BartCop Entertainment Archives - Friday, 20 January, 2017

Friday

20 January, 2017

(Updated Daily)

[1940 days in a row]



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Recommended Reading

from Bruce

Andrew Tobias: "Illegitimate" - Too Strong A Word?
Leading the charge to delegitimize Obama for being born in Kenya - based on NOTHING credible and with NO practical worldwide consequence even if it HAD been true - is different from raising alarms with regard to a sustained, coordinated, unprecedented attack on our democracy by ex-KGB agents that it now seems, based on both circumstantial evidence and some serious albeit not yet confirmed investigative work, Trump may even have been aware of, that could destabilize the world order.


Paul Krugman: Health Care Fundamentals (NY Times Blog)
Another week of complete chaos on the health reform front. Dear Leader declares that he'll give everyone coverage; Republicans explain that he didn't mean that literally. CBO says the obvious, that repealing the ACA would lead to immense hardship for tens of millions; Republicans declare that this is wrong, because they will come up with an alternative any day now - you know, the one they've been promising for 7 years.


Tom Danehy: From the Goldwater Institute to the Christian Right, Tom says you guys can suck it (Tucson Weekly)
Alas, America is awash with hypocrites these days. Let's count down to the worst of the bunch.


Graham Vyse: Betsy DeVos Got Schooled in Her Confirmation Hearing (New Republic)
Democrats repeatedly stumped Trump's pick for education secretary.


David Leonhardt: America's Great Working-Class Colleges (NY Times Sunday Review)
At City College, in Manhattan, 76 percent of students who enrolled in the late 1990s and came from families in the bottom fifth of the income distribution have ended up in the top three-fifths of the distribution. These students entered college poor. They left on their way to the middle class and often the upper middle class.


Aaron E. Carroll: Why Medical Advice Seems to Change So Frequently (NY Times)
There's growing evidence that simple lifestyle changes may be more influential than many medical interventions. That advice, though, is bland and nonspecific. Get some exercise. Don't smoke. Don't drink too much. Don't be obese. And try to eat a bit better. But none of them advocate drastic change or abstinence in any one nutrient or food. Moderation may not only feel right; it may be right, too.


Aaron E. Carroll: Simple Rules for Healthy Eating (NY Times)
1. Get as much of your nutrition as possible from a variety of completely unprocessed foods. These include fruits and vegetables. But they also include meat, fish, poultry and eggs that haven't been processed. In other words, when buying food at the market, focus on things that have not been cooked, prepared or altered in any way. Brown rice over white rice. Whole grains over refined grains. You're far better off eating two apples than drinking the same 27 grams of sugar in an eight-ounce glass of apple juice.


Colin Dickey: "Cash for Words: A Brief History of Writing for Money" (New Republic)
Money taints everything, why not writing too?



David Bruce's Amazon Author Page

David Bruce's Smashwords Page

David Bruce's Blog

David Bruce's Lulu Storefront

David Bruce's Apple iBookstore

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


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Trivia Question of the Day


Who is the first and to date only person to have served as both Vice President and President of the United States without being elected to either office?

                                  



Send your answer to Marty








Throwback Thursday Trivia Question from Yesterday


Mr. Do-Bee was the mascot for what children's TV series?


       Romper Room                                                      Source


Romper Room is an American children's television series that ran in the United States from 1953 to 1994 as well as being franchised internationally at various times in Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, and Finland. The program targeted preschoolers, children five years of age or younger, and was created and produced by Bert and Nancy Claster of Claster Television.

A recurring character was Mr. Do-Bee, an oversized bumblebee, who was also the show's mascot who came to teach the children proper deportment; he was noted for always starting his sentence with "Do Bee", as in the imperative "Do be"; for example, "Do Bee good boys and girls for your parents!" There was also a "Mr. Don't Bee" to show children exactly what they should not do. Do-Bee balloons were also manufactured. Each balloon featured a painted sketch of Do-Bee on it. When the balloons were inflated and then released, they would fly around the room slowly emitting a buzzing sound.        Source







Mark. was first and correct with:
   Mr. Do Bee was on Romper Room. As I recall he taught manners, and I think there was also a Don't Bee. "Do be polite like Mr. Do Bee. Don't be a jerk like Mr. Don't Bee."



