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Member since: Thu Feb 14, 2008, 10:58 AM
Number of posts: 6,050

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Part 2 of Mother Taking Magical Photos Of Her Two Kids With Animals On Her Farm

lena Shumilova is back with another set of magical photographs. We wrote about her earlier (here), a mom and owner of a farm in Russia has taking us trough a journey of a beautiful world that revolves around her two boys and their adorable dog, cat, duckling and rabbit friends. She shoots with natural light making the photos magical..

“When shooting I prefer to use natural light – both inside and outside. I love all sorts of light conditions – street lights, candle light, fog, smoke, rain and snow – everything that gives visual and emotional depth to the image.” She said.

More: http://www.wherecoolthingshappen.com/part-2-of-mother-taking-magical-photos-of-her-two-kids-with-animals-on-her-farm/

Dove's Super Bowl ad will make a grown man cry

Source: Mashable

It looks like Dove may be the first brand to release its Super Bowl ad online — and it's a tearjerker aimed at dads.

The ad consists of one word, "dad" (or "daddy"), which is repeated by boys and girls at different stages of their lives. The repetition is affecting, particularly on repeated viewings and may results in watery eyes from more than a few fathers.

Dove, which is known for its decade-plus "Real Beauty" campaign and 2013's viral hit "Sketches," has mostly targeted its advertising at women. In 2010, the brand bought a Super Bowl ad to promote its men's line Men + Care. That ad was much more jokey in tone and employed a version of "The William Tell Overture," with lyrics like "Go out with your friends, but be a gentleman too. Then find a girl who'll say 'I do'..."

This spot takes a different approach, but underscores Dove's intention, which is to "showcase and to highlight through social channels what it looks like to be a modern man," according to Jen Bremner, director of marketing for Dove Men + Care. The ad includes the hashtag #realstrength to drive that discussion.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2015/01/20/doves-super-bowl-ad-2015/

This is a refreshing portrayal of fatherhood. to Dove!

House OKs panic buttons in wake of open carry confrontation (Texas)

Source: Houston Chronicle

AUSTIN - The Texas House approved rules Wednesday to be able to install panic buttons and eject hostile members of the public from their offices, after a confrontation between lawmakers and open carry advocates visiting the Capitol on the opening day of the 2015 session.

"I think that public servants and members of the public ought to feel safe and secure when they come to the Capitol," said Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, who sponsored an amendment to add the safety measures to the house housekeeping rules. "That being said, it came to my attention there was some disagreement as to whether members have to accommodate individuals or groups that are acting in a threatening or belligerent manner."

On Tuesday, around 15 to 20 members of the group Open Carry Tarrant County visited several lawmaker offices urging them to support House Bill 195, which seeks to undo Texas' 125-year ban on the open carry of handguns. Several House members, including Democrats Poncho Nevarez of Eagle Pass and Celia Israel of Austin, said the group hassled them or their staff.

In a video posted to Facebook by Kory Watkins, the gun group's leader, on Tuesday, open carry activists can be heard calling Nevarez "a tyrant to the Constitution" and telling him he "won't be here very long, bro."

Read more: http://www.chron.com/news/politics/texas/article/House-approves-panic-buttons-in-wake-of-open-6015078.php

Sandwich Monday: The White Castle Veggie Slider

Source: npr: the salt

White Castle is not a place you think of as a restaurant for vegetarians. In fact, early franchises built moats and had cauldrons of hot oil at the ready to keep vegetarians out. So, the new Veggie Slider comes as something of a surprise. It's a tiny veggie burger made with carrots, zucchini, peas, spinach and broccoli on a tiny bun, topped with honey mustard, ranch or Thai sauce.



(The verdict: Not too bad. They don't have a whole lot in the way of texture, so it's a little bit like inhaling greasy air. But we like veggie burgers and we're glad White Castle is making one.)

Sandwich Monday is a satirical feature from the humorists at Wait, Wait ... Don't Tell Me!

Read more: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2015/01/12/376745994/sandwich-monday-the-white-castle-veggie-slider

Y'all first! (I like my veggie burgers, but... White Castle?! I'm sure they would be dripping with meat juices, or worse.)

