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Friday, April 20, 2018

Brown will help state crunch the numbers behind public policy decisions.

RI Innovative Policy Lab at Brown transitioning to a state-focused policy research center

looking deep thoughts GIF by TipsyElves.comAfter three years of designing evidence-based policies to support efforts of the State of Rhode Island to better serve families, the Rhode Island Innovative Policy Lab (RIIPL), located at Brown University, will be transformed into a permanent University research center under new leadership and governance.

RIIPL was founded as a partnership between Brown researchers and the State of Rhode Island in 2015 by Justine Hastings, professor of economics and international and public affairs at Brown.

Projects undertaken by RIIPL include using big data and data science to find new solutions to lower emergency health care costs, curb the opioid crisis, improve worker training programs, create tools to connect dislocated workers to benefits, and help Rhode Island children reach proficiency in reading and math tests. 


Wood River serves the community in more ways than health care

Wood River Health Services staff pitch in on community projects
Wellness Committee co-chairs Tracy Pion (l) and Dr. Tiffanie Waldeck
sort through the donations from the March Madness Food Drive.
The staff of Wood River Health Services donated over 2 tons of food to local food pantries after a March Madness Food Drive competition held among teams of staff members. 

The Jonnycake Center of Westerly and the Rhode Island Center Assisting those in Need (RICAN) in Charlestown each received over 2,000 pounds of food and child-care supplies after the tournament organized by our Wellness Committee. 



Jonnycake Executive Director Lee Eastbourne and crew arrive to pick up 2,020 pounds of food and child care supplies, assisted by Dr. Tiffanie Waldeck, Tracy Pion, Diedra Enos and Shelly Wollseiffen

Medical expansion has improved health -- with one exception

Growing drug industry linked to worse health in 30 countries
Ohio State University

Image result for big PharmaWhile Americans debate the rising cost of health care, a new study of 30 countries over 27 years found that medical expansion has improved overall health -- with one major exception.

Researchers found that increased spending on health care and increases in specialized care were both associated with longer life expectancy and less mortality in the countries studied.

But pharmaceutical industry expansion was linked to negative health effects.

"This study isn't the first to suggest prescription drugs can pose a health risk. But it is the first to find that the growth of the pharmaceutical industry itself may be associated with worse rather than better health," said Hui Zheng, lead author of the study and associate professor of sociology at The Ohio State University.

"The findings were surprising to us."


Thursday, April 19, 2018

Lawmakers want the EPA to ignore impacts of pesticides on endangered species

It would be hard to overstate the dangers of this Farm Bill rider

donald trump GIFAccording to the latest push by House Republicans, pesticides — all of them — are so safe there's no longer any need to bother asking experts to determine their harm to our most endangered species before approving them.

It's not true, of course — not even vaguely. It's such an outrageously anti-science statement it's laughable.

But not surprisingly, that's what pesticide makers like Dow Chemical would have us believe.

And now that's what Republicans in Congress would have us believe.

Some of the biggest agriculture and pesticide players in Washington, D.C. — including Croplife and Dow Chemical — succeeded in getting Republicans to include a rider in the 2018 Farm Bill that would exempt the Environmental Protection Agency's pesticide-registration program from the most important parts of the Endangered Species Act: 

The provisions requiring that a pesticide's harm to endangered species be assessed and addressed before it can be approved, and the provisions that prohibit a pesticide's killing of endangered species.

That's right: If the rider remains in place, consideration for impacts on endangered species would be written out of the process of registering pesticides.

Leaked from the White House

Foxy

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Hello Spring. Hello pollen

Rough weekend ahead for allergy sufferers
From Pollen.com
Here are the types of pollen:


It’s hard to eat healthy

Report calls out worst produce for pesticides—strawberries, spinach top list

Image result for pesticides in produce 2018Just when you thought it couldn't get any harder to eat healthy.

Turns out those nutrient packed foods we're all told to eat—such as strawberries and spinach— are also consistently tainted with potentially harmful pesticides. 

Both foods top the "Dirty Dozen" list released by the Environmental Working Group(EWG), which analyzed federal data on pesticides in produce.

EWG, which examined tests done over the past few years by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, reports almost 70 percent of the produce sampled by the feds had pesticide residues.

Some were worse than others: "More than 98 percent of samples of strawberries, spinach, peaches, nectarines, cherries and apples tested positive for residue of at least one pesticide," according to the report.


