HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » n2doc » Journal


Profile Information

Gender: Do not display
Home country: USA
Current location: Georgia
Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 01:08 PM
Number of posts: 43,373

About Me

Environmental Scientist

Journal Archives

Weekend Toon Roundup 2- The rest




The Issue


Weekend Toon roundup 1- Torture, American Style

A Strange New Gene Pool of Animals Is Brewing in the Arctic

The journey began in spring 2010, just as the sea ice surrounding the North Pole began its annual melt. Two bowhead whales, 50-foot-long behemoths that scour the Arctic seas for plankton, each started from their homes on opposite sides of North America—one in the Beaufort Sea north of Alaska, the other in Baffin Bay on the west side of Greenland. As the summer progressed, sea ice shrank (to its third-lowest cover in the last 30 years), and the whales swam toward each other through the now ice-free passage above the continent. Two independent teams of scientists from Canada and the United States watched the whales closely via satellite. “We were all pretty excited,” recalls Kristen Laidre, a biologist at the University of Washington and member of the U.S. team.

In September, in an inlet some 1,800 miles north of Fargo, North Dakota, where the North American landmass dissolves into the Arctic Ocean, the whales met in the middle. They spent two weeks together, and although not much happened before they turned around, the meeting was historic. The fossil record indicates the last time Pacific and Atlantic bowhead whales came into contact was at least 10,000 years ago.

In the last 40 years, the Arctic has warmed by about 3.5 degrees Fahrenheit, more than twice the overall global rise in that same period. Already grizzly bears are tromping into polar bear territory while fish like cod and salmon are leaving their historic haunts to follow warming waters north. One tangible result of the migration, scientists report, is that animals will learn to live with new neighbors. But polar biologists worry that animals could get a little too friendly with each other. With less ice clogging Arctic seas, whales are ranging farther; meanwhile, animals like seals that breed on the ice have fewer places to go. In both cases, the chances of encountering a different species jump. “All of a sudden, hybridization will skyrocket,” says Brendan Kelly, a polar ecologist at the National Science Foundation.

The first confirmed cross between a polar bear and a grizzly bear—a white bear with brown patches—was documented in 2006; genetic analysis of a second, found in 2010, revealed that its mother was also a hybrid, suggesting that more instances are happening under scientists’ radar. In 2009, a biologist at the National Marine Mammal Laboratory photographed a probable bowhead/right whale hybrid in the Bering Sea. More hybrids are possible. Kelly and his coauthors have counted 34 opportunities for hybridization across 22 Arctic or near-Arctic species, based on the animals’ genetic compatibility and geographic range. The list includes potential hybrids of ringed and ribbon seals, Atlantic walrus and Pacific walrus, and beluga whales and narwhals.



Gov. Declares Chick-fil-A Defeat 'A Win for Vermont'

When in 2011 Chick-fil-A sued Bo Muller-Moore, a folk artist from Vermont, for using a slogan similar to their famous "eat mor chikin," no one thought he would beat the national chain. Though Muller-Moore had been using his "Eat More Kale" phrase on t-shirts and bumper stickers since 2000, when he tried to trademark the phrase — certainly as the popularity of kale began to rise — Chick-fil-A stepped up with a cease-and-desist letter. Today, the AP reports that Muller-Moore successfully won his right to use the vegan-friendly phrase.

Though his original trademark application was blocked, a judge has overturned that decision. Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin released a statement: "The message is out: Don't mess with Vermont. And don't mess with Bo. This isn't just a win for the little guy who stands up to a corporate bully; it's a win for our state. In Vermont, we care about what's in our food, who grows it, and where it comes from."

Atlanta-based Chik-fil-A played nice after the decision was announced, saying, "Cows love kale, too."

Muller-Moore plans to continue to emblazon t-shirts with the phrase, "Eat More Kale" as well as the more tongue-in-cheek, "Kale Isn't Chicken."


The Kiss


How’d you feel when you saw the kiss? You know the one I mean. If I weren’t such a jaded soul, I’d call it the V-J Day photo of 2014. Michael Sam, the defensive end who’d just been drafted by the St. Louis Rams, turns to his boyfriend, Vito Cammisano, and kisses him. Right on the mouth. Right in front of the world. Jaded soul, right? Not at that moment. I forgot all about the NFL’s long history of coded bigotry and imagined we were on a Devin Hester glide path into the future.

