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World’s Largest Fracked-Gas-to-Methanol Refinery Forced to Calculate Climate Impact

Posted  October 21, 2017  by  guest
CO2 to methanol plant in Iceland

By Stephen Quirke

Last month one of the largest fracked gas projects in the Pacific Northwest was dealt a legal blow when its development permit was canceled for failing to fully account for the plant’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The project, backed by Northwest Innovation Works (NWIW), would refine fracked gas into methanol, an industrial feedstock used in chemical production, that would be shipped in bulk from Kalama, Washington, to China, where backers say it will produce plastics.

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You’re Right, Drinking Does Improve Your French

Posted  October 21, 2017  by  Julian Morgans

Researchers have found foreign language skills become “significantly better” after a drink.

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Joel Kim Booster’s Tough Journey from Closeted Gay Kid to ‘Model Minority’

Posted  October 21, 2017  by  Anonymous

The writer and comedian’s quick rise to success only came when he learned to parse the thorniest questions—like what it means to be gay, Asian and raised by Evangelicals.

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The ‘Fake Melania’ Conspiracy Theory Is Toxic, Cynical Spam

Posted  October 21, 2017  by  Mike Pearl

Even when fake news looks like a joke, it can spin out of control.

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These UK Politicians Want To Enforce Free Speech at Universities

Posted  October 21, 2017  by  Anonymous

But why should students have to invite C-list bigots to speak on their campuses?

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Saturday Stories: 3 #MeToo Stories

Posted  October 21, 2017  by  Yoni Freedhoff
Image Source: The Daily Beast

Scott Rosenberg, in Deadline Hollywood, says everybody knew.

Jim Beaver, on Facebook, and why he won’t say #MeToo.

Kristen Patrick in the CMAJ on #MeToo in Medicine.

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You Need to Check Out ‘Killing Gunther’ and More This Weekend

Posted  October 20, 2017  by  VICE Staff

Get blown up with Schwarzenegger, dive back into the Civil War with ‘Uncivil,’ and revisit 60 years of Carolyn Schneemann.

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Another Trump Masterpiece Just Sold for Thousands of Dollars

Posted  October 20, 2017  by  Anonymous

Ah, yes, the famous Empire State Building.

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A Compromise on Obamacare Is Still Practically Impossible

Posted  October 20, 2017  by  Mark Hay

A bipartisan bill that would stabilize the Affordable Care Act’s markets is trapped by the broken politics of healthcare.

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WATCH: Dancehall and Bleaching at Caribbean Fashion Week

Posted  October 20, 2017  by  VICE Staff

In this episode, host Charlet travels to Kingston, Jamaica.

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5 Facts About Mike Pence’s Close Ties to the Koch Brothers Not Included in Jane Mayer’s New Yorker Article

Posted  October 20, 2017  by  guest

This is a guest post by Scott Peterson from Checks and Balances Project.

If you’ve read Jane Mayer’s deep dive into the ties between the Koch Bros. and the Vice President, “The Danger of President Pence,” you’ll understand why it’s the high-water mark of reporting about their relationship. 

Yet there are several facts that aren’t included in the New Yorker article. Here are five facts worth knowing in addition to her excellent work.

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Pumpkin Pie (or Butternut Squash Pie)

Posted  October 20, 2017  by  Anonymous

– – – A classic Pumpkin Pie recipe. There really is no dessert more classic for Thanksgiving than Pumpkin Pie.  Even after a big dinner, and a turkey filled belly, there’s always room for pumpkin pie. With a big scoop of whipped cream.  Oh my. Pumpkin pie made with homemade pumpkin puree is the absolute best kind of pumpkin pie.  I do use canned pumpkin which is delicious, but a freshly made pumpkin puree is ah-mazing in a pie.  Just make sure to use baking or sugar pumpkins for your pumpkin puree…Halloween pumpkins are not great for pies! But did you know that you can also use pretty much any kind of fresh squash puree in a pie?  It’s true.  I have made butternut squash pies with homemade butternut squash puree, and they are delicious.  They’re very similar to pumpkin pie, but I actually think they’re a little more creamy and rich…so so good. The big question though, is do you take your pumpkin pie with whipped cream, or a scoop of vanilla ice cream? This recipe makes enough filling for 1 pie.  But if you wish, you can double the recipe to make 2 pies.  Enjoy! – – – […]

The post Pumpkin Pie (or Butternut Squash Pie) appeared first on A Pretty Life In The Suburbs.

