Tuesday, February 28, 2017

In the News: The nerdiest signs from Boston’s ‘stand up for science’ rally

As a meteorologist, I loved reading about and seeing pictures of the clever signs from Boston's "Stand up for Science" rally last week.  Here's the article and pictures from the Boston Globe

The nerdiest signs from Boston’s ‘stand up for science’ rally

Nik DeCosta-Klipa Boston Globe

February 19, 2017
People took to the streets of Boston again Sunday afternoon — this time in the name of science.

“This isn’t meant to be partisan or advocate for any particular outcome of research,’’Jacquelyn Gill, a University of Maine scientist who spoke at the rally, told The Boston Globe earlier this week. “We’re standing up for evidence-based decision-making, and science that’s done for the public good.”

Nevertheless, as hundreds filled Copley Square, the message was in equal measure in support of science as it was a response to President Donald Trump. The combination produced an array of creative politically-tinged signs that the very nerd-at-heart would appreciate.

Much of the protest was directed toward the Trump administration’s positions and actions regarding environmental science and climate change, including the Republican president’s appointment of climate-science skeptic Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency.

Yet there were also more than a few jabs at the Trump team’s tendency to play fast and loose with fact-based reality.

Not that all the signs were explicitly anti-Trump. Many were very much apolitical.

Others were less so.
There were even a few dogs who got in on the demonstration.
And, of course, it wouldn’t be a true protest without that guy.


Monday, February 27, 2017

We Love Karma! Spread Fake News and FIRED!

Karma is a reality, and in this instance we couldn't be happier about it. Last week the world learned about General Michael Flynn, the country's shortest-timed U.S. Security Advisor who lied to Vice President Pence about talking with Russians - and Flynn was fired.
  However, it's what he did to Hillary Clinton that was more damaging AND it was a huge lie that inspired a gunman to come to Washington, DC and shoot up a Pizzeria!  Karma can be a bitch if you're a lying, horrible person. 

 BTW- he taught his son the same reprehensible  behavior: Both he and his son, Michael G. Flynn, have used social media to spread fake news stories linking Mrs. Clinton to underage sex rings and other serious crimes, backed by no evidence.  Source: NTTimes article 2/15/16

Dec. 2016: Flynn under fire for fake news
A shooting at a D.C. pizza restaurant is stoking criticism of the conspiracy theories being spread by Donald Trump’s pick for national security adviser.
Gen. Michael Flynn
     Flynn used his Twitter  platform to retweet accusations that Clinton is involved with child sex trafficking and has "secretly waged war” on the Catholic Church, as well as charges that Obama is a “jihadi” who “laundered” money for Muslim terrorists. 
   A Sunday’s shooting at a Washington pizza restaurant that had been targeted by false, internet-fed rumors accusing it of being the epicenter of a satanic child-trafficking conspiracy involving Clinton and her allies. Flynn had twice used Twitter to promote similar, only slightly less outrageous hoaxes in the past month, including a claim that Clinton’s campaign manager takes part in occult rituals in which bodily fluids are consumed.

Trump Adviser Has Pushed Clinton Conspiracy Theories


Pizzeria assailant thought he was rescuing child sex slaves

Sunday, February 26, 2017

In the News: Parishioners at Word of Life Church Sentenced for Murder and Beatings

   It's important to know as much as you can about churches you attend or join. 35 years ago, Tom and his sister went to summer camp at this place. Today, this church in upstate New York had 9 members sentenced for murdering and severely beating 2 teens who tried to leave it.
   This is another case of religion gone wrong to the point of becoming a dangerous cult. 
The Word of Life Church has  been exposed with inspiring 9 different people to murder 3 teenagers who tried to leave the church. Articles below from people.com and the Syracuse news cover several of those. 

Nine defendants from the Word of Life Church have been charged with beating the two young men for hours on Oct. 11, 2015 in the New Hartford church as part of a counseling session.

VIDEO of Judge at the Sentencing: Published on Sep 1, 2016
Judge Michael Dwyer sentences Sarah Ferguson to 25 years in state prison for the beating death of her half-brother at the Word of Life Christian Church. Video by Lauren Long
Parents Sentenced in Beating Death of Son at Word of Life Church
BY CHRIS HARRIS•@CHRISHARRISMENT  POSTED ON FEBRUARY 7, 2017 AT 1:28PM EST

The parents who participated in the 2015 beatings of their teenaged sons at a New York church, killing one and seriously injuring the other, were sentenced to prison on Monday after previously pleading guilty to assault, PEOPLE confirms.

