Friday Nite Lite: 4th of Something

Good Evening

Here you go:

FIRE POWER – Political Cartoon by Deb Milbrath, Cartoon Movement – 07/04/2014


Cartoon by Deb Milbrath - FIRE POWER

Dud Fireworks – Truthdig


Conservatives’ Women Troubles by Tina Dupuy

In the wake of the truly misguided Hobby Lobby decision, which endowed a legal entity with the right to discriminate against working women of child-bearing age via a newly discovered corporate religious freedom, I was reminded that puritanical America is alive and on Twitter. What I found on my mentions feed were a lot of people (some women, mostly men) who felt like they wanted to offer the following advice: an aspirin between your knees is a great birth control…and affordable.

Translation: These Hobby Lobby women shouldn’t need birth control because they shouldn’t be having sex.

Some tried to sound more fiscally conservative and say, “I don’t care what they do as long as I don’t have to pay for it.”

Translation: They shouldn’t be having sex.

Women and their liberal brethren are upset because a billionaire employer gets to dictate which medications their female workers have to pay for out of pocket. But to the Right, it’s a rarely missed opportunity to re-litigate the 20th Century’s gradual acceptance of women first as voters, then as unregulated private citizens (Roe v. Wade), and then as equal participants in recreational sex. Not just being sexy; not as sexual objects; an not just as whore or virginal mother constructs, but as actual women being free to partake in their natural ability to desire and enjoy intercourse (and not be an outcast).

Some have pointed out (myself included) that if you are truly against abortion, you should be FOR what counters the need for abortion—reliable, cheap and widely available birth control. This assumes (wrongly) the pro-life movement is really about “life.” When it comes to children, their concern stops at birth and when it comes to women, their finger wagging starts at sex.

AAEC – Political Cartoon by John R. Rose, Byrd Newspapers of Virginia – 07/04/2014

Cartoon by John R. Rose -

AAEC – Political Cartoon by Charlie Daniel, Knoxville News Sentinel – 07/04/2014

Cartoon by Charlie Daniel -

Nick Anderson: Fireworks – Nick Anderson – Truthdig


This is an open thread.

Wednesday Reads: Donut Queen, the GOP’s Ideal Woman

da14402c5309e3fa904d7838d714719fGood Morning

I won’t lie to you, I have not read any of these articles. It is a wonder this post is up at all…

Wednesday round-up : SCOTUSblog

A look at the various news and blogging takes on the shitty decision.

And one more: The Supreme Court’s One-Two Punch Against Women’s Health: McCullen and Hobby Lobby | Next New Deal

5dcdedeab9690a5aa998d9699a423dd0Full Ginsburg Dissent here.

Rumble on the Oklahoma prairie | Al Jazeera America

Earthquakes due to fracking…no surprise.

Baghdadi is like “the KKK Wizard who declares himself Holy Roman Emperor” | Informed Comment

The title intrigue me, with the KKK and medieval references.

Not War on Poverty but War on the Poor: Washington’s Real Foreign Policy Aims | Informed Comment

d6834576d312548cc32f0da7f6796719It is a post written by Noam Chomsky via Tomdispatch.

Plagued by sea-level rise, Kiribati buys land in Fiji | Al Jazeera America

Yeah, that is taking a pro active stance.

d89a027b679b7598ac7d2fa9d7c38f36There is an article here on Facebook’s latest fuckup move: US Political, Financial & Business News | if you have a subscription.

Creationist Neurosurgeon Ben Carson: Legal Abortions Are Exactly Like Human Sacrifice – Little Green Footballs


7b60553f1309be4645b71c0623eeaea65 states trying to make their kids scientifically illiterate –

Double ugh…

Jake left his insulin in the car yesterday during soccer practice. It is cooked now and worthless. The refills, which insurance will not cover are over $600. My computer is still broken, and trying to type this on my daughter’s is frustrating. But it could be I am so tired. Sorry for the bitch fest, I probably need major catch up sleep.

This is an open thread…



Sunday Reads: Quick Round of Links

Costumes during WW1

Costumes of Medical personnel during WW1

Good morning

We are still trying to adjust to this new life, the T1D life. So as you can imagine, today will only be a short list of links…please feel free to think of it  as an open thread.

How horrible, this is disgusting: Warrant: Cobb toddler’s dad researched child deaths inside… |

After his toddler son died after being left inside an SUV for seven hours, a Cobb County man told police he had researched children dying in hot vehicles, court documents released Saturday morning state.

