BartCop Entertainment Archives - Friday, 6 January, 2017

Friday

6 January, 2017

(Updated Daily)

[1926 days in a row]



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Recommended Reading

from Bruce

Editorial Board: Why Corporations Are Helping Donald Trump Lie About Jobs (NY Times)
President-elect Donald Trump would like everybody to believe that his election is energizing the economy by forcing businesses to create thousands of jobs in the United States. And companies like Sprint seem perfectly happy to go along with this fiction because they know they can profit handsomely by cozying up to Mr. Trump.


Tom Danehy: Tom presents his own list of 2016 achievements that were not at all dubious (so don't sue us, Esquire!) (Tucson Weekly)
ODDLY ENOUGH, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM WAS NAMED TOM AND EACH HAD AT LEAST ONE NIECE OR NEPHEW
A slightly higher percentage of African-Americans voted for Donald Trump than had voted for Mitt Romney in 2012. (Thanks to Jeff Sessions, they will soon find out exactly what it is they have to lose.)


Suzanne Moore: I do not recognise the stereotype of John Berger as a dour Marxist - his work embodied hope (The Guardian)
This seminal writer and critic's way of seeing was a way of being; he was a storyteller of searing moral clarity.


Garrison Keillor: What will be Trump's legacy? Who cares. (Washington Post)
It's going to be a long four years, people.


Garrison Keillor: Thank you, Trump voters, for this wonderful joke (Washington Post)
Now we sit and watch as he drops one piece of china after another, spits in the soup and gobbles up the chocolates. (Washington Post)


Garrison Keillor: Trump voters - it's not me, it's you (Washington Post)
A house divided against itself cannot stand, so let's make a duplex.


Garrison Keillor: How many liberals does it take to screw in a lightbulb? (Washington Post)
Donald Trump will never be my president, but politics isn't everything. Life goes on.


Garrison Keillor: Trump voters will not like what happens next (Washington Post)
The government is now in Republicans' hands. Let them deal with Trump.



David Bruce's Amazon Author Page

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David Bruce's Apple iBookstore

David Bruce has over 80 Kindle books on Amazon.com.


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Trivia Question of the Day


What does a Lychnobite do?

                                  



Send your answer to Marty








Throwback Thursday Trivia Question from Yesterday


On what TV series would you find these characters?


       Pee-wee's Playhouse                                                      Source


Pee-wee's Playhouse is an American children's television program starring Paul Reubens as the childlike Pee-wee Herman which ran from 1986 to 1991 on Saturday mornings on CBS. The show was developed from Reubens' popular stage show and the TV special The Pee-wee Herman Show, produced for HBO, which was similar in style but featured much more adult humor.

In 2004 and 2007, Pee-wee's Playhouse was ranked #10 and #12 on TV Guide's Top Cult Shows Ever.

Globey - George McGrath - A spinning globe with a pair of arms at the base and a large face in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, Globey spoke with a French-sounding accent and often helped Pee-wee out with geography, language, astronomy, or history questions. He sometimes hung out with Pterri, and, like Pterri, acted in the manner typical of a young child.

Chairry - Alison Mork - A bluish-green armchair with eyes on the chair back, a mouth between the seat cushions, and armrests that flapped around, she occasionally hugged Pee-wee when he sat on her.

Jambi - John Paragon - A blue-faced (later green) genie who lived in a jeweled box, he usually appeared once per show to grant Pee-wee a wish, often with unexpected results. Sometimes, he appeared more than once per show or not at all. His head was the only feature that always showed. His catchphrases included "Wish? Did somebody say 'Wish'?", and the magic words "Mecca lecca hi, mecca hiney ho" (which grew more complicated as the show progressed).        Source







Alan J was first and correct with:
   Pee Wee's Playhouse.



Sandra in Maine said:
   pee wee's playhouse!



mj wrote:
   Those utterly odd countenances
  Inhabited Pee Wee's Playhouse.




gene replied:
   They would be found on the truly surreal Peewee's Playhouse.



Adam answered:
   Pee Wee's Playhouse



Deborah responded:
   Gee, I feel like I should know this, and yet I'm not sure. Are they from PeeWee's Playhouse?
  Rain moved out for a day or so, and I can't wait to get out for a bike ride. #outsideisfree




Kevin K. in Washington, D.C. said:
   They are from Pee-wee's Playhouse. I know the middle one was named "Chairry".



Jim from CA, retired to ID, wrote:
   PeeWee Herman's Playhouse?



