Wednesday, August 31, 2016

McCain And Rubio Win Their Primaries

Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) won their respective state primaries yesterday, and will face their Democrat rivals in November as they run for reelection.  McCain's main challenger was Kelli Ward, who garnered about 39 percent of the vote.

Read more at CNN, The New York Times, the International Business Times and Fox News.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Colin Kaepernick's Other Outspoken Opinion

There's been quite a bit of reaction to San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's decision to sit during the national anthem and his reasons for doing so, but something else he recently said appears to have been swept under the rug.  To give a hint, I'll just say that he was quite critical of one particular presidential candidate.  To find out what he said, go to Bizpac Review and read the full story.

Pilot Of Crashed Plane Had Been Promoted Despite Failing Test

Back on March 24, 2015, a Germanwings airplane crashed into an Alpine mountainside in southeastern France after the co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz, reportedly locked the captain out of the cockpit.  As now reported by the New York Post:
The German pilot who deliberately flew his airliner into a mountainside last year had struggled with learning to fly and had failed a key test of his skills during training in the U.S., according FBI interviews with his flight instructors.
Andreas Lubitz was promoted anyway. But his training difficulties were one more "red flag" that should have caused Lufthansa and the airline's Arizona flight school to take a closer look and discover his history of depression, asserted attorneys representing families of crash victims.
Read the full story.

Monday, August 29, 2016

VT Football To Honor Frank Beamer

Virginia Tech football coach Justin Fuente has come up with an interesting way to honor his predecessor Frank Beamer.  For every game this year, someone playing on special teams will wear jersey number 25, which was Beamer's number during his playing days.  Virginia Tech became known for its special teams play during Beamer's coaching years, when his special teams coach was (drum roll, please) himself.  During the last few years, however, the number of kicks blocked by VT has gone down quite a bit.

Read more at The Roanoke Times, the Richmond Times-Dispatch and Hokiesports(dot)com.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Music Break

Once again it's about time I posted a five-song set.  I've run across most of these rather recently, in part thanks to a BlogTalkRadio host who calls himself "Reactionariez", or "RZ" for short.  Although he specializes in conservative politics, he also likes to spin the tunes.  Although I've known about The Guess Who for a long time, it was RZ who introduced me to Rain Dance, written by singer/keyboardist Burton Cummings and guitarist Kurt Winter, and released in 1971.  At this time, the band also included guitarist Greg Leskiw, bassist Jim Kale and drummer Garry Peterson.

Colin Kaepernick Explains Sitting During The National Anthem

San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick has generated some controversy by refusing to stand for the national anthem before yesterday's exhibition game, and for his reasons.  He believes that he could not show pride in a country that "oppresses black people and people of color".  This is not the first time he has sat during the anthem.

Read more at NFL(dot)com, ForTheWin, Fox Sports, NBC Sports and Independent Journal, which presents an Army Ranger veteran's reaction.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Planet Found Around Proxima Centauri

Proxima Centauri is a faint red star a little over 4 light-years from our solar system, and is the closest star to Earth other than the sun.  It is classified as a red dwarf, the smallest, dimmest, and longest-lived type of active star.  (I say "active" to indicate that it is currently producing energy from nuclear fusion, unlike "dead" stars such as white dwarfs and neutron stars.)  It is close to the binary star Alpha Centauri, and might be in orbit around it, but scientists aren't sure whether this is so.  With an apparent magnitude of 11, Proxima Centauri is far too dim to see from Earth, and would have a magnitude of 5 if seen from the vicinity of Alpha Centauri.  (Magnitudes are indicated numerically in a logarithmic manner.  A magnitude 1 star appears 2.51 times as bright as magnitude 2 star, a magnitude 2 star appears 2.51 times as bright as a magnitude 3 star, and so on.  Depending on viewing conditions, stars with a magnitude between 5 and 6 are the faintest that can be seen with the unaided eye.)

Today, astronomers have announced that Proxima Centauri has a planet, which would of course be the closest exo-planet to our solar system.  It orbits the star every 11 Earth days, and lies within the "Goldilocks zone", in which liquid water may exist.  The planet has a mass about 1.3 times that of Earth.  Whether is has an atmosphere or even a solid surface has not been determined.

Read more at European Southern Observatory, Scientific American, Discover and Universe Today; and watch this video from Science News:

Astronomers discovered the planet using ESO's telescopes.

