Arab World: Rich In Oil, Poor In Water

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Lake Urmia
Lake Urmia in Iran has lost 95 percent of its water in recent decades

 

 

Hat/Tip to Doug Ross @ Journal.

So the Middle East is running out of water? Hmmm, um.

What?

Oh, that was just me, trying to feel bad.


 

Daniel Pipes casts a fascinating spotlight on an ongoing — and little heralded — water crisis in the Middle East.

A ranking Iranian political figure, Issa Kalantari, recently warned that past mistakes leave Iran with water supplies so insufficient that up to 70 percent, or 55 million out of 78 million Iranians, would be forced to abandon their native country for parts unknown.

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Many facts buttress Kalantari’s apocalyptic prediction: Once lauded in poetry, Lake Urmia, the Middle East’s largest lake, has lost 95 percent of its water since 1996, going from 31 billion cubic meters to 1.5 billion. What the Seine is to Paris, the Zayanderud was to Isfahan – except the latter went bone-dry in 2010. Over two-thirds of Iran’s cities and towns are “on the verge of a water crisis” that could result in drinking water shortages; already, thousands of villages depend on water tankers. Unprecedented dust storms disrupt economic activity and damage health.

Nor are Iranians alone in peril; many others in the arid Middle East may also be forced into unwanted, penurious, desperate exile. With a unique, magnificent exception, much of the Middle East is running out of water due to such maladies as population growth, short-sighted dictators, distorted economic incentives, and infrastructure-destroying warfare…

Pipes goes on to describe the challenges of supplying clean water to many Arab countries including Egypt, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, etc.

Oh. And what of Israel?

Israel provides the sole exception to this regional tale of woe. It too, as recently as the 1990s, suffered water shortages; but now, thanks to a combination of conservation, recycling, innovative agricultural techniques, and high-tech desalination, the country is awash in H2O (Israel’s Water Authority: “We have all the water we need”). I find particularly striking that Israel can desalinate about 17 liters of water for one U.S. penny; and that it recycles about five times more water than does second-ranked Spain.

Talk amongst yourselves. Topic: barbarism versus civilization.

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Obama Impersonator: People Tell Me They Hate Me

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presidential-impersonator-ortiz-2
Obama Impersonator Louis Ortiz says people come up to him and tell him they hate him

Hat/Tip to Newsmax.

When imagining the best and worst jobs in the world, one has to figure that being an Obama impersonator after all the damage that he’s done to the country ranks right up there with the worst… But a man from the Bronx has found that being a dead-ringer for Obama can have its advantages.


 

A Bronx man who’s a dead-ringer for President Barack Obama says his fortunes depend on the commander in chief — and that’s not always been a good thing, either financially or on the street.

“I am the lightning rod,” Louis Ortiz tells the Huffington Post in a video interview posted Wednesday.

“It’s just normal.”

 The former Verizon worker has parlayed his big ears and astounding likeness to the president into a career — and a documentary — and now travels the world as a presidential impersonator.

People just can’t help themselves when they see him walking down the street, he admits.

“They want me to take care of ISIS … Ebola, the economy,” he tells HuffPost Live. “It’s a tough job.”

It gets to be a bit much, he confesses, including “if you’re trying to get from point A to point B … and people have to stop you for some reason,” including to say “I hate you.”

“As far as his popularity, when things get tough for Obama, things get a little tough for me, not only financially,” Ortiz says. “I gotta hear it all.”

Filmmaker Ryan Murdock first introduced Ortiz to the world in an episode of “This American Life” in 2012, the Atlantic notes.

Murdock then released a documentary “Bronx Obama,” last October. The Atlantic posted a clip of the documentary.

“People encounter Ortiz and have the urge to act out their fantasy as if they were meeting the real commander in chief, but with none of the encumbrances of security, media, or even basic decorum,” Murdock told the Atlantic.

Ortiz tells HuffPost Live that Murdock’s documentary “is acting like an unofficial manager … getting me a lot of attention and the work is rolling in.”

In an interview with the New York Daily News last October, Ortiz confessed he once considered having plastic surgery to fix the ears that he felt stuck out too much.

He’s good with them now.

“I look at myself a lot in the mirror, and I start speaking like Barack,” he told the News. “It’s like Barack is speaking through me, to me. … It’s weird.”

Ortiz works an average of two or three times a week as the president, working parties and corporate conferences, appearing in an occasional television ad overseas — and even appearing as an unannounced guest at weddings, according to the Daily News.

