Paul Krugman: Things to Celebrate, Like Dreams of Flying (NY Times Column)
In Star Wars, Han Solo's Millennium Falcon did the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs; in real life, all the Falcon 9 has done so far is land at Cape Canaveral without falling over or exploding. Yet I, like many nerds, was thrilled by that achievement, in part because it reinforced my growing optimism about the direction technology seems to be taking - a direction that may end up saving the world.
Paul Krugman: Checking Up on Obamacare (NY Times Blog)
One of the remarkable aspects of the politics of health reform is the way conservatives - even relatively mild, seemingly informed conservatives - have managed to keep believing that Obamacare is unraveling, despite the repeated failure of disaster predictions to come true.
Dan Holliday: What's So Special About Netflix's Jessica Jones? (Quora; Slate)
In real life, people are flawed. They have a mixture of goodness and evil in all of them. Sometimes it's more of one than the other. Sometimes it's about half and half. But whatever it is, people-when successfully portrayed on the screen-have all sorts of nuances to them that make for interesting story-telling.
Aisha Harris: Wu-Tang Clan Steal Their Album Back From Martin Shkreli, With a Little Help From Bill Murray (Slate)
What happened to that single, million-dollar Wu-Tang Clan album Shkreli smugly purchased a few weeks ago? … soon imaginations went wild when a supposed clause in the original contract circulated that said, "the seller may legally plan and attempt to execute one (1) heist or caper to steal back Once Upon a Time in Shaolin" before adding that "said heist or caper can only be undertaken by currently active members of the Wu-Tang Clan and/or actor Bill Murray."
Once Upon a Time in Shaolin (YouTube)
The only copy of Wu Tang's most powerful album has fallen into the hands of evil. In order to reclaim it they must join forces with a legend..... Bill "Ghost Bustin" Murray!
"Good King Wenceslas" is a popular Christmas carol that tells the story of a Czech king braving harsh winter weather to give alms to a poor peasant on the Feast of Stephen. When is the feast of St. Stephen?
Boxing Day is a holiday traditionally celebrated the day following Christmas Day, when servants and tradesmen would receive gifts, known as a "Christmas box", from their bosses or employers, in the United Kingdom, Barbados, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, Bermuda, New Zealand, Kenya, South Africa, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and other former British colonies. Today, Boxing Day is the bank holiday that generally takes place on 26 December.
Alan J was first and correct with:
In the US it's "Mad Rush to the Return Counter" Day
Jim from CA, retired to ID, said:
Boxing Day is a holiday traditionally celebrated the day following Christmas Day, when servants and tradesmen would receive gifts, known as a "Christmas box", from their bosses or employers
The day after Mother Mary is advertised to have delivered her package.
Boxing Day is celebrated on December 26th. Our Boxing Day sales are the equivalent of your black Friday sales.
December 26th ~ Traditionally celebrated the day following Christmas Day, when servants and tradesmen would receive gifts, known as a "Christmas box", from their bosses or employers.
Joe S responded:
The day after Christmas, December 26th. The day the servants get a box of hand-me-downs and food left over from the Christmas feast, from their masters. The old "trickle down" practice.
Jolly Old Lois Of Oregon answered:
In some backwards countries you have to wait until the day AFTER Christmas to indulge in an orgy of greed. Christmas is for church...boxing day is for presents. Everyday is for Keanu!
Dale of Diamond Springs, Norwintercali took the day off.
Patriot Act NSA Spying Unconstitutional Section 215 National Security Letters Must End
My name is Marc Perkel and I have decided to announce that I will not comply with the so called "Patriot Act" laws requiring me to disclose information about my customers. If I receive a national security letter I will immediately photograph it, post it online everywhere I can, and then make a video of me burning it. I will then await my arrest. If you want to put me in jail then come get me mother fucker.
AMC offers the movie 'The Green Mile', followed by the movie 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest'.
