Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A Second American Dies Fighting For ISIS?

From USA Today:
The Obama administration is investigating reports from Syria that a second American was killed over the weekend while fighting alongside Islamist State extremists.
The news comes a day after U.S. officials confirmed that 33-year-old Douglas McCain, who had lived in Southern California and Minnesota, died in a battle between the Islamic State and other Syrian opposition groups.
The other American was not identified.
Both McCain and this second as-yet-unidentified fighter reportedly died in the vicinity of Aleppo.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

American Dies Fighting For ISIS In Syria

An American named Douglas McArthur McCain (whose name is just dripping with historical irony) was killed in Syria while fighting for ISIS against another rebel group, the Free Syrian Army.  McCain, who called himself "Duale ThaslaveofAllah", was born in Illinois, grew up in Minnesota, and later moved to California.  According to his Twitter feed, he converted to Islam in 2004.

Read the story at NBC News.

Monday, August 25, 2014

New Florida College Gets Library Without Books

It may seem like a contradiction, but bookless libraries do indeed exist.  Earlier today, Florida Polytechnic University, the newest college in the state, opened for its inaugural class of students, who will be able to access over 135,000 ebooks on their electronic devices.  They will be able to print material from the ebooks, but are "discouraged from using [the library's] printers too much".

Read the story at MSN News.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

200 Years Ago, Washington Burned By British

On August 24, 1814, during the War of 1812, British forces marched into Washington, DC and burned down the White House, Capitol and other government buildings, after defeating American defenders at Bladensburg, MD.  President James Madison, after convening a war council near the Navy Yard, had armed himself with two pistols and rode out to Bladensburg, but after the battle fled to Virginia before turning northward back into Maryland, staying the night at Brookeville.  First Lady Dolly Madison rescued a painting of George Washington from the White House.  The city's defenders burnt the Navy Yard to keep its ships and supplies from falling into British hands.  A British naval force made its way up the Potomac, but instead of attacking Washington from the river, captured and occupied Alexandria, VA before leaving a few days later.  The fires set by the British burned though the following night, but a rainstorm the next day helped put them out.

The above is but a brief summary of the day's events.  Read more at The Washington Post.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Washington Post Editors To Avoid The Name "Redskins"

First, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office cancelled the Washington Redskins' trademark registration.  Then, the University of Minnesota, whose stadium will host Minnesota Vikings football games until the NFL team's new stadium is completed, decided "to keep the Washington Redskins’ name from being used when the two teams play on campus in November."  (No word on whether the Vikings' name, which like "Redskins" has ethnic overtones, will be permitted.)  Now, The Washington Post editorial board has decided not to use the name "Redskins", "except when it is essential for clarity or effect".  The paper's news-gathering operation, which is separate from the editorial board, will continue to use the name.

Read the full story.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday Links

As we approach the last weekend before college football season, here are some things in the news:

From CNS News, General Martin Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warns that our open borders make ISIL (a.k.a. ISIS or Islamic State) an imminent threat.  (via Weasel Zippers)

From GOP USA, Michele Malkin tells us about a jihadi serial killer right here in the U.S.

From Fox News, Hamas kills 18 people suspected of being informants for Israel.

From Haaretz, a rocket fired by Hamas hits a synagogue in Ashdod, injuring three people.

Gatestone Institute asks if CAIR lied about a rally for Hamas.

From Catholic News Agency, the Christians in Iraq stay strong in their faith despite persecution from ISIS.

From The Daily Caller, how Northern Illinois University restricts Internet use by its students.

From The Washington Free Beacon, Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) stands by his president.

From Premium Times, two more cases of ebola have occurred in Nigeria, where five people have already died from the disease.

From UPI, Maersk Oil plans to lay off about 50 employees in Houston.

From The Blaze, a secular group is upset about a policy used to select people who give invocations.

From Politico, only four Democrats who voted against Obamacare are still in the House.

From Fraud Of The Day, a frozen meals delivery company is being sued for allegedly making fraudulent claims through Medicaid.  (via Watchdog)

From Campus Reform, a student at Clemson University launches a campaign against what he sees as his school's insufficient acknowledgement of it past ties to slavery.

And from Taki's Magazine, Gavin McIness tells us "how to be fired".

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Magnetic Bacteria Could Fight Cancer

The normal treatment for cancer is some combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.  A new so-far experimental treatment is called "magnetic hyperthermia", which involves sending iron nanoparticles into a patient's bloodstream to arrive at the cancerous tumor, followed by heating the particles with an MRI machine.  According to Newsweek, there is a problem with this method, and a new proposed solution which uses magnetic bacteria.
Iron nanoparticle injections move throughout the body’s bloodstream and become diluted, making it difficult to build up the iron levels needed to destroy the tumors.
So researchers from the University in Granada, Spain, designed digestible magnetic bacteria that could leak through the lining of the stomach in order to quickly fill local stomach tumors with iron. Patients would only have to eat yogurt or other foods laced with probiotic bacteria, and wait three hours for it to digest, to get the first step of the treatment out of the way.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Student Allegedly Suspended For "Bless You"

(H/T Missy Whittington)

As reported by CBS Charlotte,
A high school student was allegedly suspended after breaking a class rule of saying “bless you” after a classmate sneezed.
If this report is accurate, this would be a case of taking separation of church and state to a new extreme.  The student did not even say "God bless you", a common and polite way to respond to someone else's sneeze, but merely "bless you".  Will "gesundheit" now be the only permitted on-campus response to a sneeze?  The story also includes this paragraph:
The girl’s parents were told by school leaders that their daughter shouted “bless you” across the room and that it was a classroom distraction.
If the problem was the volume and not the words per se, that would be more understandable.  It's been a while since I was high school, but I remember that shouting across the classroom was generally frowned upon.  On the other hand, I have given and received "God bless you" more times than I can remember, and have never seen anyone get in trouble for that particular phrase.

Whatever you think about this, read the full story.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Railroad Museum Of Pennsylvania

The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania is located just east of Strasburg, Pennsylvania, across the road (state highway 741) from the Strasburg Rail Road.  It includes retired rolling stock from various times in the state's railroad history, in both a large indoor exhibit and an outdoor yard.  In front of the museum are these old locomotives and coal tenders.  To the right is the museum's sign.

The U.S. Buys Border Fence Material - For Ukraine

From World Net Daily:
The U.S. Department of State recently purchased 2,500 spools of Concertina razor wire to complete a border fence that online distance calculators determine is over 6,600 miles away from the Rio Grande.
Instead of completing the still unfinished border fence dividing Mexico from the United States, the $435,000 contract is designated to purchase fencing for the border between Ukraine and the Crimean Peninsula.
To those who oppose protecting our border from illegal entry, if fences don't work, why are we helping Ukraine construct one?

Read the full story.