In 2013, he made about $60,000, down from 2012, he told the newspaper.

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.Carried at IOTWReport.com.

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AAA Cites Top 7 Reasons for Teen Auto Accidents

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Doug Ross (no relation) posted the top ten reasons for teen auto accidents. 

The top 7 reasons for teen crashes:

  1. Interacting with one or more passengers: 15% of crashes
  2. Cell phone use: 12% of crashes
  3. Looking at something in the vehicle: 10% of crashes
  4. Looking at something outside the vehicle: 9% of crashes
  5. Singing/moving to music: 8% of crashes
  6. Grooming: 6% of crashes
  7. Reaching for an object: 6% of crashes

Send this to any teen drivers you know.

Head over to Doug’s place for more.

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VASIMIR Rocket Can Send Vessel to Mars in Just 39 Days?

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One the obstacles to interplanetary travel is time.  Since the distances are long, and the current spacecraft technologies are so slow, any trip to Mars, for example, could last 6 months or more.  That means a larger and more robust spacecraft. That means more cost, and that cost has been prohibitive, as more technologies need to be developed to keep astronauts provisioned and breathing for months to get there, time on site, and then time back.  However, it appears that one small company might just have a solution…

NASA has selected Texas-based Ad Astra Rocket Company for a round of funding to help develop the Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket, or VASIMR. The new rocket uses plasma and magnets, not to lift spacecraft into orbit but to propel them further and faster once they’ve escaped the planet’s atmosphere.

“It is a rocket like no other rocket that you might have seen in the past. It is a plasma rocket,” Dr. Franklin Chang-Díaz, a former shuttle astronaut and CEO of Ad Astra said in a video describing the rocket. “The VASIMR engine is not used for launching things into space or landing them back but rather it is used for things already there. We call this ‘in-space propulsion.'”

While missions near Earth would be able to use solar energy to power the rocket, a mission to Mars would require something far more powerful — most likely nuclear power, which the company has called “an ideal power source in space.”

In ideal conditions, the rocket could propel a spacecraft to Mars in just 39 days.

Here is some video of the rocket system in testing…

 

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Go “Fox” Yourself Just Doesn’t Have The Same Ring To It…

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Guilherme Crabogiale Fuck

 

Hat/Tip to IOTWReport.com.

 

Okay, even though we’re not in fifth grade anymore, we just can’t help ourselves, when upon hearing this basketball player’s name we let out a childish giggle.

That up there is a real headline, in a real newspaper, on a real story about a real basketball player named Guilherme Crabogiale Fuck.

Guilherme Crabogiale Fuck has a fantastic, mellifluous name, and it would be more childish to pretend we’re not tickled by the fact that his surname is an English obscenity. It’s funny, and it’s curious, but it’s easily explicable: the 6-foot-6 forward for Alberta’s Medicine Hat College is a Brazilian of German descent.

“It doesn’t mean what people think it means,” said Fuck.”In German it [fuchs] means fox.”

But it’s spelled “fuck,” so he has problems in the Anglosphere. His conference puts the pronunciation in parentheses (foo-kee). Some message boards automatically censor his name. His own school puts his second name on his jersey, and on its website, even though Fuck doesn’t go by anything but Fuck.

(There seems to be confusion on how to spell his second name, but we’re going with the spelling listed on the college’s and conference’s websites.)

So, well done by the Medicine Hat News, for not shying away from printing Fuck’s name, which would be unconscionably silly in a story about the very real challenges faced by someone with the last name Fuck.

The Medicine Hat News was asked by Medicine Hat College sports and recreation staff to use his first and middle names prior to the season, but will use his proper last name going forward, starting with this story.

“When they asked my opinion I said I want to have my last-last name, I’m not ashamed of it,” said Fuck. “I would rather always use my last-last name. Back in Brazil that’s what I use, I don’t use my first-last name.”

Fuck averaged 18 and 10 this season on his way to being named to the all-Canadian team, and is preparing to lead his Rattlers into the CCAA tournament. Fuck’s coming for you, Canada.

Read the full story here.

Editor’s Note: We cannot be held responsible for any bad puns made in the comments section of this story.

