Posts Tagged “linked news”

As much as anyone, Hugh Hefner turned the world on to sex. As the visionary editor who created Playboy magazine out of sheer will and his own fevered dreams, he introduced nudity and sexuality to the cultural mainstream of America and the world.

For decades, the ageless Mr. Hefner embodied the “Playboy lifestyle” as the pajama-clad sybarite who worked from his bed, threw lavish parties and inhabited the Playboy Mansion with an ever-changing bevy of well-toned young beauties. He died Sept. 27 at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles at age 91. His death was announced by Playboy Enterprises Inc. but the cause was not disclosed.

This week across America, millions of children will be getting ready to go back to school and returning home that evening with their first work assignment – an essay with the title: “What I did on my summer holidays.”

Now imagine for a second you’re Donald Trump, and you’ve just been given that piece of homework. I think the first thing you’re going to do is ask for a few extra sheets of paper because, what a summer. This is what Donald and his pals in the White House got up to:

  • Tweets a doctored video of himself performing a bodyslam on Vince McMahon at WrestleMania 23, with the CNN logo superimposed on McMahon’s head
  • Goes to the G20 meeting. Meets Putin twice, one occasion not reported to the press. At one session, sends Ivanka in his place
  • Hires a new communications director called Anthony Scaramucci
  • Press secretary Sean Spicer quits in protest. Says he’s happy but is fulminating
  • The Mooch (aka Scaramucci) gives obscene interview to New Yorker magazine
  • Trump fires his chief of staff, the hapless Reince Priebus (abandoned at Andrews air force base)
  • Hires a new one, Gen Kelly, who was the head of homeland security
  • On Kelly’s first day, the president fires the new communications director – Scaramucci has lasted just 10 days – less time than it takes for a pint of milk to go off
  • He hires a new comms director, his fourth in seven months
  • He publicly shames his attorney-general, numerous times, but Jeff Sessions clings on
  • Loses a healthcare bill
  • Publicly lashes the three Republicans who voted against it, several times
  • Bans transgender people from the military, via Twitter, without telling the military
  • Military chiefs say: “Forget it, we don’t take orders from tweets; there’s a chain of command”
  • Makes political speech to Scouts aged between 11-18
  • Claims Scouts leader rang to congratulate him on greatest speech ever made
  • Scouts leader says there was no such call, and issues statement apologising to Scouts for president’s misjudged address
  • Says the president of Mexico rang to congratulate him on his border policies
  • Mexican president says no such call ever took place
  • White House denies the president is a liar, but can’t explain the president’s claims
  • Takes days to sign bipartisan sanctions bill and then criticises Congress for making him sign it
  • Thanks Vladimir Putin for expelling hundreds of American diplomats
  • Condemns leaks but then says he likes the leaks because it shows people love him
  • Encourages police officers to be rough with suspects during arrests
  • Police chiefs condemn statement. White House clarifies that it was a joke
  • Publicly shames the Republican Senate leader, whom he needs to get anything done, several times
  • Seems to respond to North Korea by threatening nuclear war
  • Tells Guam, which has a big US military base which North Korea’s leader threatened to attack, that the publicity will help tourism
  • Chief strategist Steve Bannon contradicts president. Says: “There’s no military option in NK”
  • Threatens Venezuela with a military option
  • After a neo-Nazi rally in which a woman was killed, the president blames both sides
  • Retweets photoshopped cartoon of a train running over a CNN reporter
  • After backlash, cleans it up. Denounces white supremacists, neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan
  • Cross at having been forced to do this, erases all of it and reverts to blaming both sides, saying there were “fine people there”
  • Military high command issue statement condemning all forms of discrimination in thinly veiled attack on commander-in-chief
  • Promotes his Virginia vineyard when asked if he will – as president – visit Charlottesville
    And gets condemnations from Democrats, Republicans, former presidents, world leaders, allies, his own staff, and the Pope.

