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Friday-funnies...

We really appreciate your visits! Every Friday, our goal is to provide you with a few laughs, some inspiring stories and some food for thought. We look forward to your visiting with us again next Friday! Y'all come on back now... ya hear!






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The kid's only four years old... and he's already got a life-plan.

10 Traits of Successful People

Successful people are celebrated, written about and held in high esteem. What separates a successful person from an average person or an unsuccessful person?

It starts with 10 critical traits.

1. They Challenge the Status Quo:

Successful people aren't fond of the status quo. They do not like rules. They challenge conventional wisdom, seek the truth and they revolt at the sign of mediocrity.

They believe in the impossible and are driven by the words of those who say they can't do something.

2. They Don't Fear Failure. They Embrace It:

While most people fear failure, successful people embrace it. They know that failure leads to learning and learning leads to success, because the faster you fail the sooner you will find the path to success.



3. They Have a Strong Sense of Self:

It can be difficult to determine who you are and where you fit in the world. Not for successful people. They have a strong sense of self.

They know who they are, what their purpose is, and they relentlessly pursue constant self-exploration as a means of measuring how what they do aligns with their sense of self.

4. They Desire to Improve Things:

Most people go through life and see problems that affect them and others around them. These problems could be as simple as a work-related efficiency issue or as complex as a global social epidemic.

While your average person ignores things that need improvement, successful people seek to improve those things and take ownership.



5. They are Goal-Oriented:

Setting goals and sticking to them is very challenging for the average person. They allow the complexities of life to get in the way. Not successful people.

They separate their goals between long-term and short-term, and they realize that incremental short-term goals help accomplish the larger long-term goal.

6. They Have Confidence:

Confidence shouldn't be confused with arrogance. Confidence is the belief and conviction in self and what you apply your time to. Successful people are great at this.

While most people prefer to "stay grounded" or "stay down to Earth," successful people keep their head in the clouds...

Not necessarily as a means of feeling as though they're above others, but as a process for ensuring the world and everyone in it doesn't bring them down to their level.



7. They Have a Positive Relationship With Time:

For most people, time is a vicious enemy. It's something that they can never seem to have enough of and they're busy constantly trying to manage it, but are rarely successful at doing so.

Successful people know that time can't actually be managed, because you can only manage something that you can actually change.

Time does not change. It does not stop, pause or go backwards therefore it can not be managed. Instead, successful people prioritize the things that matter most, focus on those and leave the rest to be tackled on another day.

8. They are Optimistic:

In a world riddled with chaos, controversy, death and taxes, it can be extremely easy to develop a negative outlook on life. Successful people see through the noise and continue traveling forward.

They don't concern themselves with the minutiae of these momentary disruptions. They see the glass as half full. They see light at the end of the tunnel.

For successful people, this isn't just about wishful thinking, it's a survival mechanism.



9. They Embrace Challenges:

We live in a world where industries are constantly trying to make things easier, rather it's a get rich quick scheme or magic weight loss pill. This mentality makes the average person lazy, more risk-averse and complacent.

Successful people see things like financial struggles or weight loss not as a burden, but as an incredible challenge to conquer.

They create short-term and long-term goals to break through challenges and come out the opposite end victorious.

10. They Stay Focused on the Few:

Multi-tasking is an enemy of us all, yet we've been forced to embrace it by our employers and educators... despite the fact that science has proven that the human brain cannot successfully do multiple things at once.

Successful people frown upon multi-tasking and instead focus on the few. They focus on the few things in front of them and remove all other distractions.

While in the middle of their work they turn off cell phones, notifications and they commit to only that which is in front of them.




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Can artistic experiences be so emotionally charged... that it overwhelms our senses? Yes!!!

The key ingredient... a wide open attitude to truly explore and appreciate, all that we encounter. To go beyond, what no man or woman has experienced before. 

Stendhal Syndrome: "A dominant impulse on encountering beauty is to wish to hold on to it, to possess it and give weight in one's life...

There is an urge to say, 'I was here, I saw this, and it mattered to me." -- Alain de Botton

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=XOlbMWUC-E0



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In case you haven't heard, or you are oblivious to the news of the day... America's 'Debt Limit' is now again the latest fabricated crisis in Washington.

Today is August 22nd... and your taxes are still going up... and our country is virtually bankrupt... and going $4 billion dollars deeper in the hole - each and every day. Yet Obama pretends all is well. Here's Obama's latest propaganda...

Here's Obama's "bull crap" for the week... 08/22/2014...



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Obama is sending Eric Holder and 50 FBI agents to Ferguson Missouri - to ensure that their determination of corrupt justice is done.

Meanwhile, twenty-nine black citizens were killed in Chicago last week - Obama, Holder and Democrat mayor Raum Emanuel didn't even notice?

What's up with the contrast in reaction you say? It's all about liberal politics. That's how the Democrats have been shafting the black citizens, for the past fifty years.


Once again... Obama speaks out and stirs the racial divide, before he has the facts?


Liberal Mainstream Media Headline: "Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was shot to death by a white police officer on Saturday, in Ferguson, Missouri."

Instead of hoping for calm until the justice system has time to work… Barack Obama, Eric Holder, Al Sharpton and the racist liberal media - demand outrage and riots.

