Paul Krugman: Wisdom, Courage and the Economy (NY Times Column)
… what do we actually know how to do when it comes to economic policy? We do, in fact, know how to provide essential health care to everyone; most advanced countries do it. We know how to provide basic security in retirement. We know quite a lot about how to raise the incomes of low-paid workers. I'd also argue that we know how to fight financial crises and recessions, although political gridlock and deficit obsession has gotten in the way of using that knowledge.
Peter Bradshaw: Wiener-Dog review - Todd Solondz finds something to feel good about in pet project (the Guardian)
The canine star of this deadpan black comedy, which also stars Danny DeVito, has a mute dignity that raises him above all the disillusioned humans in it.
Jasper Jackson: "Netflix's Reed Hastings: 'We've got a long way to go to get to ubiquity'" (The Guardian)
The streaming giant's chief executive believes its big spending is sustainable - and isn't worried about losing out to rivals such as Amazon.
Kathy Benjamin: 6 Awesome Stories From The Rio Olympics NBC Won't Show You (Cracked)
You probably heard that the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro were going to be an absolute shitshow. In fact, we told you that a couple times. But every virus-laden cloud holding you up at gunpoint has a silver lining, and there have been some truly inspirational stories to come out of the Games so far. Some of them didn't even get one of those over-the-top motivational mini-movies NBC has such a hard-on for.
Is Denial Healthy? (Slate)
Answer by David Chan, M.D. from UCLA, Stanford oncology fellowship: A certain amount of denial is healthy in life. We can't go day by day fearful of possible disaster. … Denial is bad is when it's out of control. It's like binge-eating, addiction to alcohol, compulsive gambling, or extreme risk-taking. Too much of a good thing is bad. Too much denial in a serious medical situation will cause the patient to forego treatment, and that has obvious dire consequences.
Katy Waldman: How Did Children's Literature Evolve From Prim Morality Tales to the Likes of Captain Underpants? (Slate)
Literary critic and University of California-San Diego professor Seth Lerer is an expert on the subject. He's the author of Children's Literature: A Reader's History from Aesop to Harry Potter, a wide-ranging, captivating, and extremely fun work of scholarship that won the National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism in 2008. Slate chatted with Lerer about the very first children's books, how libraries once taught kids the ABCs of American citizenship, and the juggernaut phenomenon of Harry Potter.
David Bruce's Amazon Author Page
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David Bruce has over 80 Kindle books on Amazon.com.
"Doug's Most Shared Facebook Post" Today
Michelle in AZ
They're not political cartoons, but both of the attached cartoons reminded me of Lumpy.
We are all only temporarily able bodied.
from Marc Perkel
from that Mad Cat, JD
BOOM OR BLUSTER!
THE "UNITED STATES OF TRUMP" NATIONAL BIRD!
ZAP! YOU'RE GONE!
Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music
In The Chaos Household
Way too toasty.
'Nightly Show' Axed By Comedy Central
Comedy Central's "The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore" is coming to an end.
The late-night humor and talk show, which premiered in January 2015, will conclude its run Thursday, the network announced Monday.
The program, which filled the slot vacated by Stephen Colbert when he jumped to CBS, sought to explore current events and larger life issues as presided over by Wilmore, who previously had served as "senior black correspondent" on "The Daily Show."
But audience acceptance of "The Nightly Show" never approached its "Daily Show" lead-in, neither during the regime of Jon Stewart nor that of his successor, Trevor Noah, who took over last September.
While this year's second quarter found "The Daily Show" beaten only by NBC's "The Tonight Show" in adults 18-to-34, logging 278,000 viewers, "The Nightly Show" retained little more than half that audience, according to Nielsen.
Bible, Nobel Medal Released To Estate
A judge on Monday signed an order ending an ownership dispute over the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s traveling Bible and Nobel Peace Prize medal that had essentially pitted the slain civil rights leader's two sons against their sister.
The consent order signed by Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney says the items are to be released to Martin Luther King III as chairman of the board of his father's estate but does not indicate what will happen to them after that.
The parties released a joint statement Monday saying the details of the settlement are confidential.
King's three surviving children - Martin, Dexter Scott King and Bernice King - are the sole shareholders and directors of the estate. Dexter is its president and CEO.
The case was the latest in a string of legal disputes that have divided the slain civil rights icon's children in recent years.
