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Friday, July 29, 2016

Friday Fables Featous (Expanded Edition In Honor Of Diana's Birthday)

Why you want to stay away from Rio.

 Olympians will ‘literally be swimming in human feces,’ scientists say

This guy is cruising for a bruising.

Please, please take him out Lord!!!
“Based on his gait, it appears he has gout — something [due to] diet and genetic predisposition that has affected other members of the Kim family,” said Michael Madden, an expert on the North Korean leadership and contributor to the 38 North website.

A deer visits this cat every morning in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

 That is one quick pitstop

So you want a woman president? Then you don't mind the country sending your daughters off to war?
 Senate Votes to Require Women to Register for the Draft After January 1, 2018 - The Senate has approved a defense budget that would also require women to register for the draft. The new rules would apply to any woman who turns 18 on or after January 1, 2018.

 The first episode of Broadcast Mysteries, a podcast about the unexplained, the uncanny, and the unsolved. This season: a look into the case of Cole Atkins, a man who mysteriously vanished without a trace in 1998 while working for a private research company with more than a few dark secrets.

 Otherwise Urine A Lot Of Trouble!

  Nintendo's massive E3 Legend of Zelda demo is only one percent of the game

 China Don't Like Golf

“We have to sell golf as a sport,” says Omori of the JGA. “Today, people think golf exists because it serves a business purpose. We have to change this attitude.”


 So I got some new shoes today

 TIL the British expelled the entire population of the island nation Diego Garcia, sending them to live in Mauritian slums in 1971, so that the US could build a military base on the Island.

 Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick introduces bill to smack the NSA in the wallet for each data collection violation

 Greetings in Christ Jesus!  (Mega Church CRAP)

 Mighty things come in small packages. The little robots in this video can haul things that weigh over 100 times more than themselves

The super-strong bots — built by mechanical engineers at Stanford — will be presented next month at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Seattle, Washington

The secret is in the adhesives on the robots' feet. Their design is inspired by geckos, which have climbing skills that are legendary in the animal kingdom. 

 The adhesives are covered in minute rubber spikes that grip firmly onto the wall as the robot climbs. 

When pressure is applied, the spikes bend, increasing their surface area and thus their stickiness. When the robot picks its foot back up, the spikes straighten out again and detach easily.

 A pair of Georgia Tech computer science students have created a Random Startup Website Generator that spits out a different jargon-laden startup website every time you click on the URL. 

Mike Bradley and Tiffany Zhang's project "serves as a parody of startups that have websites full of vague praise and little information about their actual business, often because they have little to show in that regard."

Image result for cable companiesThe "revolving door" between government and industry is often blamed for many of the problems regulating corporations. We were worried about it ourselves when Wheeler was nominated for his current job. I guess this goes to show that it depends more on the person than on their previous job.

 An archaeologist has discovered liquid mercury at the end of a tunnel beneath a Mexican pyramid, a finding that could suggest the existence of a king's tomb or a ritual chamber far below one of the most ancient cities of the Americas. Mexican researcher Sergio Gómez ... has spent six years slowly excavating the tunnel, which was unsealed in 2003 after 1,800 years.

 Last November, Gómez and a team announced they had found three chambers at the tunnel’s 300ft end, almost 60ft below the the temple. Near the entrance of the chambers, they a found trove of strange artifacts: jade statues, jaguar remains, a box filled with carved shells and rubber balls.

We read about a lot of patent troll cases. Some are successful and some are not, but many such cases are decided before ever going to court. It's how the patent troll operates — they know exactly how high litigation costs are. Even without a legal leg to stand on, they can ask for settlements that make better financial sense for the target to accept, rather than dumping just as much money into attorney's fees for an uncertain outcome.

Image result for patent trolls Fortunately, some companies fight back. TV-maker Vizio is one of these, and they've successfully defended against 16 different patent trolls, some with multiple claims. In addition, they're going on the offensive, trying to wrest legal fees from the plaintiffs for their spurious claims. 

"For the first time, it stands a real chance, in a case where it spent more than $1 million to win. Two recent Supreme Court decisions make it easier for victorious defendants to collect fees in patent cases. The TV maker is up against a storied patent plaintiffs' firm, Chicago-based Niro, Haller & Niro, that has fought for Oplus tooth and nail. ...

 For Vizio, the company feels that it's on the verge of getting vindication for a long-standing policy of not backing down to patent trolls."

 Humanity helping humanity

Revered architects Greene & Greene built the house in a nascent Hollywood. For years its fate would be a mystery to all but a few

 First Teardown of the Apple watch (video)

It just does not ever stop...

