Disney released their short animated movie 'Paperman' last year, and it's in contention for this year's Oscars. I think it's got a pretty good chance. See for yourself. I recommend watching it in full-screen mode.
All together now: Awwwww!
The idle musings of a former military man, former computer geek, medically retired pastor and now full-time writer. Contents guaranteed to offend the politically correct and anal-retentive from time to time. My approach to life is that it should be taken with a large helping of laughter, and sufficient firepower to keep it tamed!
After reading the article, a Buckeye Firearms Association supporter decided to contact McCorry, the apparent protest organizer, to inform him about the inaccuracies in his statements about firearms ...
. . .
The supporter quickly found more than he bargained for. A simple Google search for Jerome McCorry reveals that the man trying to tell the public what weapons they should be allowed to own is a convicted felon.
From the Attorney General's ICrimeWatch.net:
JEROME NMN McCORRY Registration #: 32198
Aliases: Jerome Jordan
. . .
• Description: 2907.02 - Rape
• Date Convicted:
• Conviction State: Ohio
• Date Released:
• Details: (Pre AWA) Sexually Oriented Offender
As can be seen in the WHIO-TV video, Anti-Gun-Protestor Jerome McCorry is wearing a jacket and identified in the on-screen graphic as the President of The Adam Project. The Adam Project's website lists its address as 1426 Home Ave., Dayton - the same address as Rapist-and-Convicted-Felon Jerome McCorry.
In short, "Anti-Gun-Protestor Jerome McCorry" and "Rapist-and-Convicted-Felon Jerome McCorry" are one and the same person, and WHIO-TV and The Dayton Daily News have been treating this man as a legitimate voice of reason that should be considered in the debate over whether or not rape and other crime victims should be able to buy firearms in order to protect themselves from attack.
What's even worse, this isn't the first time.
. . .
Hmmmm........Can anyone think of a reason why this man doesn't want law-abiding citizens to have the ability to defend themselves with firearms?
Northern Mali is just one part of the vast hinterland in which the Islamists can hide. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius refers to the rocky and sandy desert, spanning 7,500 kilometers (about 4,700 miles) from Senegal in the west to Somalia in the east, as "Sahelistan." The Sahel zone is larger than all of Europe and so impassable that no power in the world can fully control it. The French have deployed all of 2,400 troops to the region, the Germans have contributed two transport planes.
Sahelistan is the new front in the global fight against violent Islamists. Should other countries -- Germany or Britain, for example -- join the French with ground troops, it is quite possible that the West will become just as entrenched there as it has in the other front against global terror: Afghanistan.
. . .
The crisis in northern Mali and the ensuing bloodbath at the natural gas plant in Algeria are only two indications. In northern Niger, Islamists are targeting white foreigners, hoping to kidnap them and extort ransom money. In northern Nigeria, fighters with the Islamist sect Boko Haram attacked yet another town last week. They shot and killed 18 people, including a number of hunters who had been selling game there, and then disappeared again. Muslims consider the flesh of bush animals to be impure.
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Islamism in the Sahel zone is backward and modern at the same time, ideologically rigid and perversely pragmatic. In Timbuktu, fanatics are cutting off the hands and heads of criminals, and yet the Islamists have become wealthy by taking over the cocaine and weapons business, as well as human trafficking operations.
Sahelistan's new masters are forging alliances with local insurgents and internationally operating jihadists.
. . .
Whether brutal military action, such as that which took place in Algeria, will deter Islamists is also disputed. The countries of Sahelistan are among the poorest in the world, and the region is regularly plagued by famine. "A young person from there has no chance of leading a good life," says deposed Malian President Amadou Touré.
The terrorists, on the other hand, are comparatively well off, offering young men a monthly salary of about €90 ($121). Each recruit also receives a Kalashnikov, daily meals and a modicum of power over the rest of the population.
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After the collapse of the Libyan regime, most of the weapons and ammunition were stolen from Gadhafi's weapons stores, mostly by the dictator's former Tuareg mercenaries. Fresh supplies of ordnance aren't a problem either, now that Africa's Islamists are hoarding many millions of dollars.
A little over three years ago, Malian police officers made a strange discovery in northern Mali: a Boeing 727, parked in the middle of the desert, without seats but apparently equipped for carrying cargo. It was found that the plane was registered in Guinea-Bissau and had taken off from Venezuela.
