BartCop Entertainment Archives - Wednesday, 21 December, 2016


21 December, 2016

(Updated Daily)

[1910 days in a row]


M Is FOR MASHUP - December 21st, 2016

Dj BC Brings Us Christmas Mashups

By DJ Useo

dj BC writes, "My best Christmas mashups from the past decade are collected for this year's Santastic (previously) holiday music sampler. You can also dig on the site for the full albums from past years, our 'Menorah Mashups' Chanukah collection, and my chill instrumental album of holiday classical remixes. It's all free."

I can't add much more to that than the full playlist. This is one mighty fine collection. I suggest you put a paper plate of Christmas goodies together, pour some egg nog, & let the tunes flow! Here's the video for "Imagine Santa" with John Lennon vs Michael Jackson.
( )

01 - Cold Chillin with Stevie
       ( Stevie Wonder vs Juice Crew Allstars vs Harry Potter vs Bob and Doug MacKenzie )

02 - Turbo Sleigh Ride (Radio)

03 - Jingle Pressure
       ( Queen and David Bowie vs Smokey Robinson and special guests )

04 - Sugar Plum Fairy Coda (recoda)

05 - Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
       ( DMX vs Burl Ives )

06- From The Holly To The Ivy
       ( Mixed for WEXT, New York )

07 - Mashing Christmas
       ( Danny Elfman vs The Supremes vs Jimmy Stewart )

08 - The Nutbreaker '06
       ( Mixed for WEXT, New York )

09 - Jack Frost Vs The Weatherman
       ( The Mills Brothers vs Jim Kosek vs Jack Frost vs Del Close and John Brent )

10 - Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring (Mystery Mix 2010)
       ( Mixed for WEXT, New York )

11 - You Shook Me All Noel

12 - Funky Wassail
       ( Mixed for WEXT, New York )

13 - Rock The Jingle Bells
       ( LL Cool J vs Tuborg Julebryg Jingle )

14 - Imagine Santa
       (John Lennon vs The Jackson Five)

15 - Waltz Of The Flowers (reflower)
       ( Mixed for WEXT, New York )

16 - 8-Bit Hip-Hop Christmas
       ( Black EL vs Bit Shifter )

17 - What Up Child
       ( WEXT, New York )

18 - Forgot About Merry
       ( Staple Singers vs Christmas Villains )

Dj BC has been putting these Christmas mashup collections out for years, always with incredibly talented contributors. Though the group comp didn't manifest this year, this overview assortment is rock solid, & will please for ages to come.

Here's the link for this swell new collection, & all the many past ones. Grab your fill, & feel free to give out the link as a cool seasonal gift. Bless us, each & every one.
( )

Also, you can find my Christmas present to everyone here
( )



Recommended Reading

from Bruce

Paul Krugman: Reality TV Populism (NY Times Blog)
Europe's populist parties are actually populist; they pursue policies that really do help workers, as long as those workers are the right color and ethnicity. As someone put it, they're selling a herrenvolk welfare state. Law and Justice has raised minimum wages and reduced the retirement age; France's National Front advocates the same things. Trump, however, is different. He said lots of things on the campaign trail, but his personnel choices indicate that in practice he's going to be a standard hard-line economic-right Republican.

John Judis: On the Eve of Disruption: Final Thoughts on the 2016 Election (TPM)
as far as regaining Congress and the White House is concerned, the best offense in this case is a good defense. Much of the Democrats' success will inevitably depend on Trump and the Republicans advancing unpopular proposals, and the Democrats making them pay for them at the ballot box.

Andrew Tobias: Almost-Daily Column
Donald Trump will be our next president. The dignity, intellect, temperament, and thoughtfulness of President Obama - a rescued economy, rescued housing market, rescued Detroit now booming, tripled stock market, 80 consecutive months' private-sector job growth, energy independence, rising household incomes (finally!), a deficit slashed by two-thirds with the Debt once again (finally!) shrinking relative to the economy as a whole, Bin Laden dead, ISIS on its heels, the American body count zero most weeks, a world brought together to combat climate change - to be succeeded by what?

