Paul Krugman: Obamacare Hits a Bump (NY Times Column)
But it shouldn't be hard to fix.
Alina Petre, MS, RD: 7 Supplements You Need on a Vegan Diet (Authority Nutrition)
1. Vitamin B12
Daniel Akerson: I've always voted Republican. Until now. (Washington Post)
The compelling rationale behind this decision: leadership. A good leader must demonstrate such qualities as competence, integrity, empathy, character and temperament. Hillary Clinton has these essential qualities. Donald Trump does not.
Roger Ebert: Detour (A Great Movie)
Detour is a movie so filled with imperfections that it would not earn the director a passing grade in film school. This movie from Hollywood's poverty row, shot in six days, filled with technical errors and ham-handed narrative, starring a man who can only pout and a woman who can only sneer, should have faded from sight soon after it was released in 1945. And yet it lives on, haunting and creepy, an embodiment of the guilty soul of film noir. No one who has seen it has easily forgotten it.
Will Oremus: Who's Left to Embarrass Silicon Valley Now That Peter Thiel Has Killed Gawker? (Slate)
On Thursday, the fallout from Peter Thiel's vendetta against Gawker Media continued with the news that the company's flagship blog, Gawker, will shut down, even as its other properties live on under new ownership. That sounds like a nail in the coffin for the brand of hypocrisy-shaming dirt-dishing that Gawker and its defunct sibling Valleywag pioneered. Which is, of course, exactly what Thiel intended.
David Bruce: My children aren't biological (Athens News)
Of course, freshman students don't want other, older students to know that they are new to campus. One of my students carried a campus map in her backpack for her first few days at OU. Whenever she got lost, she would find a building, go into the women's restroom, go into a stall and shut the door, and then look at the map and find out where she was. If any one had seen her consult the map, that person would know that she was a freshman.
Suzanne Moore: "'Wellness' promises change without challenging anyone. That's a fantasy"(Guardian)
'Self-love' is being sold to women as a passive route to contentment - but we have every right not to accept the world as it is.
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Michelle in AZ
from Marc Perkel
from that Mad Cat, JD
FUCK THE CAPITALIST PIGS!
THE FRONT AND THE BACK STORYT!
THE FUNGUS AMONG US!
WHY WOULD THE JESUS FREAKS VOTE FOR TRUMP?
IT'S THE LAW!
NYC parks department on naked Trump statue: "NYC Parks stands firmly against any unpermitted erection in city parks, no matter how small."
Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music
In The Chaos Household
Proofreading Christmas catalogs. Yee haw.
High Court Sides With Employee
A Connecticut state worker fired after he was caught smoking marijuana on the job was punished too harshly and should get his job back, the state Supreme Court ruled Friday.
Gregory Linhoff was fired from his maintenance job at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington in 2012 after a police officer caught him smoking pot in a state-owned vehicle. He had no previous disciplinary problems since being hired in 1998 and had received favorable job evaluations, according to his union. He was arrested, but the charges were later dismissed.
State officials said firing the New Hartford resident was the only appropriate penalty for his conduct and not doing so would send a bad message to other employees. An arbitrator disagreed and overturned the firing, saying Linhoff instead should be suspended without pay for six months and be subject to random drug testing for a year after he returned to work.
The state appealed and a Superior Court judge overturned the arbitrator's decision on the grounds that it violated Connecticut's public policy against marijuana use. Linhoff's union, the Connecticut Employees Union Independent SEIU, appealed the judge's ruling to the Supreme Court.
All seven justices agreed that the lower court judge was wrong to overturn the arbitrator's ruling, saying that while state policy on drug use in the work place allows for firing workers it does not require it. Justices also said that judicial second-guessing of arbitration awards is uncommon and should be reserved only for extraordinary circumstances.
Viacom Inc and controlling shareholder Sumner Redstone have come to an agreement on terms of a settlement that would result in the departure of Chief Executive Philippe Dauman, two sources familiar with the situation told Reuters on Thursday.
The settlement would end the battle for control over Redstone's $40 billion empire that includes Viacom and CBS
It would also conclude the legal battle between Dauman and Redstone in Massachusetts over the CEO's removal from National Amusements Inc, the privately held company that holds Redstone's Viacom and CBS Corp voting shares, as well as the trust that will determine the fate of both media companies when the 93-year-old dies or is deemed mentally incapacitated.
Under terms of the settlement, if finalized, Dauman, 62, will be replaced by Viacom Chief Operating Officer and his longtime right-hand man, Thomas Dooley, who will be interim CEO until Sept. 30, and then may stay on longer, according to the sources, who wished to remain anonymous because the discussions are confidential.
As part of the agreement, Dauman will stay on as executive chairman until Sept. 13 and be allowed to present his plan to sell a minority stake in Paramount Pictures to the Viacom board, the sources said. Dauman will receive about $72 million under the agreement, they said.