Joe S     answered:
   Oh my, those characters are denizens of Pee Wee's Playhouse, operated by my hero Pee Wee Herman. Did you know Pee Wee's real name is Alphonso Guillermo Shlomo Nelsen? Little known fact. Prior to his Playhouse career Bill, as we called him, owned several used car dealerships in California. He was very successful, but once installed in the Playhouse there was no going back.



Randall took the day off.
  



MAM     took the day off.
  



DJ Useo took the day off.
  



Marian took the day off.
  



Dale of Diamond Springs, Norcali took the day off.
  



BttbBob   has returned to semi-retired status.
  
~~~~~

  January 6 Birthdays - Celebrities Born January 6 | Famous Birthdays




Sally has retired.
  


  





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Middle Class Political Economist




Now a Blogger-Columnist at US News and World Reports "Economic Intelligence"


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Reader Suggestion

Michelle in AZ


Is sugar the world's most popular drug? | Gary Taubes | Society | The Guardian



Underground arts scene threatened by widespread evictions after Oakland fire | Society | The Guardian



Japanese company replaces office workers with artificial intelligence | Technology | The Guardian



Seven reasons why grown ups should play more video games | Technology | The Guardian



Trump's team scrambles to get stupid enough to support his position on Russia



Bombshell report claims at least 50 Trump electors are illegitimate - and should not have voted



From the folks that brought us the 401(k): Sorry, America!



Cheers and Jeers: Thursday



BBC - Earth - The birth of half-human, half-animal chimeras



The Next Generation Of Farmers Is Being Trained In New York City High Schools : The Salt : NPR



Push To Transfer Federal Lands To States Has Sportsmen On Edge : NPR



Trump to pick Sen. Dan Coats to serve as director of national intelligence-and gut the place



Greta Van Susteren to 'join' MSNBC-and traditional media wonders why they're considered 'fake news'



Macy's cuts 10,000 jobs after Trump-demanded boycott



Will Hollywood ever end its love affair with guns? | Film | The Guardian



NWS: Northern California now on pace for 'wettest water year on record' - SFGate



Sears agrees to sell Craftsman brand in a bid to raise cash - SFGate




Thanks, Michelle!


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Bonus Links

Jeannie the Teed-Off Temp


Next American President Siding With Russian Intelligence | The Huffington Post



Senate Democrats Would Like To Remind You That Donald Trump Still Hasn't Released His Tax Returns | The Huffington Post



24 Times Scottish Twitter Roasted The Fuck Out Of Trump - buzzfeed.com



Robert Reich: 15 warning signs of impending Trump tyranny - Salon.com



Trump's Transition Team Is Stacked With Privatization Enthusiasts | The Nation



Big Brother alert: GOP grants Hill staffers authority to question private citizens under oath - dailykos.com



Evidence shows that Trump's Treasury pick illegally foreclosed on thousands - dailykos.com



What Journalists Can Do When The President Is A Liar - mediamatters.org



House Quietly Shifts Federal Policy Making It Easier to Sell Off Public Land - ecowatch.com



Trump said he had $315 million in debt. He left out $1.5 billion. - thinkprogress.org



Judge rules doctors can refuse trans patients and women who have had abortions - mic.com



House GOP, Trump team hatch border wall plan - POLITICO



Democratic congresswoman won't normalize Trump by attending inauguration - dailykos.com



Obamacare Repeal Results In Tax Cuts For The Rich; Tax Increases And Lost Insurance For The Rest - forbes.com



Donald Trump Complete - Best Tweets, Speeches, Policies | Factba.se



All of Donald Trump's known conflicts of interest in one place - Vox





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from Marc Perkel

Patriot Act

Patriot Act NSA Spying Unconstitutional Section 215 National Security Letters Must End

My name is Marc Perkel and I have decided to announce that I will not comply with the so called "Patriot Act" laws requiring me to disclose information about my customers. If I receive a national security letter I will immediately photograph it, post it online everywhere I can, and then make a video of me burning it. I will then await my arrest. If you want to put me in jail then come get me mother fucker.

Come Get Me Mother Fucker | Putting and end to NSA government Spying




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http://dareland.blogspot.com



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Selected Readings

from that Mad Cat, JD


JD took the day off.






Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music




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In The Chaos Household

Last Night

More rain.



Tonight, Friday:

