May 31, 2013

EPA Proposes Rules to Protect Americans from Exposure to Formaldehyde

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today proposed two rules to help protect Americans from exposure to the harmful chemical formaldehyde, consistent with a Federal law unanimously passed by Congress in 2010. These rules ensure that composite wood products produced domestically or imported into the United States meet the formaldehyde emission standards established by Congress.

Formaldehyde is used in adhesives to make a wide range of building materials and products. Exposure to formaldehyde can cause adverse public health effects including eye, nose and throat irritation, other respiratory symptoms and, in certain cases, cancer.

"The proposed regulations announced today reflect EPA's continued efforts to protect the public from exposure to harmful chemicals in their daily lives," said James J. Jones, EPA's acting assistant administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. "Once final, the rules will reduce the public's exposure to this harmful chemical found in many products in our homes and workplaces."

In 2010, Congress passed the Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act, or Title VI of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which establishes emission standards for formaldehyde from composite wood products and directs EPA to propose rules to enforce the act's provisions. EPA's proposed rules align, where practical, with the requirements for composite wood products set by the California Air Resources Board, putting in place national standards for companies that manufacture or import these products. EPA's national rules will also encourage an ongoing industry trend towards switching to no-added formaldehyde resins in composite wood products.

EPA's first proposal limits how much formaldehyde may be emitted from hardwood plywood, medium-density fiberboard, particleboard and finished goods, that are sold, supplied, offered for sale, manufactured, or imported in the United States. The emitted formaldehyde may be left over from the resin or composite wood making process or be released when the resin degrades in the presence of heat and humidity. This proposal also includes testing requirements, laminated product provisions, product labeling requirements, chain of custody documentation, recordkeeping, a stockpiling prohibition, and enforcement provisions. It also includes a common-sense exemption from some testing and record-keeping requirements for products made with no-added formaldehyde resins.

The second proposal establishes a third-party certification framework designed to ensure that manufacturers of composite wood products meet the TSCA formaldehyde emission standards by having their composite wood products certified though an accredited third-party certifier. It would also establish eligibility requirements and responsibilities for third-party certifier's and the EPA-recognized accreditation bodies who would accredit them. This robust proposed third-party certification program will level the playing field by ensuring composite wood products sold in this country meet the emission standards in the rule regardless of whether they were made in the United States or not.

More on Formaldehyde Proposals:
More on EPA's TSCA Work Plan chemical effort:

Double whammy: China bird flu resistant to Tamiflu, New Novel Corona Virus called ‘threat to the entire world’.

Double whammy virus concerns 

A 'concerning' development: New China bird flu resistant to Tamiflu. And meanwhile we read: New virus called 'threat to the entire world'. Far greater detail on the Novel Corona Virus (NCoV) can be founds here.

lemonsweetie: Let me tell you a thing, about an amazing man...


Let me tell you a thing, about an amazing man named Patrick Stewart

I went to Comicpalooza this weekend and I was full of nervous energy as I was standing in line to ask Sir Patrick Stewart a question at his panel. I first had to thank him for a speech he had given at amnesty international about domestic violence towards women . I had only seen it a few months ago but I was still dealing with my own personal experience with a similar issue, and I didn’t know what to call it. After seeing Patrick talk so personally about it I finally was able to correctly call it abuse, in my case sexual abuse that was going to quickly turn into physical abuse as well. I didn’t feel guilty or disgusting anymore. I finally didn’t feel responsible for the abuse that was put upon me. I was finally able to start my healing process and to put that part of my life behind me.

After thanking him I asked him “Besides acting, what are you most proud of that you have done in you life (that you are willing to share with us)?”. Sir Patrick told us about how he couldn’t protect his mother from abuse in his household growing up and so in her name works with an organization called Refuge for safe houses for women and children to escape from abusive house holds. Sir Patrick Stewart learned only last year that his father had actually been suffering from PTSD after he returned from the military and was never properly treated. In his father’s name he works with an organization called Combat Stress to help those soldiers who are suffering from PTSD.

They were about to move onto the next question when Sir Patrick looked at me and asked me “My Dear, are you okay?” I said yes, and that I was finally able to move on from that part of my life. He then passionately said that it is never the woman’s fault in domestic violence, and how wrong to think that it ever is. That it is in the power of men to stop violence towards women. The moderator then asked “Do you want a hug?”

Sir Patrick didn’t even hesitate, he smiled, hopped off the stage and came over to embrace me in a hug. Which he held me there for a long while. He told me “You never have to go through that again, you’re safe now.” I couldn’t stop thanking him. His embrace was so warm and genuine. It was two people, two strangers, supporting and giving love. And when we pulled away he looked strait in my eyes, like he was promising that. He told me to take care. And I will.

Sir Patrick Stewart is an absolute roll model for men. He is an amazing man and was so kind and full of heart. I want to let everyone know to please find help if you are in a violent or abusive house hold or relationship. There are organizations and people ready to help. I had countless people after the panel thanking me for sharing the story and asking him those questions. Many said they went through similar things. You are not alone.


