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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Inventor Colin Furze of the British TV show Gadget Geeks is working on a fart machine to blast from the Cliffs of Dover that can be heard in France. "People are always saying 'I would hate to live next to you, you make too much noise' and it's fair to say, I do make a bit of noise and I do do the odd silly thing from time to time. Let's see if we can make a noise that they can hear. The loudest thing I've ever made is a pulse jet. I'm going to make the biggest pulse jet I've ever made, I'm going to take it down to the White Cliffs of Dover, point it towards France, see if they can listen," he said. The event is scheduled for July 24 at 6-7 p.m. local time (1-2 p.m. Eastern in the U.S.). read more


Simon Malloy: The D.C. Circuit Court's decision in Halbig v. Burwell came down yesterday, and in an anticipated but no less galling turn of events, a pair of Republican-appointed judges ruled that a single poorly worded snippet of the Affordable Care Act invalidates subsidies for people who purchased health coverage through the federal exchanges. ... I've been trying to figure out how to best characterize and/or mock the legal reasoning at play behind the Halbig decision, and I think it can be boiled down to one word: Moops. I'm referring, of course, to George Costanza's famous game of Trivial Pursuit against the Bubble Boy, in which Costanza tries to cheat his way out of losing by taking advantage of a misprint on the answer card: "Moops" instead of "Moors." read more


The attorneys for Arizona death row inmate Joseph Wood filed an emergency stay after the state's execution attempt Wednesday afternoon left him "gasping and snorting for more than an hour," according to their motion read. "He is still alive. This execution has violated Wood's Eighth Amendment right to be executed in the absence of cruel and unusual punishment. We respectfully request that this Court stop the execution and require that the Department of Corrections use the lifesaving provisions required in its protocol." Earlier this year, Oklahoma put executions on hold after the drugs used on Clayton Lockett took 43 minutes to kill him, Oklahoma officials said. read more


Many of his friends found girlfriends, and settled down quickly into the marriages, homes and families that Paul craved. Some set Paul up with on blind dates, but they rarely went beyond the first meeting. "I just wasn't up to snuff," Paul says, bitterness in his voice. "They were all looking for richer, more successful men." Feeling left out, Paul turned to the Internet, where he fell into an online community that made him feel less alone. ... More importantly, Paul found a way of understanding the world he found himself in. The ideology underlying many of the sites he visited explained his troubles with women. It accounted for women's "deceit" and "arrogance," and helped provide ways to cope and seemingly emerge on top. read more


National Rifle Association commentator Billy Johnson this week proposed that children be forced to learn shooting skills in order to graduate as part of a plan to enact "gun-required zones" in the United States, and use taxpayer money to subsidize firearm purchases. "Just like we teach them reading and writing, necessary skills. We would teach shooting and firearm competency," he explained. "It wouldn't matter if a child's parents weren't good at it. We'd find them a mentor. It wouldn't matter if they didn't want to learn. We would make it necessary to advance to the next grade." read more


North Dakota's biggest oil producers have picked a side and put money into an obscure election for the state's agriculture commissioner, hoping to ward off a rising Democratic challenger who could limit development of new wells and pipelines. At veterans halls and church suppers around the state, anecdotes abound of cattle escaping when energy workers forget to lock gates, of crops damaged by the saltwater waste byproduct from hydraulic fracturing and of contractors not repairing land after laying pipeline. Such stories are shared by residents who are proud North Dakota is helping the United States achieve greater energy independence, but wary of what comes next. read more


The author Chuck Palahniuk is writing a sequel to his 1996 novel Fight Club as a graphic novel in 10 parts. The comic will be illustrated by Cameron Stewart and be released by Dark Horse Comics in May 2015. Palahniuk told USA Today that the work reveals more about the nature of Tyler Durden. "Tyler is something that maybe has been around for centuries and is not just this aberration that's popped into his mind," he said.


