Tag Archives: United States Congress

Toxic plastic found in the world’s favorite fish


Mediterranean Sea Tuna. Photo: PBS / Elena Grecucci

By John R. Platt
7 May 2015

(Takepart) – For the first time, plastic particles have been found in the stomachs of tuna and other fish that are a staple of the human diet.

More than 18 percent of sampled bluefin, albacore, and swordfish caught in the Mediterranean Sea and tested in 2012 and 2013 carried levels of plastic pollution in their bodies, according to a study published in the journal Marine Pollution Bulletin.

All three species migrate between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean, so these plastic particles could make their way onto the plates of American consumers. The plastics found in the fish contained phthalates, nonylphenol, bisphenol A, brominated flame retardants, and other chemicals that previous research has linked to endocrine disruption, low reproductive rates, and other health risks.

A 2010 study by French and Belgian marine biologists estimated that 250 billion pieces of microscopic plastic were floating in the Mediterranean. A 2014 expedition by Gabriel Gorsky of Pierre-et-Marie Curie University found that “there is not one parcel of the Mediterranean Sea that is devoid of plastic or plastic fragments.” Another study published last year estimated that all of the world’s oceans combined carry more than 5 trillion pieces of plastic pollution.

The current study of large pelagic fish (which live in the open sea, away from the shores or the bottom of the ocean) examined 56 swordfish, 36 bluefin, and 31 albacore that had been caught in the Mediterranean. Of those fish, seven swordfish, 11 bluefin, and four albacore contained plastics in their stomachs.

The plastics varied in size from large pieces more than 25 millimeters wide to microplastics smaller than 5 millimeters. The swordfish were more likely to have ingested large fragments of plastic, while the albacore ingested mostly microplastics.

Most of the pieces were white or transparent, while some “yellowish” plastics were found in the stomachs of the swordfish and bluefin.

As large, “top of the food chain” predators, the fish could have picked up plastic that had first been eaten by smaller fish; a study published last year found that Mediterranean bogue, an important prey species for swordfish, ingest large quantities of microplastics. The researchers, from the Institute for Environmental Protection and Research in Italy, wrote that other plastics could have been ingested while the tuna chased schools of prey fish into shallow waters, where floating plastics are more abundant. [more]

Toxic Plastic Found in the World’s Favorite Fish


ABSTRACT: This study focuses, for the first time, on the presence of plastic debris in the stomach contents of large pelagic fish (Xiphias gladius, Thunnus thynnus and Thunnus alalunga) caught in the Mediterranean Sea between 2012 and 2013. Results highlighted the ingestion of plastics in the 18.2% of samples. The plastics ingested were microplastics (<5 mm), mesoplastics (5–25 mm) and macroplastics (>25 mm).

These preliminary results represent an important initial phase in exploring two main ecotoxicological aspects: (a) the assessment of the presence and impact of plastic debris on these large pelagic fish, and (b) the potential effects related to the transfer of contaminants on human health.

First evidence of presence of plastic debris in stomach of large pelagic fish in the Mediterranean Sea

Source: http://www.desdemonadespair.net/2015/05/toxic-plastic-found-in-worlds-favorite.html

Packing & Cracking ~~ a repost and reminder


Elbridge Gerry (1744–1814), American statesman
Elbridge Gerry (1744–1814), American statesman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Time for the DOJ to deal with this nonsense! old outdated complicit relationships that need to change

It is time to take Republicans onto the floor of Congress and wipe up the floor with their ideologies.

just another rant …

The things on my mind while Congress continues to take a few days here there … on vacation … a congressional recess? seriously

 Hopefully members of Congress have heard their constituents voices about Gun Safety, understand that  ACA is the law of the land,  respect Women and their reproductive rights, find courage to end governmental shutdowns, find the compassion to implement save or reform Paycheck Fairness, Immigration and Medicaid just to name a few. Lest we forget that Republican Governors continue to pass, ridiculous Family Values bills while squashing social service programs for the poor.

