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Gender: Do not display
Current location: Virginia
Member since: Wed Jun 1, 2011, 06:34 PM
Number of posts: 6,985

About Me

Navy brat-->University fac brat. All over-->Wisconsin-->TN-->VA. RN (ret), married, grandmother of 11. Progressive since birth. My mouth may be foul but my heart is wide open.

Journal Archives

How to cool a city struggling with heatwaves

The heat of the Tokyo pavement is compounded by the Sun's reflection off high-rise apartment buildings and stores. A large group of overheated office workers rush by in suits and ties, drenched in sweat and panting heavily. Their daily lunch trip to the local convenience store a mere block away feels more like a marathon thanks to the sweltering heat.

Any local will attest that Tokyo is hot during the summer, reaching its peak in the humid months of July and August. In 2019, there were reportedly 162 deaths across Japan due to suspected heat-related illnesses after an extreme heatwave in the summer while in 2018 thousands of people were hospitalised in record temperatures that were declared a natural disaster by the country's weather agency.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games kicked off with the opening ceremony on 23 July and run through until the Paralympics ends on 5 September, with just two weeks between the two events. But despite the uncertainty created by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Tokyo Organising Committee has been developing solutions to help athletes and members of the public cope with the high temperatures they are likely to encounter this year.

Although spectators are abscent from the Tokyo Olympics due to the pandemic, many of the technologies and ideas developed ahead of the Games could find wider applications in helping cities stay cool during heatwaves.


Opinion: I used to be an elite athlete. I relate to Simone Biles's struggle

Simone Biles, the greatest gymnast in history, made a life-changing choice on Tuesday: She withdrew from the finals of the team competition, putting her own wellbeing first. Her team went on without her, winning silver as the Russian team took the gold. She told members of the media: "I'd just never felt like this going into a competition before and I tried to go out there and have fun... but once I came out here, I was like: No, the mental's not there, so I just need to let the girls do it and focus on myself."

Biles, who posted to Instagram earlier in the competition that she felt the "weight of the world" on her shoulders, showed significant strain during her most recent performance. But, along with all the achievements and medals she's acquired during her legendary career, this moment -- the best in the world putting her mental wellbeing first, saying openly "It's been really stressful these Olympic Games" may be her most defining one, showing others the importance of self-care.

This year, with the pandemic adding so much uncertainty and stress, Olympic athletes are struggling with even higher expectations and less support, facing the pain of competing without the family and friends who have encouraged them in getting this far, knowing that a single positive Covid test or unexpected outbreak could derail years of training.

Pandemic concerns and mental health struggles are also not mutually exclusive. Becca Meyers, a deaf and blind Paralympic swimmer who withdrew from the Games after she said her request to bring her mother as a personal care assistant was denied, has said the decision "tore her apart." The words she used to describe how she has been feeling are so telling: "I've always been known as Becca the swimmer and not Becca the deaf-blind person. And now I feel very worthless as a person. For someone who trained five years for this moment, especially an extra year with the pandemic, it makes it all seem like it was for nothing."

This piece probably delineates it all better than any one I've yet read.

Daniil Medvedev asks who will take responsibility if he dies in Tokyo Olympics' heat and humidity

Amid spiking temperatures and humidity at the Tokyo Olympics on Wednesday, tennis player Daniil Medvedev posed an unsettling question: Who would take responsibility if he were to die on court?

Competing for the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) team, world No. 2 Medvedev appeared to be struggling during his third round men's singles match against Fabio Fognini of Italy.

Chair umpire Carlos Ramos asked Medvedev if he could continue playing, and the player responded: "I'm a fighter, I will finish the match, but I can die," he said. "If I die, is the ITF (International Tennis Federation) going to take (sic) responsible?"

CNN has contacted the ITF for comment. Medvedev wants matches to start later in the day.


The GOP's alternate insurrection reality has a fun new villain

Republican efforts to distract and deceive the public over the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 seem to have hit a new low.

Speaking at a news conference Tuesday, just as the House kicked off its Jan. 6 hearings with searing testimony from Capitol Police officers, House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik attempted to shift blame. “Nancy Pelosi bears responsibility as speaker of the House for the tragedy that occurred on Jan. 6,” Stefanik said.

The New York lawmaker also deemed Pelosi, the top Democrat in the House, “an authoritarian who has broken the people’s house” and claimed Pelosi had refused to seat GOP Reps. Jim Jordan and Jim Banks on the House’s select committee because “she doesn’t want a fair or bipartisan investigation; she wants a political one.”

Stefanik’s brazen bid to flip reality on its head would be comical if it were not so dangerous.

Stefanik in more ways than one makes me think she might be Shuckabee Slanders' little sister.

Openly LGBTQ Olympians Would Rank 14th In Medal Wins If They Were A Country

If all of the publicly out LGBTQ athletes at the Olympics represented a country under a single rainbow flag they'd be coming in 14th in the world for their medal count.

That's the assessment of Outsports, which has been tracking the athletes — 168 of them — and the group is tied with Brazil and Switzerland.

