Marc Dion: White Empire (Creators Syndicate)
The Russians, and I don't mean the ones from the "stan" countries, are white.
Froma Harrop: Is 'Stranger Rape' More Troubling than 'Date Rape'? (Creators Syndicate)
A New York City police captain said he regards "true stranger rapes" as "more troubling" than rapes in which the victims knew their attacker. Outrage ensued. He quickly apologized, writing on Twitter, "My comments were not meant to minimize the seriousness of sexual assault."
Ted Rall: What Happens Now, aka Russia Hacking (Creators Syndicate)
Three scenarios show us what everyday life in Trumpian America will probably feel like: Third World dictatorships, prison and having an alcoholic parent.
What I'm really thinking: the professor's wife (The Guardian)
I want him to be respected for his achievements, just not at my expense.
Clive James: 'Carrie Fisher sharpened her comedy with tragedy' (The Guardian)
Debbie Reynolds was too sunny to add much darkness to her onscreen persona, but Carrie Fisher could give her inborn merriment a tragic aspect.
Oliver Burkeman: Moderates are the real tough guys (The Guardian)
It's a sign of weakness, not strength, to write off your opponents… stick to your beliefs but find room for others'.
Dr. Michael Gregor: How Do We Know that Cholesterol Causes Heart Disease? (NutritionFacts.org)
David Bruce's Amazon Author Page
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David Bruce has over 80 Kindle books on Amazon.com.
"Doug's Most Shared Facebook Post" Today
Michelle in AZ
Lumpy & the Networks
Janet found this link - an accordion is added as Lumpy speaks--almost wet myself laughing:
WATCH: Donald Trump playing an accordion
It IS the apocalypse! Switched off NBC news because of that damned countdown clock. ABC local station has one too! Ye gods! My only hope left is CBS local news--because we all know I'm not going to watch Faux news. CBS is still showing football at the moment.
WTF with TWO local stations running countdown clocks to the end of civilization?! I've never noticed them do anything like this for any other Inauguration. Have local network heads lost their minds?!
We are all only temporarily able bodied.
Thanks, Linda (& Janet)!
nbc is the network working the hardest to normalize the trump regime. From chuck todd, megyn kelly & greta van sustern as their talking head representatives to their ownership by comcast, it's all just one big happy corporate fluffing party.
abc is 2nd in the normalizing of the bread and circuses routine, but that's disney for you.
Won't be holding out much hope for cbs to do anything else but fall in line. As the old joke goes, "why? because you see-bs".
Damn liberal media.
Jeannie the Teed-Off Temp
from Marc Perkel
from that Mad Cat, JD
JD is still under the weather.
Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music
In The Chaos Household
Sunny and seasonal.
Oscar Frontrunners Join Forces
'I Will Survive'
At first they were afraid, they were petrified ... This year's Oscar frontrunners joined forces to sing a cover of "I Will Survive" ahead of President-elect Donald Trump's (R-Grifter) January 20 inauguration.
In a video released by Wmagazine, Emma Stone, Natalie Portman, Amy Adams, Matthew McConaughey and more movie stars perform Gloria Gaynor's 1979 disco classic in a variety of ways, from belting the tune to dramatically reading the no-nonsense lyrics. The publication called the mashup "the antidote for a still-grieving Hollywood, many members of which were outspoken Hillary Clinton supporters over the past year - and a few of whom have found themselves on the unfriendly end of Donald Trump's Twitter account."
At the beginning of the clip, Andrew Garfield jokes, "This is going to be interesting, guys. It may get too real." Joel Edgerton adds, "I'm not sure that I will survive, but that's what we're gonna do."
The video has already garnered more than 1.5 million views on YouTube, but it has also received some backlash. Several Trump supporters took to social media to share their thoughts about the "pathetic" montage.
'I Will Survive'
Lady Liberty will be depicted as a black women on a coin -- the first time in the nation's history Lady Liberty has not been a white woman -- the U.S. Treasury Department announced on Thursday.
The coin, worth about $100 face value, is part of a commemorative series to honor the 225th anniversary of the U.S. Mint.
"The 2017 American Liberty 225th Anniversary Gold Coin is the first in a series of 24-karat gold coins that will feature designs which depict an allegorical Liberty in a variety of contemporary forms-including designs representing Asian-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, and Indian-Americans among others-to reflect the cultural and ethnic diversity of the United States," the U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement.
