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Headless fire ants

first_imgWhen the ants stop foraging, the colony weakens. Scientists at the University of Georgia, the USDA-ARS in Gainesville, Fla., and other universities in the Southeast are releasing parasitic flies with the hopes of reducing the fire ant population in the South.Didn’t bring their enemies“Fire ants came from Brazil and Argentina,” said Wayne Gardner, an entomologist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “Unfortunately for us, they didn’t bring their 30 to 50 natural enemies with them.” “They rear the flies in their laboratory and provide them to cooperators in the individual states,” Gardner said. “The flies are then strategically introduced to sites in each state.”Off with their headsThe female fly stings the ant and lays an egg inside her body. “It’s a painful sting,” Gardner said. “You can tell by the way the ant goes into contortions.” The egg hatches in the ant, and the larva grows and develops inside the body. “When the larva hatches, it eats the ant from the inside out and the ant’s head falls off,” said Gardner. “It’s basically a decapitating fly, which is amazing.” When a new species becomes an invasive pest, like the fire ant, controlling it is like “constantly playing catch up,” he said. USDA scientists are coordinating the release of phorid flies to sites in southeastern states, including Georgia. The flies, which are smaller than gnats, come from areas in South America where fire ants are native. Gardner and his UGA colleagues have used natural enemies to fight insect pests for 15 years. “It’s not as easy as just finding a natural enemy of the ant and bringing it here,” he said. “It takes time and resources to go into their native range, collect and study them and get a point where we know it’s safe to introduce them here.” The scientists are testing the effectiveness of nine species of parasitic flies. Each species attacks different size ants and at different times of day. Cuts their appetites“The flies definitely kill fire ants, but they actually cause more harm to fire ant populations by looking for ants to sting,” Gardner said. “The ants sense the wing beat of the adult flies, know that their enemies are in the area and quit foraging.” By Sharon OmahenUniversity of Georgia If you’ve ever been stung by a fire ant, you probably wished they’d all get sick and their heads would fall off. Agricultural scientists are working to do just that. Gardner’s team has introduced two species in at least 6 sites in central and south Georgia. They are also seeing flies spread into northern, western and southern counties from releases made in the bordering states of Tennessee, Alabama and Florida. The researchers don’t expect the flies to solve the fire ant problem in the South. “Will we see areas that are totally devoid of fire ants?” Gardner said. “No, but we may see one mound instead of 10 in a row.”last_img read more

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Argentine Canines Help Confiscate $1.5 Million

first_img Around 300 dogs trained to sniff the vehicles and suitcases of travelers crossing the Argentine border have helped to confiscate 1.5 million smuggled dollars over the last six months, a customs official announced. “We have 300 canines specialized in detecting dollars and euros, with more emphasis during the tourist season due to the numbers of tourists. The law allows travelers to take no more than $10,000 per person, out of the country,” Siomara Ayerán, the director of the customs service, said at a press conference. The canines, Labradors and Golden Retrievers by breed, lend the services of their trained noses in the port terminals of the Argentine capital, from which ferry services depart for Uruguay, and at the land border crossings to that neighboring country. In the Buenos Aires port terminal alone, “$1.5 million were seized in the last six months,” according to the official report. “Argentina is exporting trained canines to Latin America and Africa. The dogs are taught to find cash the same way as when they look for drugs. The distinguishing factor is the ink on the bills,” Ayerán said. In an upcoming phase, the bloodhounds will be used at the Argentine capital’s Jorge Newbery Metropolitan Airport (domestic flights and flights to neighboring countries) and also at the border crossings with Bolivia and Paraguay, according to sources at AFIP, the state revenue agency. By Dialogo December 21, 2011last_img read more

