Monthly Archives: October 2012

BP- It Gets Way Worse

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As the BP Oil Spill Disaster continues to drag on, most people who are paying close attention to the details are sure that the ordeal will end up as the worst environmental catastrophe in modern industrial history.

But signs are surfacing that the eventual impact may be worse than even Keith Olbermann has yet reported (someone correct me if I’m wrong). Let’s review the latest developments:

 

1. The toxic sludge of oil plus dispersants that is coming ashore may make actual cleanup impossible over vast swaths of affected land, and engineering efforts such as sand berms are likely to fail.

2. Experts agree that the oil is already heading around the tip of Florida and up the east coast.

3.  The blogosphere (plus Keith Olbermann and a couple of others on tv) is buzzing with what appears to be conclusive proof that oil is in fact leaking from multiple places on the sea-floor, and that this development could place in jeopardy even the relief wells which have been held up as the “final” answer to the leak, meaning those projections will likely get worse.

4. This revelation has set off a wave of indignation over the media blackout and a surge in accusations that the full scale of BP’s coverup of the truly massive impact of this disaster has been entirely hidden from American television sets, as depicted in the CBS report below, in which the Coast Guard enforces “BP’s rules.”

 

Over a month ago, most of the “this is way worse than everyone thinks” argument was laid out in great detail by Wayne Madsen at OilPrice.com. But was only looking at the impacts of oil. Jennifer Lance points out a major wrinkle that is barely being discussed even in the doomsday “oil-spitting hurricane” scenario: the toxic dispersants used by BP may be worse than the oil itself, creating the possibility for acid rain across all of south and up the east coast. And now, reports consistent with what would be expected of this phenomenon are starting to surface in Tennessee:

 

The really scary scenario is the combination of all of these factors, which no one on TV is discussing. In all honesty, the southern and eastern US could be facing a long-term challenge to basic assumptions of life as a result of this tragedy. Evacuation plans for millions of Floridians are being readied, and the emergency could realistically force a massive mobilization of federal military resources to respond. Conspiracy and crowdsourced news sites are going rabid over the implications, to the point of calling the disaster a false flag operation and calling for readers in affected areas to evacuate themselves. Time will tell how much worse it gets, how quickly.

But it will get worse. If you think people should know about this, help: [social_buttons]

My next post about this topic, over at Red, Green and Blue will follow up on Jeremy’s analysis to discuss why the disaster may finally unify the most vocal ends of the left-right spectrum if this saga continues to unfold as we fear most.

Icelanders Didn’t Bail Out The Bankers – They Prosecuted Them And Created Something New.

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Iceland’s solution – Prosecute the Bankers

No news from Iceland… why?

How come we hear everything that happens in Egypt but no news about what’s happening in Iceland:

 In Iceland, the people has made the government resign, the primary banks have been nationalized, it was decided to not pay the debt that these created with Great Britain and Holland due to their bad financial politics and a public assembly has been created to rewrite the constitution.
And all of this in a peaceful way.
A whole revolution against the powers that have created the current crisis. This is why there hasn’t been any publicity during the last two years: What would happen if the rest of the EU citizens took this as an example? What would happen if the US citizens took this as an example.

This is a summary of the facts:
2008. The main bank of the country is nationalized.
The Krona, the currency of Iceland devaluates and the stock market stops.
The country is in bankruptcy

2008. The citizens protest in front of parliament and manage to get new elections that make the resignation of the prime minister and his whole government.
The country is in bad economic situation.
A law proposes paying back the debt to Great Britain and Holland through the payment of 3,500 million euros, which will be paid by the people of Iceland monthly during the next 15 years, with a 5.5% interest.

2010. The people go out in the streets and demand a referendum. In January 2010 the president denies the approval and announces a popular meeting.
In March the referendum and the denial of payment is voted in by 93%. Meanwhile the government has initiated an investigation to bring to justice those responsible for the crisis, and many high level executives and bankers are arrested. The Interpol dictates an order that make all the implicated parties leave the country.

In this crisis an assembly is elected to rewrite a new Constitution which can include the lessons learned from this, and which will substitute the current one (a copy of the Danish Constitution).
25 citizens are chosen, with no political affiliation, out of the 522 candidates. For candidacy all that was needed was to be an adult and have the support of 30 people. The constitutional assembly starts in February of 2011 to present the ‘carta magna’ from the recommendations given by the different assemblies happening throughout the country. It must be approved by the current Parliament and by the one constituted through the next legislative elections.

