Simply Falling

February 12, 2016

“Simply Falling,” written and performed by Iyeoka (Iyeoka Ivie Okoawo).

Artist’s website here.

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The Empire Strikes Back, 1950

February 12, 2016

“Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back,” 1950 premake by Ivan Guerrero.

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Congress Versus Mars!

February 11, 2016

Congress Versus Mars!

The House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology thinks NASA’s Journey to Mars initiative is lost in Space. “This is a misguided mission without a mission, without a launch date and without ties to exploration goals. It’s just a time-wasting distraction,” said committee chair Rep. Lamar Smith (R, TX-21) in hearings last week.

More:

“Congressional committee says NASA’s Mars mission is in critical need of a plan,” Loren Grush, The Verge

“Congress Scolds NASA, Underscoring How Far We Are From Mars,” Dianna Wray, Houston Press

Read the rest of this entry »

Fresh Fiorina Failure

February 11, 2016

Fresh Fiorina Failure
Carly Fiorina, the CEO who crashed Compaq and HP and laid off 30,000 employees, who campaigned for the Senate in 2010 with a herd of Demon Sheep and lost, has suspended her 2016 presidential campaign after finishing 7th in the New Hampshire GOP primary. Another failed tycoon finished first.

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

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Chris Christie to Exit GOP Race?

February 10, 2016

Chris Christie to Exit GOP Race?
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is expected to suspend his presidential campaign after finishing 6th in the New Hampshire Republican Primary.  Andy Borowitz said it best: “Chris Christie Quits Race to Focus on Tormenting Rubio.”

Updates:

“New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie ends 2016 White House bid,” Jill Colvin, Associated Press

“Christie Leaves White House Race ‘Without An Ounce Of Regret,'” Sara Jerde, TPM Livewire

“Why Chris Christie Failed,” Nate Silver, Vox

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

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AJAM Lives! Sort of ….

February 10, 2016

AJAM Lives! Sort of ....

Award-winning cable news channel Al Jazeera America will terminate all operations in the U.S. as of April 2016. AJAM staffers have created a portfolio site, Best of Al Jazeera America Digital. Besides memorializing great journalism, it should help digital reporters and producers find new jobs.

More:

“Al Jazeera America journalists built a site to help co-workers find their next job,” Kristen Hare, Poynter

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

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Los Angeles: 101 Slow Jam

February 10, 2016

Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti delivered the bad news about traffic slowdowns last weekend with a Slow Jam, backed by the Roosevelt High School Jazz Band from Boyle Heights. The 101 freeway was closed for 40 hours to allow demolition of the 84-year-old 6th Street Bridge. A replacement bridge will be completed in 2019.

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Mardi Gras 2.0

February 9, 2016

New Orleans has all the urban problems of any American city — crime, poor education, no parking spaces, economic inequality —  and it’s still suffering the aftereffects of devastating Hurricane Katrina. But as the Crescent City celebrates Fat Tuesday, technology has solved one age-old problem:

You’re sipping Dixie Beer and watching the Mardi Gras parades but there’s nowhere to pee? Now there’s an app for that.

The Airpnp smartphone app directs you to nearby locations where, for a small fee, the business or homeowner will let you use the toilet facilities. Ninety percent of arrests along the French Quarter’s parade routes are for public urination, so it’s not a piddling matter.

More:

“AirPnP, an app helps find Mardi Gras rental restrooms: BBC report,” By Doug MacCash, Times-Picayune

“Inventive startups are changing the way New Orleans celebrates Mardi Gras,” Shannon Sims, Quartz

Top video: “Ain’t No Place to Pee on Mardi Gras Day” by Benny Antin, from the 1997 album Wild LinoleumLyrics here.

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New Hampshire Fashion Statement

February 9, 2016

New Hampshire Fashion Statement

“Donald Trump Is a Loser in Iowa. Sad!” Jeremy Stahl, Slate

“Why Trump Lost Iowa,” John McCormack, Weekly Standard

“The Internet celebrates Trump’s humiliating Iowa loss,” Brad Reed, BGR

“NY tabloids mock Trump over Iowa loss,” Jesse Byrnes, The Hill

“In Iowa, the Emperor Has No Clothes,” Emily Arrowood, U.S. News & World Report

“All Donald Trump does is win – until he doesn’t. Now what happens?” Paul Lewis, The Guardian

“Loser.com redirects to Iowa nonwinner Donald Trump,” Chris Matyszczyk, CNET.com

“Rivals Look to New Hampshire for a Shot at Breaking Donald Trump’s Stride,” Alexander Burns, New York Times

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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.

Marco Rubio is Not a Robot. Robots Are Smarter.

February 8, 2016

Marco Rubio is Not a Robot. Robots Are Smarter.
In the recent GOP debate in Manchester, New Hampshire, Chris Christie pointed out that Marco Rubio keeps mechanically repeating a few rehearsed phrases over and over. Critics and protesters are calling the Florida Senator “Robot Rubio,” “Marcobot,” Rubio Bot,” and “Robo-Rubio.” That’s unfair.

Marco Rubio is not a robot. Robots are smarter than that.

If you’re a registered Republican, you’re probably old enough to recognize what Mr. Rubio really is. He’s not a robot and not a broken record. He’s Chatty Marco.

In 1960, Mattel Inc. introduced the Chatty Cathy doll. It had a pull-string voicebox; when the string was pulled it “spoke”and played back one of a dozen pre-recorded phrases at random. Cathy was not designed to respond to changing circumstances with new utterances. Robots, however, can do that through AI, and they are constantly learning new responses.

See? Marco Rubio is not a robot.

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Image (“Chatty Marco”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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