Friday, April 28, 2017

Casual Friday: All She Wants To Do Is Dance

Just two working days til Monday!

"When I dance, people think I’m looking for my keys." ~ Ray Romano

How to spice up your daily walk

Chances are your best bet for staying reasonably in shape is going for a walk every day. It's easy and effective. It's also boring.

Here are some things I try to do. I carry a camera. The point of this is that I start looking for good photographs, which means I'm getting out of my head and actually observing nature around me. Another thing I try to do is describe in words what I'm seeing. What words would I choose to describe this very old tree?

Someone else had the same thought, and so here are more ways to make your walk more interesting and effective:

Try Some Fancy Footwork

“Mix up your foot patterns to keep your brain engaged while also improving balance and agility,” says Jessica Smith, certified trainer and creator of the Walk On: 5 Mix and Match Miles DVD.

Try alternating three to five minutes of your regular walking stride with one to three minutes of moves like walking sideways, crossover walks (crossing one foot over the other while continuing to move sideways), or walking heel to toe (as if you’re balancing on a tightrope). Continue alternating movement styles until your walk is over.

Meditate While You Move
Walk at a comfortable pace and spend three minutes observing your surroundings through only one of your senses, suggests Danny Dreyer, co-founder of Chi Walking, a system of movement that blends the subtle inner focus of tai chi with walking.

For example, tune into your sense of touch by noticing the sensations in your feet as they strike the ground, and then scan up through the rest of your body, noticing what you feel. After three minutes, switch to another sense: sight, sound, smell, or taste (yes, taste the “flavor” of your environment—is it sweet, dry, sharp, luscious?). Cycle through all five senses, and then repeat until you’re finished walking. You’re ultimately practicing moving meditation.

Have Fun with Fartleks
Fartlek training is simply defined as periods of fast running mixed with periods of slower running, but it also works for walking, says Shane McLean, an American Council on Exercise personal trainer and SilverSneakers group exercise instructor.

Pick a spot in the distance, like a street sign or tree, and walk as fast as you can to that point. If you’re walking with a partner, make it a race. Start with two or three intervals throughout your route, and add more when you feel comfortable. Remember to allow yourself time to recover between intervals: one to three minutes, depending on your fitness level.

I'm trying to decide what I think about the word "fartleks." Meantime, there are more tips here.

Here's the future of higher education

I'm history.
The traditional college model is dying. Our campuses have become cess pools in which social justice warriors inflict violence for their various causes. Costs have soared as taxpayers foot the bill.

It is no longer necessary to travel to the pretty campus to hear the learned professor. They are mad anyway. Just as telemedicine is creeping into healthcare, so is distance learning disrupting the old college model.

Here's an example of the old model dying: The University of Missouri has announced the closure of three additional undergrad residence halls due to the shortfall in student enrollment following the 2015 race protests. The closures bring the total number of closed residence halls to seven.

Parents just won't pay for this craziness forever.

Here's the future:  Purdue University has announced the creation of a new public university that will further expand access to higher education.
Purdue will acquire Kaplan University and its institutional operations and assets, including its 15 campuses and learning centers, 32,000 students, 3,000 employees, and decades of experience in distance education.

No state appropriations will be utilized. It will operate primarily online, but has 15 locations across the United States.
Kaplan University serves 32,000 online and campus-based students. The University has 15 campuses and learning centers in Iowa, Indiana, Nebraska, Maryland, Maine, Missouri and Wisconsin. KU has been a leading innovator in higher education, including its pioneering role in delivering online degree programs. 

If I were a parent of child headed toward college, I'd seriously look into programs of this kind. Remember: Oxford announced that it is going to open an online course starting next year. Oxford is not alone in this endeavor because other top universities, like Harvard, Stanford, and MIT are also offering online courses.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Alexa, do I really need you?

We have one of Amazon's Echo things in the kitchen, and about the only time we use it is when we accidentally say "Alexa" and she wants to know what we want.

Occasionally I come across an article listing things to ask Alexa, but I get it confused with our new cable remote that I can also speak to. I mostly don't talk to inanimate things.

Now Amazon wants to enter our bedroom to watch us.
Amazon announced the Echo Look. Motherboard explains: The newly announced Echo Look is a virtual assistant with a microphone and a camera that's designed to go somewhere in your bedroom, bathroom, or wherever you get dressed. Amazon is pitching it as an easy way to snap pictures of your outfits to send to your friends when you're not sure if your outfit is cute, but it's also got a built-in app called StyleCheck that is worth some further dissection. [...] 
"All photos and video captured with your Echo Look are securely stored in the AWS cloud and locally in the Echo Look app until a customer deletes them," a spokesperson for the company said. "You can delete the photos or videos associated with your account anytime in the Echo Look App." Motherboard also asked if Echo Look photos, videos, and the data gleaned from them would be sold to third parties; the company did not address that question.
I'm not sure Jeff Bezos wants to look at my stained athletic socks, so I'm going to suggest that you don't need this thing.

Two law professors have just published a piece questioning all of this.
While it is easier to see the immediate benefits from these butlers, understanding the long-term risks, while harder to see, is key. No one likes a snooping butler, especially one that profits at your expense. So before buying a personal butler, ask yourself whether you know exactly how it will be using your data, how objective its recommendations will be, and if and when its interests diverge from yours. Until then, perhaps turn off the lights the old-fashioned way.
Alexa, publish this blog post for me, will you?

Why is The Left so trailer park tawdry?

Alex Caton notes in Politico Magazine:
The last few months have seen expletives ringing from large sections of the Democratic bench. In a magazine profile this month, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) included one “f---,” two “f---ing”s, one “bull---t,” one “pissed off,” one “they suck,” and a “what the hell is going on?" 
DNC Chairman Tom Perez has awkwardly but assuredly brought profanity into his stump speeches, saying in January, “if you don’t have the trust of the community, then you ain’t got s---t,” and telling an event in March that Republicans “don’t give a s---t about people.” In Maine last week, Perez turned to the president’s spending proposals—“They call it a ‘skinny budget.’ I call it a s----y budget.” By Thursday, the shop at was selling “Democrats give a s--t about people” shirts.
Here's what's fun about Caton's article. He blames all this profanity on ... wait for it ... Donald Trump.

I blame it on The Left's very weak arguments, combined with their realization that these arguments are no longer working.

