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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

DEM suggests you buy their book as a holiday gift for that fisher-person on your list

Beautiful Illustrations and Descriptions of Fish Species and Their Habitats Make This Book a Perfect Holiday Gift for Anglers and Nature Enthusiasts

Inland Fishes of Rhode Island Logo and link

PROVIDENCE - The Department of Environmental Management announces that Inland Fishes of Rhode Island, a beautiful book depicting the more than 70 species of fish found in Rhode Island's ponds, streams and rivers, is currently available for purchase at DEM offices in Providence and West Kingston. 

The handsome book is an outstanding resource for scientists, students, anglers and nature lovers alike, and would make an excellent addition to a research facility or home library as well as a great holiday gift.

Published by DEM in 2013, this book is a definitive scientific work and the first of its kind for RI freshwater fish species. It was written by biologist Alan D. Libby and illustrated by Robert Jon Golder. 

The 287-page book contains descriptions and illustrations of each species of fish found in Rhode Island's freshwaters during surveys conducted by DEM's Division of Fish and Wildlife from 1993 to 2012. 

One Arrested During Whitehouse Office Protest
URI professor Peter Nightengale, second from left,
was arrested Dec. 16 during a protest at
Sen. Whitehouse's office. (Fight Against Natural Gas)
By TIM FAULKNER/ecoRI News staff

PROVIDENCE — University of Rhode Island professor Peter Nightengale was arrested Dec. 16 at Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse’s office as part of group protest against a natural-gas pipeline project.

Nightengale, a member of Fossil Free RI, teaches physics at URI. He regularly attends environmental rallies in Rhode Island and nationally. He’s also a member of the Raging Grannies protest group that sings humorous environmental songs. Nightengale was arrested for refusing to leave Whitehouse’s office after 15 police officers entered around 5 p.m.

He was one of 10 activists involved in a sit-in at Whitehouse’s office on Westminister Street to draw attention to the proposed expansion of Spectra Energy’s natural-gas pipeline through southern New England and New York. The protesters included Burrillville residents who oppose a proposed expansion of a massive natural-gas compressor station in their town.

Encouraging research for adult diabetics

Adult-onset diabetes, obesity cured in lab mice, scientists report

A new treatment for adult-onset diabetes and obesity developed by researchers at Indiana University and the German Research Center for Environmental Health has essentially cured lab animals of obesity, diabetes and associated lipid abnormalities through improved glucose sensitivity, reduced appetite and enhanced calorie burning.

In preclinical trials, the new peptide -- a molecular integration of three gastrointestinal hormones -- lowered blood sugar levels and reduced body fat beyond all existing drugs, according to the work co-led by IU Distinguished Professor of Chemistry Richard DiMarchi and Matthias Tschöp, director of the Institute for Diabetes and Obesity at the German Research Center for Environmental Health. The new findings were published today in Nature Medicine.

These preclinical results advance the clinical work the team announced last year that a peptide combining the properties of two endocrine hormones, GLP-1 and GIP, was an effective treatment for adult-onset diabetes. This new molecule includes a third hormone activity, glucagon.

“RhodeMap RI is really more of a pussycat than a dragon”


Dragon Hell animated GIF

If RhodeMap RI contained half of the things in it that Mike Stenhouse and the Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity (RICFP) claim it does, I'd be protesting it too.

RICFP has painted RhodeMap RI as a fierce and fire-breathing dragon that must be slayed immediately. 

The problem is that RhodeMap RI is really more of a pussycat than a dragon. 

So why is RICFP whipping the right into a frenzy over a pussycat? The answer can be found by looking at its funding sources.

The RICFP tries to keep its sources confidential, but one of the known sources is the State Policy Network (SPN). SPN is a network of “think tanks” funded by Charles Koch, Monsanto, Philip Morris and GlaxoSmithKline, among others, that exist specifically to disrupt the democratic process and prevent programs for social equity, affordable housing, minimum-wage increases, progressive tax structures and anything else that might hurt their bottom line.

While the well-meaning citizens opposing RhodeMap RI are probably sincere and most are probably unaware that they are being manipulated, the plan they have been induced to attack just doesn’t exist.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

CCA crosses “establishment of religion” line

As if there weren’t enough things to divide Charlestown already
Cartouche compressedBy Linda Felaco

God knows I’m no fan of the Charlestown Citizens Alliance (CCA). I honestly didn’t think there was anything they could do to make me dislike them any more than I already do. But damned if they didn’t go and do it.

Living under complete CCA domination would be bad enough, but to have them injecting religion into town government crosses the line. Why was it suddenly necessary to have a religious figure give an invocation at the swearing-in ceremony for the newly elected town council, something that hasn’t been done in living memory? 

It almost seemed like a deliberate slap in the face to the descendants of Joseph Clarke, brother of John Clarke, author of the Rhode Island Charter that established separation of church and state in the colony, who live in Charlestown to this day.

Worst-Sellers From The Drugstore Christmas Aisle

‘Tis the cold and flu season

Click here to see some great stocking stuffers you can find at CVS.

