Archive for February, 2014

February 20, 2014

Group: Oxfam Tied to Palestinian Terror Group | Washington Free Beacon

http://freebeacon.com/oxfam-accused-of-ties-to-terror-group/

February 19, 2014

Lines in the sand

Electronicbaglady's Bag of Bits

I was watching one of those clichéd movie moments the other night instead of doing something productive. It was the moment when the hero says something similar to “That’s a line I will not cross!”. Usually there is dramatic body language attached, including miming drawing a line, presumably in mimed sand.

nooooooo

I recently discovered within myself a steely core of resistance in another area. In retrospect it was not really surprising but I was a little taken aback at the time.

It involved tea.

There is no doubt that clichés are popular because they resonate within us, and highlight something we all recognise. In this case, we all have limits to what we are prepared to do. Milgram’s infamous experiments purported to demonstrate that people can be pushed further if someone in a white coat and with an air of authority is doing the pushing. Whatever the validity of the…

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February 19, 2014

Now It’s Turmeric? How Much Trend Can We Take?

Epicurean Group

turmeric

I recently read Linda Yellin’s piece “When Did Kale Get A Publicist?” in More Magazine and laughed out loud. Well, first I sort of whimpered because More Magazine just started appearing in my mailbox and I couldn’t figure out why until someone told me, not so gently, that it was because I hit the age of 40. They should just call it Forty – just like they call it Seventeen. It’s mean to tease old people.

After overcoming my surprise and stretching my arms reaallllyyy far in front of my face in order to actually read the article, I wanted to be Yellin’s friend, or at least shop and dine with her. She, too, had a childhood that included weekly meatloaf and a mother who didn’t once ask what I’d like for dinner. I had that mother. I am that mother now. Call me vintage, but with four children…

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February 19, 2014

“Stop acting like such a Neanderthal”

February 19, 2014

Takeout Astrology: The Zodiac Placemat

Duck Pie

I'm the Tiger. What are you? I’m the Tiger. What are you?

All those chopsticks and duck sauce packets you’ve been hoarding for years? They’re all from one mysterious company in White Plains, New York.

Growing up, every restaurant had its paper placemat. Sergio’s and Gino’s had a map of Italy with illustrations of the Tower of Pisa, a Venetian gondola, and the Colosseum. Generically Richmond restaurants had similar map of the Commonwealth of Virginia graced by cardinals and dogwood branches, the state capitol, the House of Burgesses in Williamsburg, and the Blue Ridge mountains. King’s Barbecue in Petersburg had advertisements from local funeral parlors. I remember Acapulco having something similar but Mexican, but my memory grows hazy with age.

Yen Ching had a version of the zodiac printed in bright red and yellow, an ancient and complex system of astrological philosophy reduced to a series of lobster sauce-stained horoscopes. Born in 1986, I was the…

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February 19, 2014

10 Ridiculously Clichéd Stock Photos of Women vs. Lean In’s Alternatives

NewsFeed

Don’t worry, you’ll never have to laugh alone with salad again.

That’s because Sheryl Sandberg’s LeanIn.org decided to tackle the important issues by debuting a whole new line of stock photos through Getty Images that shows real women doing real things, instead of multi-armed, multitasking octopus women eating yogurt or smiling at scales.

Here is a chronology of your perfect life through the Lean In photos, compared to the yoga-doing, salad-laughing nightmare that would be a life in stock photos. Choose your own adventure.

1) Eating Salad

Woman eating a salad

Lean In Collection / Getty Images (2)

You eat real food with your friends, like cheese and wine, and you can stop trying to force that single cherry tomato into your frozen smile.

2) Multitasking:

Woman multitasking

Lean In Collection / Getty Images (2)

You’re great at multitasking, but you do it at your normal-looking desk and you don’t type anything with your toes.