British diver Tom Daley, who is competing in the games for the fourth time, is the only gold medalist in the group. French judoka Amandine Buchard won a silver medal in just 16 seconds, while three members of the USA women's softball team — Ally Carda, Amanda Chidester, Haylie McCleney — also nabbed second place. Meanwhile, Larissa Franklin and Joey Lye on the Canadian women's softball team took home bronze. And, British equestrian Carl Hester earned a bronze to add to his gold and silver medals collection from previous Olympics.


Right-Wing Media Launches Unhinged Attack on Simone Biles

Well, that didn’t take long.

Following superstar gymnast Simone Biles citing concerns of mental health after shockingly pulling out of the women’s team competition, a number of conservative media figures and pundits attacked her on Tuesday for supposedly being a “quitter” and “selfish sociopath” who had brought “shame on her country.”

Universally considered the greatest female gymnast of all time, Biles followed up an uncharacteristically sloppy preliminary round with an unusually poor start in the team event on Tuesday. Later saying she wasn’t in “the right headspace,” the four-time Olympic champion withdrew after she looked lost during her first vault attempt. With Biles cheering her teammates from the sideline, Team USA eventually won the silver medal.

“I know that this Olympic Games, I wanted it to be for myself,” a tearful Biles said afterward. “I came here, and I felt like I was still doing it for other people. So that just hurts my heart that doing what I love has been kind of taken away from me to please other people.”

After her error-prone preliminary round, meanwhile, Biles hinted that she was dealing with increased pressure and potential mental health challenges, writing on social media: “I truly do feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders at times.”


A bunch of sociopaths looking in the mirror and calling someone else names......

This Family Is Leaving Texas Because of Anti-Trans Bills

Leon Rey, a transgender boy from Texas, has a farewell message for Gov. Greg Abbott and other Republican legislators seeking to pass a raft of bans and restrictions aimed at trans youth in the state.

“If these laws were passed before I came out as transgender, I probably would not love myself and might not be alive,” Leon told The Daily Beast, via his mother Camille. “Sometimes, when people don’t love themselves, they kill themselves.”

Leon is determined to live a happy, full life. He loves basketball, swimming, and when he is older, he wants to be an engineer or a mathematician. But he has also heard other kids saying of trans children: “Freaks, all of you freaks.” Being transgender is hard, he recently said to his mother (their full, moving conversation is printed below).

“Is it hard because of being trans, or hard because of the way people treat you?” Camille asked her 8-year-old son.

“The way people treat me,” said Leon. “I need support.”


Larry Nassar's abuse of gymnasts, including Simone Biles went back decades. Why it still matters in

The U.S. women's gymnastics team stumbled in Olympic qualifications, placing second behind Russia in Tokyo and shocking those who have come to expect perfection. Simone Biles and her teammates will get a fresh start in the team finals on Tuesday, but the same cannot be said for the sport's governing body based in Indianapolis, Indiana.

USA Gymnastics has struggled to revamp its image in the nearly five years since IndyStar revealed the governing body had an executive policy of not reporting allegations of sexual abuse to authorities.

"We will continue working to earn back the trust of the community," USA Gymnastics President and CEO Li Li Leung wrote in the organization's 2020 annual report. "We will continue to learn from our past failures, and ensure that those lessons guide us as we move forward."

The organization has announced a series of changes to its athlete safety policies and procedures, including an athlete bill of rights, but survivors and advocates say USA Gymnastics still has much more to do.

Read this to understand why Simone Biles is still out there competing

What did Jim Jordan know about the insurrection and when did he know it?

“That fucking guy Jim Jordan. That son of a bitch,” Liz Cheney, a Republican congresswoman from Wyoming, told the chairman of the joint chiefs, Gen Mark Milley, about the Republican congressman from Ohio, according to I Alone Can Fix It, by Washington Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker.

“While these maniacs are going through the place,” said Cheney, about the insurrection at the Capitol on 6 January, “I’m standing in the aisle and he said, ‘We need to get the ladies away from the aisle. Let me help you.’ I smacked his hand away and told him, ‘Get away from me. You fucking did this.’”

When the House Republican leader, Kevin McCarthy, a congressman from California, named Jordan and Jim Banks, of Indiana, both of whom challenged the legitimacy of Joe Biden’s victory, to join the 13-member select committee on the Capitol insurrection, Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected the two men.

“With respect for the integrity of the investigation, with an insistence on the truth and with concern about statements made and actions taken by these members, I must reject the recommendations of Representatives Banks and Jordan to the select committee,” Pelosi stated.

REALLY important read!

Indigenous Americans demand a reckoning with brutal colonial history

As statues of queens and conquistadors are tumbled amid protests across North and South America, Indigenous people are pushing for a region-wide reckoning with colonialism’s bitter legacy of massacre and cultural erasure.

From the Arctic Circle to Tierra del Fuego, Indigenous Americans have taken aim at the Catholic Church, national governments and other powerful institutions.

In Canada, the horrifying discovery of the unmarked graves of Indigenous children near former Catholic boarding schools has prompted widespread calls for a reassessment of the country’s colonial history and the structural inequalities that persist today.

In Chile and Colombia, uprisings over social inequity have also been accompanied by demands for a reconsideration of national narratives and the lingering aftermath of conquest.

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