April 30, 2016

University hides good news about fracking so as not to disappoint environmental funders

Why Are They Hiding the Good News About Fracking?

Geologists at the University of Cincinnati just wrapped up a three-year investigation of hydraulic fracturing and its impact on local water supplies.  The result? There's no evidence—zero, zilch, nada—that fracking contaminates drinking water. Researchers hoped to keep these findings secret.

Why would a public research university boasting a top-100 geology program deliberately hide its work? Because, as lead researcher Amy Townsend-Small explained, "our funders, the groups that had given us funding in the past, were a little disappointed in our results. They feel that fracking is scary and so they were hoping our data could point to a reason to ban it."

That an environmentalist ideologue would see evidence of fracking's safety as "disappointing" is to be expected. But that a university would so flagrantly put politics before science is deeply troubling.

Hydraulic fracturing has significantly bolstered America's energy independence by unlocking an abundance of domestic oil and gas. In fact, our country has officially surpassed Russia and Saudi Arabia as the global leader in natural gas and oil production, respectively.

Just as important, these newfound energy resources have delivered economic benefits to Americans. In 2012, the average U.S. household had an extra $1,200 thanks to the energy boom. The oil and gas industry, meanwhile, supports more than 2 million jobs—a number that is expected to grow to nearly 5 million by 2025.

This energy renaissance has also helped the environment since fracking provides a cheaper, cleaner alternative to coal. Last April, energy-related carbon dioxide emissions hit a 27-year low, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, thanks largely to a widespread transition from coal to natural gas.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:30 AM | Permalink
Categories: Environment

"They believed their own Narrative, even when they should have suspected it was a lie of their own making'

Richard Fernandez on How Tyrannies Implode

In his book Private Truth, Public Lies, social scientist Timur Kuran argued that people, under pressure to conform by culture leaders, often told public lies to get the pollsters and thought police off their backs, even as they nurtured largely undetected private resentments  inside them. Over time, two divergent perceptions would emerge: the public lie would determine how the regime thought about itself while the private truth contained the real, but hidden data.
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It's becoming evident that the European elites failed to understand how explosive the migrant issue was until it detonated full in their face. Now it is in the midst of a crisis which could literally bring down the European Union.  Why didn't they see it coming?  Because they believed their own Narrative, even when they should have suspected it was a lie of their own making.  If the PC Western elites are overtaken by a cascade similar to that which collapsed the Soviet Union, the ultimate irony will be that the very migrants which they had counted on to create the Curley Effect will turn out to be the engine of their own destruction.

They will have been hoisted on their own petard, or perhaps, more accurately, sentenced by their own Narrative.  The most dangerous lie is the one which you tell others, then wind up believing yourself.  For many years the Western political elites not only espoused the "public lie", but made certain that anyone who refused to repeat it was pilloried by the thought police. Like the Soviets, they thought this solved the problem.  But it only ensured that the spring would be wound -- and wound past the breaking point -- precisely where they could not see it strain.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:02 AM | Permalink
Categories: Wise Words and Quotations

April 28, 2016

"The conquest and Islamization of Europe will be easy"

90% of 13-Year-Olds at Italian School Would Convert to Islam if ISIS Came to Their Home Robert Spencer

From the looks of this, the conquest and Islamization of Europe will be easy.  The German-language site Katholisches.info reports that “90 percent would convert to Islam without hesitation to save their own lives, the Islamic State (IS) should conquer the country. This ‘shock result’ (Il Giornale) came from a survey of 13-year-olds at an Italian secondary school. Only two of 25 students opposed conversion. Both students are from devout Catholic families.”
---
The teacher reportedly did not sugarcoat the Islamic State’s hostility to Christians and Christianity: “The teacher told her students that the IS destroyed all Christian symbols and threatened everyone who was not willing to convert to Islam with death. She also did not conceal that many Christians were killed, exiled or enslaved because of their faith by IS.”
--
These children in this Italian classroom are the products of a relativistic, materialistic, hedonistic culture that has relentlessly indoctrinated them with the ideas that all belief systems and cultures are of equal value and are essentially interchangeable, and that it is wrong and “racist” to oppose even an authoritarian and violent ideology, and that defense of one’s homeland and culture is likewise “racist,” and that Judeo-Christian Western civilization is itself uniquely “racist” and responsible for the great majority of the evil in the world.