 At Least 700,000 Routers Given To Customers By ISPs Are Vulnerable To Hacking
More than 700,000 ADSL routers provided to customers by ISPs around the world contain serious flaws that allow remote hackers to take control of them

Most of the routers have a 'directory traversal' flaw in a firmware component called webproc.cgi that allows hackers to extract sensitive configuration data, including administrative credentials. 

The flaw isn't new and has been reported by multiple researchers since 2011 in various router models.


Update on man playing God and making Him very upset with those who persist...

We've previously discussed a system called CRISPR-cas9, which is dramatically reducing the cost and effort required to do gene editing. 

In fact, the barrier to entry is now so low that a group of biologists is calling for a moratorium on using the method to modify the human genome

Writing in the journal Science (abstract), the scientists warn that we've reached the point where the ethical questions surrounding DNA alteration can be put off no longer.

 David Baltimore, one of the group's members, said, "You could exert control over human heredity with this technique, and that is why we are raising the issue. 

... I personally think we are just not smart enough — and won't be for a very long time — to feel comfortable about the consequences of changing heredity, even in a single individual."

 Another group of scientists called for a similar halt to human germline modification, and the International Society for Stem Cell Research says it agrees.


For years Amazon investors saw a hemorrhage of money with no returns. That is about to
change dramatically very soon...

Amazon.com announced the launch Thursday of its one-hour delivery service, Prime Now, in select zip codes in Baltimore and Miami.

 It initially launched in Manhattan in December. The one-hour service, available to Amazon Prime subscribers through the Prime Now mobile app, costs $7.99. Two-hour delivery is free.

 From the article: 

"Amazon Prime's success has blown away the company's projections and 'petrified' local and national retailers, said Howard Davidowitz, chairman of Davidowitz and Associates, a national retail consulting and investment banking firm headquartered in New York City.

 'If you're a retailer and you're not scared of Amazon ... you should be,' he said.

 'They are the change agent. They are leading the change in retail.'"

 Amazon Wins US Regulators' Approval To Test-fly Drone

"Amazon.com Inc has won U.S. federal regulators' approval to test a delivery drone, as the e-commerce giant pursues a vision of speeding packages to customers through the air amid public concern over the safety and privacy implications.

 The Federal Aviation Administration said on Thursday it had issued an experimental airworthiness certificate to an Amazon unit and its prototype drone design, allowing it to conduct outdoor test flights on private, rural land in Washington state. 

The experimental certificate applies to a particular drone design and Amazon must obtain a new certification for test flights if it modifies the drone.

 In return, the company must supply monthly data to the regulators, and conduct flights at 400 feet (120 meters) or below and in 'visual meteorological conditions,' according to the FAA's certificate.

 The drone operators must also have a private pilots' license and current medical certification."


Knowing that the death knell to the Swiss watch industry is the new Apple watch a Swiss watch maker is not going to go down without a fight.

Luxury Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer has announced it will be designing a smartwatch in partnership with U.S. tech giants Google and Intel

The watch is to rival similar devices in the consumer wearables market, specifically the much-anticipated Apple Watch. 

Tag is the first watchmaker to join with Google, however it is thought the deal will also welcome collaborations with other high-quality LVMH brands, such as Hublot and Zenith. 

The watch will be available toward the end of the year, with price structures and functionality details announced shortly before its release.

A lot of Americans refuse to go to the polls and vote their choices, thusly not participating in this great experiment in democracy. 

Leaving the choices to those with money and power.

CNN reports that when asked how to offset the influence of big money in politics, President Barack Obama suggested it's time to make voting a requirement. 

"Other countries have mandatory voting," said Obama "It would be transformative if everybody voted — that would counteract money more than anything," he said, adding it was the first time he had shared the idea publicly.

 "The people who tend not to vote are young, they're lower income, they're skewed more heavily towards immigrant groups and minority groups.

 There's a reason why some folks try to keep them away from the polls." 

( Not entirely true, a lot of professionals refuse to vote, surgeons, lawyers and such, they feel "What's the point, the money always wins." ) 

At least 26 countries have compulsory voting, according to the Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance.

 Failure to vote is punishable by a fine in countries such as Australia and Belgium; if you fail to pay your fine in Belgium, you could go to prison.

 Less than 37% of eligible voters actually voted in the 2014 midterm elections, according to The Pew Charitable Trusts. 

That means about 144 million Americans — more than the population of Russia — skipped out. Critics of mandatory voting have questioned the practicality of passing and enforcing such a requirement; others say that freedom also means the freedom not to do something.


"I see your face and I know it."
Hal 2001 

The state of security is going to improve greatly at airports and borders.

