Oz Blog News Commentary
Huffington Post Featured Wednesday, April 2, 2014 - 05:59 Source

In December, I wrote to the heads of six of the country's biggest financial institutions with a simple request: that they voluntarily disclose the financial contributions their companies make to think tanks. This disclosure would help make sure shareholders, policymakers, and the public are aware of efforts by large Wall Street banks to indirectly influence lawmakers and regulators by supporting think tanks' research.

Huffington Post Technology Wednesday, April 2, 2014 - 05:38 Source

It's been said that dogs are able to read our body language. They know when we're ready to take them for a walk or when we're getting ready to feed them.

In January, BBC Earth uploaded the above video which takes us behind the scenes of the loving relationship between Maureen Burns and her dog, Max.

When her then-9-year-old collie cross, who was normally so full of life, began acting strangely, Burns was worried that he was dying.

Huffington Post Featured Wednesday, April 2, 2014 - 05:17 Source


Huffington Post Technology Wednesday, April 2, 2014 - 05:12 Source

Sometimes to move forward you have to revisit your past.

Which explains Nokia's latest nod to the future, a reinvention of the classic Nokia 3310, a phone originally released in the year 2000, once labeled "the phone that could not be killed."

Huffington Post Featured Wednesday, April 2, 2014 - 04:59 Source

I was walking along my street the other morning when I saw an extraordinary sight: a toddler, scooting along on his scooter without a helmet or any protective gear cushioning his knees or elbows.* Then, in his enthusiasm, he over-scooted, tumbled sideways onto the sidewalk and began to wail. "Oh, bad luck," his mother cried, from some distance behind him. She didn't rush to pick him up. She didn't even sound upset. "Up you get. Give your knee a rub. There you go. OK now?" And off he went.

Is it just me, or is the parenting paradigm starting to shift?

Huffington Post Featured Wednesday, April 2, 2014 - 04:59 Source

Three weeks ago, an editor sent me a link to the browser version of the hot new game "2048," saying I should cover it for The Huffington Post. It was popular because it was simple: You swipe numbered tiles back and forth, combining like numbers -- two 2 tiles make a 4, two 4 tiles make an 8, and so on -- until you reach the final goal of a 2048 tile.

The game was getting media attention as it rose to the top of the App Store's Top Free Apps list, and other sources hailed its 19-year-old creator, Gabriel Cirulli, as a wunderkind for creating a simple game capable of such viral success.

Huffington Post Featured Wednesday, April 2, 2014 - 04:59 Source

Rohingya patients are now without lifesaving healthcare since the closure of Doctors Without Borders

Deteriorating conditions have put Burma on a downward trajectory that could end in the world’s next genocide without immediate action. Yet, while the death toll mounts in Burma, its business as usual for the U.S. government.

Today Defense Secretary Hagel is hosting the Defense Minister of Burma among others to discuss the Obama administration’s commitment to “peace and security” in the region.

Huffington Post Featured Wednesday, April 2, 2014 - 04:59 Source

It is possible that the details of Secretary of State John Kerry's peace proposal (as reported in the New York Times) are wrong. However, assuming the report is correct, the Palestinians would be out of their minds to accept it. It is bad for Israelis and Palestinians and demeans the United States by reducing us to the role of Benjamin Netanyahu's stenographer.

Here are the key points as reported in the Times.

First: The Israeli concessions:

Huffington Post Featured Wednesday, April 2, 2014 - 04:59 Source

I write a lot about the ways the powers that be on Wall Street abuse their power; commit financial fraud without going to jail; get billions of dollars in subsidies and tax loopholes; and generally hurt the Main Street economy. One of the most significant things they do to mess things up for the rest of us is to use their enormous size and market power to manipulate markets. They do it all the time and in all different kinds of economic sectors. What makes this market manipulation even worse is when they do it in conjunction with government-subsidized markets, because they use our tax dollars to create big profits for themselves.

