Aug 16, 2021


UN Climate Experts to the World: We’re Already Fucked

There is no question that record heatwaves in North America and southern Europe, which sparked wildfires that destroyed thousands of homes and burnt through millions of acres of forests, are worrying. But according to the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or IPCC report released Monday morning there is a far worse dilemma on the horizon: the Arctic is melting three times faster than anyone thought—their first update since 2013. “It’s just guaranteed that it’s going to get worse,” Linda Mearns, a senior climate scientist at the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research who co-authored the report said at its release. “I don’t see any area that is safe ... Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.”

The 3,949-page IPCC report, which directly points a finger at humans for not heeding ample warnings over the climate change, says there is no more time to waste and, in fact, it might already be too late to save low-lying areas now threatened by rising seas. “We’ve known for decades that the world is warming, but this report tells us that recent changes in the climate are widespread, rapid, and intensifying—unprecedented in thousands of years,” Ko Barrett, IPCC vice chair said ahead of the report’s release. “The bottom line is that unless there are immediate, rapid, and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, limiting warming to 1.5 degrees C—or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit—will be beyond reach.”

The authors create five scenarios—essentially all bad—based on how even if world leaders start adhering to the 2015 Paris climate agreement things won’t get better, calling the current situation a “code red for humanity.”

July Was The Hottest Month In Recorded Human History

July was the hottest month ever recorded in human history, according to new data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

"In this case, first place is the worst place to be," NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad said in a statement. "July is typically the world's warmest month of the year, but July 2021 outdid itself as the hottest July and month ever recorded."

Spinrad said that climate change has set the world on a "disturbing and disruptive path" and that this record was the latest step in that direction. Research has shown the warming climate is making heat waves, droughts and floods more frequent and intense.

The Pacific Northwest is enduring its second heat wave of the summer, with temperatures expected to top 100 F as wildfires continue to burn in Oregon and nearby California.

Antarctica is changing. The impact could be catastrophic

Camille Seaman didn’t need Monday’s UN report to learn that the Earth has been warming at a breakneck pace.

She’s seen it with her own eyes.

The photographer has been visiting Antarctica on and off since 2004, working on expedition ships for National Geographic. In just the past few years, she has witnessed a noticeable change on the continent.

“What I have seen from 2016 to now, it's like a different place altogether,” she said.

. . .

Last year, Antarctica registered a record-high temperature of 18.3 degrees Celsius, or nearly 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Petteri Taalas, secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization, said the record is “consistent with the climate change we are observing” and noted that the Antarctic peninsula — the northwest tip closes to South America — is among the fastest warming regions of the planet.

Scientists find two huge red rocks with ‘complex organic matter’ in the asteroid belt that shouldn’t be there

Scientists have found two huge, red objects in the asteroid belt that they believe are not supposed to be there – both of which have “complex organic matter” on their surfaces.

These two asteroids, called 203 Pompeja and 269 Justitia, were discovered by Jaxa, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. Pompeja is approximately 110 kilometres wide, while the smaller Justitia has a diameter of only 55 kilometres.

Found in the cluster of rocks between Mars and Jupiter, these two objects are distinctly different from their neighbours. Both Pompeja and Justitia reflect more red light than other surrounding asteroids due to the increased presence of complex organic material on their surface – such as carbon or methane.

Asteroids like this are not usually found within the belt, which is generally made up of bluer debris, but they are common among trans-Neptunian objects and Centaurs (small bodies that orbit between Jupiter and Neptune) – which is where astronomers believe that they originated.

Albert Einstein was right (again): Astronomers have detected light from behind a supermassive black hole

Over a century ago, Albert Einstein predicted that the gravitational pull of black holes were so strong that they should bend light right around them.

Black holes don't emit light, they trap it; and ordinarily, you can't see anything behind a black hole.

But it seems Einstein's theory was right.

For the first time, astronomers have caught a glimpse of light being reflected — or "echoing" — from behind a supermassive black hole, 800 million light years away from Earth.

These "echoes" were in the form of X-ray flashes, according to a study published on Thursday in Nature.

While scientists have seen light bending around a black hole before, this is the first time they have been able to see the phenomenon happening from the other side.

Ex-Cardinal McCarrick charged with sexually assaulting teen in 1970s

Former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who was defrocked after a Vatican investigation confirmed he had sexually molested adults as well as children, has been charged with sexually assaulting a teenage boy during a wedding reception in Massachusetts in 1974, court records show.

McCarrick is the first cardinal in the U.S. to ever be criminally charged with a sexual crime against a minor, according to Mitchell Garabedian, a well-known lawyer for church sexual abuse victims who is representing the man alleging the abuse by McCarrick.

. . .

McCarrick, 91, was defrocked by Pope Francis in 2019 after a Vatican investigation confirmed decades of rumors that he was a sexual predator.

The case created a credibility crisis for the church since the Vatican had reports from authoritative cardinals dating to 1999 that McCarrick’s behavior was problematic, yet he became an influential cardinal, kingmaker and emissary of the Holy See’s “soft diplomacy.”

It led to a two-year investigation that found that bishops, cardinals and popes downplayed or dismissed multiple reports of sexual misconduct. An internal investigation report released last year put the lion’s share of blame on Pope John Paul II, who appointed McCarrick archbishop of Washington, D.C., despite having commissioned an inquiry that confirmed he slept with seminarians.

Former Top NXIVM Lieutenant With New Career in Dog Grooming Dodges Prison

A former top lieutenant in the shadowy self-help group NXIVM who admitted to locking a terrified Mexican woman in a bedroom for almost two years to satisfy a deranged sex-cult leader was spared prison on Wednesday.

