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4/25/15

Eliane Elias - 'Apareceu'

SHG     Saturday, April 25, 2015     No comments

Eliane Elias is a Brazilian jazz pianist, singer, arranger and songwriter.  Elias is known for her distinctive musical style which blends her Brazilian roots and her voice with instrumental jazz, classical and composition skills.

Scientists skeptical about Elizabeth Holmes' secret blood test

SHG     Saturday, April 25, 2015     No comments


Faster, cheaper, better.

An innovation that accomplishes those three things has the potential to disrupt an industry. But such innovations are rare.

Theranos, a company founded by Stanford sophomore Elizabeth Holmes in the fall of 2003 (she dropped out a few months later) has generated a lot of buzz for developing a revolutionary approach to the blood test. Theranos' innovation theoretically does clinical lab testing faster, cheaper, and, in some ways, better. Because of that, Theranos could upend the branch of medicine that provides the data used in roughly 70% of medical decisions.

That disruptive potential has already made Theranos famous and Holmes the youngest female billionaire in the US. But the more buzz Theranos gets, the more questions people seem to have.

Fishing on the Susquehanna in July

SHG     Saturday, April 25, 2015     No comments


I have never been fishing on the Susquehanna
or on any river for that matter
to be perfectly honest.

Not in July or any month
have I had the pleasure—if it is a pleasure—
of fishing on the Susquehanna.

I am more likely to be found
in a quiet room like this one—
a painting of a woman on the wall,

a bowl of tangerines on the table—
trying to manufacture the sensation
of fishing on the Susquehanna.

There is little doubt
that others have been fishing
on the Susquehanna,

rowing upstream in a wooden boat,
sliding the oars under the water
then raising them to drip in the light.

But the nearest I have ever come to
fishing on the Susquehanna
was one afternoon in a museum in Philadelphia

when I balanced a little egg of time
in front of a painting
in which that river curled around a bend

under a blue cloud-ruffled sky,
dense trees along the banks,
and a fellow with a red bandanna

sitting in a small, green
flat-bottom boat
holding the thin whip of a pole.

That is something I am unlikely
ever to do, I remember
saying to myself and the person next to me.

Then I blinked and moved on
to other American scenes
of haystacks, water whitening over rocks,

even one of a brown hare
who seemed so wired with alertness
I imagined him springing right out of the frame.


By Billy Collins

Repealing the Estate Tax

SHG     Saturday, April 25, 2015     No comments
Credit: Google+

Adios Seguro Social

SHG     Saturday, April 25, 2015     No comments

Some union pension cuts likely with new Federal rules

SHG     Saturday, April 25, 2015     No comments

The likelihood that hundreds of thousands of union members nationwide won’t be receiving the full pension benefits promised to them is becoming clearer as federal regulatory agencies in Washington, D.C., move to implement new pension legislation quietly approved in the final weeks of 2014.

As reported by Cole Stangler in In These Times late last year, legislators rushed to amend a 40-year-old law governing private-sector multiemployer pension plans as part of broader budget legislation that was considered “must pass” by both Republicans and Democrats. The new law, which has been the subject of heated debate in Washington for more than a decade, is aimed specifically at union pension plans facing long-term insolvency and gives the trustees of such plans new freedom to cut benefits to retirees as a way to reverse the declining fortunes of those plans. President Barack Obama signed the measure, called the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 (MPRA), into law on December 16.

How a factory maximizes productivity from workers

SHG     Saturday, April 25, 2015     No comments

One of VW’s core lean tactics is “workforce flexibility”: competitive pressure from temps or part-timers.

At the Chattanooga plant, permanent employees work alongside “temporary” workers, some of whom have actually worked there for years. Pitted against one another, both groups fear to speak up.

Workers are routinely pushed to their physical and emotional breaking points. From management’s point of view, this maximizes productivity.

'Environmental Heroes' honored with prestigious prize

SHG     Saturday, April 25, 2015     No comments

Six "grassroots environmental heroes" from around the world were honored this week with the annual Goldman Prize for their role in defending the earth, "often at great personal risk."

$23,660-a-year ‘executives' will see a raise from an Obama rule

SHG     Saturday, April 25, 2015     No comments


President Barack Obama is preparing to do what the U.S. economic recovery has been slow to accomplish: raise the wages of millions of Americans.

His administration is drafting new rules on who qualifies for overtime compensation, forcing more businesses to pay time-and-a-half after 40 hours of work. Many employees now earning as little as $23,660 a year -- below the federal poverty line for a family of four -- aren’t entitled to overtime pay because they are considered managers.

Seven new sunscreen formulas to try

SHG     Saturday, April 25, 2015     No comments
As the sun ups its appearance, you should also up your sunscreen use. “Your winter routine won’t cut it now,” says Joshua Zeichner, MD, dermatologist and director of cosmetic research at Mount Sinai Medical center in New York City. “As springtime begins, the strength of UV radiation increases, causing your skin to need even more protection.”

4/24/15

The grandparent scam

SHG     Friday, April 24, 2015     No comments
Credit: AARP

U.S. allies sign up for China’s alternative World Bank

SHG     Friday, April 24, 2015     No comments

“With friends like this, who needs enemies?”

This must be what Washington policymakers muttered to themselves following the decision by their allies in London, Paris, Rome, and Berlin to join a new development bank proposed by Beijing.

The anger in Washington most likely mounted as two of its key allies in the Pacific, Australia and South Korea, also joined the bandwagon. In fact, as of mid-April, nearly 60 countries had accepted Beijing’s invitation to be founding members of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, or AIIB.

$50 billion of the initial target capitalization of $100 has been committed by China.

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