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Profile Information

Gender: Female
Hometown: NE New York
Home country: USA
Current location: Serious Snow Country :(
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 69,697

Journal Archives

Awwww! Lovely kitties and great story! I also have a Felix, found him in a grocery store parking lot

Last August. He was so little! The vet said he was about seven weeks and healthy. He is almost all black and is growing up to be quite a beautiful cat...

Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Thu Apr 16, 2015, 12:29 PM (2 replies)

BP oil spill at issue in two federal court cases next week

Legal battles arising from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill play out in two federal courtrooms in New Orleans next week. On Monday, trial resumes in a district courtroom where BP and a minority partner in its ill-fated Macondo well are trying to fend off billions of dollars in Clean Water Act penalties, and on Tuesday, appeals court judges consider BP's request to oust the man overseeing payments to businesses claiming harm from the spill.

The trial is entering its third week. U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier has been hearing from dueling experts. They are witnesses called by each side as the Justice Department presses for a penalty for BP at or near the $13.7 billion maximum.

Government witnesses have cited evidence of real and potential harm to environment. Coastal communities' economies and social fabric also were damaged, they say.

BP witnesses have painted a picture of a robust response and strong recovery from the disaster. They disputed government witnesses' findings as BP lawyers argue that the government has ignored some of its own data in pressing for the high fine.


This cane pole indicates where land was once located near a marshy patch along the Bay Jimmy in Plaquemines Parish on Tuesday, April 9, 2013. The grass and mangroves in this area were weakened by the effects of the BP oil spill in 2010 and then later hit hard by Hurricane Issac causing it to erode at a quicker than expected pace. (Photo by Chris Granger, Nola.com | The Times-Picayune)
Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Mon Feb 2, 2015, 04:39 AM (1 replies)

Millions of gallons of BP oil found resting on the Gulf floor

Yet another study raises questions about the long-term impact of the 2010 disaster

Another study has identified a massive amount of oil resting on the Gulf of Mexico’s floor, contradicting BP’s claims that everything is totally better now and raising questions about the lasting impact of the 2010 spill.

Researchers at Florida State University identified some 6 to 10 million gallons of BP oil buried in the sediment at the bottom of the Gulf, covering a 9,300 square mile area southeast of the Mississippi Delta. Their findings, published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, help solve the mystery of where all the oil went: a federal judge ruled that BP spilled about 134 million gallons of oil in total, although government estimates put that amount even higher.

Last year, geochemists at the University of California-Santa Barbara identified a similar phenomenon, of what they called a “bathtub ring” of oil the size of Rhode Island scattered across the Gulf. The authors of this study, as with that one, express concern about what it’s doing down there. Jeff Chanton, a professor of oceanology at FSU and the study’s lead author, notes that as oil remains deep underwater, it encounters less oxygen, making it more difficult to decompose.

And just because it’s buried doesn’t mean it’s gone forever. “This is going to affect the Gulf for years to come,” Chanton said. “Fish will likely ingest contaminants because worms ingest the sediment, and fish eat the worms. It’s a conduit for contamination into the food web.


A member of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's staff reaches into thick oil in the Northern regions of Barataria Bay in Plaquemines Parish, La., Tuesday, June 15, 2010. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) (Credit: Gerald Herbert)
Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Mon Feb 2, 2015, 02:31 AM (11 replies)

Crashed AirAsia's tail hoisted from sea in search of boxes

Source: AP

PANGKALAN BUN, Indonesia (AP) — Investigators searching for black boxes in the crashed AirAsia plane lifted the tail portion out of the Java Sea on Saturday, two weeks ago after it went down, killing all 162 people on board.

It was not immediately clear if the cockpit voice and flight data recorders were still inside the tail or have been detached when the Airbus A320 plummeted into the sea Dec. 28. Their recovery is essential to finding out why it crashed.

The tail was hoisted from a depth of about 30 meters (100 feet) using inflatable bags that were attached to the rear of the aircraft and a crane to lift it onto a rescue ship.

