Sunday, August 20, 2017

"How to Get Away With Murder in Small-Town India"

NYT:

Jahiruddin, though uneducated, was an adept politician, fresh from winning a hard-fought local election. During our conversations, he would often break into rousing, patriotic speeches about truth and justice, thumping the plastic table in emphasis and making it jump. The effect was somewhat tarnished by his Tourette’s syndrome, which caused him to interject the word “penis” at regular intervals.

He was frank about the dirty aspects of his job. He occupied a post reserved for women from lower castes, but no one pretended this was any more than a sham; his wife’s name appeared on the ballot, but the face on the poster was his.

...

We drove to the nearest police station, a few miles away, and a young constable, Jahangir Khan, was sent out to speak to us. . . . he said he could tell that I was American because my nose shook when I talked, a national characteristic he had observed while watching James Bond films.

"Traffic nightmare hits Oregon leading up to eclipse"

"Highway 26 was backed up all the way to Prineville for 15 miles as thousands made their way to the site of the Symbiosis Gathering, an arts and music festival that relocated this year to be in the path of the eclipse. "

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Moments from the just-completed Crimson Dynamo storyline in Avengers Academy



(A Defenders-themed storyline has just started.)

Speaking of monuments

Wikipedia:

Juan de Oñate y Salazar (1550–1626) was a conquistador from New Spain, explorer, and colonial governor of the Santa Fe de Nuevo México province in the Viceroyalty of New Spain. He led early Spanish expeditions to the Great Plains and Lower Colorado River Valley, encountering numerous indigenous tribes in their homelands there. Oñate founded settlements in the province, now part of the present-day American Southwest. Today he is known for his brutal retaliation against the Acoma Pueblo in 1599, known as the Acoma Massacre or the Battle of Acoma Pueblo, where, following a dispute that led to the death of 13 Spaniards at the hands of the Acoma, including Oñate's nephew, Juan de Zaldívar, Oñate ordered that the pueblo be destroyed. Around 800-1000 Acoma were killed. Of the 500 or so survivors, at a trial at Ohkay Owingeh, Oñate sentenced most to twenty years of forced "personal servitude" and additionally mandated that all men over the age of twenty-five have a foot cut off. He was eventually banished from New Mexico and exiled from Mexico City for five years, convicted by the Spanish government of using "excessive force" against the Acoma people. Today, Oñate remains a controversial figure in New Mexican history: in 1998 the right foot was cut off a statue of the conquistador that stands in Alcalde, NM in protest of the massacre, and significant controversy arose when a giant equestrian statue of Oñate was erected in El Paso, Texas in 2006.

"MLB umpires will wear white wristbands to protest “escalating verbal attacks"

"The World Umpires Association is dissatisfied with the punishment meted out to Tigers’ second baseman Ian Kinsler following his lengthy criticism of MLB umpire Angel Hernandez on Tuesday."

Baseball player "Torii Hunter sank $70,000 into a raft designed to sit under furniture that could be inflated during a flood"

"How do incredibly wealthy superstar athletes blow their fortunes?"--an article I rediscovered from 2012 while editing my old posts.

Chick-fil-A abandons attempt to open a store in San Juan Capistrano

OCR:

This came after the commission voted 5-0 to postpone its decision to replace an existing Taco Bell with a Chick-fil-A over concerns that the popularity of the self-proclaimed originators of the chicken sandwich would create traffic, despite plans to extend the drive-thru to accommodate 19 vehicles at a time.

...

this isn’t a new phenomenon in SJC. As the Register reported, in 2010-11, an effort to replace a Sizzler with an In-N-Out just down the street ran into similar roadblocks in the planning process, and ultimately forced In-N-Out to give up and back out of the project.

"One of Indiana’s top football recruits is ineligible, and it’s all Indiana’s fault"

WaPo:

Indiana’s athletic department has spent much of the month of August trying to make things right. Officials filed a waiver request Aug. 3 with the NCAA to restore Fitzgerald’s eligibility; it was denied 11 days later, according to the news release. That same day, the school filed an appeal of that decision; on Friday, the NCAA also denied that appeal.

...

Indiana would not reveal the root cause of Fitzgerald’s ineligibility, as that information is protected by academic privacy laws

"The canal that helps bring food to tables across the world has a big problem — it's sinking"

VTD:

The sinking terrain . . . has already reduced the capacity of the key irrigation artery by 50 to 60 percent in some locations.

“It’s like a big dip, a bowl or depression in the land that has the effect of not allowing flows to the south,” Vink said. "The Bureau of Reclamation knows about it and estimates are it could be a $200 to $500 million problem.”

...

What is a farmer to do?

Go back to pumping groundwater, Vink said.

However, it was vigorous pumping that has been blamed for land subsidence in the first place — both here and on the westside of the Valley, impacting the critical California Aqueduct, as well.

"The 'Most Dangerous Architect in America' Built a House—Then It Vanished"

Artsy:

Upon digging into the documents, it quickly became clear that Ain and his family were the target of three decades of surveillance. Documents relate that even his babysitter reported his family to the government, suspicious of the “literature” in their home and noting that they “seemed to be in some sort of group.”

...

By the time Ain began working on the MoMA house, he knew that this L.A.residential project was dead in the water, as it had been denied government loans because it was racially integrated.

New Interstellar tees at Last Exit to Nowhere

Endurance Space Exploration.

Relatedly:

Friday, August 18, 2017

"Family Jumps Rising Drawbridge in Car, Lands on Other Side"

NBC:

A family heading to Cape May, New Jersey, found themselves in an improbable situation earlier this month when a drawbridge lifted right underneath their car and they were forced to jump the opening

...

A commercial fishing vessel was trying to pass under the bridge, and its radio communication was down, officials said. The bridge operator could not contact the large boat.

The operator later told police he was blinded by a sun glare when he checked the bridge for cars, expecting Naphys' vehicle to clear in time.