Hometown Cowboy Surf Vibe


Not the first time I’ve championed homegrown cowboy surf rock, but certainly the first time It’s Gettin’ Tough by the Modelos plays as a pandemic earworm. Last time I shared this song, Trump’s America blistered. Since then, Trump jibber-jabber has intensified. Undaunted by more of the same, it struck me as appropriate to reinsert a homegrown Vancouver cowboy surf vibe to lighten the mood.

https://www.the-modelos.com/about-us

No Telescope? No Problem


On April 29th behemoth asteroid 1998 OR2 will make closest approach to Earth at a safe distance of approximately 6 million kilometers. Traveling through the cosmos at 31,320 km/h, 1.8 km wide, 4.1 km long 1998 OR2 reigns as largest near Earth asteroid flyby of the year. There’s no chance of planetary impact and sadly no chance of seeing it without a telescope. Fear not, the Virtual Telescope Project hosts free online viewing starting April 28, 2020.https://www.virtualtelescope.eu/webtv/

Ghostly image of a large boulder in space.

Radar image of asteroid 1998 OR2, acquired April 18, 2020. According to current estimates, this space rock is probably at least a mile wide (1.8 km) and maybe 2 1/2 times that long (4.1 km). Image via Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico.

First glimpses of large asteroid due to pass soon

Panic Porn


Bill Maher nailed it with New Rule: Panic Porn. In a nutshell – if news media doesn’t tone down apocalyptic coverage of COVID-19 Trump will seize inevitable easing of restrictions as consequence of his great management during pandemic times. Take five minutes to ponder panic porn…..

Pandemic App


Yesterday Google and Apple announced partnership details pertaining to development of a COVID-19 tracking app. When launched, the opt-in platform would use Bluetooth to keep tabs on your whereabouts and interaction with personal contacts. Ostensibly to send email alerts if anyone you’ve had close contact with tests positive for COVID-19. The fine print explains –

“It works a bit like exchanging contact information with everyone you meet, except everything is designed to be anonymous and automatic. Instead of contact info, your smartphone will periodically exchange anonymized tracing keys with nearby devices. Both devices maintain a list of the keys they’ve collected on a cloud server, and when one person reports an infection, they have the option of sending an alert to people they’ve recently been in contact with. That alert will share information for what those people should do next.” From https://www.vox.com/recode/2020/4/10/21216675/apple-google-covid-coronavirus-contact-tracing-app

See the source image

In a perfect pandemic world, unprecedented solidarity between competing tech giants might be considered admirable. Trouble being, ours is anything but a perfect world and  red flags flap in the wind. Second phase of the Google/Apple partnership involves contact tracking functionality built in to Android and Apple phone operating systems. Excuse me? I urge you to read the link above.

Swamp Rabbit


I’m rather fond of rabbits. Not in a daily cabinet dusting of rabbit knick-knack way. Truth being, the only rabbit representation in my home is a watercolour painted by my mother decades ago. That said, rabbits are my animal, rabbit appears in my email address and a close friend calls me Ms. Rabbit. The eve of Easter weekend strikes me as an appropriate time to ponder Swamp Rabbits, in particular, the Jimmy Carter rabbit incident of 1979.

Swamp Rabbits, largest member of the cottontail genus weigh 3-6 pounds with overall length of 16-22 inches. Found along the Gulf Coast and south-central region of the United States, true to their moniker they favour swampy lowlands, floodplains and riverbanks. Peculiar to this cottontail is a waterproof fur coat and remarkable ability to swim. When threatened they take to water, eluding predators by diving under roots or hunkering down beneath overhangs.

On April 20, 1979 President Jimmy Carter was fishing alone near his home in Plains, Georgia. Carter said a rabbit being chased by hounds “jumped in the water and swam toward my boat. When he got almost there, I splashed some water with a paddle”. Despite this photograph taken by Carter’s onshore detail, White House staffers didn’t believe him, “rabbits can’t swim”. Ten days later AP correspondent Brooks Jackson’s account appeared in numerous publications, including front page of the Washington Post titled “Bunny Goes Bugs: Rabbit Attacks President”. A cartoon parody of Jaws, titled Paws appeared in the Post. All without the photo above which wasn’t made public until mid 80’s by the Reagan administration.

See the source image

Image from the Carter Library

A 1986 book by Jody Powell titled The Other Side of the Story included this account –

“Upon closer inspection, the animal turned out to be a rabbit. Not one of your cutesy, Easter-bunny-type rabbits, but one of those big splay-footed things that we called swamp rabbits when I was growing up.

The animal was clearly in distress, or perhaps berserk. The President confessed to having had limited experience with enraged rabbits. He was unable to reach a definite conclusion about its state of mind. What was obvious, however, was that this large, wet animal, making strange hissing noises and gnashing its teeth, was intent upon climbing into the Presidential boat”. – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Carter_rabbit_incident

Happy Easter.