^ Here is the video of my question to Sir Patrick Stewart

Photos by Eugene Lee, Thank you

Please read full at:WIL WHEATON dot TUMBLR

May 30, 2013

H.R. 981, RARE Act of 2013 - global assessment of rare earth elements #Energy #Markets

H.R. 981 would authorize the appropriation of $10 million for the United States Geological Survey to conduct a global assessment of rare earth elements (a group of elements that are rarely found in high concentrations). Assuming appropriation of the authorized amounts, CBO estimates that implementing the legislation would cost $10 million over the 2014-2016 period.

Please continue reading at:

May 29, 2013

Paint Industry Hosts First Meeting of its Sustainability Workgroup #Sustainable #News

ACA has incorporated the philosophy of sustainability into many of its existing programs and activities, including the highly successful PaintCare® program, its Green Building Workgroup, and the paint and coatings industry's sustainability message. ACA formed the Sustainability Workgroup to address these issues under a single umbrella and to coordinate activities with other ACA committees and workgroups.

The topic of sustainability has been steadily growing in importance, and has quickly become not only a socially and environmentally progressive movement, but also a potentially important economic driver as well. ACA has incorporated the philosophy of sustainability into many of its existing programs and activities, including the highly successful PaintCare® program, its Green Building Workgroup, and the paint and coatings industry's sustainability message. ACA formed the Sustainability Workgroup to address these issues under a single umbrella and to coordinate activities with other ACA committees and workgroups. While sustainability is a broad concept, the workgroup will focus its energies on a set of concrete issues that deliver the most value to the industry.

The ACA Sustainability Workgroup kick-off meeting on May 15 gave the more than 30 attendees the opportunity to discuss the direction of the workgroup and learn more about a wide range of specific issues impacting the paint and coatings industry. The meeting included topics on corporate social responsibility and sustainability reporting, highlighting the need for the membership to consider meaningful and consistent sustainability metrics that are relevant for the paint and coatings industry. The Chief of the U.S. Environmental Protection's (EPA) Design for the Environment (DfE) branch, Clive Davies, joined the meeting to give a background on the DfE program and its safer chemicals label. Green building and sustainable design was another item on the meeting agenda.

Read on at:

Paint Industry Supports Senators Lautenberg and Vitter's Bipartisan Effort to Modernize TSCA

"ACA is pleased that the new legislation takes a balanced, workable approach to chemicals management that will protect the public without impeding innovation or disrupting the flow of goods in commerce," said Andy Doyle, ACA president and CEO. "We remain committed to working with interested stakeholders to help promote TSCA modernization in the Senate."

The Chemical Safety Improvement Act of 2013 is the first bipartisan legislative effort since Sen. Lautenberg first introduced comprehensive TSCA-reform legislation in 2005. The bill has been co-sponsored by more than a dozen Democrats and Republicans.

ACA applauded Senators Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and David Vitter (R-La.) and their fellow co-sponsors on the bipartisan effort to modernize the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) through the May 22 introduction of the Chemical Safety Improvement Act of 2013 (S. 1009).

The Chemical Safety Improvement Act of 2013 is the first bipartisan legislative effort since Sen. Lautenberg first introduced comprehensive TSCA-reform legislation in 2005. The bill has been co-sponsored by more than a dozen Democrats and Republicans, including Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Mark Begich (D-Ala.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Ala.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), and Tom Udall (D-N.M.).

Enacted in 1976, TSCA, which is administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), was designed to protect the public from unreasonable risk of injury to public health or the environment by regulating the manufacture and sale of chemicals. The legislation will require EPA to make safety determinations for chemicals based on intended conditions of use and a risk-based assessment incorporating exposure, hazard, and use information. Of note, the new measure would preempt state and local authorities from banning low priority chemicals or taking certain activities. Establishing stronger federal preemption was a major objective for ACA, as it was absent in previous proposals for TSCA reform. The proposed Chemical Safety Improvement Act of 2013 also offers expansion of justified CBI (confidential business information) protections for information provided by industry on chemical substances, including chemical identity in formulations, another point ACA underscored was a vital component of any TSCA reform measure.


Minnesota is now the fifth state after Oregon, California, Connecticut, and Rhode Island to embrace the PaintCare(R) program - Governor Signs PaintCare(R) Bill

On May 24, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton signed into law a bill that provides for the establishment of ACA's PaintCare® program. Minnesota is now the fifth state after Oregon, California, Connecticut, and Rhode Island to embrace the PaintCare program — the ACA- and industry-conceived platform for the proper and effective management of postconsumer paint. On May 18, the Minnesota legislature approved legislation that would establish the PaintCare program in their state, under House File 976, Omnibus Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Finance and Policy Bill. PaintCare had the support of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and several non-governmental organizations, including various paint producers and independent retailers. Implementation is slated for July 1, 2014.

ACA had actively pushed for passage of the PaintCare program in the state, testifying before the Minnesota House Environment and Natural Resources Policy Committee and Senate Environment and Energy Committee on March 5, in support of HF 865 and SF 639, Architectural Paint; Product Stewardship Program in support of the program. In its testimony, ACA noted that the association, along with its industry, is committed to finding a viable solution to the issue of post-consumer paint, which is often the number one product, by volume and cost, coming into Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) programs. It also pointed to the resounding success of its PaintCare pilot program in Oregon, as well as more than a decade of success of similar programs in Canada.