Cultural Identity Theft

The ideological struggle with Islam is in large part a spiritual struggle. It will be won by those with the deepest faith and strongest convictions. In other words, it’s the kind of struggle that many Europeans and Americans are ill-prepared for. While the mosques and Islamic schools have been delivering a purpose-driven message about Islam’s manifest destiny, multiculturalist educators in the West have done everything they can to undermine their student’s cultural foundations. According to multiculturalists, the worst crime is to deprive native peoples of their culture, yet all their efforts have been aimed at depriving Western students of their own multi-millennium cultural inheritance.
--
That’s what seems to have happened to the Italian students. In commenting on their response, Katholisches.info observed:

The theft of our own identity is proceeding on many levels… And now we are expected to tell our young people to take up weapons and defend themselves… In the name of what ideals and values are we to ask that of them? In the name of those ideas we never taught them, but denigrated in their eyes?

Those who are ashamed of their culture will not defend it—or, apparently, even themselves. If you believe in nothing important, then the prudent thing to do when faced with danger is to capitulate. As Alessandro Grotteri, the author of the Katholisches.info piece, puts it, “Decisive resistance comes from someone who is firmly founded in belief.”

The end result of the de-Christianization of Europe will very likely be the Islamization of Europe—unless, that is, Europeans are able to recover the faith that made Europe great in the first place. It was largely because of their Christian faith that Europeans of another era were able to resist Muslim forces at Tours, Lepanto, Malta, and Vienna, and to retake Spain from Muslim hands.
--
Actually, the attitude of the elites toward gender differences and their attitude toward Islam are connected. If you accept the proposition that your gender is whatever you wish it to be, then why not conclude that Islam is whatever you wish it to be? That is more or less what’s happened. European and American elites have constructed a make-believe version of Islam in their own minds. For them “Islam” means “peace,” “jihad” is a “spiritual struggle,” and violence has nothing to do with Islam....

The Caliphs of old who had their sights set on conquering Europe could only have dreamed about facing such clueless and spineless opponents.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:34 PM | Permalink
Categories: Civilization - Can We Keep It? | Categories: Culture and Society

April 27, 2016

"The Left hates standards – moral standards, artistic standards, cultural standards"

Dennis Prager asks Why Does the Left Loathe Western Civilization?

Wherever there is conflict between the West — identified as white, capitalist, or of European roots — and the non-West, the Left portrays the West as the villain. I am referring to the Left, not to liberals. The latter generally venerated Western civilization. President Franklin Roosevelt, for example, frequently spoke of defending “Christian civilization.” Today, the Left would revile any Westerner who used such language as xenophobic, racist, and Fascist.

...the Left dismisses virtually all Western achievements, but regards criticism of anything non-Western as racist, chauvinistic, imperialist, colonialist, xenophobic, etc.  That is why the Left is so protective of Islam. America’s first left-wing president, Barack Obama, will not use, or allow the government to use, the words “Islamic terrorism”; and all criticism of Islam is labeled “Islamophobic,” thereby morally equating any such criticism with racism. It is not that the Left is sympathetic to Islam; the Left has contempt for all religions. It is that many Muslims loathe the West, and the enemies of my enemy (the West) must be protected.

That is why the Left loathes Israel. If the Left actually cared about human rights, women’s rights, gay rights, or freedom of speech, religion, and the press, it would be wildly pro-Israel. But Israel, in the Left’s view, is white, European, and colonialist; in other words, Western. And the Palestinians are non-Western.

So, then, the Big Question is, Why? Why is the Left hostile to Western civilization? After decades of considering this question, the answer, I have concluded, is: standards. The Left hates standards – moral standards, artistic standards, cultural standards. The West is built on all three, and has excelled in all three.

Why does the Left hate standards? It hates standards because when there are standards, there is judgment. And Leftists don’t want to be judged.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:59 AM | Permalink
Categories: Civilization - Can We Keep It?

April 23, 2016

Why make art?

Beauty Speaks writes Mina Milburn

It was a brief conversation, but it confirmed for me what I had suspected for some time: there was no place for me in the world of visual art....[One] day during my final semester when I asked the most approachable of my professors the question that I could find no answer for: “why make art?” She was understandably taken off guard by the question, and did her best. “Some people make art to express themselves…” is the only part that sticks in memory, though there was a bit more than that, but nothing convincing....that moment stands like a column marking the division between the time when I was pursing being an artist and the time when that idea was officially dead to me.
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So I don’t know what specifically lead me to the great truth that I had needed for so many years, but I remember I was simply pondering the topic in the quiet of our dining room-studio after the students were gone and a phrase from an old jewelry advertisement wandered into my mind: “Beauty has its reasons” and I was thinking how that had not quite ever made sense.

