April 3, 2016

The Morning After The Night Before


This Day In History: April 3, 1955

“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked” Allen Ginsberg, “Howl”

On April 3, 1955, the American Civil Liberties Union announced it would defend Beat poet Allen Ginsberg’s book “Howl” against obscenity charges. A few weeks previously, the U.S. Customs Department had seized 520 copies of the book arriving from England and arrested its publisher, Lawrence Ferlinghetti after undercover cops purchased “Howl” at his bookstore.

“Howl” is an American classic, raw, unfettered – and exactly the type of literature that needs first amendment protection the most. The poem is a blunt yet psychedelic panoply of the darker side of life in the 1950s – a world where Wally and the Beav dare not tread. It’s drugs and homosexuality and anti-war and everything the government said was bad, bad, bad. …

Here’s how Paul Ryan becomes the next president of the United States

With the odds increasing that the GOP is looking at a contested convention in Cleveland — with front-runner Donald Trump’s missteps and unforced errors finally catching up to him — all Republican eyes are looking at the pool of candidates to head the ticket in his place

A likely choice? Recycling 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan — who has more than one path to the White House.

Republicans are looking for someone – anyone — to take the lead, and with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz unpopular with colleagues in both the Senate and the House, Ryan would be an oasis of calm following a primary season that has turned into a circus. …

Trump’s nonsensical claim he can eliminate $19 trillion in debt in eight years

Donald Trump: “We’ve got to get rid of the $19 trillion in debt.”

Bob Woodward: “How long would that take?”

Trump: “I think I could do it fairly quickly, because of the fact the numbers…”

Woodward: “What’s fairly quickly?”

Trump: “Well, I would say over a period of eight years. And I’ll tell you why.”

A Donald Trump protester might have made the best sign ever – everyone agrees

Mocking a man who possesses such unshakable self-belief as Donald Trump has proved a tricky task at times during the US Republican primaries.

Opponents of the billionaire businessman have tried to insult him in every which way – from his hair to his religion – but not much has stuck. Even the Pope had a crack and he walked right through it.

Now, one protester has taken Reddit by storm with his attempt to satirise the presidential hopeful, by playing him at his own game.

10 International Historical Murder Mysteries

Murders happen every day. It’s hard to tell exactly what characteristics turn certain crimes into media sensations while others quickly fade into obscurity, but a murder mystery is always guaranteed to captivate an audience. Whether through careful planning, sheer luck, corruption, or police incompetence, these killers all managed to get away with their crimes.

10. Chrissie Venn ~ Australia

On March 1, 1921, the body of 13-year-old Chrissie Venn was found in a hollow tree stump near the village of North Motton in Tasmania. Chrissie had disappeared on February 20, when she left her home on Allison Road to run errands in the village.

After the discovery of her body, newspapers gave conflicting reports. They initially stated that Chrissie was murdered on February 21 and that her body was mutilated. Later, the date was changed to February 26, and it was reported that Chrissie had been strangled or suffocated and that her body only featured defensive wounds.

People quickly pointed fingers at George William King, a 35-year-old former miner and policeman. He was charged with the murder. King was seen in the area where Chrissie disappeared around the same time, and other people noted that he tried to speak to her whenever they met, even though the girl usually tried to dismiss him. King also had scratches and marks on his hands, which he claimed that he sustained while participating in a search party looking for Chrissie while she was still missing. …

House GOP’s 2010 ‘Tea Party’ Class Heads For The Exits

Like so many Americans approaching retirement, Virginia Republican Rep. Scott Rigell dreams about spending a little more time on the water.

“I have a little rowboat called Miss Nelly. She’s 13 ft. long and there’s not a motor on it. There’s no radio on it. And I’m so looking forward to being on that rowboat,” says Rigell.

Rigell is retiring after just six years in Congress. He was one of the 87 Republicans who rode the “tea party” wave to a pivotal GOP takeover of the House.

At the end of this Congress, more than one-third of that class will be gone from the U.S. House. …

Trevor Noah: ‘It’s easier to be an angry white man than an angry black man’

Six months ago the South African comic took on the trickiest task in comedy; replacing Jon Stewart as host of the Daily Show. What’s he learned so far? Always keep your cool.

