“The dirt under our feet is being so changed by humans that it is now appropriate to call this the “Anthropocene (or man-made) Age,” says a new worldwide overview by Duke University soil scientist Daniel Richter.”
ScienceDaily (2008-01-17) — Climatologists have found that 2007 tied with 1998 for Earth’s second warmest year in a century. The greatest warming in 2007 occurred in the Arctic, and neighboring high latitude regions. Global warming has a larger affect in polar areas, as the loss of snow and ice leads to more open water, which absorbs more sunlight and warmth.
ScienceDaily (2008-01-25) — Changing demographic trends will impact the future of international relations, according to the latest issue of Public Policy & Aging Report. Several hotbed areas in the world that offer the motive and opportunity for political violence are due to stabilize by the year 2030.
“There is a desperate sense of need that there must be something better than Bush out there,” said Dean Godson, head of a conservative research group in London called Policy Exchange. Or, as Thomas Valasek, a spokesman for the Center for European Reform in London, put it: “The world at large has a massive stake in the outcome of the elections. Never before has the U.S. had such a terrible reputation, a terrible image.”—see below
“It is in many ways an uplifting sight to see a great democracy functioning at that most basic of levels,” said Lord McNally, the leader of the small opposition Liberal Democrats in Britain’s House of Lords. “Even with all the money, the publicity, the power of television, the person who wants to be the most powerful man or woman in the world still has to get down and talk in small town halls and stop people on the street and stand on soapboxes.”—U.S. Race Captures World’s Eye, and Holds It - NYTimes
“Savvy criminals are using some of the country’s most credible logos, including FedEx, Wal-Mart, DirecTV and the U.S. Border Patrol, to create fake trucks to smuggle drugs, money and illegal aliens across the border, according to a report by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.”
“Mr. Schönhaus, a young graphic design student, has the brash confidence of youth and a trickster’s zest for dangerous games. He and his girlfriend, for example, put snaps on their yellow stars, placing them in their pockets so they can go into shops and restaurants, and putting them back on when Nazi officials or the police loom.”
It is actually useful to show position ranking of various candidates once you set your position. I was surprised to see what I thought were my top 3 picks below 3 others. He gets his data from here: http://www.2decide.com/table.htm Assuming one votes in part or mostly on bumper sticker or hot button issues and that it is accurate….
Dr. Jane Hightower, a clinician and diagnostician in San Francisco, evaluated more than 100 patients who had vague, unexplained symptoms. Of them, 89 percent had mercury in their blood that exceeded the level considered acceptable by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The symptoms included memory lapses, hair loss, fatigue, sleeplessness, tremors, headaches, muscle and joint pain, trouble thinking, gastrointestinal disturbances and an inability to do complex tasks.
Dr. Hightower tracked 67 of the patients, directing them to stop eating all fish. After 41 weeks, all but two had blood mercury levels lower than the level considered acceptable. Her clinical observations, published in 2003 in Environmental Health Perspectives, indicate that such neurological problems in otherwise healthy adults recede when blood mercury levels go down.
“The current advice from the F.D.A. is insufficient,” said Dr. Philippe Grandjean, adjunct professor of environmental health at the Harvard School of Public Health and chairman of the department of environmental medicine at the University of Southern Denmark. “In order to maintain reasonably low mercury exposure, you have to eat fish low in the food chain, the smaller fish, and they are not saying that.”
“The new study, being published Monday in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, finds that pregnant women who consume 200 milligrams or more of caffeine a day — the amount in 10 ounces of coffee or 25 ounces of tea — may double their risk of miscarriage.
Pregnant women should try to give up caffeine for at least the first three or four months, said the lead author of the study, Dr. De-Kun Li, a reproductive and perinatal epidemiologist at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, Calif.”
“Bohmte, a small town in Germany, is implementing an unusual plan to decrease its traffic accident rate: Take a busy main street and strip it of road signs, curbs, sidewalks and stop lights — then mix up the cars and trucks with pedestrians and bicyclists.” Brilliant. (Seriously!)
”In the United States, forests are not being illegally logged on a systemic scale, as is the case in countries like Indonesia, Malawi and Brazil, where unauthorized harvesting has led to serious deforestation and attendant environmental problems. Here, the issue is often scattered and intimate, and often affects homeowners, parks and public forests.“It’s getting so much worse that I’d say in every county in Kentucky we have timber theft issues,” said Dea Riley, executive director of the Appalachian Roundtable, which provides resources and legal help to victims of tree rustlers. “So many more people are showing up to say, ‘Hey, my timber got stolen.’ The phone just hasn’t stopped ringing. We have a waiting list of victims that we won’t get to in a year.”
