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Why won't wolverines cross the road?

Posted  February 14, 2018  by  Anonymous

A wolverine

Wolverines require large areas of intact forest habitat for hunting, scavenging and raising young and, according to new research, will actively avoid even lightly-used roads. (Photo: Andrew Manske)

The sight of a road can strike fear into the heart of one of Canada’s toughest predators, according to new research on wolverines in Alberta.

Wolverine biologist Matt Scrafford spent three winters capturing a number of these wily predators in northern Alberta. The wolverines were then fitted with GPS collars and tracked across an area of the province crisscrossed with logging and oil and gas service roads.

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#925 Watching ‘The Price Is Right’ when you’re sick

Posted  February 14, 2018  by  Anonymous

At an early age, it is possible to learn the price of life through The Price Is Right. How many eight-year-olds know a can of chickpeas costs sixty-nine cents? How many twelve-year-olds can rattle off the features of a new solid oak armoire? And how many fourteen-year-olds can estimate the value of an ice-cream maker, […]

The post #925 Watching ‘The Price Is Right’ when you’re sick appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.

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On the “speculative play King Charles III” in Toronto .. and the future of the British monarchy in Canada

Posted  February 13, 2018  by  Citizen X

As an altogether confirmed Canadian republican (not at all the same as an American Republican of course, especially today), I ordinarily do my best to ignore the British monarchy. But two contemporary media events have slightly increased my interest in the subject. The first is Harry Windsor’s forthcoming marriage to the mixed-race (and unquestionably hot) […]

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Energy CEO Says Fracking Build-out in New York Not Over, Wants Regulators to ‘Lay Down and Approve Every Pipeline’

Posted  February 13, 2018  by  Sharon Kelly
Crestwood natural gas compressor sign in Seneca Lake, New York

At a pipeline industry conference in Pittsburgh on January 31, Robert G. Phillips, CEO and President of Crestwood Equity Partners, offered an unusually candid perspective on pipelines, fracking, environmental regulations, and how industry plans to fight back against public opposition and permitting problems.

This past May, Crestwood announced that it was halting plans for a propane storage facility in the Finger Lakes region of New York following a three-year civil disobedience campaign by grassroots activists and environmentalists who feared contamination of Seneca Lake, which supplies drinking water to roughly 100,000 New Yorkers. But as Phillips told the conference, the company isn’t backing off for good.

“Now, this is hand-to-hand combat in this region,” Phillips told the crowd of oil and gas company representatives at the pipeline conference, dubbed Marcellus Midstream 2018.

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David Cole: What “hood pranks” reveal about the “collapsing” black “community”

Posted  February 13, 2018  by  Kathy Shaidle
David Cole: What “hood pranks” reveal about the “collapsing” black “community”

David Cole writes another must-read:You may not know this, but there’s an entire subgenre of YouTube prank videos in which white, Asian, and Hispanic pranksters venture into black communities just to fuck with the locals. They’re called “hood pranks,” and, cumulatively, they have hundreds of millions of views. And within this subgenre is a sub-subgenre […]

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Julie Burchill on Katie Price, tall-poppy syndrome and “social racism”

Posted  February 13, 2018  by  Kathy Shaidle
Julie Burchill on Katie Price, tall-poppy syndrome and “social racism”

Julie Burchill writes:Last week, Katie Price addressed Parliament on the subject of social media trolling – which her 15-year-son is particularly affected by, due to his weight, ethnicity and handicaps. She is calling for online abuse to be made a criminal offence. Coming from the sticks-and-stones school of thought, I don’t agree. But if you’d […]

Kathy Shaidle’s NEW book, Confessions of a Failed Slut, is available HERE.
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#926 That runaway truck ramp at the bottom of big hills

Posted  February 13, 2018  by  Anonymous

Hey, have you ever found yourself careening down a massively steep mountainside hill in a runaway eighteen-wheeler with the brakes cut? If so, there’s really no need to worry. AWESOME! Photo from: here — Follow me on Facebook —

The post #926 That runaway truck ramp at the bottom of big hills appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.

