Friday Reads: Dog Days of Summer Edition

The ancient Greeks thought of the constellation Canis Major as a dog chasing Lepus, the hare. The star Sirius is the dog’s nose; the Greeks called it the “dog star.”  (National Geographic)

The ancient Greeks thought of the constellation Canis Major as a dog chasing Lepus, the hare. The star Sirius is the dog’s nose; the Greeks called it the “dog star.” (National Geographic)

Good Morning!!

We are in the midst of the dog days of summer–traditionally the hottest days of the year, which extend from about July 2 to August 11. I has been very hot all over the country for the past few weeks. Here in Boston, we have had a couple of weeks of temperatures around or above 90 degrees.

Why do we call them the “dog days?” It dates back to the Greeks and Romans and their beliefs about Sirius, the “dog star.” At National Geographic, Becky Little explains:

To the Greeks and Romans, the “dog days” occurred around the day when Sirius appeared to rise just before the sun, in late July. They referred to these days as the hottest time of the year, a period that could bring fever, or even catastrophe.

“If you go back even as far as Homer, The Iliad, it’s referring to Sirius as Orion’s dog rising, and it describes the star as being associated with war and disaster,” said Jay B. Holberg, author of Sirius: Brightest Diamond in the Night Sky and senior research scientist at the University of Arizona Lunar & Planetary Laboratory. “All throughout Greek and Roman literature, you found these things.”

The phrase “dog days” was translated from Latin to English about 500 years ago. Since then, it has taken on new meanings.

“Now people come up with other explanations for why they’re called the ‘dog days’ of summer, [like] this is when dogs can go crazy,” said Anne Curzan, an English professor at the University of Michigan.

At the end, dogs like summer, they get to play with the kids, and maybe take some baths, and depending on your breed, you could get some pretty good food, we like to give special kind of food to our pitbull, you could get to know more about it in this pitbull meal info.

“This is a very human tendency,” she said. When we don’t know the origin of a phrase, we come up with a plausible explanation.

“The meaning has been lost,” said Holberg, “but the phrase has lived on.”

Read more at the link.

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About the heat wave, from The Weather Channel: West Coast Heat Wave Threatens All-Time Records; Northeast Hot, But Not Historic.

Summer heat is gripping opposite sides of the country into this weekend, including parts of the West and the Northeast.

The heat will help clinch one of the hottest Julys on record for some Northwest cities, and a few locations may challenge their all-time or monthly record highs on Friday. It’s also helped set a record for the most 90-degree days in a year in Seattle and has given Portland its hottest temperatures since 2009.

The Northeast heat will not be as extreme, but it will stick around into next week for some cities….

A strong ridge of high pressure is building over the Northwest as the jet stream bulges northward to the Canadian border. This is allowing temperatures 5 to 20 degrees above average to take hold across parts of northern California, Oregon and Washington into the weekend, while also spreading to portions of Idaho and Montana.

It’s a fitting end to what will be one of the hottest Julys on record in parts of the Northwest. Seattle, Washington, and Astoria, Oregon, were both seeing their hottest July on record as of July 29, according to data from the Southeast Regional Climate Center. For Seattle, July 2015 could beat out August 1967 for the hottest month on record if the final average temperature for July exceeds 71.1 degrees.

July was the third warmest on record through July 29 in Portland, Oregon, and fourth warmest on record for Yakima, Washington.

High temperatures at or above 100 degrees are forecast for the Portland, Oregon, area through Friday, with middle to upper 90s expected this weekend. Portland hit 103 degrees on Thursday, which is the hottest temperature there since July 29, 2009. Even hotter temperatures are expected for the rest of the Willamette River Valley of western Oregon on Friday, which is under an excessive heat warning issued by the National Weather Service.

dog_days_summer

Wow! 100 degrees in Seattle? And on the East coast:

Wednesday was the hottest day so far in 2015 in New York City (96 degrees) and Albany, New York (95 degrees). Concord, New Hampshire, set a daily record high of 96 degrees, beating the old record for July 29 of 95 degrees set in 1949.

Highs will stay a handful of degrees above average for mainly eastern sections of the region into early next week.