Bruce Leonard, 66, was sentenced to 10 years, according to court records. He faced a potential 15-year sentence after accepting a plea bargain last year. He agreed to testify against others accused in the beatings at the Word of Life Christian Church in Chadwicks, a small hamlet located just six miles outside of Utica, New York.

Deborah Leonard, 60, was sentenced to five years. She, too, agreed to a plea deal contingent on her testimony.

The couple’s 19-year-old son, Lucas Leonard, spent the last 12 hours of his life behind the insular church’s walls, as he and his brother, Christopher, now 18, were kicked, whipped, and punched, with intermittent breaks.

The beatings began soon after both brothers approached congregation leaders with their plans to leave the church, which some former members insist is a cult.


Word of Life case: Sarah Ferguson sentenced to 25 years in state prison
UTICA, NY - Sarah Ferguson, who was found guilty of manslaughter in July in the beating death of her half-brother at the Word of Life Christian Church, was sentenced today to 25 years in state prison.

Judge Michael Dwyer, who presided over the bench trial in Oneida County court, found Ferguson guilty of first-degree manslaughter but cleared her on the second-degree murder charge.

Ferguson, 33, also was found guilty by the judge of two counts of first-degree assault and two counts of gang assault in the beating death of Lucas Leonard, 19, her half-brother. The other count is in connection to the assault on Ferguson's other half-brother 17-year-old Christopher Leonard who was injured from the beating.

Oneida County District Attorney Scott McNamara asked the judge to sentence Ferguson to no less than 25 years in state prison.

The judge sentenced her to 25 years plus 10 years of post-release supervision. The brothers' parents, who both participated in the beatings, both accepted plea deals and will get shorter sentences. Bruce Leonard will get 15 to 16 years in prison. His wife, Deborah Leonard will get no more than five years in prison.

In court today, Ferguson sobbed audibly as she tried to make a statement.

"I truly am sorry..oh my God,'' she said as she cried out. She then said she truly loved her brothers,

Ferguson admitted during her trial to taking part in the beating that killed Lucas Leonard and severely injured Christopher Leonard.

The judge today said he has to limit his statement upon sentencing because six other defendants must still go on trial.

Dwyer said that Ferguson took it upon herself to be "judge, jury and executioner" on her brothers and the bottom line is she killed her brother.

"It's inconceivable to me that during this whole incident no one was the voice of reason,'' Dwyer said. "No said tried to stop this. No one said enough is enough."

The district attorney said Ferguson should receive the same mercy her brothers got. She flogged her two brothers in the genital area with the intent to cause as much pain as she could.

"This is the most malicious, callous and brutal beating I have ever seen,'' McNamara said prior to sentencing.

Ferguson's attorney, Rebecca Wittman, said Ferguson is a good mother who never left her children's side prior to this. When Ferguson was told in "excruciating detail" about the alleged sexual abuse of her children by her brothers "she reacted like a mother,'' Wittman said.

The high-profile Word of Life Christian Church trial attracted national attention.

Nine defendants from the church have been charged with beating the two young men for hours on Oct. 11, 2015 in the New Hartford church as part of a counseling session. Lucas Leonard wasn't taken to the hospital until the next day; a doctor testified he could have lived if treated sooner.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Funny video! FACT-CHECKER, FACT-CHECKER ๐ŸŽณ๐Ÿ’š Randy Rainbow Song Parody

I'ts another funny video from Randy Rainbow!
FACT-CHECKER, FACT-CHECKER ๐ŸŽณ๐Ÿ’š Randy Rainbow Song Parody
from Fiddler on the Roof. 
https://youtu.be/NLaYDmJYE8k

Friday, February 24, 2017

Great Classic Comic Collection; Showcase Presents the FLASH Vol 1

Being a huge fan of the superhero The Flash, I (Rob)  bought and enjoyed this massive collection of classic silver age Flash comics.  The Flash was originally a character in the 1930s and 40s and revamped in the 1950s as the Flash we know today (on the CW Network TV show). This volume collects the relaunch of the character from the episodes in DC Comics "Showcase" series to the Flash's own comic which picks up from issue #105. (The Flash of the 1940s stopped at issue #104).

