Tom Danehy: Tom Goes Crazy for 1865, and 1915, too, Does Some Research and Shares it With Us (Tucson Weekly)
Ezra Cornell was Bill Gates-rich from owning Western Union. To his eternal credit, his university was co-educational from the jump. (The other seven Ivy League schools didn't allow women to matriculate until at least the 1970s! Columbia didn't integrate along gender lines until 1982. Double exclamation point!!)
Paul Krugman: Heavy Politics (NY Times Blog)
A few days ago Bloomberg had a great story about the politicization of pizza - which is part of the broader pattern in which nutrition and obesity have become deeply partisan. Big Pizza is now an industry as dedicated to the GOP as coal or tobacco. This got me to wondering about the general association between politics and BMI; impressionistically, heaviness and redness go together, but I wanted something more systematic. So a few notes, mainly to myself.
Paul Krugman: Pepperoni Turns Partisan (NY Times Column)
The politics of Big Pizza resemble those of Big Coal or Big Tobacco and tell you a lot about what is happening to American governance in general.
Andrew Tobias: Grizzlies, Beanies, Barneys, and More - But Especially Grizzlies
Occasionally, people come around. Look at George Wallace, who recanted on segregation. Look at Davd Brock (Blinded By The Right). Look at this guy (How a Right Wing, Fundamentalist, Conservative Pastor Became a Leftist, Liberal Heathen). Or this guy (How to Rig an Election: Confessions of a Republican Operative). Or at the guy who organized a national bus tour against same-sex marriage - who actually drove the bus [and then changed his mind].
Lillian Marx: 5 Feel-Good School Programs With Horrifying Consequences (Cracked)
The road to a lifetime of employment at Costco is paved with good academic intentions. Figuring out the best way to teach children is complicated at the best of times. And sometimes, even ideas that sound like slam dunks end up backfiring worse than that rusted muscle car your uncle insists he's going to clean up one day. Everyone involved in the following initiatives meant well, but well-meaning bad ideas are still bad ideas.
FlippyCat: The Amazing Domino Etch A Sketch (YouTube)
"Domino artist FlippyCat built a giant Etch-A-Sketch toy out of dominos! Then with a little stop-motion video magic, he illustrates the way you'd draw on a giant domino Etch-a-Sketch. The finished masterpiece is made of dominos, so you know what he did next. Yes, he knocked them all down, and then some" - Neatorama
Alison Spiegal: The Dinner Recipe Your State Googles The Most (Huffington Post)
Ever wonder if your friends in Minnesota are cooking the same dinner as your friends in Florida? Do you think the most popular dinner recipe is the same in Alaska as it is in New York? Of course you don't, and thanks to Google Trends, you can see exactly how different those dinner recipes are.
David Bruce's Amazon Author Page
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David Bruce's Blog
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David Bruce has over 80 Kindle books on Amazon.com.
Michelle in AZ
G_d help you
Oh G_d help you, I'm back again ...
Hear Why He Calls The HPV Vaccine a Crime Against Kids! - YouTube
Er, thanks, Dan.
Let me be blunt.
I grew up with kids who had polio.
You will not be changing my opinion.
Yes, big pharma is bad, but life's a crap shoot.
And at some point, one must put on their adult-size under-roos and move on.
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
Sunny and way too hot.
Chelsea Manning, the US soldier serving a 35-year prison sentence for a massive document leak, should be addressed in gender-neutral or feminine terms in court documents as she transitions into a woman, judges said.
The move comes a month after the US Army approved hormone therapy for Manning's gender "reassignment" -- in a first for the American military.
"All future formal papers filed before this court and all future orders and decisions issued by this court shall either be neutral, eg Private First Class Manning or appellant, or employ a feminine pronoun" said a court order Wednesday.
However "in respect to historic fact," the court will retain masculine wordage used in previous decisions, including Manning's conviction.
Brings Back Former News President
NBC has changed the leadership of its troubled news division by bringing back the executive who led the network out of a dark period two decades ago.
The hiring of Andy Lack as chairman of NBC News and MSNBC was announced Friday in a memo to staff from NBC Universal CEO Steve Burke. Lack, who was NBC News president from 1993 to 2001, subsequently ran Sony Music Entertainment, worked at Bloomberg Media and most recently has been head of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, a federal agency.
