Resistencia

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The Fight for the Aguan Valley

Shot over four years, beginning with the coup itself, Resistencia: The Fight for the Aguan Valley follows the most daring arm of the coup resistance movement, the farmers of the Aguan Valley.

With the president that promised to help them get land overthrown they decide to take control of 10,000 acres of palm oil plantations belonging to the country's most powerful landowner. Located on some of the most fertile land in all of Central America, the farmers announce that they have no plans of ever giving the plantations back.

ACPAD

ACPAD was born out of necessity. A need for flexibility, live stability and creative freedom. Berlin musician Robin Sukroso needed a piece of equipment that would allow him to bring his love of both electronic and acoustic music together; that could withstand playing every night, that was easy and intuitive to play, and that could let him explore an entirely new world of sound.

The ACPAD began as an idea and a desire. After 3 years of research, development and a lot of trials, the ACPAD is finally ready for the world. Sukroso along with his partners at IIT Bombay (India) created a new 2 mm thick interface having no wires or screws, a stick-on wireless MIDI controller that is powered by a rechargeable battery. ACPAD is a device with true portability and tonal versatility.

The ACPAD allows players to blend both acoustic and electronic sounds with FX and assignable tap pads. Create whatever sound you want with ACPAD. It is strong, flexible and offers a new world of creativity you have been looking for. ACPAD is an electronic orchestra in your hands!

Happy Theft of the Commons Day

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Peter Linebaugh is an American Marxist historian who specializes in British history, Irish history, labor history, and the history of the colonial Atlantic. He recently retired after fifty years as a professor of history. Peter is the author of many books, including The London Hanged: Crime And Civil Society In The Eighteenth Century, The Magna Carta Manifesto: Liberties and Commons for All, The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners, and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic, and most recently, Stop, Thief!: The Commons, Enclosures, and Resistance.

History Made on Same Sex Marriage

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The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday made marriage for same-sex couples legal nationwide, declaring that refusing to grant marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples violates the Constitution.

The landmark ruling will produce the most significant change in laws governing matrimony since the court struck down state bans on inter-racial marriage almost 50 years ago.

The majority opinion in the 5-4 decision was written by Justice Anthony Kennedy.

"No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were," Kennedy wrote. "As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death."

Kennedy went on to speak directly to the type of criticism that often comes from conservatives in pushing back against marriage equality.

"It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves," Kennedy said. "Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization's oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right."

A total of 36 states now permit gay couples to get married, covering roughly 70 percent of the US population. Today's ruling means the bans must end in the other 14 states -- Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas.

The decision capped a remarkably quick turnaround in public and judicial acceptance of same-sex marraige. In the past 18 months, court rulings struck down marriage bans in rapid succession -- nearly 60 separate decisions in more than half the states.

Today's ruling overturned a decision from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, which said states had legitimate reasons for maintaining the traditional definition of marriage. The appeals court also said it would be better "to allow change through the customary political processes" instead of the courts.

Public opinion has shifted dramatically in recent years. The first Gallup poll on the subject showed only 27 percent approval for same-sex marriage in 1996. Gallup's most recent poll, taken last month, showed 60 percent approval.

US White Terrorism

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White Americans are the biggest terror threat in the United States,

... according to a study by the New America Foundation.

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The Washington-based research organization did a review of "terror" attacks on US soil since Sept. 11, 2001 and found that most of them were carried out by radical anti-government groups or white supremacists.

Almost twice as many people have died in attacks by right-wing groups in America than have died in attacks by Muslim extremists. Of the 26 attacks since 9/11 that the group defined as terror, 19 were carried out by non-Muslims. Yet there are no white Americans languishing inside the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay. And there are no drones dropping bombs on gatherings of military-age males in the country's lawless border regions.

Attacks by right-wing groups get comparatively little coverage in the news media. Most people will struggle to remember the shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin that killed six people in 2012. A man who associated with neo-Nazi groups carried out that shooting. There was also the married couple in Las Vegas who walked into a pizza shop and murdered two police officers. They left a swastika on one of the bodies before killing a third person in a Wal-Mart parking lot. Such attacks are not limited to one part of the country. In 2011, two white supremacists went on a shooting spree in the Pacific Northwest, killing four people.

