Saturday, April 1, 2023

PBS Eons and SciShow on Piltdown Man for April Fools Day, a Science Saturday holiday special

Happy Science Saturday on April Fools Day! For today's double celebration, I'm returning to the topic of last year's PBS Eons reflects on Piltdown Man for April Fools Day, a Flashback Friday holiday special. In particular, I'm revisiting the following paragraph.
PBS Eons returned to the subject in its most recent Mysteries of Deep Time podcast, The Case of the Most Famous Fake Human Fossil.
This episode is a mystery in the most classic literary sense of the word. It’s a whodunit detective story that spans more than a century - the saga of the Piltdown Man Hoax. From a gravel pit in Sussex, we follow the faked fossils through history, to what’s now the Natural History Museum in London, where scientists are using new technologies to try to unravel the identity of the fraudster, and explore how this hoax impacted the study of human origins.
The podcast episode focuses much more on the fake fossil and the people who likely created it than on its effect on the rest of science. It makes for a good unsolved mystery as well as a good hoax to examine on April Fools Day.
PBS Eons turned this podcast episode into a video last November, The Unsolved Case of a Fake Human Fossil.

This episode is a mystery in the most classic literary sense of the word. It’s a whodunit detective story that spans more than a century - the saga of the Piltdown Man Hoax.
I liked this better as a YouTube video than a podcast episode. If nothing else, it has appropriate images supplementing the audio. I hope PBS Eons turn more of their podcasts into videos.

SciShow uploaded their own video of the story this January, Anthropology’s Greatest Hoax.

Scientists are sometimes deemed objective observers of the world in which we live, but that’s not entirely true. They’re still human and can find themselves victim to fraudsters just like the lot of us.
SciShow is much more certain about Charles Dawson being the hoaxer/fraudster than Martin Hinton, who might have been trying to figure out how the fraudster/hoaxer faked the fossils.

That's enough of Piltdown Man. I might write about the IgNobel Prizes next year, which I haven't done for nearly a decade. Time to return to them. In the meantime, follow over the jump for part one of a retrospective about the top holiday posts during the twelfth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News.

Friday, March 31, 2023

Colbert's studio audience gave a standing ovation when told about Trump's indictment; Kimmel's was just as loud

Happy Flashback Friday! Before I begin today's retrospective, I'm sharing Stephen Colbert's monologue about yesterday's big political news, T**** Indicted! | Disney Strips Power From DeSantis’ Oversight Board | Boebert Gets Weird.

A New York grand jury voted to indict the former president, while his Florida rival is traveling the country hunting for campaign cash, and Rep. Lauren Boebert appears fixated on public urination.
The chyron to the Colbert video I featured in Colbert and Meyers return from a week off to take closer looks at the rally in Waco and waiting for an indictment read "Arrest is yet to come." That's even more true now than it was at the beginning of the week, although it really will be a negotiated surrender, not an actual arrest; as much as my readers and I would like to see The Former Guy take a perp walk, it's not going to happen unless he changes his mind and refuses to surrender. Even that might not be enough, as Ron DeSantis has said he would not assist in any extradition. Speaking of DeSantis, Stephen's impression of Goofy's reaction to Disney subverting DeSantis's replacement for the Reedy Creek Improvement District, Disney World's own government was exactly the same as mine: "You got played!" Yes, he did.

Seth Meyers had more to say about the last topic of Colbert's monologue in Boebert Humiliated Over "Public Urination" Fixation; Trump Wants to Bomb Mexico: A Closer Look.

Seth takes a closer look at Republican congresswomen Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene's latest bizarre fixations and Donald Trump asking aides to draw up "battle plans" to attack Mexico if he's re-elected president.

Tonight's episode was taped prior to the news that Donald Trump was indicted by a New York Grand Jury.
"And I do mean moron" was exactly the right transition for this sketch. Returning to Stephen's joke about Einstein, not only the definition of insanity misattributed to him, "doing the same thing and expecting a different result," but also another questionable quote attributed to him, "Two things are infinite, as far as we know – the universe and human stupidity." The universe is immense, but it's not really infinite. On the other hand, Boebert is displaying an extension of human stupidity. She didn't do her research because she had committed to the narrative and didn't want to be confused by the facts. Also, this whole affair serves as another good argument for D.C. statehood.