Removing Dorm Name
Vanderbilt University announced Monday that it will pay more than a million dollars to remove an inscription containing the word "Confederate" from one of its campus dorms.
The private university has referred to the Confederate Memorial Hall simply as "Memorial Hall" since 2002, but was blocked in court from changing the name chiseled on the building because it was constructed with the help of a $50,000 gift from the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1933.
Under the agreement, Vanderbilt will pay $1.2 million, the equivalent of the gift made 83 years ago, to the organization's Tennessee chapter. In exchange, the chapter will relinquish its naming rights to the building.
"You can memorialize individuals without taking sides in the bloodiest war that was fought over the divisive issues of slavery and equality that we're still struggling with today for those young people coming onto campus," Vanderbilt Chancellor Nicholas Zeppos said in a phone interview.
The money has been pledged by anonymous donors, and Zeppos said the school chooses to focus on "moving Vanderbilt forward" rather than on what projects the Daughters of the Confederacy will spend the funds on, especially in light of a new Tennessee law that makes it more difficult to remove Confederate symbols and statues from public places.
Robots And Diapers
Thai elderly care robot Dinsow can not only keep track of your medication and video-phone your relatives, but can also exercise with you and even entertain you with its karaoke skills.
Its manufacturer, CT Asia Robotics, is one of many Thai firms investing heavily in healthcare for the aged in a country where the working-age population will decline this year - a first among the emerging economies of Southeast Asia.
By the end of 2016, almost 15 percent of Thailand's roughly 68 million people will be over the retirement age of 60. The government expects the proportion to reach 20 percent by 2020, adding strain to an already stretched healthcare sector.
Thailand's population swing toward the elderly comes as living and education costs rise along with economic development that has outpaced neighbors, according to the World Bank.
The government estimates households spend almost of third of their income on caring for elderly relatives, and KGI Securities estimates healthcare spending will be as high as 7.0 percent of gross domestic product by 2026 from 4.5 percent in 2015.
Hottest Month In Recorded History
Earth just broiled to its hottest month in recorded history, according to NASA.
Even after the fading of a strong El Nino, which spikes global temperatures on top of man-made climate change, July burst global temperature records.
NASA calculated that July 2016 was 1.51 degrees Fahrenheit (0.84 degrees Celsius) warmer than the 1950-1980 global average. That's clearly hotter than the previous hotter months, about 0.18 degrees warmer than the previous record of July 2011 and July 2015, which were so close they were said to be in a tie for the hottest month on record, said NASA chief climate scientist Gavin Schmidt.
Georgia Tech climate scientist Kim Cobb said this is significant "because global temperatures continue to warm even as a record-breaking El Nino event has finally released its grip."
This is the 10th record hot month in a row, according to NASA. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which calculates temperatures slightly differently, will come out with its July figures on Wednesday. NOAA has figured there have been 14 monthly heat records broken in a row, before July.
Court Rejects Attempt To Reseal Testimony
A federal appeals court on Monday rejected Bill Cosby's effort to reseal his deposition testimony about extramarital affairs, prescription sedatives and payments to women, saying the documents are now a matter of public knowledge.
The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia ruled that the comedian's appeal was moot.
"The contents of the documents are a matter of public knowledge, and we cannot pretend that we could change that fact by ordering them resealed," the court wrote in an opinion.
Cosby's attorneys hoped a ruling in their favor could help them keep the documents from being used in the criminal case against him in Pennsylvania and in the many lawsuits filed around the country by women who accuse him of sexual assault or defamation.
In the nearly 1,000-page deposition, the married comic once known as "America's Dad" for his beloved portrayal of Dr. Cliff Huxtable on his top-ranked 1980s TV show, "The Cosby Show," admitted to several extramarital affairs and said he obtained quaaludes to give to women he hoped to seduce.
Natural Gas Leaks
Methane Hot Spots
A puzzling concentration of the greenhouse gas methane over the Southwestern United States appears to come mostly from leaks in natural gas production, scientists said Monday.
Researchers identified more than 250 sources of a methane hot spot over the Four Corners region of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. They include gas wells, storage tanks, pipelines and processing plants.
Only a handful were natural seeps from underground formations, and one was a vent from a coal mine, according to researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology. The findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The study said as much as two-thirds of the methane could be spewing from only about 25 locations.
