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One Argument for Why Eagles Should Be Killed

from AFP via Yahoo! News

Giant yellow duck explodes in Taiwan…again

Giant yellow duck explodes in Taiwan...again

Taipei (AFP) – A giant yellow duck on display in a northern Taiwan port exploded Tuesday, just hours before it was expected to attract a big crowd to count down the new year.

The 18-metre-tall (59-feet) duck on show at Keelung burst around noon and deflated into a floating yellow disc, only 11 days after it went on display.

It was the second time that a giant inflatable duck — a bath toy replica created by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman — had burst while on show in Taiwan.

“We want to apologise to the fans of the yellow rubber duck…. the weather is fine today and we haven’t found the cause of the problem. We will carefully examine the duck to determine the cause,” organiser Huang Jing-tai told reporters.

The Central News Agency cited an eyewitness as saying the rubber bird might have fallen victim to eagles which scratched it with their claws.

[ click to read full article at Yahoo! News ]

Posted on December 31, 2013 by Editor

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Those Who’ve Got Your Back Are Always The Best

from 22 Words

Stevie Ray Vaughan doesn’t miss a note as his roadie seamlessly replaces his guitar mid-song


When Stevie Ray Vaughan broke a string in the middle of a song, his guitar tech Rene Martinez played his role perfectly…

[ click to view at 22 Words  ]

Posted on December 30, 2013 by Editor

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Books Really Do Make Your Brain Grow

from The Independent

Brain function ‘boosted for days after reading a novel’


Being pulled into the world of a gripping novel can trigger actual, measurable changes in the brain that linger for at least five days after reading, scientists have said.

The new research, carried out at Emory University in the US, found that reading a good book may cause heightened connectivity in the brain and neurological changes that persist in a similar way to muscle memory.

The changes were registered in the left temporal cortex, an area of the brain associated with receptivity for language, as well as the the primary sensory motor region of the brain.

Neurons of this region have been associated with tricking the mind into thinking it is doing something it is not, a phenomenon known as grounded cognition – for example, just thinking about running, can activate the neurons associated with the physical act of running.

“The neural changes that we found associated with physical sensation and movement systems suggest that reading a novel can transport you into the body of the protagonist,” said neuroscientist Professor Gregory Berns, lead author of the study.

“We already knew that good stories can put you in someone else’s shoes in a figurative sense. Now we’re seeing that something may also be happening biologically.”

[ click to continue reading at The Independent ]

Posted on December 29, 2013 by Editor

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F†ck you, Captain Tom

from Adrian Belew’s ‘elephant blog’

Anecdote #646 part 1

Uneasy Meetings with Gods part one. 

place: a Frank Zappa concert in Cologne, Germany 2/14/1978 – my first tour of europe ever and as a member the frank zappa band. although I wasn’t aware, this night brian eno is in the audience. next day eno calls david bowie knowing david is looking for a new guitarist.

Berlin, Germany 2/15/1978 the following night david comes to the show ostensibly to see me play. there is a break in the show where I normally leave the stage while frank plays an extended guitar solo. as I’m leaving I glance over to the monitor board. I’m shocked to see david bowie and iggy pop! I walk over, shaking david’s hand I say, “I’ve always loved your music”. “great”, he says, “how’d you like to join my band?!” “well, I’m playing with this guy right now…” I stammer, pointing to frank. “yes, I know, but your tour ends in two weeks and mine begins two weeks later.” we agree to meet back at the hotel after the show.

what followed was like something out of a spy film. david and his assistant coco tried to rendezvous with me without letting anyone in on our little “secret”. I suppose the idea was to avoid letting frank know I was being wooed away from his band. I was too dumb to notice. at one point, david, coco, and I stepped into the hotel elevator when no one was around. whispering, coco said, “we have a car out front. we’ll meet you there in ten minutes.”

david wanted to take me to one of his favorite restaurants to discuss my future. he had lived in berlin for several years. so his driver set off with the three of us in the back madly chatting about songs we’d play and places we’d go. we pulled up to a nice looking restaurant and walked in.

at the table right in front of us sat frank and some of the band!
the jig was up as they say.
can you imagine? how many restaurants are there in berlin?
so we invited ourselves to join them at their table.
feeling slightly uncomfortable david tried to engage frank in friendly discourse.
david said, “really enjoyed the show”.
frank shot back, “fuck you captain tom”.
“c’mon frank, we can be adults about this, can’t we?” david replied.
“fuck you captain tom.”

