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Brain-eating killer songbirds and other existential threats...

Published Friday, May 08, 2020 @ 12:00 AM EDT
May 08 2020

Today is Friday, May 8, the 129th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. 237 days remain until the end of the year.


Among other things, today is Fintastic Friday: Giving Sharks a Voice, Free Trade Day, Iris Day, Military Spouse Appreciation Day, National Coconut Cream Pie Day, National Give Someone a Cupcake Day, National Have a Coke Day, National Public Gardens Day, National Student Nurses Day, No Socks Day, Pesach Sheni, Provider Appreciation Day, Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation for Those Who Lost Their Lives during the Second World War, Victory in Europe Day, World Ovarian Cancer Day, and World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day.


According to Wired, Covid-19's scary blood clots aren't that surprising. According to the author, "researchers have long known about the link between infectious diseases and blood clotting. There's even data to suggest a heightened risk of fatal heart attacks—a related complication—among those who get plain old influenza." Swell.


Here's that CDC document that the Trump mob said "would never see the light of day." Nice work, Associated Press. The plan is to have no plan. "There is no genius there, only a damaged human being playing havoc with our lives." Speaking of having no plan, one of Trump's personal valets has tested positive for coronavirus. So, what's next? A senior administration official said he expects the president to begin publicly questioning the death toll as it closes in on his predictions for the final death count and damages him politically.


Of course, the big question the country is asking today is Which Supreme Court justice flushed the toilet during oral arguments?


Not only is our economy tanking, but so is our respect for the rule of law: The Justice Dept. is dropping charges against the former Trump aide Michael Flynn, a stark reversal for a defendant who'd twice pleaded guilty.



How can there be anything worse than Murder Hornets? How about the brain-eating killer songbird apocalypse? No worries, though. The songbirds in question (a certain population of great tits) eat only bat brains. Of course, bats harbor zillions of viruses, which could be transferred to the birds, and... can you say "avian flu"?

We'll probably end up doing ourselves in. Think the coronavirus is nasty? How about a human-engineered pandemic (which the current SARS-CoV-2 most certainly isn't, conspiracy theories notwithstanding). Check out #3 on this video. The observation that our "outbreak response protocols are rapidly improving" is almost laughable given our current situation. But the video is over a year old, and I don't think anyone could have predicted how one man could ignore and even sabotage medical science.

By the way, I heartily recommend the SciShow channel on YouTube. They have thousands of brief, cogent, and entertaining videos covering an astonishingly large range of subjects.


Harry S. Truman (May 8, 1884 – December 26, 1972), the 33rd President of the United States, was famous for the sign on his desk:

While this concept is totally foreign to the current President, some things don't change. As Truman observed: "A liar in public life is a lot more dangerous than a full, paid up Communist, and I don't care who he is."

More Truman quotes here.


On this date in 1886, pharmacist John Stith Pemberton first sold his carbonated beverage named "Coca-Cola", which was originally was marketed and sold as a patent medicine.


Remembering the original voice of Elmer Fudd, Arthur Q. Bryan (May 8, 1899 – November 18, 1959).


On this day in 1912, Paramount Pictures Corporation was founded as Famous Players Film Company.


Remembering Bob Clampett (May 8, 1913 – May 2, 1984), best known for his work on the Looney Tunes animated series from Warner Bros. Clampett directed 84 cartoons later deemed classic and designed some of the studio's most famous characters, including Porky Pig, Daffy Duck, and Tweety.


Remembering Saul Bass (May 8, 1920 – April 25, 1996), the innovative graphic designer and Oscar-winning filmmaker, best known for his design of motion-picture title sequences, film posters, and corporate logos.


Remembering Don Rickles (May 8, 1926 – April 6, 2017), the insult comedian aka "The Merchant of Venom" and "Mr. Warmth."


On this date in 1962, the Broadway musical A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum had its first of 965 performances, winning six Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical (Zero Mostel).


Fifty years ago today, The Beatles' twelfth and final studio album, Let It Be, was released about a month after the group's breakup. The album spent four weeks atop the Billboard albums chart (June 13 - July 4) and has sold over four million copies since its initial release.


Those were the days... on this date in 1980, the World Health Organization" confirmed the eradication of smallpox.


Remembering Ricky Nelson (May 8, 1940 – December 31, 1985), who grew up on the long-running television series The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet where he became a pop star. His last hit, 1972's Garden Party, reached number six on the Billboard Hot 100. Nelson and six others were killed when his refurbished DC-3 aircraft crashed on December 31, 1985, on a "comeback tour."


