BartCop Entertainment Archives - Saturday, 9 May, 2015


9 May, 2015

(Updated Daily)

[1320 days in a row]


Recommended Reading

from Bruce

Paul Krugman: Triumph of the Unthinking (NY Times)
It is easier to appeal to voters with nonsense economics than to think things through.

Hadley Freeman: "Chris Rock: 'I'm doing OK, but some days I'm sad outta my mind'" (Guardian)
Chris Rock is one of the world's funniest, most gifted standups but he's never made a decent movie - until now. He talks about his new film Top Five, divorce, Kanye - and America's race problem.

Danny Leigh: The skateboarding Iranian vampire diaries (Guardian)
Director Ana Lily Amirpour talks about feminism, porn and her eerie 'fairy tale' A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night.

Sam Richards: "The new wave of new noise: 'Our music is the closest thing we have to a riot'" (Guardian)
Bands such as Spectres and Viet Cong are finding catharsis by tackling their darkest emotions, bringing pain and rage back to music.

Adam Wears, Evan V. Symon, Ivan Farkas, M. Peter Storino: 6 Lost Pieces Of Art Found In The Dumbest Place Possible (Cracked)
Look at all the useless crap around you. You need to prioritize your life and get rid of some of it. But before you have that garage sale, consider this: Sometimes the hoarders are right, and some random piece of garbage that's currently festering in your attic may turn out to be worth a fortune. It's happened before ...

Mark di Stefano: 18 GIFs That Perfectly Describe How Labour Supporters Feel Right Now (BuzzFeed)
People are realising there's another five years of the Tories.

Cara Feinberg: The Science of Scarcity (Harvard Magazine)
A behavioral economist's fresh perspectives on poverty.

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Trivia Question of the Day

Germans call it Kölnisch Wasser. What do we call it in the US?


Send your answer to Marty

Trivia Question from Yesterday

One of Lily Tomlin's characters on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In was named Ernestine. What was Ernestine's profession?

      Switchboard Operator                                                      Source

Mary Jean "Lily" Tomlin (born September 1, 1939) is an American actress, comedian, writer, and producer. She has been a major force in American comedy since the late 1960s, when she began a career as a stand-up comedian and became a featured performer on television's Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In.

In 1969, after a stint as a hostess on the ABC series Music Scene, Tomlin joined NBC's sketch comedy show Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In. Tomlin was an instant success on the already established program, in which in addition to appearing in general sketches and delivering comic gags, she began appearing as the regular characters she created; they became well known and she portrayed them outside of the show in later recordings and television specials:

Ernestine was a nosy, condescending telephone operator who generally treated customers with little sympathy. Ernestine often snorted when she let loose a barbed response or heard something salacious; she also wore her hair in a 1940s hairstyle with a hair net, although the character was contemporary. In the sketches, Ernestine was usually at her switchboard taking calls in the sketches. She occasionally called her boyfriend, Vito, a telephone repair man, or her pal Phoenicia, another operator.

In 1970, AT&T offered Tomlin $500,000 to play her character 'Ernestine' in a commercial, but she declined, saying it would compromise her artistic integrity. In 1976 she appeared as 'Ernestine' in a parody of a commercial on Saturday Night Live (Season 2 Episode 1, September 18, 1976), in which she proclaimed, "We don't care, we don't have to...we're the phone company." The character later made a guest appearance at The Superhighway Summit at UCLA, January 11, 1994, interrupting a speech being given on the information superhighway by then-Vice President Al Gore.        Source

Charlie was first, and correct, with:
   She was a telephone operator - one hell of a telephone operator.

Randall wrote:
   Ernestine was the Telephone Operator

  One ringy dingy...
  TWO ringy dingies...

Alan J answered:
   Telephone Operator.

mj said:
   She was a communications facilitator
  Once known as a switchboard operator, plugging in phone jacks to enable calls. One ringie-dingie . . . tow ringie-dingies . . .

Languorous Lois Of Oregon said:
   Alas, poor Ernestine, former employee of the phone company. That demon Steve Jobs and his fucking iphones destroyed her livelihood. She fell into a deep depression, and after years of suffering as an obsolete freak, found new purpose in life as a Viking! Or, something.

John I from Hawai'i says,
   "switchboard operator."

