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EDITORIAL: Cheers & Jeers March 25

A racing pigeon stands proud for a portrait. —
A racing pigeon stands proud for a portrait. — 123RF Stock Photo

Cheers: to having more money than you know what to do with. Two bidders drove up the price in a 14-day-long online auction last week until the price topped out at $1.8 million, and the successful bidder came away with — wait for it — a five-year old racing pigeon that’s pretty much at the end of its racing career. The successful squab, Armando, will become a stud pigeon, hopefully able to father other pigeons with his unique pigeon flying strength. Armando has never lost a race. Pigeon pot pie generally takes two dressed pigeons…

Jeers: to legislative shenanigans. Not to say that the House has gotten a little tetchy, but molehills are fast becoming mountains. This is from the March 14th debate on a bill to allow farmers to cut wood without a forestry permit. MR. SPEAKER: “Excuse me. Order, please! Sir, can I ask — I would direct you not please to go through somebody else’s desk and their materials on their desk. I just observed you, Sir, going through the desk of another minister.” MR. JOYCE: (Inaudible.) MR. SPEAKER: “Sir, I still would suggest we respect each other’s confidences here.” MR. A. PARSONS: “Boys oh boys oh boys.” MR. SPEAKER: “He was going through the papers of the Minister of Transportation and Works. I’d ask you to take your seat, please. I apologize. Please ask the Member to continue.” MR. JOYCE: “Mr. Speaker, just …(inaudible) clarification on that.” MR. SPEAKER: “If you have a point of order I’ll listen to it. If otherwise, I don’t want to hear from you.” MR. JOYCE: “I don’t know, I guess it’s a point of order of what you just said. Mr. Speaker, this is just getting out — Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Transportation, I was getting the money for shoes for kids in Africa which he told me to get the envelope out of his (inaudible).” MR. SPEAKER: “Regardless, I’m unable to tell that from this view. I saw you going through somebody else’s papers. I’d ask you to stay at your desk. Thank you.” No harm, no foul — the actions here were innocent, but clearly there’s precious little goodwill to be had.

Jeers: to automated mayhem. Norwegian energy, oil and metals giant Norsk Hydro got a bit of a surprise last week when ransomware locked down its automatic smelters, and the company had to go back to manual operations to actually pour aluminum. It’s a sign of the times for sure: ransomware has been used to lock out private citizens, businesses and even hospitals from their own computer systems, demanding payment in exchange for a key to unlock encrypted files. A little twist on this particular attack, which is believed to have used new malware called LockerGoga? Norsk Hydro thinks that the attack came from inside the United States.

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