Terrorism is hard to define. But here is its basic meaning: ideological violence. In its study, the New America Foundation took a narrow view of what could be considered a terror attack. Most mass shootings, for instance, like Sandy Hook or the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting -- both in 2012 -- weren't included. Also not included was the killing of three Muslim students in North Carolina earlier this year. The shooter was a neighbor and had strong opinions about religion. But he also had strong opinions about parking spaces and a history of anger issues. So that shooting was left off the list.

The killing of nine people at a church in Charleston, South Carolina last week was included. The shooter made it clear that his motivation was an ideological belief that white people are superior to black people. The shooting has cast new light on the issue of right-wing terrorism in the United States. But since it can't really use Special Forces or Predator drones on US soil, it remains unclear how the government will respond.

Turning Tide

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Galaxies and Body Cell counting

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How many galaxies are there in the observable universe? How many cells are there in the human body?

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We know both of these numbers must be really big. But which is bigger?

No one has counted all the cells and all the galaxies one by one, so any number will be an estimate. But estimates are not just guesses.

Scientists actually have counted the number of cells in some multicellular organisms. A tiny transparent worm called Caenorhabditis elegans, a common laboratory animal, was the first multicellular organism to have its complete genome sequenced.

Researchers have learned a lot about this worm -- enough for several Nobel Prizes -- and they know that there are exactly 1,031 cells in the adult male and 959 in the adult hermaphrodite (there is no female C. elegans).

But counting cells in humans is more difficult.

In a paper published in 2013, Eva Bianconi of the University of Bologna in Italy and her colleagues outlined a method for estimating the number of cells in a "standard human being," which they defined as a 30-year-old weighing 154 pounds, standing 5 feet 7 inches tall, and possessing a body surface area of 20 square feet.

The method for measuring the number of galaxies in the universe is, by comparison, pretty straightforward, but it is not easy. Astronomers pointed the Hubble telescope at a portion of the sky of known size, counted the number of galaxies they could see, and then multiplied to estimate the number of galaxies in the observable universe.

There are, of course, complications. Galaxies merge over time; the universe expands; the distance we can see with improved technologies increases. And of course, we are talking only about the observable universe -- the part we can actually see.

But the best estimate now is that there are between 100 billion and 200 billion galaxies in the universe.

So, more galaxies or more cells? This is not a close call. Even using the highest estimate for galaxies (200 billion) and the lowest estimate for human cells (1 trillion), there are at least 800 billion more cells in your body than there are galaxies in the known universe.

Natalie Rosen
#1.2

In reply to: George Earle #1

Nobody is diverting discussion of mental illness. We realize the pathology of a nation and it includes a lot of things from gun worshiping psychos and sociopaths to drugs and a lot more BUT that does not take away from the cultural emblem of what the Confederate flag means and what kind of "cultural" message is it sending.

Just what were the Confederate glorified soldiers fighting? They were fighting to keep in place an economic system of the growth of cotton and other things with free labor. It was a boon to those whites ones of money and position that owned plantations and could afford slaves. Slaves were expensive to buy and expensive to feed and keep alive to work. If one could do it then one had a lot to lose by emancipating slave labor. Follow the money!

The other leg of slavery was to get the white lower classes who did not have plantations nor could afford slaves to buy into its justification and think that the system of keeping persons of color down behooved the lower classes and enlist them to fight for it and keep it in place because as low class as they might be they were a higher class than the black man. Justifications were used for the obvious brutality, cruelty and psychopathology of keeping slavery in place and the black man down.

Naturally as is true for keeping one class of people down and another up they justified it by god. If god says it's okay Biblically than it is okay for them to employ it. In 5000 years of Biblical history there are an abundance of things the Bible says are okay that are ridiculous of in our time . Slavery and animal sacrifice are but two examples out of many. Religion -- white religion -- can justify anything if one looks Biblically to justify it hard enough. All manner of cruelty can be explained in religious texts. It is how those who control the money and power control the masses to feel complacent in the heinous things they do. It's as old as man himself.