Astronomy Picture of the Day

The Infrared Visible Andromeda 

This remarkable synthetic color composite image was assembled from archives of visible light and infrared astronomy image data.

The field of view spans the Andromeda Galaxy (M31), a massive spiral a mere 2.5 million light-years away.

In fact, with over twice the diameter of our own Milky Way, Andromeda is the largest nearby galaxy.
Andromeda's population of bright young blue stars lie along its sweeping spiral arms, with the telltale reddish glow of star forming regions traced in space- and ground-based visible light data

But infrared data from the Spitzer Space Telescope, also blended directly into the detailed composite's red and green color channels, highlight the lumpy dust lanes warmed by the young stars as they wind even closer to the galaxy's core.

Otherwise invisible at optical wavelengths, the warm dust takes on orange hues. Two smaller companion galaxies, M110 (below) and M32 (above) are also included in the frame.

Ten good national companies you should patronize

There are some companies with progressive social values
Trader Joe's in Cranston 
By Mindy Fischer

And so now for some good news….

Sometimes it seems that we, as Liberals, are always hearing news about extreme right wing companies where we should not spend our money

But how about some alternative suggestions on some great Progressive companies who either strongly believe in Liberal values or who donate large amounts of money to Progressive causes and candidates? 

The truth is that there are millions of businesses in this country who are constantly vying for your patronage. And wouldn’t it be nice to know that you are contributing to those who will use your hard earned dollars to fight for the left?

Are You a Nazi?

This short, ten question quiz is designed to help modern day conservatives determine just how much of the American Nazi Party platform they agree with.

There’s been a lot of rhetoric from the right, claiming liberals and Democrats are the “real Nazis” and that President Obama is attempting to carry out the Nazi agenda in the US.

It seems to me that the best way to determine if that view is accurate would be to first determine what the Nazi agenda in America actually is.

I realize that conservatives have a difficult time believing the “liberal media.” For that reason I want to assure any conservative who is brave enough to evaluate their own positions, that the information used to design this quiz comes straight from the American Nazi Party platform. You can read it for yourself right here, on their official website.

Take the ‘Are you a Nazi?’ quiz.

Monday, December 15, 2014

PRIVACY: A different way to watch your kids

Carol Anne Freeling Heather O'Rourke animated GIF

The data mining company inBloom died, killed off by parent opposition, but the data mining industry is not dead. Far from it. It is growing and metastasizing as investors see new opportunities to profit from the data surreptitiously collected while children are using computers, taking tests online, chatting online, and practicing for state tests online.

According to this article in Model View Culture, investors have poured billions of dollars into new technologies to track students’ movements.

Is that Dick Cheney playing Santa?

157412 600 Interrogation cartoons
For more cartoons by Randall Enos, click here

We’re lucky we get to stay

A council of Native American leaders has offered partial amnesty to the estimated 220 million illegal white immigrants living in the United States.

At a meeting of the Native Peoples Council (NPC) in Albuquerque, New Mexico yesterday, Native American leaders considered several proposals on the future of this continent's large, unauthorized European population. The elders ultimately decided to extend a pathway to citizenship for those without criminal backgrounds.

"We are prepared to offer White people the option of staying on this continent legally and applying for citizenship," explains Chief Wamsutta of the Wampanoag nation. "In return, they must pay any outstanding taxes and give back the land stolen from our ancestors.

Kitty twins of the week

Meet Poe and Sheeba!
Animal Rescue League of Southern Rhode Island
That’s Sheeba in the photo 

Hi, we are siblings, and we're both looking for a forever home.  We'd love to stay together if possible. 

Our names are Poe and Sheeba and we are adorable black kittens who are a little on the shy side. 

We will take a little time to warm up to our new home, but we are young and still very willing and able to learn. 

We have lots of love yet to give but we just haven't had a stable home yet to do so. 

My brother Poe likes to hang out in our cage while I like to rest on the top window sill scoping out all that nature has to offer. 

Being picked up makes us both nervous at the moment, at least with new people, but once we get acclimated we are okay with being held. 

If you are patient and looking for a pair of new additions, we'd love to meet you.  With time and love, any kitten can flourish. 

Congratulations to Benjamin Stewart

Langevin Nominates Charlestown’s Stewart to United States Naval Academy
(Photo courtesy of Congressman Jim Langevin)
Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) has given North Kingstown High School graduate and current Naval Academy Prep School student Benjamin Stewart a principal nomination to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

Stewart, the son of Sandra Stewart of Charlestown and the late David Stewart, said he is motivated by his desire to help others and to serve his country.

The corporate crooks behind the US torture program

Waterboarding and Price Gouging
By Phil Mattera, Dirt Diggers Digest
Jason Clarke Yoav Levi animated GIF

The shameful revelations in the Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA torture program are, as the New York Times editorial board put it, “a portrait of depravity.” At the same time, they constitute one of most serious federal contracting scandals of all time.

Although it sounds like an idea dreamed up by the writers of the TV series Homeland, it turns out that the creation of the “enhanced interrogation” system was left to a pair of contractors, neither of whom, as the report states, “had any experience as an interrogator, nor did either have specialized knowledge of al-Qa’ida, a background in counterterrorism, or any relevant cultural or linguistic expertise.”

