 8, 2021: Colonial Pipeline paid DarkSide a ransom of 75 bitcoins to undo the attack. Amusingly, while DarkSide did provide Colonial with a tool to restore their network, it was so slow that Colonial ultimately restored operations using their own backups.

Around this time, that ransom was widely reported as nearly$5 million”. This shorthand made sense, as the average reader is not likely to be familiar with the current price of bitcoin.

June 7, 2021: The Department of Justice announced they’ve recovered “$2.3 million” in cryptocurrency paid to DarkSide. The how of that is interesting from a technical perspective, but most reports focused on that “$2.3 million”, a number which is very misleading.

In point of fact, of the 75 bitcoins Colonial paid, 63.7 were recovered. That’s about 85%, a much more satisfying definition of “most”. The problem comes when reporters again convert that into US currency, because Bitcoin’s value has tanked in the month since the ransom was paid.

[Chart via CoinDesk]

On May 7, 1 bitcoin cost around $58,000, and 75 bitcoins cost around $4.4 million. On June 7, the value had fallen to around $35,000, making 63.7 bitcoins worth about $2.3 million. As a result, though Colonial Pipeline got back most of the actual asset they gave away, they’re currently still out a whole lot of money. They likely paid somewhere between $4 and $5 million back in May, and have now recovered an asset currently worth a bit over $2 million.

Given this wild price drop, Colonial may wish to keep that Bitcoin for now, in the hopes that its value will shoot back up in the future. In other words? HODL.

One Tiny Little Flaw 

Tuesday, June 8th, 2021

When drug dealers and money launderers began to use Anom devices, they thought they had a secure device with encrypted messaging. Apparently not.

A Nice Family Outing 

Monday, June 7th, 2021

The existence of billionaires is problematic, and it’s reasonable to wonder if our society should allow them to exist at all. The fact that Jeff Bezos is reportedly spending $500 million on a yacht that’s so big it needs its own support yacht is both obscene and disgusting. It’s also an incredibly powerful argument for stronger wealth redistribution.

However, Bezos has also spend his money to build a space program. Now, he’s going to use it send himself to space, along with his brother. If we’re going to have billionaires, that’s how you do it.