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Saturday, July 13, 2013

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A Brief and Incomplete History of the Swimsuit

When you squeeze into your Speedo, you're not just baring your skin -you're celebrating centuries of technological breakthroughs.

3rd Century C.E. Sicilian mosaics depict women wearing bikini-like outfits to exercise, but all Roman swimming is done in the nude.

18th Century Women hit the beach in long formless smocks that hide their shapes. Some women sew lead weights in their hems to make sure the fabric doesn't rise and offs a scandalous glimpse of their calves.

1813 The next time you're lugging gear to the beach, be glad you're not living in the 17th or 18th century. Back then, beachgoers used bathing machines to protect their modesty. Swimmers would step fully dressed into horse-drawn cart topped with a hut. As the horse plodded out into the surf, the swimmer would change into his long-sleeved bathing suit. Only when the cart had reached a suitable distance from the shore would the swimmer emerge to frolic. When finished, he'd climb back into the cart and raise a flag to alert the cart's driver he was ready to head in. As the cart approached the beach,  the swimmer would change back into street clothes and emerge on the sand looking dapper. Was this system a lot of trouble? You Bet! But it was a small price to pay to avoid baring the elbow.

1860 English waters banned men from swimming in the buff, giving rise to the striped knit bathing costume.

Mid-19th Century Ladies began splashing around in baggy flannel pants over loose flannel dresses.

1880 The first recorded "bathing beauty" pageant is held is Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Thomas Edison is a judge!
Kellerman later became the first major movie star to do a nude scene.
1907 Australian synchronized swimmer Annette Kellerman appears in Boston wearing a saucy formfitting one-piece suit with a high neck, knee-length shorts, and short sleeves. She is promptly arrested for indecent exposure. Kellerman counters, "I can't swim wearing more stuff than you hang on a clothesline." A judge agrees that she needs a suit that offers "unrestricted movement when swimming."

1912 Australian Fanny Durack wears just such an unrestricted suit while breaking the 100-meter world record and winning the first ever gold in women's Olympic swimming. The fashionable Durack goes on to become the female Michael Phelps of her day; at one point, she held the women's world record in every event from the 100 meters to the mile.

1921 The first edition of what will become the Miss America pageant takes place in Atlantic City. Since illustrators are thought to have inside knowledge of the human form, Norman Rockwell judges the swimsuit competition in the 1920s.
The winner was Margaret Gorman, the only contestant not wearing a sash.
1946 French auto engineer and fashion designer Louis Reard crafts a revealing new two-piece suit he dubs the "bikini" after Bikini Atoll, site of many nuclear tests. When no models agree to wear his creation for its debut, Reard is forced to hire an exotic dancer from a Paris casino. The dancer, Micheline Barnardini, briefly becomes as famous as the swimsuit and receives 50,000 pieces of fan mail.

1956 Speedo debuts its famous tiny racing trunks while sponsoring the Australian swim meet at the Melbourne Olympics. Powered by their skimpy suits, the Aussie men take five of six swimming golds.

1957 Brigitte Bardot popularizes the bikini during the Cannes Film Festival, but it takes a few years for the craze to catch on. Modern Girl magazine dismisses the trend, writing, "It is hardly necessary to waste words over the so-called bikini since it is inconceivable that any girl with tact and decency would ever wear such a thing."

1964 Sports Illustrated debuts its swimsuit issue. Adolescent boys' interest in long-form sports journalism suddenly spikes.
1965 Jodie Foster makes her acting debut as the Coppertone baby.

1966 The first written incidence of "skinny dipping" makes a surprisingly late entry into the English language.

1996 Bangalore, India, hosts the Miss World pageant, but local outrage forces the swimsuit competition to be held in the Seychelles instead.

1999 The Miss America pageant changes its swimsuit rules to ban string bikinis and thongs.

2011 Sick of seeing half-naked tourists, Barcelona bans bikinis on streets that aren't adjacent to the beach. Violators face a 300-euro fine.

