Paul Krugman: Ideology and Integrity (NY Times)
If character is going to be a part of the 2016 campaign, let's make sure to focus on the right things.
Sam Roberts: Jack Ely, Who Sang the Kingsmen's 'Louie Louie', Dies at 71 (NY Times)
… what originated innocently as a lovesick sailor's calypso lament to a bartender named Louie morphed into the incoherent, three-chord garage-band cult classic by the Kingsmen that sold millions of copies, spawned countless cover versions and variations, was banned in Indiana, prompted the F.B.I. to investigate whether the song was secretly obscene, provoked a legal battle and became what Frank Zappa called "an archetypal American musical icon."
Dave Itzkoff: David Letterman Reflects on 33 Years in Late-Night Television (NY Times)
In a single bound, David Letterman seemed to leap the full length of the stage at the Ed Sullivan Theater, racing from backstage as if he'd been thrust forward by the fanfare played by his longtime bandleader, Paul Shaffer, and his CBS Orchestra, and by the rumble of his announcer, Alan Kalter, bellowing his name - "Daaaaay-vid Leh-terrrr-maaaaaaaan!"
Eduardo Porter: Income Inequality Is Costing the U.S. on Social Issues (NY Times)
As economists from the University of Chicago, M.I.T. and the University of Southern California put it in a recent research paper, much of America's infant mortality deficit is driven by "excess inequality."
Peter Bradshaw: "Falstaff: Chimes at Midnight review - dignity, sensuality and panache" (Guardian)
Welles makes Shakespeare's Falstaff a hero, not a buffoon in his intimate tragicomic drama. The result is a treat.
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Michelle in AZ
David E Suggests
The Watches of James Bond
From The Creator of 'Avery Ant'
Gin Soaked Golden Raisins
The local paper has continually refused to acknowledge my
letters to the editor, so I am left with no other outlet
than to vent HERE where I have not, as yet, been BARRED FOR
LIFE, as has occurred in other venues, but never mind, let
The fact of the matter is, I have KNOWLEDGE which must be shared, and will not be silenced, as was the late John Lennon when he tried to enlighten us all to the world altering revelation that HE WAS IN FACT the EGGMAN (YES!!), AND a WORKING CLASS HERO as well. John, we miss you more than we can say.
Anyway, the subject today is "Health Benefits Of Gin Soaked Raisins".
We begin our quest for knowledge, as always, with Wikipedia. Shit. My dying laptop will NOT load it! OK, we'll wing it then.
I first became aware of the medical miracle that is GOLDEN RAISINS SOAKED IN ORDINARY HOUSEHOLD GIN several years ago, when searching for alleviation of pain from my sciaticia after building a concrete ramp to the back door of our house to replace the wooden structure that had collapsed from boredom. Yes! The universe surrounding my home is SO DULL that it is decomposing matter!
Anyway, my back hurt. OH THE PAIN! It hurt worse when I tried to lay down! Had to sleep STANDING UP like a horse, yet still had to sit down to poop! OH, THE PAIN WAS INDESCRIBABLE! Then I learned about GIN SOAKED GOLDEN RAISINS! They have to be GOLDEN raisins for some reason. Probably because of the GOLDEN RAISIN lobby. I don't know, but I DO know they work? You may ask, "How can I obtain Gin Soaked Raisins?" Glad you asked!
Here's all you do: Take some GOLDEN RAISINS. Put them in some kind of container. Pour GIN over them until all the raisins are totally submerged. Here's the HARD PART. Wait a few days until the raisins have absorbed so much gin they are drunk and bloated and no longer able to crawl out of the jar or whatever you put them in. Then, YES! EAT THEM! You will be AMAZED how much better you will feel! PAIN ALL GONE!
The instructions I originally followed said to soak the raisins and DISCARD the residual liquid. What madness. That is the BEST PART. I just finished about a pint of it and let me tell you, I feel fine!
Lois Of Oregon
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 email@example.com.
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 a bit cooler.
"Losing My Religion For Equality"
After more than 50 years in the public arena, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter has shown he can still command people's attention - with a column on why he quit his church over women's rights going viral six years after it was published.
Carter, 90, a Nobel Peace laureate and longtime human rights champion, has campaigned to end violence and discrimination against women since leaving the White House in 1981, calling it "the human and civil rights struggle of our time".
His fight for women's rights was sparked during his years traveling around the world when he became increasingly concerned about the myriad problems he saw involving women.
