Daily Archives: January 10, 2017

U.S. Small-Business Optimism Index Surges by Most Since 1980

Optimism among America’s small businesses soared in December by the most since 1980 as expectations about the economy’s prospects improved dramatically in the aftermath of the presidential election.The National Federation of Independent Business’s index jumped 7.4 points last month to 105.8, the highest since the end of 2004, from 98.4. While seven of the 10 components increased in December, 73 percent of the monthly advance was due to more upbeat views about the outlook for sales and the economy, the Washington-based group said.The share of business owners who say now is a good time to expand is three times the average of the current expansion, according to the NFIB’s data. More companies also said they plan to increase investment and keep hiring, which reflects optimism surrounding President-elect Donald Trump’s plans of spurring the economy through deregulation, tax reform and infrastructure spending.Source: U.S. Small-Business Optimism Index Surges by Most Since 1980 – Bloomberg

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When a monkey loved a deer…

Love has always been difficult to define exactly. A newly published study adds nuance, or at least data, to the concept. The study is:“Interspecies sexual behaviour between a male Japanese macaque and female sika deer,” Marie Pelé, Alexandre Bonnefoy, Masaki Shimada, and Cédric Sueur, Primates, epub January 2017. The authors, in Strasbourg, France and Uenohara, Japan, report:“Interspecies sexual behaviour or ‘reproductive interference’ has been reported across a wide range of animal taxa. However, most of these occurrences were observed in phylogenetically close species…

Source: Improbable Research » Blog Archive

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Former CIA and NSA Officials Just Joined Forces & Debunked the Russian “Hack” Conspiracy Theory

In an op-ed for the Baltimore Sun, two former, high-ranking intelligence officials tore apart the Obama administration’s vocal and as-yet unproven claim the Russians interfered with the U.S. election — and hacked systems of the Democratic establishment — to ensure a Donald Trump win.However, as William Binney, former NSA official turned whistleblower, and Ray McGovern, veteran award-winning CIA officer turned political activist, explained, the utter lack of evidence presented by current intelligence officials to back up the allegations indicates the possibility none exists.“The long anticipated Joint Analysis Report issued by the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI on Dec. 29 met widespread criticism in the technical community,” they wrote, referring to the sole public disclosure of putative evidence. “Worse still, some of the advice it offered led to a very alarmist false alarm about supposed Russian hacking into a Vermont electric power station.”Deeming it watered down, “thin gruel,” Binney and McGovern excoriated the disclaimer-emblazoned report’s vapid claims, noting the deafening absence of comment from the NSA, CIA, and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

Source: Former CIA and NSA Officials Just Joined Forces & Debunked the Russian “Hack” Conspiracy Theory

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The legendary Fairy Flag passed on by Scottish clan leaders for over 1,000 years

As legend has it, when King Harald Hardrada (a Norwegian ruler) went to conquer England, he took with him a magic Fairy Flag – supposed to bring him victory. Well, it didn’t do him much good because he was killed at the Battle of Stamford Bridge. The flag later emerged at Dunvegan Castle, in the Isle of Skye, in Scotland, as the most prized heirloom of the MacLeod clan.Legends and historyIt’s not clear how the flag got into the MacLeods’ possession – either a gift from the fairies to an infant chieftain, a gift to a chief from a departing fairy-lover, or a reward for defeating an evil spirit. But the flag likely originated somewhere far away from Scotland, potentially even in the Middle East. In the 20th century, A.J.B. Wace of the Victoria and Albert Museum examined it and came to the conclusion that the silk is either Syria or Rhodes, and the darns were definitely made in the Middle East. The most likely theory is that it comes from the time of the Crusades. Both Harald Hardrada and the early MacLeods spent time in Constantinopole, and some even believe that the clan descended from Hardrada. But the MacLeod estate claims that the flag was dated to at least a couple of centuries before the Crusades, so it may be even older than that. But I like the legends a bit more than that.

