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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Who do you believe?

For more cartoons by Mike Luckovich, CLICK HERE.

Stopping yard sign thieves

“Who’s a good boy?”

Scientists chase mystery of how dogs process words
Emory Health Sciences

dog cute animals GIFWhen some dogs hear their owners say "squirrel," they perk up, become agitated. They may even run to a window and look out of it. 

But what does the word mean to the dog? Does it mean, "Pay attention, something is happening?" 

Or does the dog actually picture a small, bushy-tailed rodent in its mind?

Frontiers in Neuroscience published one of the first studies using brain imaging to probe how our canine companions process words they have been taught to associate with objects, conducted by scientists at Emory University. 

The results suggest that dogs have at least a rudimentary neural representation of meaning for words they have been taught, differentiating words they have heard before from those they have not.

Dog of the week

Meet Wolf
Animal Rescue RI

Wolf is a 1 year old, active boy who loves to play, especially with his ball.

He enjoys being around people and does well with other dogs.

He already knows some basic obedience and would do best in a home with older children.

Stop by and meet this handsome boy available for adoption today!

Catalog of cheating

Here Are the Trump Projects Where Ivanka and Her Dad Misled Buyers
Read the Trumps’ false statements — and what the actual facts were.

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 01:  U.S President Donald Trump speaks about small businesses while daughter and advisor to the President Ivanka Trump listens, during event in the East Room at the White House on August 1, 2017 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)A pattern of deception ran through the Trumps’ real estate deals since the mid-2000s. 

Not only were the Trumps more than the mere licensors they claimed to be, extracting millions in fees from nearly every facet of these projects, but they often misled buyers and investors on key information — such as the level of sales and the Trumps’ role and investment in the deals. (Read our full investigation.) 

The Trump Organization did not respond to our questions, and the White House didn’t have a comment.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Anybody but him

New group, Citizens for a Corruption-Free RI, targets Speaker Mattiello
Running against Mattiello is Republican Steven Frias. Since he first ran
against Mattiello, I have been trying to figure out where I had seen him
before. Finally, it came to me. He's actually John Hodgman, the comic who
played the smarmy rich guy in Daily Show skits when Jon Stewart was
the host.  What do you think? - Will Collette
Two of Rhode Island’s leading advocacy organizations, the Rhode Island National Organization for Women and the Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence (RICAGV), are working together this election cycle to defeat House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello.

Their campaign is known as: Citizens for a Corruption-Free RI

The groups believe that Cranston voters are fed up with their current representation and his loyalty to big campaign donors and high paid lobbyists that results in the constant interference from passing legislation that would benefit the majority of Rhode Islanders.

“Rhode Islanders are tired of reading about corruption at the State House,” said Linda Finn, the CEO for the joint effort, and the President of the Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence.

Case Closed

For more cartoons by Tom Tomorrow, CLICK HERE.

Don't assume

Progressive comic about encouraging people to vote.

Native Rhode Islander returns home to pursue ocean science

For Matthew Dunn, URI’s Graduate School of Oceanography is the place to be
Matthew Dunn
Matthew Dunn, who grew up in South Kingstown, returned to
Rhode Island to pursue his Ph.D. at URI’s Graduate
School of Oceanography. (URI photo/Ayla Fox)
Contrary to the popular aphorism, you can go home again, and it can be exactly where you want to be.

At least, that is the case for South Kingstown native Matthew Dunn, a doctoral student at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography

Dunn grew up barely a mile from URI’s Kingston campus, and after graduating from South Kingstown High School, sought to broaden his perspective beyond his backyard, earning a bachelor’s degree in marine science at the University of Delaware.

For Dunn, 22, returning home is about pursuing a childhood dream to become a marine scientist and to do so in the place where he discovered his love for the ocean. The University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography is where he made that discovery.

NOAA predicts warmer winter, normal snow for New England

Wet southern states to contrast drought in West

Photo by Will Collette
A mild winter could be in store for much of the United States this winter according to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. 

In the U.S. Winter Outlook for December through February, above-average temperatures are most likely across the northern and western U.S., Alaska and Hawaii.

Additionally, El Nino has a 70 to 75 percent chance of developing. 

“We expect El Nino to be in place in late fall to early winter,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center

“Although a weak El Nino is expected, it may still influence the winter season by bringing wetter conditions across the southern United States, and warmer, drier conditions to parts of the North.”

2018-19 Winter Outlook map for temperature.

Teresa Tanzi and a dozen others endorsed in 2018 election as climate change champions

Climate Action Rhode Island releases election endorsements

Image result for teresa tanzi and green energyClimate Action Rhode Island (CARI), the Rhode Island affiliate of, is proud to announce its enthusiastic endorsement of 13 candidates for State House seats in Rhode Island.

We base our endorsements on the candidate’s commitment to bold policies that support renewable energy, ratchet down fossil-fuel emissions, and move us towards a sustainable future, as well as on the dynamics of their particular district’s contest.

