Monday Miscellany is a weekly-ish column with no real focus or direction. A mix of news, politics, sports, culture, media, reviews, trivia, local events, puppy GIFs, stuff I saw on Reddit/Wikipedia & some other items perhaps only tangentially related to Minnesota. If this column has a purpose, it would be to provide you, my dear reader, with (A) a brief escape from the monotony of your Monday morning/afternoon chores and duties, and (B) some topics to talk about should you encounter an awkward silence during an upcoming first date. Love you, Mom! 🙂
Good Morning, Minnesota!
It’s May 14th — the 134th day of the year & the 20th Monday of 2018.
Here are some things…
Something Called ‘Fortnite’ Is Taking Over The World
Non-gamers think “fortnight” is just a fancy Old English colloquialism meaning a period of two weeks. Of course, for everyone else who is at least somewhat familiar with the video game craze that is taking the world by storm, it means something else entirely.
Fortnite (note the spelling) is described by Wikipedia like this:
As a battle royale game, Fortnite Battle Royale features up to 100 players, alone, in duos, or in squads of up to four players, attempting to be the last player alive by killing other players or evading them, while staying within a constantly shrinking safe zone to prevent taking lethal damage from being outside it. Players must scavenge for weapons and armor to gain the upper hand on their opponents. The game adds the construction element from Fortnite; players can break down most objects in the game world to gain resources they can use to build fortifications as part of their strategy. The game features limited cross-platform play between PlayStation 4, Xbox One, computer versions, and mobile versions.
I would describe it differently:
Fortnite is a cartoon-y version of PlayerUnknowns Battlegrounds in which 100 players glide down — after jumping out of a flying bus — into a trippy world where everyone runs around swinging a giant pickaxe and insta-generating lincoln log walls/ramps/skyscraper cabins ex nihilo. Most of the players have paid actual money to upgrade their “skin” (i.e. the clothes their on screen character wears) to something even dorkier than the default apparel. All players run around looting and shooting at one another, pausing occasionally to showcase their dance moves, until the last man is standing. Then the game starts over. Repeat. Repeat.
Despite my criticism, Fornite is making bank and dominating the gaming world. It made $223 million in March alone. In April, they added a IOS mobile version of the game which has made over $50 million alone to date.
To give you some perspective, Google Trends shows not only has Fortnite left its only battle royale genre competition (PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds or PUBG) in the dust, it’s also rocketed up to become a FAR more popular search term than “Trump” in early 2018.
Wanna know more about Fortnite? Google it. Everyone else is, apparently.
Japan’s PM Abe Served Dessert… In A Shoe WTF?
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hosted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last week to discuss all the sorts of things leaders of powerful nations discuss. After working up world-superpower-level appetites, the two PMs sat down to enjoy a dinner with their wives.
Renowned Israeli chef Segev Moshe prepared a meal that led to zero headlines. His dessert, however, was a bizarre faux pas that drew a flurry of media attention.
For some reason, as you can see, chef Moshe put the dessert — chocolate pralines — in a shoe. And, while serving food in a shoe is weird everywhere, it’s waaaaaay out of bounds in traditional Japanese etiquette, where shoes are widely considered too dirty to wear indoors… let alone to be used as dessert trays.
After a bit of a furor, Moshe’s publicist reassured everyone that the shoe wasn’t real, rather it was “high quality art” made of metal.
Oh, cool. Still weird, though. And still pretty obtuse to serve food in a shoe — made of anything, for any purpose — to the leader of a country that thinks shoes are gross.*
Will Avengers: Infinity War Make $3 Billion?
Avengers: Infinity War has earned $1.6 billion (and growing fast) in total box office revenue since it’s U.S. release on April 27, placing it in the top five highest grossing films of all time already.
In terms of domestic box office revenues, through 16 days, Infinity War earned a record $529 million; Avatar had only earned $334 million at the same point, though Star Wars: The Force Awakens outpaced both films by making $721 million.
A:IW is already the highest grossing comic book movie of all time, and at it’s current pace, will likely pass Jurassic World, Star Wars: The Force Awakens & Titanic in total gross revenue without breaking a sweat…
But does it have the legs to dethrone Avatar**? Can Avengers: Infinity War eclipse three billion in total gross box office revenue?
I’m doubtful, but then again, Avatar is self-important, ham-handed ideological proselytizing played out by a bunch of creepy blue CGI cat people…so, who knows?