If 24/7 news coverage of the pandemic isn't enough, you can curl up with a book: Everything you ever wanted to know about pandemics in 'The End Of October'.


Daniel and Valerie Zane, married 71 years, die two days apart. "He said that the end of Val's life was like being in the foxhole at the Battle of the Bulge, but even that was easier," Mr. Hettwer said. "He said that at least in war, you have all your soldiers around you. You have the camaraderie." Mr. Zane had always seemed to be a survivor. "We thought he would have more time with us," Robin Zane said. "In the end, it was almost as if she had said, 'I'm not going alone,' and as if he had said, 'You're not going alone.'"


You're doing it wrong. Only 1 in 75 households are cooking chicken safely.


The Trump administration is reversing nearly 100 environmental rules. Here's the full list.


Why stop with destroying the environment? Trump vows complete end of Obamacare law despite pandemic. While the president has said he will preserve some of the Affordable Care Act's most popular provisions, including guaranteed coverage for preexisting medical conditions, he has not offered a plan to do so, and his administration's legal position seeks to end all parts of the law, including those provisions. (That's because he's a pathological liar.)


What else can Trump destroy upon which we all depend? Trump ally named next postmaster general. Louis DeJoy, who is currently overseeing fundraising for this year's Republican National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., will assume the post, the Postal Service's board of governors announced Wednesday.


Americans died from covid-19 at the rate of about one every 42 seconds during the past month. That ought to keep any president awake at night. Not Donald Trump.


"Confronted with America's worst public health crisis in generations, President Trump declared himself a wartime president. Now he has begun doing what past commanders have done when a war goes badly: Declare victory and go home."


Three Russian doctors have fallen from hospital windows in two weeks, amid reports of dire conditions. The exact circumstances of the separate incidents in the last two weeks remain unclear and they are being investigated by police, but they underscore the enormous strains that Russian doctors and nurses have faced during the outbreak. Reports said two of the doctors had protested their working conditions and the third was being blamed after her colleagues contracted the virus.


It's come to this: Cornhole Mania 2020 to Air on ESPN and ESPN2.


3.2 million filed for unemployment benefits last week.


New research shows a rise in food insecurity without modern precedent. Among mothers with young children, nearly one-fifth say their children are not getting enough to eat, according to a survey by the Brookings Institution, a rate three times as high as in 2008, during the worst of the Great Recession.

Things are getting really rough out there. Please consider donating to Feeding America.

Categories: ACA, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Arthur Q. Bryan, Associated Press, Bob Clampett, Brain-eating killer songbirds, CDC, Child Hunger, Children, Coca Cola, Cornhole, Covid-19, Daffy Duck, Donald Trump, Don Rickles, Elmer Fudd, EPA, ESPN, Existential Threats, Feeding America, Food, Food Stamps, Harry S. Truman, John Stith Pemberton, Justice Department, Let It Be, Looney Tunes, Michael Flynn, Obamacare, Paramount Pictures, Porky Pig, Post Office, Rick Nelson, SCOTUS, Seth Meyers, Smallpox, SNAP, Supreme Court, The Beatles, Tweety, Unemployment, USPS, W.H.O., Warner Bros, Wired, YouTube, Zero Mostel


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Published Thursday, June 23, 2016 @ 8:12 AM EDT
Jun 23 2016

Categories: Children, Congress, Hypocrisy, Paul Ryan, Republicans


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Published Friday, May 03, 2013 @ 6:08 AM EDT
May 03 2013

[A]dults are just obsolete children, and the hell with them. (Theodor Seuss Geisel)
-Dr. Seuss

A child becomes an adult when he realizes that he has a right not only to be right but also to be wrong.
-Thomas Szasz

A child is a gift that parents give to themselves, forever expecting the child to be grateful.
-Robert Brault

A child, like your stomach, doesn't need all you can afford to give it.
-Frank A. Clark

A family is a unit composed not only of children but of men, women, an occasional animal, and the common cold.
-Ogden Nash

A happy childhood is the worst possible preparation for life.
-Kinky Friedman

A hungry child knows no politics.
-Ronald Reagan

A school is a hopper into which children are heaved while they are still young and tender; therein they are pressed into certain standard shapes and covered from head to heels with official rubber-stamps.
-H.L. Mencken

A suburban mother's role is to deliver children obstetrically once, and by car forever after.
-Peter de Vries

A Sunday school is a prison in which children do penance for the evil conscience of their parents.
-H.L. Mencken

A suspicious parent makes an artful child.
-Richard Haliburton

A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty.

