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"..what the planet's telling us": Blizzards,tornadoes,floods,record heat,drought,wildfires. Disasters cost US 36+billion this yr

Flood waters from the Passaic River fill the streets covering automobiles including a Chevrolet SUV days after Hurricane Irene in Paterson, New Jersey, August 31, 2011.

Even before Hurricane Irene struck two weeks ago, the costs added up to $35 billion.


Weather disasters keep costing U.S. billions this year - Blizzards. Tornadoes. Floods. Record heat and drought, followed by wildfires.

The first eight months of 2011 have brought strange and destructive weather to the United States. From the blizzard that dumped almost two feet of snow on Chicago, to killer tornadoes and heat waves in the south, to record flooding, to wildfires that have burned more than 1,000 homes in Texas in the last few days, Mother Nature has been in a vile and costly mood.

Climate experts point to global warming, meteorologists cite the influence of the La Nina weather phenomenon or natural variability and, in the case of tornadoes hitting populated areas, many simply call the death and destruction bad luck.

But given the variety and violence of both short-term weather events and longer-term effects like a Southwestern drought that has lasted years, more scientists say climate itself seems to be shifting and weather extremes will become more common.

"A warmer atmosphere has more energy to power storms. We've loaded the dice," said Jeff Masters, co-founder and director of meteorology for Weather Underground, Inc, speaking on Wednesday at a news conference on climate. "Years like 2011 may become the new normal in the United States in coming decades."  read more »

Visionary, innovator, inventor, business giant Steve Jobs: "think different".. "There is no reason not to follow your heart."

*update* 22 August 2014
Jobs prefaced his Stanford remarks by saying: "I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation."

Steve Jobs in 1981
Steve Jobs in his Los Angeles office in 1981, five years after he co-founded Apple.

Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in 1976
Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in 1976, when they founded Apple. Jobs sold his Volkswagen minibus and Wozniak his two Hewlett-Packard calculators to raise the money they needed.

Steve Jobs on Macworld cover in 1984.
On the cover of Macworld, a sister publication of Computerworld, in 1984.

Steve Jobs and John Sculley
During happier times with John Sculley. Jobs lost the helm at Apple in 1985 after a power struggle with Sculley, who was CEO of Apple at the time, and Jobs left to found NEXT.

Steve Jobs bought Pixar in 1986
In 1986, Steve Jobs bought Pixar from George Lucas for less than $10 million. The company later was renamed to Pixar Animation Studios. This photo is from the 2003 opening of 'Finding Nemo'. Pixar was ultimately sold to Walt Disney in 2006.  read more »

Oilsands protest goes Hollywood;Margot Kidder plays Earth Mother for real, expects to be arrested as some are already handcuffed

demonstrations have been taking place outside the White House against tar sand pipeline from Canada to US

US Park Police officer handcuffs and arrests a protestor over a proposed pipeline to bring tar sands oil to the US from Canada

Margot Kidder expects to be arrested in a tar sands protest in Washington

US Park Police officers handcuff and arrest protestors over a proposed pipeline to bring tar sands oil from Canada, in front of the White House in Washington, Saturday, Aug. 20, 2011


More arrests on second day of oil pipeline protests
A Toronto woman was among those arrested on the second day of a mass protest held outside the White House to denounce a planned pipeline that would transport Canadian oil from Alberta to Texas. Dozens of protesters were removed by U.S. Park Police on Sunday for failing to obey orders governing demonstrations on the grounds of the White House.

Patricia Warwick, 68, of Toronto, and a 65-year-old woman from Massachusetts were arrested shortly before noon and by the end of the day about 50 people had been detained. U.S. Park Police Sgt. David Schlosser said late Sunday everyone arrested was later released.  read more »

Hungary destroys GM corn; African Biodiversity Network:"GMO no solution to food shortages..";11 EU states want right to ban GMOs

Hungary attempts to secure a GM-free country

Hungary destroys illegal GM corn fields, makes distributing GMO seeds a felony


Hungary Destroys Genetically Modified Corn Crops
Hungary has destroyed almost 1,000 acres of corn found to have been grown with genetically modified seeds, which are illegal in the country, International Business Times reports. The corn was plowed under so that pollen would not contaminate other crops.

The action came in response to a new regulation introduced in March that stipulates that seeds are supposed to be checked for GMO before they can be sold to farmers. But some of the GMO seeds, manufactured by U.S. seed giants Monsanto and Pioneer, made it onto the market anyway. The Hungarian government said it will continue to test seeds despite the fact that seed sellers are obliged to make sure their products are GMO-free.

