Wednesday, December 12, 2018

PBS Eons on the last time the climate warmed this fast — the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum

I've been writing a lot about disbelieving climate, change lately.  Tonight, I'm continuing the discussion, but this time, I'm combining it with my professional interest in ancient life to examine the last time climate changed anywhere near as quickly as it is now.  Watch PBS Eons The Last Time the Globe Warmed.

Imagine an enormous, lush rainforest teeming with the Arctic. Well there was a time -- and not too long ago -- when the world warmed more than any human has ever seen. (So far)
The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) marked the end of an epoch — literally, as it ended the Paleocene with the Eocene beginning when it abated.  New geologic time periods are marked by changes in the fauna and the PETM was no different.  The PETM Wikipedia page includes the following extinctions and originations.
The PETM is accompanied by a mass extinction of 35-50% of benthic foraminifera (especially in deeper waters) over the course of ~1,000 years – the group suffering more than during the dinosaur-slaying K-T extinction...Contrarily, planktonic foraminifera diversified, and dinoflagellates bloomed. Success was also enjoyed by the mammals, who radiated extensively around this time...Humid conditions caused migration of modern Asian mammals northward, dependent on the climatic belts. Uncertainty remains for the timing and tempo of migration.
All of this happened with an event that, as rapid as it was, happened much more slowly than modern climate change.  For the effects of something as severe as what's happening now, I suggest my readers click on the New York Times' The Planet Has Seen Sudden Warming Before. It Wiped Out Almost Everything.
Dr. Deutsch and Justin Penn, a graduate student, recreated the world at the end of the Permian Period with a large-scale computer simulation, complete with a heat-trapping atmosphere and a circulating ocean.

As the Siberian volcanoes flooded the virtual atmosphere with carbon dioxide, the atmosphere warmed. The ocean warmed, too — and according to the model, it began losing oxygen.

Some parts lost more than others. On the surface, for example, fresh oxygen was produced by photosynthetic algae. But as the ocean warmed, its circulatory currents also slowed, the model demonstrated.

Oxygen-poor water settled to the bottom of the oceans, and before long, the deep was gasping.

Rising temperatures and plunging oxygen must have made huge swaths of the oceans uninhabitable. Some species survived here and there. But most disappeared completely.
Eep!  The article notes that humans are releasing cabron dioxide even faster than the Siberian volcanoes did at the end of the Permian, which is known as The Great Dying.  The only saving grace is that we will not release as much carbon dioxide as then.  Still, it looks like I may have to write an entry about The Great Dying as well.  Stay tuned.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

EPA Administrator nominee Andrew Wheeler worked for Bob Murray and James Inhofe, CNN reports

Last month, Seth Meyers checked in on Andrew Wheeler, who Trump announced he'd nominate for permanent head of EPA.  This month, CNN reported Trump's EPA pick worked for climate change skeptic.

Andrew Wheeler, the former coal lobbyist who is now acting administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, was a "driving force" behind the agenda of Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), who called climate change a "hoax," according to people familiar with Wheeler's work for the senator. CNN's Drew Griffin reports.
In case Murray Energy looks and sounds familiar, I wrote about the company and its CEO in both Seth Meyers and John Oliver on coal and hawks for Cut Your Energy Costs Day and Save the Eagles Day, Suit against John Oliver and HBO dismissed, and Update to 'Suit against John Oliver and HBO dismissed,' top post for the seventh year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News.  That did not turn out well for Bob Murray.  On the other hand, John Oliver's 'Coal'" won Television Episodic Comedy at the 2017 Environmental Media Association Awards for film and television.

As for James Inhofe, I have only mentioned him once, back in 2011's Silly Sustainability Saturday: The Onion, more manatees, heat wave denial, and a poem.  There, I reproduced my friend Nonnie's fake movie poster from Stoopid Warmed Over

After seven years, it's about time I mocked James Inhofe again.  Katherine Hayhoe can't have all the fun laughing at Rick Santorum claiming she's in it for the money.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Celebrate Peace, Economics, and science winners for Nobel Prize Day 2018

Happy Nobel Prize Day!  I'm going to be a good environmentalist and recycle the description from National Day Calendar.
The Nobel Laureates are announced at the beginning of October each year. A couple of months later, on 10 December, the anniversary of Alfred Nobel’s death, they receive their prizes from the Swedish King – a Nobel diploma, a medal, and 10 million Swedish crowns per prize. All Nobel Prizes are awarded in Stockholm, Sweden, except for the Nobel Peace Prize, which is awarded in Oslo, Norway. (When Alfred Nobel was alive, Norway and Sweden were united under one monarch, until 1905 when Norway became an independent kingdom with its own king.)
Since today is also Human Rights Day, I'm beginning with a video from The Washington Post reporting 2018 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad.

The 2018 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded Oct. 5 to Denis Mukwege, a Congolese gynecologist, and Nadia Murad, a Yazidi activist. Both have worked to place the spotlight on ending sexual violence in armed conflicts.
Congratulations to both, but especially Murad, who I consider to be a hero in the struggle against the Daesh AKA the Sith Jihad.

Next, the winners of the Economics Prize, which isn't really a Nobel Prize, but is important nonetheless.  I have particular reason to celebrate this year, as the Financial Times reported Nobel economics prize winners change how we think about growth.

Technological and environmental change have transformed economies. The FT's Martin Sandbu says next time you marvel at your app or worry about extreme weather give a thought to Paul Romer and William Nordhaus, the winners of this year’s Nobel prize in economics.
Technology and environment in economics — these are definitely on-topic for my blog!  I should probably examine Nordhaus and his ideas in depth in a future entry, as I consider myself a supporter of the field he founded, environmental economics.

Next, the prizes I usually examine first, Chemistry, Medicine, and Physics.  Seeker/DNews describes all three in The Science Nobel Prizes Explained in 3 Minutes.

Science that’s worthy of a Nobel Prize is bound to be complicated. Here’s everything you need to know about this year’s winners.
Congratulations to all the winners!

Those readers who pay attention to the Nobel Prizes might notice that the Literature Prize was not awarded this year.  CBC's The National explains why in No Nobel Prize for Literature after sex assault scandal.

There will be no Nobel Prize for Literature awarded this year, because the organization that decides the winner is dealing with a scandal over sexual assault allegations. The Swedish Academy says it will announce the 2018 winner along with the 2019 winner next year.
I did not plan on closing the circle by making the first and last videos about sexual violence; it just worked out that way.  Still, I find it grimly satisfying that the Literature Prize selection committee has to follow the lead of the Peace Prize in fighting against sexual violence.  May they clean up their act enough to be able to award two prizes next year. one for 2018 and another for 2019.