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Revisiting "A Nautilus-X for the Next ‘HMCS Bonaventure’"

Posted  February 12, 2018  by  Chuck Black

         By Chuck BlackIt goes back to the July 4th, 2011 post “Ground Control to Marc Garneau,” a critique of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and it’s focus on building rovers and components to sell to other space agencie…

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Trump, Not Record-Breaking Disasters, Dominated TV News Coverage of Climate Change in 2017

Posted  February 12, 2018  by  Farron Cousins
NOAA map showing 2017's 16 billion dollar climate and weather disasters

Extreme weather events in the United States seemed ever-present in the media during 2017, with historic wildfires, floods, hurricanes, and droughts receiving national coverage. What was less common, however, was major TV news networks making the connection between these kinds of billion-dollar disasters and climate change for their viewers. That’s despite scientific support confirming these links, and some experts even warning that such extreme events may be “the new normal.”

The conclusion about major network coverage of climate change comes from a new report by Media Matters for America

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Those European Bureaucrats Subtly Sneering at Elon Musk Likely Won’t Get the Last Laugh

Posted  February 12, 2018  by  Chuck Black
          By Brian Orlotti

European Space Agency (ESA) Director General (DG) Johann-Dietrich “Jan” Wörner has finally come clean with a public admission that the advent of reusable rockets and new manufacturing technologies from “NewSpace” firms like SpaceX, Blue Origin and Rocket Lab poses a threat to European space leadership.

ESA DG Jan Wörner’s public lecture on “Driving Space 4.0 – an enabler for Entrepreneurship and Innovation” at Tallinn University of Technology during his visit to Estonia on September 15th, 2016 and John Cleese as the French taunter in the 1975 British slapstick comedy film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” When it comes to rockets,Wörner and his ESA member nations along with their space agencies (including the Canadian Space Agency, an “associate member“), simply don’t believe they need anything new or reusable. “I told them we already got one,” they’ve said up until now, much like Cleese’s character. Images c/o Youtube/ Python (Monty) Pictures.

In a February 11th, 2018 post on the ESA DG’s personal blog under the title, ” Europe’s Move,” Wörner noted severe upheavals in Europe over the 2016 UK Brexit vote, plus continuing economic and social troubles.

Then, in a prime example of how the rise of NewSpace is re-energizing global space efforts, Wörner called for “disruptive innovation,” with ESA member states contributing to finance the development of a new European reusable rocket.

In one paragraph, Wörner, in a textbook case of bureaucratic butt-protection, stated that in a 2014 ESA meeting, he had put forth reusability amongst the high-level requirements for the development of a new line of Ariane and Vega rockets (Ariane 6 and Vega C). But due to “time and cost pressure,” this requirement did not make it onto the agenda.

Wörner then, in a show of icy pragmatism, admitted that the world has changed and that Europe must consider new ideas and adapt, even as it now tastes the consequences of its slackness.

Readers of Wörner’s post could also detect the smoldering jealousy at SpaceX’s success, as shown in this passage:

One particularly powerful example is in the launcher sector, where global competition has been intensifying with the advent of very cheap systems. 

In addition, breakthrough developments from new space sector players such as reusable launchers and marketing wheezes like sending a car into space are attracting attention and increasing pressure on the public sector.

Wörner closed off his post by stating that French and German leaders are now supportive of  disruptive space technology. He quoted a Sept 26 2017 speech by French President Emmanuel Macron at the Sorbonne in which he stated, “I want to see Europe take the lead in this radical innovation revolution.”

Wörner also quoted from an agreement from Germany’s coalition government, “We are committed to maintaining the European Space Agency (ESA) as an independent international organisation and intend to strengthen it further.”

What satisfaction, what fulfillment, what joy it must be to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk to be damned with faint praise by the very bureaucrats who sneered at him 15 years ago. As the NewSpace industry shines in triumph, we are reminded of the wisdom of Frank Herbert’s words.

