BartCop Entertainment Archives - Monday, 7 September, 2015


7 September, 2015

(Updated Daily)

[1440 days in a row]


Recommended Reading

from Bruce

DEREK THOMPSON: A World Without Work (Atlantic)
For centuries, experts have predicted that machines would make workers obsolete. That moment may finally be arriving. Could that be a good thing?

Every few blocks, someone would stop me and stare in disbelief. "What are you doing here?!" The next day, I went back out. I looked through the window of a small shop below the sidewalk. I saw a Charles Mingus record and went in. The woman there asked, "Are you looking for anything special?" I told her that was all I was looking for - life was too short for anything less. She laughed.

Geoffrey Sant: Driven to Kill (Slate)
Why drivers in China intentionally kill the pedestrians they hit.

Justine Musk: How Do People Find What They're Passionate About? (Slate)
The problem is that we've lost any real sense of what passion means. It's not what gives you bliss or makes you happy 24/7, but what you're willing to suffer for-what you genuinely believe to be worth the sacrifice. The next time you feel energized and strong and like the best version of yourself-the you that you wish you could be all the time-pay attention to what you're doing in that moment.

Allegra Kirkland: Twitter Users Hijack #FreeKimDavis To Lampoon Jailed Kentucky Clerk (TPM)
?#FreeKimDavis? She's like Rosa Parks if Rosa Parks was a bus driver who wouldn't let white people get on her bus and she crashed 3 busses

Parody Twitter Account Hilariously Skewers Jailed Kentucky Clerk (TPM)
That's the idea behind a parody Twitter account that's quickly shot to more than 50,000 followers amid all the uproar. Using a photo of an as-yet-unnamed clerk's office staffer sitting next to Davis mid-confrontation, @nexttokimdavis shares expletive-laden thoughts about Mountain Dew, Project Runway, and about how "this was supposed to just be a chill job."

John Cassidy: What's the Point of College? (New Yorker)
We think sending more people to college will revitalize the economy. What if it just creates a lot of bookish baristas?

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Trivia Question of the Day

She voiced characters for Walt Disney, Warner Bros., Hanna-Barbera, Stan Freberg, and Jay Ward, and at age 94, was the oldest entertainer to be nominated for and to win an Emmy Award. What is her name?


Send your answer to Marty

Trivia Question from Yesterday

In North America, fabric with a pattern consisting of criss-crossed horizontal and vertical bands in multiple colors is called plaid. What is it called in Scotland?

       Tartan                                                      Source

Tartan is a pattern consisting of criss-crossed horizontal and vertical bands in multiple colours. Tartans originated in woven wool, but now they are made in many other materials. Tartan is particularly associated with Scotland. Scottish kilts almost always have tartan patterns. Tartan is often called plaid in North America, but in Scotland, a plaid is a tartan cloth slung over the shoulder as a kilt accessory, or a plain ordinary blanket such as one would have on a bed.        Source

Randall was first, and correct, with:

mj wrote:
   Back where we all assume it began
  It's called a tartan. And the various color combinations aren't necessarily associated with clans. That's a tale that grew around Victorian times. Queen V loved Scotland and thought it quaint, as long as she didn't have to actually mix with the locals.

Alan J said:

Jim from CA, retired to ID, responded:

Adam answered:

Marian replied:

Lassie Lois Of The Highlands of Oregon said:
   Ach aye! All good Scotsmen know that's a Tartan, the individual patterns of criss-crossed colours that identify the clans and tells ya who ye be kin to and who ye can screw! Which reminds me of a joke I've probably already posted: Why do Scotsmen wear kilts? Because a sheep can hear a zipper a mile away!

  Bonus Joke: I think Jesus might have been Scottish. Come on, he went out on a Friday, got hammered, and never rose til Sunday morning.
  Courtesy of
  P.S. to Bttbb. Thank you for the wettest place trivia question set up, but now I feel manipulated into your matrix! Oh, I'm so predictable.

DJ Useo answered:
   The answer is deffo "Tartan". Better than a thumb in the eye, I always say.

MAM   wrote:
   Tartan ~ Originated in woven wool and particularly associated with Scotland. Scottish kilts.

Deborah replied:

Joe S    
   Save me a place at the table, I'll be back. I just don't feel like playing right now.

Not only a place at the table, but the good chair, too. ~m.

John I from Hawai'i took the day off.

Dale of Diamond Springs, Norcali on a dazzle day took the day off.