3)…

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February 19, 2014

TOWARD NOT EATING ANIMALS

ANIMAL

2pigs From Wikipedia Commons. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:2pigs.jpg
By Titanium22

I got sober from drugs and alcohol in 2000. In the process of recovering I realized that from then on spirituality was going to be an important focus of my life—that it had to be, since the connection to a Higher Power was necessary to keep me sober and alive.

I didn’t realize that recovery would connect me to myself as well, to what was really inside me.

During the early part of my recovery I realized that spirituality could be an open field to play on. I grew up around Catholicism and I didn’t feel like it was that way at all when I was young. I realized that my Higher Power could be one of my own understanding—that I had a lot of room to explore.

So I started exploring. One day I was reading a passage written by a Buddhist monk…

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February 19, 2014

Playing the Online Hero, Offline

Blog of the Courtier

An interesting study was issued recently by psychologists at the University of Illinois, suggesting that the profile pictures or “avatars” that people choose to use in online gaming may subconsciously influence how they see themselves, and how they treat other people.  Researchers found that when subjects thought of themselves as Superman, they were less likely to harm someone else when given an opportunity to do so (in a minor way) in real life.  Conversely, when the subjects identified with the evil Lord Voldemort from “Harry Potter”, they were far more likely to take advantage of a real-life opportunity to harm someone else – again, even if only in a minor way.

Obviously there are potential implications from this study with respect to violent video games, and these results will be poured over by experts in developmental psychology. However rather than focusing on the negative conclusions one might reasonably draw…

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February 19, 2014

Mud-fighting shall be made Olympic Sport

Standing Ovation, Seated

All World Records Shall Be Ours! Soviet poster of 1948All World Records Shall Be Ours! Soviet poster of 1948

In totalitarian-minded societies athletes, willing to sacrifice their health for the prestige of their country, are seen as heroes. Like soldiers, dying to expand the empire or to protect its size, sportsmen serve as living proof that the Supreme Ruler or Ideology of the Empire is doing the right thing.

The Ruler’s policies make his country stronger than its adversaries; his care fosters men and women who are mightier, faster, and jump higher than people from enemy states.

When I was a kid, each sports event was a war waged by the soldiers of athletes. Commies vs. Imperialists. I guess it was the same on the other side of the great divide. Did the West feel Russkies were enemies during Olympic games?

I was so relieved when I thought it was over (not least because China made it meaningless).

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February 19, 2014

I Always Hated My Arms

Fourtuitous

Written by Emily

Yesterday I made bread with my mom. She sprinkled the counter with flour and dropped a wad of yeasty dough at my fingertips.

“Knead it for at least 7 minutes,” she instructed. “Do you know how to knead?”

I did. I’ve seen my fair share of Food Network shows.

I pushed the dough forward with the base of my palms and pulled it back with my fingertips. Push. Pull. Push. Pull. I fell into a rhythm.

bread

As I watched the dough move and change, my arms worked. I could feel them tense and tighten as the dough loosened. Those arms. My arms.

I always hated them.

I coveted lean, toned arms in a way that should have made me run for the nearest confessional. I was convinced there was something in my genetic make-up that made it impossible for me to achieve a sculpted shoulder–short of buying…

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February 19, 2014

Each Frame Tells a Story: An Interview with Cinematographer Steve Lawes

Cinemavitas

By Mary Jo Watts (mid0nz)

Image

Photo of Benedict Cumberbatch (L) as Sherlock Holmes, and Steve Lawes (R) by Robert Viglasky.
Used with permission.

I’m hopelessly, obsessively besotted with BBC Sherlock. It’s impossible for me to temper my enthusiasm for Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss’s modern adaptation. At 43 years old, I’m proud to call myself a unabashed fangirl of the show and to count myself among the millions of others who comprise its global fandom.

It was when I watched the credits roll on The Great Game, season one’s gripping cliffhanger, that I realized I’d become utterly immersed in the Sherlock universe because of its stunning visuals. Part of the plot of that episode has to do with a Vermeer painting and it delighted me that a pivotal scene had been lit in homage to the Dutch master.

