Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ted Cruz, Agenda 21 conspiracy theorist, leading in Texas polls

Remember Ted Cruz?
Cruz is one of the maniacs promising people can keep their cars, McMansions, and commutes this year.
That was two months ago, when Cruz forced Texas Lt. Governor David Dewhurst into a run-off. At the time, Cruz was 10 points behind Dewhurst and not likely to win the run-off. Now, the situation is reversed, as Slate reports.
Public Policy Polling returns from Texas with a 52-42 lead for former state Soliciter General Ted Cruz in the U.S. Senate runoff. Are you dusting off your "how the Tea Party changed everything" columns? Do it now.
Over at ABC News, one of the reporters is doing just that, writing Ted Cruz appears likely to win Texas Senate runoff, thanks to tea party support.
Former state solicitor general Ted Cruz appears favored to win the Republican Senate runoff in Texas on Tuesday, which would hand the tea party a significant underdog victory in a massive state.

Tea party support stretching from high-profile figures like Sarah Palin, Rick Santorum and Jim DeMint down to grassroot volunteers helped catapult Cruz to the top slot in Tuesday's primary race. And he held his lead, despite beginning the election with less name recognition and less money than his wealthy and well-connected opponent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.

Matt Mackowiak, a Republican consultant who divides his time between Washington, D.C. and Austin, T.X. is a Cruz supporter and gives "enormous" credit to the tea party for Cruz's come-from-behind success.

"Look, this is a low turnout primary runoff late in the summer-- it's hot, we've never had a primary this late-- it's the most committed folks that are voting," Mackowiak told Yahoo News, "and in many ways it's the tea party activists who are not only voting but who are really acting as multipliers."
At this rate, it looks like the prediction I concluded my previous post about him may be true until November.
Looks like I'm not done with blogging about politicians exploiting Agenda 21 paranoia, even after I said "Goodbye, Gingrich!"
I'll check back after the votes are tallied tonight.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Last week's weather news from Nebris

Normally, I'd be posting a summary of last week's climate news from Overnight News Digest: Daily Kos. Because of the emphasis I put on the Olympics, I just didn't collect enough on my own.  However, my friend Nebris posted a summary of his own at his LiveJournal and I'm taking the liberty (with advance notice to Nebs) of reblogging it.  Thanks, Nebs!

Follow over the jump for the summary.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Science Crime Scenes 4: Plagiarism, mysteries, and the usual looting and vandalism

It's time for another installment of stories about crimes against science and culture that I originally reported in Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (Opening of London Olympics edition) on Daily Kos. All of them have official investigations, whether to restore ill-gotten goods, prevent their loss, or simply to find out the truth. Some have the involvement of police, and others should. As with the three previous editions, most of these stories are about archeology, largely because of the amount of looting and vandalism rampant among cultural artifacts. The lead story, however is about academic misconduct at the highest levels of government, and I mean that quite literally.

Nature (UK): Conflicting verdicts on Romanian prime minister's plagiarism
Victor Ponta cleared of misconduct by government ethics board, but charges reaffirmed by university.
Quirin Schiermeier
20 July 2012
Two investigations into the case of alleged plagiarism by Romania’s prime minister, Victor Ponta, have reached opposite conclusions, ramping up the tension in a fierce struggle over political power in Bucharest.

Ponta stands accused of having copied large sections of his 2003 PhD thesis on the International Criminal Court.

On Thursday, Romania’s 11-strong National Ethics Council (NEC) rejected the plagiarism charges against Ponta, first reported by Nature last month (see 'Romanian prime minister accused of plagiarism'). One day later, a 13-member ethics commission set up by the University of Bucharest — which awarded Ponta his PhD — reaffirmed the charges.
As someone who earned a Ph.D., these are serious charges that could result in his degree being revoked. However, the article indicates that isn't likely to happen. Just the same, his degree will be permanently tainted. Good thing for Dr.--for now--Ponta that probably won't prevent him from having a career of some sort, even an academic one, when he retires from politics.

More over the jump.

Narb asked for more posts about Jell-O

Speaking of my retrospective of the first year of this blog, my buddy Narb left this comment in the previous installment.
Narb congratulates Le Grande Motie on a fine first year. However, he wishes you'd write more about Jello, the history of Jello, uses for Jello around the house, and of course, Jello wrestling.

Hopefully, these will be reoccuring topics in Year Two.
Narb, be careful what you wish for. You might get it. The following comes courtesy of my friend Aratzio Bizzaro, who just posted it on my Facebook wall.
Lime Jello Surprise

2 packages lime Jello (Sugar Free for those on low carb diets)
2 Cups Clear Chicken Broth
2 Cups boiling water.
1 Small Trout

Make 1/2 Jello using 1 Cup Water & 1 Cup Broth. Put in Bread Pan. Chill until thickened. Place Trout in Jello (upside down) In Jello. Add second 1/2 of Jello made like first. Allow to harden.

Using a hot water bath loosen the Jello and place jello (Trout Side Up) on plate. Garnish with Parsley.

Take to work for fellow employees that insisted you bring dessert for PotLuck luncheon.

Original here, taken from here.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Two space anniversaries plus more space and astronomy news

Last week's top space and astronomy stories in Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (Two space anniversaries edition) on Daily Kos were also the top stories of the week. Here they are, minus last week's top story. I decided not to recycle.

Discovery News: Did We Meet Martians 36 Years Ago?
Analysis by Ray Villard
Fri Jul 20, 2012 11:47 AM ET
As we count down to the much-anticipated landing of NASA's six-wheeled Mars Science Lab (MSL) on Aug. 5/6th, it's noteworthy that 36 years ago today mankind made the first successful touchdown on the Red Planet.

The nuclear-powered Viking 1 lander settled down in a burst of retrorocket fire on a smooth circular plain close to the great volcanic Tharsis Bulge on July 20, 1976. Four billion years ago this region may have been a water-filled bay on Mars.
Viking 1 was shutdown in 1982, but its legacy is as alive as ever today. Viking 1, and its sister robot, Viking 2, were the only two spacecraft ever dispatched to Mars with miniature onboard biological laboratories that performed the first in-situ experiments to find extraterrestrial life.

Though sending such a payload to what was then a largely unknown planet seemed premature, it does reflect NASA's aggressive spirit of exploration from the glory days of the 1960s and early 70s.
Discovery News: Nixon's Contingency Plan for a Failed Apollo 11
Analysis by Amy Shira Teitel
Sat Jul 21, 2012 05:02 AM ET
On July 21, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin launched from the lunar surface and rejoined Michael Collins in orbit before the three men began their trip home.