  • Vineyard says they have no affiliation with him
  • Publicly shames company bosses who abandon him. There’s a mass walkout by execs leading to disbanding of key White House business bodies
  • Fires Steve Bannon, his chief strategist and architect of Trump victory
  • Does U-turn on Afghanistan and commits more troops, having repeatedly said he’d pull US forces out
  • Threatens to close government down if he doesn’t get funding for border wall with Mexico
  • Appeals for unity of American people
  • Next day lambasts his enemies and critics in highly partisan speech
  • Day after that appeals for unity again
  • Pardons ex-Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, who had been convicted for defying court order to stop traffic patrols targeting suspected immigrants

And this is the quiet season. This is the still, millpond of August when nothing happens; when days are long and news bulletins are slim, when surfing dogs and the battle of the bake-offs should dominate the news cycle.
Barack Obama’s former chief of staff, and now the Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, tweeted at one point that he was going to nominate the White House for a Tony award for most drama. Not best drama. Just most.

Original article published by the BBC

The first generation to do worse than its parents? Please. Been there. Generation X was told that so many times that it can’t even read those words without hearing Winona Ryder’s voice in its heads. Or maybe it’s Ethan Hawke’s. Possibly Bridget Fonda’s. Generation X is getting older, and can’t remember those movies so well anymore. In retrospect, maybe they weren’t very good to begin with. 

But Generation X is tired of your sense of entitlement. Generation X also graduated during a recession. It had even shittier jobs, and actually had to pay for its own music. (At least, when music mattered most to it.) Generation X is used to being fucked over. It lost its meager savings in the dot-com bust. Then came George Bush, and 9/11, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Generation X bore the brunt of all that. And then came the housing crisis.

Generation X wasn’t surprised. Generation X kind of expected it.

Generation X is a journeyman. It didn’t invent hip hop, or punk rock, or even electronica (it’s pretty sure those dudes in Kraftwerk are boomers) but it perfected all of them, and made them its own. It didn’t invent the Web, but it largely built the damn thing. Generation X gave you Google and Twitter and blogging; Run DMC and Radiohead and Nirvana and Notorious B.I.G. Not that it gets any credit.

But that’s okay. Generation X is used to being ignored, stuffed between two much larger, much more vocal, demographics. But whatever! Generation X is self-sufficient. It was a latchkey child. Its parents were too busy fulfilling their own personal ambitions to notice any of its trophies-which were admittedly few and far between because they were only awarded for victories, not participation.

In fairness, Generation X could use a better spokesperson. Barack Obama is just a little too senior to count among its own, and it has debts older than Mark Zuckerberg. Generation X hasn’t had a real voice since Kurt Cobain blew his brains out, Tupac was murdered, Jeff Mangum went crazy, David Foster Wallace hung himself, Jeff Buckley drowned, River Phoenix overdosed, Elliott Smith stabbed himself (twice) in the heart, Axl got fat.

Generation X is beyond all that bullshit now. It quit smoking and doing coke a long time ago. It has blood pressure issues and is heavier than it would like to be. It might still take some ecstasy, if it knew where to get some. But probably not. Generation X has to be up really early tomorrow morning.

Generation X is tired.

It’s a parent now, and there’s always so damn much to do. Generation X wishes it had better health insurance and a deeper savings account. It wonders where its 30s went. It wonders if it still has time to catch up.

Right now, Generation X just wants a beer and to be left alone. It just wants to sit here quietly and think for a minute. Can you just do that, okay? It knows that you are so very special and so very numerous, but can you just leave it alone? Just for a little bit? Just long enough to sneak one last fucking cigarette? No?

Whatever. It’s cool.

Generation X is used to disappointments. Generation X knows you didn’t even read the whole thing. It doesn’t want or expect your reblogs; it picked the wrong platform.

Generation X should have posted this to LiveJournal.

London’s Victoria and Albert Museum will house the special tribute to the iconic psychedelic band next spring and mark 50 years since the release of their 1967 debut single Arnold Layne.

The exhibition will feature a laser light show and previously unseen concert footage as well as more than 350 objects and artefacts including instruments, handwritten lyrics, posters, architectural drawings and psychedelic prints. 

The V&A opened ticket sales and announced the exhibition by flying a giant inflatable pink pig near the museum’s entrance, a reference to the inflatable swine which once soared over Battersea power station and featured on the cover of Pink Floyd’s 1977 album Animals. 

The band were founded in 1965 by students Syd Barrett, Roger Waters, Richard Wright and Mason. Barrett, who parted ways with Floyd in 1968, died in 2006 and Wright died in 2008. The remaining members are collaborating for the V&A show.