Alan J said:
   Romper Room.



Randall wrote:
   Romper Room





mj replied:
   With Miss [insert name of current young woman in charge]
  Every child waited to be called out when the magic mirror came on the tube on Romper Room
    Romper, bomper, stomper, boo.
    Magic Mirror, tell me to day.
    Did all my friends have fun at play?
  [Cue whirly patter on TV screen followed by names of special friends.]
  Getting us used to being surveiled.




Stephen F responded:
   Romper Room



Adam answered:
   Romper Room



Deborah said:
   Wow, this sure brings back memories - Mr. Do Bee was Romper Room's mascot. And who grew up with that? And Captain Kangaroo? And regionally, Sally Starr? *raises hand* I haven't thought of Romper Room in years.
  Yesterday's storm had an unexpected fierce component that didn't convey with the predictions: Heavy rain for nearly 8 hours, 20-40 mph winds sustained with gusts to 65 mph (!!!) for about 3-4 hrs., local flooding and road washouts and flooding. I have 3 12' tall trees in large ceramic pots, and today 2 of them are horizontal. They each weigh a couple hundred pounds. I suspect they'll stay there until my husband comes home to provide some muscle.
  And another, similar-in-strength storm will blow in overnight.
  So far, January has blown the doors off of previous Januarys, in all kinds of ways.




Jim from CA, retired to ID, responded:
   Romper Room



Ed K wrote:
   Well, all I know is I sure enjoyed reruns of Green Acres a whole lot more after a visit from Mr. Doobie.



zorch replied:
   Romper Room



Dave in Tucson answered:
   Mr. Do Bee along with his companion Don't Bee were mascots for Romper Room.



  Wonder if Mr. Do realized his place in the counter culture vocabulary?
  And it's sad to say they may have spawned those nefarious Yoostabees:



  Hopefully those are a thing of the past, especially with the horrid oncoming Drumpf administration.




Billy in Cypress said:
   Off the top of my bald spot, I say Mr. Do-Bee was on Romper Room.
  If Ford could pardon Nixon as Pence will pardon Trump, then Obama should pardon Snowden.




Joe S     wrote:
   No quiz tonight. Resist





DJ Useo took the day off.
  



MAM     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 20 Birthdays - Celebrities Born January 20 | 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


Al Gore's Inconvenient Sequel to open Sundance in acutely political year | Film | The Guardian



Philippine president challenges Catholic church to 'showdown' | World news | The Guardian



'A cat in hell's chance' - why we're losing the battle to keep global warming below 2C | Environment | The Guardian



'What should be pristine white is littered with blue' - Timo Lieber's Arctic photography | Art and design | The Guardian



Trump Probed. Could having played with Russian bears bring him down? Here's how it might happen.



Trump torpedoes Ryan's tax plan: It's 'too complicated'



Trump torpedoes Ryan's tax plan: It's 'too complicated'



Chaffetz Skipped Meeting With Ethics Chief He Threatened To Subpoena, Emails Show | The Huffington Post



This New Shampoo Will Clean Your Hair - And The Oceans | The Huffington Post



BBC - Future - How East and West think in profoundly different ways



BBC - Travel - How Irish falconry changed language



Vaccines for three deadly viruses fast-tracked - BBC News



Trump's presidency makes banning nuclear weapons more urgent - CNN.com



Trump as job creator -- hope or hoax? - CNN.com



A bunch of military veterans have taken over Sen. McCain's office to protest Rex Tillerson - AOL News



Without a path from protest to power, the Women's March will end up like Occupy | World news | The Guardian