[ click to continue reading at elephant blog ]

Posted on December 28, 2013 by Editor

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Go You Dirty Dogs!

from The Washington Post

Having a dog — even a dirty one — may help fend off allergies in young children

By Nathan Seppa and ScienceNews

Dogs that bring outdoor dust into the house might actually be doing a favor for babies in the home. Research suggests that exposure to doggy dust imparts immune protection to infants. A study of mice shows that the benefits derive from microbes in the dust that enter the intestines and improve the microbial mix, steering the immune system toward fighting disease and away from initiating allergic reactions.

The findings present a microbial twist in the hygiene hypothesis, which argues that a less-than-sanitary early life may prime a child’s immune system against overreacting to grass, dust mites and other ordinary substances. Past studies suggested that babies exposed to multiple siblings, day care, pets or farm living grow up to have less risk of asthma or allergy.

In the new study, researchers found that dust from a house with a dog contained more-diverse microbes than dust from a home with no pets. Since human infants ingest at least some dust, the scientists fed one kind of dust or the other to mice that were six to eight weeks old. Although unappetizing, it had the desired effect: Exposure to the dog-house dust greatly toned down reactions in the mice that were exposed to a common trigger, cockroach allergen.

Mice getting the no-dog dust had inflammation in airways. They also had evidence of excess mucus and immune proteins that are common in allergic reactions. But these reactions were virtually absent in mice that had been primed with the dog dust, the scientists reported last week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

[ continue reading at WaPo ]

Posted on December 27, 2013 by Editor

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Merry Christmas, Mr. Turing

from CNN

Alan Turing, code-breaker castrated for homosexuality, receives royal pardon

By Jethro Mullen, CNN
Watch this video

Castrated code-breaker receives pardon

(CNN) — Alan Turing, a British code-breaker during World War II who was later subjected to chemical castration for homosexual activity, has received a royal pardon nearly 60 years after he committed suicide.

Turing was best known for developing the Bombe, a code-breaking machine that deciphered messages encoded by German machines. His work is considered by many to have saved thousands of lives and helped change the course of the war.

“Dr. Turing deserves to be remembered and recognized for his fantastic contribution to the war effort and his legacy to science,” British Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said in a statement Tuesday. “A pardon from the Queen is a fitting tribute to an exceptional man.”

Turing’s castration in 1952 — after he was convicted of homosexual activity, which was illegal at the time — is “a sentence we would now consider unjust and discriminatory and which has now been repealed,” Grayling said.

Two years after the castration, which Turing chose to avoid a custodial sentence, he ended his life at the age of 41 by eating an apple laced with cyanide.

[ click to continue reading at CNN ]

Posted on December 26, 2013 by Editor

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Complete Star Wars Holiday Special

from Dailymotion

The Star Wars Holiday Special by FilmGeek-TV

Posted on December 25, 2013 by Editor

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Becoming That Second Kind of Christmas

from Letters Of Note

America is like that second kind of Christmas

In November of 1959, as a shocked American public were hit with the news that a number of their favourite quiz shows had in fact been rigged for some time, author John Steinbeck wrote the following letter to his friend, politician Adlai Stevenson, and spoke of his concern at such a morally bankrupt turn of events occurring in his increasingly gluttonous country.

(Source: America and Americans and Selected Nonfiction; Image: John Steinbeck, via.)