‘See Votes RI’ is a great new tool for accountability

Keeping Tabs On The General Assembly
By Beth Comery for the Providence Daily Dose

This is the online advocacy tool we didn’t know we needed. 

For providing an overview of where the general assembly, or your specific state rep or senator, stands on a particular issue, this new website will prove invaluable. 

It is the product of local citizen activists Kath Connolly and Jeremy Giller who invite everyone to make use of it. 



See Votes RI” can help us all monitor the votes of the General Assembly. 

The site includes individual contact information so we can let them know how we think they should vote. 

From Ms. Connolly: 
It can be hard to understand how state government works and why policies can be slow to change. See Votes RI is a new web site using maps to explore issues important to Rhode Islanders by visualizing endorsements, rankings and votes by RI state senators and representatives. 


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Mob Rule at the White House

“You got a problem with that?

Related imageI blame Tony Soprano.

As entertaining and compelling as the “The Sopranos” was back in the day—and I certainly count myself among its fans—by so successfully humanizing a thug and his henchmen in organized crime, I can’t help but wonder if the TV series, and other shows and movies like it, may have helped contribute to an atmosphere in which a man like Donald Trump not only can be elected and then allowed to treat the presidency like a Mafia clubhouse, but even be admired for it.

And yes, that was an 86-word sentence. I can hear Tony growling, You got a problem with that?

In his controversial new book, "A Higher Loyalty," fired FBI director James Comey, who has come under a relentless hail of Twitter fire from @realDonaldTrump, describes the president as “unethical, and untethered to truth and institutional values,” and while Tony Soprano certainly was, too, I confess the comparison may be unfair. To Tony.

Tony Soprano is a far more well-rounded and better written character than Trump, and at least sufficiently self-aware to have once said to his consigliere Silvio, “All due respect, you got no @#%^&* idea what it’s like to be Number One. Every decision you make affects every facet of every other @#%^&* thing. It’s too much to deal with almost. And in the end, you’re completely alone with it.”

Although Trump may realize the truth of this more and more, arrogance and hubris would never allow him to say it out loud.

What is it?

The progressive web comic about Paul Ryan resigning.

Democratic witch hunt

Pic of the Moment

New solution to harmful algal blooms

Raises hope of economic and environmental benefits

A cheap, safe and effective method of dealing with harmful algal blooms is on the verge of being introduced following successful field and lab tests.  

Moves to adopt use of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) as an effective treatment against toxic algae are already underway following the results of new research by a team from the John Innes Centre and the University of East Anglia (UEA.)  

Successful trials last summer showed that H2Owas effective against the golden algae, Prymnesium parvum. This is responsible for millions of fish kills worldwide each year and a threat to the £550m economy of the Broads National Park where trials are taking place.  

Now follow up lab tests have demonstrated that controlled doses of the versatile chemical compound could be even more effective in dealing with cyanobacteria commonly known as blue green algae - a major public health hazard and potentially fatal to dogs and livestock.  


Coca-Cola’s “war” with the public health community

An inside look at Coca-Cola's manipulation masquerading as science

In 2016, I obtained, via a public records request, an internal memorandum of The Coca-Cola Company proposing to launch a new scientific organization called the Global Energy Balance Network.

The premise for the network was to promote the idea that exercise, much more than dietary change, is the solution to the global obesity epidemic.

The organization collapsed after it was exposed as a front group by The New York Times and the Associated Press. But Coke's memo on the group lives on as worthy of attention and study.

My colleagues and I recently wrote about it for the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, presenting Coca-Cola's unvarnished thoughts on the "public health community" and how to deal with issues surrounding obesity and responsibility for this public health crisis.

There is much for citizens and public health professionals to learn from the Coke memo as it lays bare how the company aims to control the conversation over public policy and consumer choices pertaining to obesity.


Trump, The President, Isn’t Such A Great Businessman

‘The One Thing He Brought to the Job as an Advantage Is Unraveling’
By Terry H. Schwadron, DCReport New York Editor

trump GIFIn electing an avowed billionaire businessman as president, a deal-maker devoted to creating more American jobs, Americans could have believed that they had at least one basically sound principle to pursue with Donald Trump.

Whatever else Trump did that might disrupt, act out through provocative tweet, even flip off American tradition, custom and values, he would be rock solid on looking after job creation.

How are we doing?

