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John F. Kennedy Centennial May 29 2017: 100th Anniversary of JFK's Birth


John F. Kennedy (left) with his older brother Joseph, C. 1919. (John F. Kennedy Library Foundation)


The Kennedy Family in Hyannis Port., 1946. From left, John F. Kennedy, Jean Kennedy, Rose Kennedy, Joseph P. Kennedy Sr., Patricia Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Eunice Kennedy, and, in foreground, Edward M. Kennedy. (John F. Kennedy Library)


A portrait of the Kennedy brothers, John F. Kennedy (left) and Joseph Kennedy Jr. (right), seated in their naval uniforms, 1945. As a lieutenant in the navy, JFK was a PT-boat commander. (Getty)


Senator Kennedy making notes during his presidential campaign, September 1960. (Getty)


Senator John F. Kennedy winds up his presidential campaign at a huge rally in Boston Garden on Nov. 7, 1960. After a whirlwind tour through New England on the final day of campaigning, Kennedy returned to address a crowd of over 22,000 enthusiastic supporters. He reminded the supporters of his Boston roots. (Ed Kelley / Globe Staff)


Kennedy valued his time in Cape Cod - "I always come back to the Cape and walk on the beach when I have a tough decision to make. The Cape is the one place I can think, and be alone."  read more »

May is US National Bike Month: 61.6% increase in bicycle commuting from 2000 to 2012; "preventative medicine", scientists find

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The number of bicyclists is growing rapidly from coast to coast. The National Household Travel Survey showed that the number of trips made by bicycle in the U.S. more than doubled from 1.7 billion in 2001 to 4 billion in 2009.
For bicyclists of all stripes, there's nothing like Bike to Work Day (BTWD), an annual celebration of active transportation. Thanks, in part, to encouragement efforts like BTWD, the number of bike commuters is on the rise, as well — especially in Bicycle Friendly Communities (BFC). From 2000 to 2013, bicycle commuting rates in large BFCs increased 105% — far above the national average of 62% and more than double the rate in non-BFCs (31%).

According to the ACS, in 2012 about .64% of commutes are made by bicycle, which represents an almost 10% increase from 2011. This is the largest year-on-year increase since 2007-2008, showing that people are choosing to use their bicycles for transportation not just in response to economic crisis, but because bicycles are leading the way to recovery. In total, there were 864,883 bike commuters in 2012.
Since 2000, ACS data shows a 61.6% increase in bicycle commuting.  read more »

Prince William, Prince Harry and Justin Trudeau in Northern France to mark centenary of pivotal WWi battle, paying tribute

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They came together in northern France yesterday to mark the centenary of a pivotal First World War battle
On Sunday afternoon, the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry joined Justin Trudeau in paying tribute to the 3,600 Canadian soldiers killed at the historic battle.

And images of the dashing royals standing with the Canadian Prime Minister clearly proved too much for some to handle with the French press dubbing them 'le trio sexy' while one Twitter user declared: 'You can't have that much handsome in one place'.

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Image courtesy AFP / Getty Images

Netherlands and France train eagles to catch drones. UK: Prince William's air ambulance narrowly escapes from lethal drone


Partnering with Nature is a time-honored tradition, Dutch police training golden eagles to catch drones



Prince Williams has flown for the Air Ambulance Service since 2015; a lethal drone comes within HALF A SECOND of Prince William's air ambulance.


A golden eagle grabs a flying drone during a military training exercise at Mont-de-Marsan French Air Force base, Southwestern France.

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February 8, 2016  read more »

Carnival: don masks and costumes, join free-spirited parade and street party, jolly fun before Lent

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Carnival is a Western Christian festive season that occurs before the liturgical season of Lent. The main events typically occur during February or early March, during the period historically known as Shrovetide (or Pre-Lent). Carnival typically involves a public celebration and/or parade combining some elements of a circus, masks, and a public street party. People wear masks and costumes during many such celebrations, allowing them to lose their everyday individuality and experience a heightened sense of social unity. Excessive consumption of alcohol, meat, and other foods proscribed during Lent is extremely common. Other common features of carnival include mock battles such as food fights; social satire and mockery of authorities; and a general reversal of everyday rules and norms.  read more »

Outbluffed: Machine beats humans first time in poker, the last remaining game where humans had managed to maintain upper hand

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1 February, 2017
Artificial intelligence has made history by beating humans in poker for the first time, the last remaining game in which humans had managed to maintain the upper hand.

Libratus, an AI built by Carnegie Mellon University racked up over $1.7 million worth of chips against four of the top professional poker players in the world in a 20-day marathon poker tournament that ended on Tuesday in Philadelphia.

While machines have beaten humans over the last two decade in chess, checkers, and most recently in the ancient game of Go, Libratus' victory is significant because poker is an imperfect information game - similar to the real world where not all problems are laid out and the difficulty in figuring out human behaviour is one of the main reasons why it was considered immune to machines.

One of the main reasons for Libratus' victory was the machine's ability outbluff humans.
"The computer can't win at poker if it can't bluff," said Frank Pfenning, head of the Computer Science Department at CMU.

"Developing an AI that can do that successfully is a tremendous step forward scientifically and has numerous applications. Imagine that your smartphone will someday be able to negotiate the best price on a new car for you. That's just the beginning."

Dong Kim, one of the four top poker players who participated in the tournament echoed the statement. The 28-year old, originally from Seattle, had also participated in a similar poker tournament with another AI machine built by CMU in 2015 named Claudico.

"It was about half way through the challenge (with Libratus when) I knew we wouldn't come back," said Kim.  read more »

UK Prime Minister Theresa May wishes all a very happy and healthy Lunar New Year, 2017 Year of Rooster

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27 January, 2017
"As the lanterns are lit and the dumplings are served, let me wish you and your family, wherever you are, a very happy and healthy New Year,” she said, before concluding her message in Chinese: "Xin Nian Kuai Le (Happy New Year)"
British Prime Minister Theresa May on Thursday sent her wishes through the government’s website and her own Weibo account to those who celebrate Chinese Lunar New Year worldwide, pledging to further strengthen China-UK relations.

May said the Year of the Rooster is set to be particularly important for the relationship between Britain and China, because the starting point for bilateral relations is stronger than ever before.

Recalling the historic state visit of President Xi Jinping in October 2015, she said the two countries are seeing an increasing development of their relations. "We receive more Chinese investment than any other major European country. We’ve got around 150,000 Chinese students studying here and the number of Chinese tourists visiting has doubled in five years," May said.  read more »

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