Daily Archives: December 21, 2014

Africa in pictures: 12-18 December

Africa in pictures: 12-18 December http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-30541910

NHS to ‘unlock secrets’ using DNA

NHS to ‘unlock secrets’ using DNA http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-30558112


Aerial stingrays (quite a sight)





Actress Billie Whitelaw dies aged 82

Actress Billie Whitelaw dies aged 82 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-30571601

Argentine town bans beauty contests

Argentine town bans beauty contests http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-30572306

Nigerian Islamic extremists pose regional threat – Houston Chronicle


From NPR News: Is This A Goat Or A Sheep? It’s Harder Than You Think

Is This A Goat Or A Sheep? It’s Harder Than You Think http://n.pr/1AwNbxH

From NPR News: A History Lesson On The Philippines, Stuffed In A Christmas Chicken

A History Lesson On The Philippines, Stuffed In A Christmas Chicken http://n.pr/1zFH4b7

From France 24: Driver attacks French pedestrians

Driver attacks French pedestrians http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-30571911

From NPR News: Obama Calls North Korean Hack ‘Cybervandalism’

Obama Calls North Korean Hack ‘Cybervandalism’ http://n.pr/1GJ46kv

From NPR News: For Norwegian-Americans, Christmas Cheer Is Wrapped Up In Lefse

For Norwegian-Americans, Christmas Cheer Is Wrapped Up In Lefse http://n.pr/1zG5elA

Oil price fall ‘not Opec’s fault’

Oil price fall ‘not Opec’s fault’ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-30571382

this pressed for your right to know: Pakistan makes arrests in Taliban school carnage – Yahoo News

Pakistan makes arrests in Taliban school carnage

Associated Press

By ZARAR KHAN 1 hour ago

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Authorities made several arrests in the case of the Taliban school attack that killed 148 in the northwestern city of Peshawar, on Sunday, officials said.

“Quite a few suspects who were facilitators in one way or the other have been taken into custody,” Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said, adding that the interrogations were “moving ahead in a positive manner.” He did not disclose their identities or say how many they were.

Seven Taliban gunmen wearing explosives belts stunned the world on Tuesday by storming into the military run school and slaughtering 148 people, including 132 students. Another nearly 121 students were wounded in the ensuing eight-hour siege of the school, located in an area where many military families live.

via Pakistan makes arrests in Taliban school carnage – Yahoo News.

Spy vs. DiFi | RealClearPolitics


Florida Authorities Say 1 Police Officer Shot and Killed – NYTimes.com


Appeal against Mumbai suspect bail

Appeal against Mumbai suspect bail http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-30544907

Elton John and David Furnish marry

Elton John and David Furnish marry http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-30568634


Flying Stingrays (don’t you think?)



Garcinia cambogia: loose weight… we’ll see about that



Cactus: scared!


School of Rock show set for Broadway

School of Rock show set for Broadway http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-30546675

Journalist John Freeman dies at 99

Journalist John Freeman dies at 99 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-30565798

UN asks Israel to pay Lebanon $850m

UN asks Israel to pay Lebanon $850m http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-30559670

Four militants killed in Saudi raid

Four militants killed in Saudi raid http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-30562021

Jordan ends death penalty moratorium

Jordan ends death penalty moratorium http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-30567738

Tunisia holds landmark election

Tunisia holds landmark election http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-30565895

December 21, 1118 – Saint Thomas of Canterbury who was venerated as a saint and martyr is born in London— OnThisDay & Facts |

Saint of the Day for Sunday, December 21st, 2014: St. Peter Canisius

Image of St. Peter Canisius

St. Peter Canisius

In 1565, the Vatican was looking for a secret agent. It was shortly after the Council of Trent and the pope wanted to get the decrees of the Council to all the European bishops. What would be a … continue reading

More Saints of the Day

quotation: Our own heart, and not other men’s opinions, forms our true honor. Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Our own heart, and not other men’s opinions, forms our true honor.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) Discuss

today’s holiday: Dongji (2014)

Dongji (2014)

In Korea, the Winter Solstice falls during the 11th lunar month. Red bean stew with glutinous rice flour balls is a favorite seasonal dish, particularly on Dongji. This food is not only eaten as a means of warding off disease—it is also offered to the family ancestors, spread around the front door or gate of the house, and, throughout the year, prepared and taken to people who are in mourning. The color red is traditionally thought to repel evil spirits and all misfortune. More… Discuss

today’s birthday: Benjamin Disraeli (1804)

Benjamin Disraeli (1804)

Disraeli, a Conservative politician and novelist, succeeded the earl of Derby as prime minister of Great Britain in 1868 but lost the office to political rival William Gladstone that same year. During his second term as prime minister, from 1874 to 1880, Disraeli’s ministry enacted a number of domestic reforms. He was a staunch imperialist and, under his leadership, Britain gained a controlling interest in the Suez Canal. Why was Disraeli’s first book, Vivian Grey, strongly criticized? More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: Pan Am Flight 103 Is Bombed (1988)

Pan Am Flight 103 Is Bombed (1988)

The terrorist bomb that brought down New York-bound Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, killed all 259 people on board and 11 others on the ground. After a three-year investigation, US and UK authorities announced indictments against two Libyan officials in connection with the bombing. Libya finally turned over the suspects in 1999. After a nine-month trial, one of them, Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison. Why was he released in 2009? More… Discuss

Man Picks Stranger for World Trip

Man Picks Stranger for World Trip

Canadian Jordan Axani plans to begin a trip around the world today with a traveling companion he chose based on an unusual criterion: she has the same name as his ex-girlfriend. Axani scheduled the three-week trip in May with his then-girlfriend. When the two broke up, he decided to avoid the hassle of changing airline tickets booked in her name by putting out a call for anyone with the same name and a valid Canadian passport. Axani said he received thousands of responses, including from many people who offered to legally change their names. He chose a woman after speaking with her on the phone. More… Discuss



Flamingos are large pink or red wading birds with long necks and webbed feet. They live in large flocks throughout the Eastern and Western Hemispheres. Flamingos have several quirky traits, such as an oddly-shaped bill specially adapted to strain food—aquatic plants, shellfish, and frogs—from muddy water in marshes and lagoons. Flamingos also have the unusual ability to stand on one leg with the head laid on the back for hours. What typically dictates the vibrancy of a flamingo’s color? More… Discuss

word: upshot


Definition: (noun) The final outcome.
Synonyms: conclusion, result
Usage: The upshot of the disagreement was that they broke up the partnership. Discuss.