Fun Video by @SketchShe for #RedNoseDay

I’m a huge fan of Shae-Lee @ShaeLeeShack, Lana @LanaKington and Madison @madisonLloyd from the comedy group SketchShe.

They made this fun video last year for #RedNoseDay It’s them lipsyncing to Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” across Luna Park in Sydney.

Red Nose Day is about helping lift children out of poverty. This video helped lift me out of gloominess. Watch it, it’s really fun.

Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. rings opening bell at Nasdaq: WBA

Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. rings opening bell for RedNoseDay Nasdaq: WBA

This year the sponsors had some fun. This is Skip Bourdo, Walgreens Corporate Operations Vice President [Nasdaq: WBA] and Christy Gibb of the Comic Relief Board of Trustees ringing the Opening Bell at Nasdaq. I wonder if this years’ Red Nose Day partners from Mars Chocolate North America brought any snacks?

I think it is great when companies do this, it’s one way of showing that they care about their customers and their communities–while having fun doing it.

I often focus on serious issues, but I believe that most people in companies are decent and want to do the right thing. Sometimes they just need an excuse and a way to do it.

People in businesses often make decisions because they think one method is the only profitable one, but if you can show them that doing the right things is just as profitable, if not more so, they will go with it.

For the last 10 years my friends and I have reminded thousands of businesses they don’t want to associate their brand with the hateful and cruel comments of right wing talk show hosts. Those businesses agreed.

The people running businesses probably won’t thank us for giving them a reason to disassociate themselves from hate and nastiness, but we know. You are welcome. Now embrace the fun! It’s what the people want!

For another fun video I also recommend SketchShe’s Hammertime video

5-year-old shoots, kills self because dad’s afraid of a Werewolf?

What the what?

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W. Virginians can now carry concealed guns with no permit or training

Starting today, May 24, 2016, legislation goes into effect that will allow most West Virginia residents to carry concealed handguns without a permit.

They also aren’t required to have any training. At all. As in zero. Nadda. Zilch.

That means no safety training with a gun is required. No live-fire training with a gun is required. They aren’t even required to watch a 5 minute video on gun safety.

This is insane.

West Virginia is now one of eight states where no permits are required: Alaska, Arizona, Wyoming, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi and Vermont.

No permits, no training, the cheapest guns in the USA! What could possibly go wrong? Credit: Taber Andrew Bain Creative Commons license 2.0

I watched some of the video of West Virginians legislators talking about this decision and it boggles my mind this passed.Friends who carry concealed guns take the required training very, very seriously. One has explained how dangerous it is for people from states with weak or no training requirements to be allowed reciprocity carry with his state.

The people in the conceal carry world hammer on the need for training. I was watching a live fire conceal carry training video today. A guy who regularly carries a gun and spends hours at the firing . . . → Read More: W. Virginians can now carry concealed guns with no permit or training

Superhero Movie Themes: Collateral damage is people!

Before the movie Captain America: Civil War came out, Charlie Jane Anders wrote about the themes that the big superhero movies are  using this year: the use or abuse of power and state control. 

“I don’t expect either Batman v. Superman or Civil War to offer an explicit critique of our collective fantasies about power and invulnerability—fantasies that all our political leaders, to some extent, have been pandering to for years.

But she does hope that, “along the way, countless moviegoers might be forced to think for a moment about what kind of responsibility goes along with the use of power.”

It worked, I did think about the responsibilities that come with power. And it wasn’t just because, Mr. “With-great-power-comes-great-responsibility” makes an appearance half way into the movie. I also though about the way the writers of Civil War used human “collateral damage” as the main reason the government needed control over super-powered people.

io9 Writer Germain Lussier, explains, “..the government wanting to control the Avengers, is based on collateral damage: a smaller number of people who mistakenly die to save billions of others.”  He also notes that collateral damage is  “the go-to conflict in superhero movies (see also Batman v Superman).” (I will also note that collateral property damage . . . → Read More: Superhero Movie Themes: Collateral damage is people!

Liberty U lawyers: Your guns are going to cost you money

Liberty University Chapel with recent gun accident headlines

Liberty University to allow handguns in dorm rooms

Next fall, Liberty University students with concealed handgun permits from the state can get permission from the school to keep their guns in safes in their dorm rooms

—Jesse Pounds, Daily Progress)

Liberty has been increasing the places that guns can be carried concealed on campus since 2011. The residents’ hall is one of the last places they were forbidden. Officials have downplayed the number of students who might have guns in the dorm, as well as the risk.

They might also be downplaying their financial liability if someone is injured in a gun accident while in a Liberty dorm or on campus.

Lately I’ve been reading stories of gun accidents. Every day I get about three that trigger my “accidental shooting” alert. I know there are more, but these are the ones that make the news. Check out the last few days: 3-year-old, 3-year-old, 2-year-old, 3-year-old, 3-year-old. 16-year-old 77-year-old.  In the newsbiz, three is a trend. It looks like we are on the way to a trend of toddlers killing more Americans than terrorists.