Does this have anything to do with race???? Until the investigation is completed - why is the police officer guilty and hung?

How can we have a President, who would get on TV and promote racism, by framing this as white/black confrontation – but without any facts about the confrontation?

The business owners and cops who have been hurt, threatened to be killed…

Where is Obama with his sympathy to innocent people who have lost their business?



I hate how these insulated elite liberals escalate racial tensions to benefit them politically, knowing it will never impact their lives personally.

Five hundred people were killed in Chicago last year, most of the victims AND perpetrators minority. This was caused by the liberal social policies.

Obama does not shed one tear for any of those people.

Obama and the liberal media ignores or understates this horrific violence in Chicago… because they can’t make any political hay from the disaster they caused.

We need to learn all the facts before spouting off about the Michael Brown case. We have no idea what really happened at this point.



Besides the liberal racists false accusations without facts... such a MSNBC interviewing a woman who said that Brown was shot in the back, which the autopsy disproved....

I have also heard, the officer involved had severe facial swelling and was treated at an area hospital. That Michael Brown was not the innocent teen the news has been so quick to report.

That he shoved the officer as he was trying to exit his vehicle. That he put his hands through the officer's window and was reaching for his gun. That the officer was in fear for his life!

What would you have done in that situation? 

It’s so easy for the liberals to blame the police and pretend to shed tears for African Americans. They have been playing the black community for decades.

It’s been my experience… that the worst racists I’ve had the displeasure of knowing - are so-called progressive types.

Instead of facing up to their own personal bigotry, they try to impress us with empty rhetoric and project their own racist attitudes on others.



The sad irony is… four years ago, many hoped the meaning of Obama’s election as the beginning of the end of the perception of black America as a world apart from the rest of America.

There was exhilaration that any remaining racial division was over – finally.

That wrongs have been righted, that we can get on with America’s business, without the ongoing issue of race looming - and that we can stop looking at blacks politically, as a special class of Americans.

Yet here we are now… at the end of six years of the presidency of this first black president… and attitudes about race seem to have hardly changed at all.

There is still the sense that black America and the rest of America are not on the same page - and that blacks and the country “as a whole” have different needs and different agendas.

Wasn’t Obama’s election supposed to have changed all of this? Not only have racial tensions not improved, but the racial divide has widened.

You can thank Obama and the racists liberals for that!



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Who would vote for Obama now?

A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll out this month shows that American optimism is at an all-time low.

When asked if "life for our children's generation will be better than it has been for us," only 21% of respondents said yes. That was the lowest ever recorded.

Apparently, 79% of Americans see the world through a dark prism, one delivered 24/7 by a bleak and pessimistic national media, whose unofficial motto is "If it bleeds, it leads."

Sure, when I look at the soft economic recovery, political dysfunction in Washington, and the violence in the Middle East - not to mention Justin Bieber atop the pop music charts - it's more than a little depressing.

In a shocking new poll conducted by the Economist and YouGov.com, support for Barack Obama’s presidency among those who voted to put him in office is disturbingly low.

Respondents were asked a simple question. “Do you regret voting for Barack Obama?” The results should be cause for concern for Obama and Democrats. 



A poll indicates more than seven-in-ten Americans who voted to re-elect President Obama for a second term - now regret their choice in 2012.

Even if you only consider the Democrats among his re-election supporters, 55 percent wish they had not chosen to elect Barack Obama again. 

In this case, hindsight may not be 20/20, but it is certainly clear that many of Obama’s voters now realize they made an error. It remains to be seen just how severe the consequences will be. 

I've always said that if passing an intelligence test was required prior to voting, the DNC would disappear from politics.

My neighbor who votes straight Democrat ticket is one of those idiots. She still thinks that Obamacare is "free."

If I try to explain to her about the increased premiums and huge yearly deductables, she will always say, "Doug, you don't know what you're talking about."

How does one explain to someone so brain-washed about the reality of the situation. All she knows is, Democrats Good... Republicans Bad.

How clueless is that?



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Obama has lied to you about everything for six years. You don't really believe the bogus numbers he's spewing on Obamacare enrollments, do you?

America has two choices, regarding the UN-Affordable Healthcare Act... get rid of it, or go bankrupt

Public insurance programs lure people in, by promising more benefits than private insurance plans offer. Yet public programs ultimately run into the basic problem of scarcity.

The ACA pushes people out of very basic insurance plans into plans with higher levels of coverage, but excessive coverage is a major source of high health care costs.

There are many costs associated with government intervention into the health care industry:

Administrative and regulatory compliance costs, elevated costs of litigation and court rulings, lobbying costs, costs of perverse incentives.

The perversities associated with treating health as an open-access and politicized commons has, along with other government spending programs, created an unsustainable fiscal situation.

The unaffordability of the UN-Affordable Care Act leaves us with two main options:

Congress can repeal the UN-Affordable Care Act immediately through the legislative process...

Or we can all wait for the automated repeal process...

of national bankruptcy.




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Cool Photos


Lisa Sampson, 34, hula-hoops at the Circus Wonderland Show in West Sussex, England, on Aug. 11. The mother of three performed a three-minute act, spinning as many as 50 rings around different parts of her body.




