Well, after having a good evening, watching a couple of Italian films last night, Life is Beautiful and Miracle on Madonna Street, I have a few links for you this morning.
The New York Post has an article about the battles being fought in Africa: A Trail of Bullet Casings Leads From Africa’s Wars to Iran
The first clues appeared in Kenya, Uganda and what is now South Sudan. A British arms researcher surveying ammunition used by government forces and civilian militias in 2006 found Kalashnikov rifle cartridges he had not seen before. The ammunition bore no factory code, suggesting that its manufacturer hoped to avoid detection.
Within two years other researchers were finding identical cartridges circulating through the ethnic violence in Darfur. Similar ammunition then turned up in 2009 in a stadium in Conakry, Guinea, where soldiers had fired on antigovernment protesters, killing more than 150.
For six years, a group of independent arms-trafficking researchers worked to pin down the source of the mystery cartridges. Exchanging information from four continents, they concluded that someone had been quietly funneling rifle and machine-gun ammunition into regions of protracted conflict, and had managed to elude exposure for years. Their only goal was to solve the mystery, not implicate any specific nation.
When the investigators’ breakthrough came, it carried a surprise. The manufacturer was not one of Africa’s usual suspects. It was Iran.
Read the rest at the link, it is a long article.
In other news, this time out of Brazil: Fast New Test Could Find Leprosy Before Damage Is Lasting
A simple, fast and inexpensive new test for leprosy offers hope that, even in the poorest countries, victims can be found and cured before they become permanently disabled or disfigured like the shunned lepers of yore.
American researchers developed the test, and Brazil’s drug-regulatory agency registered it last month. A Brazilian diagnostics company, OrangeLife, will manufacture it on the understanding that the price will be $1 or less.
“This will bring leprosy management out of the Dark Ages,” said Dr. William Levis, who has treated leprosy patients at a Bellevue Hospital outpatient clinic for 30 years.
Even more important, he said, it is expected to detect infections as much as a year before symptoms appear. And the earlier treatment begins, the better the outcome. Leprosy is caused by a bacterium, Mycobacterium leprae, related to the one that causes tuberculosis, but reproducing so slowly that symptoms often take seven years to appear.
This new test requires just a drop of blood and the results are given after only ten minutes.
The disease has historically been hard to diagnose, despite the popular, but inaccurate, image of fingers and toes dropping off victims. As the bacteria kill nerves, muscles atrophy and those digits curl into claws. After disuse and repeated injuries, the body reacts protectively by absorbing the bone calcium in the bones, shrinking the digits.
For centuries, some observant doctors have noticed early signs: the numb skin patches, missing eyebrows, drooping earlobes, bulging neck nerves, the flat “lion face” caused by nasal cartilage dissolving.
Since nothing could be done for them before the age of antibiotics, victims lost the use of their hands and had to beg. Some also went blind as the blinking muscles degenerated and their eyes dried out. In the Middle Ages, some towns banned lepers, while others required them to ring bells to warn of their approach. Religious charities created “leper colonies.”
And they still exist, even in the United States. A few elderly residents have chosen to stay on in Carville, La., and Kalaupapa, Hawaii, despite having been cured. Several thousand live at one in northeast Brazil, said John S. Spencer, a leprosy researcher at Colorado State University who has worked there. “People say things like ‘People outside won’t understand what’s wrong with my face,’ ” he said.
Nowadays, he said, most patients are cured before their faces are severely disfigured. Still, he said, he had read a survey in which health experts asked Brazilians whether they would rather have the human immunodeficiency virus or leprosy. Most chose H.I.V. — even though leprosy does not kill, can be cured, and does not make a victim risky to have sex with. “The stigma is that strong,” he said.
Wow. Dr Lewis says he hopes the Brazilian test becomes available in the US so he can test the families of his patients. It takes many antibiotics given over 6 months to a year to cure the disease…these new test provide doctors with more time to could help diagnosis leprosy before permanent nerve damage is done.