Huffington Post Technology Wednesday, April 2, 2014 - 04:45 Source

Product review sites are a staple of our online landscape. You can review hotels, electronics, and even mattresses, and a persuasive review can drive (or inhibit) sales of an item. Now, HugDug, a new product review site, is looking to harness the power of popular product recommendations, with a twist: Half of HugDug's profits go to charity.

Huffington Post Technology Wednesday, April 2, 2014 - 04:42 Source

Swapnil Chaturvedi’s life had all the trappings of the American dream -- a college degree, prestigious engineer job, wife and daughter.

But when he returned home to India in 2007 after four years of living comfortably in the U.S., he was horrified by the country’s lack of basic sanitation, and decided to leave his cushy life behind to help, Mental Floss reported.

Huffington Post Featured Wednesday, April 2, 2014 - 03:59 Source

"God help me, what have I done?" I thought as I stared down the length of my CrossFit gym. It was the evening of 14.1, the first of the five-part CrossFit Open 2014 competition. An intimidating, symmetrical line of barbells and crash pads faced me. The usually-inviting gym looked like the inside of a torture chamber: metal, ropes, and the smell of sweat and pain. Tonight was the very first night of the CrossFit Open and, heavens have mercy, I was signed up.

Huffington Post Featured Wednesday, April 2, 2014 - 01:59 Source

Just three weeks ago the Associated Press reported the Obama administration needed "something close to a miracle" in order to "meet its goal" of enrolling 6 million people into private health care plans via the Affordable Care Act before the looming April 1 deadline arrived.

Huffington Post Featured Wednesday, April 2, 2014 - 01:59 Source

The Last Stage of Fossil-Fuel Addiction and Its Hazardous Impact on American Foreign Policy

Cross-posted with

Huffington Post Featured Wednesday, April 2, 2014 - 01:59 Source

Arianna appeared on Bloomberg West Tuesday morning to discuss her new book, 'Thrive,' which proposes a new way of defining success beyond money and power.

"I wrote this book because I realized that my own personal wakeup call -- when I collapsed from exhaustion and burnout in April 2007 -- was also reflected in our culture. Millions of people are burned out."

She described collapsing in her office, hitting her head on her desk, breaking her cheekbone and requiring stitches.

Huffington Post Technology Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 23:57 Source

Scientists have now used brain scanners to hack into our thoughts like never before.

After scanning the brains of men and women who were looking at photos of different faces, researchers at Yale University have found a way to reconstruct the image of those faces based solely on patterns of neural activity in the brain scans. Mind. Blown.

Huffington Post Technology Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 23:42 Source

The meaning of patience has changed over time, but that hasn’t made it any easier to practice.

There is a bar of marzipan across the table from me, and I have told myself that I will not eat it until I have finished writing. Almost immediately, I entertained the possibility that I might write more quickly if I ate the honey almond treat first. But here I go, writing about patience, partly by forcing myself to practice it.

Huffington Post Technology Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 23:26 Source

What does the newly discovered dwarf planet "Biden" have in common with Vice President Joe Biden? As our fun new infographic (below) shows, more than you might imagine.

Detected at the outer fringe of our solar system, the dwarf planet was officially designated 2012 VP113. But because of the VP in that alphanumeric designation, astronomers nicknamed it "Biden" after our flesh-and-blood VP.

Huffington Post Technology Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 23:12 Source

Unless you're an inveterate walker or a mass-transit rider, you probably spend more time in your car each week than anywhere except your workplace and your home.

Huffington Post Technology Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 22:04 Source

Few individuals or institutions have the power to truly move markets like Warren Buffett and the Chinese government. When the two forces converged in 2008 to back Chinese electric car company BYD, the little-known brand rose to international fame. Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway put $230 million into buying a 10 percent stake in the company, and the Chinese government soon followed up with audacious targets for skyrocketing electric car production.