Today in History

1099   The Crusaders launch their final assault on Jerusalem.
1534   Ottoman armies capture Tabriz in northwestern Persia.
1558   Led by the court of Egmont, the Spanish army defeats the French at Gravelines, France.
1585   A group of 108 English colonists, led by Sir Richard Grenville, reaches Roanoke Island, North Carolina.
1643   In England, the Roundheads, led by Sir William Waller, are defeated by Royalist troops under Lord Wilmot in the Battle of Roundway Down.
1754   George Washington surrenders Fort Necessity to the French, leaving them in control of the Ohio Valley.
1787   Congress, under the Articles of Confederation, enacts the Northwest Ordinance, establishing rules for governing the Northwest Territory, for admitting new states to the Union and limiting the expansion of slavery.
1798   English poet William Wordsworth visits the ruins of Tintern Abbey.
1832   Henry Schoolcraft discovers the source of the Mississippi River in Minnesota.
1862   Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest defeats a Union army at Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
1863   Opponents of the draft begin three days of rioting in New York City.
1866   The Great Eastern begins a two week voyage to complete a 12-year effort to lay telegraph cable across the Atlantic between Britain and the United States.
1878   The Congress of Berlin divides the Balkans among European powers.
1939   Frank Sinatra records his first song, "From the Bottom of my Heart," with the Harry James Band.
1941   Britain and the Soviet Union sign a mutual aid pact, providing the means for Britain to send war materiel to the Soviet Union.
1954   In Geneva, Great Britain, the Soviet Union, the People's Republic of China and France reach an accord on Indochina, dividing Vietnam into two countries, North and South, along the 17th parallel.
1971   The Army of Morrocco executes 10 leaders accused of leading a revolt.

Non Sequitur


Farmer finally catches potato thief after more than 10 years of surveillance

A German farmer who was fed up with a thief abusing his potato honesty box has caught the culprit after more than 10 years of watching and waiting. German farms often have stands outside where passersby can take produce and put money in an honesty box. But a potato fan in Lower Saxony has been taking large numbers of spuds during each visit and paying next to nothing for over a decade.

Fed up with losing potatoes, for which he charges between €1.50 and €5 per sack depending on weight, but not wanting to relinquish the honesty stand, farmer Friedrich Landsberg, 62, set up three cameras. “You simply can't rely on the honesty of humanity,” he said.

It was not until this week that he had enough evidence to report the culprit to the police. The 59-year-old thief normally wore sunglasses so large that identifying him had proved difficult. His car always remained out of sight, meaning that he could not be traced via its license plate.

On Monday the cameras caught the potato thief taking 19 kilos of potatoes, and putting just 15 cents in the honesty box. A few days before this he was filmed taking 12.5 kilos – a haul that would have cost him around €10 in a shop. Finally, the shots were clear enough to identify the mysterious bandit. Police in the Elze area of the state knocked on his door and he confessed to being the prolific potato thief.

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Masked Semi-Automatic Rifle-Toting Paramilitary Unit Targets Environmental Protesters at Wisconsin Mining Site

paramilitary7 112Actual hired paramilitary "guard" at northern Wisconsin mining site. According to The Chippewa Harold, heavily armed and masked guards have been removed from an exploratory mine in northern Wisconsin, but it appears only temporarily. The use of disguised, camouflaged "security consultants" with high-powered weaponry has raised concerns in the Badger State, as two state legislators officially raised objections to their presence.
Talking Points Memo (TPM) also wrote an article simply entitled, "Rent-a-Paramilitaries Freak Out Wisconsin":
There's been a battle royale up in Wisconsin over an effort to establish a big iron mining operation near Lake Superior, to be owned and operated by a company called Gogebic Taconite. The Republican legislature approved the mine in March over environmentalists’ objections. Some protests have been staged since the operation got started. But people started to get freaked out over the weekend when the company brought in what the Wisconsin State Journal calls “masked security guards who are toting semi-automatic rifles and wearing camouflaged uniforms.”
Gogebic Taconite "is conducting test drillings for an eventual 4½-mile-long open-pit iron ore mine."  Environmental protests have been continuing against the mine, including a June "flash mob" romp through the work site.
TPM Editor Josh Marshall has personally been following the story and identifies the "security" firm as Bulletproof Securities, headquartered in Arizona. Its website, Marshall notes, brags of its role in Mexican border security and lists its capabilities as including:
"BPS has at its disposal the latest cache of specialized equipment for border security operations, not typically found in the private sector. As example, BPS owns heavily armored Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTV’s), Tactical All Terrain Vehicles (T-ATV’s), FLIR (mobile thermal systems), mast equipment (eye in the sky), and many other state-of-the-art assets … The presence of BPS will prevent criminal organizations from posing a threat to your personnel or your mission.”
If your needs are different, Bulletproof can also provide “a QRF (quick reaction force) tactical unit to secure a manufacturing plant during a heated worker strike.” [Wisconsin Governor Scott "Crush the Unions" Walker must be salivating to hire Bulletproof Securities.]
The State of Wisconsin yesterday temporarily forced Bulletproof Securities to leave the mining property because it does not have a state permit. But The Chippewa Herald cites a Gogebic Taconite spokesperson as saying that Bulletproof will be back, and that in the meantime another security (mercenary force) will be hired.
Josh Marshall makes the point: "Now masked guards in camouflage carrying assault rifles do seem a bit more mid-80s Latin American death squad than protecting some mining equipment in Wisconsin."
Marshall is a superb political analyst, but he has his dating of paramilitary units in South America caught in a time warp.  Currently, it is quite common south of the US border for the mining "extraction industry" to use armed guards to scare off and shoot protesters in Latin American nations.  This is particularly true for the relatively large number of mining operations owned by Canadian firms south of the border.
So what is happening in northern Wisconsin with mercenary personnel is not that different from what is happening to locals who see mines as contaminating their drinking water, polluting their environment, and despoiling their land in Latin America.
The only difference is that no one has been shot in the area near Lake Superior by a paramilitary squad, not yet that is

