Leverage rec?

May. 3rd, 2016 02:01 pm
goss: (Movies - Sesame Street)
[personal profile] goss
So...say one were to have finally finished watching all 5 seasons of Leverage, where might one obtain Parker/Hardison/Eliot fic recs? :)?

Formulas for Successful Curation

May. 3rd, 2016 09:55 am
[syndicated profile] seattlereviewofbooks_feed

A winner, a swinger, a ringer.
A looker, a loser, an up-on-his-lucker.
Someone looser, someone tighter,
definitely not an all-nighter. A whiner,
wine-swiller, someone to entertain
the fundraiser chicken dinner.
Someone with handlers, another with baggage,
one with the umbrellas, another with the rain.
Different faces, symmetrical and un-.
A smoker, a non-, a joker, a song.
Two lungs, a heart, a head, a leg, a leg.
The drink, the dregs. The beggar, the begged.
Definitely an all-nighter, all-dayer, a swayer
of opinions, a bringer down of hammers.
An issuer of kiboshes, a knitter of knishes,
a whetter of knives, a weather of whether
or nots. A forget-me-not, a violet,
a violin, a cowbell. Someone old,
someone new, someone borrowed,
someone blue. Someone happy,
someone researching happiness,
someone who was happy once.
Someone false. Someone true.
A failure, a failure
who has found success
from failure, a feeler,
a feeling, the flu.
Sugar, salt, and acid.
Lake Crescent, Lake Angry, Lake Placid.
A shouter, a touter, an outer.
An innie, a sharpie, a shark.
What you want. Who you want.
Who wants you. The ditty,
the lark, the dark.

[syndicated profile] zooborns_feed

Posted by Andrew Bleiman


A highly endangered baby Sumatran Orangutan was born via Cesarean section at the Memphis Zoo on March 19, 2016. The new male is doing well and is being reared by his mother, Jahe (Jah-hay).

To celebrate the excitement of the new addition, the Zoo recently hosted a naming contest via the Zoo’s website, and the winning name is… Rowan (“little red one”)!



4_DSC_3817Photo Credits: Memphis Zoo

C-sections on Orangutans are rare, with only 18 of the 2,224 births in the International Orangutan Studbook being performed in this manner. Of these, Jahe and baby Rowan will be the ninth pair to survive the C-section birth.

This is the first Sumatran Orangutan birth at the Memphis Zoo since 2004, and to ensure the best possible care for the mother, a human obstetrician, Dr. Joseph C. DeWane, performed the C-section, with assistance from the veterinarian and animal care staff of the Memphis Zoo. At birth, Rowan weighed 5 pounds 4 ounces, which is large for a baby of this species.

"I was honored to be a part of this historic event at the Memphis Zoo,” said Dr. DeWane. “Our community is so blessed to have one of the top five zoos in the country. I know every time I visit the zoo, I will make a special trip to see Jahe and her baby.”     

Due to the mother’s surgery, the Memphis Zoo animal and veterinarian staff hand-reared the baby while Jahe recovered. Staff held and fed the infant around the clock, and spent their daytime hours in the Orangutan building with Jahe, where she could have visual access to baby Rowan. Jahe’s interest in the baby was encouraged and reinforced, and she was allowed to touch and examine him through the mesh as often as she liked while the keepers held him.

After 12 days, Jahe’s incision had healed well, and animal care staff orchestrated an introduction. Jahe immediately picked up the baby, and despite being a first-time mother, held him appropriately and inspected him closely. Animal care staff monitored the twosome around the clock for several days and noted successful nursing within 24 hours. The pair has been inseparable since.

The Memphis Zoo is one of only two institutions that have reintroduced mother and baby less than two weeks after the surgery.

“The baby’s upbringing was only unique in the first couple of weeks. We had to step in temporarily to hand-rear in order to allow Jahe to recover from her surgery,” said Courtney Janney, Curator of Large Mammals. “Once we were sure she was comfortable and healing well, we reintroduced the baby to his mother and she has completely taken over.”

This infant is the first for mother, Jahe, and third for father, Tombak. Jahe (18-years-old) arrived at the Memphis Zoo in 2010. Her name means “ginger” in the Indonesian language. Tombak (33-years-old) arrived at the Memphis Zoo in 1994. His name is derived from a Javanese word meaning “copper.”

This is a significant birth for the Memphis Zoo, and for the greater Sumatran Orangutan population, as only about 200 Sumatran Orangutans are currently on exhibit across the country. The species is listed as “Critically Endangered” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)’s Red List.

“With just a few thousand of these animals left in wild, this is a momentous occasion,” said Matt Thompson, Director of Animal Programs. “I’m very proud of our animal care team that intervened and saved the lives of both mother and baby. This is truly an event to celebrate!”

Mother and baby are currently resting behind-the-scenes. The new addition is not yet on exhibit.

The Memphis Zoo currently has four Sumatran Orangutans. In addition to Rowan, Jahe, and Tombak, the Zoo also has Chickie, a 38-year-old female. Chickie is named after former U.S. Surgeon General, Charles “Chick” Everett Koop, who operated on her shortly after her birth. Orangutans have been housed at the Memphis Zoo since 1960, with the first Sumatran Orangutan arrival in 1974.

Jahe arrived at the Memphis Zoo from the Toronto Zoo, where she was born. Her mother, named Puppe, still lives at the Toronto Zoo, and was a wild-caught animal. This makes Jahe a genetically valuable animal.

Tombak is also the father of Elok and Indah, two previous offspring who were born in 2004. However, they both had to be hand-reared, and were later sent to the Houston Zoo.

