Thursday, January 7, 2010

A cup of tea, a great book, down comforter, and a snowflake...From Paris

It's going to snow tomorrow. Again. I confess. I'm a complete 'wimp'. I don't like driving in snow.
I don't like my husband reminding me that the car I bought is completely "impractical in the snow." I don't like the general disruption snow causes Monday-Friday. I do love the quiet simple beauty of snow, if it falls on the weekends, and I can crawl back into bed, under my down comforter, with a cup of hot tea, and a great book to hold.
"Last month's snow fall was huge, especially considering that thousands of tiny crystals make up just one of the snowflakes piled together on the sidewalks. The engaging 'Story of Snow' featuring a succinct text, spare illustrations in gray and blue hues and magnified images of gorgeous snow crystals, explains how snow is made (starting when water vapor sticks to a speck of anything from dirt to ash to salt or bacteria)." --Abby Nolan



Truth is justice in words and justice is truth in action.
-Anselm (11th century)
He helped to end slavery in England in 1102 at the Council of Westminster when he brought together bishops and abbots. The Council's decision had effect because the Church had the power to excommunicate slavers, thereby rendering their lives and possessions forfeit.

3 headlines that have a common feature: Arrogance of those in power

NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: You’ll be shocked when you hear all the things that went wrong with security on Flight 253.


TRANSPARENCY: Pelosi to Public, C-SPAN: Drop Dead.


JUST FOLLOWING THE TONE SET AT THE TOP: Antiterror Chief Michael Leiter remained on ski slopes after Christmas Day airline bombing attempt.

O and the Press

Cause and Effects:Day by Day Cartoon

The power of Light

Silencing Brain Cells With Yellow

Neuroscientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass., recently developed a way to turn off abnormally active brain cells using multiple colors of light. This research could prove useful for managing disorders including chronic pain, epilepsy, brain injury and Parkinson's disease.

and Blue Light

ScienceDaily (Jan. 7, 2010) — Neuroscientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a powerful new class of tools to reversibly shut down brain activity using different colors of light. When targeted to specific neurons, they could potentially lead to new treatments for abnormal brain activity associated with disorders including chronic pain, epilepsy, brain injury and Parkinson's disease

Dems worried about new taxes, lies and CNN going after them

Dem congressman puts blame on leaders for slipping support...

Married Couples Pay More Than Unmarried...
CBSNEWS: Obama Reneges on Transparency...
VIDEO: CNN Cafferty Rips Obama on Failed Openness Pledge....

And they want to tax you for GW

Midwest bracing for heavy snow -- wind chills of 50 below!
Next Arctic Blast blows even colder...
Persistent cold tightens grip on nation...
Britain's big snow shuts cities...
Death toll rises to 22 in UK's biggest freeze for 30 years......
Arctic blast freezes Texas...
Weekend Freeze Looms for Gulf Coast...
Florida races to save crops...

News of the weird

Orszag left Baby Mama

Is this DC? Really? Sounds more like Hollywood
CS - Peter Orszag
Aude Guerrucci / Getty Images

White House Budget Director may not sound like a sexy job, but Peter Orszag has still managed to play the field. Obama's staff member welcomed a baby girl in November, just six weeks before he announced his engagement to ABC News' Bianna Golodryga. Orszag and his ex-girlfriend, shipping heiress Claire Milonas, were still together when he met Golodryga at the White House Correspondents Dinner, and he had promised to wed Milonas when the couple found out about the pregnancy. Milonas, a Yale and Harvard MBA grad, was three months pregnant when Orszag decided to dump her.

Ted Koppel back on ABC for This Week?

ABC News wants Ted Koppel, who worked for the network for 42 years, to anchor This Week three Sundays a month, and has offered him $1 million per year, Politico reports. Potential future anchors from ABC's Washington bureau would take turns anchoring the fourth Sunday's show. Koppel hasn't signed the deal yet, though, and the fact that his longtime producer, Tom Bettag, is not part of the arrangement could prove to be a sticking point for Koppel, who is currently managing editor at the Discovery Channel. The This Week job came open after Charlie Gibson's exit from World News created a power vacuum, with Diane Sawyer leaving Good Morning America to fill his slot, and George Stephanopoulos leaving This Week for GMA

Yoko ready to spill the beans on Beatle breakup

But you'll have to wait to 2015

Is she really ready to spill the big beans? John Lennon's widow Yoko Ono told fans in a Q&A that she plans to write the story of her life within the next five years. After almost 40 years of speculation, will Beatles fans finally hear a first-hand account of the story of the dissolution of their favorite band?

It is being reported that Yoko's book will focus "on [Yoko and John's] intense relationship, the myths surrounding her role in the Beatles' break-up, the bed-in for peace, Lennon's infamous 'Lost Weekend' and more."

Five years may seem a long time to wait. Yet today, nearly 30 years after the death of Lennon, there is no let-up in the wave of interest in all things Beatles. Just the last few years have brought us "Across the Universe," Cirque du Soliel's "The Beatles: Love," "Beatles: Rock Band," the remastered albums, and another round of major-venue Paul McCartney concerts - all joyously received. On the book front, there have been a number of distinguished attempts to decode the Beatles in recent years, including Bob Spitz's "The Beatles" (2005), Jonathan Gould's "Can't Buy Me Love" (2007), and Philip Norman's "John Lennon: The Life" (2008).

Is there really anything new that Oko can tell us? Of course. Although she has spoken about John before, and not always in a scintillating fashion (the Guardian pokes fun at her lengthy account of how he liked his tea), Yoko has never given the world a full account of their love, their lives together, and – perhaps most desired – her own understanding of why the Fab Four finally went their separate ways. You've heard it from others – but that will never have the weight of hearing it from her.

Will the book really come to pass? That may be the bigger question. The 76-year-old Ono says that she has long intended to write the book but the hard part has been finding the time to do so.

What should not be hard will be finding a publisher. There are few sure bets in the publishing world. But a genuinely revealing memoir by Yoko Ono would have to be one of them.

Oldest land-walker tracks found -- pushes back evolution

But did they have a Rand-McNally?

The first vertebrates to walk the Earth emerged from the sea almost 20 million years earlier than previously thought, say scientists who have discovered footprints from an 8-foot-long (2.4-meter-long) prehistoric creature.

Dozens of the 395-million-year-old fossil footprints were recently discovered on a former marine tidal flat or lagoon in southeastern Poland (prehistoric time line).

The prints were made by tetrapods—animals with backbones and four limbs—and could rewrite the history of when, where, and whyfish evolved limbs and first walked onto land, the study says.

Because they are thought to have evolved from such creatures, reptiles, birds, and mammals—including humans—are today classified as tetrapods.

(Related: "Before tetrapods: Fishy Ancestors of Humans Surprisingly Diverse.")

"These are the oldest tetrapod tracks and also the oldest evidence of true tetrapods," study co-author Grzegorz Niedƃwiedzki, a paleontologist at Warsaw University, commented via e-mail.

The Corruption of DOJ

RULE OF LAW: Obama Lawyers Fined by Federal Court. “It is noteworthy that these two lawyers — the ones who directly superimposed their own legal judgment in the New Black Panther Party case — are now the subject of the court’s order, which as the report notes is unusual, in that it is ‘directed at individual lawyers that specifically says their employer is not responsible for paying the costs.’ To boot, King is a multiple-sanctions recipient. During the Clinton administration, she was one of the Justice Department attorneys who was responsible for a fine of more than half a million dollars.”