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Inuit Leaders Ignored as ESA Satellite Launched Over the Arctic

Posted  October 20, 2017  by  Chuck Black
          By Chuck Black

The European Space Agency (CSA) ignored Inuit concerns by launching a hydrazine loaded rocket last week, using a second stage which fell to Earth in the waters between Nunavut and Greenland after launch with up to a tonne of its unburned toxic fuel still onboard.

The Sentinal 5P being launched on a Russian rocket from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia on October 13th, 2017. As outlined in the October 15th, 2017 Spaceflight Now post, “ESA details construction of Sentinel-5P satellite and Tropomi instrument,” the satellite carried the Dutch/ UK built TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (Tropomi), a spectrometer that measures ultraviolet, visible, near visible, and short-wavelength infrared to monitor trace gases in Earth’s atmosphere. Photo c/o ESA.

As outlined in the October 13th, 2017 APTN News post, “European Space Agency ignores Inuit concerns, launches hydrazine loaded rocket,” the Sentinel 5P satellite was launched from a site in northern Russia on October 13th, 2017.

We condemn Russia’s actions and demand that this launch be halted,” said Nunavut Premier Peter Taptuna. “Our people rely on the marine ecosystem to support our families, communities, and livelihoods.” The Inuit Circumpolar Conference, an organization that represents Inuit around the world, also protested the satellite launch.

The Canadian Federal government in Ottawa also protested the launch as did Kuupik Kleist, the former Prime Minister of Greenland. According to the article:

Hydrazine is so toxic that almost every space program in the world, including Russia’s, has moved away from it. 

That area falls within Canada’s exclusive economic zone and is within the jurisdiction of the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act.

The second stage of the rocket, containing up to a tonne of unburned hydrazine, splashed down in water between Greenland and Baffin Island.

According to the March 2017 Cambridge University Press paper, “Toxic splash: Russian rocket stages dropped in Arctic waters raise health, environmental and legal concerns,” at least 10 similar launches have discarded rocket stages in Pikialasorsuaq or in the Barents Sea, off the northern coasts of Norway and Russia, since 2002.

As outlined in the October 13th, 2017 Russia Space Web post, “Rockot delivers Sentinel-5P,” the Rockot launch vehicle used for the mission is a re-purposed Soviet era ballistic missile.

More modern launchers, typically don’t use hydrazine or other hypergolic and highly carcinogenic fuels to power their rocket launchers.

Chuck Black.
___________________________________________________________

Chuck Black is the editor of the Commercial Space blog.

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Video of the Week: Watch a 600-kilogram pumpkin destroy a car

Posted  October 20, 2017  by  Anonymous

Operation pumpkin drop

Ever since Newton defined the law of gravity, humankind has been coming up with new and bizarre ways to test it, and while the group behind Saskatoon’s first-ever Operation Pumpkin Drop surely isn’t the first to think of dropping a weighty gourd from a great height, they did pull it off with an extremely satsifying twist. 

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Five things to do in Mesa, Arizona

Posted  October 20, 2017  by  Anonymous

Paddling on the lower salt river, mesa arizona

There’s a reason why Canadian snowbirds flock to Mesa, Arizona each winter: with ample hiking trails, wild horses roaming the shores of the meandering Salt River and an abundance of recreational activities, Mesa is an outdoor enthusiast’s playground. Located just 20 minutes from the resorts of Scottsdale, the Mesa region offers scenic vistas, superb shopping and plenty for foodies to discover. Here are five of our favourite Mesa must-dos. 

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How many mutant genes does a person have? Quirks Question

Posted  October 20, 2017  by  podcasting@cbc.ca

Every human has mutant genes, some scientists say about sixty, other suggest the number is around one-hundred.

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The behind the scenes hunt for the neutron star collision

Posted  October 20, 2017  by  podcasting@cbc.ca

Astronomers track a neutron star collision to discover how gold came to Earth.

