Monday, March 28, 2016

Three New Poems

Sound and Fury
by Claudia Rankine

Dispossessed despair, depression, despondent
ejection, the doom is the off-white of white. But wait,
white can’t know what white feels. Where’s the life in that?
Where’s the right in that? Where’s the white in that?

At the bone of bone white breathes the fear of seeing,
the frustration of being unequal to white. White-male portraits on white walls
were intended to mean ownership of all,
the privilege of all, even as white walls white in.

And this is understandable, yes,
understandable because the culture claims white
owns everything - the wealth
of no one anyone knows. Still the equation holds -
jobs and health and schools and better than enough
fore and different from now and enough and always and eventually mine.

This is what it means to wear a color and believe
the embrace of its touch. What white long expected
was to work its way into an upwardly mobile fit.
In the old days white included a life, even without luck
or chance of birth. The scaffolding had rung
sand legacy and the myth of meritocracy fixed in white.

Now white can’t hold itself distant from the day’s touch -
even as the touch holds so little white would own -
foreclosure vanished pensions school systems in disrepair free trade rising unemployment unpaid medical bills school debt car debt debt debt.

White is living its brick-and-mortar loss, staving off more loss, exhaustion, aggrieved exposure, a pale heart even as in daylight white hardens its features. Eyes, which hold all the light, harden. Jaws, which close down on nothing, harden. Hands, which assembled, and packaged, and built, harden into a fury that cannot call.

power to account though it’s not untrue jobs were
outsourced and it’s not untrue an economic base
was cut out from under. It’s not untrue.

If people could just come clean about their pain,
the being at a loss when just being white
is not working. Who said there is no hierarchy
inside white walls? Who implied white owns
everything even as it owns nothing? But white
can’t strike its own structure. White can’t oust
its own system. All the loss is nothing
next to any other who can be thrown out.
In daylight this right to righteous rage doubles
down the supremacy of white in this way.

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My Hair: A Poem about Donald Trump
by Paul Bibeau

They make fun of my hair.
They make fun of my hair.
On the street. On dates.
At dinners - a thousand dollars a plate,
And still they do it.
I know you think I'm a total winner, but it hurts!
The way they always make fun of my hair.
They call it a fox, a beaver,
A coyote.
They call it a panda - not the one you're thinking of,
But the weird kind.
When I go to bed,
I imagine it's a beautiful creature
From the myths of the Greeks - not the Greeks today,
But a long time ago, when they had their act together...
In the dark, in the night,
My hair gently rises from the 24-karat wig stand,
Flies through the window,
Gallops across fields,
Leaps over streams.
It's free. It's magnificent.
I say to my hair, I like you. You take charge, like me.
I still have to shoot you,
But you won't sit on my wall, big guy.
No. You're going right here, up top on Mt. Donald,
So you can go where I go, see what I see, and date the broads I date.
My hair paws at the earth and snorts. It agrees.
I take its life, its spirit,
And I waste nothing - just like the Native Americans, I use every bit of it.
We go together. We will not be ashamed.

*                    *

by Carmine Giordano

Racing against time's relentless power,
I'm taking photographs like crazy,
of the store-bought flower bouquet
we've set in the kitchen table vase.
Jesus! Just look at them--
lilies with names like Anastasia, 
Fabiola, and Triumphator,
their bordered petals crimsoning in purple,
curled stars dappled with lady violet
and the most intense magenta,
their anthers burnishing,
their stamens jutting, masculine, alive,
bunching with bright Japonica,
tufted with asters, mighty and miniature,
nuanced with orange pinks and lavender.
They stand and breathe in tempered water.
They say I am their father; they plead.
They ask me not to let them go,
to fix their blaze, their beautiful,
hold back the desperate moment of their leaving,
hide them unendingly 
in the capsule of my camera--
endure their mortal stay.

They hurt, they break my heart--
I keep shooting, clicking away like crazy.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Donald Trump: Sample Questions from the Trump University Final Exam

Below you will find three examples of questions from previous final exams at Trump University. Use these sample questions and the answer key provided to prepare for next week’s big test.

