Category Archives: News

Windows 9 Screenshot Leaked

We know that at some point in the future, Microsoft will bring the Start menu back to Windows. What we don’t know is when, but some leaked screenshots of a future version of Windows might offer a clue.

Screenshots allegedly showing the new Start menu leaked on an Internet forum over the weekend. The menu looks similar, but not identical, to what Microsoft showed publicly at its Build developer conference in April.

The size and format of the menu is the same, but the tiles themselves are different, suggesting the image was generated by an early build of the new Windows.

Windows 9 Start Menu

Cisco Adds 550 More Jobs

Some of the econemy is recovering, but we are far from being fully repaired. However – 120514183510_ciscos_3_big

Cisco Systems seems to be moving in the right direction. In the wake of worldwide staff cuts, Cisco Systems plans to expand its Research Triangle Park campus by adding 550 jobs here over the next four years.

Company employees gathered to hear the news cheered as Gov. Pat McCrory announced the expansion Friday morning at the California company’s 12-building RTP campus. The average annual wage for the new jobs is expected to be $72,700 plus benefits, far above the Wake County average of $49,410.

Cisco, the world’s largest maker of network equipment, alr eady has about 4,600 employees and 1,400 contractors here, and plans to hire a mix of finance, engineering, network design and customer service personnel by the end of 2017.

“This place is so cool,” a grinning McCrory played to the crowd of assembled employees after his VIP tour of Building 12 on Cisco’s RTP campus.

As part of the tour, McCrory watched a demo of the DX80, a new Cisco product coming out at the end of this month. The high-definition video communication system syncs iPads and desktops so that users in remote locations can look at the same screen as if they were in the same room.

Cisco’s expansion comes after two years of restructuring and layoffs that resulted in the elimination of more than 12,000 jobs globally, including an unspecified number in RTP. Recently the San Jose-based company passed a symbolic milestone in which more than half its employees are now based outside the United States.Cisco-11

Cisco has 76,000 employees worldwide; the RTP site is its third largest after San Jose and Bangalore, India. The company established a Triangle presence in 1993 when it opened a sales office here.

Cisco has come under intense pressure in recent years as technology shifts to a model in which code and apps increasingly do the work of machines. As a result, the company is experiencing a slowdown in demand for its legacy routing and switching equipment from customers in the communications, finance, insurance and other sectors.

Cisco is eligible to receive up to $12.9 million in state incentives over 12 years if it meets investment and job-creation milestones. The company chose RTP over sites in Texas and Georgia.

“The incentives are certainly a large part of it,” Paradise said of Cisco’s decision to expand in the Triangle.

The company’s goal remains unchanged to eventually have 10,000 employees in RTP, as previously announced, Paradise said. Even though Cisco recently sold three buildings to NetApp, Paradise said the company’s remaining 12 buildings have the additional capacity to allow Cisco to grow its workforce to 10,000.

Paradise said other factors include the state’s favorable business climate and quality of life as well as its universities that produce a steady string of hires for the company.

Gary Moore, Cisco’s president and chief operating officer, said the incentive package with North Carolina requires the company to backfill vacancies created in RTP by the most recent round of layoffs before it can begin counting new hires toward its 550 total. Cisco doesn’t disclose layoffs by site, but Moore said the cuts in RTP were a “small number.” Moore flew in from California to attend Friday’s announcement in RTP.

Seems the future is bright to have some virtual meetings in every business. By the end of next year, we might see some serious shit! *In my best Doc Emmit Brown voice*

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/06/06/3915899/cisco-to-expand-rtp-campus-add.html?sp=/99/104/#storylink=cpy

 

Actor Bob Hoskins, in Roger Rabbit dead at 71

I loved who framed roger rabbit, and Bob has now passed.

He will be missed, another great loss.

Bob Hoskins, the pugnacious British actor known for playing gangsters, tough guys and working-class gentlemen in such films as “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” “The Long Good Friday” and “Mermaids,” has died, publicist Clair Dobbs said Wednesday.

Hoskins was 71.

His passing comes nearly two years after he retired from acting following a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.

Hoskins was perhaps best known for 1988’s live-action and animation hybrid “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.” In the comedy, he played detective Eddie Valiant, who hates “toons” — cartoon figures who live in a separate showbiz world bordering Valiant’s 1940s Los Angeles — and takes up the task of proving the innocence of the cartoon title character, accused of murder. The film was the second-highest grossing movie of 1988, after “Rain Man.”

He followed the turn with performances in a variety of films, including 1991’s “Hook” in which he played Smee, the pirate assistant of Captain Hook; 1995’s “Nixon” as FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover; and 2001’s “Last Orders” as the gambler friend of protagonist Michael Caine, whose pals gather to spread his ashes after his death.

Hoskins was nominated for an Oscar for 1986’s “Mona Lisa” as a cabdriver who establishes a relationship with a high-priced call girl. Caine was also in the film. Hoskins won both a BAFTA and Golden Globe for his performance.

Robert Hoskins was born on October 26, 1942, in Bury St. Edmunds, England, the only child of a bookkeeper and a cook. He dropped out of school at 15 and took jobs as a truck driver and window cleaner, among others, before falling into acting by accident: A friend was auditioning for a part and Hoskins, who was waiting nearby, was asked to try out. A natural, he got the role.

