• Unvaccinated people blame "mainstream media" and foreigners for rise in Covid cases

    A new Axios-Ipsos poll reveals that people who aren't vaccinated say the rise in Covid cases is the fault of "Foreigners traveling to the U.S." (37%), "Mainstream media" (27%), "Americans traveling internationally" (25%), and "Joe Biden" (21%). Vaccinated people, on the other hand, blame the surge on "The unvaccinated" (79%), "Donald Trump" (36%), and "Conservative media" (33%).

  • NYC will require proof-of-vaccine to enter restaurants, gyms, and entertainment facilities

    A range of indoor activities in New York City will require proof of vaccination. It's part of the city's effort to encourage vaccinations and reduce COVID-19 delta, the predominant strain in the city since mid-May.

    "If you want to participate in our society fully, you've got to get vaccinated," de Blasio said today. 

    From NY Mag:

    Dining at restaurants, working out in gyms, and attending a movie or play will all require proof of vaccination in the form of a vaccine passport by the state or the city's forthcoming app, as well as the CDC card given to people when they receive a shot. The policy, which will be implemented starting August 16th, applies to both workers and customers.

  • People with hacked Facebook accounts are buying Oculus VR headsets to force Facebook to help them

    If you have a Facebook account and someone hacks it and locks you out, you need to upload a driver's license or another official form of ID for Facebook to review. But people who have used Facebook's account recovery system said it doesn't work. According to NPR "Facebook said that because of the coronavirus pandemic, it has fewer people available to review IDs. It uses artificial intelligence, too, but its help center warns that reviews 'may take longer than usual.'"

    Hacked Facebook users say calls and emails to the company go unanswered.

    But some people have started using a workaround — they buy a $300 Oculus VR headset. Oculus is owned by Facebook, and it has its own customer support team that is more responsive than Facebook's. The hacked users don't have to open the Oculus box, they can just use the serial number on the outside of the box. Once Oculus's support team helps the user get their account back, the user can return the headset for a refund.

    From NPR:

    Facebook spokesperson Gabby Curtis told NPR in a statement that the company's help center is available 24 hours a day to assist people with problems and report issues. But Curtis acknowledged, "We also know that we need to keep improving in this area and plan to invest more in the future."

  • Passengers stranded and Spirit airlines canceled hundreds of flights

    According to travel news website Live and Let's Fly, Spirit Airlines canceled at least 277 flights today, representing 36% of its schedule according to FlightAware data. 159 flights have been delayed, representing 20% of its schedule.

    Though the weather is the primary factor, it is not the sole cause of the delay. In addition to staffing issues, Spirit reportedly also set an unrealistic timeline.

    The situation at Spirit Airlines has deteriorated to the point where extraordinary measures have been taken, according to the travel site. There have been unconfirmed reports of riots and bedlam in Florida and Puerto Rico. 

    From Live and Let's Fly:

    But Spirit Airlines, as a so-called "ultra-low-cost-carrier" does not have interline agreement with other airlines. When delays and cancellations happen, passengers are hung out to dry…it is the risk you take when you book with a carrier like Spirit Airlines.

    A tweet suggests the situation in San Juan, Puerto Rico is spiraling out of control, with passengers rioting, flights ordered to divert, crew members told to change out of uniform, and ground staff huddling behind locked doors.

  • Charlie Kirk wins Meidas Touch's "Weirdo of the Week" for smearing champion gymnast Simone Biles

    Simone Biles is an American gymnast. She has won 31 Olympic and World Championship medals, making her the most decorated American gymnast of all time. 

    Charlie Kirk is a conservative talk radio host. The New York Times said by "[m]ixing, matching and twisting facts, Mr. Kirk has come to exemplify a new breed of political agitator that has flourished since the 2016 election by walking the line between mainstream conservative opinion and outright disinformation."

    On a recent show, Kirk expressed indignance about Biles' decision to protect her mental well-being by deciding not to participate in the Olympics.

    "We are raising a generation of weak people like Simone Biles," he said. "If she's got all these mental health problems: don't show up. She's totally a sociopath. What kind of person skips the gold medal match? Who does that? It's a shame to the nation. You just gave a gift to the Russians.… If you're not ready for the big time, we've got thousands of young gymnasts that would love to take your place. Thousands. Simone Biles just showed the rest of the nation that when things get tough, you shatter into a million pieces."

    There are thousands of other reasons why Charlie Kirk is deserving of Meidas Touch's "Weirdo of the Week," but his latest infantile outburst was the tipping point.

    Congratulations, Charlie, you weirdo!

