The government just shut down. Now what?
1 hour ago
"Ice cover is important for krill, which take shelter under the ice and feed on algae that grow there. As winter ice cover has declined in extent and duration, the krill population has declined as well. By some estimates, krill abundance has dropped by as much as 80 percent since the 1970s.
With ice cover retreating, fishing has picked up in winter. The AMLR team, after 25 years of summer surveys, has shifted to winter as well. Reiss and his colleagues conducted their first wintertime krill survey last year, and preliminary data indicate that as fishing activity shifts to winter, there is the potential for competition between fishing vessels and winter-resident animals such as gentoo penguins and several species of seals."
"The western Antarctic Peninsula is warming faster than most of the rest of the earth. Winter temperatures have shot up roughly 11 degrees Fahrenheit over the past 60 years, reducing sea ice cover. Those and other effects of climate change have caused Antarctic krill populations to plummet 40 to 80 percent in the last three decades around the South Shetland Islands near the tip of the peninsula, according to research published last May in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The research, led by Wayne Z. Trivelpiece of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, also showed that populations of Adélie and chinstrap penguins, which rely heavily on krill, declined more than 50 percent in the northern peninsula, where krill fishing vessels concentrate."
|Good move, Len|
|Even better move (on vacation)|
‘I'm a 30DD so it's usually impossible to find a good one but my Wonderbra is amazing,' says Michelle.Umm, yes, she said 30DD. Luverly. See below.
|That's what a 30DD looks like|
"There's a scene in the movie "Patton", after the general and his aide have surveyed the field of battle, where Patton says, "Now I have precisely the right instrument at precisely the right moment of history and exactly the right place. ... This will change too, very quickly. Like a planet spinning off into the universe. A moment like this won't come again for years."
In this strange and short season, the Capitals suddenly find themselves in a similar situation of stellar alignment. Following an unbelievably atrocious start (still finding it hard to believe three 5-on-3 power plays in four games), they have clawed back to a semblance of respectability, with occasional forays into the land of the sublime - or at least the acceptable. The cavalry (Laich) & artillery (Green) are back.
Now, facing a strange Winnipeg team (that wins more on the road than at home) in back-to-back road games, and then the Rangers at MSG, the Caps could envision going into next Tuesday's home game against the beatable (at least they aren't Pittsburgh) Islanders with a chance to pass both NYR and CAR and find themselves in the unlikely Shangri-La of a playoff spot. NYR (32 pts) doesn't play again until they face WSH on Sunday. CAR (32 pts) doesn't play again until Tuesday, vs the better-on-the-road Jets. Good for health, not good for points. WSH has 27 points right now. Beating WIN again = 29. Beating NYR = 31 (and NYR stays at 32). Beating NYI on Tuesday = 33. If WIN beats CAR that night, the 'Caps move past the 'Canes. And NYI (29 pts) has to play PIT Friday, though one can't expect miracles from FLA again (or can we) on Sunday.
The saying goes "play it one game at a time". The players should, must focus on the immediate. Fans can look ahead and see tantalizing possibilities. Bu were I Adam Oates, I think I would make it very clear in that locker room tonight before the game that this is their time.
Unleash the fury & believe the system. Believe It Or Not, it's working."
|Is this really the solution? Ocean windmills to the horizon? Seriously?|
Zendaya and Val Chmerkovskiy:Disney channel star Zendaya and her partner Val tackled a contemporary routine that brought down the audience to their feet. OK, so Zendaya is a professionally trained hip-hop dancer, but at just 16 years old, it was still an impressive feat. "Sweet sixteen and a superb debut on 'Dancing with the Stars,'" Bruno proclaimed, leaping from his chair with enthusiasm.Another one of my predicted finalists, Dorothy Hamill, who probably hasn't forgotten how to be graceful, did good too.
"So far as we’ve seen, Mr. Cuccinelli hasn’t shifted his position [on immigration]; he’s just removed it from public view.When he starts accepting that humans have caused climate change, then we'll know he's in full lie-to-the-electorate-to-get-elected mode.