This is a very good thing...

Last week, a trio of Google researchers published a paper on a new artificial intelligence system dubbed FaceNet that it claims represents the most accurate approach yet to recognizing human faces.

 FaceNet achieved nearly 100-percent accuracy on a popular facial-recognition dataset called Labeled Faces in the Wild, which includes more than 13,000 pictures of faces from across the web. 

Trained on a massive 260-million-image dataset, FaceNet performed with better than 86 percent accuracy.

The approach Google's researchers took goes beyond simply verifying whether two faces are the same. Its system can also put a name to a face—classic facial recognition—and even present collections of faces that look the most similar or the most distinct.

  Every advance in facial recognition makes me think of Paul Theroux's dystopian Ozone.

US Customs knows your face

"The facial recognition pilot program launched last week by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which civil liberties advocates say could lead to new potentially privacy-invading programs, is just the first of three biometric experiments that the feds are getting ready to launch. 

The three experiments involve new controversial technologies like iris and face scanner kiosks, which CBP plans to deploy at the Mexican border, and facial recognition software, according to a leaked document obtained by Motherboard

 All three pilots are part of a broader Customs and Border Protection program to modernize screenings at American entry and exit ports, including at the highly politicized Mexican border, with the aid of new biometric technologies. 

The program is known as Apex Air Entry and Exit Re-Engineering Project, according to the leaked slides. 

These pilot programs have the goal of "identifying and implementing" biometric technologies that can be used at American borders to improve the immigration system as well as US national security, according to the slides."

Christian woman spills the beans about what her church believes and sets up a controversy.

A new book based on interpretations of ancient texts features an explosive claim: Jesus Christ married Mary Magdalene, and the couple had two children.

 Kirk Cameron is introducing a new way of thinking about Christmas and its many traditions this year with the film "Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas," in theaters on Friday.

"Millennials are a very visual group," explained Barna Vice President of Publishing Roxanne Stone. "If they go into your church and they don't know where to go or it's ambiguous or they don't understand what something is for,  they will move on."

Way back in the early 70's there was a trend among quite a few churches to do exorcisms. Some even made the claim that they were casting demons out of Christians. Here is a group of people today who are doing an Exorcism at a Starbucks.

"I couldn't believe my eyes," he recalls. "I had found a dense forest in the middle of a barren wasteland."

  Unconventional music video, which transforms pets, food, and objects into extraordinary musical instruments. 

You can do it too!

Explanation of what it is exactly.

 Bummed that you're home alone on date night, or stuck in your mom's basement, yet again?

 Don't worry. 

A new gadget or some scuba gear could help. Observed on November 11 — or "11.11," for the date with the most 1s — Singles Day, which started out as a joke among a group of male college students attending Nanjing University in the 1990s, has become the world's biggest online shopping day, thanks to the e-commerce prowess of China's Alibaba Group.

 On this day last year, they sold twice what all US companies sold on Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. 

This year, Alibaba has decided to take its 11.11 promotions worldwide, highlighting global brands including online jewelry store Blue Nile, clothing brand Juicy Couture, and even Costco.

 Amazon has tried to get a piece of the action.

 The Seattle-based company launched promotions for the holiday last year on its Chinese site, and it's done so again this year.


 "Government open-records requests can be boring. Government open-records requests made by a man who wants to obtain information about 70 licensed strippers in his town so he can 'pray for them', on the other hand... 

The godly citizen in question is David Allen Van Vleet of Tacoma, Washington.

 In September he filed court papers to obtain personal information on 70 government-licensed nude dancers at a nightclub in his area — including their full names, addresses, photos and dates of birth.

 (Yes, Washington requires nude dancers to pay a $75 a year license fee.) 

The county auditor granted his request under the state's open-records law - although she also notified area dancers and club managers of her action. 

 On 21 October two licensees sued to block the release of the information. 

Two days later a county judge issued a temporary order blocking the release, with a final decision scheduled for 15 December."

No really this exists...
 Are you female, gay, non-Christian, or otherwise interested in the separation of church and state? Get to know The Gathering, a shadowy, powerful network of hard-right funders meeting Thursday in Florida.

 You want a reasonably priced home? Build it your self...

If you could go online, select a home, print the plans for free, and build it yourself for less than $80,000 in a few days, would you?

 That's the dream behind WikiHouse, an open source home design project that just finished construction of its fourth prototype, a two-story home that snaps together in just a few days.

To quote Stephen Sondheim, you’ve gotta get a gimmick if you want to get ahead. Just ask the folks at Coca-Cola who managed to briefly reverse a decade-long trend of declining Coke sales simply by slapping various people’s names on their bottles and cans.

