Eclipse, National Spumoni Day, Jerry departs, Trump won't leave, another asteroid miss
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Published Monday, August 21, 2017 @ 4:15 AM EDT
Aug 21 2017


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Today is Monday, August 21, the 233rd day of 2017 in the Gregorian calendar, with 132 days remaining.

This is the 214th day of Donald Trump's presidency. There are 1,248 days remaining in his term, assuming he doesn't resign, is otherwise removed from office, or his unhinged, psychotic behavior results in the destruction of the republic.

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What happened on August 21 from On This Day.

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Among other things, today is also National Spumoni Day. Spumoni is a molded Italian ice cream made with layers of different colors and flavors, usually containing candied fruits and nuts.

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Florida man told McDonald's ice cream machine broken, pulls out weapon.

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Quote of the day:

"I've had great success being a total idiot."
-Jerry Lewis

I remember watching Jerry Lewis movies over the summer at the Leona Theater in Homestead. Thirty-five cents for a kid to get in, and all the air conditioning you could handle. I think I must have seen The Delicate Delinquent and The Family Jewels about 20 times. Thanks, Jerry. You made those stinking hot summers bearable.

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(NASA)

One aspect of all the eclipse coverage is the warning being given by some media outlets that you should keep your pets inside so they don't get blinded by staring at the sun.

Is this really a problem?

You'd think that were this really a thing, there'd be reports after every event of blind animals stumbling around, birds crashing into buildings, etc.

It would appear that in the entire animal kingdom, only the family hominidae (great apes) stare at the sun during eclipses. There are reports of chimpanzees in the wild becoming excited, climbing trees and pointing at the heavens, but some claim their behavior was influenced by their hairless ape cousins who were witnessing the event nearby.

This will be the third partial eclipse I've witnessed in my lifetime. I stole quick glances at the sun- maybe a second or two- with no ill effects. I think the 1994 eclipse was more "dangerous" than this one, because it reached over 90% totality, making it appear safer since more of the son was obscured. This guy says a 1963 eclipse blinded him is 20 seconds.

Aside from horrendous traffic jams, price gouging and the other unpleasantries of putting a lot of humans in a relatively restricted space, I think the big problem today may be technological. What will happen to the cellular phone networks when 60-some million people try to live stream simultaneously?

The increasingly widespread use of solar panels means the eclipse will take thousands of megawatts of electrical power out of the grid as its traverses the country. Think of it as an astronomical rolling blackout. There is some concern that if too many solar power users suddenly switch back to utility-supplied juice, the grid could collapse like a stack of dominoes.

Whatever. I'm more worried Trump will become jealous of all the media attention directed at the eclipse, and, as is wont, do something disastrous of his own.

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Speaking of things celestial, Asteroid Florence, at a distance of about 4.35 million miles, will safely pass Earth on September 1. Good thing, too. The rock is about 2.7 miles in diameter. The one that wiped out the dinosaurs was about six miles wide. It won't pass by us again until the year 2500, at which time Terra just might be a warm, water-covered planet.

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Trump will speak to the nation at 9 pm EDT to address the situations in Afghanistan and South Asia. Better stop at the liquor store or pharmacy on your way home from work this evening and stock up.

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Ten sailors missing after U.S. destroyer collides with oil tanker off Singapore. I'm no fan of conspiracy theories, but coming so soon after the business with the Fitzgerald...

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National parks put a ban on bottled water to ease pollution. Trump just sided with the lobby that fought it. The Trump administration has ended a six-year-old ban on selling bottled water at some national parks that was aimed at easing plastic pollution and the huge amount of waste being recycled.

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Elon Musk backs call for global ban on killer robots. You wouldn't think it would necessary to recommend this, but given the events of the past week...

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Conservatives in the British government are trying to sabotage their nation's health care system too, claims Stephen Hawking.

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Android co-founder Andy Rubin has a plan to cure our smartphone addiction. Of course, it involves more technology and trust in artificial intelligence.