“It was my sports moment of the year, hands down,” said Jim Buzinski, one of the founders of the website Outsports. “We’ve seen World Cup celebrations. World Series celebrations. All sorts of celebration and dejection. This was something nobody had ever seen before.

“That’s why the image was powerful. Because it caused this reaction or discussion that was either good or bad. People were confronted with it. Because that’s what gay men do. They actually kiss just like straight people do.”



Watch Hayao Miyazaki Animate The Final Shot Of His Final Film

In this exclusive clip from the upcoming Miyazaki documentary, "The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness," we see the master doing what he loves, for the last time. Yes, those are tears in our eyes.

Torture Is Who We Are


Torture, declared President Obama this week, in response to the newly released Senate report on CIA interrogation, is “contrary to who we are.” Maine Senator Angus King added that, “This is not America. This is not who we are.” According to Kentucky Congressman John Yarmuth, “We are better than this.”

No, actually, we’re not. There’s something bizarre about responding to a 600-page document detailing systematic U.S. government torture by declaring that the real America—the one with good values—does not torture. It’s exoneration masquerading as outrage. Imagine someone beating you up and then, when confronted with the evidence, declaring that “I’m not really like that” or “that wasn’t the real me.” Your response is likely to be some variant of: “It sure as hell seemed like you when your fist was slamming into my nose.” A country, like a person, is what it does.

The implication of the statements by Obama, King, and Yarmuth is that there is an essential, virtuous America whose purity the CIA defiled. But that’s silly. Aliens did not invade the United States on 9/11. In times of fear, war, and stress, Americans have always done things like this. In the 19th century, American slavery relied on torture. At the turn of the 20th, when America began assembling its empire overseas, the U.S. army waterboarded Filipinos during the Spanish-American War. As part of the Phoenix Program, an effort to gain intelligence during the Vietnam War, CIA-trained interrogators delivered electric shocks to the genitals of some Vietnamese communists, and raped, starved, and beat others.

America has tortured throughout its history. And every time it has, some Americans have justified the brutality as necessary to protect the country from a savage enemy. Others have called it counterproductive and immoral. At different moments, the balance of power between these two groups shifts. But neither side in these debates speaks for the “real America.” The real America includes them both. Morally, we contain multitudes.



Bachmann tells Obama to bomb Iran at Christmas Party

Outgoing Rep. Michele Bachmann had some parting advice for President Barack Obama at the White House Christmas Party: Bomb Iran.

The Minnesota Republican told the Washington Free Beacon in a story published Thursday that she gave the President her two cents this week right after her family took their picture with him at the event.

"I turned to the president and I said, something to the effect of, 'Mr. President, you need to bomb the Iranian nuclear facilities, because if you don't, Iran will have a nuclear weapon on your watch and the course of world history will change,'" she said.

The congresswoman, who sought the GOP presidential nomination in 2012, said Obama got a "condescending smile on his face and laughed at me."

She said he told her: "Well Michele, it's just not that easy."


How very Christian of her! Tis the season!

A long-term blank check for “war” spending

The U.S. military's budget request now pending on Capitol Hill includes a particularly notable oddity inside the special fund meant to support combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan: a new $810 million U.S. defense initiative to "reassure" Europeans of their security in the wake of Vladimir Putin's Crimean land grab.

This is not how America’s war budget – otherwise known as the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) fund – is supposed to work. The White House in 2011 reaffirmed that the OCO, originally established in 2001 under a different name, was for “temporary and emergency requirements” associated with U.S. combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now, many experts say its continued use is emblematic of a five-year collapse in Washington's fiscal discipline.

The OCO budget isn't subject to spending limits that cap the rest of the defense budget for the next seven years; it's often omitted altogether from tallies of how much the military spends each year; and as an "emergency" fund, it's subject to much less scrutiny than other military spending requests.

This sort of special war funding was supposed to decline and then disappear as combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan wound down. But that target has receded, if not disappeared altogether, as the OCO fund has become a larger catchall -- a slush fund used by the military services, by lawmakers, and by the White House to escape budgetary constraints, officials and independent experts say.


Friday Toon Roundup 3: The Rest


The Issue





Go to Page: « Prev 1 ... 497 498 499 500 501 502 503 504 505 506 507 ... 1497 Next »