Andrew Tobias: Alabamans, Indianans, Veterans
The former Republican Alabama Senator, Jeff Sessions, now attorney general, may have lied under oath to Congress. The current Republican nominee to fill Sessions' seat, Republican Roy Moore - twice removed from the Alabama Supreme Court and president of the Foundation for Moral Law - is an alleged child molester. Republican Alabama state auditor, Jim Zeigler, defends that molestation, comparing it to adult carpenter Joseph's relationship to the teenage Virgin Mary. (Stephen Colbert notes that the Virgin Mary was a virgin …) Just what will happen with Moore's candidacy is in part up to Kay Ivey, who recently replaced Alabama's Republican Governor Robert Bentley in the wake of a sex and corruption scandal.
Daniel Marans: How The House GOP Tax Plan Soaks University Cooks, Custodians And Other Low-Paid Workers (Huffington Post)
Ending a deduction that benefits university workers is even worse than people think, say two tax experts.
Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore: "Pussy Riot's Masha Alyokhina on Putin, Trump and Brexit: 'It's useless to be afraid'" (The Guardian)
Set to headline Australia's Dark Mofo in Hobart, the activist speaks about imprisonment, fear and discovering her son is 'violating the regime' of school.
Rebecca Nicholson: "Billie Jean King: 'Be ahead of your time - that's what you have to do'" (The Guardian)
The tennis champion's lifelong fight for equality and freedom is celebrated in a new film about the Battle of the Sexes. She talks about not being comfortable in her own skin until she was 51, and why millennials give her hope.
Miss Cellania: The Look of the 13th Doctor (Neatorama)
Jodie Whittaker will portray the 13th incarnation of the Doctor when the TV series Doctor Who returns. The first woman Doctor is under a lot of pressure to live up to fans' expectations, so costume designer Ray Holman knew he had to get the look just right. To do that, he referenced past Doctors and incorporated details from many of them into the new costume.
Tamsin Blanchard: Doctor Who's hardest task yet - making yellow braces happen (The Guardian)
The BBC have unveiled the latest Time Lord's new look - and it involves mustard yellow braces and navy culottes. Do we need to watch from behind the sofa, or can she style it out?
Emma Ledger: "'Learning to live': why sophrology is the new mindfulness" (The Guardian)
Feeling stressed, anxious, burnt out? Time to pause Headspace and allow us to introduce a technique from the 1960s instead.
QUEEN BABY: Food Critic (YouTube)
She's like a tiny drunk Gordon Ramsay.
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
"WE'RE STILL AGHAST…"
HOW REPUBLICANS THINK.
Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music
In The Chaos Household
Big-ass computer issues. Sigh.
'Citizen Of The Year'
Colin Kaepernick is GQ's "Citizen of the Year."
Over a year after the former San Fransisco 49er began kneeling at NFL games during the national anthem, the magazine is celebrating his activism in its annual Men of the Year issue. On GQ's December cover, Kaepernick wears all black with a gold chain and an unapologetic Afro to accentuate his revolutionary look.
Kaepernick collaborated with the magazine for a photo shoot in New York City's Harlem neighborhood ? where, GQ notes, Muhammad Ali once marched with the Nation of Islam in protest of the Vietnam War.
"That's why we decided to photograph Colin in public, in Harlem, among the men, women, and children he is fighting for," the magazine's editors write. "To connect him to a crusade that stretches back decades."
Kaepernick, who is not currently signed to an NFL team, told GQ he wanted to participate in the story to "reclaim the narrative of his protest." Kaepernick began his protest as a way to call attention to systemic racial injustice and police brutality against black people, but in recent months, the kneeling gesture been co-opted as a general statement of protest against President-for-now Donald Trump (R-Crooked).
Amazon To Produce TV Series
'Lord of the Rings'
Amazon.com Inc has bought the global television rights to "The Lord of the Rings," the company said on Monday, in what may be its biggest and most expensive move yet to draw viewers to its streaming and shopping club Prime.
Amazon said it will produce a multi-season series that explores new storylines preceding author J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Fellowship of the Ring," the first installment in the famed fantasy trilogy.
Three movies made of the trilogy in the early 2000s, filmed in New Zealand and based on Tolkien's novels, garnered nearly $3 billion (£2.28 billion) at the box office and 17 Academy Awards.
New Line Cinema, which distributed the film trilogy, the Tolkien Estate and Trust, and publisher HarperCollins will work with Amazon to produce the television series.
Amazon did not say how much it was paying for the rights.