A French man wearing a special outfit with wheels performs at the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel on Aug. 10 in Shanghai, China.




A man dressed as a knight stands with the Peyrepertuse Castle in the background as he participates in the medieval festival “Les Medievales” in Duilhac-sous-Peyrepertuse, France, on Aug. 12.




Matt Stanley & Andrew Flounders got the surprise of a lifetime when an adventurous seal interrupted their surfing session near Amble in Northumberland, England, on Aug. 3.

The pair had been on the water enjoying the waves when Flounders felt something nudging his foot.




The giant, half-underwater replica of Mr. Darcy from 'Pride and Prejudice' (as portrayed by Colin Firth in a TV adaptation) was recently moved from England to its new home in Melbourne, Australia, as it is shown here on July 28.




A giant marionette of a grandmother is walked through the streets of Liverpool, England, as part of the Memories of August 1914 event on July 25. The puppets tell the story of the city during World War I.




A diver takes his own photo with a replica of Apoxyomenos from the first or second century B.C. in Historical Underwater Park in Mali Losinj, Croatia, on July 24.

The park features 11 exponents, placed between 5 & 15 meters deep in the water, which testify to the rich history of Losinj island & its region.




Trapeze artists Bebeto Fuentes, left, & his brothers, Alex, center, & Juventino perform at the Fuentes Gasca Brothers Circus in Mexico City on June 22.

The Fuentes family has run the circus for five generations, but a new law has them worried about its future. Last week Mexico City's legislative assembly banned the use of animals in circuses.




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Friday-funnies...

Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value. -- Albert Einstein

 Thanks to Facebook... I now know what everyone's bathroom looks like.

 I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. -- Michael Jordan

 Life isn’t about getting and having, it’s about giving and being. -- Kevin Kruse

 To those who think... a couple hours of going through the motions at church on Sunday mornings, has you covered for selfish behavior the rest of the week... God doesn't think so.



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 The Obama Doctrine: "Don't do stupid stuff."

Obama's "stupid" statement was meant for others. He should have applied some common sense and decency to his own actions, since stealing both his elections.

Six years of the Obama presidency... has been one stupid move after another. Most everything he has done has been "stupid stuff."

The Obama regime took power, with the stupid assumption that they had all the right answers - and anyone who disagreed with them was just a dumb-ass.

Take heed Obama - your opinions have been flawed on every move and statement you have made. Most liberal big-mouths have that problem.

As Forrest Gump said... "Stupid is, as stupid does!"



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 How to make perfect steaks... restaurant chef's secrets revealed 

I agree with absolutely everything you undertook during the cooking process. Textbook perfect, and I might add a practical approach for the home cook!

It is important to point out... good dry aged beef does not need excessive flavorings and seasoning, only a little salt and pepper.

The objective is to compliment the flavor of the beef and that occurs with salt, pepper and caramelization during the seating process.

The flavor of the beef is what should stand out. 

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVVGe2_Ld64



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 Artificially low interest rates doing damage

In order to make money under the Fed's zero interest rate policy, banks are engaging in hidden off-balance sheet transactions, including asset swaps, which substantially increase systemic risk.

In an asset swap, a bank with weak collateral - will "swap" that for good collateral with an institutional investor - in a transaction that will be reversed at some point.

The bank then takes the good collateral and uses it for margin in another swap with another bank.

In effect, a two-party deal has been turned into a three-party deal with greater risk and credit exposure all around.

If you are now picturing a shell game - commonly called slight of hand trickery - that's exeactly what this is.




Yellen's zero interest rate policy constitutes massive theft from savers.

Applying a normalized interest rate of about 2% to the entire savings pool in the U.S. banking system compared to the actual rate of zero...

Reveals a $400 billion per year wealth transfer - from savers to the banks - because of the zero rates.

This has continued for five years, so the cumulative subsidy to the banking system - at the expense of everyday Americans - is now over $2 trillion.

This hurts investment, penalizes savers and forces retirees into inappropriate risk investments, such as the stock market.

Obama and Yellen support this bank subsidy and theft from savers.



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 Utility providers better shape up 

"We could have switched off everything: power, water, gas," says security researcher Felix Lindner.

Last fall, Lindner and colleagues mounted a cyber-attack on Ettlingen, Germany -- population 40,000. Fortunately, it was a simulation. But the results were worrisome.

"Cyber-attacks on infrastructure," Reuters reported last month, "have become a major worry for utilities following the 2010 Stuxnet computer virus...

Which experts believe was used by Israel and the United States to make some of Iran's nuclear centrifuges tear themselves apart."

Sounds as if little has changed in the last year. In August of 2013, we described a "honeypot" experiment conducted by the firm Trend Micro setting up phony water-control systems that mimic the ones used by real water utilities.

In less than a month, the company logged 39 attacks from 14 countries. 

No doubt that includes the Wall Street Journal scoop from last March, revealing saboteurs could set off a nationwide blackout... by disabling only nine of the nation's 55,000 electric-transmission substations.

That was the conclusion of a simulation conducted last year by federal regulators.



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The 300-year-old wearable computer 

 The coming trend... wearable technology 

"It may seem laughable," Wired wrote late last year, "to suggest that people will soon neglect their iPhones in favor of amped-up watches, eyeglasses, rings and bracelets.

