Humpday News Roundup: Things Are Falling, But Not Prices

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

He Who Dies with the Most Toys is Now an A-Hole  

So, you’ve got a pile of old Barbie dolls – and a few Kens, I mean, come on, they count too – and you’re not playing with them anymore because you’re 37. No dolls? How about Lego’s. Toy giant Mattel has come up with a recycling program where they will take your old toys and reuse some of the parts. It’s called Mattel Playback and it’s happening! No cost to you! USPS shipping, so it’s good for the Postal Service! Got questions? Here are the answers.  

The NRA Does Mother’s Day, um, Let’s Call it Interestingly  

This last Sunday, as people in Colorado Springs were learning about another mass killing – this time at a child’s birthday party – the National Rifle Association chose to tweet a Mother’s Day message to all of the NRA moms out there. They could have stopped there, but they didn’t. They added a photo of a mom and young daughter… both holding guns… with the words “Mama Didn’t Raise A Victim.” There are no jokes to be made here, even the gun owners on staff think this is distasteful, so let’s move along.  

Banking Just Got Less Simple  

Online banker Simple was a product of the Great Recession comeback. The Portland online only banking app didn’t really catch on and was, therefore, bought out by the second largest bank in Spain – Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria or BBVA. Unfortunately for folks with money in Simple, the swap over wasn’t as simple as one would hope, leaving several people unable to log into their bank accounts as, well, simply as they were expecting. You can read a few of their stories here. And if you were a Simple bank member and are still having problems, we suggest starting with Oregon’s Department of Justice.    

Where Ya Gonna Put 100 Horses?  

Unbeknownst to many, there has been a herd of between 120 – 150 wild horses living la Vida Loca in the Ochoco National Forest right smack in the middle-ish part of Oregon since the 1920’s. However, the 2021 Ochoco Wild Horse Management Plan has decided that they can only have 47 to 57 horses in the forest, meaning 100 horses will need to be removed over the next five years. The management team will spread the removed horses between one of two corral areas or they will be adopted out. They’re saying it’s because of forage requirements in winter and genetic variability, but we at The Advocate sincerely believe it’s because they want to take the extra horses home to be their very own. [Now Toby wants a pony – D’oh!]  

In Other Horse News…  

The Kentucky Derby was run on May 1, and they’re still working out who actually won – and it’s not because the horses are still running. On the day-of, a plucky stallion named Medina Spirit – trained by Bob Baffert – took home the prize, but they do drug testing of horses after they win, and Medina Spirit’s drug testing came back with too much of the steroid betamethasone – like, double-the-amount-allowed too much. This is the same drug found in another horse also trained by Baffert. More testing is being done as Baffert loudly proclaims his innocence. Medina Spirit will be able to save face in the Preakness on May 15.  

In Other Animals Needing Homes News…  

The beluga whale dubbed a Russian spy when he was spotted in Norway wearing a Russian harness two years ago, needs a forever home. When Joar Hesten saw the whale – too far south for his species – the fisherman contacted the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries then jumped into the water to help the little fellow out. Turns out the harness had a camera mount with the words “Equipment St. Petersburg” on it. Within days of getting the harness off, the beluga took up general frolicking in the harbor at Hammerfest and gained the name Hvaldimir – the “imir” part coming from the name Vladimir… you know, after Putin. So entered some American woman who began a crusade to make Hvaldimir happier. The whale is in a fish farm now waiting for the people in his life to decide where to shuffle him off to next. In other whale related news, Norway is one of the nine places in the world that still allows whaling… so is America.  

The Founding Fathers weren’t “Impugning anybody’s humanity”  

So the question is – and has been – did the Founding Fathers mean to end slavery when they counted Black people as only three-fifths of a person? Republican lawmakers are getting antsy about how systemic racism should be taught in regards to American history classes for kids. According to Associated Press, Tennessee state representative Justin Lafferty (the most recent person to come to the argument) actually said, “By limiting the number of population in the count, [the Founding Fathers] specifically limited the number of representatives who would be available in the slave-holding states.” Lafferty went on to say that they did all of this to eventually end slavery in the U.S. Other politically-geared types say that the three-fifths compromise was meant to limit the amount of money sent to support slave-holding states – you know, to make the slaveholders be financially responsible for the people they thought they should own. The debate goes on, as does systemic racism. [*sigh*]  

Why Everyone in Louisiana Gets Hot Lunch  

Louisiana “lunch lady” Dawn Marie Baye was charged with ten counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor – as well as eight counts of indecent behavior – for hosting sleepovers for boys age 13-16 that she met (you guessed it) at the school where she worked. They were the standard sleepovers, including alcohol, porn, and sex. Did we mention that the “lunch lady” in question is 38? Yeah, she’s 38. Baye is being held on $50,000 bond.  

