This Is What Happens When You Blow Soap Bubbles at -9°C (15,8°F)

When the weather forecast announced about the unexpected cold from -9°C to -12°C last week, Washington-based photographer Angela Kelly decided to take an advantage of it in one truly creative way. Together with her 7-year-old son, Kelly combined the home-based remedies – dish soap, karo syrup, and water – and went out to blow bubbles and take pictures as they freeze and melt.


Soon the two adventurers found themselves in awe while watching the frost create magical patterns in the freezing bubbles. The smaller ones would freeze momentarily, simply mid-air, and then they would fall down and scatter like thin glass chips. The bigger ones would manage to freeze more slowly on the surface, giving the photographer a chance to catch the artworks of the frost on camera.

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LeBron James, Wife Shot Fully Automatic Rifles to Ring in New Year

photo: Lock & Load Instagram

photo: Lock & Load Instagram

AWRHawkins  reports:  On New Year’s Eve, Miami Heat star LeBron James and his wife, Savannah, went to Lock & Load Miami, where they shot fully automatic rifles then posed for pictures with the targets they decimated.

According to TMZ, James shot an H&K MP5–a gun popular gun with law enforcement SWAT teams and federal agencies–and “a M-249 SAW.”

The M-249 is an extremely popular weapon with U.S. military personnel and can be shot either by using ammunition magazines or by using linked, belt-fed ammunition. The video of James shooting shows that he used belt-fed ammo while calmly squeezing off an untold number of rounds.

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In Praise of Breakfast


“In a commercial country, a busy country, time becomes precious, and therefore hospitality is not so much valued. No doubt there is still room for a certain degree of it; and a man has a satisfaction in seeing his friends eating and drinking around him.” — Dr. Samuel Johnson

  writes:  Doctor Johnson, who lived during only the beginning of the industrial revolution, nevertheless understood what was in store for us as that movement spread to all aspects of life. The diminution of hospitality in all life has now been noted by many authors, from Margaret Visser to Leon Kass to Christine Pohl. Working in a hospital, one is keenly aware of how industrial processes, whether they are imposed through government force or private insurance companies, diminish the possibility of expressing hospitality to the infirm.

The myriad regulations which define the hospital experience diminish hospitality as other goals are advanced. We cannot even use patients’ names in many circumstances for fear of a violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act‘s privacy rules. We cannot sing or laugh too loudly among them for fear of lowering our federally mandated Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems scores, a metric that Medicare uses to advance “quality.” The hospitals are graded on quietness. HCAHPS scores, together with the satisfaction of mathematical goals with respect to certain diagnoses, constitute the Value Based Purchasing program of Medicare, a program designed to limit payment to hospitals. The law encourages anonymity and silence. Quality managers tell us that silence promotes healing—an evidence-based claim with dubious evidentiary support. Silence, through Medicare rules, also generates better reimbursement, and this is what hospital administrators and boards attend to. Hospitality is thus subordinated to other concerns.

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[VIDEO] House of Cards Season 2 Trailer [HD]

Get ready for another lost weekend, another bout of binge-viewing, here it comes…

Netflix [HD] – YouTube

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Reality Check: Amnesty is Not a Civil Right

Crowding Out U.S. Workers


The GOP needs to oppose the White House’s immigration plan and expose its flaws

Jeff Sessions writes:  Several prominent amnesty advocates, including Mark Zuckerberg and top Obama administration officials, have argued that amnesty is a civil right. The claim is, of course, preposterous on its face. Under this reasoning, every immigrant currently living in the U.S. on a temporary visa has the right to refuse to leave when that visa expires. And every household in a foreign country has the right to enter the U.S. illegally tomorrow and demand the Obama administration’s amnesty for “DREAMers” and their relatives.

To say that amnesty is a civil right is to effectively declare to the world the right to enter the United States without permission, to bring one’s family, and to receive all of the financial benefits our nation provides. To say that one has a right to freely violate our immigration laws is to deny the very idea that a nation can establish enforceable borders.

