Humpday News Roundup: Space Out Edition

The latest recap of the news you may have missed… we’re assuming by accident.   

Garden Growing Too Much? There’s an App for That  

The Farmette Project has come up with a new app called Fresh Food Connect to help with food insecurity. The app directs home and community gardeners who want to donate a portion of their crops through Farmette’s 10-year project set up to deliver fresh foods to those in need. Food donated last year went to distribution partners including the Siletz Tribe, the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians, and St. Vincent DePaul Food Pantry. So, check it all out at the Fresh Food Connect website, then grow a bunch of stuff so you can give.  
COVID Strikes Again  

In the average year, the city of Corvallis brings in about $2 million during graduation week – you know, from hotels, restaurants, generalized shopping and such. This year, like last year, it’s all academic because graduation is mostly virtual. That’s not even adding on the loss of revenue from football, basketball – I mean, like, all the balls. So, we at The Corvallis Advocate are down on our knees, begging and pleading with y’all, go out safely (masked and distanced and yadda yadda yadda) and take care of your favorite local business by buying something. A meal! A book! A record! A flugelhorn – provided you know how to play the flugelhorn or want to learn… Lessons for your flugelhorn! Your city needs you, so step up wherever you can.  

People’ll Surprise Ya  

On the first of June, a San Francisco Police officer responded alone to deal with someone making threats. When she got there, the male suspect attacked her and pinned her to the ground then within seconds, four regular ole guys stepped up and started helping the officer. Other officers arrived and the one attacked is fine. The fact that the officer was Asian might or might not have had anything to do with the attack, but it’s just great to see people defending one another from attack, right?  

Alaska Wins  

With its high rate of COVID vaccinated folk and pristine landscapes, Alaska wins as the place to vacay this year. And if you’re looking for a vaccine on top of that, it’s at the airport and it’s free! Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy decided that was good way of kickstarting a return to tourism and the money it brings to towns. It turns out that one in ten Alaskans depend on tourism for their income – an industry that has accounted for an average of $2.2 billion each year.   

How to Save a Million  

Wanna save $1 million? It’ll cost you a lot. And we’re not talking about the $3 million to buy the New York City apartment. We’re also not talking about the fact that you’d have to live in New York City. You see, the name on the building is “Trump.” Several apartments in the Trump World Tower have gone on the market at steep discounts – prices that are up to a one-third drop. And it’s not just in New York. One person bought a Las Vegas studio in another Trump building for $160,500 from someone who paid $510,500 for the place in 2008. Many buyers won’t even look at Trump buildings despite the housing shortage and incredible interest rates, and many buildings who paid top dollar for the name “Trump” to decorate their outer walls have begun stripping the letters away.  

Are More Chinese On The Way?  

So, a long time ago, the Chinese government told the Chinese people that they could only have one – count’it 1 – child as a means of population control. Of course, the Chinese government never admitted that they had set this limit, until about five years ago when the Chinese people were told they could now have two children. It turns out that the Chinese government miscalculated, because the Chinese people don’t seem to want to have any childrencount’em 0 kids. Last year, there were only 12 million Chinese babies born, and granted that’s a lot more than the measly 3.6 million born in the U.S., it’s still not enough to replace the 1.4 billion Chinese people that will eventually need replacing. Ironically, prior to the one-child policy, 40% of Chinese mothers wanted to have a second baby  

140 Characters to Prison  

Nigerian Attorney General and Minister of Justice Abubaker Lalami has outlawed the use of social media. Meaning that if you really want to post that photo of your best bud hanging out in Abeokuto munching on a little pounded yam, you are risking being arrested and prosecuted. Lalami even directed his Director of Public Prosecution to get on with it and start, well, prosecuting violators. The ban took effect June 4 and is set to continue indefinitely. [and why didn’t we think of this four years ago?]  

In Other App News…  

The looting of ancient art in Italy began in the time of the Roman Empire, and it’s still going on today. Tombaroli or tomb raiders have taken their share of irreplaceable goods from Italian archeological sites, churches, and museums, and COVID-19 seems to be making it easier. The problem is that the police are a bit busy enforcing the lockdown, and people worldwide are in desperate need of money. This all has led Interpol to introduce an app called ID-Art which offers a database of stolen cultural goods. Also, beware what you buy from overseas via places like eBay, because owning something stolen is illegal.   

Bezos Heading to Space  

Jeff Bezos of Amazon fortune and fame is heading into space, and he’s taking his brother Mark with him. In a could-still-be-thwarted effort to finally win against Elon Musk, Bezos has decided to be on the first manned flight of his Blue Origin craft on a flight path that will technically mean he is in space. Musk’s company SpaceX – as well as Virgin Galactic by Richard Branson – have already carried people and supplies to the International Space Station, as well as having scheduled flights with private citizen passengers. Musk also won the contract to build the next lander that will take people back to the moon. Suppose we’ll all have to wait and see if Musk finds a way to smuggle onto the next flight up to beat Bezos again. [We’re putting our money on Musk.]  

In Other Moon News…  

CNN published images of the plans the Hilton Hotel chain made for a Lunar Hilton – a concept included in the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey” and predating the first people to land on the Moon. The plans include an orbiting craft named Orbiter Hilton, underground hallways leading to rooms, and a bar… of course. A mock-up of the Lunar Hilton key even made the cut, as well as a room layout that included multiple plants – likely for oxygen production. [Unamused copy editor here: Being trapped in a Hilton makes space seem, well, inhospitable and more than a little scary.]  

And If Men are From Mars…  

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration – better known as NASA – has decided to return to Venus after a 30+ year absence that can only really be called ghosting. I mean, they went there and got Venus all hot and bothered – we’re talking 800 degrees Fahrenheit – then they just stopped coming around. Now that NASA needs something – an answer to green-house gas overkill – they are sending not one but two “probes” over – and we all know that “probe” is just a fancy name for someone’s friend coming by to see if you got ugly, especially in this case where they got to calling Venus “Earth’s Evil Twin.” BTW they are bringing gifts – like lead gifts that our girl Venus is just going to melt… they think. So, Venus, get yourself together, because these guys will be there in about five years, and we want them to be so danged “jelly.”  

By Sally K Lehman