The Confederate flag justifies that and so much more cruelty. It keeps an entire social order in place even the subjugation of women. There is NOTHING I repeat NOTHING that is humane and good about the symbol of the Confederate flag. States rights is a euphemism to allow a state to do anything heinous it wants with the justification that states rights says it's right to do so!

AGAIN, TAKE DOWN THAT LOATHSOME SYMBOL AND STAND FOR SOMETHING MORALLY RIGHT AND GOOD FOR A CHANGE INSTEAD OF OPPRESSIVE AND CRUSHING FOR ONE POWERLESS GROUP OR ANOTHER.

Ramadan 2015

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Ramadan 2015: Facts, History, Dates, Greeting And Rules About The Muslim Fast


What are the dates of Ramadan?

Because the cycle of the lunar calendar does not match the solar calendar, the dates of Ramadan shift by approximately 11 days each year. In 2015, Ramadan is expected to begin on Thursday, June 18, in the United States, although the date is only confirmed once the moon is sighted.

The ending of Ramadan is marked by the holiday of Eid ul-Fitr, which takes place either 29 or 30 days after the beginning of the month. On Eid ul-Fitr, morning prayers are followed by feasting and celebration among family and friends.

What is the history of Ramadan?

Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar. The term Ramadan literally means scorching in Arabic. It was established as a Holy Month for Muslims after the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad in 610 CE on the occasion known as Laylat al-Qadr, frequently translated as "the Night of Power."

Observance of Ramadan is mandated in the Quran, Surah 2, Ayah 185:

"The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur'an, guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey - then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful."

What are the daily fasting requirements?

During the month of Ramadan, most Muslims fast from dawn to sunset with no food or water. Before sunrise many Muslims have the Suhur or predawn meal. At sunset families and friends gather for Iftar which is the meal eaten by Muslims to break the fast. Many Muslims begin the meal by eating dates as the Prophet used to do.

This ritual fast known as, Sawm, is one of the five pillars of Islam, and requires that individuals abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and sexual intercourse.

To find the specific times for Ramadan fasting, click over to this helpful tool provided by IslamiCity that allows you to calculate prayer schedules -- including sunrise and sunset -- by entering your city or zip code.

What are the expectations towards charity?

Charity is an important part of Ramadan. The fast emphasizes self-sacrifice and using the experience of hunger to grow in empathy with the hungry. During Ramadan, Muslim communities work together to raise money for the poor, donate clothes and food, and hold iftar dinners for the less fortunate.

What scriptural study do Muslims take part in?

Many Muslims use Ramadan to read the entire Quran or read the Quran daily. Many communities divide the Quran into daily reading segments that conclude on Eid ul-Fitr at the end of Ramadan.

Can non-Muslims participate?

Non-Muslims are free to participate in Ramadam. Many non-Muslims fast and even pray with their Muslim friends or family members. Non-Muslims are often invited to attend prayer and iftar dinners.

Those wishing to be polite to someone who is fasting for Ramadan may greet them with Ramadan Mubarak or Ramadan Kareem, which mean Have a Blessed or Generous Ramadan.

Should Muslims with diabetes fast?

Fasting during Ramadan is discouraged for patients with diabetes by the American Diabetes Association.

"In keeping with this, a large epidemiological study conducted in 13 Islamic countries on 12,243 individuals with diabetes who fasted during Ramadan showed a high rate of acute complications."

However, the study says this was not conclusive. Many diabetic patients fasted with no complications. Patients with diabetes should work with their doctors to figure out a strategy if they choose to fast.

What is the 'goal' of Ramadan?

In general, the practices of Ramadan are meant to purify oneself from thoughts and deeds which are counter to Islam. By removing material desires, one is able to focus fully on devotion and service to God. Many Muslims go beyond the physical ritual of fasting and attempt to purge themselves of impure thoughts and motivations such as anger, cursing, and greed.

Do all Muslims take part in Ramadan fasting?

Most Muslims believe Ramadan fasting is mandatory, but there are some groups that do not. Pregnant or breastfeeding mothers, people who are seriously sick, travelers, or those at health risk should not fast. Children that have not gone through puberty are also not required to fast during the month Ramadan.

Beat the Rich

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....preferably to a pulp.
In the final analysis, there is no option but to eliminate the top 1/10 of 1% with extreme prejudice.