"But then again, 10 years ago, it seemed laughable to think that people would use their smartphones to email, surf the Web, play games, watch videos, keep calendars and take notes -- all once core tasks of desktop PCs."

One of the most lauded trends within the burgeoning Internet of Things (IoT) is the advent of wearable technology.

In order for a device to fit within the framework of "wearable tech," it...

A) Must be worn. If you have to carry it, it doesn't count.

B) Must be user-controllable, consciously or unconsciously.

C) Must enhance the user's experience in some way (outside of holding your shoes on and keeping your shirt stuck together, of course).

Under these criteria, to be sure, wearable technology is nothing new.

To wit... Qing Dynasty, c. 300 years ago:

The mini abacus ring was invented --

A device still used by some merchants.



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 Alicia Keys singing "Fallin" ... MTV crashes Manchester Cathedral England 

Sponsored by MTV, the free gig was not of the sombre Unplugged variety… but rather as if one of the city’s ritzier nightclubs had taken over the church.

Keys’ voice sounded stronger than ever, and she sang throughout the set as if the cathedral’s gaping nave, was a personal challenge to the heft of her lungs.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYRNxXMpvV4



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 How to successfully persuade your boss that you deserve a raise 

by Andrea Shavick


Ask, request, demand, suggest, cajole or charm
Ingratiate, suck up to, flatter, complement or smarm...

Negotiate, debate, discuss, persuade, convince, explain
Or reason, justify, protest, object, dispute, complain...


Propose, entreat, beseech, beg, plead, appeal, implore
Harass, go on about it, pester, whinge, whine, nag and bore...

Annoy, insult, reproach, denounce, squeal, scream and shout
Go quiet, subdued, look worried, fret, brood, tremble, shiver, pout...






Act depressed, downhearted, upset, snivel, sigh
Go all glum and plaintive, wobble bottom lip and cry...

Sniff, sulk, grumble, stare at ceiling, mope, pine, stay in bed
Get cross, get angry, fume, seethe, fester, agitate, see red...

Provoke, enrage, push, bully, aggravate and goad
Screech, smoke, burn up, ignite, spark, detonate, EXPLODE!

And if all that doesn’t work...

Here are two little tricks
That should do it with ease

Number one: Smile
Number two: Say please!




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 Free to use, electric cycle taxis in South Africa... are paid for by ads 

South Africa’s taxi industry, which carries an estimated 60% of the country’s commuters, is a multi billion rand pie.

It’s no surprise then that both international and local venture-funded startups, like Silicon Valley’s Uber and Cape Town’s Zapacab, are hungry for a slice. 

While Zapacab and Uber are essentially using an identical blueprint to pursue the same market segment, Mellowcabs is trying something different.

The Cape Town-based startup is planning to offer free last mile transportation by bringing the web’s advertising model into the real world. 

Despite the growth in car use, public transport and walking are still the predominant “lifeline” forms of mobility for the vast majority of South Africans who commute.

65% of trips in urban areas are less than four kilometres...



And it’s in this sector that Mellowcabs is looking to stake a claim - think free, eco-friendly urban micro transport, with a tech-powered advertising model. 

The pedal-electric hybrid pedicabs, look like something you might find in Elon Musk’s (Tesla) sketchbook. Initially based on a generic shell from China...  

Mellowcabs have been modified to be roadworthy, says Du Preez. Manufactured in Wellington and assembled by Mellowcabs, du Preez says the Chinese designs are technically bicycles, and are not seen as roadworthy vehicles.

But, here’s where it gets really interesting. Each mellowcab hosts an on-board tablet computer that runs geolocation software.

As the vehicles approach a certain store or restaurant, the software triggers specific adverts - a promotional offer or a monthly special, for example.



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 "Where is God," you ask? The question should be, "Where are you, in relationship to God?"


The Bible teaches that God reigns over the nations from His holy throne in heaven.

Even though we know that God’s presence is in some sense uniquely in heaven, the teachings of Scripture also make it clear that God is omnipresent (present everywhere at the same time).

From the beginning of Scripture, we see the presence of God hovering over the earth, even when it was still formless and empty. God filled the world with His creation, and His presence and glory continue to inhabit the whole earth.

There are many examples throughout Scripture of God’s presence moving on the earth, interacting with His creation.

Where is God?

If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, God is with you, beside you, above you, and inside you. God’s presence and watchful care never leave you.

If you are not a believer in Jesus Christ, God is right in front of you, inviting you, drawing you, offering you the love, mercy, and grace that He longs to give you.  

If you are unsure of your relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Perhaps a better question than “Where is God?” is “Where are you, in relationship to God?”



Where is God when it hurts?

It seems we desire to know the answer to this question most when faced with painful trials and attacks of doubt. Even Jesus, during His crucifixion, asked, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

To the onlookers of that time, as well as to those who first read the story, it seems that God did forsake Jesus, so we obviously conclude that He will forsake us as well in our darkest moments.

Yet, upon continued observation of the events that unfolded after the crucifixion, the truth is revealed that nothing can separate us from the love of God, not even death. After Jesus was crucified, He was glorified.  

From this example alone we can be assured that even when we do not feel God’s presence in the midst of our pain, we can still believe His promise that He will never leave us nor forsake us.

