(via newsweek)

Shigeru Ban wins Pritzker Prize 2014 from the always fantastic Dezeen.
Photo: Cardboard Cathedral in Christchurch via Dezeen
Who knew the joys of carboard tubing?!
(thanks/via: Dezeen)

Shigeru Ban wins Pritzker Prize 2014 from the always fantastic Dezeen.

Photo: Cardboard Cathedral in Christchurch via Dezeen

Who knew the joys of carboard tubing?!

(thanks/via: Dezeen)

Remember this painting?  Awesome that the news and this spectacular painting have collided!!!  
Militia Company of District II Under The Command of Captain Frans Banninck Cocq, also known as The Night Watch by Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn, 1642 from the Rijksmueum in Amsterdam.
From the NYTimes article Russia Is Ousted From Group of 8 by U.S. and Allies.
(thanks/via: NYTimes.com)

Remember this painting?  Awesome that the news and this spectacular painting have collided!!!  

Militia Company of District II Under The Command of Captain Frans Banninck Cocq, also known as The Night Watch by Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn, 1642 from the Rijksmueum in Amsterdam.

From the NYTimes article Russia Is Ousted From Group of 8 by U.S. and Allies.

(thanks/via: NYTimes.com)

Millions of young Americans (called Millennials, between ages 18 and 33) should start agitating through demonstrations, demand petitions and put pressure on the bankers and members of Congress. First the plutocrats and their indentured members of Congress should drop their opposition to a transaction tax on Wall Street trading. A fraction of a one percent sales tax on speculation in derivatives and trading in stocks (Businessweek called this “casino capitalism”) could bring in $300 billion a year. That money should go to paying off the student debt which presently exceeds one trillion dollars. Heavy student debt is crushing recent graduates and alarming the housing industry. For example, people currently between the ages of 30 to 34 have a lower percentage of housing ownership than this age group has had in the past half century. A Wall Street transaction tax was imposed in 1914 and was more than doubled in 1932 to aid recovery from the Great Depression before it was repealed in 1966. But the trading volume then was minuscule compared to now with computer-driven trading velocity. A tiny tax – far less than state sales taxes on necessities – coupled with the current huge volume of trading can free students from this life-misshaping yoke of debt. What A Destructive Wall Street Owes Young Americans (via azspot)

(via liberalsarecool)


The New York Times story by Carlotta Gall on what Pakistan knew about bin Laden was censored in Pakistan’s edition, leaving a huge chunk of blank space on the front page.
[Via BBC correspondent Aleem Maqbool]

(thanks/via: thepoliticalnotebook)

The New York Times story by Carlotta Gall on what Pakistan knew about bin Laden was censored in Pakistan’s edition, leaving a huge chunk of blank space on the front page.

[Via BBC correspondent Aleem Maqbool]

(thanks/via: thepoliticalnotebook)

The US came under sharp criticism at the UN human rights committee in Geneva on Thursday for a long list of human rights abuses that included everything from detention without charge at Guantánamo, drone strikes and NSA surveillance, to the death penalty, rampant gun violence and endemic racial inequality.

At the start of a two-day grilling of the US delegation, the committee’s 18 experts made clear their deep concerns about the US record across a raft of human rights issues. Many related to faultlines as old as America itself, such as guns and race.

US criticised by UN for human rights failings on NSA, guns and drones from theguardian.

….“This world is an unsafe place,” Kälin said. “Will it not become even more dangerous if any state would be willing to claim that international law does not prevent them from committing human rights violations abroad?”

Kälin went on to express astonishment at some of America’s more extreme domestic habits. He pointed to the release this week in Louisiana of Glenn Ford, the 144th person on death row in the US to be exonerated since 1973, saying: “One hundred and forty-four cases of people wrongfully convicted to death is a staggering number.”

Pointing out the disproportional representation of African Americans on death rows, he added: “Discrimination is bad, but it is absolutely unacceptable when it leads to death.”

On guns, Kälin pointed to another “staggering figure” – that there are 470,000 crimes committed with firearms each year, including about 11,000 homicides. “We appreciate the position taken by President Obama on these issues. Nevertheless, much more needs to be done to curb gun violence.”

