Francine Prose: Humanities teach students to think. Where would we be without them? (The Guardian)
Humanities departments in America are once again being axed. The reasons, one hears, are economic rather than ideological. It's not that schools don't care about the humanities - they just can't afford them. But if one looks at these institutions' priorities, one finds a hidden ideology at work.
Josh Marshall: The Trump Tax Return/Russia Letter Is Full of Holes (TPM)
Now here are some more major problems. 1: No one thinks Trump has big investments in Russia. The issue is big Russian investments in him or loans to him. On this it's exclusion #3 in the letter which is key. That states "any equity investments by Russian persons or entities in entities controlled by you or TTO [the Trump Organization] …" I've highlighted the word 'controlled' because that seems key. …
Marc Dion: Cacerolazo (Creators Syndicate)
Talk to us, because we make the country move, and we can stop it anytime we want. Let us know that, help us remember. Forget the bad hippie theater. Let every workingman and workingwoman in this country demand a union. Strike for higher pay and health care. Stop it all; bring it to a halt. No more motel maids, no more missiles, no more burger and fries at the drive-thru window. We gave peace a chance. Now, let's fight.
Clive James: 'Back in the 50s, I saw Abbott and Costello die a death. Two deaths' (The Guardian)
As the sketch dragged on, the silence of the audience escalated to the monumental.
Hadley Freeman: Women aren't meant to talk about miscarriage. But I've never been able to keep a secret (The Guardian)
Before I went under, a nurse asked me what I wanted "to be done with it". I didn't understand and said so. "Do you want us to dispose of it or do you want it to be cremated?" People are horrified when I tell them this detail, and they are even more horrified when they hear that, three weeks later, I had to go to a crematorium to pick up the ashes of the baby that never was.
What I'm Really Thinking: The Childless Friend (The Guardian)
Now when you come to visit, you see how relatively stress-free my life is, how I have surplus cash and time to spend on myself, and you moan about the pressures of motherhood.
Olivia Solon: 'Accidental hero' finds kill switch to stop spread of ransomware cyber-attack (The Guardian)
Spread of malware curtailed by expert who simply registered a domain name for a few dollars, giving many across world time to protect against attack.
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Michelle in AZ
We are all only temporarily able bodied.
Jeannie the Teed-Off Temp
from Marc Perkel
from that Mad Cat, JD
IS GOVERNMENT INTELLIGENCE AN OXYMORON?
THE ILLEGITIMATE PRESIDENT.
THE "JEFF" SESSIONS.
HAPPY MOTHERS DAY LADIES.
MAYBE THERE IS A FREE LUNCH.
THE BEST DEMOCRACY MONEY CAN'T BUY.
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In The Chaos Household
Sunny and seasonal, but a marine layer is forming.
Furious Letter About Universe
Stephen Hawking and dozens of other leading scientists in the field of cosmology - four of whom were recipients of the Nobel Prize in Physics - penned a heated joint letter in response to a paper calling into question the origins of the universe. The letter comes in response to a February joint article by three scientists titled "Pop Goes the Universe."
Earlier this year, Anna Ijjas, Paul J. Steinhardt and Abraham Loeb published an article in Scientific American that challenged the widely accepted theory that the universe is ever-expanding. They argued that the most recent measurements of the cosmic microwave background (CMB), light emitted after the Big Bang some 13.7 billion years ago, create concerns about "the inflationary theory of the cosmos-the idea that space expanded exponentially in the first moments of time."
"Inflation typically produces a different pattern of temperature variation in the CMB (although it can be made to predict almost any outcome). It would also generate primordial gravitational waves, which have not been found," they wrote. "The data suggest cosmologists should reassess this favored paradigm and consider new ideas about how the universe began."
The CMB data in question were mapped by a satellite called Planck and announced at a 2013 European Space Agency press conference. Planck had mapped the most detailed readings to date and seemed to confirm the inflationary theory about the universe - that the universe expanded extremely fast immediately following the Big Big before eventually slowing - which had been widely accepted by cosmologists for more than three decades.
