Friday, August 07, 2009

Friday Hope Blogging

Alright. Let's see if I remember how to do this.

A proposal to ban all federal funding for Planned Parenthood affiliates has gone down in flames:

Congress overwhelmingly defeated (by a vote of 247 – 183) the Pence amendment to H.R. 3293, the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations bill. The amendment, if passed, would have denied family planning services to millions of women, men and teens by restricting Title X federal family planning funds from going to Planned Parenthood affiliate health centers.
In Wisconsin, same-sex couples are enjoying their newfound status as slightly less oppressed semi-citizens:
Today is the first day Wisconsin same-sex couples can legally register as domestic partners. Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle signed legislation creating domestic partnerships in the state. According to The Advocate, the partnerships grant property, inheritance, and visitation rights to domestic partners.
RU486 has been approved for use in Italy, prompting complaints from an angry old man man in a funny hat:
Italy's drug regulation agency has approved the use of the abortion pill RU486, also known as mifepristone, prompting protests from the Vatican.

The Italian Pharmaceuticals Agency (AIFA) ruled late on Thursday that the drug would not be sold in pharmacies and only be administered by doctors.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the Roadless Rule:
The decision puts an end to the Bush administration’s efforts to open these last great natural areas to development. Today’s ruling protects the majority of national forest roadless areas in the country.
Hark to their cold inexorable logic:
The court repeated its earlier finding that “there can be no doubt that the 58.5 million acres subject to the Roadless Rule, if implemented, would have greater protection if the Roadless Rule stands.”
Seems reasonable to me!

New research offers more evidence that fish populations can recover, if they're allowed to:
The two-year study, publish in the journal Science, found that efforts to reduce overfishing are beginning to succeed in five of the ten large marine ecosystems examined, suggesting that "sound management can contribute to the rebuilding of fisheries."
Researchers have allegedly managed to convert textile waste into compost:
Indian researchers Vinod Gard, Renuka Gupta and Priya Kaushik of the Guru Jambheshwar University of Science and Technology have found a particular species of earthworm to be productive in converting the huge volumes of solid sludge produced by the textiles industry into compost.
A bald songbird has been discovered in Laos:
"It's always exciting to discover a new species, but this one is especially unique because it is the only bald songbird in Asia," said Colin Poole, director of Asia programs for the Wildlife Conservation Society. "The discovery also underscores how much there is still to learn from wild places around the world."
Photo credit: Iain Woxvold/University of Melbourne

This is interesting:
Scientists at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are testing a new innovative approach to safely and economically extract and convert heat from vast untapped geothermal resources.

"By the end of the calendar year, we plan to have a functioning bench-top prototype generating electricity," predicts PNNL Laboratory Fellow Pete McGrail. "If successful, enhanced geothermal systems like this could become an important energy source." A technical and economic analysis conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology estimates that enhanced geothermal systems could provide 10 percent of the nation's overall electrical generating capacity by 2050.
Better late than never, I guess.

Speaking of which, the lost Roman city of Altinum has turned up at last (it's always in the last place you look):
The team of researchers, led by Andrea Ninfo, mapped the city in detail using aerial photography. They also used pictures taken in conjunction with a variety of infra-red filters. During a particularly dry period in the summer of 2007, when plants were stressed and more stonework appeared, the outlines of buildings in the ancient city became more visible. "Everything is just as it was. When we saw the picture we couldn't believe it," Italian archaeologist and co-author of the paper Alessandro Fontana, told Times of London.
Heavens, is that really the time? I'd better speed things along.

One hundred years hence, via Plep. A typology of yogurt containers. The voluptuous horrors of the trottoir roulant. A life-sized whale, sort of. And Thompson Speedway, 1940.

Twenty-five objects devoured by sand. A collection of Arab cinema posters. More and better (and ambulatory) posters at DIVEDCO. And Historia Naturalis Palmarum may feature the best botanical art ever.

Under the Southern Cross. A Catawba River Narrative. A survey of extreme limnoterrestrial microhabitats (the kind men like). In related news, classic insect test objects for the microscope. And the work of An Unknown Street Photographer in Paris, 1896, which I hereby dedicate to a certain aetheric inamorata.

Last but not least, this little masterpiece of retro-futurism:

And so to bed.

(Photo at top: An image from the world's largest cave, which was recently found in Vietnam.)


elbrucce said...

Welcome back! Now all is right with Fridays....

Jazzbumpa said...

Welcome back.. I'm about to head off myself for a week or so. Will read when I return.


grouchomarxist said...

TGIFHB, dude!

So glad to see you back, Phila.

Phila said...

Thanks, all! I'm glad to be back.

Libby Spencer said...

I was hoping to find hope blogging. So happy you're back.

Willendorf Venus said...

Thanks for the hope.

ellroon said...


Elli said...

thx for the hope...