Thursday, January 29, 2015

Keep your rabbit ears — CRTC says broadcasters must keep transmitters

LONDON, Ont. - Don't trash your rabbit ears just yet.
The CRTC has ruled traditional broadcast TV will continue "for now."
And Canadians will be able to see U.S. Super Bowl ads here too, starting next year.
That was part of the message from Jean-Pierre Blais, the head of the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), in a speech to the London Chamber of Commerce Thursday morning.
The statement came after a 15-month public consultation process that drew 13,000 responses.
He said broadcasters will not be allowed to take down their broadcasting towers, forcing viewers to pay for cable.
"Canadians don't want to pay for free TV and we heard you," he said.
Blais also said Canadian networks will be allowed to substitute their own ads when they run American programs. He said broadcasters cannot afford to take the financial hit by eliminating the practice known as "simsub."
"Yet for all viewers dislike simsub, broadcasters adore it. Annually, simsub is worth about $250 million to the industry."
But the CRTC is making one exception. Broadcasters will not be allowed to substitute Canadian commercials in the Super Bowl game starting in 2016. Many viewers consider the showcase American ads to be big part of watching the game.
Blais also warned Canadian TV networks not to cut back on funding for local news.
He said new digital news outlets are no substitute for professional local news programming.
"Media moguls are indeed allowed to be worried about profits but both the public and private shareholders of broadcasting assets have a duty to ensure that news reporting and analysis continues to be properly funded."
Blais also said cable providers will be banned from providing apps that allow their subscribers to view exclusive content that can't be accessed by non-subscribers.
Carmi Levy, a London-based tech analyst and writer for, said the CRTC didn't go far enough in reacting to changes in the broadcast marketplace.
"They're talking a big game but not following it up with action. Today's announcements are lipstick on a pig."
He said local TV news needs to be supported by direct funding from cable providers.
Blais acknowledged the CRTC had to compromise between emerging new digital content and traditional broadcast fans.
"The existing bridge structure requires renovations even as the new one is being built," he said.
Source: Toronto Sun

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Rare Colourized Photo's from 1800-1950 Amazing Real Photo Of Historic People And Times

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

FiveFingers Class Action Cash For You?

Vibram FiveFingers Class Action

If you purchased certain models of Vibram FiveFingers footwear in the United States from March 21, 2008 up to and including May 27, 2014, you may be entitled to benefits in a class action settlement.
“The gist of her claim is that Vibram illegally obtained an economic windfall from her because it was only by making false health claims that Vibram induced consumers to buy FiveFingers shoes, and to pay more for them than they would have otherwise,” Harvard Law School professor, John C. P. Goldberg, told Runner’s World at the time of the original filing. Subsequent class action suits were filed against Vibram in California and Illinois, and those were absorbed into Bezdek’s case.
The settlement consists of two kinds of relief. The first is refunds to class members who submit valid and completed claim forms. Vibram will deposit $3.75 million into an escrow account and those funds will be distributed to those valid class members who purchased a pair of Vibram FiveFingers between March 21, 2009 and the date of the first dissemination of summary settlement notice or class notice, whichever is earlier. FiveFingers will award up to a maximum of $94 per pair, though the agreement acknowledges that based on similar settlements it is reasonable for class members to expect to receive between $20 and $50 per pair.

Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief'

Documentary delves into group’s religious tax exemption status and why it is able to keep its hold on celebrities

PARK CITY, UTAH— Tom Cruise and John Travolta aren’t at the Sundance Film Festival, unless they’re in disguise...Sundance FilmFest: Church of Scientology is portrayed as a cash-grabbing and reputation-destroying outfit, one that holds members hostage both physically and mentally,


Church Of Scientology:

Started in the 1950s by sci-fi writer L. Ron Hubbard, who is seen explaining his theories in rare archival videos, Scientology is based on a belief system that would be comical if it weren’t taken as gospel by the faithful. Hubbard believed that the Earth is essentially a prison planet run by an intergalactic despot named Xenu, and so-called human beings are actually space aliens hatched in a cauldron of volcanoes and atomic bombs. 

