Sunday, May 31, 2015

Russian military aircraft head off a U.S. warship

A Sukhoi Su-24M of the Russian Air Force in flight over Russia
A Sukhoi Su-24M of the Russian Air Force in flight over Russia

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian military aircraft were scrambled to head off a U.S. warship that was acting "aggressively" in the Black Sea, state news agency RIA reported on Saturday, but the Pentagon denied any unusual behavior.
RIA quoted an anonymous source in Russia's armed forces in Crimea as saying that the guided missile destroyer USS Ross was moving along the edge of Russia's territorial waters and heading in their direction.
"The crew of the ship acted provocatively and aggressively, which concerned the operators of monitoring stations and ships of the Black Sea Fleet," RIA quoted the source as saying.
"Su-24 attack aircraft demonstrated to the American crew readiness to harshly prevent a violation of the frontier and to defend the interests of the country."
Pentagon spokeswoman Eileen Lainez said the USS Ross was "well within international waters at all times, performing routine operations."
"The U.S. Navy operates routinely in the Black Sea, in accordance with international law," Lainez said, noting the Ross's deployment to the Black Sea had been publicly announced.
Russia's Defense Ministry was not immediately available to comment on the report.
The incident is the latest example of encounters between Russian and Western militaries, as tensions continue over the crisis in Ukraine and Russia's annexation of the Crimea peninsula, home to Russia's Black Sea Fleet, last year.
Earlier this month, both Britain and Sweden said that they had scrambled fighters to intercept Russian bombers near their territory.
The United States said last month that it was filing a complaint to Russia over a Russian fighter's "sloppy" and unsafe interception of a U.S. reconnaissance plane in international aerospace over the Baltic Sea.
Mr Putin and comrades continue to be among the top three 'shit disturbers' in the world.

Friday, May 29, 2015

10 Interesting Facts About the English Language

Swims will be swims even when turned upside down.

Compared to other languages, English may seem simple, but that is probably because most people don’t realize it is full of crazy inventions, misinterpretations, mistakes, strange words, and needless words! Did you know that enneacontakaienneagon is actually a word in the English language? (And you thought pronouncing supercalifragilisticexpialidocious was difficult?). In fact, the meaning of the word is just as bizarre as the word itself: it’s a shape with 99 sides.

Let’s take a look at the top 10 interesting facts about the English language:
1.“I am” is the shortest complete sentence in the English language.
2. A pangram sentence is one that contains every letter in the language.
For example, the sentence, “The quick, brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” is a pangram.
3. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (*breath*) is NOT the longest word in English.
This extra long word (that approximately means “fantastic”) was invented for a movie, and it became a word in the dictionary. What you probably didn’t know is that there is a word that is longer — yes longer — than this one. Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis is a type of lung disease caused by inhaling ash and dust. Go ahead and try pronouncing that!
4. There are “ghost words” that mean nothing.
Believe it or not, there are some words that appeared in the dictionary due to printing errors and meant nothing. The word “dord” appeared in the dictionary for eight years in the mid-20th century. It became known as a “ghost word”.
5. The shortest, oldest, and most commonly used word is “I.”
Medieval manuscripts reveal that some of the oldest words in English were “I,” “we,” “two,” and “three.” This makes “I” one of the shortest and oldest words in the English language. It is also the most commonly used word in English conversations.
6. A new word is added to the dictionary every two hours.
Between now and your next meal, a new word will be put into the dictionary. During the course of the year, almost new 4000 words are added! So, the next time you try to catch the attention of the dissertation committee, try adding some new words to your project.
7. There’s a name for words that we repeat often.
Words we always use even though they add no meaning or value to the sentence are called crutch words. For example, in the sentence “Then I was like, OMG, then like, he went there, and like…” it is pretty obvious that “like” is the crutch word. “Actually,” “honestly,” and “basically” are also commonly used as crutch words.
8. Swims will be swims even when turned upside down.
Such words are usually called ambigrams.
9. English is the language of the air.
This means that to communicate all pilots have to identify themselves and speak in English, regardless of their origin.
10. Girl used to mean small boy or girl.
The word “girl” was not initially used to refer to a specific gender. It used to mean “child” or “young person” regardless of the gender.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy ,
I just learned from my son's school that he is not doing as well in math as we had hoped . He doesn't have to go to summer school , but it would be helpful for him to have support so that he could do better next year. We have already set him up in a number of programs for the summer , all of which are fun based . Now I realize that we have to add tutoring . How do I break it down to him so that he will pay attention and do real work when he expects to have the summer off to just have fun ? 
Getting to the point 
Dear Getting to The Point ,
Before summer starts , sit  down with your son and review his grades and whatever additional information you have gathered from his school . Ask  your son to talk to you about how he feels he has done in class . Get him to speak about where he thinks he may need  support . Create a conversation that allows your son to feel comfortable enough to open up about his academic life . Introduce the idea of a tutor and don't make it sound like punishment for a disappointing performance in math. Make it sound more like support and tell him it will make next year's  math course much easier for him. He will start the new school year fully prepared. It will be easier for him to accept and pay attention to a tutor who reviews his year's work in easy stages.

 As for the remainder of the summer, I suggest you tell your son about the rest of the schedule you have put in place for him. Get his input. He may not wish to participate in all of the programs you have chosen. It is, after all, his vacation. He is still a kid and is entitled to have free hang time, to just be a kid and do what he wants to do. Make time for that. Too much regimentation can suppress a child's imagination, creativity and individuality.
Monitor him without making it noticeable, throughout the summer, to see if he is enjoying his activities and completing his studies. The most important thing here is to see to his happiness first and everything else second.