Confused Pastor Calls for Civil Rights Movement to Deprive Gays and Lesbians of Civil Rights

Reverend William Owens of the Coalition of African-American Pastors (CAAP) and the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), is planning a shindig with the Heritage Foundation in October, where bigots can “work together to stop this nonsense.” “This nonsense” being equal standing before the law for gay and lesbian couples.
“The adults are confused and they’re confusing the children,” he said, echoing Pat Robertson, who claims there are no gay people, just confused straight people.
Owens asked, “how can two men rear a child? How can a man be a mother? Tell me that.”
Owens has been told that, but he, like Justice Scalia, who claims same-sex parents are not as good as “traditional” parents, simply refuses to listen.
A report published by the American Academy of Pediatrics fund that,
Many studies have demonstrated that children’s well-being is affected much more by their relationships with their parents, their parents’ sense of competence and security, and the presence of social and economic support for the family than by the gender or the sexual orientation of their parents.
And that’s not all. The authors of the report point to the National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study, which began in 1986. “The NLLFS examines the social, psychological, and emotional development of the children as well as the dynamics of planned lesbian families.”
It turns out, based on the NLLFS, that the children of lesbian mothers,
indicated that they had high levels of social, school/academic, and total competence and fewer social problems, rule-breaking, and aggressive and externalizing behavior compared with their age-matched counterparts.
There are Owens’ answers but he will not acknowledge them because they violate his prior beliefs. Neither will Scalia nor Robertson acknowledge these studies or any study that does not tell them what they want to hear.
So what Owens wants to do, based on belief and pseudoscience of his own, is start a new Civil Rights Movement, one based not on a call for equality but a call for inequality.
You think we did something during the Civil Rights Movement? This is our Civil Rights Movement…We are going to fight to the end, we are not going to give up, we are going to fight like we fought and get civil rights, like we marched for miles and miles and miles, we took the heat, whatever it took, we are going to stand for the family.
But for Owens’ analogy to work, the Civil Rights Movement would have had to have been composed not of African-Americans seeking equality but of whites seeking to keep them from ever obtaining equal rights.
Anti-gay prejudice is not about championing civil rights; therefore there can be no valid comparison of the two. Nobody is seeking to eliminate the family, or to say that opposite sex couples cannot have families. What Owens is talking about is the antithesis of a civil rights movement.
A more apt comparison would be between CAAP and the NSDAP (the National Socialist German Workers Party), otherwise known as the Nazi Party, with gays and lesbians standing in for the Jews, and a gay problem replacing the “Jewish problem.” And like a famous bigot before him, Julius Streicher, Owens is a race-baiter.
The obscenity Owens’ speaks of is based on lies. A lie that gay and lesbian couples are unfit parents; a lie that heterosexuals are better than gays and lesbians; a lie that gays and lesbians can be “reformed”; a lie that gays and lesbians are just confused straight people.
After all, as Pat Robertson deviously argued, you can’t be anti-gay (and therefore a despicable bigot) if there is no such thing as a gay person.
Turns out there is also no such thing as Owens’ so-called movement. As EqualityMatters points out,
1. CAAP Doesn’t Represent The African-American Community
2. CAAP Is A NOM Front Group
3. Owens Is Central To NOM’s Race-Baiting Strategy
You cannot redefine reality to match your prior beliefs and that is at the heart of the Religious Right’s continuing war on Marriage Equality. The cult got away with that in the fourth century when the emperor Constantine mistakenly gave them power. The coercive powers of the state and state-sponsored religion, created a multi-century reign of terror that was ended only by the European Enlightenment.
That’s what Owens’ so-called civil rights movement is all about. Bringing the full and coercive powers of the state, guided by hateful bigots like himself, to bear on the “gay problem.” It has nothing to do with civil rights and everything to do with fascist suppression of the constructed other.
And if the long history of the cult has shown us anything, it won’t end with gays and lesbians. It will not end until all dissenting voices have been silenced and what reigns is not the open debate of Jefferson’s freed minds but the charnel silence of the tomb.