Suddenly She stood in my mind’s eye, majestic, noble, powerful: Beauty. There she was – reason Enough.  I sat down suddenly struck by the vision and truth and wept. To make something beautiful, to do something beautifully, that was all the reason one needed, Ever.

Does not God himself do the most amazing things for no other reason than the sheer Beauty of it? Consider the stars and moon! And someone explain why the ocean must be so Ravishing! Sun sets and rises, though no artist can do them justice, hit you in the very soul. And didn’t He make us in his likeness? don’t we enjoy bringing into existence something which was not there before? And don’t we always make our things to be shared? Always. And isn’t the beautiful thing like a blessing in solid form, something which lifts the heart just by being?

Is it not beauty the ornament of all Truth?  Oh, Beauty, where had you been all these years? Why could I not see you were the reason all along?

“Because my dear child, those who trained your thinking did not want me. They could not bear me in their brave new world. They could not define, measure or quantify me and so they said I was not real. They dismissed me to the “eye of the beholder” which means beauty is nothing more than preference. So they denied my autonomy and authority. And you, poor thing, you couldn’t see me until the scales of the ugly stingy world were washed away and you were ready to look with new eyes.”
Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:48 PM | Permalink
Categories: Art

"Never Trust The Doom-Mongers: Earth Day Predictions That Were All Wrong"

Anthony Watts on the Seven Earth Day predictions that failed spectacularly

1: “Civilization Will End Within 15 or 30 Years.”
Harvard biologist Dr. George Wald warned shortly before the first Earth Day in 1970 that civilization would soon end “unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.” Three years before his projection, Wald was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine....

2: “100-200 Million People Per Year Will Be Starving to Death During the Next Ten Years.”
Stanford professor Dr. Paul Ehrlich declared in April 1970 that mass starvation was imminent. ...

3: “Population Will Inevitably and Completely Outstrip Whatever Small Increases in Food Supplies We Make.”
Paul Ehrlich....

4: “Demographers Agree Almost Unanimously … Thirty Years From Now, the Entire World … Will Be in Famine.”....

5: “In A Decade, Urban Dwellers Will Have to Wear Gas Masks to Survive Air Pollution.”
Life magazine stated in January 1970 ....

6: “Childbearing [Will Be] A Punishable Crime Against Society, Unless the Parents Hold a Government License.”
David Brower, the first executive director of The Sierra Club made the above claim and went on to say that “[a]ll potential parents [should be] required to use contraceptive chemicals, the government issuing antidotes to citizens chosen for childbearing.....

7: “By the Year 2000 … There Won’t Be Any More Crude Oil.”.....

Addendum via Ed Driscoll How could I forget?

Back in 1970, Earth Day was a grassroots hippie event. The organizers chose April 22 – which just “happens” to be the birthday of their Soviet Communist hero, Lenin...in fact, his 100th birthday.

Kathy Shaidle

Maybe long-time Earth Day advocate Ira Einhorn took the whole “recycling” thing a little too far when he “composted” his girlfriend’s remains in a trunk in his closet...

Ken Anderson describes Ira Einhorn, Earth Day's Dirty Secret as the co-organizer and master of ceremonies of the first Earth Day, who, in 1977  bludgeoned

his girlfriend of five years to death, fracturing her skull in a dozen places, Ira stuffed her body into a trunk, which he packed into a closet where it remained until discovered by the police nearly two years later...[after her] parents hired an investigator who very quickly came up with sufficient evidence for a warrant to search Einhorn's apartment...[where] the battered and partly mummified body of Holly Maddux was found in a trunk in a bedroom closet, packed in styrofoam, newspaper, and air fresheners.

Arrested, Einhorn's attorney was considering a run for the Senate. His name was Arlen Spector, of Pennsylvania. The darling of New Age society, politicians, Ivy League professors, and corporate executives alike, Einhorn had no shortage of friends during his bail hearing. With his great love for the earth, surely Ira would not have murdered anyone. Released on a mere $40,000 bail, of which he had to pay only ten percent, Einhorn fled to Sweden, remaining as a fugitive in Europe until 1997, when he was found living in France under another name.

