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Flying Squirrel

Profile Information

Member since: Fri Aug 20, 2010, 06:40 PM
Number of posts: 1,575

About Me

I am the same DU member who formerly posted under the name FlyingSquirrel (no space). I killed this profile by changing both my password and email at a time when I felt I had developed an unhealthy addiction to the internet in general and DU in particular. Not sayin' I'm any better now ;-)

Journal Archives

About those DUzy Awards...

Well, I'm afraid there's not gonna be any this week.

I don't have a lot of support from the people around me on this - my daughter and my girlfriend both want time with me and can't understand why I would spend hours poring through posts on DU. Then there's my brother, to whom I owe money and am supposed to be working it off with yard work etc. (My sister too.) Also I've been tapering off my anti-depressant (in preparation for switching to something else) and this has left me in a particularly non-DUzy-like mood. And I haven't been to an AA meeting in months.

So, as the saying goes, First Things First - unfortunately it looks like the DUzy awards should really come pretty far down the list, lower than I've been putting them.

I still want to do it, but we'll see. Maybe I can find a way to simplify the formatting of them, and the process of searching for them (a lot of people use the word "DUzy" in their posts either in a facetious way or otherwise not really meaning to nominate something for a DUzy, so that increases the number of threads to look through.)

In any case, that's where it stands right now. I want to do them but maybe it's just not meant to be - only time will tell.


Posted by Flying Squirrel | Mon Jul 1, 2013, 02:28 PM (22 replies)

Eppur Si Muove

(Edited for unnecessary length)

"And yet it moves" (Italian: Eppur si muove; ) is a phrase said to have been uttered before the Inquisition by the Italian mathematician, physicist and philosopher Galileo Galilei (1564–1642) in 1633 after being forced to recant his "belief" that the earth moves around the sun. In this context, the implication of the phrase is: despite this recantation, the Church's proclamations to the contrary, or any other conviction or doctrine of men, the Earth does, in fact, move around the sun, and not vice versa. As such, the phrase is used today as a sort of pithy retort implying that "it doesn't matter what you believe; these are the facts".

There is no contemporary evidence that Galileo uttered this expression at his trial; it would certainly have been highly imprudent for him to have done so. The earliest biography of Galileo, written by his disciple Vincenzio Viviani in 1655–1656 does not mention this phrase.

In 1911, the line was found on a Spanish painting owned by a Belgian family. This painting was produced within a year or two after Galileo died as it is dated 1643 or 1645 (the last number is partially obscured). The painting is obviously not historically correct, because it depicts Galileo in a dungeon, but nonetheless shows that some variant of the "Eppur si muove" legend was in circulation immediately after his death when many who had known him were still alive to attest to it, and that it had been circulating for over a century before it was published.

“The moment he was set at liberty, he looked up to the sky and down to the ground, and, stamping with his foot, in a contemplative mood, said, Eppur si muove, that is, still it moves, meaning the earth."

(The above is from Wikipedia.)

I have no idea where I heard or saw this phrase. I woke up and it was just there (although spelled wrong) in my head. I had to look it up to discover its meaning.

Galileo was a courageous man. And stubborn. When I was about 22, I worked at Boeing and took a one-day blueprint reading class. We were given a test, and the instructor gave us the answers to some of the questions before we even began. No clue why. Being the type of person I am, I double-checked the answers he had given us; one of them was wrong. The instructor had left the room. I told the other students I believed one of the answers to be wrong; this sparked a heated discussion. None of the other (approximately 20) students agreed with my assessment; I was also the youngest one there (not that my age was brought up, but it probably was in some minds). And after all, I was just a student who had never even seen a blueprint before, while the instructor had years of experience.

But, being certain and being stubborn, I stuck to my guns. Finally another student went to the instructor's desk and opened the book to the answer section, and I was proven correct. When the instructor came back, another student asked him to re-check the answer to that question, and he gave the incorrect answer once again; another student then asked him to look in the back of the book, which he did. I was not a part of all this, and certainly did not wish to make the instructor look bad; all I cared about was the truth.