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Black cats, outrage, Lee's family, pubic grooming injuries, bubonic plague in Arizona, ETs out to get us...
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Published Thursday, August 17, 2017 @ 3:03 AM EDT
Aug 17 2017


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Today is Thursday, August 17, the 229th day of 2017 in the Gregorian calendar, with 136 days remaining.

This is the 210th day of Donald Trump's presidency. There are 1,252 days remaining in his term, assuming he doesn't resign, is otherwise removed from office, or his unhinged, psychotic behavior results in the destruction of the republic.

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What happened on August 17 from On This Day.

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Among other things, today is also National Black Cat Appreciation Day. Research by the ASPCA shows that black cats are the least likely to be adopted from shelters than any other cat. This can be partly because of the superstition behind black cats, or because they appear dull next to more colorful cats.

This is Pumpkin, our 20-year-old mostly black cat. (She actually "rusts" in bright light, her coat turning a lighter brownish shade.) She is the senior quadruped mammal of the household, and, despite having recently developed diabetes, is still firmly in charge of the other cat and three dogs.

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Florida woman arrested for snorting cocaine in parent pick-up line at school.

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Quote of the day:

"Keep a diary, and someday it'll keep you."
-Mae West (August 17, 1893 - November 22, 1980)
(More Mae West quotes)

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"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention."

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Pence to end international trip early amid Trump controversy. Pence's office said the vice president was returning to Washington on Thursday night instead of Friday morning to attend the president's meeting at Camp David. One can always hope there's another reason.

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Steve Bannon thought he wasn't giving an interview. He was wrong. "Here's what one of Bannon's colleagues- somebody who's not an enemy of his- told me after reading the piece: 'Since Steve apparently enjoys casually undermining U.S. national security, I'll put this in terms he'll understand: This is DEFCON 1-level bad.'" Here's the piece: Steve Bannon, Unrepentant.

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Robert E. Lee's descendants fine with removing Confederate statues. Background: Confederate Army Gen. Robert E. Lee was vilified in the North during the Civil War only to be transformed in the decades afterward into a heroic icon of "The Lost Cause," admired by many on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line. Here's how that happened. There's also The Atlantic's The myth of the kindly General Lee.

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President Trump's personal lawyer on Wednesday forwarded an email to conservative journalists, government officials and friends that echoed secessionist Civil War propaganda and declared that the group Black Lives Matter "has been totally infiltrated by terrorist groups." (The New York Times)

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Presidents are inevitably targets for late-night comedy; Donald Trump has become something more. He has inspired a new form of late-night performance: comedy-outrage.

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Children of Catholic priests live with secrets and sorrow. Their exact number can't be known, but with more than 400,000 priests worldwide, many of them inconstant in their promise of celibacy, the potential for unplanned children is vast.

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As if we don't have enough problems, fleas carrying bubonic plague have been found in Arizona. and North Dakota has the first case of a resident getting the flu from a pig.

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Interesting statistic to bring up at the water cooler: A quarter of people hurt themselves while grooming their pubic hair.

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Preview: what it was like in Chicago during the last full solar eclipse. I recall the last partial solar eclipse I saw: May 10, 1994. We were attending an honors lunch for my son who was graduating from high school that year. We stood in the parking lot of the restaurant and stole glances at it. It was almost, but not quite, a total eclipse. I recall it definitely feeling cooler, and that the trees cast strange, crescent-shaped shadows on the ground. And also the chicken at the lunch had the consistency of rubber.

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Aliens could conquer Earth by following 'dangerous' maps NASA 'foolishly' sent into space. Of course, if they've been monitoring our news broadcasts recently, they'll probably stay the hell away from us.

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What do you know- we made it through an entire week! Fingers crossed, see you on Monday...

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Executive blanch, National Rum Day, armed strip club selfies, FDA follies
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Published Wednesday, August 16, 2017 @ 3:30 AM EDT
Aug 16 2017

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Today is Wednesday, August 16, the 228th day of 2017 in the Gregorian calendar, with 137 days remaining.