Vice and CNN show their viewers the doomsday bunkers of the well-to-do

It's been more than a year since I've written about preppers, so when Vice uploaded The Apocalypse Escape Plan Of The One Percent, I could not resist this shiny object.*

Doomsday prep is bigger than ever, and it's all thanks to the one percent. Thomas Morton reports.
I'm not that sure that the couple from Georgia being interviewed are from the richest one percent, but they have enough spare cash to afford one of these bunkers.

This isn't the first time the news media have looked at the doomsday bunkers of the well-to-do.  Last year, CNN showed its audience This doomsday bunker costs $3 million.

For $3 million you could have a fully loaded bunker converted from a nuclear missile silo in Kansas. Developer Larry Hall explains why the units are sold out.
When Vox wrote about the rise and fall of the American fallout shelter, which I embedded in Vox on nukes for another fake doomsday, it may have been premature.  These are fallout shelters with style!

*I know I promised "something about the Golden Globes," but I when I saw an opportunity to get back to this blog's roots, I took it.  I'm still in a somewhat serious mood.  Don't worry; I'll get to it.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

A tale of two reports about the state of the climate

I realized today that I wrote a lot about the reaction to the National Climate Assessment but did not look at the report itself.  It's time to correct that oversight by watching Report reveals dire consequences of climate change from CBS News.

A government report released [the] Friday [after Thanksgiving] reveals the dire consequences of climate change. Jeff Berardelli, a CBS News climate and weather contributor, joined CBSN to discuss the report's findings.
That's as bad as anything in the IPCC report that came out earlier this year.  As far as doing something about the situation, another United Nations report came out the next week on progress toward the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.  It did not have good news.  DW (Deutsche Welle) English uploaded a segment about that in UN climate report warns world lagging on climate goals.

The UN say the world needs to step up its efforts to stop catastrophic climate change, A new report from the United Nations environment agency found greenhouse gas emissions rose in 2017 - after three years of decline. It say the world is losing the race to cap global warming at two degrees Celsius - the target set out in the 2015 Paris climate treaty.
This report came out in advance of COP24, the U.N. climate conference in Poland.  I plan on writing more about that after I post something about the Golden Globes.  After all, it's Sunday, so it's time to kick off awards season with an entertainment feature.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Part of the yield curve inverts, sending a possible recession signal

I made a prediction in The tax bill and the U.S. economy in 2018 and beyond that I repeated in Dow falls 1,200+ points as bond yields rise about one of the signs of an upcoming recession.
The most likely would be an inversion of the yield curve, which means that short-term interest rates would rise higher than long-term interest rates.  The Federal Reserve has been raising short-term rates for the past two years while long-term rates have been rising much more slowly.  If present trends continue, short-term rates will rise above long-term ones within a year or two, which always signals a recession within a year.
That prediction starting coming true in October, when the TIPS or Treasury Inflation Protected Securities yield curve inverted.  This week, the next shoe fell when the short- and medium-term portion of the yield curve inverted with interest rates on 2-year and 3-year Treasury bonds rising above the rate of return for 5-year bonds.  That added to the worry in the stock markets, where all the major indexes fell more than four percent during the week, including a one-day drop of 800 points in the Dow.  It also created a lot of chatter on CNBC on Tuesday, most of which mentioned that at least this isn't the yield curve inversion to worry about, which involves the 2-year and 10-year bonds.

I begin with Here's what a flattening yield curve means for the US economy on "Squawk Box," the morning show.

CNBC's Steve Liesman reports on what the yield curve is signaling in terms of a recession. Jim Paulsen of The Leuthold Group joins 'Squawk Box' to discuss.
Continuing with "Squawk Box," I'm sharing Cramer says too early to make investments based on yield curve for the graphic showing the actual interest rates for Treasury bonds and Jim Cramer's observations on Larry Kudlow.

CNBC's Jim Cramer joins 'Squawk Box' to weigh in on the flattening yield curve and the Toll Brothers quarterly earnings.
I'm not a fan of Cramer's, as he tends to be too bullish and emotional, but I think he's absolutely right about Kudlow; he's too consistently positive to be reliable.  Remember, Kudlow is Trump's chief economic advisor, so that's a cause for concern.

CNBC resumed examining the topic on "Power Lunch," the midday program, with Yield curve a good recession indicator: Steve Liesman explains.

CNBC's Steve Liesman explains how the yield curve may indicate recession.
CNBC continued talking about the relation among the bond market, stock market, and economy in Yield curve inversion a test for Fed, says expert, where the panel discussed the current inversion involving the 5-year bond instead of the 10-year bond.

CNBC's "Power Lunch" team talks with John Augustine, chief investment officer at Huntington Private Bank, and Paul Christopher, head of global market strategy at Wells Fargo Investment Institute, about what the yield curve inversion may mean for the U.S. economy.
The panel on "Fast Money," the late afternoon show, analyzed the financial results of the day in This is the chart that just created widespread panic on Wall Street.

Stocks get slammed as the Dow drops 800 points. What's next? With CNBC's Melissa Lee and the Fast Money traders, Tim Seymour, Brian Kelly, Steve Grasso and Guy Adami.
That's enough of one day's talking heads on CNBC, but not the channel's reporting.  John Harwood wrote Thursday Donald Trump could be the first president since Jimmy Carter to run for re-election during a recession.
"A strong dollar, weaker growth abroad, mounting corporate debt, a slowdown in housing and the ongoing havoc that tariffs are wreaking on global supply chains are each taking a toll," Diane Swonk, chief economist for Grant Thornton LLP, wrote this week. "No one knows for sure which straw will break the camel's back, only that they are piling up."

Swonk has accelerated her previous prediction of recession from the second half of 2020 to the first half. In October, the National Association for Business Economics reported that two-thirds of forecasters it surveyed expect recession by the end of Trump's re-election year.

That would represent a historically rare event – and an ominous one for the president's chances of a second term.
The last president burdened with recession as he sought a second term was Carter, in 1980. The results weren't pretty.
I made another prediction about the economy in Ten years ago, we were partying like it was 1929. Are we about to do it again?
Based on New Deal Democrat's analysis at Seeking Alpha, that should happen in the second half of next year, so I'm moving my recession call to between July and December 2019.  The bad news is that my readers and I may not know until the middle of 2020.  The good news is that it would be perfectly timed to screw up Trump's re-election, should he last that long, or Pence's should he not.  I can live with that.
The clouds of the next recession are now visible on the radar, but at least they have a silver lining.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Lancet reports climate change is a 'medical emergency'

Amongst all the news of Trump disbelieving the National Climate Assessment, the U.N. climate conference in Poland, and U.S. life expectancy dropping for a third straight year, the Lancet published a report on the effects of climate change on human health, which touches on all three topics.  USA Today summarized it in a video: Climate change turning into ‘medical emergency,’ experts say.