According to the film, full details of the group’s credo aren’t revealed to members until they’ve spent years and many thousands of dollars in fees moving up the ranks of the organization, which has billions of dollars in cash and real estate, in part thanks to the tax-free church status given to it in a controversial deal brokered with America’s Internal Revenue Service.

Hubbard’s ex-wife, Sara Northrup, who died in 1997, says in an archival audio interview that her former husband was a profiteer rather than a prophet: “I felt that he was stealing from people and that he was hoodwinking them.” 

Scientology exposé causes a stir at Sundance

Documentary Going Clear shows how Tom Cruise, John Travolta and Paul Haggis were drawn into controversial Church of Scientology.


Friday, January 23, 2015

McDonalds Fries - Are they real potatoes?

Does McDonald’s use real potatoes? Why do the fries always taste so good? Are they mashed and formed in a mold? There are a lot of questions about the fries so Grant Imahara investigates the fry making process in his own way.
TORONTO – Sometimes you don’t want to know how the sausage is made. But does that apply to McDonald’s French fries?
In its latest crusade to answer consumers’ questions about its fare, McDonald’s revealed how its iconic golden fries are made and the 19 ingredients that go into the side dish.
This time, the fast food giant teamed up with Mythbusters co-host Grant Imahara who “reverse engineers” the cooking process from freezing the final product to the farm where the potatoes are dug up.
The potatoes are lined up and shot through a water knife for precision cutting – that’s how they get their uniformity. They’re shooting into the knife at 60 to 70 miles per hour.
They’re also fried twice – once in production and again at the restaurant. The first partial frying is to help get the crisp outer shell. The fries are also dipped in dextrose to help them stay consistently golden regardless of the season.
Here’s the full list of ingredients. Items two to nine are a blend of oils and ingredients used in the initial partial frying while 13 to 19 are used for frying once you’ve placed your order.
  1. Potatoes
  2. Canola oil
  3. Soybean oil
  4. Hydrogenated soybean oil
  5. Natural beef flavour
  6. Hydrolyzed wheat
  7. Hydrolyzed milk
  8. Citric acid (an anti-oxidant to keep the oil fresh)
  9. Dimethylpolysiloxane (an anti-foaming agent that keeps oil from splattering)
  10. Dextrose
  11. Sodium acid pyrophosphate (keeps the potatoes from going gray)
  12. Salt
  13. Canola oil
  14. Corn oil
  15. Soybean oil
  16. Hydrogenated soybean oil
  17. TBHQ (an anti-oxidant to preserve the freshness of the oil as it travels to the restaurant)
  18. Citric acid
  19. Dimethylpolysiloxane
The Canadian variation doesn’t stray too far, but there are some differences. It uses safflower oil, but does not include natural beef flavour, hydrolyzed wheat or hydrolyzed milk in its Canuck formulation.
The fast food chain told Global News it’s taking on the “Our Food. Your Questions” campaign to “reclaim the truth.”

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The X-Files Returns To Televison

David Duchovny says he’s ready to slip back into character as FBI Special Agent Fox Mulder for a reprisal of The X-Files in a limited run.

Fox officials confirmed to TV critics in California that the network wants to reboot the cult supernatural series and were in early talks with creator Chris Carter.

On Tuesday, Duchovny, 54, said, “We’ll see what form, how many (episodes). Certainly I can’t nor would I be interested in doing a full season . . . We’re all old, we don’t have the energy for a full season.” Duchovny also has other obligations.

He’s starring in a new NBC series, Aquarius, in which he plays a homicide detective on the trail of Charles Manson in the 1960s. USA Today

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The most terrible passwords of 2014 : 696969' and 24 more of the dumbest passwords of 2014

Dear everyone: Your password game is weak.
SplashData's annual "worst passwords people are still somehow still using" list has come out. They have done this for several years now, and it’s appalling how foolishly bad the most common passwords still are. One of the new ones on this year’s list was 696969, which proves crude references do not make good passwords. Another terrible password is “trustno1” which proves irony isn’t dead.

