BartCop Entertainment Archives - Tuesday, 10 January, 2017


10 January, 2017

(Updated Daily)

[1930 days in a row]


Recommended Reading

from Bruce

Paul Krugman: Deficits Matter Again (NY Times Column)
Why the Trump-Putin economy is not like Obama's.

U.S. Wages Rose 2.9% in December (Daily Beast)
According to The Wall Street Journal, President Obama's final full month in office was the 75th straight month in which employers added jobs-extending the longest streak on record since 1939.

Theresa May's 'shared society': magic policies that don't need any money (The Guardian)
Quick! Look over there at something that's not Brexit!

Dr. Luisa Dillner: What is belly fat and how can you shift it? (The Guardian)
The good news is visceral fat is so dynamic that you can shift it. You just have to eat less and exercise more - about half an hour a day of quite vigorous exercise should do it.

Tim Jonze: Once the baby man was a figure to be mocked. Now, manfants such as Donald Trump are taking over (The Guardian)
Why are we tolerating this widespread immaturity and not just sending them to bed with no pudding?

Richard Godwin: "Live by Night: how the gangster film went from top of the world to sleeping with the fishes" (The Guardian)
Mobster movies were once the pinnacle of film-making. Ben Affleck's homage to the classics could sound the genre's death knell.

David Barnett: V for Vendetta is a manual for rebellion against injustice (The Guardian)
Written in the Thatcher era, Alan Moore and David Lloyd's story of standing up to dystopian authority has lost none of its relevance.

Sam Jordison: "The Code of the Woosters: PG Wodehouse's guide to fighting fascism" (The Guardian)
Forget about the author's wartime mistakes, the way Bertie tackles Mosley-esque thug Roderick Spode is a great lesson in sending up would-be despots.

David Bruce's Amazon Author Page

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David Bruce has over 80 Kindle books on



Trivia Question of the Day

Only two American territories are south of the Equator. One is the uninhabited Jarvis Island. What is the other?


Send your answer to Marty

Trivia Question from Yesterday

Born Herbert B. Khaury in Manhattan, by what name is this performer better known?

       Tiny Tim                                                      Source

Tiny Tim (born Herbert B. Khaury; April 12, 1932 - November 30, 1996) was an American singer, ukulele player, and musical archivist. He is best remembered for his rendition of "Tiptoe Through the Tulips" sung in a high falsetto/vibrato voice.        Source

Randall was first and correct with:
   Tiny Tim

Alan J responded:
   Tiny Tim.

gene wrote:
   He used a number of stage names, but the most famous & enduring is Tiny Tim. I interviewed him for college radio some decades ago. He was an encyclopedia of American music and the reason I became a fan of Jack Teagarden, Mildred Bailey and many other great performers of the 20s & 30s in the last century.

Adam answered:
   Tiny Tim

zorch said:
   Tiny Tim

Deborah replied:
   Is that the legal name of Tiny Tim?
  Epic rain ended last night; more is due tonight. We got just at 5" from Friday night to Sunday night. I don't know if this means the drought is over but I know that the fire danger is low.
  Monday, already.

John I from Hawai`i says,
   "Tiny Tim."

Jim from CA, retired to ID, responded:
   Tiny Tim (not from A Christmas Carol)

Billy in Cypress said:
   The weird, wild haired Tiny Tim.

DJ Useo replied:
   I let your question percolate in my mind for a few hours, & a few minutes ago, the answer came to me.
  Tiny Tim! I really gotta make a mashup of him some day.
  I tried to make a goofy mix using Them's "Gloria", but people are telling me it still sounds really great.
  Hey, I tried to stink it up! Lol!
  Gloria Jungie ( Them vs (c)(P)ee )

Joe S     wrote:
   I believe that's Tiny Tim, but whatever. I got news. My daughter-in-law, Sia Kyriakakos, in one of four finalists for National Teacher of the year. Whoo-hoo.

mj took the day off.

MAM     took the day off.

Marian took the day off.

Dale of Diamond Springs, Norcali took the day off.

BttbBob   has returned to semi-retired status.

