Paul Krugman: States of Cruelty (NY Times Column)
Some ugly politics is local.
Pamela Stephenson Connolly: I haven't had sex with my wife for eight years and I'm becoming obsessed (Guardian)
She has MS and is registered blind, and I cannot physically connect with her. A counsellor suggested I masturbate, but I feel guilty doing so.
Michele Hanson: Courteney Cox is right. None of us can run from ageing (The Guardian)
The actor's decision to stop 'trying to keep up with getting older' is a great one - the sooner we stop being repulsed by old age, the better.
Jules Montague: "From dream to nightmare: when your sperm donor has secrets" (The Guardian)
Having a baby by sperm donation is an intensely personal and emotional process. So what happens when you discover that the donor has a genetic health disorder?
Mary Andrews: "Books to give you hope: The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood" (The Guardian)
Atwood's dystopia is a terrifying vision of patriarchal oppression, but it is also a story of rebellion and the indomitability of the human spirit.
Rachel Cooke: "SuperMutant Magic Academy review - sassy and mordantly funny" (The Guardian)
This pleasingly fat anthology of Jillian Tamaki's online comic about teenagers with paranormal powers exudes an irresistible wit.
David Bruce's Amazon Author Page
David Bruce's Smashwords Page
David Bruce's Blog
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David Bruce has over 80 Kindle books on Amazon.com.
"Doug's Most Shared Facebook Post" Today
Michelle in AZ
from Marc Perkel
from that Mad Cat, JD
THE GREAT WHITE SHARK NURSERY!
THESE GUYS JUST CAN'T GET A BREAK!
WHO IS THIS LILY WHITE HATE FILLED SLUG?
HOW LONG HAS THIS BEEN GOING ON?
HITLER IS MAD!
"THE TRUTH I KNOW ABOUT CHELSEA MANNING"
"KEEP IT IN THE GROUND"
Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music
In The Chaos Household
Rupert News Lawsuit Response
Fox News Channel says Andrea Tantaros is not a "victim" but "an opportunist" in its response to the sexual-harassment lawsuit filed last week by the former Fox News host.
In that response, filed Monday in New York, the network is calling for arbitration which it says is in accordance with her employment agreement. The network notes that she is already a party to pending arbitration after having been suspended by Fox, which has accused her of breaching her employment agreement by writing a book without prior authorization by the network.
Fox News claims it learned of Tantaros' book, "Tied Up in Knots ... How Getting What We Wanted Made Women Miserable" in March, a few weeks before it was published.
"This Court should compel Tantaros to proceed in the arbitration proceeding that is already underway," Fox News contends.
Tantaros last week sued the network, its ousted chairman and other top executives, claiming they retaliated after she detailed unwanted sexual advances made by her onetime boss, Roger Ailes. Tantaros, who described Fox in her lawsuit as a "sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult," said after she complained last spring about Ailes, one of his top deputies, William Shine, warned her that Ailes was a "very powerful man" and that she "needed to let this one go."
Judge Dismisses Challenge
A federal judge on Monday dismissed a lawsuit in which Citizen$ United sought to block New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman from enforcing rules requiring the conservative group to disclose more information about its donors.
U.S. District Judge Sidney Stein in Manhattan said the attorney general did not violate Citizen$ United's First Amendment rights by requiring registered charitable organizations to disclose names, addresses and contributions of big donors before soliciting funds in the state.
Citizen$ United is perhaps best known as the plaintiff in the landmark 2010 U.S. Supreme Court case that allowed unlimited independent spending by corporations and labor unions in election campaigns.
The nonprofit group, which advocates for
limited government, free enterprise and strong families corporate bribery, had argued that its donors would "reasonably fear public backlash, financial harm, and worse" should their support be disclosed.
But the judge found no evidence that this would occur, and that the policy advanced New York's "unquestionably important" interest that charitable groups not engage in crime or fraud.
Demands Live-Stream Of Extradition Appeal
Internet mogul Kim Dotcom launched his appeal Monday against extradition to face video piracy charges in the United States, arguing for his case in New Zealand to be live-streamed to ensure a fair hearing.
The German national and founder of the Megaupload file-sharing service, who has permanent residency in New Zealand, faces up to 20 years in jail if convicted in the United States of piracy, which US authorities say cost copyright owners hundreds of millions of dollars.
His lawyer Ron Mansfield told the court the case raised "unprecedented issues of public and international interest" and it would not be a fair hearing without live-streaming.