Those credits revealed to me that it was cinematographer…

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February 19, 2014

What’s the big deal about mocking someone’s accent?

so long as it's words

As a society, we’re getting better at not being dicks to each other. It’s a slow progression, but some hurdles have been royally leapt: women can vote, homosexual couples can adopt, and ethnic minorities legally have access to the same goods and services as everybody else. Of course, we still deal with individual douche-canoes mouthing off at people because of their sexuality, gender identity, race, ability, age, body shape or a million other things; institutionalised prejudice hasn’t been eradicated; and prejudice is still enacted on a micro-level, often not from a malicious footing, but as the product of a society still breaking free of intolerant belief systems (that blasted patriarchy!). I’ve painted a cheery picture there, haven’t I? … but in general, while things are by no stretch of the imagination fixed, in most ways they’re getting better, and we’re a lot sounder to each other than we used to…

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February 19, 2014

6 reasons curling is the best Olympic sport

For The Win

(AP) (AP)

Today’s big winner:Curling

It’s time for an intervention, Earth.

It happens every four years. Curling comes on, you point and laugh, curling goes away. The same jokes are always made. How hard is it to throw a rock? If using a broom is an Olympic sport, than I’m an Olympian every day. How can you seriously call yourself an athlete when you wear pants like this?

(AP) (AP)

It needs to stop. Curling is the best and these are six reasons that will change your mind forever.

1. The rules are simple.

(Getty) (Getty)

Get your stone closest to the bull’s-eye; win. It’s that simple. There’s strategy involved, but the sport is easy to follow and easier to understand.

2. The U.S. women are pretty good.

(USA TODAY Sports) (USA TODAY Sports)

The American women came in fourth at last year’s world championship, barely missing out on a bronze, and enter the Sochi…

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February 19, 2014

It’s Not Just What He Said, It’s How She Said It

[ par·al·lel·e·vi·sion ]

Panti The appearance of the phrase “Panti Gate” in a charades game at my apartment last weekend proves that the events of the past few weeks have reached a zenith, with gender discombobulist Panti Bliss now a given part of the international charading lexicon.

Much has been said on anywhere from HuffPo to Fox News to the inimitable Broadsheet about Rory O Neill, and especially his Noble Call (below) which recently closed out a performance of 1913 Lockout drama ‘The Risen People’. The substance is, as has been repeated time and again, powerful — and the oratorial style marks it as one of the best speeches to come out of a nation of talkers in a very long time.

But for a moment I’d like to look beyond both the content and the form of the speech, and instead focus on the visual that Rory O Neill presented on that night…

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February 19, 2014

No Battle Plan Survives First Contact With The Enemy

February 19, 2014

Japan secretly developing nuclear weapons?

China Daily Mail

japanDefence Tokyo begins arms build-up in response to East China Sea tension. Asia Weekly, a Hong Kong-based news outlet, is reporting that Japan is secretly developing a nuclear weapons program in response to increasing hostilities with China over the East China Sea dispute.

According to the report, paraphrased by the Want China Times,

“With the capability to build at least 2,000 nuclear warheads, Japan has recently demanded the United States return 300 kilograms of plutonium. A Japanese military analyst told Yazhou Zhoukan that Washington has paid close attention to the potential development of nuclear weapons in Japan.”

Asia Weekly, known as Yazhou Zhoukan, is a popular Chinese-language platform with a 20 year publishing history.

