🀬 Vallejo Police Department

Vallejo’s police chief has decided to retire at the rather young age of 50. His retirement pension: ~$19,000 per month for the rest of his life, which is over $200,000 per year.

If that’s not disgusting enough, because he unexpectedly announced his retirement without allowing the city council to find another chief, the city is forced to re-hire him as interim chief while he is at the same time collecting his $19,000/month retirement pension. Of course he’ll be paid for this interim work at the rate of roughly $20,000 per month. This means that the police chief will earn $39,000 per month, half of which he gets for doing jack shit.

I’d say this is absolutely wrong, but I have to remember that I live in the United States where nothing is holier than a police officer. All praise the men in blue.

Vallejo police chief will walk away with a pension worth about $19,000 a month. But wait, there’s more … [SF Chronicle]

🧠 TIL pill bugs are crustaceans

Pill bugs, a.k.a. rolly pollies, (scientific name: Armadillidiidae) are land-dwelling crustaceans which are more closely related to crabs and shrimp than other bugs like butterflies or crickets. In fact, they breathe using gills, which is why you’ll usually find the critters living in damp areas. If those gills dry out, the pill bug will suffocate. Luckily, pill bugs are one of the few organisms which can rehydrate themselves by absorbing water vapor directly from the air around them, as long as the humidity is high enough.

There are almost 4,000 species of pill bugs known to science and they are the only crustaceans which have colonized land. Pill bugs are an important decomposer of organic matter and can filter heavy metals from the soil they produce. The are particularly important in the formation of topsoil in areas of human disturbance which feature high levels of metal contamination such as those caused by mining.

Pill bugs emerged from the sea to conquer the Earth [PBS News Hour]

🧠 TIL Monterey Jack cheese is named after a person

Monterey Jack cheese got its name from a real person named David Jack, a Scottish-born land speculator and business man who lived in California in the mid-to-late 1800s. Like all wealthy businessmen of the time, and now, David Jack was a true asshole and hated by many. However, the cheese likely did not originate with him but instead with the Boronda family of Carmel Valley.

The competing legends of Monterey Jack [SF Chronicle]

πŸ“Ή The migration of monarch butterflies

Back when I was in elementary school, I remember the monarch butterfly migration that happened in California. You could stand outside and witness dozens of monarchs passing through the school yard. They were everywhere and it was beautiful.

Unfortunately, those butterflies are now gone. You can no longer stand outside in the Bay Area and see monarchs fluttering by on their migration. Those butterflies, for the most part, no longer exist. They were destroyed through a combination of habitat destruction and widespread chemical usage.

Thanks to the mindless American drive towards unfettered capitalism and growth, this awe inspiring sight of nature can only be viewed on YouTube or if you have the time and money to travel down to Mexico. Creatures that existed for thousands of years before humans arrived in California are now gone and may never come back.

If you think I’m full of shit about the butterflies disappearing or why they disappeared, you might want to have a word with the New York Times or the San Francisco Chronicle.