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Crazy World

The world is an absurd assortment of contradictions, as is clear from a sampling of the latest developments around the world, from the critical to the ridiculous.

Critical:

The massive Aug. 4 explosion in Beirut killed more than 180 people and injured more than 6,000. Now, half of the children in Beirut have started showing signs of trauma and extreme stress.

Meanwhile…

Ridiculous:

“Double Diamond,” an aptly named sheep, sold recently for a record $490,000 at an auction in Scotland. Bidding started around $13,000 at the Scottish National Texel sale in Lanark.

“Every once in a while something special comes along and yesterday an extra special Texel turned up. Everyone wanted a piece of it,” said Jeff Aiken, one of the winning bidders.

Texel sheep originated in Holland and are a butcher favorite, according to the Texel Sheep Society.

Critical:

A man affiliated with a right-wing group was shot and killed Saturday as a large group of supporters of President Trump traveled in a caravan through downtown Portland, Ore., which has seen nightly protests for three consecutive months.

The pro-Trump rally drew hundreds of trucks full of supporters into the city. At times, Trump supporters and counterprotesters clashed on the streets, with people shooting paintball guns from the beds of pickup trucks and protesters throwing objects back at them.

Meanwhile…

Ridiculous:

A recent report from the American Pet Products Association shows that Americans spent $95.7 billion on their pets in 2019. The report of pet spending is based on four categories: Pet food and treats, supplies, live animals and over-the-counter medicine, and vet care/product sales.

Critical:

At least 13 people were killed and three others injured in a stampede at the Thomas Restobar nightclub in Lima, Peru, as partygoers attempted to escape a police raid on the venue for violating the lockdown to control COVID-19 spread. More than 120 people were attending.

Meanwhile…

Ridiculous:

A recent report showed that the Samoyed is the most expensive dog breed, selling for an average $14,000. The rare breed is known for its kind, loving, and eager to please attitude along with their smiling faces. The Samoyed is a brilliant, social and mischievous dog that always demand attention, and loves to run away and roam.

As for kitty lovers, the ashera cat is the priciest of all as it sells for anywhere from $22,000 to $125,000. Only 100 have been sold each year since 2006. The ashera weighs 30 pounds, lives for 25 years and is a hybrid of the African serval, the Asian leopard and the domestic house cat.

Critical:

Flash flooding in Afghanistan’s Parwan province has killed at least 86 people and injured at least 106. Officials said that torrential rain earlier this week triggered flash flooding in the country’s Parwan province — which borders Kabul.

Dozens of houses and vehicles have been destroyed in the floods, and the number of casulties could be higher, officials warn.

Meanwhile…

Ridiculous:

Back to pets, the Green Monkey, a thoroughbred racehorse, sold for $16 million, making it the most expensive animal sale. Others in order, include: Sir Lancelot Encore, Labrador, $16 million; Miss Missy, cow, $1.2 million; Tibetan Mastiff, $582,000; White lion cubs, $140,000; Arabian horse, $100,000; chimpanzees, $60,000; camels, $55,000; and finally for the snake freaks, a lavender albino ball python, $40,000.

Critical

Global coronavirus cases have reached the 20 million mark, witgh more than half of those from just three countries: Brazil, the United States and India.

Meanwhile…

Ridiculous:

Annalisa Flanagan, a school teacher in Belfast, Ireland, remains owner of the world’s loudest shout, a title she has held since 1994 when she shouted an earth-shattering 121.7 decibels, potentially damaging the hearing of anyone within earshot.

Corey Taylor, lead singer of the heavy metal band, “Slipknot,” said his shows top out at 109 decibels. “So 121 is stupid,” Taylor said.

Critical:

More than 6,600 COVID-19 cases have been linked to around 270 U.S. colleges. The top five in the country are led by the University of Texas which tops the dubious list with 449 cases, followed by Central Florida College with 438; the University of Georgia, 390; Texas A&M, 302; and the University of Washington, 249. In New Jersey, the leader is Montclair State, with 63 cases.

Meanwhile…

Ridiculous or maybe not so:

The annual Gallup Global Emotions Report found that more than seven in 10 people worldwide said they experienced a lot of enjoyment (71 percent), felt well-rested (72 percent), smiled or laughed a lot (74 percent) and felt treated with respect (87 percent).

Relatively tiny Paraguay again ranked highest worldwide for positive experiences for the fifth straight year. Nigeria is the country that smiles the most globally with nine in 10 Nigerians saying they had smiled or laughed a lot the day before the survey.

The U.S. was the 39th most positive country, the Paraguay, the little South American country with the chilled-out reputation, ranked highest worldwide for Positive Experiences, and has held this position since 2015.

Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa, is also the country that smiles the most globally. According to the report, Nigerians were most likely to have said they’d smiled or laughed a lot the day before, with more than nine in 10 giving a positive answer.

The U.S. was the 39th most positive country and the most negative country was Chad.

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Journalist for 40 years and now a creative writer

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Phil Garber

Phil Garber

Journalist for 40 years and now a creative writer

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