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OND Editors  OND is a 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 each day near 12:00AM Eastern Time.

OND Editors  consisting of founder Magnifico, regular editors maggiejean, wader, Man Oh Man, side pocket, rfall, and JML9999, alumni editors palantir, Bentliberal, Oke, jlms qkw, Interceptor7, and ScottyUrb, guest editor annetteboardman, and current editor-in-chief Neon Vincent, along with anyone else who reads and comments, informs and entertains you.

BBC:Panama Canal work stops in $1.6bn row


Panama Canal work stops in $1.6bn row

The Spanish-led consortium working on a project to widen the Panama Canal has said that work at the site has been halted over a disagreement on cost overruns.

The construction group says it is owed $1.6bn (£1bn).

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) said the demand amounted to blackmail.

The new lock, which was due to be completed next year, would allow the passage of larger cargo ships in one of the world's busiest maritime routes.  


BBC:ICC opens CAR 'war crimes' preliminary investigation

ICC opens CAR 'war crimes' preliminary investigation

The International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda says she has opened a preliminary investigation into possible war crimes in the Central African Republic (CAR).

Fatou Bensouda said she had received reports of "extreme brutality by various groups".

Tens of thousands of Muslims have already fled to Cameroon and Chad.

CAR, one of Africa's poorest nations, has been in chaos for more than a year after Muslim rebels seized power.  


BBC:North Korea send American Kenneth Bae back to labour camp

North Korea send American Kenneth Bae back to labour camp

A US citizen held for more than a year in North Korea has been moved back to a labour camp, US officials say.

State department officials and Mr Bae's sister were quoted as saying the 45-year-old had been returned from a hospital to the camp on 20 January.

Mr Bae, a Korean-American, was arrested in November 2012 and sentenced to 15 years' hard labour in May.

North Korea says he used his tourism business to form groups to overthrow the government.


BBC:Syria crisis: Evacuation operation in Homs begins

Syria crisis: Evacuation operation in Homs begins

Emergency officials have evacuated 83 civilians from the city of Homs in Syria, according to the United Nations.

Buses were able to enter the rebel-held Old City after both sides agreed to a three-day pause in the fighting.

Up to 3,000 civilians are thought to be trapped in Homs.

The UN-negotiated ceasefire between Syrian forces and rebels should also allow food and medical aid to reach Homs on Saturday.


BBC:Hong Kong: US bomb from World War Two defused by police

Hong Kong: US bomb from World War Two defused by police

Hong Kong police have successfully defused a 2,000 pound (900kg) bomb from World War Two, described as the biggest wartime bomb to be found in the city.

More than 2,200 people were evacuated when the bomb was found in a construction site in the city's Happy Valley district on Thursday afternoon.

The AN-M66 bomb contained 1,000 pounds (450kg) of explosives.

The device is believed to have been dropped by the US Navy during WW2, when Japan occupied the then British colony.


BBC:Iran food aid backfires in 'shame'

Iran food aid backfires in 'shame'

A plan by President Rouhani's government to address poverty in Iran has backfired after it was ridiculed on social media.

The Iranian government decided to give out free food baskets in a bid to reduce inflation and the benefits bill.

But the actual handout of food led to large queues and chaotic scenes, images of which were shared on social media.

Anne-Marie Tomchak from #BBCtrending investigates.


Reuters:Pentagon to boost missile defense spending by over $4 billion: sources

Pentagon to boost missile defense spending by over $4 billion: sources

(Reuters) - The U.S. Defense Department plans to ask Congress for $4.5 billion in extra missile defense funding over the next five years as part of the fiscal 2015 budget request, say congressional sources and an expert.

Nearly $1 billion of that sum will pay for a new homeland defense radar to be placed in Alaska, with an additional $560 million to fund work on a new interceptor after several failed flight tests, said Riki Ellison, founder of the nonprofit Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance, and two of the congressional sources, who were not authorized to speak publicly.

The Pentagon's request for added funding comes despite continued pressure on military spending and cuts in other arms programs, a sign of Washington's growing concern about missile development efforts by North Korea and Iran, the sources said.

The White House plans to send its fiscal 2015 budget request to Congress on March 4.