I guess my PAD is getting the best of me, I just don’t have the energy to give you more than these…and instead of posting links to more of the same news, give a look at some of the artsy reads below.
With the Academy Awards later tonight, I have two links about film and films.
Hollywood is getting ready to hand out the industry’s most prestigious film awards: the Oscars.
Among the contenders for best documentary is a film directed by an Israeli, and another by a Palestinian.
Both the Israeli The Gatekeepers and Palestinian 5 Broken Cameras tell the same story, but from two quite different perspectives.
Video at the link, and…
Digital is taking over Hollywood, but celluloid’s fans intend to fight on
They are some of the most powerful people in one of the most powerful entertainment industries in the world. And when Hollywood’s grandest gather at tonight’s Oscars there will be no end of smiles and handshakes. But they are also fans, and like all fans, they are given to apparently arcane squabbles. The latest is whether films should be shot on, well, film.
Some of the most successful directors, such as James Cameron and George Lucas, are so obsessed with having the best special effects that they have spent millions embracing computer-generated imagery and abandoned 35mm film. Others, such as Quentin Tarantino and Christopher Nolan, are wedded to traditional celluloid, which is becoming the film equivalent of the vinyl record.
Epics such as Les Misérables and Lincoln – both shot on 35mm – and digital creations such as Life of Pi have all made millions at the box office. While film buffs may talk about the “feel” of film, with all its subtleties, the reality is that pixilated perfection is winning – the whirring of 35mm film projectors silenced by the hum of digital machines.
Just take a look at the films nominated for best picture:
Although many love a sharp, digital picture with high definition, others prefer something a bit less “real”. The split among directors is highlighted in the nominations for Best Picture. Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Miserables, Silver Linings Playbook and Lincoln were shot on film. While Argo, Amour, Life of Pi and Zero Dark Thirty were shot on digital. As was The Hobbit nominated in three technical Oscar categories.
David O Russell, director of Silver Linings Playbook, said: “Maybe I’m old-fashioned, maybe I’m superstitious, maybe I’m romantic – I love film and it has a magic quality, it has a warmth. I may use digital cameras in a pinch because they are small and fast but I like film for its humaneness.” He is one of a number of directors determined to continue shooting on 35mm. Another is Nolan, who made the Dark Knight trilogy: “I am now constantly asked to justify why I want to shoot a film on film,” he said. Nolan likens digital to an “amazing” cookie until you realise “this is some horrible chemical crap that’s giving you this bad illusion that fools you at first.”
You can read more about what actors, cinematographers and directors think about digital vs film at the link up top. I tend to agree with the folks who love film…and think that digital sucks.
Another archaic form of technology that gets lost in this day in age is the typewriter. Take this woman’s use of the typewriter:
As romantic as the idea of working on a typewriter now seems, in reality they’re rather clunky and temperamental things. Writing with one would probably take us an age – and if we made a mistake? Well, forget it.
So imagine trying to draw with one.
London based artist Keira Rathbone, originally from Dorset, does exactly that; clustering together marks made by letters, numbers and symbols, to make brilliant, one-off images.
The English artist clusters letters, numbers and symbols from a typewriter keyboard to composite images; from portraits of friends and celebrities to landscapes and still life. A closer look at what looks like a sketch of Wimborne Minster, a church in East Dorset, England, reveals swirls of ampersands and the ticks of quotations marks.
Watch the video below to see the artist at work, and click through the slideshow to see examples of her typewriter art. Visit keirarathbone.com for more examples of her work.
Be sure to take a look at the pictures, Rathone’s art is impressive…
Another obsolete form of technology is shown below…Keypunch Orchestra: 1937 | Shorpy Historical Photo Archive
June 1937. “Baltimore, Maryland. For every Social Security account number issued an ‘employee master card’ is made in the Social Security board records office. Testifying data, given on the application blank form SS-5, is transferred to this master card in the form of upended quadrangular holes, punched by key punch machines, which have a keyboard like a typewriter. Each key struck by an operator causes a hole to be punched in the card. The position of a hole determines the letter or number other machines will reproduce from the master card. From this master card is made an actuarial card, to be used later for statistical purposes. The master card also is used in other machines which sort them numerically, according to account numbers, alphabetically according to the name code, translate the holes into numbers and letters, and print the data on individual ledger sheets, indexes, registry of accounts and other uses. The photograph above shows records office workers punching master cards on key punch machines.” Whew. Longest caption ever? Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative.
