Browsing All Posts published on »June, 2013«

Xbox One, by Big Brother

June 28, 2013

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Think the NSA collecting your personal phone data is an intrusion?  You might want to reconsider that Xbox One purchase. Video gaming in your living room is just awesome these days!  Take something like Microsoft’s Xbox One, which is way beyond the mere legions of games that can be played solo or online; no, this […]

YES!! SCOTUS OVERTURNS DOMA! … but the Fight’s Not Over

June 27, 2013

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The federal statute is struck down as unconstitutional on the basis of states’ rights.  But the states still have the right to discriminate. In a victory for the rights of same-sex married couples, the Supreme Court on Wednesday overturned the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).  As Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority: “The […]

Joan Larsen’s Life Stories: Love Letters from a Scammer

June 26, 2013

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By Joan Larsen   A true story, a cautionary story for all women is about to unfold.  My beautiful young friend in her 40s was about to experience the downside of life in a way that many of us discover in that decade.  Caring for dying parents, one after the other, drains you and often […]

The First Women in the Elite Combat Forces Must Earn Their Own Way

June 25, 2013

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Making allowances, giving a hand up, special mentoring, and most especially, any change to physical requirements, will utterly destroy any inroads that women might hope to achieve. As I wrote yesterday, it’s all well and good that women will soon have the equal opportunity to apply to the elite combat forces, but no one should […]

Military to Train Women for Elite Combat Forces – But Can They Graduate?

June 24, 2013

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I’m all for equal opportunity, but we must accept that it will be an exceptionally rare woman who can succeed as an Army Ranger or Navy SEAL. Before he left the Department of Defense, one of SecDef Panetta’s mandates on the subject of women in combat was for the services to develop gender-neutral, job-specific physical […]

Did a Third Reich Photo Slip Into The Weather Channel’s Vintage Beachwear Slideshow?

June 21, 2013

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Happy Friday, all.  School’s out, summer has arrived with the Solstice, and it’s a perfect day to contemplate… the history of swimsuit fashions.  Check out more than 350 vintage beach photos in this slideshow at the Weather Channel online. I am a little surprised by just how revealing those clingy wool knits could be on […]

If You’re Uploaded to a Cyber-Existence, Are You Still You?

June 20, 2013

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Ever since seeing the transporter on the original Star Trek, I have wondered:  if your molecules are disassembled here and an exact copy of you is reconstructed somewhere else out of other molecules, are you really still you?  I have my doubts, enough that should teleportation ever become feasible, I don’t think I’d have the […]

Joan Larsen Presents: Tippi of Africa, the Little Girl Who Grew Up With Wild Animals

June 19, 2013

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By Joan Larsen   Meet Tippi, named after Tippi Hedren, the actress who starred in Hitchcock’s The Birds (and later formed a wildlife refuge of her own).  Tippi was born to Alain Degre and Sylvie Robert of France, who worked as wildlife photographers in Namibia, my own favorite of countries in southern Africa.  Growing up […]

Historymaker: Astronaut Valentina Tereshkova

June 18, 2013

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Fifty years ago, Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova became the world’s first woman in space. She was 26 years old, from peasant stock; her father was a tractor driver who died on the frozen Finnish front in World War II, and her mother was a factory worker; Valentina herself was also a factory worker. Ah, but a […]

On Fools, Reality and Failure to Protect One’s Children

June 17, 2013

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Bad “science” and stupid decisions are bad for kids’ health Last week, we talked about the folly of relying too much on prayer instead of science to save children from horrible, but often curable, diseases.  The result: too many children die unnecessarily, as if they were trapped somewhere in the 19th century. But there is […]

Cyberpunk is Coming… Count Me Out

June 14, 2013

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Cyberpunk, until now, has been a fictional genre usually set in the near future “where daily life was impacted by rapid technological change, an ubiquitous datasphere of computerized information, and invasive modification of the human body,” wrote Lawrence Person, editor of the science fiction fanzine Nova Express. Rapid technological change I can deal with.  Any […]

On Faith, Reality, and Failure to Protect One’s Children

June 13, 2013

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Relying on God to fulfill your parental responsibilities is arrogant, childish… and fatal As USA Today reports, yet another family has lost a child to illness as a result of relying on prayer over medicine.  This was the second such loss for this family.  One would think, after Herbert and Catherine Schaible lost their two-year-old […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: Hidden Hawaii – the Long and Winding Road to Hana

June 12, 2013

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By Joan Larsen     Home once again, we always will have that one last farewell toast to our latest journey with my favorite champagne. It never fails to feel like I am tasting stars.  Returning once again from the island of Maui, our most lasting “forever” memories are the moments when we are heading […]

Classic Perfumes, Like Fine Wines, Are Not Improved By “Updating.”

June 11, 2013

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The vast array of new perfumes can’t compare with the few old classics, and “updating” classic scents is a mistake. I’m not one to wear perfume, but I was out with a friend a couple of days ago and as we passed by the perfume counter in a department store, I noticed that quite a […]

Manning’s and Snowden’s Classified Leaks: Why They Are Different

June 10, 2013

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Last week, we opined that PFC Bradley Manning had committed a crime in leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents to Wikileaks. This week, Edward Snowden has outed himself as the NSA leaker who leaked a Top Secret court order authorizing the NSA to collect data on all Verizon customers’ phone calls for the next […]

Steven Seagal Invited to Represent the Russian Weapons Industry: Don’t Do It!

June 7, 2013

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So apparently Russia would like Steven Seagal to advertise for them.  More specifically, they want the action-movie star to “be the face of its weapons industry as it guns for first place on the world arms market,” reports the Associated Press.  Mr. Seagal has been squired around by the Russian Deputy Defense Minister, Dmitry Rogozin, […]

Heckling Is Not the Way to Advance a Cause

June 6, 2013

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It’s rude, it’s shrill, it’s a turnoff, it makes you look sort of crazy, and it doesn’t make anyone want to help you. As the Washington Post reports, lesbian activist Ellen Sturtz interrupted Michelle Obama’s speech at a Democratic fundraiser in a private home Tuesday night, shouting her demands that the President sign a pending […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: A Peek at the Good Life at a Hidden Hideaway in Denali

June 5, 2013

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By Joan Larsen   The summers in the States seem to have gone from just plain hot to – well – the “sweltering look” that promises to be fashionable at home for another year.  The word “escape” sounds more tantalizing by the week.  But with travel itself becoming more dear, I don’t just want to […]

PFC Manning: Misguided or Malicious, it was Still a Crime

June 4, 2013

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Many are questioning the government’s prosecution of PFC Bradley Manning, whose court-martial for providing hundreds of thousands of classified documents to Wikileaks  started this week.  There are protests.  There is photo after photo of sober-looking citizens holding signs saying “I am Bradley Manning.”  There are those who think all information should be available to the […]

Charlotte, NC: Abusing a Program for Young First Offenders?

June 3, 2013

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Rad Berky at WCNC reports that a Charlotte, NC mom called police to report the theft of Pop-Tarts from her house.  It turns out that she fingered her own 13-year-old son as the culprit. This is bad enough by itself, but the police actually arrested the kid and charged him with misdemeanor larceny.  What the….? […]