BartCop Entertainment Archives - Wednesday, 18 February, 2015


18 February, 2015

(Updated Daily)

[1240 days in a row]


M Is FOR MASHUP - February 18th, 2015

What Home Producers Think About Mashups

By DJ Useo

I have a Facebook account solely to contact people who want to interact about mashups. Many has been the time I felt like closing my account, but the people I know there are what keeps me staying. I was thinking about the assembled bootleg knowledge my contacts possess, & I got an idea to invite them to offer their wisdom on the subject. They delivered & more. Here's the thread containing what my Facebook contacts think about mashups.

Voicedude - It's apparently been a huge waste of my time…. ;)

Jarod Preston - Why listen to one of your favorite songs when you listen to two of them at the same time.

Boris Bolo - don't like the music in em, but the videos are pretty good. :)

Ryan Nellis - Becoming decreasingly creative (myself included). Is it because the more we mash, the less material we feel is usable?

Scott Cairo - why not?

AtoZ - That the above comments reveal a discernible wave of "why do we do this decreasingly fresh or enjoyable thing ?" Useo is chagrined to have exposed a Ghostbusters II river of discontent flowing under Mashtown !

'cept Me, who's still reaching thriving peaks (( and wid videos too plus as well !! ))

Matthew Kavanagh - Even though I now understand its a matter of matching key and timing, I still feel the magic making these today, as I felt listening to mashups on the radio 10 years ago.

AtoZ - You open an insightful window ( to a door ... which leads to a view ... of this ! ) ... Key & Timing match are crucial, but not if it's rigidly mechanized and "computery". Feel and happy-axledents keep the naturalness of life within it, and a bit a' dissonance is better than sounding too auto-crooned !

As far as "still feeling the magic 10 years on" that cuz the true artistes ( even weary Joel-Steven Voicedude ) are evolving. Just think of music 1962 vs 1972 ! (( damn !!, I just conceived another freakin' compilation .))

oki - mashups are a fun and creative hobby for the entire family.

Mistah Pok - Mashups are dead and locked in my basement.

ToToM - The quickest and most satisfying way I found to express myself through music and always a pleasure to listen to although I've become more difficult to please as ever.

Jeremy Girard - I enjoy music of all genres. However, I can only hear my own favorite albums so many times before I long for something fresh. Likewise, I can only listen to the radio looking for new sounds so many times before the same 20 songs are repeated.

Ah, but in the wonderful world of Mashups I can hear my old favorites mashed with the new! Old favs with other old favs, new with new, and I can even credit them for introducing me to artists that I may never have heard at all!

And now, so many producers have joined in the craft that one could literally find a new mashup at any given moment. Some new combination that has just been completed, fresh for your ears! It is a never ending world of musical discovery that brings together decades and genres that you would never think to enjoy at the same time, but once you do, you can't imagine it any other way.

Jared Slaff - I still love mash-ups, from the day I heard my first one in July 2004 (Chris Isaak v. CeCe Peniston). Although lately, due to its popularity, there haven't been as many quality choons (onslaught of EDM v. EDM, etc), but there are some gems that still come out of the woodwork. Sadly, Genre Clash has been put on the back burner compared to years past.

But when the songs that come out now are also down in quality, it can make it that much harder. As a fanboy (and having made a couple meh-shups also), I have a big appreciation of the hard work these DJ's/producers put in for so long..!

Eddie Pedalo - It's over. Move on.

Jarod Preston - Because it NEVER gets old -

and the possibilities are endless...

....unlessss you use the same hip hop and r&b vocals over and over again.

Sam Haynes - Need more biggie pellas.

Dave Davis - Common themes seem to blend effortlessly. However, I know there is some major work done to accomplish them.

Voicedude - It's a shame that the biggest haters of the genre are from within the genre. How will anything survive that dynamic?

AtoZ - 1- You don't mean you see "haters" in this thread right here, do ya' ? Seems like cheekiness, or contrariness at worst. You must mean other mash-sites, like how GYBO used to was ?

2- As for surviving that dynamic -- seems to be working so far ! Grist for the mill, maybe ? Certainly motivation.

I haven't seen anywhere, including well outside of mashery, that doesn't attract nay-sayers / wiseasses / & plain ol' troublemakers . . .