For the most part, this heat in the Northeast will not be record breaking. However, the longevity of it will likely be greater than we’ve seen so far this summer in some cities. By early next week, some locations could meet the definition for a heat wave in the Northeast, which is generally defined in that region as three or more days in a row with temperatures at or above 90 degrees.

Temperatures in New England are beginning to moderate, and it will be only around 89-90 for the next few days. That will give some relief. I really feel for Luna out in Washington and Fannie in Idaho.

Speaking of Seattle, I came across this wonderful video of the city in 1955, posted on youtube by Jeff Alman, whose grandfather made it when on vacation in the city. The first part, which shows city streets and buildings, is the coolest, IMO. The rest is gorgeous views taken from a small plane.

Altman also posted his grandfather’s video of San Francisco in 1958.

My grandfather made color films many years ago, and they were of such high quality that my brother was able to edit them into a wonderful video that he shared with all of our relatives who appeared in them. Every time I watch it, the old images bring me to tears. What a treasure!

Seeing the scenes of Seattle made me think about how different my life might have been if my Dad had decided to take a job at a different university back in about 1958. He had offers from Seattle, Miami, and a couple of other places, but ultimately he chose the offer from Ball State in Muncie, Indiana. I’m not sure if my folks wanted to live in a smaller college town or if the money was better at Ball State.

Now for some news.

dog days3

There’s a big health story this morning: a new vaccine for the Ebola virus could make a huge difference, based on the results of a study that will appear in The Lancet. BBC News reports: Ebola vaccine is ‘potential game-changer.’

A vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus has led to 100% protection and could transform the way Ebola is tackled, preliminary results suggest….

Experts said the results were “remarkable”.

This trial centred on the VSV-EBOV vaccine, which was started by the Public Health Agency of Canada and then developed by the pharmaceutical company Merck.

It combined a fragment of the Ebola virus with another safer virus in order to train the immune system to beat Ebola.

A unique clinical trial took place in Guinea. When a patient was discovered, their friends, neighbours and family were vaccinated to create a “protective ring” of immunity.

This could be the breakthrough the world has been waiting for.

There is caution as the results are still preliminary, with more data coming in.

But officials at the WHO believe the effectiveness of the vaccine will end up being between 75% and 100%.

According to the BBC, other vaccines are also being tested. This could be very good news!

DogDays-wIcedCoffee

I’m sure you’ve heard about the agonizing death of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe at the hands of Walter Palmer, a Minnesota Dentist who likes to kill big game with a bow and arrow.

The AP reports, via USA Today: Minn. dentist accused of poaching legendary lion.

HARARE, Zimbabwe – Zimbabwean police said Tuesday they are searching for an American who allegedly shot a well-known, protected lion with a crossbow in a killing that has outraged conservationists and others.

The American allegedly paid $50,000 to kill the lion named Cecil, Zimbabwean conservationists said. Authorities on Tuesday said two Zimbabwean men will appear in court for allegedly helping with the hunt. The American faces poaching charges, according to police spokeswoman Charity Charamba.

Walter James Palmer of Minnesota was identified on Tuesday by both the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force and the Safari Operators Association of Zimbabwe as the American hunter, a name that police then confirmed.

“We arrested two people and now we are looking for Palmer in connection with the same case,” said Charamba.

dog-days-of-summer

Zimbabwe is seeking Palmer’s extradition, and the outrage on social media has been so extreme that Palmer was forced to close his dental practice. He has “apologized,” but that’s apparently not going to be enough to save his skin, and I say “Good!” Still you have to wonder why stories of human deaths don’t get as much attention. More recent headlines on this story:

Kevin Drum at Mother Jones: For a Week, Walter Palmer Is the Worst Human Being Ever in History.

Time: Cecil the Lion, Walter Palmer and the Psychology of Online Shaming.

Mediaite: The Hill Reports Lion Killer Donated to Romney; Twitter Asks Why That’s Relevant.

Boston Herald: Zimbabwean baffled by foreign concern for killed lion.

GossipCop: Betty White On Cecil The Lion Killer: “You Don’t Want To Hear The Things I Want To Do” Walter James Palmer.

Slate: Why Cecil Was Such an Important Lion.

Slate: How America Can Prosecute More Poachers Like the Alleged Lion Killer.

