Watering Hole: Monday, January 30, 2012 – Micro Plastics

Many of our clothes and other household items that need washing such as dish cloths and towels, contain plastic fibers woven in with natural fibers.  These micro plastic fibers break free in the washing machine and enter our water systems.  This is the main source of micro plastic pollution.

There are also nano plastics.  These can be found in cosmetics and toothpaste.

This is our Open Thread.  Speak Up!

More below…

If you have the time, here is a presentation by Julie Masura from the University of Washington, Tacoma.  This is very informative.

Here’s a link to an interview from Radio Times.


190 thoughts on “Watering Hole: Monday, January 30, 2012 – Micro Plastics

  1. I finally got to watch Meet the Press, this morning on MSNBC. Gregory noted at the end of the first segment, with McCain and Thompson, that McCain has tied Bob Dole for the record number of appearances on MtP. So it’s not our imagination, he really has been on more than anyone else.

    I thought David Axelrod did better than usual, articulating very well the stark differences in Obama and Romney on what needs to happen in the next four years.

    MtP showed the total Florida ad spending of Romney’s campaign at $15.7 million, while Gingrich’s campaign has spent only $3.9 million. When the spending started, Gingrich was ahead, and now he’s behind by double digits.

  2. All of my life, one of my hobbies has been surf fishing.
    You find a lot of stuff that washes up on the beach.
    Some of it is cool flotsam however most of it is trash that never breaks down.
    On the east coast, the trash on the beach is rampant.
    When the winds and the currents come together just right (which is often)
    Huge rafts of seaweed and plastic garbage wash up on shore.
    I have noticed a trend in the debris.
    Cruise ships sweep spent shotgun shells off the back deck.
    I see a lot of shotgun shells.
    Mylar balloons, these things never break down or decay.
    Countless sports drink bottles, these things will be here when the dinosaurs return.
    Urban tumbleweeds in the surf line. (You know the plastic bags you get at the market)
    Sea turtles mistake these for jellyfish and starve to death after they bloat from eating one.
    Plastic that has not been engineered to break down is a long term curse of our convenience culture.
    Welcome to plastic beach. We are happy landfill

    • The beaches here on the Oregon coast are remarkably clean, comparatively.
      Last winter on the Gulf of Mexico was horrifying. Plastic bits and pieces are visibly deposited 12 to 14 feet deep in the sand layers, and that is just what is visible.
      The notion of micro-fibers is very disturbing. That can’t be seen, and if it’s collecting in organisms large and small, this is not good.

  3. Sometimes it’s not micro-plastic. I captured this from my trip up north last month. The wind was blowing plastic bags from a dump into the woods.

    • If our government would legalize growing hemp, we could build a whole industry and create jobs by substituting hemp made items for most of the plastic items that we use.

      • That would make the paper lobby that bought al of those representatives very very very angry.
        Study the history of why it really isn’t legal.
        Has nothing to do getting high and listening to Miles Davis.

        • Industrial hemp does not make a person get high. It’s a different plant. Yeah, I know the sad truth about why this is illegal. We need to pressure Congress. We are the 99% and we need to remind Congress that we vote. There is also a need for courageous people to run for office. Politics is a mean and nasty business.

          • When I was a lad, the small S. Minnesota town in which I grew up had an abandoned “factory” of sorts just outside of town. There were two large quonset-style building, a very tall brick chimney, and a small office building. It was known locally as the Hemp Plant because, during the Second World War, it processed locally-grown hemp into rope and whatever else could be made from hemp to contribute to the war effort. No one ever had a problem with any aspect of what had gone before, and I never once heard a word about hemp being aka marijuana or anything else.

            Then something changed, and all of a sudden ‘hemp’ is the dirtiest of dirty words, and for no reason whatsoever. The whack jobs are winning.

    • I’ve e-mailed the link of the video to the Mayor of Superior, Wisconsin. We’ll see what kind of response I get, if any.

