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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The evidence for impeachment Count #1

Here’s The Obstruction Case Against Trump
By Allegra Kirkland  
On January 25, the New York Times revealed that Donald Trump tried to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller last June and only backed down when White House counsel Don McGahn threatened to quit rather than carry out Trump’s orders.

From the earliest days of Trump’s administration, Trump and his closest allies have used a range of tactics to obfuscate damaging information and stymie Mueller’s probe into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 election. And Mueller, in turn, appears to have gathered a plethora of evidence that lays out this pattern of behavior.

The Corruption Cycle

For more cartoons by Jen Sorenson, CLICK HERE.

From the Worm Ladies of Charlestown

Your best resource for everything vermiculture!

The Worm Ladies of Charlestown, Inc. 

Change your world!  

We LOVE Worms! Kindergartene Need Worm Books and Worm T-Shirts!
My students need worm t-shirts to show our worm bin pride, worm books including What is a Red Wiggler?, a food processor to purée food for our worms and a brick of coco coir bedding.

My Students
I teach a dynamic group of fabulous kindergarten students in an extremely diverse school in New York. My students love reading funny stories, writing, poetry, creating art, exploring in science, learning new words, building, dancing, singing, playing math games, playing with puppets and learning new facts. We are obsessed with our composting worm bin!

Kindergartene Need Worm Books and Worm T-Shirts!

My Project
My kindergarten class just set up a composting worm bin in our classroom and we absolutely love our worms! We are learning about how to set up a composting worm bin, what to feed our worms and the best moisture conditions for our bin. We are obsessed with learning facts about worms! Did you know that worms smell through their skin? Did you know that worms are both male and female? We can't get enough of learning about worms! In the spring, we are going to add worm castings to our school garden! I would love us to show our worm bin pride each Wednesday with all of us, including our Chef puppet, wearing matching"Ask Me About My Worms" t-shirts! It will be a Wiggling Worm Wednesday celebration each week! We really are becoming experts, and I know that my students will love answering questions from other kids and teachers in the school! We also need a food processor for our worms so we can puree food for them. This will make it easier for them to eat before food starts to rot and it will reduce the risk of a smelly bin (and then a smelly classroom)! We could use more books about worms including What is A Red Wiggler? and Kyle in His Compost Pile. My students will read these books while researching red wiggler worms during our expert book unit. They will then be able to add these books to their own personal home libraries!

Your donation will help my students to learn more about worms, feed our worms and show the school community that we are proud to be worm experts!

Where Your Donation Goes
Kids Ask Me About My Worms. Worm Composting T-Shirt 
What is a Red Wiggler? •ss
Kyle in His Compost Pile: The Story of a Red Wiggler •
Kids Ask Me About My Worms. Worm Composting T-Shirt
KitchenAid KFC3516GA 3.5 Cup Mini Food Processor, Green Apple • 

All donations currently doubled!
You can complete this project for $130


The Worm Ladies are located in the fourth hoop house on the west side of the property 4W

161 East Beach Road Charlestown, Rhode Island 02813 


True crime series at URI, free and open to the public, starts Friday

URI Forensic Seminar Series to address sudden death response, search dogs, and heroin to fentanyl
Joshua Reyes

police GIFAddressing sudden death response, search dogs, and a drug user’s journey from heroin to fentanyl, are among the topics that will be explored during the University of Rhode Island’s Forensic Science Seminar Series for spring 2018.

On Fridays, from Feb. 2 to April 27., the seminars will be held from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in Room 100 of the Richard E. Beaupre Center for Chemical and Forensic Sciences, 140 Flagg Road. All seminars are free and open to the public. 

The speakers and their topics are:

Feb. 2: Paul Souza, executive board member of New England Division IAI, deputy sheriff at Plymouth County Sheriff Department, “Sudden Death Scene Response”

Feb. 9: Michael Jagoda, URI alumnus, URI Police major, “Critical Response to an Active Aggressor”

Feb. 16: Stephen Dambruch, U.S Attorney for Rhode Island, “Prosecutor’s Role in the Criminal Justice System”

Feb. 23: Matt Zarrella, Rhode Island State Police, creator of the first K-9 Search & Rescue standards for the state of Rhode Island, “Search Dogs”

Mar. 2: Louis Marchetti, Rhode Island Department of Health, “Laboratory Response Network for Chemical Threats”

How will Charlestown face the inevitable?

Dog of the Week

Meet Freckles
Animal Rescue Rhode Island

Freckles is a great boy who is very smart and handsome.

He loves other dogs and is total snuggle bug.

You will love petting his super soft coat!

A throne for the King of Crass

Related image
We'll loan you this....
The Trumps decided that despite worldwide hatred for everything they stand for, it was a good idea to ask the Guggenheim Museum to loan them a Van Gogh painting to hang in the couple’s White House private living quarters.