Source: The legendary Fairy Flag passed on by Scottish clan leaders for over 1,000 years

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French Onion Beef Sliders For A Crowd – Host The Toast

FRENCH ONION BEEF SLIDERS FOR A CROWD

PRINTPREP TIME20 TIME1 hourTOTAL TIME1 hour 20 mins

Author: MorganServes:

24 slidersINGREDIENTS

8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, divided

2 large sweet onions, sliced

2 pounds ground beef

2 tablespoons beef base (such as Better than Boullion), divided1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, dividedKosher salt and black pepper, to taste

24 slider buns

12-16 ounces gruyere cheese, chopped

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

1 tablespoon fresh thyme

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powderDIRECTIONSMelt

2 tablespoons of the butter in a skillet over medium heat.

Add in the onions and reduce the heat to medium low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly caramelized, about 25-30 minutes. If the onions start to look dry or burnt, add a tablespoon of water to the pan.In a large bowl, mix the ground beef with half of the beef base and half of the Worcestershire sauce. Season generously with salt and pepper.Add the beef to the skillet full of onions. Increase heat to medium-high and brown the beef, breaking it up and mixing with the onions as you go. Once browned, drain off excess grease.Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a large baking sheet. Separate the tops from the bottoms of the slider buns. Fit the slider bottom buns tightly on the baking sheet.Evenly distribute the beef and onion mixture over the bottom buns. Top with the gruyere cheese. Cover with the top buns.In a microwave safe bowl, melt the butter with the remaining beef base. Stir in the remaining Worcestershire sauce and continue to mix until well-combined. Using a pastry brush, brush the beefy butter mixture over the top buns. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds, thyme, onion powder, and garlic powder.Bake the sliders until the cheese is fully melted and the tops of the rolls are lightly browned, about 20 minutes.

Source: French Onion Beef Sliders For A Crowd – Host The Toast

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Universities warned over ‘snowflake’ student demands

Universities will be forced to pander to the demands of “snowflake” students if controversial changes to the ranking system are approved, education leaders have warned.The Government faces a cross-party revolt in the Lords this week over proposed reforms to higher education, which include placing student satisfaction at the heart of a new ranking system.It is feared that this will lead to a “fantastically dangerous” culture where authorities will give in to student demands, however unreasonable they may be.”Safe space” and “no platform” movements have swept across campuses including a campaign to ban Germaine Greer from giving a speech over her “offensive” comments.Germaine Greer speaks on stage at The Hay Festival 2016 CREDIT: CLARA MOLDEN FOR THE TELEGRAPHBaroness Wolf, a professor at King’s College London (KCL), warned:  “Universities are increasingly nervous about doing anything that will create overt dissatisfaction among students because they are being told that student satisfaction is key.“It has had a real effect on the willingness of universities to stand up to student demands which in the past have been removing statues, safe spaces and no-platforming. This whole movement is a direct threat to academic standards and the ability of universities to stand up for freedom of speech.”She added: “The student satisfaction measure is fantastically dangerous. The way to make students happy is not asking them to do any work and giving them a high grade.

Source: Universities warned over ‘snowflake’ student demands

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The Hunt for the Missing ‘Caddyshack’ Yacht – The Daily Beast

Currently bobbing lazily at a dock in Pasadena, Maryland, the boat captained, briefly, by Rodney Dangerfield in the 1980 film Caddyshack is now on sale for $129,000. The boat, a 60-foot Striker yacht christened Big Dog, appears for all of 90 seconds in the film in what is known among Caddyshack fans as “the boat scene.” The scene, in which Dangerfield’s character, a gauche arriviste named Al Czervik, caroms through the genteel waters and by extension the comfortable lives of the members of Bushwood Country Club, at the helm of the ship—Seafood in the movie—can be summoned simply by uttering its catchphrase, “Hey, you scratched my anchor.” So iconic are these 90 seconds that they have saved this damaged ship from the scrap heap where it almost certainly would have ended up.

Source: The Hunt for the Missing ‘Caddyshack’ Yacht – The Daily Beast

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Fugitive taunts police by changing Facebook profile to himself as Where’s Waldo and declaring he is ‘hide and seek champion’

Waldo’s face was replaced with a picture of the JJ McMenamin’s head and the image was accompanied with the words “Dude… I’m right here”

Telegraph Reporter brazen fugitive is taunting police as they continue a manhunt for him by changing his Facebook profile to depict himself as Where’s Wally and declaring he is a “hide and seek champion”. Police brought in a helicopter and sniffer dogs as they scoured the market town of Leyburn, North Yorks, throughout the weekend in a search for JJ McMenamin.But the 30-year-old, who describes himself as a jockey, told his Facebook friends he was close enough to watch the search take place on Saturday afternoon.Around a dozen police officers were called in to search on foot after it is understood McMenamin breached his bail conditions by failing to attend court.