Yes, it's true that for the most part passwords are just an annoying hurdle to clear before we can log in to social networks, e-mail, a favourite pay-meter newspaper, a bank account, or a million other single sign-in sites. Even though we know all about the big-time privacy breaches that happen seemingly every other day, we think hacking “can’t happen to me.”
Terrible passwords make it super easy for it to happen to you.
There are many reasons why a hacker or even just a moderately deviant jerk with a computer might decide to try and crack into your systems: maybe you annoyed one of them on social media, maybe you appear to have some money, maybe you know famous people and they are looking for photos? The most basic hacking technique is to try a number of common passwords: 123456, or Password or “qwerty”... things that aren’t so much passwords as invitations to break in.
Don’t use any of those. In fact, don’t use any of the top 25 most common (and worst) passwords listed below. How does it know what the most common passwords are? “SplashData’s top 25 list was compiled from filescontaining millions of stolen passwords posted online during the previous year.” So don’t be one of those people who’s password gets stolen because it’s laughably easy.
The most terrible passwords of 2014
1. 123456
2. password
3. 12345
4. 12345678
5. qwerty
6. 123456789
7. 1234
8. baseball
9. dragon
10. football
11. 1234567
12. monkey 1
13. letmein
14. abc123
15. 111111
16. mustang
17. access
18. shadow
19. master
20. michael
21. superman
22. 696969
23. 123123
24. batman
25. trustno1
As a postscript, most security experts agree that even long strings of numbers and characters can be broken by some of the sophisticated cracking tools out there given enough time. When 1l2jfdpa1954!923* can be guessed by software, what’s the point of even having a password? Really, it’s about not making it easy on potential intruders. And if you find those strong passwords daunting, there are password managing and generating tools like 1Password, PasswordSafe and LastPass that can help keep you safer. And as you might have guessed, SplashData also makes password managing software.
There's also some signs of hope: "The bad news from my research is that this year's most commonly used passwords are pretty consistent with prior years,” online security expert Mark Burnett said in the company's release. “The good news is that it appears that more people are moving away from using these passwords. In 2014, the top 25 passwords represented about 2.2 per cent of passwords exposed. While still frightening, that's the lowest percentage of people using the most common passwords I have seen in recent studies."

Canada's Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act

The cash was seized under the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act.

Border guards have seized more than $38,000 from a man at the Calgary International Airport under a federal anti-terrorism law.
The man who was heading to the Middle East on Jan. 15 declared he was travelling with $9,000, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) said in a release.
But officers found another $18,000 in his jacket and carry luggage plus about $20,000 packed into his checked luggage, officials said.
All of the currency was in Canadian $20 bills.
The cash was seized under the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act.
“The man had a low level of income in comparison to the large sum of cash in his possession, and was unable to demonstrate to officers that he had legitimately obtained the money,” CBSA said in a release.
The investigation continues.
Last year CBSA officers in Calgary seized more than $376,000 in suspected proceeds of crime in 20 incidents.

Pope Francis tells a woman " it's not true that to be a good Catholic "you have to be like rabbits."

At the same time, however, he said it's not true that to be a good Catholic "you have to be like rabbits." On the contrary, he said "responsible parenthood" requires that couples regulate the births of their children, as church teaching allows. He cited the case of a woman he met who was pregnant with her eighth child after seven caesarean sections.
"That is an irresponsibility!" he said. The woman might argue that she should trust in God. "But God gives you methods to be responsible," he said
Pope Francis is firmly upholding church teaching that bans contraception, but says Catholics don't have to breed "like rabbits" and should instead practise "responsible parenting."