CBS begins the night with a FRESH 'MacGyver', followed by a FRESH 'Hawaii Five-0', then a FRESH 'Blue Bloods'.
Scheduled on a FRESH Stephen Colbert are Charlie Rose, Hayden Panettiere, and Jack Maxwell.
On a RERUN James Corden, OBE, (from 11/30/16) are Jessica Alba, Kate Mara, and Ken Jeong.



NBC starts the night with a FRESH 'Grimm', then a FRESH 'Emerald City'.
On a RERUN Jimmy Fallon (from 11/24/16) are Kevin James, Tim Gunn, and the Weeknd.
On a RERUN Seth Meyers (from 12/22/16) are Matthew McConaughey, Mel B, Cameron Dallas, and Craig Finn.
On a RERUN Carson 'The Scab' Daly (from 11/16/16) are Thomas Haden Church, Strawberry Girls, and Zulay Henao.



ABC opens the night with a FRESH 'Last Man Standing', followed by a FRESH 'Dr. Ken', then a FRESH 'Shark Tank', followed by '20/20'.
On a RERUN Jimmy Kimmel (from 1/4/17) are Kevin Costner, Andy Richter, and K. Trevor Wilson.



The CW offers a FRESH 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend', followed by another FRESH 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend'.



Faux has a FRESH 'Rosewood', followed by a FRESH 'Sleepy Hollow'.



MY recycles an old 'American Ninja Warrior', followed by another old 'American Ninja Warrior'.



A&E has 'The First 48', followed by a FRESH 'The First 48: Deadly Misfortune', then a FRESH 'Live PD'.



AMC offers the movie 'Batman Begins', followed by the movie 'The Dark Knight'.



BBC  -   
 [6:00AM]    STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 2 - EPISODE 16-Q Who
 [7:00AM]    STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 2 - EPISODE 17-Samaritan Snare
 [8:00AM]    STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 2 - EPISODE 18-Up the Long Ladder
 [9:00AM]    STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 2 - EPISODE 19-Manhunt
 [10:00AM]    STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 2 - EPISODE 20-The Emissary
 [11:00AM]    STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 2 - EPISODE 21-Peak Performance
 [12:00PM]    STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 3 - EPISODE 1-Evolution
 [1:00PM]    STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 3 - EPISODE 2-The Ensigns of Command
 [2:00PM]    STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 3 - EPISODE 3-The Survivors
 [3:00PM]    STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 3 - EPISODE 4-Who Watches the Watchers
 [4:00PM]    STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES - SEASON 3 - EPISODE 8-For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky
 [5:10PM]    STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES - SEASON 3 - EPISODE 9-The Tholian Web
 [6:20PM]    STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES - SEASON 3 - EPISODE 10-Plato's Stepchildren
 [7:30PM]    STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES - SEASON 3 - EPISODE 11-Wink of an Eye
 [8:40PM]    STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES - SEASON 3 - EPISODE 12-The Empath
 [9:50PM]    STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES - SEASON 3 - EPISODE 13-Elaan of Troyius
 [11:00PM]    STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES - SEASON 3 - EPISODE 14-Whom Gods Destroy
 [12:10AM]    STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES - SEASON 3 - EPISODE 8-For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky
 [1:20AM]    STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES - SEASON 3 - EPISODE 9-The Tholian Web
 [2:30AM]    STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES - SEASON 3 - EPISODE 10-Plato's Stepchildren
 [3:40AM]    STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES - SEASON 3 - EPISODE 11-Wink of an Eye
 [4:50AM]    STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES - SEASON 3 - EPISODE 12-The Empath    (ALL TIMES EST)



Bravo has 'Married To Medicine', followed by a FRESH 'Married To Medicine', then the movie 'Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas'.



Comedy Central has 'Futurama', another 'Futurama', 'South Park', another 'South Park', still another 'South Park', followed by the movie 'Fun With Dick & Jane'.



FX has the movie 'Oblivion', followed by the movie 'Battleship'.



History has all old 'The Curse Of Oak Island' all night.



IFC  -   
 [7:00AM]    THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE
 [10:00AM]    CHAOS
 [12:30PM]    PARKER
 [3:15PM]    THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE
 [6:15PM]    JONAH HEX
 [8:00PM]    MORTAL KOMBAT
 [10:15PM]    MORTAL KOMBAT: ANNIHILATION
 [12:15AM]    THE PUNISHER
 [3:00AM]    MORTAL KOMBAT: ANNIHILATION
 [5:00AM]    MORTAL KOMBAT    (ALL TIMES EST)



Sundance  -   
 [6:15AM]    The Andy Griffith Show-Opie's Ill-Gotten Gain
 [6:50AM]    The Andy Griffith Show-A Date for Gomer
 [7:25AM]    The Andy Griffith Show-Up in Barney's Room
 [8:00AM]    The Andy Griffith Show-Citizen's Arrest
 [8:35AM]    The Andy Griffith Show-Opie and His Merry Men