ACA created PaintCare, a 501(c)(3) organization whose sole purpose is to ensure effective operation and efficient administration of paint product stewardship programs, on behalf of all architectural paint manufacturers in the United States. PaintCare undertakes the responsibility for ensuring an environmentally sound and cost-effective program by developing and implementing strategies to reduce the generation of post-consumer architectural paint; promoting the reuse of post-consumer architectural paint; and providing for the collection, transport, and processing of post-consumer architectural paint using the hierarchy of "reduce, reuse, recycle," and proper disposal.

Free Webinar on #Energy & Materials Flow & Cost Tracker (EMFACT) & New pen Source Code Website #CleanTech #Tech

Launch of EMFACT's Open Source Code Website

Learn About its Potential Uses & Benefits


Date:     Tuesday, June 4, 2013


Time:    1:00 PM – 2:00 PM EDT


Space is limited!
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:



The Energy & Materials Flow & Cost Tracker (EMFACT™) is a software tool to help companies systematically track materials and energy use; releases, discharges, and wastes; and associated costs.  The tool can provide a comprehensive picture of resource use and its relation to production and planning that can help improve both business and environmental performance.


It was developed by the Northeast Waste Management Officials' Association (NEWMOA) and the Massachusetts Office of Technical Assistance (MAOTA). NEWMOA and MA OTA recently launched an open source code site for EMFACT™. The purpose of this webinar is to introduce potential users and software developers to EMFACT, the source code, and the new site; and to discuss ideas for using it. 


Background & Introduction – 10 min

Presenter: Terri Goldberg, Executive Director, NEWMOA


Demonstration of EMFACT's Open Source Code Website – 30 min

Presenter: Andy Bray, Project Manager, NEWMOA


Questions & Discussion – 20 min



After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

Emergency Plan Could Have Saved Lives in TX Plant Explosion #OHS #HazMat #EMS

Angela Griffith : Investigations are still ongoing to determine details on what caused the April 17, 2013 explosion in West, Texas (the subject of a previous blog).  The death toll has risen to at least 14, including 10 emergency workers.  Around 200 are believed to be injured.  The deaths were caused by the explosion of the site AND the proximity of the victims to the site.  The emergency workers were on-site fighting a fire (which was the ignition source of the explosion), but many of those injured had no real reason to be in such a proximity that they would be injured.   

Warning systems and emergency notifications may have resulted in some of the non-emergency response victims getting out of harm's way.  However, warning systems and notifications like those required for other industrial sites including oil refineries and chemical plants are not required at fertilizer plants.  The plant owner did not comment on emergency management plans for the site.  Senator Barbara Boxer of California will attempt to determine if those requirements need to be strengthened. 

However, even if a warning system had provided sufficient protection to keep nearby citizens from harm, the property damage would have been extensive.  Many properties – including homes and schools – nearby were severely damaged in the blast.  This has led some to believe that there should be an enforced geographical buffer between these types of industrial facilities and other types of facilities, like homes and schools.  The mayor of West has suggested that the plant be rebuilt away from populated areas. 

More and more concerns are being raised about the safety of the plant itself – and the safeguards that could have prevented this explosion.  Despite the large amount of potentially explosive ammonium nitrate stored at the plant, the plant did not have a sprinkler system or fire barrier (which may have prevented the fire from igniting the fertilizer).   

Industrial plants such as these are regulated by a host of state and federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  The EPA required a worst-case scenario from the West site, which identified a release from an anhydrous ammonia storage tank.  The risk of fire or explosion, and the storage of ammonium nitrate were not identified in the scenario, provided in 2011.  (The facility was fined in 2006 for not filing its risk management plan.)

Please continue reading "Emergency Plan Could Have Saved Lives in TX Plant Explosion"  by Angela Griffith

Unknown disease that kills in 24 hours kills 100 people in Africa… A disease that causes the victims

investmentwatchblog.comAfrica: unknown disease that kills in 24 hours kills 100 people

An epidemic of an unidentified disease has claimed the lives of over 100 people, mostly children, in the town of Dekin, Benin, since it was detected for the first time a month ago.

Unknown disease kills over 100 children in Benin

COTONOU, May 28 (Xinhua) — More than 100 people, mostly children aged between four to 17, have died in the past four weeks from a disease yet to be scientifically identified in Benin.

The worst-hit area is Dekin of the Dangbo commune, which is situated 50 km southeast of Cotonou, a local private television station reported on Monday.

"In the last four weeks, Dekin has reported over 100 deaths which have been caused by a disease that causes the victims to vomit blood and have strange snoring," the television explained.


REPORT: Chinese Hackers Have Stolen Plans For Pretty Much The Entire US Military

Hackers have accessed designs for more than two dozen major U.S. weapons systems, according to a devastating classified report a Pentagon advisor shared with the Washington Post.

 Although the report from the Defense Science Board did not identify the hackers, senior military and industry officials with knowledge of the breaches say they come primarily from China, according to Ellen Nakashima of the Post.

