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Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
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Environmental Scientist

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Friday TOON Roundup 2 - The Rest








Friday TOON Roundup 1 - Ebola

Two Incredible Views of Super Typhoon Vongfang From Space

This beautiful image of Super Typhoon Vongfang over the Philippine Sea was taken by NASA’s Aqua satellite at 12:25 a.m. ET this morning. Below, another incredible view of the massive storm was taken by NASA astronaut Reid Weissman from the International Space Station around 7 a.m. ET this morning.

Vongfang (which is also being spelled Vongfong or Vongfon) is the most powerful tropical cyclone the planet has experienced this year. At its fiercest, the storm had sustained winds reaching 180 miles per hour on Tuesday. Vongfang has weakened during the past few days with sustained winds dropping to around 150 miles per hour this morning, and will likely have calmed further before it is expected to make Landfall in Japan on Monday night. It will still be a powerful storm, however, and Okinawa Island could take a direct hit.

Weissman tweeted the image with this comment: “I’ve seen many from here, but none like this.”


Death row inmate freed after nine years in Texas prison

An intellectually disabled construction worker was freed Wednesday after nine years in a Texas prison, including four of them on death row, after his initial conviction for murdering a year-old infant was overturned.

Manuel Velez, whose IQ is 65 and who is functionally illiterate in his native Spanish as well as English, was convicted in Brownsville in 2008 for murdering the year-old son of his then-girlfriend. But the American Civil Liberties Union, which represented Velez in his appeal, said Velez was 1,000 miles away working construction in Tennessee when the child was injured.

Velez's initial court-appointed attorneys failed to discover that evidence, and "after his conviction, Manuel received the death penalty, largely because a state prison expert presented false testimony to persuade the jury that Manuel would pose a danger to society if given life without parole instead," the ACLU said.

On Wednesday, an ACLU attorney described Velez, now 49, as an innocent man who was put on death row for a crime he didn't commit.



One High School's Insane Quest to make students print 'Redskins'

On the morning of June 13, Neshaminy High School Principal Robert McGee scooted around campus confiscating copies of the school paper, the Playwickian, before they could get into his students' hands. The effort was futile. He claimed he only collected about 40 copies out of 5,000. It was the slapstick culmination of a months-long battle between McGee and the editors of the Playwickian over the paper's decision to stop printing the name of Neshaminy's sports teams: the Redskins.

The plight of the student editors, who've been subjected to a legal and administrative battle that's cost taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars with a goal of forcing the paper to print a school mascot name understood to be racist by both media outlets and the FCC alike, has captured national attention. NPR, the Washington Post, Keith Olbermann, Think Progress, and numerous other outlets have reported on the proceedings.

The response from school board and administrators alike has been opaque—no comment; not to press, not to parents, not to students, their lawyer, or even to the paper's advisor. Then, last week, Neshaminy school board member Stephen Pirritano broke his silence in an email to VICE Sports. What he wrote indicates a thorough, coordinated effort to bully the student paper into using the word "Redskins."

On September 10, 2013, a Neshaminy High School parent, Donna Boyle, filed a complaint with the Pennsylvania Human Rights Commission (PHRC) over the team's mascot name. More than a year later, the complaint has yet to be resolved.



The NFL's Pink October does not raise money for cancer research

If you're a football fan—and, y'know, a good human being—you've probably once in the last six years been lured into buying the NFL's Pink October paraphernalia and then slept well thinking about your contribution to the league's effort to "help fight breast cancer."

In which case, this might keep you awake: The month-long campaign that paints everything from player's shoes to fields to penalty flags pink, doesn't actually result in a single dollar donated to breast cancer research. Yup, not a penny.

This is how it works: The NFL donates proceeds from its awareness campaign, auctions, and the NFL Shop to the American Cancer Society (ACS), which in turns uses that money to increase awareness, education, and screenings for women over 40.

"The money that we receive from NFL has nothing to do with our research program," ACS spokeswoman Tara Peters told VICE Sports. All NFL donations go to ACS' CHANGE program, through which the organization awards grants to "community based health facilities" located within 100 miles of an NFL city for educating women about breast health. The ACS could not provide the names of any of these health facilities, but it says that these centers have answered questions about early detection of the disease for at least 72,000 women in the last three years and screened 10,000 women at little or no cost.

Seems admirable, right? Actually, no, says Karuna Jaggar, who heads the Think Before You Pink campaign, a watchdog for the country's breast cancer programs. She finds the NFL's A Crucial Catch campaign's public health message, "Annual Screening Saves Lives," highly misinformative.



Police arrest tar-covered man atop Daytona Beach store

DAYTONA BEACH — Police did not buy a tar-smeared man’s story that he was visiting family on the roof of a convenience store at 3 a.m. Tuesday.

Joshue Holoman, 30, covered in roofing tar from trying to break into the Sunoco at 645 N. Atlantic Ave. through an air conditioning shaft, was charged with two counts of attempted burglary of an unoccupied structure, possession of burglary tools and criminal mischief, an arrest report shows.

Holoman of Orlando was also seen earlier on the roof of another business on Grandview Avenue, the comedy club Grandview Live, police said.

Officers were called to the closed business by a witness who heard a strange noises like whistling, snorting, a torch sound and rattling fence coming from the back of the business, police said.


The mug shot's a real keeper...

Thursday Toon Roundup 3: The Rest




Thursday Toon Roundup 2: Rights and Race



Thursday Toon Roundup 1: Scare Season

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