Daily Dose In Old Age Keeps Dementia Away
We all forget things sometimes, whether it's our car keys or the words to a song. As we age, changes in memory are normal, but we also become more susceptible to memory loss linked to dementia. Now, researchers at the University of Bonn in Germany, suggest a daily dose of THC in marijuana can strengthen brain connections to reverse the effects of aging in the elderly.
In the study, published in Nature Medicine, German researchers found THC to have a "very robust and profound effect" in reversing brain aging and restoring learning and memory in mice in four weeks. The research team simulated the endocannabinoid system with THC - involved in balancing bodies' response to stress - in older mice as a potential way to improve brain function. THC affects us by imitating similar molecules in this system, which fulfill important functions in the brain.
"With increasing age, the quantity of the cannabinoids naturally formed in the brain reduces," said Professor Andreas Zimmer, from the Institute of Molecular Psychiatry at the University of Bonn and member of the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation, in a statement. "When the activity of the cannabinoid system declines, we find rapid ageing in the brain."
Zimmer and his colleagues are now planning human trials to see whether older people can benefit from low doses of THC, and if so, from what age can they see benefits. There is no formula that can equate mouse months into human years. The trial will use purified THC rather than weed so the dosage can be controlled, possibly cia mouth spray.
Not Picked Up By CBS
'2 Broke Girls'
According to Deadline, one of the main reasons the sitcom starring Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs was axed was because CBS had no ownership of the series. However, executive producer Michelle Nader previously told TV Line that there's hope for a Season 7 renewal. "This is not the end for these girls. We're not finished and we don't want to be finished and I don't think the audience is finished. Obviously there's no guarantee that we will be back, but we did not write the episode as a series finale," she said.
The final episode for "2 Broke Girls" Season 6, which aired last month, saw the release of Caroline's (Behrs) biopic. Max's (Dennings) ex-boyfriend, Randy (Ed Quinn), asked her to marry him.
After the episode aired, Nader told TV Line during a separate interview that it has always been her goal to eventually bring Randy and Max together even before "2 Broke Girls" landed in the bubble. "It represents growth for this character to be in a romantic relationship. She's learned so much in terms of trusting people, and we wanted there to be some kind of reward for her taking a chance on love," she said.
Unfortunately, fans will no longer see Randy and Max actually tie the knot. Nader said that on top of Max and Randy marrying each other, another huge storyline for Season 7 would've been Caroline's reaction to this new dynamic. Max and Caroline have been best friends for several years and have gone through a lot together. The two characters are also used to just being with each other, and Max marrying Randy could shake their bond. On top of this, Randy and Caroline's boyfriend, Bobby (Christopher Gorham), don't get along so Max and Caroline's time together could be lessened.
'2 Broke Girls'
Two Scoops Of Ice Cream
Donald Trump's (R-Buffoon) penchant for big macs and well-done steak slathered with ketchup might have been widely documented but his pudding preferences have always remained more of a mystery.
Until now that is, it has emerged that Trump has two scoops of ice cream with his chocolate cream pie while everyone else at the table has just one.
Time <> magazine has gained great insight into Trump's dining preferences after he invited three of their reporters for a tour of his home and office followed by a four-course dinner in the Blue Room - the oval-shaped parlour on the first floor of the White House.
They found that the waiters know President Trump's personal preferences well. The President is bestowed with a Diet Coke while other diners are stuck with water.
What's more, Mr Trump appears to be served "Thousand Island dressing" instead of the "creamy vinaigrette for his guests". The former reality TV star is also given an "extra dish of sauce" to accompany his chicken.
Raids GOP Fund-Raising Firm
The headquarters of Strategic Campaign Group Inc. (SCG), a Republican fundraising firm in Maryland, was raided Thursday by the FBI, following which reports surfaced linking its senior advisor Dennis Whitfield to Roger Stone and Paul Manafort.
Stone and Manafort, two of Donald Trump's (Crooked) former senior advisors who are now being investigated by the FBI for possible collusions with Russia during the 2016 presidential election campaign, are the co-founders of Black, Manafort, Stone and Kelly, the political consulting firm where Whitfield served as a the director in the later part of his career, a Newsweek report said.
