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

Journal Archives

Fresh views of Ceres but 'spots' remain mysterious

The Occator Crater, colour-coded to show differences in elevation, and its baffling bright spots

The team behind Nasa's Dawn mission to Ceres has released striking new images, but remains unable to explain the dwarf planet's most intriguing mystery.

Bright spots within a 90km-wide crater have baffled scientists since the probe spotted them on its approach.

Now in orbit around Ceres, Dawn is gathering detailed data about the world's geology and its composition.

Mission researchers described the latest images at the European Planetary Science Congress in Nantes, France.

Currently, their best guess to account for the spots is an expanse of some type of salt - but this is speculation.



This height-coloured map of Ceres has a resolution of 400m per pixel. The bright spots are in the Occator Crater (centre-right)

Tom the Dancing Bug Toon: The Most Dangerous Gang

Wisconsin: a paradise for white kids, hell for black kids

In Madison alone, 1,000 black children were arrested in 2013; only 3,247 black children live in Madison.

Wisconsin is rated one of the best states to raise kids -- if those kids are white. Black kids, on the other hand, face one of the highest juvenile arrest-rates in the country. "Juvenile" doesn't just refer to teenagers (as terrible as that would be): Wisconsin regularly arrests small black children, kids 12 and under, on bullshit charges like "loitering" and "disorderly conduct" (e.g., standing while black).

Sirena Flores, 17, said she was arrested for “blocking traffic” during a peaceful protest. Charles Jargue, 18, said he was ticketed as a 10 year old for “running in the street.” One 15-year-old said she was cited for disorderly conduct for picnicking in a restricted area of a park.

Christen Justice, who is black, 6’6’’ and 240 pounds, says he tries his best to avoid the Madison police, but it isn’t always easy. “Some people find me intimidating, I guess,” Justice said. “I try my best to stay out of everyone’s way, I try not to give the police an excuse to look at me twice or a reason to lock me away.

Nearly 13 percent of African American men in Wisconsin are incarcerated, a rate that’s twice the national average.



Wednesday Toon Roundup 3- The Rest









Wednesday Toon Roundup 2- General Repubs

Wednesday Toon Roundup 1-Speaker of the Damned

Car-Lying: Carly Fiorina Lies Like a Boss

The surging GOP presidential contender’s meaningless specifics are a marketing ploy, not a policy.

The Central Intelligence Agency has some tips for spotting liars. Unfortunately, most of them also sound like stage directions for a GOP primary candidate: “Failing to answer.” “Attacking.” “Denial.” Even, “Bringing up religion.” One particular hint is unusually relevant these days: “Being too specific.”

Carly Fiorina’s continuing distortions about what she saw, or didn’t see, on the Planned Parenthood sting videos would set off alarms all over Quantico on all those counts, but it’s her level of primary-color, pointillist embroidery on the truth—in that and other instances—that truly sets her apart from the rest of the field.

Call it Car-lying. Describing things into reality is a trademark of Fiorina’s, a style of mendacity that sets her apart from career politicians. Indeed, the reason she doesn’t come off as a politician is she’s still in marketing.


The Radical History Behind The Center For Medical Progress' Sham Planned Parenthood Investigation -

by Miranda Blue

This summer, a group called the Center for Medical Progress began to release a series of videos from an undercover “investigation” which it claimed showed that Planned Parenthood “sells aborted baby parts” for profit.

Since then, those claims have been roundly debunked, but the stir created by CMP’s videos has led to votes on defunding Planned Parenthood in the House and Senate and in several states, multiple House hearings (including one happening right now) and the threat of a government shutdown, and even contributed to the resignation of the speaker of the House.

Although little was known at first about who the Center for Medical Progress was, researchers and journalists quickly traced its ties to a number of radical anti-choice groups, and especially to Operation Rescue, which has existed for decades on the radical fringe of the anti-choice movement.

In a new report released today, People For the American Way explores the ties between CMP and its founder, David Daleiden, and Operation Rescue, placing Daleiden’s project in the history of the “direct action” anti-choice movement’s attempts to harass and intimidate abortion providers and patients.

- See more at: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/radical-history-behind-center-medical-progress-sham-planned-parenthood-investigation

An NC tax plan that’s an exercise in villainy


excerpt :

I’ll be the first to concede that the governor and the General Assembly mean to do a lot. They want to make it harder for black people to vote. They want to stop women from controlling their bodies. They want to shame and stigmatize lesbians and gay men. They want to disparage and marginalize immigrants. They want to dismantle the public schools. They want to eliminate environmental regulation. They want to foster purchased elections. They want to lay low their political opponents. The list is long. They’re ambitious sorts.

But their true sweet spot, their principal raison d’etre, the campaign to which they return enthusiastically in each succeeding session, is taking money and benefits from the impoverished in order to give more to, and to demand less from, the wealthy. They seemingly believe the main thing wrong with North Carolina is that those at the bottom have too much and those at the top don’t have enough. They have converted our government to an exercise in villainy.

Now, once you’ve kept a half-million vulnerable citizens from the Medicaid rolls, secured the largest unemployment compensation cut in American history, abolished the earned income tax credit, ended legal aid appropriations and made it tougher to afford to go to college so you can pay for a stream of tax cuts for the wealthy, you have to get creative to continue the oppressing crusade. But the income tax/car repair tradeoff shows our leaders are up to the challenge. And should they falter, the American Legislative Exchange Council stands ready to whisper in their ears.

The McCrory era will be adjudged a dark and shameful chapter in North Carolina history – a last gasp effort to cling to legacies of privilege and subordination, to deny the promises of democracy and dignity. That may seem unfair to a governor who appears unable to do much about anything that’s happening to his state. But saying: “I didn’t know what was going on and I couldn’t do anything to stop it” doesn’t excuse a chief executive’s destructive legacy. Even if you’re, otherwise, a nice enough fellow. Just ask George W. Bush.

Gene Nichol is Boyd Tinsley Distinguished Professor at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/opinion/op-ed/article36473067.html#storylink=cpy

Obama at LGBT Fundraiser: Ban ‘Conversion Therapy’ for Transgender Minors

Speaking Sunday at the Democratic National Committee’s “LGBT Gala,” a fundraiser held in New York City, President Barack Obama called for legally prohibiting “conversion therapy” that aims to steer minors away from being transgender.

“We’ve come a long way in changing hearts and minds so that trans men and women can be who they are--not just on magazine covers, but in workplaces and schools and communities,” Obama said at the fundraiser, according to a transcript posted by the White House.

“And to build on that progress, we should support efforts to ban so-called ‘conversion therapy’ for minors,” Obama said. "So, we've got to keep striving every day to treat each other the way I believe God sees us, as equal in His eyes."

Obama was introduced at the gala by James Obergefell. Obergefell was one of the plaintiffs who sued the state of Ohio because it did not permit two people of the same-sex to “marry.” His name is now on the Supreme Court opinion—Obergefell v. Hodges—in which five members of the court declared that a right to same-sex marriage was guaranteed by the 14th Amendment, which was ratified in 1868.

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