Now Playing Tracks


'I've never been so scared': Golfer Pablo Larrazabal jumps into lake to escape swarm of hornets
Pablo Larrazabal couldn’t believe what was coming his way. He was playing in the second round of the Malaysian Open on Friday when a swarm of hornets “three times the size of bees” began an assault.

“They were huge and like 30 or 40 of them started to attack me big-time,” he said. “I didn’t know what to do. My caddie told me to run, so I start running like a crazy guy. But the hornets were still there, so the other players told me to jump in the lake.” (Photo: Joshua Paul/The Associated Press)


Inventor of FM Radio Recognized in Yonkers:

When the inventor of FM radio stepped out a New York City window to his death 60 years ago this winter, he was despondent about the fate of his invention amidst a pitched legal battle with the giant Radio Corporation of America.

We can’t get inside the Major’s mind on that frosty Upper East Side night, but it’s easy to imagine that he believed his work developing FM would fade into technological obscurity.

What would Maj. Edwin Howard Armstrong have made, then, of the crowd that gathered last summer to dedicate a plaque in his honor at one of the spots where he was happiest, his native Yonkers, N.Y.?

Armstrong was born in 1890 in a huge Victorian home just across Warburton Avenue from the site of the bronze plaque in Hudson-Fulton Park. Much of his early work in radio, including the development of the superheterodyne system in the early years of the 20th century, took place in the attic of the Warburton Avenue home.

And after Armstrong’s feud with RCA chairman David Sarnoff pushed his early FM experiments out of RCA’s space in the Empire State Building, the Major looked just across the Hudson River from Yonkers to build his unique three-armed tower in Alpine, N.J., in 1937–38, easily visible then and now from Warburton Avenue (shown above). [read more]

Photo: Steve Klose, who conceived of the plaque and oversaw fundraising and installation, celebrates at the completion of the project — with Armstrong’s tower just over his right shoulder.

Studies Paint More Positive Picture of E-Cigarettes

E-cigarette use has exploded in recent years. As a result, so has the research investigating how the smoking alternatives affect human health. Going back to 2011, we’ve had clinical evidence that smokers who switch to e-cigarettes are able to quit tobacco entirely, and do so with few or no side effects, and that’s very likely because the chemicals in e-cigarettes are not dangerous.

Today it’s the same story. A study published this month by researchers in England found that smoking cessation in the country has increased significantly right along with the growth of e-cigarette use. The result doesn’t necessarily prove that e-cigarettes caused the decline in smoking, but as the study’s authors concluded, the “Evidence conflicts with the view that electronic cigarettes are undermining tobacco control … and they may be contributing to a reduction in smoking prevalence through increased success at quitting smoking.”

Read more

Delicious Irony: Glenn Beck The Target Of Paranoid Anger He Helped Create


Delicious Irony: Glenn Beck The Target Of Paranoid Anger He Helped Create

Now that Beck has condemned violence at a Nevada ranch, his own followers have turned on him - with the same violent talk he used to direct at others.

Now that Beck has condemned violence at a Nevada ranch, his own followers have turned on him – with the same violent talk he used to direct at others.

Glenn Beck has spent years exploiting violent rhetoric and blowing extremist dog whistlesabout the U.S. government. But now that his followers have begun acting out his fantasy at the Cliven Bundy ranch conflict in Nevada, Beck has suddenly gone…

View On WordPress

PayWatch: CEO Pay Hits ‘Insane Level’



It’s good to be a CEO, at least paywise. According to the 2014 AFL-CIO Executive PayWatch, released today, it’s 331 times better to be a CEO than an average worker. PayWatch finds that the average CEO of an S&P 500 company pocketed $11.7 million in 2013, while the average worker earned $35,293. The gap between CEOs and minimum wage workers is more than twice as wide—774 times.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said that PayWatch:

“Calls attention to the insane level of compensation for CEOs, while the workers who create those corporate profits struggle for enough money to take care of the basics.”

While CEO pay has hit stratospheric levels, workers and their families have been left in an economic quagmire of stagnant wagesexpiration of unemployment insurance for long-term jobless workers, an abysmally low minimum wage and unequal pay between men and women.

Many of the CEOs highlighted in PayWatch head companies, such as Walmart, that are notorious for paying low wages. This year PayWatch highlights five low-wage companies through stories from workers at Walmart, Kellogg’s, Reynolds American , Darden Restaurants and T-Mobile.

For example, in fiscal 2013, Walmart CEO Michael T. Duke received $20,693,545 in total compensation. PayWatch points out that a minimum wage worker at Walmart would have had to work 1,372 hours just to earn what Duke made in an hour. Tiffany, a Walmart worker and mother of two in Maryland, said:

“I earned about $12,000 last year as a full-time employee. These poverty wages force my family to receive public assistance. Currently, we are enrolled in the public health care program for low-income families, and the Women, Infants and Children program for my infant daughter.”

And while many of these companies argue that they can’t afford to raise wages, the nation’s largest companies are earning higher profits per employee than they did five years ago. In 2013, S&P 500 companies earned $41,249 in profits per employee, a 38% increase. Said Trumka:

“These companies are run by shortsighted business leaders, because people who earn minimum wage, for instance, can’t afford cellphones from T-Mobile or dinner at Red Lobster or the Olive Garden, both of which are owned by Darden Restaurants. America’s CEOs—as exemplified by the individuals of these companies—are cannibalizing their own consumer base. It’s wrong. It’s unfair, and it’s bad economics.”

PayWatch is the most comprehensive searchable online database tracking the excessive pay of CEOs of the nation’s largest companies. The website offers visitors the ability to compare their own pay to the pay of top executives, highlights the 100 top-paid CEOs, and breaks out CEO pay data by state and by industry.

The site also tracks and grades votes cast by 78 of the largest mutual-fund families on executive compensation at the public companies they invest in. Mutual funds own more than one-fifth of all shares in U.S. public companies, giving them a great deal of influence in determining executive pay at these companies.

PayWatch also gives you a chance to help the nation’s lowest-paid workers by signing a petition urging Congress to pass the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013. It would provide a much-needed increase to $10.10 an hour, raise the tipped minimum wage for the first time in more than 20 years and help lift more than half of the nation’s working poor out of poverty.

Sign the petition to raise the minimum wage. 


Syrian rebels warn of potential Homs massacre as regime troops advance

Syrian government forces stepped up efforts to advance on opposition areas of the central city of Homs on Thursday amid warnings of a potential massacre following months of siege and starvation.

But reports from the scene described rebels clinging to their positions despite tank shelling, sniper fire and air strikes mounted to help government troops recapture several enclaves in the old city. Full story

Photograph: Stringer/Reuters


Iranian mother stops the execution of her son’s murderer, chooses forgiveness instead

Seven years ago, 18-year-old Abdollah Hosseinzadeh was fatally stabbed during a street brawl in Royan, a small town in the northern province of Mazandaran. His attacker, another young man known only as Balal, was sentenced to hanging by public execution. Hosseinzadeh’s parents were allowed to participate by knocking out the chair that would support him.

When the moment finally came this week, Balal, who wore a black hood over his face, and the crowd that had gathered to watch waited for the drop. Hosseinzadeh’s mother approached the gallows.

She didn’t kick. Instead, she slapped him.

Hosseinzadeh’s father then removed Balal’s noose.

Read moreFollow policymic

To Tumblr, Love Pixel Union