At the same time, however, he said it's not true that to be a good Catholic "you have to be like rabbits." On the contrary, he said "responsible parenthood" requires that couples regulate the births of their children, as church teaching allows. He cited the case of a woman he met who was pregnant with her eighth child after seven caesarean sections.
Speaking to reporters en route home from the Philippines on Monday, Francis said there are plenty of church-approved ways to regulate births. But he said most importantly, no outside institution should impose its views on regulating family size, blasting what he called the "ideological colonization" of the developing world.
African bishops, in particular, have long complained about how progressive, Western ideas about birth control and gay rights are increasingly being imposed on the developing world by groups, institutions or individual nations, often as a condition for development aid.
"Every people deserves to conserve its identity without being ideologically colonized," Francis said.
The Pope's comments, taken together with his defence of the Catholic Church's ban on artificial contraception during the trip, signal that he is increasingly showing his more conservative bent, which has largely been ignored by public opinion or obscured by a media narrative that has tended to highlight his populist persona.
On the trip, Francis gave his strongest defence yet of the 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae, which enshrined the church's opposition to artificial birth control. He warned against "insidious attacks" against the family — a reference to gay marriage proposals — echoing language often used by overwhelmingly conservative U.S. bishops. And he insisted that "openness to life is a condition of the sacrament of matrimony."

Boy, 5, is billed $29 for missing friend’s party

A British court may soon take on the monumental task of deciding whether it’s OK to charge a 5-year-old a no-show fee for missing a birthday party. Alex Nash of Torpoint, England, was set to attend the party just before Christmas, but backed out when his parents remembered that he was supposed to spend the day with his grandparents. Derek Nash and Tanya Walsh claim they had no contact information for Julie Lawrence, mother of the birthday boy.

Then last week, the couple found a brown envelope in their son’s school bag. Inside was an invoice from Lawrence for £15.95 (nearly $29). Derek Nash told reporters that Lawrence claimed Alex’s failure to attend the party left her out of pocket, and that she would take the parents to small claims court for refusing to pay. Nash said Alex’s school confirmed that one of the teachers put the envelope in his bag, and apologized for their involvement. He then confronted the mother directly at home. “I told her I would not be paying her the money. I told her she should have spoken to me first and not put the invoice in my son’s school bag,” he told the Telegraph.

“I would have sympathized with her about the cost of Alex not showing up, but I just can’t believe the way she has gone around it.” Nash and Walsh did not return the Star’s requests for comment. Lawrence has said almost nothing publicly about the affair. In a short statement to several outlets, she said: “All details were on the party invite. They had every detail needed to contact me.

” The story has gone viral, with the BBC feeling it necessary to inform people of the rules of children’s birthday party etiquette, and getting its legal correspondent to comment on the case. Clive Coleman said it is “all but impossible” for Lawrence to recoup the costs in court, writing that “a child’s party invitation would not create legal relations with either the child ‘guest’ or its parents.” The invoice also led to a row in the great virtual schoolyard of social media, with Lawrence and Walsh facing off against each other on Facebook.

The conversation was — undoubtedly gleefully — quoted in full by British media. Walsh: “If I had known that I would have to pay if Alex did not go, then I would have paid you the money, no problem. I do not like fighting with people, and would prefer to settle this amicably.”

Lawrence: “I don’t like fighting with people either, and was not best impressed when Derek turned up on my doorstep, and said you won’t get any money out of me, rather rudely. I do admit it rattled me.”

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sydney Greenstreet pounds message home

Clark Gable meets Sydney Greenstreet.. 1947 Greenstreet is the sadistic tyrannical head of a soap manufacturing firm who delights in making everyone jump at his slightest whim. As he pounds the desk it reminds us the need for spaced repetition in radio and tV ads, bombarding consumer minds...