The name Orangutan means “man of the forest;” they are the largest tree-dwelling animal in the world. Because of their arboreal nature, their arm span can reach 7 feet from fingertip to fingertip. There are two subspecies of Orangutans: Sumatran and Bornean. Orangutans have the second longest childhood, first being humans, spending up to eight ears with their mothers and nursing up to 6 years of age.

The Sumatran Orangutan (Pongo abelii) is native to the island of Sumatra in Indonesia.

More adorable pics, below the fold!











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Posted by Ashlee Kieler

A crying child on a flight can be a difficult endeavor for passengers and parents alike. In an attempt to create goodwill between fussy babies and exasperated passengers, JetBlue provided travelers with an unusual incentive on a recent flight: endure the cries and get a free flight. 

In honor of Mother’s Day (which is Sunday, don’t forget), JetBlue — which has been giving away free flights liberally recently — released a YouTube video aimed at honoring and encouraging flying mothers.

The video, which documents a recent flight from New York to Long Beach, CA, follows several mothers and their young children preparing and eventually traveling with the airline.

The women express their concerns about flying alone with their babies, noting that the process is more stressful than flying alone, and that they “don’t want to be that lady with the baby who is screaming for four hours.”

Shortly after boarding, a JetBlue flight attendant announces that this trip is going to be a bit different.

Each time a baby cries, passengers will receive 25% off a round-trip ticket with the airline.

This appears to change the attitude of some passengers, who swapped scowls for smiles.

In the end, four babies cried at some point during the trip. Those cries weren’t greeted with sighs, eye rolls, or head shaking. Instead, passengers applauded.

“Next time, smile at a baby for crying out loud,” JetBlue says in the video.

Erin Fritch, one of the mothers who participated in the video, tells Consumerist that other passengers’ attitudes can certainly have an effect on children during a flight.

“Flying with a kid is definitely a stressful experience, from the time you leave the house to the moment you arrive at your destination,” she says. “There are so many factors out of your control and sitting next to someone intolerable only adds to the anxiety. A little compassion and empathy from your fellow travelers, definitely goes a long way. Kids are smart — they pick up on energy and I guarantee that a smile from your neighbor will help make it a more pleasant experience for everyone.”

[syndicated profile] consumerist_feed

Posted by Mary Beth Quirk

Gilroy-Garlic-Fries-HeaderAnother day, another product McDonald’s is throwing out there to see if it’ll stick: this time it’s garlic fries made with locally-sourced garlic.

Four San Francisco restaurants will be selling “Gilroy Garlic Fries,” made to order fries tossed with a puree mix of garlic, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, parsley, and salt, the company announced. The garlic will come from Gilroy, CA, “the Garlic Capital of the World,” which is about 80 miles south of San Francisco.

If this small test proves successful McDonald’s will make the specialty fries available in around 250 restaurants throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

“McDonald’s is committed to listening to our customers as seen by All Day Breakfast,” Michael Haracz, manager of culinary innovation at McDonald’s USA, said in a statement. “We’re proud of the work done by local franchisees and the regional team to create this menu item with locally-sourced garlic and we look forward to introducing Gilroy Garlic Fries to our customers in the Bay Area.”

It seems unlikely that the menu option will go national, considering the emphasis McDonald’s is placing on the local ingredients in this instance. Other regional tests the Golden Arches has tried include burgers with bourbon sauce in Kentucky and lobster rolls in New England, Nation’s Restaurant News points out, products that you won’t find on your local menu elsewhere in the country.

[syndicated profile] consumerist_feed

Posted by Ashlee Kieler

Imagine getting to the airport only to find that your driver’s license is not in your wallet. Maybe you left it at home or dropped it along the way, but looking for the misplaced license will cause you to miss your flight. Not to worry. While it might take a little longer, the Transportation Security Administration does provide a handful of options to get you through security without government issued ID. 

In general, the TSA requires a federal- or state-issued photo ID to get through the checkpoint, but at the same time the agency realizes that — given the sheer number of people flying every day — there need to be work-arounds.

According to the TSA’s website, a federal- or state-issued photo identification is required to fly. However, the Administration understands this isn’t always possible.

“In the event you arrive at the airport without proper ID, because it is lost or at home, you may still be allowed to fly,” the TSA says on its website. “By providing additional information, TSA has other ways to confirm your identity, like using publicly available databases, so you can reach your flight.”

In some cases the TSA agent will ask a passenger to fill out a form, present another form of identification, and go through additional security screening.

The TSA’s website includes a list of alternative forms of identification, many that are to be expected — military IDs and permanent residence cards — but others are a bit more out-of-the-box, though they will all likely involve you having to spend extra time at the security checkpoint providing additional information.

It’s important to note that the alternative forms of ID mentioned here only apply to domestic travel. International trips still require a passport or passport-like document.

1.) Credit Cards — If you’ve got a credit card with your photo on it, that’s a solid alternative for getting through security. Even if you don’t have a photo on the card, the Points Guy explains that TSA may still use the cards as a way to verify your identity, either by asking you additional questions or by calling the credit card company.

2.) Costco Card — Back in 2013, we reported that TSA agents suggested to a California news station that a Costco card would be a viable substitute for a forgotten government-issued ID.

Since a Costco card includes a photo, it helps to demonstrate you are who you claim to be. However, the agents caution that using this form of identification would still likely lead to additional screening: answering questions or submitting baggage to a secondary check.

3.) School ID or Library Card — While travelers under the age of 18 aren’t required to provide valid identification at TSA checkpoints, a school ID can be a suitable alternative for adult passengers.