Voicedude - No. But I think that self-hating attitude / dynamic is unique to this genre. Plus that attitude IS why I have nothing to do with Mashstix any longer and is, I believe, what helped kill GYBO... We used to be a community of fellow artistes who would compare and occasionally critique each others work (and ended up LIFTING each other up) - like a public park where we all set up our latest pieces.

But it BECAME something else: imagine your easels all set up and the very first 'peer' that comes by whips it out and takes a piss all over it. Now, there it sits. - dripping - so THAT is the first takeaway any future person sees. Now I do NOT expect fawning over every track I release - far from it! - but NO ONE expects THAT kind of reaction.

Especially when someone who ISN'T a musician starts lecturing me on how OOK ( "out of key" ) it is, particularly when I know it isn't. It's also just plain disrespectful to another who is JUST LIKE YOU, for one. Today, especially online or in other social media contexts, too many fall into SNARK as a 'go to' response, as if being an asshole is a 'right' or something. All it takes it one turd to spoil the soup, so these reactions take away all that LOVE we referred to previously that got us into this to begin with. Just imho, btw...

AtoZ - Wow, Voicedude, all eloquently said, sir. I just had a variation on that my own self :

I spent the last couple weeks on one a' own I was super, >never-did-better< Proud of . . but I ran it by a couple genuine Mash-pals cuz I went back and forth on a couple vocal phrases being "possibly" off just a squeach.

You know . . . one day ya' love it --- next day you're not sure.

( I hesitate to ask You about "nearly dones" cuz your bracingly honest assessments are so bracingly honest . . heh-heh )

Once I felt as confident as one can be, and had endorsements filling my sails, out it launched unto the whirled . . .

It got some of the most enthusiastic reactions I've yet garnered, especially getting a "Like" from Mark Vidler! ( the gosh-darn Patron Saint of Mashters ! ) . . . . but ONE damn guy said 'something' like "pitch-matching vocal from "The Word" is a waste here". And don't `cha know it . . there's the turd in That soup !!

Oh! . . should I reference the track?

Sure, then you can chase around that turd with some drippy piss!!



Voicedude - You're talking one man's opinion amongst a bunch of favorable reviews. I'm talking the very first comment is Snark - sometimes incorrect Snark. Recently, on my Guardians Of The Galaxy mashup on one of the sites, this very thing happened. What he referred to I was somewhat aware of but not concerned with. Yet, still my work was there, dripping with piss.

But I did not respond; I did not take the bait. Instead, the song maxed out my 100 D/L in record time! Clearly the rest of the crowd disagreed with him, but there stood my work, dripping anyway... Should we care about what our peers say about our work? Well, in a word: yes. But not if we're going to act like jerks about it; in that case, who cares what you think!

AtoZ - But back on The Overall Non-Specific topic here, folks ! . . . We need to keep this all in mind from a more historical perspective :

Mash-Ups have been around, in a widely known and accepted way, for going on 15 to 20 years now ?

Eras change . . . it was in the late 80's that everybody in commercially released music was gettin' all 60's on us.

Right now, there seems to be a lot of fondness or at least references to the 90's. Mashers may fear we've hung around too long and gone "out of style", but give it a couple years and the culture will be digging out their "mash-hats", and "mash-pants" again. Oh my . . . there'll be blogs about how "Mashing is Back !"

Except, as so beautifully pointed out above in this resonant thread, mashing exists in all times and genres as a fundamental construct . . so we're in / out / and beyond fashion at all times anyway.

So stick That in your app and Mash it!

Thanks to all my pals, & contacts for all the expressions concerning mashups. I'll be back next week with more writing about mashups!

Podcast Of The Week

DJ Rudec presents the awesome "DJ Rudec - Jazztamash Vol 1 @ GenErik & Friends podcast". DJ Rudec says "Needed to recover from the pure awesome that was superstar Ralph Myerz exclusive podcast. Back with something a leeetel different this time: An hour of jazzy mashups. Some truly mind-blowing work here from DJ Rudec. Jazz standards x Pop Standards? Nu-jazz and lounge versions of your favourite songs? It's all here."
( )


Recommended Reading

from Bruce

Interviews by Laura Barnett: Julie Walters and Willy Russell: how we made Educating Rita (Guardian)
Julie Walters: 'I was so terrified on opening night, I was taking Valium backstage. I was shocked when people laughed.'

