Saturday, September 5, 2009
And seriously, if you've never noticed them in flight, you're missing a treat. Few birds have the incredible grace of vultures; fewer still have the ability to stay aloft for hours at a time with only occasional adjustments of their wings, and still fewer flaps.
Turkey Vultures seem to be pretty much everywhere in the US. Look up!
Original (unembeddable) MTV video here.
Smoking Gun- Robert Cray, who hailed from Portland. My Portlandian roommate from 81-85 was several years older than me, and unlike me, was very fond of the bar scene and live music. As soon as Cray's first album came out, he had it.
Save It For Later- English Beat didn't produce a whole lot of music, but I was very fond of what they did create. I think a couple of them formed the group that had the giant hit, "She Drives Me Crazy." But that's for another Saturday
So today we have Saturd80s, Caturday, and Vladurday. Are we done with gratuitous puns for the time being? Yes, my oh-so-patient friends, yes, we are.
We have also concluded that she is very fond of belly and chest scratches. Her favorite, though, is hanging off the side of my chair, with no feet on the ground, while I scratch her spine.
She's a silly animule, but she has me trained well.
My Facebook comment on this issue was that I thought Obama should tell kids whose parents objected to just drop out and give up. It's very likely that the mental impairment arising from having such parents would prevent them from ever succeeding academically.
LORI TOBIAS/The Oregonian
Friday, September 4, 2009
But here's the problem: Oregon is an overwhelmingly volcanic state; we have very little in the way of outcropping limestone. There's a small amount in the Klamath-Siskyou province in the SW, and a larger amount in the Blue Mountain province in the NE. Many are in tectonically-shattered small pods that wouldn't really be economic to develop, and many have too high a proportion of clastic material (sand and clay, for example) to be useful for cement making. I was on a field trip in, I think, spring of 1988, and we stopped to look at the outcrop near the Durkee plant. At the time, and as best as I can tell from a quick web search, to this day, it's the only cement manufacturer in Oregon.
I have commented before that construction materials such as sand, gravel tend to have local sources, since the cost of transporting them in the quantities in which they're used is high. The same holds true for cement. It would not make economic sense to bring in all our concrete (or limestone) from neighboring states; on the other hand, it does not make sense to keep emitting these shocking amounts of mercury into the air. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out; the factors at work here are powerful.
Perhaps Idaho, directly downwind, and presumably the prime recipient of Oregon's Hg emissions, could help subsidize some of the transportation costs? Perhaps the Durkee plant situation will inspire someone to develop more effective Hg capture technology? I dunno, but it should be pretty clear that the levels being emitted are untenable.
Followup: A few articles later, I found an op-ed on the same issue.
The biggest mercury polluter in the entire United States is a cement factory in eastern Oregon. This fact has not escaped notice of the state's environmental watchdog, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.
The very day the federal government released its disturbing report on mercury's widespread threat, DEQ officials announced that the agency would work hard to make sure that the cement company could continue to release mercury at a level 60 times greater than new federal emissions limits.
There's a blogger I've read from time to time who deals with the shear hell transgendered people have to go through dealing with today's identity requirements. Not pretty. Peppermint Patty would be pretty much restricted to the US and grounded. And if she managed to travel to another country, there's a good chance she'd spend months or years trying to gain re-admittance to the US.
There's no nice way to say it. The financial cost of health care is killing our citizens, hobbling our economy, crushing small business, and threatening the solvency of our government. In the meantime, the Health Care Industry is spending almost two million dollars a day lobbying Congress and manipulating public opinion to accept “reform” legislation that leaves a vicious, for-profit system intact. The "public option" is a trap. We need real reform that finds immediate savings, controls costs, and accomplishes the moral imperative of true Universal Access. A Single Payer plan is the only real path to a Health Care System that is socially, ethically and fiscally responsible. And yet, our elected officials refuse to even discuss the possibility of a Single Payer plan!I think this is a Quixotic effort, but I'd donate if I could. The doctors and patients are the ones who should be at the forefront of media coverage, not the frontal lobotomies of pundits and right-wing legislators.
If that doesn't make you mad, we recommend checking your pulse.
Elijah pointed this out to me. I sort of promised myself earlier, no more health rants today. Yeah, I lie to myself, just like everyone else.
LOS ANGELES — Dismayed by the number of poor children about to be dropped from a publicly subsidized health insurance program, California lawmakers voted Thursday to levy a tax on insurance companies to help maintain the program, which had been slashed into near nonexistence as part of the state’s budget.OMG! The dysfunctional State of California has managed to pass a tax! The apocalypse is nigh!
