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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Ignore the man behind the curtain.

Trump Administration Says It Isn't Anti-Science As It Seeks to Slash EPA Science Office
by Lisa Song for ProPublica

Image result for trump's war on scienceWhen the city of Toledo temporarily lost access to clean drinking water several years ago after a bloom of toxic algae, the Environmental Protection Agency sent scientists from its Office of Research and Development to study health effects and formulate solutions.

The same office was on the front lines of the Flint water crisis and was a critical presence in handling medical waste from the U.S. Ebola cases in 2014.

Thomas Burke, who directed ORD during the last two years of the Obama administration and was the agency's science adviser, calls the office the nation's "scientific backstop in emergencies."

President Trump's 2018 budget would slash ORD's funding in half as part of an overall goal to cut the EPA's budget by 31 percent.

A statement from EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt did not directly address the cuts to ORD, but offered broad defense of the proposed agency budget, saying it "respects the American taxpayer" and "supports EPA's highest priorities with federal funding for priority work in infrastructure, air and water quality, and ensuring the safety of chemicals in the marketplace."

ORD has no regulatory authority, but it conducts the bulk of the research that underlies EPA policies. ORD scientists are involved in "virtually every major environmental challenge the nation has," Burke said. Diminishing the role and input of the office, he said, risked leaving the country "uninformed about risks and public health."

"In time, you're flying blind," he said. "Everything becomes a mystery."

Trump's budget, released last week reflects the president's wish list.

The numbers likely will change by the time it goes through the congressional appropriations process, but the proposed cuts are consistent with the administration's push against environmental regulation and scientific funding.

Many of the cuts fall on agencies involved with climate change research, including the EPA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy.

Stuck all right

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To read a copy of the full report, CLICK HERE.

Saves costly material while reducing waste

Researchers figure out how to recycle carbon fiber composites
Washington State University

Image result for recycle carbon fiber plasticsA WSU research team for the first time has developed a promising way to recycle the popular carbon fiber plastics that are used in everything from modern airplanes and sporting goods to the wind energy industry.

The work, reported in Polymer Degradation and Stability, provides an efficient way to re-use the expensive carbon fiber and other materials that make up the composites.

Maintaining a healthy brain

Healthy brain aging linked to omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the blood
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Two new studies link patterns of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the blood to the integrity of brain structures and cognitive abilities that are known to decline early in aging.

The studies add to the evidence that dietary intake of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can promote healthy aging, the researchers said. Further research is needed to test this hypothesis, they said.

The brain is a collection of interconnected parts, each of which ages at its own pace. Some brain structures, and the abilities they promote, start to deteriorate before others, said University of Illinois M.D./Ph.D student Marta Zamroziewicz, who led the new research with psychology professor Aron Barbey.

The Toll of Trumpcare

By Tim Abel 

Pic of the MomentIf you are a low-income earner and over 64 years of age, just be warned: 
You will be paying more than half of your annual income on health insurance in the individual market under the Republican Party’s new health care bill set to replace Obamacare, the American Health Care Act.

The Congressional Budget Office found that the revised bill does, in fact, bring down overall premiums in the individual market at a rate of between four to twenty percent by 2026 when compared to the current law. 

The variation in percentage differs state-by-state, depending on whether the state accepts regulatory waivers under the American Health Care Act, which would allow insurers to offer much skimpier health plans at lower premiums. 

What this means is that states that allow the waivers would have far lower premiums, but the individual would be covered for a lot less, as well, whereas states that don’t have the waivers would have a higher rate, but more comprehensive coverage.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

EVERYONE, other than the wealthy and the military, take a YUGE hit

The Great Betrayal: Donald Trump’s Budget
By Robert Borosage

No automatic alt text available.Donald Trump’s FY 2018 budget is, the White House admits, a “message document” –  at best, a marker to begin negotiations. So what is the message this White House is sending?

First, it raises a long, fat middle finger pointed at the working class voters who helped to put Trump in office. For them, this budget isn’t a con job; it is a stunning betrayal.

Second, it constitutes a wet kiss for House Speaker Paul Ryan and right-wing Republican efforts to reward the rich and punish the poor.

It even recycles the transparent lies that are standard Ryan fare – that top-end tax cuts will pay for themselves, that a budget that slashes taxes, raises money on the military, protects Social Security and Medicare will magically end up balanced in 10 years, that giving the rich more money will produce jobs and the poor will benefit from reversing efforts to assist them.

