A Conversation Between Yuval Noah Harari and Daniel Kahneman: Death is Optional (Edge)
In terms of ideas, in terms of religions, the most interesting place today in the world is Silicon Valley, not the Middle East. This is where people like Ray Kurzweil, are creating new religions. These are the religions that will take over the world, not the ones coming out of Syria and Iraq and Nigeria.
Paul Krugman: Partying Like It's 1995 (NY Times)
Now, as then, unemployment is down to a level at which the economy should be overheating, but it isn't. How should the Fed react?
Kevin Carey: "Here's What Will Truly Change Higher Education: Online Degrees That Are Seen as Official" (NY Times)
Three years ago, technology was going to transform higher education. What happened?
Alex Hern: "Dead Drops: what to do if you see a USB stick sticking out of a wall" (Guardian)
If you spot a USB flash drive cemented into a wall or kerb, you may have stumbled across a Dead Drop, part of a global art project borrowing tricks from the world of espionage.
Rachel Pincus: Retroreflective Clothes Combat Paparazzi and Trigger-Happy Friends (PSFK)
Are these bright reflections just a prank - or a new form of self-defense?
Alison Flood: Fay Weldon has misread ebook readers as 'non-literary' (Guardian)
The novelist has advised writers to publish easier, event-driven versions of their books for impatient digital audiences. Has she lost the plot?
Alison Flood: Self-publishing lets women break book industry's glass ceiling, survey finds (Guardian)
While men still dominate the traditional books world, among DIY writers women are publishing and selling more.
David Bruce: Wise Up! Acting (Athens News)
Paul, Joe, Mark and Stephen McGann are all brothers, and they are all actors. Constantly, each of them is mistaken for one of his brothers. Paul points out an advantage of these cases of mistaken identity: "I can always say, 'Thank you, so glad you liked it.' Or if they didn't like it, I can say, 'Oh, that was Stephen, actually.'"
David Bruce's Amazon Author Page
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David Bruce has over 80 Kindle books on Amazon.com.
Michelle in AZ
David E Suggests
From The Creator of 'Avery Ant'
I love paisley. Thanks for the info! And what about madras? Remember when you had to have about a dozen madras shirts? And the more faded, the better! I remember people sharing cautions about getting dyed if they wore their shirts and sweated in them before washing them.
We are all only temporarily able bodied.
My mom wouldn't allow Madras in her washing machine, so none entered my wardrobe.
OTOH, I did get the spiffy white go-go boots that I really wanted.
from Marc Perkel
Hello Bartcop fans,
As you all know the untimely passing of Terry was unexpected, even by him. We all knew he had cancer but we all thought he had some years left. So some of us who have worked closely with him over the years are scrambling around trying to figure out what to do. My job, among other things, is to establish communications with the Bartcop community and provide email lists and groups for those who might put something together. Those who want to play an active roll in something coming from this, or if you are one of Bart's pillars, should send an email to email@example.com.
Bart's final wish was to pay off the house mortgage for Mrs. Bart who is overwhelmed and so very grateful for the support she has received. Anyone wanting to make a donation can click on this the yellow donate button on bartcop.com
But - I need you all to help keep this going. This note isn't going to directly reach all of Bart's fans. So if you can repost it on blogs and discussion boards so people can sign up then when we figure out what's next we can let more people know. This list is just over 600 but like to get it up to at least 10,000 pretty quick. So here's the signup link for this email list.
( mailman.bartcop.com/listinfo/bartnews )
from that Mad Cat, JD
In The Chaos Household
Realized that the phone hadn't rung in days, so when I flipped it open, some of the writing was upside-down, some was backwards, and nothing was accessible.
Turned it on & off, but things were still quite scrambled, and it just wouldn't cooperate.
While replacing it this afternoon, I asked the saleswoman what was the life expectancy of a phone these days.
She said that the contracts are for 2 years, so anything over 2 years is considered good.
Guess I should feel lucky that I've only had to replace my phone 3 times in 8 years, and forget that the tacky princess phone I bought 42 years ago still works.
Director Pleads Guilty
A year after a freight train plowed into crew members for a movie about singer Gregg Allman, killing a young camera assistant, the film's director was sentenced to two years in jail Monday as part of a plea deal.
In a rare case of a filmmaker being prosecuted for a death on a movie set, "Midnight Rider" director Randall Miller pleaded guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespassing as part of the last-minute deal in southeast Georgia.
Prosecutors agreed to drop charges against Miller's wife and business partner, Jody Savin. The movie's executive producer, Jay Sedrish, also pleaded guilty and got 10 years on probation.
