M Is FOR MASHUP - December 22nd, 2015
A Package For You From Me.
From DJ Useo
This is written before I know how our move back into our formerly flooded home has gone. Right now, we're a few hours behind schedule. Much more to do.
I wanted to leave you all a Christmas package now, as our new phone & net may not be on till the new year. Here's my twitter post with links for both of my "Christmas Packages" intended for any of my online pals. -
( twitter.com/DJUseo/status/678750449659346945 )
Located inside are no mashups at all, just remasters of beloved tracks I've heard through the years. Most are from 1980's & 1990's, but there's one from the 1940's. I hope you like some of them. They'll be a great respite from the barrage of Christmas tunes. I hit my limit last week, when I heard Sheldon Cooper's version of Good King Wenceslas. ( ! )
( www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7DagmBUOpc )
Have fun, all. I'll be back soon.
Paul Krugman: The Donald and the Decider (NY Times)
Almost six months have passed since Donald Trump overtook Jeb Bush in polls of Republican voters. At the time, most pundits dismissed the Trump phenomenon as a blip, predicting that voters would soon return to more conventional candidates. Instead, however, his lead just kept widening. Even more striking, the triumvirate of trash-talk - Mr. Trump, Ben Carson, and Ted Cruz - now commands the support of roughly 60 percent of the primary electorate.
Andrew Tobias: Evenwel v. Abbott
In its battle to shift ever more wealth and power to the top tenth of one percent,* the right now has a new case pending before the Supreme Court: Evenwel v. Abbott, as explained here in the New York Times
Michele Hanson: Come on supermarkets - wonky is the shape of fruit and veg to come (The Guardian)
Efforts to stock 'imperfect' and 'misshapen' vegetables are picking up, but too slowly. Why are we still fuss-potting about aesthetics while thousands of people trudge to local food banks?
I haven't had sex for over 10 years (The Guardian)
I'm a 46-year-old woman who hasn't had sex for over 10 years. This was never the plan, but I'm stuck in a perpetual circle: I worry so much about how I could explain this to a potential partner and the longer it goes on, the worse it gets. I don't want to live the rest of my life without sex and affection.
Jon Ronson: how the online hate mob set its sights on me (The Guardian)
When Ronson wrote about the injustice of Justine Sacco's trial by Twitter, he found that he too became a target of an internet witch hunt. How did we become unpaid shaming interns for companies that don't care about us?
Anna Dakota, Anonymous: 5 Realities Of Running A Homeless Shelter On Christmas (Cracked)
Most people dream of a white Christmas, with a thick, shimmering layer of fresh snow blanketing the world, wrapping everything you know in a cozy embrace. It's a beautiful, quiet scene -- a scene that's best enjoyed from indoors, with a warm cup of coffee (Irish or otherwise), and a warm fire roaring in the fireplace. If you're homeless, however, a white Christmas can fucking murder you.
Ray McBride: 5 Shadowy Forces That Secretly Screwed With Big TV & Movies (Cracked)
#5. The Government Made Networks Add Anti-Drug Messages To Their Shows
David Bruce's Amazon Author Page
David Bruce's Smashwords Page
David Bruce's Blog
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David Bruce's Apple iBookstore
David Bruce has over 80 Kindle books on Amazon.com.
Michelle in AZ
David E Suggests
from Marc Perkel
from that Mad Cat, JD
IT'S GOING TO BE A VERY FASCIST CHRISTMAS!
"KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF MY MEDICARE" AND OTHER IMPORTANT REASONS.
THE CHARLES DICKENS SOLUTION.
"SAY A PRAYER FOR THE PRETENDER"
Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music
In The Chaos Household
Started raining on the way home from work - added an extra hour to the drive. Ack.
Returns Stolen Dinosaur
Hollywood actor Nicolas Cage has agreed to turn over a rare stolen dinosaur skull he bought for $276,000 to U.S. authorities so it can be returned to the Mongolian government.
The office of Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney in Manhattan, filed a civil forfeiture complaint last week to take possession of the Tyrannosaurus bataar skull, which will be repatriated to Mongolia.
The lawsuit did not specifically name Cage as the owner, but Cage's publicist confirmed that the actor bought the skull in March 2007 from a Beverly Hills gallery, I.M. Chait.