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Obviously, as a New England Patriots fan, I’ve been following the Tom Brady/Deflategate story for a long time, and this morning I came across this in Wired: Even if Tom Brady Did Smash His Phone, It’d Make Zero Sense. It turns out that the NFL and Roger Goodell could easily get Brady’s text messages if they wanted to.

JUST HOW EASY is it to destroy your text messages? In the eyes of the NFL, it’s as simple as destroying your cellphone. But as anyone who has ever had their phone stolen can tell you, that’s not even remotely true.

This week, the NFL upheld the suspension of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for four games in the wake of accusations he was “generally aware” of the team’s deflation of footballs. The decision, authored by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, largely hinged on the revelation that Brady destroyed his cellphone shortly before meeting with league investigators. The league suggests this was to suppress evidence and obstruct the investigation. Brady insists he was just replacing a “broken Samsung phone with a new iPhone 6.”

It was a fun story for a few minutes and there was some mild hoopla surrounding the idea of a frenzied Brady destroying his cellphone. Problem is, even if he had … so what? This isn’t The Wire, and snapping a cellphone in half and tossing it in the gutter wouldn’t be enough to erase Brady’s history anyway. The digital trail our phones leave behind long outlive the physical device itself, and the league could have potentially tracked down the information in a number of ways—which is why the whole story was utterly ridiculous. Regardless, here is exactly why it wouldn’t matter if Tom Brady smashed his cellphone….

Once upon a time, it was hard to recover text messages without actually having the phone they were sent to. However, Google and Apple’s efforts to sync data across multiple devices has made text message retrieval significantly easier.

As Brady was on a Samsung during the “deflategate” scandal, he was most likely using an Android device. Not only do most modern Android devices use Google Hangouts as their primary text messaging app, Google makes the process of deleting those messages inconvenient and difficult. Android’s Hangouts has a setting to delete old text messages, but the feature only does so as disk space fills up. Unlike the iPhone, which can automatically delete messages that are older than a set period of time, Android gives the user no control over how long to preserve messages.

Roger Goodell is such a pathetic liar!

More News, links only

dog-days-of-summer (1)

Newsweek: Exclusive: Inside the Mysterious ‘Death’ of Taliban Leader Mullah Omar.

CNN is still obsessed with the missing plane story: Increasing confidence plane wreckage is from MH370, Australian official says.

Hillary Clinton.com: Letter to the New York Times’ Dean Baquet.

Washington Post: Clinton knocks Bush’s ‘Right to Rise’ pitch in National Urban League speech.

Get an adorable dog now: http://blackgermanshepherd.co/

The Hill: Sanders vows no third-party run in 2016.

New York Times: Jewish Arsonists Suspected in Arson Attack that Killed Palestinian Toddler.

Newsweek: Indiana Clears Planned Parenthood in Fetal Tissue Investigation.

KGNS TV: Primordial soup of compounds found on comet.

Treehugger: New wolf species discovered in Africa.

What else is happening? Please post your thoughts and links in the comment thread and have a wonderful weekend! 


41 Comments on “Friday Reads: Dog Days of Summer Edition”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    A must read from The Daily Beast: How Fox News Made My Dad Crazy

    In a new documentary unveiled this week at Michael Moore’s film festival, one filmmaker takes aim at the “vast right-wing conspiracy” Hillary once put on blast. The Brainwashing Of My Dad also warns of how generations of Americans have been tricked into an angry cult-like devotion to a new conservative lord and savior: Rush Limbaugh and Fox News.

    Her case study? Her own dad.

    Jen Senko first noticed the change in her father sometime during the 1980s when he picked her up from the bus station for a visit home. On the road they passed a Hooters. That’s when the once-gentle Kennedy Democrat and family man started railing against the “feminazis” for protesting the chicken ‘n’ cleavage-slingin’ chain.

    “I said, ‘Maybe the feminists have a point,’” Senko recalls in her feature-length documentary The Brainwashing Of My Dad, an attempt to understand how the evolution of right-wing media transformed her loving parent into a hostile and isolated fanatic.

    • bostonboomer says:

      The Brainwashing Of My Dad isn’t just about one family slowly losing a loved one to ugly political extremism. It’s also a densely packed, sometimes overstuffed examination of how shrewd strategists engineered a long-term takeover of the media on behalf of the GOP, arguing that right-wing think tanks, advocacy groups, and media outlets together achieved what the left has always refused, or been unable, to do: manipulate the minds of America.