Jacob Hacker & Paul Pierson on Engineered Inequality

Bill Moyers explores how America's vast inequality didn't just happen, it's been politically engineered.

Oliver's Torture Twist

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Let John Oliver and Helen Mirren Convince You to Read America's Torture Report


This post first appeared at Mother Jones.

Last December, the Senate Intelligence Committee released its long-awaited torture report, which provided overwhelming evidence interrogation methods used after the attacks on September 11th to be largely ineffective and inhumane. Despite this, most Americans have yet to even skim the report's findings and continue to believe torture tactics can successfully lead to reliable information.

"Torture is one of those things that is advertised as something that works, but doesn't, like a Ford truck or those weird bottles of Horny Goat Weed available at your local bodega," John Oliver explained on the latest Last Week Tonight. "But maybe the reason that so many of us innately believe that torture works is that it does on TV all the time. Look at 24."

On Sunday, Oliver implored viewers to start paying attention -- he even recruited the help of actress Helen Mirren to eloquently read some of the report's most horrifying details -- as Senators John McCain and Dianne Feinstein currently have the chance to pass a bill seeking to permanently ban specific torture methods for good.

"America should not be a country that tortures people because it is brutal. It is medieval and it is beneath us," he said

Fairphone 2

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Fabulous concept to roll out first in Europe for around $650. US


Fairphone 2: Modular design for you to open and repair

Fairphone is a movement for fairer electronics. Get the first look at our modular design for repair as we present the prototype of the Fairphone 2.


Return from the ISS

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What's weird to me about this is the contrast between the ancient open and rugged fields and the ultra modern technology of the International; Space Station.

Blow ourselves off the planet with chemicals and drop like a rock with a sheet attached to get back.

_______________

Russian Soyuz TMA-15M space capsule carrying the International Space Station (ISS) crew of Anton Shkaplerov, Terry Virts and Samantha Cristoforetti lands outside the town of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, June 11, 2015.

return.from.iss.jpgIvan Sekretarev/AP

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Cool Robotic Wolves

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The Global Family

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Global family reunion aims to break record

AJ Jacobs, creator of the Global Family Reunion, joins to discuss his project that is making connections using data from several online geneology sites to piece together a sprawling family tree.

Obama's Eulogy to Beau Biden

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Large Hadron Collider Back Online

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LHC Kicks Physics into High Gear

Scientists at Europe's Large Hadron Collider began collecting data for the first time in more than two years on Wednesday, after a $150 million overhaul.

The LHC's first run, which ended in early 2013, resulted in the discovery of the long-sought Higgs boson -- the last fundamental subatomic particle predicted by the Standard Model, one of physics' most successful theories. The second run will follow up on the Higgs discovery, but also look for signs of phenomena that go beyond the Standard Model -- such as dark matter particles, supersymmetry and extra spatial dimensions.

During the past two years, the $10 billion LHC's 17-mile-round (27-kilometer-round) underground ring of magnets was beefed up to handle almost twice as much collision energy as it did for the first run (13 trillion electron volts vs. 8 trillion electron volts).

Thousands of scientists and engineers at Europe's CERN particle physics center, which straddles the Swiss-French border, have been ramping up the collider's proton beams over the past couple of months to prepare for the resumption of data delivery at 13 trillion electron volts, or 13 TeV. After working a last-minute kink or two out of the control system's software, CERN's team ran stable beams of protons through the collider and started collecting data in earnest at 10:40 a.m. CEST (4:40 a.m. ET) Wednesday.

"It is time for new physics!" CERN's director general, Rolf Heuer, said in a celebratory news release. "We have seen the first data beginning to flow. Let's see what they will reveal to us about how our universe works."

Here Comes the Sun

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This post first appeared at Mother Jones.

Sunrise at Shirahama Ohama Beach, in Shirahama, Japan. (Photo: Izu navi/flickr CC 2.0)

Sunrise at Shirahama Ohama Beach, in Shirahama, Japan. (Photo: Izu navi/flickr CC 2.0)

Last week, an energy analyst at Deutsche Bank came to a startling conclusion: By 2016, solar power will be as cheap or cheaper than electricity from the conventional grid in every state except three. That's without any changes to existing policy. In other words, we're only a few years away from the point where, in most of the United States, there will be no economic reason not to go solar. If you care about slowing climate change or just moving toward cleaner energy, that is a huge deal.

