Museum hosting Grand Opening for Dr Kearney solar print exhibit this Saturday

first_imgThe Museum we will be hosting a special grand opening of the Doc Kearney Solar Prints exhibit at the Fort St. John North Peace Museum at 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 2. This event is open to all members of the public. Donations in lieu of admission are welcome. Rodgers will share a brief presentation about Dr. Kearney’s and about her solar printing process.Doc Kearney Solar Prints by Margaret Rodgers will be on display at the Fort St. John North Peace Museum until August 24th. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The Fort St. John North Peace Museum will be hosting a grand opening event this Saturday for an exhibit in honour of Fort St. John’s second doctor.The Museum has partnered with Margaret Rodgers, the niece of Dr. Garnet Kearney, to produce an exhibit depicting Dr. Kearney’s life through a series of solar prints. Dr. Kearney moved from Ontario to Fort St. John, where his adventures became part of local legend. The photographs he took and sent home to his relatives provided a unique window into his frontier life. The Museum’s curator Heather Sjoblom said that Rodgers developed the series of solar prints to tell the good doctor’s story. Rodgers is a visual artist, curator, educator and writer, founder of IRIS, and former Director/Curator at VAC Clarington. She is a member of the Women’s Art Association of Canada.last_img read more

BC Hydro planning a number of power outages in the Peace to

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – BC Hydro is planning a number of power outages in the Peace Region today to fix equipment that was damaged during a massive power outage on Wednesday evening.Over 30,000 customers in nearly all of Northeast B.C. lost power at around 8:25 p.m. Wednesday. BC Hydro said that the outage occurred when lightning hit equipment that connected the B.C. Peace with the rest of the provincial electrical grid.Crews took around 15 minutes to bring both the W.A.C. Bennett and Peace Canyon dams back online. Once that was complete, power was then able to be restored to residential customers, the last of which saw the power come back on at around 9:15 p.m. Other industrial customers then saw their power restored. Hydro says that eight separate outages are planned in Fort St. John, Chetwynd, and Fort Nelson today to repair equipment that was damaged by last night’s unplanned outage.The list of planned power outages can be found here: read more

UN Ambassador Angelina Jolie spotlights plight of Iraqi refugees

Actress and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie is visiting Iraq and Syria to raise awareness of the plight of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi families who have fled the violence in their home country. According to UNHCR estimates, over 4.2 million Iraqis have been displaced, with 2.2 million within the war-torn nation and two million in neighbouring countries.“I have come to Syria and Iraq to help draw attention to this humanitarian crisis and to urge Governments to increase their support for UNHCR and its partners,” Ms. Jolie said. “My sole purpose in both countries is to highlight the humanitarian plight of those uprooted by the war in Iraq.”Today, the Academy Award-winning actress crossed into Iraq from Damascus, the Syrian capital, arriving at the makeshift Al Waleed border camp housing 1,200 stranded Iraqi refugees who are unable to flee their country. She also observed dozens of Iraqis making their way into Syria at a border checkpoint.“It is absolutely essential that the ongoing debate about Iraq’s future include plans for addressing the enormous humanitarian consequences these people face,” she said, adding that in her role as UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, she will concentrate on humanitarian issues and leave politics to others.In Iraq, she also paid a private visit to United States troops and other multinational forces based in the area.Yesterday, Ms. Jolie arrived in Syria, and visited a UNHCR centre in Damascus where she met some of the thousands of Iraqi refugees – almost one-quarter of them being victims of violence and torture – registering with the UN agency. Spending hours talking to Iraqi refugees in their homes, she recognized Syria for opening its borders and for its generosity to Iraqis.Tens of thousands of the refugees are unemployed, and many young people are missing out on an education and their futures.Late last month, UNHCR and the UN Children’s Fund UNICEF) jointly launched a $129 million education appeal to send 155,000 Iraqi refugee children to school throughout the Middle East. Today, the United States announced it will contribute $30 million to the fund. 28 August 2007Actress and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie is visiting Iraq and Syria to raise awareness of the plight of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi families who have fled the violence in their home country. read more