Adorable children are considered to be the general property of the human race. Rude children belong to their mothers.
-Judith Martin

Adulthood is the ever-shrinking period between childhood and old age. It is the apparent aim of modern industrial societies to reduce this period to a minimum.
-Thomas Szasz

All children are morbid: it's their one saving grace.
-Truman Capote

All children should be aptitude-tested at an early age and, if their main or only aptitude is for marketing, drowned.
-David Canzi

All God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable.
-Fran Lebowitz

All good qualities in a child are the result of environment, while all the bad ones are the result of poor heredity on the side of the other parent.
-Elinor Goulding Smith

All societies are based on rules to protect pregnant women and young children.
-Robert A. Heinlein

All those writers who write about their childhood! Gentle God, if I wrote about mine you wouldn't sit in the same room with me.
-Dorothy Parker

Although today there are many trial marriages... there is no such thing as a trial child.
-Gail Sheehy

Always be nice to your children because they are the ones who will choose your rest home.
-Phyllis Diller

American children grow up to be valuable citizens. Bangladeshi children grow up to be part of the world population problem. They just aren't giving birth to any Marky Marks or Howard Sterns in Dhaka.
-P.J. O'Rourke

An altruist is one who would be sincerely sorry to see his neighbor's children devoured by wolves.
-H.L. Mencken

Ask your child what he wants for dinner only if he's buying.
-Fran Lebowitz

Before I got married, I had six theories about bringing up children; now, I have six children and no theories.
-John Wilmot

But that was war. Just about all he could find in its favor was that it paid well and liberated children from the pernicious influence of their parents.
-Joseph Heller

Catholics believe life begins at conception. Protestants believe life begins at birth. Jews believe life begins when the children leave home and the dog dies.

Childhood is a promise that is never kept.
-Ken Hill

Childhood is short and maturity is forever. (From the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes)
-Bill Watterson

Childhood used to end with the discovery that there is no Santa Claus. Nowadays, it often ends when the child gets his first adult, the way Hemingway got his first rhino, with the difference that the rhino was charging Hemingway, whereas the adult is usually running away from the child.
-James Thurber

Children and dogs are as necessary to the welfare of the country as Wall Street and the railroads.
-Harry S. Truman

Children are a great comfort in your old age- and they help you reach it faster, too.
-Lionel Kauffmann

Children are all foreigners.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Children are given to us to discourage our better emotions.
-H.H. Munro Saki

Children are God's spies.
-Elizabeth Bowen

Children are the true connoisseurs. What's precious to them has no price- only value.
-Bel Kaufman

Children are the universal scapegoats for any political agenda.

Children are the vessels into which adults pour their poison.
-Salman Rushdie

Children aren't happy with nothing to ignore, and that's what parents were created for.
-Ogden Nash

Children begin by loving their parents; after a time they judge them; rarely, if ever, do they forgive them.
-Oscar Wilde

Children don't drop out of high school when they are 16, they do so in the first grade and wait 10 years to make it official.
-Bob Keeshan (Captain Kangaroo)

Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.
-James Baldwin

Children haven't changed. Childhood has.
-Barbara Oehlberg

Children make the most desirable opponents in Scrabble as they are both easy to beat and fun to cheat.
-Fran Lebowitz

Children should be like waffles- you should be able to throw the first one away.
-Mary Alice Messenger

Children today are tyrants. They contradict their parents, gobble their food and tyrannize their teachers.

Choosing to have a child that you can't take care of is like farting in an elevator. Sure, you got it out, but now it's everyone else's problem.
-Richard Jeni

Christmas to a child is the first terrible proof that to travel hopefully is better than to arrive.
-Stephen Fry

Delusions are often functional. A mother's opinions about her children's beauty, intelligence, goodness, et cetera ad nauseam, keep her from drowning them at birth.
-Robert A. Heinlein

Do not allow children to mix drinks. It is unseemly and they use too much vermouth.
-Steve Allen

Do not breed. Nothing gives less pleasure than childbearing. Pregnancies are damaging to health, spoil the figure, wither the charms, and it's the cloud of uncertainty forever hanging over these events that darkens a husband's mood.
-Marquis de Sade

Do not handicap your children by making their lives easy.
-Robert A. Heinlein

Do not videotape your child in the bathtub. Do not name your child after a Scandinavian deity or any aspect of the weather.
-Daniel Menaker

Don't bother discussing sex with small children. They rarely have anything to add.
-Fran Lebowitz

Even when freshly washed and relieved of all obvious confections, children tend to be sticky. One can only assume that this has something to do with not smoking enough.
-Fran Lebowitz

Every child comes with the message that God is not yet tired of man.
-Rabindranath Tagore

Every generation, Western civilization is invaded by barbarians; we call them "children."
-Hannah Arendt

Everybody knows how to raise children, except the people who have them.
-P.J. O'Rourke

Everyone has been a child. All can understand through muffled memory how childhood was. But none has been old except those who are that now.
-Bert Kruger Smith

Experts say you should never hit your child in anger. When is a good time? When you're feeling festive?