“I fit into this business like a sore foot into a soft shoe,” he told the UK paper The Telegraph in 2009.

In Britain, he gained fame for his performance as a Depression-era song-plugger in Dennis Potter’s miniseries “Pennies From Heaven,” later turned into a 1980 movie starring Steve Martin.

Though he had a handful of recognizable roles in films after “Pennies” — including 1980’s “The Long Good Friday,” 1982’s “Pink Floyd the Wall” and 1985’s “Brazil” (in which he played a gleefully malevolent repairman), it wasn’t until “Roger Rabbit” that he broke through to mainstream American audiences.

That film drove him a bit nuts, he told The Telegraph.

“I think I went a bit mad while working on that. Lost my mind. The voice of the rabbit was there just behind the camera all the time,” he recalled. “The trouble was, I had learnt how to hallucinate. My daughter had an invisible friend called Jeffrey and I played with her and this invisible friend until one day I actually saw the friend.”

It was his daughter, however, who set him straight.

“My daughter, when I came back from filming in San Francisco, she said ‘Dad, slow down, slow down. You’re going barmy, mate.’ And I was.”

Always a steady and straightforward worker — no “Method acting” for Hoskins — he appeared in at least one production every year from 1972 until his retirement in 2012.

“There’s two things I love about this business. One’s acting and the other one’s getting paid for it,” he told the UK paper The Guardian in 2007. “The rest of it is a mystery to me.”

In one of his last roles, he played the elf Muir in 2012’s “Snow White and the Huntsman.” In the 2011 TV miniseries and Peter Pan prequel “Neverland,” he played Smee — a character he had portrayed in “Hook.”

But true to his working-class roots — The Telegraph described his natural voice as “cockney as jellied eels” — he hated to put on airs.

“I met a little old fella in Regent’s Park when I was walking a character around. He said, ‘You are who you are, ain’t you?’ and I said, ‘Yeah, I am who I am.’ And he said, ‘That’s good. I grow roses,’ ” Hoskins recalled. “And we sat talking about roses all afternoon. It was wonderful.”

Hoskins is survived by his wife, Linda Banwell, and four children.

Hearthstone Launch Day

Greetings all!

From time to time we all need a little entertainment – after toying with our packets, routers, and switches oh my!

This is one of those gems that come around once in a blue moon.

Not only is it actually a real fun piece of software, it is also free!

This game is from Blizzard Entertainment. They seem to use all the heroes and characters from the successful World of Warcraft series.

Continue Reading the Rest of this Article!

$28 Billion in Additional Military Spending in 2015

President Obama released his sixth budget proposal, requesting $3.9 trillion in fiscal year 2015. His proposal would relieve sequestration cuts by adding back $56 billion in discretionary spending next year in an “Opportunity, Growth, and Security Initiative.”

The new spending would be evenly split between military and domestic discretionary programs, and the additional funding will come from cuts to federal crop insurance, changes to TSA passenger fees, by closing some individual and corporate tax loopholes.

President Obama’s budget arrived over a month after the legal deadline of the first Monday in February. Meanwhile China is roaring with military futures and it is getting harder to swallow.

As most of the world’s biggest militaries scale back their budgets, China is planning on increasing theirs. The world’s second-biggest economy may already have the largest military in terms of manpower, but technologically it lags the U.S.

According to defense consulting and analysis company IHS Jane’s, this year China will be spending $148 billion on defense funding, up from $139.2 billion last year, spending more money on its military than any other country in the world except for one: the United States.

Though the U.S. holds on tightly to the No. 1 position, budget cuts of $90 billion this year will bring the American defense budget down to $574.9 billion, so China is slowly closing in.

IHS also reported that by next year China is expected to spend more money on the military than Britain, Germany and France combined. By 2024, it will spend more than the entirety of Western Europe.

Now back at home – after the great recession there was no budget passed for several years – from 2010 til now, not many concurrent budgets were passed.

Currently I am skeptical on what exactly all the big spending will result in our America being somewhat better or somewhat worse. Here is what Obama wants to do in 2015:

Spending and Cuts

In addition to the spending levels set out in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, President Obama proposes a total of $56 billion in new spending in fiscal 2015 for a total of $1.19 trillion in discretionary spending, an increase of about 1 percent relative to 2014 enacted levels.

The budget includes $28 billion in additional military spending and $28 billion in new spending for energy efficiency programs in the states, job training, expanded Head Start, and universal pre-kindergarten.

The president also proposes $302 billion in additional infrastructure spending over the next four years, which would improve roads and bridges as well as fund transit projects. Yet he proposes to pay for this new spending with a one-time opportunity for corporations to bring money stashed overseas back into the U.S., and is tantamount to a corporate tax break.

Nearly eight in 10 American voters (79 percent) want to close tax loopholes that ensure corporations pay as much on foreign profits as they do on domestic profits. [i]

FY2015 Budget
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Spring Forward: Why Do We Change Our Clocks?

Spring forward in March! Greetings to all of you!  Tonight don’t forget to change clocks and put some new batteries in those smoke alarms. We hope you have a wonderful prosperous month!

