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#983 That pile of assorted drinks left in your fridge after a party

Posted December 18, 2017 by Anonymous

My friend Mike has rules for hosting parties. They go like this: • Under 25 years old: Party is BYOB. You can tell people if you want, but they should know. Bring your own beer. Bring your own mix. Bring your own bulk pack Cheetos. • 25 – 30 years old: Host should have wine […]

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With Tribal Blessing, Louisiana Activist Buys Land in Path of Proposed Bayou Bridge Pipeline

Posted December 17, 2017 by Julie Dermansky
Cherri Foytlin at the entrance to land in the path of the Bayou Bridge pipeline

On December 16 anti-pipeline activists calling themselves water protectors gathered in Rayne, Louisiana, on land located along the proposed route of the Bayou Bridge pipeline. The gathering occurred two days after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality granted Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) the last permit needed to build the pipeline.

The proposed pipeline would transport crude oil obtained via hydraulic fracturing (fracking) from St. Charles to St. James, Louisiana, and cross the Atchafalaya Basin, a national heritage area that is America’s largest natural swamp.

About 35 people took part in a ceremony on land that Cherri Foytlin, director of Bold Louisiana, recently bought for Louisiana Rise, an advocacy group she founded that focuses on renewable energy and a just transition. During the ceremony Foytlin requested and was granted a blessing and permission from the Atakapa-Ishak Nation to use the land that once belonged to the tribe. At the gathering the water protectors strengthened their resolve to stop the pipeline, which would be the final leg of ETP’s Dakota Access pipeline  carrying oil fracked in North Dakota to Louisiana.

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#984 Eating the last piece of dessert somebody left in a dish at your house

Posted December 17, 2017 by Anonymous

Very occasionally, a kind soul will come over toting a homemade dessert made from some combination of apples, brown sugar, brownie batter, Skor bits, marshmallows, cherries, and oatmeal. They set their heavy glass dish down on our kitchen counter, and peel back the plastic bag to reveal an earth-toned rainbow of deliciosity. We gaze at […]

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The Forged Chuck Schumer Harassment Claim Was Fake News at Its Worst

Posted December 16, 2017 by Mike Pearl

A bizarre story shows how toxic the media environment has become.

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#985 Eating things after the expiry date

Posted December 16, 2017 by Anonymous

I used to follow expiry dates like gospel, figuring the sour cream would sweeten, the ice cream would melt, and the rice would crumble into dust the morning after after the the block-stamped date on the bottom of the package had passed. If the expiry date was closing in, I’d just cut my losses and […]

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Definers Public Affairs, Group Known for Stalking And Harassing Climate Advocates, Hired By EPA To Run Media War Room

Posted December 15, 2017 by Graham Readfearn
Joe Pounder, president of Definers Corp.

A Republican-aligned research group with links to a campaign to stalk and intimidate environmental groups, journalists and campaigners has been handed a $120,000 contract to help the EPA shape its media coverage.

Virginia-based Definers Public Affairs was given the 12-month “no bid” contract to provide “news analysis and brief service” to the EPA, as reported by Mother Jones.

Definers is the corporate arm of America Rising LLC, America Rising PAC and its opposition research and tracking service, America Rising Squared – known as AR2.

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My Ridiculous Quest to Find the Perfect Bong Water

Posted December 15, 2017 by Anonymous

Ranch? La Croix? Holy water? Hot sauce? Which liquid delivers the best hit?

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Literal Shit Exploded Out of a Water Fountain at the EPA

Posted December 15, 2017 by Anonymous

Employees said sewage was “covering the floors” of the headquarters in DC.

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Ex-Flight Attendant’s Sexual Harassment Case Against WestJet Moves Forward

Posted December 15, 2017 by Sarah Berman

A judge just dismissed the airline’s attempt to shut down a class action lawsuit alleging widespread sexual misconduct.

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Democrats Can Weaponize the Sexual Assault Allegations Against Trump

Posted December 15, 2017 by Anonymous

Democratic lawmakers are calling for a congressional investigation into the president’s alleged past sexual improprieties. Is that the first step to his removal?

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Basketball

Charlie Lindsay Honed his Basketball Photography Style Shooting DIY Games

Posted December 15, 2017 by Anonymous

The 27-year-old acclaimed photographer from Toronto carried a basketball with him everywhere growing up and is still nostalgic about his Raptors fandom today.

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Culture

Rest in Peace, AIM

Posted December 15, 2017 by Anonymous

We may have left it long ago for sleeker, younger chat apps, but that small yellow humanoid logo will always have a special place in our hearts.

