Paul Krugman: Who Ate Republicans' Brains? (NY Times Column)
Four decades of intellectual and moral deteriation.
Paul Krugman: Heritage On Health, 1989 (NY Times Blog)
Overall, what's striking about the Heritage plan is that it's not notably more conservative than what Obama actually implemented: a bit less regulation, a substantial amount of additional spending. If Obamacare is an extreme leftist measure, as so many Republicans claim, the Heritage Foundation in the 1980s was a leftist institution.
Daniel Handler: Want Teenage Boys to Read? Easy. Give Them Books About Sex. (NY Times)
What interests teenage boys? You're smirking, but this is a question that occupies many of us in the field of young people's literature. It's well-documented that girls are reading more than boys, a statistic of increasing concern.
Joseph P. Carter: "The Universe Doesn't Care About Your 'Purpose'" (NY Times)
But you do. And you should.
George Yancy and Noam Chomsky: "Noam Chomsky: On Trump and the State of the Union" (NY Times)
My suspicion is that those who seem oblivious to suffering, whether it is nearby or in remote corners, are for the most part unaware, perhaps blinded by doctrine and ideology. For them, the answer is to develop a critical attitude toward articles of faith, secular or religious; to encourage their capacity to question, to explore, to view the world from the standpoint of others. And direct exposure is never very far away, wherever we live - perhaps the homeless person huddling in the cold or asking for a few pennies for food, or all too many more.
Andrew Tobias: Opinions from the Left and Right
Executive summary: No one likes Trump
Dr. Luisa Dillner: Can money buy you happiness? (The Guardian)
Research shows that splashing the cash can boost feelings of pleasure - but it depends who you spend it on.
Michele Hanson: My memory loss is under control - for the moment (The Guardian)
In which forgetting things sends my day and my carefully laid plans veering into disaster.
Jonathan Jones: Britain's best-loved artwork is a Banksy. That's proof of our stupidity (The Guardian)
Banksy's Girl with Balloon comes top in a popular vote, despite its oversimplification of human emotion. Real art is ambiguous and difficult.
David Bruce's Amazon Author Page
David Bruce's Smashwords Page
David Bruce's Blog
David Bruce's Lulu Storefront
David Bruce's Apple iBookstore
David Bruce has over 80 Kindle books on Amazon.com.
Michelle in AZ
Jeannie the Teed-Off Temp
from Marc Perkel
from that Mad Cat, JD
THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS!
THE PUSHER MAN.
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
THE AL GORE SHOW.
Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music
In The Chaos Household
Script Leaked Online
'Game of Thrones'
Script for episode 4 leaks online following HBO hack
A number of unreleased episodes from popular HBO shows like Ballers recently surfaced online after hackers breached the company's ostensibly secure computer systems, according to a report from Entertainment Weekly. What's more, the hackers are believed to have also leaked a script for next week's episode of Game of Thrones, HBO's most popular show and arguably its largest cash cow. All told, the hackers involved in this attack reportedly managed to abscond with 1.5 terabytes of data.
In a statement provided to EW, HBO confirmed the breach and expressed the following:
HBO recently experienced a cyber incident, which resulted in the compromise of proprietary information. We immediately began investigating the incident and are working with law enforcement and outside cybersecurity firms. Data protection is a top priority at HBO, and we take seriously our responsibility to protect the data we hold.
In a corresponding email to employees, HBO said that its technology team is already "working round the clock" with "outside exports" in order to get a handle on what went wrong and to prevent future security breaches.
At this point, it's not apparent what type of data the hackers pilfered, save for the aforementioned Game of Thrones script and episodes of Ballers and Room 104. Notably, a message from the group behind the attack sent out an email last night implying that unreleased Game of Thrones episodes might surface online soon, but it remains to be seen if this is indeed the case.
'Game of Thrones'
Author From The 1800s
Ingersoll Lockwood, an American political writer, lawyer and novelist, combined a unique mixture of science fiction and fantasy into his novels from the late 1800s. Two of his most popular works of literature were illustrated children's stories, focusing on a peculiar fictional character whose name rings a bell in 2017: Baron Trump.
Trump, an aristocratically wealthy young man living in Castle Trump, is the protagonist of Lockwood's first two fictional novels, The Travels and Adventures of Little Baron Trump and His Wonderful Dog Bulgar and Baron Trump's Marvelous Underground Journey. The little boy, who has an unending imagination and "a very active brain," is bored of the luxurious lifestyle he has grown so accustomed to. In a twist of fate, Trump visits Russia to embark on an extraordinary adventure that will shape the rest of his life.
Lockwood's final novel arrived in 1896, titled The Last President.
There are some incredible connections to be made to the first family of the United States and Lockwood's novels from the turn of the 19th century. For starters, the main character's name is the same as Donald Trump's (R-Corrupt) son, albeit spelt differently. Trump's adventures begin in Russia, and are guided thanks to directions provided by "the master of all masters," a man named "Don."
Lockwood's creations have resurfaced online in recent weeks on forums and Reddit, thanks to a number of 4chan users who shared images and conspiracy theories about the fantasy stories. Some claimed the Trump family possesses a time machine that has allowed them to remain powerful to this day.