Pre-Colonial Mexican Manuscript
Scientists have uncovered a rare and mysterious pre-colonial Mexican manuscript, which was hidden under a layer of "plaster and chalk" for nearly 500 years. A collaborative effort by researchers at the University of Oxford's Bodleian Libraries and universities in the Netherlands using high-tech imaging helped reveal the ancient codex or book, which was found concealed on the back of a manuscript called Codex Selden.
The scientists used hyperspectral imaging to delve into the Codex Selden, which is housed at the Bodleian Libraries, only to find pictographic scenes depicting early Mexican culture. Codex Selden, which is also known as Codex Añute, dates back to the 1560's and is one of fewer than 20 known Mexican manuscripts to have survived from pre-colonial and early colonial Mexico. Scholars have long speculated that the Codex Selden is a palimpsest - an older document that has been concealed and reused to make the current manuscript visible.
"After four or five years of trying different techniques, we've been able to reveal an abundance of images without damaging this extremely vulnerable item. We can confirm that Codex Selden is indeed a palimpsest," said Ludo Snijders from Leiden University. David Howell from the Bodleian Libraries and Tim Zaman from the University of Delft also collaborated with Snijders on the research.
"What's interesting is that the text we've found doesn't match that of other early Mixtec manuscripts. The genealogy we see appears to be unique, which means it may prove invaluable for the interpretation of archaeological remains from southern Mexico," Snjiders added.
Copper Age Fashionista
The 5,300-year-old Alpine mummy known as the Tyrolean Iceman died wearing leather clothes and accessories harvested from no less than five wild or domesticated species, a DNA analysis published Thursday revealed.
Frozen solid after being fatally wounded by an arrow in the back, the brown-eyed, Copper Age nomad, nicknamed "Otzi", was discovered in 1991 in the Otztal Alps between Italy and Austria.
Details about his ancestry, what he snacked on, and his sundry diseases and ailments have all been dissected with scientific precision over the last two decades, but no one had taken a close look at the origin or his attire. Until now.
These included a fur hat, an archery quiver, a composite leather coat, a loin-cloth, grass-lined shoes, and tight-fighting leggings.
What they found, to their surprise, was a medley of fauna, both domesticated and wild.
Leaves Baylor University After Scandal
Kenneth Starr (R-Karma) said on Friday he is leaving his law professor post at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, months after being removed as president at the large Christian university for not taking sufficient action against sexual assaults.
The resignation is effective immediately.
Starr rose to national prominence in the mid-1990s for his exhaustive investigation of sex scandals surrounding then-President Bill Clinton.
He was removed as President of Baylor in May, after an independent report found administrators had mishandled sexual abuse cases involving football players. In June, he resigned as chancellor, but stayed on as law professor.
The investigation found that actions by Baylor administrators directly discouraged students from reporting sexual assaults.
Women With High Testosterone Levels
The Olympic Games is running into a storm of controversy involving Caster Semenya, the favorite in the women's 800 meters. The South African, the unwilling face of track's ethical and medical dilemma over women with high levels of testosterone, sharply divides opinion - even among fellow competitors.
After qualifying comfortably on Wednesday for the 800 semifinals, Semenya strode past reporters without talking. Her competitors had plenty to say. Some embraced the 25-year-old as just another competitor, while others said they'd rather see women in her situation in separate races.
Suspicions among fellow competitors that Semenya isn't the only 800-meter runner in Rio de Janeiro believed to be hyperandrogenic - a condition that can cause women to produce unusually elevated levels of testosterone - are adding extra urgency to the debate, especially with Olympic medals on the line. Testosterone is a strength-building hormone in both men and, usually in far lower levels, in women. Until last year, there was a threshold limit on testosterone for women athletes. But that is now on hold, leaving some competitors feeling that hyperandrogenic women are almost unbeatable in the 800.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport suspended the rules last year, which has allowed hyperandrogenic women to run in Rio without treatment. Semenya's times have improved after the ruling.
Semenya has been under unwanted scrutiny ever since word leaked in 2009, just before she won the 800-meter world title as a 19-year-old, that track officials mandated that she undergo sex testing. The IAAF rules were introduced in 2011. She was suspended for 11 months. She came back to win silver at the 2012 London Games, running 1 minute, 57.23 seconds. Her best this season is nearly two seconds quicker.
Goes Nova After Long Hibernation
A team of astronomers associated with the Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment - a massive and sustained sky survey - have captured an event that is incredibly rare in the human scale of things - a white dwarf going nova. The tiny star is part of the binary system V1213 located over 20,000 light-years from Earth and its explosion was observed by astronomers in 2009.
As the researchers describe in a new study published in the journal Nature, they had been monitoring the distant star system since 2003, and therefore were able to capture it before, during, and after it exploded.