“I did think we’d be short of material. That’s turned out to be entirely incorrect. I can’t tell you how much stuff won’t fit in,” said Nick Mason.

The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains opens on 13 May 2017 and runs for 20 weeks.

Nestlé has poached the head of Germany’s Fresenius healthcare group to become chief executive as the world’s largest food and drinks group drives further into nutrition and wellness. Ulf Mark Schneider, who will replace Paul Bulcke, is the first outside appointment to the helm of the 150-year old Swiss group since 1922. Nestlé has traditionally appointed its chief executive from candidates groomed from its top management ranks. The appointment of Mr Schneider — who will take over from Mr Bulcke next January — is a blow for long serving insiders tipped as possible candidates. They included Laurent Freixe, head of Nestlé’s US operations, and Chris Johnson, an American responsible for corporate services. Swiss media had also tipped Wan Ling Martello, head of AOA operations, as a possible successor.

Mr Bulcke, the Belgian who has been chief executive for more than eight years, is expected become Nestlé’s chairman early next year. Mr Bulcke’s move had long been anticipated but the timing of Monday’s announcement came earlier than expected. Mr Schneider, 50, who has German and US citizenship, is credited by analysts with building Fresenius into a global healthcare company. The decision to hand the reins to Schneider supports Nestle’s goal to move beyond its roots and redefine itself as a scientifically-driven nutrition and health company. Over the past five years, as packaged-food makers have been criticized for contributing to a growing obesity crisis, Nestle has invested heavily in its health-science subsidiary, which seeks to commercialize discoveries made by its research arm in areas like metabolic health and Alzheimer’s disease.

The succession chain at the Swiss company was prompted by the planned retirement next year of Peter Brabeck-Letmathe as chairman of the board, when the 71-year-old chairman hits mandatory retirement age next year. Mr Brabeck-Letmathe had first initiated the push into wellness and health when he was Nestlé’s chief executive, aiming to secure future growth to counteract the effects of changing consumer demand on the Swiss group’s traditional food, drinks and confectionery products.

The last outsider appointed to head Nestlé was banking expert Louis Dapples in 1922, who was brought into streamline the company when a collapse in demand for powdered milk after the first world war plunged the group into crisis. Alongside the senior management shake-up, Nestlé said it would now fully integrate its health science and skin care units into the wider organisation, with both reporting directly to the chief executive from next year. Mr Schneider described Nestlé as a “truly iconic” global company.

Last year, Nestlé reported sales of CHF88.8bn and net profits of CHF9.1bn. But organic sales growth of 4.2 per cent fell short of its target for a third consecutive year as it battled against spluttering economies, tumbling prices and a health scare in India that hit sales of its Maggi noodles.

Maïa Mazaurette, a French sex columnist:

I can only compare it to the countries I’ve lived in — Germany, and now Denmark, and I’ve made some trips to the U.S. I’d say the main difference is that in France we’re so straightforward. We don’t have these dating rituals; we just start with sex! And then, if the sex was good enough or we feel connected somehow, then we would try to build a relationship.

So you always have sex on the first date, then?

Absolutely! But it’s not even an issue because there is no date. There is just first sex. You think someone is attractive, you give it a try. I think it really makes sense. (Of course I say that, because I’m French, right?) But if you don’t have sex first, you build up too much pressure. You start thinking, I have seen this guy for four or five restaurants, or however you do it in the U.S., and what if it fails? If you get sex out the way first, then you can only have good surprises.

I never dated an American guy, but even with Danish and German guys, there were so many dates and it was taking so much time. At some point I just felt like, Ahhh! Stop it, are you going to kiss me? Are we going to your place? My place? Do something! I felt like I was investing a lot of time in something that might not be worth it anyway.

It’s interesting to me that France is a predominantly Catholic nation, and yet the culture is so sexually free.

Yes, but we don’t connect sex with ethics or morality or values in general, you know? There have been many studies about how French people don’t care about the sex life of our president, or if a person is unfaithful. It’s absolutely not a problem for me. Now, if my boyfriend and I have an agreement, that’s important. But I actually see a lot of my friends who are a bit older than me, maybe 40 or 45, who are always renegotiating the boundaries of their relationship. And a lot of them are okay with being unfaithful, as long as you don’t say it. It’s actually quite old-fashioned, as if we’re in the Victorian era, and your husband or your wife is the person you share children, a house, and money with, but for passion or a bit of adventure, you go elsewhere. The couple is not the place for adventure. It’s the place where you want to feel safe and watch Game of Thrones.


