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Gender: Do not display
Current location: Virginia
Member since: Wed Jun 1, 2011, 06:34 PM
Number of posts: 7,382

About Me

Navy brat-->University fac brat. All over-->Wisconsin-->TN-->VA. RN (ret), married, grandmother of 11. Progressive since birth. My mouth may be foul but my heart is wide open.

Journal Archives

The tiny islands leading the green transition

Just off the north coast of Northern Ireland, in the chilly waters of theAtlantic, lies a tiny, L-shaped island called Rathlin. It is home to around 160 people. Mains electricity only arrived on Rathlin in the early 1990s, with the construction of three wind turbines. One islander enthused to local media about the benefits it would bring – she would no longer have to light a candle when getting up to feed her baby in the middle of the night.

This clean energy came from the almost ever-present wind that blows doggedly over Rathlin and on towards Ireland and Great Britain. But as Michael Cecil, chair of the Rathlin Development and Community Association explains, the turbines did not last. After about 10 years, they fell into disrepair. "We couldn't get parts, we couldn't get maintenance done on them," he recalls.

It meant returning to high-emissions diesel generators. And although Rathlin was finally connected to the main Northern Irish electricity grid in 2007, the islanders' dream of resurrecting wind power and cleaning up its energy supply is stronger than ever today.

By 2030, Rathlin wants to be a carbon-neutral island, following in the footsteps of dozens of small islands around the world taking the fight against climate change into their own hands by embracing renewable energy, electric vehicles and sustainability.

To name a few, there's the Danish island of Samsø, which relies on wind energy and other renewables for power and heat. Or Tilos in Greece, which was the first island in the country to become energy self-sufficient. Or Jeju, the South Korean holiday island which, like Rathlin, aims to be carbon neutral by the end of the decade.


Ancient helmets, ruins found at dig in Italy

Archaeologists in southern Italy have discovered ancient warrior helmets and the ruins of a painted brick wall at a site that might have been a forerunner of a temple dedicated to the goddess Athena, officials said Tuesday.

Italian Culture Minister Dario Franceschini said the remains dug up at the popular tourist site of Velia were found on what had been an acropolis of one of Magna Graecia’s most important cities. Velia is 40 kilometers (25 miles) southeast of Paestum, a much-visited site of ancient Greek temples.

The recently completed excavation at Velia unearthed a pair of helmets in good condition, the remains of a building, vases with the Greek inscription for “sacred” and metal fragments of what possibly were weapons, the culture ministry said.

State Museums Director Massimo Osanna, who formerly had long directed excavations at Pompeii, Italy's most celebrated excavated site, said the area explored at Velia probably contained relics of offerings made to Athena, the mythological Greek goddess of war and wisdom, after a key naval battle in the nearby Tyrrhenian Sea.


Crime: You cannot make this stuff up! (2 parts)

This is a two-parter. For context, you need to read both artlcles. The most recent one is posted first, but the one describing the crime is second and longer. This would make a great miniseries.

Appeal denied for kidnapping fugitives, will be extradited to U.S. for trial

An appeals court in Scotland has ruled three people allegedly involved in an attempted violent kidnapping to be extradited to the US to stand trial.

In early August 2018, Valerie Perfect Hayes, 41, Gary Blake Reburn, 58, and Jennifer Lynn Amnott, 36, fled to the United Kingdom after the attempted kidnapping of five children, all under the age of eight, in a Mennonite Community within Dayton, Virginia.

The court said the three have repeatedly sought to block their extradition back to the United States based on the severity of the mandatory life sentence each would receive if convicted.


Here's the background info. For context, it's important to read all of it. It's nearly unbelievable.

Knoxville comic book store raises more than $83k to give students free copies of Maus

A Knoxville comic book store announced Monday it has raised more than $83,000 after starting an initiative last week to give away free copies of Maus for students who want to learn more about the Holocaust.