And solar energy is already going gangbusters. In the past decade, the amount of solar power produced in the United States has leaped 139,000 percent. A number of factors are behind the boom: Cheaper panels and a raft of local and state incentives, plus a federal tax credit that shaves 30 percent off the cost of upgrading.

Still, solar is a bit player, providing less than half of 1 percent of the energy produced in the United States. But its potential is massive -- it could power the entire country 100 times over.

So what's the holdup? A few obstacles: pushback from old-energy diehards, competition with other efficient energy sources, and the challenges of power storage and transmission. But with solar in the Southwest already at "grid parity" -- meaning it costs the same or less as electricity from conventional sources -- Wall Street is starting to see solar as a sound bet. As a recent Citigroup investment report put it, "Our viewpoint is that solar is here to stay."

Some numbers that tell the story:

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installations-1

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Sources

Solar growth: Solar Energy Industries Association
New solar installations: SEIA
Sunlight: Sandia National LabEnergy Information Administration/National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Electricity generating capacity: SEIA
Carbon savings, electricity demand: SEIAEIA/NREL
Installed PV capacity: International Energy Agency
Solar jobs: The Solar Foundation, Bureau of Labor Statistics
Solar panels on a typical house: NREL
Panel cost, VC funding: Greenpeace; Mercom Capital Group (2013 & 2014)

(Image credits: Shutterstock (Earth, USA); Maurizio Fusillo/Noun Project (solar panel); Okan Benn/Noun Project (car); Q. Li/Noun Project (chart); Sergey Krivoy/Noun Project (coal trolley); Marcio Duarte/Noun Project (worker); Alex Berkowitz/Noun Project (cash))

No one knows.
Seriously, no one knows.


The Caitland in Jenner

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Major courage and a watershed revelatory moment for us all.

Former Bruce Jenner Debuts New Name, Dramatic Photos

The former Bruce Jenner has gone public with her new name -- Caitlyn -- and a cover shoot for Vanity Fair.

"If I was lying on my deathbed and I had kept this secret and never ever did anything about it, I would be lying there saying, 'You just blew your entire life,'" she said in an interview excerpt released by the magazine on Monday.

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The photos, for the magazine's July issue, were taken by Annie Leibovitz.

"Bruce always had to tell a lie," Jenner said in a video released by the magazine. "He was always living a lie. Every day, he always had a secret. From morning till night. Caitlyn doesn't have any secrets."

"As soon as the Vanity Fair cover comes out, I'm free."


Chimpanzees are people too, you know. Ok, not exactly. But lawyer Steven Wise has spent the last 30 years working to change these animals' status from "things" to "persons." It's not a matter of legal semantics; as he describes in this fascinating talk, recognizing that animals like chimps have extraordinary cognitive capabilities and rethinking the way we treat them -- legally -- is no less than a moral duty.

CB

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My cell cannot call Canada.

C.B.

at 14 she's ready
to knock on some doors
to get out in traffic and play
a fool for nobody,
somebody to love,
she's just tryin' to make her own way...

elvis on her jacket
a night ride on her mind
gettin' carried to somewhere down the line
all those bright lights
shinin' in her eyes
carrying her out from a whole old world of lies...

and she sez:

"Chances...ya' gotta take chances...
ain't takin' chances what we're livin' for?

Chances... ain't that what romance is?
Do the dances or get off the floor!"

momma's lips kept movin'
without any sound
like afternoon tv with the volume down...
and pappa was out there somewhere
trying to keep score
they won't hear a thing as she slips out the backdoor...

