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Welcome to the Overnight News Digest (OND) for Tuesday, May 07, 2013.

OND is a regular community feature on Daily Kos, consisting of news stories from around the world, sometimes coupled with a daily theme, original research or commentary.  Editors of OND impart their own presentation styles and content choices, typically publishing near 12:00AM Eastern Time.

Creation and early water-bearing of the OND concept came from our very own Magnifico - proper respect is due.

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This diary is named for its "Hump Point" video: Pata Pata by Miriam Makeba

News below Aunt Flossie's hairdo . . .

Please feel free to browse and add your own links, content or thoughts in the Comments section.

Any timestamps shown are relative to each publication.

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Top News
Our Arms Race of One

By Tom Engelhardt
. . .

Washington's enemies in the world remained remarkably modest-sized (though blown to enormous proportions in the American media echo-chamber). They included a couple of rickety regional powers (Iran and North Korea), a minority insurgency or two, and relatively small groups of Islamist "terrorists." Otherwise, as one gauge of power on the planet, no more than a handful of other countries had even a handful of military bases outside their territory.

Under the circumstances, nothing could have been stranger than this: in its moment of total ascendancy, the Earth's sole superpower with a military of staggering destructive potential and technological sophistication couldn't win a war against minimally armed guerillas. Even more strikingly, despite having no serious opponents anywhere, it seemed not on the rise but on the decline, its infrastructure rotting out, its populace economically depressed, its wealth ever more unequally divided, its Congress seemingly beyond repair, while the great sucking sound that could be heard was money and power heading toward the national security state. Sooner or later, all empires fall, but this moment was proving curious indeed.

And then, of course, there was China. On the planet that humanity has inhabited these last several thousand years, can there be any question that China would have been the obvious pick to challenge, sooner or later, the dominion of the reigning great power of the moment? Estimates are that it will surpass the US as the globe's number one economy by perhaps 2030.

Right now, the Obama administration seems to be working on just that assumption. With its well-publicized "pivot" (or "rebalancing") to Asia, it has been moving to "contain" what it fears might be the next great power. However, while the Chinese are indeed expanding their military and challenging their neighbors in the waters of the Pacific, there is no sign that the country's leadership is ready to embark on anything like a global challenge to the US, nor that it could do so in any conceivable future. Its domestic problems, from pollution to unrest, remain staggering enough that it's hard to imagine a China not absorbed with domestic issues through 2030 and beyond.

. . .

The present capitalist model (the only one available) for a rising power, whether China, India, or Brazil, is also a model for planetary decline, possibly of a precipitous nature. The very definition of success—more middle-class consumers, more car owners, more shoppers, which means more energy used, more fossil fuels burned, more greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere—is also, as it never would have been before, the definition of failure. The greater the "success," the more intense the droughts, the stronger the storms, the more extreme the weather, the higher the rise in sea levels, the hotter the temperatures, the greater the chaos in low-lying or tropical lands, the more profound the failure. The question is: Will this put an end to the previous patterns of history, including the until-now-predictable rise of the next great power, the next empire? On a devolving planet, is it even possible to imagine the next stage in imperial gigantism?

In the Gulf, a long history of oil spills and cover-ups

By Brentin Mock
When BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in 2010, it hemorrhaged roughly 210 million gallons of crude into the Gulf of Mexico. We know now, thanks to recent court hearings and settlements, that all this happened because oil-company managers were cutting corners on safety, and the federal government’s monitoring system for offshore drilling was broken.

We also know that it wasn’t the first time oil companies had spilled in the Gulf. What we don’t know — and probably never will — is how much oil has been spilled. Even now, three years after the Deepwater disaster, many spills go unreported. And now we’re learning that even when companies report spills, they sometimes try to deceive regulatory agencies and the public into thinking their spills caused no harm to Gulf waters.

A recent Department of Justice case offers a glimpse into a practice that some industry workers say is commonplace in offshore operations. The case revealed that one Gulf-based oil company failed to report a major spill it was responsible for in 2009, and had some of its workers “collect” fake water samples so that federal authorities would think no contamination occurred.

. . .

The Interior Department’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement was formed after the Deepwater spill as a way to beef up federal monitoring of offshore drilling operations. But the bureau has failed to perform any safety audits of companies operating in the Gulf. According to another report from Hammer, BSEE had one audit scheduled last year, but then cancelled it for unexplained reasons.

DR Congo toughest place for mothers - Save the Children

By (BBC)
The Democratic Republic of Congo is the world's toughest place to raise children, Save the Children reports.

Finland was named the best place to be a mother, with Sweden and Norway following in second and third places.

. . .

The charity says that lack of nutrition is key to high mother and infant mortality rates in sub-Saharan Africa, with 10-20% of mothers underweight.