The book made headlines nationally for being banned from McMinn County Schools after leaders said it contained too much strong language and graphic depictions of the Holocaust. Around 6 million Jewish people died between the 1930s and the early 1940s as the Nazi regime systematically arrested and cruelly killed them.

Nirvana Comics said it would give away copies of the book because it "[believes] it is a must-read for everyone." It said all students need to do is ask for a copy by calling the store or reaching out on social media. However, it said it had a limited supply of books so there could be a waitlist for anyone interested in reading it.

"We are going to be able to buy a copy of Maus for every student who has requested one so far. We got a huge waiting list from people all over the country," said Rich Davis, who works at the store. "We are going to prioritize the Tennessee area. Then we will start shipping out. We are gonna be able to do that and maybe make donations to as many of the public school libraries in Tennessee as we can."

And here's a fork in the eye for you, McMinn County BOE!

Family trees fill in the gaps for Black people seeking their ancestral roots

Growing up in Philadelphia, Amber Jackson said she knew so little of her history that she felt disconnected from who she was.

“They didn’t teach you the history of Black people in school,” she said. “They kind of gave you the illusion that Black people just showed up after everything was put together.”

Attempts to learn about her family history from older relatives were futile, she said. “I could see the hurt in their faces. They didn’t want to talk about it,” Jackson said. “So, I let it go.”

Then she saw the 2002 movie “Antwone Fisher,” about a young sailor who had been in foster care and sought to learn more about his birth family. “And that’s when I was inspired to start my search to find mine, just like he did,” Jackson said.

She said she went through the Whitepages, as actor Derrick Luke had in the movie, and located her father’s sister almost instantly and called her, which led to more relatives. The findings inspired her to learn more, and Jackson pressed on, spending hours that turned into years building out her family tree through searching archives in libraries and research centers, scanning microfilm and, as technology advanced, using online services.

This is why I love genealogy. It's like a detective story.

Two Connecticut detectives placed on leave over handling of Black women's deaths

Two Bridgeport, Connecticut, police detectives have been placed on administrative leave following public outcry over the handling of death investigations of two Black women, Lauren Smith-Fields and Brenda Lee Rawls, the city's mayor announced.

Mayor Joseph Ganim extended condolences to the families of Smith-Fields and Rawls in a news release Sunday, saying he was "extremely disappointed with the leadership of the Bridgeport Police Department and find actions taken up to this point unacceptable."

Smith-Fields, 23, was found unresponsive on Dec. 12 in her Bridgeport apartment by a man she had met on Bumble, who called police to report that he had awakened to find her unresponsive with a nosebleed.

The family has accused the police department of being "racially insensitive," saying they were not contacted by officers about her death but by the building's landlord. The family's attorney previously told NBC News the Bumble date is not a person of interest in the case. No charges have been filed.

Last week, the Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled Smith-Fields' death was an accident resulting from acute intoxication due to combined effects of fentanyl, promethazine, hydroxyzine and alcohol. Following that announcement, the Bridgeport Police Department announced a criminal investigation into her death, assisted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Something is rotten in the state of Connecticut

Survivors Say Russians Slaughtered 70 in Gold Mine Massacre

Prince Ngoma was just about to depart a mining site in Central African Republic’s (CAR) eastern village of Aïgbado when heavily armed Russian mercenaries in a pickup truck drove in, opened fire, and burned down the houses in the area.

“They didn’t speak a word to anyone, only their guns did the talking,” said Ngoma, who was only there to meet a friend. “I saw people screaming and falling on the ground. It was only by luck that I survived.”

For about 20 minutes at around noon on Jan. 16, Ngoma said, the Russians opened fire repeatedly before fighters from the Union for Peace (UPC) rebel group, which the mercenaries have constantly targeted, showed up and began to fire back, wounding about four fighters and causing the Russians to retreat.

“We counted eight bodies after the Russians had left,” he told The Daily Beast. “These were civilians killed at the spot during the shooting.”

