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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Free Yale Courses from iTunes U

Open Yale courses provide free and open access to a selection of introductory courses taught by distinguished professors and scholars at Yale University. New and updated courses are now available on iTunes U, including Financial Markets and Early Middle Ages.
Check It Out On iTunes.      

Booming Las Vegas

NASA satellite imagery shows 40 years of growth in Las Vegas Valley
In case you hadn't heard, Las Vegas grew a bit over the past 40 years.

Now NASA has found a way to illustrate that eruption in less than a minute.
Using detailed satellite images from the agency's Landsat program, the Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland has created a video charting the valley's sprawl from 1972 through 2010.

In the span of 40 seconds, Las Vegas expands outward like a stucco tsunami, pushing west toward Red Rock Canyon. It actually resembles a rash, thanks to the false-color images that show vegetation in red and roads and buildings in gray.

Goddard spokeswoman Aries Keck said they picked Las Vegas because they were looking for a dramatic example of growth over a relatively short span of time.



A Partial list of the elements and nature of Critical Thinking

Critical thinking requires active listening
Critical thinking refers to higher order thinking
Critical thinking is required for knowledge and growth
Critical thinking is required to advance and not repeat mistakes and history
Critical thinking involves the will to seek our and understand issues and others
Critical thinking involves the ability to synthesise ideas and concepts
Critical thinking involves an effort to understand all views and opinions
Critical thinking involves reading, research and resolve
Critical thinking involves an strong effort to fair interpretations of the facts
Critical thinking involves being able to access the strengths and weaknesses of an argument.
Critical thinking involves being able to distinguish between the fact, theory and opinions of an argument 
Critical thinking allows for thinking outside of the box
Critical thinking allows for compromise and growth.
Critical thinking involves being able to judge the credibility of sources
Critical thinking requires accessing the quality of evidence
Critical thinking involves discerning relationships between ideas
Critical thinking involves priorities on what to remember and in what context
 Critical thinking allows for fewer mistakes and reduces trial and error in everyday life
Critical thinking is a normal process that requires practice and reinforcement
Critical thinking is an active process
Critical thinking requires and open mind and the ability to consider and
      understand all sides in an issue.
Critical thinking means replacing name calling and slogans with reason,
     compromise and the ability to persuade instead of attack.
Critical thinking should never be "us vs. them"
Critical thinking should never allow personal bias to cloud thought
Critical thinking is not an argument where you toss facts and figures back and forth
Critical thinking means weighing all options fairly and openly
Critical thinking means being open to disagreement
Critical thinking involves understanding conjecture, opinion and perceptions
Critical thinking involves knowing your own bias, prejudice and experiences
Critical thinking requires research
Critical thinking requires exploration of all sides or views
Critical thinking requires being willing to seek out the expertise of others
Critical thinking required being open to compromise for the greater good
Critical thinking requires being willing to find and agree on common ground
Critical thinking is purposeful
Critical thinking self regulatory and voluntary, although needed for the long term
Critical thinking requires commitment and resolve
Critical thinking is, by nature, judgemental
Critical thinking required prioritization
Critical thinking involves assigning values
Critical thinking is multi-dimensional and requires complex thought
Critical thinking takes time and effort
Critical thinking probes issues, status, situations, ideas and actions
Critical thinking requires flexibility
Critical thinking is open minded
Critical thinking is liberal (open to change)

For Adams Family Fans

There is no history left in the heat of capitalist

A birthplace of  Hollywood History, Pickfair, he original United Arts site named after Mary Pickford, has been leveled to the ground, to replaced by a new digital studio.

pickford building tear down facebook.jpg
The building was constructed in 1920 as a silent film studio.

Save the Pickfair Studios via Facebook

"This is about as bad as it gets. Sorry to have to share this with you all."
One of the most gorgeous old silent-film-era relics in West Hollywood -- the Pickfair Studios, on a plot of land known as "The Lot" -- just got ruthlessly gouged by a demolition crane.

The redevelopment gore can be blamed on CIM Group, the real-estate investor who owns the historic cluster of buildings. Protesters led by director Allison Anders have been aggressively rallying against the tear-down since early March. But despite their pleas, the first of four buildings reportedly scheduled for demolition...

... fell victim to the claw yesterday afternoon at Santa Monica and Formosa. A video of the gouging is "hard to watch," says one Facebook commenter.