The find confirmed the authorities' fears that South American cocaine cartels are sending large quantities of drugs to West Africa, sometimes using aircraft. Gangs that cooperate with the Islamists then take the drugs to the Mediterranean region. The business is said to have generated billions in profits.
Kidnappings are the Islamists' second financing mainstay. "Many Western countries pay enormous sums to jihadists," scoffs Omar Ould Hamaha, an Islamist commander who feels so safe in the western Sahara that he can sometimes even be reached by phone. Experts estimate that AQIM has raked in €100 million in ransom money in recent years.
Wisconsin's budget picture brightened Thursday, with new estimates that show a surplus will grow to $484 million, giving Republicans and Gov. Scott Walker even more room to pursue their tax cutting agenda.
The estimate from the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau was nearly $137 million better than one Walker's administration released in November.
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In 2011, Walker took office facing a roughly $3 billion budget shortfall and attacked the problem with deep cuts to education, local governments and other programs. He also forced public workers to pay more for health insurance and pension benefits, and effectively ended workers' collective bargaining rights, leading to an unsuccessful attempt to recall him last year.
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Walker said Tuesday that he thought state income taxes could be cut by about $340 million, and that it would amount to a roughly $200 savings per household over the next two fiscal years. Details were still being worked out, he said.
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Walker and Republican leaders have rejected outright the proposed gas tax and registration fee increases. Walker instead has said he would favor tapping the state's general fund, which would be easier to do given Thursday's sunnier revenue projections.
Walker has also pledged to create a venture capital fund to spur job growth and help startup companies, and to put more money into education that is tied to how well school districts perform. The $484 million projected surplus is on top of another $125 million the state has set aside in its rainy day fund, which could also be tapped for one-time spending.
Two people are hospitalized in Dallas following an explosion at an oil storage facility in East Texas on Tuesday.
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According to Van Zandt County fire marshal Chuck Allen, a man and a woman, both 24, were smoking while sitting on top of a tank used to store a chemical and salt water mixture -- presumably for fracking. The tank they were on exploded.
Of the six tanks at the facility, three caught fire and burned.
You know that 4473 form? Yeah, the one that asks about the use of illegal drugs?
Well, what about medical marijuana -- if it's legal in your state?
Guess what -- there appears to be a rather strong presumption at the federal level that this is a disqualification for ownership of firearms!
. . .
This looks like something that is going to severely play hell with people who were foolish enough to believe that their state laws would protect them...... and incidentally, if you bought a gun while having a medical marijuana "prescription" and answered "No" to that question on the 4473, there are those who would argue you committed a federal crime and should be prosecuted for "lying" on that form -- including, it appears, President Obama and Biden!
Last fall, only a few weeks apart, a businesswoman and a banker went to the Coq d'Argent, an upscale restaurant and hot spot in the world of London high finance, located on the top floor of a shopping complex, to end their lives.
The woman put down her purse and jumped from the restaurant's cozy rooftop terrace. The banker, an investment specialist, jumped into the building's atrium around lunchtime.
The "City," the casual term the financial center uses in reference to itself, was shocked. The suicides are the most glaring expression of an apocalyptic mood that seems to have gripped all of London. Hospitals are reporting a high incidence of patients with alcohol problems, while top restaurants are fighting for every customer.
The crisis has struck at the heart of the financial center. In 2012, banks began to downsize their investment banking activities. For years, the area had been seen as a playground for those seeking instant riches and guaranteed success, and it provided tens of thousands with sometimes exorbitant incomes.
October 30 would become a horrific day for the financial district after the Swiss bank UBS announced that it was slashing 10,000 jobs in the sector. On one morning alone, the bank's London office let hordes of bankers go. Some were intercepted at the entrance, still carrying their coffee in to-go cups, only to be shown the door a short time later with a piece of paper filled with instructions.
All he felt was hate, says a 51-year-old who was among those affected by the recent layoffs. For him and others like him, the chances of finding a new job are slim. The competition is also doing its utmost to downsize. Morgan Stanley plans to lay off 1,600 employees in the coming weeks, Lloyds is cutting as many as 15,000 jobs worldwide, and Deutsche Bank has just eliminated 1,500 jobs in its investment banking division.
An era seems to be coming to an end, the era of an industry that led us to believe that what it did was useful. In reality, though, it was lining its pockets by conducting more and more reckless transactions and involving itself in increasingly insane deals and products.
. . .
The machine ... made the banks rich and made it easier for the rest of the world to live on borrowed money. In the end, however, it began to destroy itself, generating one scandal after another.