 [9:10AM]    The Andy Griffith Show-Barney and the Cave Rescue
 [9:45AM]    The Andy Griffith Show-Andy and Opie's Pal
 [10:20AM]    The Andy Griffith Show-Aunt Bee the Crusader
 [10:55AM]    The Andy Griffith Show-Barney's Sidecar
 [11:30AM]    The Andy Griffith Show-My Fair Ernest T. Bass
 [12:05PM]    The Andy Griffith Show-Prisoner of Love
 [12:40PM]    The Andy Griffith Show-Hot Rod Otis
 [1:15PM]    The Andy Griffith Show-The Song Festers
 [1:50PM]    The Andy Griffith Show-The Shoplifters
 [2:25PM]    The Andy Griffith Show-Andy's Vacation
 [3:00PM]    Law & Order-Helpless
 [4:00PM]    Law & Order-Self-Defense
 [5:00PM]    Law & Order-Prince of Darkness
 [6:00PM]    Law & Order-Point of View
 [7:00PM]    Law & Order-Consultation
 [8:00PM]    Law & Order-DR 1-102
 [9:00PM]    Law & Order-Access Nation
 [10:00PM]    Law & Order-Born Again
 [11:00PM]    Law & Order-Girl Most Likely
 [12:00AM]    Law & Order-Equal Rights
 [1:00AM]    Law & Order-Slaughter
 [2:00AM]    A History of Violence
 [4:00AM]    Cassandra's Dream    (ALL TIMES EST)



SyFy has the movie 'Oz The Great & Powerful', followed by the movie 'Jumanji', then the movie 'Knowing'.



TCM spends the morning hours with more Jane Wyman, and the night with Vanessa Redgrave
 [7:00 AM]      Private Detective (1939)
 [8:00 AM]      Kid Nightingale (1939)
 [9:00 AM]      The Crowd Roars (1938)
 [10:30 AM]      The Kid From Kokomo (1939)
 [12:15 PM]      Ready, Willing And Able (1937)
 [2:00 PM]      Key to the City (1950)

 [3:45 PM]      Rachel and the Stranger (1948)
 [5:15 PM]      The Life Of Jimmy Dolan (1933)
 [6:45 PM]      Taxi! (1932)
 [8:00 PM]      The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (1976)
 [10:00 PM]      Agatha (1979)
 [12:00 AM]      Julia (1977)
 [2:00 AM]      Out Of Season (1975)4:00 AM
 [4:00AM]      A Quiet Place in the Country (1969)
    (ALL TIMES EST)




Saturday   -  01/07/17

TCM:
 [6:00 AM]      Cover-Up (1949)
 [7:30 AM]      Madness of the Heart (1949)
 [9:00 AM]      An Innocent Affair (1948)
 [10:30 AM]      Hold That Hypnotist (1957)
 [12:00 PM]      The Maltese Falcon (1941)
 [2:00 PM]      The Wind and the Lion (1975)
 [4:15 PM]      The Far Country (1955)
 [6:00 PM]      Tomorrow (1972)
 [8:00 PM]      Road to Singapore (1940)
 [9:45 PM]      Road to Zanzibar (1941)
 [11:30 PM]      Road to Morocco (1942)
 [1:00 AM]      Carson on TCM: Bing Crosby (3/5/76) (2013)
 [1:00 AM]      Carson on TCM: Bob Hope (10/13/78) (2013)
 [1:30 AM]      Double Exposure (1935)
 [2:00 AM]      Gymkata (1985)
 [3:45 AM]      Heavenly Bodies (1985)
 [5:30 AM]      Why Vandalism? (1955)     (ALL TIMES EST)




Antenna TV - Johnny Carson (from Jan. 17, 1973) - Jack Benny, Rich Little, Dylana Jenson, Dick Barlow and Roger Pida.

Bounce TV

Comet TV

Cozi TV

Decades TV Network

Escape

Heroes and Icons

Find Justice - Justice Network

Get TV

Grit - Television With Backbone - Grit

Laff - You Know You Want To. - Laff

Me-TV

MOVIES! TV Network

RTV - The Retro Television Network

the works

This TV





Any opinions?   Marty

Or reviews?   Marty




Support the e-page!




(See below for addresses)


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People visit ice sculptures illuminated by colored lights at Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, China, Jan. 5, 2017.
Photo by Wu Hong

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The Sideshow - by Avedon Carol


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Format Change Under Consideration

Conan O'Brien

Turner is eyeing a major change for its resident late-night star.

Speaking with Variety Thursday, Turner Entertainment chief Kevin Reilly confirmed that the company is considering moving O'Brien's nightly late-night talk show "Conan" to a weekly format.

"Maybe," Reilly responded when asked about the possible move, which had been reported earlier Thursday. Noting that the network has several projects in the works with O'Brien, Reilly said, "He has a very full plate in things that we're going to be going the next step on in the next six months, and that led him to ask me, 'Well, how do we balance this with the talk show?'" Reilly added, "He's going to have a show on TBS for many years to come. Right now what form that takes in relation to these other endeavors is in flux. Is going to once a week a possibility? It is. That's going to come from him when he's ready to get his hands around that."

The potential shift to a once-a-week format reflects the changing realities of the television business. As late-night TV has become more crowded in recent years, programmers have placed a growing emphasis on using comedic talk shows as platforms for creating digital content to be consumed later. Since launching O'Brien's talk show in 2010, after the comic was bounced from his gig as host of "The Tonight Show" on NBC, "Conan" has drawn ratings far smaller in scale than those of the show's broadcast competitors. For the week of Dec. 23, the most recent in which TBS aired original episodes of the show, "Conan" drew an average 544,000 total viewers. "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," the most watched show in late night, drew 3.52 million.