Ascending from the lunar surface was one of the most important maneuvers on the mission; any problems could leave Aldrin and Armstrong stranded on the moon with no way home. It was a gruesome scenario, but not impossible. In the unlikely event this lunar disaster did happen, NASA had a plan in place.
More stories after the jump.

The first year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News: Part 6 of several

In the previous installment of this series, I concluded my discussion of the first post in this blog with the following.
I know I promised to cover at least two posts from now on in the previous entry in this series, but I couldn't figure out how to link a second entry to this one. Besides, as the first post, it deserves to be commemorated by itself. Also, this part of the series is short. I'll make up for it by having a later post look at three at one time.
The mere idea of looking at three posts at once ended up being just a bit too daunting, so I didn't do it. As for why I considered doing it, check out this passage from Part 1:
[T]his entry was the most successful of several where promising Kunstler's readers a link to an article in the New York Times got their attention--567 page views worth, the most of any single referring page. There are at three others on this list.
Yes, the three entries I was planning on covering at one time were the same ones where I used a post organized around a N.Y. Times story to lure readers in. It's not a bad theme, but as you can see, it was enough to deter me from continue the series without an external prompt.

So, which of my posts am I featuring today? The one that was in 10th place with 215 page views and no comments--that is, until the revenge of the back catalog hit on July 4th, propelling Happy 4th of July from James Howard Kunstler's Tea Party! from about ten page views to more than 800 in the space of a month, with 700+ of those views the week of July 4th and ~500 of them on July 4th alone, making it the most viewed ever on the site with 888 views and knocking The New York Times explains how to completely avoid the real problems of suburbia, posted on May 8, 2011, completely out of the top 10.

So, how did I use a N.Y. Times story to entice readers from Kunstler's blog? Like so.
By the way, the New York Times ran a review of a bunch of Manhattan designers trying to make over Levittown into a "future surubia." From the perspective of both the reviewer and myself, they generally failed. As I wrote in The New York Times explains how to completely avoid the real problems of suburbia:
Ms. Arieff shows that she has a good eye for the real problems of suburbia. In fact, her list of problems, including her observation that the U.S. has become wedded to sururbia as the American Dream, makes her seem as if she's watched "The End of Suburbia," in which exactly the issues she mentions plus suburbia as the American Dream, are major topics, along with peak oil. Too bad the designers seem not to have watched the movie.
There is a link to the New York Times article at the blog entry.
It worked. Too bad most of the ideas didn't, at least in terms of anything that makes sense as a practical future. On the other hand, the projects the designers came up with became an exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art, Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream, which runs until August 13th. I hope they work better as art than as real solutions.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Examiner.com on Between The Lines' endorsements

Carol Kuhnke at the Milan Fair Parade. She was endorsed by Between The Lines for District Court Judge.
Stabenow, Irwin, Kuhnke endorsed by Between The Lines
Between The Lines, Michigan's LGBT newspaper, just joined the Detroit Free Press among local newspapers in endorsing candidates for the August 7th primary election. In the its July 26th edition, the paper published endorsements and recommendations for candidates ranging from U.S. Senate to District Judge. Three of those candidates will be on the ballot in Washtenaw County and two in districts bordering Washtenaw County.

Between The Lines endorsed incumbent Debbie Stabenow for U.S. Senate, incumbent Jeff Irwin for the 53rd Michigan House District, and candidate Carol Kuhnke for the 22nd District Court. The LGBT paper also endorsed Syed Taj in the 11th Congressional District and Dian Slavens in the 21st Michigan House District, who are running in the portions of Wayne and Oakland counties adjoining Washtenaw County.

The candidates earned the endorsement of Between The Lines based upon their records and public statements in support of equality for LGBT people.
In addition to the endorsements I listed above, Between The Lines endorsed candidates from all over Michigan, although they mostly concentrated on those running in metro Detroit, including Karen McDonald, one of whose lawn signs is standing in my front yard as I type this. They also endorsed a yes vote on the millage to support the Detroit Institute of Arts. Finally, the paper made a pointed non-endorsement, as they refused to endorse any of the Republicans running to oppose Stabenow. ZING!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Science crime scenes 3: Restitution and crime prevention

Time for another installment of stories about crimes against science and culture. All of them have official investigations, whether to restore ill-gotten goods or to prevent their loss. Some even have the involvement of police. As with the two previous editions, these stories are about archeology, largely because of the amount of looting and vandalism rampant among cultural artifacts.

Without any further ado, here are the stories from Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (Two space anniversaries edition) on Daily Kos that qualified as science crime scenes. Follow over the jump.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Videos: Urban agriculture in Detroit and sustainable parasite control

I added three videos to the Powerpoint that accompanies my lecture on agriculture on the food supply and showed them to my students yesterday. Two of them illustrated the promise and perils of urban agriculture in Detroit. For the promise, here is Michigan State University's video about the MetroFoodPlus Innovation Cluster that it will be building in Detroit.

Rick Foster, professor of Community, Agriculture, Recreation, and Resource Studies, discusses the MetroFoodPlus Innovation Cluster project.
Note that this will be an integrated approach that considers no only food, but energy and water as well. Also, did you catch the "People, Planet, Profit" diagram explaining the goals of the project and how the MetroFoodPlus Innovation Cluster lies at the intersection of all three Ps? This is explicitly a sustainability project.

MSU's involvement in Detroit extends beyond what it calls metropolitan agriculture. Another video, MSU and Detroit: Side by side, which I didn't show to my students, describes the scope of the cooperation between MSU and Detroit. It's more promotional than informative, so I'm not embedding it, but it is very well done.

The video that displayed the perils of urban agriculture in metro Detroit was the one that I embedded in Oak Park Woman plants vegetable garden; city objects, illustrating the problems Julie Bass had with the Oak Park over her vegetable garden. That situation provoked a really lively discussion, as most of the students had heard about it and a few already knew Julie personally (her former home is within five minutes drive of where I teach). One of the things that came out was how much more accepted vegetable gardens and even raising chickens has become, just during the past year.* Julie made a difference.

I won't embed the video here, as the entry where I first featured it has slipped from second to fourth most viewed this month and I want it to get some readership love.

