Mark Morford: UberPuppy is exactly why cab companies are getting crushed (SF Gate)
… when you really get down to it, it's all about UberPuppy. Which is to say, of all the reasons Uber continues to destroy/has already destroyed all archaic cab services worldwide, it's the fact that they continue to innovate, reinvent and wildly clever-ize the living hell out of their category, fearlessly and kind of shamelessly, that makes them so maddeningly incomparable.
Andrew Tobias: Islamicide
Any religion taken to extremes becomes a scourge. My ideal world would stand on two legs: logic and the Golden Rule. Logic includes science. The Golden Rule includes everything from the Sermon on the Mount to the philosophy of John Rawls.
Paul Lester: "Woody Guthrie: fighting Donald Trump from beyond the grave" (The Guardian)
Billy Bragg, who has performed Guthrie's songs with Wilco, says the legendary singer's anger at his landlord, Trump's father, shows his radical spirit still inspires.
Woody Guthrie~ All You Fascists Bound To Lose - YouTube
Billy Bragg & Wilco - All You Fascists - YouTube
Kate Mossman: "Sia: 'Everyone in entertainment is insecure. We've been dancing our entire lives for your approval'" (The Guardian)
She's the go-to songwriter for pop megastars, a chart-topping solo artist who loathes fame - and can knock out a song in 14 minutes. In a rare interview, Sia Furler talks fame, creativity, and playing 'would you rather' with Beyoncé.
Interview by Alex Clark: "Claire Vaye Watkins: 'How come nobody's ever having sex in the apocalypse?'" (The Guardian)
The author discusses how growing up in the Mojave Desert informed her debut novel's vision of an arid world - and why she hates dystopian fiction.
Katy Waldman: The Curious Case of the Self-Loathing Lit-Fic Book Trailer (Slate)
The art of self-deprecation meets the business of publishing.
David Bruce's Amazon Author Page
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David Bruce has over 80 Kindle books on Amazon.com.
Michelle in AZ
Gary in PA
from Marc Perkel
from that Mad Cat, JD
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A MAN AND HIS DOG VS. THE IDIOTS!
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GROW YOUR OWN!
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Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music
In The Chaos Household
The winds blew over a lot of plants - been trying to root some of the pieces that were broken off.
Resigns From CBS
Sumner Redstone, the ailing 92-year-old media mogul who controls media giants CBS and Viacom, has stepped down as executive chairman of CBS amid a courtroom battle over his health and mental capacity. CBS Chief Executive Leslie Moonves will replace him as chairman.
Redstone's resignation took effect Tuesday, leaving him chairman emeritus of CBS, the company said. It did not give an update on his health. Redstone remains executive chairman of Viacom. He effectively controls both companies through a trust.
Redstone has been at the center of a months-long court fight. His ex-girlfriend and longtime companion Manuela Herzer, who had been in control of Redstone's care, issued a court challenge over his decision-making capacity after she was expelled from his house in October. His longtime attorney Philippe Dauman, now Viacom's CEO, has authority to make medical decisions if Redstone is deemed incapacitated by his physician, but that has not yet happened.
Herzer contends that Redstone is unable to speak and cannot meaningfully engage in decision-making about his medical care or other subjects.
Korean Woman Hero
Jung Myoung Sook
Puppies bark and wag their tails as they follow a gray-haired woman through a hillside compound that shelters more than 200 dogs.
"Hey, my babies. Give your mom a kiss," says Jung Myoung Sook, 61. She lowers her face and one puppy near a snow-covered kennel licks her lips; another gently paws her cheek.
In South Korea, where dogs are considered a traditional delicacy and have only recently become popular as pets, Jung's love for her canine friends is viewed by some as odd. But others see her as a champion of animal rights.
Rescuing and caring for dogs for 26 years, Jung has moved seven times because of neighbors' complaints about noise. She often stops to pick up dogs roaming the streets, and has bought others in danger of being sold to dog meat farms or restaurants.
Most of the dogs live with her for good. She said she spends about $1,600 a month on food and medicine, and otherwise relies on donations of soybean milk, pork, dog food and canned meat. Family, friends and sometimes strangers send her money.
Jung Myoung Sook
Body In Crystal Coffin Goes On The Road
The body of one of the most popular Roman Catholic saints, the mystic monk Padre Pio, began an overland journey in a crystal coffin on Wednesday to go on display at the Vatican.
The Capuchin monk who died in 1968 and is said by the Catholic Church to have had the "stigmata" - the bleeding wounds of Jesus on his hands and feet - was exhumed in 2008 in San Giovanni Rotondo, the small, southeastern Italian town where he spent most of his life.
