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SpaceX Rocket Blows Up During Test Flight

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket early May 22, 2

MCGREGOR, Texas (AP) — An unmanned SpaceX rocket exploded shortly after launch on a test flight at the company’s Central Texas development site.

A SpaceX statement said nobody was injured in the Friday afternoon explosion at its test site in McGregor, Texas, 23 miles southeast of Waco.

In a statement, SpaceX spokesman John Taylor says the test flight involved a three-engine version of its reusable Falcon 9 rocket. He said an “anomaly” was detected in the rocket and it automatically self-destructed…(read more)

CBS Houston

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[PHOTO] A Steamy View of the Skyscrapers, Post-storm in Hong Kong


Livin’ in the Kong! The Mostly Great Outdoors of Hong Kong

© 2014 deb fong photography at more at Hong Kong Fong

Portrait In Jazz: Bill Evans Trio 1960


Bill Evans TrioWhen I Fall In Love (with Victor Young, Edward Heyman)
album: Portrait In Jazz  release: 1960

Diary of a Radical Conformist  

 Portrait In Jazz 

Americana: Dairy Queen Ice Cream

Dairy Queen

L.A. Desk: The Mayor of Culver City Thought These Signs were a Joke. They were Not


Jory Rand  @ABC7

Murder and the Masterpiece: Did an Artwork Solve a Decades-old NYC Crime?

collection_images-Robert Rauschenberg

Robert Rauschenberg’s ‘Collection’ & the Case of the Four Boys

Andrew Scott Cooper writes: Murderous deeds have inspired artists like Caravaggio, Jacques-Louis David and Paul Cézanne to produce some of their best-known works. But has there ever been a case of an artwork helping solve a real-life murder mystery?

In their confession statements, the four boys admitted to a litany of other offenses and unsolved crimes that had panicked their neighborhood over the summer: punching and kicking to death a second man, Reinhold Ulrickson, on a Brooklyn street corner 10 days earlier; pouring gasoline over a third man and setting him alight; horsewhipping two young women in rauschenberg_talla public park late at night; and assaulting numerous others who had the misfortune to encounter them. Prosecutors expressed shock and bewilderment.

[Check out Andrew Scott Cooper's book  "The Oil Kings: How the U.S., Iran, and Saudi Arabia Changed the Balance of Power in the Middle East" at Amazon]

“I can’t understand what would make boys do such terrible things,” said the Kings County District Attorney. “They apparently had no reason except the thrill they got.

Robert Rauschenberg

”Sixty years ago this month, on August 16, 1954, four Jewish teenagers dubbed the Kill-for-Thrills gang were accused of slaying black factory worker Willard Menter under the Williamsburg Bridge. According to police accounts, Brooklyn youths Jack Koslow, 18, Melvin Mittman, 17, Jerome Lieberman, 17, and Robert Trachtenberg, 15, confessed to beating and kicking their victim, burning his feet with lit cigarettes, and then dragging him to the end of South Fifth Street where he was beaten again to the point of unconsciousness, thrown in the river and left to drown.

The so-called “Nights of Horror” crime spree and the story of four good boys gone bad shattered the complacency of an American summer. Overnight, Koslow, Mr. Mittman, Lieberman and Trachtenberg earned notoriety as the human face of juvenile delinquency. Articles on the boys and their exploits appeared in mainstream news publications like Time, Newsweek, Look and The New York Times, which splashed the case on its front page. So great was the media frenzy that by the end of the year Hollywood gossip queen Hedda Hopper suggested the boys were the inspiration for James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause.


The sensational murder was front-page news.

Read the rest of this entry »

頑張って!Ministry Study: Five Million Japanese Have Gambling Problem


Japan is weighing whether to introduce casino gambling

For WSJ, Jun Hongo reports: A group working under the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare estimates that some 5.36 million people in Japan, or 4.8% of the adult population, may have a pathological gambling problem.

“The report said Japan had higher percentage of pathological gamblers than other developed countries.”

A ministry-funded study of the issue was led by Susumu Higuchi of the Kurihama Medical and Addiction Center, a national medical institution. In a survey of 4,153 randomly chosen adults in July 2013, the group found 8.7% of men and 1.8% of women in Japan could be described as being addicted to gambling.