Congress moves to give away national lands, discounting billions in revenue and millions of jobs | Environment | The Guardian



Indiana bill would allow police to shut down protests 'by any means necessary' | US news | The Guardian



In Hitler's Footsteps: Trump Plans Gutting National Endowments of Arts & Humanities



The Potemkin President



President Sexual Predator plans big cuts to violence against women programs



This company raised a drug's price by 85,000% to make sick babies more profitable



Trump Sought Military Equipment For Inauguration, Granted 20-Plane Flyover | The Huffington Post



Why Some Christians Will Be Praying At Mosques During Trump's Inauguration | The Huffington Post



Dems Will Let Trump Have Just Two Of His Nominees When He Is Sworn In | The Huffington Post



The Movies Obama Used To Explain The World (And Himself) | The Huffington Post



Clinton supporters plan to boycott Trump's inauguration to ruin his ratings - AOL News





Thanks, Michelle!


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Team Coco

CONAN

Andrew Dice Clay: Trump Stole My Act

CONAN Highlight: Andrew Dice Clay thinks the President-elect stole his act and Rodney Dangerfield's look.






Trump's Inauguration Performers Are Big League

In addition to tremendous acts like Toby Keith and 3 Doors Down, Trump's big day is also going to feature the Marlboro Man, a professional saxophone pointer, and our very own Really Tall Dachshund.






Trump Calls Obama On The Eve Of His Inauguration

The President-elect squeezes in one last call to Obama to learn about Inauguration protocol.






Andrew Dice Clay: Trump Fixed My Sister's Leaky Roof

Andrew Dice Clay's sister lived in a Trump building, so Dice lodged a personal maintenance request with the Donald himself.






Jen Kirkman On The Women's Marches

Jen is attending one of the marches, but she doesn't totally get why just because some douchebag got elected, she has to walk 12 miles.




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Bonus Links

Jeannie the Teed-Off Temp


Remember, America: Hating the press is not American - Columbia Journalism Review



Nancy Sinatra responds to Trump having 'My Way' performed at inauguration - Business Insider



The Creepy Religion That Explains All Of Trump's Actions - cracked.com



Paul Ryan Is Lying In Order To Destroy Medicare | The Huffington Post



Michele Bachmann Predicts Obama Will Issue 'Blank Pardon' For Entire Clinton Family | Right Wing Watch



Notorious Mercenary Erik Prince Is Advising Trump From the Shadows - theintercept.com



Trump's 'beachhead' teams primed to grab agencies' reins at noon Friday - POLITICO



Donald Trump Needs to Fill 662 Jobs - esquire.com



The Trump Team | Southern Poverty Law Center



Clueless, Reckless, Graceless, Mindless And Heartless: Our President-Elect | The Huffington Post



Nancy Sinatra Destroys Donald Trump With Her Kickass Tweets | The Huffington Post



Sean Spicer turns first press conference into ad for Trump hotel: 'I encourage you to go there' - rawstory.com



Trump preps to take an ax to the budget, including sexual assault reduction programs-of course - dailykos.com



US Treasury nominee Steven Mnuchin denies exploiting homeowners after crash - rawstory.com



Donald Trump May Evict Press from the White House - esquire.com



The Birth Of F**kery: How To Think About Donald Trump's Lies | The Huffington Post



Some TREMENDOUS Menu Items Have Been Created For Trump's Inauguration | The Huffington Post





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Reader Suggestions

Lumpy

Samantha Bee describes spokescobra Kellyanne perfectly. Stuart shared the link:

Samantha Bee Gives Kellyanne Conway the Deliciously Devastating Tribute She Deserves: WATCH - Towleroad





This preacher has a way with words. Janet in Texas shared the link:

Let the Record Show | john pavlovitz


Linda   >^..^<
     We are all only temporarily able bodied.


Thanks, Linda (& Stuart & Janet)



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Reader Comment

Today's Festivities







some guy


Thanks, guy!



