Shared posts

19 Jan 17:34

Grandparents of 13 starved, shackled children said kids seemed 'happy'


>>>Betty Turpin said her son told her he had so many kids because God wanted him to. She said her son shared her Pentecostal Christian faith but he wasn't affiliated with a church in California.

"I feel they were model Christians," she said. "It's hard to believe all of this. Over the years, the Lord knows what happened."

Cue my parents /in-laws claiming these aren’t real Christians and that they are misinterpreting the Bible.

"I feel they were model Christians. It's hard to believe all of this. Over the years, the Lord knows what happened."

19 Jan 00:28

Feast your eyes on the totally bonkers DIY bookcase this couple made for their kids


Very cool

It may look complicated, but anyone can do this at home!

17 Jan 21:24

Happy 96th birthday, Betty White!


<3 you Betty White

White's career spans more than 75 years. The actress considers herself an optimist and loves hot dogs, vodka and animals.

16 Jan 22:44

6-year-old boy dies from rabies after being scratched by bat



A 6-year-old Central Florida child who was scratched by a bat infected with rabies has died from the disease.

16 Jan 16:57

Down the hole

by Gordon Bonnet

>>Listen to Mark Twain, who said, "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime."

This is very true. The more varied places you visit and the more varied people you meet-with an open mind-can’t help but inform your attitudes.

By now, everyone has certainly heard that Donald Trump allegedly referred to a variety of Third-World countries, and the entire continent of Africa, as "shithole countries."

I append the word "allegedly" to this statement not because there's any particular doubt that this is how he looks at the world.  I'm just trying to be as even-handed as possible, given that Senators Dick Durbin and Lindsay Graham of South Carolina said yes, Trump said that, while Senators Tom Cotton of Arkansas and David Perdue of Georgia said no, he didn't.  Trump, of course, denies it categorically, but given that Trump could say something on-air in front of millions of viewers, and five minutes later state with a straight face that he never said it, and his diehard supporters would believe him both times, I'm not inclined to put him either in the "yes" or "no" column.

What I want to address here, though, is a response that I saw posted on social media shortly after the whole incident hit the media.  The initial post I saw showed photographs of slums in Nigeria and Haiti -- two of the particular "shitholes" Trump referred to -- with a text basically saying, "See, he was right."

Of course, the problem here is that if you're selective, you can do that with anywhere.  For example [all images in this post courtesy of the Wikimedia Commons with the exception of the last two, which were taken by me], take a look at the following:

Figure 1: The United States of America 

Or this one:

Figure 2: Also The United States of America 

Or this one:

Figure 3: Yup, This Is The United States Too

And before you get your dander up, I'm not using these to prove that the USA is a horrible place, only that if you cherry pick your data points, you can prove damn near anything.  (If you're curious, the first photo is from Detroit, the second from Camden, New Jersey, and the third from Rand, West Virginia.)

What really torqued me about the social media post, however, was one of the responses to it.  "Far as I've seen, it hasn't been proven that [Trump] actually said that," the comment went.  "But if he did, he's right."

It blows me away how quick people are to use some idiotic internet meme as incontrovertible support of what they already believed.  It's like taking confirmation bias and raising it to an art form.

But really, think about what that person is saying.  That the continent of Africa -- which is the size of the continental United States, China, India, and Europe combined -- can be lumped together under one derogatory epithet and summarily dismissed.  A continent that contains places like this:

Pretoria, South Africa

And this:

Point Lenana, Mount Kenya, Kenya

And this:

The Cape of Good Hope

And this:

Waterfalls in Angola

And has faces like this:

Woman from Gambia

Yes, I know there's terrible poverty and corruption in Africa.  The thing is, there's terrible poverty and corruption everywhere.  By looking at the United States as some kind of pinnacle -- and by claiming that what Trump and his cronies are doing is "making America great again" (merciful heavens, I am sick unto death of that phrase) -- you are ignoring both the beauty in other parts of the world and the problems we have right here in our own back yard.

