Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Will & Grace Are Back!!

Although just for a short clip to push people to go vote this November, and vote for the right (Hillary) candidate.

Watch, and enjoy a new small dose of the old magic:

Monday, September 26, 2016

China's new bus concept could revolutionize city traffic

Apparently China has come up with a new design for a city bus that travels over cars, thereby neutralizing the issue of street clogging traffic:

China has completed the first real-world test of its Transit Elevated Bus concept (TEB), which made headlines this spring for its innovative design. 
The electricity-powered vehicle straddles the highway over two lanes and allows cars to pass underneath. The testing of its brake and power systems took place on Tuesday in Qinhuangdao, a port city in northeast China. 
The TEB concept is designed to help China alleviate some of its massive traffic problems. By combining two methods of transportation, the hybrid light-rail train and bus would transport large numbers of people inside its carriages while letting cars pass underneath. 
The developers believe this method would be more efficient, in terms of speed and overall cost, than building a subway system. Because the TEB is powered by electricity, the transportation system could also help the country cut down on air pollution.
Not much more information is available, but it sure looks like a cool and smart concept.

Obviously, implementing it in places like Manhattan would be an impossible logistical nightmare.

From CNN Money.

Water most sold item at the airport

CNN took the time to report on what the most popular items sold at airports are, and water came out on top, surprising absolutely nobody!

Of course water is going to be the most sold item when humans can't survive without water and we are forced to throw away the bottles we might bring with us. What else are we supposed to do??!
It turns out people's top priority in an airport, besides making their flight, is staying hydrated. 
Despite the high price of bottled water at the gate, it's the number one item purchased in Hudson's travel essential stores in the United States. 
[...] It helps that airline liquid restrictions have turned thirsty travelers into a captive audience -- once you're past security, there's no other option than to spend. 
Bottled water is not only number one, it's number one through five.
Ever since the ban went into effect, it's always driven me nuts when I have to fly somewhere. I usually carry a refillable bottle with me and fill it up at the fountains past security, but they're not always available and so I'm left with no choice.

I can understand the safety requirements that those a**hole terrorists force us to be subjected to now, but, this being the land of capitalism and all, I think I see a big red herring as well: millions of extra water bottles being sold across the country every year. What an irresistible business opportunity!!

I always felt like airports should sell us water bottles at cost, especially if we are asked to throw away even unopened bottles, rather than forcing us to spend $3+ a pop!

Is that just me?

Friday, September 23, 2016

The far-right has been working at "fixing" America for decades

I found this older article on Rawstory and it left me considerably more concerned than I was before:
The rightward political shift is no accident. Since the end of World War II, far-right conservatives and libertarians have patiently laid the groundwork for a national climate receptive to their ideals of weak government and a strong corporate presence. 
In the 1950s, a time when Congress had recently made affordable housing the law of the land, when expansion of Social Security and creation of federally-funded health care were on the table, and when unionized workers made up a third of the U.S. workforce, the conservative agenda appeared moribund. 
Yet just beneath the surface of a seemingly ever-expanding social welfare state, far-right conservatives and libertarians were strategizing what some of them called a “50-year project” to take the country back. 
Initially coined by conservative intellectual Frank Chodorov in 1950 to describe the effort to uproot “socialism” from college campuses, the “50-year project” moniker became a far-right conservative mantra describing the effort to undo what Chodorov called “the socialization of the American character”—that is, New Deal-era laws and regulations that prioritized the welfare of consumers and workers. 
[...] “There is nothing more autocratic than majority rule,” Grede asserted. “There are people in our country who would like to establish a true democracy—where majority rules. But majority rule would destroy our society of personalities and the dynamic spirit that has made us great.” 
Grede and others like him sought to create a nation that reflected their beliefs. The tactics they used to do so were a forerunner of those employed today by those like Fred Koch’s sons. 
They raised vast amounts of money for extreme conservative causes. They used public forums to win Americans’ hearts and minds. They utilized the media. And they specifically targeted impressionable young people. 
[...] These progenitors of today’s far-right had the patience—and the foresight—to undertake the slow process involved in reorienting an American public away from its support of the programs and goals of the New Deal. They sought to create an environment in which a presidential candidate like Ted Cruz became a 2016 frontrunner with a platform promising to eliminate the IRS, the Department of Education, the Department of Energy, the Department of Commerce, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

A very interesting read.