Senator John Cornyn, the second ranking Republican in the Senate has called the budget, “dead on arrival.” Its savage cuts even earned a rebuke from the House leader of the hard-right Freedom Caucus, Rep. Mark Meadows, who objected to eliminating “Meals on Wheels.”

Trump released his budget while he was on the other side of the world, suggesting he wanted to distance himself from its betrayal of his working class supporters, were he capable of shame. 

VIDEO: The psychology of bullshit

To watch this video on YouTube:

Paul Ryan revealed

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PRIVACY: Most consumers won’t click on on-line ads

Consumers see much greater risk than reward in online ads
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Related imagePersonalized ads now follow us around the web, their content drawn from tracking our online activity. 

The ad industry has suggested we're OK with it -- that we see benefits roughly equal to perceived risks.

A study by University of Illinois advertising professor Chang-Dae Ham says otherwise, suggesting the industry may want to reconsider its approach.

HUD Secretary Says Poverty Mostly a "State of Mind"

Ben Carson suggest being poor is just a personal problem. Or a pre-existing condition.
Image result for ben carson is an idiotRepublicans want to slash the nation's social safety net, but that's apparently okay by some top Republicans because "poverty" is just in the minds of the nation's poor.

Offering the latest evidence that the individual President Donald Trump chose to lead one of the nation's largest anti-poverty programs has little but contempt for the low-income people he was appointed to serve, Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson says that being poor, really, is mostly a "state of mind."

According to an interview on SiriusXM radio, Carson has done a lot of thinking about what makes poverty tick.

"I think poverty to a large extent is also a state of mind. You take somebody that has the right mindset, you can take everything from them and put them on the street and I guarantee in a little while they'll be right back up there," he said during the interview with radio host Armstrong Williams, who the Washington Post reports is a longtime friend of the secretary.

Trump doesn’t understand what NATO is about

At the recent meeting of NATO, Trump shows the president of
Montenegro who's boss.
Donald Trump doesn’t like NATO. Much like the fact he doesn’t understand NATO, this is clear. On the campaign trail, his common statement was that the alliance was “obsolete.” 

He has dozens of quotes trashing the alliance. Now, he endlessly rails against our allies “not meeting financial obligations” — which do not exist. 

We’ll explore why those obligations do not exist in a moment, but for now, a simple metaphor to explain why nobody owes NATO or the United States a dime:

Imagine you’re in a homeowners association, which collects small fees to run a neighborhood watch, and also, one of the bylaws deals with appearances — a guideline states all members should spend two percent of household income on the yard, paint, etc. 

Imagine a neighbor fails to meet the two percent benchmark. Did they fulfill the guideline’s obligation? No. Do they owe you, their neighbor, money? No, that’s silly. You aren’t paying for their yard, and the fees have already been collected for the “collective” spending on the neighborhood watch. You can be pissed their yard doesn’t look as good as yours, but they’re not costing you a dime, and they owe you nothing. 

That’s why world leaders openly laughed at Trump’s idiotic nonsense at his NATO speech. He has no understanding of how this works.

Monday, May 29, 2017

It’s not about politics. It’s about the Constitution

A message to remaining Trump supporters from a veteran
By Bruce Bacon, U.S. veteran

Image may contain: one or more people and textDear remaining Trump supporters.

Maybe you don't quite understand.

This isn't about liberal or conservative. Let's drop the labels right here.

This is about the President of the United States colluding with a foreign adversary to undermine and destroy your very lifestyle and our Constitution of the United States.

This about obstruction of justice.

As veterans, we SWORE to defend our Constitution from ALL enemies, foreign AND domestic. At this point, it looks like we are doing both.

Then and Now

For more cartoons by Tom Tomorrow, CLICK HERE.

Saving America’s Great Places

Our National Parks and Monuments represent a triumph of all Americans over the private interests of a few.

Image result for Donald Trump & national parks
Grand Canyon National Park
I’m writing this from Yellowstone National Park. Established in 1872, this was our first National Park. The world’s first, in fact.

In an interesting window into how politics worked then (and now, arguably), Congress agreed to preserve this land only after being assured that it was entirely “worthless.”

Of course, that was an utter lie. But for once in our nation’s history, lying in politics did some good.

The real value of this park wasn’t known then, you see. Nobody knew that it set a precedent for the establishment of an entire National Park system that would encompass a network of public lands across the country.