These cards generally come with a students’ photo, and in some cases their date of birth or address. Additionally, a library card can serve the same purpose. Again, expect to be asked some additional questions before being allowed to pass through the checkpoint.

4.) Checkbooks — While most people don’t tote around their checkbooks like they used to, the rectangular piece of paper can serve as another way to confirm a passenger’s identity.

A New York Times columnist recalled the time she used the bank notes to get though security on a previous trip. The agent examined the checkbook, which included her and her husband’s name and address.

“Then, he called someone else on his phone, and asked me some questions — things like my previous addresses and my date of birth,” the writer notes, saying the process was similar to opening a bank account or obtaining a credit report.

5.) Photos of your IDs — Sure, having the hard copy in your hand is the best option, but taking the time to photograph your IDs and storing them on your phone can be a handy alternative in the case your wallet is stolen or lost during your trip.

The Points Guy notes that using such a process could also help you prove your identity at hotels or other places in which you have a reservation.

While these five ID substitutes may come in handy they aren’t foolproof, passage through security — and the additional screening — can vary from airport to airport.

And, of course, there isn’t anything stopping a TSA agent from denying you access to your gate even if you have a valid ID.

In 2014, a reporter encountered a TSA agent that was unaware that the man’s Washington D.C. license was a valid form of ID. The passenger explained that the District of Columbia, while not a state, is a part of the U.S. and he was granted passage through security.


(no subject)

May. 3rd, 2016 01:27 pm
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Scott and I went to the library last night so that he could pick up a couple of things that he’d put holds on (some equipment for testing the air in our attic himself). I hacked portals and captured a few and made it to level 6 in Ingress. Cordelia was with us, and she was extremely irritated with us about the pauses for Ingess stuff. She finds it very boring.

There’s no school today because of the millage election. Basically, the school system has decided that they can’t have kids in the buildings during any election because a bunch of open carry assholes insisted on bringing guns to the polls in elementary schools during the primary election. I hate giving ground to those folks, but I don’t see what else the district could do. Small children and guns are unmixy things.

Scott’s expecting to be home on time today, so we’ll go vote then. This is a school millage to pay for mandated special education services. If it doesn’t pass, the money for the services will be pulled from the budget for everything else. I plan to vote for it, and I’m hoping that other people will, too. Millages seem to do better, locally, if they’re the only thing on the ballot, so I’m more hopeful than I might be.

I tried to watch something on Hulu last night. It hung up and stayed frozen for about forty five minutes, until I turned everything off. I don’t know if restarting would have helped. I was distracted and didn’t think to try it until it was time to go to bed. If it does that a lot, though, it’s not going to be worthwhile.

We have two books in for Cordelia at Book Bound right now. She’s desperate to get one of them (the one by Kerstin Geir) but not quite desperate to try to walk that far. She knows that her knee won’t carry her through a really long walk yet, not even with a brace on. I’m not sure that we’ll keep buying Rick Riordan books. Cordelia still hasn’t finished last fall’s Magnus Chase book. Scott listens to them on CD from the library, and I’m about six books behind, so getting things from the library wouldn’t be a great burden.

I still think it’s really weird that the library has no catalog entry for the Riordan book that came out today. They make the record when they order the book as opposed to when it arrives, and this is really something that I’d have expected them to order far in advance. I find it really difficult to believe that the acquisitions people don’t know the book is coming out. I can’t imagine that the trade publications have been silent about it or that the publisher hasn’t been pushing it.

I’m hoping to do some writing today. If I can manage it, I want to work on the Narnia darkfic. I know what’s happening with Peter. I think I know what’s happening with Susan and Lucy. Edmund, however, I’m not at all sure about. I think he might actually get the least attention from Jadis, at least at first, and then work at keeping it that way. I’m just not sure what would be going on inside his head. I’m writing from Jadis’ POV, so I could ignore Edmund if she’s going to, but I think I need to know what’s going on.


May. 3rd, 2016 06:15 pm
[personal profile] thisissirius posting in [community profile] theforceawakensbigbang
Artists (and Writer) extention;

We have had some feedback that we're not giving artists a whole lot of time to get their stuff done, so we're extending the deadline a little. More information will be going up with the summaries later on this week (we're just waiting on person to get back to me. If I haven't heard from them by Friday, the summaries will go up then, along with information about the extended deadline.

I hope this gives you all enough information, and I apologise for the push back of the summary post!

How Melatonin Helps You Sleep

May. 3rd, 2016 05:00 pm
[syndicated profile] lifehacker_feed

Posted by Beth Skwarecki on Vitals, shared by Andy Orin to Lifehacker

If you’re having trouble sleeping, melatonin is a popular and easy remedy. It’s effective for many people, doesn’t have any serious safety issues, and is available as pills or gummies for pennies a dose. It’s also misunderstood, though: melatonin is not a traditional sleeping pill.


Promotion: If I Was Your Girl

May. 3rd, 2016 11:32 am
[syndicated profile] anamardoll_feed

Posted by Ana Mardoll

In case you missed it, Meredith Russo's If I Was Your Girl is available for purchase today. It's a YA novel with a trans girl protagonist, written by a trans author who is also my friend on Twitter and generally awesome.

I haven't read this book yet, but it's so high on my reading list it's basically #1 right now. Meredith is sweet and funny and clever, and we need so many more books written by trans authors. I'm really excited to see If I Was Your Girl published and I hope we see lots more from Meredith.
[syndicated profile] consumerist_feed

Posted by Laura Northrup

Sears Holdings needs to make some cuts, and has been closing its stores in addition to taking on roommates and cutting back on corporate staff.