However, It has not been confirmed if the FBI raid at the Annapolis, Maryland, office of SCG had anything to do with the ongoing probe into Russia's involvement in Trump's campaign or Whitfield's possible involvement. An FBI spokesperson told the Baltimore Sun that the agency carried out "law enforcement activity" in the Main Street in Annapolis.
Half a dozen plain-clothed FBI agents arrived at the SCG headquarters at 8:30 a.m., and left at around 4 p.m. Thursday with a few documents and computers in their possession.
SCG has been accused of various campaign frauds in the past, including raising funds for Trump's campaign without his knowledge or approval. The firm was later branded by the critics as "Scam PAC", which worked with the Conservative Strikeforce to raise $12 million over a span of seven years, the Hill reported. Out of the raised funds, only a small percentage was handed down to the respective GOP campaigns with SCG's total earnings reaching $579,000.
$100 Billion Arms Deal
The United States is close to completing a series of arms deals for Saudi Arabia totaling more than $100 billion, a senior White House official said on Friday, a week ahead of Donald Trump's (R-Corrupt) planned visit to Riyadh.
The official, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said the arms package could end up surpassing more than $300 billion over a decade to help Saudi Arabia boost its defensive capabilities while still maintaining U.S. ally Israel's qualitative military edge over its neighbors.
"We are in the final stages of a series of deals," the official said. The package is being developed to coincide with Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia. Trump leaves for the kingdom on May 19, the first stop on his maiden international trip.
Reuters reported last week that Washington was pushing through contracts for tens of billions of dollars in arms sales to Saudi Arabia, some new, others already in the pipeline, ahead of Trump's visit.
The United States has been the main supplier for most Saudi military needs, from F-15 fighter jets to command and control systems worth tens of billions of dollars in recent years. Trump has vowed to stimulate the U.S. economy by boosting manufacturing jobs.
Reward For Killer Of Rare Wolf
The reward for information leading to whoever shot a rare white wolf found inside Yellowstone National Park rose to $10,000 on Friday after a wolf advocacy group matched a $5,000 reward offered earlier by the park.
Yellowstone officials euthanized the severely injured wolf after hikers found the animal suffering in the northern edge of the park, near Gardiner, Montana, on April 11. The 12-year-old wolf that was killed was the alpha female of a group of wolves dubbed the Canyon Pack and a popular target of photographers.
The park offered a $5,000 reward Thursday for information leading to a conviction after announcing a preliminary necropsy finding that the wolf had been shot.
The Montana group Wolves of the Rockies followed up with its own $5,000 reward.
19th Century Crown Stolen
A 19th century crown, encrusted with almost 1,800 gem stones, has been stolen from a museum of religious art in central France, the museum authorities said Saturday.
The thieves broke in overnight Friday and managed to overcome the "sophisticated security system" at the Museum of Fourviere in the city of Lyon, the museum said in a statement.
They got away with the Crown of the Virgin, the centrepiece of the collection, which was created in 1899 with 1,791 precious stones and pearls gifted by well-to-do Lyonese families of the day.
The value of the piece was put at "a little over a million euros". Each gemstone was painstakingly logged last year by a team of researchers, the museum said, a fact that will help trace each part of it.
The robbers got away with two other pieces from the museum's permanent collection, a ring and a chalice.
Uncovers Chamber Of Mummies
Egypt has unearthed an ancient burial site replete with at least 17 mummies, most fully intact, the latest in a string of discoveries that the country's antiquities minister described as a helping hand from the crypt for its struggling tourism sector.
The funerary site, uncovered eight metres below ground in Minya, a province about 250 km (150 miles) south of Cairo, contained limestone and clay sarcophagi, animal coffins, and papyrus inscribed with Demotic script.
The burial chamber was first detected last year by a team of Cairo University students using radar.
The mummies have not yet been dated but are believed to date to Egypt's Greco-Roman period, a roughly 600-year span that followed the country's conquest by Alexander the Great in 332 BC, according to Mohamed Hamza, a Cairo University archaeology dean in charge of the excavations.
Egypt is hoping recent discoveries will brighten its image abroad and revive interest among travellers that once flocked to its iconic pharaonic temples and pyramids but which have shunned the country since its 2011 political uprising.