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Flying Squirrel

Profile Information

Member since: Fri Aug 20, 2010, 06:40 PM
Number of posts: 2,957

About Me

I am the same DU member who formerly posted under the name FlyingSquirrel (no space) on DU2. If you are reading this as the result of an alert: I have never once claimed that I will not vote for the Democratic nominee this November. Ask for a link and read carefully. :)

Journal Archives

*** It's the Wacky Wednesday DUzy Awards... Severe Image(s) Warning this week! ***

Special thanks to everyone who contributed to this edition, either by responding to a post with "DUzy" in the subject line or by sending me a PM. The DUzy awards couldn't happen without you!

On an OP by boston bean  

Retort when conservatives call the Democratic Party the Democrat Party

Retort with the Con Party or Cons or The Cons. Afterall, it just short hand for conservative. No harm meant by it.

Jackpine Radical  

1. And they're dominated by males, so

I say it's the Con Men Party.


20. Nope. I say REPUBLIC PARTY. And they *notice*. They notice everytime.

When they try to correct me, I give it right back. 


OP by 53tammy  


A funny ad from the best of Craigslist 



So my roommates all left because of a job thing and I need to make rent. I really think this place is great and I've been living here for a while (incumbency FTW!). I don't want to leave but the utilities are a real bitch to afford on your own. Some facts about the digs:

It's about 775,000 square feet. Yeah, it's big, I know. But don't let the size alone fool you! It's cozy too--lots of individual rooms!

Location, location, location. It's close to everything you could possibly want. The Botanical Gardens (they're temporarily closed, but don't let that stop you); the metro, and plenty of bars. The bars are important, because what else are we gonna do?

It's historic too! It was built in like 1800 something. Don't ask me the specifics, there's a plaque somewhere. Let's just say it's pretty sweet. There are plenty of cool things inside, like a giant statue of King Kamehameha I. It makes for weird midnight runs to the bathroom, but whatever.

Wanna know more just ask!

About you: Must be LGBT friendly. Must not be a Republican. Don't be racist. Don't hate women. Must think poor Americans are people.

Oh, and don't be an Eagles fan, because, gross.

cats are OK - purrr
dogs are OK - wooof
Location: Capitol Hill
it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests


1. good ad

I'll have to see what I can scrape together for an offer, but the heating & cooling costs for something that big must be a bear. 


2. It's all about controlling costs.

Close doors. Don't heat unused rooms. Burn John Boehner's furniture for heat rather than use the furnace. (The stuff probably contains enough gin-sweat to burn for days.)


3. well, I figure

if I allow 535 congressional reps and senators in, I will have enough hot air to heat the place - and then some.


4. has 35 bathrooms, btw....


6. That doesn't seem like nearly enough...

for 535 members of Congress, the majority of whom are utterly full of shit.


On an OP by Archae  

Virginia Tea Party leader says Cuccinelli isn't conservative enough...

 does he want? 

This looks more like CYA, the Teabaggers can then whine after Cooch loses, to claim he "wasn't conservative enough" to win. 



6. These baggers are the most unhappiest bunch ever

The many faces of baggers... 

 "What do you mean a black man is President?!?!" 
 " Damn, he won again" 
 "Yeah, shut it down" 
 "We are not racist" 
 " Damn, now people can get healthcare" 
"Yes, we own your vagina" 
 " facts, what are those?" 
 " let's vote against EVERYTHING Obama wants" 
 "I want my country back" 
 " Stop now, party loyalty is first" 
 "He's just not conservative enough" 


On an OP by riqster  

Sarah Palin poses for pic, with her gun pointing at her own head.


Jesus Christ on a nuclear pogo stick.


1. Fortunately for the Quitter no vital organs are involved.


2. "I didn't know the gun was loaded!!"


9. The sad part is, someone shot a bear just so that she could pose with it.


22. ... and flash her dopey smile.

I swear, if she had a brain she'd take it out and play with it. 


27. Don't see a helicopter in the shot, therefore not her kill.

Also, fuck her for having an animal killed for a stupid fucking photo op.


36. This is performance art. She is depicting today's GOP

The mainstream republicans are represented by the bear. And she represents the teabaggers, and the gun represents the irony because the teabaggers are too stupid to avoid blowing their own brains out.


70. ...derp...


On an OP by Judi Lynn  

New Mexico legislator expresses unease about yoga

Source: KOAT Albuquerque

New Mexico legislator expresses unease about yoga 
Published 8:29 AM MDT Oct 28, 2013 

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. —A New Mexico legislator has voiced concern that stretching during school physical education activities is really yoga and possibly could introduce children to Eastern religions. 

The Albuquerque Journal reports that Albuquerque elementary school teacher Ann Paulls-Neal recently spoke to a legislative study committee about student health and obesity. 

Paulls-Neal said she refers to her class exercises as stretching or mat work rather than yoga because she doesn't want to give the impression that religion is involved. 

Rep. Alonzo Baldonado expressed concern. 

The Los Lunas Republican said parents should be notified and given the option of alternative activities for their children because yoga is linked to Eastern religions.

Read more:


36. Clearly this is gateway exercise. First you do a jumping jack or two, next thing you know

you're getting up early in the morning to run. Before all is said and done, you've got a gym membership and a statue of Buddha.


6. OMG!!! Drinking wine and eating bread are gateway-activities to Christianity!!!

Incense sticks are a gateway to Shintoism! 
Owning lucky charms made from dead animals is a gateway to Voodoo! 
Meatless Mondays are a gateway to Islam and Hinduism! 
Smoking pot is a gateway to Rastafari! 
Getting shitfaced until you speak in tongues is a gateway to the norse religion! 
Setting up Christmas trees is a gateway to the pagan tree-worshipping in ancient europe! 
Starring into the flames of a campfire is a gateway to shamanism!


12. Rep. Baldonado, you don't have to practice yoga to fuck yourself.

Find a suitable position and get busy.


On an OP by malaise

I hope DUers are watching Rachel right fugging now re McAfee

and ReTHUGs 



The House committee responsible for Obamacare oversight last week asked for expert guidance about the troubled launch of the federal Healthcare.gov site from John McAfee, the tech legend once suspected in the murder of his neighbor in Central America, CNBC has learned. 

That Republican-controlled committee wanted the McAfee Associates founder to "guide our oversight and review of" the implementation of the federal marketplace selling Obamacare insurance, according to an email obtained by CNBC.com. 

The committee suggested that McAfee might discuss the technologically botched rollout with members of Congress. 


4. Because when I think of top-notch software, I think "McAfee Anti-Virus"

(Yeah I know Mr. MacAfee is no longer associated with the software company)

Generic Other  

13. Did someone forget to uncheck the install McAfee button?

Next you will tell me they plan to keep all the records in fortran.


On an OP by Agschmid  

So just what is going on inside Hanger 3?

Something big and mysterious is rising from a floating barge at the end of Treasure Island, a former Navy base in the middle of San Francisco Bay. And Google's fingerprints are all over it. 

It's unclear what's inside the structure, which stands about four stories high and was made with a series of modern cargo containers. The same goes for when it will be unveiled, but the big tease has already begun. Locals refer to it as the secret project. 

Google did not respond to multiple requests for comment. But after going through lease agreements, tracking a contact tied to the project on LinkedIn, talking to locals on Treasure Island, and consulting with experts, it's all but certain that Google is the entity that is building the massive structure that's in plain sight, but behind tight security.

Could the structure be a sea-faring data center? One expert who was shown pictures of the structure thinks so, especially because being on a barge provides easy access to a source of cooling, as well as an inexpensive source of power -- the sea. And even more tellingly, Google was granted a patent in 2009 for a floating data center, and putting data centers inside shipping containers is already a well-established practice. 

Whether the structure is in fact a floating data center is hard to say for sure, of course, since Google's not talking. But Google, understandably, has a history of putting data centers in places with cheap cooling, as well as undertaking odd and unexpected projects like trying to bring Internet access to developing nations via balloons and blimps.

Full Article on CNet


10. I know! I know! ......

These are going to be the actual data centers for the ACA website! The Administration finally contracted with a company that knows something about websites and data centers. They're just keeping it secret for now because of ...... (I can't think of a good reason, but I am sure someone here will have some ideas.  )


11. Because that's where the operators fill out the punch cards for the healthcare applications.

They're embarrassed to admit it. 


On an OP by bvar22  

A Black Man WON the NASCAR Truck Race this afternoon at Martinsville Speedway, Virginia!!

Darrell Wallace Jr. Wins Truck Race 

Darrell Wallace Jr. became the first black driver in a half century to win on NASCAR's national level with a victory in a trucks race at Martinsville Speedway. 


It was only a matter of time. 
The dam is fractured. 
Congrats to Darrel Wallace, Jr!!!! 

for a woman winner, 
(but it won't be Danica). 


32. They're already trying to 'Impeach' him on the grounds that:

1. He hasn't shown them a REAL birth certificate. 
2. He CHEATED with the help of Acorn. 
3. He only won because of gubmint interference. (The other guys had to use trucks with all those stupid pollution control devices.) 
4. They LET him win because of QUOTAS, and affirmative action and stuff... 
5. The 14th Amendment to the Constitooshin says a black man can't win NASCAR, or at least that's what Alex Jones says, and he's the biggest Constitooshinal Skollar I know!

Spitfire of ATJ  

39. You forgot the old "They felt it was TIME to have a black win".


53. And then held it up as PROOF that the Voting Rights Act is no longer needed.


46. The Liberal Media has anointed him The Messiah!!


52. Why has he paid a million dollars to lawyers to have his driving school records sealed!?!?!?!


5. His truck goes faster because it's not flying a 4ft confederate flag from the antenna

It's a drag that slows the rest of 'em down.