While a fugitive, Einhorn was convicted in absentia in 1993, and sentenced to life in prison. The government of France, however, refused to extradite Einhorn unless the death penalty was taken off the table and he was promised a new trial. Eventually, this was agreed upon. Ira Einhorn, the founder of Earth Day, was once again convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:10 PM | Permalink
Categories: Environment

April 20, 2016

Health Roundup: Migraines, Parkinson's, prostrate cancer and the dangers of common medicines including cold and flu tablets

The cholesterol drug 'that kills prostate cancer':

An experimental drug designed to lower cholesterol may turn out to be an effective weapon against prostate cancer, research has shown.
Tumors need cholesterol to build their cell walls. By cutting their cholesterol production a chemical compound known as RO 48-8071 causes the cancerous cells to fall apart and die. 

Professor Salman Hyder, from the University of Missouri in the US, who led the research said: 'Often, cancer patients are treated with toxic chemotherapies.  The study, to appear in the journal OncoTargets and Therapy, tells how Professor Hyder's team found that the drug killed cancer cells in the laboratory.  The compound was originally developed by the drug company Roche for the treatment of high cholesterol.

Common medicines including cold and flu tablets, heartburn drugs and sleeping pills 'SHRINK the brain and slow down thinking'

Common over-the-counter medicines should be avoided by older people as they have been linked to memory loss and problems in thinking, scientists have discovered.  Treatments for colds and flu, hay fever, allergy and heartburn tablets containing anti-cholinergic drugs had the effect for one month after treatment, a study found.  Effects associated with taking the drugs included having slower brain processing times and smaller brains overall.  Well known treatments including the heartburn medicine Zantac, Night Nurse Liquid containing Promethazine and the sleeping tablet Nytol, containing diphenhydramine, are included among drugs that may result in the effects, the research said.

The drugs block the chemical acetylcholine, which is involved in the transmission of electrical impulses between nerve cells.  The treatments are prescribed for a wide range of conditions, including Parkinson’s disease, overactive bladder, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, nausea and vomiting, sleeping problems, high blood pressure, depression and psychosis.  But the authors warn: ‘Use of AC [anti-cholinergic] medication among older adults should likely be discouraged if alternative therapies are available.’

Previous studies have linked the drugs with cognitive impairment, increased risk of dementia and falls. However, the new study by Indiana University School of Medicine, is the first to explore their impact on brain metabolism and atrophy through brain scans.

Parkinson's disease drugs 'are likely to turn more sufferers into sex and gambling addicts than previously feared'

Parkinson's disease drugs are more likely to turn patients into sex and gambling addicts than was previously thought, according to new research.
Scientists at Loyola University found the pills can also increase the risk of compulsive shopping and binge eating leading to disastrous consequences.
Previous research has suggested up to one in seven people taking the medications develop these impulse control disorders (ICDs) - but the problem is 'probably more prevalent', according to a review.

The jab that could end the misery of migraines  New 'holy grail' drug slashes the number of attacks by up to 75%

Millions of people who suffer migraines have finally been offered hope of an effective treatment, after trials showed that a new injection could prevent attacks.  In a trial of 600 people, the drug, code-named ALD403, significantly slashed attacks in a third of patients, Alder BioPharmaceuticals  claims

Described as one of the few true ‘holy grails’ of medical research, an injection to truly tackle migraines is the being pursued by drugs giants Amgen, Eli Lilly and Teva, who are each competing with Alder BioPharmaceuticals to get the first license for the medication.  Each of the four companies are developing variants of a drug which tackles a protein called calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), which triggers the pain and nausea associated with a migraine.  CGRP causes the swelling of blood vessels intertwined with nerve endings on both sides of the head.

Researchers have found that monoclonal blood proteins – antibodies specifically engineered to bind to CGRP – were able to ‘mop up’ the chemical, meaning it did not trigger a migraine.The research has now come to a point where we understand the condition enough that we have worked out how to treat it.

‘All the studies that have been done are positive, and there has been an almost-embarrassing lack of side effects.For a group of people who have never had a proper treatment, this is fantastic news.’

