Tuesday, November 29, 2016

A House Divided Cannot Stand


Politics -- all of them -- are destroying this country.

Publisher, The Chronicles

The reason I do not allow political partisanship on the site is because politics is destroying the United States -- right now. Today.

Politics have become too charged to be of use to anyone as news anymore. Politics has become the great divider of Americans. There is no longer debate in this country -- there is feral hatred between Democrats and Republicans. It is as if there are two halves of America that cannot stand the very existence of one another. I have seen fanaticism in this country, in the realm of politics, before -- local through national -- but nothing like this in my 50 years. Still, there are many people caught in-between these protagonists and it is like seeing two trains heading toward each other and there is nothing anyone can do to avert it. Certainly, those caught in-between will be caught in the explosion, more is to pity.

The polarities of political thought on issues ranging from government, to medicine, education, the military and science have become so extreme, so polarized, so galvanized that it seems as if the fabric of our nation, which I once thought was made of steel, seems to be coming apart.

I remember the early 1970s through a child's eyes, generally considered a time of moderate social unrest in the history books. There was discontent in the country over continued American involvement in Vietnam and with the Watergate debacle. Frankly, though, that was small potatoes compared to the bile and acrimony that exists today between conservatives and progressives, Republicans and Democrats, call them whatever you want.

I am not saying that one side of this equation is all 'right' or all 'wrong.' In some things, I think conservatives are right and in others I believes more progressive people are right. Yet, there is no more middle-ground to be had by anyone anymore. The fact is that, in several weeks, there will be a transition of power at the local through presidential levels. In some cases, who holds power will remain the same and in others they will not. It has been that way for a long time in the United States, since we took over the store for ourselves.

Whether someone loves the new president or hates the new president, whether they voted for Mr. Trump and the conservatives or they voted against them -- let us not tread too heavily on the ground beneath our feet. Americans of all stripes are going to need to remember we are one nation, or else we will not be a nation at all. We can make it so we, as a society, will be not the great American people of legend but a large collection of eccentric tribes residing under one compromised flag, if the level of public savagery does not come to some restrained level.

It is a lesson that America taught the world when it made itself free and stayed free: No one will be oppressed for very long anymore in this country. It is a fact. Progressives that mean to re-enact the 1960s before this president has even been sworn-in will not make a stronger nation. They will not win. Conservatives who might want to undo all of the works of this nation since 1970 and punish progressives along the way will not win. All these two groups, so intent upon the others' destruction, will do is leave this nation as a burning husk. It came close before, during the 1960s. I would not wish to see it so again.

Mark my words about this: If Americans cannot lower the level of their unprovoked political rage, this nation will be hurled headlong into civil unrest. All of us can turn America into a great, ugly spectacle if that is what is wanted by enough people. And, whether it is progressive unrest, or whether it is conservative unrest, without some sense of restraint, there will be no victory for anyone to enjoy.

Americans have lost the ability to discuss things, in my opinion. As a people, we have lost the steady virtues of those who came before us, who kept this land whole and prosperous for so long. However, unless someone who is just dripping with common sense makes themselves felt pretty darn soon, then chaos may soon slip out of the bottle again. Like it did when many of the people stirring the pot now have no recollection of because they were not yet born or even thought of in their grandfather's eyes.

No, I will not play a part in the lunacy that is shaping up. I will not shill for this one's side, or shill for another's. Maybe the issues and problems of our nation have become so compromised that now there is no more room for discussion. Maybe this is just the chickens coming home to roost. Well, the truth is that after all the hot-heads have had their way, after all the grand speeches have come and gone and the 'causes du jour' have all been played out on television, Internet news, cable and YouTube, there will be regret. Hatred and evil thought brings nothing good with it. Forcing one's views upon another with no regard to the other's perspective will only result in conflict.

Of course, in America, protesting and writing letters to the editor, fielding candidates, raising money for campaigns -- all of these are acceptable ways to enact change. I am not talking about reasonable means of change. I see a storm brewing, a fair-sized one. And, I don't like the way the clouds look on this one. I worry about great public clashes of ideas that exceed what is reasonable, what is prescribed.

As ugly as this new world we will be walking into next year gets, be assured sanity will inevitably raise its head again someday; look upon all that will have to be rebuilt, and take a deep breath. It will ask itself 'why,' but know the answer already: Because people are the damnedest fools.

There is very little uniting Americans today. And, our enemies overseas just love it. It looks like a heavyweight fight about to take place. But, I look warily upon this coming event. The crowd in the audience doesn't have popcorn or programs on their laps in this one. They have brought with them broken bottles, pieces of chain and good-sized sticks with nails driven through them. No, there will be no good sportsmanship in the rounds ahead I think.

I urge restraint. I urge caution. I ask for common sense. Historically, though, common sense in times like this is usually way too much to ask for, though.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Baseball Great Tiant Discusses Castro's Passing


In the mid- and late-1970s, baseball was the king of American sports and the biggest show on the stage was the rivalry between the "Bronx Bombing" New York Yankees and the Red Sox in the American League East. On that stage, no one cared that side-armed pitching phenom Luis Tiant was a Cuban refugee. What they cared about most was his killer curve balls and exploding sliders. Today, though, one of Cuba's most notable exiles remembers the life of the late Fidel Castro, who died a few days ago at 90 years old.
Luis Tiant today

In an article posted today by the Washington Post, by Des Bieler, Tiant discussed his thoughts about Castro.

Tiant said Cuba produced a great deal of Latin American players in Major League Baseball until the Castro regime "set everything back." He noted that there were generations of ball players who never had the chance to succeed at their sport. Though he was a famed starting pitcher, Tiant said that, at the time he left Cuba as a young man, there were 50 or 60 players better than him.

