The Wires

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June 20: New York Times: "You may be hunched over your phone right now, worrying about reports that young people are growing horns on their skulls from spending too much time hunched over smartphones.... Recent articles by the BBC and the Washington Post have cited a 2018 study in the journal Scientific Reports saying that these bone growths have been turning up more often than expected in people aged 18 to 30. The study suggests that 'sustained aberrant postures associated with the emergence and extensive use of hand-held contemporary technologies, such as smartphones and tablets,' are to blame.... Experts give the report mixed reviews." ...

     ... Update. Uh, it seems one of the authors of the "scientific study" is a chiropractor called David Shahar, who used his own patients as subjects of the study AND, according to Quartz, is "the creator of Dr. Posture, an online store that advertises information and products related to forward head posture. One section tells users how to 'look and feel your best in three easy steps,' which include watching a video by Shahar, downloading at-home exercises, and sleeping with a Thoracic Pillow, which Shahar has trademarked and sold for $195." So hunch over, pick up your phones, & call your friends with the good news that the "study" is more likely a marketing scam than a warning about another dire effect of cellphone use. Thanks to safari for the link.


Nick Schager in the Daily Beast: "Premiering on Netflix and in select theaters on July 24, The Great Hack is the most enraging, terrifying and — I don’t use this term lightly — important documentary of the year. Directed by Karim Amer and Jehane Noujaim..., its subject is the Cambridge Analytica data scandal—a story that’s galling on the surface, and infinitely more bone-chilling when one considers its far-reaching ramifications. That’s because Cambridge Analytica’s deceptive and criminal relationship with, and conduct on, Mark Zuckerberg’s social media platform had world-altering consequences: helping launch the Brexit movement, and successfully aiding the election campaign of Donald Trump.” 

Guardian: “The businessman Arron Banks and the unofficial Brexit campaign Leave.EU have issued a legal threat against streaming giant Netflix in relation to The Great Hack, a new documentary about the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the abuse of personal data. The threat comes as press freedom campaigners and charity groups warn the government in an open letter that UK courts are being used to 'intimidate and silence' journalists working in the public interest. In a joint letter to key cabinet members, they call for new legislation to stop 'vexatious lawsuits', highlighting one filed last week by Banks against campaigning journalist Carole Cadwalladr.”

AP: "MAD, the long-running satirical magazine that influenced everyone from 'Weird Al' Yankovic to the writers of 'The Simpsons,' will be leaving newsstands after its August issue. Really. The illustrated humor magazine — instantly recognizable by the gap-toothed smiling face of mascot Alfred E. Neuman — will still be available in comic shops and through mail to subscribers. But after its fall issue it will just reprint previously published material. The only new material will come in special editions at the end of the year."

Hill: "The Democrats beat the Republicans in a high-scoring 14-7 win Wednesday [June 26] night in the 58th annual Congressional Baseball Game. It was the Democrats' 10th win in 11 years."

New York Times: "... the Library of Congress has named [Joy Harjo] America’s new poet laureate. She will take over for Tracy K. Smith, who has held the position for two years.... Harjo, a member of the Muscogee Creek Nation, is the 23rd poet and first Native person to be selected for the role."

New York: "The mass of the metal 'anomaly' beneath the moon’s largest crater is five times greater than the big island of Hawaii, and according to a new study from scientists at Baylor University, it could contain metals remaining from an ancient asteroid impact, weighing in at around 4.8 quintillion pounds."

New York Times: "A skeleton in Siberia nearly 10,000 years old has yielded DNA that reveals a striking kinship to living Native Americans, scientists reported on Wednesday. The finding, published in the journal Nature, provides an important new clue to the migrations that first brought people to the Americas. 'In terms of peopling of the Americas, we have found close to the missing link,' said Eske Willerslev, a geneticist at the University of Copenhagen and a co-author of the new paper. 'It’s not the direct ancestor, but it’s extremely close.'... The DNA of [a group scientists call] the Ancient Paleo-Siberians is remarkably similar to that of Native Americans. Dr. Willerslev estimates that Native Americans can trace about two-thirds of their ancestry to these previously unknown people.”

New York Times: Navy pilots flying along the East Coast of the U.S. spotted UFOs "almost daily from the summer of 2014 to March 2015.... The sightings were reported to the Pentagon’s shadowy, little-known Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, which analyzed the radar data, video footage and accounts provided by senior officers from the Roosevelt. Luis Elizondo, a military intelligence official who ran the program until he resigned in 2017, called the sightings 'a striking series of incidents.'” In one incident, the UFO flew between two Navy jets "flying in tandem about 100 feet apart over the Atlantic east of Virginia Beach.... It looked to the pilot ... like a sphere encasing a cube."

