Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Queen pardons computing giant Alan Turing 59 years after his suicide - World News

Queen pardons computing giant Alan Turing 59 years after his suicide - World News

Queen Elizabeth II granted a rare "mercy pardon" Monday to Alan Turing, the computing and mathematics pioneer whose chemical castration for being gay drove him to suicide almost 60 years ago.

Turing was one of the leading scientific geniuses of the 20th century — the man who cracked the supposedly uncrackable Enigma code used by Nazi Germany in World War II and the man many scholars consider the father of modern computer science.

By the time he was 23, Turing had hypothesized what would become today's computers — the Turing machine, which could emulate any computing device or program. Almost 80 years later, Turing machines are still used in theoretical computation.
In 1950, Turing came up with the famous Turing Test to determine whether a computer can be considered to have attained artificial intelligence.

But Turing was also gay at a time when that was a crime in Britain, and instead of being hailed as one of the crucial figures in defeating the Nazis, he was convicted of "gross indecency" in 1952 for having had sex with a man.

His security clearance was revoked, he was barred from working for the government and he was chemically castrated with massive injections of female hormones. Less than two years later, in 1954, he killed himself with cyanide, an inquest found. He was just 41 years old.

In recent decades, as Turing's ideas and work have come to be recognized as the foundations of today's technology-driven world, scientists and technology leaders lobbied for him to be pardoned.

In 2009, the British government issued a posthumous apology, but scientists and gay-rights advocates wanted his name completely cleared. More than 37,000 people — many of them eminent scientists, led by Stephen Hawking — signed a petition last year urging Elizabeth to remove the scar from the name of "one of the most brilliant mathematicians of the modern era."

In his book "God Created the Integers," Hawking counted Turing among the most important mathematicians in history, alongside Euclid, Kurt Gödel and Bernard Riemann.

In a decree dated Tuesday but released Monday by Justice Minister Chris Grayling, Elizabeth said she was "Graciously pleased to extend Our Grace and Mercy unto the said Alan Mathison Turing and to grant him Our Free Pardon posthumously in respect of the said convictions."

In a statement, British Prime Minister David Cameron said Turing "saved countless lives" and "played a key role in saving this country in World War II by cracking the German Enigma code."

In a statement of his own, Grayling declared, "A pardon from the Queen is a fitting tribute to an exceptional man."
The rare pardon was issued under the "Royal Prerogative of Mercy," which has been exercised only three other times since 1945, the British newspaper The Independent reported.
Related:Happy 100th birthday, Alan Turing

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Victoria's Secret fashion show: Five fleshy, lace-draped moments - MSN TV News

Victoria's Secret fashion show: Five fleshy, lace-draped moments - MSN TV News

Victoria's Secret fashion show: Five fleshy, lace-draped moments
By Tim Kenneally
The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show aired on CBS on Tuesday night, delivering a pageant of flesh, lace, hair-flipping and lip-pouting that will forever go down in history as perhaps America's greatest moment, next to the moon landing and the Louisiana Purchase.
Photos: Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2013
TheWrap took a moment to jot down a few standout moments. Read below for our rundown.
A Tribute to "Looks Models"Yes, all models are, essentially about their looks.  But there is apparently a subgenre of "looks models" who rise up from the ranks, "modeling" the "looks" that "real" "models" will eventually don on the runway. This year's Victoria's Secret Fashion Show showcased the plights of the looks models, some of whom eventually become bona-fide models. Kudos for championing these unsung heroes of the modeling world!
The Eiffel Tower Headpiece.Because nothing says sexy like wearing a replica of a national monument on your head. Personally, I would have gone with a Bob's Big Boy statuette perched on my noggin, because at least that would have reminded the models to eat once in a while, but that's just me.
The Segment on the Model Who Fell Once, But Learned to Walk the Runway Once Again!Perhaps the most poignant segment during this year's Victoria's Secret Fashion Show revolved around a model who once fell on the runway and — admittedly, ouch! — broke her ankle. Said runway-stutter (does the name really matter?) was given a chance at redemption at this year's show, dressed as a bird of paradise. "If I fall off course, then I'm gonna use my wings to fly," the model noted, but guess what?!!? She didn't need to. Because she successfully WALKED DOWN THE RUNWAY without falling on her well-toned kiester. And she did it while Fall Out Boy was performing — which, it seemed, was an unnecesary touch of ironic cruelty.
Adriana Lima's Workout Segment:Can't look great without s little sweat, right? Adriana Lima proved that she EARNED that body with a sequence that featured the model in the boxing ring. Somewhere, "Gonna Fly Now" is playing in the distance.
Taylor Swift's Ceremony-Closing PerformanceSome (notably, Victoria's Secret model Jessica Hart) took issue with country songbird Taylor Swift's show-ending performance. But you know what? She sparkled! Or at least her dress did. Even if, truth be told, she did seem a touch out of place amid the catwalk-strutters. And she didn't fall down even once.
Related stories from TheWrap:
10 Eye-Popping Stills From Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2013 (Photos)
Ratings: 'Victoria's Secret Fashion Show' Boosts CBS to a Win
Ratings: CBS Wins Night With 'Victoria's Secret' ... and 'Rudolph'