For the third video, which is about sustainability in unexpected places, but isn't about Detroit, follow over the fold.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Climate and heat wave news from Texas A&M

In last week's installment, I noted the following.
In Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (Bastille Day edition) on Daily Kos, I included some more stories from Discovery News which were about both the heat wave and climate change, but I also found out that some of the colleges on the campaign trail, in particular University of North Carolina, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech, were also following the current climate very closely. It's not just the commercial sources that pay attention to what people want to know.
The trend continued with the articles I included in Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (Two space anniversaries edition) on Daily Kos. Texas A&M put out four press releases on the subject all by itself. Check them out over the jump.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Christmas in July

I'm going to take a moment out from serious blogging to post something that fits with this month's NaBloPoMo theme of Kids. I present to you the 2012 Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps, who are performing a show they call "12.25." It's easily the most accessible show they've done this century* and a lot of fun to watch and listen to. See how many Christmas-themed sets the corps forms during the show. I count at least two Christmas trees, a snowflake, a bow, a bell, and an ICHTHYS fish. How many do you see?

Enjoy this while it lasts.** I expect it will be taken down before the end of August. If and when that happens, I have a backup video ready.

* I've been following drum corps since 1975, wrote for Drum Corps World from 1996-2008, and judged marching from 2001-2006; I should know.

* There is a double meaning to "this." Not only does it refer to the video, but the drum corps activity as well. I fully expect Peak Oil, economic decline, and social upheaval to end the national touring model, which has been around since 1971, by 2020. I started mourning in 2008, when I quit writing for Drum Corps World and stopped going to shows. This will be the fourth year I haven't seen a corps live.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The fear premium pushes the gas price rollercoaster uphill

I concluded the previous installment in the ongoing ride on the gas price rollercoaster with this hopeful note.
Reuters reports...
Benchmark Brent crude oil in London returned to below $100 per barrel, tumbling $2.35 to settle at $97.97 a barrel. U.S. crude fell $2.08 to finish at $83.91.
According to the calculator at Econobrowser, that means that the average price of gas in the U.S. should be $3.29. Prices may still fall in the near future.
That didn't happen. Instead, gas prices in my neighborhood stabilized at $3.49 for more than a week, lasting until last Thursday, when I noticed that the corner gas station was selling regular for $3.69. Fortunately, the three stations just down the street were still offering regular gas at $3.49, so I filled up my tank at one of them. I expected the corner gas station to drop its price to $3.59; it didn't. Instead, when I drove past on Friday, its price for regular was still $3.69, and the three stations down the street had raised their prices to $3.59. Good thing I bought gas on Thursday.

So, what happened to make prices rise on Thursday and Friday? The price of crude jumped on Thursday, along with other commodities, as Reuters reports.

Corn, soy hit record highs; oil jumps on Mideast worry
Corn and soybeans hit all-time highs on Thursday as the worsening drought in the U.S. farm belt stirred fears of a food crisis, while crude oil prices rose to eight-week peaks on worsening tensions in the Middle East.
Oil prices hit an eight-week high as tensions in the Middle East -- which provides a quarter of the world's oil -- reinforced concern about potential supply disruptions.
U.S. crude's front-month contract settled up $2.79 at $92.66 a barrel after touching an eight week high of $92.90.

London's benchmark Brent crude jumped $2.64 to settle at $107.80 a barrel.
According to the Brent-U.S. gas price calculator at Econobrowser, Thursday's price for Brent should translate to $3.53. That same link shows that the price fell Friday to $106.86, which translates to $3.51. Gas is a little overpriced, but not much. Brent will have to decline several dollars for prices to drop more than a dime.

In case you're wondering why Brent went up, it wasn't the fundamentals of supply and demand. Instead, it was the fear premium.
Analysts said geopolitical concerns outweighed the latest U.S. Department of Energy supply report, which showed crude inventories in the world's top consumer fell less than expected last week.

"Overall, we are more concerned about the latest bombings in Syria and Bulgaria than about the DOE statistics," said Olivier Jakob, analyst at Petromatrix, in a report.
Speaking of the fear premium, I recommend that you read The High Cost of Cheap Gas over at Daily Kos, which details the externalities of oil dependence. I found its conclusion particularly appropriate to the point above.
The greatest irony of contemporary American life is that a nation which so prides itself on self-determination and independence has so willingly made itself a slave to oil, which corrupts our politics, dictates our foreign policy, threatens our environment, and bankrolls our enemies.
Today is a good day to walk.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Space and astronomy news: Discovery of Pluto's fifth moon

I've been delaying this report for the past week because it was pretty incomplete, consisting only of what NASA and universities on the campaign trail posted, plus whatever I need to fill otherwise empty categories (the Science Daily article about carbonaceous chondrite meteorites supplying Earth's water was originally posted under Geology) for Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (Bastille Day edition). I'll post all of those stories below the fold, as none of those were the top astronomy story of last week. Instead, that honor belongs to the discovery of another moon of Pluto, which I missed in my Daily Kos digest.

Space.com on YouTube: Pluto Has 5th Moon - Hubble Space Telescope Discovers | Video

Astronomers have discovered an irregular shaped moon, between 6 and 15 miles across, circling the infamous dwarf planet on an orbit 59,000 miles in diameter.
Discovery News: Pluto Now Has Five (Yes, Five) Moons
Analysis by Ian O'Neill
Wed Jul 11, 2012 12:39 PM ET
Pluto's neighborhood is getting crowded.

According to new observations by the Hubble Space Telescope, the dwarf planet isn't only accompanied by the moons Charon, Nix, Hydra and the not-so-glamorously-named "P4," it also has a fifth satellite, nicknamed, unsurprisingly, "P5."
The continuing discoveries of small moons around Pluto is causing some concern for scientists with NASA's New Horizons mission that, in 2015, will make a flyby of the little world.
Discovery News has more discussion about this discovery, including How Pluto Got Its Moons and Not a Dwarf: Is Pluto a Binary Planet? Since both of these were posted this week, not last, I'll recycle them for the next report.

More over the jump.

Examiner.com article on Sierra Club endorsements

Earlier tonight, I wrote.
I'm working on that article, but it's taking a lot of research to get it to where I want it.
I'll post an entry to the article when I publish it on Examiner.com.
It's published.