That is all I have for you this morning. Hope you all enjoy your Sunday, see ya later on tonight…should be quite a show.
So what are you all reading and blogging about today?
Just a warning before you read any further, this post is going to start of with a smidgen of whine and a half-hearted rant about…stuff.
It has been such a struggle lately….have you been feeling it? Maybe it is just something I am going through alone these days.
It has become a struggle to run my eyes over the headlines on Memeorandum.com or read the items in my RSS feed reader. Maybe it is feeling so much frustration…seeing Romney’s name plastered all over the place? Maybe it is the touch of coolness in the air…the leaves turning from green to gold, signaling a new season. My favorite season. Fall.
Last night before I started to write this morning’s post, I found myself finding little superficies to waste time. Yeah, just doing stupid things that would give me a reason to procrastinate a bit longer. Just the thought of clicking the laptop on, and scouring the news sites made me want to forget about the blog…and avoid writing this post.
I was thrilled to see Boston Boomer posting a thread late yesterday, it meant I could even avoid doing a quick evening reads. And believe me, I have saved up some good cartoons to share with you all…but my enthusiasm was lacking for even that kind of post.
We all experience that feeling of being fed up, yes? Different things affect us, and make us scream inside ourselves…and bring about a desire to run into the hills pulling our hair out. Cleaning the bathroom sink becomes more appealing than listening to one more politician drone on about shit we know is ridiculous and flat-out wrong.
Anyway, that is it…there was my whine and feeble complaint about the Political Affective Disorder that has hit me…big time.
So, it should come to no surprise that the news links for this morning reads will be in Link Dump fashion.
The top news story, I guess the one getting most of the trending traffic this morning on Google News, was this: Top Republicans demand answers from over Benghazi attack
Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton watch as Chris Stevens’ remains are returned to the US at a military base in Maryland. Photograph: Molly Riley/Getty Images
Senior Republicans in Congress have written to Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, claiming to have evidence of a previously undisclosed attack on the US consulate in Benghazi and threats to American ambassador in Libya in the months before he was killed.
Darrell Issa, chairman of the House oversight and government reform committee, and Jason Chaffetz, chairman of a subcommittee on national security, are demanding Clinton hand over information about previous attacks and threats as Republicans step up pressure on the White House with accusations of incompetence and a cover-up over the assault that killed the US ambassador, Chris Stevens, and three other American officials last month.
The letter says that US diplomats in Libya made repeated requests for increased security at the Benghazi consulate but were rejected by officials in Washington. The congressmen have called a hearing for October 10 and want Clinton to reveal what the state department knew about earlier incidents and how it responded to the growing security threat.
I do like that photo from this Guardian story. It shows compassion and genuine feeling of sympathy. Geez, what are we going to do without Hillary? I mean, it doesn’t matter who wins…Romney or Obama, she is gone next year. Sigh..
Another story making the popularity list is this bit of news from Penn State. Mike McQueary files defamation suit against Penn State
he former Penn State graduate assistant who complained he saw former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky showering with a young boy on campus and testified at his sex abuse trial sued the university on Tuesday for what he calls defamation and misrepresentation.
Mike McQueary’s whistle-blower lawsuit claims his treatment by the university since Sandusky was arrested in November has caused him distress, anxiety, humiliation and embarrassment. The complaint, filed in county court near State College, where the university is based, seeks millions of dollars in damages.
Hey, McQueary got that promotion to assistant coach when he neglected to go to the “real” police after it was obvious that telling Paterno about the sexual assault he witnessed in the shower…did absolutely nothing…as far as Sandusky is concerned.