So for cryin' in the sink, before you throw your opinion in with a guy who is an unashamed racist (yes, I said the word), try breaking out of your own comfortable little bubble of smug certainty and travel to some of these countries that Trump and his supporters have dismissed with a single word.  You see, I have.  I've been in places like Belize and Ecuador and Trinidad and Malaysia.  Yes, I saw poverty, and I saw some people in terrible living conditions.  But I also saw this:

Pacha Quindi, Ecuador

And this:

Fraser's Hill, Malaysia

So my advice: stop falling for comforting overgeneralizations.  Get up off your ass and travel to some of the "shithole countries," talk to the people who live there, and realize that the rest of the world is just as varied -- both in good and bad ways -- as the United States.  Listen to Mark Twain, who said, "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.  Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime."

After that come back and we'll talk.
16 Jan 16:48

Plane dangles off cliff after skidding off runway in Turkey


I heard on the news that the airline called it “an unplanned runway excursion.”

A commercial plane that skidded off a runway after landing in northern Turkey dangled precariously off a muddy cliff with its nose only a few feet from the sea.

16 Jan 16:42

Breastfeeding mother asked to leave Chick-fil-A for not covering up


>>she started harping about the children and men who can see my indecency and I need to cover.

Indecency. Really?

People suck

The owner of a North Dakota Chick-fil-A is apologizing after a woman claimed she was kicked out of the restaurant when she began breastfeeding her baby.

16 Jan 16:11

GM debuts self-driving car with no steering wheel


Sign me up! Fuck yeah!

GM's self-driving division, Cruise Automation, unveiled the car Friday, which features no steering wheel or gas and brake pedals.

15 Jan 22:56

​Parents charged after 13 kids found 'starving,' some chained inside California home

A couple was arrested after police discovered that their 13 children had been held captive in their California home in filthy conditions, some shackled to beds with chains and padlocks, officials said Monday.

15 Jan 22:35

Texas Tech student goes viral after angering TSA for showing school spirit


>>> "I am so very fortunate it was not worse, though. They let me off with a warning and I made my plane on time. I know that for others the situation could have been much more serious. I feel very fortunate. The TSA officers know I meant no harm, by the end of it I think they were kinda laughing too!"

Only reason it wasn’t worse is because she’s a pretty white girl.

According to Diana Durkin, fans of Texas Tech shout "guns up" and make a gun symbol with their hands as a way of supporting their university.

15 Jan 22:30

"Water transfer painting"

by (Minnesotastan)

This is so cool I could watch it all day. Girls are doing this with nail polish on Pinterest

TMI (14 minutes), so you'll need to skip through the video.  The technique facilitates the transfer of detailed images onto complex surfaces.  Interesting.
15 Jan 20:57

Chicago Deep Dish Pizza, or “Pizza” As We Call It In New York

by (Chef John)

Could someone please make this for me

The biggest problem with Chicago-style deep dish pizza, especially for a New Yorker, is that it’s called “pizza.” I’m not sure what else it could’ve, or should’ve been called, but when you grow eating thin-crust, and all of a sudden someone hands you a plate of this, with a fork, and calls it pizza, it’s quite the shock to the system.

Having said that, for the home cook at least, this deep dish pizza is actually much easier to pull off than your classic thin-crust, which really benefits from a 700 F. pizza oven. Another advantage is that we don’t have to worry about too much, or too many toppings, which is usually the fatal flaw of a poorly made NY-style pizza.

One key, besides the buttery, cornmeal-infused crust, is to be sure your sauce is very thick, and flavorful. Some Chicago pizzerias simply use seasoned, coarsely crushed tomatoes, but I prefer using a sauce, as long as it’s reduced at least as much as you see here. Your favorite will work, but just in case you don’t have one of those, here’s a link to our official pizza sauce recipe.

