Marc Dion: America Isn't Great (Creators Syndicate)
Donald Trump's recent slipping in the polls is good news because it means there are fewer white trash people in the country than we thought. A lot of people still care about the Kardashians, though, so there's hope for Trump.
Lenore Skenazy: Feeling Unsafe at Yale (Creators Syndicate)
A Halloween message signed by 13 college administrators asked Yale University students to be sensitive about the costumes they chose so as not to demean, alienate or "impact" any groups or individuals.
Lenore Skenazy: Up With Germs! (Creators Syndicate)
It's time for a microbes' rights movement. Too long have we reviled the misunderstood microbe as an evil to be sprayed, slathered or scrubbed away. It is time to say, "Germs, we're sorry."
Becky Gardiner: "The kindness of strangers: should surrogates get paid?" (The Guardian)
Jenny, 28, has had six babies - two of them for Natalie. She doesn't get paid, because commercial surrogacy is illegal in the UK. So what motivates British surrogates - and what happens when an agreement goes wrong?
Paula Cocozza: "Diana Athill: 'I expected to be shattered at the loss of my baby, and I wasn't'" (The Guardian)
At nearly 98, the literary editor and novelist has written a final memoir. She talks about miscarrying in her 40s, her great loves - and life as a constant observer.
Snooping in a dead man's house: my uneasy inheritance (The Guardian)
Erica Buist was close to her boyfriend's father: they shared a house, holidays, a love of wine. But when he died suddenly, her life changed in unexpected ways.
Oliver Burkeman: Why you only need five things on your to-do list (The Guardian)
'Any system that lets you wallow in the fantasy that one day you'll get everything done isn't just useless but dangerous.'
Clive James: 'Poets in the free countries don't get famous' (The Guardian)
All real poets start off by being fascinated by the sound of words. Do they all write something but mean something else?
David Bruce's Amazon Author Page
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David Bruce has over 80 Kindle books on Amazon.com.
Michelle in AZ
The Flooded Apartment
We are still homeless in the motel.
No sign of any progress with the apt complex, so we are pursuing legal paths.
We don't have many options, so we've created a gofundme account.
Would you post the link on your page?
All to happy to post your gofundme request.
Hope some good things come your way!
Please keep us updated.
When a refugee is not a 'real' refugee... and how that decision is made...
Chaos on Greek islands as refugee registration system favours Syrians | World news | The Guardian
"The EU's refugee registration system on the Greek islands has created a three tier structure that favours certain nationalities over others, encourages some ethnic groups to lie about their backgrounds to secure preferential treatment, and has led to a situation Human Rights Watch calls absolute chaos..."
What madness and absolute sadness to see people suffer as they are on these Greek islands as they desperately seek safety and normality, somewhere - anywhere in Europe, or perhaps beyond... I think back when I became a single parent of two little girls, 5 and 6, and wonder how I would have reacted if we were suddenly thrust into a similar situation because of the chaos that surrounded us...
This is how it is for them - mental anguish at not knowing what fate is to befall them. Sometimes not having any shelter and, perhaps, only one meal a day. A life without any control over one's situation - totally at the whim of the decisions of unknown people. Perhaps being told that your status isn't as bad as others, though you know damn well that it is. The constant dread being sent back...
I do not know all the answers as to how this humanitarian tragedy can be adequately handled, but I do know that I often think of all the families, particularly the children, and it saddens me immensely... as it does knowing that the world, i.e. the concept of the UN, can't come together enough to help these people and others, too, in different areas of the world but existing under similar situations.
I despair for us all...
An Astro Thanksgiving Guide
from Marc Perkel
from that Mad Cat, JD
FEEL THE BERN!
ASSHOLES UNLEASHED! PART TWO.
READING STUPIDS MIND!
"FROM POL POT TO ISIS"
THE LIFE STYLE OF A JERK.
"OUR GREAT DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST PRESIDENTS"
DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN.
THE REPUBLICAN SCUMBAG IS GOING DOWN!
Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music
In The Chaos Household
Hot - over 90° and dry.
Has A Message
George RR Martin
Governors don't want the Syrian refugees. The House of Representatives has voted against welcoming the refugees through U.S. borders. But alongside the 18 U.S. mayors who have committed to keeping their cities open to those in need, the Syrian refugees just scored a big endorsement: Game of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin.