Industry questions PQs stance on shale gas

MONTREAL — The new Parti Quebecois government is earning some unflattering reviews from one of its former leaders even before completing its first half-week in office.Lucien Bouchard issued a statement Friday condemning comments about shale gas made by the new PQ minister in charge of the industry.While an environmental review process is only barely underway, Natural Resources Minister Martine Ouellet has already said the resource can never be developed safely. Before entering politics, Ouellet was an environmental activist, mechanical engineer, and official at Hydro-Quebec.She can now add another line to her CV: Bouchard foe. A popular former leader of the PQ and premier from 1996 to 2001, Bouchard is now the president of the Quebec Oil and Gas Association.“Confusion reigns,” Bouchard said.He listed six questions raised by Ouellet’s comments: Is the ongoing environmental review cancelled? Should that review be allowed to complete its work? What did Ouellet mean by the “complete moratorium” she appeared to be announcing this week? Has the government already written off the industry?Bouchard also asked why Quebec would have such an attitude when, in the U.S., the Obama administration is eager to exploit the resource in order to reduce fossil fuel emissions and achieve energy independence. Finally, he asked, why not consider studies that suggest shale gas can be exploited safely while creating jobs?“In any case a government decision to formally impose a moratorium would be a little bit like kicking in an open door,” Bouchard added.“Because for the last two years, and certainly for the next two or three, there has not been and there won’t be any exploration — let alone production — of shale gas on Quebec’s territory.”Ouellet was not available Friday to comment on Bouchard’s remarks, according to a staffer who answered the phone at her riding office.In interviews Bouchard gave after the Sept. 4 provincial election, he criticized some of his old party’s campaign promises and he suggested it was time to focus on priorities other than achieving independence. The PQ took office Wednesday.The remarks about shale gas also drew criticism from another ex-leader of the PQ, Andre Boisclair, who also works for the industry. Premier Pauline Marois has since tried to downplay the remarks, saying the government is keeping an open mind.The reaction of Marois’ predecessors echoes a frequent complaint from the PQ’s opponents since the cabinet was sworn in.Much of the opposition attacks since Wednesday, and media punditry, has focused on the notion that the composition of the PQ cabinet tilts heavily toward environmental activism but isn’t quite so business-friendly. Bouchard has in the past lamented that his old party has shifted too far to the left.But environmentalists have celebrated the PQ’s shale comments.Exploitation of the resource has been linked to water, soil and air pollution, along with an increase in earthquakes.When it comes to PQ feelings toward Bouchard, there has been no love lost for him from some members of Marois’ brand-new cabinet.A video posted on YouTube in October 2011 shows Daniel Breton, who was named environment minister this week, tearing into Bouchard for comments the former PQ premier made about the shale-gas industry.Breton, an environmentalist who spearheaded the provincial Green Party and ran for the federal NDP in 2008, was not an elected politician at the time.In the footage, he calls Bouchard’s support of shale gas “truly ridiculous.”“It really takes dinosaurs to push the same old solutions of lazy intellectuals who say, ’Rather than digging up new ideas, let’s dig holes in the ground like our ancestors,’ ” Breton says. read more

UPDATED Kotte monks murdered

Once the suspects were taken away the crowd dispersed. The monks were identified as Pitigala Jinarathana thero (80) and Borelesgamuwa Gunarathana thero (60). A leading Buddhist priest of the Kotte Rajamahavihara Temple and another monk were murdered a short while ago, the police said.According to initial reports the assailants had arrived in a car and stabbed the two monks before making their escape. ( The police said that eyewitnesses had identified the number plate of a vehicle believed to have been used to commit the crime.A tense situation prevailed in the area as a result of the double murder. Police investigators, with the assistance of a sniffer dog, later arrested four people on suspicion from a house adjoining the Temple.A large crowd gathered around the area although it was past midnight and demanded that the police show the identity of the suspects arested.The police however refused to do so insisting that the four people are only to be questioned as suspects. One monk died at the location while the other died on admission to the Kalubowila hospital. [slideshow]Pics by Easwaran Rutnam read more

Cuba says nationwide blackouts to end by Saturday

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Cuba’s energy minister says breakdowns in the country’s power plants have caused a string of blackouts across the country this week, and he promises the problem will be solved by Saturday.Minster of Energy and Mining Raúl García Barreiro told state media Tuesday night that a series of blackouts in cities and towns throughout Cuba was due to mechanical problems in three power plants as two others were down for maintenance.The statement came after days of official silence in response to reports on Twitter from Cubans experiencing power cuts. Dozens of users reported the times, duration and locations of blackouts, in a dramatic example of the government’s broken monopoly on information in the face of increased access to mobile internet, which came into wide use this year.The Associated Press read more

Nearly 300 impaired drivers charged by police in August

Police across Saskatchewan reported 9,684 driving offences throughout the province in August.During the August Traffic Safety Spotlight, police reported 7,762 aggressive driving or speeding offences, 949 distracted driving offences (including 880 for cellphones), 632 inappropriate or no seatbelt/child restraint offences and 341 impaired driving offences.After a record number of distracted and aggressive driving offences were logged in May, the minister responsible for SGI said the province is considering increasing penalties regarding distracted driving.Related Mom of Sask. teen killed in distracted driving crash becomes new Operation Lifesavers Stop Track Tragedies spokesperson Police charged 295 drivers with impaired driving under the Criminal Code, plus 46 other drivers were issued roadside administrative suspensions.In 2018, the presence of drugs or alcohol was a factor in 36 per cent of all fatal crashes in the Saskatchewan RCMP’s jurisdiction. Police in the province catch between 200-400 impaired drivers every month.What to do if you see a suspected impaired driverAnyone who sees a driver they suspect is impaired is encouraged to call 9-1-1. Callers are asked to provide as many of the following details as possible:The location and the direction the vehicle is travelling The make, model and colour of the vehicle Licence plate number A description of the driver and the suspicious driving behaviour 10 signs a driver may be impairedDrifting in and out of lanes Driving unreasonably fast, slow or at an inconsistent speed Tailgating and changing lanes frequently Making exceptionally wide turns Changing lanes or passing without sufficient clearance Overshooting or stopping well before stop signs or stop lights. Disregarding signals and lights Approaching or leaving intersections too quickly or slowly Driving with windows open in cold or inclement weather Driving without headlights, failing to lower high beams or leaving turn signals on Saskatchewan’s impaired driving laws have zero tolerance for impairment by alcohol or drugs. Penalties start at .04 blood alcohol content (BAC) for experienced drivers. Penalties can include vehicle seizures and licence suspensions for at least three days.If a driver exceeds .08 BAC, they could face criminal code charges. This involves a minimum 30-day vehicle seizure, and an indefinite licence suspension until the charges are dealt with. Upon conviction, drivers can face potential fines, jail time, ignition interlock requirements and driving prohibitions. read more