Human-caused climate change is turning into a “medical emergency” that could result in death and disease for millions, according to British medical journal, The Lancet.
Researchers from Colorado State University contributed to the report and summarized its main findings as well.
Some of the new health impacts of heat documented in The 2018 Report of The Lancet Countdown on health and climate change include:
  • 157 million more vulnerable people were subjected to a heatwave last year than in 2000, and 18 million more than in 2016.
  • 153 billion hours of work were lost in 2017 due to extreme heat as a result of climate change. China alone lost 21 billion hours, the equivalent of a year’s work for 1.4% of their working population. India lost 75 billion hours, equivalent to 7% of their total working population. New methodologies have captured this data for the first time.
  • Rising ambient temperatures are placing vulnerable populations at increased risks across all regions of the world. Europe and the East Mediterranean are particularly at risk, most likely due to ageing populations living in cities, with 42% and 43% of over 65s vulnerable to heat exposure. Markedly higher than Africa (38%) and southeast Asia (34%).
  • Heat greatly exacerbates urban air pollution, with 97% of cities in low- and middle- income countries not meeting WHO air quality guidelines.
  • Heat stress, an early and severe effect of climate change, is commonplace and we, and the health systems we rely on, are ill equipped to cope.
  • Rising temperatures and unseasonable warmth is responsible for cholera and dengue fever spreading, with vectorial capacity for their transmission increasing across many endemic areas.
  • The mean global temperature change to which humans are exposed is more than double the global average change, with temperatures rising 0·8°C versus 0·3°C.
To read the report at The Lancet, click here.

Speaking of climate change, health, and safety, the death toll for the California's Camp and Woolsey fires is now 88, 85 for the Camp Fire and 3 for the Woolsey FireWelcome to the 400 ppm world.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Schwartzenegger and Attenborough address U.N. climate conference in Poland

President Trump's rejection of the National Climate Assessment is not the only climate news going on lately.  The United Nations is holding the COP24 climate change conference in Katowice, Poland.  While I have found very little coverage in the mainstream American press, foreign outlets appear to be covering it well.  I begin with the CBC, which reported on Monday, Celebrity voices call for change at global climate conference.

Famed British naturalist Sir David Attenborough told the UN climate conference in Poland that the "collapse of our civilizations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizons" if no urgent action is taken against global warming. He was joined by the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger in calling for change at the COP 24 United Nations climate change conference.
Guardian News has more of Emmy winner Attenborough's remarks in 'Continuation of civilisation is in your hands,' Attenborough tells world leaders.

The broadcaster David Attenborough told delegates at a UN climate summit: 'If we don't take action the collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon.' The naturalist was chosen to represent the world’s people at the summit in Poland.
That's an appropriately scary pronouncement, one that I couldn't have said better myself.  I hope the conference attendees take heed.

Speaking of hope, actor and former California Governor Schwarzenegger offered some in Arnold vs. Donald: Schwarzenegger takes shots at Trump during COP24 from Global News (Canada).

Arnold Schwarzenegger says he wishes he could travel back in time like the cyborg he played in "The Terminator" so he could stop fossil fuels from being used.

"If we would've never started in that direction and used other technology, we'd be much better off," the actor and former California governor said December 3 at the start of a U.N. climate conference in Poland. "The biggest evil is fossil fuels: it's coal, it's gasoline, it's the natural gas," he told conference delegates.

Schwarzenegger also insisted that the United States was "still in" an international accord to curb global warming despite U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to walk away from the agreement. Calling Trump "meshugge" - Yiddish for "crazy" - for abandoning the accord, Schwarzenegger said the 2015 agreement has widespread support at the local and state levels even if the federal government isn't on board.
Now, that's both a Hollywood and a Crazy Eddie solution to the problem.  I approve the sentiment, even though I know it's scientifically impossible.

I may have more from COP24.  Stay tuned.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Katharine Hayhoe, lead author of the National Climate Assessment, responds to Santorum and others claiming she's in it for the money

I couldn't resist the following aside in Trump disbelieves his own administration's climate change report to the astonishment of Trevor Noah.
LOL, Rick Santorum.  I thought I was done with him.  Nope, Frothy is still not taking climate change seriously.  Furthermore, I find his line about the scientists being in it for the money really insulting and ignorant, as well as a step backwards for him.
I then dismissed him as a sideshow.  That written, I stumbled across CNN interviewing Katharine Hayhoe, the lead author of the National Climate Assessment that Santorum and Trump both dismissed, who responded to both of them better than I could manage.  Watch and listen to her in Scientist laughs at climate change skeptics.

Katharine Hayhoe, an atmospheric scientist who assisted government agencies in publishing a report predicting devastating damages from climate change, said she in no way benefited financially from helping to write it.
As an academic and scientist, I can tell my readers that she's absolutely right.  Her salary from Texas Tech would be the same if she were studying climate change or astrophysics.  Also, she may be comfortable and secure in being tenured, but she's not going to be rich from her science.  The idea is indeed laughable.  "Rolling in dough?  More like rolling on the floor laughing."

By the way, I have mentioned Hayhoe in this blog before.  She's the narrator of a video from Texas Tech about the likely spread of dengue fever this century because of climate change that I embedded in Heat wave and climate change news for the week of Bastille Day.  Hey, Dr. Hayhoe, it's good to see you again!

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

U.S. life expectancy drops for third straight year because of suicides and drug overdoses

In June, I reported that life expectancy was down for a second consecutive year in the U.S. and promised "I'll be sure to report on the final numbers for 2017, which should come out at the end of the year."  Those numbers have been reported, which Time Magazine summarized as U.S. Life Expectancy Dropped For The Third Year In A Row: Drugs & Suicide Are Partly To Blame.

U.S. life expectancy dropped in 2017 for the third consecutive year, as deaths by suicide and drug overdose continue to claim more American lives.
That was the headline.  Smithsonian Magazine provided more details.
As Lenny Bernstein notes for The Washington Post, the three-year drop represents the longest sustained decline in expected lifespan since the tumultuous period of 1915 to 1918. Then, the decrease could be at least partially attributed to World War I and the devastating 1918 influenza pandemic. Now, the drivers are drug overdoses, which claimed 70,237 lives in 2017, and suicides, which numbered more than 47,000 over the same period. Both of these figures rose between 2016 and 2017.

“Life expectancy gives us a snapshot of the Nation’s overall health,” CDC Director Robert R. Redfield said in a statement, “and these sobering statistics are a wakeup call that we are losing too many Americans, too early and too often, to conditions that are preventable.”

