Christina H.: "I Was A Hardcore Conservative: What Changed My Mind" (Cracked)
I know a lot of liberal-leaning types think that backwards conservatives (especially Trump voters) can never change, because they've never seen such a change. They've never seen someone go from saying "ALL LIVES MATTER BETA CUCK SNOWFLAKE" to suddenly saying, "Oh no, racism is systemic." And no public, visible conversions mean it must not happen, or it must be super rare.
Josh Marshall: Step Back for the Bigger Picture (TPM)
While most have dismissed the President's claims, it is still the case that he has been allowed to drive public debate for two weeks over an obvious lie. Members of his party will not denounce it as a lie or even obviously false. That's a big problem. Without being overly dramatic, this is a warning case of people in power deciding what's true and false which is a harbinger of free government dying.
Mathew Yglesias: "Paul Ryan says he's been 'dreaming' of Medicaid cuts since he was 'drinking out of kegs'" (Vox)
At last, a chance to take people's health insurance away.
Ryan Avent: The productivity paradox (Medium)
So there you are: continued high levels of employment with weak growth in wages and productivity is not evidence of disappointing technological progress; it is what you'd expect to see if technological progress were occurring rapidly in a world where thin safety nets mean that dropping out of the labour force leads to a life of poverty.
Paul Krugman: "Capital-biased Technological Progress: An Example (Wonkish)" (NTY Times Blog)
Ever since I posted about robots and the distribution of income, I've had queries from readers about what capital-biased technological change - the kind of change that could make society richer but workers poorer -really means. And it occurred to me that it might be useful to offer a simple conceptual example - the kind of thing easily turned into a numerical example as well - to clarify the possibility. So here goes.
Cole Delbyck: All-Female 'Juno' Cast Will Reunite For Live Read To Benefit Planned Parenthood (Huffington Post)
"Juno had a choice, and that was the most important part," the director said.
Rosanna Greenstreet: "Martin Sheen: 'Which living person do I most despise? Yellow Hair'" (The Guardian)
The actor on Donald Trump, Apocalypse Now and saying sorry to his son.
Henry Rollins: Iggy Pop Won Over 62,000 Mexican Metallica Fans (LA Weekly)
Iggy Pop was made to be seen. In the tradition of all great frontmen, he does everything possible to make you forget there is anyone else in the world you should be thinking about. He's real damn good at it, too. It was a Metallica crowd and, as with any band with such devoted fans, they are not always hospitable to the openers. But Iggy had 'em immediately.
Anonymous, Ryan Menezes: Made Obscene Money Forging 'Magic: The Gathering' Cards (Cracked)
If you found yourself in a prison cell with a hardened criminal asking what you're in for, what's the most embarrassing possible answer? We're going to go with "Magic: The Gathering card counterfeiter." The laughter would abruptly end, however, when they found out just how much these collectible cards sell for. Games like Yu-Gi-Oh!, Pokemon, and -- the granddaddy of them all -- Magic: The Gathering remain a $4.3 billion industry. Get good enough at making your own cards and it's more lucrative -- and safer -- than printing your own cash.
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.
Michelle in AZ
Jeannie the Teed-Off Temp
from Marc Perkel
from that Mad Cat, JD
'JUST WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?"
MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN.
"The Right-Wing Machine Behind the Curtain"
THE RIGHT WING FASCISTS MOVE IN.
CONSERVATIVES ARE GOING CRAZY!
BETTER LATE THAN NEVER.
I'M TRULY SAD TONIGHT. R.I.P. CHUCK.
Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music
In The Chaos Household
Sunny spring day.
Most See T-rump As Illegitimate President
Jermaine Anderson keeps going back to the same memory of Donald Trump (R-Grifter), then a candidate for president of the United States, referring to some Mexican immigrants as rapists and murderers.
"You can't be saying that (if) you're the president," says Anderson, a 21-year-old student from Coconut Creek, Florida.
That Trump is undeniably the nation's 45th president doesn't sit easily with young Americans like Anderson who are the nation's increasingly diverse electorate of the future, according to a new poll. A majority of young adults - 57 percent - see Trump's presidency as illegitimate, including about three-quarters of blacks and large majorities of Latinos and Asians, the GenForward poll found.
GenForward is a poll of adults age 18 to 30 conducted by the Black Youth Project at the University of Chicago with The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
A slim majority of young whites in the poll, 53 percent, consider Trump a legitimate president, but even among that group 55 percent disapprove of the job he's doing, according to the survey.
Declassified And Publicized
US Nuclear Test Films
From the deserts of southern New Mexico and Nevada to islands in the Pacific Ocean, the U.S. government conducted dozens of nuclear weapons tests from the 1940s until the early 1960s.
Vintage rolls of film collected from high-security vaults across the country show some of the blasts sending incredible mushroom clouds into the sky and massive fireballs across the landscape. Others start with blinding flashes of light followed by rising columns of smoke in the distance.