This is the 209th day of Donald Trump's presidency. There are 1,253 days remaining in his term, assuming he doesn't resign, is otherwise removed from office, or his unhinged, psychotic behavior results in the destruction of the republic.

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What happened on August 16 from On This Day.

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Among other things, today is also National Rum Day. If you don't drink, given the events of the past few days, now would be an appropriate time to start.

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Florida man gets six years in prison for firing gun while taking selfie in strip club.

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Quote of the day:

"Show me a man who lives alone and has a perpetually clean kitchen, and eight times out of nine I'll show you a man with detestable spiritual qualities."
-Charles Bukowski (August 16, 1920 – March 9, 1994)
(More Charles Bukowski quotes)

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I swear every Trump press conference begins with him turning to an aide and saying, "Here, hold my beer..."

In the words of his staff, Trump "went rogue" at a press event at Trump Tower yesterday. Instead of delivering his prepared comments, he let loose with an unhinged, lunatic speech, the moral depths of which are unequaled in Presidential history and which even stunned commentators on Fox News.

You have to feel bad for late night talk show hosts. They generally tape their programs between 5 and 6 pm eastern time, and often news breaks too late to include in that evening's program. Stephen Colbert has said they've done shows and then had to record a second monologue to replace the outdated original.

Our first video highlight is Jim Jeffries on Comedy Central, which was recorded prior to Trump's Tuesday bout of insanity, but it still valid:

Seth Meyers couldn't do a full 12-minute "Closer Look" on his show last night, and had to settle for a two-minute "Breaking Crazy" segment:

Stephen Colbert did a full 15 minutes. This isn't the official CBS video, so it may be yanked by YouTube. Colbert's official CBS page is here. Given the cutaways, it would appear Colbert gave his writers time to come up with new material to drop in at airtime.

I lived through the riots of the 60s, Watergate, Reagan, the Clinton impeachment, Bush-Cheney, and nothing has been as bad as this. I'm starting to believe the stupid people are gaining, and that unless quick action is taken, the harm Trump has inflicted upon us in seven short months may be permanent. Impeachment, 25th amendment... it's time for the adults in Washington to put aside party differences and act responsibly. Pence is no winner, either, but I don't believe he will allow the office of the President to rot from within.

Let your Senators and Congressmen know how you feel. The easiest way is with your cell phone. Text "resist" to Resistbot at 50409. They'll walk you through it. Your message will be faxed to your Senators' offices. Senators pay attention to faxes. Try it; it works!

Finally, my friend Bruce Thompson noted on Facebook that all this insanity that started with the 2016 election season occurred after CERN switched on their Large Hadron Collider. Maybe this is the black hole they were warning us about...

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Obama's response to Charlottesville violence is the most liked tweet in Twitter's history.

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A Trump meltdown for the ages.

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Fox News, Daily Caller delete posts encouraging people to drive through protests.

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Trump threat to Obamacare would send premiums and deficits higher.

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Flimsy evidence behind many FDA approvals. Many drugs granted accelerated approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lack clear evidence of safety and effectiveness, and the same is true for most high-risk medical devices, according to two new reports in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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In the future, your body won't be buried... you'll dissolve.

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Failure, relaxation, hookah-smoking caterpillars, Julia Child, the future ain't what it used to be
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Published Tuesday, August 15, 2017 @ 2:25 AM EDT
Aug 15 2017

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Today is Tuesday, August 15, the 227th day of 2017 in the Gregorian calendar, with 138 days remaining. This is the 208th day of Donald Trump's presidency. There are 1,254 days remaining in his term, assuming he doesn't resign or is otherwise removed from office.

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What happened on August 15 from On This Day.

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A fake image of Trump golfing.
But it was the best example image of
National Failures Day and National Relaxation Day.

Among other things, today is also National Failures Day. It's also National Relaxation Day, so don't worry about it.