A longtime news producer at CBS News, Lack became NBC News president when the division was at a low ebb, reeling from the scandal of engineering a truck explosion for a "Dateline NBC" story. He led the news division to the top in the morning, evening and on weekends, and was in charge when MSNBC was started.
He faces other new challenges, with the "Today" show having stalled in its effort to retake the morning lead from ABC's "Good Morning America." Sunday's "Meet the Press" is trying to rebuild behind Chuck Todd after last year's messy ouster of David Gregory. And MSNBC has been in a prolonged slump, leading many to wonder if it will tweak or change its identity as a network dominated by left-leaning commentary.
Long Thought To Be Extinct Rediscovered
Scientists say a tiny, brown bird long thought to be extinct has been rediscovered in
Myanmar Burma's grasslands, but its fragmented habitat is threatened by human encroachment.
The Jerdon's babbler was first discovered in the 1860s but had not been reported in 74 years.
A team of scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society,
Myanmar Burma's Nature and Wildlife Conservation Division and the National University of Singapore said Friday they found the sparrow-sized bird last May after playing a recording of its unique song and getting an answer.
In the following 48 hours they found several other babblers in the same area.
Grave and Chariot Unearthed
The 2,500-year-old lavish tomb and chariot of an ancient Celtic prince have been unearthed in France.
The ancient princely tomb, which was discovered in a large burial mound, was filled with stunning grave goods, including gorgeous pottery and a gold-tipped drinking vessel. The giant jug was decorated with images of the Greek god of wine and revelry, and was probably made by Greek or Etruscan artists.
The stunning new finds "are evidence of the exchanges that happened between the Mediterranean and the Celts," Dominique Garcia, president of France's National institute of Preventive Archaeological Research (INRAP), told journalists at a field visit, according to France 24
Though the heartland of the Greek city-states was clustered in Greece in the fifth and sixth centuries B.C., the economic powerhouses later expanded their reach throughout the Mediterranean. At their peak, the Greek and Western Etruscan city-states had settlements dotting coastlines all the way to modern-day southern Spain to the south and to the Black Sea, near modern-day Russia, to the north.
The current site - located in the little village of Lavau, France, just a few hours' drive south of Paris - served as an ancient burial place for centuries. In 1300 B.C., the ancient inhabitants left burial mounds with bodies and the cremated remains of people, archaeologists have found. Another burial at the site, dating to about 800 B.C., holds the body of an ancient warrior bearing a sword, along with a woman bedecked in solid-bronze bracelets.
Arctic Sea Ice
Arctic sea ice - the ice that freezes and floats on Arctic waters - is thinning at a steadier and faster rate than researchers previously thought, a new study finds.
Using modern and historic measurements, the researchers got an extensive view of how the thickness of Arctic sea ice has changed over the past few decades. According to measurements from multiple sources, the ice in the central Arctic Ocean thinned 65 percent between 1975 and 2012, from 11.7 feet (3.59 meters) to 4.1 feet (1.25 m).
The thinning is even steeper for September sea-ice levels, when sea ice is at its lowest after the summer melt. During the same 37-year stretch, September ice thickness thinned 85 percent, or from 9.8 feet (3.01 m) to 1.4 feet (0.44 m).
"The ice is thinning dramatically," said lead researcher Ron Lindsay, a climatologist at the University of Washington (UW) Applied Physics Laboratory. "We knew the ice was thinning, but we now have additional confirmation on how fast, and we can see that it's not slowing down."
Arctic Sea Ice
Executions Set 'Unprecedented' Pace
Saudi Arabia has beheaded dozens of convicts, including foreign drug traffickers, since the start of the year in what Amnesty International calls an unprecedented pace of executions.
Those put to the sword have included five Pakistanis, an Indian, two Jordanians, two Syrians and a Yemeni, with few foreign governments willing to publicly appeal for clemency from the wealthy Gulf state.
Three beheadings in a single day on Tuesday -- one for rape and two for murder -- took the total so far this year to 38, according to an AFP tally.
That is about three times the number over the same period in 2014, but observers disagree about the reasons.
Glaciologist Erin Pettit began a research project to find out what humpback whales heard when a big piece of ice falls from a glacier and crashes into the ocean. But the sound generated by ice drifting in the water turned out to be just as interesting.