I am a fuddy duddy, of course. I grew up in an era when you didn't talk like this, and if you did you didn't do it in public. It was a sign that you might hail from a trailer park. As a writer I know that four letter words are weak and used by a writer who lacks the vocabulary to summon up something stronger.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Enjoy that bacon and live forever

Looking for bacon.
More doctors are stepping up to the bacon plate and inviting us to join them.

I've written about this before, and I'm delighted to present here the opinions of respected cardiologists Dr. Aseem Malhotra, Professor Rita Redberg of UCSF School of Medicine, San Francisco, and Pascal Meier of University Hospital Geneva and University College, London.
They say the evidence suggests no association between saturated fat and heightened risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes or death. 
Instead, the best way to protect against stress and stave off killer coronary heart disease was simply to eat “real food” and take a brisk daily walk. They argue that a high total cholesterol to high density lipoprotein (HDL or so-called ‘good’ cholesterol) ratio was the best predictor of cardiovascular disease risk, rather than low density lipoprotein (LDL or so-called ‘bad’ cholesterol).
So what are we talking about here?
They said the cholesterol ratio could be rapidly reduced with easy dietary changes, like replacing refined carbohydrates (white rice, bread and pasta) with healthy high-fat foods like nuts and olive oil. But the easiest way to beat coronary heart disease, which kills one in four people in the UK, is to take around 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day, three or more times a week.
That's not going to hurt anyone. The doctors also argue that resting on the couch for one hour a day with Law & Order reruns on the TV will make it more likely that you'll live forever.

Notes & Comment: Clowns to the left of me, etc.

This is America, America.
Here and there on the Web:

But it didn't say what we wanted it to say. A former member of the Obama administration claims Washington D.C. often used “misleading” news releases about climate data to influence public opinion. Former Energy Department Undersecretary Steven Koonin said that bureaucrats  spun scientific data to manipulate public opinion. “What you saw coming out of the press releases about climate data, climate analysis, was, I’d say, misleading, sometimes just wrong.”

But we like each other. Ask a simple question: Where do journalists work? The national media really does work in a bubble, something that wasn’t true as recently as 2008. And the bubble is growing more extreme. Concentrated heavily along the coasts, the bubble is both geographic and political. If you’re a working journalist, odds aren’t just that you work in a pro-Clinton county—odds are that you reside in one of the nation’s most pro-Clinton counties.

Like father, like son.
But we're saving the planet. A study found that the Northeast (New England, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania) is paying more for natural gas, losing tens of thousands of jobs and emitting more greenhouse gases than necessary thanks to “self-imposed” local “pipeline constraints.” The projected loss to the region by 2020 adds up to 78,400 jobs and nearly $7.6 billion in economic activity and “the displacement of $4.4 billion in labor income.” New York alone would see $1.6 billion less in state GDP and the loss of 17,400 jobs. Youch.

But it's entertaining. Bill Nye's hackery is showing again. Airing on his new Netflix special called Bill Nye Saves The World, the Not A Scientist Guy and hero of the Left, featured the world's most insane, anti-science segment about sexuality and gender performed by a sitcom actress, a profession, of course, filled with people famous for their extensive knowledge of biology. The performance by Crazy Ex-Girlfriend actress Rachel Bloom was given a glowing endorsement by Nye, who introduced the song(?) as "very special." Within the performance, Bloom suggests that sex and gender are on a "spectrum" and that her "sex junk" is "much more than either or," meaning it's non-binary.  So. Much. Science.

But ... No. Just. Shut. Up. One of Britain’s royal princes has revealed to tens of millions of his closest and dearest friends and acquaintances, via an interview in a newspaper, that he found the period after the death of his mother difficult. He was widely praised for his openness when, of course, he should have been firmly reprehended for his emotional incontinence and exhibitionism. Alas, this kind of psychological kitsch is fashionable, with all kinds of princely personages—footballers, rock stars, actors, actresses, and the like—displaying their inner turmoil, much of which, unlike the actual prince’s, is self-inflicted. They parade that turmoil as beggars in some countries display their amputated stumps.

The bright minds who went walking

Albert Einstein walking.
"To walk out of our houses and beyond our city limits is to shuck off the pretense and assumptions that we otherwise live by. This is how we open ourselves to brave new notions or independent attitudes. This is how we come to know our own minds.

"The philosopher Thomas Hobbes had a walking stick with an inkhorn built into its top so he could jot things down as they popped into his head during long walks. Rousseau would have approved of the strategy; he writes, 'I can only meditate when I am walking. When I stop, I cease to think; my mind only works with my legs.' Albert Einstein, for his part, was diligent about taking a walk through the woods on the Princeton campus every day.

"Other famous walkers include Charles Dickens and Mother Teresa, John Bunyan and Martin Luther King Jr., Francis of Assisi, and Toyohiko Kagawa. Why do so many bright minds seem set on their walks away from the desk? It can’t be just that they need a break from thinking—some of their best thinking is done during this supposed 'downtime' out of doors.

"This is the gift of even a short, solitary walk in a city park. To find, in glimpsing a sign of the elements, that one does belong to something more elemental than an urban crowd. That there is a universe of experience beyond human networks and social grooming—and that this universe is our true home."

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

If you want your kid to be great athlete

People who study these things suggest you take a deep breath.
If you’re a parent, be supportive but not obsessive. “My parents were not really pushy,” explained one super champion, whose response was representative of her peers. “It was a kind of gentle encouragement …they didn’t get [overly] involved. They’d just come and watch me, support me. But they never wanted to know what I was doing trainingwise and never got involved in that way, and that helped.” 
The parents of almost champions, however, were an ever-present factor, hovering over their every move. “My parents, my dad especially, was always there, shouting instructions from the touchline, pushing me to practice at home,” remembers an almost champion. “Really, I just wanted to be out there with my mates. I felt like sport stole my childhood.”
Here's a summary of what they've found:
World-class performers, then, don’t rely on either nature or nurture, but on a combination of the two — and they are really good at nurturing their nature. All of which suggests the recipe that gives rise to super champions is worth emulating: Individuals who demonstrate persistent effort follow their interests; practice foremost to get better, not to outdo others; derive satisfaction from within; and feel constantly supported, but not pressured, in their journey toward achievement. If these criteria are in place, experiencing failure doesn’t weaken motivation — it bolsters it. In the words of Dr. Michael Joyner, an expert on human performance at the Mayo Clinic, “With enough persistent effort, most people can get pretty good at anything.”
I'll have you know that I'm pretty good at some stuff.

