Tue

31

Jan

2012

World lacks enough food, fuel as population soars-UN

A woman prepares grains at her shop in the Kibera slum in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, Jan. 20, 2012. Kibera is a vast shanty town that lacks even basic services such as sanitation. Many residents are angry that while prices of food have risen, wages ha
A woman prepares grains at her shop in the Kibera slum in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, Jan. 20, 2012. Kibera is a vast shanty town that lacks even basic services such as sanitation. Many residents are angry that while prices of food have risen, wages ha
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Tue

31

Jan

2012

UN unveils blueprint for global sustainability

UN report on sustainable development estimates that the world will require at least 50% more food, 45% more energy and 30% more water by 2030 if it is to keep pace with population growth, projected to reach nearly 9 billion by 2040. "We need to chart a new, more sustainable course for the future, one that strengthens equality and economic growth while protecting our planet," Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary-General, said Monday during the release of the report by a special 22-member international panel.

 

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Mon

30

Jan

2012

German Satellite Almost Crashed into Beijing

The research satellite Rosat, seen here in a computerized reprodution, crashed to Earth last October.
The research satellite Rosat, seen here in a computerized reprodution, crashed to Earth last October.

 

 

 

                                               

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last October, the German research satellite Rosat plunged into the Bay of Bengal, more than 20 years after it had been launched into orbit. But had it remained aloft for just seven more minutes, it would have landed in Beijing instead, new calculations show.

By Christian Schwägerl


Press here to read the whole article


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Mon

30

Jan

2012

Watch 131 Years of Global Warming in 26 Seconds

 

Watch The Video  

 

From our friends at NASA comes this amazing 26-second video, depicting how temperatures around the globe have warmed since 1880. That year is what scientists call the beginning of the “modern record.” You’ll note an acceleration of those temperatures in the late 1970s as greenhouse gas emissions from energy production increased worldwide and clean air laws reduced emissions of pollutants that had a cooling effect on the climate, and thus were masking some of the global warming signal. The data comes from NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, which monitors global surface temperatures. As NASA notes, “in this animation, reds indicate temperatures higher than the average during a baseline period of 1951-1980, while blues indicate lower temperatures than the baseline average.”

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Sat

28

Jan

2012

A Little Computer Wisdom

This ought to make you feel better about  your computer        skills!
 
Tech  support:   What kind of computer do you have?
Customer:          A  white one...
Tech  support:   Click  on the 'my computer' icon on to the left of the screen.
Customer:    Your left or my left?
****************************
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Fri

27

Jan

2012

Introduction to Chat Group

INTRODUCTION


I'm changing the name of My Little Group to Think and Chat, and I will add more people to the group. 

 

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Tue

24

Jan

2012

The future of food

Seaweed harvesting in Bali. From seaweed to slime, algae is the future of food, says Professor Mark Edwards Photograph: Ed Wray/AP
Seaweed harvesting in Bali. From seaweed to slime, algae is the future of food, says Professor Mark Edwards Photograph: Ed Wray/AP


The Observer

(Saturday 21 January 2012)

By 2050 there will be another 2.5 billion people on the planet. How to feed them? Science's answer: a diet of algae, insects and meat grown in a lab

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Sun

22

Jan

2012

China city dwellers exceed villagers for first time

17 Jan 2012 10:51

Source: Reuters // Reuters

 

* China urbanisation ratio above 51 pct, slightly higher than world average

 

* China labour costs to rise steadily as supply falls, analysts say (Add background, China economist view)

By Zhou Xin and Koh Gui Qing

 

BEIJING, Jan 17 (Reuters) - More people lived in China's cities than in the countryside last year for the first time in history, a milestone that also points to labour supply strains in the world's No. 2 economy that could redraw the global manufacturing landscape.

 

Just over 51 percent of the 1.35 billion mainland Chinese lived in towns and cities at the end of 2011, China's National Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday, crossing the halfway mark after three decades of rapid growth in the world's most populous nation.

 

Factories along the Pearl River Delta boomed in the same period as hundreds of millions headed to cities in search of jobs, helping to keep costs low. But an expert on development in the delta said workers are now increasingly demanding higher wages and better terms as urban property and living costs soar.

 

"It's a clear signal to all investors -- China's cheap labour is fading into the past and will never be back," said Cheng Jiansan, a professor with the Guangdong Academy of Social Sciences, the top think-tank in China's export hub.

 

"As far as I know, many plants here are relocating to places like Vietnam and Cambodia -- simply for cheap labour."

 

China became the factory to the world since economic liberalisation began in the early 1980s, exporting goods such as high-end running shoes and television sets as low-cost labour spurred manufacturers around the globe to setup operations mainly in special economic zones along the southern coast.

 

In 2011, China's rural population fell 14.6 million, equal to the number of people in Cambodia, data showed.