'Lord of the Rings'
Barbie is breaking her mold yet again! The most recent addition to the "Shero" Barbie family is a hijab-wearing Barbie dedicated to Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first American Olympian to compete while wearing a hijab. As Muhammad explained in her most recent Instagram caption, the Barbie Shero Program honors womenwho "break boundaries to inspire the next generation of girls."
While wearing her traditional Islamic hijab, Muhammad competed as a sabre fencer in the 2016 Summer Olympics. During the games, she became a symbol of American diversity, all while the 2016 presidential election was occurring.
Muhammad told Bustle that she's so honored to be the model for which this doll was designed. She's thankful that young Muslim girls will now have the chance to see themselves in the character's likeness.
"Through playing with Barbie," Muhammad said in a statement to Bustle, "I was able to imagine and dream about who I could become. I love that my relationship with Barbie has come full circle. Now, I have my own doll wearing a hijab that the next generation of girls can use to play out their own dreams."
Muhammad's Shero Barbie also comes outfitted in full fencing attire, complete with a mask and sabre. The doll will become available for purchase in 2018.
"Laboureur dans un champ"
Vincent Van Gogh
Christie's kicked off the fall auction season in New York on Monday a Vincent Van Gogh leading the way at $81.3 million with robust sales of impressionist and modern art.
"Laboureur dans un champ," painted by the tortured Dutch genius from the window of a French asylum where he had committed himself sold to a buyer on the telephone after a frenzied four-minute bidding war having been valued at $50 million.
Christie's said it sold for $81.3 million, including the buyer's premium, well over its pre-sale estimate of $50 million.
The other chief highlight was "Contraste de formes," a 1913 Fernand Leger abstract that scored $70 million, setting a new world auction record for the artist, the auction house said.
Rene Magritte's "L'empire des lumieres" -- a nocturnal bourgeois street scene -- sold for $20.56 million, which Christie's said set a world auction record for the Belgian surrealist.
Vincent Van Gogh
Threats To Planet Now 'Far Worse'
Twenty-five years after global scientists issued a "warning to humanity" about dangers to the environment, a new update released Monday says most of the planet's problems are getting "far worse."
More than 15,000 global scientists from 184 countries signed on to the letter, called the "World Scientists' Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice," published in the journal BioScience.
The initial version, released in 1992 by the Union of Concerned Scientists, was signed by 1,700 experts.
Since then, nearly all major threats to the environment have grown more dire, particularly the booming world population, which has added two billion people since 1992, a 35 percent increase, according to the update.
Other key threats are global warming and the ever-mounting carbon emissions driven by fossil fuel use, as well as unsustainable farming practices, deforestation, lack of fresh water, loss of marine life and growing ocean dead zones.
Hundreds Protest Rampant Sexual Misconduct
Hundreds of demonstrators brought an online movement to life Sunday, marching across Hollywood to denounce sexual assault and harassment.
Two demonstrations, the Take Back The Workplace March and the Me Too Survivors' March, joined forces as protestors marched in a loop from the intersection of Hollywood and Highland to the CNN building about a mile away. The Los Angeles Times estimated "several hundred" people attended, and a march organizer estimated as many as 300people showed up.
The 'Me Too Survivors' March shares a name with the online #MeToo movement, in which scores of victims of sexual assault or harassment shared the hashtag - sometimes with their own stories of abuse - on social media in recent weeks to show the pervasiveness of the problem and to encourage other victims to come forward.
Tarana Burke, who originally created the #MeToo campaign 10 years ago, was one of several speakers at Sunday's rally.
"Me too is everywhere," Burke told the crowd. "This issue will not be ignored. Every hashtag is an act of bravery. Behind every hashtag is a person. Today is a reminder that we are living breathing humans and not just hashtags."
President Donald-for-now Trump (R-Misogynist) is nominating white men to America's federal courts at a rate not seen in nearly 30 years, threatening to reverse a slow transformation toward a judiciary that reflects the nation's diversity.
So far, 91 percent of Trump's nominees are white, and 81 percent are male, an Associated Press analysis has found. Three of every four are white men, with few African-Americans and Hispanics in the mix. The last president to nominate a similarly homogenous group was George H.W. Bush.
The shift could prove to be one of Trump's most enduring legacies. These are lifetime appointments, and Trump has inherited both an unusually high number of vacancies and an aging population of judges. That puts him in position to significantly reshape the courts that decide thousands of civil rights, environmental, criminal justice and other disputes across the country. The White House has been upfront about its plans to quickly fill the seats with conservatives, and has made clear that judicial philosophy tops any concerns about shrinking racial or gender diversity.
Trump is anything but shy about his plans, calling his imprint on the courts an "untold story" of his presidency.