[6:00AM] DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 9, Ep 3 - Under The Lake
[7:00AM] DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 9, Ep 4 - Before The Flood-Part 2.
[8:00AM] DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 9, Ep 5 - The Girl Who Died-Part 1.
[9:00AM] DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 9, Ep 6 - The Woman Who Lived-Part 2.
[10:00AM] DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 5, Ep 1 - The Eleventh Hour
[11:00AM] DOCTOR WHO - Ep 2 - The Beast Below
[12:00PM] DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 5, Ep 3 - Victory of the Daleks
[1:00PM] DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 5, Ep 4 - The Time of Angels-Part 1.
[2:00PM] DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 5, Ep 5 - Flesh and Stone-Part 2. The Doctor and his
[3:00PM] DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 5, Ep 6 - Vampires in Venice
[4:00PM] DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 5, Ep 7 - Amy's Choice
[5:00PM] DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 5, Ep 8 - The Hungry Earth-Part 1.
[6:00PM] DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 5, Ep 9 - Cold Blood-Part 2.
[7:00PM] DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 5, Ep 10 - Vincent and The Doctor
[8:00PM] DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 5, Ep 11 - The Lodger
[9:00PM] DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 5, Ep 12 - The Pandorica Opens-Part 1.
[10:00PM] DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 5, Ep 13 - The Big Bang-Part 2. .
[11:00PM] DOCTOR WHO: THE DOCTOR, THE WIDOW AND THE WARDROBE - SEASON 6, Ep 1 - The Impossible Astronaut
[12:00AM] DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 6, Ep 2 - Day of the Moon-Part 2.
[1:00AM] DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 6, Ep 3 - The Curse of the Black Spot
[2:00AM] DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 6, Ep 4 - The Doctor's Wife
[3:00AM] DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 6, Ep 5 - The Rebel Flesh-Part 1
[4:00AM] DOCTOR WHO - SSEASON 6, Ep 6 - The Almost People-Part 2
[5:00AM] DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 6, Ep 7 - A Good Man Goes to War (ALL TIMES EST)
Bravo has 'Real Housewives Of Atlanta', another 'Real Housewives Of Atlanta', followed by the movie 'Friday'.
Comedy Central has the movie 'The Campaign', followed by the movie 'Dumb & Dumber'.
FX has the movie 'Battleship', followed by the movie 'Star Trek Into Darkness'.
History has all 'The Curse Of Oak Island' all night.
[6:00AM] THAT '70S SHOW-Kelso's Serenade
[6:30AM] THAT '70S SHOW-Jackie Moves On
[7:00AM] THAT '70S SHOW-Holy Crap!
[7:30AM] THAT '70S SHOW-Red Fired Up
[8:00AM] THAT '70S SHOW-Cat Fight Club
[8:30AM] THAT '70S SHOW-Moon Over Point Place
[11:45AM] BATMAN RETURNS
[2:30PM] BATMAN FOREVER
[5:15PM] BATMAN & ROBIN
[8:00PM] BATMAN BEGINS
[11:00PM] THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL
[1:30AM] BATMAN BEGINS
[4:30AM] THAT '70S SHOW-Kelso's Serenade
[5:00AM] THAT '70S SHOW-Jackie Moves On
[5:30AM] THAT '70S SHOW-Holy Crap! (ALL TIMES EST)
[7:45AM] Young Frankenstein
[10:15AM] Spies Like Us
[3:30PM] Pale Rider
[6:00PM] Smokey and the Bandit
[8:15PM] Smokey and the Bandit II
[10:45PM] Smokey and the Bandit
[1:00AM] Smokey and the Bandit II
[3:30AM] Smokey and the Bandit Part 3
[5:30AM] The Approval Matrix0Who Died and Made You Cool? (ALL TIMES EST)
SyFy has the movie 'Hellboy', followed by the movie 'The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones'.
