Say what?


Kara Knight/Getty

Buzzfeed says I’m “old” if I remember using these. Yes, I’m old. But, remembering is unnecessary. I used one this morning while taking 6 weeks of household trash to the Public Works Transfer Station for our end of the county. In my 1994 Dodge Power Wagon pickup truck.

Had it since new. Still runs just fine. Does what it’s supposed to.

Amazon is buying up dead shopping malls…

Malls that buckled due to e-commerce or suffered during the pandemic are being given new life by the very entity that precipitated their decline — Amazon…Over the last several months, the retail giant has gone on a shopping spree of its own, buying up disused malls across the country and turning them into distribution centers.

Between 2016 and 2019, Amazon converted around 25 shopping malls … “The reality is that the cash flow at these lower-quality malls is declining rapidly,” said Vince Tibone, lead retail and industrial analyst at the real estate analytics firm Green Street. “You have to decide, ‘Do I want to do something myself to invest a lot of money to transform this dead retail into thriving retail or put up offices?’ Selling a dead mall as land is a more attractive option.”

Poisonally, I think the GOUSA is facing a tough economic forecast … for individual cities and towns that don’t figure out what to do with dead malls. Online shopping and the pandemic have pushed lots of diminishing-margin businesses to the wall. My wife and I still shop groceries, week by week, over a range including several stores. A couple of heavies like Walmart or Target, smaller stores like Sprouts or Trader Joe’s. That’s what fits the budget of a couple of retirees.

We found a baby on the subway … he became our son


Pete, Kevin and Danny in 2001

It was around eight o’clock on 28 August 2000, just past the frenzy of the New York rush hour when a subway train rattled down the track into 14th Street station, in the Chelsea district of Manhattan. Danny Stewart, 34, was late for dinner with his partner, Pete Mercurio, 32.

The couple had met three years earlier through a friend in Pete’s softball team. Later Danny had moved in with Pete and his flatmate, but on this summer evening he had been back to his sublet apartment in Harlem to pick up the post.

As Danny was hurrying out of the station something caught his eye.

“I noticed on the floor tucked up against the wall, what I thought was a baby doll,” he says.

That baby doll turned out to be an abandoned newborn…and the tale of rescue, eventually a couple with a new son, is the stuff of heartwarming engagement. Read and enjoy.

“Religious” folk ain’t the majority in the GOUSA anymore …


No waiting in line

The secularization of U.S. society — the waning of religious faith, practice and affiliation — is continuing at a dramatic and historically unprecedented pace. While many may consider such a development as cause for concern, such a worry is not warranted. This increasing godlessness in America is actually a good thing, to be welcomed and embraced.

Democratic societies that have experienced the greatest degrees of secularization are among the healthiest, wealthiest and safest in the world, enjoying relatively low rates of violent crime and high degrees of well-being and happiness. Clearly, a rapid loss of religion does not result in societal ruin …

Organic secularization can occur for many reasons. It happens when members of a society become better educated, more prosperous, and live safer, more secure and more peaceful lives; when societies experience increases in social isolation; when people have better healthcare; when more women hold paying jobs; when more people wait longer to get married and have kids. All of these, especially in combination, can decrease religiosity.

Another major factor is the ubiquity of the internet, which provides open windows to alternative worldviews and different cultures that can corrode religious conviction — and allows budding skeptics and nascent freethinkers to find, support and encourage one another.

Overdue! I had read sufficient science to be an atheist by the time I was 13. Added studies in philosophy to properly associate my understanding with philosophical materialism … by 18.

Never had to look back and change that comprehension, understanding.

What, me worry?


A user in a low level hacking forum on Saturday published the phone numbers and personal data of hundreds of millions of Facebook users for free online.

The exposed data includes personal information of over 533 million Facebook users from 106 countries, including over 32 million records on users in the US, 11 million on users in the UK, and 6 million on users in India. It includes their phone numbers, Facebook IDs, full names, locations, birthdates, bios, and — in some cases — email addresses.

Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was. INCOMPETENT.