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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

URI Theatre announces 2016-2017 season, starts October 13

Class differences, teen discovery, humor in spotlight
Image result for URI Theatre
Scene from URI Theatre's past production of "Chicago"
Edgy, scandalous, witty and opulent describes the four productions of the University of Rhode Island Theatre Department’s 2016-2017 season.

The award-winning department is committed to providing audiences with a unique theatrical experience and will again perform in the Robert E. Will Theatre and J Studio of the Fine Arts Center, 105 Upper College Road, Kingston campus.

On the docket for the 2016-17 season are:

Popeye was right

American Technion Society

Using a simple membrane extract from spinach leaves, researchers from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have developed a bio-photo-electro-chemical (BPEC) cell that produces electricity and hydrogen from water using sunlight. 

The raw material of the device is water, and its products are electric current, hydrogen and oxygen. The findings were published in the August 23 online issue of Nature Communications.

The unique combination of a human-made BPEC cell and plant membranes, which absorb sunlight and convert it into a flow of electrons highly efficiently, paves the way for the development of new technologies for the creation of clean fuels from renewable sources: water and solar energy.

Public Cost of Fukushima Cleanup Tops $628 Billion and Is Expected to Climb

Still persistent problems, most notably  'highly contaminated' water stored in on-site tanks

Image result for fukushima nuclear disaster GIFThe public cost of cleaning up the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster topped ¥4.2 trillion (roughly $628 billion) as of March, and is expected to keep climbing, the Japan Times reported on Sunday.

That includes costs for radioactive decontamination and compensation payments. Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) will sell off its shares to eventually pay back the cost of decontamination and waste disposal, but the Environment Ministry expects that the overall price of those activities could exceed what TEPCO would get for its shares.

Meanwhile, the taxpayer burden is expected to increase and TEPCO is asking for additional help from the government.

The Times reports:

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The unfiltered Trump in his own words

Election 2016 okay hillary clinton ok debateDonald Trump spent Monday night making a total ass out of himself in the first presidential debate. 

We were all waiting to see just what would happen tonight, and it was quite the spectacle. 

From lies to self-incrimination, watching the GOP nominee’s performance was the equivalent of one face palm after another.

So here you go, a complete list of every batshit crazy thing that came out of Donald Trump’s mouth during the first presidential debate:

Charity at its finest?

Mike Luckovich
For more cartoons by Mike Luckovich

Astronomers capture best view ever of disintegrating comet

Using Hubble telescope, team led by UCLA researcher gathers data on size, speed and path of debris
UCLA Newsroom: 

The comet breaks apart
Images of comet 332P breaking apart, captured by the Hubble Space Telescope. NASA, ESA and David Jewitt/UCLA

Astronomers have captured the sharpest, most detailed observations of a comet breaking apart 67 million miles from Earth, using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. The discovery is published online today in Astrophysical Journal Letters.

In a series of images taken over three days in January 2016 (view the animation), Hubble showed 25 fragments consisting of a mixture of ice and dust that are drifting away from the comet at a pace equivalent to the walking speed of an adult, said UCLA astrophysicist David Jewitt, who led the research team.

VIDEO: Meet the woman Donald Trump called "Miss Piggy"

To watch this video on YouTube:

“You grab him. I’ll tag him”

URI students join shark tagging expedition to learn about shark migrations

URI student Kevin Anderson reels in a blue shark as other
students look on during a shark research expedition
off the coast of Rhode Island. Photo by Joel Silva
Eight University of Rhode Island students participated in two days of shark fishing far off the Rhode Island coast this month to capture and tag mako sharks to gain insight into the animals’ migration.

The students traveled aboard the charter boat Snappa with URI shark researcher Brad Wetherbee to sites between 18 and 35 miles offshore where the sharks are known to spend time in summer and fall.

“There is a big difference between learning things while sitting in a classroom or in front of a computer and learning by actually experiencing something,” said Wetherbee. “These students got to go out fishing for sharks, see big, beautiful 9-foot sharks right next to the boat, and experience something that they will remember for a long time.  There is no substitute for experiences like that.”
Wetherbee’s research is aimed at learning about the health of mako shark populations, the migratory routes they travel, and the locations of their preferred feeding grounds. 

Makos, which he calls the “fighter jets” of the shark world for their speedy swimming abilities, are difficult to manage because they travel through the waters of dozens of countries, thereby requiring significant international cooperation to protect them from overfishing.

