Changsha, Hunan Province, China: Monkey Chooses Trump

A monkey kisses the cardboard cutout of US Presidential candidate Donald Trump during a selection intended to predict the result of the US election, at a park in Changsha, in China’s Hunan province on November 3, 2016. The monkey chose Republican candidate Donald Trump.




CNN Wipes Israel Off The Map

TEL AVIV – An article published on CNN’s website featured a map ​that erased Israel and replaced it with “Palestina,” a Spanish or Portuguese translation of ​”​Palestine​”​ the HonestReporting media watchdog revealed​.

“Following the publication of this post and the complaints of many HonestReporting subscribers, CNN has removed the map in question and replaced it with an image of the aftermath of a Syrian airstrike in Aleppo.”

— HonestReporting

The map, taken from Getty Images, accompanied a CNN Money article titled, “Beyond ISIS: 2016’s scariest geopolitical hotspots.”After HonestReporting cited the error​, CNN too​k the map down​and replaced it.

“Following the publication of this post and the complaints of many HonestReporting subscribers, CNN has removed the map in question and replaced it with an image of the aftermath of a Syrian airstrike in Aleppo,” said HonestReporting.

HonestReporting managing editor Simon Plosker added:

​”Whether it was an oversight or something more…(read more)


[PHOTO] Dancing With Robot, London, 1937


Two nude women dance on stage with a ‘robot’ in a show at London Casino, 1937 (General Photographic Agency, Getty)


NYC: Assistant Chief Gerard A. Barbara Looks Up at the Burning Towers of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001


Assistant Chief Gerard A. Barbara looks up at the burning towers of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 in New York City. Moments later he would go in, never to return. (Photo by David Handschuh/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

Daniel Craig Done With James Bond Films?

The next James Bond film might be Daniel Craig’s last. In an interview with Esquire, the actor who has played the agent four times said he might be leaving the franchise behind.

Source: The Daily Caller

THE SMIDGEN REPORT UPDATE: IRS Commissioner John Koskinen Has Got to Go

Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen testifies under subpoena before the House Oversight Committee as lawmakers continue their probe of whether tea party groups were improperly targeted for increased scrutiny by the IRS, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, June 23, 2014. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

If the president doesn’t tell Commissioner Koskinen to go, then we in Congress should impeach him.

Ron DeSantis and Jim Jordan write:

Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen needs to go.

When it was revealed in 2013 that the IRS had targeted conservative groups for exercising their First Amendment rights, President Obama correctly called the policy “inexcusable” and pledged accountability. He even fired the then-acting IRS commissioner because he said it was necessary to have “new leadership that can help restore confidence going forward.”

“A taxpayer would never get away with treating an IRS audit the way that IRS officials have treated the congressional investigation.”

Unfortunately, Commissioner Koskinen, who took over in the wake of the IRS targeting scandal, has failed the American people by frustrating Congress’s attempts to ascertain the truth. A taxpayer would never get away with treating an IRS audit SMIDG-LRGthe way that IRS officials have treated the congressional investigation. Civil officers like Mr. Koskinen have historically been held to a higher standard than private citizens because they have fiduciary obligations to the public. The IRS and Mr. Koskinen have breached these basic fiduciary duties:

• Destruction of evidence. Lois Lerner, at the time the director of the IRS’s exempt-organizations unit, invoked the Fifth Amendment on May 22, 2013, when appearing before Congress; her refusal to testify put a premium on obtaining and reviewing her email communications. On the same day the IRS’s chief technology officer issued a preservation order that instructed IRS employees “not to destroy/wipe/reuse any of the existing backup tapes for email, or archiving of other information from IRS personal computers.”

“John Koskinen has violated the public trust, breached his fiduciary obligations and demonstrated his unfitness to serve. Mr. President, it’s time for Commissioner Koskinen to go. If you don’t act, we will.”