Arson is suspected in a fire that broke out at former US president Bill Clinton's birthplace early Friday morning, damaging the historical site, police said.
The blaze ran up an exterior back wall of the white frame house where Clinton spent the first few years of his life, but the damage was minor, Wilson said.
A motorist reported the blaze in the early hours of Friday, which is Christmas Day, and police and fire crews arrived within minutes.
Once there, they detected a smell of an accelerant near where authorities believe the fire began.
Built in 1917, the house belonged to Clinton's grandparents and it was in its yard that the future 42nd US president played in a sandbox and on a swing set, according to the Clinton Birthplace Foundation.
Men wearing Ded Moroz (Grandfather Frost) costumes and women wearing Snegurochka (Snow Maiden) costumes, the traditional companion of Ded Moroz, wait to march in the central street in Minsk, Belarus, Friday, Dec. 25, 2015.
Photo by Sergei Grits
Daniel Stern, who played one-half of the Wet Bandits, reprised his Home Alone character, Marv Merchants, on Christmas Day - but there's nothing warm and fuzzy about it.
Stern released a dark video blog as his reply to the even darker NSFW parody video that Macauley Culkin dropped on Dec. 17. In Culkin's profanity-laced and violent spoof, the Home Alone star appears as an adult Kevin McCallister who is so traumatized from the events that occurred in the holiday classic ("I had to fend off my house from two psychopath home invaders," he says) that he ends up torturing a man who tries to carjack him.
Flashfoward to Dec. 25 - when the holiday classic reruns on TVs everywhere - and Marv has gotten adult Kevin's message.
"I saw it on the Internet, the kid is coming to get us!" says Marv, who speaks into the camera in an attempt to warn his partner-in-crime, Harry (played by Joe Pesci). "He's coming for all the home invaders and he's gonna come get us."
Another day, another study showing video streaming services are realigning the entire entertainment paradigm.
15 of every 100 American adults have cut the cord - cancelled their cable or satellite TV subscription - in recent years, according to Pew Research Center'sHome Broadband 2015 study . An additional 9 of every 100 Americans have never had a cable or satellite TV subscription. In all, nearly a quarter (24 percent) of Americans do not subscribe to pay TV, and the number keeps growing.
The availability of streamers like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Instant Video on mobile devices is a big incentive for those who've sworn off cable. The 24 percent of cord cutters "rely on a different mix of access tools for digital content, a mix that emphasizes smartphones over a home broadband subscription," according to the study. 64 percent of those without a cable or satellite TV sub site "alternative access to content" as a reason for being a cord-cutter.
The study backs up recent remarks from Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, who claims the key to the success of traditional media in the mobile age are so called "TV Everywhere" apps, which allow users to watch pay TV on the go. However, for a variety of reasons, Hastings also believes that traditional media companies don't have what it takes to make TV Everywhere work efficiently. For now, anyway.
The report also finds that young adults who largely grew up in the Internet age are least likely to have a cable or satellite subscription. Only 65 percent of young adults between 18 and 29 have a cable or satellite subscription, as compared to 73 percent of adults between 30 and 49, and a whopping 83 percent of adults over 50.
Members of the ice swimming club "Berliner Seehunde" (Berlin Seals) take a dip in the Orankesee lake as part of their traditional Christmas swimming session in Berlin, Germany, December 25, 2015.
Photo by Hannibal Hanschke
George Washington and his troops made their annual Christmas Day trip across the fog-covered Delaware River.
The re-enactors crossed the river between Pennsylvania and New Jersey on a 65-degree day Friday, considerably warmer than the actual crossing, which took place on an ice-choked river during a snowstorm.
The annual Christmas tradition drew families and fans of history to both sides of the Delaware River for the 63rd annual re-enactment of Washington's daring 1776 crossing of the river - the trek that turned the tide of the Revolutionary War - between Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania, and Titusville, New Jersey.