A year in, we’re on the verge of a huge trade war with China and others—though administration officials either were taking pains to say otherwise or saying, yes, a trade war is warranted,  the vaunted gains in stock market value were teetering, new job creation is starting to dwindle, and lots of companies are still laying people off. 

The claimed economic gains of a corporate tax cut have delivered benefits to the wealthy class, but the gains elsewhere are now openly being questioned, as the rising prices for imported goods through tariff policies will eat up any personal tax gains.

Meanwhile, housing starts are down, job training lags and the president is choosing older manufacturing and mining goals over preparing for a future competition with artificial intelligence and non-fossil fuel energy sources.


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

THINK!

By FRANK CARINI/ecoRI News staff

 To make room for the 12.2-megawatt Gold Meadow Farms solar array in Cranston some 60 acres were clear-cut and rock was blasted. About 80,000 cubic yards of material was removed from the Lippitt Avenue site to accommodate the project’s 60,000 solar panels. (Seminole Financial Services)
To make room for the 12.2-megawatt Gold Meadow Farms solar array in Cranston some 60 acres were clear-cut and rock was blasted. About 80,000 cubic yards of material was removed from the Lippitt Avenue site to accommodate the project’s 60,000 solar panels. (Seminole Financial Services)

Both climate solutions are identified as “green” — in fact, one literally is — but the Mother Nature-created one is being destroyed to make room for the manmade one.

Some proponents of the latter say chunks of the former need to be sacrificed if society is to kick its dirty fossil-fuel habitat. Their well-intentioned argument goes something like this: we can’t say no to everything and we need renewable energy.

While renewable energy is a must, it shouldn’t be given carte blanche to be sited anywhere and everywhere. If that’s the development practice Rhode Island embraces, environmental degradation will continue. Public health will suffer.

Rhode Island could lead the way, and the best place to start would be to stop bulldozing trees, covering open space and marginalizing farmland in the name of green energy. 

This effort would require some universal sacrifice, diversified leadership, a touch of political will, National Grid mapping Rhode Island’s grid capacity, accounting that includes environmental and public-health costs, plenty of carrots, and at least one stick (disincentivize).


Hillary did it




Bring on the clowns

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Mystic Aquarium celebrates Earth Day over four days

Plenty of activities for all

Image result for mystic aquarium earth dayEveryone likes a party! Kicking off with Celebrate Sound Spirit and culminating with an Earth Day celebration, Mystic Aquarium is proud to host a party with a purpose-“Party for the Planet”-on April 19-22, 2018.

“At Mystic Aquarium, we can’t limit the celebration to just one day,” said MaryEllen Mateleska, Director of Conservation and Education. “We have four days where children and families can take action in protection of our environment!”

Over the four-day observance, Mystic Aquarium educators, Youth Conservation Corps and other local student volunteers and organizations will lead hands-on activities that highlight unique habitats and conservation issues affecting ecosystems locally and around the world, and most importantly, what can be done to help protect the planet.  


When you got trouble, get a lawyer

Instant death

Just one high-fat meal sets the perfect stage for heart disease
Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University

Animated GIF fat, monty python, gross, exploding, john cleese, headlikeanorange, technoninjacus, meaning of life, terry jones, fat guy, exploding, A single high-fat milkshake, with a fat and calorie content similar to some enticing restaurant fare, can quickly transform our healthy red blood cells into small, spiky cells that wreak havoc inside our blood vessels and help set the perfect stage for cardiovascular disease, scientists report.

Just four hours after consuming a milkshake made with whole milk, heavy whipping cream and ice cream, healthy young men also had blood vessels less able to relax and an immune response similar to one provoked by an infection, the team of Medical College of Georgia scientists report in the journal Laboratory Investigation.

While the dramatic, unhealthy shift was likely temporary in these healthy individuals, the scientists say there is a definite cumulative toll from this type of eating, and that their study could help explain isolated reports of death and/or heart attack right after eating a super-high fat meal.


Sen. Whitehouse letter details illegal conduct by EPA chief

Two new letters paint a disturbing picture of Pruitt's EPA.

Image result for Sheldon Whitehouse and Pruitt
Sen. Whitehouse details Pruitt's ties to industries he is supposed to regulate
Two letters sent by top Democratic senators and representatives to President Donald Trump and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt reveal new information about the administrator’s questionable travel habits and what prompted him to fire former deputy chief of staff Kevin Chmielewski.