Obama's Economy Shatters Records with 'Huge' Budget Surplus in June

From Politicus USA

Things are looking great for President Obama's economic legacy. Even better than anyone could have hoped, frankly.

On Thursday June 11th, two economic records were set. The first record shattered was the U.S. government posted a 'huge' budget surplus for June, in fact the largest for that month on record at $117 billion.

The second record was the Dow, which rallied above its all-time closing high this morning after Bernake assured investors that the central bank would be keeping stimulus measures in place.

Reuters led with this headline today, "Surprise! Huge US Budget Surplus Shatters Record". Reuters attributed the huge surplus to, "An improving economy and tax hikes enacted earlier in the year led government receipts to rise to $287 billion, up 10 percent from a year earlier."

Debunking the Myth of the Fiscally Responsible repugican

From Forward Progressives

To spend the money Republicans have over the years on extremely bloated programs such as our national defense, while claiming to be fiscally conservative just because they seek to cut programs that help the poor, would be like an someone saying they're tackling their massive debt by cutting out Cheerios from their monthly budget.

They handed over massive tax breaks to the top 2% of Americans, deregulated our financial sector, then when it all fell apart - their answer to fix the mess was blaming people on food stamps and pushing for more tax breaks for the very same people that didn't create jobs with the tax breaks they were given nearly a decade earlier.

There's nothing responsible about that.

So while Republicans might have manipulated their voters into believing that they support the "party for fiscal responsibility," I'll challenge any Republican reading this to show me where a Republican President in the last half century has balanced the budget.

And when they can do that, then I'll be the first one to call Republicans fiscally responsible.

House repugicans Pass Farm Bill That Rewards Corporations While Starving The Poor

hungry-child The only way House repugicans could get the Farm Bill passed was to not just cut food aid for the poor, but to starve them.
The House passed their modified version of the Farm Bill by a vote of 216-208. To show their disdain for the bill, 0 Democrats voted for it. but the Democratic displeasure went beyond no votes.
Democratic Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi blasted her repugican colleagues on the House floor, “The bill we have here, the little we know about it because it emerged in the middle of the night, bears no resemblance to the bill that came out of committee. Actions of the repugican leadership have been disrespectful to the committee process. Actions of the repugican leadership have been disrespectful to the committee process, so don’t hand us the regular order argument. The audacity to split off the nutrition parts of this bill is so stunning, it would be shocking – except this is a house of shocks. I would say it was one of the worst things you’ve done, but there is such stiff competition for that honor that I can’t really fully say that. But when you take food out of the mouths of babies and you prevent a bill from going forward that addresses our food banks and our nutrition needs and the rest for our country, what are you thinking? Or are you thinking? Or are you thinking?”
Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) said, “You have removed food stamps … from this legislation. I don’t know where it is going to go. It looks like it is going to die a slow death. It is despicable. What is it about poor people that you don’t like?”
The repugicans tried to claim that the passage of the farm provisions was done to help family farms, but this Farm Bill is loaded with pork and handouts for the wealthy and corporations. Farmers with incomes over $250,000 will receive one third of the crop insurance money. This repugican House passed windfall for millionaires and corporations comes at a time when net farm income is projected to reach it highest level since 1973.
The only way that John Boehner and Eric Cantor could get this bill passed was to make it even more right wing than the bill that failed the first time. It is beyond comprehension how House repugicans can pat themselves on the back while knowing that they voted for a bill that contains no nutritional funding for seniors, the disabled, and children.
House repugicans aren’t starving able bodied poor people. Forty five percent of food stamp recipients are children. Twenty percent of recipients are disabled, and 8.5% are elderly. These aren’t healthy working age adults mooching off the system. They are the most vulnerable members of our society.
The cruelty demonstrated by House repugicans would be unfathomable if it wasn’t repeated so frequently. Attacking the poor is what these House repugicans do.
This isn’t a matter of fiscal conservatism. If it was, this bill wouldn’t have been loaded with special interest pork. The repugican attempts to gut the food stamp program are designed to redistribute wealth upwards. They have decided to take resources from children who need food, and redistribute them to millionaires and corporations.
The House repugicans’ redistribution of wealth to the wealthy will continue until Democrats are returned to the majority. If you still have the strength after enduring John Boehner’s starvation diet, be sure to vote in 2014.
Your vote is the key to making this insanity stop.