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Entertainment

Judd Apatow Explains His Return to Stand-up Comedy

Posted December 15, 2017 by Anonymous

‘The Return,’ now on Netflix, is the writer-director’s first standup special.

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Crime

Accused Neo-Nazi Could Do Life in Prison for Charlottesville Murder

Posted December 15, 2017 by Anonymous

Prosecutors just upgraded James Fields Jr.’s charges to first-degree murder, arguing he intentionally sped into counter-protestors at the alt-right rally.

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Canada

Students in Ontario Are Using Drugs Less—Except Fentanyl

Posted December 15, 2017 by Anonymous

Apparently opioids are more popular than cigarettes in Ontario high schools.

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Christmas

Ultimate DIY Vegan Cookie Board

Posted December 15, 2017 by Angela (Oh She Glows)

This may have been the most epic blog post and photoshoot I’ve ever tackled. It’s my last post before Christmas, and I think it’s safe to say we’re going out with a bang this year! I hope my roundup inspires you to create your own vegan cookie board—big or small—this holiday season. If you make […]

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Five things to do in New York City this holiday season

Posted December 15, 2017 by Anonymous

Christmas cheer in NYC

Holiday cheer in New York City. (Photo: Marley White)

Almost any millennial can recall in detail scenes from Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. Many credit the film as their first introduction to Christmas in “The City That Never Sleeps,” and some even visit the Big Apple with hopes of retracing Kevin McCallister’s steps.

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Mapping Indigenous languages in Canada

Posted December 15, 2017 by Anonymous

Indigenous, languages, map

Where Indigenous languages are being spoken now in Canada. Scroll down for a closer look at this map and the country’s 12 Indigenous language families. (Map: Chris Brackley/Can Geo)

These are the languages of the land beneath your feet.

The most recent Statistics Canada census data reveals the country’s Indigenous linguistic landscape, the places where 60 languages belonging to 12 overarching families — Inuit, 10 First Nations and Michif (Métis) — are being used now. Most of these have been spoken, and have been evolving, for thousands of years — far longer than English or French.

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Bluefin tuna in Atlantic Canada are no longer afraid of humans — and that’s a bad sign

Posted December 15, 2017 by Anonymous

bluefin, bluefin tuna documentary

Documentary film “Bluefin” explores the mystery of why wild giant tuna will approach fishing boats and eat bait from a human hand. (Image courtesy National Film Board)

The documentary films The Cove and Blackfish brought global awareness to the plight of dolphins and killer whales, respectively; now, the team behind a new Canadian doc hopes their film will do the same for bluefin tuna. 

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Christmas

My Christmas Home Tour Secret…shhhhhh

Posted December 15, 2017 by Anonymous

Welcome to my second Christmas Home Tour!  Yes. My second.  But there’s a story behind it. I have a funny story to tell.  This year we put up our Christmas tree, but we (I) broke from tradition and put up the flocked tree.  We didn’t get a real tree like we’ve been doing for the past 20+ years, and oh man did I feel all the guilt.  The kids were good sports and went along with it, but it just didn’t feel right.  We went through the motions and decorated the tree while we watched Elf, just like we do […]

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Judge Sides with Big Oil in Maine Pipeline Case

Posted December 15, 2017 by Anonymous
Crude oil sign in marsh next to Maine's Sebago Lake

In a case that has national ramifications, a federal judge has ruled against the city of South Portland, Maine, in its latest effort to stop the coastal town from becoming a destination for Canadian tar sands oil.  The case centers around an existing pipeline owned by oil companies ExxonMobil, Shell, and Suncor.

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Peruvian Government Reports Investment in Airbus’ PerúSAT-1 Recovered Within First Year

Posted December 15, 2017 by Chuck Black
          By Chuck Black

Toulouse, France based Airbus SE has a successful commercial story to tell about one of its newest satellites, the PerúSAT-1, a high resolution earth observing satellite built for the Peru National Space Agency (CONIDA), an organization attached to the Peruvian Ministry of Defense.

Expect the Airbus Canadian subsidiary to reference the story every chance it gets as it seeks to win new domestic satellite and space contracts.

PerúSat 1 is an high resolution earth observing satellite  ordered by the Peruvian Space Agency in April 2014 and launched as a secondary payload on an Arianespace Vega launch vehicle in 2016. As outlined on Gunter’s space page, “the satellite is designed based on Airbus Defence and Space’s AstroBus-S (AstroBus-300) bus and features an imaging system from the NAOMI (New Astrosat Observation Modular Instrument) family to provide 0.7 m resolution panchromatic images and 2 m resolution images in four wavelengtt bands.” Graphic c/o Airbus.