  This features over 500 pages of classic adventures in black and white.  The Fastest Man Alive stars in these fantastic tales from late 1950s and into the 1960s! This collection features The Flash in battle against the Mirror Master, the Trickster, Captain Cold and many other villains. Well-worth getting and enjoying this. This will forever be in my library!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Part 2: Bills Democrats are Working that YOU Need to Know

In Part 2:  Since most people have no idea what bills are being produced and suggested by the politicians they elected, we decided to take a look at some of the biggest impact bills put up by Democrats in this blog.   SUMMARY OF THESE: To Strengthen protections on Water quality, prevent some Bureau of Land Management lands from being exploited for fossil fuels, and provide education loan forgiveness to people working on farms and ranches in public service jobs, to promote botanical science research, care plan  for high-risk military occupation veterans

Here are some of the BILLS currently in Congress that Democrats are Working

FIND THE BILLS CONGRESS IS WORKING ON HERE: https://www.congress.gov/

1) 30. H.R.1071 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To amend the Safe Drinking Water Act to increase assistance for States, water systems, and disadvantaged communities; to encourage good financial and environmental management of water systems; to strengthen the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to enforce the requirements of the Act; and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Tonko, Paul [D-NY-20] (Introduced 02/15/2017) Cosponsors: (16)
Committees: House - Energy and Commerce
Latest Action: 02/15/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. (All Actions)

2) 16. H.R.1085 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To withdraw certain Bureau of Land Management land from mineral development.
Sponsor: Rep. Lujan Grisham, Michelle [D-NM-1] (Introduced 02/15/2017) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: House - Natural Resources
Latest Action: 02/15/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources. (

3) 41. H.R.1060 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to include certain individuals who work on farms or ranches as individuals who are employed in public service jobs for purposes of eligibility for loan forgiveness under the Federal Direct Loan program.
Sponsor: Rep. Courtney, Joe [D-CT-2] (Introduced 02/15/2017) Cosponsors: (2)
Committees: House - Education and the Workforce

4) 47. H.R.1054 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To promote botanical research and botanical sciences capacity, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Quigley, Mike [D-IL-5] (Introduced 02/14/2017) Cosponsors: (1)
Committees: House - Natural Resources, Agriculture, Armed Services, Transportation and Infrastructure, House Administration

5) 49. H.R.1052 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to develop best practices for caring for high-risk military occupation veterans as part of the evaluation of mental health care and suicide prevention programs administered by the Secretary.
Sponsor: Rep. Meng, Grace [D-NY-6] (Introduced 02/14/2017)

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Part 1: Republican Bills in Congress YOU Need to Know About

Since most people have no idea what bills are being produced and suggested by the politicians they elected, we decided to take a look at some of the biggest impact bills put up by Republicans in this blog. 

SUMMARY OF THESE: Repeal the Endangered Species Act, Shut down the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,    Remove Federal Funds from Public Schools and make Private School Vouchers  Clarify the role of podiatrists in the Department of Veterans Affairs   and ONE beneficial bill (from a NY Republican):  adult day health care services for veterans. 

Republican Bills YOU Need to Know About

FIND THE BILLS CONGRESS IS WORKING ON HEREhttps://www.congress.gov/

1) Republicans Launch Attempt To Repeal Endangered Species Act
On Feb. 15, 2017  Senate Republicans held a hearing to find out how best to repeal the Endangered Species Act. Republican lawmakers have wanted to “modernize” the Endangered Species Act for years, mainly on the basis that the laws protecting the habitats of various species are inhibiting the potential for drilling, mining, and land development across America.    

2) To Eliminate the U.S. EPA
5. H.R.861 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To terminate the Environmental Protection Agency.
Sponsor: Rep. Gaetz, Matt [R-FL-1] (Introduced 02/03/2017) Cosponsors: (3)
Committees: House - Energy and Commerce, Agriculture, Transportation and Infrastructure, Science, Space, and Technology

 3)    Eliminate Programs under the U.S. EPA
. H.R.958 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To eliminate certain programs of the Environmental Protection Agency, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Johnson, Sam [R-TX-3] (Introduced 02/07/2017) Cosponsors: (0)
Committees: House - Energy and Commerce, Transportation and Infrastructure, Agriculture, Science, Space, and Technology

 4) Republican Bill to Remove Federal Funds from Public Schools and make Private School Vouchers    H.R.610 - To distribute Federal funds for elementary and secondary education in the form of vouchers for eligible students and to repeal a certain rule relating to nutrition standards in schools. 115th Congress Sponsor: Rep. King, Steve [R-IA-4] (Introduced 01/23/2017)
 WHAT IT DOES: This bill repeals the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 a
  The bill establishes an education voucher program, through which each state shall distribute block grant funds among local educational agencies (LEAs) based on the number of eligible children within each LEA's geographical area. From these amounts, each LEA shall: (1) distribute a portion of funds to parents who elect to enroll their child in a private school or to home-school their child, and (2) do so in a manner that ensures that such payments will be used for appropriate educational expenses.   
 Here's the link to the bill itself: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/610

