Tuesday, 7 July 2015

C & H

Calvin and Hobbes

Well I Never

Overheating, sluggish, running out of energy faster than usual? Have you noticed how it’s not just you that suffers in the heat, your smartphone does too? Don’t worry, you’re not imagining it, the heat really does make a difference.
Unlike people, phones can’t sweat, and while this may be good news for your pocket, it’s bad news for them. Without a way to cool themselves, phones suffer: the battery dies, the processor melts and the screen can crack.
Here’s why it happens, and what to do about it.

Why is my phone slower when it’s hot?

Processors are heat sensitive. The hotter they are, the slower they run - as they have to reduce the power usage to stop themselves overheating.
That means when a phone gets hot it becomes more sluggish. Because it’s taking longer to longer to do things, it in turn means it needs to stay awake longer, potentially drawing more electricity from the battery for a longer time and increasing the heat further.
Other components such as the GPS chip, the screen’s backlight and mobile data connection all generate heat too, which means the more you use a phone for mapping or other relatively intensive tasks the hotter it gets.

Why does my phone’s battery run out so much faster?

Batteries are small packs of chemicals that react to create electricity, which also creates heat. That’s not an issue in cooler climates, but when the heatwave starts the battery’s ability to keep cool, like the rest of the phone, is impaired.
A hot battery charges slower because charging it causes it to heat up. A battery’s thermal control system reduces the rate of charging to keep things at a safe level. If a battery hits a critical temperature it experiences thermal runaway, which like a nuclear meltdown can be explosive as experienced within Boeing 787 Dreamliner batteries.
Keeping a battery above 30C is bad for its health as its chemical components degrade. While short periods of heat are unlikely to cause issues, prolonged exposure to heat causes its capacity to decrease, which means shorter battery life. Keeping a battery fully charged and hot can be worse than repeated charges and discharges for its life.

Why did my screen crack when I left it in the car?

Heat can also do nasty things to the screen, and other bits and pieces of a phone. For instance, the fine liquid layers of a screen can swell under high heat, which means pixels can blow and glass can crack – leaving a phone within a hot glovebox on a sunny day is asking for trouble.

Why isn’t there an easy why to cool it?

While hot phones are only an issue for a few weeks a year in the UK, and rarely for air conditioning-using countries, smartphones suffer from overheating greatly in developing nations and those that don’t rely on electricity to keep them cool.
App developers have tried to help. A collection of apps designed to help a phone cool off is available for most platforms. Many work by temporarily giving the processor a timeout by limiting background tasks and stopping some apps.
A similar thing can be achieved by using the battery-saving modes on most smartphones, or by simply turning it off.

What can I do?

Most phones use their body panels as heat sinks to attempt to dissipate heat, which is why metal-backed phones such as the iPhone and HTC One feel hot. Storing a hot phone in a hot pocket against a hot body is a bad idea - keep it out and well ventilated.
A case can also inhibit a smartphone’s ability to rid itself of heat, remove the case –but then do try not to drop it.
If you’re using it in your car as a satnav, GPS can overheat a phone – stick it on the windscreen and use the windscreen airflow to cool it - also keep it in shade.
Processor intensive apps exacerbate the problem - unfortunately there’s no real solution but to stop using them.
The display’s backlight generates a lot of heat and sucks battery - turn down the backlight and set a shorter timeout.

Viz Bits

Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 11.40.41

NME for Free?

There are few magazines with a legacy to rival NME’s. The magazine championed rock’n’roll when Elvis was shocking the establishment, introduced the world to the Smiths and Joy Division and in 1979 put all-female punk group the Slits on the cover, stripped off and covered with mud.