Conflicts drought drive hunger despite strong global food supply – UN agriculture

The new edition of the UN Food and Agriculture Agency’s (FAO) Crop Prospects and Food Situation report revealed that some 37 countries – 29 of which are in Africa – require external food assistance. “Ongoing conflicts continue to be a key driver of severe food insecurity, having triggered near-famine conditions in northern Nigeria, South Sudan and Yemen, as well as widespread hunger in Afghanistan, Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo – and Syria,” FAO stated. The report also said that conflict impedes productive activities, hinders access to food and significantly intensifies the numbers of internally displaced people. In Africa, the report details that urgently in need food of assistance are about 1.1 million people in the Central Africa Republic; some 7.7 million in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which hosts more than 200,000 refugees and four million internally displaced persons; over three million in northern Nigeria; some 4.8 million in South Sudan; and 3.1 million in Somalia – a number that has tripled over the past year. Elsewhere, it points out that chronic hunger or food insecurity is confronted by 7.6 million in Afghanistan; 3.2 million in Iraq; and 6.5 million in Syria. Moreover, in Yemen 17 million, or 60 per cent of the population, are believed to require urgent humanitarian assistance. The report notes that should November’s maritime port closures be repeated the country would risk famine. Learn more about FAO’s work in these countries hereIn some regions, adverse weather conditions are taking their toll on farm food outputs – notably due to drought in East Africa and floods in parts of Asia. Some 8.5 million people are estimated to be food insecure in Ethiopia, especially in the Somali region. Consecutive unfavourable rainy seasons have curtailed crop and livestock production in Kenya, leaving about 2.6 million people severely food insecure. The report also flags concerns in Bangladesh, where three episodes of flash floods this year caused substantial damage to the rice crop. A severe summer drought has also cut Mongolia’s wheat harvest by almost half. Despite local negative trends, the report points out that, overall, global food production is booming. In addition, production gains are being recorded in many low-income food-deficit countries, where the aggregate cereal output is forecast to grow by two per cent this year. read more

Two viable homemade explosives found in Limerick

first_imgGARDAÍ ARE INVESTIGATING after two viable homemade explosive devices were found in Limerick this afternoon.The Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were found on a green field site beside a river in Annacotty shortly before 1pm.An Army explosive ordnance disposal team was called to the scene and confirmed that the devices were viable.The explosives were taken to a safe military location for technical examination.The Defence Forces said that the devices will be handed over to Gardaí to help with the investigation into the incident.last_img

Man dies after becoming stuck in waste disposal truck in Dublin

first_imgA MAN HAS died after becoming trapped in the back of a waste disposal truck in Dublin late last night.It is understood that the man was working in the Grand Canal Street area of Dublin when he got into difficulty.According to the Irish Times, a passerby who had been attending a nearby theatre, heard shouting coming from the back of the truck and hit the emergency stop button at around 11.15pm.Fire crews were then dispatched and used emergency equipment to release the man from the vehicle. He was brought to St James’s Hospital but later died.The victim, who was aged in his lates 30s or early 40s, was an employee of a private waste disposal company, RTÉ News reports.It is understood that the driver of the truck has received treatment for shock.Investigations by both the gardaí and Health and Safety Authority will now take place.last_img read more

McIlroy the leader on day two of the PGA Championship

first_imgUpdated at 1am.RORY MCILROY ENDURED the worst of the weather on day two of the PGA Championship at Valhalla but still produced a four-under par round to move into the 36-hole lead on nine-under parThe world number one started Friday on the back nine and bogeyed the 12th before taking that shot back on the very next hole. Another birdie at 15 was followed by a twenty foot eagle putt on 18.A bogey at the second briefly brought the 25-year old back to the field but birdies at seven and nine saw him card a 67 and take a one shot lead over Australia’s Jason Day and American Jim Furyk.Day produced three birdes and an eagle in a spectacular opening nine holes, eventually carding a 65 to move into second spot alongside the experienced Furyk.Joint overnight leaders Lee Westwood (-5) and Kevin Chappell (-3) both fell off the pace but Ryan Palmer did pick up one shot to move to seven-under.Offaly’s Shane Lowry was unable to match yesterday’s heroics, dropping to level par following five bogeys and three bridies today. However, that is enough for the former Irish Open winner to make the weekend.Graeme McDowell (+1) also just made the cut but Padraig Harrington (+2) and Darren Clarke (+6) both joined Tiger Woods (+6) in failing to make it past the halfway mark.Heavy rainfall causes stoppage to second round of PGA Championship‘It just shows where my game is mentally right now,’ says McIlroy after recoverylast_img read more

