Wednesday Reads: The Last Civil War Pensioner

The protests continue…

There was some elections yesterday…

And the last Civil War pensioner has died.

Irene Triplett collected $73.13 from Department of Veterans Affairs, benefit for her father’s military service in Civil War

Here we are, still fighting the battle for equality for poc… it is disgusting to see the things that brought us to this latest boiling point.

Just a few moments from yesterday’s worldwide outcry for justice for George Floyd.

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Donald Trump was elected to serve us all — but he only looks out for himself.

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George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Sean Reed, Breonna Taylor, Atatiana Jefferson, Kathryn Johnston, Anthony Hill, Kevin Davis, Jordan Davis, Walter Scott, Renisha McBride, Tamir Rice, Philando Castile, David McAtee, Tony McDade, Sandra Bland, Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant, Antwon Rose, the Charleston 9, John Crawford, Alton Sterling, Nicholas Thomas, Amadou Diallo, Eric Garner.

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You could have done the only right thing.

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At the time that I wrote this post…the final results were still unknown. So these are just a couple comments:

You can catch all the latest updates at this link:

This is an open thread.


Friday Reads: Know where you Stand

Good Day Sky Dancers!

There are times when knowing where you stand is difficult. I chose the pictures today from the Know Where You Stand campaign because they’re very cool but they are also very telling. “Seth Tara’s “Know Where You Stand” series of photos inspire us never to forget our history”.

“Know Where You Stand” is a series of photos created by the American, self-taught artist, Seth Tara for the History Channel. The idea behind these images is pretty clear: the beach where you’re now relaxing and having a good time with your friends may be a beach where our ancestors fought and died in the World War II. So, don’t take everything you have for granted and always remember that your grandparents or great-grandparents fought and died for your freedom!

The images are quite powerful. Tara mixes historical photos of a certain place with modern pictures of the same place. So you see a group of lovers in front of the Eiffel Tower and Adolf Hitler morphing in the same picture.

Those of you that have known me know that I have an affinity for history.  It was my major in college.  It was my favorite subject throughout school. My mother’s passion for travel was  planned based on getting here to there while taking in every historical site and national park possible.  She carefully plotted and planned our vacations for years to include houses, forts, ruins, ghost towns, native american sites, battlefields, and presidential libraries.  I’m probably leaving something out but I have about 20 scrap books with photos of it all or I did last time I stuck them in the closet above the refrigerator and yes my ceiling is that tall because that’s what they did back in the 1860s.

My first job was a museum docent in a restored Civil War General’s house in Iowa where my mom led the restoration and purchase drives. So, that was even history of all sorts.

Also, there were always the stories from the family about growing up in the depression, fighting in the various wars, being there with someone when something happened.  I was always surrounded by history but never felt I was ever going to live any of it because I was stuck in Omaha, Nebraska which nearly every sit com used as the home for their hayseed friends and relatives or the location of absolutely nothing.  I used to just dream I would live some real history.

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And, then I moved to New Orleans where I really was surrounded by tons of history from the past and can very much see this series of photos being successfully done here.   However, first came Hurricane Katrina and living through that piece of history was something else altogether. My Dad opened way up with his war stories when I started calling him from here and describing what I was living through.  It was, he said, the only thing  that helped him relate to it.   But, now, here we all sit in stewpot of a disintegrating democracy, an insane, wicked, corrupt and highly incompetent president, with a Global Pandemic stemming from a virus with no known cure or vaccine.  Mix on top of that the strong likelihood of a very long depression all made more likely and much worse but a mad king left unchecked and my kids may be the next greatest generation of American History.

From New York Magazine and  Eric Levitz today: “Why Our Economy May Be Headed for a Decade of Depression” has an interview with Dr Doom. Nourielle Roubini earned this title by being the real Cassandra in our Great Recession stemming from the crash of the Housing Market.  He’s even full of more gloom about the state of today.

At the time, the global economy had just recorded its fastest half-decade of growth in 30 years. And Nouriel Roubini was just some obscure academic. Thus, in the IMF’s cozy confines, his remarks roused less alarm over America’s housing bubble than concern for the professor’s psychological well-being.

Of course, the ensuing two years turned Roubini’s prophecy into history, and the little-known scholar of emerging markets into a Wall Street celebrity.

A decade later, “Dr. Doom” is a bear once again. While many investors bet on a “V-shaped recovery,” Roubini is staking his reputation on an L-shaped depression. The economist (and host of a biweekly economic news broadcastdoes expect things to get better before they get worse: He foresees a slow, lackluster (i.e., “U-shaped”) economic rebound in the pandemic’s immediate aftermath. But he insists that this recovery will quickly collapse beneath the weight of the global economy’s accumulated debts. Specifically, Roubini argues that the massive private debts accrued during both the 2008 crash and COVID-19 crisis will durably depress consumption and weaken the short-lived recovery. Meanwhile, the aging of populations across the West will further undermine growth while increasing the fiscal burdens of states already saddled with hazardous debt loads. Although deficit spending is necessary in the present crisis, and will appear benign at the onset of recovery, it is laying the kindling for an inflationary conflagration by mid-decade. As the deepening geopolitical rift between the United States and China triggers a wave of deglobalization, negative supply shocks akin those of the 1970s are going to raise the cost of real resources, even as hyperexploited workers suffer perpetual wage and benefit declines. Prices will rise, but growth will peter out, since ordinary people will be forced to pare back their consumption more and more. Stagflation will beget depression. And through it all, humanity will be beset by unnatural disasters, from extreme weather events wrought by man-made climate change to pandemics induced by our disruption of natural ecosystems.

