Cruz Hits The Adelson Sweet Spot

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Julie Jacobson / AP

NEW YORK — Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz received a warm reception from mega-donor casino magnate Sheldon Adelson at a gala on Thursday, the latest development in the so-called “Adelson primary.”

Speaking at a dinner for The World Values Network, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach's Adelson-funded organization, Cruz gave a speech focused on Israel and the Iran deal that included lots of red meat for the mostly Jewish Republican crowd: He called for the next president to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, for example, and slammed the Obama administration for the flight ban to Israel during the Gaza war last summer. He also condemned the potential Iran deal that may be signed next month, calling it “disastrous.”

The dinner, which featured speeches by Newt Gingrich, Sen. Bob Menendez, Holocaust survivor and author Elie Wiesel, and others, took place in a large ballroom at the New York Marriott Marquis in Times Square. It began with renditions of the American and Israeli national anthems, followed by a speech by Boteach, as well as an introductory video about him.

In his speech, Cruz also targeted the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, which the Adelsons have recently taken a more serious interest in combating. Specifically, Cruz called for the federal government to cut off funding to any universities that boycott Israel.

“In 2017, we need a president who will stand up directly and confront the BDS movement,” Cruz said, to applause. “BDS is premised on a lie and it is anti-Semitism plain and simple. And we need a president of the United States who will stand up and say if a university in this country boycotts the nation of Israel than that university will forfeit federal taxpayer dollars.”

Though Cruz has criticized BDS in the past, now is an especially good time for a candidate seeking Adelson's support to do so, since the Adelsons are about to make their concern over BDS a larger part of their overall political giving; Boteach told BuzzFeed News recently that he is helping them build an organization that would combat BDS on campus under the working title “Campus Maccabees.”

The Texas senator received a standing ovation after his speech — including from Adelson, who cannot walk distances without a scooter and uses a cane to manage short distances and to stand. Cruz also posed for pictures with Adelson and Boteach before the dinner. Adelson's wife Miriam is said to be a big fan of Cruz's, though she wasn't in attendance on Thursday. The conventional wisdom has been that Adelson favors Florida Sen. Marco Rubio — Rubio has been featured several times on the cover of the Adelson-owned Israeli newspaper Israel Hayom and associates have told reporters that Adelson is leaning in his direction — but Adelson remains uncommitted to any candidate so far.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who arrived after the pictures were over and the gala had begun, was the other potential presidential contender who spoke at the gala. Christie, too, hit all of the Adelson-approved notes on Israel, and accused Obama of only caring about “the two L's” — his legacy and his presidential library. “We are willingly ceding leadership of the world,” he said. The reaction to Christie's speech was muted, compared to the energetic reception Cruz received. Adelson didn't stand to applaud Christie, though the two were photographed speaking before Christie's speech.

[source BuzzFeed]

Mighty Switch Force: Hyper Drive Edition Heading To PC

msfhde 610 Mighty Switch Force: Hyper Drive Edition Heading To PC

WayForward's pixelated platfomer that started as a 3DS exclusive before moving over to Wii U, is heading to PC.

The version of the game that will be available on PC is the same as the Wii U version, subtitled Hyper Drive Edition, and it will be available some time next month.

In the game, players play as a police officer and must round-up a collection of criminals before making their way to the end o the level.

[Source: WayForward, via NeoGAF]


Our Take
I actually skipped the first game, but really enjoyed Might Switch Force 2, which has you putting out fires and rescuing people as a firefighter. Glad the PC crowd will get a chance to check out the series.

 Mighty Switch Force: Hyper Drive Edition Heading To PC

How to Cook a Real Chicken Nugget (and Why)

This article was originally published at

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[via theatlantic]

#VacationGoals The Best Beach Screensavers For Summer

large 22749949 #VacationGoals The Best Beach Screensavers For Summer For most, summer means long lazy days spent…in the town you live in. Not everyone gets to go on exotic, beachy vacations, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the insane beauty far away destinations have to offer. I’ll be posted up in NYC for the summer doing my best to survive the heat and humidity, but with a little help from a gorgeous screensaver, I’ll be enjoying those white sandy beaches, palm trees, and crystal clear blue water from the comfort of Buzznet’s air-conditioned office. LOLzzz..Ok Ok so it might not be exactly the same thing, but it will definitely lend ideas for #vacationgoals to work toward. Click through the gallery below and get lost in paradise!