(refrain)

Live Off the Grid

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...in This Solar-Powered 'Ecocapsule' Pod

Ever feel like just leaving it all behind and moving into a tiny pod in the country? You might after seeing the Ecocapsule, a tiny dwelling that packs all the necessaries -- and little else -- into its egg-like chassis. It's got a bed, kitchen, bathroom and work area, and a couple windows to let in the breeze. No need to plug into the grid -- there's a wind turbine and bank of solar cells built in to charge a battery for light and heat, and rainwater is filtered and collected into a tank under the floor.

ecocap1.jpgThe interior is futuristic but warm: bright white with blond wood and lots of natural light. Probably not a prime spot to host a party, but it's nicer looking than a lot of trailers and RVs. Want to buy one? You might want to wait until they show off the prototype next week in Vienna to see if the design group, Slovakia-based Nice Architects, has managed to pull off actually making the thing. Pricing won't be announced until late in 2015, but you can bet it won't be cheap (plus you'll have to pay a few thousand to ship it). But it's probably cheaper than a log cabin.

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Why I Hate the American Way

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When I saw the impact of the first plane on the Twin Towers during my multi-decade sojourn in Canada, my first reaction was astonishment. But when the 2nd plane hit the first words out my mouth were "oh oh"...meaning I understood this was intentional and that the US would soon be going to war...with whoever was responsible. It was clear over the next couple of days how the media drum beat graphics and banners from CNN were sending the US careening toward a vicious payback. Little did I know that the US fury would be aimed at a country and people who had zero to do with the attack and begin what would become the worse foreign policy decisions ever undertaken in the history of the country.

I blame the media as much as I blame Cheney and the neocons for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocents. And I blame the American people themselves for being so willing to fall victim to the nationalistic fervor which allows such crap to happen over and over. Fear and nationalism. Americans are poisoned by it repeatedly and innocent people lose their lives for it every time we indulge in the combination.

This is the sort of thing that prompts people like Rev Wright to declare 'God damn America!"

TV Thin as a Stamp

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OK. This majorly cool as hell.

LG Shows Off 'Wallpaper' TV No Thicker Than a Sticker



If you thought TVs couldn't get any thinner, think again. LG Display's "wallpaper" panel is 55 inches wide, but less than a millimeter (four-hundredths of an inch) thick. It's so thin and light (just over 4 pounds) that it can be attached to the wall with a simple magnetic backing and then peeled off like a sticker.

This level of thickness is only attainable with OLEDs, or organic light-emitting diodes. While LCD TVs require a stack of backlights, filters and tiny shutters to create their pixels, OLED TVs put all those into one layer.

OLED display has enabled thin phones and other devices, but OLED TVs have been few and far between, partly because it is difficult to manufacture large numbers of them -- making them astronomically expensive.



But LG Display, which showed off the super-thin TV at an event in Seoul, South Korea, claims to be fixing that problem, Yonhap News reported. Yeo Sang-deog, head of the company's OLED division, said in a press release that the company had reached a level of manufacturing efficiency in a year and a half that took a decade to achieve for traditional LCD TVs. That doesn't mean millimeter-thin TVs will be selling for peanuts any time soon (this one is just a proof of concept), but it's a step in that direction.

There was 1971

In 1971, long before Edward Snowden's revelations of NSA surveillance, a group of citizens broke into a small FBI office in Pennsylvania, took every file, and shared them with the public. Their actions exposed the FBI's illegal surveillance program of law-abiding Americans. Now for the first time, these anonymous Americans who risked everything share their story publicly.






The Wolf at the Door

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The Jeb Bush Adviser Who Should Scare You



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Last week, Jeb Bush, the all-but-announced GOP presidential candidate, stirred up a fuss when he privately told a group of Manhattan financiers that his top adviser on US-Israeli policy is George W. Bush. Given that Jeb has tried mightily to distance himself from his brother, whose administration used false assertions to launch the still highly unpopular Iraq War, this touting of W. -- even at a behind-closed-doors session of Republican donors -- seemed odd. But perhaps more noteworthy is that Jeb Bush has embraced much of his brother's White House foreign policy team. In February, the Jeb Bush campaign released a list of 21 foreign policy advisers; 17 of them served in the George W. Bush administration. And one name stood out: Paul Wolfowitz, a top policy architect of the Iraq war -- for the prospect of Wolfowitz whispering into Jeb's ear ought to scare the bejeezus out of anyone who yearns for a rational national security policy.

