The Watering Hole: Tuesday June 17, 2014 – Environmental News and Food Politics

The good news –

Broccoli sprouts are better for you than broccoli

The bad news –

Chemical farming is bad for the atmosphere.

Open thread. Discuss.


43 thoughts on “The Watering Hole: Tuesday June 17, 2014 – Environmental News and Food Politics

  1. I’ve got a question for you Wayne.
    While I enjoy watching Cosmos hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson.
    I couldn’t help but ask myself.
    Am I the only one who has wondered how he has achieved gravity in his elliptical shaped space cruiser and why are there no vectoring mechanisms for the thrust, pitch, roll and yaw axes of the spacecraft?
    Internal gyroscopes perhaps?
    He should be weightless and stuff could be mounted anywhere in the craft instead of just the floor.
    Why is the spacecraft always depicted being oriented to the polar north and south of earth when there is no up and down in space?

    • Since we refuse to waste time and money with a cable subscription, and since NdGT’s “Cosmos” isn’t yet available for streaming, I simply have to presume that the same space cruiser gravity technology was used in Cosmos as was used on the Starship Enterprise. I always wondered how come no one ever simply floated around, way “up” there in all those z.g. vastnesses.

    • Well, not to put too fine point on it, but it is called the ‘ship of the imagination’

      • Okaaaaaay…

        I didn’t know that.
        Perhaps I should pay better attention.
        My bad

    • These craft are all very pedestrian.
      Mine, for example, consists of simply a blue field. It can expand and contract as I wish, from a nearly invisible thin film around my body (I look like I’m slightly cold) to a stadium sized bubble of any shape; depending on the needs of the moment, and how many guests I am expecting for dinner, overnight or an extended vacation. Powered by anything and everything and able to convert everything into anything, there are a few parameters with regards to travel. No spaces smaller than I can physically occupy, and no black holes. Stellar cores once in awhile, but if you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all.

    • Bmm is right – ‘ship of the imagination’, so we can only imagine how he controls it. It must use mind control because he never even makes a gesture that some sensor could pick up and interpret.

      As for your last point, this has always bugged me about sci-fi shows and movies, and Star Trek in particular (as much as I love Star Trek.) There is no logical reason why all ships flying within our solar system have to fly parallel with the orbital planes of the planets. None.

      When the Borg came to attack Earth in “Best of Both Worlds”, they flew through our solar system and delayed their arrival at our planet, instead of flying parallel to our solar system and dropping down (or popping up) right next to Earth. Could have saved them the dramatic 20 extra minutes.

      If the aliens in Independence Day had flown toward the Earth from “below” (“above”?) Antarctica, they could have taken over the planet before anyone knew they were there.

      • Indeed. The “ship of the imagination” isn’t supposed to represent anything real. It’s just a vehicle that takes us places real vehicles can’t go and, in the context of the show, it needn’t operate by any known laws and it’s operation isn’t even mentioned. It would be more accurate if it traveled in straight lines without regard to the galactic pane but I can live with that. But? Don’t get me started about space travel in movies and on TV.

        Very few representations in the media obey any of the laws of physics and/or orbital mechanics. I think the ones that bother me most are those that have their “space ships” banking in order to make turns just like airplanes in the atmosphere. Airplanes operate under the rules of fluid dynamics while space ships, the real ones, operate under the rules of mass, momentum, and sometimes gravity. The only way that any object in space can follow a curved path is if it is orbiting a celestial body.

  2. Srsly, WTF? GOP?

    Yet they’ll gladly support a third Bush — which actually could mean Jeb or Hillary.

    • That’s Michael Steele in the squirrel suit. He had to wear a disguise to get back into the party.

  3. General Wes Clark has a book out, so he’s doing the talk shows to promote it. This is a bit long, but it really shows the beltway mindset as to why we have to intervene in Iraq. I was especially interested when he brought up how we have to protect the oil companies’ interests so oil won’t go to $150 a barrel and crash our economy. Maybe if it’s that fragile a market, converting to renewables would make sense security-wise?

    • The sooner “converting to renewables” defines the demise of the global oil industry, the better off the planet and everything on it will be (well, ‘cept for Exxon-Mobil and the rest of Carbon’s partners in crime, of course).

