The Clean Water Act is one of the greatest successes in environmental law
A river catches fire, so polluted that its waters have “no visible life, not even low forms such as leeches and sludge worms.” This could describe the mythological River Styx from Hades. Residents of Cleveland, though, may recognize the government’s assessment of their own Cuyahoga River in 1969. While hard to imagine today, discharging raw sewage and pollution into our harbors and rivers has been common practice for most of the nation’s history, with devastating results. By the late 1960s, Lake Erie had become so polluted that Time magazine described it as dead. Bacteria levels in the Hudson River were 170 times above the safe limit.
I can attest to the state of the Charles River in Boston. While sailing in the 1970s, I capsized and had to be treated by a dermatologist for rashes caused by contact with the germ-laden waters. You can see the poor state of our waters for yourself in the iconic 1971 “Crying Indian” commercial.
read more: http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2012/12/clean_water_act_40th_anniversary_the_greatest_success_in_environmental_law.single.html
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Paris Hilton’s Halloween Costume: Heiress Dons ‘Alice In Wonderland’ Outfit
Paris Hilton was in the Halloween spirit last night (Oct. 26) as she made her way to a private party in Beverly Hills, Calif.
The socialite, 31, flaunted her famous curves in an “Alice in Wonderland” costume, complete with stockings, a choker and ruffles.
X17online.com has photos of Hilton and her boyfriend River Viiperi, who dressed as the Mad Hatter, heading to the bash with some friends.
“Mad Hatter w my love @ParisHilton “AliceinWonderland” #BestHalloweenEver,” Viiperi tweeted last night, with Hilton adding, “Ready for a night out on the town.”
Looks like these two had a spook-tacular evening.
read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/27/paris-hiltons-halloween-costume-alice-in-wonderland-photos_n_2030783.html
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I am begging each and every one of you to go to hulu tomorrow and watch Last Resort. Tonight’s episode is only the 4th, so it won’t be a huge lift to get caught up, but this show really needs to stay on TV because it’s amazing.
I love Last Resort. Waiting for it as I reblog this post.
This is a piece I did for my character design class. The assignment was to design a character for a tarot card that we randomly selected. I got Five of Cups, a card dealing with grief, bereavement, and despair—since we were allowed to do anything we wanted, naturally I put as many gangsters in it as possible.
I worked on the lighting and color for this quite differently than the way I usually work, and it was actually very fun. I was flying by the seat of my pants, but in an enjoyable fashion.
Steroids cause a baseball player to hit more home runs. That timeshare deal in Vegas is not going to be the bargain it’s made out to be. It’s a very, very, very bad idea to answer that late-night booty text from your ex.
While none of these things can necessarily be proven — even the steroid question has a few too many variables to make for good science — they are still “gut facts,” things that we just know because we know. The examples I used are more universal, but everyone has their own private personal ones as well. For me, for instance, it’s a bad idea to go to Trader Joe’s at any time except two in the afternoon, nothing good can come from watching “Doctor Who,” and Monster Energy Drink is terribly bad thing to put inside of the human body.
Hold on a second with that last one, actually. It may have been nudged in the direction of “actual scientific fact” this past week. As this article over at the New York Times explains, the popular energy drink is now in that murky realm of maybe, possibly being linked to actual deaths! Five deaths, in fact, over the past three years have mentioned the drink in their reports. Says the Times:
The records were recently obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the mother of a 14-year-old Maryland girl who died in December from a heart arrhythmia after drinking large cans of Monster Energy on two consecutive days.
Read more here.
NBC’s ‘Revolution’, ‘Go On’ And ‘The New Normal’ Get Full-Season Orders
NBC has made the first back orders this fall, giving full-season orders to drama Revolution and comedies Go On and The New Normal. “We’re impressed with the imagination and creative direction of the entire team on Revolution, not to mention the immediately strong response we got from the audience,” said NBC entertainment president Jennifer Salke. “We’re also very proud of our new comedy block of Go On and The New Normal.”
