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August 29 2019


A bit of the old Innsmouth, innit

Reposted bylovecraftsargonpanpancernyDagarhenprincess-carolynpsyentistUncommonSense

April 01 2014

Sponsored post

March 15 2014


January 29 2014


Daily Kos: TransCanada Pipeline Explodes, Leaving 4,000 Heatless in Sub-Zero Temps

If the name TransCanada is familiar to you, it may be because they are the corporation behind the as yet unapproved KeystoneXL Pipeline. But the technology is safer than ever, they keep telling us! Yaright. From

A natural gas pipeline operated by TransCanada Corp. exploded and caught fire in the Canadian province of Manitoba on Saturday, shutting off gas supplies for as many as 4,000 residents in sub-zero temperatures.

“We could see these massive 200- to 300-meter high flames just shooting out of the ground and it literally sounded like a jet plane,” resident Paul Rawluk told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

…in order to repair the line, they shut off the natural gas supply to several municipalities.
Temperatures dropped to -20 degrees Celsius overnight.

Niverville Deputy Mayor John Funk said that “service is expected to be lost for minimum of 24 hours to multiple days” in a statement on the town’s website…

…a Wall Street Journal analysis released this week found that people discover pipeline spills far more often than the leak-detection technology touted by companies. Based on PHMSA data for 251 pipeline incidents over four years, the WSJ found that nearby residents or company employees were nearly three times as likely to detect a pipeline leak. Leak-detection software, special alarms and 24/7 control room monitoring, on the other hand, discovered leaks just 19.5 percent of the time. …

April 26 2013


Roundup, An Herbicide, Could Be Linked To Parkinson's, Cancer And Other Health Issues, Study Shows

April 25 (Reuters) - Heavy use of the world’s most popular herbicide, Roundup, could be linked to a range of health problems and diseases, including Parkinson’s, infertility and cancers, according to a new study.

The peer-reviewed report, published last week in the scientific journal Entropy, said evidence indicates that residues of “glyphosate,” the chief ingredient in Roundup weed killer, which is sprayed over millions of acres of crops, has been found in food.

Those residues enhance the damaging effects of other food-borne chemical residues and toxins in the environment to disrupt normal body functions and induce disease, according to the report, authored by Stephanie Seneff, a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Anthony Samsel, a retired science consultant from Arthur D. Little, Inc. Samsel is a former private environmental government contractor as well as a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“Negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body,” the study says.

We “have hit upon something very important that needs to be taken seriously and further investigated,” Seneff said.

Environmentalists, consumer groups and plant scientists from several countries have warned that heavy use of glyphosate is causing problems for plants, people and animals. …

January 25 2013


January 15 2013

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Through the year before the Olympics, while we were living in Beijing, I used to do daily views-out-the-window as a guide to the challenge the air-cleanup-people faced. For instance, the photo above is a downtown area a few weeks before the opening ceremony.

Therefore I am sobered by news reports, official warnings, and messages from friends in Beijing, Xi’an, and elsewhere saying that the air pollution there is worse than it has ever been before. Here’s a gauge: the picture above was taken back when the level of dangerous “PM 2.5” small-particulate pollution, as reported by the rogue @BeijingAir monitoring site on the roof of the US Embassy in Beijing, was in the low-300s “hazardous” range. The readings in the past few days have been in the previously unimaginable 700s-and-above range, reported as “beyond index” by @BeijingAir. The worst I have personally seen in Beijing was in the high 400s, and that day I did not understand how life could proceed any further in such circumstances. The conditions this weekend have been much worse:

As a place-holder and set of reading tips, here are a few points for now:

This is yet another reminder of a fact impossible to forget when you’re inside China but that often gets glossed over in credulous accounts of the New Chinese Century. Namely, that economic growth has come at the cost of environmental disaster, which is in turn (according to me) the most urgent and important of several limits and dangers the Chinese system faces. Every country as it develops has gone through its hellish-despoliation era, and of course the world as a whole is still at this stage. But the scale and speed of China’s transformation make its case unique. …

Via The Latest Chinese Pollution Crisis - James Fallows - The Atlantic

September 27 2012

via Nerdcore › This Blog about Beauty and Brains.

A supermarket chain which advertises using a slogan that urges more common sense in shopping has been selling peeled bananas on plastic trays wrapped in foil. […]

One said that selling ready peeled bananas in a plastic package was the ultimate symbol of waste and the throw-away society. A spokesman for Greenpeace in Austria where the peeled bananas had been on sale said: “If there is an easy to open ready packed food it’s the banana – peeling it only to pack it in environmentally unfriendly plastic is just madness.”

Peeled bananas offered by common sense supermarket (via Arbroath)

July 29 2012

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I just read an article “Why Gadget Repairability is So Damn Important” (via aberMinimal) and I do see the point of being able to repair things ourselves.

Constant replacement of entire devices — cell phones at the rate of one every 18 months, laptops at the rate of one every two years, and so on — just is not environmentally feasible. So, it comes down to the fact that if we do not make gadgets repairable then we are making them essentially disposable, and that is a serious issue for the planet.

Through this article I also learned about iFixit. Here’s their website and here’s their blog. They have free repair manuals, teach repair, sell parts and believe in the importance of repair.

Fix the Planet Repair is recycling! The best way to keep electronics out of landfills is to keep them working longer. Toxic electronic waste is a global problem that we are working to solve. Self repair saves you money and helps the environment

Living a simple life means buying things of very good quality. Things that would last longer, a life time preferably. And after reading this, I am reminded to ask ‘can this be repaired?’ or ‘can I repair this myself?’ when making a purchase decision.

July 16 2012

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Chronicles of Extreme Weather, Illustrated Edition
By James Fallows

Jul 15 2012, 10:50 AM ET

[Above] is the standard Google Earth view of the west end of Lake Superior, including my beloved second-home-town of Duluth and the idyllic Apostle Islands.

And here is a satellite view after the “never experienced anything like this before” torrential rains and resultant flooding last month:

Via dear Edosan & Chronicles of Extreme Weather, Illustrated Edition - James Fallows - The Atlantic

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