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Fishing tackle kills a shocking number of loons

Posted  October 20, 2017  by  podcasting@cbc.ca

In New Hampshire 49% of all adult loon deaths are due to ingesting lead fishing tackle

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A computer taught itself the toughest game on the planet. And it’s just getting started

Posted  October 20, 2017  by  podcasting@cbc.ca

Computers invent new ways to play the world’s hardest game.

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Sorry Harvey Weinstein, sex addiction isn’t real

Posted  October 20, 2017  by  podcasting@cbc.ca

No strong scientific evidence that proves sex addiction treatment works

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Why Is This African American Community Living Next to a Dump for Hurricane Harvey Debris?

Posted  October 19, 2017  by  Julie Dermansky
Port Arthur resident Tami Thomas-Pinkney and her daughter Trinity Handy, with a hurricane debris dump in the background

Tami Thomas-Pinkney’s house in Port Arthur, Texas, was not damaged when Hurricane Harvey soaked the city with up to 28 inches of rain on August 29. But now, a month and a half after the storm, she is preparing to move. Across the street from her family’s home is a temporary dumpsite for storm debris, which she says is endangering her family’s health and making her home unlivable. 

Countless trucks haul the debris —ruined building material ripped from storm-damaged homes and household belongings previously submerged in floodwater but now covered with mold — past her house. Each day they rattle down the streets around Thomas-Pinkney, dumping their loads about a hundred feet from her front porch. 

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Don’t Let Canada’s Chief Scientist Fool You: Today’s Publicly Funded Science Absolutely Demands Political Activism

Posted  October 19, 2017  by  Chuck Black
          By Henry Stewart

Chief scientist Nemer. Photo c/o Alex Tétreault.


It’s worth noting that Mona Nemer, Canada’s new chief scientist, works out of an office suite in the CD Howe Building in Ottawa which “used to house Canadian Space Agency (CSA) personnel,” according to staff members.

But she’s not immediately going to champion the cause of the scientists at the CSA. That’s not trendy or politically astute.

Nemer’s main focus as she settles into her new position is the Climate Change and Atmospheric Research program (CCAR), which supports seven independent projects in climate science and is due to run out of funds at the end of the year.

At least that’s the story in the October 19th, 2017 National Observer Post. “Top scientist teases ‘solution‘ to climate funding crisis,” which quoted Nemer as stating that, “My understanding is that a solution (for funding both the CCAR and one of the projects it supports, the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory) is actually in the works, and things are on track and the community will be pleased.”

Not that there’s anything wrong with coming to that conclusion, especially if the evidence supports it. But the major impetus to revisit funding for the CCAR, at least according to the article, doesn’t come from academics or those curious about the research and data being collected by CCAR.

It instead comes from organizations like Evidence for Democracy, which describes itself and an organization “standing up for science and smart decision-making in Canada.”

Their “issue-based campaigns tackle emerging issues affecting science and evidence-based public policy in Canada” and they work with “national and local partners to organize events, raise awareness, and engage the public directly with policy-makers.”

Many of their members are even scientists, but they’re not performing scientific experiments or political advocacy on behalf of science. Instead they’re engaging national and local partners to organize events, raise awareness and engage the public directly with policy makers.

In essence, they’re telling the politicians what they feel is important and needs to be addressed.

And again, it’s not that there is anything wrong with that. It’s just that political advocacy is something the Canadian space community doesn’t really know how to do.

If we did, there would be far fewer empty CSA offices for the newer and trendier political appointees to move into.

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Henry Stewart is the pseudonym of a Toronto based aerospace writer.

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Justin Trudeau to join Richard Hébert in Lac-Saint-Jean and Brian Gold in Sturgeon River-Parkland

Posted  October 19, 2017  by  Liberal Party of Canada

Lac-Saint-Jean, QC – Justin Trudeau, Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, will join candidate Richard Hébert in Lac-Saint-Jean and candidate Brian Gold in Sturgeon River-Parkland for events on Friday, October 20, 2017.   Friday, 20 October 2017 10:45 AM – Tour – Resolute Forest Products 1100 rue Melançon O Alma, QC G8B 4B1 Notes […]

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Koch-Funded Fueling US Forward Shuts Down, But Koch Attacks On Clean Energy Continue

Posted  October 19, 2017  by  Ben Jervey

Over this past weekend, with no announcement or notice, the website for Fueling U.S. Forward went dark. The Koch-funded campaign that had set out to promote the “positives” of fossil fuels has seemingly shut down, having wiped the website from the internet and deleting all traces on Facebook and all of its videos off of Youtube.

