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Richard Bensam

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I was heading towards a building one block from the explosion, but I was still eight or nine blocks away when it happened.  Even that far away the streets were full of smoke in moments, and then they were full of fire trucks and emergency vehicles.

I second what the author says in this article.  
New York City Fire Department personnel work to extinguish the East Village fire on Thursday. Credit Photograph by Cem Ozdel/Anadolu Agency/Getty
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Richard Bensam

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I have kept many juvenile and immature traits as an adult, but perhaps the most childish of them is this: I am still constantly shocked and outraged by the irrationality and stupidity of grownups.
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There's a list of Wikipedia articles edited from IP addresses connected with NYPD headquarters linked at the end of the article.  Apart from the edits related to police issues, there are some interesting entries there.  But I already knew there are a lot of hardcore comics fans on the force...
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Richard Bensam

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"Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do."

I repeat that quote to make something clear: when I say Rudolph Giuliani is a fascist, I mean that in the absolutely literal sense.  I do not mean it in the casual name-calling way lefties often say “so-and-so is a fascist because he doesn’t agree with me.”  I mean Rudy Giuliani genuinely believes in and endorses the principles of fascism.  I repeat, he is an actual fascist.
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She truly was, but you're right that it's a poor tactic to raise it.  I'll delete that.

Richard Bensam

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Twelve years ago, the Dixie Chicks were attacked for speaking against the President of the United States on stage in a foreign country.  Disputes shouldn't be taken outside our borders, bleated the right, we must always display a united front to the rest of the world!  So I assume the folks who said that are directing the exact same criticism and vitriol at Mayor Rudy for calling the current President "stupid" at a rally in Berlin.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said Saturday that the U.S. should take a stronger stance against Iran — or risk appeasing what he called an "insane" regime. Giuliani spoke at a rally in Berlin organized by the exiled opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran. The...
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 In a 2012 commencement address to Boston University graduates of the fine arts program, Nimoy spoke of a Cape connection that touched his life but might have gone unknown.  “I drove a taxi at night so that I could be available for auditions during the day,” he told graduates. “One night I picked up Jack Kennedy at the Bel Air Hotel. Yes, that Jack Kennedy. Senator from Massachusetts at the time and future president. We chatted about careers …politics and show business, and we agreed that both had a lot in common. Maybe too much in common. He said, ‘Lots of competition in your business, just like in mine.’ And then he gave me this: ‘Just remember there’s always room for one more good one’ …Words to live by, and I did.”

from http://www.capecodtimes.com/article/20150227/ENTERTAINMENTLIFE/150229477/101015/NEWS
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Richard Bensam

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So: astronaut Scott Kelly has left Earth to spend a year in space while his identical twin brother and fellow astronaut Mark Kelly remains on Earth.  This is LITERALLY the premise of a Robert Heinlein novel.

I just hope they've taken time dilation into account.  Due to relativistic effects, Scott may come back home several seconds younger than Mark.
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It says on Wikipedia that ISS crew age more slowly than Earthbound folks by about 0.007 seconds per six months in orbit, so Scott will return 0.014 seconds younger than Mark.  I assume Mark will lord it over his kid brother after that.

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Happy 133rd birthday to German mathematician and physicist Emmy Noether. Among her many contributions to science is Noether’s Theorem (http://goo.gl/Z7CHdJ), which states that if a system has a continuous symmetric properties, then there are corresponding conserved quantities for that system. For example, if a physical system behaves the same way regardless of location in space and time, then that system conserves both linear momentum and energy. Each circle in the Google Doodle below symbolizes a branch of physics or math that Noether contributed to. Head to the Google Doodle page below to learn more.
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Richard Bensam

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This is my favorite Iron Man movie by a wide margin.
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It seems like all the actors who play superheroes get turned into super-awesome people...

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Researchers working with the Central Intelligence Agency have conducted a multi-year, sustained effort to break the security of Apple’s iPhones and iPads.
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Here's a longer account of the Leonard Nimoy meets JFK story.  I could see this working as a short film: an encounter between two men who are going to become two of the biggest American icons of the century.
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"Born in Boston, he decided to be an actor at the age of seventeen, after appearing in a local production of 'Awake and Sing!,' Clifford Odets’s gritty Depression-era drama. Odets’s portrayal of a 'young man surrounded by a hostile and repressive environment' had, Nimoy recalled, 'so touched a responsive chord that I decided to make a career of acting.' He struggled in the profession at the start, but decided to stick with it when, working as a cab driver in Los Angeles, he picked up a young Senator John F. Kennedy and drove him to the airport. The competition was unrelenting for both politicians and entertainers, Kennedy said, but he assured him, 'Just remember: there’s always room for one more good one.'"
Leonard Nimoy attends the Los Angeles première of “Star Trek Into Darkness,” in 2013. Credit PHOTOGRAPH BY JORDAN STRAUSS/INVISION/AP
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