. . .

Surprisingly, the report found that the US has the highest death rate in newborns in the industrialised world, with 11,300 babies dying on the day they are born each year.

The charity says this is due in part to the US's large population, as well as the high number of babies born too early. The US has one of the highest preterm birth rates in the world at a rate of one in eight.

Sex crimes soar in US military

By (Al Jazeera)
. . .

Troubling new numbers estimate that up to 26,000 military members may have been sexually assaulted last year, according to survey results released on Tuesday.

. . .

The report says that of the 1.4 million active duty personnel, 6.1 percent of active duty women - or 12,100 - say they experienced unwanted sexual contact in 2012, a sharp increase over the 8,600 who said that in 2010.

. . .

In a sharp rebuke on Tuesday, President Barack Obama said he has no tolerance for the problem and that he had talked to Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel about it. He said any military member found guilty of sexual assault should be held accountable, prosecuted and fired.

"I don't want just more speeches or awareness programs or training, or ultimately folks look the other way," the president said. "We're going to have to not just step up our game, we have to exponentially step up our game to go after this hard."

International
Obama: North Korea's crisis-for-concession days 'over'

By (BBC)
. . .

"The days when North Korea could create a crisis and elicit concessions, those days are over," Mr Obama told Tuesday's briefing after meeting privately with Ms Park in the Oval Office.

He added: "President Park and myself very much share the view that we are going to maintain a strong deterrent, we're not going to reward provocative behaviour, but we remain open to the prospect of North Korea taking a peaceful path.

. . .

North Korea has also been angered by wide-ranging annual US-South Korea military drills, which ended a week ago.

Meanwhile, the state-owned Bank of China said it was halting transactions from North Korea's Foreign Trade Bank on Tuesday.

Monaco to push back sea for luxury development

By (BBC)
Tiny, densely populated Monaco plans to push back the sea to make way for luxury apartment blocks and businesses.

. . .

Reclaiming the area from the sea is expected to cost 1bn euros (£842m). The rocky tax haven has hardly any space onshore for new construction.

A similar project was abandoned in 2008 because of environmental concerns and the global financial crisis.

Mongolia puts veg on national menu

By Michelle Tolson
. . .

 Less than 1% of the country's land is used for crop production. Following the instincts of ancestors who were primarily nomadic herders, Mongolians rely on livestock for their food needs, guiding large herds across the vast grasslands of the Central Asian Steppes.

. . .

 The standard diet here is comprised of wheat, meat and rice, said Markowitz, citing reports by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Research released by the ministry of health in 2008 and 2010 revealed that a full third of the country's population of three million eat no fruits or vegetables at all.

. . .

 Even so, this has yet to affect the lives of most of the population. Little knowledge of vegetable use stemming from a lack of access to nutritional information, doctors and health specialists contributes to their imbalanced diet, which particularly affects the one in five families living on $1.25 a day.

. . .

 Experts on food security are also concerned about extreme desertification brought on by the introduction of a market-based food system, which saw herds increase by 20 million heads between 1999 and 2007.

USA Politics, Economy, Major Events
FBI Agents Want Rep. Mike Rogers to Be Their New Boss. Here's Where He Stands on Civil Liberties

By Dana Liebelson
The FBI Agents Association, which represents thousands of active and retired FBI agents, announced Monday that it wants Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), the chairman of the House intelligence committee, to be the next head of the FBI. . .

1.) Online privacy

Rogers introduced the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), not once, but twice . . .

2.) Due process

. . .

When Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a US citizen, was read his Miranda Rights, Rogers called the decision "confusing...horrible, [a] God-awful policy, and dangerous to the greater community." As my colleague Adam Serwer notes, "the only thing more embarrassing than being a federal prosecutor who doesn't understand the federal rules of criminal procedure is being a former FBI agent who doesn't understand them."

3.) Wiretapping protections

As congressman, Rogers has supported extending the Patriot Act's "roving wiretaps", waiving the requirement to have a warrant under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) for wiretapping at home and abroad, and allowing electronic surveillance without a warrant.

4.) Oversight of drone strikes

Even though President Obama could hypothetically use drone strikes to kill US citizens on American soil, and reports show the program has minimal congressional oversight, Rogers isn't concerned: "I as chairman review every single air strike we use in the war on terror, both on the civilian and the military side when it comes to terrorist strikes . . ."

Welcome to the "Hump Point" of this OND.

News can be sobering and engrossing - at this point in the diary, an offering of brief escapism:

Random notes related to this video:
Miriam Makeba (4 March 1932 – 9 November 2008), nicknamed Mama Africa, was a Grammy Award-winning South African singer and civil rights activist.

