Humpday News Roundup: Mark Johnson

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

OSU Keeps Up Keeping Up  

Oregon State University has been ranked #89 in the nation and #270 in the world for degree-granting institutions of higher education. Of the almost 20,000 institutions considered, OSU landed in the top 1.4%. So, listen kids, we at The Advocate want you to go out there and study! Study hard! Then research your patooties off! You just need to take out 88 universities here in the U.S. – only 269 in the world – to be #1!  

Pandemic Scams Keep A’Comin’  

You know that handy-dandy vaccination card you got when that first shot went into your arm? Please don’t share it on your social media, because people are stealing them right-left-and-center. According to the New York Times, hundreds of sellers are offering false or stolen vaccine cards to get around those businesses, states, or countries that are starting to require proof of vaccine to get in. The pieces of paper started showing up on selling platforms in January for anywhere from $20 to $60 – although some sellers will give you a discount if you buy them in bulk, mighty kind of them, right? These are the same sellers, often, who hoarded hand sanitizer and toilet paper last March, and who cheated people out of their stimulus checks more recently. And unfortunately, these scams have not missed hitting our local communities. So handle your vaccine card safely, and if you feel that you just can’t live without that card, just go get vaccinated… it’s free… and legal!  

Portland’s Mayor Makes an Ass of Self and Others  

At the end of last week, as the people of Portland prepared for the possibility of more protests, Mayor Ted Wheeler extended the State of Emergency for the area and claimed that rioters would be dressed in all black. Wheeler then urged people to call the police if they see someone wearing all black. To take down their license plate numbers as a means of stopping destructive acts in the city. At The Advocate, we are all dressing in black to support the fact that lots of people wear black and have zero connection to rioting… other than reporting about it, of course.   

For the Love of a Hot Shower  

A non-profit organization known as Love One has built a mobile shower to help people who are homeless have a chance to simply get clean. Some in the homeless population haven’t had a shower in more than a year, so this Clackamas County group is bringing the showers to the people in need. They hope to bring more to people in need as they get to know them while bringing the shower to places around the county.  

Save an Extra Seat for Oregon  

The 2020 Census has dropped, and Oregon is one of the winners. In November of 2022 – yep, just in time for the midterm elections – Oregon will have one additional congressional seat in DC. Also adding a seat are Colorado, Florida, Montana, and North Carolina. Texas will add two new seats, while California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia will each lose one seat. So much for Ohio being for lovers, huh?  

In Other Census News… 

 The population of the U.S. has increased to over 331 million people. While that continues us on the trend to maybe catching up with India or China – we’re only one billion behind now – it is the second slowest population growth in U.S. history – the lowest growth was in the 1930 Census because, you know, the Great Depression. And while 2020 was a harrowing year for everyone, we thank the Census Bureau for sticking to it and being able to count to 331,449,281 through it all.   

Kaiser Vaccines Hard to Come by in Oregon  

According to The Lund Report, Oregon’s Kaiser Permanente vaccine recipients are not always able to book a second vaccine within the time allotted to do so. They chronicled the journey of Randall Harris, a retail worker in Portland, who got a first shot without too much trouble on April 1, and was instructed to book his second in 21 days. Harris called and clicked and offered to drive to Eugene (I mean, who wants to go to Eugene!?!), but could not find an appointment. Finally, Harris was able to get one… in mid-May… with a six-hour-long drive. The CDC says you can go as long as six weeks between shots and still have full efficacy, but the preferred spacing is three weeks. There’s also the possibility that there might be an unexpected reaction to the second shot, and this gentleman will be six hours away from home. Kaiser spokesperson Michael Foley said there had been supply issues for a while, and that they now schedule second shots as you get your first if you’re in Southwest Washington – something Samaritan has been doing all along here in the Mid-Valley. Yay Samaritan!  

And Then There Are These People…  

Over five million people have missed their second dose. That’s more than twice the number of people who got vaccinated in the first few weeks. Several people fell into this category by happenstance when their appointments were canceled due to vaccine shortage or brand disparity, and once it became too hard they gave up. Some of these people believe that one shot is simply enough, while others are afraid of the side effects of the second shot. Perhaps they haven’t considered the side effects of dying from COVID? Anyway, Arkansas, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina are beginning to work the issue out through different approaches. Apparently, the vaccine trials found that a single dose will give a person a lower immune response, leaving them susceptible to virus variants, as well as wearing off more quickly than if a person has both shots.   