All three were to stand trial for the Feb. 20, 2014, train collision that killed 27-year-old camera assistant Sarah Jones of Atlanta and injured six other crew members on a railroad bridge in rural southeast Georgia. Her death galvanized behind-the-scenes film workers nationwide to push for improved safety standards on sets.
Which major television news outlet is most trusted by Americans? It depends on how you ask the question.
American voters are nearly split over whether Fox News or CNN ranks as the most trustworthy news outlet, according to a national poll released by Quinnipiac University on Monday.
Both of the networks trailed local television news, which was considered trustworthy to some degree by 71 percent of those surveyed.
Fox, the 21st Century Fox unit touting itself as "balanced and fair," was the overwhelming favorite among Republican voters and CNN was the top pick of Democrats. While men chose Fox over CNN 34 to 18 percent, women were evenly split.
Trailing CNN and Fox News were Comcast Corp's NBC News and CBS News, each winning 10 percent, while 8 percent selected Walt Disney Co's ABC News and 7 percent chose MSNBC, NBC's cable unit.
Former Fox News host Eric Burns described the network's audience as a "cult" while weighing in on the developing scandal surrounding Bill O'Reilly, who he called "the head of the cult."
"I think the way to understand this is to make a distinction between culture and cult," Burns, who hosted "Fox News Watch" for a decade, told CNN's Brian Stelter on Sunday. "I'm saying that the people who watch Fox News are cult-ish. Because for many years, conservatives have been extremely upset in this country because the only newscast that they had to watch were liberal, you people at CNN and how liberal you are. And NBC and ABC and CBS."
"They never had their own television station," Burns continued. "When they got one, their appreciation, their audience loyalty - and I know what the audience loyalty was like when I was there - their audience loyalty soared. And so O'Reilly, as the head of the cult, is not held to the same standards as Brian Williams."
"No one expects much out of O'Reilly as a Fox News host," Burns said. "No one expects the truth. He's been caught in numerous lies, and those have never been a story."
In a massive study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, scientists at the Norwegian University for Science and Technology at Trondheim concluded that there is no link between the use of LSD and psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms) and mental-health problems. The study selected 135,000 participants at random-including 19,000 who had used psychedelic drugs-and found no evidence linking such drugs to the onset of mental disorders.
"Over 30 million U.S. adults have tried psychedelics and there just is not much evidence of health problems," the author and clinical psychologist Pål-Ørjan Johansen said.
Johanesen was careful to acknowledge that users of psychedelic drugs are not immune to bad trips, and are as susceptible as anyone else to mental-health issues. But his findings negate a common perception that drugs like LSD put users directly in danger-a justification used in criminalization.
"This study assures us that there were not widespread 'acid casualties' in the 1960s," Charles Grob, a pediatric psychiatrist at UCLA, told Nature.
The study's publication arrives at a time when interest in psychedelic drugs-or at least their scientific usefulness-is surging. In The New Yorker, the journalist Michael Pollan profiled scientists at New York University whose experiments with administering psilocybin have had largely positive results-particularly among participants stricken with terminal cancer. And in the U.K., 12 patients suffering from clinical depression will take magic mushrooms in a study next year at London's Imperial College.
Forty-seven Republican U.S. senators warned Iran's leaders on Monday that any nuclear deal with President Barack Obama could last only as long as he remains in office, an unusual partisan intervention in foreign policy that could undermine delicate international talks with Tehran.
The open letter was signed by all but seven of the Republicans in the Senate and none of Obama's fellow Democrats, who called it a "stunt." Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif dismissed it as a "propaganda ploy" from pressure groups he called afraid of diplomatic agreement.
In the letter, the senators said Congress plays a role in ratifying international agreements. Noting Obama will leave office in January 2017, they said any deal not approved by Congress would be merely "an executive agreement" that could be revoked by Congress.
The White House said the letter was a partisan effort to undermine Obama's foreign policy by lawmakers who oppose a deal even if the only alternative is military action.
The letter was spearheaded by first-term Senator Tom Cotton, who has called for "regime change" in Iran, not negotiations. Signers included all of the Senate's Republican leaders, and possible 2016 presidential contenders Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Rand Paul.
Russian President Vladimir Putin awarded a state honor to a man suspected by Britain of using radioactive polonium to poison Kremlin critic Alexander Litvinenko in London nearly a decade ago.
The medal "for services to the fatherland," second degree, was given to Andrei Lugovoy for his contribution to developing Russia's parliament, according to a citation posted on the official state bulletin.
Litvinenko died in a London hospital in 2006. An investigation found he had been exposed to polonium, a radioactive isotope. British authorities named Lugovoy and another Russian, Dmitry Kovtun, as suspects.
They have denied involvement, and Russia refused to extradite them to stand trial. Lugovoy is now a member of parliament with a nationalist party.
