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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 45150 times)
WingsofCrystal
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« Reply #9480 on: Nov 18th, 2013, 10:08am »

Scientific American

Catching Ourselves in the Act of Thinking

By Ferris Jabr
November 18, 2013

From 1934 to 1970, Louie Mayer worked as a cook and housekeeper for writers Virginia and Leonard Woolf at their home in Rodmell, England. Her very first day on the job, she noticed something strange. As Louie worked in the kitchen, voices poured through the ceiling from the upstairs bathroom, where Virginia was soaking in the tub. “I could hear her talking to herself,” Mayer recollected. “On and on she went, talk, talk, talk, asking questions and giving herself the answers. I thought there must be 2 or 3 people up there with her.” Recognizing Louie’s bewilderment, Leonard explained that Virginia was trying out sentences she had written the night before because “she needed to know if they sounded right.”

For Woolf, prose that “sounded right” was often prose that sounded like thought. Verbal thought, specifically, or what psychologists call inner speech: all those self-addressed sentences spun silently in the mind throughout the day. In many of Woolf’s novels—particularly Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse and The Waves—passage after passage reads like a transcription, or an eloquent translation, of her characters’ inner soliloquies. Of course, none of us has direct access to anyone else’s consciousness. To faithfully recreate the way people talk to themselves in their heads, Woolf examined her own mind and tried to catch herself in the act of soundless self-talk. In the process, she undoubtedly encountered a quandary that has frustrated novelists and psychologists alike: directing the spotlight of attention onto inner speech risks altering that speech. Such introspective analysis is like “trying to turn up the gas quickly enough to see how the darkness looks,” wrote William James.

How, then, do we watch a silent sentence unfurl in the mind without changing it? We can’t, says Russell Hurlburt, a psychologist at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. But, like many writers and scientists, he has strategies for observing his subject with minimal disturbance. Hurlburt calls his technique Descriptive Experience Sampling and, when it comes to his subject of study, he prefers the more active term ‘inner speaking’ to ‘inner speech.’ He asks volunteers to carry a beeper that goes off randomly about six times a day. Whenever the device makes a noise, the volunteers must stop what they are doing and write down whatever they were experiencing in their minds the microsecond before the beep. Later, researchers interview their volunteers to learn more about each noted instance of mental activity.

Because this type of documentation relies on first-person reports that in turn depend on short-term and long-term memory—which are prone to error, bias and confabulation—it will rarely be as objective as, say, placing an inanimate voice recorder between two people having a conversation. But it brings people as close to observing their own inner speech without interfering as possible. It’s like standing at the front of a cave and secretly recording the echoes of a very reclusive orchestra playing within; the music you hear is perhaps a little distorted, but it’s the orchestra’s music nonetheless.

Hurlburt and his colleagues have used Descriptive Experience Sampling to study inner speaking in a wide variety of people who presumably have mental habits that range from the typical to the unusual. Adolescents, college students, women with bulimia, people with depression and veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, for example, have all participated. Here are six specific moments of inner speech rescued from the mind’s caverns:

1. Angela was driving near campus and had just noticed for the first time a Thai restaurant. At the moment of the beep she was enthusiastically saying to herself, “Thai food!” This speaking was silent, in her inner voice that sounds just like her external voice, in an enthusiastic tone and inflection consistent with her welcomed restaurant discovery.

2. Brian was innerly speaking, “I don’t want to go,” saying this sentence a second time as he tried to figure out or rehearse what he might say to his friend who was going to call to ask him to hang out. “I don’t want to go” was said in his own natural but silent voice. The TV was on, and his eyeballs were aimed at it, but he was not paying any attention to it.

3. Christine was looking down at her pinky toe and innerly saying, “My pinky toe is ugly.” This was said in her normal voice with a mildly discouraged tone and inflection.

4. Daphne was talking on the phone to a United Blood Services representative, who was telling her she would get two free tickets to the Fabulous 4 concert if she donated blood. At the moment, Daphne was innerly saying “That is so awesome!” in her own voice with an excited tone that conveyed the excitement she felt about taking her daughter to the concert.

