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Saturday, March 23, 2019

Gun scorecard for 2019 so far

It's spring already?

Why does time seem to move quicker as we age?
Duke University
Photo by Will Collette
A Duke University researcher has a new explanation for why those endless days of childhood seemed to last so much longer than they do now -- physics.

According to Adrian Bejan, the J.A. Jones Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Duke, this apparent temporal discrepancy can be blamed on the ever-slowing speed at which images are obtained and processed by the human brain as the body ages.

The theory was published online on March 18 in the journal European Review.

"People are often amazed at how much they remember from days that seemed to last forever in their youth," said Bejan.

"It's not that their experiences were much deeper or more meaningful, it's just that they were being processed in rapid fire."

Bejan attributes this phenomenon to physical changes in the aging human body.

April 11, expert on marine pollution to discuss chemical Rhode Island refuses to regulate more stringently

Hope the Health Department comes to this lecture

Image result for pfasEDITOR’S NOTE: EcoRI reports that the state Health Department has rejected a request to regulate PFAS pollution, rather than simply monitor its presence in drinking water. The Conservation Law Foundation and the Toxic Action Network had filed the request as more evidence mounts of health hazards of this common chemical, including the risk of kidney and testicular cancer. PFAS has been found in drinking water in Westerly, Cumberland, Newport and North Providence.

In its March 11 rejection letter to CLF and TAC, the Health Department claims “Additional research and analysis are needed to better assess the threats of PFASs on public water systems,” because the Department “lacks sufficient quantitative and qualitative data upon which to base appropriate regulations.” Maybe they need to attend this program - Will Collette
Pál Weihe is caught between the culture and traditions of the Faroe Islands in the Arctic, east of Iceland, and his desire to protect the residents from marine pollutants that have found their way to this remote region from industrialized countries.
The pollutants, called poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances or PFASs, are chemical compounds found in common household goods like non-stick cookware, stain-proof carpets, pizza boxes, microwave popcorn bags and many others – as well as in fire-fighting foams and other industrial products.
Because they do not break down easily in the environment, they find their way into the food chain, including into the whales that are a traditional food source of the Faroe Islanders.

Inside Trump's Moscow Tower deal

Meet Trump’s Other Partners on His Attempted Moscow Tower 
Image result for trump moscow towerThis week on “Trump, Inc.,” we’re exploring President Donald Trump’s efforts to do business in Moscow. Our team — Heather Vogell, Andrea Bernstein, Meg Cramer and Katie Zavadski — dug into just who Trump was working with and just what Trump needed from Russia to get a deal done. 

First, the big picture. 

We already knew that Trump had business interests involving Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign — which he denied — that could have been influencing his policy positions. 

As the world has discovered, Trump was negotiating to develop a tower in Moscow while running for president. 

Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen has admitted to lying to Congress about being in contact with the Kremlin about the project during the campaign.

All of that explains why congressional investigators are scrutinizing Trump’s Moscow efforts. And we’ve found more:

Trump’s partner on the project didn't appear to be in a position to get the project approved and built. 

On Oct. 28, 2015 — the same day as a Republican primary debate — Trump signed a letter of intent with the partner, a developer named Andrey Rozov, to build a 400-unit condominium and hotel tower in Moscow.

Friday, March 22, 2019

It CAN happen here.

Las Vegas shooting survivor Erica Keuter: You do not want the next mass shooting to take place here in Rhode Island
Image result for new zealand assault weapons ban
In less than a week after the Christchurch massacre, New Zealand banned
these weapons of mass destruction. It has been 18 months since the
slaughter in Las Vegas and not a damned thing has been done.
The House Judiciary Committee heard testimony on a series of bills concerning guns Tuesday evening. 

Gun safety advocacy groups Moms Demand Action and the Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence (RICAGV) are particularly interested in three bills. 

One would ban semi-automatic assault weapons, one would ban high capacity magazines, and the third would ban the possession of firearms in and around schools.