    • At work so I can’t listen to the interview, but it’s a false premise that a disruption in supply would be catastrophic. The problem isn’t the supply, it’s the refining. There are ships full of oil sitting off our coasts waiting for a chance to get into a refinery. If the oil companies would stop thinking short-term profits and start thinking long term, they could upgrade the existing oil refineries (they don’t need to build all new ones), and a temporary disruption in the oil supply wouldn’t matter, because any oil purchased at that time would still have to wait to get refined. But because they would only make $44 billion instead of $45 billion in profits, they won’t do it.

    • If we run out of gasoline? Life will go on with cars that use batteries or an alternative fuel. If we run out of plastic and the myriad other useful products made from petroleum? Modern civilization as we know it would crash to a halt.

      Given this premise; is it not insane to continue turning our precious petroleum into heat and noise, which will exhaust the supply in decades, when we could continue producing plastic for centuries if not millennia?

        • Yes and no. There’s a lot of good stuff that can be made out of petroleum without releasing carbon and/or toxins into the environment. And? I’m not a big fan of using food crops for industrial materials. Still, whether we use it for other purposes or not, it’s madness to continue the unfettered use of petroleum as fuel.

  4. Sooo…they’ve captured this Benghazi terrorist. Took long enough. Wonder how much sooner they could have got him if the GOP had shut the hell up, let the the CIA continue their misinformation campaign on US TV, and lulled the bad guys into a false sense of security?

      • He’s admitted the anti-Islam video on Youtube motivated the attack. Issa won’t want to get near him now!

  5. QOTD:

    “Leadership jobs demand lots of extra travel that I don’t want to do” – Paul Ryan, when asked why he didn’t pursue House leadership.

    • So as President he would spend time between the White House and somewhere not too far away? Last I checked, the President travels quite a bit. At least the current one does. Is Paul allowed in other countries?

      • That raises an interesting point. Is he too lazy to travel or just too cowardly to venture into territory where he might not be worshiped?

        • I think it really means he doesn’t want to be real leader. He would LOOOOOVVVVEEEE to be President in the same why Uncourious George was. He is just waiting for the Koch brothers to find him his very own Dick.

  6. The Repubs deception – the only way they know how to ‘win’:

    The grandson of labor leader Cesar Chavez is set for a courtroom showdown Tuesday with the Phoenix name-changing candidate Cesar Chavez.

    The case, brought by Alejandro Chavez, the leader’s grandson, seeks to remove from the ballot the former Republican who legally changed his name from Scott Fistler and his party affiliation in the heavily Hispanic Democratic 7th Congressional District.


    “Researchers from Poland are reporting that a pair of male brown bears at a zoo in Croatia have been engaging in oral sex–and lots of it. Over the course of 116 hours of recent observation, the animals engaged in fellatio 28 times. That’s about one act of fellatio for every four hours, with each act ranging in duration from 1 minute to 4 minutes.”

  8. Suddenly the notion of Iraq being split into three nations (happening on its own now) is dawning on the media — even though everybody dismissed Joe Biden as an idiot when he posed the solution before the 2003 invasion.

  9. Crap! I have been doing really well at avoiding political crap but I’ve been sucked back in. These freaks and apologists dare to question “the timing”? Here you go, puss buckets, Since Bushco never managed to find Bin Laden; their timing was infinite. Unresolved. Left open for the next guy. Blown off. Pissed away. And generally FUBAR.

    And now they have the unmitigated gall to wonder if President Obama was keeping this news under his hat until he had to counter another in the endless stream of vile and irrelevant attacks levied by virtually every white Republican, and even the few token black Republicans, in the forlorn hope that it will distract our attention from something that’s even worse? Arrrrrrrrggggghhhhhh!!!

    I can’t decide whether these freaks are more stupid or evil and it’s driving me to be a little less sane than I would like to be.

    • I’m right there with you. I want to scream at these folks. How totally fucking insane do you have to be to think that our intelligence agencies identify and locate a wanted terrorist, plan for his capture, deploy special operations forces to execute a mission that has to be timed properly in order to succeed, and then just wait to execute until the timing aligns with Ms. Clinton’s book tour or yet another in the endless useless hearings on a non-existent scandal. I try my level best to love the folks I know with differing, and at times incomprehensible, political views, but at some point you just have to say ” Sorry, but you’re crazy. I and the rational universe are totally and completely done with you.”

  10. Bill Maher gets it right again. Comics have long been given the right to speak truth to power but it’s a bit sad that only comics even try to speak truth to power in this “enlightened age”.

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