Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year! With cats!

Drink in moderation


Behave yourself


Make sure you get home safely


And especially


(Cat reruns from years gone by)

Friday, December 27, 2013

Friday Flotsam

Tom Tomorrow: a Year in Crazy part one.

Peak food and peak oil?  We're all gonna die anyway!

Omg, they've killed Sean Bean!  Again.  And again.

Mistakes were made...

Those duck guys are really yuppies... with beards.

The 'poorest' president may actually be the richest.

The future is now.  Really.

Hacking your education.

Monday, December 23, 2013


How you guys talk gives away where you are from....

Diplomacy is better than genocide, oddly.

Cats and engineers.

A cube.  That can stand on a point.  And jump.  And I need to beat it to death...

Pharmacies deliberately misinforming teenagers about emergency contraception.

Parenting done right.

Voices from prison.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Friday Follies

Mistreatment of our disabled soldiers.

Peter O'Toole.

(Reuters) - Medical bills are behind more than 60 percent of U.S. personal bankruptcies, U.S. researchers reported on Thursday in a report they said demonstrates that healthcare reform is on the wrong track. 
More than 75 percent of these bankrupt families had health insurance but still were overwhelmed by their medical debts, the team at Harvard Law School, Harvard Medical School and Ohio University reported in the American Journal of Medicine.
Nice to finally prove the obvious: Study links BP oil spill to dolphin deaths.

Anti-bacterial soaps don't work?

It is still dangerous to be a journalist.

Asteroid Vesta close up.

Cool! Everybody can grow algae to drive their cars now!

Wonderful rant about the fake controversy dealing with those guys with beards and ducks.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Friday, December 06, 2013

Friday Follies ... and cats.

Why do we love cats?

Bikers doing a good thing for kids.

Erik Prince hasn't gone away.

Michael the gorilla relates the story of the death of his mother.

A car mechanic develops a birthing tool.

The US alone created more than 36 million tons of food waste in 2011.  So take what you can eat, and eat what you take. And maybe let pigs eat the rest.

The Lady in Number 6:  109 year old Alice Herz Sommer – the world's oldest pianist and holocaust survivor.

Discovery of oldest human DNA in Spanish cave sheds light on evolution Scientists say DNA strands in thigh bone of 400,000-year-old early human can help build clearer picture of human family tree

Update 12/8: fixed the Michael the gorilla link. (Thanks, Steve!)

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving Day

May you have much to be thankful for.... May you have much for which to be thankful... Dammit, just have a good day, be grateful for all the shit you have, you've done and want to do.  Amen.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Friday Blues

We're all gonna die!

A connection between obesity and antibiotics?

Yellowstone, more exciting than we think?

Glaciers collapsing.

Murdering hope.

The post-Roe world

Amanda Marcotte:
They don’t really want you to never have your abortion, but they think you need to work harder for it. To quote Dr. Minto, “Women are forced to crawl around like goddamn criminals,” and that’s roughly what many people think they should have to do in order to get an abortion. The idea that it’s a major hassle but that you get to have one anyway is the point—a sort of state-mandated penance and shaming period for you. This is the reality of how things play out. We know this because of how many anti-choice policies amount to telling women to work harder and endure more shaming: Ultrasounds, waiting periods, etc. And we know this because this is the logic underpinning clinic protest. They pretend it’s to talk women out of it, but it’s mostly to make sure women can’t go in without assholes trying to shame them first.
Becoming a survivor rather than a victim.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Gun Nuts, Car Crashes, and Radiation--Fun For Everyone!

Personal stories of women who have had abortions.  Healthy sweaty women.  And why some women will vote Republican is beyond me.  The next generation of intelligent women.

The negatives of Governor Chris Christie.

A meeting of Mothers Against Gun Violence brings out a group of gun nuts.

What letting loose a virus into the internets can do... think space station..

A shower design that reuses water and saves money.  Do you think we'll ever see it produced in the US?

The Earth is old... older than 6,000 years.  Life on Earth is really old.  Apparently older than we ever imagined.  And here is a panorama of Mars.  (scroll down and ignore the annoying whirling gif.)

Russian car crashes from dash cams.

Fukushima residents may never go home, say Japanese officials  I thought that was a given.  They have lost that area of Japan forever.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Nightmares from Japan

Keeping track of the events. Even by those who have left Japan.

Radioactive water could be soon reaching the sea.

Tsunami debris is beginning to reach the US west coast, but it's highly unlikely it is radioactive.  In fact, it is not a large island of debris but very spread out.  Fukushima's disaster began well after the tsunami.

Check fish with Geiger counters?

You can get your scientists to try and solve the problem.