The abrupt end of the campaign, barely a year old, comes after a summer in which the group’s messaging clearly pivoted from celebrating fossil fuels to attacking clean energy and electric vehicles.

Upon its launch in August 2016, Fueling U.S. Forward CEO and President Charles Drevna told a crowd at the Red State Gathering that the campaign would set out to promote the “positives” of fossil fuels, which he described as “reliable, abundant, efficient and sustainable.”

We’ve got to take this to the emotional and personal level,” said Drevna.

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FERC Approved NEXUS Pipeline After Companies Behind Project Lobbied for New Commissioners

Posted  October 19, 2017  by  Anonymous
Powelson and Chatterjee

In one of their first major decisions on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), President Trump’s newly appointed commissioners Neil Chatterjee and Rob Powelson approved the controversial NEXUS natural gas pipeline.

Yet DeSmog has found that in the months leading up to the appointment of the new commissioners, the companies behind the pipeline engaged in a lobbying blitz to support their nomination and confirmation.

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Ultimate flourless brownies for two + Cookbook news!

Posted  October 19, 2017  by  Angela (Oh She Glows)

Several months ago, my publishing team let me know about an exciting idea that Indigo had proposed for my two cookbooks. They’ve been so thrilled with your response to the books (as have I!) that they’ve created a special-edition OSG boxed set, available just before the holiday season kicks off. When they asked me I […]

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The Renaissance-era map that introduced Canada to the world

Posted  October 19, 2017  by  Anonymous

Portion of Paolo Forlani's 1560 map of the world showing "Canada" for the first time

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MUST READ: “I Was an Eight-Year-Old Drag Queen”

Posted  October 19, 2017  by  Kathy Shaidle

Chad Felix Greene writes:My behavior grew more and more reckless. I even made plans with a stranger I met online who lived in California. He was supposed to rescue me from my small town on the day I graduated from high school. He actually flew into town to attend my graduation, and I discovered he […]

Kathy Shaidle’s NEW book, Confessions of a Failed Slut, is available HERE.
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A Canadian soldier's 'war flowers' and the resilience of the human spirit

Posted  October 19, 2017  by  Anonymous

1916 letter from George Cantlie to daughter Celia Cantlie with pressed flowers

During the First World War, Canadian soldier George Cantlie sent letters home to his young daughter in Montreal and enclosed in each a flower plucked from the battle-scarred fields of Europe — daisies and lavender, lilies and roses. 

A century later, Cantlie’s touching notes to his “Wee Celia” have provided the inspiration for War Flowersa new multi-sensory exhibition on now through January 2018 at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. 

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Joe Bob Briggs: “We need a strong female character for this…”

Posted  October 19, 2017  by  Kathy Shaidle
Joe Bob Briggs: “We need a strong female character for this…”

Joe Bob Briggs writes:It started in the ’90s, I think, with the whole “Go Black” movement. I remember going to an audition for the role of a police captain in a TV movie, and when I got to the waiting room, the receptionist said, “Oh, I’m sorry, you didn’t hear? Somebody should have called you. […]

Kathy Shaidle’s NEW book, Confessions of a Failed Slut, is available HERE.
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Good Lord! Britain Just Banned Surgeries For Patients With Obesity (And Smokers)

Posted  October 19, 2017  by  Yoni Freedhoff

In what is perhaps the world’s most biased and blame based health policy, Britain’s NHS just banned patients with obesity or who smoke from receiving elective surgeries in a bid presumably to inspire encourage help whip and prod people into losing weight (or quitting smoking – but I’m not going to touch on smoking in this piece, not because I agree with the policy, but rather because it’s not my area of expertise).

The policy’s two primary presumptions are ignorant and misguided.

The first has to do with the value of BMI as a clinical tool. While it’s true that the risks of medical complications and morbidities rise with weight, BMI is a measure of bigness, not health. Half of the NFL have been reported to have BMIs greater than 30, as did my friend and colleague Dr. Spencer Nadolsky pictured below in his wrestling days when he sported a BMI of 32.