Ob-Gyns Tell the Texas Legislature Get ‘Out of Our Exam Rooms’

ACOGThe American Congress of Obstetricians & Gynecologists (ACOG) called out the Texas repugicans laws for the female-harming bills they are, and stated that these bills are all about interfering with the practice of medicine. Fed up with the bad, inaccurate science repugicans are using to hawk their bad anti-choice bills, the harm these bills inflict upon women’s health, the lies about fetal pain, and the interference in medical care, the ACOG finally spoke up. They’d like very much for Texas repugicans to get out of their exam rooms. Well, they nicely put it “all politicians” but since repugicans are the legislators behind HB2 and SB1, they are the folks getting in between a doctor and their patient and mandating what should happen in an exam room. Thus, the ACOG is directing these comments to Texas repugicans, even if they are too polite to say so.
The following ACOG statement was published as an advocacy ad in the July 9, 2013, print and online subscription editions of the Austin American Statesman:

All eyes are on Texas again this week as the fate of a far-reaching measure to restrict abortions and close many abortion facilities faces its last days of debate. Unlike almost any other issue, abortion generates strong feelings on all sides. This is true within our own organization, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), and we respect that our 58,000 members have deeply held personal beliefs on this topic.
While we can agree to disagree about abortion on ideological grounds, we must draw a hard line against insidious legislation that threatens women’s health like Texas HB2 (House Bill 2) and SB1 (Senate Bill 1). That’s why we’re speaking to the false and misleading underlying assumptions of this and other legislation like it: These bills are as much about interfering with the practice of medicine and the relationship a patient has with her physician as they are about restricting women’s access to abortion. The fact is that these bills will not help protect the health of any woman in Texas. Instead, these bills will harm women’s health in very clear ways.
We’re setting the record straight, loudly and unequivocally, with these simple messages to all politicians:
Get Out of Our Exam Rooms
Physicians from all specialties insist that there must be only two people in our exam rooms: the patient and the doctor. The sanctity of the patient-physician relationship is central to good medicine, a critical tenet embraced by ACOG and other medical societies such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the American College of Physicians. These organizations recently wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine:
“Legislators, regrettably, often propose new laws or regulations for political or other reasons unrelated to the scientific evidence and counter to the health care needs of patients. Legislative mandates to the practice of medicine do not allow for the infinite array of exceptions where the mandate may be unnecessary, inappropriate, or even harmful to an individual patient. …Lawmakers would also do well to remember that patient autonomy as well as individual needs, values, and preferences must be respected.”1
Facts Are Important
Facts are very important, especially when discussing the health of women and the American public. And a lot of “facts” are being asserted in this debate. Truth be told, the scientific underpinnings of this legislation are unsound. First, there’s the 20-week ban, which is based on the argument that a fetus can feel pain. Recent and rigorous scientific reviews have concluded that there is no evidence of fetal perception of pain until 29 weeks at the earliest2 (third trimester is 28-40 weeks).
These bills would also impose a number of requirements for abortion facilities that are touted as necessary to ensure the health of the woman, but are, in fact, unnecessary and unsupported by scientific evidence. These proposed requirements, concerning door width and other irrelevant issues, would only make it extremely difficult or impossible for most clinics, including clinics that primarily provide important non-abortion well-woman health care services such as mammograms and prenatal care to low-income women, to stay open. For example, the bills would require physicians who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles and allow abortions only in clinics that meet surgical clinic standards, imposing government regulations on abortion care that are much stricter than for colonoscopy and other similar low-risk procedures. The fact is that abortion is one of the safest medical procedures, with minimal—less than 0.5%—risk of major complications that might need hospital care.
Women Can Make Their Own Medical Decisions Without State Interference
Texas women are renowned for their strength, courage, and smarts. Women across this nation are completely capable of making their own medical decisions with their physicians, as they make many other important decisions every day for themselves, their families, and their businesses. Women do not need—or want—any government to make medical decisions for them.
Women must have access to all needed health care—from mammograms to prenatal visits to reproductive care—based on scientific facts, not political ideology. ACOG opposes Texas HB2 and SB1, which jeopardize women’s health care and interfere with medical practice and the patient-physician relationship. Politicians are not elected to, nor should they, legislate the practice of medicine or step foot into our exam rooms.
Jeanne A. Conry, MD, PhD
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Lisa M. Hollier, MD, MPH
Chair, District XI (Texas)
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