I went with a pretty basic sausage and cheese version here, but you can, and probably should, add other things like peppers, mushrooms, and onions. Same goes for switching up the cheeses, but I do like the combo of fresh, and firm mozzarella. I don’t think it’s quite as good if you use all one, or the other. Regardless, I really hope you give this “pizza” a try soon. Enjoy!

For the dough (enough for a 12-inch cast iron skillet):
1 1/3 cups warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast
2 teaspoons white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons fine salt
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for the pan
1/2 cup cornmeal
3 3/4 cups flour, plus more as needed

For the fillings/toppings (in order of application):
4 ounces sliced provolone
8 ounces fresh mozzarella
1 pound spicy Italian sausage, removed from casing
4 ounces firm, low-moisture mozzarella
3 to 4 cups very thick pizza sauce (I made a double batch)
2 ounces (about 1 cup very finely grated) Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil for the top
more cheese and parsley to garnish

- Bake at 425 F. for about 35 minutes
13 Jan 19:54

Fifteen children age 17 or under

by (Minnesotastan)

The fucking FATHER won a prize?!

 And what's truly remarkable is that none of them were multiples -

The New York Times story said the father won a prize.  Seems the prize should have been awarded to the mother.

Reminiscent of a Monty Python sketch.

Via BoingBoing.
12 Jan 15:12

Nitrite Free Bacon

by Steven Novella

Sharing so I can find it later when my mil makes comments about the evils of nitrates/nitrites

A Northern Irish food company, Finnebrogue, is offering what it calls “Naked Bacon” – free from chemical preservatives that contain nitrites. But would such bacon actually be more healthful? And what is the deal with nitrites in food?

Sodium nitrite (NaNO2) is a salt containing sodium, one nitrogen, and two oxygen atoms. Nitrate is similar but contains three oxygen atoms (NaNO3). Nitrites are oxidized to nitrates when exposed to the air. Nitrates can also be converted into nitrite in the GI tract. This is why we often talk about the two in food interchangeably.

Sodium nitrite serves a critical function in some foods – it is a good preservative that inhibits the growth of bacteria, specifically C. botulinum, the bacteria that causes botulism. It is therefore incredibly important to food safety, and removing it from meat products could therefore have the unintended consequence of increasing food poisoning.

What are the health effects of consuming sodium nitrite? Much of it is converted into nitric oxide, which is not only harmless, it serves several important roles in the body. One effect is to dilate blood vessels, and therefore can serve to lower blood pressure. In addition:

This effect is associated with a reduced risk regarding cardiovascular disease, myocardial infarction, and stroke. Moreover, dietary nitrate has been associated with beneficial effects in patients with gastric ulcer, renal failure, or metabolic syndrome.

The health concern is that nitrites can also be converted to nitrosamine compounds, which are probably carcinogenic. The amount of nitrites in food converted to nitrosamines is reduced by certain other food substances, such as vitamin C. Therefore, some food manufacturers have been adding vitamin C to food that also contain sodium nitrite.

There is also some evidence that cooking at very high heat can increase the formation of nitrosamines, and so this can also be avoided to minimize this conversion.

It is revealing also to point out what the sources of consumed nitrites/nitrates are. Much of the discussion focuses around sodium nitrite added to meats and other foods as a preservative. However. 80% of the nitrates you will consume in food come from fruits and vegetables. Nitrites are also made in the saliva, which is another significant source.

Contribution from preserved meats is about 10% – depending on your diet, of course. But even the most dedicated meat eater will still get a minority of their nitrites from cured meat.

What about the link between sodium nitrite and cancer? The evidence here is fairly complex and mostly observational. Many studies compare cohorts with the highest and lowest daily meat intake and find mixed results. Some datasets show a slight increase in pancreatic cancer and some GI cancers, but also reduced stomach cancer.

However, more recent research has called these associations into question. The problem with much of the prior research (in addition to being observational) is that it did not control well for many variables. If you look at meat consumption, for example, what aspect of the meat is causing any observed effect, and is it related to other dietary factors that just go along with high meat consumption?