Valencian trio hopes site brings traditional recipes to masses and rescues paella from further bastardisation by Jamie Oliver et al

Horrified by chefs making paella with ingredients including poached eggs and avocados, three men from Spain’s Valencian region have banded together to fight what they call the increasing “prostitution” of one of the country’s most emblematic dishes. Wikipaella aims to help “police” paella around the world, said co-founder Guillermo Navarro. “It’s a dish that’s really trendy these days. And there’s lots of people taking advantage of it and selling what they call authentic, traditional or Spanish paella.”

Time spent in the UK and the US gave Navarro a first-hand experience of how a dish treasured by his family for generations was losing its identity. “It’s like no, amigo, no,” he said, recalling some of the paellas he had eaten outside of Spain.

Particularly egregious to him was the slew of UK chefs who add chorizo to their recipes. “If Jamie Oliver wants to make his own version of paella, well that’s good,” Navarro said. “But don’t present as something authentic or traditional, because its not. Imagine if we said that we were making typical British fish and chips and we were putting oranges in it?”

Navarro had thought that it was just a matter of misinformation outside of Spain. But the problem persisted when he moved to Madrid. “In Madrid, 90% of the paellas that you eat can’t be compared to real paella.”

It was from this frustration – shared by many from Spain’s Valencian region – that Wikipaella was born. “It’s a citizen’s response to this problem,” said Navarro. “They’re pulling the wool over our eyes, we’re going to try and tell the people this.”

Launched last week, the site aims to be a portal into the world of authentic paella and other traditional rice dishes of the region; whether through certifying restaurants that serve the real deal, sharing recipes or answering the public’s questions.

One of Wikipaella’s first steps was to create a definitive list of what can be allowed in an authentic Valencian paella, some feat considering that each community in the region has their own take on the rice dish. After analysis of 170 traditional recipes, it was decided: yes to ingredients ranging from snails to rabbit and artichokes; but no to everything else – especially the artificial food colouring often used instead of saffron.

The site will be a place where paella fans – Spaniards and foreigners alike – can come together and share their thoughts on what makes the dish authentic, said Navarro. He is hoping to have the English version of the site up and running by this Friday. “Our objective is to have the majority of people know what an authentic paella from our region is,” he said. “We want it to be like pizza – where people can add in whatever ingredients they want, but that they know what a traditional pizza is.”

His team is not alone in taking paella seriously. In Benidorm, the Saint Anthony Catholic University recently announced it would be launching what it said was the world’s first Masters in rice and paella dishes of the Mediterranean.

I guess I’ll just stick to making non-paella paella, because I happen to like chorizo :)

(Reuters) – The European Union said on Sunday it has postponed negotiations with Switzerland on its participation in multibillion-dollar research and educational schemes in the latest fallout from a shock Swiss vote in favor of immigration curbs. The decision follows Switzerland’s announcement that the result of last week’s referendum on immigration means that it will not be able to sign a labor market pact with new EU member Croatia on July 1 as planned.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has warned that the narrow Swiss vote to restore quotas for migrants from the EU in breach of an accord with Brussels, would have “serious consequences” for relations between the wealthy Alpine nation and the 28-member union surrounding it.

In one immediate consequence, the EU’s executive Commission said it was postponing talks on Swiss participation in both the EU’s 80-billion-euro ($109 billion) Horizon 2020 research program and its 14.7-billion-euro Erasmus+ educational exchange program. Both schemes cover the period from 2014 to 2020.

A Commission spokesman said there was a close link between Swiss participation in Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+ and the planned Swiss agreement with Croatia as the EU schemes involved the free movement of researchers and students.

“The protocol (with Croatia) has not been signed yet. Given the circumstances and in the absence of a clear political signal to do so, upcoming negotiation rounds have been postponed until Switzerland signs the protocol,” he said.

Swiss government spokesman Philipp Schwander said earlier on Sunday that Switzerland could not sign the labor market pact with Croatia in the agreed form “due to the new constitutional provision provided by the February 9 vote.” He said Switzerland was still keen to seal the deal with Croatia in a way that took the vote into account and did not discriminate against Croatian workers. The referendum, backed by the right-wing Swiss People’s Party (SVP), has sent Swiss diplomats scrambling to contain the damage in Brussels.

