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This Weighted Sensory Lap Pad is the Hero of Hyperactive Kids!

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One of the greatest struggles for restless children is focusing. Whether your child has an attention disorder such as ADHD or simply an overly inquisitive nature and a desire to wander and explore, the struggle to sit still and keep their attention on one task at a time can be a major detriment to your child’s success both in school and social situations. Children who cannot pay attention while their teacher is explaining a lesson will have great difficulty learning and completing their school work, and when your child’s restlessness grows out of their control, they become fidgety and disruptive, kicking car and bus seats in front of them while traveling or running away in public stores. Having a lot of energy isn’t always a bad thing, but when it’s time to reign it in and sit still, many parents have found that a Weighted Sensory Lap Pad from Huggaroo will work wonders to keep their hyperactive little one comfortably sitting still and focused.

The Huggaroo Weighted Lap Pad is a cute and fun plush animal with a long, flat stomach pad that drapes gently across the user’s lap to provide calming pressure. It works just like a weighted blanket, applying deep pressure stimulation to relax the body, which in turn relaxes the wandering mind. Little fidgeters can run their hands over the super soft Minky fabric of their weighted friend to keep their hands busy without losing focus on what they’re meant to be doing, which makes the Huggaroo Weighted Lap Pad a wonderful companion to reading time and homework sessions! And, because this weighted sensory lap pad is just 3.6 pounds, it is easy to bring along whenever you travel. You child will finally sit still on long car rides instead of pestering their neighbors and kicking the seats in front of them every few minutes. Plus, with their soothing snuggly weighted friend in tow, travel anxiety and homesickness melt away!

Parents love the Huggaroo Weighted Lap Pad not only for its calming nature but also for the high-quality care that’s gone into its design. The friendly puppy and lamb faces of the plush weighted sensory lap pad are inviting to children, which makes them much more eager to use the lap pad. There’s no struggle or fighting because kids love to drag their snuggly pal across their lap and settle down. Many children even sleep beside their Huggaroo Weighted Lap Pads! And because kids are using it, the Huggaroo Weighted Lap Pad can work as a compromise to convince homework haters to get to work. A friendly puppy dog or fluffy lamb can make any boring task seem a bit more fun, after all!

Of course, the best thing by far about the Huggaroo Weighted Lap Pad is how easy it is to care for. As any parent knows, children are messy, and sometimes that mess spreads to their favorite toys, clothes, and stuffed animals. The founders of Huggaroo are parents too, and that’s why they made sure their weighted lap pad was 100% machine washable. Both the outer fluffy animal-shaped cover and the inner cotton weighted insert of the Huggaroo Weighted Lap Pad can be run safely through a cold, gentle wash cycle on any standard washing machine. The cover and inner insert are also separable, making it easy to care for any level of spill on your child’s snuggle pal. And like all Huggaroo products, this lap pad’s quality is guaranteed by a full year manufacturer warranty. Should you ever notice a manufacturing flaw on your child’s lap pad, Huggaroo will happily repair or replace it free of charge!

If you’re ready to end the fidgets and bring on the focus, head over to Huggaroo.com and try the Huggaroo Weighted Lap Pad today!

For more information about Adult Weighted Blanket and Weighted Lap Pad For Kids Please visit : Huggaroo.

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Wendy Murphy: ACLU insults women and the memory of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

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Wendy Murphy: ACLU insults women and the memory of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Last week, the ACLU issued a public statement in recognition of the one-year anniversary of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death. The statement included a quote from one of Justice Ginsburg’s most famous comments about women’s rights, but it was edited to change what she actually said.

The correct quote is: “The decision whether or not to bear a child is central to a woman’s life, to her dignity … When the government controls that decision for women, women are being treated as less than a fully adult human responsible for her own choices.”

What the ACLU wrote was: “The decision whether or not to bear a child is central to a (person’s) life, to (their) dignity … When the government controls that decision for (people), (they) are being treated as less than a fully adult human responsible for (their) own choices.” They erased the fact that Justice Ginsburg was speaking about women.

That the ACLU would want to erase women is not surprising. They have been hostile to women’s rights since forever, save for the occasional token lawsuit that rarely makes a difference, or makes things worse, like the lawsuit they filed against Betsy DeVos that helped weaken Title IX.