In addition to the 50 or so store closings that Sears Holdings announced locally at the beginning of the year and the 78 store closings that the company announced two weeks ago, today the news broke that three additional Kmart stores will close in Georgia, Michigan, and West Virginia.

While today Kmart is part of the fading Sears Holdings retail empire, the company began in Michigan, and had its headquarters in the city of Troy for decades. That’s why it’s especially meaningful to longtime fans of the chain when a store in Michigan closes.

All of the following stores will close sometime this summer, with liquidation sales starting in May:

One complaint

May. 3rd, 2016 01:00 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
The census site did not seem to want to let me advance without me giving them a phone number. Not everyone has a phone number. I often don't, because I don't want people to phone me and I find not having a phone at all greatly facilitates that. Not filling out the census can get you a $500 fine or up to three months in prison (as can supplying false information). I see a possible implementation issue here.

Grad school update

May. 3rd, 2016 12:58 pm
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
[personal profile] feuervogel
Since I last wrote, I've gone down to Athens to find an apartment. I looked mostly at complexes, but stopped by a few Craigslist roommates wanted places. One of them was almost perfect, but I didn't want to flake on the appointment I had the next morning, so I missed out because the other person who looked at it said yes first. Boo. So I went back to my favorite complex from the previous day, took measurements and a couple pictures, and filled out an application.

I don't know how long their application review process (background & credit check) takes, but hopefully I'll know where I'm living come August really soon. This place would let me move in Saturday the 30th, which is great, because Ben will (hopefully) have a new job by then and be less able to just fuck off to Georgia for half a week to help me move in. (He may need to take Monday off for the drive back, but 1 day is easier than 3.)

I'm making a list of what I can scavenge from the house and what I need to buy, and I'm organizing everything on a spreadsheet. As I pack things into boxes, I'm listing them and color coding so I know what I've packed already and don't have to go "augh did I already pack my extra pens? What about the hand towel?"

Of course, there are a lot of things I'm still using and will be, but we have an overabundance of dish towels and such, so into a box it goes. I'm most likely going to be leaving fall/winter things here until late September or October; I can put them into their usual off-season storage bins and set them aside, then if they fit in whatever vehicles we take (my MINI and a rented something), yay; if not, they can come down later. Not like Georgia is colder than here very often.

I also need to learn how to reupholster a couch. I thought mom knew, so I asked if she would come down and help, but she said that was all grandpa, and that was that. :P So DIY tutorials on the internet will be my friend. Anyone know of a particularly good one?
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Posted by Shep McAllister on Deals, shared by Shep McAllister to Lifehacker

Travelpro makes your favorite rolling carry-on bag , and nearly their entire Crew 10 line is on sale for all-time low prices today on Amazon. I have the 21" spinner, and while it doesn’t have GPS location tracking , it’s basically perfect in every other way.


[syndicated profile] consumerist_feed

Posted by Mary Beth Quirk

There are many things one would not want to find in their beverage, but a slimy razor blade has got to be one of the least appetizing. That’s what a mom in New Hampshire said she found in the bottom of a Wendy’s soda her daughter was drinking.

A Keene, NH woman posted a photo of a silver razor blade with black and brown slime of some kind on it to Facebook on Friday, reports The Keene Sentinel.


The girl drank from the cup before the razor blade was discovered, but she wasn’t injured.

The city’s acting health director confirmed the incident, and said it was first reported to the Keene Police Department, which then contacted his office.

It’s believed that a worker found the blade in the trash and was worried someone might get cut by it, so he or she put the blade in a cup with a plan to throw it out later. Another employee then filled the cup without realizing its contents and gave it to the customer, acting health director said.

His office won’t be taking action against Wendy’s because the situation isn’t the result of an ongoing issue at the restaurant. The city has urged Wendy’s to review its training procedures in case this kind of thing happens again, which the restaurant agreed to.

The franchise that operates the Wendy’s location in question said that the restaurant launched an internal investigation immediately upon learning of the incident on Friday.

“An unfortunate chain of events led to a bad accident,” the director of operations for the franchise said. She has reached out to the family to offer an apology as well.

“Nothing is more important to us than our customers and the integrity of our food at Wendy’s,” she said.

Razor blade found in child’s soda from Wendy’s in Keene [The Keene Sentinel]

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Posted by Chris Morran

If you’re arrested or a suspect in a crime, the police can’t force you to remember the combination to your safe, or the passcode for your iPhone. But what if that phone can be unlocked with biometric data like a fingerprint? Does the ready access to this information give law enforcement an easy way to open secure devices, or would that be a violation of your constitutional rights?

The U.S. Supreme Court made it clear in 2014 that police must have a warrant to search the contents of a mobile device, but does that warrant give them the authority to compel you to use your thumb to actually unlock the device?

The answer to that will ultimately hinge on how courts view fingerprints. Is using your finger to unlock the device no different than being ordered to turn over a key, or is putting your fingertip on that button tantamount to testifying against yourself in violation of the Fifth Amendment?

Some courts have already chimed in on the matter, with a Virginia state court ruling in Oct. 2014 that while police can’t force suspects to reveal the passcode to their phones, compelling the use of a fingerprint is acceptable because it “does not require the witness to divulge anything through his mental process.”

More recently, the L.A. Times writes of a U.S. Magistrate Judge who signed off on a warrant compelling a woman to provide her fingerprint to unlock a phone seized at her boyfriend’s apartment.