Earthquake Strikes Central Italy

A magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck central Italy early today, resulting in at least 73 deaths and extensive damage in several small towns.  The epicenter was about 6.5 miles southeast of Norcia, in the Umbria region.  The towns of Amatrice, Accumoli and Pescara del Tronto were among the most severely damaged.  The quake was felt as far north as Bologna and as far south as Naples.  Around 80 aftershocks have been reported.

Read more at CNN, The New York Times, USA Today, BBC News and The Guardian.

UPDATE:  The outlets are now reporting that "at least 120" are dead.

Monday, August 22, 2016

14,900 More Clinton Emails Found

Just when we thought we had enough of Hillary Clinton's emails, 14,900 more of them from her time as Secretary of State have shown up, found by the FBI even though her lawyers did not disclose them.  The emails are supposed to be released sometime during October.

"How The Left Is Silencing Free Speech"

This video is of a C-SPAN interview of author Kimberley Strassel discussing her book The Intimidation Game: How The Left Is Silencing Free Speech.  While watching it, I realized that it will make just about everyone angry.  If you're on the right, you will be angry at the actions of the left that Ms. Strassel is pointing out.  If you're on the left, you will be angry that she dares to do exactly that.

You can also watch the video on YouTube.  The video was posted yesterday, but the interview took place this past June 28.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Suicide Bomber Strikes Turkish Wedding

In Gaziantep, Turkey a suicide bomber struck a wedding party, resulting in a reported 51 people dead and 69 others injured, including the groom.  The attacker was described as a child aged 12 to 14.  The attack has been blamed on ISIS.  Gaziantep is close to the Syrian border, and was the site of a suicide bombing this past May, in which two policemen were killed.

Read more at BBC News, Reuters, Al Jazeera, NBC News and Sky News.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

My Dog's A Democrat

Country singer Bryan Lewis suspects that his dog might be a Democrat.  Featuring some cameo vocals by a Democrat who recently tried to bark like a dog.

You can also watch the video at YouTube.  If your dog instead supports Donald Trump, he might build a fence around a dog park and force a chihuahua to pay for it.

Friday, August 19, 2016

The Cajun Navy

In response to the historic flooding that has hit southern Louisiana, a rescue group has emerged, known as the Cajun Navy.  Comprised of ordinary folks who own boats, they have been rescuing people and pets from the floodwaters, and working with local authorities.

Read more at People, the Independent Journal, Vocativ and ABC News.  If you're on Facebook, you can visit their group.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Black Olives Matter

Disclaimer:  Although I did indeed travel to New Mexico recently, I had nothing to do with the following story, although I kind of wish that I did.

An attempt to promote a common vegetable became a humorous swipe the at Black Lives Matter movement.  And as you might expect, some people can't take a joke.  Last month, an Italian restaurant in Albuquerque, New Mexico named Paisano's generated both controversy and increased sales by including the pun "black olives matter" in their sign.  This was reported by Russia Today.  More recently, Paisano's has started to sell hats and T-shirts.  Read more about this at the Daily Mail, the Daily News and KOAT.

For those who object to this restaurant's actions, I will point that no one is above being the subject of satire.  But I can still see one legitimate complaint against Paisano's.  Because of their nutritional value, all vegetables should matter.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Introducing The Chork

It's a chopstick.  It's a fork.  It's both!  According to various reports, Panda Express has introduced a chopstick-fork hybrid called the "chork", thus bringing a new aspect to the expression "east meets west".  Bon appétit!

Read more at WFTSGrub Street, the Daily Mail and The Daily Meal.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

To Hell And Back

Yes, I went there.  After seeing all those places in Ohio, I headed north to Michigan, and Hell.  This part of the trip was done for two reasons.  First, I had never been to Michigan.  It was the closest state to where I live that I have never been in.  Second, I had read about Hell, so I just had to check the place out.

As I went north in Ohio, Interstate 75 became one massive construction zone, so I got onto Ohio highway 25 and continued up to I-475, which took me around Toledo to US-23, which went north into Michigan.  I went past Ann Arbor and got off at exit 54 to take Michigan highway 36.  From the exit, it was 12 miles to Pinckney.  From there, it was a matter of following signs and driving the back roads.

Hell has several small businesses.  One of them included these signs on an outer wall.  The locals have embraced their name in a humorous way.

I stood before the gates of Hell.

If you needed some relief while visiting Hell, you could visit one of the batrooms.

