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Cheers & Jeers

The high winds that hit Newfoundland and Labrador Wednesday night and Thursday claimed a few signs in and around St. John’s. This one, on Burger King at Ropewalk Lane, was one of the casualties. —
The high winds that hit Newfoundland and Labrador Wednesday night and Thursday claimed a few signs in and around St. John’s. This one, on Burger King at Ropewalk Lane, was one of the casualties. — Sam McNeish/The Telegram

Cheers & Jeers

Jeers: to shaking, the Rock and rolling. The waves and wind from last week’s intense storm were enough to shake the island part of the province on its foundations. Seismic information from the National Research Council indicated the whole island was actually moving — that’s an incredible amount of energy being expended. Now, unless the weather plans to move us south to the area of, say, Bermuda, let’s not have any more of that, OK?

Cheers: to the flight crew. When a Provincial Airlines Dash 8 made an emergency landing at the Stephenville airport, there were lots of reasons for the passengers to be nervous — but the aircrew apparently wasn’t one of them. Passengers had nothing but praise for the pilots and flight attendants after the plane landed Thursday without being able to lower its front landing gear. “I’ve had harder landings with all the wheels down,” passenger Chris Grimes said. And what happened to stop the wheels from coming down? The federal Transportation Safety Board is investigating.

Jeers: to wheels within wheels. So Facebook — under fire for its role in allowing falsified news on its platforms to do things like undermine democratic elections — reportedly hired PR company that had a record of placing falsified information to undermine anyone questioning its clients’ actions. Here’s Justin Hendrix of the NYC Media Lab, talking about Facebook to NBC News: “How can we ever trust this company? … It is apparently more willing to use misinformation tactics than to seriously police them.” Nothing to see here, folks. Nothing to see here. “Oh look — Madge has posted an excellent frittata recipe, and those Neonazis are really nice people after all.”

Cheers: to sad stories well told. Who would think that good press could hurt a good thing. Well, if you want think hard about that question, read food writer Kevin Alexander’s piece in Thrillist about how he found the best hamburger joint in America — Stanich’s in Portland, Oregon — and by putting it at No. 1, also put it out of business, at least for now. (The story’s here on the internet: https://bit.ly/2Thcap3 ) Apparently, it’s something that happens all the time: restaurants that get highlighted on television programs or “best of” lists experience huge and sudden success, scores of customers from far afield, and the businesses just aren’t able to deal with the change. Service and quality suffer, and sometimes, the wheels fall off completely. And just imagine being the writer who discovers and shares a truly great restaurant, and kills it dead.

Cheers: to plain language, finally. Risk specialist Richard Westney at the Muskrat Falls Inquiry, talks about the work done to review risk at the Muskrat Falls project: “On a scale from one to 15, with 15 being what you’d expect, I would rate the Independent Project Review a one.” Ouch.

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