A funny thing happened during Australian climate change professor Chris Turney's venture to retrace a 1912 research expedition in Antarctica and gauge how climate change has affected the continent: Two weeks into a five-week excursion, Turney's good ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy got trapped in ice. It turns out, global warming notwithstanding, that there's so much ice down under that two ice-breaking vessels sent to rescue the research team cannot reach the Australasian Antarctic Expedition.
"Don't be deceived," Duck Commander and A&E reality television star Phil Robertson insisted, when asked to define what he considered to be sinful behavior. "Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers - they won't inherit the kingdom of God. Don't deceive yourself. It's not right."
When President Richard Nixon arrived in Beijing in 1972, Chairman Mao Zedong - with his Marxist revolution, Great Leap Forward and Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution - had achieved an equality unrivaled anywhere.
In an attempt to shift public discussion from the Obamacare train wreck, President Barack Obama is again promoting universal tax-paid daycare for preschoolers. But spending $75 billion on free preschool for all won't work any better than the numerous times it's been tried before.
Twenty years after it took effect, NAFTA has failed the vast majority of Mexicans.
Let's assess the winners and losers in American culture for 2013. Our first obvious winner is "Duck Dynasty" and its Phil Robertson. He's a winner for standing by his Christian principles after some offensive remarks about homosexuality.
Here's a twist on Christmas that would make Jesus weep.
Pope Francis' call for a truce notwithstanding, the culture war rages on in America.
Just look at the chain's outlet in Canton, Ohio, where management set up bins for food donations, asking people to give generously to the poor who otherwise would not have a Thanksgiving dinner. But the bins weren't for customers - they were tucked back in the employees-only area.
What's been called the "War on Christmas" is often a case of secular liberals wanting to engage in Christmas denial. In the name of not wanting to offend people of minority faiths (or no faith), they remove the C-word from department store catalogs and Christmas songs from public school concerts, leaving us with lame messages about snow.
Here's a jarring headline: "Economic Populism Is a Dead End for Democrats."
Making fun of Fox News' Megyn Kelly for her vigorous-without-a-doubt-make-no-mistake insistence that Santa Claus and Jesus Christ are both white would be like taking candy from a child.
President Obama commuted the sentences of eight crack-cocaine offenders Thursday, including that of Clarence Aaron, who was serving a sentence of life without parole for a first-time nonviolent drug conviction when he was 23.
It's a scary world out there, with global terrorists plotting to kill us.
Jahi McMath, 13, died after a routine tonsillectomy, according to doctors at Children's Hospital Oakland who declared McMath brain-dead on Thursday. The coroner's office was set to remove her body on Tuesday.
Observers have likened the federal case against state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, and 25 others to the film "American Hustle," about an FBI Abscam-like sting that used a small-time con man to win corruption convictions against public officials.
Politico reported something interesting before President Barack Obama met with Pope Francis: "The visit is a rare chance for Obama to associate himself with a world leader whose cool factor far outweighs his own."
I admit it. I have been obsessed with the plane. Most of the stories I've read offered no new information, but I read them anyway.
Obamacare is a fiasco. Why don't the media acknowledge that? And it's fair to ask: Why don't they ridicule it? After all, in the Bush years, the press reran President George W. Bush in front of the "Mission Accomplished" banner time and again, did they not? Perhaps Joe Biden at the signing ceremony saying into an open mic that this was a "big (blanking) deal" would suffice.
A week ago, in the St. George's Hall in the Kremlin, Russia's elite cheered and wept as Vladimir Putin announced the re-annexation of Crimea. Seven in 10 Russians approve of Putin's rule.
As a Californian, I have not gotten too much sympathy from friends and family about our rotten weather this winter. Yes, I said rotten weather. It's been incredibly pleasant- except for a few times when the temperature crept up to 90 - but we've hardly had any rain.
Actor-turned-producer Robert Redford boasts that his new CNN series, "Death Row Stories," is "about the search for justice and truth." That's odd, because the series has aired three episodes and they're all about victims of prosecutorial abuse. So far, nobody's really guilty. The second episode features a woman who never spent a night on death row.
Of course Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg is right to point out that "bossy," the other B-word, is often used to discourage girls - and later women - from becoming leaders. "Words like bossy send a message: don't raise your hand or speak up," says the website of her "Ban Bossy" campaign. "By middle school, girls are less interested in leading than boys - a trend that continues into adulthood. Together we can encourage girls to lead."
Even though it was in Burlingame, one might have expected the California Republican Party's weekend convention to feel a bit like the last days of Pompeii. The Dems hold every statewide office and control both houses of the Legislature. Still, GOP Chairman Jim Brulte managed to halt an orgy of panic.
The other day, this story hit the New Media. It's one the Old Media will simply never report.
The homeownership rate is declining while rents rise and hedge funds snap up thousands of foreclosed homes.
In the last stanza of "The Battle of Blenheim," Robert Southey writes:
Medical science has long known that the optic nerve runs from the retina of our eyeballs to the visual cortex of our brains, letting us see what's going on around us.
Though Barack Obama is widely regarded as a weak president, is the new world disorder really all his fault?
It didn't take very long for the smiling sports fan cheering in the Olympic stands to revert to his true nature. I'm referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the former KGB leader whose idea of diplomacy is sending in the troops.