Returning to the original topic, Jimmy Kimmel's monologue last night opened with Donald Trump INDICTED by Manhattan Grand Jury.

The day that many of us thought would never come has finally arrived as Donald Trump was indicted by the Manhattan Grand Jury for his role in the Stormy Daniels hush money case, Trump “truthed” a statement lashing out, now that he has been indicted he has no choice but to turn himself in for processing, Donald Trump Jr. jumped in with a special edition of his podcast to lament and fight back against the long arm of the law, Ivanka has vowed to stay out of all of this, when the news came in Fox was busy whining about Trans athletes in college sports, we got more insight into what went down at Fox News after the election, George Santos answered a bunch of questions on Fox News and he also has a great new product available.
Colbert's audience gave the announcement a standing ovation. Kimmel's gave their standing ovation at the beginning of the monologue, but were just as loud and enthusiastic at Kimmel announcing the news while remaining seated. Two hours plus being composed of Angelenos instead of New Yorkers might have made the difference.
That's as close to a perp walk as we're going to see. Also, "jail to the chief" is a great line, but it's going to be a while. I expect he'll be sentenced to house arrest in Trump Tower with the Secret Service as his guards, at least for this set of crimes. He might get a more severe punishment if he's indicted and convicted for crimes in Georgia and Washington, D.C. As for the other Republican politician being lampooned, I'm repeating what I wrote most recently in Randy Rainbow sings 'Life's a (bleep)ing Fantasy for Santos' on Flashback Friday: "My prediction that, as long as George Santos remains in the news, he will be an inspiration for comedy continues to come true."

No post of mine about TFG's criminal behavior would be complete without a mention of January 6th, so I'm returning to Stephen's monologue related to that, Pence Ordered to Testify | School Bans Dolly Parton’s “Rainbowland” | Gwyneth’s Rectal Ozone Therapy.

Forcing former VP Pence to testify about the Jan 6th insurrection is good for the country, unlike banning kids from singing Dolly Parton songs or copying Gwyneth Paltrow by getting ozone gas blown up where the sun doesn't shine.
I'll wait to see what effect Vice President Pence's testimony has on the investigation. In the meantime, follow over the jump for the top posts about the January 6th insurrection and the investigation into it.

Thursday, March 30, 2023

WatchMojo's 'Top 20 Stores That Don't Exist Anymore' for Throwback Thursday, tales of the Retail Apocalypse

Happy Throwback Thursday! I'm observing today by sharing WatchMojo's Top 20 Stores That Don't Exist Anymore.

These stores are staples of history, but they sadly don't exist anymore. For this list, we’ll be looking at retail outlets that were once the pinnacle of your shopping experience, and are now a faded memory. Our countdown includes Borders, Radio Shack, KB Toys, Sharper Image, and more! Have you ever shopped at one of these places? Let us know in the comments...
Readers who have been following my tales of the Retail Apocalypse should recognize a lot of the defunct chains mentioned in this video, which lives up to my description of the channel's product as "high-quality, well-researched clickbait that is worth sharing." I hope my readers enjoyed this trip back through memory lane as much as I did and learned something as well.

Follow over the jump for the top posts about the Retail Apocalypse during the twelfth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

PBS NewsHour describes 'The state of COVID in the U.S. three years into pandemic'

In the spirit of "tragedy tomorrow, comedy tonight," I'm moving from Colbert and Meyers return from a week off to take closer looks at the rally in Waco and waiting for an indictment yesterday to an update on the pandemic today with PBS NewsHour's The state of COVID in the U.S. three years into pandemic.

Three years into the pandemic, cases, hospitalizations and deaths are all declining. But questions remain about new variants and whether some people may need a spring booster shot, and there are many concerns about the impact of long COVID. Epidemiologist Katelyn Jetelina joined William Brangham with an update on the state of COVID in the U.S.
I just got my second booster shot today, so I'm already following the advice to get one. I'm also still wearing my mask in public indoor spaces, which leads to ABC News' As COVID-19 protection measures go away, high-risk Americans remain concerned.