Indeed. Hard to watch a cornerstone of Hollywood history come undone:

Silent-film stars Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks moved onto "The Lot" in the 1920s to found United Artists, the first artist-run studio. On these 11 sunny acres, OG movie stars like Charlie Chaplin and D.W. Griffith signed onto the golden couple's label and filmed a string of era classics.
Lead protester Anders described the significance of the Pickford building (the old wooden one demolished yesterday) in an email at the end of March:
Mary was the first, maybe only, woman to ever have her own studio lot. Her films, her husband Doug Fairbanks pictures, Mary's brother Jack Pickford's were all made here. In the 1930s, after Mary and Doug divorced, Sam Goldwyn bought in and moved his studio to the lot, and after that Howard Hughes set up shop for awhile, and later most of us knew it as Warner Hollywood studios. Some of the films shot there include -- "Robin Hood", "West Side Story", "Some Like It Hot" , "Wuthering Heights", "The Best Years Of Our Lives"...(and I happen to love that the TV show "The Fugitive" was also shot here!)
Despite their loss, protesters say they'll continue to try and block the demolition of three more buildings on the land: the Writers Building, the Fairbanks Building and the Editorial Building.
CIM Group insisted in a press statement a few days ago that it "respects the history of The Lot" and intends to "honor it as part of a thriving studio campus." More from the company's explanation, with bold added:
All buildings designated as historic will remain. The re-development of The Lot, as has been done successfully at many other Hollywood studios, is necessary for the studio campus to evolve and remain competitive.

The land use, building design, and historic preservation at The Lot, formerly known as the Pickfair Studio, is governed by the Comprehensive Development Plan and Development Agreement adopted by the City of West Hollywood into the city's General Plan in 2007. Consistent with this plan, CIM is beginning the initial phase of the revitalization of The Lot's 11-acre site by removing two non-historic buildings and constructing a new 93,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art media office building designed for production and media companies. This new building is located on the southern portion of the property along the Formosa Avenue perimeter. At every stage of planning and construction, great consideration has been given to not disrupt the sensitive production operations on the property.
 For Video click here. (From the LA Weekly, click here)
[@simone_electra / / @LAWeeklyNews]

Publishdd 4-5-2012
POLITICO: If John Boehner had his way, Republicans would stop talking about student loans and the Violence Against Women Act. The political calculus for Boehner is simple: These fights are losers for the House majority.

Caine's Arcade

Kiplings Critical Evaluation

Only $400,000 a year to live on!

“This is not class warfare, it’s math,” President Obama said yesterday.

Exactly. Fair is fair. But Republicans don’t care about fair. They only care about winning.

If our economy is destroyed, so be it. If the middle class withers, tough. If seniors are worried about their Social Security and Medicare, too bad. As long as Republicans control the White House and Congress, they couldn’t care less.

Republicans are ginning up their people and using Karl Rove’s cash to fund attacks. 

Trying to deal with Republicans won’t work. The only “deal” Republicans are interested in is the “deal” that lets Warren Buffett pay a smaller percentage of his income in taxes than does his secretary. It’s wrong, and President Obama’s “Buffett Rule” will help change that.

But Republicans started attacking the president even before he spoke. They say President Obama is engaging in “class warfare.” They say we’ll destroy the economy by increasing taxes on America’s billionaires. One Tea Party Congressman even said that he can’t afford a tax hike because, after feeding his family, he’s only got $400,000 per year to live on. Only $400,000 a year?!

Here’s the deal: The fundamental fairness that built the nation we love is under attack. The only course of action is to fight back hard, and fight back now. President Obama can’t do it alone. He needs our help.

What President Obama is proposing is more than fair. It’s common sense. And it’s a plan whose time has come.

Our president is standing tough against the Republicans. I hope you’ll join me in standing beside him.


JB Poersch

Life of Brian: We are all individuals!

Could you elaborate further?
Could you give me an example?
Could you illustrate what you mean?

How could we check on that?
How could we find out if that is true?
How could we verify or test that?

Could you be more specific?
Could you give me more details?
Could you be more exact?

How does that relate to the problem?
How does that bear on the question?
How does that help us with the issue?

What factors make this a difficult problem?
What are some of the complexities of this question?
What are some of the difficulties we need to deal with?

Do we need to look at this from another perspective?
Do we need to consider another point of view?
Do we need to look at this in other ways?

Does all this make sense together?
Does your first paragraph fit in with your last?
Does what you say follow from the evidence?

Is this the most important problem to consider?
Is this the central idea to focus on?
Which of these facts are most important?

Do I have any vested interest in this issue?
Am I sympathetically representing the viewpoints
of others?

"Life is not about waiting for the storms to's about learning how to dance in the rain."

News: 'Family Feud' show host Richard Dawson dies

Hogan's Hero and Game Show Host Richard Dawson RIP

The Associated Press

The former TV game show host died at age 79 in California.‎ - 32 minutes ago
More news for Richard Dawson
Richard Dawson, the wisecracking British entertainer who was among the schemers in the 1960s sitcom Hogan's Heroes and a decade later began kissing thousands of female contestants as host of the game show Family Feud has died. He was 79.
Dawson, also known to TV fans as the master of escape gadegets, Cockney POW Cpl. Peter Newkirk on Hogan's Heroes, died Saturday night from complications related to esophageal cancer at Ronald Reagan Memorial hospital, his son Gary said.
The game show, which initially ran from 1976 to 1985, pitted families who tried to guess the most popular answers to poll questions such as "What do people give up when they go on a diet?"
Dawson won a daytime Emmy Award in 1978 as best game show host. Tom Shales of The Washington Post called him "the fastest, brightest and most beguilingly caustic interlocutor since the late great Groucho bantered and parried on 'You Be Your Life.'" The show was so popular it was released as both daytime and syndicated evening versions.