They aggressively fought against the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1950s and 60s, claiming women did not need equality and that the chronic problem of unequal pay was “nothing but a universally bad habit.” Then they inexplicably started supporting the ERA in 1970, only to become involved in cases that led to the ERA’s demise.

Changing RBG’s quotes is stunningly stupid because it exposes the ACLU’s anti-women core; something the ACLU generally tries to hide. It is also deeply disrespectful of Justice Ginsburg, who used words like “women” and “her” to express the unique suffering women endure AS WOMEN, not men. Imagine the ACLU quoting Martin Luther King saying: “I have a dream that one day little () boys and girls will be holding hands with little () boys and girls,” when what he actually said was, “I have a dream that one day little black boys and girls will be holding hands with little white boys and girls.”

The pressure to erase words like “women” from American culture is supported by a lot of money, ostensibly to ensure that non-binary people feel included, but the truth is much simpler. Monied interests want to erase the word “women” to inhibit their political power as a class of people. If the goal were truly to help non-binary people, we could just ADD words like “non-binary” to make sure nobody feels excluded.

Not using the word “women,” which would mean we also cannot use the word “men,” will not help people who choose to live their lives as something other than their biological reality. If a biological woman who lives as a man suffers discrimination because he is a man, the law will protect him as a man. And if he suffers discrimination because he is a non-binary person, the law will protect him as a non-binary person. Elimination of the word “man” will undermine his rights, not advance them.

If groups like the ACLU continue this nonsense of erasing words like “women,” “men,” “boy” and “girl” from society, what’s next? Does the song, “I am Woman” by Helen Reddy become “I am Person.” Do we have to sing: “No Person No Cry” by Bob Marley; “American Person” by the Guess Who; “Black Magic Person” by Santana; “Pretty Person” by Roy Orbison; “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Person” by Aretha Franklin; “When a Person Loves a Person” by Percy Sledge; “My Person, My Person, My Spouse” by Marty Robbins; “Brown-Eyed Person” by Van Morrison; “Waiting for a Person Like You” by Foreigner; “Surfer Person” by the Beach Boys; “Stand By Your Person” by Tammy Wynette; “Mx. Tambourine Person” by the Byrds; “It’s a Person’s World” by James Brown; “Where the People Are” by Connie Francis, and “Southern Person” by Neil Young?

Will protesters soon show up at Brigham and Women’s Hospital to demand that it be renamed Brigham and Persons? Can the National Organization for Women and League of Women Voters keep their names? Do we have to remove “women” and “woman” from our laws? In Massachusetts alone, the word appears in over 500 places, often for the purpose of protecting women from discrimination that would otherwise be allowed given that women still lack full equality under the federal Constitution.

Regardless of the true agenda here, no label-maker will ever erase women as a class of people. If by some well-funded nightmare, the word “women” does disappear from our linguistic landscape, women will rise up stronger and more united than ever before, because nothing ignites a movement better than an organized attempt to erase it.

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Be prepared for a weird series of electoral events in Boston

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Be prepared for a weird series of electoral events in Boston

Go grab a copy of the Boston governing charter — you’re going to need it these next few months, as a bizarre series of happenings could invoke just about every election rule in the tome.

Acting Mayor Kim Janey’s administration announced that the next elected mayor of Boston will be sworn in on Nov. 16, two weeks after the Nov. 2 general election between City Councilors Annissa Essaibi-George and Michelle Wu.

Janey’s office wrote in the press release — which featured a picture of the three women smiling behind masks at the Francis Parkman House on Beacon Hill — that that will come after the votes are certified on Nov. 15. That is, of course, assuming there’s no recount — like the protracted one in the 2019 at-large council race.

Normally, when Boston elects a new mayor, the person has two months’ time to transition in, with the new term beginning the following January. But in this case, because there’s an acting mayor, the charter say the new elected mayor takes office ASAP, right after the vote is certified.

Janey’s office said it will begin administrative meetings with both candidates in mid-October because of the abridged transition period.

One consequence of the early swearing-in is that it will, no matter what, create a vacancy in an at-large council seat for about a month and a half, as both Wu and Essaibi-George are currently at-large councilors.

For a vacancy in one of the four at-large seats, the charter says the city clerk has 21 days to formally notify the council, which then has 15 days to seat someone. The at-large seats are elected all together, so the charter says the council essentially is supposed to go down the list of the four runners-up until one says they’ll take the gig — though in the unlikely event that no one does the city council gets to choose any registered voter in Boston.

