Paul Krugman: Donald Trump's Medical Delusions (NY Times Column)
Magical thinking won't work on health care.
GARY TAUBES: Big Sugar's Secret Ally? Nutritionists (NY Times)
The takeaway is that we should expect the consumption of different macronutrients to have differential effects on the hormonal milieu of our cells and so, among myriad other things, on how much fat we accumulate.
Christian Lorentzen: Considering the Novel in the Age of Obama (Vulture)
What will we mean when someday we refer to Obama Lit? I think we'll be discussing novels about authenticity, or about "problems of authenticity."
L.V. Anderson: Liberals, Don't Let Donald Trump Tarnish L.L. Bean's Sterling Brand Reputation (Slate)
Trump seems intent on holding up individual brands, and people, as either heroes or traitors, but the rest of us don't have to play his game. Just because Trump says something is good does not automatically mean it is bad. And just because someone affiliated with a company supports Trump does not mean that company deserves to be boycotted.
Noah Smith: Milton Friedman's Cherished Theory Is Laid to Rest (Bloomberg)
When you're wrong, you're wrong, no matter how famous and respected you might be as a scientist. Albert Einstein was wrong about quantum mechanics. Linus Pauling was wrong about the structure of DNA. And Milton Friedman was wrong about the permanent income hypothesis. But unlike with the first two examples, where scientists quickly realized the mistake, economists haven't yet come to grips with the reality.
Peter Bradshaw: Trainspotting review - Danny Boyle's classic holds up terrifically well (The Guardian)
This supercharged 1996 story of drugs, violence and growing up has lost none of its edge ahead of the release of sequel T2.
Farran Smith Nehme: "His Girl Friday: The Perfect Remarriage" (Criterion)
A woman in a flashy striped coat and matching hat strides through the newsroom of the Morning Post, greeting switchboard operators, reporters, the relationship columnist ("How's advice to the lovelorn?") with savvy familiarity, until she reaches the office of the editor in chief and barges in, without knocking. And there he is, Walter Burns, electric razor running, facing a sharp-dressed gangster who's advising, "A little more on the chin, boss"-the chin being the world-famous dimpled one of Cary Grant.
David Bruce's Amazon Author Page
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David Bruce has over 80 Kindle books on Amazon.com.
Michelle in AZ
Don's Johns is a BIG port-a-potty company up here. They've been here forever, and they do everything from construction sites to big events. Local TV news, as well as HuffPo, covered the story linked below.
The crass way Trump puts his name in large letters on everything he defiles, you wouldn't think he would be offended at having his first name on port-a-potties, but as they say in the article, that was before the golden showers story came out.
Cynthia in Alabama sent the HuffPo link:
Someone's Covering The 'Don's Johns' Logo On Port-a-Potties For Trump's Inauguration | The Huffington Post
We are all only temporarily able bodied.
Thanks, Linda (& Cynthia)!
Jeannie the Teed-Off Temp
from Marc Perkel
from that Mad Cat, JD
JD is under the weather.
Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music
In The Chaos Household
Thanks to some technical difficulties, and a brand-new raging cold, yesterday's page was uploaded late. Mid-afternoon late.
What War On Women?
Growing numbers of U.S. states are seeking to ensure that women have continued access to free birth control in case the insurance benefit is dropped as part of President-elect Donald Trump's (R-Mountebank) vow to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
The 2010 law, popularly called Obamacare, requires most health insurance plans to provide coverage for birth control without a patient co-payment, which can be as much as $50 per month for birth control pills or $1,000 for long-acting contraceptives such as intrauterine devices.
California, Maryland, Vermont and Illinois since 2014 have enacted statutes codifying the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate in state law and expanding on the federal law's requirements. Democratic lawmakers in New York, Minnesota, Colorado and Massachusetts said they are pursuing similar measures this year, with Obamacare under mortal threat in Washington.
Trump, who succeeds Democratic President Barack Obama on Jan. 20, and his fellow Republicans in Congress have made dismantling Obamacare their "first order of business," as Vice President-elect Mike Pence (R-Creationist) put it on Jan. 4.
Republicans in Congress have not presented a detailed proposal for repealing and replacing the law but many Republicans and religious conservatives have opposed the Obamacare contraception mandate.
President-elect Donald Trump (R-Grifter), who has struggled to recruit prominent artists for his inauguration, on Friday tapped country stars known for their patriotic anthems.
Trump's inaugural committee announced that country stars Toby Keith and Lee Greenwood as well as Broadway singer Jennifer Holliday would perform at the Lincoln Memorial.
The event, where Trump will speak, will be free to the public and take place on Thursday on the eve of the real estate tycoon's inauguration as the 45th president.
Country music historically is most popular with white Americans, especially in the South, a stronghold of support for Trump who campaigned on a hard line against Mexican immigrants, Muslims and other minorities.
New Species Of Gibbon
The Force is strong with this adorable newly-discovered gibbon species.
Thanks to some Star Wars-loving scientists, the new species in southwest China has been named in honor of our favorite hero from a galaxy far far away, Luke Skywalker.