STEPHEN F took the day off.

Charlie took the day off.

Sally has returned to the land of Chris Christie.

BttbBob   , has returned to semi-retired status.

  September 7 Birthdays - Celebrities Born September 7 | Famous Birthdays



Middle Class Political Economist

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



Reader Suggestion

Michelle in AZ

Ben Kuroki Dies at 98; Overcame Bias Against Japanese-Americans to Fight for U.S. - The New York Times

10-year-old hospitalized after termite fumigation -

Latest images of the California drought - SFGate

Major University Forces Freshmen to Read Fracking Propaganda & Give Essay Winners $100

Beyond Denali: Restoring Native American names -

Grassy Bridge Could Help Mountain Lions Cross L.A. Freeway - NBC News

Veterans Used In Secret Experiments Sue Military For Answers : NPR

Urban Archaeology Corps: Teens Dig Into Black History As Urban Archeologists : NPR

Sarahahahaha Palin, Speaking In Tongues On CNN

Proof of life

Thanks, Michelle!



This is for Michelle


I just got this from a friend. feel free to reprint, all but my name.

I read in the paper that the company that runs one of the state prisons has been fired - fired! - by the governor and the state legislators. This goes to show you what's wrong with the elected officials in this country. Just look at how much money this corporation spent getting these people elected, and then at the first hint of trouble they turn their backs on their benefactors. Damn it, when a bigcorp. spends a lot of money buying a state official, that official should stay bought! What is it with these high-maintenance elected officials? The corps and super-rich shouldn't have to buy them over and over again.

Take the governor of Wisconsin, for example. He was bought and paid for a long time ago, and look what he's done for his masters: big bucks for the rich, and no pesky unions or minimum wages for the poor, and a right-to-work law for the corporations, and of course taking away money from the schools. After all, smart people might not vote for the politicians the corps want in office. See? The rich got what they paid for.

But here in Arizona, no matter how much pay for an election it's never enough. We thought that Ducey would be another Snott Walker, but at the first hint of trouble he turns and runs like the Iraqi army. How many more big bucks will it take to make him stand his ground and do the job he was paid to do?

That's why I think it's time to rethink this people-electing-officials game, and eliminate the middle-man. Everyone knows that the people that own this country should run it. As it is now we have this charade of primary and general elections, where the rich pick a few people they think will follow their orders and let the idiot voter vote on what he thinks is the lesser of evils. Take all the rich people -- you know, the 2 or 3% that own 90% of the country -- and put all the money they were going to spend anyway in a pile. Give part of it to the guy they pick to run things to put in his pocket, and the rest in the Social Security trust fund. It should last 100 years. The working stiff pays for it, just like he does anyway. Just call a bribe a bribe and do away with all this pretend"campaign contributions" BS. Nothing would change, but it would be straightforward and a lot more efficient.

--The Anonymous Desert Rat

Michelle responded:

I couldn't agree more with your analysis of AZ politics, but you left out SO MUCH! F'rinstance the IRC shenanigans, SRP/APS purchase of the Corporation Commission to defeat solar, McPain's sellout of the Apache and veterans; please stop me now!

Great insights; thanks for the shout-out!



From The Creator of 'Avery Ant'

"The Problem With Young People Today"

(Crabby Old Fart)



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




Selected Readings

from that Mad Cat, JD








Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music


In The Chaos Household

Last Night

Getting hotter again.

Tonight, Monday:

CBS opens the night with a RERUN 'Big Bang Theory', followed by the FRESH infomercial 'CBS Fall Preview', then a RERUN 'Scorpion', then a RERUN 'NCIS: The Expendable One'.
The programming geniuses at CBS are filling Stephen Colbert's hour with a rerun of 'NCIS: The Original One'.
On a RERUN James Corden, OBE, (from 7/16/15) are Ian McKellen, James Wolk, and Adam Lambert.

NBC begins the night with a FRESH 'American Ninja Warrior', followed by a FRESH 'Running With Bear Grylls'.
On a RERUN Jimmy Fallon (from 7/14/15) are LeBron James, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, OMI, and Mark Rivera.
On a RERUN Seth Meyers (from 8/17/15) are Bill Hader, Shepard Smith, Blue Jean Committee, and Jimmy Chamberlin.
On a RERUN Carson 'The Scab' Daly (from 5/7/15) are Alicia Vikander, Craft Spells, and Dan Levy.