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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


R.I.P. TILICUM.

DOES ANYBODY GIVE A SHIT?

"HE WAS THEIR MAN."

"TRUMP'S POOR AND PUTIN KNOWS IT."

AND THE CRIMINAL CREEPYNESS BEGINS!






Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music




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In The Chaos Household

Last Night

Rained all night.



Tonight, Friday:

CBS begins the night with the FRESH 'Change & Challenge: The Coronation Of T-rump', followed by a FRESH 'Hawaii Five-0', then a FRESH 'Blue Bloods'.
Scheduled on a FRESH Stephen Colbert are Jim Gaffigan, Cristela Alonzo, and the Avett Brothers.
On a RERUN James Corden, OBE, (from 11/9/16) are John Lithgow, Kyra Sedgwick, andRyan Phillippe.



NBC starts the night with a FRESH 'Grimm', followed by a FRESH 'Emerald City', then 'Dateline'.
Scheduled on a FRESH Jimmy Fallon are James Spader, JoAnna Garcia Swisher, and Kevin Delany.
On a RERUN Seth Meyers (from 1/10/17) are Ken Jeong, Kellyanne Conway, and Mike Schur.
On a RERUN Carson 'The Scab' Daly (from 9/9/16) are Nicole Byer, Guided by Voices, and Elizabeth Wood.



ABC opens the night with a FRESH 'Last Man Standing', followed by a FRESH 'Dr. Ken', then a RERUN 'Shark Tank', followed by '20/20'.
Scheduled on a FRESH Jimmy Kimmel are Anthony Anderson, Ruby Rose, and Travis Scott.



The CW offers a FRESH 'The Vampire Diaries', followed by a 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: Killer Confessions', then a FRESH 'Live PD'.



AMC offers the movie 'Forrest Gump', followed by the movie 'Saving Private Ryan'.



BBC  -   
 [6:00AM]   STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 4 - EPISODE 13-Devil's Due
 [7:00AM]   STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 4 - EPISODE 14-Clues
 [8:00AM]   STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 4 - EPISODE 16-Galaxy's Child
 [9:00AM]   STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION - SEASON 4 - EPISODE 17-Night Terrors
 [4:00PM]   STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES - SEASON 3 - EPISODE 23-All Our Yesterdays
 [5:10PM]   STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES - SEASON 3 - EPISODE 24-Turnabout Intruder
 [6:20PM]   STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES - SEASON 1 - EPISODE 1-The Man Trap
 [7:30PM]   STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES - SEASON 1 - EPISODE 2-Charlie X
 [8:40PM]   STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES - SEASON 1 - EPISODE 3-Where No Man Has Gone Before
 [9:50PM]   STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES - SEASON 1 - EPISODE 4-The Naked Time
 [11:00PM]   STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES - SEASON 3 - EPISODE 23-All Our Yesterdays
 [12:10AM]   STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES - SEASON 3 - EPISODE 24-Turnabout Intruder
 [1:20AM]   STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES - SEASON 1 - EPISODE 1-The Man Trap
 [2:30AM]   STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES - SEASON 1 - EPISODE 2-Charlie X
 [3:40AM]   STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES - SEASON 1 - EPISODE 3-Where No Man Has Gone Before
 [4:50AM]   STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES - SEASON 1 - EPISODE 4-The Naked Time    (ALL TIMES EST)



Bravo has 'Real Housewives Of Atlanta', followed by a FRESH 'Married To Medicine', then the movie 'Little Fockers'.



Comedy Central has all old 'South Park' all night.
Scheduled on a FRESH The Daily Show is Joy-Ann Reid.



FX has the movie 'xXx: State Of The Union', followed by the movie 'The Equalizer'.



History has 'Transition Of Power: The Presidency', followed by the FRESH, but specious, 'The Making Of Trump'.



