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How Far Your Dollar Goes in Every State August 21, 2014

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Not so far in California, New Jersey, New York, and DC:

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News You Can Use: How Those Jellyfish Get You August 19, 2014

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Cool video from Destin, who has a series of educational videos called “Smarter Every Day.” In this one he tackles how creatures like jellyfish and the anemone sting you. It’s because they have 800,000 miniature hypodermic needles per square centimeter, each one injecting venom into you. I now fear the sea as never before.

The video is entertaining, but the content is pretty much done by the 4 minute point.

The professor seems like an Australian version of Michael Palin.

Skin Damage from the Sun August 19, 2014

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A depressing-ish video showing skin damage due to sun exposure; damage that isn’t apparent to the eye, but is readily seen in the UV.

On the one hand, you want to enjoy the sun and get your requisite Vitamin D dose every day. But on the other hand, sheesh.

Woooo!!! Ah Know Mah Rights!! August 15, 2014

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What’s the world coming to, when a man can’t pretend to be a ghost in a cemetery?

Anthony Stallard, 24, booted the football at gravestones and acted like a ghost for cemetery visitors, according to a court hearing. “He was throwing himself backwards, waving his arms about and going ‘wooooooo,'” said a prosecuting attorney. “I’m assuming he was pretending to be a ghost.” Stallard pleaded guilty to “using threatening or abusive words or behavior likely to cause distress,” the Portsmouth News reports.

Fortunately this isn’t happening in America. Yet.

Can Grey Goo be Far Behind? August 15, 2014

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A 1024-strong army of microbots forming letters and shapes:

Cool, but starting to get a little creepy. Kind of reminds of me of that murmuration of starlings video we posted at the beginning of the year.

*The “Grey Goo” phrase refers to the prospect that armies of nanomachines may someday be capable of dismantling organic masses into a grey goo.

A Splash of Reality on the Ferguson Situation August 13, 2014

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This rant, which strips through a lot of the racism cottage industry’s buffoonery, makes a lot of sense to me (probably NSFW):

Seems like someone that could actually do something positive toward racial reconciliation.

That Explains the Ice Cream and Beer August 11, 2014

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Cool (but old) column on the way willpower and mental work tap the same finite resource in your brain, so you can’t think deeply and exercise self-control at the same time.

In 1999, Professor Baba Shiv (currently at Stanford) and his co-author Alex Fedorikhin did a simple experiment on 165 grad students.They asked half to memorize a seven-digit number and the other half to memorize a two-digit number. After completing the memorization task, participants were told the experiment was over, and then offered a snack choice of either chocolate cake or a fruit bowl.

The participants who memorized the seven-digit number were nearly 50% more likely than the other group to choose cake over fruit.

Researchers were astonished by a pile of experiments that led to one bizarre conclusion:

Willpower and cognitive processing draw from the same pool of resources.

President Obama: If You Like It, I Did It. If Not, I Didn’t. August 10, 2014

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By now everybody’s heard President Obama’s latest in-your-face prevarication. When asked the question:

“Mr. President, do you have any second thoughts about pulling all ground troops out of Iraq?” the reporter asked. “And does it give you pause as the U.S.–is it doing the same thing in Afghanistan?”

He replied:

“What I just find interesting is the degree to which this issue keeps on coming up, as if this was my decision,” Obama said, indicating he does not believe it was his decision as commander in chief of U.S. troops in a congressionally authorized action in Iraq to decide whether the troops should stay or leave.

But let’s look at what PolitiFact (no friend to conservatives) said about the President’s 2008 campaign promises almost exactly 6 years ago:

We reviewed Obama’s statements on Iraq from the campaign to try to uncover whether he was backtracking on earlier promises. Iraq was one of the most pressing issues of the Democratic primary campaign, discussed and dissected during more than 20 debates.

We found that Obama has made a few points about Iraq over and over again: that he opposed the war “from the start”; that U.S. troops should leave Iraq quickly and in an orderly fashion (“as careful getting out as we were careless getting in”); and that the United States should not have permanent bases inside Iraq.

They note that his timeframe for leaving Iraq was “about 16 months,” which was repeated on several occasions during his campaign.

Then, during one of his debates with Romney in the 2012 campaign, we heard this exchange:

“With regards to Iraq, you and I agreed, I believe, that there should be a status of forces agreement,” Romney told Obama as the two convened on the Lynn University campus in Boca Raton, Fla., that October evening. “That’s not true,” Obama interjected. “Oh, you didn’t want a status of forces agreement?” Romney asked as an argument ensued. “No,” Obama said. “What I would not have done is left 10,000 troops in Iraq that would tie us down. That certainly would not help us in the Middle East.”

