State of the Union: Internet and Anxiety?

Thursday, April 13, 2017

There's been a streak of traffic incidents in the Metro Atlanta area lately. It began two weeks ago when a bridge on a major highway caught fire. The a fire broke out underneath the bridge, the flames engulfed that particular section and ultimately caused it to collapse. This incident sent Georgia into a state of emergency and wrecked havoc on the roads as I-85 was shut down at rush hour. The repairs will be paid by the state with federal assistance, though they are not sure how long it will take, most likely a few months. Memes were not spared, this was fine as thankfully no one was injured or killed.

It took time to get the details on what caused the incident. It was later revealed that the fire was caused by a man smocking crack underneath. There's an interesting opinion piece by George Chidi. He says that too much responsibility is being placed on the man who was smoking, on not enough on those that gave the OK to store flammable materials powerful enough to take down a bridge. He mentions that last year, a DOT (department of transportation) official went to jail for taking bribes to illegally store materials under DOT properties. He states, "I’ve got a problem with the state investigating itself, conveniently – instantly –  finding someone powerless to arrest– someone giving them a way to pin the blame on outside of state government, before they end up in a federal hearing."

I wonder if this incident will spark more conversation and action on Atlanta's traffic and public transportation issues?

Three days ago, a Tanker flipped over on I-285 effectively spilling 4,000 gallons of diesel fuel onto the interstate blocking traffic on a busy morning. Although there was an attempt to collect the fuel most of it was lost to the environment.
Two days ago, a truck carrying baseball fan paraphernalia spilled onto I-75 also blocking two lanes and causing delays.
And we couldn't miss today, when a fire began under a railroad bridge not too far from the site of the bridge collapse two weeks ago.
edit (4/18): The fun never ends! Yesterday in the early hours of the morning, a truck drivers rig overturned and spilled toxic chemical waste on I-75, GA Tech classes were delayed and it took hours to clean. Later in the afternoon, I-20 was also shut down because of a gas line that burst upward. So two left lanes just buckled upward.

I am sure we are all just hyperaware of these traffic incidents because of the I-85 bridge collapse, and if I looked hard enough I could find road incidents by the bundles. Still, it makes you wonder why Atlanta can't catch a break. Who's doing brujeria on us?

(edit 4/18): funny memes from FB today

A quick catch up on the internet this week in one picture:

United Airlines: The video of Dr. David Dao, 69, of Kentucky, being bloodied as he was pulled off the flight in order to make room for four United employees has ignited conversation and outrage around the world.

Pepsi: In the 2-minute-39-second “short film,” Jenner throws off the chains of the modeling industry by taking off her wig, then leaving a photoshoot to join a protest. After sharing some knowing nods and #woke-ass fist bumps with her fellow protestors, the Keeping Up with the Kardashians star manages to bring everyone together by … handing a cop a Pepsi.

Spicer:  The White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, set off an intense backlash on Tuesday when he suggested that President Bashar al-Assad of Syria was guilty of acts worse than Hitler and asserted that Hitler had not used chemical weapons, ignoring the use of gas chambers at concentration camps during the Holocaust.

In conclusion, memes are great.

We are nearing the end of the semester and I am a walking ball of anxiety. I was reading "The Book of Joy" by HH the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. So far I have enjoyed the first few chapters. I have mentioned before that I am taking a class on East Asian politics, and I was meant to write an essay on any topic. I was going to write it on Duterte and the South China Sea, but after a class on Tibet and learning more about the Dalai Lama through my book, I decided to change my topic to Tibet and China relations.

So I went from joy and peace to cynicism and skepticism in one afternoon. This actually mirrors my life right now so that's great. Here's to ending the semester on a positive note. 🍻

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