Justin “Ross” Harris told police he feared his 22-month-old could be left inside a vehicle, according to search warrant affidavits obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. No information about the timing of Harris’ online searches was released. And the questions that many across the country have been asking — how did this happen and why — remain unanswered.

“During an interview with Justin, He stated that he recently researched, through the internet, child deaths inside vehicles and what temperature it needs to be for that to occur,” search warrants state. “Justin stated that he was fearful that this could happen.”

The search warrant affidavits released Saturday offered the first new facts released in the death of the toddler, Cooper Mills Harris, since Wednesday. However, the documents shed no details on what prompted police to arrest and charge Ross Harris with felonies so swiftly within hours of the boy’s death.

I guess this is a depressing post at that: Tweets from Hillary Clinton: Sad News | Still4Hill

Heartbreaking news: a vital voice for justice is silenced.

Prominent Rights Activist Assassinated

June 26, 2014
(Tripoli) – Human Rights Watch today issued the following tribute to Salwa Bughaighis, a prominent human rights and women’s rights activist who was assassinated in Libya on June 25, 2014.

On Wednesday, following countless threats against her and her family, Salwa was assassinated, shortly after she voted in Libya’s parliamentary election. With Salwa’s death, the original idealism of the 2011 uprising that overthrew Gaddafi’s tyranny has received another crushing blow, and many Libyan women have lost a role model.

More at the link.


There was also a suicide in the news: Tea party leader Mark Mayfield suicide: A sign of politics ‘beyond the pale’? (+video) –

Mark Mayfield, a respected lawyer and tea party operative in Mississippi, has died after being accused of taking part in an unseemly, Watergate-like conspiracy to undermine long-time Sen. Thad Cochran’s campaign.

No foul play is suspected around the self-inflicted gunshot wound, local police said. Mr. Mayfield left a note behind, but authorities have not released it.

A tea party group board member, Mayfield had worked to get Sen. Cochran’s challenger Chris McDaniel elected. On Tuesday, Cochran narrowly won the primary. Mr. McDaniel has denied involvement, and has not been implicated in the scheme to photograph Cochran’s wife at a nursing home.

Video at the link.

In other news: Funding approved for Golden Gate Bridge anti-suicide net | Al Jazeera America

California state officials approved a funding plan on Friday to install a mesh barrier beneath San Francisco’s historic Golden Gate Bridge to help prevent suicides.

“It has been an uphill fight,” said state assemblyman Tom Ammiano, who has fought for over a decade to secure funding for the barrier. “But here we are, almost shovel ready.”

The project will cost $76 million to complete. Of that amount, $7 million will come from a state tax enacted by voters on those who make more than $1 million a year, and is earmarked for mental-health services. The rest will be paid for with federal funds that recently became available and local money from the bridge district.

The plan to create suicide barriers on the bridge, where 1,600 people have leapt to their deaths since the span opened in 1937, was a subject of controversy for decades, with opponents arguing the mesh would mar the structure’s beauty.

In 2008, the bridge’s board voted to install a stainless steel net, rejecting other options, including raising the 4-foot-high railings and leaving the world-renown span unchanged.

Two years later, they certified the final environmental impact report for the net, which would stretch about 20 feet wide on each side of the span. Officials said it would not mar the landmark bridge’s appearance.

But funding for the project remained a major obstacle until two years ago when President Barack Obama signed into law a bill making safety barriers and nets eligible for federal funds.

Some of the money still requires additional approval, but the bridge’s board has now taken its final step in adopting the net.

“The tragedy of today is that we can’t go back in time, we can’t save … the people who jumped off the bridge. But the good thing, with this vote today, we can vote in their memory,” board member Janet Reilly said.

“We will save many lives who have followed in their footsteps – and that’s what’s so extraordinary about today.”

Family members of suicide victims were present for the vote. Seconds after the decision, tears of many people in the standing-room-only crowd were followed by shouts of joy.

And we are coming up on the 100 year anniversary of the First World War. World War I – Scientific American

The political crisis in Europe that followed the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie, on June 28, 1914, in Sarajevo received no notice in the pages of Scientific American. When Germany declared war on Russia and France and then invaded Belgium on August 4, the magazine weighed in: “It is very difficult for the American to realize that the great European war, which has been dreaded for a generation, is actually taking place. The calamity is so appalling that it seems to stretch beyond the reach of the imagination” [August 15, 1914].