The coin is part of a year-long celebration by the U.S. Treasury to celebrate the mint, and the theme will be "Remembering our Past, Embracing the Future."
Several women have been featured on U.S. coins in the past. Susan B. Anthony was featured on the U.S. silver dollar from 1976 until 1981, and Helen Keller is on the Alabama state quarter. Sacagawea is featured on the $1 gold coins.
Most Common Passwords
Every year, security experts and internet bloggers plead with the general public to use more secure passwords for their online accounts. Every year, the public fails to heed their advice, as this list of most common passwords of 2016 reveals. After examining over 10 million passwords that became public following security breaches throughout the year, the Keeper team discovered that an astounding 17% of internet users still use "123456" as a password. And believe it or not, that's only the beginning of the bad news.
The most-frequently used password list isn't changing from year to year.
Four of the top ten most popular passwords are six characters or less.
Email providers aren't doing enough to stop spammers from setting up dummy accounts.
As Keeper notes, some of the responsibility falls on the user. If you still don't know that "qwerty" and "password" are terrible passwords, you haven't been paying attention. On the other hand, if account providers made password complexity a requirement, it wouldn't be possible to use those passwords in the first place.
Scientists Sequenced Genome
The Coffea arabica plant provides nearly three quarters of all the coffee consumed worldwide, so scientists are pretty interested in the plant's genetic makeup. Today, researchers from UC Davis, funded by the international food company Suntory, announced that they had sequenced the genome of the plant and publicly released it for the first time ever.
The genome sequence has been added to the Phytozome.net genomics research portal, making it available to other scientists and researchers working with the C. arabica plant. "We hope that the C. arabica sequence will eventually benefit everyone involved with coffee - from coffee farmers, whose livelihoods are threatened by devastating diseases like coffee leaf rust, to coffee processors and consumers around the world," Juan Medrano, one of the UC Davis researchers, said in the university's press release.
The genome will also be presented on January 15th at the Animal Genome Conference, held in San Diego. Coffee is one of the many crops that may suffer greatly if global temperatures continue to rise. By releasing the genome sequence, the researchers hope that others working in the field will be able to develop new varieties of the plant that will be inherently disease resistant and produce greater yield even in the face of a changing climate.
This isn't the first type of coffee to be sequenced, however, and the Coffea canephora genome was already made public back in 2014. However, because C. arabica is cultivated and utilized in much greater quantities, the impact of the public release is much more significant.
The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will end "The Greatest Show on Earth" in May, following a 146-year run.
Kenneth Feld, the chairman and CEO of Feld Entertainment, which owns the circus, told The Associated Press declining attendance combined with high operating costs are among the reasons for closing.
Feld said when the company removed the elephants from the shows in May of 2016, ticket sales declined more dramatically than expected.
The company broke the news to circus employees Saturday night after shows in Orlando and Miami.
An event featuring conservative blogger and far-right speaker Milo Yiannopoulos and former pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli was canceled Friday night by the University of California, Davis, after protesters blocked access to the venue.
Campus police barricaded the doors to the event in a bid to control protesters, who demanded that the program be shut down. It was canceled half an hour prior to its scheduled start after the university authorities determined the event could not continue safely. Some protesters held placards that read: "Your facism [sic] is showing," "Deport the racists" and "Shut it down."
Yiannopoulos and Shkreli were to give a speech at the event arranged by the UC Davis College Republicans. The Breitbart columnist issued a statement on Facebook and said the program was canceled after "violence from left-wing" protesters.
"My event at UC Davis tonight has been cancelled after violence from left-wing protestors [sic]. There are reports of hammers, smashed windows and barricades being torn away. The campus police can't guarantee anyone's safety so I'm not being allowed anywhere near the building. Stay safe, everyone," Yiannopoulos said in the statement.
Canada's Oil Sands Must Be Phased Out
Canada must "phase out" Alberta's oil sands and end the country's dependence on hydrocarbons, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.
"We can't shut down the oil sands tomorrow. We need to phase them out," he said. "We need to manage the transition off our dependence on fossil fuels."
He was responding to a question at a town hall event about his decision in late November to authorize an increase in the capacity of two oil pipelines in the country's west.
Upgrading them will increase Canada's export capacity by nearly a million barrels a day.
"You can't make a choice between what's good for the environment and what's good for the economy," he said about reconciling the fight against climate change with economic growth.