On an OP by HarveyDarkey  

Meet Mr. Balls, Brazil’s Disturbing New Testicular Cancer Mascot

A Brazilian testicular cancer awareness group has created a mascot for the cause that is beyond disturbing. 

Say hello to Mr. Balls, or “Senhor Testiculo”, the wide-eyed, dual-toothed, rosy-cheeked, mole-sporting scrotum that will cause a lifetime of nightmares for anyone who lays eyes on him. 

The little curly hairs are an especially nice touch. 



1. That's nuts!

He'll hang around for a while but in the end will be sacked.


3. Let's not get testy

It looks like he needs all the support he can get.


17. Thats scrotally uncalled for

And this thread should be sacked ! 


50. I usually chime in on these tete a testes, but

I can't find a single little pun to display. Guess I'm all spayed out, tonight. It's so ovary sad.


10. "Your testicles and you."


116. That was my first thought


19. I thought that was a Congressman from Texas?

scheming daemons  

71. Señor Testiculo is a great username for my next account


78. You're going to register a sack puppet?


94. He's Brazilian.

No ñ. They use Portuguese vocabulary, alphabet and spelling. 

It's "senhor" rather than "señor". 

(Also, you might want to avoid the name. It's my new DU euphemism for Blake Farenthold and I expect it might catch on.)


106. So...Senhor Testiculo is .... BRAZIL NUTS!!!


On an OP by LiberalElite  

Georgia man saves family from burning house, but turns back to save his beer


Walter Serpit said he helped five adults and two children escape the flames, but he turned back to grab his stash of brew. He managed to grab several cans of his Bud Light before he got out of the Columbus house unharmed. 

The Velveteen Ocelot  

2. Why on earth would someone risk his life for Bud Light?

The only possible use for that swill might be to help put out the fire.


3. He almost made 'dying for a beer'


Cirque du So-What  

5. Bud Light?

That stuff is like making love in a canoe: fucking close to water.


11. I am surprised he didn't save the beer first.


12. What was he THINKING?


On an OP by brooklynite  

Colorado Shifting to All-Mail Election

Source: Governing

On Nov. 5, the way elections are conducted in Colorado will make a historic shift, but most voters shouldn't notice the change, said Amber McReynolds, Denver's director of elections. 

In the past, Coloradans had the option of voting by mail rather than standing in lines on Election Day. In this election, every voter in the state will get a ballot in the mail, with the option of voting in person. 

Also, voters can register through Election Day, rather than facing a deadline of 30 days before. 

Behind the scenes, Colorado will have a more efficient, more cost-effective and more consistent way of collecting ballots, McReynolds said. 

Read more:


2. Meanwhile, Texas changes to all-Male elections


On an OP by kpete  

Pennies From Heaven-Giving no-strings-attached $ to world's poorest produces remarkably good results

Giving no-strings-attached money to the world's poorest produces remarkably good results 

Cory Doctorow at 11:56 am Mon, Oct 28, 2013 

The Economist details outcomes from Give Directly, an organization that analyzes satellite photos to identify the poorest places in the world and then hands over no-strings-attached cash grants to the people who live there. It's a contrast to other programs, where donations are funneled into school construction or funding planned-out businesses. Give Directly has produced remarkably good results: "In randomly selected poor households in 63 villages that have received the windfalls, they say, the number of children going without food for a day has fallen by over a third and livestock holdings have risen by half. A year after the scheme began, incomes have gone up by a quarter and recipients seem less stressed, according to tests of their cortisol levels." 

For decades, it was thought that the poor needed almost everything done for them and that experts knew best what this was. Few people would trust anyone to spend $1,000 responsibly. 

Instead, governments, charities and development banks built schools and hospitals, roads and ports, irrigation pipes and electric cables. And they set up big bureaucracies to run it all. 

Still, this is not the only cash giveaway. A trial in Vietnam in 2006 gave one-off handouts to 550 households; two years later, local poverty rates had fallen by 20 percentage points. The scheme was dubbed “cash for coffins” after elderly recipients spent the money on their funeral arrangements to save their children the expense. 

A different scheme has been running in northern Uganda for four years. The government gives lump sums of around $10,000 to groups of 20 or so young people who club together to apply. Chris Blattman of Columbia University, New York, who has studied the programme, calls it “wildly successful”. Recipients spent a third of the money learning a trade (such as metalworking or tailoring) and much of the rest on tools and stock. They set up enterprises and work longer hours in their new trades. Average earnings rose by almost 50% in four years. 

This scheme has a condition: applicants must submit a business plan. But it highlights the virtues of no-strings grants (UCTs). They work when lack of money is the main problem. The people who do best are those with the least to start with (in Uganda, that especially means poor women).
In such conditions, the schemes provide better returns than job-training programmes that mainstream aid agencies favour. Remarkably, they even do better than secondary education, which pushes up wages in poor countries by 10-15% for each extra year of schooling. This may be because recipients know what they need better than donors do—a core advantage of no-strings schemes. They also outscore conditional transfers, because some families eligible for these fail to meet the conditions through no fault of their own (if they live too far from a school, for instance).


Egalitarian Thug  

2. Every good conservative knows that this doesn't work. People are inherently dishonest

and won't work unless they are forced. 


3. Well, that's certainly been true of the House Republicans. n/t


Posted by Flying Squirrel | Wed Oct 30, 2013, 05:33 AM (12 replies)

DU Topic Study: Preliminary Thread

In this post I talked about my desire to graph the changing conversation on DU.

At the time, I had planned on starting the study now, which would mean that it would take a long time for patterns to emerge. My feeling was that it would be too difficult to graph the conversation up till now, as I would need to know which keywords to look for.

Then I realized that it might in fact be possible - if I could somehow get a representative sample of DU posts. How could I do that? By carefully choosing a small enough group of DU'ers that I could do a search on, who nevertheless posted what could be considered to be a representative sample of DU as a whole.

The criteria I used was as follows:

(a) Minimum of 8 years posting on DU;
(b) Statistically significant number of threads started;
(c) Consistent posting (few, if any, breaks);
(d) Statistically significant number of average recs per post;
(e) Combined total of posts, recs, and views >= 20% of DU as a whole;
(f) Keywords in posts, on aggregate, tend to mirror keywords in DU as a whole over same time period.

My goal was to have the smallest number of DU'ers as possible which would fit this criteria (to make it easier on me when doing searches.)

PLEASE NOTE that it was not my intention to cause any controversy here; that in choosing specific DU'ers it is not my intention to express or imply any opinion regarding said DU'ers, positive or negative; my sole purpose was to choose what I felt to be the best possible representative of DU as a whole, with the fewest possible actual posters, in order to graph the changing conversation at DU over time.

The end results I am hoping for are as follows:

(a) See which topics have staying power, or "legs";
(b) Notice which important topics seem to be ignored or not discussed much;
(c) Observe the average length of time for any news trend;
(d) Possibly note differences in DU conversation vs Mass Media conversation;
(e) Any unexpected observations which may show up.

Now for the part you've been waiting for, which I decided to post separately here in order to get the inevitable discussion out of the way before posting the study results (the study is not yet completed).

These are the ten DU'ers I chose to use:

applegrove, babylonsister, cali, kpete, marmar, n2doc, ProSense, purveyor, WillyT, and xchrom.

This study will be confined to the following forums:

Latest Breaking News, Good Reads, Video & Multimedia, Politics 2013, General Discussion, Environment & Energy.

Since I do not plan to use these DUers in future studies going forward, I felt it was ok to list them here to satisfy the inevitable curiosity regarding how I came up with my results.

These ten DU'ers combined account for more than 20% of DU Posts, Views and Recs - a statistically significant sample.
Posted by Flying Squirrel | Tue Oct 29, 2013, 09:42 PM (15 replies)

*** Wacky Wednesday DUzy Awards: In which Skinner snags a DUzy ***

OMG not again… ppl are gonna start getting used to this, then what?

Special thanks to everyone who contributed to this edition, either by responding to a post with "DUzy" in the subject line or by sending me a PM. The DUzy awards couldn't happen without you!

Can't wait for your DUzy fix? Try the DIY DUzy Thread, hosted by hootinholler! This week's thread:


On an OP by B Calm

What happen to the Lounge?

Don't see it anymore??


1. The LOLcats are hiding it

Playing another trick on the stoopid humins.

Warren DeMontague  


the thread that annihilates the entire place. 

They haven't figured out how to bring it back, though.


4. They drove the bus into the lagoon. Nt


5. What happened in the Lounge

stays in the Lounge. 


21. Thanks, Obama!

You know it's bad when the lounge is furloughed.


8. It was folded into the Lurker's Group n/t


10. I haz control now!


13. Go complain in Meta ...

... or are you going to claim you can't see that, either? 



15. The Lounge has finally seceded from DU n/t


17. Rugs are being cleaned, smoke cleared out, disco bulbs replaced...

Those things don't happen on their own.


23. When the Lounge has YOU on Ignore, you know you're having a bad day


26. BREAKING: Randsom note provided to AP by anon_Kitteh:


31. Damn.

That had to be one hell of a party that I missed. 

I'm sure that extensive renovations/cleaning are needed.


On an OP by In_The_Wind  

Who stole The Lounge?


2. Gremlins

Probably from the Kremlin.


3. Lounge has decided to shutdown until---

The Donuts and Coffee are free.


8. Just plug the correct cable back in.


9. The Squirrel-Chaser Party forced a shutdown...

...until all handouts to kittehs are ended.


13. Sure! Just hang 'em out to dry ...

Cruel heartless ketteh haters!


12. DU's long national nightmare is over!


On an OP by Callmecrazy  

Dang it.