The beginning of Daylight Saving Time is a great reminder to change the batteries in your smoke detectors, too.

World on Time

Most of the United States, including New Orleans, will lose an hour at 2 a.m. Sunday by moving forward into Daylight Saving Time.

So, why the heck do we observe Daylight Saving Time? The simple answer… it is to save on energy costs!

One of the biggest reasons we change our clocks to Daylight Saving Time (DST) is that it reportedly saves electricity.

Recently, newer studies, are challenging long-held reason.

In general, energy use and the demand for electricity for lighting our homes is directly connected to when we go to bed and when we get up. Bedtime for most of us is late evening through the year. When we go to bed, we turn off the lights and TV.

In the average home, 25% of all the electricity we use is for lighting and small appliances, such as TVs, VCRs and stereos. A good percentage of energy consumed by lighting and appliances occurs in the evening when families are home. By moving the clock ahead one hour, we can cut the amount of electricity we consume each day.

Studies done in the 1970s by the U.S. Department of Transportation show that we trim the entire country’s electricity usage by about 1% EACH DAY with Daylight Saving Time.

Franklin in Paris

Benjamin Franklin proposed Daylight Saving Time as an American delegate in Paris in 1784. The idea didn’t really catch on in the United States until World War I, in an effort to save on artificial lighting costs. The same thing happened during World War II.

After the war, states individually chose whether to observe daylight saving time and when they wanted to begin it during the year. As you can imagine, this just caused a lot of confusion, especially for travelers and those of us in the news business.

The Uniform Time Act of 1966 provided the basic framework for alternating between Daylight Saving Time and standard time, which we now observe in the United States. But Congress can’t seem to resist tinkering with it.

For example, in 1973 Daylight Saving Time was observed all year, instead of just the spring and summer. Again in 1986, Congress declared that DST would begin at 2 AM on the first Sunday in April and end at 2 AM on the last Sunday in October.

In 2007, Congress voted to switch the end of daylight saving time to the first Sunday in November to offer trick-or-treaters more daylight time to venture into the streets, even though most children wait until after dark to go out anyway.

While most states observe the spring forward / fall back switch in time, Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands and Arizona do not change the clock.

However, the Navajo Nation in Arizona does participate in daylight saving time and will roll the clock back Sunday. The Hopi Reservation, entirely surrounded by the Navajo Nation, does not observe daylight saving time, creating a “doughnut hole” in time in the middle of Arizona.

When’s the next time change? Fall back Sunday, November 2, 2014.

SOURCE

The President Moves us Forward

Tonight is the 28th of January – State of the Union –

We hope everyone had an amazing new year, and this year will be even better!

First 28th of the year – we are inspired by god and his wisdom – so as I try to stay positive as I break through the difficult times.

This State of our Union speech was on tonight given by the Prez. This is the 6th union speech given by President Obama. So, I gave it a go.

I really don’t know – but I do hope the President can delivery. I want to believe him. 5 years later – I just want to get us all moving on the same page. We balance each other.

Like 9/11 – America needs to be united before we can take on our Debt and world challenges. One thing he did say was climate change is a fact – and I do continue to feel that proved consecutive year after year, records in all.

The year of action. That’s what 2014 is all about for President Barack Obama, and it was the underlying theme of Tuesday night’s State of the Union address.

Click here to Keep reading!!

Felony DUI for Justin Bieber

Drunk Driving Isn't Cool
We have a responsibility to our community not to drive intoxicated.

Children, elderly, mothers and fathers are driving the streets every single day.

Do you know someone who was affected by a drunk driver?

This just happened yesterday at 4am Miami time. He retired right into DUI and resisting arrest. Check out the scope:

Justin Bieber was charged with drunken driving, resisting arrest and driving without a valid license after police saw the pop star street racing early Thursday morning, Miami Beach police said.

“What the f*** did I do? Why did you stop me?” Bieber asked the police officer who pulled him over just after 4 a.m., according to the arrest report.

Bieber, 19, was released from a Miami jail an hour after he made a brief appearance through a video link before a Miami judge, who set a “standard” $2,500 bond Thursday afternoon.

He strutted out of the jail dressed in black, with a baggy hoodie covering his head. His pants appeared to be baggy leather. Bieber briefly sat on top of a black Cadillac Escalade, where he waved to screaming fans, before he was chauffeured away.

Bieber was booked into a Miami jail after failing a sobriety test, Miami Beach Police Chief Raymond Martinez told reporters Thursday.

Bieber “made some statements that he had consumed some alcohol, and that he had been smoking marijuana and consumed some prescription medication,” Martinez said.

A Miami Beach officer saw Bieber driving a yellow Lamborghini in a race against a red Ferrari in a residential area of Miami Beach, Martinez said. The cars were speeding at about 55 to 60 mph in a 30 mph zone, he said.


The officer pulled Bieber’s car over, but the singer was “was not cooperating with the officer’s instructions,” Martinez said.

“At first, he was a little belligerent, using some choice words questioning why he was being stopped and why the officer was even questioning him,” he said.

He allegedly ignored a police officer’s request to keep his hands on the car while he did “a cursory patdown for weapons,” the report said.

