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Home country: USA
Current location: Georgia
Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 01:08 PM
Number of posts: 42,664

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Environmental Scientist

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Police: Suspect denied stealing meat, but tongue found in his pants

Police in Florida say a Wal-Mart shopper denied slipping $35 worth of beef tongue into his pants, but the telltale tongue told a different story.

DeLand police say 44-year-old Jason Puckett was charged last week with misdemeanor theft after a Wal-Mart security guard spotted him slipping two packages of tongue into his waistband.

When the guard confronted Puckett at the store's exit, Puckett denied stealing the packages and said he had put them back on a shelf.

But the guard told authorities Puckett then removed the tongue from his pants when he didn't think he was being watched and ran from the store. Jail records show Puckett remained in jail Tuesday. Bail was set at $2,500. A public defender assigned to Puckett did not immediately return a call seeking comment.



Stephen Hawking Wants to Be a Bond Villain

He said in a recent interview that he has the right voice for the part

Writing the international bestseller A Brief History of Time and being the subject of a major Hollywood biopic isn’t enough notoriety for Professor Stephen Hawking– he wants to be a Bond Villain.

The internationally renowned physicist said that his wheelchair and distinctive motorized voice would make him the perfect pick to play a villain in the next James Bond movie. His ideal role would be as “A baddie in a James Bond film,” he told Wired magazine for their January issue, according to The Telegraph. “I think the wheelchair and the computer voice would fit the part.”

Hawking is currently the subject of The Theory of Everything, starring Eddie Redmayne, in theaters now. He has also been depicted on The Simpsons, had a cameo in a Star Trek where he plays poker with Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton, and has appeared in the Monty Python Live series. So why not Bond, too? After all, you only live twice.


MLB umpire Dale Scott comes out as gay in quietest way possible

By Jim Buzinski

Major League Baseball umpire Dale Scott bleeds the green and yellow of his beloved Oregon Ducks football team, having gone to games since the Johnson Administration. He has two black Labs, Roman and Rollie, who rule his world. Using his skills as a former DJ, he has recorded the voice mail greetings for 15 of his fellow umpires. He loves history, politics and documentaries and watches every season of "Survivor" and "The Amazing Race." He has worked three World Series, three All-Star Games, two no-hitters and numerous playoff games. He is gay and married to his partner of 28 years.

That last fact is just part of who Dale Scott is and has had no impact on his abilities as an umpire for the past 29 seasons. Yet it is understandably the one that most people will notice, because Scott is the first Major League Baseball umpire to publicly say he is gay while active (and the first out active male official in the NBA, NHL, NFL or MLB). This story you are reading now came about because Scott made a decision to first come out in a very quiet and understated way.

Scott was profiled in the October issue of Referee magazine, a subscription-only publication with a circulation of about 45,000. The article by Peter Jackel was a look at Scott's 29 years as a Major League umpire, and how he became one of the game's best despite nearly being fired early in his career. It also delved into his past career as a disc jockey with his "distinctive, radio-rich voice of a Vin Scully and the comedic timing of a George Carlin."

Jackel talked to friends of Scott's who grew up with him in Eugene, Ore., but nothing was written about his private life since he became an umpire. Prior to publication, the magazine's editor, Jeff Stern, wanted some non-game photos and that's when Scott made a decision to reveal a part of himself previously hidden from the public.


Tuesday Toon Roundup 3: The Rest




The issue



Tuesday Toon Roundup 2: The knee-jerk party

Tuesday Toon Roundup 1: One sided conversation

Florida committing slow suicide

Florida abandons clean energy: State votes to gut efficiency goals and end rooftop solar rebates
Regulators gave traditional utilities "virtually everything they wanted"
While the world moves forward in negotiations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Florida just made an outrageous leap backwards. Regulators voted last week to nearly entirely gut the state’s energy efficiency goals — by over 90 percent — and to allow its solar rebate program to expire.

The proposals to roll back these rules were backed by three of the state’s four major utilities – Duke Energy Florida, Tampa Electric and Florida Power & Light — which, according to the Tampa Tribune, argued that programs offering rebates for things like rooftop solar panels or energy efficient water heaters were costing them millions, forcing them to increase energy rates for everyone while only a few benefitted.

But the 3-2 decision by the state Public Service Commission to approve those proposals, notes the Tampa Bay Times, gave the investor-owned companies, which are increasingly threatened by renewables, “virtually everything they wanted.”


Slowpoke Toon: Police Pal Prosecutor

Thanks, Obamacare: Hospitals make 'unprecedented' strides in patient safety

An "unprecedented decline" in the harm suffered by patients during hospital treatment has lead to about 50,000 fewer fatalities and about $12 billion in savings since 2010, the government announced Tuesday.

The steep decrease in so-called "hospital-acquired conditions"—such as infections, adverse drug effects and bedsores—was partly due to Obamacare provisions, officials suggested. They also pointed to public partnership with hospitals that targeted those conditions and aimed to reduce the volume of patients readmitted after treatment.

Overall, there were 1.3 million fewer cases of harm to patients from such conditions from 2010 through 2013—a 17 percent drop, according to a report on patient quality and safety.

There was a marked increase in patient safety in the later part of the study, "with almost 35,000 of deaths averted" 800,000 fewer incidents overall in 2013, which the report called "a remarkable achievement."


Rooftop Solar Cost Competitive with the Grid in Much of the U.S.

Rooftop solar panels on have always been the province of well-to-do, eco-friendly folks willing to shell out extra bucks to be green, but that is all starting to change. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the cost of putting solar panels on a typical American house has fallen by some 70 percent over the last decade and a half. And a recent report from Deutsche Bank shows that solar has already achieved so-called “price parity” with fossil fuel-based grid power in 10 U.S. states. Deutsche Bank goes on to say that solar electricity is on track to be as cheap or cheaper than average electricity-bill prices in all but three states by 2016—assuming,that is, that the federal government maintains the 30 percent solar investment tax credit it currently offers homeowners on installation and equipment costs.

But therein could lie the rub. The federal tax credit for residential solar installations expires in 2016, and it’s anybody’s guess whether and to what extent the Republican-dominated Congress will renew it. Legislative analysts report that while Congress is unlikely to abandon the program entirely, big cutbacks could be on the way. But Deutsche Bank maintains that even if the credit is reduced to 10 percent, solar power would still achieve price parity with conventional electricity in some 36 states by 2016.

Meanwhile, homeowners in states where additional local incentives are available and there’s lots of sunshine—such as across the Southwest—may in fact already be able to power their homes cheaper with the sun than from the grid. Homeowners looking to go solar should check out the Database of State Incentives for Renewable and Efficiency (DSIRE), a free online database of all the different state and local incentives for solar and other forms of renewable energy.

And prices for solar are expected to keep falling as technologies improve and financing becomes more affordable. Solar leasing has helped hundreds of thousands of Americans realize the dream of going solar without breaking the bank. The companies behind such programs—SolarCity, SunRun and others—take care of installation, maintenance and upgrades while the customer ends up paying about as much for clean, green power as for grid power from coal or other fossil fuels.


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