New York
Guy Fawkes Day

Dear Adlai,

Back from Camelot, and, reading the papers, not at all sure it was wise. Two first impressions. First, a creeping, all pervading nerve-gas of immorality which starts in the nursery and does not stop before it reaches the highest offices both corporate and governmental. Two, a nervous restlessness, a hunger, a thirst, a yearning for something unknown—perhaps morality. Then there’s the violence, cruelty and hypocrisy symptomatic of a people which has too much, and last, the surly ill-temper which only shows up in human when they are frightened.

Adlai, do you remember two kinds of Christmases? There is one kind in a house where there is little and a present represents not only love but sacrifice. The one single package is opened with a kind of slow wonder, almost reverence. Once I gave my youngest boy, who loves all living things, a dwarf, peach-faced parrot for Christmas. He removed the paper and then retreated a little shyly and looked at the little bird for a long time. And finally he said in a whisper, “Now who would have ever thought that I would have a peach-faced parrot?”

[ click to continue reading at Letters Of Note ]

Posted on December 24, 2013 by Editor

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This Is A Christmas F†cking Spectacular, Okay

Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: Happy Holidays Edition from Zach Galifianakis

Posted on December 23, 2013 by Editor

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Rutlemania Redux

from The New York Times

The Rutles Parody the Beatles


The Rutles in the film “All You Need Is Cash”: from left, Eric Idle, Ricky Fataar, John Halsey and Neil Innes.

There’s long been debate over who can truly claim the title “the Fifth Beatle.” The disc jockey Murray Kaufman pursued it. Later, arguments were made for the keyboardist Billy Preston or Yoko Ono. A new graphic novel bestows the honorific on the band’s manager Brian Epstein. However, the Beatles’ most essential partners may be their fictional counterparts: the Rutles, stars of the mockumentary “All You Need Is Cash.”

The Rutles were a hapless but well-meaning band created as both tribute and goof by Eric Idle (of Monty Python fame) when he was appearing on the BBC sketch show “Rutland Weekend Television” in the mid-’70s. The group was given musical voice by Neil Innes (a Python collaborator and member of the comedy rock group Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band). The Rutles were conceived and still exist as inhabitants of a kind of meta-universe where there were no Beatles, no era-defining hits like “Penny Lane,” but rather a carefully created near-sound-alike titled “Doubleback Alley,” and no real revolution.

Each time there’s a swell of Beatlemania and a flood of product, the “Prefab Four” have been there to keep the Fab Four’s myth in check. In the mid-’90s, the multipart Beatles documentary and album “Anthology” inspired new Rutles music, “Archaeology.” In the early 2000s, the real group’s hit album “1” spawned the Rutles’ charming but less sharp mockumentary “Can’t Buy Me Lunch.”

[ click to continue reading at The NY Times ]

Posted on December 22, 2013 by Editor

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Best YouTube Tutorial Of 2013

Posted on December 21, 2013 by Editor

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Fantasy Dumbasses

from CBS Detroit

Crazed Fantasy Football Fans Threaten Violence, ‘Four Bullets For Each Of You Bit****’

By Ashley Dunkak / @AshleyDunkak

DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 16: Calvin Johnson #81 of the Detroit Lions drops a pass during the first quarter of the game against the Baltimore Ravens at Ford Field on December 16, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

ALLEN PARK (CBS DETROIT) – Ever get death threats over a bad day at the office? Thanks to Twitter, it happens to NFL players on a regular basis.

But it’s not just their play on the field that makes fans fly over the edge — overwhelmingly, the nastiest comments come from how that play affects fans’ fantasy football leagues.

Some tweets go beyond wishing harm on players to actually threatening violence. The following tweet targeted superstar Calvin Johnson and quarterback Matthew Stafford.

I lost my fantasy playoff game by four damn points. That’s four bullets for each of you bitches @Bigplaycj @Staff_9—
Joséf Ronaldo (@RoiJosef) December 17, 2013

Back in October, New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs received several menacing messages on Twitter, and the content concerned him enough to contact NFL security.