Following the announcement, the Skywalker hoolock gibbon - aka "Simian Skywalker," "Jungle Jedi" and of course, the scientific name, Hoolock tianxing - was warmly and appropriately welcomed by proud actor Mark Hamill, who portrayed Skywalker in the classic films.
According to CNN, Professor Fan Pengfei from Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou along with a team comprised of experts from the Zoological Society of London ZSL, had been studying the small apes since 2008.
Though the experts already had knowledge of two existing species of hoolock gibbons, the Western and Eastern hoolocks, they determined in an American Journal of Primatology paper, that due to differences found in the apes' teeth, coats and genetics, a third species was present.
Network Pulls Show
White Michael Jackson
European television network Sky Arts has pulled an episode of their forthcoming Urban Myths anthology series featuring a white actor portraying Michael Jackson.
The series, which will be broadcast in England, features an episode in its upcoming season with Joseph Fiennes as Jackson, Stockard Channing as Elizabeth Taylor and Brian Cox as Marlon Brando.
The episode featured the three stars driving across the country to flee New York City following the 9/11 attacks.
On Friday, Sky Arts took to Twitter to release a statement citing concerns from the Jackson family as to why they pulled the episode, saying they "never intended to cause any offense."
On Wednesday, the late King of Pop's daughter, Paris, 18, vented her anger at the show on Twitter.
White Michael Jackson
Agrees To Extradition If ...
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will agree to be extradited to the United States if President Barack Obama grants clemency to the former US soldier Chelsea Manning, jailed for leaking documents, the company said on Thursday.
"If Obama grants Manning clemency Assange will agree to US extradition despite clear unconstitutionality of DoJ (US Department of Justice) case," WikiLeaks wrote on Twitter.
Assange has been living in the Ecuadoran embassy in London since June 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden to face sexual assault allegations.
The Australian former computer hacker said he fears Stockholm will in turn extradite him to the US, where he angered Washington over WikiLeaks' publication of thousands of US military and diplomatic documents leaked by former US soldier Manning.
Manning is currently serving a 35-year sentence in solitary confinement for handing over the 700,000 sensitive documents from the US State Department.
Online Trolls Bombard Editor
A Washington Post editor was bombarded with attacks, many of them racist, after conservatives online falsely accused her of photographing the notes of Rex Tillerson, Donald Trump's secretary of state nominee.
On Tuesday evening, video from Tillerson's Senate Foreign Relations confirmation hearing began to circulate on Twitter and conservative corners of the Internet. During a break, an Asian woman could be seen standing behind Tillerson's seat and potentially taking photos of his notes. After some online detective work, a number of people decided that the culprit was Washington Post homepage editor Doris Truong.
They were incorrect.
Truong - who said she seldom reports from the field and wasn't covering Tillerson's confirmation hearing - was off work Wednesday and didn't realize she had become targeted until late that night. She woke up to a deluge of attacks Thursday morning and wrote about her experience for the Post:
There is nothing in the video to indicate with certainty that the woman in question was a journalist. The spread of the misinformation escalated when the Drudge Report linked to a post on the popular right-wing website Gateway Pundit originally titled "SICK: WaPoReporter Caught Sneaking Photos of Rex Tillerson's Notes at Senate Hearing." The post, which inaccurately identified Truong, was promoted by former vice presidential candidate and half-term governor Sarah Palin, who tweeted the link, along with the word "Busted":
New Governor Expects Pipeline To Be Built
North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, who took office last month in the height of tensions surrounding the Dakota Access Pipeline, said he believed the line would eventually be built and asked opponents to clean their protest camp before spring floodwaters create a potential ecological disaster.
A centrist Republican with no prior political experience, Burgum was elected in a landslide on a platform of streamlining government and improving relations across the state. Burgum built a successful software business before selling it to Microsoft Corp in 2001.
Burgum told Reuters that approval of the pipeline appeared to be a foregone conclusion once Donald Trump (R-Oil Whore) moved into the White House.
"I expect the world's going to change dramatically on that day relative to finding resolution on this issue," Burgum said in an interview. "I would expect that (Energy Transfer Partners ) will get its easement and it will go through."
A coalition of Native American groups, environmentalists, Hollywood stars and veterans of the U.S. armed forces protested the $3.8 billion oil project at a North Dakota camp, which at one point held more than 5,000, though that number has shrunk in size during the winter.
Closer To Solving Mystery
Japanese scientists say that silicon is likely the mystery element in the Earth's inner core, claiming progress on solving one of the planet's deepest secrets.
Consensus has long been that the centre of the planet is composed of about 85 percent iron and 10 percent nickel, with sulphur, oxygen and silicon prime candidates for the other five percent.
But geophysicist Eiji Ohtani at Tohoku University in northern Japan and his research team suggest that silicon is the most likely candidate.
Ohtani's team conducted experiments on iron-nickel alloys mixed with silicon, subjecting them in the lab to the kinds of high temperatures and pressure found in the inner core.
