Please share, particularly with teenagers who drive and others you know who have convinced themselves that they can text and drive safely. Larry

Click the link above if the player does not display on your screen after 15 seconds.

Published on Aug 9, 2013
Please Watch, Important Documentary Against Texting While Driving — Visit to take the pledge, and learn more about the dangers of texting while driving. — Acclaimed filmmaker Werner Herzog’s wants to bring an end to the scourge of texting while driving once and for all — and he just might do it. In a powerful 35-minute PSA entitled From One Second to the Next, Herzog hauntingly and painfully documents the tragic testimonies of individuals who have shattered lives and have had their lives shattered as a direct result of texting and driving.

The project, part of AT&T’s “It Can Wait” campaign, was distributed yesterday to over 40,000 high schools across the country.

“There’s a completely new culture out there,” Herzog told the Associated Press. “I’m not a participant of texting and driving — or texting at all — but I see there’s something going on in civilization which is coming with great vehemence at us.”


10 things we didn’t know last week

Last updated Aug 9, 2013, 9:51 AM PST
1. Chimpanzees and orangutans swim a form of the breast stroke.

Find out more (New Scientist)

2. Meetings at Amazon start with Jeff Bezos and his executives silently reading six-page memos for up to half an hour.

Find out more (CNN)

3. American children eat five times more magnets than 10 years ago.

Find out more (Smithsonian)

4. Dolphins recognise each other after decades apart.

Find out more (Salon)

5. A dog bowl covered with surgical tape is more effective at catching bedbugs than the market-leading trap.

Find out more

6. Scientists still don’t really know how bicycles work.

Find out more (New Statesman)

7. Two million North Koreans now have mobile phones.

Find out more

8. A relative of the piranha can be found swimming off the coast of Sweden.

Find out more (The Local)

9. In parts of north Lincolnshire, a 30-step ladder is known as a “thotty stabber stee”.

Find out more

10. The word “get” went out of fashion in books between 1940 and the 1960s.

Find out more (Daily Telegraph)

Seen a thing? Tell the Magazine on Twitter using the hashtag #thingIdidntknowlastweek

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BBC © 2013

Where do you stand on the Stand your Ground Law…good law or bad law!!!


Julius Jacobs (above) was shot and killed July 5, but his shooter won’t face homicide charges under Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ self-defense law.

Tyrone Pierson, Teen Who Shot Man, Won’t Face Homicide Charges Under ‘Stand Your Ground’

A Florida teen who killed a man during a confrontation last month will not face homicide charges under the state’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law.

In a release Tuesday, prosecutors said that Tyrone Pierson, 17, was justified in using deadly force on Julius Jerome Jacobs.

Witnesses told police that Jacobs, a 40-year-old community choir director, came after Pierson and two other teens with a large stick following an argument over alleged speeding July 5. According to authorities, Pierson shot Jacobs in the head, killing him.

Under Florida law, it is illegal for minors under 18 to possess a concealed firearm, other than an unloaded one in their home, but “Stand Your Ground” “qualifies [Pierson] for immunity from any homicide charges even though he illegally possessed the gun as a minor without a concealed carry permit,” Think Progress noted.

Pierson will face two counts of unlawful possession of a weapon, and an additional charge of evidence tampering, because he initially lied about the location of the gun, prosecutors said.

The Ocala Star Banner reported that Pierson’s friends, who were with him during the altercation that led to Jacobs’ death, avoided conflict by running away.

Although the paper noted that Pierson fired a shot while fleeing, he had no duty to retreat because of the “Stand Your Ground” law.

“Stand Your Ground” has been heavily criticized in the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting. Scrutiny of the law intensified after neighborhood watch coordinator George Zimmerman was found not guilty in the death of the unarmed teenager.

Last week, Florida lawmakers agreed to hold hearings on the controversial self-defense law this fall.

Although the move was initially perceived to be a major concession to protesters by Florida conservatives, the appointment of Rep. Matt Gaetz, a staunch backer of the law, to oversee the hearings tempered expectations.

Gaetz told the Tampa Bay Times that he’s looking forward to the hearings so that he can offer a “full-throated defense of the law.”

“I don’t support changing one damn comma of the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law,” Gaetz told the newspaper on Friday. “It would be reactionary and dangerous to make Floridians less safe to pacify uninformed protesters.”

TIME Explains: Why Bees Are Going Extinct



The bees are dying and we’re to blame. TIME’s Bryan Walsh explains colony collapse disorder, and why bees are on the verge of extinction.

Read more:,32068,2591408791001_2149079,00.html#ixzz2bUEnEsRZ

Watch Video

Obama administration backs prayer at local government meetings

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration and congressional Republicans have found something to agree on: Town councils should be allowed to open their meetings with a Christian prayer.

Town Officials Pray As U.S. High Court Eyes Church-State Clash

Members of the Greece, N.Y., town council pray before a recent meeting. The prayers are the focus of a U.S. Supreme Court fight. (Heather Ainsworth / Bloomberg / July 22, 2013)

By David G. Savage  August 8, 2013, 7:59 p.m.