Mansfield said conventional reporting was unlikely to cover all aspects of a case that has attracted global attention and could be "unbalanced".
Streaming had been successfully used in previous court cases and inquiries in New Zealand, he added.
2 Blue Whales Spotted Off Coast
A rare sighting of two blue whales has been made in New England.
Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conversation co-founder Dianna Schulte tells WMUR-TV (http://bit.ly/2bWLSnt ) she was working aboard the Granite State off the coast of Rye Harbor, New Hampshire, on Friday when she spotted the whales.
The group's executive director, Jen Kennedy, says blue whale sightings are rare in New England. She says a blue whale might be seen every five to 10 years so spotting two whales together is "simply unheard of."
Schulte plans to send pictures of the whales to researchers in Canada to try to learn more about the two that were spotted.
Enlist Fast Ship To Fight Off Japanese
Sea Shepherd Global
Marine conservationists announced Tuesday they will for the first time be able to outrun the Japanese whaling fleet in the upcoming annual battle to protect the giant mammals in the icy Southern Ocean.
Sea Shepherd Global is adding a fast new vessel to its whale defence campaign in Antarctic waters starting this December.
"Disappointed by the lack of action from the international community, Sea Shepherd Global is preparing to return to the Southern Ocean to protect the whales with a new patrol vessel, the Ocean Warrior," it said in a statement.
Built with financial support from the Dutch, British and Swedish lotteries, Ocean Warrior could make a real difference, Sea Shepherd said.
"For the first time we will have the speed to catch and outrun the Japanese harpoon ships, knowing speed can be the deciding factor when saving the lives of whales," said the group's chief executive Captain Alex Cornelissen.
Sea Shepherd Global
More Parents Are Refusing
More parents are refusing to vaccinate their children now than a decade ago, but the reasons for refusals have changed, a new study suggests.
Parents who refuse to vaccinate their kids are now more likely to say their reason is that they do not see a need for vaccination, the researchers found.
Pediatricians should continue to talk to parents who have concerns about vaccines to try to increase immunization rates, said study co-author Dr. Catherine Hough-Telford, a pediatrician at the University of Alabama.
In the study, researchers surveyed 627 pediatricians in 2013 and asked them whether their patients' parents had ever refused a vaccination, or had asked to delay a vaccination. The researchers also asked pediatricians about their impressions of parents' reasons for refusing or delaying their kids' vaccination. The survey was a follow-up to an earlier one, with the same questions, conducted in 2006.
The researchers found that in 2013, 87 percent of pediatricians surveyed said they encountered vaccine refusals from parents of their patients, up from 75 percent of pediatricians who said the same in 2006. This drop in what pediatricians perceive lines up with other research that has reported increasing rates of vaccine exemptions for nonmedical reasons, and increasing rates of children who are not receiving all or some of the vaccines they should receive for optimal health benefits, the researchers said in their study, published today (Aug. 29) in the journal Pediatrics.
Killed By Lightning
More than 300 wild reindeer were killed after being struck by lightning in Norway, in what government officials say was an unusually deadly event. It's not uncommon for wildlife to be killed by lightning strikes, but what made this storm so deadly?
Most lightning deaths that occur in groups are due to the ground current, John Jensenius, a lightning safety expert from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, told The Verge.
"First, there's a direct strike - this is what most people think of when they think of lightning - that hits the tree or maybe the ground nearby," Jensenius said. "The energy then spreads along the ground surface, and if you're anywhere near that lightning strike, you absorb it and get shocked."
The lightning current travels up one leg and down another, Jensenius said, so animals are more vulnerable because their legs are more spread out - the ground currents travel more easily in their bodies.
A total of 323 reindeer, including 70 calves, were killed during a lightning storm on Friday (Aug. 26), according to the Norwegian Environment Agency. Of the 323 reindeer killed, five were euthanized because of their injuries, agency officials said.
Fell From Tre?
The famous human ancestor known as Lucy walked the Earth, but it was her tree climbing that might have led to her demise, a new study suggests.
An analysis of her partial skeleton reveals breaks in her right arm, left shoulder, right ankle and left knee - injuries that researchers say resulted from falling from a high perch such as a tree.
Lucy likely died quickly, said John Kappelman, an anthropologist at the University of Texas at Austin, who published the findings Monday in the journal Nature.
But several other researchers, including Lucy's discoverer, disagree. They contend most of the cracks in Lucy's bones are well documented and came after her death from the fossilization process and natural forces such as erosion.