Mr. Zuckerberg’s motivation is not elusive. He heads a lobbying group representing many of his industry’s wealthiest CEOs, and their companies wish to extract generous guest-worker programs from Congress. Similar efforts are underway from other CEOs seeking new workers for everything from manufacturing to construction to restaurant jobs. Presumably, Mr. Zuckerberg believes it is more advantageous to frame the group’s lobbying as a civil-rights crusade than as a corporate crusade for lower-cost foreign labor.

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[VIDEO] Watters’ World: The Key West Edition

This one’s for Robert.

Best line. “…and this is my world, right here…”

Watters’ World: The Key West Edition – YouTube, also Fox News Video

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[VIDEO] A Special Bond: Rodman: Kim Jong Un ‘My F***ing Friend, I Love Him’

From Mediaite, via NRO‘s Andrew Johnson,  a disturbingly frank Dennis Rodman reveals his true feelings.

Andrew Johnson writes:  Dennis Rodman continued to emphasize his bizarre affection for North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, even when pressed about the dictator’s atrocities. While in Beijing with seven other former NBA players en route to Pyongyang to take part in an exhibition game for Kim’s birthday, Sky News confronted the Worm about why his “friend for life” has locked up 200,000 people in North Korean prison camps.

Rodman asserted that it wasn’t his “job” to address those concerns with Kim, but hoped that his involvement arranging the game could “open the doors” to negotiations for those in a better position to handle it. He said bringing the subject of prison camps up would infringe on the nature of their friendship.

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Sorry, Liberals: Obamacare Won’t Lead to Single Payer

  writes:  If you spend any significant amount of time talking to conservative activists who oppose Obamacare, you’ll eventually hear some variant on the theory that Obamacare was never meant to work. Instead, it was meant to destroy the existing health care system, and in the process pave the way for liberals to step in with the comprehensive health care fix the far left has always really longed for: single payer.

There’s often a hint of conspiracy surrounding the accusation, as if President Obama and the White House senior staff had hatched some meticulous plot to spend a year struggling to pass a health care law that they intended to fail in a series of carefully planned disasters sometime down the road, which would create the perfect opening for their true, secret goal.

I’ve always thought the notion was rather far fetched. Obamacare was a stalking horse for a modified version of Obamacare, not a single payer conspiracy scheme. But The New Republic’s Noam Scheiber suggests that conservative activists worried that Obamacare will lead to single payer might be at least partially onto something—maybe not in their belief that Obamacare was explicitly designed as a gateway to single payer, but in their worry that the health law will eventually lead to some sort of nationalized health system. And unlike those concerned conservative activists, Scheiber thinks this is a good thing.

The gist of Scheiber’s theory (delivered in response to a griping Michael Moore op-ed about the health law  in The New York Times) is that the law will create a unified, organized constituency for change. Private coverage in the exchanges will be too expensive for many, and dealing with private insurers will upset some beneficiaries. That will make existing government run health insurance options more attractive. “By pooling millions of people together in one institutional home—the exchanges where customers buy insurance under Obamacare—the Affordable Care Act is creating an organized constituency for additional reform,” he writes.

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Tech Time Warp of the Week: The World’s First Hard Drive, 1956

The RAMAC hard drive at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. Photo: Jon Snyder/WIRED.

The RAMAC hard drive at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. Photo: Jon Snyder/WIRED.

Daniela Hernandez writes:  IBM unleashed the world’s first computer hard disk drive in 1956. It was bigger than a refrigerator. It weighed more than a ton. And it looked kinda like one of those massive cylindrical air conditioning units that used to sit outside your grade school cafeteria.

This seminal hard drive was part of a larger machine known as the IBM 305 RAMAC, short for “Random Access Method of Accounting and Control,” and in the classic promotional video below, you can see the thing in action during its glory days. Better yet, if you ever happen to be in Mountain View, California, you can see one in the flesh. In 2002, two engineers named Dave Bennet and Joe Feng helped restore an old RAMAC at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, where it’s now on display. And yes, the thing still works.

As we’re told in IBM’s 1956 film — which chronicles the five years of research and development that culminated in the RAMAC — Big Blue built the system “to keep business accounts up to date and make them available, not monthly or even daily, but immediately.” It was meant to rescue companies from a veritable blizzard of paper records, so adorably demonstrated in the film by a toy penguin trapped in a faux snow storm.