Luis Tiant in the 1970s
What Tiant reflected upon was the loss of opportunity for the Cuban people, not just baseball players but certainly them. At the time Castro came to absolute, untethered power in 1961, Tiant was playing professional baseball in Mexico and did not return home.

One of the consequences to his decision was that Tiant would not be reunited with his parents, who were Cuban residents, until 1975. And, it wasn't until 2007 that the cigar-smoking former big league pitcher was able to return to his homeland without the threat of imprisonment.

Somberly, Tiant said that the exact number of people who lost their lives trying to make the passage between Cuba and Florida, often in rickety boats and rafts, would never be known. Was it 20,000? 100,000? A million? Tiant said the world may never know exactly how many people perished reaching for freedom, but for him it was 40. "They all died. All of them. Just gone," he said.

Castro was an avid lover of the sport of baseball and there are unsubstantiated reports the former dictator came close to being signed by a professional team in the United States during his youth.

With Castro gone now, Tiant warned it was not yet time to celebrate the end of totalitarianism in Cuba yet. He explained the Castro regime is still in place, albeit without their inspirational leader.

Tiant likened the passing of the Cuban despot to a "little door cracking open" for the future. He concluded with his hope that, one day, Cuba would be open again -- for its people to travel as they like and for its exiles to finally return home.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Giving Thanks: 'Praise You In This Storm' (Casting Crowns)

Happy Sunday to everyone. May this be a day of peace and family for everyone. This is a wonderful song by the Christian music group 'Casting Crowns." I hope you enjoy it. 

Danish PM Brings Conservatives Into Gov't



Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen
In a report posted today by Reuters, Jacob Gronholt-Pederson has reported that Denmark's prime minister, Lars Lokke Rasmussen, has consented to form a new government that includes the Liberal Alliance and the Conservative Party. Rasmussen's party is in the minority in Denmark and bringing new voices into the government could be essential in negotiations involving a 10-year financial reform plan he is working on. The prime minister, who is in the Liberal Party, holds just 34 seats of Denmark's 179 seats in Parliament.

Lokke Rasmussen, 52, has served as prime minister of the Danish state since June, 2015. Previously, he was prime minister from 2009-2011. However, he has been a member of the Danish Parliament since 1994, when he was just 21 years old.

In May, 2010, Rasmussen's government made the unpopular move of announcing major spending cuts to unemployment insurance, from four years to two. He also enacted measures designed to increase state revenues and has cut foreign aid from .83 percent of GDP to .76 percent of GDP. In addition, he authorized cuts to child support. The intention of the cuts were, reportedly, to save the government 24 billion DKK.

Fijian Ants Were World's First Farmers


According to an article posted today by Nature World News, written by Monica Antonio, the first farmers on earth were not human but were, in fact, Fijian ants. The insect farmers have, according to new research by the University of Munich, discovered that ant farming has been going on for millions of years, far out-distancing humans in the endeavor.
Fijian ants: Not new to agriculture.

The new study has been published in the journal Nature Plants and it specifically focuses on the Fijian ant species Philidris nagasau. The breed of ant was discovered in 1921 and makes its living by planting seeds of epiphytes, such as Squamellaria, in the bark of host trees and tending them like a garden.

According to the University of Munich study, the ants know how to sow seeds, fertilize them and grow them into plants. The researchers involved with this study are Gillaume Chomicki and Susanne Renner.

Chomicki reportedly told NPR, "I first noticed the relationship when I saw dozens of these ant-filled plants clustered in the same trees." For fertilization, ants use their own bodily waste and then harvest the seeds of the Squamellaria when they are fully grown.

The study noted that while it is not yet sure exactly how long the Fijian ants have been farming, the years number in the millions, compared to humans who have only been farming for about 12,000 years.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

A Tour of the Louvre, the Pride of France


The Louvre is the largest museum in the world, which is located in Paris, France. It resides on the Right Bank of the Seine River. About 35,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st century are exhibited over an area of 782,910 square feet. And, it is the world's second-most visited museum.

The Louvre was originally built as a fortress by French King Philip II during the 12th century. In 1546, the fortress was converted into a royal palace by French King Francis I. From that time, the site served as the primary residence for French royalty. The building was added to many times during its royal tenure. However, in 1682, King Louis XIV broke from tradition and chose his Palace at Versailles for his household. After he left, Louis XIV used the palace as a place where he would keep his collection of art.

The Louvres' future mission began to take shape in 1692, when the building became occupied by the Academie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, which held the first series of exhibits there in 1699. Finally, during the French Revolution, the Louvre was announced by the National Assembly to be used as a museum to display the nation's masterpieces.

The museum opened on August 10, 1793 with a showcase that included 537 paintings, most of which were paintings that were previously confiscated either by the former French government or the Catholic Church there.

This brings us until today, where the Louvre continues in its ages-old mission of being a hub of art and beauty, which has become known throughout the world for its remarkable collections. Truly, the Louvre is one of the great places to be seen by artists, art lovers, and for people from all nations and walks of life.

Former Cuban President Fidel Castro Dies at 90


According to a Reuters report filed today, Nov. 26, 2016, from Havana, Cuba, it was reported that Fidel Castro, the former long-time prime minister of Cuba, has died at the age of 90.

Fidel Castro
Castro, whose birth name was Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz was born on August 13, 1926 and died November 25, 2016. The Cuban leader's passing was reported on Cuban state television just after midnight today by his brother, Cuban President Raul Castro. The cause of his death has not yet been announced.

Castro governed as prime minister of Cuba from 1959-1976, then as president from 1976-2008.

