Showing posts from April 19, 2015

A Project to Turn Corpses Into Compost

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[In our society we think so very little about death that I guess I would encourage people to read and think about it whenever they get the chance. I'd be happy to be turned into compost in the event that my remains are rejected by the medical school upon my demise! See also Sky Burial: Excarnation in Texas, and Korean Thanksgiving in a California Graveyard. *RON*]

By Catrin Einhorn, New York Times, 13 April 2015

Cullowhee, N.C. — The body of the tiny 78-year-old woman, gray hair falling over stiffened shoulders, was brought to a hillside at Western Carolina University still clad in a blue hospital gown and chartreuse socks.

She was laid on a bed of wood chips, and then more were heaped atop her. If all goes as hoped, the body will turn into compost.

It is a startling next step in the natural burial movement. Even as more people opt for interment in simple shrouds or biodegradable caskets, urban cemeteries continue to fill up. For the environ…

Breathing poison in the world's most polluted city

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[Worse than Beijing; the most polluted city in the world. See also Death by Breath: What’s happening to Delhi air will have you gasping for breath. *RON*]

By Anu Anand. BBC News, 19 April 2015

Saharan dust, traffic fumes and smog from Europe may be clogging up London's air at present - and causing alarm in the newspapers - but in the world's most polluted city London's air would be considered unusually refreshing. That city is Delhi, the Indian capital, where air quality reports now make essential reading for anxious residents.

In London last week, the most dangerous particles - PM 2.5 - hit a high of 57 - that's nearly six times recommended limits.

Here in Delhi, we can only dream of such clean air.

Our reading for these minute, carcinogenic particles, which penetrate the lungs, entering straight into the blood stream - is a staggering 215 - 21 times recommended limits. And that's better than it's been all winter.

Until a f…

Counter-Terrorism Officials Helped Track Black Lives Matter Protesters

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[Protesting police racism becomes terrorism as we wend our way toward a Black injustice tipping-point. A cache of California Highway Patrol emails provides a glimpse into how anti-terrorism agents helped law enforcement officials monitor Black Lives Matter protesters on the web. *RON*]
By Darwin BondGraham, East Bay Express, 15 April 2015
On December 9, 2014, at 4:48 p.m., an internal email with the subject line, "Reminder for Tonight and this week: Do Not Advise Protesters That We Are Following Them on Social Media," circulated among dozens of California Highway Patrol commanders. The message read: "A quick reminder ... as you know, our TLO [Terrorism Liaison Officers] officers are actively following multiple leads over social media." The note continued, "this morning, we found posts detailing protesters' interaction with individual officers last night. In the posts, protesters are stating that we (CHP) were claimin…

Men Enslaved in Cages May Have Caught the Shrimp at Your Supermarket

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[It's worth asking where your shrimps are from next time you're at the grocery store. Migrants who come to Thailand in hopes of earning money are vulnerable to being exploited. Go to the Green America web site and click on the tab labelled "Alternatives" to see what else you can conscionably buy. *RON*]
By Elizabeth O'Connell, OtherWords / AlterNet, 15 April 2015

A few years ago, a friend promised Asorasak Thama a job in the Thai fishing industry. The job offered good pay for a few weeks of work.

Instead, he wound up trapped at sea for a year, working in terrible conditions for no pay at all. Thama had become a slave.

Authorities rescued Thama and his crewmembers when they stopped the boat he was trapped on for fishing illegally in Indonesian waters. A few years later, however — after a stranger drugged him at a bar in southern Thailand — Thama found himself enslaved again.

When his boat came into shore to get a fishing lic…

VIDEO: Conservatives tout "exemplary" environmental record, may not own dictionary

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[Speaks for itself. *RON*]
By PressProgress, 16 April 2015

Exemplary is defined as "extremely good and deserving to be admired and copied."

That's how Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford is characterising the Conservative government's environmental record. Maybe he hasn't heard of these descriptions of it: "atrocious," "irresponsible," "dismal", "disastrous," and "an extreme disappointment."

Here's what Rickford actually said this week in New York (video clip below), indicating the minister may not only want to check his words, but also his facts:
1. "We are using our natural wealth to grow our economy." Except...
economic experts say the government has been "playing a losing hand" basing their "political strategy on the performance of a commodity economy." The Conservatives' boom-and-bust resource economy has been, well, a bust.the Bank…