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Hometown: Silicon Valley
Home country: USA
Current location: Sierra Nevada, California
Member since: Tue Jan 26, 2021, 09:27 PM
Number of posts: 3,006

Journal Archives

This California desert could hold the key to powering all of America's electric cars

The Salton Sea, which lies roughly in the middle of the massive geologic low point, isn't really a sea, at all. The largest inland lake in California, it's 51 miles long from north to south and 17 miles wide, but gradually shrinking as less and less water flows into it. At one time, it was a thriving entertainment and recreation spot, business that has also largely dried up. It's left behind abandoned buildings and shallow, gray beaches.

Over the past few years, companies have been coming here to extract a valuable metal, lithium, that the car industry needs as it shifts to making electric cars. Lithium is the lightest naturally occurring metal element on Earth, and, for that reason among others, it's important for electric car batteries, which must store a lot of electricity in a package that weighs as little as possible.

What's more, with the Salton Sea Basin's unique geography, engineers and technicians can get the lithium with minimal environmental destruction, according to companies that are working there. In other places, lithium is taken from the earth using hard rock mining that leaves huge, ugly scars in the land. Here, it exists naturally in a liquid form, so extraction doesn't require mining or blasting.

Over thousands of years, floodwaters from the Colorado River, carrying minerals pulled away from the Rocky Mountains, the Ruby Canyon, Glen Canyon, the Grand Canyon and more, have washed into these lowlands. Time and again the water has come and evaporated, leaving behind metals that have ended up deep in the ground.
Lithium is abundant in the Salton Sea Basin. In fact, people working to extract it say there could be enough to make batteries for all the electric cars expected to be built in this country for many years, freeing the United States from reliance on foreign lithium suppliers. That's been a priority for the Biden administration.



A few weeks old, but REALLY interesting!

If anyone previoulsy posted this, I missed it and I apologize!

Country Music Association Fest Bans Confederate Flags For First Time

Source: HUffPost

Jun. 4, 2022, 12:54 AM EDT |

The flags and flag imagery are prohibited to "protect the safety of our fans and ban discrimination," according to a CMA statement.

The Country Music Association has banned all Confederate flags and Confederate “flag imagery of any kind” at its upcoming festival for the first time.

The four-day CMA Fest in Nashville, one of the largest of its kind in the nation, will be held June 9-12 after a two-year suspension due to the COVID pandemic

Barring the Confederate flag was part of the CMA’s updated policy to protect the safety of fans, the organization said in a statement to the Tennessean newspaper.

“This year’s CMA Fest is our first major fan-facing event in nearly three years. We have always had policies in place that protect the safety of our fans and ban discrimination, but we felt it was important to further refine our language to explicitly outline what will and will not be tolerated,” the statement said.

The statement didn’t go into detail about safety issues concerning the flag, but the battle flags can be be intimidating and infuriating, and a flashpoint for conflict and violence.

“Our event policy ... states any behavior that causes one of our attendees to fear for their personal safety will not be tolerated, and that is inclusive of any displays of the Confederate flag,” the statement said.

The move comes amid increasing criticism of displays of the flag and of Confederate monuments.

The flag has been viewed in the past as a symbol of the Southern roots of country music with little sensitivity about the Confederacy’s fight to preserve slavery. But that acceptance of racist emblems has changed as more artists of color have become involved in the genre, and as artists and industry leaders push for racial equality in country music.

Read more: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/country-music-association-fest-confederate-flag-ban_n_629ad34de4b0c184bdd14f6b

A move in the right direction.

Ohio GOP's wild plan to arm teachers


Cops and educators denounce Ohio GOP's wild plan to arm teachers
Ohio's Republican governor is preparing to pass a law allowing teachers to carry guns on campus with minimal training. Cops and educators hate the idea.

The Ohio Fraternal Order of Police opposes the law as well. When Ohio Republicans introduced a similar bill last year, the order’s director of government affairs, Mike Weinman, testified that the organization “strongly disagrees” with the law. Weinman reiterated the need for high-level training to effectively handle situations with guns. “Teachers and students will not receive this training level during an eight-hour concealed carry class or a weekend-long training class,” he said.

None of this will come as a surprise to people with common sense. It’s not a teacher’s job to combat gun violence, so many teachers in Ohio don’t want to do it. It is a police officer’s job to combat gun violence, and, knowing the difficulty of the job, they also don’t want teachers to do it, especially if they lack proper training.