Monday, September 19, 2016

The 68th Primetime Emmy Winners

Outstanding Drama Series

Game of Thrones

The Americans
Better Call Saul
Downton Abbey
House of Cards
Mr. Robot

Outstanding Comedy Series


Master of None
Modern Family
Silicon Valley
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Outstanding Limited Series

The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story

American Crime
The Night Manager

Outstanding Television Movie

Sherlock: The Abominable Bride

All the Way
A Very Murray Christmas

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Rami Malek, Mr. Robot

Kyle Chandler, Bloodline
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
Matthew Rhys, The Americans
Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black

Claire Danes, Homeland
Viola Davis, How to Get Away With Murder
Taraji P. Henson, Empire
Keri Russell, The Americans
Robin Wright, House of Cards

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent

Anthony Anderson, black-ish
Aziz Ansari, Master of None
Will Forte, Last man on Earth
William H. Macy, Shameless
Thomas Middleditch, Silicon Valley

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep

Ellie Kemper, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Tracee Ellis Ross, black-ish
Laurie Metcalf, Getting On
Amy Schumer, Inside Amy Schumer
Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie

Courtney B. Vance, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story

Bryan Cranston, All the Way
Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock: The Abominable Bride
Idris Elba, Luther
Cuba Gooding Jr., The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
Tom Hiddleston, The Night Manager

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie

Sarah Paulson, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story

Kirsten Dunst, Fargo
Felicity Huffman, American Crime
Audra McDonald, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grille
Lili Taylor, American Crime
Kerry Washington, Conformation

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series

Ben Mendelsohn, Bloodline

Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Christian Slater, Mr. Robot
Kit Harington, Game Of Thrones
Michael Kelly, House Of Cards
Jon Voight, Ray Donovan

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series

Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey

Maura Tierney, The Affair
Lena Headey, Game Of Thrones
Emilia Clarke, Game Of Thrones
Maisie Williams, Game Of Thrones
Constance Zimmer, UnREAL

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series

Louie Anderson, Baskets

Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Keegan-Michael Key, Key & Peele
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Tony Hale, Veep
Matt Walsh, Veep

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series

Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live

Niecy Nash, Getting On
Allison Janney, Mom
Judith Light, Transparent 
Gaby Hoffmann, Transparent
Anna Chlumsky, Veep

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Miniseries Or Movie

Sterling K. Brown, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story

Jesse Plemons, Fargo
Bokeem Woodbine, Fargo
Hugh Laurie, The Night Manager
David Schwimmer, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
John Travolta, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Miniseries Or Movie

Regina King, American Crime

Melissa Leo, All The Way
Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story: Hotel
Kathy Bates, American Horror Story: Hotel
Jean Smart, Fargo
Olivia Colman, The Night Manager

Outstanding Guest Actor In A Drama Series

Hank Azaria, Ray Donovan

Max von Sydow, Game Of Thrones
Michael J. Fox, The Good Wife
Reg E. Cathey, House Of Cards
Mahershala Ali, House Of Cards
Paul Sparks, House Of Cards

Outstanding Guest Actress In A Drama Series

Margo Martindale, The Americans

Carrie Preston, The Good Wife
Laurie Metcalf, Horace And Pete
Ellen Burstyn, House Of Cards
Molly Parker, House Of Cards
Allison Janney, Masters Of Sex

Outstanding Guest Actor In A Comedy Series

Peter Scolari, Girls

Bob Newhart, The Big Bang Theory
Tracy Morgan, Saturday Night Live
Larry David, Saturday Night Live
Bradley Whitford, Transparent
Martin Mull, Veep