Or you can indulge in fearmongering.

Update 11/8: Credo petitions for world scientists to get involved.

China... at it again.

Gutter oil made in China... from dead animals and garbage.  Are we sure we want them to process our chickens?

They never seem to learn:

 220,000 Pounds Of Poisoned Dead Fish Scooped Up In China In Reminder Of Pollution Plaguing Country
Authorities have scooped up around 100,000 kilograms (220,000 pounds) of dead fish they say were poisoned by ammonia from a chemical plant, environmental officials and state media said Wednesday, in a reminder of the pollution plaguing the country.
The Hubei province environmental protection department, notified of the piles of dead fish in central China's Fuhe River on Monday, pointed the finger at local company Hubei Shuanghuan Science and Technology Stock Co. Officials said sampling of its drain outlet showed that ammonia density far exceeded the national standard. The company said it wasn't going to immediately comment.
Inadequate controls on industry and lax enforcement of existing standards have worsened China's pollution problem, stemming from three decades of breakneck economic growth. High-profile incidents this year involving dead animals in rivers – not only deaths attributed to pollution but also carcasses dumped by farmers after die-offs at farms – have added to public disgust and suspicions about the safety of drinking water.
The latest incident has affected the nearby fishing village of Huanghualao, where 1,600 residents make a living from fishing, said the village's Communist Party secretary, Wang Sanqing.
Keeping track of all of China's ... efforts in industrial and food production.

Monday, November 04, 2013

This and that

Because reasons.

Ted Rall for president ... of France!

What fracking does.

Who owns your food.

Transparency in corporate campaign cash.  And Congress sells out again for cash.

The Civil War was about slavery.  No matter how many times you try to revise history.

Speak to the hand... Dr. Hand.

Taking away women's right to vote.  Because women can't be trusted.

Hillary Clinton answers a question about abortion.  Anti-rape garments for women because US men can't control themselves?

How many days the Congress plans to 'work' next year.

How to disappear completely.

We were close to war with Iran during President Cheney's reign

But I didn't realize how close.  If this is true, it was going to happen.

Susie Madrak introduces us: This is Gwyneth Todd, former member of President Clinton’s National Security Council and top Middle East advisor. (articles date from 2012.)
Military command of this invasion, to be done without consultation of congress or the United Nations was left to Vice Admiral Kevin J. Cosgriff and Admiral Will J. Fallon, both career opportunists with extremist political views, willing to do anything for promotion and the curry favor from the powerful criminal figures in US government. 
Their “cover story” was to sale a frigate up the Shatt al Arab, a disputed waterway between Iraq and Iran, hoping to stimulate a “response” from Iran. 
Their real plan was to create the response themselves, as was done by the Navy during the Tonkin Gulf Incident in 1964 when America “invented” an attack by North Vietnam as a prelude to a 10 year war America eventually lost. 
Their plans were to create phony radio traffic simulating an Iranian attack in order to push America into authorizing hostilities that they, themselves, had perpetrated in as part of a conspiracy.
Apparently there were attempts to follow Gwyneth Todd to Australia.  Juan Cole discusses events.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

You're either fer us or again us...


Wonderful little known part of the ACA.

Teaching children how to enjoy vegetables.


By tilting the playing field in favor of industry... and against the environment and people's overall health.

By enchanting people with blunt talk... and disguising the fact that the Koch brothers LOVE Governor Christie. (transcript found here.)

By ignoring all the things in your 21st century house that will mess with your hormones and health.

By believing Obamacare will kill you, abort your babies, prevent your children learning about creationism, and all the things the evil Kenyan illegal president has done in his life and in his two terms. (How do you reason with people who accept these as fact?)

By believing corporations who lie to you to bend democracy for their benefit.

By not caring that our oceans are broken.

And then there are those who explain both sides extremely well.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

From Cats to Jellyfish to Chickens

Friday cat blogging on Sunday.

A wonderful perspective on religion and God from a religious man.

Sexy avatars in games affect players in the real world.

I may not want to eat anything ever again.... besides... we're all gonna die anyway.

Invasion by jellyfish the world over... could it possibly be because the oceans are warming?  If not death by jellyfish, how about being choked to death by weeds?

Can you spell hypocrite?

A sensible horror film.

Elizabeth Smart is just that.  Googling women and a verb.

Republicans went crazy in stages.  Tea party logic.  Lies told in Texan charter schools.

Changing oceans.

How historically correct is 12 Years a Slave?

One way to deal with the homeless.

Infected chickens sold by Foster Farms were not recalled.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Blocking the women's vote in Texas....