  4. Human garbage will persist and contaminate the planet for centuries, maybe millennia after the species extincts itself. Quite the legacy for a (self-defined, obviously) “intelligent” species.

  5. I think I’m almost back to normal. Everyone’s gone home or back to school and work and this is the first day I’ve been home alone. Best of all, I can walk! I’ve ditched the cane and gone free range. Now I plan to just use the cane to wave about while I berate drivers who park in handicapped spaces without a permit.
    My ISP decided about a year ago that I don’t deserve enough bandwidth to watch videos. Can someone tell me, am I drinking these freaking microplastic fibers in my water? I am not ok with that.

    • What? PrickyManonDog is a hypocrite? Lawdy, what’s next? Gingrich has been unfaithful? Poor sloppy Republican’ts…

  6. Not that House needs a reminder:

    Jennifer Granholm’s New Current TV Show Will Be ‘Fair’ But Not ‘Balanced’

    Granholm, Michigan’s first female governor, has described The War Room as a program that liberals will love, independents will appreciate and conservatives will hate.


    Elizabeth Warren will be a guest on The War Room Monday night

    • This may be unconstitutional unless it is part of a sociology course where various religions and cultures are being studied. If it is just a bible, then it is illegal. This same crap is happening in Pennsylvania.

      • I took “Comparative Religions” waaaaaay back when I was in high school but I don’t see anything to suggest that’s what the SD legislature has resolved. It sounds like they are after a course that implies all of Western civilization is based on the Buybull.

    • Hickey, a pastor in Sioux Falls, SD, insists that he only wants to promote the scholarly value of the Bible. “I have a concern that we’re raising a generation of kids who can’t quote anything beyond Sponge Bob,” Hickey said, adding that the Christian holy book has permeated Western society in a way that other sacred texts have not.

      I can quote the Bible:

      “Jesus wept.”

    • If can correctly recall and understand previous SCOTUS rulings, students are allowed to use school property to conduct their own Bible-study groups, but I don;t think teachers are allowed to run the classes.

      If they are indeed studying the Bible, and only the Bible (which one, BTW?), then it would violate the 14th Amendment, which guarantees that the citizens of each state shall enjoy the rights of the citizens of the several states (meaning the whole country), which would mean that the 1st Amendment applies to the States, too (in that they can’t do what the Congress can’t do.)

      But I will happily accept our resident legal scholar’s corrections to my interpretations. He knows more than I about the subject. 🙂

      • In PA, the Year of the Bible resolution supports a previous resolution that explicitly denotes the King James version. So here’s giving the finger to the Catholics.

    • Screw sacred texts. What’s wrong with Shakespeare, Plutarch, Cicero, Plato, Dante, Voltaire, and the Greek tragedies and comedies? All of them are superior to any mere sacred text when one wants to study the roots of Western civilization.

      • I was thinking of some of these, but more along the lines of Eastern thought. Texts that looked at reason and philosophy.
        The bible, other than the words of Jesus and a few old testament sages, is nothing more than a historical chronicle of a war faring tribe of sheepherders who got it into their heads that they were gods chosen people. Hell, every culture thought they were gods chosen people. Whether they had one god or a dozen. The bible is singular in that it has been used to a greater extent than any other to cram down the throats of invaded and conquered humans worldwide, with the threat of convert or die, and oh by the way, you will also be worked to death even if you do convert.

        • Absolutely. I didn’t mean to ignore Eastern civilization but, since the Buybull is being billed as the foundation of Western civilization, I was just offering what are better teaching tools IMO.

          • Understood.
            Good teaching tools are dangerous to the emperors and their robber barons, hence their relative unpopularity.

          • I’d be interested in a course that actually tried to tie the Bible to civilization — or actually proved pretty much the opposite. No wonder Jesus wept, considering how little influence he has really had on civilization. A nation built on the Gospels? Show me one.