Acoustic research in Alaska's Icy Bay and other glacier ice-filled waters found that the fizz created by the release of pressurized air bubbles within glacier ice makes fjords the noisiest places in the ocean.
"The glacier fjord sound on a typical day for Icy Bay is louder than being in the water beneath a torrential downpour, which really surprised me," said Pettit, a researcher at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
In a paper published in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, Pettit and fellow researchers speculate that one reason harbor seals flock to fjords with tidewater glaciers is because noisy icebergs provide acoustic camouflage, protecting seals from transient killer whales that hunt by sound.
Public urinators in Hamburg, Germany's St. Pauli district have been warned: It's "peeback time."
The neighbourhood known for partying had a growing problem: drunks were relieving themselves on walls, home entrances and even on playgrounds.
Fines and prohibitions did little to deter the gross habit, so annoyed community residents took matters into their own hands and used the urinators' pee against them.
Thanks to hydrophobic paint coating favourite urination spots, the walls in St. Pauli now "pee back."
"We sprayed most-frequented walls in our district with a super-hydrophobic coating. This coating is so water-repellent that liquids splash right off the surface," the community group explained in a YouTube video.
Albert Maysles, the revolutionary documentary filmmaker who helped pioneer nonfiction movies by turning a keenly observant eye on both the famous and the ordinary in films like "Gimme Shelter" and "Grey Gardens," has died. He was 88.
Maysles was best known for a handful of documentary classics he made with his brother, David, in the 1960s and 1970s. The Maysles Brothers - as many referred to them - chose subjects as ordinary as the struggles of Bible salesmen and as glamorous as Marlon Brando, Orson Welles and the Beatles, whom the pair followed in 1964 during their first trip to the United States.
One of their films, "Gimme Shelter," about The Rolling Stones' Altamont Speedway concert on Dec. 6, 1969, captured on film the killing of a fan and the darkening of the hippie dream. The Altamont concert was the Stones' disastrous effort to stage a festival like the Woodstock gathering a few months earlier.
Maysles was active right up to this death. His documentary of the fashion icon Iris Apfel, "Iris," is to be released in April. Earlier this week, the Tribeca Film Festival announced that "In Transit," a documentary he co-directed about the longest train route in the U.S., will premiere at this year's festival.
Born in Boston to Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe, Maysles served in the U.S. Army from 1944 to 1946, studied at Syracuse and Boston University and taught psychology for three years before turning to film. His first foray into motion pictures was a 16-mm documentary he made in 1955 while visiting mental hospitals in the Soviet Union.
Maysles started out as an assistant to Robert Drew, a pioneer of cinema verite, and his peers included such acclaimed documentary makers as D.A Pennebaker and Frederick Wiseman.
He and Pennebaker were among those who worked with Drew on the groundbreaking 1960 documentary "Primary," about rival Democratic presidential candidates John F. Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey. Maysles also served as a camera operator for Pennebaker's 1968 concert film "Monterey Pop."
A technical revolution had made such films possible - the arrival of lightweight, portable sound and film equipment - and gave them the opportunity to observe their subjects with as little effect on events as possible. "The natural disposition of the camera," Maysles said, "is to seek out reality."
The technique of unfettered observation - "direct cinema," the brothers called it - allowed the Maysles Brothers to record such historical moments as the slaying of a fan at the Altamont concert, and the grim reaction of Mick Jagger, the Stones' singer, as he watched a replay of the footage.
After his brother died in 1987, Albert Maysles continued to work with various collaborators and mentored younger filmmakers. In 2006, he founded the non-profit Maysles Documentary Center in Harlem.
Maysles also continued a longtime working relationship with artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude, whose process for creating monumental environmental art the Maysles Brothers documented in several films beginning in the 1970s.
They were Oscar nominated for their 1973 short "Christo's Valley Curtain." In 2007, Maysles and Antonio Ferrera made "The Gates" about Christo and Jeanne-Claude's Central Park project.
Last July, President Barack Obama awarded Maysles the National Medal of Arts, honouring his six decades of filmmaking. Said Obama: "By capturing raw emotions and representations, his work reflects the unfiltered truths of our shared humanity."