Heineken has been putting big city names on their bottles.  

 This is big...

With LEDs being the preferred long-lasting, low-energy method for replacing less efficient forms of lighting, their uptake has dramatically increased over the past few years.

 However, despite their luminous outputs having increased steadily over that time, they still fall behind more conventional forms of lighting in terms of brightness.

 Researchers at Princeton University claim to have come up with a way to change all that by using nanotechnology to increase the output of organic LEDs by 57 percent.

 The public doesn't seem to understand just how dysfunctional our financial regulatory system is, Michael Lewis writes. That may change today with a radio report from "This American Life."

Why is Jesus coming with a rod of iron?

Because we are ruled by id_ots.

This is so stupid.

 Any honest scientist knows that the radiation of outer space is deadly to humans.

We just do not have any way at this time to negate the radiation.

Therefore man is limited to near earth orbit in the protection of the earth's magnetic field which shields astronauts from the radiation. 

 When they first started the project to see if it were even possible to send men to the moon there was one major hurtle.

 A man, James Van Allen, the space scientist, stands in front of the National Academy in Washington, D.C., and announces that they’ve just discovered something new about the planet, May 1, 1958.

You see there is these belts of high intensity radiation surrounding the earth. Men can not go through it without lead protection.

 Feet of heavy lead in thickness. Space craft have to be light to get to the moon and back. Not good.

 So the wonderfully intelligent blokes decide to see if they can blow up the God installed radiation belts.

Didn't work, only added more radiation to an already dangerous barrier to human space travel.

 This is why living man has never and will never leave earth's near orbit...of course the spin doctors tell another story:
Ok... so we can't go to the moon. No problem, we will simulate it and...

 Congress Can't Make Asteroid Mining Legal (But It's Trying, Anyway)

Earlier this week, the House Science Committee examined the American Space Technology for Exploring Resource Opportunities in Deep Space (ASTEROIDS) Act, a bill that would ensure that "any resources obtained in outer space from an asteroid are the property of the entity that obtained such resources."

The problem is, that idea doesn't really mesh at all with the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, a document that suggests space is a shared resource: "Unlike some other global commons, no agreement has been reached at to whether title to extracted space resources passes to the extracting entity," Joanne Gabrynowicz, a space law expert at the University of Mississippi said (PDF).

 "There is no legal clarity regarding the ownership status of the extracted resources. It is foreseeable that the entity's actions will be challenged at law and in politics."


As always...early adopters take the financial hit to be the first to own the latest innovation...

SanDisk has announced the world's highest capacity SD card, a 512GB model that represents a 1,000-fold increase over the company's first 512MB card that it shipped a decade ago.

 The SanDisk Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-I memory card has a max read/write rate of 95MB/s and 90MB/s, respectively.

 The card is rated to function in temperatures from -13 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit. 

The 512GB model retails for $800. The card also comes in 128GB and 256GB capacities.

Protect your freedom of access to internet sites!

This could be another layer of protection for police officers. If anyone were to wrestle a weapon from an officer during an altercation, they could not use it on the officer.

Or if a citizen were protecting their home from an intruder and lost their weapon to the intruder, it could not be used against them...

If a child accidentally got access to a gun they would not be able to trigger it and would be safe.

Kai Kloepfer has solved a very hugh problem!

  Kai Kloepfer is a 17-year-old high school student from Colorado who just won the Smart Tech for Firearms Challenge. Kloepfer designed and built a smart gun that will only unlock and fire for users who supply the proper fingerprints.

 "The gun works by creating a user ID and locking in the fingerprint of each user allowed to use the gun. The gun will only unlock with the unique fingerprint of those who have already permission to access the gun. ... 

According to him, all user data is kept right on the gun and nothing is uploaded anywhere else so it would be pretty hard to hack." 

 The gun can have up to 999 authorized users, and its accuracy at detecting fingerprints is 99.99%.

 For winning the challenge, he won $50,000 in funding to continue developing the smart gun. Some of the fund have already gone toward 3-D printing portions of the prototype.


 My dog, Peedee boy, had  a cancer on one of his teats. It swelled up and leaked fluid.

I had read online how DMSO could kill cancer cells.

 And I had also read online how a lady cured breast cancer with glucose mixed with the high alkalinity of baking soda .

(I make no comment as to whether or not these things are true or any kind of a cure for anything.)

 I read that cancer cells take in glucose to survive instead of oxygen like normal cells. 

I read that the Trojan horse of the sugar bringing in high alkalinity apparently kills cancer cells. 

