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Breathtaking portraits capture ballets’s finest dancing on the streets of New York.

The last surviving Basque soldier from the Spanish Civil War turns 100 and speaks about his experiences during that war.

How to fight the alt-right.

What happens when a musician plays Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Pride and Joy” on a $25 kids’ guitar at Walmart.

White-washing white supremacy: How the mainstream media rushed to excuse the Covington Catholic High School students.

The “feel-good” horror of late-stage capitalism.

After decades of pushing bachelor’s degrees, the U.S. needs more tradespeople.

New study shows Silicon Valley’s elite are not as liberal as they think.

11 things you wouldn’t have without black women.

Iranian video game, Engare, explores the elegant geometry of Islamic art.

Liberals aren’t stupid. Conservatives aren’t racists. The people we disagree with are not our enemies.

The life and secrets of Melania Trump.

Between worlds: The art of Bill Traylor.

“Lean In” has been discredited for good.

When Native Americans were slaughtered in the name of “civilization.”

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The proof that Mel Blanc—the voice behind Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Porky Pig—was a genius.

The godfather of fake news.

Someone says “Depression is a choice.” Andy Richter’s response is brilliant.

The 97-year-old park ranger who doesn’t have time for foolishness.

In 1972 a computer model predicted the end of the world—and we’re on track.

Getting stoned with senior citizens in Seattle.

Academic journal devotes an entire issue to Prince’s life and music. Read and download it for free.

Nearly half the kids in this teacher’s class can’t live at home anymore. Opioids took their parents.

This haunting animation maps the journeys of 15,790 slave ships in two minutes.

Research predicted this wave of right-wing domestic terrorism. Republicans tanked the report.

The evidence regarding Fred Trump’s alleged involvement with the Ku Klux Klan.

How to suck money back from private equity vampires.

Trump’s amoral Saudi statement is a pure expression of decades-old “U.S. values” and foreign policy orthodoxies.

America still loves cars but some cities are starting to ditch them.

The future American workforce will have a lot of jobs to fill, particularly in infrastructure.

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Groundhog Day

The Smithsonian unveils a portrait of Henrietta Lacks, the black farmer whose cells led to medical miracles.

A 1950’s TV show had a villain named Trump who promised to save the world by building a wall.

Wedding photographer arrested after sleeping with guest, peeing on tree and threatening cops.

92-year-old doctor rides subway to work to see 200 patients and has no plans of retiring.

My evangelical church is gaslighting me, but I refuse to fall for it anymore.

Do missionaries help or harm?

Fortnite creator Tim Sweeney is buying thousands of acres of forest to stop it from being cut down.

The Kirsten Gillibrand saga highlights exactly what’s wrong with the Democratic party.

Here’s the video of the gender reveal in 2017 that started a massive wildfire in Arizona.

96-year-old style icon Iris Apfel gets the Barbie treatment.

Hitler and the Nazis were seriously into their amphetamines and opiates.

The woman who cared for hundreds of gay men as they were dying of AIDS.

Thirteen incredibly useful facts about anxiety.

Historian finds German decree banishing Donald Trump’s grandfather.

What is it like to live without any friends?

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The 2020 elections aren’t until next year but it hasn’t stopped some people from publicly announcing that he/she is running, such as Kirsten Gillibrand and Kamala Harris.

The most ludicrous candidate so far has to be former Starbucks chief executive Howard Schultz. He’s running for president even though he has never served in the military nor have he ever been elected to a lower office. Hmmmm, where have I heard that one before? Oh, yes, the current occupant of the White House got elected in 2016 as the first president who had never served in the military or held a lower office.

And look how well that turned out so far with so many of his underlings being indicted and there was that federal government shutdown that lasted for a month. (The government is open at the moment but only for three weeks, which means we will all face Trump’s crazy shenanigans soon.)

What’s more, Howard Schultz has announced that he is running as an independent. Shades of Ross Perot in 1992 and 1996! Also shades of Donald Trump in 2000! (Most people tend to forget this but Donald Trump previously ran for president on the Reform Party platform—the political party that was founded by Ross Perot. His campaign ended up going nowhere and he didn’t even consider running again until 2011, when he simply flirted with the idea by reaching out to the birthers who were convinced that Barack Obama was really born in Kenya instead of Hawaii. But then he ran for real in 2016 and won.)

