Friday, March 16, 2018

Good morning and Happy St Patrick’s Day Eve! Today is Friday, March 16, 2018, 75 days since the midnight we sang “Auld Lang Syne,” and the weather today in the cool green Oregon country is precisely that of its mirror-land Ireland. I can boldly paste in today’s Dublin forecast from the Irish Meteorological Service and know that it’s accurate for Portland as well: “There will be sunny spells with further outbreaks of showery rain at times. Top temperatures nigh 10 degrees.” (That would be 50 here).

The Old Dripsters Almanac says sunrise is 7:21 AM, and sunset at 7:18 PM. The Equinox isn’t for four more days, but because of our planet’s various irregularities, tomorrow is the day Portland has 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness.

Unlike the supportive approach taken by metro area schools, the Scappoose district is punishing students for participating in Wednesday’s national walkout, suspending them for a day from extracurriculars and sports and ordering them to attend Saturday school. They knew the ramifications, said the superintendent. Nevertheless they persisted.

Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury delivers her 2018 State of the County address this morning at Reynolds High School. In keeping with the attention being earned by the powerful young voices in our country, Reynolds students will ask her questions during the address. Love to see that on the state and national levels.

An interfaith group, with young voices out front, is pushing to put an initiative to ban semiautomatic rifles in Oregon on the November ballot.

Portland’s suburbs are encountering more and more people from the homeless world. A fire in a gully in Tigard the other night where fifteen people were camped highlighted that fact. Oregon City’s been witnessing it for some time.

It’s not just our elections that Russians are able to mess with. The Trump Administration says have hackers have infiltrated American and European water and power plants, and could shut them down if they want to.

You hear about problems with our aging infrastructure, but it was a brand new pedestrian bridge that collapsed on a major Miami-area thoroughfare, crushing cars and killing at least four people. There might be more cars under there.

Ten years from now, we may have an entirely new Burnside Bridge. Motivated by the awareness of our seismic vulnerability, Multnomah County has narrowed down the options for the midtown span to either a major retrofit, or total replacement. They’ll pick one this fall.

The red-hot Portland Trail Blazers roll on, beating LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers 113 to 105, to extend its perfection-since-the-All Star-Break streak to eleven. James himself with his shocking orange Nikes had a big night, scoring 35 points including a thundering dunk over Jusuf Nurkic, but the Blazers adjusted. They host Detroit tonight and go for a dozen.

There’s trouble on the Nike campus in Beaverton. The company announced that top executive Trevor Edwards is leaving, even though he was the heir-apparent to CEO Mark Parker. It came on the same day Parker sent out a company-wide memo that said “Over the past few weeks, we’ve become aware of reports of behavior occurring within our organization that do not reflect our core values of inclusivity, respect and empowerment at a time when we are accelerating our transition to the next stage of growth and advancing our culture. This disturbs and saddens me.” He was no more specific.

Lots of Portland folk will be in motion this weekend, if only to make it to the nearest cup o’ kindness…St. Patrick’s Day festivities begin at noon today at the Portland Irish Beer Festival at Kells Irish Pub, at Second and, what, Ash? We all know how to find it. Hillsboro has a big St P’s day parade on Saturday. The Shamrock Run brings throngs downtown on Sunday including your humble Dripster, who’ll be a guest at the starting line mic. That’s a huge event and iHeart, beating strongly, is proud to be a sponsor. The Doernbecher Foundation is a beneficiary, and we’re eager to help.

The Netflix series about Oregon’s early-80s Bhagwan adventures is available right now, so drop everything and put on a maroon bathrobe. Those certainly were colorful times. Today the land briefly known as Rajneeshpuram is the Washington Family Ranch, owned by the Christian group Young Life, which operates a working cattle ranch along with summer camps for high school and middle school kids. Not a Rolls in sight.

Another new film dropping online today is a fun dive into behind-scenes stories of the Muppets, with all the creators except the late Jim Henson telling their tales. Just google Muppet Guys Talking. I don’t post links because who knows what Facebook’s artificially-intelligent algobots will do with the DD?

In tribute to Stephen Hawking, people who inhabit the online game world, in an intensely imaginative quasi-reality called New Eden, are laying down their virtual weapons and lighting up their galaxy with bright, radiant beacons.

Otis Redding’s “Dock of the Bay” hit #1 50 years ago today, though Otis never knew it. He died in a plane crash three days after he recorded it. The whistling at the end was supposed to be a placeholder for a last verse he had yet to write, and he never did.

Vietnam history. My Lai. Fifty years ago today.

There’s some media confusion about the astronaut who supposedly had 7% of his DNA change during a year in space. Things changed, yes, but 7%? That would make him a different species.

Headlines, now, that might get folks to crack a smile…

–“Kansas rancher herds his cattle to spell out the word “Hi!” in enormous letters. The message from the cows was visible from space.”

–“A ‘perfect’ ending for four Kansas siblings seeking adoption brings judge to tears”

–“India wild elephant saved in dramatic rescue”

–“Teacher in Ghana who used blackboard to explain computers gets some Microsoft love”

–“Toronto is the first city to make their buildings bird friendly” (I wonder if Portland might have a claim there. If not, we should be second. City Hall has talked about that with the Portland Audubon Society. There may be some expectation of high-rise builders to use materials that aren’t magnets or mirrors for migrating flocks, that smash into windows at an appalling rate).

–“Stranger’s Facebook message reunites family with dog stolen six months ago”

–“A South Florida couple marked their 23rd wedding anniversary by undergoing a live kidney transplant” (What other kind is there?)

I think we’re close to announcing details of the April 13th Dripstock. There will be a simple signup mechanism so we know who’s coming, and then we’ll just hang out together and socialize. TWBW! Happy weekend!

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