Word Police Bans 'Climate Change'
Climate change activists blasted Florida Governor Rick Scott (R-Shameless) on Monday for leading an "Orwellian" campaign to ban employees of the state's lead environmental agency from using such terms as "global warming" and "climate change."
Despite coastal Florida's vulnerability to storm surges and rising sea levels, the state's Department of Environmental Protection was directed in 2011 not to use the phrases in official communications, according to a report by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting.
The governor's office and the Department of Environmental Protection denied there was a policy banning the terms. "There is no policy and it simply is not true," said Scott's deputy communications director, John Tupps.
Employees were told not to use the phrases 'climate change,' 'global warming,' 'sea level rise,' or 'sustainability,' attorney Christopher Byrd, who worked with the department's Office of General Counsel from 2008 to 2013, confirmed to Reuters.
The euphemism suggested to employees for "sea level rise" was "coastal resiliency," he said.
Finally Some Snow
More than four inches of new snowfall greeted Stan Hooley, the chief executive officer of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, when he arrived in Fairbanks on Sunday, a day before the competitive race begins.
"Seems a little bit more like the Iditarod when you actually have some snow around," said Hooley.
Warm temperatures have played havoc with the Iditarod all winter long as the same stalled jet stream that buried the eastern seaboard in snow has left Alaska unseasonable warm and dry. Officials last month decided conditions in the Alaska Range were so poor because of a lack of snow that the competitive start would be moved over the mountain range to Fairbanks.
That wasn't the only change officials were considering, and the ceremonial start in Anchorage could have been moved to Fairbanks, as well, also because of the weather.
The temperature of 14 degrees and light snow in Fairbanks Sunday morning were very different from the conditions mushers faced in Anchorage a day before, when it was 40 degrees and rainy. Municipality of Anchorage crews trucked in snow so mushers could travel downtowns streets for the ceremonial start, but Hooley said if the event had gone on another hour, that all would have been melted away.
Global Concert Tours
The Top 20 Global Concert Tours ranks artists by average box office gross per city and includes the average ticket price for shows worldwide. The list is based on data provided to the trade publication Pollstar by concert promoters and venue managers.
1. Fleetwood Mac; $1,878,573; $133.32.
2. Justin Timberlake; $1,582,776; $120.14.
3. Andre Rieu; $751,566; $107.73.
4. Trans-Siberian Orchestra; $733,006; $56.42.
5. Bryan Adams; $621,084; $66.66.
6. Eric Church; $551,762; $48.62.
7. Florida Georgia Line; $536,034; $52.98.
8. James Taylor; $513,108; $79.65.
9. Slipknot; $464,000; $55.34.
10. The Black Keys; $428,102; $58.79.
11. Jeff Dunham; $411,808; $85.00.
12. Jason Mraz; $332,205; $75.77.
13. Sam Smith; $313,347; $52.86.
14. Dierks Bentley; $296,271; $46.73.
15. John Fogerty; $285,866; $56.73.
16. ThePianoGuys; $189,949; $52.13.
17. Harry Connick Jr.; $185,167; $86.10.
18. "Winter Jam"/Skillet; $162,735; $12.37.
19. Billy Idol; $156,202; $53.63.
20. Ben Howard; $154,987; $42.98.
Global Concert Tours
Sam Simon, a co-creator of Fox's long-running hit animated series "The Simpsons" and an ardent philanthropist for animals, died after a battle with colon cancer, his agent said on Monday. He was 59.
Simon won nine Emmy awards for his work as a writer and executive producer of "The Simpsons," the situation comedy that premiered in 1989 and won over a global audience with its portrait of a bumbling father and his wayward family.
Doctors first gave Simon three to six months to live when he was diagnosed with incurable colon cancer in 2012. Simon, who had founded the Sam Simon Foundation in 2002, decided to give away his fortune, estimated by media at $100 million.
"I have a desire to help animals," Simon told Reuters last August. "The question of whether it makes financial sense, it's my money and I get to do what I want with it. It's an expensive hobby I picked up at the end of my life."
Growing up in Beverly Hills, California, Simon embraced art and was selling cartoons to San Francisco newspapers while still a student at Stanford University.
In 1988, Simon joined cartoonist Groening and producer James L. Brooks in creating "The Simpsons" prime-time series.
He oversaw the writing staff and helped develop the characters populating the dysfunctional world around the oafish but endearing Homer Simpson: his dutiful wife, Marge, and their children, bratty Bart, overachieving Lisa and baby Maggie.
After four seasons of "The Simpsons," Simon negotiated a deal to leave the show while retaining a percentage of its future earnings, which would bring him between $20 million and $30 million a year. He is still listed as executive producer in the show's credits.