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Archive for the 'News You Can Use.' Category

Cher Is Threatening To Leave The Planet If Donald Trump Wins

6th November 2016

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Better and better.

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Wattle Grove Home Invasion: Homeowner Shoots Intruder in Buttock With Bow and Arrow

6th November 2016

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Gotta love Australians.

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Sailor’s Selfie Gives Away Major Russian Ship’s Position

6th November 2016

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A Russian sailor’s online selfie may have just given away the position of one of the world’s most powerful battlecruisers, according to journalist Hans de Vreij’s analysis.

They are a quaint but primitive people, not accustomed to the implications of technology.

American sailors, of course, have it drummed into their heads not to do this kind of thing.

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Graphene Gives You Infrared Vision in a Contact Lens

5th November 2016

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If, of course, that’s what you want to do.

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New Alzheimer’s Treatment Fully Restores Memory Function

5th November 2016

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Australian researchers have come up with a non-invasive ultrasound technology that clears the brain of neurotoxic amyloid plaques – structures that are responsible for memory loss and a decline in cognitive function in Alzheimer’s patients.

The team reports fully restoring the memory function of 75 percent of the mice they tested it on, with zero damage to the surrounding brain tissue. They found that the treated mice displayed improved performance in three memory tasks – a maze, a test to get them to recognise new objects, and one to get them to remember the places they should avoid.

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USEFUL STUFF SATURDAY

5th November 2016

The Mystic Pint.

Pizzacraft Stovetop Pizza Oven.

How to Build an Igloo. If, of course, that’s what you want to do.

Quadsaw square-hole drill.

A jacket for your legs.

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Mrs. George Stephanopoulos: We Will Move to Australia If Trump Wins

5th November 2016

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Oh, if only….

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New Swiss Chocolate Claims to Ease Period Pains

5th November 2016

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This sounds like a win-win.

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TaterGrams: New Alberta Company Lets You Mail Personalized Potatoes

5th November 2016

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If, of course, that’s what you want to do.

Canadians are very … interesting people.

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Forget Fees: Dyson Opens Britain’s First Degree Where Students Get Paid

4th November 2016

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Sir James Dyson has been a long-time campaigner for fixing Britain’s skills shortage, especially when it comes to engineering, and now he’s tackling the issue head-on.

Today he took the wraps off the Dyson Institute of Technology, a new education hub being built at Dyson’s top-secret Wiltshire campus which will partner with Warwick University to offer 25 places on a unique engineering degree.

Students won’t pay any fees, will be paid a salary, and get to work alongside Dyson’s engineers including on upcoming Dyson products.

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A Material From Shapeshifting Planes Could Heal Human Flesh

4th November 2016

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… polyvinylidene fluoride, a material NASA researchers have refined for use in morphing aircraft that shapeshift in response to their environment. But wait! There’s more: It can also kickstart the human body’s healing process.

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Build a Phased-Array Radar in Your Garage That Sees Through Walls

3rd November 2016

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If, of course, that’s what you want to do.

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Argonne Researchers Posit Way to Locally Circumvent Second Law of Thermodynamics

3rd November 2016

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We have the technology — maybe.

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To Improve Your Focus, Just Eat Like a Drone Pilot

3rd November 2016

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The research is finding that lutein plays a pivotal role in maintaining your attention. The naturally occurring antioxidant is most commonly found in our retinas, and the lack of it has long been linked to poor eye health.

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Man Searching for Toilet Stumbles Across 49,000 Year-Old Evidence of Earliest Human Settlement in Australia

3rd November 2016

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What are the odds?

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Dissolving the Dead

30th October 2016

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Ever since 1942, people have been looking for an efficient way to get rid of dead bodies.

There isn’t quite an app for that yet, but they’re getting close.

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Inside the Quest for a Real ‘Star Trek’ Warp Drive

30th October 2016

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When I think ‘warp drive’ I think of a starship being kicked along by an enraged Michael Moore.

 

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USEFUL STUFF SATURDAY

29th October 2016

SkunkLock.

Aluminet shade cloth.

Biem butter sprayer.

Navdy head-up car display.

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Wait, the New Emails Came From Anthony Weiner’s Devices?

28th October 2016

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This news may represent the most 2016 moment in all of 2016. It turns out the “unrelated investigation” that triggered the FBI’s decision to re-open its investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email server was none other than — drum roll, please — its inquiry into Anthony Weiner’s serial sexting. Yes, you read that correctly.

Hillary’s October is just full of surprises.