As of November 5, Texans must show a photo ID with their up-to-date legal name. It sounds like such a small thing, but according to the Brennan Center for Justice, only 66% of voting age women have ready access to a photo document that will attest to proof of citizenship. This is largely because young women have not updated their documents with their married names, a circumstance that doesn’t affect male voters in any significant way. Suddenly 34% of women voters are scrambling for an acceptable ID, while 99% of men are home free.

As of November 5, a birth certificate is not enough. Women voters will have to show legal proof of a name change: a marriage license, a divorce decree, or court ordered change; and they have to be the original documents. No photocopies allowed. This means thousands of women face the hassle of figuring out what they need and how to get it. Then they face at least a $20 fee, more if a woman doesn’t have the time to stand in line and wants it mailed. As a result, many women who are eligible to vote, won’t.

You have to hand it to Texas. Abortion politics threaten to drive the election for governor, so they have figured out a way to discourage a large group of women who are likely have a personal interest in the issue of choice: married women of child-bearing age. Women who might favor Wendy Davis.
You think Texas Republicans know what they've activated? All those totally pissed off Texan women?  Really?  Disenfranchising voters so the Republicans can keep their grip on power exposes the last frantic gasps of a dying party.  RIP to the GOP.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Celebrating more of the Era of Stupid

How dumb are the Americans?  Are Republicans stupid?

The Reign of Morons.

Idiotic testing for eleven year old students.  Who the hell thinks up these questions?

Starting the Civil War all over again... or maybe trying to finish the last one...

Update 10/15:

Why people believe Fox News.

Why fundamentalists want the End of Times to happen.

Pot luck

Delicious forgotten words... we need to start using them now!

The mystery of Skeleton Lake in India.

The graph that shows what the US owes to everybody.

SEE!!  I told you raccoons were clever!

Eating at home v eating out.

Thank god my family and I live in California.

Anna Holmes and Jezebel.

Nate Silver's predictions for the Republicans.  Waving the Confederate flag at the most inappropriate time.

How Christopher McCandless (Into the Wild) probably died.

Could Boehner be playing to win?

Malala asks Obama to end drone strikes.

Neil DeGrasse Tyson critiques the film Gravity.  And we've been SuperNova'ed!

Finally!  Another planet we could call home, just in time, too!  We've really wrecked up this one!

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Where the right-to-lifers want us all to live

On Wednesday, National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW) announced a lawsuit has been filed in federal court seeking the immediate release from state custody of a pregnant Wisconsin woman who was involuntarily detained at a drug treatment facility despite no evidence she was using drugs while pregnant. 
Alicia Beltran, a 28-year-old pregnant woman confided in health-care workers about her prior use of painkillers and her efforts to end that use on her own during an early prenatal care visit. On July 18, Wisconsin law enforcement officials arrested her under a 1997 Wisconsin law, which gives the state the power to forcibly detain any pregnant woman who “habitually lacks self-control” and poses a “substantial risk” to the health of an egg, embryo, or fetus. 
NAPW notes in its announcement of the lawsuit that Beltran “was forcibly taken into custody by law enforcement when she was 15 weeks pregnant, put into handcuffs and shackles, and brought to a court hearing. Although a lawyer had already been appointed to represent her fetus, Ms. Beltran had no right to counsel—and therefore had no attorney—at the initial court appearance. Then, without testimony from a single medical expert, the court ordered her to be detained at an inpatient drug treatment program two hours from her home.”

Attorney Linda Vanden Heuvel, who represents Beltran, explained in a statement that “[l]ocking up Ms. Beltran, under the Wisconsin law, does not serve the best interests of Ms. Beltran’s future child and most certainly tramples the rights of Ms. Beltran, a woman who was not in fact using any controlled substances at the time of her arrest and who is committed to having a healthy pregnancy.”

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Simply Sunday

Eden and Adam and Eve are apparently scientific enough to be in science textbooks.... in Texas.

Supervolcano ... on Mars.

Oldest alcoholic drinks on earth.

Killer hornets in China.

Senator Elizabeth Warren on the GOP shutdown.

Rep. Joe Barton thinks wind is a finite resource:
Barton has used the threat of global warming to combat something he hates even more: wind energy. In a 2009 hearing, Barton implied that wind is a "finite resource" and that harnessing it would "slow the winds down" which would "cause the temperature to go up."

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Monday, September 23, 2013

The reason we don't privatize

It has nothing to do with justice and everything to do with profit.