      • Don’t forget Mein Kampf. As Hitler put it,

        “If we pursue this way, if we are decent, industrious, and honest, if we so loyally and truly fulfill our duty, then it is my conviction that in the future as in the past the Lord God will always help us.” ~ Adolf Hitler, at the Harvest Thanksgiving Festival on the Buckeburg held on 3 Oct. 1937

    • It’s interesting the the most sacred text in Western society was compiled and edited to at the demand of a Roman Emperor to bolster his political agenda some 400 years after the ‘divine intervention’.

      • And some 200 years after that Mohammed came up with the Koran to try to deal with the past few centuries of oppression.

        • And what kind of idiot thinks it’s a good idea to give the little monsters instructions regarding who they should stone or burn at the stake?

    • In my day, they did. Late 60s, early 70s, exploration of the Vedas, Zen, all sorts of non-Western spirituality was very popular. Probably not in Kansas or Alabama, but at least on the Left Coast it was.

      • I was just a little too old to get the Eastern philosophies but did receive a heavy dose of “the classics”. I wore out two copies of The Odyssey before I graduated high school.

  7. Hahahahahahaha! The Muppets strike back.

    “It’s a funny thing- they were concerned about us having some prejudice against oil companies and that I can tell you is categorically not true. And besides if we had a problem with oil companies why would we drive in around the whole film in a gas-guzzling Rolls Royce?” Kermit asked.

    “That’s almost as laughable as accusing Fox News..you know…of being news,” Ms. Piggy said.


    • From the link: It is unclear who Gingrich would rather have moderate debates.

      He did say “no reporters”. Obviously he would love anyone from Faux News because, well, because they aren’t reporters. This whole “the media is in the tank for Obama” is the usual horseshit. Reagan, yes, they were definitely in the tank for Reagan. And early on for Dubya. Obama? Fat chance.

    • And yet? They still think two guys from California getting married will hurt them. I guess the magic underwear only goes so far in its level of protection.

  8. Weird weather.

    The official numbers aren’t out yet but it looks like we here in Minnesota will have more days with a temp above 40 degrees than days below 20 degrees during the month of January. That’s not just unusual, it’s unprecedented. It also looks like we will set a record for people and vehicles falling through the ice on lakes despite the fact that we smart people just aren’t venturing out on said ice.

    • They should have used the William Tell Overture. – No copyright problems and Newt could ride his hobby-horse to the stage.

      That would fit his maturity as well.

  9. QOTD:

    “The language of GOP racial politics is heavy on euphemisms that allow the speaker to deny any responsibility for the racial content of his message. The code words in this game are ‘entitlement society’ — as used by Mitt Romney — and ‘poor work ethic’ and ‘food stamp president’ — as used by Newt Gingrich. References to a lack of respect for the ‘Founding Fathers’ and the ‘Constitution’ also make certain ears perk up by demonizing anyone supposedly threatening core ‘old-fashioned American values,'” – Juan Williams, getting uppity with his Fox overlords and not backing down from the question he posed to Newt Gingrich.

  10. Republican terriers try to turn bark into bite by taking Keystone decision away from President Obama

    What is it about Republicans that makes them not give a shit that by their actions they’re doing their very best to destroy the biosphere, to extinct the human species (among myriad others), all for the sake of money and political power?

    Hmmh. I’m thinking the answer to the question is embedded in it.

    If those bastards manage to get such silliness all the way to Obama’s desk for signature, I hope he smacks them with balls of brass as he explains to them into which hole they can stuff their greed.

    • ‘Republican terrier’ is an oxymoron. Terriers are rat catchers. Republicans are rats, ergo, they cannot be terriers!

    • After Tuesday, it will be mathematically impossible for someone else to enter the GOP race and win the 1144 delegates needed for the nomination.

  11. I would like to have a real-time blood pressure monitor. I would like to see what it is as I’m sitting nicely in the kitchen. Then I’d like to see how high it spikes when I open the cable bill. Then I’d see how high it goes by the time I’m talking to my fifth different person at the cable company.

