Should government officials be protecting the public from poisonous drinking water, or trying to make the problem go away by weakening safety standards?
An emerging threat looms in working-class suburbs. A chemical used in rocket fuel and defense manufacturing has befouled nearly half the drinking water supply in as many as 36 states.
The EPA has issued a safety standard that any amount of perchlorate less than 24.5 parts per billion in drinking water is safe. That was much higher than the 6 parts per billion California set as a public health goal, and higher still than EPA's original draft standard of 1 part per billion.
Pentagon officials, who could face billions in cleanup costs, criticized the 1-part-per-billion standard, instead favoring 200 parts per billion.
EPA Bans Staff From Discussing Issue of Perchlorate Pollution
The gag order prevented EPA scientists from commenting or elaborating Friday on the two lettuce studies, which show lettuce, available in U.S. supermarkets, appears to absorb and concentrate perchlorate from polluted irrigation water in significant amounts. Other scientists familiar with the studies said both are limited in scope and are only suggestive, not conclusive, on the question of whether Americans are consuming perchlorate in food.
The Pentagon is urging Congress to pass a new law that would allow the military to freely violate a host of environmental regulations. Entitled "The Readiness and Range Preservation Initiative," the legislation would allow military facilities to ignore laws like the Clean Air Act. The Pentagon claims environmental regulations are a threat to national security, since they restrict the military.
I've believed that the rough things that happen in our lives are there to guide us in the right direction for many years, but I didn't let that stop me from complaining about how difficult it can be!
One of the most important lessons I've learned in the past week is that it's key to stop whining and complaining about life. Accepting everything intellectually is one thing, but in reality, complaining energizes that which we don't want. I'm not 100% sure why, but it seems to be true.
This might seem like a normal, basic, and/or obvious observation, but for me it was quite a revelation. So many people sit around constantly "commiserating" as a way of bonding with one another! Most of us don't mean to bring anyone else down or even realize that we're doing it! It's okay to talk about real issues when they come up & seek support from friends but constantly complaining about the past is seriously counterproductive.
When they said REPENT REPENT I wonder what they meant. -- Leonard Cohen
Here's some progress on medical marijuana in Canada, though I think it's ridiculous that a country with the best buds in the world will be importing tincture from a pharmaceutical company in the UK which has created its own brand name for a plant humanity has known about for centuries!
Cannabis drug approval buoys firm
Shares in GW Pharmaceuticals rose nearly 9.5% after the UK biotech firm's prescription cannabis drug was approved for use in Canada.
Sativex is used to treat the central nervous system and alleviate the symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS).
The city of Philadelphia is working towards providing wireless Internet access for their entire city! I think everyone should be able to access the Internet and that this is a great idea!
Wireless Philadelphia: Frequently Asked Questions
The Goal - Philadelphia’s goal is to become the number one wireless city in the world and intends to set the standard by which wireless accessibility is measured. The city intends to enter into partnership with interested public and private parties to provide wireless access for the entire city thus creating a truly digital city that support economic development, social development and helps close the digital divide in this knowledge-based world.
United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
Here's a recent important historical discovery! I am curious to see what stories will be revealed!
Decoded at last: the 'classical holy grail' that may rewrite the history of the world
The original papyrus documents, discovered in an ancient rubbish dump in central Egypt, are often meaningless to the naked eye - decayed, worm-eaten and blackened by the passage of time. But scientists using the new photographic technique, developed from satellite imaging, are bringing the original writing back into view. Academics have hailed it as a development which could lead to a 20 per cent increase in the number of great Greek and Roman works in existence. Some are even predicting a "second Renaissance".
I have recently become interested in studying my (mostly) Irish heritage and picked up the book How the Irish Saved Civilization from the library. The writing is intelligent (but not too academic) and content-rich. It's an enjoyable read!
The main theme of the book (though it goes off on several fascinating tangents) is that much of the Classical History of Greece & Rome wouldn't have been preserved for us today if it hadn't been for a group of Irish scribes. The legacy of this preservation of information runs deep, especially in America.
From the introduction:
And yet... Ireland, a little island at the edge of Europe that has known neither Renaissance nor Enlightenment -- in some ways, a Third World country with, as John Betjeman climed, a Stone Age culture -- had one moment of unblemished glory. For as the Roman Empire fell, as all through Europe matted, unwashed barbarians descended on the Roman cities, looting artifacts and burning books, the Irish, who were just learning to read and write, took up the great labor of copying all of Western literature -- everything they could lay their hands on. These scribes then served as conduits through which the Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian cultures were transmitted to the tribes of Europe, newly settled amid the rubble and vineyards of the civilization they had overwhelmed.
On the characters in early Irish literature:
Well, they may not be civilized, but they certainly are confident -- and this confidence is one of the open-handed pleasures of early Irish literature. We have no trouble imagining these people, both men and women, riding hard on horseback, drawing the blood of their enemies, leaping about in muscular dancing, and passing the damp Irish night in vigorous coupling. Even their sorrows and deaths are tossed off with a shrug, though they understand tragedy and receive it as convulsively as any people.
I'm learning to stop the flow of judgemental thoughts from coming up in my head, especially those thoughts that don't reflect how I feel in my heart.
A new visualization I'm using is: I imagine a monkey sitting in a judge's desk with a robe, a white wig, and a big gavel whenever these thoughts come up. This ridiculous image seems to help me release the judgement with a feeling of love & humor. Silly, but true.
This may sound frivolous, but I am finding that working out my own inner negativities is improving everything in my sphere of experience.
It is possible to learn how to better control the monkey part of the mind, though it's important to love your inner monkey and show him a good time once in awhile too!
Of the nature of the soul, though her true form be ever a theme of large and more than mortal discourse, let me speak briefly, and in a figure. And let the figure be composite -- a pair of winged horses and a charioteer. Now the winged horses and the charioteers of the gods are all of them noble and of noble descent, but those of other races are mixed; the human charioteer drives his in a pair; and one of them is noble and of noble breed, and the other is ignoble and of ignoble breed; and the driving of them of necessity gives a great deal of trouble to him. -- Plato
Lately I've been re-learning a lot of lessons that I THOUGHT I understood. Many of these are things I've written about here in the past!
The biggest one right now is about the concept of embracing everything that happens to me (even the most intense of the "bad" things) as lessons along life's path. I am finding that if I pay attention to what these experiences are trying to teach me, I can avoid repeating them overandoverandoverandover again.
Sometimes focusing on the small pains blocks out the magic of the big blessings!
/truly glad to be here
no need to worry
that I’m missing
out on something
it is all coming
moment by moment
heavenly step by
step there is no
more striving no
space or place I
would prefer Now