Paul Krugman: Feel the Math (NY Times Blog)
The Sanders campaign has come much further than almost anyone expected, to the point where Sanders can have a lot of influence on the shape of the race. But with influence comes responsibility, and it's time to lay out some guidelines for good and bad behavior.
Joseph Epstein: Jews on the Loose (Jewish Review of Books)
A Gallup Poll taken in 1941 asking people to name their 15 favorite comedians found the Marx Brothers finishing 13th, behind Red Skelton, Danny Kaye, Jimmy Durante, Arthur Godfrey, and others. While these comedians have now fallen from public interest, the Marx Brothers have held on. If anything, they have stepped higher up the slippery ladder of renown, and are today firmly embedded in that charmed circle of movie comics granted immortality that includes Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, W. C. Fields, and Laurel & Hardy.
Marc Dion: Sticking Your Finger in the Boss' Eye (Creators Syndicate)
I knew a guy once, a part-time politician, who held a series of elected offices on the city level. When he wasn't steering a very small ship of state, he worked at the county jail. He was the property room guy, in charge of cataloguing the belongings of arriving inmates, and returning them when time was served. It was an easy job, and he did it for a number of decades. He was a pudgy, gray-haired man with a chin shaped like the narrow end of an Anjou pear.
Lucy Mangan: Billy Connolly's Tracks Across America review - take big bites and die happy (The Guardian)
The Glaswegian comic is a happy Bill Bryson as he rides from Chicago to Seattle. But he could be more rigorous and less romantic.
Oliver Burkeman: Do you need to be troubled to be a genius? (The Guardian)
What can we learn from the Warhols, Gershwins and Lincolns?
Children form human arrow to help police find burglary suspects (The Guardian)
Group of children taking part in Easter egg hunt forms arrow on ground to send signal to Surrey police helicopter flying overhead.
Tim Walker: "'Dump Trump': Artist Hanksy on the 'grassroots (bowel) movement' that is defining the 2016 US presidential race" (Independent)
Long before it was an anti-Trump avatar, the poop emoji was a soft toy and a Halloween costume. This week, a recipe for poop emoji-shaped marshmallow treats became a viral hit.
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
from Marc Perkel
from that Mad Cat, JD
REPUBLICANS ARE CHICKENSHITS!
GEEZ DE NIRO, GET OFF YOUR HIGH HORSE!
FEEL THE BERN!
"UNDER THE LIME TREES"
THE TWO FACED TANGO!
WHO'S KILLING THESE BABIES?
LET THE REPUBLICANS CARRY GUNS AT THEIR CONVENTION!
"OH HAPPY DAY"
"THE COWARDS' WARS".
"CHRIST ON A CRUTCH!"
Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music
In The Chaos Household
Sunny and warmer.
Fetal Assault Law Backfired
Brittany Hudson was pregnant, addicted to painkillers and afraid of a Tennessee law that calls for the arrest of mothers of drug-dependent babies. She eventually gave birth without medical help, on the side of a road in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains.
Hudson's dilemma, doctors say, was one of many unintended consequences of the Tennessee Legislature's decision in 2014 to become the first and only state with an explicit criminal offense for these addicted mothers.
The law was meant to deter drug abuse by threatening mothers with up to a year behind bars, while allowing them to avoid jail and have their assault convictions removed if they got drug treatment. It was also an experiment with a "sunset" clause, meaning it will expire this July because the law's supporters lacked the votes to extend it.
The problem of drug use and pregnancy is worsening nationwide, with a drug-dependent baby born every 25 minutes in the U.S. at a cost of $1.5 billion in additional health care, according to a Vanderbilt study. And states can't just arrest their way out of it, said Dr. Stephen Patrick, a neonatologist who co-authored the study.
But doctors who treat addicts say Tennessee's experiment backfired, encouraging women to avoid prenatal care and exposing their babies to more risks while failing to reduce the astronomical costs of treating newborns who suffer from drug withdrawal - what doctors call neonatal abstinence syndrome, or NAS.
Beheaded Medieval Swedish King
To open a medieval reliquary containing a saint's bones, you have to have a good reason, said Sabine Sten.