The "National Treasure" actor is not accused of wrongdoing, and authorities said he voluntarily agreed to turn over the skull after learning of the circumstances.
Following a determination by investigators that the skull in fact had been taken illegally from Mongolia, Cage agreed to hand it over, Schack said.
Christmas Bird Count Begins
Last week marked the start of the National Audubon Society's 116th annual Christmas Bird Count, which means it's the perfect time to unleash your inner birder and take a gander at migratory bird species as they fly south for the winter.
Every winter, citizen scientists participate in bird-counting events across North America, from mid-December until early January, to collect data on bird migrations for the National Audubon Society. This year, there will be bird counts in countries all over the Western Hemisphere, including the United States, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic and several others listed on Audubon's website.
The Christmas Bird Count is the longest-running wildlife census in the United States. Data from the counts give scientists insight into birds' migratory movements that researchers would never otherwise have, such as how bird ranges have been shifting over time.
There are also two ways to participate in the bird counts: as a field observer, someone who actually walks around and counts birds; or as a feeder watcher, someone who makes observations about the different bird species visiting their home bird feeder, LeBaron told Live Science. Both types of volunteers offer valuable but different data for scientists to use.
Court Won't Order Immediate Evaluation
A judge Monday declined to order a medical examination of Sumner Redstone but ruled that lawyers for his former companion can take the sworn testimony of two of the ailing media mogul's doctors.
Judge David J. Cowan also stated that Redstone's longtime attorney, Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman, may need to be deposed about his recent interactions with Redstone, but if he gives testimony it should be restricted to details about medical issues.
The rulings were made in a case pursued by Manuela Herzer, Redstone's former girlfriend who until recently had control over his medical care. She was kicked out of his home in October and contends that the 92-year-old can no longer carry on conversations or make informed decisions.
Redstone's attorney, Gabrielle Vidal, has objected to an independent evaluation of the doctor, citing recent evaluations by his doctors including a brain scan that didn't find any signs of impairment.
Decriminalizes An Ounce
The Pittsburgh City Council on Monday voted to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, falling in line with a growing number of municipalities that have taken similar actions in recent years, city officials said.
Under the ordinance passed with a 7 to 2 vote, police in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania's second-largest city, will begin to issue fines of $25 for possessing less than 30 grams of marijuana and $100 for smoking it in a public space instead of citing for misdemeanors, the city clerk's office said.
The ordinance is subject to approval by Mayor Bill Peduto, who has voiced support.
"The mayor agrees with council members, the district attorney and many others that this is a common sense change that will help protect the futures of young people in our communities," Peduto's spokesman Tim McNulty said.
Supporters of the measure have said it would keep a large number of young people from being imprisoned for a minor offense and having a criminal record that could harm their future employment and school scholarship opportunities
Protection From Big-Game Trophy Hunters
The U.S. will protect lions in Africa under the Endangered Species Act, the Obama administration announced Monday, a move that would make it harder for American big-game hunters to bring a lion head or hide into the country.
The effort by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service comes five months after the killing of "Cecil," a lion in Zimbabwe, by a Minnesota dentist caused an international uproar and shed a spotlight on trophy hunting. The agency had been working on the new rules long before the incident, and officials said that classifying the two breeds of African lions as threatened or endangered will encourage African countries to improve conversation efforts.
Dan Ashe, director of the Fish and Wildlife Service, said the approval of any imports will be conditioned on proof that hunting is part of a science-based conservation strategy that enhances the species in the wild. Currently, sport hunters don't need a permit from the U.S. to bring in a trophy lion.
The Humane Society of the United States projects that American trophy hunters imported 5,647 lions in the past decade. The group was among those that petitioned the Fish and Wildlife Service to list the lion as endangered.
Politics Poisonous Religious Divide
The doctrinal schism that the Chinese Communist Party is using to hound the Dalai Lama arose long ago in the internecine politics of his own school of Tibetan Buddhism.
Dalai Lamas are drawn from the dominant Gelugpa School, one of the four major Buddhist traditions in Tibet. When the 5th Dalai Lama united Tibet in the 17th Century, he made an effort to embrace the other schools to enhance political unity, according to the French Tibetologist Thierry Dodin.