The candidates CARI has endorsed for the November 6, 2018 General Election are:

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Trump Fiddles As The World Burns … And Drowns, Dries And Dies

White House Ignores a Dire Warning on Climate Change
By Terry H. Schwadron, DCReport New York Editor

Related imageWe’re becoming inured to name-calling and bullying threats as a substitute for governing. 

We’ve seen that on immigration, tariffs, foreign affairs and other topics. 

Sloganeering for isolationist and protectionist approaches dominate, while on purely domestic problems, the White House/Republican-majority Congress response centers on handing the problem off to the states or to the private corporate marketplace.

So, now I’m interested to see what happens when planet-wide apocalypse looms a little closer? What happens when, say, some governing needs doing rather than just words?

Up until now, shouting America First slogans has allowed Trump to duck much of the reality of climate change. Indeed, his government basically has banned the mention of the problem, dismissing environmental scientists and others from preparing for its effects.

Shouting America First slogans has allowed Trump to duck much of the reality of climate change.

If the price is right

Progressive comic about Trump taking bribes to allow murder.

"Lock her up!"

Image may contain: 1 person, text

VIDEO: Healing hurt critters

By FRANK CARINI/ecoRI News staff
Video by JOANNA DETZ/ecoRI News

To watch this video on YouTube:

Chi Chan bought the foreclosed house — the owner died before moving in — for $400,000 little more than a year ago. While she has no plans to move in herself, squirrels, a chipmunk, a snake, and an owl now call the place home, at least temporarily.

Before buying the Tower Hill Road (Route 1) home, Chan had spent most of the past two decades working out of a two-car garage in Wickford. 

She’s not a mechanic. She’s a volunteer veterinarian for the Wildlife Rehabilitators Association of Rhode Island. In fact, it could easily be argued that Chan, fellow veterinarian Meredith Bird, and executive director Kristin Fletcher — all licensed and trained wildlife rehabilitators — are the clinic. 

The trio has been working together since the early 2000s. They have never been paid, and they also take care of wild animals at their homes.

For 13 years, from 2000-2013, the Wildlife Rehabilitators Association of Rhode Island, which began as a nonprofit in 1993, was housed in Bird’s garage. For about four years, the operation worked out of a barn on Shermantown Road, not far from Chan’s “home.”

Editor’s note: The clinic is celebrating its 25th-anniversary year with an Oct. 27 fundraiser at Jacky's Galaxie in Bristol.

Good for you, good for everyone else

Balanced plant-based diets improve our health and the health of the planet
Oxford University

Image result for plant-based dietWell-balanced and predominantly plant-based diets can lead to improved nutrient levels, reduce premature deaths from chronic diseases by more than 20%, and lower greenhouse gas emissions, fertilizer application, and cropland and freshwater use, globally and in most regions, a new study reports.

The study, published in The Lancet Planetary Health, is the first to comprehensively assess the relationship between the health and nutritional impacts of different dietary-change strategies and their environmental impacts across all major world regions.

Trump endorses violent assaults against journalists

Trump Declares 'Open Season on All Journalists'
Image result for trump and the mediaWith the international community's attention and horror still centered on the Saudi regime's alleged torture, murder, and dismemberment of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi just over two weeks ago, U.S. President Donald Trump took the stage at a rally in Montana Thursday night.

He unleashed a lengthy and "chilling" tirade in support of a GOP congressman who violently assaulted Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs last year for the crime of asking questions about healthcare policy.

Detailing his early and enthusiastic support for Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.)—who pleaded guilty to assault after he body-slammed Jacobs the day before last May's special election and went on to win anyway—Trump said he initially worried that the Republican's attack on a reporter would hurt his chances in the race.

"We endorsed Greg very early. But I heard that he body-slammed a reporter.... This was the day of the election or just before, and I thought 'Oh, this is terrible! He's going to lose the election,'" Trump said. "And then I said, 'Wait a minute, I know Montana pretty well, I think it might help him.' And it did."

"Any guy who can do a body-slam... He's my guy," Trump declared, doing his best impression of a wrestling move to raucous applause and cheers from his Montana audience. "There's nothing to be embarrassed about."

"In the aftermath of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, it runs the risk of inviting other assaults on journalists both here and across the world where they often face far greater threats. We hope decent people will denounce these comments."
—John Mulholland, Guardian editor

Saturday, October 20, 2018

VIDEO: Our most dangerous export

To watch this video on YouTube:

Get lost, Lady

For more cartoons by Jen Sorenson, CLICK HERE.

Watch out, Medicare

Pic of the Moment

People donate more when they sense they are being watched

Study suggests that eyes serve as cues to monitor and elicit charitable behavior

Related imageThe mere presence of a pair of eyes on a sign requesting donations makes people more likely to give more. This is according to a field study in Springer’s journal Human Nature

Lead author Caroline Kelsey of the University of Virginia in the US says the findings support the idea that people tend to act according to pro-social norms when they sense that they are being watched. 

