3 People Who Really Need a Beer This Week – July 2
The flipping of the calendar to July usually gets people excited for the debauchery and spectacle of July 4 and for another whole month of summer. But if you’re anything like me it only reminds you that the season of warmth and musical festivals and cocktails on patios any night the weather permits is already fading away, already starting to recede to make way for the muggy ticking clock that is August. After that, it’ll be 40 degrees again before you know it and all I’ll have left of summer will be a couple plastic wristbands that I’ll use as bookmarks while reading Crime and Punishment.
But, as always, there are some people out there who have real stresses to deal with and nerves needing to be steadied. So here’s three people who could really use a beer this week:
Celia Sasic – German Women’s National Team Penalty Kicker
Our ladies haven’t quite shown the offensive prowess of years past in this year’s World Cup, but their defense has been stalwart—they haven’t conceded a goal since the June 8 opener against Australia, making it five straight shutouts with their 2-0 win over Germany on Tuesday. Celia Sasic was supposed to end that streak.
The tournament’s leading goal scorer has been an instrumental part of Germany’s national team for the last decade and had a chance at another crucial goal in the 60th minute. After a clattering Julie Johnston foul in the penalty box, Sasic was certain to give the Germans the first lead of the game before she just barely nudged it wide of the post. The sting of the miss turned into agony when Carli Lloyd converted her penalty nine minutes later following a foul mistakenly marked inside the box—a goal which would have provided enough offense for the American women to advance.
I can sympathize with that feeling. It was sixth grade, I was playing basketball for Ella Lewis Elementary and we were in the semifinals of a tournament that maybe included six teams. A cataclysmic final minute in which I fouled an opponent and then fouled them again after they rebounded their own missed free throw—a sequence in which my 11 year-old self’s grace could best be described as “Ostertagian”—left me inconsolable after we lost. And then a soft serve cone with jimmies totally wiped that feeling away some minutes later. A larger stage requires a stiffer intoxicant to wash away the pain—here’s hoping a Weihenstephaner or two can cheer up the great Sasic.
Jerry Brown – Governor of California
Vaccinations über alles! Governor Brown signed bill SB277 into law on Tuesday, banning religious and personal belief exemptions from the mandatory vaccination of schoolchildren. This stemmed from a measles outbreak at Disneyland that started in the middle of last December that continued to spread amongst unimmunized children and young adults.
Such a decision shouldn’t have been too controversial considering this measure is just about keeping children healthy, but it didn’t take long for the backlash, largely-unrelated toothpaste analogies, and Scientology-funded “expert opinions” angry celebrity parent tweets to rain down all around the internet. The anti-vaccination side employs many impotent arguments, running the gamut from objecting to the use of mercury compound thiomersal in vaccines (used as a preservative, a practice largely eliminated in 1999), to the supposed link between early childhood vaccinations and autism (a link roundly refuted by scientific testimony in Federal Claims Court), to the idea that either vaccines aren’t necessary anymore or that it infringes upon civil liberties to require them (both of which fly in the face of herd immunity and its necessity in advanced societies).
If getting hell for signing a good law into being wasn’t enough, Governor Brown also caught some vitriol from Ace Ventura:
California Gov says yes to poisoning more children with mercury and aluminum in manditory vaccines. This corporate fascist must be stopped.
— Jim Carrey (@JimCarrey) July 1, 2015
Sure, I used to call Jerry Brown a fascist myself when I was a college kid just learning about Ronald Reagan allowing atrocities in Guatemala, but then I saw SLC Punk, grew up, and stopped using political viewpoints I didn’t understand as insults until I learned what they actually entailed. Fortunately for all of us, Carrey himself gave us an example of what our expressions should be when we read his anti-vaccination rants:
NASA’s New Horizons staff – Readying to Photograph Pluto
No one appreciates space news anymore (you hear me, you whippersnappers with your heads buried in your Gameboy Snapchat Whatevers?). Used to be, whenever we found a new planet or star you’d stop what you’re doing, hug your loved ones, and salute Old Glory while trying not to think about how the vastness of space renders your every action insignificant and every desire trivial.
In two weeks, the New Horizons probe (launched in 2006) will perform the first fly-by of the erstwhile ninth planet Pluto after traveling over nine years and almost three billion miles. If those numbers don’t quite get the blood pumping, here’s something a little snazzier:
A couple of days ago, New Horizons snapped this photo—the best we’ve ever taken of the dwarf planet and its satellite Charon:
In preparation for the July 14 flyby, NASA’s engineers and technicians here on planet Earth have just a handful of days before the real trial begins. The probe cannot take pictures while also sending the data back to Earth but, more stressfully, New Horizons won’t communicate at all with Earth during the 24-hour flyby and photoshoot of Pluto.
For the men and women of NASA’s New Horizons program, that day and many of those leading up to it will be fraught with worry and uncertainty. After, we’ll simply have to wait for the transmission of the historic portraits of Pluto to reach us. In the meantime, I implore Floridians throughout the state: Buy a NASA worker a beer or three, they’re only about to complete a $650 million mission to photograph the last physical body in the traditional solar system we’ve yet to see up close.