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Florida man arrested after telling police a hookah-smoking caterpillar told him to damage a construction site.

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Quote of the day:

"It's so beautifully arranged on the plate- you know someone's fingers have been all over it."
-Julia Child (August 15, 1912 – August 13, 2004)
(More Julia Child quotes)

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Charlottesville, Virginia: see our Facebook page.

Nasty 60s flashback

I have to best honest... this year has sucked on so many levels. It's like I'm having a flashback to 1968, another spectacularly unpleasant year.

While Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In premiered in January, it was all downhill from there. Since I read the morning newspaper every day with my grandfather, I was aware of what was happening in the world. The Tet Offensive; civil rights disturbances in Wisconsin and in the south; McCarthy nearly beating LBJ in New Hampshire; Bobby Kennedy entering the race; Johnson saying he won't run; Martin Luther King, Jr. assassinated two weeks before the Civil Rights Act is passed; students shutting down Columbia University for a week; a million riot in Paris; Andy Warhol shot- and that was just through May.

In June, on the first day of band camp- and, technically, me becoming a high school sophomore- my grandmother awakened me in tears, yelling that Bobby Kennedy had been shot. I walked the ten blocks to school; the band director, sitting on the steps to the gym, waved to us to go home.

During the summer, as we worked on rudimentary marching routines, the Pope banned birth control, Czechoslovakia was invaded, France developed its own hydrogen bomb, and the Democrats held a memorable convention in Chicago.

I turned 14 on September 11, my voice finally started to change, and I was acclimating to high school life. Then Nixon was elected, I contracted acute nephritis then caught the Hong Kong flu while hospitalized. I did make it home in time for Christmas and to see Apollo 8 broadcast from the moon.

So far this year I haven't been able to secure a job with any health care benefits, and finances are dismal. Several friends and relatives have developed serious illnesses or had their conditions worsen. I either need new glasses, or I'll have to drag the 36" LED down from the den to use as a monitor. Two of our Shelties are over 13, one is blind and losing his hearing, and our 20 year old cat developed diabetes which we haven't been able to control so far with insulin injections.

The personal stuff I can handle. It's the sense of existential doom that seems to be expanding every day. Someone once said, "The future ain't what it used to be," an understatement if there every was one. I vividly remember my grandmother telling me while watching the riots on television, "I won't live to see it, but your grandchildren won't have to deal with this. Every generation gets better."

I fervently believed that until about ten years ago. It was then I noticed things had started going sideways.

It was really driven home to me today. I attended a rally to condemn white supremacy and, frankly, it looked like an AARP meeting. The majority of those in attendance were retirees, with a few 20-40 year olds and a couple teenagers. Then I returned home and watched the tapes of the weekend's rally in Charlottesville. Most of the Nazis and supremacists appeared to be young, most under 30.

What the hell happened? My children and their contemporaries were warned of the evils of racism and religious intolerance. Most of them have maintained that moral bearing. Where did these kids go wrong?

I doubt my audience contains many Xers or millennials, but if you are close to any, awaken them to the dangers that threaten the very fabric of our republic. Find a rally and take them along. Teach them.

Back in the 60s I had no illusion I would be living in a Star Trek utopia during my retirement years. I certainly expected we'd be further along than this. Tell your kids and grandkids to get involved- now! -before we lose even more ground.

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As usual, the sharpest analysis and commentary come not from journalists but late night comedians:

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And of course, there's North Korea, a potential nuclear conflict somehow buried by all the other horrendous news. Fortunately, "Weird Al" Yankovic speaks for us all in the video from HBO's Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. I've included the lyrics so you can sing along. It ranks right up there with the Kingston Trio's Merry Minuet and Tom Lehrer's So Long, Mom and We Will All Go Together When Go.

Would ya annihilate us if you had the chance?
That's such an anti-social thing to do
You've got us crapping our collective pants
May I suggest you take it down a notch or two?