These worms eat plastic grocery bags

Go for it, you little suckers.
This is good news because I need these plastic bags to handle cat poop when I clean out the litter box. Other than that, they're good for carrying stuff you need to carry.

Here's the deal: 
Scientists have found that a caterpillar commercially bred for fishing bait has the ability to biodegrade polyethylene: one of the toughest and most used plastics, frequently found clogging up landfill sites in the form of plastic shopping bags.

The wax worm, the larvae of the common insect Galleria mellonella, or greater wax moth, is a scourge of beehives across Europe. In the wild, the worms live as parasites in bee colonies. Wax moths lay their eggs inside hives where the worms hatch and grow on beeswax - hence the name.
We can credit serendipity.
A chance discovery occurred when one of the scientific team, Federica Bertocchini, an amateur beekeeper, was removing the parasitic pests from the honeycombs in her hives. The worms were temporarily kept in a typical plastic shopping bag that became riddled with holes.

Bertocchini, from the Institute of Biomedicine and Biotechnology of Cantabria (CSIC), Spain, collaborated with colleagues Paolo Bombelli and Christopher Howe at the University of Cambridge's Department of Biochemistry to conduct a timed experiment.
Around a hundred wax worms were exposed to a plastic bag from a UK supermarket. Holes started to appear after just 40 minutes, and after 12 hours there was a reduction in plastic mass of 92mg from the bag. 
Scientists say that the degradation rate is extremely fast compared to other recent discoveries, such as bacteria reported last year to biodegrade some plastics at a rate of just 0.13mg a day.
I am just beside myself with joy.

Life in Barack Hussein Obama's Muslim America

" ,,, the many achievements and contributions of Muslim Americans to building the very fabric of our nation ... " ~ Barack Hussein Obama

Let's talk about God.
"Allahu Akbar! "Three people are dead in a shooting spree in downtown Fresno on Tuesday, and the suspect was wanted in connection to the Motel 6 killing last week, the Fresno Police Department said. Kori Ali Muhammad, 39, shouted "Allahu Akbar" as police tackled him to the ground after the shootings which were spread over four locations, Police Chief Jerry Dyer said.

The AP reports the shooting. The Associated Press changed “Allahu Akbar” to “God is great.” It’s not even an exact translation, by the way. And why would they do this? Hmm, what a mystery. Changing “Allahu Akbar” to “God is great” isn’t a matter of Arabic to English. It’s not really a translation at all. It’s a diversion. It’s political correctness. It’s liberal left machination meant to paint religion as guilty while simultaneously easing the burden of guilt on Islam.

The peaceful religion. Federal authorities have open investigations into radical Islamic terrorists in all 50 states, according to the Department of Homeland Security, which is warning that the threat of terrorism in the United States has reached an all time high with radicalized individuals in the country plotting to strike "each and every single day."

Child abuse. A second doctor has been arrested in connection with a female genital mutilation investigation in Detroit. Fakhruddin Attar, 53, and his wife, Farida Attar, 50, of Livonia, were both arrested and have been charged with conspiring to perform female genital mutilations on minor girls out of Dr. Attar's medical clinic in Livonia.

Child abuse on a frightening scale. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than half a million girls in the United States have endured, or remain at risk, of suffering FGM – a threefold uptick from their 1990 projection. FGM is considered a cultural practice that ensures “a girl’s purity and eligibility for marriage,” and typically involves the partial or complete extraction of the external female genitalia. Beyond the brutality of the ritual procedure itself and the chance of death, FGM has a string of long-term consequences – from the physical to the psychological. Complications include sexual dysfunction, incontinence and increased risk of HIV transmission.

Looking the other way. By ignoring the imported FGM practice, the TV networks “are guilty of aiding and abetting violence against women out of a politically correct fueled fear of offending Muslims,” says an April 18 statement by the Media Research Center and ACT for America. The establishment media has largely hidden the administration’s new pro-female policy and the shocking crime, which threatens or has already victimized more than 500,000 young American women whose parents are immigrants from countries where FGM is routine.

Predators. In the same week that three refugee boys pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 5-year-old girl in Twin Falls, Idaho, the mayor and council floated the idea of passing a resolution declaring Twin Falls a “welcoming city” for illegals and refugees. Three refugee boys — two from Iraq ages 7 and 10, and one from Sudan aged 14 — pleaded guilty to multiple counts of sex crimes . It was there where a 5-year-old girl with special needs was lured into a laundry room, stripped of her clothing and sexually assaulted while the oldest boy filmed the entire incident. They urinated on the girl, in her mouth, and committed other lewd acts captured on the video. The girl’s family has endured nearly 10 months of public shaming and downplaying of the crime by powerful elites who support continued refugee resettlement in Idaho and nationwide.


Monday, April 24, 2017

The notion that we ought to go to church

The new church.
"The notion that 'one ought to go to church' is not dead among us. It revives wherever the faith has been rekindled, in its otherworldly ('Ghostly') way. It perishes among those who have made their concessions to the world, and to its “values,” so that the Church exists only for her value in political schemes. 

"Hence the common atheist desire to have some sort of church-like organization, for the pleasure of delivering homilies to a captive audience. Or so they imagine, for as I’ve seen in our own “liberal” parishes, the audience for 'Sandinista sermons' soon disappears; and not even canned Beethoven could hold the loyalty of Unitarians I once knew. In the absence of sincere belief in the practice and presence of Our Lord, playing dress-up starts to feel silly.

"Instead, that irrepressible sense of awe is transferred to, for instance, high-class restaurants, with the candles on the table and the reverent 'servers' chanting, almost liturgically, items from the menu. For the religious impulse will never go away, with its longing for a certain elevation and tone. If not foodie, every man and woman born will find something holy, and be outraged by blasphemies against it. The codes of speech and gesture that now govern our public behaviour are 'spilt religion' of an obvious kind. Those who dare breach them are the new Infidels."