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Mocoa, a Mitigated Disaster

first_imgBy Marian Romero/Diálogo May 26, 2017 During the night of March 31st and the early morning hours of April 1st, heavy rains caused the Mocoa, Mulato, and San Goyaco rivers to overflow their banks in the Colombian department of Putumayo. The overwhelming force of the water caused landslides and mudslides that destroyed 17 neighborhoods in the city, as well as access roads. To date, the toll is 328 dead and more than 400 injured. The Colombian Army responded that very night when the water reached the crisis center it shared with specialized agencies such as the fire department, civil defense, and the Red Cross. Brigadier General Adolfo Hernández Martínez, commander of the 27th Jungle Brigade of the Colombian Army’s 6th Division, was in charge of organizing the military groups that arrived to rescue those affected by the floods. The Engineering Battalion in that area is located in the municipality of Puerto Asis, less than two hours from Mocoa. The detachment has squads specialized in disaster response. They wasted no time rescuing people trapped amid the mud and debris in the early morning hours. “That first response was important because the victims had a large group of soldiers from the battalion who came in with night vision goggles to rescue people who were cut off by the river currents in the most affected areas. The Army provided first aid to the victims,” Brig. Gen. Hernández said. On April 1st, the National Disaster Risk Management Unit (UNGRD, per its Spanish acronym) arrived in Mocoa, charged with coordinating the emergency response with all of the agencies that make up the national risk management system. “Per UNGRD’s directive, each government entity is responsible for rebuilding and providing support according to its specialty. In an emergency like this, agencies are not enough. The disaster outstrips local and regional capacities. That’s why the Army is the support that boosts effective response in risk management,” Brig. Gen. Hernández explained. Other units of the Colombian Army, Navy, and Air Force arrived the following day in helicopters to deliver donations, later using those helicopters in the search-and-rescue efforts. The three services provided 26 airplanes for support in the emergency. Several of the planes continued to do reconnaissance flights for weeks over rivers and streams to make timely reports on possible displacements, as the nation is still in its rainy season. Military organization and logistics are essential Tons of aid were received and cataloged by the risk response group. “Since there was so much humanitarian aid, the packages were distributed throughout Mocoa. The logistics management orchestrated by the Army allowed for an orderly delivery,” Brig. Gen. Hernández said. The emergency response was conducted without a hitch. The case of Mocoa is one of the natural disaster episodes resolved in the most organized way, precisely because military logistics were included throughout its execution. “Emergency response has become a specialty for the nation’s Armed Forces. For decades we have been training in order to take on these kinds of contingencies,” Brig. Gen. Hernández said. “The tragedy in Mocoa showed the training and readiness that our personnel have. Our soldiers know how to act efficiently in order to minimize the impact of the disaster.” Bridge construction in record time and shelters for the population One of the most important means of support to restore Mocoa’s communication with the rest of the nation was the building of a bridge over the San Antonio River. Members of the Engineering Battalion worked day and night on the 52-ton, 42.67-meter-long structure that will benefit more than 500,000 residents. Brigadier General Emilio Cardozo, commander of the Engineering Command, explained that “this bridge is the most important connecting link between the departments of Huila and Vichada, and we gave it the logistics push that the emergency required. Without that bridge, all of the aid would have had to arrive by air.” Once the rescue efforts were finished, the Army focused on issues such as improving mobility by removing rocks and mud from the roads, restoring basic services, and maintaining shelters for the victims. The Engineering Battalion was in charge of two of the 11 shelters that took in the residents during the tragedy. The larger of these was set up at the Putumayo Institute of Technology, where they provided a roof, food, and medical and psychological care for 968 people. The other smaller one was at a school in that sector. “These shelters were essential for the people affected to be able to stabilize themselves emotionally. Meanwhile, they were able to begin overcoming the impact of the tragedy and were able to set themselves up in other dwellings [with] friends or relatives, or they made use of the rental subsidies that the government offers,” Brig. Gen. Cardozo said. Stabilization, tracking, and prevention The overflowing of rivers in Mocoa brought with it tons of mud and rocks that knocked down several buildings in their path. The flooding destroyed the aqueduct, the power station, and streets and roads, among other structures. To recover damaged structures and restore the aqueduct to full service, the Army is working in coordination with other agencies specialized in rivers and climate, such as the Corporation for Sustainable Development in the Southern Amazon, the Institute of Hydrology, Weather, and Environmental Studies, and the Colombian Geological Service, among others. A helicopter has been dedicated to transporting the 450 tubes required to rebuild the aqueduct, while other units do daily monitoring of the rivers at their highest points. “According to the technical opinion, it is essential that rocks measuring three to five meters high be pulverized with explosives. This is to restore water flow in the rivers and to keep them from getting any closer to the urban center,” Brig. Gen. Hernández said. “In Colombia, we are still in the rainy season and people in this sector are fearful. The monitoring work has helped give the citizens peace of mind, because they know that every day we are working so that tragedies like these don’t happen again,” he concluded.last_img read more

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Long Island Featured Events – May 2013