Derek Lowe is an organic chemist. He’s worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. He also has a very amusing blog that contains, among other gems, a comprehensive list of things he’ll never work with.

Some choice quotes:

Mercury Azides: Explosions are definitely underappreciated as a mixing technique, but in this case, they are keeping you from forming any larger crystals, a development which the paper says, with feeling, “should be avoided by all means”.

Azidoazide Azides: We’re talking high-nitrogen compounds here, and the question is not whether such things are going to be explosive hazards. (That’s been settled by their empirical formulas, which generally look like typographical errors). The question is whether you’re going to be able to get a long enough look at the material before it realizes its dream of turning into an expanding cloud of hot nitrogen gas.

Selenophenol: The chemical literature has numerous examples of people who are at a loss for words when it comes to describing its smell, but their attempts are eloquent all the same. “Imagine 6 skunks wrapped in rubber innertubes and the whole thing is set ablaze. That might approach the metaphysical stench of this material.” So we’ll start with that.

Hexanitrohexaazaisowurtzitane: There’s a recent report of a method to make a more stable form of it, by mixing it with TNT. Yes, this is an example of something that becomes less explosive as a one-to-one cocrystal with TNT. Although, as the authors point out, if you heat those crystals up the two components separate out, and you’re left with crystals of pure CL-20 soaking in liquid TNT, a situation that will heighten your awareness of the fleeting nature of life.

Dioxygen Difluoride: At seven hundred freaking degrees, fluorine starts to dissociate into monoatomic radicals, thereby losing its gentle and forgiving nature. But that’s how you get it to react with oxygen to make a product that’s worse in pretty much every way.

Chalcogen Polyazides: The experimental section of the paper enjoins the reader to wear a face shield, leather suit, and ear plugs, to work behind all sorts of blast shields, and to use Teflon and stainless steel apparatus so as to minimize shrapnel.

Chlorine Trifluoride: It is apparently about the most vigorous fluorinating agent known, and is much more difficult to handle than fluorine gas. That’s one of those statements you don’t get to hear very often. The compound also a stronger oxidizing agent than oxygen itself, which also puts it into rare territory. ”It is, of course, extremely toxic, but that’s the least of the problem. It is hypergolic with every known fuel, and so rapidly hypergolic that no ignition delay has ever been measured. It is also hypergolic with such things as cloth, wood, and test engineers, not to mention asbestos, sand, and water-with which it reacts explosively. It can be kept in some of the ordinary structural metals-steel, copper, aluminium, etc.-because of the formation of a thin film of insoluble metal fluoride which protects the bulk of the metal, just as the invisible coat of oxide on aluminium keeps it from burning up in the atmosphere. If, however, this coat is melted or scrubbed off, and has no chance to reform, the operator is confronted with the problem of coping with a metal-fluorine fire. For dealing with this situation, I have always recommended a good pair of running shoes.”

This makes me smile, for I know that it’ll put some people’s nose out of joint. It just reinforces what I already knew, that I work for a good company.

Nestlé is in the 10 best global firms for corporate responsibility (CR) reporting, according to an independent survey published by audit, tax and advisory company KPMG. It was the only food and beverage business to make the top 10 list, which was compiled from an assessment of 4,100 firms across 41 countries and 15 industry sectors. Those entered in the list from other sectors included BMW, Ford Motor Company and Siemens. This latest recognition of Nestléfollowed the Dow Jones Sustainability Index naming the business as the leading food products company in its ranking.

Janet Voûte, global head of public affairs at Nestlé, said: “High-level commitment to transparency is very important to the quality of the report you end up with. Transparency helps us address problems, and there’s no doubt it contributes to better interactions with external stakeholders,” she said, explaining that Nestlé regularly holds forums and face-to-face meetings with key stakeholder groups, including non-governmental organisations.

The KPMG survey assessed companies using criteria including how they calculated risks and responded to those risks; how transparent and balanced their reporting was and how they reported on their suppliers and value chain. Nestlé was one of only 10 firms that scored more than 90 out of 100 in all of these criteria. The KPMG survey has been running since 1993 and includes an in-depth assessment of CR reports from the world’s 250 largest companies.