Graphic c/o AZ Quotes.
Leaders in France and Germany have expressed their backing for more disruptive actions with, for example, French President Emmanuel Macron making multiple references in his speech at the Sorbonne on September 26th, 2017 to encourage “l’innovation de rupture” or disruptive innovation, as a major strategic priority for Europe before adding:

Je souhaite que l’Europe prenne la tête de cette révolution par l’innovation radicale. (translated as “I want to see Europe take the lead in this radical innovation revolution”).

Similarly, the coalition agreement between the two political parties in Germany published in recent days provides a sound foundation for such a step:

Wir setzen uns dafür ein, die Europäische Weltraumorganisation (ESA) als eigenständige internationale Organisation zu erhalten und wollen sie weiter stärken (translated as, “we are committed to maintaining the European Space Agency (ESA) as an independent international organisation and intend to strengthen it further).

But words need to be followed up by actions. As outlined in the December 14th, 2018 EuroNews post, “Race to build Ariane 6 rocket launch pad,” while most believe that the current ESA Ariane 5 rocket cannot compete with current SpaceX launchers such as the Falcon 9 and the Falcon Heavy, there are still four long years before the next launcher in the Ariane rocket family, the Ariane 6, is expected to be ready for its first launch.

Will the Ariane 6 be able to compete against SpaceX? According to Wörner, without substantial changes in design to include reusability, it likely won’t.

Time to watch those sneers turn to fear.

Brian Orlotti.
  ______________________________________________________________
Brian Orlotti is a regular contributor to the Commercial Space blog.

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Meatballs and Gravy Dinner

Posted  February 12, 2018  by  Anonymous

This Meatballs and Gravy Dinner is a quick and delicious meal that the whole family will love.  Hearty meatballs and rich gravy are perfect with mashed potatoes!  Ready in less than 1 hour. The one meal I know my kids will always eat, is meatballs.  Meatballs with spaghetti, sweet & sour meatballs, stroganoff meatballs, and meatballs and gravy.  And I love that because meatballs are one of my favourites too.  What I also love about them is how easy they are to make. This Meatball and Gravy dinner is quick and simple, and can be on your table in less than […]

The post Meatballs and Gravy Dinner appeared first on A Pretty Life In The Suburbs.

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‘Guilty until proven innocent’ Has NOT Been A Policy of The New Democratic Party Until Jagmeet Singh’s Leadership

Posted  February 12, 2018  by  leftdog

Ten days after NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh suspended MP Erin Weir, details on the ‘investigation’ and timeline were finally revealed on CTV’s ‘Question Period’. While no allegations against Mr. Weir had been received by Mr. Singh, a personal attack by a fellow caucus member saw the suspension of Mr. Weir from Caucus duties.

Mr. Weir is my MP, I voted for him and tried to help with his election. I write this opinion on my own without consultation with anyone. I am speaking publicly against Mr. Singh’s actions because i have no other mechanism to raise my voice on this injustice.

Here is what Mr. Singh has finally outlined concerning the ‘investigation’ of ‘allegations’ against Mr. Weir:

Window to report allegations in Weir investigation closing
As for the process underway to handle the third-party claims of “harassing behaviour towards women” levelled against Saskatchewan MP Erin Weir, Singh said there are about 10 days left in a two-week window for any potential victims to come forward with specific allegations. (!!!!!!!)
On Feb. 1 Singh announced the NDP would launch a probe into the claims levelled against him by fellow NDP MP Christine Moore in an email to caucus.
According to a copy of the email, Weir is named directly by Moore, who alleges that “too many women (mostly employee [sic])” have complained to her about Weir harassing them.
Based on what’s been made public, there is no indication these allegations involved incidents that were sexual in nature.
The independent investigation got underway formally on Feb. 6, Singh’s chief of staff Willy Blomme announced earlier this week.
Blomme said the investigation is being conducted by Michelle Flaherty who is a University of Ottawa law professor and member of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.
“Once Dr. Flaherty’s work is complete, the MP’s role in caucus will be re-evaluated,” she said in a statement.
Singh said the part of the investigation where the investigator will be open to hearing from victims will total two weeks, closing on Feb. 20.
“Then, the investigator has requested some time to evaluate how long it will actually take to prepare the report,” Singh said.
Citing the investigation, Singh would not comment on whether any men or women had come forward with specific allegations against Weir.
As of last week when Weir appeared on Question Period, no one had spoken up to his knowledge.
“We understand that this is a matter that needs to be done very urgently and we’ll try our best to have it done in an expedient manner,” said Singh. – CTV’s Fifth Estate – Feb 11/18

To have my MP suspended from his caucus duties based upon no allegations and then subjected to a 2 week penalty period in order to allow ‘possible allegations’ to be made against him is a mockery of justice of any kind! This is not the NDP way of treating persons …. this is something else and it is an injustice to Mr. Weir.

