Paul Krugman: The Triumph of the Wrong (NY Times)
It's not often that a party that is so wrong about so much does as well as Republicans did on Tuesday.
Frank Rich: Frank Rich on the National Circus: Dispirited America Votes for Change, Gives Up on Hope (New York Mag)
The country wanted to throw the bums in power out, and the bums in power were the Democrats.
Paul Krugman: The Uses of Ridicule (NY Times)
Making fun of billionaires who are clueless about economics, and lack the menschood to admit their mistakes, serves a couple of functions. It reminds the audience that being rich doesn't mean that you know what you're talking about; it also provides other rich people some incentive to think before they speak, and maybe even do some homework before preaching to the rest of us. I'm snarky for a reason.
Molly Ivins: Lyin' Bully (Mother Jones)
Instead of picking on someone his own size, Rush consistently targets dead people, little girls, and the homeless--none of whom can fight back.
Jess Zimmerman: Alex from Target was a fake corporate meme? That's not viral - it's offensive (Guardian)
I get annoyed when people scoff at stuff that's meant "for teenage girls" - young adult novels, for instance, are great, and "teenage girl" culture is surely no dumber than a lot of the stuff that's marketed to grown men. But I confess I am totally uninterested in mop-topped, Bieber-esque teen dreamboats.
Luke John Smith, J. Wisniewski, John Martin, Jason Webb: 5 Iconic Groups From History Everyone Pictures Incorrectly (Cracked)
History is written by the victors, and so a lot of the "facts" you have in your head are just the manic ravings of the people who stabbed their way to the top.
Jeff Yang: 752 people have exercised their right to die in Oregon-why you've only heard about Brittany Maynard (Quartz)
She was a truly beautiful woman: Slender, button-nosed, with a wide and vivacious smile and dancing, sea-green eyes.
Carolyn Kellogg: Harlan Ellison in the hospital recovering from a stroke (LA Times)
Harlan Ellison, the multi-award-winning writer of science fiction and fantasy, had a stroke last week and is recovering in a Southern California hospital. He is grumpy -- and everyone considers that a good sign.
David Bruce's Amazon Author Page
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David Bruce's Blog
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David Bruce has approximately 50 Kindle books on Amazon.com.
Michelle in AZ
Michelle either took the day off or aol is mucking with the mail again.
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 middle-of-summer hot.
Voice Icon Award
James Earl Jones
Darth Vader, Mufasa, and even the tagline for a certain 24-hour news network helped make James Earl Jones one of the most recognizable voices on the planet and soon the recipient of the first Voice Icon Award.
But according to the actor, there was a period when he didn't do much speaking. As a child he suffered from a severe stutter, and went through a period where he refused to speak at all.
"I once did not speak. I was mute. When I finally did speak, though, I spoke as an adult," Jones said of the transformation.
"I was 16 or 17, and my teacher said, 'You remember yourself speaking as a child, you're now hearing yourself as an adult, don't get impressed with it. Don't listen to it, because you can fall in love with the melodious of it. If you listen to it, then nobody else will,'" he said.
That advice paid off as the Tony-winning and Oscar-nominated actor will be the initial recipient of the Voice Icon Award from the first-ever Voice Arts Awards on Sunday. Sponsored by the Society of Voice Arts and Sciences, this new annual event will honour the best voices of the year from television, film, video games, commercials, and audiobooks.
James Earl Jones
Will Drop Term From Policy Document
The U.S. Army has issued an apology and will no longer use the term "Negro" in a document on policies and procedures as an acceptable alternative to African American.
The Army Command Policy, known as AR 600-20, said "terms such as 'Haitian' or 'Negro' could be used in addition to 'Black' or 'African American.'"
The issue was first reported by CNN on Thursday. The Army dropped the term the same day and issued the apology.
"The U.S. Army fully recognized, and promptly acted, to remove outdated language in Army Regulation 600-20 as soon as it was brought to our attention," Army spokeswoman Lieutenant Colonel Alayne Conway said in a statement.
Anchorage Cannabis Club
A former Alaska broadcast news reporter who famously quit her job in an on-air stunt aimed at boosting a campaign to legalize pot in Alaska said on Friday she aims to open a bricks-and-mortar cannabis club in Anchorage before turning it into a seed-to-sale business.
Charlo Greene is already the owner of the Alaska Cannabis Club, a network of users that share medical pot they grow at home under existing law. She plans a December re-launch that will create a physical location at a downtown Anchorage building where the 21-year-old and over club members can attend grow-it-yourself classes, events, and of course get high.
When the new law takes effect, likely in February, Greene's members and all Alaskans can legally possess, transport, and share up to one ounce of their indica and sativa varietals.
Greene, who grew up in Anchorage, first tried pot as a teenager but didn't like it, turning instead to alcohol before drinking began to push her life off track in college in Texas. On a friend's advice, she took up pot and graduated with honors, she said. These days, she prefers cannabis cigars.
Adventurers Club of Los Angeles
They have climbed the world's highest mountains and stood atop the North Pole, but women still can't join the Adventurers Club of Los Angeles.