We trust God that our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs all the suffering that we will endure on this earth.



So, we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, because we know and believe that what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

We also trust God’s Word, which says He is constantly working things together for the good of those who love Him and have been called according to His purpose.

Even though we do not always see the good ends to which God is working things out, we can be assured that a time will come when we will understand and see more clearly.

Where is God when it hurts? The message to take with you in hard times is that when you cannot see His hand, trust His heart, and know for certain that He has not forsaken you.

When you seem to have no strength of your own, that is when you can most fully rest in His presence and know that His strength is made perfect in your weakness.



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 Lost luggage inquiry 

A student was heading home for the holidays. When she got to the airline counter, she presented her ticket to New York.

As she gave the agent her luggage, she made the remark, "I'd like you to send my green suitcase to Hawaii, and my red suitcase to London."

The confused agent said, "I'm sorry, we can't do that."

"Really??? I am so relieved to hear you say that... because that's exactly what you did to my luggage last year!


 History repeats itself 

"Why does history keep repeating itself?" 

"Because we weren't paying attention the first time."







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 "So the old Pope from Germany and the present Pope from Argentina got together at the Vatican and watched the World Cup together. We even have the footage – they're praying over a pizza." -- David Letterman 

 "Now the FCC wants to update the Emergency Alert System so the president can interrupt any TV program. 'We interrupt this program so the president can tell America what he had for lunch: a good bowl of matzo ball soup. This concludes today's presidential lunch update.'" -- David Letterman 

 The White House says President Obama won't make any major announcements during his brief trip back to D.C. this weekend. Reporters said, “Isn't THAT an announcement?” -- Jimmy Fallon

 Cinnabon is testing a concept store that will sell smaller cinnamon rolls. Yep, they say it’s perfect for people who love kidding themselves. “I’m just gonna grab one or eight of these little guys here.” -- Jimmy Fallon

 Timex announced that it's creating a new smart watch that can track your speed, distance, and GPS. People said, "Does it tell time?" And Timex was like, "I knew we forgot something!" -- Jimmy Fallon





 Apple announced it will ban two toxic chemicals that are used in the production of iPhones. In a related story, that iPhone in your pocket right now is made of toxic chemicals. -- Conan O'Brien 

 
The U.S. Postal service has lost $2 billion this spring. Postal officials are busy emailing each other wondering how this could happen. -- Conan O'Brien

 An Oregon man called Portland police Monday to report that traffic was being held up by a chicken attempting to cross a road. Then on Tuesday, he called back to report a priest and a rabbi walking into a bar. -- Seth Meyers

 Scientists at the University of Illinois think they may have found a way to stop cancer cell growth using venom from bees, snakes, and scorpions. Because apparently cancer cells stop growing when you're dead. -- Seth Meyers

 "Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced plans to send 1,000 National Guard troops to increase security. If you really want to slow down the flow of illegal immigrants, send the TSA." -- Seth Meyers



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 The Internet of Things (IoT)


You're tooling down the street, approaching an intersection. You have a green light. Suddenly, a car on the other street comes into your peripheral vision. It's clearly about to blow through a red.

You slam on the brakes of your 2014 Jeep Cherokee... and the brakes don't respond. Impact.

Has a brake cable suddenly snapped?

No. You're the victim of hackers.

Turns out the wireless Bluetooth that allows you to use your smartphone hands-free... also controls the Cherokee's braking, steering and engine-control systems.

Welcome to the downside of the "Internet of Things" -- or the IoT



We are being primed for the Jetsons-come-to-life technology:

Wi-Fi-enabled coffeemakers that order you new coffee when you're running low... or Wi-Fi-enabled cars that message your mechanic when something starts going on the blink.

The downside is described vividly by Joshua Kopstein in a piece at Al-Jazeera America's website:

"A hacker with a smartphone can unlock your front door. Your refrigerator becomes infected with a virus that launches cyber-attacks against activists in Bahrain.

Criminals and intelligence agencies grab data from your home thermostat to plan robberies or track your movements."

And yes, the Bluetooth on the 2014 Cherokee -- and the 2015 Cadillac Escalade -- can both be easily hacked, according to a report issued last month by two Pentagon-funded researchers.

The IoT's vulnerability was a hot topic last week at the Black Hat cyber-security conference in Las Vegas.



"You're taking things that weren't connected and weren't vulnerable and putting vulnerability and connectivity on all of them," said Joshua Corman, chief technology officer at the software firm Sonatype.

Those include medical devices like defibrillators, X-ray machines and drug-infusion pumps.

Increasingly, those too are connected to the IoT.

And as we wrote last October, some 300,000 wireless electronic devices are implanted in people's bodies each year.

They measure your vital signs and relay the info back to your doctor. A godsend if you suffer a chronic and dangerous condition requiring constant monitoring. A nightmare if hackers ever get to it.

The problem is what researcher Sarah Zatko calls "security-afterthought syndrome."

That is, companies are more focused on shipping product... and fixing security flaws only after they're discovered.



Another problem: The cyber-security industry is concentrating on the wrong threats.

In 2014, the experts have thrown much effort at preventing hacks like the one at Target last December -- when hackers compromised the accounts of some 70 million customers.