[via buzznet]

Kim Richards: MISSING Following Wedding Relapse!

Earlier today, we reported that Kim Richards might be facing jail time after ditching rehab and getting drunk at her daughter’s wedding.

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Now, it looks as though Kim has taken a “you’ll have to catch me first” approach to her problems by going fully MIA, presumably somewhere in Mexico.

kim richards vip gala pic Kim Richards: MISSING Following Wedding Relapse!

An insider tells Radar Online that Richards “completely disappeared” after the wedding and none of her family has been able to get in touch with her.

“Kim has not returned to rehab after the wedding,” the source says. “She will not answer anyone’s calls and is missing in action. Everyone is really worried but no one knows where she is.”

We can understand why Kim would’ve wanted to keep a low profile for a couple days (After all, she acted like such a drunken idiot at the party that her sober coach quit on the spot, and her daughter won’t talk to her.), but now that almost a week has passed, there may be cause for concern.

In fact, things have gotten so bad that Kim’s bosses can’t even get a hold of her to fire her!

“Things do not look good for her returning to the show now,” says the source. “Producers want to give her the ultimatum that if she doesn’t return to rehab by the end of this week that it’s over, but they have not been able to reach her.”

Talk of Richards being fired from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills has been circulating for months, and she no doubt knew she was on the chopping block, so she may be on to something with this whole “disappear in a foreign country” to avoid getting canned bit.

Hey, she may even get a spinoff – The Real Housewife Who Sleeps on the Beach in Cabo!

brandi glanville drunk gif Kim Richards: MISSING Following Wedding Relapse!
View Slideshow: 18 Reality Stars Who Need to Check into Rehab

[via thehollywoodgossip]

Selling the Desert’s Water-Conservation Lessons to the Rest of the World

The Israeli farmers who pioneered the revolutionary technology known as drip irrigation weren’t trying to solve one of the world’s most urgent problems. They were just trying to survive. They lived in the desert, and they didn’t have enough water to grow their crops. One day, they met an engineer named Simcha Blass who told them about his amazing new invention.

In its simplest form, it was little more than a hose with holes in it. But behind each hole was a sophisticated little device called a dripper, a sort of button-like valve that emitted just the right amount of water. Snaked along a row of crops so that the holes were positioned directly above the roots, the hose could direct each precious drop of water directly to the plants, growing a bigger bounty while using a fraction of the water.

The farmers decided to start manufacturing these hoses, and over time, they improved upon the technology, perfecting the drippers that regulated the flow of water, and connecting the pipelines to computers that could determine exactly how much water each plant needed and when.

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MoshikBrin / Netafim

By the late 70s, they understood that they had stumbled upon something big. If the global population kept growing, the rest of the world would increasingly resemble their little community in the desert—a bunch of farmers with barely enough water to grow the crops needed to feed their families. So they began selling their irrigation systems in other parts of the world, eventually expanding to more than 110 countries. Today, their products are helping farmers in India and Africa grow bigger, better crops with less water. The company says it’s lifting people out of poverty and conserving water at a time when the importance of doing so has never been clearer.

The company, Netafim, was founded in 1965 on a kibbutz in the Negev Desert in the south of Israel, near Beersheva, and is today based in Tel Aviv. Although the company won’t share its profit records, there’s no question that Netafim has done very well as the global demand for water has grown increasingly intense. In the last 35 years, Netafim’s revenues have climbed from $ 60 million to more than $ 750 million, and its workforce has grown from a handful of kibbutzniks to more than 4,000 people on every continent but Antarctica. With a 30 percent market share, it’s the leading drip-irrigation company in the world.

