MONKS HAVING BRUNCH!
Tomorrow, we begin a brand, spanking new church year. This calls for champagne! For mimosas! For blintzes! For cinnamon rolls! For brie! That’s right — this calls for monks to come together and have BRUNCH! Welcome to The Saturday Monks Brunch at Internet Monk!
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THIS GUY COULDN’T WAIT FOR BRUNCH
WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) – A South Carolina man out for a midnight snack took matters into his own hands at Waffle House.
Alex Bowen tells WIS-TV he couldn’t sleep, was hungry and slightly drunk, when he went to the restaurant early Thursday. But when he arrived, there were no other customers in sight – and no employee, either.
After waiting about 10 minutes for someone to show up, Bowen went outside to look around. When he still couldn’t find anyone to take – or make – his order, he got on the grill himself.
“Walked back in and waited a few more minutes and then it was go time,” Bowen laughed.
He documented the adventure on his Facebook page, after he found the lone employee on duty asleep at a table and snapped a picture.
From there, Bowen took selfies of himself behind the restaurant’s counter, frying bacon and stacking pickles on a slice of bread for what he said was a “double Texas bacon cheesesteak melt with extra pickles.”
Not one to be a rude guest, Bowen said when he was done, he “cleaned the grill, collected my ill-gotten sandwich and rolled on out.”
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DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME…PLEASE!
The city of Cohoes, NY, is not celebrating today. John Gomes of Cohoes was trying to bend metal in an attempt to imitate the History Channel television series “Forged in Fire” when he started a barrel fire in his backyard that quickly spread. As a result, three city blocks were engulfed in smoke and flames.
Mayor Shawn Morse said, “We often tell people we don’t allow open burns in the city and they often say, ‘What’s the worst that could happen?’ Well, this open burn just caused millions of dollars of damage and destroyed half our downtown.”
There is a reason people on TV say, “Don’t try this at home.”
Oh, and also, by the way, when getting your Christmas tree, don’t take it home like this Massachusetts family tried to do:
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BOMBS IN OUR BACKYARDS?
For the past year, ProPublica has been documenting the state of toxic pollution left behind by the military across the U.S. As part of this investigation, we acquired a dataset of all facilities that the Department of Defense considers contaminated. Today we used the data to publish an interactive news application called Bombs in Your Backyard. Here’s how you can use it to find hazardous sites near you — and what, if anything, is being done to remedy the pollution.
The data, which has never been released before, comes from the Defense Environmental Restoration Program, which the DOD administers to measure and document cleanup efforts at current and former military locations.
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AND WE DIDN’T KNOW MATT LAUER WAS A JERK?
The only evidence we needed was this cringe-worthy interview with Sandra Bullock…
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SAY IT AIN’T SO!
Closer to home — to my home, at least — are the allegations that Garrison Keillor committed “inappropriate behavior,” leading to Minnesota Public Radio washing their hands of the radio icon.
At Slate, Ruth Graham gives the details:
On Wednesday, Minnesota Public Radio announced it was severing all ties to Garrison Keillor, citing allegations of “inappropriate behavior” toward a co-worker when he was producing the show. The station will stop distributing old episodes of “A Prairie Home Companion” featuring Keillor, who retired from hosting duties a year ago. And it will rename his show, which is now fronted by bluegrass musician Chris Thile. American Public Media, MPR’s parent organization, will end distribution and broadcast of “The Writer’s Almanac,” a short daily spot featuring poetry and literary tidbits. Within a day, Keillor’s decades-long radio career has been effectively scrubbed from the public square.
The details of what prompted the dramatic announcement remain murky, and Keillor’s own statements have only added to the confusion. “I put my hand on a woman’s bare back,” he told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “I meant to pat her back after she told me about her unhappiness and her shirt was open and my hand went up it about six inches. She recoiled. I apologized. I sent her an email of apology later and she replied that she had forgiven me and not to think about it. We were friends. We continued to be friendly right up until her lawyer called.” In a later statement, Keillor referred to “the two employees who made the allegations.” More information is forthcoming, presumably.
