Freaky Friday News: April 13, 2017


North Carolina Not Banning Same Sex Marriage

"Um, neither is my state, so why is this news?" you ask.  

Earlier this week, three conservative Republicans in the North Carolina House of Representative introduced House Bill 780, entitled "Uphold Historical Marriage Act".  You can read it for yourself here.  Basically, the bill states that the Supreme Court does not have the constitutional right to make same sex marriages legal and so North Carolina does not recognize the 2015 ruling in Obergefell vs. Hodges, and that the state will neither perform same sex marriages nor recognize same sex marriages performed in other states.

But wait before you panic or get too upset.  North Carolina House Speaker, Republican Tim Moore issued this statement:
There are strong constitutional concerns with this legislation given that the U.S. Supreme Court has firmly ruled on the issue, therefore House Bill 780 will be referred to the House Rules Committee and will not be heard.
In other words, the bill is dead on arrival.

Burger King Attempts to Use OK Google for Promo

Spoiler Alert:  It didn't work.

You might recall in 2014 how an Xbox One commercial accidentally turned the machine on.  Or how Amazon's Alexa goes off in the middle of "Castle" episodes because Castle's daughter shares the same name.

Someone at Burger King decided to use the listening feature of Google Home to get a longer promo on their YouTube ads.

This might seem smart, but it failed in a major way.  First, astute geeks went to Wikipedia (where Google Home goes to get this information) and changed the ingredients of the Whopper to include toenail clippings and a medium-sized child.  Burger King caught wind of the changes, and had the page locked down with a normal description.

But by that time Google heard about this little ploy, and released an update to Home that fixes the problem.  Google Home now just ignores the commercial.

I wonder if the man in the commercial can ask the question in real life and get an answer.  Or if Google Home will ignore that question for him for eternity.

Wordless Wednesday: A New Logo for United Airlines

Syria: Another Possible Solution

Credit:  Hassan Ammar/AP
There is another solution to the problems in Syria.  It is simple in concept but hard to imagine.  Easy to begin, but possibly harder in the long term.  

Save the people of Syria by bringing them here.

We have the room.  We even have a place for them to stay.  It's called Detroit, and the city has empty houses, empty apartments, and a basic infrastructure already in place.  Think about it.  Detroit needs more citizens, Syrian people need new homes.  If the government is smart, it can jump start new business opportunities here.

And it's not just Detroit that suffered from the recent housing crisis and from the changes in manufacturing.  There are towns all over the U.S. who could use an infusion of new people, new ideas, and new money.  We know that immigrants and immigration have an overall positive effect economically on host countries (see links below).  It's is literally a win-win for everyone.

It would be relative easy to accomplish, because in all honest the U.S. military kicks butt.  The Army can go in, set up airstrips, and fly in huge cargo planes.  The Air Force can provide air coverage with A-10s.  The Marines can locate pockets of people in need and help them get to safety (and our airplanes).  

No, I don't think we can evacuate all 18 million people currently estimated to be living in Syria.  But we need to save who we can.

After all, it's that what the United States is about?  Extending a helping hand to people in need and welcoming immigrants?

Or, as it says on the plaque at the Statue of Liberty:

Give me your tired, 
your poor, 
your huddled masses 
yearning to breathe free, 
the wretched refuse
of your teeming shore. 
Send these, 
the homeless, 
tempest-tossed to me, 
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
(From "New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus, 1883)