Thereafter, the then weekly Scientific American covered the First World War as a vast, world-changing event in which science, technology and massive industrial output played key roles. The American Civil War (1861–1865) saw the first successful use of the machine gun and the submarine, but both sides manufactured fewer than 100 machine guns (including about 20 Gatlings) and 20 submarines. In World War I more than one million machine guns were churned out. Artillery became the king of the battlefield, with up to a billion artillery shells fired during the war. The countermove from the science of defense was to dig deeper into the dirt. One modern calculation says it took 329 shells to wound an opponent sheltering in a trench, four times that to kill him.

Go to the link and look at some of the images, also take a look at the pictures and original article here at this pdf doc. from November 21st, 1914: The Care of the Wounded A Vast and Complicated System of Which Little is Heard SA-Archives-the-care-of-wounded.pdf


Lets end with this: New Macroscelides micus species is more closely related to an elephant than a shrew | Mail Online

It may seem hard to believe that such an unusual looking animal has remained hidden for so long.

But scientists have only just discovered a new species of elephant shrew – or round-eared sengi – in the remote deserts of south western Africa.

While it is the smallest known member of the 19 sengis in the order Macroscelidea, the small creature is in fact genetically more closely related to an elephant than a true shrew.

Cute: Scientists have discovered a new species of elephant shrew - or round-eared sengi (pictured) - in the remote deserts of south western Africa

Cute: Scientists have discovered a new species of elephant shrew – or round-eared sengi (pictured) – in the remote deserts of south western Africa

The Etendeka round-eared sengi, or Macroscelides micus, was discovered by scientists from the California Academy of Sciences. It is the third new species of elephant shrew to be found in the wild in the past decade.

More pictures in info at the link.

Enjoy your day. This is an open thread.

Friday Nite Lite: Bada Bing Pope

This is Friday? I had no idea. We got back from Children’s Hospital of Atlanta Scottish Rite late last night. On Monday, my son Jake had a high sugar episode…up to 598. He now has Type 1 Diabetes and is Insulin Dependent. His life has changed completely and drastically. Even though he will be able to live a “normal” life in the long run, now things are bad. We spent three days in Atlanta at the hospital learning about his new regiment of blood glucose test, insulin shots, calculations and other things. It is overwhelming.  He is now having low sugar numbers, and we are having to work through this, but it is getting a little easier each time.

As for the blog and the post:

I don’t know what is going on in my own life at the moment, much less what is going on out there. My newsblur reader is at close to 16,000 unread articles…and there is still so much to do. Anyway, the news? I am sure it is all shitty…I heard about the fucking SCOTUS ruling about the abortion clinic barrier infringing upon “free speech.” WTF is it? Women are going to end up in a worse situation by the end of this year, I feel it. (But then I am not very positive about anything right now.)

So I only have one cartoon tonight.

It is a good one.

PopeMafia by Political Cartoonist Joe Heller


150210 600 PopeMafia cartoons


This is an open thread.

Sunday Reads: The Real Moby Dick?

Moby Dick 1968 76×50, 5 cm 8-color screen printing Antonio Fernández Reboiro, Nuevitas (Camagüey), Cuba, 1935

Moby Dick 1968 76×50, 5 cm 8-color screen printing Antonio Fernández Reboiro, Nuevitas (Camagüey), Cuba, 1935

Good Morning

No this is not a post about Dick Cheney. However, if I was going to write about that real life dick…I would not make a reference to the beloved White Whale from literary tales. (Yes, I am choosing a monster “fish” over a monster “man.”)

The morning reads are going to be rather slim, for now. I am running late…late…late and there is no way I can keep my eyes open much longer.

Seriously…down under, there was a cool ass video making the rounds.

Video: Rare white whale caught on film

One of the world’s rarest whaleshas been filmed frolicking in the ocean near Sydney by Australian camera crews.

The mammal – a male all-white humpback called Migaloo – is making its annual migration up the south coast, Australian media reported.

Other whales were seen making the journey with the stunning animal, much to the delight of whale watching tourists – and locals.

“It was really just so white and you could see him coming from a long way away because the water was turquoise wherever he was passing under,” said one witness.

According to Australian media, the famous whale can often be seen in waters off the New South Wales coast during the last week of June.

‘Once in a lifetime’ rare white whale spotted off Sydney

“He was travelling in a competition pod of five adults… and a great deal of zigging and zagging.”

A competition pod is where several males compete for the attention of a single female.

“There is an exclusion zone of 500 metres (yards) around him which we stuck to but with the nature of a competition pod it’s sometimes hard to predict where they will come up next.

“We got extremely lucky and had Migaloo come up just five metres next to our boat – what a sight that was!”

Humpback whales are currently on their annual southern migration from Antarctica to warmer waters in Queensland state to give birth and mate.