I read that DMSO carries anything in it through the skin barrier.

So I figured that I would try mixing the glucose and baking powder with DMSO and apply it topically to the cancer area on Peedee daily with a Qtip and see what happens if anything.

When the Vet did a lab certified biopsy of the cancer he was totally amazed, as were the lab techs, that all of the cancer cells were dead!

So he asked for permission to check Peedees lymph nodes. Upon inspection of Peedees lymph nodes he discovered that there was no cancer cells present in the test samples. 

Apparently the type of cancer that Peedee had was a very fast spreading type that the vet and the lab techs had never seen any animal survive before.

I am not suggesting that this is a cure for anything, only sharing my own experience with my dog Peedee's situation.

Peedee lived until I had to put him down because of his advanced old age and he was having seizures daily ...

"If We Can't Kill Cancer, Can We Control It?"

In April, [Dr. Eytan Stein] presented his findings to a packed auditorium at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, in San Diego.

 It was the first public airing of the results of AG-221; patients with progressive [acute myelogenous leukemia] had never improved so quickly and definitively. ...

 The breakthrough is notable in part for the unconventional manner in which the drug attacks its target

 There are many kinds of cancer, but treatments have typically combated them in one way only: by attempting to destroy the cancerous cells.

 Surgery aims to remove the entire growth from the body; chemotherapy drugs are toxic to the cancer cells; radiation generates toxic molecules that break up the cancer cells' DNA and proteins, causing their demise.

 A more recent approach, immunotherapy, co-opts the body's immune system into attacking and eradicating the tumor. 

The Agios drug, instead of killing the leukemic cells — immature blood cells gone haywire — coaxes them into maturing into functioning blood cells. Cancerous cells traditionally have been viewed as a lost cause, fit only for destruction.

 The emerging research on A.M.L. suggests that at least some cancer cells might be redeemable: they still carry their original programming and can be pressed back onto a pathway to health.


Everyone keeps talking about drones being an issue.. They are just the side show and distraction. We don't need to regulate drones, we need to regulate big data.

Reality is that the NSA didn't need drones to know everything about you.

They could collect all payment information, all internet presence, own your smartphone with spy apps, own your PC, and track your every relationship through meta data from your telecom provider.

 They know who you talk to and how frequently and in fact and have in fact "stopped revolutions" while they were small when it comes to terrorism.

 The notion that we live in a free and open society is long gone. People have ended up on watch lists for being aware of TOR, linux and other technologies.

All on~line discussions are "watched."

That's just your US government.

 Companies track your spending, and manipulate your environment to try an get you to consume more.

 There are records on your credit, what services you buy, what you read, where you shop, where you live that are traded and bought and sold as profiles between corporate entities for the sole purpose of their profitability.

Practical surveillance is here.

They don't know when you pass gas and belch yet but with exercise sensors and smart watches that report to the cloud, and the internet of things they'll know those things soon too.

 All they need is a big enough data center to consolidate the data builds complete profiles on you.

 If stores (e.g Target) can start sending you diaper coupons because your purchasing habits suggest you might be pregnant believe me they will (in fact they already have).

Apples new watch is very innovative

A new app that let's you expire automatically a picture or video in 24 hours that you share with others. Make goofy faces to share with others that you know expires.

Dan Abate doesn’t have diabetes nor is he aware of any obvious link to the disease. Try telling that to data miners.

 U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor spoke on Thursday to faculty and students at the University of Oklahoma City about the privacy perils brought on by modern technology

She warned that the march of technological progress comes with a need to enact privacy protections if we want to avoid living in an "Orwellian world" of constant surveillance. 

She said, "There are drones flying over the air randomly that are recording everything that's happening on what we consider our private property. 

That type of technology has to stimulate us to think about what is it that we cherish in privacy and how far we want to protect it and from whom. Because people think that it should be protected just against government intrusion, but I don't like the fact that someone I don't know can pick up, if they're a private citizen, one of these drones and fly it over my property."

The new iPhone is being purchased by young video producers because it can do what much more expensive professional video equipment does at a fraction of the cost!

 Historically speaking, we typically see impressive performance gains each time Apple releases a new custom processor for its mobile products.

 Certainly that was true of the A7 SoC, the world's first 64-bit smartphone processor. So, can we expect the same kind of performance bump from the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, both of which sport the new custom A8 SoC

Maybe not.

 The iPhone 6 recently surfaced in results for the Basemark X benchmark and armed with a dual-core 1.4GHz Cyclone CPU and A8 GPU, the iPhone 6 scored 21,204.26 and a earned a place at the top of the chart, though not by much. 