The venerable LA institution decided Thursday night to uphold a 93-year-old tradition and remain a "gentlemen-only club."
The group's immediate past president, Marc Weitz, says members voted 32-30 in favour of admitting women.
Although that's a majority, balloting still fell short of the two-thirds yes vote required to make such a change.
Adventurers Club of Los Angeles
Impersonated AP Reporter
The FBI's creation of a fake news story and impersonation of an Associated Press reporter during a criminal investigation undermine media credibility, blur the lines between law enforcement and the press and raise questions about whether the agency followed its own guidelines, free press advocates say.
In a letter to The New York Times on Thursday, FBI Director James Comey said an agent "portrayed himself as an employee of The Associated Press" in 2007 to help catch a 15-year-old suspect accused of making bomb threats at a high school near Olympia, Washington. It was publicized last week that the FBI forged an AP story during its investigation, but Comey's letter revealed the agency went further and had an agent pretend to be a reporter for the wire service.
Comey said the agent posing as an AP reporter asked the suspect to review a fake AP article about threats and cyberattacks directed at the school, "to be sure that the anonymous suspect was portrayed fairly."
The bogus article contained a software tool that could verify Internet addresses. The suspect clicked on a link, revealing his computer's location and Internet address, which helped agents confirm his identity.
"That technique was proper and appropriate under Justice Department and FBI guidelines at the time. Today, the use of such an unusual technique would probably require higher-level approvals than in 2007, but it would still be lawful and, in a rare case, appropriate," Comey wrote.
It's A Start
Pope Francis has excommunicated a pedophile Argentine priest, a move applauded by advocates for victims of clerical abuse.
Jose Mercau was sentenced to 14 years in prison in 2011 after admitting to sexually abusing four teenagers. He spent 15 days in jail and was then held in a monastery in Buenos Aires province until he was released last March.
The pope's decision was made public Wednesday by the bishopric of San Isidro on the outskirts of the Argentine capital.
The decision to punish Mercau "has taken way too long," said Patricia Gordon, a psychologist for EnRed, a group that focuses on victims of violence and sex abuse. "But it's still important because of the reparation to the victims, meaning that their words are taken as the truth."
A parochial school in Kentucky has apologized to a teacher who resigned due to an Ebola scare after she traveled to an area of Africa unaffected by the virus, according to a letter to parents made public on Wednesday.
Teacher and nurse Susan Sherman traveled on a medical mission trip to Kenya, triggering concerns from parents about Ebola, even though Kenya is thousands of miles from the West African countries affected.
Before Sherman returned from her fourth regular trip to do healthcare work in a town in Kenya, in eastern Africa, St. Margaret Mary school sent out a bulletin to parents saying that she would be taking a precautionary leave to make sure she did not have Ebola.
Sherman's daughter, Cathy Sherman, told Reuters that the school offered her mother a leave of absence that she was expected to use sick days to cover. Cathy Sherman said her mother challenged the decision and was later offered paid leave, but she ended up resigning on Oct. 31.
"The school acted in an unforgivably unprofessional manner. They made misguided decisions based on pressure from uninformed parents," Cathy Sherman told Reuters.
Secret Classroom Photos
Harvard University is coming under fire from faculty and students for secretly photographing about 2,000 undergraduates in 10 lecture halls last spring as part of a study on classroom attendance.
The experiment was disclosed at a faculty meeting Tuesday and first reported in The Harvard Crimson student newspaper.
Harvard computer science professor Harry Lewis asked administrators about the study during the meeting, saying he learned about it from two colleagues.
Brett Biebelberg, a junior involved in student government, called the study's secretive nature "strikingly hypocritical," given that the university recently adopted an honor code for the first time.
Students and teachers were not notified because researchers did not want to introduce potential bias into the study, Harvard administrators said. The cameras took pictures every minute and a computer program used them to count empty and occupied seats.
Floats Entry-Fee Increase
Visiting the Grand Canyon and other national parks could get a little pricier.
The National Park Service said 115 of its 401 units plan to seek public comment on entrance fees that could go up starting next year. It's part of a broader effort by the agency to bring in more money for visitor services and start addressing a backlog of projects ahead of its centennial.
The Grand Canyon announced a proposal Friday to increase its single-vehicle entrance fee from $25 to $30 for a seven-day pass. Efforts to raise fees at other parks across the country will be wide-ranging but cannot top certain limits. The Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Zion and Sequoia are among 10 parks where proposed entrance fees will be capped at $30 per vehicle or $15 per person, for example, the Park Service said.
About 130 national park units charge entrance fees, and they are able to keep 80 percent of those fees for use within the individual park. The other 20 percent goes into a pool and is distributed to parks that don't charge visitors to enter.
Under the Grand Canyon's proposal, prices for visitors on motorcycles also would go up from $20 to $25. Bicyclists and pedestrians would be charged $15, up from $12. Annual passes would go from $50 to $60. The price of a pass to visit any of the national park units would remain the same at $80 per year.