Please stop Chelsea Clinton from whatever she's doing

She's got a weird mouth.
T.A. Frank, a freelance journalist, has this to say in Vanity Fair:
Amid investigations into Russian election interference, perhaps we ought to consider whether the Kremlin, to hurt Democrats, helped put Chelsea Clinton on the cover of Variety. Or maybe superstition explains it. Like tribesmen laying out a sacrifice to placate King Kong, news outlets continue to make offerings to the Clinton gods. 
In The New York Times alone, Chelsea has starred in multiple features over the past few months: for her tweeting (it’s become “feisty”), for her upcoming book (to be titled She Persisted), and her reading habits (she says she has an “embarrassingly large” collection of books on her Kindle). With Chelsea’s 2015 book, It’s Your World, now out in paperback, the puff pieces in other outlets—Elle, People, etc.—are too numerous to count. 
One wishes to calm these publications: You can stop this now. Haven’t you heard that the great Kong is no more? Nevertheless, they’ve persisted. At great cost: increased Chelsea exposure is tied closely to political despair and, in especially intense cases, the bulk purchasing of MAGA hats. So let’s review: How did Chelsea become such a threat? 
Perhaps the best way to start is by revisiting some of Chelsea’s major post-2008 forays into the public eye. Starting in 2012, she began to allow glossy magazines to profile her, and she picked up speed in the years that followed. The results were all friendly in aim, and yet the picture that kept emerging from the growing pile of Chelsea quotations was that of a person accustomed to courtiers nodding their heads raptly. Here are Chelsea’s thoughts on returning to red meat in her diet: “I’m a big believer in listening to my body’s cravings.” On her time in the “fiercely meritocratic” workplace of Wall Street: “I was curious if I could care about [money] on some fundamental level, and I couldn’t.” 
On her precocity: “They told me that my father had learned to read when he was three. So, of course, I thought I had to too. The first thing I learned to read was the newspaper.” Take that, Click, Clack, Moo.

Chelsea, people were quietly starting to observe, had a tendency to talk a lot, and at length, not least about Chelsea. But you couldn’t interrupt, not even if you’re on TV at NBC, where she was earning $600,000 a year at the time. “When you are with Chelsea, you really need to allow her to finish,” Jay Kernis, one of Clinton’s segment producers at NBC, told Vogue. “She’s not used to being interrupted that way.” 
Sounds perfect for a dating profile: I speak at length, and you really need to let me finish. I’m not used to interruptions. 
What comes across with Chelsea, for lack of a gentler word, is self-regard of an unusual intensity. And the effect is stronger on paper. Unkind as it is to say, reading anything by Chelsea Clinton—tweets, interviews, books—is best compared to taking in spoonfuls of plain oatmeal that, periodically, conceal a toenail clipping. 
Take the introduction to It’s Your World (Get Informed! Get Inspired! Get Going!). It’s harmless, you think. “My mom wouldn’t let me have sugary cereal growing up (more on that later),” writes Chelsea, “so I improvised, adding far more honey than likely would have been in any honeyed cereals.” That’s the oatmeal—and then comes the toenail:

"I wrote a letter to President Reagan when I was five to voice my opposition to his visit to the Bitburg cemetery in Germany, because Nazis were buried there. I didn’t think an American president should honor a group of soldiers that included Nazis. President Reagan still went, but at least I had tried in my own small way."
Ah, yes, that reminds me of when I was four and I wrote to Senator John Warner about grain tariffs, arguing that trade barriers unfairly decreased consumer choice. 
At first glance, of course, Chelsea seems to be boasting that at age five she was interpreting the news with the maturity of an adult. But we should consider whether it’s instead a confession that as an adult she still interprets the news with the maturity of—well, let’s just submit that perhaps she thinks what other people tell her to think. Which brings us to Chelsea’s Twitter feed. 
Since Chelsea has 1.6 million followers, we can only conclude that some people enjoy ideas like “Yes. Yes. Yes. Closing the #wagegap is crucial to a strong economy.” And maybe there’s no sin in absorbing and exuding nothing but respectable Blue State opinion. But it’s another thing to insist on joining each day’s designated outrage bandwagon. Did we need to slap down a curmudgeonly Charlotte Rampling, age 71, for griping about #OscarsSoWhite activists? Yes, and here’s Chelsea: “Outrageous, ignorant & offensive comments from Rampling.” Is gender identity not going to be included on the 2020 census? Here’s Chelsea: “This is outrageous. No one should be invisible in America.” Not that there aren’t breaks for deeper thoughts: “Words without action are ... meaningless. Words with inaction are ... just words. Words with opposite action is ... hypocrisy.” 
That is … beautiful. 
The crude conventional wisdom is that Bill Clinton craved adoration and Hillary Clinton craved power. But Chelsea Clinton seems to have a more crippling want: fashionability—of the sort embraced by philanthropic high society. So you tell The New York Times that your dream dinner party would include James Baldwin, Shakespeare, Franz Kafka, Albert Camus, Jane Jacobs, and Jane Austen, and discussion would be about how “people and communities can evolve to be more inclusive, more kind, have a greater and broader sense of solidarity, while still respecting individual liberties; what provokes or blocks those changes; and what stories might resonate today to encourage us toward kindness, respect, and mutual dignity.” You almost have to bow down before someone who could host Shakespeare for dinner and make the agenda wind up sounding like a brochure for the Altria Group. At least Kafka would be on hand to capture the joy of the evening. 
To find fault with the former First Daughter is to invite the wrath of thousands. Love of Chelsea correlates closely with love of Hillary, toward whom her fans have long felt an odd protectiveness, as if she were a stroke survivor regaining the power of speech rather than one of the most influential people in the world. That goes even more for Chelsea, who is often treated less like an independent 37-year-old multi-millionaire and more like the 12-year-old who still deserves to be left alone. 
But let’s have a reality check. No one bothers George W. Bush’s daughter, Barbara Bush, who quietly works on her nonprofit, Global Health Corps. On the other hand, if you’re posing for magazine covers, granting interviews, doing book tours, placing your name on your parents’ multi-million-dollar foundation, and tweeting out daily to 1.6 million people, then—guess what—you’re a public figure. And if you’ve openly entertained the possibility of running for office if “it was something I felt called to do,” then assurances to the contrary aren’t quite good enough. You’re a public hazard. 
God has decreed that American political dynasties decline sharply in suitability for office with each iteration. Call it the George H.W.-George W.-Jeb rule. Quit after the first iteration. Don’t trot out the second one. And, for the love of God, don’t trot out the third. Forgetting that rule harmed the Democratic Party in 2016 and blew up the Republican Party entirely. The Democratic Party is surprisingly cohesive these days, thanks to anti-Trump sentiment, so a Jeb-style destruction is unlikely. But never say never. If anyone could make it happen, Chelsea could.
I still say she has a weird mouth.