Unfortunately for Trump, the museum said ‘America First.’

The museum curator, Nancy Spector, said the museum could not accommodate Trump’s request for Van Gogh’s 1888 work, “Landscape With Snow,” and instead offered Trump another painting that was nothing like it or something that is, perhaps, more appropriate — a fully-functional and well-used 18-karat gold toilet titled “America.”

For a year, the Guggenheim placed the piece in a public restroom on the fifth floor for visitors to use. 

Spector says that the toilet was available “should the President and First Lady have any interest in installing it in the White House.”

Spector, who is not fond of Trump, tells the Washington Post the artist “would like to offer it to the White House for a long-term loan.”

“It is, of course, extremely valuable and somewhat fragile, but we would provide all the instructions for its installation and care,” she adds.
Vincent van Gogh, Landscape with Snow, February/March 1888. Oil on canvas, 15 1/16 x 18 3/16 inches (38.2 x 46.2 cm)
...But not this

This offer is particularly hilarious because while The Donald is known for collecting gold-plated fixtures, he is also a notorious germaphobe who is unlikely to accept anything that has been previously used — especially by “more than one hundred thousand people” who “waited patiently in line for the opportunity to commune with art and with nature.”

Will Trump accept the offer, or does he hate “America?”

Here is the Guggenheim Museum’s explanation of the art work they offered Donald Trump instead of the Van Gogh:

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Stop the Spin

By FRANK CARINI/ecoRI News staff

Related imageAs wind power spins forward in the United States — the five-turbine Block Island Wind Farm is the first offshore wind-energy facility in the country — the giant turbine blades that generate energy are often blamed for the death of birds and bats.

Turbines certainly do kill flying creatures, but how does this oft-maligned form of renewable energy stack up against other sources that are used to power our society? 

Plenty of research still needs to be conducted — especially concerning bat mortality caused by energy production — but most of the research already done shows fossil fuels are more lethal than spinning blades.

North American wind turbines kill an estimated 140,000 to 328,000 birds annually, according to a 2013 study. Another 2013 study claimed every year 573,000 birds and 888,000 bats are killed by wind turbines. A 2014 report claims turbines kill between 214,000 and 368,000 birds annually.

The peer-reviewed 2014 study by two federal scientists and the environmental consulting firm Western EcoSystems Technology Inc., however, found that number is small compared with the estimated 6.8 million fatalities from collisions with cell and radio towers. 

The study’s authors estimated that on an annual basis less than 0.1 percent of bird populations in North America die from collisions with turbines.

Collisions with windows, on the other hand, kill between 365 million and 988 million birds in the United States annually.

Trump and Putin above the law

Pic of the Moment

Fossils, football, food and freebies

Mystic Aquarium announces series of family events in February
By Dale Wolbrink

Throughout the month of February, Mystic Aquarium is hosting special events for the whole family. Weekend activities will focus on fossils, football, food and, of course, fun!

On February 3&4, 2018, from 11:00am to 2:00pm, guests will have the opportunity to get up-close to living fossils including jellies and juvenile horseshoe crabs.  Jellies have inhabited the ocean planet for millions of years- even before dinosaurs!  Learn more about jellies from Mystic Aquarium aquarists while getting closer than ever to this remarkable species.

As part of Mystic Aquarium’s ongoing horseshoe crab conservation, Mystic Aquarium has partnered with Charles River Laboratories in the rearing of horseshoe crabs to increase public knowledge of the species and their importance. Check out some  ‘pint-sized‘ horseshoe crabs and learn more about our Horseshoe Crab Monitoring program, Citizen Science programs and much more during Living Fossils Up Close, Saturday and Sunday, February 3&4. All activities are free with membership or paid admission.

FEMA ends food and water aid to struggling Puerto Rico

The mainland has moved on but Puerto Ricans are still suffering.

 The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will end food and water aid to Puerto Rico despite the island’s ongoing struggles, NPR reported on January 31. Officials have argued that the immediate humanitarian crisis following Hurricane Maria has ended.

More than 130 days after the Category 4 hurricane slammed into Puerto Rico, FEMA will “officially shut off” its mission to the island, giving Puerto Rican officials any remaining supplies before leaving.

“The reality is that we just need to look around,” FEMA Puerto Rico director Alejandro De La Campa said. “Supermarkets are open, and things are going back to normal.”

“If we’re giving free water and food, that means that families are not going to supermarkets to buy,” he continued. “It is affecting the economy of Puerto Rico. So we need to create a balance. With the financial assistance we’re providing to families and the municipalities, they’re able to go back to the normal economy.”

Puerto Ricans might contest that assertion. 