I ate lunch at this infernal establishment.  I had a "witch", which in the dialect of Hell means "sandwich".

I think ZZ Top was here at one time.

Believe it or not, Hell has a chapel.  The sign to the right says "until death do us part".

Hell has a weather station, in which the type of weather is determined by observing the condition of a rock suspended by a chain.  The lowest line on the sign says "if it's missing, run like Hell".

I couldn't find the Lake of Fire, but it was just a short walk from everything shown above to an ordinary lake of water.  It had lots of aquatic plants.

According to a news article, if you've got $900,000 lying around, Hell is for sale (or was for sale as of last March).  Besides the place of eternal punishment, Hell also shares its name with a village in Norway.  This would mean that centuries ago, there literally may have been Vikings from Hell.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Saturday Links

As mid-August brings some very warm weather here in Maryland, here are some things going on:

One day after A-Rod steps down, two of the newest Yankees make baseball history.

A Kurdish delegation goes to Tehran to discuss border security.

This development has me asking "Are you serious?"

Migrants in Germany are mostly paperless, and many aren't all that honest.

A smartphone app maker predicts the presidential election.

A Swiss man sets a train on fire and attacks passengers with a knife.

Mr. Bill accuses the FBI of serving up the male bovine.

RIP Kenny Baker, who portrayed (and operated) R2D2 in Star Wars.

At the Western Wall, Jews mourn the destruction of their two Temples.

ISIS jihadis like blondes - as sex slaves.

Some Washington Redskins miss Virginia Tech alumnus Kyshoen Jarrett, who was released due to an injury.

A gunman opens fire in a North Carolina mall, but no injuries have been reported.

Russia's last remaining track and field competitor has been suspended from the Olympics.

Swimmer Michael Phelps intends to call it a career.

Olympic officials had to drain and refill a pool, because the water was green.

Italy deports a man suspected of plotting an attack on the leaning tower of Pisa.

Southern Louisiana has been hit with severe flooding.

If only the good die young (apologies to Billy Joel), here's someone who shows that the evil reaching old age is true, too.

And to finish with some good news, after Manbij, Syria is taken from ISIS, women rip their burqas and men cut their beards.

The Newark Great Circle

The last place I visited in Ohio was the Great Circle Earthworks, which is part of the Newark Earthworks, located in and around Newark, Ohio.  The Great Circle is located on Ohio highway 79 in the city of Heath, immediately south of Newark.  With a diameter of 1,054 feet, it is the largest circular earthwork in the western hemisphere.  Thought to have been built between 250 and 500 AD by people of the Hopewell culture, the circle consists of a wall about eight feet high and an inner trench about five feet deep.  A gap in the wall, each side of which includes a short radial extension, allowed people to enter.  White settlers thought that the circle was a fort, even though forts usually had trenches or moats outside their walls.  Archaeologists now believe that the circle was a ceremonial center, since the direction from its center to the gap is aligned with the rising point of the moon at its maximum standstill.

The site includes other embankments outside the circle, such as these.  The top of a visitor center is seen behind them.  I would later investigate the statue to the right.

Here is the outside of the above-mentioned gap's radial extensions, through which the circle is entered.

This mounted diagram, near the visitor center, shows the layout of the Newark Earthworks, before the encroachment of white settlers and the construction of Newark and the surrounding cities and towns.  The Great Circle is shown at the top toward the right.  The circle and octagon shown toward the bottom right have been incorporated into a golf course.

Also near the visitor center was this remnant of a modern wall.  I did not find out what building it was part of.

This outer embankment is on the west side of the site, and includes a modern stairway.  Behind it is a residential neighborhood.  Two young people walk over the embankment toward the right.  Because they and several others were walking or sitting around with their personal electronic devices, I had the idea that some were playing Pokémon Go.

In this shot from inside the gap, you can see the wall and the trench inside it.

A group of mounds, and prominent tree, are located around the center of the circle.

Here are some more trees, with the wall behind them.

This shot was taken from inside the circle, looking through the gap at the visitor center.  At maximum lunar standstill, the moon would be rising from this direction.

Before leaving, I had to investigate the statue, shown from a distance in the first picture above.  It was carved rather recently into an old tree trunk, and dedicated to the residents and visitors of Licking County, where all of this is located.

For more on the Newark Earthworks, go to Archaeology, Indian Country, Ohio History Connection and The Ancient Ohio Trail.

