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Mayflower Tar Sands Spill Shows What Can Go Wrong With Keystone XL

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April 17, 2013
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Public comment is being accepted until April 22nd for the Keystone XL Pipeline project which would transport, via pipeline, nine times as much crude as the pipeline that just ruptured in Mayflower Arkansas. You cannot clean up oil once it’s in the dirt, the water, coating wildlife. And you can’t eat it either, it’s...
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Robots Closer to Humanoid Movements

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April 6, 2013

Is this a human or a ‘droid? Boston Dynamics PETMAN robot is used to test hazardous materials gear. The robot has sensors on its ‘skin’ to detect chemical leaks. It’s skin sweats to regulate temperature.

Arkansas Tar Sands Spill Refocuses Concern About Keystone XL Pipeline

By
April 4, 2013

From Washington Post, an in-depth interview with Steve Mofosn, author of Keystone XL: Down the Line about the Arkansas spill and the implications for the Keystone XL Pipeline going forward:

Theo Colborn: Chemicals in Environment Cause Endocrine Disruption

March 20, 2013
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Dr. Theo Colborn, founder of The Endocrine Disruption Exchange (TEDX) explains in chilling detail the extent to which US industry dumps under-regulated industrial chemicals into the environment, and the health problems endocrine disruptors cause humans, including ADHD, diabetes, autism, thyroid disorders, infertility, and abnormal gonadal development. Not stuff you want. The problem is, the...
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Protesters Oppose Detroit Council’s Approval of Controversial Jones Day Contract

April 17, 2013

Two Detroit residents protesting City Council’s vote to approve a $3.3 million contract between the city and the law firm Jones Day were arrested Tuesday. They were part of a group opposed to the contract, which is between the Detroit, currently under the emergency financial management of Kevin Orr, appointed by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder to steer Detroit clear of bankruptcy, and his former law firm Jones Day, where, previous to being named Emergency Financial Manager, he was a partner.

Jones Day also represents Bank of America Merrill Lynch, which owns many of Detroit’s municipal bonds. Protesters decried the blatant conflicts of interest. Emergency Manager Orr has absolute power over contracts; the declaration of the state of emergency by Governor Snyder effectively leaves Detroit without democratically elected representation in the city.

It’s been a long slow slide financially for Detroit, between racist urban renewal policies of the past, the collapse of the car industry, and incompetent city governance, and although Detroit has more recently been the hub for a sustainable community renaissance.

What’s So Great About Bitcoin?

April 7, 2013

There’s lot’s to like about Bitcoin, the Internet currency that’s been in the spotlight of late. It’s a completely digital, secure, anonymous and decentralized way to transfer currency for goods and services. Sure, you can’t buy groceries at the store with bitcoin – yet. But the number of transactions goes up daily, from 1000 to 50,000 per day over the past two years.

Bitcoin is currently experiencing a bubble. A single bitcoin that may have been worth a dollar or two a few years ago cashes in today for around $140. Lots of people getting interested real fast! You can buy and sell bitcoins, but you can also “mine” them, by having your computer solve mathematical puzzles buried in “blocks” of code. You solve the problem, you earn 25 bitcoin. A new block of code is generated every ten minutes. There’s an ultimate limit to bitcoin of 21 million by the year 2140. It’s a fascinating system.

Because bitcoin doesn’t use central banks, banks are starting to take notice too. Imagine a world without banks that are “too big to fail.”

Here’s an intro to bitcoin:

Crash Course in Parallel Universes by Minute Physics

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April 6, 2013


Planning

Detroit_GM_headquarters

Detroit Got Shafted Historically & By MI Governor Snyder

Very good reporting by AlJazeeraEnglish on Detroit’s financial crisis, and the history leading up to Governor Rick Snyder’s appointment of Emergency Financial Manager Kevin Orr, a former partner at the Jones Day law firm, and described by Governor Snyder as an expert in restructuring debt.

Homegrown

Civic Hackers Find New Ways to Use Public Data for Communities

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Mayflower Arkansas Oil Spill Hillbillies

Some college kids got together and riffed on the Beverly Hillbillies theme, but set...

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