Coachella Valley Independent

Indy Digest: Sept. 22, 2022

Several recent news stories have me again wondering if mankind has outlived its usefulness. Perhaps we, as a species, are due for cancellation.

First up: The feds have had to ask people to please stop cooking chicken in Nyquil. Yes, really. NPR reports:

Cooking chicken in NyQuil cold medicine doesn’t sound very appetizing—and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration wants you to know that it’s definitely not safe, either.

The agency has issued a warning about videos that have surfaced on TikTok challenging people to cook chicken in NyQuil, which contains acetaminophen, dextromethorphan and doxylamine, or similar over-the-counter cough and cold medications, according to the FDA.

“Boiling a medication can make it much more concentrated and change its properties in other ways,” the warning said. “Even if you don’t eat the chicken, inhaling the medication’s vapors while cooking could cause high levels of the drugs to enter your body. It could also hurt your lungs.”

TikTok has already slapped a warning on the the challenge, known as #sleepychicken. When searching for related videos on TikTok, users are greeted with a message: “Some online challenges can be dangerous, disturbing, or even fabricated. Learn how to recognize harmful challenges so you can protect your health and well-being.”

Sigh. Of course, as NPR reports, this is far from the first time something like this has happened: “Harmful eating challenges like #sleepychicken follow previous dangerous trends, such as 2018’s Tide Pod challenge and the Cinnamon Challenge, which peaked in 2012.”

Second up: Some QAnon folks apparently believe some big stuff is going to happen on Sept. 24—that’s this Saturday—because, well, The Simpsons told them so. Vice reports, and no, they’re not making this up:

The conspiracy first emerged in German QAnon channels on Telegram earlier this month, when followers began spreading a video that showed German lawmaker Friedrich Merz speaking to the Bundestag about the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February.

In his speech, Merz misspeaks and says that everyone will remember where they were on September 24, rather than February 24, the day Russia invaded. Merz corrected himself in the official record of the Bundestag, but QAnon followers in Germany believed they’d spotted Merz revealing a detail of a secret plan. …

One member of a German Telegram channel pointed out that in episode 9 of Season 24 (9/24, Sept. 24, get it?) of the animated sitcom (The Simpsons), the plot revolves around a group of preppers. In particular, the characters discuss WROL, or Without Rule of Law, which is doomsday-prepper lingo for the complete breakdown of society after a major catastrophe.

The episode also features an electromagnetic pulse device, which QAnon followers believe will usher in “10 days of darkness” and ultimately the return of former President Donald Trump to the Oval Office.

This whole thing could potentially be hilarious, except for the fact that QAnon types are getting elected to higher office, and the former president is showing signs of further embracing the nonsense.

We had a good run, folks. We really did.

—Jimmy Boegle

From the Independent

Candidate Q&A: Get to Better Know the Two Candidates Running to Become Palm Springs’ District 1 City Councilmember

By Kevin Fitzgerald

September 22nd, 2022

The Independent reached out to both Grace Garner and Scott Nevins recently to ask them a slate of seven identical questions.

Spooky Songs: Compilation Album ‘It Came From the Desert’ Shows Off Local Talent

By Kevin Mann

September 21st, 2022

It Came From the Desert will be released on various streaming platforms on Saturday, Oct. 1, and limited number of CDs will available at the album’s two release events this weekend.

Civic Solutions: More Water Filters Are Being Installed in Eastern Coachella Valley Communities

By Melissa Daniels

September 20th, 2022

Pueblo Unido CDC this year received $1.4 million in state funding to help with one of its ongoing priorities: delivering and installing water-filtration systems in the area’s mobile homes.

Vine Social: Want to Learn How to Identify Wines With Your Nose? Start Smelling Everything!

By Katie Finn

September 20th, 2022

There is something truly remarkable about sticking your nose in a glass of wine and immediately being transported.

The Weekly Independent Comics Page for Sept. 22, 2022!

By Staff

September 22nd, 2022

Topics touched upon via this week’s comics page include Laffy Taffy, Venezuelan street corners, Mickey Mouse, getting in shape—and more!