In my years of defending the New Democratic Party on this blogsite, I can say that I have NEVER seen worse administrative decisions made by a Leader of the NDP. What Mr. Singh has done to my Member of Parliament is highly unacceptable and may well be clear evidence that  he is out of his league in federal politics.

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Q&A: Meet Ontario's first Chief Scientist

Posted  February 12, 2018  by  Anonymous

A photo of Dr. Molly Shoichet at the university with two students

Dr. Molly Shoichet (middle) is a professor at the University of Toronto, as well as an expert in regenerative medicine. (Photo: University of Toronto)

Dr. Molly Shoichet is an expert in regenerative medicine, holds the Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Tissue Engineering, teaches at the University of Toronto and is now Ontario’s first Chief Scientist. Appointed in November 2017, Dr. Shoichet is tasked with helping to better inform government decision-making, restore the public’s trust in government science and work to promote Ontario’s innovation economy, among other mandates. It’s a tall order, but here, the Toronto native discusses her vision for the future of science in Ontario.

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Jim Goad on Quentin Tarantino, x eleventy

Posted  February 12, 2018  by  Kathy Shaidle
Jim Goad on Quentin Tarantino, x eleventy

Hey, are you sick of me slagging Tarantino? Which I also did at Taki’s two years ago?Well, now you can read Jim Goad doing it!A couple years later I met comedienne Margaret Cho, who had dated Tarantino back in the early 90s when I was producing a violent magazine that had gained some notoriety due […]

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

Posted  February 12, 2018  by  Anonymous

A raccoon peers out from behind foliage in Toronto. The masked bandits have successfully colonized our cities, and not everyone is happy about it. (Photo: Vladislav Kamenski/Can Geo Photo Club)

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Some Evidence Canada’s New Food Guide Will Care About Evidence

Posted  February 12, 2018  by  Yoni Freedhoff

Though there’s no white smoke signifying the publication of a new Food Guide billowing out of Health Canada’s food directorate’s chimney, there are some signs that when it’s finally published, it may be evidence based.

Take for example this story.

It details the concerns of Conservative agriculture critic John Barlow and it contained some heartening quotes.

Here’s my favourite,

It is very clear…that Health Canada is going in a direction that is detrimental to our agriculture sector, detrimental to our food processors as well as our producers on the ground.

Now while I feel for any sector impacted by the future Guide’s recommendations, that Health Canada is not actively capitulating to agricultural interests suggests that perhaps instead, it’s sticking with science as its underpinning.

According to Barlow, his office has been flooded with concern from a broad range of agriculture groups who are nervous about Health Canada’s new policy of not kowtowing to industry,

I want to really stress this point. These letters are not only from the livestock industry or the dairy industry, there’s letters in here from grain growers, the horticulture associations — none of them want us as a government, in this food guide document, to be picking winners and losers. They all want to be successful.

While there may well be some disagreement among health professionals as to what truly constitutes a healthy diet, where there likely is no disagreement is the notion that the desires of various agricultural sectors to be “successful” doesn’t factor in to dietary health at all.

And just as an odd aside, in the same article is a quote from Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay who was asked to comment about agricultural concerns. His response?

Without a question, what I want to see is Canadians make sure that they express their view on what’s presented and that’s why things are gazetted. My opinion — really, it’s Canadians opinion that really reflects what takes place on this and anything else that’s gazetted to make sure that is what they do want to have happen.