According to Ars Technica’s Beth Mole, 2015 marked the first recorded drop in U.S. life expectancy since 1993, with Americans shaving an average of 0.1 years off of their lifespans. The same proved true in 2016 and 2017, Cathleen O’Grady writes in a separate Ars Technica piece, making the latest projection 78.6 years, down 0.3 years from 2015’s 78.8. Broken down by gender, men could expect to live an average of 76.1 years, down from 76.2 in 2016, while women could anticipate living until 81.1, the same age projected in 2016.

Although the country’s aging Baby Boomer population factored into the decline, Mike Stobbe of the Associated Press reports that increased deaths amongst younger and middle-aged individuals (particularly those between 24 and 44) had an outsized effect on calculations.

As Kathryn McHugh of Harvard Medical School tells NPR’s Richard Harris, “We're seeing the drop in life expectancy not because we're hitting a cap [for lifespans of] people in their 80s, [but] because people are dying in their 20s [and] 30s.”

The overall number of deaths across the U.S. totaled 2.8 million, or 69,255 more than in 2016, Erin Durkin notes for The Guardian. Of the top 10 leading causes of death—heart disease, cancer, unintentional injuries (drug overdoses constituted slightly less than half of this category in 2017), chronic lower respiratory disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, influenza and pneumonia, kidney disease, and suicide—only cancer witnessed a decrease in mortality rates. Seven, including suicide and unintentional injuries, experienced increases.
I am not surprised by any of these findings, as I covered rising suicide rates in the context of Anthony Bourdain's and Kate Spade's deaths, influenza in the context of 80,000 Americans killed by the flu last year, and drug overdoses in the contexts of a Pew Research Center survey and the News & Documentary Emmy Awards.  I'm also doing my best to reduce the death rates from cancer and diabetes by being a five-year and counting cancer survivor and treating my diabetes.  As for what others can do about drug overdoses and suicides, WXYZ gives some advice in Ask Dr. Nandi: What's causing U.S. life expectancy to drop for the 3rd year in a row?

For the third year in a row, U.S. life expectancy has dropped.  Experts say the data is “troubling."
All good advice.  I hope people take some of it.  Otherwise, I expect another decline in life expectancy to be reported this year.  When I first wrote about the phenomenon, I said prompted Russian analogies, reflecting the loss of social support accompanying the collapse of the USSR.  That is not a good comparison to make, and I don't like making it about the United States.  Remember, I'm a Crazy Eddie and I'd like to offer some hope in solutions, not doom.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Happy Hanukkah 5779 (2018) from Michigan

Happy Hanukkah!  I begin the celebration with WOOD-TV reporting Grand Menorah lit to mark start of Hanukkah in Grand Rapids.

Faithful gathered at Grand Rapids' Calder Plaza Sunday afternoon to light a giant menorah and mark the beginning of Hanukkah.
Now to move across the state to Detroit, where WDIV uploaded a feature segment on Hanukkah Traditions and celebrations.

Jewish community in Metro Detroit prepares for Hanukkah.
Speaking of the Menorah in the D, here is the WXYZ feature on the holiday and the event, which also shows how to make sufganiyot (Hanukkah donuts) and describes more about last night's menorah lighting.

That's the fun part of the holiday.  WXYZ also reported on the serious part of the observance in Menorah in the D to pay tribute to victims of the synagogue massacre.

The Menorah in the D ceremony in Downtown Detroit for Hanukkah will pay tribute to the victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre.
Here's to the menorah lighting shedding light in these dark times.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

SciShow examines the science of the Flint Water Crisis

Normally, I'd have a Sunday entertainment feature today, but I'm not feeling it.  Instead, like last week, when I posted Disney's own government, the Reedy Creek Improvement District, I'm in the mood for something more serious.  Today, it's the Flint Water Crisis.  To that end, I present SciShow's The Science of Flint's Water Crisis.

The water crisis in Flint, Michigan is a prime example of science being ignored, unknown, or even misused. Here's the chemistry behind how so many things went wrong.
May my readers have learned as much as I did from this video.

I hope to be in a more festive mood tomorrow, when it's Hanukkah.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Alabama recognizes Rosa Parks Day

Today is Rosa Parks Day.
Rosa Parks Day is an American holiday celebrated on February 4 or December 1 in honor of the civil rights leader Rosa Parks.

On December 1, 1955, after a long day of work Rosa Parks boarded a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. She took her seat in the ‘colored’ section, but as she rode the Cleveland Avenue bus home, the bus began to fill.

The Montgomery city ordinance allowed bus drivers to assign seating. However, it did not permit them to demand a passenger give up their seat. Despite this, bus drivers had customarily required black passengers to give up their seats to white passengers when the public transportation became full.

When Rosa Parks was asked to give up her seat, she refused. She was arrested and what followed is Civil Rights history. She was found guilty on December 5, 1955, of violating the city ordinance and fined $10 plus a court fee.

African American leaders, including E.D. Nixon and Martin Luther King, Jr., (see Martin Luther King, Jr. Day) organized the Montgomery Bus Boycott for the day of Rosa Park’s trial. The boycott was a success and lasted several months, devastating the transportation system in Montgomery.


Use #RosaParksDay to post on social media.


Rosa Parks Day was created by the California State Legislature and first celebrated February 4, 2000. California chose to recognize the date of Rosa Park’s birth.  Ohio and Oregon celebrate Rosa Parks Day on the day she was arrested, December 1.
In addition to Ohio and Oregon, Alambama now celebrates Rosa Parks Day today.  Watch Rosa Parks Day in Alabama from CBS 42.

WSFA gave additional details.
The bill to declare Dec. 1 as Rosa Parks Day in Alabama passed unanimously in both the House and Senate. From there, it went to Gov. Kay Ivey who signed the bill into law.

“The fact that we had a 102-0 vote to have this celebration to honor Rosa Parks shows that Montgomery, and hopefully the state of Alabama, is not stuck in history and that we are moving forward," [Montgomery Mayor Todd] Strange said.

Even though the bill was singed into law, Rosa Parks Day is not considered an official state holiday. However, the new law does state that cities and counties can make it a holiday if they wish.
Here's to remembering a civil rights pioneer, who also has Detroit connections, although that's a story for another day.

R.I.P. George H.W. Bush, the last Republican President I voted for

Last August, I wrote R.I.P. John McCain, the last Republican presidential candidate I voted for.  McCain was never President and I voted for him in 2000, when he ran against George W. Bush, who was one of the reasons I left the Republican Party.  Yesterday, George W. Bush's father George H.W. Bush, the last Republican President I voted for, died.  ABC News paid tribute in Celebrating the life and legacy of George H.W. Bush.