I also hope the constant racial comments by people voted into Public Office, which, sadly is slurped up by people who seem to be listening and following like lemmings  not only affects people of colour ends. It shows the World how primitive we truly are while our constitution, civil and human right achievements seem like documents and sensibilities with absolutely no value or power.  The public needs to stay informed; elections suffice it to say have consequences. The fact is midterm elections are just as important as the National Elections, especially in years when gerrymandering or as they say ,when redistricting goes into full effect which lumps, separates, destroys diverse communities and robs some of their voting rights allowing more extreme tea party members onto the Congressional floor.

~~ Nativegrl77

The information below is a history and timeline regarding the Census and Gerrymandering or Packing & Cracking

In December 1975, the Congress passed Public Law (P.L.) 94-171. This law requires the Census Bureau to make special preparations to provide redistricting data to the 50 states no later than April 1 of the year following a census (so April 1, 2011, for the 2010 Census). P.L. 94-171 specifies that within 1 year of Census Day, the Census Bureau must send each state the small-area data the state will need to redraw districts for the state legislature.

P.L. 94-171 sets up a voluntary program between the Census Bureau and those states that wish to receive population tabulations for voting districts and other state-specified geographic areas.

Under this program, those responsible for the legislative apportionment or redistricting of each state may devise a plan identifying the voting districts for which they want the specific tabulations and submit it to the Census Bureau.

Beginning in 2005, the Redistricting Data Office of the Census Bureau met with state officials in 46 states. These meetings explained the timeline and programs available for the 2010 Census, providing states the time to prepare and allocate resources in advance of the census. The states also provided the Census Bureau with valuable feedback on census program planning.

The 2010 Census Redistricting Data Program is a five-phase program. During Phase 1 (2005–2006), the Census Bureau collected state legislative district boundaries and associated updates to tabulate legislative districts. This phase also included an aggressive 2010 Census communications plan, with visits to state capitals, to make sure the states were informed and prepared for the upcoming census.

Phase 2 (2008–2010) consisted of the Voting District/Block Boundary Suggestion Project (VTD/BBSP) in which states received TIGER/Line® shapefiles and the MAF/TIGER Partnership Software (MTPS) to electronically collect voting district boundaries, feature updates, suggested block boundaries, and corrected state legislative district boundaries. Both Phase 1 and Phase 2 are voluntary programs that include a step where the state verifies the submitted data.

Phase 3 constitutes the delivery of the data for the 2010 Census. The Census Bureau will deliver the geographic and data products to the majority and minority leadership in the state legislatures, the governors, and any designated P.L. 94-171 liaisons. Once bipartisan receipt of the data is confirmed, the data will be made available online to the public within 24 hours through the American FactFinder. For this census, the P.L. 94-171 data will include population counts for small areas within each state, as well as housing occupied/vacancy counts.

After the Census Bureau provides the data, the states will begin their redistricting. States are responsible for delineating their own congressional and legislative boundaries and their legislatures. Legislatures, secretaries of state, governors, and/or redistricting commissions carry out the process.  

Go to www.census.gov for the complete article …

Republicans on the floor of Congress continue to stall, block, scale down bills, and or add nasty amendments no one could vote for in good faith while providing misinformation and misinterpretation to the public any chance they can. We the People, cannot afford to vote for politicians who put Political Party and Money over doing the People’s business; though Republicans would have the public believe it is in our best interest. We must remember that Speaker Boehner said, his main concern was jobs jobs jobs among other things… the question is how many jobs bills did Republicans bring to the floor, how many Senate jobs bills were rejected and how many awful amendments were attached. Yes, this voter is biased, but I don’t think it’s in the best interest of Americans to side with the party of no; people need to make the effort to listen to what and how bills are handled by Republicans.

We need and must move into the 21st Century if we plan to get back on track and to do so Republicans must accept that PBO won a second term, has earned the right to govern … Americans … 53% of us said YES to his ideas, policies and desire to move forward.

However …

Instead, POTUS continues to spend time on cleaning up the crap the House of Bush left …Sadly,  we will never ever know exactly what all Barack Obama had planned for our country,but if you dissect the moves the votes the actions of Republican members of Congress … you might think hmmm was this the intent?