Wolfowitz, who was deputy defense secretary under George W. Bush, was a prominent neocon cheerleader for the invasion of Iraq. He was also the top conspiracy theorist in the Bush-Cheney crowd. As Michael Isikoff and I reported in our our 2006 book, Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War, Wolfowitz, prior to the Iraq War, was a champion of a bizarre theory promoted by an eccentric academic named Laurie Mylroie: Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, not Islamic extremists such as Al Qaeda, was responsible for most of the world's anti-United States terrorism.

For years, Mylroie, who had been an assistant professor of political science at Harvard University, had promoted the notion that Saddam was the real terrorist threat to the United States, and law enforcement and intelligence officials had dismissed her thesis, which was based on assorted elaborate conspiracies that apparently only she could divine. After the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, she developed a complicated hypothesis that the mastermind of that attack, an Islamic radical who went by the name of Ramzi Yousef and who had spent time in Afghan training camps affiliated with Al Qaeda, was actually an Iraqi intelligence agent who had somehow stolen Yousef's identity. Actually, according to Mylroie, the Iraqi agent had stolen the identity of a deceased Pakistani and then taken on the name Ramzi Yousef. In any event, this would mean that Saddam, not Islamic extremists, was behind this act of war.

Kill the Apologists

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Krugman Drops Epic Truth Bomb on Latest Round of Lies About Iraq War

The war was no mere mistake: The Bush administration wanted a war and concocted the intelligence.

Janet Allon

"Mistakes were made" just doesn't get at the truth about how America was coerced into the disastrous war in Iraq,and the horrific consequences that are still unfolding. Paul Krugman sets the record straight in Monday's column, beginning with the ironic statement, that "there's something to be said for having the brother of a failed president make his own run for the White House."

Yep, Jeb Bush has unwittingly ushered in the chance to have an honest discussion about the invasion of Iraq. About time.

Of course, Bush and a whole lot of other people would prefer not to have that honest discussion, or if they do, to make excuses for themselves (Judith Miller.) ,

The Iraq War was no innocent mistake based on faulty intelligence, Krugman argues compellingly. "America invaded Iraq because the Bush administration wanted a war," he writes. "The public justifications for the invasion were nothing but pretexts, and falsified pretexts at that. We were, in a fundamental sense, lied into war."

And we knew it--or certainly should have. Krugman:

The fraudulence of the case for war was actually obvious even at the time: the ever-shifting arguments for an unchanging goal were a dead giveaway. So were the word games -- the talk about W.M.D that conflated chemical weapons (which many people did think Saddam had) with nukes, the constant insinuations that Iraq was somehow behind 9/11.

And at this point we have plenty of evidence to confirm everything the war's opponents were saying. We now know, for example, that on 9/11 itself -- literally before the dust had settled -- Donald Rumsfeld, the secretary of defense, was already plotting war against a regime that had nothing to do with the terrorist attack. "Judge whether good enough [to] hit S.H. [Saddam Hussein] ...sweep it all up things related and not"; so read notes taken by Mr. Rumsfeld's aide.

This was, in short, a war the White House wanted, and all of the supposed mistakes that, as Jeb puts it, "were made" by someone unnamed actually flowed from this underlying desire. Did the intelligence agencies wrongly conclude that Iraq had chemical weapons and a nuclear program? That's because they were under intense pressure to justify the war. Did prewar assessments vastly understate the difficulty and cost of occupation? That's because the war party didn't want to hear anything that might raise doubts about the rush to invade. Indeed, the Army's chief of staff was effectively fired for questioning claims that the occupation phase would be cheap and easy.

The harder question is why? Here, Krugman can only speculate. Enhancing American power? Building the Republican brand? It is impossible not to ascribe cynical motives.

So politicians and many in the media don't want to talk about it. But Krugman argues we should hold their feet to the fire. Some may have been duped. Others bullied. Many were downright complicit. "The bigger the lie, the clearer it is that major political figures are engaged in outright fraud," Krugman writes. "And it doesn't get much bigger -- indeed, more or less criminal -- than lying America into war."

The media, Krugman concludes, has an obligation to get the story right. Right now.