Chmielewski, a lifelong Republican and former Trump aide, was placed on administrative leave in February by Pruitt. Chmielewski told Democratic senators and representatives he believes he was “marginalized, removed from his senior position and placed on administrative leave” for speaking up about Pruitt’s “inappropriate and unethical spending.”

The two letters provide fresh insight into the way Pruitt treated those around him, including top political appointees, who questioned his extravagant use of taxpayer dollars.

The letters to Trump and Pruitt were signed by Sens. Tom Carper (D-DE) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Reps. Elijah Commings (D-MD), Gerald Connolly (D-VA), and Don Beyer (D-VA). In one, they state that their conversation with Chmielewski “painted an extremely troubling picture of wasteful spending, unethical behavior, and improper retaliation against EPA staff.”


Monday, April 16, 2018

The lunatic running the asylum

The petulant adolescent in the White House – who has replaced most of the adults around him with raging sycophants and has demoted his chief of staff, John Kelly, to lapdog – lacks adequate supervision.  

Before, he was merely petty and vindictive. He’d tweet nasty things about people he wanted to humiliate, like former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Now his vindictiveness has turned cruel. 

After smearing FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe with unfounded allegations that he lied to investigators, the new Trump made sure McCabe was fired just days before he would have been eligible for a pension after more than twenty-one years of service.

View image on Twitter
Even Chief of Staff John Kelly (end of the table) couldn't help but
express his frustration with Trump - this photo was contained in
a Trump tweet that was DELETED when someone noticed the shot
Before, he was merely xenophobic. He’d call Mexicans murderers and rapists.

Now his xenophobia has turned belligerent. He’s sending thousands of National Guard troops to the Mexican border, even though illegal border crossings are at a record low.

And he’s starting a trade war against China. 

China has been expropriating American intellectual property for years. But Trump isn’t even trying to negotiate a way out of this jam or build a coalition of other trading partners to pressure China. He’s just upping the ante – and, not incidentally, causing the stock market to go nuts.

But the most dangerous thing about the new Trump is his increased attacks on American democracy itself.


Fox says it, Trump does it


For more cartoons from Tom Tomorrow, CLICK HERE.

Boggles the mind

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Advanced shrubbery at URI

Landscape Architecture Lecture Series continues April 19 at URI
Related imageThe University of Rhode Island’s Landscape Architecture Lecture Series continues with a talk Thursday, April 19 by renowned Mexican landscape architect Mario Schjetnan.

Born in Mexico City, Schjetnan is considered one of the foremost landscape architects today whose work through his firm, Grupo de Diseno Urbaño, has elevated the stature of Mexican landscape architecture.

“World Trends and Landscape Architecture” will start at 7 p.m. in Room 105A of the Richard E. Beaupre Center for Chemical and Forensic Sciences, 140 Flagg Road, on the Kingston campus. The talk is free and open to the public. Schjetnan will visit with faculty and students April 19 and 20.


Dog of the Week

Meet Riley
Animal Rescue RI

Riley is a 45 pound, 8-9 month male.

He has great brown ticking all over!

We can see him hanging out with a bunch of children.

Or going fishing and swimming in a pond!

Just a good boy!!!

Recession caused permanent damage

Great Recession still plagues workers with lower lifetime wages
Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

Related imageLosing a job often leads to lower earnings that stretch long beyond the time of unemployment. Yet it's hard to know exactly what causes these lower lifetime earnings.

For displaced workers in Washington state during the Great Recession, earnings dropped suddenly and had still not fully recovered five years later, according to a working paper by labor economists at Princeton University, Michigan State University and the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.

Following job displacement, earnings were slashed nearly in half, almost entirely as a result of reduced work hours. But five years later, displaced workers who had reentered the workforce still earned 16 percent less than comparable workers who had not been displaced.


Sunday, April 15, 2018

Shame on local Reps. Filippi and Price

Commonsense gun bills pass the House
By Will Collette

fire boom GIFThe Rhode Island House of Representatives based two important gun control bills by overwhelming majorities – and dissenting votes by local ultra-right wing Republican state representatives Blake Filippi and Justin Price.

One of the bills was former Charlestown town attorney Rep. Bob Craven’s bill to ban “bump-stocks.” Broadly defined bump-stocks are inexpensive devices that can be retro-fitted onto semi-automatic weapons to allow them to fire like machine guns.