Dear Maxy,
I have been trying to find a friend from high school because I came across some old letters from him back in the day . I was cleaning out my house , and when I found them , they made me happy . I have had so much loss in the past few years between family members passing and a few friends in my age group . I want to find this old friend . Anyhow , I have asked around and I learned he is incarcerated . I feel so bad for him . I also wonder if I should follow up and send him a note or even visit him . It took some digging , but I know exactly when he is . My worry is that it I contact him , I will then need to somehow responsible for him . What should I do ?
Finding a Friend ... Jackson , Mississippi 
Dear  Finding A Friend ,
You have gone so far to find out where your friend is . Don't stop now. Send  him a letter  telling  him  that you have been thinking about  him and  why.  Enclose one of the letters that you found , if you like .  Explain that re-reading the letters made you happy during your time of sadness and loss. Thank him for that and wish him well .
If he writes you back, there is no harm in indulging in some correspondence with him. You are both adults and very much alone.
But you are in no way responsible for this person, nor will you ever be. You are merely two old friends who got in touch and nothing more. Keep it on a very casual pen pal level.

Dear Maxy , 
Is there any end to it ? I am 68 and have been married 44 years . My husband and I both have some health issues , but he still needs sex or he becomes depressed and can't seem to function . My husband is also addicted to pornography and has been his whole adult life . I've looked the other way on this vice because he is otherwise a wonderful husband and father .
I just don't feel like feeding his sex fantasies at this stage of our marriage , Not to mention Viagra is an expensive pill and has some side affects . I seriously would like honest answers from other senior citizens in their late 60s or early 70s .
What should I do ? I've thought about ending the marriage and letting him find a younger gal . I know that's what some men need and want .
Had Enough , Thanks 
Dear Had Enough ,
Your problems are mostly rooted in the fact that you have ignored your husband's porn addiction for years .  You must discuss this with him and then you and he need to speak with a professional counselor, experienced in treating sexual addictions. It is the same as being addicted to a drug, alcohol, smoking or gambling. It's not something most people can change or go cold turkey on their own.  He needs an intervention. Change is possible, even after all these years, but only if you guys stop the cycle you're on.
 Married sex is about intimacy, loving and caring about the enjoyment of your partner. And  there is no expiration date on that. He has, long ago, lost sight of that maxim and perhaps you have too. For a start, you might go to a counselor on your own and talk it out with him. Then include  your husband in the counseling.
Have you had enough sex, period... or just had enough indulging in the sexual  fantasies, fed  by his addiction ? If the latter, you are under no obligation to do things that make you  feel uncomfortable or unhappy  just to pander to his bizarre fantasy  life .  
But remember, although your libido may have disappeared because of health issues, his hasn't . And he still has needs that have to be addressed one way or another.  The majority of seniors enjoy healthy, normal sexual relations for as long as they are well enough to participate. At 68 you should still be enjoying that closeness with your husband.   There is of course, a natural, slow decline in libido as you get older and there are therapeutic hormonal remedies that can help women continue a happy sex life.  Your husband should not be using Viagra. It just aggravates his problems and yours . Viagra can also have very harmful side effects.
To learn about sex among seniors...go to these helpful websites :

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Oscar Pistorius could be out on parole in two months...What?

Oscar Pistorius will be able to serve the remainder of his sentence under house arrest. 
JOHANNESBURG – Oscar Pistorius could be out on parole by the time the State appeals his culpable homicide conviction in the Supreme Court of Appeals in Bloemfontein.
The blade runner was convicted of culpable homicide, after killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp and is presently serving a five-year sentence in Pretoria.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) on Friday said it would only submit its transcripts to the High Court at the end of May; and a date for the appeal would only be set after both the State and defense file their heads of argument.
This will most likely take around two months, which means it would be heard once Pistorius becomes eligible for early release.
Pistorius will be able to serve the remainder of his sentence under house arrest around August.
The NPA’s Velekhaya Mgobhozi said his application for this will be handled entirely by the Correctional Services Department.
“Mr Pistorius will most likely be due for his release in months to come. It’s generally in the hands of correctional supervision. We have no control on the time frames whatsoever at this time.”
But, the NPA could be asked to make representations to the department on whether this application should be granted. I certainly hope they do.

Meanwhile, the NPA said Judge Thokozile Masipa acceded to its prayers by dismissing Pistorius’ application in the High Court earlier on Friday and a date for the State’s appeal could be set soon.
Pistorius’ lawyers had tried to apply for leave to appeal the State’s legal move against the conviction. However, Masipa ruled that the application by Pistorius’s lawyers should be struck off the roll, saying it would be tantamount to her reviewing her own decision.

Mgobhozi said today’s decision by Masipa would allow them to proceed with arrangements for the appeal in Bloemfontein.
“Suffice to say that by the end of May the state will be filing for the transcript. The transcript is the court record.”

He said if the defense’s application was successful it would have set a new precedent.
Some people just get away with murder. I think it has something to do with celebrity status and personal wealth.  Correct me if I'm wrong.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Energy East pipeline would threaten Manitoba's drinking water

Members of Stop Energy East Halifax protest outside the library in Halifax on Monday, Jan. 26, 2015. More than 60 organizations are calling on the National Energy Board to suspend TransCanada's application for the Energy East Pipeline. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
The Canadian Press - Members of Stop Energy East Halifax protest outside the library in Halifax on Monday, Jan. 26, 2015. More than 60 organizations are calling on the National Energy Board to suspend TransCanada's …more  application for the Energy East Pipeline. THE CANADIAN PRESS