In 2018, when then-Councilor Ayanna Pressley was elected to Congress, the first runner up Althea Garrison, a perennial candidate, took over and served the rest of the term.

How long the new councilor might serve depends how much of the 21 days and how much of the 15 days the clerk and council decide to eat up, City Clerk Maureen Feeney acknowledged on Friday, but she said it’s likely that someone would have that seat at least briefly.

The most recent first runner up is Alejandra St. Guillen, who lost the final at-large spot 2019 by just a single vote after a long and fraught recount. If she were to end up on the council, she’d sit right next to Julia Mejia, who edged her out by that one ballot.

The other runners up in 2019 were Erin Murphy, Garrison and David Halbert — all of whom are on the ballot in the at-large race again this November, so each would have either just won or lost a race for an upcoming two-year term to start in January.

But there could be another at-large vacancy, too, as we get into the more speculative situations possible. Rumors have swirled that Gov. Charlie Baker could appoint At-Large City Councilor Michael Flaherty as Suffolk County District Attorney if current DA Rachael Rollins is confirmed to the post of U.S. Attorney. The U.S. Senate committee is expected to vote on Rollins’ nomination this coming week, potentially sending her name to the full body for a final vote at a later date.

If Rollins were approved and Flaherty appointed, the at-large vacancy rules would kick in then, too — whenever that may be, whether that’s before or after the election, or even in the new council term. Either way, Flaherty, the top vote-getter in the at-large preliminary earlier this month, will show up on the November council ballot, even if he’s the DA.

And your copy of the charter might not stop getting a workout at the end of the calendar year.

District 1 City Councilor Lydia Edwards is running in the special election for the 1st Suffolk state Senate seat, for which the primary election takes place Dec. 14. If Edwards — who at this point has just one opponent, Revere School Committee member Anthony D’Ambrosio — wins that, the general special election follows about a month later. If — as we continue the Boston political speculation here — she were to win that, she’d quickly resign her city council seat, which covers East Boston, Charlestown and the North End, and take on the new gig.

But believe it or not, the charter handles district-councilor vacancies differently than it does when someone leaves an at large seat. For a district vacancy that takes place more than 180 days before a municipal election — which this one easily would be, as the next normal local contest wouldn’t come until 2023 — that seat then has its own special election.

First there would be a preliminary contest about two months after the vacancy starts, and the top two vote-getters would then move to a general special election 28 days later.

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Protesters gather in Boston to oppose treatment of Haitians at the border

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Protesters gather in Boston to oppose treatment of Haitians at the border

Elected officials, Haitians, unions and supporters gathered outside the JFK Federal Building Friday, expressing outrage over the viral images circulated earlier this week showing a Border Patrol agent on horseback whipping Haitian migrants in Texas.

“We are supposed to be a land that welcomes immigrants, but yet we are turning them away every chance that we get,” said Boston City Council at-large candidate Ruthzee Louijeune, a Haitian American. “We are supposed to be a country that celebrates our diversity, but yet we allow anti-Blackness to cloud our policy.”

Attendees at the rally included both Boston mayoral candidates; representatives from Sen. Ed Markey’s, Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s and Rep. Ayanna Pressley’s offices; and several Boston City Council and state Legislature members.

Mayoral candidate Annissa Essaibi-George said the rally sent a “loud and clear message” to President Joe Biden over the incident. Her rival, Michelle Wu, called Haiti, which has suffered an earthquake and the assassination of their president this summer, a “beacon of democracy and hope and activism and organizing.”

A group of Boston elected officials of color, including the mayoral candidates and Suffolk County DA Rachael Rollins, released a letter earlier this week denouncing the treatment of Haitian migrants at the southern border along the Rio Grande, and called for the firing of the Border Patrol agents in the viral photos.

A large group from Massachusetts 1199 SEIU, the health care workers’ union, also showed up at the rally, expressing support for their large number of Haitian members.

“Coming to an event like this is not only supporting our members, but it’s their families, their communities (and) where they come from,” Filaine Deronnette, vice president of health systems for the union, said.

“We wouldn’t be here if Haitians were from Sweden,” said attendee Ben Jerome from Watertown and originally from Haiti, repeating a theme heard throughout the rally that the poor treatment of Haitian immigrants is due to anti-Black sentiment. “I find it very inhumane the way (Biden) is treating Haitians, and I think we can do better.”