Yesterday there was a shooting on the border. Here is the latest: Border Patrol shooting: No suspects yet I don’t know, the timing of this thing is a bit too convenient for me. With the election a month away, I guess perhaps my spider senses are somewhat over sensitive.
And over in Georgia..the results are in. Georgia election: US and Russia hail parliamentary vote President Mikheil Saakashvili is out and the Dream Party is slated to take over. Let’s see what comes of this change…I guess it would give Romney a reason to start talking about how the Soviet Union will respond to new President, Bidzina Ivanishvili.
On to a few Human Rights stories. Rights group: Mentally ill patients in Ghana chained up for months at a time at prayer camps
Mentally ill patients suffer from severe abuse at psychiatric hospitals and so-called healing centers in Ghana, with many chained to trees and even denied water, a human rights group said Tuesday.
Some 1,000 residents live in squalid, overcrowded quarters in Ghana’s three psychiatric hospitals, according to Human Rights Watch. Patients face physical and verbal abuse, and some are given electroshock therapy without their consent, said the group’s report.
The abuse is even worse in healing centers known as “prayer camps,” which lack government oversight, it said.
Thousands of mentally disabled people in the West African nation are sent to the camps, usually by their family members to be “cured” by self-proclaimed prophets through miracles, prayer and fasting. In most prayer camps, residents are only allowed to leave when the prophet deems them healed.
Fucking “organized” religion…used as an outlet for cruelty. Like we haven’t seen this shit before.
This next link is just too upsetting for words. Rights group: Police rape woman in Tunisia, then charge her with indecency
Tunisian women protest Tuesday, October 2, in front of a courthouse in Tunis where a young woman faces charges of indecency by two police officers accused of raping her.
While on the subject of rape.
Gawd, I really hate that man.
I posted a cartoon the other day about the State Supreme Court mess down in Florida: Republican Party Aims to Remake Florida Supreme Court
You may remember it? The one with the Justices up in a tree, and an elephant revving up a chain saw?
The campaign against the justices by Republican state party officials, a conservative group founded by the Koch brothers and a grass-roots group is similar to the successful push by conservative activists in Iowa during the 2010 election. Voters there defeated three Iowa Supreme Court justices over a ruling that allowed same-sex marriage in the state. A fourth Iowa justice who also ruled in the case is being targeted for ouster this year.
In Florida, the issue is not same-sex marriage but another politically divisive matter: President Obama’s health care law. In a 2010 ruling, the Florida Supreme Court removed from the ballot a nonbinding amendment allowing Floridians to refuse to buy mandatory health insurance. The justices ruled that the required ballot summary contained “misleading and ambiguous language” and asked the Legislature to fix it. Lawmakers did, and it is back on the ballot this year.
For an update on Spain: Spanish Regions Agree to Central Government Deficit Plan
Spain’s 17 regional governments agreed on Tuesday to stick to budget deficit targets set by the central government, giving Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy some breathing space as he faces pressure from investors and his European partners to clean up Spain’s banks and public finances.
After a meeting in Madrid with leaders of the regional governments, Mr. Rajoy said, “Spain was giving a good message.” He added that he was “very grateful to everybody” for backing his government’s budget plans and avoiding a full-blown confrontation between the central and regional governments.
And these last two links are for all of us who are dealing with a cold from hell…it seems to be traveling through many of the front pagers on Sky Dancing, as well as some of our readers. (Beata, PD and HT…hope y’all are feeling better.)
Have a good day, and we will see you later on tonight, as Romney and Obama meet for their first debate. I can hardly wait./Snark or should I say, /Sarcasm.
Can you spot a trend in the title of this morning’s post?
Today I will bring you links that are about old things, or about how we as a nation are going backwards in time…either way, I hope you find them interesting, so…here we go.
I will start with that whole ass-backward direction we are heading here in the USA.
Of course, we need to look no further than Florida. Governor Rick Scott Vetoes Funds For Rape Crisis Centers During Sexual Assault Awareness Month
Awww, what a guy!
Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) shocked the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence this week when he vetoed $1.5 million in funding for 30 rape crisis centers in the middle of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. State lawmakers allotted the money to offset an increase in need and a lack of sufficient funding for victim services.
A spokesperson for Scott said he vetoed that particular line item in the state budget because the state already funds sexual violence programs, and nobody was able to make it clear to him why rape crisis centers needed the new funding.
What an ass, my guess is that he just wasn’t listening attentively.
“Governor Scott approved funding for many projects that have statewide impact and do not duplicate programs already funded by the state,” Lane Wright, Scott’s press secretary, told HuffPost. “This new funding of $1.5 million would have been duplicative, since, as a state, we already fund sexual violence programs. There was no information suggesting any needs in this area weren’t already being met. The state already provides about $6.5 million for rape prevention and sexual assault services. That is in addition to the funds available for domestic violence programs — $29 million to be specific. Many victims of sexual violence seek refuge at domestic violence shelters.”
Jennifer Dritt, the executive director of the Florida Council, said she was “stunned” and “confused” by Scott’s move and that she questions his reasoning for slashing the funds.
“We say ‘here’s the need, here’s the need, here’s the need,’ and frankly, nobody’s paying any attention,” she told HuffPost. “We gave them information about the number of new survivors we have and we showed them that these rape crisis centers have waiting lists. Survivors are having to wait weeks, sometimes six weeks, in some programs three months to be seen. We included quotes from the programs about the waiting lists and what services they weren’t able to offer because of a lack of money. There is clearly an unmet need.”
As for the $6.5 million that Scott said the government provides for rape prevention and sexual assault services, a large percentage of that money is distributed to education programs, not actual crisis centers serving the victims.
No, I am wrong about that not listening thing…Voldermort Rick Scott is really just an asshole!
From a political standpoint, Scott’s cuts to sexual violence funding could not have come at a worse time, as Republicans in Congress are taking heat for opposing the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. But Scott’s spokesman said the governor’s decision had nothing to do with the oft-cited GOP “war on women.”
“Anyone who’s trying to say this veto is evidence of a war on women, is deliberately trying to mislead the public for political ends,” Wright said.
I call that last line BS.
Oh wait, this was supposed to be about moving backwards, that link up top is about the continuing GOP’s War on Women. I mean, the discrimination against women is certainly moving us backwards, but this next link is more literal in terms of moving back in time. Jailed for $280: The Return of Debtors’ Prisons
How did breast cancer survivor Lisa Lindsay end up behind bars? She didn’t pay a medical bill — one the Herrin, Ill., teaching assistant was told she didn’t owe. “She got a $280 medical bill in error and was told she didn’t have to pay it,” The Associated Press reports. “But the bill was turned over to a collection agency, and eventually state troopers showed up at her home and took her to jail in handcuffs.”
Although the U.S. abolished debtors’ prisons in the 1830s, more than a third of U.S. states allow the police to haul people in who don’t pay all manner of debts, from bills for health care services to credit card and auto loans. In parts of Illinois, debt collectors commonly use publicly funded courts, sheriff’s deputies, and country jails to pressure people who owe even small amounts to pay up, according to the AP.
How is this happening?
Under the law, debtors aren’t arrested for nonpayment, but rather for failing to respond to court hearings, pay legal fines, or otherwise showing “contempt of court” in connection with a creditor lawsuit. That loophole has lawmakers in the Illinois House of Representatives concerned enough to pass a bill in March that would make it illegal to send residents of the state to jail if they can’t pay a debt. The measure awaits action in the senate.
And you know who has been working overtime on getting laws passed in the creditors favor…
“Creditors have been manipulating the court system to extract money from the unemployed, veterans, even seniors who rely solely on their benefits to get by each month,” Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said last month in a statement voicing support for the legislation. “Too many people have been thrown in jail simply because they’re too poor to pay their debts. We cannot allow these illegal abuses to continue.”
Well, Illinois isn’t the only state that will lock you up for unpaid debt.
