Al Roker and Matt Bevin⎮WikiCommons

Chill: Governor Matt Bevin made national headlines this week after suggesting America’s “getting soft” for closing schools due to extreme cold and sub-zero winds, says USA Today, TIME, The Chicago Tribune and The Weather Channel.

While speaking with Terry Meiners on 840 WHAS radio, Mr. Bevin said:

Come on, now. I mean, there’s no ice going with it or any snow. I mean, what happens to America? We’re getting soft, Terry. We’re getting soft.

It’s better to err on the side of being safe, and I’m being only slightly facetious. But it does concern me a little bit that in America, on this and any number of other fronts, we’re sending messages to our young people that if life is hard, you can curl up in the fetal position somewhere in a warm place and just wait until it stops being hard, and that just isn’t reality. It just isn’t.

You can listen to the full interview here.

Many people respectfully disagreed with all of that.

And on Wednesday, Meteorologist Al Roker addressed the governor, says NBC News and The Hill.

While appearing on “MSNBC Live with Craig Melvin,” Mr. Roker said:

I have to say this nitwit governor in Kentucky saying that, ‘Oh, we’re weak.’ These are kids who are going to be in sub-zero wind chills. No. Cancel school. Stop it. Adults, if they want to be out there, that’s great. These are our children. I’m glad you’re not a teacher.

The Academy of Pediatrics says, “Children exposed to extreme cold can quickly develop a dangerously low body temperature” and advises the best way to protect kids from hypothermia and frostbite is to, you know, keep them inside. The National Weather Service says hypothermia is “the most common winter weather killer.”

The Washington Post says the sub-zero temperatures have been linked to at least seven deaths so far, including an 18-year-old University of Iowa student found near his dorm.

Temperatures are warming, thankfully, but stay safe everybody.

Courtesy of KFC

Orange is the New Black: KFC unveiled its latest creation this week: The Cheetos Sandwich, says USA Today, NPR and Today.

It’s been a minute since we’ve heard from the mad science basement culinary labs of KFC, so no surprise something nutty was coming. It’s like a child playing in their room who’s been quiet for way too long — something’s not quite right in there and you better go check.

The Cheetos Sandwich is pretty much what you’d think. Here’s how KFC describes it:

Made by coating a juicy, hand-breaded Extra Crispy chicken filet with special Cheetos sauce and placing it on a toasted bun with mayo and a layer of crunchy Cheetos, the Cheetos Sandwich will give you a blast of craveable Cheetos in every bite.

Paste says, “Pray that we never see the national release, for the good of humanity.”

Geek says, “KFC’s Loaded Cheetos Sandwich Is Here to Sabotage Healthy Diets.” I mean, it’s fried chicken, Cheetos, cheese sauce and mayonnaise on white bread. You know what you’re doing.

Hot Air says: “That’s what I want when I go to a fast-food place: I want to enjoy my food but I also want to feel shame. It’s not a proper Frankenfood experience if, at some point during the meal, you don’t have the thought, ‘What has become of me?’”

And finally, Bite and Chew Food Reviews says: “This is the most clown world, ridiculous item I have ever heard of … Every ounce of me wants to not like this and think that it’s disgusting, and like — why would anybody eat this? But unfortunately it was really good.”

 

The Cheetos Sandwich is testing only in a few markets: Greensboro, N.C.; Raleigh, N.C.; Roanoke, Va.; Richmond, Va.; and Greenville, Ga. If you’re in one of those areas, it’ll be available until March 24 or while supplies last and set you back $4.79.

Jennifer Lawrence and Steve Buscemi⎮WikiCommons

Face/Off: Ever wonder what would happen if you put actor Steve Buscemi’s face on Jennifer Lawrence’s body? No?

What you are about to see lies between the pit of one’s fears and the summit of knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call The Buscemi Zone.

You will never unsee that.

Welcome to the deepfake, says Fortune — a mashup of “deep learning” and “fake” — a face-swapping technology based on machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies. They use Mikael Thalen’s post as evidence of just how advanced the technology is becoming. For example, the Lawrence/Buscemi mashup was put together by Reddit user VillianGuy, according to HotHardware, using a free tool called Faceswap.

So there are a lot of amazing applications for this and the possibilities are endless. But that also means, you know, the possibilities are endless. For instance, one popular usage has been inserting AAA actors into XXX movies and face swapping to make revenge porn. And there may be even more sinister concerns yet.

CNN says the deepfake could be the next step in information warfare. They explore that even further in their report: “When seeing is no longer believing: Inside the Pentagon’s race against deepfake videos.” To that end, the Department of Defense’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is looking at ways to detect if a video is real or a deepfake. Because they may not be so obvious or silly as the Buscemi/Lawrence video.

Take a look at this one of former President Obama from Jordan Peele from 2018, for instance. Foul language warning for those who are offended.

Now imagine that technology at play during an election cycle. Or foreign affairs. And on and on.

If you’re not suitably rattled by that thought, here’s an even deeper dive from The Wall Street Journal:

But let’s not end the week on that note. Not with the Super Bowl coming this Sunday. The empire’s New England Patriots led by Darth Brady will face off against the Rams of Los Angeles. Patriots are currently favored to win by 2.5 points, but I still like the Rams. That’s probably wishful thinking, but I’m a wishful guy.

You can catch the big game at 6:30 p.m. on CBS. And if you’re more of a fan of what’s going on off the field, here’s a preview of some of the commercials airing on Sunday:

See you next week.

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Kyle Ware
Kyle Ware is a Louisville-based actor, artist, educator and writer. His column, In Other News, appears at Insider Louisville every Friday.