5. Ellen was watching the TV show Cops. The cops had wrestled a guy to the ground and the sirens were continuously going off. At the moment of the beep Ellen was hearing the profoundly annoying/unpleasant sirens and innerly yelling, “Turn those sirens OFF!!” yelled in her own voice with an extremely annoyed/frustrated tone. Ellen was simultaneously paying attention to the TV show, especially the blue and red flashes at the left.

6. Fayth was in the bathroom straightening her hair. At the moment, she was innerly saying to herself, “This year can still be better.” She innerly said this in her own voice as if she were giving herself a pep-talk with emphasis on the word can. She was also attending to what she was doing.

By synthesizing insights gleaned from such records, Hurlburt and his collaborators have just published one of the most comprehensive and fascinating studies about the characteristics of inner speech. To start, the psychologists emphasize that although inner speaking is ubiquitous, its frequency varies dramatically from one person to the next. One woman, for example, was speaking inwardly at the time of 17 out of 18 beeps. In contrast, other people were never talking to themselves silently at the time of the beep; rather, they were experiencing another mental phenomenon, perhaps absorbed in a flashback, inundated with a wave of emotion or spatially rotating an object in their mind’s eye. On average, volunteers spoke silently in 22 to 25 percent of recorded mental moments, which corroborates earlier research suggesting inner speech occupies one quarter of conscious experience.

Some people reported feeling that inner speaking originated in their torso; others said it took place in the head; still others did not associate it with any body part. Sometimes people talked to themselves in a single voice; other times in chorus. Now and then individuals adopted the voices of their friends when rehearsing dialogue—an almost exact replica of the other person’s voice in some cases, a less realistic imitation in others.

Inner speech is remarkably similar to spoken dialogue in many ways and, at the same time, clearly has some very unique features. People might omit a word or two from a silent thought, for instance, without breaking the cadence of the sentence: “I want to take ____ out for a walk this afternoon,” where the blank space is understood to be “the dog,” even though that phrase is not actually verbalized in one’s mind. Our minds can also say Yes! at the same time our lips speak No; we might think chicken and choose fish. In everyday life, such contradictions often go unnoticed; they only became apparent to volunteers in studies because the beepers forced them to pay attention. The often speedy and sometimes fragmentary nature of inner speech may explain the mismatch. Perhaps we explore simple decisions or possible verbal responses almost simultaneously, so it may seem our audible speech or actions oppose our minds when in fact we just didn’t catch everything we were thinking.

Indeed, some evidence suggests that when talking to ourselves in our heads, we can articulate and comprehend far more sentences and ideas than we could by speaking aloud for the same amount of time. Woolf relished the mind’s ability to dilate a given moment in time. In her novels, she sometimes spends several pages examining a few minutes or even seconds from several characters’ perspectives, transcribing many more silently spoken sentences onto the page than could ever have escaped their mouths in those brief timespans. Her characters spend much more time conversing with themselves than with anyone else. Even if that is not true for everyone outside her novels, it is difficult to exaggerate the importance of inner speech. Yes, many silent thoughts are—like some of Hurlburt’s six examples—seemingly mundane or trivial. But what Woolf recognized, and what some psychologists have also argued, is that we depend on the totality of our inner chatter, even the more banal bits, to construct something incredibly fundamental: our sense of self.

What we call the self is a story that we continuously write and rewrite in our minds—a narrative that appears to rely, at least in part, on verbal thought specifically. Merely reacting to the world around oneself by talking to oneself about it may be essential to maintaining a cohesive identity that persists through the past, present and future. In 1972, a stroke robbed clinical psychologist Claude Moss of both audible and inner speech. “In other words,” he wrote, “I did not have the ability to think about the future—to worry, to anticipate or perceive it—at least not with words. Thus for the first four or five weeks after hospitalization I simply existed.”

more after the jump:
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/brainwaves/2013/11/18/catching-ourselves-in-the-act-of-thinking/

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #9481 on: Nov 18th, 2013, 12:06pm »

Peoria Journal-Star

Bailey: Two frantic minutes, then eerie silence


Washington's Devonshire subdivision was Ground Zero for Sunday's tornado. That's where I live.