IFC  -   
 [6:30AM]    KUNG POW: ENTER THE FIST
 [8:15AM]    KINGPIN
 [11:00AM]    ZOMBIELAND
 [1:00PM]    KINGPIN
 [3:45PM]    ZOMBIELAND
 [5:45PM]    GHOSTBUSTERS
 [8:00PM]    GHOSTBUSTERS II
 [10:30PM]    GHOSTBUSTERS
 [12:45AM]    GHOSTBUSTERS II
 [3:15AM]    GHOSTBUSTERS
 [5:30AM]    GHOSTBUSTERS II    (ALL TIMES EST)



Sundance  -   
 [6:05AM]    The Andy Griffith Show-Family Visit
 [6:40AM]    The Andy Griffith Show-The Education of Ernest T. Bass
 [7:15AM]    The Andy Griffith Show-Aunt Bee's Romance
 [7:50AM]    The Andy Griffith Show-Barney's Bloodhound
 [8:25AM]    The Andy Griffith Show-Man in the Middle
 [9:00AM]    The Andy Griffith Show-Barney's Uniform
 [9:35AM]    The Andy Griffith Show-Opie's Fortune
 [10:10AM]    The Andy Griffith Show-Goodbye, Sheriff Taylor
 [10:45AM]    The Andy Griffith Show-The Pageant
 [11:20AM]    The Andy Griffith Show-The Darling Baby
 [11:55AM]    The Andy Griffith Show-Andy and Helen Have Their Day
 [12:30PM]    Stakeout
 [3:00PM]    Law & Order-Apocrypha
 [4:00PM]    Law & Order-American Dream
 [5:00PM]    Law & Order-Born Bad
 [6:00PM]    Law & Order-The Pursuit of Happiness
 [7:00PM]    Law & Order-Golden Years
 [8:00PM]    Law & Order-Savior
 [9:00PM]    Law & Order-Deceit
 [10:00PM]    Law & Order-Atonement
 [11:00PM]    Law & Order-Slave
 [12:00AM]    Law & Order-Girlfriends
 [1:00AM]    Law & Order-Pro Se
 [2:00AM]    Rectify-Happy Unburdening
 [3:20AM]    Rectify-All I'm Sayin'
 [5:00AM]    Close Up With The Hollywood Reporter-Episode 8    (ALL TIMES EST)



SyFy has the movie 'Shutter Island', followed by the movie 'Faster'.



TCM spends the morning hours with Jane Wyman
 [7:00 AM]      Princess O'Rourke (1943)
 [8:45 AM]      One More Tomorrow (1946)
 [10:30 AM]      Honeymoon for Three (1941)
 [12:00 PM]      The King and the Chorus Girl (1937)

 [1:45 PM]      The Fountainhead (1949)
 [3:45 PM]      Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)
 [5:45 PM]      A Face in the Crowd (1957)
 [8:00 PM]      The Saint In New York (1938)
 [9:30 PM]      The Saint Strikes Back (1939)
 [10:45 PM]      The Saint In London (1939)
 [12:15 AM]      The Saint's Double Trouble (1940)
 [1:30 AM]      The Saint In Palm Springs (1941)
 [2:45 AM]      The Saint's Vacation (1941)
 [4:00 AM]      The Saint Meets the Tiger (1943)
 [5:15 AM]      Screen Directors Playhouse: Claire (1956)     (ALL TIMES EST)



Saturday   -  01/21/17

TCM:
 [6:00 AM]      MGM Parade Show #26 (1955)
 [6:30 AM]      Othello (1952)
 [8:15 AM]      A Tale Of Two Cities (1935)
 [10:30 AM]      Looking for Danger (1957)
 [12:00 PM]      It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963)
 [3:00 PM]      The Big Country (1958)
 [6:00 PM]      Bend of the River (1952)
 [8:00 PM]      Boomerang (1947)
 [9:45 PM]      Fallen Angel (1945)
 [11:30 PM]      While the City Sleeps (1956)
 [1:15 AM]      Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956)
 [2:45 AM]      The Hidden (1987)
 [4:30 AM]      The Terminal Man (1974)     (ALL TIMES EST)




Antenna TV - Johnny Carson (from Jan. 10, 1980) - Phyllis George, Mike Farrell, Sean Morey, and Jerzy Kosinski.

