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Home country: USA
Current location: Georgia
Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
Number of posts: 40,605

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Environmental Scientist

Journal Archives

Tom the Dancing Bug toon- The Corporatocracy Commands You to Love Your Country

Chicago Police officer charged with shooting at off-duty cop

An angry Cook County judge berated a Chicago Police officer who was in court Tuesday after being charged with firing five shots at an off-duty suburban cop who tried to pull him over for driving drunk.

Judge Adam Bourgeois Jr. told cop John J. Gorman’s attorney: “The problem I have with this is that we have a climate in this city where citizens are shooting at each other. We have to expect and demand more from those who wear a badge.”

The off-duty cop wasn’t hit, and Gorman, 53, was charged with aggravated discharge of a firearm, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting. He could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

When Gorman’s attorney, Michael Clancy, argued for the officer to be released without having to post bond, the judge said that the bullets could have hit a 9-year-old. Last week, 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee was lured to an alley and shot and killed in a gang dispute. His funeral was Tuesday.

If police officers are misbehaving, “how can we expect citizens to obey the law?” the judge asked. He set bail at $50,000.


View from Australia: Sanders is a 'normal left-leaning' Politician

By James Baker;
The new Republican Party has turned so far hard right, that Bernie Sanders may now be considered an Eisenhower Republican.

This question was raised on a political blog. We seldom hear from other countries about our politics, and, when we do, we pay no attention, or, we make snide remarks because we believe they are meddling.

One response from a young woman from Australia caught my attention:

“I am an Australian (in Australia) and we are all following Bernie here. He is just a normal left leaning politician here - nothing radical about him at all.

The rest of your Democratic candidates we would consider Republicans here. (Hillary would not be permitted to continue as a politician here - voter protest would have ended her career years ago.)

Unfortunately, your Republicans are so far gone, that they resemble fascists. My father is an 87-year-old Polish refugee from the Holocaust, and he says to me all the time that your republicans are repeating the sins of Nazi pre-war Germany.

I can understand why you are “fed-up Republicans,” because we too, are fed-up with them, and we cannot believe how recklessly they have destroyed your country.”


Wednesday Toon Roundup 3: The Rest










Wednesday Toon Roundup 2: GOP waste of time

Wednesday Toon Roundup 1: 11th of November

Toon: America, Going Crazier One Car Radio At A Time

And that's the Truth!

2015: halfway to +2 C…..

Fresh Climate Data Confirms 2015 Is Unlike Any Other Year in Human History

By Eric Holthaus

Over the past few days, a bevy of climate data has come together to tell a familiar yet shocking story: Humans have profoundly altered the planet’s life-support system, with 2015 increasingly likely to be an exclamation point on recent trends.

On Monday, scientists at Britain’s national weather service, the Met Office, said our planet will finish this year more than one degree Celsius warmer than pre-industrial levels for the first time. That figure is halfway to the line in the sand that scientists say represents “dangerous” climate change and global leaders have committed to avoid—an ominous milestone.

This year’s global heat wave—about two-tenths of a degree warmer than 2014, a massive leap when averaged over the entire planet—can be blamed most immediately on an exceptionally strong El Niño, but wouldn’t exist without decades of heat-trapping emissions from fossil fuel burning. Separate data released on Monday by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showed the current El Niño, a periodic warming of the tropical Pacific Ocean, has now tied 1997 for the strongest event ever measured, at least on a weekly basis.

"We've had similar natural events in the past, yet this is the first time we are set to reach the 1 degree marker and it's clear that it is human influence driving our modern climate into uncharted territory," said Stephen Belcher, director of the Met Office’s Hadley Centre in a statement.


There’s plastic in your fancy sea salt, study says

There’s plastic in your salt.

That’s the finding of a new study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

Scientific American reports:

When researchers analyzed fifteen brands of common table salt bought at supermarkets across China, they found among the grains of seasoning micro-sized particles of the common water bottle plastic polyethylene terephthalate, as well as polyethylene, cellophane, and a wide variety of other plastics.

The highest level of plastic contamination was found in salt sourced from the ocean: The researchers measured more than 1,200 particles of plastic per lb of sea salt. The team, led by Huahong Shi of East China Normal University also found tiny particles of plastic in salt sourced from briny lakes, briny wells, and salt mines, although at lower levels—between 15 and 800 particles/ lb.

Where’s all that plastic coming from? Microbeads, for one — those tiny bits of plastic in your face wash that go down the drain and into the water table, where they eventually end up in the ocean, and then your stomach. That’s not good because microplastics soak up cancer-causing and endocrine-disrupting pollutants in the water and deposit them in your body.

This study looked specifically at salt sold in Chinese markets, but is it possible that salt sold in the U.S. is contaminated with microplastics as well? Definitely, according to Sherri Mason, professor at SUNY Fredonia, and an expert on microplastics. “Plastics have become such a ubiquitous contaminant, I doubt it matters whether you look for plastic in sea salt on Chinese or American supermarket shelves,” she told Scientific American.


Crap in your food, plastics in your food, toxics in your food….

How each Republican fares against Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, in 1 cool chart

By Philip Bump
November 10 at 3:09 PM

I'm generally pretty skeptical of any polling this far out from an election. I am, however, very skeptical of the value of general election head-to-head match-ups this far out. 538's Harry Enten has a good articulation of why, in case it's not self-evident, but consider the situation. We're asking people who they'd pick before each party has settled on its candidate -- meaning while there's still internal partisan tension -- before any campaigning and before a year's worth of economic shifts happen.

There is some value though in one subset of head-to-head data, I think: Looking at how demographic groups view different candidates relative to one another.

On Tuesday, McClatchy and Marist released a new poll looking at the Republican field. Included in the results were a phalanx of head-to-head match-ups, pitting Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders against six different Republicans: Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Marco Rubio and Donald Trump.

Carson does better against the Democrats than the other five but, you know, 364 days until the election.

Here are all of the juxtapositions. Notice what jumps out.


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