Nobody knew yet that the animals on this land would become rare outside it — and might’ve been lost for good if they weren’t allowed to roam free here.

For that matter, nobody would know for a long time to come that predators are important to ecosystems. Even after the establishment of many National Parks and the protection of wildlife therein, park personnel actively killed predators within the parks’ borders.

Memorial Day Photo Feature - the air crews of Charlestown NAAF

Charlestown does its bit
Photos from Larry Webster and Frank Glista's collection

Sunday, May 28, 2017

MEMORIAL DAY: Finding a home for our history

The struggle to keep memory alive
By Will Collette
Before restoration
Each year, we have ended this series on Charlestown’s major role in World War II as the host to the Ninigret Naval Auxiliary Air Field (NAAF) with an essay by Frank Glista on efforts to keep those memories alive.

Frank had secured and restored one of the most iconic relics of the NAAF, a large practice “bomb” that was used to train flight crews in the delicate art of loading aerial bombs onto the craft that Naval flyers were being taught to fly.

The "Ninigret Bomb" in its new home.
The bomb was never filled with explosives. Unless it fell on top of you and crushed you with its weight, it posed no hazard to human life.

The Ninigret Bomb is an important artifact of that period. In fact, its appearance in many photos taken in that era seems to show the pilot trainees thought it was an important symbol of their mission.

But year after year, no one would allow Frank to donate the Ninigret Bomb for display. Read about his quest for a “forever home” for the Bomb by CLICKING HERE.

Thanks to the Charlestown Historical Society, the Ninigret Bomb has now found a forever home at the Society’s main building on Old Post Road (next to the library), as part of a growing collection of NAAF articles on display.

Terrorism trash talk

For more cartoons by Ted Rall, CLICK HERE.

Thumbs up doesn't mean what you think it means

Trump ignores warnings that the sign is offensive in many countries
By Will Collette

Donald Trump poses with African leaders in Taormina, Italy, on Saturday.
Photograph: Andrew Medichini/AP
Before he left on his first foreign trip, Donald Trump was briefed by his advisors on various cultural taboos, an exercise in futility.

Among them, Trump was warned that his favorite "thumbs up" signal is considered obscene in the Middle East, Greece, Africa and elsewhere. Generally, thumbs up is interpreted to mean "up yours" or "sit on this" in other cultures.

In the photo above, taken in Italy on May 27, Trump does it again. Note the guy right next to him does it too,,,but I am willing to bet his sign didn't carry the same message as Trump's.

I mean, look at the expression on the guy's face. And the glee in the face of the guy right behind them. I have to believe they're thinking, "we just told Donald Trump to 'sit on this.'"

Yes, another example of how our orange buffoon is making America great again.

Land shaped by glaciers and the Navy

Charlietown (a.k.a. Ninigret Wildlife Refuge) Winter Walkabout
Text and photos by James Bedell

The sun was warm on my face, not a cloud in the sky, a little grey bird hopped alongside me, and I could almost hear winter sigh as it was letting go of our part of the world. It was hard to imagine that sixty years ago this same place was alive with the sounds, smells, and deadly preparation of machines of war.

About a mile west of the intersection of Route 2 and Route 1, the entrance to the Ninigret Wildlife Refuge leaves the north bound lanes of Route 1. It is adjacent to Ninigret Park which is owned by the town of Charlestown.  Both were created in 1970 when the properties were released from federal property roles.

1st anniversary of new sign and display honoring NAAF

Sign Dedication Ceremony Speech
By Brandon Perrone
Photo by Will Collette
This memorial is dedicated to the sixty-two men who trained at this airfield and made the ultimate sacrifice, and it is also for all members of the military to show them we appreciate what they do for our country every day.

Now, I ask that you all take a look around. Imagine runways, hangars and control towers.

Imagine Hellcats and Avenger fighter planes roaring overhead, and the bravest, most skilled airmen in all of New England training to defend freedom.

This was Charlestown Naval Auxiliary Air Station, as it was known at the time, and former President George H. W. Bush trained here before flying in the Pacific in World War II.

This area we are sitting in has some of the richest history in all of Rhode Island.

I was fortunate enough to see some of this history when Mr. Larry Webster, a local Aviation Archaeologist, invited me to his home to see some artifacts from the time period.

Mr. Webster is one of those exceptional people who does not want the memory of the airfield to fade away, so he does a great deal of work to make sure all artifacts from this area are found and preserved for future generations.