Holiday gift guide 2013: $25 and under - Shopping - MSN Living

Holiday gift guide 2013: $25 and under - Shopping - MSN Living

The Best Tech Gifts for the Holidays : Architectural Digest

The Best Tech Gifts for the Holidays : Architectural Digest

Do squatters actually have rights? - MSN Real Estate

Do squatters actually have rights? - MSN Real Estate


Technically, you could walk into a home that isn't yours and declare ownership without paying a cent. There are a lot more details that would need to play out in just the right way, but theoretically, it's possible through a process called adverse possession.

It's the concept most people are referring to when they talk about "squatters' rights," which generally involve people sitting on a property and using it as their own with the belief that staying there long enough gives them the right to be there. It can take years — sometimes decades — to obtain property through adverse possession, in addition to the other requirements the squatter needs to meet. Squatter, by the way, is not a legal term.

Post continues here

Monday, December 9, 2013


 One of my favorites by Fleetwood Mac -- The lyrics (A-Z Lyrics):

"Gold Dust Woman"
Rock on, gold dust woman
Take your silver spoon
And dig your grave
Heartless challenge
Pick your path and I'll pray
Wake up in the morning
See your sunrise,loves, to go down

 Lousy lovers, pick their prey
But they never cry out loud
Did she make you cry
Make you break down
Shatter your illusions of love
Is it over now, do you know how
Pick up the pieces and go home.

 Rock on, ancient woman

 Follow those who pale
In your shadow
Rulers make bad lovers
You better put your kingdom up for sale
Did she make you cry
Make you break down
Shatter your illusions of love
Is it over now, do you know how
Pickup the pieces and go home.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Pope Francis: 'King Money' system has failed unemployed youth, older people - World News

Pope Francis: 'King Money' system has failed unemployed youth, older people - World News

Per the article:
"Francis' skepticism of free markets and concern about the lack of ethics in finance were shared by his predecessor, Benedict XVI. But Francis' unassuming style and rejection of the traditional trappings of office lend his words particular weight."

""A people that cares neither for its youth nor for its older people has no future," the pope said. "Young people take society into the future, while the older generation gives society its memory, its wisdom.""

"Nearly 6 million people under the age of 25 are without work in the European Union, with jobless rates among the young at close to 60 percent in Spain and Greece."

The U.S. unemployment is also highest in the under 25 age group.

My question (besides how to turn this around) is what makes people, the Pope included, that things get that much better when theses people reach the magical age of 26?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Keep Calm & Be Married Long | Glo Grab Bag | Grab Bag | Glo

Keep Calm & Be Married Long | Glo Grab Bag | Grab Bag | Glo

"Even the best of us lose our cool with our spouse (like when he fails to replace the toilet paper after using the last sheet for the umpteenth time). But if you want a happier marriage long-term, it's up to the wife to keep calm.

A recent study by UC Berkeley that tracked 156 married couples since 1989 found that those with the most marital satisfaction included wives who calmed down and recovered from disagreements quickly. In contrast, husbands' ability to calm down had little impact on the marriage.

Might be time to reboot that yoga membership."

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For Love & Money

When it comes to having a successful, lasting relationship, the secret may be in the bank.

The University of Iowa surveyed 900 men and women (both married and cohabiting) and found one common denominator shared by the happiest couples (regardless of marital status): a joint bank account.

According to researchers, merging finances indicates how determined couples are to make a relationship work, with a joint bank account being the ultimate sign of commitment.

