Friday, January 07, 2011

Friday Hope Blogging

Oregon may impose strict new rules on water pollution:

Oregon is poised to adopt the strictest standard for toxic water pollution in the United States, driven by concerns about tribal members and others who eat large amounts of contaminated fish....

The new rule, scheduled for approval in June, would dramatically tighten human health criteria for a host of pollutants, including mercury, flame retardants, PCBs, dioxins, plasticizers and pesticides.
New Jersey has a strong new anti-bullying law:

New Jersey’s governor has signed an anti-bullying bill that gay rights advocates say is the toughest law of its kind in the nation.

Brazil has approved in vitro fertilization for same-sex couples:
A statement from the organization says that the change “was a demand of modern society.”

The rules published Thursday replace guidelines that were in place for nearly two decades.

NASA satellite data may help farmers to save water:
NASA researchers have developed a computer program to help farmers better manage irrigation systems in real time. The software uses data from NASA satellites, local weather observations, and wireless sensor networks installed in agricultural fields to calculate water balance across a field and provide farmers with information on crop water needs and forecasts that can be accessed from computers or handheld devices.
The Massachusetts Supreme Court has ruled against US Bank and Wells Fargo:

In a major ruling in the Massachusetts Supreme Court today, US Bank and Wells Fargo lost the “Ibanez case,” meaning that they don’t have standing to foreclose due to improper mortgage assignment. The ruling is likely to send shock waves through the entire judicial system, and seriously raise the stakes on foreclosure fraud. Bank stocks are plummeting at this hour.

Andrew Wakefield stands revealed as an even bigger fraud than most of us suspected:
According to the BMJ, Dr. Wakefield’s article was “an elaborate fraud” in which he falsified information for “his landmark” study in which he claimed that the MMR (mumps, measles, rubella) vaccine caused autism.
2010 was apparently a good year, or at least a better one, for sharks:
Although many shark species are still at risk of extinction, around the world shark conservation advanced last year. In Washington on Tuesday, President Barack Obama signed into law the Shark Conservation Act of 2010, which increases protection for sharks from the practice of shark finning, by which fishermen cut the fins off sharks and throw them back into the sea to die.

Many vessels target sharks for their fins, prized as an ingredient in shark fin soup. The new law will close a loophole in the Shark Finning Prohibition Act of 2000 that allowed vessels to transport fins obtained illegally, as long as the sharks were not finned aboard that vessel.

U.S. renewable energy is now roughly equivalent with nuclear power:
According to data just released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, nuclear energy generation and renewable energy generation both accounted for approximately 11% of the United States’ entire power supply in the first nine months of 2010.
Harpy eagles appear to be making a comeback:
Scientists have confirmed the presence of a harpy eagle nest in the Maya Mountains of Belize. The discovery represents the most northerly breeding pair in the Americas, and signals a comeback for a species which has become locally extinct in much of Central America due to human activity.
Italy has banned plastic shopping bags:

The government of Italy has become the first in the European Union to outlaw the use of plastic bags by all retailers, signaling a large shift in a country which uses over 20 billion bags per year (400 per person) — an amount equal to 25% of the total produced and used in the entire EU.

Also: More proof that the U.S. border fence is stupid. Photos of Tallinn for Cheryl. A video tour of the Smithsonian's Arcimboldo exhibition. And images from the world's largest cave:

Many, many liquor bottles. Photos by Rajeev. Hail Capricornia! Philadelphia murals. A journey through Cloudland. Ornette Coleman interviewed by Jacques Derrida. And colony morphology:

The Golden Throng. Photos by MariaVittoria Piana Brizio. A phonographic wedding ring. Thorpe Marsh power station. Seahorse sounds. Cryptoforestry. And photos by Léon Gimpel.

Plus, a short film.

(Image at top: "Highway and Byways" by Paul Klee, 1929.)


Cheryl Rofer said...

Tänan väga, Phila!

I think that's the first time I've seen a view from the St. Olaf's spire. Very nice!

And I've got one of the St. Nicholas spire through the old wall, too! Irresistable for a photographer.

Cheryl Rofer said...

BTW, my avatar is an oak tree in the Soomaa district of southern Estonia.