first_imgRihanna: Diamonds World TourBarclays Center, 620 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn. May 4 & 5HairThe Public Theater’s new Tony-winning production of Hair is an electric celebration on stage! This exuberant musical about a group of young Americans searching for peace and love in a turbulent time has struck a resonant chord with audiences young and old. Hair features unforgettable songs, including “Aquarius,” “Let the Sun Shine In,” “Good Morning, Starshine” and “Easy to Be Hard.” Its continuing relevance is undeniable. Its energy is unbridled. Its truth is unwavering. It’s Hair, and it’s time! Tilles Center, 720 Northern Blvd., Greenvale. May 5The BreedersWebster Hall, 125 E. 11th St., Manhattan. May 6Little BootsFlashback to 2009: One of the year’s most fevered pop breakthroughs emerges from the depths of clubland with a crossover dance-pop track called “Stuck on Repeat,” an infectious club hit produced by Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard, shortly followed by the chart-topping debut album, Hands. But the first real commercial head-turning moment from English electropop singer-songwriter and DJ Little Boots’ second LP is the buzzing groovy disco-pop team-up with NYC heavy-hitters The Knocks, “Headphones” is an inspired loopy, sample-laden crossover. With remixes from house and garage producer Todd Edwards, French dance royalty Dimitri and pop-chanteuse Ronika, Little Boots is dominating the dance-pop scene. She’s also released a remix app for iPhone, which allows users to remix “Remedy”, “Meddle” and “New in Town.” With Avan Lava & Feathers. Music Hall of Williamsburg, 66 N. Sixth St., Brooklyn. May 7Choice Streets Food Truck EventDozens of food trucks including Hibachi Heaven, Mac Truck, Miami Food Machine, Comme Ci Comme Ca, Mexico Blvd., Rhong Tiam, Solber Pupusas, The Squeeze and more will convene at Pier 86 of The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Complex. Spun off from The Village Voice’s Choice Eats restaurant-tasting event, Choice Streets is set to feature samples from 25 of NYC’s favorite and highly sought-after food trucks! This year’s event will include complimentary food tasting, beverages, entertainment throughout the night and free private tours of the Intrepid. Visit www.villagevoice.com for details. May 7Wendy WilliamsThe TV host and former Hot 97 DJ will speak and sign her new book, Ask Wendy. Wendy has been giving out advice for more than 25 years, first on her popular radio show and then every weekday on TV. Now Wendy’s answering your questions. Have a problem with your husband? Are you constantly fighting with your mom? Do you think it’s time you break up with your BFF? If you’ve got a question, Wendy has an answer! Barnes & Noble, 97 Warren St., Manhattan. May 7; Also at Book Revue, 313 New York Ave., Huntington. May 10The Original MTV VJsBack in the day when MTV played music, these guys rocked. Martha Quinn, Nina Blackwood, Alan Hunter & Mark Goodman sit down for a conversation with Gavin Edwards to discuss their new book VJ: The Unplugged Adventures of MTV’s First Wave. Barnes & Noble, 97 Warren St., Manhattan. May 8; Also at Apple Store, 103 Prince St., Manhattan. May 9Les Ballets Trockadero De Monte CarloA unique brand of ballet, dancing a fine line between high art and high camp, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo is a company of dancers performing the full range of the ballet and modern dance repertoire. Men dance all the parts—swans, sylphs, water sprites, romantic princesses, and angst-ridden Victorian ladies. The “Trocks” comedy is achieved by incorporating and exaggerating the foibles, accidents, and underlying incongruities of serious dance. Staller Center, Stony Brook University, Nicolls Road, Stony Brook. May 11History of Bank RobberyThe first bank robbery in the United States occurred in Philadelphia in 1798. By the mid-19th century, bank robbers in urban areas became more and more sophisticated, cracking safes with precision tools and sometimes resorting to explosives. A race between the robbers and the safe manufacturers, similar to current technological battles with hackers, went on for years. Presented by Wilbur Miller, professor of history at Stony Brook University, this chronicle of bank robbery will highlight famous robbers and efforts to bring them to justice, from the Philadelphia criminals to Willie Sutton through the present day. Sachem Public Library, 150 Holbrook Rd., Holbrook. May 13The KillersMadison Square Garden, 4 Penn Plaza, Manhattan. May 14; Also at Barclays Center, 620 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn. May 18Beth HartIn the late ’90s, Beth Hart garnered mainstream popularity after “LA Song (Out of This Town),” aired during the final season of Beverly Hills, 90210. Hart soon lost everything—her label, tours, TV appearances—while battling drug and alchohol addiction. It’s taken her about a decade to get back on her feet, but she’s done it. Earlier this year, at the Kennedy Center Honors, Beth Hart delivered the most riveting performance of the evening with Jeff Beck when they paid tribute to blues legend Buddy Guy. Beth’s rendition of “I’d Rather Go Blind” marked her first U.S. TV appearance in more than a decade. She blew everyone away, and her performance was received with a rare non-honoree standing ovation. With Christine Santelli. City Winery, 155 Varick St., Manhattan. May 13, 16 & 17ParamoreHammerstein Ballroom, 311 W. 34th St., Manhattan. May 16Joe BonamassaWhen he was only 12 years old, Joe Bonamassa opened for blues legend B.B. King at Westbury Music Fair. Since then the Award-winning blues rock star, singer-songwriter and upstate New York native has debuted eight albums at the number one spot on the Billboard Blues Chart and played with other legendary guitar greats from Buddy Guy to Eric Clapton. Besides his solo work, Bonamassa has kept himself busy with the formation of the band Black Country Communion, featuring Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple), Jason Bonham (Led Zeppelin, Foreigner) and Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater, Billy Idol). Just in the past year, Bonamassa has put out two records and a DVD, and started a world tour. “I never get tired of it,” Bonamassa tells the Press. “I enjoy it, I’ve been doing this for 20 years at this