WINNIPEG - A new report says a pipeline that would carry one million barrels of oil daily from Alberta to the East Coast would threaten the drinking water of more than 60 per cent of Manitoba residents.
The report by the Manitoba Energy Justice Coalition said a rupture on the proposed Energy East pipeline would seep into any number of waterways which feed into Winnipeg's water supply.
The pipeline transporting oil from Alberta and Saskatchewan to refineries and port terminals on the East Coast would partly run underneath an aqueduct carrying Winnipeg's drinking water from Shoal Lake near the Ontario boundary.
Dennis LeNeveu, a retired biophysicist and author of the report, said a 40-year old repurposed natural gas line would be used across Manitoba. Such pipelines can get corroded and have ruptured four times in Manitoba in the last 20 years, he said.
The entire length of Winnipeg's 100-year-old aqueduct would be in danger of contamination from the pipeline, which would run parallel to it, LeNeveu said.
"Small, continuous, undetected leaks will occur and seep unseen into the ground causing ground and surface water contamination," he said following the release of the report Monday. "One spill, one leak — it doesn't have to be a big leak — almost anywhere along that line can be carried over our aqueduct."
There would also be "a significant risk of rupture and explosion" from a nearby natural gas line in Manitoba, LeNeveu said. Such an explosion could "easily be as large or larger" than the train derailment and explosion that killed 47 people in Lac Megantic, Que., almost two years ago, the report said.
"The smoke plume from such an explosion and fire could necessitate the immediate evacuation of the entire population of Winnipeg should it occur nearby."
Calgary-based TransCanada Corp., the company behind the $12-billion pipeline, said it would be safe. Spokesman Tim Duboyce said the company already does a thorough inspection of the existing line with technology that can detect erosion as small as a pencil tip.
Such defects are immediately repaired, he said. Energy East would be monitored around the clock and would be shut down the minute any leak were detected.
"We're proceeding with the preparation of this project with safety at top of mind," Duboyce said.
TransCanada has never had an oil pipeline leak because of a problem with the "integrity" of the line, he said.
Critics say even a small risk of contaminating Manitoba's water is too great.
"There is absolutely no replacement for water in sustaining life," said Vicki Burns, director of the Save Lake Winnipeg Project. "On the other hand, we know there are new technologies that actually will allow us to meet our energy needs without relying on the problems of fossil fuels."
Alex Paterson with the energy justice coalition called on the provincial government to oppose the proposal, even though it is federally regulated. Paterson said the province still controls building permits and conducts its own environmental assessment.
"The reality is, if they wanted to protect the water, the only sure way to protect our water is not have this pipeline go through."
Conservation Minister Tom Nevakshonoff declined to be interviewed.

Mexico and Texas hit by deadly storms

At least 13 people have been killed by a tornado that hit the northern Mexico border city of Ciudad Acuna. Hundreds of homes have been damaged or destroyed in the city, in Coahuila state, just across the border from Del Rio, Texas. The US state has had big floods, with at least three dead and 12 missing.
Images from Mexico showed cars and buildings badly damaged. Many people have been injured and there are fears the death toll could rise.
Coahuila Governor Ruben Moreira, on a visit to the stricken area, said 10 adults and three children had died and a baby was missing. Another 150 people had been taken to hospital, he said. The authorities say that more than 1,000 homes have been damaged by the storm.
At one point the tornado reached a speed of 270-300km/h (168-186mph). Most of those who died were walking on the street when it struck, officials said.

The storm left a trail of destruction in Ciudad Acuna
Scores of cars were destroyed by the storm
Some were also left upended against buildings
 Many residents have lost their homes

The missing baby's child carrier was ripped from its mother's hands by a sudden gust of wind, Coahuila state Interior Secretary Victor Zamora told the AP news agency. Ciudad Acuna Mayor Evaristo Lenin Perez said that it was the first tornado to hit Acuna since the city's foundation, more than 100 years ago. Rescuers were searching the 750 damaged properties for more casualties.

A passenger bus was flipped over and twisted by the force of the storm

"There are cars on top of houses, there are dead people lying in the street, it is total chaos," said local resident Maria del Rosario Ramirez, quoted by Mexican newspaper La Jornada.
The tornado only lasted a short moment but that was enough to devastate a community. It struck at a busy time in the morning - people were driving or taking public transport to work. Cars were catapulted towards buildings, roofs ripped off and many vehicles left upended.

Residents of Ciudad Acuna are used to hearing about this sort of thing north of the border in Texas, not experiencing this first-hand. The infrastructure clearly wasn't strong enough to stand up to the impact - the army is helping to search for missing people and neighbouring states have also said they will lend a hand in the rescue effort. Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto expressed his "solidarity" with the relatives of the victims and said he would travel to Ciudad Acuna later on Tuesday.
He said the government would "take stock of the damage and provide all appropriate support".

Victor Zamora, Coahuila's interior secretary, said an area of about seven blocks had been "devastated" by the tornado, which struck at about 06:10 (11:10 GMT). Civil protection officials said that eight temporary shelters had been set up for those made homeless by the disaster.
'Tsunami-like power'

In the southern US, warnings and alerts stretched from Colorado through to Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri and eastern Kansas.

The clean-up operation has now begun in earnest

Twelve people were missing after flash floods struck the Blanco river in central Texas on Sunday.
Texas governor Greg Abbott said it was the worst flooding the state had seen, and that the wave of water had a "tsunami-like" power. He has declared a state of disaster in 24 counties of the state.

In the city of San Marcos, residents were forced to evacuate as the flood waters rose after torrential rain that turned streets into fast-flowing rivers, with cars and trucks under water and people using inflatable lounge chairs to make their way down the street. The floods damaged hundreds of homes, some of them swept off their foundations.

At least three deaths have been linked to the flooding in Texas since Saturday, the latest being a 14-year-old boy who was found with his dog in a storm drain in Dallas. Three people are reported to have died in Oklahoma.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Devastating Floods in the US

 Flood victims are rescue in Kyle, Texas, 24 May

Devastating floods have hit the US. At least three people have died and hundreds of homes have been destroyed in flash flooding in the southern US. Two people were killed in weather-related accidents in Oklahoma and a man lost his life in San Marcos, Texas.
Some areas saw up to 10 inches (25cm) of rain over a 24-hour period, with more predicted across the region.
Twelve people, including two children, were reported missing along the Blanco river in Texas, local media report.
Jonathan McComb was staying at a house in Wimberley with his wife and their young son and daughter when they were swept away.
Mr McComb was taken to hospital with serious injuries, but his family has not yet been found. Five others were also reportedly dragged away by the floodwaters.
His father, former county commissioner Joe McComb said, "It is in the Lord's hands... we're praying for the best."
'Worst I've seen'
There were numerous other rescues on Sunday after banks burst, and hundreds of homes were destroyed across the region.
Warnings and alerts stretch from Colorado through to Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri and eastern Kansas.
The Blanco is one of the worst hit rivers in Texas.
At one point it crested at 43ft (13m) - some 30ft above the designated flood stage and 7ft higher than the 1929 record.