Castro's political rise in Cuba came after the Biran-born son of a wealthy farmer adopted communist sympathies as he was studying law at the University of Havana. In 1953, Castro began his path to power with a failed attack against the Moncada Barracks, during the presidency of then-Cuban President Fulgencio Batista. Castro was imprisoned for his role in the attack and, after a year's confinement, he was released and traveled to Mexico, where he formed the "26th of July Movement." Castro and his followers then returned to Cuba and fought a guerilla war against the Batista regime. By 1959, the war was over and Castro and his movement had toppled Batista and the former law student was made leader of the Cuban people.

Castro then went on to create a one-party communist state wherein he was installed as its life-long leader.

Some of the milestones involving the tenure of Castro as Cuba's leader includes: the abortive "Bay of Pigs" Invasion by CIA-backed anti-communist Cuban forces, in 1961; the infamous Cuban Missile Crisis, in 1962; Castro's partnership with Russia and other communist nations, resulting in Cuba exporting terrorism to Central America and the world; and economic stagnation for the Cuban people.

Discovery Channel Feature Video Offers Asteroid Strike Drama

Scientists: Asteroid Strike Creates Life, Will Take It


About 65 or 66 million years ago, depending upon whom is asked, the earth experienced the impact of a giant asteroid, so powerful that all life was extinguished. This included the mammoth dinosaurs that inhabited every area of the world. Leading scientists, such as Dr. Stephen Hawking, have expressed their concern about the possibility that such an event could happen again.

The asteroid tore open a 60-mile wide hole. Rock from miles beneath the earth's surface hurtled upward to twice the height of Mount Everest, and then landed and created the great mountain ranges of the new world created in the wake of the asteroid strike.

The geography of the entire world changed in the space of no more than 10 minutes, according to Sean Gulick, a geophysicist at the University of Texas in Austin. Notably, Prof. Gulick assisted a team of researchers drill for geological samples of the mountain region near the Chicxulub crater, which is located off the coast of Mexico. His studies took place during 2016, so the findings are very recent.

Prof. Gulick said that the findings of the research were undeniable: "So things collapse in from the sides, fairly shallow, and in that model this ring of peaks (in the Chicxulub mountain region) were created by shallow material kind of moving toward the center and being uplifted."

Prof. Gulick compared the process to a rock being thrown in a pond; even though rock behaved like a liquid during the strike, it remained a solid.

However, pink granite that emerged from six miles beneath the earth's surface gives scientists a hint about how life was restored to the world in the wake of this cataclysm.  Prof. Gulick and his fellow researchers believe the fluid-like impact is probably the best way to think about such asteroid strikes. In conclusion, he stated that, if mankind is seeking the possibility of life on other planets, one of the best places to start would be craters left by asteroid strikes.

Friday, November 25, 2016

America's Mom, Florence Henderson, Dies At 82

Actress Florence Henderson

She was "Mrs. Brady" for an entire generation.

Actress Florence Henderson, 82, known for her role portraying Brady matriarch "Carol Brady" on the iconic television show "The Brady Bunch," died on Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 2016. According to a press release issued by her manager, Kayla Pressman, she was surrounded by friends and family when she passed.

While the cause for her death has not been released as of yet, Ms. Henderson continued to work on "The Florence Henderson Show" from 2008 until her death yesterday. Her role on the Brady Bunch, which lasted for five years during the late 1960s and early 1970s, propelled her into celebrity. However, Ms. Henderson was a working actress through her entire life. She starred on the Broadway stage in "Wish You Were Here" (1952); "Fanny" (1054); "The Girl Who Came to Supper" (1963); and she appeared on many television shows since the 1970s in guest appearances.

Ms. Henderson was born in Dale, Indiana to a farmer, Joseph Henderson, and his wife, Elizabeth Henderson. Ms. Henderson was the youngest of 10 children. After graduating St. Francis School, in 1951, Ms. Henderson went on to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, in New York City.

Ms. Henderson was married twice and is survived by four children.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Jonas Salk: The Man Who Saved the Children


There are few things that everyone can feel universally grateful for the world over. Whether it is a religion (not everyone has the same religion), a war having a successful ending (or an unsuccessful ending for some) or even the rise of a great company (as great companies tend to put other companies out of business). Yet, there is one marvel that all the world can agree was a milestone we can all be thankful for, and that is the creation of the polio vaccine by Dr. Jonas Salk (1914-1995), in 1952.
Dr. Jonas Salk

Poliomyelitis, known also as infantile paralysis or simply polio, is an infectious disease caused by the poliovirus. Poliovirus is usually spread from person to person through infected fecal matter entering the mouth, and it can be spread through both food and water. Usually, polio struck the legs. However, there have been cases historically where weakness occurs in the muscles of the head, neck and diaphragm. Up to five percent of children and 30 percent of adults who acquired the disease died.

Cases of polio were first recorded in Ancient Egypt. It struck every corner of the world. During 1950 in the United States, 58,000 people a year acquired polio and, of that number, more than 3,000 people died, while a far greater number were left disabled for the rest of their lives.

Then came Dr. Jonas Salk.

In 1947, Dr. Salk took a polio and infantile paralysis research position at the University of Pittsburgh. By 1951, Dr. Salk identified three distinct types of polio virus and, in 1951, he used polio samples from his laboratory to create a "killer virus" that destroyed virulent forms of the disease. He answered a riddle that had been plaguing mankind for tens of thousands of years.

Preliminary testing for the polio vaccine began in 1952. By 1955, the vaccine was approved by general use. Today, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, there are about 100 cases of polio worldwide. However, it took many years for some countries to permit doctors there to use the vaccine, which was why, in 1988, there were more than 350,000 cases worldwide. Unfortunately, though the polio vaccine does prevent polio in healthy people, once someone has acquired some strains of the disease there is no specific protocol for a cure.

After Dr. Salk's revolutionary discovery, he opened the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, in La Jolla, California, and that center continues today, dedicated to medical research.

