35 thoughts on “Picture This”

  1. more about the buds and bees of the season

    the guardian:

    The hundreds of thousands of bees that lived in hives inside Notre Dame’s roof are alive and well, according to the beekeeper, or apiculteur, that oversees them.

     

    “Thank goodness the flames didn’t touch them,” Nicolas Géant, the hives’ 51-year-old beekeeper, told CNN. “It’s a miracle.”

     

    Three hives that are home to an estimated 60,000 bees each – 180,000 bees in total – are located on a lower roof atop the cathedral’s first floor.

     

    The flames of Monday’s fire – which investigators say was probably caused by an electrical short circuit – took down the cathedral’s spire and a large portion of its roof.

     

    For a few days after the fire, Géant was worried about his beloved bees, and the French police and firefighters wouldn’t let him go up on the roof to check on them. Hopes that the bees survived rested on aerial photos of the cathedral’s roof, which showed the hives still intact.

     

    “You see that everything is burnt, there are holes in the roof, but you can still see the three beehives,” Géant told NBC News on Wednesday.

     

    On Thursday, the French urban beekeeping company Beeopic Apiculture posted a picture on Instagram that confirmed the Notre Dame bees were OK.

    “Our bees from the Cathedral Notre-Dame de Paris are still alive!! Confirmation from site officials!! ” read the post’s caption.

     

    The bees probably survived because the hives are located about 30 meters away from the main roof where the fire spread, Géant told CNN.

     

    Beekeeping on rooftops is one of Paris’s best kept secrets. Besides Notre Dame, hives are also kept atop the roofs of other notable structures, such as the Opéra Garnier, Musée d’Orsay and Grand Palais. More than 700 hives are kept across the city, one beekeeper told Atlas Obscura in August.

     

    Though the fire at Notre Dame brought destruction to one of Paris’s beloved landmarks, Géant said he was “overjoyed” to hear that his bees were still alive.

     

    “I was incredibly sad about Notre Dame because it’s such a beautiful building, and as a Catholic it means a lot to me,” Geant said. “But to hear there is life when it comes to the bees, that’s just wonderful.”

  2. the buds and bees covered, now about the birds.

    what ho! is that a red sparrow thee spy in yon swamp?

    wapo:

    Prosecutors seek 18-month sentence for Maria Butina in Russian plot to forge ties to U.S. conservative groups

    U.S. prosecutors requested an 18-month prison sentence for Russian gun rights activist Maria Butina for conspiring with a senior Russian official to infiltrate the National Rifle Association and conservative U.S. political circles for the Kremlin from 2015 until her arrest in July.

     

    Butina, 30, the first Russian national convicted of seeking to influence American policy in the run-up to the 2016 election as an undeclared agent of a foreign government, cooperated after pleading guilty in December, and prosecutors said their recommendation made Friday night had already accounted for a six-month reduction for cooperation under a plea deal.

     

    While Butina was not a traditional spy or trained intelligence officer, her actions bore “all the hallmarks” of an intelligence operation to target powerful individuals in a future presidential administration for recruitment later, prosecutors wrote.

    “The value of this information to the Russian Federation is immense,” they wrote, adding, “Such operations can cause great damage to our national security by giving covert agents access to our country and powerful individuals who can influence its direction.”

     

    Butina faces sentencing in Washington set for April 26 before U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan of the District.

     

    Her attorneys argued in their own Friday filing that she should be credited with the nine months served since her arrest, receive no additional imprisonment and be deported to her native Russia after the sentencing hearing.

     

    Butina “has done everything she could to atone for her mistakes through cooperation and substantial assistance,” wrote attorneys Robert N. Driscoll and Alfred D. Carry. “Her remorse is genuine and deep.”

    [continues]

  3. Jamie, perhaps the gopers will heed George’s advice and cut out the orange-headed cancer or at least metaphorically pursue political gene therapy –  the medical version described below at NCBI:

    three different gene therapy treatment approaches: immunotherapy, oncolytic virotherapy and gene transfer. Immunotherapy uses genetically modified cells and viral particles to stimulate the immune system to destroy cancer cells. Recent clinical trials of second and third generation vaccines have shown encouraging results with a wide range of cancers, including lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer and malignant melanoma. Oncolytic virotherapy, which uses viral particles that replicate within the cancer cell to cause cell death, is an emerging treatment modality that shows great promise, particularly with metastatic cancers. Initial phase I trials for several vectors have generated excitement over the potential power of this technique. Gene transfer is a new treatment modality that introduces new genes into a cancerous cell or the surrounding tissue to cause cell death or slow the growth of the cancer. This treatment technique is very flexible, and a wide range of genes and vectors are being used in clinical trials with successful outcomes. As these therapies mature, they may be used alone or in combination with current treatments to help make cancer a manageable disease.

    in other words, immunize themselves and fight off trumpitis or introduce new candidates and more viable life into the party or both.