I had taken the TV warnings to "seek cover immediately" seriously enough to go back and forth between the basement and the first floor, but was at my front door with camera in hand when I saw that ominous black funnel cloud rise over a home at the end of the street, sucking debris up into its vortex, swallowing homes like they were made of toothpicks, coming right for us.

Witnessing a big news event as a journalist is one thing, but there's not much nobility in being a dead one, so I made a mad dash for the basement crawl space, where I joined my wife, just in time. We held each other and mouthed "I love you" as the house rattled, seeming to shift on its foundation, with the sound of windows breaking above us. You think about still being around for the grandkids at a time like this, and both of us said so, simultaneously. A tornado sounds like a charging train, I'd read, and it's true. Two frantic minutes passed, then that eerie silence.

We knew the house was damaged. The stuff of tornado legend was all true in our case. A tree limb had punctured an upstairs bedroom wall — through vinyl siding, plywood, insulation and drywall — a two-by-four had penetrated another. Parts of the roof, peeled away. A branch not much more than a stick had planted itself atop the house. A brick wall, crumbled. An indoor ceiling fan from ... somewhere, somebody else's house ... had blasted a hole through what was left of our garage door and wedged itself under the SUV. A cast iron burn barrel, a half inch thick, twisted like a pretzel. Broken glass, everywhere. Mature trees, sawed off near the base. Lawn furniture, now likely in another county. Phones of no use to alert out-of-town family all were OK.

Still, our prayers had been answered, in part. We had missed a direct hit. We went from neighbor to neighbor, checking to see if they were safe as well. There was relief, then tears and hugs in the cul-de-sac, along with comparisons of the destruction each had suffered. A back wall blown off a dining room here, a front door ripped off its hinges there. None of us was prepared for what we saw little more than a block away.

An entire neighborhood full of young families had been utterly demolished, as if nuked, leaving a breathtaking debris field — vehicles flipped upside down, 100 feet from where they'd been parked, home after relatively new home a mound of rubble, no longer recognizable as a dwelling, those trees still standing utterly shaved, scattered children's toys. First, you noticed the curious and the survivors, walking around as if in a daze, then the smell of natural gas, then the sound of the beeps — from cellphones, fire alarms, what? — reminiscent of 9/11.

Larance Torman and her husband, Rusty, and a couple of their kids, Erika and Kami, were involved in the almost impossible task of retrieving treasured belongings — family photos, a missing wedding ring, a purse, a safe, etc. They had lived at their 605 Simon St. home in Washington's Trail's Edge subdivision for just a year, a place with which they had grown so comfortable they intended to stay a while, when they heard Sunday's siren, went to the basement, felt their ears pop from the changing pressure and heard the splinter of wood. With water pouring in, evidently from severed pipes, a bowling ball was found and thrown through a window, allowing all of them to climb to sunlight and safety.

Even for those who'd lost nearly all of their material possessions, who face months upon months of paperwork hassle and costly repair and relocation, there was an almost instinctual resolve to first help others and then rebuild after the initial shock had passed of "this doesn't happen here" and "never in November." Some even showed the sense of humor that spells resilience, joking about how lucky they were not to have put up Christmas decorations. The early casualty counts were not as high as feared, from the looks of things: With many residents at church and not at home this Sunday morning, Washington may have caught a break, in a way.

The post-storm refrain was a common one: "I'm just glad we're alive." Ditto that.