Huffington Post Technology Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 20:36 Source

Want a hip and stylish beard, but not so crazy about all the growing and grooming? Then ThinkGeek has the answer for you: The Mr. Beard Beard Machine.

Similar to a K-cup coffee machine, the Mr. Beard uses "B-cups." Pop one into the device, stick your face in and you could have your very own Fu Manchu, Freddie Mercury or Handlebar in about a minute.

"Brought to you by the same people who brought you Mr. Coffee, Mr. Peanut, Mr. Mister and Mr. Fusion, the Mr. Beard® Beard Machine is an almost instant cure to your lack of facial hair," the website promises.

And there's no need for mustache wax.

Huffington Post Technology Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 19:00 Source

American students are barely above the average of 44 countries and economies in problem-solving skills, far behind teens in Asia, according to the first international test of that attribute in 15-year-olds.

U.S. teens on average earned a score of 508 on the Programme for International Student Assessment -- Creative Problem Solving test, between top-ranked Singapore's 562 and bottom-ranked Colombia's 399. The PISA results, released Tuesday, put U.S. students in the middle of the pack, hardly supporting the American workforce reputation for creativity.

Huffington Post Technology Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 14:35 Source

By Reiji Murai TOKYO (Reuters) - Apple Inc suppliers will begin mass producing displays as early as May for the next iPhone, expected to be launched this autumn, with a 4.7-inch screen likely to be produced first while a 5.5-inch version could be delayed, supply chain sources said. Japan Display Inc, Sharp Corp and South Korea's LG Display Co Ltd have all been tapped to make the screens, said the sources, who asked not to be identified. Representatives for the three suppliers and for Apple declined to comment.

Huffington Post Featured Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 11:38 Source

According to press accounts, former Senator Jim DeMint is likely earning in the neighborhood of $1 million a year for heading up the Heritage Foundation, a right-wing Washington think tank. The fact that right-wing think tanks pay their top people lots of money is not exactly news. After all, they have lots of wealthy donors who are happy to cough up this sort of money. But the part of the story that might get people upset is the fact that the rest of us are subsidizing Mr. DeMint's hefty paycheck.

Huffington Post Featured Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 10:59 Source


Recently, Bill Maher tweeted that "March Madness really is a stirring reminder of what America was founded on -- making tons of money off the labor of unpaid black people."

Huffington Post Featured Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 10:59 Source

You know that gun control is no longer an issue, either pro or con, when both sides try to make you believe that something big has happened when nothing of any real importance happened at all.

Huffington Post Featured Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 10:59 Source

Everyone's talking about Obamacare today, since it is the deadline for signing up for health insurance in the first "open enrollment" period for the marketplace exchanges. The final numbers aren't in yet (and won't be for at least another few weeks), but from the numbers already released, the Obamacare website seems to have made an impressive turnaround from its ignoble beginnings.

Huffington Post Technology Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 10:49 Source

OKCupid may be in the business of love, but the online dating site has anything but tender feelings for Mozilla and its newly-appointed CEO.

In a letter published Monday on but viewable only to those who try to enter the site using a Mozilla Firefox Internet browser, the company called out CEO Brendan Eich's past support of Proposition 8, a 2008 ballot initiative that aimed to ban same-sex marriage in California.

Huffington Post Featured Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 09:59 Source

Previously published on

Public education is becoming big business as bankers, hedge fund managers and private equity investors are entering what they consider to be an "emerging market." As Rupert Murdoch put it after purchasing an education technology company, "When it comes to K through 12 education, we see a $500 billion sector in the US alone."

Huffington Post Featured Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 09:59 Source

2014-03-31-freedomofspeech.jpgIn his 1943 painting "Freedom of Speech," Norman Rockwell illustrated American democracy in action by depicting a man speaking up at a town meeting. A framed poster of Rockwell's painting hangs proudly on a wall in my Senate office in Burlington, Vt.