He gets job after copper gives him a ride to interview – instead of a ticket


Photo courtesy of Ka’Shawn Baldwin

❝ An Illinois man starts a new job Tuesday and he has a police officer to thank for getting him to his interview.

Ka’Shawn Baldwin, of East St. Louis, was pulled over Wednesday in Cahokia by officer Roger Gemoules for allegedly having expired license plates. Baldwin also did not have a valid driver’s license…

❝ “The routine thing is to tow the car and take the person to jail who is driving the car,” Baldwin said.

He told the officer that he did not have any other way to get to his interview at an area FedEx facility and that’s why he was driving illegally.

❝ Gemoules explained to Baldwin that the car could not be driven any further.

With no other option, Baldwin then asked the officer if he would give him a ride to his interview. To his surprise, Baldwin said Gemoules followed him home where he parked the car and took him to his interview.

❝ Gemoules said he could tell Baldwin really wanted the job.

“He was polite when I pulled him over and he seemed like a good young man, so I wanted to give him a chance,” Gemoules told NBC affiliate KSDK in St. Louis. “I knew if I gave him a bunch of tickets and towed his car, it would be tough to recover from.”

RTFA for more of the details. And, yes, as often as we have to blog about some creepy racist cop there are folks with a badge who are ahead of that curveball. Gotta get the right one is all. 🙂

Finland’s Hobbyhorse Girls


Dmitry Kostyukov for The New York Times

❝ For years, a subculture of teenage hobbyhorse enthusiasts flourished under the radar. Now the craze is a national export, and a celebration of girlhood

❝ It is impossible to say exactly when the Finnish hobbyhorse craze began, because it spread for years under the radar before adults became aware of it.

In 2012, a filmmaker, Selma Vilhunen, stumbled across internet discussion boards used by hobbyhorse enthusiasts and was enraptured…

❝ Teenage girls had invented a form of hobbyhorse dressage, in which the rider’s lower body pranced and galloped like a horse, while her upper body remained erect and motionless like a rider. This evolved into an elaborate network of coaches and students and competitions, but it was discussed only online, for the most part.

“It was like a secret society,” Ms. Vilhunen said…

My sister would have loved this when she was a girl. And, eventually, her daughters. No doubt.

Mush, Spot, Mush!

❝ an ominous video titled “Mush, Spot Mush!” posted on YouTube Tuesday, robot maker Boston Dynamics showed off the sheer strength of its SpotMini quadripedal robot dog. The clip shows 10 specialized Spotmini derivatives called Spotpower hauling a box truck across a parking lot — and at a one degree incline.

❝ The robot maker announced in 2018 that it will start selling SpotMini robot dogs to the public this year. The 66 pound robot can climb stairs, cross a wide variety of different terrain and carry 31 pounds…

What exactly those applications will look like and how much a Spotpower will go for is still unclear. But it’s an incredible feat of strength and agility that sets the bar for future commercial robots.

Actually, we buy our dog’s favorite dog food at Tractor Supply. Is that supposed to be an omen of Things To Come?

Time for Trump’s mental checkup


Evan Vucci/AP

❝ Two years after organizing a conference at Yale about how mental health professionals could warn the public ethically and effectively, our predictions have borne out to be true: Donald Trump in the office of the presidency has proven more dangerous than people suspected, has grown more dangerous by the day, and, without proper treatment, is becoming increasingly uncontainable.

People feel overwhelmed and helpless, and I wish now to say that there are things we can do. To know when to embark on a journey, we need meteorologists to tell us when a storm is coming and when it is safe to travel. To ensure that the captain is sharp and able, we need mental health professionals to examine signs that are in need of a check-up. What feels daunting to the general public is routine for the experts.

❝ So why would we not call upon mental health professionals now, especially when many of us are saying that avoiding an evaluation is itself a sign of mental impairment?

And it is only one of many signs.

I’ll second that emotion!

Celebrate!

Yesterday morning, just before dawn, Helen woke first. Rolled over and said, “Happy Lunaversary!” She got me.

Since the day of our marriage over 25 years ago, we always celebrate our lunaversary. Even if it’s just that first minute of waking, one of us will remind the other that this is the day over hundreds of months ago that we stood with friends and family to be together in love.

So, yes, it’s the best kind of game that reinforces memories and good times and tough times – and the growing together we have experienced. Learning and sharing.

I think Ziggy Marley says it pretty well.

Democratic candidates roll up to support legal weed

Kamala Harris, asked whether she had ever smoked pot: ‘Half my family’s from Jamaica. Are you kidding me?’


Brian Cahn/Shutterstock

❝ Among 2020 candidates, marijuana legalisation is a mainstream issue. Among Democrats, nearly all have expressed at least some degree of support. Even Donald Trump’s lone Republican challenger, the former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld, supports it. Advocates are optimistic that the 2020 election could help bring an end to the federal prohibition of the drug.

“The support for marijuana legalisation has quickly become a litmus test in the 2020 Democratic primary,” said Erik Altieri, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (Norml). “With the upcoming primary, it is also clear that support for prohibition is ultimately disqualifying with the Democratic electorate – and with the American electorate generally.”

If you aren’t supporting legalization – for purportedly moral reasons, some particular religious fetish, political dementia which has your brain locked into, say, the 16th Century – then, you might be missing the simple economics of “sin taxes” derived from social use of cannabis just as they are realized from beer and the hard stuff.

States generally include a proviso to spend all or most of those funds on something beneficial like education. Again, another issue which American conservatives seem honor bound to ignore. Hopefully, voters will learn to ignore stupidity as thoroughly as they’re starting to reject incompetence.

Tesla: case study on depreciation vs demand

Depreciation in the used car market is one way to read demand for a manufacturer’s vehicles. Vehicles that are more in demand depreciate less. To compare the depreciation of the Tesla Model S with competing in class vehicles, we collected data on used cars and constructed an ordinary least squares (OLS) regression model. Here are the takeaways:

  • After 50k miles, a Tesla Model S will have depreciated 28% vs the in-class competitor average of 38%.
  • A Tesla Model S holds 7% more value than its competitors regardless of variables like model year, miles driven, and initial sale price.
  • In a stable economy, the used car market is a proxy for new car sales. This study is a sign that Tesla continues to gain share vs. comparable in-class vehicles.

Of course, if you haven’t a clue about the value of your ride – and don’t care – there are plenty of Buicks available.