But after a decade-long decline in sales, the title, which has been published weekly since 1952, is to become a free magazine, a move described by one industry expert as “the last throw of the dice”.
In an effort to reach a broader audience, the independent music magazine, will also branch further into topics such as fashion, film, television, politics, gaming and technology.
The move, which has been rumoured for several months, is an attempt to navigate the torrid conditions of the consumer magazine market, which had caused sales to decline to just 15,000. From September, 300,000 copies of the magazine will be distributed free of charge in the hope it will boost advertising revenue and ensure its continued survival in print as well as online.
NME’s editor, Mike Williams, said: “We’re not viewing it as the move that will save NME, it is more that over the years NME has been on the front foot in terms of innovation. We launched NME.com in the mid-90s when there weren’t many websites out there, certainly not music websites, so it’s always been about evolution. It’s no secret that our circulation has been in decline for a long time.
“Obviously as a knock-on effect of that, the print magazine is going to change. But ultimately we are going to stand for the same thing, which is discovery and enthusiasm for new music and new film and being part of the conversation that our audience is having.”
The magazine – whose initials stand for New Musical Express – has played a pivotal role in both the independent and mainstream music scenes over its six decades of publication.
Early readers of the magazine included John Lennon, Malcolm McLaren and T Rex frontman Marc Bolan, while its writers have included Bob Geldof and Pretenders lead singer Chrissie Hynde. The British film director Michael Winner was NME’s film critic in the 1950s and 60s.
The publication also launched the career of photographer and film-maker Anton Corbijn, who photographed artists including Bob Dylan, the Slits, David Bowie and Joy Division for the magazine’s cover.
Yet it has not always been smooth sailing for NME. The first front cover of the magazine, on Friday 7 March 1952, featured the Goons, Big Bill Bronzy and Ted Heath. It cost just sixpence the produce, but was initially a failure and founder Maurice Kinn had to borrow money from his mother-in-law to keep the magazine afloat.
The 1970s are still seen as the golden age of NME – a time when, famously, the staff used to start the day by passing round a joint, and sales reached 300,000. It was also the time when Tony Parsons and Julie Birchill joined the magazine, both after answering an advert calling for “hip, young gunslingers”, and spent much of their time covering Britain’s emerging punk scene.
Recalling her days at NME, Burchill once wrote: “At the time, working for NME was all enormously impressive – as a 17-year-old virgin from the provinces I had a good excuse to be impressed by this rubbish. If Robert Plant bought journalists half a shandy they thought it was fantastic. But no one had any money. The bands were living on a fiver a week and we weren’t paid anything.”
Other memorable moments from NME’s back issues include a 1988 interview with Nick Cave, during which he threw his cowboy boots at the interviewer and tried to destroy his dictaphone, and the controversy caused by a 2007 front cover featuring Gossip singer Beth Ditto naked.
The decision to make NME free comes at a time when the magazine industry as a whole is struggling. ‘Lads’ titles Nuts and Loaded closed last year, while fashion-focussed Company magazine recently went online-only. Coupled with a shift in the way audiences access music, the past decade has been particularly tough on NME.
However, various industry experts and former NME writers have expressed trepidation at the changes announced on Monday, both to make the magazine free and to move it away from its core remit of indie music coverage.
Douglas McCabe, a media industry analyst at Enders, said the announcement was “quite extraordinary”.
“My instinct is to feel quite concerned about it,” he said. “When you look at other magazines that have gone free, like Time Out, the reason they’ve been a great success was because they didn’t have to adapt very much. It was a magazine that readers already understood and already had broad cultural interest – whereas NME will have to work very hard to move away from becoming a niche interest title. So in my view they’ve built up a relatively challenging proposition.”
With broad-reaching free publications such as Time Out, Stylist and Shortlist already covering fashion, technology and film, McCabe was also unconvinced that there was an appetite for NME to cover the same topics. Williams refused to confirm whether NME would be hiring new staff with expertise in fields other than music.
Branching into areas such as politics would not be new territory for the magazine, which has a long history of campaigning for issues such as gay rights and nuclear disarmament. In the week before the 1987 UK election, NME even put Neil Kinnock on its cover.
But McCabe warned against alienating the millions of young readers who still visit the NME website and see it as the go to source for indie music news.
“The real danger is that they dilute the brand that causes them more problems strategically in the longer term, rather than cementing the reputation of the brand,” he said. “It’s the last throw of the dice.”
Former NME writer Hamish MacBain, who worked at the magazine for over seven years before becoming deputy editor of free magazine Shortlist, also expressed his concerns about the longevity of the move.
“It is going to be very, very difficult for them to reposition themselves as anything other than a specialist music title,” said MacBain. “Certainly they can cover film and technology and fashion as they always have in some capacity, but it seems to me those will always be a secondary concern. I think it is going to be a struggle for them to be seen by readers and advertisers as a credible source of commentary and information on film and fashion and all these other non-music areas ahead of the other titles that already exist.”
Recalling his own introduction to the magazine as a 15-year-old living in Derbyshire, an hour away from any record shop, MacBain said that main issues would be making sure the teenage target audience still had access to the magazine once it went free.
He said: “The way people listen to and read about music has changed so immeasurably over the past 15 years or so, so this is a case of adapt or die. But the problem with NME is that the core target audience is 15-, 16-year-old kids who live in the middle of suburbia who are getting into music and use the magazine as a portal to get into that world. These are not people who are at Tube stations every day.”


One Born Every Minute


If you have vulnerable relatives, friends and neighbours, talk to them this summer about the risk of being scammed. The Financial Ombudsman Service has published new research today warning that people over the age of 55 are four times more likely to be caught out by a ‘no-hang up’ scam.