Intermittent underwater ping-like sounds were picked up Friday about a kilometer (half mile) from where the tail was located, but it was unclear if they were coming from the recorders located in the back of the aircraft. It was possible the signals were coming from another source.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/d5a95bb1618a41c2b901d91914a60f51/divers-fight-waves-hoist-tail-crashed-airasia-jet

Portion of the tail of AirAsia Flight 8501 floats on the water as Indonesian navy divers conduct search operations for the black boxes of the crashed plane in the Java Sea, Indonesia, Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015. Investigators searching for black boxes in the crashed AirAsia plane lifted the tail portion out of the Java Sea on Saturday, two weeks ago after it went down, killing all 162 people on board. (AP Photo/Adek Berry, Pool)
Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Sat Jan 10, 2015, 03:10 AM (3 replies)

Golden Gate Bridge closing for safety upgrade this weekend

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Golden Gate Bridge will shut down to private vehicles for 52 hours starting at midnight Friday so workers can install a moveable median barrier designed to prevent head-on collisions, part of an effort to increase safety along the iconic structure.

Transit buses, emergency vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists will be able to cross the bridge while the barrier is being installed, the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District said. The bridge is scheduled to reopen to all traffic Monday at 4 a.m.

The weekend closure will be the longest in the bridge's history and the first since 1987, when the bridge closed for a few hours for a celebration of the 50th anniversary of its construction.


In this Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013 file photo, Golden Gate Bridge workers shift traffic lanes during the end of the morning commute in San Francisco. The Golden Gate Bridge will close to vehicles for 52 hours starting early Saturday morning, Jan. 10, 2014 to install a steel and concrete moveable median barrier that will help make the iconic bridge safer to commuters.
Photo: Eric Risberg, AP

Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Sat Jan 10, 2015, 01:20 AM (5 replies)

How Icebergs Work

Ice­bergs -- giant floating chunks of ice. What else do we need to know? As it turns out, plen­ty. Th­ere's a lot that's deceptive about icebergs. It's true that most of an iceberg's bulk lies unseen beneath the surface of the ocean, but these seemingly sterile ice slabs also harbor their own complex ecosystems, and they shape the ecosystems that they pass through.

Icebergs can seem rather ominous -- they dot high-latitude oceans like mines, and after all, one of them sank the unsinkable Titanic. They also seem to hold a lot of promise -- could we really tow one to Los Angeles and melt it for drinking water? Could you live on one?

Scientists are s­till learning about icebergs. They're difficult to study. In fact, it can be hard just getting to one. While we know where icebergs come from and have a general idea how they behave, every expedition to an iceberg uncovers something new. From floating chunks no bigger than your car to massive islands of ice the size of Connecticut, icebergs come in many shapes and forms.

More: http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/earth/geophysics/iceberg.htm

Iceberg off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada, near Iceberg Alley
Grant Faint/Getty Images
Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Fri Jan 9, 2015, 04:12 PM (7 replies)

NY pays most for gas despite falling prices

ALBANY – Gas prices across the nation have fallen to their lowest point in years, but New Yorkers still pay the most in the contiguous United States.

The main reason is New York has as many as seven different state taxes that add up to 45 cents per gallon, as well as 19 cents per gallon in federal taxes.

The average price of unleaded regular in New York on Wednesday was $2.70 a gallon, compared to a national average of $2.19 a gallon. Only Hawaii and Alaska have higher prices.

"I don't think the average New Yorker has any clue how much they pay in taxes when they pull up to the pump," said John Corlett, legislative chairman for AAA New York.

Much More: http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/local/new-york/2015/01/07/ny-pays-gas-despite-falling-prices/21411081/

This Gulf gas station, located at 688 Freedom Plains Road in LaGrange, offered a cash price of $2.49 for a gallon of regular unleaded gas on Wednesday.
(Photo: Alex H. Wagner/Poughkeepsie Journal)
Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Fri Jan 9, 2015, 12:40 AM (18 replies)

Here Are Photos of Frozen Fountains to Remind You How Cold It Is Everywhere in the U.S.