In the 1960s she was the first artist from Africa to popularize African music around the world. She is best known for the song "Pata Pata", first recorded in 1957 and released in the U.S. in 1967. She recorded and toured with many popular artists, such as Harry Belafonte, Paul Simon, and her former husband Hugh Masekela.

Makeba campaigned against the South African system of apartheid. The South African government responded by revoking her passport in 1960 and her citizenship and right of return in 1963. As the apartheid system crumbled she returned home for the first time in 1990.

Back to what's happening:
Environment and Greening
U.S. Urban Trees Store Carbon, Provide Billions in Economic Value, Finds State-By-State Analysis

By (ScienceDaily)
From New York City's Central Park to Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, America's urban forests store an estimated 708 million tons of carbon, an environmental service with an estimated value of $50 billion, according to a recent U.S. Forest Service study.

. . .

The total amount of carbon stored and sequestered in urban areas could increase in the future as urban land expands. Urban areas in the continental U.S. increased from 2.5 percent of land area in 1990 to 3.1 percent in 2000, an increase equivalent to the area of Vermont and New Hampshire combined. If that growth pattern continues, U.S. urban land could expand by an area greater than the state of Montana by 2050.

. . .

More urbanization does not necessarily translate to more urban trees. Last year, Nowak and Eric Greenfield, a forester with the Northern Research Station and another study co-author, found that urban tree cover is declining nationwide at a rate of about 20,000 acres per year, or 4 million trees per year.

Over half the world's population could rely on food imports by 2050 – study

By Kate Ravilious
Tomatoes from Spain, olive oil from Italy, plums from Chile, salmon from Alaska and green beans from Kenya – how often might some of these ingredients end up in your basket? In the UK most people's shopping trolleys contain a significant proportion of imported foods. But could these foods be grown and produced at home? Which countries are capable of food self-sufficiency? A new series of maps shows which countries could feed their entire population, and which countries are limited by lack of land or water.

Marianela Fader from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany, and colleagues, calculated the growing capacity of every country in the world, and compared it with food requirements, both now and projected forward to 2050. Their model employed climate data, soil type and land-use patterns for each country, in order to simulate yields for a variety of types of crop. Using current data on population, and food and water consumption in each nation, they were able to assess what proportion of its food a country could produce.

. . .

The countries with the most reliance on imports were found in North Africa, the Middle East and Central America, with over half the population depending on imported food in many of these locations. Outside those locations many countries could become food self-sufficient if they chose to.

. . .

A number of developed countries, including the UK, the Netherlands and Japan, are already unable to meet the food requirements of their populations. This reliance on imports looks set to become worse as population levels rise. However, unlike the developing countries, these nations will probably be able to buy their way out of the problem.

Science and Health
Women With Unintended Pregnancy Are More Likely to Suffer from Postpartum Depression

By (ScienceDaily)
Women with unintended pregnancy are four times more likely to suffer from postpartum depression at twelve months postpartum, suggests a new study published  May 8 in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

. . .

Results show that postpartum depression was more likely in women with unintended pregnancies at both three months (11% vs. 5%) and twelve months (12% vs. 3%). The increased risk was highest at 12 months and indicates that this group of women have a long term risk of depression. When age, education level and poverty status were factored into the results, women with unintended pregnancy were still twice as likely to have postpartum depression at twelve months.

. . .

"Unintended pregnancy carried to term may have a long term effect on women. Healthcare professionals should therefore consider asking about pregnancy at early antepartum visits to screen for unintended pregnancy as women who report that their pregnancy was unintended or unwanted may benefit from earlier or more targeted screening both during and following pregnancy.

Revolutionary new findings in the origins of languages, study shows

By Alexander Besant
. . .

Extraordinarily diverse languages like Japanese, Greek and Tamil all evolved from one language dating back 15,000 years ago to the end of the Ice Age.

. . .

Using 23 words like "I", "mother" and "fire", the researchers ran the words through statistical model.

This model showed that the words have a common ancestor in an ancient Eurasian language.

“We’ve never heard this language, and it’s not written down anywhere,” said Mark Pagel, an evolutionary theorist at the University of Reading in the UK and study author.

“But this ancestral language was spoken and heard. People sitting around campfires used it to talk to each other.”

How Ultraviolet Light Will Sterilize Super Bugs

By Andrew Tarantola
Hospital infection rates are on the rise with 1 in 20 Americans already being admitted to the hospital this year, according to CDC estimates, and in some instances, winding up more sick than when they arrived. These infections kill around 100,000 vulnerable patients and cost the healthcare industry $30 billion annually. To combat hyper-infectious agents like Clostridium difficile (C-diff) or Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), doctors are turning to a different method of disinfection to destroy bacteria by tearing their DNA apart with UV light.

. . .

