Showing posts from August 12, 2017

Today's Trumpery


How Solar Windows Could Put Transparent Panels Everywhere

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[Still several years away from practical use, but interesting. *RON*]

Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, 27 July 2017

As we move away from fossil fuels like coal and gas as sources of energy, one of the better ways to produce power is by harvesting light from the sun. Solar panels are rapidly becoming cheaper and more efficient, and new solar farms are being built all around the world.

Most of our power is used in cities, but cities pose a unique problem for solar power. The buildings are too tall. Most of the sunlight hits the sides of buildings, where the windows are placed, instead of on the top where the solar panels might go.

We could replace windows with solar panels, but then we wouldn't have windows on our buildings, which isn't good. Instead, a group of researchers managed to build a window that also worked as a solar panel. Minute Earth explains:

At first, a solar panel window might seem like an oxymoron. After all, solar panel…

Businesses lagging behind in Indigenous reconciliation: Report

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["Of the 173 companies surveyed, only 10 made any commitment to international law. Only five companies specifically mentioned a commitment to free and prior informed consent." *RON*]

Meagan Gillmore,, 11 August 2017

Canadian companies have a long way to go to advance reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, a recent report argues.

SHARE (Shareholder Association for Research and Education), a non-profit that advises institutional investors like foundations and religious organizations about ethical and socially responsible investments, released a study last month about how well publicly listed companies report on Indigenous relations.

The study includes results from 173 publicly listed companies from financial, telecommunications, materials, energy, renewable energy and clean technology, health care, and consumer sectors. Researchers looked at how companies reported about the number of Indigenous employees at their company and the…

Death toll rises amid Kenya's rioting over disputed vote

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[Police open fire to disperse opposition protesters in Nairobi; girl, 9, killed by stray bullet. Imagine losing your daughter over an election. See also: Uhuru Kenyatta declared winner of Kenya election but opposition rejects result. From a few minutes ago on Reuters: Eleven dead as post-election unrest erupts in Kenya. *RON*]
Associated Press, CBC News, 12 August 2017 Kenya's post-election violence worsened Saturday as police used tear gas on a convoy of opposition officials in the capital and a mortuary official said nine bodies with gunshot wounds were brought to a Nairobi morgue from a slum that's an opposition stronghold.

As rioting continued the day after President Uhuru Kenyatta won a second term in a vote the opposition claims had been rigged, an anguished father said his 9-year-old daughter was killed by a stray bullet while playing with friends.

Kenyan police shot and killed two people during riots by opposition supporters on …

Arctic waters get long-sought protection

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[An Inuit group and the federal government are creating a national marine conservation area in Lancaster Sound that will be – by far – Canada’s largest. Trudeau continues to confound with his bizarre mix of right-minded and wrong-headed policies. *RON*]

Gloria Galloway, The Globe & Mail, 11 August 2017

The federal government has reached an agreement with local Inuit that will lead to the protection and management of a massive swath of northern sea in one of the most ecologically sensitive regions of the Canadian Arctic.

The new proposed boundaries of a national marine conservation area in Lancaster Sound, which has sometimes been called the Serengeti of the Arctic because of the breadth of its biodiversity, would encompass more than 131,000 square kilometres of ocean.

That is 10 times larger than the biggest of the four existing national marine conservation areas, more than twice as large as any other protected area on land or sea, and would…

Charlottesville: far-right crowd with torches encircles counter-protest group

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[People gathering to oppose Unite the Right demonstration say they were hit with pepper spray and lighter fluid in clash on University of Virginia campus. "I don’t like this talk about 'alt-right', that's an unnecessary abstraction. These are neofascists in contemporary garb." Cornel West An update from CNN: State of emergency declared amid violence at Charlottesville's 'Unite the Right' rally. *RON*]

Jason Wilson, The Guardian, 12 August 2017

Far-right rally descends into violence in Charlottesville
Hundreds of far-right demonstrators wielded torches as they marched on to the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville on Friday night and reportedly attacked a much smaller group of counter-protesters who had linked arms around a statue of Thomas Jefferson.

Starting at a municipal park less than a mile away, “alt-right” protesters who have gathered for the weekend Unite the Right rally marched in a long colu…