A recent review concludes:

A critical review of the animal toxicology literature of nitrite indicates that in the absence of co-administration of a carcinogenic nitrosamine precursor, there is no evidence for carcinogenesis. Newly published prospective epidemiological cohort studies indicate that there is no association between estimated intake of nitrite and nitrate in the diet and stomach cancer.

So without the nitrosamine, consuming nitrites/nitrates is probably not associated with cancer at all, and has many known health benefits.

What the average consumer can make of all this is a few bottom lines: First, it is still the best advice to eat everything in moderation. The only studies that do show a negative health effect from consuming red or cured meats only finds such results in the highest meat consumption category. So basically, don’t eat a pound of bacon every day (literally, that is what it takes) and you will probably be fine.

Further, nitrites specifically have been unfairly maligned. Their story is much more complex, and overall we should look at nitrites/nitrates as having positive health effects. Remember – they mostly come from fruits and vegetables, and diets high in vegetable nitrates have been shown to be healthful.

Sodium nitrite specifically is an important food preservative, and we should not avoid its use over an unjustified fear.

What about the nitrite-free bacon? This is a good example of how food fears based on outdated, preliminary, or incomplete information can lead to bad eating decisions. First, many products touting themselves as not using added sodium nitrite, or avoiding chemical preservatives, actually do contain nitrites. The makers of Naked Bacon, for example, claim:

Finnebrogue said it worked with a Spanish chemist to develop the new flavouring from natural Mediterranean fruit and spice extracts and apply it to British bacon for the first time.

I wonder if those fruit and spice extracts contain sodium nitrite? That is often the case with similar products – they use the “appeal to nature” fallacy to imply their products are better because they use only natural ingredients. The source of the sodium nitrite, however, has zero effect on its health effects.

But thinking that your bacon is healthier may lead to consuming more fat and calories. This is the fallacy of blaming specific ingredients or types of food for being “bad” and thinking that avoiding them will make your diet magically healthy. Companies are quick to exploit this, with, for example “low fat” products that are loaded with sugar. Such products are often sold as “guilt free” but this is a scam.

Again – just eat a variety of foods in moderation, make sure you get enough fruits and vegetables, and watch your total caloric intake. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security by thinking you are eating a “superfood” or “guilt-free” food.

10 Jan 21:37

'Cookie cartel' warning: Police advise of 'highly addictive substances'


Fuck yeah! It’s Girl Scout Cookies time!!!

"We have received reports that highly addictive substances will soon be circulating in our area."

09 Jan 20:42

In every household...

by (Minnesotastan)

I have more than one thing that fits this description

09 Jan 15:22

"Side effects include euphoria, increased appetite..."

by (Minnesotastan)

Shared for the amazing commercial which is not a parody.

An interesting article in Politico this past week suggests that Jeff Sessions' to reimpose federal restrictions on state cannabis policies may lead to a backlash that may eventually favor nationwide legalization.
Business leaders in an industry that was worth $7.9 billion in 2017, called Sessions’ action revoking “outrageous” and “economically stupid.”

Capitol Hill screamed just as loudly. And it wasn’t just the Democratic members of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus. It was Republican senators, too...

Thursday may well turn out to be a pivotal moment in the marijuana industry’s evolution as a political force. Nearly 70 percent of Americans believe in some form of legalized marijuana, but does the nascent industry have the sway to rewrite nearly 50 years of federal drug policy?..

“There’s a lot of [legislators] trying to have it both ways who are now going to have to make up their mind,” said Tick Segerblom, the Nevada state senator who is considered the father of the state’s legalization movement. “Are they going to go with what the voters of their state support, or are they going to join Sessions and crack down and try to re-instate prohibition?”  Right now, the answer seems to be the former...

The fact that marijuana has now risen to the height of top-tier budget negotiations is a sign that the pro-marijuana coalition is no longer merely a menagerie of loud-mouth hippies, stoners, and felons, as the pro-pot crowd has been characterized in the past. The community of Americans who now rely on legal medical marijuana, estimated to be 2.6 million people in 2016, includes a variety of mainstream constituency groups like veterans, senior citizens, cancer survivors, and parents of epileptic children...