Reuters:Telecom Italia says no Brazil merger talks

Telecom Italia says no Brazil merger talks

(Reuters) - Italian phone group Telecom Italia (TLIT.MI) denied media speculation that it was in talks to merge its prized wireless unit TIM Brasil (TIMP3.SA) with Vivendi's (VIV.PA) Brazilian subsidiary GVT.

Brazilian daily O Estado de S. Paulo reported earlier on Friday that a Telecom Italia executive met with the management of French media group Vivendi in recent days for preliminary talks about a possible tie-up between the two group's Brazilian units, citing a source close to the matter.

"(There are) no ongoing talks over a possible GVT deal," a Telecom Italia spokesman said.

A Vivendi spokesperson added the group had no knowledge of talks with Telecom Italia about GVT.


Reuters:U.S. stresses commitment to defend Japan in Washington talks

U.S. stresses commitment to defend Japan in Washington talks

(Reuters) - The United States on Friday stressed its commitment to the defense of Japan and stability in the Asia-Pacific region against a backdrop of increasingly assertive territorial claims by China.

After a meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, Secretary of State John Kerry emphasized the importance of the U.S.-Japan relationship, which both countries say remains robust in spite of a bump after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited a controversial war shrine in December.

Kerry said the United States and Japan were committed to closer security collaboration and stressed the long-standing U.S. commitment to defend Japan if it is attacked.

"I ... underscored that the United States remains as committed as ever to upholding our treaty obligations with our Japanese allies," Kerry told reporters after talks with Kishida.


Reuters:Russia calls new U.N. Syria aid-access draft a "non-starter"

Russia calls new U.N. Syria aid-access draft a "non-starter"

(Reuters) - Australia, Luxembourg and Jordan have presented to the five permanent U.N. Security Council members a draft resolution demanding full access for aid workers across Syria, which was quickly dismissed by Russia as a "non-starter."

Western diplomats told Reuters on condition of anonymity that the council's five veto powers - Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States - received the draft resolution on Thursday but have yet to hold substantive discussions on it.

Russian U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin made clear on Friday Moscow dislikes the draft.

"It's a non-starter, it's very disappointing, even worse than some texts we saw a couple of months ago," Churkin told Reuters at a Russian reception at U.N. headquarters to screen the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.


Reuters:Man lynched in Central African Republic, court plans investigation

Man lynched in Central African Republic, court plans investigation

(Reuters) - An angry crowd killed and mutilated a man who fell from a truck filled with Muslims fleeing the capital of Central African Republic on Friday, witnesses said, while an international court said it would investigate alleged crimes committed there.

The attack was the second daylight lynching reported this week as violence rages between the majority Christian population and Muslims accused of links to Seleka, a former rebel grouping that seized power last year and ruled until January.

Members of the crowd killed the man and cut off his hands and genitals, Peter Bouckaert, emergencies coordinator at campaign group Human Rights Watch, told Reuters.

"It was easily over 10,000 people and that's an extremely conservative estimate," he said, referring to the convoy's size.


Reuters:Markets this week: BHEL, TCS top Sensex losers

Markets this week: BHEL, TCS top Sensex losers

The BSE Sensex ended down 0.7 percent in what was a slow week for Indian shares. The week began with the benchmark index sliding 1.5 percent on Monday as foreign institutional investors (FIIs) continued to sell as part of a slump in emerging markets.

Investor sentiment remained subdued despite a survey on Monday showing that Indian factories started 2014 on a high note, with manufacturing activity growing at its fastest pace in nearly a year as domestic and overseas orders increased.

The remaining four sessions saw the Sensex ending marginally in the green. The benchmark is, however, down 3.7 percent so far this year.


ComputerWorld:Iron Mountain fire in Buenos Aires kills 9, destroys corporate records

Iron Mountain fire in Buenos Aires kills 9, destroys corporate records

Computerworld - Nine first responders were killed and seven others injured when a fire swept through Iron Mountain's business archive facility in Buenos Aires yesterday. The firefighters were killed or injured when a wall collapsed during the blaze.

According to an Associated Press report, investigators are looking into why a fire-prevention system failed to suppress the fire. The Buenos Aires facility was equipped with fire-detection and sprinkler systems, according to a statement by Iron Mountain.

The facility only held paper records, unlike many other of the company's archives, which stores digital records in data centers, according to Iron Mountain spokesman Christian Potts. "We don't yet know the cause of the fire in Argentina," Potts said.