Laura Barnett: Second comings: the artists who found success the long way round (Guardian)
Ever dreamed of packing it all in and becoming an artist? Meet four people who prove it's never too late to follow your heart - from the sociologist bagging poetry prizes in her 60s, to the surgeon wowing audiences at the National.

Laura Barnett: How I turned around the shameful taboo of debt (Guardian)
Alinah Azadeh and her young family faced losing their home, but she walked out of court finally feeling unafraid about the future.

June Thomas: The Friendly Rivalry of Matt Groening and Lynda Barry (Slate)
If you want to have a long, successful career in the creative arts, the best favor you can do for yourself is to find a friendly rival early in life. That, at least, was my takeaway from Thursday night's conversation at the Brooklyn Academy of Music between Matt Groening and Lynda Barry.

Philip Ardagh: I can't help writing funny. It's true. Funny chose me (Guardian)
The author of The Grunts talks to members of the Imagine children's festival ideas cloud (made up of 30 children aged seven to 11) about writing funny books, being chased by piranhas and the secrets of his magical beard!

Maria Popova: "The Artist's Reality: Mark Rothko's Little-Known Writings on Art, Artists, and What the Notion of Plasticity Reveals about Storytelling" (Brain Pickings)
"While the authority of the doctor or plumber is never questioned, everyone deems himself a good judge and an adequate arbiter of what a work of art should be and how it should be done." - Mark Rothko

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 approximately 50 Kindle books on



Trivia Question of the Day

Most consumers are unaware that the phrases "cochineal extract", "carmine", "crimson lake", "natural red 4", or even "natural coloring" refer to a dye derived from a(n) _____?_____


Send your answer to Marty

Trivia Question from Yesterday

This actress was born Doris Smith in Pride, Louisiana. By what name is she better known?

      Donna Douglas                                                      Source

Donna Douglas (born Doris Smith; September 1932 - January 1, 2015) was an American actress and singer, known for her role as Elly May Clampett in CBS's The Beverly Hillbillies (1962-1971). Following her acting career, Douglas became a real estate agent, a Gospel singer and inspirational speaker, and authored books for children and adults.       Source

Lois Of Oregon was first, and correct, with:
   Oh wow, was gonna say Doris Day until I cheated and googled it and found out it was Donna Douglas, another perfect example of female beauty of the 60's.
  Fer christ's sake, BARBIE tried to be like her! I myself envied her life style with Jed and Granny. Everybody on TV in them days had a nicer family than me; the Clampetts, the Cartwrights, the Addams, not to mention the friggin' Munsters.
  Yeah, and even the ugly dudes on the Twlight Zone were trying to be nice to her, help her fit in.
  Makes me feel better knowing she ended up looking like Baby Jane!

Charlie wrote:
   The late Donna Douglas

  Don't know what happened to my pic yesterday, but looking in my sent folder, it seems the image didn't copy properly. It was just a picture of a thundercloud with a bolt of lightning.

Alan J said:
   Donna Douglas.

Randall replied:
   I had to look it up, and was pleasantly surprised to find

  Who went by the stage name of

Adam answered:
   Donna Douglas.

Deborah responded:
   Taking a WAG here: Doris Smith from Pride, LA, is the actress Doris Day.
  BTTB, thanks for sharing part of your history. Fascinating.
  Feel better soon, Marty.

Jim from CA, retired to ID, said:
   Donna Douglas

MAM   wrote:
   Donna Douglas, aka Elly May Clampett of 'Beverly Hillbillies'

Marian responded:
   Donna Douglas

Dale of Diamond Springs, Norspringcali, answered:
   Donna Douglas…..Ellie Mae Clampett! She recently went to heaven to take care of all the "Critters." It's amazing how the Christers have it all figured out! The real Babes of "Hillbillies" Irene and Nancy.

DJ Useo took the day off.

Joe S     took the day off.

mj took the day off.

Sally is retired, but paying attention.

BttbBob   has returned to semi-retired status.

  February 18 Birthdays - Celebrities Born February 18 | Famous Birthdays



Middle Class Political Economist

Shocking incentive failure rate in North Carolina

Now a Blogger-Columnist at US News and World Reports "Economic Intelligence"



Reader Suggestion

Michelle in AZ

Like a Bad Neighbor, Chevron Is There | Leo W. Gerard

Its not f*cking Space Aliens, Okay?!

