Thursday, January 19, 2012

For 35 years in a row, science has been rooting for the terrorists to win ...

... or, perpetrators of most elaborate hoax ever going to ever more elaborate lengths to perpetrate hoax (cont'd)

This marks the 35th straight year that global temperatures were warmer than normal. NOAA's records for world average temperatures date back to 1880.

Exciting developments in booze (cont'd)

We can now drink meteorite-infused wine.

Imagine a wine connoisseur swirling Cabernet Sauvignon around in his mouth, and then comparing the experience to "drinking elements from the birth of the solar system."

With those exact words, vineyard owner Ian Hutcheon is promoting Meteorito, the first wine aged with a roughly 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite believed to be from the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Rick Perry - Savoring the Dumbering

His campaign is probably almost over, so we must cherish these golden nuggets of inanity (new team name?) while they're still coming.

"When you have a country [Turkey] that is being ruled by what many would perceive to be Islamic terrorists, when you start seeing that type of activity against their own citizens, then yes, not only is it time for us to have a conversation about whether or not they belong to be in NATO, but it's time for the United States, when we look at their foreign aid, to go to zero with it."

— Rick Perry

This was the most jaw-dropping statement of the night.

The ruling party of Turkey is moderately Islamic, but it generally has not interfered with the country’s secular traditions. While Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has prodded the leadership about its commitment to media freedoms, few analysts — if any — would say the Turkish leadership is made up of "Islamic terrorists." We really have no idea what Perry is talking about.

As for foreign aid, Turkey is a wealthy country that already gets virtually no foreign aid from the United States. The State Department this year made a request for about $5 million, which was earmarked for peace-keeping and security operations — not what one could consider traditional "foreign aid."

Sunday, January 15, 2012

I guess what's been killing the bees should have been obvious

If they need to find a healthier way to cope with all that bee stress, I suggest booze.

Apparently, neonicotinoids are "a group of toxic chemicals designed to paralyse insects by attacking their nervous systems." But, as it turns out, bees are insects too. Hmmph. And you spelled "paralyze" wrong.

Nicotine-based pesticides in widespread use by farmers are implicated in the mass deaths of bees, according to a new study by US scientists.

The authoritative, peer-reviewed research undermines the pesticide industry's long-repeated arguments that bees are not being harmed, and piles pressure on UK and US authorities to follow other countries by introducing bans on the chemicals.

Pesticide companies have been trying to protect their multi-billion pound businesses by lobbying internationally against bans on neonicotinoids, a group of toxic chemicals designed to paralyse insects by attacking their nervous systems.

Agricultural crops in Scotland, England and around the world are dosed with the chemicals to prevent insects from damaging them. But evidence has been mounting that they could be to blame for the "colony collapse disorder" that has been decimating bee populations.

The US has been losing one-third of its honeybee hives every year, while beekeepers in Europe say that more than one million bee colonies have been wiped out in France, Germany, Italy and the UK since 1994.

Although neonicotinoids have faced bans or restrictions in Germany, France, Italy and Slovenia, regulators in the UK and the US have so far accepted the industry's contention that the toxins were not poisoning bees.

But that view has now been seriously challenged by a new study from scientists at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. They found neonicotinoids in bees, in pollen, in soil and in dandelions, suggesting that bees could be contaminated in several different ways.

"We know that these insecticides are highly toxic to bees; we found them in each sample of dead and dying bees," said Christian Krupke, associate professor of entomology at Purdue and a co-author of the study. Bees also suffered from tremors, unco-ordinated movement and convulsions, which are all signs of insecticide poisoning...