A 2010 report by the American Civil Liberties Union that focused on only five states — Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Washington — found that people were being jailed at “increasingly alarming rates” over legal debts. Cases ranged from a woman who was arrested four separate times for failing to pay $251 in fines and court costs related to a fourth-degree misdemeanor conviction, to a mentally ill juvenile jailed by a judge over a previous conviction for stealing school supplies.
According to the ACLU: “The sad truth is that debtors’ prisons are flourishing today, more than two decades after the Supreme Court prohibited imprisoning those who are too poor to pay their legal debts. In this era of shrinking budgets, state and local governments have turned aggressively to using the threat and reality of imprisonment to squeeze revenue out of the poorest defendants who appear in their courts.”
Ugh, I can’t quote anymore, you can go to the link and read the rest of the story…it is just making me so mad.
Here is another article discussing our country’s move backward, this time to appease the right-wing christian establishment.5 Supreme Court Decisions Pandering to Christianity
In theory, the Supreme Court is where Americans turn to protect their rights when all else fails. The high court is supposed to be beyond the reach of politics, and more importantly, beyond the reach of popular will. After all, just because many Americans want something doesn’t mean it’s constitutional.
This is true especially in matters of religion. Despite what many Americans believe, the majority does not rule when it comes to religion. Core freedoms depend on no vote. Most people in your town may sincerely believe that compelling students to say Christian prayers or learn creationism in public schools is a desirable – but that doesn’t make it legal.
In the main, the Supreme Court has done a pretty good job of upholding the separation of church and state. The high court has put the brakes on mandatory religious worship in public schools and barred direct tax support of sectarian enterprises.
But the court has made a few missteps along the way. That’s inevitable because as much as we’d like to think that the court is not a political institution, presidents do use the power of appointment to shape the bench, beyond their own terms in office.
Here are five cases where the Supreme Court dropped the ball on separation of church and state.
Go to the link to read about the five cases.
And now a story about an ancient rock falling to earth:
The source of loud “booms” accompanied by a bright object traveling through the skies of Nevada and California on Sunday morning has been confirmed: It was a meteor. A big one.
It is thought to have been a small asteroid that slammed into the atmosphere at a speed of 15 kilometers per second (33,500 mph), turning into a fireball, and delivering an energy of 3.8 kilotons of TNT as it broke up over California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. Bill Cooke, head of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office, classified it as a “big event.”
Wow, it actually broke the sound barrier as it fell through the Earth’s atmosphere.
“I am not saying there was a 3.8 kiloton explosion on the ground in California,” Cooke told Spaceweather.com. “I am saying that the meteor possessed this amount of energy before it broke apart in the atmosphere. (The map) shows the location of the atmospheric breakup, not impact with the ground.”
Cooke went on to say that the meteor likely penetrated very deep into the atmosphere, producing the powerful sonic booms that rattled homes across the region. According to Reuters, car alarms in Carson City, Nev., were even triggered.
In other “science” news, scientist have found large sources of water in Africa: Map Shows Huge Water Source Available Underground in Africa
Helen Bonsor, a hydrologist for the British Geological Survey, said her research shows that groundwater – underground water sources – is available across the continent in huge quantities: “over 100 times the annual renewable freshwater resource available in Africa, and 20 times that stored in Africa’s freshwater lakes.”
Bonsor led a team from the BGS and the University College London in crafting a comprehensive map of the groundwater sources across Africa, complete with details about exactly how much water can be found.
Her team took data from small-scale local studies and compiled them on a continent-wide scale to produce the map. So now, instead of generalities, Bonsor said, “we’re talking about, well in this area, with careful exploration and siting of boreholes, you are likely to get a yield of one to five liters per second.”
Because that quantitative data had been missing, Bonsor said, groundwater had “often been left out of discussions on water scarcity and water security.”
She hopes her new map will help change that, and prompt governments to focus on developing groundwater sources.