In addition to copious amounts of hand sanitizer and bleach washes, hospitals are now turning to devices like the UV emitter from Xenex Healthcare Services. “When we started, we were having to convince hospitals and infection control that the environment matters,” said Dr. Mark Stibich, Xenex's chief scientific officer, told the San Antonio Express News. “That is no longer the case. At least in the U.S., facilities are very aware how much the environment can impact risk for infections. So they're much more sensitive to the infections because they are directly impacting the bottom line of the hospitals.” This portable, $125,000 pulse xenon UV machine is reportedly "20 times more effective than standard chemical cleaning" and, according to one study at Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northhampton, MA, reduced the rate of Clostridium difficile (C. diff) infection by a staggering 82 percent.

At this point, UV disinfection remains a supplementary process to chemical cleaning methods, however, the market for these devices is growing and is expected to grow from $30 million to $80 million in the next three years.

Getting from “is” to “ought” Near the End of Life

By Nancy Berlinger
. . .

In the United States each year, 2.5 million people die. Because cause of death is often a condition typically associated with age, Medicare billing-code data offers a reliable way to understand where older people were, day by day, as they approached the end of their lives. A recent article by Joan M. Teno, health services researcher at Brown University, and her team, published in JAMA in February 2013 and subsequently picked up by the media, compared samples of Medicare patients who died in 2000, 2005, and 2009. Each sample included nearly 300,000 patients, all of whom had a medical diagnosis of cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or dementia for the final six months prior to death. This data suggests that these patients were hospice-eligible and their deaths were not unexpected.

Digging into the data, the researchers found that over the course of this nine-year period the percentage of patients who died in hospice increased. However, these hospice referrals tended to come only after dying patients had spent time in the intensive care unit. That is, the intensity of treatment near the very end of life first spiked sharply upward. As Teno and her co-authors explain, “Site of death, as noted on a death certificate, only provides information on where a person was at the moment of death,” while understanding the end of life as an “experience” involves looking at all places of care, the transitions between these places, and when and why these transitions occurred. They conclude that, even with more frequent referrals to hospice and the expansion of palliative care programs in hospitals over the period they studied, “the notion that there is a trend toward less aggressive care” may be unfounded.

Technology
Value in Concentrating Solar Power to Add to Electric Grid Calculated

By (ScienceDaily)
Researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have quantified the significant value that concentrating solar power (CSP) plants can add to an electric grid.

. . .

The analysis demonstrated several valuable properties of dispatchable CSP, such as its ability to generate power during high-value periods when electricity demand is high, and its capability to be turned off during lower-value periods. Of key interest, NREL found that significant operational value is derived when CSP is allowed to provide reserve power, including frequently operating at less than full load, which would be a substantial change in operational practice.

Mark Mehos, manager of NREL's CSP Program, emphasizes a couple other conclusions from their analysis: "CSP plants switched on during periods of highest consumer demand for electricity resulted in very high capacity value. And the difference in value in CSP plants with and without thermal energy storage depends greatly on the amount of other variable-generation renewable energy sources on the grid, such as wind and photovoltaics."

NREL's study has helped to develop approaches that can be used by utilities and system planners to incorporate CSP in standard planning tools. It has also quantified the value of adding thermal storage to CSP in a scenario of high levels of renewable energy in California.

Photoshop CC: Adobe responds to reaction

By (dpreview.com)
Yesterday's announcement by Adobe that it will cease 'perpetual license' sales of Photoshop and its Creative Suite counterparts has generated considerable backlash here on dpreview and across the web. With such a significant change in store, we spoke today with Adobe VP of Creative Solutions, Winston Hendrickson and Bryan O'Neill Hughes, Senior Product Manager for Photoshop for Adobe's response to the uproar.

Q&A with Adobe VP of Creative Solutions, Winston Hendrickson

Were you expecting such a negative response from the photographic community?

We expected a higher degree of this type of reaction from the hobbyist photographic community because currently there's not a lot of photography-specific value in our subscription products. That's why we've taken the unusual steps of Tom Hogarty's appearance on The Grid [a Scott Kelby webisode] showing potential Lightroom CC features and the Photoshop Sneak Peek where we showed new features like Camera Shake reduction.

. . .

The reason behind the subscription-only move is the logistics of supporting two sets of software. The last 12 months of development was brutal. And there were results we were not happy with. We have decided to focus on the CC products.

. . .

What can you say to users concerned that a subscription model removes their option to at least stick with an older version of software if they no longer want to continue paying for it?

That's the trade-off for the benefits of a continuously updated application. At the time you decide to stop paying for it, yes you lose access, but after, say 12 months, you've ended up with a different product than the one you subscribed to, because of the new features that have been added. And for existing perpetual users, Photoshop CS can co-exist alongside and independently from Photoshop CC.

What is CC?