This didn’t stop with immigration. In the past few months, the Cuccinelli campaign has also removed from its Web site pages laying out the candidate’s views on abortion (he’s against it) and gun rights (he’s for them), among other things. Mr. Cuccinelli is hardly the first politician to moderate his views while running for higher office, nor even the first to opt for expedience. What sets him apart on immigration, however, is not only the extremity of his thinking compared to the electorate’s, but also how quickly he’s become marginalized within the Republican Party. That’s inconvenient for Mr. Cuccinelli, but there’s no airbrushing it away."
"In an analysis published last year, the International Energy Agency suggested that a wholesale divestment from nuclear power would be precisely the wrong move at a time when greenhouse gas emissions are increasingly out of control. Movements away from nuclear power, after all, would in large part be met with increased use of carbon-intensive sources like coal and natural gas, according to the agency's chief economist, Fatih Birol.
Increasing deployment of renewable power sources like wind and solar, as well as improvements in energy efficiency, are vitally important, of course, but many of the world's experts believe that such measures are, by themselves, not enough to tackle the climate imperative facing the planet. "Renewables cannot make it alone," Birol said. "It is not enough."
"According to a new report by NBC News' Kerry Sanders, the welfare and existence of at least half of the world's 18 penguin species will be negatively impacted if the warming of the Antarctic Peninsula persists. Experts say that a big part of the problem is related to food: Less ice means less krill, a cornerstone of the Antarctic ecosystem and a mainstay of a penguin's diet."
"At this year’s Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Conference of the Parties meeting in Bangkok, countries agreed to increase protection for five commercially-exploited species of sharks and manta rays. CITES member nations, referred to as “Parties”, voted in support of listing the oceanic whitetip shark, three species of hammerhead sharks (scalloped, smooth, and great), the porbeagle shark and manta rays in CITES Appendix II – an action that means increased protection, but still allows legal and sustainable trade."It's a start. Every forward step in oceanic fish protection, no matter how small, is important, if we are to change the trajectory of ocean overexploitation before it's too late and make the oceanic realm are partner, rather than merely a resource, in our journey to the future.
|Happier days for whitetip sharks|
"We now have the strongest fishery system in the world," says NRDC senior attorney Brad Sewell, noting many foreign fisheries are in decline. His report says there's an upswing in the number of U.S. recreational fishing trips and the gross commercial revenue of the 27 rebuilding stocks — worth a total $585 million annually.
"We're at this watershed moment," Sewell says, referring to the re-authorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. That law was used to help reverse what was an emerging crisis in the 1990s when many of New England's iconic groundfish stocks, such as cod, haddock and flounder, faced collapse.
|Probably worth it|
Question #3: Can he do it for $1 billion? To ordinary people a billion dollars sounds like a lot, but in the space world is it chump change. In 1989 President George H.W. Bush proposed a manned mission to Mars, but the concept sank when the media got wind of the estimated $500 billion price tag. Nevertheless, Tito’s goal is not quite as crazy as it initially sounds.
Cantor told me that it was a “fair assessment” that he talked Boehner out of accepting Obama’s deal. He said he told Boehner that it would be better, instead, to take the issues of taxes and spending to the voters and “have it out” with the Democrats in the election. Why give Obama an enormous political victory, and potentially help him win reëlection, when they might be able to negotiate a more favorable deal with a new Republican President? Boehner told Obama there was no deal. Instead of a Grand Bargain, Cantor and the House Republicans made a grand bet.
What’s more, by scuttling the 2011 Grand Bargain negotiations, Cantor, more than any other politician, helped create the series of fiscal crises that have gripped Washington since Election Day. The failure of the Grand Bargain led to a byzantine deal: if the two parties could not agree on a new deficit plan, then a combination of tax increases and spending cuts—cuts known, in budget jargon, as a “sequester”—would automatically kick in on New Year’s Day. (The sequester was postponed until March 1st.)
