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Toon- Entitled Manchildren Magazine

One Arrested After Hand Grenade Found in carry-on in Los Angeles Airport

A hand grenade found in a carry-on bag at Los Angeles International Airport prompted officials to delay five flights and disrupt travel plans for some 800 passengers for a couple of hours, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

Officials arrested one person in relation to the incident, according to a TSA statement on Friday. It was not immediately clear when the incident occurred.

"The Terminal 1 checkpoint was closed while the Explosive Ordnance Disposal team transported the grenade to an offsite location to be disrupted," the statement added. "Five flights were delayed 2 hours, 19 minutes, affecting 800 passengers."

"We continue to find inert hand grenades and other weaponry on a weekly basis," according to the TSA. "Please keep in mind that if an item looks like a real bomb, grenade, mine, etc., it is prohibited."


Paul Krugman- That Old-Time Inequality Denial

Brad DeLong links to the now extensive list of pieces debunking the FT’s attempted debunking of Thomas Piketty, and pronounces himself puzzled:

I still do not understand what Chris Giles of the Financial Times thinks he is doing here…

OK, I don’t know what Giles thought he was doing — but I do know what he was actually doing, and it’s the same old same old. Ever since it became obvious that inequality was rising — way back in the 1980s — there has been a fairly substantial industry on the right of inequality denial. This denial didn’t rely on any one argument, nor did it involve consistent objections. Instead, it involved throwing many different arguments against the wall, hoping that something would stick. Inequality isn’t rising; it is rising, but it’s offset by social mobility; it’s cancelled by greater aid to the poor (which we’re trying to destroy, but never mind that); anyway, inequality is good. All these arguments have been made at the same time; none of them ever gets abandoned in the face of evidence — they just keep coming back.

Look at my old article from 1992: every single bogus argument I identified there is still being made today. And we know perfectly well why: it’s all about defending the 1 percent from the threat of higher taxes and other actions that might limit top incomes.

What’s new in the latest round is the venue. Traditionally, inequality denial has been carried out on the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal and like-minded venues. Seeing it expand to the Financial Times is something new, and is a sign that the FT may be suffering from creeping Murdochization.


Weekend Toon Roundup










Sunset Double Rainbow Over Samos Island, Greece

Photographer: Manolis Thravalos; Manolis' Web site
Summary Authors: Manolis Thravalos; Jim Foster

This gorgeous, high-arching double rainbow signaled the end to a stormy spring day. It was taken at sunset from Samos Island, Greece, a small island in the Aegean Sea. Reddened colors of the primary and secondary bows result from the increased path length of sunlight when the Sun is below the horizon. The brightened area of the sky beneath the primary rainbow occurs when sunlight undergoes a single reflection in raindrops. Note that despite the brightness of the sky near the horizon, the camera is facing opposite of the Sun. Photo taken on April 27, 2014.


Toon: Heh Heh Heh

Luckovich Toon: Another Outbreak

Shinseki Wasn't the Problem: "Taxpayers Get What They Fucking Pay For"

Adam Weinstein

Now that Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki has fallen on his sword, the agency can finally give our growing population of ill and aging vets the care they deserve, right? Not according to the many frazzled VA employees who have sent Gawker their stories. Here's one.

We've heard from many VA workers and are reading all of their accounts—of malfeasance, of incompetence, of inertia caused by politicization and budget cuts—and we'll share more in the coming weeks. Here's one we received immediately after Shinseki tendered his resignation to President Obama this morning, which describes an underfunded, undermanned spoils system at VA: "You fucking had two fucking wars and demand that we take care of our veterans, but somehow you can seem to come up with equitable funding that you do for some fucking fighter jet."

This employee has worked at VA since 2007. Despite holding a graduate degree, the author was "was immediately sat down and ordered to make copies, and make notebooks. For the larger part of not quite a year and a half, I was assigned menial tasks while most of the work was contracted out to 'program support contractors.'"

My issues with the VA are as follows:

1. Thanks to Congressional pressure to not grow the government, we rely heavily on contractors to administer services. The rationale being that you keep government from growing and keep costs down (HR and pension costs down), you contract services. However, the American population is still growing as does the need for services. In addition, it is not uncommon to have the same resource in excess of 5 to 10 years (especially if a subject matter expert). We have no way to hire them full time because we cannot offer competitive wages. If you really want to cut down on waste fraud and abuse, private contractors hired should be the first to go. Upon my second year the the VA, 1 single program support contract resource was 250K, whereas a GS12 employee with benefits was valued at 125K. I don't know about you, but it seems as if government employees are still cheaper.



Why Do Republicans Always Say ‘I’m Not a Scientist’?

By Jonathan Chait

Asked by reporters yesterday if he accepts the scientific consensus that greenhouse gas emissions contribute to global warming, John Boehner demurred on the curious but increasingly familiar grounds that he is not a scientist. “Listen, I’m not qualified to debate the science over climate change,” the House Speaker said. Boehner immediately turned the question to the killing of jobs that would result from any proposal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which he asserts with unwavering certainty. (On this question, Boehner is not held back by the fact that he is also not an economist.)

This particular demurral seems to be in vogue for the Grand Old Party. Florida governor Rick Scott (“I’m not a scientist”) and Senator Marco Rubio (“I’m not a scientist. I’m not qualified to make that decision.”) have both held up their lack of scientific training as a reason to withhold judgment on anthropogenic global warming.

It’s a strange form of reasoning. Very few of us are scientists, which is exactly why we tend to defer to scientific judgment. It might make sense to question expert consensus in a field where you are an expert, but if you know very little about it, you probably want to just go along with what the experts think. Scientists do, in fact, have a nearly unanimous view of anthropogenic global warming. Scientists likewise believe that chugging Liquid Drano is bad for your health, which is why, precisely because of my lack of scientific training, I hold off on the Drano Cocktails.

“I am not a scientist” makes sense as a way to resolve a tension within Republican politics. It may be a political liability for Republicans to openly associate themselves with the kook conspiracy theories popular among conservative ideologues. One solution might be for Republicans to concede that anthropogenic global warming is indeed real, but that any solution is simply too costly. That might allow Republicans to minimize their kook exposure while still hewing to the bottom line party doctrine that individuals and firms ought to be able to dump carbon into the atmosphere for free.



Researchers design a new structure that absorbs all sound

A new step toward the perfect acoustic absorber. Researchers of the Universitat Politècnica de València at the Campus de Gandia have designed and experimentally evaluated in the laboratory a new structure made of conventional porous materials –used in the construction industry- that permit the complete absorption of sound at a wide range of frequencies.

The Technical University of Denmark, the LUNAM Université of Le Mans (France) and the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO, in Spanish) have also taken part in this project. The results have been released in Scientific Reports, from Nature Publishing.

"Our study tackles one of the most important problems of society today from a new point of view: the design of materials and surfaces able to significantly reduce noise. In view of the results, we believe we have taken an important step toward the perfect absorber. And that has been done just by reconfiguring a known material," says Víctor Sánchez-Morcillo, researcher at the Campus de Gandia of the Universitat Politècnica de València and director of the Master's Degree in Acoustic Engineering, taught at this campus.

In their work, the researchers have demonstrated how the designed structure achieves extraordinary sound absorption using an apparently contradictory strategy: the sound attenuation increases when the quantity of absorbent material is reduced. This way, a totally reflective surface becomes a perfect absorbent despite the fact that, for the most part, there is no material that absorbs sound.



Good-Now make it available to cover apartment walls and ceilings....
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