point. It’s been a blessing and a real privilege.” Beacon Theatre, 2124 Broadway, Manhattan. May 16, 17 & 18The Great Googamooga FestivalHeadliners The Yeah Yeah Yeahs and The Flaming Lips help turn Prospect Park into an amusement park of food, drink and music all weekend long. Eat and drink from 85 top restaurants and more than 50 wineries and breweries. Enjoy themed parties, lively presentations and demonstrations, and catch performances by artists ranging from indie rock to New Orleans Jazz to Italian pop. Prospect Park, Brooklyn. www.googamooga.com. May 17, 18 & 19Electric Daisy CarnivalThis Friday and Saturday, CitiField will be completely transformed into an immersive landscape complete with over-the-top production, special effects, and multiple stages of world-class music with dozens of performers including Afrojack and Calvin Harris. But what’s a carnival without rides? EDC’s landscape is an oversized adult playground dotted with all of your favorite full-sized carnival rides that are free for everyone. Floating chandeliers illuminate the plush VIP tables and state-of-the-art LED paneling, lasers and pyrotechnics bring each unique stage design to life. From giant misting daisies perched above the crowd to forests of light and sound, the entire venue will be transformed by theatrical performances, special effects, fire displays, water works, and illuminated art. CitiField, Queens. www.electricdaisycarnival.com. May 17 & 18AntiFlagThe Studio at Webster Hall, 125 E. 11th St., Manhattan. May 18 & 19BNB Superbowl of HardcoreFeaturing Judge, Breakdown, Bane, Black Train Jack, Strife, District 9, Take Offense, Altercation, The Old Firm Casuals, Fire And Ice, Arrabio, Downpresser, and Judge Breakdown. Webster Hall, 125 E. 11th St., Manhattan. May 19Toots & The MaytalsWesthampton Beach Performing Arts Center, 76 Main St., Westhampton Beach. May 19Colbie Caillat w/Vicci MartinezThe Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. May 23Bethpage Federal Credit Union Air ShowLong Island’s official kickoff to summer, this year’s Jones Beach Air Show celebrates its 10th anniversary and will include appearances by stunt pilots and the Royal Canadian Force F18 Demo Team. Air National Guard Lt. Col. John Klatt will fly the world-famous Staudacher S-300D aerobatic aircraft and the Miss GEICO powerboat racing team will challenge their airborne counterpart, a member from the GEICO Skytypers, on the water. The event runs from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on both days, but make sure to get there early to save your spot! Jones Beach, Ocean Parkway, Wantagh. www.jonesbeachairshow.com. May 25 & 26The ShinsSince 1996, The Shins front man James Mercer has turned what was originally a side project into a full band with an international following that began with their debut Oh, Inverted World, considered to be one of the definitive albums in the indie rock genre. Along with Mercer, the band’s current lineup includes singer/songwriter Richard Swift, Modest Mouse drummer Joe Plummer, Yuuki Matthews of Crystal Skulls and Mark Watrous. Williamsburg Park, North 12th Street and Kent Avenue, Brooklyn. May 26Lez ZeppelinStephen Talkhouse, 61 Main St., Amagansett. May 26Kevin JamesKevin James broke into the film world in 2005 in Columbia Pictures’ Hitch by starring opposite Will Smith, but his comedy career had started before that as a stand-up on Long Island. The King of Queens star heads back to LI Thursday night for two back-to-back shows. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. 877-598-8694. May 30The Dandy WarholsHaving established themselves as musical icons with their songs “Bohemian Like You,” “Not If You Were The Last Junkie On Earth,” and “We Used To Be Friends,” The Dandy Warhols mark the 13th anniversary this year of Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia. To celebrate the occasion, and in anticipation of the forthcoming reissue on CD, vinyl and limited-edition vinyl boxset, the band will perform Thirteen Tales live in its entirety. Terminal 5, 610 W. 56th St., Manhattan. May 31 Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Ideas City FestivalIdeas City FestivalA major arts and education collaborative in downtown Manhattan, Ideas City is a biennial festival of conferences, workshops, art and performances around the Bowery, with more than 100 independent projects and public events that are forums for exchanging ideas, proposing solutions, and accelerating creativity. This year’s theme is Untapped Capital, with participants focused on resources that are under-recognized or underutilized in our cities. Artists, architects, poets, technologists, historians, community activists, entrepreneurs, and ecologists share their ideas through this innovative, minimal-waste event, with street activities including artists’ projections on the New Museum building. New Museum, 235 Bowery, Manhattan. www.ideas-city.org. May 1-4Marky Ramone’s BlitzkriegThe punk drumming icon and his band will be fronted by the king of partying, Andrew W.K., to perform more than 30 of Marky’s classics that took him from the halcyon stage of CBGB’s to touring around the world. “When Marky Ramone asks you to be his singer, you don’t even think about it,” says W.K. “It’s an automatic YES! There’s never been better rock ’n’ roll music made than this, and I will give everything I have to do it justice.” This show kicks off the historic pairing’s world tour. Santos Party House, 96 Lafayette St., Manhattan. May 3Fear FactoryGramercy Theatre, 127 E. 23rd St., Manhattan. May 2; Also with Hate Eternal @ Revolution Bar & Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville. May 3The New Yorker’s 8th Annual Passport to the ArtsPick up a program guide, a map, and an official passport at the Passport to the Arts headquarters, located at AFA gallery, 54 Greene St., Manhattan. At each gallery on this self-guided tour, passports will be stamped with a replica of a featured work of art by established and emerging artists. Guests are invited to stop by Gallow Green at the McKittrick Hotel from noon to 6 p.m. and after the tour, participants can attend a cocktail party featuring a silent auction of 19 artworks. Visit passport.newyorkeronthetown.com for details. May 4George LopezNYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. 516-334-0800. May 4last_img read more