After I read these I wonder, “Could this have been prevented?” . . . → Read More: Liberty U lawyers: Your guns are going to cost you money

Qapla! We’ve disrupted the RW radio advertising model

My friends at Media Matters For America put up this video pointing out that Rush Limbaugh is no longer the goose that laid the golden egg. In fact, he hasn’t been for years. It’s news now since he is in contract negotiations.  It’s too bad some media outlet won’t dig deeper into what happened to Rush and the AM broadcast radio business.  Right wing radio is no longer a safe place for most consumer advertising. How this happened and what it means might be a good story–if they cared to write it.

They could examine the impact of the revenue decline, but also the reasons behind it.

I don’t expect anyone in the media to “follow the money.” since the money raised for political candidates goes into media buys. But if one did, they might find that lowered revenue expectations and dark money are now keeping Rush afloat.

The political press will talk about how powerful Rush still is and how he and his brethren (cistern?) helped bring us the extreme right wing GOP presidential candidates. They can ignore the lost advertisers, since that is not their metric for power.

The business press might write about the advertisers that . . . → Read More: Qapla! We’ve disrupted the RW radio advertising model

How to stop the NRA’s Arm The Teachers Scheme

http://www.spockosbrain.com/wp-content/uploads/How-to-Stop-The-NRAs-_Arm-the-Teachers_-Scheme.mp4 I made this a few years ago trying out some new animation software. Now with states like Georgia trying to put guns on college campuses this can be brought up again. Who insures Georgia campuses?

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Take a short, fast trip to Paris via hyper-lapse

I went to Paris a long time ago. It’s all a blur now, but thanks to modern technology I can relive that blur in HD in 2 minutes!

I tried to watch in full screen in 4K, but my local modern technology couldn’t keep up. Try it at 2K if you also have a slow connection.

One of the first things I ever saw on the World Wide Web were photos from the Louvre. Look at art you could never visit in person!  People were in “It’s like TV, only on a computer” mode because they didn’t know how to use it yet.  Just like TV was “radio, with moving pictures” at first.

Just for fun I went to the actual Louvre website today. They still have photos, but in a crummy slideshow format. They aren’t even high resolution–although I’m sure you can buy some in the gift shop.

They have two online media “virtual tours”  were you were allowed you pan around a bit. They also have a mobile app, which might be nice, but it’s only for Apple products.

How we interact with the world via our devices has changed as the technology has gotten better, but . . . → Read More: Take a short, fast trip to Paris via hyper-lapse

How dark money infects American minds

I recently listened to two interviews with Jane Mayer on her book Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right. 

During the interviews she explicitly pointed to the power of the Koch Machine to change the public opinion and attitudes with their think tanks, universities, and media.

They push a idea that the climate problem doesn’t exist, or–if it does exist–there is nothing we can do about it. 

Marketeers and messaging gurus from the fossil fuel industry have invested 100’s of millions in a narrative that rejects science and human governments’ ability to act. They want to destroy the hope that we have the ability to make changes.

They throw doubt into scientific successes (“Blank can never replace coal/oil/gas”) while killing legislation that supports other forms of energy

In the superior interview Mayer gave on The Majority Report with Sam Seder she talked to an audience who knew of the Koch brothers and understood the damage they have done that goes beyond elections.

The Koch network’s influence extends into academia, media, state and local politics. This influence will continue no matter who is elected President this fall.

In the interview  on KQED’s Forum, host Michael Krasny suggested that because the Kochs aren’t winning . . . → Read More: How dark money infects American minds

In the face of a dark future, there’s hope

I really enjoyed the recent GOP debate. It had the highest LPMs (Laughs Per Minute) of any Presidential debate in history. But after the laughs, it must have been depressing to see your fellow humans campaigning to get rid of environmental protections and your EPA.

Science News, photo by Todd McInturf/The Detroit News via AP

If my human emotions ruled me, I would be very depressed about the future of America right now.  Fortunately my rational, logical, activist side is in control, so I’m fine.

When I see tiny humans being poisoned, with no urgent steps taken to solve the problem, I wonder, “What is wrong with you humans?” Even the Borg protect their babies!

A healthy baby Borg. Resistance to its cuteness is futile.

Fortunately, there are humans who are working to solve your problems and help others. Some of these people have a more optimistic view of the future than others, so when dark headlines fill my tricorder, I find them to listen to, read and watch.  One of them is Hugo awarding-winning author Charlie Jane Anders.When you poison your own people, deny the science that shows the problem and then don’t race to fix it–the Galactic community wonders if classifying humans as sentient was the right move.

. . . → Read More: In the face of a dark future, there’s hope