But the GOP is more concerned with looking like they’re coming up with solutions to gun violence than presenting actual solutions to gun violence, which they and their base might not like. With Americans nationwide calling for lawmakers to do something about gun violence, House Bill 99 is Ohio Republicans’ attempt to check a box and keep moving. Even when there’s a widespread, justifiable belief this bill will do far more harm than good.


Rep. Ken Buck: We Can't.. Because Raccoons Eat Chickens


The Colorado Republican appears to care more about chickens than children.

Please, think of the children chickens.

At a House Judiciary Committee hearing on gun violence Thursday, Republican Rep. Ken Buck (Colo.) dismissed a proposal to regulate AR-style rifles, the weapon of choice for mass shooters, as “small-minded.”

Why? Because without them, Buck claimed, ranchers would be completely defenseless against varmint.

“Blaming the gun for what’s happening in America is small-minded,” he said.

“In rural Colorado, an AR-15 is a gun of choice for killing raccoons before they get to our chickens,” Buck added. “It is the gun of choice for killing a fox, it is a gun that you control predators on your ranch, on your farm, on your property.”

If it sounds preposterous, that’s because it is. As this NRA story detailing a prolific raccoon hunter makes abundantly clear, a small caliber, lever-action rifle is more than capable of keeping the animal at bay.

Buck’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment regarding how many chickens the life of one child is worth.

“Oh — Why didn’t y’all just say so? We have to protect the chickens from the raccoons. Cool cool,” tweeted Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.). “So that’s why our kids have to die in their classrooms. So we can protect the chickens. Makes total sense now.”

Take the poll!

What is worth more to the average person?

Over 200 mass shootings so far in 2022

Before a man killed at least four people Wednesday at a hospital in Tulsa, there had already been 231 mass shootings this year in the United States, according to the Gun Violence Archive. It is the twentieth since last week’s shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Tex., left 19 children and two teachers dead.

Mass shootings, where four or more people — not including the shooter — are injured or killed, have averaged more than one per day so far this year. Not a single week in 2022 has passed without at least four mass shootings.

Mass shootings have been on the rise in recent years. In 2021, almost 700 such incidents occurred, a jump from the 611 in 2020 and 417 in 2019. Before that, incidents had not topped 400 annually since the Gun Violence Archive started tracking in 2014.

2014 thru May of 2022



More and more, it sounds like the GOP is using the 2nd Amenment as an excuse to do nothing.

The Constitution is a LIVING DOCUMENT.


'This Video Will Change You': Urgent Plea For Gun Sanity Has People In Tears


Jun. 2, 2022, 02:51 AM EDT | Updated 4 hours ago

A powerful new video is urging Americans to demand action on gun control amid a wave of mass shootings in American schools.

Eleven Films, the Oregon-based production company that made the video, listed the title on YouTube as “WARNING: This video will change you.” It shows the aftermath of school shootings going back more than two decades, along with gut-wrenching comments from anguished parents as well as presidents, athletes, entertainers and media figures.

“This is not a movie,” the text on the screen notes. “This is real life.”

Other text in the video also notes that guns are the leading cause of death among American children, surpassing auto crashes, drugs and cancer.

“No more thoughts and prayers,” the text says toward the end. “Only action will save our kids. Only real gun reform will restore America’s future.”

US sanctions more Russian elites, targeting yachts and aircraft

Source: CNN

The White House on Thursday announced the latest round of sanctions over Russia's invasion of Ukraine, targeting Russian government officials and elites close to Russian President Vladimir Putin with a slew of new financial and diplomatic sanctions.
The sanctions, issued by the Treasury and State Departments, take aim at the luxury assets of several prominent Russian elites -- including several yachts and aircraft belonging to Putin's associates -- and "luxury asset management and service companies" working to evade US sanctions, according to a White House statement. The Commerce Department also issued new sanctions restricting Russia's ability to secure military technologies.
The sanctions target several prominent Russian elites and government officials, including Russian businessman God Nisanov, whom Secretary of State Antony Blinken calls "one of the richest men in Europe and a close associate of several Russian officials" and Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Maria Zakharova.