STEPHEN F replied:
   Switchboard operator

Kevin K in Washington DC responded:
   One ringy-dingy...
  Ernestine was a switchboard operator in the employ of Ma Bell.
  "Mr. Vidal? (Pronounced "Veedle") Is this the party to whom I am speaking"?

Jim from CA, retired to ID, wrote:
   Ernestine was a nosy, condescending telephone operator who generally treated customers with little sympathy

DanD said:
   It seems that she portrayed a telephone operator.

Deborah replied:
   Ernestine was a telephone operator. She was hilarious. Rown & Martin's Laugh-In was genius, and Lily Tomlin is a brilliant comedienne.

Adam answered:
   Telephone Switchboard Operator (One ring-y Ding-y, Two Ring-y Ding-y...)

Marian responded:
   telephone operator

George M
   Marty, Ernestine was an operator for the phone company - where she was, to put it in a line from "Saturday Night Live", "serving everyone from presidents and kings to the scum of the Earth".

gmbullas said:
   Ernestine was a switchboard operator.

Butt Lovedale of Diamond Springs, Norcali answered:
   Ernestine operated a Switchboard. Why not some Barnyard Bestiality Fun today, kiddies and freaks alike?

  Dale had his ass test done yesterday and was ruled non-successful, due to Sloppy Intestines. Yes that's what the Doc told me! Sloppy fucking guts! Next stop: A barium enema! Only one day of cleansing and then I get irradiated! Appointment will be coming soon. I came into this life impatient, intolerant and wanting my Mommie! I want this done soon!
  Oh, by the way Happy Mother's Day to all ya muddas out dere!

DJ Useo replied:
   Ernestine was a telephone operator.
  Billy was a mountain.
  Ethyl was a tree growing off of his shoulder. ;)
  Here's a pic of her answering a call,
  Another with a muppet, a rare animation cell picture from an unmade cartoon,
  & another of her with a human puppet, lol.

MAM   , wrote:
   Telephone operator

  Lily Tomlin as telephone operator Ernestine

Joe S     responded:
   Telephone operator. Do they still make telephone operators? Probably not, probably most kids today have never heard of a telephone operator. When I was a kid my cousin Jo Anne was a telephone operator. You went to the phone on the wall and picked up the receiver and turned the crank on the box a couple of times and Joanne would come on the line and ask, "Number please." But you didn't have to know the number, you just said, "Hi Jo Anne, would you ring up Aunty Audrey for me please?" And she would. It was all very magical.

   A little later Ma Bell switched us over to dial phones. They looked like the old phones except there was a dial in the middle and the crank box was gone. To place a call you picked up the receiver and dialed 0, then Jo Anne would answer and say, "Number please." After a while Jo Anne was gone and some stranger answered when you dialed 0 and you had to give the whole number. We all had 7 digit numbers but you only had to give the last four to the operator. After that, maybe a year later, we had to dial the number. No more dialing 0 and getting the operator. This was fun, but now we were on "party lines." That was fun if you wanted to listen in on your neighbor's conversations, but pain in the ass if you wanted to make a call and the neighbor wouldn't hang up. My mother was a surgical nurse so we lucked out and got a "two party" line at first, and then we got a private line. That was great, but we missed listening in on the neighbors.
  Our final upgrade involved everyone getting "private lines" but you had to dial all 7 numbers. Ah, progress. Our number was TUxedo 9-5951, which seemed really silly to me, you had to dial 889 of course so why bother with the TU bit. We could dial the TUxedo 9 exchange and the PArkview 3 exchange, but everywhere else was long distance and you had to dial 0 and the operator would answer, "Operator." and you would say, "long distance please." And then she would ask you "What city?" So there you go, free history lesson. I am a history major, you know.

Sally is retired, but paying attention.

BttbBob   has returned to semi-retired status.

  May 9 Birthdays - Celebrities Born May 9 | Famous Birthdays


Another of my now-obsolete skills was working a PBX switchboard, complete with cords and 'doe-eyes', and a button on the floor, like a high-beam switch in now-obsolete cars, to kill the 'ringing' (actually it was a buzzing sound) of too many incoming calls.


