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EarthFirst's Journal
EarthFirst's Journal
November 23, 2023

Happy Holidays from the Group W bench...

P.S. -the dump is closed today…

November 13, 2023

Global pop icon P!nk teams up with PEN America to give away 2,000 banned books at Florida concerts

The Giveaway Highlights the Unprecedented Rise in Book Bans in the United States

November 13, 2023

(NEW YORK) – Today, singer-songwriter and global pop icon P!nk announced she will team up with the free expression organization PEN America and Florida bookseller Books & Books to give away 2,000 banned books at her upcoming concerts in Florida.

As a mother of two who is deeply invested in education and in representation for all races and sexual identities, P!nk wanted to give away banned books to highlight the spike in book bans in Florida and across the country documented by PEN America.

“Books have held a special joy for me from the time I was a child, and that’s why I am unwilling to stand by and watch while books are banned by schools,” P!nk said. “It’s especially hateful to see authorities take aim at books about race and racism and against LGBTQ authors and those of color. We have made so many strides toward equality in this country and no one should want to see this progress reversed. This is why I am supporting PEN America in its work and why I agree with them: no more banned books.”

At the Miami and Sunrise, Florida, concert stops on November 14-15 as part of her 2023 Trustfall Tour, P!nk will give away four books that have appeared in PEN America’s Index of Banned Books: “The Family Book,” by Todd Parr, “The Hill We Climb,” by Amanda Gorman, “Beloved,” by Toni Morrison, and a book from “Girls Who Code,” founded by Reshma Saujani.


September 29, 2023

Record rain in New York City generates 'life-threatening' flooding, overwhelming streets and subways

Source: CNN


Record-setting rain overwhelmed New York City’s sewer system Friday, sending a surge of floodwater coursing through streets and into basements, schools, subways and vehicles throughout the nation’s most populous city.

The water rose fast and furious, catching some commuters off guard as they slogged through Friday morning’s rush hour. First responders jumped into action where needed, plucking people from stranded cars and basements that filled like bathtubs.

More rain fell in a single day at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport – nearly 8 inches – than any other since 1948. A month’s worth of rain fell in Brooklyn in just three hours as it was socked by some of the storm’s most intense rainfall rates Friday morning.

A travel advisory remains in effect for New York City through 6 a.m. ET Saturday with more flooding possible.

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2023/09/29/weather/new-york-city-northeast-rain-flood-forecast-climate-friday/index.html

Residents walk through floodwaters in the New York City suburb of Mamaroneck in Westchester County, New York, on Friday.
September 2, 2023

"Incels to In Cells: The Proud Boys Story..."

Damn near lost my coffee this morning after reading this one…

July 29, 2023

Phoenix's record heat is killing off cacti

(CNN) -At a botanical garden in Phoenix some cactuses can’t take the heat.

Record-high temperatures in Arizona, combined with a lack of seasonal monsoons, have caused saguaro cactuses at the Desert Botanical Garden to become “highly stressed,” according to Chief Science Officer Kimberlie McCue. She said a saguaro can appear “fairly normal” or feel somewhat squishy before it suddenly collapses and reveals it has been rotting from the inside out due to heat-related stress.

Every February, the Desert Botanical Garden takes inventory of its saguaro cactuses and assesses each one’s condition. McCue said since 2020, when record temperatures caused stress in many of the saguaros, she and her team have seen more of the garden’s cactuses die. Present-day heat records are sending some of those previously affected cactuses over the edge, causing them to lose limbs and even collapse.

Wednesday night ended a record streak of 16 days above 90 degrees in Phoenix. The city is forecast to see temperatures over 110 degrees again on Thursday, which would make for the 28th consecutive day.

Cactuses carry out essential functions at night. That’s when they open their stomata, or pores, and carry out a gas exchange in which they take in the carbon dioxide they use to photosynthesize during the day. But because nights in Phoenix have experienced record-high heat, McCue said this suffocates and stresses out the saguaros, which dehydrates them and makes them more susceptible to infections and insects.


July 21, 2023

UPS pilots vow to not cross strike picket lines

The union representing pilots flying cargo planes for UPS say they will not cross picket lines if Teamsters strike next month, a spokesperson for the Independent Pilots Association confirmed to CNN.

The union representing 3,400 pilots has vowed solidarity “by not ‘turning an aircraft wheel’ on behalf of the company,” which could spell even deeper disruptions for the worldwide shipper. The heads of the two unions say in letters to each other that their support proved pivotal during a previous Teamsters strike in 1997.

This does not mean UPS pilots are going on strike, rather there will be a work stoppage as they vow not to fly UPS cargo. UPS has said negotiations with Teamsters will continue next week and says it “prepared to increase our industry-leading pay and benefits.”

The loss of UPS’ air unit will make it very difficult for the company to operate with thousands of non-union members they are training to move packages in the event of a strike.

April 13, 2023

Exxon CEO's pay rose 52% in 2022, highest among oil peers

HOUSTON (Reuters) -U.S. oil bosses generally collected huge paychecks last year on the back of high energy prices and record profits, with Exxon Mobil Corp's chief executive winning a 52% increase.

The largest U.S. oil company on Thursday disclosed Chief Executive Darren Woods was paid $35.9 million last year.

Oil company workers did not see the same level of increases with median annual compensation for workers declining at several big energy companies. The median pay for an Exxon worker fell 9% last year to $171,582 while Chevron's median worker pay dropped 12%, to $161,488, filings showed.

The two largest U.S. oil majors posted record profits in 2022 on high energy prices and costs cuts measures including payroll reductions. Exxon posted the most among Western oil majors, $56 billion. Chevron's profit more than doubled in 2022 to a record $36.5 billion.


Next time you're filling up...

April 10, 2023

Al Jaffee, longtime Mad magazine cartoonist, dies at 102

NEW YORK (AP) — Al Jaffee, Mad magazine’s award-winning cartoonist and ageless wise guy who delighted millions of kids with the sneaky fun of the Fold-In and the snark of “Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions,” has died. He was 102.

Jaffee died Monday in Manhattan from multiple organ failure, according to his granddaughter, Fani Thomson. He had retired at the age of 99.

Mad magazine, with its wry, sometimes pointed send-ups of politics and culture, was essential reading for teens and preteens during the baby-boom era and inspiration for countless future comedians. Few of the magazine’s self-billed “Usual Gang of Idiots” contributed as much — and as dependably — as the impish, bearded cartoonist. For decades, virtually every issue featured new material by Jaffee. His collected “Fold-Ins,” taking on everyone in his unmistakably broad visual style from the Beatles to TMZ, was enough for a four-volume box set published in 2011.

Readers savored his Fold-Ins like dessert, turning to them on the inside back cover after looking through such other favorites as Antonio Prohías’ “Spy vs. Spy” and Dave Berg’s “The Lighter Side.” The premise, originally a spoof of the old Sports Illustrated and Playboy magazine foldouts, was that you started with a full-page drawing and question on top, folded two designated points toward the middle and produced a new and surprising image, along with the answer.


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