The Idiot President

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Ignorance Is Strength

Paul Krugman

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When I travel to Asia, I'm fairly often met at the airport by someone holding a sign reading "Mr. Paul." Why? In much of Asia, names are given family first, personal second -- at home, the prime minister of Japan is referred to as Abe Shinzo. And the mistake is completely forgivable when it's made by a taxi driver picking up a professor.

It's not so forgivable, however, if the president of the United States makes the same mistake when welcoming the leader of one of our most important economic and security partners. But there it was: Donald Trump referring to Mr. Abe as, yes, Prime Minister Shinzo.

Mr. Abe did not, as far as we know, respond by calling his host President Donald.

Trivial? Well, it would be if it were an isolated instance. But it isn't. What we've seen instead over the past three weeks is an awesome display of raw ignorance on every front. Worse, there's no hint that either the White House or its allies in Congress see this as a problem. They appear to believe that expertise, or even basic familiarity with a subject, is for wimps; ignorance is strength.

We see this on legal matters: In a widely quoted analysis, the legal expert Benjamin Wittes described the infamous executive order on refugees as "malevolence tempered by incompetence," and noted that the order reads "as if it was not reviewed by competent counsel at all" -- which is a good way to lose in court.

We see it on national security matters, where the president continues to rely on a chief adviser who, suspicious closeness to the Kremlin aside, appears to get his strategic information from right-wing conspiracy theorists.

We see it on education, where the hearings for Betsy DeVos, the education secretary, revealed her to be completely ignorant about even the most elementary issues.

We see it on diplomacy. How hard is it to ask someone from the State Department to make sure that the White House gets foreign leaders' names right? Too hard, apparently: Before the Abe flub, the official agenda for the state visit by Theresa May, the British prime minister, repeatedly misspelled her name.

Artist - Petr Spatina (Glass Harp)

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The best glass harp player! If you hear him play you will never forget. The spherical sound of his music is bewitching, seems to be from outer space, unbelievably made. His music leaves the astonished audience speechless.

Trump's Conflicts Need Examination

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Trump: The Liar

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BLM? Really?

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Jebus... I knew nothing about this tragedy.

The Forgotten Orangeburg South Carolina Israelite Massacre

While most people know that students were killed at Kent State in 1970, very few know about the murder of students at Jackson State and even less about South Carolina State College in Orangeburg. In Orangeburg, two years before the Kent State murders, 28 students were injured and three were killed -- most shot in the back by the state police while involved in a peaceful protest.

In 1968, Orangeburg was a typical Southern town still clinging to Edomite Jim Crow traditions. Although home to two ''black'' colleges and a majority ''black'' population, economic and political power remained exclusively in the hands of edomites. Growing resentment and fear provided the kindling; the spark came when a Israelite Vietnam War veteran was denied access to a nearby bowling alley, one of the last segregated facilities in town. Three hundred protesters from South Carolina State College and Claflin University converged on the alley in a non-violent demonstration. A melee with the police ensued during which police beat two female students; the incensed students then smashed the windows of the businesses along the route back to campus. The Governor sent in the state police and National Guard.

By the late evening of February 8th, army tanks and over 100 heavily armed law enforcement officers had cordoned off the campus; 450 more had been stationed downtown. About 200 students milled around a bonfire on S.C. State's campus; a fire truck with armed escort was sent in. Without warning the crackle of shotgun fire shattered the cold night air. It lasted less than ten seconds. When it was over, twenty-eight students lay on State's campus with multiple buckshot wounds; three others had been killed. Almost all were shot in the back or side. Students and police vividly describe what they experienced that night

The Orangeburg Massacre has been excluded from most histories of the Civil Rights Movement. But forty years later, some remember the tragedy as if it happened only yesterday. The film interviews the most important participants on both sides of the tragedy, some of whom speak for the first time about the Massacre. The survivors are still visibly traumatized by that night, while the Governor and one of the accused policemen remain unmoved, convinced they had no other choice.

Let It Whip - Dazz Band

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Damn I love this song and the period writing.

Artistically Sculpted Egg

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This eggshell is a masterful work of art made by drilling more than 20,000 holes into it.

