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Profile Information

Gender: Female
Hometown: NE New York
Home country: USA
Current location: Serious Snow Country :(
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 126,183

Journal Archives

White House Grapples with Un-Presidential Trump After School Shooting

‘This Is Who the American People Elected’: White House Grapples with Un-Presidential Trump After School Shooting

The White House was relieved when the president did not go golfing right after a national tragedy. But then he got a hold of Twitter...

In the days ahead of the long Presidents’ Day weekend, several White House aides had privately conceded to The Daily Beast that they were worried how it would look if their boss decided to go golfing, again.

Entering the weekend directly following the Parkland school shooting—at a time when family and friends of the victims, as well as survivors, were still grappling with what had struck their community—President Donald Trump was already scheduled to spend the next few days at his Florida resort getaway, Mar-a-Lago, where he famously takes long stretches of hours to golf and blow off steam. Senior White House officials were fully aware of how bad the optics would be, and how aloof the president would appear, if Trump hit the golf course to relax as another Florida community mourned and held memorials.

At least as of Sunday early morning, the president’s staff got its wish. Senior Trump aides began informing reporters that, despite the cooperating weather in Palm Beach, President Trump would not be golfing—out of respect for the solemn moment.


Despite staying off the green, the president largely spent the weekend attempting to settle some scores with political enemies and perennial adversaries, binge-watching cable news, rage-tweeting late into the night, lashing out at his own national security adviser, and making the solemn moment about himself and his personal grievance.

Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Sun Feb 18, 2018, 11:28 PM (24 replies)

U.S. sets largest offshore oil, gas lease auction for March

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration on Friday said it would offer the largest oil and gas offshore auction in U.S. history on March 21 for areas in federal waters off the Gulf Coast, less than a year after a similar sale yielded little corporate interest.

The Interior Department said it would offer 77.3 million acres (31.3 mln hectares) offshore Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida for oil and gas development, an auction that includes all available unleased areas in the Gulf of Mexico. The blocks are from 3 to 231 miles (5 to 372 km) offshore and in waters 9 to 11,115 feet (3 to 3,390 meters) deep.

The department announced the auction in October, without an exact date. The sale is in support of President Donald Trump’s so-called America First Offshore Energy Strategy, which aims to reduce energy imports and boost jobs in the industry.

But offshore drilling is expensive in a time of relatively low oil prices held in check partially by plentiful supplies of onshore petroleum, which is cheaper to produce.

More: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-offshore-auction/u-s-sets-largest-offshore-oil-gas-lease-auction-for-march-idUSKCN1G02CX
Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Sat Feb 17, 2018, 05:11 AM (1 replies)

Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO) - 2/16/18

Monologue: Traitor Trump's Toxic Trysts

Bill recaps the top stories of the week, including the latest Mueller indictment and another alleged Trump affair.

Anna Deavere Smith is the writer and star of "Notes From the Field," premiering February 24th on HBO.

Anna Deavere Smith is the writer and star of "Notes From the Field," premiering February 24th on HBO.

Fmr. Mexican President Vicente Fox

Former Mexican President Vicente Fox joins Bill Maher to discuss immigration and the drug war.

New Rule: Hollywood's Grey Area

In his editorial New Rule, Bill explores the messy and complicated nature of romance in the age of #TimesUp.

Mexican Elections, Religious Right, DACA | Overtime

Bill and his guests - Anna Deavere Smith, Fran Lebowitz, Salman Rushdie, and former Mexican President Vicente Fox – answer viewer questions after the show.
Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Sat Feb 17, 2018, 01:50 AM (7 replies)

How a Solar Microgrid Is Helping an Indigenous California Tribe Achieve Community Resiliency

The Chemehuevi are showing us what's possible. Let's follow their lead.

With this year’s major storms cutting power for millions of Americans for days—and in the case of Puerto Rico, months on end—the question of how we make our electrical grid and our communities more resilient is on a lot of people’s minds. But for people who live in remote communities where electricity has always been unreliable, or even nonexistent, resiliency is a way of life. And the solutions they are developing might just hold the key for the rest of us.