Just got back from the Dolphins game. 
Dolphins 21, Bills 23.

We lost, but I still had a great time. 

How did your teams do today?


1. Apparently my team won, 23-21


On an OP by dorkzilla  

A note about words I personally hate so stop using them, alright??

Okay, for starters, it's EAVESdropping, not EASEdropping. 


HOUSEHOLD name, not HOUSE WHOLE name. 

You cannot have a HANDFUL of SENATORS. 

I could go on and on...... 


Edit--for the record, I KNOW I left out the apostrophe in the "its" above. Please see #69 below for the 'splainin'. 

New edit: FFS…

This was an attempted parody of the plethora of call-out threads that have infected DU of late.

(A DUzy of a thread, in case you missed it)


On an OP by skip fox  

Is there an echo in here? Please come CAPTION a gaggle of Cruzs!!!


2. If we could ALL get elected, we'd have enough seats

to obstruct ourselves.


On an OP by ProSense  

John Boehner: 'I Got Overrun' By My Caucus

John Boehner: 'I Got Overrun' By My Caucus 

In explaining the origins of the first government shutdown since 1996, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) reportedly admitted to President Barack Obama earlier this month that he was "overrun" by his Republican caucus. 

“John, what happened?” Obama asked Boehner on the second day of the shutdown, according to Politico. 

“I got overrun, that’s what happened,” Boehner replied as he reportedly tried to exit a White House meeting for a smoke break. 

Democrats repeatedly questioned Bohener's clout over Republican House members throughout the budget and debt standoff, arguing that the speaker capitulates too often to conservatives on Capitol Hill. 

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said Boehner has become a "puppet — with Ted Cruz pulling the strings," while Obama said the speaker's inability to "control his caucus" contributed to the impasse. 



2. A Song for the Occassion

John Boehner got run over by his caucus 
Walking home from the White House Shutdown eve. 
You can say there's no such thing as too much bronzer, 
But as for me and Barack, we believe. 

He'd been drinking too much at his tea party, 
And we'd begged him not to flea. 
But he forgot his name in negotiations, 
And he staggered out the door into his limousine. 

When they found him Shutdown morning, 
At the scene of the attack. 
He had tea bags on his forehead, 
And incriminating Cruz marks on his back. 

Boehner got run over by his caucus, 
Walking home from the White House Shutdown eve. 
You can say there's no such thing as too much bronzer, 
But as for me and Barack, we believe. 


On an OP by packman  

I would like to know the Administrators reasoning as to why-

they downvoted my post and did not allow it showing kittens nuzzling in women's breast , 

A Jury voted 5-1 to hide this post on Fri Sep 27, 2013, 05:05 PM. Reason: This post is disruptive, hurtful, rude, insensitive, over-the-top, or otherwise inappropriate. When the original post in a discussion thread is hidden by Jury decision, the entire discussion thread is automatically locked so new replies cannot be posted. 

YET DU allows an offensive , in my opinion, photoshopped picture of Ted Cruz's head shown as a penis complete in every anatomical detail. 

The picture is offensive and should be removed.


1. The administrators don't hide posts. They are hidden by a jury of your peers.

When your post was hidden, you should have received a DU Mail message explaining why it was hidden. 

The alerter said this: This is a sexist video of shot after shot of boobies. Even in the lounge, sexism is not allowed on DU. 

Juror #4 said this: NSFW so I didn't watch it, but nonetheless it sounds inappropriate for DU. Recommend posting it on 4chan instead. 

Juror #5 said this: Alerted is right. Lounge is for humor--not blatant sexist objectification of women. 

As for the picture of Ted Cruz's head shaped like a penis, I suspect that was allowed to stay because Ted Cruz is a dick. 


On an OP by RandySF  

House Stenographer is not insane, just batshit crazy.

This is what happened ….. Click to read 



Urgent: House Stenographer says Holy Spirit woke her up at night to deliver message to the House 

Per Kaplan/Pergram-Capitol Hill 

Karrah Kaplan spoke with the husband of House stenographer Dianne Reidy last night. There’s an emailed statement here from Dan Reidy. 

First, from Dianne: 

“For the past 2 and 1/2 weeks, the Holy Spirit has been waking me up in the 
middle of the night and preparing me (through my reluctance and doubt) to deliver 
a message in the House Chamber. 
That is what I did last night” 

Her husand Dan says “My wife is a sweet, level-headed wonderful woman of God. I am proud of her.” 

Chad Pergram 
FOX News 
Senior Producer for Capitol Hill 



6. just left this post to see the reaction from commenters....

"She thought God was speaking to her but it turns out she was sleeping with the AM radio on." 


7. Probably not the first religion whose foundation involves payday loan ads.


On an OP by brooklynite  

House Stenographer Explains Her Freemason-Themed Outburst

Source: Slate

Dianne Reidy, the stenographer who provided a fittingly bizarre coda to the shutdown with her rant about how the Freemasons wrote the Constitution, offered up an explanation yesterday for why she decided to begin yelling on the House floor in the first place: God told her to. 

"For the past 2 and 1/2 weeks, the Holy Spirit has been waking me up in the middle of the night and preparing me (through my reluctance and doubt) to deliver a message in the House Chamber," she told Fox News' Chad Pergram in an email yesterday. "That is what I did last night.” 

Reidy's husband, Dan, told a similar story to the New York Post. "Two weeks, waking up in the middle of the night," he told the paper. "She’s like, I can’t sleep, God’s got me in the work." 

After being dragged from the House floor mid-rant, Dianne Reidy was taken to George Washington Hospital, where she was interviewed by a psychiatrist before being released. "The doctor was asking what was the message, what was the intent of the message?” her husband said. "She goes: 'I don’t know I just spoke what I felt God was putting in my heart. I don’t know who it was directed at'."

Read more:

Well, thanks for clearing that up...


14. Common mental illness and obsession with nutty beliefs

It would be grand if we could keep all like this off the House floor.


29. Yeah butt....

then how would they be able to achieve a quorum?


5. The sad thing is, this is the least crazy thing to happen in the House lately.

brer cat  

8. God wakes me up in the middle of the night, too.

He tells me to go to the bathroom and pee. Thank goodness he never told me to do that in the House chamber.


15. Is this a (chamber) pot joke?

Nevermind I thought I was in The Lounge.


18. The Lounge is closed for repair, apparently...

We're lucky to have a potty chair... somewhere... 


62. I'm just relieved that there's a sensible explanation


On an OP by Coyotl  

GOOD CATCH MR. PRESIDENT! Obama Catches Fainting Woman During White House Speech! (Video)


During a speech this morning by President Obama on Obamacare, a woman standing directly behind the president began to wobble back and forth as if she was about to faint. 

Luckily, Obama realized there was something going on behind him and immediately turned around to catch the woman, making sure she remained steady on her feet. 

.... “This is what happens when I talk too long,” the president said ....



45. pResident Bush helping someone out who is feeling tipsy

Oh wait, Houston we have a problem.


Posted by Flying Squirrel | Wed Oct 23, 2013, 01:11 AM (30 replies)

** It's another RANDOM ATTACK of the DUzy awards! ** (Updated)

No, this is not a celebration.

Well, ok, maybe just a little.

Special thanks to everyone who contributed to this edition, either by responding to a post with "DUzy" in the subject line or by sending me a PM. The DUzy awards couldn't happen without you!

PLEASE NOTE: I am no longer using the account "The DUzy Awards" - The account has been passed on to hootinholler for the time being. I didn't want to have to check two different mailboxes and I sometimes forgot which account I was using, which led to people asking why "The DUzy Awards" was reccing a thread. The DUzy Awards is not an official position here on DU, and personally I like it that way.

So, if you want to PM a link, I would recommend sending it to both me and to "The DUzy Awards", just to make sure.

On an OP by babylonsister  

"... We're down to blood relatives and paid staffers."


1. and the paid staffers are lying to the pollsters.


9. And who made it so? Why, YOU, Senator, when you picked the Quitting Quitter of Quit.

Nice work!


10. John McCain should go home.

And weave baskets.


On an OP by displacedtexan   

Anyone else as freaked out as I am that Luke Russert sounds smart today?

I have ridiculed that little spud since Daddy passed & Baby got a cushy TV gig because of his last name. But today, he's sounded rational, informed, and totally tuned in. 

Am I crazy (due to republican-insanity overload)?

Hassin Bin Sober  

1. Even a blind chicken can pick up a seed or two.


8. The more people agree with me, the smarter I consider them.


9. But that's just because you're brilliant!


12. I agree with you 100%.


10. I always considered you one of the brightest lights on DU.


On an OP by CatWoman  

John Boehner Reportedly Tells Harry Reid He Will Move Quickly

The office of Speaker Boehner told the office of Majority Leader Harry Reid's on Tuesday night that they would be willing to send them a "message" so that the procedural process of getting a debt limit and government funding bill could move faster. 

The communication between the two was first reported by Salon's Brian Beutler and was confirmed by an aide to the Huffington Post. The aide said that the news was delivered after House Republican leadership failed to move their own bill to resolve the dual matters. 

A message is a legislative vehicle that if sent from Boehner to the Senate would allow Reid to skip one cloture vote. This would ensure that if one Senator wanted to gum up the works, he or she could only force 30 hours of consideration. 

A request for comment to Boehner's office was not immediately returned, though if the news is true, it is a signal that the Speaker knows the time for staring down the Senate is up. 



2. ...To The Spray Tan Booth. nt


7. These rules

That govern our Houses of legislation are strange and ridiculous. They seem randomly complex for no apparent reason. As if I am watching some Dungeon and Dragon game played by 180-IQ slackers in their mother basement. I am sooo glade 'Boner' is floating the Message Card to Reed giving him one Cloture Vote for free...unless Cruz flips the Toad The Wet Sprocket card which in combo with Jim Jordan's Lucy Luo Magic Wand invalidates the message card and thus.... 