But it's a minor inconvenience to change your credit card number. As Corman, the guy from Sonatype, says, it's "highly replaceable."

Your smart pacemaker that messages the doctor if something's not right? Not so replaceable.

But the industry is starting to wake up.

Hewlett-Packard sounded the alarm last month, releasing a study showing 70% of IoT devices contain serious vulnerabilities.

We expect massive new flows of money into the cyber-security sector in the weeks and months ahead.



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 For years, we've been told increasing oil production in the U.S. would keep our gas prices low... we've been duped!

"We've gone from a country that was expecting to import massive amounts of oil and gas -- to a country that's sitting on massive supplies of oil and gas, right under our own soil.

• In 2015, the U.S. is set to be the world's leading crude oil producer, surpassing Russia and Saudi Arabia. No. 1... in the world. 

This is a prediction made... and it's coming true sooner than we could have imagined!

• By 2019, according to the Energy Information Administration, the U.S. will surpass its 1970s crude oil production peak. We're going to be producing more oil than EVER here in the U.S.

And yet skeptics remain. Some folks are hesitant to believe America's energy comeback. They think America's oil boom is a flash in the pan.

But these naysayers are going to miss an enormous opportunity right here in our own backyard. 



Next time you fill up your gas tank at the local station, don't think about Saudi Arabia, Nigeria or Russia.

Instead, think about Texas, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Louisiana and even Colorado! Then - look at what your paying per gallon. Where's the savings?

So here's the question - why is gas costing us double what it did six years ago?

There are two answers, Obama's manipulations via the EPA regulations... and because there is an excess of domestic fuel now - we are selling millions of gallons of gas overseas.

So what that means is, we are paying world market prices for gas - instead of domestic supply prices.

Hence, the story we've heard our whole lives - that increasing domestic production is good for us - is bunk!

Between Obama intentionally restricting oil production on federal lands, and the oil companies manipulating supply and prices on private oil fields - we the citizens have lost again.

When the government is involved... you know the fix is in.



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Marijuana Tourism: Is legal weed driving travelers to those states? 

Are more tourists headed to Washington and Colorado to enjoy a legal toke?

The answer’s hazy.

Seattle on Friday will host its annual Hempfest - a pot-a-palooza weekend known to attract a quarter million people - yet city officials say legal weed in Washington has yet to lure sightseers across state borders.

In the Mile High City, some 30,000 people crammed an open-air expo during 4/20 weekend to sample strains vying for the 2014 Cannabis Cup.

But Denver officials maintain there’s no proof that legal pot in Colorado is enticing visitors from other states.

To the civic-hawking pros charged with charming far-flung consumers to enjoy the best of Washington and Colorado, marijuana tourism remains a myth.

Duly noted. But according to experts at travel websites that track the habits of American vacationers...

The two states where voters approved recreational pot each have witnessed an uptick in curious journeyers since those laws were enacted.



Let that debate rage. But entrepreneurs in both states are trying to court any marijuana-minded travelers.

In Seattle, "Canna Bus" touts itself as a “rolling sanctuary,” hauling visitors to “the epicenter of Seattle’s exploding cannabis culture.”

That includes a stop at a recreational marijuana store “after which you can enjoy your purchases … during a sight-seeing tour of the Emerald City.” Tickets are $50.

In Denver, "So Mile High" offers “marijuana expeditions” to dispensaries, glass shops and live growing operations.

The site also suggests the “Top 3 Munchie Destinations” in town and “the best marijuana friendly” bed-and-breakfast.




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 41 Amazing Inventions 

The baby floor duster, the lighted slippers, the chop sticks with a built in fan to blow on your hot food...

Some are silly... some are funny... some are ingenious!
 

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0e5XVxktqrk




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Thought for the day...


Probiotic yogurt good for your skin 

Have you noticed that the yogurt section of most grocery stores has practically taken over the dairy aisle? It’s getting harder to find more traditional dairy foods, such as cottage cheese and sour cream, amid the sea of yogurt options.

But it only makes sense that a food with as many health benefits as yogurt be given prime real estate in the supermarket.

And just what are the health benefits of yogurt?

First off, your body needs to have a healthy amount of ''good'' bacteria in the digestive tract, and many yogurts are made using active, good bacteria. One of the words you’ll be hearing more of in relation to yogurt is ''probiotics.''

Probiotic, which literally means ''for life,'' refers to living organisms that can result in a health benefit when eaten in adequate amounts.



Doctors, yogurt commercials, and even estheticians have long preached the benefits of adding probiotics to your diet, but did you know they can also be used topically?

Gastroenterologist Dr. Roshini Rajapaksa, who’s created her own line of probiotic creams called Tula (Available on QVC for $25-$75), discusses how they work, inside and out. 

With such a new innovation it’s too early to tell whether you’d see greater or faster beauty results by applying or ingesting probiotics, but Dr. Raj says a combination of both may be the most effective.


When topically applied to the skin, velvety yogurt will help moisturize, fight acne, prevent premature aging, relieve sunburn and reduce discoloration.

It’s an all-around beauty multitasker. Just be sure to use a plain, organic variety. You don’t want unnecessary additives and sugar anywhere near your body. 



What are probiotics?

