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marmar

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Gender: Male
Member since: Thu Oct 28, 2004, 11:18 PM
Number of posts: 70,184

Journal Archives

Too cold to fly in Winnipeg


(CBC News) If you thought it was cold in Winnipeg yesterday, wait until you step outside today — it's worse.

.....(snip).....

In Winnipeg, the daytime high temperature for Tuesday is only expected to reach –31 C but the windchill will make it feel more like –40 to –50. That means exposed skin can freeze in less than five minutes.

.....(snip).....

Grounded planes

It's so cold that one airline has decided not to fly in or out of Winnipeg.

ExpressJet, a partner of United Airlines, cancelled some flights Monday night and Tuesday morning.

Passengers are being moved onto flights operated by other airlines and rerouted through other cities. ExpressJet says the unique combination of extreme low temperatures and ice crystals exceed safe operating guidelines for their aircraft. ......................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/extreme-cold-in-winnipeg-cancels-flights-1.2479967



AZ: Former Mayor's Dogs To Be Euthanized After One Killed Her Husband


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/31/diane-vick-dogs-killed_n_4523935.html?ncid=txtlnkushpmg00000037


All of the dogs belonging to former Bullhead City, Arizona mayor Diane Vick will be euthanized after one killed her husband.

Vick was injured and her husband Tom killed after the couple tried to break up a fight between two of their dogs, a boxer and a cocker spaniel. The Arizona Republic reports the couples other four dogs eventually joined in the fight.

The couple's cocker spaniel died from injuries sustained in the fight. Police said the couple's five remaining dogs were put in a 10-day quarantine by animal control, where the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports they'll be monitored for signs of rabies.

According to the AP, those dogs will be euthanized according to a request from the Vick family.


Who says you can't learn anything from teevee news?




Mayor Bloomberg took a bit of New York's soul



Mayor Bloomberg took a bit of New York's soul
The billionaire mayor is a series of pluses and minuses that never quite add up. Let's hope some of the city's funky grit returns

Teresa Wiltz
theguardian.com, Monday 30 December 2013


It's the eve of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's exodus from New York City's top office after three terms, and I have such mixed feelings about him. For me, the billionaire mayor is a series of pluses and minuses that never add up to a cohesive whole.

On the one hand, he's the man behind one of the few news outlets that's still pumping money into journalism. On the other hand, he seems to delight in dodging reporters' questions – or insulting them. I'm happy he snuffed out indoor smoking in the city, and as a health nut, I have to admit that I agree with him when it comes to trans fats and supersized sodas. I really appreciate Bloomberg's work lobbying for gun control, but I really, really loathe his unflagging endorsement of the stop-and-frisk police policy.

Sure, he built bike paths, erected shiny new skyscrapers and rocked out the High Line park on a refurbished railway track. Crime is down. Tourism is thriving. Small business got a boost from some of his initiatives.

But at the same time, close to half of New Yorkers are living at or below the poverty line. During Bloomberg's tenure, the homeless rates skyrocketed, creating what the New York Times has called "the most unequal metropolis in America". There are over 22,000 homeless children in the city, the highest number since the Great Depression. Walk through the city's Union Square early on a Sunday morning, and you have to tiptoe over rows upon rows of sleeping bodies. ..................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/dec/30/mayor-bloomberg-legacy-took-new-york-soul



Is California ready to join the weed revolution?


A California initiative that would legalize, regulate and tax recreational marijuana may be coming soon to the state ballot after a positive review by the state attorney general. But the real news is how much money legalization could bring to the cash-strapped state government.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris last week released a summary of the Marijuana Control, Legalization and Revenue Act, which backers are pushing for a spot in November's election.

Though not an endorsement, Harris' generally positive title and summary of the initiative explained that it would legalize under state law marijuana use, growth, cultivation, possession, transportation, storage and sale. It also would create a regulatory commission, apply sales taxes, allocate revenue and prohibit discrimination against marijuana users and businesses. ........................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/30/california-marijuana-legalization_n_4519883.html?ncid=txtlnkushpmg00000037&ir=Politics



Chicago: Ventra flaws cost CTA $1.2 million in free rides





The Chicago Transit Authority (IL) estimates that the flawed rollout of the Ventra fare open-payment system resulted in more than 930,000 free rides, mostly on buses.

CTA officials say that Cubic Transportation Systems, which is the prime contractor on the Ventra team, will reimburse the agency about $1.2 million to cover the lost fares. Most of the free rides can be traced to Ventra equipment failures between October 1 and December 19.

“This is the amount we are submitting to Cubic for reimbursement,” CTA spokesman Brian Steele said. “Cubic has reviewed our methodology, and they have indicated to us that they will reimburse us.” Asked to comment on the matter, Cubic executive vice president Matt Cole said, “All of these matters are the subject of an ongoing discussion between the CTA and Cubic.”