The fire yesterday is not a first for the company, which operates archives in 30 countries for storing digital and paper documents, film and other artifacts for both businesses and governments.  

 
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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (20+ / 0-)

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

    by JML9999 on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 08:58:19 PM PST

  •  O'er The Land Of The Free & The Home Of The Brave (16+ / 0-)


    From WRTV Indianapolis: National anthem rendition by the Kentucky All-State Choir goes viral

    The Kentucky All-State Choir's rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner is a social media hit after a woman staying in a hotel where choir members were also staying posted video of it online.

    Michelle Johnson said she returned to the hotel from work earlier this week to find "1,000 high school students had checked into our hotel."

    The students were in Louisville for the Kentucky Music Educators Association conference, where the All-State Choir performs.

    It's a tradition at the annual meeting for choir members to come out of their rooms to sing the anthem at night.

    Johnson caught a good portion of the anthem rendition, calling the 18 levels of singing "amazing."

    •  OT... (7+ / 0-)

      I watched the first episode (premiered Wednesday) of a new BBC black comedy anthology series called "Inside No. 9" last night. It's absolutely hilarious.

      •  I'll Check It Out (5+ / 0-)

        I couldn't sleep last night and was up till 4. So I had Netflix on, and was watching Political Animals starring Sigourney Weaver as a Hollywood-ized version of Secretary Clinton. I didn't watch it when it was on USA, and I guess I wasn't alone since it wasn't renewed for a second season.

        The show is definitely watchable, but only as a soap opera that you can't really take seriously. The fictionalized version of President Clinton ("Bud Hammond" played by Ciarán Hinds) is so over the top in the early episodes that it wouldn't have been any different if they had cast Foghorn Leghorn to play ex-President Hammond.


        •  I think you'll like it... (4+ / 0-)

          The episodes are standalone (the connective tissue is that each episode takes places inside a a house/apartment/building #9), and contains a twist, like "The Twilight Zone" or "Alfred Hitchcock Presents."

        •  I remember watching the premiere of that... (4+ / 0-)

          Or trying to, at least. I don't think I made it past the 15-minute mark.

        •  Have you started watching... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Doctor RJ, maggiejean, Aunt Pat

          this season of "The Real World" yet?

          •  I Watched This Week's Episode (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Trix, Aunt Pat

            It's definitely an interesting concept tacked on to the show's formula, and it works at capturing the two best aspects of the show; fighting and fucking.

            And the producers were smart to postpone the surprise of the exes for a bit, and let the hookups between the roommates happen, creating ready-made conflicts when the exes were introduced.

            •  Am I right to assume that... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Doctor RJ

              you watched the episodes preceding this week's?

              I'm liking this season a lot more than any in recent memory.

              •  Bits And Pieces (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Trix

                I've watched pieces of the preceding episodes. MTV never reruns the damn thing as much as their other shows. Every time I tune it to MTV all I get is marathons of Teen Mom.

                •  Heh... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Doctor RJ

                  Did you know all of the dynamics that existed in the house before the exes arrived?

                  Jamie (the tattooed Asian girl) seems like a fucking psycho. I get a real Glenn Close in "Fatal Attraction" vibe from her.

                  •  In This Week's Episode (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Trix

                    She seemed to be the most insecure about the appearance of the exes.

                    I hadn't seen that much of the earlier episodes with her being psycho, so I found her sort of cute and endearing when she was self-conscious about her weight and worrying about which outfit to wear out to the club. lol

                    Now I'll definitely go back and watch the earlier episodes.

                    •  I think it was 2 episodes ago... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Doctor RJ

                      The roommates are out at a club (for a change) and she physically removes every girl she sees talking to him from Thomas' vicinity.... just comes out of nowhere from across the room and pushes them out of the way... and this is before they're "officially" boyfriend/girlfriend.

            •  Rolling Stone... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Doctor RJ

              has an interesting interview with "Real World" co-creator Jonathan Murray.

              •  Some Years Ago (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Trix, anyname

                The Village Voice got ahold of the 30 page contract any houseguest that participates in the show must sign.