Study Dates Split
The human populations now predominant in Eurasia and East Asia probably split between 36,200 and 45,000 years ago, according to a study released Thursday.
Researchers used new techniques to analyze genetic samples from the shin bone of a young man who died at least 36,200 years ago near Kostenki-Borshchevo in what is now western Russia. The study, published in the journal Science, concludes that Kostenki man shared genetic sequences with contemporary Europeans, but not East Asians.
A separate study published last month in the journal Nature determined that a 45,000-year old sample found in Siberia contained sequences ancestral to both modern East Asians and Europeans.
Taken together, these two studies suggest a time frame of about 9,000 years in which the two genetic populations could have diverged, said Eske Willerslev, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, one of the authors of the Science paper.
Even on its own the Kostenki sample challenges previous theories that modern Europeans emerged only when hunter-gatherers mixed with a farming population that moved in from the Middle East after Ice Age glaciers receded from Europe about 10,000 years ago, the start of a period known as the Neolithic.
The Top 20 Concert Tours ranks artists by average box office gross per city and includes the average ticket price for shows in North America. The previous week's ranking is in parentheses. The list is based on data provided to the trade publication Pollstar by concert promoters and venue managers.
1. (1) One Direction; $6,058,097; $84.06.
2. (2) Paul McCartney; $3,175,961; $130.86.
3. (3) Katy Perry; $1,800,050; $103.32.
4. (5) Bruno Mars; $1,440,670; $81.96.
5. (4) Luke Bryan; $1,436,749; $51.22.
6. (7) Rod Stewart/Santana; $1,173,683; $102.84.
7. (8) Marc Anthony; $1,170,987; $104.43.
8. (10) Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers; $1,006,858; $92.03.
9. (9) Jason Aldean; $944,881; $46.08.
10. (12) Zac Brown Band; $936,847; $52.38.
11. (14) "Walking With Dinosaurs"; $822,231; $39.84.
12. (16) Motley Crue; $800,858; $53.49.
13. (13) Blake Shelton; $790,931; $48.25.
14. (17) Eric Church; $669,447; $50.44.
15. (18) Journey/Steve Miller Band; $544,622; $68.91.
16. (19) Marco Antonio Solis; $537,166; $92.89.
17. (20) Miranda Lambert; $528,946; $34.25.
18. (21) Brad Paisley; $511,930; $35.47.
19. (22) Rascal Flatts; $502,433; $33.77.
20. (23) Keith Urban; $473,581; $38.03.
S. Donald Stookey
S. Donald Stookey was a young scientist researching the properties of glass in 1952 when he put a glass plate into an oven to heat it. But the oven malfunctioned.
Instead of heating to about 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit, the oven shot up to more than 1,600 degrees. Stookey expected to find a molten mess. Instead, he found an opaque, milky-white plate.
As he was removing it from the oven, his tongs slipped, and the plate fell to the floor. But instead of shattering, it bounced.
Stookey, who died Tuesday at 99, had just discovered glass ceramics - a breakthrough that soon led to the development of CorningWare, the durable, heat-resistant ceramic glass used to make millions upon millions of baked lasagnas, tuna casseroles and other potluck-dinner dishes.
Although he was never a household name, Stookey's best-known invention found a home in most American kitchens in the form of white dishes decorated with small blue cornflowers.
The space-age material was so strong that the military used it in guided missile nose cones.
Stookey died at an assisted-living center in Rochester, New York, said his son Donald Stookey. He said his father broke a hip in a fall a few months ago and underwent surgery, but his health deteriorated.
CorningWare was celebrated for its versatility. It was strong enough to withstand minor kitchen mishaps, and it gave home cooks the ability to bake and serve food in the same dish. The dishes could go straight from the oven to the dinner table and then into the refrigerator or freezer.
Stookey joined Corning Glass Works in New York in 1940, the same year he graduated with a doctorate in physical chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He immersed himself in research, studying the complex chemistry of oxidation and its effects on glass, according to a company biography.
Corning patented its glass ceramics as Pyroceram. By the end of the 1950s, CorningWare had become one of the company's most successful product lines.
Stookey held the patent on CorningWare, according to his son, who believes his father made money on a percentage of the sales but did not get rich.
In the late 1960s, the elder Stookey felt burned-out and out of ideas, the son said. He offered to leave the company. The family that started Corning told him to take a year off with pay. He traveled the world and returned to spend another 20 years with the company.
CorningWare is still sold today, although it is now marketed by World Kitchen LLC, a Rosemont, Illinois-based company formed after Corning Inc. spun off its consumer-products division in 1998.
Stookey earned 60 U.S. patents. His other innovations included developing photosensitive glass that helped lead to color television picture tubes.
Stookey was born in Hay Springs, Nebraska, on May 23, 1915. His family moved from Nebraska to Cedar Rapids when he was 6. He graduated from Coe College in 1936 before earning a master's degree in chemistry from Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, followed by the MIT doctorate.
S. Donald Stookey