Middle Class Political Economist

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



Reader Suggestion

Michelle in AZ

Signals that baffled astronomers for 17 years traced to observatory's microwave oven - SFGate

Captain Kidd's Treasure May Have Been Found Off Madagascar

Stranded sea lion pups fall victim to California's 'ocean deserts' | US news | The Guardian

Harrison Ford: five best moments | Film | The Guardian
     I vote "Mosquito Coast" as his best performance.

Orson Welles 100th Birthday, Retrospective by Stanley Kauffmann | The New Republic

OMG: 2.1 million people still use AOL dial-up - May. 8, 2015

MIT created a solar-powered machine that turns saltwater into drinking water

Shell busted again-Arctic drilling rig due in Puget Sound failed a Coast Guard inspection in Hawaii

Thanks, Michelle!





From The Creator of 'Avery Ant'

"The Problem With Young People Today"

(Crabby Old Fart)



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

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

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.
( )

Marc Perkel




Selected Readings

from that Mad Cat, JD









Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music


Ark Of Darkness


In The Chaos Household

Last Night

Cold and rainy - like a bit of January in May.

Tonight, Saturday:

CBS begins the night with a RERUN 'Hawaii Five-0', followed by a RERUN 'Criminal Minds', then '48 Hours'.

NBC opens the night with a RERUN 'The Voice', followed by an hourlong RERUN 'SNL' (from 5/13/06), with Julia Louis-Dreyfus hosting, music by Paul Simon.
'SNL' is FRESH, with Reece Witherspoon hosting, music by Florence + the Machine.

ABC fills the night with LIVE '2015 NBA Playoffs', then pads the left coast with local crap and maybe an old 'What Would You Do?'.

The CW offers an old '2½ Men', followed by another old '2½ Men', then an old 'Family Guy', followed by another old 'Family Guy'.

Faux has a RERUN 'Hell's Kitchen', followed by a RERUN 'Bones'.

MY has an old 'Burn Notice', followed by another old 'Burn Notice'.

A&E has all old 'Bates Motel' all night.

AMC offers the movie 'Jaws', followed by the movie 'Jaws 2'.

BBC  -   
 [6:00AM]    Top Gear - Season 4 - Episode 1
 [7:00AM]    Top Gear - Season 4 - Episode 2
 [8:00AM]    Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares Revisited US - Season 4 - Ep 1 - Revisited: Down City, Classic American, Davide
 [9:00AM]    Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares US - Season 5 - Ep 15 - Zocalo
 [10:00AM]    Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares US - Season 6 - Ep 5 - Barefoot Bob's
 [11:00AM]    Doctor Who - Season 8 - Ep 4 - Listen
 [12:00PM]    Doctor Who - Season 8 - Ep 5 - Time Heist
 [1:00PM]    Doctor Who - Season 8 - Ep 6 - The Caretaker
 [2:00PM]    Doctor Who - Season 8 - Ep 7 - Kill the Moon
 [3:00PM]    Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season 6 - Ep 10 - Chain of Command (Part 1)
 [4:00PM]    Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season 6 - Ep 11 - Chain of Command (Part 2)
 [5:00PM]    Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season 6 - Ep 12 - Ship in a Bottle
 [6:00PM]    Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season 6 - Ep 13 - Aquiel
 [7:00PM]    Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season 6 - Ep 14 - Face of the Enemy
 [8:00PM]    Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season 6 - Ep 15 - Tapestry
 [9:00PM]    Orphan Black - Season 3 - Ep 4 - Newer Elements of Our Defense NEW
 [10:00PM]    The Graham Norton Show - Season 17 - Episode 4 NEW
 [11:00PM]    Tatau - Season 1 - Episode 4
 [12:00AM]    Orphan Black - Season 3 - Ep 4 - Newer Elements of Our Defense
 [1:00AM]    Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season 6 - Ep 10 - Chain of Command (Part 1)
 [2:00AM]    Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season 6 - Ep 11 - Chain of Command (Part 2)
 [3:00AM]    Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season 6 - Ep 12 - Ship in a Bottle
 [4:00AM]    Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season 6 - Ep 13 - Aquiel
 [5:00AM]    Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season 6 - Ep 14 - Face of the Enemy    (ALL TIMES EST)

Bravo has 'Real Housewives Of Atlanta', followed by the movie 'Hitch', then the movie 'Hitch', again.

Comedy Central has the movie 'Employee Of The Month', followed by the movie 'The Hangover'.