Women’s reproductive rights have come under a nearly unprecedented attack, not only in Texas but throughout the United States,” said ACOG Executive Vice President Hal C. Lawrence, III, MD. “It’s a pivotal moment in time, and it’s critical that ACOG clearly and loudly stand up for the rights of women to make personal and informed choices about their health care in consultation with their physicians. Women must have access to quality care without interference from politicians. Anything less would be a disservice to our patients.”
It’s about time for Doctors to speak out against these egregious and damaging laws that harm women’s health, interfere in patient-doctor relationships and do nothing other than appease a bunch of misinformed zealots. These laws certainly won’t stop abortions; they’ll just stop legal access to safe abortions.
If you don’t belong to ACOG and/or your specialty is not women’s health, stop putting yourself in charge of American women’s health care decisions.

Come and Take It uterus tees to support Texas Planned Parenthood

Kyle from Bumperactive sez, "Support the thousands of Texans standing for Women's Reproductive Freedom at the State Capitol this morning with a 'Come And Take It' Uterus tee, printed by Austin printshop Bumperactive and designed by liberal Texas troublemakers Cole Latimer and Carrie Collier-Brown. $12.00 from the sale of each $25.00 benefits Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas and The Texas Democratic Party in an equal split. The design is riff on the famous flag of the Texian Settlers in the first battle of Texas Revolution. The imprint is a one-color screen-print on a Texas Orange pre-shrunk Gildan tee." Come And Take It