While I’ll admit that Howard Schultz would be a step up from Donald Trump (as far as I know, he had never gone through multiple bankruptcies and he was instrumental in opening Starbucks cafes all over the world and turning that brand name into a household word), I think enough is enough with business people with zero political experience thinking that they can run for president and expect to win.

I take a dim view on Howard Schultz for the same reason why I refused to join on the brief “Oprah for President” bandwagon that formed after she gave a rousing speech at the Golden Gloves last year. As John Dean, who was Richard Nixon’s lawyer during the Watergate scandal, puts it so eloquently on Twitter:

Howard Schultz should just stick with coffee and leave politics alone.

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A six-year-old boy is making $11 million a year on YouTube reviewing toys.

Bill Clinton’s crime bill destroyed lives and there’s no point denying that.

100-year-old life hacks that are surprisingly still useful today.

After it stopped posting to Facebook, a Danish broadcaster saw its traffic stability improve.

A country without a heart.

A grasshopper has been stuck in this Van Gogh painting for 128 years.

How to build a hexapod robot out of tongue depressors.

An insider explains how rural Christian white America has a dark and terrifying underbelly.

An entire Manhattan village owned by black people was destroyed to build Central Park.

21 books that changed science fiction and fantasy forever.

What well-meaning white people need to know about race.

How Southern politics defended white supremacy—and made the South poorer.

Want to grow the U.S. economy? Cancel student debt.

When you’re “too functional” to have your mental illness taken seriously.

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Martin Luther King Day

I was at The Space, a makerspace located in Beltway Plaza Mall in Greenbelt, Maryland, a few days after Christmas when I decided to take this photograph only to have it reside on my hard drive for a few weeks. Since today is Martin Luther King Day, I’m going to upload it now.

Katherine Johnson Barbie Doll

Among the many items on display at The Space is a Barbie doll based on Katherine Johnson, the real-life African American mathematician who was the subject of the movie Hidden Figures. At 100 years old, Katherine Johnson is still alive as of this writing.

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How to play every classic video game on your phone.

Donald Trump was never vetted.

Millionaire bitcoin brat doesn’t get why we’re not all rich.

Hello Kitty and Pikachu are appointed Japanese ambassadors for the 2025 World Expo.

Rose McGowan and the worst kind of feminism.

What Amazon does to poor cities.

How the world’s oldest computer worked: Reconstructing the 2,200-year-old Antikythera Mechanism.

Employers are setting up workers for failure.

A driver’s suicide reveals the dark side of the gig economy.

The story of Mexican Coke is more complex than hipsters would like to admit.

How LA punks of the ’80s and ‘90s kept neo-Nazis out of their scene.

Meet Gay Bob, the world’s first gay doll for everyone—penis included.

Men have been pushing women out of tech since the beginning.

Hedge fund-driven austerity could come back to bite the hedge funds driving it in Puerto Rico.

The bankruptcy of the American left.

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The whole federal government shutdown has gotten surreal for me on social media. I was on Twitter when I saw this tweet from Eric Idle (of Monty Python fame):

I had a laugh even though I live outside of Washington, DC so I’m getting a first-hand look at Donald Trump and how he’s affecting my area (especially regarding the current shutdown over his demand for a border wall with Mexico). So I responded with this tweet:

I was just getting my latest frustration with Trump off of my chest. I wasn’t mad at Eric Idle for his joke. I would probably make a similar joke on Twitter if I was living outside of the US. I just expected my tweet to go the way of all of my other tweets and just go off into the ether with no notice. Then this happened.

I got a response from Eric Idle, a member of Monty Python. I used to watch episodes of Monty Python’s Flying Circus on TV when I was a kid. I saw Monty Python and the Holy Grail, The Life of Brian, and Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life when they were originally released in movie theaters. Whoa! How cool is that? What’s more, his response along with my tweet was being retweeted and retweeted for the next few days.

Things have died down on Twitter since then. But I’ll always have this screenshot to remember my brief interaction with Eric Idle by.

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It’s official, today is the longest federal government shutdown in U.S. history. That’s nothing to be proud of. Even before the shutdown the various federal government employees had to deal with the effects of Donald Trump running the government and now they can’t even go to work or earn a paycheck because of Trump’s little temper tantrum. The effects of this are starting to be felt nationwide ranging from vandals cutting down 1,000-year-old Joshua trees because there are no staffers to patrol Joshua Tree National Park in California to a town in Florida being unable to receive  any kind of federal government help to deal with the damages stemming from the effects of Hurricane Michael last October.

