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FSogol's Journal
FSogol's Journal
April 30, 2018

She ran from years of abuse in Ghana. Now she runs for the U.S. Naval Academy.

Need a story about a powerful young woman who never gave up?

Amanda Agana always had an answer ready to go. She would slide off her track pants and knew her running shorts couldn’t hide her past.

“Where are your scars from?” someone would inevitably ask. “Oh, well, I grew up in Africa,” she would say with a shrug. “I fell off a lot of trees.”

She chuckles at it now. Last time she counted, there were more than 100 marks dotting her legs, arms, hands and back. “Right here. Right here. Right here. Right here,” says the 21-year-old Agana, a middle-distance runner for Navy’s track team, her index finger tracing a map of childhood pain along one leg. None of the marks and scars were from falling out of trees.

“What am I supposed to tell these American kids that had never known true pain in their lives? ‘Oh, I’m sorry, I lived three years of my life being beaten every day and being taken advantage of every day,’?” she says.

Article here: (Warning - powerful description of abuse and neglect, but does have a happy ending)

April 30, 2018

These teens saw how poor mental health hurt their peers. So they got a law passed.

Lucas Johnson’s résumé is characteristic of any high-achieving high school senior. There’s the raft of Advanced Placement classes, a dozen during his four years at Monticello High School in Virginia’s Albemarle County. There are the extracurriculars — tutoring and Model United Nations and student council and cross-country.

During his junior year, there was the stress that accompanied all of it — stress that, at times, made him ask: “What is the point of all of this?” The 18-year-old witnessed distress among his peers, too — troubling Facebook and Instagram posts, bullying that went unaddressed, students without a place to turn.

So Johnson and two other Albemarle County students, Alexander Moreno and Choetsow Tenzin, sought to fix that. They lobbied for more mental health resources in their schools before setting their aim higher: a law requiring mental health instruction for Virginia’s ninth- and 10th-graders.

The legislation sailed through the House and Senate and was signed into law by Gov. Ralph Northam (D) last month.

Rest of the article at:

April 27, 2018

Scott Pruitt can't answer a yes-or-no question to save his life (or even his ass)

Scott Pruitt is Trump's scandal-haunted EPA administrator; yesterday, he was called before a Congressional hearing to account for himself and his lavish, tax-funded spending, as well as the paranoid culture of retaliatory firings and demotions at the EPA.

While Congressional Republicans periodically weighed in to call the climate-denying, fossil-fuel-funded career politician a "victim" of Washington politics, Democrats refused to stop asking Pruitt simple, frank questions about his tenure as a federal official, which Pruitt dodged, ducked and evaded.

For example, Rep. Ben Ray Luján [D-NM] had to ask Pruitt three times if he was the administrator of the EPA before Pruitt finally, grudgingly, admitted that he was.

The exchange where Pruitt refuses to admit he runs the EPA is pretty funny, but too long to post here. It has to be seen to be believed.

Whole article by Cory Doctorow here:
April 25, 2018

Post a song you rediscovered after a long time

For me its The Stranglers, &quot Get a) Grip (on Yourself)" from 1977.

April 20, 2018

Fight the...

April 20, 2018

Car subscriptions are now a thing

Volvo has begun a service where you subscribe to a car service. You get a brand new car with zero money down, all maintenance and insurance included. You pay a monthly fee and can get a new model every 12 months. Business experts hate the idea, since there is no negotiation. This will probably become popular.


April 20, 2018

US town overrun with tumbleweed after high winds

High winds brought unwelcome visitors to one isolated Californian neighbourhood in the form of hundreds and hundred of tumbleweeds.

A mass invasion by the High Desert's infamous rolling hazards besieged a series of homes in the small US town of Victorville that left some residents calling the city and even 911 for help.

"We have received several calls and we're aware of the problems with tumbleweeds there, primarily in Mesa Street area," Victorville spokeswoman Sue Jones told the Daily Press. "We're not exactly sure how many homes are affected, but we're estimating about 100 to 150 homes in that area."

More and video at link:
April 18, 2018

Alleged police impersonator handcuffs real officer in Foggy Bottom store

A man was charged with impersonating a police officer after handcuffing an actual police officer during a disturbance at a grocery store in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of Northwest Washington, D.C. police said.

The incident erupted about 5 p.m. Monday at the Whole Foods store at 23rd and I streets NW, where a witness saw a man brandishing handcuffs and harassing customers, according to a D.C. police report.

When two D.C. police officers arrived, the man became aggressive, according to the report, and placed a handcuff on the right hand of one of the officers. He also demanded that the officer “stop resisting,” the report said.

Evan Graham, 47, of Capitol Heights, Md., was taken into custody on charges of simple assault, resisting arrest and false impersonation of a police officer, the police report said.

April 18, 2018

Three ships from the 1700s found on one block in Old Town Alexandria

Fifteen feet down in the muck, mud and sand, you can reach out and touch the remains of a ship, or three, that were so worn out by 1798 that they were scuttled to help create new land for Alexandria’s thriving commercial port.

The wet wood was last dry when local resident George Washington had just retired from the presidency to nearby Mount Vernon, in a time before the invention of indoor plumbing, gas lighting or the steam locomotive.


Specialists from Thunderbird Archaeology also have unearthed about 100,000 artifacts — the foundation of a flour mill, coins from Ireland, England, France and Spain, pieces of ceramics, bottles and animal bones.


The ships are being kept wet, because every moment they are exposed to dry air causes deterioration, said Eleanor Breen, acting city archaeologist. The wood is soaked and covered at night. Once the original location has been documented, the timbers will be taken to a warehouse on the West End, where they will remain underwater until city officials decide what to do with them.

Whole story and more pics here:


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