Remembering the 41st president of the United States of America, dead at the age of 94.
The video mentioned one of the reasons I still have some self-respect when I write that I voted for Bush, twice, the Americans with Disabilities Act.*  The Daily Beast mentioned it and other of his actions I still approve of in George H.W. Bush Was a Better Kind of Republican.
He put David Souter on the Supreme Court. He signed the Americans With Disabilities Act. He ordered a temporary ban on certain semiautomatic weapons, costing him the NRA’s support when he sought reelection (and he resigned his membership). He put in place an EPA administrator who actually cared about the environment and wanted to start doing something about climate change 30 years ago.
While the senior Bush was no Al Gore, he did do something about climate change.  In conjunction with the release of National Climate Assessment, Forbes reminded its readers of the elder Bush's role in making that report possible.
The U.S. Global Change Research Program was established during President George H.W. Bush's administration in 1989 by a Presidential Initiative. Congress then mandated further action with the Global Change Research Act of 1990. The law specifically mandated the following key actions: Directs the President to establish an interagency United States Global Change Research Program to improve understanding of global change. Requires the Chairman of the Council, through the Committee, to develop a National Global Change Research Plan for implementation of the Program. Sets forth required Plan contents and research elements, including that the Plan provide recommendations for collaboration within the Federal Government and among nations.
The Surprising Climate And Environmental Legacy Of President George H. W. Bush quoted that passage and added the following.
The Global Change Research Act of 1990, signed by President George H.W. Bush, also "requires the Council, at least every four years, through the Committee, to submit to the President and the Congress an assessment regarding the findings of the Program and associated uncertainties, the effects of global change, and current and major long-term trends in global change."
In the same article, Forbes listed another environmental achievement of the elder Bush and his Administration.
President George H.W. Bush also signed the landmark 1990 Clean Air Act Amendment. The Environmental Protection Agency EPA website points out, "In June 1989 President Bush proposed sweeping revisions to the Clean Air Act. Building on Congressional proposals advanced during the 1980s, the President proposed legislation designed to curb three major threats to the nation's environment and to the health of millions of Americans: acid rain, urban air pollution, and toxic air emissions. The proposal also called for establishing a national permits program to make the law more workable, and an improved enforcement program to help ensure better compliance with the Act."
The Clean Air Act of 1990 with Title VI sought to protect the ozone layer. It specifically required the EPA to regulate  ozone-depleting substances like hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), methyl bromide, halons, carbon tetrachloride, hydrobromofluorocarbons, chlorobromomethane, and methyl chloroform.  Many of these things were commonly found in air conditioning refrigerants and spray cans used by the public. As with the current climate change- fossil fuel industry "tug-and-pull," there was push back to the Montreal Protocol and limits on ozone-depleting substances. The Act also ensured the U.S. commitment to the Montreal Protocol.
Without this amendment to the Clean Air Act, the shrinking of the ozone hole over the Antarctic may not have been possible.  For that, I'm grateful.

Of course, there are some things Bush did that I'm still not happy about.  One of them is the appointment of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court, which I use as the prime example of the revolving door between Monsanto and government.  However, today is not the day to speak ill of the dead.  Instead, it is the day to wish the 41st President of the United States to rest in peace.

*The owner of the bar I used to hang out at in the Irish Hills once said I had to be a liberal because I was an educator.  He ended up being right, but I dodged his remark by telling him that I voted for Bush Senior twice.  He was satisfied with that.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Magnitude 7.0 earthquake strikes Anchorage, Alaska

ABC News just uploaded a video on the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that hit Anchorage. Watch Large earthquake rocks Alaska.

The earthquake was reported by the USGS.

While I'm sure that injuries and perhaps some fatalities will be reported later, that none have been reported so far is extremely fortunate. In addition, the cancellation of the tsunami warning is good news. According to Wikipedia, 124 of the 139 deaths from the 1964 Good Friday Earthquake were the result of the tsunami, which killed people in three states, Alaska, California, and Oregon. No tsunami, no death and destruction outside of the Anchorage area.

I plan on following up over the course of the weekend so that I can discuss the earthquake and its aftermath with my students next week. I'm sure we'll have lots to talk about. In the meantime, that's it for November. Stay tuned for the first post of December at midnight Eastern Standard Time.

'The Daily Show with Trevor Noah' examines GM's proposed plant closings and layoffs

I'm not done for the month with Trevor Noah reacting to Trump having things not go his way.  Watch Trump’s Broken Promise to General Motors.

It turns out America’s top used car salesman sold General Motors workers a lemon. GM cuts 15,000 jobs amid slumping sales even after Trump’s insistence that the corporation was making a comeback.
The one car I will miss will be the Volt, which can carry a gun rack, even before 60 Volts drove down Woodward in the 2011 Dream Cruise.  Still, that was seven years ago and the Bolt is replacing the Volt, so I suppose it's time for the Volt to retire.  I'm still a bit sad.

As for who to blame, the Detroit Free Press interviewed a University of Michigan economist, who said not to blame Trump.  This includes the tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, which probably are not helping.  Speaking of tariffs, what is one of Trump's reactions?  Propose more tariffs, this time on imported cars.  I suppose if all one has is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail, and Trump loves to hammer.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Trump disbelieves his own administration's climate change report to the astonishment of Trevor Noah

The last time I wrote about President Trump denying climate change, it was in the context of Seth Meyers taking a closer look at Trump's remarks about Finland raking its forests.  As I wrote then, "Trump so badly wants to make this about forest management instead of climate change that he will make stuff up."  Now, when faced by a U.S. government report on climate change only a month after the IPCC report, Trump continues to deny climate change.  That inspired The Daily Show with Trevor Noah to post Trump Contradicts His Own Administration’s Climate Change Report.

Despite the Trump administration’s most recent report on man-made climate change, the president continues to deny the science behind global warming; meanwhile, cable news outlets continue to bring on non-scientists to share their personal opinions on the situation.
LOL, Rick Santorum.  I thought I was done with him.  Nope, Frothy is still not taking climate change seriously.  Furthermore, I find his line about the scientists being in it for the money really insulting and ignorant, as well as a step backwards for him.

Santorum is a sideshow.  The main act, Trump himself, continued to double down on climate change denial, as Noah chronicled in Manafort’s Double Flip, Trump’s Climate Change Jibberish and Ivanka’s Email Snafu two days after the clip above was uploaded to YouTube.

It’s a turbulent week for Team Trump as Paul Manafort violates his cooperation agreement with Robert Mueller, the president continues to clumsily refute startling climate change reports, and Ivanka is confronted about her use of a private email.
Ha!  That's the best comedic use of "Arrival" I have ever seen.  As for the use of Trump clips, it reminds me of both Trump is coming and he's building a wall and Darth Trump.  Trump out of context is so much funnier and much less dangerous.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Ground control celebrates as Mars InSight lands

It was only six months ago that I posted Verge Science and Seeker on Mars InSight.  Two days ago, Mars InSight landed after a six-month journey.  CNN has the short take in All eyes on Mars as NASA lander touched down.