The article notes that Mitsubishi, Hitachi and Toshiba all possess expertise in the area of nuclear energy and along with 200 other small companies could all be called upon to kick-start a nuclear weapons program. Japan already…

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February 19, 2014

ARGENTINA: Museum of High Altitude Archaeology

February 19, 2014

The Cradle of European Poetry, Part 1

The Rag Tree

File:Spanish - Chess Piece of a Queen - Walters 71145 - Three Quarter.jpg Manners : 3 a. The socially correct way of acting; etiquette. b. The prevailing customs, social conduct, and norms of a specific society…

Moral: 1. Of or concerned with the judgment of the goodness or badness of human action and character: 2. Teaching or exhibiting goodness or correctness of character and behavior…

(TheFreeDictionary.com)

So, this post is going to be a little complicated: RT is warning folks that there’s a lot of territory to cover. On the plus side, we’re going to be looking at how poetry arrived in western Europe and how poetry is connected to other, important aspects of behavior, such as 1) deciding on the right course of action and 2) minding our manners.

A. Europe in its Cradle

Dark ages are never fun. One civilization collapses and over a period of centuries another rises up from the ruins. Along with the usual…

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February 19, 2014

When disaster strikes again

newsferret

Yesterday I upgraded this laptop from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1.  What a great mistake that was.  Part of the upgrade was that I lost everything, including my Outlook addresses which with patience will eventually be restored again.  However, the photos are gone for ever.  My insurance claim has been approved so I hope the be back on the MacBook Pro within a week and after that it will be back to normal.  I will not air my views on Microsoft, rather keep quiet and keep the blood pressure down.  Have great day.

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February 19, 2014

Sensuously-Dark edit – Fun Wid Us

Fun wid us Blog

*Metalized*Minimalist*Waterscape*

Like ✔ Comment ✔ Share ✔ Follow ✔ if you like what you see.
by wigH

–FUN WID US
Entertainment Guaranteed

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February 19, 2014

What’s Your Superhuman Power?

Awkward Laughter

The midpoint of the week can leave us all feeling restless. So I thought I’d propose a little game of What’s Your?

What’s your (fill-in-the-blank)? is my favorite question to ask people when I’m first getting to know them. Since this wonderful world of blogging is all about sharing, I’m asking you: “What’s your superhuman power?” We all have at least one.

Bridge Bench Press

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February 19, 2014

Pussy Riot Cleared After Being Detained by Police

February 19, 2014

Candy Crush Saga Maker Files for IPO

February 19, 2014

Dear God – Winternight

HarsH ReaLiTy

Winternight freeze my soul. Solidify it against the compassion that seeks to infest my heart. Harden my demeanor in the days to come.

I stare across a sea of frozen blades of grass. They crack and pop with the realization of their humanity. Their screams join the sounds of growth that surrounds them, pictures of life amongst the graves of the dying. Crystalized limbs reflect the light of heaven and shine a beacon into the face of God. To make him aware that though we may die with the coming sun, we were here once and we mattered. Remember us.

-OM

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February 19, 2014

Blindness Isn’t Stopping This 15-Year-old H.S. Senior’s Quest For Knowledge

WCCO | CBS Minnesota

WAYZATA, Minn. (WCCO) — When the Wayzata Science Bowl team practices, they mean business. They just won the state championship, and they are now getting ready for nationals in Washington, D.C.

They’re all smart kids, that’s obvious, but one of them stands out — team captain Nathan Stocking.

“The other team gets intimidated,” said teammate Jayant Chaudhary, “because he doesn’t even need paper for pretty complex complications.”

Stocking is a high school senior, even though he’s only 15 years old.

“Whether it’s speaking Spanish or Chinese, or if it’s programming computer scripts, or if it’s knowing every detail about a science subject, he excels in all of them,” said teacher Amanda Laden.

But something else is different about Stocking. He can’t see.

“I think he was born smart,” says his mother, Karen Cotch. “He just thrives on knowledge…and we’re just the ones who try to find ways to feed it.”

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February 19, 2014

Gravity’s win for best British film at Baftas puzzles everyone

Metro

Sandra Bullock has been nominated for an Oscar for her role in Gravity (Picture: AP Photo/Warner Bros)

Gravity scooped outstanding British film at the Bafta awards but not everyone was happy.

The film’s win raised eyebrows with many critics and fans speculating on Twitter as to why it was considered a British film over Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, Philomena, Rush, Saving Mr Banks and The Selfish Giant.

