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Social Media Dump: May 1-16 (2021)

See also:  April 16-30, May 17-31 (View All)

NETFLIX FILM RECOMMENDATION: Stowaway is a thoughtful and suspenseful sci fi drama/adventure about a Mars-bound space mission gone awry. Top-quality acting and script, fairly realistic action (although the movie’s premise seems slightly implausible). Still, this recent Netflix-produced film is much more focused and interesting than the overlong Netflix mission to Mars series, AWAY. By the way, don’t watch the trailer — the less you know, the better!

Russian analyst Anders Aslund and Maria Snegovaya write a long report (PDF) about the state of the Russian economy under Putin: It has the startling conclusion:

Western sanctions have hit the Russian economy badly. Since 2014, it (the Russian economy) has grown by an average of 0.3 percent per year, while the global average was 2.3 percent per year. They have slashed foreign credits and foreign direct investment, and may have reduced Russia’s economic growth by 2.5–3 percent a year; that is, about $50 billion per year. The Russian economy is not likely to grow significantly again until the Kremlin has persuaded the West to ease the sanctions.

Here’s a long Washington post profile of Mary Ann Vecchio, the girl who was photographed crying in grief at the Kent State shootings. What makes this particularly poignant is that even though Vecchio was on a college campus, she was actually only 14 years old (she was unusually tall for her age at 6 feet). She was a teenage runaway

Silly story about a young Japanese man who dated 30 woman purely in order to get them to buy him birthday presents. One reader comments, “He’s an awful person, but I envy his time-management skills,” 

If Texas Workforce commission rejects your claim for unemployment benefits or (as in my case) accidentally removes you from the eligibility list because of a bureaucratic mistake, it can take up to 18 weeks for the appeal board to consider your case. I’m in my 11th week of waiting for my case to be resolved. It’s funny how my initial attitude of “they should be able to correct this mistake fairly quickly” has turned to dismay and even anger (and I’ve only been waiting 10.5 weeks).

XKCD sums up scientific research papers. People think was a satirical look at papers, but I see it as scientists just doing their jobs.

TEXAS COMEDY CLASSIC! I’m astonished to see that YouTube has a 50 minute production of the original GREATER TUNA play available. Apparently the show’s creators did a production specifically for HBO in 1984. I had actually seen their sequel GREATER TUNA CHRISTMAS at a Houston theatre in the early 1990s. It was one of the funniest things I’d ever seen. (All the characters — including the females –are played by 2 men).

AMAZING! Two days ago I visited BEST BUY to recycle/dispose of some old computer equipment. To my surprise, I learned that BEST BUY would accept all of the items except my monitor. Apparently Best Buy’s new policy means that they charge $29 to dispose of 1 computer monitor. So the next time you buy a monitor (or big screen TV), you should factor in the costs of having to dispose of it later.

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