Dara Lind: President Obama just capped off a historic year in reducing prison sentences (Vox)
A quiet but significant Obama criminal justice accomplishment: using the pardon power to get people out of prison sooner.

Arlie Russell Hochschild: "Special report: I spent 5 years with some of Trump's biggest fans. Here's what they won't tell you." (Mother Jones)
How Donald Trump took a narrative of unfairness and twisted it to his advantage.

Berny Belvedere: Pop Music is Forever (Arc)
A Philosophical Defense of Pop Music.

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



Trivia Question of the Day

What performer and his group billed themselves as creating "the sweetest music this side of heaven"?


Send your answer to Marty

Trivia Question from Yesterday

According to The Lancet, this sixth-smallest nation in Europe has the highest life expectancy in the world at 81 years. What is the name of this principality?

       Andorra                                                      Source

Andorra, officially the Principality of Andorra (Catalan: Principat d'Andorra), also called the Principality of the Valleys of Andorra (Catalan: Principat de les Valls d'Andorra), is a sovereign landlocked microstate in Southwestern Europe, located in the eastern Pyrenees mountains and bordered by Spain and France. Created under a charter in 988, the present principality was formed in 1278. It is known as a principality as it is a monarchy headed by two Co-Princes - the Roman Catholic Bishop of Urgell in Spain, and the President of France.

Andorra is the sixth-smallest nation in Europe, having an area of 468 km2 (181 sq mi) and a population of approximately 85,000. Its capital Andorra la Vella is the highest capital city in Europe, at an elevation of 1,023 metres (3,356 ft) above sea level. The official language is Catalan, although Spanish, Portuguese, and French are also commonly spoken.

Andorra's tourism services an estimated 10.2 million visitors annually. It is not a member of the European Union, but the euro is the official currency. It has been a member of the United Nationssince 1993. In 2013, the people of Andorra had the highest life expectancy in the world at 81 years, according to The Lancet.        Source

Randall was first and correct with:
  I didn't even know there WAS (IS) an Andorra

zorch wrote:

Alan J said:

mj replied:
   Guessing again
  And taking a chance on Monaco (if you stay off the roads.)

Deborah responded:
   Taking a WAG: Vatican City
  Feel better soon, Marty.

Adam answered:

DJ Useo wrote:
   Are you referring to Neverland? ;)

Jim from CA, retired to ID, took the day off.

Joe S     took the day off.

MAM     took the day off.

Marian took the day off.

Dale of Diamond Springs, Norcali took the day off.

BttbBob   has returned to semi-retired status.

  December 21 Birthdays - Celebrities Born December 21 | Famous Birthdays

Sally has retired.




Middle Class Political Economist

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



Reader Suggestion

Michelle in AZ

Tom Arnold: I have 'racist' Trump outtakes from 'The Apprentice' - AOL News

Trump's budget director wants the government to stop funding scientific research

I did not know that: Trump's name means 'messiah'

$70,000 coffee date with Ivanka is off, but how about a $500,000 hunting trip with the Trump boys?

What Those Who Studied Nazis Can Teach Us About The Strange Reaction To Donald Trump | The Huffington Post

Six More Retailers Agree To Halt 'On Call' Scheduling For Workers | The Huffington Post

Could Republicans Undo Marriage Equality? Yes -- And Here's How | The Huffington Post

The Trump era: How wildly doomed are we? - Notes & Errata by Mark Morford

Why US liberals are now buying guns too - BBC News

BBC - Culture - The surprising origins of famous Christmas carols

Biggest threats to the Trump market rally - Dec. 20, 2016

What drugs were the Nazis on, anyway? -

Why 'Fences' May Be Denzel Washington's Most Timely Movie - NBC News

A San Francisco startup is giving away free birth control with the promo code 'Donald Trump' - AOL Finance

Surprise! Republicans just introduced a bill that would completely reform Social Security - AOL Finance

Pentagon Pulls Blast Gauges Intended To Flag Battlefield Brain Injuries : Shots - Health News : NPR

Russell Moore, Evangelical Leader, Faces Backlash For Anti-Trump Comments : NPR

2016 Had So Much Good TV, It Was Almost Too Much - We Pick Some Standouts : NPR

Four words that don't go together: Paul. Ryan. Party Train. But the obstruction? Totally believable.