Roubini allows that, after a decade of misery, we may get around to developing a “more inclusive, cooperative, and stable international order.” But, he hastens to add, “any happy ending assumes that we find a way to survive” the hard times to come.

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I have no issue with his analysis and I find that thought quite unnerving. As I spend my day trying to be securely in the now, my economist mind keeps trying to take me down  “what if” lane.  Today, I go there.

You cannot read history without finding out about Food Riots. This has been lurking around my mind too. I signed up for the LSU Ag college extension today for an online class to become a certified home gardener. I’ve been sending Michelle to all the friends I know that are into sustainable farming to gather up free seedlngs from their community tables.

There is a Victory Garden growing in the backyard of the Kat House.  I’ve already found myself giving out fruit to homeless that have once again taken over the closed down Navy Base on my street. I’ve always been quite connected to my Dad’s mom because of her stories and how much she taught me about cooking meals with absolutely nothing in the house or feeding yourself based on a few staples.  She lived the Great Depression in Oklahoma with three small children, her mother, and my grandad who was fortunate to have a job as a Fireman for the Santa Fe railroad.

She always fed the hobos coming by their house to get to the railroad tracks.  My dad said there were days when every one got mayonnaise sandwiches and that was about it.  He also would tell me stories of the Cherokee Chieftain that let him and his Dad come chop wood from his property so they’d have wood to keep the house warm.  Folks take care of folks.  The last few weeks have me feeling like where I stand is where I was born in Oklahoma surrounded by all my family that grew up in the Dust Bowl times fighting hard to keep their farms and homes.

From The Nation and Michael T Klare: “Covid-19’s Third Shock Wave: The Global Food Crisis.Many people are already going hungry in the United States; many more will face hunger or starvation in other parts of the world.”  What is the likelihood of Civil Unrest?  What is the likelihood that the President of the United State will cause and encourage it?

Covid-19’s assault on global food availability is coming from two directions: On the supply side, farmers and distributors are cutting back on production as major customers—schools, restaurants, hotels, airlines—cease operations and as food industry employees become sick; on the consuming side, poor and unemployed households are running out of money and are unable to buy food, even when it is still available in local markets.

As is true of other key commodities, such as oil and iron ore, the availability of food products is highly reliant on global supply chains, with most countries depending on imports for at least some vital foodstuffs. This is true even in large countries with extensive agricultural industries of their own, such as Canada and the United States. These supply chains are vast and well-organized, but nevertheless vulnerable to disruption from storms, wars, droughts, and other systemic shocks—pandemics included.

“The continued globalisation of modern food networks is introducing an unprecedented level of complexity to the global food system,” insurance giant Lloyd’s of London observed in a 2015 report on global food insecurity. “Disruptions at any one point in the system would be likely to reverberate throughout the food supply chain. Volatile food prices and increasing political instability are likely to magnify the impacts of food production shocks, causing a cascade of economic, social and political impacts across the globe.”

Lloyd’s drew this conclusion from a “food system shock” exercise its analysts conducted, akin to a Pentagon war game, and from its analysis of the Arab Spring protests of 2011, which were triggered, in part, by rising food prices across North Africa and the Middle East—a phenomenon widely attributed to severe droughts over previous months in Russia, China, and Australia that sharply reduced global grain supplies. As one producing country after another banned wheat and rice exports, worldwide grain prices soared—causing misery for poor families in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, and other countries that depend on bread for a large part of their diet.

Although current conditions have not yet reached this degree of distress, it appears as if such a breakdown is beginning. “The self-defeating drive by countries to impose export controls on medical gear in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic has spread like an infection to foodstuffs,” noted Cullen Hendrix of the Peterson Institute for International Economics on April 6. So far, Russia, Kazakhstan, Thailand, and Cambodia have banned the export of processed grains, and Vietnam has put a moratorium on new export contracts for rice. Such steps, Hendrix warned, “augur poorly for global hunger and political stability.”

The curbs on international trade and travel imposed by governments around the world in response to the pandemic have also played havoc with global supply lines. Many ships and planes remain idle because of such restrictions (or because key employees are sick or afraid to show up for work), slowing the delivery of vital supplies and adding to a surge in food prices. In East Africa, international efforts to combat a historic plague of crop-devouring locusts are being hampered by a slowdown in the delivery of pesticides.

In the United States, food delivery has been deemed an essential activity, and state and federal authorities are doing what they can to keep supply lines intact. Nevertheless, significant disruptions are already beginning to occur. Food processing and packaging—a key step between farm production and delivery to local markets—often involves close interaction among numerous (and typically low-paid) workers, and so is at high risk for the spread of the coronavirus. Large meat processing plants employing hundreds of workers are at particular risk: As of April 25, coronavirus outbreaks at 30 such plants had sickened over 3,300 workers and killed at least 17.

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Tonight, I will do what my Nana used to do and say back in her day.  “Time to set yeast and go to bed”.  I’ve got my supply of yeast and flour now and I plan to relearn the skill of bread making.

