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Member since: Tue Nov 16, 2004, 01:43 AM
Number of posts: 774

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So Steele was INVESTIGATING the Russians, Trump's team was COLLUDING with the Russians.

A little different I think....

More American citizens live in Puerto Rico than:

Vermont, Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming..


Another new weather disaster: a "Flash Drought" in Montana and the Dakotas.

Now we can add a quick acting (3 Months) drought to the new weather disasters like "Rain Bomb" storms and "derecho" wind storms. This is what is being blamed on the Wheat crop losses there.

The drought already has far-reaching effects. In eastern Montana, America’s current-largest wildfire continues to smolder; the 422-square-mile Lodgepole complex fire is one-third the size of Rhode Island. It’s Montana’s largest fire since 1910.
Across the state, 17 other large fires are also spreading. “We haven’t even hit our normal peak fire season yet,” Fransen says.

Recently, as the climate has warmed and crop suitability has shifted, the Dakotas and Montana have surpassed Kansas as the most important wheat-growing region in the country. The High Plains is now a supplier of staple grain for the entire world. According to recent field surveys, more than half of this year’s harvest may already be lost.

But this drought is an anomaly, a “flash drought.” It essentially came from nowhere. It didn’t exist just three months ago.

The frequency of these rapid-onset droughts is expected to increase as the planet warms. A recent study focusing on China found that flash droughts more than doubled in frequency there between 1979 and 2010.


The Trump administration wants to kill the ... Energy Star program because it combats climate change

Under President Trump, the Environmental Protection Agency is on the chopping block. Both the president’s proposed budget and his executive orders on cutting regulations would shrink the EPA. But of the 38 EPA programs that the Trump administration has proposed cutting, at least one is quite surprising: the popular — and voluntary — Energy Star program. It’s not a mandatory regulation, nor a “job killer.” We can only assume that it’s on the list because its strong connection with climate change mitigation. Let us explain.

Here’s what Energy Star does

Launched in 1992, Energy Star sets energy efficiency standards for appliances, electronics, and houses and buildings. But it’s not exactly a regulation. Businesses decide on their own whether to design products that comply with these standards.

The EPA claims that Energy Star has lowered consumers’ electricity bills by $430 billion (contrast this with the annual administrative cost of the program of about $57 million). This lower energy consumption has prevented 2.7 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

Wait, did you say “voluntary regulations”?

Why has the EPA created voluntary programs in the first place? Since its inception in 1970, the EPA’s task has been enforcing key federal environmental laws. Business and some labor groups have accused these laws — and the EPA’s enforcement of them — of being heavy-handed and overly rigid. Opponents allege that EPA regulations make U.S. firms uncompetitive, giving them incentives to relocate to countries with less stringent regulations. In this job-versus-environment narrative, federal regulations are blamed for the decline of U.S. manufacturing and the emergence of the Rust Belt.


New Labor Sec Candidate was Federal Prosecutor who gave sweetheart deal to Lolita Express guy!

Epstein had an entire group recruiting underage girls into prostitution from NY and FL and the would fly other rich and famous to his personal island on his own jet airliner. The woman who dropped the charges against Trump accusing him of having sex with her when she was a minor was part of this.

Why no federal charges?

Acosta has strong backing from Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) In a statement, Rubio said: “I know Alex Acosta well, and he is a phenomenal choice to lead the Department of Labor."

But he could receive scrutiny over the plea deal he cut with wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein. Acosta’s prosecutors agreed not to file any federal charges against Epstein if he pleaded guilty to state charges involving soliciting prostitution and soliciting a minor for prostitution.

Epstein ultimately received an 18-month sentence in county jail and served about 13 months. Soon after the deal was cut in 2008, two women filed suit claiming that the decision to forgo federal prosecution violated a federal law — the Crime Victims Rights Act — because they and other teenagers Epstein paid for sex were never adequately consulted about the plea deal or given an opportunity to object to it.