Boxer Floyd Mayweather was again up to his old tricks by flaunting his wealth


Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano - Cost: £200,000, Top speed: 208mph                             Porsche 911 Turbo S - Cost: £150,000, Top speed: 198mph
Lamborghini Aventador - Cost: £300,000, Top speed: 217mph                              Ferrari 458 Spider - Cost: £200,000, Top speed: 202mph
Ferrari 458 Spider - Cost: £200,000, Top speed: 202mph                                       Bugatti Grand Sport - Cost: £1.5m, Top speed: 254mph 
Bugatti Veyron - Cost: £1.5m, Top speed: 267mph                                                 Bugatti Veyron - Cost: £1.5m, Top speed: 267mph


Friday, January 9, 2015

Inner peace and calmness is achieved by finishing ALL things you have started and have never finished...

CALMNESS IN OUR LIVES   I am passing this on to you because it definitely works, and we could all use a little more calmness in our lives. By following simple advice heard on the Dr. Phil show, you too can find inner peace. Dr Phil proclaimed, 'The way to achieve inner peace is to finish all the things you have started and have never finished.' 

So, I looked around my house to see all the things I started and hadn't finished, and before leaving the house this morning, I finished off a half bottle of White Zinfandel, a half bottle of Bailey's Irish Cream, a package of Oreos, the remainder of my old Oxycodone prescription, the rest of the cheesecake, some Doritos, and a box of chocolates. 

You have no idea how freaking good I feel right now, feel free to share this formula for inner peace and calmness...

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Naturopathic pseudoscience remedies scam

“Pioneering Ontario clinic hopes to make naturopathy mainstream” is the headline that the Globe & Mail newspaper put on a Wednesday article, detailing the Brampton Naturopathic Teaching Clinic, described as “the first naturopathic clinic inside a hospital in Canada.” Given the pseudoscientific nature of naturopathic medicine, the term “pioneering” is an odd one here — unless the author was wryly referencing the primitive level of medical knowledge available to the 17th-century pioneers who explored the territory on which the Brampton Naturopathic Teaching Clinic eventually would be built.
The term “naturopathy” includes a large variety of treatments, theories and medicines. All of them generally share the common characteristic of being either well-intentioned placebos involving minerals, vitamins and “botanicals,” or full-blown faux-medical scams that are actually quite dangerous. Sticking needles in one’s skin at arbitrarily designated spots on the body is naturopathy. So is “colour therapy” — which involved shining different colours of light on your body in hopes of balancing one’s “energy” levels. (All naturopaths are big on the idea that our bodies are animated by some sort of mystical life force — like the Jedi in Star Wars.) Naturopathic “iridologists” claim they can diagnose conditions all over your body just by looking at the squiggly patterns in your eye’s iris. Naturopathic colonic irrigators treat patients by … well, let’s just skip that one. And then there’s the fun-to-pronounce, but completely pseudoscientific “homeopathy,” which postulates the magical idea that a molecule or two of some harmful substance, contained in a massively diluted solution, somehow will cure the ailments associated with diseases caused by an excess of aforesaid substance. It’s like saving flood victims by squirting them in the face with a water pistol.
Why anyone — let alone the usually staid Globe & Mail — would want to celebrate the legitimization of naturopathy is beyond understanding. The 4,000-plus medical staff at the Brampton Civic Hospital, where the Brampton Naturopathic Teaching Clinic is located, operate an ER, a cardiac-care center, an oncology department, and other medical services that save people’s lives through the application of state-of-the-art, scientific, evidence-based, peer-reviewed medical standards. Now these accredited medical professionals are sharing their facility with a bunch of placebo doctors. How does this use of limited financial resources advance the cause of quality health care?
The larger problem here is that Ontario, like several other provinces, is set to give naturopaths a semblance of medical respectability by allowing them to requisition lab tests and prescribe some varieties of drugs. Politically, this is seen as a win — because the constituency that endorses naturopathy tends to be passionate and active; while the majority just see it as harmless quackery, and so aren’t likely to object one way or the other.
But this is a mistake: The line between science and pseudoscience is a very real and important one. It’s the line we depend on, from a public-health perspective, when doctors assure parents that vaccines don’t cause autism. It’s the line we depend on when doctors tell their patients that, no, those mail-order vitamins they bought on the internet won’t negate the effects of smoking. Any move that serves to blur that line is a move that, indirectly at least, endangers public health.
What’s worse, this being Canada, it is only a matter of time before government is called upon to fully fund naturopathic pseudoscience as if it were legitimate medicine. As things now stand, Canadians generally must pay out-of-pocket for their needles, chelation treatments, weird colon cleanses, iris readings, and brainwave-changing gadgets. But if governments and hospitals promote the notion that this nonsense actually works, why wouldn’t advocates claim that it falls under the Canada Health Act, along with dialysis and chemotherapy?
Admittedly, the miraculous cures provided by modern medical science cannot cure every condition. And so it is natural that, humans being the hopeful and superstitious creatures they are, would seek out their own “alternative” remedies. They should be free to do so. But the rest of us, and especially our government and mainstream medical community, should not be made to support, fund or legitimize therapies that have no proven benefit — except, in financial form, to those who provide them.

