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A DOG’S PURPOSE (FROM A 6-YEAR OLD)

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolf hound named Belker. The dog’s owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn’t do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker’s family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker’s transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker’s Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, ‘I know why.’Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I’d never heard a more comforting explanation.

He said, ‘People are born so that they can learn how to live a good Life – – like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?’ The Six-year-old continued, ‘Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.’

Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:

  • When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
  • Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
  • Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy..
  • Take naps.
  • Stretch before rising.
  • Run, romp, and play daily.
  • Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
  • Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
  • On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.
  • On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
  • When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
  • Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
  • Be loyal.
  • Never pretend to be something you’re not.
  • If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
  • When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.
 

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SF Giants lose on BS call

span 05.24

Here’s your warning. Remove the children from the room. Cover your eyes if you are offended by off-color language. This is going to be an R-rated rant. Or MC-17, or whatever the fu∗k warning they use nowadays. It won’t be X-rated, obviously, or I wouldn’t have used the ∗ instead of the c in the F-bomb I dropped in the previous sentence.

Whatever happened leading up to the finish of the Cubs/Giants game Wednesday is whatever happened. Home plate umpire Jeff Nelson changed the strike zone more times throughout the game than a teenage girl changes outfits trying to decide what to wear on a Friday night.

But the 3-2 pitch to Joe Panik that was called a strike to end the game?  That was total, complete, and utter BULLSHIT.  Unbelievable.

BULLSHIT. BULLSHIT. BULLSHIT.

I had to get that out of my system. Because it was bullshit.

I’m not saying it kept the Giants from winning. We will never know. What we do know is the game should never have ended on that BULLSHIT terrible call.

Sorry, still had some residual BS to dump.

The Giants played catch-up the the last few innings of the game.. The good news is—they almost made it.

The Giants owned the first few innings. Brandon Crawford opened up the second inning with a double and scored when Christian Arroyo ground into a force out. Denard Span led-off the third with a home run. And if scoring a run wasn’t enough, he won the heart of every mother in Giants fandom when he looked up after he got back to the dugout and said “I love you, Mom” direct to camera. You didn’t need to be a lip reader to get his message.

The Giants had the lead for a couple of innings, but the Cubs tied it up in the fourth and pulled ahead in the fifth.

The Giants started a comeback rally in the ninth when Eduardo Nunez hit a single and scored on Mac Williamson‘s two-run home run. The Giants solo dinger streak is over. I ain’t mad at them.  Now the they can go on a multi-run HR hitting streak.

The final score was: Giants 4, Cubs 5

I apologize if you were offended by my language. People who know me well can tell you I’ve said much worse, and before breakfast even. Hell, I’ve even said worse in church. And it’s still standing. So am I.

Here’s to umpires who can’t see. May they all get their eyes examined. Or their heads.

Gamer Babes from Half Moon Bay

For All Fans Following the San Francisco Giants-the Greatest Team in Major League Basebal

 

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Are public toilets a right in public spaces? (Survey)

Don's Johns

© Joe Raedle / Getty Images/ A different Don’s Johns

The Washington Post has an interesting article about how the election of President Trump has made one industry flush: the people who supply portable toilets. It turns out that the increasing number of protests has lead to increasing demand for people who want to dump more than just Trump. According to Perry Stein in an article cleverly titled Washington’s portable toilet industry is flush, thanks to Trump:

The National Park Service, which oversees the Mall, requires demonstration permit holders to provide one portable toilet for every 300 participants, 20 percent of which must be wheelchair-accessible, said Mike Litterst, a spokesman for the agency.

The owner of Don’s Johns, who had to cover his company name during the inauguration, tells WaPo:

“All I’m going to say is that we love the activism. I’ll leave it at that,” Weghorst said. “It’s been good. It’s made for an interesting and lucrative spring.”

But it is really expensive, one of the biggest costs that organizers of protests face.

