What a wild ride was the news cycle this week.  Between Trump’s first State of the Union Address and the FISA Memo drama, I’m spent and taking it easy this weekend.

Here in the US, I guess that Super Bowl thing is going on?  Most of you are big sports fans, am I right?  Well, I’m not.  Sports fandom is a toxic pasttime filled with a lot of time-wasting and jock-sniffing.

But I’m not going to ruin your fun today.  Enjoy watching people throw and catch a ball in between all of those commercials.  Today, the Thrill family is having a sort of Anti-Superbowl Party.  We’re just sitting around, snacking, and watching anything other than football.  The topic is verboten.

Hey, I have an idea.  Since I have a lifelong embargo on the NFL, let’s see if I can find a few stories to discuss that have nothing at all to do with Trump either.  I’ve met my quota for the week.  Besides, I’m sure all you football fans would appreciate a nice, relaxing break from all these divisive politics.

Ooooh.

Uma Thurman has now come forward as the latest known victim of Harvey Weinstein.

Afterwards, she says Weinstein made an unwanted advance in a hotel room during an argument, and later “pushed me down. He tried to shove himself on me. He tried to expose himself. He did all kinds of unpleasant things.” Thurman says that she later confronted Weinstein about the incident, but “her memory of the incident abruptly stops there.” One of her friends recalled that when Thurman returned, she was “disheveled and so upset and had this blank look,” and said that Weinstein threatened to end her career.

Weinstein and Tarantino.  Yuck.  She almost ended up with one guy jerking off in her hair and the other on her feet.  Trump would have grabbed Ah, damn it.  Sorry.

The Japanese, after decades of making radios, televisions, and other electronics smaller than Trump’s hands have made another achievement.

Japan has set a new spaceflight record — and unlike most of these feats, it’s defined by what wasn’t involved. The country’s Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has successfully launched the smallest-ever rocket to carry a satellite into orbit, a modest SS-520 sounding rocket modified with a third stage inside its nose cone to get its payload into orbit.

Are you ready for Star Wars: The Last Jedi in 16-bit?  Come on, even if you didn’t like the movie, this is great.  Especially because it’s a story about a diverse group of female-led Resistance fighters taking on a Nazi-like group of authoritarians led by angry white males, just like the current Administration

Speaking of Star Wars, the Alt-Right has been subjecting the Black Panther to the same treatment they gave The Last Jedi.

A Facebook group called “Down With Disney’s Treatment of Franchises and Its Fanboys”, whose moderator describes himself as “alt-right,” recently created an event calling on its followers to intentionally give “Black Panther” bad reviews on Rotten Tomatoes once the movie hits theaters on Feb. 15.

I have no plans to see this film, not because of pressure from the Alt-Right or disdain for a story about a black protagonist, but because I have zero interest in capeshit movies and will be far too busy glorifying the God Emperor with some new dank memes.

Some Israelis are suing a couple of New Zealanders for pressuring Lorde to cancel her Tel Aviv concert.  I can certainly vouch for the sheer effectiveness of activist trolls from New Zealand (lighten up, I’m just screwing with you).

On Wednesday, Shurat HaDin, the Israel Law Center, announced it had filed a lawsuit on behalf of three Israeli teenagers — fans of the Grammy Award winner who had purchased tickets to her Tel Aviv concert — against two New Zealand-based activists linked to the BDS (Boycott Divestment and Sanctions) Movement who it says persuaded Lorde to reconsider performing in Tel Aviv.

There’s more to come.

In July, rock band Radiohead went ahead with a performance in Tel Aviv despite pressure from BDS activists not to play because of the oppression faced by Palestinians. Award-winning British filmmaker Ken Loach tweeted: “Radiohead need to decide if they stand with the oppressed or the oppressor. The choice is simple.”

Lead singer Thom Yorke responded in a statement:  “Playing in a country isn’t the same as endorsing its government.”

Boy, I’m glad he gets that.  Wouldn’t otherwise be a single band playing in the US ever since November 2016

California’s marijuana is apparently bad for the environment.

Marijuana doesn’t just suddenly appear on the shelves of a dispensary, or the pocket of a dealer. Someone’s gotta grow it, and in Northern California, that often means rogue farmers squatting on public lands, tainting the ecosystem with pesticides and other chemicals, then harvesting their goods and leaving behind what is essentially a mini superfund site. Plenty of growers run legit, organic operations—but cannabis can be a dirty, dirty game.