We're not exactly sure why you're upset
Did that Seth Rogan movie make you super mad?
You'd like us if you got to know us, I bet
We're mostly harmless decent people
Hey, we're really not so bad
My point is-

Please don't nuke us, North Korea
Right now we're all a little tense
Believe me,
We don't hate you, frankly,
We don't even think that much about you,
No offense.

Now you might call us bloodthirsty dogs
But that metaphor's not very apt
We're just a bunch of simple fidget-spinning goofy dorks
Who probably couldn't find your country on a map

So, we're not savages or cannibals
Well maybe just a really, really, really small percent
So I think it would be best
If you'd knock off those missle tests

Don't turn us into cinder while we're swipin' right on Tinder
Don't jump-start Armageddon or our beds we'll soon be wettin',
Won't you think this through for a moment, please?
Now why would you bomb our nice celebrities?
Oh, why in the world would you kill Tom Hanks?
'Cause nobody doesn't like Tom Hanks!

So, please don't nuke us, North Korea
That would seriously ruin our day
Remember, we're not evil, psychotic monsters
No matter what the news may say
We're just the goof balls from the U... S....
   Please don't nuke us!
   Please don't nuke us!
   Please don't nuke us!
..A!
Hey!

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Creamsicle Day, nugget pelting, Steve Martin, Charlottesville, drunk goldfish, Mt. Lebo rally
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Published Monday, August 14, 2017 @ 12:02 AM EDT
Aug 14 2017

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Today is Monday, August 14, the 226th day of 2017 in the Gregorian calendar, with 139 days remaining. This is the 207th day of Donald Trump's presidency. There are 1,255 days remaining in his term, assuming he doesn't resign or is otherwise removed from office.

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What happened on August 14 from On This Day.

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Among other things, today is also National Creamsicle Day. (incidentally, the difference between a Creamsicle and a Dreamsicle is the center of the former is ice cream, while the center of the latter is ice milk. More Creamsicle lore .)

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Florida woman arrested after pelting brother with chicken nuggets.

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Quote of the day:

"Some people have a way with words, and other people... not have way, I guess."
-Steve Martin (August 14, 1945)
(More Steve Martin quotes)

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Charlottesville, Virginia: see our Facebook page.

I thought I was done with this stuff 50 years ago... going to Rally To Condemn White Nationalism; today, August 14, from 4:30 to 5:30 pm at Congressman Tom Murphy's office, 504 Washington Road, Mt Lebanon, PA 15228. Stop by and say hello.

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Protest and persist: why giving up hope is not an option. "The true impact of activism may not be felt for a generation. That alone is reason to fight, rather than surrender to despair."

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Guy drops phone out of plane while recording and somehow it survives the fall.

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Google spinoff Waymo patents "softer" self-driving cars to protect pedestrians. The cars' exterior would collapse in order to reduce harm in the event of a crash.

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Warren Beatty on 'Bonnie and Clyde' at 50. A bit of trivia: it was Gene Wilder's first motion picture appearance.

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Tom Cruise injured in Mission: Impossible 6 stunt. Tom is 55 now. I quit leaping between buildings in my teens.

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Father of passwords regrets the advice he gave. In 2003, he advised all government departments that passwords should be an entirely random string of letters and symbols. The sorts of things that (you'd imagine) no one could guess and you could never remember. It turned out that these are easier for hackers to crack than, say, weird words that you can actually remember. Like "gobbledegook." Or "nincompoop."

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Drink like a fish, indeed. Goldfish are capable of making their own alcohol.

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State of the climate isn't just getting warmer; scientists saw changes in ice and oceans, too.

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A history of solar eclipses and bizarre responses to them.

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All KGB Report content is available for free, with no subscription fees or pay walls. If you're a regular reader, please consider making a donation here, with your PayPal account (credit cards also accepted)... it's secure and protected. Or, send a donation to 1512 Annette Avenue, South Park, PA 15129. Becoming a patron will also get you free copies of any new books we publish on Amazon or Kindle and reduced prices on any other products. Thanks for your support!

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