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A question CUs need to be asking now

first_imgHow effective are credit union plans for addressing pandemics and business continuity?It’s a question credit unions need to be asking right now as the coronavirus outbreak continues to grow. Death tolls this week topped 1,100, with a record 100 officially reported as getting sick in a day. The coronavirus has already surpassed SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) in number of affected and killed.Experts told CUToday.info the growth of the coronavirus that CUs should be reviewing their pandemic and business continuity plans, which likely have not been visited since the SARS outbreak in 2002.“I think it’s too early to tell what kind of impact the coronavirus may have here in the U.S.,” said NAFCU Vice President of Regulatory Compliance Brandy Bruyere about the potential effects on personal health and credit unions’ business. “We’re just trying to make sure credit unions have the resources they need to take a look at this so they can be ahead of this.” continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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Cheers and Jeers: Wednesday

first_imgPersonally, I prefer to drink mine.  Mainly because noshing on healthy food gives my liver a false sense of hope.–Ten years ago in C&J: November 11, 2010CHEERS to green shoots.  Are ya ready for some Good Newwwwwws???!!!  Okay, perhaps that build-up was a bit excessive but, hey, it’s kinda hope-inducing:The nation’s economic stress fell in September to a 16-month low, thanks to more hiring in New England, fewer foreclosures in the mid-Atlantic and declining bankruptcy filings in the Southeast, according to The Associated Press’ monthly analysis of conditions around the country.  Eighty percent of the nation’s 3,141 counties enjoyed some month-over-month easing of economic pain, the AP’s Economic Stress Index shows. Meanwhile, at the center of the universe, Goldman Sachs was fined $650,000 for assorted non-disclosure skullduggery, after they failed to convince the SEC of their innocence with the excuse “My dog ate my business ethics.”  As usual, the fine will be paid out of the petty cash drawer’s petty cash drawer.–And just one more…CHEERS to the playthings of our lives.  Lost in all the hubbub over the elections, the Covid vaccine news, and other assorted headline stealers is the biggest story of the month.  I’m speaking, of course, about the 2020 inductees into the National Toy Hall of Fame. The winners:Baby Nancy  In 1968, Shindana produced Baby Nancy, a baby doll with a dark complexion and textured hair. By Thanksgiving, she was the best-selling Black doll in Los Angeles, and before Christmas, she was selling nationwide. The following year, Shindana gave the baby doll an Afro, challenging white beauty norms and making her the first toy with authentic Black hair. The popularity of Baby Nancy exposed a long-standing demand for ethnically correct Black dolls that the mainstream market had failed to deliver previously.2020ToyHallofFameinductees.jpgSidewalk Chalk  Historians have every reason to believe that the earliest people played with chalk, and traces of Paleolithic cave art executed in chalk have been found throughout the world. Chalk that was used on early boards was made of gypsum, the dihydrate form of calcium sulfate. Great masterpieces, clever doodles, informational expressions, educational lessons, and games like tic-tac-toe, hopscotch, and four square all dance together on the tip of a piece of chalk, waiting to be freed by a child’s whim.Jenga Englishwoman Leslie Scott created Jenga based on wooden blocks from her childhood in Africa. The word jenga is the imperative form of kujenga, the Swahili verb “to build.” Curator Nicolas Ricketts says, “Fans say that much of Jenga’s success lies in its simplicity and ability to be played by almost anyone. It is one of the rare games that’s equally fun for two people or a bigger crowd.”Our downstairs neighbors have a homemade game of Jenga that shakes the whole house when the tower falls because they made it out of blocks of wood that weigh about two pounds each. Or, I should say, they used to. Best twenty bucks I ever spent on the local neighborhood unemployed termite guild.Have a happy humpday. Go play. Floor’s open…What are you cheering and jeering about today?–Today’s Shameless C&J Testimonial“As you can imagine, we’re very excited to be here in the Cheers and Jeers kiddie pool.”—Crew Dragon Commander Michael  Hopkins– More Vonnegut…✌  Being a Humanist means trying to behave decently without expectation of rewards or punishment after you are dead.