  January 10 Birthdays - Celebrities Born January 10 | Famous Birthdays

Sally has retired.




Middle Class Political Economist

Now a Blogger-Columnist at US News and World Reports "Economic Intelligence"



Reader Suggestion

Michelle in AZ

Where Courage Comes From

Making NASA great again?

Meryl Streep criticizes Trump at Golden Globes: 'Disrespect invites disrespect' | Film | The Guardian

Decline of the dentist's drill? Drug helps rotten teeth regenerate, trial shows | Science | The Guardian

A divided empire: what the urban-rural split means for the future of America | Cities | The Guardian

The fightback against Trump starts with Meryl Streep's Golden Globes speech | Suzanne Moore | Opinion | The Guardian

Trump mentioned early and often at Golden Globes - SFGate

Obama White House Veterans Tackle The Trump Era With New Political Media Site | The Huffington Post

Kellyanne Conway Says Donald Trump Shouldn't Be Held Accountable For The Things He Says | The Huffington Post

House GOP Rushes to Block Federal Funds For Sanctuary Cities | The Huffington Post

Twitter Predicts Donald Trump's Response To Meryl Streep's Speech | The Huffington Post

Artists Call For Global Culture Strike On America's Inauguration Day | The Huffington Post

BBC - Future - The people who can't go numb at the dentist's

Listening for the amphibian apocalypse -

Hollywood vs. Trump: Who's really 'the elite?' (Opinion) -

Meryl Streep has hit on star-struck Trump's big weakness | Film | The Guardian

Chuck Schumer is using Mitch McConnell's own words against him, and it's beautiful

Donald Trump was bailed out of bankruptcy by Russia crime bosses

Kellyanne Conway Calls Out Trump For What He Is-A Sick Psychopath

Uncle Sam Wants You ... To Make Bullets That Turn Into Seeds | The Huffington Post

Farewell, Oh Sweet 'Dump Trump' Mural | The Huffington Post

J.K. Rowling Says Criticizing Donald Trump Is Both A 'Pleasure' And A 'Duty' | The Huffington Post

Amazon will soon start accepting food stamps - AOL Finance

Thanks, Michelle!



Team Coco


Trump Calls Obama To Talk About The Golden Globes

Trump calls Obama to make the argument that Tara Reid is a better actress than Meryl Streep.



Bonus Links

Jeannie the Teed-Off Temp

Hollywood's Protests Are Getting to Trump -- Vulture

Yes, Donald Trump's voters may be confused and in pain - but no, they don't deserve our empathy -

Donald Trump To Name Son-In-Law Jared Kushner Senior Adviser To The President | The Huffington Post

Donald Trump Melts Down in Response to Meryl Streep Golden Globes Speech Criticizing Him -

The 1987 TV Miniseries That Predicted a Russian Takeover of America - POLITICO Magazine

Viola Davis Gave a Moving Speech About Trump of Her Own at the Globes | Vanity Fair

Everything That Donald Trump Thinks Is Overrated, According to His Tweets -

Here's The Evidence Republicans Are Already Increasing The Deficit ... Big Time -

Robert Reich: The 3 Big Reasons Republicans Can't Replace Obamacare | Alternet

Kellyanne Conway: Ignore what Trump actually says and 'look at what's in his heart' -

Why Donald Trump Will Be the Dunning-Kruger President -- Science of Us -

Trump Replaces Veteran Inauguration Announcer With One Of His Supporters

4 Of 9 Trump Nominees Set For Hearings This Week Haven't Completed Ethics Disclosures | The Huffington Post

Attorney General Sessions Would Be Good News for Private Prisons | Mother Jones

Trump huddles with Alibaba, despite piracy pledge - POLITICO

Thank You, Meryl Streep -

Donald Trump owes $1B to companies 'in a potentially powerful position' over the PEOTUS -

Send in the clowns: Donald Trump, Julian Assange and the enemies of liberal democracy -

Everyone Donald Trump has called 'overrated' on Twitter since 2012 -



Reader Suggestion

Key & Peele

Friend Janet in Texas found this video of Key & Peele doing Obama & Luther (the anger translator) making the farewell address.

