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n2doc

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Home country: USA
Current location: Georgia
Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
Number of posts: 37,271

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Environmental Scientist

Journal Archives

"I Wish My Teacher Knew" Lesson Plan Reveals Children's Heartbreaking Confessions

by LILY HARRISON

Kyle Schwartz is a third grade teacher at Doull Elementary School in Denver, and she's single-handedly changing the way students communicate in classrooms around the country.

After teaching for three years, Schwartz began to realize that many of her kids, while wonderful at school, faced multiple obstacles at home.

"Ninety-two percent of our students qualify for free or reduced lunch," she told ABC News. "As a new teacher, I struggled to understand the reality of my students' lives and how to best support them. I just felt like there was something I didn't know about my students."

That's when Schwartz devised a new lesson plan dubbed "I Wish My Teacher Knew," which involved kids writing notes to her detailing things that they wanted her to know about their lives.

"I let students determine if they would like to answer anonymously. I have found that most students are not only willing to include their name, but also enjoy sharing with the class. Even when what my students are sharing is sensitive in nature, most students want their classmates to know," Schwartz explained.

more

http://www.eonline.com/news/647501/i-wish-my-teacher-knew-lesson-plan-reveals-children-s-heartbreaking-confessions

Solar Power Battle Puts Hawaii at Forefront of Worldwide Changes

HONOLULU — Allan Akamine has looked all around the winding, palm tree-lined cul-de-sacs of his suburban neighborhood in Mililani here on Oahu and, with an equal mix of frustration and bemusement, seen roof after roof bearing solar panels.

Mr. Akamine, 61, a manager for a cable company, has wanted nothing more than to lower his $600 to $700 monthly electric bill with a solar system of his own. But for 18 months or so, the state’s biggest utility barred him and thousands of other customers from getting one, citing concerns that power generated by rooftop systems was overwhelming its ability to handle it.

Only under strict orders from state energy officials did the utility, the Hawaiian Electric Company, recently rush to approve the lengthy backlog of solar applications, including Mr. Akamine’s.

It is the latest chapter in a closely watched battle that has put this state at the forefront of a global upheaval in the power business. Rooftop systems now sit atop roughly 12 percent of Hawaii’s homes, according to the federal Energy Information Administration, by far the highest proportion in the nation.

more

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/19/business/energy-environment/solar-power-battle-puts-hawaii-at-forefront-of-worldwide-changes.html

The F-35 Is Still FUBAR

A new report raises serious questions about the safety and performance of the most expensive jet fighter ever made.
—AJ Vicens

Originally slated to cost $233 billion, the Pentagon's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program could end up being costing more than $1.5 trillion. Which might not be so bad if the super-sophisticated next-generation jet fighter lives up to its hype. A recent report from the Defense Department's Director of Operational Test and Evaluation paints a pretty damning picture of the plane's already well documented problems. The report makes for some pretty dense reading, but the Project on Government Oversight, a watchdog group that's long criticized the F-35 program, has boiled down the major issues.

Here are a few:

Teaching to the test: The blizzard of testing required on the plane's equipment and parts isn't exactly going well, so the program's administrators are moving the goal posts. Test scores are improving because the stats are being "massaged" with tricks like not recounting repeated failures. Some required testing is being consolidated, eliminated, or postponed. "As a result," POGO writes, "the squadron will be flying with an uncertified avionics system."

Unsafe at any airspeed? The high-tech stuff that was supposed to make the F-35 among the most advanced war machines ever built pose serious safety risks. For example: The fuel tank system "is at significant risk of catastrophic fire and explosion in combat," according to POGO. The plane isn't adequately protected against lightning strikes (in the air or on the ground); it's currently prohibited from flying within 25 miles of thunderstorms. That's a major problem for a plane training program based in the Florida panhandle.

more

http://m.motherjones.com/politics/2015/03/f35-jet-fighter-safety-problems

The Hidden Ocean Patch That Broke Climate Records

BY DENNIS HOLLIER

Nothing has caused climate scientists quite as much recent trouble as the so-called “global warming hiatus.” Not only did this approximately 14-year lull in the rise of global mean (or average) temperatures provide fodder for a variety of misguided climate change deniers (there have been other, longer pauses), but it also represented a genuine scientific mystery. Scientists knew it was being caused by falling ocean temperatures, but they also knew that the ocean, as a whole, was warming. Where was the extra heat being stored, and when would it make itself known?

Then this past November Axel Timmermann, a climate scientist at the University of Hawaii’s International Pacific Research Center, announced that global mean temperatures had finally resumed their rise, driven mainly by an unprecedented spike in sea surface temperatures in the northeast Pacific.



This unexpected shot of heat showed up in late 2013 as a discrete orange blob in satellite imagery, and by the end of last summer, sea surface temperatures as far north as the Gulf of Alaska were the highest ever recorded. So too was the global mean temperature for 2014. While it will take more time to see if the record represents the beginning of a renewed warming trend, Timmermann makes no bones about it—he believes that the blob has ended the hiatus.