As of late Friday, POLITICO Magazine could not find a single member of Congress who had issued a statement in support of Sessions’ actions. 
09 Jan 10:50

His Wife Spanked Him with a Paddle Because Jesus Died for Their Sins

by Hemant Mehta

>>“Nathan, you did something wrong. You deserve a spanking today. But I’m going to do something different, because I want to teach you something else. I’m going to bend over, and I want Mommy to spank me. Because I want to take your place.”

Holy fucking inappropriate, Batman! Keep your kids out of your kinks!

There are many ways to teach your child about the sacrifice Jesus supposedly made for us.This is not one of them.
09 Jan 10:10

Woman dies from flesh-eating bacteria after eating raw oysters



A Texas woman died after consuming raw oysters and contracting a flesh-eating bacteria.

09 Jan 00:54

The best part of waking up...

by Gordon Bonnet

Goop is at it again

Ah, the early morning.  All is quiet, so it's time to put on the coffee, look forward to a nice hot cup of joe.  Because there's nothing better at this time of day than a dark French roast...

... which, I must state for the record, I would prefer to take by mouth.

The reason I have to specify is, unsurprisingly, because of noted scientific researcher Gwyneth Paltrow, who is now selling a device for $135 whereby you can get your morning coffee squirted up your ass instead.

For what it's worth, I'm not making this up, although I sure as hell wish I was.  The device, called the "Implant-O-Rama" (didn't make the name up either, I swear), is basically just a glass bottle with some silicone tubing.  So I can think of a great many other better uses for $135, and that includes using it to start a fire in my wood stove.

It will probably not shock you to hear that this is all in the name of "detoxification."  A coffee enema is supposed to "detoxify your blood," which should only be a concern if your liver and kidneys aren't working properly.  (And if this is the case, you need to see a doctor immediately, not put your morning Starbucks where the sun don't shine.)

[image courtesy of photographer Julius Schorzman and the Wikimedia Commons]

Why coffee, you might be asking?  Why not orange juice or iced tea or Snapple or Mountain Dew?  The answer: I have no fucking clue.  My guess is that Gwyneth Paltrow doesn't know, either.  If you asked her, she'd probably tell you it had to do with the quantum resonant frequencies of your chakras or something.  But we haven't worried about explanations from her before, so why start now?

At this point it will also come as no particular surprise that people have injured themselves administering coffee enemas.  Emergency rooms have reported colon inflammation, perforated rectums, sepsis, and blood electrolyte imbalances from people doing this to themselves, including at least two people who died of the aftereffects.  Then there were a couple of cases where people suffered severe internal burns, since folks who are stupid enough to squirt random liquids up their ass are evidently also stupid enough not to wait until said liquids are cool.

What's wryly funny about all this is the list of things they say a coffee enema can cure.  Implant-O-Rama, says the website, “can mean relief from depression, confusion, general nervous tension, many allergy related symptoms and, most importantly, relief from severe pain.  Coffee enemas lower serum toxins.”

If it gets rid of confusion, you have to wonder why people in the middle of a coffee enema don't suddenly frown and say, "Wait.  Why do I have a tube up my ass?  This is idiotic."

And about relief from severe pain -- I guess getting scalding hot coffee up your backside would take your mind off any pain you're experiencing elsewhere, just as smashing your toe with a hammer makes you temporarily forget you've got a headache.

Then, of course, we have the disclaimer:
The information contained in these pages and on this website is not intended to replace your medical doctor.  This information has not been evaluated or approved by the FDA and is not necessarily based on scientific evidence from any source...  These products are intended to support general well-being and are not intended to treat, diagnose, mitigate, prevent, or cure any condition or disease.
"Not intended to mitigate any condition?"  So what the fuck does "relief from depression etc. etc. etc." mean to you?