As Janet says, just call me Luther:

Keegan-Michael Key - A Farewell Address from President Obama's Anger Translator-The Daily Show with Trevor Noah - Video Clip

Linda   >^..^<
     We are all only temporarily able bodied.

Thanks. Linda!



Reader Comment

The Election


DJ Useo has opined: "You know, I was certain for months that trump was deliberately trying to lose the race. I sure don't think he legitimately won. Sorry to say."

I agree with him. It also seemed to me that T-rump also did not really want to win, as he would more than just occasionally say (and do) really stupid shit. But then, I look at Trump's opposition and imagine how all the low-renters of "Fly-over" America was perceiving the race. You know, all us "deplorables?"

So, yes ... did he really "win?" Regardless of whatever hacking claims are being made about who initially outed Hillary's and Podesta's emails, it has been determined that the emails are yet accurate copies and consequently, relevant. Apparently, voting America, as represented by the Electoral College, uncommonly found those particular emails most objectionable.

Also ultimately, the question here is not just whether Tiny-hands legitimately won the election, but more importantly, encompasses whether Hillary legally lost it.

You see, in states like California, mail-in ballots are only counted if the polling-station margin of victory for the winning candidate is smaller than the number of ballots mailed in. Consistently, mail-in ballots also tend to be 60/30/10% in favor of Republican candidates. It is most likely that the national "Popular" vote advantage that Hillary supposedly had is not near as significant as alleged, and at best would still have been kicked to Capitol Hill.

It really is a shame that the Democratic Party's better candidate was cheated out of his chance to be considered against Trump. His baggage of personal historical conduct was not nearly as objectionable to the anti-sex pervert coalitions of Progressive America as was that nuclear wasteland of Hillary and her multi-rapist husband.


Thanks, Dan!



from Marc Perkel

Patriot Act

Patriot Act NSA Spying Unconstitutional Section 215 National Security Letters Must End

My name is Marc Perkel and I have decided to announce that I will not comply with the so called "Patriot Act" laws requiring me to disclose information about my customers. If I receive a national security letter I will immediately photograph it, post it online everywhere I can, and then make a video of me burning it. I will then await my arrest. If you want to put me in jail then come get me mother fucker.

Come Get Me Mother Fucker | Putting and end to NSA government Spying





Selected Readings

from that Mad Cat, JD



Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music


In The Chaos Household

Last Night

Rained pretty good.

Tonight, Tuesday:

CBS begins the night with a RERUN 'NCIS', followed by a RERUN 'Bull', then a RERUN 'NCIS: The 3rd One'.
Scheduled on a FRESH Stephen Colbert are Andrew Garfield, Erin Andrews, and Cage the Elephant.
Scheduled on a FRESH James Corden, OBE, are Mark Wahlberg, Jeremy Renner, Joel Edgerton, and Gabriel Iglesias.

NBC starts the night with a FRESH 'The Wall', followed by a FRESH 'This Is Us', then a FRESH 'Chicago Fire'.
Scheduled on a FRESH Jimmy Fallon are Queen Latifah, Fred Armisen, and the Flaming Lips.
Scheduled on a FRESH Seth Meyers are Ken Jeong, Kellyanne Conway, and Mike Schur.
On a RERUN Carson 'The Scab' Daly (from 12/5/16) are Emmanuelle Chriqui, Wolf Parade, and Tony Cox.

ABC opens the night with a FRESH 'The Middle', followed by a FRESH 'American Housewife', then a RERUN 'Fresh Off The Boat', followed by a FRESH 'Marvel's Agents Of SHIELD'.
Scheduled on a FRESH Jimmy Kimmel are Amy Adams, Naomie Harris, and Blink 182.

The CW offers a RERUN 'The Flash', followed by a FRESH 'No Tomorrow'.

Faux has a FRESH 'New Girl', followed by a FRESH 'The Mick', then a FRESH 'Bones'.

MY recycles an old 'The X-Files', followed by another old 'The X-Files'.