Outstanding Guest Actress In A Comedy Series

Tina Fey & Amy Poehler, Saturday Night Live

Laurie Metcalf, The Big Bang Theory
Christine Baranski, The Big Bang Theory
Melissa McCarthy, Saturday Night Live
Amy Schumer, Saturday Night Live
Melora Hardin, Transparent

Outstanding Reality-Competition Program

The Voice

The Amazing Race
American Ninja Warrior
Dancing With The Stars
Project Runway
Top Chef

Outstanding Host For A Reality Or Reality-Competition Program

RuPaul, RuPaul's Drag Race

Ryan Seacrest, American Idol
Tom Bergeron, Dancing With The Stars
Jane Lynch, Hollywood Game Night
Steve Harvey, Little Big Shots starring Steve Harvey
Heidi Klum, Tim Gunn, Project Runway

Outstanding Variety Talk Series

Last Week Tonight With John Oliver

Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee
Jimmy Kimmel Live
The Late Late Show With James Corden
Real Time With Bill Maher
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Outstanding Variety Sketch Series

Key & Peele

Documentary Now!
Drunk History
Inside Amy Schumer 
Saturday Night Live

Outstanding Documentary Or Nonfiction Special

What Happened, Miss Simone?

Becoming Mike Nichols
Everything Is Copy
Listen To Me Marlon
Mapplethorpe: Look At The Pictures

Outstanding Documentary Or Nonfiction Series

Making A Murderer

American Masters
Chef's Table
The Seventies“
Woman With Gloria Steinem

Outstanding Informational Series Or Special

Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown

Inside The Actors Studio
Star Talk With Neil deGrasse Tyson
The Story Of God With Morgan Freeman

Outstanding Structured Reality Program

Shark Tank

Antiques Roadshow
Lip Sync Battle
Undercover Boss

Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program

Born This Way

Deadliest Catch
Gaycation With Ellen Page
Project Greenlight
United Shades Of America

Outstanding Directing For A Drama Series

Miguel Sapochnik, Game Of Thrones

Michael Engler, Downton Abbey
Jack Bender, Game Of Thrones
Lesli Linka Glatter, Homeland
Steven Soderbergh, The Knick
David Hollander, Ray Donovan

Outstanding Directing For A Comedy Series

Jill Soloway, Transparent

Aziz Ansari, Master Of None
Alec Berg, Silicon Valley
Mike Judge, Silicon Valley
Dave Mandel, Veep
Chris Addison, Veep
Dale Stern, Veep

Outstanding Directing For A Miniseries, Movie Or Dramatic Special

Susanne Bier, The Night Manager

Jay Roach, All The Way
Noah Hawley, Fargo
Ryan Murphy, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
Anthony Hemingway, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
John Singleton, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story

Outstanding Directing For A Variety Series

Ryan McFaul, Inside Amy Schumer

Paul Pennolino, Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
Tim Mancinelli, The Late Late Show With James Corden
Don Roy King, Saturday Night Live
Dave Diomedi, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Outstanding Directing For A Variety Special

Thomas Kail, Alex Rudzinski, Grease: Live

Beth McCarthy-Miller,  Adele Live In New York City
Chris Rock, Amy Schumer: Live At The Apollo
Louis J. Horvitz, 58th Grammy Awards
Glenn Weiss, The Kennedy Center Honors
Kahlil Joseph, Beyoncé Knowles Carter, Lemonade

Outstanding Writing For A Drama Series

David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, Game Of Thrones

Joel Fields, Joe Weisberg, The Americans
Julian Fellowes, Downton Abbey
Robert King, Michelle King, The Good Wife
Sam Esmail, Mr. Robot
Marti Noxon, Sarah Gertrude Shapiro, UnREAL

Outstanding Writing For A Comedy Series

Aziz Ansari, Alan Yang, Master Of None

Rob Delaney, Sharon Horgan, Catastrophe
Dan O'Keefe, Silicon Valley
Alec Berg, Silicon Valley
David Mandel, Veep
Alex Gregory, Peter Huyck, Veep

