Virtually every rich country on Earth provides pre-completed tax-returns that you can either ignore (and pay an accountant or do your own taxes), or just sign and return: after all, the government already knows what you're earning and how much tax you paid, so they can do all the heavy lifting for your annual return. Read the rest
Having to listen to Trump's gibberish is one thing – you kind of learn to tune it out. But having to translate his nonsense into another language takes a skillset of great finesse. Take a look at this translator's bewildered expressions yesterday as she tried to put his mad drivel into coherent sentences during a talk between Trump and Italian President Sergio Mattarella.
This woman’s reaction to Trump’s sand comment is all of us pic.twitter.com/XGpHKiHW2X
— ElElegante101 (@skolanach) October 16, 2019
The look of the White House Italian translator as Trump says President Mozzarella for the Italian President and says U.S. and Italy have been allies since Ancient Rome. pic.twitter.com/4c4kTl1wl3
— Teymour (@Teymour_Ashkan) October 17, 2019
Italian translator listening Trump avoiding to answer questions about Rudy Giuliani pic.twitter.com/72cmtYANLx
— Koro (@nonsmknlifeboat) October 16, 2019
Caltech theoretical physicist Sean Carroll, author of Something Deeply Hidden: Quantum Worlds and the Emergence of Spacetime, explains the concept of a "dimensions" at five different levels of complexity. Dr. Carroll sure has a big brane. Read the rest
In 1936, the Tasmanian tiger (Thylacinus cynocephalus) was declared to be extinct. Yet in the last three years, there have been eight reported sightings according to Tasmania's Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment. I hope it's true. From CNN:
While stories abound that some continue to live in the remote wilds of Tasmania, an island state off Australia's south coast, there has been no hard evidence to support this -- only claims of sightings, like the ones newly released.
One report last February said that two people, visiting Tasmania from Australia, were driving when an animal with a stiff tail and striped back walked onto the road.
The animal "turned and looked at the vehicle a couple of times" and "was in clear view for 12-15 seconds," the report read. Both people in the car "are 100% certain that the animal they saw was a thylacine."
Another report filed the same month described a striped "cat-like creature" moving through the mist in the distance.
Apparently a 6-year-old got ahold of someone's prescription medication and decided to experiment with her friends.
Arizona's ABC15 reports:
Read the rest
According to Phoenix Fire Department, four elementary school students took "what appears to be heart medication pills" on the school bus Thursday morning.
Phoenix police say a 6-year-old girl took the prescription pills from an adult family member and gave them to four other 6- and 7-year-olds while they were on the way to school.
A staff member at the school became aware of what happened, brought the kids to the nurse's office, and called 911.
The appendix has evolved in different animal species at least 29 times, according to this SciShow video, which means it probably serves a function. Scientists who studied appendixes in animals have come to the conclusion that it is a part of the immune system. In humans, the appendix is full of immune cells, including T cells, B cells, and natural killer cells, and good gut bacteria. Read the rest
On Oct 7, workers and volunteers at New York City's beloved Pacifica Radio affiliate WBAI received a sudden notice informing they that they were all fired without notice or a board vote, as is required by Pacifica's by-laws; the next day, a court issued an injunction requiring Pacifica to reinstate local programming until a hearing on Oct 21. Read the rest
Caitlin Kirby, a doctoral student at Michigan State University, defended her dissertation while wearing a skirt made of rejection letters she had received during her studies:
Successfully defended my PhD dissertation today! In the spirit of acknowledging & normalizing failure in the process, I defended in a skirt made of rejection letters from the course of my PhD. #AcademicTwitter #AcademicChatter #PhDone THANK YOU to everyone involved in my journey pic.twitter.com/FQbXYQ1Oov
— Caitlin K. Kirby (@kirbycai) October 7, 2019
She told Lansing State Journal that she made the skirt as a way of normalizing rejection and taking pride in overcoming it:
It took 17 rejection letters to make the skirt, rejections from scholarships, academic journals and conferences. To make the skirt, she printed them out and folded each one into a fan, connecting them in rows until they resembled a skirt. Kirby still had many left over.
“The whole process of revisiting those old letters and making that skirt sort of reminded me that you have to apply to a lot of things to succeed,” she said. “A natural part of the process is to get rejected along the way.”
