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n2doc

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

Journal Archives

International Space Station ammonia leak forces crew to Russian section

The crew of the International Space Station have been evacuated from the US part of the satellite after a toxic gas leak, according to reports.

They have been moved into the Russian part of the satellite because of an ammonia leak in the US-made section, Russian news reports said. The incident happened at around 11.44am.

All of the six crew — made up of three Russians, two Americans and one Italian — are safe in the Russian section, Russian news agencies reported.

A spacewalk might be required to fix the leak, Russia Today said citing Russian mission control.

more

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/iss-crew-evacuated-from-us-part-of-international-space-station-after-ammonia-leak-9977319.html

A SWAT Raid Based On Faulty Information Kills a Man Over His ‘Huge Stash.’ Worth Maybe All of $2.

In a sad case of investigative error, a man has tragically lost his life in a SWAT raid. The raid turned up only $2.00 worth of marijuana in his possession.

A drug informant identified and accused Jason Westcott of dealing drugs for the Tampa Bay Police Department, despite Westcott’s having no previous criminal record.

The informant, known as Ronnie “Bodie” Coogle, has confessed to lying to the police after it was too late, according to the Tampa Bay Times:

Coogle said they were all wrong. He said he repeatedly lied about suspects, stole drugs he bought on the public’s dime and conspired to falsify drug deals.

One of those he lied about, he said, was Jason Westcott, a young man with no criminal convictions whom a SWAT team killed during a drug raid that found just $2 worth of marijuana. Critics from across the country condemned the Police Department’s handling of the case as an example of the drug war’s lethal excesses.

“They’re making statements that are lies, that are absolute untruths, that are based on shady facts,” Coogle said of Tampa police. “Everything they’re saying is based on the informant. And I was the informant.”


more

http://www.ijreview.com/2015/01/232044-3-man-killed-swat-raid-based-faulty-information/

Fraternal Order of Police lobbies for new federal hate crime law

The 300,000-member Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) is demanding that the U.S. Congress and President Barack Obama “act now” to expand the federal hate crimes statute and add police officers as a protected class.

In a recent press release, the police union boasts that it has spent years lobbying for more federalization of crime and punishment. The presser cites a handful of recent incidents, nationally, in which police officers were attacked while on the job.

“Enough is enough! It’s time for Congress to do something to protect the men and women who protect us,” said union president Chuck Canterbury.

The federal government’s 1969 hate crime law has been expanded several times and already criminalizes bodily injury against anyone based on race, religion, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability. Penalties for committing a “hate crime” extend to up to 10 years in federal prison.

The FOP proposal would add the basis of “uniform” to the current list.

more

http://www.policestateusa.com/2015/fop-hate-crime/

Judge dismisses domestic violence charges against Hope Solo

Source: LA Times

Washington state municipal court dismissed a pair of domestic violence charges against Hope Solo on Tuesday, ending an ugly affair that started when the soccer star was accused of attacking her nephew and half-sister last year.

A Kirkland, Wash., municipal judge dismissed the charges with prejudice around 1 p.m., according to court supervisor Erin Wheeler.

Solo's attorney, Todd Maybrown, filed a motion to dismiss, which was granted on Monday, according to Wheeler.

"From the beginning, I've stated that Hope was the victim of an assault in this case," Maybrown said in a statement. "With a careful review of the facts surrounding these matters, it is clear that Hope never should have faced charges in the first place."

Read more: http://www.latimes.com/sports/sportsnow/la-sp-sn-judge-dismisses-all-charges-against-hope-solo-20150113-story.html

Ray Bradbury's house, sold for $1.76 million, is being torn down

Ray Bradbury lived in his 1937 Cheviot Hills home for more than 50 years. After the author of "Fahrenheit 451" died in 2012, the house was readied for sale.

The home was filled with original details, such as built-in bookcases, that surrounded Bradbury for much of his life. The next owner could be proud to live with the echo of Bradbury, the beloved science fiction writer who advised both Walt Disney and NASA.

Or not.

The home, which was purchased in June 2014 for $1.765 million, is being demolished. A permit for demolition was issued Dec. 30, Curbed LA reports, and a fan who visited the house over the weekend found it in the process of being torn down.

At the request of friends who'd heard the home was being destroyed, John King Tarpinian paid it a visit. "In only one day half of the house was gone," he writes at the science fiction site File 770.com.

more

http://www.latimes.com/books/jacketcopy/la-et-jc-ray-bradbury-house-being-torn-down-20150113-story.html

Wired Interview: Stephen Hawking

BY JOAO MEDEIROS

On the afternoon of September 23, 2014, a few minutes before his lecture at the Magma auditorium in Los Pueblos in Tenerife, Stephen William Hawking was rewriting parts of his speech. Hawking, who is unusual in being both a theoretical physicist working on some of the most fundamental problems in physics (his most recent paper, in January 2014, was titled “Information preservation and weather forecasting for black holes”) and being very famous, is a slow writer.
He operates his computer by moving his right cheek muscle. The movements are detected by an infrared sensor attached to his spectacles allowing him to move a cursor on a computer screen attached to his wheelchair. He painstakingly builds sentences at a rate of a few words per minute, a speed that might be slowly decreasing as his muscle control deteriorates. His condition is a consequence of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (aka motor neurone disease), an illness from which he has suffered since the age of 21 (he took part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in August by volunteering his children: “Because I had pneumonia last year it would not be wise for me to have a bucket of cold water poured over me”). His Tenerife lecture was titled “The Quantum Creation of the Universe.” The 1,500-capacity auditorium was packed.