But the rate of urbanisation has slowed, dragging on labour supply, even though the massive shift of people will keep driving China's economy for years to come.

 

A rapidly ageing Chinese population further reduces the labour pool with the number of people over 65 at nearly 123 million, almost equal to Japan's population.

 

Ma Jiantang, the statistics agency head, said falling labour supply underpinned a forecast by China for 7 percent economic growth between 2011 and 2015, well below frequent double-digit annual growth rates for much of the past decade.

 

China's economy grew at its weakest pace in 2-1/2 years in the latest quarter to 8.9 percent, data released on Tuesday showed.

But there is debate among analysts about whether the country is near or crossing the Lewis turning point, a theory that wages in a developing nation start surging once there is a shortage in surplus rural labour.

Globally, about 51 percent of the world's 7 billion people live in cities, the United Nations says, with developing countries generally more rural than rich countries. In India, the world's second-most populous nation, only 30 percent live in cities while 82 percent of Americans are urbanites.

 

"It's a milestone in China's urbanisation, but that's too early to say that China's labour supply is drying up," Su Hainan, the deputy head of China Association for Labour Studies, a Beijing-based think-tank.

 

"China is still in the middle of urbanisation, and that means a lot of people have to move into cities."

 

Average Chinese salaries are already rising, albeit from low levels. Per capita urban disposable income rose 14 percent to 21,810 yuan ($3,500) in 2011 from a year ago, while per capita rural income rose 18 percent, although still only to an annual 6,977 yuan ($1,105).

But the income gap between those working in cities and the country is hard to verify as China does not publish a nation-wide "Gini Coefficient", a widely-used measure for wealth divides, likely because of the difficulty of getting true income data on high-income urban residents.

 

But the Gini index for rural China, which is calculated , stood at 0.4 at the end of 2011, suggesting a middle-of-the-road income divide with 1 being most severe and 0 indicating equal distribution of wealth.

 

However, Su said that even a relatively accommodative labour supply from rural areas is not going to prevent factory and other wages from rising.

 

"Labour supply will continue to be abundant, but workers will be more demanding in terms of salaries and other benefits."

 

($1 = 6.3165 Chinese yuan)

 

(Reporting by Zhou Xin and Koh Gui Qing Editing by Nick Edwards; Ken Wills and Ed Lane)

5 Comments

Fri

20

Jan

2012

From Thom Hartmann in Truthout Jan 3rd, 2012

In news you probably won’t hear on GOP TV – there were two arson attacks in New York City against Muslims and Hindus.  On Sunday night – security cameras caught an unidentified man drive up to a Hindu house of worship and hurl a Molotov cocktail at the building.  The night before – two Molotov cocktails were thrown at an Islamic Center in Queens as 80 people were gathered inside for dinner.  Luckily – there were no injuries in either attack – and only minimal damage done to the buildings.  Police are investigating the attacks as as “bias crimes.”

 

http://www.truth-out.org/news-thom-hartmann/1325612530

1 Comments

Fri

20

Jan

2012

Montana State Supreme Court: Citizens United Not Welcome Here

By alexa  Created 2012-01-04 06:55  Sam Ferguson [1]  Source: 
Truthout  Display date: Wednesday 4 January 2012

 

In a rebuke to the United States Supreme Court, the Supreme Court of Montana has held that Citizens United does not apply to Montana campaign finance law.

 

Last Friday, the Montana Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of a 1912 voter initiative - the Corrupt Practices Act - that prohibits corporations from making contributions to or expenditures on behalf of state political candidates and political parties. In 2010, the Supreme Court ruled that a similar federal prohibition was unconstitutional, prompting a wave of bills and court rulings that erased prohibitions on corporate and union political expenditures around the country.

0 Comments

Fri

20

Jan

2012

The Million Moms Challenge: Helping Moms Around the World, One Story at a Time

Huffington Post

Terri Whitecraft


The statistics are staggering: Every 90 seconds, someone in the world dies during pregnancy or childbirth. That's 1000 women and girls every day. Yet experts say more than 80 percent of those deaths are preventable with access to basic medical care -- and that doesn't include the more than 1 million babies a year who are stillborn because their mothers did not receive needed medical care.

 

How can you NOT want to help?

 

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Fri

20

Jan

2012

Popular file-sharing website Megaupload shut down

Popular file-sharing website Megaupload shut down

USA TODAY  By Nick Perry, Associated Press

 

WELLINGTON, New Zealand – With 150 million registered users, about 50 million hits daily and endorsements from music superstars, Megaupload.com was among the world's biggest file-sharing sites. Big enough, according to a U.S. indictment, that it earned founder Kim Dotcom $42 million last year alone.

