Steven Waldman: The Trump and Clinton Awfulness Relativity Index (Washington Monthly)
A few notes here about my "methodology." I focused on questions of character, honesty or judgment. I stayed away from policy disputes or areas where the facts are murky. (More on the highly subjective criteria down below).
Mark Morford: The very worst thing about Pokémon Go (SF Gate)
It's not the fact that the cute little beast of a game is on track to become the most annoying insta-trend of 2016, set to burn out as cultural artifact and semi-nostalgic meme almost as fast as it caught on, and/or when the first gamers annihilate themselves trying to capture a Blastoise and instead stumble over a cliff. Or crash their car into a tree. Or step on a snake. Or trespass on closed properties. Or get mugged. Or get distracted while fighting ISIS.
Mark Morford: All the terrifying delights of the Republican National Convention (SF Gate)
America, get ready to feel some new and exciting flavors of shame! This RNC's going to burn. There are fidgety white people with guns. There is sexism and misogyny like rancid perfume. There are plastic cowboy hats and Chinese-made jingoism and the staggering star power of one Scott "Charles in Charge" Baio, because apparently Ted Nugent was too busy skinning a rotting elk carcass with his few remaining teeth to attend.
Chris Kirk, Ian Prasad Philbrick, and Gabriel Roth: 141 Things Donald Trump Has Said and Done That Make Him Unfit to Be President (Slate)
How many times has Donald Trump disqualified himself from holding the most powerful job in the world? You be the judge.
Nathan Wadowski: 5 Movie Villains Who Were Completely Right The Whole Time (Cracked)
#5. Aladdin -- Jafar Was Already A Better Ruler Than The Sultan
Scott Timburg: Drugs, despair, disintegration: 20 years later, "Trainspotting" still resonates (Salon)
Between its portrayal of drug subculture, alienation and Scottish nationalism, Danny Boyle's film needs a new look.
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"Doug's Most Shared Facebook Post" Today
Michelle in AZ
from Marc Perkel
from that Mad Cat, JD
WHY DOES TEXAS HATE WOMEN?
BUILDING A BIG WALL!
"FEED YOUR HEAD"
"…HE COULDN'T CARE LESS ABOUT THEM."
THE FIX IS IN!
Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music
In The Chaos Household
47 years ago today astronauts were on the moon and I was in a hospital in Pittsburgh. I remember listening to the TV - had bandages over most of my face, so I saw none of it.
Releasing 'Hollywood Bowl' Live Album
The Beatles Live at the Hollywood Bowl, a 1977 live album containing material from the Beatles' Hollywood Bowl concerts in August 1964 and August 1965, is coming back in an expanded release globally on Sept. 9 on CD and digital download for the first time, it was announced Wednesday by The Beatles' Apple Corps' Ltd. and Universal Music Group. A 180-gram vinyl release will follow on Nov. 18.
The new package, a companion release to the new Ron Howard film The Beatles: Eight Days a Week: The Touring Years, includes all the tracks of the 1977 album plus four additional unreleased songs and a 24-page booklet with an essay by music journalist David Fricke. The cover photo for the album, also on the poster for the film, was taken by the group's U.S. tour manager Bob Bonis on Aug. 22, 1964, as they boarded a chartered flight in Seattle to Vancouver, B.C., for their first concert in Canada.
Wednesday's announcement said the new release is sourced from the original three-track tapes of the concerts, which have been remixed by producer Giles Martin and engineer Sam Okell at Abbey Road Studios. It was Martin's father, Sir George Martin, who produced the original album and wrote in the original liner notes: "The chaos, I might almost say panic, that reigned at these concerts was unbelievable unless you were there. Only three-track recording was possible; The Beatles had no 'fold back' speakers, so they could not hear what they were singing, and the eternal shriek from 17,000 healthy, young lungs made even a jet plane inaudible."
Revealed Giles Martin in Wednesday's announcement: "A few years ago Capitol Studios called saying they'd discovered some Hollywood Bowl three-track tapes in their archive. We transferred them and noticed an improvement over the tapes we've kept in the London archive. Alongside this, I'd been working for some time with a team headed by technical engineer James Clarke on demix technology, the ability to remove and separate sounds from a single track. With Sam Okell, I started work on remixing the Hollywood Bowl tapes."