Lush Dimbulb Claims Exercise is A Left Wing Conspiracy

michelle-obama-exercise On his hate show, Lush Dimbulb claimed that diet and exercise are part of left wing conspiracy that is being carried out by Liberals.
Audio via Media Matters:
Transcript from Lush Dimbulb:
DIMBULB: It’s all political. It’s all rooted in the fact that I distrust liberals, and every one of these groups is a liberal group that is doing what they’re doing as a way of eating. This is how they live. They live on grants. And I happen to know this, too. Ask anybody that does a newsletter about the stock market, and they will tell you the best way to goose subscriptions is to forecast a disaster, to forecast a crash, to forecast crisis. Well, the food Nazi people have figured this out. X is gonna kill you, and you’ve got their attention. And maybe you’ll donate to their cause. And maybe you’ll become an evangel and you’ll start telling everybody else to stop doing that stuff and maybe these people have got something against the meat industry for political reasons and they’re just trying to make you think that they’re independently unbiased, all they’re interested in is your health.
Remember all this Oprah business and these people trying to get everybody hog-tied into not eating beef for a while on the basis it was gonna destroy the planet, that eating beef resulted in or caused all of these cattle to graze, and they were eating all the grass, and somehow this was causing global warming. Don’t tell me this stuff is not political. It’s all political. All of science is become politicized. All of education’s become politicized. All of the news media’s political. You point to me something that isn’t. The Catholic Church, in certain elements, has become politicized. It was taken in by the notion that welfare states equal charity, and socialism equals charity. So they became big believers in that stuff. I mean, you can’t avoid it.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest is succeeding in banning coconut oil, which is one of the most healthful oils you can consume, and they won’t let you buy it. And all these people have to do is come up with a logo, get a fax machine, fax out a press release, the media will cover it because they will report crisis and panic and impending disaster and doom. They never tell you when an airplane lands safely. It’s no big deal. I never avoided fast food, and there has been a movement against that. You take your pick. Exercise, ditto. And look at all the conflicting evidence there is about exercise.
All I’ve done is live. I didn’t even go in for this moderation business, folks. If I like something, I like it, until I get tired of it, and I move on to something else that I like. I’m not advocating replicate me, don’t misunderstand, I’m just telling you that I just know how much better everybody would be if they understood that everything like this, that all of this originates from people of a left-wing political persuasion. And of course they’ll tell you that they’re just interested in compassion and helping people and improving people’s lives and all of that, and I would contend to you that that’s the least of what they end up doing. Anyway, forget all that ’cause I know that it’s probably thinking that I can’t bring up anything without adding politics to it, but I’m telling you it’s undeniable.
Healthy foods and exercise are part of Dimbulb’s vast left wing conspiracy, but the problem is that Rush never explains what evil thing the left is trying to accomplish. Evil First Lady Obama wants kids to exercise so that they are healthier. The repugicans are outraged by the fact that anyone would dare tell their little bouncing case of morbid obesity that it might be better for them if they put down the chips and went outside to play for an hour.
If the wingnutst want to sit around and eat themselves to death, the country might be better off if we let them do it. It is ironic that the same people who swear to repeal Obamacare are the ones would benefit the most from it. The right is ignoring the fact that their opposition to healthy eating and exercise is setting themselves up for several preexisting conditions that would not be covered under the totally private healthcare system that they dream of.
I don’t know what sort of “research” Limbaugh has been looking at, but scientists still believe that exercise is good for the human body. Americans are exercising more, but they are still gaining weight because their diets are horrible. There is no conflicting evidence. Exercise is good for people, but it is most effective when paired with a healthy diet.
The repugicans will oppose anything, including the common sense behind fitness and nutrition. It is almost as if Lush Dimbulb is trying to kill his own audience one piece of bad advice at a time.

The truth be told


Obese dads pass on predisposition to obesity and metabolic disorders to their kids

If you are obese and hope to be a father, here’s another reason to lose weight: your children and grandchildren may inherit your waistline or metabolic disorders. That’s because scientists have discovered in mice that [...]

Why Is Australia The Happiest Place On Earth?

For the third year in a row, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has ranked Australia as the happiest place out of 36 industrialized nations in its survey. So what makes life Down Under happy?

Sad music might actually evoke positive emotions reveals a new study by Japanese researchers published in the open-access journal Frontiers in Psychology. The findings help to explain why people enjoy listening to sad music, say [...]

A Brief Guide To Arabic Scripts And Calligraphy

There are several different types of script, but just a handful of basic ones from which the entire Arabic language stems. For instance, the universal Arabic typeface on computers is technically called Naskh.

The oldest script, meanwhile, is known as Kufic; typically, scripts that differ in shape and size can be from entirely different time periods. Learn more about the language's roots.

Toddler Buys Car While Playing with Dad's Phone

Don't give your smartphone to anyone that you don't trust with your money. Paul Stoute of Portland, Oregon found that out when his 2-year old daughter Sorella used the eBay app on his phone to purchase a 1962 Austin Healey Sprite:
“She decided to open the eBay app, and started clicking around and one thing led to another and we own a car,” he told KOIN 6 News, laughing.
Mom and Dad had an “initial panic,” he said. “‘What do we do? We can’t really afford it’ kind of thing.”
But they decided to keep it.

House Arrest on the Street

Domenico Codispoti is an Italian man under house arrest for a variety of crimes, including petty theft and drug dealing. Signor Codispoti, 48, is homeless.

Every night at 9pm, he settles down in front of number 22 Via Vittor Pisani in Milan and arranges his blankets and sleeping bag. He isn't allowed to move until 7am the next morning. Police patrols check after sunset to make sure he's "at home."

"I have always done my stealing at night," he says. "That's why the court gave me this sentence. Since I don't have a house, there was no other solution left. During the night I can't move, I have to stay here, stuck on this sidewalk."