However, University of Dayton law professor Susan Brenner tells the Times that she believes this is a clear violation of the Fifth Amendment’s prohibition against self-incrimination.

“By showing you opened the phone, you showed that you have control over it,” she explains. “It’s the same as if she went home and pulled out paper documents — she’s produced it.”

Yet, as noted in the Virginia ruling, the Supreme Court has held in 1976’s Fisher v. United States that “The Fifth Amendment protects against compelled self-incrimination, not the disclosure of private information,” and that compelling a suspect to turn over documents or other evidence that may ultimately be incriminating is not the same as testifying against yourself.

While a passcode might be more old-fashioned and seemingly less secure than a biometric lock, there is court precedent giving passcodes more legal protections than fingerprints.

In 2010, in U.S. v. Kirschner, a federal court in Michigan held that compelling a defendant to provide a passcode qualifies as testimony because it requires the defendant to “communicate knowledge, unlike the production of a handwriting sample or a voice exemplar,” which — like fingerprints — have long been excluded from Fifth Amendment protections.

“This is why I tell my criminal procedure students that they have more protections if they use a passcode rather than fingerprint to guard entry to their phones,” University of Washington law professor Mary Fan explains to Ars Technica. “While I don’t conduct crimes on my cell phone, I still decline to use my fingerprint out of an abundance of caution!”

[syndicated profile] consumerist_feed

Posted by Mary Beth Quirk

If you’re the kind of person who can kill a plant just by looking at it, Kmart’s new “Plants for Life” guarantee might sound like the solution to your brown thumb: the retailer is offering a lifetime guarantee on its trees, shrubs, and perennials that gives a customer a replacement or store credit if their plant dies before its time. Claiming that replacement, however, means first clearing your plant from a slew of plant-death scenarios included in the offer’s fine print.

First of all, to qualify for the “Plants for Life, Guaranteed” offer, the plants have to be planted in the ground, “in the recommended USDA Plant Hardiness Zones.” So make sure you’ve got your zones straight. Second, we’re only talking about your average outdoor shrubs and trees: “Annuals, houseplants, tropicals, seeds, bulbs, and seasonal plants including, but not limited to, Christmas trees, poinsettias, and Easter lilies are excluded.”

If your plant is the right kind of vegetation to qualify, you won’t get your free replacement for a plant that you neglected, didn’t adequately water, or for otherwise “abused” plants.

And if it was destroyed by anything from the lawnmower or a hurricane, you’re also out of luck: the guarantee doesn’t apply to “plants damaged or destroyed by mechanical (vehicles, snow plows, mowers, etc.), chemicals, animals, vandalism, or acts of God, including, but not limited to: disease, insects and related plant pests, or weather.”

So… what’s left? Genetic defects, essentially.

“They’ve covered just about everything that’s going to go wrong,” Ken Johnson, a horticulture educator with the University of Illinois Extension told the Chicago Tribune. “There would have to be something wrong with the tree itself, with its genetics.”

Other caveats include the fact that Kmart has the right to “limit or refuse any lifetime guarantee or exchange” at its discretion, and reserves “the right to modify or discontinue this program.”

When the Tribune asked the company about the range of exceptions, Kmart said in a statement that the guarantee “provides customers with peace of mind that the eligible plants they get from Kmart will last.”

“If a plant dies as a result of a covered problem Kmart will replace it. Like any guarantee, there are certain exclusions for things like abuse, mechanical damage or extraordinary weather events,” the company said.

The offer is also only valid for plants purchased in a store, and not online.


May. 3rd, 2016 12:37 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
There are people who don't sort their money from smallest to largest denomination, all facing the same way? I don't know whether to cry or just scrub myself with steel wool and bleach.

(it got worse: I was thinking "in wallets" but apparently this is also true of tills and cash boxes. He's not on FB but if you ask Sean Hunt, I was able to give him almost instant balances for my cash box because I balanced it after each event and kept an index card on top listing how much of each denomination I had)

failproof crêpes + a crêpe party

May. 3rd, 2016 03:48 pm
[syndicated profile] smittenkitchen_feed

Posted by deb

failproof crêpes + a crêpe party

I know what most people think of crêpes — they’re difficult, they require planning ahead, they’re fussy (coughFrench), they rip easily, the first one always goes in the trash — but I respectfully disagree, especially about that last bit (it goes in the nearest mouth). In fact, I think think that a great big stack of crêpes and a few easy fixings are the best thing that can happen to brunch. Hear me out:

what you'll need
everything in

  1. The batter takes 120 seconds to assemble (including the 30 to melt the butter in the microwave).
  2. You can prepare the batter 1 hour or 4 days before you need it; it doesn’t mind rushing or neglect.
  3. Cooked crêpes are basically magic — you can stack them hot or cold, they don’t stick to each other. It’s like some sort of pancake voodoo.
  4. They reheat like a charm so don’t you dare spend the morning frying crêpes. Make them all the day before and be amazed that the difference once rewarmed is undetectable.
  5. Some people like Nutella and berries with breakfast, other people like ham and cheese. Crêpes are the ideal foundation for both.
  6. The vast majority of things that taste good on crêpes require little more prep than chopping, if that — fruit or jam, cheese, dollops of ricotta or yogurt or cured meats. These, too, are meant to be prepared ahead, if you like to sleep in on brunch mornings as much as me.
  7. Think taco bars are fun? This is the fancy brunch equivalent. Until you can put sprinkles on tacos (I implore you: just say no), crêpes are going to win this round.
  8. If you’re besieged by tearing, flimsy exasperating to make crêpes, I think you’re due for a new recipe. Like mine.

lumpy, but you'll whisk it

... Read the rest of failproof crêpes + a crêpe party on smittenkitchen.com

© smitten kitchen 2006-2012. | permalink to failproof crêpes + a crêpe party | 27 comments to date | see more: Breakfast, Pancakes, Photo

If you can, GiveBIG today

May. 3rd, 2016 08:45 am
[syndicated profile] seattlereviewofbooks_feed

Today is the sixth annual GiveBIG charitable giving event. The deal with GiveBIG is that for one day out of the year, the Seattle Foundation will stretch your donations to nonprofits with funds of their own. In their last five years, they've given more than $56 million to Seattle-area nonprofits.