I swear this can't be a mature, reasonable world.


On an OP by malaise  

Bwaaaaaaaaah! ReTHUGs, Amazing Grace and how Gerry Connolly nailed it



When reports surfaced that House Republicans sang "Amazing Grace" during a Tuesday morning meeting, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) responded with a laugh. 

"Isn't that usually sung at funerals?" he joked with reporters. 

"I hope they understand the derivations of those lyrics," Connolly said. "It was written by a slave trader who came to be filled with remorse for his actions. His words say, 'I was blind but now I see' ... He is remorseful for his past and takes responsibility for those actions and sees the saving light of grace, even for a wretch like himself." 

"I'm not saying my colleagues are wretches," he added. "But I hope what that indicates, the symbolism of singing that beautiful hymn that all Americans share, is that there's some saving grace here." 

Asked what he thinks Democrats will sing in their next caucus meeting, Connolly thought for a second. Then he sounded a note of optimism, given the recent progress toward a bipartisan Senate fiscal deal. 

"Here Comes The Sun," he said. 

Too good


4. The Repugs should have sung "Nearer my God to Thee", famously played

by the orchestra on the sinking Titanic.


15. "I'm not saying my colleagues are wretches." Well, then, I will, Congressman Connolly!

I'll be glad to. They're wretches! They're WORST than wretches! They're seditious, spoiled, selfish, short-sighted, proudly and willfully ignorant, mean-spirited, even downright treasonous, and they have NO BUSINESS anywhere near government!!!!


20. That's an insult to wretches


On an OP by Orrex  

In all the shutdown confusion, I've totally lost track of Benghazi

And what about IRS-gate? 

How long until we can we get back to the issues that really matter?


13. At last report, it was still in Libya

Where did you think it had gotten to? 


5. Benghazi!


7. What about the hours spent hunting for the birth certificate?

Doesn't that mean anything? Or is that all for naught? 


8. Don't you know?

The birth certificate was kept "safe" at the diplomatic building in Benghazi. 


11. In the Ark of the Covenant, which is in the basement.

Guarded by Bin Laden. 


18. Dr. Sheldon Cooper is on the ball.


On an OP by n2doc  

Toon: Rebranded GOP

Xipe Totec  

2. If they really want to save face, they need to put the grenade between their legs and pull the pin.

Can't say what will happen to their nether parts, but the face should survive intact. 


On an OP by bluesbassman  

Dershowitz throws the Constitution, figuratively, at Ted Cruz

Source: Yahoo News

But when it came to the shutdown and debt-ceiling fight, Dershowitz made his case. 

“I think it raises very serious constitutional questions of the kind that Ted Cruz should be interested in. Could you imagine Hamilton and Madison sitting around and drafting the Constitution and the Federalist Papers. They’re talking about how the government has to pay its debts, how it has to secure the credit of the United States, how the House of Representatives to originate bills on revenue. Nobody in a million years would have contemplated the power of Congress to shut down the government, to create doubts about our creditworthiness,” he said. 

“I think you can make a very strong argument that what Ted Cruz is doing is deeply unconstitutional. Whether a court would accept that or say it’s a political question is another issue, but Cruz is a principled man. He ought to look at the Constitution and look into his heart and ask himself, ‘What would Alexander Hamilton have done,’” Dershowitz said.

Read more: http://news.yahoo.com/dershowitz-throws-constitution-figuratively-ted-cruz-141406725--politics.html 

More to hang around Cruz's neck during the next election.


3. Unfortunately, Cruz is not up for re-election until 2018.


16. I'll be waiting.......


19. We now have an explanation as to Cruz & Mike Lee's whereabouts during the lunch absence. Cruz having

been challenged to "look into his heart" by Dershowitz, was confused as to the instructions. He called on his friend Mike Lee to explain what the "heart thing" was. Lee, familiar with the term but uncertain of it's exact location, was unable to expedite the process. After two hours of searching they concluded it was a joke being pulled on Sen Cruz by Professor Dershowitz akin to a snipe hunt. Cruz was overheard saying to Lee, "that Dershowitz, he's getting up in years. He also used to tell me I looked like McCarthy. Silly man, It's McCartney and I don't look anything like a Beatle".


On an OP by bluedeathray  

McConnell - Tough shit...

A provision in the Federal funding bill includes $2.918 billion in funding for a dam in Kentucky. He's walking away from this debacle with lots of your tax dollars for a project that's over budget, and won't be completed until 2024. 



9. Because only the Dems give a dam about governing.


On an OP by spanone  

local gannett newspaper running this picture on front of webpage - wtf?


1. punching himself in the face or the nuts?

it's a poll.


5. both, alternately


8. Nancy took the gavel away from him.


2. He was doing Rock-Paper-Scissors with the Prez. He lost.

Posted by Flying Squirrel | Fri Oct 18, 2013, 05:47 AM (15 replies)

* A mini DUzy thread for your Tuesday morning... *

Ok, so… I have free time on my hands due to a mini break-up with my girlfriend (she does not approve of me wasting my time on DU, and I do not approve of her disapproval of me!)

Having nothing better to do with my time tonight, I thought I'd fill it with a mini DUzy thread (hootinholler has bravely attempted a DU-it-yourself DUzy concept, but it remains to be seen whether that will work out in the long run.)

In the mean time, with no apologies for the past and no promises for the future, here's a DUzy thread for y'all!

Special thanks to everyone who contributed to this edition, either by responding to a post with "DUzy" in the subject line or by sending me a PM. The DUzy's could not ever happen without you!

On an OP by Drunken Irishman  

Bette Midler is pissed the fuck off...


The real wages of workers on factory floors are lower than in the early ’70s. Richest 10% of Americans get over half the income US produces. 

So....@tedcruz? Blame Canada! 

.@tedcruz pushes this country to the brink. "A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its pants." 

Looks like it might be the end of @tedcruz. Dumb is dumb, and it's becoming clearer every minute... 

What's the term for a Congress that votes against gun control, and shuts down the gov't over affordable healthcare? Oh yeah...fucked up. 

The New Normal: USA held hostage by right wing extremists. Osama Ben Laden couldn't have done it better.

Spitfire of ATJ  

13. Check out how the Right twists things....


Let's look at the facts, shall we? 

In 2011, there were about 14,000 homicides in our nation. That year, 48.6 million Americans were uninsured. 

That means about 261 million people in our country had health insurance that year, or 18,643 times the number of homicides. 

Midler might be a Divine singer, but her intellectual capacity is anything but.

Oh sure, let's take the number of people WITH insurance and compare that to the number of people killed by guns and then say the numbers are wildly different and then have the nerve to claim intellectual superiority. 

It's like watching Bush give a mangled press conference and exit the stage thinking, "nailed it!"

cui bono  

14. LOL. What does that even mean???

Huh??? That made my brain crash. 

Spitfire of ATJ  

18. It's like asking "If a hen and a half can lay an egg and a half in a day and a half then,..."

....how long will it take a rooster sitting on a brass doorknob to hatch a hardware store?

cui bono  

22. Did you know that...

that is an actual math question on the official Tea Party candidate qualifying exam? 

The correct answer is "Obama is a socialist". 

Spitfire of ATJ  

24. I thought it was "Obama is a Kenyan Communist Muslim Terrorist Fascist Dictator".


41. He's a Muslin, dammit, get the spelling right! nt

Heather MC  

35. Ted Cruz is somewhere right now gleefully jumping up and down, pissing his pants, & singing

Bette Medler Knows my name!!!!!!


On an OP by xfundy  

Betty Crocker is a pro-homo, anti-christian socialist homofascist communist librul traitor 2 Murkkka

Can't wait to see how this plays among the "Let us Prey" crowd.

(Mass pun-demonium ensued, DUzy awards to all who parsnip-itated!)


OP by Gidney N Cloyd  

OMG, it's Frank Burns and Hotlips Houlihan 2.0


6. "Unless we each conform, unless we obey orders . . .

unless we follow our leaders blindly, there's no possible way we can remain free!" 

- Frank Burns, MASH Episode: 'The Novocaine Mutiny' 


33. Isn't it odd both of them are having difficulty

feeling a heartbeat?


On an OP by WilliamPitt  


From the DC Tea Party riot yesterday. Yes, this is real. 

The apostrophe-s is what makes it art. 

What we're up against, folks.

(Original credit, and therefore a Duzy award, for this image goes to hexola)


6. As hootinholler observed in another thread...

...they spelled "DEFUND" wrong.

(DUzy to everyone else who said the same thing throughout the thread)


8. this is what happens when you "Defund are skool's"


13. Too bad Obamacare doesn't cover spelling lessons nt


18. All your tea are belong us.


21. "I CAN TYPING" hits the road!!


25. Geez Louise

They don't even have a basic grasp of three-letter words. Here's another one where they confuse "our" with "are"... 

Ghost in the Machine  

63. He was part of my "FReeper Sign" I made years ago....


80. Apparently their "Windows" system doesn't have spell check. n/t


On an OP by elleng  

*News Conference w Boner now,

MSNBC, fwiw

Liberal Veteran  

16. Transcript

Oompa Loompa doom-pa-dee-do 
I have another puzzle for you 
Oompa Loompa doom-pa-da-dee 
If you are wise, you'll listen to me 
Who do you blame when your party's a brat? 
Pampered and spoiled like a Siamese cat 
Blaming the voters is a lie and a shame 
You know exactly who's to blame: 
The President of the Country. 


