Humpday News Roundup: Winners / Losers Edition

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

The Winner in Business is Eugene 

The Olympic Trials have boosted the Eugene hospitality industry by about $37 million. Granted, that number would be higher were it not for the pandemic limiting the capacity of the stadiums, but it’s nothing to sneeze at. And it offers us a good glimpse into the future where people will be able to gather again and Corvallis will take a share of the profits as well. 

Lawmakers Lower Bar 

You may no longer have to be able to read, write, or math to graduate high school in the state of Oregon. Senate Bill 744, which prohibits the requirement of basic adult skills such as those listed above, has made its way through the legislative branches in Salem. The lawmakers believe that by hitting “pause” on testing these basics until 2024, they can reexamine graduation requirements – which wouldn’t actually be required until 2027. The vote went down party lines with the Democrats saying “leave the kids alone with all your requiring stuff” and Republicans saying “the kids need to be able to add.” 

Oregon Wins Shot Put 

A young man from Gresham, Oregon, has broken the record for shot put in the Olympic trials by throwing a 16-pound metal ball 76-feet-8-and-a-quarter-inches [that’s 23.37 meters for the metric among us]. Ryan Crouser will now head over to Japan to see if he can bring home his second gold medal. 

Too Many Cookies, No Extra Improvements 

It turns out that Girl Scout Cookie Season didn’t live up to history. Seems they have found themselves with an extra 15 million boxes of cookies due to poor sales during the pandemic. This happened, of course, because the scouts were unable to stand in front of our local Safeway and Market of Choice stores to sell… and when they did, potential buyers ran away screaming “unclean!” Add to that, some troops chose not to sell cookies because child labor is used to make the palm oil that makes some of the cookies so devilishly tasty… and even more devilishly amoral. The leftover cookies will lead to some camping repairs not being made right away, but the Girl Scouts will go on. [Whew!]  

Social Awkwardness Reimagined 

For those of you who are concerned about the repercussions of telling off Billy over there who keeps getting into your masked face with his unmasked smirk, there are now bracelets. A grocery store in Wisconsin is facing the awkwardness of coming out of a pandemic head on with free, color-coded bracelets – green meaning “come on in for the hug, big guy,” yellow meaning “I’ll tap elbows with you if I must,” and red meaning “get the flying f*** away from me and I mean now.” [The grocery store stated these sentiments less dramatically]   

The Winner for Best Immunity is… 

Remember how when you were a kid and some other kid in the neighborhood got the Chickenpox and your folks took you over so you could get it too and then you’d never have to worry about it again? Yeah, that doesn’t actually work. Not for Chickenpox. Not for COVID-19. It seems that different bodies develop immunities in different ways, and to get a straight-from-the-doctor’s-mouth, best-immunity-booster-there-is kind of reaction, you really do need to get a COVID vaccine.  

In More Fun News…  

Researchers have determined that because there weren’t enough COVID tests available at the beginning of the pandemic, 81.1 million cases of COVID went undiagnosed. That means the U.S. total cases is probably closer to 114.6 million. And even if you maybe once had some level of immunity from antibodies from possibly having COVID, you can still be at risk. So if you haven’t yet, go get the shot already. 

$500 Million Down, $500 Million To Go 

In a move applauded by many, the Department of Education is canceling $500 million in student debt related to 18,000 former ITT Tech students. Remember ITT Technical Institute? Their advertisements that said you could earn these amazing salaries if you had their diploma? Well… not so much. And people trying to pay back student loans AND feed their families, have been filing loan forgiveness requests since before the “college” lost its federal funding and closed its doors in 2017. While running for his current job, Joe Biden promised to cancel $1 billion in student loan debt. [He’s officially halfway there] 

The Manatees Are Losing 

Florida wildlife managers and rescue groups are concerned over the large number of manatees dying this year. So far, 2021 has seen 750 of the oddly cute mammals die along the Indian River Lagoon – the most deaths ever in a five month period. The likely cause is lack of seagrass, leaving the manatees without enough to eat. The issues began in 2011 when the river [yes, it’s a river called Lagoon] saw a super bloom of algae, which blocked the sunlight and killed off massive amounts of seagrass. Over the last 10 years, they’ve seen about a 46,000 acre decrease – meaning the animals that love the river can no longer survive there. 

Spain Wins For Most Innovative Use of Tupperware 

Arrested in February of 2019, 28-year-old Alberto Sanchez Gomez of Spain finally had his day in court, and was sentenced to 15 years and five months for killing and eating his mother. [Yes, you read that right, he ate his mom.] Although his attorney tried to claim that Gomez was “psychologically disturbed” and shouldn’t be tried, the judge disagreed [not surprising since he ate his mom!]. Gomez received a sentence of 15 years for murder and five months for the desecration of a corpse [Yes, you read that one right too, the bigger sentence was for murder, not for eating his mom.] When the police searched Gomez’s house, they found bits of human remains stored safely away in, you guessed it, Tupperware. [Apparently, he wanted to keep his mom fresh.] Gomez will also have to pay his brother approximately $73,000 in compensation. [We’re not sure if that’s enough] 

New Zealand Wins Pride Month 

This week, Laurel Hubbard was named to the New Zealand women’s weightlifting team going to Tokyo for the Olympics. Hubbard is 43 – making it impressive that she made the team, right? She’s also transgender, making her the first trans-person to compete at this level. Add to all of that, a few years ago Hubbard broke her arm in the Commonwealth Games, and many doctors told her that her weightlifting career was over. And, yes, some people are saying she has an unfair advantage because she went through “male puberty,” but Hubbard has a testosterone level below 10 nanomoles per liter and she’s identified as female for more than four years, so she has met the requirements. I know a reporter and a Corvallisite who will be watching this lady compete! 

By Sally K Lehman