On Friday, Martin posted a defense of Syrian refugees to his LiveJournal. He opened the post with Emma Lazarus' poem "The New Colossus," which appears underneath the Statue of Liberty.
Martin pointed out the irony that the Statue of Liberty was a gift from France, one of our longest and dearest allies.
"One has to wonder if all the governors (including our own governor here in New Mexico, I am ashamed to say) and congressmen voting to keep out the Syrian refugees have ever visited the Statue, or read the words on her base," Martin wrote. "If so, they surely failed to understand them."
George RR Martin
'Dorothy' Dress To Auction
"The Wizard of Oz"
A screen-worn "Dorothy" dress from "The Wizard of Oz" film is up for grabs at an upcoming movie memorabilia auction, and is expected to sell for between $800,000 and $1.2 million.
Bonhams auction house and Turner Classic Movies (TCM) have assembled 400 lots for an annual sale that includes costumes, scripts, awards, movie posters and props.
Also on offer are costumes worn by Marilyn Monroe and Steve McQueen's racing suit at the Nov. 23 auction.
"The Wizard of Oz"
World's Second-Largest Unearthed
A mining company operating in Botswana recently announced that it has "recovered" the second-largest diamond in the world. And, no, you wouldn't want to wear it on your ring finger.
At 1,111 carats, the rock weighs nearly half a pound (227 grams) and measures 2.6 by 2.2 by 1.6 inches (65 by 56 by 40 millimeters). The high-quality gemstone is a Type IIa diamond, which means that it contains no measurable nitrogen impurities, rendering it almost completely transparent. (Mineral impurities and structural defects are what give certain diamonds their distinct colors.)
The gem is the largest of its kind to ever be found in Botswana and the largest diamond to be discovered anywhere in the world in more than 100 years, according to officials from the Lucara Diamond Corp., which discovered the massive gemstone. But, it's not the biggest diamond of them all.
That title goes to the gigantic "Cullinan" diamond, a 3,106-carat shiny rock discovered in Pretoria, South Africa, in 1905. The 1.33-lb. (603 g) gem was cut into about 100 pieces in 1908, and the largest of these is about 530 carats (about half the size of the newly unearthed Botswana diamond). That stone is mounted in the British Sovereign's Royal Scepter, which is on display at the Tower of London.
Fossilized Tropical Forest Found
A tropical forest densely packed with 12-foot-tall trees with flared trunks and curved branches of needle leaves - Dr. Seuss would have felt right at home - covered an area near the equator some 380 million years ago. Scientists spotted the fossilized stumps a long way from this location - in Arctic Norway.
Not only did the researchers date the forest as one of Earth's oldest, but they also suggest it may have contributed to a dramatic drop in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels traced to that time in our planet's distant past.
The recent discovery of an ancient forest in Svalbard, a cluster of Norwegian islands in the Arctic Ocean, caught the attention of Chris Berry of Cardiff University, co-author of the study. When Berry heard about the forest from a German colleague who had worked there, he told Live Science in an email, he was eager to investigate the site, where many of the forest's tree stumps are still evident.
Berry's colleague, John Marshall of Southampton University, calculated the forest's age by extracting spores from rocks, and comparing them with other spores from similar sites. They found that the fossil forest was actually 20 million years older than previously estimated. Marshall and Berry realized that they were dealing with something "right from the beginnings of forest ecosystems," Berry said.
They suspected that the trees originally grew in a basin, covering an area about 0.6 miles (1 kilometer) in width and 3.1 miles (5 kilometers) in length, though only a few square meters of fossil remains are currently visible at the surface. The scientists investigated three small areas in Svalbard where fossil material was visible on the ground. And there was even more to be seen in cliffs found nearby. "In the cliffs there are many layers of fossil trees, one on top of the other. You just can't get a view from on top to map them out," Berry told Live Science.
Kids' Lawsuit Over Climate Change
Our Children's Trust
A lawsuit over climate change filed by 21 young Americans has gained the attention of the fossil fuel industry, which is joining the US government to oppose the kids' demands for sharper pollution cuts.
The plaintiffs, aged eight to 19, include the granddaughter of renowned climate scientist James Hansen, formerly of NASA and a well-known advocate of reducing the greenhouse gases that are causing the planet to heat up.
The plaintiffs want the government to commit to significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions and implement "a science-based climate recovery plan" that protects the Earth for future generations, according to the Oregon-based group, Our Children's Trust.
