•  THE NEWEST AIR TRAVEL GIMMICK IS ‘SMART’ LUGGAGE. (1) Modobag doubles as an electric sit-down scooter, rideable along the corridors to terminal gates, after raising retractable handlebars with a thumb-tab to operate motor & brakes; battery & transmission take up a good portion of packing space and it weighs 20 pounds (half the allowance for carry-on bags) but it does fit overhead – youtube.com/watch?v=HazWCa3huMY ; (2) Travelmate is another: an “autonomous suitcase that follows you around like an unflaggingly faithful gundog” – www.youtube.com/watch?v=oT5mhcBba08 [ECONOMIST 1843 – Aug/Sep 18]
  •  AS IF THE AMERICAN POLITICAL DIVIDE WASN’T GREAT ENOUGH, now ‘Socialism’ is being touted as a realistic societal alternative. Even if enough crazies did vote to reverse our country’s culture, “Americans lack the unity of purpose that socialism requires – too big, too fractious, with too few common values to carry off any such thing without massive strife, coercion, and oppression…   A free society, in which private organizations and the free market carry out the needed functions, allows for a sort of pluralism. But socialism levels everything, as there becomes only one acceptable way of doing or thinking about things, and those who dissent must be punished until they finally submit.” The discussion at least gives airwave Talking Heads something else to jabber about in their daily onslaught of trivia.   [WASHINGTON EXAMINER.COM]
  •  TIPS FOR GETTING BACK TO SLEEP AFTER NATURE’S URGE WAKEUP: (1) Do not even glance at the time, since attention “adds stress in release of fight-flight hormones”;  (2) Do not touch your smartphone, since the “blue light it emits can keep you up – especially if the screen is close to your eyes”;  (3) If still awake after 20 minutes, take a break from trying with anything that avoids thinking about sleep, like light reading or stretching;  (4) Try “deep circular breathing” while focusing on sights, smells & sounds of a relaxing place or activity;  (5) When all else fails, get a start on the day’s work which sometimes may put you right back to sleep.  [THE WEEK – Aug 17, 18]
  •  EXPECT A SURGE IN ONLINE ‘PREDICTION’ MARKETS, FUNDED BY CROWDSOURCING & CRYPTO-CURRENCY. Decentralized services utilizing blockchain technology have fostered gambling in Predictions about political outcomes, product success, company bankruptcies, even death dates of celebrities. Notwithstanding issues of illegal gambling or unlicensed commodity trading, “regulators have allowed such services to operate if they are structured as non-profit ‘research’ initiatives (to gain insight into the future by giving those who hold useful information an incentive to reveal it), with limited bet sizes and number of traders.” The latest, Augur, is structured with a “protocol of technical rules which allow punters to set up their own markets… with processes to confirm the outcome of a bet involving ‘reporters’ in charge of closing any market they deem illegal or unethical, and fact-checking for a fee which is forfeit if other reporters overturn a decision.”  [ECONOMIST – Aug 11, 18]
  • “FAKE ‘INFLUENCERS’ CAN ATTRACT JUST AS MUCH ATTENTION AS THE REAL ONES (whatever ‘real’ means)… Technology and social media have spawned a digital demimonde of computer-generated ‘stars,’ ranging from fake musicians and models, to company mascots who appear as holograms.” Japan is leading the wave in developing digital celebrities who are now “selling out concerts, starring in commercials, and one has amassed over a million Instagram followers… Another has partnered with Prada to promote causes like ‘Black Lives Matter,’ while another is a fashion model built with 3D software to inspire more diversity in the fashion industry.” Welcome the world’s newest generation of celebrities.  [WIRED.COM – July 29, 18]
  • HACKERS CAN NOW USE FACEBOOK PICTURES, AS WELL AS PROFILES, TO GATHER INTEL for phishing or malware attacks. An open-source facial recognition tool, released as Social Mapper, can now track a person, by photo, across up to eight social media platforms and “create a report on the target including links to all profiles, photos and any emails associated with their accounts.”  [FUTURISM – Aug 9, 18]
  • AND THE LATEST TRAVEL WARNING IS ABOUT AIR POLLUTION – so bad in capital cities that in Europe a few days breathing is “equivalent to smoking up to four cigarettes; in Beijing, passive smoke over a weekend is the toxic equivalent of up to sixteen cigarettes.” The recent study by European Transport & Environment Ass’n is causing new concern for native cyclists and joggers as well as tourists.  [LBN EXAMINER – Aug 15, 18]
  •  THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK:  “Technological progress is like an ax in the hands of a pathological criminal.” – Albert Einstein

        The World has gone bananas! Now it’s about PLASTIC: banning straws on one side, versus 3D printing guns on the other.  And then there’s ANTIFA – the looney-leftist perception of Good Guys!  Last week, “with a few dozen white supremacists surrounded by a phalanx of cops and unable to instigate anything on one side, and the morally pure Antifa (misnomer of the century for ‘anti-fascist’) supporters swarming the streets on the other, Charlottesville and D.C. should have been like a field of puppies.  Instead, masked, black-clad mobsters violently attacked the police, journalists and random passersby. They destroyed reporters’ camera gear, hurled bottles and fireworks at cops and journalists, smashed cars and screamed obscenities like:  FUK THE PIGS!, NO BORDER! NO WALL! NO USA AT ALL!… COPS AND KLAN GO HAND IN HAND! …Celebrating mass murder on a scale that dwarfs the (real) Nazis, the crowds waved hammer-and-sickle flags and carried premade signs, such as: THIS SYSTEM MUST BE OVERTHROWN!… AMERICA WAS NEVER GREAT!” True Americans for sure.  More at: http://humanevents.com/2018/08/15/eyes-on-the-prize-fighters/?utm_source=coulterdaily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nl