United Kingdom a Christian Country?


Posted to Religion on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 08:49:10 AM EST (promoted from Diaries by port1080). RSS.

Everyone's all aflutter across the pond due to Prime Minister David Cameron comment that the UJ should be "more confident about our status as a Christian country".

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Gabriel Garcia Marques Dies; Magical Realists Mourn

Etcetera, Mon Apr 21.


Gabriel Garcia Marques died yesterday at home due to complications of a lung infection. Memorials are being published around the world.

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The Race Card

Etcetera, Sun Apr 20.


Below Average student Brooke Kimbrough blamed her rejection from the University of Michigan on the fact that she is black. Below Average student Brooke Kimbrough decided to do something about it: by holding a press conference and rally at the campus. Below Average student Brooke Kimbrough is also threatening to publish rejection letters sent to other minority students, or some damn thing, until her demands to be including in the upcoming freshman class are granted. Below Average student Brooke Kimbrough claimed she has a 3.6 GPA and a 23 out of 36 on the ACT test; the average U of Michigan accepted student has a 3.85 and a 29 to 33 out of 36 - however, the college is somehow racist. Below Average student Brooke Kimbrough then compared applying to college to leaving a plantation or something like that.

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How Satirical News Becomes Faux News

Media, Wed Apr 16.


If you see it on Facebook, it must be true, right? Unless it has to do with Wal-Mart selling marijuana in Colorado and Washington State, in which case you probably need to check to see who published that story. In this case, National Report published it. National Report, like The Onion, publishes satirical news, except they try somewhat harder to fool their readers. Wikipedia says of them,

"National Report (nationalreport.net) is a satirical website devoted to often subtle parodies of real news which convince the unwary. It is published by Allen Montgomery. Among headline-generating spoofs are a report that Arizona's governor Jan Brewer intended to introduce mandatory gay-to-straight conversion courses into the state's public school system, and a report that fooled researchers at Fox News Channel, in which the President was purported to have announced his intention to spend his own money to keep a Muslim museum open during a government shutdown. Another report that fooled people in Wyoming claimed that a man in Hanna, Wyoming was the first recipient of a RFID chip which, the report claimed, was part of an Obamacare pilot program. A report published by National Report on November 2, 2013 claiming a fictitious Assam Rape Festival created a furore in Indian national and local media. Several newspapers and blogs reported the same."

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End of Days, or Just Tax Day?


Posted to Religion on Mon Apr 14, 2014 at 03:07:31 PM EST (promoted from Diaries by port1080). RSS.

Texas televangelist pastor John Hagee feels SURE that four "blood moon" eclipses (all visible in America) in two years means Jesus comin' soon:

"What is the prophetic significance (of the four blood moons)? Is this the end of the age? ... [Citing Acts 2:19-20,] 'And I will show wonders in Heaven above and signs in the Earth beneath, the sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.' ... I believe that the heavens are God's billboard, that He has been sending signals to planet Earth, and we just haven't been picking them up... God is literally screaming at the world: 'I'm coming soon.'"

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It's the most wonderful time of the year


Posted to Sport on Mon Apr 14, 2014 at 01:23:44 PM EST (promoted from Diaries by port1080). RSS.

NHL Playoffs!

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Marine and Army Re-evaluate Combat Training...


Posted to Legal on Mon Apr 14, 2014 at 08:56:16 AM EST (promoted from Diaries by port1080). RSS.

...for both sexes.

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No, You Can't Get Divorced


Posted to Legal on Mon Apr 14, 2014 at 08:55:36 AM EST (promoted from Diaries by port1080). RSS.

American social conservatives don't just want to stop gay people from getting married, they also want to stop already-married people from getting divorced. With support and funding from Family Research Council and National Organisation for Marriage, "lawmakers in more that a dozen states have introduced bills imposing longer waiting periods before a divorce is granted, mandating counseling courses or limiting the reasons a couple can formally split. States such as Arizona, Louisiana and Utah have already passed such laws, while others such as Oklahoma and Alabama are moving to do so."

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The Art of Writing


Posted to Etcetera on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 12:38:47 PM EST (promoted from Diaries by port1080). RSS.

Handwriting is almost dead. Or is it? We thought with desktops and laptops that handwriting would go away, but now with tablets and smartphones it seems to be coming back. Samsung makes several devices that come with pens. Apps for handwritten note-taking and sketching are a plenty on Apple's app store and Google's play store. There's even products that take your analog writing via an ink pen and transfers it into digital writing. Do you still handwrite? Do you write in cursive? What is your favorite pen[s]? Are you a person that carries an expensive refillable pen, such as something made by Mont Blanc or do you prefer the disposable kind made by Bic or any other company? Gel, rollerball, or ballpoint... or fountain?

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RIP Windows XP


Posted to SciTech on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 08:20:47 AM EST (promoted from Diaries by port1080). RSS.