Pastor: I punched a kid ‘as hard as I could’ for ‘not taking the Lord serious’

Source: Raw Story

A pastor at the Bible Baptist Church in Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey is coming under fire after his church posted a video of him claiming to have converted a “smart aleck” youth by “punching him in the chest as hard as I could.”

Pastor Eric Dammann begins by saying that he met a young man in Calgary named “Ben,” who was “a nice kid, but one of those — he was a real smart aleck. He was a bright kid, which didn’t help things — made him more dangerous.”

“We were outside one day at youth group,” Dammann continues, “and he was just trying to push my buttons. He was just kind of not taking the Lord serious .”

“So I walked over to him and went BAM! Punched him in the chest as hard as I could. I crumpled the kid. I just crumpled him.”

Read more: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/01/pastor-i-punched-a-kid-as-hard-as-i-could-for-not-taking-the-lord-serious/

Koran-burning pastor pulls his image from mall french fry stand post-Charlie Hebdo

Source: Raw Story

A Florida pastor, notorious for publicly burning copies of the Koran, has removed his image from the front of a mall french fry stand he co-owns over concerns following the attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices in France, reports the Bradenton Herald.

Pastor Terry Jones, part owner in Fry Guys Gourmet Fries (“We take fries seriously“) located in a Bradenton mall, removed his image which sat on the counter beside pictures of the other two co-owners after the mall manager raised concerns.

“At first I thought the pictures would not be so recognizable,” Jones said. “They were supposed to be more of a cartoon type of thing.”

DeSoto Square Mall manager Robert Tackett was not previously aware of Jones history of burning copies of the Koran which landed him a spot on an al-Qaida ‘wanted dead or alive’ propaganda poster.

Read more: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/01/koran-burning-pastor-pulls-his-image-from-mall-french-fry-stand-post-charlie-hebdo/

A Videogame That Teaches You to Write Poetry, Even if It Intimidates You

Source: Wired

Videogames and poetry haven’t always gone hand in hand.

We’re still a long way from Master Chief breaking into a Coleridge soliloquy. But game developers Ichiro Lambe and Ziba Scott have edged us a bit closer to that day with Elegy for a Dead World, a game they Kickstarted in October and released on Steam last month.

Elegy lets players write prose and poetry as they explore distant planets and dead civilizations. The player faces 27 challenges in three worlds, each riffing on a specific British Romance-era poem: “Ozymandias” by Percy Bysshe Shelley, “When I Have Fears That I May Cease to Be” by John Keats, and “Darkness” by Lord Byron.

The different challenges find the player in various roles: an emperor rallying his troops before a doomed battle, for example, or a schoolgirl evacuating a city being bombed. Players travel through beautifully designed backgrounds, while on-screen text narrates the story. But much of the text is left blank—that’s when players tap their inner Wordsworths, finishing the tale with their own imaginations.

Throughout their adventure, players are tasked with using several writing styles: Plugging in blanks in prompts like serious Mad Libs, writing poems in rhyming couplets, or going totally freeform.

Read more: http://www.wired.com/2015/01/elegy-dead-world/

GOP Congress' First Priority: Yanking Health Insurance From 1.5 Million Americans

Source: Mother Jones

One of the first things House Republicans plan to do after Congress reconvenes Tuesday is vote on a bill that would gut Obamacare—and could deprive up to 1.5 million Americans of their employer-sponsored health insurance. After the GOP-controlled House passes the bill, the newly Republican Senate is likely to pass the measure too. What's more, President Barack Obama may be forced to sign this legislation if it is attached to a must-pass budget bill later this year.

Here's the background. The Affordable Care Act requires companies with 50 or more employees to provide affordable health insurance to 95 percent of their full-time workers or pay a fine. This regulation, known as the employer mandate, goes into effect this year. Here's the catch: The law defines employees who work 30 or more hours per week as full time. The legislation that House Republicans are expected to bring to the floor this week would change the definition of full time to 40 hours per week for purposes of the law.

This may sound harmless, but it's not—because companies that don't want to provide health insurance for their employees can avoid doing so by cutting workers' hours.