MIKE BAILEY is the opinion page editor of the Journal Star. He lives in Washington. He can be reached at mbailey@pjstar.com.

http://www.pjstar.com/article/20131118/NEWS/131119212?tag=1
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« Reply #9482 on: Nov 18th, 2013, 3:41pm »

"Even for those who'd lost nearly all of their material possessions, who face months upon months of paperwork hassle and costly repair and relocation, there was an almost instinctual resolve to first help others and then rebuild after the initial shock had passed of "this doesn't happen here" and "never in November." Some even showed the sense of humor that spells resilience, joking about how lucky they were not to have put up Christmas decorations. The early casualty counts were not as high as feared, from the looks of things: With many residents at church and not at home this Sunday morning, Washington may have caught a break, in a way."


Hey Swamprat cheesy


Good people hit hard. My prayers are going up for them.

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« Reply #9483 on: Nov 19th, 2013, 08:22am »

Guardian

Court order that allowed NSA surveillance is revealed for first time

Fisa court judge who authorised massive tapping of metadata was hesitant but felt she could not stand in the way

by Spencer Ackerman in New York
Monday 18 November 2013 23.53 EST

A secret court order that authorised a massive trawl by the National Security Agency of Americans' email and internet data was published for the first time on Monday night, among a trove of documents that also revealed a judge's concern that the NSA "continuously" and "systematically" violated the limits placed on the program.

The order by the Fisa court, almost certainly its first ruling on the controversial program and published only in heavily redacted form, shows that it granted permisson for the trawl in part beacause of the type of devices used for the surveillance. Even the judge approving the spying called it a “novel use” of government authorities.

Another later court order found that what it called "systemic overcollection" had taken place.

Transparency lawsuits brought by civil liberties groups compelled the US spy agencies on Monday night to shed new light on the highly controversial program, whose discontinuation in 2011 for unclear reasons was first reported by the Guardian based on leaks by the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

In a heavily redacted opinion Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, the former presiding judge of the Fisa court, placed legal weight on the methods of surveillance employed by the NSA, which had never before collected the internet data of “an enormous volume of communications”.

The methods, known as pen registers and trap-and-trace devices, record the incoming and outgoing routing information of communications – traditionally phone calls made between individual users. Kollar-Kotelly ruled that acquiring the metadata, and not the content, of email and internet usage in bulk was harmonious with the “purpose” of Congress and prior court rulings – even though no surveillance statute ever authorized it and top officials at the justice department and the FBI threatened to resign in 2004 over what they considered its dubious legality.

“The court recognizes that, by concluding that these definitions do not restrict the use of pen registers or trap-and-trace devices to communication facilities associated with individual users, it is finding that these definitions encompass an exceptionally broad form of collection,” wrote Kollar-Kotelly in an opinion whose date is redacted.

The type of data collected under the program included information on the "to", "from" and "bcc" lines of an email rather than the content. According to the government’s declaration to Kollar-Kotelly the NSA would keep the internet metadata “online” and available to analysts to search through for 18 months, after which it would be stored in an “‘offline’ tape system” available to relatively few officials. It would have to be destroyed four and a half years after initial collection.

Metadata, wrote Kollar-Kotelly, enjoyed no protection under the fourth amendment to the US constitution, a precedent established by the supreme court in 1979 in a single case on which the NSA relies currently.

Still, Kollar-Kotelly conceded that she was blessing “a novel use of statutory authorities for pen register/trap and trace surveillance”.

While at times Kollar-Kotelly appeared in her ruling to be hesitant about granting NSA broad authorities to collect Americans’ internet metadata, “deference”, she wrote, “should be given to the fully considered judgment of the executive branch in assessing and responding to national security threats and in determining the potential significance of intelligence-related information.”

more after the jump:
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/19/court-order-that-allowed-nsa-surveillance-is-revealed-for-first-time

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« Reply #9484 on: Nov 19th, 2013, 08:27am »

Der Spiegel

Gurlitt Works: A Herculean Task in Identifying Provenance

By Michael Sontheimer

A scholarly task force has been set up to clarify the origins of some of the artworks found in Cornelius Gurlitt's Munich apartment. The group will be led by prominent German art historian and will include two experts with the Jewish Claims Conference.