Lie down with dogs, wake up with fleas: Guess who Trump's national security advisor met up with?

Volcano near Naples showing signs of reawakening | World news | The Guardian

Thanks, Michelle!



Bonus Links

Jeannie the Teed-Off Temp

Donald Trump Admits His Supporters Were 'Violent and Nasty,' But Says They're 'Mellow' Now | The Huffington Post

The Media Is Failing to Explain Trump's Recklessness | New Republic

The Star Wars Holiday Special (High Quality) - YouTube

Trump Organization applies "political pressure" on foreign diplomats to stay at Donald Trump's D.C. hotel: Report -

The Subpoena That Rocked The Election Is Legal Garbage, Experts Say | The Huffington Post

Trump Tower Has Tiffany's-Branded Security Barricades Because We Live In a Scifi Dystopia Now

Donald Trump's goon squad: As president, Trump will maintain private security force to crack down on protest -

Robert Reich: Rallies and Lies. This Is How Tyranny Begins

Never Normalize: Why Trump's Presidency Is Illegitimate And How To Respond | The Huffington Post

Robert Reich: Like a Tyrant, Trump Is Deploying Seven Techniques to Control the Media | Democracy Now!

The Student Debt Crisis Is Driving Elderly People Into Poverty | The Huffington Post

Russian Registered Trump Companies - Google Sheets

The Chosen: Who Trump Is Putting in Power - ProPublica



from Marc Perkel

Patriot Act

Patriot Act NSA Spying Unconstitutional Section 215 National Security Letters Must End

My name is Marc Perkel and I have decided to announce that I will not comply with the so called "Patriot Act" laws requiring me to disclose information about my customers. If I receive a national security letter I will immediately photograph it, post it online everywhere I can, and then make a video of me burning it. I will then await my arrest. If you want to put me in jail then come get me mother fucker.

Come Get Me Mother Fucker | Putting and end to NSA government Spying





Selected Readings

from that Mad Cat, JD







Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music


In The Chaos Household

Last Night


Tonight, Wednesday:

CBS starts the night with a FRESH 'Undercover Boss', followed by another FRESH 'Undercover Boss', then a FRESH 'Code Black'.
Scheduled on a FRESH Stephen Colbert are Robert De Niro, Amy Schumer, John Krasinski, and Millie Bobby Brown.
On a RERUN James Corden, OBE, (from 11/21/16) are Dana Carvey, Miles Teller, and Usain Bolt.

NBC opens the night with 'Elf: Buddy's Musical Christmas', followed by a RERUN 'L&O: SVU', then a RERUN 'Chicago PD'.
Scheduled on a FRESH Jimmy Fallon are Viola Davis, Nick Kroll, and Chef Daniel Humm.
Scheduled on a FRESH Seth Meyers are Rachel Maddow, Kelly Osbourne, Mario Batali, and Craig Finn.
On a RERUN Carson 'The Scab' Daly (from 10/26/16) are Tricia Helfer, Temples, and Trevante Rhodes.

ABC begins the night with a RERUN 'The Goldbergs', followed by a RERUN 'American Housewife', then a RERUN 'Modern Family', followed by a RERUN 'Real O'Neals', then a FRESH 'Game Changers With Robin Roberts'.
On a RERUN Jimmy Kimmel (from 12/15/16) are Blake Shelton and Andrea Riseborough.

The CW offers a FRESH 'Terry Crews Saves Christmas', followed by a RERUN 'Arrow'.

Faux has a RERUN 'Lethal Weapon', followed by a RERUN 'Star'.

MY recycles an old 'Marvel's Agents Of SHIELD', followed by another old 'Marvel's Agents Of SHIELD'.

A&E has 2 hours of old 'Duck Dynasty', followed by a FRESH 'Duck Dynasty', then a FRESH 'Going Sy-ral', followed by a FRESH 'Wahlburgers', and 'Leah Rimini: Scientology & The Aftermath'.

AMC offers the movie 'Four Christmases', followed by the movie 'A Christmas Carol', then the movie 'Santa Claus: The Movie'.