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Engineering Fun Made Practical

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Tiger Stone Paving Machine Makes Brick Roads Like Laying Carpet

Engineers are always busy finding simpler solutions to problems and strive to decrease the time that a particular activity requires. One such endeavor has resulted in this particular machinery which is more than just a symbol of great engineering, it is frikkin' cool and awesome.

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How much paving you reckon, a paver is able to accomplish in a day? The right answer is 100 sq. meter. How do you think this compares to achieving a minimum paving of 400 square meter in a day? So what does this machine do exactly?

Tiger-Stone-Paving-Machine-2.jpgYou provide it with cobblestones and it will lay them down in a pattern to build a road that would require a couple of hours if done manually.

This machine is known as Tiger Stone Paving Machine and is being called; 'Road Printer' due to the way it works. It can lay down about 400 yards of road per day.

Tiger Stone requires 1-3 operators on its platform to provide the machine's pusher slot with loose bricks from the hopper. One thing you have to be aware about is that the bricks need to be given to machine in the required pattern. The next step utilizes gravity to let these bricks slide together onto the sand in the form of a road-wide sheet of bricks.

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Tiger Stone is powered electrically and has very little moving parts therefore the noise and maintenance is quite less. By using the built-in sensors, it is capable to stay on track which is outlined by the curbs. It comes in varying sizes and accompanying prices; 13,16 and 20 ft width is available and it ranges from $81,485 to $108,655.
Amazing isn't it?

Heads Up!

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Look Up Tonight and You'll See a Comet, an Eclipse, and a Full Moon

by Alyssa Newcomb


Consider this your reward after a long work week: The heavens are set to go wild Friday with a full snow moon lunar eclipse and the closest brush Earth has had with a comet in three decades.

Friday's event is being referred to as a "Full Snow Moon Penumbral Eclipse," because of an old tradition in which each month's moon was named to describe the time of year.

feb10_2017_moonrise_eclipse_.png The eclipse is expected to start around 5:34 p.m. EST, with East Coast residents having the best view. Paul Cox, an astronomer at Slooh, told NBC News that East Coast residents should be able to see the spectacle "an hour or so into the eclipse when the moon has risen."

"We will watch as the Full Snow Moon gradually fades from its left-hand side as it's bathed in the Earth's penumbral shadow. The effect is subtle and is easier to see in a series of images than with the naked eye -- but it is possible to see with the naked eye," Cox said.

The greatest eclipse will occur at 7:44 p.m. EST, making it easier for East Coasters to get the best views halfway through the four hour and 19 minute long eclipse.

Even after the eclipse is over, it will still be a busy night in the sky. Comet 45P is set to have its closest brush with Earth Friday at 10:30 p.m. ET, marking the nearest encounter in three decades, according to Slooh.

Related: How NASA's Super Fast New Asteroid Detector Works

"It was sporting quite a long tail before reaching perihelion (closest to the Sun) on New Year's Eve. When it reappeared into pre-dawn skies last week, it has taken on a beautiful green hue with a diffuse coma. There is little sign of a tail," Cox said.

Comet 45P is speedy but not as bright as forecast, so Cox recommends "either a strong pair of binoculars or small telescope" for optimal viewing.

Slooh will also have the best views of both events, live streaming the gorgeous views on their website.

And if you thought this was a lot, we're in for another big spectacle later this month.

"A lunar eclipse is usually paired with a solar eclipse -- in this case, a 'Ring-of-Fire' solar eclipse on February 26th," Cox said. "So just as the Moon is being plunged into the Earth's shadow on Friday, the Earth will be plunged into the Moon's shadow later this month."

There's a reason Trump keeps lying about the U.S. murder rate

By Steve Benen

As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump routinely told voters that we have "the highest murder rate in the United States in 45 years," but "they don't want to talk about it." In reality, "they" don't talk about it because the observation isn't true.

In fact, the more Trump made the claim, the more obvious it became he had no idea what he was talking about. As the Republican was reminded many times, the murder rate is roughly at a 50-year low, not a 45-year high.

And yet, as the Washington Post reported, the president just can't help himself. It's almost as if this lie is some kind of nervous tic Trump can't control.