The truth is what I care about now. Like Galileo, I'm not stupid enough to let someone in a position of power cut my head off over it. But absent that kind of threat, if I am certain of something I will not back down. The truth matters to me. If I believe the President of the United States is wrong, I'll say it. He is, after all, only human like the rest of us. Yes, I know that I'm not privy to all the information he is. That doesn't mean he can't be wrong and I can't be right about something.

On this board, I'm lucky enough to have a good number of people agree with me when I say the President is acting wrongly. I wonder what motivates the rest of them who hurl accusations our way. Fear, most likely. Truth? Probably not.

Eppur si muove. Strong words, defiant words. True words.

I salute those on DU who have the strength of their convictions with regard to the one thing that should matter to us all above all else: The U.S. Constitution.


Posted by Flying Squirrel | Thu Jun 20, 2013, 08:52 AM (1 replies)


(I am usually averse to these types of picture posts but... well, you know.)

Posted by Flying Squirrel | Wed Jun 19, 2013, 09:24 AM (1 replies)

What's the similarity between the "Good Cop" and the "Bad Cop"?

A: Both cops are on the same side.

We've been getting a "Good Cop, Bad Cop" routine from Democrats and Republicans for years and years now. I wish I could still believe the Good Cops were really good, but once the scales finally fall from your eyes there's really no going back. With very few exceptions, the "Good Cops" are on the same side as the "Bad Cops" - they are mainly on the side of the rich, and on the side of themselves (their own self-interest and ultimately whatever they need to say or do to maintain their positions.)

What else is similar? Both cops are playing parts in a charade. Both cops want something out of you - the "Bad Cop" is absolutely necessary for the "Good Cop" to get what he's looking for -- in this case, votes.

We think Democrats are the "Good Cops" and congratulate ourselves for at least being aligned with the good guy. Right wingers think Republicans are the true "Good Cops" and similarly congratulate themselves. Neither side is all that happy with what their representatives in Congress are actually DOING - just what they are SAYING. But they vote for them anyway because they fear the alternative, and they fear that the "Bad Cops" may actually carry out what they are saying they'll do if they don't side with the "Good Cop."

There's no such thing as a perfect analogy, and so of course this one has flaws. One such flaw is that Republicans are much more successful in getting their agenda passed than Democrats are, when they're in power (and more successful in blocking the opposition agenda when not in power.) So the fears of Democrats are more likely to come true.

The ultimate question, of course, is: What can we, who are caught up in this routine, do about it?

We can back more progressive candidates in primaries, we can turn out to vote (and turn others out to vote) more ... er... religiously, for lack of a better word. We can write and call our congresspeople and write letters to the editor. Those of us brave enough and motivated enough can protest publicly against the corrupt system.

None of this is new to you, I'm sure. Is there anything else we can do? Anything at all? Please discuss... Thank you!

Posted by Flying Squirrel | Wed Jun 19, 2013, 08:04 AM (4 replies)

Rationalization and Justification

A couple of my favorite definitions:


1. Attempt to explain or justify (one's own or another's behavior or attitude) with logical, plausible reasons, even if these are not true.


3. The act of defending or explaining or making excuses for by reasoning; "the justification of barbarous means by holy ends"- H.J.Muller

Or, to put it even more simply (my words):

If you are rationalizing or justifying something, the most likely reason you are doing so is because you know in your heart of hearts that it is really wrong.

Just my little effort to appeal to the consciences of those defending the slow but steady realization of George Orwell's nightmare society.
Posted by Flying Squirrel | Wed Jun 12, 2013, 07:18 PM (5 replies)

Do I miss George W. Bush yet? Yes, finally I do.

A good villain is underrated sometimes. I despised him with every fiber of my being.

But at least I knew where I stood with him. At least I knew what to believe when it came out of his mouth (absolutely nothing). At least I could hope for the reversals of his policies once we got a Dem back into office.