Friday, August 12, 2016

On The Road In Ohio - Part 2

After my visits to places near Zaleski, I got back on the road, mainly Ohio highway 56, and headed westward to Tarlton and Cross Mound Park.  The park is located less than a mile north of downtown Tarlton, but in a different county.  It features two artificial constructions built centuries apart - its namesake mound and the Salt Creek Pedestrian Bridge, of the suspension type.  The bridge was built in 1936.  Archaeologists are not sure when the mound was built.

The parking lot was long, narrow, and well-shaded by many trees.  From there, it was a short walk to the east end of the bridge, shown here.  Note the lettering above the opening.

From this angle, the bridge is somewhat obscured by trees, including the large one near the end, but its walkway and cables can still be partially seen.

Here's the bridge from the west side.

The trail continued up a hill to the mound.  I took two pictures of it, but at a low angle, its shape was not easy to discern.

In this next shot, some features can be seen a bit better.  The overall shape has been likened to a plus sign.

I returned to the road and went northward, going through Lancaster and finding OH-37 and OH-79 on the way to my next destination, an unusual covered bridge south of Hebron just off Canal Road.  The bridge is unusual because it's not on any road but along a recreational trail.  Here's the bridge seen from Canal Road.

There was a short path leading from the road to the trail, by which I could reach the bridge, seen from the north in this photo.

I took a picture looking northward from inside the covered bridge.  The trail and Canal Road both pass under the steel and concrete bridge, about 500 feet away, over which passes Interstate 70.

I continued north on Canal Road into Hebron, and from there to another place on my sightseeing list.

On The Road In Ohio - Part 1

After my visit to Friendship Hill in southwestern Pennsylvania, I went south into West Virginia and then westward to Ohio.  The first thing I wanted to see was a small chapel located just off U.S. highway 50, a few miles east of Coolville and near a rest stop.  Driving west, I turned left onto a side road and then right into the rest stop.  The chapel was on the other side of the side road.

According to a nearby sign, the chapel was the smallest church in Ohio.  After getting a good look, I thought that it was even smaller than the self-proclaimed "world's smallest church" near Festina, Iowa, which I visited two years ago.  You can go to the blog archives for June 2014 to look up my post for that visit.

In this first shot, I included the chapel and its sign.  I don't think I got the contrast between the sign's lettering and white background very well.

I took this picture of the two sunlit sides of the chapel.  That is indeed a truck parked at the rest stop, in the background to the right.

The front inside includes a painting of Christ on the cross, a pulpit, and two short railings adjoining the side walls.

My next destination was quite a bit more off the beaten path.  I stayed on US 50 and then turned north on Ohio highway 278.  I drove through a small town named Zaleski (which means "beyond the forest" in Polish, and is thus roughly equivalent to the Latin name "Transylvania") and then about three more miles before turning right onto Shea Road.  I quickly saw a sign that indicated 2.6 miles to where I wanted to go, but the road turned from pavement to gravel after only about a mile.  It was also only about one and a half lanes wide, and included a curve that twice intersected a rail trail.  Fortunately, when I got to my intended parking spot, there was a shoulder area large enough to accommodate several vehicles.  Even more fortunately, it was empty when I got there.  I parked, found the hiking trail, and followed it to the Moonville Tunnel, shown here from its west end.

I walked through the tunnel, trying my darnedest to avoid stepping in mud, and took a picture from the east end, which was slightly obstructed by downed trees.

Just to the west of the tunnel is this not-yet-complete bridge, which will be part of the Moonville Rail Trail.  To the left, you can see where hikers and bikers cross the creek.

I returned via Shea Road to OH-278 and went northward about two miles to an old iron furnace within Lake Hope State Park.  It has the same truncated pyramid shape as the furnaces I have seen in Maryland.  Here are the furnace, a walkway, a historical marker, and a drinking fountain.

Here's the front of the furnace, close up.  A metal mesh covers the main opening.

From a different angle, you can see a side opening, also covered by a mesh.