Nearly three years after the start of the pandemic, almost all restrictions for COVID-19 safety have been dropped, but some Americans are still worried about their own health.
I'm a diabetic and asthmatic, so I have health issues that I feel I have to continue protecting myself. I'm also protecting my wife, who has her own health issues. I am nowhere near ready to to stop wearing my N95 masks. That will probably continue after the currently scheduled end of the pandemic on May 11, 2023. I'm returning to PBS NewsHour as it asks and answers What happens when U.S. COVID emergency measures end in May?

Since the start of the pandemic, both former President Trump and President Biden have repeatedly renewed a special declaration of a national and public health emergency. But the government’s approach toward COVID has dramatically changed and Biden said he would allow that emergency declaration to end in May. William Brangham spoke with Lawrence Gostin about what it will mean.
I'm not looking forward to the end of the health emergency, the timing of which has been set by politics, not science.

As my readers could gather, the theme of today's Wayback Wednesday retrospective is top posts about the pandemic. Follow over the jump to see those and how they earned their page views.

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Colbert and Meyers return from a week off to take closer looks at the rally in Waco and waiting for an indictment

When I told my readers to "Stay tuned for some comedy tomorrow," I wasn't sure what I would be sharing. I found out around midnight, when "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" uploaded T**** Claims to Have America’s #1 Song | The Real Star of the Gwyneth Paltrow Trial.

The former president’s supporters did not protest en masse last week, but he did score big with a song featuring jailed Jan 6 rioters. Elsewhere, the nation remains glued to the drama at Gwyneth Paltrow’s civil trial in Utah.
That's the friendliest cross-examination I've ever seen. As for complaining about The Former Guy lying, it's like complaining about water being wet. I have more to say about the choice of Waco this week, the 30th anniversary of the siege of the Branch Davidian compound. That's inflammatory.

"Late Night with Seth Meyers" concentrated even more on in Trump Lies About Hush Money Case at Waco Rally as Possible Indictment Looms: A Closer Look.

Seth takes a closer look at the country awaiting the possible indictment of Donald Trump, which would make him the first president in American history to face criminal charges.
If he is the first former U.S. President to be indicted, then TFG can say he beat Nixon to it, which he can also say about impeachment. He's already the first President to be impeached twice!

I return to "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" for last night's cold open, The January 6th Prisoners Choir Had It Comin’.

From failed uprisin’ to harmonizin’.
Yes, they did.

Stay tuned for a possible retrospective on Wayback Wednesday tomorrow.

Monday, March 27, 2023

Vox and CNBC explain 'Why China's population is shrinking' and 'What [it] Means For The Global Economy'

I made a note to myself in the middle of 'SNL' drags George Santos in its first show of 2023.
While I mentioned India's population passing China's in U.N. estimates that the human population passed 8 billion, I don't recall any prediction that China's population was already declining. A decrease of more than 800,000? I'll have to blog about that!
Vox gave me the opportunity to follow through by uploading Why China's population is shrinking today.

And why that’s a big deal.
For the first time in six decades, China’s population is shrinking, and it’s predicted it could create a demographic crisis. That’s because China isn’t just shrinking, it’s also aging. And the majority of Chinese couples are not considering having more than one child. Because of this, China is predicted to lose nearly 50 percent of its population by 2100.

China’s population decline can be traced back to the restrictive family-planning policies launched in the 1970s and an impressive economic boom fueled by China’s huge labor force.
China’s modernization brought rapid urbanization, rising income levels, and better education to large parts of China. Combined, these policies and growth have given China one of the lowest birth rates in the world.

Today, China is trying to reverse its population decline. Not just because an aging population is hard to sustain economically, but because China’s impressive economic growth, until now, has relied on its people. As China’s population challenges deepen over time, it might have to rethink how to grow its economy and care for its citizens.
I am in the middle of lecturing about human population in my Environmental Science class and described China's one-child policy on Thursday and this video fits right in. I think I'll show this video to my class as an update tomorrow night and replace the video I embedded in China ends one child policy in my slideshow. Welcome to blogging as professional development.

Vox explained what its shrinking population means to China. CNBC examined how it affects the rest of the world in What China's Shrinking Population Means For The Global Economy.

China remains home to 1.4 billion people. But that number is getting smaller.

The country's National Bureau of Statistics reported China's population slipped to 1.412 billion last year from 1.413 billion in 2021. The last time China saw negative population growth was in the 1960s.