Outstanding Writing For A Miniseries, Movie Or Dramatic Special

D.V. DeVincentis, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story

Bob DeLaurentis, Fargo
Noah Hawley, Fargo
David Farr, The Night Manager
Scott Alexander, Larry Karaszewski, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
Joe Robert Cole, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story

Outstanding Writing For A Variety Series

Last Week Tonight With John Oliver

Full Frontal With Samantha Bee
Inside Amy Schumer
Key & Peele
Saturday Night Live

Outstanding Writing For A Variety Special

Patton Oswalt: Talking For Clapping

Amy Schumer: Live At The Apollo
John Mulaney: The Comeback Kid
Tig Notaro: Boyish Girl Interrupted
Triumph's Election Special 2016

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Céline Dion, Recovering

Celine's new song, in honor of her adored, late husband, René Angélil.

The sugar industry conned the American public by buying off scientists

According to the New York Times (damn that's a great paper, I hope it never has to shut down), newly released documents show how the sugar industry paid off Harvard scientists to publish a review that blamed saturated fats for the emerging obesity epidemic and the related increase in heart disease ailments:
The sugar industry paid scientists in the 1960s to play down the link between sugar and heart disease and promote saturated fat as the culprit instead, newly released historical documents show. 
The internal sugar industry documents, recently discovered by a researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, and published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, suggest that five decades of research into the role of nutrition and heart disease, including many of today’s dietary recommendations, may have been largely shaped by the sugar industry. 
They were able to derail the discussion about sugar for decades,” said Stanton Glantz, a professor of medicine at U.C.S.F. and an author of the JAMA Internal Medicine paper. 
The documents show that a trade group called the Sugar Research Foundation, known today as the Sugar Association, paid three Harvard scientists the equivalent of about $50,000 in today’s dollars to publish a 1967 review of research on sugar, fat and heart disease. The studies used in the review were handpicked by the sugar group, and the article, which was published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, minimized the link between sugar and heart health and cast aspersions on the role of saturated fat. 
Even though the influence-peddling revealed in the documents dates back nearly 50 years, more recent reports show that the food industry has continued to influence nutrition science. 
Last year, an article in The New York Times revealed that Coca-Cola, the world’s largest producer of sugary beverages, had provided millions of dollars in funding to researchers who sought to play down the link between sugary drinks and obesity. In June, The Associated Press reported that candy makers were funding studies that claimed that children who eat candy tend to weigh less than those who do not.
Can you believe that??? And the sad thing is that because there are real scientists behind the studies, many people will believe the results!

More at the source.

Friday, September 02, 2016

One third of African elephants lost in a few years

And obviously it's mostly due to poaching:

The African elephant population is in drastic decline, having shrunk about 30 percent from 2007 to 2014, according to a survey published this week. 
The deterioration is accelerating: Largely because of poaching, the population is dropping 8 percent a year, according to the Great Elephant Census, which was released on Wednesday. 
“The findings of the Great Elephant Census show clearly that poaching is still decimating elephant herds across Africa,” Ibrahim Thiaw, the deputy executive director for the United Nations Environment Program, said about the survey. “This practice makes no sense on any level — moral, economic or political.” 
Patricia Awori, an official with the African Elephant Coalition, said, “These numbers are shocking for elephants across the continent.” She added, “It proves that an urgent, cohesive, Africa-wide approach is required to save them.” 
[...] Poaching is largely to blame for the population’s downward spiral, according to the census. In an effort to curb the practice, the United States this summer announced a near-total ban on the commercial trade of African elephant ivory. 
David Banks, the Nature Conservancy’s Africa program director, said: “We knew that the situation was bad on the ground, but the results are worse than expected.” He added, “Even if poaching is stopped cold right now, it’ll take decades for populations to recover.” 
This makes me so angry and sad. How can anyone morally justify killing such majestic animals just to rip their tusks off??!

More at the source here.