  4. a good start for goper recovery is this as reported by abc news:

    Sen. Mitt Romney, a regular sparring partner of President Donald Trump, came out as strongly as any Republican against the president’s actions highlighted in the Mueller report on Friday.

    “I am sickened at the extent and pervasiveness of dishonesty and misdirection by individuals in the highest office of the land, including the President,” Romney, Utah’s junior senator, said in a release. “I am also appalled that, among other things, fellow citizens working in a campaign for president welcomed help from Russia — including information that had been illegally obtained; that none of them acted to inform American law enforcement; and that the campaign chairman was actively promoting Russian interests in Ukraine.”

     

    but then they relapsed with stuff like this reported by (of course) fox news:

    Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee lashed out at Sen. Mitt Romney after the Utah Republican said he was “sickened” by the level of dishonesty from President Trump’s administration in response to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s redacted report into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

    “Know what makes me sick, Mitt? Not how disingenuous you were to take @realDonaldTrump $$ and then 4 yrs later jealously trash him & then love him again when you begged to be Sec of State, but makes me sick that you got GOP nomination and could have been @POTUS,” Huckabee tweeted Friday.

     

  5.  
    SFB seethes and blames McGhan for his own chaos. 

    President Trump seethed Friday over the special counsel’s portrayal of his protracted campaign to thwart the Russia investigation and directed much of his ire at former White House counsel Donald McGahn, whose ubiquity in the report’s footnotes laid bare his extensive cooperation in chronicling the president’s actions.

    Some of the report’s most derogatory sceneswere attributed not only to the recollections of McGahn and other witnesses but also to the contemporaneous notes kept by several senior administration officials — the kind of paper trail that Trump has long sought to avoid leaving.

    Many White House aides use pen and paper both as a defensive mechanism — such as when then-Chief of Staff John F. Kelly documented Trump’s move togrant security clearances to his daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner — and as a means of creating the first draft of a page-turning presidency.

    But the fact that some of those notes became primary source material for Muellerto paint a vivid portrait of Trump’s efforts to derail the investigation angered the president, who was stewing over the media coverage as he decamped to Florida for the holiday weekend, according to people familiar with his thinking.
    [continues]

    Thinking?

  6. xrep…..   your last post on the other thread…  brilliant!

    Hey…  Mike Huckabee….  wanna know what sickens me….   the fact that you fathered such a lying bitch.

    Pogo…  Thinking?….
    yeah….  ya think…
     

  7. Right on RR
    I want to associate myself with your remarks about Suckabee sr.   What a loser.

  8. I look as if I spent half a round with Mike Tyson; in other words, I had MOHS surgery to hopefully clean-out a basal cell skin cancer on my face between my left eye and the bottom of my nose. It is probably the fourth time that particular cancer has been operated on over the years–the first using the MOHS technique. Following that, I spent a couple of hours at the hospital having plastic surgery on the site. The dermodoc told me I had no choice–he told me the chief of that department would do it. Wow, was I impressed.
    For the next several days I must, for the sake of others’ feelings, place a paper sack over my head when leaving the house.

  9. Pogo, the other day when alternatives to pharmaceuticals for pain relief were being discussed, you posed a question that this WSJ oped from 14 Apr addresses:

    In a span of 24 hours, the prospects for chronic pain patients treated with opioid medication vastly improved. On April 9, the Food and Drug Administration made official what hundreds of doctors have been saying for years: Patients whose intractable pain is being treated with opioids should move off them slowly, if they are to be tapered at all.