Dr. Salk was a graduate of City Colleges of New York, New York University and the University of Michigan.

Buried In Ice - The Franklin Expedition - Documentary (HD)

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.

The Surprising Origin of Thanksgiving Foods

Sunday, November 20, 2016

November 21st: Happy Birthday Michael Strahan and Ken Griffey Jr.

Michael Strahan

Two notable birthdays in the world of sports today are all-time greats in their respective sports football Giant legend Michael Strahan and baseball slugger Ken Griffey Jr.

Michael Anthony Strahan was born this day in 1971, in Houston, Texas. He is the youngest son of former Army Major Gene Willie Strahan and basketball coach Louise Traylor Strahan. After high school, Strahan went on to play football for Texas Southern University.

Meanwhile, in the NFL, Strahan joined the New York Giants in 1993 as a defensive end. He was invaluable part of the famous 2008 underdog Giants team that defeated the vaunted New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, played at University of Phoenix Stadium, in Glendale, Arizona.

Before his Super Bowl win, though, in 2001, Strahan shattered the NFL single season sack record with 22.5.

Today, Michael Strahan is a football analyst on Fox NFL Sunday and is a regular contributor to ABC's Good Morning America program.
Ken Griffey Jr.

Strahan shares his birthday with George Kenneth "Ken" Griffey Jr., who was born in 1969, the son of famous Cincinnati Red Ken Griffey Sr. Known as either "Junior" or simply "The Kid," the baseball progeny began his storied MBL career on April 3, 1989 with the Seattle Marines as an outfielder. During his 22-year tenure in the Great American Game, Griffey Jr. played for the Mariners (1989-1999), the Cincinnati Reds (2000-2008), the Chicago White Sox (2008) and finally he left the game from where he began, again as a Seattle Mariner (2009-2010).

During his playing career, Griffey Jr. had a lifetime batting average of .284, a lifetime hits count of 2,781, a home run record of 630 and runs batted in numbering 1,836.

Following his playing career, Griffey Jr. joined the front office for the Mariners as a special consultant. Meanwhile, in 2016, Griffey Jr. was elected the Baseball Hall of Fame with a stunning 99.32 percent of votes that are cast by Hall of Fame voters. To date, that remains a Hall of Fame voting record.

NASA Video: The Aurora Borealis from Space

Just what happens to create the Aurora Borealis, sometimes referred to as "polar light"?

Well, there is nothing man-made about it. The Aurora Borealis is a natural display of light, usually in the Arctic or Antarctic regions of the earth. The lights are caused when the magnetosphere is disturbed by solar winds. The changed particles of the solar wind then combine with the magnetospheric plasma (in the form of electrons and protons). The resulting ionization of atmospheric elements then creates light of varying color and complexity.

In northern latitudes, the effect is known as the Aurora Borealis (a.k.a. "Northern Lights), named for the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, and the Greek name for the North Wind, Boreas, by Galileo Galilei in 1619.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Happy Sunday Everyone! 'How Great Is Our God'

"How Great Is Our God" is performed by Christian singer Chris Tomlin. I wish you a peaceful and wonderful Sunday.

Born This Day: Senator Robert F. Kennedy


Born this day, on November 20, 1925, was Robert Francis Kennedy, commonly known as "RFK." RFK was a politician originally from Massachusetts. He was the 64th U.S. Attorney General, appointed by his brother, President John F. Kennedy. As Attorney General, RFK served from Jan. 1961 to Sept. 1964. He then went on to serve as a U.S. senator, representing the state of New York, from January 1965 until his assassination, in 1968. At the time of his death, Robert Kennedy was the Democratic candidate for the Presidential Election that year; his main competition coming from then-former Vice President Richard M. Nixon.
Robert F. Kennedy

Before Mr. Kennedy was murdered by 24-year-old Sirhan Sirhan, a Palestinian, he was running on alleviating the plight of the poor, racism against African-Americans, Hispanics and unfair business practices against union and non-union laborers.

RFK served during World War II as a seaman apprentice in the United States Navy Reserve, from 1944 until 1946. After the service, Robert Kennedy went on to earn degrees from both Harvard University and the University of Virginia. Prior to serving in public office, Mr. Kennedy was employed as a correspondent for the Boston Globe. Later, he worked as an assistant counsel for the Senate committee chaired by then-Sen. Joe McCarthy.

RFK served as the campaign manager for his brother, John's, presidential campaign run in 1960.

Ted Turner Turns 78 Today

Ted Turner
Today marks the 78th birthday of media mogul, philanthropist and businessman Ted Turner. Though his name has become synonymous with the Cable News Network (CNN), which he founded in 1980, the name on Mr. Turner’s birth certificate is actually “Robert Edward Turner III.” Mr. Turner was born on November 19, 1938 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Mr. Turner is the son of Florence (nee Rooney) and Robert Edward Turner II. Notably, Mr. Turner II was a billboard magnate. Mr. Turner II founded Turner Outdoor Billboard, which his son later inherited. 

As a philanthropist, Mr. Turner donated $1 billion to support the United Nations. He is also known as the founder of the TBS network, co-founder of the Nuclear Threat Initiative and former owner of the Atlanta Braves.

Mr. Turner has five children and was previously married to actress Jane Fonda (1991-2001).

Pluto Grows More Mysterious | Space News


NASA's New Horizons mission to the dwarf planet Pluto has provided scientific mysteries recently that were entirely unexpected.
Clyde W. Tombaugh

The video has some important new evidence with it. But, for those who are not familiar with Pluto, here is some background.

Pluto was discovered on Feb. 18, 1930 by astronomer Clyde W. Tombaugh. It is a dwarf planet with temperatures as low as -229 degrees Celsius. Upon its discovery, Pluto was considered the ninth planet from the Sun. After 1992, however, its "planethood" was questioned by the International Astronomical Union, as the definition of what the IAU believes is a planet excludes Pluto.

