News Highlights, Jan. 20th.

I thought I could write that there were no deaths this week but no. David Crosby has passed away.

The AI cheating saga continues!

Alarmed by A.I. Chatbots, Universities Start Revamping How They Teach (link is to archived version). SOURCE Universities fight back! “With the rise of the popular new chatbot ChatGPT, colleges are restructuring some courses and taking preventive measures.” Kinda obviously they’re opting for more oral exams. They’re also looking at group work and handwritten assessments. Although if doing from the comfort of their home they could just copy down the AI source. So hopefully that handwritten stuff will be required in class.

It’s interesting how there is so much being reported and written about AI bots rather than the fact that so many students cheat. Where’s the honor? What does that say about the rest of their lives and how they’ll handle themselves? George Santos anybody?

We’ll see. Stay Tuned!

Up next is DROUGHT. I’ve seen people in REDDIT defending their decisions to live in an American desert. Their rights to have water. It’s like people wanting to live on the east coast and then complaining about hurricanes, beach erosion, etc. It’s not that I’m unsympathetic but it’s time to get real folks.

Is Las Vegas built on a desert?

Las Vegas is situated within Clark County, in a basin on the floor of the Mojave Desert yet they run water and keep developing like it’s no big deal. “

How long before Las Vegas runs out of water?

Southern Nevada has 8 years of water reserves as state faces water cuts from Colorado River. Gloom and doom is what we’re all used to hearing when it comes to our ongoing drought. You typically don’t hear leaders talking about having extra water. LAS VEGAS, Nev.Aug 19, 2022” That’s just Vegas. Could also write about California, Arizona, and so much more.

In fact, here’s the news this week about a small town in Arizona. Drought leads to water shut-off in Arizona suburb. This means NO WATER TO THEIR HOMES.

Earlier this month, the community’s longtime water supplier, the neighboring city of Scottsdale, turned off the tap for Rio Verde Foothills, blaming a grinding drought that is threatening the future of the West. Scottsdale said it had to focus on conserving water for its own residents, and could no longer sell water to roughly 500 to 700 homes — or around 1,000 people. That meant the unincorporated swath of $500,000 stucco houses, mansions and horse ranches outside Scottsdale’s borders would have to fend for itself and buy water from other suppliers — if homeowners could find them, and afford to pay much higher prices.source

And then there was this on the 17th: Arizona says developers don’t have enough groundwater to build in desert west of Phoenix

Up next, SMOKING!

How about our GOP?! What fabulous piece of work did they produce their first week in session? SMOKING! Woohooo. Nothing says freedom like allowing smoking in the USA Capitol to force lung cancer on others. bahahahahaha I shit you not.

Republicans end Capitol Hill smoking ban. “While smoking indoors is illegal in Washington DC, the Capitol is under federal jurisdiction and can set its own rules on issues like tobacco use”

Yeah. That.

And while on the topic of brilliant politics let’s look at the New War on EVs.

First, I don’t think EVs are the answer. They’re good, I support them but I think going after the huge shipping container transporters would probably be a better target.

That said, this week Wyoming has proposed to phase out EVs in the state by 2035 to protect the fossil fuel industries. They said that right out loud! Meanwhile, California hopes to phase out sales of gas powered cars by 2035.

Seems like states are polarizing more and more, doesn’t it?

As our world changes because of EVs watch the panic and attempts to stem that tide grow.


You’ve probably heard about this software. It’s actually spyware created by an Israeli firm: NSO (NSO stands for Niv, Shalev and Omri, the names of the company’s founders). It’s some seriously scary software but don’t take my word for it – this is what Rachel Maddow had to say about it on her show which aired Tuesday, Jan 16th:

Rachel Maddow’s bit on Pegasus

When I first heard about Pegasus it was the summer of 2020 when apparently supposedly Jeff Bezos’ phone was hacked thanks to messaging with MBS (Mohammed bin Salman of the Kingdom of Saud royal peeps) via WhatsApp. (Folks, don’t use META’s WhatsApp, try Signal instead!)

The how of the hack, according to the report, is maybe the wildest detail: A 2019 forensic analysis of Bezos’ iPhone “assessed with ‘medium to high confidence’ that his phone was infiltrated on 1 May 2018 via an MP4 video file sent from a WhatsApp account utilized personally by Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”” source

As you can imagine What’s App was supremely pissed about their platform being used like that and so they sued. It went all the way to the SCOTUS.

US supreme court lets WhatsApp pursue Pegasus spyware lawsuit. Court rejects NSO claim it could not be sued because it was acting as agent for unidentified foreign governments.source

There is a deep rabbit hole to go down on this one but I’ll leave it to you just how far you want to go.

Personal News of the Week: I’ve started my volunteer work at TMR, Texas Miracle Ranch, which is a rescue and sanctuary for equines, mostly donkeys. I love donkeys. I realllly do. TMR is on Amazon Smile so if you need to assign a charity for your Amazon purchases please consider TMR. Search for TMR Rescue

TMR Rescue

Location: Plantersville, TX | Year Founded: 2014

Mission:We strive to protect the vulnerable equine who need a safe place to recover from abuse and neglect, preserve rare breeds nearly lost forever, educate the public about the true value of equine to our history and culture, and promote the need for research to provide the veterinary community with long needed knowledge about long ears.

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