✌  “Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith. I consider the capacity for it terrifying.”Author Kurt Vonnegut“So it goes…”✌  “A show of hands, please: How many of you have had a teacher at any stage of your education, from the first grade until this day in May, who made you happier to be alive, prouder to be alive, than you had previously believed possible? Good! Now say the name of that teacher to someone sitting or standing near you. All done? If this isn’t nice, what is?”✌  “As for preparing this country against an attack from anti-missile anti-missile anti-missiles by developing an anti-missile anti-missile anti-missile anti-missile, I may be in the minority, but I think the American people should spend the money on hospitals and housing and schools and Ferris wheels instead.”✌  “Simplicity of language is not only reputable, but perhaps even sacred. The Bible opens with a sentence well within the writing skills of a lively fourteen-year-old: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”✌  No matter how corrupt, greedy, and heartless our government, our corporations, our media, and our religious and charitable institutions may become, the music will still be wonderful. If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph: The Only Proof He Needed For The Existence Of God Was Music.And, of course, my personal adopted motto:✌  I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don’t let anybody tell you different.- Advertisement – The front of the new $20 will feature the portrait of Harriet Tubman, whose life was dedicated to fighting for liberty. The reverse of the new $20 will depict the White House and an image of President Andrew Jackson. I’m not a fan of keeping “Genocide Jackson” on the twenty, but there’s a positive way to look at it: when the new 20s go into circulation, Trump’s favorite POTUS will forevermore be kissing Harriet’s ass.CHEERS and “Alki!” to the Evergreen State.  Washington was admitted as our 42nd state on November 11, 1889. It’s a very cool state—pot has been legal for a long time, the government is Big D, and Seattle is like the upper-left thumbtack that keeps our country’s map from curling down towards the red states in the middle.  To mark the occasion, some people might enjoy biting into a nice juicy Washington apple.  Here, help yourself…WashingtonApples.jpg Note: Due to the Veterans Day holiday, there is no bus service today.  However, volunteers from the American Legion will be available to fire you out of a cannon to within a hundred yards of your destination.  —Mgt.–By the Numbers:Generic graphic for open enrollment on the Healthcare.gov exchangeEnrollment ends in 34 days!!!- Advertisement – CHEERS to staring down tyranny right to its big stupid orange face. There’s been a lot of concern the last few days about a “slow-motion coup” being perpetrated by the impeached, twice-popular-vote-losing lame-duck one-term president. Senators aren’t congratulating Joe Biden! Bill Barr is telling U.S. Attorneys they can do investigations that they won’t end up doing! The GSA isn’t letting the incoming administration see how badly the current one fucked everything up! Auntie Em, Auntie Em, it’s a twister, it’s a twister!!! Relax, everybody. Breathe in…breathe out…and listen to guy-who-knows-stuff Ben Wittes of the Lawfare blog:Hold tight, people. Keep your hand on the plow. Don’t panic. Republican elected and appointed officials are behaving terribly. It is democratically corrosive. It is very bad. But here is what’s going to happen.trumpboat.pngIt is, as they say, over.States are going to finish counting their votes. Litigation challenges to their efforts to do so are going to fail. States will certify their results within the safe harbor deadline—making them dispositive for congressional purposes. Electors, having been elected, will vote and send their votes to Congress. Congress will count the votes, entitling Joe Biden to become president.A lot of bad and scary things will happen along the way, but don’t lose sight of that trajectory. … The electors are party activists and loyalists. There is no way—and I mean ZERO chance—that 20-35 of them will defect. There is a certain automaticity to the process once the votes are cast. Let that automaticity play itself out. The president actually has no control over the process from here.Here’s how I look at it. It’s like putting a gremlin in the microwave. Kinda gross and scary but intensely satisfying when the damn thing finally goes Pop. (Although, admittedly, with one big difference: the gremlin makes less of a mess.)CHEERS to Abrams’ Army. For the first time since 1992—Bill Clinton’s first time at bat—Georgia went blue in a presidential election. A slim but insurmountable lead that won’t change much in either direction during the inevitable recount. A huge amount of credit for the organizational skills that led to President-elect Biden’s victory goes to Stacey Abrams, and Reuters has a nice write-up on her efforts, which will now continue as the Senate leadership hangs in the balance:Years of get-out-the-vote efforts spearheaded by Abrams and a legal onslaught against