Anonymous Twitter alternative Vibe gets popular with Occupy Wall Street protesters

first_imgWhen I first moved to the big city of New York, I didn’t have a ton of friends. I’d occasionally go to concerts alone and check via Twitter who else was at the same concert. I’d then write to them on Twitter and see if we could find each other in the crowd of people. It wasn’t the easiest thing to do, but it worked. Although I was in a public setting, it’s always a bit risky meeting up with a total stranger. Plus, since the person had my Twitter handle, they knew my name and whatever other information I had tweeted about myself.However, an app called Vibe is changing the way people can connect anonymously. In fact, it’s actually being used by many of the hundreds of protesters who have been marching around New York City for the Occupy Wall Street demonstration. As we saw with the London riots, looters were being discovered by authorities via their BlackBerry smartphones. Many of the protesters were using the phone’s messaging service, BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), and police were able to track down many of these people by their messages.Vibe is similar to Twitter in the way that it lets you send messages out to the public via your mobile device. However, unlike Twitter it’s actually anonymous and impermanent. On Vibe’s description in the App Store, it’s advertised as a good way to chat anonymously with people nearby. You can send text, videos, and photos to nearby users at concerts, parties, football games, conferences, or in this case, massive protests.The user simply posts what’s on their mind and selects how far they want the message to be visible and for how long. Vibes can be shared with people within 160 feet of you or even miles away from you for as little as 15 minutes or up to 30 days. You decide when you want the message to self destruct. If you decide you do want to make your message public to your Twitter followers, you can also tweet your vibe to your followers.The Observer’s tech site said Vibe is the app of choice for the Occupy Wall Street protesters. Communicating via Twitter more or less creates a real-time record that police and authorities can monitor. Since Vibe can limit its messages to people within a certain radius, the messages aren’t going out to the feds in Washington. Still, authorities in the vicinity of the protests could hypothetically have access to the vibes.Though Vibe is playing nice by Apple’s App Store rules with its “clean and wholesome” description, outside of the App Store, the company is definitely advertising it as a great way for Occupy Wall Street protestors to communicate. Vibe’s Facebook page has a post that says: “Anyone from Occupy Wall Street need an anonymous organizing tool? Check out Vibe, available for free…”. The page is also posting photos of Occupy Wall Street vibes, and the app’s creator, Hazem Sayed, actually flew out to New York from California to hand out flyers for Vibe and to explain to protesters how they can use it.Now you can vibe that you just got pepper-sprayed by the cops and not have your mom see it and demand you move back home immediately. It’s a good way to get a message across without being tracked down by authorities. For example, if the cops are rounding up people to arrest, you can vibe the location where the arrests are happening and warn other protesters.Clearly, the app is perfect for things like protests, demonstrations, and flash mobs. Whether or not that was Sayed’s intention when creating the app, Vibe is now being used for bigger things than football games and lectures.via BetaBeatslast_img read more

At least one person shot in NW MiamiDade shooting

first_img Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) – Police are investigating after a shooting in Northwest Miami-Dade left at least one victim injured.Miami-Dade Fire Rescue responded to the area of Northwest 191st Street and 51st Avenue, just before 12:30 p.m., Wednesday.According to police officials, one victim was shot in the leg and was inside of a black Nissan while a second potential victim is believed to have fled from the scene.The victim who was shot in the leg was transported to a local hospital.Police are on the lookout for a gold or brown older model Sedan with dark tinted windows.Please check back on and 7News for more details on this developing story.last_img read more

Rough Start for USPS in Fiscal 2011

first_imgIn mid-January, new Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe reduced headcount among the VP/officer ranks by 16 percent. For fiscal 2011, the USPS projects another $2 billion will be saved via cost savings. Nevertheless, time is running out. A cash shortfall and the statutory borrowing limit will be reached by the end of the fiscal year. And without any legislative intervention, the USPS will have to default on some of its financial obligations to the federal government at the end of September. The USPS points out in its earnings statement that if it excluded the cost of prefunding future retiree healthcare benefits and “noncash adjustments to the workers’ compensation liability,” the USPS would have recorded a net income of $226 million in the first quarter.In the meantime, the Postal Service says the volume decline due to the recession is easing, but lack of strong overall economic growth is hampering USPS’ financials. Mailing services dropped $520 million compared to same period last year, despite a volume increase of 1.5 percent to 45.9 billion. Total mail volume was 46.4 billion pieces, also up 1.5 percent over fiscal first quarter 2010.Price increases, overall limited to the 1.7 percent Consumer Price Index cap, but including a 1.8 percent periodicals increase, take effect in April. The USPS is also launching new projects to drive revenue including more simplified addressing for business mailers, regional priority mail rate boxes and an overall shipping services price increase of 3.6 percent.last_img read more

The Knot To Change Name to XO Group Inc

first_imgThe Knot says it received stockholder approval to change its name to XO Group Inc. The company’s common stock has also been authorized for listing and is scheduled to begin trading on the NYSE on June 28 under its new trading symbol XOXO. “Our new company name–XO Group Inc.–will be the perfect umbrella for all of our brands in the wedding, nesting and baby lifestages served by our media, products and services,” said CEO David Liu in a statement.The Knot–which offers sites such as and–reported $27.5 million in revenue in the first quarter of 2011, flat compared to the same period last year, with national online advertising up 18 percent and local advertising up 15 percent. While the company reported a 15 percent jump in publishing revenue, The Knot folded one of its print magazines, The Nest, and relaunched the brand as a digital-only quarterly in April. The company reported a net loss of $0.7 million for the first quarter.last_img read more