Contrary to what went on in both Chambers of Congress, it is obvious that this is NOT what President Elect Barack Obama had in mind when he ran for office ~~ Think about it,  Republican leaders met& decided to be the Party of NO. POTUS either gets no reporting on his accomplishments or has to battle with the Media and it hasn’t been POTUS friendly reporting! I ask folks to contrast&compare it to the primaries because the media gained the reputation of having a love fest with Obama … was that ever true or

For your information, wiki states, “Gerrymandering is effective because of the wasted vote effect.

So, what does Packing and Cracking mean to you …

 

~ Packing opposition voters into districts (concentrate as many voters of one type -( maybe party&race ) means they already win and by …

~ Cracking the remainder among districts where they are moved into the minority (increasing votes for eventual losers), the number of wasted votes among the opposition can be maximized. Similarly, with supporters holding narrow margins in the unpacked districts, the number of wasted votes among supporters is minimized.

The Etymology

First printed in March 1812, the political cartoon above was drawn in reaction to the state senate electoral districts drawn by the Massachusetts legislature to favour the Democratic-Republican Party candidates of Governor Elbridge Gerry over the Federalists.

The caricature satirises the bizarre shape of a district in Essex County, Massachusetts as a dragon-like “monster.”

Federalist newspapers editors and others at the time likened the district shape to a salamander, and the word gerrymander was a blend of that word and Governor Gerry‘s last name.

Resources: www.Census.gov
 and Wiki
Voters who believe in Equality in all its forms …
We Must Stand & Stay in LINE
Mid-term Elections Matter
~~ Nativegrl77
written 4/7/2013
 

How many use “the Media” for voting information


voter-suppression_petition

Just another rant …

The President says the time for talk is over; I agree, but if you read or listen to the media who interview folks on the right often characterize this President’s actions as frantic furious regarding health care reform; in the end it got done.  Now, use nasty rhetoric that should question the oath that these men&women took before taking their seats in Congress.  I would say maybe those who did not have healthcare are thankful whether it is called ACA, Obamacare or any alias given by their states along with those that accepted the expansion of Medicare funding. Our President has made it possible to help a fellow American have a chance at living. The hospitals, Drs., Nurses and the other healthcare providers are only as good as the Hospital Officials in control of how, who, the care being given to their clients and ACA is doing it, though Republicans certainly want it to stop.   We all know the media engages in the spin; trying to set the public mood is definitely offensive; Americans have been talking about health care reform for a long time, Congress has avoided voting let alone talk about reform for over 40 years. It is time to move this a long get it done and create more jobs for everyone for our economy that is at risk yet again.  The fact is, Republicans continue to block , hold up bills that have jobs attached to it and have held enough hearings using taxpayer funds that could have funded so many things to help “we the People”

The so-called Obamacare aka ACA, is a jobs creator, though the Media has yet to comment on how it would and or how many jobs are possible; fact is that an additional 31million will need help; the current work force would be unable to handle the workload.  Is it possible that the Media prefers to give out selective information as viewers watch wonder and are still unable to challenge these people who rake in the big bucks telling just enough truth to sedate

Most if not all of us know Republicans have done almost everything, they can to stall any progress; which includes the Presidents nominees, health care and many bills that the Senate passed and sent to the House, only to be stalled and or blocked by more filibusters than any time in the past. The government might be broken like the Media and some Senators have said but it still needs to work for “We the People” … wouldn’t it be great if Republicans let the governing party do the work they seemed to have left or weren’t interested in  when they had a Republican President for 8 years ago.

There are reports from conservative writers, that this is a frantic furious moment for the President. this is just absurd. The notion that the public is weary over what is going on in Congress and Democrats are wavering has led the public to believe in rumors falsehoods and that this is a new behavior. Unfortunately, this is how Congress works, though to be sure NOT on this level NOT obstruction solely based on who is in the Whitehouse.  Yes, Health Care Reform  is President Barack Obama’s baby, it’s not only a historic moment but one that will change the lives of Americans all over the country and in a good way because as we all know the last eight years have been good … For The Rich.  Don’t get me wrong being or wanting to be rich is great … the problem is how folks are using their riches …for themselves ok but are they manipulating the system holding the mid or lower classes down controlling them with their riches.  In a time when some probably knew the end of spending without paying for it would finally rear its ugly head, no one seemed to want to put the brakes on back when the House of Bush was saying … charge it! and if you take notice … the shutdown the hearings have cost Americans millions … all created by Republicans

  I say vote for 21st Century living and that means letting go of Tea Party and Republican ideology.