The Blanco river basin in Texas is one of the worst hit areas

Flood victims are rescued in Kyle, Texas

 Several hundred houses have been destroyed in Wimberley A flash flood emergency - reserved for the most life-threatening situations - is in effect in the river basin area.
Some 1,000 people nearby were evacuated from their homes and parts of the Interstate 35 highway were flooded and closed.
Rudy Olivo, a resident of San Marcos, told Associated Press: "This is the worst I've seen it because the water rose so fast."
San Marcos emergency management coordinator, Kenneth Bell, said the body of one man had been recovered but had no more details.

Tornado warnings Kristi Wyatt, communications director for the town, said: "We have people on car tops and rooftops awaiting rescue. People in homes are going to higher levels."
She said hundreds of people were now in evacuation centres and that floodwaters had washed away five police cars.
A tornado hit Houston briefly on Sunday, damaging buildings and injuring at least two people.
Warnings of more tornados have been issued for parts of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Illinois.

 A couple in Oklahoma had to make three trips to rescue their pets

 In parts of San Antonio water exploded from sewer covers. A mandatory evacuation was ordered at Lake Lewis, 50 miles (80km) north of Houston, which itself saw high winds bringing down trees and blowing out windows.

Residents in Wichita Falls, also in Texas, were warned the Wichita river could burst its banks.
A fire-fighter died in Oklahoma when he was swept away while taking part in a rescue effort in the town of Claremore, in the north-east of the state. He was named as Capt. Jason Farley.
A woman was also killed in a weather-related traffic accident in Tulsa.
Residents were rescued from roofs in the state's Cleveland and Comanche counties.
The National Weather Service says Oklahoma City already has a new monthly rainfall record for May - at 18.19 inches.

In Colorado, El Paso and Pueblo counties and the city of Sterling were also badly affected.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

My Garden

water fountain, nature, animated gifs, lily pond, daisies, flowers, landscape, trees, leaves, scenery, pretty - Click to play

I sit in my garden, gazing upon a beauty that cannot gaze upon itself. And I find sufficient purpose for my day.
It is a fountain of energy flowing through the soil, imbuing leaves, flowers, and wee creatures  with the brilliance of  life.
The great conductor, the source, the healer and restorer of weary souls.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy ,
My husband is ill and a distant family member from out of state decided to pay us a visit . It was nice to see my husband's cousin because he was able to lift my husband spirits in this time of need . A few months after our guest visited our home , we discovered we had bedbugs . I call the exterminator : He went to the guest room and confirmed how long we had them . I am thinking there is a strong possibility that we got them from our houseguest . (we rarely have houseguests these days and he was the only sleepover guest in a few years.)
It has been a nightmare around here for close to a year trying to get rid of them and I think we have seen the last of them . Now my cousin wants to visit us in the next two months . What can we say or do to prevent this from happening again without offending anybody ? 
Bedbugs do Bite 
Dear  Bedbugs  Do Bite ,
What an awkward  situation ! Bedbugs can indeed hitch a ride in luggage. They can hide in a crevice no thicker than a credit card. They can even arrive in the binding of a book. It is so difficult to eradicate an infestation, you don't want to risk it happening again.
 Bedbugs do not bite everyone. Some people can live with them and never be bothered by them so it is possible your relative is not even aware that he is a carrier. Perhaps you can approach it that sensitive, direct, but assume he does not know.
 Tell him how much you and your husband enjoyed his visit and would like to see him again. But before that happens, he should have his premises checked for his own well-being in case, on his travels, he picked up bedbugs from some hotel, restaurant or luggage compartment on a plane. Tell him you found some in the room he occupied and to be on the safe side, you would like to be assured that he is free of infestation before he visits again. 
Apologize if he seems offended but be firm. After that, the invitations have to be at your discretion.

Dear Maxy ,
My fiancé and I are in a long -distance military relationship . We have discussed eloping to Las Vegas so I can move to be with him . My father is not enthusiastic about it He would like to be there for my wedding , but my fiancé comes from a large family . Eloping would be our way of not excluding anyone . I feel guilty for wanting this to be just the two of us . Should i plan a small wedding for my father's sake or have a reception when we get back ? 
Lets Get Married Today 
Dear Let's  Get Married  Today .
You and  your  fiance  have  to  make a plan  that works best for  you. After all it is your wedding and you and your fiancé come first. If  you wish to elope then that's what you should do. After that, to the  best of  your  ability,  try to accommodate both families .
 Is  there  a way  that  you can arrange a small wedding with just both sets  of  parents present? If not, then when you get back, you can give a reception for  everyone . Explain to  your  father  your  decision  for  eloping  and  ask  him to host the reception  so that he  will be  central  in the  unveiling of the newly married couple . Congratulations!

Dear Maxy ,
I am so afraid for my sons . I have two teenage boys and everyday they go outside I worry because there are just two many black boys being killed . Sometimes the killers are police. Other times they are neighbors , gang members or seemingly random people .
It's so crazy that I don't even know what to tell them anymore . I don't want them to be afraid , nor do I want to be . But I can't bare the news out there . 
Two many boys that look like my sons have been slaughtered meaninglessly and their killers not brought to justice . What can I do ?
Protect My Boys 
Dear Protect  My Boys ,
Teach them the  lessons that have  been resonating  throughout  our  nation . When approached  by  police , do not  run , do not  raise  your  voice , do not  reach into  your  pockets . Speak as  little  as  possible, be polite, calm  and  follow  instructions .
As it  relates  to others ,  do your  best  to avoid bad company .
Do not  put  yourself  in a situation or place that  could  be questionable from a legal perspective or a safety point of view. Do not travel at night, or if you have to, do not go out alone. Pay attention  to  your  surroundings  and leave  immediately if  you  feel uncomfortable or unsafe . Always check in with your parents at regular intervals when you are away.   Walk with confidence but not attitude.
As a parent, you can speak with other parents in  your neighborhood and set up a 'neighborhood watch', where any of the kids in your area can run to a safe house when they feel in danger. All safe houses would display a 'safe symbol' on their door or window. Looking out for each others' kids is one of the best things you can do. 