    • gregoryp says:

      I’ve never been to a Hooter’s, a strip club or any of those other obnoxious places. I could never figure out why I would want to look at someone’s breasts while I was eating. Just seems really inappropriate to me. I don’t need to gawk at young women to reaffirm my manhood.

  2. Pat Johnson says:

    Fox News and their Right Wing talk radio crazies have had a serious impact on its viewers and listeners who believe without supporting facts that what they are seeing and hearing is “truth”.
    It’s not and never has been though it is a product of Right Wing propaganda offered up as substance.

    Presently the press is trying to figure out the growing appeal to voters of Donald Trump who does nothing more than to insult his opponents by using terms like “stupid, loser, and liars” when it comes to “debating”. But this is nothing more than what they are served every night by tuning into Bill O’Reilly who employs the same tactics by ridiculing anyone who seeks to oppose him.

    The only difference so far is that Trump has yet to tell whoever questions or criticizes him to
    “shut up” like O’Reilly does but I have a sneaking suspicion that will turn up somewhere in Trump’s playbook since it seems to do little harm with the “faithful” who see him as the front runner.

    Meanwhile, Trump continues to rise in the polls thanks to those who prefer their politics served up on a barstool accompanied by threats, insults, and violence. Anti intellectual and fairly ignorant people have found a home thanks to Fox News.

  3. NW Luna says:

    Thanks for the sympathy about the heat, BB! This summer has been unreasonably hot here in Seattle. Compounding that is that last winter was warm enough that most precipitation fell as rain, not snow. The mountain snowpack stores most of this region’s summer water supply which is released as meltwater in the rivers come late spring and into summer. But this year there is so little snow that water is in short supply. Plus we had little spring and early summer rain, and our summers are normally dry.

    Everything in my garden seems a month or two ahead of time. Mountain wildflowers bloomed a month early. This particular year is an outlier, but conditions are probably what they’ll be like in 2070 on a regular basis, says Prof. Mass our local weather science guru. Fortunately this year we’ve had fewer than usual wildfires. And good news is California is expected to get more rain than usual in the next few months.

    I don’t do well in heat, which for me is anything over about 79 degrees! Brain doesn’t work so well, apathy increases. I probably won’t acclimatize until the end of summer.

    http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2015/07/why-is-northwest-so-warm.html
    http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2015_06_01_archive.html

    • dakinikat says:

      My sister was telling me that. A lot of folks up there don’t have AC. They must be very uncomfortable. I hope the elderly know to get help.

      • NW Luna says:

        AC? What’s that? Lol. I believe the stats are that less than 10% of Seattle houses have AC. We didn’t use to want it more than a few days a year. Now I am thinking of getting a small unit for the bedroom. Usually it cools off at night. Or this year I could just live down in the daylight basement. A couple of nights a year we might sleep down there.

    • Fannie says:

      The entire western half of US is very hot……….Redding, Ca. was 110, and at the moment, 104 ………..hot.

  4. NW Luna says:

    Love that footage from the old movies! Seattle doesn’t look like that any more, sadly, except the UW campus. The footage shot from the plane looks like they flew up north, with a glimpse of Mt. Baker, then toward the San Juan Islands and down along the Washington coast, then over to fly around Mt. Rainier.

  5. janicen says:

    Those are awesome films about Seattle and San Francisco, my two fav western cities.

    I’m trying to avoid talking about Brady with you, bb because I understand your loyalty to your team and I have yet to speak with one Pats fan who doesn’t have blinders on about this. Is it the local media?

    First, regarding the cell phone sure, if you have access to NSA meta data or have subpoena powers, you can get anything you want but the NFL does not. However each and every employee of the NFL has an obligation by rule, which was agreed to by every owner, to fully cooperate with investigations conducted by the NFL. If they do not, they are subject to sanctions by their employer. If Brady had handed his cell phone over to the NFL like the other two people being investigated, the suspension likely would have only been two games rather than 4.