Last week the Hungarian unit of Monsanto, the largest producer of GMO seeds, appealed to the Budapest Municipal Court to suspend the resolution by the Hungarian Agriculture Office to destroy the corn, but they were turned down, according to the Budapest Times. With the growing season already underway, it's too late to sow new seeds, so this year's harvest is a total loss.

Monsanto released a statement saying it "respects Hungary's efforts to prevent the production of genetically manipulated plants on Hungarian farms. Monsanto sells only traditional, not GMO seeds to Hungary. Our seeds can only enter Hungarian markets after they were tested for GMO and found clean, in accordance with national and international laws."  read more »

Presumed Innocent. Friend, wife, ex-wife and 60% of French people believe Strauss-Kahn's innocent when he's accused of 7 charges

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, International Monetary Fund Managing Director, and his wife Anne Sinclair together at the Senate in Paris

Bernard-Henri Lévy defends friend Dominique Strauss-Kahn who was arrested by New York City Police for allegedly sexually attacking a hotel maid


(Reuters) - Anne Sinclair, the wealthy and popular journalist married to Dominique Strauss-Kahn, has chosen to stand by her man, even though the IMF chief faces charges of attempted rape: "I do not believe for a single second the accusations leveled against my husband."

The prize-winning, blue-eyed television interviewer first met Strauss-Kahn in 1989 at the apex of her career as a political talk-show host on French channel TFI. For years her celebrity largely eclipsed his. She became his third wife in 1996. He is her second husband.

People who know them say they are an affectionate couple who have an easy relationship and like to vacation together with friends in their holiday home in the Moroccan town of Marrakesh.

Sinclair sacrificed her career to his, giving up her popular prime-time Sunday show -- which featured guests from President Bill Clinton to Madonna and every major French political leader -- when her husband was appointed finance minister in 1997. Many on the center-left saw her as an ideal "first lady" if, as expected, Strauss-Kahn sought the Socialist nomination for the 2012 presidential election.  read more »

"We're what we eat"- 1 burger 20 yrs ago: 333 calories; today: 590 calories. Av. weight(M) in 1960-62: 166.3 lb; 1990-02: 191 lb

Americans are getting fat - very fat - at an alarming rate.

Obesity rates rise at least 90% in 17 states since ’95, study says. One-third of children are overweight or obese.


Obesity rates climbed at least 90 percent in 17 states from 1995 to last year, gains that have a direct bearing on US health spending, according to a report released yesterday.

Nine of the 10 states with the highest obesity rates are in the South, led by Mississippi at 34.4 percent, followed by Alabama and West Virginia, according to the report by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Those states also lead the nation in diabetes and high blood pressure, the report found. Michigan was listed as 10th at 30.5 percent. Massachusetts ranked fourth best at 22.3 percent.

Medicare and Medicaid, the public health plans, each spend more than 20 percent of their budget to treat illnesses related to obesity and smoking, which are avoidable medical risks.

The survey’s authors dubbed a swath of 644 counties in 15 mostly southern states the “diabetes belt,’’ as reported in the Journal of Preventive Diseases. Colorado, the slimmest state with a 19.8 percent obesity rate, had the second-smallest rise since 1995, though its rate is still higher than Mississippi’s was at that time, according to the study.  read more »

Kids vs. Global Warming. Million Youth "iMatter March" on Mother's Day: "protect Planet for our future and generations to come"

Youth for planet in all 50 states and the District of Columbia are suing the government in order to create an ‘atmospheric trust,’ arguing that public trust law should protect the atmosphere for people and future generations.

Kids vs Global Warming is a non profit organization founded and led by Alec Loorz, who is now 16 years old.

2011 - on Mother’s Day one million youth stand up for their planet for the future generation’s planet

Kids, the climate-crisis-affected generation, refuse to inherit a damaged planet from us, from parent and grandparent generations. They demand the atmosphere protected for their future. They will have iMatter climate march on Mother's Day, May 7-14; they are taking legal action to claim "the atmosphere belongs to us all". Youth to preserve the planet in all 50 states and the District of Columbia announced today that they're suing the government in order to create an "atmospheric trust," arguing that public trust law should protect the atmosphere for future generations. The plaintiffs and petitioners on all the cases are young people. Kids deserve a healthy Earth to live, to survive, to call it home. Shall we, parent / grandparent generations, leave behind at least a reasonably sustainable (if not better) place behind us for our kids, for children’s children? Regardless, now kids are standing up for their future.

(quote)  read more »

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