Prairie Home Companion has been part of my life since the late 1970s and The Writer’s Almanac is a daily dose of poetic respite in a world of banal, noisy prose. You can have a thousand Matt Lauers, but I for one am going to struggle not hearing Garrison’s voice each day.
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HEY, HEY, HEY!
Jay Leno used to have a recurring bit when he asked the question, “Just how fat are we getting here in America?” followed by some new indication of our national penchant for gluttony and bad taste in food. Well, here’s a study from Harvard that puts out some alarming numbers in answer to Leno’s query.
The U.S.’s obesity problem is set to get much worse, according to new Harvard research that simulates future obesity rates for those Americans who are currently children.
While a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggested that almost 40% of American adults are currently obese, the new research predicts that over 57% of today’s children will be obese by the time they reach the age of 35.
…The new research took data from five earlier studies about actual American children and adults’ height and weight, and simulated growth trajectories in order to project where today’s kids were likely to end up by the age of 35.
The results showed that 57.3% of today’s kids, up to the age of 19, will be obese by the age of 35. Of those, around half will become (or already be) obese during childhood, and half will become obese later on.
Maybe we’ll cut back on the brunch a bit, huh?
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A BLOW TO CHARITABLE DEDUCTIONS?
Some have raised an alarm that the GOP tax reform bill will have a serious negative impact on charitable giving in the U.S. Here is a statement urging Congress not to pass the tax bill from three leading organizations representing foundations and charitable nonprofits:
The charitable nonprofit and foundation communities stand united in opposition to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and, in the strongest possible terms, urge a “NO” vote on the bill. The current legislation damages the civic infrastructure upon which our communities depend, and hurts the people that we serve.
We collectively represent tens of thousands of charitable and philanthropic organizations that employ millions of individuals in every state, engage tens of millions of additional individuals who serve as board members and other volunteers, and touch the lives of virtually every American every day. For 100 years, federal tax policy has incentivized this giving spirit and empowered this crucial work. Our overriding concern, and that of our member organizations, is the impact of both versions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on the people and communities we serve. On the basis of securing a sound future, maintaining our ability to serve as dedicated problem solvers in our communities, and the ability of the sector to secure resources to perform necessary work, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is fatally flawed.
The goal of simplifying the tax code and making it easier for Americans to file their taxes is admirable, but the collateral damage this simplification would cause is too great a cost. According to Republican estimates, nearly doubling the standard deduction would result in only five percent of taxpayers itemizing their tax deductions — placing the charitable deduction out of the reach for 95 percent of taxpayers. As a result, experts calculate that the absence of this powerful incentive for such a vast majority of taxpayers would reduce giving by $13 – $20 billion every year. It is regrettable that neither chamber has recognized the simple solution to this issue: a universal charitable deduction that would extend an incentive to give to all taxpayers, not just the very few who would itemize.
A decrease in giving of this scale would force charitable nonprofits to make significant cuts to their operations—meaning that millions of people will no longer have access to the services that nonprofits are currently able to offer. Economists also estimate a loss of 220,000 to 264,000 jobs in the nonprofit sector as a result of the cuts that will be necessary for many charities to keep their doors open. A bill that is designed to create jobs shouldn’t be taking away the jobs of almost a quarter of a million Americans who are trying to help others.
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WISHING YOU A BLESSED, HEALTHY ADVENT
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MUSIC FOR ADVENT/CHRISTMAS I
On Facebook, John Rutter is hosting a 2017 Advent Calendar, with a wonderful choral song of the season each day. Here is the first carol, from Friday, December 1: the Ralph Vaughn Williams arrangement of “This Is the Truth Sent From Above.” Check it out each day for another selection designed to prepare your heart for Christ’s coming.