Before RAMAC, as the film explains, most businesses kept track of inventory, payroll, budgets, and other bits of business info on good old fashioned paper stuffed into filing cabinets. Or if they were lucky, they had a massive computer that could store data on spools of magnetic tape. But tape wasn’t the easiest to deal with. You couldn’t get to one piece of data on a tape without spooling past all the data that came before it.

Then RAMAC gave the world what’s called magnetic disk storage, which let you retrieve any piece of data without delay. The system’s hard drive included 50 vertically stacked disks covered in magnetic paint, and as they spun around — at speeds of 1,200 rpm — a mechanical arm could store and retrieve data from the disks. The device stored data by changing the magnetic orientation of a particular spot on a disk, and then retrieve it at any time by reading the orientation.

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Vintage Pulp Cover Art of the Day: Earle K. Bergey

Earle K. Bergey (August 26, 1901 – 1952) was an American illustrator who painted cover art for a wide diversity of magazines and paperback books. Today Bergey is best recognized for creating the iconic cover ofGentlemen Prefer Blondes for Popular Library at the height of his career in 1948.

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Bergey attended Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts from 1921 to 1926. He initially went to work in the art department of the Philadelphia’s Public Ledger, and he drew the comic strip Deb Days in 1927. Early in his career, Bergey contributed many covers to the pulp magazines of publisher Fiction House. By the mid-1930s, Bergey made a home and studio in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and he married in 1935.


Source: Retrogasm

Throughout the 1930s, Bergey worked freelance for a number of publishing houses. His eye-catching paintings were predominately featured as covers on a wide array of pulp magazines, including romance (Thrilling Love,Popular LoveLove Romances) as well as detective, adventure, aviation, and westerns. Bergey illustrated mainstream publications, such as The Saturday Evening Post, during this time. He illustrated covers for fitness magazines, and he was one of the first major American pin-up artists, contributing numerous covers for men’s magazines such as Gay Book MagazinePep Stories, and Snappy.

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First, they come for the Cartoonists: ‘Jihad Jane’ Gets 10 Years in Plot to Kill Artist

A Pennsylvania woman, Colleen R. LaRose, who called herself "Jihad Jane" online pleaded guilty Tuesday to her role in a plot to kill a Swedish cartoonist who had offended Muslims. WPVI/ABC News

A Pennsylvania woman, Colleen R. LaRose, who called herself “Jihad Jane” online pleaded guilty Tuesday to her role in a plot to kill a Swedish cartoonist who had offended Muslims. WPVI/ABC News

By MARYCLAIRE DALE Associated Press:  A Pennsylvania woman who called herself “Jihad Jane” online and plotted to kill a Swedish artist was sentenced Monday to 10 years in prison after telling a judge she was once obsessed with jihad.

Colleen LaRose had faced a potential life term. But Judge Petrese Tucker accepted a government request to reduce the sentence, because of her extensive cooperation with investigators.

Prosecutors still asked for decades in prison, fearing she remains dangerous.

Larose, 50, of Pennsburg, Pa., told the judge she once had thought about jihad from morning to night, saying she was “in a trance.”

“I don’t want to be into jihad no more,” she said.

She was sentenced to 10 years in prison plus five years of supervised release. She could be out in a little over four years, given the more than four years she has already served and the potential for time off for good behavior.

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[VIDEO] This is NOT your Daddy’s Old Spice

John Hayward has some funny commentary over at 

Old Spice gets weird

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George Will: “There’s Nothing Better for Conservatism Than Periodic Examples of Untrammeled Liberalism”

Caleb Howe writes:  George Will, speaking on Fox News Sunday, suggests to host Chris Wallace that that resurgence of liberal ideas will ultimately benefit conservative ideals.