Many experts believe that China's one-child policy, introduced in the 1980s, is one of the main reasons for the population decline.
I've been worried about China passing the U.S. to become the dominant global power and have advocated for cooperation, which I labeled The CoDominion. My long-time commenters Nebris and Infidel753 have been skeptical of this happening for political, social, and cultural reasons. They didn't convince me because I'm a scientist and I need something more concrete. China's population decline provides that concrete support. Now I'm less worried about China passing the U.S. to become number one.

What about India? Frankly, I think I'd be happier with a world where India is in charge. It will also take longer, as India currently has the fifth largest GDP, passing the United Kingdom, and is projected to pass Germany by 2027 and Japan to reach third by 2030. The three most populous nations will then have the three largest economies, although in reverse order. I can live with that.

Enough serious news and analysis. Stay tuned for some comedy tomorrow.

Sunday, March 26, 2023

'Everything Everywhere All at Once' earns seven Academy Awards at a history-making ceremony

For the final Sunday entertainment feature of March, I'm belatedly examining the performance of "Everything Everywhere All at Once" and "RRR" at the Academy Awards, along with other diverse winners. I begin with ABC News ‘Everything Everywhere’ dominates history-making Oscars | Nightline.

The mind-boggling multiverse comedy took home seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Michelle Yeoh became the first Asian woman to win Best Actress.
I'm glad the clip mentioned the second Oscar for Ruth Carter, the first African-American to win two Oscars, Angela Bassett being the first acting nominee for a Marvel movie, and the lack of female director nominees. True, the Motion Picture Academy awarded Euzhan Palcy an honorary Oscar, but it's not the same thing, although I am counting her among diverse honorees. The highest competitive award a woman won behind the camera was Sarah Polley winning Best Adapted Screenplay for "Women Talking." As good as this month's ceremony was for diversity, there is still room for improvement.

"Good Morning America" had a more positive spin in Many celebrating Asian representation at the 95th Academy Awards.

Many are celebrating Sunday night's history-making wins and nominations for Asian actors at the 2023 Academy Awards.
Don't forget Daniel Kwan, who co-produced the "Everything Everywhere All at Once" along with Jonathan Wang, and co-directed and co-wrote the movie with Daniel Scheinert. That four Asians and Asian-Americans winning five of the film's seven Oscars, a record breaking performance.

It was also a good night for Indian films, as "RRR" won Best Original Song and "The Elephant Whisperers" won Best Documentary Short. That's nine Oscars won by Asians and Asian-Americans.

Finally, "Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio" took home the Oscar for Best Animated Feature to make Guillermo del Toro for ten awards won by diverse nominees. Congratulations to all the winners!

Follow over the jump for how my predictions fared.

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Earth Hour 2023 asks 'Could an Hour change the world?'

Happy Earth Hour, which will happen at 8:30 P.M. local time in Europe, Africa, and the Western Hemisphere and has already happened in Asia, Australia, and the part of Oceania in the Eastern Hemisphere as I type this. I begin my observance with a video from Earth Hour, which asks Could an Hour change the world?

Imagine an Hour inspiring millions to act for our planet. An Hour that unites cities, countries, and continents. An Hour reminding us to make all other hours count.

That’s no longer just an hour…that’s the spark we need for change. That’s the #BiggestHourForEarth.

We can make it happen - together. Join us for #EarthHour on 25th March at 8:30 pm local time by switching off and spending 60 minutes doing something - anything - positive for our planet.

Learn more:
By itself, no. As I wrote for the first Earth Hour I blogged about in 2011: "I personally think this is a fun publicity stunt, and I'm going along with it, but by itself, it's just a publicity stunt." But it becomes yes if it changes attitudes and leads people to "go beyond the hour. Take action to make our world a better place and share your act with the world." I'm all in favor of that.

My readers might have noticed that the logo for the event has changed. Earth Hour explains that and more in Earth Hour 2023: Breathing new life into our movement and mission.

Since our beginnings in 2007, Earth Hour has been known for the “lights off” moment – a symbolic event to show our collective support for the planet. But this year, we're stepping things up, breathing new life into Earth Hour, our work, and our mission, creating the #BiggestHourForEarth.

How? By inspiring our supporters across the globe - from Asia and Africa to North and South America, Oceania and Europe - to give an hour for Earth, spending 60 minutes doing something - anything - positive for our planet.