CTA based its estimates of free rides on a combination of factors: (1) free rides recorded by bus drivers on farebox keypads; (2) the use of turnstiles and manual counts by CTA personnel at rail stations; and (3) historical ridership averages. The methodology accounted for approved free rides, such as those provided to low-income seniors and individuals with disabilities. The calculations assumed an average bus fare of $1.30 and an average rail fare of $1.55. ......................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.thetransitwire.com/2013/12/31/ventra-flaws-cost-cta-1-2-million-free-rides/



Privatization costs Chicago ...... again.






The Chicago Transit Authority (IL) estimates that the flawed rollout of the Ventra fare open-payment system resulted in more than 930,000 free rides, mostly on buses.

CTA officials say that Cubic Transportation Systems, which is the prime contractor on the Ventra team, will reimburse the agency about $1.2 million to cover the lost fares. Most of the free rides can be traced to Ventra equipment failures between October 1 and December 19.

“This is the amount we are submitting to Cubic for reimbursement,” CTA spokesman Brian Steele said. “Cubic has reviewed our methodology, and they have indicated to us that they will reimburse us.” Asked to comment on the matter, Cubic executive vice president Matt Cole said, “All of these matters are the subject of an ongoing discussion between the CTA and Cubic.”

CTA based its estimates of free rides on a combination of factors: (1) free rides recorded by bus drivers on farebox keypads; (2) the use of turnstiles and manual counts by CTA personnel at rail stations; and (3) historical ridership averages. The methodology accounted for approved free rides, such as those provided to low-income seniors and individuals with disabilities. The calculations assumed an average bus fare of $1.30 and an average rail fare of $1.55. ......................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.thetransitwire.com/2013/12/31/ventra-flaws-cost-cta-1-2-million-free-rides/



Happy New Year Amy Goodman!......Keep on bringing it in 2014!








Published on Dec 30, 2013

http://www.democracynow.org - The German publication Der Spiegel has revealed new details about a secretive hacking unit inside the National Security Agency called the Office of Tailored Access Operations, or TAO. The unit was created in 1997 to hack into global communications traffic. Hackers inside the TAO have developed a way to break into computers running Microsoft Windows by gaining passive access to machines when users report program crashes to Microsoft. In addition, with help from the CIA and FBI, the NSA has the ability to intercept computers and other electronic accessories purchased online in order to secretly insert spyware and components that can provide backdoor access for the intelligence agencies. American Civil Liberties Union Deputy Legal Director Jameel Jaffer and journalist Glenn Greenwald join us to discuss the latest revelations, along with the future of Edward Snowden, who has recently offered to assist U.S. targets Germany and Brazil with their respective probes into NSA spying.


Republican Devolution


Significantly fewer Republicans believe in evolution now than in 2009, according to a Pew Research Survey released Monday.

In 2009, 54 percent of Republicans believed that humans had evolved over time, but a survey conducted in March and April 2013 found that just 43 percent now thought so. The percentage of Democrats who believe that humans evolved over time was relatively unchanged between the two surveys: 64 percent said so in 2009, and 67 percent in 2013.

Several prominent Republicans have questioned the theory of evolution and claimed that it is controversial among scientists. Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), during a failed presidential run, said that evolution was "a theory that's out there" and has "some gaps in it." Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) contended that "hundreds and hundreds" of scientists with Nobel Prizes believe in intelligent design. However, Mitt Romney, the GOP's 2012 presidential nominee, said that he believes in evolution. ...............................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/30/republicans-evolution_n_4519550.html?ncid=txtlnkushpmg00000037



Good f**king grief......





from Grist:




Breaking: Rich people don’t like bad smells! Even if the smells come from nature, in the form of a sea lion. The problem is not just a bunch of sea lions with BO; it’s what comes outta sea lions’ buttholes and besmirches the beaches of Rich-Land. The San Diego suburb is technically called La Jolla, or “that place where Mitt Romney is in the process of replacing his 3,000-square-foot beach house with an 11,000-square-foot monster castle.”

Gawker has the scoop:

(Last week,) a lawsuit was filed against the city of San Diego and its interim mayor Todd Gloria by a group called Citizens For Odor Nuisance Abatement.


Note: The group’s SOLE PURPOSE is eradicating bad smells. SOMEbody has too much free time. You’d think they could at least come up with a good acronym, like SCENT (Smell Committee Enforcing No Turds) or SNIFF (Snooty Neighbors Incensed by Foul Fumes).

The group is demanding that the city clean up the rocks in La Jolla Cove because sea lion shit has built up to the point that it’s infecting the air.


The smell is “foul, noxious, and sickening,” according to Court House News, which is helpful because only EVERYONE ALIVE knows what crap smells like.

The lawsuit alleges that the city illegally erected a fence in front of the rocks at La Jolla Cove thus allowing sea lions and birds to roam free and shit everywhere. The plaintiffs are asking a judge to force the city to remove the fence and clean up the shit.


We agree that shit shouldn’t just be sitting around. No argument there. But wouldn’t it be cool if the hella-wealthy showed this level of concern for the air pollution caused by their SUVs?



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