Proven fact: Water will make your rabbit appear at least half their original size.
Concord, Mass. Becomes One of the First Communities to Ban Single-Use Plastic Water Bottles -
Light a candle.
Today at hundreds of candlelight vigils, working families will make clear we need to protect Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security benefits, and we won’t sacrifice our security so the richest 2% can get more tax breaks. Join the virtual vigil online to make your voice heard.
The prospect of cutting Medicare benefits in a “fiscal cliff” deal has prompted an outcry from concerned liberals. But whether or not legislators actually end up raising the Medicare age or paring back Social Security payments, domestic benefits and services—ranging from veterans’ health care and low-income housing to Head Start programs—are going to get squeezed over the next 10 years.
Last year’s debt-ceiling agreement included $1.5 trillion in cuts to discretionary programs through 10-year spending caps that are already in effect. According to a new analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the domestic programs subject to the spending caps will face a $615 billion shortfall if they keep their benefits and services at 2012 levels. If such, they’ll be forced to scale back unless Congress decides otherwise—and right now, the Republicans want even less money spent on these domestic programs, not more…
It’s a good reminder of the trade-offs that we have already made in the name of deficit reduction, which have received little attention amid the hand-wringing over the fiscal cliff. And, as [The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’s Richard] Kogan points out, these domestic programs still remain vulnerable to further cutting. — The deep, real spending cuts we’ve already passed—and that no one talks about (via diadoumenos)
U.S. selling its remaining stake in AIG
The U.S. Treasury said it is selling the rest of its stake in American International Group Inc., in effect closing the books on one of the biggest and most reviled bailouts of the financial crisis that engulfed the world four years ago.
The sale of the Treasury Department’s remaining 234 million shares in an offering announced Monday would wipe out the government’s 15.9% stake and pad the $15.1-billion profit it has made already from the giant New York insurer.
The Treasury Department still would hold an undisclosed number of warrants in AIG, but taxpayers no longer would own a piece of [AIG].
Taking the piss out of stem cell squabblers
Human neural stem cells hold great promise for research and therapy in neural disease. We describe the generation of integration-free and expandable human neural progenitor cells (NPCs). We combined an episomal system to deliver reprogramming factors with a chemically defined culture medium to reprogram epithelial-like cells from human urine into NPCs (hUiNPCs). These transgene-free hUiNPCs can self-renew and can differentiate into multiple functional neuronal subtypes and glial cells in vitro. Although functional in vivo analysis is still needed, we report that the cells survive and differentiate upon transplant into newborn rat brain. [via Article, IMG]
Meaning researchers have developed a method that transforms the cells in human urine into precursors of brain cells. The idea: cells from urine > than stem cells since they are easier to get and the risk of embryonic tumor development isn’t a concern. Also, it’s a crafty way for lemon party goers to support and fund raise for neurodegenerative treatment research.
Stop telling people not to get pets for the holiday. -
Instead, encourage people to adopt from shelters.
Fact: People are going to get pets for Christmas. There is no avoiding it: dozens of movies have emphasized that pets make the best Christmas presents,…
I would suggest contacting the shelter and asking about transportation. If they explain that they would love to adopt, but aren’t able to get out to that city, most shelters will gladly arrange transportation to take the animal to their forever home. Same with rescues.
Unfortunately, a lot of shelters don’t put their animals on Petfinder. =/ Or on the internet at all. In rural communities especially, a lot of people don’t even know they have a local shelter because it’s in an out-of-the-way location and there’s no advertising. So definitely suggest they call their local police department or commerce and check to see if they have a shelter near them!
Don’t give up if there are no shelters in your area - there are a lot of very committed “indie” animal rescue organizations or groups that almost never get any kind of advertisement so are mostly unknown to the general public.
They do a lot of good work and you can adopt from them, though the animals won’t always have been neutered or spayed or gotten all their shots yet like they will with shelters, because they don’t have much funding and are often just animal lovers taking them in and essentially fostering.
Search for “animal rescue” in your area, ask your and other vet clinics (they almost always know of someone looking for a home for a pet), AND call all of the shelters in the nearest region and ask them if they know of any rescuers in your area, explaining how much you’d love to adopt a rescue but can’t get to the shelter, etc. Please And Thank You. :) ~whyinthehell
Mechanitis Butterfly Chrysalis
(Source: malformalady, via somedevil)
Baby Geek Onesie by waycooltshirts
(Source: astrodidact, via marquisdesade)
Interesting photographer’s vision for this shot. And who says sloths never whisper sweet-nothings?
A cat mummy, Egypt, ca. 400-200 BC
Since the Late Period the Egyptians gave animal mummies as gifts to the gods. These animals were bred near the temples. The largest amount of cat mummies was gifted to the goddess Bastet at her ritual center, Bubastis, in the eastern Delta of Egypt.
Some cat mummies were exported to Europe in the 19th century for use as fertilizer.
Circling the Sun
The night lights of the Americas shine in this visualization of our planet at night, which is based on data acquired by the Suomi NPP satellite in April and October. The image, released by NASA Earth Observatory today, has been nicknamed the “Black Marble.”
NASA is known for its “Blue Marble” images, which show Earth’s sunlit disk as seen from space — and now it’s making a splash with the nighttime view, nicknamed the “Black Marble.”
This picture of the night lights of North and South America is just one frame in the Black Marble series, which is based on data from the Suomi NPP satellite and was unveiled today during the American Geophysical Union’s fall meeting in San Francisco. The image has been built up from readings made by the weather/climate satellite’s Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite, or VIIRS.
It’d be tough to snap this kind of picture at any single moment, because of cloud cover as well as seasonal changes in the way sunlight falls on our planet. Suomi NPP’s handlers had an easier job, because the satellite could make multiple passes in April and October. Those fly-overs produced data that could be presented as a full-disk nighttime view of Earth.
NASA says the VIIRS instrument’s “day-night band” is well-suited to pick up on dim signals such as city lights as well as gas flares, auroras, wildifires and reflected moonlight. For the Black Marble images, stray sources of light were removed during processing to emphasize the city lights.
“Artificial lighting is an excellent remote-sensing observable and proxy for human activity,” Chris Elvidge, who leads the Earth Observation Group at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Geophysical Data Center, said in today’s image advisory.
Weather forecasters are using the VIIRS imagery to track fog and low clouds through the night — which can be a concern for high-traffic coastal airports such as San Francisco. But it’s not just about the weather: Researchers can track night lights over time to estimate economic activity and population growth. For example, satellite images graphically show how North Korea’s economic development has lagged behind that of its neighbors, or how India has developed through the decades. Night-light pictures can also help facility planners decide where to put astronomical observatories that need dark skies, or help emergency officials gauge the extent of power outages.
“For all the reasons that we need to see Earth during the day, we also need to see Earth at night,” Steve Miller, a researcher at NOAA’s Colorado State University Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere, said in a NASA news release. “Unlike humans, the Earth never sleeps.”
On this day, seventy-nine years ago, citizens in a bar celebrate the end of alcohol prohibition in the United States. December 5, 1933.