That’s when fraudsters cold call victims and pretend to be from a bank or the police. They tell their victims that their bank account is at immediate risk and inform them they need to move or withdraw their money urgently, telling people to call them back to add to the plausibility of the scam. But the crooks simply stay on the line to fool people into thinking they’ve actually called their bank or the police.

Most no-hang up scams it dealt with involves online money transfers where victims were tricked into transfering money to a so-called ‘safe’ account. But in many cases, people are persuaded to hand over their PIN and give their card to a pretend “courier” who passes it on to the crooks.

"These are extremely cruel and convincing deceptions and consumers are tricked into believing they are protecting their money, when in fact it is being stolen," said Caroline Wayman, chief ombudsman.

The Ombudsman looked at cases it has been involved in where people lost £4.3m. One in five lost savings of between £20,000 and £49,999 while some unfortunate people lost more than £100,000.

Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said: "That anyone would target an older person to defraud them in the first place is abhorrent but we know that older people are deliberately targeted and can be especially at risk if they are living with dementia and/or cognitive decline. Some older people are more vulnerable to fraud because they live alone or in isolation, but fraud is something that can happen to any of us."

The Ombudsman gets involved when the victim thinks their bank hasn’t done enough to help them. And while in two out of five cases, it ruled in favour of the victim, in the majority it did not.

That’s because banks have a duty to act on their customer's instructions, so if a consumer transfers or withdraws money themselves during a scam they are unlikely to get it back.

Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: "It is critical that banks act swiftly to help victims of scams and provide them with accurate information on their rights. With scams becoming much harder to spot and fraudsters using aggressive tactics to hook their victims, the old adage still stands - if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is."

Never give out personal or banking information when answering a call. If you have doubts just hang up and use a different phone to call a trusted number.

Banks will never ask people for their PIN or ask them to key it into the phone keypad. They will never send someone to a customer's home to collect a bank card

Bring it On

Although we won't get the result we'd like...

Ah the Ashes, probably the greatest sporting series, has brought us joy, despair and some very restless nights sleep in recent years. After the 5-0 drubbing down in Australia in 2013/14, England are ready to rally round, dust themselves off and get stuck into Michael Clarke’s ageing number one test side.

While the Ashes has created some extremely memorable moments like THAT Gatting wicket from Warne, it has also provided some absolutely priceless reactions from not just the players but those beer snake wielding members of the crowd.

So here are 11 truly brilliant and excited Ashes reactions.

1. England win the 2009 Ashes

Greame Swann picks up the final wicket to help England retain the ashes and Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook go NUTS!

2. The Barmy Army live up to their name

Poor Mitchell Johnson got plenty of stick in the 2010/11 Ashes series and mainly from England’s Barmy Army. Those sunburnt heroes got all sorts of excited when Mitch got a big fat golden duck.

3. Anderson silences Johnson

2010/11 wasn’t a very happy time for Mitch. The Barmy Army were in his ear all the time, he was getting clobbered to all parts by Alistair Cook and then this happened. After a few words with Jimmy Anderson, the English King of Swing was quick to silence him with a wicket. Anderson’s reaction is glorious!

4. Sir Ian Botham gets his man 

Beefy going wild.

You can’t not love Beefy. When he wasn’t denting the world’s red wine supply or causing havoc with Alan Lamb, the big man was carrying England against the Aussies. His celebration after picking up the wicket of Greg Ritchie is pretty special!

5. Darren Gough’s hat-trick

Goughie was a fine specimen who definitely didn’t look like he’d just tucked into a kebab before putting his whites on. The big lad picked up a glorious hat-trick in the 1998/99 at the MCG.

6. 2010/11 Ashes win

Image via Jason O’Brien

After 24 years of pain in Australia were quickly ended with Chris Tremlett picking up the final wicket on Day 5 to give England a 3-1 win. Commence absolute scenes as well as a proper dodgy sprinkler celebration…

7. Jones and the greatest catch ever…maybe 

Geraint Jones wasn’t exactly the greatest keeper, nor the greatest batsmen but he may have produced the best catch EVER. His reaction isn’t too bad either!

8. Australia win back the Ashes

After getting a taste of the their own medicine for two series, the Aussies managed to absolute hammer England in the 2010/11 series. With Ryan Harris getting Boyd Rankin out, Michael Clarke and co celebrated harder than Ian Botham on a Saturday night.

9. Gatting just can’t believe it, Ian Healy can though!

“Ooo, he got me.” Photograph: Greg Wood/EPA

Mike Gatting was a great player of spin, so when Shane Warne popped up with his podgy body and shocking haircut, Gatting’s eye lit up. Sadly for the Great-Gattsby, Warne produced probably the best ball ever and announced himself to the world. Ian Healy’s face is priceless.