By comparison, the iPhone 5s scored 20,253.80 in the same benchmark. In other words, the iPhone 6 is currently less than 5 percent faster than the iPhone 5s, at least as far as the Basemark X benchmark is concerned.

Having said that; the benchmarks do not take into consideration the video and camera capabilities of the new iPhone 6, which are over the top and worthy of commercial movie making!
I anticipate a whole new flock of videos made on the new iPhones. 

Quoted as found...

 Atheism and science face a real challenge: To frame an account of science, or nature, that leaves room for meaning.

 According to this article, atheists have pinned their flag to Mr. Spock's mast. But they need Captain Kirk.

 Quoting: "I'm pro-science, but I'm against what I'll call "Spock-ism," after the character from the TV show Star Trek. I reject the idea that science is logical, purely rational, that it is detached and value-free, and that it is, for all these reasons, morally superior.

 Spock-ism gives us a false picture of science. It gives us a false picture of humankind's situation. We are not disinterested knowers. 

The natural world is not a puzzle. ... The big challenge for atheism is not God; it is that of providing an alternative to Spock-ism. We need an account of our place in the world that leaves room for value."

 African tourism and Chinese incursion of Africa slowing down...

Despite recent advances in medicine to treat Ebola, epidemiologists are not hopeful that the outbreak in west Africa will be contained any time soon.

 Revised models for the disease's spread expect the outbreak to last 12 to 18 months longer, likely infecting hundreds of thousands of people.

 "While previous outbreaks have been largely confined to rural areas, the current epidemic, the largest ever, has reached densely populated, impoverished cities — including Monrovia, the capital of Liberia — gravely complicating efforts to control the spread of the disease. ... 

What worries public health officials most is that the epidemic has begun to grow exponentially in Liberia. In the most recent week reported, Liberia had nearly 400 new cases, almost double the number reported the week before. 

Another grave concern, the W.H.O. said, is 'evidence of substantial underreporting of cases and deaths.' 

The organization reported on Friday that the number of Ebola cases as of Sept. 7 was 4,366, including 2,218 deaths."

 Scientists are urging greater public health efforts to slow the exponential trajectory of the disease and bring it back under control.

 This just in...
Uneducated people remain uneducated.

Dan Friedman at TechCrunch is ready to call Massive Open Online Courses a failure. Originally hailed as a revolution in learning, MOOCs have seen disappointing course completion numbers. 

Coursera and Udacity, two of the most prominent online learning hubs, have seen about 8 million enrollments in the past few years.

 Unfortunately, half of those students didn't even watch a single lecture, and only a few hundred thousand completed the course they signed up for.

Friedman says, "[N]ew technologies enable methods of "learn by doing" that just weren't possible before we could deliver immersive experiences to people's laptops and phones.

 In the 1960's, Jerome Bruner expanded an educational theory known as constructivism with the idea that students should learn through inquiry under the guidance of a teacher to grasp complex ideas intuitively. 

That process of trial, failure, and then being shown the correct path has been proven to drive student motivation and retention of learning.

 What we don't yet know is if that process of trial and failure can become 10x more engaging when delivered through a new medium such as Minecraft or Oculus. 

...These new immersive worlds promise to hold the attention of students in ways textbooks never could."

Friendless Christians

 For decades, the Middle East’s increasingly beleaguered Christian communities have suffered from a fatal invisibility in the Western world. And their plight has been particularly invisible in the United States, which as a majority-Christian superpower might have been expected to provide particular support.

“So, your kids must love the iPad?” 

I asked Mr. Steve Jobs...,

 The company’s first tablet was just hitting the shelves.

 “They haven’t used it,” he told me.

 “We limit how much technology our kids use at home.”

I’m sure I responded with a gasp and dumbfounded silence.

 I had imagined the Jobs’s household was like a nerd’s paradise: that the walls were giant touch screens, the dining table was made from tiles of iPads and that iPods were handed out to guests like chocolates on a pillow.

Nope, Mr. Jobs told me, not even close.


Nope...not Benny Hinn...
At a concert on Friday in Sydney, Australia, the acclaimed rapper called out a pair of fans for not standing up at the show. One had a prosthetic limb, and the other was in a wheelchair.


I have a very close friend who constantly uses the newest 'buzz words' that are making the rounds in conversations like a set of new clothes he just purchased.

 I can always count on him to use the latest trending words.

I first heard "Phenomenal" and "All- my- ducks- in- a- row" used in conversations with him.

The verbal tics that make up who we are — and how they spread to others.


 The public and their cams


Geopolitical crises abound, but oil producers are still pumping — and pumping more than the world needs. But of course the greed factor keeps prices high.


