Saturday, July 13, 2013

Technological Progress And More



I despise these pre-recorded telephone robots. My phone rings; I pick up and say "Hello." This irritatingly bouncy and overly-friendly voice starts up and proceeds to tell me  about this wonderful product or service I simply can't do without. I try to interrupt, since I have no need for that product or service, but it's a robot so it pays me no attention, and just rattles on and on.

So I hang up.

 The head of Smithfield Foods Inc., CEO Larry Pope, is trying to ease concerns that the proposed takeover of the world's largest pork producer by a Chinese company would pose risks to the U.S. food supply.

This doesn't bother me. I eat very little pork, and even then it's usually only a slice or two of ham (with cheese, either American or Swiss) in a sandwich. I much prefer chicken or turkey sandwiches, anyway.

In a report that undercuts years of public health warnings, a prestigious group convened by the government says there is no good reason based on health outcomes for many Americans to drive their sodium consumption down to the very low levels recommended in national dietary guidelines.

What? I don't have to limit my intake of salt? Wow!

NY Times story

A factoid you probably didn't know . . .
NASA's Asteroid Initiative involves using a robot to capture a small near-Earth asteroid and redirect it safely to a stable lunar orbit where astronauts can visit and explore it.

This initiative seems to me somewhat unnecessary, and a bit dangerous for Earth. Don't you think?



Ketchup was sold in the 1830s as medicine.



On this day, July 13 in 1955, nightclub owner Ruth Ellis was convicted of murdering boyfriend David Blakely.

During her trial, which began in June 1955, Ellis stated “It was obvious that when I shot him I intended to kill him.”

Ellis was later executed by hanging and became the last woman in Great Britain to be put to death for committing a crime.


1. Moving forward; advancing.
2. Proceeding in steps; continuing steadily by increments: progressive change.
3. Promoting or favoring progress toward better conditions or new policies, ideas, or methods
4. Progressive Of or relating to a Progressive Party: the Progressive platform of 1924.
5. Of or relating to progressive education: a progressive school.
6. Increasing in rate as the taxable amount increases: a progressive income tax.
7. Pathology Tending to become more severe or wider in scope: progressive paralysis.
8. Grammar Designating a verb form that expresses an action or condition in progress.
1. A person who actively favors or strives for progress toward better conditions, as in society or government.
2. A member or supporter of a Progressive Party.



(born July 13, 1942)
Harrison Ford is an American film actor and producer. He is famous for his performances as Han Solo in the original Star Wars trilogy and the title character of the Indiana Jones film series. Ford is also known for his roles as Rick Deckard in Blade Runner, John Book in Witness and Jack Ryan in Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger. His career has spanned six decades and includes roles in several Hollywood blockbusters, including Presumed Innocent, The Fugitive, Air Force One, and What Lies Beneath.

(born 13 July 1940)
Patrick Stewart is an English film, television and stage actor, who has had a distinguished career on stage and screen. He is most widely known for his roles as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation and its successor films, and as Professor Charles Xavier in the X-Men film series.

(July 13, 1928 - June 29, 1978)
Bob Crane was an American actor. Crane is best known for his performance as Colonel Robert E. Hogan in the CBS sitcom Hogan's Heroes. The series aired from 1965 to 1971, and Crane received two Primetime Emmy Award nominations for his work on the series.

(born July 13, 1946)
Cheech Marin is a Mexican American comedian, actor and writer who gained recognition as part of the comedy act Cheech & Chong during the 1970s with Tommy Chong and early 1980s, and as Don Johnson's partner, Inspector Joe Dominguez on Nash Bridges. He has also voiced characters in several Disney productions, including Oliver and Company, The Lion King, It's Tough to be a Bug!, Cars, Cars 2 and Beverly Hills Chihuahua.


Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.
--John Maynard Keynes


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