Who knew sharing a checkbook could be so romantic?
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Career No-Nos
When we saw Refinery29's headline "10 Things Not to Say at Work," we actually thought it wouldn't apply to us—after all, we're kind of savvy about this career business. And then we kept reading…

It turns out that words like "actually" (as in "I actually think …") and "kind of" (as in "I kind of disagree") undermine what you're saying and make you appear less confident. Another phrase to avoid: Does that make sense? Instead replace it with, "What are your thoughts?" or "Let me know if you have any questions."

Read more at Refinery29, and let us know if you have any questions.

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Chemistry of Attraction

If you're consistently attracted to the same type of person, it may be your brain's doing.

A new study from Rutgers University sheds light on how four brain chemicals influence our choice in partners. Men and women who are drawn to people with opposite personalities from their own tend to be either testosterone dominant or estrogen dominant. Those who are attracted to like-minded partners are either dopamine or serotonin dominant.

So how can you tell which brain chemical is controlling your love life? Testosterone-dominant individuals are typically analytical and competitive, while estrogen-dominant ones are more nurturing and introspective. And people with high levels of dopamine are reward driven, impulsive and easily bored, while those with high levels of serotonin are typically less anxious and more social.

Not to make your dating life more complicated or anything …

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In the Nude

Christian Louboutin wants women of varying skin tones to experience the leg-lengthening miracle of nude heels.

The Nudes Collection from the designer arrives later this month and includes five shades, ranging from "light blush" to "dark chestnut." Can't decide which hue is best for you? Try out Louboutin's app, which finds your match based on a picture of your feet.

While the pumps may be well over $500, we applaud Louboutin for an idea that's long overdue and hope other designers will follow in his footsteps—all five shades of them.

- - - - - -

First-Person Problems

If you're in the habit of starting most of your sentences with "I think," "I want," "I [anything]," you may want to change up your phrasing.

Researchers from the University of Texas found that overusing the pronoun is a sign of self-consciousness, insecurity and lower status, according to The Wall Street Journal. The study also suggests that if you find yourself conspicuously omitting "I" from your speech, it could indicate that you're hiding the truth.

So how to use "I" without overusing it? Ask more questions in conversations and use "we" rather than "I" when it makes sense.

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Story Time

In case you had any doubts about the titles on our list of 30 books every woman should read by 30, this should reassure you: The Nobel Committee for Literature has confirmed one of our picks, awarding Alice Munro the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Munro, the author of 14 story collections, is the 13th woman to receive the honor. And as any MFA student or alum can tell you, the 82-year-old Canadian has long been considered "master of the contemporary short story."

If you're wondering which book of hers to tackle first, you know which one we'd pick.
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Monday, October 21, 2013

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Man hits the streets seeking 'wealthy wife'- The Heart Beat - MSN Living

Man hits the streets seeking 'wealthy wife'- The Heart Beat - MSN Living

  • Kristin Wongabout kristin wong:
  • Kristin Wong writes about all things dating, sex and love. She hosts MSN Living's original video series, Sex by the Numbers. She's written for Fox Digital and Hollyscoop, and also blogs about personal finance at Get Rich Slowly.

Friday, August 23, 2013

MSN Careers - How to get a job in food styling and photography - Career Advice Article

MSN Careers - How to get a job in food styling and photography - Career Advice Article


I blog about food a lot too.  Check out my label, Food .

A not the nicest example: (From Jim's Little Blog, Tuesday, August 20, 2013)

"We finally made it to Five Guys for our American style meal. Mrs. Jim had a grilled cheese sandwich and I had a BLT. We shared a large order of Fries (not chips) and each had a Diet Coke. The soft drinks came from the new red drink machines like we have in all the BK's (Burger Kings) in Texas.

There was a short line but not bad for almost two in the afternoon. Oh yes, there were free refills on the soft drinks like in most all of the U.S. Eating here very much could get to be habit forming on one. The burgers were just like those in the States except that wouldn't really be a treat for us. Hot dogs are just around the corner.

This is a picture that I enlarged from the Five Guys picture above. Clicking on it will make it larger still. Karen, Mrs. Jim, and KP were in the outside line (queue) waiting to order. Billy was just getting settled and I was taking the picture.

The August 20th writing prompt words to choose from "Tuesday Two-Shoes" are Habit and Lost. Josie Said, "Have Fun!" (link)

P.S. We are back to London now from our wonderful Princess cruise from Venice to Athens via the Black Sea and Istanbul."