His body was partially reconstructed with a life-like silicone mask and preserved in a large, temperature-controlled glass reliquary so the faithful could view it.
Pope Francis wanted the body of man who spent most of his life hearing confessions and who was declared a saint in 2002, to be displayed in St. Peter's Basilica during the Catholic Church's current Holy Year on the theme of mercy.
Padre Pio was dogged during his life and even after his death by allegations that he was a fake but Church investigators cleared him each time.
Can Imagine Being Watched
Ravens can imagine being spied upon by a hidden competitor, showing a capacity for abstraction once thought to be exclusively human, according to a study released Tuesday.
In a clever set of experiments, scientists showed that the famously intelligent birds take extra care to hide food if they suspect their movements are being monitored by another raven, even when the second bird is not really there.
The findings, published in the journal Nature Communications, suggest that ravens -- without recourse to direct observation -- are able to understand what might be going on in the mind of another individual.
"This shows that traits that we consider 'uniquely human' may be found in animals too," said lead author Thomas Bugnyar, a professor at the University of Vienna and a leading expert on social cognition in animals.
One of the two anti-abortion activists indicted last month after making undercover videos about Planned Parenthood has been offered probation to settle the charge, prosecutors announced Wednesday.
The possible resolution was made public following Sandra Merritt's (R-Gender Traitor) initial court appearance after she turned herself in to Texas authorities and posted a $2,000 bond, which had been reduced from $10,000.
The other activist, David Daleiden, was scheduled to turn himself in Thursday. Both are charged with tampering with a governmental record, a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Daleiden also was indicted on a misdemeanor count related to purchasing human organs that carries up to a year in prison. The two activists plan to plead not guilty.
Harris County prosecutor Britni Cooper said Wednesday that Merritt has been offered pretrial diversion, which is a form of probation typically offered to nonviolent first-time offenders. If Merritt maintains a clean record while on probation then the charge could be dismissed, Cooper said.
Campaigning for the Republican nomination at November's U.S. presidential election took a nasty turn on Wednesday with billionaire businessman Donald Trump accusing rival Ted Cruz of fraud as the field of candidates narrowed ahead of next week's New Hampshire primary.
Rand Paul (R-Bad Hairpiece), a U.S. senator from Kentucky with a libertarian philosophy, pulled out of the Republican race and CNN said conservative Rick Santorum (R-Unemployed) also was quitting.
Both candidates did poorly in Monday's Iowa caucuses, which were dominated by Cruz's defeat of Trump.
The real estate mogul went on Twitter on Wednesday to accuse the conservative Texas senator of stealing his victory in Iowa. Cruz's team hit back by telling Trump to seek help for addiction to the social media site.
The two men are going head-to-head for voters in New Hampshire, where Cruz's evangelical Christian credentials will not be as helpful as they were in Iowa. The primary will be a referendum on Cruz's appeal to Northern Republicans, a breed he is not used to courting. Opinion polls show Trump with a roughly 20-point lead in New Hampshire.
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz (R-Dominionist) apologized to Ben Carson (R-Malpractice) on Tuesday over an email his campaign sent on Monday night that implied Carson was about to drop out of the race and that his Iowa backers should be urged to vote for Cruz instead.
A staffer for Cruz sent the email after rumors began circulating that Carson would return to Florida following Iowa's caucuses on Monday rather than go straight to New Hampshire or South Carolina, other early voting states in the state-by-state nominating contests for the Nov. 8 election.
Carson said he was simply leaving Iowa to avoid a winter storm and to get fresh clothes before continuing his campaign on Wednesday.
The retired neurosurgeon, who said his fourth-place performance in Iowa would have been better had the email never been sent, criticized the move as "a dirty trick" and said the Cruz campaign should face some kind of consequences.
"What this does is makes me more determined than ever to try to save our country," Carson said on Fox News on Tuesday.
University of Chicago
Jason Lieb, a molecular biologist at the University of Chicago, has resigned after an investigation found he violated the university's sexual misconduct policy, the New York Times reported. The violation led to the university recommending he be fired for his actions.
A "university investigation letter" obtained by the Times states that multiple female graduate students were the targets of Lieb's advances at an off-campus retreat. Lieb, 43, also "engaged in sexual activity with a student" who could not consent because they were under the influence of alcohol, the Times added.
The investigation is the latest in a series of sexual harassment scandals that have rocked the science world over the past months. Recent high-profile cases, however, have come from the realm of space science.