But O'Brien's audience also continues to skew much younger than that of most of his competitors, making it potentially valuable as the channel, which has been in rebuilding mode since Reilly took over it and sister network TNT in 2014, shifts toward a multiplatform mindset.

Conan O'Brien

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An Indian monk dressed as Lord Shiva prays at Babughat transit camp during a religious gathering ahead of the Gangasagar annual fair in Calcutta, India, Jan. 5, 2017.
Photo by Piyal Adhikary

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Joining MSNBC

Greta

Greta Van Susteren has over the course of her career held forth for both CNN and Fox News Channel. Now she's going to do the same for MSNBC.

The NBCUniversal-owned cable-news outlet said Thursday that it had hired Van Susteren to anchor its 6 p.m. hour, which had previously been occupied by a political-news program, "With All Due Respect." That program, hosted by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, had been produced by Bloomberg Television and re-played on MSNBC as part of a programming agreement. Van Susteren, who left Fox News Channel in the wake of a contract dispute last year, will now hold down the hour in an original program, the network said.

Her show, "For the Record with Greta," will debut Monday, Jan. 9.

Van Susteren is a cable-news veteran. She spent more than a decade at CNN, working as a legal analyst and co-hosting or hosting programs like "Burden of Proof" or "The Point." She anchored "On the Record" at Fox News Channel for 14 years, leaving that network last year after a contract dispute. Prior to her career in journalism, Van Susteren was a criminal defense and civil trial attorney. She graduated with a Bachelor's degree in economics, with distinction, from the University of Wisconsin. She earned a Juris Doctor and a Master of Law from Georgetown Law.

Greta

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Newhead News


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Letters To Auction

Princess Diana

Letters sent by Britain's late Princess Diana - including one in which she described a young Prince Harry as being "constantly in trouble" while at boarding school - sold for thousands of pounds at an auction Thursday.

The six handwritten notes were sent to Cyril Dickman, a former head steward at Buckingham Palace, during the 1980s and 1990s.

In one, sent five days after Harry's birth in September 1984, Diana thanked Dickman for a card he sent during what she called "this particularly happy time" and described how affectionate Prince William was toward his baby brother.

"William adores his little brother and spends the entire time swamping Harry with an endless supply of hugs and kisses, hardly letting the parents near!" she wrote.

That note, which had been expected to fetch up to 600 pounds ($745), sold for 3,200 pounds ($3,975), Cheffins auction house in Cambridge said.

Princess Diana

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A view of waves in the Gdanska Gulf near the pier in Sopot, Poland, Jan. 5, 2017.
Photo by Adam Warzawa

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Traced To Distant Galaxy

Mystery Radio Bursts

A mysterious type of radio wave from deep space, discovered only a decade ago, has been traced to a precise source for the first time, astronomers said Wednesday.

So-called fast radio bursts (FRBs) picked up in 2016 by a telescope in New Mexico likely emanated from a dwarf galaxy some three billion light years from Earth, the scientists reported in the journal Nature.

FRBs flash only for an micro-instant, and can emit as much energy in a millisecond as the Sun does in 10,000 years.

Exactly what causes these high-energy surges of long waves at the far end of the electromagnetic spectrum remains the subject of intense debate.

There have been 18 fast radio bursts registered since 2007, but only one -- observed in 2012 at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, and dubbed FRB 121102 -- recurred numerous times.

Mystery Radio Bursts

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Digby's Hullabaloo


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Fan Film Dispute Goes to Jury

'Star Trek'

Paramount Pictures and CBS have scored major successes in their copyright lawsuit over Axanar, a 20-minute YouTube video and a proposed feature-length version touted as a professional-quality Star Trek fan film. But a California federal judge Wednesday stopped short of declaring the Star Trek rights holders the victors in the closely followed case, reserving for a jury the key question of whether the works would be seen by lay people as substantially similar to older Star Trek films and TV shows.

