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This new app takes a swipe at China’s worst polluters



When Chinese environmental advocate Ma Jun realized that no one was going to take responsibility for the crippling smog that plagues his country, he decided to take matters into his own hands. His idea: encourage citizens to start pointing their fingers at the problem. Literally.

Manufacturers have been reaping the rewards of China’s new industrial economy, while ducking the consequences of fouling up its air. So Ma and colleagues built a live-updating map that shows exactly where individual polluters are emitting the noxious stuff that threatens Chinese citizens’ health, to the tune of 670,000 premature deaths, and contributes to global climate change.

Using government-installed air monitoring systems, the app reports real-time emissions from sources all over the country, marking the culprits with guilty orange circles. Although China has strict anti-pollution laws — some violations are even punishable by death — the laws are typically poorly enforced. With few electoral routes to justice available, public opinion is often the best tool for…

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Gas prices are way low, but U.S. oil production to grow in 2015. What gives?


Today, the price of oil fell under $53 a barrel, the cheapest crude since the 2009 recession. Petroleum’s price plummet over the last six months (explained by Vox) means cheaper gasoline prices, a short-term win for cash-strapped American drivers but a potential setback for the climate. Heck, inexpensive gas has even summoned the climate-wrecking SUV from its too-shallow grave.

On the bright green side, a glut of bargain-basement oil could potentially slow production, especially at super-dirty sources like the Bakken shale oil of North Dakota. Such “unconventional petroleum” is expensive to extract and then refine. The longer oil prices remain low the harder it is for the fossil fuel industry to turn a profit on shale oil.

So, will 2015 be the year the U.S. fossil fuel industry finally hits the breaks on the shale boom?

Unfortunately, the U.S. Energy Information Administration doesn’t think so. Data through September 2014 show that oil production in North Dakota continued…

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Breaking: Healthcare Worker in Scotland Diagnosed with Ebola



By Lily Dane – The Daily Sheeple

A day after flying home to Glasgow from Sierra Leone, a healthcare worker has been diagnosed with Ebola, the Scottish government reported today.

From Reuters:

The patient is being treated in isolation at Glasgow’s Gartnavel Hospital, having flown back to Scotland’s largest city late on Sunday on a British Airways flight via Casablanca in Morocco and London’s Heathrow.

“All possible contacts with the patient are now being investigated and anyone deemed to be at risk will be contacted and closely monitored,” the Scottish government said in a statement.

“However, having been diagnosed in the very early stages of the illness, the risk to others is considered extremely low.”

The patient, who is said to be female, will be transferred to a high-level isolation unit in London’s Royal Free hospital.

While reporting on the dangerous virus in the US has quelled, the threat…

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5 steps towards making 2015 your best year ever

5.1 Quake off the Californian Coast



By Chris Carrington – The Daily Sheeple

No injuries have so far been reported after a 5.1 earthquake hit the Northern Californian coast 70 miles west of Ferndale. According to the United States Geological Survey website, the quake struck at 0416 this morning Pacific time.

The largest earthquake to hit California was a 7.9 in 1887. According to the USGS:

This earthquake occurred on the San Andreas fault, which ruptured from near Parkfield (in the Cholame Valley) almost to Wrightwood (a distance of about 300 kilometers); horizontal displacement of as much as 9 meters was observed on the Carrizo Plain. It caused one fatality. A comparison of this shock to the San Francisco earthquake, which occurred on the San Andreas fault on April 18, 1906, shows that the fault break in 1906 was longer but that the maximum and average displacements in 1857 were larger.

California sits in an…

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What is a black hole?

Daily Knowledge


A black hole is a region in space where the pulling force of gravity is so strong that light is not able to escape. The strong gravity occurs because matter has been pressed into a tiny space. This compression can take place at the end of a star’s life Some black holes are a result of dying stars. Because no light can escape, black holes are invisible.

However, space telescopes with special instruments can help find black holes. They can observe the behavior of material and stars that are very close to black holes.

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Creative Use of Technology

Personal rapid transit: The future of public transportation, maybe


Since writing about Seattle’s infrastructure fustercluck, I’ve been thinking a lot about transportation. It’s really a b*tch of a problem.

The internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle had its disadvantages from the very beginning, not only relative to public transportation but relative to other types of car. (There’s a fantastic chapter in Alexis Madrigal’s Powering the Dream about this history.) But its advantages — power, personalization, and modularity — mattered more. It could go farther than other cars; you could drive it wherever you wanted to go, whenever; and it was small enough to be within the reach of average citizens, who had little control over larger transportation projects.

The ICE car has arguably passed the point when its drawbacks — particulate pollution, traffic, sprawl, climate change — exceed its advantages, at least from a social-welfare perspective. But it is still firmly rooted in human life, almost everywhere, despite much-hyped…

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Arinnitti is Today’s Religious Topic of the Day (01/03/15)

Daily Happenings from poetsareangels

Taken from the Merriam-Webster’s Encyclopedia of World Religions

Here is a dose of daily religion from A to Z.

Today’s religious topic is as follows:

“Arinnitti”Hattian Wurusemu, Hittite sun goddess, the principal deity and patron of the Hittite empire and monarchy. Her consort was the weather god Taru.

Arinnitti’s precursor seems to have been a mother-goddess of Anatolia, symbolic of earth and fertility. Arinnitti’s attributes were righteous judgement, mercy, and royal authority. The powerful Hittite queen Puduhepa adopted Arinnitti as her protectress; the queen’s seal showed her in the goddess’ embrace. See ANATOLIAN RELIGIONS

(Comeback on 1/4/15 and continue to learn about religion. Tomorrow you’ll read and learn more about “Arion”.

#ReligiousTopicOfTheDay, #poetsareangels.com, @FelinaSilver

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