The Daily Moth 11-27-2018

November 28, 2018

Top Stories Briefs: Mars Landing; Korean Peace Puppies; Cause of Arizona Wildfire; U.S. Soldiers Killed; Mississippi Election; Mueller Investigation; Deaf Bladesmith Will Compete in History Channel’s “Forged in Fire”; Signing Starbucks Mug for $5,000; Texas Education Board Votes to Keep Helen Keller in Curriculum; Google Doodle Honors Abbe Charles-Michel De l’Eppe​

Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Tuesday, November 27. Ready for news?




Top Stories Briefs: Mars Landing; Korean Peace Puppies; Cause of Arizona Wildfire; U.S. Soldiers Killed; Mississippi Election; Mueller Investigation


Here are six top stories briefs.


The first: yesterday NASA’s InSight spacecraft successfully landed on Mars after seven months of travel across over 300 million miles of space. The robot will study Mars’ core for the next two years. The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory team in California erupted in cheers at the landing. Vice President Mike Pence called the team to congratulate them.


The second news: North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un some time ago gave two dogs to the South Korean President Moon Jae-in as a peace gift. They were Pungsan hunting dogs. One of them, Gomi, was pregnant at the time, and just gave birth to six puppies. President Moon tweeted images of the dogs and said he hopes the inter-Korean affairs will be like this, peaceful.


The third news: The U.S. Forest Service released a video of how a huge wildfire in Arizona in 2017 started. There was a gender-reveal party hosted by a U.S. border agent where a target in the middle of a dry, grassy field was set up with explosives that would send up either a cloud of blue or pink smoke when a bullet struck it. See this video.




That fire spread to burn 47,000 acres, costing more than $8.2 million to extinguish. The agent pled guilty to a misdemeanor and paid a $220,000 restitution fine.


The fourth news brief: three U.S. soldiers were killed by an IED explosion in Afghanistan. The details of what happened hasn’t been released. Last weekend an Army Ranger died in Afghanistan, possibly by friendly fire during a shootout with al Qaeda militants. There are over 14,000 U.S. soldiers there as a part of a NATO mission to support the Afghan military who are fighting against the Taliban and ISIS.


The fifth news: today is the runoff election in Mississippi for a Senate seat between Republican incumbent Cindy Hyde-Smith and Democratic challenger Mike Espy. This has been yet another controversial election with complaints of racism against Hyde-Smith and accusations of corruption against Espy. Today there were several nooses hanging from trees outside of the Mississippi Capitol building with a written sign that said, “We’re hanging nooses to remind people that times haven’t changed.” Both state and federal investigators are looking into this as a hate crime.


The sixth news: here are two updates with the Mueller investigation. Special Counsel Mueller said yesterday that Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, lied repeatedly to federal investigators and violated his plea agreement when he pled guilty in September to conspiracy and witness tampering. This is after he was found guilty on eight counts of financial crimes in August. There should be a sentencing date soon that will reveal more information. There are reports that Manafort had a secret meeting with Wikileaks’ Julian Assange. Manafort could be in jail for more than 10 years. The second update: George Papadopoulos, Trump’s former campaign aide, has started serving his two-week prison sentence on Monday for lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russians and intermediaries of Russians.


Those are the six top stories briefs.










Arizona Wildfire:




Deaf Bladesmith Will Compete in History Channel’s “Forged in Fire”


A deaf bladesmith, Norman “Buddy” Thomas, will be the first deaf contestant on History Channel’s “Forged in Fire” show. It will air next Wednesday, December 5th at 9 pm EST.


[Video Promo by History Channel]


Buddy will go up against three other blacksmiths to re-create a weapon from history. It will be tested by a panel of judges with elimination rounds. The winner will get a $10,000 prize and the title of “Forged in Fire Champion.”


Buddy is from Quapaw, Oklahoma and owns a business, “Tree of Liberty Bladecraft," where he creates custom knives and other metal tools. Here is a brief interview with him.


Buddy: Hello, Alex!  


Alex: You first learned metal working at the Oklahoma School for the Deaf. What is it about metal working that makes you passionate?


Buddy: I joined OSD (Oklahoma School for the Deaf) back in 1995-1996. I joined in my freshman year.  I didn’t know which classes were offered, so I requested a list of the classes available. I saw “Machine Shop” on the list and thought I’d give it a try. When I joined the class, I became fascinated. I really liked how I could create things with my hands, metal, and welding. We also learned how to rebuild old machines. It was very interesting.


Alex: How did you get selected on the show?