And here’s another reason to plan a little bit more than usual:

The Lanclet basically put out a study “Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine with or without a macrolide for treatment of COVID-19: a multinational registry analysis”.  Its findings were pretty much what I had expected know that its side effects were pretty awesomely horrid from an old SVU episode.  No Seriously. That’s where I first learned about how its use on our soldiers was problematic and could be deadly to a rather disturbing number of folks.

So, the study found this:

COVID-19: Hydroxychloroquine linked to an increased rate of mortality, new study finds:
A new study of nearly 15,000 COVID-19 patients published on Friday in the medical journal The Lancet found those being treated with the antimalarial drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are at a higher risk of death and irregular heart rhythms than those not receiving it.

And of course, the mad king is doing this: “Trump lashes out at scientists whose findings contradict him”  which is a headline like way too many I keep reading that makes my stomach churn .

“A Trump enemy statement,” he said of one study.

“A political hit job,” he said of another.

As President Donald Trump pushes to reopen the country despite warnings from doctors about the consequences of moving too quickly during the coronavirus crisis, he has been lashing out at scientists whose conclusions he doesn’t like.

Twice this week, Trump has not only dismissed the findings of studies but suggested — without evidence — that their authors were motivated by politics and out to undermine his efforts to roll back coronavirus restrictions.

First it was a study funded in part by his own government’s National Institutes of Health that raised alarms about the use of hydroxychloroquine, finding higher overall mortality in coronavirus patients who took the drug while in Veterans Administration hospitals. Trump and many of his allies had been touting the drug as a miracle cure, and Trump this week revealed that he has been taking it to try to ward off the virus — despite an FDA warning last month that it should only be used in hospital settings or clinical trials because of the risk of serious side effects, including life-threatening heart problems.

The Lancet, one of the world’s oldest and most well respected medical journals, published a new study Friday that echoed those findings.

“If you look at the one survey, the only bad survey, they were giving it to people that were in very bad shape. They were very old, almost dead,” Trump told reporters Tuesday. “It was a Trump enemy statement.”

He offered similar pushback Thursday to a new study from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. It found that more than 61% of COVID-19 infections and 55% of reported deaths — nearly 36,000 people — could have been been prevented had social distancing measures been put in place one week sooner. Trump has repeatedly defended his administration’s handling of the virus in the face of persistent criticism that he acted too slowly.

“Columbia’s an institution that’s very liberal,” Trump told reporters Thursday. “I think it’s just a political hit job, you want to know the truth.”

Trump has long been skeptical of mainstream science — dismissing human-made climate change as a “hoax,” suggesting that noise from wind turbines causes cancer and claiming that exercise can deplete a body’s finite amount of energy. It’s part of a larger skepticism of expertise and backlash against “elites” that has become increasingly popular among Trump’s conservative base.

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But,  back here on Main Street or Bourbon Street or my own Poland Avenue it is different. We’re noticing things and beginning to adjust accordingly.  Johnny White’s–which coincidentally was the first place in New Orleans I have had a drink and a bit to eat over 25 years ago–is doing something it’s never done. It’s closing and it’s closing down for good.

For years, two French Quarter bars bearing Johnny White’s name didn’t close, ever. They stayed open 24/7, hurricanes be damned.

But closing time has finally arrived for Johnny White’s on Bourbon Street.

Johnny White’s Corner Pub, Johnny White’s Hole in the Wall and Johnny White’s Pub & Grill, all housed at 718-720 Bourbon, have shut down permanently.

The White family is scheduled to close on the sale of the three-story building at the southwest corner of Bourbon and Orleans soon.

The deal has been in the works since late last year, before the coronavirus pandemic shuttered New Orleans nightspots.

We’ve got a growing list of “Ain’t Dere No More” including some from a long time ago. So, change is inevitable but some times it goes faster than usual or does it just seem that way?

However, one good daily bike ride around the quarter will show you a rising number of stores closing permanently.  Just as true with the ever growing list of big stores going bankrupt.  Covid just sort’ve put this trend on the fast track.  So while Amazon and other big time on line retailers are having record years,  say good bye to the ol familiar department stores of yore.

Retailers that were already struggling before the coronavirus pandemic started are beginning to crumble.

Fashion chain J. Crew Group and luxury department store retailer Neiman Marcus Group filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the first week of May as they faced mounting losses with their stores temporarily closed.

While both companies are planning to remain in business, bankruptcy poses the possibility of permanent store closings or outright liquidation as COVID-19 throttles sales.

J.C. Penney, which was facing declining sales and several years of losses heading into this crisis, is also considering filing for bankruptcy and hoping to avoid liquidation.

Of the 125 restaurant or retail companies tracked by S&P Global Ratings, about 30% now have a credit rating that indicates they have at least a 1-in-2 chance of defaulting on their debts, which is often a precursor of bankruptcy or liquidation.

And yes, both Face Book and Amazon are delivering big gains.  The stock market is on some kind of drug again like it was right before the last big adjustment to reality.

And, adjusting to the new reality is just about what it’s going to be about these days.

Here’s a good piece from a friend of mine.

Maybe what I’m detecting is a bit of every thing old is new again.

So, while I cannot sleep well or relax much at all and concentrating is difficult and did I mention I really can’t do TV these days?  So, I’m just trying to do what I can to adjust and I hope you’re able to do that too.

Be kind and gentle with yourself and others.  Be safe!  Stay your ass at home!

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?


Wednesday Reads: Grace and Helens

My Mama always loved these flaming azaleas…to see them in bloom makes me miss her.