A&E has 3 hours of old 'Leah Rimini: Scientology & The Aftermath', followed by a FRESH 'Leah Rimini: Scientology & The Aftermath'.

AMC offers the movie 'Man On Fire', followed by the movie 'The Departed'.

BBC  -   
 [7:00AM]    STAR TREK: VOYAGER - SEASON 1 - EPISODE 6-The Cloud
 [8:00AM]    STAR TREK: VOYAGER - SEASON 1 - EPISODE 7-Eye of the Needle
 [9:00AM]    DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 2 - EPISODE 13-Doomsday
 [11:00AM]    DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 3 - EPISODE 1-Smith and Jones
 [12:00PM]    CSI: MIAMI - SEASON 7 - EPISODE 10-The DeLuca Motel
 [1:00PM]    CSI: MIAMI - SEASON 7 - EPISODE 11-Tipping Point
 [2:00PM]    CSI: MIAMI - SEASON 7 - EPISODE 12-Head Case
 [3:00PM]    CSI: MIAMI - SEASON 7 - EPISODE 13-And They're Offed
 [4:00PM]    CSI: MIAMI - SEASON 7 - EPISODE 14-Smoke Gets in Your CSIs
 [5:00PM]    CSI: MIAMI - SEASON 7 - EPISODE 15-Presumed Guilty
 [6:00PM]    CSI: MIAMI - SEASON 7 - EPISODE 16-Sink or Swim
 [7:00PM]    CSI: MIAMI - SEASON 7 - EPISODE 17-Divorce Party
 [8:00PM]    CSI: MIAMI - SEASON 7 - EPISODE 18-Flight Risk
 [9:00PM]    CSI: MIAMI - SEASON 7 - EPISODE 10-The DeLuca Motel
 [10:00PM]    CSI: MIAMI - SEASON 7 - EPISODE 11-Tipping Point
 [11:00PM]    CSI: MIAMI - SEASON 7 - EPISODE 12-Head Case
 [12:00AM]    CSI: MIAMI - SEASON 7 - EPISODE 13-And They're Offed
 [1:00AM]    CSI: MIAMI - SEASON 7 - EPISODE 14-Smoke Gets in Your CSIs
 [2:00AM]    CSI: MIAMI - SEASON 7 - EPISODE 15-Presumed Guilty
 [3:00AM]    CSI: MIAMI - SEASON 7 - EPISODE 16-Sink or Swim
 [4:00AM]    CSI: MIAMI - SEASON 7 - EPISODE 17-Divorce Party
 [5:00AM]    CSI: MIAMI - SEASON 7 - EPISODE 18-Flight Risk    (ALL TIMES EST)

Bravo has 'Real Housewives Of BH', followed by a FRESH 'BH Social', then a FRESH 'Real Housewives Of BH', followed by a FRESH 'Ladies Of London', then a FRESH 'Watch What Happens Live'.

Comedy Central has 'Futurama', another 'Futurama', and 3 hours of old 'Tosh.0'.
Scheduled on a FRESH The Daily Show is Aasif Mandvi.
Scheduled on a FRESH @Midnight are Katie O'Brien, Jen Kirkman, and Ify Nwadiwe.

FX has the movie 'Colombiana', followed by the movie 'Lucy', then a FRESH 'Taboo'.

History has 'The Curse Of Oak Island', followed by a FRESH 'The Curse Of Oak Island: Digging Deeper', then a FRESH 'The Curse Of Oak Island', followed by a FRESH 'Forged In Fire'.