They are calling on the US District Court of Oregon -- the state where most of the plaintiffs live -- to order the government to "swiftly phase down carbon dioxide emissions" so that atmospheric CO2 concentrations "are no more than 350 parts per million by 2100."
Atmospheric CO2 concentration is currently around 400 ppm, a level unprecedented in modern history and one that has raised alarm among many climate scientists.
Our Children's Trust
'Brotherhood of Crime'
The Vatican said Saturday it has charged five people over a leaks scandal at the heart of the Catholic Church, accusing the alleged ringleaders of forming a "brotherhood of crime".
Magistrates on Friday "notified the accused and their lawyers of the charges filed... for the unlawful disclosure of information and confidential documents," it said in a statement, adding that the trial will begin on Tuesday.
Spanish priest Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda and Italian PR expert Francesca Chaouqui were arrested early this month on suspicion of stealing and leaking classified papers to the media.
Journalists Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi were questioned following the publication of books containing leaked information which depicted corruption, theft and uncontrolled spending in the Holy See.
All five risk up to eight years behind bars in the case stemming from the scandal, which lifted the lid on allegations that charity money was spent on refurbishing the houses of powerful cardinals and that the Vatican bank continues to shelter suspected criminals.
Holocaust Documents Trove Unearthed
A vast and historically valuable trove of Holocaust-era documents, long thought destroyed during World War II, has been found hidden in a wall cavity by a couple renovating their Budapest apartment.
The haul of 6,300 documents are from a 1944 census that was a precursor to the intended liquidation of the Hungarian capital's 200,000 Jews in Nazi death camps.
Brigitte Berdefy, co-owner of the apartment overlooking Hungary's parliament, said that in August a worker detected paper after jamming a screwdriver through a crack in the wall.
Carefully removing each brick, the couple eased out some 61 kilogrammes (135 pounds) of dusty papers, many with bits of plaster caked on, but all more or less intact.
With the ink still readable -- thanks to a lack of air in the cavity and nicotine from the heavy-smoking former owner -- the yellowed papers were given to the Budapest City Archives.
Oregon and Washington Delay
Oregon and Washington have joined California in delaying the start of their commercial crab seasons after dangerous toxin levels were found in the crabs.
Officials say elevated levels of domoic acid were found in crabs in all three states. The toxin is naturally produced by microscopic algae in the Pacific Ocean, but the massive bloom of algae caused by warming ocean conditions this year has led to more toxins produced and consumed by shellfish.
California had already delayed the Nov. 15 start of its season after finding dangerous levels of the toxin.
Oregon on Friday delayed the Dec. 1 start along its entire coast, after testing in recent weeks showed higher toxin levels in the southern half of the state. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife officials said delay of the season will allow completion of additional testing to make sure toxin levels are safe.
And in Washington, officials on Friday also said they're delaying the season along parts of the coast where it starts on Dec. 1.
Water Agency's Land Purchase
The nation's largest distributor of treated drinking water became the largest landowner in a remote California farming region for good reason: The alfalfa-growing area is first in line to get Colorado River water.
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California's play in Palo Verde Valley, along the Arizona line, tapped a deep distrust between farm and city that pervades the West over a river that's a lifeline for seven states and northern Mexico.
Farmers recall how Los Angeles' modern founders built an aqueduct a century ago to bring water hundreds of miles from rural Owens Valley, a story that was fictionally portrayed in Roman Polanski's 1974 film, "Chinatown."
Metropolitan tried to calm nerves by sending its chairman in September to a public forum in Blythe, 225 miles east of its Los Angeles headquarters. It pledged to honor a 2004 agreement that caps the amount of land it pays farmers to idle at 28 percent of the valley.
That agreement, which expires in 2040, is hailed as a model for farms and cities to cooperate. Metropolitan pays farmers about as much as they would profit to harvest - $771 an acre this year - to bring foregone Colorado River water on its 242-mile aqueduct to 19 million people in the coastal megalopolis it serves.
Former entertainer and game show host Jim Perry has died, he was 82.
Perry worked on both sides of the border, becoming a game show host in Canada in the early 1970s appearing on a number of shows, perhaps the best known of which was "Definition."
He hosted the show from 1973 until 1990.
Perry was also the long running emcee of the Miss Canada pageant, something he did from 1967 until 1990.
And he hosted a number of game shows on American television including "Card Sharks," commuting across the border to juggle his gigs in both countries.