The story of the blob starts with an unlikely protagonist: a vast pool of warm water, thousands of kilometers wide and more than 100 meters deep, and thousands of miles away, stretching across the equatorial western Pacific. Although this warm pool was discovered decades ago, questions about its role in climate change remain unclear. How is it connected to last year’s temperature spike in the remote and frigid Gulf of Alaska? Was it primarily responsible for storing the planet’s excess heat during the hiatus? Why did the blob emerge when it did? As scientists piece together the answers to these questions, one lesson is emerging above all others: To understand climate change, we need to remember that the ocean has a very long memory.

more

http://nautil.us/issue/23/dominoes/the-hidden-ocean-patch-that-broke-climate-records

Toon: Brownback is the Personal Shopping Assistant for the Poor

Cuba's love for Obama swells: Bay of Pigs veterans reflect on the 'inconceivable'


As he has done every April for the past 53 years, Percy Gómez Darna will mark Sunday’s anniversary of the Bay of Pigs invasion by remembering his fallen comrades and celebrating what is known in Cuba as the first great Latin American victory over “US imperialism”.

The retired militiaman, who led a mortar brigade during the three-day conflict from 17 to 19 April 1961, has been fighting the United States ever since – both as a soldier and a fiery critic of Washington’s policy in the region.

But when Gómez and his fellow veterans gather for the usual commemorative activities this weekend, there will be an unusual note of optimism – and even amiability – in their speeches and reflections on the current resident of the White House.

Following a breakthrough meeting last Saturday between Barack Obama and the Cuban president, Raúl Castro, even such battle-hardened anti-imperialists as Gómez are starting to think the US may finally have a president who understands Latin America.

more
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/17/cuba-love-obama-bay-of-pigs-anniversary

Japan’s Maglev Train Hits World Record 590 Kilometers Per Hour

Source: WSJ

Central Japan Railway Co. said its magnetic levitation bullet train hit 590 kilometers per hour (366 miles per hour) on Thursday and broke the previous speed record set 12 years ago by the company.

The train was operated on a test course constructed in Yamanashi prefecture in central Japan. The previous record of 581 kilometers per hour was set in December 2003. A spokeswoman at the company, known as JR Central, said the new record is likely to be short-lived, since the next test ride on Tuesday might see the train break 600 kilometers per hour.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is set to talk up Japan’s train prowess on a visit to the U.S. starting April 26. Mr. Abe’s trip includes a stop in California, which is planning a high-speed rail line.

JR Central has said it wants to export the maglev technology to the U.S. for a Washington-New York train link—a project Mr. Abe has said Japan would help finance.

Read more: http://blogs.wsj.com/japanrealtime/2015/04/17/japans-maglev-train-hits-world-record-590-kilometers-per-hour/

Fucking EVIL Tourists burn endangered animal with fire, video it.

Two French tourists have spent a night in jail after failing to raise the $4000 each they were fined after pleading guilty to setting a quokka on fire.

Thibaud Valette, 24, and Jean Batrikian, 18, were charged with animal cruelty for the offence committed on Rottnest Island, off the coast of Perth, on April 3, the ABC reports.

One of the men ignited an aerosol spray with a lighter and singed the quokka while the other recorded it on his mobile phone.

The pair's lawyer told Fremantle Magistrates Court yesterday they now feared for their safety after being abused online.


Read more at http://www.9news.com.au/national/2015/04/18/09/36/french-tourists-fined-after-being-found-guilty-of-setting-quoka-on-fire
Warning: Disturbing Image at Link.

They got off way too lightly.

Occupy Providence protests international trade bill

By Tracee M. Herbaugh

Journal Staff Writer

Posted Apr. 17, 2015 at 6:31 PM
Updated Apr 17, 2015 at 6:32 PM

PROVIDENCE - Members of the Occupy Providence movement gathered in Kennedy Plaza Friday to protest fast-tracking a largely secret international trade bill, which critics argue gives corporations power to challenge democratic laws.

"We're here to let legislators know how strongly we disapprove of this bill," said Pat Fontes, who organized the protest of about 20 people. "We should not have the treaty if lawmakers don't have all the time they need to research and amend it."

U.S. lawmakers will soon decide if the Trans-Pacific Pact, or TPP, will get a special "fast-track" status under the Trade Promotion Authority law, which would allow President Obama to expedite the bill through Congress. By doing so, Congress would have 90 days to vote on TPP as a whole package without the chance to make changes.

Most of TPP's details remain secret, and have largely been worked out by Obama and a regular group of trade advisers. WikiLeaks has published parts of the bill. So far, Obama loyalists oppose the 12-country deal, saying it will move jobs off shore and give power to corporations through a tribunal system set up by the World Bank and United Nations. Corporations could file legal action against a country if they lose profits because of federal, state or local laws. Most Republicans in Congress support the bill, arguing it will bring broad gains for consumers and the economy.

The Occupy movement is set to hold protests against TPP throughout the country on Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. If fast-track authority is approved, Fontes said there will likely be protests until Congress votes on the bill.

more
http://www.providencejournal.com/article/20150417/NEWS/150419299

Anti-Gay Company Has Lapsed Michigan Mechanic's License


Brian Klawiter, the Grandville business owner at the center of a firestorm of controversy because of his Facebook post that he would deny service to openly gay people, has not been a legally licensed mechanic in Michigan since Oct. 12, 2014.

Fred Woohams, spokesman for Secretary of State Ruth Johnson, says the mechanic's license expired in October and has not been renewed.

"Performing auto repair work as an unlicensed mechanic is a misdemeanor offense," Woodhams tells Between The Lines by email.

The company, Dieseltec, does have a valid business license, Woodhams confirmed.

This is not the only licensing Klawiter failed to obtain from the government. MLive reports Klawiter still has not registered his business in Grandville, in violation of local ordinances.

more

http://pridesource.com/article.html?article=71030
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