The report said Japan had higher percentage of pathological gamblers than other developed countries. Earlier studies showed lower numbers in Canada (0.9% in 2002), France (1.24% in 2008) and South Korea (0.8% in 2006), it said. Read the rest of this entry »

Best Quality ‘CRAB’ Firecrackers


NASA: Curiosity Team Studies Martian Rock, Chooses Not to Drill ‘Bonanza King’

Jonah Goldberg: ‘If the view of the human rights community is that it is simply useless to describe ISIS as evil, than what good is the human rights community?’


For CNN.com, James Dawes writes:

Is ISIS evil?

The problem with that question is that the answer is as easy as it is useless. Yes, ISIS is evil and must be stopped. Saying so over and over again could very well make it harder to stop them…(more)

National Review’s Jonah Goldberg tried to shame those who are trying to think seriously about ISIS. In a recent tweet, he mocked the attempt to understand ISIS in its social and political context, suggesting that we should focus instead on one fact: “They’re evil. They do obviously evil things for evil ends.”

National Review‘s Jonah Goldberg responds:

Dawes gets just about everything wrong here — and in the rest of his essay. For starters I didn’t “mock the attempt to understand ISIS in its social and political context.” Rather, I mocked those who try to understand ISIS without acknowledging the most salient moral fact: They’re evil. Here’s my full tweet.

The rest of the piece is just a string of question begging assertions and strawmen wrapped in a lot of self-congratulatory intellectual preening about his willingness to do the serious thinking others won’t do…(read more here)

Read the rest of this entry »

Heartbroken, Plus Golf: Incongruity Rallies NYT White House Special Defense Team


WASHINGTON — He had just hung up the telephone with the devastated parents before heading in front of the cameras. Unusually emotional, President Obama declared himself “heartbroken” by the brutal murder of an American journalist, James Foley…(more)

DNC Public Relations Arm & NYT ‘Tactical Nuance’ Unit

Portlandia is Real: Naked Woman Climbs Downtown Portland Flagpole


PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Police say they’ve sent a 34-year-old woman to the hospital for a mental evaluation after she made a naked flagpole climb on the roof of a downtown Portland office building.

Police said she stripped about midnight Wednesday, hauled down the flag and then wrapped herself in it, brandishing a lighter and fire extinguisher.

“Arson investigators said they didn’t know whether she was linked to a rooftop fire at the nearby 15-story Yeon Building that broke out about the same time.”

Then, officers said, she began throwing construction glue from the building, listed as having 12 floors. Several vehicles were damaged.

Officers say she appeared to be in a mental health crisis and may have been taking stimulant drugs. Read the rest of this entry »

[VIDEO] Compilation of All of the Quentin Tarantino Movie Deaths, Set to Music

h/t VA Viper

Report: Chinese Su-27 Jet Threatened U.S. Navy Intelligence Aircraft Near Japan


Defense officials said the Chinese Su-27 interceptor jet flew within 50 feet of the P-8 anti-submarine warfare jet near Japan

 reports: A Chinese jet fighter flew dangerously close to a U.S. Navy P-8 anti-submarine warfare aircraft near Japan this week in an encounter that highlights China’s continued aggressiveness in the region.

The P-8, a new, militarized Boeing-737 anti-submarine warfare aircraft, was conducting routine surveillance of the Chinese coast over the East China Sea on Monday when the incident occurred, said U.S. defense officials familiar with reports of the encounter.


In 1991 China purchased an initial batch of 24 SU-27s for about $1 billion which were delivered in late 1992 and based at Wuhu Air Base, 250 kilometers west of Shanghai. In May 1995 China purchased a second batch of 24 SU-27 aircraft through Russia’s main state-run arms exporting company Rosvooruzheniye.

Su-27 profile from fas.orgsu27_01

Codenamed `Flanker’ by NATO, the J-11 [Su-27] is a multi-role fighter bomber and air superiority aircraft which can also be used in the maritime strike role. The Flanker has an operational radius of around 1500 km, and is equipped with an inflight refuelling facility extending their radius by another 500 km.  Although normally configured for conventional operations, the J-11 could provide China with a high-performance nuclear-capable strike aircraft. The acquisition of Su-27, after China had attempted for years to develop the J-10 aircraft with equivalent technology to perform similar functions, demonstrates a lack of confidence in domestic industrial capabilities…(read more)

More from Washington Free Beacon‘s : These were delivered in April 1996 and based at Suixi Air Base in Southern China. The 48 Su-27-type aircraft include 36 one-seat Su-27SK manufactured in Komsomolsk-on-Amur and 12 two-seat Su-27UB manufactured in Irkutsk, worth a total of 1.7 billion dollars.