Discovery Communications Acquiring
Discovery Communications Inc is acquiring Scripps Networks Interactive Inc for $11.9 billion in a deal expected to boost the company's negotiating leverage as it seeks new audiences.
The acquisition, announced on Monday, brings together Scripps' largely female-focused lifestyle channels such as HGTV, Travel Channel and Food Network with Discovery's Animal Planet and Discovery Channel, whose viewers are primarily male.
Despite expectations of $350 million in total cost synergies, many analysts questioned how the combined company would compete long term as viewers cut cords to cable providers and as advertising and ratings decline.
Discovery is paying 70 percent cash and 30 percent stock for Scripps. The total price of the deal is $14.6 billion including debt.
3,500-Year-Old 'Lunch Box' Found
About 3,500 years ago, an intrepid traveler in the Swiss Alps lost their lunch box.
Archaeologists recently discovered the wooden vessel as the ice where it was buried melted near the top of a mountain. They even uncovered clues about the box's final contents; a chemical analysis revealed faint traces of cereals like wheat and rye, perhaps from a hearty whole- grain porridge.
Baskets, barrels and boxes made from organic materials like wood or leather rarely survive in the archaeological record, but some examples have been found in the Alps before. In fact, Europe's oldest mummy, Ötzi the Iceman, was found with two birch-bark containers. These lightweight vessels were probably preferred over ceramic containers for long journeys over snowy mountain passes. (Hikers today are careful about every ounce of equipment they pack. It probably wasn't much different during the Bronze Age.) Just this month, the mummified remains of a couple buried in the Alps 75 years ago turned up.
Archaeologists have identified some ice patches in the Alps where artifacts that were once frozen in time are being newly exposed as the climate warms. One such place is an ice patch near the summit of the Lötschenpass at an altitude of 8,700 feet (2,650 meters). The wooden box was discovered there in 2012. It has a round base made of Swiss pine and a rim made of willow, and it is sewn together with splint twigs of European larch. It also had a mysterious residue on its surface.
Armed with new chemical techniques, archaeologists can now analyze residues of food and drink - like animal and dairy fats - left on seemingly empty ancient pots. However, it's rare to find lipids (or fats) from cereals on artifacts, even though grains like wheat, barley and rye were important after the emergence of farming, the researchers wrote in their summary of the findings, published Wednesday (July 26) in the journal Scientific Reports.
Small Odds Of Reaching Goal
There is a five-percent chance of limiting average global warming to under two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), the target set in the 2015 climate-rescue Paris Agreement, researchers said on Monday.
And chances of meeting the lower, aspirational 1.5 C goal, also listed in the 196-nation pact, were a mere one percent, they wrote in the journal Nature Climate Change.
A US-based expert team used projections for population growth to estimate future production, and related carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels.
Based on these data, "the likely range of global temperature increase is 2 C to 4.9 C, with median 3.2 C and a five percent chance that it will be less than 2 C," they wrote.
Dictated Misleading Statement
Donald Trump (R-Crooked) dictated a statement, later shown to be misleading, in which his son Donald Trump Jr. said a meeting he had with a Russian lawyer in June 2016 was not related to his father's presidential campaign, the Washington Post reported on Monday.
Trump Jr. released emails earlier in July that showed he eagerly agreed last year to meet a woman he was told was a Russian government lawyer who might have damaging information about Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton as part of Moscow's official support for his father. The New York Times was first to report the meeting.
The Washington Post said Trump advisers discussed the new disclosure and agreed that Trump Jr. should issue a truthful account of the episode so that it "couldn't be repudiated later if the full details emerged."
The president, who was flying home from Germany on July 8, changed the plan and "personally dictated a statement in which Trump Jr. said he and the Russian lawyer had 'primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children,'" the Post said, citing unnamed people with knowledge of the deliberations.
It said the statement, issued to the New York Times as it prepared to publish the story, emphasized that the subject of the meeting was "not a campaign issue at the time."
Pink Panty Sheriff Convicted
Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio (R-Bad Hombre) was convicted of a criminal charge Monday for refusing to stop traffic patrols that targeted immigrants, marking a final rebuke for a politician who once drew strong popularity from such crackdowns but was ultimately booted from office as voters became frustrated over his headline-grabbing tactics and deepening legal troubles.
The federal judge's verdict represents a victory for critics who voiced anger over Arpaio's unusual efforts to get tough on crime, including jailing inmates in tents during triple-digit heat, forcing them to wear pink underwear and making hundreds of arrests in crackdowns that divided immigrant families. Arpaio is vowing to appeal.
Arpaio, who spent 24 years as the sheriff of metro Phoenix, skirted two earlier criminal investigations of his office. But he wasn't able to avoid legal problems when he prolonged his signature immigration patrols for nearly a year and a half after a different judge ordered him to stop. That judge later ruled they racially profiled Latinos.
The lawman who made defiance a hallmark of his tenure was found guilty of misdemeanor contempt-of-court for ignoring the 2011 court order to stop the patrols. The 85-year-old faces up to six months in jail, though attorneys who have followed the case doubt someone his age would be incarcerated. He will be sentenced Oct. 5.