Private prisons demand states maintain maximum capacity or pay fees
Falling crime rates are bad for business at privately run prisons, and a new report shows the companies that own them require them to be filled near capacity to maintain their profit margin. 
 A new report from the advocacy group In the Public Interest shows private prison companies mandate high inmate occupancy rates through their contracts with states – in some cases, up to 100 percent.
The report, “Criminal: How Lockup Quotas and ‘Low-Crime Taxes’ Guarantee Profits for Private Prison Corporations,” finds three Arizona prisons must be filled to capacity under terms of its contract with Management and Training Corporation. 
If those beds aren’t filled, the state must compensate the company. 
The report found that occupancy requirements were standard language in contracts drawn up by big private prison companies. 
One of those, The Corrections Corporation of America, made an offer last year to the governors of 48 states to operate their prisons on 20-year contracts. 
That offer included a demand that those prisons remain 90 percent full for the duration of the operating agreement.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Jumble sale....

Nobody knows who's running the place?  The NSA at its best.

This should make you feel happier....
Jeffrey Wiese, the nation's top oil and gas pipeline safety official, recently strode to a dais beneath crystal chandeliers at a New Orleans hotel to let his audience in on an open secret: the regulatory process he oversees is "kind of dying." 
Wiese told several hundred oil and gas pipeline compliance officers that his agency, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration (PHMSA), has "very few tools to work with" in enforcing safety rules even after Congress in 2011 allowed it to impose higher fines on companies that cause major accidents. 
"Do I think I can hurt a major international corporation with a $2 million civil penalty? No," he said. Because generating a new pipeline rule can take as long as three years,
Wiese said PHMSA is creating a YouTube channel to persuade the industry to voluntarily improve its safety operations. "We'll be trying to socialize these concepts long before we get to regulations."
Saving the farmland soil.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: The danger of a single story.

Health care in America explained.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Focusing all their technological know-how on...

Boobs.  I mean, is it supposed to titillate?  Does it rack up points or knock one back in surprise? Nope. Maybe they should grow a pair....of breasts and find out what it is like to be reduced to just body parts.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Logic has nothing to do with it.

Um this makes no sense...North Carolina Law Bans Police From Destroying The Guns They Seize

STOP THAT WITH YOUR NAUGHTY BITS!  And weird conspiracy theories held by some fundamentalists.

Beautiful and thoughtful response by an Australian politician to a pastor's question.  Why can't we get intelligent politicians like him?

Why we live longer today.

Harvesting the plastic out of the ocean.  Can it be done?

Climate change's effect on animals who change to winter coats.

The world's largest cave.

Dinosaurs to the death!

Heavy metal Vivaldi.

Trying to push the conservative viewpoint via student textbooks.

Aging in 5 minutes.

Exercise in absurdity.

The best birth control is for men.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Oh boy...

Chinese Chicken Processors Are Cleared to Ship to U.S.

Update: 9/10: Half of China's Antibiotics Now Go to Livestock
Newsflash, from a recent Public Radio International report: China's teeming factory meat farms have a drug problem. To make animals grow quickly under cramped, feces-ridden conditions, animals there get fed small, doses of antibiotics—creating ideal breeding grounds for antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogens that threaten people. 
A research team led by scientists from China and Michigan State University recently found "diverse and abundant antibiotic resistance genes in Chinese swine farms," as the title of the paper, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, put it. According to a recent analysis by a Beijing-based agribusiness consulting firm, more than half of total Chinese antibiotic consumption goes to livestock.
The article points out that China is just following the US business model....

China... doing what China does best.

220,000 Pounds Of Poisoned Dead Fish Scooped Up In China In Reminder Of Pollution Plaguing Country
Authorities have scooped up around 100,000 kilograms (220,000 pounds) of dead fish they say were poisoned by ammonia from a chemical plant, environmental officials and state media said Wednesday, in a reminder of the pollution plaguing the country.

The Hubei province environmental protection department, notified of the piles of dead fish in central China's Fuhe River on Monday, pointed the finger at local company Hubei Shuanghuan Science and Technology Stock Co. Officials said sampling of its drain outlet showed that ammonia density far exceeded the national standard. The company said it wasn't going to immediately comment.

Inadequate controls on industry and lax enforcement of existing standards have worsened China's pollution problem, stemming from three decades of breakneck economic growth. High-profile incidents this year involving dead animals in rivers – not only deaths attributed to pollution but also carcasses dumped by farmers after die-offs at farms – have added to public disgust and suspicions about the safety of drinking water.

The latest incident has affected the nearby fishing village of Huanghualao, where 1,600 residents make a living from fishing, said the village's Communist Party secretary, Wang Sanqing.
Keeping track of all of China's ... efforts in industrial and food production.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Only 18 times higher...

The Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) had originally said the radiation emitted by the leaking water was around 100 millisieverts an hour. 
However, the company said the equipment used to make that recording could only read measurements of up to 100 millisieverts. 
The new recording, using a more sensitive device, showed a level of 1,800 millisieverts an hour. 
The new reading will have direct implications for radiation doses received by workers who spent several days trying to stop the leak last week, the BBC's Rupert Wingfield-Hayes reports from Tokyo. 
In addition, Tepco says it has discovered a leak on another pipe emitting radiation levels of 230 millisieverts an hour. 
The plant has seen a series of water leaks and power failures.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Bathing Birds, Bugs, and Bees...

How to take a proper bath... if you are a bird.

Do teachers work hard enough?

Paul Krugman discusses the good ol' days.

Those who pay (or don't pay) income tax.

Margaret Atwood interview.

Fantastic views of the lions of the Serengeti.

What is really causing heart disease.  (Hint: our crappy diets and what we're being fed by the food industry.)

Bugs, toilets and mushrooms will save the world!

Musical mobs in subways!!

Bach on a mobius strip.

Studying the bee deaths in detail.

The condition of China's farm land.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Welcome to the Middle East

 photo enhanced-buzz-21855-1377383565-35_zpsdef9161e.jpg

Click here to embiggen.

(Via Bryan of Why Now?)

Corporations do not act in the public interest...

They act in their own interests.

Two Workers Were Assigned To Check 1,000 Tanks At Leaking Fukushima
TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s nuclear regulator on Wednesday upgraded the rating of a leak of radiation-contaminated water from a tank at its tsunami-wrecked nuclear plant to a “serious incident” on an international scale, and it castigated the plant operator for failing to catch the problem earlier. 
The Nuclear Regulation Authority’s latest criticism of Tokyo Electric Power Co. came a day after the operator of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant acknowledged that the 300-ton (300,000-liter, 80,000-gallon) leak probably began nearly a month and a half before it was discovered Aug. 19. 
In a meeting with agency officials and experts Tuesday night, TEPCO said radioactivity near the leaky tank and exposure levels among patrolling staff started to increase in early July. There is no sign that anyone tried to find the source of that radioactivity before the leak was discovered. 
On Wednesday, regulatory officials said TEPCO has repeatedly ignored their instructions to improve their patrolling procedures to reduce the risk of overlooking leakages. They said TEPCO lacked expertise and also underestimated potential impact of the leak because underground water is shallower around the tank than the company initially told regulators. 
“Their instructions, written or verbal, have never been observed,” Toyoshi Fuketa, a regulatory commissioner, said at the agency’s weekly meeting Wednesday.

First Day of School

Sunday, August 25, 2013

About that Pacific tuna....

Don't eat it. (edit: changed the link)

Update 8/27:  Japanese fishermen checking for radiation in fish.

Update: More on the Japanese government taking over the clean up after the Tokyo Electric corporation made a complete hash of it.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

From Books to Art

Book lover problems.  Mine is that I've run out of bookshelves....

Legos and gender identity.

I didn't know Daily Kos was keeping track of weekly accidental gun shootings.  We are a clumsy bunch, aren't we?

Plastics cause diabetes and obesity?  How about wood?

I do believe that being bored actually does not give you the right to shoot people.

Glasses that help people with red-green color blindness.

Sperm and eggs made from skin cells.

Make good art.

Just a thought...

Why doesn't Obama do an executive order and demand that all states provide all legal voters in that state with state issued voter ids?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Worse to worser to horrific

At Fukushima, we have six top-floor pools all loaded with fuel that eventually will have to be removed, the most important being Reactor 4, although Reactor 3 is in pretty bad shape too. Spent fuel pools were never intended for long-term storage, they were only to assist short-term movement of fuel. Using them as a long-term storage pool is a huge mistake that has become an 'acceptable' practice and repeated at every reactor site worldwide. 
We have three 100-ton melted fuel blobs underground, but where exactly they are located, no one knows. Whatever 'barriers' TEPCO has put in place so far have failed. Efforts to decontaminate radioactive water have failed. Robots have failed. Camera equipment and temperature gauges...failed. Decontamination of surrounding cities has failed. 
We have endless releases into the Pacific Ocean that will be ongoing for not only our lifetimes, but our children’s' lifetimes. We have 40 million people living in the Tokyo area nearby. We have continued releases from the underground corium that reminds us it is there occasionally with steam events and huge increases in radiation levels. Across the Pacific, we have at least two peer-reviewed scientific studies so far that have already provided evidence of increased mortality in North America, and thyroid problems in infants on the west coast states from our initial exposures.
 We have increasing contamination of the food chain, through bioaccumulation and biomagnification. And a newly stated concern is the proximity of melted fuel in relation to the Tokyo aquifer that extends under the plant. If and when the corium reaches the Tokyo aquifer, serious and expedient discussions will have to take place about evacuating 40 million people from the greater metropolitan area. As impossible as this sounds, you cannot live in an area which does not have access to safe water.
The operation to begin removing fuel from such a severely damaged pool has never been attempted before. The rods are unwieldy and very heavy, each one weighing two-thirds of a ton. But it has to be done, unless there is some way to encase the entire building in concrete with the pool as it is. I don't know of anyone discussing that option, but it would seem much 'safer' than what they are about to attempt...but not without its own set of risks.
 And all this collateral damage will continue for decades, if not centuries, even if things stay exactly the way they are now. But that is unlikely, as bad things happen like natural disasters and deterioration with time...earthquakes, subsidence, and corrosion, to name a few. Every day that goes by, the statistical risk increases for this apocalyptic scenario. No one can say or know how this will play out, except that millions of people will probably die even if things stay exactly as they are, and billions could die if things get any worse.
Link via Steve Bates