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Migrants gone from Texas border camp as Biden blasts agents

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Migrants gone from Texas border camp as Biden blasts agents

DEL RIO, Texas — No migrants remained Friday at the Texas border encampment where almost 15,000 people — most of them Haitians — had converged just days earlier seeking asylum, local and federal officials said.

It’s a dramatic change from last Saturday, when the number peaked as migrants driven by confusion over the Biden administration’s policies and misinformation on social media converged at the border crossing connecting Del Rio, Texas, and Ciudad Acuña, Mexico.

President Biden on Friday blasted the way border agents used their horses, saying it was “horrible” and that “people will pay” as a result. The agents have been assigned to administrative duties while the administration investigates.

“There will be consequences,” Biden told reporters. “It’s an embarrassment, but it’s beyond an embarrassment — it’s dangerous, it’s wrong, it sends the wrong message around the world and sends the wrong message at home. It’s simply not who we are.”

Later, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas spoke cautiously about the pending investigation into the use of horses. Asked about the discrepancy, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden “was not prejudging an outcome. He was speaking from the heart.” She said he is not interfering with any investigation.

Mayorkas said about 2,000 Haitians have been rapidly expelled on 17 flights since Sunday and more could be expelled in coming days under pandemic powers that deny people the chance to seek asylum.

He said the U.S. has allowed about 12,400 to enter the country, at least temporarily, while they make claims before an immigration judge to stay in the country under the asylum laws or for some other legal reason. They could ultimately be denied and would be subject to removal.

Mayorkas said about 5,000 are in DHS custody and being processed to determine whether they will be expelled or allowed to press their claim for legal residency. Some returned to Mexico.

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3 mountain homes in Colorado that you can buy for under $200k, $300k and $400k

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3 mountain homes in Colorado that you can buy for under $200k, $300k and $400k

If you’ve been looking to buy a home these past few months around Denver, you probably know how unimaginable, absurd and downright rude real estate prices have become.

And that’s with things improving. Listings stayed on the market for an average of 11 days as of last month; the median home price fell to $581,000 (down from a $600,000 all-time high in June).

How fun for those of us looking to own a house with a yard anytime soon!

My day job is to write about food, but by night, I switch to scouring real estate sites for some unicorn — likely still in need of work, to be sure. And at the end of the summer housing frenzy, I found three houses on the market, in the mountains, that seem almost too good to be true.

Woodland Park cabin for $175,000

I love the gingerbread feel of this 516-square-foot cabin outside of Colorado Springs. The house is halfway through a remodel, which is better than a cheap flip for my money, and still leaves room for the right finishes and fixtures throughout. And the price is just fine for that (for someone who’s up for the work). Fresh wood paneling on the walls would make for pretty shiplap, the lofted bedroom has a balcony all its own. And I’m eyeing one outbuilding to be converted into a sauna, with a wood storage shed attached. 83 Gentian Road, Woodland Park, recolorado.com

1632573729 23 3 mountain homes in Colorado that you can buy for

Provided by Evergreen Commercial Group

This National Historic Registry home was built in 1890 and completely refurbished in 2015.

Historic in Central City for $288,000

Options galore on this one, which starts at $288k for the 528-square-foot 1890 home (that’s been completely updated as of 2015). Then, there are four surrounding lots that can be purchased for up to $600,000 altogether, with options to build. The closest lot features an (even older) cabin that I’d just love to preserve — arts and crafts room, anyone? The bathroom needs a little love, for my taste. But the sweet outdoor space and position overlooking the mining district is hard to beat anywhere. 305 Bates St., Central City, evergreencommercialgroup.com

Cuchara double A-frame for $398,000

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Cook County Sheriff’s office in Chicago deals with mental health crisis one Zoom call at a time

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Cook County Sheriff’s office in Chicago deals with mental health crisis one Zoom call at a time

CHICAGO — The sergeant had so little use for the tablet that she did not bother to grab it from the seat of her squad car when she ran into the house where a suicidal man was screaming and slamming his head against the floor.

But when she saw the man might harm himself, his family or her officers with knives he was threatening to use, she sent an officer to retrieve the tablet. She turned it on, handed it to the man and told him to talk to the woman whose face appeared on the screen. And then she watched as the man immediately calmed down.