Acosta is not a party in the suit, which names only the federal government as a defendant. In 2015, lawyers for the women demanded Acosta submit to a deposition in the case. The motion was withdrawn last year as settlement talks in the case went forward, but the case remains pending.


I think the number one problem is Valid Voters who are not allowed to vote, or vote is never counted

This voter roll manipulation has been going on at least since 2000, and the Democrats will not do anything about it.

Every election hundreds of thousands of valid registered voters have been prevented from voting using these massive invalidation lists. This year it is the "Interstate CrossCheck" list. These are almost always ginned up by the Republicans, and target minority sounding surnames. If the voter actually complains when they go to vote they are given "provisional" ballots, but there does not seem to be any real standards in checking if these are valid, and seem to often just be chucked in to piles never opened or counted. And no one ever goes back to see why the voter was removed from the rolls, or if they are put back on them. How many provisional ballots are out there.

Making it hard for especially Democratic voters to vote it also a favorite Election manipulation technique of the Right. Extreme voter ID laws, shorter early voting periods, and fewer, harder to find precincts, or just moving the voting locations, and under-staffing/provisioning the locations to cause longer lines all discourage the "wrong people" from voting.

Also there never seems to be any kind of random spot check on vote counting machines. There is no way to check full electronic ones. But ones that are optic scanners of paper ballots, or like in Ohio where the machine prints out a paper roll record could be spot checked at least. Hand count the ballots run through the machine and check it against the machine total. I have never heard of this being done anywhere. But every gas pump or deli scale is checked for accuracy in this state (OH) on a regular basis. Not so much the voting machines.

Another simple check that does not seem to be done is to check the counts from each machine added up for each precinct, which is added up for each county, which then is added up for statewide totals. In 2004 and 2008 this totaling function was done on the same RNC computers in Tenn that ran the private email for the Whitehouse that lost 22million votes. And the guy who programmed it all died in a small plane crash.

There is also the simple crosscheck of the number of votes check off in the precinct registration desk vs the total votes shown on the machines. This was way off in Detroit this year and was used as a reason to not examine/recount the precinct!

It is supposedly possible for private citizens to ask to examine the actual ballots for a period of time after the election is finalized. This never seems to happen.

The other thing that always pisses me off is the actual major candidates (or at least democrats) will never do a recount/audit like what the Green party was auditing? Our candidate had standing so the recounts could not have been thrown out or stopped. How could this have possible hurt her, or us more than this result?

What if someone Hacked the playbook of one of the Superbowl teams?

And all of the insider gossip of preparing for the game, and released it through wiki-leaks. Maybe even some non-public discussion on some infraction by the players or coaches being handled internally was made public. And all of this could be tracked back to some say Russian Gambling oligarchs. Somehow I think the sports betting would be affected.

Would fans then "get it". Hey they did not "influence" the field, or officiating, or the players on the field themselves. But it would seem to me to be a bigger deal than a pound or two of ball inflation.

I have not seen any real data that the voting machines or tabulators were hacked. But the election itself, how people thought of the two candidates and their parties WAS affected. With all of the other issues, the election was close enough that this was a factor in the election outcome. Not the only factor, but not a minor one either.

I hope one day that who we elect for president will be more important that the Superbowl game. May the odds be ever in your favor!

Russian Roulette.

For much of the last few weeks, Trump's chance of winning were quite low at about 16%, or about 1 in six. Fairly low, but it would be like getting any single specific number on a die which has six sides.

Then with all the talk of Trump's ties to the Russians I though of another 1 in 6 “game”. Russian roulette is supposedly putting one bullet into one of the six chambers of a revolver type pistol, and spinning the cylinder, closing it and putting it to your temple and pulling the trigger. Kind of the ultimate win or loose, even if you have a 5 in 6 chance of living. I certainly would not do it.

This election is a bit like the whole country playing Russian Roulette. Except the last check of 538 now has Trump at over 34%. This is like putting TWO bullets in the six shooter for the round.