 The fact is that they believe in exclusion or at least that 47% of us should be punished….

Lest we include … Vets, Seniors, Students, Minorities, The Poor, Gays, those on Social Security, Medicare/caid

Stack up ALL of the natural & man made DISASTERS … Where is the Infrastructure WORK or PLAN ?


 the BP oil disaster happened on  4/2010

 Thousands died and even more had to leave their homes have been unable to come back.

Americans must face the fact that the many natural and or man made disasters and anything in between have caused more issues than our next generation might be able to handle due to unqualified inept and do nothing republican lawmakers!

If you want your children their children and so on to live a better life … Vote for Change, Challenge your member of Congress to do the right thing …  Local State & Federal level

While the sun comes up and the light of day starts to show just how bad  oil spill disasters are, the truth is finally uncovered. Hopefully, reality will sink in on how just one error that could have been prevented by simply making Big Oil companies like BP have a plan b,c,d etc. or don’t do business, put high-tech emergency equipment in place or material on board to absorb or avert spills before they start. The negative outcome and proof that the rules, specifically the deregulation of financial and oil companies by the house of Bush … is evident. Now, we see what happens when big corporations try to save money on the cheap with just enough insurance, probably knowing that the state they are working in will ask for fema help or disaster funds. Doing a tremendous amount of damage and in this case a big impact not only to the environment but the foul, fish industry and the entire economy for decades. It is great to have a President that is willing to change direction on issues when the facts and or evidence show that delays and or cancellation of offshore drilling is clear. What happened should not be blamed on President Obama, this is clearly a human error and in this case BP; they know it and need to take responsibility for the entire clean-up.

We all have to remember that eleven people died that day

I have to say the first reports of the explosion and then word that everything was okay made me wonder …common sense tells you okay the well is underground; it could bleed out, up or both, which is what happened. The big question is why didn’t they act before the oil started to leak. This spill, is for me a warning to either change the way the clean-up process works or scrap any plans for further oil platforms unless your Big Oil corp has an emergency plan in place

… I’m no expert but equipment should have been available immediately that absorb oil… bumpers placed along the coast and shores before the leak actually spread … i saw nothing but boats watching , waiting for the leak to show … unacceptable.

We all needed a little calm back then and to be honest, i still get heated when hearing about BP, what has transpired in the gulf coast and the many oil spills since… be still and breathe in and slowly release your breath.

I believe in equality for all which includes having a President who represents ALL of the People here in the US of A. I ask you what can be wrong with caring for ALL of your fellow American, not just 2%… especially since that 2% has wheeled and dealed for breaks since the house of bush passed on its horrible bets, pain and responsibility which in turn trickled down to main street.

 

 An explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig killed 11 and started the worst oil spill in US history

 

Painter, Sculptor, Architect, Poet (1475–1564)


Painter, Sculptor, Architect, Poet (1475–1564)Michelangelo

Michelangelo Biography


Michelangelo is widely regarded as the most famous artist of the Italian Renaissance. Among his works are the “David” and “Pieta”

Michelangelo is widely regarded as the most famous artist of the Italian Renaissance. Among his works are the “David” and “Pieta” statues and the Sistine Chapel frescoes.

Michelangelo - Mini Biography

Michelangelo - Mini Biography
 
Michelangelo – Mini Biography (TV-14; 02:04) A short biography of Michelangelo, one of the greatest artistic geniuses who ever lived. His works are numerous, and include The David, the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, and the Pieta.

Synopsis

Michelangelo was born on March 6, 1475, in Caprese, Italy. Born to a family of moderate means in the banking business, Michelangelo became an apprentice to a painter before studying in the sculpture gardens of the powerful Medici family. What followed was a remarkable career as an artist in the Italian Renaissance, recognized in his own time for his artistic virtuosity. His works include the “David” and “Pieta” statues and the ceiling paintings of Rome’s Sistine Chapel, including the “Last Judgment.” Although he always considered himself a Florentine, Michelangelo lived most of his life in Rome, where he died in 1564, at age 88.