The Opah

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The First Warm-Blooded Fish Ever Discovered

Move over, mammals and birds, and make room for a fish called the opah in the warm-blooded club. Researchers said in the journal Science on Thursday that this deepwater denizen is the first fish known to be fully warm-blooded, circulating heated blood throughout its body, enabling it to be a vigorous predator in frigid ocean depths. Tuna and certain sharks can warm specific regions of their body such as swimming muscles, brain and eyes in order to forage in chilly depths but must return to the surface to protect vital organs such as the heart from the effects of the cold. The opah, also called the moonfish, internally generates heat through constant flapping of wing-like pectoral fins, with an average muscle temperature about 7 degrees to 9 degrees Fahrenheit (4-5 degrees Celsius) above the surrounding water temperature at the time.

The opah boasts a unique structure that prevents this heat from being lost to the environment. Warm-blooded animals, such as birds and mammals, and known as endotherms, generate their own heat and maintain a body temperature independent of the environment. Cold-blooded animals, known as ectotherms, include amphibians, reptiles, invertebrates and most fish. "With a more whole-body form of endothermy, opah don't need to return to surface waters to warm and can thus stay deep near their food source continually," said fisheries biologist Nicholas Wegner of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Marine Fisheries Service.

opah.jpg

The opah is a rusty reddish color, has white spots and bright red fins. It weighs up to 200 pounds (90 kg) and is about the size of a car tire, with an oval body shape. Found in oceans worldwide, it spends most of its time at depths of 165-1,300 feet (50-400 meters), hunting fish and squid. A unique structure within its gills lets warm blood that leaves the body core help heat up cold blood returning from the gills' respiratory surface, said fisheries biologist Owyn Snodgrass of NOAA and Ocean Associates Inc.

Being warm-blooded gives it distinct advantages over its cold-bodied prey and competitors including faster swimming speeds and reaction times, better eye and brain function and the ability to withstand the effects of cold on vital organs. Fish dwelling at such depths typically are slow and sluggish, ambushing rather than pursuing prey. The researchers documented that opah are warm-blooded by tagging and tracking them off California's coast, measuring their body temperature, water temperature and the depths at which they swam.

Who To Have For Dinner

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For the Highest-Paid C.E.O.s, the Party Goes On

By David Gelles

For the Highest-Paid C.E.O.s, the Party Goes On

It pays to work for John C. Malone.

The billionaire who built a cable and communications empire is 74, and no longer a chief executive himself. But Mr. Malone still exerts sway from various boardrooms, and the C.E.O.s at the companies he oversees are routinely among the best compensated managers on the planet. Last year, the largess was particularly notable.

Take Discovery Communications, the cable group behind Shark Week and shows like "Cake Boss." Mr. Malone spun Discovery out of his media group and still sits on the board. His choice for chief executive, David M. Zaslav, received total compensation worth $156 million last year, making him the highest-paid chief of an American public company, according to the Equilar 200 Highest-Paid CEO Rankings, conducted for The New York Times.

Just behind Mr. Zaslav on the list of the highest-paid chief executives is Michael T. Fries of Liberty Global, an international cable and wireless group that Mr. Malone presides over as chairman. And while Mr. Fries made considerably less than Mr. Zaslav -- $44 million less -- he still got a package worth $112 million.

Gregory B. Maffei, one of Mr. Malone's closest lieutenants, was paid twice in 2014. As chief of Liberty Media, which owns the Atlanta Braves baseball team and a big stake in the satellite radio provider SiriusXM, Mr. Maffei received compensation of $41.3 million. As chief of Liberty Interactive, a related company that owns stakes in home shopping networks, he received $32.4 million. Mr. Malone, the chairman of both companies, awarded his friend a total of $74 million last year, placing him sixth on the list.

Thomas M. Rutledge, another Malone confidant who oversees the regional cable operator Charter Communications, where Mr. Malone and Mr. Maffei are board members, was given a $16 million package last year, an increase of 259 percent over 2013. Though Mr. Malone is not on the compensation committee that sets executive pay, Mr. Maffei is.

Taken together, the four C.E.O.s were awarded more than $350 million last year, occupying three of the top six spots of the study conducted by Equilar, an executive compensation data firm.

"At John Malone's companies, there's still a great deal of inside baseball in setting executive pay," said Robert Jackson Jr., a professor of corporate governance at Columbia Law School. "When you think about $350 million among four men, it's hard to see how that's what they need to be paid competitively."


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