Unfortunately for humanity, the natural forces fueling Netafim’s success aren’t likely to slow down anytime soon. If current population and climate trends continue, vast regions of the world will soon face “potentially devastating consequences for human life and health, business and agriculture, international relations, and the environment,” a recent report by McKinsey grimly predicted. In India, the problem is especially bad: By 2050, the country’s demand for water could exceed supply by 50 percent, according to a United Nations report.

The mass adoption of drip irrigation won’t save the world by itself. To avoid the coming catastrophe, nearly everybody will, in some way, have to “do more with less,” as the Netafim slogan goes, perhaps through embracing other novel technologies, like desalination. Otherwise, it’s going to get ugly.

Israelis know this as well as anyone. In 1965, the year Netafim was founded, a skirmish broke out between Israeli and Syrian soldiers over a spring in the Golan Heights—one of the few sources of freshwater in the region. Two years later, the fallout from the conflict helped ignite the Six-Day War, during which Israel took control of the region’s main water supply.

Palestinians are still suffering the consequences. In Gaza, just 20 miles from the kibbutz where Netafim began, Israel’s bombings last summer exacerbated what was already a desperate situation, destroying 30 percent of the territory’s water pipes, as well as 23 municipal wells and 500 septic tanks. A recent UN report warned that within the next five years the lack of fresh water will make Gaza uninhabitable. It’s precisely the type of disaster that Netafim could help prevent, but the current political reality makes doing so impossible.

In other parts of the world, the impending crisis spells opportunity for Netafim. After the U.S., India is already Netafim’s largest market, the lynchpin of its growing empire in the developing world. The company is also expanding its operations in China, Brazil, and throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

“We are working more and more with small farmers, and we are irrigating staple crops, not high value crops,” said Naty Barak, the company’s director of sustainability.

Gone are the days when drip-irrigation was almost exclusively used to grow expensive niche products like wine grapes and oranges. “We are irrigating maize, sugar cane, potatoes, cassava, soybeans, and corn,” Barak said proudly. “I think we are doing more business now in the developing world than the developed world.”  

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MoshikBrin / Netafim

In most parts of the developing world, farmers still get water to their crops by flooding their fields. It’s a terribly inefficient process, but it’s relatively cheap. Although farmers who convert to drip irrigation usually reap the returns on their investment within a year, the switch requires an outlay of funds that most small farmers in poor countries just can’t afford. It’s not just the technology that is costly. Operating it takes skill and knowledge. When a farmer busy an irrigation system from Netafim, the company sends its experts to his or her farm to analyze the soil and the water, to recommend a specific model, and to train him or her in its use and care. All that work is reflected in the bill.

In India, a drip irrigation system for a family farm costs around $ 500, about the same it as costs in Texas or California, never mind that the average Indian earned just $ 1,140 in 2014.

That’s where governments and NGOs come in. The Indian government is subsidizing the shift away from flood irrigation, paying for half of every system purchased from Netafim and its competitors. In Africa, where farmers often tend plots just large enough to feed their families, Netafim relies on NGOs to organize the farmers into larger groups. “You cannot sell to one family here and one family there,” said Barak. “Sometimes I sound like I am working for an NGO, but I have to remind myself, ‘We are a business.’”

This article was originally published at

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[via theatlantic]

Shawshank Redemption Envisioned As A Game Like You’ve Always Wanted

shawshank 610 Shawshank Redemption Envisioned As A Game Like Youve Always Wanted

In 1994, Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman starred in a movie adaptation of a Stephen King novel about a banker who was sentenced to life in Shawshank State Prison for the murder of his wife and her lover. Of course, the first thing that most people said when they walked out of the theater was, "When are they going to turn that into a video game?" Sadly, that never happened, but now we know what that game should have looked like.

Get a quick recap to Andy Dufresne's life behind bars thanks to CineFix.

Speaking of movies, do you think that the video game industry even needs movies? Or are there any old video game movies that deserve a second shot as a television show?

 Shawshank Redemption Envisioned As A Game Like Youve Always Wanted