Have you hugged an Earth Day today?

Did you have a pleasant Earth Day? I certainly did. As did folks in San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles when their power went out.

Here is some perspective on this blessed day from two experts. Henry I. Miller, a physician and molecular biologist, is the Robert Wesson Fellow in Scientific Philosophy and Public Policy at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. He was the founding director of the FDA’s Office of Biotechnology. Jeff Stier is a senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research in Washington, DC, and heads its Risk Analysis Division.
The Earth Day Network, which organizes Earth Day events and advocacy, regularly distorts science to advance its cynical agenda. This year’s event, ironically enough, is dedicated to “Environmental & Climate Literacy,” which is indeed sorely needed, given Earth Day’s manipulation and misappropriation of our commitment to protecting the environment. 
Consider, for example, the network’s disingenuousness about fracking: “Fracking causes a lot of environmental harm and poses a threat to the health of a population near a fracking site due to contaminated water and the increased risk of asthma and other respiratory illnesses.” In 2011, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson conceded that she was “not aware of any proven case where the fracking process itself has affected water.” 
In 2013, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said he had “not seen any evidence of fracking per se contaminating groundwater.” And just last year, the Obama EPA released the findings of its major report on fracking, which relied on 950 sources and was expected by activists to make the case against the technology. 
The report was unable to cite any confirmed cases of water contamination. Under pressure from left-liberal members of Congress in the waning days of the Obama administration, the EPA changed the scientific conclusion of the draft report, which originally stated that there was “no systemic effect” on drinking water as a result of fracking. 
Without any additional science or cases of contamination, EPA officials who sought to paint fracking in the worst possible light but who were confronted by the paucity of documented contamination wrote that, in “limited cases,” such as in a rare fracking fluid spill, contamination could take place. In other words, not unlike riding your bike through New York’s Central Park, fracking is not a zero-risk proposition. 
Earth Day organizers and others pushing for across-the-board fracking bans rather than reasonable safeguards wish to “educate” us about the environment by suggesting that we should get our energy without any risk whatsoever.
It's fraud all the way down.

What to do if your dog stresses out when you leave

Dogs spend up to half an hour howling, barking and whining after their owner leaves them alone, canine behavior experts say, and for some pets, the torment lasts for hours.

Pet scientist Alice Potter says:
'The separation reaction is displayed soon after the departure of the owner, normally commencing within 30 minutes, and often within the first few minutes. 
'The most common behavioural signs of seperation-related behaviour are destructive behaviour often targeted at the door the owner leaves through, various types of vocalisations (howling, barking and whining), defecating and urinating. 
'Other less frequent signs include excessive salivation, self-mutilation, repetitive behaviour and vomiting.'
Here's what you can do. Repeat the steps below and reward your dog for being relaxed with toys, treats or praise. Once you’re sure your dog is happy, progress to the next step. The speed you progress depends on your dog.
1. Encourage your dog to go to their bed and stay there with you present for a short while. Reward them for remaining quietly in the bed. 
2. Ask your dog to stay in their bed as you move away, then return and reward. 
3. Move progressively further away for longer. The distance/time that you increase by on each occasion will depend on your dog. If your dog reacts or moves then don’t reward but go back to the previous stage. 
4. Start going out through the door before returning, then going out and shutting the door, then going out for longer periods of time, varying the length each time.
And, yes, they know when you're leaving. The read all the little signs.

Helen Keller: wonders

"Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn whatever state I am in, therin to be content."

Sunday, April 23, 2017

This just in ...

Cyclists handed yet another reason 
to think they’re better than you

THE news that cycling cuts the risk of cancer by half has given cyclists another reason to be insufferably smug, it has emerged.

Though little encouragement is needed for cyclists to act holier-than-thou attitude about their method of getting from A to B, a study by Glasgow University has enabled yet more self-congratulation.

Cyclist Martin Bishop said: “Oh wow. So it’s science that I’m amazing now.

“Far from just being a basic means of transport, riding a bike now cures cancer, prevents heart disease, boosts you to the very top of the moral high ground and I wouldn’t be surprised if I can’t heal with my touch.

“I shouldn’t think this counts for all cyclists. The casuals who rate Bradley Wiggins and think you can cycle in just, like, jeans and trainers will still get cancer. They’re not even interested in my £600 Rohloff gear hubs.

“But those of us who ride along single-track country roads two abreast wearing Lycra covered in logos will definitely be too holy to be touched from disease.

“Don’t beep me. It’s perfectly legal.”

Film at 11.

Vespers: Crucifixus

The choir of King's College, Cambridge, sings Antonio Lotti's "Crucifixus."

Crucifixus etiam pro nobis 
sub Pontio Pilato, 
passus et sepultus est.

He was crucified also for us 
under Pontius Pilate. 
He suffered and was buried.

Antonio Lotti (1667 – 1740) was an Italian Baroque composer. He wrote in a variety of forms, producing masses, cantatas, madrigals, around thirty operas, and instrumental music.

Some of his sacred choral works are unaccompanied (a cappella) but many of them are composed in the concertato style with strings, basso continuo, and occasionally oboes and trumpets. His more progressive works foreshadow the gallant style, considered a transition between the established Baroque and emerging Classical styles. Lotti is thought to have influenced Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frideric Handel, and Jan Dismas Zelenka, all of whom had copies of Lotti's mass, the Missa Sapientiae.

Lotti's sacred music is both firmly rooted in the developed harmonic language of the early 18th century and looks back very strongly to the contrapuntalism of 16th century prima prattica. His renowned eight-part "Crucifixus" (which is actually one of a series of settings of the text that Lotti wrote for between 5 and ten voices) is scored for a fairly fast-moving quasi-recitiativ style which is typically Baroque but it is also punctuated by cadential polyphonic passages which are firmly rooted in the older renaissance tradition.

Why they dim the lights on planes during landing

On the bright side, the lights are dim.
I always thought it was to conserve power, and it does, but there's another reason.
“You want your eyes acclimated,” says Jon Lewis, a senior pilot with a major U.S. airline. “During nighttime takeoffs and landings, you dim the lights so that you have some night vision going on.” 
Dimming cabin lights during the day, then, is less necessary, but does conserve some engine power as the plane hurtles toward flight. (Less taxation on the engine means an aircraft can shorten its takeoff roll, or when a plane is aligned with a runway centerline and will soon become airborne.)
It can take our eyes between ten and 30 minutes to fully adjust to a dark setting, reports The Telegraph, which means that dimming the lights can help eyes pre-adjust to lower light. And if it’s night when everyone must suddenly evacuate, those several seconds it takes for your eyes to calibrate to low-light conditions are precious, and can make all the difference in safely exiting the aircraft. In dimmer light, emergency lighting and illuminated pathways will be more visible, too.
Dimming the lights also gives the crew a better chance to drag a passenger off the plane without being seen.