Not so much. Buried down in the story is this:
Under the new law, which Mr. Schwarzenegger has pledged to sign, health insurance companies that participate in the state’s Medicaid program will face a 2.35 percent tax on gross revenues, replacing the 5.5 percent existing tax that will end in October.A better opening to the story would be "In the face of 700,000 uninsured children, California legislators and governor agree to cut taxes funding their coverage by nearly 60%."
On a totally unrelated note, the spell checker tells me "lede" is misspelled. I appreciate having a spell checker that subtly highlights words it doesn't recognize, I just wish it had a broader vocabulary.
Now look, I expect lies and scare tactics from the right- such maneuvers seem to be all they have these days. It irritates and angers me, but I expect it. I do not expect, and will not tolerate, such nonsense from my side, especially when it's in the context, first and foremost, of a fund-raising campaign. As soon as I finish this up, I'm going to go back and unsubscribe from that mailing.
There's no doubt that it's been difficult to get factual and objective information about the substance of proposed health care reform(s), but that's not an excuse for making things up. I had to read the article I've excerpted below twice to get the general gist, but I don't think it looks all that bad. Obviously, all the details aren't in place, and I'll need to think about this development in terms of the larger picture. I may decide I don't like the idea after all. Or not. The point is, what's described is a very long shot from "he'll wait for our health care crisis to get even worse." And I won't tolerate propaganda from anyone, even if I agree with their overall goals.
Under Ms. Snowe’s proposal, a new government corporation would offer health insurance in any states where affordable coverage was not readily and widely available from private insurers. The corporation would not be part of the Department of Health and Human Services, although federal officials would serve on its board.Given that roughly 20% of US households fall below the $29,327 figure noted above, I think it's a fair assumption that the trigger would be pulled immediately. And suppose you have a family of four with a household income of $50K: you would meet the trigger clause if you couldn't find family coverage for less than $2000 per year. I don't think you could find family coverage for much less than five or six times that figure.
The public insurance plan would be offered in any state where fewer than 95 percent of the residents had access to affordable coverage.
Congress would define “affordable” with a sliding scale based on income. Under a proposal being considered by the Finance Committee, Medicaid would be extended to anyone with income less than 133 percent of the poverty level ($29,327 for a family of four).
For people with incomes just above that level, insurance would be considered affordable if they could find a policy with premiums equal to no more than, say, 3 percent or 4 percent of their income. For people with incomes exceeding three times the poverty level ($66,150 for a family of four), insurance might be deemed unaffordable if the premiums were more than, say, 12.5 percent to 15 percent of their income.
If the trigger option placates the righties (who are unable to run through this kind of higher math), and allows a public option to be set in place, I'm OK with it.
Among the hidden costs of the health care crisis is the burden that fire departments across the country are facing as firefighters, much like emergency room doctors, are increasingly serving as primary care providers.Debate over, man, debate over. I guess the good news is that while health emergency calls have tripled over the last 30 years, fire calls have dropped over 40%. Probably because most people are deeply suspicious of government-run fire-fighting. Leads to fasciconiptionism, you know.
About 80 percent of the calls handled by Engine Company 10 [in Washington, DC] are medical emergencies because the firehouse serves one of the city’s poorest areas, where few residents have health insurance, doctors’ checkups are rare, and medical problems are left to fester until someone dials 911.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
My attention, however, such as photos and stories were the lead. Do you have an idea what we're looking for any type of geology? I guess that was it and flow of lava tubes, these radial columnar joints, the bottom is recommended on at least a summary of the round. Are hidden in the midline of the structure of plants and a little moss rock, and I, whether the image is a full circle continues to say that radiation is not arthritis. Whatever it is, like me.Iteration 2:
I am interested in, and led the pictures and articles. Geology of you guys is what you are looking for ideas of all kinds available? I have these radial columnar joints, is recommended at the bottom, summary of the current round of speculation that it was a lava tube, at least. In the midline of the structure of plants, moss rock a little, and I have been hidden, whether in arthritis has been a full circle radiation image has continued to say no. That is what I like.Then it gave up.
Ahh, but I just figured out when it gives up, I can copy the last result and start over. After 3 more iterations, I'm apparently looking at a visit to the emergency room:
Led to my interest in stories and photos. I am looking for all kinds of ideas do you have all geologists? I recommend the radial columnar joints in lava tubes These are summarized in the current round of speculation that is down, at least. Midline of the structure of plants is a bit hidden, rock moss, in rheumatoid arthritis and is a full circle whether radiographic imaging continues to say no. I like that.Many iterations later:
Led to my interest articles and photos. Why, why do all geologists have all kinds of ideas for me? I, we, the current round, the radial columnar joints, we at least recommend the boiling point of these lava tubes. Whether the midline of the bit structure of plants, rock moss, rheumatoid arthritis Imejinguno full circle X-ray has been hidden. I like that.
