Daily Archives: February 28, 2017

Watch “Top 10 Songs That Will Make You Cry” on YouTube

Watch “”40 Hour Week (For A Livin’)” – Alabama (Lyrics in description)” on YouTube

Watch “Blake Shelton – Who Are You When I’m Not Looking (Official Video)” on YouTube

My Duck today

My Duck today

My Duck today 

France 24 : Trump proposes $54 billion hike in military spending

Trump proposes $54 billion hike in military spending

US President Donald Trump’s first budget proposal includes a substantial $54 billion dollar increase in defence spending, with corresponding cuts in foreign assistance and other non-military spending.


The nearly four trillion dollar annual federal budget is a declaration of intent that puts the president’s policy goals down in black and white.

It also separates affordable campaign promises from the fanciful and is the final arbitrator after turf wars between departments and powerful interest groups.

Trump has promised to cut waste and duplication in federal spending.

US president after US president has made similar promises on coming to office, before delving into a text that runs to thousands of pages and tossing the plan into the thicket of Congress.

Trump has oodles of campaign promises to pay for, but faces a national debt set to hit $20 trillion on his watch and a deficit at 3.1 percent of GDP and rising.

Trump’s promises – from building a wall on the Mexican border to stepping-up the deportation of undocumented immigrants – carry an estimated price tag of $5.3 trillion, according to the non-partisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

France 24 : Mysterious US billionaire played crucial role in Trump, Brexit victories

Mysterious US billionaire played crucial role in Trump, Brexit victories

The secretive US billionaire Robert Mercer played a crucial role in the United Kingdom’s campaign to leave the European Union, as well as US President Donald Trump’s election victory, according to a recent media report.


Mercer gave the UK’s Leave.eu campaign a boost by directing his data analytics company, Cambridge Analytica, to offer its services free of charge via his close friendNigel Farage, a prominent Brexit supporter and former leader of the far-right UKIPparty, British newspaper The Guardianreported earlier this week.

Until recently, the 70-year-old hedge fund manager was best known for keeping out of the public eye. With an income of $150 million in 2016, Mercer came in at number 18 on Forbes list of 25 Highest-Earning Hedge Fund Managers and Traders last year.

A pioneer of artificial intelligence

Mercer launched his career at IBM during the early 1970s. While there, he earned a reputation as a talented computer programmer, making a number of advances in language processing – an area of research that has since played an important role in the development of artificial intelligence (AI).

In 1993, he joined Renaissance Technologies, which specialised in using so-called “big data” to identify investment strategies. After eight years at the hedge fund, he was named co-CEO in 2011.

Known for his extreme discretion, Mercer made news headlines during the 2016 US presidential election as one of the biggest Republican donors. After initially supporting Senator Ted Cruz of Texas during the primaries, Mercer spent more than $11 million to help get Trump elected.

He has also invested millions of dollars into the far-right website Breitbart News Network, which was once run by Trump’s chief strategist and former campaign manager, Stephen Bannon. Last week, Breitbart President and CEO Larry Solov confirmed that the Mercer family was a partial owner of the organisation.

Cruz, Trump and Leave.eu

But it now appears Mercer’s support extended far beyond financial contributions. According to The Guardian, he directed Cambridge Analytica, of which he is a major stakeholder, to consult for his pet political causes.

The small US-based data analytics company specialises in collecting information from social media to construct accurate psychological profiles of target audiences. In other words, it tracks a user’s “likes” and other technological habits to get to know him or her better than a close friend.

Cambridge Analytica worked for Mercer’s two favourite Republican candidates: first Cruz, then Trump. The company also offered its services free of charge to Leave.eu via Farage ahead of the UK’s June 23 referendum, The Guardian reported, citing the campaign’s former communication director Andy Wigmore.

“They were happy to help. Because Nigel is a good friend of the Mercers. And Mercer introduced them to us. He said, ‘Here’s this company we think may be useful to you.’ What they were trying to do in the US and what we were trying to do had massive parallels,” Wigmore told The Guardian.

Data on 220 million Americans

So what gives Cambridge Analytica an edge over other data analytics services? First, its expansive database. The companyboasts of having collected up to 5,000 data points on over 220 million Americans. Secondly, it uses a unique method of analysis that doesn’t rely on traditional information, such as an individual’s geolocalisation, age or profession.

Instead, Cambridge Analytics creates a psychographic profile for each person. The controversial practice allows the company to gauge a person’s intelligence and behavior through both objective and emotional information. This data is used to draw conclusions about an individual, such as whether he or she is conservative, liberal or undecided, enjoys socialising, is easily upset, has a sexual preference, is recently divorced or is nervous by nature.