IFC  -   
 [6:00AM]    COMEDY BANG! BANG!-Jack Black
 [6:15AM]    STAN AGAINST EVIL-Know, Know, Know Your Goat
 [6:45AM]    STAN AGAINST EVIL-Let Your Love Groan
 [7:15AM]    THE MIST
 [10:00AM]    STEPHEN KING'S THE STAND-The Plague
 [12:00PM]    STEPHEN KING'S THE STAND-The Dreams
 [2:00PM]    STEPHEN KING'S THE STAND-The Betrayal
 [6:00PM]    THAT '70S SHOW-Grandma's Dead
 [6:30PM]    THAT '70S SHOW-Hyde Moves In
 [7:00PM]    THAT '70S SHOW-The Good Son
 [7:30PM]    THAT '70S SHOW-Garage Sale
 [8:00PM]    THAT '70S SHOW-Red's Last Day
 [8:30PM]    THAT '70S SHOW-The Velvet Rope
 [9:00PM]    THAT '70S SHOW-Laurie and the Professor
 [9:30PM]    THAT '70S SHOW-Halloween
 [10:00PM]    THAT '70S SHOW-Van Stock
 [10:30PM]    THAT '70S SHOW-I Love Cake
 [11:00PM]    THAT '70S SHOW-Grandma's Dead
 [11:30PM]    THAT '70S SHOW-Hyde Moves In
 [12:00AM]    THAT '70S SHOW-The Good Son
 [12:30AM]    THAT '70S SHOW-Garage Sale
 [1:00AM]    THAT '70S SHOW-Red's Last Day
 [1:30AM]    THAT '70S SHOW-The Velvet Rope
 [2:00AM]    THAT '70S SHOW-Laurie and the Professor
 [2:30AM]    THAT '70S SHOW-Halloween
 [3:00AM]    THAT '70S SHOW-Van Stock
 [3:30AM]    THAT '70S SHOW-I Love Cake
 [4:00AM]    COMEDY CRIB: THE SHOW-Episode 104
 [4:30AM]    THE MIST    (ALL TIMES EST)

Sundance  -   
 [6:00AM]    All in the Family-Archie, the Hero
 [6:35AM]    All in the Family-Mike's Pains
 [7:10AM]    All in the Family-Chain Letter
 [7:45AM]    All in the Family-Mike Faces Life
 [8:20AM]    All in the Family-Edith Breaks Out
 [8:55AM]    All in the Family-Grandpa Blues
 [9:30AM]    All in the Family-Gloria Suspects Mike
 [10:05AM]    All in the Family-The Little Atheist
 [10:40AM]    All in the Family-Archie's Civil Rights
 [11:15AM]    All in the Family-Gloria Is Nervous
 [11:50AM]    All in the Family-Birth of the Baby
 [12:25PM]    All in the Family-Birth of the Baby
 [1:00PM]    Stakeout
 [3:30PM]    The Fighter
 [6:00PM]    Thelma & Louise
 [9:00PM]    You've Got Mail
 [11:30PM]    Along Came Polly
 [1:30AM]    Thelma & Louise
 [4:30AM]    M*A*S*H-Change Day
 [5:00AM]    M*A*S*H-Images
 [5:30AM]    M*A*S*H-The M*A*S*H Olympics    (ALL TIMES EST)

SyFy has the movie 'Blade', followed by the movie 'The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian'.

Scheduled on a FRESH Conan are Anna Faris, Jamie Lee, and Lewis Del Mar.

 [6:00 AM]      MGM Parade Show #26 (1955)
 [6:30 AM]      The Spanish Main (1945)
 [8:30 AM]      Deception (1946)
 [10:30 AM]      Of Human Bondage (1946)
 [12:30 PM]      Song of Love (1947)
 [2:45 PM]      Hollow Triumph (1948)
 [4:15 PM]      The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1962)
 [7:00 PM]      Hollywood My Hometown (1965)
 [8:00 PM]      Papillon (1973)
 [10:45 PM]      Escape from Alcatraz (1979)
 [1:00 AM]      White Heat (1949)
 [3:00 AM]      I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932)
 [4:45 AM]      Convicts 4 (1962)     (ALL TIMES EST)

Wedesday   -  01/11/17

 [6:30 AM]      The Invisible Boy (1957)
 [8:15 AM]      Forbidden Planet (1956)
 [10:00 AM]      The Thing From Another World (1951)
 [11:45 AM]      2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
 [2:15 PM]      Satellite in the Sky (1956)
 [3:45 PM]      Countdown (1968)
 [5:45 PM]      The Green Slime (1969)
 [7:30 PM]      TCM Presents Elvis Mitchell Under the Influence: Bill Murray(2008)
 [8:00 PM]      Psycho (1960)
 [10:00 PM]      The Killers (1946)
 [12:00 AM]      Days of Heaven (1978)
 [2:00 AM]      Pennies from Heaven (1981)
 [4:00 AM]      Heart Beat (1980)     (ALL TIMES EST)

USA has a FRESH 'Shooter'.