Martin said the tapes now sound better than ever. "Technology has moved on since my father worked on the material all those years ago. Now there's improved clarity, and so the immediacy and visceral excitement can be heard like never before," he explained. "My father's words still ring true, but what we hear now is the raw energy of four lads playing together to a crowd that loved them. This is the closest you can get to being at the Hollywood Bowl at the height of Beatlemania. We hope you enjoy the show. …"
Won't Recast Chekov
Star Trek director and producer J.J. Abrams confirmed Monday that he will not recast the role of Chekov that was played by the late Anton Yelchin in the revamped franchise series.
The 27-year-old actor played the Russian character in all three Star Trek reboots including the latest film Beyond, which opens in U.S. theaters Friday, according to TheWrap.
Yelchin died last month when he was crushed by his SUV after the car reportedly rolled back on the driveway of his home in Los Angeles. The model of car - a 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee - was recalled by Fiat Chrysler just two months before for a dangerous parking gear defect.
Abrams, who directed the first two Star Trek films and is still a producer on the series said: "There's no re-casting. I can't possibly imagine that, and I think Anton deserves better."
A fourth Star Trek film was given the green light on Monday, although Abrams said he has yet to figure out how to explain the absence of the Russian-accented Chekov.
Hosting 1st Presidential Debate
An Ohio university cited rising security worries and costs Tuesday as it withdrew as host of the first presidential general election debate, which will move to New York's Hofstra University.
The shift means the first debate will be in the home state of the two major parties' presumptive nominees, Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Wright State University President David Hopkins said the Dayton-area school has a large, open campus and questions about the ability to protect the campus and suburban community during the Sept. 26 debate led to a decision that had "weighed heavily" on him. Recent days have seen the mass killings in Nice, France, and police shootings and other violence in this nation and elsewhere.
Wright State, which has about 18,000 students, had earlier said it was spending $5 million to $6 million to put on the debate. Hopkins said the costs with added security could have gotten up to $8 million.
The Commission on Presidential Debates announced quickly that Hofstra University would take over. The Long Island-based university had agreed last year to serve as an alternate site. It hosted debates in 2012 and 2008.
Massive African Relocation
Half a dozen African elephants lay strewn on a riverside plain in Malawi, immobilized by darts fired from a helicopter in a massive project to move 500 elephants, by truck and crane, to a sanctuary for the threatened species.
As development squeezes Africa's wildlife areas, this kind of man-made animal migration is increasingly seen as a conservation strategy in Malawi, one of the continent's most densely populated countries, and beyond.
Conservationists flipped the prostrate elephants' large ears over their eyes to block out light, and propped open the tips of their trunks with twigs to ensure unimpeded breathing. Then the multi-ton elephants, hanging upside down from ankle straps, were loaded by crane onto trucks for a road trip of about 185 miles (300 kilometers) to a safer, more spacious area.
African elephants are in particular peril from human encroachment, while poachers have slaughtered them in the tens of thousands to meet demand for ivory, mostly in Asia.
The Malawi elephant project differs from other wildlife relocations because of its large scale.
Breitbart's In-House Racist
Twitter permanently suspended a number of user accounts Tuesday that were involved in a campaign of racial harassment aimed at Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones, Reuters and other news outlets reported. Among the suspended accounts is that of incendiary right-wing pundit Milo Yiannopoulos, who reportedly spearheaded the coordinated assault.
Jones announced in a tweet early Tuesday morning that she was "leav[ing] Twitter … with tears and a very sad heart" after her account was inundated with pointedly racist diatribes (Jones is black). She had spent the day retweeting the most vicious of the insults, and later called out Twitter for what she described as its uneven history of addressing abuse between its users.
"I understand you got free speech I get it," she wrote. "But there has to be some guidelines when you let spread like that." The tweet prompted a response from Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who invited her to send him a direct message about the issue.
Recode and other outlets report that the abuse came largely at the behest of Yiannopoulos, the tech editor of the conservative outlet Breitbart News, whose reputation as a troll on Twitter has long eclipsed his journalism. (In his tweets on Monday, he described Jones as "barely literate.") The 32-year-old Brit, who calls himself the "most fabulous supervillain on the Internet," is a minor celebrity in the American conservative movement - an outspoken Donald Trump supporter who has in the past railed against rape victims, feminism and Islam. He enjoyed an outspoken fan base on Twitter - he had 338,000 followers before his account was suspended, per Recode - many of whom reacted to his suspension with outrage. The hashtag #FreeMilo was trending in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Archdiocese Admits Wrongdoing
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis publicly admitted wrongdoing Wednesday for the way it handled sexual abuse allegations against a former priest, while prosecutors dropped criminal charges that alleged the archdiocese turned a blind eye to his repeated misconduct.