Dear Maxy ,
I had the idea of surprising my dad with a visit . I live across country and was schedule to be in his town for work . 
He and my mom is divorced , so I don't see him to often , even though I think of us as close . We talk every week like clockwork .
So I showed up at his door and rang the bell and wouldn't you know it , a woman answered the door , I was shocked .
He hasn't said a thing about a girlfriend , not that he has to , but this woman looked like she was pretty comfortable in his house .
He wasn't home and I opted not to stay . I left town the next day . Like I said , it was a business trip .
Now it's weird . I am not sure how to address this with my dad .
Having the Conversation 
Dear Having  The  Conversation ,
First of all, you should have left your dad a message at his house, just to let him know you stopped by, so he would know that you are aware of his domestic arrangements.
Be  an adult  and  be  direct . Call your  father . Tell him you came  to visit  him as a surprise, and  you were  the one who ended up surprised . Ask him who the lady is who answered  the door . Ask him if he would be uncomfortable if you visited when you were in town.
While it's  really  not  your  concern if he is dating or has someone staying with him , I'm sure if  you talk to  your  father  respectfully, he will explain ... and  tell you why  he has kept the information to himself .  Go for  it .

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Oldest stone tools pre-date earliest known humans

Stone tools

 The tools includes sharp-edged flakes, hammers and anvils

The world's oldest stone tools have been discovered, scientists report.
They were unearthed from the shores of Lake Turkana in Kenya, and date to 3.3 million years ago.
They are 700,000 years older than any tools found before, even pre-dating the earliest humans in the Homo genus.
The find, reported in Nature, suggests that more ancient species, such as Australopithecus afarensis or Kenyanthropus platyops, may have been more sophisticated than was thought.
"They are significantly earlier than anything that has been found previously," said Dr Nick Taylor, from the National Centre of Scientific Research (CNRS) in France and the University of Leiden in the Netherlands.
"It's really quite astonishing to think what separates the previous oldest site and this site is 700,000 years of time. It's monumental."

Stone tool
This stone tool is known as a core - flakes, used for cutting, are sheared away from its edges 

The first tools from the site, which is called Lomekwi 3, were discovered in 2011. They were spotted after researchers took a wrong turn as they walked through the hot, dry Kenyan landscape.
By the end of 2012, a total of 149 tools had been found, and another field trip in 2014 has unearthed more still.
They include sharp flakes of stone, sheared off from larger rocks, which were most likely used for cutting.
Hammers and anvils were also excavated, some of which were huge in size.
"The very largest one we have weighs 15kg, which is massive," Dr Taylor told BBC News.
"On this piece, it doesn't show the signs of actually having been flaked to produce other artefacts... rather, it was probably used as an anvil.
"It probably rested in the soil and the other cobbles brought to the site, which were intended to be smashed apart to make tools, were struck against this large anvil."

Stone tool\
The tools were found near to Lake Turkana in northern Kenya
Dating of the volcanic ash and minerals around the tools suggests that they are 3.3 million years old.
Until this discovery, the oldest examples of this technology were the Oldowan tools from Tanzania, which date to about 2.6 million years ago.
The researchers say the 700,000-year time difference reveals how manufacturing methods and use changed over time, growing more advanced.

Homo habilis
Before this discovery, Homo habilis was thought to be the first species to use stone tools

The scientists do not know who made the tools discovered in Kenya. Until now, some thought that Homo habilis - known as "handy man" - was the earliest of our ancestors in the Homo genus to use tools. But with Homo fossils dating back to only 2.4-2.3 million years ago, it now seems unlikely that this was the first toolmaker. 
Other finds, such as animal bones found in Ethiopia with cut marks that date to 3.39 million years ago, also suggest tool use began before H. habilis.
Scientists now believe the 3.3-million-year-old implements were crafted by another, more primitive species.
Dr Taylor said: "There are a number of possible candidates at present.
"There was a hominin called Kenyanthropus platyops, which has been found very close to where the Lomekwi 3 tools are being excavated. And that hominin was around at the time the tools were being made.
"More widely in the East African region there is another hominin, Australopithecus afarensis, which is famously known from the fossil Lucy, which is another candidate."

Australopithecus afarensis
Australopithecus afarensis is a primitive species with both human and ape-like features

 Neither of these species was assumed to be particularly intelligent - they had both human and ape-like features, with relatively small brains.  However the tools suggest they may have been smarter than assumed.
Dr Ignacio de la Torre, from University College London's Institute of Archaeology, described this as "a game-changing" find.
"It's the most important discovery in the last 50 years."
"It suggests that species like Australopithecus might have been intelligent enough to make stone tools - that they had the cognitive and manipulative abilities to carry tasks like this out."

Really Bad One-liners

I think I want a job cleaning mirrors. It's something I could really see myself doing.

What did the pirate say when he turned 80?

Why did Mozart kill all his chickens?

Because when he asked them who the best composer was, they'd all say "Bach bach bach!"

What did Snow White say when she came out of the photobooth?
Someday my prints will come…

What do you call a belt made out of watches?
A waist of time!

What do you call a can opener that doesn't work?
A can't opener!

What do you call a snobbish prisoner going down the stairs?
A condescending con descending.

How do frogs die?
They Kermit suicide!

Why should you not write with a dull pencil?
Because it's pointless.

What do you call a guy with a rubber toe?

What did the Leper tell the prostitute?
Keep the Tip! (disgusting)

Why did Sally fall off the swings?
Because she had no arms.
Knock knock
Who's there?
Not Sally!  (very poor  taste)

What did batman say to robin before they got in the car?
"Get in the car."

What did the astronaut's fiancée say when he proposed in open space?
I can't breathe!