"This is billions of dollars of combat advantage for China. They've just saved themselves 25 years of research and development. It's nuts," a senior official told the Post.

public version of the report released in January warned of an "existential cyber attack" with "potentially spectacular" effects.

partial list of compromised designs include the F-35 fifth generation fighter jet, the V-22 Osprey, THAAD missile defense, Patriot missile defense, AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile, the Global Hawk high altitude surveillance drone. Hackers also accessed Personally Identifiable Information, including vast quantities of military email addresses, SSN, credit card numbers, and passwords.

Read more:

"Healthy foods actually cost less than unhealthy foods..."

"Healthy foods actually cost less than unhealthy foods..."
Dr. Greger describes how measured on a cost per serving, cost per weight, or cost per nutrition basis, fruits and vegetables beat out meat and junk food. Suggested articles of interest: Who Needs Healthy Food When We Can Eat Cash Wheat: 200 Clinically Confirmed Reasons Not To Eat It The Downside of Healthy and Organic Foods Eat Food You Love, Not Too Much Of It By Yourself.

Please read more here 

May 28, 2013

Sputnik Engineering builds solar-powered solar factory

The sleek rows of windows in the building's recessed oblong front combine with the wood fi...

You'd expect, or at least hope, that members of the solar industry walk the walk when it comes to designing environmentally friendly offices and factories of their own. And though we don't know much about Sputnik Engineering's office and production building at Biel, Switzerland, its designer, Burckhardt+Partner, claims the building's electricity is provided entirely by renewable energy... Continue Reading Sputnik Engineering builds solar-powered solar factory

May 27, 2013

Electric Car Startup 'Better Place' Liquidating After $850 Million Investment

 "Better Place hoped to transform the energy industry with electric cars and battery switching stations. Better Place wanted to make the world a better place by replacing gas stations with battery switching stations that would remove the driving mileage limitations from electric cars and eventually rid the world of fossil-fuel burning vehicles. But after six years and burning through $850 million, the company is filing for liquidation in an Israeli court. As reported by the Associated Press, Better Place's Board of Directors issued a written statement Sunday announcing that the company was winding down."

Today we give praise to the brave who gave us the home of the free #MemorialDay

Some gave their all.... Some gave everything.

Thank you for your bravery and sacrifice.

FDA To Decide Fate of Triclosan, Commonly Used In Antibacterial Soaps

The FDA is finalizing its review of the antibacterial agent triclosan common to many soaps and other health/household products after four decades of use. Recent studies suggest the chemical may be harmful to animals and could interfere with the human immune system along with increasing the proliferation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The agency has been slow to cast a verdict, to much criticism considering its widespread use.

Researchers hurt at Ibaraki nuclear facility | in Particle Accelerator Accident

At least six researchers suffered internal radiation exposure when an experiment involving elementary particles went awry and up to 24 more are feared to have been similarly exposed, the Japan Atomic Energy Agency said Saturday.

Radioactive substances leaked following the accident Thursday in the Hadron Experimental Facility of the Japan Proton Accelerator Research Complex (J-PARC) in Tokai, Ibaraki Prefecture, the government-affiliated agency reported.

Officials from the Ibaraki Prefectural Government raided the complex Saturday afternoon to investigate the delay in reporting the incident. A malfunction occurred at 11:55 a.m. Thursday during an experiment to produce elementary particles by aiming a proton beam at a target made of gold, the agency said.

An alarm went off shortly afterward and the experiment was halted. But a researcher in charge of the equipment restarted it at 12:08 p.m., despite not having pinpointed the cause of the alarm, sources familiar with the investigation said.

As a result, the proton output jumped unexpectedly, causing part of the gold to evaporate and the generation of radioactive substances that leaked out of the controlled area, according to the agency.

Please continue reading at:

US Treasury secretary says he has begun tapping federal retiree pension fund to avoid defaulting on the national debt.

WASHINGTON – Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said late Monday he will begin tapping into two government employee retirement funds to buy more time before the U.S. Treasury is faced with the prospect of defaulting on the national debt.

In a letter to congressional leaders, Lew said that he would tap the civil service retirement and disability fund and a similar fund that covers retired postal workers. The law allows him to remove investments from these funds to clear room for more borrowing until Congress votes to raise the debt limit

Under the law, any investments diverted from the pension funds must be replaced with interest once Congress approves raising the debt limit.

Read more:

May 26, 2013

As Of This Moment Ben Bernanke Owns 30.5% Of The US Treasury Market… And Will Own All By 2018

from Zero Hedge:

What may come as a surprise to most, is that as of this week's H.4.1 update, the amount of ten-year equivalents held by the Fedincreased to $1.583 trillion from $1.576 trillion in the prior week, which reduces the amount available to the private sector to $3.637 trillion from $3.668 trillion in the prior week. And also, thanks to maturities, and purchase by the Fed from the secondary market, there were $5.219 trillion ten-year equivalents outstanding, down from $5.244 trillion in the prior week. What this means simply is that as of this moment, the Fed has, in its possession, a record 30.32% of all outstanding ten year equivalents, or said in plain English: duration-adjusted government bonds. It also means that the amount of bonds left in the hands of the private sector has dropped to a record low 69.68% from 69.95% in the prior week. Finally, the above means that with every passing week, the Fed's creeping takeover of the US bond market absorbs just under 0.3% of all TSY bonds outstanding: a pace which means the Fed will own 45% of all in 2014, 60% in 2015, 75% in 2016 and 90% or so by the end of 2017 (and ifthe US budget deficit is indeed contracting, these targets will be hit far sooner). By the end of 2018 there would be no privately held US treasury paper.