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1. Two plus two equals what?
(a) Maybe four.
(b) Could be four. Could be. Lotta people saying it’s five.
(c) I’m not saying it’s five; I’m saying it could be—could be five. You see these establishment hacks, losers, like Mitt Romney? Real crank. They hate me. They take answers like “could be” and say, “Oh, he says two plus two equals five.” I never said that. I never—I said “could be.” Could be six. We don’t know.
(d) All of the above.
(e) None of the above.
(f) D and E.

2. Describe a major theme of “The Old Man and the Sea.”
(a) Well, the theme is big. That I can assure you. Definitely no problem in the theme department. Quite big. Quite.
(b) I know what you want me to say here. You want me to say “yuge.” Well, I’m not. I’m not gonna say that.
(c) Should I say it? . . . No. I’m not gonna say it. But it is.
(d) Now—and I don’t even wanna bring it up—but you got a lot of people. I’m not going to mention names. O.K., Marco. You got Little Marco, who has a tiny theme. No, it’s true. Very small. Probably why he’s outta the race. Seriously, find me one person who says there was a big theme behind that campaign. But anyway, here’s Little Marco, saying I’m the one with the small theme. Can you believe that? Says I’m like Santiago in “The Old Man and the Sea.” Says I sometimes lose my harpoon—you know, prematurely—when I try to reel in the big fish. Totally not true.
(e) In fact, reminds me of the time I tried to get a date with Brooke Shields. Remember Brooke Shields? Gorgeous. Not like my wife. Gorgeous, though. I asked her out. She said no. Career went downhill after that. Left me like Santiago at the end of the book, hauling this gigantic mast home with nothing to show for my troubles.
(f) Seriously, “The Old Man and the Sea”? Please. Santiago’s not a winner. Here’s what you need to read: “The Art of the Deal.” Best book since the Bible. Probably better. People say that. I don’t. People do. Bible was, like, God with sixty ghostwriters. “The Art of the Deal” was just me, dictating to Tony Schwartz. Great guy. Takes dictation better than Moses.

3. H2O is the chemical symbol for what compound?

(a) What the hell’s “huh-twenty”?
(b) No, that’s what it says, “huh-twenty.” Or maybe the “H” is silent. I dunno.
(c) I didn’t say “huh-twenty.” You said “huh-twenty.” You asked me what “huh-twenty” was. You see, this is what the media does. They claim, “You said ‘huh-twenty!’ ” And I’m like, “I said? No you said ‘huh-twenty.’ I just repeated what you said.”
(d) That’s all they do, ask these totally bogus questions, when what they should be asking about is Hillary’s e-mails. That’s what this question should be about. Because what she did—wow. I mean, that’s why she’s hugging Obama every chance she gets.
(e) You know who else hugs Obama? Chris Christie.
(f) But we love Chris, don’t we? We love Chris


Answer key:

1. I like A. I like B, too. D doesn’t do much for me, but E and F are real winners.
2. I’m gonna have to look into A and B. C is very compelling. Very. I hear good things about D through F. But I don’t wanna say anything yet.
3. I don’t know why people are saying there were three questions. There weren’t. I mean, do you have video? Show me the video where there were three questions. You can’t, because there is no video. People come here. They try to make trouble, saying we started a question three. We did not. And lemme tell ya, we’re gonna fight back. I’m not saying we’ll sue, but we could. Throw a few punches, ya know. Because this test prep is a great test prep. You thought so, too: you signed the agreement saying that you thought this was the greatest test prep of all time and that you wanted to be sued if video surfaced of you saying otherwise.
Congratulations, this was actually the final. You’ve passed. Now give me $35,000.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Celebrating Easter

Easter Greetings
The Paschal Greeting (aka: the Easter Acclamation, is an Easter custom among Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Eastern Catholic Christians. Instead of "hello" or its equivalent, one is to greet another person with Christ is Risen, and the response is Truly, He is Risen, Indeed, He is Risen, or He is Risen Indeed (Matthew 27:64, Matthew 28: 6-7, Mark 16: 6, Luke 24: 6 and Luke 24: 34. In some cultures, such as in Russia and Serbia, it is also customary to exchange a triple kiss of peace on the alternating cheeks after the greeting. Similar responses are also used in the liturgies of other Christian churches, but not so much as general greetings. Finally, Alleluia, Christ is Risen is said or shouted at the beginning of many the Easter church services.
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Easter Art

