Archive | December 22, 2013

American Navy Sailors Suffering From Fukushima Radiation Sickness

US Navy 110323-N-IC111-436 Sailors scrub the flight deck aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) following a countermeasure wash dowSorry to say I highly doubt that these American sailors are the only people outside of Japan who will suffer from radiation-induced illnesses in the wake of the Fukushima disaster. The New York Post reports:

Navy sailor Lindsay Cooper knew something was wrong when billows of metallic-tasting snow began drifting over USS Ronald Reagan.

“I was standing on the flight deck, and we felt this warm gust of air, and, suddenly, it was snowing,” Cooper recalled of the day in March 2011 when she and scores of crewmates watched a sudden storm blow toward them from the tsunami-torn coast of Fukushima, Japan.

The tall 24-year-old with a winning smile didn’t know it then, but the snow was caused by the freezing Pacific air mixing with a plume of radioactive steam from the city’s shattered nuclear reactor.

Now, nearly three years after their deployment on a humanitarian mission to Japan’s ravaged coast, Cooper and scores of her fellow crew members on the aircraft carrier and a half-dozen other support ships are battling cancers, thyroid disease, uterine bleeding and other ailments.

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UFC Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman: I Was Extremely Bullied, Was Hospitalized As Child.

This one goes for all those bullied in their youth, stay strong and heed the wise words of Chris Weidman.  Ossu.

Bobby Razak profiles UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman in the latest of his “Vérité” series.

“I grew up in a decently tough neighborhood,” says Weidman as transcribed by MMAFighting. “I grew up getting bullied and fighting a lot. My brother was probably one of the toughest kids from my neighborhood and he didn’t make it easy on me. He made sure I was getting beat up as much as possible growing up. If he wasn’t beating me up, he was making his friends beat me up. He threw a 10 pound weight on my head because I wouldn’t get him a cookie. Split my forehead open pretty good.”

“I think any type of setback you have, any tough time you’ve got, getting through it is what makes you who you are.

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Iceland’s Elves Must Be Accounted For In Environmental Impact Survey

 

Icleandic elf houses. Photo: Christian Bickel (CC)

Icleandic elf houses. Photo: Christian Bickel (CC)

Sharon Hill of Doubtful News brings us the latest update on Iceland’s Serious Elf Business.

The Huldufolk must be consulted at least as a cultural tradition in Iceland.

Iceland’s hidden elves delay road projects.

Elf advocates have joined forces with environmentalists to urge the Icelandic Road and Coastal Commission and local authorities to abandon a highway project building a direct route from to the tip of the Alftanes peninsula, where the president has a home, to the Reykjavik suburb of Gardabaer. They fear disturbing elf habitat and claim the area is particularly important because it contains an elf church.

The project has been halted until the Supreme Court of Iceland rules on a case brought by a group known as Friends of Lava, who cite both the environmental and the cultural impact — including the impact on elves — of the road project.

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Peak Oil Can Wait: Peak Food Beckons

Ansel Adams - Farm workers and Mt. WilliamsonPeak Food is a term you may be hearing more of in 2014. The Guardian via Raw Story reports on a new study published in Nature dryly entitled “Distinguishing between yield advances and yield plateaus in historical crop production trends,” but within are some worrying findings:

Industrial agriculture could be hitting fundamental limits in its capacity to produce sufficient crops to feed an expanding global population according to new research published in Nature Communications.

The study by scientists at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln argues that there have been abrupt declines or plateaus in the rate of production of major crops which undermine optimistic projections of constantly increasing crop yields. As much as “31% of total global rice, wheat and maize production” has experienced “yield plateaus or abrupt decreases in yield gain, including rice in eastern Asia and wheat in northwest Europe.”

The declines and plateaus in production have become prevalent despite increasing investment in agriculture, which could mean that maximum potential yields under the industrial model of agribusiness have already occurred.

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New Mexico Woman Billed $5,000 After Horrific 6-Hour Cavity Search At U.S. Border

borderPerhaps most horrifying is that a hospital and its medical staff actively went along with this. The El Paso Times reports:

In a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday in El Paso by the American Civil Liberties Union, a 54-year-old New Mexico woman claims that she underwent a brutal six-hour full-body cavity search by federal officers that included anal and vaginal probes that made her feel like an “animal.”

The woman also is suing University Medical Center, where while handcuffed she was forced to have an observed bowel movement, was X-rayed, had a speculum exam, vaginal exam and had a CT scan. The suit claims the hospital then gave her the $5,000 bill. Despite the six-hour search at the [border] and then later at UMC, no drugs were found.

The search took place when the woman was coming back from seeing a family friend, whom she calls “uncle” and tries to visit once a month.

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Myths of the Holidays: Who Makes Krampus Look Jovial By Comparison?

Nyssa Part 1: Loves Notes To A Stranger

Krampus by Alexey Andreev for Nyssa Part 1: Loves Notes To A Stranger

Have you noticed you can’t go far this Christmas season without seeing the krampus, a devil-like consort to Saint Nicholas? All of the sudden, the devilish fellow seems to be everywhere.

But it is far less likely that you have encountered another Christmas-time mythic character, that of Frau Perchta. She makes the Krampus seem amiable to boot.

Perchta asks,”have you been weaving your flax little girl? Have you been good? Are you eating the awful gruel and fish that are to be consumed on my holiday?” If the answer is no, the poor children are disemboweled, and their insides are stuffed with straw and stones. So, you know. Don’t mess up. By comparison to the two of them, Saint Nicholas’ ‘present’ of coal seems benign.

We may wonder what the sense is in these dark figures, during a time that we mistakenly assume should be lighthearted and merry.… Read the rest

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