But the Russians weren’t satisfied. As hundreds of frightened villagers ran to the nearby Yanga community (located 40 miles from Aïgbado), the Russian mercenaries, this time accompanied by CAR government forces commonly referred to as FACA, chased them there and slaughtered as many people as they could.

I somehow think the US is over there doing stuff too....probably Blackwater

Yesterday was a hard day

It was the birthday of my late son, who took his life in 2015, four days after Christmas. A two time Iraq vet, he'd been increasingly troubled since his second tour in 2010-2011, suffering from PTSD and, I think, also from the lingering effects of undiagnosed TBI due to concussion bombs. Then too many other things happened to him after he came home. Adam was born in 1976. It snowed that day. I was pretty mad at the doctor by the time my son got there, for reasons I won't go into. The first thing the kid did, after letting out a healthy howl, was to pee all over the doc, and I laughed and thought, I think I'll keep him.

I was on the edge of tears all day yesterday. We tuned into 1883 between football games (I'm loving that show!) and there was an amazing scene where Elsa, the daughter, was sitting alone grieving over her lover who had been shot by bandits during a raid (she'd managed to kill a couple of them). Captain, the Sam Elliot character, who has lost his wife and daughter to smallpox, came and sat beside her, and what he said to her was exactly what I needed to hear. "When someone you love dies, they take a piece of you, but they leave a piece of you with them." He spoke about going to the ocean, because that was where his wife had wanted to go, and he would see it for her. I was in tears when the scene was over, but they were good tears. Whoever wrote that scene, thank you. And thank you to Sam Elliot for the way he spoke those words.

First Exoplanet With Earth-Like Layered Atmosphere Discovered - But You Wouldn't Want To Live There

Astronomers have analyzed one of the most extreme known exoplanets, WASP-189 b, and found it has a layered atmosphere just like Earth. But the similarities end there. WASP-189 b is a world twice the mass of Jupiter with temperatures in the thousands of degrees, so we're not upping sticks and moving there.

The reason why it’s so hot is its proximity to its star. It orbits the star in just 2.7 days, being 20 times closer to it than the Earth is to the Sun. But thanks to this alignment, researchers can study its atmosphere in detail. As reported in Nature Astronomy, the international team has established the presence of iron, chromium, vanadium, magnesium, and manganese, as well as titanium oxide in its atmosphere.

“We measured the light coming from the planet’s host star and passing through the planet’s atmosphere. The gases in its atmosphere absorb some of the starlight, similar to Ozone absorbing some of the sunlight in Earth’s atmosphere, and thereby leave their characteristic ‘fingerprint’," lead author Bibiana Prinoth from Lund University said in a statement. "With the help of HARPS [ESO's planet-hunter], we were able to identify the corresponding substances.”

The titanium oxide is a particularly exciting find as it has already been linked to an ozone-like layer and stratosphere-like layers on other exoplanets. But these observations went further, finding evidence of additional layers.


Trump Is Now Openly Describing How He'll Steal the Next Election

Former President Donald Trump spent his weekend eliminating any remaining doubt that he wanted to steal the 2020 election.

In a Sunday statement, Trump criticized Democrats and “RINO Republicans” like “Wacky Susan Collins” who are supportive of reforming the more than century-old Electoral Count Act. Collins and other centrists in the Senate are in the early stages of reform that could increase the threshold for objections to various states’ electoral votes, among other reforms, according to the Hill.

“Actually, what they are saying, is that [former Vice President Mike Pence did have the right to change the outcome, and they now want to take that right away,” Trump said. “Unfortunately, he didn’t exercise that power, he could have overturned the Election!”

Despite more than a year of pushing conspiracy theories of widespread electoral and voter fraud, there is no legitimacy to Trump’s claims, and all evidence has shown that President Joe Biden was the rightful winner of the election.

During a Saturday rally in Conroe, Texas, Trump promised pardons for supporters who rioted at the Capitol on Jan. 6, the same morning he gave a speech calling on supporters to “fight like hell” to keep him in the White House and march to the Capitol to protest the certification of the election.

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