“When I saw how this tool pacified him, I was like, holy smokes, this is incredible,” said Cook County Sheriff’s Police Sgt. Bonnie Busching.

The scene marked the first time the department took the idea of the Zoom call that has become so common during the COVID-19 pandemic and inserted it into one of the most dangerous things a police officer can do: answer a domestic disturbance call.

Law enforcement agencies are struggling nationwide with increasing violent crime as calls mount for changing how police interact with citizens, especially those with mental health issues. Police are still most often the first called to the scene, and the sheriff’s department’s Treatment Response Team is a novel approach to managing such calls.

Started two years ago, the effort was designed to help the sheriff’s department’s 300-member police force deal with a skyrocketing number of drug overdose calls during a national opioid crisis.

Then, as the pandemic left more people isolated in their homes, either unable to connect to services or unwilling to step outside and risk getting sick, the department was faced with an explosion of 911 calls linked to threats of suicide and other mental health crises.

The sheriff, who made national headlines for putting in place programs at his jail dealing with the growing number of inmates with mental health problems, now saw the same kind of issues playing out for his officers on the street.

“We were being asked more and more to be the first responders for mental health cases and they were being asked to do things they don’t have training for or minimal training for,” said Tom Dart, whose department is the second largest sheriff’s office in the nation and patrols unincorporated parts of Cook County and many of its smaller communities. It has seen the number of 911 calls involving mental health issues increase by nearly 60% this year.

There are other programs around the country, but most involved mental health professionals riding around with police officers or in ambulances, Dart said. That’s fine for smaller communities but wasn’t practical for Cook County, where getting from one end to the other — without traffic — takes well more than an hour.

“How many ambulances would we have to buy and how many would we have to hire to man them all?” Dart asked
Enter the tablets.

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The battle for digital privacy is reshaping the internet

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The battle for digital privacy is reshaping the internet

By Brian X. Chen, The New York Times Company

SAN FRANCISCO — Apple introduced a pop-up window for iPhones in April that asks people for their permission to be tracked by different apps.

Google recently outlined plans to disable a tracking technology in its Chrome web browser.

And Facebook said last month that hundreds of its engineers were working on a new method of showing ads without relying on people’s personal data.

The developments may seem like technical tinkering, but they were connected to something bigger: an intensifying battle over the future of the internet. The struggle has entangled tech titans, upended Madison Avenue and disrupted small businesses. And it heralds a profound shift in how people’s personal information may be used online, with sweeping implications for the ways that businesses make money digitally.

At the center of the tussle is what has been the internet’s lifeblood: advertising.

More than 20 years ago, the internet drove an upheaval in the advertising industry. It eviscerated newspapers and magazines that had relied on selling classified and print ads, and threatened to dethrone television advertising as the prime way for marketers to reach large audiences.

Instead, brands splashed their ads across websites, with their promotions often tailored to people’s specific interests. Those digital ads powered the growth of Facebook, Google and Twitter, which offered their search and social networking services to people without charge. But in exchange, people were tracked from site to site by technologies such as “cookies,” and their personal data was used to target them with relevant marketing.

Now that system, which ballooned into a $350 billion digital ad industry, is being dismantled. Driven by online privacy fears, Apple and Google have started revamping the rules around online data collection. Apple, citing the mantra of privacy, has rolled out tools that block marketers from tracking people. Google, which depends on digital ads, is trying to have it both ways by reinventing the system so it can continue aiming ads at people without exploiting access to their personal data.

If personal information is no longer the currency that people give for online content and services, something else must take its place. Media publishers, app-makers and e-commerce shops are now exploring different paths to surviving a privacy-conscious internet, in some cases overturning their business models. Many are choosing to make people pay for what they get online by levying subscription fees and other charges instead of using their personal data.

Jeff Green, CEO of the Trade Desk, an ad-technology company in Ventura, California, that works with major ad agencies, said the behind-the-scenes fight was fundamental to the nature of the web.

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Apple iPhone 13 review: The most incremental upgrade ever

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Apple iPhone 13 review: The most incremental upgrade ever

By Brian X. Chen, The New York Times Company

The truth is that smartphones peaked a few years ago.

After so many advances, the miniature computers have reached incredible speeds, their screens have become bigger and brighter, and their cameras produce images that make amateur photographers look like wizards.

