Tobster’s Conversation [2023-01-08]🗣️📰🌐

Photo by Cody Engel on Unsplash

Today is January 8th. It is my first blog entry of 2023. I am trying to commit to writing a couple of blog entries every week. Lately, I am not good at engaging them. I have also lacked motivation and energy. So, for now, I will try to do a blog entry every week. Then it will increase to two, then do three over time. That is my goal for now.

In 2023, I want to read books, books, and books. Likewise, I would like to write, write, and write, like I am doing now. I hope to have a Zero-Email end of the week, but it likely would not happen anyway because there is so much news going on! Furthermore, I want to re-decorate my home throughout 2024. Moreover, I want all of my products to be environmentally friendly in my house. Lastly, I need to finish a project for my friend that I could have completed in 2022!

That is a lot of commitment. I hope I can keep those commitments in 2023. WISH ME GOOD LUCK!

I hope that what I do in 2023 will bring me a good year.

I have been reading a lot through emails and articles in the last month, and I have so much to say. But, to be honest, I don’t know where I start.

I am trying to find the right word to share my random thoughts and what I have learned for the next few blog entries. I thought the ‘Conversation’ word could be a good start to use. It is not precisely the word I am looking for, but I will go with it for now. So it will be my conversation with you about what I have read and learned in the last month. Be warned, some of the words I say may be satirical.

I just looked at my bookmark list. There are approx. 75 articles I want to start a conversation with, discuss and express my thoughts about them.

Starting this blog entry will be random and disorganized, but I hope I should improve my writing content over time.

So, please bear with me for the next few entries with a bit of every information to write about. I assure you that the Conversation series entries will be a long read. I just have a lot to catch up on. So, I will break it down into several entries for the series.

As a long-term goal, I want to write at least 5–10 topics every week, depending on how long an entry it will be, like this entry I am doing now.

Here it goes…

🦌 Wildlife Crossings

I remembered the first time I read about wildlife crossings, sometime in 2016, perhaps in 2017. I thought it was really cool. We need more on highways, especially the busiest ones, so small and large animals can cross from one land to another.

Roadkill is real. There were 1 million vehicle collisions with large animals, primarily deer, on U.S. roads every year. It also involved bears to mountain lions, depending on the locations in the U.S. It usually happens on highways.

The wildlife crossings have been around for quite some time, probably going back to 2015, as far as I know.

Highway 93 is formerly known as one of Montana’s most dangerous roads. The state of Montana put 42 wildlife crossings on that highway. As a result, animal collisions declined by 71%, according to a 2015 study, which means they work very well. Today, 22,000 animals use those 29 crossings annually, camera traps show.

Currently, there are 1,000 wildlife crossings in the US’s 4 million-mile road networks. That is not enough. We need more of that.

Thanks to Biden’s INVEST in America Act, a 1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, one portion of the Act will spend 350 million on animal-friendly infrastructure, like bridges, underpasses, and roadside fences. It is the largest investment in wildlife crossings in national history.

That is excellent progress.

But it is not always preventable, unfortunately. It can still happen, especially in the fall or dawn, and dusk. So it is best to slow down during the time of the year and in the nighttime and use high-quality headlight beams if possible.

🐀Rat ate 500 kilograms of cannabis

About one month ago, the rat ate approx. 500 kilograms of cannabis. The India Police seized hundreds of kilograms from drug dealers and stored them in the police warehouse. Clearly, the rats break in and decide that they are delicious to eat.

I couldn’t help wondering if rats would get high and roam around the city. Would they? A 2016 study published in the Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience found that tetrahydrocannabinol, the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, made rats lazy. Hmm.

There is no proof that rats eat most of them, but they suspected it may be destroyed by rain or flooding.

