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Environmental Scientist

Journal Archives

Thursday Toon Roundup 1- Dickin' the Middle East

This New Nanomaterial Can Withstand Forces 160,000 Times Its Weight

MIT engineers have taken inspiration from architecture to create a new material that combines high stiffness with low weight—by using a repeating geometric structure that's airy, yet remarkably strong.

The new material design has been developed in a collaboration with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and uses microlattices with nanoscale features to combine "great stiffness and strength with ultralow density." Essentially, it uses the same principles of lattice work that you find in structures like the

Eiffel Tower to provide strength with the minimum of extraneous material. The research is published in the journal Science.

Usually, stripping away material from a microstructure decreases stiffness and strength, but the researchers have mathematically determined how the geometric structure distributes and directs loads, so that they can trim material away at the nanoscale in places where it won't be missed.



LOL- ISIS Runs Ad Campaign Featuring Photo With John McCain

…This 2013 photograph of John McCain is being circulated by members of ISIS as a photo of him with members of some of their members in Syria… The poster does not specify which of the men is actually from ISIS or “Al Qaeda In Iraq” as they were once called.

States slow to change on life without parole for children

The 2012 Supreme Court ruling that was supposed to spell the end of mandatory life sentences without parole for children hasn’t led to a sea change in the criminal justice system, a new analysis from the Sentencing Project has found.

Only a handful of states have passed laws to comply with the 2012 decision, which found that mandatory life sentences for individuals under the age of 18 without the chance for parole violates the Eighth Amendment. The decision also said that juries must be able to consider mitigating factors when deciding sentences because children have not finished developing physically and mentally and could be rehabilitated.

Thirteen of the 28 states that had mandatory life without parole sentences for juveniles now ban the practice. Things are slowly improving, but many tough-on-crime states still leave children facing long prison terms.

Some states have simply replaced mandatory life without parole with mandatory minimum sentences of several decades. And, the Sentencing Project’s analysis found that most states will allow life without parole to be imposed, as long as it is not required.



Georgia Police Left Two Teenagers In A Holding Cell With No Lights Or Food For An Entire Weekend

Two Georgia teenagers were left in a county courthouse holding cell from Friday to Monday with no food, lights, or toilet paper, Dave Huddleston WSB Atlanta reports.

"I’m embarrassed today as I can possibly be,” Douglas County Sheriff Phil Miller told reporters.

The teenage boys, ages 16 and 17, had court appearances on Friday, and were locked in the holding cell after neither of their parents showed up.

“Nobody that works in security is supposed to leave that building at night without checking the cells, and it’s not a hard job to do," Miller said, adding that eight to 10 officers were involved may lose their jobs once he completes the internal investigation.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/georgia-police-left-two-teenagers-in-a-holding-cell-2014-6

SF Giants’ Tim Lincecum no-hits Padres — again

By Henry Schulman

Anyone who understands the Giants in the last decade and a half knows the five starting pitchers must be the ones to take charge and lead them out of the darkness of the past two weeks and back to the promised land.

On a cool, overcast afternoon at AT&T Park on Wednesday, Tim Lincecum commandeered the leader’s baton, marched to the front of his brigade and, for the second time in less than a year, threw a no-hitter against the San Diego Padres.

In a 4-0 victory that the Giants absolutely needed after the Padres took the series’ first two games, Lincecum became the second Giant to throw two no-hitters. The other was Hall of Famer Christy Mathewson (1901 and 1905).

Lincecum threw the 16th no-no in franchise history, the eighth in the San Francisco era and the third at AT&T Park, following Jonathan Sanchez in 2009 and Matt Cain’s perfect game in 2012.



Don't like those scary climate change forecasts? Just order them changed-North Carolina did.


NAGS HEAD, N.C. — The dangers of climate change were revealed to Willo Kelly in a government conference room in the summer of 2011. By the end of the century, state officials said, the ocean would be 39 inches higher and her home on the Outer Banks would be swamped.

The state had detailed maps to illustrate this claim and was developing a Web site where people could check by street address to see if their property was doomed. There was no talk of salvation, no plan to hold back the tide. The 39-inch forecast was “a death sentence,” Kelly said, “for ever trying to sell your house.”

So Kelly, a lobbyist for Realtors and home builders on the Outer Banks, resolved to prove the forecast wrong. And thus began one of the nation’s most notorious battles over climate change.

Coastal residents joined forces with climate skeptics to attack the science of global warming and persuade North Carolina’s Republican-controlled legislature to deep-six the 39-inch projection, which had been advanced under the outgoing Democratic governor. Now, the state is working on a new forecast that will look only 30 years out and therefore show the seas rising by no more than eight inches.



Rich countries pay zombie fishing boats $5 billion a year to plunder the seas

The industrial fleet that now drags the high seas for fish has a combined engine power 10 times stronger than it did in 1950. Its nets are so huge that they’re sometimes big enough to hold 12 jumbo jets. And it is largely thanks to this all-out assault on high-seas fishing stocks that two-thirds of those stocks (paywall) are at the brink of collapse—or well past the edge.

But instead of discouraging this trend, rich countries are paying those vessels to overfish like there’s no tomorrow. Japan, China, the US, the EU and other countries pay $27 billion to subsidize these vessels, according to a report (pdf) by the Global Ocean Commission, an independent body of international leaders focused on ocean conservation policy. Of that, $5 billion alone goes on fuel subsidies from rich countries to industrial fishing fleets.

Without the subsidies, most of these businesses would fail. So thoroughly have industrial fleets overfished the seas that they couldn’t afford the fuel to travel the ever-increasing distance needed to catch the same amount of fish if their governments didn’t lavish public funds upon them.

In economics, you’d call these zombies—unprofitable companies that would fail if governments didn’t prop them up. There are two big problems with zombies. First, they take resources that could go to support new, productive companies. And by subsidizing zombies, governments allow them to keep prices low, driving productive companies out of business.


For Him, Satellite Reboot is like connecting with an old friend

His wife calls him an egotist, NASA calls him a genius, and his friends call him a sore loser and insufferable winner.

Bob Farquhar says they're all right.

"I not only want to get things done, I want to be in your face at the end," the 82-year-old spaceflight engineer said. "And yes, I have a big ego, but it's not as big as Buzz Aldrin's."

The former Army paratrooper with a Stanford PhD is legendary for making spacecraft do things once thought impossible, and maybe even unwise. The only rules he followed faithfully during his 23 years at NASA were the laws of physics.

Take the time he had brass plaques commemorating his first and current wives affixed to one probe, and commanded the vehicle to land on the asteroid Eros on Valentine's Day. (It may bear mentioning that the spacecraft was neither designed nor intended to touch down on anything.)



Wednesday Toon Roundup 4- The Rest





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