Would you save the endangered Barron’s Buckwheat if it meant no more Barbara Bud?  Maybe Californians will rethink their priorities if their love for the environment outweighs all other considerations.  Nah, Californians won’t surrender to the Trump/Sessions regime of drug criminalization Nah, Californians have a solution that applies to all situations and circumstances, with unsurprising results.

That safety comes at a price, though. To fund the oversight of recreational marijuana, California is imposing combined taxes of perhaps 50 percent. “They’re too high,” says DeAngelo. He’s worried that the fees will push users back into the black market, where plants don’t have to hew to the same strict safety standards. “This shop should be a lot fuller than it is right now.”

In a rare victory for civil libertarians–who are themselves getting to be pretty rare–a small village in Ohio that existed for no other purpose than to issue automated speeding tickets has lost its appeal and must pay back $3 million dollars in fines it collected improperly.

“While it is true that New Miami has the authority to enforce its traffic laws, it must do so in a constitutional manner,” Judge Michael E. Powell wrote for the appellate court. “New Miami does not have the authority to do so in an unconstitutional manner.”

It’s good to see a judge ruling according to constitutional law, unlike certain federal Hawaiian judges.

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki announced her latest stupid initiative to utterly screw up YouTube with additional automated tools to harass content creators and promote censorship.

Some of our policies are no-brainers, like preventing people from impersonating other channels or using misleading thumbnails. But others are far more nuanced and unique to YouTube. We realize we have a serious social responsibility to get these emerging policy issues right, so we seek advice from dozens of expert advisors and third-parties. For example, on issues of hate speech we work with the Anti-Defamation League in the U.S. and on issues of self-harm, we work with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

When will the Board at Google finally #DemonetizeSusan?

What?  That’s all I have to say about that topic.

On a personal note, my bi-weekly paycheck that I received on Friday had a noticeable increase in my net pay.  I have benefited from the tax reform that was passed by Congress and signed into law by….uh…by….that is, uh, it was signed into law with a pen.

I’ll be adding this extra money to the savings jar each week.  Years from now my children will use that worthless currency, destroyed by inflation, that I’ve saved up to wipe their asses when the toilet paper runs out.

In all seriousness, I’m glad for the tax cut.  It seems that I’m not the only one as the approval ratings for Congress and the, uh, pen…signer…have increased as millions of other Americans have been surprised to find a bump in their take home earnings after months of the news media lying to them about the effect of the GOP tax bill.

This is a channel I recently discovered.  I’ve added his books to my wish list and am looking forward to checking them out in the coming months.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to put together some more book threads on these and more very soon.

Ah, thankfully there’s no way to connect Russia and Trump DAMN IT.

If real, this would blow out the Super Bowl in ratings.  I’d watch.

Feel free to discuss your football game (New England’s going to win and you already know this, you fools) or anything else in the comments.  I should be drunk by 6:00 PM (US Central Time) so look for my replies to become more reckless and free-form as the day progresses.

41 comments

  1. It will be the Patriots, unless Tom Brady is struck down with the flu, turns into a zombie, and starts eating his teammates. And even then…

    Meanwhile, Justin Timberlake won’t be performing with a dead guy:
    https://www.yahoo.com/news/sheila-e-timberlake-wont-prince-hologram-super-bowl-214018496.html

    Because John Candy is racist:
    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/02/03/massachusetts-school-cancels-cool-runnings-viewing-citing-racially-insensitive-subjects-in-film.html

  2. It will be the Patriots, unless Tom Brady is struck down with the flu, turns into a zombie, and starts eating his teammates. And even then…

    He speaks the truth.

    Meanwhile, Justin Timberlake won’t be performing with a dead guy:

    Can you imagine if they did the Janet Jackson thing again with all of its rapey implications today? Seems like a century ago.

    Because John Candy is racist:

    This reflects poorly on iGeneration. We need to get them in a Clockwork Orange chair and force them all to watch “Blazing Saddles”.

  3. Watching in a packed pub in Sydney, loads of Patriot fans here. Perfect timing for a long boozy lunch.

    I’d guess they’re happy at the moment.

  4. Great result.
    I learnt black people cant kneel and play football but MLK should be used to sell trucks during the SuperBowl.

  5. Funny thing is that when New England plays in the Super Bowl, I have to at least know the outcome because I work with so many people in that area. So all this week I’ll have to say “Aw, man, too bad for the Pats” at least once per conference call.

    Most years, I have no idea who wins or even plays.

