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8 Simple Habits to Get Slimmer, Smarter and Richer

Have you broken your New Years resolution yet? I'll give you a mulligan.

Here are 8 easy things you can do on a daily basis to lose weight, get richer and become more productive in just a few months:

  1. When you're done with something don't put it down. Put it away.
  2. Spend 15-30 minutes a day writing about your thoughts and feelings. Studies show this could be beneficial for your mental and physical health.
  3. Replace soda pop and juice with water or carbonated water. You'll barely notice a difference and you'll stop consuming empty calories.
  4. Stop buying coffee or lunch at work. Pick one - you don't even have to do both. You could end up saving a couple grand a year.
  5. When the microwave is counting down or water is boiling, take care of a small chore. Unload the dishwasher, vacuum the living room carpet, cut the cat's nails. You'll be surprised how much you can get done in just a couple otherwise wasted minutes.
  6. Floss. You'll save yourself thousands in dental costs over your lifetime. And your breath won't stink anymore.
  7. Put all your spare change in a jar. It adds up.
  8. Turn off the TV. You'll be forced to find something else to do. Almost anything else is more productive than sitting on your ass binging on Netflix. 

Democrats: Now is Not The Time to Talk Gun Control

Fact: Guns kill people. A homicidal maniac with a gun is going to have a higher success rate than a homicidal maniac with a knife.

Fact: The AR-15 rifle is a scary-looking piece of weaponry, but it is actually unpopular as a killing tool. In 2010, handguns were responsible for 75% of gun-related homicides.

Fact: A handgun is far easier to conceal for surreptitious purposes, making it a more effective killing tool.

With the recent massacre of 17 high school students in Florida, gun control has again risen as a hot political topic.
Republicans are quick to deflect blame to the shooter's parents, psychotropic drugs and school security. But with millions of dollars in funding by the NRA, what else would you expect? The GOP and the right-wing political machine is a hired gun and will protect the laissez-faire implementation of 2nd Amendment rights at all costs.

The typical reaction from left-leaning progressive liberals is to raise the standard gun-control talking points, ranging from more restrictive background checks to comprehensive bans. The use of the AR-15 during the most recent massacre presents a huge opportunity to leverage its frightening appearance. However, any attempt to restrict access to rifles is merely a superficial appeal to emotion and won't have much of a real impact on total gun violence. With constituents awakened by another massacre, the environment is ripe for progress on gun control - whether real or superficial - and the natural reaction is to seize the opportunity.

However, I have a warning for Democrats: NOW IS NOT THE TIME!

What in God's name do I mean?

With the ongoing investigation into Russian meddling and other improprieties tied directly or indirectly to the Trump administration, Democrats have the ear of many Republicans who have recently turned their backs on Trump. On this topic alone, Democrats now have the political capital to take back the House and Senate during the 2018 mid-term elections. That is, if they stay on message.

To win back the House and Senate in 2018, Democrats need to represent the survival of democracy, the return of political capability and the resurgence of normalcy. The 2015 status quo is quite appealing to most Americans right now.

The Republicans would like nothing more than to remind their constituents that Democrats want to take away their guns. And they likely will attempt to make gun rights a topic of debate. If Democrats today take a hard stance on gun rights, they will only fuel the distracting election debate. Worse, if Democrats target rifles, they'll have completely squandered effect for image, while turning off fence-sitting Republicans.

Republicans who have otherwise abandoned Trump will still vote Red if they think their 2nd Amendment rights are under attack. That is a fact.

My advice to Democrats is to present a soft, feel-good message on mass shootings that taps into the vein of civility and normalcy that both Democratic and Republican voters think is missing from the current administration. With the recent school shooting, Americans right now are looking at the current administration to do something about guns - so Democrats would do well to sit back and let Trump muddle through it. Given his track record so far, he's likely to shoot himself in the foot.

Door Handles Were Humanity's Last Line of Defence

As observed in the video below, which is somewhat reminiscent of the kitchen scene in Jurassic Park, robots already cooperate better than most humans...and are now capable of opening doors.

Seriously though, these are the robots we are permitted to see. I can only wonder what classified robots are being developed for purposes more nefarious than door-opening.

Human ingenuity is unstoppable. Throughout our history we have expended so much time, money and effort into developing new and ingenious ways of killing each other. Even the most innocent of scientific intentions can be twisted into something apocalyptic by a small group of militaristic individuals. As soon as a military purpose for a technology is identified, if that technology provides an advantage it will be adopted. A military superpower simply cannot cast aside technology that would maintain its edge. To do so would be to concede defeat to any other country that decided to embrace the innovations.

The atomic - and later, hydrogen - bomb is the perfect example. As soon as the nuclear genie was let out of the bottle, America had no choice but to pursue the means to weaponize the atom. The same will hold true for autonomous killer robots.