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Feel Good Story Of The Day: Lost And Very Special Teddy Bear Found And Returned To 18 Month Old Boy

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Isaiah Perez Pequeno and his Teddy Bear which contains his dead twin's ashes within
Isaiah Perez Pequeno and his Teddy Bear which contains the ashes of his twin sister who passed away as a preemie

Hat/Tip to Amy Frazier at KOIN6 News.

People cope with loss in lots of different ways. And when that loss is the loss of a child, then the hurt and pain is magnified. Sarah Pequeno was blessed with twins, a boy and a girl. Unfortunately her daughter did not make it and passed away after being born a preemie. Her son Isaiah, however survived and Sarah decided to put some of her daughter’s ashes in a locket and put that locket into a Teddy Bear. Well Isaiah has grown very attached to that Teddy Bear and takes it everywhere with him.

Sadly, it was recently lost.

The missing teddy bear with the cremains of a toddler’s twin inside was returned Thursday in Salem.

The teddy bear was the constant companion of 18-month-old Isaiah Perez Pequeno, his mother Sarah said. Leaving a doctor’s appointment Tuesday, she became distracted and believes she left the teddy bear on top of her car as she drove away.

A UPS driver saw the bear get run over by a car, so he stopped, picked up the bear and tossed it on the sidewalk so it wouldn’t get run over again.

Around 3 p.m. that afternoon, Maricela Gonzalez and her husband were driving by the entrance of the Brittany Creek Apartments and spotted a bear on the sidewalk. They stopped, picked it up and put it in the back of their car.

And then, something wonderful happened.

Their daughter, 17-year-old Araceli Gonzalez, saw Sarah Pequeno’s Facebook post and mentioned it to her parents, who then said they found a teddy bear in that area.

Thursday, they got in contact with Pequeno and re-connected Isaiah with his teddy bear named Ayah — named for his twin sister.

Asked why they stopped and picked the bear up, the couple told KOIN 6 News they had a feeling it may be special to someone.

“My whole family, we are very grateful for the person who picked it up, got it out of the way and brought it home safe,” Sarah Pequeno told KOIN 6 News. “It may have taken a couple days but it is home. I am really thankful.”

But the story doesn’t end there. Araceli tried not to take the reward money that Isaiah’s parents managed to pull together. But when they insisted, she agreed on the condition that she could use the money to help someone else in need.

Sarah Pequeno and Joseph Perez, the parents of Isaiah, scraped together a $40 reward for anyone who found the bear. They offered it to Araceli Gonzalez, but she refused. However, Perez insisted.

So, the McKay High School senior took the money but said she’ll pay it forward and use it to help someone else.

As for the Teddy Bear? Well it’s a bit roughed up, but none-the-worse for wear.

The bear lost an eye while missing, but the locket with the ashes of Ayah inside was still there.

Read the full story here.

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Former Porn Star Makes $5 Mil A Year On Youtube: You’ll Never Guess How In A Million Years

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 Each one of her videos gets upwards of 25 million views. She has clocked in over 1 billion views total.

former porn star now youtube sensation 001 former porn star now youtube sensation 002
Diane DeJesus in her porn star days (left) and at her local gas station in Orlando recently (right). The Brazilian has been named by neighbours as the woman behind the massively popular DC Toys Collector YouTube account
former porn star now youtube sensation 003

Hat/Tip to BFH at IOTWReport.com.

Mystery woman behind the ‘richest hands on the internet’ revealed: Former pornstar ‘makes $5m a year unwrapping Disney toys on YouTube’

  • Secretive couple behind ‘richest hands on the internet’ made $5m last year
  • Mysterious DC Toys Collector was 2014’s most popular YouTube channel
  • Childrens’ videos show woman ‘unboxing’ toys and describing each trinket
  • Close friend says Daiane de Jesus and her husband are behind the sensation
  • Brazilian Daiane previously known as Sandy Summers and appeared in porn
  • Neighbours claim she is the voice of DC Toy Collector – described as ‘crack for toddlers’

The highest paid ‘performer’ on You Tube, who is said to earn almost $5m a year unwrapping toys, is a former porn star called Sandy Summers, neighbours have told DailyMail.com.

Brazilian Daiane DeJeus was named by a family friend as the woman behind the wildly successful collection of children’s videos that have been watched a staggering 2.8billion times.

And former neighbours of the mysterious internet star have revealed to Daily Mail.com her secret past – which could explain her desire to remain completely anonymous.

For years they knew her as Daiane DeJesus who lived in a suburban home with her long-term partner Messias Credido.