A campaign can then use this information to woo voters by personalising the advertisements and videos that appear on their social media feeds. For example, black voters in some states were targeted by content appearing to show Trump’s rival, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, referring to African-Americans as “sexual predators”, according to the websiteMotherboard. “Pretty much every message that Trump put out was data-driven,” Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander James Ashburner Nix told the publication.

In the UK, the Leave.eu campaign targeted prospective supporters by drafting dozens of emails that responded directly to their concerns based on information gleaned by Cambridge Analytics, The Guardian reported.

Although there is no concrete evidence that Mercer used “big data” to influence the outcome of the two elections, Leave.eu’s former communication director Wigmore left little doubt.

“AI won it for Leave,” he told The Guardian.

This article was translated from the original in French.

Watch “AND SO IT WAS THAT LATER – Found Film #3” on YouTube

A Whiter Shade of Pale

Procol Harum


We skipped the light fandango
Turned cartwheels ‘cross the floor
I was feeling kinda seasick
But the crowd called out for more
The room was humming harder
As the ceiling flew away
When we called out for another drink
The waiter brought a tray

And so it was that later
As the miller told his tale
That her face, at first just ghostly,
Turned a whiter shade of pale
She said, ‘There is no reason
And the truth is plain to see.’
But I wandered through my playing cards
And would not let her be
One of sixteen vestal virgins
Who were leaving for the coast
And although my eyes were open
They might have just as well’ve been closed

And so it was that later
As the miller told his tale
That her face, at first just ghostly,
Turned a whiter shade of pale

And so it was that later

Songwriters: Gary Brooker / Keith Reid / Matthew Fisher

A Whiter Shade of Pale lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, T.R.O. Inc.

Today’s Holiday:Mardi Gras (New Orleans)

Today’s Holiday:
Mardi Gras (New Orleans)

The most flamboyant of Mardi Gras celebrations in North America culminates in a riot of parades and throngs of laughing, drinking, dancing people in the streets of New Orleans, Louisiana. On the day of Mardi Gras, designated the “Day of Un-Rule,” the traditional parades spotlight Rex, King of Carnival and Monarch of Merriment, in the morning, and Comus, God of Revelry, by torchlight at night. On that same evening the private balls of Rex and Comus are held. At midnight, the madness of Carnival ends, and Lent begins, and a million or so spectators and participants face sobriety. More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Today’s Birthday:Linus Carl Pauling (1901)

Today’s Birthday:
Linus Carl Pauling (1901)

An American chemist, Pauling was the first person to win two unshared Nobel Prizes: one for chemistry in 1954 and one for peace in 1962. He was one of the first to study molecular structure using quantum mechanics, and he made discoveries in biochemistry and medicine. In the 1950s, he became concerned about nuclear weapons testing and radioactive fallout and wrote an appeal—signed by thousands of scientists—to halt such tests. What publication called his peace prize “A Weird Insult from Norway”? More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

This Day in History:DuPont Scientist Wallace Carothers Invents Nylon (1935)

This Day in History:
DuPont Scientist Wallace Carothers Invents Nylon (1935)

Though his struggles with mental illness made him initially reject a lucrative job with DuPont, chemist Wallace Carothers accepted the offer in the late 1920s and enjoyed much success there. Perhaps his greatest achievement was the invention of nylon, which rapidly gained widespread use in an array of products. First used to make toothbrush bristles, nylon was soon replacing silk in the parachutes and flak vests of American WWII combatants and in women’s stockings. How did nylon get its name? More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Quote of the Day:Oscar Wilde

Quote of the Day:
Oscar Wilde

Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man’s original virtue. More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Article of the Day:Hussars

Article of the Day:

Hussars originated in 15th-century Hungary as a light-horse corps, but the term now applies to members of various light cavalry regiments in European armies, renowned for their elegant dress. The brilliantly colored Hungarian hussar’s uniform consisted of a high cylindrical cap, a jacket with heavy braiding, and a loose coat worn hanging from the left shoulder. Several hussar regiments of the British army survive today as armored units. What were the original meanings of the word “hussar”? More…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Idiom of the Day:be like herding cats

Idiom of the Day:
be like herding cats

To be very unwieldy or unmanageable; to be nearly impossible to organize. Usually said of a group of people. Watch the video…: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Word of the Day:rampart

Word of the Day:

Definition: (noun) A fortification consisting of an embankment, often with a parapet built on top.
Synonyms: bulwark, wall
Usage: They stormed the ramparts of the city with ladders and catapults.: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

I just earned the Bronze Mismatch badge on The Free Dictionary!:

I just earned the Bronze Mismatch badge on The Free Dictionary!: http://secure.thefreedictionary.com/user/George_Bost?rff=bFGy3

E primăvară iar la Breaza de Făgăraş!

E primăvară iar la Breaza de Făgăraş!

Cetatea FĂGĂRAŞULUI: Ultima zi de Februarie…

Cetatea FĂGĂRAŞULUI: Ultima zi de Februarie…