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Archaeologists at Khirbet Qeiyafa in Elah Valley near Jerusalem say they may have found remains of the biblical City of King David,  Israel's second king who held an area from Egypt to the Euphrates in the 10th century B.C.

If so, it is the first evidence that the ancient Jewish empire actually existed - while the Kingdom of David was described in the bible as the first Jewish state and features in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, it is commonly dismissed as just a story.

Professor Israel Finkelstein, of Tel Aviv University, pointed out that the remains are not evidence of a powerful biblical state.


On vacation  short while ago, NBA player Tony Parker rented a water-powered jetpack and it got a lot of attention.   They're cool because you aren't using rocket fuel, you're using water - less cool is that you are actually renting an entire boat and an engine and you are tethered to it while it pumps the water into the system, making it a toy for the idle rich.   On a Fox morning show, TechCrunch notes, an overenthusiastic Jetlev R200 user surprises the on-camera reporter with some premature ignition.  Hilarity ensues.
Is there a 'Singularity', an ascension of man being able to become machines or machines becoming sentient, coming in 2045?

Given the current state of artificial intelligence and robotics, that would only happen if we were able to put a man on the Moon in a relative time scale of 3 minutes.  In reality, selling books and tickets to conferences showing "Man + (Black Box Full Of Magic) = SINGULARITY" not much progress has been made in decades much less anything leading us to believe the drastic inflection point needed will be happening any time this century.
The robotics pioneer Rodney Brooks often begins speeches by reaching into his pocket, fiddling with some loose change, finding a quarter, pulling it out and twirling it in his fingers.
An activist website called Negotiation Is Over is urging its followers to attack scientists.  

Left-wing kooks are no different than the right wing kind, just their issues are different.   Instead of global warming, they are anti-vaccine, instead of human embryonic stem cells, they are anti-agriculture.  

One way fringe kooks on the left outdo their counterparts on the right is calls to violence.   They're even willing to pay students if they will target biomedical students who use animals in research.  Check this out:


In 2007, with the economy chugging along, environmentalists believed light bulbs were killing the world.   Companies like General Electric (GE) and Royal Philips Electronics (PHG), two of the biggest light bulb producers, were happy to oblige and helped Congress develop a de facto incandescent ban.  The law didn't outright ban bulbs, it simply set a new standard only newfangled, more efficient bulbs could meet.

A lot has changed since 2007 - the replacement bulbs are either dangerous (CFL) or not very good (everything else) - and people have seen through the clever Energy Independence and Security Act name and realized they are going to be paying a lot more and accomplish little in the way of energy independence.
In the criticisms of American education, it is often noted that Asian children perform better on standardized tests that seek to measure knowledge across cultures so American schools last decade ago were required to begin teaching the same way, with funding contingent on success rates in education for the first time.

Atlanta Public Schools shone during that period - scores rose so dramatically they brought national acclaim to superintendent Beverly Hall  and the district, according to an investigative report released Tuesday by Gov. Nathan Deal.    
For over 20 years, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been tasked with pooling and making publicly accessible the knowledge gleaned from climate-change research. Its efforts were rewarded in 2007 with the Nobel Peace Prize — not bad for what is basically a voluntary organization staffed by thousands of working scientists. But in the past two years, the IPCC has displayed a talent for maneuvering itself into embarrassing situations, making itself an easy target for critics and climate skeptics, writes an editorial in Nature.
Check out this ice cream manufacturer in Aberdeenshire which is entirely carbon neutral - it produces 10 million quarts of ice cream per year andthe factory is completely powered by the wind.

Mackie's of Scotland makes more than ice cream and says its ice cream isn't selling you short by going carbon neutral, it's still 'extra posh', though it's hard to say what makes it expensive, the poshness or the wind power.    Of course, this state-of-the-art equipment was not manufactured using wind, nor is the transportation that takes it to stores, but if you need to feel good about your ice cream, this is the way to go.
Some of the greatest Western films about America were made by Italians.  Italian westerns made the career of Clint Eastwood when Hollywood regarded him as strictly a television guy.    No surprise Italians have such affinity for the Old West, they have it in their own culture too.

Butteri, Italian cowboys, for centuries have roamed the marshes of the Maremma, a coastal area that stretches across parts of the Tuscany and Lazio regions, herding “maremmana” cattle, a local breed famous for their large bellies and long, lyre-shaped horns.