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EPA Makes a Rad Decision that could significantly relax radiation hazard standards in the case of a radiological event

@slashdotThe Environmental Protection Agency released draft guidelines last month that could significantly relax radiation hazard standards in the case of a radiological event in the United States by using risk-based decisions. The goal is to have limits that make sense in an emergency that are different from the limits in day-to-day life. From the article: 'Currently, the only guidance are the extremely strict standards that apply for EPA Superfund sites and nuclear plant decommissioning, which are as low as 0.010–0.025 rem/year, far below the natural background levels in the U.S. of 0.300 rem/year, and even well below the average amount of radioactive materials that Americans eat each year. And these guidelines aren't really different from the 1992 PAG, except in the area of long-term cleanup standards and, perhaps, standards for resettlement. What's the big deal here? As radworkers, we're allowed to get 5 rem/year. 2 rem/year doesn't rate a second thought. ... No one has ever been harmed by 5 rem/year, so setting emergency levels at 2 rem/year is pretty mild and more than reasonable. ... Think of it this way. The situations covered by these new guidelines are similar to someone dying of thirst who has the chance to drink fresh water having 2,000 pCi per gallon of radium in it. While the safe drinking water levels are 20 pCi/gal for Ra, 2,000 pCi/gal is of no threat, especially if you're going to die from imminent dehydration. Of course, a bag of potato chips has 3,500 picocuries, so go figure.'

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Googles @ericschmidt "Teens' Mistakes Will Never Go Away" spoke about the permanence of online presence, and how that will affect kids

Speaking at the Hay Festival in the U.K. this weekend, Google's Eric Schmidt spoke about the permanence of your online presence, and how that will affect kids growing up in an online world. 'We have never had a generation with a full photographic, digital record of what they did. We have a point at which we [Google] forget information we know about you because it is the right thing to do.' He makes the point that a lot of respectable, upstanding adults today had dubious incidents as kids and teenagers. They were able to grow up and move past those events, and society eventually forgot — but today, every notable misdeed is just a Google search away. CNET's coverage points out that 'mistakes' can often be events that put somebody's life on track. 'A word or an act can seem like a mistake when it happens — and even shortly afterward. In years to come, though, you might look back on it and see that, though it created friction and even hurt at the time, it served a higher and more character-forming purpose in the long run.' Of course, it's also true that some mistakes a simply indicators that somebody's a schmuck.

Schmidt also made an interesting comment in an interview with The Telegraph while he was in the U.K. He said, "You have to fight for your privacy, or you will lose it." This is quite different from his infamous 2009 remark: "If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place."

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Everything you need to know about Kinect 2.0 - an Orwellian Nightmare

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Chicago school closings largest in history displacing 40,000 kids.

Diana Ravitch -  Never in U.S. history has a local school board - or any other board, appointed or elected - chosen to close 49 public schools.

That's what the Chicago Public Schools did.

Thousands of parents, students, and teachers objected, but Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his puppet board didn't care.

Yesterday was a day of infamy in Chicago and in the history of American education.

School boards exist to protect, improve, and support public schools, not to kill them.

Rahm Emanuel is ... is wantonly destroying public education. He is punishing the teachers' union for daring to strike last fall. He will open more charter schools, staffed by non-union teachers, to pick up the kids who lost their neighborhood schools. Some of them will be named for the equity investors who fund his campaigns.

Rahm and his friends will laugh about the way he displaced 40,000 kids.
Please continue reading at:

World running out of water

A conference of 500 leading water scientists from around the world has issued a stark warning that, without major reforms, "in the short span of one or two generations, the majority of the 9 billion people on Earth will be living under the handicap of severe pressure on fresh water, an absolutely essential natural resource for which there is no substitute. This handicap will be self-inflicted and is, we believe, entirely avoidable."

From the statement:

After years of observations and a decade of integrative research convened under the Earth System Science Partnership and other initiatives, water scientists are more than ever convinced that fresh water systems across the planet are in a precarious state.

Mismanagement, overuse and climate change pose long-term threats to human well-being, and evaluating and responding to those threats constitutes a major challenge to water researchers and managers alike. Countless millions of individual local human actions add up and reverberate into larger regional, continental and global changes that have drastically changed water flows and storage, impaired water quality, and damaged aquatic ecosystems.

Human activity thus plays a central role in the behavior of the global water system.

Humans typically achieve water security through short-term and often costly engineering solutions, which can create long-lived impacts on social-ecological systems. Faced with a choice of water for short-term economic gain or for the more general health of aquatic ecosystems, society overwhelmingly chooses development, often with deleterious consequences on the very water systems that provide the resource.