  6. I missed this story completely last week. We’ve discussed universal basic income quite a bit and now an American city is giving it a try.

    https://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=581674763

    The mayor of Stockton, California, is leading an experiment with “universal basic income,” which is set to start by giving low-income residents $500 a month, no questions asked.

    Mayor Michael Tubbs calls his city “ground zero” for issues like wage stagnation, rising housing prices and loss of middle-class jobs that affect the nation.

    The Central Valley city went bankrupt in 2012, and for decades it has been trying to diversify its agriculture-based economy.

    “I feel that as mayor it’s my responsibility to do all I could to begin figuring out what’s the best way to make sure that folks in our community have a real economic floor,” Tubbs said.

  7. The Central Valley city went bankrupt in 2012

    Well giving away money to every person who comes calling is definitely going to help with that.

  8. Well giving away money to every person who comes calling is definitely going to help with that.

    I’ve heard about a lot of places doing this sort of thing when they desperately need people to move in. Alaska has been doing it for years. This just seems to be an experiment, nothing more. It’s interesting.

    It looks like they have a source of funding for it and it’s only short term, so it won’t affect the city’s budget at least.

    So we were able to get a grant of $1 million from the Economic Security Project to really test this idea.

  9. More from Dershowitz. Should Rosenstein be recused (not fired)?

    http://thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/372373-rod-rosenstein-should-not-be-fired-but-should-he-be-recused

    Five facts are indisputable. First, Rosenstein is currently supervising Robert Mueller, who he appointed to be special counsel to investigate the Russia matter and all ancillary issues. Second, these ancillary issues include any possible obstruction of justice growing out of the Russia investigation. Third, President Trump’s firing of former FBI Director James Comey may be an important building block in any possible obstruction case against the president. Fourth, Rosenstein played a central role in that firing, having written the memorandum justifying the president’s action. Fifth, Rosenstein would be an important — perhaps the most important — witness in any investigation of the reasons behind the firing.

    If indeed Mueller is going with an obstruction charge, I’d say yes.

  10. Universal pay is still very new as an idea so I wish Stockton well with the experiment. I think you’re absolutely right, thrill. Stockton put the money aside for it so they aren’t exactly betting the farm on it for votes. Which means they can sit back and see what comes of it. I really hope it works out so it can be adopted in favor of other forms of social welfare, maybe even reducing things like welfare.

    The issue to me comes down to whether it can eliminate other government agencies as a measure of success. My pie in the sky dream for it is that we can create a basic measure of existence, a living standard, meet it with welfare, and then reduce other bloated agencies as success can be demonstrated elsewhere. I really believe that is the only way, moving forward to eliminate the size of government. Public sector unions are entrenched in politics and have nothing but time to petition for expansion of their numbers and salaries.

    In Finland the place they’ve tried it, they’re not releasing numbers on it for two years, so it’s still very fresh. However, the initial findings are that many accept this basic income and feel the need for more, and are turning to entrepreneurial efforts. The extra cash gives them the feeling that things are covered, despite the money the government is giving them is about 500 euros a month, about the same as Stockton comparatively and certainly not enough to live the high life off of.

  11. I’m extremely interested in seeing how it pans out. Assuming that the results of the experiment are reported accurately and unbiased, it will definitely provide some evidence that your approach might be a better way forward.

  12. Santino, how are you liking those YouTube channels so far?

    I watched the older guy and took his advice on the diet. When I started watching it, I took a couple of weeks off of weight training, my right leg was pretty tight/sore (my guess is I tend to that leg when doing squats). I spent a couple of weeks just stretching out my leg, and watching my diet. I managed to lose about 5 pounds. I’m back to the weights again (doing the strong lift plan), and working in stretching in between workouts. Given my age, I’ve just accepted the fact that I need to stretch to work through any chronic issues with my legs (no doubt exacerbated by running on a cement floor playing men’s league ball hockey).

    The other guy was just too big, which kind of scared me off. I’m not interested in becoming Arnold-like.

    Thanks a lot for the advice!

  13. No problem my dude. So, when you have one leg problems like you mentioned there’s a fix I can look up to try. First, you’re absolutely right to stretch. There’s an advanced form of stretching called “mobility work” that weightlifters are swearing by in favor of static stretching. It’s the same basic premise but promotes the stretch mimic the movement you’re going to do. For things like squat and deadlift it’s really good because you practice getting into the position like the squat and get limber specific to the exersize you’re going to do. Usually with squats you have two basic problems: 1:) knee discomfort (caused by the weight not descending and ascending vertically along a plumb line). In the most basic sense you’re probably getting lower by leaning forward. 2.) hip inpingements: this is a more complicated scenario that is an issue getting into “the hole” where your hips open up enough for your torso to pass through them vertically to get to depth. This has to be resolved with a squat technique, low bar or high bar. Only you can really diagnose this.