Now I don't know where I stand with the President, I don't know what to believe, I don't know what I can reasonably hope for, and I can't even really hate the man I voted for.

So, yeah I miss the days of George W. Bush when things were so clear and simple.

Posted by Flying Squirrel | Tue Jun 11, 2013, 12:42 AM (19 replies)

Did you hear about the lady who threw a laptop overboard?

It was a Dell....
... and now it's rolling in the deep.

Posted by Flying Squirrel | Wed Jun 5, 2013, 06:24 PM (3 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)

*** DU LBN Week In Review: 4/27/2013 - 5/3/2013 ***

DU H.I.T.s: Selected Groups & Forums, 4/27/2013 - 5/3/2013

DU H.I.T.s: General Discussion, 4/27/2013 - 5/3/2013

Greatest Of The Greatest Page, 4/27/2013 - 5/3/2013

Requirements for inclusion in LBN list: 15+ Recs in LBN (relaxed to 10+ Recs for Friday to allow time for additional Recs). Posts are in order from highest to lowest Recs on each day.


Medical marijuana activists' children taken from home, charges possible 54
Disney World Fights Against Paid Sick Days For Florida Employees (GOP Complies) 23
Police seek tips to get AK-47-wielding gunman off the street 22
Reports Of An Explosion At The Marathon Detroit Refinery 19
James Everett Dutschke arrested, Tupelo Police say (Ricin letters case) 16
Two arrested as Bangladesh building toll rises to 325 15


Karzai's Office Gets Bags Full of C.I.A. Cash 45
Girl, 14, forced to become pregnant with donor sperm bought by mother 34
Manchin: Gun Bill to be Reintroduced 32
Army says no to more tanks, but Congress insists 22


After Casting Key Fifth Vote For Bush, Justice O'Connor Now Regrets Bush v. Gore 76
Polls Plummet For Senators Who Voted No On Gun Background Checks 46
Corbett pummeled in new poll 39
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer Signs Bill Banning Destruction Of Guns Surrendered At Buyback Events 28
Bee deaths: EU to ban neonicotinoid pesticides 24
Global carbon dioxide levels set to pass 400ppm milestone 21
Judge Orders Defense Dept. to Release Names of Instructors and Students at School of Americas 21
NBA Center Announces He is Gay 19
Surviving hell in a Bangladesh factory collapse 18
Obama's campaign finance reform plans have faded 15
Tebow Time in New York Over After Jets Cut QB 15
More Navy medics arrive at Guantanamo to help out on forced feedings 15


FDA: Morning-after pill to move over-the-counter 50
Call for constitutional amendment to end 'corporate personhood' on way to Maine Senate 47
Kelly Ayotte Confronted Over Background Checks Vote By Erica Lafferty, Newtown Victim's Daughter 42
Obama On Closing Gitmo: 'I'm Going To Go Back At This' 36
Larry Flynt Endorses Mark Sanford, 'America's Great Sex Pioneer 35
Sex Superbug Could Be 'Worse Than AIDS' 27
NC NAACP president, 16 other protestors arrested outside NC Senate 26
Online dating, affairs service picks Sanford as poster boy 25
Ed Markey Wins Massachusetts Democratic Senate Primary 22
More charges to be weighed in Steubenville 19
Obama on why he wouldn't veto FAA bill: GOP would have blamed me for flight delays 16
2-year-old girl gets windpipe made from stem cells 15


Mentally disabled turkey plant workers awarded 240M Dollars for years of abuse 41
'A very fragile situation': Leaks from Japan's wrecked nuke plant raise fears 40
Bolivia president expels US aid agency 33
Three More Suspects Taken Into Custody In Marathon Bombing 25
Pat Toomey: Background Checks Died Because GOP Didn't Want To Help Obama 24
UN calls force-feeding at Guantanamo 'torture' - RT News 24
Pope Francis Condemns 'Slave Labor' In Bangladesh: 'Goes Against God' 22
Poll: 29% Think Armed Rebellion Might Soon Be Necessary 15
Audit reveals WEDC broke state law (Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation) 15
Snapshots of the world on a day of rage: May 1 rioters clash with police as protests break out again 15


