September 13th, 2012

moon and stars

JFK's 'Moon Speech' Still Resonates 50 Years Later

Fifty years ago today (Sept. 12), President John F. Kennedy whipped up support for NASA's fledgling Apollo program in a speech that contains perhaps the most famous words he ever uttered about space exploration.

Kennedy's stirring, soaring "moon speech," delivered at Rice University in Houston, laid out why the president believed sending astronauts to Earth's nearest neighbor by the end of the 1960s was so important. Kennedy had first aired that ambitious goal in May 1961, just six weeks after the Soviet Union's Yuri Gagarin became the first human to reach space.

The Rice speech marked a key moment in the trajectory of the Apollo program and space exploration in general, experts say.

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Star Trek - Garak - [Duplicity]
  • mhael

Story of "Muhammed" Movie Gets Even Weirder

‘It Makes Me Sick’: Actress in Muhammed Movie Says She Was Deceived, Had No Idea It Was About Islam

The story of the Muhammed movie which sparked deadly protests in Libya and Egypt gets weirder. The actors who appeared in it had no idea they were starring in anti-Islam propaganda which depicts Muhammed as a child molester and thug. They were deceived by the film's director, believing they were appearing in a film about the life of a generic Egyptian 2,000 years ago.

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Okay, seriously.... this is why I do not need Absolute Power, because as of RIGHT NOW, that guy would be standing in mid-town Benghazi, John McClane-style with a sign on his chest reading, "I'M THE GUY WHO MADE THE MUHHAMMED MOVIE!"

Get A Job: The Craigslist Experiment

Get A Job: The Craigslist Experiment

Jul. 23, 2012

I am a 26-year-old with a Master’s degree in English. I am currently looking for a full-time job, preferably in a major city, since that’s where a vast multitude of jobs exist.

Unfortunately, so do an even vaster multitude of job-seekers.

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OP Note: I read this a few weeks ago and found it to be a fascinating experiment and just how desperate people are for work.
[Firefly] Inara

tumult over "innocence of muslims" spreads to yemen and iran

SANA, Yemen — Turmoil in the Arab world linked to an American-made video denigrating the Prophet Muhammad spread on Thursday to Yemen, where hundreds of protesters attacked the American Embassy, two days after assailants killed four Americans in Libya, including the ambassador, and crowds tried to overrun the embassy compound in Cairo.

News reports also spoke of a protest in Tehran, where around 500 Iranians chanting “Death to America” tried to converge on the Swiss Embassy, which handles United States interests in the absence of formal diplomatic relations with Washington. Hundreds of police officers held the crowds back from the diplomatic compound, witnesses said.

For a third consecutive day at the American Embassy in Cairo, protesters scuffled with police officers firing tear gas, witnesses said, and the state news agency reported that 13 people were injured. In Iraq, a militant Shiite group, Asaib Ahl al-Haq, once known for its violent attacks on Americans and other Westerners, reportedly said the video “will put all American interests in danger.” Protests were also reported at American missions in Morocco, Sudan and Tunisia, where the police also fired tear gas to disperse crowds. There were also news reports that the authorities in Afghanistan had suppressed Internet access to prevent users from viewing the offending video online to forestall protests there.

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kilala squish

The Crocodile Feeder of Ivory Coast

By John James
BBC News

For visitors to Yamoussoukro, the official capital of Ivory Coast and the birth place of its first president, the crocodiles are a major attraction, especially at feeding time.

For close to four decades Dicko Toki, originally from neighbouring Mali, was in charge of feeding the sacred animals.

He knew them all by name and they responded to his call - Capitaine, Chef de Cabinet, Commandant - authoritarian names, for these were the guardians of Ivory Coast's founding father, Felix Houphouet-Boigny, who governed for 33 years and shared Dicko's nickname - Le Vieux (the old).

Le Vieux Dicko carried out his dangerous work for years but the best he could offer his family was a simple one-storey home around a crowded courtyard.

His boss, President Houphouet-Boigny lived in rather grander style. He turned his ancestral land into a vast presidential palace dubbed the Versailles of Africa.
In 1983, the small home town became the "capital in the jungle" - with a seven-storey convention centre, the world's biggest church - imagine Rome's Saint Peter's surrounded by a tropical swamp - and a world class golf course.

In 1994 President Houphouet-Boigny was buried inside the palace grounds, guarded by an artificial lake and the city's sacred crocodiles.

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I can't stand the thinly veiled 'look at these savages!' tone of this article. Watching a carnivore eat is hardly an interest held only by 'uncivilized' people. Discovery Channel, anyone? And I've had plenty of people ask to watch my snake devour a mouse. I'm sure Western tourists line up to see this.

ESPN confuses Georgia the country with Georgia the American state.

American broadcaster ESPN took its patriotism to new levels as it confused Georgia, the Eastern European country, with Georgia the state in south-eastern America, during its showing of the World Cup qualifier against Spain.

To be fair, the mistake is an easy one to make with just the 6323 miles or a 13-hour flight separating Georgian capital Tbilisi, where last night’s match was played, and the Georgian state capital Atlanta.

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Source which has a pic of the US flag by the country's name:

OP: Why would Spain be playing an individual state instead of a country anyway?

Paying for healthcare only benefits the rich

13 September 2012

TALK about a flip-flop. Having initially promised to reverse it, Republican nominee Mitt Romney now says that if he wins the presidency, he will retain some elements of "ObamaCare".

Romney may find some clues on what to keep in The Lancet, which last week published research showing that having all Americans take out health insurance is the only way to get a healthcare system that truly benefits everyone (

In countries such as China, Vietnam, the Philippines, India and Ghana, up to half of all costs are paid "out of pocket", that is, directly at the time of treatment. Data from 120 countries, cited in another paper (, showed that for each 10 per cent increase in government health expenditure per head, 5 per cent fewer women die in childbirth. But for each extra 10 per cent paid out of pocket, there were 11 more deaths per 1000 women.

The key to effective universal healthcare is to have pooled finances, through either direct taxation related to income or mandatory insurance, says Bill Savedoff of the Center for Global Development in Washington DC, lead author of one of the papers. "If everyone pays out of pocket, the rich get the care they want but the poor don't," he says. "When you combine people's payments into a pool, you start to be able to manage care for whole populations."


You know what? I don't think the politicians and policy makers care much about this kind of research. They prefer 'opinions'. Preferably their own.