Thursday's sanctions also take aim at a "close friend" of Putin, Sergei Pavlovich Roldugin, who, according to Treasury, is "the godfather to one of Putin's daughters," as well as Roldugin's wife, Elena Yuryevna Mirtova. Roldugin is the artistic director of the St. Petersburg Music House and Mirtova is a soprano opera singer.
The administration also sanctioned a series of other yachts and aircraft belonging to Putin associates.
Five additional Russian government officials were placed on the Department of Treasury's sanctions list, including Yury Slyusar, the president of a Russian state-owned aircraft company, Vitaly Savelyev, the Minister of Transport, Maxim Reshentnikov, the Minister of Economic Development, Irek Envarovich Faizullin, the Minister of Construction, Housing, and Utilities, and Dmitriy Yuryevich Grigorenko, the deputy prime minister.

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2022/06/02/politics/us-sanctions-russia/index.html

Keep them coming.

Pelosi says House will consider assault weapons ban legislation

Source: CNN

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said next week she will bring forward legislation to ban military-style assault weapons, as the chamber moves to address gun violence.

She said "we will be having a hearing and marking up the assault weapon ban" as soon as the House addresses several pieces of legislation, including the package the House Judiciary Committee will mark up on Thursday.

Speaking at a rally against gun violence in San Francisco, Pelosi said, "We just are trying to hit it in every possible way," to try and curb mass shootings across the country.

The package being considered by the Judiciary Committee, known as the "Protecting our Kids Act," would likely pass the House but wouldn't overcome a Republican-led filibuster in the Senate.

The Senate's discussions revolve around less restrictive gun measures than the House Judiciary Committee's bill, including strengthening background checks and incentivizing mental health initiatives.

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2022/06/01/politics/pelosi-assault-weapons-ban-legislation/index.html

Let's get ON IT!

Scientists Find World's Largest Plant In Australia

Source: Huffington Post

Researchers were stunned when they discovered a species of seagrass had effectively cloned itself for 4,500 years and covered nearly 80 square miles.

Nick Visser
Jun. 1, 2022, 04:22 AM EDT | Updated 5 hours ago

SYDNEY ― Researchers have made a startling discovery beneath the waters off Western Australia. A meadow of sea grass stretching more than 110 miles long was actually a single plant that had spent the past 4,500 years cloning itself to carpet an area three times larger than Manhattan.

The findings, published Wednesday in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, make the colony of Posidonia australis, or ribbon weed, the largest known plant on Earth, scientists said.

Elizabeth Sinclair, a senior research fellow at the University of Western Australia and a lead author of the study, said her team has been testing seagrass meadows around Australia for genetic diversity for years to see how they respond to climate change. When her team visited an area known as Shark Bay, a relatively pristine landscape untouched by development, they went beneath the waves to collect samples of seagrass to see what types of plants were growing across the ocean floor.

The answer was one.

“It’s quite bizarre when you think about it, there’s this plant in one end of the bay and then you move 100 kilometers down to the other end and it’s the same plant,” Sinclair said.

Read more: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/worlds-largest-plant_n_629707bde4b090b53b7ed338

Wow !!


Job openings in April remain near record highs, U.S. employers report


4.4 million Americans quit or changed jobs, new Labor Department figures show
By Abha Bhattarai
June 1, 2022 at 10:03 a.m. EDT

Job openings remain near record highs with 11.4 million job openings, as the tight labor market continues to be a bright spot for the U.S. economy.

Some 4.4 million Americans quit or changed jobs in April, according to a report released Wednesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, using their leverage in a labor economy where job openings continue to outnumber job seekers by close to two-to-one.

Employers reported hiring 6.6 million people in April. Layoffs, meanwhile, fell to an all-time low of 1.2 million, as businesses sought to keep the workers they did have.

“The labor market remains strong even though things are cooling off a bit,” said Nick Bunker, an economist at the jobs site Indeed. “We’re still very much in a worker’s and job-seeker’s market.”

The latest figures come as the U.S. job market notches month after month of solid growth. U.S. employers added 428,000 jobs in April — the 12th consecutive month of at least 400,000 new jobs. The unemployment rate is at a pandemic low of 3.6 percent.

In all, the labor market has added more than 6.5 million jobs in the past year and is on pace to return to pre-pandemic levels this summer. That brisk growth has empowered millions of workers to leave dissatisfying jobs.

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