So in summary of the Icelandic revolution:
-resignation of the whole government
-nationalization of the bank.
-referendum so that the people can decide over the economic decisions.
-incarcerating the responsible parties
-rewriting of the constitution by its people

Have we been informed of this through the media?
Has any political program in radio or TV commented on this?
No!
The Icelandic people have been able to show that there is a way to beat the system and has given a democracy lesson to the world.

 

Further research:

How the Bankers place a nation in ever increasing debt  with their ‘interest’ charges.
http://www.blissful-wisdom.com/how-the-bankers-place-a-nation-in-ever-increasing-debt.html

Stephen Colbert Interviews Neil deGrasse Tyson

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this is awesome
By Robert T. Gonzalez
Nov 28, 2011 12:59 PM 341,699 100
Must Watch: An Out-of-Character Stephen Colbert Interviews Neil deGrasse Tyson

This is excellent. Back in 2010, an out-of-character Stephen Colbert sat down with astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson at Montclair Kimberly Academy to talk for 90 minutes about science, society and the universe. Yesterday, the Hayden Planetarium posted the interview on its website for all to watch.

The interview starts a little more than 6 minutes in. Topics addressed include:

-Why there is something instead of nothing (in ten words or less)
-The ethics of man/animal hybrids
-The “complexity” of evolutionary processes versus the tenets of creationism
-Whether science is a thing, a way to look at the world, or both
-Lab-grown meat
-The plausibility of a multiverse
-The importance of promoting science literacy
-The latest discoveries in astrophysics, including Mars farts — something we wrote about earlier today.

The traffic generated by the posting of the interview took its toll on the Hayden Planetarium’s servers, so the video featured here is streaming from YouTube — but be sure to show the HP some love.

Video by The Hayden Planetarium via teridon
Colbert & Tyson via

My Fetal Pony: Neoteny in Girls’ Toys

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My fetal pony

My Fetal Pony: Neoteny in Girls’ Toys

It’s no secret that Mickey Mouse has evolved in response to consumer pressures. Once a violent river-rat, he became the boy scout of rodents with good looks to match. Steven Jay Gould famously charted Mickey’s pedomorphosis over the years.  The mouse reverted to a baby’s bigger skull, bigger eyes, and pudgier snout.

As a child of the 80s and 90s, I’ve noticed the same trend in the toy brands that once littered the floor of my suburban bedroom. Boys toys may be constrained to adult (and therefore masculine) characteristics, but girls’ toys are free to fall under the consumer pressures of the Mickey Effect.

The My Little Pony (MLP) reboot exhibits a classic retention of juvenile characteristics into adulthood, a process known as neoteny. The eyes are bigger, the face is rounder and flatter, and the body size and leg length are reduced. Compared to the more conventional equine outline of the original series, the new MLP appears based on an infant, even fetal stage of development.

Littlest Pet Shop, a toy series introduced in 1990, is subject to the same selective pressures as MLP. The characters’ limbs are dramatically shorter and rounder. Head size has increased relative to body size, and small, close set eyes have morphed into watery saucers well-adapted to low-light conditions.

Girls’ toys also exhibit a strong trend towards progenesis- sexual maturity achieved in a juvenile state. Bagworms do it; so do mole salamanders. Normally induced by environmental stressors, progenesis in toys is the result of a cultural imperative for women to embody both the cute and the sexual.

Bratz Dolls, seen here alongside their direct ancestor, are ‘tweens.’ Compared to the uber-model Barbie, they are less physiologically mature, with gigantic, wide-set eyes and abnormally large craniums. Yet despite their tender age, they exhibit hallmarks of female sexual maturity: a high hip-to-waist ratio and full lips, as well as social markers including skimpy clothing and heavy makeup. Bratz reach sexual maturity as pre-teens; apparently the lingerie-wearing Babyz can accomplish it as infants.

Social selection over the last few decades has heavily constrained the phenotypes of girls’ toys.  The cute-ification of these playthings mirrors the evolution of the dog from a rangy wolf to the pocketbook-size ‘toy’ breeds. What would be lion-fodder in the wild is bred, manufactured, and cherished in Next Nature.

Aside

What Are Your 4 Pounds Made Of?

by Ryan Andrews, September 9th, 2009.

 

I don’t know what you had for lunch today, but I had 18 apples.