Michigan Sierra Club endorses candidates from City Council up to President
Among all the endorsements reported during the past few weeks, such as those of the Detroit Regional Chamber, the Detroit Free Press, and the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, the Michigan Chapter of the Sierra Club also issued its endorsements. The conservation group's recommendations might be the most comprehensive announced so far, ranging from Ann Arbor City Council up to President, along with candidates at all levels in between.

Nine of the Sierra Club's endorsed candidates are on the primary ballot in Washtenaw County. They include Senator Debbie Stabenow, Michigan House Representatives Jeff Irwin and David Rutledge, candidates for Michigan House Gretchen Driskell and Adam Zemke, and Ann Arbor City Council candidates Sumangala “Sumi” Kailasapathy, Sally Hart Petersen, John “Jack” Eaton, and Vivienne Armentrout.

Kailaspathy, Eaton, and Armentrout noted the Sierra Club's support during a candidate forum hosted by the Ann Arbor Democratic Party, which the Ann Arbor Chronicle described in two articles and a comment, all dated July 18th.

The National Sierra Club also endorsed President Obama, who will be on ballots in Washtenaw County this November.
For the photos that accompany this article, I refer the reader to The Michigan Chapter of the Sierra Club's endorsed candidates on the ballot in Washtenaw County. I also included the video from the previous post with that article. To avoid duplication, I'm illustrating this entry with Sally Hart Petersen driving home her point about open space.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Sierra Club, LCV, Clean Water Action, and Environment America endorse Obama

I concluded yesterday's post with the following confession and idea for penance.
I feel dirty just having written this article, even though I'm only reporting the news. I think I'll make up for it by reporting the Michigan Chapter of the Sierra Club's endorsements next. I'm sure I'll feel much cleaner and happier once I do that.
I'm working on that article, but it's taking a lot of research to get it to where I want it. While I'm doing that, I want to leave you with this video and press release video from the Sierra Club.

Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune announces Sierra Club's endorsement of President Obama for re-election in 2012.

National Environmental Groups Endorse President Obama

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, four of the nation’s largest environmental groups representing nearly 4 million Americans endorsed President Barack Obama for re-election. Jointly announcing their endorsement for the first time in history, the Sierra Club, Environment America, the League of Conservation Voters, and Clean Water Action praised the President as the clear choice to protect clean air, clean water, and the health of American families.

Michael Brune, Executive Director, Sierra Club:

“The Sierra Club and our 1.4 million members and supporters share the same vision for America as the President for a prosperous and innovative economy that protects the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the health of our families. Together, we can build upon the historic successes of the last four years, including landmark fuel efficiency standards and the first-ever protections against toxic mercury pollution, to build a clean energy economy that creates thousands of new jobs and works for every American.”

Margie Alt, Executive Director, Environment America:

"When we look at the record, we see that in just three plus years President Obama has accomplished more for the environment and our families’ health than at any point since the benchmark laws to protect our air and water were passed more than 40 years ago. Four years ago we had hope, now we have evidence that Barack Obama is the right choice for the environment."

Gene Karpinski, President, League of Conservation Voters:

“Elections are about choices – and for those who care about building a clean energy economy and confronting the climate crisis, the choice is clear: President Obama is an environmental champion and Mitt Romney is climate denier. While President Obama has fought to put Americans back in control of our energy future, Mitt Romney and his Big Oil buddies would take us back to the failed dirty energy policies of the past.”

Bob Wendelgass, President and CEO, Clean Water Action:

"This election, we can either continue moving forward to build a future of clean water and clean jobs, or we can go back forty years to a time when rivers caught on fire and the air in most cities was unhealthy to breathe. Like President Obama, Clean Water Action and most Americans understand that strong environmental protections are essential ingredients for both healthy communities and a healthy economy."
I feel better already.

I'll post an entry to the article when I publish it on Examiner.com.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Examiner.com article on Michigan Chamber of Commerce endorsements

U.S. Representative Tim Walberg

Michigan Chamber of Commerce endorses Senate, House candidates
On Monday and Tuesday of this week, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce announces its endorsements of candidates for Senate, U.S. House, and Michigan House. Three of these candidates will be on the ballot in Washtenaw County.

For Senate, the Chamber decided that either Clark Durant or Pete Hoekstra would be acceptable and endorsed both. This is in stark contrast to the Detroit Regional Chamber, which could not decide between the two and ended up not endorsing either.

In the 7th Congressional District, incumbent Tim Walberg earned the Chamber's approval, along with the seven other Republican incumbents running for re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives from Michigan.

The Michigan Chamber endorsed the candidates based on the organization's belief about who would improve the economic climate, including focusing on job creation and economic growth through pro-business policies.
As I wrote in a comment on Daily Kos, file the above under "keep your friends close, and your enemies even closer." These are all people I recommend voting against! Every last one of them is a corn pone fascist who has been or would be terrible for sustainability. The worst one is probably Walberg, who was my representative from 2007-2009 and who I was very happy to vote out of office in favor of Mark Schauer in 2008. I was disappointed to see him returned to office in 2010.

I feel dirty just having written this article, even though I'm only reporting the news. I think I'll make up for it by reporting the Michigan Chapter of the Sierra Club's endorsements next. I'm sure I'll feel much cleaner and happier once I do that.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Examiner.com article on Detroit Free Press endorsements

Representative John Dingell

Detroit Free Press endorses candidates in Senate, House primaries
On Sunday, July 15th, the Detroit Free Press endorsed candidates in primaries for U.S. Senate, U.S. House, and Michigan House. Three of these candidates will be on the August 7th primary ballot in Washtenaw County.

Clark Durant earned the newspaper's endorsement in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate. It issued no endorsement on the Democratic primary, where Debbie Stabenow is running unopposed.

The paper endorsed candidates in both the Democratic and Republican primaries for the 12th Congressional District seat. On the Democratic side, incumbent John Dingell gained the Free Press's approval, while Karen Jacobsen received the nod among the Republican contenders.
As I noted over at Daily Kos, while I can't endorse candidates, I can certainly report on the endorsements of others, including the competition. Also, if it's bad news for Hoekstra, it's good news for Stabenow, which means it's good news for Democrats. Given the way the Republican Party is these days, that means that it's better news for sustainability.

In addition to the endorsements listed above, the article lists the approved candidates for the 11th Congressional District and the 21st Michigan House District. I had promised to write more about the 11th Congressional District; consider the paragraph in the article a down payment on that pledge.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Water now an issue in record heat

The Detroit Free Press reports Soaring temperatures, thirsty lawns put water in demand.
Rush has some trees to shade his lawn, but much of it is exposed to the sun and heat -- which today is predicted to reach 102 degrees to break the record of 101 set in 1887.
Another day, another record high temperature. Welcome to global warming.