“I ain’t got no f***ing weapons,” the arresting officer quoted Bieber as saying. “Why do you have to search me? What the f*** is this about?”

The arrest report describes Bieber as having a “flushed face, bloodshot eyes, and the odor of alcohol on his breath.”

We are shocked that this young man is making all these terrible decisions in life. Thank god nobody was hurt or killed – drunk driving is very serious and I doubt this was the first time Mr. Bieber participated.

We hope you give back to the community and fight drunk drivers like yourself, abandon this lifestyle Justin and hire some advisors. And maybe get some limo drivers?

Alcohol was involved

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 32,885 people died in traffic crashes in 2010 in the United States (latest figures available), including an estimated 10,228 people who died in drunk driving crashes, accounting for 31% of all traffic deaths that year.

Since NHTSA began recording alcohol-related statistics in 1982, drunk driving fatalities have decreased 52% from 21,113 in 1982. Since the inception of The Century Council and our national efforts to fight drunk driving, drunk driving fatalities have declined 35% from 15,827 in 1991. (Source: NHTSA/FARS, 2011)

SOURCE

Radiation from our Sun

This is the solar flair on the earth’s sun close up.

This labeled image taken by SDO's Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager shows the location of two active regions on the sun, labeled AR1944 and AR1943, which straddle a giant sunspot complex. A Jan. 7, 2014, X1.2-class flare emanated from an area closer to AR1

Natural phenomenon and radiation is fascinating to me – we know the moon controls the tides of the ocean and affects many things. Couldn’t a solar flare cause different things to happen to humans? Here is the news on it.

A massive solar flare erupted from the sun on Tuesday (Jan. 7), rising up from what appears to be one of the largest sunspot groups seen on the star’s surface in a decade, NASA officials say.

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured a video of the huge solar flare as it developed, showing it as an intense burst of radiation from a colossal sunspot region known as AR1944. The sunspot group — which is currently in the middle of the sun as viewed from Earth — is “one of the largest sunspots seen in the last 10 years,” NASA officials wrote in a statement. It is as wide as seven Earths, they added.

The 28 team will keep you included on all things going on with mother earth.

SOURCE

Doc Brown CES 2014

We just love all things Back to the Future!

I grew up in the 80’s

, and I kinda miss this kind of good sci adventure with Steven Spielberg style movie.

Hope you all had a great holiday in 2013. This year we have tons of exciting technology coming out of Las Vegas at CES. This website is built around my home in Las Vegas area however we couldn’t get tickets! Next year we will tho!

I would go visit Comdex every year until it closed. We went from 1996 till around 2001, those were the days!

Apparently Christopher Lloyd is at CES for Gibson Guitars, and is celebrating their 120th year birthday. That new Rocksmith game looks promising if I wanted to learn to play one.

Keep rocking Doc into this new year!


Christopher Lloyd posing for the crowd of fans at CES.

LAS VEGAS, U.S.— Even though it’s been almost 30 years since the first Back to the Future movie was screened in cinemas, there are obviously still many fans out there, judging by the huge turnout at the Gibson booth at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas today.Christopher Lloyd, who is more popularly known as Doc Brown in the film, made a guest appearance at CES as part of the guitar maker’s 120th anniversary.

Lloyd joins the host on stage.

Dressed in a white lab coat (as his character did in the movie), Lloyd seems to be in a jovial mood and sportingly posed for pictures and even tried on the Google Glass. He joined the host on stage talking about the various iconic guitars from Gibson over the years. He also revealed that he will be appearing in an upcoming episode of the Michael J. Fox Show TV series, where he will re-unite with his Back to the Future co-star onscreen. 

Holding one of the iconic guitars from Gibson.

The Delorean time machine which Lloyd arrived in was a replica of the futuristic model shown in Back to the Future II.

Fans of the movie should have no problems recognizing the flux capacitor.
(Credit: Reuben Lee/CNET)

Doc Brown (explaining the time circuit to Marty McFly): “This readout tells you where you are going, this one tells you where you are, this one tells you where you were.”
(Credit: Reuben Lee/CNET)

The Delorean replica comes complete with the Mr Fusion Home Energy Reactor, which is used in the movie to convert waste products to power the time machine.

 

Lloyd is seen here posing with the host just before he leaves the venue.
(All Picture Credit: Reuben Lee/CNET)

SOURCE    –   We also want to thank Reuben Lee at CNET for taking the great pics – thanks Reuben!

WTF is a Person Of Principle?

Wow this guy Ramsey McNabb is insane! This was interesting.

Usually, when someone is called a ‘person of principle’ it is meant as a compliment. For the most part, we take that phrase as applying to the ethical elite: those who lead highly moral lives, and never, or at least rarely, fail to follow their moral principles. A person of principle means someone who faithfully follows their principle or set of principles rather than abandoning them when convenient. If faced with a seemingly difficult decision in life, he or she will refer to his or her guiding set of principles and then merely deduce the correct action from it. If on rare occasions such principled people do not behave according to their principles, they would consider such actions to be moral mistakes on their part.