BBC  -   
 [6:00AM]    DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 3 - EPISODE 6-The Lazarus Experiment
 [8:00AM]    DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 3 - EPISODE 8-Human Nature-Part 1.
 [9:00AM]    DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 3 - EPISODE 9-The Family Of Blood-Part 2.
 [10:00AM]    DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 3 - EPISODE 10-Blink
 [11:00AM]    DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 4 - EPISODE 1-Partners in Crime
 [12:00PM]    DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 4 - EPISODE 10-Midnight
 [1:00PM]    DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 4 - EPISODE 11-Turn Left
 [2:00PM]    DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 4 - EPISODE 12-The Stolen Earth-Part 1.
 [3:00PM]    DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 4 - EPISODE 13-Journey's End-Part 2.
 [4:00PM]    DOCTOR WHO: THE END OF TIME - Part 1 & 2.
 [5:20PM]    DOCTOR WHO: THE END OF TIME - Part 1 & 2.
 [6:40PM]    DOCTOR WHO: THE END OF TIME - Part 1 & 2.
 [8:00PM]    DOCTOR WHO: THE END OF TIME - Part 1 & 2.
 [11:00PM]    DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 5 - EPISODE 1-The Eleventh Hour
 [12:00AM]    DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 5 - EPISODE 2-The Beast Below
 [1:00AM]    DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 5 - EPISODE 3-Victory of the Daleks
 [2:00AM]    DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 5 - EPISODE 4-The Time of Angels-Part 1.
 [3:00AM]    DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 5 - EPISODE 5-Flesh and Stone-Part 2.
 [4:00AM]    DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 5 - EPISODE 6-Vampires in Venice
 [5:00AM]    DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 5 - EPISODE 7-Amy's Choice    (ALL TIMES EST)

Bravo has the movie 'Runaway Bride', 'Real Housewives Of Atlanta', and 'Real Housewives Of BH'.

Comedy Central has 'Futurama', another 'Futurama', and 3 hours of old 'South Park'.
The Daily Show is pre-empted.
@Midnight is pre-empted.

FX has the movie 'Riddick', followed by the movie 'Transformers: Age Of Extinction'.

History has 'American Pickers', 'Vikings', followed by a FRESH 'Vikings', then a FRESH 'Real Vikings'.

IFC  -   
 [11:45AM]    ACCEPTED
 [8:00PM]    KICK-ASS
 [10:30PM]    JONAH HEX
 [12:45AM]    ZOMBIELAND

Sundance  -   
 [6:00AM]    The Bob Newhart Show-Here's Looking at You, Kid
 [6:35AM]    The Bob Newhart Show-Death of a Fruitman
 [7:10AM]    The Bob Newhart Show-Change Is Gonna Do Me Good
 [7:45AM]    The Bob Newhart Show-The Heavyweights
 [8:20AM]    The Bob Newhart Show-Carol's Wedding
 [8:55AM]    The Bob Newhart Show-Shrinks Across the Sea
 [9:30AM]    The Bob Newhart Show-What's It All About, Albert?
 [10:05AM]    The Bob Newhart Show-Who Is Mr. X?
 [10:40AM]    The Bob Newhart Show-Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time
 [11:15AM]    The Bob Newhart Show-Over the River and Through the Woods
 [11:50AM]    The Bad News Bears
 [2:18PM]    Animal House
 [4:45PM]    Smokey and the Bandit
 [7:00PM]    M*A*S*H-Dear Dad
 [7:30PM]    M*A*S*H-The Kids
 [8:00PM]    M*A*S*H-Dear Sis
 [8:30PM]    M*A*S*H-Death Takes a Holiday
 [9:00PM]    M*A*S*H-'Twas the Day After Christmas
 [9:30PM]    The Andy Griffith Show-Christmas Story
 [10:05PM]    The Mary Tyler Moore Show-Christmas and the Hard Luck Kid
 [10:40PM]    The Mary Tyler Moore Show-Not a Christmas Story
 [11:15PM]    All in the Family-Christmas Day at the Bunkers'
 [11:50PM]    All in the Family-Edith's Christmas Story
 [12:25AM]    All in the Family-The Draft Dodger
 [1:00AM]    All in the Family-Edith's Crisis of Faith
 [1:35AM]    All in the Family-Edith's Crisis of Faith
 [2:10AM]    All in the Family-The Bunkers Go West
 [2:45AM]    The Bob Newhart Show-His Busiest Season
 [3:20AM]    The Bob Newhart Show-I'm Dreaming of a Slight Christmas
 [3:55AM]    The Bob Newhart Show-Home Is Where the Hurt Is
 [4:30AM]    The Bob Newhart Show-Bob Has to Have His Tonsils Out, So He Spends Christmas Eve in the Hospital
 [5:05AM]    The Bob Newhart Show-Making Up Is the Thing to Do
 [5:40AM]    The Bob Newhart Show-'Twas the Pie Before Christmas    (ALL TIMES EST)