(Via Newsbusters)

Oh, there’s nothing better for American conservatism than periodic examples of untrammeled liberalism. Lyndon Johnson after 1964 had huge majorities in Congress, had his way. Republicans won five of the next six and seven of the next nine presidential elections. Let him have his way in New York City, and let people see what happens. There are more than 130 contracts with public employees’ unions that’ve been held in abeyance until Mayor Bloomberg got out of there, because they assumed that de Blasio and his compliant, not to say supine city council, will go along with anything they ask for. I give him three years and people will be begging for a return to something else.

You can read ‘s comments at The Right Scoop, and the full segment transcript at Newsbusters.

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Presidential TV Habits: ‘Soap Operas with Sophisticated Vocabularies’


The president’s TV-viewing tastes are utterly typical of the American educated class

Matthew Continetti writes:  Imagine my surprise this week when my daily paper suddenly turned into a copy ofUS Weekly. With a turn of the page the New York Times became the sort of celebrity magazine that dispenses trivia in order to prove that a rich, famous, and powerful person is, at heart, just like us. The luminary was Barack Obama, whose taste in television was mined by correspondent Michael D. Shear for insights into the presidential character. Shear failed to provide any, but his article was riveting nonetheless. What at first glance might be dismissed as a piece of journalistic fluff, a beat-sweetener written for the slow news days between Christmas and New Year’s, is on close examination an exercise in social positioning, an assertion of class allegiance on the part of the president and the paper.

You remember Shear. He is the same reporter who, in an interview last summer, interrupted the president to say that he, too, was aware of Harvard professor Robert D. Putnam’s existence. In “Obama’s TV Picks — Anything Edgy, With Hints of Reality,” Shear reports that the president, whose “life in the Oval Office” is marked by “war, terrorism, economic struggle,” and “mass shootings,” has a taste, “in his few quiet moments,” not for situation comedy but for drama. He indulges this taste by watching copious amounts of television.

Obama, we learn, “seeks not to escape to the delicious back-stabbing of the ‘Real Housewives,’” nor to “the frivolity of the singing teens on ‘Glee,’” but to “shows like HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Boardwalk Empire,’” as well as to “the DVD box set of AMC’s ‘Breaking Bad,’” Mad Men, Homeland, The Wire, Modern Family, Parks and Recreation, and SportsCenter. “Friends say Obama is also awaiting the new season of the Netflix show ‘House of Cards.’” The president has the same attitude toward spoilers that he has toward leaks. He is against them. They might interfere with his viewing. “The president is way behind” on Breaking Bad, Shear writes, “and frequently reminds those around him not to give anything away.”

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Photo: Ambitious Minnesota Brothers Sculpt a Fearsome 16-Foot ‘Snow Shark’


Ezra Dulis reports:  Extreme winter weather like the storms across the United States’ midwest and northeastern regions bring danger, inconvenience, and a huge mess for adults who have to commute to work.

However, for kids, it means no school—and plenty of time to play in the snow.

For this trio of Minnesota brothers, the week’s snowstorms have become a massive and quite impressive wintry art project.

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Obamacare vs. Colorado’s Legalization of Marijuana: A Tale of Two Rollouts

PJ Media‘s Stephen Green has a timely exploration of parallel rollouts:

Frank Nuccio wears a "pothead" button on his jacket while attending a cannabis cooking class in Denver, Colorado, on Thursday, April 18, 2013. (Werner R. Slocum/MCT)

(Werner R. Slocum/MCT)

Stephen Green writes:  Two months ago, went live, sort of, as the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act finally went into full effect across the nation. On the first of this new year, right here in Colorado, it became fully legal to sell marijuana for recreational purposes.

Let us compare and contrast the two rollouts, shall we?

The first product, heath insurance, was so desperately needed by some 47 million Americans who lacked it, that our entire healthcare infrastructure had to be upended by force of law in order to accommodate them.

Pot is something which some unknown number of Americans, but probably quite a bit less than 47 million, merely desire.

On the first day those 47 million uninsured Americans were able to purchase health insurance on, six obamacaredid so. Not six million. Six. As in five, six, seven. Only they never made it all the way to seven.

On the first day pot was legally available for recreational use in Colorado, thousands made purchases.

During’s period of growing pains, untold thousands, perhaps a million, frustrated customers gave up before they could complete simply setting up an account.

In Colorado last week the scene was somewhat different:

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