    The agency said it received reports of “uncontrolled pain, psychological distress, and suicide” among patients who have become dependent on opioids when that medication is suddenly “discontinued or the dose rapidly decreased.” With serious withdrawal symptoms or increased pain, the agency instructed, it may even be necessary to return the opioid painkiller to its prior dosage and, once the person’s mental and physical state stabilizes, resume reducing the patient’s opioid usage more gradually.
    Patients’ dosages are being too quickly reduced, often against their will, because of a tragic misapplication of the 2016 Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    Along with four of my colleagues from medical and pharmacy schools across the country, I sent an open letter to the CDC March 6. We urged the CDC to clarify that its otherwise reasonable guideline didn’t mandate that doctors suddenly cut off or reduce the supply of opioid pain relievers to patients who need them. Nonetheless, many physicians, health-care systems and regulators have insisted that the guideline indicated that prescribing opioids for chronic pain puts them at grave risk for loss of license or other harsh penalties.
    More than 300 medical professionals and three former drug czars signed the letter.
    On April 10 we heard from CDC Director Robert Redfield, who dispelled any confusion. “The guideline does not endorse mandated or abrupt dose reduction or discontinuation as these can result in patient harm,” he wrote. That practice “can damage the clinician-patient relationship, and can cause patients to obtain opioids from other sources.”
    “The letter from Dr. Redfield is a game-changer,” says Andrea Anderson, a former executive director of the Alliance for the Treatment of Intractable Pain. “We are encouraging patients to share this letter with their physicians, pharmacists, state and federal regulators, and reinstate pain management for chronic, long-term pain.”
    The American Medical Association also praised the agencies’ communications. “I see the recent CDC and FDA statements as a welcome move back to balance opioid policy,” said Dr. Chad Kollas, chairman of the AMA Pain and Palliative Medicine Specialty Council.
    It will be welcomed, too, by the millions of Americans who suffer from chronic pain. No government agency will force their physicians to deprive them of the medications that make relief, and life itself, possible.
    Dr. Satel is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a lecturer in psychiatry at Yale.

  10. I don’t need much, just give me a thousand bucks a month, Boss Man, I’ll be good.  Well, ok maybe make it fifteen…….

  11. flatus, been there done that MOHS thingy again and again on nose, forehead, neck plus the fluorouracil peel that really required the paper sack treatment for the whole of one season.  I know and feel your pain. 

    spent too much time in the florida sun in the days before mandatory cream… in fact those were “the sun is good for you” times espoused by the same health providers who said filtered cigarettes were okay.   now they’re all rich from running cancer clinics.

  12. Flatus, pain hurts. If meds relieve it people gonna take em. Addictions a bitch but overreacting and jerking folks off them without something to replace them doesn’t help the patients. Thorny problem. 

    Going in to have a couple spots looked at next week. Had a BCC removed maybe 15 years ago. Hope that’s all I’m dealing with. I was one of those sun kids. I’m ok with the wrinkles but sure as hell don’t want skin cancer to come knocking.

  13. carl Hiaasen Miami herald

    Please — PLEASE — blur the Robert Kraft day-spa videos | Opinion

    As a fractured nation argues over the redactions in the Mueller report, another high-profile First Amendment battle is being waged way south of Washington, D.C.

    Prosecutors and defense lawyers in Palm Beach County have squared off over the planned release of police videos allegedly showing New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and other defendants engaged in sex acts at a “day spa” in Jupiter.

     

    Kraft has pleaded innocent to soliciting prostitution. If indeed he received only routine rubdowns on his two chauffeured trips to Orchids of Asia, one might suppose he and his attorneys would want the tapes promptly released to exonerate him.


    But they desperately, frantically, do not want the tapes released.

    Under Florida’s Sunshine Law, however, such evidence is a public record. The media will fight, as it should, to get copies. Kraft’s lawyers will fight to suppress.

     

     

     

    With the exception of gleeful fans of the Miami Dolphins and other Patriots rivals, it’s difficult to imagine why anyone in their right mind is dying to see videotape of a 77-year-old man with his pants around his ankles wriggling on a massage table.

    Seriously, folks, hasn’t America been through enough?

     

    My guess is there are millions of people, like myself, who — despite a profound reverence for the Constitution, especially the First Amendment — would reach into their pockets and pay good money to not have to see whatever Kraft was doing at the Orchids of Asia.

    As a compromise, I would respectfully propose a GoFundMe page captioned, PLEASE, YOUR HONORS, SPARE US FROM THE BOB KRAFT TAPES!

    The proceeds from the online campaign could be donated to organizations that help sex-trafficking victims, or to the favorite charities of Palm Beach Circuit Judge Joseph Marx and County Judge Leonard Hanser.

     

     

     

    Last week, Marx temporarily blocked prosecutors from releasing the day-spa videos. A hearing is set for April 29.

     

    Hanser, who is the trial judge in Kraft’s case, will likely be forced to rule on the same issue.

     

    It’s considered heresy for a career journalist to advocate keeping secret a key piece of evidence in criminal court. Yet, in this instance, one could argue that the public’s right to see is outweighed by the potential damage inflicted — not to Kraft (who’s already been humiliated), but to unwitting cable-news and internet viewers.

    The male body doesn’t improve with age, and at 77 there isn’t a man alive who still looks like Orlando Bloom. In fact, based on the mug shots of the day-spa defendants, the younger ones don’t look much like Orlando Bloom, either.


    [recounts here the Bieber “pee tape” case in Miami]

    Before Judge Marx’s order, the prosecutors of Kraft and 24 other men were prepared to release “pixelated” versions of the day-spa videos, in which any obscene images would be blurred.