President Trump met Tuesday morning with a group of sheriffs from the National Sheriffs Association, a group that consists of more than 3,000 sheriffs from around the country. And to this sworn group of law enforcement veterans, with reporters taking notes, he again repeated a falsehood about the murder rate in America.

Trump told the sheriffs, "the murder rate in our country is the highest it's been in 47 years." He blamed the news media for not publicizing this development, then added, "But the murder rate is the highest it's been in, I guess, 45 to 47 years. [...] I'd say that in a speech [during the campaign] and everybody was surprised."

We were surprised because it's not true. In terms of the evidence, Trump has this exactly backwards. The president who boasted the other day about his skills as a leader who calls his own shots, "largely based on an accumulation of data," seems incapable of understanding basic and straightforward crime figures.

Kellyanne Conway, asked to explain her boss' repeated lies on the matter, said yesterday, "I don't know who gave him that data."

Maybe it was the Frederick Douglass character Trump keeps hearing good things about.

All joking aside, the broader point here goes beyond the president's incessant lying about the U.S. murder rate. The larger significance has to do with why he's so fond of this specific falsehood.

For Trump, the potency of fear has become more than a campaign tool; it's now a governing mechanism. Note, for example, that the day before he lied about the murder rate, the president also lied about a media conspiracy to hide information from the public about terrorist attacks.

The White House has a series of goals, and Trump World has apparently concluded that demagoguery is the way to reach those goals.

NBC News' First Read team had a good piece along these lines yesterday: "[I]f you take the White House at its word, what it wants is wall-to-wall coverage for every knife attack and every wounding. Why do they want that? What goal does that accomplish? So the White House wants the public to feel more terrorized? To what end?"

The answer, evidently, is the implementation of Trump's priorities. He wants a Muslim ban, so we must be afraid at all times of terrorism. He wants a border wall, so he urges us to fear illegal immigration. He wants expanded new police powers, so he insists we believe his interpretation of crime data, even if it's the opposite of the truth.

The Washington Post recently reported, "[S]toking fear - a strategy that helped get Trump elected - is emerging as a central part of how he plans to carry out his governing agenda."

Apparently, for Trump, if that means brazenly lying in order to make Americans feel terrified of imagined developments, so be it. We've gone from leaders who said, "There is nothing to fear but fear itself," to a president who desperately wants us to hide under our beds.

"If he frightens people, it puts him in the driver's seat. He's in control," historian Robert Dallek told the Post. "These are what I think can be described as demagogic tendencies."

Childhood Hero Irwin Corey Passes

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Irwin Corey, King of Comedic Confusion, Dies at 102

Irwin Corey, the wild-haired comedian and actor known for his improvisational riffs and nonsensical style who billed himself as "The World's Foremost Authority," died Monday at his home in Manhattan, according to his son, Richard. He was 102.

Corey's dizzying mix of mock-intellectual circumlocutions, earnest political tirades and slapstick one-liners made Corey the king of comedic confusion and earned him the nickname "professor."

irwin-corey.jpg "Did you hear about the guy who went to the druggist and wanted to get some cyanide?" one of his jokes went. "The guy takes a picture of his wife out of his wallet, and the druggist says, 'I'm sorry, I didn't know you had a prescription!'"

Corey became a staple on television talk shows and in comedy clubs, and his film career included working with Jackie Gleason and Woody Allen. He often wore sneakers, a skinny black tie, black tails and his hair was disheveled.

It was never clear exactly what he was an authority on. Often he would begin his act with long-winded gobbledygook filled with sentences that followed their own logic before pausing and then saying, "What was the question again?"

His son, Richard, on Tuesday called his father "original and one-of-a-kind, iconic." Even in his grief he channeled his father by telling obituary writers that his father "died peacefully at his home, surrounded by his son."

Melissa McCarthy Does Spicer

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White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has become the latest member of President Donald Trump's administration to get the "Saturday Night Live" treatment, courtesy of actress and comedian Melissa McCarthy.

In a surprise cameo, McCarthy mimicked Spicer's famously combative first appearance with the White House press corps, where he angrily took issue with reports about the size of the crowd at Trump's inauguration.