Birds Tell an Urgent Climate Message

What is this dog thinking? Scientists now have some fascinating answers | John Bradshaw | Comment is free | The Guardian

BBC News - The men who smuggle the loot that funds IS

BBC - Earth - Why the elephant has a long trunk

Tough As Nails: Women Scientists Rise Up In Nigeria : Goats and Soda : NPR

Republicans' Curious Ideas About Contraception | Laura Stepp

Cut your cable bill in just 5 minutes - ABC15 Arizona

Americans have plotted to kill cartoonists who lampooned Islam -

Niihau Island: How a Lone Shot-Down Pilot Led to the Wartime Imprisonment of Japanese-Americans

The Right Wing Scam Machine | National Review Online

Arizona police officer at the heart of controversy abruptly resigns

Former ASU officer resigns over incident with professor
     I'd like to think I had a small part in this outcome, as I posted something to the effect of " You could've approached this jaywalking miscreant with a simple "excuse me, Ma'am, it is not only illegal, but dangerous to be walking in the middle of a blocked-off, no traffic road: please walk on the sidewalk" to a FB "support" group. Heh.

Thanks, Michelle!



David E Suggests

How Much Are We Worth

How Much Are We Worth


Thanks, Dave!



From The Creator of 'Avery Ant'

"The Problem With Young People Today"

(Crabby Old Fart)



from Marc Perkel


Hello Bartcop fans,

As you all know the untimely passing of Terry was unexpected, even by him. We all knew he had cancer but we all thought he had some years left. So some of us who have worked closely with him over the years are scrambling around trying to figure out what to do. My job, among other things, is to establish communications with the Bartcop community and provide email lists and groups for those who might put something together. Those who want to play an active roll in something coming from this, or if you are one of Bart's pillars, should send an email to

Bart's final wish was to pay off the house mortgage for Mrs. Bart who is overwhelmed and so very grateful for the support she has received. Anyone wanting to make a donation can click on this the yellow donate button on

But - I need you all to help keep this going. This note isn't going to directly reach all of Bart's fans. So if you can repost it on blogs and discussion boards so people can sign up then when we figure out what's next we can let more people know. This list is just over 600 but like to get it up to at least 10,000 pretty quick. So here's the signup link for this email list.
( )

Marc Perkel




Selected Readings

from that Mad Cat, JD











Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music


Ark Of Darkness


In The Chaos Household

Last Night

Still feeling crummy.

Tonight, Wednesday:

CBS starts the night with a FRESH 'The Mentalist', followed by another FRESH 'The Mentalist', then a FRESH 'Stalker'.
Scheduled on a FRESH Dave are Will Smith and Grizfolk.
Scheduled on a FRESH Late, Late Show, with tonight's middle-aged white guy guest host, Thomas Lennon, are Matthew Perry and Nick Kroll.

NBC opens the night with a FRESH 'The Mysteries Of Laura', followed by a FRESH 'L&O: SVU', then a FRESH 'Chicago PD'.
Scheduled on a FRESH Jimmy Fallon are Sigourney Weaver, Andy Cohen, and Ella Henderson.
Scheduled on a FRESH Seth Meyers are Kathy Griffin, Peter Sarsgaard, the Mavericks.
Scheduled on a FRESH Carson 'The Scab' Daly are Rob Corrdry, Hidden Ritual, Michael Johnson.

ABC begins the night with a FRESH 'The Middle', followed by a FRESH 'The Goldbergs', then a FRESH 'Modern Family', followed by a FRESH 'black-ish', then a FRESH 'Nashville'.
Scheduled on a FRESH Jimmy Kimmel are Neil Patrick Harris, Gillian Jacobs, and Rascal Flatts.

The CW offes a FRESH 'Arrow', followed by a FRESH 'The 100'.

Faux has a FRESH 'American Idol', followed by a FRESH 'Empire'.

MY has an old 'The Walking Dead', followed by another old 'The Walking Dead'.

A&E has 2 hours of old 'Donnie Loves The Anti-Vaxxer', 'Duck Dynasty', followed by a FRESH 'Wahlburgers', then a FRESH 'Donnie Loves The Anti-Vaxxer'.

AMC offers the movie 'Casino Royale', followed by the movie 'Gladiator'.