Foley & Lardner LLP Partner Cleta Mitchell on presidential evasions about the targeting of conservative groups, and the status of Congress’s investigation. Photo: Getty Images

Several weeks later, on Aug. 2, the House Oversight Committee issued its first subpoena for IRS documents, including all of smidgen-lieMs. Lerner’s emails. On Feb. 2, 2014, Kate Duval, the IRS commissioner’s counsel, identified a gap in the Lerner emails that were being collected. Days later, Ms. Duval learned that the gap had been caused in 2011 when the hard drive of Ms. Lerner’s computer crashed.

Despite all this—an internal IRS preservation order, a congressional subpoena, and knowledge about Ms. Lerner’s hard-drive and email problems—the Treasury inspector general for tax administration discovered that the agency on March 4, 2014, erased 422 backup tapes containing as many as 24,000 emails. (Congress learned of the discovery only last month.)smdg-tv2

Ms. Duval has since left the IRS and now works at the State Department, where she is responsible for vetting Hillary Clinton’s emails sought by congressional investigations of the Benghazi attacks.

[Read the full text here, at WSJ]

• Failure to inform Congress. Mr. Koskinen was made aware of the problems associated with Ms. Lerner’s emails the same month Ms. Duval discovered the gap. Yet the IRS withheld the information from Congress for four months, until June 13, 2014, when the agency used a Friday news dump to admit—on page seven of the third attachment to a letter sent to the Senate Finance Committee—that it had lost many of Ms. Lerner’s emails. Read the rest of this entry »

Ancient Bronzes Visit Los Angeles


Rare, powerful, beautiful, and unusual sculptures from the Ancient world demonstrate the innovations in technique, portraiture, and subject matter during the Hellenistic Period.

What is a Hellenistic Bronze? Here’s our explainer on the Getty Iris blog.


Installation views with objects courtesy of The National Archaeological Museum, Athens, the Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Culture and the Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Antikensammlung, and Archaeological Museum of Kalymnos.


Sundance Awards: The Winners List


After 10 days of premieres and deals in Park City, the Sundance Film Festival jury handed out honors across a range of categories on Saturday evening.

Comedian Tig Notaro presided over the ceremony, which saw Me and Earl and The Dying Girl nab both the U.S. dramatic grand jury prize and the U.S. dramatic audience award.

“This movie was about processing loss and, but really to celebrate a beautiful life and a beautiful man, which is my amazing father. So this is to his memory and to celebrate him through humor, so thanks again for this opportunity.”

Me and Earl Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon

“This movie was about processing loss and, but really to celebrate a beautiful life and a beautiful man, which is my amazing father. So this is to his memory and to celebrate him through humor, so thanks again for this opportunity,” said Earl director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon upon accepting the grand jury prize.

Meanwhile, The Wolfpack, a look at a family of six siblings living in Manhattan, claimed the U.S. grand jury prize for a documentary. Robert Eggers, whose film The Witch was acquired by A24 films shortly after the festival opened, claimed the directing award for U.S. dramatic title.

Rick Famuyiwa‘s Dope, which was acquired by Open Road and given a June 12 theatrical release, claimed the special jury honor for excellence in editing while Kyle Patrick Alvarez’s The Stanford Prison Experiment took home the U.S. dramatic screenwriting award. Read the rest of this entry »

Gorgeous, but Deadly, Lead White: The Banned Color that Most Modern Painters Yearn For





Gorgeous, but deadly, lead white is the banned color that most modern painters yearn for.

Luminous light and glowing skin, especially in 17th-century paintings is likely attributed to lead white. But even as late at the 1870s, death by lead white makeup was still happening.

Today, artists mostly use titanium dioxide, a synthetic white that still doesn’t have the wicked twinkle of lethal lead.

More on colors and history in The Brilliant History of Color in Art.

Burial of Atala, about 1808, After Anne-Louis Girodet de Roucy-Trioson. J. Paul Getty Museum.
Astronomer by Candlelight, late 1650s, Gerrit Dou. J. Paul Getty Museum.
Still Life with Lemons, Oranges, and a Pomegranate, about 1620-1640. J. Paul Getty Museum.