For first-time protest organizers, the cost of portable toilets can be unexpected and staggering. Jordan Uhl, a District resident planning the March for Truth on June 3 near the White House, said portable toilets will be the biggest cost of the protest — an expense of nearly $5,000 he wasn’t expecting to incur.

Given that the Mall where these protests take place is a public space, I would have thought that there would be public washrooms, especially in a tourist attraction like Washington. Most public squares and major parks have them. I would have thought that it was a right. But in comments to the Post, of course there is this one:

I can only imagine that in the near future the lefty loon protesters will declare that porta pottys are a “right ” and should be provided for free by us, the taxpayers and worker bees. Oh, yes.

But there are laws for private space that demand rest rooms in restaurants. There are gorgeous washrooms in Union Square in New York and in fact hundreds of washrooms all over New York. They are considered a public good.

Portapotties are also terrible for the environment, filled with a chemical soup that often contains formaldehyde, which cannot be separated out by sewage treatment systems.

natural event lineup© Natural event

There are green alternatives, like the Australian Natural Event, that was very popular at the Glastonbury Festival, but the real solution is to recognize that just as there is a right to assembly, there is also a need for safe, clean public washrooms that are a basic requirement where you have public space.

vienna public washroomLloyd Alter/ Vienna public washroom/CC BY 2.0

In Vienna parks they have these really fancy ones, where the toilets are in stainless steel booths that wash themselves down, that flush the entire room.

Vienna UrinalsLloyd Alter/ Vienna public washroom/CC BY 2.0

Some might complain about the privacy of the urinals, but there are advantages. And surely, if the First Amendment to the constitution protects the “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances,” they need a bathroom while they do it. What do you think?

(If you cannot see the poll below, click here to go to it)

Should public washrooms be a human right?
Yes, public spaces should have public washrooms.No, it is not in the constitution.Other (in comments)
 

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Record Iran Vote Turnout Gives Rouhani a Big Mandate

Middle East analyst Ehsan Abdoh Tabrizi says that while Iran President Hassan Rouhani remains limited in impacting the country’s foreign policy, his landslide re-election gives him a significant opportunity for domestic reforms

 

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Thrifty young couple’s dream home is a $17K converted school bus (Video)

I am totally burned out on “tiny homes” but this design is something Mary and I could do to tour.  A couple of months at a time 🙂

by Kimberley Mok (@kimberleymok) –

Adventure or Bust

© Adventure or Bust

For a growing number of young people who want to purchase a home of their own, rising rents and crippling student debt has meant that many are putting off that dream of home ownership — or changing what their ideal of what home ownership looks like.

For some, that means ‘going tiny’ — purchasing or building their own smaller homes. For some of these tiny housers who have the travel bug, that has meant going an even more unconventional route, and converting retired school buses into full-time homes on wheels, as Brittany and Steven of Adventure or Bust have done.

Based out of Sarasota, Florida, the couple say that they built their bus home because they wanted to easily travel, without having to buy a truck to tow a tiny home, and to have a home of their own, rent-free, which would allow them to also save money to pay off their student debt. They did all the work on the bus themselves, taking about a year to complete the project. Brittany is a user experience (UX) designer for websites, which means she can work with only a wifi Internet connection while on the road, while Steven is finishing nursing school, with the intention of becoming a travel nurse — a nurse who is hired to work in a specific location for a limited amount of time. Check out this tour of their self-built bus home via Girl Gone Green:

Coming into the well-insulated bus, we see the lounge area, which has a L-shaped couch with storage hidden under the seats. Part of the couch can pull out to create a full-size bed for guests, and a flatscreen television has its place of honour right across on the other wall.

Adventure or Bust© Adventure or Bust
Adventure or Bust© Adventure or Bust
Adventure or Bust© Adventure or Bust

The kitchen has full-size but energy-efficient appliances: stove, refrigerator and an all-in-one combo washer and dryer. The bus has a side door right beside the washer, which the couple have put to good use by building a detachable insert in part of their kitchen counter, making it a good spot to haul things in and out for a barbecue, or as an extra fire egress.

