News AAND Notes: Just Stuff Edition


After delays, false starts, adjustments and recalibrations, Columbia Free Times reports that the decade-long laser light show over the Congaree River could begin any day now. Yes, you read that right: decade-long laser light show. No, we don’t know how much speed it would take to keep Galactic playing that long.

Anyhoo, over the last year, the argon ion lasers poised to Grateful Dead the night over the Congaree have been much discussed in the South Carolina burg 300 miles north of J’ville. Environmentalists remain concerned that the lights will interfere with wildlife, not to mention the natural view, but designer/artist Chris Robinson, who has 45 years’ experience in the field, is convinced that wildlife won’t be impacted, CFT adds. “Birds and bats see it as a solid object,” he told them in July 2017, “So, they won’t approach it, they’ll fly around it.” (Fear not, Congaree Riverkeeper Bill Strangler will keep a lookout to make sure.) As to the view, well, they’ll just have to get used to it. Our advice: Set The Wall, Dark Side of the Moon and Pulse on repeat, man.


DigBoston’s Chris Faraone hammered media coverage of 28-year-old Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who upset an established Democratic Congressman in NYC. The lusciously loquacious Faraone, whose Twitter (@fara1) is a treasure trove of acerbic quips that burn hotter than the third day of a UTI, took issue with reporters sneeringly pointing out that a year ago, Ocasio-Cortez was muddling mint for the dread mojito (if you’ve bartended, you get it).

Faraone concedes that the accomplishments of the woman who could become the youngest congressperson in history should be studied and admired, but opines that focusing on her drink-slinging is “lazy buzzwords, clickbait.” Plus it ignores that skills acquired behind the bar will be uniquely useful in politics. “[D]ealing with the foulest quirky selfish pigs you can imagine, entitled animals who act as if they’re more important than the working-class people propping their world up” is probably “fantastic preparation for going to work with greedy DC pricks who are accustomed to doing nothing and being applauded for it,” he writes. Burn, dude.


New Orleans’ Gambit recently posted an Associated Press piece reporting that Louisiana authorities have requested courts to order an additional stay for executions in the state. A lawsuit initially blocked the death penalty in the state four years ago; it has been eight years since anyone was executed in Louisiana, which has 72 inmates on Death Row. Gambit has previously reported on efforts to eliminate the death penalty—in April, a bill to do so passed a state senate judiciary committee with only a single whimper of opposition, before being killed in the house. Louisiana also had a Death Row inmate exonerated and his conviction overturned in 2016, the second such exoneration in the state in recent years.


“Forest bathing.” That was all we had to read to click
on Inland360’s story, “Taking a dip in nature: Forest bathing provides an immersive sensory experience.” Forest bathing. What could this be? Like I360 reporter Michelle Schmidt, we envisioned something that involved rolling aroundin the leaves, twigs and dirt, either nude or semi-nude, perhaps while chanting, or, throat singing, or doing a little yoga. Alas, not. “When I looked it up, I found forest bathing has a disappointing lack of leafy loofahs and metaphysical weirdness,” Schmidt writes.

Turns out, all forest bathing entails is going to the woods and hanging out, with your mind, ears and eyes open to the natural beauty surrounding you. No phones, no bathrobes, no shower shoes required—unless you’re into that sort of thing—though bug spray and/or sunscreen might be a good idea. “It’s mostly just a nature walk or a wander in the woods, or whatever us normal people call it when you take in the natural world,” Schmidt continues. “Which means many of us have forest bathed without knowing it.” Gotta admit, milling smartly about in the woods at one of Northeast Florida’s beautiful parks sounds like an excellent way to recharge those metaphysical batteries. Namaste.