November 19, 2013 – 01:29 PM

Anyone wanting to visit Uwe Hartmann's office had better get precise instructions. Once you reach Berlin's Museum Island, you need to pass through a rear entrance and then through a few rooms and the Ishtar Gate. In the building to which the famous Pergamon Altar attracts more visitors than any other museum in Germany, Hartmann leads an institute with five co-workers that bears an absurdly long name: The Center for Provenance Investigation and Research at the Institute for Museum Research of the Berlin State Museums-Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation.

One shouldn't underestimate art historian Uwe Hartmann, who has a penchant for tweed jackets. Nor should one underestimate the job he now faces. As scientific director of a task force, he is responsible for shedding light on the darkness of a case which has been followed by art lovers around the world for the past two weeks -- the seizure of hundreds of paintings, drawings and etchings from the home of Cornelius Gurlitt, some of which may be art that had been looted by the Nazis. The collection had belonged to his father Hildebrand Gurlitt, who had collaborated with the Nazis after 1933.

Earlier this month, Hartmann already publicly stated his own position about the art. "In many cases, we're not dealing with art looted by the Nazis," he told the German news agency DPA. "We must therefore act on the assumption Mr. Gurlitt is lawfully in possession of this property."

Hartmann is charged with pulling the chestnuts out of the fire for the public prosecutors in Augsburg, who seized Gurlitt's art collection at the end of February 2012 on a very questionable legal basis. But his work will also be on behalf of the Bavarian state government and officials at the Finance Ministry in Berlin who were informed of the sensational discovery but said and did nothing about it -- and Germany itself.

Remorseful and Willing to Learn

The revelations have become a major problem for leading public officials, with lawyers of the families of Nazi victims criticizing German authorities for keeping the biggest find of looted artworks since 1945 a secret for almost two years. Following protests from the World Jewish Congress, alarm bells began ringing in the Foreign Ministry in Berlin last week.

The officials have asked themselves how former owners might react to news of the hidden looted art? In a country that has worked so hard to become a model student, remorseful and willing to learn, facing up to its Nazi past and compensating the victims, it threatened to become a serious setback.

Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, speaking on a visit to India, warned of possible damage to German prestige. "We should not underestimate the sensitivity of this subject in the world," he said. "We must be careful that we do not squander trust that has been built up over many decades." But what to do now? Westerwelle demanded: "The order of the day now is transparency."

Meanwhile, Steffen Seibert, Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman, promised a speedy resolution. "We want to expedite this," he declared. After the admonishing words from the highest level of politics, an unofficial crisis team met in Berlin made up of responsible -- and spooked -- bodies: Representatives from the Finance Ministry, emissaries from the Bavarian justice and culture ministries, a delegate from North Rhine-Westphalia and officials from the Berlin Commission for Culture and Media (BKM).

The Bavarians, whose investigators had botched the thing in the first place, tried to pass the blame on to the Berlin ministerial representatives, who had been informed about the artwork find from the beginning.

Art Experts' Identities to Remain Secret

In reality, BKM officials, for example, had connected the prosecutors in Augsburg with Meike Hoffman, an expert on what the Nazis considered "degenerate art." She had sent her final report exclusively to the prosecutors, and restitution experts in Berlin first learned of Hoffman's work after reading quotes cited from her report in Germany's Focus magazine.

Startled officials then finally agreed to establish a proper task force in the form of a group of experts under the political guidance of lawyer Ingeborg Berggreen-Merkel, who served between 2008 and this April as a deputy to Bernd Neumann, the federal government's commissioner for culture and the media.

Hartmann is to act as academic head of the task force. Alongside Hoffman, five other art historians will be hired temporarily or borrowed from museums. The Bavarian representatives want these art experts to have a public prosecutor at their side, as well. The exact identities of the other members of the task force, however, shall remain secret. That, of course, will leave less room for the transparency Westerwelle has demanded.

