Category Archives: Health

“What is now called resisting is often Americans simply helping others: a concept so alien to the Trump administration that it is labelled as subversive.”

The Globe and Mail Opinion, by Sarah Kendzior: The resistance to Donald Trump is not what you think. “There is no unified, hierarchical group on the periphery trying to overthrow the U.S. government. There are only regular people, in every city, hoping for better, and trying to rescue the America they once knew”.
Sarah Kendzior is the author of The View From Flyover Country and the co-host of the podcast Gaslit Nation.

“There is no question that most Americans disapprove of Mr. Trump and the GOP. The question for November is whether dissent matters in the face of an increasingly autocratic regime, one whose disregard for rule of law is unparalleled in U.S. history, and one that may have engaged in voter suppression and one whose associates are being investigated for whether they collaborated with operatives of hostile states to win the previous election. The midterms have become an existential matter: Will we salvage our damaged democracy, or lose what rights remain? For non-white Americans, immigrants, women, LGBTQ Americans and other groups targeted by the administration, there is nothing abstract about this inquiry.

I spent most of the year on the road in America, and I don’t think we, as a people, are as cruel or mercenary as those who represent us. Political activists and Democrats are not as disorganized as pundits claim. Everything sounds confusing when you listen for a coherent message, and what you hear instead is an anguished cry. But at least that cry is honest. That cry means people still care. The worst sound, these days, is silence.”

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“Je besser die Bildung, desto schlechter die Augen “

Deutsche Welle: Brille nötig: Kurzsichtig durchs Smartphone. “In 30 Jahren wird jeder zweite Mensch kurzsichtig sein. Schuld ist auch die übermäßige Nutzung von elektronischen Medien, vor allem bei Kindern. Dabei läßt sich Kurzsichtigkeit leicht vermeiden.”

“Der ständige Blick auf den Bildschirm kann vor allem Kinderaugen reizen, ermüden und austrocknen. Eine übermäßige Nutzung von elektronischen Medien führt nach Ansicht der Wissenschaftler aber nicht nur zu mehr Kurzsichtigkeit, es leidet auch das räumliche Vorstellungsvermögen. Verschwommenes Sehen oder Schielen können die Folge sein. “

As if climate change didn’t happen fast enough already

NPR: Trump Administration Eases Regulation Of Methane Leaks On Public Lands.

“The Trump administration is rolling back another Obama-era energy regulation, this time one that aimed to curb methane leaks from oil and gas operations on tribal and public lands.

Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, even more potent than carbon dioxide in the short term, that contributes to climate change. The Obama administration said that large amounts of methane are lost into the atmosphere through leaks, as well as intentional venting and flaring at energy production sites. It moved to limit that by requiring oil and gas companies to capture leaking and vented methane at existing sites, to gradually update their technology and to make plans for monitoring escaping gas.

The Government Accountability Office says as much as $23 million of potential royalty revenue from those gases is lost annually.

But in a statement, the Department of the Interior said that rule was “unnecessarily burdensome on the private sector.“”

(Emphasis mine.)

This is kind of an understatement. Each ton of methane has about the same effect as 21 to 25 tons of carbon dioxide, so it’s much worse. How about methane being “burdensome on the world’s climate”?

“They did a ‘magnificent job.’ President Trump says so himself. Have him come say that to my face.”

The New York Times: On Hurricane Maria Anniversary, Puerto Rico Is Still in Ruins. “By Frances Robles and Jugal K. Patel. September 20, 2018.

“A year ago, on Sept. 20, the deadliest storm to hit Puerto Rico in over 100 years slammed into the island’s southeast coast, just 14 miles south of where Ms. Cruz lives in Punta Santiago. The tourist and fishing town of 5,000 people bore a terrible share of Maria’s initial fury.

Almost 650 houses flooded with water from the sea; others were inundated by an overflowing lake, a river, and two ponds — and also raw sewage. Many homes lost walls and roofs in winds that reached 155 miles per hour when the storm made landfall.
[…]
Times journalists visited 163 homes in two neighborhoods in Punta Santiago to cover what progress had been made in the last 12 months.”

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Spring forward, fall back – not any longer, at least in the EU

Deutsche Welle: EU to stop changing the clocks in 2019. “The EU is doing away with the twice-yearly clock changes and has given member states until April to decide if they will remain on summer or winter time. But there are fears Europe is heading for time-zone chaos.”

“European Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc on Friday announced that the EU will stop the twice-yearly changing of clocks across the continent in October 2019.
[…]
[She] said EU member states would have until April 2019 to decide whether they would permanently remain on summer or winter time.

Bulc said she was counting on member states and the European Parliament to keep pace with the Commission’s “ambitious” schedule. She also noted the need to find consensus among the member states in order to avoid confusing time jumps.

The plan also raises the prospect of neighboring countries ending up an hour apart.

“In order to maintain a harmonised approach we are encouraging consultations at national levels to ensure a coordinated approach of all member states,” Bulc said.”

For a world-wide view on time zones and by how much noon on the clock differs from the actual time the sun reaches its highest point in the sky, see this map (PNG) by Stefano Maggiolo from The poor man’s math blog.

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