On the horizon.  Flexible spinal cord implants will let paralyzed people walk

Doctors dream of helping the paralzyed walk through implants that stimulate their spinal cords, but current technology makes that impossible; these stiff, unnatural gadgets usually end up damaging or inflaming nervous tissue over time. Swiss researchers may have just solved this problem once and for all, though. Their bendy e-Dura implant combines flexible electrodes (made of platinum and silicon microbeads), cracked gold electronic tracks and fluidic microchannels to deliver both electrical impulses and chemicals while mimicking the spine's movements and avoiding friction. Paralyzed rats in lab tests could both walk again after a few weeks and keep wearing their implants after two months.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:36 PM | Permalink
Categories: Health

Health Roundup with news you can use

Chocolate, cheese and red wine: Key to weight loss is the bugs in YOUR gut rather than counting calories

Professor Tim Spector, of King’s College London, said that everything we think we know about diets is wrong.  He says bacteria in the stomach is more important than calorie counting.  By eating the right foods we can cultivate more good bacteria to stay slim. ‘The more diverse foods we eat, the more varieties of microbes in our bodies, which makes us healthier.’  That includes cheese, chocolate, dairy, nuts and red wine are all on the menu.  But avoid processed foods and they are limited in microbe levels because they are mainly made up of chemicals.

A handful of walnuts a day keeps heart disease at bay:

Doctors from the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona and Loma Linda University in Barcelona tracked cholesterol levels in more than 700 elderly men and women. Half added around 2oz of walnuts – roughly a handful - to their daily diet while the others ate as normal. After a year, levels of LDL cholesterol, the harmful form blamed for clogging arteries had fallen in the walnut-eaters. Those given the nuts as part of their diet did not experience weight gain.

How brushing your teeth can ward off Pancreatic Cancer. Bacteria found in the mouth 'linked to deadly strains of the disease'

Since childhood we are told to brush our teeth twice a day, or risk painful cavities and rotting teeth.  But new research suggests that properly cleaning our teeth may also help ward off a pancreatic cancer.  Pancreatic cancer has the worst survival rate of all 22 common cancers - at just 3 per cent.  Scientists have discovered that pancreatic cancer is linked to two types of bacteria that also cause gum disease.  A team in the US found that people who had these two bugs in their mouths were up to twice as likely to develop pancreatic cancer over the next decade.

Why being in a choir could help the body fight cancer:

Singing in a choir boosts the immune system and even helps the body fight cancer, according to research.  Scientists found that just one hour of singing significantly increased levels of the immune proteins that the body uses to battle serious illnesses including cancer.

The new research, conducted by scientists at Imperial College London, University College London and the Royal College of Music, found that it also has a profound impact on the immune system.  The team found that singing for an hour resulted in significant reductions in stress hormones, such as cortisol, and increases in cytokines, immune proteins that boost the body’s ability to fight serious illness.  Doctors suspect that reducing stress and anxiety takes strain off the immune system, allowing it to better use its resources at fighting disease.

Never get blisters again! Scientists spend two years studying runners to discover a single strip of surgical tape is all you need

Researchers studied 128 runners participating in an 155-mile ultramarathon.. They applied paper tape to just one of each of the runners' feet and the untaped areas of the same foot served as a control.  For 98 of the runners, no blisters formed where the tape had been applied

Watercress could be an unlikely weapon in the fight against smoking, experts have revealed.

Taking the plant extract several times a day significantly inhibits the activation of a tobacco-derived carcinogen in smokers, a new study suggests.
The findings also show how the extract detoxifies environmental carcinogens and toxicants found in cigarette smoke.  Furthermore, scientists at the University of Pittsburgh say the effect is stronger in people who lack certain genes involved in processing carcinogens.....Dr Yuan warned that while eating cruciferous vegetables, such as watercress and broccoli, is good for people, they are unlikely to have the same profound effect as the extract.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:20 AM | Permalink
Categories: Health

April 16, 2016

"The grand vulnerability of the Western mind is horror."

Spengler: To be kind is to be cruel, to be cruel is to be kind

Just after the September 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, I warned that radical Islam would horrify the West into submission. In Europe, it has taken a giant step towards success. Europe’s horror at the prospect of human suffering has made it supine. Sadly, the more the Europeans indulge in their humanitarian impulses, the more Muslims will suffer. To be kind is to be cruel.
--
Turkey’s President and de facto dictator Recep Tayyip Erdogan last October threatened European officials with 10,000 to 15,000 drowned migrants, according to minutes leaked to a Greek news site and widely reported by European mainstream media–with no official denial. Erdogan demanded 6 billion Euros up front and 3 billion Euros a year to stop the refugee flow....

