Cool tool shows you how much fossil fuel $ Congress gets

Dirty Energy MoneySearch by Zip Code, Politician or Company on Dirty Energy Money to find out how much money the fossil fuel industry is spending to influence federal politicians.

Data provided by opensecrets.org (Center for Responsive Politics) with additional analysis by Oil Change International.

Hat tip to Barbara Conover for the great find!

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Thanks to Iko’s designer, kids can build their own hands using Lego

lego-prosthetic-arm

Credit: Carlos Arturo Torres/Umeå Institute of Design

Carlos Arturo Torres is a believer in fun and childhood now living in Chicago. In 2014, as a student at Sweden’s Umeå Institute of Design in Sweden, he also became the creator of Iko – “a prosthetic arm for children that also acts as a platform for creative Lego projects.” Iko responds to signals traveling through its wearer’s arm nerves to move, pick up and manipulate objects and it’s got a great grip.

Torres explains,

sometimes a functional element is everything (a kid needs), but some other times it might be a spaceship, or a doll house, or a telescope, or a video game controller, or a swim fin. What if kids could use their imagination to create their own prosthetics, their own tools according to their own needs? Learning. Creating. Being kids.

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ISO & aperture settings are key to low light fotos

Aperture settings make a difference

Two shots of same scene with different aperture settings. Foto by Fenchel & Janisch

ISO (light sensitivity) used to be determined by the film that was put in your camera, but in digital photography it has become another tool – an adjustment that can be changed for every shot. ISO is one of the most important settings in low light conditions.

High ISO gives you the ability to shoot at faster speeds, but opens up the possibility of getting more noise (or graininess) in your fotos. Some cameras have the ability to set ISO really high, but going over 3200 isn’t recommended. Low ISO corresponds to slower shutter speeds but also provides for very crisp pictures, so use a low ISO of 200 or so when plenty of light is available.

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Obama at Georgetown on breaking the cycle of poverty. Real talk.

Obama at Georgetown Poverty SummitAt the Georgetown University #PovertySummit President Obama made some very real comments, tying his own background to modern society’s challenges in the areas of education and social investment; access to jobs, internet, transportation; mentoring, youth, fatherhood, families and community:

I am a black man who grew up without a father, and I know the cost that I paid for that. And I also know that I have the capacity to break that cycle, and as a consequence I think that my daughters are better off … For me to have that conversation does not negate my conversation about the need for early childhood education, or the need for job training, or the need for investment in infrastructure or jobs in low-income communities…

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Get what you need: ask, release and focus on gratitude

Asking for what you need is brave

Need keeps you stuck

As long as you need something, you will not have it. The energy of your need pushes away the reality of whatever you seek.

Instead of focusing on what you need, focus on what you have. Because somewhere in whatever you have is the pathway to whatever you desire.

That’s why gratitude is so empowering. Gratitude shines a bright light on your resources and possibilities, and enables you to make good use of them.

Focus on what you have, and on what you can do. No matter what you seek, no matter how far away it may seem, there is something you can do right now to move yourself closer.

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Introducing the ball thrower your dog can use without you

dachshund using iFetchThey’ve invented a ball thrower your dog can use without you. Isn’t that nice? (BTW, it works for big and small dogs.)

Watch it in action… Buy it on Amazon!

Hat tip to Nora Montoya for this find

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For the GOP, Latinos are criminals, rapists and people to leave town over

Christie & Trump
A justified but quiet uproar is taking place around the country in response to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump calling Mexicans criminals and rapists:

The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems. [Applause] Thank you. It’s true, and these are the best and the finest. When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.

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Exploitation by the light-skinned a tradition in the Dominican Republic and Ted Cruz’ Cuba

Slaves dance on Cuban plantationSen. Ted Cruz is an elitist Cuban-American, representative of Cuban plantation owners who imported and exploited African slaves for generations. A lesson plan from PBS’ Black in Latin America feature shows that by persecuting Haitians the Dominican Republic is simply following Cuba’s tradition of persecuting dark-skinned workers once the workers have been exploited to breaking point. This is the Cuban history:

When revolution broke out in the French colony of Saint Domingue (later known as Haiti), sugar production there came to a virtual halt. This caused a sudden demand for sugar. Cuban plantation owners quickly stepped in to fill the gap created by neighboring Haiti, placing Cubans in a position to profit immensely. By the mid-1800’s, Cuba replaced Haiti as the world’s leading producer of sugar, making Cuban plantation owners very wealthy. Sugar is a very labor intensive and the increased pressure to fill market demand for this lucrative crop resulted in a high death rate among slaves. Plantation owners responded to the labor shortage by purchasing more slaves thereby reinvigorating the Transatlantic slave trade even after the British sought to curtail it.