Early Life

Painter, sculptor, architect and poet Michelangelo, one of the most famous artists of the Italian Renaissance, was born Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni on March 6, 1475, in Caprese, Italy. Michelangelo’s father, Leonardo di Buonarrota Simoni, was briefly serving as a magistrate in the small village when he recorded the birth of his second of five sons with his wife, Francesca Neri, but they returned to Florence when Michelangelo was still an infant. Due to his mother’s illness, however, Michelangelo was placed with a family of stonecutters, where he later jested, “With my wet-nurse’s milk, I sucked in the hammer and chisels I use for my statues.”

Indeed, Michelangelo was less interested in schooling than watching the painters at nearby churches, and drawing what he saw there, according to his earliest biographers (Vasari, Condivi and Varchi). It may have been his grammar school friend, Francesco Granacci, six years his senior, who introduced Michelangelo to painter Domenico Ghirlandaio. Michelangelo’s father realized early on that his son had no interest in the family financial business, so agreed to apprentice him, at the age of 13, to the fashionable Florentine painter’s workshop. There, Michelangelo was exposed to the technique of fresco.

Michelangelo had spent only a year at the workshop when an extraordinary opportunity opened to him: At the recommendation of Ghirlandaio, he moved into the palace of Florentine ruler Lorenzo the Magnificent, of the powerful Medici family, to study classical sculpture in the Medici gardens. This was a fertile time for Michelangelo; his years with the Medici family, 1489 to 1492, permitted him access to the social elite of Florence—allowing him to study under the respected sculptor Bertoldo di Giovanni and exposing him to prominent poets, scholars and learned Humanists. He also obtained special permission from the Catholic Church to study cadavers for insight into anatomy, though exposure to corpses had an adverse effect on his health.

These combined influences laid the groundwork for what would become Michelangelo’s distinctive style: a muscular precision and reality combined with an almost lyrical beauty. Two relief sculptures that survive, “Battle of the Centaurs” and “Madonna Seated on a Step,” are testaments to his unique talent at the tender age of 16.

Early Success and Influences

Political strife in the aftermath of Lorenzo the Magnificent’s death led Michelangelo to flee to Bologna, where he continued his study. He returned to Florence in 1495 to begin work as a sculptor, modeling his style after masterpieces of classical antiquity.

There are several versions of an intriguing story about Michelangelo’s “Cupid” sculpture, which was artificially “aged” to resemble a rare antique: One version claims that Michelangelo aged the statue to achieve a certain patina, and another version claims that his art dealer buried the sculpture (an “aging” method) before attempting to pass it off as an antique.

Cardinal Riario of San Giorgio bought the “Cupid” sculpture, believing it as such, and demanded his money back when he discovered he’d been duped. Strangely, in the end, Riario was so impressed with Michelangelo’s work that he let the artist keep the money. The cardinal even invited the artist to Rome, where Michelangelo would live and work for the rest of his life.

The ‘Pieta’ and the ‘David’

Not long after Michelangelo’s relocation to Rome in 1498, his fledgling career was bolstered by another cardinal, Jean Bilhères de Lagraulas, a representative of the French King Charles VIII to the pope. Michelangelo’s “Pieta,” a sculpture of Mary holding the dead Jesus across her lap, was finished in less than one year, and was erected in the church of the cardinal’s tomb. At six feet wide and nearly as tall, the statue has been moved five times since, to its present place of prominence St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.

Carved from a single piece of Carrara marble, the fluidity of the fabric, positions of the subjects, and “movement” of the skin of the Piet—meaning “pity” or “compassion”—created awe for its early spectators. Today, the “Pieta” remains an incredibly revered work. Michelangelo was just 25 years old at the time.

Legend has it that he overheard pilgrims attribute the work to another sculptor, so he boldly carved his signature in the sash across Mary’s chest. It is the only work to bear his name.

By the time Michelangelo returned to Florence, he had become something of an art star. He took over a commission for a statue of “David,” which two prior sculptors had previously attempted and abandoned, and turned the 17-foot piece of marble into a dominating figure. The strength of the statue’s sinews, vulnerability of its nakedness, humanity of expression and overall courage made the “David” a prized representative of the city of Florence.