We’re Running Out of Things  

Sure, you’ve heard about the gasoline shortage due to ransomware, but we’re running out of other things too. Like lumber – running low because of epic house building and home improvements. Copper and steel – also short because of building. We need corn and soybeans – farms were also shut down during the shutdown and people still needed to eat. Cheese – the block kind used on burgers because, you know, it’s BBQ season and people are stockpiling. Diaper prices have gone up – and people thought we wouldn’t have a pandemic-baby-boom. And we need computer chips – can’t get the metal to make them, trade with countries that make them has soured, and cars can’t run without them anymore. In other words, expect higher prices across the board, then keep in mind that the Fed Chair Jerome Powell still believes that the inflation will be transitory.  

Mommy & Daddy & Baby Makes… Eleven?  

A woman from Mali broke the record by giving birth to nine live babies. In fairness, she thought she was having seven, but two of those guys were just hiding behind a spleen or something. Anyway, the babies – five girls and four boys – weigh between 500 grams and one kilogram [between 1.1 and 2.2 pounds for those of us who don’t know metric and haven’t read the Associated Press article where they did the math for us]. And for those who were wondering what this level of multiples would be called, they are nonuplets. Let’s all pause a moment for the ten-tuplets to come.  

The Sky Was Falling… It Landed  

In case you weren’t paying attention, China has begun to build their own space station, and stage one was to send a really big rocket up to deliver piece A [in the minds of Advocateers, a space station assembles sort of like an IKEA bed frame]. But what goes up must spin about in the atmosphere and slam back toward the Earth at approximately 18,000 mph. This last week, the people down here on the Earth were looking up, waiting to see where it would land. People in Jordan, Oman, and Saudi Arabia even posted photos of the rocket as it “tumbled” toward them. Luckily (and trust us, NASA is calling China lucky here) the rocket landed in the Indian Ocean near the Maldives.   

In Other Falling News…  

There seems to be a very special, very high bridge in the Northeast of China near the Piyan Mountain. The glass panels which make up the walkway of the bridge were not as sturdy against high winds as one gentleman might have hoped as he walked on them 100 meters [330 feet and thanks, BBC!] above the ground. Several glass panels blew away and the man was left hanging onto the metal cables which make up the handrails. He was safely rescued by the people in charge of the bridge, re-rescued by the fire department who showed up a little later, and taken to a hospital where he was said to be in “stable emotional and physical condition.”  

In Other Frightening Chinese News…  

Several other bridges, slides, etc. have been made of glass in China, some have broken, at least two people have died. What’s wrong with steel, people!?  

“Zero” Looks Like a Hero for Italy  

For the first time in Italian TV history, there is a television cast that is primarily Black. “Zero” is the new series from Netflix, and it’s contending with a culture in which comedy teams are still using racial slurs and making slanted eyes to poke fun at people of Asian descent. Add to the culture woes, the main state Italian broadcaster, Radiotelevisione Italiana or RAI, is “attempting to censor an Italian rapper’s remarks highlighting homophobia.” RAI is also advising against the use of blackface. Based on a novel by Antonio Dikele Distefano, “Zero” focuses on second-gen Black Italians and aims to create role models for those who have few people within their culture who look like them. Activists fighting against racism in Italy note that not only was this series based in the U.S. and developed by Netflix with a commitment to spend $100 million to improve diversity, but that it was not paid for by Italian public or private television.   

How Do You Say Whoops in Italian?  

A woman in Italy went to get her vaccine the other day. The person administering it gave the woman her shot. The person administering the vaccine then noticed that there were five – count’em five – empty syringes still sitting there, because the vial of vaccine was six shots worth and had just been injected all at once into one person. They kept her under watch for the next 24 hours at a hospital. She’s still alive. In other news, vaccines are mandatory in Italy.   

Another Reason We Don’t Allow Royal Families  

A princeling from Liechtenstein shot and killed 17-year-old Arthur. If you’re thinking that Arthur was another prince, you should know us better. Arthur was one of Europe’s largest brown bears. Also, the princeling did not have a license to hunt. Also, some of the party which shot Arthur did not have licenses for their weapons. Additionally, Arthur was a brown bear and therefore unarmed throughout the incident. Romanian officials are looking into it. RIP Arthur, you didn’t deserve this.  

By Sally K Lehman