The leader of a prominent Muslim country who claims to speak for the Muslim world threatened the Europeans with 10,000 or 15,000 Muslim deaths. When in world history has one side in negotiations threaten to kill its own people in order to gain leverage?
--
I argued in October 2001 that the mass sacrifice of Muslim lives lay at the heart of battle plan of radical Islam:....Evil for its own sake becomes imaginable only when the Christian civilization of the West abandons Christianity and stares into the abyss of its own destruction….The grand vulnerability of the Western mind is horror. The Nazis understood this and pursued a policy “des Schreckens” (to cause horror) and “Entsetzens” (terror, literally: dislodgement). Horror was not merely an instrument of war in the traditional sense, but a form of Wagnerian theater, or psychological warfare on the grand scale. Hitler’s tactical advantage lay in his capacity to be more horrible than his opponents could imagine.

The more the West indulges its humanitarian sentiments–that is, its squeamishness in the face of absolute evil–the more calamities will befall Muslim civilians, because Muslim leaders from Raqqa to Ankara have learned to weaponize horror. Staging humanitarian catastrophes in order to blackmail the West has succeeded for the most part. What would be required to persuade the likes of President Erdogan that the West will not accede to blackmail? Sadly, the West would have to watch with indifference as horrors unfolded on its borders. The Pakistani who threatened to hang himself earlier this month at a refugee camp in Lesbos will not go back to his miserable life in Pakistan unless the alternative at a European refugee camp is even nastier. To be kind is to be cruel: it encourages horrific outcomes staged to manipulate the Western conscience. Paradoxically, to be cruel is to be kind.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:25 AM | Permalink
Categories: Civilization - Can We Keep It? | Categories: Culture and Society

Miscellany

Salmon Caught Near Seattle Are Full Of Cocaine And Antidepressants. 

Water samples from Puget Sound showed high levels of Prozac, bug spray, cocaine, Zantac, ibuprofen and 77 other drugs. These drugs littered not only the water but also the tissue of juvenile chinook salmon.

 Chinook-Salmon-Image-500

12 GIFs That Will Make You Say 'So That's How They Make That'

From canning beer, making braided wire, industrial bacon slicer, making Crayola crayons and my personal favorite, harvesting carrots.

8 of the world’s most bizarre flowers

All of them orchids with names like swaddled babies, flying duck orchid, hooker's lips orchid, ballerina orchid, monkey orchid, naked man orchid, laughing bumblebee orchid and white egret orchid

 Swaddled-Babies Orchid
Swaddled babies orchid

How an internet mapping glitch turned a random Kansas farm into a digital hell

The default location for 600 million IP addresses just happens to be the front yard of Joyce Taylor’s farm...For the last decade, Taylor and her renters have been visited by all kinds of mysterious trouble. They’ve been accused of being identity thieves, spammers, scammers and fraudsters. They’ve gotten visited by FBI agents, federal marshals, IRS collectors, ambulances searching for suicidal veterans, and police officers searching for runaway children. They’ve found people scrounging around in their barn. The renters have been doxxed, their names and addresses posted on the internet by vigilantes. Once, someone left a broken toilet in the driveway as a strange, indefinite threat.  All in all, the residents of the Taylor property have been treated like criminals for a decade. And until I called them this week, they had no idea why.

The Story Behind Those Jaw-Dropping Photos of the Collections at the Natural History Museum

 Bird Collection Smithsonian

That's feather identification expert Roxie Laybourne surrounded by colorful birds.  Photographer Chip Clark took roughly 8 hours to set it up.
Carol Butler, the assistant director of the museum’s collections, said "These images come from a motivation to show people, in a beautiful and interesting way, a view into the richness of the collections. These are America's collections—so we want to give people a view into the collections even though we can't invite every single person to walk through the storage areas."

Scientists Successfully Breed Kale with Cannabis. 

The new cross, called Kaleabis, would be available as a superfood juice shot in Oregon dispensaries this summer.

'You're bald. Your nose is really big. We hope your private parts are as big':

 Kate Shocked

The Duchess of Cambridge, 34, was left stunned today when she discovered the very rude translation of a song cheerleaders were chanting during an archery contest in Bhutan.  Traditionally in Bhutan, men sing songs to celebrate hitting the target and are cheered on by women supporters who sing songs of support for their own men, and obscene chants to try to distract their rivals.  And it turned out that at today's contest, the female cheerleaders were chanting: 'You're bald. You're a baldy. Your nose is really big. We hope your private parts are as big.'