A team from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory this week published more than five dozen films salvaged from government installations where they had sat idle for years.
Lab physicist Greg Spriggs said the decades-old films were in danger of decomposing and being lost to history. He called them a big part of the nation's history and an important tool for providing better data to modern scientists who now use computer codes to help certify that the U.S. nuclear stockpile remains safe and effective.
By scanning the film and reviewing it along with data sheets from the original tests, the team discovered that much of the data initially published were wrong. Some of the answers were off by 20 percent.
US Nuclear Test Films
LLNL Atmospheric Nuclear Tests - YouTube
More Alternative Facts
Donald Trump's (R-Crooked) spokesman has denied that the US president refused to shake hands with German Chancellor Angela Merkel as they sat side-by-side in the White House last week.
"I don't think he heard the question" posed by Merkel when she suggested they shake hands, in full view of press cameras, spokesman Sean Spicer told German weekly Der Spiegel published Sunday.
The quote was translated into English from Der Spiegel's online German website.
The veteran German chancellor had arrived for her first meeting with Trump at a snowy White House hoping to reverse a chill in relations after Trump's incendiary election rhetoric, in which he called Merkel's acceptance of refugees a "catastrophic mistake" and suggested she was "ruining Germany."
On Sunday, Germany's biggest-selling daily Bild said that throughout the White House meeting, not once did Trump look her in the eye.
Clues About Jesus?
In a cavernous warehouse where Israel stores its archaeological treasures, an ancient burial box is inscribed with the name of Jesus.
Not THAT Jesus. Archaeologists in Israel say Jesus was a common name in the Holy Land 2,000 years ago, and that they have found about 30 ancient burial boxes inscribed with it.
Ahead of Easter, Israel's antiquities authority opened up its vast storeroom to reporters on Sunday for a peek at unearthed artifacts from the time of Jesus. Experts say they have yet to find direct archaeological evidence of Jesus Christ, but in recent years have found a wealth of material that helps fill out historians' understanding of how Jesus may have lived and died.
Israel is one of the most excavated places on the planet. Some 300 digs take place each year, including about 50 foreign expeditions from as far away as the United States and Japan, the Antiquities Authority said.
About 40,000 artifacts are dug up in Israel each year. A third of all the antiquities found attest to the ancient Christian presence in the Holy Land, Avni said. Historians now know how long it took to travel between cities and villages where Jesus preached, and what those places looked like at the time.
Shuts Last Coal Power Plant
The last large coal-fired power plant in Beijing has suspended operations, with the city's electricity now generated by natural gas, the state news agency reported as smog enveloped the Chinese capital this weekend.
The shuttering of the Huaneng Beijing Thermal Power Plant comes on the heels of China's annual legislative sessions, where Premier Li Keqiang promised to "make our skies blue again" in his state-of-the-nation speech.
According to Xinhua, Beijing has become the country's first city to have all its power plants fuelled by natural gas, an objective laid out in 2013 in the capital's five-year clean air action plan.
The Huangneng plant is the fourth to be closed and replaced by gas thermal power centres between 2013 and 2017, cutting nearly 10 million tonnes in coal emissions annually.
US Invokes Immunity For Embassy Staffer
New Zealand authorities say they're unable to investigate an incident involving a U.S. Embassy staffer based in Wellington after the U.S. government elected to shield him by invoking diplomatic immunity.
Police said Saturday they responded to an incident in Lower Hutt near Wellington early on March 12. They said the American had left the scene before police arrived, and nobody was taken into custody. In their statement, police declined to release further details of the incident but said they're keeping the investigation open.
The day after the incident, police asked New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to seek a waiver of immunity from the U.S. so police could investigate, according to the ministry. But the ministry said the U.S. declined that request on Friday.
The ministry said in a statement that it then asked the U.S. Embassy to remove the man from New Zealand.
A U.S. Embassy official said Saturday the man had left New Zealand but declined to provide the man's name or any details about the investigation. The official wasn't authorized to speak publicly about the situation and asked to remain anonymous.
A "cyanide bomb" planted by U.S. predator-control agents targeting coyotes near homes and hiking trails in Idaho exploded when a boy handled the device, injuring him and killing his dog, authorities and relatives said on Friday.
Canyon Mansfield, 14, was playing with his yellow Labrador retriever, Casey, on Thursday afternoon near his home east of Pocatello when he saw what he thought was a sprinkler head on the ground and touched the device, causing it to detonate.
The explosion sprayed the boy and his 3-year-old, 90-pound (40 kg) pet with toxic cyanide gas, according to the boy's mother, Theresa Mansfield.
The family and first-responders underwent decontamination procedures and the boy, who was sprayed in the face, was tested for cyanide poisoning at a hospital for the second time Friday, officials and family members said.