Jacobs exposed the fan for terrible remarks that included, “ON LIFE BRANDON IF YOU DON’T RUSH FOR 50 YARDS AND TWO TOUCHDOWNS TONIGHT ITS OVER FOR YOU AND YO FAMILY N—–.”


[ click to continue reading at CBS Detroit ]

Posted on December 20, 2013 by Editor

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Lynching For Art’s Sake

from The College Fix




An African-American student at Sacramento State University is under fire for her recent work of art – which consisted of “lynching” two white men from a tree on the northern California campus.

The men were reportedly actors and were in no real danger during the project, which took place during the day in early December while students were on campus. The men were hung from a tree with a thick rope.

The senior responsible for the performance art, Christina Edwards, defended her project to Fox 40 News.

[ click to continue reading at The College Fix ]

Posted on December 19, 2013 by Editor

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Rats With Masks

Posted on December 18, 2013 by Editor

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Al Goldstein Not Gone

from The New York Observer

Al Goldstein Is Not Dead

By Matthew Kassel
Al Goldstein and Penn Jillette. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage for ThinkFilm)Contrary to what you may have heard, Al Goldstein, founder and former publisher of Screw magazine, did not die yesterday.

Although the website Real Porn Wiki Leaks reported that Mr. Goldstein had died, the news was retracted when Bleeding Cool wrote earlier today that the death could not be independently confirmed.

Author Larry “Ratso” Sloman, who has notably worked with Howard Stern, told Bleeding Cool that Mr. Goldstein, 77, is alive and stable; he is, however, in a hospital in the city.

Though Real Porn reported the wrong information, the website could not be blamed for making up Mr. Goldstein’s death out of thin air.

Last night, magician Penn Jillette, a friend of Goldstein’s, tweeted, “I’m in NYC. Today I visited my hero and friend Al Goldstein as he dies in the hospital, and tomorrow night I celebrate Lou Reed’s Life. NYC.”

A misinterpretation of the present tense, perhaps. Earlier today, Mr. Jillette clarified his message on Twitter: ”My buddy and hero, Al Goldstein is NOT dead,” he wrote. “He is unresponsive and not doing well, but he is alive. Try to stop the rumors. Thanks.”

[ click to continue reading at The Observer ]

Posted on December 17, 2013 by Editor

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The Breeze

from The New York Times

‘Naturally, J.J. Cale’

By Drew Christie

Naturally, J.J. Cale: This animated Op-Doc explores why J.J. Cale, who wrote such classic songs as “After Midnight,” “Cocaine” and “Call Me the Breeze,” never achieved stardom.

[ click to view at ]

Posted on December 16, 2013 by Editor

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Peter O’Toole Gone


Peter O’Toole Dies; ‘Lawrence of Arabia’
Star Was 81

 / Assistant Managing Editor, Features

Peter O'Toole DeadRobert Mora/Getty Images

Irish-born stage and screen actor Peter O’Toole, who became an international star in the title role of David Lean’s Oscar-winning epic “Lawrence of Arabia,” died on Saturday at age 81.

He was undoubtedly one of the greatest actors of his generation. And yet with the 2006 film “Venus,” O’Toole surpassed Welshman Richard Burton and assumed the dubious distinction of being the most nominated actor never to win a competitive Oscar. When it was first announced that O’Toole would receive an Honorary Oscar in 2002, O’Toole astonished the Academy by turning it down, announcing in a letter to the organization that he was “still in the game and might win the lovely bugger outright, would the Academy please defer the honour until I am 80.’”

But he did indeed show up at the ceremony the following year, accepting the award from Meryl Streep. “Always a bridemaid never a bride,” he said with typical theatrical flair to an adoring crowd, “my very own Oscar now to be with me till death do us part.”

