Tom Danehy: Tom goes on an Alaska adventure to find a Pascua Yaqui b-ball player (Tucson Weekly)
Ruben Silvas is alive and well, and pursuing his basketball dream in Fairbanks, Alaska. (And don't ever say that the Tucson Weekly won't go that extra mile to get the story.)
Andrew Tobias: Frank Kameny
"Some 32 years ago [1940, aged 15 or so] I told you that if society and I differ on anything, I will give society a second chance to convince me. If it fails, then I am right and society is wrong, and if society gets in my way, it will be society which will change, not I. That was so alien to your entire approach to life that you responded with disdain. It has been a guiding principle of my life. Society was wrong. I am making society change." - Frank Kameny
Andrew Tobias Does Sarcasm: Uh Oh
Disaster: More people have health insurance; none of us can be turned down for affordable care if we develop a pre-existing condition; and now, Bloomberg reports, Obamacare will cost 20% less than projected. We're clearly on the wrong track and should repeal rather than improve this law - as Republican leaders have been saying all along. Doing so would get rid of the 3.8% surtax on investment income above $250,000 that helps to pay for it. If we want greater inequality and a tougher life for those already struggling, we must repeal Obamacare.
Josh Moon: State's reaction to gay marriage ruling embarrassing (Montgomery Advertiser)
So, before we have the National Guard in here escorting gay couples into probate offices, I want all of you who are vowing to stand in the probate doors to do me a small favor. Watch "Selma," or just about any other civil rights movie or documentary. As you watch, pay close attention to the racists, the people who seem like ignorant buffoons to most of us today.
C. Coville: The 5 Most Insane Things Anyone Ever Did For Love (Cracked)
Getting married isn't always easy. Often, your spouse-to-be makes some ridiculous demand before they agree to enter into a permanent relationship with you, like that you have to get rid of your collection of anime figurines without heads or give up on sleeping with your stuffed pig named Mr. Pinky.
C. Coville, Rev. Les Crowley: 5 Reasons Modern Life Is Driving Manliness to Extinction (Cracked)
Among the many, many complaints old people have about the modern world, one of the most common is that there are no "real men" anymore. What happened to the rugged tough guys who spent their entire lives drinking, hunting moose and whistling at every pretty girl who passed by their construction site?
Patrick Barkham: "Bryan Talbot: an interview with the father of the British graphic novel" (Guardian)
The author of the Grandville series and Dotter of Her Father's Eyes talks about steampunk, Judge Dredd and Beatrix Potter.
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 approximately 50 Kindle books on Amazon.com.
Michelle in AZ
"Mortal Kombat X"
Seattle Seahawks star running back Marshawn Lynch wouldn't speak to any members of the media yesterday, he did take the time to sit down with Conan O'Brien and New England Patriots star Rob Gronkowski last night in Arizona to chat and play the new video game Mortal Kombat X.
From The Creator of 'Avery Ant'
from Marc Perkel
Hello Bartcop fans,
As you all know the untimely passing of Terry was unexpected, even by him. We all knew he had cancer but we all thought he had some years left. So some of us who have worked closely with him over the years are scrambling around trying to figure out what to do. My job, among other things, is to establish communications with the Bartcop community and provide email lists and groups for those who might put something together. Those who want to play an active roll in something coming from this, or if you are one of Bart's pillars, should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bart's final wish was to pay off the house mortgage for Mrs. Bart who is overwhelmed and so very grateful for the support she has received. Anyone wanting to make a donation can click on this the yellow donate button on bartcop.com
But - I need you all to help keep this going. This note isn't going to directly reach all of Bart's fans. So if you can repost it on blogs and discussion boards so people can sign up then when we figure out what's next we can let more people know. This list is just over 600 but like to get it up to at least 10,000 pretty quick. So here's the signup link for this email list.
( mailman.bartcop.com/listinfo/bartnews )
from that Mad Cat, JD
In The Chaos Household
Many thanks to the 13 kind readers (Dale [twice], David, B2tbBob, John, Gary, David in AZ, Michelle, Kip, John G, Gary D, Barbara, Michael, & Lois) who responded to my request for a faster connection.
It's given me the gift of time - a couple of hours a day, and that's greatly appreciated. Even made muffins tonight.