Since Candy Crowley didn’t enter the debate at that point, we can only assume that she didn’t find anything objectionable in the President’s statement of his position.

So the President told us his plan, executed his plan, bragged about his plan, and defended his plan.

But now it wasn’t his plan.

This man will say anything at any time, regardless of its truth or accuracy. Most of us learn early on that doing that will eventually catch up with you. I can only imagine that he’s been sheltered from the consequences of his lying by the people around him during his formative and professional years. But in his current office he’s a little more exposed.

The Guardian’s Ebola Headline – A Study in Unwarranted Bashing of the US August 7, 2014

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Ebola patients in west Africa to be denied experimental drugs used in US” shrieks the headline at The Guardian, making the US sound like a bunch of aholes. But the headline doesn’t reflect the content of the article. After all, you can’t deny somebody something that doesn’t exist:

A spokesman for the US Centres for Disease Control said “there are virtually no doses available” and they would take several months to manufacture.

Aaaand then there are the ethical issues:

Even if supplies do become available, medical ethicists are divided over whether they should be used in the current Ebola outbreak in west Africa. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has called a meeting of experts next week to help it guide doctors and drug companies who may consider shipping experimental drugs to the four countries hit by the disease.

So the headline should have read “US Manufacturing Experimental Ebola Drugs as Rapidly While Accelerating Trials and While Waiting for Ethicists to Decide if This is Really the Right Thing to Do.”

But since it’s an obviously uncontroversial and correct course of action, that probably wouldn’t bring many readers.

BTW, I’m ignoring the stupid article asking “Why Were Westerners Given Experimental Drugs and Not Africans?” and Ann Coulter’s equally stupid “US Doctor Was a Fool for Going to Africa to Treat Ebola Victims.” They’re self-evidently idiotic from the start.

AP US History, Leftist Style August 7, 2014

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Nice to see that attacks on America’s history haven’t abated:

New history curriculum standards proposed for top high school students leave out such American icons as Benjamin Franklin and Martin Luther King, Jr., paint colonists as bigots and gloss over the Greatest Generation’s fight to save the world from Nazi Germany…

Instead, students exposed to the curriculum — roughly 500,000 annually nationwide, many of whom will take the class as sophomores and juniors — will find a narrative laden with tyranny and subjugation.

“What you’re going to find is our nation’s founders portrayed as bigots who developed a belief in white superiority that was, in turn, derived from a strong belief in British racial and cultural superiority,” Krieger told FoxNews.com.

You can’t ever let your guard down – the pernicious assault on our heritage and values continues 24/7, fueled by the extreme left members of academia. But why, you may ask, did they leave out MLK Jr? Perhaps this explains it:

Robbins, meanwhile, said her biggest issue with the curriculum is how it portrays Americans as a thoroughly pugnacious bunch.

“It presents American history as one long story of groups in conflict,” she told FoxNews.com. “It does not focus on individuals at all. The idea seems to be that the only force in history worth considering is the group identity — and all of these groups are in constant conflict according to this particular narrative.”

Robbins continued: “There’s no understanding of what makes this country great.”

Because they don’t believe it is.

In Defense of Robert Redford August 7, 2014

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I usually enjoy Ace’s writing and analysis, and I certainly welcome Hollywood libs being mocked for hypocrisy, but I think he’s off base with this post:

Robert Redford, Champion of Higher Taxes, Sues to Get His Tax Money Back

It is extraordinarily easy to arbitrarily declare that some person, Not You, should pay huge amounts of taxes to the government. You can than talk about all the Public Goods such taxes could buy, and then finish off with a declaration of how short-sighted and, frankly, Evil the people resisting the taxes on themselves are.

But what about when that same burden is applied to yourself, Mr. Redford? Because that’s the real test. It costs nothing to you to declare that someone not named Robert Redford should be shellacked with confiscatory taxes to pay for all these important Public Goods.

Basically Redford earned income in two states and was taxed in both states. New York should have given up a prorated share of their taxes, but since they’re buttheads, Redford is having to sue to get his money back.

I do this every year as well – I pay taxes in two states and then recover the doubly-taxed money from the non-resident state.

So this is not a liberal Hollywood type being hoisted on his own petard – it’s just business as usual, complicated by the lack of cooperation from the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance.

I’d like to see Redford eat his words, but this wasn’t it.

Tappy Version of Happy August 6, 2014

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If I didn’t do this to you, somebody else would:

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