Today, let’s look at a few memories and birthdays from this week.

First, this powerhouse of a woman… who turned 72 yesterday. (The same age that my Ma would have been this year.)

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY #GRACEJONES! You are everything and then some and then some 🍰 .

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We all have a little bit of her living inside us. And when you let yourself unleash her it feels SO damn good. Thank you Ms Grace Jones !! #unapologetically #unapologeticartistry #findingyourvoice #gracejones #performancepower #owningthestage #ownthestage #divinefeminine

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If “who’s in charge of the girls?” was a person. Happy birthday to the incomporable style icon @gracejonesofficial #gracejones • • • • • • #gracejonesrealness #gracejonesinspired #80s #80sfashion #pulluptothebumper

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Mood 2020 | Happy Birthday 2 #MUSIC #FASHION #ICON Grace Jones 5.19 🌀 #GraceJones 🌀 Pull Up To My Bumper [1980] . 🌀 Powered by iDJ Chaz | Island Records (promo only/ncii) #80s #80sMusic #1980 #Studio54 #clubmusic early #housemusic #housemusicallnightlong #hbd #Newark #ClubZanzibar #NYC #ParadiseGarage #LarryLevan #rnb #oldschool #clubbing #clubmusic #boomerangmovie #Boomerang #dj #djs #bass @gracejonesofficial @halleberry

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"I believe in individuality, that everybody is special, and it's up to them to find that quality and let it live." -Grace Jones . . To the queen diva of my lifetime, thank you for always being true to yourself & for kicking down the doors & paving the way for others on their own journeys towards self expression & self acceptance. To one of the many living gems of this earth, an ICON, & true visionary, happy 72nd birthday Beverly Grace Jones! 📸: Unknown . #lessonsinselflove #loveyoselfmovement #thernrnurse #gracejones #womenwhorock #icon #80s #musicforwellness #queendiva #liveoutloud

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What an icon!

Another birthday? Of course…

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Happy 95th Birthday to El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz! – #MuhammadAli #MalcolmX #HappyBirthday #Brothers #Friends #Legends

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“I pray that God will bless you in everything that you do. I pray that you will grow intellectually, so that you can understand the problems of the world and where you fit into, in that world picture. And I pray that all of the fear that has ever been in your heart will be taken out.” — Malcolm X #HappyBirthday #MalcolmX #philaprint

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A couple of days ago, it was the 40th anniversary of the eruption of Mt. St. Helens. So here are several items about that.

Read the description of this picture below:

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40 years ago, Mt. St. Helens erupted in Seattle's backyard. Photographer Dick Lasher spent the night before packing gear, figuring he'd head out first thing in the morning to get a look at the mountain before it blew. His plan involved hitching his Yamaha IT enduro bike to the back of his Pinto, driving up to Spirit Lake, then exploring the area via dirt forest roads on the bike. He'd leave before dawn and arrive at the lake right at daybreak.⁠ ⁠ Tired from packing, Lasher slept in an hour or two past his planned departure time. Sleeping in that morning saved his life. Had Lasher made it past the next ridge in the foreground, the blast would have killed him.⁠ ⁠ At 8:32 the mountain blew.⁠ ⁠ He pulled over and attempted to turn around seeing as the ash cloud was heading his way fast. In his hurry, he bent the forks on his motorcycle. He jumped out of the car and ran up the hillside to get a pic, thinking he might just die for it. The first picture he took was this one, with the Pinto cocked in the road, toting the bent motorcycle with a MASSIVE plume cloud shooting into the sky.⁠ ⁠ He made his way back down the mountain. He was completely blinded, after being quickly overtaken by the ash cloud. Lasher had to drive on the opposite side of the road steering by hugging the shoulder on the uphill side of the road, heading into oncoming traffic. He encountered nobody going up. The car choked out after a while and he rode his bent motorcycle out of the mountains back to the room he had rented.⁠ ⁠ The next day, he rode his motorcycle back up into the now hot zone with his camera to get what pics he could. He was well into the red no go zone when a helicopter saw him and landed in his path. Dick was arrested on the spot and flown out in the chopper to jail. They left his motorcycle on the mountain. They kept him in jail for a few days. When he finally got out, he again went back up and was able to get his motorcycle and car back. Later heat maps would show that temperatures where Lasher took this original pic rose to 680 degrees Fahrenheit. Good on ya, Dick.⁠

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Same picture but better image…

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Mount St Helens erupting on May 18, 1980 – 40 years ago today🏔 — This photo, the story of which was a mystery until just last year, ‘shows the beauty and the horror’ of that moment 📸 Photo by Richard Lasher, who would have almost certainly died had he not overslept on his way to ride his motorcycle around Spirit Lake. Pretty incredible… . . . #MtStHelens #Washington #volcanoeruption @willametteweek #pnw #pacificnorthwest #explore @wastatepks #cascades #CascadeVolcano

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Geez…right?

On this next one, look at both pictures:

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40 years ago today. Mt. St. Helens eruption as seen from Mt. Adam's. Incredible.