NASA celebrates Mars landing with an epic handshake. CNN's Jeanne Moos reports on the touchdown that inspired lots of touching.
Moos did a great job of chronicling the human reaction.  For a more detailed look by someone who was there at the launch, watch Verge Science reporting NASA’s InSight Mars landing: what it really took.

After a six-month long journey, NASA’s InSight spacecraft successfully landed on Mars. The probe will now begin to collect data on Mars’ crust, mantle, and core, providing a never-before-seen look at the red planet’s inner workings. Getting a new spacecraft on the surface of the red planet is no easy feat – The Verge’s Loren Grush talks to engineers about how they prepared for this landing.
This video did a much better job of explaining the science than the launch coverage.  In addition, it looks like I'm going to get my wish.
That looks like great science that I can use in my geology classes — next year.  Here's to Mars InSight succeeding so the wait is worth it.
I already talked about Mars InSight in one of my geology classes yesterday, so I'm using the probe ahead of schedule.  Here's to more interesting findings about the interior of Mars that I can teach to my students.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Celebrate Giving Tuesday by contributing to Coffee Party USA

Happy National Day of Giving/Giving Tuesday!
We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. Now, we have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. On the Tuesday after Thanksgiving charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.


Quite simply, take advantage of all the holiday deals to add to your charitable giving. Combined with your family, friends, local and national organizations and through the power of social media, National Day of Giving can become a tradition worth passing on. Use #GivingTuesday to post on social media.


In 2012, 92nd Street Y in New York City created National Day of Giving to bring focus to the charitable season in the wake of the commercialized Black Friday and Cyber Monday. More commonly referred to as #GivingTuesday, National Day of Giving harnesses the power of social media to give back around the world and throughout the year.
Like last year, I am urging my readers to contribute to Coffee Party USA.  Also, as I did for National Coffee Ice Cream Day and National Coffee Day, I am asking my readers to match my donation of $10.00, which I made yesterday.  Your donation will allow "you to be a part of the important work of Coffee Party USA as we empower and connect communities to reclaim our government for the people."  It will go to improving our website, the new version of which Coffee Party USA debuted in October and registering people to vote with our partners TurboVote and National Voter Registration DayElection Day 2018 may be over, but there are municipal and some state elections next year and people need to be registered and reminded to vote in them, too.

If donating is not enough, my readers can become a member or volunteer.  Coffee Party USA needs people to help with all the projects listed above and then some, as we plan on doing even more to empower and connect communities to reclaim our government for the people in the future.

Once again, I am asking my readers to match my donation of $10.00.  Thank you and Happy Giving Tuesday!

Coffee Party on!

*Yes, I mean "we" and "our."  I am a director and officer of Coffee Party USA.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Black Friday sales up, especially online, for Cyber Monday

Last year's headline read Cyber Monday to set record but Black Friday still king in 2017.  It looks like I can be a good environmentalist and recycle it for this year, as CNBC reported this morning Black Friday online sales up 23.6 percent from a year ago.

CNBC's 'Squawk Box' team discusses the retail sale numbers from Thanksgiving weekend.
Looks like Thanksgiving and Black Friday are the new Cyber Monday.

The optimism got started on Friday, when CNBC reported It's not just Amazon versus other retailers this Black Friday, analyst says.

Oliver Chen, senior research analyst at Cowen, and Steve Sadove, former Saks CEO, discuss their retail outlook for the 2018 holiday season.
I knew I couldn't report on online retail without mentioning Amazon.  Also, I shouldn't be surprised about the effects of the demise of Toys R Us showing up as well.

While sales are up, it is an open question that retailers can make a profit from online sales.  That's the issue in E-commerce is compressing retailers' margins: Fmr. Hudson's Bay CEO.

Liz Dunn, founder and CEO of Proforma, and Jerry Storch, former CEO of Hudson’s Bay, discuss retail trends on Black Friday.
Amazon has a narrow profit margin, but I don't know if that's entirely because of its online sales; other activities of the company, such as buying the Washington Post as well as Bezos's space ventures, might contribute to that as well.  Still, I'm glad sales are up.  Enjoy it while it lasts.  The next recession is coming.

That's it for Cyber Monday.  Stay tuned for Giving Tuesday.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Disney's own government, the Reedy Creek Improvement District

It's Sunday, so it's the day for the weekly entertainment feature.  However, I'm in the mood for something more serious, so I'm sharing The Reedy Creek Improvement District: Disney's Government from Rob Plays.

Sometimes it feels like Disney World is its own small country. So it’s no surprise to learn that Walt Disney World has its own government. It’s called the Reedy Creek Improvement District. How did it come about, why did it come about, and should it continue to exist?
Back in May of 1967, Florida Governor Claude Kirk Jr signed new chapters of the Laws of Florida that simultaneously created the city of Bay Lake, the city of Reedy Creek, and the Reedy Creek Improvement District which would hold jurisdiction over both. This district has far more governing power than normal, allowing for their own building codes, called the EPCOT codes. The district is also responsible for running their own services, such as fire stations, EMS, power distribution, water treatment, waste disposal, and road maintenance.

The district is governed by a five person board of supervisors who are elected into their position by the landowners within the district. Who again, is Disney. Or specifically, it’s a set of trusted and loyal residents that Disney allows to live on property. This means that Disney is able to elect a board who will govern the district in a way that benefits their needs as a resort. On paper, Disney and the Reedy Creek Improvement District are two separate entities, but realistically speaking, they’re one in the same. The district was designed by Disney to operate in a way such that Disney would be able to steer its direction unopposed.

So why did they go through all that trouble? After all, Disneyland doesn’t need its own government to be successful. Universal Studios Florida doesn’t. So why does Disney World?
The answer was the original EPCOT, a real "Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow," not the theme park that exists today.  Disney actually tried the concept in Celebration, the subject of two videos that I plan on posting in the future.  Still, it has been very useful, not only for Disney, but also for examining sustainability issues related to the parks.  I plan on sharing those videos in a future entry as well.  All of the videos examine issues with cities and tourism as well as some solutions to them, so they are on-topic for this blog.

As an example of the Reedy Creek Improvement District's responsibilities, Rob Plays asked Why Are Disney Traffic Signs Purple?

Subscriber Philip asks “Can you do a video about the colors of the Walt Disney World traffic signs? Are they special colors that relate to colors from particular characters or movies?” Great question Philip! Let’s talk about those famous purple signs at Walt Disney World!
So if you’ve never been to Walt Disney World, the signs Philip is referring to aren’t signs around the parks themselves, but the road signs scattered all along Walt Disney World property. These signs are the work of Sussman/Prejza & Co, a Los Angeles design firm that was hired in 1989 to tackle the design for the wayfinding and traffic signs of Walt Disney World and EuroDisney.