Russians living in the northwestern city of Saint Petersburg have been protesting against city authorities' decision to hand control of the country's largest cathedral to the powerful Russian Orthodox Church.
Currently owned by the city, the imposing 19th-century St Isaac's Cathedral on the main street Nevsky Prospekt, is a popular tourist attraction, open as a museum, gallery and concert hall, and also used for religious services.
The dispute centres on a decision by the state to hand the cathedral's management over to the Russian Orthodox Church.
On Friday evening, some 600 residents gathered for a protest outside the Cathedral organised by opposition lawmakers, with slogans on placards including "Church - know your place".
The cathedral became a museum in the Soviet era after the Bolsheviks suppressed the Church and seized its valuable assets, turning them into factories, sports halls or offices. At one time, St Isaac's cathedral was even used as a museum of atheism.
Fourth Plinth Shortlist
Shortlisted proposals for Trafalgar's Square's upcoming Fourth Plinth art commissions are to be unveiled on January 19, when a free shortlist exhibition gets under way at the National Gallery in London.
Built in 1841, the Fourth Plinth hosts a series of commissioned artworks that have becomes perhaps the most talked-about contemporary art prize in the UK. This week, it was announced that the commission series served as the inspiration for the High Line Plinth, a similar public art commission launching in New York in 2018.
Currently sitting atop the Fourth Plinth is David Shrigley's "Really Good," a giant hand in a thumbs-up position featuring a disproportionately long thumb. Cast in bronze, the seven-meter-high work has been the subject of much debate since it went up in September; Shrigley himself has said he hopes the thumbs-up gesture will become a self-fulfilling prophecy, creating "a change of consensus toward positivity," according to the city of London.
The most recent works to have adorned the Fourth Plinth are Hans Haacke's "Gift Horse," a riderless horse in bronze that was installed in 2015, and Katharina's Fritsch's vivid blue cockerel sculpture titled "Hahn/Cock," which dates to 2013.
Other notable commissions have included "Nelson's Ship in a Bottle" a replica of HMS Victory in a bottle by Yinka Shonibare that dates to 2010, and Thomas Schütte's "Model for a Hotel," a scaled-up architectural model in red, yellow and blue Perspex that decorated the plinth in 2007.
Lord Snowdon, the society photographer and filmmaker who married Britain's Princess Margaret and continued to mix in royal circles even after their divorce, has died. He was 86.
One of the country's most famous photographers, Snowdon was one of the few top-echelon royals to hold down an outside job after he married the queen's sister in 1960, and his professional reputation grew steadily.
Born Antony Armstrong-Jones, he was a slightly bohemian member of London's smart set and an established society photographer when he and the queen's sister surprised the country with their engagement in February 1960.
Unconventional, artistic and not nearly as wealthy as Margaret's other suitors, Armstrong-Jones lived in a studio in west London and did his own cooking. He was certainly not seen by the public and press as a royal prospect.
The "Jones Boy" married the high-spirited Margaret at Westminster Abbey on May 6, 1960, in the first royal wedding to be televised. Whatever doubts the country might have had about his suitability were swept aside by general relief that Margaret had, at last, found love. It had been five years since her widely publicized decision to end her romance with divorced war hero Peter Townsend after pressure from church leaders, political figures and her own family.
Armstrong-Jones was named the Earl of Snowdon in October 1961, in time to give a title to their first child, David, Viscount Linley, born the following month. Linley became a successful furniture designer. His sister, Lady Sarah, born in May 1964, became a painter.
Margaret, unlike most of the royal family, shared her husband's interest in the arts, and the two moved in a circle of creative people at a time when "swinging London" gained a worldwide reputation for music, clothes, films and clubs.
Snowdon was born March 7, 1930, the son of lawyer Ronald Armstrong-Jones and Anne Messel, sister of celebrated stage designer Oliver Messel.
Snowdon's first exposure to the world of celebrity came as a teenager when his uncle Oliver Messel brought Noel Coward and Marlene Dietrich to the hospital to sing to him after he was stricken with polio.
In later years, Snowdon was troubled by the effects of polio, which left him with a slight limp, and he had difficulty standing for any length of time. He endowed a fund that provides scholarships for disabled students.
Snowdon remained a favorite photographer of the queen long after his marriage to her sister ended in rancor, and he took many portraits of her. Diana, Princess of Wales, was another frequent subject.