                Under the stipulations of the following standard contract, participants in Real World--the grandaddy of "reality" shows, after Cops--agree to the following terms:
                • You may die, lose limbs, and suffer nervous breakdowns. (Stipulation 1)
                • If you undergo any medical procedures while involved in the show, they carry the risk of infection, disfigurement, death. (4)
                • Producers are under no obligation to conduct background checks on your fellow cast members. (7)
                • If you contract AIDS or other sexually transmitted diseases while filming ["gonorrhea, herpes, syphilis, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), Chlamydia, scabies (crabs),'hepatitis, genital warts, and other communicable and sexually transmitted diseases or Pregnancy; etc"], MTV is not responsible. (7)
                • Interacting with other cast members carries the risk of "non-consensual physical contact" and should you contract AIDS, etc. during such an interaction, MTV is not responsible. (7)
                • You don't have STDs, but accept that other people on the show might. (18)
                • You're not pregnant and you won't become pregnant before the show's done filming. If you do become pregnant, you'll tell the Producer immediately--and pregnancy is grounds for dismissal. (38)
                Also, by signing the contract, any participant of "Real World" gives the network blanket rights to all experiences “which occur, will occur, or have occurred at any time… (my ‘Life Story’).” The network/producers (Bunim/Murray Productions) are also free to use all “forms of exploitation… either accurately or with such liberties and modifications as [the] producer determines necessary or desirable,” including those that may humiliate or portray someone in “a false light,” or serve to produce a “humorous or satirical effect.”

                From the A.V. Club:

                Oddly enough, participants must also agree to allow the producers to hire “actors who may or may not resemble me” to achieve these same ends, which is an ominous stipulation right out of The Twilight Zone, frankly. But hey, what’s a little total lack of control over the rest of your time on Earth in exchange for the respect and admiration you get for being a Real World cast member?
  •  Woody Allen Responds To Abuse Allegation (10+ / 0-)

    Over the past week or so, Woody Allen has been accused by his adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, of sexually abusing her. The allegation originally popped up around the time of his split with Mia Farrow.

    However, the allegation resurfaced in the press recently after the New York Times published an Op-Ed from Dylan Farrow detailing her allegations of abuse, which coincided with Allen receiving the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award at the Golden Globes and Cate Blanchett's nomination for her role in Allen's Blue Jasmine.

    Now Allen has responded with his own Op-Ed.

    From the New York Times: Woody Allen Speaks Out

    Twenty-one years ago, when I first heard Mia Farrow had accused me of child molestation, I found the idea so ludicrous I didn’t give it a second thought. We were involved in a terribly acrimonious breakup, with great enmity between us and a custody battle slowly gathering energy. The self-serving transparency of her malevolence seemed so obvious I didn’t even hire a lawyer to defend myself. It was my show business attorney who told me she was bringing the accusation to the police and I would need a criminal lawyer.

    I naïvely thought the accusation would be dismissed out of hand because of course, I hadn’t molested Dylan and any rational person would see the ploy for what it was. Common sense would prevail. After all, I was a 56-year-old man who had never before (or after) been accused of child molestation. I had been going out with Mia for 12 years and never in that time did she ever suggest to me anything resembling misconduct. Now, suddenly, when I had driven up to her house in Connecticut one afternoon to visit the kids for a few hours, when I would be on my raging adversary’s home turf, with half a dozen people present, when I was in the blissful early stages of a happy new relationship with the woman I’d go on to marry — that I would pick this moment in time to embark on a career as a child molester should seem to the most skeptical mind highly unlikely. The sheer illogic of such a crazy scenario seemed to me dispositive.

    In the Op-Ed, Allen also touches on the parentage of Ronan Farrow. Until recently, all public indications were that Ronan is Woody Allen's biological son. But in a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Mia Farrow said it was "possible" that Frank Sinatra was Ronan Farrow's biological father.
    Is he my son or, as Mia suggests, Frank Sinatra’s? Granted, he looks a lot like Frank with the blue eyes and facial features, but if so what does this say? That all during the custody hearing Mia lied under oath and falsely represented Ronan as our son? Even if he is not Frank’s, the possibility she raises that he could be, indicates she was secretly intimate with him during our years. Not to mention all the money I paid for child support. Was I supporting Frank’s son? Again, I want to call attention to the integrity and honesty of a person who conducts her life like that.
    •  I was just amazed at (9+ / 0-)

      the degree of guilt bestowed on Allen for a crime that, according to a 6 month investigation by police, did not occur.