But how do you sift through the dozens of GiveBIG nonprofits to find the organizations who do the work that you're most passionate about? Allow the Seattle Review of Books to help: below, I've assembled a list of most of the books-and-literacy themed nonprofits on this year's GiveBIG roster. If you'd like to donate to any of these charities, just click on the name and it will take you right to the GiveBIG page. Here they are, in alphabetical order:

If you'd like a little more guidance, Martin McClellan will be publishing his top three picks for GiveBIG nonprofits at 11 am, and my top three picks will follow at noon. Between now and then, perhaps you should check up on your bank account and figure out how much you can realistically contribute this year. Your money will go a long, long way if you GiveBIG today.

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[personal profile] peaceful_sands posting in [community profile] bitesizedcleaning
To be fair it is well and truly Tuesday here, but whatever your time zone when you're reading, do not be deterred, it can still be time for some defeating of the procrastination that's been haunting you. Everyone here will (virtually) hold back the procrastination monster, so you can get your stuff done!

So what are you all up to this week?

For those in need of a smaller challenge, can you check your smoke alarms to make sure they're all working. It may not make a visible difference to your home, but it's worth doing regularly, so that your alarm is more than just a bizarrely placed ornament and is there should you ever need it (and let's hope you never do).

Good luck everyone! You can do it!

"Feel that" has been disappearing

May. 3rd, 2016 03:31 pm
[syndicated profile] languagelog_feed

Posted by Mark Liberman

The recent flurry of posts on feel as a propositional attitude verb has, I now feel, buried the lede. Kids today may have started using "feel like S" with increasingly frequency in recent years. But their elders have apparently been abandoning "feel that S" ever since the middle of the 20th century.

The first clue was from MEDLINE:

The same trend is visible in Google ngram counts, though the overall rate is much higher:

The same pattern is visible in data from COHA, though again the rates are somewhat higher:

And U.S. Supreme Court Oral arguments show the same pattern as well, though the base rates are higher still:

So today's youth are just filling the rational-feelings vacuum created by preceding generations.

The rest of the Rational Feelings series:

"Feelings, beliefs, and thoughts", 5/1/2016
"Etymological metaphors and meanings", 5/2/2016
"Feeling in the Supreme Court", 5/3/2016

Good-bye Shadow

May. 3rd, 2016 09:39 am
[personal profile] j_v_lynch
Gentle Readers,

A little over 3 years ago we adopted an 8 year old Great Pyrenees named Shadow. He was a charming fellow who was going to be put down because of age and depression. His previous owner had to give him up because she was living on a fixed income and was having trouble feeding both of them. His coming medical bills were what finally convinced them.

Last Friday it became clear that he was no longer going to be able to move around unassisted and there was no way to keep up his quality of life. We had a vet come and put him down. That sentence was incredibly hard to write. It just doesn't seem to capture the magnitude of what we did. Of what happened. We stayed with him while he fought to keep watch as he always did for us. Until he finally relaxed and let go and the thing that made him Shadow was gone.

He was so strong and so brave and so tough and so irreplaceable.

I'll always remember his patience, his gravitas and his sense of humour. His stubborn insistence that when you told him something, it was just a request to be considered. His guilty face when he had managed to steal some food (even if he hadn't gotten caught). His love, in particular, for peanut butter.

Hrm. Maybe writing this at work wasn't the best plan. Thank goodness it's allergy season.

Lydia was also very brave and stayed with us until the very end. I think it's the hardest thing she's ever had to do.

I would be very happy if we could go at least a few months without someone I care about losing someone who was special to them.
[syndicated profile] maddowblog_feed

Posted by Steve Benen

Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) decided to pick a curious fight with California. In retrospect, he probably should have thought this through a little better.

Sleep sleep sleep dream

May. 3rd, 2016 11:41 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
Days off was a good idea. I was quite awake for dress rehearsal one until the last half hour. I hope we get a clean complete run in tonight, but I suspect not, as it's too long, plus tonight we are running the Bach. I was utterly wiped when I got home at 10:30 pm.

Andrew Lipke has been a delight to work with. A plus, would sing his stuff again.

Dress rehearsal two is tonight.

We got a really nice preview in the Sunday Inquirer.

I have filled out the census!

May. 3rd, 2016 11:25 am
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Take that, former Prime Minister Harper.
[personal profile] cereta posting in [community profile] agonyaunt
Q. Success through spandex?: I am a successful, work-from-home businesswoman who is an embarrassment to my tween daughter because I don’t look like the other moms at school. Specifically, I don’t wear Lululemon pants. She has asked me not to pick her up from school. How do I get my daughter to understand that her mom is a strong, respected, powerful woman whom she should be proud of? How do I get through to her that success isn’t defined by wearing the right brands but by having the respect of peers? Or should I just go buy myself a pair of Lululemons so she can have the respect of her peers?