The Risen Christ, 1490

Jezu, Ufam Tobie

The Risen Christ Cross

Risen Christ Alterpiece by Rubens

Stained Glass, The Risen Christ

Byzantine Style Risen Christ

The Risen Christ by El Greco

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   Easter Music

Handel's Messiah and its famous  Hallelujah Chorus was originally written for Easter and not for Christmas. You can both see and hear it  as it was performed on Good Friday at Royal Albert Hall in London by The Royal Choral Society on YouTube at 

One of the most famous pieces of Easter music is the hymn Jesus Christ is Risen Today (aka: Christ the Lord is Risen Today). You can hear sung at Kings College, Cambridge, U.K, on YouTube at

Friday, March 25, 2016

The Good Friday Sculpture

Since its creation in 1499, Michelangelo's Pietà has inspired emotion, faith, and imitation through its elegant depiction of the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ. 

Mysteries Concerning William Shakespeare

Portrait of William Shakespeare
“Shakespeare, Drayton, and Ben Jonson had a merry meeting, and it seems drank too hard; for Shakespeare died of a fever there contracted. The Vicar of Stratford-upon-Avon, 1661
William Shakespeare (1534-1616) was 52 years old on the day he died. He was the richest man in his hometown (Stratford upon Avon) and the greatest playwright of his age. But even now nearly 400 years later much of his life and its aftermath remains shrouded in mystery.
Ninety percent of the plays written during Shakespeare’s time is lost, mostly down to the simple fact that theatre companies simply didn’t publish them for fear of plagiarism.
The only reason we have the Bard’s work today is due to the efforts of John Heminges and Henry Condell, who compiled and published the manuscript known as First Folio in 1623, the first definitive collection of Shakespeare’s plays to come out in print
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When Was Shakespeare Born?
April 23, 1564, is the official date of Shakespeare’s birth. But, there’s no actual documented proof of this, which is normal since birth records were inconsistent for common folk at the time. The date comes from an assumption based on the date of his baptism, April 26. At that time, the religious ritual was commonly performed three days after birth, but it was not compulsory particularly if the baby was not well. Some have suggested that April 23 was conveniently chosen because it’s the feast day of St George, the patron saint of England. But even if April 23 is correct, it’s a date that was recorded during a time when the Julian calendar was still in use in England, which the country phased out in 1752. After time-correction for the modern-day Gregorian calendar, Shakespeare’s birthday would have fallen on May 3. What we do know for sure is the date of Shakespeare’s death which also falls on April 23 but this time on 1616. After time-correction, it would also fall on May 3.
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What  Did Shakespeare Look Like?
In 16th century England, you could only take a selfie if you were able to do a self-portrait painting or had enough to pay someone to paint your likeness. But, although Shakespeare was famous in his day, there is only one painting that possibly dates back to when he was alive. This explains to a certain extent why the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. had more than 60 portraits claimed to be of Shakespeare when the gallery opened in the 19th century. Of the many alleged portraits, only two have been accepted as definitive: the Martin Droeshout engraving published in First Folio in 1623 and a grim-looking bust at the Holy Trinity Church in his hometown installed in 1622. There’s a problem though with these two depictions: they were created posthumously. However, of those supposedly made when he was alive, the Chandos portrait which may have been painted by the playwright’s “intimate friend”, John Taylor in 1610, is the most widely accepted as the real deal. (See the portrait above)
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What Happened to Shakespeare's Head?
Shakespeare's skull is likely missing from his grave, an archaeologist has concluded, confirming rumors which have swirled for years about grave-robbers and adding to the mystery surrounding the Bard's remains. Four hundred years after his death and burial at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Stratford-upon-Avon, central England, researchers were allowed to scan the grave of England's greatest playwright with ground-penetrating radar. But, in the area under the church floor where the Bard's skull was expected to be, they found signs of interference. Lead archaeologist Kevin Colls of Staffordshire University told the newspaper The Guardian, "We came across this very odd, strange thing at the head end. It was very obvious, within all the data we were getting, that there was something different going on at that particular spot. We have concluded it is signs of disturbance, of material being dug out and put back again."The findings deepen the mystery around Shakespeare's last resting place. The grave does not bear his name, merely this warning rhyme: "Good friend, for Jesus' sake forbear, to dig the dust enclosed here. Blessed be the man that spares these stones, And cursed be he that moves my bones." In their quest to find Shakespeare's skull, Colls's team also investigated a long-standing tale that it was hidden in a sealed crypt in another church 15 miles (24 km) across the English countryside in Worcestershire. But, analysis of that skull showed it to be that of a woman who had been in her 70's when she died.
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Did Shakespeare Have an Illegitimate Son?
Did famed writer William Shakespeare have an illegitimate son? That is the claim being made in a new biography titled, Shakespeare's Bastard: The Life of Sir William Davenant. In the book, author Simon Andrew Stirling argues that Shakespeare was actually the biological father of the man known as his godson, William Davenant. The truth has been suppressed despite rumors, according to Stirling, because scholars wanted to maintain Shakespeare's virtuous reputation. As evidence of his assertion regarding paternity, the biographer points out that images of both men show a "droopy left eyebrow." He also proposes that Shakespeare's Sonnet 126, which references a "lovely boy," was not, as many believe, a poem about a male love interest but an address to a child. Although it is common knowledge that Shakespeare had three children with his wife Anne Hathaway¨Susana, Judith and one half of a set of twins. Hamnet. The other twin died of unknown causes in 1596. Shakespeare's marriage is generally believed to have had problems. Stirling claims Shakespeare met and had an affair with the mother, Jane Davenant, a tavern worker, during his commute to and from London. William Davenant grew up to be a celebrated poet and playwright and died in 1668.
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Who Wrote the Shakespeare Plays
So rich and so enduring are the works of William Shakespeare that, in time, doubts arose as to whether they could have come from the pen of a single person - especially one as relatively uneducated as the minor actor from Stratford. With their intricate plots and unforgettable characters, the celebrated plays plumb the breadth and depth of human emotions and reveal the author's knowledge of history, literature, philosophy, law, and even court etiquette. Where did this country man pursuing a profession on the fringes of society learn how aristocrats behave and lawyers talk? Was it possible that the actor allowed his name to be used by a well-educated man in high office who wished to keep his authorship of the plays a secret?