The Chemehuevi Indian Reservation comprises 30,000 acres at the edge of California's Mohave Desert, just west of the Colorado River as it flows into Lake Havasu. A branch of the Southern Paiute, the Chemehuevi have inhabited this region for thousands of years, weathering extreme heat, powerful winds, and the torrential rains of the monsoon season. Today, just around 350 people live on the reservation, in scattered ranch-style homes that dot the otherwise open landscape.

Several years ago, the tribe started looking into solar power, both as a low-cost clean energy resource and an economic opportunity for its members. Taking advantage of a state program for low-income households, the tribe partnered with nonprofit GRID Alternatives to put solar power on 80 homes on the reservation and train 20 tribal members in solar installation. The installations were a boon for residents, lowering energy costs by an average of 50 percent, but the grid-tied systems didn't solve one big problem: frequent power outages caused by weather and bird strikes.

"On occasion, power will be out for up to three days," says Chemehuevi vice-chairman Glenn Lodge, "which is concerning especially for community members with medical conditions or tribal elders."

The tribe began searching for a solution that would provide clean, affordable, uninterrupted power to their community center, a facility with a backup diesel generator that was providing critical services like meals and air conditioning to members during blackouts. Lodge and his team researched various options, ultimately leading to a grant for a solar micro-grid through the California Energy Commission and researchers from the University of California, Riverside.

More: https://www.alternet.org/environment/how-solar-microgrid-helping-indigenous-california-tribe-achieve-community-resiliency

The Chemehuevi microgrid will provide about 85 percent of the community center's energy usage.
Photo Credit: GRID Alternatives
Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Thu Feb 15, 2018, 04:56 AM (0 replies)

Thank you to all the kind DU friends who gave me hearts!

I am truly overwhelmed and very grateful - not only that my fellow DUers thought of me, but that I've found a community of kindred spirits who have taught me so much over the years and has helped me survive the rough times!

And if you see a DUer who may have been overlooked because they're not a prolific poster, please think of them because, as we've seen these past days, you never know what they could be going through or how much your thoughtfulness could mean. I've always said that DUers are the most generous folks on earth - and heart week proves it every year!

Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Thu Feb 15, 2018, 02:07 AM (4 replies)

The Daily Show - Noah's Ark-eology: A Hidden Mayan Village & The Cheddar Man

Scientists in a Guatemalan rainforest use X-rays to uncover an ancient Mayan civilization, and Great Britain's oldest modern man is revealed to have been black.

CP Time: Unsung Black Heroes of Politics

Roy Wood Jr. honors the unsung black heroes of politics.
Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Thu Feb 15, 2018, 12:11 AM (1 replies)

Irish Parliament Votes to Ban New Fossil Fuel Exploration

Ireland's Dáil Éireann, the country's lower house of parliament, voted 78-48 Thursday to advance a bill to stop the government from issuing new contracts for both on and offshore oil and gas exploration.

Despite strong opposition from the Irish government, the legislation was backed by thousands of activists, campaigners, parliamentarians as well as a surprising supporter who believes in life after oil: Cher.

The "Climate Emergency Measures Bill," introduced by Solidarity-People Before Profit deputy Bríd Smith, underscores how fossil fuels are major contributors to climate change and how keeping them in the ground will prevent further damage to the environment.

"If we take the Paris climate agreement seriously the Oireachtas (parliament) will support this bill," Smith said during the vote.

Music icon Cher threw in her weight after a tweet from Green Party member Sinéad Mercier stating: "Ireland has 250,000 bottlenose dolphins visiting our seas every summer—we want to become the fourth country in the world to ban oil and gas drilling to protect them!"

More: https://www.ecowatch.com/ireland-fossil-fuels-2532749165.html?utm_source=EcoWatch+List&utm_campaign=7ba8d8acdc-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_49c7d43dc9-7ba8d8acdc-85350385
Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Sun Feb 11, 2018, 06:42 AM (3 replies)

Anti-anxiety drug found to undo some of alcohol's ill effects on the brain

Researchers at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) have discovered a surprising secondary function for an existing drug. Tandospirone is used in Japan and China to treat anxiety and depression, but now Australian researchers have found that it can "reboot" the brain to reverse some of the negative effects of heavy alcohol consumption.