FX has the movie '21 Jump Street', followed by the movie 'Sweet Home Alabama'.

History has 'American Pickers', 'The Universe: Ancient Mysteries Solved', followed by a FRESH 'The Universe: Ancient Mysteries Solved', then a FRESH 'Engineering Disasters'.

IFC  -   
  [1:15PM]    MARON-THE JOKE
  [2:45PM]    KINGPIN
  [5:30PM]    ERASER
  [8:00PM]    THE MATRIX

Sundance  -   
  [6:00AM]    Love Lust-Love Lust & the Bikini
  [6:15AM]    Sneakers
  [9:00AM]    Midnight Run
  [11:45AM]    Confidence
  [1:45PM]    Tenderness
  [4:00PM]    127 Hours
  [6:00PM]    Twelve Monkeys
  [9:00PM]    Troy
  [12:30AM]    The Last of the Mohicans
  [3:00AM]    127 Hours
  [5:00AM]    The Staircase-Secrets and Lies    (ALL TIMES EST)

SyFy has the movie 'Robin Hood', followed by the movie 'The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader'.

 [6:00 AM]      Sinbad The Sailor (1947)
 [8:15 AM]      Thunderbird 6 (1968)
 [10:00 AM]      Batman: Flying Spies (1943)
 [10:30 AM]      The Lost Volcano (1950)
 [12:00 PM]      Rio Bravo (1959)
 [2:30 PM]      The Wild North (1952)
 [4:15 PM]      Blackbeard, the Pirate (1952)
 [6:00 PM]      Hearts Of The West (1975)
 [8:00 PM]      I Remember Mama (1948)
 [10:30 PM]      The White Cliffs Of Dover (1944)
 [12:45 AM]      Show Boat (1936)
 [2:45 AM]      It's Alive (1974)
 [4:30 AM]      The Baby (1973)     (ALL TIMES EST)

Sunday   -  05/10/15

 [6:00 AM]      Bachelor Mother (1939)
 [7:30 AM]      So Big (1932)
 [9:00 AM]      Stella Dallas (1937)
 [11:00 AM]      Imitation Of Life (1959)
 [1:15 PM]      Marty (1955)
 [3:00 PM]      Pocketful of Miracles (1961)
 [5:30 PM]      Gypsy (1962)
 [8:00 PM]      Roughly Speaking (1945)
 [10:15 PM]      Mildred Pierce (1945)
 [12:15 AM]      Miss Mend (1926)     [AKA: 'The Adventures of the Three Reporters']    SILENT 
 [4:45 AM]      The Ascent (1977)     (ALL TIMES EST)

Antenna TV

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Grit - Television With Backbone - Grit

Laff - You Know You Want To. - Laff


MOVIES! TV Network

RTV - The Retro Television Network

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Geena Davis and Rosie O'Donnell attend the "League of their own" event at Arvest Park hosted by Geena Davis and Rosie O'Donnell at the Bentonville Film Festival on May 7, 2015 in Bentonville, Arkansas.
Photo by Ernesto Di Stefano


The Sideshow - by Avedon Carol


Stealth Structures: 10 Buildings That Aren't What They Seem | Urbanist


Americans Favor Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert


Jon Stewart has spent 16 years skewering U.S. politicians and media as the liberal host of television's "The Daily Show" - and many Americans think he gets it right on the issues with his satirical look at the news.

In a Reuters/Ipsos online poll, the Comedy Central comic topped a list of 10 pundits, with more than half of respondents saying they agreed with him on at least some issues. Only 12 percent did not agree with him on any issues at all.

Stewart, who will host his last Daily Show episode on Aug. 6, also ranked highest on two other traits - fearlessness and most admired. Of the 2,013 people 18 and older polled, nearly half found him unafraid in confronting "issues that others ignore," while 48 percent said they admired him.

Daily Show alumnus Stephen Colbert, who spoofed conservative talk-show hosts for nearly a decade on Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report," tied Stewart as most admired and placed second to him on issues and fearlessness. Colbert will soon take over hosting "The Late Show" on CBS.

By contrast, only 34 percent of respondents agreed with Rush Limbaugh (R-Anal Cyst). The fiery conservative talk show host was the least admired commentator on a list that also included political satirist Bill Maher, Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly and conservative author Ann Coulter.