ABC starts the night with a RERUN 'Shark Tank', followed by a FRESH 'Bachelor In Paradise', then a FRESH 'Bachelor In Paradise: After Paradise'.
On a RERUN Jimmy Kimmel (from 8/31/15) are Roseanne Barr and Demi Lovato.

The CW offers a RERUN 'Penn & Teller: Fool Us', followed by a RERUN 'Whose Line Is It Anyway?', then a RERUN 'Significant Mother'.

Faux fills the night with a FRESH 'So You Think You Can Dance'.

MY recycles an old 'L&O: SVU', followed by another old 'L&O: SVU'.

A&E has 'The First 48', 'The First 48: Killer Confessions', followed by a FRESH 'The First 48: Killer Confessions', then another FRESH 'The First 48: Killer Confessions'.

AMC offers the movie 'Batman Begins', followed by the movie 'Predator'.

BBC  -   
 [6:00AM]    Man vs. Wild - Season 2 - Ep 3 - Panama (Part 1)
 [7:00AM]    Man vs. Wild - Season 2 - Ep 4 - Jungle (Part 2)
 [8:00AM]    Man vs. Wild - Season 2 - Ep 12 - Jungle Swamp (Part 1)
 [9:00AM]    Man vs. Wild - Season 2 - Ep 13 - Castaway (Part 1)
 [10:00AM]    Man vs. Wild - Season 2 - Ep 8 - Siberia (Part 1)
 [11:00AM]    Man vs. Wild - Season 2 - Ep 9 - Land of Ice (Part 2)
 [12:00PM]    Man vs. Wild - Season 2 - Ep 10 - Namibia (Part 1)
 [1:00PM]    Man vs. Wild - Season 2 - Ep 3 - Panama (Part 1)
 [2:00PM]    Man vs. Wild - Season 2 - Ep 4 - Jungle (Part 2)
 [3:00PM]    Man vs. Wild - Season 2 - Ep 12 - Jungle Swamp (Part 1)
 [4:00PM]    Man vs. Wild - Season 2 - Ep 13 - Castaway (Part 1)
 [5:00PM]    Man vs. Wild - Season 2 - Ep 8 - Siberia (Part 1)
 [6:00PM]    Man vs. Wild - Season 2 - Ep 9 - Land of Ice (Part 2)
 [7:00PM]    Man vs. Wild - Season 2 - Ep 1 - Sahara (Part 1)
 [8:00PM]    Man vs. Wild - Season 2 - Ep 2 - Desert Survivor (Part 2)
 [9:00PM]    Man vs. Wild - Season 2 - Ep 5 - Patagonia (Part 1)
 [10:00PM]    Man vs. Wild - Season 2 - Ep 6 - Andes Adventure (Part 2)
 [11:00PM]    Man vs. Wild - Season 2 - Ep 11 - Zambia (Part 2)
 [12:00AM]    Man vs. Wild - Season 2 - Ep 10 - Namibia (Part 1)
 [1:00AM]    Man vs. Wild - Season 2 - Ep 1 - Sahara (Part 1)
 [2:00AM]    Man vs. Wild - Season 2 - Ep 2 - Desert Survivor (Part 2)
 [3:00AM]    Man vs. Wild - Season 2 - Ep 5 - Patagonia (Part 1)
 [4:00AM]    Man vs. Wild - Season 2 - Ep 6 - Andes Adventure (Part 2)
 [5:00AM]    Man vs. Wild - Season 2 - Ep 11 - Zambia (Part 2)    (ALL TIMES EST)

Bravo has 'Real Housewives Of OC', followed by a FRESH OC Social', then a FRESH 'Real Housewives Of OC', followed by a FRESH 'Ladies Of London'.

Comedy Central has 3 hours of old 'Futurama', 'Archer', and another 'Archer'.
@Midnight is pre-empted.

FX has all 'Empire' all night.

History has all old 'Pawn Stars' all night.