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Joint Economic Committee Releases National Report on Economic Challenges Facing African Americans

MLK on balcony

WASHINGTON – African Americans face an unemployment rate double that of white workers and are nearly three times as likely as white Americans to live in poverty, according to a new report by the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee (JEC) released today by Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.), Ranking Democrat on the JEC, and Congressman G. K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC).

The report reveals that African Americans continue to confront a range of economic challenges, including disproportionately high rates of poverty, unemployment and long-term unemployment as well as significantly lower incomes and slower wealth accumulation than white households. When examining various measures to determine economic well-being, the report finds black Americans lag far behind the white population.

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Who is Chris Cerf and why do the Feds want him kept away from Newark students?

NJEdDiagramChris Cerf planned to replace Cami Anderson as Newark Public Schools’ state-appointed superintendent, but following his attempted return to New Jersey schools the Feds are scrutinizing his record, and they aren’t pleased with him. Let’s take a look at who this man is:

Mark Weber writes

In many ways, Cerf is the prototypical education “reformer”: he never taught in a public school, never earned a degree in education, and never ran a school building. More accurately, perhaps, Cerf is the prototype of a new sort of reformer, one who leaves a groundswell of resistance in his wake.

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Booker attempts to whitewash friend Cami’s black NPS record

Booker and CamiFormer Newark mayor Cory Booker, close friend and former employer of Cami Anderson, did not resist the temptation to try to inject positive spin into Cami’s recent removal from Newark Public Schools. Anderson is the New Jersey appointed Newark Public Schools superintendent who just left Newark in the wake of widespread protests for all the damage she’s caused to the students and schools she was hired to serve and protect.

Asked about the politics surrounding Anderson vacating of the position, Booker said “I’m happy with her contributions, things we should all be appreciative of.”

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How SCOTUS works and why it may uphold Mercury emissions protection

Ruth-Bader-Ginsburg

CREDIT: AP PHOTO/STEPHAN SAVOIA

This article provides fascinating insights into how US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) cases get assigned to judges, and consequently, how opinions are formulated and delivered.

It also gives some hope that maybe the EPA regulations protecting us from Mercury emissions won’t be gutted – because it’s possible that one of the more liberal justices will write the opinion on that matter.

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What makes Tesla, Amazon and Apple strong is their 100% commitment to moving forward

Tesla_Roadster_Japanese_displayMatt Asay writes a wicked analysis of why Tesla, Amazon and Apple work so dang well and have become such powerful forces in our society. Matt posits that it’s their common commitment to jump into the future whole-hog – no holding back – and he makes a great case for his opinion.

I noted that the automobile industry had been working on electric vehicles for years, but that’s not quite true. What the industry kept foisting on us were half-baked compromises—you know, hybrid cars that looked like hamsters (Toyota Prius) and felt like they were powered by them, too.

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Protect your home from Killer Guns

guns in the homes statsGuns actually do kill innocent people. A lot.

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1 day left to comment to the USDA on GMOs. Pitch in!

comment on GMOsHere’s my comment to the USDA about GMOs in less than the 1024 characters allowed. I hope you will add yours!

GMO plants:
1 Kill whole ecosystems.
2 Many GMO crops have pesticides in them. Insects that survive eating them become immune to pesticides and descend on other farmers’ land like locusts, consuming everything.
3 GMO seeds are patented and are bankrupting farmers. Seeds are investments for farmers and many do not understand that GMO seeds must be “re-purchased” every year. In India, every 30 minutes a bankrupted farmer drinks pesticide to commit suicide.
4 In silent GMO forests pesticides built into the trees’ DNA poison everything except the trees. Nothing else lives: no insects, birds, animals big or small. No undergrowth.
5 We do not know the long term effect that GMOs will have on human bodies.

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