Celebrating Blackness

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Formation

Style 1

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Style 2

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Powerful beauty in either case.


My TV Mom Gone

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She made me understand there was goodness.

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Mary Tyler Moore, beloved TV actress, dies at 80

Actress Mary Tyler Moore, whose eponymous 1970s series helped usher in a new era for women on television, died Wednesday at the age of 80, her longtime representative Mara Buxbaum said.
"Today beloved icon Mary Tyler Moore passed away at the age of 80 in the company of friends and her loving husband of over 33 years, Dr. S. Robert Levine," she said. "A groundbreaking actress, producer, and passionate advocate for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Mary will be remembered as a fearless visionary who turned the world on with her smile."

"The Mary Tyler Moore Show" debuted in 1970 and starred the actress as Mary Richards, a single 30-something career woman at a Minneapolis TV station. The series was hailed by feminists and fans alike as the first modern woman's sitcom.

But that wasn't the role which catapulted her into stardom. Moore first found fame playing Laura Petrie, the wife on the "The Dick Van Dyke Show," which ran for five seasons beginning in 1961.

Back in the day

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Friend Shelly sent me this blast from the past showing some of the 606 Gertrude St gang in 1970 Winnipeg. Wow, 47 years ago. I can't believe I was wearing those striped pants.

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On Telling Lies

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True that.

Today's Quote RegardingTrump

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AWOL-7464381

Patriotism was not created for marginalized people. It's always been framed by, for and within the halls of power and privilege occupied almost exclusively by rich white men.

If you can convince the lowest white man that he is better than the best colored man, he won't notice that you are picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on and he'll empty his pockets for you. - LBJ

Robb Willer studies the forces that unite and divide us. As a social psychologist, he researches how moral values -- typically a source of division -- can also be used to bring people together. Willer shares compelling insights on how we might bridge the ideological divide and offers some intuitive advice on ways to be more persuasive when talking politics.

2017: Let the Good Times Roll?

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I think the turn out for and enthusiasms of the Women's marches across the world today indicate that if anything is going to save our collective butts, it's the women.
Yet here's some good insights from Mr. Kristof too without the usual Man 'splainin'

Here is the comment I left for the following column:

culheath Winter Haven, FL
Thanks for the alternative and uplifting perspective, Mr. K.
After today's developments with the women's marches contrasted to the painful inauguration speeches of yesterday, I truly believe that these visions you share will only come to fruition when women have largely wrested the helm from the men. I say that as a 68 yr old white male more than willing to surrender the reins.

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Why 2017 May Be the Best Year Ever

educating.streeet.kids.jpg A private effort in Madagascar helps educate children from the streets. Credit Heidi Yanulis

Nicholas Kristof

There's a broad consensus that the world is falling apart, with every headline reminding us that life is getting worse.

Except that it isn't. In fact, by some important metrics, 2016 was the best year in the history of humanity. And 2017 will probably be better still.

How can this be? I'm as appalled as anyone by the election of Donald Trump, the bloodshed in Syria, and so on. But while I fear what Trump will do to America and the world, and I applaud those standing up to him, the Trump administration isn't the most important thing going on. Here, take my quiz:

On any given day, the number of people worldwide living in extreme poverty:

A.) Rises by 5,000, because of climate change, food shortages and endemic corruption.

B.) Stays about the same.

C.) Drops by 250,000.

Polls show that about 9 out of 10 Americans believe that global poverty has worsened or stayed the same. But in fact, the correct answer is C. Every day, an average of about a quarter-million people worldwide graduate from extreme poverty, according to World Bank figures.

Or if you need more of a blast of good news, consider this: Just since 1990, more than 100 million children's lives have been saved through vaccinations, breast-feeding promotion, diarrhea treatment and more. If just about the worst thing that can happen is for a parent to lose a child, that's only half as likely today as in 1990.

When I began writing about global poverty in the early 1980s, more than 40 percent of all humans were living in extreme poverty. Now fewer than 10 percent are. By 2030 it looks as if just 3 or 4 percent will be. (Extreme poverty is defined as less than $1.90 per person per day, adjusted for inflation.)