In 1781 an English churchman named J. Wilmot, after searching the records at Stratford, reached the conclusion that a man of Shakespeare's background lacked the education and experience to write the immortal plays. Unwilling to publish his thesis, Wilmot burned his notes although he confided his suspicions to a friend. The friend's record of their conversations did not come to light until 1932. Meanwhile, in the mid-19th century, both British and American scholars had begun advancing similar theories. In 1856 one of them, William Henry Smith, proposed Sir Francis Bacon as author of the plays. Unfortunately for their theory, Bacon apparently did not care for the theater and is not known to have written any blank verse.

In 1955 an American scholar named Calvin Hoffman named the Elizabethan playwright Christopher Marlowe as the author of the Shakespeare plays. Marlowe was facing imprisonment, perhaps even death, for his heretical views in 1593. According to Hoffman's theory, he staged his own murder in a pub south of London - a foreign seaman being the real victim. Fleeing the Continent, Marlowe continued writing the type of plays that had already gained him acclaim in London and sent them back to England for production under Shakespeare's name.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Bread of Life and Easter Bread

Italian Easter Bread

In many European countries, there are various traditions surrounding the use of bread during the Easter holidays. Traditionally the practice of eating Easter bread or sweetened "communion" bread traces its origin back to Byzantium and the Orthodox Christian church. The recipe for sweetened or "honey-leavened" bread may date back as far as the Homeric Greek period based on anecdotal evidence from classical texts that mention this type of special food. It is also widely known that sweetened bread desserts similar to panettone were a Roman favorite..