Here’s hoping that’s not how policy works in Canada, as while not bashing the public, I’m pretty sure Food Guides shouldn’t be built on what Canadians’ personal opinions about food happen to be.

So bring on the evidence, and for the matter, bring on the new Food Guide. Remind me again, why are we still waiting?

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#927 A freezing cold glass of water on a boiling hot day

Posted  February 12, 2018  by  Anonymous

When your eyes sting from big salty beads of dripping sweat, your T-shirt gets wet and sticky and melts to your back, and your upper lip forms a splotchy sweatstache, then I say brother, it’s time for a drink. And what says refreshing better than a tall glass of completely dripping, condensation-covered, fall-in-a-pond-in-winter-cold water? I […]

The post #927 A freezing cold glass of water on a boiling hot day appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.

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The US Added 38 Percent More Oil and Gas Rigs Last Year

Posted  February 11, 2018  by  guest
Drilling rig north of Johnstown, Ohio

By John R. Platt. Crossposted with permission from The Revelator.

The number of oil and gas rigs in the United States has increased an astonishing 38 percent over the past year. That’s according to S&P Global Platts Analytics, which reported this week that the country had 1,070 rigs at the end of January, up from just 773 a year earlier.

Experts expressed fear that all of this new development does not bode well for the planet.

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Pancakes au lait fermenté (un titre qui ne dit pas à quel point c’est boooooon!)

Posted  February 11, 2018  by  Martine Gingras

Chez nous, il y a de très grandes fans de pancakes. Pour les gâter, j’en ai fait mille et une variantes au fil des ans: babeurre, lait de coco, choco-bananes… Dans mon livre Banlieusardises, vous en trouverez aussi une version … Suite

Cet article Pancakes au lait fermenté (un titre qui ne dit pas à quel point c’est boooooon!) est apparu en premier sur Banlieusardises.

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#928 Eating those foods you loved when you were a little kid

Posted  February 11, 2018  by  Anonymous

The flood of memories that come shooting back when you eat food you loved as a kid is a giant, neuron-splattering head rush. You get transported back to the kitchen you grew up in and can practically see the avocado-green stove, three-hundred pound microwave, and plastic alphabet magnets covering the fridge. So come on, let’s […]

The post #928 Eating those foods you loved when you were a little kid appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.

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Caroline Mulroney: Off To A Grand Start!

Posted  February 10, 2018  by  bigcitylib
Caroline Mulroney defined energy poverty at #MNC2018 as only an elitist can.

“People are living in energy poverty, people have to choose between buying hockey equipment or going out to dinner with their families”https://t.co/AF582tnkGo#PCPO #PCPOLdr pic.twitter.com/RSMtT9dUSm

— JohnToryWatch (@JohnToryWatch) February 10, 2018

Serious, though, this is the kind of thing that makes Doug Ford PCPO leader.

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How to Use Critical Thinking to Spot False Climate Claims

Posted  February 10, 2018  by  guest
Cat graffiti with question marks on a wall

By Peter Ellerton, The University of Queensland

Much of the public discussion about climate science consists of a stream of assertions. The climate is changing or it isn’t; carbon dioxide causes global warming or it doesn’t; humans are partly responsible or they are not; scientists have a rigorous process of peer review or they don’t, and so on.

Despite scientists’ best efforts at communicating with the public, not everyone knows enough about the underlying science to make a call one way or the other. Not only is climate science very complex, but it has also been targeted by deliberate obfuscation campaigns.

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Reconciliation RIP?

Posted  February 10, 2018  by  Dr.Dawg

As a Canadian, an immigrant, and just as a human being, I don’t merely feel sadness and outrage at the acquittal of Colten Boushie’s killer by an all-white jury in Saskatchewan. I feel soiled. The bullet that put an end…

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Easy Vegan Sugar Cookies with Pink Frosting

Posted  February 10, 2018  by  Angela (Oh She Glows)

Happy Saturday, friends! It’s been a while since I posted a recipe on the weekend, but many of you seemed eager for these festive cookies after I gave a few sneak peeks on Insta Stories. I figured since I had the recipe all tested and ready, why wait until Monday to share? No one should […]

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Peter Hitchens seems vexed that not every book ever written was intended for him. Also that he didn’t write it.