    I read the Ted Wells report. Based on NFL rules along with the evidence that was available I feel the NFL’s punishment was fair. You have to keep in mind that as far as the Patriots team goes, they were caught cheating in 2007 and written into the agreement with the NFL at that time it was stated to the Patriots that if they were caught cheating again, the punishment would be more severe the next time and if Belichick was involved again, he would be banned from the league for life. As far as Brady goes, he got suspended two games for unfairly enhancing his performance and another two games for refusing to cooperate with the investigation.

    I know everybody in NE claims the Ted Wells report is not complete and therefore not valid because it didn’t consider Brady’s text messages but sorry, you can’t say the Wells investigation is incomplete when it was Brady’s decision not to provide the evidence they requested. Keep in mind, what we are talking about here is not a court of law so proof beyond a reasonable doubt is not required. NFL rules state (a rule which was created in the aftermath of the Pat’s 2007 cheating scandal) that the NFL would use the standard of whether a person was “most probably aware”. All of the owners agreed to that. Based on the text messages on the other people’s phones, Brady was most probably aware.

    I almost hate clicking enter here because I know how passionate NE fans are about this but it’s pretty clear if you read the Well’s report and watch ESPN a little. Brady should admit what he did, take his punishment and move on. He’ll still get into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Frankly, I’m not much of a Tom Brady fan ever since he dissed Obama, so you can’t saddle me with that one. I’m fed up with him.

      I don’t know if Brady did anything or not, but you’re wrong about the accuracy of the Wells Report and much of the rest of what you wrote about the case. The so-called “science” in the Wells report was debunked by the same people who debunked the Bountygate mess. I wrote about that report when it was released too.

      However, the NFL is clearly winning the PR war. You wrote:

      I know everybody in NE claims the Ted Wells report is not complete and therefore not valid because it didn’t consider Brady’s text messages but sorry, you can’t say the Wells investigation is incomplete when it was Brady’s decision not to provide the evidence they requested.

      Huh?

      Are you aware that Wells told Brady he didn’t even want the phone? That’s in the report. What about the fact that Brady offered to get all the supposedly missing texts and print them out for Goodell? He declined the offer.

      We’ll see what happens in Federal Court, but I think Brady is going to win based on the way the NFL “investigation” was handled. It was so clearly biased that there’s really no argument, and that is what the court case will be about–not about air pressure in footballs.

      The NFL has lost every time their crazy penalties have been subjected to independent review by courts and by former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue.

      I understand why you think I’m biased, but the truth is I don’t particularly care what happens. I just read both sides of the story. You have read one side–The NFL’s personal “report” and the NFL’s official media outlet, ESPN.

      I just find this story interesting and humorous. But other NFL teams should probably beware if the kind of bias we’re seeing in this case somehow passes muster in federal court. If any team somehow crosses Roger Goodell, they could be next.

      BTW, the Boston media is largely against Brady on this–both newspaper reporters and talk radio hosts. The Boston media isn’t like the media in many other cities, NYC for example. There aren’t a lot of “homers.”

      I can stop posting information about this topic if it bothers you or anyone else. I thought the information that the text messages are easily available to Goodell was interesting. I hadn’t known that until I read the Wired story. I also think the NFL discipline policies are important from the point of view of women’s issues, and the bias in this case reflects on abuse cases IMHO.

      • janicen says:

        As we’ve seen from climate change deniers, you can come up with one theory disputing the scientific evidence and then claim that the science is in doubt. They used one of the leading scientific and engineering consulting firms in the country along with a physics professor and former chair of the physics dept at Princeton. Dispute the science if you want but the temperatures and climate that supposedly affected the Pat’s balls did not have the same effect on the opposing teams or even close to it.

        And Brady did refuse to turn over the phone but actually, the investigation didn’t need it. There was enough obtained for the other two guys’ phones to show Brady’s participation including the “deflator” receiving two balls and one game worn jersey, all autographed by Tom.

        • bostonboomer says:

          I won’t argue with you about it. As I said, I just don’t care that much what happens to Tom Brady. But if you’re really interested in more information, try reading this article in Rolling Stone by someone who professes to hate Tom Brady. If you’re not interested, just don’t click on the link.