That's not all.
Fifty-five percent of the continental U.S. was in a moderate to extreme drought by the end of June, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climatic Data Center said in its monthly drought report. That's the largest percentage since December 1956, when 58% of the country was covered by drought.

A U.S. Drought Monitor report released last week showed much of the lower part of Michigan's Lower Peninsula in moderate drought.
And how are communities responding to the drought?
Novi, Shelby Township, Northville Township, Troy and Clinton Township are among the communities that restrict or have ordinances directing water usage to what are considered off-peak hours. That approach has the dual benefit of helping keep water rates lower and avoiding issues with high water usage in dry periods.

The ordinances tend to be similar but can vary in their specifics.

Novi restricts lawn watering with programmable underground water sprinkler systems to 11 p.m.-5 a.m. on alternating days. In Shelby Township, the ordinance is voluntary but "strongly" discourages automatic irrigation of lawns 5-9 a.m. and 5-9 p.m. The township reserves the right to declare an emergency and make specific restrictions.
So, is there any relief in sight? Yes.
However, he said, a fairly strong cold front is expected tonight, with the metro region seeing that good shot at rain Wednesday. The cold front is expected to drop temperatures into the low to mid-80s by Thursday. The normal high is 84 degrees, Behnke said.

Behnke said temperatures aren't expected to rise above 90 degrees until Sunday. But no precipitation is expected through the weekend, either.

Despite the straw-like grass around many homes, the area is above normal for rainfall for the month, Behnke said. He said 2.17 inches of rain had fallen through Sunday night, which is 1.54 inches above normal. But most of that rain -- 1.76 inches -- fell July 5, he said.

The rain came on the heels of the 10th driest June and the warmest January through June on record in Michigan.
As for beating the heat, WXYZ reports on one way metro Detroiters should not do it.

Fire fighters are warning people to not open up the hydrants to cool off.

Stay cool, everyone!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Heat wave and climate change news for the week of Bastille Day

In last week's post about the heat wave, drought, and other weather and climate stories, I noted the following about commercial news sources.
Over at Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (Higgs boson and heat wave edition), I took the week off from compiling stories from campuses on the campaign trail to trawl from one of my favorite commerical sources, Discovery News. Since they're an outfit that wants to draw eyeballs, they'll write on what they think will do exactly that. Last week, it was the heat wave. Here are the stories they wrote about the phenomenon.
In Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (Bastille Day edition) on Daily Kos, I included some more stories from Discovery News which were about both the heat wave and climate change, but I also found out that some of the colleges on the campaign trail, in particular University of North Carolina, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech, were also following the current climate very closely. It's not just the commercial sources that pay attention to what people want to know.

I'll kick off this week's weather and climate stories with an article from Discovery News, which follows up on what I wrote in Examiner.com article on warmest spring in Detroit history a month ago.

2012 Hottest Half-Year Ever
By Tim Wall
July 10, 2012
2012 is staying on track as a year of extreme weather events. NOAA reports that June was two degrees F hotter than the 20th-century average, which contributed to making the first half of 2012 the warmest ever in the U.S. since record keeping began in 1895.

The period from June 2011 to June 2012 was also the hottest 12-month period in the nation's history, with an average national temperature of 52.9 degrees F (11.61 degrees C), 4.5 degrees F above average.

Hidden within the average is a great degree of variety across the United States. While some areas were scorched and parched, others were chilly, drowned in deluges or lashed by freak storms.
The NOAA infographic that accompanied that article shows the weather events for the June just finished.

And the year's only half done.

Follow over the jump for more weather and climate news.

Field trip highlights

I took my geology students on a field trip Saturday. On the way to the college, I noticed this huge column of smoke rising from inside Detroit. That was at 7:30 AM. When I returned at 5:00 PM, the smoke was still rising. It's been years since I've seen a fire that big and that lasted that long. It turned out to be a bakery fire. WXYZ reports.

Highland Park Fire at old Sanders Headquarters

Fortunately, the plant was abandoned and the operations moved elsewhere, so all the people who wanted bumpy cakes could still get one.

As for what my students and I saw on the field trip proper, here's a video of an exhibit at the MSU Museum, our second stop of the day.

On Earth Day, take time to celebrate Silent Spring's 50th anniversary

Fifty years have passed since the publication of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, the book many credit with sparking the environmental movement. The book has deep connections to Michigan State University, from the late MSU ornithologist George Wallace's research that was featured prominently in the book to the establishment of the Rachel Carson Chair in Sustainability at MSU and a legacy of environmental science being conducted today.
My students and I saw those robins on display, along with other exhibits. I hope that made an impression on them. It did on me.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Science Crime Scenes 2: Timbuktu

I have two more articles on the story I covered in the first installment of the series, which I used to lead off Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (Bastille Day edition). Both of the articles are from Agence France Presse by way of Al-Ahram (Egypt) and Google.

Mali Islamists destroy tombs at ancient Timbuktu mosque
Armed with hoes, pick-axes and chisels, the Islamists who control northern Mali are accused of destroying all World Heritage sites in the region after destroying tombs in an ancient mosque
Tuesday 10 Jul 2012
The Islamists controlling northern Mali on Tuesday destroyed two tombs at the ancient Djingareyber mosque in fabled Timbuktu, vowing to destroy all World Heritage sites in the region.

Armed with hoes, pick-axes and chisels, members of Ansar Dine (Defenders of Faith) hammered away at the two earthen tombs until they were completely destroyed, witnesses told AFP.

"Currently the Islamists are busy destroying two tombs of Timbuktu's great Djingareyber mosque. They are shooting in the air to chase away the crowd, to scare them," one witness said earlier as the rampage began.

"The two mausolea are adjacent to the western wall of the great mosque and the Islamists have hoes, chisels, they are hitting the mausolea which are made out of packed earth," said a source close to the mosque's imam.

"They say they will destroy everything."
Al Qaeda in Mali is making the same mistake that the Taliban did in Afghanistan when they defaced the Buddha statues, except they're doing it to other members of their own faith. That's the sign of kooks: practice your mistakes; you may get them right. Fortunately, saner heads have prevailed.