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40 years ago today, Mount Saint Helens erupted with the force of 26 megatons of TNT, killing 57 people and causing several billion dollars worth of damage to southern Washington. May 8th, 1980. #history #volcano #eruption #mtsthelens #washington #eighties #disaster #volcaniceruption

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Posted @withregram • @noaasatellites On this day 40 years ago, Mount St. Helens erupted in a massive blast that was famously visible from space. Here's the original imagery from NOAA's GOES-3 satellite. * * Learn more about this event and how satellites continue to track eruptions around the world by following the link in our bio. * * #GOES3 #Satellite #Satellites #SatelliteImagery #MountSaintHelens #MountStHelens #MtStHelens #Volcano #Eruption #VolcanoEruption #AshCloud #Space #Washington #WashingtonState #NOAA #OnThisDay #OTD #ThisDayInHistory #TodayInHistory

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Mount St. Helens – Before and After 🌲🌋🌲 • 40 years ago today, the elevation of the summit changed from 9,677ft to 8,363ft. The eruption left a mile wide horseshoe shaped crater. • I can’t wait to go back and visit again with the hubs. Rest quiet beauty💗 • #mtsthelens #pacificnorthwest #washingtonstate #nationalmonument #volcano #pacificringoffire #cascademountains

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40 years ago today #mountsainthelens erupted. I’ve been fortunate enough to visit and have two photos handed down to me. The first photo was commissioned by my Great Uncle Jack McKamey when he was the Project Engineer for Yale Dam taken circa 1950. The second was taken in 1980 during the eruption by the friend of a coworker. The third was taken by me from the summit of Mt. Rainier in 2005. The fourth was taken by me in 2012. The last was taken by a fellow hiker on the summit in 2012. | #oldphotos #mtsainthelens #hiking #mtsthelens

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New York City is just a little bébé in comparison to Mt. St. Helens! For scale perspective & more info, check out this infographic I made to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the historic May 18, 1980 eruption. 🌋 #volcano #mtsthelens

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40 years ago today. This was my world when Mt St Helens blew her top! #mtsthelens #yakima #volcanicash

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Image of Mt. St. Helens present day:

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Here’s another favorite from Mt. St. Helens. Excited to get back there soon. #mtsthelens ##sthelens #volcano

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Now some odd tweets and stuff…

This sign is disgusting:

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The Long American Night ….

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Be sure to read the rest of that thread…That is all I wanted to post about that.

Y’all may have seen this one:

No, it’s not the onion…

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Visit link in bio for full story.

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Visit link in bio for full story.

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And ending it all with a message from the one and only, Samuel L Jackson:

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🗣A reminder 🗣 RG @samuelljackson

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Stay the fuck home…and be the fuck safe.


Sunday Reads: Pam Demic

 

Just a few visual aids today…

Read this important thread about Georgia:

 

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When do we make President* Syphilitic Dementia sit through 11 hours of testimony and 10 investigations? #trumpvirus #dumptrump #magaisformorons #thedailydon

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Day 1214: Could have also included normal-sized hands, uncaged migrant kids, and not having a neck vagina. #dumptrump #25thamendment #trumpvirus #thedailydon

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Effective mask plus keeps people away more than 6ft #subwaycreatures (@fotobytom)

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#womanist #blacklove #blacklivesmatter  #blackwriters #blackart #blackartist #blackpanther #love #war #poetry #art #blackpoetry  #unlearn #history #american #american #africanamerican #afro #herstory #human #blackandwhite #nature #blackmadonna

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https://twitter.com/halltoons/status/1261307842717515778?s=21

 


The weather is…being difficult…


https://twitter.com/nwswilmingtonnc/status/1261857292489641984?s=21

 

 

 

Did you know:

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35 years ago, the Philadelphia police fired 10,000 rounds of ammo and dropped a bomb on the home of the Black liberation group @themoveorganization. Six adults & five children were murdered and an entire Black neighborhood was intentionally burned to the ground. No one was ever charged. 35 years later, the state sanctioned violence against Black people continues. #MOVEBombing

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35 years ago, Prince released his 80's hit "Raspberry Beret." (May 15, 1985) . . . #1980s #ilovethe80s #80smusic #1985

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We lost two brilliant comedians this week…

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RIP Fred Willard (September 18, 1939 – May 15, 2020) The beloved comedian + actor was also well-known for his kindness, and was a friend to all. 💔 #fredwillard #ripfredwillard #70ssnl #1978

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https://twitter.com/miketnyc/status/1261729392092422147?s=21

 

 

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Comedy legend #FredWillard has passed away. He has appeared in countless films and television series, including #BestInShow, #ModernFamily, and an upcoming appearance in #SpaceForce.' Thanks for all the laughs.

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A fond farewell to Mr. Fred Willard. How lucky we all are that we got to witness his great gifts. Thanks for the deep belly laughs. You are now with Mary. Home safe.

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I have a marvelous story of the time I was lucky enough to meet the one-and-only legendary comedy icon @jerrystillerofficial many years ago. (And I know it was MANY years ago because it involves me wearing high heels!) I had just finished being the special guest in my dear friend @TheRealKateFlannery’s lounge duo with #ScotRobinson, @TheLampshadeShow at Improv Olympic West. I walked out into the packed lobby (people were getting drinks & waiting to enter the theater for the next show) only to see Kate talking to Mr. Stiller. I nervously approached them. When he saw me his eyes lit up! He was so charming and funny and attentive, successfully treating me like a “lady” despite my over-the-top, clowny look, featuring a big afro wig. At a certain point I explained that I had to leave for another gig, and said, “I’m so sorry but I have to take these heels off because I obviously can’t drive in them!” With that, Mr. Stiller dramatically & chivalrously said, “Please allow me, madam!” He then dropped to one knee and – in front the crowded theater foyer/bar – gently removed my high heels, one at a time. Then he rose and handed them to be as if bestowing Meryl Streep with not one but two Academy Awards. So funny, so classy and – trust me – not a drop of snark or sarcasm. As a pre-Drag Race queen I can pick up a micro droplet of that in a soul-crushing heartbeat. Heaven is a much funnier place right now… R.I.P. Jerry Stiller. 👠 🤡❤️

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The truth is that this happened all the time with Jerry Stiller. He was so funny and such a dear human being. We loved him. RIP Jerry Stiller.