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Farmers Are Using Bees to Spread Nature’s Own Pesticides

27th October 2016

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BVT is among a swell of companies, from startups to the world’s agrochemical giants, trying to bring pesticides derived from natural materials, or biopesticides, to the agricultural mainstream. Biopesticides are growing faster than synthetic pesticides, which make up the bulk of crop protection. Newer materials are making their way through the regulatory pipeline. There are several forces driving this trend. For example, pests and pathogens have grown resistant to many pesticides, while the EPA has phased out older chemistries, due to environmental and health concerns. These concerns have not only increased government regulation and driven up the cost of developing new chemical pesticides, but have also increased demand from consumers for farmers to grow more organic produce.

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Physics Tweak Solves Five of the Biggest Problems in One Go

27th October 2016

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It’s not a bad day at work. Five of the biggest fundamental problems in physics seem sorted in one go. The model that can do this, formulated by Guillermo Ballesteros at the University of Paris-Saclay in France and his colleagues, may explain dark matter, neutrino oscillations, baryogenesis, inflation and the strong CP problem.

Dubbed SMASH, the model is based on the standard model of particle physics, but has a few bits tacked on. The standard model is a collection of particles and forces that describes the building blocks of the universe. Although it has passed every test thrown at it, it can’t explain some phenomena.

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A Personalized Nutrition Company Will Use Your DNA to Tell You What to Eat

26th October 2016

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Dieting in the United States is a multi-million dollar industry. Over the past few decades, there have been diets that focus on increasing protein, eliminating fats, lowering calories—you name the food group, a diet fad has been centered around it. It’s clear that Americans want to lose weight, but we are far from mastering the art. A new California-based company is working to get at the root cause of why it believes diets fail: None of them focus on the dieter’s unique genetic makeup. Habit’s “personalized nutrition” program would analyze a person’s DNA to create an individualized food plan and deliver those ingredients to the user’s home. The company officially launches today, with its services beginning in early 2017.

Just what we need — somebody else telling what to do.

Hillary voters, your bus has arrived.

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The Future of Medicine May Involve Music

26th October 2016

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Thirty years ago in Hope Duarte, California, a researcher by the name of Susumu Ohno wished to explore an intriguing parallel between two very divergent phenomenon. Both music and genes possessed repetition. While the number of options differed – twelve for music and only four for genes – he believed the two could be aligned such that we could make music from our genome.

In the years since, several researchers have undertaken the task of translating biological data into musical notation, known as sonification. Genes and proteins have now been transformed into audible passages. When played, they convey a unique perspective on the nature of the fundamental molecules of life.

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Important World Series News

26th October 2016

No, I don’t care about the World Series.

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Iceland Is Drilling a 3-Mile Hole to Tap Magma Power

22nd October 2016

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I was wondering when someone would get around to trying that.

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Laser Zaps Mosquitoes Out of the Sky

22nd October 2016

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A new product being developed and tested aims to zap mosquitoes out of the air before they have a chance to infect humans.

The Photonic Fence was created through the Global Good program — a collaboration between Bill Gates and Intellectual Ventures that tries to fill the gaps between technology and what people need.

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Scientists Locate Site Where Ancient Roman Armies Breached Jerusalem Walls

22nd October 2016

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Recent excavations revealed a section of the so-called “Third Wall” of Jerusalem that Titus’ army breached on its way to conquering the city, according to the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA).

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Scientists Figure Out Why Mozzarella Is the Perfect Pizza Cheese

21st October 2016

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A good thing, too, because otherwise you might not have known that.

Thank God for Scientists!

(Hey, tenure doesn’t grow on trees, you know.)

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Astronomers Say There May Be 234 Different Alien Species Trying to Talk to Us

20th October 2016

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Astronomers discovered 234 mysterious signals from stars that could be different alien species trying to talk to us, according to a new study published Thursday by Laval University.

Researchers used the Apache Point Observatory to analyze the spectra of 2.5 million stars, and identified 234 which are producing strange signals. The signals “have exactly the shape of an ETI [Extraterrestrial Intelligence] signal” according to the astronomers.  Every one of the 234 stars was relatively comparable to our sun as well, raising the possibility that this could be aliens.

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In an Ancient Workshop, Discovering Modern Ideas

20th October 2016

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Walk into the basement of Columbia’s Chandler Hall, and you enter sixteenth-century Europe: leather-clad artisans are melting tin in an iron crucible, boiling elm roots in red wine, and coating roses, dead insects, and taxidermied lizards with butter and wheat oil. After a few hours of work, they will have created exquisitely detailed pewter replicas of the flora and fauna — gifts suitable for any aristocrat.

Some times the old ways are best.

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Forget Solar Panels, Optical ‘Rectenna’ Converts Light Directly to Electricity

20th October 2016

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Using nanometer-scale components, researchers have demonstrated the first optical rectenna, a device that combines the functions of an antenna and a rectifier diode to convert light directly into DC current.