      Being judged in the court of public opinion seem ludicrous.

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

      by maggiejean on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 09:10:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  One more time: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Agathena

        The police did NOT decide the crime "did not occur".

        They decided that while there was enough evidence to proceed,   Dylan was too fragile for a court trail, and she was the main witness. So they decided against proceeding.

        Likewise, while the Yale team "investigated" and decided no molestation had occurred based on their analysis of Dylan's psyche... They didn't actually interview Dylan.

        If you're going to defend Woody Allen with facts, please let's stick to the actual facts....

    •  Yes, that all does seem very illogical... (6+ / 0-)

      As opposed to marrying someone who is, for all intents and purposes, your stepdaughter, which seems dispositively logical.

      •  That's a far cry from (8+ / 0-)

        child molestation. He married a 19 year old -- the same age as Mia Farrow when she married Frank Sinatra. I believe Mia Farrow was only 22 or 23 when she started her affair with Andre Previn.

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

        by maggiejean on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 09:20:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  A social boundary issue, perhaps (8+ / 0-)

        But, I think a lot of people looked at the age discrepancy with Soon Li and the rape allegations as one package, making the odd, almost uncomfortable context of his eventually courting Soon Li (at Mia Farrow's unknowing insistence that they get to know each other more . . . well, that innocent suggestion went in an unexpected direction) even that much worse for his situation and image.

        I've read arguments of witnesses for both sides and feel that everything still indicates that the victim is certainly Dylan, but I'm not sure if it was sexual abuse or something else that has impacted her since that time.  It doesn't help her case that Mia has demonized Allen since he took her child away, nor does it help Allen that he . . . took her child away.

        The accounts written up in a 1992 Vanity Fair piece were rather damning for Allen, but a more recent Daily Beast retrospective (by a sympathetic documentarian, it should be noted) offered much to put most accusations made by adults at the time into serious doubt.  Apparently, Dylan's story at the time is tough to corroborate because it was wildly inconsistent and so appeared possibly coached/rehearsed to investigators, but they also interrogated that child for months, which was not at all appropriate.  That is, my observation is that my kids at seven years old could tell two completely different stories about the same event in the same tone of voice, depending upon who is speaking with them and under which circumstances - it must have been very difficult for her.

        "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 Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 09:29:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Dylan Farrow responds to Allen's attack (0+ / 0-)
      Once again, Woody Allen is attacking me and my family in an effort to discredit and silence me - but nothing he says or writes can change the truth. For 20 years, I have never wavered in describing what he did to me. I will carry the memories of surviving these experiences for the rest of my life.

      His op-ed is the latest rehash of the same legalese, distortions, and outright lies he has leveled at me for the past 20 years.

      He insists my mother brought criminal charges - in fact, it was a pediatrician who reported the incident to the police based on my firsthand account.

      He suggests that no one complained of his misconduct prior to his assault on me - court documents show that he was in treatment for what his own therapist described as “inappropriate” behavior with me from as early as 1991.

      He offers a carefully worded claim that he passed a lie detector test - in fact, he refused to take the test administered by the state police (he hired someone to administer his own test, which authorities refused to accept as evidence).

      These and other misrepresentations have been rebutted in more detail by independent, highly respected journalists, including this most recent article here:  
      http://www.vanityfair.com/....

      With all the attempts to misrepresent the facts, it is important to be reminded of the truth contained in court documents from the only final ruling in this case, by the New York Supreme Court in 1992.

      In denying my father all access to me, that court:  

      Debunked the "experts" my father claims exonerated him, calling them "colored by their loyalty to Mr. Allen", criticizing the author of their report (who never met me) for destroying all supporting documentation, and calling their conclusions "sanitized and therefore less credible".

      Included testimony from babysitters who witnessed inappropriate sexual behavior by my father toward me.

      Found that “there is no credible evidence to support Mr. Allen's contention that Ms. Farrow coached Dylan or that Ms. Farrow acted upon a desire for revenge against him for seducing Soon-Yi. Mr. Allen's resort to the stereotypical ‘woman scorned’ defense is an injudicious attempt to divert attention from his failure to act as a responsible parent and adult.”

