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WillParkinson

Profile Information

Name: Will Parkinson
Gender: Male
Hometown: Milwaukee, WI
Home country: USA
Current location: My living room
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 16,349

About Me

Just celebrated my 25th anniversary with Paul Parkinson. I figure anyone who can stand to be with me more than 25 minutes is a keeper, but 25 years?

Journal Archives

How cool is this? Frog species that can change shape discovered by local researchers (photos)

http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2015/03/frog_species_discovered_by_loc.html

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- A local graduate student and her husband have found a shape-shifting frog in Ecuador that changes its skin texture from spikey to smooth in mere minutes.

It is believed to be the first vertebrate identified that can do that, said Katherine Krynak, who is working toward a PhD in biology at Case Western Reserve University.

The new critter is called Pristimantis mutabilis (mutable rain frog) but Katherine and Tim Krynak call it punk rocker frog because of the spiked texture that it can present.

Tim, a project manager with the Cleveland Metroparks, said they first encountered the marble-sized amphibian in 2006 when they walked the trails of the Andean cloud forest in Ecuador.

"We were trying to document species of amphibians and saw the frog sitting on a moss-covered leaf," Tim said. "We took a photo of the small frog, but it wasn't until the photograph was enlarged on the computer that we could tell this frog was very different."

On a 2009 trip, they found what appeared to be the same species. "Katherine grabbed it and put it in a cup with a lid so we could take a picture later," he said.
Posted by WillParkinson | Tue Mar 24, 2015, 05:27 PM (7 replies)

I am so proud of Gardein...

They're constantly coming up with new products. The two new types of hand pockets are very good, and the new Kale and Barley pouches are excellent.

I hope to hell they don't go the direction of some of the other companies who used to do vegan items and sell out to a big corporation. That would suck.

We used to get Wheat Meat from (we think) Ivy Foods, which then went to White Wave, and then got discontinued.

A lot of the Morningstar Farms products which then went to Kellogg's.

So I'm going to keep my fingers crossed that Gardein stays wholesome and vegan and good.
Posted by WillParkinson | Sat Mar 21, 2015, 04:37 PM (6 replies)

Sigh.... going to have to stop eating some pretty damn awesome chips

Found out that the vegan bakery we go to (a little bitty shop, locally owned) was named as part of a suit by Smart Balance and Brandeis University.

---

A small artisan bakery in Bay View has been named, along with more than a dozen corporate cookie makers, as a defendant in a patent infringement lawsuit by Brandeis University over the use of fats and blends to improve the ratio of good to bad cholesterol in their products.

Joining Brandeis as a plaintiff is its licensee for the two patents at issue, New Jersey-based GFA Brands, maker of Smart Balance foods.

The suit, filed in federal court in Madison, claims East Side Ovens and more than a dozen major food corporations - such as Nestle, Pillsbury and Unilever - are infringing on a patent for "Increasing the HDL Level in the HDL/LDL Ratio in Human Serum by Balancing Saturated and Polyunsaturated Dietary Fatty Acids."

The adjustment leads to "significant health improvements," according to the lawsuit.

Amanda Maierhafer, owner of East Side Ovens, said she was unaware of the claim until Thursday.

"I have very little understanding of what they are alleging we have done," she said. "We're a tiny little vegan bakery with seven employees."

East Side Ovens is a wholesaler whose products are sold at some area grocery stores, cafés and farmers markets.

"I think it's got to be a mistake somehow," Maierhafer said.

The suit claims the infringing cookies include East Side Ovens' cranberry orange cookies, along with such national brands as Keebler's Chips Deluxe, Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Rippin' Good vanilla wafers.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages, injunctive relief and declaration that the case is exceptional, which would entitle Brandeis and GFA to attorney fees if it prevails. Both are represented by Quarles & Brady's Madison office, which did not return calls Friday.

---

We know Amanda. She's a sweetheart. The courts ruled against Brandeis and Smart Balance, but it still stings the bakery. When I wrote to Smart Balance to express my dismay, they first said they knew nothing about it. Then I posted the link and the story changed to 'oh, they just got caught up in it, and it didn't cost them much business'.

So, you took them to court, but you didn't hurt them 'much'?

Sigh.
Posted by WillParkinson | Mon Mar 16, 2015, 08:45 PM (1 replies)

Christian university shuts down bake sale benefitting homeless LGBT youth

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/03/christian-university-shuts-down-bake-sale-benefitting-homeless-lgbt-youth/

Christian university in Michigan has told students that they are forbidden from raising money for a group that benefits homeless LGBT youth because to do so would “conflict” with the university’s “mission and practices.”

According to Blue Nation Review, students at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan wanted to hold a bake sale to benefit Fierce Chicago, a relief group dedicated to providing services to LGBT homeless youth, who make up an estimated 40 percent of kids under 18 in the U.S. who have no place to live.