She may have benefited from her new career, recasting herself as a dog groomer.

Lauren Salzman, 45, pleaded guilty in April 2019 to racketeering and conspiracy charges for her role in the upstate New York group that manipulated thousands of members under the guise of personal growth through sacrifice. Prosecutors asked for a sentence below the guideline standard of 87 to 108 months of imprisonment, noting that Salzman’s damning testimony during NXIVM founder Keith Raniere’s trial and continued cooperation in the case were critical in securing his conviction.

Salzman’s sentencing of time served and five years probation makes her the fourth member of NXIVM’s inner circle to be punished for their roles in the criminal enterprise. Last October, Raniere was sentenced to 121 years in prison after prosecutors said he had sex with multiple underage girls, made members illegally monitor his enemies, and forced women he impregnated to have abortions and illegally enter the country to follow his teachings.

‘Good Way to Die’: The Moonies and the Jan. 6 Insurrection

It was Pastor Hyung Jin “Sean” Moon, leader of World Peace and Unification Sanctuary, more commonly known as Rod of Iron Ministries.

Alongside Kahr Arms, the gun manufacturer owned by older brother Kook-Jin “Justin” Moon, Rod of Iron Ministries holds the “Freedom Festival,” an annual celebration of firearms, military service and patriotism in the Pocono Mountains of northeast Pennsylvania.

“Pastor Moon has the message,” Scavo told the assembly. “He has the answers, and the answers are from above. Pastor Moon is the vessel that delivers the message, but it’s up to us to deliver on what the word of God is.”

Since 2017, Rod of Iron Ministries, an offshoot sect led by the youngest son of the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon that worships with AR-15s, has increasingly aligned itself with Donald Trump. It aggressively evangelizes to the pro-Second Amendment and anti-government flanks of the Far Right. Consistent with the teachings of the Unification Church from which it sprang, Rod of Iron Ministries considers Sun Myung Moon “as a returning Jesus” or “True Father.”

Catholic leader whose organization voted to deny Biden communion caught using gay dating app

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) approved a measure last month that could pave the way for the Catholic Church to deny President Joe Biden communion. The conservative bishops hope to prevent Biden from participating in the sacred ritual because of his support for abortion rights.

. . .

Monsignor Jeffrey Burrill, the general secretary of the USCCB, has been forced to step down due to some serious allegations about his private life. Burrill, a priest from Wisconsin, worked for the USCCB for the past five years and was elected general secretary last year.

. . .

The PIllar, a Catholic publication, found evidence that the priest engaged in "serial sexual misconduct." An analysis of Burrill's phone found that it was emitting data signals from Grindr, a location-based hookup app, on a near-daily basis during parts of 2018, 2019, and 2020.

Grindr is an app designed to bring together gay and bisexual men for sexual encounters. Signals showed that he also visited gay bars and private residences associated with the app.

Hobby Lobby’s $1.6 million Gilgamesh tablet has been forfeited to the U.S.

A 3,500-year-old clay tablet purchased by the Hobby Lobby arts and crafts chain for $1.6 million has been forfeited to the United States.

The tablet, which bears a portion of the epic of Gilgamesh, a Sumerian poem considered one of the world’s oldest works, originated in the area of modern-day Iraq and was illegally transported to the U.S. in 2003 and 2014.

A false provenance letter was used to sell the tablet several times before Hobby Lobby purchased the item from a London-based auction house in 2014.

The Gilgamesh Dream Tablet was seized by law enforcement agents from Hobby Lobby’s Washington, D.C.-based Museum of the Bible in 2019. In a complaint filed in May 2020, prosecutors said the 5-by-6-inch tablet is considered the property of the Iraqi government and should be returned. The arts and crafts company cooperated with the investigation.

Australian mathematician discovers applied geometry engraved on 3,700-year-old tablet

An Australian mathematician has discovered what may be the oldest known example of applied geometry, on a 3,700-year-old Babylonian clay tablet.

Known as Si.427, the tablet bears a field plan measuring the boundaries of some land.

The tablet dates from the Old Babylonian period between 1900 and 1600 BCE and was discovered in the late 19th century in what is now Iraq. It had been housed in the Istanbul Archaeological Museum before Dr Daniel Mansfield from the University of New South Wales tracked it down.

Mansfield and Norman Wildberger, an associate professor at UNSW, had previously identified another Babylonian tablet as containing the world’s oldest and most accurate trigonometric table. At the time, they speculated the tablet was likely to have had some practical use, possibly in surveying or construction.

Sylvia Plath’s tarot deck just sold for $200,000.

The Tarot de Marseille deck, gifted to Plath by Ted Hughes on the occasion of her 24th birthday, sold earlier this afternoon at a much-ballyhooed online auction (somewhat creepily titled Your Own Sylvia) conducted by Sotheby’s London.

The hot ticket deck (which was expected to fetch somewhere between $6,000 and $9,000) was part of a 50-item trove that included Plath and Hughes’ gold wedding bands, which sold for nearly $38,000; more than a dozen love letters from Plath to Hughes dating from the rosy early days of their marriage; a set of recipes; and a family photo album. All in all the Plath/Hughes reliquary, sold by the poets’ daughter Frieda Hughes, netted over $1 million.

I’m a little surprised that Plath’s wedding ring didn’t generate as robust a bidding war as the tarot deck (you can wear a ring, after all) but, then again, tarot and the occult did inspire some of Plath’s most famous work, including her 1960 poem “The Hanging Man,” so perhaps it makes sense.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Opinions and ideas expressed in the comments on this page
belong the people who stated them. Management takes no
editorial responsibility for the content of public comments.