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I Am The Bread Of Life: The Hymn

There is a traditional hymn which is sung at many churches on Easter. It is based on the New Testament passage in the Book of John, (6:35, 44). The communion hymn was written by a Catholic nun, Sister Suzanne Toolan (born: 1927).

Suzanne Toolan

The Words of the Hymn

1. I am the bread of life;
they who come to me shall not hunger;
they who believe in me shall not thrist.
No one can come to me unless the Father draw them.

Refrain: And I will raise them up,
and I will raise them up,
and I will raise them up on the last day.

2. The Bread that I will give is my Flesh
for the life of the world,
and they who eat of this bread,
they shall live for ever,
they shall live for ever. 

3. Unless you eat
of the Flesh of the Son of Man 
and drink of his Blood, 
you shall not have life within you, 
you shall not have life within you. 

4. I am the resurrection,  
I am the life. 
They who believe in me,  
even if they die,
they shall live for ever. 

5. Yes, Lord we believe 
that you are the Christ, the Son of God 
who has come into the world.

You can see and hear this hymn on YouTube at:

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 Braided Easter Bread

This is a recipe for a traditional Italian Easter Bread. It is an exceptional version of a classic and traditional recipe. This recipe makes two braided breads.

2 envelopes yeast (regular or rapid rise)
¼ cup lukewarm water
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted and no longer hot
¾ cup sugar, minus 2 tablespoons
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk, hot
1 teaspoon lemon rind, freshly grated
4 cups bread flour, sifted, plus 1 possible additional cup, sifted
Vegetable oil or additional melted butter
Colored sprinkles (optional)

Put yeast in water and add a little sugar. Let yeast bubble. If the yeast does not bubble, it is not good.
Heat milk, but do not boil. Add butter and sugar. When cool, add the beaten egg and lemon rind.  Stir so sugar is blended.
Put 4 cups sifted flour in a bowl. Make a well in the center. Add yeast mixture and milk mixture. Combine and knead. While kneading, add additional flour if necessary. Dough should not be sticky.
Clean the bowl.  Coat the interior of the bowl with oil or melted butter. Put dough into the coated bowl and turn it over so all sides have some of the coating (butter). Place the dough in the bowl and cover with a clean towel, making sure that the towel does not touch the dough.  Place the dough in a warm draft-less place, such as the oven.  Let rise to double the size, about 30 to 45 minutes. Deflate the dough and let dough rise a second time to double its size.  Deflate again.
Cut the risen dough in half. Cut each half into thirds.  Make each piece equal and even in size. Roll each piece into a strip and braid with a second and a third piece.  This will create two breads each containing three braided pieces. Let each bread rise.
Place each bread on a cookie sheet and place twisted or rolled pieces of aluminum foil on the sides and between the breads in order to create a better shape. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35 to 45 minutes. Breads are done when they are tapped with your finger and they sound hollow.
Remove the breads from the oven and let cool slightly. While still warm, brush the surface of each bread with honey.  Let cool a little longer and sprinkle with colored sprinkles, if desired.

Note: Remember, the less handling of the dough when kneading and preparing for baking, the better.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

News You May Have Missed, No. 69

Illegal Vaccines in China

Chinese citizens have reacted with anger and alarm at news of a massive illegal vaccine operation uncovered in Shandong province. The illegal vaccine ring involved hundreds of people, and affected 24 provinces and cities, local media said. On March 21, 2016, news that a boy had died after a vaccination sparked more anger, however, officials said there was no link to the Shandong scandal. China has seen several health and safety scandals in recent years. The illegal vaccine ring was said to have been in operation since 2011. The ringleaders, who have been arrested, were allegedly a mother and a daughter who purchased the vaccines from licensed and unlicensed sources, and then sold them on to illegal agents or local disease control and prevention centers for high prices, reported Xinhua state news agency. The $88,000,000 worth of vaccines were not adequately refrigerated nor transported in approved conditions. The potentially compromised vaccines could cause disability and death. Though authorities had known about the ring since April last year, they only made the news public late on Friday when they issued a call demanding that suppliers come forward to help them trace potential victims. It sparked fury as thousands of users on micro-blogging network Sina Weibo questioned the delay. "This is such a huge case and not a single regulatory official has come out to apologize, not a single one has resigned... this system which doesn't care whether ordinary citizens live or die makes one's soul tired," said one user. "24 provinces, 5 years already, and how many children!... It's been nearly a year and then they reveal this! Isn't this genocide? Words cannot express how angry I am!" said another. Authorities appeared to respond to the public anger and calls for more information by promising to punish those responsible. They also released details on the affected vaccines, which included those for polio, rabies, mumps, encephalitis, hepatitis B and meningococcal diseases.