The Las Vegas massacre last October 1 that killed 58 and wounded 851 was carried out by Stephen Paddock using assault rifles fitted with bump stocks that allowed him to fire full auto. We are not allowed to call Paddock a terrorist because he is a white guy.

The second bill passed by the House, dubbed the “Red Flag” bill, was sponsored by retired police officer Dennis Canario. It allows law enforcement to remove weapons from the possession of persons deemed by the courts to present an imminent risk to themselves or to others.

Many gun killers, whether they are ones who kill family members, random members of the public or themselves show the signs before the act. After the fact, we often wonder, "why didn't anyone stop that guy from doing that?"

 season 1 episode 1 the walking dead gun twd GIFFamily, friends, significant others, co-workers, etc. can submit sworn affidavits raising such concerns to trigger an examination of the risk and the potential issuance of a “temporary extreme risk protective order.”

If such an order is issued, the individual would be required to turn over his guns to the police for a specified period.

The Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has initial strong objections to the bill. Changes were made to build in timelines and limitations.

In that form, the bill passed the House on a vote of 60-8. Among the eight were Rep. Blake “Flip” Filippi (R-Charlestown) and Rep. Justin Price (R-Richmond).

Where was the NRA when we needed them?


For more cartoons by Ruben Bolling, CLICK HERE.

Give those kids some Merit Badges

Wood River Health Services' Reach Out and Read Coordinator Linda Conway was the happy recipient of a large book donation from Chariho Girl Scouts Troop 1210, courtesy Troop Leader Raquel Kocab, on International Children's Book Day April 2. 

The books will help restock the children's free take-a-book program in the waiting room of the health center.

Wood River Health Services is a Federally Qualified Community Health Center located at 823 Main St., Hope Valley, providing medical, dental and behavioral health care to about 7,000 area residents.  For more information, call (401) 539-2461 or visit www.woodriverhealthservices.org.

Climate change means more coastal roads flooding out

Research Finds Dramatic Increase in Flooding on Coastal Roads
University of New Hampshire

High tide floods, or so-called “nuisance flooding,” that happen along shore roadways during seasonal high tides or minor wind events are occurring far more frequently than ever before.

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have found that in the past 20 years roads along the East Coast have experienced a 90 percent increase in flooding – often making the roads in these communities impassable, causing delays, as well as stress, and impacting transportation of goods and services.


Losing your nest egg can kill you

People have a 50 percent higher risk of death if they suffer a shocking financial loss
Northwestern University

Related imageA sudden loss of net worth in middle or older age is associated with a significantly higher risk of death, reports a new Northwestern Medicine and University of Michigan study.

When people lose 75 percent or more of their total wealth during a two-year period, they are 50 percent more likely to die in the next 20 years, the study found.

"We found losing your life-savings has a profound effect on person's long-term health," said lead author Lindsay Pool, a research assistant professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. "It's a very pervasive issue. It wasn't just a few individuals but more than 25 percent of Americans had a wealth shock over the 20 years of the study."

Though the rate of savings loss spiked during the Great Recession, middle- and older-age Americans consistently lost savings across the 20-year period, regardless of the larger economic climate.


Why is American healthcare so expensive?

Key drivers of high US healthcare spending identified
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

The major drivers of high healthcare costs in the U.S. appear to be higher prices for nearly everything -- from physician and hospital services to diagnostic tests to pharmaceuticals -- and administrative complexity.

The new findings, from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the Harvard Global Health Institute, and the London School of Economics, suggest that common explanations as to why healthcare costs are so high -- such as the notions that the U.S. has too many doctor visits, hospitalizations, procedures, and specialists, and spends too little on social services that could mitigate healthcare needs -- may be wrong.


Saturday, April 14, 2018

There is no cure for stupid

Here’s Why Trump Is Unable To Comprehend The Excruciating Level Of His Own Stupidity

A psychological principle known as the Dunning-Kruger effect explains a lot when it comes to understanding Trump’s inability to understand and accept his intellectual shortcomings.

Psychology Today reported the day after Trump’s inauguration in an article titled “The Dunning-Kruger President” that:

Named for Cornell psychologist David Dunning and his then-grad student Justin Kruger, this is the observation that people who are ignorant or unskilled in a given domain tend to believe they are much more competent than they are. 

Thus bad drivers believe they’re good drivers, the humorless think they know what’s funny, and people who’ve never held public office think they'[d] make a terrific president. How hard can it be?