A Christian would certainly strive to be a person of principle. Such a person would live his or her life according to the moral guidelines set out in the Bible, especially for instance the Ten Commandments. Suppose Norbert, a Christian, really wants to get his son a wristwatch from the local department store, but cannot afford to pay for it. He is quite certain that he could steal the watch without being caught. To resolve his inner dispute, all he has to do is refer to his set of guiding principles, and he will recall that “Thou shalt not steal” applies. Norbert, being a man of principle, leaves the store disappointed, without the watch, but also without having violated his principle, and therefore without having acted immorally.

A committed utilitarian is also a person of principle. Suppose Amina is walking down the street, on her way to tutor a boy she knows so that he can pass his upcoming biology test. Suddenly she sees two children stumble into a crevasse left by last week’s earthquake. No one else is around, and it would probably take quite some time for her either to save the children herself, or call for help and wait for it to arrive. She is faced with a dilemma. She can go do her tutoring, and ignore the accident she just witnessed; or she can help the children and miss her tutoring commitment. Being a committed utilitarian, and therefore a person of principle, all she needs to do is consult her guiding principle: “Do whatever will bring about the greatest good for the greatest number.” That solves her problem, because saving the two trapped and wounded girls helps the people who are most in need, and it also helps the greater number of people.

A person who lives her life by Kant’s ethical theory would also be a person of principle. Suppose that Terra, a Kantian, finds a fifty-dollar bill on a football field, and she pockets it, because after looking carefully, she does not see anyone else around. Lucky for her, because she could sure use the money to buy her mom that ceramic pit bull terrier for Christmas. However, ten minutes later, Biff, the quarterback of the football team, comes over to the field and seems to be scouring the ground, as if he’s looking for something he lost. Terra quickly concludes that the money is probably his. Being a person of principle she consults Kant’s categorical imperative, which is her highest guiding principle: “Act only on that maxim which you can at the same time will to become a universal law.” She figures on that basis that anyone who finds money should be able to keep it if they don’t know to whom it belongs. But the case has changed, and she couldn’t possibly will that everyone should always keep the property of others just because they’ve briefly misplaced it. She returns the money to Biff, who promptly uses it to buy a ceramic football player for his father.

These are people of principle. They have beliefs and they are committed to living their lives according to those principles. They seem to be highly moral people who make excellent ethical choices. But watch where their principles take them…

Norbert the Christian is invited to go flying with his pilot friend Erica. They fly up north for about an hour, but then the engine gives out and Erica crash-lands the plane in a farmer’s field. Erica is trapped in the cockpit and begs for water. Norbert leaves her and runs to the nearby farmhouse. He knocks on the door but there is no answer. He notices a “NO TRESPASSING” sign. He also notices a hose attached to a tap on the side of the house. He could get water for Erica, but that would be stealing, since he has not been given permission by the owner. Norbert, being a person of principle, will not steal, no matter the case, so he fails to provide Erica with her much-needed water.

When our utilitarian, Amina, grows older, she becomes a doctor. A patient, Mr. Wiggles, comes to see her because he has sliced his finger badly. It’s only hanging on by a flap of skin. Mr. Wiggles would like Amina to repair his hand; but she has other ideas. She has four severely ill patients, who all need urgent transplants to survive their illnesses. The first needs a heart transplant; the second needs two new lungs; the third a bone marrow transplant; and the fourth needs a new liver. When she checks his medical files, Amina notices that Mr. Wiggles is a perfect match for all these patients. Amina sedates and slaughters him (against his will), and uses his organs to save the other patients. She manages to keep the entire procedure a secret from the public, and from everyone involved. She has brought about the greatest good for the greatest number of people. She has sacrificed one life, but saved four.

Our Kantian, Terra, sees a young girl run past frantically. The girl scurries underneath a nearby parked Honda Civic and hides. Moments later, a notorious escaped murderer comes onto the scene and inquires into the whereabouts of the girl. Terra thinks about Kant’s categorical imperative, and realizing that she could not universalize the maxim of her action if she were to lie, she decides to tell the truth, and thereafter the young girl is attacked and killed.

There is an exception to every rule, they say, and maybe they’re right, especially in ethics. Maybe being a person of principle isn’t such a good idea after all…

Dealing With The Exception

The exception is perhaps the greatest obstacle for any moral theory to deal with. You adopt a supposedly ideal moral system which should tell you what to do to act morally in any possible case: all you have to do is deduce the proper action from your principle or set of principles, then follow it. No problem. You’ll be doing the right thing, and acting without sin. But then you run into that odd, unexpected situation where following your rulebook doesn’t seem so neat and tidy. This new case is special, unique, and unanticipated by your ethical system. In fact, it just feels wrong to follow the rules here in this instance. Do you go with your rulebook, or your current intuition?

There are many who would step in and try to defend principled (rulebook style) ethics. They have three obvious defenses:

(1) Simply deny that apparent problems create exceptions.

(2) Hold the view that principles can be rewritten so that the apparent exceptions are no longer exceptions.

(3) Argue that each apparent exceptional case is really a case of conflicting principles, where two or more principles both apply, but one is overruled by another of greater priority.

The first defence holds that there are no exceptional cases. This means that when our current intuition clashes with the principle on which we base our moral system, we should follow our principle, no matter how wrong it might feel.