As outlined in the December 14th, 2017 SatNews Daily post, “Peruvian Government Reports Investment in Airbus’ PerúSAT-1 Already Recovered … In First Year,” the Peruvian government has already declared PerúSAT-1 a great success.

According to the article, “PerúSAT-1 has completed its first year of operation and the Peruvian government has recently declared that in that time, the investment it has made into the satellite program has already been recouped.”
CONIDA and the Peruvian military have been using PerúSAT-1 for a variety of activities including:

  • The detection of public works irregularities for the Peruvian General Attorney’s office.
  • Drug trafficking intelligence and property identification for Peru’s national police.
  • The evaluation and analysis of landslides in the Vitorbasin for the Vitor District Municipality.
  • Map generation to track deforestation in the San Martín Region.
  • The generation of a new national cartography map for the National Geographical Institute (IGN) at a lower cost than could be done using traditional methods.
  • Landslide and volcano monitoring for the Geology, Mining and Metallurgic Institute (INGEMMET).
  • Update and  elaboration of satellite imagery, aerial reconnaissance and field data for post disaster evaluation in Lima and Callao after earthquakes for the United Nation’s Development Programme (UNPD) and the National Institute for Civil Defence (INDECI).
  • Strategic support and generation of a spectral signature data base for “precision agriculture” initiatives at the San Marcos Mayor National University (UNMSM).

Since the October 2016 signing of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), a free-trade agreement between Canada and the European Union (EU) intended to eliminate 98% of the tariffs between the two, Airbus has been ramping up its efforts to sell satellite and military technology to Canadian customers in both the government and the private sector.

As outlined in the January  7th, 2017 Esprit de Corps post, “Eyes in the North: Airbus Canada aims to Deliver Cutting-Edge Space Systems,” satellites and space systems, “make major contributions to the effectiveness of Canada’s maritime surveillance, search and rescue, and Arctic sovereignty capabilities.”

    Chuck Black.
    ___________________________________________________________

    Chuck Black is the editor of the Commercial Space blog.

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    #986 When you pull up to a red light and the guy in front of you moves up a bit so you can make a right turn

    Posted December 15, 2017 by Anonymous

    Don’t you love it when you pull up to a red light in the right lane, and the guy in front of you notices and squeezes out into the intersection a bit, just so you can make your right turn a bit faster? What a great thing that is. Careful though — now it’s your […]

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    Scientists one up Spiderman by feeding spiders an atomic super liquid

    Posted December 15, 2017 by podcasting@cbc.ca

    Scientists produce ‘bionic silk’ by feeding graphene nanotubes to spiders

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    Coal mining left entire populations psychologically damaged and the impact continues today

    Posted December 15, 2017 by podcasting@cbc.ca

    The Industrial Revolution is responsible for personality traits that exist in people today

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    Are there rainbows in deep space?

    Posted December 15, 2017 by podcasting@cbc.ca

    What kind of rainbow would I see if I were floating by Enceladus’ geysers?

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    Making eye contact with your baby can synchronize your brainwaves

    Posted December 15, 2017 by podcasting@cbc.ca

    Eye contact helps sync brain waves between mother and baby

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    The Grinch’s growing heart and Rudolph’s red nose explained by science

    Posted December 15, 2017 by podcasting@cbc.ca

    A scientific look at the Grinch’s growing heart and Rudolph’s red nose

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    Trump vows that the US will go back to the moon, but how?

    Posted December 15, 2017 by podcasting@cbc.ca

    Trump’s plan to return to the moon leaves many questions unanswered.

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    Parasite turns mice into mindless cat fighting zombies by hijacking immune cells

    Posted December 15, 2017 by podcasting@cbc.ca

    Scientists figure out how a mind-controlling parasite hijacks mice’s immune system

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    Why Has One of the World’s Biggest Funders of Environmental Conservation Also Given $4 Million to a Climate Denial Group?

    Posted December 14, 2017 by Graham Readfearn
    Kathleen Hartnett White

    The Pew Charitable Trusts, one of the world’s biggest funders of environmental conservation groups, has given almost $5 million since 2011 to an organization that rejects the overwhelming evidence that human-caused climate change is dangerous, DeSmog has found.

    Between 2011 and 2015, financial returns show the Pew Charitable Trusts gave $4.7 million to the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF), while giving millions more to dozens of worthy conservation causes.