Agence France Presse: Timbuktu Arabs set up armed watch at ancient tombs
(AFP) – 3 days ago
BAMAKO — Members of Timbuktu's Arab community said Wednesday they have set up an armed brigade to prevent further destruction of the tombs of ancient Muslim saints by Islamists occupying northern Mali.

"Today we have a vigilance brigade so that no one touches the mausolea of Araouane and Gasser-Cheick," said Tahel Ould Sidy, leader of the unit, referring to two tombs in the greater Timbuktu region.
Denise Oliver Velez of Daily Kos also summarized the situation in Desecration and destruction in Timbuktu. In addition to a mosque, tomb, and World Heritage Site, the diary describes the place's history as a university. It also mentions that Timbuktu is also the repository of many valuable manuscripts, which means that preserving the area from looters and vandals is the same as protecting libraries, something I've been keen on from the first post on this blog. I don't like it here in Michigan, and I don't like it on the other side of the planet, either.

Follow over the jump for videos of this story and a bonus crime scene.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Happy Bastille Day!

I'm celebrating the third and final patriotic holiday of July with one tourist's highlights of last year's celebration.

Well, I guess the French don't wish each other a Happy Bastille Day, but I want to say something... Happy Bastille Day!! I hope you had fun, if you celebrated it. These are some clips of how I spent my day....
Unfortunately, the Pacific Battallion from Tahiti performing the Haka didn't make it into this clip. You'll have to see last year's post for that.

Friday, July 13, 2012

A-10s on parade

The following video from WXYZ reminded me of a detail from the parade I marched in July 4th.

A letter from the Air Force is causing controversy at Selfridge over the air planes on base.
Two of the A-10s from Selfridge flew over the Clawson parade (and other July 4th parades as well). When I stepped off with the rest of Lisa Brown's volunteers, I looked down the parade route and spied the two jets flying east to west a few hundred feet over 14 Mile. I had barely enough time to alert the other volunteers before they flew overhead. It was a great way to start the parade for us.

As for the rest of the parade, it went much better than I expected. I was afraid that the heat and the long walk would get to me. They didn't. A steady breeze blew out of the west, cooling people down. Also, the Clawson parade is like Halloween in July. Nearly every parade entrant with enough members* had people passing out candy to the spectators and just about all the kids lining the parade route held out bags for the treats. Since I missed Halloween here by being out of the country, I got to make up for it. After the planes went over, I looked at the first group of kids sitting on the curb, reached into my bucket of candy, held up a handful, and asked "Who here wants candy?" I was instantly mobbed. I ended up passing out four bags of candy by the end of the parade. I also completely forgot about the heat and long walk. The parade was the most fun activity I've ever engaged in as a political volunteer. I'm looking forward to doing another one.

Friday the 13th: Revenge of the back catalog

Last week, the back catalog champion was Happy 4th of July from James Howard Kunstler's Tea Party!, which went from about ten page views to more than 800 in the space of a month, with 700+ of those views last week and ~500 of them on July 4th alone. This post is now the most viewed ever on the site with 888 views.

This week, the honor goes to Paraskevidekatriaphobia and Happy Apophis Day! It's the most read post so far today and sixth so far this week. Since it is so popular, I'll just point you to it and get out of the way.

In the meantime, I leave you with the following wish.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Science crime scenes 1

Time for a new series, beginning with the stories from Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (Higgs boson and heat wave edition) on Daily Kos that already have police investigations or should have them. It should come as no surprise, because of the amount of looting and vandalism, that many of these stories involve archeology. Thus, they qualify as examples of sustainability in unexpected places.

I'll begin with one of those archeology stories.

Voice of America: Mali Islamists Destroy Ancient Timbuktu Sites
Posted Monday, July 2nd, 2012 at 5:45 pm
Islamist militants in Mali's historic city Timbuktu destroyed and damaged ancient sites for a third straight day, defying international threats of prosecution.

Witnesses say the al-Qaida-linked group Ansar Dine targeted the 15th-century Sidi Yahya mosque on Monday, tearing off the entrance door. The door is considered sacred and was to remain closed until the end of the world.
I wonder what the reaction of the Islamists would be if they were told that they were contributing to a pagan end of the world prophesy? They'd probably either laugh or kill the messenger--maybe even both.

This isn't the first time something like this has happened. The Taliban blew up statues of the Buddha in Afghanistan 11 years ago, just before September 11th. Looks like the Islamists aren't any more tolerant of variants of their own faith than they are of other faiths and they aren't kidding around about it, either.

More over the jump.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Space and astronomy news for the week of July 4th

While everyone was paying attention to the Higgs boson announcement and the heat wave, space news continued to be made. Since I can't pick out a single story to lead off, I'll be lazy and let This Week @NASA serve as the top story.

NASA Television on YouTube: Next Expedition Crew on Deck on This Week @NASA

In Star City, Russia, at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, Expedition 32 crewmembers, Cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko, NASA Astronaut Suni Williams and Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency participated in traditional ceremonies in advance of their mid-July launch to the station. Malenchenko, Williams and Hoshide will complete their training at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Upon their arrival to the space station, the trio will join ISS Commander Gennady Padalka, NASA astronaut Joe Acaba and Cosmonaut Sergei Revin -- the other three members of Expedition 32. Also, Orion is Unveiled at Kennedy Space Center to begin processing for its Exploration Flight Test-1 in 2014, some students and educators play rocket scientist during Rocket Week at Wallops Flight Facility, some pre-4th of July Solar fireworks captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory and more!
The rest of last week's space and astronomy news awaits over the jump.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The gas price rollercoaster ride continues in July

In the previous installment of the gas price rollercoaster saga, I quoted a Reuters article about oil posting its fourth biggest daily gain on record, a one-day jump of more than $7 for WTI and more than $6 for Brent. I then recounted my reaction.
I immediately went out to check the price at the corner gas station. It was still $3.39. Between the price jump in crude oil and the approaching July 4th holiday, I decided to take no chances. I promptly filled up both my wife's car and my own. I haven't yet followed up to see if the price at the pump actually rose.
It did, having shot up 20 cents at the corner station to $3.59 when I checked on Tuesday morning. However, I was pretty sure that it wouldn't remain that high, as the three stations a couple of blocks away only went up a dime to $3.49. Sure enough, the price fell to $3.54 by that evening and $3.49 a couple of days later. The price hasn't budged during the past few days, but WXYZ finally noticed yesterday.

The hot weather may be responsible for a spike in gas prices.