BBC  -   
 [6:00AM]    BBC World News
 [7:00AM]    BBC World News
 [8:00AM]    Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season 3 - Ep 23 - Sarek
 [9:00AM]    Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season 3 - Ep 24 - Menage a Troi
 [10:00AM]    Doctor Who - Season 6 - Ep 2 - Day of the Moon
 [11:00AM]    Doctor Who - Season 6 - Ep 3 - The Curse of the Black Spot
 [12:00PM]    Atlantis - Season 1 - Episode 7
 [1:00PM]    Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares US - Season 1 - Ep 4 - Finn McCool's
 [2:00PM]    Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares US - Season 5 - Ep 7 - The Greek at the Harbor
 [3:00PM]    Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares US - Season 3 - Ep 8 - Lido Di Manhattan Beach
 [4:00PM]    Top Gear - Season 15 - Episode 1
 [5:00PM]    Top Gear - Season 15 - Episode 2
 [6:00PM]    Top Gear - Season 15 - Episode 3
 [7:00PM]    Top Gear: Best Of 12-13 - Episode 1
 [8:00PM]    Top Gear: Best Of 12-13 - Episode 2
 [9:00PM]    The Silence of the Lambs
 [11:30PM]    The Silence of the Lambs
 [2:00AM]    Top Gear: Best Of 12-13 - Episode 1
 [3:00AM]    Top Gear: Best Of 12-13 - Episode 2
 [4:00AM]    Mud, Sweat and Gears - Season 1 - Ep 4 - Truck O'War
 [5:00AM]    Top Gear - Season 15 - Episode 1    (ALL TIMES EST)

Bravo has 'Real Housewives Of BH', 'Vanderpump Rules', another 'Vanderpump Rules', followed by a FRESH 'Best New Restaurant'.

Comedy Central has 'Broad City', 'Workaholics', 'South Park', another 'South Park', still another 'South Park', yet another 'South Park', followed by a FRESH 'Workaholics', then a FRESH 'Broad City'.
On a RERUN Jon Stewart (from 1/22/15) is Jennifer Aniston.
On a RERUN @Midnight (from 1/20/15) are Jonah Ray, Ben Kronberg, Ali Wong.

FX has the movie 'The Bourne Legacy', followed by a FRESH 'The Americans'.

History has 'American Pickers', another 'American Pickers', followed by a FRESH 'American Pickers', then a FRESH 'Mississippi Men'.

IFC  -   
 [9:00AM]    LETHAL WEAPON 2
 [11:30AM]    LETHAL WEAPON 3
 [2:15PM]    LETHAL WEAPON 4
 [11:30PM]    PULP FICTION

Sundance  -   
 [6:00AM]    Shadow
 [7:45AM]    Entrapment
 [10:15AM]    The Full Monty
 [12:15PM]    Confidence
 [2:15PM]    Out of Sight
 [5:00PM]    Donnie Brasco
 [7:45PM]    Lucky Number Slevin
 [10:00PM]    Basic Instinct
 [12:45AM]    Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love
 [3:15AM]    Donnie Brasco    (ALL TIMES EST)

SyFy has the movie 'District 9', followed by the movie 'Independence Day'.

Scheduled on a FRESH Conan are Ashton Kutcher, Jon Cryer, Sage Kotsenburg, and Kristian Bush.

 [7:15 AM]      And the Oscar Goes To... (2014)
 [9:00 AM]      The Shoes of the Fisherman (1968)
 [11:45 AM]      The Singing Nun (1966)
 [1:30 PM]      The Nun's Story (1959)
 [4:15 PM]      The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)
 [8:00 PM]      The Apartment (1960)
 [10:15 PM]      To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)
 [12:30 AM]      The Hustler (1961)
 [3:00 AM]      Days of Wine and Roses (1962)
 [5:15 AM]      Lolita (1961)     (ALL TIMES EST)

Thursday   -  02/19/15

 [8:15 AM]      Twilight Of Honor (1963)
 [10:15 AM]      Trial (1955)
 [12:30 PM]      Witness For The Prosecution (1958)
 [2:30 PM]      Inherit The Wind (1960)
 [4:45 PM]      Judgment At Nuremberg (1961)
 [8:00 PM]      Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb (1964)
 [9:45 PM]      The Sand Pebbles (1966)
 [1:15 AM]      A Man for All Seasons (1966)
 [3:30 AM]      A Hard Day's Night (1964)
 [5:00 AM]      Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967)     (ALL TIMES EST)