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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A worker checks rubber masks of US President-elect Donald Trump at Ogawa Studio, a Japanese party goods factory, in Saitama, north of Tokyo, Japan, Jan. 19, 2017.
Photo by Kimimasa Mayama

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The Sideshow - by Avedon Carol


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Film Festival Opens

Sundance

As former U.S. vice president Al Gore filmed the sequel to his environmental documentary last year, he did not expect to be dealing with a new president who has dismissed climate change as a hoax.

Gore's "An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power," premieres at the Sundance Film Festival on Thursday a day ahead of Donald Trump's (R-Grifter) inauguration as U.S. President.

The Gore film is the centerpiece of Sundance's first-ever 'New Climate' segment showcasing films and hosting discussions about issues ranging from water to coral reefs.

Trump has dismissed man-made climate change as a hoax and said during his campaign that he would pull the United States out of the 2015 Paris climate agreement. However in November, he said he now had an "open mind" on the 200-nation accord.

"An Inconvenient Sequel" follows Gore ten years after his Oscar-winning documentary "An Inconvenient Truth," as he educates children on climate change, visits scientists to collect data to present at forums and attends the Paris climate summit.

Sundance

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A bride reacts as she speaks with another bride during a mass marriage ceremony, in which, according to its organizers, 51 Muslim couples took their wedding vows, in Ahmedabad, India Jan. 19, 2017.
Photo by Amit Dave

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Hit New High

World Temperatures

World temperatures hit a record high for the third year in a row in 2016, creeping closer to a ceiling set for global warming with extremes including unprecedented heat in India and ice melt in the Arctic, U.S. government agencies said on Wednesday.

The data, supported by findings from other organizations, was issued two days before the inauguration of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, who questions whether climate change has a human cause.

Average surface temperatures over land and the oceans in 2016 were 0.94 degrees Celsius (1.69 degrees Fahrenheit) above the 20th-century average of 13.9C (57.0F), according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

U.S. space agency NASA reported almost identical data, and the UK Met Office and University of East Anglia, which also track global temperatures for the United Nations, said 2016 was the hottest year on record.

Temperatures, lifted both by man-made greenhouse gases and a natural El Nino event that released heat from the Pacific Ocean last year, beat the previous record in 2015, when 200 nations agreed a plan to limit global warming. That peak had in turn eclipsed 2014.

World Temperatures

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Newhead News


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Uncanny Resemblance

Neopalpa donaldtrumpi

The Neopalpa donaldtrumpi, a new species of tiny moth, has been named after the president-elect due to the striking physical resemblance between the moth's yellow and white scales and Trump's hair.

The centimeter-wide moth - discovered by Canadian biologist and researcher, Vazrick Nazari - may have been named after Trump "to bring wider public attention to the need to continue protecting fragile habitats in the U.S.," but we have a feeling he might not be too happy about his new namesake.

Why? For starters, the species, which was found in southern California, is present as far south as Baja California, Mexico. You know, the Mexico that Trump wants to pay for a "Great Wall" bordering America to prevent immigration?

Oh, and also the study showed that the Neopalpa donaldtrumpi has, um, "comparatively smaller" male genitalia than its relative, the Neopalpa neonata.

Neopalpa donaldtrumpi

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Max Franz of Austria competes during the second training run for the men's Downhill race of the FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup event in Kitzbuehel, Austria, Jan. 19, 2017.
Photo by Christian Bruna

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An Explanation?

African 'Fairy Circles'

The forces behind the mysterious "fairy circles" that dot a desert in southern Africa do not appear to be supernatural, but they are intricate and complex.