The admission was part of an agreement in a lawsuit that calls for Archbishop Bernard Hebda to personally participate in at least three and likely more restorative justice sessions with abuse victims. The archbishop took the unusual step of attending the Wednesday hearing where the agreement was announced.
Ramsey County prosecutors filed civil and criminal charges against the archdiocese last year. The six gross misdemeanor child endangerment charges against the archdiocese involved Curtis Wehmeyer, who is serving prison time for molesting two boys in Minnesota and a third in Wisconsin. He was ultimately removed from the priesthood.
Also Wednesday, a prominent attorney for abuse victims, Jeffrey Anderson, accused the Vatican of interfering in a law firm's investigation into alleged misconduct by Hebda's predecessor, Archbishop John Niendstedt.
Other changes announced Wednesday extend the court's oversight until February 2020. And the archdiocese named nationally recognized child welfare advocate Patty Wetterling to its Ministerial Review Board, which examines abuse claims involving priests.
After telling attendees of the Republican National Convention that "Our enemy is not other Republicans but is Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party," a South Carolina pastor offered the most explicitly partisan prayer heard at a major party convention in modern times.
Pastor Mark Burns, a prosperity preacher and televangelist from Easley, S.C., was invited by the Trump campaign to deliver the Monday benediction that concluded the contentious daytime proceedings on the first day of the RNC in Cleveland. "We are electing a man inDonald Trump who believes in the name of Jesus Christ," Burns told delegates, before closing his eyes in prayer.
The benediction itself, which included Burns' praise to God for "giving [Trump] the words to unite this party, this country, that we together can defeat the liberal Democratic Party," was immediately denounced on Twitter by liberal and conservative Christians who called it "blasphemous" and "idolatrous."
That the Republican National Convention might feature a religious leader who calls on God to give a Republican candidate "the power and authority to be the next president of the United States of America" may not surprise many who have followed the role of the religious right in American politics over the past few decades. But while some pastors have sometimes offered such prayers within their own churches and communities, party conventions have largely featured religious leaders who make an effort to keep their language nonpartisan.
An earthquake struck off the coast of Florida on Saturday (July 16), a rare event in a relatively tectonically peaceful region.
The 3.7-magnitude quake had an epicenter that was 104 miles (168 kilometers) east-northeast of Daytona Beach, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). It hit at about 4 p.m. local time and originated at a depth of about 3 miles (5 km). According to the USGS ShakeMap, some weak tremors were reported and picked up by scientific instruments on the mainland, but the quake was too weak to cause any damage.
Earthquakes are rare in Florida, and the reason for the relative peace has to do with Florida's position on the North American plate. The state sits on the passive margin of the plate, a transition from land to ocean that isn't seismically active. In contrast, the western end of the North American plate - the active margin - is slipping under the Pacific Plate, triggering the medium-to-large earthquakes that are commonly experienced in California.
According to the state's Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), there have only been about 24 "seismic events" reported since 1727. A 1997 review suggested that only five were actual earthquakes.
Tides Can Trigger Earthquakes
San Andreas Fault
The same tides that affect ocean waves can trigger earthquakes along California's San Andreas Fault, and scientists unexpectedly find that these quakes are more likely to happen as tides are strengthening, not when they are at their strongest.
The rise and fall of the seas, tides are caused primarily by the gravitational pull of the moon and sun on Earth. These gravitational tugs not only influence the seas but also stone, alternately stretching and compressing Earth's crust.
Previous research found that the tidal effects on Earth's crust could trigger both tremors and earthquakes. When this shaking occurs, it can reveal details about the deep roots of faults, which, in turn, could enrich models that might illuminate when earthquakes will happen.
The study's scientists were interested in how the planet's tides might affect small, deep seismic events known as low-frequency earthquakes. They focused on 81,000 catalogued low-frequency earthquakes that struck along California's San Andreas Fault between 2008 and 2015. These quakes are no larger than about magnitude 1 on the Richter scale, said study lead author Nicholas van der Elst, a seismologist and geophysicist at the U.S. Geological Survey's Earthquake Science Center in Pasadena, California.
Tidal strength varies over a two-week, or "fortnightly," cycle. The strongest "spring" tides occur when the moon and sun are aligned, while the weakest "neap" tides happen when the sun and moon are perpendicular to one another with respect to Earth.
San Andreas Fault