Do not doubt but believe

"Doubting Thomas," Caravaggio.
From The Lectionary:

John 20:19-31

20:19 When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you."

20:20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.

20:21 Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you."

20:22 When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit.

20:23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."

20:24 But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came.

20:25 So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them, "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe."

20:26 A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you."

20:27 Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe."

20:28 Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!"

20:29 Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe."

20:30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book.

20:31 But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.

David Lloyd George: big steps

"Don't be afraid to take a big step if one is indicated. You can't cross a chasm in two small jumps."

Friday, April 21, 2017

Casual Friday: Wicked Game

"Two wrongs don’t make a right, take your parents as an example." ~ anon

Bill O'Reilly, RIP

I didn't watch Bill O'Reilly and didn't think much about him one way or the other. He's gone now, and I just can't get worked up over it.

One of my favorite writers who goes by "The Z Man" has an interesting take on all this:
News brings word that the SJW’s have bagged their biggest trophy to date. Bill O’Reilly is the most popular cable news talker in the business and he was just fired for making the girls cry. It is all part of what is looking like a well orchestrated effort to break Fox News on the wheel of political correctness. The screeching harpies knocked out Roger Ailes and now they have taken out the top star, all via the same method – powerskirts claiming to have been done wrong by the knuckle-dragging misogynists running the network. 
The claim will be that the advertisers demanded Fox fire O’Reilly, but that is complete nonsense. Cable channels, like Fox News, exist on subscription revenues, not advertising dollars. FNC gets $1.50 from every cable home each month. That’s roughly $1.8 billion a year whether people watch or not. Their ad revenue is less than a third of that number. In the case of ESPN, for example, ad revenue is around one billion, and they have an audience about ten times the size of a cable news operation, even Fox News. 
An advertiser boycott could certainly harm the bottom line for Fox, but there is another reality to the cable business. Those companies demanding their ads be pulled from the O’Reilly show would still be running ads on other Fox programs. The reason they choose to run ads on Fox News is they believe there are people watching Fox News who will also buy crap they see advertised. Bill O’Reilly could be strangling kittens on his show. If he gets a valuable audience to watch, advertisers will want to get their name on his show. 
The reality is Fox could weather the storm and ride out this thing if they wanted to do it, but they probably have another agenda. It’s tempting to assume that Fox is stuffed to the rafters with right-wing ideologues, but that’s not the case. Fox is just as Prog infested as every other media company.This could very well be part of an effort to make the channel more Prog friendly. It could also be the dream-child of someone in management, to remake the network to appeal to younger, gayer viewers. 
Logic says that languishing networks like CNN would jump at the chance to land a huge fish like O’Reilly. Put the Big Mic on CNN in his old time slot and CNN would soon pass Fox in the ratings. In fact, they could put some other popular names around him and dominate the cable news wars. People like tabloid news shows and guys like O’Reilly are good at being just outrageous enough to get your attention, but not so crazy as to make you feel bad for liking tabloid news. 
That’s not going to happen, of course. CNN has the same economics as Fox News. They can fully engage in whatever politics they choose, because they get paid even if no one bothers watching. They are tax farmers, relying on an oligopoly to enforce their right to skim a buck a month from your cable bill. It’s why cable bills are over $100 per month and it is also why cord cutting is the new thing. If people could pick the channels they buy through their cable subscription, all of the cable news guys would go away. 
As an aside, it is one of the ironies of socialism. The economic philosophy that claims to favor equality of outcomes always turns into a vehicle for self-dealing by the advocates of socialism. American media is universally liberal, and financed by the socialism of cable television. Colleges and universities are madhouses of Progressive jackassery, financed by the socialized student debt system. American health care is looking like a cynical bust-out because of socialist economics championed by the Left. 
As a further aside, the companies pulling their ads from O’Reilly were not doing it for economic reasons. The ratings were through the roof and few Americans care about who is playing grab ass with whom at the TV station. These companies were pulling their ads in order to curry favor with the Cult. In many cases, their management teams are infested with Progs and powerskirts too. It’s like a virus for which there is no known cure. It controls the host and will bring about its demise in order to promote the cause. 
Rupert Murdoch was never a man of the Right. He was just a guy who loved tabloid news and was a genius at making money on modern media properties. His kids are Kool-Aid drinking Prog loonies, who will piss away the family fortune trying to buy status within the Cult of Modern Liberalism. As a result, Fox News will slowly be converted into a megaphone for the one true faith. We’ll sooner see a trans gender-fluid lesbian of color in prime time than another Bill O’Reilly type.
Remember: cable news is just a business.

I told you we're all gonna die

My calendar has notified me that tomorrow is Earth Day, which means I have fewer than 24 hours to get my affairs in order. Guess I don't have to fix this broken lamp on the floor here.

I've been warning you since 1970 that we're all gonna die, and experts agree with me. Here are examples of their  predictions made around 1970 when the “green holy day” (aka Earth Day) started:
1. Harvard biologist George Wald estimated that “civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.” 
2. “We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation,” wrote Washington University biologist Barry Commoner in the Earth Day issue of the scholarly journal Environment. 
3. The day after the first Earth Day, the New York Times editorial page warned, “Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.” 
4. “Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make,” Paul Ehrlich confidently declared in the April 1970 Mademoiselle. “The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.” 
5. “Most of the people who are going to die in the greatest cataclysm in the history of man have already been born,” wrote Paul Ehrlich in a 1969 essay titled “Eco-Catastrophe! “By…[1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.” 
6. Ehrlich sketched out his most alarmist scenario for the 1970 Earth Day issue of The Progressive, assuring readers that between 1980 and 1989, some 4 billion people, including 65 million Americans, would perish in the “Great Die-Off.” 
7. “It is already too late to avoid mass starvation,” declared Denis Hayes, the chief organizer for Earth Day, in the Spring 1970 issue of The Living Wilderness. 
8. Peter Gunter, a North Texas State University professor, wrote in 1970, “Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions….By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.” 
9. In January 1970, Life reported, “Scientists have solid experimental and theoretical evidence to support…the following predictions: In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution…by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half….”
10. Ecologist Kenneth Watt told Time that, “At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable.”
Told you so. More here.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

This just in ...