Buddy: The casting director sent me an email saying I should apply for that show. I thought, ‘sure, why not, I’ll give it a shot.’ After a few more emails, we had a Skype interview. There were three people in the Skype call, me, the interpreter, and the director. We talked for a bit and then the interview was done. A few months later, they sent an email saying I was accepted. My goal is to show deaf people everywhere that you can do anything that you want to do. Put your mind into it. Have faith. Do it. Don’t hold yourself back just because you’re deaf. No way. Go ahead and do it!


Alex: Do you want to add anything?


Buddy: This is what the knife I made during the show looks like. See this? That’s called a forge mark. Here’s what Damascus looks like after you make it into a knife.


Thank you, Buddy, for your time. He has his own YouTube show, “The Deaf Bladesmith.” Best of luck to him next week!


Tree of Liberty Bladecraft and Forge:




YouTube Channel:




Signing Starbucks Mug for $5,000


Many people in the deaf community are desperate to buy the special Starbucks mug with a custom design by deaf artist Jena Floyd, and it seems like Starbucks stores can’t keep up with the demand.


Someone posted on eBay a listing of this mug for $5,000. The listing was taken down yesterday with a “SOLD” label. There was a lot of speculation on who posted this and who would buy this.


The person who listed the $5,000 mug is Anthony Di Giovanni. He reached out to “The Daily Moth” and gave ASL comments on why he did this.


Anthony: Hello! Yes, I want tell my sweet deaf friends that the posting of the mug is a big joke. There’s no way it would happen. My wife and I chatted and I said what if someone put up $5,000 or $10,000? I tried to list it for $10,000 but I had a limit. I sell fishing lures as a hobby. Anyway, I went ahead and listed $5,000 for the mug as a joke. And today someone bid for it. I checked the person out and he had no history. Obviously someone was testing. I’m the seller so I’d have to chase down the buyer for payment. I let it go, so what? It’s all about a joke, I laughed so hard at people’s reactions. Sean Forbes said, “Hey! $5,000 dollars for a mug? I want a Black Friday deal, two for $7,500!” I enjoy the reactions, I thought it was so funny. Now, every deaf person should be proud because everyone who has a mug has something that is worth $5,000 in their closet! But I told my wife that it was priceless, our ASL is priceless. I think it’s so beautiful that we can connect with each other, through a funny joke, okay?  


Well, now we know the story. Thanks Anthony for sharing.


Adam Novsam, a deaf business analyst at Starbucks, told “The Daily Moth” that they are so pleased there continues to be demand for the signing mug and that they are working to increase their supply. He said interested customers can check with the eligible stores on their next delivery date and expected inventory.


A Facebook user, Ken Arcia, posted information on where you can find the mug in 150 stores nationwide. The link to that is in the transcript. (Map Credit: Samuel Sandoval)




Texas Education Board Votes to Keep Helen Keller in Curriculum


Two weeks ago, the Texas education board decided to reinsert Helen Keller in the school curriculum for third grade social studies classes.


The board had a preliminary vote in September to remove Helen Keller from the curriculum, which raised objections from advocates within the DeafBlind and disability community.


The board had a “final” meeting two weeks ago and reversed this decision. The Texas Tribune said a 17-year old DeafBlind student, Gabrielle Caldwell, testified with her mother to encourage them to keep Helen Keller in.


The board members supported a motion to reinsert Keller, then did a final vote to secure her place in the curriculum.


The board also decided to reinsert Hillary Clinton for the state’s 11th grade U.S. history standards — she was also removed from consideration and this also caused controversy.


The board also voted to keep the Biblical figure Moses in high school U.S. history standards.




Google Doodle Honors Abbe Charles-Michel De l’Eppe


On Saturday, Google honored a historical figure, a hearing priest named Abbe Charles-Michel De l’Eppe, who established the first free, public school for the deaf in the world in Paris, France in 1760.


Google posted a doodle, an unique custom Google logo, to honor l’Eppe on his 306th anniversary, he was born in 1712. It had drawings of children fingerspelling “G-O-O-G-L-E.”


Deaf historians say this is his sign name.


According to “The Deaf Community in America,” a book written by Melvia and Ronald Nomeland, l’Epee met two deaf girls and learned signs from them, then taught them how to read and write. He also met several other deaf children and used income from his family to establish the National Institute for Deaf-Mutes. He wrote two books on instructing the deaf. He advocated to teach them using signs rather than focusing on speech.


The Nomelands said many thought l’Eppe invented sign language, but he did not invent sign language in France. He learned it from the girls and from monks who took vows of silence and had their way of communicating.


A website on Gallaudet University says Laurent Clerc went to the school l’Eppe founded. We know that Clerc would become a key figure in the establishment of Deaf education in the U.S. when he came to America with Thomas Gallaudet in 1816.


Nice of Google to recognize l’Eppe, sign language, and deaf education.


“Deaf Community in America” Book on Amazon:




That is all for today. See you tomorrow and stay with the light!


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