Antenna TV

Bounce TV

Cozi TV

Decades TV Network


Get TV

Grit - Television With Backbone - Grit


MOVIES! TV Network

RTV - The Retro Television Network

the works

This TV

Al Jazeera

Any opinions?   Marty

Or reviews?   Marty

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Singer Adam Lambert, left, and guitarist Brian May, of British group Queen perform during their concert in Prague, Czech Republic, Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015.
Photo by Michal Kamaryt


The Sideshow - by Avedon Carol


Honored by Veterans for Peace

Paul Krassner

Paul Krassner, co-founder of the political activist group the Yippies and founder of America's first adult satirical publication, The Realist, was awarded a lifetime achievement award by Veterans for Peace Jon Castro Chapter 19 at the group's President's Day awards luncheon Monday at Cimarron Golf Resort in Cathedral City.

Veterans for Peace of the Inland Empire - which celebrated its 10th anniversary Monday - is part of a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to abolishing war.

Krassner, 82, of Desert Hot Springs - who began publishing The Realist in 1958 - founded the Yippies (Youth International Party) with fellow political and social activists Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin. He became a key figure in the counterculture of the 1960s was an outspoken antiwar advocate who was on the FBI list of radicals during the Vietnam War.

Krassner is the author of numerous works, including the books,"Pot Stories for the Soul: An Updated Edition for Stoned Adventures" and "Confessions of a Raving, Unconfined Nut: Misadventures in the Counter-Culture."

Also honored were Donni Prince, who received a Friend of the Veteran Award for her decades of work as Veterans Specialist at College of the Desert, and Chuck Parker, of Comite Latino, who received the group's Member of the Year Award.

Paul Krassner


Actor Ronald Pickup arrives at the Royal Film Performance and world premiere of the film, "The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel", at Leicester Square, London February 17, 2015.
Photo by Peter Nicholls


HBO Renews For 2 More Seasons

John Oliver

HBO has renewed "Last Week Tonight With John Oliver" for an additional two seasons - so the rumor mill can officially scratch one name off of "Daily Show With Jon Stewart" replacement list.

The newly ordered runs will be for Seasons 3 and 4 of the Sunday night comedy program. Each season will consist of 35 episodes.

Season 3 will run next year, with Season 4 coming in 2017.

"Last Week Tonight" airs Sundays at 11 p.m. The show recently received a Writers Guild Award for Comedy/Variety (Including Talk) - Series.

John Oliver


Newhead News


Announces Video Game Counterpart

National Toy Hall of Fame

The museum that houses the National Toy Hall of Fame announced Tuesday the creation of the World Video Game Hall of Fame to recognize the impact games like "Pong" and "Grand Theft Auto" have on culture and society.

The toy hall of fame will provide the model for the video version, which is dedicated to arcade, console, computer, hand-held and mobile games.

"Electronic games have changed how people play, learn and connect with each other, including across boundaries of culture and geography," said G. Rollie Adams, president and chief executive of The Strong museum in Rochester, where the new hall is located.

Anyone will be able to nominate a game and an internal advisory committee will choose finalists. An annual class of inductees will be chosen by an international selection committee of journalists, scholars and other video game experts based on four criteria: icon-status, longevity, geographical reach and the influence it has had on the design of other games, entertainment, popular culture and society in general.

National Toy Hall of Fame


A float depicting Ludwig van Beethoven, front, and British musician Mick Jagger, parades during 131st Nice carnival parade, Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015, in Nice, southeastern France. The Carnival, running from Feb. 13 until March 1, 2015, celebrates the "King of Music".
Photo by Lionel Cironneau


Removing Artificial Flavors

Nestle USA

No more artificial flavors and colors in Butterfinger, Babe Ruth or any Nestle chocolate candies in the United States, because Americans want them gone, the Swiss food giant said Tuesday.

Nestle USA pledged to remove artificial flavors and government-certified colors from all its more than 250 products by the end of the year.

"We're excited to be the first major US candy manufacturer to make this commitment," said Doreen Ida, president of Nestle USA Confections & Snacks.

The unit of the world's leading food company said its customer research on brands like Butterfinger showed US consumers prefer candy that is free of artificial flavors and colors.

Nestle USA


Wake-up Call


Embed Spyware


The United States has figured out how to bug hard drives built by the world's top computer manufacturers, giving it the ability to spy on and sabotage computers and networks in countries targeted by American intelligence agencies, a report by a Russian cybersecurity firm has found.