Adventure or Bust© Adventure or Bust
Adventure or Bust© Adventure or Bust
Adventure or Bust© Adventure or Bust
Adventure or Bust© Adventure or Bust

The middle part of the bus has their closet, and bathroom with a Nature’s Head composting toilet, and a standard-sized shower. No blackwater is produced, and all greywater is recuperated and used in their veggie garden, while the compost is used on their fruit trees.

Adventure or Bust© Adventure or Bust
Adventure or Bust© Adventure or Bust

At the very back is the sleeping area. Their queen-sized bed lifts up with the use of hydraulic hardware, and underneath there’s storage space made out for their 100-gallon water tank and camping gear. This is also the space where the couple’s two dogs hang out.

Adventure or Bust© Adventure or Bust
Adventure or BustAdventure or Bust/Video screen capture

The bus was renovated for a relatively modest sum of USD $17,600 — including the purchase of the bus. To help others interested in doing something similar, they’ve posted a detailed expense sheet here for reference. The couple are now saving up for their solar power system, and as Steven mentions in the video, they have also saved up enough from the first few months of living in their bus that they are now planning a trip abroad — something they wouldn’t have been able to do before as renters. They also chose to go the bus home route rather than a tiny home, as building a tiny home would have also meant buying a truck to tow it on their travels, and subjecting their home to hurricane-force winds.

Adventure or Bust© Adventure or Bust

Building their dream home was also a challenge that they unwaveringly took up, despite their lack of experience, says Brittany:

When we started this build the only tools we owned was a mechanics tool set and a hammer. Having never undertaken such an immense task we were understandably nervous, but totally excited. Our transition to skoolie life has been pretty easy honestly. During the build we were also working on simplifying our lives. Our goal was to make the switch as easy as possible. Our dogs LOVE the bus. Since moving into the bus we spend much more time outside, which means so do they.

Adventure or Bust© Adventure or Bust

It’s quite a lovely and thoughtful DIY renovation, and yet another example of enterprising young people taking control of their lives into their own hands, and building something that works for them, rather than them working for something that might not necessarily fit them. To see more, visit Adventure or Bust, Facebook and Instagram.

Tags: Buses | Less Is More | Living With Less | Small Spaces

 

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Google Leak Details Massive Pixel 2 Smartphone

The ‘Taimen’ has surfaced. The third of three codenamed Pixel handsets – Muskie, Walleye and Taimen – until now it was only rumoured through anecdotal code fragments, but now the device itself has appeared and revealed its core specifications.

The handset was picked up having been tested on ubiquitous benchmarking software Geekbench – a famous honeytrap for upcoming devices. It recorded the handset’s CPU as a “Qualcomm @ 1.90 GHz, 1 processor 8 cores”, aka the Snapdragon 835 used in the US edition of the Galaxy S8. There was also 4GB of RAM and it was running Android O, the next generation of Android due for release later this year.

So how did the Google GOOGL +0.51% Taimen perform? In line with other Snapdragon 835 models:

  • Google Taimen: Single Core: 1804 | Multi Core: 6284
  • Galaxy S8: Single Core: 1929 | Multi Core: 6084
  • Xperia XZ Premium: Single Core: 1943 | Multi Core: 5824

This is impressive given the Taimen is still a pre-production device. Then again the first generation Pixel and Pixel XL actually used a Snapdragon 821 chip, which was an incremental advancement over the Snapdragon 820 in the Galaxy S7. Whether the 821 only existed due to issues with the 820, however, is a matter for debate and there are no signs a Snapdragon 836 is planned at this stage.