Among the other issues that came under the committee’s withering gaze were:

· the proliferation of stand-your-ground gun laws

· enduring racial disparities in the justice system, including large numbers of black prisoners serving longer sentences than whites;

· mistreatment of mentally-ill and juvenile prisoners;

· segregation in schools;

· high levels of homelessness and criminalization of homeless people;

· racial profiling by police, including the mass surveillance of Muslim communities by the New York police department. (please, click and read the entire article)

(thanks/via: theguardian)

vicemag:

Hell Will Freeze Over Before Chevron Pays for Pollution
When 30,000 Ecuadorian villagers sued Chevron in 1993 for devastating the Amazon with 18 billion gallons of toxic wastewater, the US-based oil giant’s reply was simple: “We will fight [the lawsuit] until hell freezes over,” said a representative. “And then fight it out on the ice.”
After investigators documented what they call a “Rainforest Chernobyl”—17 million gallons of spilled crude oil, more than 1,000 open waste pits full of toxic waste polluting the drinking water, and thousands of victims of cancer and birth defects—it seemed justice was served for the villagers. In 2011, an Ecuadorian court ruled against Chevron and demanded the company pay $19 billion in restitution. Ecuador’s Supreme Court later reduced the damages to $9.5 billion but upheld that ruling.
But on Tuesday, a U.S. court effectively overturned the ruling, which means Chevron has won the fight and hell, apparently, has frozen over. They’ve won using what activists say are dirty tactics, including filing a countersuit against the Ecuadorian villagers, claiming they had lied all along about the pollution caused to their properties as part of a shakedown scheme.
Chevron hired a legal team of more than 60 law firms and 2,000 legal professionals to argue that it’s not the villagers who are the victims here—it’s the corporation.
Continue

This makes me cry.

vicemag:

Hell Will Freeze Over Before Chevron Pays for Pollution

When 30,000 Ecuadorian villagers sued Chevron in 1993 for devastating the Amazon with 18 billion gallons of toxic wastewater, the US-based oil giant’s reply was simple: “We will fight [the lawsuit] until hell freezes over,” said a representative. “And then fight it out on the ice.”

After investigators documented what they call a “Rainforest Chernobyl”—17 million gallons of spilled crude oil, more than 1,000 open waste pits full of toxic waste polluting the drinking water, and thousands of victims of cancer and birth defects—it seemed justice was served for the villagers. In 2011, an Ecuadorian court ruled against Chevron and demanded the company pay $19 billion in restitution. Ecuador’s Supreme Court later reduced the damages to $9.5 billion but upheld that ruling.

But on Tuesday, a U.S. court effectively overturned the ruling, which means Chevron has won the fight and hell, apparently, has frozen over. They’ve won using what activists say are dirty tactics, including filing a countersuit against the Ecuadorian villagers, claiming they had lied all along about the pollution caused to their properties as part of a shakedown scheme.

Chevron hired a legal team of more than 60 law firms and 2,000 legal professionals to argue that it’s not the villagers who are the victims here—it’s the corporation.

Continue

This makes me cry.

(via humanrightswatch)

skunkbear:

Last month I had the chance to see an amazing research project in action: the capturing and tagging of snowy owls on the coast of Maryland.

Snowy owls usually spend their summers up in the arctic circle, and their winters in Canada.  But this year, a huge migration of the owls — the largest seen in decades — brought owls as far south as Florida.

What caused the owl population boom? A lemming population boom! Lemmings are small, hamster-like rodents — and they’re owls’ primary prey in the arctic. That first photo (taken by biologist Jean-Francois Therrien in Northern Quebec) shows a snowy owl nest ringed with the carcasses of 70 lemmings - a feast waiting for the soon-to-be hatched owlets.

Once those owlets grew up, they spread south into the US.  Owl researchers seized the opportunity to capture a few of the owls and equip them with super-light, solar-powered GPS transmitters.

You can read/hear more of the story HERE.

And, you can actually follow the journeys of all the tagged owls at ProjectSnowstorm.org. It’s amazing to see where these birds go!

Range map credit: Matt Stiles/NPR, source: IUCN, eBird.org

Bottom two photos: Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Someone just told me he saw one of these close up and they are enormous.

A recent Gallup survey of respondents from 65 countries suggests that America is now seen as the country that poses the “greatest threat to world peace today”. In fact, more people picked the US than Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea and Pakistan combined.

Why is the west seen as the greatest threat? From Asia, the answer’s clear an article from theguardian by Chandran Nair

Stunning, right?  But of course, right too?

(thanks/via: theguardian)