Adobe has rebranded its upcoming versions of applications with the 'CC' (Creative Cloud) moniker. They will be made available on June 17. A month-to-month or discounted annual CC subscription gives you access to all of the Adobe Creative Suite titles, including Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, InDesign, Premiere and After Effects..

Amid Worst-Ever Drop in PC Market, Microsoft Hits 100M Win8 License Sales

By Jason Mick
. . .

 Microsoft for the first time directly confirmed in the announcement that those changes are being wrapped into Windows 8.1, codenamed "Windows Blue".  The new OS is expected to launch this fall, with OEM test builds already leaking.  The new OS is expected to restore some semblance of a "Start" button, as well as allowing users to opt to boot to the desktop.

. . .

The contrast stems largely from customer reaction.  With Windows 7, customers were wary from poor press and bad initial experiences to Vista, but quickly embraced the speedy overhaul of the familiar Windows interface once they experienced it.  Windows 8 appears to have had the opposite affect.  Customers started off optimistic off the high of Windows 7, but quickly chilled to the redesign due to its drastic and at times confusing nature.

. . .

 Things did not go very well on the tablet front, either.  While Microsoft's Surface sales hit 900,000 unit in Q1 that pales in comparison to the 19.5m iPads sold by Apple or the 8.8m Galaxy tablets moved by Samsung.  Microsoft is reportedly working on a smaller, more affordable Surface, in line with Apple and Samsung's strategy.  

. . .

Samsung, Dell, Inc. (DELL), Acer, Inc. (TPE:2353) and the Lenovo Group Ltd. (HKG:0992) have all attacked the embattled Windows RT, complaining about its lack of legacy compatibility and Microsoft's poor marketing of the platform.

Cultural
Cities Are the Future of Human Evolution

By Annalee Newitz
. . .

Some of the earliest cities, in regions that are now called Turkey, Syria and Peru, were probably built at roughly the same time that humans were developing agriculture. As anthropologist Elizabeth Stone has found, many of the earliest city jobs probably involved farming. In the Mesopotamian cities she studies, people worked in orchards and farms just outside the city walls. These farmers built their homes from mud and brick, and as buildings crumbled into dust, they built new ones on top of the old.

. . .

Over time, many early farm cities grew into political city-states, were swallowed by nations, and eventually became powerhouses for the nineteenth century industrial revolution. Of course many early cities simply died out, and new cities were built that suited emerging forms of human social organization. For most of human history, however, the city was an aberration: the majority of people lived in villages and other small communities.

. . .

Homo sapiens is evolving into an urban species. Already, our genomes have been transformed by one development associated with city growth: agriculture. The genes that allow adults to process the lactose in milk from farm animals have spread like wildfire through the population in under 10,000 years — probably because of the tremendous survival advantage in being able to eat the products of animal husbandry.

. . .

In a century, many cities may resemble early urban settlements in another way, too. They'll be ringed by farms. Urban farming is a movement that is just taking hold in many places, from Havana to Vancouver, but it's not just about growing food in your backyard. It's about replacing suburbs with small, sustainable farms that yield a diversity of crops. These farms can cut down on the costs of importing food, and help make cities as self-sustaining as possible. Driving your electric car between futuristic cities might involve taking a long, elevated road over forests.

Poverty in Bulgaria drives more to make ultimate sacrifice

By Tom Esslemont
In Bulgaria, six people have burned themselves alive in protest at worsening poverty levels since the start of the year. Ahead of parliamentary elections this weekend, the BBC's Tom Esslemont meets some of those affected.

. . .

Handouts from the local authority were drying up.

On the day he died, Vechislav Arsenov rang each of his five grown-up children to tell them he was sorry for what he was about to do.

. . .

"We were desperate," his son, Txumir, explains. "My father had recently lost his job. We could not pay our bills or our debts and he could not afford to buy food for us."

Margaret Groening, Marge Simpson 'inspiration', dies

By (BBC)
Margaret Groening, the mother of The Simpsons creator Matt Groening and the basis for animated matriarch Marge, has died in Portland, Oregon aged 94.

. . .

Many of Matt Groening's family details went on to feature in The Simpsons, among them his mother's maiden name - Wiggum - and his father's name Homer.

Homer Groening, a World War II veteran and cartoonist, died in 1996.

According to her obituary, Margaret taught high school English before starting a family and was a talented needlework artist.

Cleveland abductions: fans lash out at Sylvia Browne over false prediction

By Katie Rogers
One of the world's most recognizable self-proclaimed psychics was wrong yet again about the fate of a missing child, and her followers on social media are taking her to task.

Browne's prediction about Amanda Berry's fate was not the first child whose fate she attempted to explain, but her fans on social media are waiting for acknowledgment from the self-proclaimed spiritual leader.

. . .