If you'd like to pitch in,
Involved In Fatal Hit-And-Run
Marion "Suge" Knight
Former Death Row Records CEO Suge Knight was allegedly involved in a fatal hit and run in Compton, according to TMZ.
The hip hop mogul's lawyer told several outlets that he was arranging his client's surrender to authorities.
A spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Compton Department told Variety they are currently searching for a culprit in a hit and run on Rosecranz and Central. The spokesman confirmed that one person died and another was injured in the incident.
TMZ said it took place during filming of a movie or rap shoot, and that Game, Dr. Dre and Ice Cube were also on the scene when Knight arrived in his car. Knight allegedly got into a fight with two crew members, then got in his car, reversed onto the victim and fled the scene.
Marion "Suge" Knight
Judge Quits Commission In Protest
National Commission on Forensic Science
A prominent Manhattan federal judge who has frequently butted heads with U.S. authorities over their handling of financial cases has resigned in protest from a commission that advises the Justice Department on how to use forensic evidence at trial.
In his resignation letter to the National Commission on Forensic Science, U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff said he felt he "had no choice." He cited the Justice Department's decision that the commission could not consider a proposal he backed to require prosecutors to give more information about forensic experts to criminal defendants before trial.
Rakoff, nominated to the bench by U.S. President Bill Clinton, has been a frequent thorn in the side of the Justice Department and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, criticizing their efforts in pursuing Wall Street for financial crisis-era wrongdoing.
The forensic commission was created in 2013 to help establish national standards, in response to persistent concerns from critics about the quality of evidence used to convict defendants across the country.
National Commission on Forensic Science
The wife of a Saudi rights activist, sentenced last year to 1,000 lashes for criticizing the Kingdom's clerics in his blog, said on Thursday her husband's health had worsened after the first round of flogging and that he could not survive the full punishment.
Raif Badawi, 31, a blogger and founder of the "Free Saudi Liberals" website, received 50 lashes on Jan 9. The second of 20 rounds in total has twice been postponed on medical grounds.
"Raif's health condition is bad and it's getting worse and worse," said Badawi's wife, Ensaf Haidar, who lives with her three children in Canada after being offered refuge.
Badawi was arrested in June 2012 for offences including insulting Islam, cyber crime and disobeying his father, which is a crime in Saudi Arabia. He was sentenced last year to 10 years in jail, a fine of 1 million riyals (US$266,000) and the flogging. His blog has since been shut down.
One of the world's leading comics festivals opened in France on Thursday under tight security as it dedicated this year's event to the murdered cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo.
The festival in the southwestern town of Angouleme also created a first when it gave its coveted Grand Prix lifetime achievement award to a manga artist, with Japan's Katsuhiro Otomo scooping the prize.
This year's guests -- including some of the biggest names in comics and graphic novels from around the world -- found themselves under unprecedented protection after the attacks on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris on January 7 that left 12 dead.
Graphic novel writers, press cartoonists and animators were among the stars in attendance at the festival, which this year features special displays on Asian cartoons and Jack Kirby, creator of "Captain America", "Hulk" and the "X-Men".
Among other stars in attendance was godfather of manga Jiro Taniguchi, presenting a retrospective in Europe for the first time.
Arizona Monitoring Hundreds
A measles outbreak in Arizona that originated at California's Disney parks is at risk of increasing dramatically in size as health officials keep tabs on 1,000 people, including nearly 200 children who could have been exposed at a Phoenix-area medical center.
Those who haven't been vaccinated are being asked to stay home for 21 days, a standard health practice, or wear masks if they have to go out in public. State Health Services director Will Humble said it's possible but unlikely that the number of cases can be contained at seven.
Health officials don't know yet how many of the children were vaccinated, or their age ranges. Children under a year old cannot receive the vaccination for measles, mumps and rubella but can get an immunity booster. Health officials were working to notify the families of children who visited the Phoenix Children's East Valley Center from Jan. 20-21.
Arizona is second to California in the number of cases traced to visits to Disney parks last month. Measles has been confirmed in five other states - Utah, Washington, Colorado, Oregon and Nebraska - and Mexico. Most of those infected were not vaccinated, and health officials have urged people to get the measles shot.
US Aid Now Secret
The US military will no longer divulge facts and figures about its costly effort to assist Afghan security forces, declaring the information top secret, officials said Thursday.