As a result of the IAU ruling, Pluto is now in the "dwarf planet" category.

Pluto has five moons: Charon, Styx, Nix, Kerberos and Hydra.

LIVE - Floor of the NYSE! Nov. 18 2016 Financial News - Business News - ...

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Hawking: Humanity Only Has About 1,000 Years Left

Dr. Stephen Hawking

In a story by staffer Lindsay Dodgson filed today in Business Insider, it was reported that, according to renowned theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, humanity only has about 1,000 years left before it becomes extinct.

Hawking made his disturbing prediction at a talk he was giving at the Oxford Union Debating Society.

Hawking, 74, said that extreme risks in the world, such as nuclear weapons, global climate change and mankind developing artificial intelligence and losing control of it are all likely causes for future destruction of the human race.

Hawking urges that humanity must leap beyond the "fragile" confines of earth and move out into other worlds, where pockets of humanity would survive even if there is a fatal cataclysm on our home planet.

In fact, the Kepler spacecraft was launched in 2009, with the mission of finding other worlds that may be habitable for mankind. Notably, this year, astronomers discovered a world they called Proxima B. The planet is roughly earth-sized and orbits the star Proxima Centauri's Goldilocks zone. It also lies about 4.2 light years away from earth.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Manned Mars Mission Scheduled For 2026

Dutch Company Creates Concept Spacesuit For Mission
A spacesuit has been designed for a manned mission to Mars


Reportedly, a robotic lander will be launched to Mars in 2020 and human's will follow in a mission now scheduled for 2026.

According to an article written by World of Tech Staff Writer Duncan Greere, a Dutch company, Mars One, has completed a study into what "potential colonists" would wear as they live on the surface of Mars.

The suit designed by Mars One would be pressurized, with an impact-resistant helmet and a modular system that allows for individual parts to be 3D-printed and actually replaced on the Martian surface. The suit could be put on a colonist in 10 minutes, if they had help, or 30 minutes, if unassisted.

The suit would allow Martian colonists to operate outdoors for at least eight hours without plugging into other systems. In addition, it would offer, at a minimum, 45 minutes of emergency life support. Reportedly, it will take the suit four hours to recharge and it would be able to operate in temperatures ranging from -128 degrees Celsius to 77 degrees Celsius.

Most importantly, the suit would shield the wearer from solar radiation and the planet's red dust. A water source and high-energy food will be included in the suit. In addition, the suit would collect human waste.

The study was carried out by Paragon Space Development Corporation, which was contracted in 2013 to develop a spacesuit for a Mars mission. Paragon's chief engineer, Barry Finger, said the suit is designed to make maximum use of Martian resources to provide a safe and comfortable environment for crew members.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Could Buffett Become Wells Fargo's New Director?

Warren Buffett

According to a story published today by Staff Writer Dan Freed, from Reuters, "several large Wells Fargo & Company investors" are looking for changes in the company's Board of Directors in the wake of a company scandal that cost the chief executive his job.

There are reportedly 15 members on the board. One top investor, Gamco CEO Mario Gabelli, said he would welcome Warren Buffett, Wells Fargo's top investor, becoming its new director. Most of the 100 leading investors at Wells Fargo declined to comment. However, when contacted about this, Buffett reportedly declined to comment. However, in a CNN interview last week, Buffett said he did not sell any Wells Fargo shares because he has long-term faith in the bank.

A key criticism offered by several board members contacted was reportedly that the board was slow to take on and disclose shady sales practices that led to as many as 2 million accounts being opened without customers' permission.

Wells Fargo is the third largest U.S. bank, and lost as much as 12 percent of the company's value since the scandal eroded. The bank's shares are down 2.1 percent this year compared with a 12.1 percent gain for the S&P 500 Banks Index.

WMO: 2016 Sets Heat Record; Blames Man-Made Warming


According to a story published yesterday in Reuters, by Alister Doyle and Nina Chestney, reporting from Marrakesh, Morocco, the world knotted a new heat record during 2016. Reportedly, rising temperatures owe some responsibility to man-made pollution, the levels of which are the subject of great controversy in political and scientific circles,

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reported that this year is the warmest since records began being recorded in the late 19th century. Organization spokespeople have said temperatures are fully 2.2 degrees Fahrenheit above pre-industrial times.

WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas noted that almost 200 nations are discussing ways to slow climate change. He reported that the rising temperatures from a Pacific El Nino weather event earlier this year have had the effect of melting Greenland ice and damaging Australia's Great Barrier Reef.  He ascribed man-made green house gases, from fossil fuels, as having the most blame for this situation.

Monday, November 14, 2016


NASA is streaming the earth from space, 27 hours per day, seven days a week live.

Trump Says Will Deport Millions of Illegals With Criminal Records

President-Elect Donald Trump

According to Washington Post staffer Amy B. Wang, President-Elect Trump said he planned to immediately deport 2-3 million undocumented immigrants who possess criminal records. This will be among his first actions after his January inauguration.

Trump reportedly said he will be focusing on criminals, gang members and drug dealers as likely targets for deportation. Trump went on to say that, after securing the United States border with Mexico, he will then turn his attention to the remaining undocumented persons in the U.S.

Trump said there will be an effort in his administration to determine good prospects for U.S. citizenship. However, he added, "When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best."

Trump reportedly said the undocumented people coming to the United States from Mexico are people with "lots of problems," and these persons are bringing those problems to the United States. Trump said they are bringing criminals and rapists. However, he said there were good people among them.

The Market Revolution: Crash Course US History #12

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Happy Sunday: Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone)

This being Sunday, for those of you who are Christian, I thought you might enjoy this lovely rendering of "Amazing Grace," by Chris Tomlin.