The lawsuit was filed almost exactly a year ago after Alec Peters' Axanar Productions aimed to raise more than $1 million on Kickstarter for a prequel to the 1960s Gene Roddenberry series. Peters' work focused on Garth of Izar, an obscure character who appeared in a 1969 episode. Scripts were prepared for a film to be set around the Four Years War between the United Federation of Planets and the Klingon Empire.

Last May, the case survived a motion to dismiss and began drawing attention to whether Paramount and CBS could take ownership of everything from "pointy ears" to the Klingon language, especially in light of many fan-made works that have been permitted through the years without controversy. Despite some hopes expressed by Star Trek Beyond director Justin Lin that all this would go away, Paramount and CBS marched forward, and the parties each delivered summary judgment motions.

On Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge R. Gary Klausner released his much anticipated opinion.

'Star Trek'

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Schoolchildren attend a yoga session at a camp in Ahmedabad, India, Jan. 5, 2017.
Photo by Amit Dave

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$180M Parachute

Tillerson

United States President-elect Donald Trump's(R-Mountebank) cabinet pick for the position of secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, is set to receive more than $180 million as he severs his ties with his former company-ExxonMobil.

If Tillerson, the former chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil, is confirmed to the post through upcoming hearings before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee that start from Jan. 11, he will be paid in cash for his previously set retirement package that was pegged at the value of two million unvested shares over the next ten years and the money will be transferred to an independently managed trust, according to a regulatory filing on Wednesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Upon confirmation, Tillerson would be committed to selling his more than 600,000 vested Exxon shares worth about $54 million. However, had Tillerson retired with the company in March as planned, rather than stepping down as Exxon CEO on Jan. 1 after his nomination to the post of secretary of state was announced, he would not have lost $7 million from the retirement deal.

The deal, designed to comply with federal ethics rules and to avoid any situation of potential conflict of interest or office for profit also stipulates some checks and balances. Tillerson has been prohibited from working in the oil and gas industry for a period of ten years. If Tillerson violates the terms of the deal, he would have to forfeit his payout secured in the trust and it would be donated to charities "involved in fighting poverty or disease in the developing world," according to Exxon.

However, some such as Charles Elson, a professor of governance at the University of Delaware, believe that by allowing Tillerson to fully divest from Exxon, one can make the case that the company is granting millions of dollars to Tillerson, just as he is on the cusp of taking a position that can affect the company's business results.

Tillerson

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Sheriff Offers Prison Inmates

Massachusetts

A Massachusetts county sheriff has proposed sending prison inmates from around the United States to build the proposed wall along the Mexican border that is one of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's (R-Con Man) most prominent campaign promises.

Hodgson, who like Trump is a Republican, said inmates from around the country could build the proposed wall, described by Trump as a powerful deterrent to illegal immigration.

The United States has a long history of prison labor, with advocates of the idea saying that putting inmates to work can help them learn skills that prepare them for their return to society after completing their sentences. Opponents contend that inmates are not fairly compensated.

The federal prisons system operates some 53 factories around the United States that produced about $500 million worth of clothing, electronics, furniture and other goods in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, according to its financial statements.

Still, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union in Massachusetts said Hodgson's proposal could violate prisoners' rights.

"The proposal is perverse, it's inhumane and very likely unconstitutional," ACLU staff counsel Laura Rotolo said in a phone interview. "It certainly has nothing to do with helping prisoners in Massachusetts or their families. It's about politics."

Massachusetts