SyFy has the movie 'GI Joe: Retaliation', followed by a FRESH 'Incorporated'.

Scheduled on a FRESH Conan are Bryan Cranston, James Franco, Barry Crimmins, and Billie Joe Armstrong.

 [6:00 AM]      Out of the Past (1947)
 [7:45 AM]      Born to Kill (1947)
 [9:30 AM]      Dial M for Murder (1954)
 [11:30 AM]      MGM Parade Show #25 (1955)
 [12:00 PM]      The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946)
 [2:00 PM]      Double Indemnity (1944)
 [4:00 PM]      The Big Sleep (1946)
 [6:00 PM]      Mildred Pierce (1945)
 [8:00 PM]      Perri (1957)
 [9:30 PM]      Old Yeller (1957)
 [11:15 PM]      The Littlest Outlaw (1955)
 [12:45 AM]      Ugly Duckling (1939)
 [12:45 AM]      The Tortoise and the Hare (1935)
 [1:15 AM]      The Ugly Dachshund (1966)
 [3:00 AM]      A Tale of Two Critters (1977)
 [4:00 AM]      Sammy, the Way-Out Seal (1962)     (ALL TIMES EST)

Thursday   -  12/22/16

 [6:30 AM]      Always Leave Them Laughing (1949)
 [8:30 AM]      Barricade (1950)
 [10:00 AM]      Lightning Strikes Twice (1951)
 [11:45 AM]      Mara Maru (1952)
 [1:30 PM]      Young Man With Ideas (1952)
 [3:00 PM]      Dallas (1950)
 [4:45 PM]      The Window (1949)
 [6:00 PM]      Strangers on a Train (1951)
 [8:00 PM]      Holiday Affair (1949)
 [9:45 PM]      Remember the Night (1940)
 [11:30 PM]      A Christmas Carol (1938)
 [12:45 AM]      Compliments of the Season (1930)
 [1:15 AM]      Babes in Toyland (1934)
 [2:45 AM]      Little Women (1949)
 [5:00 AM]      Night at the Movies: A Merry Christmas! (2011)     (ALL TIMES EST)

Antenna TV - Johnny Carson (from Dec. 17, 1982) - Sally Field and Thalassa Cruso.

Bounce TV

Comet TV

Cozi TV

Decades TV Network


Heroes and Icons

Find Justice - Justice Network

Get TV

Grit - Television With Backbone - Grit

Laff - You Know You Want To. - Laff


MOVIES! TV Network

RTV - The Retro Television Network

the works

This TV

Any opinions?   Marty

Or reviews?   Marty

Support the e-page!

(See below for addresses)


A womean wearing a Christmas costume poses at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, Netherlands on Dec. 20, 2016.
Photo by Koen Van Weel


The Sideshow - by Avedon Carol


Newest Inductees

Rock Hall

The late rapper Tupac Shakur and Seattle-based rockers Pearl Jam lead a class of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees including folkie Joan Baez and 1970s favorites Journey, Yes and Electric Light Orchestra.

The rock hall, in downtown Cleveland, also said Tuesday it would give a special award to Nile Rodgers, whose disco-era band Chic failed again to make the cut after its 11th time nominated.

The hall's 32nd annual induction ceremony will take place on April 7 at the Barclays Center. HBO will show highlights later, with SiriusXM doing a radio broadcast.