Nut thieves. International crime gangs are posing as truckers to steal shipments of California almonds and pistachios worth MILLIONS

International crime rings targeting California's booming agriculture industry are increasingly stealing truckloads of high-value nuts, prompting authorities and the firms falling victim to ramp up efforts to break the spree costing millions.  The sophisticated organizations in many cases use high-tech tactics, hacking into trucking companies to steal their identity. Armed with false shipping papers, they pose as legitimate truckers, driving off with loads of nuts such as almonds, walnuts or pistachios valued at $150,000, and some worth $500,000 each.

This is NOT the Eye of Sauron,  but a NASA composite image of a solar eclipse

 Nasa Composite Solar Corona

9 Things you never knew about PENCILS

Yellow pencils have been a tradition since the late 1800s, when the best graphite in the world was produced in China. Western pencil tycoons wanted their customers to know their pencils were filled with top-quality lead, so they painted their instruments in the color associated with Chinese royalty:

Czech Republic to be renamed Czechia to make it sound catchier

The country that gave the world Kafka, sugar cubes and Pilsner Urquell beer is to get a rebrand.  Officials at the Czech Republic's foreign ministry believe a new name - Czechia - is more practical and flexible when referring to the state.  Unlike most European countries, the Czech Republic has lacked a one-word version of its name in foreign languages.  Neighboring Slovakia is officially the Slovak Republic and similarly the Russian Federation is shortened to Russia in everyday conversation.  President Miloš Zeman regularly uses the name to refer to his country and said on a trip to Israel in 2013: 'I use "Czechia" because it sounds nicer and it’s shorter than the cold "Czech Republic".'...Not everyone is happy with the plans though, critics have said the new name could be confused with the Russian republic of Chechnya - almost 2,000 miles to the east.

French family stumbles on long lost €120m Caravaggio while mending leaky roof

The exceptionally well-preserved tableau had remained hidden in the attic of their home outside Toulouse, southwestern France, untouched for more than 150 years since an ancestor brought it back to France from his campaigns abroad as an officer of Napoleon’s army. Experts have already dubbed the incredible find a “momentous occasion” in European art history and the “most important painting by far” to have emerged by one of the great masters in modern times.

 Lost Carravagio French Attice
Judith Beheading Holofernes

UK couple find $70,000 lump of 'whale vomit' on beach 

Otherwise known as ambergris which perfumers use to make scent last longer.  ""It smells too bad, though. It's a very distinctive smell, like a cross between squid and farmyard manure."
Posted by Jill Fallon at 9:56 AM | Permalink
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University hides good news about fracking so as not to disappoint environmental funders
"They believed their own Narrative, even when they should have suspected it was a lie of their own making'
"The conquest and Islamization of Europe will be easy"
"The Left hates standards – moral standards, artistic standards, cultural standards"
Why make art?
"Never Trust The Doom-Mongers: Earth Day Predictions That Were All Wrong"
Health Roundup: Migraines, Parkinson's, prostrate cancer and the dangers of common medicines including cold and flu tablets
Health Roundup with news you can use
"The grand vulnerability of the Western mind is horror."
Miscellany
Innovation is overvalued; maintenance often matters more
"You can't say that"
Stupid Stanford Students
"I should have know better"
The Climate Inquisition Begins
Miscellany
Good and Rogue Immune Cells Affect the Brain
Easy Meat: The sexploitation and enslavement of girls has become pervasive and routine in England
When kids are more sensible than their parents
What an untreated strep infection could lead to
Health Roundup: Breast cancer, melanoma patch, gut bacteria, sugar, chocolate and exercise
"I was restless at first because you get to stay in bed till nearly 6 a.m. But I am getting so I like to sleep late."
Miscellany
“We redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy"
Impact of Vaccines
Poisoning the water supply
The Pension Bomb
Europe is again at war
When English Fails
US Elections Are Way More Crooked Than You Thought
"What happens to your relationships when your emotional perception changes overnight?"
Miscellany
“We’re attacked about every 7 seconds, 24 hours a day,” CIO Beth Israel Deaconess hospital
The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present.’
Health roundup: Switching off Cancer, Reversing Osteoporosis, Reversing Diabetes and Hope for Stroke Victims
Health Roundup: Alzheimer's
Health Roundup: Astonishing breast cancer treatment, Talc, Viagra, Chronic stress, Antibiotic fail, Happy gardeners, Curing blindness with stem cells and more
Children need lots of 'free play' to ward off anxiety and depression
Alzheimer's Roundup : Herpes virus a cause? Strong immune system, blueberries, maple syrup and exercise wards off
Medical breakthroughs: leukemia, organ transplants, breast cancer, schizophrenia and HIV
Miscellany
More on how foods increase or decrease your risk for developing certain diseases
The continuing failure of Obamacare
"If opportunity knocks, and he's not at home, opportunity waits"
Health Roundup - Food
Miscellany
Various views on our country and our culture that resonate
In the 18th century, the celebration—and creation—of beauty was the purpose of art; today, artists fear and reject beauty.
Miscellany
One of the most important aging discoveries ever and why driving is so important
Quotes of Note