How Lucy met her end has remained a mystery since her well-preserved fossil remains were unearthed more than four decades ago. Her discovery was significant because it allowed scientists to establish that ancient human ancestors walked upright before evolving a big brain.
Boredom Was Hardest Part
Monotony was the hardest part of a yearlong NASA experiment about the mental and psychological rigors of longterm spaceflight, crew members said after the test ended.
The six-member crew emerged Sunday from a dome in Hawaii, on the barren northern slope of the Mauna Loa volcano, where they were studied as part of the US space agency's mission to send people to Mars by the 2030s.
In addition to insufficient stimulation, isolation and a lack of fresh food and air were the toughest challenges during the yearlong experiment, known as the Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) -- the third and longest of its kind.
The team locked themselves into the dome, located in an abandoned quarry far from animals and vegetation, on August 28, 2015.
The crew lived inside a structure 36 feet (11 meters) in diameter and 20 feet tall, emerging only if outfitted in spacesuits, never breathing the outside air or eating fresh produce.
Gene Wilder, the blue-eyed, frazzle-haired actor who elevated panic to a comic art form in frequent collaboration with Mel Brooks (The Producers, Young Frankenstein) and Richard Pryor (Silver Streak, Stir Crazy), died on Sunday in Stamford, Conn., from complications from Alzheimer's disease. Wilder was 83.
Wilder perhaps is most fondly remembered as the captivating candy man and "Pure Imagination" crooner of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
Maybe because others perceived him as an actor first as well, Wilder was the rare comedy star who was made welcome at the grownup table. He was twice nominated for an Oscar: a Best Supporting Actor nod for The Producers and a screenplay nod for his and Brooks's Young Frankenstein.
Wilder was previously married to Saturday Night Live star Gilda Radner, and in the wake of her death in 1989, he became a leading proponent of ovarian cancer screening and research. He's survived by his fourth wife, Karen Webb.
Born Jerome Silberman on June 11, 1933, in Milwaukee, the future star became a comic actor almost from the start - and for a tragic reason: His mother suffered from heart disease, and since it was feared stress would kill her, laughter was demanded. Wilder, who went on to be one of the screen's leading neurotics, would trace his own neuroses to the experience.
Wilder's mother survived into his early 20s; she died, as Radner would decades later, of ovarian cancer. By the time of his mother's death, Wilder was already a veteran actor, having been drawn to the stage as a teen. His early life took the familiar course of the draft-era young man: college (University of Iowa, then England's Bristol Old Vic Theatre), then the Army, then back to civilian life. The former Jerome Silberman marked his return with a new name: Gene, depending on the source, chosen either in honor of a Thomas Wolfe character or his late mother, Jeanne; Wilder, for the author Thornton Wilder.
Wilder began to appear on the Broadway stage in the early 1960s. The 1963 play Mother Courage and Her Children paired him with Anne Bancroft and brought him into the orbit of her then boyfriend, Mel Brooks.
Four years later, in 1967, and a few months after he'd made his film debut in Bonnie and Clyde, Wilder starred in Brooks's The Producers. (Because the future classic was a slow starter, to put it mildly, The Producers was not released in New York and Los Angeles until 1968.)
For the choosy Wilder, Willy Wonka, a musical rendering of the Roald Dahl children's book about greed, chocolate, and one good kid, was just his fifth film. At the time of its release, in 1971, and for a few years after, it was portrayed as a flop because, box-office-wise, it was. For a time, even Wilder spoke of Willy Wonka as being one of the films that "ended" the first part of his movie career.
"I started all over again with Woody Allen in Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex," Wilder in 1976.
Wilder began directing himself, in 1975's The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother, and 1977's The World's Greatest Lover, and found a new comedy partner in Pryor, starting with the 1976 heist comedy Silver Streak.
It would be almost a decade before Wilder and Pryor teamed up again, in 1989's See No Evil, Hear No Evil. In the interim, Wilder had acquired another screen partner: Radner.
Wilder would go on to testify before Congress about the importance of screenings and knowledge of family health history and co-found Gilda's Club, a cancer-support organization that started (and remains) in New York City and spawned numerous chapters.
Wilder began a low-key retirement after winning a Primetime Emmy for a 2003 guest-starring turn on TV's Will & Grace.
Away from Hollywood, Wilder said he enjoyed his life, his wife, his writing, and no longer having to deal with the business of show business.
UI Collection Guides -Gene Wilder Papers, 1961-2000