Posted  February 10, 2018  by  Kathy Shaidle

Naturally, Peter Hitchens pretends to find Jordan Peterson’s appeal somewhat baffling, and his prescriptions lacking.I say “pretends” because Hitchens has the self-awareness to “joke” about (and no one is ever just joking) the real rub:That he is not as popular as this “out of nowhere” Canadian fellow who cries a lot.His Speccie colleague, Douglas Murray, […]

Kathy Shaidle’s NEW book, Confessions of a Failed Slut, is available HERE.
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Saturday Stories: Gender Balance, One In 259, And Terminal Wisdom

Posted  February 10, 2018  by  Yoni Freedhoff

Am somewhat pleased to report that after being inspired by this piece by Ed Yong in The Atlantic, on how he spent two years correcting the gender imbalance of his quoted sources, I went back over my last year of Saturday Story pieces to discover that 46% of the 292 stories I’ve shared were written by women.

Chika Stacy Oriuwa, the only black student in her medical school class of 259 at U of T, in Flare, on how in her white coat she is more black than ever.

Alastair McAlpine, in The Guardian, expounds on his viral tweets about the lessons he’s learned from terminally ill children.

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#929 Your actual colon

Posted  February 10, 2018  by  Anonymous

Have you ever run the last leg of the relay? If you have then you know it’s a stressful experience, because you either make it or break it. I mean, you’re either ahead and it’s up to you to hold the lead, or you’re behind and it’s up to you to make it up. Everyone […]

The post #929 Your actual colon appeared first on 1000 Awesome Things.

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Over 90,000 Page Views for a Post I Wrote in 2008

Posted  February 9, 2018  by  Marijke Vroomen-Durning

Wow. Just wow.I was poking around in my blog stats this evening. I began writing this blog almost 11 years ago now, so there are lots of posts. Some years, I’m great about posting often. Other years, well, to be honest I don’t think about posting here….

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Fines Against Polluters Drop Sharply Under Trump EPA

Posted  February 9, 2018  by  guest
Donald Trump, Scott Pruitt, and Mike Pence

By Lorraine Chow, EcoWatch. Reposted with permission from EcoWatch.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPAannounced Thursday its annual enforcement and compliance report that boasted $1.6 billion in administrative and civil judicial fines against polluters.

“A strong enforcement program is essential to achieving positive health and environmental outcomes,” Susan Bodine, head of the agency’s enforcement division said in a statement.

However, analyses show that the penalties against polluters are significantly lower under President Trump‘s EPA. According to The Hill, that $1.6 billion figure is roughly a fifth of the $5.7 billion in penalties collected the year before under President Obama’s EPA.

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Take the quiz that shows the universal qualities of music

Posted  February 9, 2018  by  Anonymous

Music is universal to reflect our shared experiences

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SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy launch ‘a true turning point in our journey into space’

Posted  February 9, 2018  by  Anonymous

Falcon Heavy’s launch. Are we back on our way to space?

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Turning off anxiety could be as easy as flicking on a light in your brain

Posted  February 9, 2018  by  Anonymous

How blasting your brain with light could control anxiety

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The secret to female attraction could be a tiny molecule

Posted  February 9, 2018  by  Anonymous

Kisspeptin may be how the female brain controls sexual behaviour

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Lego and video games STEM the gender divide

Posted  February 9, 2018  by  Anonymous

Lego and video games can train the brain to visualize in 3D

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Do bears actually hibernate in caves?

Posted  February 9, 2018  by  Anonymous

Are there enough places for hibernating bears to sleep?

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Jagmeet Singh’s ‘Amateur Hour’ In The Federal NDP Caucus Office ….

Posted  February 9, 2018  by  leftdog

Those of us who are closely following the story concerning allegations against Erin Weir are asking the following questions of Leader Jagmeet Singh:  -what is being investigated? -who is conducting the investigation? -what is the delay i…

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Ask Angela: 12 foods I eat every day, freezing cupcakes, and more!