If you deliberately plan on being less than you are capable of being, then I warn you that you'll be unhappy for the rest of your life. -Abraham Maslow

Growth in wisdom may be exactly measured by decrease in bitterness. -Friedrich Nietzsche

How wonderful is it that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world? -Anne Frank

Calendar
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Links
Marriage
Marriage Movement a grass-roots movement to strengthen marriage, it’s civil and intellectual with good links
Parenting
Independent Means Joline Godfrey on raising financially fit and good kids
Spiritual Parenting Mimi Doe on raising kind, honorable children connected to their spirit
American Baby Preconception, Adoption, Pregnancy, Baby, Toddlers and Kids and lots of ads
Blogging Baby Covering what they think is interesting
Daddy Types for new dads
Dad Talk news for serious parents
Dot Moms all sorts
Dooce rhymes with juice
Testosterhome stay at home writer with four young sons
raising grandchildren when parents can’t
Halley’s Comment Halley Suitt is a writer, editor, mom and all-purpose provocateur from Boston, as well as the blog czarina at Worthwhile
Divorce
emergency divorce blog for women
Divorce Transitions Information and support community
Widowed
Widows Resource Help for widows as they solve financial and legal problems despite their grief
Career
Worthwhile Work with purpose, passion and profit
Occupational Adventure - On having a career that lights your fire
Wealth
Womens’ Wall Street Because it’s your money: Tools, columns and ask Jane Dough Motley Fool To educate, amuse and enrich
Transitions
William Bridges Transitions are the inner work we do to come to terms with change. Personal and corporate transitions, he understands them better than anyone and how to make the most of change
The Paper Room my friend Sydney Rice’s Choices for career and life enrichment
Home and Moving
This Old House - Homeowner know-how
Monthly Home Maintenance Checklists
Moving Lady - Transform relocation into a creative life transition
Retirement
What retirement? boomer approaches retirement
Health
ACOR Association of Cancer Online Resources. Lots of links, many online support groups
After Abortion Life after abortion: news, opinion, personal experience, resources
Health Facts and Fears From the American Council on Science and Health
Your Disease Risk From Harvard, rate your personal risk for cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and osteoporosis and get personalized tips for prevention
Your Health Record Maintaining a Treasure Chest
Nutrition Navigator Rating nutrition sites
Medline Plus Your first stop in any Internet health search. NIH’s National Library of Medicine. 650 topics
HealthWeb Linking you to the Best in Health Information
Dr. Green An online pediatrician, with a daily dose, daily chats and over 5000 pages of info
Living with Illness
Tumor diary living with brain cancer
I will survive living with breast cancer
Cancer Blog

Aging and Caregiving
As Time Goes By - What it’s really like to get older
Aging Solutions Aging parents and elder care, good checklists, resources, elder care 101, independent living and more
Benefits Checkup Over 55? From the National Council on Aging, a free service to find what benefits you may be entitled to
What’s It All About
Integral Naked Stimulating, provocative and spiritual
Pause Living without a Net
Lifestylism Creating the life you want
You already know this stuff
Zaadz Do what you do best…better
Experience Designer how do you learn the things you value most
Foundation for a Better Life good news
Beliefnet Everyone believes in something
Miscellaneous
Surprise Gifts The best gift ideas on the Web. Great categories
Cool Tools Kevin Kelly’s on all sorts of tools that work
Date Archives
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BlogHerRoll
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Recommended Reading
Wealth
Personal Development
Career
Transitions
Losing Loved Ones
Organizing
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