67,000 bridges require significant maintenance or repairs

Stateline -  A bridge rated "functionally obsolete" does not meet current design standards for such things as lane width, often because current traffic volumes exceed what was expected when the bridge was built. In other cases, design standards have changed since construction. There are 84,748 bridges functionally obsolete bridges in the country, according to Federal Highway Administration data. Deficient Bridges States with the most structurally deficient bridges:

Pennsylvania, 26.5 percent Oklahoma, 22 percent Iowa, 21.7 percent Rhode Island, 21.6 South Dakota, 20.3

But another federal rating of bridges, "structurally deficient," is worse. They are not necessarily unsafe, but are "characterized by deteriorated conditions of significant bridge elements and potentially reduced load carrying capacity," according to the FHA. There are 66,749 of them in the country, and they require significant maintenance and repair to stay in service.

Hungary Destroys All Monsanto GMO Corn Fields

Hungary has taken a bold stand against biotech giant Monsanto and genetic modification by destroying 1000 acres of maize found to have been grown with genetically modified seeds, according to Hungary deputy state secretary of the Ministry of Rural Development Lajos Bognar. Unlike many European Union countries, Hungary is a nation where genetically modified (GM) seeds are banned. In a similar stance against GM ingredients, Peru has also passed a 10 year ban on GM foods.

Almost 1000 acres of maize found to have been ground with genetically modified seeds have been destroyed throughout Hungary, deputy state secretary of the Ministry of Rural Development Lajos Bognar said. The GMO maize has been ploughed under, said Lajos Bognar, but pollen has not spread from the maize, he added.

Unlike several EU members, GMO seeds are banned in Hungary.

Please continue reading at:

Economic Crisis: Youth Unemployment of Nearly 40% with Suicides linked to economic woes

investmentwatchblog: As a severe recession and unprecedented unemployment sweeps Italy, millions of people are struggling to make ends meet. The number of those receiving food assistance has doubled in the past two years, according to a government report.

The data comes from national statistics institute ISTAT, which published an annual report demonstrating, among other issues, that Italy is witnessing youth unemployment of nearly 40 percent 

Read on:

Suicides linked to economic woes

"The tragedy of Civitanova Marche leaves (me) shocked and speechless," said Pier Luigi Bersani, leader of the center-left Democratic Party that narrowly won the most votes in February's election. "We all have to convince ourselves that, out of the spotlight, there is a real and dramatic social emergency."

"They were people with great dignity," Costamagna told CNN in a phone interview.

He has no doubt that they took their own lives because of their economic difficulties.

Please continue reading at:

Diet soda is as bad for your teeth as meth or CRACK, claim researchers

Bad news, diet coke junkies: gulping down excessive amounts of soda is no longer just bad for your teeth, now it's as bad for your teeth as crystal meth or crack.

That's according to one study, anyway, which found that excessive consumption of soda – even diet soda – can rot your choppers as badly as ingesting two of the most dangerous narcotics on earth.

The good news is it likely takes far more soda than the amount consumed by a normal human being to achieve the same dental devastation as crack or meth.

The study – conducted by Dr. Mohamed Bassiouny, a professor of restorative dentistry at the Temple University School of Dentistry in Philadelphia – references a woman in her 30s who drank two liters of soda a day for nearly five years. According to Bassiouny, she had the same amount of dental damage as a 29-year-old meth user and a 51-year-old crack addict.

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Illinois Illegally Seizes Bees Resistant to Monsanto roundup… kills the queens

The Illinois Ag Dept. illegally seized privately owned bees from renowned naturalist, Terrence Ingram, without providing him with a search warrant and before the court hearing on the matter, reports Prairie Advocate News.
Behind the obvious violations of his Constitutional rights is Monsanto. Ingram was researching Roundup's effects on bees, which he's raised for 58 years. "They ruined 15 years of my research," he told Prairie Advocate, by stealing most of his stock.


Researchers find high-fructose corn syrup may be tied to worldwide collapse of bee colonies

PhysOrg has an article on a paper suggesting high-fructose corn syrup could be a factor in bee colony collapse disorder - Researchers find high-fructose corn syrup may be tied to worldwide collapse of bee colonies.
Since approximately 2006, groups that manage commercial honeybee colonies have been reporting what has become known as colony collapse disorder—whole colonies of bees simply died, of no apparent cause. As time has passed, the disorder has been reported at sites all across the world, even as scientists have been racing to find the cause, and a possible cure. To date, most evidence has implicated pesticides used to kill other insects such as mites. In this new effort, the researchers have found evidence to suggest the real culprit might be high-fructose corn syrup, which beekeepers have been feeding bees as their natural staple, honey, has been taken away from them.

Commercial honeybee enterprises began feeding bees high-fructose corn syrup back in the 70's after research was conducted that indicated that doing so was safe. Since that time, new pesticides have been developed and put into use and over time it appears the bees' immunity response to such compounds may have become compromised.

The researchers aren't suggesting that high-fructose corn syrup is itself toxic to bees, instead, they say their findings indicate that by eating the replacement food instead of honey, the bees are not being exposed to other chemicals that help the bees fight off toxins, such as those found in pesticides.

