Exclusively Online | Fall 2020 Issue

“A Lighter Look” — What A Year

Rick Meyer's regularly appearing column takes a lighter look at politics and public affairs around the world. This month: What you didn't know . . .

By Richard E. Meyer

This is the month when most magazines and their websites publish a conceit called The Year in Review. Living through 2020 was bad enough. Do we have to remember it too? Well, yes. But I would like to recall some things that you probably didn’t know.

● A 103-year-old grandmother beat COVID-19 and celebrated with a Bud Light.
● Love blossomed during quarantine, thanks to inflatable plastic bubbles.
● Whisky distilleries started making hand sanitizer.
USA Today

● Poland invaded the Czech Republic and annexed part of it. Polish troops on the border turned Czechs away from a church in a corner of their own country. Nobody fired weapons. “The case was discussed,” Poland’s Foreign Ministry said. The Czech Foreign Ministry said: “Our Polish counterparts unofficially assured us that this incident was merely a misunderstanding.” The Poles did not know where they were. Ups! Przepraszam! Oops! Sorry! They retreated, and the Czechs took back their territory, entered the church – and prayed.
– NPR, CNN and The Independent

● Because of the coronavirus, several male attendants at a gym stayed home from work. The gym posted this sign: IF YOU AREN’T STRONG ENOUGH TO PUT YOUR WEIGHTS BACK, LET A MEMBER OF THE STAFF KNOW AND THEY WILL GET ONE OF THE GIRLS TO ASSIST YOU.

● Amazon introduced new shipping boxes that could be turned into cat forts.
USA Today

● Someone offered iPhone wallpaper showing two cats in space suits.
– Pinterest

● In a video on Twitter, a cat said, “Well, hi,” in a southern accent. The cat won 5.9 million views and was retweeted 1.3 million times.

● A genius did the math: 2020 was a unique leap year. It had 29 days in February, 300 days in March, and five years in April.
– Borepanda
● For 20 years, astronomers studied a blue star in a galaxy 75 million light years away. In 2020, they could not find it. Hello, star? Star? Maybe it’s hiding in a black hole.
The Atlantic

● In Colorado and Nebraska, people saw mysterious drones in the sky. Some said they were “as big as cars, flying in groups, in grid patterns, at night.” Aliens? The military? Nobody fessed up.
– Distractify

● For travel-starved Aussies, the airline Quantas offered a trip to nowhere. It cost from $2,734 to $3787, depending on seating class. Tickets sold out in 10 minutes. The flight, QF787, took off from Sydney, flew for seven hours over land and water, and landed in Sydney. Passengers cheered. They said they didn’t feel strange.

● Half the world away, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo offered help for the confused. At his regular, televised COVID-19 press briefings, he filled much of the screen with what day it was. “Today is Saturday.” Otherwise it was Blursday.

● In The Boldons, England, postman Jon Matson walked his route in costume: Waldo, Cleopatra . . .

Self-Isolation advice came from all over the web:
● Wash your hands to Sylvia Plath poetry.

● You can cancel plans. You can do mushrooms by yourself. You can run away and live off the grid.

● If you’re tired of boiling water for pasta, boil a lot at the beginning of the week and freeze it for later.
– Pinterest


The Last Laugh:
“Don’t look back. Something might be gaining on you.” – Satchel Paige, who threw more pitches than anyone else in baseball.

Richard E. Meyer

Richard E. Meyer

Meyer is the senior editor of Blueprint. He has been a White House correspondent and national news features writer for the Associated Press and a roving national correspondent and editor of long-form narratives at the Los Angeles Times.

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