What drew my attention, though, wasn't the story as much as the lead photo. Any geology types have an idea what we're looking at? I'm guessing it was a lava tube or flow; those radial columnar joints suggest a circular outline, at least on the bottom. The bedrock is somewhat obscured by moss and plants above the midline of the structure, and I can't tell from the picture whether the radiating joints continue to make a full circle. Whatever it is, I like.
I don't know why I didn't think to post this on my blog earlier, but it was one of the first things I put up in facebook today- it's burning through the facebookers like a wildfire. Matty Boy put it up on his blog with the same title, and I'm copying.
Okay... the artwork Beck refers to was done in the 30's, at the height of the great depression. WWII hadn't even really started yet (though it was developing), and the cold war was 20 years away. The painting he refers to during the latter part was initially papered over, then ultimately destroyed because Nelson Rockefeller disliked the communist iconography. The illustration Beck is using is a recreation from photos that resides in Mexico. The symbolism Beck repeatedly invokes has been used widely in many cultures and economic systems. To argue that the Rockefeller was a communist would be like arguing that Hitler was a humanitarian... it's like rubbing pecans on your genitals: effing nuts. Many, many of my relatives had hammers and sickles. I own several hammers. None of us are communists.
Crap. There's no point in arguing with a madman. Neither of you will convince the other, and he enjoys it.
O'Hanlon says the man got into an argument and fist fight, during which he bit off the left pinky of a 65-year-old man who opposed health care reform.
A hospital spokeswoman says the man lost half the finger, but doctors reattached it and he was sent home the same night.
She says he had Medicare.
Way to stay classy, other side.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
A very cool picture on EPOD today, taken in Olympic National Park, Washington. That is a lenticular cloud forming as a breeze of very-nearly saturated air rises over a sea stack, cools a tiny amount, leading to condensation and cloud formation. As the air descends again, it warms, and the cloud droplets evaporate. So this would look like a standing wave in a stream; the cloud would appear to be constantly moving, but not going anywhere. Click the pic for bigger, and over to the site for more info.And here is the "translation:"
Today, Olympic National Park, Washington, EPOD is a very cool photo. Nearby, as well as the very air, not lead to the formation of clouds in the stack trace for the formation of condensation on cooling to increase the saturation of the sea of clouds above the lens is not. Similarly, the air and back down, Attamaru cloud droplets evaporate. Therefore, the standing wave in the stream is a cloud always seems to not go anywhere. Click photo for details and large site.AHHHHAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAH! This explains Beck. His crew have been running his teleprompter notes through this page!
Followup: I just realized if you take the URL of your results, it saves the original phrase. So you can see the whole progression as the "translation" gets further and further off base. Here's the first paragraph of this post.
Followup 2: Here's another that I tried to keep short and simple (long phrases get cut off, and the program does not like technical language or obscure words) that I have to show Iris.
And of course, there are those completely unsubstantiated rumors- utterly baseless, really- that Beck raped and murdered a girl in 1990. Oddly, however, Beck has not denied these allegations, nor have extensive web searches by bloggers uncovered any police reports stating that he did not commit these acts.
I hope we can clear these questions up. I'm sure he's just an ordinary man who happens to have a deep-seated hatred for consensual sex. I'm not saying he hates consensual sex, just that he hates consensual sex.
Followup: I Can't Believe It's Not a Democracy points out that with a reported $6.4 billion second quarter loss, this raises some difficult questions for News Corp's Rupert Murdoch.
CIA doctors face human experimentation claimsWelcome to Cheney's wet dream: if you're not certain of the best way to torture whatever confessions you want out of prisoners, get a crack team of CIA doctors to start gathering data.
Medical ethics group says physicians monitored 'enhanced interrogation techniques' and studied their effectiveness.
A crying face is revealed in an ice cap located on Nordaustlandet in the Svalbard archipelago in Norway.Photo: BARCROFT MEDIA
Which is why it's so sad.
Followup: the above is just a crop of the original published in The Mail Online, with a much more thorough article. Via BuzzFeed; click the pic for full-size.