SPECIAL REPORT: Records detail how U-M attorney shut down child porn investigation 39
Pope Francis tweets in solidarity with unemployed 23
Chinese scientists attacked for creating killer flu strain 21
Same-Sex Marriage Becomes Legal in Rhode Island 21
U.S. Attorney General Says Kansas Gun Law Is Unconstitutional. 18
UPDATED: Howard Kurtz Out At The Daily Beast 17
Fukushima nuclear plant leaking contaminated water 17
Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman dead at 49 16
O'Malley Signs Death Penalty Repeal 16


California tax revenue yields multibillion-dollar surplus 32
'To Kill a Mockingbird' Author Lee Sues Her Agent Over Copyright. 29
Guatemala: state of siege declared as Army, police crack down after protests against Canadian-owned 15
Researchers say they may have treatment for gray hair 15
Sources: U.S. believes Israel has conducted an airstrike into Syria 14
Bombing suspect's wife DNA doesn't match bomb evidence; Investigators "skeptical" about Katherine Ru 13
Florida Restores Early Voting Days, Moves Back Primary. 12
Pentagon Blames UnitedHealth for Failures Under Contract 12
Guantanamo Camp Burns Through 900,000 dollars a Year Per Inmate 11
Posted by Flying Squirrel | Sat May 4, 2013, 05:53 PM (0 replies)

*** DU H.I.T.s: General Discussion, 4/27/2013 - 5/3/2013 ***

DU H.I.T.s: Selected Groups & Forums, 4/27/2013 - 5/3/2013

DU LBN Week In Review, 4/27/2013 - 5/3/2013

Greatest Of The Greatest Page, 4/27/2013 - 5/3/2013

THIS POST: 'High Interest Threads' - Requirements for this list: At least 4.5% Rec'd; 7-49 Recs; No toons, made-for-FB, or pic-heavy posts; link to source with more info.


Noam Chomsky: Obama's Attack on Civil Liberties Has Gone Way Beyond Imagination 47
Hitler's food taster tells of poisoning fears 13
Pussy Riot Member Denied Parole, Will Remain in Prison Colony 13
SFO Gate: GMO foods subject of bill in U.S. Senate 9


Eric Holder - Death Squad/Torture Lawyer 48
The Rise Of The Corporate State - FDL 40
Bernie Sanders: From 2009-2011, 100% of all new income went to the top 1% 39
Our Government: By the Wealthy, For the Wealthy 30
KRUGMAN..... Bush...The Great Degrader 26
Wealthiest Americans Only Winners in Recovery, Pew Says 18
Woman Ordained as Priest in Defiance of Roman Catholic Church 18
Low Wage Workers Strike - Because YOLO 15
The Eugene Marathon in Oregon -- A record number of runners take to the streets and honor Boston 11
OpEdNews: The Myth of Liberal Media Bias 11
Buy American Mention of the Week, 4-28-13 10
Congress Makes Sure they Have No Flight Delays, While Sequestration Heaps Huge Damage on Millions 10


Why We Still Have a Massive Homelessness Problem (Hard Times USA) 36
Rick Snyder's secret group to circumvent constitution, implement cheap privatized voucher schools 25
Here is major pre-emptive telling of the truth / Andy Borowitz nails it 23
Florida charter schools get 91 million for facilities. Public school funding dwindles. Why? 20
Bernie Sanders: Meals on Wheels 19
White House Commends Jason Collins 'For His Courage' 17
Austerity is hurting our health, say researchers 15
The Biggest Price-Fixing Scandal Ever 15
Biden Backs Public Disclosure of Torture Report 10
The FBI claimed it had exposed a dangerous group: But were they really terrorists? 10
FBI Wants to Fine Companies That Refuse to Hand Over Your Online Communications 9