Thursday, July 25, 2013

10 easy tricks to avoid vacation weight gain - Health

I haven't read this yet but it should be good.
(Red Velvet Cake made by Mrs. Jim and KP)
So far on my holiday (three weeks) I've lost two more pounds so am down to a 12 pound loss total.  I should keep it that way. 

We walk a lot more than we regularly do.  Also we don't have ice cream for a bed time snack.  And eat only one large meal a day but that's all I hardly ever eat.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Plymouth council becomes first to ban payday loan ads on billboards | UK news | guardian.co.uk

Plymouth council becomes first to ban payday loan ads on billboards | UK news | guardian.co.uk

I wish we would do this in the states. 

More yet, I wish Payday loans were outlawed.  We protect people from abortions, using food stamps for non-essential food, etc.  Why not protect them from this?  Answer? Because the lobbiests who really pay most of our legislators are against a banning.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Crowds gather at City Hall to protest Zimmerman verdict - Houston Chronicle

Crowds gather at City Hall to protest Zimmerman verdict - Houston Chronicle

Best lines:

"The Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell, pastor of Windsor Village United Methodist Church, said he was not in the jury box but wanted to present three facts: Zimmerman was told to stay in the car. When he got out of the car anyway, he was carrying a gun. He shot Martin in the chest.

"If he was genuinely interested in community civility he wouldn't have been packing," Caldwell said."

Saturday, July 20, 2013

i G i v e [dot] c o m info from a user

I've blogged with this lady for quite some time now.  What she was saying sounded good on the surface (read her blog, top link).  But I was wondering where the money came from to pay the charities.  What I found was unsettling:

A check of the reviews (Googled "i g i v e [dot] c o m  review") showed two things:
1)  The charities may not be getting their checks
2)  A pop up comes on when the merchant you selected doesn't subscribe.  Members, try it on Amazon. com (report here: Thread: Shame on i G i v e)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Dementia’s Signs May Come Early - NYTimes.com

A newer area of study called "subjective cognitive decline"

Dementia’s Signs May Come Early - NYTimes.com

Good stuff:

“These people are sensing something, and there’s some biological signals that correlate,” Dr. Petersen said. “I think it’s real ...

Experts emphasize that many people with such complaints will not develop dementia. Some memory decline reflects normal aging, they say, and some concerns reflect psychological angst. People who forget what they wanted in the kitchen or the names of relatively unfamiliar people are probably aging normally. People who forget important details of recent events, get lost in familiar places or lose track of book or television plots may not be, especially if they have more problems than others their age.

- - -

Dr. Jessen said in diseases from arthritis to Parkinson’s, people often feel something is wrong before others notice. In most phases of dementia, family members and friends see deficits, but the disease has usually stolen the person’s ability to recognize them. But at the subjective phase, studies suggest family members may miss problems; the person may feel his mind working harder, but he still functions well.

One of Dr. Caselli’s patients, Roger Siegel, 84, has noticed problems for at least five years, and said he now remembers about 30 percent of what he would like to, and has trouble concentrating. “I take a shower and wonder did I wash that leg,” he said. In books, “many times I forget which character is which.”

- - -

Carol Miller, 61, of Rochester, Minn., part of the Mayo Clinic’s study of cognitively healthy adults, seems more concerned. A registered nurse who retired after being laid off a few years ago, she has forgotten cardiovascular and neurological vocabulary that once “I would recall very easily,” she said. “I don’t trust myself as a safe R.N. because I don’t have the knowledge anymore.”

When shopping for blueberry filling for her daughter’s birthday cake, she twice reached the checkout counter having forgotten it. And twice she has left the stove on. “I could’ve burned the house down,” she said. “That was scary, like ‘Wow, what’s the deal there?’ ”

Still, she said, “so far they tell me I’m normal.”

My First Post

Hi, good reading.  I am glad you came to this, my Little Reading Place.

In here I save links to Web articles which I find interesting. 
For two reasons I do this:
1)  I don't have time to read it very much right now
2)  It is an area of interest to me and so I might wish to come back to the article quickly in the future.

Feel free to browse around.  You can even leave a comment if you wish.  I would be glad (happy) to hear your feelings about anything you see here.

Also I would be honored if you visit my other blogs:
Ask Dr. Jim (blog) (link)