“Probiotics are beneficial bacteria or yeast - organisms that offer [multiple] benefits to the human body,” says Dr. Raj.

She goes on to explain that a bacteria imbalance can result in disease or inflammation, and probiotics help maintain a balance.

In forms like yogurt, Kefir, and supplements, probiotics can reduce gut inflammation, restore the lining of your intestine, and aid with autoimmune diseases and I.B.S.

But some studies have noted that ingesting probiotics also reduced skin redness, irritation, and inflammation.

Topical application is the new frontier.

“The American Academy of Dermatology has called probiotics one of the new beauty breakthroughs... as they’ve been shown to help with clearer skin, decreased skin sensitivity, redness, and inflammation,” Dr. Raj says.

“You may also see a reduced appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and increased elasticity.” 

  

So can I just put yogurt on my face?

Yep. Though applying probiotics to your face may seem like a new trend, it’s not.

“In India for many years... they’ve been doing ceremony day before the wedding where the bride and groom apply yogurt and turmeric to the skin to give a healthy glow,” says Dr. Raj.

“Yogurt has naturally occurring probiotics, that’s why it’s beneficial when used as a topical mask.”

To use yogurt yourself, look for products that contain live and active cultures. She recommends Activia and GoodBelly, a dairy-free option that comes in shots and quarts.

You can find it at Whole Foods, Safeway, and natural food stores, and some varieties are gluten-free as well.

Probiotics are also found in kimchi, sauerkraut, and miso - great for eating, but perhaps not as nice to apply to your skin.




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Liberals keep telling us, "participating, is just as good as excelling?"

This is why our public schools suck - and our children are being graduated, without vital knowledge and skills!


Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads, armed with nothing but their own vision.

Their goals differed, but they all had this in common: that the step was first, the road new, the vision unborrowed, and the response they received - hatred.

-- Ayn Rand, “The Soul of an Individualist,” For the New Intellectual

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You cannot create passion and talent. But you can destroy them.

When people are punished for their virtues, such as the drive to excel and to work hard, then passion and talent become liabilities.

Sometimes people persist for the sheer joy of creation, for the fulfillment of doing work they love.

Because that's when the magic happens, when neurons snap in your brain and fingertips tingle with excitement.

Most of the time, however, people walk away, refusing to become a pawn in a rigged game.

Or they become so hollowed out, that the passion within dies and dampens the spark of life.



Society is impoverished and life rendered less remarkable with every single departure... because society is only the sum total of the individuals who comprise it.

America is actively punishing the best and brightest, the most productive and passionate in a drive for a vicious egalitarianism.

Consider the situation at University of Wisconsin-Madison, where a new vista of affirmative action is being opened.

A July 18 headline in the National Review read, “University of Wisconsin Faculty Votes to Apportion Grades by Race.“

The article explains, “Earlier this year, the University of Wisconsin-Madison faculty senate adopted a new “Framework for Diversity and Inclusive Excellence.”

One of the policies is a cry for “representational equity.”

The term is defined as “proportional participation of historically underrepresented racial-ethnic groups at all levels of an institution...

Including high status special programs, high-demand majors, and in the distribution of grades.”



Awards for participation: a newer American phenomenon.

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On July 16, The Pope Center, an organization dedicated to promoting academic excellence in higher education, ran an article by UW - Madison professor W. Lee Hansen. He wrote,

“Professors, instead of just awarding the grade that each student earns, would apparently have to adjust them...

So that academically weaker, 'historically underrepresented racial/ethnic' students... perform at the same level and receive the same grades as academically stronger students."

“At the very least, this means even greater expenditures on special tutoring for weaker targeted minority students.

It is also likely to trigger a new outbreak of grade inflation...

As professors find out that they can avoid trouble over 'inequitable' grade distributions, by giving every student a high grade.”

Hansen also commented on the policy's call for “proportional representation... in high demand majors,” such as computer engineering.

“The obsession with all those non-academic details about students comes with a cost - the cost of good students who are not admitted because they don’t seem 'diverse' enough.

Also, some of the preferred, 'diverse' students will be admitted with significantly weaker academic capabilities than their classmates." 



Social justice programs are gutting the quality of American education while making tuition and fees soar.

A constant complaint of employers... is that degree-holding job applicants cannot spell, compose a grammatical sentence or perform their job descriptions at a basic level.

Many financial advisers now say that avoiding a college education... is a better path to success.

How did America get to the point where it is discriminating against excellence because it is excellence?

Affirmative action is one of the key social programs responsible for higher education being decoupled from success in life.

From its early roots as an attempt to impose non-discrimination, it has morphed into “diversity programs” -

Which mandate discrimination, in favor of certain racial groups and of low achievers. 

The process started in March 1961, when President Kennedy signed Executive Order 10925.

It required government contractors to "take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed...

And how employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin."

The goal seemed fair enough; tax money should not be distributed based on race.

(Of course, in our opinion, it should be not distributed or collected at all.) 



But almost immediately – in the same year as the executive order – 'civil rights' and black rights organizations cried out for discrimination - rather than its absence.

For example, a National Urban League official told a congressional committee that “being colorblind” was not enough or even a virtue...

“What we need to be is positively color-conscious.”

From an equality of opportunity (albeit, and alas, a government enforced one), affirmative action hit the fast-track to social engineering, in order to achieve an equality of results.