Lawyers for the administration and two groups of lawmakers from the House and Senate, nearly all Republicans, separately made that argument in briefs to the Supreme Court this week. The high court should relax the constitutional limits on religious invocations at government meetings, they argued.

The case could lead to a major change in the law on religion that would go well beyond prayers at council meetings.

Last year, a federal appeals court ruled that the town of Greece, N.Y., near Rochester, had crossed the line and violated the 1st Amendment’s ban on an “establishment of religion.” For years, the town supervisor had invited a local minister to deliver an opening prayer at the council’s monthly meeting. Members of the audience were encouraged to join in the prayers.

Two residents, one Jewish and one an atheist, had complained for several years that the prayers were offensive and inappropriate. Until they sued in 2008, only Christians had been invited to lead the prayers.

Looked at through the eyes of a “reasonable observer,” the town’s prayer policy “must be viewed as an endorsement of … a Christian viewpoint,” the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals said in ruling against the town.

The justices agreed in May to hear the town’s appeal this fall.

The case has drawn attention because it could provide the court’s conservative majority an opportunity to alter a legal rule that dates to the 1980s and a set of opinions by then-Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Her decisions said government actions would violate the 1st Amendment if they appeared to “endorse” religion. That rule has been followed in cases saying that government agencies cannot display the Ten Commandments in their buildings or host Nativity scenes at Christmas.

But O’Connor’s “endorsement” standard, which remains the law, can be difficult to interpret. Part of the difficulty is that what one person perceives as endorsement of religion might seem completely benign to someone else. The standard has often led to disputed rulings and widely differing decisions among lower courts.

In the current case, the Obama administration has told the court that Greece’s practice should not be considered an endorsement. The town council’s opening of its meetings with a Christian prayer “does not amount to an unconstitutional establishment of religion merely because most prayer-givers are Christian and many or most of their prayers contain sectarian references,” wrote U.S. Solicitor Gen. Donald Verrilli Jr.

He noted that the House and Senate had official chaplains and that the court in 1983 upheld opening prayers in state legislatures. If local councils may have religious invocations, the law should not require them to “closely police the content of prayers,” he said.

Eighty-five House members and 34 senators joined two friend-of-the-court briefs that also urged the court to make clear that prayers and religious invocations are constitutional. They had not expected the administration would weigh in as well.

The administration’s filing was “a surprisingly conservative brief, and it came as a pleasant surprise,” said Ken Klukowski, a lawyer for the Family Research Council, who filed the brief for the House members. “It’s gratifying that even the Obama administration recognizes that courts are not qualified to censor prayers.”

Administration lawyers may hope that by siding with the town, they can head off a more sweeping ruling. The court’s conservatives have long wanted to scrap the endorsement standard. They would prefer a rule that schools and local governments may invoke religion and Christianity so long as no unwilling person is forced to join in.

Lawyers refer to this as the “coercion” standard, and Klukowski’s brief urges the court to adopt it in the New York case.

Several of the justices have clearly been looking for a case that would test the issue. For weeks this spring they debated whether to take up an appeal from the Elmbrook, Wis., School District, which had been sued for holding its graduation ceremonies in an evangelical Christian church. The U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago had decided that practice was unconstitutional.

The appeal from Greece raised much the same issue, but in the context of a town council meeting rather than a public school. Putting the Wisconsin case on hold, the court agreed to decide the case from New York.

“This is a big deal of a case because of what it could mean. And it makes the administration’s position doubly disappointing,” said the Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which represented the two women in the New York case. “A town council meeting is not like a church service, and it shouldn’t be treated like it is.”,0,6470966.story

You must take this quiz…I think you will be surprised.

Annotated Mathematics State Test Questions for Grades 3-8

Screen Shot 2013-08-08 at Aug 8, 2013 6.44

Published: August 7, 2013

Take a test featuring two sample questions per grade from the 2013 New York State mathematics tests. Each answer will be followed with an annotation from the sample test manual. For the English/Language Arts test, click hzre.



Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:


Millions began ushering in the end of Ramadan with prayers and feasts, while mortar rounds hit a district in Syria where Assad attended prayers.


Defense lawyers say Maj. Nidal Hasan is trying to get a death sentence while representing himself.


Police say a man shot several people at two houses in the Dallas area and was taken into custody.


Three tickets – two from New Jersey and one from Minnesota – matched the winning numbers for the $448 million drawing.


The AP obtains a memo that would allow same-sex spouses of military members to receive access to health and welfare programs, but wouldn’t cover unmarried partners.


Obama backed out of a summit with Putin after failing to reach agreement on several disputes including Syria, global security and American adoption of Russian children.


Friends of the 16-year-old kidnapped girl say the man wanted in the death of her mother had said he would date the teen if they were the same age.


The southern California blaze blocked both ends of a highway, temporarily trapping some deputies and residents trying to evacuate.


A safety group gave the two- and four-door Honda Civic models high marks in front-end crash tests. The Nissan Sentra and two Kia models rated “poor.”


Baseball’s players association sent Rodriguez’ 211-game suspension to an independent arbitrator.