Report: Store Out Of Good Kind

UTICA, NY—Unable to locate them on their usual shelf, local man George Rambart, 41, reported Thursday that the store was out of the good kind. “Aw man, they don’t have any,” said Rambart, adding that they had a bunch of the other ones, but those aren’t as good as the kind he always gets, which are much better. “I guess a lot of people also like the kind I like. Maybe if I go to another place, they’ll have them.” At press time, Rambart was even more disappointed upon learning that not only didn’t the other store have the good kind but the manufacturer had stopped making the good kind altogether.

How the creator of Amazon makes decisions

"Most decisions should probably be made with somewhere around 70% of the information you wish you had," Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says. "If you wait for 90%, in most cases, you're probably being slow."

Julie Bort writes that he runs Amazon like a startup, which means faster decisions.
"You have to somehow make high-quality, high-velocity decisions," Bezos wrote. "Easy for start-ups and very challenging for large organizations." 
He outlined a few steps for that: 
1. Learn to work with just enough data, aiming for most of what you need (70%) instead of gunning for near certainty (90%). 
2. Get comfortable with uncertainty by staying flexible after the decision is made. "Many decisions are reversible, two-way doors," he said. For those decisions that can be easily undone, use "a light-weight process." He wrote that you can tell if it's a lightweight decision by answering the question "So what if you're wrong?" 
3. Instead of focusing on avoiding mistakes by making perfect decisions, become a master of "quickly recognizing and correcting bad decisions. If you're good at course correcting, being wrong may be less costly than you think, whereas being slow is going to be expensive for sure." 
4. Finally, for the biggies — those decisions that are not reversible or that have a big effect on customers, employees, or partners — turn the idea of buy-in/approval on its head. Go with "disagree and commit." 
"If you have conviction on a particular direction even though there's no consensus, it's helpful to say, 'Look, I know we disagree on this but will you gamble with me on it? Disagree and commit?'" Bezos said.
Sounds kinda like Donald Trump.

Hillary wasn't the only corrupt incompetent

It has been noted that the Democrats lost just about everything losable in the last election, and that Barack Obama left the part bereft of any promising young leaders.

Well, all is not lost. The Democrats have an amazing pantheon of leadership material. Let's take a look.
I know nothing.

Maxine Waters. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) is the current darling of the left — which tells you just how crazy Democrats have gotten. She’s winning all the praise by calling for President Trump’s impeachment. On the record, at least 25 times. But when pressed she insisted, “I have not called for impeachment.”

Waters used her position as a senior member of Congress and member of the House Financial Services Committee to prevail upon Treasury officials to meet with OneUnited Bank. She never disclosed that her husband held stock in the bank. Meantime, she paid her daughter nearly $70,000 with campaign funds in 2016. Karen Waters has been on the payroll of her mother's campaign committee, Citizens for Waters, since 2006. She has pulled in more than $600,000 for her services since that time.

Nice work if you can get it.

Tom Perez. Newly elected chairman of the Democratic National Committee Tom Perez became unhinged during an event in New Jersey on Friday, where he claimed that President Donald Trump “didn’t win” last year’s presidential election. And, “Republicans don’t give a sh*t about people."

You stay classy, Tom.
I'm rich, too.

Chelsea Clinton. The same liberal lunatics in the press who rage about the Trump children’s nepotistic privileges champion the “refreshingly outspoken” daughter of the Clinton dynasty—who, at 37 years old, will receive a “Lifetime Impact” award from Variety on Friday for her “humanitarian work.”

Her first job as a management consultant netted her $120,000 a year right out of school, as much as the same firm offered to applicants with MBAs—probably not because she was highly qualified. In her second job, as a “reporter” with NBC, she eared a whopping $600,000 a year for her hard-hitting human interest stories about folk music in the Ozarks and whether the Geico Gecko, who is not actually even real, is a well-recognized celebrity.

Nice work, if you can get it.

White woman speak with forked tongue.
Senator Elizabeth Warren. She was never a Native American, but nevertheless, she persisted in claiming that false origin story. Until she became a tenured professor at Harvard, that is. Warren paid women working for her just 71 cents for every dollar paid to men during the 2016 fiscal year.

The median annual earnings for women staffers, $52,750, was more than $20,000 less than the median annual earnings for men, $73,750, according to the analysis of publicly available Senate data. When calculated using average salaries rather than median, the pay gap expands to just over $26,051, or about 31 percent.

Not so nice work, if you can get it.

I got this.
Governor Andrew Cuomo. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York reported his income last year more than doubled from the previous year, thanks to another round of royalty payments on a 2014 HarperCollins memoir that saw lackluster sales. In all, Cuomo has made $783,000 from HarperCollins for his book. The book sold 3,200 copies since it was published in the fall of 2014.
That works out to royalty payments to Cuomo of $245 per book. 

Meantime, an array of figures from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s inner circle—including a confidante so close the governor called him “my father’s third son”—got slapped with a sweeping 14-count federal indictment, which alleges they colluded in a pair of schemes to solicit bribes for state assistance and to rig economic development contracts for companies that gave to Cuomo’s campaigns.

Nice work, guv.

We can't agree on what it means to be human

"When spelled out, what we have today in this country is an unbridgeable disagreement about what the family is. Misunderstand the family and all its coherent complexities, what follows is that nothing else will go right. We have no common judgment about the transcendent meaning of our lives. One division maintains, with no real proof, that man has no given nature. 

"Logically and politically, step by step, consequences, that are not accidental, follow. We legalize contraception, then, when that does not work, abortion, euthanasia, fetal experimentation, homosexual marriages and adoptions. We can even decide if we are male or female. A 'family' is configured as we wish it to be. These practices have all become 'rights' under positive law. They are systematically enforced. No criticism of them is allowed, no matter how scientifically or reasonably based it may be.

"The opposition to this development is not simply another opinion. It is a coherent articulation of what it is to be human. The killing of a human fetus as a 'right' is not something that can be negotiated or compromised. It becomes either my way or your way. We cannot really 'agree' to live in peace with it as if it were a minor matter that had nothing to do with what man is. Voluntarist presuppositions suggest that no nature is found in man or the cosmos. Law is whatever the prince or authority say it is. Whatever we want to do we have a right to do it. In such a world, power alone decides. One side, the 'rights' side, does not negotiate. It cannot. 'I will' is not 'I think.' The reason side reaffirms with Socrates that 'it is never right to do wrong.'"