The contractors had previously worked with the U.S. Air Force’s Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) school, which was created to helped military personnel deal with coercive interrogation techniques to which they might be exposed if taken prisoner by a country that did not adhere to the Geneva Convention. That was before the U.S. became one of those countries.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Rare case of Congressional action benefits our local watershed

By DAVID SMITH/ecoRI News contributor
The Wood-Pawcatuck watershed is now recognized by Congress
as scenic and wild. (David Smith/ecoRI News)

The long-awaited process to garner federal Wild and Scenic Rivers’ designation for the Wood and Pawcatuck rivers watershed in southern Rhode Island recently cleared its final hurdle in Congress, when it was approved Dec. 12 by the Senate.

The legislation, first introduced in 2012, will provide the watershed federal protection and access to federal money for programs and studies. The legislation passed in the House last week.

Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., attached two Rhode Island public lands initiatives to the National Defense Authorization Act. Besides the designation for the watershed, the other is the Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park Establishment Act to create a new unit of the National Park System along the John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor.

It was the second time the bill had been introduced in Congress. The first attempt in 2012 passed the House but died in the Senate. The second attempt was filed last year.

America celebrates xmas

The progressive cartoon about a gun-benighted America.

The True Cost of Renewable Energy

Corporate Naughty, and Definitely Not Nice, List

10 Right Wing Companies That You Should Boycott

Now that the mid-term elections are over we will have to wait another couple years to make our voices heard through the ballot box. But in the meantime there is actually a lot that we can still do to fight right wing extremism in our everyday lives. One of the best ways to do that is by going after major right wing donors and their businesses and hitting them where it hurts….in their wallets.

You can actually use your hard earned dollars to send a message that reflects OUR values and priorities. 

I’ve listed a few of the right wing companies that are either major donors to extreme Conservative causes and candidates or that run their operations directly against core Progressive values. Now this is certainly not an exhaustive list, sadly there are many more, but this list of very common brands is certainly a good place to start.

Buy local: Green gift ideas

Gift Ideas from The Worm Ladies for the gardeners on your list...

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Despite crucial vote, wing-nuts plan continued battle against state planning process

RhodeMap Future Still Unclear Even After Approval
By TIM FAULKNER/ecoRI News staff

Opponents of RhodeMap RI fear it will bring socialism.
(Tim Faulkner/ecoRI News)
PROVIDENCE — Opponents of the new state economic development plan delivered a chorus of catcalls, murmurs and shouts of “socialism” during a decisive vote Dec. 11. One guy even gave Nazi salutes, and another greeted the State Planning Council in Russian.

Throughout the meeting that resulted in a unanimous decision to adopt the non-binding RhodeMap RI economic plan, critics derided members of the State Planning Council.

They were called “cowards” and accused of treason as they explained that the plan is based on sound research and public input and didn't authorize land takings, social engineering or a takeover by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The war on xmas?

157297 600 War on Christmas cartoons
For more cartoons by Joe Heller, click here.

Astronomy Picture of the Day

The Flame Nebula in Visible and Infrared 

What lights up the Flame Nebula? Fifteen hundred light years away towards the constellation of Orion lies a nebula which, from its glow and dark dust lanes, appears, on the left, like a billowing fire.

But fire, the rapid acquisition of oxygen, is not what makes this Flame glow. Rather the bright star Alnitak, the easternmost star in the Belt of Orion visible just to the right of the nebula, shines energetic light into the Flame that knocks electrons away from the great clouds of hydrogen gas that reside there.

Much of the glow results when the electrons and ionized hydrogen recombine. The above false-color picture of the Flame Nebula (NGC 2024) was taken is a composite of both visible and infrared light, the later energy band being where a young star cluster becomes visible.

The Flame Nebula is part of the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex, a star-forming region that includes the famous Horsehead Nebula.

VIDEO: Oath Keeper, Tea Partiers call for lynching of the President in front of the White House

EDITOR’S NOTE: It is a federal crime under 18 U.S. Code § 871 to threaten the life of the President. On this video taken at a recent Tea Party-organized protest, you see and hear calls for President Obama to be hanged, slowly and painfully, from one of the trees in Lafayette Park across from the White House. 

At 1:00 of the video, one of more aggressive threats comes from a member of the Oath Keepers, a group that has been represented by Rep.-elect Flip Filippi, our new Representative in the General Assembly who says he specializes in the Constitution and civil liberties. Like the right to threaten to lynch the nation’s first African-American President? - wc

Stop the nonsense on immigration

Debunking Tea Party Lies About Obama’s Immigration Actions

Tea Party News Network (TPNN) and other right-wing news outlets continue reporting that conservatives can stop Pres. Obama’s immigration actions in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

TPNN reports that Tea Party leaders from both the House and Senate met with grassroots activist on Capitol Hill “to denounce President Obama’s unilateral amnesty order that now frees an estimated 5-6 million illegal immigrants from the worry of being deported from the country in which they remain illegally.” In specific, the meeting discussed plans to neutralize Pres. Obama’s immigration orders and actions through the power of the purse – by defunding any immigration programs.

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