The problem with so much great innovation is that upgrades are now so iterative that it has become difficult to know what to write about them each year. That’s especially the case with Apple’s iPhone 13, which may be the most incremental update ever to the iPhone.

The newest iPhone is just 10% faster than last year’s models. (For context, in 2015, the iPhone 6S was more than 70% faster than its predecessor, the iPhone 6.) Its flashiest new feature, a higher screen “refresh rate” on the $1,000-plus models, makes motion look smoother when opening apps and scrolling through text — hardly a game-changer.

Innovations on smartphone cameras also appear to be slowing. Apple executives described the iPhone 13 cameras as “dramatically more powerful” and the iPhone’s “most advanced” ever, largely because they can capture more light and reduce noise. But in my tests, the improvements were marginal.

This is all to say the annual phone upgrade, which companies like Apple and Samsung tout with enormous marketing events and ad campaigns to gin up sales for the holiday shopping season, has become a mirage of tech innovation. In reality, the upgrades are now a celebration of capitalism in the form of ruthless incrementalism.

What better way to illustrate that slow march than with smartphone photos? To put the iPhone 13 cameras to the test, I bought a special tripod to hold two phones side by side so I could snap roughly the same photos of my dogs at the same time. I compared shots taken with the new iPhones, last year’s iPhone 12 and a three-year-old iPhone XS.

When I got the results, I was genuinely surprised by how well the iPhone XS camera stood up against the newest models. And the iPhone 13’s camera was just barely better than the iPhone 12’s.

To compare photos shot in daylight, I took all the phones and my dogs, Max (a corgi) and Mochi (a brown Labrador), to a park in Richmond, California. In one test shot of them sitting next to each other in the shade, the iPhone 13 and 12 photos were hardly distinguishable. The iPhone 13 did a somewhat better job capturing shadows.

In a test comparing the $1,000 iPhone 13 Pro with the iPhone XS, the $1,000 model released in 2018, both photos of the dogs in bright sunlight looked clear and detailed. I will grant you that the iPhone 13 Pro produced images with more vibrant colors.

But in one test on a shaded path in the middle of the woods, the photo taken with the iPhone 13 Pro made Mochi look blown out by the sunlight; the shadows and lighting captured by the three-year-old iPhone looked more natural. Apple disagreed with my assessment.

The improvements in the new iPhone cameras were most visible in lowlight photos taken with night mode, which captures multiple pictures and then fuses them together while making adjustments for colors and contrast. Low-light shots of Max perched on a balcony just after sunset looked clearer when taken with the iPhone 13 Pro than with the iPhone 12.

Low light was an area where the three-year-old iPhone XS could not compete because its camera lacks a night mode. In the same test, Max was cloaked in darkness, except for his handsome white mane.

The iPhone 13 cameras also have a new video feature called cinematic mode, which uses algorithms to automatically focus on faces — even those of my dogs — as they move around. I’d be hard pressed to imagine why a person with no ambitions to become a filmmaker would use this mode, but I can think of a few TikTokers who might like it.

So in summary, the iPhone 13 cameras are slightly better than those of last year’s iPhones. Even compared with iPhones from three years ago, the cameras are much better only if you care about taking nice photos in the dark.

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Biden: Budget talks hit “stalemate,” $3.5T may take a while

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Biden: Budget talks hit “stalemate,” $3.5T may take a while

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden says that talks over his $3.5 trillion rebuilding plan have hit a “stalemate” in Congress as he made the case for his expansive effort to recast the nation’s tax and spending programs and make what he sees as sweeping, overdue investments.

Biden spoke at the White House as Democrats in the House and Senate are laboring to finish drafts and overcome differences between the party’s centrist and moderate factions. Despite efforts by the president and congressional leaders to show progress, Biden on Friday cast the road ahead as long and potentially cumbersome, even with upcoming deadlines.

“We’re getting down to the hard spot here,” Biden told reporters at the White House. “We’re at this stalemate at the moment.”

Biden said the process is “going to be up and down” but ”hopefully at the end of the day I’ll be able to deliver on what I said I would do.”

The president’s acknowledgment of Democrats’ disagreements — and they have serious differences over taxes, health, climate change and the ultimate price tag — contrasted with congressional leaders’ more upbeat tone in recent days. Using carefully chosen words, top Democrats have seemed to be trying to create a sense of momentum as House votes approach.

