A Toxic Chemical Ruined The Lives Of These People — And It’s Probably In Your Blood

“Welcome to beautiful Parkersburg, West Virginia, home to one of the most brazen, deadly corporate gambits in U.S. history,” writes Mariah Blake in a #LongRead for Huffington Post:

“Hold on to something,” Jim Tennant warned as he fired up his tractor. We lurched down a rutted dirt road past the old clapboard farmhouse where he grew up. Jim still calls it “the home place,” although its windows are now boarded up and the outhouse is crumbling into the field.

Photo: Tim Kiser (CC)

Photo: Tim Kiser (CC)

 

At 72, Jim is so slight that he nearly disappears into his baggy plaid shirt. But he drives his tractor like a dirt bike. We sped past the caved-in hog pen and skidded down a riverbank. The tractor tipped precariously toward the water, slamming into a fallen tree, but Jim just laughed.

When we had gone as far as the tractor could take us, Jim climbed off and squeezed through a barbed-wire fence.

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The Argument from Abandonment and Suffering

Abandonment

This post originally appeared on Philosophical Disquisitions.

(Previous Entry)

The argument from abandonment and suffering is a specific version of the problem of evil. Erik Wielenberg defends the argument in his recent paper ‘The parent-child analogy and the limits of skeptical theism’. That paper makes two distinctive contributions to the literature, one being the defence of the argument from abandonment and suffering, the other being a meta-argument about standards for success in the debate between skeptical theists and proponents of the problem of evil.

I covered the meta-argument in a previous post. It may be worth revisiting that post before reading the remainder of this one. But if you are not willing to revisit that earlier post, allow me to briefly summarise. Skeptical theism is probably the leading contemporary response to the evidential problem of evil. It casts doubt on our ability to identify God-justifying reasons for allowing evil.… Read the rest

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Terminator-style ‘skin’ repairs itself after a gunshot

A self-healing material that can fix itself with unprecedented speed could help protect structures in space.

via New Scientist:

Developed by Timothy Scott from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and his team, the self-healing “skin” contains a reactive liquid sandwiched between two polymer sheets. When punctured, a chemical called tributylborane in the liquid reacts with oxygen to make it harden, sealing the hole within seconds.

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Gruesome Find: 100 Bodies Stuffed into Ancient House

The 5,000-year-old house found in China was about 14 by 15 feet in size.  Credit: Photo courtesy Chinese Archaeology

The 5,000-year-old house found in China was about 14 by 15 feet in size.
Credit: Photo courtesy Chinese Archaeology

Remains of 97 bodies have been discovered in a 5,000 year old house in China. It’s likely that these people were victims of an epidemic.

Owen Jarus via Live Science:

The remains of 97 human bodies have been found stuffed into a small 5,000-year-old house in a prehistoric village in northeast China, researchers report in two separate studies.

The bodies of juveniles, young adults and middle-age adults were packed together in the house — smaller than a modern-day squash court — before it burnt down. Anthropologists who studied the remains say a “prehistoric disaster,” possibly an epidemic of some sort, killed these people.

The site, whose modern-day name is “Hamin Mangha,” dates back to a time before writing was used in the area, when people lived in relatively small settlements, growing crops and hunting for food.

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The Police: Our Enemies in Blue?

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 10.10.00 PMKristian Williams is not a big fan of the police. His book Our Enemies in Blue: Police and Power in America, published by the ridiculously badass AK Press breaks it down like this:

Let’s begin with the basics: violence is an inherent part of policing. The police represent the most direct means by which the state imposes its will on the citizenry. They are armed, trained, and authorized to use force. Like the possibility of arrest, the threat of violence is implicit in every police encounter. Violence, as well as the law, is what they represent.”

Kristian was kind enough to talk to me about why cops are bad.

Thanks for talking to me about your book “Our Enemies in Blue”. Your book is extremely critical of the police. What does the police department of the United States represent to you?

The police are specialists in coercive force.  Their distinguishing characteristic is the combination of surveillance and violence to make people do what people with power want them to do. … Read the rest

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Buzz Aldrin Plans to Live on Mars by 2040

Um, just how old will Buzz Aldrin be in 2040? I4U reports on his wish to colonize Mars:

A space academy in honor of the astronaut Buzz Aldrin was established at Florida Institute of Technology. And Aldrin is developing a ‘master plan’ to begin colonies on Mars by 2040.

Buzz Aldrin and Barack Obama.

Buzz Aldrin and Barack Obama.

 

Florida Institute of Technology laid the foundation of the Buzz Aldrin Space Institute. It will open its doors to the public towards the end of this summer. The goal of the institute is the colonization of the planet Mars.

Buzz Aldrin himself will lead the effort in the occupation of the Red Planet. Everyone remembers Buzz Aldrin from the unforgettable Apollo 11 mission.

The Florida Institute of Technology has always been at the leading edge of science and its application. It encourages its students to explore and gather valuable knowledge. This then can be applied in real life.

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Springsteen, Clowning and How to Live at Walmart with Darrin Bradbury

From the Indie Bohemians

Angered by the recent decision of the Pittsburgh Steelers to sign Michael Vick, Ron Placone reflects on the NFL and the destructive nature of the Super Bowl. Also, Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run turns 40.

Appropriately, today’s guest is Jersey-born singer/songwriter/storyteller, Darrin Bradbury. Darrin is a force on the East Nashville scene with a folky sound combined with sharp and captivating lyrics. Darrin and Ron discuss the art of clowning as Darrin’s mom is a clown, storytelling, the love of the song, and how to successfully live in a Walmart parking lot.

Krish Mohan rocks a FFON.

If the above player doesn’t work, please go here.

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Is an Erotic Christian Religion 
Really Possible?

gnostic sex[Excerpted from Gnostic Mysteries of Sex: Sophia the Wild One and Erotic Christianity by Tobias Churton]

I discussed in the introduction why I have not focused on the alleged sexual excesses of the numerous Gnostic schools before. There is probably an additional reason, less easy to express. To be honest, I don’t know about you, but I find the idea of communion with God through sexual communion very difficult to conceive of clearly, either as an idea or in a practical sense, unless, that is, one takes it that there is something profoundly godly about sexual intercourse in the first place. While familiar with the crossover between romantic yearning, deep love, passion, desire, and spiritual feelings—feelings where physical acts are experienced as far more than mere sense experiences and where more appears to be involved than a physical exchange of energy or emotion, however intense—something in my thinking is still inclined to balk at the prospect of applying a sense of reality to expressions such as sacred sex, which fall too easily, it seems to me, from the lips of moderns.… Read the rest

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World population will be around 15-25 billion in 2100 and will increase through 2200 because of African fertility, life extension and other technology

worldpopantiaging

Via Next Big Future:

The United Nations (UN) recently released population projections based on data until 2012 and a Bayesian probabilistic methodology. Analysis of these data reveals that, contrary to previous literature, the world population is unlikely to stop growing this century. There is an 80% probability that world population, now 7.2 billion people, will increase to between 9.6 billion and 12.3 billion in 2100. This uncertainty is much smaller than the range from the traditional UN high and low variants. Much of the increase is expected to happen in Africa, in part due to higher fertility rates and a recent slowdown in the pace of fertility decline. Also, the ratio of working-age people to older people is likely to decline substantially in all countries, even those that currently have young populations.

There is only a 30% chance of population peaking by 2100. This is even without considering radical life extension or any other turnaround in human fertility.

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