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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

Vitter Seeks Ethics Investigation of Reid, Boxer Over Prostitution Amendment

Source: Rollcall

Updated 5:06 p.m. | Sen. David Vitter is pushing back against a legislative proposal that alludes to his prior connection to a prostitution scandal.

In a letter to the Senate Ethics Committee, the Louisiana Republican seeks an investigation of Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Ethics Chairwoman Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., contending that the offices of the two senators are running afoul of the rules with “attempted bribery.”

Politico reported that Senate Democrats have drafted an amendment to pending energy efficiency legislation that would keep lawmakers from getting employer contributions for their federal health benefits in the new health exchanges under Obamacare if there is “probable cause” that the lawmaker solicited prostitutes.

Vitter has admitted to a “serious sin” but did not fully admit to being a client of Deborah Jeane Palfrey, better known as the “D.C. Madam.” His phone number, however, did show up in the investigation of Palfrey. Because the alleged solicitation took place before Vitter arrived in the Senate, the Ethics Committee dismissed a complaint against him back in 2008.

Read more: http://blogs.rollcall.com/wgdb/vitter-seeks-ethics-investigation-of-reid-boxer-over-prostitution-amendment/

Baby elephant rejected by mom wept inconsolably, but is now OK



We would like nothing more than to offer this little elephant a hug and a tissue. The newborn calf reportedly cried for five hours, inconsolably, after being separated for a second time from his mother, who tried to kill him, twice.

Keepers at a wildlife park in eastern China, the Shendiaoshan Wild Animal Nature Reserve, in Rongcheng, Shandong province, removed the calf from his mother after she rejected him, stomping on him. Hopeful that the injury had been accidental, they treated the calf and returned him to his mother's side. She turned on him again, so they again removed him. The calf wept under a blanket for five straight hours before keepers were able to console him.

"He couldn’t bear to be parted from his mother and it was his mother who was trying to kill him," a keeper said, according to reports. All was not lost for the little calf, however. Named Zhuangzhuang, he has been adopted by the keeper who rescued him and they have formed a strong bond.

http://m.now.msn.com/baby-elephant-in-china-rejected-by-mom-wept-inconsolably

better, maybe, but certainly not ok. Poor baby.

Largest Gun Study Ever: More Guns, More Murder

BY ZACK BEAUCHAMP ON SEPTEMBER 13, 2013 AT 12:33 PM


The largest study of gun violence in the United States, released Thursday afternoon, confirms a point that should be obvious: widespread American gun ownership is fueling America’s gun violence epidemic.

The study, by Professor Michael Siegel at Boston University and two coauthors, has been peer-reviewed and is forthcoming in the American Journal of Public Health. Siegel and his colleagues compiled data on firearm homicides from all 50 states from 1981-2010, the longest stretch of time ever studied in this fashion, and set about seeing whether they could find any relationship between changes in gun ownership and murder using guns over time.

Since we know that violent crime rates overall declined during that period of time, the authors used something called “fixed effect regression” to account for any national trend other than changes in gun ownership. They also employed the largest-ever number of statistical controls for other variables in this kind of gun study: “age, gender, race/ethnicity, urbanization, poverty, unemployment, income, education, income inequality, divorce rate, alcohol use, violent crime rate, nonviolent crime rate, hate crime rate, number of hunting licenses, age-adjusted nonfirearm homicide rate, incarceration rate,and suicide rate” were all accounted for.

No good data on national rates of gun ownership exist (partly because of the NRA’s stranglehold on Congress), so the authors used the percentage of suicides that involve a firearm (FS/S) as a proxy. The theory, backed up by a wealth of data, is that the more guns there are any in any one place, the higher the percentage of people who commit suicide with guns as opposed to other mechanisms will be.

more

http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/09/13/2617131/largest-gun-study-guns-murder/

This art would make Wayne LaPierre cry...

Disarm: A Mechanized Orchestra of Instruments Built from Decommissioned WeaponsS








As part of his ongoing effort to transform weapons into musical instruments, artist Pedro Reyes (previously) constructed a fully mechanized orchestra. Titled Disarm, the collection of eight new instruments were built through a collaboration with several musicians and Cocolab, a media studio in Mexico City.

The team acquired a variety of rifles, pistols, and shotguns seized from drug cartels by the Mexican army and used them to build the musical devices that are controlled by computers and can be pre-programmed to play music. In the video above the Creator’s Project recently sat down with Reyes to learn more about how he “transforms negative instincts into creative instincts.” It’s well worth a watch to see the instruments in use.

You can see more photos of Disarm over at Lisson Gallery in London where it debuted earlier this year. Additionally, many of the Disarm instruments will be at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh starting October 5, 2013 and the artist is also giving a talk on October 1st.


http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2013/09/disarm-pedro-reyes/

The Greatest Threat to America's Moral Well-being is Betty Crocker Wedding Cakes

When gay rights advocates criticized Chick-fil-A for the company’s financial support of anti-gay organizations, the Family Research Council decried their “gaystapo tactics.” Apparently, the FRC believes that boycotts are only acceptable if they are organized by conservative groups.