Five hundred infections in more 30 countries have been documented by Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab, with the highest levels of infection reported in Iran, Russia, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Manufacturers Western Digital Technologies, Samsung Electronics, and Seagate Technology are among the top brand names affected worldwide.

Kaspersky announced its findings Monday at a security summit in Cancun, Mexico. The firm did not quite point the finger at the National Security Agency, instead naming the threat actor the "Equation" group, for its members' affinity for "encryption algorithms and obfuscation strategies."

But the report did claim that the spying campaign, which goes back as far as 2001, is linked to the origins of other, older NSA-led cyber weapons such as Stuxnet and the Flame malware platform.

This makes the spyware - which creates what UK-based tech site Ars Technica calls a "secret storage vault" that survives "military-grade disk wiping and formatting" - almost impossible to detect or remove. It also allows the software "to infect the computer over and over," Kaspersky threat researcher Costin Raiu told Reuters.



A Hindu holy man, or sadhu, smokes marijuana in a chillum on the premises of Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu February 17, 2015. Hindu holy men from Nepal and India come to this temple to take part in the Maha Shivaratri festival. Celebrated by Hindu devotees all over the world, Shivaratri is dedicated to Lord Shiva, and holy men mark the occasion by praying, smoking marijuana or smearing their bodies with ashes.
Photo by Navesh Chitrakar


School Says 'Stay On Script'


A Florida high school that last week told a student to stop adding the phrase "God bless America" when reading scripted morning announcements, announced on Tuesday his use of the phrase does not violate the U.S. Constitution.

The initial decision drew protests and irate phone calls from around the nation, school officials said. After seeking legal advice, the Nassau County School District issued a press release on Tuesday clarifying its ruling on the phrase.

However, the school district said students would still have to stick to the script in morning announcements and refrain from any embellishment.

"Upon consultation with legal counsel and review of legal advisories, the Nassau County School District has taken the position that a student's use of the phrase "God Bless America" during the morning announcements at Yulee High School does not violate the Constitution of the United States," it stated.

But Nassau County School District spokeswoman Sharyl Wood said the morning script restriction still applies. "The admonition not to add to the script applies to anything," she said.



The aurora borealis, or the northern lights as they are commonly known are photographed, over Dunstanburgh Castle, in Northumberland, England, Tuesday Feb. 17, 2015.
Photo by Owen Humphreys


Taken Off Endangered List

Oregon Chub

A tiny minnow that lives only in backwaters in Oregon's Willamette Valley is the first fish to be formally removed from Endangered Species Act protection because it is no longer in danger of extinction.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe is scheduled to make the announcement Tuesday afternoon at a wildlife refuge outside Corvallis.

The action comes 22 years after the 3-inch-long fish was first listed as an endangered species, and five years after it was upgraded to threatened.

Paul Henson, state director for Fish and Wildlife, said the Oregon chub demonstrates that a lot of species can be brought back from the brink of extinction, if key needs are met, such as a safe place to live, even in an urban landscape.

Restoring the chub has focused on working with private, tribal and public landowners to protect and restore ponds and backwaters the fish needs to thrive, transplanting fish to expand its range and population, protecting them from predators, and altering dam releases to resemble natural river flows. A range of state and federal agencies, tribes, conservation groups and private landowners joined in the work.

Oregon Chub



In Memory

Movita Castaneda

Movita Castaneda, the dark-haired actress who met Marlon Brando on a movie set and later married him and had two of his children, has died.

Barbara Sternig, a family friend, says Castaneda died Thursday at a Los Angeles rehabilitation centre after being treated for a neck injury. The Los Angeles Times says ( ) Castaneda was believed to be 98.

She came to prominence after appearing in the 1935 classic "Mutiny on the Bounty," a film that would be remade decades later starring Brando. Castaneda was also known for roles in "Flying Down to Rio" alongside Fred Astaire, "Paradise Isle" and "Captain Calamity."

She married Brando in 1960.

Previously she was married to Irish prizefighter Jack Doyle.

Castaneda is survived by Miko Brando and Rebecca Brando; four grandchildren; and her 102-year-old sister, Petra.

Movita Castaneda



A snarling response from Sumatra tiger Tess as she clutches tightly onto her lunch while being observed by visitors at Burgers' zoo in the town city of Arnhem Feb. 17, 2015.
Photo by Koen van Weel



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