He racked up eight Oscar-nominated performances — including the beloved schoolmaster in “Goodbye Mr. Chips” (1969); two portrayals of King Henry II (“Becket,” 1964, “Lion in Winter,” 1968); an insane aristocrat who thinks he’s Jesus Christ in “The Ruling Class” (1972); the larger-than-life film director in “The Stunt Man” (1980); and the swashbuckling actor in “My Favorite Year” — but his “Lawrence” always loomed largest.

[ click to continue reading at ]

Posted on December 15, 2013 by Editor

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Very tall, improbably slender, ostentatiously opulent

from USA Today

Sky’s the limit: New towers for the rich soar in New York

Rick Hampson, USA TODAY

image from

The very tall, very skinny residential buildings popping up in Manhattan are being built for the world’s richest people

NEW YORK — Here’s how a 1932 guide to Manhattan describes the view of Central Park from the 43-story Essex House: “an unbroken vista — unequaled anywhere in the city. … Few apartment buildings in the world are more ideally located.”

Today, here’s how visitors typically describe the park view from One57, an apartment building a block south of the Essex House and more than twice its height: “Wow!”

The same can be said of the building itself. One57 exemplifies a new type of skyscraper — very tall, improbably slender, ostentatiously opulent — that is reshaping a famous skyline composed mostly of bulky office buildings.

One such apartment tower under construction, 432 Park Avenue, will have a top floor higher than the Empire State Building’s observation deck. Another will have a top floor higher than any in One World Trade Center, which is officially (by virtue of its spire) the nation’s tallest building.

The 432 Park penthouse has sold for $95 million; two duplex apartments at One57, now nearing completion, also are under contract, each for more than $90 million. Even a studio apartment on a lower floor at 432 Park (designed for staff — a maid or butler) costs $1.59 million.

[ click to continue reading at ]

Posted on December 14, 2013 by Editor

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Buffalo Wings

from The Telegraph


A large adult buffalo attacks a young lion to protect a young buffalo in Kruger National Park, South Africa. PHOTOGRAPH BY Great Stock / Barcroft Media

[ click to view at The Telegraph ]

Posted on December 13, 2013 by Editor

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It’s All Just A Bunch Of Bullshit

from nature

Simulations back up theory that Universe is a hologram

A ten-dimensional theory of gravity makes the same predictions as standard quantum physics in fewer dimensions.

by Ron Cowen

At a black hole, Albert Einstein’s theory of gravity apparently clashes with quantum physics, but that conflict could be solved if the Universe were a holographic projection. ARTIST’S IMPRESSION BY MARKUS GANN/ SHUTTERSTOCK

A team of physicists has provided some of the clearest evidence yet that our Universe could be just one big projection.

In 1997, theoretical physicist Juan Maldacena proposed1 that an audacious model of the Universe in which gravity arises from infinitesimally thin, vibrating strings could be reinterpreted in terms of well-established physics. The mathematically intricate world of strings, which exist in nine dimensions of space plus one of time, would be merely a hologram: the real action would play out in a simpler, flatter cosmos where there is no gravity.

Maldacena’s idea thrilled physicists because it offered a way to put the popular but still unproven theory of strings on solid footing — and because it solved apparent inconsistencies between quantum physics and Einstein’s theory of gravity. It provided physicists with a mathematical Rosetta stone, a ‘duality’, that allowed them to translate back and forth between the two languages, and solve problems in one model that seemed intractable in the other and vice versa. But although the validity of Maldacena’s ideas has pretty much been taken for granted ever since, a rigorous proof has been elusive.

In two papers posted on the arXiv repository, Yoshifumi Hyakutake of Ibaraki University in Japan and his colleagues now provide, if not an actual proof, at least compelling evidence that Maldacena’s conjecture is true.

[ click to continue reading at ]

Posted on December 12, 2013 by Editor

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Paper Airplane Guy

Posted on December 11, 2013 by Editor

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Win A Stool Made Of Fungus

from New Scientist

New Scientist -
Win a medical masterpiece
Win a stool made of fungus

This is certain to be the most-talked about item of furniture you ever own. New Scientist is offering one lucky reader the chance to win a beautiful stool made by artist Philip Ross from the reishi mushroom.

