Solar plane crosses U.S., makes green sexy again
Solar Impulse has the wingspan of Boeing 747 but weighs only as much as a Subaru Outback. It shows that environmentalism is anything but boring.
How Americans became exposed to biohazards in the greatest uncontrolled experiment ever launched
by Gerald Markowitz and David Rosner
Le Monde diplomatique (April 29 2013)
A hidden epidemic is poisoning America. The toxins are in the air we breathe and the water we drink, in the walls of our homes and the furniture within them. We can’t escape it in our cars. It’s in cities and suburbs. It afflicts rich and poor, young and old. And there’s a reason why you’ve never read about it in the newspaper or seen a report on the nightly news: it has no name – and no antidote.
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First of all: there seems to be some kind of misconception among some people, of what
actually is. There are some who believe that where there is a
market economy, money and competition, then that’s automatically
capitalism. That’s not true. In capitalism there is of course a
market economy, but that can exist in other systems as well.
What characterizes capitalism is that there is
private ownership of the means of production.
That’s when you know you’re dealing with a capitalist
system. If this feature is absent, if it’s not the case that
some individuals privately own the means of production others
are using, then it’s no longer capitalism. If it instead was a
system in which, let’s say,
the workers themselves
controlled and managed the means of production democratically at
the place where they worked, and that these institutions
were operating in a market system, then that would be some kind
of market socialism etc, not capitalism.
The New Atheism and its debates is mostly an exercise in futility, given the complete failure to define terms, or study the literature of the subject.
It might help to have some awareness of the kind of critique Kant made of the whole question, the issues of the antinomies invoked by the polarity of the question.
Beyond that, the issue of the ‘existence’ of God is incoherent. God doesn’t ‘exist’ in the same way that cosmic objects ‘exist’. He/IT/She (note the way the grammar doesn’t work here) would have to have some status or being beyond existence, in the same way that on-stage and off-stage are different.
Believers should note this point: ‘god’ can’t ‘exist’ and debates on the question don’t make much sense. Let me hasten to add that a pantheist definition might get around this. This works both ways: theistic and atheist beliefs tend to mirror each other.
Critics of Darwinism are getting suspicious, and a little frustrated. The suspicion arises that people like Richard Dawkins simply live in a cocoon and have read, encountered, or interacted with their critics, and completely refuse to read any of the criticisms of Darwinism, dismissing all of it with scoffs.
His book Climbing Mt. Improbable is pervaded by a gross fallacy, and yet he is either unaware of any problem or else dishonest enough to simply exploit the gullibility of young and enthusiastic students.
Allosaurus Fed More Like a Falcon Than a Crocodile: Engineering, Anatomy Work Reveals Differences in Dinosaur Feeding Styles
May 21, 2013 — The mighty T. rex may have thrashed its massive head from side to side to dismember prey, but a new study shows that its smaller cousin Allosaurus was a more dexterous hunter and tugged at prey more like a modern-day falcon.
A modern-day kestrel (a small falcon) is perched atop
the skull of the Jurassic predatory dinosaur Allosaurus. A
key finding of the new study is that Allosaurus had a
feeding style similar to falcons. In both cases, tearing
flesh from carcasses involved grasping meat with the jaws
and tugging back and up with the neck and body. (Credit:
WitmerLab, Ohio University)
Small but Speedy: Short Plants Live in the Evolutionary Fast Lane
May 21, 2013 — Biologists have known for a long time that some creatures evolve more quickly than others. Exactly why isn’t well understood, particularly for plants. But it may be that height plays a role, says Robert Lanfear of Australian National University and the U. S. National Evolutionary Synthesis Center.
Herbs. The results also held up when the researchers
looked just within trees and shrubs, which are typically
tall, or just herbs, which tend to be short. (Credit: ©
stockcreations / Fotolia
Origins of Human Culture Linked to Rapid Climate Change
May 21, 2013 — Rapid climate change during the Middle Stone Age, between 80,000 and 40,000 years ago, during the Middle Stone Age, sparked surges in cultural innovation in early modern human populations, according to new research.