Mark Johnson  

An anchorman for Idaho’s KTVB newsroom updated his bio and became famous. With one of his and his wife’s sets of twins leaving for college and a new grandson, Johnson decided it was time to let his viewers in on happy family news. Yet when the new bio was posted on the station’s Twitter feed, the caption read “Mark Johnson” – and nothing else. Not only did the tweet get about 190,000 views, but the anchor himself became famous. In fact, he became a meme.   

Speaking of Famous Names…  

Who knew Josh was such a popular thing to name your kid? As pandemic relief, one Josh Swain of Tucson, Arizona looked through the socials to see if anyone else had his name. He then challenged Josh Swain of Omaha to a duel – the “rock, paper, scissors” variety. Swain the First won that duel and the “title” of the true Josh Swain. The battle then opened up to all people named Josh until April 24 when hundreds of Joshes gathered in a park in Nebraska to see the war to its inevitable conclusion. Five-year-old Josh Vinson Jr. was coronated with a Burger King crown. Long may Josh reign.  

HUD Report Says Shame on Trump  

A report by the Department of Housing and Urban Development says that the timing of the release of $20 billion in disaster relief for Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria in 2017 was “hampered” due to officials’ refusal to answer questions, delays in conducting interviews, and accessing electronic communications. According to The Washington Post, the Trump administration created bureaucratic obstacles and other stalling measures to delay giving aid to this part of America during its darkest hours. Former HUD Secretary Ben Carson refused to be interviewed for the report without a HUD-provided lawyer.  

Boy, Were They Misinformed  

On January 6, the US Capitol police officers were directed to keep their eyes peeled for anti-Trump protestors according to a radio call. In fact the exact words were “Attention all units on the field, we’re not looking for any pro-Trump in the crowd. We’re only looking for any anti pro-Trump who want to start a fight.” The transmission was found by the Department Office of Professional Responsibility as committees were looking into the Jan 6 Insurrection. The Capitol Police claim the words were taken out of context. Neither the radio transmission nor the officer who made the call are under investigation. BTW check out CNN’s ~5 minute long video included here it’s worth a watch.  

This in on Larry Kudlow  

Fox Business host Larry Kudlow made his feelings known about “plant-based beer” this week. His main point seemed to be that Americans will be forced to give up meat and animal products – i.e. no steaks, no chicken, no eggs – in favor of grilled Brussels sprouts chased by plant-based beer. He then called vegans “ideological zealots who don’t care one whit about America’s well-being.”  

In Further Beer News…  

It turns out that beer is not only the most widely consumed alcoholic beverage in the world, but it is actually made from plants. Entirely. (Always has been)  

Coming to the 2030+ Olympics…  

…this amazing Australian girl named Paige Tobin. She is six years old and has left people stunned with her remarkable skateboarding skills. Dressed in a pink dress and leopard-spotted helmet, Tobin not only leaves young boys scratching their heads but has won the King of Concrete skating competition in the under-9 field and has a handful of sponsorships. Lately, she’s been working on a blunt or fakie.The trick involves riding the board up to the edge of a ramp, stalling the board on the ledge while balancing on it and then popping the board off the ramp to ride back down.” Males account for about 4.6 million skateboarders, while females account for about 1.7 million, so this girl’s skill and potential are a happy sign for gender equality in the sport.  

Keeping Down Under for a Bit…  

Australia’s longest running television show – a soap opera titled “Neighbours” that’s been on for 36 years over 8,500+ episodes – has been having its share of racism issues. Aboriginal actors have reportedly been called the N-word, been faced with “monkey” epithets, been the brunt of racist “jokes,” and been subjected to sexist and homophobic comments. The show’s spokesperson said, “Neighbours strives to be a platform for diversity and inclusion on-screen and off-screen. Our quest is always to continue to grow and develop in this area and we acknowledge that this is an evolving process.” Evolve faster, please.   

Wanna See Reasons to Save Earth?  

CNN put together a gallery of beautiful photos and the Earth Day projects from which they came.   

Wanna See a Reason to Not Save Earth?  

In an attempt at humor, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio chose to talk to a compost bin. On camera. While people were watching.   

In Further Composting News…  

Compost bins are inanimate objects and do not speak. Jussayin’.  

By Sally K Lehman