Waste not – because there’s nowhere to put it

It looks as if China’s decision to stop accepting a large proportion of the world’s plastic and paper waste products is going to have a dramatic impact on the way we live. In the wake of China’s decision to stop importing nearly half of the world’s scrap starting Jan. 1, particularly from the wealthiest nations, waste management operations across the country are struggling to process heavy volumes of paper and plastic that they can no longer unload on the Chinese. States such as Massachusetts and Oregon are lifting restrictions against pouring recyclable material into landfills to grant the operations some

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I couldn’t live there without going nuts

A couple of articles about New York City have had me shaking my head in disbelief, to think of having to live in such a place. First, there’s the cost of accommodation.  Please note the bold, underlined text, which is my emphasis. Tourists have been booking rooms in the 665-room Pod Times Square — a micro-hotel with rooms averaging just 115 square feet apiece — since its January debut on West 42nd Street and Ninth Avenue. . . . The hotel’s collection of “Pod Pads” — 45 apartments available for long-term rents — recently debuted, making Pod Hotels the latest

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Sometimes Nature is just too cool for words

Here’s a wonderful video clip, filmed from a drone, of a blue whale mother and her calf swimming with dolphins off San Diego on June 4th.  I recommend muting the music soundtrack and watching in full-screen mode.  Clearly, the dolphins are treating the blue whale just as they would a ship, and swimming in front of her and her calf in playful mode. All together, now:  Aaaawww! Peter

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Is stress passed on to our children through genetic inheritance?

A fascinating article in the Economist suggests that it might be. THE effects of child abuse can last a lifetime. Neglected or abused children have a higher risk of developing all sorts of ailments as adults, including mental illnesses such as depression but also physical ones like cancer and stroke. In fact, the effects may last even longer. Emerging evidence suggests that the consequences of mistreatment in childhood may persist down the generations, affecting a victim’s children or grand-children, even if they have experienced no abuse themselves. Exactly how this happens is not well understood. Rigorous experiments on human subjects

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Colleges, universities, and globular worming

Aaron Clarey brings his customary wit and sharpness to bear on colleges and universities, and their contribution to (alleged) global warming. The internet has made colleges obsolete. Of course, colleges don’t know that yet.  They and their administrative bloat staff need physical college campuses to continue on otherwise they would have to get real jobs in the real world. . . . Nearly every participant in today’s physical colleges – professors, administrators and the students themselves – have a financial and/or psychological interest in keeping this obsolete horse-and-buggy industry around inspite of the “car of the internet” being developed 20

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Collective noun of the day

From The Gunslinger, who provides attribution: A group of three or more Prius vehicles is a “Smug” of Prii.  “I’m betting they show up in a Smug of Prii.” Perfect! (For the benefit of overseas readers who may not understand: to drive the electric-hybrid Prius is renowned notorious as an ostentatious nose-in-air “statement” by eco-Nazis that they’re doing their best to protect the environment, while the rest of us plebs in our gas-guzzlers are not.) Peter

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Environmentalist hysteria about First World economies is misplaced

I’m sure most of my readers are aware that environmentalists blame First World nations and industrialized economies for most of the pollution and environmental problems in the world, and expect them to pay for solutions to those issues.  That’s what the Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement were all about, in so many words.  President Trump’s decision last year to withdraw from the latter accord produced widespread condemnation. Skeptics have long considered environmentalists’ claims overblown.  Now comes a report that the pollution of the world’s oceans with plastic is, in reality, not caused by the First World at all. Up to

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That thing could take your leg off!

If this isn’t the biggest snapping turtle ever, it’ll do until a bigger one comes along. It’s swimming beneath the ice in an Arkansas lake.  It was spotted last week.  The article has a picture of another big one after the text. That image should make anyone think twice about swimming in some Arkansas lakes . . . you could lose some vital assets, up to and including a leg! Peter

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“Shoddy” in more ways than one

The term “shoddy” originally referred to wool salvaged from used clothing.  Wikipedia describes it as follows: Benjamin Law invented shoddy and mungo, as such, in England in 1813. He was the first to organise, on a larger scale, the activity of taking old clothes and grinding them down into a fibrous state that could be re-spun into yarn. The shoddy industry was centred on the towns of Batley, Morley, Dewsbury and Ossett in West Yorkshire, and concentrated on the recovery of wool from rags. The importance of the industry can be gauged by the fact that even in 1860 the

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An unexpected threat to Chinese warships

I was intrigued by a report in Australia about an unexpected maritime hazard in the South China Sea.  A tip o’ the hat to reader Snoggeramus for sending me the link. BEIJING has discovered a major threat to its new aircraft carrier: swarms of deadly jellyfish. Now it’s racing to develop weapons of mass destruction to beat them. Image courtesy of Wikipedia Masses of the creatures can be sucked through the warship’s water intakes necessary for cooling the vessel’s engines. Once in the cooling vents, they get mashed into a thick, sticky soup. This blocks the cooling system, causing the

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