Directed by Alfonso Cuarón, the sci-fi 3D epic stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as astronauts stranded in space.

MORE: Gravity sweeps the board at the Baftas

Gravity director Alfonso Cuaron and producer David Heyman celebrate their Bafta win (Picture: Invision/AP)

It was judged as British according to Bafta and BFI guidelines.

Gravity was produced by Harry Potter’s David Heyman, shot at Shepperton Studios hiring British artists and technicians, and used British company Framestore for its visual effects.

But some critics were still…

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February 17, 2014

China’s ‘Jade Rabbit’ resurrected

February 17, 2014

If You Build A $20K Ice Rink On A Farm, They Will Come

WCCO | CBS Minnesota

CARLOS, Minn. (WCCO) – Near the town of Carlos, you’ll find frozen farmland as far as the eye can see.

But on Pat Waldorf’s farm, things are starting to heat up.

“Needed a place to skate other than the rink in town. Needed a little more ice time, so we thought ‘Why not get some buddies together and build our own rink?'” Waldorf said.

Using a “Field of Dreams” mentality, Waldorf decided to build a hockey rink in the middle of a farm.

But this is no ordinary rink. Waldorf paid $20,000 for a set of professional boards. And his investment has already been a win.

“Got about five of us together and it took us about 20 hours because we didn’t know what we were doing,” he said. “It’s our rookie season, but next year we will have it done in about five or six hours.”

The rink also…

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February 17, 2014

Grabner hoping his Sochi scoring success translates back to the NHL

ProHockeyTalk

Michael Grabner has had no problem filling the net for Austria’s Olympic hockey team. However, the same can’t be said about the season he’s having back in the National Hockey League with the New York Islanders.

Grabner scored twice for Austria on Sunday, as that nation recorded a 3-1 victory over Norway for its first win of the competition in Sochi. That will go nicely with his hat trick in the Austria’s tournament-opening loss to Finland last week. Five goals totaled through three preliminary games. Not bad at all. Perspective: Austria, as a team, has only scored seven goals.

But back in the NHL, scoring has proven to be difficult this season for Grabner. The speedy 26-year-old forward has only nine goals and 20 points in 56 games this season with the Islanders. A 34-goal scorer in 2010-11, Grabner has seen his goal totals drop significantly every season since then.

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February 17, 2014

Talking Points: MNsure & The Governor’s Race

WCCO | CBS Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A major issue in this year’s governor’s race is the state health care exchange MNsure, and how it’s performing.

MNsure maintains it’s making progress in signing people up for health care. But the numbers are still far short of projections. And some are concerned that more taxpayer dollars will be needed, to subsidize the program.

This week, MNsure announced numbers it says shows the health exchange is on the right track. So far, 92,000 Minnesotans have purchased insurance through MNsure, but critics points out two-thirds of those signing up are enrolled in government subsidized program like Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare.

Only about one third signed up for private insurance plans — far below the projected numbers. That’s a problem because starting in 2015, money to fund MNsure is supposed to come from a tax on those private plans. If that trend continues, MNsure will face a substantial…

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February 17, 2014

February 16th: primrose

sarah takes pictures

IMG_6902

My dad gave me a primrose plant. Flowers! Flowers to look at! In the midst of snowy despair!

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February 17, 2014

Beta-Endorphins Make YOU Happy Along With Serotonin: Potatoes

Olga Lazin

As I promised, here it is:

 