It also suggests that eyes play a special role in promoting cooperation in humans. 

Most people are cooperative beings who willingly share their resources with others outside of their immediate circle. 

According to Kelsey, this high level of generosity is in part maintained by reputational forces and through reputational management, which allow people to score “brownie points” when they are seen carrying out positive actions. 

Some studies have shown that people tend to behave more pro-socially and generously when they are being watched by others, or even when they are simply exposed to an image of eyes, which is known as the “watching eyes” effect. 

DO IT! Vote.

Election Day 
Tuesday, November 6, 2018
Find your polling location here.

If this doesn’t change people’s minds, nothing will

How climate change could cause global beer shortages
University of East Anglia

slow motion wow GIFSevere climate events could cause shortages in the global beer supply, according to new research involving the University of East Anglia (UEA).

The study warns that increasingly widespread and severe drought and heat may cause substantial decreases in barley yields worldwide, affecting the supply used to make beer, and ultimately resulting in "dramatic" falls in beer consumption and rises in beer prices.

Beer is the most popular alcoholic drink in the world by volume consumed. Although the frequency and severity of drought and heat extremes increase substantially in a range of future climate scenarios, the vulnerability of beer supply to such extremes has never been assessed.

Well, at least she knows what she’s doing

The woman who helped wreck health care in Maine is now running Medicaid for the country
Image result for health care for the poor MaineThe Trump administration is putting the health insurance of millions of Americans in the hands of a former Maine official best known for undermining the public health infrastructure in her state to put low-income families at risk.

Mary Mayhew, Maine’s former health commissioner, was tapped on Monday to run the national Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) programs. Mayhew will now control the $350 billion budget of the two health insurance programs serving low-income families and kids, according to the Portland Press Herald.

If Mayhew takes the same approach to Medicaid as she did during her time leading Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), she will likely fulfill the Trump administration’s plans of running the health insurance program into the ground and attacking the program she is now responsible for overseeing.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Trumponomics doesn’t work for most working Americans

Related imageI keep hearing that although Trump is a scoundrel or worse, at least he’s presiding over a great economy. 

As White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow recently put it, “The single biggest story this year is an economic boom that is durable and lasting.”

Really? Look closely at the living standards of most Americans, and you get a very different picture.

Yes, the stock market has boomed since Trump became president. But it’s looking increasingly wobbly as Trump’s trade wars take a toll.

Over 80 percent of the stock market is owned by the richest 10 percent of Americans anyway, so most Americans never got much out of Trump’s market boom to begin with.  

The trade wars are about to take a toll on ordinary workers. Trump’s steel tariffs have cost Ford $1 billion so far, for example, forcing the automaker to plan mass layoffs.  

What about economic growth? Data from the Commerce Department shows the economy at full speed, 4.2 percent growth for the second quarter.

But very little of that growth is trickling down to average Americans. Adjusted for inflation, hourly wages aren’t much higher now than they were forty years ago.

Trump slashed taxes on the wealthy and promised everyone else a $4,000 wage boost. But the boost never happened. That’s a big reason why Republicans aren’t campaigning on their tax cut, which is just about their only legislative accomplishment.

Winning, but at what cost?

For more cartoons by Ted Rall, CLICK HERE.

At the Mystic Aquarium

Sounds of the Aquarium

They bark. They bray. They roar. And they can get really loud! It's time you hear the Sounds of the Aquarium.

New to Mystic Aquarium's YouTube channel, Sounds of the Aquarium invites you to turn up the volume and join our animal trainers on exhibit as they make some noise with our animals! You'll meet one of the animals in our care and hear its unique vocalizations all while learning the importance of each sound from its trainer.

Click the video below to meet (and hear from!) Kela and her trainer Carey - be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel as well!

Sounds of the Aquarium - Learn About Beluga Whale Vocalizations

Did you know?

It can take up to 400 years or more for a plastic bottle or beverage holder to decompose, up to 600 years for fishing line and 10 to 20 years for a plastic bag to break down. While recycling single-use plastics can be helpful, consider more sustainable options like purchasing reusable bottles and bags - you'll help to save the planet and may save some money along the way!


Comb Jelly

At nearly 700 million years old (according to new fossil records), the comb jelly is in fact, not a true jelly - it's not even a close relative! Much unlike a true jelly, comb jellies don't have stinging cells. Another unique feature is the eight rows of cilia - or combs - that run along their bodies. These combs help propel them through the water and look like a rainbow current.


October 13 may have been African Penguin Awareness Day, but we're extending the celebration with this special offer: SAVE 25% on your Penguin Encounter when you book your program today!

A Message from Our Sponsor...

In the holiday tradition of the “Osmond Family Christmas” television specials, the legendary Donny and Marie invite you and your family to celebrate the spirit of the season with them in true Osmond fashion. Entertainment Weekly raved that their live performance is “INSANELY ENTERTAINING. A song and dance spectacular.”