Forest Service reminds tourists why Mendenhall glacier is shrinking

first_imgIn a wing of the Mendenhall Glacier Visitors Center a small crowd of onlookers is watching a debate between a man and an employee. The tourist is wearing a floppy hat and red shirt. And he’s leaning on a silver tipped cane as he listens — waiting for a chance to respond.About 80 percent of the people who come to the Mendenhall Glacier in the summer are tourists. (Photo by Elizabeth Jenkins, KTOO – Juneau)Download AudioKat Pratt is a ranger and interpreter.She was delivering talking points on sea level rise when the man — who didn’t want to give his name — challenged her. He thinks rising temperatures are cyclical. Not caused by people. And the climate change scientists are paid off by environmental groups.It goes on like this for about 15 minutes. Until they move onto something they both agree on: the glacier looks blue.Pratt seems unfazed.“I get it about once a day usually and some of them get more confrontational,” she said. Maybe some not educated as that last gentleman’s, and there’s a lot to learn.”She said it encourages her to do more research. And she learns how to talk to visitors from different backgrounds. Many have never seen a glacier before and haven’t been confronted with the effects of climate change. Aside, from say, experiencing a hot summer.“It became our central topic really just in the last few years,” said John Neary, director of the glacier’s visitor center.Neary is not afraid to admit he is on a mission. He wants the more than 500,000 people who visit the glacier each year to know that it’s rapidly retreating, due to climate change. The 18 interpreters who work for him are prepared to talk about it.He says, initially not everyone was game.“There was resistance and I think people viewed it as a negative thing,” he said., “And uh, you know people on vacation. They don’t want to hear about negative things. They want to think about positive [things] watch the whales, see the eagles. That sort of thing.   I get that. That’s understandable.”But he says it’s all connected. Compounds from glacial silt wash down and feed the plankton that whales and other species depend on. Salmon spawn in nearby waters.In the past 30 years, Neary’s noticed an extreme visible difference in the glacier. He started at the forest service around that time. And at first, for him, Mendenhall wasn’t a big deal.“It didn’t seem very special to me to be honest,” Neary said. “It was just a glacier … You appreciate things are they become diminished in your life, you look at them differently when they are disappearing.”Now, Neary uses that when talking to visitors. He tells them about the time he was out hiking on a steep trail beside the glacier and his dog fell 90 feet onto the ice. Don’t worry, the dog survived.“But the story comes back to me when I go back out there and realize that spot which I climbed is now more than a half mile away,” he said. “And there’s no glacier, there’s dense alder thicket there. So there’s big changes.”And to address those changes, Neary wants to make changes to the visitor’s center, too. He wants the building to be LEED certified in the next few years. That means it will be energy efficient and produce less greenhouse gas.This approach has captured the attention of other countries. 11 delegates from Norway are visiting in June. Neary says they’re interested in seeing what the visitor center is doing and also sharing ideas. Chilean park officials are planning a trip in the fall.Neary wonders if parks around the world are trying to figure out what their role should be when it comes to climate change.“I think we are one in a million in the setting that we have,” Neary said. “But I’d like to think that the conversation is happening everywhere.”(Would you like to shake hands with the glacier?) Inside the visitor center, an interpreter lures a crowd over to touch a slick hunk of glacial ice. People stop to take selfies with it and snap pictures.(Would you like to see some photos of the glacier in the past?) The photos start in the 1950s and show the progression of how much the glacier has changed.(You can’t replace it right? No, we can’t.) Anna Laing – one of the people who watched the presentation – traveled a long way to be here.“We’re from Glasgow, Scotland,” she said.She says being on vacation, she had no idea she’d learn so much about climate change.“It’s just a statement that’s just out there, normally,” she said. “And it doesn’t really mean much to you until you really see the physical evidence of it. Especially, since we’re able to touch the glacier there and know what we’re losing.”Some scientists say the Mendenhall Glacier won’t be visible from the visitor center by the end of this century. John Neary hopes tourists have that in mind when they return back home.last_img read more