“He was changing the content at the very last minute so we panicked a bit,” says Jonathan Wood, Hawking’s graduate assistant, a position which involves a variety of responsibilities, from technical assistance to managing social media. “He always does that. I produce the PowerPoint slides because he can’t. I’m not a physicist, so often he will be talking about things that I don’t understand and he’ll have to explain what slides he wants.” The lecture was part of the second edition of Starmus, a six-day science festival that gathered a group of eminent scientists, including physics Nobel laureate John Mather, biologist Richard Dawkins and Queen guitarist Brian May, who is an expert in three-dimensional astronomy. But the star turn was Hawking.

As he made his way to the stage, helped by his entourage of nurses and assistants, a giant screen showed a video montage which included visualisations of black-hole collisions and footage shot from Hawking’s point-of-view in his wheelchair, with “Hole in the Sky,” by the doom-metal band AtomA, blaring throughout the hall.

more
http://www.wired.com/2015/01/stephen-hawking-black-holes-hed-good-bond-villain/

In Memoriam: Robert Berner

Dear G&G Community:

I write to bring you the sad news that Robert A. Berner, Emeritus Professor of Geology and Geophysics, passed away as a result of pneumonia this weekend. We extend our deepest, heartfelt condolences to his family at this most difficult time.

Bob got his B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Michigan, and his Ph.D. from Harvard. He did a postdoc at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography before moving to the University of Chicago as an Assistant Professor in 1963. He came to Yale in 1965, and stayed here for the rest of his career.

Bob was one of the greatest geochemists and, more broadly, geologists who ever lived. It is simply impossible to list all of his accomplishments. Much of his research centered on the quantitative geochemistry of sediments, and it's not an exaggeration to say that he defined the field as we know it. He made seminal contributions to, for example, the geochemistry of sulfides and carbonates in the oceans, diagenesis, weathering, and geochemical cycling. He was a thoughtful teacher and mentor, inspiring a whole generation of geochemists who got their Ph.D.'s or did their postdoctoral research in his lab. Today the students of Bob's students are now making their impact on the field!

Bob's research in any one of the areas he studied would have made a spectacular career. The fact that he made such fundamental contributions to so many areas makes his achievements and legacy all the more remarkable. Arguably his broadest impact has been in the area of carbon cycling. For example, Bob spearheaded the quantitative interpretation of the CO2 content of the atmosphere over the last 600 million years of Earth history. His work provided the basis for virtually all modern carbon cycling research going on today. This understanding of past CO2 levels and paleoclimates has provided an invaluable baseline of comparison for determining the impact of today's anthropogenic CO2 emissions on the atmosphere and the associated climate change.

more

http://www.geochemsoc.org/news/2015/01/13/memoriam-robert-berner

People outside the field might not have known of him, but he was a giant in the field of Geochemistry. RIP.

For the Love of Carbon

by Paul Krugman

It should come as no surprise that the very first move of the new Republican Senate is an attempt to push President Obama into approving the Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry oil from Canadian tar sands. After all, debts must be paid, and the oil and gas industry — which gave 87 percent of its 2014 campaign contributions to the G.O.P. — expects to be rewarded for its support.

But why is this environmentally troubling project an urgent priority in a time of plunging world oil prices? Well, the party line, from people like Mitch McConnell, the new Senate majority leader, is that it’s all about jobs. And it’s true: Building Keystone XL could slightly increase U.S. employment. In fact, it might replace almost 5 percent of the jobs America has lost because of destructive cuts in federal spending, which were in turn the direct result of Republican blackmail over the debt ceiling.

Oh, and don’t tell me that the cases are completely different. You can’t consistently claim that pipeline spending creates jobs while government spending doesn’t.

Let’s back up for a minute and discuss economic principles.

For more than seven years — ever since the Bush-era housing and debt bubbles burst — the United States economy has suffered from inadequate demand. Total spending just hasn’t been enough to fully employ the nation’s resources. In such an environment, anything that increases spending creates jobs. And if private spending is depressed, a temporary rise in public spending can and should take its place. That’s why a great majority of economists believe that the Obama stimulus did, in fact, reduce the unemployment rate compared with what it would have been without that stimulus.

more

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/12/opinion/paul-krugman-for-the-love-of-carbon.html?_r=0

Tuesday Toon Roundup 2:The Rest

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Tuesday Toon Roundup 1: The Sad Cycle



























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