Why did the Mexican throw his wife off a bridge?

What is made of brass and sounds like Tom Jones?

Did you hear about the guy who invented the knock knock joke?
He won the "no-bell" prize!

Why did the cyclops close his school?
Because he only had one pupil!

A friend of mine died recently after drinking a gallon of varnish.
It was a horrible end, but a lovely finish.

What do you call a fish with no eyes?
A fsh!

The Past, The Present and The Future walked into a bar.
It was tense.

What do you call someone who points out the obvious?
Someone who points out the obvious.

What does a baby computer call his father?

Does anyone need an ark?
I Noah guy.

What do you call a guy who never farts in public?
A Private Tutor!

Why do penguins walk softly?
Because they can't walk hardly.

Where does the king keep his armies?
Up his sleevies

What do you call a sketchy neighbourhood in Italy?
A Spaghetto!

Why did the snowman have a smiley face?
Because he heard the snowblower was coming!

What's the difference between ignorance and Apathy?
I don't know and I don't care.

How do you feel when there is no coffee?

What do you call an empty jar of cheese whiz?
Cheese Was!

What do you call a microbiologist in an orchestra?
A cell-ist!

Climate change a serious security threat, warns Obama

U.S. President Barack Obama walks through an honor cordon as the arrives for the 134th Commencement Exercises of the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut May 20, 2015.
President Obama made his remarks to students at Connecticut's Coast Guard Academy. 
President Obama has called climate change "a serious threat to global security" and heavily criticized climate change deniers. In his strongest remarks on the issue yet, Mr Obama said climate change would "impact every country on the planet". The US president made his comments in a speech to students at the Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut.
He has previously identified climate change as a central issue for the remainder of his time in office.
Faced with strong opposition on the issue from Republicans and industry, Mr Obama used his speech to frame the threat in terms of national security.
He said: "I'm here today to say that climate change constitutes a serious threat to global security, an immediate risk to our national security and make no mistake: it will impact how our military defends our country.
"Denying it or refusing to deal with it endangers our national security. It undermines the readiness of our forces."
He went on to list specific military facilities seen as under threat from adverse weather conditions.

Graduates toss their caps in the air at the closing of the 134th Commencement Exercises of the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut 20 May 2015
  Mr Obama warned the students that their generation would be affected by global warning
"Around Norfolk, high tides and storms increasingly flood parts of our Navy base and an air base. In Alaska, thawing permafrost is damaging military facilities.
"Out West, deeper droughts and longer wildfires could threaten training areas our troops depend on."
He told the Coast Guard Academy students: "You are part of the first generation of officers to begin your service in a world where the effects of climate change are so clearly upon us.
"Climate change will shape how every one of our services plan, operate, train, equip, and protect their infrastructure, today and for the long term."
Mr Obama has used executive orders on climate change to circumvent opposition in Congress - issuing one in March ordering federal agencies to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
In China last year, he committed to reducing US carbon emissions by 26-28% by 2025, and he will travel to Paris in December for an international summit on greenhouse gases.

Bin Laden Raid Documents Released

     A BBC journalist looking at the website           

US officials have released documents found at Osama Bin Laden's secret compound in Pakistan during a raid in 2011. The documents are now available on a US government website.
Special operators killed the al-Qaeda chief during that operation and recovered the documents that officials have branded Bin Laden's Bookshelf.
As well as Arabic correspondence, there are English language books by Bob Woodward and Noam Chomsky, and others on economic and military theory. More documents may yet be released.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) said a "rigorous" review had taken place before the documents were released.

People gathering outside of the safe house
The documents were recovered at this house in Abbottabad, Pakistan

They say you can tell a lot about a person from their bookshelf. But what can we tell about the leader of al-Qaeda from his? Firstly, he wanted to know his enemy - he seems to have read plenty on America including bestsellers like Obama's Wars by Bob Woodward.
Unsurprisingly, he also seemed to favour books which were critical of American power such as by Noam Chomsky or Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins which recounted the author's claims of American companies exploiting the developing world.
There's also an element of trying to learn his opponents' weaknesses and vulnerabilities - retired British colonel John Hughes-Wilson's book on military intelligence blunders makes an appearance as do books on guerrilla warfare.
There also some books which perhaps suggest a bit of wish fulfilment - The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers by Paul Kennedy for instance. Also on the list is Imperial Hubris by Michael Scheuer - the CIA analyst who first ran the unit dedicated to tracking Osama Bin Laden back in the middle 90s and also, rather oddly, a book entitled A Brief Guide to Understanding Islam.
Another letter mocks President George W Bush's War on Terror, with Bin Laden writing that it had not created stability in Iraq or Afghanistan. No date is included on the translation provided on the US government website.
There is also section entitled Materials Regarding France, which includes a number of academic reports and articles about the France's military, politics and economy. Also included is a document described as a "suicide prevention guide", several English language books including Bob Woodward's Obama's Wars, several maps, and a few video game guides.
Also on the list was Checking Iran's Nuclear Ambitions by Patrick Clawson. When asked by the BBC about his feelings when he heard, Mr Clawson replied sarcastically: "Wonderful, I am glad it is read in such high circles."
Among the documents appears to be an application to join the ranks of al-Qaeda, including questions about hobbies and a willingness to be a martyr.

Printouts of the documents laying on a wood table
Many of the documents on the US government website were in the form of English language translations, as seen in these printout

The documents are being released in the wake of President Obama's calls for greater transparency, said Jeffrey Anchukaitis, a spokesman for the ODNI.
"The intelligence community will be reviewing hundreds more documents in the near future for possible declassification and release," he said.
Some of the material that has been included in the trove was previously declassified for use in federal prosecutions. In 2012, some documents recovered in the raid were released by the research wing of the US military academy, West Point.