Their world is in the grip of a lethal outbreak. A mysterious blue substance is leading to catastrophic destruction. Who is behind it all?

Been here all my life...only saw the show a handful of times over the many years.

The density is so high that we had to give them their own walking lane to use their cell phones while walking.

[GIF] Soviet paratroopers sliding off a Tupolev TB-3, shortly before WW2 (1930's).







The Milky Way Over the Oregon Coast 07/2015 [OC]

 Kurt Cobain talking on his cell phone. Mid 1990s

 On April Fools, someone in my town decided to send a local megachurch a humorous message

 Sign on the back door of a local restaurant

 The clock at the Musée d'Orsay, Paris.

Ed Miliband says Panama Papers show ‘wealth does not trickle down’


These people are trying to sell air from Kobe Bryant’s final NBA game on Ebay

 Looking for something to do tonight? Watch this animated Titanic suffer the same fate as the real-life counterpart over the same amount of time.

 The Russian "Who saved the world."

Vasili Alexandrovich Arkhipov (Russian: Василий Александрович Архипов) (30 January 1926 – 19 August 1998) was a Soviet Navy officer. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, he prevented the launch of a nuclear torpedo and thereby prevented a nuclear war. Thomas Blanton (then director of the National Security Archive) said in 2002 that "a guy called Vasili Arkhipov saved the world".

Soviet submarine B-59, in the Caribbean near Cuba.
On 27 October 1962, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, a group of eleven United States Navy destroyers and the aircraft carrier USS Randolph located the diesel-powered nuclear-armed Soviet Foxtrot-class submarine B-59 near Cuba.

Despite being in international waters, the Americans started dropping practice signaling depth charges, explosives intended to force the submarine to come to the surface for identification.

 There had been no contact from Moscow for a number of days and, although the submarine's crew had earlier been picking up U.S. civilian radio broadcasts, once B-59 began attempting to hide from its U.S. Navy pursuers, it was too deep to monitor any radio traffic.

 Those on board did not know whether war had broken out or not.

 The captain of the submarine, Valentin Grigorievitch Savitsky, decided that a war might already have started and wanted to launch a nuclear torpedo.

Unlike the other subs in the flotilla, three officers on board the B-59 had to agree unanimously to authorize a nuclear launch: Captain Savitsky, the political officer Ivan Semonovich Maslennikov, and the second-in-command Arkhipov.

Typically, Russian submarines armed with the "Special Weapon" only required the captain to get authorization from the political officer to launch a nuclear torpedo.

 However, due to Arkhipov's position as flotilla commander, the B-59's captain also was required to gain Arkhipov's approval.

An argument broke out, with only Arkhipov against the launch.

Even though Arkhipov was only second-in-command of the submarine B-59, he was in fact commander of the entire submarine flotilla, including the B-4, B-36 and B-130, and equal in rank to Captain Savitsky.

 According to author Edward Wilson, the reputation Arkhipov had gained from his courageous conduct in the previous year's Soviet submarine K-19 incident also helped him prevail.

( This incident is depicted in the American film K-19: The Widowmaker.)

Arkhipov eventually persuaded Savitsky to surface and await orders from Moscow.

This effectively averted the nuclear warfare which probably would have ensued if the nuclear weapon had been fired.

 The submarine's batteries had run very low and the air-conditioning had failed, so it was forced to surface amidst its U.S. pursuers and head home.

Washington's message that practice depth charges were being used to signal the submarine to surface never reached B-59, and Moscow claims it has no record of receiving it either.

1983 Soviet nuclear false alarm incident

On 26 September 1983, the nuclear early warning system of the Soviet Union twice reported the launch of American Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missiles from bases in the United States.

 Tensions were high between the two countries—the Soviet Union had mistakenly downed a South Korean passenger plane just weeks before—and the officer on duty, Lieutenant Colonel Stanislav Petrov, had a matter of minutes to respond to the attack.

 With little additional information to go on, Petrov deemed the readings a false alarm, reasoning that “when people start a war, they don’t start it with only five missiles.”

These missile attack warnings were correctly identified as a false alarm by Stanislav Yevgrafovich Petrov, an officer of the Soviet Air Defence Forces.

 This decision is seen as having prevented a retaliatory nuclear attack based on erroneous data on the United States and its NATO allies, which would have likely resulted in nuclear war and the deaths of hundreds of millions of people.

 Later investigations revealed that satellites mistook sunlight reflecting off the tops of clouds for missile launches.

The orbit used by Soviet satellites was designed to minimize the chances of false alerts, but that night, shortly after the equinox, satellites, sun, and U.S. missile fields aligned in a way that maximized the sun’s reflection.