The second presumption is that obesity is a disease of personal responsibility and choice. While no doubt weight can be dumbed down to eat less, move more, I still find it shocking that public health professionals and policy makers exist who believe that somehow people with obesity simply haven’t absorbed enough societal guilt, shame, and discrimination to finally lose weight.

Of course, even if you do want to embrace personal responsibility as the sole cause of obesity, medicine isn’t about blame. We patch up drunk drivers and folks who don’t wear seat belts. We treat people with asthma who don’t bother keeping up with their puffers, pneumonias exacerbated by the early discontinuation of antibiotics, and the psychotic breaks of folks who stop their antipsychotics.

Oh, you want surgical examples?

How about liver transplants in patients who once suffered with alcoholism; or how about one that doesn’t involve a so-called vice at all – heart bypasses on folks who simply didn’t bother to take their blood pressure, cholesterol or diabetes medications?

We operate on them all in a timely manner, and so we should, but yet here the NHS feels comfortable discriminating against people with obesity, because they apparently still feel justified discussing obesity on the basis of blame based causation.

But putting those two erroneous presumptions aside, the notion that blame based medicine is something that the UK wants to adopt is plainly repugnant. Medicine’s not about blaming and shaming. Life is complicated. And even if a person has the time and personal health to allow a run at intentional behavior change, how high on the list of priorities do you think healthy living lies for someone whose children struggle with substance abuse, or whose debts are staggering, or whose spouse is hobbled with post-traumatic stress disorder? Or someone with any of those same issues who is also unemployed?

Clinically useless truisms aside, obesity is complicated, and moreover we have yet to discover a non-surgical, reproducible, and uniformly effective plan for the management of obesity. And while there’s no argument about the fact that in a ideal world everyone would take it upon themselves to live the healthiest lives possible, there’s two problems with that argument. Firstly, not everyone is interested in changing their lifestyle, and secondly, statistically speaking, the majority of even those who are interested and successful with lifestyle change will ultimately regress. Meanwhile the burden of suffering that the elective surgery those with obesity are being denied may add to absenteeism, presenteeism, pain, depression, and more.

If someone from the NHS’ clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in Hertfordshire (who thought up this loathsome, biased, and backwards policy) is reading this, I want to remind you of the NHS Constitutions first guiding principle:

“The NHS provides a comprehensive service, available to all

It is available to all irrespective of gender, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, religion, belief, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity or marital or civil partnership status.”

Either you’re going to have to reverse this idiotic policy, or amend that statement above to explicitly exclude those with obesity.

For shame.

(In rushing this post through, I utilized paragraphs from a number of previous stories I’ve written about obesity, blame, and bias)

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Former Head of Energy, Environment at ALEC, Todd Wynn, Hired by Trump Interior Department

Posted  October 19, 2017  by  Steve Horn

Todd Wynn, former Director of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)‘s Energy Environmental and Agriculture Task Force, was recently hired by President Donald Trump to work as a senior-ranking official in the U.S. Department of the Interior. 

DeSmog discovered the hire via LinkedIn, and Wynn says on his profile page that he began at Interior in October.

Wynn worked at ALEC from 2011 to 2013 and then became Director of External Affairs for Edison Electric Institute (EEI), a trade association representing electric utility companies nationwide. Prior to his position at ALEC, Wynn served as Vice President of the Cascade Policy Institute, a part of the State Policy Network (SPN), a national chain of state-level conservative and corporate-funded think-tanks which was started as an ALEC offshoot.

ALEC‘s critics have described the organization, a national consortium of mostly Republican Party state legislators and corporate lobbyists, as a “corporate bill mill.” That’s because its lobbyist members convene several times a year with legislators to produce what it calls “model bills” which have ended up as actual legislation thousands of times since the organization’s founding in 1973.

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Justin Trudeau to join Richard Hébert in Lac-Saint-Jean

Posted  October 18, 2017  by  Liberal Party of Canada

Lac-Saint-Jean, QC — Justin Trudeau, Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, will join candidate Richard Hébert for events in Lac-Saint-Jean on Thursday, October 19, 2017:   Thursday, 19 October 2017 10:25  AM – Community visit with Seniors – Résidence l’Émeraude 1515 rue des Roses Roberval, QC G8H 3K5 Notes for Media: Photo opportunity only – Media should […]

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What They’re Saying – Small Business Tax Cut

Posted  October 18, 2017  by  Liberal Party of Canada

Find out what they’re saying about the Liberal Government’s plan to cut small business taxes from 10.5 to 9% by 2019.