The device, called an M-44, was among several placed in the area by Wildlife Services, an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture that targets coyotes, wolves, cougars, foxes and other animals considered nuisances to farms and ranches.
Record Land Gift
Douglas Tompkins's widow vividly remembers the suspicions the late billionaire raised when he started buying up land in Patagonia, the natural paradise at the bottom of South America.
Some accused him of preparing a storage site for American nuclear waste, she says. Others said he was starting a cult, still others that he wanted to launch a Jewish state -- even though he was raised Episcopalian.
Now, just over one year after his death, she hopes her late husband's final wishes for the land will lay the controversy to rest for good.
Tompkins, the co-founder of The North Face outdoor label and clothing brand Esprit, has donated a tract of land the size of Rhode Island to the Chilean government as a national park -- the largest such donation in history.
This week, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet accepted the 407,000-hectare (one million-acre) donation in a ceremony held in a verdant Patagonian meadow and attended by Tompkins's widow, Kristine McDivitt, a former CEO of the outdoor clothing and gear company Patagonia..
Weekend Box Office
'Beauty and the Beast'
Disney's live-action "Beauty" was a beast at the box office, opening with an estimated $170 million in North American ticket sales and setting a new high mark for family movies.
"Beauty and the Beast" blew past the previous record-holder for G- or PG-rated releases, according to studio estimates Sunday. Last year, Disney's "Finding Dory" debuted with a then-PG-best $135 million.
The film, made for about $160 million, is the latest effort by Disney to re-create one of its animated classics with live action and digital effects. The makeover of the 1991 Oscar-winning film follows previous live-action remakes such as "Alice in Wonderland," ''Cinderella," ''Maleficent" and last year's "The Jungle Book." Many more are on the way, too, including those for "Dumbo," ''Mulan," ''Aladdin" and "The Lion King."
Other studios stayed clear of the Disney juggernaut. Last week's top film, Warner Bros.' "Kong: Skull Island," slid to second place with $28.9 million in its second week. The King Kong relaunch has thus far earned $110.1 million domestically.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to comScore. Where available, the latest international numbers also are included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.
1. "Beauty and the Beast," $170 million ($180 million international).
2. "Kong: Skull Island," $28.9 million ($38.5 million international).
3. "Logan," $17.5 million ($31.5 million international).
4. "Get Out," $13.3 million ($2.9 million international).
5. "The Shack," $6.1 million.
6. "The Lego Batman Movie," $4.7 million ($2.4 million international).
7. "The Belko Experiment," $4.1 million.
8. "Hidden Figures," $1.5 million ($3.5 million international).
9. "John Wick: Chapter Two," $1.2 million ($2.1 million international).
10. "Before I Fall," $1 million.
'Beauty and the Beast'
Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper columnist Jimmy Breslin, a self-described "street reporter" who chronicled New York City life for decades and won acclaim for his coverage of the "Son of Sam" serial killings, died on Sunday morning at age 88.
Breslin was believed to be 86 at the time of his death, but the columnist's family and doctor checked his birth certificate after his death and it showed him to be 88, the Daily News reported.
Breslin was a hard-boiled newspaperman born in the New York City borough of Queens. The Irish-American in a rumpled suit with unkempt hair, a drink in his hand and a cigar between his lips held court in many New York City journalists' haunts.
He had a sharp eye for detail, a keen ear for dialogue and was plugged into sources ranging from the criminal underworld to the corner newsstand.
Breslin said his columns were fueled by a fear of missing a deadline and a rage that he said all columnists needed if they were to be advocates for their readers.
When Breslin won the 1986 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, he was cited for "columns which consistently champion ordinary citizens."
Breslin grew up in working-class Queens with his sister and a mother who supported them as a teacher and welfare department worker after their father, who Breslin described as an alcoholic barroom piano player, abandoned them.
He was 16 when he started as a copy boy at the Long Island Press and soon was reporting on everything from sports to crime to school board meetings.
He would go on to work for several New York City newspapers but he first blossomed in the 1960s at the Herald Tribune, where he and Tom Wolfe were among the pioneers of what became known as "new journalism," a colorful style rich with detail, dialogue and narrative.
Breslin never shied away from a feud with politicians and he was especially disapproving of Governor Hugh Carey and Mayors Ed Koch and Rudy Giuliani.
His works also took on organized crime and he upset Mafia boss Joey Gallo so badly that Gallo reportedly planned to kidnap some of Breslin's children. Another mobster beat up Breslin outside a restaurant in 1970 because of something he had written.
Rosemary Breslin, his first wife and mother of Breslin's six children, died of cancer in 1981. The next year he married political operative Ronnie Eldridge, who would later be elected to the New York City Council.
Breslin's working-class hero credentials took a blow in the 1980s when he moved out of Queens to tony Central Park West in Manhattan.