The whole thing is kind of maddening, but even more maddening than the idea that hucksters are trying to bilk you out of your hard-earned cash (that, after all, is what hucksters do) is the fact that there are bunches of people just kind of nod and go, "Oh.  Okay."  It apparently never occurs to them to ask how the hell a coffee enema could help you, or even to ask the person making the claim to name one specific toxic substance the body produces that your liver and kidneys are incapable of handling.

So anyway.  My general advice is "just don't."  There's a good reason that the slogan doesn't go, "The best part of waking up is Folger's up your butt."  There's nothing wrong with a good cup of coffee in the morning, but please put it into the correct orifice.
08 Jan 15:39

Oprah for President? Fans and fellow celebrities make the case

Oprah Winfrey's moving speech at the Golden Globes has some fans and fellow celebrities calling for her presidential run.

07 Jan 21:25

Hairless bear cub recovering at California wildlife center


Today in super sad bear news :(

07 Jan 21:23

Trump says he's 'like, really smart,' 'a very stable genius'


How is this the leader of the free world?

President Donald Trump wants people to know he's "like, really smart" and "a very stable genius" - a case he's trying to make in a series of tweets in which he defends his mental fitness and boasts about his intelligence.

07 Jan 06:26

Florida man calls 911, reports he’s driving drunk


Faces of Meth

A Florida man called 911 on New Year’s Eve and told dispatchers he was driving drunk and needed to be taken off the road.

06 Jan 00:02

Community steps up to get Davis woman on wheels again


Some people are awesome.

Cathy Speck’s beloved tricycle was stolen

05 Jan 17:39

​Parent gives letter to boy with disabilities​: 'Don't play with my children'


First of all, fuck this bitch.

But secondarily,

>>“Please keep your son away from ours so ours are not picking up the idea that playing with toys or watching cartoons younger than his is OK.”

Fuck this, too. I love cartoons.

“The hand flapping is a concern. We don’t want our son to learn do to that!”

05 Jan 17:24

Beloved tricycle stolen from Davis woman battling cancer, ALS


People suck

A Davis woman battling ALS and cancer has had her decorative tricycle stolen overnight.

05 Jan 05:36

Hundreds of apps can eavesdrop through phone microphones to target ads


I swear my phone already does this

Despite requiring permission, they can continue listening while the apps run in the background.

05 Jan 00:31

Stevie Nicks/Fleetwood Mac - Landslide

by (Minnesotastan)

I love this song

One of the early Fleetwood Mac classics, first recorded way back in 1975, written when Stevie Nicks was experiencing some major changes in her personal and professional life.

This recording is from two decades later, in 1997 in a live performance. Her introductory comment "This is for you, Daddy," refers to her father, who was in the audience that night.

Well, I've been afraid of changing,
'cause I've built my life around you.
But time makes you bolder -
Children get older -
I'm getting older too

Reposted in 2009 after discovering another version of "Landslide," this one performed by the students of PS22 in New York City. I still prefer the Stevie Nicks version, but this one has a certain charm...

Reposted again for 2018.
03 Jan 02:48

This guy raised the price of a cancer drug by 1,400%.

by (Minnesotastan)


Because he can.  And there's no generic available.  So fuck you.
Prices for a cancer drug called lomustine have skyrocketed nearly 1,400 percent since 2013, putting a potentially life-saving treatment out of reach for patients suffering from brain tumors and Hodgkin's lymphoma. Though the 40-year-old medication is no longer protected by patents, no generic version is available.

According to the Wall Street Journal, lomustine was sold by Bristol-Myers Squib for years under the brand name CeeNU at a price of about $50 a capsule for the highest dose. The drugmaker sold lomustine in 2013 to a little-known Miami startup called NextSource, which proceeded to hike lomustine's price nine times since. It now charges about $768 per pill for the medication.
More details at CBS News.

Photo of Nextsource CEO Robert Dicrisci via BoingBoing.