Britain's Yes, known for its complex compositions, was a leader of the 1970s progressive rock movement. Yes' hits include "I've Seen All Good People," ''Roundabout" and "Owner of a Lonely Heart," and its fans have waged a vociferous campaign to see them honored. Founding bass player Chris Squire, the one constant in many years of personnel changes, died in June 2015.

Electric Light Orchestra got its start melding classical influences to Beatles-influenced pop and charted with "Evil Woman," ''Mr. Blue Sky" and "Don't Bring Me Down." The band essentially exists now in leader Jeff Lynne's imagination and home studio and had a mildly successful comeback a year ago.

Rock Hall


Big-wave surfer Tom Butler of Britain drops in on a large wave during Nazare Challenge championship at Praia do Norte in Nazare, Portugal on Dec. 20 2016.
Photo by Rafael Marchante


Buys Back Her Dad's Farm

Amy Schumer

Amy Schumer gave her dad a big surprise this holiday season.

"Today I bought my father's farm back," she wrote on Instagram, with a photo of her delivering the news via FaceTime. Next to an inset of her smiling face is her dad, Gordon Schumer, who looks emotional.

Amy Schumer also posted a video of herself as a young girl at the farm, which the family lost when her father declared bankruptcy.

"Video from the farm when I was running away in the cornfield and my dad was taunting me because I wanted him to come with me," she wrote on Instagram. "We lost the farm when we lost everything else. But today I got to buy it back for him."

In a 2013 profile of Schumer, she told The New York Times that she was 9 when her family went bankrupt and her father received a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. Three years later, her parents divorced.

Amy Schumer


Newhead News


Sheds Light On Antimatter


Antimatter. It should be as ubiquitous in the universe as matter is, but for some reason, it's not. Trying to understand why this is so has occupied some of the best minds in particle physics for decades, and the most likely explanation that they have put forward relates to something known as charge, parity, and time reversal (CPT) symmetry.

CPT symmetry is a central tenet of the Standard Model of particle physics, which describes how three of the four known fundamental forces work. It posits that the laws of physics remain unchanged in a system if three fundamental properties - charge, parity and time - are reversed. Parity refers to a 180-degree flip in spatial configuration.

If a significant violation of CPT symmetry is detected, it would not only hint at the existence of physics beyond the Standard Model, it would also help us understand why the universe is completely devoid of antimatter.

Now, scientists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) have, after performing the first-ever measurement of optical spectrum of an antimatter atom, confirmed that these particles behave in a manner consistent with the Standard Model.



A Chinese woman walks among Christmas lights decorations on a hazy day in Beijing, China, Dec. 20, 2016. While Christmas is not celebrated by most Chinese in the secular China, Christmas lights and decorations still adorn most shopping malls during the festive season to bring much cheer to the retail scene.
Photo by How Hwee Young


Most Americans


As the year comes to a close, some workers will scramble to use the remainder of their annual allotted vacation days. However, according to a study released Monday, the majority of Americans will not.

Of the nearly two-thirds of American workers who receive paid time off, 52 percent planned to leave vacation days on the table in 2016, compared to 47 percent who planned to use up all allotted days, according to a survey by the consumer financial services company Bankrate. The average number of vacation days left unused, the study said, amounted to 19 days.

Bankrate personal finance expert Sarah Berger, one of the researchers behind the survey, attributed Americans' unwillingness to take a break to societal norms, calling the trend "deeply embedded in our culture." Berger interviewed some of the 1,000 respondents to the survey, which was conducted via phone and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.

The trend varied depending on age, with a quarter of younger millennials, defined as those ages 18 to 25, saying they'll use zero vacation days, compared to 9 percent of older millennials, ages 26 to 35, 6 percent of the 35-to-50-year-olds who constitute Generation X and 7 percent of baby boomers, aged 51 to 69.

Research also backs Berger's definition of the issue as a cultural one. A November Expedia study found that out of 28 countries, the U.S. ranked seventh-behind Japan, South Korea, India, Italy, Singapore and Malaysia and tied with Mexico, the Netherlands and Thailand-for most vacation days unused. And the workers may not be the only ones fostering a culture of all work and no play: Out of the 21 wealthiest nations in the world, the U.S. is the only one without legally mandated paid holidays or vacation.