In Potatoes [symbolizing complex carbohydrates], Not Prozac [symbolizing drugs & alcohol], Dr. DesMaisons makes her clear convincing case that persons who fear that they are self-indulgent, undisciplined, or lazy, may be in reality among the billions of people who are “sugar sensitive.” Many people who suffer from sugar sensitivity don’t even know it; they continue to consume large quantities of sweets, breads, cookies, cakes pasta, alcohol or drugs. These products trigger feelings of exhaustion and low self-esteem because their biochemical impact makes sugar-sensitive people crave these unhealthy products even more. This vicious cycle of ever deepening cravings can continue for years, leaving sufferers addicted to being overweight, fatigued, depressed, and lost in alcohol or drug binges. The Kathleen DesMaisons approach to preventing these unhealthy addictions involves preventing the imbalance of 3 factors: 1. volatile blood sugar level (shifting between low and high levels…

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February 17, 2014

PASTORUL LUIGI MITOI IN VIZITA LA BISERICA MARANATHA RCOG SACRAMENTO CA.

“spredestinaţie” ~ blogul lui "DUŢU"~ Calea, Adevărul si Viaţa,spre destinaţia fericita "CERUL"

PASTORUL LUIGI MITOI IN VIZITA LA BISERICA MARANATHA RCOG  SACRAMENTO CA.

Pastorul Luigi Mitoi va fi in Biserica Maranatha  RCOG din Sacramento Ca.

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February 17, 2014

East gets by Durant, Griffin to win All-Star game

February 17, 2014

Finding Minnesota: Randall’s 90-Year-Old ‘Shoe Lady’

WCCO | CBS Minnesota

RANDALL, Minn. (WCCO) — Radio listeners in central Minnesota occasionally hear a voice that’s so unexpected and so unconventional, they have to stop and listen.

It’s the sweet, grandmotherly voice of Lenore Olson, selling shoes and boots just a few weeks before her 90th birthday.

“Hi, I’m Lenore from Bermel’s,” the ad begins. “When you put on your insulated boots this morning, weren’t you thankful?”

Olson is known around the region as The Shoe Lady.

She visits a radio studio every few weeks, reading ad copy she wrote herself for Bermel’s Shoes in Randall.

The store owner, Tim Koenig, said the ads have been effective.

“People come in looking for her,” he said, (asking) ‘is there really a Shoe Lady?”

There really is a Shoe Lady, and she not only pitches footwear on the radio, she’s been working in the store for 43 years.

“You’re going to live in…

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February 17, 2014

The Romance of Our Shadows

boy with a hat

Shadows on the wall

Who knows what my shadow does while I sleep?

Does he rest too?

Or does he caper on the chamber wall, performing cartwheels and somersaults?

Does he take a moonlight shower?

Does he then preen himself a little, gazing at his reflection in the windowpane?

And when the witching hour comes, does he bid my sleeping self goodbye?

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February 17, 2014

It Takes Two

February 17, 2014

Married ladies can have crushes, too

write meg!

. . . Well — book crushes, that is.

My earliest relationships weren’t with actual boys, friends. I didn’t manage to catch the eye of the cute kid in math class or Peter Brady or even Daniel, the first boy to earn a sappy valentine in second grade.

They were with book characters.

LoveI fell for bookish leading men long before I dared to express my feelings to any real-life ones. Relationships in my favorite novels taught me about relationships in general, especially in those impressionable teen years, and I feel like I’m a better reader — and person — because of it.

Though I am, in fact, a happily married lady, my devotion to my flesh-and-blood husband does not negate the underlying passion I can feel for literary men. We’ve all been there, right? Sometimes you can’t help but fall into a bottomless pit of yearning for some…

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February 17, 2014

Black Versus White Boxes

Gödel's Lost Letter and P=NP

cauer

Wilhelm Cauer was a German mathematician and engineer who worked in Gttingen and the US between the two world wars. He is associated with the term “black box,” although he apparently did not use it in his published papers, and others are said to have used it before. What Cauer did do was conceive a computing device based on electrical principles. According to this essay by Hartmut Petzold, Cauer’s device was markedly more advanced and mathematically general than other ‘analog devices’ of the same decades. He returned to Germany in the early 1930’s, stayed despite attention being drawn to some Jewish ancestry, and was killed in the last days of Berlin despite being on the Red Army’s list of scientists whose safety they’d wished to assure.