Methane is a key component of natural gas. The hot spot is not a local safety or health issue, but methane does contribute to global warming. Methane is 86 times more potent for trapping heat in the short-term than carbon dioxide.
Methane Hot Spots
Lincoln National Forest
Federal officials are closing off sections of national forest land in southern New Mexico to protect an endangered mouse and keep people from getting tangled up in barbed wire and electric fencing meant to ward off cattle.
Supervisors with the Lincoln National Forest say campers are tearing down fences that had been put in place to protect the New Mexico meadow jumping mouse and that camping along three streams in the area is damaging the rodent's habitat.
The special closure order marks the latest development in a dispute in New Mexico over access to public land and water that has pitted ranchers and some state lawmakers against the U.S. Forest Service.
The agency initially began ordering closures and installing fences in the Lincoln and Santa Fe forests in 2014 after the mouse was listed as endangered. That spurred criticism that the federal government was trampling on property and water rights in New Mexico as it had in other Western states.
Forest officials maintain that they have a responsibility under the federal Endangered Species Act to protect the mouse, which is found in New Mexico, Arizona and a small portion of Colorado.
Lincoln National Forest
NASA Mulls Russian Idea
NASA is weighing a Moscow proposal to cut the number of Russian cosmonauts at the International Space Station from three to two, particularly its potential risk to the crew, an official said Monday.
Typically, six crew members live at the orbiting outpost, a hallmark of global cooperation that is meant to stay in operation until at least 2024.
Asked during a news conference about media reports that Russia was considering reducing its staff there to two, NASA's Kenneth Todd said the ISS partners -- which include Canada, Japan and the European Space Agency -- are aware of the proposal.
"They are exploring the option of going down to two crew on the Russian segment," said Todd, International Space Station Operations Integration manager.
Todd said the ISS partners are aware that Russia has committed to the ISS program at least through 2024.
Actor Fyvush Finkel, the plastic-faced Emmy Award-winning character actor whose career in stage and screen started in Yiddish theater and led to memorable roles in "Fiddler on the Roof" on Broadway and on TV in "Boston Public" and "Picket Fences" has died, his son said Monday. He was 93.
Finkel, who was known for his mischievous smile and an ability to prop his ears at an angle for optimum comic effect, died early Sunday in Manhattan, said his son, Ian. He said his father had suffered heart problems for months.
He was a comedian, a singer, a stage actor, a film actor and a noted TV performer, from "Fantasy Island" to "Blue Bloods." He celebrated his 80th birthday on the set of "Boston Public," playing history teacher Harvey Lipschultz.
Finkel's long career began at age 9 in 1930 when a production in his Brooklyn neighborhood was looking for a boy to sing "Oh, Promise Me." Recalled Finkel in a 2002 interview: "I stopped that show cold. They gave me a dollar a night."
In the vibrant Yiddish theater of the period, a solid performer could find steady work. Finkel studied singing, dancing and acting at a $1-a-week school. But his parents insisted he learn a trade just in case showbiz didn't pan out.
A stint as a furrier was over quick. "I ruined about $500 worth of material," he said.
He found himself back onstage when his new, mature voice settled in. He took a job with Yiddish theater in Pittsburgh just shy of his 18th birthday. "I thought, 'This is where I belong.' And I've been in the theater ever since."
In 1964, as Yiddish theater was dying, he was hired for the touring company of the Broadway hit "Fiddler on the Roof." He later said: "I went to do 'Fiddler' for less money than I was getting in Yiddish theater, but I had to make the move. And it was the best move I ever made."
At age 60, after 12 years with various productions of "Fiddler on the Roof," he was cast in the off-Broadway musical "Little Shop of Horrors." That opened up movies and TV for him, including "Brighton Beach Memoirs" (1986), "Q&A" (1990) and "Nixon" (1995).
Finkel won a supporting actor Emmy in 1994 for playing Douglas Wambaugh on "Picket Fences" - he was also nominated the year before - and earned a Golden Globe nomination for the role in 1995. He also earned three Screen Actor Guild Awards, one for "Nixon" and two for "Picket Fences."
Finkel was married to Trudi Lieberman for 61 years until her death in 2008. His survivors include his two sons: Ian, a musical arranger and xylophone virtuoso, and Elliot, a concert pianist; and five grandchildren.