    As for the pain on one side, I had the same problem and searched a long time to correct it. The thing that worked for me was a therapist that explained it has to do with your legs being asymmetrical in strength. Your body will compensate for this in the compound lifts, so you should film yourself and look for twisting . I noticed my right was weaker and my stance wasn’t even parallel, so I backed off the weight a couple of weeks to 60 percent of 1rm and really tried to correct that.

    This is also where the isolation machines help. You can do single leg presses, curls etc to hypertrophy the weak side.

    I’ll dig up my videos on the topic if you’re interested.

  14. Cool, my own personal online trainer! I really do appreciate your interest and advice, thanks JDPS.

    If you want to take this offline and hash it out I’m cool with that (I’m sure I have your email address from way back in the VO days). I’m okay with it here as well.

    A few things. I’ve had a few sessions with a massage therapist, he suggested to do non-static stretches (gave me a few to do). The only static stretch I do is on my hamstrings, that seems to work best. I use a roller to self massage as well. I do my lower back, roll on a lacrosse ball for my glutes, and roll the rest of my leg (sides, top, bottom, calf). I started out by getting sore muscle above my right knee and I definitely have tightness in the hip area. As I said above, my guess is that my right side does most of the work. I’ve tried to be aware of that when I do squats. As for tilting, I’d say of the 25 reps total I do for squats, I will lean forward on about 1-3 of them.

    Anyway, any videos or advice you have I’ll definitely take!

  15. Yeah just email me. We have very similar issues with regard to an imbalance of leg power and I agree it affects everything including hip and low back pain.

  16. Adam Schiff gets punked:

    The greatest prank ever played on Schiff was apparently pulled off by Steele. Funniest thing is that the Grassley Memo supports the Nunes Memo and it’s too late for Schiff to make any changes since it’s already been sent to the White House! LOLZ!

    Related to your link, I asked this question earlier today:

    https://twitter.com/RidVikStuf/status/960998696405041152

  17. There just isn’t enough quality rated R comedy/action movies like it anymore. Deadpool takes me back to when you had that right mix of stupid violence and outrageous humor. It’s like the fun, schlocky movies of the 80’s without being a shitty remake of one of them.

  18. Stuck on capeshit. Black Panther is apparently one of the greatest movies ever made. 99% Fresh on RT.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CmXfBOX460

    I guess it’s possible that professional critics are afraid to fairly evaluate it, because racism, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility that it’s that good.

    https://www.rottentomatoes.com/franchise/marvel_cinematic_universe

    From the Marvel movies, Ant Man and Infinity War are both rated equally highly.

  19. Love Deadpool.

    From the Marvel movies, Ant Man and Infinity War are both rated equally highly.

    Ah I think they’re showing as 99% as a default because they haven’t been rated yet (because they haven’t come out yet). Of the released films, the original Ironman appears to be the next highest on 94%, closely followed by the first Avengers, the latest Thor (Ragnarok), and Spider-Man: Homecoming (all 92%).

  20. Ah I think they’re showing as 99% as a default because they haven’t been rated yet (because they haven’t come out yet

    Aaaaaagh! Well, if anyone is tracking the number of times I totally fuck up at reading, there’s a good one to add to the list.

  21. Yeah I’m putting a memo together about that.

    As long as my infallibility is completely destroyed today, I’ll tell you all what happened to me yesterday.

    So we get milk delivered to our doorstep, old-timey style. Yesterday, when the milk came, the company included a little bag of cookies. They frequently throw free samples in with our deliveries to get us to buy more stuff.

    They were these four little round “vanilla wafers” and I thought, “Oh, those are small and there’s one for everybody in the house. I can eat one and not screw up my diet.” I opened the plastic bag and ate one. Was a bit bland, but not bad.

    Last night, Mrs Thrill went into the kitchen and came back into the living room with the cookies. She sat down on the couch and started opening the bag. Our dog, as usual, ran up and sat next to Mrs Thrill, because she has zero manners.

    “Oh, you found the cookies? Those came with the milk”, I said.

    “Yeah”, Mrs Thrill replied as she gave one of the cookies to the dog.

    “Whoa, you didn’t like the cookies?”

    Mrs Thrill looked confused. “I didn’t eat any. They’re dog treats. ”

    Me: “Uhhhhh. Shit.”

