filkertom: (science)
James Anderson, one of our regulars her (under the user name [personal profile] jasperjones22 is a science grad student with a very common problem: lack of funding. Specifically, travel expenses to get to a conference.

So, for at least the first one, he's set up a fundraiser at indiegogo.

Rewards are a certain amount of his brainpower, depending on how much you donate. Ten bucks, one science question answered. $500, you've got your own Hermione Granger. Except, you know, male. And hairier.

He doesn't need a lot. If, over the next 38 days, you can spare something, won't you help?

What other good crowdfunding/Kickstarter/indiegogo projects should we know about? These things change constantly.
filkertom: (greenlife)
Don't drink the water and don't breathe the air:
PAULSBORO — Four railroad tank cars have been dumped into the Mantua Creek and are leaking vinyl chloride after the train bridge collapsed at about 7 a.m.

Ambulances are being sent to the Paulsboro Marine Terminal where approximately 18 people are reported to be experiencing breathing difficulties at 7:40 a.m.
More information and video links at dKos.

This is some dangerous shit. If you're in the vicinity, take precautions.
filkertom: (i_has_a_sad)
Great sadness and fond memories for us Michiganders today.

First, Helen Milliken, the wife of former Governor William Milliken, has passed away at the age of 89. She was the First Lady of Michigan for fourteen years, and came to be an exceptional advocate of women's rights and environmental protection. She was one of those people about whom no one had anything bad to say. A smart, elegant, classy lady, and a great ambassador for our state, and she will be missed.

And then there's Marvin Eliot Schlossburg.



Sonny Eliot has passed away at the age of 91. We'll remember him sadly but fondly -- "sondly" kinda remembering, if you will.
filkertom: (enoughalready)
My only consolation over the extreme heat we've had the past few weeks (and are going to have for at least next week, frickin' wahoo) is that all the Faux Noise fans who said that "global warming" was obviously a myth because it actually still snows in the winter aren't saying jack right now.

I'm a little worried about my own situation, actually -- my A/C is too efficient. I've got it set to about 73° in the house, but it keeps running and chills the place down to the low 60s. I've just got this vibe that something expensive is about to go. Or maybe I simply need a new thermostat. Meantime, I'll run it for a few hours, then shut it off, then run it again. Seems to be balancing nicely when I do that.

Here are some ways to beat the heat. Please take care of yourselves, your kids, your pets, your older friends and relatives, and let's all frickin' stay healthy. This too shall pass... but maybe not for another week or two.

How are you beating the heat?
filkertom: (Default)
This dKos article collects links to the product page, press release, and some very interesting numbers, which basically say that a 4-panel kit, going for between several hundred and a couple thousand dollars depending on where you are and what the government energy credits are like, will pay for itself in two to four years. And the comments go over a lot of the tech, practical problems, and additional points such as DC storage. (No, not the comic books, silly.)

This is exciting.
filkertom: (greenlife)
Southern Beale shares something incredibly cool. Really, you have to watch this video:



To learn more and to help, go to isanglitrongliwanag.org.
filkertom: (Default)
Few details yet, but not good.

ETA: More details. Not a plant, a waste storage facility. No leaks as of yet, and a leak does not appear likely. One person killed, four injured.
filkertom: (Default)
Every now and again, I mention my ultimate Lottery dream: buying an island somewhere, building up some infrastructure, and moving my family and a whole bunch -- three to five hundred -- of my friends there with me. Just getting us the hell away from everything.

It would never work, of course. There are too many technical problems, potential legal difficulties, and supply problems to overcome. Not to mention the existence of pirates, various naval forces with weapons tests, and the occasional tsunami.

Besides, Cthulhu's alarm clock might be about to go off.

This does not mean that I'm the only person to think like this. And now some ultra-rich doof is trying it. They're supposed to be little libertarian petri dishes, where a man can truly be free.

Good luck with that.

I figure that, in a few years, these little Time-Share 2020s will have been picked clean and abandoned, and maybe then we can go out there and rehab 'em.

Meantime, I'm saving up toward a missile silo.

What's your ultimate personal fortress? How detached from civilization do you wish to be? In my case, not much at all, thank you -- but I do want a nice, tornado-and-nuke-proof haven. (Seanan, don't you even think about all the ways you could mess me up with virii. I don't get enough sleep as it is.)
filkertom: (Default)
Scholastic, Inc. -- the Scholastic Books people... you know, the Harry Potter publishers, and more importantly the providers of incredible amounts of classroom material to schools across the country and around the world? Until very recently, they used to partner with the American Coal Foundation, which provided them with a lot of material that was basically pro-coal-industry propaganda.

Turns out that even Scholastic can be taught.

Three cheers for the coalition of 16 organizations -- including Rethinking Schools, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace USA, the Sierra Club, the Center for Biological Diversity, and 350.org -- who protested Scholastic and got this changed.
filkertom: (Default)
  • Longtime Detroit Tiger fans has a sad, as outfielder and slugger Jim Northrup has passed away at the age of 71.
  • Generally, I consider NYT columnist Thomas Friedman to be a near-perfect ass. But, as [personal profile] siliconshaman points out, he's locked onto the most pressing problem in the world, possibly in the history of the world: the Earth is full.
  • If you want a very cool animation program, with lip-synching and bones and everything, there's a special deal this weekend only on Smith Micro's Anime Studio, brand-new version 8.
  • Today would have been the 96th birthday of Les Paul. Google commemorates it.
More later.

Earth Day

Apr. 22nd, 2011 09:55 am
filkertom: (Default)
Official site, Wikipedia page.

I've long since given up hoping that people will realize that every day should be Earth Day (or Womens' Day, or Black History Month, or any of a number of other things that have to be flagged so that people remember their various issues and meanings). This is the only frickin' biosphere we've got. Us, humans, that is. I'm not a save-the-planet kinda guy, because the planet will be just fine (mad science notwithstanding). However, our ability to stay alive on it is becoming more compromised every day, as is the biosphere's ability to repair itself. Some think we've reached any number of sub-tipping points already -- as the Vorlon said, "The avalanche has already started; it is too late for the pebbles to vote."

That's why there need to be pollution controls and regulations and SuperFund cleanups and zoning and wind-farming and solar energy research and CFL bulbs and water conservation and a billion other things great and small to make sure that we can continue as a species on this planet, at least until we colonize a few other planets.

And that's why the polluters who try to end-run around all those things, discourage them, deny global warming, and the billion other things they do to claw at as much short-term profit as possible, disgust me. Most likely, they think they'll be able to afford clean air and water, even if other people can't.

It doesn't work that way. Certainly not for the long haul. For we are all inescapably the same in one respect:

Rich, poor, Republican, Democrat, male, female -- your skin color, your upbringing, your religious persuasion or lack thereof (as they used to say, race, color, or creed) -- none of it matters five days after you run out of potable water, or five minutes after you run out of breathable air.

We are all human. And we live or die as one.

Go green. For all of our sakes.

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