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Halloween Decorating Ideas

Posted  October 18, 2017  by  Anonymous

Here are some Halloween Decorating Ideas to inspire you this spooky season! I really love to decorate inside our home for Halloween.  I love the transition from a simply decorated fall home, to a spooky but fun Halloween house.  But I especially love that the kids love it.  For them, it adds to the excitement that Halloween is coming! This year I changed things up in the Halloween decor department.  I try very hard not to over complicate things, and use a lot of the same decorations from past years.  But this year I was in Michaels in August, and their shelves were FULL of amazing Halloween decorations.  I try not to get tempted, but I saw these fuzzy black and white skull pillows, and decided right then and there, that I had to have them. And then one thing led to another, and the next thing I knew I had a cart full of pumpkins, pillows, string art, candle holders…and on and on.  But I can use it all again next year.  Decorating our home for the seasons, is just what I like to do, so I gave in to a little temptation this year, and I love how […]

The post Halloween Decorating Ideas appeared first on A Pretty Life In The Suburbs.

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Rick McGinnis on Richard Florida and “Overselling the creative class”

Posted  October 18, 2017  by  Kathy Shaidle
Rick McGinnis on Richard Florida and “Overselling the creative class”

Rick McGinnis writes:The idea of some sort of vaguely defined creative class as a benign invasion, reviving run-down areas once home to workers or industry with their peculiar and mysterious social, cultural and economic alchemy, had a lot of appeal to the sorts of people who run cities – politicians, developers and realtors, mostly.(…)The major […]

Kathy Shaidle’s NEW book, Confessions of a Failed Slut, is available HERE.
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Why the Westin Bayshore is Vancouver's most wildlife-friendly hotel

Posted  October 18, 2017  by  Anonymous

View of Coal Harbour from room at Westin Bayshore Vancouver

Fall in Vancouver came swiftly this year. Overnight, leaves changed colour, the temperature dropped and flora and fauna that thrive in the warm summer sun beat a hasty retreat. 

A week ago, the Westin Bayshore’s gardens would have been alive with guests lounging by the pool or making their way out to run or bike the seawall, but today everyone is sheltering from the wind and rain, including the hotel’s resident bees — more on them in a moment.

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Fossil Fuel Misinformation Helps Quash Community Effort to Ban Fracking in Youngstown, Ohio

Posted  October 18, 2017  by  Anonymous
Sign reading 'Don't frack Ohio - Stop injection wells'

For the first time since 2013, a group of activists in Youngstown, Ohio, has been told it cannot place an anti-fracking initiative on local ballots, due in part to a misinformation campaign from the fossil fuel industry.

On October 6, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that two proposed ballot initiatives — one to outlaw fracking and fracking waste injections and another to regulate political campaign contributions within city limits — would not be up for a vote this November. In previous years, voters weighed in on similar initiatives, which were ultimately defeated.

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Constructive connections in Costa Rica

Posted  October 18, 2017  by  Anonymous

Photo: Madelaine Artavia Sotela

Costa Rica’s construction industry has traditionally been dominated by men, but with the help of the WEConnect International program, Madelaine Artavia Sotela has blazed a trail that’s helping change the culture of the business. Part of an ongoing series of stories about innovative projects in the developing world, a partnership between the International Development Research Centre and Canadian Geographic.

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In August, J-Pod called Sailer “racist filth” for making a joke about Harvey Weinstein

Posted  October 18, 2017  by  Kathy Shaidle
In August, J-Pod called Sailer “racist filth” for making a joke about Harvey Weinstein

So there’s that…Steve Sailer writes now:Podhoretz is no fan of Weinstein’s Democratic politics, but for an outsider to joke about Harvey’s history of suckering Oscar voters with sanctimony was just not done. (…)Second, the Weinstein scandal is a good time to bring up a potential reform I’ve been mentioning for about a half decade: We […]

Kathy Shaidle’s NEW book, Confessions of a Failed Slut, is available HERE.
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