5)  WHAT???  43. H.R.1058 —  To amend title 38, United States Code, to clarify the role of podiatrists in the Department of Veterans Affairs.  Sponsor: Rep. Wenstrup, Brad R. [R-OH-2] (Introduced 02/14/2017)

6) AND one good one: 96. H.R.1005 improve the provision of adult day health care services for veterans.— 115th Congress (2017-2018)
To amend title 38, United States Code, to improve the provision of adult day health care services for veterans. Sponsor: Rep. Zeldin, Lee M. [R-NY-1] (Introduced 02/13/2017

TOMORROW'S BLOG:   bills proposed by Democrats. 

*******************************************************

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

BAD AIR: 15 Places Around the Globe Where Exercise in Bad Air is Harmful

Yesterday we blogged about the poor air quality in India that is prematurely killing over 1 million people a year. Before that we looked at China's bad air, and what would happen if the U.S. EPA didn't exist (we would have the same problems as India and China). Today, we're spotlighting a story about research in the Journal of Preventive Medicine citing places around the world where the pollution is so bad, that it's detrimental to exercise outside.
Credit; WSJ.com

Tipping point: revealing the cities where exercise does more harm than good

In at least 15 cities, air pollution has now become so bad that the danger to health of just 30 minutes of cycling each way outweighs the benefits of exercise altogether, according to new research
 
In cities such as Allahabad in India, or Zabol in Iran, the long-term damage from inhaling fine particulates could outweigh the usual health gains of cycling after just 30 minutes. In Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, this tipping point happens after just 45 minutes a day cycling along busy roads. In Delhi or the Chinese city of Xingtai, meanwhile, residents pass what the researchers call the “breakeven point” after an hour. Other exercise with the same intensity as cycling – such as slow jogging – would have the same effect.

“If you are beyond the breakeven point, you may be doing yourself more harm than good,” said Audrey de Nazelle, a lecturer in air pollution management at Imperial College’s Centre for Environmental Policy, and one of the authors of the report.

The study, originally published in the journal Preventive Medicine before the World Health Organization’s latest global estimates, modelled the health effects of active travel and of air pollution. They measured air quality through average annual levels of PM2.5s, the tiny pollutant particles that can embed themselves deep in the lungs. This type of air pollution can occur naturally – from dust storms or forest fires, for example – but is mainly created by motor vehicles and manufacturing.

Countries include: China, India, Qatar, Bangladesh, Kuwait, Iraq, Pakistan, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Uganda. 
  
Breathing polluted air has been linked to infections including pneumonia, ischemic heart disease, stroke and some cancers. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation’s Global Burden of Disease study ranks it among the top risk factors for loss of health.

Full article and list of citieshttps://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/feb/13/tipping-point-cities-exercise-more-harm-than-good

RELATED ARTICLE:  Is It Worse to Exercise in Air Pollution Or Not to Exercise at All?
 http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2015/12/03/is-it-worse-to-exercise-in-air-pollution-or-not-to-exercise-at-all/

Monday, February 20, 2017

Beards for the Winter!

Tom and Rob sporting beards for the winter
This month Tom and ( (Rob) both decided to grow a beard for the winter. I had a beard 2 years ago and I think it makes me look younger. Well, it hides the wrinkles!  LOL.  
Tom's new beard!
Rob's new beared
  Tom hasn't tried to grow a beard since he was in college (quite a while ago). Tom's beard is mostly white with some brown peppered in. Since mine comes in mostly brown with a big grey spot on the chin, I give it some "help" to make it uniform in color. 


  So, here are a couple of pictures of us both with beards for the first time ever at the same time!

BAD AIR: 1.1 Million People Die Prematurely Because of Poor Air Quality in India

Last week we published two blogs about the importance of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and a world without one, citing the very bad air pollution in China. We highlighted the city of Beijing where people have to wear masks to breathe.  On Feb. 15th the Huffington Post and Washington Post reported that bad air quality in India has been responsible for many deaths.
    The U.K. Guardian reported on Monday that air pollution in 15 cities across the world is so bad that exercising for 60 minutes or more could do more harm than good. More than half of these 15 cities are in India.

Here's the article:

STUDY: 1.1 MILLION DIE PREMATURELY IN INDIA EACH YEAR BECAUSE OF POOR AIR QUALITY 52 percent of air pollution-related deaths take place in India and China.
Article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/india-china-air-pollution
Photo via Getty Images
The eastern city of Bhubaneswar, India, is shrouded on Feb. 11. 