    Kathleen Hartnett White, who is President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the White House Council on Environmental Quality, heads TPPF’s Armstrong Center for Energy and the Environment.

    Hartnett White, who hopes to chair the influential federal council, also rejects the science linking fossil fuel burning to dangerous climate change.

    Some of the groups that have received major grants from Pew have been outspoken in their criticisms of Hartnett White, describing her as a “climate change denier” who was unfit for the role. The Pew Charitable Trusts confirmed the grants, but said they were unrelated to work on climate change.

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    FCC Begins Regulatory Approval Process for Orbital ATK Satellite Servicing Mission to Intelsat-901

    Posted December 14, 2017 by Chuck Black
              By Henry Stewart

    The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has signed-off on at least part of the paperwork required to approve Dulles, VA based Orbital ATK’s proposed upcoming satellite servicing mission to rendezvous and dock with the Intelsat 901 (IS 901) communication satellite.

    Orbital ATK CEO David W. Thompson and Intelsat CEO Stephen Spengler announce their satellite servicing agreement at the 32nd Space Symposium, which which was held from April 11th – 14th, 2016 in Colorado Springs, CO. As outlined in the April 12th, 2016 Space News post, “Orbital ATK signs Intelsat as first satellite servicing customer,” the two companies scheduled their first launch in 2018 and so far at least, seem to moving forward according to plan. According to the post, “MEV-1 will first dock with a retired satellite in a graveyard orbit above stationary orbit to test its systems, then dock with an active Intelsat satellite to extend its life for five years.” Photo c/o Chuck Bigger.

    The IS 901 was the first of nine new Intelsat satellites launched in June 2001. It currently provides Ku-band spot beam coverage for Europe, as well as C-band coverage for the Atlantic Ocean region and is reaching the end of its operational life, but could potentially be refueled for several more years of service. The satellite is operated by US and Luxembourg based Intelsat.

    As outlined in the December 12th, 2017 Space News post, “FCC begins approval of Orbital ATK satellite-servicing mission for Intelsat-901,” the proposed mission is intended to test out the new Mission Extension Vehicle-1 (MEV-1), a satellite servicing vehicle operated by Orbital ATK subsidiary Space Logistics Services, which was set up specifically to deal with Orbital ATK’s satellite-servicing business.

    However, components of the mission are still to be decided. According to the post:

    The commission has, for now, withheld permission on a request from Space Logistics LLC, the subsidiary handling Orbital ATK’s satellite-servicing business, for relocating Intelsat-901 alongside another Intelsat satellite. 

    The agency also deferred on a request to undock MEV-1 from Intelsat-901 at the end of that mission and to return MEV-1 to a graveyard orbit to await its next assignment.

    The FCC licence is only one of the steps required to gain government approval for the mission, According to the article:

    Satellite servicing is a relatively new area for regulators, consequently requiring a lot of trailblazing by Orbital ATK. (Joe) Anderson, (the VP of business development and operations for Space Logistics) said the company has been in a dialogue with the FCC, the U.S. State Department and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for several years, and those discussions concluded that the FCC would be the licensing body for launch, deployment, docking and TT&C.

    Several other hurdles remain to be jumped in order to obtain the necessary regulatory approval, but all sides are optimistic that a solution can be found before the planned launch of the MEV-1 in late 2018.

    As outlined most recently in the July 17, 2017 post, “Orbital ATK, DARPA, MacDonald Dettwiler, DigitalGlobe & Unleashing the Lobbyists,” Orbital ATK isn’t the only private firm developing the capability to service satellites in orbit.

    In fact, Orbital ATK spent a surprising amount of the last year in pitched battle with then Richmond, BC based Macdonald Dettwiler (MDA), its US MDA subsidiary Space Systems Loral (SSL) and then Westminster, CO based Digitalglobe to prevent the US government from providing a variety of subsidies to it’s competitors, in the form of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) grants and NASA Restore-L contracts, in order to build much the same sort of satellite servicing technology.

    Orbital ATK argued that the US government provided an unfair advantage to MDA/SSL/Digitalglobe by providing the DARPA/NASA funding when the private sector was already competing in the area. US courts rejected that argument.

    But while both MDA and Digitalglobe are now operating under the banner of San Francisco, CA based Maxar Technologies, the partnerships and DARPA/NASA funding remain intact.

    Orbital ATK perseveres with its program, at least for now. It will be interesting to see which company manages to eventually pull ahead in this marathon.