Trevor Noah is perched on top of a bank of chairs in the Daily Show conference room. It’s a Friday, which means there’s no live show, and Noah has time to clown around, undergoing half-a-dozen tie changes while being photographed by the Guide. This room is usually the hallowed space where the writers share their ideas and hone jokes for America’s best-known political satire, but right now Noah has his arms outspread and is tottering around as if he’s about to fall over. “That’s good,” says the Guide’s photographer. “Keep doing that airplane thing,” he adds as Noah regains his balance. “Airplane?” asks Noah with faux-incredulity. “That’s what you thought that was? Interesting. This is like a Rorschach test: you see whatever you want.”

Since the 32-year-old South African took over from Jon Stewart, who retired last August after 16 years in charge, his tenure at the Daily Show has been open to interpretation too. Some see a confident, charismatic comedy talent and a welcome point of difference in a bland – and white – late-night landscape, while others see him as an unwelcome reformist who has defaced the Daily Show that Stewart built. …

10 Paranormal Legends Connected To The US Civil War

The US Civil War had its fair share of paranormal events that continue to this day. From cryptids and UFOs to reincarnations and prophetic dreams, here are 10 of the most interesting paranormal events connected with that terrible war.

10. John B. Gordon Reincarnation

In 1991, fire chief Jeffrey Keene decided to visit Civil War battle locations. When he visited the field where the Battle of Antietam had been fought, Keene was overcome with emotion and could not stand anymore. After returning home, he contacted a psychic to help him understand the experience. During the reading, the psychic kept repeating the words “not yet.”

Soon afterward, Keene was reading a historical magazine about the war when that phrase jumped out at him. According to the magazine, General John B. Gordon had repeated that phrase to hold back his troops during the Battle of Antietam.

Keene began to earnestly research the life of the Civil War general and discovered uncanny resemblances between Gordon and himself. Both men looked similar. Also, many of the men under Gordon’s command looked just like firefighters with whom Keene worked. …

Mexico City’s adopting a popular method to fight air pollution. It probably won’t work.

The 20 million people that live in Mexico City and its surrounding suburbs are plagued daily by a hazy layer of smog.

But after years of struggling to maintain healthy air quality levels, the Mexican capital says it has a temporary fix: keep more cars off the streets.

Starting Tuesday, Mexico City’s metropolitan authorities will implement a comprehensive “no circulation” policy to keep all privately-owned cars off the road one day per week, and one additional Saturday per month, the Associated Press reported. …

Is the end of days looming for fundamentalist sect in Utah?

The Fundamentalist Latter-day Saints believe an apocalyptic miracle will free their imprisoned leader this week but the group’s own future is in doubt

The new federal courthouse in downtown Salt Lake City is a massive, futuristic cube of metal and glass that looks imposing, austere and, above all, impregnable. Armed guards patrol the exterior 24 hours a day.

But if a certain group of polygamous religious extremists in a lonely corner of southern Utah are to be believed, this Wednesday the walls will split open and fall when one of their leaders, Lyle Jeffs, appears before the judge in a major fraud case, according to former followers of his sect.

Simultaneously, an earthquake will apparently cause the walls of a prison in Texas to crumble and Lyle’s brother, Warren Jeffs, the group’s “prophet” and supreme leader, will also walk free – despite the fact he has been serving a sentence of life plus 20 years in that state since 2011, convicted of having sex with underage girls as young as 12 that he took as polygamous wives.

By divine coincidence, perhaps, Wednesday is 6 April, the date most Mormons – and the outlawed, rejected offshoot sect of that religion known as the Fundamentalist Latter-day Saints (FLDS) – proclaim is the actual birthday of Jesus Christ. …


This Day In History: April 3, 1973

On this day in history, 1973, a Motorola employee, Martin Cooper, publicly demonstrated the world’s first handheld mobile phone by placing a call to Joel Engel, the head of research at AT&T’s Bell Labs using the phone. Engel and his team were Cooper’s chief rival and had also been attempting to make the world’s first handheld mobile phone.

As Cooper stated, “As I walked down the street while talking on the phone, sophisticated New Yorkers gaped at the sight of someone actually moving around while making a phone call. Remember that in 1973, there weren’t cordless telephones, let alone cellular phones. I made numerous calls, including one where I crossed the street while talking to a New York radio reporter – probably one of the more dangerous things I have ever done in my life.” …

The bleak and charming cyberpunk art of Josan Gonzalez

The future is now… on Kickstarter

Josan Gonzalez’s future is the kind of dystopia you want to hang out in.