The formations are circles of land dozens of feet wide that create a stunning pattern in the Namib desert and have mystified locals and scientists for ages. Inside the circles it looks like nothing is growing, while plants grow well on the land surrounding them. Similar patterns have also been seen in Australia.

Paranormal powers like fairies and even dragon breath have been credited with creating them. But Princeton University ecologists have come up with a much less shadowy - and maybe less charming - explanation for what's afoot. Using computer simulations, they say an intricate combination of animals and plants cooperating and competing help explain the unusual patterns, according to a study in the journal Nature Wednesday.

Until this study, there were two competing explanations: Termites created the pattern or plants surrounding the circles did it. Tarnita's theory borrows from both. The giant circles - from six to 100 feet in diameter - are mostly from termites that cooperate with others in their colony, but compete against other colonies, she said. The unusual patterns seen between circles are plants that establish an orderly root system so they don't compete too much for limited water.

The circular shape is a result of termites venturing as far as possible from their own colony's nest without encroaching on a competing colony.

African 'Fairy Circles'

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Digby's Hullabaloo


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Perv Sues Sex Abuse Victim

Hastert

Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Family Values), serving prison time for a financial crime stemming from a child sex abuse scandal, has filed a lawsuit seeking the return of $1.7 million in hush money the disgraced politician admitted paying to one of his accusers.

The filing was made in response to a breach-of-contract case the unidentified man brought last year claiming Hastert paid only about half of the $3.5 million he had privately promised as compensation for decades of pain and suffering his misconduct had caused.

In Hastert's countersuit, filed on Wednesday in Kendall County Circuit Court in Illinois, he acknowledged paying $1.7 million to the accuser from 2010 and 2014 to buy his silence, but said their verbal agreement was not enforceable.

"Mr. Hastert has decided that rather than live up to his promise to compensate his victim for his molestation and resulting injury, he will ask his victim to pay him," attorney Kristi Browne said in a statement. "He admits to agreeing to make payments, but then denies that it is an agreement that he has to keep."

Hastert, 75, the longest-serving Republican U.S. House speaker in history, pleaded guilty in 2015 to the crime of structuring, which involves withdrawing a large sum of money in small increments to evade currency-reporting rules.

Hastert

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A steam train of the Fichtelbergbahn passes by villagers in Oberwiesenthal, Germany, Jan. 19, 2017.
Photo by Jan Woitas

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Justices Raise Doubts

Offensive Trademarks

In a First Amendment clash over a law barring offensive trademarks, the Supreme Court on Wednesday raised doubts about a government program that favors some forms of speech but rejects others that might disparage certain groups.

The justices heard arguments in a dispute involving an Asian-American band called the Slants that was denied a trademark because the U.S. Patent and Trademark office said the name is offensive to Asians.

Justice Elena Kagan reflected the concerns of several justices when she said government programs are not supposed to make a distinction based on viewpoint.

A victory for the band would be welcome news for the Washington Redskins, embroiled in their own legal fight over the team's name. The trademark office canceled the football team's lucrative trademarks in 2014 after finding the word "Redskins" is disparaging to Native Americans.

But the justices also seemed concerned that imposing absolutely no limits on trademark names might go too far.

Offensive Trademarks

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$100 Million Hawaiian Estate

Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg fired back at "misleading stories" about the 700 acres of Hawaiian property he paid $100 million for in a post on his Facebook page Thursday.

The Facebook CEO has filed quiet title actions in court against a few hundred Hawaiians who have partial legal-ownership claims to parcels of land sprinkled throughout his vacation estate on the island of Kauai.

The families who have been sued collectively inherited 14 parcels of land through the Kuleana Act, a Hawaiian law established in 1850 that for the first time gave natives the right to own the land that they lived on.

In his Facebook post, Zuckerberg said the lawsuits were simply a way to find the various owners, some of whom are descendants that have ownerships rights to 1/4% or 1% of a property and don't even know it.