The rise in India’s air pollution over a quarter century has been staggering, according to a new report on the State of Global Air website.
   The collaborative study released Tuesday by the Health Effects Institute and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation found that India’s worsening air pollution causes 1.1 million people to die prematurely each year.
From 1990 to 2015, India’s rate of air pollution-related deaths jumped 50 percent, up to 14.7 for every 100,000 people.
Combined with China, the two countries contributed 52 percent of the 4.2 million global deaths related to air pollution in 2015. While they tie for the number of such fatalities in 2015, China recorded only 5.9 air pollution-related deaths per 100,000 people that year, down from 13.2 in 1990. 
   The report cites India’s “increasing exposure and a growing and aging population” for the uptick. 
The findings should be no surprise to those living in India’s dense, traffic-clogged cities like Delhi, where the streets resemble “a gas chamber,” Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said in November, requiring people to wear face masks and schools to be shut down. The poor air quality is largely due to emissions from coal-fired power plants and fires fueled by wood and dung, The Washington Post reports.
Hindustan Times via Getty Images

  India joins a number of countries, including Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia, whose air pollution levels pose increasing harm to their residents. The Guardian reported on Monday that air pollution in 15 cities across the world is so bad that exercising for 60 minutes or more could do more harm than good. More than half of these 15 cities are in India.
Unlike China, India has made little progress in effective policymaking to combat rising air pollution levels. While Delhi introduced its “odd-even” rule ― a policy that allows cars with license plates that end in an odd number to drive only on odd-numbered days, and vice versa ― air quality remains poor as coal-fired power plants continue to operate. 
    The report’s findings underscore the importance of the Paris Climate Agreement, which India formally joined in October. Under the pact, India has committed to a goal of producing 40 percent of its electricity with non-fossil fuel sources by 2030.  
Other regions of the world, such as the United States and Europe, saw decreasing air pollution levels following wide-ranging efforts to limit carbon emissions.
   Some environmental experts worry that U.S. air quality progress could come to a halt under President Donald Trump, who has pledged to dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency, repeal former President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan and cancel the Paris agreement.

NEXT: PLACES WHERE IT IS HARMFUL TO EXERCISE BECAUSE OF BAD AIR QUALITY

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Hiking w/the Dogs on a Spring-like February Day!

L to R: Myrtle, Tyler, Franklin and Dolly
Rob and Tom taking a break along the trail 
On Saturday when the temperature soared to 68 degrees Fahrenheit, we decided to take all 4 dogs on an appropriately long walk, that was 4 miles!  There's a trail near our house that's paved over, and has a couple of bridges on it that cross over roads. The trails are used by people who walk and ride bikes. Since Tyler (our 6 year old black and tan Dachschund) doesn't like other dogs Tom had to take hold of his leash, while Rob walked Dolly (the Weimaraner), Franklin (the 13 year old red Dachshund) and Jeff's little Myrtle (Chihuahua-beagle mix). 
Dolly trying to catch Tyler and Tom
  We could feel the pollen starting from the trees already! Apparently, they're starting to pollenate early because we've had a very mild winter, almost every day warmer than normal (we love it). 
Tyler and Tom on a bridge

  Despite the arthritis in Dolly's hips, she enjoyed the 4 mile hike although she was panting from it by the end. 
Myrtle and Franklin on the trail.
  Afterward, they all got baths at home to take off the dirt and pollen, and quickly headed for a nap. Now that's a nice February day!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Bath Time on a spring-like day in February!

Tyler posing to dry
Unusually warm winter days are the perfect days to give your canine kid a bath, and today, February 18, the outside temperature soared to 68F in the Baltimore/Washington, DC area. So, Dolly, Franklin and Tyler all got baths. We also managed to catch Myrtle, Jeff's dog whom we have been temporarily fostering (until Jeff is done with school). 