Source: Fugitive taunts police by changing Facebook profile to himself as Where’s Wally and declaring he is ‘hide and seek champion’

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Watch: ‘You just made the claim!’: Warmist Prof. hilariously fails to name source of 98% ‘consensus’ claim 

A college professor claimed that “98 percent of the world’s scientists” agree that manmade climate change is real — but things soon became awkward when Fox News host Tucker Carlson asked the academic to name the source of his information on-air.

“I am interested in the claims you’ve made about climate science, that it’s settled, and that 98 percent of worldwide scientists believe that. How do you know that? Are you a scientist or have you polled other scientists? Where did you get that figure?”

Carlson asked California State University-Sacramento professor Joseph Palermo on Wednesday.Palermo clearly wasn’t prepared to defend his previous assertion.“Well, see, that’s another one of those interesting kind of questions is that, that wasn’t what the blog was about,” Palermo replied, referencing “right-wing websites” misconstruing science for “catchy headlines” and “clickbait.”

But Carlson was determined to get an answer. So he asked the question a second time.Palermo dodged the question again, saying, “I didn’t want to get into — are you a climate change denier, or a skeptic?”

That’s when Carlson laid into the academic, reminding him that not taking everything at face value is how science works.“The essence of science, and of journalism,” Carlson said, “is skepticism, because it seeks to get to the truth.”“And I’m asking as you as someone who just said, as a statement of fact, that 98 percent of the world’s scientists agree with you, with whatever you believe, I’m wondering how you know that,” Carlson added.

Palermo avoided providing evidence to his claim twice more. At one point, he even urged Carlson to send out his “giant research team” to “find out about it,” a suggestion that prompted a good laugh from the Fox News host.“You just made the claim!” Carlson pointed out.

Source: Watch: ‘You just made the claim!’: Warmist Prof. hilariously fails to name source of 98% ‘consensus’ claim | Climate Depot

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Moscow celebrates despite coldest Christmas night ‘in 120 years’

Bitterly cold temperatures haven’t stopped worshipers from celebrating Epiphany and Orthodox Christmas. Christian believers across the globe joined in celebrations.Those who attended midnight liturgy at Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior had to bundle up for the bitter cold as temperatures in the capital dropped to about -30C on Christmas night. In Moscow Region, temperatures dropped below -32C.

Source: Moscow celebrates despite coldest Christmas night ‘in 120 years’ — RT News

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Driver slapped with nearly $240 ticket for driving with ‘unsecured load’ of snow on his van 

A Winnipeg man was slapped with a nearly $240 ticket for driving with too much snow on the roof of his van.Jonathan McCullough said it took him a moment to realize a police officer was trying to pull him over as he drove on Bishop Grandin Boulevard on Friday on his way to a hockey rink.”When I rolled down my window he asked me why did I have so much snow on my roof, and I didn’t know what to say,” McCullough said. “I was completely dumbfounded by his question.”McCullough said he had roughly seven to 10 centimetres of snow on the roof of his minivan — enough to earn him a ticket for operating a vehicle with an unsecured load worth $237.50.

Source: Driver slapped with nearly $240 ticket for driving with ‘unsecured load’ of snow on his van – Manitoba – CBC News

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Roseville man gets $128 ticket for heating up car in own driveway

ROSEVILLE, Mich. (WXYZ) – Did you know you could get fined for heating up your car? One man’s parking ticket has gone viral, with thousands of views after he was ticketed for heating up his car in his own driveway.Taylor Trupiano says he’s still shaking his head over a parking ticket he got on his own property.”I thought it was some kind of joke at first, and then I was thrown back by it,” he said. “I was really surprised.”The ticket was for leaving the keys in the ignition with the motor running and no one around. Trupiano said he was only doing something many people in Michigan do during the winter.”I was in and out in probably about 7-8 minutes,” he added. “So in that amount of time he ran up here, gave me a ticket and by the time I got out he was nowhere to be seen.”