  • Watch: Contractor says he wasn't paid, so he rented an excavator to tear up apartment he just built

    A building contractor in Germany who claimed he hadn't been paid for an apartment building he constructed rented an excavator and tore away at the facade of the building, causing $500,000 in damage.

    He stopped the destructive rampage only after the excavator stopped working. He then got into his car and drove to the police station and turned himself in.

    The owners of the apartment building claim that they had paid the contractor the full amount minus 1.4% for construction defects. The contractor could be imprisoned for 5 years.

    [via Oddity Central]

  • In the 1970s boxes of Alpha-Bits cereal had tiny terrariums as the toy surprise

    Of all the toy surprises offered in cereal boxes, the best was the Quisp meteorite ring from the 1960s. One sold at auction in 2014 for over $800.

    The Alpha-Bits terrariums, which were introduced in the mid-70s, weren't as good as the Quisp ring, but they belong on any top ten cereal premium list. Each box came with one of three tiny clear plastic terrariums (tinted red, blue, or yellow). It also came with an absorbent disc and a packet of basil and cress seeds. As the kid in the commercial says, it took about 8 days for the seeds to sprout once you added the water.

    Does anyone else remember these?

  • This 1970 documentary shows dirty old New York at its meanest and most decrepit

    Narrated by the incredible Jack Gilford, "A Bridge Over Troubled Waters" is a 28-minute documentary about Jewish philanthropical foundation addressing poverty in New York City in 1970. The streets are filthy, everything looks grimy, and it's heartbreaking to watch homeless teenagers talking about how they barely scrape by.

    On YouTube some people asked the filmmaker, David Hoffman, if he knew what happened to the kids. He said, "Unfortunately, in those days I didn't take releases like we were required to do years later so I didn't really know their names. I gave them some money and wish them well and never saw them again. They were very nice people in really tough spots."

  • Watch down-on-his-luck cowboy star Hoot Gibson in a 1954 infomercial for chinchilla breeding

    "Find out what chinchillas can mean to your future security."

    That's the message for viewers who tuned into The Hoot Gibson Show in 1954.

    Hoot Gibson was born in Tekamah, Nebraska in 1892. When he was a child, his family moved to California, and he worked on a ranch and competed in rodeos. Francis Boggs, the director of silent westerns in 1910, was looking for real cowboys and recruited Hoot for his films. His career quickly took off, and he became the highest-paid cowboy star behind Tom Mix. He continued to star in films until the 1940s. It was all downhill after that. From Wikipedia:

    Gibson's years of substantial earnings did not see him through his retirement. He had squandered much of his income on high living and poor investments. By the 1950s, Gibson faced financial ruin, in part due to costly medical bills from serious health problems. To get by and pay his bills, he earned money as a greeter at a Las Vegas casino. For a time, he worked in a carnival and took virtually any job his dwindling name value could obtain. At one point he hosted a booth at rodeos that encouraged ranchers to raise nutria [a a large semiaquatic rodent]. He also appeared in an episode of Groucho's You Bet Your Life, filmed in December 1955. He made the final game with his contestant, but did not win the big money, though he earned himself a share of the $440 prize money for the show.

    Hoot was also married several times. His final marriage was in 1942 when he wed 22-year-old cowgirl yodeler Dorothy Dunstan.

    In this episode of The Hoot Gibson Show, Hoot shows a neat lasso trick, but rarely speaks or appears on screen after that. Clearly, Hoot doesn't give a hoot. When he does appear, he looks bored and eager to introduce the house band (the excellent Jimmie Haskell Trio). He leaves all the talking to his "ranch foreman" (Allin Slate) and to the president of Aristo-Blue Chinchillas (a company owned by Hoot).

    Here's the sponsor's message:

    Friends these are the famous Aristo-Blue chinchillas, probably the most valuable animals for their size in the world because of their delicate and luxurious fur.

    The demand for fine chinchilla breeding stock usually exceeds the supply. Thousands of people in all walks of life raise these valuable little animals in their garages, their spare rooms.

    They're clean animals to raise, easy to care for, and at the same time are a wonderful investment. Many people in the fixed income bracket are supplementing their present income and building toward a highly profitable business of their own raising chinchillas.

    Most people start with one pair, and as chinchillas have offspring on an average of two or three times a year herds have been built up worth thousands of dollars. You can do the same thing. All you have to remember is to start with good breeding stock such as Aristo-Blue.

    Every adult pair of Aristo-Blue chinchillas is graded by prominent fur judges and assigned grading certificates vouching for their high quality, and every pair of Aristo-Blue chinchillas is unconditionally guaranteed by Aristo-Blue a national concern with a fine reputation.