Today Ken and I wish to talk about black boxes and white boxes, no matter who invented them, and their relation to computing.

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February 17, 2014

waiting out the demons

a diary of a mom

mama-bear-is-hugging-her-cub[1]

 Photo from Dump a day

“Slowly now,” I say. “Slowly, baby. Let’s slow it down.”

My mantra.

“We can get through this, kiddo. We can. We will.”

“Mama’s here.”

I curl my body around yours, still small enough to fit – one cup perfectly designed to nest inside another, then, someday another still, and another still. God’s infinitely perfect Mama Plan.

“Slowly, baby. I’m here. I’ve got you.”

I wrap myself around you. I throw my leg over yours, wrap my arm around your shoulders, cup your wet cheek in my hand.

Leave her alone! She’s done nothing!

I silently shout to no one there.

Leave. Her. Alone.

Come get ME.

You’re trembling. Damn it, you’re trembling.

I pull you closer and tug at the comforter. I arrange it just so until it covers us both. I know you’re not cold, but I have to do something. Put something between you and them.

Come get ME.

“I’m…

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February 17, 2014

I don’t think so.

Wandering Bark Books

Image courtesy of stockphotosforfree.com Image courtesy of stockphotosforfree.com

On the way home yesterday, I heard an NPR story about how a computer program at MIT has apparently learned how to “help” an MIT media lab student “compose” a sonnet using a database of Shakespeare’s works.

Including only words used by Shakespeare, the program suggests words that The Bard might have used in “that situation,” or, when writing a sonnet.

The transcript clarifies: “It was [Mathias’] sonnet confined to authentic Shakespearean language. It’s the same predictive software we see when our devices try to finish our sentences and suggest the next word.” Great, so a new application of technology.

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February 17, 2014

Hiring an English Major to Edit Your Book Is Cheating Yourself

change it up editing

I belong to a listserve of freelance editors, and I find the topics of conversation interesting and often thought-provoking. One recent ID-100146866topic that elicited many comments was about pricing the work we do.

The initial post was by an established and well-respected editor who wrote, “I recently was asked about my rates by someone at a local company who was looking for writing and editing help. She balked at my quote . . . Her response: < … we can find English majors for $10 to $15 [per hour] and many of them are quite good. >”

I get it; no one wants to spend more than necessary for anything—goods or services. I mean, if I can buy a knock-off designer widget that looks just like the brand-name widget, isn’t that a better value than buying the real thing just for the brand name? If I can get my next-door neighbor’s…

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February 17, 2014

I’ve met my next cold, and its name is Dwayne.

My Dog Ate a Lightbulb

iStock_000022475399Small

I’m not what you call germ-obsessed. I don’t have a bottle of hand sanitizer strapped to my purse. But I do take public transportation, which in the winter can be extremely hazardous to your health. They have posters in the buses and subway cars reminding people to essentially “sneeze in your sleeve.” No more do we cover our mouths with our hands. That is just so wrong, but you knew that, didn’t you?

Yesterday, I was on my way to the airport and managed to snag the very last seat on the shuttle bus. The gentleman next to me moved his carry-on bag out of the way to make room for me, and I noticed his name on the ID tag: Dwayne.

We had gone maybe a mile when he started sneezing. Violent spasms. Again and again: “Ah-CHEW! CHEW!”

And the spray. Oh, sweet mother, I’ve been hit!

“Bless you,”…

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February 17, 2014

the house on 36th

The Daily Erasure

the house on 36th

looks like a milk carton, the
single-serving kind

he told me it was sunny
my mother
remembers clouds
I committed to rain. I liked
how it darkened the bed

I saw the shadow of
light by the window, skin wiped
clean
to reveal

a girl born
in the shade of

Truth

Created from pg 300 of A Girl Named Truth, a memoir by Alethea Kehas

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February 17, 2014

#nojudgment 8 Things You Should Never Be Ashamed Of

Typical Blogger

By May June

Our society is full of artificial norms and fake standards. Whatever is attractive is whatever you’re not. Whatever is normal is whatever you’re not. Whatever is popular is whatever you’re not.  Whatever is ideal is whatever is impossible.