~ Rev. James V. Schall

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The opposition party at work

MSNBC terrorism analyst Malcolm Nance has deleted a tweet that appeared to call for a terrorist attack against Trump Towers in Istanbul. ~ The Washington Times

Media Research Center: As President Trump approaches the end of his first 100 days in office, he has received by far the most hostile press treatment of any incoming American president, with the broadcast networks punishing him with coverage that has been 89% negative. The networks largely ignored important national priorities such as jobs and the fight against ISIS, in favor of a news agenda that has been dominated by anti-Trump controversies and which closely matches what would be expected from an opposition party.

Your house may be too clean

Asthma free.
You are no doubt aware of the debate over how many germs are too many. Drop a child's pacifier on the floor -- do you pick it up and stick it back in or boil it? Dr. Perri Klass points out what this really means today:
When we talk about the hygiene hypothesis, the collection of theories that address the possible problems that can be associated with growing up less exposed to germs and dirt, we are essentially talking about growing up indoors. We’re talking about living in a world of relatively clean and controlled surfaces, where even small children who are constantly picking things up and putting them in their mouths are not going to come into contact with a very wide variety of exposures.
There’s no question that increasing hygiene has saved many children from sickness and death, he writes.
Scrupulously separating children from the microbes that can be found in impure water, for example, or unpasteurized milk has played a major role in reducing infant and child mortality, enabling millions of children to live and thrive. But we’ve also come to ask, in recent years, whether children who are too completely walled off from the microbial surroundings in which our species evolved may grow up with some negative consequences of our ever-cleaner homes.
Now that we're living indoors in suburbia what happens, says Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello, an ecologist who is associate professor in the Human Microbiome Program at New York University School of Medicine, is this:
As houses become more enclosed and more subdivided, she said, spaces are increasingly separated by areas of use, and the speed at which outside air replaces inside air is decreased. “What happens is, we reduce the exposure to external environmental bacteria, so we become the main source of bacteria, our skin, our mouth, we shed bacteria, and the house becomes highly humanized, most of the bacteria in a house in a city will be human,” she said.
Walls, she said, are the best bystanders, revealing what is going on in a house, because they are not usually cleaned. After many years, she said, “you find highly oral bacteria near the sink,” fecal and vaginal bacteria “near the toilet,” and skin bacteria “in the rest of the house.”
“We used to live in much dustier environments,” said Marsha Wills-Karp, a professor of environmental health and engineering at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. 
Still, she said, though houses are cleaner, the built environment contains many components, including chemicals and airborne particles, not just microbes. 
“Studies have shown that priming or seeding of the microbiome in the child is absolutely critical,” she said. “While you don’t want to go out and expose your child to aggressive infections, you don’t want to create such a sterile environment that their immune system doesn’t develop normally; it puts them at risk of developing immune diseases.”
What's a mother to do? This article offers no strong guidelines. I think that's because this whole field is new, and nobody is quite sure what to do. Until then, do what you mother did: open the windows and let the kids play outside in the dirt.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

This just in ...

Baptists Release Modified Version Of 
Food Pyramid With Mostly Just Casseroles

NASHVILLE, TN—The Southern Baptist Convention’s medical research board announced Tuesday it had completed its long-awaited food pyramid to help Baptist church members make healthy selections for their daily nutritional needs.

The pyramid contains almost entirely casseroles, sources confirmed.

“We recommend at least five servings daily of any cheese or chicken-based casserole,” the Baptist health expert said. “Make sure to eat other types of casseroles as well, as having a well-rounded diet with all varieties of the sacred dish is important to help you get all the grease and fats your body needs.”

“Top it all off with sparing amounts of watered-down foyer coffee, and you’ve got yourself a healthy, well-balanced diet each day,” she added.

The medical board also recommended avoiding any casseroles that do not at first glance appear to contain unhealthy amounts of cheese and those delicious crispy little onions on top.

Film at 11.

Why coffee on a plane tastes so bad

Just say no.
I don't drink coffee on airplanes. I also try not to drink it at Starbucks or any other place where they make it in vats.

Here's why it tastes so bad on planes.

The water. The water used to brew coffee comes from the same tank as the water you use to wash your hands in the bathroom, and apparently it isn’t the cleanest.

Well, that's just disgusting.

The brewing process. At 35,000 feet, water boils at a much lower temperature, which messes up the extraction process so that only some of the coffee solids get dissolved.

You. It’s not all the coffee’s fault, because your taste buds are also part of the problem, thanks to cabin pressure, dry air and altitude, which weakens your taste perception.

Evidence of a president colluding with Russia

Rich Lowry lists the evidence:
The circumstantial evidence is mounting that the Kremlin succeeded in infiltrating the US government at the highest levels. 
How else to explain a newly elected president looking the other way after an act of Russian aggression? Agreeing to a farcically one-sided nuclear deal? Mercilessly mocking the idea that Russia represents our foremost geo-political foe? 
Accommodating the illicit nuclear ambitions of a Russian ally? Welcoming a Russian foothold in the Middle East? Refusing to provide arms to a sovereign country invaded by Russia? Diminishing our defenses and pursuing a Moscow-friendly policy of hostility to fossil fuels? 
All of these items, of course, refer to things said or done by President Barack Obama.
Read the dirty details here.

Heroes: A teenager rescues his infant cousin from a fire

Never underestimate a teenager:
A North Carolina teen is being hailed a hero after he rescued his infant cousin from a burning building.

LJ Gray, a junior at Kinston High School, was outside with family members when his grandmother noticed smoke coming from the home where his cousin was sleeping. 
According to Captain William Barss, the teen ran into the home through the back door into the kitchen and to the adjacent room where his cousin, Michari Strayhorn, was located.

Gray attempted to escape through the back door but the fire and smoke were too intense so he turned and ran to the front door where he managed to make it out safe. 
"As a firefighter were trained with all of the protective equipment that we have, the bunker pants, the coats the hoods, gloves, to go into these fires and were trained to know our limits," Captain Barss told the television station. "And this young man did it with even less than what an average person would be wearing on the street."
The future is looking pretty good.