Specifically, they found that when bees are exposed to the enzyme p-coumaric, their immune system appears stronger—it turns on detoxification genes. P-coumaric is found in pollen walls, not nectar, and makes its way into honey inadvertently via sticking to the legs of bees as they visit flowers. Similarly, the team discovered other compounds found in poplar sap that appear to do much the same thing. It all together adds up to a diet that helps bees fight off toxins, the researchers report. Taking away the honey to sell it, and feeding the bees high-fructose corn syrup instead, they claim, compromises their immune systems, making them more vulnerable to the toxins that are meant to kill other bugs.

TreeHugger reports that the EU is testing if pesticides are to blame for bee population declines by banning suspected pesticides - Europe votes for 2-year ban on pesticides suspected in bee deaths.

...The proof now, of course, will be in the pudding. Will the EU ban, which is expected to be fully implemented by December, result in a recovery of bee populations or at least a slowing of their losses?

Please read full and follow at:

Harnessing the power of our oceans #Renewable #Energy

Peak Energy: I'm not entirely sure if the Australian Government's "Clean Energy Future" venture got some inspiration from this blog - nor am I sure if it will last the year out - however it's nice to see a post on ocean energyon their web site - Give us a wave – harnessing the power of our oceans.
As construction begins on a ground-breaking wave energy project in Perth, a report has been released which emphasises the huge untapped energy potential lying off Australia's coastlines.

According to the Marine Nation 2025 report, released this week, Australia's oceans could produce billions of dollars' worth of clean energy in the form of electricity generated by wave power. The report says an initial assessment has identified world-class wave energy resources along the western and southern coastline, and valuable tidal energy resources in the North West of Australia.

....A CSIRO study released last year revealed that ocean waves have the potential to power a city the size of Melbourne by 2050. CSIRO's Ocean renewable energy: 2015-2050 report said Australia's ocean waves could supply about 10 per cent of Australia's electricity by the middle of this century.

Please read full and follow at:

Inhalable drug delivery provides new approach to lung cancer treatment

The Nanostructured Lipid Carrier (NLC) that can be inhaled to deliver an anticancer drug d...

According to American Cancer Society estimates, lung cancer will account for 27 percent of all US cancer deaths in 2013, making it by far the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women. Part of the problem is getting the toxic chemotherapeutic drugs used to treat the cancer into the lungs. A new drug delivery system aims to overcome this problem by allowing the drugs to be inhaled, thereby delivering the drug where it is needed while reducing the harmful effects to other organs... Continue Reading Inhalable drug delivery provides new approach to lung cancer treatment

May 25, 2013

Curious disparity on the percent of expert and public on global warming #green or #greed

Curious disparity: Scientists say united on global warming, at odds with public view: "(Reuters) - Ninety-seven percent of scientists say global warming is mainly man-made but a wide public belief that experts are divided is making it harder to gain support for policies to curb climate change, an international study showed on Thursday." But then we also read: Peer-Reviewed Survey Finds Majority Of Scientists Skeptical Of Global Warming Crisis. "Only 36 percent of geoscientists and engineers believe that humans are creating a global warming crisis, according to a survey reported in the peer-reviewed Organization Studies." No comments needed.

May. 24 US: Minnesota’s Legislature Proposes Ban on Formaldehyde in Children’s Soaps, Lotions

This article is brought to you by SpecialChem.

Minnesota's legislature took a giant step toward protecting children by banning formaldehyde, a cancer-causing chemical, from children's personal care products like lotions, shampoos, and bubble baths. The ban against the use of formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives would apply to products intended for children under eight. The legislation now moves to the desk of Governor Mark Dayton.

"Minnesota's proposed ban on formaldehyde in children's products is fantastic news for parents in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, but families in the other 49 states also deserve safe products free of cancer-causing chemicals like formaldehyde," said Cindy Luppi with the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and Clean Water Action. "We need Congress to pass the Safe Cosmetics Act that would protect children across America from personal care products made with toxic chemicals linked to serious health disorders and diseases."

Formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives are used in many personal care products, particularly shampoos and lotions, and have been linked to both skin sensitivity and cancer. The European Union restricts the use of formaldehyde in personal care products, and requires that products with formaldehyde or formaldehyde-releasing ingredients carry the label "contains formaldehyde."

For more information and the full article please refer to

A humbling map of real-time wind patterns in... Energy map?

A humbling map of real-time wind patterns in Tornado Alley

"Wind Map" is a stunning interactive datavisualization that presents wind patterns across the continental U.S. in real time. Picture above is what it looked like last night at 10:59 CDT, in the aftermath of yesterday's devastating Oklahoma tornado."

Read more here from io9.

Nearly a million in U.S. live near fertilizer storage sites like one that caused deadly explosion in

The deadly ammonium-nitrate blast that claimed 14 lives, injured more than 200, and caused more than $100 million in property damage at the West Fertilizer plant in Texas is a terrible tragedy that many might think could never happen to them. But the Reuters news service found that at least 800,000 Americans live within one mile of hundreds of storage sites for the potentially explosive chemical, Ryan McNeill and M.B. Pell report.

The Reuters analysis found that sitting within close proximity to the ammonium nitrate are hundreds of schools, 20 hospitals and 13 churches, and 10,000 or more people live within one mile of at least 12 of these facilities. Many of the sites are in rural areas. The data were incomplete, because reporting ammonium-nitrate incidents is voluntary, and some states failed to respond to the news organization's request for data.