Banks manipulated the LIBOR interest rate, which affects financial transactions worth hundreds of trillions of dollars. They foisted risky assets on customers and became involved in money laundering and tax fraud. Traders like Kweku Adoboli (UBS), Jérôme Kerviel (Société Générale) and Bruno Iksil (JPMorgan Chase) gambled away billions through risky transactions, either on their own or with their departments.
Former German President Horst Köhler once described the financial markets as a monster controlled by investment banks. Since 2008, politicians have been trying to tame the monster and assume control.
For instance, they want banks to set aside more capital as collateral for risky deals in the future, which means that many areas will hardly be profitable anymore. Banks and bankers are to be forced into a tighter corset -- but they are fighting back.
. . .
Bankers are especially upset over the move to sharply curtail personnel costs. There is no other industry in which workers cost as much as in investment banking. "This is the only industry in which labor has exploited capital," jokes one adviser.
For this reason the mass layoffs at UBS -- which is completely abandoning large portions of its investment banking business following the appointment of Axel Weber, the former president of Germany's central bank, the Bundesbank, as supervisory board chairman -- are seen as a warning sign for the entire industry. It is "as if Daimler stopped making sedans," says the head of the German division of a major US investment bank.
During take off a Flight of F-15's took off eastbound, about the same time Pelican took off from the bay. The Pelican wisely dropped his load to get out of the was of the flight taking off. His lunch hit right on the canopy of the lead F-15.
The lead then called in a fish strike, I think the tower has him repeat that 3 times. A call went out of the maint and emergency dispatch channels, as he declared an IFE.
When the aircraft reached the parking area, it was mugged by Sr NCO's and Officers. The pilot did not even leave the cockpit before the crew chief was on the latter.He went directly to the frame and pulled out a band of scales. After the scales were found the attitude in the area changed. Some one took photos for the base, they probably have them in an archive some where.
No photos of the scale of the damage?
They must have been floundering on finals.
Thankfully, no injuries on board - nobody had to call a sturgeon.
If I hadn't read the press report I'd have thought it was a load of old pollacks.
Guess he was in the wrong plaice at the wrong time.
Of course, the German government had received periodic assurances from the Fed that the gold is there; however, the issue began to get a bit sticky recently, when the Fed refused a request for inspection.
The world then raised a collective eyebrow, and, whilst not panicking over this development just yet, closer attention has come to bear, not only on the Fed, but on any institution that is entrusted with the storage of gold for other parties.
Concern spread to Austria, where a question arose in Parliament as to where Austria’s gold is stored. The answer provided was that 80% of it (224.4 tonnes) is in the UK. (It was claimed that the reason for this is that, if a crisis of some kind were to occur, it could be more easily traded from London than from Vienna.)
Seems reasonable enough, except that the return of the gold to Austria, if it were requested, may be a bit difficult, as the gold seems to have been leased out by the UK.
To many, a second eyebrow might go up at this point. Lease out the wealth of another nation? Isn’t this a bit... irresponsible?
Not to worry, it’s done all the time. In fact, the practice has been endorsed by none other than Alan Greenspan, former Chairman of the Fed. The gold is leased to a bullion bank, which typically pays one percent interest to the Fed, with a promise to return it on a specified date. The bullion bank then sells the gold on the open market and uses the proceeds to buy Treasury bonds, which will net a three to four percent return.
The nicest thing about such an arrangement is that the lessor continues to claim it on his balance sheet as a line item: “gold and gold receivables.” After all, an asset that we have leased out is still an asset, even if it has now been sold by the lessee.
In effect, this means that, if you bought a gold bar today, it is possible that it is a bar that was shipped from the Bundesbank to the Federal Reserve decades ago and is presently listed by the Fed on its balance sheet as “gold and gold receivables.”
Both you and the Fed are claiming to possess the same gold bar. The fly in the ointment, of course, is that only one bar can be the actual bar. The other is a receivable and therefore is an asset on paper only. This, of course, means that there is less gold in the world than has been claimed. How much less? That’s anyone’s guess.
We, the crack legal team here at This Ain’t Hell come before you humbled. As some of you may remember, TAH previously featured a series of posts on one Justin Weiss as part of our efforts at outing Stolen Valor posers. Mr. Weiss, who was not amused, told us that: (a) he was in uniform in his role as an actor; (b) he never claimed to have served; and (c) things we found offensive were on the internet because he had been hacked. Because we did not immediately remove the post, Mr. Weiss informed us he would contact an attorney. We hear this every day and completely ignored Mr. Weiss’ threats until we received a letter from one Mr. E. Dale Buxton II (Esq.) an attorney at a very high-priced, high-profile law firm we will not name (because they have some really good lawyers and we don’t want to be buried in paper for the rest of our lives). Mr. Buxton informed us that not only were we guilty of defamation, but also copyright infringement.