10. Andrew Strauss going nuts…again.

Straussy with another contender for the best catch ever and probably the best reaction ever after catching Adam Gilchrist with a ridiculous effort. Not bad for a posh lad in the worst sunglasses EVER.

11. Super Mitch and his super moustache 

Johnson first test 2013/14

As the old saying goes, ‘ with great moustache, comes great power’ and Mitchell Johnson proved that in the 2013/14 Ashes series. The fiery pace-man tore through England’s top order and left the visitors devastated as Joe Root is caught in the slips.



As 1972 approached, President Richard Nixon started to get more and more concerned about his coming reelection campaign.   He became convinced that his political adversaries weren’t just opponents-they were “enemies” and had to be stopped. He and his advisers compiled this list of 20 public figures who they felt could hurt them in some way. Were they ever really threats to Nixon? Probably not, but Nixon thought so, which makes this piece of history all the more fascinating.
“On Screwing Our Political Enemies”
In 1972 five men were caught breaking into Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C. The culprits turned out to have ties to high-level members of both the Republican Party and the Nixon administration.   The Congressional investigation that followed unraveled the Nixon presidency, exposing the systematic way Nixon abused power and attempted to destroy his enemies (real and imagined), eventually leading to his resignation in order to avoid impeachment.
One year before Nixon’s resignation, on June 27, 1973, White House counsel John Dean testified before Congress about possible connections between the Nixon administration and the Watergate burglars’ plan to steal information damaging to Democratic candidates. Dean mentioned that in 1971 he’d received a memo titled “On Screwing Our Political Enemies.” Written by Charles Colson, another Nixon attorney, the memo was a list of people singled out as those most threatening to Nixon’s career. The memo detailed how the White House planned to go about discrediting Nixon’s opponents, which included anyone trying to run against him and any reporter who’d given him unfavorable coverage. The goal: to ruin every person on the list with a campaign of rumors, character assassination, and even IRS audits.
Who Are These People
The fact that there was a list was pretty much all Dean said about it. He didn’t mention any names, although he did turn the memo over to the Senate as evidence.   Daniel Schorr, the CBS reporter covering the hearings, wasn’t satisfied- he wanted to see the list. He requested a copy of the memo from the Congressional press office the same day Dean talked about it. That night, as Schorr was delivering a live report on the CBS Evening News, an assistant handed him the memo, with its list of 20 targets. Schorr then read it live on the air. Among the names on the list, to Schorr’s surprise, was Schorr himself. Here’s a look at all the entrants on Nixon’s “Enemy List,” in the order that they were listed on the memo, from Enemy #1 down.
#1) ARNOLD M. PICKER. Picker was a former executive with United Artists, a Hollywood film production studio. In 1971 he signed on as the finance director for Democratic Sen. Edwin Muskie’s Presidential campaign.   The memo expresses the hope that a scandal involving Picker would “debilitate and embarrass the Muskie machine.”
#2) ALEXANDER E. BARKAN. Barkan was a union organizer who became the national director of the powerful AFL-CEO labor union Committee on Political Education (COPE) in 1963. COPE was the union’s political wing, which lobbied on behalf of unionized labor and education its members about which candidates were the most pro-union. Nixon and the Republican party were opponents of unionized labor, which is what landed Barkan on the Enemies List. The memo identified Barkan’s COPE as “the most powerful political force” against Nixon in 1968, as it raised $10 million for Democratic candidates and influenced the votes of more than 4.6 million people.   Nixon wanted COPE shut down, fearing that its anti-Nixon efforts would be ramped up in the 1972 election. Ironically, it turned out that Nixon had nothing to worry about: Barkan denounced the ’72 Democratic presidential candidate, George McGovern, for succumbing to the tide of 1960s counterculture influence and turning the party into one of “acid, amnesty, and abortion.”
#3) EDWIN O. GUTHMAN. Politicians and political activists who opposed Nixon were on his Enemies List, and so were investigative reporters. Guthman won a Pulizer Prize in 1950 when, as a reporter with the Seattle Times, he proved that the Washington State Un-American Activities Committee doctored evidence to accuse a college professor of Communist ties (Around the same time, Nixon had worked on the House Un-American Activities Committee, which rooted out Communists at the national level.) In 1961 Guthman became Attorney General Robert Kennedy’s press secretary, and in 1965 national editor of the Los Angeles Times, where Nixon’s aides were convinced (with little proof) that Guthman was “the prime mover behind the current Key Biscayne effort” – a scandal that linked Nixon’s purchase of cheap real estate in Florida with known Mafiosi.
#4) MAXWELL DANE. An advertising executive at Doyle Dane Bernbach, the advertising agency that handled most of the Democratic party’s national presidential advertising in 1964.   In that campaign, Dane’s agency produced a frightening political ad for President Johnson called “Daisy,” in which a little girl holds a flower in a field, counting down, until a nuclear bomb wipes out everything. That year, Democrat Lyndon Johnson beat Republican Barry Goldwater in a landslide…and Nixon wasn’t about to let that happen to him. According to the memo, Dane was a test target for the Nixon enemies project-if he was successfully discredited, his partners, Doyle and Bernbach, would be next.
#5) CHARLES DYSON. A major financier through his Dyson-Kissner Corporation, a major philanthropist through his Dyson Foundation, and a major contributor to Democratic candidates and causes. He funded the Businessmen’s Educational Fund, which in turn sponsored a series of five-minute anti-Nixon radio ads in the run-up to the 1972 election. Dyson was also a close associate of Democrat strategist and Democratic National Committee chairman Larry O’Brien (whose office was the main target in the Watergate burglary).
#6) HOWARD STEIN. One of the nation’s leading investment bankers, Stein was chairman of the Dreyfus Corporation. There, he invented the mutual fund and made billions for his company and for himself. He was also the largest individual donor to Eugene McCarthy’s 1968 presidential campaign. Nixon feared he’d donate as much or more to the opposition again in 1972, especially if the opposition were wither John Lindsay or George McGovern, the memo notes.