Better late than never. At least this clip prompted me to update the situation.

As for what to expect of gas prices in the near future, James Hamilton had the following to say at Econobrowser.
Two weeks ago, I commented on the tendency of U.S. retail gasoline prices to follow the price of Brent crude oil, anticipating on the basis of the price of Brent, then at $91.50, that we might expect to see average U.S. retail gasoline prices, then at $3.47, to fall an additional 35 cents/gallon. The gasoline price has since come down about 11 cents. But with Brent now surging back up near $100, this is about all we can expect.
That was last week. Since then, the price went up, but fell today, as Reuters reports.
Oil prices fell more than 2 percent on Tuesday after Norway's oil industry ended its three-week long strike, and metals and agricultural markets fell too, highlighting the fragility of the recent rebound in commodities.
Oil markets fell after Norway's government, empowered by law to force striking workers back on the job, ordered a settlement late on Monday of a dispute between oil workers and employers.
Benchmark Brent crude oil in London returned to below $100 per barrel, tumbling $2.35 to settle at $97.97 a barrel. U.S. crude fell $2.08 to finish at $83.91.
According to the calculator at Econobrowser, that means that the average price of gas in the U.S. should be $3.29. Prices may still fall in the near future.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Heat wave and other weather and climate stories from Discovery News

Over at Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (Higgs boson and heat wave edition), I took the week off from compiling stories from campuses on the campaign trail to trawl from one of my favorite commerical sources, Discovery News. Since they're an outfit that wants to draw eyeballs, they'll write on what they think will do exactly that. Last week, it was the heat wave. Here are the stories they wrote about the phenomenon.

Our Amazing Planet via Discovery News: Seriously, When Will the Heat End?
There's a small amount of good news for some of us.
Content provided by Douglas Main, OurAmazingPlanet
Fri Jul 6, 2012 03:39 PM ET
After an unusually oven-like June, the beginning of July has been sweltering, too. The heat didn't even take time off for Independence Day, with 262 daily high records tied or broken nationwide, mostly in the Midwest and the South, according to government records. In comparison, only 60 records were set on July 4, 2011, and a mere 15 were set on that date in 2010.

In addition to extreme heat during the day, it's not cooling off very much at night; in the first four days of July, 432 daily minimum high temperatures have been set (minimum high temperatures generally reflect nighttime conditions).

But there's a small amount of good news for those who are cooking in Chicago or withering in Washington, D.C. (both of which nearly broke all-time highs yesterday): a "cold" front will be sliding east across the country, said National Weather Service meteorologist Greg Carbin. That should bring slightly cooler weather and possibly precipitation to the Midwest and surrounding areas by the beginning or middle of next week, Carbin told OurAmazingPlanet.
And the prediction held true; the heat wave broke Saturday night here in southeast Michigan. The relief is only temporary, as 90+ temperatures will return by the weekend.

More stories about the heat wave and related conditions, such as drought, El Nino, and derechos, over the jump.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

A Michigan angle to the Higgs boson discovery plus bonus coverage

Examiner.com: Michigan, Wayne State scientists part of team that discovered likely Higgs boson
More than two dozen scientists from Michigan research universities, including teams from the University of Michigan and Wayne State University, contributed to the discovery of a particle that fits the description of the Higgs boson. They were part of an effort that included more than 1,700 scientists from the United States, including scientists from 89 universities and seven Department of Energy laboratories. Many hundreds more from other countires also participated in research based at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland and the Tevatron collider at Fermilab in the United States.

If confirmed as the Higgs boson, the discovery of the particle culminates a search that began in 1964, when scientists proposed a particle that when coupled with other particles determines their mass. Without this particle, and the Higgs field it represents, matter would have no mass. Without mass, there would be no gravity, and thus no planets, stars, or galaxies, and therefore, no humans.

As Wayne State University scientist Robert Harr explained in a press release, "The Higgs boson is the last piece of a theory established nearly a half century ago. It plays a unique role in the theory and therefore we must see if what is found is the Higgs boson or something else.”

One University of Michigan scientist, physicist Gordon Kane, earned more than his share of the discovery. He won $100 in a wager with Nobel Prize winner Stephen Hawking, who bet that the Higgs boson would never be discovered. "I surely won," Kane said in a press release released Thursday, July 5th, "but I have not heard directly from him yet." Hawking conceded in an interview with BBC.
Quotes and reactions from U of M and Wayne State University professors at the link in the subject line.

I'm leading tonight's Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (Higgs boson and heat wave edition) with this article. It's shameless self-promotion, but I couldn't resist, especially once I found a great local angle on the top science story of the week.

Here is the video that accompanies this article.

University of Michigan Professor Gordon Kane explains the Higgs field and Higgs particle.

The rest of the Higgs boson coverage from Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday on Daily Kos is below the jump.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Today's forecast from WOOD-TV and Marylin Monroe

Time for a serious to silly video post. First, the forecast for today into next week from WOOD-TV.

At least the heat wave breaks tonight, although it looks like 90+ temperatures return by next weekend.

Now, the silly, courtesy of my wife.

Marylin Monroe's performance from "There's No Business Like Show Business"
I'll be serious again later. Right now, it's too hot.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Kids: Best Prank

The NaBloPoMo writing prompt for July 3rd was "Talk about the best prank you ever pulled." I'm not up to describing the best prank I ever pulled right now. Suffice it to say that I have three awards for excellence in trolling, two of which are listed under Pierre Salinger Hook, Line & Sinker. All of them qualify as good pranks and all of them would take more energy to describe than I have right now. I guess marching in a parade in record heat got to me.

Instead, I present to you the winner of Next Media Animation's Animate Your Story contest for this week, the subject of which was "best prank."

This week's winner is Meggie Lu. Check out her best prank made into a hilarious Taiwanese animation.
My pranks wouldn't have won anyway. Sitting at a computer and laughing doesn't make for a good video.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Space and astronomy news: Shenzhou 9 returns plus video extravaganza

The lead story from the space and astronomy news included in Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (PPACA upheld! edition) is that Shenzhou 9 has returned to Earth. From ITN on YouTube: Chinese astronauts return to Earth.

China's Shenzhou 9 spacecraft returns to Earth, bringing to a close a space mission which saw the country's first woman in space. Report by Mark Morris.
Much more news, beginning with This Week @NASA and continuing with news from deep space to here on Earth, after the jump.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy July 4th from Crazy Eddie's Motie News!