The news comes on the heels of NBC logging its first outright premiere-week win among adults 18-49 in nine years, fueled by the early success of Revolution as well as The Voice‘s expansion to fall and the ongoing strength of Sunday Night Football. “We’re very pleased with early results of the last three weeks of our fall season roll-out,” said NBC chairman Robert Greenblatt. “The strategy for this season was to draft off the promotional platform of the Olympics and then begin our season early and strong. I think we’ve accomplished both of those goals, yet we know it’s a long season and there’s much work ahead of us.”
read more: http://www.deadline.com/2012/10/nbcs-revolution-go-on-and-new-normal-get-full-season-orders/
Global Warming Links Democrats, Independents Isolating Romney
In response to questions from Scientific American, Romney said global warming is real “by my best assessment of the data” but “we must support continued debate and investigation within the scientific community.” He criticized Obama for pushing the cap-and-trade measure and for using existing environmental laws to try to cut carbon emissions.
Those measures would shift manufacturing overseas, he said: “That result may make environmentalists feel better, but it will not better the environment.”
Obama, who has faced criticism from environmental groups for not doing enough to cut emissions, said at the Democratic National Party convention that “climate change is not a hoax. More droughts and floods and wildfires are not a joke. They’re a threat to our children’s future.”
read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-01/global-warming-links-democrats-independents-isolating-romney.html
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Reveals a New Poster!
image via: desdehollywood
The film follows title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, which was long ago conquered by the dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior Thorin Oakenshield. Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Giant Spiders, Shapeshifters and Sorcerers. Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain, first they must escape the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever… Gollum. Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths of guile and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum’s “precious” ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities… A simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know.
read more: http://www.superherohype.com/news/articles/172821-the-hobbit-an-unexpected-journey-reveals-a-new-poster
Real Life Photos Where Popular Films Were Shot
7 Movies That Put Insane Detail into Stuff You Never Noticed
We’ve mentioned before how film directors occasionally go a little bit crazy when it comes to certain minor details, including ones that 99 percent of the audience are never even going to see. A horrifying amount of time and work go into things that will be forever unnoticed by everyone except a few members of the crew. So let’s again take a moment to appreciate the awesomely obsessive …
#7. The Lord of the Rings: Each Piece of Armor Has a Backstory
For any sci-fi or fantasy film, it’s one thing to make the clothing and equipment look authentic onscreen, and another to add layers of detail that are physically impossible to notice, even if each frame of the movie is examined with a magnifying glass. For instance, in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, when you watched the massive Battle of Helm’s Deep and the tens of thousands of bad guys storming the fortress, did you notice the handcrafted chain mail they were wearing?
Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_20020_7-movies-that-put-insane-detail-into-stuff-you-never-noticed.html
Renewable standards boosted ‘green’ energy. Are storage standards next?
In the cleantech sector, pretty much everyone knows the acronym RPS, for Renewable Portfolio Standards. Since the first RPS policy in the U.S., implemented in Iowa in the late 1990s, 30 states have passed similar policies to promote the installation of renewable energy projects and expedite penetration (overcoming the ambivalence or outright opposition of utilities) of renewable energy in electric power supply.
Now, as reported in this article, California is considering the adoption of what looks to be the first Storage Portfolio Standard: requirements for utilities to install grid-scale energy storage. Specifically, in early August, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) voted unanimously to adopt a framework for analyzing the energy storage needs of each utility. This builds upon a previous bill, AB 2514, which included a mandate for the CPUC to “determine appropriate targets, if any, for each load-serving entity to procure viable and cost-effective energy storage systems to be achieved by” the end of 2015 and 2020.
Not surprisingly, the three major electric ”load-serving entities” (i.e., electric utilities) in California —PG&E, SCE and SDG&E — all opposed this movement. As did the Division of Ratepayer Advocates (DRA), the consumer watchdog organization, which argued that “picking arbitrary procurement levels…would most likely result in sub-optimal market solutions and increase costs to ratepayers without yielding commensurate benefits”.
read more: http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/Energy-Voices/2012/0918/Renewable-standards-boosted-green-energy.-Are-storage-standards-next
Monsanto Weedkiller and GM Maize Linked to Tumor Risk
A new study suggests that the world’s best-selling weedkiller and the GM maize resistant to it are linked to increased risk of tumor growth, multiple organ damage and premature death.
The study, undertaken by a team of researchers at the University of Caen, France, and published in Food and Chemical Toxicology, is the first to investigate the long-term effect of Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller, or the NK603 GM maize resistant to it—for which Monsanto owns the patent.
