02/08/2015 archive

Rant of the Week: Jon Stewart – Les Measlesrables

Jon Stewart – Les Measlesrables

Vaccines are safe. Get your children and yourself vaccinated.

On This Day In History February 8

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

February 8 is the 39th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 326 days remaining until the end of the year (327 in leap years).

On this day in 1828, Jules Gabriel Verne is born in Nantes, Brittany in France. He was a French author who pioneered the science-fiction genre. He is best known for novels such as Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870), A Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864), and Around the World in Eighty Days (1873). Verne wrote about space, air, and underwater travel before air travel and practical submarines were invented, and before practical means of space travel had been devised. He is the third most translated individual author in the world, according to Index Translationum. Some of his books have been made into films. Verne, along with Hugo Gernsback and H. G. Wells, is often popularly referred to as the “Father of Science Fiction”.

Literary debut

After completing his studies at the lycée, Verne went to Paris to study for the bar. About 1848, in conjunction with Michel Carré, he began writing libretti for operettas. For some years his attentions were divided between the theatre and work, but some travellers’ stories which he wrote for the Musée des Familles revealed to him his true talent: the telling of delightfully extravagant voyages and adventures to which cleverly prepared scientific and geographical details lent an air of verisimilitude.

When Verne’s father discovered that his son was writing rather than studying law, he promptly withdrew his financial support. Verne was forced to support himself as a stockbroker, which he hated despite being somewhat successful at it. During this period, he met Victor Hugo and Alexandre Dumas, pére, who offered him writing advice.

Verne also met Honorine de Viane Morel, a widow with two daughters. They were married on January 10 1857. With her encouragement, he continued to write and actively looked for a publisher.

Verne’s situation improved when he met Pierre-Jules Hetzel, one of the most important French publishers of the 19th century, who also published Victor Hugo, Georges Sand, and Erckmann-Chatrian, among others. They formed an excellent writer-publisher team until Hetzel’s death. Hetzel helped improve Verne’s writings, which until then had been repeatedly rejected by other publishers. Hetzel read a draft of Verne’s story about the balloon exploration of Africa, which had been rejected by other publishers for being “too scientific”. With Hetzel’s help, Verne rewrote the story, which was published in 1863 in book form as Cinq semaines en balloon (Five_Weeks_in_a_Balloon Five Weeks in a Baloon). Acting on Hetzel’s advice, Verne added comical accents to his novels, changed sad endings into happy ones, and toned down various political messages.

From that point, Hetzel published two or more volumes a year. The most successful of these include: Voyage au centre de la terre (Journey to the Center of the Earth, 1864); De la terre à la lune (From the Earth to the Moon, 1865); Vingt mille lieues sous les mers (Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, 1869); and Le tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours (Around the World in Eighty Days), which first appeared in Le Temps in 1872. The series is collectively known as “Voyages Extraordinaires” (“extraordinary voyages”). Verne could now live on his writings. But most of his wealth came from the stage adaptations of Le tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours (1874) and Michel Strogoff (1876), which he wrote with Adolphe d’Ennery. In 1867 Verne bought a small ship, the Saint-Michel, which he successively replaced with the Saint-Michel II and the Saint-Michel III as his financial situation improved. On board the Saint-Michel III, he sailed around Europe. In 1870, he was appointed as “Chevalier” (Knight) of the Légion d’honneur. After his first novel, most of his stories were first serialised in the Magazine d’Éducation et de Récréation, a Hetzel biweekly publication, before being published in the form of books.

In his last years, Jules Verne wrote a novel called Paris in the 20th Century about a young man who lives in a world of glass skyscrapers, high-speed trains, gas-powered automobiles, calculators, and a worldwide communications network, yet cannot find happiness and comes to a tragic end. Hetzel thought the novel’s pessimism would damage Verne’s then booming career, and suggested he wait 20 years to publish it. Verne put the manuscript in a safe, where it was discovered by his great-grandson in 1989. It was published in 1994.

In 1905, while ill with diabetes, Verne died at his home, 44 Boulevard Longueville (now Boulevard Jules-Verne).

Punting the Pundits: Sunday Preview Edition

Punting the Punditsis an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

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The Sunday Talking Heads:

This Week with George Stephanopolis: The guests on Sunday’s “This Week” are: Retired Gen. John Allen; Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX); and former Sen. Rick Santorum and his wife Karen.

The roundtable guests are: Daily Beast contributor Kristen Soltis Anderson; CNN political commentator Van Jones; and Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, managing editors of Bloomberg Politics.

Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer: Mr. Schieffer’s guests are:  Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX); Tom Donilon, President Obama’s former National Security Advisor; CBS News senior security contributor Michael Morell; Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief of infectious disease at the National Institutes of Health, and Dr. Jon LaPook, CBS News chief medical correspondent.

His panel guests are: Ruth Marcus, The Washington Post; David Sanger, The New York Times; Nancy Youssef, The Daily Beast; and John Harris, Politico.

Meet the Press with Chuck Todd: The exclusive guest on Sunday’s “MTP” is Secretary of State John Kerry.

The rest is an unknown quantity and probably not worth watching.

State of the Union: Dana Bash is this Sunday’s host. The guests are: Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson; Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX); Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA);  Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI); and former Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI).

If you can put up with the rest of content on these programs, “Melissa Harris-Perry” will air a taped interview with outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder, and Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) will appear on “Up with Steve Kornacki.”

Six In The Morning

On Sunday

India election: Kejriwal party ahead in Delhi – exit poll

   7 February 2015 Last updated at 15:32


Voting has ended in the Delhi state elections which are seen as a popularity test for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The anti-corruption Common Man party (Aam Admi) of former tax inspector Arvind Kejriwal is in the lead and could win, early exit polls suggest.

Mr Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has fielded former policewoman Kiran Bedi as its pick for chief minister.

Turnout is estimated at more than 60%. Official results are due on Tuesday.

Over 13 million people were eligible to vote.

The turnout underlines the significance of the vote which is seen as the first real test for the prime minister since his convincing victory in general elections last summer, says the BBC’s Sanjoy Majumder in Delhi.

Sunday’s Headlines:

Brutal killing of a samba ‘queen’ exposes dark world behind the glitter of carnival

Isis in Iraq: Britain has no plan for tackling the militants, and no idea who’s in charge

Poroshenko: Ukraine ready for ‘unconditional ceasefire’

Taliban justice winning favour in Afghanistan

Nigeria postpones elections, focuses on major offensive against Boko Haram

The Breakfast Club (Ground Speed)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover  we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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Breakfast Tune: Ground Speed – Tokyo Banjo Trio

Today in History

Highlights of this day in history: the funeral of Jordan’s King Hussein; Premiere of ‘The Birth of a Nation’; a South Carolina civil rights protest turns deadly; the Boy Scouts of America is incorporated; actor James Dean born. (Feb. 8)

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac:

The gratification comes in the doing, not in the results. James Dean

Breakfast News & Blogs Below

Saturday Night Movie