Berggreen-Merkel announced as a first measure that the public prosecutor's office in Augsburg will publish images of 576 paintings which are suspected to be looted art at www.lostart.de as soon as possible. But prosecutors must still determine the legal basis for releasing the images on the Internet given that Gurlitt hasn't been accused of committing any crime.

The provenance researchers now have the task of clarifying the origins of the artworks with the necessary expedience given the politically charged nature of the situation. They are tasked with ascertaining the labyrinth history of every single one of the 570 paintings and, specifically, whether they belonged to Jews or other victims of the Nazis. It's a Herculean task.

'Each Case is Different'

But it is unlikely the researchers will be able to act with the urgency required. At the annual meeting of the Provenance Research Working Group last week in Hamburg, the around 60 attendees spoke of "undertaking the requisite research into the Munich art find as speedily as possible, but also in the necessary scientific quality."

The working group has existed for 10 years, but its members have not been able to agree on a standard for provenance specifications. It's more likely it will take the task force years rather than months to identifiy possible looted art in Gurlitt's collection. "Each case is unique," said one provenance researcher, "every picture is different."

At first, it also appeared that politicians and officials in Berlin were hesitant to include members of the Jewish Claims Conference among the experts reviewing the Gurlitt collection. With pressure growing, however, officials announced Monday that 10 experts would be part of the group probing the artworks, including two researchers with the organization, which has sought the return or restitution of Jewish property lost during the Holocaust.

"The Claims Conference has represented the interests of Jews persecuted by the Nazis for more than six decades in all questions about damages and restitution," Rüdiger Mahlo, the international organization's German representative, said last week. "It is self-explanatory that there should be representation of the Jewish victims on such a commission."

While the task force is being created, investigators in Augsburg are still receiving inquiries from lawyers who want to know whether artworks they are looking for on behalf of the heirs to the victims have been found in Gurlitt's apartment. Some 100 lawyers have already registered their interest with the public prosecutor's office. They have not received any answers.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/berlin-art-expert-to-lead-research-on-munich-find-a-934279.html

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« Reply #9485 on: Nov 20th, 2013, 12:41am »

Truth in Nonsense

Heckler Interrupts President
http://wn.com/hitler_interrupts_obama%27s_speech
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« Reply #9486 on: Nov 20th, 2013, 01:05am »

RETURN TO ANIMAL FARM
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/20/us/politics/for-lawmakers-a-gold-plated-insurance-exchange.html?_r=0


WASHINGTON — Members of Congress like to boast that they will have the same health care enrollment experience as constituents struggling with the balky federal website, because the law they wrote forced lawmakers to get coverage from the new insurance exchanges.
Contribute to Our Reporting

The Times would like to hear from Americans who have begun to sign up for health care under the Affordable Care Act.


That is true. As long as their constituents have access to “in-person support sessions” like the ones being conducted at the Capitol and congressional office buildings by the local exchange and four major insurers. Or can log on to a special Blue Cross and Blue Shield website for members of Congress and use a special toll-free telephone number — a “dedicated congressional health insurance plan assistance line.”

And then there is the fact that lawmakers have a larger menu of “gold plan” insurance choices than most of their constituents have back home.

While millions of Americans have been left to fend for themselves and go through the frustrating experience of trying to navigate the federal exchange, members of Congress and their aides have all sorts of assistance to help them sort through their options and enroll.

Lawmakers and the employees who work in their “official offices” will receive coverage next year through the small-business marketplace of the local insurance exchange, known as D.C. Health Link, which has staff members close at hand for guidance.

“D.C. Health Link set up shop right here in Congress,” said Eleanor Holmes Norton, the delegate to the House from the nation’s capital.

Insurers routinely offer “member services” to enrollees. But on Capitol Hill, the phrase has special meaning, indicating concierge-type services for members of Congress.

If lawmakers have questions about Aetna plan benefits and provider networks, they can call a special phone number that provides “member services for members of Congress and staff.”