     

    Assuming the judges won’t be swayed by a GoFundMe drive to keep the tapes private, the next best thing to hope for is an orgy of court-ordered pixelation.

    In the name of mercy, your honors, please blur whatever needs blurring. Save the unredacted versions for the jury.

    Americans are a strong people, but we can only endure so much.

  14. We wish you the best results, Mr Flatus. 
    In this modern day of blood and guts shows, documentaries and thrillers, I’ve noticed that people no longer flinch when they see wounds and scars. Walking around shirtless in 2000, I upset people. Today, they don’t give me a second look. I recommend that you take the bag off your head so you can see where you’re walking. 

  15. Well I’m a little hard hearted right now but if you come to me telling me about  your little Johnny dying of  a drug overdose and  you want to restrict the use of pain meds even to those who need them………..
    ummmmm, FU and little Johnny.
    Sherry had a lot of pain and the medical establishment did a piss poor job of managing it. It wasn’t until my sister the nurse came up and took on the job of being her medical champion that they (following her advise) were able to get Sherry’s pain under control. In some ways I think they were clueless and in others I think they were scared of using the tools they had on hand because of all the uproar over  drug addicts.
    So I have no sympathy for little Johnny and his drug habit.
    Jack

  16. more of the carl Hiaasen op ed:

    But they desperately, frantically, do not want the tapes released.

     

    Under Florida’s Sunshine Law, however, such evidence is a public record. The media will fight, as it should, to get copies. Kraft’s lawyers will fight to suppress.

     

     

     

    With the exception of gleeful fans of the Miami Dolphins and other Patriots rivals, it’s difficult to imagine why anyone in their right mind is dying to see videotape of a 77-year-old man with his pants around his ankles wriggling on a massage table.

     

    Seriously, folks, hasn’t America been through enough?

     

    My guess is there are millions of people, like myself, who — despite a profound reverence for the Constitution, especially the First Amendment — would reach into their pockets and pay good money to not have to see whatever Kraft was doing at the Orchids of Asia.

     

    As a compromise, I would respectfully propose a GoFundMe page captioned, PLEASE, YOUR HONORS, SPARE US FROM THE BOB KRAFT TAPES!

     

    [continues along similar lines plus informs us of background on Bieber “pee tape” episode]

  17. OK , Pat
    I’ll bet he received a rub down and a rub up and a rub against and all that stuff. We’ll just not mention what got rubbed. And if they got pictures I really don’t want to see them,
    just sayin’
    Jack

  18. I’m putting stuff together for the memorial service. We are starting the service with the really sappy Beatles song  “long and winding road” Then after the obligatory prayer (hey we swim in those waters) and reading of the obituary We switch to something more up beat. Sherry really like Paul Simons Graceland album. Diamonds on the soles of her shoes kicks off the remembrance part. A little up beat to brighten the mood so we can have pleasant memories.  then we walk out to the Beatles, Octopus’ garden. What ya think?
    Jack
     

  19. jack, please forgive the disruption of the serious conversation y’all were having about docs and pain pills.  I was so busy trying to edit out unimportant stuff on the Hiaasen piece  it was completely inappropriate when it  finally resurfaced.

    I agree with your sentiment re kraft expose`, however some of the rams fans might find it useful.

  20. Now republicans are claiming that the Russians attacked under Obama and Obama was weak. 
    Let’s review. The russians attacked America through hacking, cyber-theft, and interfering in the electon. Obama retaliated by sending russian diplomats home and putting tight sanctions on russian trade. 
    trump claimed that putin denied the attacks and he ‘had no reason to think’ the US CIA, NSA, Army or Navy Intelligence were telling him the truth about russian attacks.
    Collaborating with the russian attackers, trump lifted sanctions.
    End of story. Post script : LOCK ALL THE REPUBLICAN QUISLING FUCKERS UP !

  21. Jack – I like what you are doing.
     
    Flatus – some of us cannot take NSAIDS so my steps to cover/control pain are one ibuprofen per week or oxycodone as needed.  At least a med was found that helped so I was no longer taking oxy three or four times a day.  The problem is there are many people who do not have a med that works.  Or in my case, I know at some point in time, it could be next week, it could be a year from now, it could be five years, but at some point oxy will be my only med before morphine.  The political game of only seven doses or five doses or “I am tougher on oxy than you are” has real consequences for people like me.  When I need it I have to take it.  It is cruel (something that SFB likes) to force people off of oxy or limit how much they can take for pain.  But when playing a political game in this era, there are no limits – high or low.

  22. Jack

    Like the plans you have for the going away party.  A life being celebrated should be a celebration.  

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