A: This can’t be real. Can this be real? This can’t be real. And yet—anything that can happen … will happen. I have two suggestions: 1. Go full Auntie Mame and start picking up your daughter in ball gowns and ripped flannel and increasingly embarrassing costumes; teenagers can be painfully conservative, and this tendency ought to be gently teased right out of them. 2. Let her take the bus home. If she doesn’t like what the bus driver is wearing, she can try offering constructive criticism and see how other people welcome her input on their ensembles.

On Peen of Death (MMoM Day 2)

May. 3rd, 2016 08:11 am
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[personal profile] were_lemur
Supernatural, PG-13 ~650 words, Sam notices a pattern, Dean points out the exception.

Read more... )
[syndicated profile] lifehacker_feed

Posted by Eric Ravenscraft

This Friday, Captain America: Civil War hits theaters in the US. It’s the thirteenth movie in the nearly ten billion dollar Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s also the culmination of a story between Iron Man and Captain America that’s spanned nearly a decade of storytelling. Here’s how to catch up before the showdown begins.


Living Large

May. 3rd, 2016 02:56 pm
[syndicated profile] atrios_feed
It's the big corruption that matters most, but the little corruption is often simpler to understand and if you're willing to say 'who cares' about the little things...
For the fifth straight year, Emanuel’s close friend, confidant and unofficial adviser Michael Sacks made the list. The mayor reported receiving transportation and sports tickets from Sacks, who also is Emanuel’s most reliable campaign contributor. Sacks, his family and his company's employees have given $3.6 million to the mayor’s campaign and Emanuel-aligned political funds since he first ran for mayor in 2010.


That report noted that nearly 60 percent of Emanuel’s top circle of 103 elite donors had benefited from his city government, receiving contracts, zoning changes, business permits, pension work, board appointments, regulatory help or some other tangible benefit. Included on that list of firms that benefited was Finnegan’s Madison Dearborn, which holds a significant stake in the CDW Government firm that has received two Emanuel administration contracts worth more than $39 million.
[syndicated profile] consumerist_feed

Posted by Laura Northrup

You only need one contaminated ingredient to show the complexity and interconnectedness of our food supply. In the case of commercial bakery CSM Bakery Solutions in Georgia, one batch of peanut-contaminated flour led to prepared baked goods at clients nationwide that include Cinnabon, Safeway, Jewel, 7-Eleven, and Chick-fil-A.

Peanut allergies can be serious and potentially life-threatening, so even trace amounnts of peanut in a finished food product is an important food-safety issue. In this case, it looks like a batch of peanut-contaminated flour at one company that makes mixes for cookies, cakes, and other treats led to peanut-contaminated baked goods being sold across the country. We all learned a little more than we wanted to know about how the tasty prepared baked goods that we enjoy end up on the shelf.

For the peanut-allergic or generally curious, here are the affected products:

Recalls of cookies, cakes linked to peanut-tainted flour [Food Safety News]

[syndicated profile] consumerist_feed

Posted by Mary Beth Quirk

If someone told you today that a new, brightly lit neon sign was going up across the street from where you live, you might react with disgust at the thought of such a commercial eyesore invading the skyline of your community. Yet when some older sign or billboard is threatened, everyone is suddenly up in arms, rushing to its defense. How does something as mundane as outdoor advertising grow to become considered an essential piece of the urban fabric?

Take, for example, the recent news that the New York City Landmark Preservation Commission bestowed landmark status on a neon, 147-foot-long Pepsi-Cola sign dating back to 1936. The sign, made by a company called Artkraft Strauss, once sat atop a Pepsi bottling plant in the Queens neighborhood of Long Island City, and it is widely accepted as an important aesthetic element of the community, having been saved multiple times already.

“They no longer merely advertise, but are valued in and of themselves. They become icons”

It was first put up for landmark consideration in 1988, the New York Times reported then, and was reconstructed by PepsiCo in 1993 after it was severely damaged in a storm.

When Pepsi sold the plant in 1999, the company included a stipulation that the sign would remain, carving out a chunk of land on the East River front for it to occupy. In 2013, the development company behind a new residential tower took the sign into considering while designing the new building, making sure that there was space provided for the sign to keep its place on the waterfront.

Why go through all this effort to preserve this Pepsi ad? It doesn’t appear to arise out of any overwhelming affection for the beverage.

We’ve got history

Image courtesy of Eric Hauser

The public’s connection with these structures runs a bit deeper than just brand loyalty. It’s a bond that can grow from familiarity and a shared history. In a brief regarding the preservation of historic signs, the National Park Service makes a surprisingly eloquent argument.

“They become landmarks, loved because they have been visible at certain street corners — or from many vantage points across the city — for a long time,” writes Michael J. Auer in the brief. “Such signs are valued for their familiarity, their beauty, their humor, their size, or even their grotesqueness. In these cases, signs transcend their conventional role as vehicles of information, as identifiers of something else. When signs reach this stage, they accumulate rich layers of meaning. They no longer merely advertise, but are valued in and of themselves. They become icons.”

Katie Rispoli, executive director for We Are the Next, a non-profit group that helped save the original Taco Bell building, agrees — in this specific instance, and in general.

“It’s not about PepsiCo in a lot of ways; it’s about the sign and the sense of continuity in what they see every day, and this place and the sense of gravitas that they get in their own neighborhood,” Rispoli told Consumerist. “It’s something that represents the place that they call home.”

These kinds of signs also represent a community’s commercial past, located atop factories or company headquarters. They serve to remind people of an economic boom time, in many cases, a time when people were busy at work in the building.