Beautiful chinese dance - 采薇

Traditional Chinese dance, a festival of color and a celebration of movement.

On This Day: Vietnam Veteran Memorial Dedicated Nov, 1982

On this day in history, November 13, the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial in Washington, DC was first dedicated. The dedication was the culmination of a week-long national commemoration of the men and women who fought the war.

The memorial was designed by Maya Lin, a Yale University architecture student at the time, who won a national competition to create a design for the national memorial. Lin was born in Ohio in 1959, the year the U.S. entered the war, and is the daughter of Chinese immigrants.

 The memorial consists of a simple, V-shaped design made of black granite. On the granite is inscribed the names of the 57,939 Americans who paid the ultimate price to serve their nation in the Vietnam War (1959-1975).

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Why People Are Afraid of Zombies: National Geographic

Everyone who has ever watched a zombie movie knows that zombies are terrifying. However, there is cultural evidence of paranoia about zombies in societies throughout the world: past and present. Today, though no one believes there can be or will be zombies, nevertheless these unsettled spirits claim a significant place in the modern imagination.

Martian 'Ice Cauldron' Could Hold Secrets of Life


In a story by staffer Kathy Fay of The Space Reporter today, November 12, 2016, it was revealed that scientists have discovered funnel-shaped features on Mars that may, indeed, hold the ingredients needed for life to exist there.

According to EurekAlert, deep depressions on the surface of Mars were most likely created by volcanic activity beneath a glacier. Consequently, that could create a warm, wet and chemical-rich environment that could lead to microbial life.

Author Joseph Levy, who works at the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics, said the site could host some of the key ingredients for habitability. The largest depression is located within a crater on the edge of the Hellas basin on Mars, and it is one of a few spotted on the world's surface.

The term being given to these depressions is "ice cauldrons," which are similarly found on the earth in icy, volcanic areas like Iceland and Greenland. Levy said they are concentrically fractured so they appear like bulls-eyes.

Further analysis by researchers has reportedly shown that the formations were likely made by subsurface activity. The study was published by Icarus, the International Jounral of Solar Systems Studies.

Bizarre Underwater Discoveries

Actor Robert Vaughn, 'Man From U.N.C.L.E.' Star, Dead at 83

Actor Robert Vaughn

American actor Robert Francis Vaughn, 83, died in his Ridgefield, Connecticut home today on Friday, November 11, eleven days before his 84th birthday. The reported cause of his death was leukemia.

Mr. Vaughn was born on November 22, 1932, in New York City. His parents were radio actor Gerald W. Vaughn and his wife, Marcella Frances (Gaudel), a stage actress in the city. Mr. Vaughn attended the University of Minnesota, but ended up earning his Master's Degree in theater at Los Angeles State College of Applied Arts and Sciences. He then went on to earn his Ph.D. in communications from the University of Southern California in 1970.

Mr. Vaughn is well known for his starring role on "The Man from U.N.C.L.E.," which ran from 1964-1968. However, Mr. Vaughn had an impressive list of roles on television, on the stage and in the movies, ranging from 1955-2016. To name some of the productions he was associated with includes: "The Ten Commandments," 1956; "Teenage Cave Man," 1958; "The Magnificent Seven," 1960; "The Venetian Affair," 1967; "The Bridge at Remagen," 1969; and "Gold Star," 2016, to name a very few.

Personally, my favorite role from Mr. Vaughn's career was his portrayal of "Lee" from the "Magnificent Seven." In a star-studded film that included great actors like James Coburn and Yul Brenner, he stood out.

Mr. Vaughn was also well known for his political views. He opposed the Vietnam War, supported Democratic candidates like Eugene McCarthy, and other liberal-minded candidates, and was reported to have political ambitions of his own. However, in 1973, Mr. Vaughn denied that report.

Friday, November 11, 2016

NY Philharmonic Performs Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5

The NY Philharmonic, one of the world's great orchestra's performs Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5 in D Minor. The symphony was composed between April and July 1937, with its premier performance taking place on November 21, 1937. in Leningrad, Russia. It was performed by the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra, then under the direction of Yevgeny Mravinsky.

The New York Philharmonic, officially known as the Philharmonic Symphony Society of New York, Inc., is one of the leading orchestras in the United States and is considered one of the "Big Five." The orchestra was founded in 1842, making it one of the oldest in the United States. Its record-setting 14,000th concert was given in December, 2004.

During the course of its long history, the New York Philharmonic has had 31 music directors. The current music director, who was served in his role since 2009, is Alan Gilbert.

"Pennywise" Takes Center Stage in New "It" Movie

The classic horror story "It," penned by Stephen King in 1986, is coming to the big screen in 2017. The film tells the story of seven children being terrorized by a supernatural creature that exploits their fears and phobias.

The film is being by Andres Muscietti and "Pennywise the Dancing Clown" is played by actor Bill Skargard. Principal photography began in Toronto, Canada on June 27, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. Meanwhile, actor Jaeden Lieberher stars as "Bill Denbrough," leader of the band of children that oppose Pennywise.

"It" begins with the murder of Bill Denbrough's brother, "George," in a small town's local storm drain, in the fall of 1988. One year later, George's older brother and his group of friends begin the search for the boy's murderer and discover it was not a 'who' that killed him, but a 'what.'

There was a television movie made of the book in 1990, which starred Tim Curry in the role of the nefarious "Pennywise."

History of The US Marines


The United States Marine Corps celebrated its 241st birthday on November 10, 2016. At its beginning, the Continental Marines formed two battalions beginning November 10, 1775. The first recruitment of Marines was at Tun Tavern, Philadelphia and the corps' first commandant was Major Samuel Nichols.