His determination to promote the rights of women led him in 2000 to sever ties with the Southern Baptist Convention, after six decades, over its rejection of women in leadership.
He explained his decision to quit the church in a 2009 article titled "Losing my religion for equality".
GOP Attack Takes Big Step Forward
Living down to our worst expectations, the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology voted Thursday to cut deeply into NASA's budget for Earth science, in a clear swipe at the study of climate change.
The committee's markup of the NASA authorization bill for fiscal 2016 and 2017 passed on a party-line vote, Republicans in the majority. The action followed what appears to be a deliberate attempt to keep Democrats out of the loop. According to Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas), the committee's ranking Democrat, her caucus "did not even know [the markup] existed before last Friday. ... After we saw the bill, we understood why."
As outlined by Marcia Smith at SpacePolicyOnline, the measure would cut NASA's Earth science budget to at most $1.45 billion in fiscal 2016, from $1.77 billion currently -- a cut of $323 million, or nearly 20%. Under some circumstances, the budget could shrink even further to $1.12 billion, a cut of nearly one-third. Compared with President Obama's request for fiscal 2016, which is $1.95 billion, the proposal would amount to a cut of at least 26%.
The budget plan perfectly reflects the House GOP's glorification of space exploration, which masks its disdain for research on climate change. Unsurprisingly, it has created consternation among experts. The American Geophysical Union observed just before the vote that NASA's Earth science programs involve more than the study of climate change as such, but "provide a basis for knowledge and understanding of natural hazards, weather forecasting, air quality, and water availability."
ABC Puts Fork In It
Muscular Dystrophy Telethon
The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) said Friday it will end its long-standing Labor Day telethon, aired on the ABC network, to focus on more digital fundraising efforts after the success of last year's ALS Ice Bucket challenge.
The organization's annual telethon, hosted by comedian Jerry Lewis from its inception in 1956, has seen its broadcast cut from its standard 21 and a half hours, last seen during Lewis' final hosting stint in 2010, to just two hours last year.
The MDA aims to raise awareness and improve the lives of people suffering from muscular dystrophy, a rare muscle-wasting genetic disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and other related diseases. So far, there is no cure.
The MDA said it will be investing in digital and mobile platforms to engage with the public, and will continue sharing stories of families living with muscular dystrophy on Labor Day.
Muscular Dystrophy Telethon
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is looking for a little harmony over rules used to enforce a ban on ivory that ended up snagging a pair of teenage bagpipers at the Canadian border.
In August, Campbell Webster and Eryk Bean of New Hampshire were returning from a competition in Canada when their pipes were taken. The reason: They contained small pieces of ivory. The U.S. prohibits importing ivory taken after 1976.
Even though the boys had certificates showing the bagpipes' ivory was harvested before 1976, a combination of required paperwork and the type of border crossing they used caused U.S. Customs and Border Protection to seize the pipes at Highgate Springs, Vermont. The teenagers contacted New Hampshire's congressional delegation, their predicament sparked an online petition and they shelled out $576 in extra fees to get their pipes back the next day, just in time to fly to Scotland for the world championships, where they placed ninth.
Craig Hoover, chief of the wildlife trade and conservation branch in the Fish and Wildlife Service's division of management authority and international affairs, said this week that the ivory ban will remain in place but the new rule will make accommodations for things like musical instruments.
2 Degrees 'Inadequate'
Holding global warming to a 2-degree Celsius temperature rise - the cornerstone of an expected new global climate agreement in December - will fail to prevent many of climate change's worst impacts, a group of scientists and other experts warned Friday.
With a 2-degree temperature hike, small islands in the Pacific may become uninhabitable, weather-related disasters will become more frequent, workers in many parts of the world will face sweltering conditions and large numbers of people will be displaced, particularly in coastal cities, the experts warned.
The 2-degree goal is "inadequate, posing serious threats for fundamental human rights, labor and migration and displacement" the experts said in a series of reports commissioned by the Climate Vulnerable Forum, a group of 20 countries chaired by the Philippines.
Some group members, particularly Pacific island states, have previously asked for a lower temperature target of 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Cited Over Safety
SeaWorld - whose safety practices have been under scrutiny since an animal trainer was killed in 2010 by an orca at its Orlando, Florida, park - has now been cited for not adequately protecting its killer-whale trainers at its park in San Diego.
The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health issued four citations this week that carry nearly $26,000 in fines. SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. said in a statement that the citations show a "fundamental misunderstanding" of what's needed to care for orcas and that it plans to appeal.
