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al zwikker
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Blessed are the flexible, for they will not be bent out of shape.
Blessed are the flexible, for they will not be bent out of shape.

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Russian bots, 'troll factory' test waters ahead of U.S. midterms

Russian "troll factory" backers from the 2016 U.S. campaign have a new American website ahead of November's midterm elections, while Russian bots and trolls are deploying sophisticated tools. Many Americans are wondering: Is the Kremlin trying again to derail a U.S. election?

https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/russia-bots-trolls-us-election-1.4747986

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Good for Prince Charles and Prince William...
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Canadians prohibited from acting smug, and other decisions from Trump’s Supreme Court
DAVID UPDIKE
CONTRIBUTED TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL
PUBLISHED JULY 1, 2018
UPDATED JULY 1, 2018
David Updike is an editor at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

In a 5-to-4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court today upheld a new border enforcement policy requiring Canadians not to “act all smug and superior” upon entering the United States “or at any time during their (hopefully brief) visit.” In a sweeping endorsement of the policy’s stated goal of preserving America’s “self-image as the greatest country in the history of the universe,” the majority agreed that Canadians must refrain from uttering sentences beginning with “Well, in Canada…” or “Justin Trudeau, on the other hand…” They are also forbidden from “using excessive politeness to mask disdain” and “showing off their bilingual abilities by speaking French or French-accented English.” A separate provision banning any Canadian named Justin from entering the country was struck down. During oral arguments, the usually taciturn Justice Clarence Thomas had pushed back against the measure, noting that Justin Bieber’s Love Yourself was “the kiss-off track of the decade.” In lieu of writing a dissent, the court’s four liberal justices stood outside the courthouse in Toronto Maple Leafs jerseys and sang O Canada, followed by a medley of songs by Neil Young, Gordon Lightfoot and Joni Mitchell.

In a 5-to-4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court today ruled that President Trump’s executive order banning anyone other than Roseanne Barr from using the last name “Conner” on television did not violate the constitution, since he was acting in the national interest. “Roseanne was clearly the heart and soul of the popular ABC sitcom,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts for the majority. In a separate, concurring opinion, Justice Samuel Alito noted that John Goodman, while a “very fine actor,” had done his best work with the Coen brothers and was not suited to anchoring a prime-time sitcom in today’s media market. In a blistering dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg argued that Sara Gilbert was the only conceivable reason to watch anything related to the franchise.

In a 5-to-4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court today upheld a new Environmental Protection Agency regulation requiring all electric and gas-electric hybrid cars to be retrofitted with coal stoves. The stoves, which will burn both anthracite and bituminous coal, are part of a new policy that aims to offset the “carbon deficit” caused by more fuel-efficient automobiles, as well as to revive the foundering U.S. coal industry. Toyota Prius owners, for example, will be required to purchase and incinerate enough coal to bring their emissions up to those of a Cadillac Escalade carrying six passengers and “stuffed to the gills with recreational gear.” In a dissent signed by all four liberal jurists, Justice Sotomayor wrote, “Help.”

In a 5-to-4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court today opted to suspend the Electoral College, which was deemed “elitist and out of touch with the everyday lives of most hard-working Americans.” Instead, heading into the 2020 cycle, we will now have an Electoral High School. The primary system will be replaced with a series of televised popularity contests, to be hosted by upscale hotels and convention centres around the country. Two candidates – one male and one female – will be selected from each state, based on a number of criteria, including poise, fashion sensibility (women only), entitlement and “great genes.” The winners will head to a national competition to be held at Mar-a-Lago in late August. The pair that emerges victorious from that contest will be married in a ceremony on the National Mall on Jan. 20, 2021, and will take their place at the White House as the new Second Couple, replacing Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, with whom President Trump has grown increasingly annoyed.

All four liberal justices were last seen in a late-model Prius headed toward the Canadian border.
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Guinness World Record for Solving 3 Rubik's Cubes -- While Juggling!

A 13-year-old boy from China set a Guinness World Record for a feat I can barely comprehend. I taught myself to solve +Erno Rubik's wonderful invention many years ago but can't come close to the speed-cubing records. I understand, however, how people can reach that point with a combination of dexterity and knowledge of Rubik's Cubes and algorithms for solving them. Similarly, I can juggle but am not a great juggler by any stretch of the imagination. This young boy, however, combined those two activities in a way that boggles the mind.

He was given 15 seconds to examine three scrambled Cubes, and then the challenge began. He picked them up and solved them while juggling them! To do that, he had to keep track in his mind of the states of each of the cubes, catch them in an orientation that allowed him to make the moves he needed to make to solve the Cubes, make each move quickly enough toss the Cube in time to catch the next one, and -- of course -- not drop any of the Cubes along the way. He pulled that of in an astounding 5 minutes 6.61 seconds!

FYI, you can watch the video itself at https://youtu.be/h6Qbwz0Uik8, but I recommend reading the Guinness World Record article about it below.

#RubiksCube
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The huge questions about Melania Trump's immigration history nobody will answer
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