We, the crack legal team at TAH were unconvinced. We believed that we had good defenses and that perhaps it would be amusing to match wits with Mr. Buxton. However, after Mr. Buxton’s latest missive, we have decided to admit defeat. One does not do battle with the immortal, or attempt to secure a spot at their side on Olympus or Valhalla or Fiddlers Green when one is not equal to such a task. We come before you as humble as a supplicant lying supine at the altar of Eleos, the Greek daimona of mercy, pity and compassion. We were wrong. We have wronged. We couldn’t have gotten any wronger.
. . .
Thus, we hereby abjure and renounce without reservation all previous comments regarding Justin Weiss, and have taken down all posts previously present on our website. Much as a child’s teacup is unable to contain all the waters of the world, so unequal to the task at hand are words such as “sorrow” and “guilt” that we must perpetually strive to our dying day to make this right. As renunciation, sorrow and guilt are insufficient to this task, we further pledge ourselves here onward to seek without rest the deification of Justin Weiss and E. Dale Buxton II (Esq.) Like Sísyphos, king of Ephyra (now known as Corinth) punished by being compelled to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down, and to repeat this action forever, so shall we endeavor to make right what we once made wrong.
Here, we explain to you, our readers, why.
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The authors grievously asked:
“How many of you have seen a Ranger with this much stored energy (body fat)?”
What we really meant was that Mr. Weiss has the body of Hercules, the facial hair of a young Brad Pitt, the calves of James Woods, and the winsome smile of Steve Buscemi. Were the man to be immortally carved into granite, it would make even the Aphrodite Kallipygo weep tears of blood. For more perfect buttocks on a man one could search an eternity and find none half so sublime.
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As you can see from the Cold Blue website Mr. Weiss has the special skills of:
“Six years of military experience”
“First aid in combat”
“Crowd control tactics”
We believed that this implied that Mr. Weiss had military service. We believed that this website, which is intended to attract business to Cold Blue, likely from US companies among others, and would likely be considered advertising by the Federal Trade Commission, falsely implied that Mr. Weiss (among others of their “T.A.G.” members) had been members of the armed forces of the United States and/or Canada. This was a huge mistake. Nowhere on the internet or even this bright blue planet of ours can this universal truth be circumvented: Justin Weiss has never claimed to have served in the Armed Forces of any country.
A week ago I noted a new Republican push to gerrymander the electoral college to make it almost impossible for Democrats to win the presidency in 2016 and 2020, even if they match or exceed Barack Obama’s vote margin in 2012. Is something like that really possible? Yes, very possible.
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... the Republican plan goes a step further.
Rather than going by the overall vote in a state, they’d allocate by congressional district. And this is where it gets real good, or bad, depending on your point of view. Democrats are now increasingly concentrated in urban areas and Republicans did an extremely successful round of gerrymandering in 2010, enough to enable them to hold on to a substantial House majority even thoughthey got fewer votes in House races than Democrats.
In other words, the new plan is to make the electoral college as wired for Republicans as the House currently is. But only in Dem leaning states. In Republican states just keep it winner take all. So Dems get no electoral votes at all.
[New York] city lawyers are arguing that the police had no legal duty to protect Joseph Lozito, the Long Island dad stabbed seven times trying to subdue madman Maksim Gelman — a courtroom maneuver the subway hero calls “disgraceful.”
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Police officers Terrance Howell and Tamara Taylor were part of a massive NYPD manhunt. They were in the operator’s cab, watching the tracks between Penn Station and 42nd Street for any sign of the fugitive. Lozito was seated next to the cab.
In the official NYPD account and Howell’s own affidavit, Howell heroically tackled and subdued the killer. But Lozito tells a different story.
. . .
Lozito says a grand-jury member later told him Howell admitted on the stand that he hid during the attack because he thought Gelman had a gun.
Federal authorities have alleged in several indictments in the last decade that the Mexican Mafia prison gang has ordered street gangs under its control to attack African Americans. Leaders of the Azusa 13 gang were sentenced to lengthy prison terms earlier this month for leading a policy of attacking African American residents and expelling them from the town.