Art and Architecture

Several commissions followed, including an ambitious project for the tomb of Pope Julius II, but that was interrupted when he asked Michelangelo to switch from sculpting to painting to decorate the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

The project fueled Michelangelo’s imagination, and the original plan for 12 apostles morphed into more than 300 figures on the ceiling of the sacred space. (The work later had to be completely removed soon after due to an infectious fungus in the plaster, and then recreated.) Michelangelo fired all of his assistants, whom he deemed inept, and completed the 65-foot ceiling alone, spending endless hours on his back and guarding the project jealously until revealing the finished work, on October 31, 1512.

The resulting masterpiece is a transcendent example of High Renaissance art incorporating the Christian symbology, prophecy and humanist principles that Michelangelo had absorbed during his youth. The vivid vignettes of Michelangelo’s Sistine ceiling produce a kaleidoscope effect, with the most iconic image being theCreation of Adam,” a portrayal of God touching the finger of man. Rival Roman painter Raphael evidently altered his style after seeing the work.

Although he continued to sculpt and paint throughout his life, the physical rigor of painting the chapel had taken it’s toll on Michelangelo, and he soon turned his focus toward architecture.

Michelangelo continued to work on the tomb of Julius II for the next several decades. He also designed the Medici Chapel and the Laurentian Library—located opposite the Basilica San Lorenzo in Florence—to house the Medici book collection. These buildings are considered a turning point in architectural history. But Michelangelo’s crowning glory in this field came when he was made chief architect of St. Peter’s Basilica in 1546.

Conflict

Michelangelo unveiled the soaring “Last Judgment” on the far wall of the Sistine Chapel in 1541. There was an immediate outcr—that the nude figures were inappropriate for so holy a place, and a letter called for the destruction of the Renaissance’s largest fresco. The painter retaliated by inserting into the work new portrayals: Of his chief critic as a devil and himself as the flayed St. Bartholomew.

Though Michelangelo’s brilliant mind and copious talents earned him the regard and patronage of the wealthy and powerful men of Italy, he had his share of detractors. He had a contentious personality and quick temper, which led to fractious relationships, often with his superiors. This not only got Michelangelo into trouble, it created a pervasive dissatisfaction for the painter, who constantly strived for perfection but was unable to compromise.

He sometimes fell into spells of melancholy, which were recorded in many of his literary works: “I am here in great distress and with great physical strain, and have no friends of any kind, nor do I want them; and I do not have enough time to eat as much as I need; my joy and my sorrow/my repose are these discomforts,” he once wrote.

In his youth, Michelangelo had taunted a fellow student, and received a blow on the nose that disfigured him for life. Over the years, he suffered increasing infirmities from the rigors of his work; in one of his poems, he documented the tremendous physical strain that he endured by painting the Sistine Chapel ceiling. Political strife in his beloved Florence also gnawed at him, but his most notable enmity was with fellow Florentine artist Leonardo da Vinci, who was more than 20 years his senior.

Literary Works and Personal Life

Michelangelo’s poetic impulse, which had been expressed in his sculptures, paintings and architecture, began taking literary form in his later years.

Although he never married, Michelangelo was devoted to a pious and noble widow named Vittoria Colonna, the subject and recipient of many of his more than 300 poems and sonnets. Their friendship remained a great solace to Michelangelo until Colonna’s death in 1547. In 1532, Michelangelo developed an attachment to a young nobleman, Tommaso de’Cavalieri (scholars dispute whether this was a homosexual or paternal relationship).

Death and Legacy

Following a brief illness, Michelangelo died on February 18, 1564—just weeks before his 89th birthday—at his home in Macel de’Corvi, Rome. A nephew bore his body back to Florence, where he was revered by the public as the “father and master of all the arts,” and was laid to rest at the Basilica di Santa Croce—his chosen place of burial.

Unlike many artists, Michelangelo achieved fame and wealth during his lifetime. He also had the peculiar distinction of living to see the publication of two biographies about his life (written by Giorgio Vasari and Ascanio Condivi). Appreciation of Michelangelo’s artistic mastery has endured for centuries, and his name has become synonymous with the best of the Italian Renaissance.