Antenna TV - Johnny Carson (from Nov. 7, 1986) - Alan Thicke, Rosanna Arquette, and Oprah Winfrey.

Bounce TV

Comet TV

Cozi TV

Decades TV Network


Heroes and Icons

Find Justice - Justice Network

Get TV

Grit - Television With Backbone - Grit

Laff - You Know You Want To. - Laff


MOVIES! TV Network

RTV - The Retro Television Network

the works

This TV

Any opinions?   Marty

Or reviews?   Marty

Support the e-page!

(See below for addresses)


A break between storms appears over San Francisco Bay, Monday, Jan. 9, 2017, as viewed from Sausalito, Calif. A massive storm system stretching from California into Nevada lifted rivers climbing out of their banks, flooded vineyards and forced people to evacuate after warnings that hillsides parched by wildfires could give way to mudslides.
Photo by Eric Risberg


The Sideshow - by Avedon Carol


Plans Tour


U2 on Monday announced a stadium tour of North America and Europe to mark 30 years since "The Joshua Tree," the Irish group's seminal album.

U2 will start the 25 shows on May 12 in Vancouver -- the second straight tour that the band has opened in the western Canadian city -- and end on August 1 in Brussels.

The tour will mark the first stadium-size shows by U2 since the group's 2009-2011 "360" concerts, which remain the highest-grossing tour in music history.

Released in March 1987, "The Joshua Tree" reached into the roots of Irish and American music and produced classic hits "With or Without You," "Where the Streets Have No Name" and "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For."

Frontman Bono brought a political edge to the lyrics, taking on violent conflict and US support for Latin American dictatorships under Ronald Reagan.



Britain's Sam Sunderland rides his KTM motorbike past a herd of llamas during the 7th stage of the Dakar Rally between Oruro and Uyuni, Bolivia, Monday, Jan. 9, 2017. The race started in Paraguay and passes through Argentina as well.
Photo by Martin Mejia


Suspended From Twitter For Harassment

'Pharma Bro'

Former U.S. drug executive Martin Shkreli, dubbed the "pharma bro" and vilified for raising the price of a lifesaving drug by 5,000 percent, was suspended by Twitter on Sunday for harassing a female journalist.

Shkreli, a supporter of Republican President-elect Donald Trump (R-Grifter), had dogged freelance reporter Lauren Duca, including sending her requests for dates, after she wrote an op-ed piece for Teen Vogue that was critical of Trump.

After the suspension, Duca tweeted, "Why is harassment an automatic career hazard for a woman receiving any amount of professional attention?"

Duca had drawn media attention for her article in December arguing that Trump had conned U.S. voters. Shkreli then tweeted about trying to date her, and he sent her an invitation on Thursday to attend Trump's Jan. 20 inauguration as his guest.

Duca replied on Twitter, "I would rather eat my own organs."

'Pharma Bro'


Newhead News




The CW was quick to renew some of its shows for the 2017-2018 TV season. On Sunday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour, the network announced early renewals for seven series. This early pickup list included "The Flash," "Supernatural," "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend," "Arrow," "DC's Legends Of Tomorrow," "Jane The Virgin" and CBS import "Supergirl."

Which means, "Supernatural" has been renewed for Season 13!

Of course, the series really wasn't in danger of being canceled so its renewal isn't a surprise to long-time fans. According to TVLine, "The Flash" is The CW's highest rated series. More than 3 million people tune in to the superhero show every week. It also enjoys a 1.2 demo rating. The second highest performing show is "Supergirl" drawing a weekly audience of 2.7 million viewers and a 0.9 demo rating. The third place goes to "Supernatural," "Arrow" and "Legends of Tomorrow" since they average a 0.7 rating season-to-date.