The move marks an about-face for the Pentagon, which for the past six years has reported a range of data about the $65 billion program to build up the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF).
The information included how US taxpayers' money has been spent and the state of the troubled country's police and army.
John Sopko, special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction (SIGAR), voiced disappointment with the change and said the classification of such a volume of information was "unprecedented."
The US commander in Afghanistan, General John Campbell, defended the move, saying the information -- which includes an assessment of the combat readiness of Afghan units -- could prove helpful to Taliban insurgents and needed to be kept secret.
Autopsy 'One Of Most Dangerous Ever'
The autopsy on the body of poisoned Russian former spy Alexander Litvinenko was described as one of the most dangerous ever on day two of an inquiry into his death Wednesday.
Litvinenko died in a London hospital on November 23, 2006, three weeks after drinking tea infused with deadly polonium-210 at a luxury hotel in the city's Mayfair district.
Medical staff had to don two white safety suits, protective gloves and special hoods to conduct the examination a week later which determined how he died.
Dr Nathaniel Cary, the pathologist who led the examination, told the public inquiry into Litvinenko's death: "It has been described as the most dangerous post-mortem examination ever undertaken in the Western world and I think that is probably right."
In a letter dictated from his deathbed, Litvinenko accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of having ordered his murder, an accusation which the Kremlin denies.
Widow Remains Hopeful
The widow of one of Canada's most celebrated authors says she has doubts about whether Montreal will ever honour her late husband.
Florence Richler remains hopeful but is "dubious" the city will begin repairs to a 1920s gazebo that was supposed to be named after Mordecai Richler, who died in 2001.
Calling Richler "one of the greatest novelists in Canada and around the world," the City of Montreal announced in 2011 it planned to revamp the shanty bandstand on the eastern flank of Mount Royal and rename it the "Mordecai Richler Gazebo."
Richler, who was born in Montreal in 1931, was known internationally for his literary talent and penned classics such as ''The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz'' and ''Barney's Version,'' which were both set in Montreal and made into feature films.
Work on the gazebo has been delayed several times since the project was announced and, despite meeting with the mayor's office last week, Florence Richler said the city couldn't even offer a timeline for when repairs would begin.
Coral rely on algae for food and their survival. So when the stress of warmer-than-average ocean temperatures prompted many of Hawaii's corals to expel algae last year - a phenomenon called bleaching because coral lose their color when they do this - many were worried they might die.
Now the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, which released its latest coral survey results on Thursday, says most of the bleached corals have recovered.
Even so, scientists say the experience weakened the coral, making them more likely to get sick. It's also going to be harder for them to withstand warm temperatures in the future.
The incident is a blow to the state's fragile reefs, which are already under pressure from
runoff from development, overfishing and recreational use of the ocean humans.
Retiring In 2017
Dippy the dinosaur is being retired from London's Natural History Museum - and his fans aren't happy.
The museum announced Thursday that the 85-foot (26-meter) plaster skeleton, which has been on display for more than a century, will be replaced in the main hall by the skeleton of a blue whale.
Dippy is a plaster replica of a diplodocus, a dinosaur that lived in North America 150 million years ago.
The original was unearthed in Wyoming in 1899 and is housed at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Philanthropist Andrew Carnegie gave Britain the plaster copy in 1905 after a request from King Edward VII.
Dippy will remain on display until 2017, when a real 83-foot (25-meter) whale skeleton will replace it. Natural History Museum director Michael Dixon said the change was part of a 10-year overhaul of the museum, "focusing on the real and authentic."
Spotted in Yosemite
The elusive and rare Sierra Nevada red fox has been spotted in Yosemite National Park for the first time in nearly a century, park officials said yesterday (Jan. 28).
Camera traps caught the sleek animal in a remote northern corner of the park on Dec. 13, 2014, and again on Jan. 4 of this year. The cameras were set up by wildlife biologists hoping to spot the red fox and the Pacific fisher, Yosemite National Park's rarest mammals. The ongoing study is funded by the Yosemite Conservancy.
There hasn't been a verified sighting of the Sierra Nevada red fox inside Yosemite National Park since 1916, said Ben Sacks, director of the University of California, Davis Veterinary School's Mammalian Ecology and Conservation Unit. That year, two animals were killed in Yosemite's Big Meadows, northeast of El Portal, for the University of California, Berkeley's Museum of Vertebrate Zoology.
