Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday Hope Blogging

In California, Jerry Brown signed the FAIR Education Act:

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has signed into law the FAIR Education Act, which requires California public schools to include the contributions of gays and lesbians in social studies curricula. The law is the first of its kind in the country.
In Wisconsin, Democrats defeated six phony primary challengers:

Democratic Wisconsin Senate candidates overwhelmingly defeated their fake rivals Tuesday night in the Democratic primary election....

The Wisconsin Republican Party entered six fake Democratic candidates into the race to force Democratic primary elections in Wisconsin and delay the general election.

The cost of this corporatist charade to taxpayers: About $400,000.

The cleantech sector is doing well:
Sectors like clean energy, green building, and efficient transport employ 2.7 million workers — more than the biosciences and fossil fuel sectors.

And guess what? They pay better than the average job too. Median salaries for cleantech-related jobs are $46,343, or about $7,727 more than the median wages across the broader economy.

Meanwhile, conservatives are promoting inefficient lightbulbs, and attempting "to prohibit websites that teach children about energy efficiency." (And, of course, praying for rain.)

The Murdoch Empire continues to crumble:
With investigations into News Corp. already underway in the U.S. and the U.K, the prime minister of Australia has expressed interest in launching Australia’s own investigation. PM Julia Gillard told the National Press Club today that she is “shocked and disgusted” at allegations of improper information gathering by Murdoch’s British tabloids and predicted a “long debate about media ethics in this country.”
Federal regulators have rejected an application for an idiotic dam in Southern California:
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission today dismissed a proposed dam and hydroelectric project in Southern California’s Cleveland National Forest that would have severely damaged the environment, wildlife habitat and the area’s rural character. The Lake Elsinore Advanced Pumped Storage Project, or LEAPS, has been beset with problems since its inception: Opposition has been continuous, while financial and regulatory difficulties have also plagued the project.

“This dam project was an ecological and economic catastrophe waiting to happen,” said Jonathan Evans of the Center for Biological Diversity. “Hopefully today’s decision dismissing the application will be the final nail in its coffin.”

A frog unseen for 87 years has turned up in Borneo:
Scientists are elated after the surprise rediscovery of a wildly-colored frog not seen for 87 years and never before photographed—until now. The Bornean rainbow toad, also known as the Sambas Stream toad (Ansonia latidisca) was rediscovered on Borneo in the Malaysian state of Sarawak by local scientists inspired by a 2010 search for the world's missing amphibians by Conservation International (CI).

Photo © Dr. Indraneil Das.
A Muslim man who was shot and partially blinded by a Texan death-row prisoner is attempting to prevent his attacker's execution:
Rais Bhuiyan opposes the execution. In fact, he is part of a movement for clemency for Stroman because he believes "in order to live in a better and peaceful world, we need to break the cycle of hate and violence." Instead, Bhuiyan is seeking to engage in a victim-offender reconciliation dialogue with Stroman, a right guaranteed to crime victims in the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.
An appeals court has struck down an absurd "anti-prostitution pledge" that was hampering efforts to fight HIV/AIDS:
The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the "anti-prostitution pledge," a part of the U.S. Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act. The law required nongovernmental organizations receiving U.S. funding for HIV/AIDS work to declare — or pledge — that they opposed prostitution. Most alarmingly, the pledge extended to all parts of an organization's work, even parts that didn't use U.S. money.
New research suggests that smaller wind turbines are more efficient than big ones:

The first field results from a Caltech research team led by John Dabiri have been published, and they suggest that Dabiri’s new approach to wind generation may be just what rural communities have been hoping for: the ability to proceed with widespread wind energy development without changing the character of local landscapes and soundscapes.

Neptune's first orbit since its discovery. Historypin. Cartographic octopi. Photos by Jonathan Williams. Dummy portraits (via Coudal). And farm animal portraits:

(Photo at top: "Longmont, Colorado, 1979" by Robert Adams.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks! It's a relief to have some good news after a conservative win federally in Canada, a conservative win for Toronto's mayor, and most likely another conservative win coming in the provincial election this fall.