IFC  -   
 [6:15AM]    THE CHÂTEAU
 [8:15AM]    PUMPKIN
 [11:00AM]    THE CHÂTEAU
 [3:00PM]    PUMPKIN
 [10:15PM]    NOTORIOUS

Sundance  -   
 [6:00AM]    Shattered Glass
 [8:00AM]    Beyond the Sea
 [10:30AM]    The Doors
 [1:30PM]    Deception
 [4:00PM]    Law & Order-Star Struck
 [5:00PM]    Law & Order-Cradle to Grave
 [6:00PM]    Law & Order-Helpless
 [7:00PM]    Law & Order-Manhood
 [8:00PM]    Law & Order-Scoundrels
 [9:00PM]    Law & Order-Encore
 [10:00PM]    Law & Order-Good Girl
 [11:00PM]    Law & Order-Expert
 [12:00AM]    Law & Order-Disciple
 [1:00AM]    Law & Order-Endurance
 [2:00AM]    Law & Order-Formerly Famous
 [3:00AM]    The Final Cut
 [5:00AM]    Rectify-Sown With Salt    (ALL TIMES EST)

SyFy has all 'Z Nation' all night.

On a RERUN Conan (from 7/8/15) are Elijah Wood and Chris Hardwick.

 [6:00 AM]      The Lion In Winter (1968)
 [8:15 AM]      Peter O'Toole: Live from the TCM Classic Film Festival (2012)
 [9:15 AM]      Yo Yo (1965)
 [11:00 AM]      Billy Wilder Speaks (2006)
 [12:30 PM]      Witness For The Prosecution (1958)
 [2:30 PM]      Bergman Island (2006)
 [4:00 PM]      Smiles of a Summer Night (1955)
 [6:00 PM]      Sergeant Rutledge (1960)
 [8:00 PM]      Of Mice and Men (1939)
 [10:00 PM]      Fragments (2011)
 [12:00 AM]      THX 1138 (1971)
 [1:45 AM]      The Tin Drum (1979)
 [4:15 AM]      China 9, Liberty 37 (1978)     (ALL TIMES EST)

Tuesday   -  09/08/15

 [6:00 AM]      MGM Parade Show #13 (1955)
 [6:30 AM]      The Ladykillers (1955)
 [8:15 AM]      Your Past Is Showing (1958)
 [10:00 AM]      Tom Thumb (1958)
 [11:45 AM]      A Carol for Another Christmas (1964)
 [1:15 PM]      What's New, Pussycat? (1965)
 [3:15 PM]      Being There (1979)
 [5:45 PM]      The Champ (1979)
 [8:00 PM]      Across The Pacific (1942)
 [9:45 PM]      Report From the Aleutians (1943)
 [10:40 PM]      In the Aleutians (1945)
 [10:45 PM]      San Pietro (1944)
 [11:25 PM]      The Infantry Blues (1943)
 [11:30 PM]      Let There Be Light (1946)
 [12:40 AM]      The Goldbrick (1943)
 [12:45 AM]      The Red Badge Of Courage (1951)
 [2:00 AM]      The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
 [4:15 AM]      The Man Who Would Be King (1975)     (ALL TIMES EST)

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US film director and Monty Python member Terry Gilliam arrives for the premiere of 'A bigger splash' at the 72nd annual Venice International Film Festival, in Venice, Italy, 06 September 2015. The movie is presented in official competition 'Venezia 72' at the festival running from 02 September to 12 September.
Photo by Claudio Onorati


The Sideshow - by Avedon Carol


Sixties Nostalgia Burnout: I'm So Sick of Talkin' 'Bout My G-G-Generation | Collectors Weekly


Superheroes Don't Rule


After a lackluster 2014 summer, Hollywood has bounced back with one of its best seasons ever. But the most surprising part of the turnaround is that superheroes aren't the ones who saved the day.

Instead, Hollywood's summer was led by a banner season from Universal Pictures, the lone major studio with nary a cape in its cupboard. With a record-setting $5.3 billion-plus in revenue so far this year, Universal has powered Hollywood to a near record summer with a diverse string of hits including the season's top film "Jurassic World" ($1.6 billion worldwide), the top animated hit, "Minions," and one of the most successful sequels, "Pitch Perfect 2."

After the summer limps to a close over Labor Day weekend, the North American box office will have tallied about $4.4 billion in ticket receipts, according to box office data firm Rentrak. That's second only to the record $4.75 billion summer of 2013 and an improvement of about 7.5 percent from last summer's downturn.

This was the first summer since the final "Harry Potter" chapter in 2011 that a comic book movie didn't top all films.



English actor Rowan Atkinson arrives at Liszt Ferenc International Airport in Budapest, Hungary, 06 September 2015. Atkinson plays the role of Georges Simenon's inspector Maigret in British ITV's two new films to be shot in Hungary.
Photo by Bea Kallos


A Hidden Island Treasure of Lost Antique Machines | Messy Nessy Chic


No Union Mines


Kentucky coal miners bled and died to unionize.