The absence of equal results would soon be viewed as prima facie evidence of discrimination in employment, education, housing, credit... across the social and economic board.

On August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King famously stated,

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation, where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

He advocated a meritocracy... because he knew it would be the most just society, in which his children could live and grow. 



Meritocracy: the concept is now as anathema as cannibalism and often for similar reasons.

People equate it with elites who feast off power and privilege - while the worker ants live in squalor and labor.

But by meritocracy, I mean a society in which people advance based on their own efforts; where children are judged by their character and their achievements.

The key difference between the two views of meritocracy is one question. How did any single individual acquire the advantages of wealth and status he enjoys?

Market meritocracy: refers to advantages that are justly earned on the free market or are gifts from others who justly earned them.

It refer to people who rise because they are skilled and diligent about providing services and goods that others want; such people enrich society. 

By contrast, "coerced liberal meritocracy" comes from using force or fraud – especially through political connections and legal privileges.

These elites trade no services or goods but drain strength from those who do;

They gulp down taxes and divert private sector wealth into scams like monopolies; such people impoverish society.

America has moved from being a largely market meritocracy - to being a coerced one.

The politicians and politically-connected who rose through corruption and theft, also made sure they had a loud microphone.



They distract attention from their own stolen wealth and power - by pointing a finger and shouting at the private sector.

While she cried out at companies who evade their taxes, earlier this year Hillary Clinton publicly claimed she was“dead broke?”

Meanwhile, Bloomberg (July 21) pointed out, “Hillary Clinton has earned at least $12 million in 16 months, since leaving the State Department -

A windfall at odds with her party’s call to shrink the gap between the rich and the poor.“ 

The elite Clinton... represents a coerced meritocracy that cannot live in peace or in parallel with a market one.

And, so, she blames the market place for the societal problems - that she and her ilk have caused...

All the while hoping Americans are distracted enough to buy that she is “dead broke” and only “a public servant.” 

But there is only so long that the true merit of society can be destroyed, before the lights and color of that society drains away to grayness.

America is going gray... as its vitality is being demonized and siphoned by the liberal elites.




This Week's Government Goofs & Goofballs
An Independent & unbiased accounting of our government 
& political mischief

 Remember "Cash for Clunkers?"

When stimulus fails: Hard to believe it's been five years since the feds did the Car Allowance Rebate System - which quickly went down in history as "cash for clunkers."

We documented its failure in real time during the program's one-month existence in July and August 2009.

To refresh your memory, Americans collected $2.9 billion in tax credits to buy 690,000 new fuel-efficient cars.

The old cars they traded in were destroyed, thus shrinking the supply of used cars... and making them less affordable.



Turns out the program didn't even accomplish what it set out to do - goose the auto industry. Economists at Texas A&M have found the program cut auto industry revenue by $3 billion.

Yes, buying perked up while the program was in effect. But once the following months are taken into account, there was no net increase in purchases.

What's more, consumers opted for compact cars with conventional engines, instead of expensive hybrids.

"By lowering the relative price of smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles," write the researchers...

"The program induced households to purchase vehicles that cost between $4,000-6,000 less than the vehicles - they otherwise would have purchased."

Oy...






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 The Obama instigated border crisis... is really a border disaster! 

The entire liberal open-borders movement is about to make a massive push for amnesty. 

The fact is, Barack Obama created this border mess. He illegally refused to enforce our immigration laws.

Obama has once again abused his authority and unilaterally refused to enforce our current immigration laws - by directing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to stop removing broad categories of unlawful immigrants.

The Obama administration, in essence, has become a party to the deliberate trafficking of children for profit...

And shows no sign of ending the practice, no matter how horrifically these children are victimized.




And now, he has the nerve to threaten executive action to grant amnesty to millions, which will only entice more illegal immigrants.

The American people are paying a fearful price for this president’s reckless policies. We can’t afford any more. We must stop it! 

Demanding that a simple law enforcement directive be reversed because it is physically harming those immigrant children, who are being sold into bondage, is a far easier task politically.

All it would take is the issuing of another memo reversing the policy and much of the flood would halt almost immediately.

You see, it’s not simply that thousands of people are pouring across the frontier. It’s the violence, the mayhem, the disease and the chaos!

And Obama will make it even worse - if he issues his illegal executive order granting amnesty.



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 Another Democrat Senator illegally used taxpayer money for political fund-raising 

Democrat Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) likes to spend your tax dollars.

She voted for the failed stimulus bill, Obamacare, Cash for Clunkers, the housing bailout, and for billions of dollars in wasteful earmarks.

But did you know that Mary Landrieu also spent your tax dollars - on charter airplanes to travel to campaign fundraisers?

That's the report, which has landed the Louisiana Democrat in some pretty hot water. It's illegal to use tax dollars for campaign expenses. 

This breach of trust was discovered after USA Today published a story... revealing that Landrieu had charged taxpayers $47,000 for charter airplanes.

It turns out that several of the trips Landrieu was going to, were a fundraising lunchs for her campaign, which cannot be done at taxpayer expense.

All of this has created some turbulence for Mary Landrieu's campaign.

It shows voters why they can't trust her - with their hard-earned tax dollars.



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