"Supernatural" makes considerable money for the network in syndication deals. Now that the series will have thirteen seasons, it will make even more money for The CW.



Vineyards remain flooded in the Russian River Valley, Monday, Jan. 9, 2017, in Forestville, Calif. A massive storm system stretching from California into Nevada lifted rivers climbing out of their banks, flooded vineyards and forced people to evacuate after warnings that hillsides parched by wildfires could give way to mudslides.
Photo by Eric Risberg


Have Invaded Nearly 100% of Australia

Feral Cats

The cat's out of the bag - and all over Australia. A new study finds that feral cats inhabit 99.8 percent of the continent's landmass, including 80 percent of the land that makes up its islands.

Feral cats have long been recognized as a grave and widespread threat to vulnerable native wildlife - particularly in Australia, where species found nowhere else in the world are ill-equipped to deal with these invasive and deadly predators. But despite conservationists' efforts to track the felines' environmental impacts, the number of cats roaming Australia has remained elusive.

To put a number to the catastrophic invasion, 40 environmental researchers compiled data from nearly 100 relevant studies, finding that Australia hosts at least 2.1 million feral cats when prey is less abundant; when prey are plentiful, that number jumps to as many as 6.3 million.

European explorers first introduced cats to Australia in the 18th century. With no large predators and easy access to tasty small animals, the invasive felines swiftly adapted to the hospitable continent. Since then, feral cats have contributed to the extinction of close to 30 native mammal species - such as the big-eared hopping mouse, the Eastern hare-wallaby and the pig-footed bandicoot - and are instrumental in the current decline of many more, the study authors wrote.

"Australia is the only continent on Earth other than Antarctica where the animals evolved without cats, which is a reason our wildlife is so vulnerable to them," Gregory Andrews, Australia's Threatened Species Commissioner, said in a statement.

Feral Cats


Digby's Hullabaloo


2nd-Warmest Year On Record


The U.S. had its second-warmest year on record in 2016, with every single state having a warmer-than-average year, according to a report released Monday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

While records were toppled virtually everywhere, Alaska earned the title of having the most unusually warm year.

Alaska, which is America's only Arctic state, had an average annual temperature of 31.9 degrees Fahrenheit, which was 5.9 degrees Fahrenheit above average. The state had its second-warmest winter, warmest spring, second-warmest summer and a warmer-than-average fall.

This wound up being the third straight warmest year on record in Alaska, where temperature records go back 92 years.

According to NOAA, Barrow, which is the northernmost city in the country, was 7.1 degrees Fahrenheit above average. For the first time in Alaska's climate record, its average spring temperature hit 32 degrees Fahrenheit, or 0 degrees Celsius.



The Truckee River surges through downtown Reno, Nev., Monday, Jan. 9, 2017, after floodwaters crested earlier in the day. Most bridges that had closed were reopened.
Photo by Scott Sonner


Withhold Public Fracking Information


A bill adding an amendment to the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, offered to the state's House floor for a vote Monday, would keep descriptions of chemical ingredients involved in hydraulic fracturing in the state out of the public eye.

If HB 1678, along with its sister bill, HB 1679, pass, companies engaging in hydraulic fracking in Virginia will be able to file for protection of records regarding the names of chemical ingredients and quantities of those chemicals involved in "ground-disturbing activities." Virginia's Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy would decide whether such information could be deemed a "trade secret" worthy of a shield from FOIA inquiries, which often come from reporters and activists.

Kristin Davis, a staff attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center, told International Business Times the bill not only put Virginians at risk by keeping them from knowing whether their well water might be contaminated by nearby fracking, but also destroyed years of regulatory work by a number of activists and groups including the SELC.

"Virginia just spent the past three years making regulation requiring drillers to provide that information," Davis said, adding that the requirement went into effect Dec. 28. "HB 1678 really seeks to rewrite the new regulations... That is not something that the stakeholders agreed to during all the years of discussion."

State Rep. Roxann Robinson, who introduced the amendment, did not respond to calls and emails from IB Times by press time.