Which brings me to this Falco cartoon…
This next item is from The New York Times Lens: Pablo Delano Unravels a Mystery in Barcelona
For the past dozen years, Pablo Delano has been consumed by the mystery of a Barcelona Biscuit Tin: who shot the hundreds of decaying negatives that were packed into the beat-up box he bought for $60 at a Barcelona flea market? Who were the people in the pictures? Where were the photos taken?
Granted, the images he discovered were not on the same level of, say, those by Robert Capa in the famed Mexican Suitcase. But the Barcelona Biscuit Tin had its own mysterious charms — weather-beaten, moldy and fuzzy images of Barcelona between the world wars. Children on bikes and in trees. Cars rambling through the streets. Bullfighters in the ring. Factory workers making huge tubes.
“He seemed to be obsessed with photographing everything in his life,” said Mr. Delano, who teaches photography at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn. “At the same time, he was technically quite inept. The percentage of pictures that are underexposed, overexposed or blurry is quite high. Despite the fact he had real technical problems, he kept doing it.”
There are some interesting photographs, be sure to take a look at them. And…be sure to read the rest of the story, about the “biscuit tin of memories.”
Now, one last link… White killer whale adult spotted for first time in wild This is fantastic, off the shores of Russia…
The adult male, which they have nicknamed Iceberg, was spotted off the coast of Kamchatka in eastern Russia.
“It has the full two-metre-high dorsal fin of a mature male, which means it’s at least 16 years old – in fact the fin is somewhat ragged, so it might be a bit older.”
Orcas mature around the age of 15, and males can live to 50 or 60 years old, though 30 is more commonplace.
“Iceberg seems to be fully socialised; we know that these fish-eating orcas stay with their mothers for life, and as far as we can see he’s right behind his mother with presumably his brothers next to him,” said Dr Hoyt
There is some video at the link. Magnificent, innit?
What a world…it could be so wonderful if it wasn’t for certain people…
So, what are you reading about today?
Minx here and I’ve just got home. What a day it has been, you may remember my friend the sheriff deputy who was killed in a car accident while responding to a call. Well, this family is getting hit again…
While looking at the legal notice section in our local Banjoville newspaper I see my parent’s property foreclosure notice…but right above ours was a foreclosure notice for my dead friend and his wife. Oh, it made my heart ache to know that they had gone through the same Bank of America crap as my family. Imagine, Derrick has been gone for two months come next week…and his widow and two children are losing their house.
Here are a few links for you tonight…
I am glad to see someone get mad and actually call the Sandusky sexual assault by the correct term…Today on Al Sharpton, former child abuse and sex crimes prosecutor Wendy Murphy had some real heartfelt words for Jerry Sandusky and Penn State
Remarking on the court’s failure to prosecute Sandusky in 1998 after he admitted to having showered with a young boy, Murphy noted that Pennsylvania considers it “child sexual exploitation” to shower naked with a child and that Penn State’s clout interfered with the court’s ability to properly seek justice for the young boys Sandusky victimized over a 15 year period. As Murphy continued listing Sandusky’s crimes against children, her voice grew higher and louder, her anger and frustration palpable. At one point, she referred to the school as “Perp State” university not only for its repeated failure to appropriately report and deal with Sandusky’s criminal behavior, but for actually protecting a rapist:
People at Penn State — ooo, I mean, PERP STATE — university knew what he was doing; he had a pattern. And they covered it up because they care more about their damn reputation and scandal and money and damn football than they care about little boys being anally and orally raped over and over again!
Penn State should shut its damn doors, if you ask me. They should hang their heads in shame.
Well. This is one case where anger on an evening is very much warranted. Also: Kudos to Murphy for referring to these crimes as rape and not a “sex scandal.”
With the economic situation getting worse…Nearly Half Of Working First-Time Mothers Miss Paychecks To Care For Newborns according to US Census
After decades of worker gains in paid-leave benefits, employers are becoming more selective about granting maternity leave in an economic downturn.
A Census Bureau analysis released Thursday shows that the share of women given time off for pregnancy, birth and child care has leveled off, with about half of working first-time mothers passing up paychecks to care for their newborns.
