A “heat dome” in the Pacific Northwest led to hundreds of deaths across the United States and Canada.1 Portland, Oregon, set a new temperature record of 108 degrees Fahrenheit, then set another record the following day when the temperature reached 112 degrees.2 A new all-time temperature record was also set in Canada, where it reached 115 degrees in the town of Lytton, 90 percent of which was subsequently destroyed in a wildfire.3 4 Streetcar cables in Portland melted, roads in Washington State warped and cracked, and cherry and pea harvests across the region were decimated.5 6 7 The Gulf of Mexico burst into flames after an underwater pipeline leached gas into the ocean.8 “The footage is pretty alarming,” said an Ocean Conservancy employee. “It looks like the gates of hell are opening up.” The city of Miami performed a controlled demolition of the remaining part of the Champlain Towers South complex, a residential building in Surfside that collapsed in late June, because of concerns about Tropical Storm Elsa.9 A planned detonation of illegal fireworks by the Los Angeles Police Department in the middle of a South Los Angeles street injured 17 people and caused damage on several city blocks.10 “Why didn’t they do this somewhere else?” asked one local resident.
Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, a primary architect of the war in Afghanistan, in which some 241,000 people have been killed, and the war in Iraq, in which some 288,000 people have been killed, died at home in Taos.11 12 13 Without informing the new commander, U.S. troops abandoned Bagram Air Base, their last military outpost in Afghanistan, and it was reported that Pokémon from the Pokémon Go mobile game were left behind.14 15 “I’m sure somewhere in Afghanistan, some kid is bragging about how he took control of an American Pokémon gym,” said one National Guardsman. A Louisiana man was arrested after he impersonated a police officer and pulled over an off-duty sheriff’s deputy who recognized the man from a domestic incident earlier this year; and a Colorado man who shot and killed a man who had shot and killed a police officer and was then subsequently shot and killed by police was hailed by police as a “hero.”16 17 Massachusetts State Police arrested 11 men who identified themselves as part of an antigovernment group called Rise of the Moors after an armed standoff with law enforcement on the shoulder of I-95, and disoriented homing pigeons blocked an exit ramp on I-95 in Florida.18 19 “It’s the worst case scenario,” Volusia County officials said in a statement. “Homing pigeons that can’t find their home.”
China celebrated the 100th anniversary of the CCP with a mass wedding, a trivia contest, and a speech in which President Xi warned foreign governments that those who interfere in China’s affairs will have their “heads bashed bloody against a great wall of steel forged by over 1.4 billion Chinese people.”20 21 Analysts reported that China had begun construction on a vast field of missile silos in Gansu province.22 An 87-year-old Tokyo man who had been evicted during construction for the 1964 Olympics was once again evicted so that the city could build an Olympic stadium.23 A wunderkind from Belgium whose goal is to secure “immortality” received his bachelor’s degree in physics; scientists in the Netherlands advised those who test positive for COVID-19 to avoid contact with their cats or dogs; and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Americans about the danger of swimming with diarrhea.24 25 26