Their workplaces became war zones, and gun battles once punctuated union protests. In past decades, organizers have been beaten, stabbed and shot while seeking better pay and safer conditions deep underground.

But more recently the United Mine Workers in Kentucky have been in retreat, dwindling like the black seams of coal in the Appalachian mountains.

And now the last union mine in Kentucky has been shut down.

"A lot of people right now who don't know what the (union) stands for is getting good wages and benefits because of the sacrifice that we made," said Kenny Johnson, a retired union miner who was arrested during the Brookside strike in Harlan County in the 1970s. "Because when we went on those long strikes, it wasn't because we wanted to be out of work."



Newhead News


Utah Event

Joe Hill

Labor activist and songwriter Joe Hill is revered by many as a hero and martyr. To others, Hill was a murderer who gunned down a Salt Lake City grocer and his son and got what he deserved when he was executed by firing squad in 1915.

Ahead of the 100th anniversary of his death in November, admirers of the Swedish-born immigrant will gather in Salt Lake City this Labor Day weekend to celebrate his life with music and speeches.

"He started the struggle that we still fight today," said Dale Cox, president of the AFL-CIO in Utah. "What he worked on and what he died for is workers' rights. That's what his whole life was centered around."

In Utah, Hill's story is fairly well known. Outside of Utah, he's probably best known for being the subject of a poem turned into a song that Pete Seeger made famous in the 1960s called "I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night."

Joe Hill


British actor Rupert Everett (R) and German actress Nastassja Kinski (L) arrive for the premiere of 'A bigger splash' at the 72nd annual Venice International Film Festival, in Venice, Italy, 06 September 2015. The movie is presented in official competition 'Venezia 72' at the festival running from 02 September to 12 September.
Photo by Claudio Onorati


Artificial limbs from 1900 were decades ahead of their time


Egypt Court Releases Full Ruling


An Egyptian court released a detailed ruling Sunday on why it sentenced three Al-Jazeera English journalists to three years in prison for airing what it described as "false news" and biased coverage, a case long criticized by press freedom advocates and others.

The ruling, published by the state news agency MENA, says the three men - Canadian national Mohammed Fahmy, Australian journalist Peter Greste and Egyptian producer Baher Mohammed - were by default members the banned Muslim Brotherhood group, which Egyptian authorities consider a terrorist organization.

The ruling also said the three operated without press credentials and secretly worked at the Marriott hotel in central Cairo without a permit. The journalists and the network deny the accusations. Al-Jazeera has said it will appeal.

Evidence presented at the trial ventured into the absurd, including music videos and footage of animals, which defense lawyers and even the judge dismissed as irrelevant. Third-party observers say no evidence proved the charges. Critics describe the case as politically motivated.



Wake-up Call


'Yakuza' Forms New Group


Thousands of Japanese "yakuza" mobsters have officially formed a new group after splitting off from the country's largest organised crime syndicate, raising concerns for possible inter-gang conflicts, reports said Sunday.

Leaders of 13 factions kicked out of the "Yamaguchi-gumi" syndicate -- Japan's largest mobster or "yakuza" group which boasts 23,000 members and associates -- held the first formal meeting on Saturday in the western city of Kobe, local media reported.

One of the expelled factions is known as the Yamaken-gumi, which has about 2,000 members and whose head was chosen to lead the spin-off, according to the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper.

As fears rise that the split could lead to a wave of gang violence, Japanese police last week called for nationwide vigilance, holding an emergency meeting with special officers from the country's 47 prefectures.



Revellers covered in grease pose for a picture as they take part in the annual Cascamorras festival in Baza, southern Spain September 6, 2015. The festival was inspired by a dispute between the town of Baza and Guadix over the possession of an icon of the Virgin of Piedad. The Cascamorras refers to representatives from Guadix, who were sent to Baza to recover the statue. As the Cascamorras had to stay perfectly clean to gain possession of the statue, Baza residents attempt to make them as 'dirty' as possible.
Photo by Marcelo del Pozo


The Golden Rock - The Gilt Boulder of the Buddha ~ Kuriositas


Holocaust Victims


For seven decades, the remains of several Holocaust victims were kept in jars and test tubes locked up in a French medical school. On Sunday, they were buried at last.

