A bridge too far for a cat

The agility of cats is truly amazing. There is a cat in our neighborhood that occasionally wanders into our backyard when I and Baxter the Wonder Dog are there. The cat, seeing Baxter, will watch him warily. If Baxter happens to see the cat, he will dash towards it barking loudly, as he does with any intruders, including birds and squirrels, on what he considers his territory. I never worry about this because this scene has played out many, many times and there is not a chance that Baxter will get even close and the cat will simply leap over the fence and escape.
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We need more analysis, less reading of tea leaves

Political news coverage consists of roughly three parts. First there is the reporting of an actual event that occurred (i.e., what makes up the ‘new’ in news). Second, there is an explanation of the context in which the event occurred that consists of the history and background that led to the event and the people involved, plus any actual consequences, such as how a new law that has been passed will be implemented in practice and how it will affect people. And finally there is the question of What It All Means, which consists of drawing broader conclusions and predicting future events based on the news event.
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Book review: Reporter by Seymour M. Hersh

I am not in general a fan of the memoir genre but when I heard that legendary investigative reporter Seymour Hersh had written one, I rushed out to buy a copy the day it was released because I knew it would be good. And I was not disappointed. The book is excellent, containing details of how he arrived at his stories and should be required reading for anyone who wants to be a good reporter because he tells you how he went about getting important information. As I read it I started marking various passages to quote in a review but they became so numerous that there is no way that I can do so without this becoming very lengthy. What I will do is from time to quote from sections of it as it relates to other topics I write about.
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Is this normal?

As a blogger, I get quite a few emails from people I don’t know. As I see it, there are various forms of salutation that are polite when writing to a stranger: the formal ‘Dear Mr. Singham’ to the more casual ‘Dear Mano’ to the even more casual ‘Hi Mano’. Some use the ‘Dear Mano Singham’ which is helpful if one feels that using the just the first name is too familiar but is not sure what gender prefix to append to the last name. All these modes are fine by me.
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Which side are you on? The choice the Democratic party can no longer ignore

As a result of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s win, the Democratic Socialists of America are reporting an increase in their membership. Matt Taibbi has a roundup of the alarmed reactions to this result from the political-media establishment and says that the Democratic party leadership and the media pundits are dumping on AOC’s victory because she represents a different world from their comfortable one.
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How fat cells work

I have long been curious about what happens to the body when we gain and lose weight. People talk about ‘fat cells’ but I was not clear as to whether we have a relatively fixed number of such cells and weight fluctuations simply consist of the size of these cells changing, or whether the number of cells also changed. David Prologo, a professor of radiology and imaging sciences at Emory University, has a nice article explaining what is going on when we gain and lose weight.
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Why do police use excessive force? Because they can

Shuan King sent out this Tweet showing police tasering a man for no reason even though the man was just sitting on the curb. Why? Because they can.

Attacks on Ocasio-Cortez begin already

I had expected Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to be attacked by the political-business-media establishments for her progressive views, for calling herself a democratic socialist, and for her highlighting of the deaths of dozens of protestors in Gaza at the hands of Israeli Defense Forces. The loss of her opponent, incumbent Joe Crowley is being mourned by lobbyists and business-friendly pundits, though Crowley himself was extremely gracious to her in conceding his loss.
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