          Tom Brady: Sympathy for the Devil

          http://www.rollingstone.com/sports/features/tom-brady-sympathy-for-the-devil-20150731

          • janicen says:

            No thanks. I read the Ted Wells report. That’s the only one that matters. I didn’t read it expecting to find a smoking gun. I honestly thought it would be vague but it’s not. It’s very thorough and well written and it’s very damning to Brady. He can keep disputing it and spend millions on PR or he can just move on and it will go away. Like I said, he’ll still get into the Hall of Fame, and they won’t even put and asterisk next to his name.

          • bostonboomer says:

            Brady isn’t doing any PR. LOL! He’s only hurt himself in his public statements. And regardless of what happens in the end, this will never go away for Brady. He’s tainted forever, just like Roger Clemens.

      • janicen says:

        From page 25 of the report…

        “Similarly, although Tom Brady appeared for a requested interview and answered questions voluntarily, he declined to make available any documents or electronic information (including text messages and emails) that we requested, even though those requests were limited to the subject matter of our investigation…”

        There’s more on that page as well.

        • bostonboomer says:

          You don’t have to quote the report to me. Again, I don’t care what happens to Brady, and I’m agnostic to whether he did anything or not. Sorry. I really like you, Janice, but I don’t want to get into an argument with you. I respect your opinion and I won’t try to convince you otherwise.

          • janicen says:

            I’ve avoided the subject whenever you have brought it up in other posts, bb so I’m sorry I couldn’t remain silent on the subject any longer. I’m a Bills fan but if I read a report like that about any Bills player I would call for far worse than the sanctions placed on Brady. IMO he got off lucky.

          • bostonboomer says:

            I’m sorry I’m not as worked up about it as you are. It seems you’re not even reading my comments in which I’ve expressed my personal disgust with Tom Brady. I’ve put that in posts before too.

            I’ve assumed that when I posted about this, no one cared. I’m really sorry I posted about it today. I wouldn’t willingly upset you for the world. Seriously. I’m very sorry.

          • bostonboomer says:

            For anyone who is interested in Roger Goodell’s power-drunk methods, here’s a very good summary from Steph Stradley, a lawyer with special expertise in sports law.

            Answering Your Deflategate Legal Questions (Much more at the link.)

            Why should fans other than Patriots fans care about this?

            Legal process issues aren’t PR interesting but they are important whether you are talking about league discipline, the criminal justice system, or any other process that has a potential to harm people’s lives, jobs, reputations.

            Goodell often talks about “getting this right” and the fundamental part of that should be, but isn’t, fair process.

            In sum, if the league can use an unfair process in punishing both the Patriots and Tom Brady, they can do this to any team, player and fanbase. They already used a terrible process with Bountygate, but unless you were a Saints fan, you probably didn’t notice or care.

            Dallas owner Jerry Jones basically concedes that possibly unfair punishments are just the cost of doing business. Because Roger Goodell has a tough job and stuff.

          • janicen says:

            I’m not at all upset, bb. I’m sorry if I came across that way. I only responded to the post. I don’t agree with it, but I’m not upset. I think the NFL’s decision was fair.

          • bostonboomer says:

            Good. I’m glad that you’re not upset. I inferred that you were from the fact that you didn’t respond to most of what I wrote in my comments. From that I assumed you didn’t read them.

            I’m not sure what you disagree with in my post. The only thing I wrote about was a report from Wired Magazine on how android text messages can be retrieved from the cloud. I also said Roger Goodell is a liar. That can be demonstrated from looking at what happened in the Ray Rice case.

            I guess either you know of something that is inaccurate in the Wired article or you don’t believe Roger Goodell is a liar?

      • janicen says:

        Yes, I responded to the claim that it would be so easy to obtain the text messages by saying it’s not that easy. I don’t agree that it would be easy. Even if it were, by NFL rule Brady has an obligation to cooperate with the investigation. That’s what I don’t agree with regarding your post. Goodell might be a liar and a lot of other things but I think he reacted fairly to the findings of the Ted Wells report. The courts very well may say something otherwise but from what I’ve read most people think it would be a mistake for Brady to take it to court. It’s one thing to obstruct an NFL investigation, it’s another thing to obstruct in federal court. I guess we’ll find out soon enough but nothing about the NFL’s original decision or this post has upset me. I think they got it right.

  6. Fannie says:

    You know our skydancers have always filled these pages with all sorts of information, research, art, all kinds of things about our lives here, and well, life after death, and into the grave yards of the pass, and into the future.

