August 8, 2019

Posted by orrinj at 5:08 PM


Attorney: Trump Rhetoric Caused Client to Attack Boy During National Anthem (Alberto Luperon, August 8th, 2019, Law & Crime)

The lawyer for a man charged with attacking and seriously injuring a 13-year-old boy during the national anthem at a Montana county fair is coming forward with a striking defense: the alleged assault happened because of a combination of his client's brain damage and incendiary rhetoric from President Donald Trump.

"His commander in chief is telling people that if they kneel, they should be fired, or if they burn a flag, they should be punished," attorney Lance Jasper told The Missoulian. "He certainly didn't understand [the attack] was a crime."

He can expect a pardon anyway.

Posted by orrinj at 5:04 PM


Wildfire smoke 'supports nuclear winter theory' : Plume from intense Canadian fires kept rising, researchers report. (Richard A Lovett , 8/08/19, Cosmos)

Scientists studying wildfire-triggered thunderstorms have confirmed an important element of a nuclear winter theory championed by Carl Sagan all the way back in the early 1980s.

Sagan and a team of atmospheric scientists proposed that along with radiation and blast damage, a nuclear war would create enormous firestorms in cities struck by large bombs. 

These would be so intense that they would inject smoke not just into the lower atmosphere, where it would eventually be removed by rainfall, but all the way into the stratosphere, where it would linger for years, block sunlight, and plunge much of the world into an extended, deadly cold snap.

Posted by orrinj at 4:51 PM


Americans' support for immigration is at record highs - but the government is out of sync with their views (Mariano Sana, 8/08/19, The Conversation)

Since its start, the Trump administration has implemented policies to step up immigration enforcement and reduce the number of immigrants admitted into the U.S.

Many of these efforts - like the border wall, the travel ban, family separations, DACA termination and detention centers - have received wide media attention. In addition, the White House slashed refugee admissions, ended a number of special programs and changed rules used to adjudicate visa applications.

As a result of these and myriad lesser-known administrative changes, legally immigrating to the U.S. has become a lot harder, as evidenced by the sharp increase in the number of visa denials in 2018. President Donald Trump heads the most immigration-restrictive administration since the 1920s.

Yet decades of public opinion polls show that Americans have never felt warmer toward immigrants, nor have they ever been more supportive of immigration.

Trumpism is literally unAmerican.

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Trump attacks Ohio politicians, Biden, Fox News after visiting shooting victims (Orion Rummler, 8/08/19, Axios)

In a series of tweets after visiting victims of the mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, Trump accused Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley of lying in a press conference, insulted 2020 candidate Joe Biden as "boring," and called Fox News' Shep Smith worse than "Fake News CNN."

Posted by orrinj at 12:00 AM


Researchers in Wisconsin are astonished to find loons raising a duckling as their own (The Week, 8/08/19)

When Dr. Walter Piper saw a pair of loons taking care of an orphaned duckling, he was "flabbergasted."

Piper runs The Loon Project, which studies the species in northern Wisconsin. He's been researching loons for nearly three decades, and told Good Morning America that mallards and loons are "usually enemies," and a loon couple raising a duckling has "never been reported before."

What Swims Like a Duck and Quacks Like a Duck Could Be a Hybrid of Two Duck Species (Joanna Klein, Sept. 11, 2017, NY Times)

A duck is a duck, right? Well, yes, but when one duck mates with a duck of another species, there's the risk that one of the original species could cease to exist. And then that duck is a duck no more.

But who cares? A new, hybrid duck will emerge, and that duck is a duck, right? Maybe over geological time that would be true. But in a natural world affected by human activity, ecologists and conservationists worry that hybridization can upset ecological balances and undermine the survival of species involved in such a blend. Although not a problem yet, a study published Thursday in The Condor: Ornithological Applications suggests the riddling possibility that two duck species forming a hybrid species could one day leave us with less diversity among North American ducks.

This study is the first to assess the rate at which mallard and Mottled Ducks are combining into hybrids in the western Gulf of Mexico region of the United States.