This move angered other senior members of the Gelugpa School who opposed sharing power and privilege. They united in a clique within their school around the worship of Dorje Shugden, then a little-known "protector deity."
Over the centuries, Shugden devotees came to dominate the Gelugpa School and the religious politics of Tibet. After the Communists came to power in 1949, Shugden practitioners became influential in the exiled Tibetan communities in India and Nepal. At first, they were hostile to Beijing, particularly after Tibetan monasteries and cultural relics were destroyed during the Cultural Revolution.
That changed with the current Dalai Lama, 14th in the line. He too had been educated under senior Shugden monks. But from the mid-1970s, he began to shape a more inclusive doctrine. In part, this was a political move aimed at unifying the different traditions in Tibetan Buddhism in the face of pressure from Beijing, according to Dodin and other Tibet scholars.
Missing Species Found
Australian scientists Tuesday hailed the discovery of two sea snake species feared to have become extinct years ago off the Western Australia coast.
The short-nose sea snake and the leaf-scaled sea snake had not been seen since disappearing from their only known habitat on Ashmore Reef in the Timor Sea more than 15 years ago, James Cook University researchers wrote in the Biological Conservation journal.
But they have since been "spotted alive and healthy" at Ningaloo Reef (short-nose sea snake) and Shark Bay (leaf-scaled sea snake), thousands of kilometres south.
"This discovery is really exciting, we get another chance to protect these two endemic Western Australian sea snake species," the study's lead author Blanche D'Anastasi said in a statement about the two species, listed by Australian authorities as critically endangered.
Wild bees, crucial pollinators for many crops, are on the decline in some of the main agricultural regions of the United States, according to scientists who produced the first national map of bee populations and identified numerous trouble spots.
The researchers on Monday cited 139 counties as especially worrisome, with wild bee numbers decreasing while farmland for crops dependent on such pollinators is increasing.
The counties included agricultural regions of California such as the Central Valley, the Pacific Northwest, the upper Midwest and Great Plains, west Texas and the southern Mississippi River valley.
The counties grew crops such as almonds, pumpkins, squashes, blueberries, watermelons, peaches and apples that are highly dependent on pollinators, or had large amounts of less-pollinator-dependent crops including soybeans, canola and cotton.
The study estimated that wild bee numbers diminished in 23 percent of the continental United States between 2008 and 2013 in a trend driven by conversion of their natural habitat into farmland including corn for biofuel production.
"Caganer", or pooper, figurines have long been popular in Catalan Christmas markets. And with this year's Spanish elections, it was "caganer" political figurines that were highly in demand.
The small statuettes of the four main candidates have been selling well, with figurines of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and anti-austerity Podemos party leader, Pablo Iglesias especially popular, according to sellers.
The "caganer" figurines, which also feature celebrities as well as international politicians, are traditionally included in nativity scenes across Catalonia and other areas with Catalan culture. The traditional "caganer" is a figurine of a peasant in a red beret and a white shirt.
Patricia Elliott, who won a Tony Award on her Broadway musical debut, went on to star opposite David Bowie in "The Elephant Man" and spent 23 years aboard the TV soap opera "One Life to Live," has died. She was 77.
Elliott, who was born in Gunnison, Colorado, made her Broadway debut as Countess Charlotte Malcolm in the original production of Stephen Sondheim's "A Little Night Music" and won the Tony for best featured actress in 1973.
She also was nominated for a Tony in 1977 in the original production of "The Shadow Box." Her other Broadway credits include "A Doll's House," ''A Month of Sundays" and "Hedda Gabler." For "The Elephant Man," she replaced Carole Shelley as Mrs. Kendal and her John Merricks included Philip Anglim and Bowie.
Elliott also played Renee Divine Buchanan on the ABC daytime drama "One Life to Live" from 1988 to 2011. In addition, she was on the "CBS Radio Mystery Theater" series from 1974 through 1982.
She graduated from the University of Colorado in 1960 and worked at the Cleveland Play House, the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis and Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., among others.
Elliott starred in "Hay Fever" at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles and played Regina Giddens in "The Little Foxes" at the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia. She had guest roles on such TV shows as "Kojak," ''St. Elsewhere" and "Hill Street Blues."