      Concluded that the evidence "...proves that Mr. Allen's behavior toward Dylan was grossly inappropriate and that measures must be taken to protect her.”

      Finally, the Connecticut State prosecutor found "probable cause" to prosecute, but made the decision not to in an effort to protect "the child victim", given my fragile state.

      From the bottom of my heart, I will be forever grateful for the outpouring of support I have received from survivors and countless others. If speaking out about my experience can help others stand up to their tormentors, it will be worth the pain and suffering my father continues to inflict on me. Woody Allen has an arsenal of lawyers and publicists but the one thing he does not have on his side is the truth. I hope this is the end of his vicious attacks and of the media campaign by his lawyers and publicists, as he’s promised. I won't let the truth be buried and I won't be silenced.

      To thine ownself be true

      by Agathena on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 12:33:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sochi (12+ / 0-)

    Really hard to embargo the Putin Olympics when my household decides it needs to be on because, well... OLYMPICS!

  •  Civilization, (12+ / 0-)

    moving backwards at 90 MPH.

    Members of the crowd killed the man and cut off his hands and genitals, Peter Bouckaert, emergen.cies coordinator at campaign group Human Rights Watch, told Reuters

    Ceiling Cat rules....srsly.

    by side pocket on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 09:09:31 PM PST

  •  Smug Winter Karma Boomerang (14+ / 0-)

    Okay, so here in my corner of the PacNW, some of us were pretty smug when the East and Dixie were freezin' their nether regions off a few weeks ago, and now... whoooomp!

    Oregoninan: Oregon weather: Snow will continue to fall into the evening, and could increase, forecasters say

    Snow is going to fall for the rest of Friday and into Friday night, forecasters say, as Round 2 of a three-system storm continues turn the central and northern Willamette Valley into a snow globe.
    The kicker:
    On Saturday, freezing rain could drop on about a foot of snow in places to the south, including Eugene, Salem and Corvallis -- before it moves up the Willamette Valley to the Portland metro area.
    •  Brrrrr (11+ / 0-)

      And...

      Seattle Times: Cold temperatures shatter records in Seattle

      Though no significant snow was reported in the Seattle area Thursday, save for a few flurries, the below-freezing temperatures were cold enough to break a few records.

      Seattle narrowly avoided a snowstorm that swept into Southwest Washington and Northwest Oregon, but the city still recorded its lowest highs Wednesday and Thursday, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

      The warmest temperature Thursday at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport — where Seattle’s official weather data are recorded — was 29 degrees — 8 degrees colder than the previous record set in 1949.

      On Wednesday, the high was 31 degrees, a record from the high of 34 set in 1989.

      Temperatures have been below freezing!” said NWS meteorologist Johnny Burg. “I wouldn’t be surprised if some icicles formed.”

      And they did.

      Yeah, okay we're all wimps. :-)
      •  Smugness deserves a response (8+ / 0-)

        And, I love the winter.

        Although, my brother's driveway (he rents and parks on the owner's property) was narrowly shoveled and he accidentally backed in a neighbor's car parked directly across the street - he had nowhere to turn due to the snow banks and was hoping to not hit the huge Chevrolet Silverado.  Turns out that neighbor had a completely open driveway that they didn't use, either.  So, snow can suck at times, too.  Well, people in big SUVs can make it suck more.

        But, I still love the winter.

        "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 Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 09:45:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  "Scars Of Evolution" (11+ / 0-)


    From io9: The Most Unfortunate Design Flaws in the Human Body

    The human body is, in many respects, a resounding tribute to the adaptive powers of natural selection. We've evolved gloriously large, complex brains capable of abstract thought and foresight. We're bipedal, dextrous, and enjoy relatively long lives (lives that include a fairly generous fertility window), to list a few of the qualities that have allowed us to propagate and thrive across the planet.

    But that doesn't mean we're perfect. Far from it, in fact. Not only did evolution create a species that's "good enough," it also produced some distinctly negative traits. Back in 1951, the biologist Wilton Krogman referred to these as the "scars of human evolution."

    In some respects, these "scars" can be seen as vestigial traits, but that's not quite accurate. Rather, they're examples of the various trade-offs and side-effects of evolution. They're also not physical or psychological limitations per se (like our poor sense of smell or inability to grasp large numbers — those traits weren't adaptive in our recent evolutionary past).