Additional references

At Best, the "Remedies" Are Placebos

Homeopathic products are made from minerals, botanical substances, and several other sources. If the original substance is soluble, one part is diluted with either nine or ninety-nine parts of distilled water and/or alcohol and shaken vigorously (succussed); if insoluble, it is finely ground and pulverized in similar proportions with powdered lactose (milk sugar).

One part of the diluted medicine is then further diluted, and the process is repeated until the desired concentration is reached. Dilutions of 1 to 10 are designated by the Roman numeral X (1X = 1/10, 3X = 1/1,000, 6X = 1/1,000,000). Similarly, dilutions of 1 to 100 are designated by the Roman numeral C (1C = 1/100, 3C = 1/1,000,000, and so on). Most remedies today range from 6X to 30X, but products of 30C or more are marketed.

A 30X dilution means that the original substance has been diluted 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 times.

Assuming that a cubic centimeter of water contains 15 drops, this number is greater than the number of drops of water that would fill a container more than 50 times the size of the Earth. Imagine placing a drop of red dye into such a container so that it disperses evenly.

Homeopathy's "law of infinitesimals" is the equivalent of saying that any drop of water subsequently removed from that container will possess an essence of redness. Robert L. Park, Ph.D., a prominent physicist who is executive director of The American Physical Society, has noted that since the least amount of a substance in a solution is one molecule, a 30C solution would have to have at least one molecule of the original substance dissolved in a minimum of 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 molecules of water. This would require a container more than 30,000,000,000 times the size of the Earth.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

GOP Republicans The Party Of The 1% Give A 2015 Gift To Wallstreet as soon as they get power

The Volcker Rule is a key reform adopted after the 2008 financial meltdown that bans banks from gambling in securities markets with taxpayer money -- a tactic known as proprietary trading. But under legislation slated for a Wednesday vote, banks would be given a two-year reprieve from unloading some of their riskiest holdings -- known as collateralized loan obligations.