The Hope furnace was used to make iron weapons during the Civil War.  For more about the Hope furnace, go to Grave Addiction, Ohio Exploration and The Ghosts Of Ohio.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Friendship Hill

Earlier today, I arrived back home from my latest road trip.  Unlike the others I went on during this summer, this one did not go anywhere near Ithaca, New York.  I don't think I even saw a waterfall.  Instead, I went westward to check out some places I that had piqued my curiosity.  The first was Friendship Hill National Historic Site, located just off Pennsylvania state highway 166, about three miles north of Port Marion, and along the Monongahela River.  Friendship Hill was the estate of Albert Gallatin, who served as Secretary of the Treasury under Presidents Jefferson and Madison, represented Pennsylvania in Congress for six years, and helped to negotiate the Treaty of Ghent, which formally ended the War of 1812.  Gallatin was born in Geneva, Switzerland and helped found New Geneva, PA.

The main walkway from the parking lot to Friendship Hill's mansion, which forms part of the site's main loop trail, takes the visitor past a statue of Gallatin doing some surveying.

The mansion, seen here from the front, was undergoing some restoration.  The walkway goes past the well and through an archway between parts of the mansion.

Behind the mansion is this gazebo, which overlooks the Monongahela.

The back of the mansion was also undergoing some work.

Gallatin was married twice.  His first wife, Sophia, died in October 1789, about five months after their wedding, and was buried somewhere on the estate.  According to an unconfirmed story, subsequent owners of the property discovered her remains, and reburied them in a plot surrounded by the low rectangular stone wall shown here.  Called "Sophia's Grave", this place is on the main loop trail, about 100 yards from the mansion and the gazebo.

Continuing along the trail, I came upon this pond.

The trail eventually descended toward the Monogahela, via series of steps made out of old railroad ties, and then ran northward along the river, where it came close to a modern railroad.  Along the way, I saw these rocks, which looked like they could form a cascade if water were to run down them.  This is as close as I got to a waterfall during my entire trip.

I did not hike the entire main loop, but found a cutoff that brought me back to the parking lot, in a direction that took me back uphill.  For more on Friendship Hill, go to Grave Addiction.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Bill Dooley 1934-2016

Bill Dooley, who served as Virginia Tech's football coach and athletic director, passed away earlier today at his home in Wilmington, North Carolina at the age of 82.  He also coached football at North Carolina and Wake Forest, both longtime members of the Atlantic Coast Conference, which Virginia Tech joined much more recently.  His time at Virginia Tech, in his dual role, ran from 1978 to 1986, which overlapped my own student years.  He is still the only UNC head coach to win multiple ACC titles (1971, 1972, 1977), and coached Virginia Tech to our first bowl victory in the 1986 Peach Bowl.  As an assistant coach, he worked for his brother Vince Dooley at Georgia.  He played for Mississippi State during the 1950's, winning an All-SEC award as a lineman.

Read more at Hokiesports, GoHeels, WAVY, the Richmond Times-Dispatch and WRAL.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Suicide Bomber Strikes Hospital In Pakistan

How low will terrorists stoop to carry out an attack?  This one might be one of the lowest I've seen in a while.

In Quetta, Pakistan, after the dead body of a murdered lawyer was delivered to Civil Hospital, a bomb exploded at an entrance to the building that houses the hospital's emergency department, reportedly targeting a group of lawyers who had gathered to mourn their colleague.  The blast has been called a suicide bombing.  At least 70 people are reported dead, with over 110 injured.  A faction of the Pakistani Taliban and ISIS have both claimed responsibility.

Read more at The Express Tribune, Dunya News, DawnBBC News, The Guardian and Al Jazeera.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Alex Rodriguez To Retire

In an announcement that comes on the heels of a similar one from his teammate Mark Teixeira, New York Yankees designated hitter Alex Rodriguez will end his playing career and become a "special adviser and instructor" for his team.  Unlike Teixeira, he will not play out the current season, but will play his last game this coming Friday.  In his long career, "A-Rod" started out as a shortstop for the Seattle Mariners, continued in that position for the Texas Rangers, and moved to third base when he was traded to the Yankees.  He won the American League's MVP award in 2003, 2005 and 2007.  On the downside, he was suspended for the entire 2014 season for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal.  He has played mostly DH since his reinstatement.

Read more at the New York Post, the Daily News, The New York Times, ESPN and CBS Sports.

You can see A-Rod's career stats at Baseball Reference.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Some Olympics News

Here are some stories from the Rio de Janeiro Olympics:

The opening ceremonies featured lots of fireworks, Brazilian music and eye candy.

This Olympiad's first Gold Medal goes to someone who probably appreciates the second amendment.

Soccer goalkeeper Hope Solo becomes the first to reach this milestone.

Solo and her teammates defeat France.