Ten groups of ten rats were fed varying combination of maize, GM maize and the weedkiller: three were fed diets containing different proportions of Roundup resistant maize at 11, 22 and 33 percent; three were fed water laced with varying quantities of Roundup; three were fed both; and others were fed normal maize as a control. The study ran over a two year period.
read more: http://gizmodo.com/5944507/monsanto-weedkiller-and-gm-maize-linked-to-tumor-risk
New York’s Fractivists Keep the Heat on Cuomo
On a hot and breezy August morning, more than 1,000 protesters gathered in Albany calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to ban the drilling practice called hydraulic fracturing in New York State. Activists chanted anti-fracking fight songs and carried banners highlighting the dangers of the gas drilling practice. It was in many ways like the handful of rallies that had come before it.
But there was one subtle difference that tracked a trend in the anti-fracking movement. The first hint came with one of the first speakers: Bill McKibben, the environmental writer and activist who started the grassroots group 350.org to press for action on climate change. Last year, McKibben and his group organized a campaign that took the arcane local issue of an oil pipeline running through Nebraska and turned it into a national story, culminating in one of the environmental movement’s largest acts of civil disobedience ever, when an estimated 10,000 activists circled the White House in a human chain last November. In his speech at the August rally, McKibben called this a “gut-check” moment for Cuomo and suggested that banning fracking would make him a leader on the national, even international stage.
The main event in Albany that day was the presentation of a pledge, signed by more than 3,000 New Yorkers and recited in front of the State Capitol, vowing to take whatever nonviolent actions necessary to prevent energy companies from fracking their first wells in the state. “That’s amazing,” McKibben told a rowdy crowd. “Those are people that have said, ‘If I have to, I will go to jail. We are not going to let this happen.’” A moratorium has blocked fracking in New York since 2008, and Cuomo’s administration is expected to announce before the end of this year whether drilling can proceed.
read more: http://www.thenation.com/article/169893/new-yorks-fractivists-keep-heat-cuomo
The Good Grid and why bragging about being “off the grid” is silly
If you had a friend who suddenly started bragging about having a really slow Internet connection, you’d probably think that he was crazy. No one looks at their cell phone and says, “Hurray, I’ve only got one (signal strength) bar!” Yet there are people who still talk about being “off the power grid” as if that was a great thing to voluntarily do.
One of the reasons we in the developed world are as rich as we are is our astonishing easy access to low-cost, clean, reliable electrical power. This enables much of our present production of goods and services. By contrast, one of the characteristics of the developing world is that people often have to leave energy-poor rural areas and travel to cities to find this economic opportunity.
Most of the United States was a developing country (at least in terms of electrical power) until the Rural Electrification Act was passed in 1936, as part of President Roosevelt’s New Deal. Life outside of the urban power grids was pretty restrictive. Relatively well-off farmers who wanted the benefit of radio programs from the outside world could take batteries into town where they could be charged over a period of a couple of days, much as people journey to distant towns in Africa today to charge their cell phones at great expense. Thousands of those American farmers set up small windmill generators to run their radios and sometimes lights. Very few people had reliable refrigeration.
read more: http://www.forbes.com/sites/singularity/2012/09/12/the-good-grid-and-why-bragging-about-being-off-the-grid-is-silly/
Hottest Ever Water Temperatures Off East Coast All the Way Down to the Bottom of the Ocean
Sea surface temperatures (SSTs) off the East Coast from North Carolina to the Gulf of Maine were the hottest ever recorded for the first six months of 2012, according to NOAA’s latest Ecosystem Advisory. Above-average temperatures were found everywhere: from the sea surface to the ocean bottom and out beyond the Gulf Stream.
The area is known as the Northeast Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem. Parts of it were declared a fisheries disaster last week (I posted about that here: Fisheries Declared Disasters on Four Coasts). This was due to the fact that stocks of cod, yellowtail flounder, and other groundfish are not rebuilding even though most fishers have adhered to tough quotas.
The problem lies in the warming waters. The super warm SSTs of 2012 jumpstarted an early and intense spring plankton bloom—which began in some places as early as February—and lasted longer than average. This ricocheted through the marine foodweb from the smallest creatures to the largest marine mammals like whales.
read more: http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2012/09/hottest-ever-ocean-temperatures-east-coast-all-way-down-bottom-ocean