#7) ALLARD LOWENSTEIN. A civil rights activist, an anti-Vietnam War activist, a high-level Democratic party strategist, a one-term congressman from New York…and founder of a liberal voter information group called “Dump Nixon.”
#8) MORTON HALPERIN. Halperin was Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense under Lyndon Johnson, and was one of the few officials in the Johnson administration who had opposed the Vietnam War from the very beginning. Nevertheless, Halperin was appointed to the National Security Council by Nixon’s Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger. When the New York Times reported in May 1969 that Kissinger had directed the secret bombing of Cambodia, Kissinger and FBI director J. Edgar Hoover believed Halperin was responsible for leaking the news and began tapping his phones.   He left the NSC later that year and went on to be a leader of Common Cause, a nonprofit group dedicated to openness and accountability in government. The tapping of his phone continued until early 1971.
#9) LEONARD WOODCOCK. Woodcock appeared on the List with the caption “no comments necessary.”   He headed the United Auto Workers union, one of the largest and most powerful trade unions in the United States, with a large, Democrat-supporting voting bloc. Woodcock also used his position to publicly support two causes Nixon avoided: civil rights and women’s rights.
#10) STERLING MUNRO JR. Munro was a top aide for liberal Washington senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson, a possible 1972 presidential candidate. “Positive results” for digging up dirt on Munro, the memo notes, “would stick a pin in Jackson’s white hat.”
#11) BENARD T. FELD. Feld was an MIT physicist who had helped develop the atomic bomb. Feelings of remorse later led him to denounce nuclear weaponry and serve with both the Albert Einstein Peace Committee and the Council for a Livable World, both nuclear disarmament action groups dedicated to banning nuclear weapons worldwide. Feld was a major voice for and donor to left-wing and pacifist causes, and as such, he was targeted by Nixon’s cronies. The memo suggests that Feld will “program an all-court press against us [Nixon] in ’72.”
#12) SIDNEY DAVIDOFF. In 1971 popular, young New York City mayor John Lindsay switched from the Republican party to the Democratic party, citing “the failure of 20 years in progressive Republican politics.” He then announced his candidacy for the 1972 Democratic presidential nomination. He was an early frontrunner, doing well in caucuses and fundraising. Davidoff was Lindsay’s top aide, in charge of Lindsay’s drive to capture the youth and counterculture vote. The Enemies memo called Davidoff “a first-class SOB wheeler-dealer.”
#13) JOHN CONYERS. Conyers was (and still is) a Michigan congressman representing Detroit. First elected in 1964, Conyers founded the Congressional Black Caucus in 1969 to address the specific needs of African-Americans, hired Rosa Parks as he secretary in 1965, and in 1968 advocated to make Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday a national holiday. Nixon did not strongly support the Civil Rights Movement, largely because it was a liberal cause. As Conyers was a leading institutional force for civil rights, he was targeted by Nixon. (The memo crudely suggests that Conyers “has a known weakness for white females.”)
#14) SAMUEL M. LAMBERT. The president of the National Education Association, Lambert spoke out against Nixon’s re-election promise to give federal aid to private and parochial schools, which threatened to be a contentious issue in 1972. If Lambert and the NEA were discredited, then Nixon would be able to push his legislation through more easily. (Ultimately, that legislation did not pass.)
#15) STEWART RAWLINGS MOTT. Mott inherited millions from his father, Charles Stewart Mott, a member of the General Motors board of directors and mayor of Flint, Michigan. The younger Mott became a philanthropist, creating Mott Associates and pouring his money into causes considered liberal or even radical at the time, including the legalization of abortion, gay rights, birth control, and feminism. He was targeted for his donations of “big money for radic-lib candidates.”
#16) RONALD DELLUMS. A 36-year old African-American U.S. congressman from Oakland, California, Dellums was a protégé of liberal senators John Tunney and Edward Kennedy, as well as an outspoken opponent of the Vietnam War.
#17) DANIEL SCHORR. The memo labels the CBS News reporter “a real media enemy.” Schorr started at the network in 1953, recruited by Edward R Murrow, the newsman who challenged Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s drive to root out Communists in government in the early 1950s (a drive in which California congressman Richard Nixon had assisted). Schorr made several reports over the years that Nixon loathed, including a sympathetic interview with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev in 1957 and an examination of life in East Germany in 1962. The FBI opened a file on Schorr in 1971.
#18) HARRISON DOGOLE. One of the leading contributors to Hubert Humphrey’s 1968 presidential campaign was Globe Security Systems-one of the largest private detective and security agencies in the United States. Globe president S. Harrison Dogole authorized the contributions to Humphrey, who lost to Nixon in the ’68 election. Nixon’s team was convinced that Dogole would be out for revenge in 1972, stating in the memo that Dogole had to be deflected because he could contribute millions to the 1972 Democratic candidate, or possibly even use Globe agents to spy on Nixon.
#19) PAUL NEWMAN. Yes, the Paul Newman. One of the biggest stars in Hollywood, he was also aligned with “radical and liberal causes,” including the unsuccessful presidential campaign of Democrat Eugene McCarthy in 1968. Newman had personally endorsed the candidate in campaign commercials, and Nixon’s folks feared he might be used again in such a way in 1972.
#20) MARY McGRORY. A columnist for the Washington Post, McGrory was a liberal editorial writer who penned “daily hate Nixon articles,” as the memo put it, and anti-Vietnam War pieces. (McGrory went on to win the Pulizer Prize in 1975 for her reporting on the Watergate scandal.)
In conjunction with the ongoing Watergate investigation, the Congressional Joint Committee on Internal Revenue Taxation looked into whether or not the people on Nixon’s Enemies List had, in fact, been subjected to any unfair treatment, specifically unfair taxation or unnecessary tax audits. The committee announced in December 1973 that it had found no evidence that any of the people listed had been treated unfairly. But who knows what would have happened if those five men who broke into the Watergate hadn’t been captured.