Several hundred people gathered Sunday for a somber ceremony near the eastern French city of Strasbourg to pay respect to the victims, throwing earth on a single coffin holding the collective remains. Led by Strasbourg chief rabbi Rene Gutman and attended by Strasbourg Mayor Roland Ries, the event at the Cronenbourg cemetery was aimed at closing a troubling chapter in the region's history.

The remains, such as skin samples, belonged to a few people. Only one has been definitively identified: Menachem Taffem, a Polish Jew deported to Auschwitz and gassed to death.

They were among 86 people whose corpses were sent to the anatomy institute at the University of Strasbourg during World War II for the experiments of August Hirt, a notorious Nazi anatomy researcher.

Then they were apparently forgotten - until researcher Raphael Toledano, who has studied Strasbourg's Nazi past, discovered a 1952 letter mentioning samples taken from the bodies of Holocaust victims and detailing how they were stored. In July, he and the institute's director found a remaining jar and test tubes behind a glass cupboard in a locked room.



The Nazi Mega-Hotel That Never Saw A Single Guest (Until Now) | When On Earth - For People Who Love Travel


China Says 'Living A Normal Life'

Panchen Lama

A young Tibetan who vanished two decades ago after he was chosen by the Dalai Lama as the second-highest figure in Tibetan Buddhism is "living a normal life" and does not want to be disturbed, a senior Chinese official said on Sunday.

The remarks are a rare admission of the fate of Gendun Choekyi Nyima, now 26, who was six years old when he was taken away after exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama named him as the Panchen Lama.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the disappearance of Gendun Choekyi Nyima, whose fate remains of deep concern to many Tibetans.

Though officially atheist, the Chinese Communist Party has long maintained that Gendun Choekyi Nyima is not the real Panchen Lama. In 1995, in a bid to win the hearts and minds of the Tibetans, the government selected Gyaltsen Norbu as the 11th Panchen Lama. He is reviled by many Tibetans as a fake.

Panchen Lama


Fireworks are launched as the Man is burned during the Burning Man 2015 "Carnival of Mirrors" arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada September 5, 2015. Approximately 70,000 people have come to the sold-out festival that ends Sunday evening.
Photo by Jim Urquhart


Remember When a Soviet Spacecraft Landed in Wisconsin? | Popular Science


Committed To Labelling


French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday that while Paris backs EU plans to label products from Israeli settlements, it opposes any boycott of Israel.

"The French and European diplomatic position is clear and has not changed and will not change," he told reporters at the start of a two-day visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories.

The labelling plan has been blasted by Israel which says it is the target of an international delegitimisation campaign.

But Macron was adamant that France opposes campaigns such as that of the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, which aims to put political and economic pressure on Israel over its occupation of the Palestinian territories.



10 Ancient Settlements That Were Abandoned for Mysterious Reasons - Urban Ghosts


Blueberry Harvest


Mary Marshall grew up living the life of a migrant farmer, spending hours under the hot summer sun picking wild blueberries with her parents and eight siblings, then ending the day bathing in a lake.

It was grueling work that she looks back on fondly - a way of life that brought people of different cultures to the camps in Maine's vast blueberry barrens. And she laments the way it is disappearing.

A steady push toward mechanization in Maine's blueberry industry is reducing the number of migrant farmers who travel to the state to rake the crop, which is vitally important to the state's economy, state officials and industry leaders said. Maine's blueberry harvest attracted more than 5,000 migrant farmers ten years ago and it's down to about 1,500 today, said David Yarborough, a University of Maine professor of horticulture.

Workers have come to Maine to rake blueberries for years, and many of today's rakers are of Latin American or Caribbean origin. Others are Native American or aboriginal people of Canada, like Marshall, who hails from Nova Scotia, and some are Mainers. Reliance on migrant farming grew with the growth on the crop, which exploded from 20 million pounds per year in the 1970s to 50 or 60 million pounds per year ten years ago and 90 million pounds per year now, said Yarborough.

The increasing harvests came alongside the development of mechanized harvesters - heavy pieces of machinery operated by a driver - which started to play more of a role in the 1990s, workers in the industry said. Some blueberry operations have gone almost completely mechanized, and more are headed in that direction, Yarborough said.



The Pep Talk Generator



A White Bengal tiger is seen in its enclosure at Pairi Daiza wildlife park, a zoo and botanical garden in Brugelette, Belgium September 6, 2015.
Photo by Yves Herman



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