On the website run by the Obama administration for 36 states, it is notoriously difficult to see the prices, deductibles and other details of health plans.

It is much easier for members of Congress and their aides to see and compare their options on websites run by the Senate, the House and the local exchange.

Lawmakers can select from 112 options offered in the “gold tier” of the District of Columbia exchange, far more than are available to most of their constituents.

Aetna is offering eight plan options to members of Congress, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield is offering 16. Eight are available from Kaiser Permanente, and 80 are on sale from the UnitedHealth Group.

Lawmakers and their aides are not eligible for tax credit subsidies, but the government pays up to 75 percent of their premiums, contributing a maximum of $5,114 a year for individual coverage and $11,378 for family coverage. The government contribution is based on the same formula used for most other federal employees.

In debates leading up to passage of the Affordable Care Act, members of both parties suggested that all Americans should have coverage as good as what Congress had. President Obama said in 2009 that people should be able to buy insurance in a marketplace, or exchange, “the same way that federal employees do, same way that members of Congress do.”

For decades, members of Congress have received coverage through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. They generally like their coverage, but — like millions of Americans facing the loss of their policies next year — they cannot keep it.

In the past, if lawmakers did nothing in the open enrollment period, their coverage would automatically continue. This year, by contrast, they must affirmatively pick a plan. Their coverage under the federal employee program will end on Dec. 31. If they do not choose a plan via D.C. Health Link by Dec. 9, they will lose the government contribution to their premiums and could lose their right to retiree health benefits as well.

In addition, lawmakers who go without insurance next year may, like other Americans, be subject to tax penalties.
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« Reply #9487 on: Nov 20th, 2013, 09:57am »

Good morning Sys cheesy

Crystal



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« Reply #9488 on: Nov 20th, 2013, 10:04am »

Associated Press

Macy's Thanksgiving parade awash in float flaps

By VERENA DOBNIK
Nov. 20, 2013 6:07 AM EST

NEW YORK (AP) — Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is awash in animal-related protests over its floats, with controversies involving the unlikely pairing of rocker Joan Jett and Shamu the killer whale.

Activists plan to line the route of next week's parade to protest a SeaWorld float over accusations in a new documentary that the theme parks treat whales badly. And ranchers succeeded in getting Jett pulled off the South Dakota tourism float after they questioned why the vegetarian and animal-rights ally was representing their beef-loving state.

The float flaps threaten to shake Macy's traditional position of staying out of politics and soaring silently above the fray, like the massive balloons of Snoopy, Kermit the Frog and SpongeBob SquarePants.

"The parade has never taken on, promoted or otherwise engaged in social commentary, political debate or other forms of advocacy," Cincinnati-based Macy's Inc. said in a statement this week.

It was in that spirit that parade executive producer Amy Kule told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the SeaWorld float is staying. "There is no controversy," she said. "Our goal is to entertain and that is their goal as well."

The SeaWorld float, which depicts rolling waves, tropical fish, penguins and Shamu, comes months after the release of the documentary "Blackfish," which contends that SeaWorld's poor treatment of its killer whales contributed to the aggression of a whale involved in a trainer's death.

SeaWorld says the accusations have "absolutely no basis" and that "the men and women who care for these animals at SeaWorld are dedicated in every respect to their health and well-being."

Activists, including members of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, say they plan to stage a protest somewhere along the route during next week's parade. And the group says it has sent Macy's more than 80,000 emails from animal lovers demanding that the store drop the float.

Among those joining in was actor Alec Baldwin and his wife, Hilaria, who wrote last week that SeaWorld was a "cruel prison for whales" and that the parks "should not be celebrated with a giant Shamu float parading down 34th Street."

Kenneth Sherrill, professor emeritus of political science at Manhattan's Hunter College and a longtime parade watcher, says the SeaWorld controversy puts Macy's in a tough spot.

"It's damned if they do, damned if they don't," Sherrill said. "Macy's is making a statement. If there's a political conflict, saying 'I'm not getting involved' means you're supporting the status quo."

