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Thick air, toxic smog shroud 5 major cities: Delhi, Beijing, Paris, London and LA; Delhi diesel car registration ban until...

Delhi is now the world’s dirtiest city, surpassing Beijing for air pollution limit

Beijing issues its first red alert as air pollution hits hazardous levels

Paris chokes on pollution; City of Light becomes City of Haze

smog vs clean air

(quote)
*update* 16Dec2015
BBC - India Supreme Court cracks down on Delhi vehicle pollutionIt has ordered a temporary ban on the sale of large diesel vehicles and stopped trucks more than 10 years old from entering the city. India has 13 of the world's 20 most polluted cities, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported last year.

The Guardian - Delhi is now the world’s dirtiest city, surpassing Beijing for air pollution limits  read more »

New speaker, new style. Paul Ryan, bearded, not the first, yet good to compete with Tom Selleck or Sam Elliot for Movember award

(quote)

The spending bill presents Mr. Ryan with his most important test so far as speaker and will be a measure of how long members will remain enchanted with him. He can only hope their newfound ardor will match that for his new beard.
The short exchange had many signets of Mr. Ryan’s nascent leadership style, which contrasts sharply with that of his predecessor, John A. Boehner. Mr. Ryan has for the most part pushed the privilege of crafting legislation — and with it, the responsibilities — out of the leadership offices and back into the hands of members, replacing Mr. Boehner’s smoke-filled rooms, at least for now, with energy bar-lined committee conference rooms. When he wants to chat, he texts. In a grooming contrast to Mr. Boehner that seems almost willful, Mr. Ryan now also shuns shaving.

Proud of his furry face, Mr. Ryan wondered on social media whether he was, in fact, the first bearded House speaker in a century. While it was has not quite been 100 years, Mr. Ryan was close. According to the House historian, the last speaker with a beard was the appropriately named Frederick H. Gillett, who presided over the chamber until 1925.  read more »

Business. Sense. Market. Epic oil glut sparks super tanker traffic jams at sea; largest windfarm installation vessel delivered

Seajacks Scylla

(quote)

30 Nov 2015 - world's largest windfarm installation vessel, Seajacks Scylla delivered to UK by South Korea
Classification society ABS reports that the world's largest and most advanced wind farm installation and offshore construction vessel, the ABS-classed Seajacks Scylla, has been delivered by Samsung Heavy Industries' Geoje, South Korea, shipyard.  read more »

Resolution: Never too rich to be thin, more so during Holidays. Light-feathered Owls challenge you, as do swaying giraffes

white own standing in snow

playful giraffe pair

(quote)

Owls have long been a part of human folklore and legend. Owls often depicted in various ways in popular culture. They rank on par with bats and spiders as the most celebrated of Halloween creatures. Owls are a group of birds known for their distinct calls, nocturnal habits and silent flight. Owls are familiar to many people because they are often depicted in various ways in popular culture. They rank on par with bats and spiders as the most celebrated of Halloween creatures. Owls also appear as wise and noble characters in many children's stories, including Winnie the Pooh, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH and Harry Potter.

Owls are depicted in cave paintings in France that date back 15,000 to 20,000 years. Owls also appear in Egyptian hieroglyphics. They have held a variety of symbolic roles in culture and have represented misfortune, death, prosperity, and wisdom.

Owls have developed special feather adaptations that enable them to minimize the sound made when flapping their wings. For instance, the leading edges of their primary feathers have a stiff fringes that reduces noise while the trailing edge of their primaries have soft fringes that helps to reduce turbulence. Downy feathers cover the surfaces of the wing to further reduce sound.  read more »

Nature's Will. 400yo church lost to water(1966) re-emerges now as in 2002; unconquered Mont St-Michel cut off by Tide of Century

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The 400-year-old church was originally lost to the waters in 1966 when it was flooded; now emerging from the depths again due to 2015 drought (causing the Mexican reservoir to decrease by 82 feet) as it did in 2002 when water dropped so low.

2015 - The watershed of the Grijalva river has been hit by a drought this year, causing the water level in the Nezahualcoyotl reservoir to decrease by 82 feet. The remains of a 400-year-old church have emerged from the receding waters of a river in the southern Mexico state of Chiapas.

Mid-16th century - The church was built by a group of monks led by Friar Bartolome de la Casas, who arrived in the region that was inhabited by the Zoque people in the mid-16th century in the Quechula locality.

1966 - It was originally lost to the waters of the Nezahualcoyotl reservoir in 1966 when it flooded. With the walls rising to about 30 feet, the stunning structure is 183 feet long and 42 feet wide. The bell tower reaches 48 feet above the ground of the church. Architect Carlos Navarete, who worked with Mexican authorities on a report about the structure, said: 'The church was abandoned due to the big plagues of 1773-1776.'  read more »

Migrants. German Village of 102 to host 750. Mayor's wife: it's a joke. No? Official language would be (local becomes minority)?

(quote)

The German village of Sumte, population 102, to accommodate for an influx of 750 migrants, nearly 10 times as many migrants as it had residents
SUMTE, Germany — This bucolic, one-street settlement of handsome redbrick farmhouses may for the moment have many more cows than people. In early October, the district government informed Sumte’s mayor, Christian Fabel, by email that his village of 102 people just over the border in what was once Communist East Germany would take in 1,000 asylum seekers.

His wife, the mayor said, assured him it must be a hoax. “It certainly can’t be true” that such a small, isolated place would be asked to accommodate nearly 10 times as many migrants as it had residents, she told him. “She thought it was a joke,” he said.

But it was not. Sumte has become a showcase of the extreme pressures bearing down on Germany as it scrambles to find shelter for what, by the end of the year, could be well over a million people seeking refuge from poverty or wars in Africa, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

(unquote)

Photo courtesy Gordon Welters / NY Times

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