    If you'd like to get started in something for yourself, a business that offers security and independence, stay tuned for further details to be heard later in the program. This may be just what you've been looking for!

    Where do I sign up?

  • A 900-person Covid delta cluster in Massachusetts includes 74% vaccinated people

    An alarming Washington Post article says the Covid-19 delta variant is "so contagious that it acts almost like a different novel virus, leaping from target to target more swiftly than Ebola or the common cold."

    Ars Technica says an internal CDC report paints a grim picture:

    An analysis of a COVID-19 cluster of around 900 people in Massachusetts—74 percent of whom are vaccinated—is among the alarming data that spurred the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to reverse course on masks this week.

    According to an internal CDC document first obtained by The Washington Post, data on the Provincetown, Massachusetts, cluster showed that vaccinated people carried surprisingly high levels of the delta coronavirus in their noses and throats. More importantly, vaccinated people were found to be spreading the dangerous virus variant to other vaccinated people. Nationwide, the CDC estimated that there are 35,000 symptomatic breakthrough infections per week among 162 million fully vaccinated Americans.

  • GOP talk show host who expressed skepticism of Covid vaccine is "struggling to breathe"

    Nashville radio talk show host Phil Valentine (61) is still in critical condition after being hospitalized for COVID-19 over two weeks ago, reports WBUR.

    On his show, Valentine was well-known for his distrust of COVID-19 vaccines. 

    He refuses to take the vaccine because he believed the odds were in his favor.

    On his blog, he wrote:

    "I'm not an anti-vaxxer. I'm just using common sense. What are my odds of getting COVID? They're pretty low. What are my odds of dying from COVID if I do get it? Probably way less than one percent. I'm doing what everyone should do and that's my own personal health risk assessment. If you have underlying health issues you probably need to get the vaccine. If you're not at high risk of dying from COVID then you're probably safer not getting it. That evokes shrieks of horror from many, but it's true. I'm weighing the known versus the unknown."

    Phil Valentine is now claiming he made a mistake — and should have taken the vaccine. 

    Phil's brother Mark issued a statement urging people to get vaccinated:

     Phil & his family would like for all of you to know that he loves ya'll and appreciates your concern, thoughts & prayers more than you will ever know. Please continue to pray for his recovery and PLEASE GO GET VACCINATED!

    From WBUR:

    The radio host believed he would be back at his job within a few days of first getting the virus. Instead, he was "very close to death at several points" when his oxygen levels dropped, his brother says. While Phil Valentine has been communicative, health care workers have encouraged him to sleep as much as possible to save strength, Mark Valentine says.

    "A lot of people didn't get the vaccine because I didn't get the vaccine," the radio talk show host told his brother. Now Mark Valentine is on a mission to spread Phil Valentine's new view on COVID-19 vaccines.

    "That's my purpose for being here today, is to take the message that he's unable to take, and that is: Take politics out of it. It's time for us to get together and fight this thing collectively," he says. "Just put all the conspiracies and microchips and all that business aside and go get vaccinated and don't put your family through what his wife and the rest of us are going through."

    [image: By Ashashyou – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0]

  • Relive the joy of Berkeley Systems' famous "Flying Toasters" and other "After Dark" screensavers

    There was a time, many eons ago, when screensavers were a big deal, and the king of the screensaver makers was Berkeley Systems, creators of the famous "Flying Toasters" screensavers.

    Bryan Bruan used CSS to recreate a lot of the After Dark screensavers, including :

    Why aren't screensavers that popular now? Like ringtones, people got bored with them, for one thing. But I also think people are using their computers for more hours in a day than they were in the 1990s, so there's not enough idle time for a screensaver to kick in.

  • Unhappy Happy Meal customer tears apart a McDonald's, fights police
    Click to expand

    A gentleman patronizing a McDonald's in Virginia did his best to destroy the restaurant when his Happy Meal order didn't go as planned. According to TikToker Kate Rebel Off, the man then walked out the door, threw a bicycle, and entered a liquor store. When he emerged from the liquor store, he got into a fight with the cops who were looking for him.

    Here's a follow-up:

  • TikToker shows the difference between U.S. and French co-workers
    @victoriagabriellepierce

    for legal reasons, this isn't based on real life at all 😂 #fyp #frenchamerican #comedy #workplace

    ♬ original sound – Victoria Pierce

    Americans are more roundabout when discussing work issues, while the French don't beat around the bush. At least that's what I gather from Victoria Gabrielle Pierce's video in which she plays the role of a worker in the U.S. and in France.