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Richardo's Journal
Richardo's Journal
March 21, 2012

Peak water - here's a thought-provoking illustration...

How much water is on Earth?

In this illustration, the blue ball represents the volume of all the water on earth, relative to the size of the earth. The tiny speck to the right of the blue ball represents Earth's fresh water.
CREDIT: David Gallo/WHOI

If Earth was the size of a basketball, all of its water would fit into a ping pong ball.


Oceans create a water layer spanning 15,000 miles (24,000 kilometers) across the planet at an average depth of more than 2 miles (3.2 km). If you poured all of the world's water on the United States and could contain it, you'd create a lake 90 miles (145 km) deep.

This seems, and looks, like a lot of water, Gallo told Life's Little Mysteries, but looks can be deceiving.

If the Earth was an apple, Gallo said, the water layer would be thinner than the fruit's skin.

The Earth's freshwater is even rarer.


More at: http://www.lifeslittlemysteries.com/829-how-much-water-on-earth-100909html.html

Holy shit.
March 20, 2012

Born this date: March 21, 1856: Henry O. Flipper, first African American West Point graduate


"As honorable a record in the Army as any officer in it"

Born into slavery in Thomasville, Georgia, on March 21, 1856, Henry Ossian Flipper was appointed to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, in 1873. Over the next four years he overcame harassment, isolation, and insults to become West Point's first African American graduate and the first African American commissioned officer in the regular U.S. Army. Flipper was stationed first at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, later served at Forts Elliott, Quitman, and Davis, Texas. He served as a signal officer and quartermaster, fought Apaches, installed telegraph lines, and supervised the building of roads. At Fort Sill, the young lieutenant directed the construction of a drainage system that helped prevent the spread of malaria. Still known as "Flipper's Ditch," the ditch is commemorated by a bronze marker at Fort Sill and the fort is listed as a National Historic Landmark.

In 1881, while serving at Fort Davis, Flipper's commanding officer accused him of embezzling $3,791.77 from commissary funds. A court-martial found him not guilty of embezzlement but convicted him of conduct unbecoming an officer and ordered him dismissed from the Army.

After his dishonorable discharge, Flipper fought to clear his name as he pursued a career as an engineer and an expert on Spanish and Mexican land law. In 1898, a bill reinstating him into the Army and restoring his rank was introduced in Congress on his behalf. To bolster his case, he sent Congressman John A. T. Hull, chairman of the House Committee on Military Affairs, [a] letter ... along with a brief supporting the bill's passage. Flipper's letter to Hull is an eloquent statement asking Congress for "that justice which every American citizen has the right to ask." The bill and several later ones were tabled, and Flipper died in 1940 without vindication, but in 1976, the Army granted him an honorable discharge, and in 1999, President Bill Clinton issued him a full pardon.

The National Archives and Records Administration is pleased to present these documents from the career of a man who served his country with honor and fought injustice tenaciously.

I'm forever in awe of those that stand up to an entire society for simple, fundamental human rights - at such overwhelming personal costs.
March 13, 2012

One Virginia woman's response...

From tumblr.com:

How one Virginia woman is responding to her state legislators that voted in favor of VA’s forced ultrasound bill.

She posts this message on each one of their Facebook pages:

Hi Senator _____________! I just wanted to let you know, since you’re concerned with women’s health, that my period started today! Color looks good, flow not too heavy. Cramps are pretty manageable but don’t worry - I’ll make sure to let you know if that changes! Thanks again for caring so much about women and our bodies!

If legislators in your state or those representing you at the federal level have voted for anti-choice bills, this is a great way to *thank* them.

Ms Connelly!
March 12, 2012

Santorum: My grades suffered because I was conservative.

"Santorum's Profs Beg to Differ"


March 11, 2012|By Karen Heller, Inquirer Columnist


"I can tell you professor after professor who docked my grades because of the viewpoints I expressed and the papers that I wrote. There's no question that happened," Santorum said. He added: "I used to go to war with some of my professors, who thought I was out of the pale, these are just not proper ideas," noting, "There is clearly a bias at the university."


"I never received a complaint from any students that a professor had downgraded them because they were conservative and the professor was too liberal, or a student was too liberal with a conservative professor," Robert Friedman told me. He served as chair of the political science department in the late 1970s when Santorum was a student. "Any problem he had with his grades had nothing to do with the fact that he was politically conservative."Friedman said. "He wasn't a very serious student."

"He was an OK student," noted O'Connor, "not great."


The real story about Rick Santorum's education is this one: "He was telling a story that isn't true," Friedman said. "It's a fantasy," Eisenstein echoed. "You're in a political campaign and you're dealing with people you can get to applaud if you tell stories about people being indoctrinated and liberal professors, but it's not true."

