Friday, May 14, 2010

Friday Hope Blogging

A researcher at University of Colorado suggests that increased immigration may be associated with a reduction in violent crime:

During the 1990s, immigration reached record highs and crime rates fell more precipitously than at any time in U.S. history. And cities with the largest increases in immigration between 1990 and 2000 experienced the largest decreases in rates of homicide and robbery, a University of Colorado at Boulder researcher has found.

The Los Angeles City Council is boycotting Arizona.

The City Council voted Wednesday to boycott Arizona businesses, making Los Angeles the largest city to take such action to protest the state's tough new law targeting illegal immigration.

And so are certain entertainers:

Rap veterans Cypress Hill have cancelled an upcoming concert in Arizona in protest of a new state immigration law....

The new ruling has infuriated a string of stars including Black Eyed Peas frontman, and Cypress Hill have pledged their support to immigrants by scrapping their planned gig in Tucson on May 21st.

Phoenix allegedly stands to lose about $90 million due to canceled conventions and other events:
Phoenix may be on the verge of losing hotel and convention center business worth about $90 million over the next five years because of fallout from Arizona's new immigration law, a top city official said....

The canceled events include the oldest African American Greek-lettered fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., which was supposed hold a July meeting at the Sheraton. The fraternity's annual convention was expected to draw an estimated 5,000 attendees and as many as 10,000 visitors in July. Organizers will now hold that event in Las Vegas.

Conservative evangelical leaders are also criticizing Arizona:
They're calling the Arizona law misguided and are attempting to use its passage to push for federal immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.

The group, which includes influential political activists such as Richard Land, head of the Southern Baptist Convention's public policy wing, and Mathew Staver, dean of the Liberty University School of Law, will soon begin lobbying Republican leaders in Washington to support comprehensive immigration reform under President Obama.

Incidentally, it seems that Arizona State Senate Majority leader Chuck Gray follows a high-profile white supremacist on Twitter.

Don Black is a Florida-based white supremacist who is deemed so dangerous he's banned from the UK for inciting hatred. Arizona State Senate Majority leader Chuck Gray—a proponent of the recent immigration bill—follows him on Twitter.

StormfrontWPWW (White Pride Worldwide) is the Twitter account for Stormfront, a racist organization that is the latest project of uber-racist Stephen Donald Black, better known as Don Black. He was a Grand Wizard in the KKK and a member of the American Nazi Party.
The Tennessee House has blocked an English-only driver's license bill:

Yesterday, a Tennessee House subcommittee effectively stopped a bill that would have limited the languages available to a person taking their driver’s license test.

The bill would have allowed residents who show proof of legal residency the option of taking the test in one of four languages (English, Spanish, Korean or Japanese). But those who couldn’t show their papers would be forced to take the test in English.

Hawaii has passed a law that allows state officials to ignore birthers:
It's now legal for Hawaii to brush off so-called birthers and any others who bug the state about President Barack Obama's birth certificate.

Gov. Linda Lingle signed into law Wednesday a bill allowing the state to ignore repeated requests for Obama's birth certificate....

An Australian court has ruled that a citizen who was tortured at Guantanamo has the right to sue the Australian government:

Mr Habib says he was subjected to sleep deprivation, being burnt, electrocution and injections of drugs and that Australian officials were complicit in - and sometimes present at - the sessions.

Canberra had asked for the case to be thrown out, saying Australia could not rule on the actions of US officials.

But the Federal Court said torture "offends the ideal of a common humanity" and that Australia's parliament had "declared it to be a crime wherever outside Australia it is committed".