The Marines were founded to serve as infantry upon naval ships. The Marines have been a component of the U.S. Navy since June 30, 1834. Currently, the Marine Corps commandant is Gen. Robert Neller, while the Sergeants Major of the Marine Corps is Ronald L. Green.

From the Halls of Montezuma, to the Shores of Tripoli, around the world, the men and women of the U.S. Marine Corps do and always have held a special place in the hearts of Americans throughout the long march of years. Happy Birthday, Marines!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Kerr to Speak at Lyons Vet. Administration Event in N.J.

Popular Chronicles contributor David Kerr, the founder of Integrity House, in Newark, New Jersey will be speaking at the Lyons VA Campus, Bldg. 143, Lyons, New Jersey on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016.

The purpose of the event, which is hosted by MTI, is to provide career information to veterans in recovery from drugs and/or alcohol. Veterans of all military services, and/or their family members are invited to this free event.

This program is specific to veterans and veterans' families from the North Jersey Area of the state.

Refreshments will be served. For more information, call Jim Purcell at (973) 224-6667.

California, Nevada, Massachusetts OK Recreational Pot Use


As well as electing Donald Trump for president and giving control of Congress to the Republican Party, the November 8 election also legalized recreational marijuana use in California, Massachusetts and Nevada. Arizona rejected the referendum there, though Maine has yet to announce an election result in that state.

In a report written by Patch staffer Marc Torrence, he noted that the three new states that have ratified recreational marijuana use join the states of Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska, where similar measures have previously been enacted.

Meanwhile, during the 2016, four other states, Arkansas, Florida, Montana and North Dakota have decided to pass measures in those states that allow for the use of medical marijuana.

Trump Upsets Clinton to Win Presidency

President-Elect Donald Trump

Well, the votes have been counted and the winner of the 2016 Presidential Election is Donald Trump. His victory on Election Day, November 8, marks perhaps the largest upset in American history. With nearly all polls showing him losing the race with Clinton, Trump came from behind in a stunning victory, marking him to be the 45th president of the United States.

In a story written by Washington Post staffers Karen Tumulty, Phillip Rucker, Juliet Eliperin and Anne Gearan, it was reported that Trump said that, under his administration, "America will no longer settle for anything less than the best." He promised foreign countries he would "always put America's interests first" but will deal fairly with everyone. He added, "We will seek common ground, not hostility."

Following her concession call to him minutes before, Trump, 70, lauded Clinton for her long history of service to the nation.

In response to Trump's election world financial markets reacted adversely, U.S. allies were considering what the future has in store with the new presidents and Americans either seethed or celebrated.

During the hotly-debated contest, Clinton garnered 218 electoral votes, while Trump notched 276 electoral tallies. In addition, Trump will be working with both Houses of Congress, which holds a clear Republican majority.

Trump was born June 14, 1946 in Jamaica Estates, in Queens, New York. Trump graduated from high school at the New York Military Academy, then went on to Fordham University for college, and completed his education at the Wharton School of Finance and Commerce at the University of Pennsylvania.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Former Atty Gen'l Janet Reno Dies at 78 Years Old

Janet Reno


According to the Associated Press, reporting from Miami less than two hours ago, former U.S. Attorney General Janet Wood Reno,78, died during the early morning hours today, Monday, November 7. Reportedly, she died from complications that arose as a result of Parkinson's disease.

Ms. Reno served as the attorney general between 1993-2000, after being nominated by then-President Bill Clinton. Notably, Ms. Reno was the first woman ever to serve in that position within the U.S. Government.

Ms. Reno was born in Miami, to parents who were both reporters for the Miami Herald. She attended public school in Miami-Dade County, Florida, and was a valedictorian and a debating champion at Coral Gables High School.

Ms. Reno then enrolled in Cornell University, in 1956, in Ithica, New York. There she became president of the Women's Self-Government Association and majored in chemistry. After her bachelor's degree was completed, Ms. Reno entered Harvard Law School, in 1963, where she earned her law degree.

In 1978, Ms. Reno was appointed as state attorney for Dade County and was then elected to the Office of State Attorney in 1978. At the time she was nominated for the post of U.S. attorney general, she was actually President Clinton's third choice. Previously, two of his nominee's, Zoe Baird and Kimba Woods, failed to be approved because both had employed undocumented immigrants as nannies.

During Ms. Reno's tenure as U.S. attorney, there were several high-profile situations that have since become pages in the nation's history. These include: the 51-day siege in Waco, Texas with Branch Davidians; bringing suit against Microsoft for violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act; prosecution of 21 persons of the Montana Freemen after an 81-day armed standoff; the capture and conviction of Theodore Kaczynski, also known as the "Unabomber"; and the capture and conviction of Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing, among others.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

U.S. Farm Report Released

U.S. Farm Report, hosted by Tyne Morgan, is a look at American farming and agriculture as it stands right now. For those interested in business and stock news this is a must-see for soybean and corn futures. Also be sure to check the report for important weather announcements in the coming weeks.

NASA Readies for Martian Manned Mission


Does NASA plan on answering the question: 'Are we alone?' Well, it seems they might, as the space agency begins to practice for a possible manned mission to Mars in Hawaii.

According to the Associated Press, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is the site of training for NASA as it prepares for eventual manned missions to Mars. Reportedly, researchers will practice searching for rock samples near Mauna Ulu, just as if they would on Mars.

NASA officials reportedly said the reason for the Hawaii training is to develop protocols that will be used on a real Mars mission in the future.

One of the concerns NASA has with future Mars missions is that rocks on the Red Planet may be home to living bacteria. "Really, the whole reason of going to Mars is to see if there's life there," said John Hamilton, an astoronomy faculty member at the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

The NASA project involving possible Martian life is called BASALT, or "Biologic Analog Science Associated with Lava Terrains."