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This is one of my favorites:

 

It’s an open thread.


Mother’s Day 2020

Happy Mother’s Day…

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Happy mother's day! Image: Earth nursing a child, Atalanta Fugiens, Michael Maier, 1618. #tarot #tarotcards #tarotreading #tarotreadersofinstagram #antique #art #card #oracle #divination #cartomancy #cartomancer #nurture #alchemy #mother

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I’m the daughter of a mother who broke down all kinds of barriers. Shyamala Harris was no more than five feet tall, but if you ever met her you would think she was seven feet tall. She had such spirit and tenacity and I’m thankful every day to have been raised by her. Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers, stepmothers, and mother figures near or far who are celebrating today.

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I Love you Mother’s. Thank you for teacher me. @johnlegend @phyllis.iller @noksangoma @zucotgallery @bandofvices @justlookingallery @stellajonesgallery @killermike

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Happy Mother’s Day from Dawn and Taffy ❤️ #divine #johnwaters #femaletrouble #mothersday #dawndavenport #taffydavenport #olanmills

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Last year’s Mother’s Day post – Happiest Day to all the moms out there! And don’t forget to support @plannedparenthood and @ppact for all the work they do. If only Mary Anne here had access 74 years ago. #happymothersday #dumptrump #thedailydon

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I know BB wrote about Little Richard yesterday, but I wanted to share a few more tributes:

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Farewell Little Richard 💔 #littlerichard #richardpenniman #theoriginator #tuttifruiti #georgiapeach #berndtofferings

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#rip #littlerichard #legend #groundbreakers #vintagecheese

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Little Richard's influence on music cannot be understated. He didn't just open doors, he smashed entire walls to pieces to make way for all who would come after him. Rest in peace to the King of Rock 'n' Roll. #riplittlerichard

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Little Richard. Excerpts from an interview in London (1972) 🕊

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RIP Little Richard 12/5/32 – 5/9/20 #littlerichard #portrait #thedailydon

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Enjoy your day…

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“Look, every object in this world, everything, is in a state of dancing. Even our speeches, this conversa­tion – these are also nothing but vibrations of a dance ­rhythm.” ~Anandamayi Ma

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I had to edit the post to add this:

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For all the mothers out there who lost a child to entrenched white supremacy through the reliable weaponization of U.S. law enforcement. #irunwithmaud #blacklivesmatter #thedailydon

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Thursday Reads: Living Through a Pandemic with a Lunatic in Charge

Good Morning!!

Finally, after months of dithering, Trump has settled on a strategy for dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. He has decided to force businesses to reopen and let tens of thousands–maybe millions–of Americans sicken and die in a futile attempt to save the economy. This goal will be aided by a massive cover-up of scientific information and a propaganda campaign to claim victory. Of course it won’t work, but we are all going to pay the price for Trump’s insane delusions.

Let’s examine the evidence.

AP Exclusive: Admin shelves CDC guide to reopening country.

A set of detailed documents created by the nation’s top disease investigators meant to give step-by-step advice to local leaders deciding when and how to reopen public places such as mass transit, day care centers and restaurants during the still-raging pandemic has been shelved by the Trump administration.

The 17-page report by a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention team, titled “Guidance for Implementing the Opening Up America Again Framework,” was researched and written to help faith leaders, business owners, educators and state and local officials as they begin to reopen.

It was supposed to be published last Friday, but agency scientists were told the guidance “would never see the light of day,” according to a CDC official. The official was not authorized to talk to reporters and spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.

The AP obtained a copy from a second federal official who was not authorized to release it. The guidance was described in AP stories last week, prior to the White House decision to shelve it.

That’s right. Trump tried to cover-up the CDC’s plan for a safe reopening of state economies.

Traditionally, it’s been the CDC’s role to give the public and local officials guidance and science-based information during public health crises. During this one, however, the CDC has not had a regular, pandemic-related news briefing in nearly two months. CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield has been a member of the White House coronavirus task force, but largely absent from public appearances.

The dearth of real-time, public information from the nation’s experts has struck many current and former government health officials as dangerous.

“CDC has always been the public health agency Americans turn to in a time of crisis,” said Dr. Howard Koh, a Harvard professor and former health official in the Obama administration during the H1N1 swine flu pandemic in 2009. “The standard in a crisis is to turn to them for the latest data and latest guidance and the latest press briefing. That has not occurred, and everyone sees that.”

The Trump administration has instead sought to put the onus on states to handle COVID-19 response. This approach to managing the pandemic has been reflected in President Donald Trump’s public statements, from the assertion that he isn’t responsible for the country’s lackluster early testing efforts, to his description last week of the federal government’s role as a “supplier of last resort” for states in need of testing aid.

Putin couldn’t have made a more authoritarian decision. Fortunately, we still have remnant of a free press.