Mary Kay Place, from left, June Squibb, and Rhea Perlman attend the after party for the LA Screening Of "I'll See You In My Dreams" held at The London West Hollywood on Thursday, May 7, 2015, in West Hollywood, Calif.
Photo by Richard Shotwell


Simple Chart Shows How Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO Affect Your Photos «TwistedSifter


Won't Air New Episode Opposite Letterman's Final Show

Jimmy Kimmel

Jimmy Kimmel is choosing not to air a new episode of his talk show opposite David Letterman's final "Late Show" installment.

Kimmel told the New York Times on Thursday that his May 20 episode will be a repeat out of respect for Letterman. Kimmel's spokeswoman confirmed the report. Other editions of ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" that week will be new.

Jimmy Fallon and Conan O'Brien aren't following suit. NBC's "The Tonight Show" and TBS' "Conan" are planning original installments for May 20, according to show representatives.

Comedy Central's "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" and "The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore" will be in repeats that week.

Jimmy Kimmel


Newhead News


Building Tiny Houses For Homeless

Los Angeles

Shortly after Elvis Summers befriended Irene McGhee, he learned she was sleeping on the streets of South Los Angeles.

So the man with the blue mohawk and wraparound shades decided to build the grandmother nicknamed "Smokie" a tiny house on wheels. Summers estimates he spent less than $500 on plywood, shingles, a window and a door for the 8-foot-long structure that can be moved around by one person.

It turned out so well that Summers launched a crowdfunding campaign to construct similar shelters for other homeless people in his neighborhood. He had no grand ambitions beyond lending a helping hand in a city with thousands of residents without roofs over their heads.

Summers never thought more than 5.6 million people would watch a YouTube video of him constructing the house for McGhee, who's been homeless for more than a decade. It ends with McGhee doing a little jig and hanging up a "Home Sweet Home" sign.

The GoFundMe campaign - called Tiny House, Huge Purpose - has brought in nearly $60,000 in less than a month. And Summers' inbox is overflowing with offers for help from carpenters, homeless advocates, retirees and children as young as 6.

Los Angeles


Actor Don Cheadle, right, and his wife ICEF board member Bridgid Coulter attend at the art auction and cocktail reception benefit for ICEF Public Schools (Inner City Education Foundation) at the United Talent Agency on Thursday, May 7, 2015 in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Photo by Dan Steinberg


A Glimpse of What 13 of the World's Presidential Palaces Look Like Inside and Out | | When On Earth - For People Who Love Trave


Family Loses Bid

B.B. King

Blues legend B.B. King - his health failing at age 89 - is in the middle of a tug of war between some of his children and his longtime manager.

Three of King's 11 surviving children appeared in a Las Vegas courtroom Thursday in a bid to take control of their father's affairs. Two said they suspect the musician's manager of stealing his money and neglecting his medical care. All three complained they were blocked from seeing him in home hospice care.

But a judge tossed the dispute out of court, saying two investigations found no evidence King was being abused and that King's longtime business manager, Laverne Toney, should remain in legal control of his affairs.

Toney and King's lead attorney, Brent Bryson, deny the theft allegations. They say King's children - including Karen Williams, Patty King, Rita Washington - can schedule visits as always.

B.B. King


Wake-up Call


California Busted

Bottle Recycling Scheme

Five people were part of a scheme that involved trucking more than 200 million cans and bottles from Arizona and illegally redeeming them at recycling centers in California for about $14 million in refunds, authorities said Thursday.

A grand jury in Kern County indicted five Californians on charges including grand theft and recycling fraud. While that indictment came in March, details of the case were announced Thursday by California's Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, known as CalRecycle.

More than a dozen private recycling centers in Southern California also were implicated in the scheme because they accepted the Arizona cans and bottles, according to CalRecycle. While centers are responsible for determining containers' origins, in this case they either were operated by or formed alliances with the fraud ring, CalRecycle said.

Recyclable containers sold in California include a 5- or 10-cent charge, depending on their size. The money is refunded when the can or bottle is redeemed. But out-of-state containers can't be redeemed in California because the cans or bottles were not subject to the initial charge.

Though the exact number of cans and bottles was not known, $14 million in refunds would be the equivalent of roughly 250 million cans or bottles, CalRecycle spokesman Lance Klug calculated.