"I call this the 'send people home a half hour early on Friday and deny them health insurance' bill," says Tim Jost, a health care law scholar at the Washington and Lee University School of Law who has consulted with the Obama administration on implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

The 30-hour threshold was intended to discourage companies from cutting workers' hours. Nearly half of Americans work 40 hours a week or more—meaning that, under current law, employers would have to cut those workers' hours by more than 25 percent to avoid buying them health insurance. But if the threshold were 40 hours, as the GOP envisions, many employers would only have to cut workweeks a tiny bit to avoid buying health insurance for their employees. "Raising the threshold to 40 hours would place more than five times as many workers at risk of having their hours reduced," Paul van de Water, a senior fellow at the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, wrote in 2013.

Read more: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/01/obamacare-republican-congress-full-time-hours

Dad Calls Cops to Watch Him Spank 12-Year-Old Daughter

Source: Gawker

A Florida dad taught parents in the state last week that it's fine to spank your kids, as long as you call the cops to oversee it.

The man wanted to paddle his tween daughter for getting into "a heated argument" with her sister, WLWT reports, so he called the Okeechobee County Sheriff's Office and asked them to supervise. A deputy came to the house, watched the corporal punishment, and left after determining it was legal.

"It's within statute for them to discipline their children, and spank them. ... You are entitled to paddle your child, whether you use you hands, you use a belt, you use a paddle. Within reason. As long as you're paddlin' the buttocks," undersheriff Noel Stephen told WLWT. The report didn't specify whether hand, belt, or paddle was the weapon of choice in this particular case.

Stephen is apparently correct: "Corporal discipline of a child by a parent or legal custodian for disciplinary purposes does not in itself constitute abuse when it does not result in harm to the child," according to Florida's civil code, and the threshold for "harm" is pretty high: It includes cuts, burns, sprains, hemorrhages, broken bones, and disfigurement, among other things.

Read more: http://gawker.com/dad-calls-cops-to-watch-him-spank-12-year-old-daughter-1677493594

Antonin Scalia: Torture’s Not Torture Unless He Says It Is

Source: The Nation

Perhaps, as Justice Scalia told a Swiss university audience earlier this month, it is indeed “very facile” for Americans to declare that “torture is terrible.” The justice posited to his listeners a classic ticking-time-bomb scenario—this one involving “a person that you know for sure knows the location of a nuclear bomb that has been planted in Los Angeles and will kill millions of people”—and asked, “You think it’s clear that you cannot use extreme measures to get that information out of that person?” Now, I didn’t see that episode of 24, but I have read my Bill of Rights, and I’m far more inclined to align myself here with James Madison than with Jack Bauer—or with Antonin Scalia.

Psychopaths, sadists, and Scalia notwithstanding, no one really asks the asinine question, “Is torture terrible?” because it’s already been answered. Torture, George Washington told his troops in 1775, brings “shame, disgrace, and ruin” to the country; earlier this month, Sen. John McCain called the CIA’s enhanced interrogation tactics “shameful and unnecessary” and decried their employment. The UN expressly banned torture in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 and twice underlined the position in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (adopted in 1966) and Convention Against Torture (adopted in 1984). Common Article 3 to the Geneva Conventions (1949) prohibits “violence of life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture,” as well as “outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment.” Finally, torture is illegal in the U.S. under federal law.

In our constitution, the Eighth Amendment is brilliant in its brevity: “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” (Torture is also implicated in the Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments.) Notably, the Bill of Rights omits from its proscriptions countless offenses that a wayward state might commit against humanity, but cruel and unusual punishment is not one of those omissions; along with unlawful search and seizure, torture has been out of bounds since Day One. Still, Justice Scalia has found a chink in the Amendment’s protective armor.

Scalia’s is a truly frightening piece of rhetoric, an interpretation of the Eighth Amendment so narrow as to render it nearly irrelevant. As Judge Sol Wachtler, Chief Judge on the New York Court of Appeals between 1985 and 1993, wrote in December in response to Justice Scalia’s comments, “By saying the torture is not ‘punishment’ if inflicted for a good reason, Scalia redefines the word torture, a component of which is punishment of the most horrendous sort.”

Read more: http://www.thenation.com/blog/194065/antonin-scalia-tortures-not-torture-unless-he-says-it?utm_content=buffer0489c&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
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