Tag Archives: Washington Post

Erich Von Daniken: Asks young researchers to continue his legacy

Erich Von Daniken tells other researchers that we need professors to learn the old languages …learn Sumerian Egyptian language use your new knowledge and apply it to the old text to get better translations … use your eyes in archaeology ~ seek new information from tribes, paintings, stone … compare it, use new eyes and get a new prospective

New NMAAHC Exhibition ~~~ Permanent Collection

NMAAHC -- National Museum of African American History and Culture

“Through the African American Lens: Selections from the Permanent Collection” Opens May 8th
Photograph by Eliot Elisofon

Where: National Museum of American History, Level 2
14th and Constitition Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20001

When: Exhibition opens Friday, May 8th 2015

Hours: 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM

Metro: Take Orange, Blue, or Silver line and exit at Smithsonian Station or Federal Triangle Station

Admission is free!

African Americans have survived slavery, fought for their freedom in the Civil War, for the freedom of others in subsequent wars and created lives of meaning for themselves, their families and their country. Since its creation in 2003, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) has been collecting items—large and small—to tell the story of expanding America’s freedom from the African American perspective. The museum’s eighth exhibition, “Through the African American Lens: Selections from the Permanent Collection,” will showcase stories of trailblazers, innovators, visionaries and history makers who helped to shape this great nation. The exhibition will open May 8 in the NMAAHC Gallery at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

“Through the African American Lens” will use the museum’s collection to show how the African American story is quintessentially an American one. This exhibition was made possible in large part by more than two dozen families of well-known and lesser-known history makers who graciously donated their family treasures, establishing the building blocks of the museum’s collection.

Visitors will see approximately 140 collection items belonging to freedom fighters, unsung activists and servicemen, sports and entertainment legends and prominent artists and designers.

James Brown Suit

Among the artifacts on display will be the following:

  • Personal items belonging to Harriet Tubman
  • Prints from “The Life of Toussaint L’Ouverture” by Jacob Lawrence (1986)
  • Uniform of a Pullman Porter worn by a member of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the first African American labor union established in 1925
  • School desks from the Hope School, a Rosenwald school in South Carolina
  • Dining room table owned by Lucinda Todd that was used by Brown family and NAACP Legal Defense Fund during preparation for the Supreme Court Case, Brown v. the Board of Education of Topeka
  • Dresses designed by renowned fashion designer, Ann Lowe
  • James Brown’s electric organ and red jumpsuit
  • Dresses worn by R&B musical group, En Vogue
  • Carl Lewis’ 1989 Santa Monica Track Club speed suit
  • Althea Gibson’s tennis racket

For more information, please read the press release.

Here’s Why You Might Be Kissing Your Social Security Check Goodbye … a repost

by sean Williams

an opinion

Source: Flickr user wonderlane

Social Security is a financial backdrop that’s been in place for nearly eight decades in order to help low-income retirees upon their retirement, as well as the disabled and surviving family members of qualified deceased workers. It’s also a program that covers 167.5 million current workers and is expected to pay benefits to countless millions in the future.

According to the latest data from the Social Security Administration, the average retired worker is pulling in $1,328 a month in benefits income, while retired workers with a full-retirement aged spouse are earning an average of $2,176 per month. Optimally, Social Security wasn’t designed to replace more than 40% of a worker’s salary in retirement, although this figure is higher for low-income individuals (55%) than it is for maximum earners (27%).

But based on a terrifying new report released by HealthView Services, the majority of your Social Security income will likely be used to help pay for healthcare expenses in the future if you’re unprepared for retirement.

Source: Flickr user frankleleon

Kiss your Social Security check goodbye
HealthView’s 2015 Retirement healthcare Cost Data Report derived data from some 50 million healthcare cases and took into consideration a number of factors that include age, gender, income, and even state of residence in order to calculate a person’s potential lifetime healthcare costs.

Per HealthView, retirees will have to cope with the costs for Medicare Part B and D (Part B covers medically necessary and preventative services, while Part D helps cover the cost of prescription drugs), as well as supplemental insurance. Additionally some individuals and couples will purchase variable health expenses such as vision, dental, hearing, as well as other co-pays and other out-of-pocket expenses that aren’t already included in Medicare Part B & D or covered by supplemental insurance.

Source: AARP, Facebook

Based on its retirement study, HealthView suggests that a 66-year-old couple today can expect healthcare costs to consume 67% of their lifetime Social Security benefits. For a couple that’s currently 55 years old and planning to retire at age 65, HealthView’s data suggests that 90% of their Social Security income will be used to pay healthcare expenses.

Assuming the laundry list of expected and variable expenses listed above, a couple of full retirement age retiring today could expect $394,954 in lifetime healthcare expenses, while a couple expecting to retire in 10 years at age 65 could see healthcare expenses of $463,849. In monthly dollar terms it means the average 55-year-old couple would need to sock away $1,206 per month if their goal were merely to pay for Medicare Part D and supplemental insurance.

Source: AARP, Facebook

If these figures weren’t scary enough, HealthView’s assessment assumes that couples will maximize their Social Security benefits, which is not always the case, and that medical cost inflation averages about 6% per year, which isn’t out of the question considering the history of medical cost inflation over the past 45 years. Also, these cost estimates could be conservative as the state you live in could inflate your medical costs, and pressure on the Medicare Trust Fund could adversely impact retirees’ out-of-pocket costs.

3 keys to retirement bliss
If HealthView Services study has taught us anything, it’s that the younger generation needs to start saving for retirement as early as possible in order to avoid being “surprised” later in life by medical expenses. I’d suggest there are three actions young Americans need to take to lessen their chances of falling victim to HealthView Services scary scenario.

