Blog Rolls

Scientists Hope To Farm The Biofuel Of The Future In The Pacific Ocean

International research labs are using seaweed to make biofuel, but little progress has been made in the U.S. Now scientists in California are developing a prototype to enable vast open-ocean farming.

(Image credit: Courtesy of David Ginsburg/Wrigley Institute)

Categories: Just News

Investigative Report – HUD is being deconstructured

ProPublica and New York Magazine joint reporting: “…HUD has long been something of an overlooked stepchild within the federal government. Founded in 1965 in a burst of Great Society resolve to confront the “urban crisis,” it has seen its manpower slide by more than half since the Reagan Revolution. (The HUD headquarters is now so eerily underpopulated that it can’t even support a cafeteria; it sits vacant on the first floor.) But HUD still serves a function that millions of low-income Americans depend on — it funds 3,300 public-housing authorities with 1.2 million units and also the Section 8 rental-voucher program, which serves more than 2 million families; it has subsidized tens of millions of mortgages via the Federal Housing Administration; and, through various block grants, it funds an array of community uplift initiatives. It is the Ur-government agency, quietly seeking to address social problems in struggling areas that the private sector can’t or won’t solve, a mission that has become especially pressing amid a growing housing affordability crisis in many major cities…The final proposal crafted by Trump budget director Mick Mulvaney called for cutting closer to $7 billion, 15 percent of its total budget. Participants in the Section 8 voucher program would need to pay at least 17 percent more of their income toward rent, and there’d likely be a couple hundred thousand fewer vouchers nationwide (and 13,000 fewer in New York City). Capital funding for public housing would be slashed by a whopping 68 percent — this, after years of cuts that, in New York alone, had left public-housing projects with rampant mold, broken elevators and faulty boilers…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Follow Eclipse Hunters on the Pilgrimage to Totality

Wired Top Stories - Tue, 08/22/2017 - 17:54
Rachel Bujalski documents the people who drove hundreds of miles and countless hours to see the eclipse.
Categories: Just News

New Yorker – Who Owns the Internet?

Who Owns the Internet? What Big Tech’s monopoly powers mean for our culture.
“…Today, just about everybody uses it for everything. Even as the Web has grown, however, it has narrowed. Google now controls nearly ninety per cent of search advertising, Facebook almost eighty per cent of mobile social traffic, and Amazon about seventy-five per cent of e-book sales. Such dominance, Jonathan Taplin argues, in “Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy” (Little, Brown), is essentially monopolistic. In his account, the new monopolies are even more powerful than the old ones, which tended to be limited to a single product or service. Carnegie, Taplin suggests, would have been envious of the reach of Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos.,,just about “every single tune in the world is available on YouTube as a simple audio file (most of them posted by users).” Many of these files are illegal, but to Google this is inconsequential. Under the Digital Media Copyright Act, signed into law by President Bill Clinton shortly after Google went live, Internet service providers aren’t liable for copyright infringement as long as they “expeditiously” take down or block access to the material once they’re notified of a problem. Musicians are constantly filing “takedown” notices—in just the first twelve weeks of last year, Google received such notices for more than two hundred million links—but, often, after one link is taken down, the song goes right back up at another one…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Louise Linton Said She 'Sacrifices' More Than Other Taxpayers. It's Not That Simple

Linton, an actress and the wife of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, touched off an Internet firestorm with a condescending Tuesday Instagram post.

(Image credit: Martin Grimes/Getty Images for Grey Goose)

Categories: Just News

Treasury Secretary's Wife Apologizes After Sparking Internet Furor With Online Post

Dressed in more than $16,000 worth of clothes and accessories in the photo, Louise Linton, a Scottish actress married to Steven Mnuchin, had ridiculed an Instagram follower for being "out of touch."

Categories: Just News

After Spain Attacks, Four Suspects Appear In Court

Multiple suspects reportedly testified that an imam masterminded an initial plot to carry out a large-scale attack using explosives. The imam was killed in a blast before last week's vehicle attacks.

(Image credit: AP)

Categories: Just News

Does Baby Powder Cause Cancer? A Jury Says Yes. Scientists Aren't So Sure

Scientists have found an association between talc and ovarian cancer, but they don't agree on exactly what that means.

(Image credit: Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Just News

US Role in the World: Background and Issues for Congress

CRS report via FAS – U.S. Role in the World: Background and Issues for Congress. Ronald O’Rourke, Specialist in Naval Affairs; Michael Moodie, Assistant Director and Senior Specialist in Foreign, Affairs, Defense and Trade. August 17, 2017.