Lower-educated mothers are nearly four times more likely than college graduates to be denied paid maternity benefits. That’s the widest gap over the past 50 years.
Women with no more than a high-school diploma saw drop-offs in paid-leave benefits from the early 2000s to the period covering 2006 to 2008, which includes the first year of the recession.
“Access to paid leave is limited, and it’s also sharply regressive,” said Lynda Laughlin, a family demographer at the Census Bureau who put together the report. “For working families where the norm now is for both mom and dad to work, not having some kind of paycheck coming in while they take time to take care of a child can be a real financial burden.”
Of course it should be no surprise just which women are getting the shaft.
The analysis highlights the patchwork of work-family arrangements in the U.S., which lacks a federal policy on paid parental leave, unlike most other countries. There’s a longer-term trend of widening U.S. income inequality caused by slowing wage growth at the middle- and lower-income levels.
Women with higher birth rates in the U.S. are on average younger, less educated and typically Hispanic, and they are more likely to toil in lower-wage positions.
If first-time mothers don’t receive paid-leave benefits, they often return to their jobs quickly after giving birth, or sacrifice a steady paycheck by taking unpaid leave or quitting to spend more time with their newborns.
“This isn’t good news for women at the bottom, and the irony is that the people with the most children are now the least likely to have the supports they need,” said Kathleen Gerson, a professor of sociology at New York University
Now this next link is troubling. You may remember that after getting kicked out of the “Troy Davis” park in downtown Atlanta…the Occupy group moved their base to a homeless shelter. Tuberculosis Breaks Out At Occupy Atlanta’s Base
The home base for Occupy Atlanta has tested positive for tuberculosis.
The Fulton County Health Department confirmed Wednesday that residents at the homeless shelter where protesters have been occupying have contracted the drug-resistant disease. WGCL reports that a health department spokeswoman said there is a possibility that both Occupy Atlanta protesters and the homeless people in the shelter may still be at risk since tuberculosis is contracted through air contact.
“Over the last three months were have been two persons who have resided in this facility who have been diagnosed with confirmed or suspected infectious tuberculosis (TB),” said Fulton County Services Director Matthew McKenna in a written statement to CBS Atlanta. “One of these persons was confirmed to have a strain of TB that is resistant to a single, standard medication used to treat this condition. All person(s) identified as positive have begun treatment and are being monitored to ensure that medication is taken as directed.”
And lastly, in Liberia the votes have been counted. Sirleaf victory in Liberia marred by boycott and violence.
Africa’s first and only female president Liberia’s Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was re-elected on Thursday with 90.2% of the vote, but her government may struggle to prove its legitimacy because the opposition boycotted the poll.
Hours before the results were announced in an election that was supposed to solidify Liberia’s shaky peace, opposition leader Winston Tubman said he would not accept the outcome of this week’s presidential runoff.
I do not think this is the last we will hear about the election in Liberia.
Sirleaf, who was jointly awarded the Nobel peace prize this year, said Liberia’s elections “were legitimate”. Tubman’s allegations of fraud were largely unsubstantiated by the almost 5,000 national and international election observers in the country. The Carter Centre’s election observer mission said there was “no evidence of significant irregularities or systematic fraud”. However, thousands of CDC supporters did as their leader commanded and stayed at home.
Most analysts believe that Tubman would have lost Tuesday’s election if he had participated. “If you look at the figures, you can see that Tubman [was] almost certainly going to lose. He is 12, 13 points down in the polls,” said Stephen Ellis, a researcher at the African Studies Centre, Leiden in the Netherlands.
“It’s an obvious calculation. He withholds legitimacy from the government,” Ellis said. “If it was felt by a large part of population to not be legitimate, in a place like Liberia, with its history, it becomes quite worrying.”
Sounds like Tubman is trying to manipulate the runoff election results…take a few minutes to read through the Guardian article, it describes a protest from Tubman’s CDC that turned violent a day before the election.
That is all I can muster up this evening…please have a pleasant night!