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Thu

19

Jan

2012

We still eat Neolithic food

delanceyplace header
Date: Thu, Jan 19, 2012 at 3:30 AM


In today's encore excerpt - even at the fanciest restaurants, we still eat the same narrow range of meats and grains first domesticated and cultivated in the Neolithic period.

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Thu

19

Jan

2012

Slow response to East Africa famine 'cost 'lives'

The US government says 29,000 children under five years old died between May and July 2011
The US government says 29,000 children under five years old died between May and July 2011

 

Thousands of needless deaths occurred from famine in East Africa last year because the international community failed to heed early warnings, say two leading British aid organisations.  BBC


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Wed

18

Jan

2012

Hope for Haiti's Women

Legal reforms look to protect Haitian women

Haiti's struggle to rebuild in the wake of the devastating January 2010 earthquake has included efforts to strengthen protections of the rights of women. The Ministry of Women's Affairs is working on draft legislation to better protect against gender-based violence. Amanda Klasing of Human Rights Watch writes, "[W]e must keep reminding ourselves and others that not everything in Haiti is going wrong. Women's rights leaders in Haiti are proving this again with their remarkable work to change the laws to guarantee justice and equality for women and girls."

From The Huffington Post

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Tue

17

Jan

2012

Experts Predict Global Population Will Plateau

 

The Great Contraction

Experts Predict Global Population Will Plateau

By SPIEGEL Staff  11/03/2011


The 7-billionth human being was born last week as the UN issued dire warnings of an exploding global population. But birth rates are actually in free fall worldwide. Experts predict that the world's population will start shrinking in 2060 and that -- with a bit of imaginative policymaking -- the birth and death rates could actually balance out.

 

In 6 Parts

 

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Tue

17

Jan

2012

UN Food and Agricultural Chief

Somalian refugees at a camp in Kenya: "We need sustainable agriculture tailored to regional conditions."
Somalian refugees at a camp in Kenya: "We need sustainable agriculture tailored to regional conditions."

 

 

UNFAO chief: Battle to end hunger is winnable

Spiegel Online 01/16/2012 

 

Gains in the battle against malnutrition have been made in many countries, but a concerted effort to slash the number of people around the world facing food shortages is still needed, Jose Graziano da Silva, the new head of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization says in this interview. Da Silva is supporting tighter regulations on speculation, which has been broadly tagged as a major contributing factor to rising food prices.

 

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Mon

16

Jan

2012

Woody Guthrie, more relevant than ever

Woody Guthrie  (Credit: LOC)
Woody Guthrie (Credit: LOC)

Great Recession


Woody Guthrie, more relevant than ever


 

 


 



When conservative Oklahoma finally accepts its lefty prodigal son, it bodes well for a nation steeped in inequality


By Bill Moyers and Michael Winship

Friday,Jan 13, 2012 10:53 am est

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Sun

15

Jan

2012

Investors set sights on climate change at UN conference

Investors set sights on climate change at UN conference

More than 400 representatives of large institutional investors met Thursday at the United Nations to reconsider climate change from a business perspective on the heels of 5% growth in green energy investment, to $260 billion, in 2011. "The carbon-burning economy is tomorrow's Rust Belt. Your job, it seems to me, is to invest in the Microsofts and Googles of the green economy," Roland Rich, head of the UN Democracy Fund, told investors, who control a collective $26 trillion worldwide. The conference was convened by the UN, the United Nations Foundation and the Ceres coalition.

 

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Sun

15

Jan

2012

Study: US Deaths Tied to Fukushima Disaster Fallout

NOAA has run a numeric model for ocean surface currents to predict the movement of marine debris generated by the Japan tsunami over five years. The model measures the movement of surface currents, as well as the movement of what is in or on the water, 03
NOAA has run a numeric model for ocean surface currents to predict the movement of marine debris generated by the Japan tsunami over five years. The model measures the movement of surface currents, as well as the movement of what is in or on the water, 03

Study: US Deaths Tied to Fukushima Disaster Fallout

By PR Newswire  20 December 11

 

Impact seen as roughly comparable to radiation-related deaths after Chernobyl; infants are hardest hit, with continuing research showing even higher possible death count.


An estimated 14,000 excess deaths in the United States are linked to the radioactive fallout from the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear reactors in Japan, according to a major new article in the December 2011 edition of the International Journal of Health Services. This is the first peer-reviewed study published in a medical journal documenting the health hazards of Fukushima.

 

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Sat

07

Jan

2012

UN's Ban outlines priorities for second term

UN's Ban outlines priorities for second term

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says one of his top priorities as he embarks on a new five-year term at the helm of the United Nations is to help ensure that the popular movements toward democracy across the Arab world are sustained. He also plans to do more for young people and women the world over, and influence policies that might narrow the widening gap between rich and poor. The Washington Post/The Associated Press (12/31)

 

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