Meanwhile Trump has threatened to shut down the government to last months or even years. All because he wants to build a wall among the U.S.-Mexican border, something that even experts say would be ineffective and a waste of money. (In fact, a test of a prototype for a steel wall that Trump prefers has resulted in it being sawed through.) It’s the same wall—which originally was the brainchild of Roger Stone and Sam Numberg—that Trump once said that the U.S. would build but he would make Mexico pay for it. Now he wants the U.S. government to pay for the wall or else he’ll refuse to sign the bill that would keep the federal government operating this year. A few days ago he attempted to make his case by going to one of the border towns in Texas only for the people there tell the media that they don’t want this wall.

A few days ago the Democrats who now dominate the House of Representatives (thanks to the mid-term elections) voted to re-open the government without funding for the wall. Even though there were lawmakers in the Senate who also wanted to vote the same, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refuses to allow such a vote. Part of Senator McConnell’s job is to serve as a check and balance of the Executive Branch and he is failing miserably. I wonder how many people in his home state of Kentucky will feel the effects of this shutdown and McConnell’s refusal to do anything to re-open the government.

What’s even worse is that members of the Trump Administration are tone-deaf regarding the plight of the federal employees (as well as those who work for federal government contractors) not receiving a paycheck. One person said that these workers are somehow better off. The administration also suggested that furloughed federal employees do odd jobs for their landlords in exchange for rent while the Coast Guard suggested that its furloughed employees hold garage sales and babysit children as a way of raising cash.

Unbelievable!

Every other previous president had either been elected to a lower office, served in the military, or have done both. Donald Trump is the first president to have done neither. It is so obvious that he is ill-suited for the job. He came from a wealthy background and the only jobs he has ever held were in his family-owned business. He rarely had to face the consequences of his actions, even when he was a young child. Donald Trump was never raised with the sense of noblesse oblige towards those less fortunate than him, unlike the Kennedys or Britain’s royal family. He managed to go through several bankruptcies yet he was the host of a reality TV show that portrayed him as a successful businessman, contrary to what various staffers of The Apprentice witnessed behind the scenes. He also seems to have the mind of an overgrown child who has never matured. He actually alluded to the size of his penis during one of the Republican debates and this trait has rubbed off on his eldest son. (Talk about the penis measuring contest from hell.)

This is what happens when a country elects a leader with a background like Donald Trump.

Trump did promise that he would run the government like a business. At least that’s one promise that he has kept. (LOL!) The New York Times currently has a timeline of what has happened as well as what could happen if the shutdown lasts any longer. Some economists are predicting even more horrible consequences for the U.S. if this shutdown lasts past February.

For many months I used to lie in bed wishing that I could be on the same economic level like the rest of my friends and family. What I really meant is that I wanted a steady job that I could support myself with, not to have my friends who are employed with either the federal government or a contractor end up going to similar things that I went through last year (due to my alimony running out and having a difficult time with finding a steady job). I see no end in sight for this shutdown and there’s a probability of more drama to come. The latest news is that Trump plans on keeping the federal government shut while the FBI has opened an inquiry on whether Trump has been working secretly on behalf of the Russians.

I really don’t see an end to this massive chaos, which is why I still stand by my original prediction I made nearly two years ago that Donald Trump won’t make it past his first term in office.

How a man fooled the online world into believing that he was a heavy metal rock star named Jered Threatin.

Berlin regulates Airbnb and safely deflates its housing bubble while retuning 8,000 rentals to the market.

Stop patronizing the working class.

Depression era dishes: Nine budget recipes that are still good enough to eat today.

Automating inequality: Using algorithms to create a modern “digital poor-house.”

Motorists falsely arrested on DUI charges describe the life-ruining results.

Ten amazing true-life passenger stories from the Titanic disaster.

“Seeing someone cry at work is becoming normal”: Employees say Whole Foods is using “scorecards” to punish them.

Short-termism led the Democratic Party to let unions die and now they’ve lost their base.

Airbnb guests repeatedly discover hidden cameras in the homes they rent.

America’s underpaid workforce imperils U.S. and global economies.

Jesus was a pronto-communist Jewish hobo who criticized the rich.

An unexpected find: A dinosaur tail discovered trapped in amber.

The invisibility of being old, disabled, or both.

The dark aftermath of 1968’s murder, revolution, and protest is nearly forgotten.

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