And cheap, too!

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The Daily Beast charts out what might happen next

From the Daily Beast (CLICK HERE)


Is your face red?

How to deal with embarrassing situations
Springer

Feelings of embarrassment can be overcome through mental training. 

By training your mind to be an observer rather than actively participating in the embarrassing situation it is possible overcome humiliating or distressing feelings, says the author of a new study.


Feelings of embarrassment can be overcome through mental training. This is the finding of a study published in Springer's journal Motivation and Emotion

By training your mind to be an observer rather than actively participating in the embarrassing situation it is possible overcome humiliating or distressing feelings, says Li Jiang of Carnegie Mellon University in the US who led the study.


Some people have such an intense fear of embarrassment that they go to great lengths to sidestep seemingly everyday situations. This could include not asking a shop assistant a question about a new product, for fear of sounding stupid, or not taking an embarrassing yet potentially life-saving medical test.


Thank you, Koch Brothers, for more ticks and mosquitoes

Climate change promotes the spread of mosquito and tick-borne viruses
European Commission Joint Research Centre

Image result for ticks and mosquitoesSpurred on by climate change, international travel and international trade, disease-bearing insects are spreading to ever-wider parts of the world.

This means that more humans are exposed to viral infections such as Dengue fever, Chikungunya, Zika, West Nile fever, Yellow fever and Tick-borne encephalitis.

For many of these diseases, there are as yet no specific antiviral agents or vaccines.

Global warming has allowed mosquitoes, ticks and other disease-bearing insects to proliferate, adapt to different seasons, migrate and spread to new niche areas that have become warmer.


Rhode Island plans to encourage more electric car use

Drive Change. Drive Electric. Campaign Launched To Increase Electric Auto Use

Image result for electric carsThe Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) and the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources (OER) are joining six other Northeast states and automakers in a new initiative to increase electric car use throughout the Northeast. 


The 'Drive Change. Drive Electric.' campaign focuses on the availability and economic benefits of electric vehicles, including tax/purchase incentives and fuel price savings, and encourages the public to test drive an electric car.

Last fall, DEM, along with OER, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation, the Rhode Island Department of Health, Ocean State Clean Cities at the University of Rhode Island, and its partners invited the public to test drive electric vehicles at an event at Misquamicut State Beach. 

The event, which featured the latest electric vehicles on the market, was part of the National Drive Electric Week and gave the public an opportunity to experience firsthand the benefits of driving electric and the wide array of vehicles currently available. 


Friday, April 13, 2018

Kill the critters

Trump Interior Department Issues 'Death Sentence to Nearly 300 Threatened Species'

A California/Southern Sea Otter, a species listed as threatened,
enjoys a float in the kelp. (Photo: Ingrid Taylar/Flickr/cc)
In a "disgraceful" move that conservationists warn will amount to "a death sentence to nearly 300 threatened species," the Trump administration is attempting to kill a portion of the Endangered Species Act (ESA).



Noah Greenwald, endangered species director at the Center for Biological Diversity, says the Trump administration's new proposal, in enacted, "could be the end for iconic wildlife like the northern spotted owl and southern sea otter."

The Interior Department on April 2 submitted a proposal to rescind the section of the law that extends all protections afforded to endangered species to those that are classified as threatened. 

In addition to granting "crucial protections" to threatened species, the 1978 "blanket" 4(d) rule—which the administration is trying to rescind—and enables (pdf) the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to increase or decrease certain protections based on the needs of individual species.



What's WRONG with those kids?

parklandpotshots915.png
For more cartoons by Jen Sorenson, CLICK HERE.

New job

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That's in case she gets sick of her current job as Secretary of "Educatuon"

People use emotion to persuade, even when it could backfire

And especially when it’s untrue
Association for Psychological Science

We intuitively use more emotional language to enhance our powers of persuasion, according to research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. 

The research shows that people tend toward appeals that aren't simply more positive or negative but are infused with emotionality, even when they're trying to sway an audience that may not be receptive to such language.


"Beyond simply becoming more positive or negative, people spontaneously shift toward using more emotional language when trying to persuade," says researcher Matthew D. Rocklage of The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

We might imagine that people would use very positive words such as "excellent" or "outstanding" to bring others around to their point of view, but the findings showed that people specifically used terms that convey a greater degree of emotion, such as "exciting" and "thrilling."