Cellist Yo-Yo Ma Plays Bach In Shadow Of Border Crossing


There’s a reason why more artists support democratic principles. We are inclusive, more welcoming to strangers, homeless, those in need. We embody empathy. Mixing cultures and ideas generates a wealth of beauty and good. With it comes negative. That’s to be expected. There’s no free lunch.

 

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AOC isn’t the only AOC on the Hill


The rising chorus of reasoned voices needs to gain more and more traction. I love that women are leading this country in new, invigorated, strong ways.

This clip of California Democratic congresswoman Katie Porter rocking JP Morgan’s CEO, Jamie Dimon’s pathetic little brain with fucking real world facts. It’s high time the fat cats reasonably redistribute their company’s wealth. For Pete’s sake. It’s not goddamn rocket science.

Or maybe it is. Here’s our first family struggling with some basic math:

 

I’ll put another amazing clip below the fold of Banking Fat Cats getting grilled by congress. Continue reading “AOC isn’t the only AOC on the Hill”

IN THE NEWS | Hilarious headline: “Apollo astronauts left their poop on the moon. We gotta go back for that shit.”


It’s only Hump Day and there’s been enough crazy in the world that She needs to be admitted. I mean, for real.

This VOX headline made me laugh though: “Apollo astronauts left their poop on the moon. We gotta go back for that shit.”

Yes, our brave astronauts took dumps on their way to the moon, perhaps even on the moon, and they left behind their diapers in baggies, on humanity’s doorstep to the greater cosmos.

The bags have lingered there, and no one knows what has become of them. Now scientists want to go back, and answer a question that has profound implications for our future explorations of Mars: Is anything alive in them?

These footprints are still on the moon. So is the astronauts’ trash.
NASA

Human feces can be disgusting, but they’re also teeming with life. Around 50 percent of their mass is made up of bacteria, representing some of the 1,000-plus species of microbes that live in your gut. In a piece of poop lives a whole wondrous ecosystem.

The impossibility of other stories in the news is great. The fast food industry finally takes a bow to growing pressure to please a growing population of people who give a shit about the planet and their bodies. I don’t know how that really translates to fast food culture, but adding a vegetarian burger option to its menus is a start.

And wait, a black, openly gay woman is elected mayor of my home-base town of Chicago? What!?! Watch out for pig poop landing on your head.

And we continue to have a demented old fart shitting his pants and slurring his words in the White House. This week, he claimed his father was born in Germany. That the sound of wind turbines causes cancer. And that democrats would leak the contents of a televised speech to the media. That’s just the notably nuts shit. He also made paranoid claims about how you should be more paranoid.

Oh, and he couldn’t pronounce the word “origins”.

Today he’s going to wag his fist and scream from his front porch that the news is fake, treats him unfairly, and doesn’t appreciate all the hard work he’s doing to finally make this country great.

Stop.The.Madness.

Dance! Do not stifle that which is innate


Dance seems to be the ultimate frivolity. How did it become a human necessity? Every culture dances. Moving our bodies to music is ubiquitous throughout human history and across the globe. So why is this ostensibly frivolous act so fundamental to being human? The answer, it seems, is in our need for social cohesion – that vital glue that keeps societies from breaking apart despite interpersonal differences. The French sociologist Émile Durkheim (1858-1917) theorised that ‘collective effervescence’ – moments in which people come together in some form of unifying, excitement-inducing activity – is at the root of what holds groups together. More recently, Bronwyn Tarr, an evolutionary biologist and psychologist at the University of Oxford who is also a dancer, has researched the evolutionary and neurological underpinnings of our innate tendency to bust a move. Drawing on the work of both Durkheim and Tarr, this Aeon Original video explores that unifying feeling of group ‘electricity’ that lifts us up when we’re enthralled by our favourite sports teams, participating in religious rituals, entranced by music – and, yes, dancing the night away. Directors and Animators: Rosanna Wan, Andrew Khosravani Producer: Kellen Quinn #dance #animation #culture Writer: Sam Dresser Associate producer: Adam D’Arpino Sound designers: Eli Cohn, Ben Chesneau, Maya Peart Narrator: Simon Mattacks

Conway: “If the charge were unfitness for office, the verdict would already be in: guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”


Mr. George Conway, my favorite republican, wrote the following:

But whether the Mueller report ever sees the light of day, there is one charge that can be resolved now. Americans should expect far more from a president than merely that he not be provably a criminal. They should expect a president to comport himself in accordance with the high duties of his office. As all presidents must, Trump swore an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution, and to faithfully execute his office and the laws in accordance with the Constitution. That oath requires putting the national interests above his personal interests.