As for the colors, according to the firm, they drew inspiration from the mouse himself, Mickey! The black, red, and yellow colors used on the signs were chosen to mimic the color palette of Mickey Mouse. The signs were further fleshed out with complimentary colors which are colors that lie on the opposite side of the color wheel. Red’s complementary color is green, and yellow’s complementary color? Purple.
So know we know why the Disney traffic signs are purple, red, yellow, and black, but how are they those colors? How could Disney control the colors of road signs outside of the parks?

Well the answer to that is that Disney has their own governing jurisdiction at Walt Disney World, and it’s called the Reedy Creek Improvement District. The district is responsible for overseeing the public services of the property, including the fire department, EMS, water treatment, electric and roadways and bridges. The Reedy Creek Improvement district is a fascinating part of Disney World’s history and a crucial element in what allowed the resort to become what it is today. It’s a topic deserving of its own whole video, and it’s one I plan to create later this year.
Rob Plays didn't waste any time.  His next video was the one I posted first and he uploaded it four days later.

Tomorrow is Cyber Monday.  Stay tuned.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

National Day Calendar, CNBC, and Retail Archeology help celebrate Small Business Saturday

Happy Small Business Saturday, a day I've been celebrating since 2011, the first year of this blog!  As National Day Calendar points out, that's only one year after the day started.
American Express founded Small Business Saturday to help businesses with their most pressing need — getting more customers. The day encourages people to shop at small businesses on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The single day has grown into a powerful movement, and more people are taking part than ever before.


Support a small business and use #SmallBusinessSaturday to post on social media.


American Express founded Small Business Saturday in 2010.
To help celebrate, I have videos relevant to the occasion from CNBC and Retail Archeology.  First, CNBC reported yesterday Small Business Saturday gets a big boost.

The kickoff to the holiday shopping isn’t just for major national retailers. It’s also a crucial sales time for neighborhood retailers. Reporter Kate Rogers meets small biz owners gearing up for the season both in store and in online Etsy stores.
"Shopping Small" has become a big deal.

Follow over the jump for the two most recent videos from Retail Archeology, which are about small businesses in and around Phoenix, Arizona.  Sorry, no Michigan businesses this time.

Friday, November 23, 2018

The Bon-Ton Stores bankruptcy and liquidation, a tale of the Retail Apocalypse for Black Friday/Buy Nothing Day

Once again, Happy Black Friday/Buy Nothing Day!  I'm continuing my coverage of the Retail Apocalypse on this major shopping day by following up part of my closing to Macy's surviving the Retail Apocalypse on Black Friday/Buy Nothing Day, where I wrote "I think I might cover the end of Bon Ton next."  This turned out to be a bigger story than I thought, as the Bon-Ton stores encompassed 262 locations in 25 states, as Company Man explains in The Decline of Bon-Ton...What Happened?

Bon-Ton is shutting down. It's a bigger story than many may realize because they're also the owner of 6 other department store chains. This video talks about how all these stores came together, where they stand now, and theorizes what caused their demise.
Out of the seven chains, I'd heard of two of them, The Bon-Ton and Carson's AKA Carson Pirie Scott.  My wife is from Illinois and she wondered where the nearest Carson's was.  There had been one at Laurel Park Place in Livonia, Closure of Northland Mall approved" TARGET="">where I used to mall walk
, a half hour away, but we never found it in time for her to go shopping there.  However, all is not lost, as USA Today reported in September: After closing its stores, Bon-Ton is ready for its comeback as new company buys its brand.
Bon-Ton, the bankrupt retailer that shut its stores last week after being in business for over 100 years, is poised to reopen now that a new owner has scooped up its brand.

A subsidiary of the tech company CSC Generation Holdings told USA TODAY that it has signed a deal giving it the rights to Bon-Ton and its subsidiary department store chains, Boston Store, Bergner's, Carson’s, Elder Beerman, Herberger’s and Younkers. The agreement will need to get the green light from the Delaware Bankruptcy Court to become final.  

The new Bon-Ton will emphasize its online shopping experience. But CSC says it is "also in advanced discussions with landlords about reopening stores in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.'' Those locations would likely be staffed by former Bon-Ton employees.

By focusing on e-commerce, and making plans to reinvent its physical stores with personal styling services and extended hours on the days when more people might be inclined to shop, Bon-Ton is attempting to be more competitive in a retail environment transformed by Amazon and fast-fashion chains like Zara.
Here's to hoping that the new ownership is able to succeed in a post-Retail Apocalypse environment, including hiring former Bon-Ton employees the way Macy's claims it did.  If true, at least the creative destruction of the company didn't result in their prolonged unemployment.

That's it for the Retail ApocalypseBlack Friday/Buy Nothing Day.  Stay tuned for Small Business Saturday.

Macy's surviving the Retail Apocalypse on Black Friday/Buy Nothing Day

Happy Black Friday/Buy Nothing Day!  This major shopping day, which is still bigger than Cyber Monday, makes for a perfect occasion to update the Retail Apocalypse.  Today's featured chain isn't Sears, but Macy's, which CNBC named as a chain that might benefit from the demise of Sears.  Ironically, CNBC put Macy's in the spotlight yesterday with The Rise And Fall Of Macy's.

Macy’s was once the largest department store in the world. But its size is now a burden. It’s closing stores and rethinking its strategy going into its most critical period of the year.

Macy's is testing smaller stores to slash expenses on staffing and inventory. Currently, the department store chain is trying the idea at four locations, including at Stamford Town Center in Connecticut, to cut its real estate by as much as a fifth there and turn those shops into "neighborhood stores." It mimics similar initiatives already taken by rivals Kohl's and Nordstrom. Kohl's is dividing some of its bigger stores to allow room for new tenants like grocer Aldi, while Nordstrom is trying a small-shop concept known as Nordstrom Local in Los Angeles. Even mall operators like Macerich are looking at store space in a new way, rolling out stores that showcase a number of brands for a short period.

"If your store is too big and your dollars per square feet are too low and you can't lease the space to someone else, then you've got to hive off a floor," Macy's CEO Jeff Gennette told the Journal in an interview. "If we were building stores today, we'd build them smaller."

Not needing so many locations — and with some being unprofitable — Macy's in early 2017 shut 100 stores as it's been working to whittle down its real estate. It's also been working with Brookfield Asset Management to allow the real estate firm to redevelop all or part of 50 select properties. Macy's had roughly 690 locations, including those under the Bloomingdale's banner, still open as of the latest quarter.
Ironically, Macy's was one of the first store closings I covered in writing about the Retail Apocalypse even before I knew about the phrase in Closure of Northland Mall approved.  Back then, I treated it as a failure of the mall, which had been a long time coming, not as a failure of the chain or of brick-and-mortar retail.  Now, I know better.