While this response avoids the problem of the exception, it pays a price that is far too high, often leading us to sacrifice the well-being of innocent people in service of a principle. This is highly counterintuitive and difficult to stomach. It also requires that we have one single overarching principle which defines our entire ethical system, since a plurality of principles would lead to situations where the principles conflict. But the notion that everything that matters morally can be summed up into one action-guiding principle is extremely questionable.

The second defence holds that when faced with an exceptional case, we should rewrite our principles so that the apparent exception is no longer an exception. So in Terra’s situation, where she must choose between lying and allowing an innocent person to be attacked, she might adjust her “do not lie” principle so that it becomes “do not lie unless you must do so to protect innocent people.” While this approach sounds perfectly reasonable, it completely undermines the authority of Terra’s moral principles. After all, if she can overrule and amend her principles whenever she sees fit, it is really Terra who is doing the moral work, and not her principles. Furthermore, as soon as Terra admits that her principles are open to adjustment, she has no assured principled method of determining in any new case whether it is time to follow her principle as it was, or whether it is time to rewrite it yet again.

The third approach would rank different principles in such a way that even though each principle matters, some matter more than others. So, for example, lying might always be a moral minus, but allowing an innocent person to be attacked could be a greater moral minus. Hence, lying, though itself wrong, is morally required in Terra’s case.

This might be the most plausible of the three defences of principles, but there are also drawbacks to taking this route. To know which principle wins out in cases where principles conflict, you would either have to rank all the principles on a hierarchy, or else leave it up to an individual to decide priority on a case-by-case basis. Ranking all moral principles would be a troublesome task, to say the least; but leaving it to be decided on a case-by-case basis seems to minimize the moral authority of principles and the guidance that they can provide, leaving a lot to individual judgement. Further, if there is a strict hierarchy, there will be a top deciding principle, which leads to the same problems as with the first defence.

Moral Particularism

The above three defenses all deserve substantial consideration – certainly more than can be devoted in this article – but in the end I believe that there is a fourth option, and that the fourth one is the best. It’s a theory which is steadily gaining momentum and strength in philosophical circles, even though it flies in the face of much of the history of moral philosophy.

Moral philosophy for the most part has historically been an attempt to find the right principles by which we should live our lives. Whether it is a set of divinely inspired commandments, Mill’s principle of utility, Kant’s categorical imperative, or some other principle(s), determining the proper course of action in any given situation has been thought to require little more than deducing from the right set of universal principles, and moral philosophy has, for the most part, been a search for that perfect set of principles. But I believe that moral judgement is not a matter of applying some overarching universal moral principles. In my view, it is quite the opposite. I propose instead that the moral knowledge we have is founded on particular cases, and that the principles we have are mere generalizations from those cases. Thus, our fourth option when faced with exceptional moral cases is: Allow our particular moral judgements to simply override our principles, thereby invalidating those principles.

This approach lands me among those who propose a theory known as moral particularism. The moral particularist holds that the traditional approach to ethical theory is not the best. Rather than deducing the right action from some principle or set of principles, the particularist holds that moral judgement can get along just fine without any dependence on principles.

Imagine that you see a young girl crash her bicycle. She is knocked unconscious, and lying on a set of railway tracks only a dozen steps or so from you. In the distance, you see a train approaching, although it’s still thirty seconds from reaching the girl. What goes through your mind? Do you do a quick mental survey of your moral principles and attempt to apply them to the situation so that you can deduce what the right thing to do might be? Do you compare your two options – saving her and watching her die – and then apply the categorical imperative or the principle of utility to see which action your principle recommends? Or does it occur to you immediately that you should help her, without any application of principles? The moral particularist thinks that you do not need to apply a moral principle to conclude that you should help her. For the particularist, moral knowledge starts in clear-cut cases like this. If you know anything at all with regard to morality, you certainly know you ought to help the girl. You know you should help her even if you do not know any greater universal principles like the categorical imperative or the principle of utility.

W.H. Gass makes a similar point about clear cases: “When we try to explain why they are instances of good or bad, of right or wrong, we sound comic, as anyone does who gives elaborate reasons for the obvious, especially when these reasons are so shamefaced before reality, so miserably beside the point.” (W.H. Gass, ‘The Case of the Obliging Stranger’, The Philosophical Review, Vol. 66, No.2, 1957, p.196.) If the particularist is pressed to explain why you should help the young girl on the railway tracks, then rather than appealing to some overarching impersonal principle, the particularist will reply with particular reasons, for example: “The girl will die if you do nothing,” or “Because she’s about to get crushed,” or “Her family will be devastated,” or “Wouldn’t you want to be saved if you were in her shoes?”

So the particularist has a different interpretation of the relationship between particular cases and moral principles. Exceptional cases do not trouble particularists, since principles are mere generalizations from cases anyway. For the particularists, principles are, at best, helpful moral crutches. We can fall back on them when we are unable to properly examine the details of a specific case, or when our judgement is impaired or untrustworthy, or when we do not have enough information to fully understand what makes a particular case unique. But it should be made clear that for particularists, moral principles are tools that exist only to serve and help us, and they should be ignored or modified when they don’t. On the contrary, for universalists (believers in universal principles), our moral competence depends on how well we serve universal principles. Yet there is something strange about the notion that morality is ultimately a matter of applying impersonal moral principles to particular cases – morality becomes a matter of calculation rather than care. M.U. Walker makes a similar point: “Even as the theories tell us how to live they defeat or defy motives of attachment to particular people that give us reasons to live or allow us to live well.” (M.U. Walker, Moral Understandings: A Feminist Study in Ethics, Routledge, 1998, pp.30-31.)