A lot has happened here in the past seventy-three years. 

Memorial Day Photo Feature - Before there was a Ninigret Park

Charlestown trained Navy fliers
Photos from Larry Webster, collected by Frank Glista

Today's Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge and Charlestown's Ninigret Park was once covered by a Navy pilot
training base built during World War II and decommissioned in 1974
Ensign Coy Stephenson, killed in action

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Part 2: Memorial Day Feature - Charlestown's women do their part in the war effort

By Frank Glista
Photos from Larry Webster

Practicing mock carrier landings at Charlestown NAAF in the 1950s
At war's end, great reductions in Naval Aviation forced the closing of all the airfields in Rhode Island except Quonset Point and Charlestown.  By early 1950 the base was quiet and nearly closed during its caretaker status.

The Korean conflict forced the Naval Auxiliary Air Field (NAAF) to re-open and was re-designated as the Naval Auxiliary Landing Field (NALF) at Charlestown in 1951.  On January 30, 1974, NALF Charlestown was decommissioned.

Priorities: the means, not the ends

New footage of Trump's meeting with Pope Francis

Memorial Day photo feature - Navy pilots flying out of Charlestown

Scenes from Charlestown's Naval Auxiliary Air Field during World War II
Once a vital training base for Navy aviators, now a Park and a wild life refuge
Photos courtesy of Larry Webster
Collection assembled by Frank Glista

Brothers in arms - Naval aviators in training at Charlestown's NAAF
Training flight over Charlestown
Continue for more photos

I hate ticks: tick tips

Tick-Borne Diseases
From the Rhode Island Department of Health

Image result for tick rash
Classic bulleye from a tick bite BUT not all bites
will cause this kind of rash.
Tick-borne diseases are transmitted through the bite of an infected tick. 

These include Lyme diseaseAnaplasmosisEhrlichiosisBabesiosis, Powassan (POW), and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

Ticks can be infected with bacteria, viruses, or parasites. 

When an infected tick bites the human host, the human may become infected.


If you have been bitten by a tick, there is a possibility that have become infected with one of these diseases, but not every tick is a carrier.

If you have become infected, symptoms can present themselves between a few days and a few months later, or may not appear at all.

The type and severity of symptoms vary with the specific disease, but there are some common symptoms, which include tiredness, body/muscle aches, joint pain, fever, rash, stiff neck, and facial paralysis.

Early diagnosis is helpful in successfully treating tick-borne diseases, so it is important to contact your healthcare provider if you are experiencing symptoms.

Part 1: Memorial Day feature - Charlestown and World War II

PART 1 - Charlestown and World War II
Ninigret Navy air field during World War II. For great photos of
old Rhode Island air fields, click here.
By Frank Glista

"GERMAN ARMY ATTACKS POLAND" was the New York Times headline on September 1, 1939.  Those words set the stage for what would soon become World War II.

In our country, every city and town has its own story of heroism and sacrifice given by their citizens during that time.  Charlestown Rhode Island was among them as it played an important role in our nation's success to defeat the threat from overseas.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Once again, in honor of Memorial Day, a series on the history of the Ninigret Naval Auxiliary Air Field

Reprint and update of popular Charlestown history series
By Will Collette

In past years, we took a break from the mundane town battles  to honor Memorial Day with a history of the Ninigret Naval Auxiliary Air Field (NAAF).

That air field not only trained thousands of Navy aviators to fight during World War II (including the senior President George Herbert Walker Bush), but has also had a profound impact on Charlestown's landscape, life and culture.

The series was written by Frank Glista who had a personal connection to the air field that you'll read about in the series. It spans six segments with several of them comprised entirely of vintage photos.


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Sleep well?

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Measuring the human impact of weather

WMO issues new records of weather impacts in terms of lives lost
Arizona State University

EDITOR’S NOTE: Here is yet another example of scientific research that Trump intends to de-fund. Already, government websites have been scrubbed of references to climate change and the scientific research that backs that up. – W. Collette

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has announced world records for the highest reported historical death tolls from tropical cyclones, tornadoes, lightning and hailstorms.

It marks the first time the official WMO Archive of Weather and Climate Extremes has broadened its scope from strictly temperature and weather records to address the impacts of specific events.

