Author Archive | Good German

Great Barrier Reef Corals Eat Plastic

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These are corals on the Great Barrier Reef. Credit: Mia Hoogenboom

 

Via ScienceDaily:

Researchers in Australia have found that corals commonly found on the Great Barrier Reef will eat micro-plastic pollution.

“Corals are non-selective feeders and our results show that they can consume microplastics when the plastics are present in seawater,” says Dr Mia Hoogenboom, a Chief Investigator with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University.

“If microplastic pollution increases on the Great Barrier Reef, corals could be negatively affected as their tiny stomach-cavities become full of indigestible plastic,” Dr Hoogenboom says.

Microplastics are tiny fragments of plastic in the environment and are a widespread contaminant in marine ecosystems, particularly in inshore coral reefs.

Despite the proliferation of microplastics, their impact on marine ecosystems is poorly understood.

“Marine plastic pollution is a global problem and microplastics can have negative effects on the health of marine organisms,” says Dr Hoogenboom.

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To Resist and to Survive: A Conversation with Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

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Dunbar-Ortiz’s book An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States is out now

 

Stephyn Quirke writes at Earth First! Newswire:

It’s been said that education is what you are left with after forgetting everything you learned in school. And unfortunately for us, American history books already forgot to mention a few things: like human beings inhabiting North America for over 20,000 years prior to Europeans. In fact, the Europeans our history books call the “original Americans” and “Founding Fathers” didn’t start calling themselves Americans until they started to see themselves becoming more like the indigenous peoples they encountered – a special kind of free people who belonged to this land.

Inside the U.S., it is almost impossible to get a standard education in U.S. history and come away with the knowledge that the United States was founded on genocide – the largest in world history up to that time.

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Amnesty International World Report: 2014 a ‘Year of Regression’

Via Hetq:

Amnesty International’s report for 2014 has condemned the response of the international community to worsening human rights abuses across the globe.

Amnesty, which released its annual report yesterday, said last year marked a nadir in the global state of human rights that was not due simply to a stalling of progress, but a “regression”.

The report is highly critical of Azerbaijan’s government over its silencing of critics, particularly the currently-jailed OCCRP and Radio Free Europe-Radio Liberty journalist Khadija Ismayilova, whom Amnesty has named a prisoner of conscience. Ismayilova was targeted by authorities after publishing investigations into corruption amongst the oil-rich country’s political elite.

More generally, the report decries the widespread harassment of independent journalists in Azerbaijan that culminated in a raid on the Radio Free Europe-Radio Liberty offices by the Prosecutor’s office in December 2014.

Russia’s crackdown on freedom of expression also came under fire.

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After Paris and Copenhagen, Let’s Not Forget Corporate Censorship

Pic via Jon S via Flickr (CC)

Pic via Jon S via Flickr (CC)

Christian Christensen writes at Common Dreams:

It has been a bad and bloody few months. From the brutal mass murder at the offices of Charlie Hedbo to the tragedy in Copenhagen, the purportedly cherished Western values of freedom of speech and freedom of the press came under attack from religious extremism. The hashtag #JeSuisCharlie, which exploded in the immediate aftermath of the Paris killings, was supposed to symbolize a collective opposition to any restrictions (imposed or self-imposed) on free expression. Similarly, there was widespread condemnation of the killings in Copenhagen, followed by reaffirmations of the central place of a free press and free speech in modern European society.

In the midst of these brutal and senseless killings, two other stories caught our eye: the suspension in the US of NBC anchor Brian Williams for lying about events during his time in Iraq; and, the revelations provided by Daily Telegraph political commentator Peter Oborne on the influence of advertiser HSBC on editorial decision-making.

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Does the US have a Left, Left?

J.P. Miller writes at CounterPunch:

I am not Christ or a philanthropist, old lady, I am all the contrary of a Christ…. I fight for the things I believe in, with all the weapons at my disposal and try to leave the other man dead so that I don’t get nailed to a cross or any other place.

— Che Guevara

Introduction

For the purposes of this article, the “New left” is defined as a genuine group, party, or organization in the United States (US) that promotes Marxist revolutionary, Socialist principles in opposition to the Capitalist US government construct and society. This does not include anarchists, Democrats or independents. Also, the “Old Left” is celebrated as that great agitator and loosely revolutionary composite of unions, parties, and individuals, that historically brought us much needed reform from the 1900’s to the 1950’s. More in tune with this article is the contributions that the “New Left” provided through the Civil Rights movement and the anti-Vietnam war movement in the US along with the grassroots led social movement that gripped much of Europe during the 1960’s and 1970’s.

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What We Know About the Mysterious Suicide of Missouri Gubernatorial Candidate Tom Schweich

Jenna McLaughlin and Pema Levy write at Mother Jones:

On Thursday morning, Thomas Schweich, Missouri’s auditor and a Republican candidate for governor, died of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound. His death—coming moments after he had invited two reporters to his home later that day—shocked Missouri political observers, who point out that in addition to his beloved family and distinguished career in public service, Schweich, 54, had just won re-election to a second term as state auditor and was leading in early polls of the 2016 governor’s race. Why he would have taken his own life is a mystery to those who knew him. Just as strange is the predominant theory of what may have provoked his apparent suicide: rumors that he was Jewish.

In the days before his death, Schweich had been worried that the head of the Missouri Republican Party was conducting a “whisper campaign” against him by telling people that he was Jewish.

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Using ‘Fuzzy Logic’ to Optimize Hybrid Solar/Battery Systems

This image shows the fuzzy logic algorithm which reads the consumption energy and the monthly average of daily solar radiation and gives the output of the system which is the PVP surface and the battery capacity. Credit: Chokri BEN SALAH/Control and Energy Management Lab. (CEMLab), Department of Electrical Engineering, National School of Engineers of Sfax, BP. W, 3038, Sfax, Tunisia.

This image shows the fuzzy logic algorithm which reads the consumption energy and the monthly average of daily solar radiation and gives the output of the system which is the PVP surface and the battery capacity.

Credit: Chokri BEN SALAH/Control and Energy Management Lab. (CEMLab), Department of Electrical Engineering, National School of Engineers of Sfax, BP. W, 3038, Sfax, Tunisia.

Via ScienceDaily:

How did fuzzy logic help a group of researchers in Tunisia and Algeria create an ideal photovoltaic system that obeys the supply-and-demand principle and its delicate balance?

In the Journal of Renewable & Sustainable Energy, from AIP Publishing, the group describes a new sizing system of a solar array and a battery in a standalone photovoltaic system that is based on fuzzy logic — a many-valued logic system designed to reason outputs by considering a range of possibilities rather than a simple, binary yes or no, as with classical logic.

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How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations

Glenn Greenwald writes at the Intercept:

One of the many pressing stories that remains to be told from the Snowden archive is how western intelligence agencies are attempting to manipulate and control online discourse with extreme tactics of deception and reputation-destruction. It’s time to tell a chunk of that story, complete with the relevant documents.

Over the last several weeks, I worked with NBC News to publish a series of articles about “dirty trick” tactics used by GCHQ’s previously secret unit, JTRIG (Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group). These were based on four classified GCHQ documents presented to the NSA and the other three partners in the English-speaking “Five Eyes” alliance. Today, we at the Intercept are publishing another new JTRIG document, in full, entitled “The Art of Deception: Training for Online Covert Operations.”

By publishing these stories one by one, our NBC reporting highlighted some of the key, discrete revelations: the monitoring of YouTube and Blogger, the targeting of Anonymous with the very same DDoS attacks they accuse “hacktivists” of using, the use of “honey traps” (luring people into compromising situations using sex) and destructive viruses.

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