The unusual punishment was first imposed on Codispoti in 2006, when he was sentenced to two years of surveillance and house arrest. After a few more run-ins with the law, Codispoti's sentence was extended. He must now sleep in this particular spot near Milan's Central Station until April 2014.

Power Company Wants to Add Charges for Solar Users

Arizona Public Service Co. will file a request today with the Arizona Corporation Commission to add a surcharge to customers who generate their own electricity with solar panels. The power company's proposal has two possible formulas to use for the extra charge, which are estimated to add between $50 to more than $100 to a solar customer's monthly bill. The reason is to offset the costs of maintaining the power grid.
APS officials said solar customers are not paying enough for the services they get from the power grid, which enables them to get electricity at night when solar panels don’t generate power and balance their household energy needs during the day when their solar-panel output and home demand don’t match up.

The change would only affect new solar customers, not those that already have solar on their homes, and would significantly reduce the savings associated with generating power using rooftop systems.
On the one hand, maintaining the power grid is a necessary service. But then you look at the details of the power company's reasoning. The system in place now allows solar customers who generate more electricity than they need to send electricity to the power company, which pays for it in kind, by crediting customers on their electric bills. For each kilowatt hour a solar customer sends to the grid, they are discounted one kilowatt hour from their bill. Therefore, generating extra power during the daylight hours helps to pay for a household's use of power at night.
APS charges its customers between about 9 cents to 17 cents per kilowatt-hour of electricity, with prices increasing the more electricity a customer uses. Solar customers tend to be more affluent, with larger homes that use more electricity, so the average price they pay for a kilowatt-hour is about 15.5 cents, APS officials said. That means that when they get a credit for a kilowatt-hour of electricity from solar, the credit is worth about 15.5 cents.

APS officials said it is unfair to pay those customers a 15.5-cent credit when the utility could contract to buy solar power for 8 to 9 cents per kilowatt-hour from large power plants.
So the more they charge a customer, the higher the reimbursement rate, and that's not fair? The idea behind charging more for higher-use customers is already solved for solar users, because they take less power from the grid. Isn't that what the graduated pricing is supposed to encourage?  More



Earth News

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Astronomical News

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A planet located about 63 light-years away may not be much like Earth, but it does have one feature that's familiar -- it’s blue.

Lionfish expedition: down deep is where the big, scary ones live

Last month, the first expedition to use a deep-diving submersible to study the Atlantic Ocean lionfish invasion found something very disturbing – at 300 feet deep, there were still significant populations of these predatory fish, [...]

Curious hawk discovered in classroom

Authorities were called to a San Diego school after a hawk was found injured inside a classroom. Authorities were contacted after a custodian discovered the hawk in a classroom at Grant Elementary School in Mission Hills.

The hawk flew into the classroom through an open door or window just before 1pm on Wednesday, but it had apparently hurt itself after crashing into a closed window when trying to fly out. "I left it open for lunch. When I came back, he was inside," said custodian Didier Campbell, who has worked at the school for 30 years.

Campbell said, "It's scary because I was trying to go make it go to the door and I scared and spooked it. And it backed up and just flew straight into it (the window). And it was like a real big crash. It fell and it was knocked out for a while."

Patti Hyman, a volunteer with Project Wildlife and San Diego Bird Rescue, entered the classroom with a net, trying to help the hawk, but the bird flew away through an open window. She was happy that the hawk was able to fly away and that the classroom was empty. "I think that would have really been pretty stressful on the bird had there been a lot of people in there," Hyman said.

There's a news video here.

Monkey has become regular visitor at Mumbai swimming pool

Swimmers at a municipal pool in the Mumbai suburb of Mulund have been seeing an unlikely visitor recently.

Every day for the past week, the primate has been showing up at the Kalidas Swimming Pool at around 7am, swimming without a worry for about an hour, much to the astonishment of regulars. It doesn't bother other swimmers or jostle for space on the diving board. It usually stays away from the crowd, swimming across the breadth of the pool.

The monkey created quite a stir the first time it turned up and took a dive - some children jumped out of the pool - but now members have grown fond of it. For a couple of days, the facility's caretakers tried to scare the monkey away, but it would return for its hourly swim the next morning.

The management finally decided to leave the eviction task to the pros. "We have informed the forest department, and they will take care of the monkey," said the pool supervisor, Milind Bhingarde. In the meantime, the monkey has become a star attraction.

Animal Pictures