Explain the concept of death very carefully to your child. This will make threatening him with it much more effective.
-P.J. O'Rourke

Familiarity breeds contempt- and children.
-Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

Feminism encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians. (at 1992 GOP Convention)
-Rev. Pat Robertson

Grandchildren are our reward for not having strangled our children.

Grandchildren don't make a man feel old; it's the knowledge that he's married to a grandmother.
-G. Norman Collie

Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them.
-Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Have we now come to the point where it is the children who are being asked to change or improve the world?
-Hannah Arendt

He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune; for they are impediments to great enterprises, either of virtue or mischief.
-Francis Bacon

Human beings are the only creatures that allow their children to come back home.
-Bill Cosby

Humans are the only animals that have children on purpose with the exception of guppies, who like to eat theirs.
-P.J. O'Rourke

I believe the children are like our future: nasty, brutish and short. (From The Onion)

I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
-Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I have certainly seen more men destroyed by the desire to have a wife and child and to keep them in comfort than I have seen destroyed by drink or harlots.
-William Butler Yeats

I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it.
-Harry S. Truman

I live in a tough neighborhood. They got a children's zoo. Last week, four kids escaped.
-Rodney Dangerfield

I never met anyone who didn't have a very smart child. What happens to these children, you wonder, when they reach adulthood?
-Fran Lebowitz

I take a very practical view of raising children. I put a sign in each of their rooms: Checkout Time is 18 years.
-Erma Bombeck

I take my children everywhere, but they always find their way back home.
-Robert Orben

I want to have children and I know my time is running out: I want to have them while my parents are still young enough to take care of them.
-Rita Rudner

If a child looks like his father, that's heredity. If he looks like a neighbor, that's environment.

If thine enemy offend thee, give his child a drum.

If you have never been hated by your child, you have never been a parent.
-Bette Davis

If you want to see what children can do, you must stop giving them things.
-Norman Douglas

If you want your children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders.
-Abigail Van Buren

If your children ever find out how lame you really are, they'll murder you in your sleep.
-Frank Zappa

In other parts of the country people tried to stay together for the sake of the children. In New York they tried to work things out for the sake of the apartment.
-David Sedaris

It goes without saying that you should never have more children than you have car windows.
-Erma Bombeck

It has always been the prerogative of children and half-wits to point out that the emperor has no clothes. But the half-wit remains a half-wit, and the emperor remains an emperor.
-Neil Gaiman

It kills you to see [your children] grow up. But I guess it would kill you quicker if they didn't.
-Barbara Kingsolver

It takes a village to raise a child. The village is Washington. You are the child.
-P.J. O'Rourke

It's never too late to have a happy childhood.
-Tom Robbins

It's no wonder that people are so horrible when they start life as children.
-Kingsley Amis

Just think of the tragedy of teaching children not to doubt.
-Clarence Darrow

Kids are not nice, innocent, flower-loving little rainbow children. Kids are all little bastards; they don't have any kind of social tact or etiquette.
-Matt Stone

Learning to dislike children at an early age saves a lot of expense and aggravation later in life.
-Robert Byrne

Lies are like children: they're hard work, but it's worth it because the future depends on them.
-Pam Davis

Literature is mostly about having sex and not having children. Life is the other way around.
-David Lodge

Men are generally more careful of the breed of their horses and dogs than of their children.
-William Penn

Midlife crisis is that moment when you realize your children and your clothes are about the same age.
-Bill Tammeus

My children weary me. I can only see them as defective adults: feckless, destructive, frivolous, sensual, humorless.
-Evelyn Waugh

My father was frightened of his father, I was frightened of my father, and I am damned well going to see to it that my children are frightened of me.
-King George V

My husband and I are either going to buy a dog or have a child. We can't decide whether to ruin our carpet or ruin our lives.
-Rita Rudner

Never raise your hand to children; it leaves your midsection unprotected.
-Robert Orben

No society that feeds its children on tales of successful violence can expect them not to believe that violence in the end is rewarded.
-Margaret Mead

Noble fathers have noble children.