Drones Attack Dilbert - Dilbert by Scott Adams

Trouble Ahead

After being given five Godparents by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte has expressed her dismay at all the God bothering she’ll now be exposed to.
A spokesperson for the infant princess said that having multiple parents in charge of educating her in the ways of a two-thousand year old book is about as useful as a Deputy Prime Minister.
They told us, “Understanding the morality rules set out by a civilisation that thought slavery was OK is not high on the young Princess’ list of priorities.”
“But a basic understanding of the sciences will have lifelong value, far beyond wasting Sundays in an old building talking to yourself with your eyes closed.”
“An understanding of evolution is far more valuable to a young mind than the story of Noah’s Ark. But who is going to teach her this?”
“At the very least they could have included her Uncle Harry, at least he could teach him a bit about the science of reproduction.”

Princess Charlotte christened

Meanwhile several thousand Gods have complained that they will be dramatically underrepresented in the young princesses life.
A spokesperson for Vishnu, Supreme God of Vaishnavism, said, “It’s discriminatory not to include Vishnu in the spiritual upbringing of Princess Charlotte.”
“Vishnu and approximately 20,000 other Gods that are regularly worshipped on Earth demand their opportunity to try and influence the royal family.”
“Or you’re all just being racist.”

Richard Pryor

Richard Pryor is considered by many to be the greatest stand-up comedian of all time. Seinfeld referred to him as “the Picasso of our profession.” Chris Rock has called him comedy’s Rosa Parks. Yet to say that Pryor made an indelible mark on the world of comedy only tells part of his story. 
Like his career in the spotlight, Pryor’s world offstage was also highly compelling, lively, and full of shocking turns. He’s one of those people whose real life was so off-the-wall at times that it becomes tough to separate fact from fiction. Here are just a few stories about the brilliant and chaotic life of the great Richard Pryor. 