Sten is an osteoarchaeologist (a type of scientist who studiesskeletal remains from archaeological sites) at Uppsala University in Sweden. Two years ago, she got permission to open a reliquary (a container used to hold objects deemed holy) at the Uppsala Cathedral, to study the bones of Erik Jedvardsson, a medieval Swedish king turned saint.
"We have analyzed thousands of individuals from the medieval period in Sweden, but the people we lack resources from [are] the people like Erik, who have high status," Sten told Live Science. The bones hadn't been examined since 1946-before the rise of radiocarbon dating and DNA tests. After a new analysis, Sten and her team announced that Erik's remains may be authentic, and could reveal more information about his healthy life and gruesome death.
For almost as long as Christianity has been around, Christian relics have been objects of worship, but they became increasingly popular in Europe in the Middle Ages. Churches across the continent claimed to have venerable artifacts like the foreskin of Jesus, as well as the nails and cross used in his crucifixion, and the tooth of Mary Magdalene.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, not all holy relics hold up to scientific scrutiny. For instance, a 2010 study in the journal Forensic Science International concluded that the charred relics of Joan of Arc kept in a glass bottle in France were fake (and even included some cat bone fragments). And radiocarbon dating tests showed that the two skulls in a relic shrine in Sweden thought to belong to the 14th century St. Birgitta and her daughter, Katarina, were actually separated by about 200 years -one was much older, and the other much younger, than they should have been.
New Dress Code For Cabin Crew
A number of female Air France cabin crew are resisting an airline ruling that they should wear a headscarf while in Tehran, when flights to the Iranian capital resume on April 17, a union representative told AFP on Saturday.
"Every day we have calls from worried female cabin crew who tell us that they do not want to wear the headscarf," said Christophe Pillet of the SNPNC union, which is asking Air France management to make it a voluntary measure.
Company chiefs had sent staff a memo informing that female staff would be required "to wear trousers during the flight with a loose fitting jacket and a scarf covering their hair on leaving he plane", Pillet said.
According to Pillet, management has raised the possibility of "penalties" against anyone not observing the dress code.
Air France added that the headscarf rule when flying to certain destinations was "not new" since it had applied before flights to Tehran were stopped and also to crew flying to Saudi Arabia.
Used Car Fetches $300,000
A four-door hatchback Pope Francis used while visiting New York in September has fetched $300,000 at auction, said the website that held the sale.
The black Fiat 500 Lounge was one of two such mini Popemobiles that ferried the pontiff around the Big Apple.
At more than 12 times its base price, it was snapped up by millionaire businessman Miles Nadal, who already owns more than 130 cars and motorbikes, according to the Charitybuzz auction website.
Proceeds will go to Catholic schools and charities in the New York diocese, as well as two international agencies: Catholic Relief Services and the Catholic Near East Welfare Association.
Will Help Authorities Unlock Devices
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has assured law enforcement across the United States that it will help unlock mobile devices such as iPhones involved in investigations when it is allowed by law and policy.
The FBI said in a letter to local authorities that it understands the challenges they face and that they lack necessary tools to monitor and investigate the communications of suspects who use encrypted mobile devices, according to the correspondence obtained by Reuters on Friday.
"As has been our longstanding policy, the FBI will of course consider any tool that might be helpful to our partners," the FBI said. "Please know that we will continue to do everything we can to help you consistent with our legal and policy constraints."
The FBI said in the letter that it was aware of the "worldwide publicity and attention" that was generated by the Apple litigation and that it was committed to maintaining "an open dialogue" with local law enforcement.
"We are in this together," the FBI said.
Lawmaker Coordinated With Dark-Money Groups
A jury found Friday that a Montana lawmaker coordinated with and received services from conservative corporate groups in violation of state campaign laws, a ruling that could lead to his removal from office and bolster the state's defense of its low campaign contribution limits.
Rep. Art Wittich, R-Bozeman, took $19,599 worth of in-kind contributions that he didn't disclose from organizations affiliated with the National Right to Work Committee during his 2010 primary election campaign, the jury found. The contributions included campaign consulting, direct mail, voter data, opposition research and website design.
Plus, Right to Work-affiliated gun-rights, anti-abortion, anti-tax, resource development and anti-union groups blanketed voters in Wittich's district with letters supporting him and attacking his primary election opponent, attorneys for the state said.