Until recently, only a handful of Sierra Nevada red foxes were thought to still exist in the wild, in a remnant population near Lassen Volcanic National Park in northeastern California. The subspecies, which is genetically distinct from other red foxes, once ranged more widely, across the snowy high mountains from Oregon to California.
Rod McKuen, the husky-voiced "King of Kitsch" whose music, verse and spoken-word recordings in the 1960s and '70s won him Oscar nominations and made him one of the bestselling poets in history, has died. He was 81.
McKuen died Thursday morning at a rehabilitation centre in Beverly Hills, California, where he had been treated for pneumonia and had been ill for several weeks and was unable to digest food, said his half brother, Edward McKuen Habib.
Until his sabbatical in 1981, McKuen was an astonishingly successful and prolific force in popular culture, turning out hundreds of songs and poems and records, including the Academy Award-nominated song "Jean" for the 1969 film "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie."
Sentimental, earnest and unashamed, he conjured a New Age spirit world that captivated those who didn't ordinarily like "poetry" and those who craved relief from the war, assassinations and riots of the time.
His best-known songs, some written with the Belgian composer Jacques Brel, include "Birthday Boy," ''A Man Alone," ''If You Go Away" and "Seasons In the Sun," a chart-topper in 1974 for Terry Jacks. He was nominated for an Oscar for "Jean" and for "A Boy Named Charlie Brown," the title track for the Peanuts movie.
Frank Sinatra, Madonna, Dolly Parton and Chet Baker were among the many artists who recorded his material, although McKuen often handled the job himself in a hushed, throaty style he honed after an early life as a rock singer cracked his natural tenor.
McKuen is credited with more than 200 albums - dozens of which went gold or platinum - and more than 30 collections of poetry. Worldwide sales for his music top 100 million units while his book sales exceed 60 million copies.
He was particularly productive in the late '60s, releasing four poetry collections, eight songbooks, the soundtracks to "Miss Jean Brodie" and "A Boy Named Charlie Brown" and at least 10 other albums.
Around the same time, his "Lonesome Cities" album won a Grammy for best spoken word recording and Sinatra commissioned him to write material for "A Man Alone: The Words and Music of Rod McKuen."
With his sharply parted blond hair, sneakers and jeans, McKuen was recognized worldwide in every medium: movies, music, books, television, stage.
When not writing or recording, he appeared on "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson and other talk show programs, formed a film production company with Rock Hudson and toured constantly until he took an extended break in 1981.
McKuen, however, didn't receive universal acclaim. Newsweek dubbed him "The King of Kitsch," while the magazine Mademoiselle preferred "Marshmallow Poet." And a National Lampoon parody interspaced mock verses with dollar signs.
McKuen's childhood was as hard as his lyrics were soft. Born in Oakland in 1934, McKuen's father left when he was a baby, and he was terrified of his alcoholic stepfather.
By 11, McKuen had run away. He spent his teens doing everything from ranching to roping horses in a rodeo, and he wrote poetry in his free time.
After serving as a propaganda writer in the Korean War, McKuen wound up in San Francisco, where his friend Phyllis Diller helped him find work in the growing nightclub scene.
He went on to sing with the Lionel Hampton band, acted in a handful of movies and TV shows, read poetry on the same bill as Jack Kerouac and other Beat writers and had a minor hit single in the early 1960s with the dance parody "Oliver Twist."
Without critical approval or a book or recording contract, McKuen proved that an artist could thrive on word of mouth alone. He sang in bowling alleys to promote "Oliver Twist," which cracked the Billboard top 100. His self-published collection of poems and lyrics, "Stanyan Street and Other Sorrows," sold tens of thousands of copies before Random House acquired it.
McKuen slowed down over the second half of his life, and many of his books fell out of print. However, he continued to publish poetry, remastered old musical recordings and gave occasional concerts. He provided voiceovers for the Disney movie and TV series "The Little Mermaid" and appeared at Carnegie Hall in 1995 for an 80th birthday tribute to Sinatra. Artists continued to record his songs, including the former Gene Ween, Aaron Freeman, who in 2012 released an album of McKuen covers called "Marvelous Clouds."
McKuen did at times take on social and political issues. He opposed the Vietnam War, wrote a poem about the Watergate scandal and supported civil rights and equal rights for gays.