Archive for January 9, 2012

Smog in China Is So Bad, Highways Are Closing

I just got these two tweets from China:

And then I did the Google:

Smog, commonly referred to as “fog” by the propagandistic Chinese government, is reeking havoc in China:

(December 7, 2011)  Whether it’s fog or smog, thousands of people have been delayed during the last few days by the almost-opaque air around Beijing Capital International Airport.

The delays since Sunday evening at one of the busiest, most modern airports in the world raise questions about whether air pollution in China has gotten bad enough to derail the country’s economic growth. Nearly 1,000 flights have been canceled and 10 highways in northern China had to be closed due to lack of visibility.

Wow!

Chinese authorities say the murk is fog, purely a weather phenomenon, acknowledging only that there was “light pollution.” The U.S. Embassy in Beijing, which has its own air monitor on the roof, however, reported Sunday night that the index of fine particulate matter had soared to 522 micrograms per cubic meter, which is off the charts. (A reading between 300 and 500 is considered “hazardous.”)

Beijingers bought more than 20,000 face masks on Taobao, a shopping site; and people took to the Internet to mock their government’s reporting of air quality.

“They are treating citizens as idiots,” complained a young man on Sina Weibo, a Twitter-like microblog. A middle-aged man wrote sarcastically, “The city looks like a fairyland but thanks to the government, it is only ‘slight pollution.'”

The poor air quality Tuesday resulted in the cancellation of more than 370 flights. The U.S. Embassy monitor reported the particulate matter as “very unhealthy.”

The life the Chinese are living is brought to you by a government that is bent on development and growth, sans regulation.  This is what the Republicans want to bring to the US of A.  I.e., give corporations free rein to do whatever they want because that CREATE JOBS.  Yeah, so we have (low paying) jobs but then what? We’re can’t take our kids outside, walk the dog or grow veggies in the garden, and we die of emphysema or heart failure on our day off.

Oh, and again, ain’t it great that our “liberal media” seems to have gone into 27/7 campaign coverage mode (due to last until November) so we conveniently don’t hear about things like this?  And, as usual, any “news” that occurs outside the literal borders of the United States isn’t covered. What a disastrous combo.

January 9, 2012 at 7:51 PM Leave a comment

Rolls Royce Sets 107-Year Sales Record

Ah yes, the 1%ers are doing very, very well indeed:

Rolls Royce Reports Most Sales Ever

Rolls Royce has reported its highest annual sales in its 107-year history for 2011.

The UK-based car company was successful at home, but its foreign market has grown considerably.

Customers in the Middle East are buying up the ultra-luxurious cars, and Saudi Arabia is the company’s fifth largest market, followed by the United Arab Emirates at fourth.

(Via.)

Here’s more:

The UAE and Saudi Arabia were the fourth and fifth biggest markets for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars in 2011, the luxury vehicle maker said on Monday.

The company revealed record sales results for 2011 with a total of 3,538 cars sold globally, a 31 percent increase on the 2010 total of 2,711 cars.

The figure represents the best sales result in the company’s 107-year history; the previous record of 3,347 cars having been set in 1978 during the Silver Shadow II era.

Sales figures for the Middle East rose by 23 percent in the past year, the company said in a statement, adding that the UAE registered 32 percent growth.

Globally, China and the United States were the most significant individual markets for Rolls-Royce.

January 9, 2012 at 5:40 PM Leave a comment

Make Life Easier!

It’s break time!

Check out these 25 tips to make life easier, more organized and to turn some items you thought had only one use into items with two or three uses.  There are some very, very clever suggestions here.

Some examples:

Pump up the volume by placing your iPhone / iPod in a bowl – the concave shape amplifies the music.

Re-use a wet-wipes container to store plastic bags.

Look up! Use wire to make a space to store gift wrap rolls against the ceiling, rather than cluttering up the floor.

January 9, 2012 at 4:28 PM Leave a comment

Atrocious Racism in Gwinnett County, GA School District

What kind of a person would come up with this, much less put it on paper and distribute it to elementary school kids?

(Image via.)