Candidates cannot receive contributions from corporations and must fully report donations and spending under Montana law. The jury's decision was 10-2. Eight votes were needed for a verdict.
Wittich's case is the first in the Right to Work investigation to go to trial, and it will likely set a precedent for other open cases against candidates and the nonprofit corporations, which are registered as social welfare organizations.
Challenge To Police Dog Policy
A woman who was sleeping off a night of drinking on her office couch when attacked by a police dog has won reinstatement of her lawsuit challenging the San Diego police department's policy of unleashing its canines to "bite and hold" suspects during a search.
A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday reversed a lower court's dismissal of the lawsuit, which claims bite-and-hold tactics employed by police violated her constitutional protection against unreasonable search and seizures.
In a 2-1 decision, the appeals panel ruled that a reasonable jury could find that policemen called to investigate a burglar alarm the woman had set off used excessive force when they "unleashed a police dog that the officers believed was likely to rip a person's face off."
The ruling, which has implications for law enforcement across the U.S. West, allows the complaint brought by Sara Lowry to proceed to trial.
The handler, Sergeant Bill Nulton, later told Lowry she was "very lucky" because his dog "could have ripped your face off," according to the account.
Extreme Poverty Fueling Extinction Crisis
Once, in Madagascar, I ordered lunch at an outdoor restaurant. A cluster of street kids gathered on the other side of the railing, plainly famished, to watch me eat. Some beany dish, if I recall correctly, with bits of chicken in it. It might even have tasted good under other circumstances.
In any case, I ate. It's too easy to get overwhelmed by beggars in places like that, and maybe I thought it would be rude to the restaurant owner to indulge them. Maybe I was also hungry, or at least hungry by American standards, after two weeks in the bush eating a lot of rice. Or maybe I was just callous. In any case, what happened next stunned me: I got up to leave, and the kids instantly reached over the rail to grab my plate and lick it clean.
Madagascar is one of the poorest countries on Earth and always seemingly getting poorer. But like most visitors, I was there to look at lemurs and other wildlife, not poverty. In particular, I saw sifaka lemurs, with their stark, staring, reddish-brown eyes, and their artful way of leaping from branch to branch like ballet dancers in perfect partnership with the trees. They were gorgeous. The idea of killing and eating them seemed like an abomination, especially since lemurs occur nowhere else in the world, and 94 percent of the 110 or so lemur species are now threatened with extinction.
But a new study in the journal Biological Conservation makes clear that understanding and addressing the poverty is the critical point if you want to have any chance of saving Madagascar's lemurs from extinction. Roughly 70 percent of the 20 million Malagasy get by on less than $1 a day. Malnutrition afflicts more than a third of the population, and it is especially destructive for children. In these circumstances, you and I might just hunt lemurs too. And all the solutions typically pursued by conservationists-educating people about extinction, introducing the economic benefits of ecotourism, and providing access to some alternative animal food-don't work.
Global Concert Tours
The Top 20 Global Concert Tours ranks artists by average box office gross per city and includes the average ticket price for shows Worldwide. The list is based on data provided to the trade publication Pollstar by concert promoters and venue managers.
1. Madonna; $3,660,626; $187.53.
2. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band; $2,325,826; $129.19.
3. Muse; $1,012,166; $59.53.
4. Kevin Hart; $947,072; $73.37.
5. "The Illusionists"; $837,128; $91.50.
6. Andre Rieu; $806,673; $102.51.
7. Carrie Underwood; $798,118; $66.48.
8. Trans-Siberian Orchestra; $755,931; $55.94.
9. Simply Red; $656,746; $72.32.
10. Jason Aldean; $510,937; $54.80.
11. Jerry Seinfeld; $489,356; $99.26.
12. Brad Paisley; $392,777; $50.17.
13. Bryan Adams; $387,849; $57.86.
14. Jeff Dunham; $365,343; $48.36.
15. Hillsong United; $257,038; $33.28.
16. Widespread Panic; $246,237; $56.00.
17. Nightwish; $215,314; $45.59.
18. Brantley Gilbert; $199,767; $36.73.
19. "Dancing With The Stars"; $189,038; $57.51.
20. G-Eazy; $185,028; $35.58.
Global Concert Tours