In 1991 China purchased an initial batch of 24 SU-27s for about $1 billion which were delivered in late 1992 and based at Wuhu Air Base, 250 kilometers west of Shanghai. In May 1995 China purchased a second batch of 24 SU-27 aircraft through Russia’s main state-run arms exporting company Rosvooruzheniye. These were delivered in April 1996 and based at Suixi Air Base in Southern China. The 48 Su-27-type aircraft include 36 one-seat Su-27SK manufactured in Komsomolsk-on-Amur and 12 two-seat Su-27UB manufactured in Irkutsk, worth a total of 1.7 billion dollars. Read the rest of this entry »

Poster Art: ‘Banditi Atomici’ 1955


Banditi atomici (Creature with the Atom Brain) è un film del 1955 diretto da Edward L. Cahn.

Arcane Images

Women Warriors: Understanding and Combating Female Extremism


Countering Radical Narratives Requires Understanding the Radicalized

Nimmi Gowrinathan writes: Reports that women have formed their own brigade within the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) have confounded experts — and worried them. For many, the idea of women as violent extremists seems paradoxical. After all, why should women want to join a political struggle that so blatantly oppresses them?Daraa al-Thawra Fighter

“In war zones across the world, women absorb a disproportionate amount of the fallout from conflict, including material deprivation in refugee camps, daily harassment and fear in militarized zones, and a constant vulnerability to rape.”

That question reveals more about the experts than the fighters. Those who ask it assume, first, that women are more peaceful than men by nature; and second, that women who participate in armed rebellion are little more than cannon fodder in a man’s game, fighting foolishly for a movement that will not benefit them. As the women of ISIS prove, both assumptions are false.

“Joining the fight is sometimes the only way to survive.”

To understand the women of ISIS and their motivations, it helps to place them in their historical context, among the legions of women in El Salvador, Eritrea, Nepal, Peru, and Sri Lanka who voluntarily joined violent movements and militias, sometimes even as highly ranked officers. In each of these cases, women joined for the same basic reasons as men. Living in deeply conservative social spaces, they faced constant threats to their ethnic, religious, or political identities — and it was typically those threats, rather than any grievances rooted in gender, that persuaded them to take up arms. Read the rest of this entry »

[VIDEO] Calling Kubrick: Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel’s Dr. Strangelove Moment

‘Flawless’ Except That the Hostages Weren’t There

“Was this a failure of intelligence? No…This operation, by the way, was a flawless operation, but…”


National Review Online

[PHOTO] Cary Grant: North by Northwest, 1959


North by Northwest (1959)

[Check out the Alfred Hitchcock - The Masterpiece Collection at Amazon.com]

Go USA! Cheerful Tourism Booster of the Day


Courtesy of those upbeat folks at foreignaffairs.com 

Report: Up to Twenty More Westerners Held Hostage by Isil

Up to 20 Western hostages are being held by the jihadi group that beheaded James Foley.

Greta Ramelli (L) and Vanessa Marzullo – kidnapped in Syria.     Photo: Facebook

The group which killed American journalist James Foley have many more hostages

For the Telegraph and David Chazan reporting: As well as the journalist Steven Sotloff, who was threatened with beheading by the same man who murdered Foley, Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isil) is holding a number of aid workers, thought to include Vanessa Marzullo, 21, and Greta Ramelli, 20, both Italian.ISIS-v-tall

“Can you go back on all the teaching and the values you have tried to instill for a lifetime?”

Three aid workers employed by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) are also being held hostage after they were abducted last October.

“Can you change your daughter, who has these values and has strong ideals about solidarity and human empathy?”

– Ramelli’s mother, Antonella

As fears grew that Isil could make good on its threat to murder more hostages, families of those being held defended their loved ones’ decisions to travel to Syria.

Read the rest of this entry »

ROGER THAT: ‘Don’t Be Cowards and Attack Us With Drones, Send Us Your Soldiers…’

Remember that ISIS guy who promised to raise Islamic flag over the White House? Me neither!


The Islamic State’s Press Officer Abu Mosa became a figure of international notoriety overnight when he took on a starring role in a captivating Vice News documentary about ISIS in Syria.

“We will humiliate them everywhere, God willing, and we will raise the flag of Allah in the White House.”

– The late Abu Mosa

Instead of doing that, according to the U.S. State Department, he’s just going to be dead.

Mosa was reportedly killed near the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa in Syria, where much of Vice’s documentary was shot. His death comes as Islamic State forces mount a long-awaited assault on the Tabqa Syrian military airbase. Read the rest of this entry »


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