What do you think of that? You probably think I’m a glutton and have the GI tract of a gorilla.

But check this – a typical fast food value meal has the same amount of calories as 18 apples. 18! So I wanted to see what would happen if I downed the same amount of calories from apples.

Not pretty.

Yet I’ve had buddies knock back 2 value meals while watching Monday Night Football.  And no, I haven’t seen any of them go through a bag of red delicious by the 4th quarter.

What does this tell me?  Well, it tells me that Mother Nature has got your back.

Fast food and apples What Are Your 4 Pounds Made Of?

Remember:

  • Real food regulates appetite – so you don’t overeat
  • Real food controls blood sugar/insulin – so you can avoid energy swings and diabetes
  • Real food provides the best nutrition – so you can remain healthy for life
  • Real food has a sane amount of energy – so that you can’t accidentally overeat
  • Real food has a longstanding relationship with our body – so that our bodies know what to do with it

Energy density

This leads me to the world of energy density. Are you familiar with it? It’s the amount of energy (calories) per unit of food. Let me explain.

200 melons What Are Your 4 Pounds Made Of? 200 cheese What Are Your 4 Pounds Made Of?
This is 200 calories of melon. This is a lot of melon. This is 200 calories of cheese. This isn’t very much cheese.
200 celery What Are Your 4 Pounds Made Of? 200 chocolate bar What Are Your 4 Pounds Made Of?
This is 200 calories of celery. Good luck eating this. This is 200 calories of a candy bar. Good luck NOT eating this.

Seeing a trend? It’s hard to rack up excess energy (calories) from whole, real, calorie-dilute foods.

Food poundage

Interestingly, research shows that most humans eat around 3-5 pounds of food per day.  Indeed, as we approach 4 pounds of food intake for the day, most of us are feeling pretty satisfied.

Now, this can be 4 pounds of celery.  Or it can be 4 pounds of candy bars.  It’s not the food or calorie content that matters.  It’s the volume/poundage that counts.  And obviously, there are some big nutrient differences between celery and candy bars, right?

Now, let’s take some extreme examples of this…

  • 4 pounds of raw veggies will provide 400 calories
  • 4 pounds of raw fruits will provide 1000 calories
  • 4 pounds of cooked whole grains/legumes provides 1600 calories
  • 4 pounds of nuts/seeds provides about 10,000 calories
  • 4 pounds of Lucky Charms, Pop Tarts, Cheese provides about 10,000 calories

Note: I’m showing calories only as a measurement unit to help illustrate a point. Don’t get wrapped up in the numbers.

People that struggle with body fat management tend to fill up on energy dense, processed foods. This means stored energy for later.

Translation: Fatness.

If we eat 4 pounds of energy-controlled, whole, real food – we get lots of nutrition with a calorie count that our body can handle.

What’s our poundage portion?

Most people in the U.S. are consuming (on average) the following amounts of food each day:

2.0 pounds of meat, dairy and eggs

1.5 pounds fruits and veggies

0.5 pound grains

0.5 pounds added sugars, fats and oils

= 4.5 pounds

= about 3,700 calories per day

What if we switched this around?

2.5 pounds of fruits and veggies

1.0 pounds of grains and legumes

0.3 pounds nuts/seeds

0.3 pounds meat, dairy and eggs

0.1 pounds added sugars, fats and oils

= 4.2 pounds

= about 2,075 calories per day (this isn’t really that much, especially if you’re physically active.)

Putting it to the test

I’m curious: what does a day of my food weigh?

How much my day of food weighs 1024x768 What Are Your 4 Pounds Made Of?

How much my day of food weighs = 3.7 pounds

Foods – Clockwise, starting in upper right

2 lentil burgers, steamed broccoli

Peaches & blueberries

Raw buckwheat granola with hempseeds and flax

Roasted garbanzos & goji berries

Sprouted grain bread with peanut butter

Lettuce & kale

Celery, carrots, zucchini

Note: I was surprised it didn’t weigh more. The actual food weighs less than 3.7 pounds, as the food containers contribute to the total weight. I left out condiments like salad dressing and mustard.

Oh, and this was just a random day of eating. Some days I eat more, some days less.

What have we learned today?

If we prioritize and eat nutritious, real, controlled energy foods – there isn’t much room left for the energy dense, fake foods. You only have about 3-5 pounds to work with each day.

So… think about it…what are your 4 pounds made up of?

What Are Your 4 Pounds Made Of?