40. How apropos...


OP by ashling  

Breaking: Astrophysical Shutdown threat


1. Tell Pluto to

blow it out Uranus 


Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Posted by Flying Squirrel | Tue Oct 15, 2013, 06:26 AM (25 replies)

Changing the conversation: NSA to Syria, a graph of DU posts

I took the liberty of doing an advanced search and counting the number of OP's on DU which had the words "NSA" and "Syria" in them... Interesting stuff.

Posted by Flying Squirrel | Mon Sep 16, 2013, 06:17 PM (9 replies)

Sometimes a crappy phone camera can produce a very interesting picture

At least I thought so
Posted by Flying Squirrel | Sun Sep 15, 2013, 10:38 PM (2 replies)

*** DU UP-RECs -- September 1-7, 2013 ***

It's back! I had to choose between re-resurrecting the DUzy's and continuing the DU UP-REC idea. So... this was my choice. It's kind of a little booster shot for your mood.

DU UP-REC stands for:
Delightfully Unique - Uplifting, Positive - Regenerative, Elevating, Cheerful!

If you like this idea and would like to help out with future installments, please pm me a link.


DU UP-REC's: September 1-7, 2013


neighbors harvest crops for farmer with two broken legs

RUDYARD, Mont. (AP) — A Rudyard farmer, who was unable to harvest his fields due to two broken legs, watched from his wheelchair as his neighbors rallied at his farm to help him.

The English philosopher John Locke once said, "To love our neighbor as ourselves is such a truth for regulating human society, that by that alone one might determine all the cases in social morality."

This rang true for Joe Becker as he watched the line of his neighbors' combines harvesting the fields he was unable to attend to.

"I had six combines, several trucks, a tractor and all kinds of help today and yesterday," Joe Becker said Wednesday. "To have those combines lined up like they were cutting their own crops was great. Once they got together, nobody had to tell anybody what to do or ask anybody to do anything. They just did it."

Becker spent five days in the hospital at Kalispell after falling 12 feet while helping his son build a cabin. He broke the tibia in his left leg, in which 10 screws had been placed, and his right leg had to be set in a cast after developing a hairline fracture and breaking bones in all his toes.

"It was bad timing on my part," Becker said.

Becker said while he was on mandatory bed rest at the hospital, he received a call from one of his neighbors, who told Becker he had enough to worry about and he would not have to worry about his farm.



painted churches

high hill painted church 3 by rdking647, on Flickr

high hill painted church 4 by rdking647, on Flickr

high hill painted church 6 by rdking647, on Flickr

praha painted church 2 by rdking647, on Flickr

praha painted church 1 by rdking647, on Flickr


Today's Hawaii excursion

We went to the botanical garden today.

This is called beehive ginger.

I think this is bromeliad.

This is called a cannonball tree. Weird.

This flower was the size of a football.


Dog Finds Hungry Friend, Brings Him Home to Share Dinner



Without paperwork, school lunch free in Boston

Source: Boston Globe

Boston public schools will begin serving free lunches to all students this school year even if families have the financial means to pay, school officials are expected to announce Tuesday.

The meal program, more than a year in the making, is part of an experimental federal initiative that aims to make it easier for students from low-income families to receive free meals by eliminating the need to fill out paperwork, including potentially invasive questions about income.

Cities such as Atlanta, Detroit, and Chicago have been or will be participating in the free-meal program. Starting next school year, the program will be open to any school district across the country with high concentrations of students from low-income families. The cost of the free meals will be covered by the federal government.

“Every child has a right to healthy, nutritious meals in school, and when we saw a chance to offer these healthy meals at no cost to them, we jumped at the chance,” said Mayor Thomas M. Menino in a prepared statement. “This takes the burden of proof off our low-income families and allows all children, regardless of income, to know healthy meals are waiting for them at school every day.”

Read more: http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2013/09/02/boston-public-schools-will-offer-free-lunches-all-students/2aaUy5sxJjIak9ndGDHxkJ/story.html


Husband Of Gay Service Member Booed At GOP Debate Now Has His Military Spouse ID Card

“You’re official,” Maj. Stephen Snyder-Hill said to his husband, Joshua, after he got his spousal military ID card on Tuesday"

"WASHINGTON — Major Stephen Snyder-Hill found himself at the center of the national debate over the end of “don’t ask, don’t tell” when he was booed by audience members at a a September 2011 Republican presidential debate when he asked about the change that allows him now to serve his country and talk openly about his husband, Joshua.

"Debate Crowd Booed Gay Soldier"http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2011/09/debate-crowd-booed-gay-soldier/

Two years later, in a sign of the changed landscape for same-sex couples, Stephen and Joshua Snyder-Hill went to the Defense Supply Center, Columbus, or DSCC, in Ohio on Tuesday — where Joshua became “official,” as Stephen put it, and received his spousal military ID card on the first day the cards were available to same-sex spouses.

“I’ve been in the military for 24 years. I was pre-‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ during and after. It’s just been a really long fight, I think, for military families to be able to get the same protection that other soldiers’ families get,” Stephen Snyder-Hill told BuzzFeed Tuesday afternoon. “I mean, we’ve had times when we’ve had family days, things that just beat down your morale because you just feel like you’re not the same or you’re not equal or you’re not protected as well. And I think that now, we’re pretty much equal.”

There's more..

h/t http://theobamadiary.com/

This has been such a long hard fought battle and it's heartwarming to be able to celebrate something so wonderful that has come to be for our Gay Brothers and Sisters in the Military.


Amazing birds' nests from around the world


More at link


Actor gives home to abandoned pets in S. Calif.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Nearly 35 years ago, Leo Grillo thought he could get people to stop dumping dogs and cats in the forests and deserts of Southern California.

He discovered quickly that wasn't going to happen. There seems to be no end to the number of animals he finds discarded on the side of the road.


Grillo promised every unwanted animal that crossed his path that he would keep it safe and do all he could to keep it happy and healthy for life. He set up DELTA (Dedication & Everlasting Love to Animals) Rescue to keep that promise, and today, with 1,500 dogs, cats and horses, it is the largest no-kill, care-for-life sanctuary in the nation for abandoned pets.

The sanctuary sits on 115 hilltop acres in western Los Angeles County and has an annual budget of $8 million and about 50 employees. On the grounds are a state-of-the-art hospital, a full-time veterinarian and its own fire department.

Much more here:


1000 "spent" female chickens flown by private plane to cage free life

Chickens on a plane! 1,000 to take red-eye to 'freedom'

An Animal Place staffer holds a hen rescued from slaughter.
Chickens aren't exactly known to be frequent fliers — let alone cross-country travelers. But on Sept. 4, over 1,000 rescued hens will take to the friendly skies.

California-based shelter and sanctuary Animal Place will airlift the group of recently-rehabilitated chickens to new lives on the East Coast, as part of its 3-year-old program to find homes for animals originally destined for slaughter.

The female chickens, who will head to New York, are part of a group of 3,000 rescued at an “egg-laying” farm that contacted Animal Place at the end of July, to avoid having to slaughter the animals.

"When the hens slow down or stop producing eggs, the industry considers them to be 'spent,'" Gary Smith, a spokesperson for Animal Place, told TODAY.com. "They are no longer economically viable in the industries eyes, so they are sent to slaughter for cheap chicken meat or pet food."

Getting the chickens flight-ready was not easy.

“The birds were covered with parasites and we had to do a series of treatments to eliminate them all,” said Animal Place Executive Director Kim Sturla told TODAY.com via email. “Each bird has been health checked which also includes nail trimming since none of the birds received any individual care during the two years living in cages.”

Some hens needed antibiotics — all suffer from osteoporosis due to their crowded cages. One particularly grueling challenge for Animal Place staffers was preventing the hens from “clumping,” or climbing on top of each other in their barn from the stress of such a drastic change in their living situation.

“Each evening a team of eight to 10 people spent one to two hours de-clumping the 3,000 birds,” Sturla said. “It is time consuming, exhausting, and stressful, because there is always the high likelihood some will suffocate and die if you are not diligent.”


Theodore Roosevelt National Park: Where Wildlife & Buffalo Still Roam


Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt, the 26th U.S. President, fell in love with the North Dakota badlands during his first visit there in 1883 while he was hunting bison. Roosevelt believed the ‘Wild West’ had a rugged lifestyle and ‘perfect freedom.’ The establishment of Theodore Roosevelt National Park was to memorialize Roosevelt’s life, and the influence the landscape had on him and his conservation ethics. The 110 square miles park is divided into three sections packed with wildlife including bison, feral horses, elk, bighorn sheep, white-tailed deer and mule deer, prairie dogs, and 186 species of birds such as golden eagles, sharp-tailed grouse, and wild turkeys. The largest, South Unit, and the North Unit have about 100 miles of foot and horse trails, wildlife viewing, and opportunities for back country hiking and camping. The Elkhorn Ranch Unit which has Roosevelt’s Elkhorn Ranch is located in-between the two larger units. Besides wonderful wildlife, the National Park Service calls the bizarre geologic rock formations the “grim fairyland” of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Roosevelt said the badlands were “so fantastically broken in form and so bizarre in color as to seem hardly properly to belong to this earth.” Here’s a look at the wildlife at Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota, one of the few places where the buffalo still roam.


when special needs child throws a tantrum in restaurant a stranger...

A North Carolina mother says a stranger's kind-hearted note was a "blessing" that wiped away long weeks of aggravation.

Ashley England and her family had tried to eat dinner Friday at the Stag & Doe restaurant in China Grove, N.C., but planned to bolt when she couldn't calm her 8-year-old son, Riley, who has special needs.

"He threw the phone and started screaming," England told WBTV. "The past few weeks have been very hard and trying for us - especially with public outings. Riley was getting loud and hitting the table and I know it was aggravating to some people."