There was plenty of testimony on both sides of the issue in the first four hours or so, but by far the most arresting and dramatic testimony came from Erica Keuter, and East Greenwich resident and a survivor of the deadliest mass shooting in United States history. Keuter is a member of Everytown Survivor Network and a volunteer with Moms Demand Action for Gunsense in America.

Ready for retirement

Image may contain: outdoor and nature

The face of irony


In the 1840s, Rhode Island’s “fake news” focused on Irish immigrants

URI history professors to examine ‘fake news’ through a historical lens

What better day to talk about fake news than April Fools’ Day?

On Monday, April 1, four University of Rhode Island history professors will present the discussion “Fake News: A Historical Perspective” from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Agnes G. Doody Auditorium in Swan Hall, 60 Upper College Road, on the Kingston campus. 

The event is free and open to the public.

While the term “fake news” has come into wide use since the 2016 presidential election, the forum will show that fake news – whether as a means to further a political agenda or cast doubt on the legitimacy of a news report – may be as old as news itself.

“This is a very timely topic,” says Joelle Rollo-Koster, professor of medieval history and organizer of the forum. “This event will show people a range of fake news throughout history. It’s nothing new. It’s something that has always existed.”

The forum also highlights the value of history in combatting fake news, says Catherine DeCesare, a senior lecturer in U.S. and Rhode Island history.
“The study of history is extremely important and certainly relevant in today’s society,” says DeCesare. “Knowledge about the past can be used to inform contemporary society.”

VIDEO: Best and worst for pesticide residues

Almost 70% of US fruits and vegetables contain pesticides
See this video on YouTube:

If you're going to buy organic, strawberries, spinach, kale, nectarines and apples might be a good place to start.

Those are the top five U.S. fruits and vegetables most tainted with pesticides, according to the annual Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce report from the nonprofit Environmental Working Group.

The report, released today, found nearly 70 percent of U.S. produce is contaminated with pesticides, and more than 225 pesticides or pesticide breakdowns compounds are found on our nation's produce.

There are a broad range of pesticides, and it's still not entirely clear how much residue may harm people.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which produces the pesticide data analyzed by EWG, just last December boasted that the U.S. food supply is "among the safest in the world" for pesticide residues.

"More than 99 percent of the samples tested had pesticide residues well below benchmark levels established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)," the agency said in a statement on the most recent round of pesticide testing.

However, the new EWG analysis is concerning because many pesticides found on our food have been linked to cancer, respiratory problems, depression, endocrine disruption and impacts to people's reproductive systems. 

Studies increasingly show that these health impacts are linked to exposure at levels below the thresholds set by federal agencies such as the EPA.

Right-wing violent hate crimes on the rise

Murder and Extremism in the United States in 2018
Anti-Defamation League

Each year, ADL’s Center on Extremism (COE) tracks murders perpetrated by all types of extremists. The 2018 Murder & Extremism report provides key insights into the crimes, including motivations behind these violent attacks.

2018 was a particularly active year for right-wing extremist murders: Every single extremist killing — from Pittsburgh to Parkland — had a link to right-wing extremism.

Among this report’s key findings:

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Trump’s reaction to New Zealand massacre raises more doubts about his mental health

Yale psychiatrist explains the most ominous fact about the violent societal sickness emanating from Trump
World Mental Health CoalitionPresident Donald Trump has drawn criticism for downplaying the white nationalist ideology that led a gunman to kill over 50 people in New Zealand. The killer cited Nazism and Donald Trump in a manifesto and online video while murdering worshippers at two Mosques in New Zealand.

Although Trump sent his condolences, he chalked up the attack to a small number of individuals with problems rather than the demonization of immigrants and refugees. 

In fact, in the same press conference in which he addressed the attacks, Trump also described immigration at the Southwest border as an invasion.