    Mrs Thrill asked, “DID YOU EAT ONE OF THE DOG TREATS?”

    “Yeah, I….uh….couldn’t tell. I mean, they look like normal–”

    Mrs Thrill threw her head back and laughed, like, really hard. For a long time. Like, if she were Rob Porter’s wife, she’d be in the ICU right now.

    I took it stoically, but I defended myself by noting that dog treats really shouldn’t look like people food. “Shouldn’t the damn things be bone shaped?”

    Mrs Thrill examined the package carefully and found that the tiny-ass logo of the company that made the treats was on there and bone-shaped. I hadn’t seen it because I just looked at cookies. Did not know that our milk company also deals in pet treats.

    I’m sure by now she’s told every one of our friends and relatives, because of course.

    So for all my friends here on RVS, if you think you’re having a bad week, you can at least be happy that you didn’t accidentally eat dog food and have your spouse find out about it to great mirth. Not as crazy as the Tide Pod Challenge, but almost as dumb.

  22. That is brilliant (now everyone at work is staring at me, wondering WTF is so funny)!!! You definitely need to start a YouTube channel.

  23. Seems like an easy mistake to have made then, I’m more shocked that you still can get milk delivered. Do they still come and collect dead bodies in a hand-drawn cart too?

  24. I’m more shocked that you still can get milk delivered.

    It’s pretty badass. The milk is local and very fresh. Even comes in glass bottles that we send back each week. For the life of me, I don’t know why people stopped doing milk deliveries, unless it’s just that housewives were banging so many of the deliverymen that guys had to cut it off.

    If they ever start doing it where you live, it’s worth it to do.

    Do they still come and collect dead bodies in a hand-drawn cart too?

    Heh! Only after tornadoes.

    In fact, the whole thing with tornado season is another weird thing we have out here. Only those who have lived in places like Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, and the rest of Tornado Alley can understand the bizarre ritual of watching local news coverage of tornadoes and going outside every few minutes to see funnel clouds.

    Seriously, those things can kill you, but we’re both fascinated by and terrified of them.

  25. I fondly remember having the job of taking the empty glass bottles and money out for the milkman, and then collecting the full bottles (every so often we’d get cream too, in half sized bottles). Pretty sure it stopped in the mid 1980s here in Auckland. Ending that killed off a lot of jobs for teens (the actual milkman would only drive the truck and lift off the heavy crates for big deliveries, mostly it was kids doing the bulk of the bottle swapping and money collecting. I opted for the early-morning paper round option, every morning without fail from ages 13 to 18).

    I remember seeing tornadoes in the distance when flying from Chicago to Atlanta once. Insane. We had to circle the airport for over an hour before it was safe to land. I would love to have the milk deliveries back (had to go up to the shops last night as the kids had finished all the milk and if there isn’t enough for coffee in the morning then I’m not responsible for my behaviour) but you can keep tornadoes.

  26. See, I hope that gives you some perspective. Many of us in Red State America spend half the year wondering if a mile-wide arm of pure, twisting wind is going to descend and Hiroshima our neighborhoods and throw our houses into the next county while we sleep. And that is why Trump’s tweets don’t scare us.

  27. I had milk delivery in SLC as a kid, glass bottles, the whole bit. Good milk too. Looks like the same Dairy still does it there.

    Many of us in Red State America spend half the year wondering if a mile-wide arm of pure, twisting wind is going to descend and Hiroshima our neighborhoods and throw our houses into the next county while we sleep.

    And that’s just one of the reasons I put up with checking my bed for scorpions, and driving around several months each year wishing I had oven mitts in my car. I’ll happily deal with that over tornadoes. But I also am fascinating by them – would love to do some real storm chasing sometime.

  28. I’ll happily deal with that over tornadoes.

    It’s weird, but I’ve lived in tornado alley for almost my entire life (outside of when I was in the military and a brief stint near Houston when I was a kid). I’ve only seen a tornado once, when I was very young.

    There have been some that hit near where I live, within a couple of miles, and done horrible damage but I seem to repel them somehow.

    I’m a trained storm spotter–not a storm chaser, those guys are a different breed–so I pay a lot of attention to what goes on each storm season. The oddest pattern I’ve noticed in recent years is how tornadoes are hitting harder and more frequently to the south, particularly Oklahoma and as far east as Alabama, than they used to.

    Every year, we hold tornado drills in the house. If we go into a tornado watch, I always have the family stage shoes, games, and other supplies in the basement in case the sirens go off. It’s weird what people just get used to.

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