More News

This story is not 100 percent directly related to the articles posted above, but there’s commonality. The Associated Press reports: “The world’s problems seized the spotlight Tuesday as the U.N. General Assembly’s yearly meeting of world leaders opened with dire assessments of a planet beset by escalating crises and conflicts that an aging international order seems increasingly ill-equipped to tackle. . ‘We are gridlocked in colossal global dysfunction,’ Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, adding that ‘our world is in peril—and paralyzed.’ He and others pointed to conflicts ranging from Russia’s six-month-old war in Ukraine to the decades-long dispute between Israel and the Palestinians. Speakers worried about a changing climate, spiking fuel prices, food shortages, economic inequality, migration, disinformation, discrimination, hate speech, public health and more.” Doesn’t the UN secretary-general announcing that the “world is in peril” sound like something out of a movie? WELL, IT’S REAL.

The Orange County Register, via the San Bernardino Sun, looks at the overall state of the Southern California housing market. The verdict: “Southern California’s homebuying market collapsed this summer to the slowest sales pace on record. And it’s no stunner considering the typical house payment jumped by almost 50% in a year.” Wow. Just wow.

The Poynter Institute’s Al Tompkins points out that there have been a spate of revelations of fraud regarding COVID-19 funds: “You heard this week about the federal charges against 47 people accused of stealing $250 million in COVID-19 funds that were supposed to feed needy children. What you may not know is that virtually every day lately, the Department of Justice has announced at least one case of fraud related to COVID-19 funds around the country.” Tompkins then rounds up the announcements made over the last month. On one hand, it’s great people are finally getting caught for all this theft. On the other … wow, that’s a lotta fraud.

Some of the last Southern California face-mask requirements are going away. The Los Angeles Times says: “Los Angeles County on Friday will end its local health order requiring masking while aboard public transit or inside transportation hubs, such as airports. For months, L.A. has been the only California county to still mandate widespread masking in such settings—though some individual operators, most notably the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit commuter rail system, also have such rules in place. L.A. County health officials had previously cited the heightened risks of coronavirus spread and exposure for transit workers as rationale for keeping the order in place. But with the numbers of reported coronavirus cases and hospitalizations having declined notably in recent weeks, health officials said the time has come to relax the order.”

• Sort of related: The omicron BA.5 variant is still, by far, the dominant strain of SARS-CoV-2, according to the CDC’s COVID Data Tracker—but another variant is beginning to catch up. Should we be worried about BA.4.6? Who knows? Stay tuned.

Be prepared to pay more for your Thanksgiving turkey this year. Why? The bird flu. Bon Appetit reports: “One of the country’s largest commercial turkey processors, Hormel Foods, anticipates that ‘lower industry-wide turkey supplies [will] keep prices higher’ through the holiday, according to Hormel CFO Jacinth Smiley on an earnings call this month. Hormel’s own supply, also hit by avian flu, is considerably lower this year, Food Dive reports. With pricier turkeys and far fewer of them than normal, the race to snag the best bird well in advance of the holiday may be even fiercer this fall. But high prices could very well lower turkey consumption altogether around the holiday season.”

The Los Angeles Times is in the process of publishing a big series of stories on cannabis in California. Today, the newspaper released a blockbuster detailing the many ways in which legalization has gone wrong. The lede: “Architects of the effort to legalize pot in California made big promises to voters. But six years later, California’s legal weed industry is in disarray with flawed policies, legal loopholes and stiff regulations hampering longtime growers and sellers. Despite expectations that it would become a model for the rest of the country, the state has instead provided a cautionary tale of lofty intentions and unkept promises. Compromises made to win political support for Proposition 64, the 2016 initiative to legalize cannabis, along with decisions made after it was approved by voters that year, unleashed a litany of problems that have undermined the state-sanctioned market. At the root of the failure: an array of ambitious, sometimes conflicting goals.”

• And finally … the second weekend of Cinema Diverse, Palm Springs’ LGBTQ film festival, is under way! Peruse the schedule at a glance here. One of tomorrow’s highlights, screening at the Cultural Center at 8 p.m., is Good Enough: A Modern Musical. The description: “A modern pop/R&B musical dealing with some of the most relevant issues of the day. College seniors Jamal and Trevor each think they have it all planned out until they have an unexpected encounter, but is their developing love enough to overcome their different backgrounds, paths, friends, and families?” Visit psculturalcenter.org/filmfest to learn more!

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Jimmy Boegle

Jimmy Boegle is the founding editor and publisher of the Coachella Valley Independent. He is also the executive editor and publisher of the Reno News & Review in Reno, Nev. A native of Reno, the Dodgers...