Update 8/21: Definition of anomaly: We have no idea how bad it is.
Fukushima warning: danger level at nuclear plant jumps to 'serious' Japan's nuclear agency dramatically raises status after saying a day earlier that radioactive water leak was only an 'anomaly'
Update 8/23: Finally pleading for international help:
TEPCO, operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, admits it needs overseas help to contain the radioactive fallout, after 18 months of trying to control it internally. It comes after the latest leak at the facility was deemed a “serious incident. 
"Many other countries outside of Japan have experienced decommissioning reactors, so we hope we can consult them more and utilize their experience,” TEPCO’s vice president, Zengo Aizawa, said at a news conference on Wednesday night. 

"In that sense, we need support, not only from the Japanese government but from the international community to do this job." 

The call comes after one of the 1,060 temporary tanks used to store highly contaminated water sprang a leak on Wednesday, discharging as much as 300 tons of radioactive liquid containing large amounts of cesium. Further tests revealed excessive radiation levels elsewhere in the facility. 

Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) rated the incident 3 on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale, which spans from 1 to 7.
Update: Just a little more than 200,000 tons of radioactive water.... that's all....
TOKYO — The operator of Japan’s tsunami-hit nuclear power plant sounded the alarm on the gravity of the deepening crisis of containment at the coastal site on Friday, saying that there are more than 200,000 tons of radioactive water in makeshift tanks vulnerable to leaks, with no reliable way to check on them or anywhere to transfer the water. 
The latest disclosures add to a long list of recent accidents, leaks and breakdowns that have underscored grave vulnerabilities at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant site more than two years after a powerful earthquake and tsunami set off meltdowns at three reactors. 
They come two weeks after the prime minister, Shinzo Abe, promised that his government would take a more active role in the site’s cleanup, raising questions over how seriously he has taken that pledge. Mr. Abe’s government has continued to push for a restart of the country’s nuclear power program, and he heads to the Middle East on Saturday to promote Japanese exports to the region, including nuclear technology.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Rock and Roll..

Earthquake Record Shakes Up Pacific Northwest Predictions
The study delves into the past of the Cascadia Subduction Zone, a tectonic boundary that stretches more than 700 miles (1,100 kilometers) from Northern California to Vancouver Island. The exhaustive, 170-page report from a team at Oregon State University (OSU) offers ample evidence that 19 or 20 magnitude-9.0 earthquakes have ripped along the fault over the last 10,000 years. 
"That is a remarkable record that goes back a long time," said geophysicist Craig Weaver, the Pacific Northwest coordinator for the U.S. Geological Survey's Earthquake Hazards Program, who was not associated with the research.  
Weaver said that it's been known since the late 1980s that the Cascadia Subduction Zone can rupture its entire length all at once, producing magnitude-9.0 quakes — the same magnitude as Japan's devastating March 2011 earthquake — along a fault that is even closer to shore. Yet the new report shows it has done so repeatedly, about every 500 years. 
The last magnitude-9.0 earthquake hit in January 1700, and sent a deadly tsunami across the Pacific Ocean to Japan. That event has been well-documented both historically and geologically.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Friday frolics... and an elephant.

baby elephant in tub

‘Frack Gag’ Bans Children From Talking About Fracking, Forever
The Hallowich case shows how drilling companies can use victims’ silence to rewrite their story. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that before their settlement, the Hallowichs complained that drilling caused “burning eyes, sore throats, headaches and earaches, and contaminated their water supply.” But after the family was gagged, gas exploration company Range Resources’ spokesman Matt Pitzarella insisted “they never produced evidence of any health impacts,” and that the family wanted to move because “they had an unusual amount of activity around them.” Public records will show, once again, that fracking did not cause health problems.
When fracking and oil production creates a sink hole, who loses?  BP blames oil spill victims.