Maremmana are bordering on extinction but the Italian cowboys who herd them may already be there...
The downside to kooks diluting real conditions like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD) is that, over time, the public will regard the quackery as the real thing.   PTSD has now gone from being a rare condition suffered by soldiers in battle to being a blanket diagnosis for anyone who feels traumatized by anything.    

Now, we are supposed to believe a person who hears about stories of people who suffer PTSD will somehow catch it.    

Mac McClelland, a civil rights 'reporter' obsessed with sexual violence, was working for Mother Jones when she accompanied a Haitian victim of sexual violence to a hospital and the woman saw her attackers and went into shock.
The Michigan Civil Rights Initiative, which bans race and gender considerations for college admissions and government hiring and contracting, has been struck down by an appeals court, meaning merit continues to take a back seat to artificial equality.
Maybe fantasy baseball scouting will start to list eye color along with which side players bat from and how their home park is configured - lighter-colored eyes, it seems, don't absorb light the way darker eyes do, and in a precisely game like baseball where milliseconds matter, the impact can be substantial.

The clarity of a player's vision, called visual acuity, is not the only important quality to track for baseball players. So is contrast sensitivity.  Dr. Keith Smithson, the team optometrist for the Washington Wizards, Washington Nationals and D.C. United, measures this in order to interpret "a ball player's ability to pick out a white target, a baseball, against different backgrounds."
"San Francisco doesn't realize that social legislation is like garlic," writes Meghan Daum at the LA Times. "Used sparingly, it can provide a useful kick to a dish, but overused and it makes people run away every time you open your mouth."

San Francisco lives for garlic on its fries so perhaps that explains its need to micro-manage every aspect of everyones' lives in the name of freedom and choice.   They want to ban circumcision, they want to ban Happy Meals and now goldfish.
Twice as many people have recently died in Europe from eating organic food than died in the Gulf of Mexico oil rig explosion and the nuclear power plant meltdown in Fukushima, Japan - combined. 

If this were Monsanto doing the killing, there would be Enron levels of Congressional hearings but instead it's organic food and, gosh, it just must be better because it's, you know, organic, so few people are stating the obvious.

Namely that it's time to regulate that stuff.
John Lennon disagreed with Paul McCartney on more than Macca's post-Beatles career arc - not the outrageous success part, but the leftwing proselytizing.

John Lennon's last personal assistant said as the musician aged, he got more conservative.  No surprise there, most intellectuals do.   In a new documentary,"Beatles Stories", Fred Seaman tells filmmaker Seth Swirsky Lennon wasn't the peace-loving militant fans thought he was and that he instead argued with former left-wing radicals and was embarrassed by his former stances.
Does a police officer really need a four-year degree?   Or a plumber or a journalist or a musician?  The 'college is a right' experiment in America is now two decades old and it has led to ballooning costs, a result of unlimited money being thrown at a finite number of colleges.   Has it led to a better life?

To be sure, college educated people have higher lifetime earnings, though no evidence shows it is a result of college - if a police officer retires after 25 years on the job, did the degree make them successful?  
It's easy to hate the government.  It's a faceless bureaucracy that can easily grind you down to nothing if you are on the wrong side of it.   But there are higher orders of contempt reserved for the select few, even in government, and TSA is that.

No one really believes TSA ia making anyone safer, since they can't profile the people most likely to be a threat and instead resort to making 95-year-old women remove their adult diapers because, you know, geriatric grandmothers in diapers bombed the twin towers 10 years ago.
Why do nations rise and fall?   Historians and anthropologists can usually make an educated hypothesis but some instances are nothing more than guesses.   Here are 10 that disappeared and maybe it was due to global warming or global cooling or famine or flood, but no one knows, including the Minoans, the Anasazi, the Indus, the Nabateans and six more.

Top 10 Civilizations That Mysteriously Disappeared 
Who says sharks can't be fun?   Jacob Langston knows they can.  He works for the Orlando Sentinel and was shooting some footage but didn't notice this spinner shark until he heard another surfer say, "Dude! Did you see that?"
Writing in Media Psychology, Markus Appel discusses a study where 63 Austrian college students who read a short about someone stupid then did worse on a test than a control group - they became more stupid - but the effect did not occur when the readers had to outline how they differed from the stupid character.    The stupid character was in "Slow on the Uptake," about a hooligan named Meier, and students either summarized the story or underlined passages where Meier differed from them.  A control group of 18 read a story with a protagonist who didn't do something stupid like go to a football match, get drunk, get into a fight and miss the actual game he attended.