Texas Insanity

A Texas man who earned national notoriety for allegedly having sex on a ferris wheel in Las Vegas just weeks ago was slain in front of his fiancée during a Saturday morning carjacking. One of the alleged carjackers told Philip Panzica to “come clean” before gunning down the 27-year-old in front of his bride-to-be at 5:15 a.m. in Houston, Texas, KTRK-TV reported, nearly six weeks after Nevada authorities arrested Panzica and his mistress on public sex charges. It was not immediately clear what the carjackers were demanding Panzica "come clean" about, or if they were referring to his February 5th, 2016, dalliance on the High Roller Ferris Wheel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Panzica and Chloe Scordianos, 21, of Long Island, New York, were arrested last month on suspicion of a wild sex stunt on the High Roller Ferris wheel next to the Linq Hotel, the same day he planned to marry another woman. His fiancée at the time, Mistie Bozant, was reportedly pregnant with another man’s child. Although the female witness to Panzica’s death was not identified, the KTRK-TV report described her as Panzica’s fiancée. It is unclear if it’s the same woman he was engaged to last month. The woman was kicked out of a black Kia Sorrento after the accused assailants, Bryant Watts and Arron Jones, shot the victim and dragged his body onto the street, police said. The woman waved down a bus driver, who gave police a suspect description as they fled in the stolen vehicle. Watts and Jones were arrested by Menard County authorities following a police pursuit that ended in Concho County on Sunday, according to KHOU-TV. Watts, who was behind the wheel, allegedly confessed to killing Panzica, and the men had a "large amount" of cash on them, police said. Both men are now jailed on a capital murder charge. The shooting was not random, police said. The suspects, Panzica and his fiancée had just left a Houston strip club, where she works, when an argument broke out in the vehicle. She was sitting in the front passenger seat while Panzica was sitting in the driver’s seat. One of Panzica’s relatives said he had a 3-year-old son.


People with Autism Die Younger

People with autism are dying earlier than the general population, often through epilepsy or suicide, a charity has warned. Citing recent research carried out in Sweden, the charity Autistica described the problem as an "enormous hidden crisis". The study in the British Journal of Psychiatry suggested autistic people die on average 16 years early. The charity now wants to raise £10 million for more research into the condition. The Swedish study looked at the health records of 27,000 autistic adults and used 2.7 million people as a control sample for the general population. The research, carried out by the Karolinska Institute, found that those with autism and an associated learning disability, died more than 30 years early with the average age of death being 39. In this group of people, a leading cause of death was epilepsy. Scientists still cannot exactly explain the link between autism and epilepsy, which is partly why the charity wants to raise the money over the next five years to enable more research. The Swedish study also suggested that people with autism, who were not held back by any intellectual disability, died on average 12 years younger - at 58 years old rather than 70. After heart disease, suicide was the most common cause of death for this group of people. Past research has suggested that autistic women are more at risk of suicide than men and only half of autistic people who have considered suicide were categorized as depressed - although this latter point may be down to problems with communication in diagnosis. The research, which was published online in November 2015, was carried out by Dr Tatja Hirvikoski, who described her findings as "shocking and disheartening" and she said there was an "urgent need for increased knowledge.