The so-called quiet title suits are designed to "find all these partial owners so we can pay them their fair share," Zuckerberg said.

Mark Zuckerberg

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A hiker using snow-shoes visits the building that imitates a greco-roman temple which was built in 1869 on the summit of the Donon mountain as he enjoys a cold and sunny winter day in the Vosges mountains, in Granfontaine, near Strasbourg, France, Jan. 19, 2017.
Photo by Christian Hartmann

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Cites New Rules

CIA

The CIA said Wednesday it would implement new rules to better respect the private information of Americans swept up incidentally during its investigations.

The new restrictions imposed by the US attorney general just two days before Donald Trumpbecome president will force the CIA, whose mission is to focus on foreign issues and threats, to dispose of the personal data of Americans it comes across during its probes within five years.

Until now, under a 1981 executive order by then president Ronald Reagan, there were loose restrictions on how the spy agency handles that data. And existing rules never considered the avalanche of personal information that can be scooped up from the internet and social media.

The CIA is supposed to limit its investigations to foreign targets, but given the global nature of telecommunications and the internet and the massive electronic combing of that electronic data, it inevitably gathers up data on US citizens as well.

CIA

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Auctioned For $100

Foreclosed Mall

A Pennsylvania mall that was foreclosed on after its owners failed to repay $143 million has been auctioned off for $100.

Wells Fargo Bank was owed the money from a 2006 loan and submitted the winning bid for the 1.1 million-square-foot Galleria at Pittsburgh Mills on Wednesday. The bank was acting as trustee for MSCI 2007 HQ11, the trust that bought the mall in suburban Frazer Township.

Wells Fargo foreclosed last year on the mall, which opened in 2005. The mall once was worth $190 million but recently was appraised at just $11 million and is slightly more than half occupied. Pittsburgh Mills Limited Partnership defaulted on the loan.

Wells Fargo and the mall's new owners haven't commented on the purchase.

Foreclosed Mall

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In Memory

Miguel Ferrer

Miguel Ferrer, the character and voice actor who appeared in shows including "NCIS: Los Angeles" and "Crossing Jordan," and films such as "RoboCop" and "Iron Man 3," died on Thursday of throat cancer. He was 61.

Ferrer was the son of top 1950s singer Rosemary Clooney and actor Jose Ferrer, and first cousin to George Clooney. He appeared on "NCIS: Los Angeles" for seven seasons.

He also appeared on the original "Twin Peaks" TV series and will reprise his role as FBI pathologist Albert Rosenfield in Showtime's upcoming "Twin Peaks" reboot.

His TV roles included "Shannon's Deal," "Broken Badges," "Crossing Jordan," "Bionic Woman," and "Desperate Housewives." He also provided voices for films, TV shows, and videogames, including "Mulan," "Superman: The Animated Series," "Robot Chicken," "American Dad!," "The Spectacular Spider-Man," and the "Halo 2" videogame. On film, he also appeared in the 2004 "The Manchurian Candidate," "Sunshine State," "Hard Ride to Hell," and "Mr. Magoo."

Born in Santa Monica, Calif., he started out as a studio musician, touring with his mother and Bing Crosby, and recording with Keith Moon of The Who, before moving into television and film.

Among his early appearances were playing his father's younger self on "Magnum P.I." and portraying an Excelsior helm officer in "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock." In "RoboCop," he played corporate executive and villain Bob Morton, a type he would return to frequently in roles such as an engineer in "DeepStar Six," in "Hot Shots! Part Deux," in the mini-series "The Stand," and as a drug informant in "Traffic."

He is survived by his wife, Lori; sons, Lukas and Rafi; and several brothers and sisters.

Miguel Ferrer

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The Dashanbao Natural Protected Area of black-necked cranes is dubbed as 'Paradise of Birds' because thousands of black-necked cranes and migratory birds fly to the Dashanbao Wetlands for winter every year, January 19, 2017.

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