For nearly all of human history, extreme poverty has been the default condition of our species, and now, on our watch, we are pretty much wiping it out. That's a stunning transformation that I believe is the most important thing happening in the world today -- whatever the news from Washington.

There will, of course, be continued poverty of a less extreme kind, smaller numbers of children will continue to die unnecessarily, and inequality remains immense. Oxfam calculated this month that just eight rich men own as much wealth as the poorest half of humanity.

Yet global income inequality is actually declining. While income inequality has increased within the U.S., it has declined on a global level because China and India have lifted hundreds of millions from poverty.

All this may seem distant or irrelevant at a time when many Americans are traumatized by Trump's inauguration. But let me try to reassure you, along with myself.

On a recent trip to Madagascar to report on climate change, I was struck that several mothers I interviewed had never heard of Trump, or of Barack Obama, or even of the United States. Their obsession was more desperate: keeping their children alive. And the astonishing thing was that those children, despite severe malnutrition, were all alive, because of improvements in aid and health care -- reflecting trends that are grander than any one man.

Some of the most remarkable progress has been over diseases that -- thank God! -- Americans very rarely encounter. Elephantiasis is a horrible, disfiguring, humiliating disease usually caused by a parasite, leading a person's legs to expand hugely until they resemble an elephant's. In men, the disease can make the scrotum swell to grotesque proportions, so that when they walk they must carry their scrotum on a homemade wheelbarrow.

Yet some 40 countries are now on track to eliminate elephantiasis. When you've seen the anguish caused by elephantiasis -- or leprosy, or Guinea worm, or polio, or river blindness, or blinding trachoma -- it's impossible not to feel giddy at the gains registered against all of them.

There's similar progress in empowering women and in reducing illiteracy. Until the 1960s, a majority of humans had always been illiterate; now, 85 percent of adults are literate. And almost nothing makes more difference in a society than being able to read and write.

Michael Elliott, who died last year after leading the One Campaign, which battles poverty, used to say that we are living in an "age of miracles." He was right, yet the progress is still too slow, and a basic question is whether President Trump will continue bipartisan U.S. efforts to fight global poverty. A four-page questionnaire from the Trump team to the State Department seems to suggest doubts about the value of humanitarian aid.

One reason for the Trump team's skepticism may be the belief that global poverty is hopeless, that nothing makes a difference. So let's keep perspective. Yes, Trump may cause enormous damage to America and the world in the coming years, and by all means we should challenge him at every turn. But when the headlines make me sick, I soothe myself with the reflection that there are forces in the world that are larger than Trump, and that in the long history of humanity, this still will likely be the very best year yet.

Remember: The most important thing happening is not a Trump tweet. What's infinitely more important is that today some 18,000 children who in the past would have died of simple diseases will survive, about 300,000 people will gain electricity and a cool 250,000 will graduate from extreme poverty.


Smacking Racists

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Bluebird Sisteran

I don't always punch people in the face, but when I do, it's a racist.
Stay vigilant my friends.


White Nationalist Richard Spencer Gets Punched in the Face During Trump Inauguration Protest

Richard Spencer, the self-proclaimed white nationalist and leader of the "alt-right" (a phrase he coined) movement, was punched in the face at a Trump inauguration protest Friday after denying that he was a Nazi.

Spencer was speaking in front of a group of people who were asking him questions such as, "Are you a neo-Nazi?" to which he responded no. He was then asked if he liked black people, and he said, "Why not? Sure."

"Would you marry a black woman?" the person asked. Spencer did not answer that question.

Spencer then told the group that neo-Nazis and members of the Ku Klux Klan actually hate him, and it is at that point that a man walked up from the crowd and punched Spencer in the face.
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Fuck him...I'd smack him too.

Emergency Moves

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Trump's 1st Day: Immediate Ruin

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President Donald Trump hours after he was sworn in to the highest office in the nation signed an executive order aimed at "minimizing the economic burden" of Obamacare "pending repeal."

The executive order was Trump's first since becoming the 45th president of the United States. The order says that "It is the policy of my Administration to seek the prompt repeal" of the law.

It orders that the Secretary of Health and Human Services and others to "exercise all authority and discretion available to them to waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay" any requirement of Obamacare that would impose a fiscal burden.