"Among those that withheld data was Missouri, which The Fertilizer Institute, an industry association, said is the No. 1 user of ammonium-nitrate fertilizer in the United States. The group said Missouri accounts for 20 percent of the nation's use of the product." (Read more) An interactive map of known facilities with ammonium nitrate can be viewed here; below is a screen shot of the map focused on the Arkansas-Tennesee border, with Missouri's omission indicated:
We wrote about West Fertilizer here and about how ammonium nitrate is banned in some countries here.

W. Va. students growing food for school cafeteria

Nine-year-olds Isaac Seabolt and Emily Glandon
collect onions and carrots at George Washington
Elementary in Eleanor. (Kenny Kemp/Gazette)
Around the country it is becoming more common for students of all ages to learn about agriculture by using greenhouses, allowing them to grow food that will be served in their own cafeterias. Students at George Washington Elementary School in Eleanor, W.Va., between Charleston and Huntington, have found a unique way to learn about foods by using a "high tunnel, a type of temporary greenhouse made of polyethylene that holds heat from the sun," reports Lydia Nuzum for The Charleston Gazette.

The project is the first of its kind in the county, according to Chuck Talbot, the agriculture and natural resources extension agent for Putnam County, who "hopes the hands-on experience will spark a greater interest in learning and health with the children," reports Nuzum.

The program, through a grant by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is one of several programs the school is using to stimulate the children through interactive learning. Principal Mary Beth Myers told Nuzum, "It's not sitting still and doing something out of a book. It is active learning. The students are always excited, and they're very engaged." (Read more)

May 24, 2013

National Meeting on Environmental Compliance Assurance & Performance Measurement Strategies June 19 & 20 at EPA

The list of participating state and local governments keeps growing – please join us!


Alaska DEC – Arizona DEQ – Colorado DPHE - Maryland DE – Massachusetts DEP – Minnesota PCA – Nebraska DEQ - New Hampshire DES – Northwest Clean Air Agency - Oklahoma DEQ - Orange County, Florida – Pennsylvania SBDC - Rhode Island DEM - South Dakota DENR – Vermont DEC - Washington State DOE – Washington, DC - Wisconsin DNR


We've also added an optional free training opportunity to the end of the meeting - Introduction to Advanced Data Visualization


The objectives of the National Meeting on Environmental Compliance Assurance & Performance Measurement Strategies

(June 19 & 20 in Arlington, VA) are to:

  • bring state, tribal, and federal programs together to share information and results
  • discuss compliance assurance approaches and their effectiveness
  • identify next steps for the States ERP Consortium


See below for details…


National Meeting on Environmental Compliance Assurance


& Performance Measurement Strategies



June 19 & 20, 2013

EPA Offices at Potomac Yard North

Arlington, Virginia


For More Information



Join the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS

), the Northeast Waste Management Officials' Association (NEWMOA
) and the States ERP Consortium
 to learn about the results of environmental compliance assurance strategies that states been implementing for various business sectors.


The objectives of the National Meeting on Environmental Compliance Assurance & Performance Measurement Strategies are to:

  • bring state, tribal, and federal programs together to share information and results
  • discuss compliance assurance approaches and their effectiveness
  • identify next steps for the States ERP Consortium


The agenda includes time for Q&A, in-depth discussion, and strategy development.


At the end of the meeting an optional free training opportunity is also available - Introduction to Advanced Data Visualization that covers:

  • Benefits of visual analysis of data
  • Advanced techniques for effective graphs
  • Examples

Note:  there is a $50 meeting fee that covers the cost of food.








Travel Information



Please join us in June and spread the word!



* A webinar option is available if you cannot travel – please contact Jennifer Griffith at NEWMOA to request webinar registration information.


For more information about the meeting and logistics, contact Jennifer Griffith at

Ford Made 40+ MPG minivans and micro cars over 25 years ago... yep 25 year later and where are we?

1990 Ford Zig (Ghia) Together, Zig and Zag – both based on Fiesta architecture – were envisioned as a potential system of sports cars, hatchbacks, sedans, pickups and delivery vans employing a shared lower door and body panels.


1984 Ford Aerostar

1983 Ford Trio (Ghia)


CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report #OHS #Safety #Health

May 24, 2013 / Vol. 62 / No. 20 

Download .pdf document of this issue 
CE Available

May 23, 2013

Amphibian creatures disappearing faster than thought

Baltimore Sun -  A new study finds frogs, toads and salamanders disappearing at an alarming rate across the United States.

In what they say is the first analysis of its kind, scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey and a couple of universities report that declines in environmentally sensitive amphibians are more widespread and more severe than previously thought. Even the most common critters, such as the spring peepers that make Maryland marshes ring with their mating cries, appear to be losing ground.

What's more, they also seem to be vanishing from ponds, streams, wetlands and other supposedly protected habitat in national parks and wildlife refuges.

If the trend continues, the researchers say, some of the rarer amphibians could disappear in as few as six years from roughly half the sites where they're now found, while the more common species could see similar declines in 26 years.

Researchers have known for some time that some frog, toad and salamander species were in trouble, but until now they hadn't developed a broad national picture of how fast they were disappearing.