But if most customers were annoyed, one understood and quietly sent a waitress on a special errand to help the family.

"I'll try to do this without crying," the waitress told the family. "But another customer has paid for your bill tonight and wanted me to give you this note."needs child: ‘God only gives special children to special people’




I love my tree guy. I love him.


My old maples are dying faster than I can save the money to bring them down before they fall on my house. Last year was the 1st one. I called the 6 tree people closest to my house. Dave was #6. The price he quoted was literally 1/3 of what the others were charging. He's a transplant too, and a former forest ranger. It was too good to be true, so I called his insurance company and confirmed he's 1. got insurance and 2. never had a claim. He says what he's got is better equipment than the locals.

He showed up on tree day with a crew of 2 young men, hired away from either the power or phone company, one of them brand new to him and in training. He tried to tease me by telling me the new guy would be supervising. I one-upped him when I turned to newbie and told him not to worry if he dropped a tree on the roof because I'd knew they were insured and as he could see I could use a new roof. Ha! Dave couldn't back-pedal fast enough Anywho, the 2 young guys did a great job and left me with a nice stack of firewood that I was able to sell to a neighbor, bringing the price of the job even lower. Instead of $1500 (the highest quote) it cost me $400 in the end.

In the meantime, another tree has died. Dave just gave me the quote. I was worried because it's a bigger tree and in the back, so he can't reach it with his bucket truck. $450. $450!!!!

Then I showed him another one that is dying and is next to my permanent pasture fence. This one is even bigger than the other two -- he said its a good 4 cords and will he a medium sized house for a year. Once he realized he could bring his truck into the pasture, though, it all became easier. $950.00. That won't come down until next summer, though, unless we have a dry spell.

I feel like a charity case, and don't like that. But he told me he ties my jobs to other, bigger jobs in the area so he can cut me breaks because he knows I'm struggling. He has at least one billionaire/1%er client, and he said he can't see charging more for a job he can do in 2 hours.

He's also incredibly personable. Turns out his stepfather was a techwriter and engineer, lost his career and went back to school...for nursing. He was so proud of his stepfather for doing that in his early 50s. Then I told him essentially the same thing happened to me, I went back for med lab tech in my mid 50s. I graduated summa cum laude, got a single B+ but I didn't mind that. Then he told me his father was straight As, valedectorian. Suddenly I got really pissed about my B+. Explained the oral communications teacher really hated me. Told him the story of how she started screeching at me in the middle of class, and slandered me to the class, half of them never returned and she lost her job as a result. It's NOT FAIR. I should have had straight As too. I should have been valedectorian too!!!!

Anyway, you all would like Dave too. Not only was he a forest ranger, but he'd like to see government run healthcare so everybody would get their basic needs met. He's not sure how ACA is going to affect his business, but he gives his employees health care.


To all who have furry friends.

I found this poem in a book by Willie Morris. He wrote "My Dog Skip." He also wrote a great book about a feline, "My Cat, Spit MGee."

I have always thought that this verse sums up our love of our friends who unfortunately have shorter lifespans than we do.

“We who choose to surround ourselves
with lives even more temporary than our
own, live within a fragile circle;
easily and often breached.
Unable to accept its awful gaps,
we would still live no other way.
We cherish memory as the only
certain immortality, never fully
understanding the necessary plan.”
― Irving Townsend


Down syndrome reversed in newborn mice with single injection

Source: Australia Broadcasting Corporation

US researchers have found a way to reverse Down syndrome in newborn lab mice by injecting an experimental compound that causes the brain to grow normally.

The study, published in the Science Translational Medicine journal, offers no direct link to a treatment for humans but scientists are hopeful it may offer a path towards future breakthroughs.


"We were able to completely normalise growth of the cerebellum through adulthood with that single injection."

The injection also led to unexpected benefits in learning and memory, normally handled by a different part of the brain known as the hippocampus.


Read more: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-05/downs-syndrome-reversed-in-newborn-mice/4936412


Pure joy! A young girl meeting her baby brother for the first time:


Hope that bond lasts a lifetime!



Posted by Flying Squirrel | Mon Sep 9, 2013, 07:39 AM (2 replies)

Attention, handymen/women & DIY'ers

I'm getting real tired of putting your stuff back together, and you may be tired of it yourself. Therefore, I've drawn up a quick sketch for those who might think they know how to put two pieces of wood together, but really don't.

For the love of all that is good, please use TWO drill bits from now on when attaching two pieces of wood together with wood screws. Drill bit #1 should be the diameter of the outside threads of your screw; Drill bit #2 should be the diameter of the inside part of the thread (the solid portion of the screw).

You can thank me later when your bird feeder doesn't fall apart.

Posted by Flying Squirrel | Fri Aug 30, 2013, 08:05 PM (42 replies)

*Delightfully Unique - Uplifting, Positive - Regenerative, Elevating, Cheerful (The new DU UP-REC)!*

I'd like to introduce a possible new weekly thread: The DU UP-RECs.

As we all know, one of the necessary disadvantages of DU is that we often focus on the negative. As my girlfriend sometimes says when I'm reading stuff out loud to her, "Do you ever read anything GOOD on that site?" I'm often hard-pressed to come up with a quick example of something good for her.

In addition, even when something good IS posted, there are people who will quickly respond to the post in a negative fashion. I'm sure they have the best of intentions.

All this negativity can wear ya down. I was thinking this could be a nice little booster shot, perhaps posted on a Wednesday, to help us all make it through the week. By posting the good stuff all in one place including links, DU'ers could decide for themselves whether to go to the actual thread (where they would almost certainly encounter some negativity) or not.

If you like this idea and would like to help out, either respond to a post you'd like to see given more circulation with "UPREC" or "UP-REC" somewhere in your response (capitalization not necessary) and/or pm me a link.

Without further ado, here's an example of how the weekly thread might look (in order from most recent through last Wednesday):


First Riders Hit the Streets as Bike Share Program Begins (in New York City)

Source: New York Times

New York City introduced its long-awaited bike share system on Monday, supplying thousands of bikes, scattered across more than 300 stations, for public use in parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn.

With the program’s arrival, officials believe they have plugged some decades-old gaps in a city whose transportation network has at times strained to match its growth.

Faster than a crosstown bus and cheaper than the subway — at least for annual members — the bike share system was greeted on Monday with a mixture of hope and trepidation. It is the crowning, valedictory piece of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s extensive investment in cycling, in which the city has added more than 350 miles of bike lanes in recent years under the stewardship of Janette Sadik-Khan, the city’s transportation commissioner.

“We think this will be very popular,” Mr. Bloomberg said in his weekly radio appearance last week, adding, “Let the free marketplace decide.”

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/28/nyregion/bike-share-program-opens-in-new-york-city-after-long-delay.html


teachers quietly serve as first responders to poverty


Teachers typically provide birthday and Christmas presents, cough drops, tissues, and sanitary napkins, she added.

"I keep a big bag for the girls," Roat said, "and we just take care of it."

But, she added, the biggest problem is hunger.

Whenever there's a long weekend like Memorial Day, teachers know to bring in extra granola bars and juice Tuesday.

When students return to school after three days away, "they're out of sorts, with headaches, unable to concentrate," Roat said.

She explained that many low-income families won't have enough food to feed children, especially on Monday, when the school is closed on a day kids would normally be eating breakfast and lunch in the building, Roat said.

Saizon Sanders, a 10th grader at Collingswood High School, whose family struggles financially, said guidance counselor Dennis Gaughan has provided him with food, along with clothing and other items.

"He gives me cologne to smell good, and he gives me friendship," said Sanders, 16. "It feels so good."At Roxborough High School in Philadelphia, teachers and staff use a school washer and dryer to clean the clothes of needy students.

Learning and laundry, in fact, get done in several area schools, where teachers and staff also buy food, prom clothes, toilet paper, eyeglasses, and countless other items for children from families with meager means.

This is on top of the hundreds, even thousands, of dollars that teachers spend each year on basic classroom supplies.

In the Philadelphia area, teachers see themselves as first responders in the ongoing emergency of poverty. Many say that if they falter, they fail the children.

So they step up.

"Children in need cross your way," said Lisa Ghaul, an occupational therapist at Knight Elementary School in Cherry Hill, who wound up adopting a student whose life was in turmoil. "If you ignore them, it's a sin of omission."

During a time of massive budget cuts, school closings, and teacher layoffs, it's easy to forget how teachers fill the holes in the lives of the poor, experts say.

"The help that teachers give kids is missing from the public dialogue about teachers these days," said Maia Cucchiara, an urban-education professor at Temple University. Teachers, she said, are too often criticized as robots teaching only to help students pass standardized tests.

"But that misses the reality of the student-teacher relationship," Cucchiara added. "When you have a child in your care and see him suffering, you do what you can to help."

Some say teachers are supplanting parents in this role as frontline activists; others believe teachers have no choice.

"I just think that when you become a teacher, you become a servant to the cause," said Karen Borrelli, a health teacher at Brimm Medical Arts High School in Camden, who has paid for prom hairdos and arranged rides for children to get to their SAT exams. "I just don't see how you don't help."


Pic: A dog's owner is trapped in this car:

(From a tweet.no link)

What a wonderful dawg!


The 33 Most Beautiful Abandoned Places in the World

More: http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/2Il7Bt/:6uqrZuZa:l0HdkEbt/www.nature-pictures.info/the-33-most-beautiful-abandoned-places-in-the-world/

The Tunnel of Love in Ukraine

El Hotel Del Salto in Colombia

Bodiam Castle in East Sussex, England


You tell me OWS is dead....

This is my son, Ben

He is OWS...