Critics hoped Arpaio's eight-day trial in federal court in Phoenix would bring a long-awaited comeuppance for lawman who had managed to escape accountability through much of his six terms.
A healthy 30-year-old man in Stockholm has died after undergoing penis enlargement surgery.
Aside from a minor case of asthma, the deceased suffered from no other pre-existing medical conditions.
He had requested penile elongation and penile enlargement, often carried out in the same procedure, which is typically done by extracting unwanted fat cells from places such as the belly or the thighs.
The elongation was completed successfully, but when the enlargement began - in which the fat cells are injected into the penis - the patient's heart rate soared, his blood pressure dived and his oxygen levels fell drastically.
"This is the first described case where a seemingly simple and safe procedure of penis enlargement by autologous fat transfer caused sudden death in a healthy young man," a case study by the Journal of Forensic Sciences reports.
Developed Its Own Language
Artificial intelligence is a growing field for tech companies, but a recent experiment from Facebook showcased an unintended consequence of the new technology.
As part of a project on machine learning applications, Facebook researchers worked on developing artificial intelligence-powered agents that would be able to negotiate with themselves. In the test, the agents were tasked with automatically figuring out ways to split a group of items. In addition, both agents had specific values assigned to each item, ensuring that they couldn't come to a draw.
But beyond the long-disputed science-fiction fears of AI developing self-awareness and enslaving humanity, Facebook's findings illustrate another interesting aspect of AI and language development.
Consumer-focused products have made human interaction a major part of AI development, but what if AI-powered programs could simply work and talk without needing humans? For a language like English, researchers need to invest time and development making ways for AI to understand areas like syntax and sentence structure. By bypassing these hoops for agents to jump through and allowing AI to work without needing human language, researchers have argued that AI-powered hardware or software could learn at even faster rates.
French actress Jeanne Moreau, who lit up the screen in "Jules et Jim" and starred in some of the most critically acclaimed films of the 20th century, has died aged 89, her agent said Monday.
The gravel-voiced actress epitomised the freedoms of the 1960s and brought daring, depth and danger to a string of cinematic masterpieces from Louis Malle's "Lift to the Scaffold" to Jacques Demy's "Bay of Angels".
Once described by US director Orson Welles as "the best actress in the world", she was a feminist icon and trailblazer for liberated women as well as the face of the French New Wave.
Moreau won the best actress award at the 1960 Cannes film festival for "Moderato Cantabile" in which she starred alongside Jean-Paul Belmondo.
Born in Paris 1928 to an English chorus girl from Oldham and a French cafe owner, she took to acting with apparent effortless ease, defying her father by joining the Paris conservatoire at the age of 18, and gaining entry to the elite Comedie Francaise theatre troupe two years later.
Her breakthrough came in 1958 when she starred in two films for Malle that challenged the moral certitudes of the times.
But it was her tomboy playfulness that won her the hearts of a whole generation of filmgoers in "Jules et Jim", playing the woman at the centre of a menage-a-trois with two best friends, one Austrian and one French on the eve of World War I.
Francois Truffaut -- who directed the film -- said "every time I picture her in the distance I see her reading not a newspaper but a book, because Jeanne Moreau doesn't suggest flirtation but love."
Never short of male company, she was also romantically linked with Malle, Truffaut, Welles, Tony Richardson and Marcello Mastroianni and the fashion designer Pierre Cardin among others.
Having racked up over 130 films over six decades, she continued acting till the end.
Sam Shepard, the preeminent US playwright of his generation celebrated for depicting a darkness to contemporary American life and Oscar-nominated actor, has died. He was 73.
Shepard, who wrote nearly 50 plays, won the Pulitzer Prize in Drama in 1979 for his play "Buried Child" and was nominated for an Academy Award in 1984 for best actor in a supporting role for "The Right Stuff."
He went on to star in dozens of films with acting credits on the likes of "Steel Magnolias" with Dolly Parton and Julia Roberts, 2001 war drama "Black Hawk Down," and 2013 family saga "August: Osage County" with Meryl Streep.
His writing career extended to cinema and he wrote the screenplay for "Paris, Texas," which won the Palme D'Or at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival.
On television, his most recent work was in the first two seasons of Netflix series "Bloodline" in 2015 and 2016, which marked his final on-camera appearance.
Born Samuel Shepard Rogers in Fort Sheridan, Illinois in 1943, he was the son of a teacher and of an Army officer who was a bomber pilot during World War II.
His father struggled with alcoholism, and Shepard had a nomadic childhood, moving from base to base around the country before the family relocated to an avocado farm in California and he graduated from high school in Duarte.
Shepard played the drums with bands such as the Holy Modal Rounders and collaborated with Bob Dylan in writing the 11-minute song "Brownsville Girl," which appeared on Dylan's 1986 album "Knocked Out Loaded."
Shepard was in a long-term relationship with the actress Jessica Lange for many years. The couple had two children. Shepard is also survived by a son he shared with actress O-Lan Jones, to whom he was previously married.
In 1986, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and in 1994, he was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame.
In 2009, he received the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award as a master American dramatist.