In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Extreme weather; video may autoplay at link] The US East Coast is getting battered by another snowstorm: "Another week, another snowstorm, another mess. This is the continuing story of the winter of 2015. Boston is in the cross hairs again, but winter storm warnings are in place across large portions of the Northeast, including Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. The National Weather Service forecasts 12 to 16 inches of snow by the time the storm ends Tuesday. For upstate New York, the numbers are 8 to 14 inches. ...'These storms that we're getting are unprecedented,' [Boston Mayor Marty Walsh] said. 'We've never seen this type of snow in the city of Boston at any other time in the history of our city.'"

[CN: War] The debate continues about whether to arm Ukraine: "German Chancellor Angela Merkel is set to argue in Washington on Monday against arming Ukraine in its conflict against Russian-backed rebels, while in Brussels EU ministers held off tightening sanctions to give peace talks a chance. Merkel's message that sending Western weapons to Kiev risks escalating the conflict is likely to get a sympathetic hearing when she meets President Barack Obama later in the day. But critics of Obama's cautious foreign policy approach are already demanding decisive U.S. action to help Kiev fight the separatists in eastern Ukraine, even if this deepens a standoff with Russian President Vladimir Putin." Well, many of those "critics" are warmongering jackasses, so.

[CN: Worker exploitation] "On Sunday, workers at two BP oil refineries in Ohio and Indiana walked out as part of a nationwide oil worker strike being led by the United Steelworkers Union (USW). Citing unfair labor practices and dangerous conditions, including leaks and explosions, the approximately 1,440 workers will join nearly 4,000 that began striking a week ago on February 1. The first nationwide strike by oil refinery workers since 1980, the addition of BP's Whiting, Indiana, refinery and the company's joint-venture refinery with Husky Energy in Toledo, Ohio, brings the total number of plants with strikers to 11, including refineries accounting for about 13 percent of total U.S. oil refining capacity. The original strike included workers in California, Kentucky, Texas, and Washington."

Something something Brian Williams and more "embellishments" about his life experiences. Well, at least Brian Williams now has a real story to tell about coming under fire. "The tweets were incoming and relentless..."

[CN: Racism] This is a really cool piece about how Franklin came to be the Peanuts' first black character. "That week the comic strip featured a story line in which Charlie Brown's sister Sally had thrown his beach ball into the sea. Then something that was, for the time, radical and ground breaking occurred. His name was Franklin. And he came into the strip without fanfare, and without any notice or comment concerning his race. He and Charlie Brown struck up a friendship just like any two kids who meet on the beach might do."

[CN: Homophobia; dehumanization] You know, I am not surprised by much when it comes to homophobic shitlords saying disgusting things, but this managed to surprise even me: "Pastor Claims Gay People Are Possessed by 'Fart Demons' That Can Drive Pigs to Suicide." Um, wow.

And now for something that will cleanse your palate after that mess: "Someone with Chalk is Drawing Quirky Characters on the Streets of Ann Arbor, Michigan." That someone is David Zinn, a street artist who spends his spare time giving lessons to kids on how to draw like he does. Love.

Do you love The Princess Bride and also love Cary Elwes? Then you will probably like reading this interview with Elwes very much! "I know that the epitaph on my tombstone will be 'As you wish,' and that's great!"

[CN: Pet loss] There is a site which will make a plushy replica of your departed pets. Which I suppose some people might find creepy, and others might find very sweet. Not that the two have to be mutually exclusive!

I love looking at pictures of the interior of tiny houses, and this one in Japan is particularly fascinating.

And finally! This video of an octopus revealing herself from camouflage is absolutely incredible!

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