In addition to his refusal to condemn the Nazis who marched on Charlottesville, Trump’s reaction to the New Zealand massacre once against raised doubts about his leadership and his fitness for office.

Raw Story spoke with Dr. Bandy X. Lee, a psychiatrist at Yale School of Medicine who has taught at Yale Law School for over 15 years and has consulted with the World Health Organization on violence prevention since 2002.

She edited the New York Times bestseller, “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President,” released in an expanded edition on March 19, 2019—the same day as a major, interdisciplinary conference on presidential fitness, sponsored by the World Mental Health Coalition, of which she is now president (for more information on the conference, go to:

Be careful

No photo description available.

Astronomy Picture of the Day

The Central Magnetic Field of the Cigar Galaxy
Are galaxies giant magnets? Yes, but the magnetic fields in galaxies are typically much weaker than on Earth's surface, as well as more complex and harder to measure.

Recently, though, the HAWC+ instrument onboard the airborne (747SOFIA observatory has been successful in detailing distant magnetic fields by observing infrared light polarized byreflection from dust grains.

Featured below, HAWC+ observations of the M82, the Cigar galaxy, show that the central magnetic field is perpendicular to the disk and parallel to the strong super-galactic wind.

This observation bolsters the hypothesis that M82's central magnetic field helps its wind transport the mass of millions of stars out from the central star-burst region.

The featured image shows magnetic field lines superposed on top of an optical light (gray) and hydrogen gas (red) image from Kitt Peak National Observatory, further combined with infrared images (yellow) from SOFIA and the Spitzer Space Telescope.

The Cigar Galaxy is about 12 million light years distant and visible with binoculars towards the constellation of the Great Bear.

How Deregulation Made Flying More Dangerous

The FAA Let Boeing Certify the Safety of Its Own Planes
By Terry H. Schwadron, DCReport New York Editor
For more cartoons by Ted Rall, CLICK HERE.
Once the decision was made to ground the Boeing 737 Max 8 airplane last week, somehow it made sense. Until then, mysteriously, we were somehow still awaiting more information as country after country suspended their use. 

Indeed, the United States was the last to declare emergency grounding.

Did our FAA have some special knowledge here that other international agencies do not? Or was this lack of action the result of protectionist action for American business or political power? Was it the FAA or the president who delayed? And how, after all, is this looking out for the best safety interests of Americans?

There have been hints, but no specific reporting I’ve seen on the question. So, I was attracted by the New York Times Op-Ed column by James E. Hall, former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, which looks into such accidents as we have seen with this aircraft, who lays the blame at regulatory changes.

Image result for Dennis Muilenburg & Trump
“The roots of this crisis can be found in a major change that the FAA instituted in its regulatory responsibility in 2005. Rather than naming and supervising its own ‘designated airworthiness representatives,’ the agency decided to allow Boeing and other manufacturers who qualified under the revised procedures to select their own employees to certify the safety of their aircraft. In justifying this change, the agency said at the time that it would save the aviation industry about $25 billion from 2006 to 2015. Therefore, the manufacturer is providing safety oversight of itself. This is a worrying move toward industry self-certification.”

Practical solutions to the problem of plastics

What Laws Work Best to Cut Plastic Pollution?
EDITOR'S NOTE: Westerly has become one of the latest RI communities to consider banning single-use plastics. Read more here. Charlestown already looked at - and rejected - a ban. They decided the "solution" was to sell reusable cloth shopping bags. Though not a bad thing in itself, it barely touches the problem.   - Will Collette

Every minute an estimated 2 million single-use plastic bags are handed out at checkout counters across the world. 

They contribute to the 300 million tons of plastic waste generated each year, much of which ends up in the environment where it threatens wildlife, endangers public health and costs billions to clean up.

How do you solve a problem this big?

According to legal analysts who advised Congress at a briefing in January, the United States could reduce its contribution to the global plastic pollution crisis by implementing sweeping federal policies that restrict plastic use and hold manufacturers accountable for responsibly handling waste.

