Spanish Is a Lovin’ Tongue

April 18, 2015

Video: “She Never Spoke Spanish to Me,” written by Butch Hancock, performed by Joe Ely with Lloyd Maines on pedal steel and the Muscle Shoal Horns.

“Met her in old Mexico
She was laughing sad and young
In a smokey room no one could see
Her favorite poets all agreed
Spanish is a loving tongue
But she never spoke Spanish to me”

Data analysis adds:

“Spanish was the most positively biased language followed by Portuguese and English. China landed at the end of the list, having used the fewest positive words of the 10 most spoken languages. Each language contains a complex history in which certain words became more important according to custom, practicality, and culture.”

— “Spanish is the Language of Love. English, of Poetry.” Orion Jones, Big Think

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Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-kUx

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Hillary’s Happenin’ Heartland Road Trip

April 17, 2015

Hillary's Happenin' Heartland Road Trip
Former limo-riding senator and jet-setting Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton kicked off her campaign by riding from Westchester to Iowa in a Chevy van. It was a gas-pumping, burrito-bowl-eating road trip. Now Ms. Clinton’s “Scooby Van‘” is cruising the Hawkeye State, chased by stray dogs and reporters, as she campaigns for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.

Related:

“The ‘everyday people’ who made Hillary Clinton’s burrito bowl,” Michael Kruse, Politico

“Clinton Bypassed Centrist Taco Bell for Liberal Favorite Chipotle,” Dante Chinni, Wall Street Journal blog

“The Press Isn’t Asking Enough Questions About Hillary’s Trip to Chipotle,” Jaime Fuller, New York Magazine

“This is what four days of inane Clinton-Chipotle coverage looks like,” The Week

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Short link:  http://wp.me/p6sb6-lca

Image (“Hillary Clinton Road Trip, after the Studio of Hanna-Barbera”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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DC Emancipation Day

April 15, 2015

DC Emancipation Day

On April 16, 1862, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln signed an act which freed the 3000 slaves in the District of Columbia. This was nine months before he signed the Emancipation Proclamation freeing slaves held in the Confederate states, many of whom actually remained in bondage until the the war ended in 1865, and 20 months before ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment, which definitively outlawed slavery everywhere in the United States.

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U.S. Mercenary Killers Sent to Prison

April 14, 2015

U.S. Mercenary Killers Sent to Prison

Four Americans convicted of killing 17 innocent civilians while employed as private security contractors by the United States Government have been sentenced to lengthy prison terms. Nicholas A. Slatten, who fired the first shots during the 2007 mass shooting in Baghdad, was sentenced to life imprisonment; Paul A. Slough, Evan S. Liberty, and Dustin L. Heard were each sentenced to 30 year terms. Blackwater, the private security firm these men worked for, has changed its name several times, and heavily armed private mercenaries are still employed by the U.S. Government.

More:

“Why four Blackwater contractors were just now convicted of killing 17 Iraqi civilians in 2007,” Dara Lind, Vox

“A Blackwater World Order,” Kelley Vlahos, American Conservative

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Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-lbn

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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PMS

April 13, 2015

PMS

“The symptoms aren’t the same for every woman, but again, many of us experience some combination of them. And the incredible part is that almost as soon as a woman’s period begins, the symptoms in many cases vanish: energy levels bounce back, the aches, pains, and bloating go away, and mood lifts again.

An even smaller subset of women, about one in 20, experience even worse symptoms, particularly depression and anger. These women meet the criteria for a condition called premenstrual dysphoric disorder, or PMDD, which is now included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. It’s basically a very extreme form of PMS.”

— “PMS affects 75 percent of menstruating women — but scientists are still baffled by it,” Julia Belluz, Vox

More:

“Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder: Evidence for a New Category for DSM-5,” Epperson, Steiner, Hartlage, et al., Am J Psychiatry. 2012 May; 169(5): 465–475 via NCBI

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Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-lbc

Image (after Reynold Brown) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length

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The Phase

April 11, 2015

The Phase

Cosmic balance returned to Barracks Row two weeks ago when the Phase 1 Bar and Nightclub was reopened after three months of  renovation. Founded in 1970, “The Phase” is said to be the oldest continually operating lesbian bar in the USA and the oldest LGBT bar in the Nation’s Capital. That’s pretty amazing, since America’s lesbian bars are an endangered species.

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Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-l8v

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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The Audacity of Hoops

April 9, 2015

The Audacity of Hoops

LEDs. Programmable. Bluetooth-enabled. These are not your grandma’s Hula Hoops:

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Cherry Blossom Webcam

April 7, 2015

Cherry Blossom Webcam

Cherry blossoms along the Tidal Basin; that’s springtime in Washington, DC. The National Park Service estimates that peak bloom will be April 11th to April 14th. Keep track of blossom progress on the Cherry Blossom Webcam.

NPS Tidal Basin cherry tree locator map

National Cherry Blossom Festival website.

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Short Link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-l8Z

Image (“Cherry Blossom Webcam, after After Hiroshige”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Springtime Sports!

April 6, 2015

Springtime Sports!

April is here, when many a sports fan’s fancy turns to the Major League Baseball opening game Honozumo sumo tournament at the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo. All the sport’s heavyweights were at the ceremonial meet-up on Friday, the top sumo wrestlers from Mongolia, Georgia, Bulgaria and Estonia who currently dominate this quintessentially Japanese sport.

Here are some of the highlights and controversies:

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Iceland’s Elf Church Moved for Highway Project

April 5, 2015

Iceland's Elf Church Moved for Highway Project

A highway project in Iceland, blocked for over a year by a legal dispute over “elf habitat,” has resumed work after an Ofeigskirkja (“elf church”), a 70-ton lava boulder, was removed from the road’s path and moved closer to similar landscape features.

More:

“Elves make compromise with Road Ad­min­is­tra­tion,” Anna Margrét Björnsson, Morgunblaðið

Related:

“Why So Many Icelanders Still Believe in Invisible Elves,” Ryan Jacobs, The Atlantic

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Short Link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-l5p

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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