    I just want to thank everybody for the wealth of information they bring to this site. From time to time, I go back and look for some of your stories, and opinions and thoughts on many topics. As always, I do fine someone who continues to spur me on. That one person was Peggy Sue. Couple years ago she did a review of a book by Jean Baker on Margaret Sanger. I don’t know how to bring that story to this page today, but would you be so kind as to do that. It is so relevant to what is happening to Planned Parenthood today. It’s a refreshing story.

    We are being deluged with negative publicity about Planned Parenthood, and I’ve notice there seems to be NO history to go with in the media. Peggy did an excellent job, and I wanted to acknowledge her contribution, and say thanks!

  7. bostonboomer says:

    U.S. officials make contact with rep for Cecil the lion’s killer amid extradition calls.

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants to talk to Walter Palmer. So far, that hasn’t happened.

    Investigators for the service knocked on the front door of Palmer’s house, stopped by his dental office, called his telephone numbers and filled his inbox with e-mails. Palmer, a hunting enthusiast who is accused of illegally killing a rare African lion in Zimbabwe early this month, couldn’t be lured out of hiding.

    Late Thursday afternoon, though, the agency’s Office of Law Enforcement was contacted by somebody on Palmer’s behalf. “The Service’s investigation is ongoing and appreciates that Dr. Palmer’s representative reached out,” the agency said in a statement Friday.

    If and when he materializes, Palmer could face an extradition request from officials in Zimbabwe, who have signaled a request to pursue one.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Palmer had plenty of time since to contact U.S. authorities, Ed Grace, chief of law enforcement for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, told The Washington Post on Thursday. And he should know how to reach the agency “because we convicted him for lying about a bear kill” in Wisconsin in 2009, Grace said. Federal officials want to get Palmer’s version of what went wrong in a hunt that killed a rare lion with a black mane. Cecil was iconic in Zimbabwe, his fame worth at least $100,000 annually in eco-tourism, wildlife officials said.

      Palmer’s actions could have violated the U.S. Lacey Act, a conservation law meant to shield animals from harm. The act, tied to a United Nations treaty for the protection of animals, governs the actions of Americans who violate the laws of foreign governments.

    • dakinikat says:

      People that need to kill things for fun are sick. I understand if you’re poor and you have to feed a family. I even understand if you have an animal that is constantly killing livestock or stalking a village or something, but sheesh, if you’re jollies are from watching something die then you need a psychiatrist.

      • NW Luna says:

        And he didn’t even do a clean kill. Sick, sick. If you are going to hunt kill the animal quickly. What a sadist — wounding an animal so it lives in pain for 2 days until finished off by bullets.

        I think that “big-game hunters” are trying to make up for their ridiculous worries about small genitalia.

        • ANonOMouse says:

          To my mind Trophy Hunting is wrong. Especially a species of animal where only 30k still exist on the planet. These animals are not “what’s for dinner”, they’re “what’s hanging on the Den Wall”. I know that most of us eat beef, chicken and fish, but I see that necessary for most of our diets. My problem with killing those animals is how they’re cared for and treated before they’re killed. It could be a very humane process, but too many providers treat the animals horribly. We passed a tractor trailer truck packed with Tyson chickens that were stuffed into cages and the cages were eight rows wide across the trailer and probably 30 to 40 rows deep. I know those chickens were in agony in those cages. It was 101 degrees outside and I’m certain the chickens on the cages on the inside of that cage alignment didn’t make it to the processor alive because there was not way they were getting enough air to survive those temps. It made me sick to see it, it also made me feel ashamed.

  8. bostonboomer says:

    CNN: Clintons earned nearly $141M from 2007 to 2014, tax returns show

    Hillary and former President Bill Clinton, from 2007 to 2014, paid more than $43 million in federal taxes, more than $13 million in state taxes and donated nearly $15 million to charity, according to data and a statement posted on her presidential campaign website. Clinton released eight years of tax returns Friday.

    The Clintons paid an effective federal tax rate of 35.7 percent and a combined federal, state and local effective rate of 45.8 percent last year, she said in a statement. They also donated 10.8% of their income to charity. It is not clear how much of that money went to The Clinton Foundation, their family’s philanthropic organization.