“Signs are like archeological layers that reveal different periods of human occupancy and use,” Auer writes. “They sometimes become landmarks in themselves, almost without regard for the building to which they are attached, or the property on which they stand.“

“It’s about the sign and the sense of continuity in what they see every day… It’s something that represents the place that they call home.”

Lannette Schwartz, a sign enthusiast who is pursuing her thesis in Heritage Conservation in the school of architecture at the University of Southern California, agrees, noting that a familiar sign can give people “a sense of place during that past era, for the community now, and the people who identify” with it.

Beyond the familiarity factor, many people treasure these older signs, billboards, and other commercial structures because of the work that went into constructing them; work that can’t always be easily replicated today.

Many signs weren’t mass-produced, and used neon or other materials that aren’t easy to work with and require a high level of skill, Schwartz explains.

“They actually have skilled workers and artists involved in creating these signs,” she tells Consumerist. “That creates a unique piece of history and art.”

That can make reconstructions especially difficult or financially cumbersome, which adds to an existing sign’s air of elevated craftsmanship.

For example, Boston residents are no doubt familiar with a glowing 60′ x 60′ Citgo sign that’s presided over the city skyline since 1940. Although that structure originally got its glow from neon, the company later opted to “upgrade from using neon tubes to LEDs” when it was restored in 2005.

Signs worth saving can’t save themselves

Image courtesy of Skillshots

Even the most beloved historic building or sign can be threatened with destruction. Again, these structures might require expensive upkeep or repairs, costs that a business might not want to shoulder.

Buildings often change hands, but often the signs don’t — not every company is like PepsiCo, which included a provision in the sale of its building that ensured the continued existence of its famous sign under new ownership.

A new company moving into a space might not want to be associated with the past, and in some cases, keeping an old sign could mean less space for the current business to advertise its name or logo. Many cities have laws that only permit a certain amount of signage per business.

Some municipalities, however, have what are known as “sign-bonus” regulations, meaning that the space used by the historic sign isn’t counted against a company’s overall sign space allotment. Thus, keeping a historic sign doesn’t mean the new owner can’t also put their name on the building.

“Increasingly, however, communities are enacting ordinances that recognize older and historic signs and permit them to be kept,” the NPS says, adding that it “encourages this trend.”

It behooves many businesses to keep these vestiges of the commercial past, if they can, as long as it doesn’t interfere with their own messaging. Heck, it can make them appear cool and trendy to have retro signs.

Take another recent example, a former Boeing plane factory that’s now used by Mercedes-Benz as a production facility in Long Beach, CA. As part of the purchase and sales agreement between Boeing and the new owners, the new owner is required to maintain and operate a “Fly DC Jets” sign because of its “historical significance,” The O.C. Register reported at the time.

Again, the NPS agrees, noting that while it can be difficult for some companies to do so, “keeping the old sign is often a good marketing strategy.”

“It can exploit the recognition value of the old name and play upon the public’s fondness for the old sign,” the NPS says. “The advertising value of an old sign can be immense. This is especially true when the sign is a community landmark.

What will we save for the future?

Image courtesy of google maps

Looking around today, it might be hard to imagine that the Abercrombie billboard you see on your way to work every morning could someday become a treasured community landmark, or that a future neighborhood preservation group might rally to save an Arby’s sign from the wrecking ball. But because it can take about 50 years for a sign to even become considered historic, there are some that are just now coming of age.

“I think there are plenty of them that are still out there,” Rispoli says. “I think they’re hiding around us every day,” she adds, citing Hollywood’s “abundant collection of signage” from the ‘60s and ’70s that people are starting to think about what they mean, and what to do with them.

Schwartz isn’t so sure, saying the current advertising movement is “too digital,” what with billboards that can flash a different ad every eight seconds.

“I don’t know that a digital sign would necessarily become historic, but you never know,” she adds. If it can “impact the community in such a way that they’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, I really love that sign, and it speaks to me, and it reminds me of this area,” then “yes, I think there could be future signs” that speak to people 50 years from now like signs from 50 years ago speak to us today.

[syndicated profile] consumerist_feed

Posted by Ashlee Kieler

Nearly three years after hundreds of people from all over the country got sick from eating Salmonella-tainted chicken from Foster Farms, the poultry producer is facing another issue with its products. The company announced that it would recall 220,000 pounds of chicken nuggets that may contain pieces of plastic. 

Foster Farms says the frozen chicken nuggets, sold at retailers and non-retail wholesalers, may contain rubber fragments and pieces of plastic embedded inside.

The issue was first detected after the company received customer feedback. A subsequent investigation into the products found the inedible fragments.

So far, there have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products, Foster Farms says.

According to a notice posted with the USDA, the recall covers two varieties of Frozen Chicken Breast Nugget five-pound packages sold at Costco stores in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, and Washington, and two types of 10-pound boxes of chicken nuggets to distributors in California and Arizona.

The products can be identified by the following Codes, and Best By Dates:

• 5-lb. bags containing FOSTER FARMS “Breast Nuggets – Nugget Shaped Breaded Chicken Breast Patties with Rib Meat.” The bags exhibit best by dates of 2/21/17 and 3/8/17.

• 10-lb. bulk boxes containing FOSTER FARMS “Fully Cooked Breast Nuggets – Nugget Shaped Chicken Breast Patties with Rib Meat Fritters.” The boxes contain package code 6053 and 6068.

Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. They should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

“Food safety is, and has always been, our top priority and we are vigilant in employing the most up-to-date safety measures to produce wholesome, healthy and delicious food products,” the company said in a statement.


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