Friday, January 06, 2012

Friday Hope Blogging

Civil unions are now legal in Delaware and Hawaii:

Several same-sex couples came together in the first minutes of New Year's Day in Honolulu to become the first in the state's history to enter into civil unions.

"We really don't want to wait any longer because we have been together for 33 years waiting for the opportunity and our rights and everything that goes with it," said Donna Gedge, who was with her partner Monica Montgomery, speaking to CNN affiliate KITV. "So why wait?"

Virginity tests are now illegal in Egypt:

Forced "virginity tests" on female detainees were ruled illegal in Egypt on Tuesday, after a court ordered an end to the practice.

Hundreds of activists were in the Cairo courtroom to hear the judge, Aly Fekry, say the army could not use the test on women held in military prisons in a case filed by Samira Ibrahim, one of seven women subjected to the test after being arrested in Tahrir Square during a protest on 9 March.

Jamaica's new prime minister is taking a stand against homophobia:
Jamaica's newly elected first female prime minister, Portia Simpson Miller, says discrimination against gay people is wrong.

"No one should be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation," Simpson Miller said during a recent election debate, adding that unlike her predecessor she would be open to appointing a qualified gay person to her cabinet.

Read more here:
Ha ha ha:

After a four-year legal battle, a black Baptist church in South Carolina now is the legal owner of a building housing the infamous Redneck Shop, which operates a Ku Klux Klan museum and sells KKK and other racist clothing.

The Rev. David Kennedy, a long-time civil rights activist and pastor of New Beginnings Baptist Church in Laurens, S.C., told Hatewatch today he can’t wait to turn the racist landmark “into a place of diversity.”

Furthermore, ha ha ha:

When the conservative Maine Heritage Policy Center launched its political blog last month, newly hired chief executive Lance Dutson predicted in an editorial that “we’ll no doubt have kinks to work out along the way.”

Well, a big kink developed this week when other Maine bloggers pointed out that one of the center’s newly hired writers, Leif Parsell, has a long history of espousing white superiority and may even have ties to neo-Nazi organizations.

Those revelations led to Parsell’s firing on Tuesday, Dutson confirmed today to Hatewatch.
Isn't it odd how few neo-Nazis seem to understand that Hitler was a lefty? It's certainly not for lack of spending time on Free Republic.

Speaking of which, Obama has made four recess appointments, just like Hitler!

Obama's decision to recess appoint both these NLRB members and Cordray to the CFPB doesn't just put qualified people into the government—it enables the government agencies themselves to function. That functioning, not the specific individuals, was what Republicans hoped to obstruct. It goes without saying that the GOP will be outraged all over again, despite the fact that the last three Republican presidents all made recess appointments to the NLRB. Kudos to Obama for braving the outrage and doing what needs to be done to keep government working.

The EPA is creating jobs, just like Hitler!

A new report released today by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation highlights the job creation numbers — 240,000 full-time jobs — expected to come from achieving new pollution goals set by the EPA’s “Total Maximum Daily Load” restrictions. Finalized in December 2010, these rules require a 25 percent reduction of pollution flowing into the Bay by 2025 and have already spurred state and federal investment in stormwater mitigation projects, upgrades at sewage treatment facilities, addition of power plant smokestack scrubbers, and improvements to management of agricultural runoff and livestock waste management.

And scientists have discovered various new species on the seafloor near Antarctica, just like Hitler!

"Hydrothermal vents are home to animals found nowhere else on the planet that get their energy not from the Sun but from breaking down chemicals, such as hydrogen sulphide," said Professor Alex Rogers of Oxford University's Department of Zoology, who led the research. "The first survey of these particular vents, in the Southern Ocean near Antarctica, has revealed a hot, dark, 'lost world' in which whole communities of previously unknown marine organisms thrive."

Highlights from the ROV dives include images showing huge colonies of the new species of yeti crab, thought to dominate the Antarctic vent ecosystem, clustered around vent chimneys. Elsewhere the ROV spotted numbers of an undescribed predatory sea-star with seven arms crawling across fields of stalked barnacles. It also found an unidentified pale octopus, nearly 2,400 metres down, on the seafloor.

The last asbestos mine in Canada has gone bankrupt:

Production at one mine has been halted until it can get refinancing, and another miner – Thetford Mines, Que.-based LAB Chrysotile –filed for bankruptcy Wednesday, leaving no active operations in Canada.

The wood stork population in the Southeast is recovering thanks to the ESA:
The Center for Biological Diversity said today that the wood stork should be downlisted from “endangered” to “threatened” because its population has grown dramatically since it was protected under the federal Endangered Species Act. The change will not reduce the species’ legal protections, but is an important step toward full recovery and removal from the Act’s oversight.

“The beautiful wood stork is just one of hundreds of species the Endangered Species Act has successfully put on the road to recovery,” said the Center’s Marty Bergoffen. “From the brink of extinction, the wood stork multiplied to 12,000 nesting pairs in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.”
While we were busy debating whether it's government's place to repair crumbling bridges, China built the world's largest battery:
China just took a massive step forward for renewable energy as it flipped the switch on the world’s largest battery, which will help integrate a solar project and a wind farm into a smart grid. Capable of storing 36 megawatts hours of power and taking up the area of a football field, the giant battery bank was built as a joint venture between solar and electric car company BYD and the State Grid Corporation of China to improve a large wind and solar electric installation’s efficiency by 5-10%.
Electronic coupons save paper, which saves trees:

Do your coupons often end up scrunched up and tossed into your garbage (or recycling) bin? Think about this: an estimated 1.135 million trees are cut down and processed to print paper grocery coupons every month.

That is roughly equivalent to 2,500 acres of woods. A total of 13.62 million trees are used each year to print coupons.

These days, more consumers are discovering a way to reduce such paper use, while gaining more convenience and reducing clutter. Instead of clipping paper coupons, they are opting for electronic grocery coupons.

Last, John McCain has refused to pass the official torch of unelectable douchebaggery to Rick "Everyone Hates Me But Teabaggers" Santorum. Instead, he bestowed it on his old pal Mitt "Everyone Hates Me Including Teabaggers" Romney in this touching ceremony:
[McCain] grimaced when he was introduced, and as Romney delivered his own stump speech, an increasingly impatient McCain pulled up his sleeve and checked his watch. McCain gave his endorsement address without mentioning Romney’s Iowa win until the end. “By the way, we forgot to congratulate him on his landslide victory last night,” he said, laughing. Romney ignored him.
May they walk many miles together.

Meanwhile: Chromolithographs by E.L. Trouvelot. Prints by James Gillray. Watercolors by John Abbot. Paintings by Curzona Allport. Illustrations by Lee Brown Coye. Photos by Mel Rosenthal. Photos by Seiji Shibuya. And photos by Hugh Mangum:

In addition to which: London, 1753. Comic strips, 1898-1916. Sheet music, 1800-1922. Oregon, 1940. Nineteenth-century children's literature. Nineteenth-century performers on the Overland Trail. Night thoughts of a baffled humanist. An ABC of travel. The Yukon delta. Photos by Graciela Iturbide. And photos by Clint Grant:

Therefore: Medicine and Madison Avenue. Arte publicitario. Dogon blacksmiths. Oregon trademarks. Yiddish sheet music. Texas postcards. North American panoramas. Botanical New York. Pictures of children. Pictures of showgirls. The Rocket Book. And photographs by William Gedney:

(Photo at top: "Foreleg of a male diving beetle" by Spike Walker, 2011.)

1 comment:

Makarios said...

Excellent collection, as always. The Grant photos alone will keep me smiling all week long. Thanks.