"When novae or supernovae go off, they are usually followed up with many telescopes, and therefore we know a great deal about the 'after' of these explosions," Carles Badenes, an astronomer at the University of Pittsburgh, who was not involved in the study, told the Verge. "But it is of course very hard to know...which star is going to do something interesting, so the 'before' is very much a mystery."
It is important to note that a "classical nova" is not the same as a supernova. While the latter, which is much more powerful, occurs when a star dies, a classical nova eruption takes place only in a binary system - a star system where two stars orbit around a common centre of mass.
"From time to time such systems undergo large-amplitude brightenings. The most spectacular eruptions, with a ten-thousandfold increase in brightness, occur in classical novae and are caused by a thermonuclear runaway on the surface of the white dwarf," the authors wrote in the study. "Such eruptions are thought to recur on timescales of ten thousand to a million years."
It's relatively common to find debris from rocket launches in the waters off Cape Canaveral in Florida, but divers exploring the seabed recently uncovered artifacts from an age of exploration long before America's space program: 22 cannons and a marble monument in what they think are three 16th-century Spanish shipwrecks.
The finds include three ornate bronze cannons - two that are 10 feet (3 meters) long and one that is 7 feet (2 m) long - and the marble monument, engraved with the coat of arms of the king of France, which has been identified from the manifest of a 1562 expedition to Florida by the French navigator and colonialist Jean Ribault.
Robert Pritchett, chief executive of the Florida-based company Global Marine Exploration, which explored the wrecks in May and June, told Live Science that it was initially thought that the newfound wrecks might include Ribault's two "lost ships," which sank during a storm in 1565, a few years after the voyage from France.
But records showed that the bronze cannons and monument from Ribault's expedition were installed at Fort Caroline, an early French Huguenot colony on the St. Johns River, in what is now Jacksonville, Florida. In 1565, the cannons and monument were seized in a Spanish raid, "so [the monument] would not be on a French ship if it was removed by the Spanish," Pritchett said.
Instead, Pritchett thinks these items were being carried away from Florida as booty on Spanish ships, bound for Havana, Cuba, when they were struck by a storm that banished them to the seafloor.
Around 1,500 years ago, at a time when China was divided, a woman named Farong was laid to rest wearing fantastic jewelry, which included a necklace of 5,000 beads and "exquisite" earrings, archaeologists report.
Her tomb was discovered in 2011 in Datong City, China, by a team of archaeologists with the Datong Municipal Institute of Archaeology who were surveying the area before a construction project. The researchers excavated the tomb, conserved the artifacts and reconstructed the necklace.
Farong's tomb was dug into the ground, and her skeleton (which is now in poor condition) was found lying in a coffin archaeologists said.
Based on the design of Farong's tomb, and the artifacts found inside it, the archaeologists determined she lived around 1,500 years ago, a few decades before the collapse of the Northern Wei dynasty (386-534), which controlled part of northern China. According to historical records, Datong City, where the woman was buried, was the dynasty's capital until 494.
The two earrings the archaeologists found are difficult to describe in words. Made of gold, the earrings contain images of dragons
Jack Riley, who specialized in playing neurotic comic characters like psychologist patient Elliot Carlin on The Bob Newhart Show of the 1970s, died Friday. He was 81.
Riley, who also voiced Stu Pickles on the Rugrats cartoon and appeared in several Mel Brooks comedies, died in a Los Angeles hospital of pneumonia after a long illness, Paul Doherty at Cunningham Escott Slevin & Doherty told The Hollywood Reporter.
Riley appeared in the Brooks-directed films Silent Movie (1976), High Anxiety (1977),History of the World: Part I (1981) and Spaceballs (1987) and in two other movies that Brooks produced, Frances (1982) and To Be or Not to Be (1983).
Riley also appeared as Eliot Carlin on ALF and St. Elsewhere and as a very Eliot-like character on Newhart's next CBS sitcom in the 1980s.
His film résumé also included Mike Nichols' Catch-22 (1970), two Robert Altman films -McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971) and The Long Goodbye (1973) - Gene Wilder's The World's Greatest Lover (1977), Attack of the Killer Tomatoes! (1978), A Dangerous Woman (1993) and Boogie Nights (1997).
And he played Chappy, a friendly old codger who lives on the beach in Malibu, in the 2000-02 Baywatch spoof Son of the Beach.
Born Dec. 30, 1935, Riley attended John Carroll University in Ohio, served in the U.S. Army and then returned to Cleveland as a radio host. He was friends with Tim Conway and wrote for the comedian (and later appeared in Conway's 1980s variety show).
Riley landed his first regular TV gig in the 1960s on the sitcom Occasional Wife and quickly appeared on such shows as Gomer Pyle: USMC, I Dream of Jeannie, The Red Skelton Hour, Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In and The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
Later, he showed up on Columbo, Family Ties, One Day at a Time, Silver Spoons, Night Court, Friends, Mike Hammer, Private Eye, That '70s Show and Seinfeld (in the 1997 episode "The Muffin Tops)."
Survivors included two children.