He was known for kissing each woman contestant, and at the time the show bowed out in 1985, executive producer Howard Felsher estimated that Dawson had kissed "somewhere in the vicinity of 20,000."
"I kissed them for luck and love, that's all," Dawson said at the time.

\He reprised his game show character in a much darker mood in the 1987 Arnold Schwarzenegger film The Running Man, playing the host of a deadly TV show set in a totalitarian future, where convicts try to escape as their executioners stalk them. Saturday Night Live mocked him in the 1970s, with Bill Murray portraying him as leering and nasty, even slapping one contestant (John Belushi) for getting too fresh.

The British-born actor already had gained fame as the fast-talking Newkirk in Hogan's Heroes, the CBS comedy about prisoners in a Nazi POW camp who hoodwink their captors and run the place themselves.
Despite its unlikely premise, the show made the ratings top 10 in its first season, 1965-66, and ran until 1971.
Hogan's Heroes and Family Feud have had a second life in recent years, the former on DVD reissues and the latter on GSN, formerly known as the Game Show Network.
On Dawson's last Family Feud in 1985, the studio audience honored him with a standing ovation, and he responded: "Please sit down. I have to do at least 30 minutes of fun and laughter and you make me want to cry."
"I've had the most incredible luck in my career," he told viewers.
"I never dreamed I would have a job in which so many people could touch me and I could touch them," he said. That triggered an unexpected laugh.
Producers brought out The New Family Feud, starring comedian Ray Combs, in 1988. Six years later, Dawson replaced Combs at the helm, but that lasted only one season.
According to the Internet Movie Database, Dawson was born Colin Lionel Emm in 1932 in Gosport, England. His first wife was actress Diana Dors, the blond bombshell who was Britain's answer to Marilyn Monroe.

Sunday Morning News and Views

The Transit Of Venus: The planet Venus appears as a tiny black dot as it transits across the face of the sun on June 8, 2004. The rare astronomical event will take place again on June 5, 2012.
Ian Waldie/Getty Images
The Transit of Venus, one of the rarest astronomical events, which will take place this Wednesday June 6th.  It will not happen again for over a hundred years.

Forty years ago this week, AP photographer Nick Ut captured one of the most iconic images of the Vietnam War. Known as the "napalm girl" photo, the black-and-white picture showed a 9-year-old Kim Phuc with her clothes torn off, fleeing from an aerial napalm attack. She was badly burned over all of her body and would not have survived had it not been for the Photographer's strong will when he took her to the hospital. Eventually she was sent to UCLA Medical Center. She is alive today and living in America than is to the Canadian War Correspondent Photographer.

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is on a week-long trip to Asia, with stops in Singapore, Vietnam, and India. Panetta's trip highlights the Pentagon's new strategic focus on China and the Pacific. He became the most senior US Official to visit the former major US Military base and resupply hub at Cameron Bay.

1,000 Boats are sailing down the river through central London, the largest such pageant on the river since the 17th century. It's part of the Queens Diamond Jubilee, four days of events taking England by storm. Coverage of events can be found on the Internet and on BBC America. The queen of England this year marks 60 years on the throne and Buckingham  Palace is coordinating a week of events, including a concert at the palace and today's flotilla along the River Thames.

Why are Democrats and Unions not drumming and stomping Wisconsin only days prior to a recall vote for the state's anti-union Republican governor. On Tuesday, Wisconsin voters will decide whether Republican Scott Walker becomes just the third governor recalled from office in US history. Ever since Walker took office in January 2011, and rolled back the collective-bargaining rights of public sector unions, passions have run high on both sides in Wisconsin. Some now wonder whether the intensity of the left has been eclipsed by the resolve of the Right. Spending by conservative PACS for Walker outnumbers recall and Democrat spending by more than five to one.

Home ownership has long been considered a key part of the American Dream. The dream has taken a beating in recent years, but polls show the desire to own remains extremely high. 

Friday's disappointing jobs report added to worries the recovery is in trouble.  Only 69,000 new jobs were added to payrolls...and the unemployment rate moved higher, to 8.2%. There is more talk about the Fed and what it might do to get the economy moving again. This comes as Europe is on the brink of a possible disaster that could drag the US Economy down even further in the undertow. Many are arguing that without unification into one nation, a common currency with the close dependence between nations it entails, could have been a disastrous mistake.

New York University law professor Jeremy Waldron's new book, "The Harm in Hate Speech" argues that the U.S. should regulate "hate speech," a notion that is accepted in every liberal democracy in the world, except the United States.  The BBC took a stab at the topic this morning when they looked at hate speech, sexism and racism in live on-line gaming platforms. The "N" word, words like "rape", "bitch", "c--t", "f--k", and every possible attack on ethnic and racial groups are commonly used by gamers for psychological advantage against opponents, or to build comradely with their own team. The key difference between meting with a group of people in your home or at a bar. Games use interstate communication lines, which fall under Federal jurisdiction, and are a public and potentially legal form of communication, not the private conversation where less restrictive rules apply to free speech.