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A photograph made with slow shutter speed shows a view of the illuminated Golden Temple, the holiest of Sikh shrines, on the 350th anniversary of the birth of the 10th guru of the Sikhs, Sri Guru Gobind Singh, in Amritsar, India, Jan. 5, 2017.
Photo by Raminder Pal Singh

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Adding Nine New Ships in 2017

U.S. Navy

This year the U.S. Navy will add nine ships to the battle force as it slowly grows towards a 300-ship fleet. Most likely, these new ships are a sign of things to come as President-elect Donald Trump (R-Grifter) campaigned on a promise to boost the Navy to 350 ships.

Nine ships are scheduled to be commissioned into the fleet in 2017, meaning they are fully manned, functional, and assigned to a major command. The total includes one aircraft carrier, two destroyers, two nuclear attack submarines, and four littoral combat ships.

The Navy is set to gain the USS Gerald R. Ford, the first in a new class of aircraft carrier. The Ford has the same aircraft capacity as the older Nimitz-class carriers, typically 64 aircraft but capable of embarking up to 90. The carrier introduces a host of new technologies, including a redesigned island, electromagnetic catapult system, new aircraft arresting gear, a new nuclear reactor, and new multifunction and volume search radars.

The Navy will also add two Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers, the John Finn and Rafael Peralta. The two are the first new destroyers in five years, after a decision was made to cut the Zumwalt-class to three destroyers and build more Burkes instead.

Also joining the fleet are two nuclear-powered attack submarines, the Washington and Colorado. The two Virginia-class submarines each have four torpedo tubes for Mark 48 heavyweight guided torpedoes and twelve vertical launch tubes, each with one Tomahawk land attack cruise missile. Nuclear powered, they can stay on patrol indefinitely, limited only by crew endurance and food supplies.

U.S. Navy

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Could Spread Faster Than The Black Death

Zombie Apocalypse

Students at Leicester University have developed a mathematical model that has predicted that a zombie outbreak would spread through the human population at a rate faster than the Black Death and could potentially wipe out humanity in 100 days.

The mathematical model developed by the students, which presupposes that a Zombie can infect one person each day with a 90 percent success rate, predicts that only 273 survivors would remain after 100 days of the Zombie outbreak and with such overwhelming odds (outnumber by a million to one) humanity could be pushed to the edge of extinction in less than six months, according to their study.

However, the students also cautioned against some margin of error in their statistical predictions. For instance, the students did not account for humans killing zombies or the fact that their 90 percent rate of spread of infection would remain a constant.

Other assumptions used to develop the mathematical model called "SIR" to investigate the spread of disease included: accounting for different speed in spread of infection in less or more densely populated areas; presuming a life span of 20 days for zombies before they die of starvation and presuming that zombies can cross the geographical barriers.

Zombie Apocalypse

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In Memory

Georges Pretre

French maestro Georges Pretre, who regularly conducted the renowned Vienna Symphony Orchestra, died Wednesday aged 92, the Austrian capital's Philharmonic society said.

Pretre died in Naves in southwest France where he lived in a chateau, the town's deputy mayor Brigitte Baux, who regularly organised events with the conductor, told AFP.

Born in northern France on August 24, 1924, he entered the Paris Conservatoire aged 15 but went on to enjoy most of his career outside his homeland.

He was notably the first "invited leader" from 1986-1991 of the Symphony Orchestra, the Austrian capital's second classical ensemble after the celebrated Philharmonic.

Pretre, who liked to say that he was himself Viennese, also twice conducted the prestigious New Year's concert by the Philharmonic, in 2008 and 2010.

During his career he also wielded the baton at some of the world's top orchestras, from Chicago to the Metropolitan Opera de New York, and the Scala in Milan to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London.

He last conducted the Vienna Philharmonic in 2013 at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees in Paris in a repertoire including Ravel, Beethoven and Strauss.

Georges Pretre

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Two Pulis, Quastie and Gin-Gin, run in the snow in their garden in Lautertal, Germany, Jan. 5, 2017. Pulis are Hungarian sheepdogs and rarely seen in Germany.
Photo by Michael Probst

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