St. Patricks Day 2012 this happened

He was arrested for filming the very first arrest the police made that day. His camera was stolen by the police. He was held until the following Monday for refusing an iris scan. He lost his job. It took just under a year and 5 court appearances to have charges dismissed. He is probably going to sue the city of New York.

Ben has a wife and 2 kids and a new job. Right now the last thing he needs is another arrest. That just means staying active but out of the spotlight. So Ben spends time with his kids being quietly active. Here are the kids in the garage at home with the project they just finished.

That's one of two old steam tables he bought from work and repaired in his garage. This one is being delivered this weekend to a relief kitchen run by a friend in Far Rockaway.

You tell me OWS is dead-I tell you that they are pausing and they are planning. They haven't quit and they will not quit. I cannot tell you what OWS will look like this summer, much less in 5 years, but I can tell you that I see commitment and caring and and continuing engagement with the government.They see evil and they oppose it and they see need and they try to alleviate it. Instead of telling me they are dead tell me what you are doing that matters more.


"Number Of Liberal Americans Growing, Number Of Conservatives Dropping, Says Gallup"

Number Of Liberal Americans Growing, Number Of Conservatives Dropping, Says Gallup

by David Badash at the New Civil Rights Movement



The number of Americans who describe themselves and their beliefs as “liberal,” either on social or economic issues is growing significantly and reaching new highs, or meeting earlier ones, based on data from a just-released poll by Gallup, a generally conservative organization. Accordingly, the number of Americans who describe themselves and their beliefs as “conservative,” either on social or economic issues is dropping.

Gallup reports “the trend suggests that ideological attitudes in the country may be shifting. Social liberalism has grown by six points since 2001 and now attracts half of rank-and-file Democrats and Democratic leaners.”

This new survey shows changes in Americans’ ideology: economic conservatism is at a five-year low, while social liberalism has registered its highest support…

Gallup reports finding “the percentage of Americans describing their social views as ‘liberal’ or ‘very liberal’ has achieved a new peak of 30% — in line with Gallup’s recent finding that Americans are more accepting on a number of moral issues. Thirty-five percent of Americans say they are conservative or very conservative on social issues and 32% self-identify as socially moderate.”



9-year-old activist saves Chicago school, dreams big

When the Chicago Board of Education voted last week to close 50 schools, Marcus Garvey Elementary School was not on the list. Nine-year-old Asean Johnson is one of the reasons why; his fiery speeches against Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan to gut public education have earned him widespread admiration and more than a few suggestions that he should replace Emanuel in City Hall.

As cities all over the United States close primarily minority schools, money flows to voucher programs and charter schools, and as teachers’ unions face repeated attacks, it is easy to get discouraged about the state of public education. Johnson and his mother Shoneice Reynolds joined Melissa Harris-Perry on Sunday to talk about why he got involved in the fight against the Chicago Public Schools plan, and he insisted that the situation is not as dire as Mayor Emanuel and CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett have argued it is.

Students of all ages have played a huge role in protests against school closings. Thousands of students walked out of school in Philadelphia on May 17 and marched to the school district headquarters. Philadelphia is set to close 23 schools, all of which are located in black and Latino parts of the city.

Asean Johnson doesn’t plan to stop fighting to protect public education. As he told Melissa, when he’s the mayor, he wants to support businesses that invest in communities. One corporation he won’t welcome? Walmart. “They don’t give back,” Johnson told Harris-Perry.


Watch the vid. If you're not impressed by this young man, then nothing will impress you.


Getting old? Senior discounts you must ask for.

I don't know how accurate this information is. It was forwarded to me from a friend and I don't shop at very many of these places but it might be worth asking.


Keep this list and send a copy to your senior friends and relatives.
As I was waiting in line behind an older gentleman at Wendy's recently, I heard him ask for his senior discount. The girl at the register apologized and charged him less. When I asked the man what the discount was, he told me that seniors over age 55 get 10% off everything on the menu, every day.
Being of 'that' age myself, I figured I might as well ask for the discount too.
This incident prompted me to do some research, and I came across a list of restaurants, supermarkets, department stores, travel deals and other types of offers giving various discounts with different age requirements. I was actually surprised to see how many there are and howsome of them start at the young age of 50 .
This list may not only be useful for you, but for your friends and family too.
Dunkin Donuts gives free coffee to people over 55 .
If you're paying for a cup every day, you might want to start getting it for FREE.

YOU ;mustASK for your discount !

Applebee's: 15% off with Golden Apple Card (60+)
Arby's: 10% off ( 55 +)
Ben & Jerry's: 10% off (60+)
Bennigan's: discount varies by location (60+)
Bob's Big Boy: discount varies by location (60+)
Boston Market: 10% off (65+)
Burger King: 10% off (60+)
Chick-Fil-A: 10% off or free small drink or coffee ( 55+)
Chili's: 10% off ( 55+)
CiCi's Pizza: 10% off (60+)
Denny's: 10% off, 20% off for AARP members ( 55 +)
Dunkin' Donuts: 10% off or free coffee ( 55+)
Einstein's Bagels: 10% off baker's dozen of bagels (60+)
Fuddrucker's: 10% off any senior platter ( 55+)
Gatti's Pizza: 10% off (60+)
Golden Corral: 10% off (60+)
Hardee's: $0.33 beverages everyday (65+)
IHOP: 10% off ( 55+)
Jack in the Box: up to 20% off ( 55+)
KFC: free small drink with any meal ( 55+)
Krispy Kreme: 10% off ( 50+)
Long John Silver's: various discounts at locations ( 55+)
McDonald's: discounts on coffee everyday ( 55+)
Mrs. Fields: 10% off at participating locations (60+)
Shoney's: 10% off
Sonic: 10% off or free beverage (60+)
Steak 'n Shake: 10% off every Monday & Tuesday ( 50+)
Subway: 10% off (60+)
Sweet Tomatoes: 10% off (62+)
Taco Bell : 5% off; free beverages for seniors (65+)
TCBY: 10% off ( 55+)
Tea Room Cafe: 10% off ( 50+)
Village Inn: 10% off (60+)
Waffle House: 10% off every Monday (60+)
Wendy's: 10% off ( 55 +)
Whataburger: 10% off (62+)
White Castle: 10% off (62+) This is for me ... if I ever see one again.

Banana Republic: 30% off ( 50 +)
Bealls: 20% off first Tuesday of each month ( 50 +)
Belk's: 15% off first Tuesday of every month ( 55 +)
Big Lots: 30% off
Bon-Ton Department Stores: 15% off on senior discount days ( 55 +)
C.J. Banks: 10% off every Wednesday (50+)
Clarks : 10% off (62+)
Dress Barn: 20% off ( 55+)
Goodwill: 10% off one day a week (date varies by location)
Hallmark: 10% off one day a week (date varies by location)
Kmart: 40% off (Wednesdays only) ( 50+)
Kohl's: 15% off (60+)Modell's Sporting Goods: 30% off
Rite Aid: 10% off on Tuesdays & 10% off prescriptions
Ross Stores: 10% off every Tuesday ( 55+)
The Salvation Army Thrift Stores: up to 50% off ( 55+)
Stein Mart: 20% off red dot/clearance items first Monday of every month ( 55 +)

Albertson's: 10% off first Wednesday of each month ( 55 +)
American Discount Stores: 10% off every Monday ( 50 +)
Compare Foods Supermarket: 10% off every Wednesday (60+)
DeCicco Family Markets: 5% off every Wednesday (60+)
Food Lion: 60% off every Monday (60+)
Fry's Supermarket: free Fry's VIP Club Membership & 10% off every Monday ( 55 +)
Great Valu Food Store: 5% off every Tuesday (60+)
Gristedes Supermarket: 10% off every Tuesday (60+)
Harris Teeter: 5% off every Tuesday (60+)
Hy-Vee: 5% off one day a week (date varies by location)
Kroger: 10% off (date varies by location)
Morton Williams Supermarket: 5% off every Tuesday (60+)
The Plant Shed: 10% off every Tuesday ( 50 +)
Publix: 15% off every Wednesday ( 55 +)
Rogers Marketplace: 5% off every Thursday (60+)
Uncle Guiseppe's Marketplace: 15% off (62+)

Alaska Airlines: 50% off (65+)
American Airlines: various discounts for 50% off non-peak periods (Tuesdays - Thursdays) (62+)and up (call before booking for discount)
Continental Airlines: no initiation fee for Continental Presidents Club & special fares for select destinations
Southwest Airlines: various discounts for ages 65 and up (call before booking for discount)
United Airlines: various discounts for ages 65 and up (call before booking for discount)
U.S. Airways: various discounts for ages 65 and up (call before booking for discount)
Amtrak: 15% off (62+)
Greyhound: 15% off (62+)
Trailways Transportation System: various discounts for ages 50+

Car Rental:
Alamo Car Rental: up to 25% off for AARP members
Avis: up to 25% off for AARP members
Budget Rental Cars: 40% off; up to 50% off for AARP members ( 50+)
Dollar Rent-A-Car: 10% off ( 50+) Enterprise Rent-A-Car: 5% off for AARP members Hertz: up to 25% off for AARP members
National Rent-A-Car: up to 30% off for AARP members

Overnight Accommodations:
Holiday Inn: 20-40% off depending on location (62+)
Best Western: 40% off (55+)
Cambria Suites: 20%-30% off (60+)
Waldorf Astoria - NYC $5,000 off nightly rate for Presidential Suite (55 +)
Clarion Motels: 20%-30% off (60+)
Comfort Inn: 20%-30% off (60+)
Comfort Suites: 20%-30% off (60+)
Econo Lodge: 40% off (60+)
Hampton Inns & Suites: 40% off when booked 72 hours in advance
Hyatt Hotels: 25%-50% off (62+)
InterContinental Hotels Group: various discounts at all hotels (65+)
Mainstay Suites: 10% off with Mature Traveler's Discount (50+); 20%-30% off (60+)
Marriott Hotels: 25% off (62+)
Motel 6: Stay Free Sunday nights (60+)
Myrtle Beach Resort: 30% off ( 55 +)
Quality Inn: 40%-50% off (60+)
Rodeway Inn: 20%-30% off (60+)
Sleep Inn: 40% off (60+)

AMC Theaters: up to 30% off ( 55 +)
Bally Total Fitness: $100 off memberships (62+)
Busch Gardens Tampa, FL: $13 off one-day tickets ( 50 +)
Carmike Cinemas: 35% off (65+)
Cinemark/Century Theaters: up to 35% off
Massage Envy - NYC 20% off all "Happy Endings" (62 +)
U.S. National Parks: $10 lifetime pass; 50% off additional services including camping (62+)
Regal Cinemas: 50% off Ripley's Believe it or Not: @ off one-day ticket ( 55 +)
SeaWorld, Orlando , FL : $3 off one-day tickets ( 50 +)

AT&T: Special Senior Nation 200 Plan $19.99/month (65+)
Jitterbug: $10/month cell phone service ( 50 +)
Verizon Wireless: Verizon Nationwide 65 Plus Plan $29.99/month (65+).