Timor-Leste has passed its first domestic violence law:
Under the new law, "Police will be bound to investigate domestic violence crimes and victims will, under law, have access to emergency medical help, shelter, psycho-social and legal support services," Pornchai Suchitta of the UN Population Fund told IRIN. The law also requires education on domestic violence to be included in school curricula and ensures that victims, not their fathers, receive monetary fines from perpetrators.
Cameroon has agreed to stop exporting protected hardwoods:
One of Africa's largest exporters of tropical hardwoods, Cameroon, has announced today a trade agreement with the European Union (EU) to rid all illegal wood from its supply chain to the EU and worldwide. Cameroon signed a legally-binding Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) that will cover all wood products produced in Cameroon.
Philips has released the first 60w LED bulb:

The EnduraLED lamp will use only 12 watts, last 25 times longer, and deliver up to eighty percent savings on energy costs and avoided maintenance costs. However, the new bulb will produce a light level of 806 lumens, similar to the 60 watt incandescent. To achieve this efficiency, it uses an innovative design and a new technology known as remote phosphor technology, developed by Philips researchers in The Netherlands.

New York has been mapped with lasers in order to identify ideal locations for solar panels:
Last month a low-flying airplane airplane equipped with a laser embarked upon two weeks of stealth missions over New York City. Not your average covert operation, these 9 six-hour flights were made in the name of green — as part of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s PlaNYC program, the flight crew was quietly making a 3D solar map of the entire city....

New York will also use their solar map to replace existing flood maps — those currently being used are from the 1980’s and are quite outdated. Information from the flights will be made public so NYC residents can see if their buildings are well suited for solar panels.
Ten years after the Edwards Dam was removed, Maine's Kennebec River is thriving:
[M]ore than two million alewives returned to the Kennebec, the largest migration of its kind on the eastern seaboard. The entire web of life, from eagles to osprey to black bears, have benefited from the free-flowing river. Water quality classifications have been upgraded, and mayflies and stoneflies, rarely seen in samples before the removal of Edwards, have dramatically increased in number.
The world's oldest beehives have been found in a Scottish chapel:
Located in the medieval Scottish Rosslyn Chapel, which dates back to 1446, two ancient hives have been found, skillfully carved in the stone work under the roof's peak. They are thought to be the first man-made stone hives ever found....

The only clues to the hives' existence were flowers intricately carved into the pinnacles -- it is charming that there were holes through which the bees could enter and exit. These were visible from the outside....

Since the hive was so high above the ground, it is clear that no one would be able to reach it to get the honey. It is thought that the ancient stone masons who built the chapel simply wanted to provide a safe location for a wild honeybee hive, protected from bad weather.

Peter Sinclair is competing for a grant that will fund his popular "Climate Crock of the Week" video series. Personally, I think he deserves the prize just for his brilliant two-part feature on Lord Monckton. You can click here to vote for him.

Floral bee nests. Photos by Robert Kinmont. A survey of canyon striations. Abandoned locomotives. Some thoughts on forams and oils. A tour of junk drawers and medicine cabinets (via things). And an overview of photographic motion studies.

The Kimbangist Symphony Orchestra. Virtual moonwalking. Time-lapse footage of Eyjafjallajökull (I strongly advise you to turn the sound off). Photographic vans of the 19th century. Herschel Crater, on Mimas. Photos by Charles Weever Cushman. And via wood s lot, photos by Francis L. Cooper.

The Bioscope informs me that UCLA has posted 11 animated films from the silent era, several of which are new to me, and one of which — The Wandering Toy, from 1928 — is a revelation. (I suspect that a reader who's particularly dear to me will agree.) The same post refers me to an excellent silent-film forum called Nitrateville; those who like this sort of thing will find that et cetera and so forth. Furthermore: Al-Rihla Images. The History of Advertising Trust's Ghostsigns Archive. The Electric Brae. Illustrations from the ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive. Trade cards of the Smith and Anthony Stove Co. And 421 images from the Tissandier Collection.

All this, and a movie, too.

(Photo at top: "Lamp Posts on Miami Beach Pier" by Charles Weever Cushman, 1939.)

1 comment:

Cheryl Rofer said...

Is that Rosslyn Chapel of Da Vinci Code fame? Sounds like it.

Thanks for your compendium. I needed it today.