Richard Pryor had a tragic early life, experiencing things that no child should have to endure: Born to a prostitute named Gertrude on December 1, 1940 in Peoria, Illinois, Pryor’s father was a notoriously violent pimp named LeRoy Pryor. For much of his childhood, Pryor was raised in the actual brothel where his mother worked, which was owned by his own no-nonsense grandmother, Marie Carter. With his mother periodically dropping out of his life for long stretches, it was Marie who served as Pryor’s central guardian and caretaker. 
In March The New Yorker published an article to mark the 10th anniversary of Pryor’s passing, which offered further details on his turbulent early life, noting: 
Pryor said that one of the reasons he adored movies as a boy was that you were never in doubt as to why the women in them were screaming. As for the sounds that Richard heard in the middle of the night in his room on the top floor of one of Marie’s businesses, he had no idea what was happening to those girls. A number of times, he saw his mother, Gertrude, one of the women in Marie’s employ, nearly beaten to death by his father. Gertrude left when Richard was five. He later registered no resentment over this. “At least Gertrude didn’t flush me down the toilet,” he said. (This was not a joke. As a child, Pryor opened a shoebox and found a dead baby inside.)


If you’re familiar with the comedy of both Pryor and his contemporary, Bill Cosby, then you know how unlikely it is that anyone would ever confuse the two. The trademarks of Pryor’s later standup career were incise social commentary peppered liberally with profanity and taboo remarks—a far cry from the PG stories and mild vocabulary that define Cosby’s on-stage persona. However, that wasn’t always the case: Early in his career Pryor found success by modeling his comedy largely on the work on Cosby, which led to many comparisons being drawn between the two—a fact that Cosby reportedly grew to dislike. 
There are conflicting tales of just how Pryor made the 180-degree change in style that led to him becoming a comedic legend. One of the most well traveled tales, and one that Pryor himself confirmed on more than one occasion, states that Pryor was performing his clean-cut act in Las Vegas one night when he looked out into the audience and saw Dean Martin among the crowd. If you believe the story, seeing the legendarily cool Rat Packer’s face made Pryor question what exactly he was doing and caused him to abruptly leave the stage mid-performance. Around this time Pryor moved to the San Francisco Bay area, dropped out of the comedy limelight for several years, and later reemerged with the more pointed, in-your-face style that made him an icon. 


Back in 1975, Saturday Night Live was brand new, so at the time the show’s creator, Lorne Michaels, wasn’t yet a powerful TV icon. Therefore, when Michaels stuck his neck out and demanded the right to have Pryor on as a guest host he was really risking a lot. It took Michaels handing in a fake resignation to convince NBC executives to allow the famously foulmouthed comic to appear. Michaels himself had to implement a secret five-second delay for that night’s episode to be sure that any off-the-cuff, unscripted choice language didn’t make its way out over the airwaves. The delay was kept from Pryor, who upon later finding out confirmed that he would have refused to do the show had he known about it 
The episode, the seventh one of SNL’s premiere season, contained one of the most memorable and edgy sketches ever to appear on the show: (the NSFW) Word Association. Chevy Chase and Pryor’s personal writer, Paul Mooney, have each claimed to have written the sketch. 


Pryor and Gene Wilder made four films together (Silver StreakStir CrazySee No Evil, Hear No Evil; and Another You), but there could have been at least one more. Pryor was one of the credited writers on Mel Brooks’s classic Blazing Saddles and the plan for a time was that he would also co-star in the film, playing Sheriff Bart alongside Wilder as the Waco Kid. In the clip above, Wilder explains how Pryor’s legendary drug use caused him to end up in a remote city and subsequently lose the starring role to Cleavon Little.


One of the most retold stories about Pryor centers around the incident on June 9, 1980 where he set himself on fire and took off running down a Los Angeles street fully engulfed in flames. Though he wasn’t expected to survive the episode, he eventually pulled through and spent the next six weeks recuperating in the hospital. At the time it was often reported that the cause of the accident was Pryor freebasing cocaine. Pryor later admitted that in a drug-fueled psychosis he had actually attempted to kill himself by dousing his body in 151-proof rum and setting it ablaze. A friend of Pryor’s at the time has gone on record as saying that the idea for the act likely came about that evening after the two of them watched footage of Thích Quảng Đức, the Vietnamese monk who famously burned himself to death in 1963 as an act of protest. 


Pryor was married seven times to five different women. In the 2013 documentary Omit the Logic, a friend of Pryor’s—who served as the best man at one of his weddings—recounts how Pryor showed up at his hotel room door just a few hours after marrying Jennifer Lee, insisting that he already wanted a divorce. Pryor would get divorced from Lee the next year, only to remarry her 19 years later; the two were still together when Pryor passed away in 2005. 