The NSA comes clean... or something.

Iran's new leader speaks of moderation and respect.

Marine life moving towards the poles.

Privatization has failed in these places.

Farmers suspicious of new Monsanto crops... I wonder why?

Speaking up against racism.

NASA finds the source of the Magellanic Stream

The Conservative March Toward a Society of Sociopaths

Celebrating sexual choice.

Monday, August 05, 2013

Worser and worser

Japan nuclear body says radioactive water at Fukushima an 'emergency'
(Reuters) - Highly radioactive water seeping into the ocean from Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant is creating an "emergency" that the operator is struggling to contain, an official from the country's nuclear watchdog said on Monday. 
This contaminated groundwater has breached an underground barrier, is rising toward the surface and is exceeding legal limits of radioactive discharge, Shinji Kinjo, head of a Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA) task force, told Reuters. 
Countermeasures planned by Tokyo Electric Power Co are only a temporary solution, he said.
Tepco's "sense of crisis is weak," Kinjo said. "This is why you can't just leave it up to Tepco alone" to grapple with the ongoing disaster. 
"Right now, we have an emergency," he said. 
Tepco has been widely castigated for its failure to prepare for the massive 2011 tsunami and earthquake that devastated its Fukushima plant and lambasted for its inept response to the reactor meltdowns. It has also been accused of covering up shortcomings. 
It was not immediately clear how much of a threat the contaminated groundwater could pose. In the early weeks of the disaster, the Japanese government allowed Tepco to dump tens of thousands of metric tons of contaminated water into the Pacific in an emergency move. 
The toxic water release was however heavily criticized by neighboring countries as well as local fishermen and the utility has since promised it would not dump irradiated water without the consent of local townships.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

From here to there... on Saturday no less.

Making the entire North American continent into corn fields...  That part which isn't on fire anyway.

Lost Egyptian city found under water.

Radioactive Fukushima groundwater rises above barrier being built to contain it

Caribbean has lost 80 percent of its coral reefs due to climate change and pollution

How solar farms could help save bees and butterflies

Jamie Oliver Campaign makes McDonald’s change recipe
Jamie Oliver Campaign makes McDonald’s change recipe According to Oliver, the fatty parts of beef are “washed” in ammonium hydroxide and used in the filling of the burger. Before this process, according to the presenter, the food is deemed unfit for human consumption. 
According to the chef and presenter, Jamie Oliver, who has undertaken a war against the fast food industry: “Basically, we’re taking a product that would be sold in the cheapest way for dogs, and after this process, is being given to human beings.” 
Besides the low quality of the meat, the ammonium hydroxide is harmful to health. Oliver calls it “the pink slime process.” 
“Why would any sensible human being put meat filled with ammonia in the mouths of their children?” asked the chef, who wages a war against the fast food industry. 
In one of his initiatives, Oliver demonstrates to children how nuggets are made ». After selecting the best parts of the chicken, the remains (fat, skin and internal organs) are processed for these fried foods.

Study Finds Turmeric Is As Effective As Prozac For Treating Depression
Turmeric is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant of the ginger family. The average person may best recognize turmeric as a spice commonly used in Indian cuisine. The active compound curcumin is known to have a wide range of medicinal benefits including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antitumour, antibacterial, and antiviral activities. In India, turmeric has been used for thousands of years as a remedy for stomach and liver ailments. Turmeric can also be used topically to heal sores due to its antimicrobial properties.

US regulators 'find evidence' of banks fixing derivative rates
US regulators have reportedly been handed evidence that traders at some of the world’s biggest banks manipulated a key rate for derivatives, pocketing millions at the expense of pension funds in the process.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

China poisons food yet again

Adding to the list I've been keeping on China's indifference to poisoning people's food:

How Lax Regulations Are Turning China Into A Food Safety Nightmare 
It’s been a pretty terrible week for food safety in China. On Monday, Xinhua reported that a factory in the city of Kunming was using pond water to make rice vermicelli — specifically, pond water used for washing feet. That same day, the official state broadcasting group CCTV released the results of an investigation uncovering that ice served at a Beijing KFC location had 13 times more bacteria than toilet water. And on Friday, the New York Times reported on a new trend in China: buying and smuggling baby formula from overseas to avoid potentially tainted Chinese milk, pointing to a increasing distrust of domestic products.
And this is from the post in May 2013:
More than 900 people have been arrested in China for involvement in meat-related crimes, including producing fake beef and mutton from animals such as rats, minks and foxes, authorities reported. 
A total of 382 cases of alleged crimes in food industry were uncovered in a three-month campaign launched by China’s Ministry of Public Security on January 25, the ministry reported. 
In addition to producing falsely-labeled meat, the crimes included using banned chemicals in processing of products, selling meat infected with various diseases and injecting water into meat to pad up its weight, according to Xinhua news agency. 
Security officials seized more than 20,000 tons of illegal meat products during the crackdown. 
The ministry said it will now focus on dairy products, continuing a larger campaign to combat crime and violations in food industry.
Nice to see official attempts to crackdown on this unregulated industry.  But I bet I will be posting yet another article sometime soon about poisonous/ toxic/ polluted/ contaminated products made in China.  Because that's the way it is.