Peter Baker at The New York Times: Trump’s New Coronavirus Message: Time to Move On to the Economic Recovery.

Confronted with America’s worst public health crisis in generations, President Trump declared himself a wartime president. Now he has begun doing what past commanders have done when a war goes badly: Declare victory and go home.

The war, however, does not seem over. Outside New York, the coronavirus pandemic in the United States is still growing, not receding. The latest death toll estimates have more than doubled from what Mr. Trump predicted just weeks ago. And polls show the public is not ready to restore normal life.

But Mr. Trump’s cure-can’t-be-worse-than-the-disease logic is clear: As bad as the virus may be, the cost of the virtual national lockdown has grown too high. With more than 30 million people out of work and businesses collapsing by the day, keeping the country at home seems unsustainable. With the virus still spreading and no vaccine available until next year at the earliest, though, the president has decided that for life to resume for many, some may have to die.

“Hopefully that won’t be the case,” Mr. Trump said on Wednesday when asked if deaths would rise as a result of reopening, but added, “It could very well be the case.”

That’s pretty clear. Trump is willing to sacrifice our lives because he thinks opening the economy will help his reelection prospects.

A bit more from Baker:

The president has made little effort to reconcile his increasing pressure to reopen with the increasing death toll, instead boasting that the government is now in better shape to deal with new cases with more ventilators, masks and other equipment.

“I think he has given up on the hard stuff and as a consequence is writing off people’s lives,” said Andy Slavitt, the acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services under President Barack Obama and now a senior adviser at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington.

“Not, unfortunately, in exchange for a better economic outcome,” he added. “The economy — hiring, consumer spending, buying cars, getting on airplanes, signing leases — isn’t going to happen. It’s not going to happen until we have demonstrated we can navigate this global health crisis.”

Most Americans do not have confidence in that yet, preferring that the president and their states take a slower course in the name of public health. By a ratio of two to one, those surveyed by Monmouth University in a poll released this week were more concerned about lifting restrictions too quickly rather than too slowly. And 56 percent said the more important factor should be making sure as few people get sick as possible, while 33 percent said it was more important to prevent the economy from sinking into a profound downturn.

Erin Banco at The Daily Beast: Trump Wants a Quick Reopening. Data His Own White House Is Examining Shows It Could Be a Disaster.

One of the studies that the Trump administration is relying on as it moves ahead with plans to reopen the U.S. economy warns that even if states take the necessary steps to ease social distancing restrictions, counties across the country—both big and small—will see a significant spread of coronavirus.

The study, which was put together by PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, is in the hands of top coronavirus task force officials and people working with the team, sources confirmed to The Daily Beast. It projects that if officials move too quickly and too aggressively to reopen in mid May, individual counties could witness hundreds, if not a thousand-plus, more coronavirus cases reported each day by August 1. Just two weeks more social distancing, the study projects, could reduce infections substantially—with potentially hundreds of thousands of fewer cases if the projections are conservatively expanded out to all 3,000-plus counties across the country.

The modeling shows that those counties exist in various parts of the country, in both urban and rural communities. In almost all cases, counties would see notably fewer cases per day if they waited to ease social distancing restrictions until June 1, according to the study’s projections. The model also suggests that states moving to ease restrictions should consider allowing individual counties to craft their own policies. Under the projections, one county could experience significantly different daily case numbers than others in the state—even those nearby—merely by continuing to adhere to social distancing protocols.

“There’s going to be transmission if people stop sheltering in place,” Dr. Rubin, the director of PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, said in an interview. “It’s not that all [counties] are safe to reopen. Every area is extremely sensitive to the amount of distancing you’re doing. The more cautious you are the better.”

But Trump is so delusional that he’s going to ignore all the warnings. What he doesn’t seem to understand is that the people who have to do the actual work of the economy and people who will buy goods and services may not want to go along with his plans.

Another part of Trump’s plan is to try to cover up the numbers of infections and deaths. Axios: Trump and some top aides question accuracy of virus death toll.

President Trump has complained to advisers about the way coronavirus deaths are being calculated, suggesting the real numbers are actually lower — and a number of his senior aides share this view, according to sources with direct knowledge.

What’s next: A senior administration official said he expects the president to begin publicly questioning the death toll as it closes in on his predictions for the final death count and damages him politically.

— The U.S. death toll has surpassed 71,000, with more than 1.2 million confirmed cases, according to the latest figures.

— Trump’s engagement could amplify a partisan gulf we saw in this week’s Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index over believing the death statistics.

Reality check: There is no evidence the death rate has been exaggerated, and experts believe coronavirus deaths in the U.S. are being undercounted — not overcounted.

Behind the scenes: The official said Trump has vented that the numbers seem inflated and has brought up New York’s addition of more than 3,000 unconfirmed but suspected COVID-19 cases to its death toll.

The propaganda is working on Trump’s followers, who likely get most of their “information” from Fox News and other right wing sources.

NBC News: ‘What are we doing this for?’: Doctors are fed up with conspiracies ravaging ERs.

At the end of another long shift treating coronavirus patients, Dr. Hadi Halazun opened his Facebook page to find a man insisting to him that “no one’s dying” and that the coronavirus is “fake news” drummed up by the news media.

Hadi tried to engage and explain his firsthand experience with the virus. In reply, another user insinuated that he wasn’t a real doctor, saying pictures from his profile showing him at concerts and music festivals proved it.