On Friday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., predicted passage of both pillars of Biden’s domestic agenda. One is a still-evolving $3.5 trillion package of social safety net and climate programs, the other a separate $1 trillion measure financing highway, internet and other infrastructure projects that’s already passed the Senate with bipartisan support.

“We’re going to pass both bills,” she told reporters.

But she did not spell out how she and her Senate counterpart, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., would resolve disagreements and distrust between their party’s moderate and progressive wings that’s stalled both measures. And there remained confusion about the voting schedule, which will be crucial.

Pelosi promised House moderates last month that by this Monday, the chamber will consider the infrastructure bill, centrists’ top priority.

But progressives are threatening to vote to derail the infrastructure legislation until a final version of their favorite — the $3.5 trillion social and environment bill — passes the Senate and returns to the House. Progressives think delaying the public works bill would pressure moderates to back the larger measure.

“We’re bringing the bill up, we will have a vote when we have the votes,” Pelosi told a reporter Friday about the infrastructure bill’s timing. While she said debate would begin Monday, her remarks suggested that final passage of the public works legislation could slip.

Pelosi also told reporters that “the plan” was for her chamber to consider the $3.5 trillion package next week as well. It remained unclear how House-Senate bargainers would solve their differences over that bill that quickly.

The president said his private meetings with some two dozen Democratic lawmakers this week in efforts to hasten progress and close the deal went well — describing the tone as collegial and with “no hollering.”

But as lawmakers raised objections over the sweep and scope of the plan, which is to be funded by higher taxes on corporations and the wealthy, Biden said he tried to get them focused on priorities — what they can and can’t live with.

”It’s about paying your fair share, for lord’s sake,” Biden said. “There clearly is enough, from a panoply of options, to pay for whatever it is.”

In a stark reality check, Biden suggested talks could drag to the end of the year. “It’s just going to take some time,” he said.

Lawmakers are working nonstop and Biden is facing pressure to close the deal. Pelosi met Friday at the Capitol with her leadership team, and the House Budget Committee planned a rare Saturday session to take the strictly procedural step of sending the $3.5 trillion bill, as drafted by 13 other House panels, to the full chamber without any changes.

Before the House votes on that measure, it is certain to change, perhaps more than once, to reflect compromises reached with Senate Democrats.

Biden’s big vision over his “Build Back Better” campaign promise proposes expanding health, education and federal programs, with more services for Americans of all ages, while investing heavily in efforts to tackle climate change. All this would be paid for largely by hiking tax rates on corporations and wealthy individuals, those earning beyond $400,000 a year, or $450,000 for married couples.

But centrist Democrats see the overall price tag as too much, while progressive lawmakers are hesitant to compromise any further after already having dropped even more ambitious ideas.

___

Associated Press writer Alan Fram contributed to this report.

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Broncos confident LB Justin Strnad is ready for first NFL start, extended opportunity after Josey Jewell’s season-ending injury

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Broncos confident LB Justin Strnad is ready for first NFL start, extended opportunity after Josey Jewell’s season-ending injury

With inside linebacker Josey Jewell out for the season with a pectoral injury, Justin Strnad has been thrust into Jewell’s role and will make his first NFL start Sunday against the Jets.

But according to Von Miller’s scouting report, the Broncos aren’t expecting a drop-off at the position. That’s based off what the All-Pro saw out of Strnad in the latter’s brief training camp as a rookie in 2020, when Strnad “was on fire” before sustaining a season-ending wrist injury.

“Justin’s a big, athletic inside linebacker, and he can cover, he can play the run,” Miller said. “Pairing him with (fellow starting inside backer Alexander Johnson), we have two big linebackers in there.

“Nobody will be able to fill in what Josey did for us. He’s just so intelligent, and he can guard the running back. He can do all types of (coverage) stuff for us. But it’s Justin’s turn, and that’s just how the league is — next man up mentality. We can’t make up for Josey, but we have to play to Justin’s strengths and I feel pretty comfortable with Justin in there.”

At 6-foot-3, 235 pounds, Strnad is more lanky and less compact and beefy than the typical NFL inside linebacker. But that body type will serve him well once he acclimates to the pro game, said Lyle Hemphill, Strnad’s defensive coordinator at Wake Forest.

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