"In today's world, it seems like the latest weather disaster is the worst," said Randy Cerveny, an Arizona State University professor of geographical science and urban planning and chief Rapporteur of Climate and Weather Extremes for WMO. Cerveny is the keeper of the world's weather extremes.

"Knowing exactly how bad various types of weather have been in the past has been an integral part of preparing for the future," Cerveny added. 

High levels of exercise linked to nine years of less aging at the cellular level

New research shows a major advantage for those who are highly active
Brigham Young University

Despite their best efforts, no scientist has ever come close to stopping humans from aging. Even anti-aging creams can't stop Old Father Time.

But new research from Brigham Young University reveals you may be able to slow one type of aging -- the kind that happens inside your cells. As long as you're willing to sweat.

"Just because you're 40, doesn't mean you're 40 years old biologically," Tucker said. "We all know people that seem younger than their actual age. The more physically active we are, the less biological aging takes place in our bodies."

The study, published in the medical journal Preventive Medicine, finds that people who have consistently high levels of physical activity have significantly longer telomeres than those who have sedentary lifestyles, as well as those who are moderately active.

Pay doctors a living wage

Doctors should be paid by salary, not fee-for-service, argue behavioral economists
Carnegie Mellon University

Image result for pay doctors a salaryWhile most conflict of interest research and debate in medicine focuses on physicians interacting with pharmaceutical and device companies, one important source of conflicts is largely ignored in the medical literature on conflicts of interest: how doctors are paid.

In a Journal of the American Medical Association Viewpoint article, Carnegie Mellon University's George Loewenstein and the University of California, Los Angeles' Ian Larkin outline the problems associated with the fee-for-service arrangements that most doctors currently operate under. 

Such compensation schemes, they argue, create incentives for physicians to order more, and different, services than are best for patients.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Pope Francis meets The Donald

The Pope just called out Trump with the PERFECT gift

President Trump met Pope Francis for the first time on May 24, but the ocean of separation has not stopped the two from exchanging sharp words during the preceding year. 

While this was a time for building alliances on a formal world stage, the Pope still found a classy way to stand up for his values.

He gave Trump a gift:
Andrew Freedman: Per White House pool, @Pontifex gave Trump a personally signed copy of his climate change encyclical today. 7:38 AM - 24 May 2017
Encyclicals are formal letters circulated by Popes to dictate the highest priorities of the church and set the tone for Catholic values and teaching.

The Pope published his 192-page encyclical two years ago, establishing in no uncertain terms that combatting climate change is a moral imperative that we cannot afford to ignore.

By contrast, Trump has said “global warming was created by and for the Chinese,” removed climate change from his EPA’s website, and is traveling with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, former CEO of Exxon — one of the environment’s worst offenders.

Summer Movie Blockbuster!

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Trump & Nixon

Scientists Study Atmospheric Waves Radiating out of Hurricanes

Atmospheric gravity waves that spiral outward could be used to monitor storms
University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School

EDITOR’S NOTE: Here we have another example of endangered science, the kind that Trump wants to defund and erase. After all, climate change and its effects can't happen if you don't know about them. - W. Collette

Researchers believe they have found a new way to monitor the intensity and location of hurricanes from hundreds of miles away by detecting atmospheric waves radiating from the centers of these powerful storms.

In a new study, scientists from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and the Hurricane Research Division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) presented direct observations of the waves, obtained by NOAA aircraft flying in hurricanes and by a research buoy located in the Pacific Ocean. 

The waves, known as atmospheric gravity waves, are produced by strong thunderstorms near the eye and radiate outward in expanding spirals.

Nuts are good for colon health

Chance of colon cancer recurrence nearly cut in half in people who eat nuts
American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)

Image result for tree nuts"Basic healthy eating can often be overlooked during cancer treatment. This study shows that something as simple as eating tree nuts may make a difference in a patient's long-term survival," said ASCO President Daniel F. Hayes, MD, FACP, FASCO.

"Nut consumption and a healthy diet are generally factors that clinicians and patients should perhaps pay attention to as they design the approach to treatment for colorectal cancer."

An observational study of 826 patients with stage III colon cancer showed that those who consumed two ounces or more of nuts per week had a 42% lower chance of cancer recurrence and 57% lower chance of death than those who did not eat nuts.

A secondary analysis revealed the benefit of nut consumption was limited to tree nuts. Tree nuts include almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews, and pecans, among others. These findings will be presented at the upcoming 2017 ASCO Annual Meeting in Chicago.

