Apr 23, 2014
We aren’t doing anything tricky here.
There are no mirrors, no special effects, no trick photography and no image manipulation.
Take a look at the green and blue colors in the illustration below.
The colors are nice, right?
Except for one thing……
Apr 23, 2014
This little video answers one of the great and imperative questions of our time.
Apr 22, 2014
Yesterday was “Tax Freedom Day” for the United States.
Tax Freedom Day is the day when the nation as a whole has earned enough money to pay its total tax bill for year. A vivid, calendar-based illustration of the cost of government, Tax Freedom Day divides all federal, state, and local taxes by the nation’s income. In 2014, Americans will pay $3.0 trillion in federal taxes and $1.5 trillion in state taxes, for a total tax bill of $4.5 trillion, or 30.2 percent of income. This year, Tax Freedom Day falls on April 21, or 111 days into the year.
The tax burden is more than Americans will spend on food clothing and housing combined.
If you calculate the date to include federal borrowing:
Since 2002, federal expenses have exceeded federal revenues, with the budget deficit exceeding $1 trillion annually from 2009 to 2012 and over $800 billion in 2013. In 2014, the deficit will continue to decline to $636 billion. If we include this annual federal borrowing, which represents future taxes owed, Tax Freedom Day would occur on May 6, 15 days later.
Somehow we can’t get this quote out of our mind:
A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circlue of our felicities. – Thomas Jefferson.
Apr 22, 2014
There is a lesson to be learned here by the kids, but we aren’t sure what that lesson is.
Apr 21, 2014
You can find an app for almost anything these days. For example, here is an app called “French Girls:”
French Girls is the legendary award-winning* app where strangers anonymously draw portraits based on “selfies” of others. Take photos, draw portraits, and enjoy the photos and portraits that strangers have deemed appropriate to share with the digital world, all from the convenience of your iPhone.
On the homepage, the app has a nifty illustration. We can’t put our finger on it, but there seems to be something out of kilter with it.
Apr 21, 2014
Behold the nine year of daughter of Bergen Community College (New Jersey) professor of art and animation Francis Schmidt.
She’s a cutie.
The young girl was practicing yoga in her “Game of Thrones” tee-shirt when her father snapped a picture and put it on his Google+ account.
A dean at the school who received the post notified the school as he took the picture as some sort of “threat.”
In an email, Jim Miller, the college’s executive director for human resources, told Schmidt to meet with him and two other administrators immediately in light of the “threatening email.”
Although it was winter break, Schmidt said he met with the administrators, including a security official, in one of their offices and was questioned repeatedly about the picture’s meaning and the popularity of “Game of Thrones.”
Schmidt said Miller asked him to use Google to verify the phrase, which he did, showing approximately 4 million hits. The professor said he asked why the photo had set off such a reaction, and that the security official said that “fire” could be a kind of proxy for “AK-47s.”
Despite Schmidt’s explanation, he was notified via email later in the week that he was being placed on leave without pay, effectively immediately, and that he would have to be cleared by a psychiatrist before he returned to campus. Schmidt said he was diagnosed with depression in 2007 but was easily cleared for this review, although even the brief time away from campus set back his students, especially those on independent study.
Maybe the cat in the image terrified the dean who reported the picture as well. After all, a small cat can be a metaphor for a flesh eating lion being let loose in the halls of the college. (It makes about as much sense as “fire” and “AK-47′s” being the same thing.)
We cannot believe that a professor was told he could not return to work for posting a picture of his daughter in a tee shirt from a popular TV show.
The wrong person was suspended and told to visit the psychiatrist.
Apr 20, 2014
After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.
His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow.
The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.
He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.
Matthew 28:1-6 (NIV)
Apr 19, 2014
The Chinese came in force, focusing their attacks on three outposts in front of the Marines’ frontlines.
Thousands of rounds of rifle fire, mortars and artillery were concentrated on the small outposts as hundreds of Chinese troops swarmed over the positions in March 1953. The fight seesawed back and forth as the two sides fought ferociously.
The air was thick with smoke, tracer rounds were streaking in both directions and the dead and injured were piling up. Marine Sgt. Harold Wadley turned to see a small horse stagger up a hill loaded with heavy 75mm recoilless rifle ammunition.
“I didn’t think she’d live five seconds,” Wadley said.
The US Marines have honored Reckless with a statue in Semper Fidelis Memorial Park, adjacent to the National Museum of the Marine Corps.