Assorted Stupidity #135

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  • Speaking of what historians will remember as “democracy,” voters in Baker City, Oregon, confronted the following important ballot measure in May: “Do citizens of Baker City wish to approve the sale of a 1995 backhoe for a sum that exceeds $10,000?” They did, overwhelmingly. By a smaller but still sizeable margin, they also voted to amend the city charter so the council can sell surplus equipment worth more than $10,000 without having to ask them every damn time.
  • For some reason, 248 citizens of Baker City (nearly eight percent of voters) wanted to keep the 25-year-old backhoe. Maybe they want to dig a trench around the city to keep out the coronavirus?
  • Is “adult-film star” another good example of a phrase that shows why it can be extremely important to use hyphens correctly? Yes it is.
  • Thanks to Timothy for pointing out that although Sand Island (the one that’s part of Johnston Atoll) and Sand Island (the one that’s part of Midway Atoll) weren’t included in what became the state of Hawaii (see Official State Crap: Hawaii” (July 8, 2020)), Hawaii did get the Sand Island at the entrance to Honolulu Harbor. This was once a quarantine site, later the site of an internment camp for Japanese-Americans, and then a POW camp, but now it’s a state park. Maybe not the nicest state park in the area, judging by its past uses, but that’s just a guess.
  • I have learned that the number of islands named “Sand Island” around the world is quite large, presumably because many islands are named by incredibly lazy people. I couldn’t find any islands named “Island Island,” which surprised me a little, but boo to those who named every “Big,” “Bird,” “Green,” “Long,” “Round,” and “Sand” Island on the planet. Boring! Do better with the next island you discover, please.