Tandospirone, or Sediel as it's known commercially, is most commonly prescribed to combat generalized anxiety disorder and depression. It works by selectively acting on the serotonin receptor 5-HT1A in the brain, and according to the Japanese company that produces it, the drug is non-addictive, non-sedative, and virtually free of adverse side effects.

Depression and anxiety often go hand-in-hand with substance abuse, including alcohol. As the QUT researchers say, those negative emotions can spring up during withdrawal, and may lead to a relapse. Tandospirone may be able to interrupt that cycle by quelling depression and anxiety, preventing a recovering alcoholic from caving in to their cravings again.


But the discovery that really surprised the team was the fact that tandospirone was also able to reverse some effects that binge drinking can inflict on the process on neuron generation. Normally, the brain replenishes cells in a process called neurogenesis, but long-term heavy drinking can damage that process. The QUT study found that tandospirone can undo the negative impact on neurogenesis caused by excessive alcohol.

"This is not just another drug that shows promise in helping to reduce binge drinking," says Selena Bartlett, lead researcher on the study. "While it could possibly have that effect, it might be able to help reboot the brain and reverse the deficits the alcohol abuse causes – both the inhibition to the brain's ability to regenerate, and the behavioural consequences that come from what alcohol is doing to the brain, like increases in anxiety and depression."

Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Sun Feb 11, 2018, 06:34 AM (4 replies)

What now for SpaceX's Mars-bound Telsa Roadster?

If the SpaceX Falcon Heavy is the world's most powerful rocket, then the Tesla Roadster that it shot into interplanetary space holds the record for the fastest car in history. This cosmic convertible will orbit around the Sun once every 1.6 years, but how long will it continue to do so, and what will be its fate? Will it still look as pristine a billion years from now as it did in the videos beamed back to Earth? Probably not.

At the moment, there are five US spacecraft speeding out of our Solar System, never to return. Billions of years from now, when our Sun has turned into a red giant and engulfed the Earth in nuclear fire, the Pioneer, Voyager, and New Horizons probes will still be traveling through our galaxy like a quintet of robotic Odysseus's.

Even back in our system and revolving about our Earth are satellites that will still be around for many millions of years. For example, one Earth-orbiting satellite, LAGEOS-1, is a passive laser reflector satellite that will not only remain circling our planet for 8.4 million years, but will remain functional for most of that time.

With a track record like that, it looks as if the Tesla Roadster that rocketed into space on February 6, 2018 will be cruising happily among the stars as a permanent monument to the early days of commercial deep space travel. It's a nice thought that the Starman mannequin driver and his cherry red ride will still be around long after the pyramids have crumbled to sand.

Except that's not going to happen. In fact, the Starman and the Roadster are in for a very unpleasant time and may not be in very good shape after a few years. And their lifespan, while huge by human standards, may be rather limited.

More: https://newatlas.com/tesla-roadster-fate/53317/

Starman racing the Earth (Credit: SpaceX)
Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Sun Feb 11, 2018, 06:29 AM (5 replies)

Stephen Colbert - Monologue and Opening - 2/9/18

Even George W. Bush Sees Evidence Of Russia Meddling

We've entered an alternative universe where Former President George W. Bush is right about things.

A Trump Advisor Says Only God Prevents The Flu

Gloria Copeland, a member of Trump's evangelical advisory board, says that God is the reason for the (flu) season.

John Oliver Gets Into Stephen's Personal Space

'Last Week Tonight' host John Oliver gets a moment alone with Stephen thanks to the Late Show's 'personal space' box.

One Week Older: Trump Should Totally Talk To Mueller

John Oliver and Stephen Colbert agree: our President is very smart and would totally crush an interview with Robert Mueller.

Liam Neeson's Cupid Audition

Action star Liam Neeson unleashes his usual gruffness in an audition for the symbol of love.
Posted by Rhiannon12866 | Sat Feb 10, 2018, 05:05 AM (9 replies)
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