In the months since Maria hit, islanders have struggled without electricity, potable water, fully-functioning hospitals and schools, and a number of other basic necessities

More than 1 million Puerto Ricans are still without power and hundreds of thousands lack access to clean water. 

Tastes just like Chicken

Eating insects might seem yucky, but they are nutritious and there is no reason you can't
Study says most primates, including humans, can digest these critters
Rutgers University

bug eating GIFThe thought of eating an insect makes most people cringe -- at least those who live in America, Canada and Europe, a minority of the world's population who would not let a cricket, grasshopper or beetle near their dinner table.

The "yuck" factor, however, does not have anything to do with nutrition, digestion or evolution. 

In fact, according to a new Rutgers study, insects, the food choice for our early primate ancestors, could still be eaten and digested by almost all primates today, including humans.

Faux News trying to set up confrontation during Trump speech to Congress tonight

Showdown at State Of The Union speech suggested by Fox News
By Samuel Warde 

Related imageABC News reported over the weekend that: “Several House Democrats will bring Dreamers as guests to next Tuesday’s State of the Union Address, a move that comes as the White House announced it will present a new immigration framework to Congress Monday that offers a pathway to citizenship for as many as 1.8 million children brought to the U.S. illegally.”

At least 24 House Democrats will bring a Dreamer to watch from the House gallery as President Donald Trump delivers his first State of the Union speech, according to a list a congressional official provided to ABC News.

USA Today confirmed that report Monday morning writing: “Democrats hope to send a message to President Trump by inviting a host of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children to attend his first State of the Union address on Tuesday.”

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, of California, and more than two dozen Democrats have invited so-called “DREAMers,” whose status has been in jeopardy since the Trump administration announced it would phase out legal protections that former president Barack Obama established.

Fox News responded with an opinion piece this morning written by Todd Starnes, the host of Fox News & Commentary.

Wasting no time, the article’s title is frightening on its face: “If Pelosi brings ‘Dreamers’ to the State of the Union, Trump should bring ICE agents.”

Monday, January 29, 2018

Power plant project may be circling the drain

A busy week in the Invenergy case
By Steve Ahlquist in UpriseRI

Image result for invenergy protests

Last week was a busy week in the Invenergy case, culminating in a Federal Energy regulatory Commission (FERC) ruling on Friday late afternoon in the second of the two pending lawsuits pertaining to Invenergy. This e-mail reviews the events of the past week, suggests what those events mean for opponents of Invenergy, and looks ahead to next steps.

On Monday, January 22, Invenergy informed the Energy Facilities Siting Board (EFSB) that it (Invenergy) had cancelled its water contract with the Narragansett Indian Tribe.

On Wednesday, Jan. 24, Invenergy informed the EFSB that it (Invenergy) had withdrawn its lawsuit at FERC seeking to shift hundreds of millions of dollars in interconnection costs to ratepayers.

Trump versus the Deep State

For more cartoons by Tom Tomorrow, CLICK HERE.

"Safe, strong, proud"

Pic of the Moment

Screen addicted teens are unhappy

A new study finds that more screen time is coincides with less happiness in youths
San Diego State University

ninja fruit GIFHappiness is not a warm phone, according to a new study exploring the link between adolescent life satisfaction and screen time.

Teens whose eyes are habitually glued to their smartphones are markedly unhappier, said study lead author and San Diego State University and professor of psychology Jean M. Twenge.

To investigate this link, Twenge, along with colleagues Gabrielle Martin at SDSU and W. Keith Campbell at the University of Georgia, crunched data from the Monitoring the Future (MtF) longitudinal study, a nationally representative survey of more than a million U.S. 8th-, 10th-, and 12th-graders.

The survey asked students questions about how often they spent time on their phones, tablets and computers, as well as questions about their in-the-flesh social interactions and their overall happiness.

On average, they found that teens who spent more time in front of screen devices -- playing computer games, using social media, texting and video chatting -- were less happy than those who invested more time in non-screen activities like sports, reading newspapers and magazines, and face-to-face social interaction.

Twenge believes this screen time is driving unhappiness rather than the other way around.

Climate change and plastics combine to create rising tide of invasives

By TODD McLEISH/ecoRI News contributor

Aaron Fabrice found this Rhode Island-based buoy in early October along the coast of Belgium. (Diederik D’Hert)
Aaron Fabrice found this Rhode Island-based buoy
in early October along the coast of Belgium.
(Diederik D’Hert)
A large buoy that washed ashore on the coast of Belgium in October — trailing a 10-foot rope that was covered in hundreds of goose barnacles, crabs, and shrimp  — has been traced to an offshore lobster boat based in Point Judith, R.I.