Monday, May 18, 2015



Arctic pollution rules 'not enough'

Norwegian research vessel Lance at 83 degrees north in the Arctic OceanMore ships are expected to operate in the Arctic as new sea routes open up The Jonathan Arctica, one of the world's first Polar class supply ships, at shipyard in Gdansk, Poland, 22 April 2015

New guidelines have been passed to prevent pollution from ships in polar waters. The Polar Code, passed at a meeting in London of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), ban ships from releasing oil, sewage, chemicals and waste into the sea.
The measures are set to come into force in 2017. But environmentalists say the regulations do not go far enough. WWF said a strong, legally binding Polar Code was particularly urgent in the Arctic, where new sea routes are expected to open up in coming decades.
IMO member states should "honor the original vision of the Polar Code, which saw environmental protection as a priority," said Rod Downie, WWF-UK's Polar Program Manager.
"That means additional measures to reduce the risk of invasive marine species, more stringent requirements for oil spill response, banning the use and restricting carriage of heavy fuel oil by ships in the Arctic, reducing air emissions and black carbon, and addressing underwater noise," he said.

Ice retreat
The IMO is the United Nations agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships.  A spokesperson for the IMO said many of the things not specifically addressed in the Polar Code are addressed, or will be addressed, by other measures.
The Arctic is the fastest warming region of the planet. If the polar ice retreats it could speed up the rise in global temperatures and change the world's weather patterns.
It could also open up a faster route for commercial cargo ships between Europe and Asia, and boost trade in ports in Arctic countries such as Russia, Norway and Canada.

'Paddle in Seattle' Arctic oil drilling protest
Activists surround Shell's Polar Pioneer in Seattle. Photo: 16 May 2015

Hundreds of people in kayaks and small boats have staged a protest in the north-western US port city of Seattle against oil drilling in the Arctic by the Shell energy giant.
Paddle in Seattle was held by activists who said the firm's drilling would damage the environment.
It comes after the first of Shell's two massive oil rigs arrived at the port. The firm wants to move them in the coming months to explore for oil off Alaska's northern coast.
Earlier this week, Shell won conditional approval from the US Department of Interior for oil exploration in the Arctic. The Anglo-Dutch company still must obtain permits from the federal government and the state of Alaska to begin drilling. It says Arctic resources could be vital for supplying future energy needs.

'The only safe place'
The flotilla of kayaks, canoes, sailboats and paddle boats gathered near the 400ft (122m) tall Polar Pioneer drilling rig. The protest was organized by a coalition of activists who say Shell's drilling will damage the Arctic environment  .

Protesters demonstrate a giant sign "Climate justice now"
                 The protesters formed a line of boats with a giant sign "Climate justice now"
Activists sing songs during the protest in Seattle. Photo: 16 May 2015
                    A number of people supported the protest on land, chanting slogans and singing songs 

Protesters in Seattle. Photo: 16 May 2015 
  Activists are now planning to hold a day of peaceful civil disobedience  
A solar-powered barge - The People's Platform - joined the protesters, who chanted slogans and also sang songs.
"This weekend is another opportunity for the people to demand that their voices be heard," Alli Harvey, Alaska representative for the Sierra Club's Our Wild America campaign, was quoted as saying by the Associated Press news agency.
"Science is as clear as day when it comes to drilling in the Arctic - the only safe place for these dirty fuels is in the ground.''
The protesters later gathered in formation and unveiled a big sign which read "Climate justice now".
They mostly stayed outside the official 100-yard (91m) buffer zone around the Polar Pioneer, the Seattle Times newspaper reports.
Police and coastguard monitored the flotilla, saying it was peaceful. The demonstrators are now planning to hold a day of peaceful civil disobedience on Monday in an attempt to shut down Shell operations in the port, the newspaper adds.
The port's Terminal 5 has been at the centre of a stand-off between environmentalists and the city authorities after a decision earlier this year to allow Shell use the terminal as a home base for the company's vessels and oil rigs.
Shell stopped Arctic exploration more than two years ago after problems including an oil rig fire and safety failures. The company has spent about $6bn (£3.85bn) on exploration in the Arctic - a region estimated to have about 20% of the world's undiscovered oil and gas.

Map showing territorial claims to Arctic waters and US drilling site

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Perspective on Tsarnaev's Sentence

Massachusetts eschews the death penalty. In it's infinite wisdom, the Justice Department took the decision out of the hands of the state and made it a federal case.  Perhaps they wanted to make a glaring example or set a precedent. All home-grown, would be terrorists (Tsarnaev is an American citizen) take heed...don't f*** with us, or else! A poll revealed that less than a third of the citizens of Massachusetts supported the death penalty decision.
My friend Mr Humble has such sound logic, I see the whole situation more clearly. I give you the benefit of his words.

Mr Humble says:
Giving him the death sentence is a dumb decision. First, it will take years if not decades to execute him. During that time the state will pay for countless appeals and lawyer fees. It will probably cost upwards of 10,000,000 to try to execute. (Yes that is Ten Million).
Second, during this time the victims will be constantly updated on the appeals, the rulings etc etc. They will never have the chance to move on. Had he been given life without parole he would get one appeal and that would be it. He would then spend the rest of his life in a small cell with no outside contact and kept in the cell 23 of 24 hours a day. That would be what he would have to look forward to for the next 50 years. Does anyone really think the death penalty is worse than that? It is the victims who will suffer by this decision not the defendant. (And no, I am not against the death penalty altogether.)

When a murderer confesses, he should not be tried. If he stands up in front of the judge and admits his guilt, he should be taken out behind the courthouse and be executed.
1. Firing squad.
2. Hanging
3. Or by the same method he killed his victims.
Let the family of the victim(s) make that decision.
Liberals always say that the death penalty is not a deterrent. Let me ask them this:
Has anyone who was executed ever try to kill anyone again? If that's not a deterrent, what the hell is?

Justice delayed is justice denied.
The American public wants the decision of the death penalty but they don't want the actual executions". Many other important people quoted as saying that he will never be executed. Very discouraging for the victims and the relatives. They will never heal or have closure. The Media, the entertainment industry, and Academia have a stranglehold on opinion in this country.
I'd be surprised if this guy is ever executed. He'll be able to appeal, re-appeal, cite technicalities etc., etc., until he dies of old age.