Digby's Hullabaloo


Holocaust Snafu


Google said Tuesday it was working to refine its algorithm to weed out "non-authoritative" information after a British news report showed a Holocaust denial website ranked highly in search queries.

The internet search giant issued a statement after a report last week by The Guardian showing the white supremacist site Stormfront as the top result when users asked "Did the Holocaust happen?"

The site is operated by a group which says the genocide claiming the lives of more than six million Jews and others in World War II was a hoax.

Google, in a statement to AFP, said its aim is to provide "authoritative results" for search queries while offering "a breadth of diverse content from variety of sources."

Google added that recent tweaks to its algorithm "will help surface more high quality, credible content" and that the tech giant will "continue to change our algorithms over time in order to tackle these challenges."



Worshippers gather around a huge incense burner as they offer their prayers at the Sensoji Buddhist temple in Asakusa district of Tokyo, Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2016. Asakusa annually draws many tourists from around the world.
Photo by Shizuo Kambayashi


Settlement Filed

Trump U

Lawyers for Donald Trump (R-Grifter) and former students of his now-defunct Trump University filed an agreement in court to settle lawsuits alleging that the president-elect defrauded them, signaling that a deal announced last month remains on track for a judge's approval next year.

Trump agreed last month to pay $25 million to settle two class-action lawsuits in San Diego and one by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Under the terms, the president-elect admits no wrongdoing.

The filing late Monday puts a formal agreement in front of U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel to determine if it is "fair, reasonable and adequate" under federal law. When announcing the terms in his courtroom on Nov. 18, Curiel called it "the beginning of a healing process that this country sorely needs."

Curiel's preliminary approval would trigger additional procedural steps - such as formally notifying class members and giving them an opportunity to object - and set the stage for final approval next year.

About 7,000 students who paid up to $35,000 a year are expected to be eligible for refunds of at least half of what they paid to attend seminars that promised to share Trump's real estate secrets. Plaintiff attorneys agreed to waive their fees.

Trump U


Aims To Fix Fracking


Officials in Oklahoma issued guidelines on hydraulic fracturing Tuesday to stop the increase in earthquakes in the state. Amid mixed messages about whether fracking actually causes seismic events, the state planned to take a proactive approach by analyzing the link to prevent future quakes.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission, the state's oil and gas regulatory agency, and the Oklahoma Geological Survey issued guidelines for two areas in the state that are home to the majority of new oil and gas drilling sites. Depending on the severity and location of seismic activity in the areas, the groups will work together to determine whether to proceed with fracking operations.

The guidelines declare earthquakes ranking at 2.5 magnitude or higher within 1.25 miles of fracking operations will be assessed, and "mitigation procedures" will then be put in place at the drilling site. For quakes of 3.5 magnitude or above within 1.25 miles of a site, fracking operations will be suspended until an in-person assessment takes place to determine whether they should continue.

Hydraulic fracking refers to the process by which water, sand and chemicals are pumped into the ground to break apart rock and release gas trapped within. Controversy surrounds fracking operations throughout the United States, but particularly in Oklahoma. The state has seen a spike in earthquakes in recent years, with an average of 2 1/2 magnitude 3 quakes every day, a seismicity rate 600 times greater than in the years before 2008. A 5.6 magnitude earthquake struck central Oklahoma in September, leading the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to shut down 37 wells within a 725-square-mile radius of the epicenter.



Buddhists at Samgwang Temple in Busan, 453 kilometers southeast of Seoul, prepare small dumpling balls to put in red bean porridge for the winter solstice, locally celebrated as "Dongji," which falls a day later in South Korea.


Coast Guard's Only Antarctic Icebreaker

Polar Star

The only U.S. ship capable of breaking through Antarctica's thick ice is getting scrubbed down, fixed up and loaded with goods in balmy Hawaii this week as it prepares to head to the frigid south.

The voyage by Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star comes as the U.S. looks to replace and expand its aging fleet of polar icebreakers so it can maintain a presence in the most remote corners of the world. The demand for icebreaking ships is expected to grow as climate change melts sea ice and lures more traffic to northern Arctic waters.