Bottle Recycling Scheme


Blythe Danner, from left, Sam Elliott, and Katharine Ross attend the after party for the LA Screening Of "I'll See You In My Dreams" held at The London West Hollywood on Thursday, May 7, 2015, in West Hollywood, Calif.
Photo by Richard Shotwell


Chan Chan: World's Largest Adobe City | Amusing Planet


Conviction Overturned

Megan Rice

A U.S. appellate court on Friday overturned sabotage convictions against an elderly nun and two other peace activists for breaking into a Tennessee nuclear defense facility in 2012.

Megan Rice, 85, was sentenced to three years for the break-in at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, an incident that embarrassed U.S. officials and prompted security changes.

In a 2-1 decision, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also reversed sabotage convictions against two U.S. Army veterans, Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed. The panel found that the three lacked the necessary intent for a violation of the federal Sabotage Act.

Walli and Boertje-Obed had received five years in prison. The court upheld their convictions for the less serious crime of injury to government property and ordered them to be resentenced.

The three were convicted of cutting fences to get into the facility the night of July 28, 2012. They admitted to spray painting peace slogans and hanging banners. When a guard confronted them, they offered him food and began singing.

Megan Rice


Lisa Bonet, left, and Jason Momoa arrive at the Los Angeles premiere of "Mad Max: Fury Road" at the TCL Chinese Theatre on Thursday, May 7, 2015.
Photo by Matt Sayles


Apparently Easter Island's Heads Have Bodies - artnet News


Bans Rooftop Crosses

Zhejiang Province

A Chinese province where authorities have forcibly removed hundreds of rooftop crosses from skylines of cities and towns has proposed a ban on any further placement of the religious symbol atop sanctuaries at both Protestant and Catholic churches.

The draft, if approved, would give authorities in the eastern province of Zhejiang legal grounds to remove rooftop crosses.

Since early 2014, Zhejiang officials have toppled crosses from more than 400 churches, sometimes resulting in violent clashes with congregation members. They say the crosses violate building codes, but critics say the rapid growth of Christian groups have made the ruling Communist Party nervous.

A draft of rules on religious structures released by government agencies this week says the crosses should be wholly affixed to a building facade and be no more than one-tenth of the facade's height. The symbol also must fit with the facade and the surroundings, the proposal says. The draft does not provide the rationale for the proposal.

Zhejiang Province


The International Circassian Cultural Academy's youth dance troupe "The Young Highlanders" performs a traditional dance as part of a Circassian evening held in Amman May 7, 2015. Picture taken May 7, 2015.
Photo by Muhammad Hamed


Freightliner Inspiration: the self-driving semi truck is real


China Excavating Tomb

Terra Cotta Warriors

China is expanding the ranks of the famed Terra Cotta Warrior army with new excavations expected to yield hundreds more of the ancient life-size figures.

The museum overseeing the vast mausoleum of China's first emperor says it began work March 30 on the tomb's No. 2 pit that is smaller in scale but believed to be richer in archaeological value than the already excavated No. 1 pit.

Along with 1,400 warrior and horse statues, the pit is believed to contain 89 war chariots and 116 mounted soldiers, offering invaluable insights into the military culture of the Qin dynasty, the museum said in a statement on its website.

Discovered in 1974, the army is one of China's biggest tourist draws, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. In recent years, the warriors have joined the giant panda as a tool of Chinese "soft power," with several batches being exhibited overseas to enthusiastic crowds.

In all, the tomb's three pits are thought to hold more than 8,000 figures of archers, infantry soldiers, mounted cavalry, horse-drawn chariots, officers, acrobats, musicians and others.

Terra Cotta Warriors


A Christie's staff holds a 55,52 carats pear-shaped D-color flawless diamond during an auction preview in Geneva, Switzerland, May 8, 2015. The diamond is expected to sell between US $ 8,500,000 to 10,500,000 when it is auctioned on May 13 in Geneva.
Photo by Denis Balibouse


5 Amazing Weapons of the Ancient World | Made From History


Chamber Pot Auctioned

Empress Elisabeth

What's a potty worth? Thousands of euros, if it was used by an Austrian empress - but much less than her footwear.

A chamber pot owned by Empress Elisabeth has fetched 4,290 euros (nearly $5,000) at an auction of imperial Austrian memorabilia in Vienna. But a pair of her white silk half boots went for 75,000 euros (nearly $85,000) - more than 10 times the lowest estimated price.

