In 2005, Utah set out to do something very different than the typical strategy of getting the hard-core homeless off drugs and alcohol, and making them jump through enough bureaucratic hoops to obtain some state assistance and finally get what they need most: permanent housing.
Utah started a pilot program that took 17 people in Salt Lake City who had spent an average of 25 years on the street and put them in apartments. Caseworkers were assigned to help them become self-sufficient, but there were no strings attached – if they failed, the participants still had a place to live.
The “Housing First” program’s goal was to end chronic homelessness in Utah within 10 years. Through 2012, it had helped reduce the 2,000 people in that category when it began by 74 percent. Lloyd Pendleton, director of Utah’s Homeless Task Force, said the state is on track to meet its goal by 2015, and become the first state in the nation to do so.
Snot otters. Lasagna lizards. Allegheny alligators. With nicknames like these, you'd think the actual animal, a salamander more commonly known as a hellbender, would be a natural poster child for endangered wildlife.
Instead, hellbenders live quiet lives tucked away under large rocks in the mountain streams of eastern North America, from Arkansas to New York. Ranging in color from mottled olive-gray to chocolate brown with rust-colored splotches, the nocturnal amphibians can easily be mistaken for rocks, if they're seen at all.
But that rarity is what concerns researchers. There are two varieties or subspecies of hellbenders—the Ozark hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis bishop) and the eastern hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis alleganiensis)—and both have been quietly slipping away since about the 1980s.
The U.S. government currently considers the eastern hellbender a species of concern, while the Ozark subspecies was federally listed as endangered in 2011. The International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species classifies the hellbender as near threatened, although their total number is unknown.
In New York State, researchers began to see small declines in their eastern hellbender population starting in the 1980s, said Ken Roblee, senior wildlife biologist with the New York Department of Environmental Conservation.
But it wasn't until a 2005 survey that scientists saw a 40 percent reduction in the number of adults at monitoring sites, perhaps due to predation or disease—researchers are still trying to figure out the causes. "That got us really concerned," Roblee said.
Declining populations have prompted conservation efforts in New York, as well as in states across the hellbender range, including Ohio and Missouri.
These programs aim to study the biology of North America's largest salamander-which can reach a length of 2 feet (0.6 meter)-as well as to try and reintroduce the animals to the wild.
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source: National Geographic has bunch of pictures, maps, and videos
The Seneca Nationa Hellbender Facility has pictures of their hatching tanks. Plus they have some pictures of wild hellbenders on their facebook page
They have the best names. snot otter! Not as cuddly as the mammal version, but they're almost as big!
The Supreme Court of Canada has struck down the country's anti-prostitution laws in a unanimous decision, and given Parliament one year to come up with new legislation — should it choose to do so.
In striking down laws prohibiting brothels, living on the avails of prostitution and communicating in public with clients, the top court ruled Friday that the laws were over-broad and "grossly disproportionate."
"Parliament has the power to regulate against nuisances, but not at the cost of the health, safety and lives of prostitutes," wrote Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin in the 9-0 decision that noted "it is not a crime in Canada to sell sex for money."
The ruling was in response to a court challenge by women with experience in the sex trade, Terri-Jean Bedford, Amy Lebovitch and Valerie Scott that had resulted in an Ontario court ruling that overturned the laws.
New Mexico woman was searched for six hours at border, University Medical Center
A New Mexico woman claims in a federal lawsuit that she underwent a brutal and inhumane six-hour full-body cavity search by federal officers that included anal and vaginal probes that made her feel like an "animal."
The woman, a Lovington, N.M. resident, also is suing University Medical Center, where she was forced to have an observed bowel movement, was X-rayed, had a speculum exam, vaginal exam and had a CT scan.
The suit claims the hospital "violated her" and then gave her the $5,000 bill.
( TW: Article contains description of the violationCollapse )
This is what, the
Draper shared his vision with TechCrunch tonight. He says he’s submitting a polished version to the state’s Attorney General in the form of a ballot proposition proposal within the next 48 hours. “Six Californias” already has a campaign website up and is eager for an army of volunteers.
We’ve pasted the full ballot initiative below, along with the redrawn map of California. Essentially, the idea is to section off California into six horizontal slices, with Silicon Valley getting its own region stretching from the Sierras to the Bay Area beaches.
Southern California would also get its own slice of isolationist glory, with the new state “West California” consisting of Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, among other areas.
( This guy thinks Compton will have the same fresh start as Silicon ValleyCollapse )
Proposal documents at the Source
Because this totally isn't a classist move. Apparently Bill Gates is a diamond in a rough full of douchebag tech giants.