“In the summer of 2006, photographer Ramak Fazel set out on a road trip to visit every Capitol Building in the 50 US states. Beginning in his hometown of Fort Wayne, Indiana, Fazel’s journey tours the United States with the purpose of photographically documenting the capitol building of each state and the everyday lives of the people in and around it. “A third of the way through his trip, Fazel, an American citizen, was detained and mirandized on suspicions of terrorism.”
“A $5 glass of wine in Amman, New York or Bangkok will never taste as good as it does after two months in Iraq. Food with flavor, a massage, a pool, a bikini, a family having fun, bad television, good music and views without blast walls — these are colossal pleasures after time spent in a war zone.”Damien and Diana Cave are reporters in Baghadad and married.
“When the store opened that Monday morning, Tommy Books and Leprechaun each in turn emptied their boxes onto the counter, where Neil Winokur, a Strand employee, quickly sorted them into two piles. An incomplete encyclopedia got rejected, as did Donna Tartt’s “Secret History.” (Too many on the market.)”
“In a new series of ads, American Apparel is moving in a political direction. The cause is immigration reform, and the ads say in part that the status quo “amounts to an apartheid system” and should be overhauled to create a legal path for undocumented workers to gain citizenship in the United States.”
“In 2002, high schools in Jessamine County in Kentucky pushed back the first bell to 8:40 a.m., from 7:30 a.m. Attendance immediately went up, as did scores on standardized tests, which have continued to rise each year. Districts in Virginia and Connecticut have achieved similar success. In Minneapolis and Edina, Minn., which instituted high school start times of 8:40 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. respectively in 1997, students’ grades rose slightly and lateness, behavioral problems and dropout rates decreased.
Later is also safer. When high schools in Fayette County in Kentucky delayed their start times to 8:30 a.m., the number of teenagers involved in car crashes dropped, even as they rose in the state.”
“The Polling Place Photo Project is a nationwide experiment in citizen journalism that encourages voters to capture, post and share photographs of this year’s primaries, caucuses and general election. By documenting local voting experiences, participants can contribute to an archive of photographs that captures the richness and complexity of voting in America.”
“I think that the ticking time bomb of our future is the explosion of information readily available and mutable to all—it is so expansive that we will never be able to fathom it all. I imagine before the book was invented, society never thought it might be possible to organize massive amounts of info as bound copy. The conceptual equivalent of the book has not yet been invented, and I’m not talking about websites here.”—
"I think for me the standouts were the guy hammering his fist in the table when talking about Helvetica and the lack of questions, the guy talking about how the swiss lock their letters (fortuitously shot with a wide-angle lens, his hands were HUGE) and everything the articulate yet erratic german fontmaniac said.
So much good stuff. I think this movie has the most passionate people I have ever seen.”
“A few years ago, Todd Palmer, an ecologist at the University of Florida, was walking past a fenced-off research site in Kenya when he noticed something curious: instead of thriving, acacia trees that were protected from leaf-eating elephants and giraffes were withering and dying.”
“In the annals of great heroic exploits, the conquest of Mount Everest by Sir Edmund and Mr. Norgay ranks with the first trek to the South Pole by Roald Amundsen in 1911 and the first nonstop trans-Atlantic flight by Charles A. Lindbergh in 1927.”
“Giving people the means to closely monitor and adjust their electricity use lowers their monthly bills and could significantly reduce the need to build new power plants, according to a yearlong government study.
”Over a 20-year period, this could save $70 billion on spending for power plants and infrastructure, and avoid the need to build the equivalent of 30 large coal-fired plants, say scientists at the federal laboratory.”
“In the real world, doctors and nurses do not always run fast enough. Expert guidelines say the shock should be given within two minutes after the heart stops, but the study found that it took longer in 30 percent of the cases.
The consequences were striking. When the defibrillation was delayed, only 22.2 percent of patients survived long enough to be discharged from the hospital, as opposed to 39.3 percent when the shock was given on time.”
“He’s Two-Buck Huck, and darn proud of it. He likes nothing better than playing the Hick from Hope. He and his wife lived in a trailer for a while, he points out. His son killed a dog one summer, “a mangy dog” at that, as Huckabee explained to the befuddled national press corps. He said he used to eat squirrels, cooking them up in his popcorn popper. Ewwwwhhh!”
Presentation about the mining, harvesting, making, selling, and burial of all our stuff. Good for kids and students and a few adults who are clueless. The hyperbole and preaching are unnecessary and the cliché naivete needs editing (just the facts are enough) but, she is right. Section on the $4.99 radio (about 9 minutes in) is right on. Think about it next time you get a “deal”.