The order also directs agencies to give greater flexibility to states in implementing the health care law. It says the policy of the Trump administration is to "prepare to afford the States more flexibility and control to create a more free and open healthcare market."

The president can't repeal the health care law himself, but Trump and other Republicans have vowed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, which is widely known as Obamacare. Republicans in the House and Senate last week signed bills to complete the first step to repeal the law.

Also Friday, Trump's chief of staff Reince Preibus also sent a memo Friday ordering that some pending federal regulations be frozen so Trump or others in the administration can review them.

Moonlight: A Film Beyond

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I have never been so intensely overwhelmed by the poignancy of a film as I was by Moonlight. I literally had to stop half way through and take a break because I couldn't see through the tears. And the strangest thing being that I couldn't isolate the cause of my weeping to any singular aspect of what I was experiencing...there was something in the whole effect, the way the elements of the film were being subtlely orchestrated without dialogue, by the silences themselves.

It is so superb on so many different levels; the script, the construction, the cinematography, the direction, the acting, the continuities...all just blew me away. I plan to watch it at least five or six times times because there is just so much to plumb. So far I've managed three.
I pray this picks up this years Academy Award. I'm not even going to try to critique it it beyond my own reactions because I am still so stunned everything I think to say seems to short change it.

This reviewer gets a lot of it:

This review was originally published on September 11, during the Toronto International Film Festival.

"Who is you, man?" Dramatic film has long been fascinated with issues of identity, but they've rarely been explored with the degree of eloquence and heartbreaking beauty as in Barry Jenkins' masterful "Moonlight," one of the essential American films of 2016.

"Moonlight" is a film that is both lyrical and deeply grounded in its character work, a balancing act that's breathtaking to behold. It is one of those rare pieces of filmmaking that stays completely focused on its characters while also feeling like it's dealing with universal themes about identity, sexuality, family, and, most of all, masculinity. And yet it's never preachy or moralizing.

It is a movie in which deep, complex themes are reflected through character first and foremost. Jenkins' film is confident in every single aspect of the way that a critic can use that word.
Every performance, every shot choice, every piece of music, every lived-in setting--it's one of those rare movies that just doesn't take a wrong step, and climaxes in a scene not of CGI or twists but of dialogue that is one of the best single scenes in years.

Saving Grace

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WASHINGTON (AP) - In his last major act as president, Barack Obama is cutting short the sentences of 330 federal inmates convicted of drug crimes.

The move brings Obama's bid to correct what he's called a systematic injustice to a climactic close.

Obama has now commuted the sentences of 1,715 people, more than any other president in U.S. history. During his presidency Obama freed 568 inmates serving life sentences.

The final batch of commutations is the most any U.S. president has issued in a single day. It's the culmination of a second-term effort to remedy consequences of decades of onerous sentencing requirements that Obama's said put tens of thousands of drug offenders behind bars for too long.

Obama repeatedly called on Congress to act broadly, but lawmakers never did.

Trash to Treasure

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The way it should be done.

How the Carbon XPrize Is Turning Airborne Trash Into Treasure

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by Christina Couch

Humans worldwide produce between 35 and 40 billion metric tons of carbon air emissions each year, a big chunk of which comes from fossil fuel-burning power plants. Efforts to reduce emissions only go so far and getting rid of smokestacks is nearly impossible, but there is an alternative on the horizon. Let's transform some of that pollution into valuable, revenue-generating products.

That's the challenge put forth by the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, a global competition dedicated to accelerating the development and economic viability of technologies that can convert CO2 emissions into usable things, like biofuels, building materials, or fertilizers.

Related: This 20-Cent Paper Centrifuge Could Save Lives

With $20 million in prizes on the line, teams from across the world are racing to design technologies for coal and natural gas power plants that can convert the most CO2 into the highest-value products, creating a path and financial incentive for the entire energy sector to clean up its act in the process.

"The specific challenge that the XPRIZE identified was not just that CO2 emissions exist and we need to reduce them, but maybe there was a fundamentally new way to go about doing that," says Marcius Extavour, the competition's director of Technical Operations. If competitors can prove that companies can make money off something they're currently throwing away without subsidies or financial incentives from the government, "that really changes the ball game."