John Godzieba portrayed Washington, leading troops in replica Durham boats across the river, where they were met with cries of "Hoozah!" and a canon blast.
During the original crossing, boats ferried 2,400 soldiers, 200 horses and 18 cannons across the river. Washington's troops marched 8 miles downriver before battling Hessian mercenaries in the streets of Trenton.
Russia is warming more than twice as fast as the rest of the world, the environment ministry said Friday, sounding an alarm on the rise in floods and wildfires nationwide.
A government report on environmental protection said temperatures in Russia had warmed by 0.42 degrees Celsius per decade since 1976, or 2.5 times higher than the global warming trend of 0.17 degrees.
"Climate change leads to growth of dangerous meteorological phenomena," the ministry said in a comment to the report published Friday.
There have been 569 such phenomena in Russia in 2014, "the largest since monitoring began," the ministry said, including last year's ravaging floods and this year's "water deficit" east of Lake Baikal, which led to a "catastrophic rise in fires."
The report states that while Russia is warming on the whole, some areas in the Far East and southern Siberia are experiencing harsh winters.
In this Dec. 24, 2015 picture Bavarian highlanders in traditional dress fire volleys with their hand-held mortars at the village of Schoenau, southern Germany. The men follow an old tradition to salute the Christmas holidays.
Photo by Diether Endlicher
Rescuers were searching through mud and rubble on Saturday after a new landslide buried workers in a remote jade mining region in northern Myanmar Burma, the second such incident in just over a month.
The landslide took place on Friday afternoon in Hpakant, Kachin State, the war-torn area that is the epicentre of Myanmar Burma's secretive billion dollar jade industry.
Local media reported as many as 50 people might have been buried by the debris.
Those killed in landslides are mainly itinerant workers who scratch a living picking through the piles of waste left by large-scale industrial mining firms in the hope of stumbling across a previously missed hunk of jade that will deliver them from poverty.
Myanmar Burma is the source of virtually all of the world's finest jadeite, a near-translucent green stone that is enormously prized in neighbouring China, where it is known as the "stone of heaven".
The governor of Rio de Janeiro declared a state of emergency late on Wednesday as a budget shortfall caused chaos in the state's healthcare system only eight months before the city of Rio is due to host the 2016 Olympic Games.
The declaration comes as hospitals, emergency rooms and health clinics cut services or closed units throughout the state as money ran out for equipment, supplies and salaries.
Governor Luiz Fernando Pezão's decree immediately provides 45 million reais ($25.3 million) in federal aid and he hopes it will speed the release of more emergency funds for healthcare.
The declaration comes amid an outbreak of zika, a mosquito-borne virus that causes fever and was first detected in Africa in the 1940s but unknown in the Americas until last year.
Last week the Rio state health authority said the cases of pregnant women with zika virus symptoms had doubled from the previous week to 698 from 341, while microcephaly cases rose 45% to 66.
The full moon is pictured trough Christmas lights decoration in Skopje, Macedonia, December 25, 2015. The full moon is the last of the year, and is the first to occur on Christmas Day since 1977 - and there won't be another until 2034.
Photo by Ognen Teofilvovski
A luxury apartment in Hong Kong sold for a record HK$594.7 million ($76.7 million), days before Christmas, making it the most expensive flat in the city and possibly in Asia, reports said Friday.
An unidentified buyer paid more than HK$103,700 per-square-foot for the 5,732 square-foot (532 square-metre) unit at the luxury 39 Conduit Road apartment tower in the southern Chinese city's upmarket Mid-Levels residential area, The Apple Daily and The Standard reported.
The condominium, on the 46th floor with a view of the iconic Victoria Harbour and a 1,754 square-feet rooftop, had a list price of HK$646.48 million on developer Henderson Land Properties' website.
The price beats the previous record HK$470 million paid for a luxury unit which takes up the entire eighth floor of the Opus Hong Kong, a 12-storey residential building designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Frank Gehry, in 2012.
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