Source: Roseville man gets $128 ticket for heating up car in own driveway – WXYZ.com

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The FBI Paying Geek Squad  To Dig  In Computers For Evidence 

Law enforcement has a number of informants working for it and the companies that already pay their paychecks, like UPS, for example. It also has a number of government employees working for the TSA, keeping their eyes peeled for “suspicious” amounts of cash it can swoop in and seize.Unsurprisingly, the FBI also has a number of paid informants. Some of these informants apparently work at Best Buy — Geek Squad by day, government informants by… well, also by day.According to court records, Geek Squad technician John “Trey” Westphal, an FBI informant, reported he accidentally located on Rettenmaier’s computer an image of “a fully nude, white prepubescent female on her hands and knees on a bed, with a brown choker-type collar around her neck.” Westphal notified his boss, Justin Meade, also an FBI informant, who alerted colleague Randall Ratliff, another FBI informant at Best Buy, as well as the FBI. Claiming the image met the definition of child pornography and was tied to a series of illicit pictures known as the “Jenny” shots, agent Tracey Riley seized the hard drive.Not necessarily a problem, considering companies performing computer/electronic device repair are legally required to report discovered child porn to law enforcement. The difference here is the paycheck. This Geek Squad member had been paid $500 for digging around in customers’ computers and reporting his findings to the FBI. That changes the motivation from legal obligation to a chance to earn extra cash by digging around in files not essential to the repair work at hand.

Source: The FBI Is Apparently Paying Geek Squad Members To Dig Around In Computers For Evidence Of Criminal Activity | Techdirt

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Nine Charts That Show How White Women Are Drinking Themselves to Deat

Alcohol-related death rate more than doubled since 1999.

Source: Nine Charts That Show How White Women Are Drinking Themselves to Death – American Renaissance

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Indian Woman Returns Home 40 Years After Being Laid to Rest

Two Indian sisters recently got the shock of their lives after their 82-year-old mother showed up at their doorstep 40 years after they had laid her body to rest on the Ganges river, following a cobra bite.It all started on a summer day in 1976, when 42-year-old Vilasa, a woman from Bidhoo village, India’s Kanpur district, went out into the fields to collect fodder for the family animals, as she had done countless time before. Only this time, she unknowingly got to close to a black cobra snake, and got bit. Upon returning home, her family immediately took her to a traditional healer, but his methods failed to alleviate the effects of the venom, and Vilasa soon lost consciousness.Thinking she had died, her family wrapped the woman’s body in cloth, placed it on a wooden float and released into the sacred Ganges river, hoping it would bring her to life. Open-air cremation is practiced by millions of Indian Hindus, with the ashes of their loved-ones then scattered in holy bodies of water, but in the case of snake bites, some believe that the sacred river can wash away the poison from the body and bring the person back to life. It wasn’t something Vilasa’s family actually expected, though.

Source: Indian Woman Returns Home 40 Years After Being Laid to Rest | Oddity Central – Collecting Oddities

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Fukushima Radiation Makes Landfall On U.S. West Coast- And It is Only The Beginning

Seaborne Cesium 134, a radioactive isotope released by the 2011 Fukushima disaster, has been detected on the US’ Pacific coast for the first time by independent researchersAfter the catastrophic triple meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in 2011, the Japanese government and the plant’s parent company,

Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), worked to cover up the damage done and downplay the amount of radiation the disaster had released into the environment. Though the disaster’s many impacts have been suspiciously absent from mainstream media reports in the years since, the radiation pouring out of the plant’s damaged reactors have never stopped.

To this day, 300 tons of contaminated, radioactive water flow into the Pacific Ocean every day as many of the leaks can never be sealed due to the extreme heat. Now, nearly six years after the meltdown, radiation from Fukushima has made landfall on the West coast of the United States, signaling a dangerous new era for residents and wildlife along the Pacific coastal region.Researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), a crowd-funded team of scientists, announced yesterday that they had detected, for the first time, seaborne cesium 134 in seawater on the shores of Tillamook Bay in Oregon. The group has been monitoring the waterborne radiation as it extends from Fukushima across the Pacific for years. According to WHOI as well as other scientists, cesium 134, a dangerous and carcinogenic radioactive isotope, could only have originated from the Fukushima disaster due to its short half-life, or rate of decay.

Source: Fukushima Radiation Makes Landfall On U.S. West Coast- And It is Only The Beginning – REALfarmacy.com

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