Teams are each taking their own approaches to CO2 conversion, and in some cases developing products and conversion methods that haven't been explored on the industrial scale before, Extavour adds.

Change in Progress

Carbicrete, a startup based in Montreal, Canada, is trying to help the construction industry get a little greener. While pursuing his Ph.D. at McGill University, Mehrdad Mahoutian started experimenting with ways to make concrete without cement, a binding ingredient in concrete that requires large amounts of heat (generally from burning fossil fuels) to produce.

Mahoutian knew that slag, a waste residue generated during steel production, had some of the same chemical components found in cement, but when it just didn't work when mixed in concrete. In 2012, he began investigating whether carbon dioxide could strengthen the mixture. When CO2 is injected into wet concrete made with slag, the gas binds with calcium silicate within the slag and traps the CO2 inside. The result is a cement-free building material the Carbicrete team says is stronger and less expensive than traditional concrete with a substantially smaller environmental footprint.

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"We're taking industrial waste that's not being used, and we're replacing something that's pretty nasty -- cement -- and on top of all of it, we're sequestering carbon dioxide," says Carbicrete CEO and co-founder Chris Stern. "It's a triple home run."

Stern's team plans to eventually license the Carbicrete production method, but for now, they're focused on adding an emissions capture system to their technology for the semi-final Carbon XPRIZE round, which lasts through this December. During that round, all teams will demonstrate how their conversion process performs on a small-scale simulated power plant gas stream.

Acts of Patriotism

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With All Due Respect

Paul Krugman

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As a young man, Congressman John Lewis, who represents most of Atlanta, literally put his life on the line in pursuit of justice. As a key civil rights leader, he endured multiple beatings. Most famously, he led the demonstration that came to be known as Bloody Sunday, suffering a fractured skull at the hands of state troopers. Public outrage over that day's violence helped lead to the enactment of the Voting Rights Act.

Now Mr. Lewis says that he won't attend the inauguration of Donald Trump, whom he regards as an illegitimate president.

As you might expect, this statement provoked a hysterical, slanderous reaction from the president-elect - who, of course, got his start in national politics by repeatedly, falsely questioning President Obama's right to hold office. But Mr. Trump -- who has never sacrificed anything or taken a risk to help others -- seems to have a special animus toward genuine heroes. Maybe he prefers demonstrators who don't get beaten?

But let's not talk about Mr. Trump's ravings. Instead, let's ask whether Mr. Lewis was right to say what he said. Is it O.K., morally and politically, to declare the man about to move into the White House illegitimate?

Yes, it is. In fact, it's an act of patriotism.

By any reasonable standard, the 2016 election was deeply tainted. It wasn't just the effects of Russian intervention on Mr. Trump's behalf; Hillary Clinton would almost surely have won if the F.B.I. hadn't conveyed the false impression that it had damaging new information about her, just days before the vote. This was grotesque, delegitimizing malfeasance, especially in contrast with the agency's refusal to discuss the Russia connection.

Was there even more to it? Did the Trump campaign actively coordinate with a foreign power? Did a cabal within the F.B.I. deliberately slow-walk investigations into that possibility? Are the lurid tales about adventures in Moscow true? We don't know, although Mr. Trump's creepy obsequiousness to Vladimir Putin makes it hard to dismiss these allegations. Even given what we do know, however, no previous U.S. president-elect has had less right to the title. So why shouldn't we question his legitimacy?

And talking frankly about how Mr. Trump gained power isn't just about truth-telling. It may also help to limit that power.

Steve Jobs at Stanford 2005

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At his Stanford University commencement speech, Steve Jobs, CEO and co-founder of Apple and Pixar, urges us to pursue our dreams and see the opportunities in life's setbacks -- including death itself.

Do You Really Know the Facts?

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You Draw It: What Got Better or Worse During Obama's Presidency?

Here's a sample of the first one I drew ...the blue line is the actual data and the yellow dotted line is my estimate.

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There are several charts to draw on various topics.

Under President Obama, the unemployment rate...number of immigrants convicted of crimes who were deported...national spending on health care, as a percent of the gross domestic product...etc


Try it.

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