Long ANWR battle ending quietly

first_imgNative Americans and environmentalists rallied to stop and Arctic Refuge bill. Photo: Liz Ruskin.After 40 years of fighting about it, Congress is on the verge of opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil development. The U.S. House passed an ANWR measure Tuesday in its tax bill. The Senate is likely to pass it shortly. Then the bill goes back to the House for one more vote Wednesday before heading to the president for his signature. Assuming all goes as expected, this is a major win for Alaska’s congressional delegation, and a big loss to environmental groups. Conservationists were able to defeat all previous ANWR drilling bills. Why they were powerless to stop this one?Listen nowThousands of protesters rallied Dec. 6 on the north side of the Capitol grounds.But ignore that huge crowd, because it has nothing to do with the Arctic Refuge. That was about immigration.If you walked over to the west side of the Capitol grounds, to the National Mall that day, you’d find a much smaller group of activists calling for the preservation of the Arctic Refuge. The event was billed as a prayer vigil.Bernadette Demientieff, a Gwich’in leader, speaks to Sens. Warren and Udall at an anti-drilling rally. Photo: Liz Ruskin.“We just want to continue to have our food security.” Bernadette Demientieff, director of the Gwich’in Steering Committee, told the gathering.  “To have healthy land. To have healthy animals to hunt.”Few reporters were watching. The mood was somber. It’s a stunning reversal of fortunes for environmentalists. They won so many times on the Arctic Refuge, some years they seemed almost invincible.To see how hard it used to be to convince Congress to allow drilling in the refuge, look at 2005. That year, the political climate seemed perfect for oil development. For the first time, average gas prices soared above $2 gallon. America was importing more petroleum than ever. And U.S. troops were fighting in Iraq, a war many said was about oil. So the argument that America needed ANWR’s oil, that had some pull.And yet, there was Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, proclaiming Dec. 21, 2005 “the saddest day of my life.”Stevens was crushed when he didn’t have the votes to keep ANWR in a Defense spending bill. He had attached billions of dollars to the drilling measure to win votes. Billions to help victims of Hurricane Katrina, to fortify the borders, to help low-income families. In a dramatic, bitter speech on the Senate floor, Stevens told his colleagues he had funneled money so elaborately, the feat could never be repeated.“To take out of the bill all of this money that we worked so hard to find a way to justify it,” Stevens fumed. “We took future revenues coming into the treasury, held them in the treasury and earmarked them for specific purposes when arrived.”Stevens had that much sway over the federal budget, and it wasn’t enough.When conservation groups won the 2005 round on the refuge, the Sierra Club’s Melinda Pierce suggested that might be the end.“If Stevens failed to get his pet project done, with all the stars aligned – high gas prices, war in Iraq, Republican control of all bodies of Congress – it’s going to be hard for him to get it done ever,” Pierce said.Fast-forward 12 years. Pierce is still at the Sierra Club, only now she’s losing on ANWR. Pierce says this year the refuge fight is overshadowed by other controversies, including the specifics of the tax changes.“The traditional grassroots power that we have always been able to mobilize, really may not be able to break through that huge amount of money and lobbying interest that’s happening,” Pierce said, referring to moneyed interests trying to win changes in tax law.Also, there are fewer members of Congress environmental groups can direct that power to, fewer moderate Republicans.At League of Conservation Voters, Tiernan Sittenfeld said when she started working in Washington in 2000, the House had 30 or 40 Republicans who might vote with the Democrats on environmental issues. She said their insistence is the reason Arctic drilling didn’t slide through on a fast-track budget reconciliation bill in 2005. (If it had gone through the House that way, Stevens could have passed it in the Senate with just 50 votes, which he had, instead of 60, which he did not.)Tiernan Sittenfeld is senior vice president of government affairs for the League of Conservation Voters. Photo via Twitter.“A lot of those Republicans either were retired or they were defeated by Democrats in 2006 and 2008,” Sittenfeld said. “Many of those Democrats were then defeated by Tea Party Republicans in 2010. So it is a more polarized time now for sure, when it comes to environmental issues.”This time, 11 House Republicans wrote a letter asking for ANWR to be removed from the tax bill, but six voted for the bill anyway.Retired lobbyist Roger Herrera doesn’t know why ANWR is passing now, and so quietly.“The frustrations over the last 20 or 30 years, political frustrations, with trying to open the coastal plain have been pretty extreme (at) times,” Herrera said.Herrera worked to open the refuge for most of his career, first for BP, then as director of Arctic Power, an ANWR-drilling lobby that was active for more than two decades. The state of Alaska spent about $12 million on Arctic Power over the years, to fight for votes in Congress. The group has been dormant for a few years, but ANWR is passing anyway. Herrera wonders if environmental groups just quit trying so hard.“In a way, one doesn’t mind how it happens,” Herrera said.Environmental groups insist they’ve given it all they’ve got. Sittenfeld says League of Conservation Voters planned to work the Hill to the last minute. Even if the bill is signed into law, environmentalists say they’ll fight on, with lawsuits, pressure on oil companies or maybe, Sittenfeld said, a new bill in Congress.last_img read more

Trump era begins

first_imgDonald Trump (L) is sworn in as the 45th US president by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts in front of the Capitol in Washington on 20 January, 2017. Photo: AFPDonald Trump became the 45th president of United States on Friday, ushering in a new political era that is cheered and feared in equal measure.The 70-year-old Republican billionaire placed his left hand on a bible used by Abraham Lincoln and recited the 35-word oath spoken since George Washington, and then launched into a much-anticipated inaugural address.“We, the citizens of America, are now joined in a great national effort to rebuild our country and restore its promise for all of our people,” Trump told a crowd of hundreds of thousands massed on the National Mall.“Together we will determine the course of America, and the world, for many, many years to come,” he said.“From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first.”Trump’s inauguration caps the improbable rise to power of the Manhattan real estate mogul, who had never before held elected office, served in the government or the armed forces.A crowd of hundreds of thousands looked on, including outgoing president Barack Obama and Trump’s defeated election opponent Hillary Clinton—who narrowly missed out on becoming America’s first female president.“I’ve been waiting for this for a long time,” said Thomas Mendenhall, 68, a retired banker from Missouri. “We just want change.”Meteoric political rise -When Trump descended the escalators of his glitzy New York tower in June 2015, his run for office was dismissed and even mocked.His staff, many shunned by friends for supporting a man who has been labeled a racist and bigot by his critics, will become power players in the White House.In the primaries, Trump dominated a crowded Republican presidential field with smash-mouth rhetoric and star power. He rode that same wave of anti-elite sentiment to victory over Clinton in the November election.For Trump’s critics, there was disbelief that a man who 19 months ago hosted “The Apprentice” is now leader of the free world.A short distance from the steps of the Capitol, where Trump was sworn in, police fired gas to disperse protesters. Stones were thrown and windows broken.A 27-year-old financial worker from Tampa Bay in Florida, who did not want to give his name for fear of retaliation by his employer, said Trump’s election victory had left him fearful.“There is nothing to hope for except for grassroots efforts to oppose him,” he said. A bigger anti-Trump rally is planned for Saturday.Time-honored traditions -At 70 years of age, Trump is the oldest man ever to begin work in the Oval Office.He has vowed to tear up Obama’s policies and re-examine decades-old alliances with Europe and in Asia.Beginning Friday, his team plans a rolling series of daily executive orders to roll back Obama’s agenda.But he enters office with a 37 percent approval rating, the lowest on record, according to a CBS News poll.His inauguration was notably more sparsely attended than that of Obama in 2009 and 2013.Many will look to Trump’s inaugural speech for efforts to unify a country divided by politics—and increasingly, by culture.The most noted inaugural addresses had sought to lift Americans’ gaze up from the rancor and troubles of the day toward the horizon and a better tomorrow.Inaugural addresses—from Lincoln to John F. Kennedy—echo across American history. Phrases like “malice towards none” and “ask not what your country can do for you” have been carved into the vernacular.Trump aides are promising an address that is at once short—at around 20 minutes—and philosophical.Earlier in the day, Trump had traced the steps of many presidents past, attending a prayer service at St. John’s Church before heading to the White House, where he was greeted warmly by Obama.“Mr President-elect, how are you?” Obama asked his successor, after having deposited a letter in the Resolute desk and left the Oval Office for the last time.After his speech, Trump will attend a luncheon inside the Capitol, before heading back to the White House to begin the business of governing.last_img read more