Nothing you do for children is ever wasted.
-Garrison Keillor

Oh, what a tangled web do parents weave
When they think that their children are naive.
-Ogden Nash

Once you have children, it forever changes the way you bore other people.
-Bruce Eric Kaplan

One of the first things schoolchildren in Texas learn is how to compose a simple declarative sentence without the word "shit" in it.

Parents are the bones upon which children sharpen their teeth.
-Peter Ustinov

Parents must remember, what we do in private, our children will do in public, and what we do in moderation, our children do in excess.
-Carey Casey

Parents were invented to make children happy by giving them something to ignore.
-Ogden Nash

People who get nostalgic about childhood were obviously never children. (From the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes)
-Bill Watterson

Setting a good example for children takes all the fun out of middle age.
-William Feather

She was an atheist and I was an agnostic. We didn't know what religion not to bring our children up in.
-Woody Allen

Some children have the most disagreeable way of getting grown-up.
-Lewis Carroll

Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar.
-Bradley Millar

The best way to make children good is to make them happy.
-Oscar Wilde

The children are our future. And that is why, ultimately, we're screwed.
-Scott Adams

The difference between broccoli and nose pickings is you have to tell your children to eat broccoli.

The easiest way for your children to learn about money is for you not to have any.
-Katherine Whitehorn

The first half of our lives are ruined by our parents and the second half by our children.
-Clarence Darrow

The fundamental defect of fathers is that they want their children to be a credit to them.
-Bertrand Russell

The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.
-Theodore Hesburgh

The most important thing that parents can teach their children is how to get along without them.
-Frank A. Clark

The most important thing to teach your children is that the sun does not rise and set. It is the Earth that revolves around the sun. Then teach them the concepts of North, South, East and West, and that they relate to where they happen to be on the planet's surface at that time. Everything else will follow.
-Buckminster Fuller

The old- like children- talk to themselves, for they have reached that hopeless wisdom of experience which knows that though one were to cry it in the streets to multitudes, or whisper it in the kiss to one's beloved, the only ears that can ever hear one's secret are one's own.
-Eugene O'Neill

The real killer was when you married the wrong person but had the right children.
-Ann Beatty

The reason grandparents and grandchildren get along so well is that they have a common enemy.
-Sam Levenson

The secret of dealing successfully with a child is not to be its parent.
-Mel Lazarus

The trouble with children is that they are not returnable.
-Quentin Crisp

There are only two things a child will share willingly- communicable diseases and his mother's age.
-Dr. Benjamin Spock

There is a Providence that protects idiots, drunkards, children and the United States of America.
-Otto von Bismarck

There is no reciprocity. Men love women, women love children and children love hamsters.
-Alice Thomas Ellis

There is no such thing as other people's children.
-Hillary Rodham Clinton

This is the reason why mothers are more devoted to their children than fathers: it is that they suffer more in giving them birth and are more certain that they are their own.

Too often we give our children answers to remember rather than problems to solve.
-Roger Lewin

We childproof our homes, but they keep getting in.

We had a quicksand box in our back yard. I was an only child, eventually.
-Steven Wright

We have not passed that subtle line between childhood and adulthood until we have stopped saying "It got lost," and say, "I lost it."
-Sydney J. Harris

We spend half our lives trying to escape our parents and the other half trying to escape our children.
-Migaela Iosof

We spend the first year of children's lives teaching them how to walk and talk, and the rest of their lives telling them to shut up and sit down.
-Neil deGrasse Tyson

We worry about what a child will be tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.
-Stacia Tauscher

What is done to our children will be done to our society.
-Karl Menninger

When childhood dies, its corpses are called adults and they enter society, one of the politer names of hell. That is why we dread children, even if we love them. They show us the state of our decay.
-Brian Aldiss

When mothers talk about the depression of the empty nest, they're not mourning the passing of all those wet towels on the floor, or the music that numbs your teeth, or even the bottle of capless shampoo dribbling down the shower drain. They're upset because they've gone from supervisor of a child's life to a spectator. It's like being the vice president of the United States.
-Erma Bombeck

When your children are teenagers, it's important to have a dog so that someone in the house is happy to see you.
-Nora Ephron

Why does this same God tell me how to raise my children when he had to drown his?
-Robert G. Ingersoll

You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance.
-Franklin P. Jones

You know children are growing up when they start asking questions that have answers.
-John Plomp

You never get over being a child, long as you have a mother to go to.
-Sarah Orne Jewett

You're not a good parent, if at some point you are not an embarrassment to your children.
-Malcolm S. Forbes

Your children's losing battle with time seems even sadder than your own.
-John Updike

Youth is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children.
-George Bernard Shaw

Categories: Children, Kids, Quotes of the day


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