Twins Tracker: Update Through Sunday, May 13th
Games Played: 36 out of 162 (17 wins, 19 losses; 2nd in the AL Central; 1.5 GB Cleveland)
Record Last Week: 4-2
For the second straight week, your local nine had a winning record! The Twins played all six games game on the road last week, sweeping the Cardinals in St. Louis before heading west to L.A. to split a four game series with the Angels.
Minnesota had a great chance to get back to .500 on Mother’s Day. Though the Japanese Babe Ruth (Shohei Ohtani) befuddled Twins hitters, fanning eleven in six and a third, it took a close play at the plate — Ehire Adrianza was tagged out after a rapid Mike Trout-to-Ian Kinsler-to-Martin Maldanado relay — to keep Minnesota from taking a lead into the bottom of the ninth.
In that bottom of the ninth, the Angels capitalized on their chance to score, as Zack Cozart singled in Chris Young (off the Twins Zach Duke) for the walk off win.
Here. Watch these highlights (because Ohtani’s stuff is NASTY. And it’s totes adorbs because everyone is wearing pink for Mother’s Day):
The Twins begin a 9-game home stand tonight at 6:10 p.m. against the Seattle Mariners.
In either case, they were still beaten easily 4-1 in the first round, and their season is still over.
Boston Dynamics Built a Robot That Runs Like A Human And Oh My God Artificial Intelligence Really Is Gonna Take Over The World
This humanoid robot’s “name” is Atlas, and I can’t be the only one who thinks it’s only a matter of time before Skynet goes live and this guy’s not-all-that-distance descendants come standard with dual-mounted machine guns and a downloaded plan (via AI central command) for global domination.
In the meantime, it’s pretty neat! Kudos, Boston Dynamics.
Australian Scientist Chooses To End His Life At 104
David Goodall, a respected 104-year-old Australian scientist chose to end his own life at a clinic in Switzerland on Thursday, May 10th by taking a lethal drug while under the guidance of doctors.
Born in 1914 in England, Goodall and his family moved to Australia when he was a boy. As an academic botanist and ecologist, he worked the U.K., the U.S., and Australia.
After retiring 39 years ago in 1979, professor Goodall worked with a team of more than 500 authors editing a 30-volume series of books called Ecosystems of the World. In 2016, he was awarded the Order of Australia Medal, a distinguished honor.
Goodall had 12 grandchildren; he’d been married three times.
Professor Goodall, on his day-to-day activities:
“At my age, I get up in the morning. I eat breakfast. And then I just sit until lunchtime. Then I have a bit of lunch and just sit. What’s the use of that?”
“The process of dying can be rather unpleasant, but it need not be. And I hope it won’t be for me”
“I no longer want to continue life. One wants to, at my age, even rather less than my age… to be free to choose death when the death is at an appropriate time.”
On his last meal***:
“I’m rather limited in my culinary enjoyment nowadays. I don’t find that I can enjoy my meals as I used to.”
On whether there was anything left he’d like to do:
“There are many things I would like to do, of course, but it’s too late. I’m content to leave them undone. I have been missing for a long time my journeys into the Australian countryside, but I haven’t been able to do that for quite a while.”
On how he’d like to be remembered:
“As an instrument of freeing the elderly from the need to pursue their life irrespective.”
On whether he had any hesitation about his decision:
“No, none whatever. I no longer want to continue life, and I’m happy to have a chance tomorrow to end it.”
(Embroidered) On his sweater during his last press conference:
His last words:
“This is taking an awfully long time!”
As he so wished, Goodall passed from this earth while listening to the final movement of Beethoven’s ninth symphony (Ode to Joy).
I love the cut of this guy’s jib. You will be missed, sir.
Donald Trump Shakes Hands Like A Weirdo And It Makes For Some Funny GIFs
President Donald Trump is… often unorthodox in the various ways he behaves. His handshakes are no exception.
Is this the coolest trick golf shot ever?
Or, is it this?
Or maybe this dude?
You pick. It’s late and I’m going to bed.
Happy Monday & Make It A Great Week!
* What is up with those people who don’t automatically take off their shoes when they go into someone else’s house? Who raised these people? Wolves? Israeli chefs?
** Oh, by the way, James Cameron directed both Avatar and Titanic.
*** He had fish and chips and cheesecake. Good choice, professor. I hope they didn’t serve it in a shoe. RIP.
Media via: Brent Lee — YouTube — Twitter — Instagram — Google Trends — Max Pixel