The greatest and most unappreciated bargain in America

What Can You Possibly Buy for 47 Cents These Days?

Image result for US post office vintage
Delivering the mail in 1917
Although most of us take it for granted, America's postal service is an amazing bargain. For only 47 cents, you can purchase A "Forever" postage stamp.

Buy one 47-cent stamp, and postal workers will deliver your envelope to any address in the country by plane, train, bus, boat, truck, car, bike, pushcart, mule, on-foot or all of the above.

Stick it on a letter, document or other missive, and our phenomenal network of postal workers and letter carriers will deliver it within a few days right to the specific mailbox of your addressee in any of the approximately 43,000 zip codes covering every nook and cranny of this vast country.

For 47 cents! Also, that "Forever" stamp from our public postal service means it's good for first-class delivery next year, next decade or forever — protecting you from future increases in stamp prices. 

What a deal!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Trump proposal on home-schooling panders to conservatives

Another Unrealistic Trump Policy Proposal: Homeschool Vouchers
by Jessica Huseman for ProPublica

GOP nominee Donald Trump has said he plans to spend billions of dollars on so-called school choice programs. The $20 billion in federal funds would be available only to what he says are 11 million children living in poverty who are also "trapped in failing schools." 

Families will be eligible for vouchers to send their children to charter, magnet or even private religious schools. Last Friday, he announced the policy would include homeschooling as well.

"School choice is at the center of this civil rights agenda, and my goal is to provide every single inner-city child in America that is trapped in a failing government school the freedom to attend the school of their choice," he said at a conservative voters conference. "School choice also means that parents can homeschool their children. Hundred percent."

But there's one problem with Trump's homeschooling plan: Impoverished homeschoolers mostly don't exist.

"Ideologically speaking, this is significant, but practically very few students will use this money to homeschool," said Milton Gaither, an education professor at Messiah College. 

Gaither saw the announcement as a gesture to conservative Christians instead of an actual plan for poor families. "I don't see a mass movement of the nation's poor applying for federal funding so they can educate their children themselves."

Did you know Donald Trump is immortal?

For more cartoons by Tom Tomorrow, CLICK HERE.

VIDEO: Scandal

To watch this video directly on YouTube:

Rescued marine mammal at Mystic unlikely to be released at Blue Shutters

Mystic plans to return rescued manatee to Florida for release

On September 22, Mystic Aquarium’s Animal Rescue Program admitted a female Florida manatee to the John T. and Jane A. Wiederhold Foundation Veterinary and Animal Health Center. 

The International Fund for Animal Welfare monitored, rescued and transported the manatee under a permit and with guidance from the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

The female manatee weighs in at just over 800 lbs.  Under the professional and world-class care of Mystic Aquarium’s Animal Rescue Team, animal care specialists and veterinary staff,  she is in stable condition and is eating and acclimating well to her current surroundings. It is the first manatee at Mystic Aquarium.

The animal was rescued from the waters of Cape Cod Bay in Falmouth, MA.  First sighted in Chatham, MA, in late August, officials became increasingly concerned for the mammal’s well-being as September approached and water temperatures continued to drop.

Industry recycles old tactics to push poison

UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

By employing the same tactics it used to drive policymaking from the 1970s-1990s, the tobacco industry has become successful in influencing pro-industry e-cigarette laws at the state level, according to a UCSF study published in the September issue of Milbank Quarterly.

E-cigarettes entered the US market in 2007 as an unregulated product and remained so until 2009 when local and state policymakers began identifying ways to regulate their sale and use.

By 2013, cigarette companies had entered the e-cigarette market and began lobbying state legislatures in Minnesota, New York, Illinois, and California against efforts to restrict sales and use, said the study's first author Elizabeth Cox.

"By 2013, tobacco companies led by Philip Morris USA were spending more than $6 million on lobbying in some of those states, about ten times the amount spent by e-cigarette companies," the study's first author Elizabeth Cox said. 

Dog of the Week

Meet Cooper
Dog of the Week
Animal Rescue Rhode Island

Woof! My name is Cooper and I am a three and a half year old hound mix with lots of energy!

I'll need at least one walk per day, if not more. Once I've burned off some energy, I like to curl up on the couch for a nap.

I like other dogs, but would do best in a home with no cats.

I like my alone time, and spaces I deem mine, so a home without young kids would be ideal.

Life with me is a world of fun, and the love is guaranteed!

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