Myrtle shaking off the water

Funny Video: Melissa McCarthy's 'Spicey' And Alec Baldwin's Trump Return To 'SNL'

If you missed Saturday Night Live last weekend, you're in for a very funny Video: Melissa McCarthy's 'Spicey' And Alec Baldwin's Trump Return To Saturday Night Live.
    From the "TSA dolls" to the Atlanta/Orlando mistake and their "Bowling Green fake massacre" - Melissa McCarthy covers it all.
 Published on Feb 12, 2017
 Sean Spicer (Melissa McCarthy) and Jeff Sessions (Kate McKinnon) take questions from the press (Bobby Moynihan, Mikey Day, Vanessa Bayer, Sasheer Zamata, Cecily Strong, Kyle Mooney).
VIDEO: https://youtu.be/fbhz3XcNzGU
 

Friday, February 17, 2017

Read: A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

After seeing the film a couple of weeks ago, I (Rob) read the book A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce 5 of 5 Stars.
Cameron. Of course, our black and tan Dachshund, Tyler read it with me.
  Tyler had one criticism: There were no Dachshunds in the book. :)
I thought the book was well-done, and there was a different beginning for Bailey (before he became Bailey), which added to the story. Each "chapter" in "Bailey's" life meant something that all led to his ultimate purpose. I won't give it away if you haven't seen the film, but it's a novel every dog-parent should read.  Note: The ending is slightly different, but still happy... for the most part.

  So, without giving it away, here's the book summary
A Dog’s Purpose―the #1 New York Times bestseller―is heading to the big screen! Based on the beloved bestselling novel by W. Bruce Cameron, A Dog’s Purpose, from director Lasse Hallstrรถm (The Cider House Rules, Dear John, The 100-Foot Journey), shares the soulful and surprising story of one devoted dog (voiced by Josh Gad) who finds the meaning of his own existence through the lives of the humans he teaches to laugh and love. The family film told from the dog’s perspective also stars Britt Robertson, KJ Apa, John Ortiz, Peggy Lipton, Juliet Rylance, Luke Kirby, Pooch Hall and Dennis Quaid. A Dog’s Purpose is produced by Gavin Polone (Zombieland, TV’s Gilmore Girls). The film from Amblin Entertainment and Walden Media will be distributed by Universal Pictures. Screenplay by W. Bruce Cameron & Cathryn Michon and Audrey Wells and Maya Forbes & Wally Wolodarsky.
Heartwarming, insightful, and often laugh-out-loud funny, A Dog's Purpose is not only the emotional and hilarious story of a dog's many lives, but also a dog's-eye commentary on human relationships and the unbreakable bonds between man and man's best friend. This moving and beautifully crafted story teaches us that love never dies, that our true friends are always with us, and that every creature on earth is born with a purpose.
Bailey's story continues in A Dog's Journey, the charming New York Times and USA Today bestselling direct sequel to A Dog's Purpose.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Idiots in Politics: Proposed TN bill deems children born through artificial insemination illegitimate children

   For any couple who has decided to use in Vitro fertilization to have a child, Republicans in the
State of Tennessee now want to ensure that your child will be deemed "Illegitimate." Every week, conservative states in the U.S. come up with the most ridiculous Bills to try and make into law.
   Can't they come up with actual bills that will HELP people instead of stupidity that will hurt them?  -Their email addresses are below so you can tell them how stupid and hurtful this is!  

Here is the news from WMC-TV, a Memphis, Tennessee Television Station:
Proposed bill deems children born through artificial insemination illegitimate children

Fool#1 Representative Terri Lynn Weave

Channel 5 News: http://www.wmcactionnews5.com/story/34478833/proposed-bill-deems-children-born-through-artificial-insemination-illegitimate-children

 NASHVILLE, TN (WMC) -A proposed bill in the Tennessee General Assembly seeks to classify children born through artificial insemination as illegitimate children.

   Representative Terry Lynn Weaver (R-Lancaster) proposed HB 1406, which is intended to repeal the current statute regarding children born through artificial insemination.

    TCA 68-3-306 provides for the child to be considered the legitimate child of a husband and wife if the child is born through artificial insemination and with the consent of the husband.
 
Fool #2 Senator Joey Hensley District 28
R – Hohenwald
Giles, Lawrence, Lewis, Maury, Perry, and Wayne Counties


    "A child born to a married woman as a result of artificial insemination, with consent of the married woman's husband, is deemed to be the legitimate child of the husband and wife." (TCA 68-3-306)

   However, the bill proposed by Weaver, with the Senate equivalent (SB 1153) proposed by Senator Joey Hensley (R-Hohenwald), would repeal that statute and label the child as illegitimate despite the couple being married and both consenting. 