Browne announced the death of Amanda Berry in 2004, when she appeared on Williams' show to tell Berry's mother, Louwana Miller, that her daughter was "in heaven and on the other side" and that her last words were "goodbye, mom, I love you". Miller would die a year later of heart failure.

In fact, Berry escaped Monday from a Cleveland home where she had been held captive with two other women for more than a decade. A child who is hers was also removed from the home, according to police.

ond_wordcloud_2013-05-07
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Comment Preferences

  •  This time, we will do it together. (26+ / 0-)

    Greetings, all.

    "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

    by wader on Tue May 07, 2013 at 09:14:54 PM PDT

  •  "The Enemy's Gate Is Down" (7+ / 0-)

    Orson Scott Card may be nuts, but his novel Ender's Game is still considered a classic science fiction novel by many. It has also languished in development hell, as many have tried to adapt it to film, with arguments over whether the novel is "unfilmable."

    With the success of the Twilight and Hunger Games adaptions, Hollywood has decided to see whether or not Card's story can work in the same young adult fiction market.

    Here's the first trailer for 'Ender's Game,' starring Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld, Abigail Breslin, Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley, and Viola Davis. A very significant change from book to film is the "aging up" of the characters. Asa Butterfield is 15-years-old. In the novel, Ender is only six.

    In the not-too-distant future, mankind has barely survived two invasions by an insectoid alien race, formally known as Formics, but called Buggers by most of the viewpoint characters. As the threat of a third invasion looms nigh, the world's most talented children are taken to an orbiting Battle School. There they study physics, mathematics, history, psychology, politics, and play a lot of games. And the biggest, best game of all is the Battle Room, where they organize into "armies" and play 41-on-41 zero-G laser tag as the adults look on, searching for future commanders against the incoming menace.
    •  Clever stuff (8+ / 0-)

      I like the quick squaring ability from his general multiplication method.

      "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

      by wader on Tue May 07, 2013 at 09:27:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  it is cool (8+ / 0-)

        wonder why they didn't teach us to do it that way.

        •  BECAUSE WE HAD TO SUFFER (7+ / 0-)

          AND SWEAT AND WORK AND HAVE DIFFICULTY TO

          EARN IT!!!!!!

          Ted Kennedy: “The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die…”

          by jlms qkw on Tue May 07, 2013 at 09:31:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  yep (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wader

            The post-WW2 American body began to deteriorate around the time of Milton Friedman. Unregulated capitalism is out of control: Attacking the Hungry; Suffocating Students;. Weakening Children Depleting Taxpayers; Paralyzing Voters ~ alternet.org

            by anyname on Wed May 08, 2013 at 03:52:00 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  if my memory is correct (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              wader, Eric Nelson

              Milton Friedman's worked in FDR administration  economic job in collaboration with a senior colleague on a white paper  study that determined  'specialty medicinal licensing'  would restrict supply of medical services and raise prices.

              Again if memory is holding up it was in the 1960's that the AMA began licensing specialty medicine and sanctioned general practice physicians to qualify for one specialty license and discontinue practicing general medicine.  

              Milton Friedman moved on from FDR government job to eventually start his Economic Cult ' Chicago School of Economics'  (Neocon shock doctrine capitalism); after he left government one of the first things he did was to advocate to the AMA to create specialty licenses ( it wasn't until years later that 'family medicine' became a specialty and you know how that goes.... it is the lowest paid specialty and attracts less brilliant physician graduates  than cardiac surgeons, oncologists, so on and so forth.

              My physician father, who up to that time had for thirty plus years been small town physician, came under the policy of AMA  that brought into force specialty licensing during 1960's could no longer practice general medicine.

              Before that he delivered babies when he patients went into labor, had office hours, did home visits, took care of elderly patients, did surgery when it was needed (you get the picture) he was one stop physician small town medicinal practice.

              Way back when he started he accepted barter aka chickens,eggs etc when patients didn't have money for the doctor.

              That was my first big picture perception of ECONOMICS.

              Milton Friedman went from being an associate economist co-writing white paper that reported to FDR that specialty medical licenses would restrict medical services, to becoming the lead advocate for specialty licenses. The AMA took his advice and  began 'ruling the world' with market based health care system.... America being unique in the industrialized world making obscene profit off of sick people.

              AMA's specialty licensing is 'artificial scarcity' economics;  they could demand higher and higher fees because the medical specialties were like monopolies in their regions, states or towns ( think diamonds and 'artificial scarcity'.... there are abundant supply of diamonds in the world but Rhodes realized if he became a monopoly and created scarcity he could so to speak 'rule the world' and of course the diamond industry does that ... they created with marketing, love, DIAMOND RING and happily ever after...  if memory serves Rhodes was also a racist of the first order - - he is the founder Rhodes scholarship )

              thereafter specialty physicians 'ruled the world' and with artificial scarcity created people who could not afford medical services at all as specialists demanded higher and higher fees from the pool of people who could afford medical services; and  AMA licensing policy helped create  the nascent health insurance industry into the behemoth that it is.... people without access to medical services are otherwise known in the economic MILIEU as 'DEADWEIGHT LOSS'

              http://en.wikipedia.org/...