voter suppression from legions of community groups and activists, are behind the Democratic shift, experts say. … “Stacey Abrams made it her business to go out and register people of color,” said Andra Gillespie, a professor of political science at Emory University. “She went out and registered thousands of people to vote and then created the tools to help remind them about the election process.” […]stacey-abrams-scaled.jpgLook up “fearless freedom fighter” in the dictionary…She co-founded the New Georgia Project in 2014 [and] registered 500,000 Georgians to vote, a spokesperson said.After the 2018 election, she and former campaign manager Lauren Groh-Wargo also started Fair Fight, an anti-voter suppression group, and sued not just her opponent, but brought voter protection efforts to over a dozen U.S. states. Abrams’ team identified the need to tap into Georgia’s pool of Black voters, which make up 33% of all registered voters, the largest of any battleground state. But Democrats also need to reach out to about 1.7 million new voters, including young Georgians and those new to the state who are twice as likely to vote Democratic than Republican.Voter turnout in Georgia was more than 74%, Kemp’s office said this week, boosted by early voting by Black Georgians here, up 40% from 2016.Abrams is gearing up to seize this extraordinary moment in her state and win the two U.S. Senate seats that could tip the balance of power in our favor. You can donate to Fair Fight here. And while you’re at it, put a hex on the traitors carved into Stone Mountain and let’s turn them into a lovely bowl of peaches. Who knows? We’ve never tried it before.–BRIEF SANITY BREAK––END BRIEF SANITY BREAK–CHEERS to modernizing our money. Lest we forget, during the last year of President Obama’s two unimpeachable popular-vote-winning terms in office, his Treasury Department made some big modifications to our paper currency that were supposed to go into effect this year. The Trump administration put the brakes on the effort because they honor women and Black people. President-elect Biden will put the new designs back on the front burner, and soon enough these historic rectangular pieces of cotton-linen blend will be vexing America’s racists and misogynists to no end. From a 2016 Treasury Department release Steve Mnuchin has since deleted: The new $5 will honor historic events that occurred at the Lincoln Memorial in service of our democracy, and will feature Martin Luther King, Jr., Marian Anderson, and Eleanor Roosevelt. The front of the new $5 will retain the portrait of President Lincoln.The new $10 will celebrate the history of the women’s suffrage movement, and feature images of Lucretia Mott, Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Alice Paul, alongside the Treasury building. The front of the new $10 will retain the portrait of Alexander Hamilton.Tubman, $20 bill, $20, currencycenter_img Days ’til the end of the Obamacare signup period: 34Date the last taped episode of Jeopardy! with Alex Trebek will air: 12/25/20Percent of Americans who do not want the Affordable Care Act to be overturned, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey: 58%Number by which Joe Biden’s popular vote is expected to top Trump’s: 7 millionPercent of the vote that Trump got in D.C. on November 3rd: 5%Cumberland County, Maine (home of Bill in Portland Maine) vote tally for Biden and Trump, respectively: 129,000 / 59,500Number of steps on the stoop of 123  Sesame Street: 6–Mid-week Rapture Index: 181 (including 5 Marks of the Beast and several dozen demonic Ha-Ha-Ha’s for Jesus). Soul Protection Factor 24 lotion is recommended if you’ll be walking amongst the heathen today.–Puppy Pic of the Day: Good morning, everyone…–CHEERS to our men and women in uniform.  Today is Veterans Day. The memory of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the latter of which we’re still technically fighting, have burned into this country’s brain the fact that military service is a grueling, unpredictable and uncompromising challenge that often means paying a heavy and unexpected price in the pursuit of politician-selected goals that are not always noble or necessary. The military is where we go to become trained killers-of-bad-people and destroyer-of-bad-things in defense of our country, while at the same time serving as de facto U.S. ambassadors when we’re on foreign turf. And while we could go on and on about how our armed forces have been kicking ass for over 244 years—not to mention how we’re about to replace a Commander-in-Chief who referred to our military as “losers” and “suckers” with a new one who ends his speeches with “God bless our troops”—we’ll leave it, as always, at a simple…VeteransDaydogtagscartoon.jpg Happy Birthday, Kurt.  And now, our feature presentation…–Cheers and Jeers for Wednesday, November 11, 2020- Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more