Embattled "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson has been suspended from his show by A&E for his remarks about gays and African-Americans, and now some high-profile conservatives are rallying to his side and defending him. On Friday, GOP congressional candidate Ian Bayne went all in, comparing Robertson to civil rights icon Rosa Parks.
"In December 1955, Rosa Parks took a stand against an unjust societal persecution of black people, and in December 2013, Robertson took a stand against persecution of Christians," Bayne said in an email to supporters.
"What Parks did was courageous," he added. "What Mr. Robertson did was courageous too."
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The first meal she had after the change gave her an orgasm.
If I remember any other details I'll post them later.
Any help would be appreciated /Martin
Smith, 19, originally from Moncton, N.B., was imprisoned at the Grand Valley Institution in Kitchener, Ont., when she died in 2007.
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With the ruling, which takes effect immediately, New Mexico becomes one of 17 states and the District of Columbia to permit same-sex marriage. (Thirty-three states limit marriage to opposite-sex couples and 10 recognize civil unions and partnerships.)
“Today’s decision is a powerful affirmation that same-sex couples are equal members of New Mexico’s diverse culture and must be given the same legal protections and respect as other families,” Shannon Price Minter, legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, which joined the American Civil Liberties Union to bring the case to court, said in a statement.
In a written opinion, the court’s five justices agreed that marriage rights for same-sex couples are guaranteed under the equal-protection clause of the New Mexico Constitution, amended in 1972 to state that “equality of rights under law shall not be denied on account of the sex of any person.”
Justices weighed this amendment against the opposition’s argument that prohibiting same-sex marriage was necessary to protect the government’s “overriding interest of responsible procreation and childrearing.”
The justices said in their opinion that such interest played no role in the development of the state’s marriage regulations. Its purpose, they contended, is to “bring stability and order to the legal relationship of committed couples” by defining their responsibilities to one another, as well as their children if they choose to have them, and to their property.
“Procreation,” wrote Justice Edward L. Chavez, author of the opinion, “has never been a condition of marriage under New Mexico law, as evidenced by the fact that the aged, the infertile and those who choose not to have children are not precluded from marrying.”
The decision capped years of failed attempts in the State Legislature to have same-sex marriage legalized, or banned. In March, six same-sex couples filed a lawsuit, bringing to court a battle that, until then, had been governed primarily by political interests.
In August, a district judge ordered the clerks in Bernalillo County — which encompasses the state’s most populous city, Albuquerque — and Santa Fe County, which includes the state’s capital, to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex partners. The 33 county clerks in New Mexico intervened, asking the State Supreme Court to resolve the issue.
Among the plaintiffs in the lawsuit were Ona Porter and Miriam Rand, who have been together for 26 years and have three children.
After the Supreme Court decision became public on Thursday, Ms. Rand said: “Our kids get to feel they matter both legally and by name.”
Gov. Susana Martinez, a Republican, chose to stay away from the dispute, although she has publicly taken the position that marriage should be between a man and a woman. On Thursday, she talked about a proposal to roll out high-tech research and development programs, and issued no comment on the court’s ruling.
The justices heard arguments on Oct. 23; spectators packed three rooms in the historic territorial courthouse in Santa Fe. By then, eight county clerks had begun granting marriage licenses to same-sex couples. According to the state’s chapter of the A.C.L.U., more than 1,000 such couples have already been married in New Mexico.
An appeal of Thursday’s ruling is impossible, because it was issued by the state’s highest court and is specific to the state’s Constitution.
Many are picked up curbside by local garbage collection services and turned into mulch. But there are other second acts for Christmas trees, too. They’re placed on beaches to shore up dunes and sunk in lakes as fish habitats — in Shawnee Mission Park’s lake, for example. They’ve even been milled into lumber for use in building homes.
How many of the 25 million to 30 million fresh Christmas trees sold each year are recycled is difficult to measure because most recycling programs “are implemented on such a local level,” said National Christmas Tree Association spokesman Rick Dungey. The good news, though, is that tree-recycling efforts are now “ubiquitous” and recycling your tree is “easier than ever.”
New York’s Rockefeller Center is famous for its towering Christmas tree, and for the seventh year in a row, this season’s tree will be donated to Habitat for Humanity. The tradition began when the 2007 Rockefeller Center tree went to build a home in Pascagoula, Miss., for a survivor of Hurricane Katrina.