Mr Humble's Opinion is supported by Tom Keane of
 PoliticoMagazine :


No victim of the Boston Marathon bombings was more poignant, perhaps, than eight-year-old Martin Richard. It was a photo of a smiling Martin, who was from Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood, holding up a handmade sign saying, “No more hurting people,” that seemed to underscore the callousness of the acts and the innocence of the victims. Yet even as the trial focused on the trauma suffered by the Richard family–not only was Martin killed, but his sister Jane lost her left leg and his mother and father were also severely injured–the family itself issued a statement urging the prosecution to abandon its quest for the death penalty.

That a family so tragically and permanently affected by these terrible acts could still take such a principled stand sums up how a lot of people in Massachusetts feel about the death penalty imposed Friday on Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the younger of the two brothers responsible for the 2013 bombings. Some might think the opposition to the sentence carries a whiff of hypocrisy with it. This deep-blue state has been long known for its opposition to capital punishment, but apparently those noble principles have been trumped by cold reality. Even liberals, it seems, will seek harsh vengeance when it’s their children getting killed and their streets red with blood.
In fact, though, Massachusetts and its principles have acquitted themselves quite well. The death penalty trial was imposed by the federal government against the wishes of the state. By a wide majority, the Bay State’s citizens opposed the ultimate punishment for Tsarnaev. So too did some of the victims. And perhaps most troubling of all, the jury’s verdict will bring little measure of closure. Rather than Tsarnaev disappearing anonymously behind bars for the rest of his days, his case will be appealed and fought. Death by execution, if it ever comes, may be decades away.
The last executions in Massachusetts were in 1947. Since then, the state had become increasingly uncomfortable with the death penalty. A Boston Globe poll conducted during the Tsarnaev trial, for example, found only 30 percent of the state’s residents supported the death penalty. That contrasts markedly to national polls which show that – despite growing reservations about its use – it still has solid support.
But it’s clear that, soon after the bombings, the fate of Dzhokhar was quickly politicized. Some members of Congress, including Senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham, wanted to treat him as an enemy combatant. It was a dubious idea which would have meant trying him – a U.S. citizen – in military courts without basic constitutional protections. In response, the Department of Justice pushed to federalize the case, taking it out of the hands of the state. A key reason for that: Massachusetts law doesn’t permit the death penalty. Federal law does.
Tsarnaev’s trial then kicked off with a controversy. In order to sit on the jury, jurors had to be “death qualified” – meaning they were comfortable in imposing execution. Given that only a minority of residents fit that qualification, the pool of potential jurors shrank. And, of course, the resulting jury was almost by definition more biased in favor of capital punishment than would have been a representative cross section of the state.

Read more:

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Death sentence for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.....Boston bombing trial

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, shown in a court sketch with his lawyers as the jury returned its sentence
Tsarnaev showed no emotion in court as the jury returned its sentence

A US jury has sentenced Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death by lethal injection. Tsarnaev stood next to his lawyer. He tilted his head to the side and shifted his weight from one foot to the other as he heard the clerk read the notes from the jurors. After the death sentence was announced, he bowed his head.
Three people were killed and 260 were injured when Tsarnaev, now 21, and his brother placed bombs at the finishing line of the Boston Marathon in 2013.Tsarnaev is likely to be moved to a federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, to await execution, but there could be years of appeals. Victims sobbed as the sentence was read, but Tsarnaev showed no emotion."Now he will go away and we will be able to move on. Justice. In his own words, 'an eye for an eye'," said bombing victim Sydney Corcoran, who nearly bled to death and whose mother lost both legs.After 14 hours of deliberations, the jury concluded that Tsarnaev showed no remorse and therefore should be put to death.
"The jury has spoken. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will pay for his crimes with his life,'' said US Attorney Carmen Ortiz.

Runners continue to run towards the finish line of the Boston Marathon as an explosion erupts near the finish line of the race

 Three were killed and over 260 injured when two bombs detonated

Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaevwere captured in photos on the day of the bombing

Massachusetts as a state ended the death penalty in 1984, but Tsarnaev was tried on federal charges, meaning he was eligible for execution.
After the sentence was announced, US Attorney General Loretta Lynch said: "The ultimate penalty is a fitting punishment for this horrific crime and we hope that the completion of this prosecution will bring some measure of closure to the victims and their families.''
But not all of the victims supported the death penalty for Tsarnaev. The parents of Martin Richard, an eight-year-old boy killed in the blast, wrote an article in the Boston Globe newspaper last month asking the government to not seek a death sentence as it would delay their emotional closure.

The Associated Press news agency reached Tsarnaev's father, Anzor Tsarnaev, by phone in the Russian region of Dagestan on Friday. He moaned after hearing the sentence and hung up.
During the trial, Tsarnaev's defence team admitted that he had played a role in the attacks but said that his older brother, Tamerlan - shot dead by police in the subsequent manhunt - was the driving force.
Lawyers also highlighted his difficult early life. The Tsarnaevs - ethnic Chechens - had lived in the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan and the volatile Dagestan region of Russia, near Chechnya. The family moved to the US in 2002.
But prosecutors argued that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was an equal partner in the attack, showing the jury a message he wrote on the boat where he was arrested.
"Stop killing our innocent people and we will stop," it read.
Throughout the trial, the jurors heard grisly testimony from bombing survivors. They described seeing their legs blown off or watching someone next to them die.
At the start of the penalty phase, the prosecutors showed jurors a photo of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev raising his middle finger to a jail cell security camera months after his arrest.
"This is Dzhokhar Tsarnaev - unconcerned, unrepentant and unchanged," prosecutor Nadine Pellegrin said.
The victims
From left: Krystle Campbell Lu Lingzi and Martin Richard
*Restaurant manager Krystle Campbell, 29, had gone to watch a friend complete the race
*Chinese graduate student Lu Lingzi was studying statistics at Boston University
*Eight-year-old Martin Richard was standing with his family, cheering the runners