The VA Scandal is Another Government Example of the Failure to Follow a Collective Mission


Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki waves goodbye after addressing the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans on May 30 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Win McNamee, Getty Images)

For USA TodayGlenn Harlan Reynolds writes: Government, we are sometimes told, is just another word for things we choose to do together. Like a lot of things politicians say, this sounds good. And, also like a lot of things politicians say, it isn’t the least bit true.

“…Whether the sign out front says “Department of Veterans Affairs” or “Ministry of Silly Walks,” their behavior will tend to favor those personally agreeable outcomes…”

Many of the things government does, we don’t choose. Many of the things we choose, government doesn’t new-schooldo. And whatever gets done, we’re not the ones doing it. And those who are doing it often interpret their mandates selfishly.

[Glenn Harlan Reynolds is the author of The New School: How the Information Age Will Save American Education from Itself, check it out at]

Take, for example, the Veterans Administration. The American people — most of us, anyway — did “choose” to provide first-class medical care for our veterans. But we didn’t do it. We set up the Veterans Administration to do it. And the Veterans Administration — or, more accurately, some of the people who work for and run the Veterans Administration — had a stronger interest in other things. Things like fat bonuses, and low workloads in comfy offices. Read the rest of this entry »

Discrimination: Group of Seattle Franchise Businesses Sue to Stop $15 Minimum Wage 


Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, right, announces his proposed increase of the city’s minimum wage. Steve Ringman / AP

For the Los Angeles TimesMaria L. La Ganga reports: Five Puget Sound business owners and a trade group based in Washington, D.C., filed suit in federal court Wednesday to stop Seattle from enacting a $15-an-hour minimum wage, which would be the highest in the nation when it takes effect.

“The city’s minimum wage statute arbitrarily and illegally discriminates against franchisees and significantly increases their labor costs in ways that will harm their businesses, employees, consumers and Seattle’s economy.”

The suit, filed by the International Franchise Assn. and five local franchisees, argues that the new minimum wage discriminates against the owners of franchised businesses because it treats them like national corporations instead of the small businesses that they really are.

[Surrender: Seattle Prepares for Robot Revolution by Setting $15 Minimum Wage]

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray signs a bill raising the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour. (David Ryder / Getty Images)

Calling a thing what it is: 1930s-era Socialist wage and price controls in a 21st-century economy. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray signs a bill raising the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour. (David Ryder / Getty Images)

[See also Seattle-Area Businesses Charge Customers Extra To Meet Minimum Wage Hike]

The ordinance, which was passed unanimously by the Seattle City Council on June 2 and signed into law by Mayor Ed Murray a day later, violates the U.S. and Washington state  Constitutions, the suit says, along with federal statutes and state law, and could put some small franchisees out of business. Read the rest of this entry »

REWIND: Retro Playboy Bunny Costumes

From vintage everyday, a swell series of photos. Of bunnies. Playboy bunnies.  See the whole set here.

The Playboy Bunny costume — with its shiny satin bustier and floppy-eared head gear — has become an iconic part of America’s pop culture history.

Playboy editor and tycoon Hugh Hefner is greeted by a group of bunny girls from his Playboy Clubs, upon his arrival at London Airport. (Dove / Getty Images)

Playboy editor and tycoon Hugh Hefner is greeted by a group of bunny girls from his Playboy Clubs, upon his arrival at London Airport. (Dove / Getty Images)

Ever since Hugh Hefner and Playboy executive Victor Lownes recruited Zelda Wynn Valdes to design the rabbit-inspired outfit, it’s morphed into a recognizable symbol for Hefner’s formidable media empire.

Read the rest of this entry »

Hot Sauce Update: Huy Fong Foods to start making Sriracha in Texas?