Despite this, people are going to judge. You can’t stop them. But you can stop caring. Instead of worrying what others are going to think, embrace your quirks and guilty pleasures.

Surround yourself with people who love you for who you are and screw the haters. You should never have to start a sentence with, “No judgment, but…”

Be unique. Be spontaneous. Be free. If you’re not going to be you, then who will?

To get you started, here are 8 things you should embrace and never have to hide. Enjoy!

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February 13, 2014

1,000 Miles: Month 1

anna brones

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61.1 miles.

“Yes!” was my initial reaction.

Then came the second.

“Shit, that’s less than I should have run…”

When I first committed to the 1,000 Miles thing (yes, running 1,000 miles in 2014) I did some quick calculating.

Running 100 miles a month would put me over the 1,000 mile mark, meaning if I clocked a few months with 100 miles I would have some leeway. I then went to a calculator and figured out that what I really needed to do was hit about 20 miles a week, or about 80 miles a month. Doable, but after a month of not running I needed to work my way back up.

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February 13, 2014

An Open Letter to Cat-Check Boy

Awkward Laughter

Dear Cat-Check Boy,

You don’t even know that’s your name, and I confess I’ve long since forgotten your real one.

I met you in 2003. Your strong face and blue eyes struck me from across the bar. You stood out amongst the lackluster men I had encountered since moving to that small town.

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February 13, 2014

Part 120: Sue Ellen

Reasons to be Single

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I used to own a T-shirt with the slogan ‘I Love Sue Ellen’ embossed across the front. It was dusty purple, made from that thin, soft cotton that feels like luxury – even though it costs next to nothing and is likely fashioned into garments by oppressed children, from scraggy old bits of fabric found discarded on the floors of Third World factories. And it used to cling to my boobies in a very fetching manner, and rise up to reveal my midriff, which, at the time – due to exercise, youth and genetics – was toned and washboard flat.

I fucking loved that T-shirt. Although I have absolutely no idea where it is now. It has gone to the heaven of lost things, along with all the earrings I have ever purchased and that sky-blue Paul Smith stiletto I misplaced a few years ago, when I threw it at…

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February 13, 2014

Cold Blooded Murder of a Young Giraffe

Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson

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I don’t like any zoo, but I am especially outraged by the action of the Copenhagen Zoo in Denmark on Sunday (February 9).  I am hardly alone:  More than 27,000 people signed a “save Marius petition,” when the zoo announced that zoo officials intended to kill the adorable and much-loved 18-month old Marius. Many thousands of other people around the world have taken to the Internet to express their sadness, their bewilderment, and their horror at this completely unnecessary, even ghoulish act.   It caused revulsion in most people who read about it.  It was an execution many noted.  The reason the zoo gave for killing Marius struck just about every ordinary person as bizarre:  He was killed because his genes were too similar to those of other zoo giraffes in a European breeding program.  “He cannot add anything further to the breeding programme that does not already exist,” a European…

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February 13, 2014

From the Silence

Dis Ease Diary

Why has it been so difficult to write in the past month? I can think of all kinds of reasons, none of which seems particularly credible. Perhaps it is three separate infections, nothing much on their own but one after the other, creating iterations and variations on a theme of exhaustion through conditions that are hard to shake. Perhaps it is the deep freeze of late January and early February in Minnesota, when on the day when the temperature reaches the teens, good Minnesotans shed their clothes down to shirtsleeves and enjoy the balmy weather even though it is colder than sin. Or perhaps it is a new phase in the inexorable march of dis ease, a new beginning as I wind down to the inevitable. Illness, winter, dis ease, one is not mutually exclusive of the other, but the energy that each requires compared to the energy that I…

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