Together, we can turn a single Earth Hour into thousands and millions of hours of action and impact for our one shared home, a unifying moment to remind the world just how important our planet is, and why we all can (and must) play a part to protect it.
Watching the explanation of the logo change reminded me of the Doomsday Clock. That's probably not an accident.

I close with a message from the United Nations: UN Chief on Earth Hour: The Biggest Hour for Earth 2023 | Sat, Mar 25, 2023 8:30 PM - 9:30 PM.

Video Message by António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, on Earth Hour 2023.

The United Nations is joining in the global effort to mark Earth Hour again this year. On Saturday, March 25th at 8:30 p.m. local time, join WWF, the United Nations and other partners in switching off your lights and giving an hour for Earth. For ideas on positive actions you can take for our planet, see
Nothing like being supported from the very top.

See you tomorrow for the final Sunday entertainment feature of March. Until then, lights out for the planet tonight!

Friday, March 24, 2023

Randy Rainbow sings 'Life's a (bleep)ing Fantasy for Santos' on Flashback Friday

Happy Flashback Friday! For the first retrospective of the twelfth year of this blog's top posts, I'm examining the most read entries examining George Santos and featuring the song and dance of Randy Rainbow with his latest, Life's a F***ing Fantasy for Santos - A Randy Rainbow Parody.

Parodies: "Jolly Holiday" from Mary Poppins (Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman)
"Georgy Girl" by The Seekers (Tom Springfield)

Parody lyrics: Randy Rainbow

Vocals: Randy Rainbow

Song Produced, Orchestrated, Mixed, Mastered by: Michael J Moritz Jr

Arrangement/Vocal Arrangement - Joel Waggoner

Piano/Orchestral - Michael J Moritz Jr
Guitar/Engineer - Jakob Reinhardt
Bass/Drums - Ryan Saranich
I'm recycling my reaction from Weekend Update on 'SNL' reports on Tucker Carlson, rats carrying COVID, and the Oscars: "My prediction that, as long as George Santos remains in the news, he will be an inspiration for comedy continues to come true." I can think of few people better equipped to mock him than Randy Rainbow.

Follow over the jump for the stories of how the top posts about George Santos and those featuring Randy Rainbow got their page views.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Stats for the 12th year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News on Throwback Thursday

It's time to review the statistics for the twelfth year of this blog.

As of 11:59 PM EDT March 20, 2022, this blog had a lifetime total of 3,821,974 page views, 5,418 total posts, and 3,979 comments. Minus the 3,402,674 page views, 5,039 total posts, and 3,857 comments as of March 20, 2021, that means this blog earned 419,300 page views and 122 published comments on 379 posts between March 21, 2022 and March 20, 2023. Blogger shows 168 comments, but the 46 comment difference almost certainly comes from unpublished comments that the spam filter caught and I didn't release. They can stay there. On the other hand, Blogger displays ~418,000 page views, less than my calculations. I've guessed before that Blogger's counter starts at the beginning of the oldest complete month, so it cuts off the last ten days of March 2022 and begins with April 1, 2022, no fooling. The things I learn when I dig through the data.

Speaking of digging through the data, it's showing a concerning trend. While the 419,300 page views easily exceeded the 306,129 page view goal (306,235 if I strictly stick to 839 page views per day) I set for the blog last year, it's less than the 532,981 page views the blog earned between March 21, 2021 and March 20, 2022. I also missed a monthly page view goal for the first time since November 2019 when the blog earned only 19,772 page views during February 2023, when my goal was 23,492. Also, the blog nearly missed its page view goal of 26,000 for January 2023, passing it between 10:00 and 11:00 A.M. on January 31, 2023, ending the month with 32,173 page views, thanks to my German and Swedish readers, who provided 6.62K and 1.58K page views respectively on the last day of the month, which had the most page views of the twelfth year of the blog with 10,566. Wow and whew! Unlike the past few years, when I wrote "I'm not worried" about reaching my page view goals, I am a little worried now. I'd be more worried if the blog weren't already five days ahead of my page view goal for the month so far. I need only four more days at 839 page views per day to reach March 2023's page view goal. That's reassuring, but I feel like knocking on wood.

Follow over the jump for the rest of my analysis of the past year.