A state representative from Texas has invited Huy Fong Foods, makers of a popular Sriracha sauce, to move its operations to the state. (Scott Olson / Getty Images)

(Scott Olson / Getty Images)

Jenn Harris writes:  Could there be a Sriracha boom in Texas? Sriracha BBQ does sound like a great idea.

Texas state Rep. Jason Villalba says he has asked Huy Fong Foods, the makers of the Sriracha hot sauce with the rooster on the label and the green cap, to move operations to his state.

Late last year, Huy Fong Foods was ordered to partially shut down after the city of Irwindale filed suit and claimed the plant’s chile odors were a public nuisance. Villalba is hoping the company would be interested in moving, and has sent owner David Tran a letter with an official invitation.

Read the rest of this entry »

In Defense Of Banksy and Guerrilla Street Art

IMG -Thomas Hawk Foter

Photo -Thomas Hawk Foter

It’s more than an act of crime or commerce

James Poulos writes: To be a brand name in guerrilla street art is to be in exclusive company. And no one has built a bigger brand imposing his stencils, spray paintings, and sculptures on the world than Banksy. His latest installation, a scattershot, month-long spree of works called “Better Out Than In,” proved that to anyone who pays attention to New York City. Every day, across the five boroughs, the secretive artist debuted a fresh piece in a new location, spawning excited Instagrams, an interactive street map, and, yes, grumbling critique: not just from nannyesque Bloombergians, but the kinds of property rights advocates who sometimes cross swords with the Mayor. That is art Banksy style: sticking it to the man, and maybe to you too. Read the rest of this entry »

Bomb-Blast Forensics: The First Steps – 2013 Boston Marathon

by Joe Pappalardo 

Two explosions went off near the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013.
(Photo by David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Even as the police and doctors treat the wounded, the forensic investigation into the explosions at the Boston Marathon will begin.

“The forensics start as soon as people realize there’s been an explosion,” says Tom Thurman, of Eastern Kentucky University.

Thurman knows a lot about bomb investigations. Before his retirement from the FBI in 1998, Thurman was the chief of the FBI Bomb Data Center; he also worked Pan American Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland; the bombing deaths of a federal judge in Alabama and an attorney in Georgia, both in 1989; and the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York.

The first thing to do is to determine if the explosions were intentional. “What’s there that could spark an accidental explosion?” Thurman asks. If no likely sources for an accidental detonation are found—like a buildup of flammable vapors—the investigators start looking at other evidence.

The Boston Globe is reporting via Twitter that a third device was found, unexploded, that police are detonating intentionally. So the fact that the scene in Boston is a mass homicide is now obvious.

Video will be crucial to determining what happened in Boston, much more than the laboratory analysis, Thurmon says. “They will be looking at how the bomb got there: who deposited it and when.”

Even the video of the blast can help identify what kind of bomb it is—or in the case of Boston, confirm that the bombs that detonated were the same that went off. “Generally, white smoke means a commercial explosion or improvised device,” he says. A common chemical used in these bombs, in the United States and abroad, is acetone peroxide (TATP). It comes in a white powder and blooms in a white cloud when it explodes. In Boston, the initial images seem to show white smoke blossoming at the moment of explosion.

Industrial and military explosives emit black smoke, Thurman says.

If the video proves inconclusive, there are other ways to figure out what happened. One main question is whether it was a suicide bombing or a remote-control device. “There is a very discernible difference between the injuries of a suicide carrier than of other victims,” Thurman says.

Re-creating the injuries will help determine the direction of the shrapnel, and help locate the epicenters of the devices—and that means detailing injuries to living victims and examining the deceased, he says. Human bodies that are hit by shrapnel have evidence in their bodies. All that information should be chronicled by investigators, on the scene, in the hospital and morgue. Residue of explosions needs to be collected and sent to the lab—devices can be tested in the field for their composition, but residue cannot, Thurman says.

He cautions not to be too hasty in assessing blame. “Let the evidence direct us,” he says. “We need to have an open mind. This could have been anybody.”

via  Popular Mechanics