After 13 years, Microsoft stopped supporting Windows XP on Tuesday.

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Tamiflu not all it was cracked up to be


Posted to SciTech on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 07:59:08 AM EST (promoted from Diaries by port1080). RSS.

Tamiflu, the miracle drug that was supposed to save us from swine flu and bird flu, the drug that enough people hoarded to the point where there were shortages for people who would have been most in need, has been shown to be not as effective as previously thought.

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Fed Worries About 'Too-Low Inflation'


Posted to Etcetera on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 09:36:53 PM EST (promoted from Diaries by port1080). RSS.

"Federal Reserve officials groped for ways to communicate their dissatisfaction with too-low inflation as they prepared to alter their guidance for the likely future path of interest rates at their March meeting. 'A few participants proposed adding new language in which the committee would indicate its willingness to keep rates low if projected inflation remained persistently below the committee's 2 percent longer-run objective,' according to minutes of their March 18-19 meeting released today. That would involve including a 'quantitative element' in the Fed's statement, the minutes showed."

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Could Next 'Lehman Brothers' Be China?


Posted to Business on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 09:36:03 PM EST (promoted from Diaries by port1080). RSS.

John Cassidy in New Yorker magazine worries that China could be headed for its own 2007, with horrible consequences worldwide:

"The worry is that large parts of China now resemble Arizona, Florida, and Nevada circa 2007, when the great Greenspan-Bernanke real-estate bubble was going 'pop.' 'Signs are mounting that the housing market in a number of cities is not just cooling but actually cracking,' Wei Jao, an economist at Société Générale, wrote recently. According to a lengthy report from China in Thursday's F.T., which quoted Jao, developers are already slashing prices by up to forty per cent in selected areas. But that hasn't been sufficient to prevent some of them from having trouble keeping up interest payments on the loans they took out to finance construction. And that, in turn, is raising concerns about the Chinese financial institutions that did much of the lending, such as banks, 'shadow banks,' and trust companies. (Shadow banks are unregulated finance companies that borrow and lend at interest rates higher than those available in the regular banking system.)

"To some observers, particularly fans of Hyman Minsky, the late Keynesian economist, it looks suspiciously like China may be approaching a Minsky moment--that dreadful instant at which most of the participants in the boom recognize that the game is up, credit stops flowing, one or more financial institutions moves to the verge of collapse, and panic ensues. Figures released last month show that credit from China's shadow banks has virtually dried up. In January, about a hundred and sixty billion dollars' worth of new loans were issued through shadow banks; in February, virtually none were."

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Brandeis pressured to un-invite Islamic women's rights activist


Posted to Religion on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 02:49:36 PM EST (promoted from Diaries by port1080). RSS.

Ayaan-Hirsi-Ali has been through a lot: growing up Muslim, being forcibly circumcised at age 5, then forced to marry her cousin.  She ran away from home, wnet to Holland, where she ultimately became an MP in the Dutch parliament.

As an MP, she highlighted the hypocrisy of the European Left for aggressively defending the rights of Muslims while, at the same time, turning a blind eye to the disregard for women's rights within Muslim communities. She started to receive death threats for her outspoken views from 2002, culminating in a note pinned to the corpse of murdered Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh saying she would be next. "Ayaan Hirsi Ali, you will break yourself to pieces on Islam," the letter said. "You, oh America, will go down. You, oh Europe, will go down ... You, oh Netherlands, will go down ... You, oh Hirsi Ali, will go down."

The most vociferous objections came from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, who seem to see Shaytan in every woman they meet.

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High School Sophomore Stabs 20 Near Pittsburgh


Posted to Legal on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 10:26:10 AM EST (promoted from Diaries by port1080). RSS.

"Twenty people were injured, at least nine seriously, when a student at a Pittsburgh-area high school went on a stabbing rampage early on Wednesday, officials said.

"The suspected attacker, identified as a 16-year-old male student at the school, was in police custody, deputy emergency management coordinator for the Westmoreland County, Dan Stevens, told reporters.

"Seven students between the ages of 15 and 17 and one adult were admitted to Forbes Regional Hospital in Monroeville, Pennsylvania, with stab wounds."

"Victims were stabbed in their torso, abdomen, chest and back areas, and two people were sent to surgery immediately after arriving, he said. Those two patients had low blood pressure, he said. A third was being prepared for surgery Wednesday morning, and the rest were being evaluated to see whether surgery was necessary, he said."

(35 comments, 268 words in story) Full Story


"Humane" Executions


Posted to Sport on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 07:18:37 AM EST (promoted from Diaries by port1080). RSS.

We've just learned that North Korea has executed a high-ranking official using a flame thrower. Unlike being burned at the stake, where victims usually die from asphyxiation (Carbon monoxide poisoning), a flame-thrower has a bit of panache.

There are many ways that capital punishment is meted out.

Is there a painless way to execute someone? Should an execution be painless?

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