Great Clips: $8 off hair cuts (60+)
Supercuts: $8 off haircuts (60+)

NOW, go out there and claim your discounts - - - - and remember ----

YOU must ASK for your discount ---- no ask, no discount.
I Know everyone knows someone over 50 please pass the one on!!!!!


What do you love about this place?

I love the friendships you make here. The ability to meet progressives from other parts of the country is wonderful to me.


Best picture of the year, period


Photographer Captures Abstract Photos Showing Lava Up Close

Michael Zhang

Want to see what lava from a volcano looks like up close? Photographer Daniel Fox has spent a number of weeks this year photographing lava near Kalapana on the Big Island of Hawaii. Rather than photograph the lava in the context of its surroundings, he decided to get in close and create abstract images showing its intensity.

Fox tells us he focused more on shooting abstract, artistic photos (rather than landscape photos) by using a telephoto lens rather than a wide-angle one. He shoots with a Canon 100-400mm and Canon 100-300mm on his Canon 7D.

He tries to leave the photos relatively untouched, but he does occasionally do some masking, rotating, and cropping in addition to basic Lightroom image adjustments.

Here is a selection of Fox’s lava photographs:

Read more at http://petapixel.com/2013/05/25/photographer-captures-abstract-photos-showing-lava-up-close/


Lost Dog Dora Reunited With Family After Seven Months



Dog Standing Guard Over Victim Reunited With Her Owner

Dog Found Standing Guard Over a Tornado Victim Reunited With Her Owner

There's a happy ending to the story of a dog, found alive in the rubble after a massive tornado devastated Moore, Oklahoma: she's been reunited with her owner.

Because "Susie" was found standing guard over a body, officials believed she belonged to one of the victims of the storm.


But then, good news. The owner's sister saw one of the photos, and contacted the department on Facebook. Sheila Collins told them that the dog belonged to her brother, Curtis, who lives about a half a mile from where "Susie" was found. He'd been looking for the dog since the storm, and eventually, the two were reunited.

It turns out that the person "Susie" was guarding after the storm was a stranger: Curtis has "no idea," according to the Sheriff's office, "why she stood guard of the victim whom he did not know."


Good girl!!!


Scientists discover cinnamon compounds' potential ability to prevent Alzheimer's

Source: Phys.org

However, two compounds found in cinnamon –– cinnamaldehyde and epicatechin –– are showing some promise in the effort to fight the disease. According to George and Graves, the compounds have been shown to prevent the development of the filamentous "tangles" found in the brain cells that characterize Alzheimer's. Responsible for the assembly of microtubules in a cell, a protein called tau plays a large role in the structure of the neurons, as well as their function. "The problem with tau in Alzheimer's is that it starts aggregating," said George, a graduate student researcher. When for the protein does not bind properly to the microtubules that form the cell's structure, it has a tendency to clump together, she explained, forming insoluble fibers in the neuron. The older we get the more susceptible we are to these twists and tangles, Alzheimer's patients develop them more often and in larger amounts. The use of cinnamaldehyde, the compound responsible for the bright, sweet smell of cinnamon, has proven effective in preventing the tau knots. By protecting tau from oxidative stress, the compound, an oil, could inhibit the protein's aggregation. To do this, cinnamaldehyde binds to two residues of an amino acid called cysteine on the tau protein. The cysteine residues are vulnerable to modifications, a factor that contributes to the development of Alzheimer's.

Read more at: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2013-05-scientists-cinnamon-compounds-potential-ability.html#jCp

Read more: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2013-05-scientists-cinnamon-compounds-potential-ability.html


Wow Cinnamon has been shown to improve sugar levels and diabetic markers, now this. What a wonder food indeed!


So far, in the month of May Pres Obama has nominated TWELVE judges (9 female, 3 male) - UPDATED

Of the TWELVE --- Nine are female, and two are male.

Colin S. Bruce - C.D. Ill. - May 6, 2013
Sara L. Ellis - N.D. Ill. - May 6, 2013
Andrea R. Wood - N.D. Ill. - May 6, 2013
Madeline Hughes Haikala - N.D. Ala. - May 9, 2013
Gregory Howard Woods - S.D.N.Y. - May 9, 2013
Debra M. Brown - N.D. Miss. - May 16, 2013
Pamela L. Reeves - E.D. Tenn. - May 16, 2013
Elizabeth A. Wolford - W.D.N.Y. - May 16, 2013
Carolyn B. McHugh - Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals - May 16, 2013
Landya B. McCafferty - D.N.H. - May 23, 2013
Brian Morris - D.Mont. - May 23, 2013
Susan P. Watters - D.Mont. - May 23, 2013



Atheist Arizona lawmaker quotes Carl Sagan for House opening prayer

By David Edwards
Wednesday, May 22, 2013 10:04 EDT

An atheist state lawmaker in Arizona invoked astronomer Carl Sagan on Tuesday when he was tasked with giving the opening prayer for the state House of Representatives.

Democratic state Representative Juan Mendez began by asking members not to bow their heads, explaining that he had a “secular humanist tradition,” according to an account published by the Phoenix NewTimes.

“Most prayers in this room begin with a request to bow your heads,” the lawmaker said. “I would like to ask that you not bow your heads. I would like to ask that you take a moment to look around the room at all of the men and women here, in this moment, sharing together this extraordinary experience of being alive and of dedicating ourselves to working toward improving the lives of the people in our state.”

“This is a room in which there are many challenging debates, many moments of tension, of ideological division, of frustration,” he continued. “But this is also a room where, as my secular humanist tradition stresses, by the very fact of being human, we have much more in common than we have differences. We share the same spectrum of potential for care, for compassion, for fear, for joy, for love.”

Mendez added a quote from Sagan’s book, Contact: “For small creatures such as we, the vastness is bearable only through love.”

At a press conference outside the Legislature, members of the Secular Coalition for Arizona said that it has been an honor to be present for what they believed was the first atheist invocation on the state House floor.

Mendez, who also spoke at the event, noted that one in five Americans and 1.3 million Arizonans chose not to affiliate with a religion.

“We are learning the importance of coming out and visibility and how important it is in this effort to get non-believers to feel welcomed and valued,” he explained. “We do ourselves a disservice if we exclude or ignore the concerns of so many people in Arizona. And I simply want to let others know that we have more in common than we have in differences.”

“And that the love of our humanity and the sense of caring for, nourishing and developing and enhancing what it is to be human can be practiced by everyone.”


Full article posted with permission


Cleared of charges after explosion, Florida teen gets full scholarship to space academy

(Actually, as I understand it, the popping of the soda bottle's cap did not happen in science class, but rather on the school grounds. Still...great story!!)

Thu May 23, 2013 at 07:21 AM PDT
Cleared of charges after explosion, Florida teen gets full scholarship to space academy
by Jen Hayden

By now you've heard about Kiera Wilmot. She's the Florida teen who was arrested for setting off a small explosion in her science class:

Kiera, 16-year-old junior, was arrested after the incident, which happened outside about 15 minutes before the school day began. No one was hurt, nor did she cause any damage.

The school's resource officer arrested her on two possible felony charges, possessing a weapon on campus and discharging a destructive device. Kiera was suspended for 10 days, sent to an alternative school, which she still attends, and told she faced expulsion.

Her headline-making nightmare hit one NASA veteran hard:

The explosion struck a chord with 18-year NASA veteran Homer Hickam, a former lead astronaut training manager for Spacelab, and later for the International Space Station.

In the late 1950s, Hickam had a brush with law enforcement for allegedly starting a forest fire. State police came to his high school and led him and his friends away in handcuffs, but his high school physics professor and school principal came to the rescue, clearing him of wrongdoing.

Hickman became determined to see Kiera Wilmot succeed:

"I couldn't let this go without doing something," Hickam said. "I'm not a lawyer, but I could give her something that would encourage her. I've worked closely with the U.S. Space Academy, and so I purchased a scholarship for her."

Great news! But it gets even better:

Learning of her twin sister, Hickam raised enough money so Kiera and Kayla could attend space camp together. Hickam runs several scholarships for kids with potential, and hopes to create an ongoing Space Academy scholarship. The twins will attend in July.

Both Wilmot sisters are headed to the Space Academy! Sometimes good things really do happen to good people. Three cheers for Homer Hickam!



(There will, of course, be negative responses to this thread. Nothing I can do about that, sorry!)


Posted by Flying Squirrel | Tue May 28, 2013, 12:37 AM (49 replies)
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