Oskar Peterson, who runs the Australian-based White Whale Research Centre, said a study by Southern Cross University in 2003 had shown Migaloo was male. He was now believed to be around 28 to 30 years old and humpbacks can live to 80.

“He is the only white whale in the southern hemisphere that we know of,” he told AFP.

“We have seen evidence of another white whale in the Northern Arctic Zone off Norway, but that is it.

“So it is a very rare sight. Some years you see Migaloo but other years he goes missing in action.”

In 2011, a baby white whale, believed to be just a few weeks old, was seen off Queensland’s Whitsunday Islands, but it has not been spotted since.

“We don’t know if it survived,” said Peterson. It was not known if the calf was Migaloo’s.

He added that Migaloo would gradually make his way as far north as Cooktown in the Australian tropics “singing songs trying to attract a mate” before the return trip to Antarctica later in the year.

Video at the link up top!

And some pictures of Migaloo from Google Images…

More yummy science links…in the marine biology field no less:  Emperor Penguin Adapting to Climate Change: Study

Emperor penguin

(Photo : REUTERS/Martin Passingham )


Emperor penguins adapting to climate change better than expected, a new study suggests.

University of Minnesota researchers and colleagues have found that penguins are behaving in ways that could help them adapt to a warmer Earth.

Previous research had assumed that emperor penguins (Aptenodytes forsteri)  were faithful to the nesting grounds or were philopatric. Satellite images now show that these penguins aren’t returning to the same location to breed.

32d21d287c5de120c08c31f69ca49b83At least they are willing to adapt to the situation that is beyond their control…unlike some of the republicans who have some control over the future actions towards climate change control.

The study team found six instances of penguins changing breeding grounds in a span of three years.

Michelle LaRue presented the study findings at the IDEACITY conference in Toronto. The study will be published in the journal Ecography.

“Our research showing that colonies seem to appear and disappear throughout the years challenges behaviors we thought we understood about emperor penguins,” said LaRue in a news release. “If we assume that these birds come back to the same locations every year, without fail, these new colonies we see on satellite images wouldn’t make any sense. These birds didn’t just appear out of thin air-they had to have come from somewhere else. This suggests that emperor penguins move among colonies. That means we need to revisit how we interpret population changes and the causes of those changes.”

This isn’t the first study that has explored the changes in penguin behavior. A related research by British Antarctic Survey scientists and colleagues had shown that these birds were abandoning their traditional breeding grounds for stable ice shelves. In fact, penguins are now climbing steep ice shelf walls, some 30 meters or nearly 100 feet high, to find a good breeding spot.

49addd1992482628b5413688eeab9b74A specific colony that has been studied for more than six decades is called Pointe Géologie:

Conservationists believe that loss of sea ice could reduce the number of penguins in the colonies.

In fact, Pointe Géologie population has declined by half since 1970s from 6,000 breeding pairs to 3,000 breeding pairs now.

Earlier, researchers had believed that Pointe Géologie was isolated and penguins never moved to other breeding grounds. New images of the colony show that there are several other breeding sites that the colony isn’t as isolated as assumed.

“It’s possible that birds have moved away from Pointe Géologie to these other spots and that means that maybe those banded birds didn’t die,” LaRue said in a news release. “If we want to accurately conserve the species, we really need to know the basics. We’ve just learned something unexpected, and we should rethink how we interpret colony fluctuations.”

And just one more science story, until I can get to a longer post later today: Mountain top blown up to make way for world’s largest telescope

0bb90b77cbfed30d0ef2a901cfb0ca16I love the name of this telescope…

…the European Southern Observatory will blast the top off Cerro Armazones, a 3,000-metre-high mountain in the Chilean Andes.


Almost a million tonnes of rock will be blown away in the detonation. This will lower the mountain top by 40 metres and provide a plateau on which to build the world’s largest telescope.

The European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) is aptly named. It will be a single telescope with a primary mirror 39 metres across. This is almost four times as large as any other telescope yet constructed. It will collect light about 15 times faster than any other telescope, and will create images 16 times sharper than even the Hubble Space Telescope.

Oh, yeah…

11004f5cc395f5138719643ec803125fThe primary mirror itself will not be a single circular slab of glass and aluminium. Instead it will consist of 789 1.4-metre hexagonal mirror segments that will be fitted and held together like kitchen tiles.

It will search for the as-yet unseen first galaxies to form in the universe, and be able to make direct observations of nearby planets around other stars. However you look at the E-ELT, it is a monster; a truly ambitious science project for the 21st century.

You can go to the link and see video of the explosion, and other cool stuff too.

So, until I see you later…think of this as an open thread.