Read more here:

A Law is in Place to Expand Help for Substance Abusers

{President Obama Visited Integrity House One Year Ago Today.

By David H. Kerr                  

“Governor Chris Christie has signed legislation into law that will expand drug addiction treatment programs throughout the state.

The bill, A-3744/S-2330, provides for the establishment of law enforcement-assisted addiction and recovery programs in law enforcement departments throughout the state.

This legislation appears to have excellent potential and maybe long overdue.  There's no "middle man" required as I read this proposal.  Police can take direct action and help can be immediately available.  No extensive calling around for a bed or getting in line with a two month waiting list in order to get help.  Naturally I would expect that if police found a street addict needing help, any other connected legal jurisdiction such as probation, parole or drug court would be notified as to what would be done for the addict, beginning at that time.  Instead of waiting in jail for a treatment bed to become available, help can start immediately and when a bed does become available, the referral can be made.  While it is an expedient solution, it is far better than incarceration with no help.

Why for many, law enforcement should be the first step to help, followed by Sister Mary L., Father Pete and I.

I have met many savvy and understanding law enforcement officers in my 50+ years of work with addicts beginning in 1965 as a state parole officer in Newark.  For the most part, those with whom I have worked have had a positive influence on the law breaking addicts they had found on the streets.  In the 60’s we developed first name communication where help for an addict was just a phone call away.  Unfortunately, there were only a handful of residential treatment programs or referral sources in the mid to late 60’s but the Mt. Carmel Guild, Sister Mary L., Father Pete, and I were in daily contact with addicts coming to us for help.  We often sent them to a farm type facility in Garrison NY for detox and treatment.  The three of us did the critical follow up and support when they returned.  The police, prosecutor and probation departments were all part of our team as well.  Through our continued close communications we became an effective team, caring enough about our recovering addict referrals to know their names and even some of their family members.

With this new law, police will be allowed and encouraged to take addicts right from the "streets," offer them help and advice and see that they enter treatment.  Police officers now have little option but to place an addict in jail for crimes related to the disease of addiction while awaiting an open treatment bed.  Adding police to the network of addiction help is not a new concept and in fact, it has been practiced informally for decades.  With this new law however, the essential but informal liaison between police and the treatment networks can be formalized offering more opportunity for help for those on long waiting lists.  Linking law enforcement with treatment programs is also not new, but giving front line police officers a more direct connection with treatment is an idea that can now become a reality.

The consequences of this law working effectively could ultimately place an even greater demand on drug treatment and our Governor and legislators must prepare for this reality now.  Here is a summary of the proposed legislation:

“This new law allows police officers —often the first people to discover nonviolent drug offenders in their worst state — to become a point of access for help and recovery," Christie said. "This law improves upon access and assistance for those suffering from addiction, helping them to obtain treatment and re-enter society as productive members.”
The law also provides for:
·    Supporting and facilitating the linkage of law enforcement-assisted addiction and recovery programs to facilities and programs that provide appropriate substance abuse recovery services and health care services
·    Coordinating with law enforcement officials and program volunteers to ensure that individuals seeking to participate in the program are treated with respect, care and compassion, and are reassured that assistance will be provided
·    Establishing requirements for an individual to be eligible for participation in the program, and develop and implement procedures for determining eligibility requirements for the program.
The legislation is sponsored by Sen. Richard J. Codey and Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee chairman Joseph F. Vitale.

Law enforcement will also help a treatment completer to maintain contacts with his/her treatment coach and mentor for the essential five years after treatment completion.


Governor Christie Signs Legislation Strengthening State’s Fight Against Addiction

For Immediate Release                        Contact:  Brian Murray
Wednesday, October 26, 2016                        609-777-2600

Trenton, NJ – Governor Chris Christie today signed legislation to enhance and expand addiction treatment opportunities and improve relationships between law enforcement officers and those suffering from addiction.

“All too often people afflicted with the disease of addiction have negative, counterproductive and repeated interactions with the criminal justice system,” Governor Christie said. “This new law allows police officers —often the first people to discover nonviolent drug offenders in their worst state — to become a point of access for help and recovery. This law improves upon access and assistance for those suffering from addiction, helping them to obtain treatment and re-enter society as productive members.”

Drug overdose death rates in New Jersey have been reported this year as multiple times higher than increasing national rates.

A-3744/S-2330 (McKeon, Vainieri Huttle, Caputo, Jasey, Downey/Codey, Vitale), with the governor’s recommendations from an August conditional veto, provides for the establishment of these law enforcement-assisted addiction and recovery programs in law enforcement departments throughout the State. Under this new law, the Director of Mental Health and Addiction Services, in consultation with the Attorney General, will prescribe by regulation requirements for county and municipal law enforcement departments to establish a program within their departments; develop and implement guidelines for the recruitment and training of law enforcement officers, volunteers, and treatment providers to participate in the program; support and facilitate the linkage of law enforcement assisted addiction and recovery programs to facilities and programs that provide appropriate substance abuse recovery services and health care services; coordinate with law enforcement officials and program volunteers to ensure that individuals seeking to participate in the program are treated with respect, care, and compassion, and are reassured that assistance will be provided; establish requirements for an individual to be eligible for participation in the program; and develop and implement procedures for determining eligibility requirements for the program.

This reform is the latest lifesaving action taken by Governor Christie’s administration, to go along with drug court expansion; statewide Narcan and recovery coach program implementation; new legal protections for those helping drug overdose victims; criminal justice reform to put nonviolent offenders on a path to recovery and productivity; the conversion of a correctional facility into a drug treatment center for inmates with addictions; and increased participation in the multistate Prescription Monitoring Program to prevent doctor shopping.