The bake sale was planned by AULL4One, Andrews University’s unofficial gay-straight alliance, which boasts around 80 members, but is not allowed to advertise on campus because of the school’s affiliation with the Seventh Day Adventist Church.
Posted by WillParkinson | Tue Mar 10, 2015, 05:25 PM (5 replies)

Old DU members might remember this meme and enjoy the song

Posted by WillParkinson | Thu Mar 5, 2015, 01:31 PM (10 replies)

NSF funded Antarctic Drilling Team finds new ecosystem

NSF-funded antarctic drilling team--first to bore through hundreds of meters of ice to where ice sheet, ocean and land converge--finds a new ecosystem

Using a specially designed hot-water drill to cleanly bore through a half mile of ice, a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded team of researchers has become the first ever to reach and sample the "grounding zone," where Antarctic ice, land and sea all converge. Data gathered from samples of sediment taken in the grounding zone will provide clues about the mechanics of ice sheets and their potential effects on sea-level rise.

Cameras sent down the drilling hole also revealed an unsuspected population of fish and invertebrates living beneath the ice sheet, the farthest south that fish have ever been found. The surprising discovery of fish in waters that are extremely cold at -2 Celsius (28 degrees Fahrenheit) and perpetually dark poses new questions about the ability of life to thrive in extreme environments.

Read more in an NSF news release here: http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=133895
Posted by WillParkinson | Sat Jan 24, 2015, 04:04 AM (1 replies)

My letter to Gardein...

A while back I wrote a letter praising your tenders and how in love with them I was. In fact, the only thing that prevented me from marrying them was the fact I was seeing other Gardein products on the side.

Then I found your Szechuan strips and a new love affair was born. I was torn between the two loves of my life, not really sure which I wanted to be with. I began to think maybe I could see both of them, as long as they didn’t know about one another.

Recently I was introduced to Gardein meatballs.

Really?

What are you trying to do to me?

There are only so many meals in a day, you know. I can see one of them in the afternoon, and one in the evening, but now I have to consider one of them in the morning, too.

I’d say shame on you for what you’re doing to me, but it’s so damn good.

Thank you for everything,

Will Parkinson
Posted by WillParkinson | Tue Jan 6, 2015, 03:33 PM (5 replies)

Monterey researchers take first-ever known video of mysterious black seadevil

http://www.foxnews.com/science/2014/11/22/monterey-researchers-take-first-ever-video-mysterious-black-seadevil/

A research team conducting a dive in Monterey Bay off the coast of California have captured first-ever video of a rarely-seen denizen of the deep called the black seadevil.

The creature was spotted this week in the dark, deep waters 1,900 feet below the surface by researchers with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.

"We've been diving out here in the Monterey Canyon regularly for 25 years, and we've seen three," MBARI Senior Scientist Bruce Robinson told the San Jose Mercury News Friday.

Robinson said a luminescent "fishing pole" projecting from the anglerfish's head is a glowing lure to attract prey.

Robinson told the paper they captured the fish to study, but don't know how long it will survive.

<sigh>
Posted by WillParkinson | Sun Nov 23, 2014, 07:57 PM (16 replies)

Texas approves textbooks with Moses as founding father.

Texas approves textbooks with Moses as Founding Father

November 21, 2014Leave a Comment
by: Michael Stone
Christian conservatives win, children lose: Texas textbooks will teach public school students that the Founding Fathers based the Constitution on the Bible, and the American system of democracy was inspired by Moses.
On Friday the Republican-controlled Texas State Board of Education voted along party lines 10-5 to approve the biased and inaccurate textbooks. The vote signals a victory for Christian conservatives in Texas, and a disappointing defeat for historical accuracy and the education of innocent children.
The textbooks were written to align with instructional standards that the Board of Education approved back in 2010 with the explicit intention of forcing social studies teaching to adhere to a conservative Christian agenda. The standards require teachers to emphasize America’s so called “Christian heritage.”

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/progressivesecularhumanist/2014/11/texas-approves-textbooks-with-moses-as-founding-father/


I hope to hell I've been taken in by a hoax, because this is downright scary.



Posted by WillParkinson | Sat Nov 22, 2014, 04:25 PM (80 replies)

Gay teen commits suicide after being outed and harassed by Catholic school officials

http://www.thegailygrind.com/2014/09/11/gay-teen-commits-suicide-outed-harassed-catholic-school-officials/

Sergio Urrego, 16, took his own life last month after Catholic school administrators harassed the teenager by making his relationship with another young man public and accused him of sexual harassment.

Sergio’s mother, Alba Reyes, has just recently opened up to the media about her son’s suicide in order to clear his name.

Reyes said her nightmare began in May when a teacher at Gimnasio Castillo Campestre school in the Colombian capital Bogotá, saw a photo of Sergio kissing his boyfriend of a month and a half on his cellphone. After confiscating the phone, both boys were sent to the school psychologist.

Edited to add....

Shortly after his funeral, his classmates were called into a meeting with the principal who described the deceased teen as an ‘anarchist,’ ‘atheist,’ and ‘homosexual,’ never once showing any sadness or sense of loss for the former student. The school psychologist also told the students to be ‘discreet’ about the suicide, according to a student who wished to remain anonymous.
Posted by WillParkinson | Fri Nov 21, 2014, 11:21 AM (8 replies)
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