"Nobody wants to talk about it," he says. "But when you think of it ... that has consequences 40 years out." He predicted at a recent Cabinet meeting, "A big percentage of the court will be changed by this administration over a very short period of time."
Roy Moore Donor
The same day Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore (R-Pervy Creep) whipped out a gun at a campaign rally, he received a hefty contribution from one of his biggest donors: The founder of Cinemark Theatres, which demanded nearly $700,000 from the victims of a mass shooting at one of its locations.
Lee Roy Mitchell (R-Greedy), who is also the chairman of Cinemark, and his wife Tandy Mitchell, an executive at the company, have donated at least $13,500 to Moore's campaign, according to FEC filings. Most of that money - $10,800 - came on September 25, the same day Moore pulled out a gun at a rally to show his love for the Second Amendment.
The next day, Moore beat Senator Luther Strange in a runoff race for the Senate seat. The former judge, who was already controversial for his history of inflammatory and bigoted stances, is now embroiled in scandal as five women have accused him of making sexual advances when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s.
The Texas-based Cinemark is one of the largest theater chains in the country, and also Moore's fifth-biggest campaign contributor, according to OpenSecrets.
Cinemark owns the Aurora, Colorado movie theater where 12 people were murdered and 70 people were wounded in a mass shooting at a midnight premiere of "The Dark Knight Rises" in July 2012. After the shooting, more than 20 victims filed a state court suit against Cinemark, alleging that the theatre's security flaws helped enable the attack. Cinemark won the suits, arguing it could not be expected to prepare for a mass shooting, and then asked the victims to pay back almost $700,000 in legal fees. The company chased down the money for four years before dropping its request in 2016.
$100 Million Investment
Billionaire Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is to invest $50 million in the Dementia Discovery Fund, a venture capital fund that brings together industry and government to seek treatments for the brain-wasting disease.
The investment - a personal one and not part of Gates' philanthropic Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation - will be followed by another $50 million in start-up ventures working in Alzheimer's research, Gates said.
With rapidly rising numbers of people suffering from Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia, the disease is taking a growing emotional and financial toll as people live longer, Gates told Reuters in an interview.
Despite decades of scientific research, there is no treatment that can slow the progression of Alzheimer's. Current drugs can do no more than ease some of the symptoms.
Gates said, however, that with focused and well-funded innovation, he's "optimistic" treatments can be found, even if they might be more than a decade away.
Avoids 10 Years In Jail
Misty Velvet Dawn Spann
A woman who reportedly married her estranged mother after the pair later "hit it off" when they got back in contact has avoided a potential 10-year jail sentence.
Misty Velvet Dawn Spann, 25, hadn't seen mother Patricia Spann, 43, since her childhood, when Patricia lost custody of her and two other siblings who were put up for adoption, court records show.
But Misty, from Duncan, Oklahoma, reconnected with Patricia three years ago and the pair apparently bonded before joining together in a same sex-union last September, CBS reported.
Social services officials later discovered the incestuous relationship between the mother and daughter - which is illegal - and the pair were arrested and taken into custody.
It came after Patricia had also married Misty's brother - who was not named - in 2008. It was annulled two years later.
Misty Velvet Dawn Spann
Bonobo 'Hippie Chimps'
Bonobos, one of our closest primate relatives, could teach some humans a thing or two about helping others before being asked.
These predominantly peaceful primates - sometimes called "hippie chimps," as they are known to be less aggressive and more altruistic than chimpanzees - tend to look out for one another and even share their food.
But these courtesies aren't extended only between bonobos that are already acquainted with each other. Researchers recently found that bonobos would help unfamiliar bonobos reach a food reward, even when they didn't receive a reward themselves. And the helpful primates would lend a hand to assist the stranger whether or not the unknown bonobo asked them for help.
"Trust," the scientists wrote in a new study, "is fundamental to social life." Modern human societies are built on trust that we often extend to people who are unfamiliar to us, a behavior known as xenophilia. Evidence of this behavior in non-human primates suggests that xenophilia may have evolutionary origins that predate the modern human lineage, likely because such behavior improves the chances of a group's survival, the scientists reported.
Prior studies have shown that xenophilia is especially prevalent in bonobos. They move more easily between social groups than chimpanzees do, and when two groups interact, tensions rarely escalate into violence, the study authors wrote. In experiments, bonobos have unlocked one-way doors to share their food with unfamiliar bonobos, even when unlocking the entry would admit a group of strangers - something that chimpanzees would go out of their way to avoid, according to the study.
Bonobo 'Hippie Chimps'