“I told them: ‘I am a real doctor. There are 200 people in my hospital’s ICU,'” said Halazun, a cardiologist in New York. “And they said, ‘Give me your credentials.’ I engaged with them, and they kicked me off their wall.”

“I left work and I felt so deflated. I let it get to me.”

Halazun, like many other health care professionals, is dealing with a bombardment of misinformation and harassment from conspiracy theorists, some of whom have moved beyond posting online to pressing doctors for proof of the severity of the pandemic.

And it’s taking a toll. Halazun said dealing with conspiracy theorists is the “second most painful thing I’ve had to deal with, other than separation of families from their loved one.”

Several other doctors shared similar experiences, saying that they regularly had to treat patients who had sought care too late because of conspiracy theories spread on social media and that social media companies have to do more to counteract the forces that spread lies for profit.

“Folks delaying seeking care or, taking the most extreme case, somebody drinking bleach as a result of structural factors just underlines the fact that we have not protected the public from disinformation,” Maru said.

I don’t know what the solution to this is for those of us who are sane and think logically. We are stuck will Trump until at least January 2021 unless Republicans wake up and realize that people in red states are as vulnerable as those in blue states. Even then, would Republicans stand up to Trump?

Sorry this post is such a downer, but we have to face reality. We are on our own, and our only defense is to stay at home as much as possible and try to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. Please take care Sky Dancers!


Wednesday Reads: Big is Beautiful

So, last night we had a little thunderstorm. If y’all have Windstream and your writing a blog post on WordPress don’t do it in a thunderstorm. This post was almost complete…just needed to be scheduled and updated. But WordPress has overwritten all my updates. Meaning I have to start from the very beginning.

Anyway, let’s do this again.

Oh my darling!

She’s prettier than Elizabeth Taylor!

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Amazing!!!! Reposted from @missymisdemeanorelliott Y’all didn’t have to go this hard ‼️ GO AWFFF 🔥🔥🔥 #CoolOffChallenge @islandgroove85 @boubou_belbak @playlistprincess @itsmilly__ @_kingnathaniel_ @voluptuousvibes_ @fullout_royale @fetheedancer – #regrann

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Hells yeah…big is beautiful.

But you know what isn’t beautiful?

This asshole:

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Via @coveringpotus: President Trump did not wear a mask Tuesday afternoon during a tour of the Honeywell mask production facility in Phoenix, his first trip outside the Washington area since late March. After delivering remarks at a roundtable, Trump and several others were led on a tour of the facility by one of the company’s leaders. Trump and the leader of the tour wore goggles, but no one in the group wore a face covering. A sign was posted in the part of the facility Trump toured reading, “Face Mask required in this Area.” A separate sign at the entrance of the Honeywell facility read, “Please wear your mask at all times.” According to a White House official, the Honeywell facility said officials were not required to wear masks. Earlier Tuesday, Trump suggested he would wear a mask during the visit. “I think it’s a mask facility, right? If it’s a mask facility, I will, yeah,” he told reporters as he prepared to leave the White House. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP)

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Day 1202: President* Baby Whisper Skin weathers criticism with all the fortitude of my dog when there’s some light thunder. #dumptrump #fragilefuhrer #magaisformorons #thedailydon

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You know Lincoln isn’t lying. • #honestabe #abrahamlincoln #abelincoln #lincolnmemorial #trumpisadisgrace #trumpisanidiot #votehimout #notmypresident #worstpresidentever #cartoon #cartoonist #illustrator #instaart #cincodemayo #foxandfriends #americatogether #potus

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Easiest test ever. #dumptrump #trumpvirus #fluhoaxklan #magaisformorons #thedailydon

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Okay, got that out of my system.

I’ve been posting about this “incident” in Georgia for weeks now.

So check this out :

Sorry for the graphic video, but this murder is getting lost in the news. Maybe now it will get some traction?

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Underlying conditions. #coronavirus #COVIDー19

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The duck quacketh, the wind bloweth, and the mask covereth the face. Swipe to see the original image from "Orbis Pictus" ("The World in Pictures"), one of the first picture books for children. . . [Orbis Pictus by Johannes Amos Comenius, 1685. Wing ZP 645 .M46] #facemask #covid19 #facemaskselfie #newberrylibrary #picturebooks

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A cartoon by @b_a_bourgeois. #NewYorkerCartoons

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Now some interesting things:

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Photographs by Ferdinando Scianna (1985) via @magnumphotos

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This skeptical octopus appears in “A Picture Book of Practice Sketches” by Rinsai Ōkubo (林斎大久保筆 稽古絵本) from about 1870. You can see this whole book (check out link in our story) and other fully digitized Japanese illustrated books through our Digital Collections. #octopus #japaneseart #japanesepainting #japaneseillustration #inkonpaper #print #printing #edo #watsondigital #metlibrary #cephalopod

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The first brown bear in 150 years has made its way to the Invernadeiro national park in north-west Spain. Images of the animal were captured by cameras set up by a film crew while shooting a film. Wildlife rangers serving as advisors for the film say that the bear spent the entire winter in the park. While the area is home to wolves, deer and wild boars, this is the first spotting of the brown bear in over a century. The bear's return seems to be the result of years of conservation work in the Invernaderio national park.

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Ending with…”Fix your face mask!”

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“Fix your face!” (Category is: Bionics!)

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This is an open thread.