[ Quoting Tom Cole, Oklahoma GOP Representative: ]
He [Cole] seemed far more frustrated with the extremists in his own party. “This is a very different Republican Party than the one I got elected into,” he said. “It’s much more domestically focused, much more fiscally responsible, much less concerned about America’s position in the world or about defending the country. It almost takes for granted the security that we have now. It’s not a group shaped by 9/11. Their 9/11 is the fiscal crisis, the long-term deficit.”
[ During the fiscal cliff negotiations final hours ]So there you have it. Even though there's a lot of blame to spread around, and more to come, Cantor takes credit for talking Boehner out of a potential revenues + cuts deal that might have actually approached reasonableness. He takes credit for trying to wait for the election to get a Republican President with which a better deal (good for them, bad for the country) could be brokered, though rubber-stamped is more like it. He turned down the Biden-McConnell deal that ended the fiscal cliff mess. He leads the Tea Party Republican contingent in the House.
A few hours after his daily call, Cantor walked into the meeting room with Boehner—another public show of alliance. Cantor then announced that he couldn’t vote for the Biden-McConnell compromise. If Obama was getting new revenues, Republicans had to get spending cuts. “I do not support the bill,” he told reporters as he walked out of the meeting. Once again, Cantor had abandoned Boehner at a crucial moment of the negotiations. The Senate bill seemed doomed, and the economy was headed for the cliff.
Cantor seems newly pained by his reputation as an ideological roadblock. In Virginia, his favorable rating is twenty-seven per cent, a fact that makes a statewide run for office in the near future a dim prospect. [ Instead, the Republicans have Ken Cuccinelli !]
The looming sequester, which would slash spending across the government, was created by both parties, after the failure of the Grand Bargain, in 2011, as a purposely odious policy, in order to force the two sides to reach a more rational plan to reduce long-term deficits. Now House Republicans wanted the sequester to go into effect—and were blaming Obama for creating it. I asked Cantor about the disconnect between his speech, which highlighted real Americans who would theoretically be helped by future G.O.P. policies, and the real-world and immediate impact of the sequester. “What’s our choice, right?” he said. “There seemed to be no interest whatsoever on the part of the White House or the Senate to act. It’s up to the President to lead.”
In Richmond, before my last conversation with Cantor, Bobby Jindal, the governor of Louisiana, who may run for President in 2016, spoke at an annual political breakfast hosted by Cantor. Jindal’s target was Obama, but his remarks were an implicit rebuke to House Republicans for becoming mired in a series of unnecessary fiscal crises that are of their own making, and which have kept them from dealing with other issues. “These are, in reality, sideshows in Washington that we have allowed to take center stage in our country,” Jindal said. “As conservatives, we are falling into the sideshow trap.”
"Instead, the President should let the public see the Tea Partiers for who they are -- a small, radical minority intent on dismantling the government of the United States. As long as they are allowed to dictate the terms of public debate they will continue to hold the rest of us hostage to their extremism.I agree that's what the Prez should do. But what, exactly, is the best way to accomplish it?
Without stricter caps, “there is a high likelihood that Pacific bluefin will become less available to Japanese consumers,” said Masayuki Komatsu, a former senior Fisheries Agency official. Japan faces two choices, he said: Immediately impose catch quotas or “stop eating the bluefin to protect it.”But won't the fishermen be MORE upset when they're aren't any fish to catch, and the politicians be upset when they can't eat their favorite toro sushi?
While the media plays a role, the Fisheries Agency, domestic scientists and fishing industry are mainly responsible for failing to address the problem and keeping the public in the dark, Komatsu and other critics say. During his tenure at the agency until 2005, regulators were often more intent on protecting fishermen than marine resources, he said, and they were also reluctant to publicize information about declining fish stocks or impose catch limits for fear of upsetting fishermen or politicians.
While Japanese consumers are very sensitive about food safety and quality, awareness about resource management is still not very prevalent. Major retailer Aeon Co. has a lineup of 50 products with a special blue label from the Marine Stewardship Council, which certifies sustainable marine foods. However, MSC-labeled products account for only 3 percent of Aeon’s total fish sales.I repeat: Pacific bluefin tuna is radioactive, and has too much mercury and PCBs in it to be safe to eat.