Similar attacks have taken place in Harbor Gateway, Highland Park, Pacoima, San Bernardino, Canoga Park and Wilmington, among other places. In the Compton case, sheriff's officials say the gang appears to have been acting on its own initiative.
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"This gang has always made it clear they have a racial hatred for black people," said Westin, who has worked in the area for more than two decades. "They justify in their own sick minds because of their rivalry with the Compton black gangs. They repeatedly used racial epithets, they use racial hatred graffiti and they tag up the black church a lot."
People sometimes joke about pouring blood, sweat, and tears into their work. Iceland-based designer Sruli Recht put some actual skin into his.
The Forget Me Knot ring is mainly made of 24-carat gold, but instead of sporting a diamond or an emerald, it has a bit of human skin for embellishment. That skin came from a willing donor, the designer himself.
Recht had a 4 inch by 0.4 inch piece removed from his abdomen. The skin was tanned, complete with hair intact, and mounted to the ring. I think even Sauron would think twice about wearing it.
Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. set off alarm bells Friday with a radio spot some view as a call for citizens to arm themselves.
In the radio ad, Clarke tells residents personal safety isn't a spectator sport anymore, and that "I need you in the game."
"With officers laid off and furloughed, simply calling 911 and waiting is no longer your best option," Clarke intones.
"You could beg for mercy from a violent criminal, hide under the bed, or you can fight back."
Clarke urges listeners to take a firearm safety course and handle a firearm "so you can defend yourself until we get there."
"You have a duty to protect yourself and your family. We're partners now. Can I count on you?"
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Clarke has served as lightning rod before, most recently when he called for schools to arm teachers after the Newtown, Conn., massacre of 20 children and six adults at an elementary school. News of the sheriff's gun ad quickly generated feedback.
Jodie Tabak, Mayor Tom Barrett's spokeswoman, released this statement:
"Apparently, Sheriff David Clarke is auditioning for the next Dirty Harry movie."
. . .
The Greenfield Police Department issued advice on its Facebook page, saying none of its officers was laid off or furloughed, that violent crime is down and the department's response time to violent crime is less than two minutes.
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Jeri Bonavia, executive director of Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort, said she hears "over and over" from most law enforcement officials that the community should work to "take more guns off the streets, not add more."
"What (Clarke's) talking about is this amped up version of vigilantism," Bonavia said. "I don't know what his motivations are for doing this. But I do know what he's calling for is dangerous and irresponsible and he should be out there saying this is a mistake."
Asked about Clarke's assessment of 911, James Fendry, director of the Wisconsin Pro Gun Movement, said, "It's never been a great option (calling 911). Unless you can take care of yourself, you're kind of SOL."
Fendry, a former police officer, said that he tells citizens, "You're not armed to be law enforcement. You're armed to protect your own life and the lives of your family until law enforcement arrives. Do not go on search and destroy missions in your home."
Once a [dung] beetle (Scarabaeus satyrus) has constructed its dung ball, it moves off in a straight line in order to escape from rival beetles as quickly as possible, lest they try and steal its carefully crafted ball. This behaviour doesn't sound complicated, but several years ago, Marie Dacke of Lund University in Sweden and colleagues showed that polarised light from the moon is important for dung beetles to keep to a straight line.
Then the researchers were surprised to find the insects were able to stay on course even on a moonless night. "We thought there was something wrong in our set-up," Dacke says.
. . .
To test this, the team moved the experiment to a planetarium. By switching stars on and off, Dacke discovered that the glowing strip of the whole Milky Way was what guided the beetles' movement. "Before it was assumed insects could not use the stars because their eyes don't have the resolution to see them," she says. Navigating using the whole of the Milky Way does away with the need to see individual stars.
Dacke says the results suggest moths, locusts and other insects might navigate by the Milky Way, too.
Had the 2012 election been apportioned in every state according to these new Republican plans, Romney would have led Obama by at least 11 electoral votes.
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Within the 26 states that Obama took, Romney won a plurality of votes in 99 congressional districts.
Obama, on the other hand, won only 32 congressional districts in red states.
... all the money in politics comes from Wall Street, which happens to be the ultimate ruler of the United States of America, pushing levers here and pulling stringer there to give the impression the constitutional republic is still alive. It isn't - this country has become an unchecked despotism of those in charge of money creation and who control capital - just the thing Andrew Jackson warned against. One thing we did learn, was courtesy of Assistant Attorney General Lenny Breuer who made it very clear that when it comes to the concept of justice the banks are and always have been "more equal" than others. He does so in such shocking clarity and enthusiasm that it is a miracle that this person is still employed by the US Department of Justice.