Now China and Saudi Arabia collusion with Trump campaign?

Federal Authorities Raided Trump Fund-raiser’s Office in Money Laundering Probe
By Robert Faturechi and Justin Elliott for ProPublica

Related image
Remember this? Trump fondles the Saudi's sacred orb. He doesn't
need a crystal ball to see widened problems ahead
Federal authorities raided the office of Republican fundraiser Elliott Broidy last summer, seeking records related to his dealings with foreign officials and Trump administration associates, according to a sealed search warrant obtained by ProPublica.

Agents were authorized to use the megadonor’s hands and face to unlock any phones that required fingerprint or facial scans.

The Washington Post reported in August that the Justice Department was investigating Broidy. 

The sealed warrant offers new details of federal authorities’ investigation of allegations that Broidy had attempted to cash in on his Trump White House connections in dealings with foreign officials. 

It also shows that the government took a more aggressive approach with the Trump ally than was previously known, entering his office and removing records — just as it did with Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen.

Broidy served as a major Trump campaign fundraiser and was the national deputy finance chair of the Republican National Committee until he resigned in April 2018, when it was revealed he had agreed to secretly pay off a former Playboy model in exchange for her silence about their affair.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

This one is for Blake Filippi

Abortion is not a dirty word and Planned Parenthood isn’t a McDonald’s and the GOP can go F**K itself
By Helen Philpot

Image result for Blake Filippi and abortion
Charlestown State Rep. Blake "Flip" Filippi is one of those Helen is
talking about
Nothing pisses me off more than when a man has an opinion about something he knows nothing about.

And one thing for damn sure a man knows nothing about is what’s in a woman’s mind and heart when she is making a decision about whether or not to terminate a pregnancy.

It’s called an abortion. It’s not a dirty word. It’s legal. It’s a woman’s right. It’s personal. A woman can choose to have one or not.

And damn it, there is no such thing as a post-birth abortion unless you’re talking about the death penalty (which is a whole nother GOP lie).

The fact that the GOP has a talking point about post-birth abortions tells you all you need to know about how stupid the GOP is and how stupid they think voters are. If you can’t make your case with the truth then do you really have a case?

Loving capitalism

For more cartoons by Ted Rall, CLICK HERE.

Worm Ladies announce new events

Your best resource for everything vermiculture!

Free Vermiculture On-Farm Workshop Next Sunday, March 24th at our North Kingstown location, 12noon-2pm

251 Exeter Road, Hoophouse 4W
bring lunch or a snack
​​​​​​​call 401-742-5915
​​​​​​​sponsored by NOFA and USDA Specialty Crop Grant

20th Vermiculture Conference - October 26 - 27, 2019
North Carolina State University

 Cushner Gillen has been posting pictures on Instagram of the work he has been doing at the Worm Farm.

The Worm Ladies began weighing the food we feed the worms on January 22nd.  We have weighed 1763 pounds of food waste until March 1.  We will continue to do this and report it to you.

March 24th--at the Worm Farm--NOFA workshop from 12-2p.m.
April 9th--at Dunns Corner Elementary School, WORKING WONDERS, a career exploration program in Westerly Public Schools.  The Worm Ladies will be speaking to 4th graders about careers in worm farming!
April 22nd--Earth Day--visit to Boston Library for a children's workshop.
May 16th--Attleboro Garden Club

Worm Ladies 
Network Membership

Check out the details on the SHOP page of our website.

We will always welcome volunteers and/or interns who are interested in working with raising worms and harvesting castings.    If you are interested, call Nancy at 401-322-7675 or 401-742-5915.

251 Exeter Road
North Kingstown

We are in the fourth hoophouse on the west side.

161 East Beach Road Charlestown, Rhode Island 02813 
251 Exeter Road North Kingstown, Rhode Island 02852
If you are coming to pick up a product, double check the location.