In case your numb limbs were not enough of an indication

Unless you live somewhere where it’s currently summertime, like Australia, you might have noticed that it’s, um, cold. Really cold. Like, consider renouncing all your possessions and moving to Costa Rica and just somehow making it work cold.

One aesthetically pleasing result of this bitter weather, however, is that fountains across the country are freezing, resulting in oddly beautiful ice sculptures. See, for example, the fountain in New York City’s Bryant Park:

But this bizarre phenomenon is also occurring in the South, where temperatures have also dipped well below 32°F:

More: http://time.com/3659773/frozen-fountains-cold-weather-us/
Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Thu Jan 8, 2015, 03:00 PM (16 replies)

Keystone, climate change and the US economy: the truth behind the myths

Six-plus years of robust debate has led to plenty of speculation about the perceived benefits of the pipeline – some of which are drastically overstated

America has 2.5m miles of oil and gas pipelines. But none of those pipelines are anywhere near as contentious as the Keystone XL, which would transport tar sands crude oil from Canada to refineries on the US gulf coast. Over the past six-plus years, Keystone has become a stand-in for a broader debate about climate change. It’s also the subject of much myth-making about climate change and the economy. Below, a look at some of the most prominent of those myths, and the truth behind them.

Myth #1: Keystone XL won’t contribute to climate change
The State Department said the pipeline would not have a significant impact on development of the tar sands or crude oil demand – and so would not have much impact on climate change. But even the State Department’s own analysis found found the pipeline, once operational, would cause the equivalent emissions of 300,000 cars a year, and it noted that tar sands were 17% more carbon intensive than the average barrel of US crude oil. Subsequent analyses by the Congressional Research Service have found tar sands up to 20% more carbon intensive than the average barrel of crude.

Myth #2: Keystone will create thousands of jobs
The American Petroleum Institute lobby group claimed in 2009 that Keystone would create up to 343,000 new US jobs over a four-year period, based on demand for new goods and services, and add up to $34bn to the US economy in 2015. However, the non-partisan Congressional Research Service found those estimates were based on an internal study that had not been subject to review. The State Department in its analysis found Keystone would create about 42,000 direct and indirect temporary construction jobs, and about 50 permanent jobs once construction is finished.

More: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jan/06/keystone-xl-pipeline-climate-change-us-economy-truth-behind-myths?utm_source=Daily+Carbon+Briefing&utm_campaign=64b48948b3-cb_daily&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_876aab4fd7-64b48948b3-303441369

The endless debate over the benefits of these pipes has outgrown the proposed Keystone pipeline itself. Photograph: Sue Ogrocki/AP
Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Thu Jan 8, 2015, 12:50 AM (6 replies)

Vietnam Abolishes Same-Sex Marriage Ban, Taking Lead in Gay Rights

The revised law, while not officially recognizing same-sex marriage, places the communist country at the forefront of countries in Asia becoming more accepting of gay people. The National Assembly’s move is expected to attract more lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender travelers and boost Vietnam’s $9 billion tourism industry.

“This makes Vietnam a leader in Asia,” Jamie Gillen, a researcher of culture geography at National University of Singapore, said by phone. “Singapore just reaffirmed its ban on homosexual behaviors. Vietnam is trying to pitch itself as a tolerant and safe country.”

Vietnam’s new marriage law, which went into effect New Year’s Day, abolished regulations that “prohibit marriage between people of the same sex.”

Same-sex marriages can now take place, though the government does not recognize them or provide legal protections in cases of disputes. The government abolished fines that were imposed on homosexual weddings in 2013.

No other country in Southeast Asia has taken as big a step toward accepting same-sex marriage as Vietnam, Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said by phone.


This picture taken on Aug. 3, 2014 shows some same-sex couples sitting in the compound of the American Club, the venue of the annual Vietnam Pride Parade party, in Hanoi.
Photographer: Hoang Dinh Nam/AFP/Getty Images
Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Thu Jan 8, 2015, 12:07 AM (3 replies)
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