If you are not yet convinced, imagine that someone asks you to justify the commonly-accepted principle that murder is wrong. How would you do it? If you are inclined to respond by giving examples of how terrible murders can be, then you are agreeing with the particularists, since you would be using particular cases to justify principles, and thereby treating principles as derivative. Yet justifying moral principles without appealing to specific cases seems almost impossible. As R.W. Krutzen writes, “One could not know ‘the deliberate, intentional killing of innocent persons is wrong’ if one did not know ‘the deliberate, intentional killing of this innocent person is wrong’.” (R.W. Krutzen, ‘In Defence of Common Moral Sense’ Dialogue 38, 1999, p.259.)

Other Arguments For Particularism

Jonathan Dancy, author of Ethics Without Principles, is most likely the leading proponent of moral particularism. He argues for what he calls reasons holism, which holds that a certain factor can constitute a reason in favour of doing an action in one situation, while constituting a reason against doing that same action in another situation. For example, the fact that “a lot of people will be there” is sometimes a good reason to avoid a place; but it is also sometimes a good reason to go to that place. If you want peace and quiet, it will be a reason against, but if you want to be involved in the festivities, it will be a reason for. Dancy claims that this sort of holism is generally accepted outside of the realm of morality, but is not at all popular in the realm of morality, where many philosophers assume that a moral factor must make the same sort of difference wherever it occurs. Dancy challenges that assumption, and argues that there is no clear distinction between moral reasons and other reasons. Reasons holism works just as well in morality, he thinks. For example, the fact that an action will cause inconvenience to someone is usually a reason not to do it. It would be wrong, for example, to trip up an elderly man who is taking his Sunday stroll to the neighbourhood church. However, if a child-molesting kidnapper is running down the street with a child in his arms, the tripping-up action’s status as inconvenience-causing is a reason in favour of doing it! According to Dancy, if reasons do not function the same way in all cases, then universal moral principles cannot be the foundation of moral thought.

Other particularists rely on Wittgenstein to strengthen their position. Following Wittgenstein’s concept of family resemblances, they argue that it is possible to acquire a concept through experience even if there is no ‘essence’ to the concept, or any clear definition of the concept. Wittgenstein argues, for example, that there is no essential definition available for the concept of games. Some games involve running, but not all games. Most games involve competition, but not all do, because many games are played individually. Also, there are some things that involve running and competition that are not games. So it is thought by Wittgenstein that games share similarities, as members of families do, but that there is no one key ingredient which defines the essence of games. Nevertheless, we regularly use the concept and language of ‘games’, and we do so with little difficulty. Some moral particularists want to say that moral concepts, like right and wrong, are similar to such concepts, in the sense that they have no single essence, but they can be used and understood anyway.

Conclusion

There is certainly much more to be said about moral particularism, both for it and against it, and this discussion has barely scratched the surface. I don’t expect that every reader will immediately agree that moral principles are unnecessary. That would be unrealistic, since moral philosophy itself is (still) often seen as the search for the right set of universal principles. I do, however, hope I have cast doubt on the universalist position, and have offered particularism as a theoretical competitor. We should at least not just assume that moral thought is a top-down affair, in which proper moral action is deduced from higher moral principles. We should at least acknowledge and consider the possibility that it might be the other way around – that moral thought is a bottom-up affair, in which the building blocks of moral knowledge are the clear particular moral cases, and that moral principles are inductive derivations from those cases. There are many important ongoing battles which characterize what philosophy is all about, for example empiricism vs. rationalism, freedom vs. determinism, and Cartesian dualism vs. eliminative materialism. I suggest that the moral particularism vs. moral universalism debate should take its rightful place as one of philosophy’s greatest battles.

SOURCE

Vitamin Study posted by American College of Physicians

So before you check out this info – let me just say the physicians are losing money – stop taking vitamins so they can give you more medication that kills hundreds of thousands of people each year.

Vitamins don’t kill people – they might not be that effective – but Dr. OZ swears by them and he is one of the best Doctors of our time. A genius. Check out his advice for vitamins!

Here is the post from the study.

Vitamin and Mineral Supplements in the Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease and Cancer: An Updated Systematic Evidence Review for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force FREE

This article was published online first at www.annals.org on 12 November 2013.

Background: Vitamin and mineral supplements are commonly used to prevent chronic diseases.

Purpose: To systematically review evidence for the benefit and harms of vitamin and mineral supplements in community-dwelling, nutrient-sufficient adults for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer.

Data Sources: MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects were searched from January 2005 to 29 January 2013, with manual searches of reference lists and gray literature.

Study Selection: Two investigators independently selected and reviewed fair- and good-quality trials for benefit and fair- and good-quality trials and observational studies for harms.

Data Extraction: Dual quality assessments and data abstraction.