WASHINGTON -- After stuffing Wall Street's stockings in December with subsidiesfor risky trading, the House of Representatives plans to wish big banks a happy New Year on Wednesday by hacking up and delaying the Volcker Rule.
The Volcker Rule is a key reform adopted after the 2008 financial meltdown that bans banks from gambling in securities markets with taxpayer money -- a tactic known as proprietary trading. But under legislation slated for a Wednesday vote, banks would be given a two-year reprieve from unloading some of their riskiest holdings -- known as collateralized loan obligations.
The deregulation measure is one of 11 changes to the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law that Republicans will bring to the floor under a single bill Wednesday. The legislation can only pass the House if dozens of Democrats support it, since the bill will be brought up under special rules that require a two-thirds majority for approval. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) will lead the opposition to the bill for Democrats on the House floor. Ellison will likely be opposed by House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), who voted for a similar bill in April, and supported the bank subsidy in December.
Bank watchdogs are apoplectic about the bill.
"It's all about the bonus pool," said Dennis Kelleher, president and CEO of Better Markets, a financial reform nonprofit. "The attack on the Volcker Rule has been nonstop, because proprietary trading is about big-time bets that result in big-time bonuses. Wall Street has been fighting it from day one, and they're not going to stop."
"It's absurd," said Marcus Stanley, policy director at Americans for Financial Reform. "It's getting on five years after the passage of the Volcker Rule, and the banks have still not actually been required to stop doing anything that they want to be doing. And anytime we get close to the point where they could, somebody comes in with an extension."
Collateralized loan obligations, or CLOs, are complex contracts similar to the mortgage securities that crashed the economy in 2008. To create a CLO, banks package dozens of risky corporate loans together and sell slices to investors. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, a major bank regulatory agency, warned in December that the corporate debt market is overheating and becoming increasingly dangerous.
The nation's largest banks dominate the CLO market. According to an April letterfrom five federal regulators, banks with at least $50 billion in assets hold between 94 percent and 96 percent of the domestic market, valued at $84 billion to $105 billion.
A similar version of the bill was initially introduced by Rep. Andy Barr (R-Ky.) and cosponsored by Rep. Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.), passing the House by a voice vote in April. The legislation received another vote in September, when it passed the House 320 - 102, with 95 Democrats voting in favor and just one Republican, Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) voting against it.
The Senate never took up the House bill, but the Federal Reserve offered banks a two-year extension on dumping their risky CLOs, good through 2017. The extension was widely attributed to the central bank's top lawyer, Scott Alvarez.
"Alvarez wants to kill the Volcker Rule, so it's being delayed until they can kill it. He made the decision to delay it until 2017, and this is consistent with that strategy," a frustrated Democratic aide told HuffPost.
Alvarez -- a bank-friendly holdover from the years when Alan Greenspan chaired the Fed -- in December delayed the moment of truth for a host of other risky bank investments through 2017. The Federal Reserve wasn't immediately available for comment after normal business hours.
The legislation slated for a Wednesday vote would allow banks to hold onto billions of dollars in CLO holdings until July 2019.
The flurry of activity on the Volcker Rule follows the December passage of a $1.1 trillion spending bill that included subsidies for risky Wall Street derivatives trading. The bill repealed a key section of President Barack Obama's 2010 financial reform legislation. Obama said that he opposed the plan, but didn't want to derail the broader spending bill over it.
If the latest bill to aid big banks clears the House, the Republican-controlled Senate likely has the votes to pass it as well, unless new filibuster rules provide Democrats with more leverage. Obama has the authority to veto the legislation, but bank watchdogs are wary of Obama after his support for the December spending bill that included the Wall Street subsidy.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Beer pipeline approved by the Belgian town...

Beer pipeline approved by the Belgian town will to link De Halve Maan, a historic brewery and popular tourist attraction, to its nearby bottling facility. The polyethylene pipes will annually keep 500 trucks off Bruges’ cobblestoned streets, which is a lot for a city that reaches only about 53 square miles. 

All those trucks moving Belgian beer around are just fuel-hungry, emissions-generating, traffic-causing trouble, and the people of Bruges are ready do something about it. Their plan: a two-mile underground beer pipeline.
The pipeline approved by the Belgian town will to link De Halve Maan, a historic brewery and popular tourist attraction, to its nearby bottling facility. The polyethylene pipes will annually keep 500 trucks off Bruges’ cobblestoned streets, which is a lot for a city that reaches only about 53 square miles. ”The idea is born of environmental and quality of life concerns, and not economic ones,” said company director Xavier Vanneste to the Telegraph.
De Halve Maan’s pipeline is designed to carry more than 1,500 gallons of beer per hour and will take 10 minutes to 15 minutes to move the beer from the brewery to the plant, reported Mashable. Construction will begin next year.

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