Fourteen Closely Related Crocodiles Existed Around 5 Million Years Ago
May 21, 2013 — Today, the most diverse species of crocodile are found in northern South America and Southeast Asia: As many as six species of alligator and four true crocodiles exist, although no more than two or three ever live alongside one another at the same time. It was a different story nine to about five million years ago, however, when a total of 14 different crocodile species existed and at least seven of them occupied the same area at the same time, as an international team headed by paleontologists Marcelo Sánchez and Torsten Scheyer from the University of Zurich is now able to reveal.
Crocodylus falconensis, a crocodile that probably grew
to well over four meters long. (Credit
Why Alcohol May Doom Putin
by Dr. CESAR CHELALA
Russians’ love for vodka has a long history. Legend holds that vodka arrived in Moscow in the 14th century, brought by Genovese merchants to Prince Dmitry Ivanovich. Legend also says that monk Isidore, who lived in the Chudov Monastery, inside the Kremlin, made a recipe for Russian vodka around 1430. He probably didn’t anticipate the devastating effect that alcohol addiction, mainly to vodka, would have on Russians’ health and quality of life and on the country’s economy and social fabric.
The Enervation of American Politics
Umbrellas and Drones
U.S. drones, unmanned aircraft, have for some time been bombing targets in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and other countries , all in the sacred name of the U.S. war on terror (whatever that is). In the last couple of years, over 5,000 people have been killed in U.S.– initiated drone strikes, and the frequency of these bombing is escalating rapidly. Their purpose, ostensibly, is to rid areas of Al-Qaeda operatives, a strategically important goal (we’ll not consider the morality of it quite yet), as the U.S. prepares to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan, after twelve years of U.S.-sponsored terrorism against the Afghani people.
Published on Wednesday, May 22, 2013 by In These Times
Farmworkers Fight Wendy’s, the ‘Last Holdout’ on Fair Food
oversized puppet of the Wendy's mascot, provided by the People's
Puppets of Occupy Wall Street, took part in silent street
theater to convince the fast food giant to sign onto the Fast
Food campaign. (Coalition of Immokalee Workers)
Published on Wednesday, May 22, 2013 by Inter Press Service
Stressed Ecosystems Leaving Humanity High and Dry
UXBRIDGE, Canada – Everyone knows water is life. Far too few understand the role of trees, plants and other living things in ensuring we have clean, fresh water.
This dangerous ignorance results in destruction of wetlands that once cleaned water and prevented destructive and costly flooding, scientists and activists warn.
“We have accelerated major processes like erosion, applied massive quantities of nitrogen that leaks from soil to ground and surface waters and, sometimes, literally siphoned all water from rivers.” — GWSP’s Anik Bhaduri
Around the world, politicians and others in power have made and continue to make decisions based on short-term economic interests without considering the long-term impact on the natural environment, said Anik Bhaduri, executive officer of the Global Water System Project (GWSP), a research institute based in Bonn, Germany.
“Humans are changing the character of the world water system in significant ways with inadequate knowledge of the system and the consequences of changes being imposed,” Bhaduri told IPS.
The list of human impacts on the world’s water – of which only 0.03percent is available as freshwater – is long and the scale of those impacts daunting.
With its central location in New York’s Financial District, its
dense tree canopy and abundance of seating and wide-open spaces,
Zuccotti Park provided the perfect frontline for the Occupy Wall
Street movement. The new book Beyond
Zuccotti Parkasks a myriad of noted designers about the
use, role and importance of public space in democracy. Join us for a
discussion with Michael Pyatok, designer of the Oakland Civic Center
and the recipient of the 2013 AIA Thomas Jefferson Award for Public
Architecture, about improving the design, use and access of public
Demonstrators take part in an Occupy
Wall Street protest march in New York City's Financial District on September
26, 2011. (Paul Stein, Flickr/Creative
How the Government Targeted Occupy
A new report reveals that the U.S. spent millions of dollars spying on Occupiers and other anti-corporate activists.
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