If all goes according to plan, I'll be celebrating the holiday by walking (not marching--I've done enough of that for a lifetime) in the Clawson 4th of July Parade with Lisa Brown. Yes, that Lisa Brown. The first time I wrote about her, I noted the following.
Not only could these draconian laws and the brouhaha over Brown and Byrum's words hurt the GOP, they could benefit Lisa Brown directly, as she is running for Oakland County Clerk. A wave of motivated voters could sweep her into office in November.
It convinced me to volunteer for her, and the first thing her campaign manager asked me to do was march alongside her in a parade. Here's to hoping my feet can take the 1.75 mile walk and that I don't collapse from the record heat, as WXYZ reports.

Concerns about impact of heat on the 4th of July festivities.

In other news, Happy 4th of July from James Howard Kunstler's Tea Party! has gone viral during the past few weeks, going from about 10 page views to more than 400, nearly 200 of them in the past day alone. It's now the fifth most read post in the history of this blog. If you haven't read it, check it out.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The gas price rollercoaster kept going down in June

In Gas price rollercoaster returns to this month's low, I predicted that gas prices would continue to fall. I was right. The price fell from $3.55 when I wrote that entry to $3.49, then $3.45, and ended the month at $3.39. As for how much more they'll drop this summer, I have my doubts, as the price of crude oil shot up on Friday. Reuters reports.

Oil posts fourth biggest daily gain on record
NEW YORK, June 29 (Reuters) - Oil surged on Friday in heavy trading to the fourth biggest daily gain on record, as a deal by European leaders to shore up euro zone banks triggered frantic short-covering by funds that had been riding crude's price collapse over the last quarter.

Despite the sharp gains, both international benchmark Brent and U.S. oil futures posted their biggest quarterly declines since the fourth quarter of 2008 due to weak demand, ample supply and economic worries.

Oil's gains for the day came as part of a wider market rally, with the euro and world stocks rising after euro zone leaders agreed on measures to cut soaring borrowing costs in Italy and Spain and recapitalize regional banks.

Brent crude oil futures rose more than $6 a barrel to near $98 while U.S. crude jumped by more than $7 to settle just below $85 a barrel -- the fourth largest daily gains in dollar terms since the contracts were launched.
I saw that news on Saturday. I immediately went out to check the price at the corner gas station. It was still $3.39. Between the price jump in crude oil and the approaching July 4th holiday, I decided to take no chances. I promptly filled up both my wife's car and my own. I haven't yet followed up to see if the price at the pump actually rose.

And now, time for something silly in keeping with this month's theme.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Reaction to the Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act

In keeping with this month's theme, I'll give the funny animators over at Next Media Animation the honor of having the first say.*

The US Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Obama's health care reforms, the Affordable Care Act. Imagine the heart attacks the ruling is giving the Teabaggers right now. At least now they're covered!
There are other kinds of humor than the light-hearted take Next Media Animation has. Over at Clusterfuck Nation, James Howard Kunstler's snark on the decision ranges from jaundiced to downright morbid.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but didn't that cunning rogue Chief Justice John Roberts pour a jug of Karo syrup into the gas tank of America's twelve trillion cylinder engine? Or, put another way (forgive the metaphor juke), didn't he just give President Obama enough rope to hang himself? Out to dry, that is. Roberts must know exactly what he is doing: prompting x-million young and/or poor voters to an election year tea party tax revolt. The Obama health care reform will henceforth be defined as a tax against people too economically strapped to buy health insurance - in other words, a gross injustice, courtesy of Obama.

Or call it a poison pill. Obama gets to brag that the heart of his 2700-page reform package stands - at the expense of the very people it was designed to protect. Forget about the niceties regarding the interstate commerce clause and other chatter points. This was all about Chief Justice Roberts interfering in a presidential election in a most mischievous way. He might as well have just heated up a branding iron that spelled out T-A-X and applied it to Mr. Obama's forehead.
I don't particularly agree with any of what Kunstler said, especially the part about it inciting a revolt among the young and the poor, two of Obama's key constituencies. If anything, a young-person's revolt would be to the Left of Obama, not his Right, and would ask for single payer, e.g., "Medicare for All." That would screw up Kunstler's thesis, which is a de-evolution of the system to local control and delivery without the federal bureaucracy. I didn't say that, merely observing the following.
Wow, Jim, you've outdone yourself this week, connecting the Supreme Court's ruling on the Affordable Care Act to the flawed health care system, the critically ill (and possibly terminal) financial system, and your own health. You need to remember one thing--health insurance is part of the financial system. There are reasons why that sector of the economy is called "FIRE"--Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate. Add in real estate, and all of your major concerns are tied together. Isn't that convenient?
I did blog about the Supreme Court deliberating on the Affordable Care Act, but both of those were before the decision, not after. I have some quotes from three people at SUNY Buffalo and SUNY Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse to include in a post. How interesting that, added to you, all of them are from Upstate New York. I guess I know what I'm blogging about today.
Speaking of which, it's time for those comments from campuses on the campaign trail, which I originally posted in Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (PPACA upheld! edition), over the jump.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Happy Canada Day!


As I wrote earlier today, I celebrate three patriotic holidays this month, Canada Day, Independence Day, and Bastille Day. In fact, I use a graphic with a kid on it for Canada Day, which is today--and here it is.

Happy Canada Day to all of you on the other bank of the Detroit River!

Nablopomo for July: Kids

NaBloPoMo July 2012

So, what's this month's topic?


We're not just talking about those small human beings who may or may not be running around your house right now. We're talking about the best jokes ever told, the best pranks you've pulled, and all the other times you've been kidding around. Do you take things seriously, or do you like to joke your way through life?

Of course, we will also return to looking at life through your childhood eyes (especially what you thought about adults like yourself back then). So join us as we span the spectrum of time -- from when you were a kid to the best moments of kidding around today.
So start thinking about kidding around this week.
Let's see what I can do with this--humor, education (it's about kids, right?), my younger self, works of art involving children--yeah, I can handle this. Besides, July is one of my sillier months, especially since I celebrate three patriotic holidays this month, Canada Day, Independence Day, and Bastille Day. In fact, I use a graphic with a kid on it for Canada Day, which is today. Oh, and the third Friday the 13th of the year is this month, too. Prepare for a bit of comic relief as I ponder the serious sustainability issues of the day.

So, what combines childhood, silliness, and Detroit? Soupy Sales!