So why is the Taimen massive? Because of Google’s smartphone codename history:

  • 2012 – 4.7-inch Nexus 4 (Mako)
  • 2013 – 5-inch Nexus 5 (Hammerhead)
  • 2014 – 6-inch Nexus 6 (Shamu)
  • 2015 – 5.2-inch Nexus 5X (Bullhead), 5.7-inch Nexus 6P (Anger)
  • 2016 – 5.1-inch Pixel (Sailfish), 5.5-inch Pixel XL (Marlin)

Google has always used fish (or whales in the case of the Nexus 6) and they always correspond to size with the larger phone getting the larger species. Muskies (up to 17kg / 38lbs) are larger than walleyes (up to 11kg / 24lbs), but Taimen are in another league altogether with specimens caught over 100kg (220 lbs).

Of course there is a chance such a size difference means the Taimen will be a tablet like the Nexus 9 or hybrid like the Pixel C, though Google has historically differentiated these lines with Nvidia Tegra chipsets and 4GB of RAM in a hybrid would seem low for a late 2017 device.

Furthermore Apple will launch three new iPhones this year (maybe four) with a standout premium 10th anniversary edition among them. Could Taimen be Google’s equivalent standout Pixel? The optimist in me certainly hopes so…

 

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Now we know the reason for the narwhal’s tusk

narwhals tusking

Male narwhals will rub their horns together, an action known as ‘tusking.’ (Photo: Glenn Williams/National Institute of Standards and Technology)

Known as “the unicorns of the sea,” narwhals are unique for the solitary tusk that protrudes through the tops of their heads. The horn is actually a canine front tooth that can reach as long as nine feet. But until recently scientists weren’t sure what, if any, purpose it had.

Research from 2014 suggests that the tusk is used as a sensory organ, helping the narwhal pick up changes in its environment. Researchers say males of the species may use the horns to look for food or find mates. The results of the study were published in the journal The Anatomical Record.

“People have said it’s everything from an ice pick to an acoustic probe, but this is the first time that someone has discovered sensory function and has the science to show it,” the study’s lead author, Dr. Martin Nweeia from the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, told the BBC.

A team of international investigators worked together to understand the function of the narwhal’s unusual protuberance. To do so, they captured several of the elusive animals and anchored them using a net anchored perpendicular to shore.

The researchers found that the outer cementum layer of the tusk is porous, the inner dentin layer has microscopic tubes that channel toward the middle, and the pulp in the center has nerve endings that connect to the animal’s brain. The structure makes the tusk sensitive to temperature and chemical differences in the environment.

When the tusk was exposed to different levels of salt in the surrounding water, for example, the researchers noticed a change in the narwhal’s heart rate.

The animals can basically “taste” the concentrations of chemicals in the water. Because of that, researchers believe males may use the tusk to find food. They also appear to be able to find females that are ready to mate.

Nweeia told the BBC that he’s fascinated that narwhals put all their energy into growing a single tusk rather than having a set of teeth to help them eat their diet of large fish.

“If you were looking for an ideal and fascinating tooth to study, there’s no question this would be it.”

Stunning tusks

Footage from Canada may support one of the tentative conclusions Nweeia’s study: using the tusks to find food. One additional quirk? The horns may also help the narwhals prepare to eat that food, too.

The video above, shot using drones by the WWF in Canada in 2017, shows narhwals in Tremblay Sound, Nunavat, striking Artic cod with their tusks to stun them and then gobble up the fish.

Steve Ferguson, of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, explained in a video for the agency that the drone footage shows male narwhals “kind of tracking the cod with the tusk […] and as the cod was positioned close to the tip of the tusk, the narwhal sort of gave it a quick, hard tap that likely stunned the fish — it looked like it was momentarily not moving — and then the narwhal would move in with its mouth and suck in the prey.”

Given that we’re only seeing this behavior now, in no small thanks to the general unobtrusiveness of drones, researchers are eager to learn what other possible uses there are for the tusks. A dual purpose sensory organ and cod stunner is already pretty exciting, so what other uses could these creatures of the deep have for this horn-looking tooth?

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Posted by on May 17, 2017 in All, Business, Entrepreneur, Finance, Market, Marketing and Sales, Money, Small Business, Start-up, Uncategorized

 

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