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Cheap and clean: Australian company creates hydrogen with near-zero emissions

n Australian company is using “cheap as dirt” iron ore to convert methane in natural gas into hydrogen. Importantly, their process generates near-zero emissions, as the carbon content of the gas is captured in the form of high-quality graphite.

As a clean-burning fuel, hydrogen could play a key role in future energy markets, but production methods are still too energy-intensive and costly.

Hazer Group is a Perth-based company, spun out of the University of Western Australia, which plans to halve the cost of hydrogen production. It is currently scaling-up its patented process, based on “methane cracking”.

“The chemistry is remarkably simple,” says Geoff Pocock, the managing director of the ASX-listed company, which raised A$5m at its initial public offering in September 2015. “You can think of it as a self-sequestering energy production system.”

As natural gas passes through the heated iron ore catalyst, methane in the gas breaks down into its constituent elements: hydrogen and carbon. But instead of carbon dioxide, would-be emissions are captured in the form of solid graphite.


The Media Village at the Rio Olympics Is Built on a Mass Grave of Slaves

By Erin Blakemore
JULY 22, 2016

When journalists show up en masse in Rio de Janeiro to cover the Summer Olympics next month, many will stay in the Barra Media Villages, a self-described group of “over 1,500 spacious and modern apartments” complete with kitchens, 24/7 food access, along with a huge pool. But, write Daniel Gross and Jonathan Watts for The Guardian, that luxury comes at a price: Part of the village was constructed on top of a mass grave for slaves.

Gross and Watts report that part of a Brazilian quilombo, a community of people whose ancestors were runaway slaves, was torn down to make the village. Residents say that developers did away with “sacred” archaeological remnants of African slaves by building over them. In contention is a colonial-era sugar mill that Camorim Quilombo residents claim was razed without an archaeological survey—and, given that a huge mass grave of slaves was found nearby 16 years ago, they claim that the village is built over the graves of their ancestors.

Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/media-village-rio-olympics-built-mass-grave-slaves-180959873/

Sunday's Pearls Before Swine- Do What You Can

Sunday's Doonesbury- Reaction

Weekend Toon Roundup




The Issue



Dennis Green dies at age 67

Dennis Green, who coached the Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals over 13 NFL seasons, died Friday morning at the age of 67.

Family friend and former agent Ray Anderson confirmed the death to ESPN's Adam Schefter after speaking with Green's wife. Anderson said Green died after a cardiac arrest.

Green's Vikings made eight playoff appearances in 10 seasons from 1992 to 2001, reaching the NFC Championship Game in 1998 and 2000. He led the Vikings to a 15-1 regular season in 1998 and ranks second in franchise history in games coached, wins and winning percentage, trailing Hall of Fame coach Bud Grant in each category.

Mike Tice, who served on Green's staff in Minnesota and succeeded him as head coach, called Green a "great motivator of men."


50,000 children may die if Nigeria's food shortage isn't dealt with — and fast

Eliza Lambert, The Takeaway

With 4.4 million food insecure individuals in northeastern Nigeria, the region is on the brink of famine. Boko Haram, the militant group who has overrun the area, is clearly a major cause of this crisis, which has taken international aid agencies by surprise.

Doctors Without Borders says that at least six people are dying from malnutrition each day in just one displaced persons camp. The UN’s children’s agency, UNICEF, says up to 50,000 children could die unless they receive treatment soon.

Chris Stein, the Nigeria correspondent for Voice of America, says while Nigeria has a system for dealing with food insecurity, which has deep roots in the region, it's not enough. “The issue is that malnutrition is not a lack of food, but a lack of clean water and issues of disease as well. Clearly, that system has broken down.”

Stein continues, “It’s difficult for me to say who’s at fault. These aid agencies are only just finding out there’s this deep of malnutrition, and they have to scale up their response and get the money they need.”


How Donald Trump failed in his dark disaster of an acceptance speech


CLEVELAND (MarketWatch) — Let’s put aside the inevitable fact checking, parsing and policy analysis for a moment.

Donald Trump’s speech Thursday night was a disaster. It was the most embarrassing political appearance I’ve seen since Admiral James Stockdale showed up in 1992 as Ross Perot’s running mate. Donald Trump capped the worst convention I have ever seen with the worst acceptance speech.

Let me be very clear here. This is not a criticism of Donald Trump’s proposed policies. He’s already said he wants to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, kick out illegal immigrants, vet Muslims who want to come here, support the National Rifle Association, and so on. I expected those in the speech. Whether you agree or disagree with those policies, they were supposed to be there. He ran on that platform.

But the speech Donald Trump delivered last night was terrible in other ways.

It was boring, weird and borderline unhinged.


If Trump’s Speech Sounded Familiar, That’s Because Nixon Gave It First

Donald Trump’s law-and-order message is strikingly similar to the speech Richard Nixon delivered in 1968.
By John Nichols

Cleveland—Donald Trump accepted the Republican nomination for president on a Thursday night in the long hot summer of 2016 with a speech that signaled his determination to exploit fears of violence as part of crusade to seize the White House from the Democrats.

Promising a fierce campaign on behalf of law and order, he declared:

Our Convention occurs at a moment of crisis for our nation. The attacks on our police, and the terrorism in our cities, threaten our very way of life. Any politician who does not grasp this danger is not fit to lead our country.

Americans watching this address tonight have seen the recent images of violence in our streets and the chaos in our communities. Many have witnessed this violence personally, some have even been its victims.

I have a message for all of you: the crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon—and I mean very soon—come to an end. Beginning on January 20th of 2017, safety will be restored.

Sound familiar?

It will, for those who recall a Republican convention almost 50 years ago.


Friday Toon Roundup 3: The Rest






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