While CNBC had a skeptical, if not downright pessimistic, take on Macy's performance and prospects, Bloomberg Markets and Finance's reporting was much more upbeat in Macy's CEO on Black Friday, Holiday Shopping Season.

Jeff Gennette, chairman and chief executive officer at Macy's, discusses consumer traffic in-store and online for Black Friday, holiday hiring, and investing in stores and digital sales. He speaks with Bloomberg's Emma Chandra on "Bloomberg Markets: The Open."
Here's to hoping that Gennette is correct about his assessment, and not just putting the most positive spin on the situation.

Speaking of positive spin, he talked a lot about how the demise of Bon Ton was good for Macy's, including hiring their former employees.  I think I might cover the end of Bon Ton next.  I also have videos about Macy's by Wochit Business and Retail Archeology to share.  Stay tuned.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Music and a drink for Thanksgiving 2018

Once again, Happy Thanksgiving!  I told my readers to "stay tuned" at the end of Olaf and other Disney balloons in Macy's Parade plus my favorite marching bands in today's parades, as I promised that "I'm not done with the holiday, as I plan on posting a Tipsy Bartender drinks for Thanksgiving entry later today."  I'm going to be a good environmentalist by recycling a modified version of Midweek Cafe and Lounge, Vol. 91, which I posted at Booman Tribune yesterday.  I'm acting DJ and bartender for this weekly series while the regular host Don Durito is on walkabout.  For today's theme, I'm picking songs from Billboard's Thanksgiving Songs: Music About Food, Giving Thanks, and the Holiday.

The first song on the list just happens to tie into my love of awards shows, in this case,  the 2018 Critics' Choice Documentary Awards.  As I reported in 'RBG' wins Best Political Documentary, 'Won’t You Be My Neighbor?' Best Documentary, Quincy Jones received Most Compelling Living Subject of a Documentary and the documentary "Quincy" won Best Music Documentary.  With no further ado, here is Groovy Gravy.

Next, James Brown with Mashed Potatoes, U.S.A.

For the last song in today's entry, I'm sharing Thanksgiving Theme by Vince Guaraldi from the Peanuts specials.

I had to have some music for Snoopy to dance to.

This year's Thanksgiving drink from Tipsy Bartender is Pumpkin Pie Shots.

Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy these shots and say hello to Natalie!

1 Part Whipped Cream Vodka
1 Part Pumpkin Spice Liqueur
1 Part Rum Cream
1 Spoon Pumpkin Puree
Garnish: Graham Cracker Crumbs/Whipped Cream/Pumpkin Spice
That's it for this year's drink recipes.  I'm saving the five recipes I didn't use last year for future entries.  Not only do I recycle, I conserve my resources.

That's it for Thanksgiving for now.  Stay tuned for a post about Black Friday/Buy Nothing Day tomorrow.

Olaf and other Disney balloons in Macy's Parade plus my favorite marching bands in today's parades

Happy Thanksgiving!  Today, I'm combining balloons and marching bands in my preview of the Macy's and Detroit Thanksgiving parades.  First, Olaf from "Frozen" is returning to the Macy's Parade this year as is Dino the Sinclair Oil dinosaur.  Olaf is featured in Top 10 Disney Balloons at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade | Disney Parade History.

Disney is no stranger to parades, since they run daily Disney parades at Walt Disney World and Disneyland, but did you know that the Walt Disney Company has a history with the Macy's Thanksgiving parade that dates all the way back to1934 with the first Mickey Mouse balloon? The Macy's parade, formerly known as the Macy's Christmas Parade, has become known for its giant balloons so sit back as we go through a little Disney history and countdown the Top 10 Disney Balloons and Floats from the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade!
I'll be watching for Olaf.

I'll also be watching for the marching bands in the Macy's Parade.
Cicero-North Syracuse High School Northstars Marching Band, New York
Grants Pass High School Marching Band and Color Guard, Oregon
Homewood High School Patriot Marching Band, Alabama
James Madison University Marching Royal Dukes, Harrisonburg, Virginia
Keller High School Marching Band, Texas
Lafayette High School Mighty Lion Marching Band, Louisiana
The Ohio State University Marching Band, Columbus, Ohio
Park Vista High School Marching Band, Lake Worth, Florida
Riverside City College Marching Tigers, Riverside, California
Woodland High School Wildcat Marching Band, Cartersville, Georgia
Macy's Great American Marching Band, USA
NYPD Marching Band, New York
Out of all the marching bands, the most famous is almost certainly The Ohio State University Marching Band, but I'm not featuring them, as I'm a Michigan alum and I'm almost certain they will march in the Rose Parade, so I'll have a chance to feature them then.  Instead, my favorite band in the parade is the Riverside City College Marching Tigers from Riverside, California.  Follow over the jump for them plus my picks for this year's WDIV Battle of the Bands.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Thanksgiving travel up as gas prices falling but still high

An early Happy (American) Thanksgiving to my readers!*  In Seth Meyers checks in on minority voter suppression, I wrote "it's time to go full Thanksgiving in time for the holiday."  I begin by passing along CBS This Morning reporting yesterday Record number of Americans expected to travel for Thanksgiving.

The Thanksgiving travel rush is underway. AAA predicts more than 54 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles away by Sunday. The holiday weekend is predicted to be the busiest for Thanksgiving travel since 2005. Kris Van Cleave reports.
All of this is despite the highest gas prices since 2014.  Still, oil prices are falling, as CNBC reported in Oil stocks in bear market.

CNBC's Brian Sullivan reports on the crude oil wreck and stocks that are feeling the impact.
The effect of the collapse in oil prices should be lower gas prices, which CNBC reported in GasBuddy: The other shoe has yet to drop with prices at the gas pump.

Dan McTeague of discusses the landscape for gas prices as we head into the holiday season, and the lag time between falling oil prices and prices at the pump.
Neither the experts nor I expected oil and gas prices to fall, especially not as steeply as they did.  All of us expected sanctions on Iran to drive prices up or at least support them.  Instead, the Administration has granted so many waivers that the sanctions have had very little effect.  That's a point brought up in Bloomberg's Trump, Saudis Make Fundamental Oil Analysis Impossible, Analyst Sen Says.

Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst at Emery Aspects, examines President Donald Trump's influence on oil prices. She speaks with Bloomberg's Jonathan Ferro on "Bloomberg Markets: The Open."
Once again, Trump is creating chaos.  At least this time, it's helping U.S. consumers.  Give thanks for that silver lining in the cloud of Trump.

*I already wished my readers a Happy Canadian Thanksgiving, so I have to make the distinction.