Wednesday Christmas Eve ReadsPosted: December 24, 2014
And all that other stuff…
Anyway, these are your links for this Christmas Wednesday:
First a couple of links that feature some holiday cards, one from Great Britain:
The Christmas jumper and chicken (in Christmas hat)
The pizza delivery guys
You know that one is my favorite!
A dreamy peppermint inspired dress.
Santa relaxing after a long night of delivering gifts.
Of course I pick that last one because: dwarfs.
Now the links…
The elder President George Bush was taken to a Houston hospital Tuesday night after experiencing shortness of breath, a family spokesman said.
Mr. Bush, 90, would be held at least overnight at Houston Methodist Hospital as a precaution, said the spokesman, Jim McGrath. He is expected to be fine, Mr. McGrath said.
The former president spent nearly two months at Houston Methodist — including a week in the intensive care unit — in late 2012 and early 2013 while suffering from a bronchitis-related cough and fever.
Mr. Bush, the oldest living former president (he is about four months older than Jimmy Carter), has a form of Parkinson’s disease and often uses a wheelchair or scooter. He and his wife, Barbara, frequently make public appearances in Houston, and Mr. Bush went sky diving on his 90th birthday in June.
Australian counter-terrorism police said on Wednesday they arrested two men in Sydney, eight days after a 16-hour siege in a central city cafe ended with the deaths of two hostages and a gunman with radical Islamist sympathies. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott had said on Tuesday that security officials intercepted a heightened level of “terrorist chatter” in the aftermath of the Sydney cafe siege, but there were no specific threats of attacks.
A 20-year-old man was charged with being in possession of documents designed to facilitate a terrorist attack and a 21-year-old was charged with breaching a control order, police said. The documents had mentioned potential government targets but were not directed at the prime minister, Australian Federal Police Deputy Commissioner Michael Phelan told a media conference in Sydney. Australia, a staunch ally of the United States and its action against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, is on high alert for attacks by sympathizers of the radical group and from home-grown militants returning from fighting in the Middle East. Police said they had now arrested and charged 11 people with terrorism-related offences since launching massive raids in Sydney and Brisbane in September, soon after raising the terror threat to “high” for the first time.
Several tornadoes hit the Southeast on Tuesday afternoon, including one in Mississippi that left at least four dead, numerous others injured, and caused damage to structures.
Two people died in Marion County, Mississippi, and two more in Jones County, state Emergency Management Agency spokesman Brett Carr confirmed to the Huffington Post.
A tornado formed near Amite City, Louisiana and moved on to Columbia in southern Mississippi, which appeared to be hit the hardest. Striking Columbia at about 2 p.m. CT, the tornado “was a very large one,” Karla Brown with the Marion County Sheriff’s Department told the Huffington Post. Columbia saw extensive damage, and numerous people were injured, Carr said. The Sheriff’s Department was responding to reports of people trapped.
It looks like the weather is going to be bad all over the place….Christmas Twisters: Deadly Storms Threaten Holiday Travel – NBC News.com
flight delays began piling up at East Coast airports on Tuesday because of the tornado-storm system packing strong winds, thunderstorms, snow. Another system is threatening rain and heavy snow in the Northwest and Rockies. And dozens of flights were scrapped at Philadelphia International and at LaGuardia in New York, and delays ran as long as two hours.
The East Coast system will pivot to the north on Wednesday, bringing heavy rain and gusty winds into the Great Lakes. Chicago and Milwaukee could see “significant” snowfall toward the end of Christmas Eve, Lucksinger said.
“At the moment the system could just clip Chicago on Christmas Eve with potentially heavy snow that would certainly disrupt flights,” Lucksinger added.
And a separate storm arriving in the Pacific Northwest on Wednesday is set to bring rain before moving across the Rockies. Salt Lake City could see up to 8 inches of snow on Christmas Day.
Updating you on the jackasses in the news:
This is a review of what the Scumbags Blaming de Blasio and Obama for Slain Cops
After shooting his girlfriend Saturday morning, 28-year-old Ismaaiyl Brinsley of Union City, Georgia traveled from Baltimore to New York and gunned down two NYPD officers, apparently in retaliation for recent police-related homicides. According to some commentators, however, Brinsley was only partially responsible for the murders, aided by accomplices Bill de Blasio and Barack Obama.
A panel of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals voted today to strike down a highly controversial North Carolina law requiring doctors and ultrasound technicians to perform an ultrasound, display the image of the sonogram, and specifically describe the fetus to any pregnant woman seeking an abortion, even if the woman actively “averts her eyes” and “refuses to hear.” The American Civil Liberties Union, the Center for Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and others challenged the law, which was enjoined last year by a lower federal court.