Gwinnett County parents and activists have blasted the school district’s response following reports that students at a Norcross elementary school received a math worksheet that used examples of slavery in word problems.

School district officials said the principal at Beaver Ridge Elementary School will personally work with teachers to come up with more appropriate lessons and will offer more opportunities for staff development following the uproar created by the worksheet that included questions such as the following: “Each tree had 56 oranges. If 8 slaves pick them equally, then how much would each slave pick?” and “If Frederick got two beatings per day, how many beatings did he get in 1 week?”

More…

Ugh.  Those poor kids.  No wonder their parents are outraged. They have every right to be.

What an awful story.

Deep, deep racism is alive and well in the U.S. of A.

 

 

January 9, 2012 at 3:24 PM 4 comments

Todd Palin Endorses Newt

I would think Todd would be more of a Santorum fan:

UPDATE:

Rachel Maddow just reminded me that Todd was supposed to be the First Dude.  So the former First Dude, who has been banished to Siberia Alaska, endorsed Gingrich, the wannabe dude who was banished by the House.

Gawd.  Are we living in crazyland or what?

January 9, 2012 at 1:55 PM Leave a comment

Can You Imagine a President Romney Doing This?

Actions speak louder than words:

(Via.)

January 9, 2012 at 1:47 PM Leave a comment

Lots of Bad News Out There About the Climate Today

Geez, I’ve come across four articles this morning that are pretty alarming when it comes to the climate:

Remarkably dry and warm winter due to record extreme jet stream configuration
Flowers are sprouting in January in New Hampshire, the Sierra Mountains in California are nearly snow-free, and lakes in much of Michigan still have not frozen. It’s 2012, and the new year is ringing in another ridiculously wacky winter for the U.S. In Fargo, North Dakota yesterday, the mercury soared to 55°F, breaking a 1908 record for warmest January day in recorded history. More than 99% of North Dakota had no snow on the ground this morning, and over 95% of the country that normally has snow at this time of year had below-average snow cover. High temperatures in Nebraska yesterday were in the 60s, more than 30° above average. Storm activity has been almost nil over the past week over the entire U.S., with the jet stream bottled up far to the north in Canada. It has been remarkable to look at the radar display day after day and see virtually no echoes, and it is very likely that this has been the driest first week of January in U.S. recorded history.

Peak Maple: Climate Change Wants to Ruin Your Pancakes

For many of us, climate change is an abstract topic, as tedious as a droning Al Gore lecture complete with wonky charts.

But not if you’re a maple farmer in New England. The region has long provided a robust ecological niche for maple trees. But just a few decades of steadily warming weather has changed all that. Once-flourishing trees are shedding leaves too early in the season and producing sub-par sap.

Summer in winter means hard times at Tahoe

It’s summertime at Lake Tahoe.

The calendar doesn’t show it. But just about everything else does – and that’s not good for most people trying to make a buck up here.

Lines are out the door at ice cream shops, the miniature-golf course is bustling, and mountain bikers are tearing up and down the parched mountainsides under balmy skies.

Nowhere, however – at least from the shoreline – can you see snow.

Snow drought forces Colorado to face frightening new climate-change reality

Just a year after record snowfall throughout much of the Rocky Mountain West, the region is locked in a snow drought not seen since Jimmy Carter surrendered the White House to Ronald Reagan in the early 1980s.

“We have had some very unusual weather so far this season,” Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz said Friday. “For the first time in 30 years, a lack of snow has not allowed us to open the back bowls in Vail as of January 6, 2012, and, for the first time since the late 1800s, it did not snow at all in Tahoe in December.”

[...]

“[The drought] will make the beetle epidemic even more severe,” said state Sen. Gail Schwartz, a Snowmass Democrat who’s introducing a bill in the legislative session starting Wednesday that’s aimed at reducing the fire danger from a mountain pine bark beetle epidemic that has killed millions of acres of Colorado lodgepole pines. “What doesn’t burn down will blow down.”

Gee.  Thank goodness it’s an election year.  The “liberal media” can ignore all this and bring us 24/7 primary coverage instead.

January 9, 2012 at 12:27 PM Leave a comment

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