David Grossman, Haaretz: It's maddening to think that the tremendous military power Israel has amassed is not giving it the courage to overcome its fears and existential despair and take a decisive step that will bring peace. The great idea of the founding of the State of Israel is that the Jewish people has returned home, and that here, we will never be victims again. Never shall we be paralyzed and submissive in the face of forces mightier than us. read more


Democrats have made a national cause of turning Texas blue, even though the chances that Wendy Davis will win the governor?s race this fall remain small ? and the likelihood that Texas will be a true battleground any time before 2028 probably even smaller. Georgia, on the other hand, is happening now. Democrats here don?t have to wait for the demographic projections to come true. read more


The mayor of a community just outside Montreal died of anaphylactic shock Sunday after being attacked by wasps while on vacation. La Prairie mayor Lucie Roussel, 51, stepped on a nest and was attacked by 15 wasps. She was allergic to venom from bee and wasp stings but did not have an epinephrine injector with her to counteract anaphylactic shock, a neighbor said. read more


James Pethokoukis, The Week: Call it doomsday prepper economics. For more than five years, many Republicans and conservatives have warned that catastrophe is nigh. Washington's deficit spending and the Federal Reserve's excessive money printing will lead to a financial crisis worse than the Great Recession, they prophesied. Inflation will skyrocket, the dollar will collapse, and the Chinese will dump treasuries, they swore. As Ron Paul, the libertarian former GOP congressman and presidential candidate, said back in 2009: "More inflation is absolutely the wrong way to go. We're taking a recession and trying to turn it into a depression. We're going to see a real calamity." read more


Consider the six U.S. cities that have earned the dubious distinction of official "murder capital" over the last 30 years. (Specifically, these are the cities with the highest per capita homicide rates since 1985.) Of these cities -- Flint, Detroit, New Orleans, Birmingham, Richmond, and Washington, D.C. -- four were undergoing severe depopulation. One is holding steady. Only the population of D.C. has truly grown. "The more violent a place is, the less attractive it is for residents who live there, the more they want to leave," says John Roman, senior fellow at the Urban Institute's Justice Policy Center. "The more the people with the means to leave do that, the more the people who are left behind tend to be victims and victimize others." read more


Juan Cole: A Hamas rocket hit and destroyed a house in Yahoud, a town only a mile from Ben Gurion Airport in Israel on Tuesday, raising severe alarm in among the international airlines and leading most of them to cancel flights to Tel Aviv. ... In essence, Hamas by targeting the airport (it wasn't trying to hit a house in Yahoud but rather the runway at Bengurion International) has hit upon a new strategy, of imposing willy nilly an international boycott on Israeli aviation. read more


A new analysis from the government of Denmark found that wind power is by far the cheapest new form of electricity in the country. New onshore wind plants coming online in 2016 will provide energy for about half the price of coal and natural gas plants, according to the Danish Energy Agency (DEA), and will cost around five cents per kilowatt hour. In December, wind power accounted for more than half of the country's electricity consumption for the first time. By 2020, the country aims to produce 70 percent of its energy from renewable sources and to raise that to 100 percent by 2050.


A Texas man flew to Australia, went to his ex-wife's home and attacked her husband with a crossbow and a tomahawk Tuesday. Jeffery Hooten, 49, was arrested in New South Wales, Australia and charged with attempted ­murder and malicious wounding with intent to ­inflict grievous bodily harm. Greg Williams, 56, deflected the crossbow bolt with his laptop, but took one tomahawk chop to the head as the men grappled. A neighbor intervened and helped Williams restrain Hooten. "He brings out this tomahawk and he swings over the top with his right hand and I managed to block him a bit, but he still got me on the noggin," Williams said.


Conservative Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky wants to find common ground with the libertarian-minded people in Silicon Valley for a mashup of political views dubbed conservatarianism. "Is government inherently stupid?" Paul asked the audience at the Lincoln Labs Reboot 2014. "I say no, but it's a debatable question." Evan Baehr, co-founder of Able Lending, said, "I call myself a conservative with libertarian leanings. Conservatarian? It's new for me, but it's a fit." read more


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