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We’re now farming more fish than cattle globally

By Lauren Alix Brown

For the first time in history, the world is farming more fish than cattle. According to a recent report from the Earth Policy Institute, the output of farmed fish reached 66 million tons (60 million tonnes) in 2012, more than the 63 million tons of beef production.

This is not to say that meat production has slowed; it has actually increased by 600% since 1950 due to population growth. But more consumers are turning to healthier forms of protein, and fish farming, or aquaculture, has skyrocketed as natural fish reserves have declined. Meanwhile, rising soybean and grain prices needed to sustain cattle have contributed to meat’s decline. This year may be the first time that people eat more farmed fish than fish caught in the wild, according to the report.

China, which accounts for 62% of the world’s aquaculture, raises fish like silver carp, which can survive on cheaper inputs like grass and plankton. But farmed shrimp and salmon survive on fishmeal and fish oil from anchovies, sardines, and herring, which are greatly over-harvested from the seas. Our rising consumption of fish can’t continue, then, unless we find more sustainable ways to farm them.


John Oliver Savages Paula Deen

by Josh Feldman | 11:38 pm, June 20th, 2013

John Oliver opened tonight’s Daily Show targeting celebrity chef Paula Deen for allegedly using the n-word, and for her incredibly unhelpful explanations for it. Oliver also used the opportunity to remind viewers that Deen recently revealed she suffers from type-two diabetes, and found it’s possible Deen was not intentionally trying to hurt anyone’s feelings, she just also suffers from “type-two racism.”

Oliver first took a swipe at Deen’s cooking by saying the n-word she used couldn’t have possibly been “non-fat.” When Deen was asked about ever using the n-word, she said that “of course” she did, to which Oliver said in her voice, “That’s just a given, come on!”

Oliver tried to defend Deen, suggesting “maybe the word just slipped out when she was rapping along to the Wu-Tang Clan.” And Oliver did admit that the idea of a plantation-themed wedding might appeal to Deen’s particular sensibilities, where “the bride and groom exchange slaves” and “the Union army comes through and burns everything to the ground.”

He took a dig at Deen’s diabetes diagnosis, suggesting they should just rename it the “Paula Deen syndrome,” before turning it over to correspondent Jessica Williams, who said that Deen suffers from either type-one racism (inherited) or type-two (“adult onset racism”). She said the second is what happens after years and years of indulging in too much Dixie nostalgia, and ended with a firing shot: “Paula Deen’s words aren’t hurting black people anywhere near as much as her recipes are.”

video at link

Friday TOON Roundup 3: The Rest








Friday TOON Roundup 2: Passings

Friday TOON Roundup 1: The littlest big tent in history

Garry Kasparov: I Will Not Return to the Dark Reality of Putin's Russia

by Garry Kasparov Jun 20, 2013 4:45 AM EDT

Press conferences are supposed to make headlines, but on June 5 in Geneva I made a little more news than I had intended. I was there to receive the Morris B. Abram Human Rights Award from the organization UN Watch. It was a great honor to receive an award bearing the name of the American civil rights champion who worked with Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy before becoming a global rights figure in co-founding UN Watch in Geneva.
At the press conference a reporter asked a question I have received hundreds of times, about whether or not I feared for my safety and freedom in Putin’s Russia. But I did not give my usual reply about nothing in life being certain. I answered that if I returned to Russia I had serious doubts I would be able to leave again, since it had become obvious in February that I would be part of the ongoing crackdown against political protesters. “So for the time being,” I concluded (if I may quote myself to make the record clear), “I refrain from returning to Russia.”

This was not intended to be a declaration of leaving my home country, permanently or otherwise. In the context of the question, even the Russia experts among the journalists in attendance failed to pick up anything special about my cautious response. It was only when The Moscow Times reported it that the headlines and speculation began to fly. I was simply expressing the dark reality of the situation in Russia today, where nearly half the members of the opposition’s Coordinating Council are under criminal investigation on concocted charges ranging from illegal protest to embezzlement. This difficult decision was already old news to me and my family; I have not been home since February. Even my 50th birthday in April was celebrated in Oslo, as much as it pained me to make my mother and other close family travel abroad.

My principal work on the opposition Council is foreign relations, which mostly entails lobbying governments and organizations abroad to condemn the appalling human rights record of the Putin regime and to bring sanctions against his government and his cronies. Putin’s rage at this year’s passage of the U.S. Magnitsky Act legislation shows this is the correct path and this path must be followed in Europe as well. The Moscow prosecutor’s office opening an investigation that would limit my ability to travel would cripple these efforts. It would keep me from my professional speaking engagements, all of which are abroad since my dissident status has denied me any possibility of earning an income in Putin’s Russia. A travel ban would also limit my critical work for the nonprofit Kasparov Chess Foundation, which has centers in New York City, Brussels, and Johannesburg to promote chess in education.


Why Having A Liquid Nitrogen Pool Party Is A Bad Idea

Note to Fox News: it wasn't a cloud of toxic chlorine.
By Francie Diep

So you probably know it's not a good idea to swim in a pool with liquid nitrogen. You might not know exactly why—we'll discuss this further ahead—but it just sounds like a bad idea, right?

Right. German liquor company Jägermeister recently hosted a party in Mexico, during which staffers poured what appeared to be numerous 10-liter dewars of liquid nitrogen into the water, creating a foggy effect. In videos, you can hear partiers "Woo!"-ing… and then, not two minutes later, those not in the water pointing and saying, in Spanish, "Somebody's fainted. Someone else has fainted." Another video shows partiers jumping into the pool to pull limp bodies out of the water.

What happened? Not what others have reported, according to ChemBark, a blog by St. Louis University chemist Paul Bracher. Fox News Latino, the U.K.'s the Daily Mail, KTLA and others have said the nitrogen reacted with chlorine in the pool to form a "toxic cloud."

"This is almost certainly incorrect," Bracher wrote. Actually, molecular nitrogen is inert and shouldn't react with anything in the pool, he said. Instead, the nitrogen displaced oxygen from the air above the pool, "leaving none for the swimmers to breathe." Yipes!


There is no "almost certainly" about it. N2 is essentially inert unless very high energies are applied to it, or certain catalysts (biological or otherwise).

Luckovich Toon: Welcome Home, Tony

Thursday Toon roundup 3- The Rest






Food Stamps



Thursday Toon roundup 2- Not Dick

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