HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » n2doc » Journal
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU
Page: « Prev 1 ... 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 ... 873 Next »

n2doc

Profile Information

Gender: Do not display
Home country: USA
Current location: Georgia
Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
Number of posts: 33,212

About Me

Environmental Scientist

Journal Archives

Deep Sea Explorers Stumble Upon A Creature They Can Hardly Believe Is Real

While there’s no shortage of weird and wacky ideas in science fiction about what creatures from other planets might look like, few are quite as remarkable as those that can actually be found right here on Earth.



Recently, a team from the Nautilus Live expedition piloting a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) happened upon one of the most fascinating-looking lifeforms in the world -- this rare, purple siphonophore roving through the ocean’s depths. Even the experienced deep sea explorers, well-acquainted with the marine animals, had a hard time accepting that what they were seeing was really real.

Amazingly, although this appears to be a single jellyfish-like animal, it is in fact a roving colony made up of thousands of individual organisms, called zooids, each contributing to the whole. But more than just its otherworldly shape, this specimen's purple coloring is said to be rather unusual as well.

Deep Sea News writer R.R. Helm calls it a “shocking shade”, remarking that this footage truly stands out:

“To me, the best part of science is stuff like this: seeing something that completely takes my breath away. Even after studying animals like this for the last five years, this video has me in awe. The animal captured in this footage, simply put, is stunning.”

more
https://www.thedodo.com/deep-sea-explorers-stumble-upo-619829084.html

How Brilliant Monkeys Escape Predators By Using Field Scientists As Human Shields


The relationship between scientists and the animals they study in the field is a constantly evolving one -- one that can often cross the boundary between passive observer and integrated player. Jane Goodall’s work with chimpanzees comes to mind first -- as the first researcher to give her subjects affectionate names, she introduced some element of humanity and empathy into her science.

So it comes as no surprise that things can go the other way. A recent study published in Behavioral Ecology found just that -- a group of samango monkeys who figured out how to use humans for their advantage, themselves crossing the research-subject barrier.

For the study, researchers from Durham University in the UK trekked out to the Soutpansberg Mountains of South Africa, where they set up their study site. Placing feeding buckets filled with peanuts at various heights in trees, the researchers measured how much food the animals took. Naturally, they took less food from the lower buckets, because the risk was higher of ground predators like leopards.

But the scientists noted that when they were nearby to the study site, something curious happened. The monkeys, who have seen field researchers in their habitat before, would take a larger portion of food, including food from the lower levels, closer to the ground.

more

https://www.thedodo.com/how-brilliant-monkeys-escape-p-638468812.html

If TaskRabbit Is the Future of Employment, the Employed Are Fucked

The employment of the future is here, and it's terrific for everyone except the people doing the work. TaskRabbit, which lets you outsource the things you don't want to do to people who need money, is at the forefront of this chore revolution, and it's already making some lives harder.

In 1994, professors Stanley Aronowitz and William DiFazio published a book titled "The Jobless Future," surveying sea changes in the way people work. It didn't look good: "Today, the regime of world economic life consists in scratching every itch of everyday life with sci-tech," they wrote. A big heap of trivial problems were being solved by a bigger heap of trivial jobs, marked by a trend "toward more low-paid, temporary, benefit-free blue and white collar jobs and fewer decent permanent factory and office jobs."

Twenty years later, we've nearly perfected this ephemeral gig machine with TaskRabbit, a software engine that does for labor what Snapchat's done for memories.

TaskRabbit's premise is instantly charming: Fill as much of your idle time as you want with temporary work, from assembling IKEA furniture and scrubbing floors to making photocopies and decorating parties. It offers lackeys on demand, and like its automotive cousin Uber, has raised big venture capital bucks and cemented a role as spirit animal of the "sharing economy."

more

http://valleywag.gawker.com/if-taskrabbit-is-the-future-of-employment-the-employed-1609221541/+laceydonohue

Ukrainian prime minister announces resignation

Source: AP

KIEV, UKRAINE - Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has announced his resignation following turmoil in government.

Yatsenyuk made the announcement from the dais of the parliament after two parties said they would pull out of the governing coalition. "I am announcing my resignation in connect with the collapse of the coalition," Yatsenyuk said.

He said the parliament could no longer do its work and pass necessary laws.

The nationalist Svoboda party and the UDAR movement led by former boxer Vladimir Klitscho pulled out of the group of legislators that took over after former President Viktor Yanukovich was ousted by protesters seeking closer ties with the European Union.

Read more: http://www.abc15.com/news/national/ukrainian-prime-minister-announces-resignation

Man went to hospital for circumcision and awoke to find penis amputated

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- A man says in a medical malpractice lawsuit filed this week that he went in for a circumcision last month at Princeton Baptist Medical Center and awoke to find his penis had instead been amputated.

The man and his wife filed the lawsuit Tuesday in Jefferson County Circuit Court in Birmingham. He names the hospital, Urology Centers of Alabama, the Simon-Williamson Clinic and two doctors as defendants in the case.

The lawsuit says the patient was receiving medical treatment from a doctor at Urology Centers of Alabama. Another doctor performed the surgical procedure in June. The lawsuit does not give an exact date.

"When the plaintiff ... awoke from his aforesaid surgical procedure, his penis was amputated," according to the lawsuit. The plaintiffs "never gave consent for the complete or partial amputation of (his) penis."

more

http://www.al.com/news/birmingham/index.ssf/2014/07/jefferson_county_lawsuit_man_g.html

Halliburton Fracking Spill Mystery: What Chemicals Polluted an Ohio Waterway?