PETA also is connected to the float controversy involving Jett, an animal-rights vegetarian who works with the organization.

She was scheduled to sing atop South Dakota's tourism float until an outcry from the South Dakota Cattlemen's Association, which said it made no sense to feature an artist who is critical of the state's top economic sector.

Macy's found a solution: The "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" singer and her Blackhearts band are being moved to a different float as yet to be announced. A parade spokesman said it made the move so attention isn't diverted from the "entertainment mission" of the event, which also features Carrie Underwood, Jimmy Fallon, the Radio City Rockettes and the cast members of the reality show "Duck Dynasty."

The parade has gone on through previous controversies.

In 2011, Tim Burton's "B. Boy" balloon took flight despite critics labeling it "creepy" for its depiction of a snaggle-toothed boy made out of old party balloons.

And last year, Elmo's appearance followed sexual abuse charges against longtime puppeteer Kevin Clash, whose recorded voice was heard on a float. That parade also included confetti made from shredded New York City police documents.

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/macys-thanksgiving-parade-awash-float-flaps

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« Reply #9489 on: Nov 20th, 2013, 10:07am »






Published on Nov 20, 2013

No description available.

~

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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #9490 on: Nov 20th, 2013, 1:13pm »

wow wings..the ole geezer has a genuine Tie Dye!! dang.. ..makes ya wonder..cuz they got the good transcendental stuff over there cheesy
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GREAT SPIRITS ALWAYS ENCOUNTER THE MOST VIOLENT OPPOSITION FROM MEDIOCRE MINDS E=MC2


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xx Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #9491 on: Nov 20th, 2013, 1:28pm »

SYS,

I WATCHED IT AS WELL...NO COMMENT grin

SHALOM...Z
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« Reply #9492 on: Nov 20th, 2013, 6:39pm »

Hey Guys cheesy



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Peace

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« Reply #9493 on: Nov 20th, 2013, 8:01pm »

CRYSTAL,

CLASSIC!!!

NOW THEN...A TEST...CAN ANYONE NAME EVERY PERSON IN THE PICTURE?

YOU WILL GET A...BIG BONUS...IF YA DO cool

SHALOM...ZETAR
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« Reply #9494 on: Nov 20th, 2013, 9:24pm »

Beautiful Pix Thanx
We just had a visitor but he never came back..evoked a lot of good vibes and connections with great pix of Indian art.
JHaha Z I recognize quite a few..but not all smiley.

Thanx a mil Wings and Zetar.
now...
A Portuguese designer has created a contraption which she says can detect cancer using trained bees.

The bees are placed in a glass chamber which the patient exhales from.

If the bees fly into a secondary chamber, then that means the bees have detected the disease, according to Susana Soares.
A Portuguese designer has developed a device for detecting cancer using trained bees

A Portuguese designer has developed a device for detecting cancer using trained bees

Miss Soares, who presented her Bee's project at Dutch Design Week, in Eindhoven last month, said: 'Trained bees only rush into the smaller chamber if they detect the odour on the patient's breath that they have been trained to target.


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'
Engineer saves his own life and 40 others by inventing device to repair life-threatening heart defect

'The bees can be trained within 10 minutes.'

Scientists have discovered that honey bees have an excellent sense of smell which is better than a sniffer dog.

Bees can be trained to detect bombs and one company called Insectinel is training 'sniffer bees' to work in counter-terrorist operations.
If the bees fly into the secondary chamber, the designer says that means they have detected cancer

If the bees fly into the secondary chamber, the designer says that means they have detected cancer

A bee is trained by exposing it to certain odours before feeding them a solution of water and sugar.

The bees then remember the smell for the rest of their lives if they are always rewarded with sugar.

The glass object has a big chamber and a small chamber where the bees go if they detect the disease.

Research carried out by scientists has suggested that bees can accurately diagnose diseases such as tuberculosis, lung and skin cancer as well as diabetes.

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