Also in soccer, Canada qualifies for the quarterfinals.

The Lebanese team won't ride the bus with their southern neighbors.

This story is not for the squeamish.

One South African runner is not your typical female athlete.

People in the equestrian media tent were given a good scare.

A Belgian wins the men's road cycling Gold Medal.

A thief is caught using the camera gear he stole from a reporter covering the games.

A Kenyan fan reports his Olympic experience.

Eleven black Olympic athletes you might not know about.

Here are some stars you won't see.

Australian relay swimmers set an Olympic record.

The games' TV ratings are down from four years ago.

And finally, one of our presidential candidates just had to use the Olympics to take a swipe at another (and neither is Mr. Bill's wife).

Friday, August 5, 2016

News For Pokémon Players

I've got some good news and some bad news for Pokémon Go enthusiasts:

The good news, from TechCrunch, is that you can now play it in 15 Asian countries.

The bad news, from The Huffington Post, is that Pokémon are fighting back.

Mark Teixeira To Retire

According to various reports, New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira will announce today that he will retire at the end of this year.  He is currently in the last year of an eight-year contract.  Although his career has been productive, including over 400 home runs and five Gold Gloves at 1B, he has been hampered by injuries during the last four seasons.  He is 36 years old, which is younger than his current teammates Alex Rodriguez and Carlos Beltran.  Besides the Yankees, Teixeira has also played for the Texas Rangers, Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers.

Read more at CBS Sports, the New York Post, The New York Times, the Daily News and USA Today.

Mark Teixiera's career statistics are shown at Baseball Reference.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Hillary Imprisoned And Water-Ballooned In Effigy

This story comes via LifeNews:

Some people in Arcadia, Iowa decided to illustrate the "Hillary for prison" meme.  On a small trailer, they built a prison and then confined an impersonator of the Democratic nominee therein.  To make their stunt more interesting, they handed out water balloons.  From the Daily Times Herald:
A young blond boy, no more than 8 years old, ran out into the street near the intersection of West Center and South Gault streets because one float was handing out water balloons. The child grabbed his balloon, took aim and did his best Nolan Ryan impression as he fired the balloon at a man dressed in an orange jumpsuit and Hillary Clinton mask while standing on a platform inside bars, fencing and barbed wire above a “Hillary For Prison” sign tacked onto the side.
Bull’s eye.
As players and fans of baseball and softball, including myself back in the day, used to say, sign him up!  Read the full story, and look at the picture.  If you have a problem with what these Iowans are doing, I trust that a few years back, you also objected to this stuff.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

D.C. Policeman Charged With Trying To Aid ISIS

A police officer working for the Washington, DC Metro system has been charged with attempting to support ISIS.  He was arrested this morning at Metro Transit Police headquarters.  He had worked as a Metro policeman for 12 years, has been under surveillance for six years, and has traveled twice to Libya.

Read more at The Washington Post, The Washington Times, NBC Washington, the International Business Times and ABC News.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Tuesday Links

As the last full month of summer gets underway, here are some things underway:

Although the Harry Potter series is done, there are still some magical stories to be read.

A Republican congressman from New York thinks "we should all be done with Trump".

The president has a similar opinion.

On the other hand, one conservative writers calls Hillary Clinton "by far the greater threat".

A Hillary supporter calls judgments of her lying "based on opinion".

Hillary's attempt to bark like a dog might be just a bit ironic.  (H/T LsuJeff, for Tweeting this)

An Israeli company thinks it can build Trump's proposed border wall.  (via here and here)

Miami's richest homes have some pretty cool amenities.

His Holiness says that Islam should not be identified with terrorism.  (Technically, he's right since terrorism is a tool that has been used by many groups for many different causes.)

ISIS tells his Holiness that their motivation is indeed religious.

In Germany, Islamic migrants brawl.

The Chief Rabbinate of Israel tells the Israeli Broadcasting Authority to stop their encouraging of "alternative-religious" marriages.

The Prayer at the Pump movement wants to honor President Lyndon Johnson for his civil rights legacy.  Do they mean this Lyndon Johnson?

Pro-abortionists celebrate the life of Planned Parenthood's founder.

Australia ain't where it used to be.

Members of the IOC bash the World Anti-Doping Agency.

A formerly Amish couple faces charges of giving away their child.

Parents in Oklahoma City want more school choice.

An "epic" rant on The Bachelorette.

And last but not least, it looks like this guy got his wish.