But they also discovered she was once a porn star called Sandy Summers.

Read the full story here.

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Enough With the Depressing News: Feel Good Story Of The Day!

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Autistic boy Glenn Buratti enjoyed the cops and firefighters that spontaneously showed up to his birthday party

 

Hat/Tip to BFH at IOTWReport.com.

Great story amid all the ugly stuff going on in this world right now.

Heartwarming moment dozens of cops and firefighters flocked to autistic boy’s birthday party after his heartbroken mom revealed none of his classmates turned up

  • Ashlee Buratti invited her son’s 16 classmates to celebrate his sixth birthday
  • Glenn was devastated when he found out his classmates weren’t coming
  • Mom posted her frustration on Facebook and received messages of support
  • Strangers asked if they could bring their kids to the party to celebrate
  • Osceola County Sheriff’s Office heard about party and contacted the family
  • Police and firemen stopped by with gifts and gave Glenn tours of vehicles
  • Glenn, who has epilepsy and mild autism, was overjoyed with celebrations 

autistic boy Glenn Buratti in a real live firetruck

 

 

autistic boy Glenn Buratti with great impromptu birthday

 

Read the full story here.

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Vinyl Record Sales at Record Highs…

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It seems that when my girlfriend and I hit the local record stores, we are not alone…

2014: bad for digital music sales, great for vinyl. Like, really great. According to Nielsen SoundScan, vinyl sales hit 9.2 million, a 52 percent jump from 2013 figures, and an all-time high for vinyl on SoundScan, which began tracking sales in 1991. Damn.

But there is hope yet in vinyl. Not only for its boost to the music industry, but also because it’s increasingly the most worthwhile way to own music. You almost never want to buy CDs, and no one’s buying CDs anyway, but that experience of going to a record store and picking up something real and tangible that you can hold and keep has not lost its value. And this trend isn’t just a flash in the pan. Vinyl sales were at a paltry million in 2007; they’re now nine times that. In other words, your parents have been onto something for a very long time. Vinyl is here to stay. [WSJ]

This is near and dear to me.  I’ve kept my records from when I was a child.  And, thanks for some outstanding local record stores, I get to peruse over 100,000 great used records, as well as many new releases.  Combine that with a old console stereo I got at an estate sale (with all important record changer), and I can put a stack of records on it, and write away.  It’s a great way to listen to music.  You shouldn’t pass it up.  Here are some pics of my finds…

grand funk

yes

the firm

 

 

dokkenEnjoy all!

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News of the Strange: Pig Eats Man’s Pot Stash, Hilarity Ensues

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Well, it might not be hilarity.  In fact, it could have been tragic.  Here is more on what happens when a pig eats a man’s pot stash…

An Ohio man was arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest after he went on a drinking binge when his pet pig Millie ate his entire marijuana stash.

Forty-four-year-old Chad Spohn drank an entire bottle of Everclear, which is 190-proof grain alcohol, and threatened to harm himself during multiple calls with police.

“Chad gets upset when he does not have marijuana,” Spohn’s wife Heather said.

As soon as police arrived, Spohn became unruly and had to be subdued with a Taser.

Fortunately, Mr. Spohn recovered.  However, the offending pig is being put up for piggy adoption.

Also, something comes to mind…
“Chad gets upset when he does not have marijuana,”
Downs a pint of Everclear, threatens his own life, and has to be tased? Sounds rather like addictive behavior, does it not?
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I’m Not Sure Why These Things Aren’t Everywhere: Part 1

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Traffic lights with countdown indicators.
stop lights with countdown timers

 

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Wall outlets with USB chargers.

wall outlets with usb chargers

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It should also come with a built-in night light.

wall outlets with usb chargers with night light

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And the ultimate outlet would also have 

extension cords built into the wall.

wall outlets with extension cords built in

 

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Small tiles you can attach to your keys, wallet, 

computer, or pretty much anything.

smartphone chip for lost keys

If you lose anything, you can then look up

their location on your smartphone.

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Must See Video: Newborn Twins Were Born, ‘but hadn’t realized it yet’

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H/T:  Life News

Instead of the usual political corruption and cultural rot,  I thought it might be nice to see something a bit heartwarming.    Here is a video of newborn twins,but they seem to not be noticing the outside world…

It helps to take a few minutes, and recognize that we are still in the Lord’s creation.  It’s nice to realize that it’s still beautiful-no matter how much we gum it up.

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