Attention Hackers

Any Half-Decent Hacker Could Break Into Mar-a-Lago
By Jeff Larson, ProPublica, Surya Mattu, Gizmodo, and Julia Angwin, ProPublica.

Image result for mar a lago hackingTwo weeks ago, on a sparkling spring morning, we went trawling along Florida's coastal waterway. But not for fish.

We parked a 17-foot motor boat in a lagoon about 800 feet from the back lawn of The Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach and pointed a 2-foot wireless antenna that resembled a potato gun toward the club.

Within a minute, we spotted three weakly encrypted Wi-Fi networks. We could have hacked them in less than five minutes, but we refrained.

A few days later, we drove through the grounds of the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, with the same antenna and aimed it at the clubhouse. We identified two open Wi-Fi networks that anyone could join without a password. We resisted the temptation.

We have also visited two of President Donald Trump's other family-run retreats, the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., and a golf club in Sterling, Virginia.

Our inspections found weak and open Wi-Fi networks, wireless printers without passwords, servers with outdated and vulnerable software, and unencrypted login pages to back-end databases containing sensitive information.

The risks posed by the lax security, experts say, go well beyond simple digital snooping.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Trump gives away military secrets to ANOTHER foreign government

Trump Praised Duterte's Drug War, Told Him of Nuclear Subs, in Phone Call
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Rodrigo Duterte anti-drug war features street murders of suspected
drug dealers and users.
President Donald Trump told Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte that he was "doing an amazing job" with his brutal drug war crackdown and informed him that the U.S. had two submarines off the Korean peninsula, according to a recently-released transcript of the two leaders' phone call last month.

"You are a good man," Trump told Duterte in the April 29 call, which was highly controversial when placed. "Keep up the good work. You are doing an amazing job."

"I just wanted to congratulate you because I am hearing of the unbelievable job on the drug problem," Trump said. "Many countries have the problem, we have a problem, but what a great job you are doing and I just wanted to call and tell you that."

"Thank you Mr. President," Duterte replied. "This is the scourge of my nation now and I have to do something to preserve the Filipino nation."

Trump called the Philippines strongman—whose regime has killed thousands of people since he took office last June, and who previously bragged about killing suspected criminals while serving as mayor of Davao city—to invite him to visit the White House, which Trump's chief of staff Reince Priebus later defended as a sign of international cooperation on addressing issues with North Korea.

That apparently included the U.S. president informing Duterte that there were two American submarines off the Korean peninsula.
Image result for us submarines north korea
North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in the conning tower of NK's
flagship submarine. 

"We can't let a madman with nuclear weapons let on the loose like that," Trump told Duterte, referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. "We have a lot of firepower, more than he has times 20, but we don't want to use it."

"We have a lot of firepower over there. We have two submarines—the best in the world—we have two nuclear submarines—not that we want to use them at all," he continued.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The disposition and locations of US submarines is one of the country's most closely guarded secrets. Why would Donald Trump throw this out there to Duterte? What possible need to know does Duterte have? - W. Collette

Another great summer movie

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"Great surety?"

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New Mystic exhibit features the “Weird and Wonderful”

Opens Memorial Day Weekend
Dale Wolbrink, Mystic Aquarium

Weird & Wonderful - Opening May 27Something weird and wonderful will happen at Mystic Aquarium this Memorial Day Weekend. 

Beginning Friday, May 26, 2017, guests will be invited take a walk on the weird side of our watery world with Weird & Wonderful.  This exciting new exhibit showcases some of nature’s most bizarre and fascinating creatures.

Spanning more than 1,000 square feet and featuring several new exhibits and animals, guests will marvel at the unique features and adaptations of a diversity of aquatic animals.

The quest for the perfect tomato

Untangling the genetic legacy of tomato domestication
Cell Press

Tomatoes have come a long way from their origins as pea-sized berries due to humans breeding tomato plants to produce bigger fruit.

However, favorable mutations that went along with increased fruit size and other beneficial traits do not always play well together.

A study published in Cell on May 18 found that natural mutations in two important tomato genes that were selected for different purposes in breeding can cause extreme branching and reduce fruit yield when they occur in the same plant.

However, the researchers have found a way to use those genes to create an improved tomato plant that grows a larger number of tomatoes.

One of the two genes is ancient, dating back to when Native Americans in South and Central America domesticated the tomato plant more than 8,000 years ago.