More tourists die taking selfies than are killed by sharks

Dagny's Desk

I came across this strange statistic, I’m not sure why it is resonating with me. Anyway, it seems more tourists die taking selfies than are killed by shark attacks.

Two travelers reportedly died in different instances in Peru recently while standing too close to the cliff ledge when posing for a photo. Last week, a 51-year-old man died when losing his balance at the edge of a cliff at Machu Picchu, in an area closed off to the public. He fell 130 feet. Prior to that, a South Korean tourist fell in northern Peru while taking a selfie at the Gocta waterfall, one of the tallest waterfalls in the world. He plunged more than 1,600 feet.

There is now an entire Wikipedia page devoted to selfie-related injuries and deaths. The latter ranging from a 21-year-old Spanish man who was electrocuted in March 2014 after climbing on top of a train…

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Ireland’s Big Payday

Barataria - The work of Erik Hare

In a victory for corporate taxes everywhere, Apple has been ordered to pay as much as €13 billion ($14.7 billion) in back taxes to Ireland. Or, perhaps, in a loss for workers everywhere, a reluctant Ireland is forced to go back on its agreement with Apple to base its European operations there in exchange for much needed tax breaks. Or, perhaps, corporate tax harmonization has been dealt a terrible setback as the European Union (EU) has claimed their turf in what should be hammered out through an international agreement.

What we do know for sure is the massive penalty, the largest ever imposed, is a big blow to Apple, amounting to …. around 7% of their massive $200 billion cash reserves. Unless, of course,  the Republic of Ireland can justify a smaller bill, which they are very much keen to do. So nevermind.

Like corporate taxes themselves, today’s…

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Polar Predator

L.T. Garvin

He rises from the ice

like a formidable foe

of the frozen tundra

animal pure and craftily cunning

on the hunt

ice bound and stealthy.

He stalks the likes of man

assigning him an order

way down from seals and such

human flesh is weak

not a delicacy.

it’s all about the hunt, there.

He dives magnificently,

driven by hunger

his strength is massive

his white teeth brilliant

against pulsing red blood…

the little animals

round him tread lightly

and on the oil rig

rising in the icy distance

men survey the horizon

with a cautious eye…

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Racists Anonymous

Barataria - The work of Erik Hare

Not many years ago, it was fashionable to say that racism was dead. “We live in a post-racial society now,” many people said, “And we don’t have to worry about that any longer.” Many white people, that is, said that. Non-whites knew perfectly well that racism has always been the disease at the core of our nation. The hurtful words were confined to private conversations and public dog-whistles of code didn’t fool anyone kept down and apart by racism.

With the rising voices of racism in the last year no one says that anymore. “At least,” in the words of Mike Yard, “We know who the racists are now.” The First Amendment does work. But for all the pain this open racism causes, are we any closer to getting past it? Only if openly acknowledging our racism is the first step towards healing.

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My Diary: Going Out Holding Hands With Myself

Gerald's Rather Strange Diary

An exceptionally early morning and I felt like a sperm whale surfacing from a very deep dive.‭ ‬June was invisible‭ (‬although I imagined her wearing a striped deckchair‭) ‬and we spoke like a packet of sherbert sweets.‭ ‬I then found myself on a hillside touching a shadow as it swept down from a figure opening a crisp packet and watching little people jumping out‭ ‬-‭ ‬I celebrated their freedom and then caught the bus‭ (‬the driver never looked at my ticket but appeared to count my fingers and divide by an unknown number‭ ‬-‭ ‬I resolved to count my toes on the way home and then multiply by another‭)‬.‭ ‬After speaking in holiday words to the gentle giant I followed a path to the bottom of his garden,‭ ‬holding my hands aloft for several minutes before going back to have hard work words and a drink.

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The Myth of Not Being Enough

Rebekka Lien

You are enough, for God. But usually not for humans. If you were purely living in grace, you are enough. Now, when you’re a kid, you get to play, and you’re allowed to be goofy. As you grow up, you gradually notice that you are rewarded for “being good” to your parents. You know, being obedient. Then, you are applauded for accomplishing things like getting A’s, being president of some volunteer organization or club at school, writing a good essay for your college, getting into a good college, dating the right kind of person that your friends approve of, looking nice, losing weight, the list seems to go on.

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That’s me just playing, because I wanted to, because I was curious, because I was interested, not because I was being forced to.

As you get older, you are applauded for getting the right kind of job with the right salary…

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Open Letter To Colin Kaepernick

Life In The Gym

Dear Colin,

Thank you for sharing your opinion of America with me and the rest of your countrymen. 

You decided not to stand during the National Anthem, because as you said, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color.”

Since you were kind enough to present your opinion to me, I will return the favor.

Colin, your statements make it crystal clear that you do not like America.  However, America is not just a land mass, it’s a culture comprised of people; individuals like me, the people who raised you, your friends, your teammates, the coaches and teachers you had growing up who encouraged you and cheered you on, the policemen who protect you at football venues, your adult fans, countless little kids who buy your jerseys and eagerly turn on the TV to…

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