“The overall U.S. role in the world since the end of World War II in 1945 (i.e., over the past 70 years) is generally described as one of global leadership and significant engagement in international affairs. A key aim of that role has been to promote and defend the open international order that the United States, with the support of its allies, created in the years after World War II.In addition to promoting and defending the open international order, the overall U.S. role is generally described as having been one of promoting freedom, democracy, and human rights, while criticizing and resisting authoritarianism where possible, and opposing the emergence of regional hegemons in Eurasia or a spheres-of-influence world. Certain statements and actions from the Trump Administration have led to uncertainty about the Administration’s intentions regarding the future U.S. role in the world. Based on those statements and actions, some observers have speculated that the Trump Administration may want to change the U.S. role in one or more ways. A change in the overall U.S. role could have profound implications for U.S. foreign policy, national security, and international economic policy, for Congress as an institution, and for many federal policies and programs. A major dimension of the debate over the U.S. role is whether the United States should attempt to continue playing the active internationalist role that it has played for the past 70 years, or instead adopt a more restrained role that reduces U.S. involvement in world affairs. A second dimension concerns how to balance or combine the pursuit of narrowly defined U.S. interests with the goal of defending and promoting U.S. values such as democracy, freedom, and human rights. A third dimension relates to the balance between the use of so-called hard power(primarily but not exclusively military combat power) and soft power (including diplomacy, development assistance, support for international organizations, education and cultural exchanges, and the international popularity of elements of U.S. culture such as music, movies, television shows, and literature) in U.S. foreign policy. An initial potential issue for Congress is to determine whether the Trump Administration wants to change the U.S. role, and if so, in what ways. A follow-on potential issue for Congress—arguably the central policy issue for this CRS report—is whether there should be a change in the U.S. role, and if so, what that change should be, including whether a given proposed change would be feasible or practical, and what consequences may result. An initial aspect of this issue concerns Congress: what should be Congress’s role, relative to that of the executive branch, in considering whether the U.S. role in the world should change, and if so, what that change should be? The Constitution vests Congress with several powers that can bear on the U.S. role in the world. Another potential issue for Congress is whether a change in the U.S. role would have any implications for the preservation and use of congressional powers and prerogatives relating to foreign policy, national security, and international economic policy. A related issue is whether a change in the U.S. role would have any implications for congressional organization, capacity, and operations relating to foreign policy, national security, and international economic policy. Policy and program areas that could be affected, perhaps substantially or even profoundly, by a changed U.S. role include the role of allies and alliances in U.S. foreign policy; the organization of, and funding levels and foreign policy priorities for, the Department of State and U.S. foreign assistance; U.S. trade and international economic policy; defense strategy and budgets; and policies and programs related to homeland security, border security, immigration, and refugees.”

Categories: Law and Legal

Governors Preparing Bipartisan Health Care Plan For Congress To Consider

Colorado Democrat John Hickenlooper and Ohio Republican John Kasich are nearing completion on a plan to change the Affordable Care Act that they will present in a Senate hearing next month.

(Image credit: Carolyn Kaster/AP)

Categories: Just News

Does 'Sustainability' Help The Environment Or Just Agriculture's Public Image?

Big food companies like Walmart want farmers to reduce greenhouse emissions from nitrogen fertilizer. But the best-known program to accomplish this may not be having much effect.

(Image credit: Dan Charles/NPR)

Categories: Just News

Redefining 'Drug Bust': German Police Seize 5,000 Pills In Shape Of Trump's Head

When officers stopped a vehicle Saturday night, they didn't quite expect to find heaps of drugs hidden inside. They expected still less to find the ecstasy pills stamped with a familiar face.

(Image credit: AP)

Categories: Just News

Ready, Set, Groan: Here's The Best Joke From The Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Every year, a panel of British citizens determines the funniest one-liner of the festival. This year, Ken Cheng took home the prize, with a quip about a coin. A burn of President Trump placed second.

(Image credit: Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Categories: Just News

India's High Court Outlaws Practice Of Instant Divorce By Muslim Men

The decision is a victory for women's rights advocates. Most Muslim countries have already reformed or banned "triple talaq," which allows husbands (and only husbands) to end marriages in moments.

(Image credit: Altaf Qadri/AP)

Categories: Just News

Bizarre Sea Creature Could Teach Humans to Do the Locomotion

Wired Top Stories - Tue, 08/22/2017 - 14:38
The gelatinous salp pulses at its own frequency, but they live together as a long chain—somehow, moving efficiently as a whole.
Categories: Just News

New Bullet Trains To Put China Out Front On High-Speed Rail

Six years after China slowed down its fastest trains in the wake of a deadly crash, a next generation of super-fast trains are set to cut commute times between major cities.

(Image credit: Yang Baosen/AP)

Categories: Just News

Irish Bishops Advise Priests With Children How To 'Face Up' To Responsibilities

"If, contrary to this obligation [to celibacy], a priest fathers a child, the wellbeing of his child should be his first consideration," the Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference said in its guidelines.

(Image credit: Peter Morrison/AP)

Categories: Just News

GPO and LC partner on release of digitized Congressional Record 1931-1940

“The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) partners with the Library of Congress to release the digital version of the bound Congressional Record from 1931-1940 on GPO’s govinfo. This release covers debates and proceedings of the 72nd thru the 76th Congresses. This era of Congress covers historical topics such as:

  • The Great Depression
  • The last two years of the Herbert Hoover Administration and the elections of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932, 1936, and 1940
  • The 21st Amendment (ending Prohibition)
  • The New Deal (Emergency Banking Act, Civilian Conservation Corps, Tennessee Valley Authority Act, Glass-Steagall Act, National Industrial Recovery Act, Wagner Act, Social Security Act, Rural Electrification Act, etc.)
  • Senator Huey Long
  • FDR’s court-packing plan
  • The various Neutrality Acts, Lend Lease, and the beginning of World War II”
Categories: Law and Legal

'Smart' Pill Bottles Aren't Enough To Help The Medicine Go Down

Lots of people forget to take their medicine on time. Now firms are selling "smart" pill bottles that send patients reminders through the Internet. But maybe the real problem isn't forgetfulness.

(Image credit: amphotora/Getty Images)

Categories: Just News

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