Posted  February 9, 2018  by  Angela (Oh She Glows)

I know what you’re thinking: Ask Angela? What happened to my Friday FAQs?! I decided to do a little name change for this series. My alternate title contender was “Ask Angela and I’ll try my very best not to steer you toward an epic cooking fail”. Lol. But that title proved to be a little […]

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“Is a parade a good idea? A bad idea? Irrelevant! It’s a hilarious idea”: THIS x eleventy squared

Posted  February 9, 2018  by  Kathy Shaidle

Kurt Schlichter nails it (of course).You know who bores me? The wonks and bores who say stuff like, “News/politics have become info-tainment blah blah zzzzz….” WHO CARES?? Life is crazy. We might as well be amused.But this is pranking with a point, with a purpose. Even better.You say “Reality TV President” like that’s a BAD […]

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The Battle of the Space Billionaires

Posted  February 9, 2018  by  Chuck Black
         By Chuck Black

The successful launch of SpaceX’s first Falcon Heavy rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida earlier this week is a reminder that, where once space was a proxy battlefield between world powers for glory and scientific advancement, the modern space race is more of a business venture waged by eccentric, real life superhero stand-ins who run multi-billion dollar companies.

Has anyone else noticed the obvious similarities between this picture and the opening of the 1981 animated sci-fi movie “Heavy Metal?” According to the February 8th, 2018 CNBC post, “Elon Musk shares the epic last photo of ‘Starman’ in the red Tesla he shot into space,” this was the last picture SpaceX was able to get of the Tesla Roadster it sent into space on Tuesday. But don’t panic. There are plenty more billionaires intending to do similar things who are currently gearing up for their moment in the sun. Photo c/o SpaceX.

At least that’s the context behind the February 8th, 2018 Sky News post, “Who’s winning battle of space race billionaires?,” which gives a quick update on those in the forefront of current space exploration.

They include SpaceX’s Elon Musk, Blue Origin’s Jeff Bezos and Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson.

According to the August 21th, 2017 Bloomberg Technology Post, “Billionaire Moguls Join Musk, Bezos in Race to Outer Space,” sixteen of the world’s 500 richest people have an investment in a space enterprise, according to data compiled by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index and consulting firm Bryce Space & Technology.

According to the post:

While technology tycoons dominate, the list also includes casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who’s backing a lunar mission, and Mexican retail and banking billionaire Ricardo Salinas, an investor in satellite network OneWeb.

Of course, billionaires are seldom the first to enter into new markets.

As outlined in the January 18th, 2018 post, “Private Investors Poured $3.9Bln into Commercial Space Companies Last Year,”  a record 120 private firms made investments in space in 2017, well over the previous peak of 89 in 2015.

Editors Note: Ex-NASA deputy administrator and current general manager of the Air Line Pilots Association (APA) Lori Garver thinks the current entrepreneurial space race will help to re-invigorate NASA as it begins to adapt many of their new tools. 

As outlined in her February 9th, 2018 The Hill editorial, “SpaceX could save NASA and the future of space exploration,” the real question to be answered in Washington now is, “why would (the US) Congress continue to spend billions of taxpayer dollars a year on a government-made rocket (the Space Launch System or SLS) that is unnecessary and obsolete now that the private sector has shown they can do it for a fraction of the cost (with the Falcon Heavy)?

Chuck Black.

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Chuck Black is the editor of the Commercial Space blog.

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These are the Climate Science Denier MPs Lobbying for a Hard Brexit

Posted  February 9, 2018  by  Anonymous
Jacob Rees Mogg

Almost 70 MPs have been identified as backing a shadowy parliamentary lobby group pushing for a hard Brexit. In keeping with ideological links previously identified by DeSmog UK, it’s perhaps no shock that there are a number of politicians known to spread disinformation on climate change on the list.

Described as “an aggressive, disciplined, and highly organised parliamentary and media operation”, the European Research Group (ERG) is lobbying for a hard Brexit. It hit headlines earlier this week after being accused of misusing public money.

Long operating in the shadows, Buzzfeed has published a long list of MPs it has identified as being members of the group.

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