So anybody saying they are all the same, or not going to vote is literally playing Russian roulette with the country and ALL our futures.

Get out there and VOTE, and Get out the VOTE!

The Realities of Sea-Level Rise in Miami's Low-Income Communities

MIAMI—The water rose quickly. At noon on a brilliantly sunny day here, several blocks from the beach, a lake of salt water suddenly appeared in the street, filtered up from the porous limestone that resides underneath the whole county of Miami-Dade. On the corner of 79th Street and 10th Avenue in the Shorecrest neighborhood, people wandered outside their apartment buildings to stare at the rising water, sloshing through in rain boots to take out their trash.

“It’s been like this for a few days now, rising and then receding and then rising again,” says Jessica Benitez, a resident who moved to Miami from her native Venezuela about a month and a half ago. She says she didn’t know these apartments would flood before she moved into them, and she still doesn’t know how to predict when the water is going to rise. She got home from the store a few days ago to find her street completely flooded, and she tied plastic bags around her feet to get to her door. “[The city] has never told us anything. The water just sits there. It’s like there are no drains, and I don’t understand why,” she says.

She’s not the only one who feels that way. This is just one neighborhood of many in Miami-Dade dealing with the effects of Florida’s King Tide last week, the highest tide of the year. Coastal neighborhoods are hardest hit, but the flooding also reaches farther inland, to less affluent communities. It’s here where the consequences of climate change and sea-level rise could in fact be most grave, says Nicole Hernandez Hammer, a climate researcher with the Union of Concerned Scientists. Middle- and low-income households tend to be less resilient to shocks such as flooding, and they also run the highest risk of being forgotten in the rush to save the millions of dollars in real-estate investments on the waterfront.

“It’s getting worse. When you visit places that weren’t flooding 30 years ago, they’re flooding now,” says Hammer. Today, the Miami area experiences about six of these sunny-day flooding events per year. But the Union of Concerned Scientists projects that by 2045, they’ll be happening 380 times per year. “That’s two times per day in some areas,” she says.


It is interesting that these places did not flood when they were building them. But there is no real sea level rise, or it is only a few fractions on and inch....

Nano-spike catalysts convert carbon dioxide directly into ethanol

October 12, 2016
Nano-spike catalysts convert carbon dioxide directly into ethanol
ORNL's Yang Song (seated), Dale Hensley (standing left) and Adam Rondinone examine a carbon nanospike sample with a scanning electron microscope. Credit: ORNL

In a new twist to waste-to-fuel technology, scientists at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed an electrochemical process that uses tiny spikes of carbon and copper to turn carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, into ethanol. Their finding, which involves nanofabrication and catalysis science, was serendipitous.

"We discovered somewhat by accident that this material worked," said ORNL's Adam Rondinone, lead author of the team's study published in ChemistrySelect. "We were trying to study the first step of a proposed reaction when we realized that the catalyst was doing the entire reaction on its own."

The team used a catalyst made of carbon, copper and nitrogen and applied voltage to trigger a complicated chemical reaction that essentially reverses the combustion process. With the help of the nanotechnology-based catalyst which contains multiple reaction sites, the solution of carbon dioxide dissolved in water turned into ethanol with a yield of 63 percent. Typically, this type of electrochemical reaction results in a mix of several different products in small amounts.

"We're taking carbon dioxide, a waste product of combustion, and we're pushing that combustion reaction backwards with very high selectivity to a useful fuel," Rondinone said. "Ethanol was a surprise—it's extremely difficult to go straight from carbon dioxide to ethanol with a single catalyst."


This could be a very big deal. First the CO2 levels are off the charts literally, and may kill us all in 20 to 100 years. Ethanol is very useful directly as a fuel, but there are also fuel cells (DEFC) that can convert ethanol directly into electricity. We had some of these in the Fuel cell college class I taught, and we even used some "Moonshine" (bottled locally) to run them. Making something useful (and valuable) is the best chance at making some sort of stab at reducing CO2 levels.
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