The discovery of the buoy and attached marine life illustrates one of many ways that non-native marine life finds its way to distant shores. And one Massachusetts scientist believes it’s a vector for invasive species that will become more and more common as climate change produces increasingly severe storms that will toss sturdy plastic debris into the ocean.

Aaron Fabrice, 20, who describes himself as a beachcomber, citizen scientist, conservationist and nature guide, found the buoy Oct. 8 on a beach in the town of De Panne, on the northwest coast of Belgium. 

He said the discovery was “like a dream” as he and a friend counted 39 Columbus crabs, native to the Sargasso Sea near Bermuda, nestled between hundreds of goose barnacles. He claims it is “the largest observed stranding [of Columbus crabs] on the Belgian coast ever.”

Hard to imagine why

60 Percent of Americans Don't Trust Trump with His Big Nuclear Button
Related imageSixty percent of Americans do not trust President Donald Trump with his authority over the nation's nuclear arsenal—the world's largest and most sophisticated—and, according to the new ABC News/Wall Street Journal poll out Tuesday, more than half worry he might order a nuclear strike "without justification."

As ABC reports: "Distrust fuels anxiety of a baseless attack. Among those who don't trust Trump with the nuclear button, 88 percent are concerned the president might spark a nuclear attack without justification, and 55 percent are "very" concerned about it. 

Those translate to 52 and 33 percent of all adults, respectively."

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Whatever principles they had left, he trashed

Image result for Republicans vintageAmerica has never had a president as deeply unpopular at this stage of his presidency, or one who has sucked up more political oxygen. This isn’t good news for the Republican Party this November or in the future, because the GOP has sold its soul to Trump.

Three principles once gave the GOP its identity and mission: Shrink the deficit, defend states’ rights, and be tough on Russia.

Now, after a year with the raving man-child who now occupies the White House, the Republican Party has taken a giant U-turn. Budget deficits are dandy, state’s rights are obsolete, and Russian aggression is no big deal.

By embracing a man whose only principles are winning and getting even, the Republican Party no longer stands for anything other than Trump. 

Start with fiscal responsibility. 

When George W. Bush took office in 2001, the Congressional Budget Office projected a $5.6 trillion budget surplus over 10 years. Yet even this propitious outlook didn’t stop several Republicans from arguing against the Bush tax cut out of concern it would increase the nation’s debt. 

A few years later, congressional Republicans were apoplectic about Obama’s spending plan, necessitated by the 2008 financial crisis. Almost every Republican in Congress opposed it. They argued it would dangerously increase in the federal debt.


From Fake Science, the only website government-certified to be "evidence-free"

Who wants to discredit the FBI?

Pic of the Moment

Literally a race to the bottom

Seabed mining could destroy ecosystems
University of Exeter

Related imageMining on the ocean floor could do irreversible damage to deep-sea ecosystems, says a new study of seabed mining proposals around the world.

The deep sea (depths below 200m) covers about half of the Earth's surface and is home to a vast range of species.

Little is known about these environments, and researchers from the University of Exeter and Greenpeace say mining could have "long-lasting and unforeseen consequences"- not just at mining sites but also across much larger areas.

The study is the first to give a global overview of all current plans to mine the seabed, in both national and international waters, and looks at the potential impacts including physical destruction of seabed habitats, creation of large underwater plumes of sediment and the effects of chemical, noise and light pollution arising from mining operations.

"Our knowledge of these ecosystems is still limited, but we know they're very sensitive," said Dr David Santillo, a marine biologist and senior Greenpeace scientist based at the University of Exeter. "Recovery from man-made disturbance could take decades, centuries or even millennia, if these ecosystems recover at all."

Health from the inside out

Biodegradable sensor could help doctors monitor serious health conditions
University of Connecticut
This biodegradable piezoelectric pressure sensor developed by the
University of Connecticut's Nguyen Research Group could be used
by doctors to monitor chronic lung disease, brain swelling, and other
medical conditions before dissolving safely in a patient's body. 

Credit: Thanh Duc Nguyen
UConn engineers have created a biodegradable pressure sensor that could help doctors monitor chronic lung disease, swelling of the brain, and other medical conditions before dissolving harmlessly in a patient's body.

The UConn research is featured in the current online issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The small, flexible sensor is made of medically safe materials already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in surgical sutures, bone grafts, and medical implants. 

It is designed to replace existing implantable pressure sensors that have potentially toxic components.

Those sensors must be removed after use, subjecting patients to an additional invasive procedure, extending their recovery time, and increasing the risk of infection.

Because the UConn sensor emits a small electrical charge when pressure is applied against it, the device also could be used to provide electrical stimulation for tissue regeneration, researchers say. 

Other potential applications include monitoring patients with glaucoma, heart disease, and bladder cancer.