Mrs. McCrabbie: This actually seems crazy to me:

New York Times: "A shiny stainless steel sculpture created by Jeff Koons in 1986, inspired by a child’s inflatable toy, sold at Christie’s on Wednesday night for $91.1 million with fees, breaking the record at auction for a work by a living artist, set just last November by David Hockney. Robert E. Mnuchin, an art dealer and the father of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, made the winning bid for Mr. Koons’s 1986 'Rabbit' from an aisle seat near the front of the salesroom."

Might as well just get this -- it's vintage! it's "authentic"! -- and give it pride-of-place in the front hall. Sure, visitors will think you're tasteless & nuts, but in such a vintage, authentic way.

UPDATE: (May 19): New York Times: Mnuchin would not reveal the identity of his client; i.e., the purchaser of Stainless Bunny is. During an NYT interview, "He was near tears when asked about his son Steve and refused to comment about their relationship. But friends said that he is in an impossible predicament, conflicted over his sense of duty about being a loyal father and his concern as a citizen that President Trump is bad for America."

David McCullough Is a Crap Historian. Rebecca Onion of Slate reviews his book on the history -- okay, make that "hagiographic platitudes" -- about the settlement of the Northwest Territory. "Its success (it is No. 10 on Amazon’s best-seller list for books, as of Friday) shows how big the gap between critical history and the “popular history” that makes it to best-seller lists, Costco, and Target remains.” Mrs. McC: Onion doesn't mention it, but I get the impression all the "settling" was done by men; apparently the women's tasks were of no account. Somehow I don't think most of the "ladies" sat around drinking tea & doing needlepoint in their pretty parlors.


The Price of Soap

By Akhilleus

This is the actual face of Trump's Amerika. A place where only the chosen few are protected. The rest are not only NOT protected, they are actively tortured if it suits the fuhrer.

This is not just moral midgetry, it's depraved indifference to human suffering, suffering imposed with willful intent by this administration. This is how Trump makes America great? Anyone voting for this monster needs to reassess their sense of what it means to be a decent human being.

And while we're talking monstrous, how 'bout this?

The little king swears that he can't give these kids soap because A. Obama won't let him, and B, He doesn't have the money for it so he can't pay for the soap.

Wow. How could we possibly pay for these kids to be able to maintain basic hygiene and get something to eat other than a piece of bread and slice of baloney?

"The same way that we just 'paid for' $700,000,000,000 for a single year of military funding.

The same way that we just 'paid for' $1,500,000,000,000 in tax cuts for the wealthy.

The same way that we 'paid for' a $1,300,000,000,000 fighter jet in 2016.

The same way that the United States has always 'paid for' all of the fantastically-expensive things that benefit the powerful: Immediately and without discussion. Because they want it."

And get this, the fighter jet mentioned above is the glitchy F-35 which has been on the drawing board since Bush stole his first election. It's a technical marvel, so they say, if it ever really works. Added to the marvels is the pilot's helmet. Price tag? $400,000. Each.

How 'bout we trade a single F-35 helmet for soap, fresh water, clean clothes and decent food for babies being tortured in Trump's concentration camps? You can buy a 12 pack of Irish Spring soap bars at Walmart for less than six bucks. So, six bucks for soap for 12 kids, divided into $400,000....let's see, 6 into 40....okay, then multiply the quotient by 12....

You could buy soap for about 800,000 kids for one helmet. So, okay, we only need a small piece of that helmet, maybe the backup chin strap. Even more disgusting, Trump has billed the US taxpayers--as of a few weeks ago--$500,000 For use of his own golf carts. So right there is soap for a million kids. Can we get some of that money to feed and clean babies?

Not on your life.

Depravity incarnate. Besides fatty can't be expected to walk when he's golfing. So those kids can go fuck themselves.

Animals are better off.

Reader Comments (3)

But really, helpless children aren't worth all that much--if you don't value your soul.

My wife wondered earlier today about the political leanings of people who apparently travel across the country at their own expense to "rescue" dogs. How compassionate!

I hadn't been aware there were such dog devotees, but I suggested the R's ability to compartmentalize, to not allow one part of their brain to talk to another, would make it hard to draw any firm conclusions.

July 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterKen Winkes

According to Ak's math his golf travel expenditures would equate to 216 million bars of soap. How many per refugee is that?

July 7, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterunwashed

Re: β€œThe Price Of Soap”

β€œ . . . it's depraved indifference to human suffering, suffering imposed with willful intent . . . β€œ

Thank you, Akhilleus.

July 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterHattie
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