To contact these politicians and tell them how ridiculous this bill is,  Here are the email addresses for  Terri Lynn: rep.terri.lynn.weaver@capitol.tn.gov  and Joey:  sen.joey.hensley@capitol.tn.gov


Copyright 2017 WMC Action News 5

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Animal Rescue Spotlight: Spiritlight Rescue in Florida

Dianne at a dog and cat event

 Our friends Dianne and Rev. One Eagle of Florida manage and on-line animal rescue page and foster quite a few of them, themselves. They work with animal rescues and share needs throughout the state of Florida and they are paranormal investigators like us!  I (Rob) was fortunate enough to meet these 2 incredible people whom we have befriended, in Jacksonville, Florida several years ago at a convention.  


ABOUT THEIR ANIMAL RESCUE PAGE: Their Spiritlight animal rescue page shares information about lost pets, shelter pets in need of rescue, foster pets in need of homes, and Rescue Support Needs, rescuers who need help- transport or chip-ins for vet care. Dianne said "This is our path to help those who have no voice. We are their only chance1"
A Boston Terrier in Miami in desperate need of rescue

SHELTER VOLUNTEERS -  Dianne and Rev. One Eagley also  volunteer at the local shelters in Jacksonville, Florida, rescuing those they can, and networking with rescues and transporting to save lives from euthanization due to over-crowding!  If you live in Florida (or a bordering state) connect with them through Facebook. THE RESCUE PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/spiritlightanimalrescue/
Spiritlight



PARANORMAL INVESTIGATORS, TOO! - They are energy healers,  and also paranormal investigators called "SpiritLight!" Check out their paranormal page: "We are Paranormal Ministers, Healers and Mediums. We specialize in blessings for high level cases:":
https://www.facebook.com/spiritlightFL

Other links from Spiritlight:
https://www.facebook.com/CassadagaHotelNightWITHSPIRITLIGHT






Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A World without an EPA: China's Bad Air Quality

In the U.S., the Republican Party has continually threatened to shut down the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), because fossil fuel companies are paying those politicians kick-backs.  Today's blog takes you to China to see what our country would look like without the protections and regulations the U.S. EPA enforces to ensure we have clean air. In China's capital, Beijing, it's commonplace for people to walk around in masks because the pollution is so thick.
THIS is just one reason the U.S. EPA Needs to continue to do its job!
   Here's a recent article from POPULAR SCIENCE about the bad air quality in China.

"In recent years, poor air quality in Beijing has closed schools and caused farmers in the region to panic over the lack of sunlight. Protective face masks have become a common day-to-day sight."

Why is the smog in China so bad?

It’s getting harder and harder to breathe
By Mary Beth Griggs January 6, 2017
Thick smog is common in Beijing


Smog torpedoed air quality in Beijing and 24 other Chinese cities this week, leading authorities to declare a national red alert for ‘severe fog’—the highest level of alerts.

This isn’t the first time that smog has blanketed China. In recent years, poor air quality in Beijing has closed schools and caused farmers in the region to panic over the lack of sunlight. Protective face masks have become a common day-to-day sight, and grim poems salute the smog from cancer's point of view.

Children wear masks in Beijing to breathe in smog
Why does smog keep blanketing Beijing? Smog in China has many causes, including pollution from industries and traffic, but it tends to happen more often in the winter, when plummeting temperatures cause electricity demand to soar. This pollution can come from many sources, but burning coal has been linked to the largest number of air pollution deaths in China, causing 366,000 premature deaths in 2013.

In the winter, more families are turning on their heaters—and most of the energy used to run them comes from coal-fired power plants that send tiny particles of charred dust into the air.
Those tiny particles, or particulate matter, are what turns clean air into smog. Particles in the air can reduce visibility and contribute to acid rain, which can damage vegetation. The particles can also discolor buildings, but the primary concern with particulate matter is what it can do to the human body. Particles smaller than 10 micrometers are of particular concern to health experts, as particles that small can damage the lungs, aggravate asthma, and even cause heart attacks. Inhaling particulate matter can even prove fatal for people who have existing heart or lung conditions.
NOAA Smog
NOAA/NASA : Smog in eastern China as seen from space

Beijing is bordered by the Xishan and Yanshan mountains. When a high pressure weather system moves in, air near the city’s surface doesn't move up and over the nearby mountain ranges. It just sits there, getting more and more polluted, and residents keep breathing it in.

China is taking steps to address the issue. The government has restricted driving in an effort to staunch air pollution from cars. But that measure is temporary. Chinese officials announced this week that the country would spend $360 billion on renewable energy projects, amping up its reliance on solar and wind. But it has a long way to go. China is still the world’s largest consumer of coal by far, and plans to continue using the sooty source of power.