Visit the competition page here, where you can find all the info about this unique prize, including how it was made, along with details on how to enter. But don’t delay as the competition closes this week on Thursday 12th December.

Subscribe to New Scientist now as a treat for yourself or a gift for someone else – get our best deal here.

Good luck!

The New Scientist team

[ click to enter at ]

Posted on December 10, 2013 by Editor

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“I don’t know any man who wants to just snuggle.”

from The Washington Post

Business selling snuggles raises suspicion in Madison, Wis.

By Todd Richmond

MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin’s ultra-liberal capital city is a place where just about anything goes, from street parties to naked bike rides. But city officials say a business is pushing even Madison’s boundaries by offering, of all things, hugs.

For $60, customers at the Snuggle House can spend an hour hugging, cuddling and spooning with professional snugglers.

Snugglers contend that touching helps relieve stress. But Madison officials suspect that the business is a front for prostitution and, if it’s not, fear that snuggling could lead to sexual assault. Not buying the message that the business is all warm and fuzzy, police have talked openly about conducting a sting operation, and city lawyers are drafting a new ordinance to regulate snuggling.

“There’s no way that [sexual assault] will not happen,” Assistant City Attorney Jennifer Zilavy said. “No offense to men, but I don’t know any man who wants to just snuggle.”

[ click to continue reading at WaPo ]

Posted on December 9, 2013 by Editor

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Revolution Solo

from imgur

click to view at

[ click to view at ]


Posted on December 8, 2013 by Editor

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from FACT Magazine


WORDS BY Laurent Fintoni

Our recent live music roundtable underlined the importance of ‘humanity’ in electronic music performances.

Despite appearances, it’s not quite ‘rise of the machines’ out there just yet. While plenty of people are content with live shows that are by-and-large pre-programmed and leave little room for error, thus being more akin to live dubbing or DJ sets than live music per se, our conversation with ScannerdebruitComfort Fit and Archie Pelago underlined the importance of human error and control in modern music performance. And what better way to bring this to audiences – both sonically and visually – than with new types of controllers and instruments?

There are plenty of controllers out there that allow musicians to control laptops and hardware in the studio and on stage, though some of the most interesting progress with regards to their evolution is coming from the fringes. A perfect example of this is the monome, a custom-built controller that has grown over the past decade to encompass a worldwide community of users and creators, with perhaps its most famous live exponent being Daedelus, who uses it for his own live shows.

[ click to continue reading at ]

Posted on December 7, 2013 by Editor

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Zeppelin’s deep wisdom and profound poetry… cleverly illustrated with children’s primer/classic rock art mash-ups

from The Enthusiast

Everything I Need to Know I learned From Led Zeppelin

[ click to read Press Release at The Enthusiast ]

Posted on December 6, 2013 by Editor

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from CNN

Does smoking pot cause man boobs?

By Dr. Anthony Youn, CNN Contributor
Many plastic surgeons tell men with gynecomastia, or

Editor’s note: Dr. Anthony Youn is a plastic surgeon in metro Detroit. He is the author of “In Stitches,” a humorous memoir about growing up Asian-American and becoming a doctor.

(CNN) — A young man in his 20s — let’s call him George — sits across from me in the exam room.

“Dr. Youn,” he says, “I have man boobs.”

I notice a not-so-unfamiliar smell wafting from his body. It’s the same odor that floated my way during a rock concert I recently attended.

“How long have you had a problem with this, George?”

“Hard to say. But it seems to have gotten worse over the past year or so.”

“George, the first thing you need to do is stop smoking pot. Marijuana could be causing your man boobs.”

[ click to continue reading at ]

Posted on December 5, 2013 by Editor

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She’s Alive

Posted on December 4, 2013 by Editor

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Bob Dylan détestable

from AFP via Yahoo! News

Bob Dylan charged in France over Rolling Stone interview

Paris (AFP) – Bob Dylan has been charged with incitement to hatred in France after he was quoted comparing Croats with Nazis in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, a judicial source said Monday.