Based on multiwall carbon nanotubes and tiny rectifiers fabricated onto them, the optical rectennas could provide a new technology for photodetectors that would operate without the need for cooling, energy harvesters that would convert waste heat to electricity – and ultimately for a new way to efficiently capture solar energy.

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Did the Vikings Use Crystal ‘Sunstones’ to Discover America?

19th October 2016

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The idea is that the Vikings may have used the interaction of sunlight with particular types of crystal to create a navigational aid that may even have worked in overcast conditions. This would mean the Vikings had discovered the basic principles of measuring polarised light centuries before they were explained scientifically and which are today used to identify and measure different chemicals. Scientists are now getting closer to establishing if this form of navigation would have been possible, or if it is just a fanciful theory.

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‘Lost’ Roads of Ancient Rome Discovered With 3D Laser Scanners

19th October 2016

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Laser scans of Britain’s terrain may reveal weathered Roman roads that have been hidden for centuries across the countryside of northern England.

Over the past 18 years, the U.K.’s Environment Agency has used a technology called lidar to collect data for more than 72 percent of England’s surface. This remote sensing technique bounces laser light beams off the ground to make 3D terrain maps that can peer below vegetation and reveal the contours of every ditch and boulder below.

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How an Axe-Handle Bat Is Going to Take Over Baseball

19th October 2016

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Some of Major League Baseball’s best hitters have tossed aside their old sluggers for something called the Axe Bat. As the name implies, it’s part axe—thanks to a contoured oval handle and an angled knob—and promises players a more natural grip, better bat control, more-powerful swings, and a reduced risk of hand injuries. It’s also a Popular Science Best of What’s New award winner.

Chili Davis, the Boston Red Sox hitting coach—whose own 18-year MLB career netted 350 homers and three World Series rings—set the shift in motion when he brought one to spring training last year. When Chili swings, players take note, and two Sox are now swatting full-time with the Axe. Davis tells us the new lumber has a strong future in the batter’s box.

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Environmentalists File Lawsuit Against DHS for Ignoring Impact of Mass Migration

18th October 2016

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The Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) filed a lawsuit Monday afternoon against the Department of Homeland Security on behalf of several environmental groups and other plaintiffs for ignoring the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

“For the last 46 years, NEPA has required any agency considering an action that will affect the environment to analyze and publicize those effects,” IRLI wrote in a statement about the lawsuit. “DHS, like its predecessor agency, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), has never considered or analyzed the enormous impacts to the human environment caused by legal and illegal immigration, as required by NEPA.”

Environmentalists for Trump? Could be….

 

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Why Spam Is Making a Major Comeback

18th October 2016

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No, not that one — the other one.

While many of us are familiar with Spam making an appearance in the pantries of our grandparents or the collected works of Monty Python, it’s developed an obsessive following in places like Hawaii and South Korea.

In the former, it’s celebrated with a sushi-like snack called ‘Spam Masubi’, a delightfully delicious fusion of American and Japanese flavors.

Spam Jam, a festival of Spam, also takes place in Waikiki every year, with restaurants and cafes competing to use the tinned meat in innovative and delicious new ways.

Try it sliced to 1/4 inch and fried.

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Nanotech Wafer Turns Carbon Dioxide Into Ethanol

17th October 2016

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Scientists have found a way to take everyone’s least favorite greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, and mix it with water to create alcohol.

A research team at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee developed a way to convert carbon dioxide into ethanol–and they did it by accident. Originally, they were hoping to convert carbon dioxide that had been dissolved in water to methanol, a chemical released naturally by volcanic gases and microbes, which can cause blindness in humans if ingested.

But instead of methanol, they discovered they had ethanol, a primary component of gin and also a potential fuel source. Surprised, the team realized that not only was their new material converting the carbon dioxide to ethanol, it needed very little outside support.

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Jobs That No Longer Exist

16th October 2016

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Insert your favorite ‘Studies’ major degree at the bottom of the list if you wish.

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How a Rebellious Scientist Uncovered the Surprising Truth About Stereotypes

16th October 2016

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At the back of a small room at Coogee Beach, Sydney, I sat watching as a psychologist I had never heard of paced the room gesticulating. His voice was loud. Over six feet tall, his presence was imposing. It was Lee Jussim. He had come to the Sydney Symposium of Social Psychology to talk about left-wing bias in social psychology.

Left-wing bias, he said, was undermining his field. Graduate students were entering the field in order to change the world rather than discover truths.1 Because of this, he said, the field was riddled with flaky research and questionable theories.

My, what a surprise! Aren’t you surprised? I’m sure surprised.