Update:  I do hope the Chinese scientists know what they are doing....
Scientists warn Chinese-made air-transmissible bybrid bird flu puts humanity at risk

From my many posts on this subject:

Fake Medicine from China Threatening Lives in Africa


Add it to the list:
BEIJING—The discovery of unusual levels of mercury in Chinese-produced infant formula reignited fears about the safety of the country's scandal-ridden dairy industry, and underlined the severe challenges the government faces in improving food safety.
Mercury in baby formula.

Pills for human consumption containing human remains.

China poisons more pets:
November 18, 2011 — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued an important bulletin warning consumers that chicken jerky products (also marketed as chicken tenders, strips or treats) may be associated with serious illness in dogs.
Over the past 12 months, the FDA has observed an increase in the number of complaints regarding canine illnesses associated with consumption of chicken jerky products imported from China.
These complaints have been reported to the government by both dog owners and veterinarians.
And here is the ever-expanding list:
But according to FSN, the biggest reason to avoid ultra-filtered honey is that pollen is the only sure-fire way to trace the source of honey to a geographic location. As a result ultra-filtered honey is often used to mask the shady origins of certain kinds of honey -- especially Chinese honey, which is subject to heavy import tariffs on account of its frequent contamination by heavy metals and illegal antibiotics. Chinese honeymakers ultra-filter their honey, and then ship it through byzantine paths, to sneak their sham product onto American grocery shelves without being hit with a tariff.
Vinegar from China kills 11 people.

"From steroid-spiked pork to glow-in-the-dark meat to recycled cooking oil collected from sewers, a series of illnesses and scandals linked to tainted food has put officials on guard. But tougher measures have had little effect amid an official culture of secrecy."

Watermelons spiked with growth chemicals explode in the fields... so the farmers feed the forchlorfenuron saturated melons to fish and pigs.

Waste water forced into pigs going to market.

Fresh milk tainted with melamine and toxic substances extracted from leather scraps... killed 6 children in China and sickened 300,000.

Rice is contaminated with heavy metals like cadmium.

Fake rice made from plastic, potatoes and resin.

Pulverized lime added to bleaching agents widely used in flour production. Pulverized lime damages the lungs and the entire respiratory system.

Cadmium in children's toys and little girl jewelry. Lead in toys: Thomas the Tank Engine, baby bibs, cub scout badges, wooden blocks. Formaldehyde in candy, in baby clothing. Coma-inducing date rape drug in toys.

Asbestos in toys.

"The rampant use of chemical additives in animal feed can be traced to 1999. According to Gao Yinxiang, the research and development of high-protein feed additives was a hot field among scientists about 10 years ago due to shortage of animal fodder in the country at the time.

From that time, it's hard to define the exact role that scientists played in the evolution of the melamine scandal. Yet scientists certainly contributed to it by developing unsafe protein alternatives. Many Chinese are now calling on scientists to examine their conscience before making profits at the expense of public safety."

Melamine in pet food kills house pets in the US. Melamine is found in wheat, corn and rice gluten.

China says no to inspections and destroys evidence.

Rat poison in breakfast porridge.

Pesticide-laden pea pods, drug-laced catfish, filthy plums and crawfish contaminated with salmonella. Dried apples preserved with a cancer-causing chemical. Scallops and sardines coated with putrefying bacteria. Mushrooms laced with illegal pesticides.

Toothpaste with diethylene glycol, a toxic chemical used in engine coolants.

Highly toxic puffer fish sold as monk fish.

Fake blood protein.

Wild mice used for meat.

Defective tires.

Use of illegal drift nets.

Fake kosher food.

Insecticide-tainted dumplings.

More than 40 percent of drinking water in rural China is unfit for drinking.

Poisoned chocolate.

Toxic drywall which caused houses to be uninhabitable.

Fake Cisco routers

Misuse and overuse of antibiotics. "Studies in China show a "frightening" increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as staphylococcus aureus bacteria, also know as MRSA."

The list will inevitably be added to. When are we going to learn this is what happens to corporations when there is no regulation?