"The specter in the future is more marine use in the Arctic, more shipping, more offshore development, more tourism," said Lawson Brigham, a professor of geography and Arctic policy at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

The Coast Guard needs to be able to enforce U.S. laws as well as search for and rescue people in the Arctic like it does in other waters, Brigham said. Though sea ice is melting faster than before, the Arctic Ocean is fully or partially covered by ice for about three-quarters of the year.

The Polar Star specializes in the Antarctic mission because it can handle the thicker ice, leaving the jobs in the Arctic to a medium icebreaker called the Cutter Healy.

Polar Star


Prime-Time Nielsens


Prime-time viewership numbers compiled by Nielsen for Dec. 12-18. Listings include the week's ranking and viewership.

    1. NFL Football: Tampa Bay at Dallas, NBC, 24.15 million.
    2. "Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick," NBC, 16.92 million.
    3. "The Big Bang Theory," CBS, 15.96 million.
    4. "NCIS," CBS, 14.76 million.
    5. NFL Football: Los Angeles at Seattle, NBC, 14.65 million.
    6. "60 Minutes," CBS, 14.09 million.
    7. NFL Football: Baltimore at New England, ESPN, 12.92 million.
    8. "Football Night in America," NBC, 12.49 million.
    9. "The Voice" (Tuesday), NBC, 12.14 million.
   10. "Bull," CBS, 11.62 million.
   11. "The Voice" (Monday, 9 p.m.), NBC, 11.23 million.
   12. "NCIS: Los Angeles," CBS, 10.37 million.
   13. "NCIS: New Orleans," CBS, 10.03 million.
   14. "Hawaii Five-0," CBS, 9.46 million.
   15. "Survivor," CBS, 9.09 million.
   16. "Madam Secretary," CBS, 9.05 million.
   17. "Thursday Night NFL Pre-Kick," NBC, 9.01 million.
   18. "The Voice" (Monday, 8 p.m.), NBC, 11.23 million.
   19. "Mom," CBS, 8.23 million.
   20. "The Great Indoors," CBS, 8.11 million.




In Memory

Gordon Hunt

Gordon Hunt, director of live-action and animated work who was also the father of Helen Hunt and the husband of actress B.J. Ward, died Saturday. He was 87.

Hunt won a Directors Guild award for his work on a 1996 episode of "Mad About You," and was nominated two years later by the DGA for another episode in the series. He also directed episodes of other comedy series, including "Suddenly Susan," "Frasier," "Coach," and an early Ryan Reynolds vehicle, "Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place."

He also spent 20 years at Hanna-Barbera, and was recording director on hundreds of animated episodes, including "The Jetsons," "The Richie Rich/Scooby-Doo Show," "The Smurfs," "Jonny Quest," Paddington Bear," "Super Friends," "Pound Puppies," and many others.

He was born April 26, 1929, as Gordon Edwynn Hunt in Sherman Oaks, Calif. Hunt went to New York and was working as a freelance director before returning to Southern California, serving as the casting director for the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles for 10 years. He was then hired by Joseph Barbera to direct animated series at Hanna-Barbera, starting as voice directing with the 1974 "Partridge Family 2200 A.D."

He also worked on numerous video games including "Pandemonium," the "God of War" series, "Lair," "Final Fantasy XIV," "Blur," the "Legacy of Kain" series, and "Uncharted." He also was motion capture director on "Uncharted: Golden Abyss."

Hunt lent his voice to many animated works, such as playing Wally in the animated adaptation of the comic strip Dilbert.

He is survived by his wife; daughters Helen Hunt and Colleen Morrison Hunt; grandchildren Makena Lei Gordon Carnahan, Emmett Carnahan and Lizze Gordon; siblings Peter Hunt, the lighting designer, and George Hunt.

Gordon Hunt



A Cheetah mother licks one of her six cubs as they venture outside for the first time after the cubs birth at Burgers' Zoo in Arnhem, eastern Netherlands, Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2016. The fourteen-week-old sextuplets were born on Sept. 14, 2016.
Photo by Peter Dejong



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