Brilliant laundry detergent ad urges men to do more housework

This ad from India for laundry detergent movingly shows how women deal with the “second shift” — working all day and coming home to even more household chores. And it shows how we could break the (laundry pun intended) cycle:

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Click through to the video and the article

The ad is going viral after Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg shared it on her profile, calling it “one of the most powerful videos I have ever seen.”

In the two-minute ad, a father visits his grown daughter and her family and watches her — after a day at work — juggle work calls and dinner preparations and her son’s stained shirt.

Meanwhile, her husband watches TV. “I am so proud. And I am so sorry,” her father says in voiceover. “Sorry that you have to do all this alone. Sorry that I never stopped you while you were playing house. I never told you it’s not your job alone, but your husband’s too. But how could I say it when I never helped your mom either?”

We later learn that the voiceover is a letter, and her father closes by promising to do better, starting with doing his own laundry from his trip to visit his daughter…

Own up, dudes!

Obama to expand data-sharing from NSA snooping

The Obama administration is on the verge of permitting the National Security Agency to share more of the private communications it intercepts with other American intelligence agencies without first applying any privacy protections to them…

The change would relax longstanding restrictions on access to the contents of the phone calls and email the security agency vacuums up around the world, including bulk collection of satellite transmissions, communications between foreigners as they cross network switches in the United States, and messages acquired overseas or provided by allies.

The idea is to let more experts across American intelligence gain direct access to unprocessed information, increasing the chances that they will recognize any possible nuggets of value. That also means more officials will be looking at private messages — not only foreigners’ phone calls and emails that have not yet had irrelevant personal information screened out, but also communications to, from, or about Americans that the N.S.A.’s foreign intelligence programs swept in incidentally.

Civil liberties advocates criticized the change, arguing that it will weaken privacy protections. They said the government should disclose how much American content the N.S.A. collects incidentally — which agency officials have said is hard to measure — and let the public debate what the rules should be for handling that information.

And we know how much the Obama administration – and its predecessors – really care about privacy rights of Americans. Don’t we? Just ask your friendly neighborhood FBI agent.

Lindsey Graham explains years of opportunist politics — “My party has gone batshit crazy”

While Republican presidential candidates continued scream-debating in Houston last night, Sen. Lindsey Graham took a shot at his former challengers with a series of insults that capture the insanity that is the remaining GOP presidential field.

The South Carolina senator, who was speaking at the Washington Press Club Foundation Dinner, nailed it with the following jabs:

“My party has gone batshit crazy.”

“Ben Carson is the nice guy in the race, and he tried to kill his cousin.”

“If you kill Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial was in the Senate, nobody could convict you.”

Some of us realize that the current state of affairs in the Republican Party is simply the logical result of years of populist opportunism, racism, and appeals to reactionary fear. It starts with Nixon’s so-called Southern Strategy and continues through the Patriot Act and brings us to Trump and Cruz.

A billion high myopes in the world by 2050

Half the world’s population will be short-sighted – myopic – by 2050, with up to one-fifth of them – one billion – at a significantly increased risk of blindness if current trends continue, says a study published in the journal Ophthalmology.

The number with vision loss from high myopia is expected to increase seven-fold from 2000 to 2050, with myopia to become a leading cause of permanent blindness worldwide.

The rapid increase in the prevalence of myopia globally is attributed to, “environmental factors, principally lifestyle changes resulting from a combination of decreased time outdoors and increased near work activities, among other factors,” say the authors from Brien Holden Vision Institute…

The findings point to a major public health problem, with the authors suggesting that planning for comprehensive eye care services are needed to manage the rapid increase in high myopes (a five-fold increase from 2000), along with the development of treatments to control the progression of myopia and prevent people from becoming highly myopic.

“We also need to ensure our children receive a regular eye examination from an optometrist or ophthalmologist, preferably each year, so that preventative strategies can be employed if they are at risk,” said co-author Professor Kovin Naidoo…“These strategies may include increased time outdoors and reduced time spent on near based activities including electronic devices that require constant focussing up close…”

Pay attention, folks. I think most geeks will get it. We tend to research every bloody thing we do out of force of habit. But, everyone else moving into the digital age needs to become self-conscious about this aspect of their health.

Pic of the day

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Click to enlargeLondon Photo

Steam trains are special. Especially if you’re old enough to remember them as the only choice.

The Flying Scotsman was the first train to clock an official 100mph. Bought over a decade ago and restored to glory, it just set forth on a London-to-York run. Gooners will recognize that chunk of North London modern architecture in the background.