MCU News First Look at Cable David Hasselhoff Raps and More

first_imgSome people just know how to work a red carpet. #Domino #DeadPool2— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) July 31, 2017Over on the Cinematic Universe side of Marvel movies, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is gearing up for its Blu-ray release in the best possible way. Marvel put out a wonderfully tacky 1970s variety show-style music video for the end credits song, “Guardians Inferno.” The song was the only track on the Awesome Mix Vol. 2 album that wasn’t from the ’60s or ’70s. It was an original composition by director James Gunn featuring the rap stylings of one David Hasselhoff. And yes, he’s in the video. So if it wasn’t enough to listen to David Hasselhoff rap over the end credits of GOTG Vol. 2, you can watch him do it in a sparkly jumpsuit, surrounded by 70s production values. The video also features some top-notch dancing from the cast of GOTG Vol. 2, director James Gunn, and Stan Lee.That’s the greatest thing I’ve ever seen. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will be available digitally on August 8, and on Blu-ray August 22.Not all is well in the MCU, unfortunately. Marvel’s new TV series Inhumans had its Television Critics Association press panel last weekend, and it… didn’t go well. The pilot has been screened for critics, and was largely panned. By most accounts, outside of Lockjaw who remains a very good boy, Inhumans is the hottest of messes. Comic book Movie reports that the cast and crew onstage were on the defensive and gave non-answers to questions about the show’s quality. Anson Mount, who plays Black Bolt, was asked how he felt about the negative reception and said the press made him feel like Ben Affleck after Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Oof.Tweets from reporters at the panel described it as uncomfortable, and like an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm.  What to Expect From the Marvel Cinematic Universe at SDCC 2019The Cinematic Sex of Marvel’s Netflix Universe Ever since we learned that Josh Brolin was going to play Cable, we’ve been wondering what he’d look like. Sure, he’s in another popular series based on Marvel Comics, but his performance there is entirely CGI. Here, we’ll get to see his face. That makes a difference because Cable’s look is pretty iconic among X-Men fans. Early sketches of the character for Deadpool 2 looked promising, mostly because they looked like they’d be right at home on the comics page. But how would Brolin actually look in full Cable costume and makeup? As it turns out, pretty great.Ryan Reynolds tweeted out some photos of Brolin in full costume, and comics fans should be very happy. He looks tough, intimidating and most importantly, he looks like Cable. Stay on target We all have that one, grumpy, heavily armed Uncle from the future. #PremiumCABLE #JoshBrolin— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) August 7, 2017The scars are in the right places, and that eye is unsettling. But you probably want to see the full costume, huh? Luckily, there’s a full-body shot too. DeadPool 2: Your premium #Cable provider. #DeadPool2— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) August 7, 2017He certainly looks like a heavily-armed military dude. I do like the holstered teddy bear, though. Even futuristic cyborg mercenaries like to cuddle teddy bears. OK, it’s probably not for him. Most likely, this version of Cable is adapted from how he’s been portrayed in recent Marvel comics. He acts as a surrogate father to Hope Summers, an incredibly powerful mutant who can mimic other mutants’ powers and is a vessel of the Phoenix Force. If Deadpool 2 takes place when Hope is young, that would explain the teddy bear. How much of this will be in Deadpool 2 and how much of it is just set-up for the X-Force movie we don’t know. We are certain though, that it will be amazing fun to watch Deadpool annoy the crap out of this grumpy, heavily-armed mercenary from the future.Deadpool 2 will hit theaters next year, and its costumes look fantastic. Last week, Reynolds tweeted out a photo of Domino from the movie. Despite not being as comics-accurate as Cable, Zazie Beetz looks like the definition of cool in the role. That #Inhumans panel was like a live table read on #CurbYourEnthusiasm— Tim Goodman (@BastardMachine) August 6, 2017At one point, Marvel head of television Jeph Loeb reportedly got a little testy with reporters after they kept asking about the show’s quality. He stressed multiple times that the show was not finished yet. When one reporter asked about Karnak’s storyline, which is reportedly so confusing many critics didn’t understand what his powers even were, Loeb responded that the finished product would make it clearer.“What you’ve seen so far is something that’s unfinished. Once you’ve seen the whole finished product, you actually do [understand].” Loeb reiterated the point when someone raised the issue of whether the visual quality of Inhumans would hold up on an IMAX screen, where it will premiere on September 1. “I can tell you that it was written on the material that you were given that the show that you have seen is not the finished product. If you’re asking me whether or not it was done, it’s not. So to be perfectly honest, I don’t understand your question.”Medusa actress Serinda Swan was forced to give the same answer when asked about Medusa’s hair. She says the CGI techniques used to animate her hair are brand new, and many of the special effects are being worked on right up until its September 1 premiere. “It’s never been done before, so there are going to be issues. There are going to be trials and tribulations. I think there was software that actually had to be built with it. If we only did things that were perfect we would never start and so it’s a phenomenal start.”Wow. Look, let’s assume that they’re all telling the truth, and the finished product will be remarkably better than what the critics in attendance at the panel saw. That’s still not a good look for a show that has its premiere in three weeks. Especially when that premiere is going to be on the largest possible movie screen, where any imperfections will be impossible to ignore. Also, nobody will care how new the tech is if the visual effects still look bad. Maybe in the three weeks between now and September 1, all this supposed unfinished work will get done and turn Inhumans into something great. But until that happens, there’s no reason to give them the benefit of the doubt given the footage they’ve released so far. Also, unfinished or not, they still deemed it good enough to show to critics for review. If the response isn’t what Marvel Television hoped for, that’s on them.Oh, also it was revealed at the panel that the version of the pilot shown in IMAX theaters on September 1 will be 75 minutes long. That’s nine minutes shorter than the version that will be shown for free on ABC on September 29. Man, there really isn’t any reason to pay to see this thing in IMAX is there? Though it could shed some light on the confusion critics faced regarding Karnak’s arc. Maybe those missing 9 minutes make his storyline (and powers) make sense?Honestly, this whole show is sounding worse the more we hear about it. At least there is some good news for Marvel Television on the horizon. Netflix’s The Defenders currently sits at 80 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. So at least Marvel has that going for it.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more