"Homeland Security" Spending Overtakes New Deal 46
Garment workers rioting in bangladesh 30
To force Ohio's universities to do the dirty work of voter suppression is unconscionable. 27
FDA Authorizes Over-The-Counter Sale Of Emergency Contraception To Women 15 And Older 11
May 1st: Day of the Worker 11
Add President Barack Obama to the Jack Hoffman bandwagon. (You're gonna love this) 11
ACLU Statement on President's Guantanamo Comments 10
Release Report On CIA's Use Of Torture 8
CEO Pay 1,795-to-1 Multiple of Wages Skirts U.S. Law 8
Drug-War Logic: These Costly, Failed Policies Must Continue Indefinitely 7


Capitalism is killing our morals, our future - In a Market Society, everything is for sale 17
One Reason It's Hard to Write About the Bangladesh Factory Disaster 16
HIV cure only months away, Danish scientists say, citing novel new DNA treatment. 35
Taibbi: Too-Big-to-Fail Takes Another Body Blow 47
Jeffrey Sachs: Wall Street is full of 'crooks' and hasn't changed since the financial crash 7
Charlie Pierce: In Which MoDo Loses A Fight With James Madison 11
SD tribe faces ultimatum on sale of massacre site 15
Daughter of Sandy Hook Shooting Victim Confronts Ayotte on Gun Vote 10
Arne Duncan kept secret log for requests by the connected to fiddle their kids into top schools 20
Krugman: Not Everything Is Political (Facts are facts whether you like them or not) 27
Drones in Yemen: "it's like being in a state of waiting endlessly for execution." 13
Wapo sports' columnist roasts religious critics of Jason Collins homosexuality: 48
The Austerity Delusion 8


Detroit Schools Emergency Mgr Roberts to leave, says he was told to "blow up" & "dismantle" district 32
'The Conservative Quest to Eliminate Facts: If the facts are against you, just stop collecting them 32
Greg Palast Nailed Penny Pritzger! A bit of History...Refresher! 25
Why is Our Government Attacking Science? 23
Not Everything Is Political by Paul Krugman at the NY Times 22
Suicide Rate Climbs For Middle-Aged Americans 18
Saturn hurricane has 1,250 mile-wide eye 13
Krugman: Medicaid Nonsense 13
women's groups decry appeal on morning after pill 9
Holocaust concentration camp survivor dies at 107 9
Women's Health Groups Slam Obama Administration's Fight To Maintain Age Restrictions On Plan B 8
While Wronged Homeowners Got 300 Dollars Each in Foreclosure Settlement, Bank Consultants 2 BILLION Dollars 7
Rhode Island Gov. Signs Marriage Equality Bill 7
CC Media, Clear Channel Outdoor See 1st-Quarter Losses Widen Sharply 7
As US Drone Strikes Rise In Yemen, So Does Anger 7


Begich announces bill to keep Social Security solvent by lifting income cap (updated) 44
Suicide Rates Rise Sharply in U.S. -- up 30% (and not only in the US: neoliberalism is a death cult) 37
I Just Came from the Opening Session of Move to Amend's Portland Convergence - This is Important. 36
AK Senator Begich to introduce an act to protect/preserve Social Security this coming Monday.... 33
There May Be Millions More Poor People In The US Than You Think - MSNBC 22
Hummus is Conquering America: U.S. farmers now growing more chickpea, less tobacco 21
Ezra Klein: Politics is not here to please you 17
Howard Kurtz's Belated Comeuppance (On Kurtz' Lies About Gary Webb, Bush Winning Florida...) 12
The Morning-After Pill Should Be Available to All Ages 10
Iowa Supreme Court: Birth certificate should name both same-sex parents 10
Obama Unveils Trade, Commerce Cabinet Picks (Mike Froman--Trade Problems Alert Progressives) 8
Gitmo Chief Prosecutor has online petition to close Gitmo. 8
Friday Prayers at Yusuf Mosque 8
Guantanamo camp burns through 900,000 dollars a year per inmate 8
Posted by Flying Squirrel | Sat May 4, 2013, 05:49 PM (1 replies)
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