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source: Kansas City Star
Info on Polygroup's tree and light recycling program
The team compared the Neanderthal genomes with those of modern humans and a recently recognised group of early humans called Denisovans, discovering that Neanderthals and Denisovans are very closely related, with their common ancestor splitting off from the ancestors of modern humans around 400,000 years ago. Despite the Denisovans and Neanderthals having long since kicked the bucket, they've left behind some of their genetic heritage thanks to what we can only imagine to be some rather awkward interbreeding with modern humans.
The research team estimates that between 1.5 and 2.1 percent of the genomes of modern non-Africans can be traced to Neanderthals. Denisovans also got their collective leg over a number of modern humans, although only in some Oceanic and Asian populations.
As if that wasn't enough, the genome comparisons reveal that the Denisovans interbred with a mysterious fourth group of humans also living in Eurasia at the time. This may have been our very early human ancestors, Homo erectus, who are believed to have lived in Europe and Asia a million or more years ago.
"The paper really shows that the history of humans and hominins during this period was very complicated," said Montgomery Slatkin, a UC Berkeley professor of integrative biology. "There was lot of interbreeding that we know about and probably other interbreeding we haven't yet discovered."
Post-doctoral student Flora Jay, who was part of the international team working on the project, discovered that the Neanderthal woman, whose toe bone provided the DNA, was highly inbred. The woman's genome suggests she may have been the daughter of a mother and father who were brother and sister or half-siblings.
After further analysis it has been proposed that some of the interbreeding may have occurred due to the small population sizes of Neanderthals and Denisovans.
This isn't the first time ancient bones have been used to assess the DNA of our ancestors. The Pääbo group last year extracted DNA from a finger bone discovered in 2008 in Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains of Southern Siberia. The Neanderthal toe bone was found in the same cave along with modern human artefacts, which means at least three different groups of early humans occupied the same space.
Interbreeding was infrequent, though how infrequent is unclear: "We don't know if interbreeding took place once, where a group of Neanderthals got mixed in with modern humans, and it didn't happen again, or whether groups lived side by side, and there was interbreeding over a prolonged period," said Slatkin.
The genome analysis will be published today (19 December) in the Nature journal.
( BS under cutCollapse )
A Netflix original documentary, Mitt is a rare and intimate account of one man's quest for the presidency.
Given unprecedented access by Mitt Romney and his family for six years, Mitt follows the former governor's presidential aspirations, from Christmas 2006 to his initial run to become the Republican nominee in 2008 and through his Presidential concession speech in 2012.
Director Greg Whiteley ("New York Doll," "Resolved") travels alongside the campaign through interactions with potential voters, preparations for the debates, personal moments with his family and concluding with final presidential election night results.
Whatever side you're on, see another side.
Mitt premieres January 24, 2014 in all Netflix territories.
Temporary Work, Lasting Harm
Ninety minutes into his first day on the first job of his life, Day Davis, pictured above, was called over to help at Palletizer No. 4 at the Bacardi bottling plant in Jacksonville, Fla. Above is a composite image of the times Davis is seen in a surveillance video before an all-too-common story for temp workers unfolded.
A version of this story was produced by Univision and will air tonight at 6:30 p.m.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – This was it, he told his brother Jojo. He would finally be able to pay his mother back for the fender bender, buy some new shoes and, if things went well, maybe even start a life with his fiancee who was living in Atlanta.
After getting his high school diploma, completing federal job training and sending out dozens of applications, Day Davis, 21, got a job. It was through a temp agency and didn’t pay very much, but he would be working at the Bacardi bottling plant, making the best-selling rum in the world.
Davis called his mother to tell her the good news and ask if she could pick him up so he could buy the required steel-toe boots, white shirt and khaki pants and get to the factory for a 15-minute orientation before his 3 p.m. shift.
Word spread quickly through the family. “Me and my brother was like, ‘Don’t mess up now, you got to do good, don’t mess up,’ ” said his younger sister, Nia.
It was a humid 90 degrees as Davis walked into Bacardi’s Warehouse No. 7 to the rattle of glass bottles, the whir of fans and the clank of industrial machines. It was his first day on the first job of his life. He went to the bathroom and took a photo of himself in the mirror, showing off his work clothes and orange safety vest. He texted it to his fiancee, Alicia Lloyd, and promised he would call her during his break.( When Davis walked into the factory, he joined one of the fastest-growing and more dangerous segments of the U.S. labor market: blue-collar temp work.Collapse )
Source has a timeline of Day's life.
This is super long, but it is a REALLY important read.
George Zimmerman is selling a patriotic painting on eBay that has already amassed more than 90 bids, pushing the price of the painting to nearly $100,000.