Yet virtually from the moment he took office, in his response to the Russia investigation, Trump has done precisely the opposite: Relentlessly attacked an attorney general, Mueller, the Justice Department — including suggesting that his own deputy attorney general should go to jail. Lied, to the point that his own lawyers wouldn’t dare let him speak to Mueller, lest he commit a crime. Been more concerned about touting his supposedly historic election victory than confronting an attack on our democracy by a hostile foreign power.

If the charge were unfitness for office, the verdict would already be in: guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Read the rest. 

88 truths learned about life


At this blog Raptitude, David, writes about getting better at being human. I like it. A lot. It’s a great place to spend some time.

In one post, he writes 88 truths he’s found to be true for him. I agree with almost all.

Here’s a taste. Read the whole thing here.

1. You can’t change other people, and it’s rude to try.

2. It is a hundred times more difficult to burn calories than to refrain from consuming them in the first place.

3. If you’re talking to someone you don’t know well, you may be talking to someone who knows way more about whatever you’re talking about than you do.

4. The cheapest and most expensive models are usually both bad deals.

5. Everyone likes somebody who gets to the point quickly.

6. Bad moods will come and go your whole life, and trying to force them away makes them run deeper and last longer.

7. Children are remarkably honest creatures until we teach them not to be.

8. If everyone in the TV show you’re watching is good-looking, it’s not worth watching.

9. Yelling always makes things worse.

10. Whenever you’re worried about what others will think of you, you’re really just worried about what you’ll think of you.

11. Every problem you have is your responsibility, regardless of who caused it.

 

Let’s raise some dead bodies! There are hoaxes a plenty.


The other day I posted about the rise in people claiming “no religion” in America. Reader perdebytjie commented about gullibility in South Africa and how pastors left and right are doing outrageous things to claim a magical superiority in order to gain followers. He  cited a few stories about pastors claiming to raise the dead, encouraging their congregations to eat grass to cure disease or to get closer to god, and even feeding them crazy things like dog meat and blood …

I think any religious person in America would agree that these pastors are grifters. They are false prophets. They are preying on the gullible, the weak, and the ignorant.

This is where talking about “those pastors” gets tricky. I remember these kinds of stories from as far back as I can remember. I remember being told that people who speak in tongues aren’t “real” believers. Or that TV pastors claiming to faith heal their congregants … those are false.

But that area is quickly grayed when believers of all ilk claim to have a direct line to the creator of the universe, who can somehow defy science and reality by issuing prayers in exchange for earlier healing, or respite from cancers or disease. I’ve been in many situations where someone asks to pray, calls out to God for early healing, and it’s viewed as completely fine. It’s not like those faith healers on TV. It’s different somehow. It’s “realer”. It’s more legit.

It can’t be questioned. It can’t be scrutinized. And if you doubt it, one would be asked to be quiet. Or expected to remain quiet.

I remember being told clearly that healing from God is not magic. Magic is reserved for trickery. Magic is reserved for something that’s not real. But what happens when a person is mysteriously cured of something, that’s providential. It’s supernatural. If it cannot be directly explained, it must be a power invisible to the natural world.

It’s like being told what’s written in a report without reading the actual report. It’s like thinking something is completely true, because, say, a book makes a claim that it was written by an eye witness, but you never met the eye witness or cannot verity the veracity of that claim … yet one would believe the eye witness claim without question.

These topics are difficult to approach. Because most people are skeptical enough of almost everything, except when it comes to their own deeply held beliefs. Then it’s full-on belief train and there’s no inkling of skeptical prowess.

Here are a few links to more of what perdebytjie is talking about: here. here. here.

Thanks for reading. I know there aren’t too many readers right now, but drop a link in the comments for your favorite hoax-y, miracle, bullshit-y articles … would love to read them.