In fact, the FRC is already boycotting companies like Starbucks and McDonalds, and even the Girl Scout Cookies.

Today on his daily radio commentary, FRC president Tony Perkins urged listeners to also boycott Betty Crocker and offered a link to the National Organization for Marriage’s campaign at DumpGeneralMills.com.

Perkins was outraged that Betty Crocker donated custom cakes to three gay Minnesota couples who were married after the state legalized same-sex marriage, and upset that a company spokesman said that “Betty celebrates all families.” Perkins warned that Betty Crocker’s “latest promotion is a recipe for disaster” and claimed that it is offensive to a majority of Americans who have already “made it tough on companies like Target, Starbucks and JC Penney” for not opposing gay rights.

more
http://whatwouldjackdo.net/2013/09/the-greatest-threat-to-americas-moral-well-being-betty-crocker-wedding-cakes.html

Vlad Putin- Tea Party Candidate 2016

A Google Street View Car Hit A Bus, Tried To Flee, Then Hit Another Bus And A Truck

If you thought a Google Street View car almost killing a donkey was bad, this is worse.

A Google Street View car got in an accident in Bogor, Indonesia. It hit a bus, then the driver panicked and tried to flee the scene. Instead, it hit another bus and a truck before finally pumping the breaks, Gizmodo reports.

Google confirmed the incident to Gizmodo but didn't say what it plans to do about it.

"We take incidents like this very seriously," a spokesperson told Gizmodo's Ashley Feinberg. "We're working closely with local authorities to address the situation."

Here's a picture of the wreckage from a message board:



Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/google-street-view-car-crash-indonesia-2013-9

Study on beer goggles among Ig Nobel Prize winners

NEW YORK (AFP) -- The tongue-in-cheek Ig Nobel awards were handed Thursday to dozens of scientists, including those who confirmed drunk people think they are more attractive and studied the onion enzyme that makes us cry.

The Nobel prize spoof honors achievements "that first make people laugh and then make them think," according to a press release.

The Ig Nobels invite real Nobel laureates to confer honors on serious scientists for work that is generally only unintentionally funny.

There is also a peace prize, which this year was jointly awarded to the president of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, for making it illegal to applaud in public, and to the Belarus police "for arresting a one-armed man for applauding."

The safety engineering prize went to late American researcher Gustano Pizzo, who invented a system to trap airplane hijackers, seal them into a package and parachute them into the hands of police.


Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/sci-tech/lighter-side-of-science-study-on-beer-goggles-among-ig-nobel-prize-winners-1.1453224

Is The NFL Blacklisting Kerry Rhodes?

Free agent safety Kerry Rhodes was more or less outed by Media Takeout during the offseason (the pictures that MTO posted of him with another man appear to have been scrubbed from the site). He still hasn't found a job. This is fucked up, because Kerry Rhodes is good. In fact, by many metrics, he's very good.

Rhodes picked off four passes last season (two of them came against the Jets, but still!) and was part of the fifth-best pass defense in the NFL. Pro Football Focus had him ranked as the fourth-best safety in all of football in 2012. Apart from the retired Ronde Barber, Rhodes is the only player in PFF's top 30 safeties from 2012 that doesn't currently have a job.

Look at his career stats and you will see that there was no obvious drop-off in the quality of Rhodes's play in 2012 compared to the seven previous seasons. He's been serviceable at worst and Pro Bowl-caliber at best. Nothing about him has changed except for the fact that someone put up a picture of him with his arm around a dude. Rhodes has vehemently denied the gay rumors, and yet the mere suspicion of his gayness seems to have been enough to make him unemployable.

If you watched any of the games from Week 1, you know that there are roughly 50 teams that could use improved safety play. According to Mike Florio, four teams tried out defensive backs this week: the Bucs, Colts, Dolphins and Seahawks. None of them brought in Rhodes. The second David Wilson put two balls on the ground against the Cowboys, Tom Coughlin was sprinting to the waiver wire to find any running back with 10 fingers and a working spinal cord (he grabbed Brandon Jacobs, which indicates that he failed in that task). Why a team like the Ravens—who were DESTROYED by Julius Thomas and the rest of the Denver passing offense—wouldn't do the same thing and at least kick the tires on Rhodes is baffling.

more
http://deadspin.com/is-the-nfl-blacklisting-kerry-rhodes-1300128496

Buried Saharan Rivers May Have Led Humans Out of Africa

Some 100,000 years ago, three large rivers snaked through what is today the bone-dry Sahara Desert, new research suggests.

The rivers, now buried, would have created pockets of green areas and provided water in a parched landscape. That, in turn, could have allowed ancient humans to migrate from across the Sahara and then out of Africa, according to research detailed today (Sept. 11) in the journal PLOS ONE.

"These rivers were big," said study co-author Thomas Coulthard, a hydrologist at the University of Hull in England. "They were about the same as the Missouri or the Rhine or even the Nile when it's low flow."

more

http://www.livescience.com/39575-ancient-saharan-rivers-existed.html
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