Woman Arrested for Touching a Police Horse

Kansas City cops are not horsing around. A woman suspected of striking “Dan” the police horse during a Donald Trump protest in Missouri was arrested. In an attempt to spook a member of the city’s mounted patrol, April Foster, 29, allegedly yelled at the horse as its officer pushed through a crowd of protesters. She then slapped it with an open hand, according to the Kansas City Star. Foster was pictured facing off with the police horse before vanishing into a crowd teeming with what authorities described as 500 demonstrators swarming downtown streets after the Republican presidential front-runner’s rally. She was arrested on abuse of a police service animal charge at 5 p.m. Friday, 10 miles south of Kansas City along the Missouri-Kansas border with the help of an anonymous tipster. Dan’s officer also recognized Foster through a photograph, but investigators did not specify which photograph. Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forte anticipated an unruly crowd after watching chaos erupt 400 miles to the northeast. Throngs of protesters managed to scrub a Trump rally scheduled in Chicago the day prior. Forte delayed a vacation by two days to keep an eye on the March 12 campaign event, he said in a blog post reflecting on the night’s protest. “The officers called in our Mounted Patrol for back up to break the two groups apart and get them out of the street,” Forte wrote. “In the course of that, a police horse was assaulted.” Four people were also arrested on disorderly conduct charges after authorities unleashed streams of pepper spray at the crowd stepping off the sidewalks. She posted a $500 bail and is no longer in custody.

Foster reaching out to touch the horse during the anti-Trump rally.

DNA, Neanderthals and Denisovans

Most people in the world share 2-4% of DNA with Neanderthals while a few inherited genes from Denisovans, a study confirms. Denisovan DNA lives on only in Pacific island dwellers, while Neanderthal genes are more widespread, researchers report in the journal Science. Meanwhile, some parts of our genetic code show little trace of our extinct cousins. They include hundreds of genes involved in brain development and language. "These are big, truly interesting regions," said co-researcher Dr Joshua Akey, an expert on human evolutionary genetics from the University of Washington Medicine, US. "It will be a long, hard slog to fully understand the genetic differences between humans, Denisovans and Neanderthals in these regions and the traits they influence." Studies of nuclear DNA (the instructions to build a human) are particularly useful in the case of Denisovans, which are largely missing from the fossil record. The prehistoric species was discovered less than a decade ago through genetic analysis of a finger bone unearthed in a cave in northern Siberia. Substantial amounts of Denisovan DNA have been detected in the genomes of only a handful of modern-day human populations so far. "The genes that we found of Denisovans are only in this one part of the world [Oceania] that's very far away from that Siberian cave," Dr Akey told BBC News. Where the ancestors of modern humans might have had physical contact with Denisovans is a matter of debate, he added. Denisovans may have encountered early humans somewhere in South East Asia and, eventually, some of their descendants arrived on the islands north of Australia. Meanwhile, humans repeatedly ran into Neanderthals as they spread across Eurasia. "We still carry a little bit of their DNA today," said Dr Akey. "Even though these groups are extinct their DNA lives on in modern humans." The research was carried out by several scientists, including Svante Paabo of the Department of Evolutionary Genetics at the Max-Planck-Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany. They found that all non-African populations inherited about 1.5-4% of their genomes from Neanderthals. However, Melanesians were the only population that also had significant Denisovan genetic ancestry, representing between 1.9% and 3.4% of their genome. "I think that people (and Neanderthals and Denisovans) liked to wander," said Benjamin Vernot of the University of Washington, who led the project. "And yes, studies like this can help us track where they wandered."

Sunday, March 20, 2016


A metamorphosis is also called transformation. A change in the form and often habits of an animal during normal development after the embryonic stage. Metamorphosis includes, in insects, the transformation of a maggot into an adult fly and a caterpillar into a butterfly and, in amphibians, the changing of a tadpole into a frog.

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Metaorphosis (painting)

Metamorphosis (painting}

The Metamorphosis of Narcissus (paining)

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We were already there
assez près--close enough
that moment at zero
when stuff banged into being,
when love fumbled to shape us--
sweet magnolia, quail,
squirrel wing, your breast
whiter than nuthatch--
morphing our arms to hold
our legs to clutch--
sculpting galaxies of stars
tumbling continents to worlds,
choosing you, choosing me--
life planting its seed.

poem by Carmine Giordano