To wit (sic) from the transcript:
MARTIN SMITH: You gave a speech before the New York Bar Association. And in that speech, you made a reference to losing sleep at night, worrying about what a lawsuit might result in at a large financial institution.
LANNY BREUER: Right.
MARTIN SMITH: Is that really the job of a prosecutor, to worry about anything other than simply pursuing justice?
LANNY BREUER: Well, I think I am pursuing justice. And I think the entire responsibility of the department is to pursue justice. But in any given case, I think I and prosecutors around the country, being responsible, should speak to regulators, should speak to experts, because if I bring a case against institution A, and as a result of bringing that case, there’s some huge economic effect — if it creates a ripple effect so that suddenly, counterparties and other financial institutions or other companies that had nothing to do with this are affected badly — it’s a factor we need to know and understand.
In other words, no criminal charges can be levied against anyone who engaged in the crimes leading to the great financial crisis of 2008 because, get this, the implications of pursuing justice may have destabilizing implications!
In other words, the banker threat of Mutual Assured Destruction has metastasized from the legislative, where in 2008 Hank Paulson demanded a blank check from Congress to spend it on whatever he wishes, "or else...", and has fully taken over the Judicial, where there is Justice for all... and no "Justice" for those who are systemically important.
DARPA plans to buy a second Hellads high-energy laser system from General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI), to provide to the Office of Naval Research (ONR) for the demonstration of a laser weapon system against targets relevant to surface ships.
Hellads is a liquid-cooled, solid-state laser that has been under development for DARPA for several years. GA-ASI is building a 150kW Hellads laser to be integrated with an existing US Air Force beam control system for a ground demonstration in 2014.
DARPA's notice of intent to award a sole-source contract to GA-ASI says that, because the existing Hellads laser is committed to the Air Force demo and cannot be made available to the Navy, it wants to acquire a second, identical system for the ONR demo, also planned for 2014.
After focusing its directed-energy research for years on the free electron laser, ONR has launched a program to mature available solid-state electric laser technology with a goal of getting laser weapons on ships more quickly.
... what we eat also has a social dimension. You can lead a man to a doughnut, but you can’t make him eat. What is the connection between poverty (relative, not absolute), and the obesity that is unprecedented in history?
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It is ... in social changes that the explanation, or at least an important part of it, is to be sought.
With the decline of the family – wrought by the policies of successive governments – patterns of eating have changed. Meals in many households, especially those of the relatively poor, are no longer family or social occasions. It has been found that a fifth of children do not eat more than one meal a week with another member of their household; and in such households, which I used sometimes to visit as a doctor, the microwave oven was the entire batterie de cuisine, or at any rate the only cooking implement that was ever actually employed.
Moreover, there was no table at which a meal could have been eaten in common if anyone had thought of doing so. The result was that children became foragers or hunter-gatherers in their own homes, going to the fridge whenever they felt like it and grazing on prepared foods – high, of course, in the evil fructose. Not coincidentally, these households were also the least likely to have what would once have been considered the normal family structure.
Such households also tended to be in areas called “food deserts”, in which fresh produce is either not easily available or unavailable. But those who ascribe the dietary habits of the households I have just described to food desertification put the cart before the horse: for if heroin can reach these areas (and it can), surely the humble lettuce can do so?
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... food desertification and the supposed cheapness of industrially prepared foods is a consequence, not a cause of, the food habits I have described. Food desertification is a symptom of the culinary ignorance, incompetence and indifference of a substantial minority of our population: ignorance, incompetence and indifference unopposed by any attempt of our educational system to counteract it, for example by teaching girls the elements of cookery. Fat is indeed a feminist issue, but not in the sense that Susie Orbach originally meant it.
Another contributory factor to the obesity epidemic is the control or authority now given to children over what they eat. Children are asked (and given) what they want by their solicitous mothers, not as a treat but as a matter of course; and what they choose is what is most immediately attractive to them.
This has the delightful short-term consequence of forestalling the struggle to get the children to eat what at first they do not want to touch; but it has the disastrous long-term consequence of restricting their repertoire and of keeping their tastes childish and undeveloped, that is to say likely to cause obesity.
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It is not the combination of poverty and the easy availability of fattening food that has produced the epidemic of obesity: rather it is a sense in these circumstances of meaninglessness, that nothing much matters.