 Investigation of the satellite warning system later confirmed that the system had indeed malfunctioned.
Stanislav Petrov told Danish director Peter Anthony the true story about the incident, which was depicted in the 2014 feature film The Man Who Saved the World.

 But if the satellite data had indicated the launch of a hundred missiles—or if a different officer had been on duty—this false alarm could have easily turned into catastrophe.

 On November 9, 1979, the unthinkable happened: computers at the North American Aerospace Defense (NORAD) headquarters indicated that a large-scale Soviet missile attack was underway.

 NORAD immediately relayed the information to high-level command posts and top leaders convened to assess the threat. Their response was swift: crews responsible for launching U.S. intercontinental ballistic missiles were put on the highest alert, nuclear bomber crews boarded their planes to prepare for takeoff, and the Airborne Command Post—the aircraft designed to allow the president to maintain control in the event of an attack—was put in the air, though without the president on board.

Six minutes later, when satellite data failed to confirm any incoming missiles, leaders decided against retaliation.

 It was later discovered that a technician had mistakenly inserted a tape containing a training exercise scenario into an operational NORAD computer, simulating a full-scale attack.

Following the incident, new processes ensured training tapes couldn't run on the main system—though Marshal Shulman, a senior State Department advisor, would later note that “false alerts of this kind are not a rare occurrence.

There is a complacency about handling them that disturbs me.”
Spanning multiple decades, these close calls and other safety incidents highlight the very real risks of keeping nuclear weapons on hair-trigger alert—risks that haven’t gone away.

Hair-trigger alert is the U.S. military policy that enables nuclear missiles to be rapidly launched. It needlessly truncates decision-making time, increasing the risk of a mistaken launch in response to false information.

 Today, the United States keeps nuclear missiles on high alert, ready to be fired in a matter of minutes. Tell President Obama to take our missiles off hair-trigger alert and make us all safer.

 Help prevent a nuclear catastrophe.

 It also makes an accidental or unauthorized launch more likely. By removing missiles from hair-trigger alert—and preventing time-constrained decision-making about launching nuclear weapons—the United States would safeguard against future close calls, while encouraging reciprocity from Russia.


The NY Times reports that the presence of Russian ships near important, undersea internet cables is raising concern with U.S. military and intelligence officials.

 From the article: "The issue goes beyond old Cold War worries that the Russians would tap into the cables — a task American intelligence agencies also mastered decades ago. 
The alarm today is deeper: 
The ultimate Russian hack on the United States could involve severing the fiber-optic cables at some of their hardest-to-access locations to halt the instant communications on which the West's governments, economies and citizens have grown dependent.
Just last month, the Russian spy ship Yantar, equipped with two self-propelled deep-sea submersible craft, cruised slowly off the East Coast of the United States on its way to Cuba — where one major cable lands near the American naval station at Guantánamo Bay. 
It was monitored constantly by American spy satellites, ships and planes. 
Navy officials said the Yantar and the submersible vehicles it can drop off its decks have the capability to cut cables miles down in the sea. 
What worries Pentagon planners most is that the Russians appear to be looking for vulnerabilities at much greater depths, where the cables are hard to monitor and breaks are hard to find and repair.
 This is truly scary!
  If Putin’s Russia is rehearsing a “first strike” on the world’s internet communications’ system, it would be a grave disaster for the national defense of many western countries and the United States.
 We aren’t just talking about disrupting Facebook and Twitter here.  
We are talking about silencing vital information and monitoring systems that our nation, and others, have come to rely upon to provide real-time monitoring of several places in the world.

So, the Russians might be contemplating a world financial meltdown as one other possible attack on the west.
Who knows what their real motives might be.  But, it is a serious issue that is part of the growing Russian threat.
The role of the cables is more important than ever before.
They carry more than $10 trillion a day in global business, including from financial institutions that settle their transactions on them every second.
Any significant disruption would cut the flow of capital. The cables also carry more than 95 percent of daily communications.
So important are undersea cables that the Department of Homeland Security lists their landing areas — mostly around New York, Miami and Los Angeles — at the top of its list of “critical infrastructure.”

fatty, salty proteins that no man can resist

OK men I know for a fact your taste buds are salivating when you look upon this wonderous perfection above, BACON!
So, what to do?

 There are few things in this world that do not lead to cancer.

We are not doctors, and offering general medical advice is fraught at best.

Do you need to abstain from processed meats now? 

Probably not.

Is it worth taking a moment to examine your diet and consider where you can exercise a little more moderation?


But isn't that true of all things?

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