"Our latest experiments suggest that the remaining five percent of the inner core is composed mostly of silicon," Ohtani told AFP on Wednesday.
Global Concert Tours
The Top 20 Global Concert Tours ranks artists by average box office gross per city and includes the average ticket price for shows Worldwide. The list is based on data provided to the trade publication Pollstar by concert promoters and venue managers.
1. Guns N' Roses; $5,043,476; $101.18.
2. Adele; $3,797,927; $109.01.
3. Drake; $2,529,888; $113.60.
4. Justin Bieber; $2,376,511; $81.71.
5. Kanye West; $1,925,440; $88.09.
6. Red Hot Chili Peppers; $1,682,643; $82.10.
7. Luke Bryan; $1,504,399; $63.20.
8. Marc Anthony; $1,454,685; $128.16.
9. Black Sabbath; $1,397,813; $67.00.
10. Elton John; $1,362,239; $115.67.
11. Maroon 5; $1,261,453; $93.98.
12. Andre Rieu; $996,479; $105.69.
13. "Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour" / "Puff Daddy"; $920,868; $83.91.
14. The Cure; $910,724; $62.10.
15. Stevie Nicks; $840,751; $96.00.
16. Sia; $821,290; $78.98.
17. Trans-Siberian Orchestra; $812,980; $60.25.
18. Dixie Chicks; $771,030; $76.31.
19. Nickelback; $748,171; $85.46.
20. Carrie Underwood; $703,262; $70.68.
Global Concert Tours
William Peter Blatty
Novelist and filmmaker William Peter Blatty, a former Jesuit school valedictorian who conjured a tale of demonic possession and gave millions the fright of their lives with the best-selling novel and Oscar-winning movie "The Exorcist," has died. He was 89.
Inspired by an incident in a Washington suburb that Blatty had read about while in college, "The Exorcist" was published in 1971, followed two years later by the film of the same name. Blatty's story of a 12-year-old-girl inhabited by a satanic force spent more than a year on The New York Times fiction best-seller list and eventually sold more than 10 million copies. It reached a far wider audience through the movie version, directed by William Friedkin, produced and written by Blatty and starring Linda Blair as the young, bedeviled Regan.
Even those who thought they had seen everything had never seen anything like the R-rated "The Exorcist" and its assault of vomit, blood, rotting teeth, ghastly eyes and whirlwind head-spinning - courtesy of makeup and special effects maestro Dick Smith. Fans didn't care that Vincent Canby of The New York Times found it a "chunk of elegant occultist claptrap," or that the set burned down during production. They stood for hours in freezing weather for the winter release and kept coming even as the movie, with its omnipresent soundtrack theme, Mike Oldfield's chilly, tingly "Tubular Bells," cast its own disturbing spell.
Named the scariest movie of all time by Entertainment Weekly, "The Exorcist" topped $400 million worldwide at the box office, among the highest at the time for an R-rated picture. Oscar voters also offered rare respect for a horror film: "The Exorcist" was nominated for 10 Academy Awards and received two, for best sound and Blatty's screenplay. Imitations, parodies and sequels were inevitable, whether the Leslie Nielsen spoof "Repossessed"; the four subsequent "Exorcist" movies (only one of which, "The Exorcist III," involved Blatty) or a stage version performed in 2012 at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles.
Blatty returned to the "Exorcist" setting in "Legion," which he adapted into "The Exorcist III." He also revised a novel from the 1960s, "Twinkle, Twinkle, 'Killer Kane'''; renamed it "The Ninth Configuration" and wrote and directed a 1980 film version that brought Blatty a Golden Globe for best screenplay. In 2011, he worked in a new scene for a reissue of the 1971 novel, originally acquired by Bantam Books for a reported $250,000. More recently, Fox announced it would revive the story as a TV series, starring Geena Davis.
Blatty was married four times and had eight children.
The son of Lebanese immigrants, Blatty was born in New York City and remembered a childhood of unpaid bills and nonstop evasion of rent collectors. He was a scholarship student at the Jesuit high school Brooklyn Preparatory (future Penn State football coach Joe Paterno was a year behind) and graduated as class valedictorian. He received another scholarship to attend Georgetown University and earned a master's in English literature from George Washington University.
As recounted in his memoir "I'll Tell Them I Remember You," he took many detours on his journey to the top. He sold vacuum cleaners, drove a beer truck, served in the Air Force, was stationed in Beirut by the United States Information Agency, tried and failed to get stories published in Collier's, and auditioned for a role in Cecil B. DeMille's Biblical epic "The Ten Commandments." He alleged that he was turned down because his eyes were blue.
For much of the 1960s, he turned out screenplays, including for the Blake Edwards films "A Shot in the Dark" and "What Did You Do In the War, Daddy?" By the end of the decade, he was in a state of "financial desperation" and finally got around to a novel he had been thinking about for years. He had remembered a Washington Post report from the late 1940s: A 14-year-old boy from Maryland was reportedly possessed, his condition defined by a visiting Duke University official as "the most impressive example of poltergeist phenomena I have ever come across."
William Peter Blatty