In October, BuzzFeed reported that well-known astronomer Geoff Marcy had been found guilty of sexually harassing students at the University of California, Berkeley, for years. Berkeley allowed him to retain his job, but Marcy later resigned after news broke of the investigation's findings.
California Institute of Technology astrophysicist Christian Ott was also found guilty of violating his university's policies after it became public knowledge that he fired a graduate student because of his feelings for her. He is banned from campus on unpaid leave for nine months as he goes through "rehabilitative training," according to BuzzFeed.
University of Chicago
Undersea noise from container ships, oil tankers, and cargo ships may be drowning out communications among the endangered orcas of the Pacific Northwest, making it harder for these rare whales to find the fish they need to survive.
Using underwater microphones and sophisticated sound analysis, a team of scientists measured the noise created by 1,582 large ships-mostly commercial vessels-on 2,812 trips through Haro Strait, a waterway just west of Limekiln State Park on Washington state's San Juan Island. They matched individual ships to the different recordings using Coast Guard tracking data.
Around 20 container, cargo, military, and other big ships pass through Haro Strait each day, most headed for the Port of Vancouver in British Columbia. In summer, the same area is a core habitat for the Southern Resident killer whales, around 88 critically endangered orcas that rely on Chinook salmon as their main food source.
Along with expected low-frequency noise-which past studies have shown can affect the welfare of some whales-the team discovered that the ships created a lot of noise pollution at the higher frequencies that the killer whales use to detect salmon underwater, as well as find and communicate with one another.
Since many Chinook salmon runs in the region are also endangered, the findings suggest that noise from large ships could affect the Southern Residents' survival by making it harder for them to locate salmon.
Bob Elliott, half of the enduring television and radio comedy team Bob and Ray, has died, He was 92.
Elliott, father of actor-comedian Chris Elliott, died Tuesday at his home in Cundy's Harbor, Maine, part of the town of Harpswell, Rick Gagne, director of the Brackett Funeral Home, said Wednesday.
For nearly 45 years, until the death of Elliott's comedy partner Ray Goulding, Bob and Ray entertained millions of radio listeners and television viewers.
Bob and Ray practiced a gentle, quirky brand of comedy that relied not on one-liners or boffo jokes but rather a deadpan delivery that relentlessly skewered pomposity and seriousness.
The team won a prestigious Peabody Award in 1956. "They deal primarily in satire, that rare and precious commodity," the judges wrote. "Their aim is deadly, their level is high, and their material is fresh, original, imaginative, and terribly funny."
Following Goulding's death in 1990, Elliott remained active as a solo performer, appearing regularly throughout the '90s on television and occasionally in films. He played Bob Newhart's father on the series "Newhart" and his own son Chris' father on "Get a Life." He also appeared in the films "Quick Change" and "Cabin Boy."
He had also worked solo occasionally during the team's long run, appearing in the film "Author Author!" and in a handful of TV movies.
He and his late partner were inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1995.
Bob and Ray's long partnership began at Boston radio station WHDH in 1946 when Goulding, after delivering the news on Elliott's music program, began to stick around and swap anecdotes with the host.
"When we first began, it was 90 percent ad lib," Elliott recalled in 1992. "A good part of what we did involved two or three hours of playing records, and the records gave you time to think of what to do next."
Listeners demanded more, however, and the station soon scheduled "Matinee with Bob and Ray." It offered offbeat comments on the day's news, fables about fictitious characters and bogus contest offers.
The pair made their own move to television in 1951 with the "Bob and Ray" show. Unlike Sid Caesar, Milton Berle and other early TV comedians, they did not attract a mass audience. But their low-key humor, once described by The New York Times as "outrageously innocuous," was cherished by a devoted following.
Their show rarely dealt with topical matters, an exception coming during the Red-hunting days of Sen. Joseph McCarthy. Then, during a soap opera parody that took place in the small town of "Skunk Hollow," they introduced a blustering Commissioner Carstairs, who waved a list of names of supposed miscreants he threatened to expose.
The program, which also featured Cloris Leachman and Audrey Meadows as regulars, ended in 1953.
In New York City, meanwhile, Elliott and Goulding continued to thrive. They appeared on the Ed Sullivan and Steve Allen television shows and won a regular spot on NBC's "Today Show." They also appeared on Broadway in "Bob and Ray, The Two and Only" and released record albums and books of their comedy sketches.
Born in Boston, Elliott had attended the Feagan School of Drama and Radio
After an early first marriage to June Underwood ended in divorce, he married Lee Knight in 1954 and they had five children: Colony, Shannon, Amy, Robert Jr. and Christopher.