There is some cause for optimism. Like Beijing, Los Angeles also sits in a bowl-like depression, hemmed in by hills and sea—and like Beijing, it once had a serious smog problem. But strict regulations implemented over the past few decades have helped reduce the amount of smog in Los Angeles, bringing back blue skies. There’s hope that they could return to China too, though residents shouldn't expect to breathe easy any time soon.

Monday, February 13, 2017

The Importance of the U.S. EPA - Environmental Protection Agency

As a scientist, and someone who likes to breathe clean air and drink uncontaminated water I wanted to educate you about some of the important roles of the U.S Environmental Protection Agency, since some foolish politicians (Republicans) think those things are bad. The EPA sets standards to reduce air and water pollution and toxic chemicals in things that people and pets use daily. They help ensure clean water and cleaner air by pollution controls. - At the end of the blog, look at the photo from modern day China, where there are no pollution controls and people walk around in masks to breathe. SO, in this blog, learn what the EPA does for YOU.  (in the next blog we'll look at China's pollution)
  
PERSONAL EXAMPLE OF EPA BENEFITS -  I visited Los Angeles in 1984 and the smog (low-level ozone pollution, the gas in smog that exacerbates asthma, other respiratory and heart ailments) was so thick and brown over the city that I could see it 10 miles away. When I got there, my eyes and my throat BURNED from the pollution. Today, the smog problem is MUCH LESS.

Los Angeles air pollution graphic
The air pollution in the Los Angeles region has lost some of its “sting,” according to a new study by researchers at NOAA and its cooperative institute at the University of Colorado Boulder.
SCIENTIFIC PROOF- In a study, published online June 17, 2013  in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, a team of scientists analyzed new data gathered using a NOAA research aircraft, along with archived data going back a half-century, to produce a comprehensive study of air pollution in the Los Angeles region.   The cleanup of California’s tailpipe emissions over the last few decades has not only reduced ozone pollution in the Los Angeles area, it has also altered the pollution chemistry in the atmosphere, making the eye-stinging “organic nitrate” component of air pollution plummet, according to a new study led by a scientist from NOAA’s Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder.


WHAT IS THE EPA's PURPOSE? - The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or sometimes USEPA) is an agency of the Federal government of the United States which was created for the purpose of protecting human health and the environment by writing and enforcing regulations based on laws passed by Congress. EPA has been working for a cleaner, healthier environment for the American people.

WHAT DOES EPA REGULATE?  They ensure regulations and take actions to  clean air and water pollution and toxic waste sites (known as Superfund sites).  The EPA began regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act  from mobile and stationary sources of air pollution for the first time on January 2, 2011. Do you know they even help consumers identify products made with ingredients that are safer for people and the environment? (SEE VIDEO: https://youtu.be/XywBduC1neQ)

WHY AND WHEN FORMED? - When Ohio's Cuyahoga River was so polluted that it caught FIRE (yes, it actually caught fire) in 1969, and people could NOT breathe the intense smog in Los Angeles the government realized that it had to regulate and create pollution controls.   EPA was established on December 2, 1970 to consolidate in one agency a variety of federal research, monitoring, standard-setting and enforcement activities to ensure environmental protection. 
 
On June 22, 1969, a fire started on the Cuyahoga River

WHAT IS THE CLEAN AIR ACT? -The Clean Air Act is a statute written by Congress that gives EPA the authority to establish regulations, policy, and guidance to protect air quality. This page provides links to some of EPA's air pollution rules and regulations. 

For more information, visit: https://www.epa.gov/  
 
Red Alert bad air quality in Beijing China 2015

 
THE EPA EVEN WORKS TO CLEAR MARINE DEBRIS -  Marine Debris: Cause, Effect, and Prevention 
Trash and litter is not only harmful to our health, but also to marine life at sea. Marine life such as turtles, birds, and the fish we catch and eat mistake this trash for food. Most of this trash begins its journey on land and enters the ocean through our streams, rivers, and waterways. See and hear how this harmful problem can be prevented and how EPA's efforts can keep our oceans clean
 VIDEO: https://youtu.be/0_GTORybXTM?list=PLBhfkkujnoRB6QXBuPnSR7Ib1CbIh2pgj
https://youtu.be/0_GTORybXTM?list=PLBhfkkujnoRB6QXBuPnSR7Ib1CbIh2pgj

 NEXT: A WORLD WITHOUT AN EPA: A  LOOK AT THE AIR POLLUTION IN CHINA


 

Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

Great Books by our friends

Great Books by our friends
Check out these great books (yeah, Rob's are in there, too)

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next

Podcast of Rob's 50 min. interview on Paranormal Filler Radio 7/13/14