Chief Powers expressed his absolute confidence that they will save the Observatory. He said that while it may have appeared over the last day or so that the Observatory was being neglected, that they never lost sight of the importance of Mount Wilson's preservation and it is now their highest priority. He flew up to the mountain yesterday, was delighted with what he found and knew they could achieve success here.Via The Planetary Society Blog; click over for the full story. YAY!
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Via Skull Swap. To all my Gay, Lesbian, Bi, and Transgender friends, I'll do what I can to help us move to that final stage. We're not human until we're ALL human.
The meaning I intended to convey was that I would most likely vote for Obama over anyone that could realistically expect a chance to oppose him in a primary or national election. It's realistic (though horrifying) to suppose that he might face Huckabee, Palin or Romney (and possibly Jeb) in the national race in 2012. Obviously, I would vote for Obama.
As a counter example, it unrealistic to suppose that Kucinich would mount a plausible primary run in 2011. I had intended, as late as mid-April last year, to vote for him in the primaries (and I did in 2004; it was clear that Kerry had won). Oregon's primary is late- mid-May- and by that point Kucinich had dropped out. I don't recall whether he was still on the ballot, but by that time, Hillary had started her shenanigans, e.g., "I won the popular vote." I had been torn between her and Obama early in the season, but her behavior toward the end appalled me. By the time our primary rolled around, I strongly preferred Obama over Clinton. Under other circumstances, I might have voted for Kucinich (if he had been on the ballot, or even as a write-in, despite the fact he had dropped out) simply as a statement. First, he is the one person out there who doesn't look like a corporate tool to me, and second, while I wouldn't actually want him as president for a number of reasons, many of his ideas deserve more attention and respect than they get. For example, I would love to see him as Secretary of The Department of Peace, a cabinet-level position that he has proposed. How does one get to that level? By doing well in the primaries.
So while under certain circumstances, I might vote for Kucinich over Obama, I don't see any realistic scenario in which those circumstances might come to pass. I seriously doubt there will be any democratic primary in 2012.
And I can't imagine supporting anyone Obama might face in the national election in three years... in fact, let's make that an advanced directive: If I do support his opponent at that time, pull the plug. It's because I'm brain-dead.
WASHINGTON (CNN) — A top Republican senator warned Tuesday that if Democrats try to overhaul health care without Republican support, "it will wreck our health care system and wreck the Democratic Party."(...)
After a month of town halls back home, Alexander said it's clear to him and other Republicans that Americans are "scared to death" about the sweeping policy changes coming from Washington this year and the massive debt they are creating.9/11!!!! Socialism!!!! Death Panels!!!!! Deficits!!!!!! Gunna take yer guns!!!!!!
See, if you're all scared to death, then health issues are irrelevant. The GOP solution for the health crisis is simplicity in and of itself: fuck off and die.Lamar Alexander is high on my Putz o' the day list right now.
Update (6:30 PM): It's been working fine for me for the last few hours, but apparently it was a pretty major disruption... though no cause has been released.
They're also quite important to electronics and "green" technologies.
There's an interesting article in the NYT regarding China's near-monopoly on the extraction and production of these elements.
Some of the minerals crucial to green technologies are extracted in China using methods that inflict serious damage on the local environment. China dominates global rare earth production partly because of its willingness until now to tolerate highly polluting, low-cost mining.Since China has allowed the costs associated with environmental destruction to be externalized, its costs of production have been lower, and it has come to overwhelmingly dominate REE production, with an estimated 95% of the total.
The reason this is of importance is that China has slowly been moving to restrict exports of these materials, and instead concentrating industrial production of finished products within its borders. This means that instead of manufacturing, for example, neodymium magnets and electric motors here in the states, using Nd oxides imported from China, the final products would have to be imported.
Even tighter limits on production and exports, part of a plan from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, would ensure China has the supply for its own technological and economic needs, and force more manufacturers to make their wares here in order to have access to the minerals.I don't know much about the geology of rare earth ores, but young geologists might want to think about the growing importance of having secure domestic sources of these strategically and economically important materials.
Expectations of tightening Chinese restrictions have produced a surge in the last two weeks in the share prices of the few non-Chinese producers that are publicly traded. In addition to the two Australian mines, Avalon Rare Metals of Toronto is trying to open a mine in northwest Australia, and Molycorp Minerals is trying to reopen a mine in Mountain Pass, Calif.
Monday, August 31, 2009
Sadly, very few of them are actually Christians. But every now and then, it's nice to hear about one them doing it right. (Thanks to Theresa for pointing this out to me)
The "revolution" that "they" hope to launch may work, Beck said, because "they are so far ahead of us." He lamented, "Most of America doesn't have a clue as to what's going on." So true, so true.