According to the citations, the park hasn't kept employees aware of the dangers posed by orcas, and it required them to sign an annual confidentiality form that discouraged trainers from reporting hazards for fear of reprisal. They say employees ride and swim with killer whales in the park's medical pool - although keepers have not been allowed in the Shamu Stadium pool during orca shows since the Orlando death. It also cited SeaWorld for allowing trainers to be with orcas in shallow areas on the edges of pools known as "slide outs."
The theme park also is accused of not effectively training its employees and supervisors to safely interact with killer whales. The citations stem largely from an inspection on Oct. 29.
The Hospital & The Leg
A south Florida man is suing a hospital for emotional distress, saying his leg was amputated and thrown in the garbage with his name tag still on it.
John Timiriasieff, 56, had his right leg amputated below the knee in October at Doctors Hospital in Coral Gables.
"Rather than properly disposing of the plaintiff's limb as expected and as required by Florida law, Doctors Hospital threw the Plaintiff's amputated limb into the garbage, with tags indicating it belonged to the Plaintiff," according to the lawsuit filed on Wednesday in Miami-Dade County Circuit Court.
A month later, Timiriasieff said his family was contacted by homicide detectives investigating if he had been the victim of foul play.
When the family went back to the hospital to find out what happened, they were told it would "provide no explanation for what had occurred," the lawsuit said.
Undersea Volcanic Eruption Off Oregon Coast
An undersea volcano about 300 miles (480 km) off Oregon's coast has been spewing lava for the past seven days, confirming forecasts made last fall and giving researchers unique insight into a hidden ocean hot spot, a scientist said on Friday.
Researchers know of two previous eruptions by the volcano, dubbed "Axial Seamount" for its location along the axis of an underwater mountain ridge, Oregon State University geologist Bill Chadwick said on Friday. But those 1998 and 2011 eruptions were detected months or years afterward, Chadwick added.
Last year, researchers connected monitoring gear to an undersea cable that, for the first time, allowed them to gather live data on the volcano, whose peak is about 4,900 feet (1,500 meters) below the ocean surface.
In the past, researchers left battery-operated monitoring stations in place for several years, but were able to analyze the data only by retrieving those devices.
A once-barren bank of the Ye river in central China now has 12,000 trees irrigated by a small canal, thanks to unlikely but dedicated gardeners: two friends, one blind and one without arms.
For the past 13 years, the two have planted and watered cedar trees near their village in Hebei province in what originally was supposed to be a commercial venture but became a mission supported by local officials to improve the air in a region more famous for its stifling pollution than for its rolling hills.
The story of Jia Wenqi, 53, with no arms, and his blind friend, Jia Haixia, 54, is one of perseverance, environmental awakening and of finding a path in a country where it is difficult for the disabled to find jobs.
Every morning Haixia grabs onto the empty sleeve of Wenqi, who leads the way to the riverbank and then carries Haixia on his back across the shallow Ye river to their plantation. Haixia climbs trees to prune them of branches to be used as cuttings to plant new trees, using his hands to feel for the branches. Wenqi digs holes for the cuttings, tucking a shovel between his cheek and shoulder to aim it and then using his foot to drive it into the ground. He also uses his feet to fetch water from the river with a bucket and pour the water around the newly planted tree.
Ben E. King
Soul and R&B singer Ben E. King, famous for his deep, velvety baritone voice and the classic hit song "Stand by Me," died of natural causes in New Jersey at the age of 76, his representative said on Friday.
King was born in North Carolina and moved to Harlem, New York, as a child. He began his career in the doo-wop group The Five Crowns, which later became The Drifters, before branching out as a solo artist.
The Drifters had a string of hits with Atlantic Records and were inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988. King co-wrote and sang the lead on the group's first hit, "There Goes My Baby," in 1959.
He also was the lead vocalist with the group on songs such as "Save the Last Dance for Me," "This Magic Moment," "Dance With Me" and "I Count the Tears."
After a contractual dispute, King began a solo career in 1960 and recorded his best-known song, "Stand By Me," which was voted one of the Songs of the Century by the Recording Industry Association of America. King, along with Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller, wrote the 1961 hit.
The song, which is featured in and provided the title for the 1986 film "Stand by Me" by director Rob Reiner, was also inducted by the Library of Congress into the National Recording Registry. King had five No. 1 hits with The Drifters and as a solo artist.
King is survived by his wife, Betty, three children and six grandchildren.
Ben E. King