Collins faces tough Iran choices

In judging the proposed nuclear accord with Iran, it looks like wisdom is determined by political party. Almost all Republicans quickly opposed the deal. The Democrats, true their more unruly traditions, are mostly supporting it, though some are vocal in opposition. The GOP members of Congress are not only opposed …

Acer’s Predator 8 gaming tablet has 4 front speakers, but are they boomtastic?



It’s hard to get excited for new tablets when all tablets now look like rectangular slabs.

Acer’s Predator 8 gaming tablet dares to be different with sharp angles and edges, a silver-and-red paint job, and four front-facing speakers. So how is it?

I moseyed on by the Acer booth at IFA to try it out

The tablet’s lightness threw me completely off — it’s feather-light at only 0.77 pounds. Gaming-centric hardware is usually known to have some heft or weight (just look at any Alienware PC), so I was definitely shocked.

I, personally, wouldn’t say the tablet’s design is the sleekest, but if you’re down with the aggressive hardware look, I’m not going to judge you. The Predator 8 has an 8-inch display with 1,920 x 1,200 resolution. It looks good, but I wouldn’t say iPad mini-good. Read more…

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Local sports results for Sept. 4, 2015

Results HIGH SCHOOL Friday’s Results FOOTBALL Brewer 26, Nokomis 0 Brunswick 54, Hampden 0 Cape Elizabeth 35, Fryeburg 18 Deering 35, Massabesic 6 Dirigo 56, Telstar 0 Edward Little 22, Bangor 19 Falmouth 33, York 0 Gray-NG 44, Mountain Valley 37 Houlton 28, Dexter 14 Kennebunk 26, Greely 14 Leavitt …

BBC plans to counter North Korean propaganda with news, reports say



UPDATED: 12:15 p.m. BST, Saturday

The BBC plans to propose doing a daily news broadcast into North Korea and a satellite TV service in Russia as part of a drive to counter state propaganda worldwide, reports said.

Britain’s public broadcaster, worried about democracy and the free press worldwide, will make the proposals Monday. The plan also includes expanding BBC Arabic coverage in north Africa and the Middle East, the Guardian reported Saturday.

A BBC spokesman told Mashable in an email that Director General Tony Hall will be setting out his plans Monday and it will include plans for Russia and North Korea. Read more…

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Canning Tomato Sauce

The tomatoes have been pouring in for the last month and we are canning tomato sauce regularly.  I have “put up” 13 quarts and a couple pints of tomato sauce and I would like to double that.  I am not sure I will get there though.  My tomato plants have …

TV host John Oliver has become America’s social justice warrior



Craig Watts has spent the better part of three decades trying to bring attention to the inequities between major agricultural companies and farmers like himself.

It’s a battle that suddenly changed a few months ago

“If you’ve got a problem and you want it fixed, call John Oliver,” he said. “That’s my theory now.”

Watts was featured in a segment in May on Oliver’s HBO show, “Last Week Tonight,” that illustrated how the companies most associated with chicken in the U.S. take advantage of farmers. Since then, things haven’t been quite the same

“In 18 minutes, he did what we’ve been trying for 30 years to do and that is just reach a general, broader audience. The story that he told, I cannot tell you how hard that is to tell to someone that is not really familiar with it.” Read more…

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7 things you probably didn’t know about the Queen’s corgis



LONDON – It’s difficult to imagine Queen Elizabeth II without picturing her alongside her four-legged, pointy-eared sidekicks.

Ever since her dad introduced corgis to the Royal Family in 1933 (when he brought a dog called Dookie back to the palace), the smiley little critters have had a strong association with Her Majesty and Co.

We’ve put together some essential Queen-and-corgi-related facts (everything from drunk corgis to “dorgis”) to give you a deeper insight into Liz’s favourite pets… Read more…

1. The Queen has owned over 30 corgis during her reign

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Is There Too Much New Programming On TV? writes: John Koblin writes in the NY Times that there’s a crisis in television programming felt among executives, viewers and critics, and it’s the result of one thing: There is simply too much on television. John Landgraf, chief executive of FX Networks, reported at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour that the total number of original scripted series on TV in 2014 was 371. The total will surpass 400 in 2015. The glut, according to Landgraf, has presented “a huge challenge in finding compelling original stories and the level of talent needed to sustain those stories.” Michael Lombardo, president of programming at HBO, says it is harder than ever to build an audience for a show when viewers are confronted with so many choices and might click away at any moment. “I hear it all the time,” says Lombardo. “People going, ‘I can’t commit to another show, and I don’t have the time to emotionally commit to another show.’ I hear that, and I’m aware of it, and I get it.” Another complication is that shows not only compete against one another, but also against old series that live on in the archives of Amazon, Hulu or Netflix. So a new season of “Scandal,” for example, is also competing against old series like “The Wire.” “The amount of competition is just literally insane,” says Landgraf.

Others point out that the explosion in programming has created more opportunity for shows with diverse casts and topics, such as “Jane the Virgin,” “Transparent” and “Orange Is the New Black.” Marti Noxon, the showrunner for Lifetime’s “UnREAL” and Bravo’s “Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce,” says there has been a “sea change” in the last five years. “I couldn’t have gotten those two shows on TV five years ago,” says Noxon. “There was not enough opportunity for voices that speak to a smaller audience. Now many of these places are looking to reach some people — not all the people. That’s opened up a tremendous opportunity for women and other people that have been left out of the conversation.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

West Point cadet pillow fight ends in concussions and bloody split lips



The annual freshmen pillow fight at West Point military academy is supposed to be a fun way to blow off steam, but this year’s match turned bloody when some cadets swung pillows full of heavy objects, thought to be helmets.

Thirty cadets were injured, including 24 with concussions, according to West Point.

The injured cadets suffered from split lips, dislocated shoulders and at least one broken bone. The Aug. 20 pillow fight was discussed on social media but West Point did not confirm it to the The New York Times until Thursday.

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