But I still think it is funny if rats could be guilty as charged for eating so much…

🐻…while rats get lazy after eating cannibal, a bear ate cocaine…

In the fall of 1985, Andrew Thornton was a former narcotics officer and lawyer who later became a drug smuggler in Kentucky. One fall day, he was smuggling 70 pounds (31.75 kilograms) of cocaine from Colombia, then they had to dump packages of cocaine off near Blairsville, Georgia, GA. Thornton became caught in his parachute and fell free to the ground. His body was found in the driveway of Knoxville, TN. The plane crashed over 60 miles (96.56 kilometers) away in Hayesville, NC.

Three months later, a 175-pound American black bear, known as Cocaine Bear, also known as Pablo Eskobear, was found dead in the mountains of Fannin County, GA, just south of the Tennessee border. The state’s chief examiner said that the bear consumed about 3–4 grams of the packages of cocaine found earlier, and he believed that it died of an overdose.

Now they are making a movie about Cocaine Bear, directed by Elizabeth Banks. It will come out on February 24th. They just released a trailer last month.

I will check it out when it comes out…it would be a lore and cheesy movie. But, be assured that the Cocaine Bear real story is less blood…

🥓How to cook a crispier, better bacon

I love bacon! It is one of my favorite foods in the world. I bet bacon is the best food out there in the universe as well. No way, it can beat the bacon, right? 😁

I always like my bacon strips neat & crispy, with less burn and nice browning. That is my preference.

I always cook in a big skillet pan and cook the bacon strip neatly and flat as much as possible until it is brown evenly. Then I would flip it over and continue cooking until it is brown. Lastly, I would move them on the paper towel paper on a plate, cool them off, and eat! That is the easy and quick way, and it is neat and crispy, the way I like them.

If you want crispier & better bacon, you would have to add flour to bacon strips. You may be baffled, ‘Flour, huh?’. Yeah. Someone at Bon Appetit has a pro tip on how to make crispier and better bacon using flour.

You must dip bacon strips (2-3 per person) in a medium bowl of flour to coat thoroughly. You then shake off loose flour and lay them on a parchment paper-lined pan in a single layer. After that, you can add more layers; all you have is to lay parchment between each layer, cover the pan with beeswax wrap or a final layer of parchment, and refrigerate overnight.

Then in the morning, you preheat the oven to 400 degrees and bake the bacon uncovered in a single layer (not stacked) on the parchment-lined sheet pan(s). When the bacon starts to brown, about 5 minutes, use tongs to flop the slices over, and continue cooking until the brown is evenly browned and crispy, about 10 minutes total. Then, move the cooked bacon to a paper-towel-line plate to drain briefly using tongs. Serve warm.

I have got to try this one day and see how it turns out.

✈️TSA use of Facial Recognition

As you know, there may be controversy about using facial recognition in public places sometime in the future.

TSA is doing 16 major domestic airports to test facial recognition tech to verify ID, and it could go nationwide sometime in 2023. In fact, they were already quietly testing that tech for passenger screening in domestic airports from Washington to Los Angeles.

I don’t mind using facial recognition if that would accelerate the process, as long as it is secured and efficient. So I would support that tech.

I have been using the facial recognition tech on my phone, tablet, and laptop, and it is effective and faster to unlock them.

When I was traveling to the US from Brazil and went through the US custom, they did use the photo recognition tech and took a picture of me to make sure it was actually me. And it was effortless and fast, and I got out of the US Custom in less than 20 minutes. Well, it included surveys and questions about my travels, which I had to answer during the process.

So, I am sure it will work much faster during passenger screenings at the line when they install them at more airports.

Recently, San Francisco had banned facial recognition technology in their city. However, all surveillance equipment must be approved by city leaders before they can install it into the city.

Oakland, CA, and Somerville, MA, already have introduction bans similar to San Francisco’s. And there may be more cities following suit, and getting that tech out to more places will be more challenging.

You don’t have to participle in facial recognition at an airport.

Will it be a real choice when it comes to that shortly?

I will stop this for now, and I will continue writing the following ‘conversation‘ entry shortly and be looking for new ones.

Have a Happy New Year!

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