The world-famous American singer was questioned and charged last month while on a visit to Paris during which he gave several concerts and was awarded the Legion d’Honneur, one of France’s top honours, the source said.

The charge against him centres on a 2012 interview with Rolling Stone magazine during which he compared the relationship between Croats and Serbs to that of the Nazis and the Jews.

“This country is just too fucked up about colour…. People at each other’s throats just because they are of a different colour,” Dylan told Rolling Stone, discussing race relations in the United States.

“Blacks know that some whites didn’t want to give up slavery — that if they had their way, they would still be under the yoke, and they can’t pretend they don’t know that.

“If you got a slave master or Klan in your blood, blacks can sense that. That stuff lingers to this day. Just like Jews can sense Nazi blood and the Serbs can sense Croatian blood.”

The charge came after the Council of Croats in France (CRICCF) filed a complaint about the comments.

[ click to continue reading at Yahoo! News ]

Posted on December 3, 2013 by Editor

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First Killing By Cops Ever In Iceland

from BBC News

Rare Iceland armed police operation leaves man dead

Aerial view of Reykjavik, 2005The incident took place in the east of Reykjavik

Icelandic police have shot dead a man who was firing a shotgun in his apartment in the early hours of Monday.

It is the first time someone has been killed in an armed police operation in Iceland, officials say.

Tear gas canisters were fired through the windows in an attempt to subdue the 59-year-old, who lived in the east of the capital, Reykjavik.

When this failed he was shot after firing at police entering the building. Between 15 and 20 officers took part.

Back-up was provided by special forces.

The tear gas was used when the man, who has not been named, failed to respond to police attempts to contact him and continued shooting.

When they entered the apartment, two members of the special forces were injured by shotgun fire – one in the face, the other in the hand.

[ click to continue reading at BBC News ]

Posted on December 2, 2013 by Editor

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André Schiffrin Gone

from The New York Times

André Schiffrin, Publishing Force and a Founder of New Press, Is Dead at 78


André Schiffrin, a publishing force for 50 years, whose passion for editorial independence produced shelves of serious books, a titanic collision with a conglomerate that forced him out to stem losses, and a late-in-life comeback as a nonprofit publisher, died in Paris on Sunday. He was 78.

The son of a distinguished Paris publisher who fled Nazi-occupied France during World War II, Mr. Schiffrin grew up in a socialist New York literary world and became one of America’s most influential men of letters. As editor in chief and managing director of Pantheon Books, a Random House imprint where making money was never the main point, he published novels and books of cultural, social and political significance by an international array of mostly highbrow, left-leaning authors.

Taking risks, running losses, resisting financial pressures and compromises, Mr. Schiffrin championed the work of Jean-Paul Sartre, Günter Grass, Studs Terkel, Michel Foucault, Simone de Beauvoir, Noam Chomsky, Julio Cortázar, Marguerite Duras, Roy Medvedev, Gunnar Myrdal, George Kennan, Anita Brookner, R. D. Laing and many others.

But in 1990, after 28 years at Pantheon, Mr. Schiffrin was fired by Alberto Vitale, the chief executive of Random House, in a dispute over chronic losses and Mr. Schiffrin’s refusal to accept cutbacks and other changes. His departure made headlines, prompted resignations by colleagues, led to a protest march joined by world-renowned authors, and reverberated across the publishing industry in articles and debates.

Many in publishing spoke against the dismissal, calling it an assault on American culture by Random House’s billionaire owner, S. I. Newhouse Jr., who was accused of blocking a channel for contrary voices in favor of lucrative self-help books and ghostwritten memoirs for the sake of the bottom line. Mr. Schiffrin was conspicuously silent, his severance package barring him for a time from discussing the issue publicly.

[ click to read full article at ]

Posted on December 1, 2013 by Editor

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