Most expensive was a set of white and gold dinnerware. It sold for more than 100,000 euros at Thursday's auction.

The Habsburg empire ended a century ago with the abdication of the last emperor. But the 19th-century empress, known in Austria as Sissi, remains idolized in her home country.

Empress Elisabeth


Australian Idioms Illustrated



In Memory

Marcia Brown

Marcia Brown, a celebrated author and illustrator of children's books and three-time Caldecott Medal winner whose work ranged from the bold strokes of "Once a Mouse" to the more abstract and lyrical sketches of "Cinderella," has died.

Brown died April 28 of congestive heart failure at her home in Laguna Hills, California, publisher Simon & Schuster announced Friday. She was 96.

Brown won the Caldecott, the highest honour for children's picture books, for "Cinderella," ''Once a Mouse" and "Shadow." She was a National Book Award nominee in 1983 for "Shadow" and in 1992 received a Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for lifetime achievement. She is survived by her editor and longtime companion Janet Loranger.

A native of Rochester, New York, she had dreamed of being an artist since childhood, but decided at first that teaching was a safer choice. She majored in English at the New York State College for Teachers (now the University of Albany) and taught high school English for three years, continuing to paint during the summer. She later studied art at the New School for Social Research and absorbed the narratives of children's books while working at the New York Public Library. Her first book, "The Little Carousel," came out in 1946.

Brown used a wide variety of formats, from pastel to woodcuts, and worked on more than 30 books, many of them published worldwide. Her credits also included "Dick Whittington and His Cat," ''Stone Soup" and "Three Billy Goats Gruff."

Marcia Brown


In Memory

Guy Carawan

Guy Carawan, a folk singer and social-justice advocate credited with turning the African-American spiritual "We Shall Overcome" into a unifying anthem of the 1960s civil rights movement, has died at 87.

For years, Carawan was a leader of the Highlander Research and Education Center in Tennessee. It served as a gathering place for social-justice activists, including the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks.

The song "We Shall Overcome" was adapted by Pete Seeger and others at Highlander from the spiritual "I Will Overcome." As Highlander music director, Carawan taught the song to activists who led the sit-in movement of the 1960s. He even sang it at the first organizing meeting of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee on April 15, 1960, Carawan's wife, Candie Carawan, said.

It included a verse added a year earlier by a 13-year-old African American activist named Mary Ethel Dozier. Candie Carawan said Dozier came up with the words, "We are not afraid," during a sheriff's department raid on what was then the Highlander Folk School as she, Guy Carawan and others sat in the dark, waiting.

Tennessee revoked the school's charter and confiscated its land and buildings in Monteagle, so it reopened with a new name in Knoxville, later moving to New Market.

The Carawans marched with King in Selma, Alabama. Guy Carawan made recordings to preserve the civil rights movement and Appalachian folk songs.

Candie Carawan said her husband died Saturday at his home in New Market after suffering from a form of dementia for years. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his daughter, Heather Carawan and his son, Evan Carawan. A private funeral service is planned.

Guy Carawan


In Memory

Errol Brown

Hot Chocolate lead singer Errol Brown has died at the age of 71 after suffering from liver cancer, his manager said on Wednesday.

Hot Chocolate was known for hits such as "Emma," "Every 1's a Winner" and "You Sexy Thing."

The singer passed away at his home in The Bahamas, with his wife Ginette and daughters Colette and Leonie by his side, manager Phil Dale said, describing him as a "gentle man."

Brown was made MBE (Member of the British Empire) by Britain's Queen Elizabeth in 2003 for his services to popular music. A year later, he received an Ivor Novello award for outstanding contribution to British music.

"You Sexy Thing" was first released in the 1970s and featured in the 1997 British film "The Full Monty" about six unemployed men who form a striptease act.

Errol Brown



A female baby monkey named Charlotte is held by its mother at the Takasakiyama Natural Zoological Garden in Oita, southwestern Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo May 8, 2015. The city, which manages the zoo, said on Friday it has decided not to rename the monkey even though the zoo had received more than 300 calls and email messages that protest or criticize its choice of the name, with some denouncing the move as "disrespectful to Britain", Kyodo reported.



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