Today, in a unanimous decision authored by Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III, a three-judge panel affirmed a lower court’s determination that the law is a compelled speech provision that violates the First Amendment rights of providers. The language in Judge Wilkinson’s opinion is striking in its solicitude for the uniquely vulnerable half-dressed woman on an examining table, forced to listen to information she does not want to hear. It also addresses head-on conflicting rulings from the 5th and 8th Circuits that have upheld such provisions.
Perhaps the most striking part of the opinion comes at the very end, where the court starkly contrasts the standard informed-consent conversation between a physician and her patient with the statute enacted in North Carolina:
Go and read the opinion at the link.
This next article really pissed me off, express scrips is the insurance we have…they do not cover Jake’s Type One Diabetes supplies or insulin…or my hormone patch…but they will cover the dick hardening drugs.
Express Scripts, the largest manager of prescription drug plans for U.S. employers, is taking an increasingly aggressive stance in price negotiations with pharmaceutical companies after winning discounts on medications with a strategy introduced last year.
On Monday, Express Scripts said it lined up a cheaper price for AbbVie Inc.’s newly approved hepatitis C treatment and, in most cases, will no longer cover Gilead Sciences Inc.’s rival treatments after trying for nearly a year to win a deeper discount.
The move threatens to undermine profits at Gilead, and was viewed by Wall Street as a sign that other major biotechnology players, including Amgen Inc. and Biogen Inc., will face steeper U.S. pricing pressure from insurers. Other drugmakers without potentially transformative new products, such as Shire Plc, Novo Nordisk and Theravance Inc., may also be particularly vulnerable, analysts said. Neither Shire, Novo Nordisk nor Theravance responded to requests for comment.
Express Scripts will further expand the number of medicines it won’t cover for 2016, including treatments for common illnesses such as diabetes, pulmonary hypertension and arthritis, said Chief Medical Officer Dr. Steve Miller, in an interview earlier this month. In some cases, Express Scripts could drop coverage for newer specialty medicines in the biotechnology field, he said. The timing on specific drugs will depend on when new competing drugs with similar clinical benefits are approved for the U.S. market.
Express Scripts first began excluding drugs from its largest national reimbursement list for 2014, with 44 medications, and increased that number to 66 for 2015.
The prospect of having their drugs dropped from Express Scripts’ biggest “formulary” list of covered medicines has prompted some leading pharmaceutical makers to discount their prices, Miller said.
Express Scripts is acting on behalf of clients who need to rein in healthcare costs, and estimates that the move has so far saved such employers more than $1 billion in annual spending, Miller said.
But see, the thing is…it does not mean good news for the consumer. When Express Scripts drops companies from their list of covered meds…they usually stay off the list. I know…because it means that people will need to find a way to pay full price. The drug companies are counting on it, they know people need those drugs.
“The Interview” was put back into theaters Tuesday when Sony Pictures Entertainment announced a limited Christmas Day theatrical release for the comedy that provoked an international incident with North Korea and outrage over its cancelled release.
Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton said that Seth Rogen’s North Korea farce “will be in a number of theaters” beginning Thursday. He said Sony also is continuing its efforts to release the film on more platforms and in more theaters.
“We have never given up on releasing `The Interview,'” Lynton said in a statement Tuesday. “While we hope this is only the first step of the film’s release, we are proud to make it available to the public and to have stood up to those who attempted to suppress free speech.”
For Sony, the decision was the culmination of a gradual about-face: After initially saying it had no plans to release the movie, the company began softening its position after it was broadly criticized.
What do cows mean when they moo?
Scientists in England have been eavesdropping on “conversations” between cows and their calves to answer that question–and they’ve discovered that moos convey a lot more meaning than you ever imagined.
“This is the first time that complex cattle calls have been analyzed using the latest and best techniques,” Dr. Alan McElligott, a senior lecturer at Queen Mary University of London and the co-author of a new study about moos, said in a written statement. “Our results provide an excellent foundation for investigating vocal indicators of cattle welfare.”
The scientists spent 10 months digitally recording call sounds from two herds of free-range cattle on a farm in Radcliffe-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire. The researchers then spent several months performing the acoustic and statistical analysis of the data. They determined that mother cows use two types of contact calls with their calves: a quiet low-frequency call when the calf is nearby and a loud high-frequency call when the calf is far away. Calves produce one type of contact call when they’re separated from their mothers and they want to nurse.
Have a wonderful and safe Christmas Eve…
This is an open thread.