Over the last three decades, CEO compensation grew far faster than that of other highly paid workers, those earning more than 99.9 percent of other wage earners. CEO compensation in 2012 was 4.75 times greater than that of the top 0.1 percent of wage earners, a ratio 1.5 higher than the 3.25 ratio that prevailed over the 1947–1979 period (this wage gain is equivalent to the wages of 1.5 high wage earners).[EPI]

Over the years I have covered income inequality on this site more than I care to remember. The sad fact is that the statistics show that it just keeps getting worse and worse. Nothing is getting easier for the common man and it seems as if everyone earning the top 1% of the income seems to think that this is somehow a sustainable model. In 2013 Congress had a chance to alleviate some of the pressure but instead chose to secretly repeal an act that would have kept executive pay in check.

Back in 2013 I wrote about how 75% of all Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. Being forced to choose between putting food on their table and fixing their car that just broke down, or paying for that emergency medical procedure that just came up.

These numbers aren’t pulled out of thin air, they’re based on facts that take years to collect. It’s a proven fact that the average American has little to no effect on policy decision in United States.

A startling new political science study concludes that corporate interests and mega wealthy individuals control U.S. policy to such a degree that “the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.”

Sadly so many of these facts seem like things that most people are resigned to. They’re not a surprise to anyone nor are they issues that haven’t been brought up before. The problem is that no one seems to know what the answer is or how to resolve any of these issues. The one thing we know for is that the people making all of the money, the people that keep getting richer at the expense of the rest of the country are never going to voluntarily decide to give up their wealth, to suddenly realize that they are the direct cause of the inequality and suffering that is taking place in this country.

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Yes, we all love our kids and wouldn’t trade the memories of all of those summer vacations with them for anything in the world. Still, by the time late August rolls around and “back to school” starts to seem more like a reality rather than just a marketing crutch to sell pencils, backpacks and 3 ring binders, there’s a magical sort of endorphin rush that parents are often overcome by.

The 2014 season finale of Mythbusters aired earlier tonight. At the end of the episode co-hosts Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage announced that Kari Byron, Grant Imahara and Tory Belleci wouldn’t be returning for the 2015 season and that they, Savage and Hyneman, would be the sole hosts again. After the episode the official Mythbusters Twitter account posted this tweet:

Fan reaction was swift and disgruntled

It wasn’t all bad though:

There hasn’t been any official mention as to why the three staples are leaving the show but rumor has it that Adam and Jamie are going to be focusing more on their builds and the process they use to ultimately support their conclusions.

This is more in touch with the original concept of the show.

Congresswoman Eshoo’s Reddit contest to rebrand ‘net neutrality’

Rep_Anna_EshooToday I launched a contest on Reddit to rebrand ‘net neutrality’ — the term used to describe the principle of all Internet traffic being created equal and that it should be treated as such.

In May, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposed new Internet traffic rules under the guise of net neutrality. But if approved, the proposed plan could split the flow of online traffic into tiers by allowing priority treatment to big online corporations that pay higher fees to broadband providers. This would mean a fast lane for those who can afford it and a slow lane for everyone else, hindering small businesses, innovators and Internet users.

Internet users know what they want and expect from the Internet, but these days all the jargon about net neutrality rules is making it difficult to know what box to check that advances their best interest. So I’m hosting this contest to rebrand net neutrality and bring some clarity to an otherwise muddy legal debate before the FCC finalizes its proposed open Internet rules. If Internet users care about their right to uninhibited access to the Internet, this is their opportunity to have an impact on the process, to help put the advantage back in the hands of the Internet user, and to ensure that the free and open Internet prevails.

The contest is free to enter and the rules are simple. The most popular entry on this Reddit post will be declared the winner on September 8, 2014. Participants are reminded to refrain from using vulgar or otherwise inappropriate language.

I hope you will participate and I thank you for it.

RepAnnaEshoo

If you had the chance to change the name of ‘net neutrality’ to something more clear and easy to understand, or just to be more creative, what would you call it?

There’s a reason animals never gave up in the millions of years it took to evolve legs and start making their way on land. That reason? Because the ocean is a scary fucking place!

Let the shark be a cautionary tale. There are worse things than being tricked into biting fake bait on a fishing line. And, one of those things is ending up as real bait to a big ass grouper.

In this modern, fast paced world that we live in things change rapidly. New breakthroughs in technology, science and medicine make our lives better, allows us to live longer and gives us insights into the Universe that were unimaginable a generation ago.

Fortunately these amazing innovations and advancements aren’t limited to high tech gadgets and scientific discoveries. In fact, one of the most astounding discoveries of the past 200 years has nothing at all to do with technology and has everything to do with bananas.

I’ve lived on this planet for 40 years and up until a few weeks ago I considered myself at least moderately intelligent. I like to eat bananas. I mean, I wouldn’t exactly call myself a banana connoisseur but at the very least I thought I knew how to eat them. I was wrong.

The popular notion in banana eating circles is that the stem on top of the banana is like a pull tab to get the peeling process started. Wrong! That stem is the banana’s handle! Or, as I like to call it, the Banandle™.

Check out the gallery below for a step-by-step guide to the proper way to eat a banana.

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Not only does this method give you a sweet ass handle to eat your banana it also makes the banana more structurally sound. No more having the top half of your banana break off and splat on the floor. And possibly the best part of the “upside down” banana peeling method is it doesn’t create any of those creepy banana strings that come off the banana when you’re peeling it the old-fashioned way.

The Tree of 40 Fruit is an ongoing series of hybridized fruit trees by contemporary artist Sam Van Aken. Each unique Tree of 40 Fruit grows over forty different types of stone fruit including peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines, cherries, and almonds. Sculpted through the process of grafting, the Tree of 40 Fruit blossom in variegated tones of pink, crimson and white in spring, and in summer bear a multitude of fruit. Primarily composed of native and antique varieties the Tree of 40 Fruit are a form of conversation, preserving heirloom stone fruit varieties that are not commercially produced or available.

Here’s a video of Sam talking about the tree at a recent TED Talk:

h/t Sam Van Aken

So a few more pics from my time in Vegas. After we hit the Hoover Dam we made our way out to Red Rock Canyon and took in the beauty of that place. It’s amazing to see the different layers and read how they were formed. One thing that I wasn’t aware of was that the actual red rocks part actually used to be sand dunes which hardened into the formations we see today.