In 1986 Pryor was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a central nervous system disease that ultimately left him confined to a wheelchair. Pryor was such an avid supporter of animal rights, however, that he actively spoke out against animal testing of any kind—even when that testing meant getting closer to a cure for his own condition. The biography on RichardPryor.comprovides more insight into this part of his private life:
He's been honored by PETA, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, for saving baby elephants in Botswana targeted for circuses. In 2000, as the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus was preparing to open at Madison Square Garden, Pryor gave the Big Top's first African-American ringmaster, Jonathan Lee Iverson, something to think about when he wrote him a letter in which he stated: “While I am hardly one to complain about a young African American making an honest living, I urge you to ask yourself just how honorable it is to preside over the abuse and suffering of animals. 


Even while MS continued to rob him of his mobility, Pryor’s comedic mind continued cranking. Throughout the early 1990s Pryor would often show up at Los Angeles’s famous standup club The Comedy Store to take to the stage in his wheelchair. In the above clip from The Joe Rogan Experience, a few comics discuss what it was like to watch the all-time great perform in his diminished state.


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The man who accused NBC of changing its peacock logo to the "colors of gays"

The man who accused NBC of changing its peacock logo to the 'colors of gays'
If you are living in the United States — and not currently living under a rock — you've seen the logo above for a greater part of your life, if not your WHOLE life. Unless, that is, you are Arkansas resident Don Stair.

After the SCOTUS ruling in favor of same-sex marriage, Stair took to social media to blast his local NBC affiliate for changing its logo to a rainbow themed one.

The only problem — it hadn't.

The NBC peacock is one of the most recognized brand symbols in the world and has always featured multicolored plumes. Originally introduced in 1957 and featuring 11 feathers, the logo was designed to mark the advent of color television broadcasting — and a not-so-subtle hint at the network being “proud as a peacock” for being the first with this technology. It was redesigned in 1986 to the logo you see above. 

This apparently alluded Stair, who took great offense to the station's use of the rainbow hued logo, his ENTIRE life. He posted: "You're changing your station logo with the colors of gays is a disgrace. Just stay out of it… Your integrity is ruined… ABC KATV is my choice in the future for all Little Rock station viewing… Shame on you!"

The station commented back to a rush of upvotes and jokessaying, "We didn't change our logo, Don. Same logo as always."

At least one commenter, Casey Wayne Martineau, supported Stair saying, "Oh so gay people can marry now and your media relations group have the graphics team change the peacock to the gay pride colors?! (That's it, I'm) never watching this news channel again you gay rights advocating atheists. Jesus will not be happy with you. You're my boy, Don."

Maybe they're neighbors under the same rock? (Source |Photo)

The cop who danced with revelers at New York's gay pride parade

The cop who danced with revelers at New York's gay pride parade
With six million plus views and climbing, this viral video shows one of New York's Finest accepting an invitation to dance with one of the Pride attendees after the SCOTUS ruling legalizing gay marriage. 

Officer Michael Hance is straight, single, and has two young children. According to his LinkedIn profile, he's been with the NYPD for 16 years. In 2005, he was honored by the New York City Patrolmen's Benevolent Association for his heroism and quick thinking in working with his partner to save the life of a young boy who had been choking. 

Check out his moves below!(Source | Photo)

The cable news network that believed a sex toy-decorated flag was an ISIS flag

The cable news network that believed a sex toy-decorated flag was an ISIS flag
During coverage of a London gay rights rally, CNN International reporter Lucy Pawle stumbled upon an “unnerving” sight — an unidentified man flying what appeared to her to be the flag of the jihadist Islamic State (ISIS).

Soon after the report, the cable news giant became a global laughingstock when the flag was identified as a cleverly-designed banner featuring images of dildos and other sex toys in place of Arabic script.

The man behind the flag has since come forward, saying he intentionally designed the piece as an ISIS parody. British artist Paul Coombs said that his mission for the piece was to "demonstrate as much respect for ISIS and their ideology as ISIS shows for the people and religion it claims to represent."

Coombs also had harsh words for CNN: “How could a report so hysterical and so clearly false possibly get onto the air, discussed by a terrorism expert? Lucy Pawle described my flag as a ‘very bad mimicry' but the only bad mimicry I could see was CNN's impression of a reputable news organization." (Source | Photo)

The couple who waited 54 years to legally marry

The couple who waited 54 years to legally marry
Immediately following the Supreme Court ruling in support of gay marriage, Jack Evans, 85, and George Harris, 82, became the first same-sex couple to wed in Dallas County, Texas. 

Evans and Harris have been together for more than 54 years.

"You would have been blown away by the crowd there, there must have been 450 people there, people waiting to get married, reporters. It was amazing. Just amazing,” Evans said about the unforgettable moment. “Ten years ago [marriage equality] was not within the realm of possibility.”

Congratulations to the happy couple! #lovewins (Source |Photo)