Jussim explained that within the field, those on the left outnumbered those on the right by a ratio of about 10:1. So it meant that even if left-leaning and right-leaning scientists were equal in their bias, there would be at least ten times more research biased towards validating left-wing narratives than conservative narratives. Adding in the apparent double standards in the peer review process (where studies validating left-wing narratives seemed to be easier to publish) then the bias within the field could vastly exceed the ratio of 10:1. In other words, research was becoming an exercise in groupthink.

But you knew that.

Instead of finding that the teachers’ expectations influenced the students’ performances, he found that the students’ performances influenced the teachers’ expectations. This data “misbehaved”. It did not show that stereotypes created, or even had much influence on the real world. The data did not show that teachers’ expectations strongly limited students’ performances. It did not show that stereotypes became self-fulfilling prophecies. But instead of filing his results away into a desk drawer, Jussim kept investigating – for three more decades.

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USEFUL STUFF SATURDAY

15th October 2016

ThermoPeanut.

Meat Vacuum Marinator.

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Motorcyclist Gets Sliced In Half During High-Speed Chase

15th October 2016

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Hyogo Prefecture Police stopped a young motorcyclist, for driving 20 mph over the speed limit on National Route 2 in Nagata Ward in Kobe at around 8 a.m. When the officer approached the vehicle, the rider sped off. When he fled the scene, he ran over the police officer and broke his right leg.

The police chase lasted for about four miles before the rider hit another motorcyclist, a 25-year-old woman, and was flung off of his bike.

While the woman sustained only minor injuries to her left foot, the crash was fatal for the young motorcycle-enthusiast. He was thrown into a support cable for an electric pole, a collision which sliced the man in half, killing him instantly.

Let that be a lesson to us all. Think of it as evolution in action.

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5 Things to Pack in Your Medieval First Aid Kit

13th October 2016

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Like modern people, medieval people dealt with minor ailments and injuries without immediately calling for the doctor. For these minor medical issues, there were some natural remedies that were useful to have on hand pretty much all the time. Here are five things that would have been a handy part of a medieval “first aid kit”, and that (incidentally) science is slowly proving can still be counted on to work in a pinch.

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This Virus Steals DNA From Black Widow Spider Venom to Attack Its Prey

12th October 2016

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A type of virus that only infects bacteria has stolen the DNA of black widow spiders to attack its prey. And just not any DNA, but the genes that code for spider venom. This is the first time we’ve seen a virus take genes from such a complex organism.

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Discoveries May Rewrite History of China’s Terra-Cotta Warriors

12th October 2016

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In the four decades since mysterious terra-cotta statues first came to light in northern China, archaeologists have uncovered a whole lifelike army. But that wasn’t the only secret hidden underground there. Stunning revelations are now rewriting the history of the great ruler who created this army as part of his final resting place. And a radical new theory even suggests that foreign artists trained his craftsmen.

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CFPB “Structurally Unconstitutional” – US Court of Appeals

11th October 2016

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In a rare victory for the Constitution and American political tradition, the US Court of Appeals from the DC Circuit today found that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was “structurally unconstitutional.” The offending structure consists of an independent agency with a single, all-powerful executive director. The Court found that structure fell between two stools – an agency with a single head needs to be accountable to the President, while an independent agency needs to have internal checks and balances by having a multi-member commission format like the SEC and others.

This is a huge win. The CFPB is one of the most glaring Executive branch end-runs around the Constitution in Obama’s checkered career. (Not to mention being an appalling idea in and of itself.)

The Court has now made the director, Richard Cordray, accountable, which means that the President must direct and control the CFPB and its director. He has a lot to do to rein in this rogue agency, as the findings in the rest of the case indicate – the Bureau not only overstepped its powers, it breached due process, and ignored the statute of limitations, in its action against PHH. Whether or not this President will actually take action is, of course, a bit of a moot point.

One brick at a time….

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Evidence Suggests Women’s Ovaries Can Grow New eggs

11th October 2016

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Now there’s a scary thought.

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25 New ‘Dead Sea Scrolls’ Revealed

11th October 2016

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The various scroll fragments record parts of the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Samuel, Ruth, Kings, Micah, Nehemiah, Jeremiah, Joel, Joshua, Judges, Proverbs, Numbers, Psalms, Ezekiel and Jonah. The Qumran caves ? where the Dead Sea Scrolls were first discovered ? had yet to yield any fragments from the Book of Nehemiah; if this newly revealed fragment is authenticated it would be the first.

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When Survival Depends on What’s in Your Backpack

11th October 2016

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Be prepared.

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Why You Love Cheese – the Scientific Explanation

10th October 2016

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As if one were needed.

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All Pop Music Since 1880 in One Clickable Map

9th October 2016

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Meet me up in the Classical bubble….

 

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