The Spanish illustrator is currently in the midst of crowdfunding a second book in his series, The Future is Now, and it’s the kind of grimy cyberpunk world where everyone seems to feature some kind of robotic augmentation and the only real escape is to slip on a retro-futuristic VR headset. But it’s also light and playful in a way most dystopias aren’t. “It’s a satire,” he says, “so it’s not about schooling people about ‘Hey, this is wrong.’”

In addition to his own self-published books, Gonzalez has also worked in comics for companies like Boom Studios and Dark Horse, and illustrated a few magazine covers, but, unlike many artists, he says it’s not necessarily the job he dreamed of having as a kid. He always wanted to do something creative, but he struggled with drawing, often feeling like he would never improve to the point that it become a career. “Somewhere around my 20s I really entered a solid learning curve and from there I’ve really grown to love drawing and creating illustrations,” he explains. “I feel I still have a ton to learn but now the road is there.” …

Tax return headaches: there are ways to make filing less of a chore

This year procrastination may not be such a bad approach and there are some often overlooked deductions that could sweeten the pill for you

If ever there was a season for procrastinating, this is it. Tax filing deadline is almost upon us and a nation’s thoughts turn to sorting out those gutters, cleaning the windows, regrouting the bathroom – anything except filing their taxes.

How bad is it? Well, 35% of us would rather explain the birds and the bees to our children and 13% would rather spend a night in jail than deal with our taxes, according to a WalletHub survey.

The IRS itself has calculated our dread of sitting down to confront the task of preparing our tax returns is so great that as many as 25% of Americans may wait until the last two weeks before the usual 15 April deadline to even begin. (This year, we get a few days’ grace: the deadline is 18 April, since 18 April is a holiday in Washington DC.)

Is there something else we can do other than panic and hide under the duvet? …

7 Secret Realities Of Casting The Same Actor In A Series

When a film or television series lasts a really long time, it’s normal for the same actor to pop up every now and then as completely different characters, because Hollywood is not an inexhaustible well of talent. For example, on Law & Order, an actor can play a scumbag rapist in one episode and a respected prosecutor in another. Nobody bats an eyelash, until you start thinking, “What if those characters were in fact the same person? What if that rapist changed his name and went to law school?”

Then you open yourself up to a bunch of mind-blowing thought experiments which totally change the way you look at famous franchises. For example …

#7. Indiana Jones Has Been Murdering A Nazi Clone Of The Same Henchman For Years

Pat Roach was a giant English dude who played the giant Sherpa who gets into a fight with Indiana Jones in Raiders Of The Lost Ark.

“Boy, I hope I’ll never have to go through THIS again …”

What you probably didn’t realize is that later on in the movie, he reappears with a shaved head as the giant Nazi mechanic who fights Indy at the airstrip …

What’s German for deja-vu?

Promising lab-grown skin sprouts hair and grows glands

Scientists in Japan have successfully transplanted mice with lab-grown skin that has more of the organ’s working parts in place than ever before.

Starting with stem cells made from a mouse’s gums, they managed to craft skin with multiple layers – as well as hair follicles and sweat glands.

When implanted into a “nude mouse” with a suppressed immune system, it integrated well and sprouted hairs.

Researchers say this success will take 5-10 years to translate into humans.

But eventually, the team hopes their system will lead to perfectly functioning skin that can be grown from the cells of burns victims and transplanted back on to them. …

Surgeons save Brazilian man’s hand from amputation by sewing it into his belly

‘It’s a really weird feeling trying to wiggle my fingers inside my body’

Ingenious surgeons have helped save a Brazilian man’s hand from being amputated by putting it inside a ‘pocket’ in his belly.

Doctors decided to bury Carlos Mariotti’s left hand inside his abdomen and cover it with a flap of protective skin, after the machine production operator suffered a horrific work accident that ripped off all the skin on his hand.

The 42-year-old who lives in Orleans in the south of Brazil, must now keep his damaged hand inside the soft tissue pouch for six weeks.

Orthopaedic and traumatology doctor, Boris Brandao, who performed the rare operation, explained: “(Mr Marriott) suffered a de-gloving injury which left him with very little skin on the palm and back of his hand, exposing the bones and tendons inside. …

10 Works Of Art The Nazis Deemed ‘Degenerate’

Hitler’s takeover of Germany and its surrounding nations was not merely a military or genocidal feat. He wanted to completely overhaul the cultural fabric of Germania. That also applied to paintings. There was a certain style of German art that he believed was superior, such as the work of the “Old Masters” or realistic paintings of wholesome events.