—By Mariah Blake

On the morning of June 28, a fire broke out at a Halliburton fracking site in Monroe County, Ohio. As flames engulfed the area, trucks began exploding and thousands of gallons of toxic chemicals spilled into a tributary of the Ohio River, which supplies drinking water for millions of residents. More than 70,000 fish died. Nevertheless, it took five days for the Environmental Protection Agency and its Ohio counterpart to get a full list of the chemicals polluting the waterway. "We knew there was something toxic in the water," says an environmental official who was on the scene. "But we had no way of assessing whether it was a threat to human health or how best to protect the public."

This episode highlights a glaring gap in fracking safety standards. In Ohio, as in most other states, fracking companies are allowed to withhold some information about the chemical stew they pump into the ground to break up rocks and release trapped natural gas. The oil and gas industry and its allies at the American Legislative exchange Council (ALEC), a pro-business outfit that has played a major role in shaping fracking regulation, argue that the formulas are trade secrets that merit protection. But environmental groups say the lack of transparency makes it difficult to track fracking-related drinking water contamination and can hobble the government response to emergencies, such as the Halliburton spill in Ohio.

According to a preliminary EPA inquiry, more than 25,000 gallons of chemicals, diesel fuel, and other compounds were released during the accident, which began with a ruptured hydraulic line spraying flammable liquid on hot equipment. The flames later engulfed 20 trucks, triggering some 30 explosions that rained shrapnel over the site and hampered firefighting efforts.

Officials from the EPA, the Ohio EPA, and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) arrived on the scene shortly after the fire erupted. Working with an outside firm hired by Statoil, the site's owner, they immediately began testing water for contaminates. They found a number of toxic chemicals, including ethylene glycol, which can damage kidneys, and phthalates, which are linked to a raft of grave health problems. Soon dead fish began surfacing downstream from the spill. Nathan Johnson, a staff attorney for the non-profit Ohio Environmental Council, describes the scene as "a miles-long trail of death and destruction" with tens of thousands of fish floating belly up.

more

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/07/halliburton-ohio-river-spill-fracking

How a solar storm two years ago nearly caused a catastrophe on Earth

On July 23, 2012, the sun unleashed two massive clouds of plasma that barely missed a catastrophic encounter with the Earth’s atmosphere. These plasma clouds, known as coronal mass ejections (CMEs), comprised a solar storm thought to be the most powerful in at least 150 years.

“If it had hit, we would still be picking up the pieces,” physicist Daniel Baker of the University of Colorado tells NASA.

Fortunately, the blast site of the CMEs was not directed at Earth. Had this event occurred a week earlier when the point of eruption was Earth-facing, a potentially disastrous outcome would have unfolded.

“I have come away from our recent studies more convinced than ever that Earth and its inhabitants were incredibly fortunate that the 2012 eruption happened when it did,” Baker tells NASA. “If the eruption had occurred only one week earlier, Earth would have been in the line of fire.”

more

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/wp/2014/07/23/how-a-solar-storm-nearly-destroyed-life-as-we-know-it-two-years-ago/

The Leader of the Unfree World

On Friday, the U.S. Sentencing Commission voted unanimously to allow nearly 50,000 nonviolent federal drug offenders to seek lower sentences. The commission's decision retroactively applied an earlier change in sentencing guidelines to now cover roughly half of those serving federal drug sentences. Endorsed by both the Department of Justice and prison-reform advocates, the move is a significant step forward in reversing decades of mass incarceration—though in a global context, still modest—step forward in reversing decades of mass incarceration.

How large is America's prison problem? More than 2.4 million people are behind bars in the United States today, either awaiting trial or serving a sentence. That's more than the combined population of 15 states, all but three U.S. cities, and the U.S. armed forces. They're scattered throughout a constellation of 102 federal prisons, 1,719 state prisons, 2,259 juvenile facilities, 3,283 local jails, and many more military, immigration, territorial, and Indian Country facilities.

Compared to the rest of the world, these numbers are staggering. Here's how the United States' incarceration rate compares with those of other modern liberal democracies like Britain and Canada:


more
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/07/the-leader-of-the-unfree-world/374348/

A conservative judiciary run amok


Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens captured our ideal when he wrote of the judge as “an impartial guardian of the rule of law.”

By effectively gutting the Affordable Care Act on Tuesday, two members of a three-judge panel on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals showed how far right-leaning jurists have strayed from such impartiality. We are confronted with a conservative judiciary that will use any argument it can muster to win ideological victories that elude their side in the elected branches of our government.

Fortunately, the D.C. Circuit ruling is unlikely to stand. On the same day the D.C. panel issued its opinion, a three-judge panel from the 4th Circuit ruled unanimously the other way, upholding the law.

There is a good chance that the 11-judge D.C. Circuit will take the decision away from its panel — something it is usually reluctant to do — and rule as a full court to affirm the ACA as commonly understood. It is virtually certain that a majority of the court’s members disagrees with the panel’s convoluted reading of the law and wants to avoid creating a needless conflict in jurisprudence with the 4th Circuit.

more

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/ej-dionne-affordable-care-act-falls-prey-to-extreme-judicial-activism/2014/07/23/4a06dec0-129f-11e4-8936-26932bcfd6ed_story.html

Jobless claims fall to lowest level since early 2006

Source: Reuters

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level in nearly 8-1/2 years last week, suggesting the labor market recovery was gaining traction.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits declined 19,000 to a seasonally adjusted 284,000 for the week ended July 19, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

That was the lowest level since February 2006, and confounded economists' expectations for a rise to 308,000.

The prior week's claims were revised to show 1,000 more applications received than previously reported.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/24/us-usa-economy-employment-idUSKBN0FT1KT20140724
Go to Page: « Prev 1 ... 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 ... 873 Next »