Data Synthesis: Two large trials (n = 27 658) reported lower cancer incidence in men taking a multivitamin for more than 10 years (pooled unadjusted relative risk, 0.93 [95% CI, 0.87 to 0.99]). The study that included women showed no effect in that group. High-quality studies (k = 24; n = 324 653) of single and paired nutrients (such as vitamins A, C, or D; folic acid; selenium; or calcium) were scant and heterogeneous and showed no clear evidence of benefit or harm. Neither vitamin E nor β-carotene prevented CVD or cancer, and β-carotene increased lung cancer risk in smokers.

Limitations: The analysis included only primary prevention studies in adults without known nutritional deficiencies. Studies were conducted in older individuals and included various supplements and doses under the set upper tolerable limits. Duration of most studies was less than 10 years.

Conclusion: Limited evidence supports any benefit from vitamin and mineral supplementation for the prevention of cancer or CVD. Two trials found a small, borderline-significant benefit from multivitamin supplements on cancer in men only and no effect on CVD.

Primary Funding Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.


Vitamins and minerals are commonly used as dietary supplements to promote health and prevent chronic diseases (1). In the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III (1988–1994), nearly half of the U.S. population reported using a dietary supplement. A “multivitamin” was the most frequently used supplement (2). Americans spend an estimated $11.8 billion each year on vitamin and mineral supplements (3).

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer are the leading causes of illness and death in the United States (4). Cancer and CVD have several shared risk factors, including inflammation, oxidative stress, and methionine metabolism. The rationale for using these supplements is supported by many in vitro and animal studies showing that they protect against these damaging cellular mechanisms.

In 2003, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) concluded that there was insufficient evidence to recommend for or against the use of vitamins A, C, and E; multivitamins with folic acid; or antioxidant combinations for the prevention of CVD or cancer (5). The USPSTF recommended against the use of β-carotene supplements, either alone or in combination, because they found good-quality evidence that they not only carried no benefit but in fact caused harm among adults at an increased risk for lung cancer. To help the USPSTF update its recommendation, we identified and reviewed additional evidence on the benefits and harms of vitamin and mineral supplementation to prevent CVD and cancer in the general adult population.

Appendix Table 2. Summary of Evidence of Included Studies 

Image not available.

We found consistent null results for CVD incidence and cancer incidence across 6 trials of β-carotene (Figures 1 and 3) (2429). We found a probable increase in lung cancer incidence in high-risk subgroups (smokers and asbestos workers). We found 5 trials for vitamin E supplementation that showed no effec

Six trials evaluated the effects of vitamin D and calcium supplementation on CVD and cancer incidence when used alone or in combination. Four of these trials provided data on calcium supplementation without vitamin D (40, 43, 4546) and reported no statistically significant effect on CVD or cancer incidence or on all-cause mortality (Figures 1, 2, and 3). Although the overall cancer rate reported for calcium supplementation was lower than the rate in the placebo group in 2 trials (43, 46), the opposite was observed in another trial (40); neither difference was statistically significant (Figure 3). Vitamin D plus calcium supplementation was specifically studied in 2 trials (4344), 1 of which examined CVD incidence and found no effect (4

4). Both of these trials reported cancer outcomes, and while the smaller trial found a statistically significant decrease in overall cancer incidence over 4 years (43), the larger trial did not (44). The pooled unadjusted relative risk was 0.98 (CI, 0.91 to 1.04). Another trial examined vitamin D and calcium supplementation under a 2 × 2 factorial design and also found no main effect for either supplement (40).

We found little consistent evidence of harm across studies. Although vitamin A use in 1 trial was associated with increased risk for lung cancer, it was combined with β-carotene (29). Two cohort studies also implicated vitamin A use for increased risk for hip fracture (23, 38), although the total fracture rate was not higher in the study that reported this outcome (38). One study assessed folic acid supplementation in patients with prior colorectal adenomas and found that folic acid supplementation was associated with an increase in prostate cancer incidence.

In conclusion, we found no evidence of an effect of nutritional doses of vitamins or minerals on CVD, cancer, or mortality in healthy individuals without known nutritional deficiencies for most supplements we examined. In most cases data are insufficient to draw any conclusion, although for vitamin E and β-carotene a lack of benefit is consistent across several trials. We identified 2 multivitamin trials that both found lower overall cancer incidence in men (19, 21). Both trials were methodologically sound, but the lack of an effect for women (albeit in 1 trial), the borderline significance in men in both trials, and the lack of any effect on CVD in either study makes it difficult to conclude that multivitamin supplementation is beneficial.

 

NASA Petition!

_by_ANTIFAN_REAL

A young boy who dreams of being an astronaut is on his first mission; save NASA.

The six-year-old started an online petition on the White House website.

“The whole reason I want to be an astronaut (is) so I can discover, like, new worlds,” Connor Johnson said.

NASA has given thousands of kids fascinated by space like Connor, something to aspire to.

When Johnson learned Congress is cutting funding to NASA, he wanted to do something. His allowance, about $10.41 was not quite enough.

So he started a petition, and is asking for support. If his petition gets 100,000 signatures, it will get a response from the White House.

His petition, “Increase NASA funding”    – wh.gov/lkKc0

(SOURCE)

Experience The Number 28