In particular, Hitler wanted to eradicate modern art. According to the Reich, modern art was depraved and irrational. Dadaism, Impressionism, Cubism, Expressionism, and Surrealism were all verboten, and these paintings were all hauled out of museums. Hitler even declared, “The Dadaists, Cubists, and those futuristic expressive ones and those objective chatterers will under no circumstances participate in our cultural renaissance.”

In July 1937, over 650 works were exhibited in the Institute of Archaeology in the Hofgarten in Munich. The pieces were displayed under the title of Entartete Kunst (“Degenerate Art”). Painted on the wall were captions, including ones that read, “Insolent mockery of the Divine under Centrist rule,” “An insult to German womanhood,” and “Revelation of the Jewish racial soul.”

On March 20, 1939, around 5,000 paintings, drawing, and sculptures were thrown into a bonfire under the supervision of the Berlin Fire Department. More were destroyed in Paris in July 1942.

Thankfully, many museum curators and ordinary citizens saw the Reich’s savagery for what it was. Many works were smuggled out of occupied countries or hidden in desolate farmhouses or caves. Here are the stories of 10 works of art condemned by the Nazis and the people who created them.

10. Moon Over A Mountain Lake ~ Max Beckmann

Max Beckmann (pictured above) focused on exaggerated, distorted, figurative drawings, which places him among the Expressionist artists. After his traumatic experiences serving in World War I, he sought to explore spiritual and political themes in his art. Beckmann’s work was well received in postwar Germany, and he even received awards for his paintings.

However, after Hitler’s rise to power, Beckmann was dismissed from his teaching position at the Stadel Art School in Frankfurt. More than 500 of his works were removed from museums that same year. Beckmann fled to Amsterdam, where he waited out the war before immigrating to the United States. …

‘Sexual depravity’ of penguins that Antarctic scientist dared not reveal

Landmark polar research about the Adélie penguin’s sex life by Captain Scott’s expedition, deemed too shocking for the public 100 years ago, is unearthed at the Natural History Museum

It was the sight of a young male Adélie penguin attempting to have sex with a dead female that particularly unnerved George Murray Levick, a scientist with the 1910-13 Scott Antarctic Expedition. No such observation had ever been recorded before, as far as he knew, and Levick, a typical Edwardian Englishman, was horrified. Blizzards and freezing cold were one thing. Penguin perversion was another.

Worse was to come, however. Levick spent the Antarctic summer of 1911-12 observing the colony of Adélies at Cape Adare, making him the only scientist to this day to have studied an entire breeding cycle there. During that time, he witnessed males having sex with other males and also with dead females, including several that had died the previous year. He also saw them sexually coerce females and chicks and occasionally kill them.

Levick blamed this “astonishing depravity” on “hooligan males” and wrote down his observations in Greek so that only an educated gentleman would understand the horrors he had witnessed. Back in Britain he produced a paper (in English), titled Natural History of the Adélie Penguin. However, the section about the animal’s sexual proclivities was deemed to be so shocking it was removed to preserve decency. Levick then used this material as the basis for a separate short paper, Sexual Habits of the Adélie Penguin, which was privately circulated among a handful of experts. …

One Company Hoping to Buy the Naming Rights to Mile High Stadium Might Make Sense to You

The news broke on April Fools’ Day, but it was not a prank – a Colorado marijuana dispensary has expressed interest in buying the naming rights of Denver’s “Mile High Stadium.”

The bankrupt retailer Sports Authority is currently contracted to pay six million dollars for the naming rights at the stadium, which is home to the Denver Broncos. However, its bankruptcy could make naming rights available to other entities.

Should that happen, Native Roots, an expanding pot dispensary business, has expressed interest.

The company even mocked up a version of their logo for the stadium.


Big appetites can come in small packages. Case in point: 5′ 7″ and 125 pound Molly Schuyler, who lives with her husband and four kids (ages 5, 6, 7 and 10) in Bellevue, Nebraska.

She maintains her lean frame by typically sticking to lots of vegetables, salads without dressing and keeping up with her four kids. She also notes, “We (competitive eaters) don’t eat like crazy all the time. That would just be impossible.”

Working on her craft, what she has referred to as “a stupid human trick,” since she was a child, Molly noted that at as a kid, when she and her siblings would go to a buffet, they “kind of battled it out. We’ve always ate big.” …

Video Goodnesses
(and not-so-goodnesses)

THANKS to HBO and Real Time With Bill Maher for making this program available on YouTube.