German scientists solve nonclassical 2norbornyl carbocation structure

first_imgProposed 2-norbornyl cation structures. (A) Nonclassical Cs structure of the 2-norbornyl cation, depicted in 3c-2e and “pi” complex formulations. (B) Brown’s rapidly equilibrating C1 classical norbornyl cation enantiomers. Credit: (c) Science 5 July 2013: Vol. 341 no. 6141 pp. 62-64 DOI: 10.1126/science.1238849 Chemists find smallest number of water molecules needed to form an ice crystal ( —A team of chemists working in Germany has finally, after decades of debate, solved the crystal structure of the nonclassical 2-norbornyl carbocation. In their paper published in the journal Science, the team describes the arduous process involved in the work they did that led to the eventual determination of the nonclassical crystal structure of the ion. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: German scientists solve nonclassical 2-norbornyl carbocation structure (2013, July 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from More information: Crystal Structure Determination of the Nonclassical 2-Norbornyl Cation, Science 5 July 2013: Vol. 341 no. 6141 pp. 62-64 DOI: 10.1126/science.1238849AbstractAfter decades of vituperative debate over the classical or nonclassical structure of the 2-norbornyl cation, the long-sought x-ray crystallographic proof of the bridged, nonclassical geometry of this prototype carbonium ion in the solvated [C7H11]+[Al2Br7]– • CH2Br2 salt has finally been realized. This achievement required exceptional treatment. Crystals obtained by reacting norbornyl bromide with aluminum tribromide in CH2Br2 undergo a reversible order-disorder phase transition at 86 kelvin due to internal 6,1,2-hydride shifts of the 2-norbornyl cation moiety. Cooling with careful annealing gave a suitably ordered phase. Data collection at 40 kelvin and refinement revealed similar molecular structures of three independent 2-norbornyl cations in the unit cell. All three structures agree very well with quantum chemical calculations at the MP2(FC)/def2-QZVPP level of theory.center_img Journal information: Science © 2013 Explore further A debate has gone on for 64 years regarding the classical or nonclassical nature of the 2-norbornyl carbocation. It was in 1949 that Saul Winstein suggested their existence to explain the reactivity of substituted norbornane compounds. Other chemists such as Herbert Brown, reacted negatively to the suggestion because it meant accepting that carbon could be bonded to more than four other atoms. Brown suggested instead that a rapid equilibrium could occur to explain what chemists had been observing, which would allow them to remain categorized as classical.Over the years, the debate has swung back and forth with various chemists arguing for one side or the other, with most eventually leaning towards the nonclassical 2-norbornyl carbocation structure—but now it appears, the chemists in this new effort have finally put the issue to rest. As it turned out, it appeared the vital condition that allowed for settlement of the argument came down to constructing an experiment that involved cooling the crystals with careful annealing at just the right temperature.The breakthrough came at a lab on the campus of the University of Freiburg. The team used soft bromoaluminate anions to stabilize carbocations in a solid state. That allowed for the preparation of regular 2-norbornyl cation salt crystals. Then, after much work revolving around how the crystals react to cold temperatures, the team arrived at a procedure that involved cooling a sample of the crystal to 40K, then allowing it to warm, then cooling it again—five or six times—doing so finally allowed the crystal structure to reveal itself without cracking in the process.With the true nonclassical structure of the crystals finally revealed, several chemists have taken the opportunity to pronounce that the results of the work in Germany did little really but prove what most in the field already knew.last_img read more