    It did end well; I threatened to downgrade and/or discontinue my service, and then they magically pulled a pretty good deal out of their pocket? Of course it makes me wonder; how long have I been over paying?

    • I once had one of those – it measured heart beat, abnormal blood pressure, abnormal EKG and body temperature. I wore the thing for four weeks and it seemed to indicate that I had the constitution of T-Bone The Evil Rabbit (Think Bugs Bunny). You know I have a thing about penguins!

  12. Apologies if this was already posted, but it’s worth repeating. A great piece by Eric Bohlert about how Fox is ruining the GOP.

    As Andrew Sullivan noted this week, the current GOP “purges dissidents, it vaunts total loyalty, it polices discourse for any deviation.” That sounds a lot like Fox News.

    Sounds more like the Stalinists and the Nazis to me.

    • That reminds me, my future-ex has a new pet, called a dagu. They are found in Chile. Somehow it wound up at the pet store, maybe given away by a customer who couldn’t keep it. It’s a pretty friendly little critter, kind of like a chinchilla (she has three of those).

      • A friend of mine had a pet rabbit with a bad attitude. The dang thing would take a dislike to a person, for whatever unknown reason, and would run up and kick the invader and then chew on his/her shoes. It also dominated his rottweiler puppy until said puppy was about 8 months old and realized that she was a carnivore and the rabbit was not. No blood was shed but the balance of power made an abrupt switch.

  13. Liz says she’s spending a lot more time in cafes and bars than she ever did before. (Talking to potential supporters, of course. )

    • Liz – oh aren’t you on a familiar footing with the Progressive women!
      What does Jen have to say about that? =;>

  14. Janet Howell, Virginia State Senator, Attaches Rectal Exam Amendment To Anti-Abortion Bill

    To protest a bill that would require women to undergo an ultrasound before having an abortion, Virginia State Sen. Janet Howell (D-Fairfax) on Monday attached an amendment that would require men to have a rectal exam and a cardiac stress test before obtaining a prescription for erectile dysfunction medication.

      • Maybe just a teeny bit harsh but the clod deserves it. He’s been running around bragging that her life was saved because of his direct line to God and that just makes me sick. She was saved by the same professional medical care that he would deny to anyone who isn’t wealthy enough to afford it. Now that’s harsh!

        As for dropping out of the race? I think his 5%, 4th place, finish in Florida should take care of that. Although, I suppose it’s possible that he will be able to beg enough funds to stick around just in case the freaks wake up and realize that Newt, despite being “Not Romney”, is just not a viable candidate.

        • That reminds me of an acquaintance back in Idaho, his name is Linn.

          His little grandson had fallen into his parents’ the backyard pool, and was blue and lifeless when they pulled him out. The paramedics got there in about a heartbeat, and worked hard to get him going again. Thank goodness, it worked.

          Linn came into my office and was telling me all about the terrifying events, praising God throughout the story. I said something to the effect of “thank goodness the paramedics got there so quickly,” and by his response, I thought he was going to come over the desk and throttle me. He said, “No! It was all of us praying so hard to God that did it!”

          It took a mighty effort not to say, “Then why did you bother calling them?”

    • I’m happy the little kid is ok, she’ll be happy her fundy dad isn’t so fundy that he didn’t 100% trust in ‘the Lord’ and took her to hospital.

      I’m sad the poor little sod has to suffer at least 15 more years of mumbo-jumbo brainwashing by her parents…..

  15. Caboose the Beautiful Gorilla signing in to primp and beat the shit out of something other than my chest.

  16. I’ve been listening to the Ed Show online, and has anyone noticed that Newt, the self-proclaimed intellectual, pronounces “liberal” as “librul?”

    Playing to the lowest common denominator?

  17. I once saw an albino California Boa Constrictor eating a banana slug. Immediately I stopped eating okra.

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