    Among the features of human anatomy on the list:
    • The Dual Function of the Pharynx - The fact that we have to use the same structure for both ingestion and respiration makes it a vulnerability (i.e. choking) that has caused numerous deaths overs the years.
    • The Close Proximity Of Our Multi-Function Human Genitals With Excretion Organs - The urinary tract in males passes through — rather than being routed around — the prostate gland, which can swell and block urinary function. Also, the proximity to the rectum makes infection more likely, with urinary tract and bladder infections (UTIs). Also, since our genitals are both sex organs and used for urination, sexually transmitted bacteria are an issue. For women, sexual intercourse pushes bacteria further into the urethra.
    • The Human Foot Is Too Complicated - Our feet have 26 bones. Some of those bones are vestiges of our ape-like ancestors that needed flexible feet to grasp branches. But since a foot still has 26 moving parts, they're like buying a car loaded up with a lot of features you may not use, but can break, go wrong, and need repair.

    Now, some of the "flaws" mentioned over at io9 are not really flaws per se, but consequences of trade-offs. For example, having genitals serve multiple functions might have detriments, but it also conserves space and energy.

    Also, if the genitals and rectum were separated to be further apart, where exactly would you put our genitals? On our shoulders?

  •  Thank you JML9999... (12+ / 0-)

    always fine ONDs and all much appreciated.

    We have been having a steady rainfall for days now with a deluge to come tomorrow and tomorrow night (Pineapple Express) so a little respite from the severe drought. That's not to say the problem is solved. We are only at 6 inches here for the season and should be closer to 35 inches.

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

    by maggiejean on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 09:16:11 PM PST

  •  The Digital Hoffman (11+ / 0-)

    Hollywood Reporter: Philip Seymour Hoffman Death Leaves One Major 'Hunger Games' Scene Unfilmed

    Lionsgate insiders say the late Philip Seymour Hoffman had one major, emotional scene left to film in the final installment of the Hunger Games series, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, but they express confidence that filmmakers can complete the movie in a way that will satisfy fans.

    [...]

    A source with ties to the project said that with the exception of one major scene in the final film, "they seem to have plans that don’t seem very complicated" to complete both pictures without Hoffman. "You can do digital things, you can have conversations where you’re not focusing on him but the people he’s talking to," this observer said.

    Rob Legato, a veteran effects supervisor whose latest credit is The Wolf of Wall Street, says he has no specific knowledge about the Hunger Games films but at this point, technology is most likely good enough to generate a convincing image of Hoffman, though some scenes might need to be rewritten. "These days the technology of using someone's likeness is a whole lot easier to do," he said. "I won't say you could generate a Philip Seymour Hoffman with all the acting ability, but you could certainly replicate him for a shot or two."

  •  Thank you, JML9999... (11+ / 0-)

    Have a good weekend everybody.

    All sane people detest noise. Mark Twain

    by Man Oh Man on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 09:22:50 PM PST

  •  Daily Kos' own... (10+ / 0-)

    Mark Sumner (aka devilstower) gets name checked at io9:

    There are lots of alternate history novels out there about the Civil War, but Mark Sumner's novel is different. In Devil's Tower, the mass deaths of the Civil War have brought about the return of magic to the world. The events of the book take place about ten years after the initial return of magic, when the characters are beginning to adjust to this amazing change in the world. Some people are gifted with "talents" such as conjuring or speaking in tongues. The magic changes America, and as the blurb says, "Nothing would ever be the same again."
    •  I'm sad to see that series wrapped up this week (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BlueJessamine, palantir

      with them running out of, well, history.

      Though the literature course might be good. First stop -- The Odyssey.

      Food processed to be nothing more than simple starches with two dozen flavorings and stabilizers added to make it appear to be food isn't "food". It's "feed" -- what you give to livestock to fatten them up for slaughter.

      by ontheleftcoast on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 11:15:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  international (0+ / 0-)

    http://www.nytimes.com/...

    A Look at Korea’s Culture From the Bathhouse

    http://www.nytimes.com/...

    Feasts for the Eyes, and the Palate, in Xian, China

    We're the first in the Constitution, the legislative branch, what we're supposed to do is legislate and not make up excuses as to why we don't. ~ Nancy Pelosi

    by anyname on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 05:03:24 AM PST

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