              Cecil Rhodes

              http://en.wikipedia.org/...

              artificial scarcity

              http://en.wikipedia.org/...

              deadweight loss

              http://en.wikipedia.org/...

              Friedman was initially unable to find academic employment, so in 1935 he followed his friend W. Allen Wallis to Washington, where Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal was "a lifesaver" for many young economists.

              Friedman began employment with the National Bureau of Economic Research during autumn 1937 to assist Simon Kuznets in his work on professional income. This work resulted in their jointly authored publication called
              'Incomes from Independent Professional Practice'; which introduced the concepts of permanent and transitory income, a major component of the Permanent Income Hypothesis that Friedman worked out in greater detail in the 1950s.

              The book hypothesizes that professional licensing artificially restricts the supply of services and raises prices.

              The post-WW2 American body began to deteriorate around the time of Milton Friedman. Unregulated capitalism is out of control: Attacking the Hungry; Suffocating Students;. Weakening Children, Depleting Taxpayers; Paralyzing Voters ~ alternet.org

              by anyname on Wed May 08, 2013 at 05:03:14 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  $99,690 (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                wader, Eric Nelson

                http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

                When a patient arrives at Bayonne Hospital Center in New Jersey requiring treatment for the respiratory ailment known as COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, she faces an official price tag of $99,690.

                Less than 30 miles away in the Bronx, N.Y., the Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center charges only $7,044 for the same treatment, according to a massive federal database of national health care costs made public on Wednesday.

                The post-WW2 American body began to deteriorate around the time of Milton Friedman. Unregulated capitalism is out of control: Attacking the Hungry; Suffocating Students;. Weakening Children, Depleting Taxpayers; Paralyzing Voters ~ alternet.org

                by anyname on Wed May 08, 2013 at 05:37:44 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  Great OND tonight wader, kind thanks. (11+ / 0-)

    Apparently feeding the galaxy my chili has consequences.

    Milky Way Black Hole Snacks On Hot Gas

    May 7, 2013 — The Herschel space observatory has made detailed observations of surprisingly hot gas that may be orbiting or falling towards the supermassive black hole lurking at the center of our Milky Way galaxy. Herschel is a European Space Agency mission with important NASA participation.

    "The black hole appears to be devouring the gas," said Paul Goldsmith, the U.S. project scientist for Herschel at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. "This will teach us about how supermassive black holes grow. "Our galaxy's black hole is located in a region known as Sagittarius A* -- or Sgr A* for short -- which is a nearby source of radio waves. The black hole has a mass about four million times that of our sun and lies roughly 26,000 light-years away from our solar system.

    The biggest surprise was the hot gas in the innermost central region of the galaxy. At least some of it is 1,832 degrees Fahrenheit (around 1,000 degrees Celsius), much hotter than typical interstellar clouds, which are usually only a few tens of degrees above absolute zero, or minus 460 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 273 degrees Celsius).

    rabble rabble rabble

    by jwinIL14 on Tue May 07, 2013 at 09:25:03 PM PDT

  •  funeral for soccer ref (10+ / 0-)

    Portillo Service

    A soccer referee who suffered a fatal head injury after being assaulted during a match will be memorialized at a public funeral mass on Wednesday — the same day prosecutors are expected to file criminal charges against the 17-year-old boy accused of landing the deadly punch.

    Services for Ricardo Portillo being with a 1 p.m. viewing at the The Rail Event Center, 235 N. 500 West, followed by a Catholic mass at 7 p.m., Portillo family friend Tony Yapias said. The public is asked to wear white shirts in Portillo’s honor.

    charges not yet determined.

    also, the utah AG is in more hot water.  CA and NY ag's are so useful and interesting.  UT, not so much.  
    Utah’s former consumer boss files ethics complaint against Swallow

    Ted Kennedy: “The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die…”

    by jlms qkw on Tue May 07, 2013 at 09:26:34 PM PDT

  •  Thank you!!! (11+ / 0-)

    Much appreciated.  

    I guess according to the article above we should all take a UV light with us to the hospital.

    Best wishes to all here!!!

    Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

    by cfk on Tue May 07, 2013 at 09:32:11 PM PDT

  •  Washtenaw County, Michigan, election results (10+ / 0-)

    Dexter cityhood, millage proposals pass

    Voters in Dexter approved cityhood in a close, relatively high turnout contest.  Unofficial results from Washtenaw County, show that the proposal passed with 460 yes votes (53%) to 408 no votes (47%) with a turnout of 28.68% in Precinct 1 of Scio Township and 16.70% in Precinct 3 of Webster Township.  These figures made Dexter cityhood both the closest and the highest turnout question on Washtenaw County ballots today.