Zimmerman's attorney Jayne Weintraub confirmed the artwork's authenticity when it was put up for auction on eBay. The auction began with a bid of $50, but soared to $99,966 after 98 bids as of 3 a.m. EST.
The signed, 18-by 24-inch painting features a blue American flag with a few words from the Pledge of Allegiance: "God," "one nation," "with liberty and justice for all."
"First hand painted artwork by me, George Zimmerman. Everyone has been asking what I have been doing with myself. I found a creative, way to express myself, my emotions and the symbols that represent my experiences. My art work allows me to reflect, providing a therapeutic outlet and allows me to remain indoors :-) I hope you enjoy owning this piece as much as I enjoyed creating it. Your friend, George Zimmerman," the description reads on eBay.
The painting could help Zimmerman, 30, pay off legal fees incurred during the Trayvon Martin murder trial. According to a court document, Zimmerman is $2.5 million in debt.
The bidding on the artwork ends Dec. 21.
Zimmerman, a former neighborhood watch volunteer, was recently able to avoid charges in a domestic dispute spat with his girlfriend.
When Hartzler was finished with her tour, she found it difficult to locate a spot for talking with reporters. She suggested going in front of a large window but the television reporters on hand said that would send streaming light into their cameras. When I suggested standing by an American flag near the entrance, she halted because of another problem – it was immediately to the right of a picture of Obama.
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source: Columbia Daily Tribune
Harvard student is arrested after bomb scare
A Harvard student trying to get out of a final exam admitted to the FBI that he sent a bomb threat that forced the university to evacuate multiple buildings and rattled the campus, federal officials said Tuesday.
Instead of going home for winter break, 20-year-old Eldo Kim was arrested Tuesday and held overnight on federal bomb hoax charges. He is scheduled to appear in US District Court on Wednesday, according to US Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz’s office.
The FBI said Kim sent an anonymous e-mail to Harvard officials, campus police, and others at about 8:30 a.m. Monday warning of “shrapnel bombs” in four buildings.
“[Be] quick for they will go off soon,” the message warned, according to the FBI, which said Kim admitted to adding the word “shrapnel” because it sounded more dangerous.
The threat prompted the university to evacuate three buildings in Harvard Yard -- Emerson, Sever, and Thayer halls -- as well as the massive Science Center nearby, just as the 9 a.m. exams were beginning. Coming eight months after the Boston Marathon attack, the threat drew a swarm of law enforcement agencies and attracted international media attention.( Read more...Collapse )
When I heard about this, my first thought was, "Seriously? SERIOUSLY?" I mean, who DOES crap like this? Who the hell thinks it's okay to disrupt an entire UNIVERSITY just to get out of taking a final exam? (Never mind the risk of torpedoing his entire academic career, going to jail, etc.) The stupid is strong with this one (not to mention the self-absorption and total lack of consideration for others)!
Sometimes just one facepalm isn't enough...
[Ed.to eliminate the word salad in the last paragraph, due to accidentally posting prematurely.]
President Barack Obama sent Russia a clear message about its treatment of gays and lesbians with who he is — and isn’t — sending to represent the United States at the Sochi Olympics.
Billie Jean King will be one of two openly gay athletes in the U.S. delegation for the opening and closing ceremonies, Obama announced Tuesday. For the first time since 2000, however, the U.S. will not send a president, former president, first lady or vice president to the Games.
Russia has come under fierce criticism for passing national laws banning “gay propaganda.” Though the White House did not specifically address the Russian laws in making its announcement, spokesman Shin Inouye said the delegation “represents the diversity that is the United States” and that Obama “knows they will showcase to the world the best of America — diversity, determination and teamwork.”
The White House said Obama’s schedule will not permit him to attend the Games.
“It’s a positive sign to see openly gay representatives in the delegation,” said Michael Cole-Schwartz, spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, which recently sent a letter urging Obama to include gays and lesbians in the delegation. “Hopefully it sends a message to the Russian people and the rest of the world that the United States values the civil and human rights of LGBT people.”
King said she was “deeply honored” to be named to the delegation.
“I am equally proud to stand with the members of the LGBT community in support of all athletes who will be competing in Sochi and I hope these Olympic Games will indeed be a watershed moment for the universal acceptance of all people,” said King, who will attend the opening ceremony.
Hockey player Caitlin Cahow is the other openly gay representative to the delegation. She’ll attend the closing ceremony.
( Joe and I can't come, so here are two lesbians ...Collapse )