    _______________________________________________________________________

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

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    The society dame who became a polar explorer

    Posted December 14, 2017 by Anonymous

    Left: The cover of Joanna Kafarowski's new book on Louise Arner Boyd, "The Polar Adventures of a Rich American Dame." Right: Boyd on board the ship Hobby in 1928.

    Left: The cover of Joanna Kafarowski’s new book on Louise Arner Boyd, “The Polar Adventures of a Rich American Dame.” (Image courtesy Dundurn Press) Right: Boyd onboard the Hobby during the 1928 mission to rescue Roald Amundsen. (Photo: Norsk Polarinstitutt [NPO18311])

    “Who the hell is Louise Arner Boyd?”

    Joanna Kafarowski probably won’t blame you for saying that. After all, a not-dissimilar thought ran through the Canadian author’s head when she first learned about Boyd’s Arctic exploits in the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s in 2005.

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    Cranberry Glazed Turkey Breast

    Posted December 14, 2017 by Anonymous

    This Cranberry Glazed Turkey Breast is a simple and easy way to enjoy Christmas dinner without having to roast a whole turkey! If you’re hosting a small crowd this year for Christmas dinner, why not consider roasting a turkey breast, as opposed to a whole turkey?  This Cranberry Glazed Turkey Breast is SO easy to prepare, and is ready in just over an hour, from start to finish.  Talk about making Christmas dinner easier than ever! I partnered with Canadian Turkey to bring you this delicious turkey dinner recipe just in time for the holidays!  I was compensated for my […]

    The post Cranberry Glazed Turkey Breast appeared first on A Pretty Life In The Suburbs.

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    The whole town’s talking about the Jones Boy / The Jones Boy / The Jones Boy …

    Posted December 14, 2017 by Randall White

    In part at any rate the good guy Doug Jones won in the Alabama special Senate election on December 12, 2017 by leaning on at least something somewhat like the “rigged-electoral-system” luck that almost accidentally gave Donald Trump the US presidency in November 2016. To take just the clearest case in point : “1.7 per […]

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    Joe Bob Briggs: “The First Amendment doesn’t say anything about motives”

    Posted December 14, 2017 by Kathy Shaidle
    Joe Bob Briggs: “The First Amendment doesn’t say anything about motives”

    …these White Pride groups have become the Jehovah’s Witnesses of our day. The reason so many of the Supreme Court’s First Amendment decisions involve Jehovah’s Witnesses is that they were a despised minority who could be easily bullied because they were regarded as un-American cultists. (Among other things, they refused to salute the flag or […]

    Kathy Shaidle’s NEW book, Confessions of a Failed Slut, is available HERE.
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    Climate Science Deniers and Brexit Campaigners Meet Under Banner of Free Trade

    Posted December 14, 2017 by Anonymous
    Ridley speaks at IFT Global Trade Summit

    Brexit cheerleader Daniel Hannan has been busy since last June’s referendum set the clock ticking on his current job as a Member of the European Parliament.

    His latest venture is the Institute for Free Trade, a “private, not-for-profit, non-partisan research foundation”, launched at the Foreign Office no less. The group “sees Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union as a unique opportunity to revitalise the world trading system” – a somewhat optimistic outlook that goes against the grain of what most experts expect.

    The IFT’s inaugural Global Trade Summit, held in the heart of London in October, brought together prominent government ministers, lobbyists, free market idealogues, and climate science deniers from both sides of the pond.

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    #987 Picking a perfect nacho off someone else’s plate

    Posted December 14, 2017 by Anonymous

    No two nachos are created equally. When somebody offers you a nacho from their appetizer plate at a restaurant or while on the couch at home in front of a movie, you need to move fast: First up, quickly scan their entire plate. What stage is this offer being made? Are you in the game […]

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    In the Shadow of Honest Journalism: GateHouse Media Publishes Atrocious Anti-Wind Article Devoid of Scientific Evidence

    Posted December 13, 2017 by Brendan DeMelle

    This week, Gatehouse Media published a long-form investigative report called “In the Shadow of Wind Farms” claiming that wind energy has caused negative health effects for residents living near wind turbines — a claim that flies in the face of actual science.

    GateHouse Media’s anti-wind article leans almost entirely on anecdotal evidence compiled during its six-month long project that included interviews with dozens of people who claim negative outcomes from living near wind farms.

    Meanwhile, in the realm of scientific facts, the American Wind Energy Alliance, the main trade group representing the wind power industry, points to 25 scientific reviews that document the safety of wind farms for human health and the environment.

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