Texans Give Offensive Gift


On Monday, China said it "firmly opposed" Sunday's meeting between Taiwanese leader Tsai Ing-wen and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. Cruz and Tsai reportedly discussed "arms sales, diplomatic exchanges and economic relations," while Abbott's conversation was more focused on agriculture and gas trade. Abbott also presented a culturally offensive gift.

While Tsai stuck to an appropriate vase, Abbott gave Tsai "a clock bearing the Texas state seal." In Mandarin, the phrase "give a clock" sounds like "attend a funeral," and so giving a clock is, per Foreign Policy Asia editor James Palmer, "basically the Chinese equivalent of 'Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes.'" In other words, it is highly taboo.

In fact, in 2015, Baroness Susan Kramer, then-British minister of state for transport, gave Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je a pocket watch on a visit to Taiwan. Though Ko noted that he did not believe in such superstitions, he also joked that he might sell it to a scrap metal dealer. Kramer apologized, insisting that she did not know of the taboo. "I had no idea a gift like this could be seen as anything other than positive: In the U.K. a watch is precious - because nothing is more important than time," she said.

Leaving aside that using Taiwan as a bargaining chip may not, in fact, be the best way to establish the long-term security of Taiwan, this Texas meeting raises a few questions. First, why is Cruz, whose father Trump accused of being involved in the assassination of U.S. President John Kennedy, charged with carrying out this renewed relationship with Taiwan? Second, if relations were to be renegotiated, would that not be at the federal, and not, say, Texas level? And if so, why was Abbott there? Because it probably wasn't for his cultural sensitivity.



A television news crew views the fallen Pioneer Cabin Tree at Calaveras Big Trees State Park Monday, Jan. 9, 2017, in Arnold , Calif. Famous for a "drive-thru" hole carved into its trunk, the giant sequoia was toppled over by a massive storm Sunday.
Photo by Rich Pedroncelli


Sells China Operations


US fast-food giant McDonald's will sell a controlling stake in its China and Hong Kong business for up to $2.08 billion to a consortium including state-owned Citic and the Carlyle Group, it was announced Monday.

The deal is part of an international turnaround plan by the Golden Arches as it struggles with sluggish growth at home.

Citic Limited, Citic Capital Holdings, Carlyle Group and McDonald's will form a company that will act as a franchisee for the chain's business in mainland China and Hong Kong for 20 years, the companies said in a joint statement.

Citic is a vast Chinese state-owned conglomerate with interests in businesses ranging from energy and manufacturing to real estate.

Citic and Citic Capital will have a stake of 52 percent, Carlyle will take 28 percent and McDonald's will retain 20 percent of the new company.



Could Trigger Collapse Of Ocean Current

Climate Change

In the 2004 disaster film "The Day After Tomorrow," global warming leads to the failure of an enormous current in the Atlantic Ocean, triggering catastrophic natural disasters and establishing freezing conditions in North America and Europe over a matter of weeks.

That scenario might not be so far-fetched, researchers have found.

The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), a deep-sea system that circulates warm water and helps to regulate Earth's climate, is far less stable than scientists once thought, according to a new study. Under climate-change pressures such as dramatic increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), the AMOC could even collapse entirely, resulting in a much colder Northern Hemisphere and a wetter tropical Atlantic region.

This particular scenario wouldn't happen for hundreds of years - if it happens at all, the study authors wrote. However, computer models used to predict Earth's climate future typically represent AMOC as relatively stable. An unstable AMOC, as described in the study, changes the equation and presents a future several centuries from now in which the current weakens and ultimately fails to recover from repeated disruption, with dire consequences for the global climate.

AMOC operates like a gigantic climate conveyer belt. In the depths of the Atlantic Ocean, cold, dense waters are carried southward, toward the equator. At the same time, closer to the surface, the current transports heat (in the form of warm, less dense water) from the tropics to the North, where it gets transferred into the atmosphere and warms the air. This heat exchange is what drives and maintains global climate patterns, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Climate Change



A Palestinian rides his horse along the shore of the Mediterranean Sea as the sun sets during cold, stormy weather in Gaza City, Monday, Jan. 9, 2017.
Photo by Adel Hana



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