First, young and middle-aged Americans need to trust in the long-term returns of the stock market. I fully understand the shock and awe of the 2008-2009 market collapse is still ingrained in the minds of millions of Americans, but all market indexes are now well beyond their 2007 highs now, meaning investors who stayed the course, or perhaps even bought more, came out ahead.

Source: Flickr user Celestine Chua

Historically the stock market has returned 8% per year, which is a far better return than you’re going to find by purchasing a bank CD, putting your money in a money market account, buying a U.S. Treasury bond, or putting your money under the mattress. It’s really one of the few ways you have to outpace inflation over the long run. Plus, if you add healthy dividend stocks to your portfolio and consider reinvesting your payout back into the stocks you own you could really supercharge your returns.

For example, using Bankrate‘s investment calculator I assumed an individual at age 18 could start their investment portfolio with $2,000 and add $2,500 annually, or a little less than $210 per month. Assuming a tax rate of 15%, a full retirement age of 67 (so, 49 years of work history), and an annual rate of return of 8% (note, I’m not even including dividends here), our fictitious investors would essentially have $1 million upon retirement. What’s more, if their portfolio averaged an annual yield of 2% from dividends, their $1 million could easily double to $2 million or more. That would more than likely cover your medical expenses in retirement.

Source: Roth IRA, Facebook

Secondly, Americans need to think long term by taking advantage of tax-advantaged retirement accounts.

For America’s youth there may not be a better deal available than a Roth IRA, which currently allows for a contribution of up to $5,500 per year (persons aged 50 and up can contribute up to $6,500 annually). On the downside you’ll see no upfront tax benefit from contributing to a Roth IRA, but the back-end benefits can be astronomical since any and all capital gains and dividend payments are completely free of taxation as long as you don’t withdraw funds from your Roth IRA before age 59 1/2 for an unqualified reason.

Finally, Americans of all ages need to understand the intricacies of the Social Security program so they can maximize their benefits in retirement. For some this could mean simply waiting until age 70 to claim their benefits in order to maximize their Social Security payout. For couples it could mean a number of strategies, such as “File As a Spouse First.”

This strategy, as long as both members of the couple are of full retirement age, allows a spouse to file an application for benefits with the Social Security Administration, but restricts the application to just spousal benefits. This way the retirement benefits of the filer can continue to grow until they claim their own benefits at age 70 and they’ll get spousal income in the meantime.

Long story short, the way to maximize your Social Security benefits may not always be readily apparent, so it pays to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of the Social Security program.

How one Seattle couple secured a $60K Social Security bonus — and you can too
A Seattle couple recently discovered some little-known Social Security secrets that can boost many retirees’ income by as much as $60,000. They were shocked by how easy it was to actually take advantage of these loopholes. And although it may seem too good to be true, it’s 100% real. In fact, one MarketWatch reporter argues that if more Americans used them, the government would have to shell out an extra $10 billion… every year! So once you learn how to take advantage of these loopholes, you could retire confidently with the peace of mind we’re all after, even if you’re woefully unprepared. Simply click here to receive your free copy of our new report that details how you can take advantage of these strategies.

Shall We Dance On Ice … Save the Date 12/12/2015

Thanks to anap62 for the great vids … just listened to kristi say SWDOI will be back !!! 12/12/15  hoping meryl & maks will be back too

 Kristi Yamaguchi announced that  SWDOI will be back !!!


The Everest of excrement is actually Mount Everest

  • Everest
  • Rubbish left at one of Mount Everest’s base camps.
    Image: Mary Plage
    Nepal has a stinky situation on its hands.Human waste left by climbers on Mount Everest has become a major problem, and is even threatening the spread of disease, Ang Tshering, the chief of Nepal’s mountaineering association, said, The Associated Press reports.Everest’s climbing season only lasts a measly two months, but nearly 700 climbers brave the world’s tallest peak and not all of them dispose of their trash, urine and feces properly.

    None of Mount Everest’s four base camps, which are located at 17,380 feet, have proper facilities. The camps have tents, equipment, supplies and even cooks, but no toilets. The waste is collected in a drum in a toilet tent, where it is then carried to a lower altitude and disposed.

    But not all climbers use the camps’ facilities to do their business.

    “Climbers usually dig holes in the snow for their toilet use and leave the human waste there,” Tshering told The Associated Press, adding that waste around the base camps has been accumulating for years.

    Away from the base camp, as climbers head toward the 29,035 foot summit, human waste is also an issue.

    “It is a health hazard and the issue needs to be addressed,” said Dawa Steven Sherpa, who has been at the forefront of Everest cleanup expeditions since 2008. Some climbers carry disposable toilet bags with them to the higher camps that don’t have any facilities, Sherpa said.


    The advance base camp for people climbing Mount Everest sits on the mountain’s north slope at about 21,000 feet.

    Image: Dave Watson/Associated Press

    Last year the Nepalese government imposed new rules, which requires climbers to return to the base camp with 17.6 pounds of waste. The weight is an estimate of the average amount of trash climbers accumulate en route.

    The government does not currently have plans to deal with the human waste issue

    The government does not currently have plans to deal with the human waste issue, however Puspa Raj Katuwal, the head of the government’s Mountaineering Department, said officials will strictly monitor it, adding that climbing teams must submit a $4,000 deposit that they will lose if regulations are broken.

    Human fecal waste and trash isn’t the only thing left on the mountainside. According to an article released in 2012 by Smithsonian Magazine, more than 200 human bodies remain frozen on the mountain. Some of them are even used as landmarks.

    More than 4,000 climbers have braved the mountain since its first expedition in 1953.