The Daily Amos, 13 May 2021

By Amos Staff. Dateline: Greenwood, Indiana

World

Israel and Palestine continue to be the most heartbreaking situation ever. Follow live updates and video via The New York Times here. (Short version: Over 70 dead in worst bombardment in years. Axios.)

“Lawmakers warn of impending bloodbath for Afghan partners” (NBC). More than 17,000 Afghans who worked with U.S. forces have applied for visas but the program is plagued by bureaucratic delays and the clock is ticking. See also: Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani discusses opportunities and problems as the U.S. leaves his country. (Foreign Affairs)

Rest In Peace to the poor minke whale calf who was stranded in London. (Full story: Reuters)

An Ecuadorean tsantsta (shrunken head) has been repatriated from the United States back to Ecuador. It once featured in a John Huston film. As of 2019, it had been returned to the Ecuadorean consulate in Atlanta, Georgia. It is unclear if it has been fully repatriated to the originating country. (NBC) In recent years, other museums and institutions have been removing their “shrunken head” displays with hopes of repatriation to original countries. Some shrunken head displays have been discovered to be 19th century replicas cobbled together from mortuary remains to meet a demand for “exotica.” “We don’t want to be thought of as dead people to be exhibited in a museum, described in a book, or recorded on film,” say Shuar Indigenous leaders Miguel Puwáinchir and Felipe Tsenkush. (Smithsonian)

United States

The Biden administration’s Department of Energy has green-lighted the nation’s first big offshore wind farm, which will be located near Martha’s Vineyard. (The Conversation)

As of May 12, there have been 32,814,415 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 583,684 COVID-related deaths in the United States. You can follow vaccine news, state opening and closing news, and other pandemic data for the U.S. (and world) at the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.

Who’s to blame for the hacking of the Colonial Pipeline? DarkSide, an Eastern European criminal group. (See NBC, New York Times) They’ve claimed to have attacked three more companies (one in the U.S., one in Brazil, and one in Scotland), according to NBC, who also points out that they are a criminal organization and their claims need to be verified before being confirmed. (Not news but sometimes criminal organizations play, as the kids say, “fast and loose” with the truth.) While the pipeline is back online and gas shortages will be short-lived in the southeast of the country, people are nevertheless hoarding gas now (uh, thanks, y’all). Luckily some do-gooders have pointed out that one should never use plastic bags to contain hoarded gas. By “do-gooders” we are actually here referring to the Consumer Product Safety Division. (Washington Post)

The Growing List of Coronavirus Vaccine Freebies (Vox)

Indiana

School jobs are blossoming for spring on the Indiana Department of Education School Personnel Job Bank.

Governor Holcomb is reinstating work-search requirements for unemployment insurance benefits beginning June 1st.

Purdue University will NOT be requiring incoming students to receive COVID vaccines before returning to campus in the fall. (WTHR)

You, too, can compete in the 500 Spectacle of Homes in Indianapolis. Deck out your home for the Big Race (Cars, Vroom) and submit your address on the official site. There won’t be an actual 500 Parade this year but you can make up for it by festooning and lighting and bedazzling your very own digs. (If you did a great job, why don’t you put a picture in the comment section? Get famous on Amos, we always say.)

Kokomo: check out their two HUGE pop culture hits: Canary Currency (Amazon Prime) and Waste of Kokomo, the podcast (Facebook, and under “Amoscast” anywhere you stream podcasts).

Economy, Money, Business

Inflation, goddamn it. (CNN, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal)

Labor shortage situation. Perhaps you’ve come across a blizzard of help wanted signs staked on the side of the road or tried to visit a fast food joint only to find they’re closed due to a shortage of employees. U.S. lawmakers are increasingly tightening up unemployment insurance benefits and requirements in the hope this will push workers back into the workforce. Twitter, Reddit, and the local mood (TM) are all in a flutter of disagreement: is what’s missing a living wage? Decent job with benefits, flexible and/or predictable scheduling, continued pandemic? Or is unemployment insurance just too cushy? (Jeff Bezos’ net worth, by the way, is 1.87 billion. Federal minimum wage is $7.25/hour or, at 40 hours per week, $15,080 before taxes. The average apartment rental price in the U.S. is $1,124 per month.) Is it time to consider a Universal Basic Income (UBI)? A negative income tax? Or do we continue to let the invisible hand continue to massage the people into subservience or something?

Incidentally, in the U.S., your taxes are due on May 17th. So, file ‘em already. (You can do so for free on Credit Karma.)

Sports

We do not have any idea what Rachel Nichols wore today on ESPN.

Apparently pro basketball is going into something called “playoff season.”

Baseball keeps happening.

Oh. They drugged that horse! And he’s gonna run in the Preakness anyway.

You can watch Tatiana Gutsu’s uneven bar routine from the 1992 Summer Olympics:

Fun fact: Ms. Gutsu was often called “The Painted Bird,” which is the name of our next mystery novel.

Food and Drink. Travel. Pop Culture. Entertainment. Etc and Misc.

Social Media: Consider following Duchess Goldblatt, Pearls from Myrna, and Super 70s Sports on Twitter.

Books: 1913, The Year Before the Storm by Florian Illies, The Jungle by Upton Sinclair (that shit hits differently as an adult), Midnight Assassin by Patricia Bryan and Thomas Wolf.

Religion/Articles/Read this damn thing: Vanished From the Earth by Joshua Rivera (Slate)

TV, Film, Streaming: The Good Place, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Jasper Mall (documentary), and The Florida Project.

Travel: Many of the casinos in Las Vegas are back to 100 percent occupancy, plexiglass removed. Also, someone recently twittered their receipt for precisely one (1) pina colada at the pool at Harrah’s. It was 38 American dollars before tip. So, we’re questioning our future vacationing in Vegas. Also? There are continued rumors that Luxor might be demolished. The buffet at Caesar’s will reopen on May 20. Oh, and Resorts World has listed their live performance residency dates for fall. (In case you missed it, here’s our video review of Staying at Paris— pre-pandemic)

Non-Vegas Travel: Some Disney Springs Resorts are offering teachers and first responders $79 room rates. (Travel & Leisure); Traverse City, Michigan, will be hosting their National Cherry Festival this year; You can visit the Indianapolis Museum of Art/Newfields for FREE on the first Thursday of every month (March through September) from 4-9PM. (Tell ‘em to stop calling the IMA “Newfields.” Ugh, honestly. It’s so Snapchat, fetch, daggy. Expletive.)

Food & Drink: Chicken Shortage! (Tyson blames the roosters.) (Fun fact: “Blame the Rooster” is the name of our second next upcoming mystery novel. You heard it here first.) Also, if you planted your damn zucchini on time, some of you are going to be harvesting the l’il bastards in about 4 weeks. So use this recipe and make an awesome cake. We’ve heard some gossip that The Liquor Trust (aka just like alkie companies) may start effing around (technical term) with IPA: as in trying to merge it with seltzer or white wine or add, like, freaking collagen and probiotics. To which, all we have to say is, oh my god, don’t do that.

Weather

Yes.

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