    The yes vote allows the incorporation of Dexter into a Home Rule City to continue.  The next step will be the election of a Charter Commission, which will draft the proposed city's charter.

    Elsewhere in Washtenaw County, turnout was much lower, with only 5007 (12.28%) of the 40,760 registered voters in the jurisdictions voting tonight turning out.  Despite the low turnout, all millages on the ballot were renewed.  The bonding proposal for Plymouth-Canton Community Schools also passed, although it lost in the Washtenaw County portion of the district.

    "The party of ideas has become the party of Beavis and Butthead." ~ Paul Krugman.

    by Neon Vincent on Tue May 07, 2013 at 09:32:39 PM PDT

  •  "Why Some Mysteries Don’t Need To Be Solved" (10+ / 0-)

    The most famous single scene from Luis Bunuel's 1967 film 'Belle de Jour' starring Catherine Deneuve, is one in which Deneuve's character "Séverine" has an Asian client who walks into the brothel with a small lacquered box.

    He first shows the contents of the box, which make a buzzing noise, to one of Séverine's "co-workers" who recoils & says she won't do it before Séverine smiles & leads him into a bedroom. The movie never reveals what was in the box, or how what was in the box was used. The only hint of what might have happened is seen in the aftermath with Deneuve, who's lying on the bed, spent but smirking, and a towel in the room with a small bloodstain visible.

    Usually when it's not revealed, the answer to the question of "what's inside?" is whatever you want to be inside, since whatever the writer/filmmaker might choose is probably not nearly as cool as all the possibilities that rush through your head while trying to figure out an answer.

    Over at the A.V. Club, they have an article which argues that many films neuter themselves by revealing an answer to the mystery.

    There’s a point at which explaining the film, matching each effect to its cause and converting its mysteries into certainties, diminishes and even neuters it. Just because a movie can be “solved” doesn’t mean it needs to be.

    Trace it back to The Usual Suspects or Memento, but in the past two decades, we’ve been overrun with puzzle-box movies, full of switchbacks and double-crosses, fake-outs and revelations. But in too many cases, the picture that emerges once the jigsaw is solved isn’t worth a second look. Is it worth rewatching Identity, or The Village, or Secret Window, or Oblivion once they’ve given up their final twist? Perhaps one of the reasons contemporary culture has become so spoiler-averse is that the movies in question have little to offer beyond the cheap thrill of a bait and switch. (Put another way: Can you spoil Hamlet?) At best, a puzzle-box movie’s second viewing allows viewers to judge whether it’s playing fair, or to admire the ways it cheats.

    •  That's a leading question (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rimjob, maggiejean, JML9999, Neon Vincent

      The Usual Suspects is rewatchable for me because the buildup is never beyond a simmer, so you can go into another viewing and acclimate to the slowly rising temperature at the pace it intends, all over again.  I also enjoy looking for hints or clues that I previously missed.  The fact that it has a rug-pulled-out-on-you ending doesn't change the entertainment by how it is told, as in any decently related story.

      "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

      by wader on Tue May 07, 2013 at 10:04:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There's Also An Aspect Of Whether..... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        maggiejean, JML9999, wader, Neon Vincent

        In either answering or not answering the mystery, is whether the story is predicated around the "gimmick" of the mystery? If it is, I think the story has to provide an answer?

        I know a lot of "Lost" fans argue the series wasn't really about the mysteries & was about the characters lives. And while that may be true for the overall show, I think a lot of the criticism that show's finale gets is because the original hype/excitement about the show was the mystery of the island, and the finale doesn't really clear up much on that end except having a magic whirlpool with a giant stopper. Plus, the reveal the finale does have about the "sideways universe" doesn't really work.

    •  I didn't know you could do that with (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rimjob, maggiejean, wader

      I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

      by JML9999 on Tue May 07, 2013 at 10:21:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you wader. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wader, JML9999, renzo capetti

    You have some mighty fine links.

    The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.― Neil deGrasse Tyson

    by maggiejean on Tue May 07, 2013 at 10:04:37 PM PDT

  •  "Jump Rope Girl" (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wader, JML9999, maggiejean, greycat

    My happy thing for the last week or two.

    A girl jumping rope. Really well!

    If you spent half the hours I spent on my back porch trying to make "weight" and with a jump rope, well you'd understand.

  •  used to dance "pata pata" at summercamp n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wader

    hope springs eternal and DAMN is she getting tired!

    by alguien on Wed May 08, 2013 at 12:18:50 AM PDT

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