"I was indoctrinated at that Berkeley-esque bastion of liberalism: Penn State. I mean, look at this beard." :jagoffsmilie:
January 31, 2012

This quote says it all: "The people at the top were not willing to pay people at the bottom wages.."

... but they were willing to lend them money."

Heard on NPR's Marketplace last evening:

Kai Ryssdal: There's reassuring news on the macro-economic personal finance front today. We learned this morning personal income rose in December by the biggest amount in nine months. And here comes the good part -- Americans saved almost all the extra money they brought home. That's no mean thing in a country where debt is all too familiar. Debt is, in fact, and has been, an American way of life. Louis Hyman is the author of a new book called "Borrow: The American Way of Debt." Thanks for being here.


Ryssdal: Yeah, which gets us to, writ very large, the banking industry. Right? Depending on who you talk to, banks are either directly responsible for the freeflow of capitalism, and thus the economic glory that is America. Or it is a vampire squid on the face of humanity. (OP's comment: )

Hyman: Yeah. Either way it's a monster and it's impersonal, and it's treated as if it were something we can't control. ...


The question is why do we let them have all our money to play with? Certianly in the last year -- with the rise of Occupy Wall Street -- you have an increased sense of, oh, people are concerned again about inequality. For me the essential question is: How did inequality produce indebtedness? And in the book I talk about how the people at the top were not willing to pay people at the bottom wages, but they were willing to lend them money.


Audio here: http://www.marketplace.org/topics/economy/big-book/history-american-borrowing

That boils the entire economic crash down to one sentence like I've never heard. The 1% literally owns and recirculates the money - 99% are NOT paid, they're LOANED to. Amazing.

January 14, 2012

Hiring Logjam Breaks as CEOs Plan Fastest U.S. Growth Since 2006

Hiring Logjam Breaks as CEOs Plan Fastest U.S. Growth Since 2006
Thomas Black, ©2012 Bloomberg News

Friday, January 13, 2012

Jan. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Companies from General Electric Co. to yogurt producer Chobani are adding U.S. workers, accelerating a rebound in hiring, as chief executive officers prepare for greater demand in a strengthening economic recovery.

Boeing Co. is bringing in more than 100 union machinists a week for a 60 percent boost in output by 2014. Nissan Motor Co. will expand in Tennessee with 1,000 people making lithium-ion batteries. And a GE executive was at a Kentucky appliance plant before dawn this month to greet some of 500 new employees.

"The next few years are going to be a different picture than what we saw in the last few," said Hamdi Ulukaya, CEO and founder of South Edmeston, New York-based Chobani, which is building a 300-worker plant in Twin Falls, Idaho. "To get ready for this, we need to have our manufacturing capacity in place."

The hiring reflects optimism among CEOs that the economy will continue to strengthen and more workers will be needed to meet demand. It may signal an end to a lockdown on job growth following the financial crisis that lingered even after the recession ended in June 2009, with economists estimating more new jobs created this year than any time since 2006.

Manufacturing, whether for GE refrigerators or Greenbrier Cos. rail cars, is a bright spot in a labor market still so weak that December's unemployment rate of 8.5 percent was the lowest in three years. U.S. factory payrolls expanded by 225,000 jobs in 2011, more than double the total from a year earlier.


Lots more here: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2012/01/13/bloomberg_articlesLXPL1I0D9L3501-LXPQR.DTL

I'm in procurement in the chemicals industry and I can verify that we're ordering tons (literally!) of heavy equipment, rolling stock, pressure vessels, etc.

December 27, 2011

Gingrich ’06 Memo: “Agree Entirely With Gov. Romney” on Health Care


To conservatives, the biggest strike against Mitt Romney is the health care plan he put in place in Massachusetts, but Newt Gingrich lavished praise on Romney’s plan after it was passed in 2006.

“We agree entirely with Governor Romney and Massachusetts legislators that our goal should be 100 percent insurance coverage for all Americans,” Gingrich wrote in 2006.

And, Gingrich wrote, the key to achieving that goal was doing what Romney did in Massachusetts: Requiring everybody who could afford it to buy health insurance. In fact, Gingrich makes an impassioned case for the so-called individual mandate — which is also at the center of President Obama’s health plan — on conservative grounds.


Gingrich had some criticisms of the Massachusetts plan — including what he called the state’s over-regulation of health insurers — but overall, he loved it.

Here's the memo: http://web.archive.org/web/20060822061158/http:/www.healthtransformation.net/News/E_newsletters/index.cfm?newsletterid=20

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