May 25th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

UFOs and Sneaker Color Coding

There was a time, not too long ago, when politicians who were interested in UFOs kept that information to themselves for fear of being characterized as a little nuts. Since that time, we’ve learned that being a little nuts is no hindrance to one’s career in public life, and we’re also starting to identify a lot broader interest in unidentified flying objects. In short, we’ve gone from UFOmg to UFOmo. “‘This used to be a career-ending kind of thing,’ said John Podesta, who generally kept his interest in UFOs to himself when he was President Bill Clinton’s chief of staff. ‘You didn’t want to get caught talking about it because you’d be accused of walking out of an ‘X-Files’ episode.'” (That’s hardly a criticism now that the whole of American politics is an X-Files episode; albeit one that’s markedly less believable than the fictionalized show.) WaPo: How UFO sightings went from joke to national security worry in Washington. Could there be a there there somewhere out there? UFOshizzle my nizzle.

+ The possibility of UFOs isn’t the only reason to keep that tin foil hat handy. The QAnon Crowd is Convinced UFOs are a Diversion From Voter Fraud. “They want you talking about aliens because they don’t want you talking about Maricopa. They want you talking about UFO’s because they don’t want you talking about stagflation, the collapse of the dollar, the crisis on the border, and Biden’s mental health.” (These folks are more alienated than the aliens.)


Hijackbooted Thugs

“Dissident journalist Roman Protasevich has appeared in a new video after his arrest by Belarusian authorities on Sunday, following the government’s extraordinary diversion of his Ryanair flight to capital city Minsk … ‘The attitude of the [Interior Ministry] employees towards me has been as correct as possible and in compliance with the law. I continue to cooperate with the investigation and have confessed to organizing mass riots in the city of Minsk.'”

+ “Belarus’ isolation deepened Tuesday as commercial planes avoided its airspace, the European Union worked up new sanctions, and a U.N. official said he was concerned for the welfare of an opposition journalist arrested in Minsk after being pulled off a plane that was diverted there in what the West called a state-sponsored hijacking.” (Can isolating a country move a dictator who’s only interested in his own power?)

+ “Lukashenko is now totally dependent on Putin for his survival in office and would not have risked his relationship with the Kremlin by undertaking such a cavalier move unless he had been first given the green light by Putin.” Russia’s power over Belarus is in the spotlight after plane ‘hijacking’ incident. This is just one more topic for Biden to bring up during his summit with Putin that’s been scheduled for next month.


Tulsa Time Travel

An excellent visualization from the NYT: What the Tulsa Race Massacre Destroyed.

+ “The tulsa race massacre of 1921 was over in less than 24 hours, but the damage that the city’s Black citizens suffered went on for decades. Indeed, the full magnitude of the community’s economic loss is still coming into focus even on the centennial of the event—in part because new digital tools allow scholars to mine census records for data about its aftermath.” The Atlantic: How 24 Hours of Racist Violence Caused Decades of Harm.


Your Sneakers are Laced

“The links between color and emotion have been studied for centuries, from Carl Jung’s color coding of personality traits to focus groups evaluating the ways in which candy colors can affect perceptions of flavor. Drug companies color their pills ‘cool’ or ‘hot’ according to desired effect.” NYT: The Secret Psychology of Sneaker Colors. “You think they randomly choose those glaring shades of Nike, Adidas and New Balance? Think again.” (I always thought this was more of a gray area.)


Cruising for a Bruising

“It turns out, you don’t even need a gaggle of coughing, sneezing passengers to get your crew sick from COVID-19.” Cruise Ship Crew Gets COVID Without Any Passengers At All, Vaccinated Or Not.


Has John Cena Ghost?

“I’m very sorry for my mistakes. Sorry. Sorry. I’m really sorry. You have to understand that I love and respect China and Chinese people.” John Cena Apologizes to China for Calling Taiwan a Country.

+ He speaks Mandarin well. Not sure about the message though.


A Tex Book Case

“Texas is poised to remove one of its last major gun restrictions after lawmakers approved allowing people to carry handguns without a license, and the background check and training that go with it.” Phew. America can finally get some guns on the streets.


Let it Slide

Thanks to a newly commercialized technology called LiquiGlide, you may soon be able to squeeze that last bit of toothpaste out of the tube. Colgate-Palmolive is commercializing a technology that creates slippery surfaces. (I wish I had invested in this instead of banana peels.)


Bottom of the News

“He made the invitation on Monday, specifying a time (7:30 p.m.), place (fire pits) and date (May 22). ‘Slide tru this Saturday we finna turn up!!!!’ read the bottom of the image, which was titled ‘Adrian’s Kickback.'” Taylor Lorenz in the NYT: How a 17-Year-Old’s Birthday Party Became the Biggest Thing on the Internet. By “Friday night, they began to get nervous. People were posting about flying in from around the country for the event. One person said they were driving 18 hours with a group of people to be there.”

+ A Pirates fan tried to catch a homerun ball with his groin. (To me, this actually sounds preferable to attending Adrian’s Kickback…)

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