A group that calls themselves The Republicans for the Rule of Law has a new TV ad campaign asking "Congress to stand up for the rule of law" and calls Trump's recent actions regarding Ukraine "unAmerican." They ask viewers to "call your Congressman and tell them to speak out against President Trump and his abusive power."
Here is the ad in a tweet by @BillKristol:
Mike Pence is right. Donald Trump is wrong. pic.twitter.com/JeYnRWikoG
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) October 17, 2019
According to HuffPost:
Read the rest
The ads will air in the home states of a dozen Senate Republicans, including Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Sen. Mitt Romney (Utah), as well as in the districts of 15 House Republicans, such as Rep. Bill Flores (Texas) and Rep. Mark Amodei (Nev.).
Republicans for the Rule of Law spokesman Chris Truax said Trump’s decision to seek dirt on his rivals from Ukraine and China was “fundamentally unAmerican.”
“Congressional Republicans must speak out against President Trump’s abuse of power,” Truax said in a statement. “They need to do it publicly. They need to do it clearly. And they need to do it now.”
Ryoichi Toya of Suzu, Japan harvests 3.5 tons of salt per year from the ocean. He starts by pouring buckets of seawater onto a bed of raked sand. After the sand has dried, it's collected in a large wooden box, to which additional seawater is added, to create a very salty liquid. This is boiled over a wood fire for six hours to remove the water. "Salt produced with the Agehama style is made from seawater and is mainly used for food," he says. "It's mild in taste and the texture is smooth. It's the perfect seasoning for a rice ball." Read the rest
Billionaire Elon Musk told lawyers representing the British cave diver who is suing him for defamation that he's financially illiquid. Musk's personal net worth of $23.6 billion makes him the 38th richest person on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, but he says his wealth is tied up in his equity stake in Space Exploration Technologies Corp., and shares in Tesla, and that he has no intention of selling his shares.
A 64-year-old man went to the doctor complaining of pain in his tongue and mouth. Upon examination, doctors found the patient's tongue to be missing taste buds. He was diagnosed with pernicious anemia, which is caused by an inability to absorb vitamin B-12, needed to make red blood cells.
The condition was reversed after weekly injections of B-12.
Image: National University of Singapore Read the rest
On August 8, 1974, President Richard Nixon delivered his resignation speech to the American public. Moments before this historical event, he was calmly joking around with the TV crew as if this was just any other presser. And then....
"...I have felt it was my duty to persevere, to make every possible effort to complete the term of office to which you elected me. In the past few days, however, it has become evident to me that I no longer have a strong enough political base in the Congress to justify continuing that effort."
A great American has passed away. US Representative for Maryland's 7th congressional district, Elijah Eugene Cummings has passed away at age 68.
Elijah Cummings has been an inspiration for as long as I can remember. We have lost one of the last true statesmen in this broken US political system.
Read the rest
The U.S. congressman from Maryland, who died early Thursday morning at 68, was a long-time warrior for justice, truly a great man. He spoke truth to power even as a member of the power class. And the Democrat was not above pleading, with rival Republicans or constituents, for what he knew was right.
He chose politics and public life because he wanted a better country, a better city. Immersed in the complex problems of both, he kept his eyes on the prize all through his career. As a member of Congress, with oversight of government operations at a range of levels, Cummings was in the role of examiner, and what he examined was usually bad — from incompetence by bureaucrats to price gouging by corporations to the abuses of power of the executive branch. And so his words were often aspirational, uttered while mired in mud, yet pointing us toward a mountaintop.
The Lestina family of Bagley, Iowa were greeted with a wonderful Halloween surprise on the morning of October 3, when they awoke to find 5 inches of animal blood, fat, and bones flooding through the basement.
Two weeks later, it's still blooding.
The Lestinas have lived next door to a meat locker for the last decade. But the building was transferred to new ownership this past April 2019, and, well, something clearly went wrong., because the drainage from the kill room backed up and clogged the shared pipelines, which spilled over into the Lestinas' house.
(It took two weeks for the meat locker to reach and offer to help pay for the mess, too, although they were cooperating with local health and sanitation services before that.)
From the Des Moines Register:
Two weeks later, the blood is still seeping into the basement and the Iowa Department of Public Health told the family it's not safe to live in the home.
They are staying with relatives in Panora until the mess can be cleaned up.
"I've had a company come out for cleaning and sanitizing, but they can't start that process until it stops coming up the drain," Lestina said. "I've been talking to different excavation people. It hasn't been a promising deal. I need dry weather."