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Germany’s aba rejects PEPP, PensionsEurope sees potential benefits

first_imgIt said a sustainable retirement income policy should be based mainly on expanding workplace pension provision rather than on private pension products.This view has been expressed in the Netherlands, including by the government in its recent comment on the EC consultation, although the Dutch pensions association has softened its position.Germany’s aba said occupational pensions should be “the first choice” when it came to supplementary retirement income.“They can be organised at a collective level, are often good value for money, can balance security against returns and are governed primarily by social and labour law,” it said.The German association said it was against EU-wide harmonisation of personal pension regulation but also against the introduction of a so-called second regime in the form of a pan-European personal pension product (PEPP).It said this would strengthen an individualised – rather than a collective – approach to pensions, and risk undermining existing, efficient systems in operation in EU countries.“Pensions firmly fall in the remit of the EU member states,” it added.PensionsEurope, however, welcomed the Commission’s personal pensions initiative and agreed that a PEPP could have a positive role to play.“PensionsEurope believes a standardised pan-European personal pension product regulated by a second regime – with a defined set of flexible elements – could contribute to the policy objectives of ensuring of high minimum standard of consumer protection,” it said.“It appears as a much more feasible way and would promise superior outcomes than harmonising regimes.”An EU personal pensions “initiative” could be particularly useful as a model for those member states that do not yet have a developed complementary pension savings system, according to the association.It could also be beneficial in more developed pension markets by helping to “enhance the quality of products” there, it said.“A supportive tax treatment is essential for the attractiveness of personal pension products compared with other saving products available at national level,” PensionsEurope said. It added that the Commission’s third-pillar pensions initiative “must respect the exclusive competence of the member states in the field of taxation and of statutory public pensions”.Insurance companies manage around 90% of personal pension assets in the EU, according to the Commission’s consultation document.The European insurance industry association has backed the PEPP initiative but believes the EC’s plan is poorly designed. Germany’s occupational pensions association has come out against the introduction of a pan-European personal pension product (PEPP) in feedback to the European Commission (EC), while PensionsEurope has said it could have a role to play.The EC’s consultation on a potential EU framework for personal pensions closed on Monday.Creating a pan-European third-pillar product is one of the options on which it invited comments, and is the approach recommended by the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA).The aba, Germany’s pensions association, said it registered its opposition to the introduction of a PEPP in its response to the consultation.last_img read more

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Brookville area road closure announced

first_imgBrookville, In. — St. Mary’s Road in Franklin County is closed at Shop Road today for road repair Thursday, August 3.last_img

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Yeager collects pair of wins in Modified Fall Roundup at Sweetwater Speedway

first_imgROCK SPRINGS, Wyo. (Sept. 21-22) – Justen Yeager swept the weekend by winning two features in two days during the Modified Fall Roundup at Sweetwater Speedway.Yeager, who started ninth in the IMCA Xtreme Motor Sports Modified 30-lapper Friday night, reeled in leader Jake Donnelly in the waning laps. That pair, along with Zane DeVilbiss, battled for the top spot before Yeager broke free with two laps to go. Yeager went on to collect the $750 winner’s share.Yeager got to the front a little earlier during Saturday’s 30-lapper. From a seventh place start, Yeager worked around front row starter DeVilbiss on the fourth circuit, then drove away to the $2,000 victory and earned a spot on the 2014 Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot. The race, which was stopped for caution once on lap two, went caution-free over the final 28 circuits.ResultsFriday – 1. Justen Yeager; 2. Jake Donnelly; 3. Zane DeVilbiss; 4. Casey Delp; 5. Greg Scott; 6. Bert Beech; 7. Chris Clark; 8. Travis Metz; 9. Brian Ungaro; 10. Jim Shoemaker; 11. Ronnie Roy; 12. Gordon Kelson Jr.; 13. Jason Donnelly; 14. Dustin Hansen; 15. Chase Hanson.Saturday – 1. Yeager; 2. DeVilbiss; 3. Beech; 4. Ungaro; 5. Hansen; 6. George Ashby; 7. Delp; 8. Scott; 9. Metz; 10. Bryan Wordelman; 11. Clark; 12. Shoemaker; 13. Kelson; 14. Roy; 15. Paul Jones; 16. Jake Donnelly; 17. Michael Hale.last_img read more

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USDA Invests $6.5 Million in Indiana Rural Electric Infrastructure

first_imgGreensburg, IN—Indiana Rural Development State Director Michael Dora announced Wednesday that USDA is investing a 6.5 million through our Electric Loan Program to improve and provide reliable electric infrastructure for Decatur County, Greensburg, Indiana residents. “Improving electric service in rural areas is fundamental for our rural communities’ economic development,” Dora said. “Our loan will significantly help expand, upgrade, and modernize where it is needed most.”Decatur County Rural Electric Membership Corporation is receiving a $6,500,00 loan investment to connect 372 consumers to build and improve 101 miles of broadband line. Decatur, headquartered in Greensburg, Ind., serves 7,995 customers over 1,058 miles of line in six counties in southeastern Indiana.last_img

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