That Blew Up
In His Face
July 8, 2023
Consumer Product Safety Commission just issued their Fireworks
Annual Report for 2022.
That year had about 10,200 fireworks-related injuries with 73%
occurring during the 30 days surrounding July 4th. Firecrackers caused
the most emergency injuries (1,300) followed by sparklers (600).
Sparklers burn at about 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit. The sparks of
sparklers are ejected bits of melted aluminum, magnesium, iron,
titanium, and ferrotitanium. Mortar-style aerial fireworks killed
most of the 11 fireworks-related fatalities. The CPSC also bought and
tested fireworks, finding illegal components, faulty fuses, prohibited
chemicals, and overloaded materials. China
than 98% of U.S. consumer fireworks.
CPSC 2022 Fireworks
Some 2023 Fireworks Fatalities
This past week, a man was killed and four others were
when a house blew up due to preparations of 300 three-inch fireworks
Texas). A woman died from another home fireworks explosion
and ten others were injured (Ottawa
County, Michigan). Another man died when a fireworks shell
exploded while still in its mortar tube, impacting the man in his hand
and chest (Charles
County, Maryland). Yet another man died after cutting the
wick of a commercial-grade firework and lighting it in a
homemade mortar tube (Boone
County, Kentucky). A 15-year-old was killed playing with
Texas). A house was set ablaze from a neighbor's fireworks,
killing a man who had been asleep (St.
Charles County, Missouri).
Some 2023 Fireworks Injuries
An illegal fireworks display stand tipped over and launched
into a crowd, burning a 16-year-old girl and another spectator (Somers,
A legal mortar-style firework tipped over, launched a horizontal shell,
landing in a crowd of spectators, injuring several people (Allegan,
Michigan). A malfunction ignited all the fireworks on a
private boat dock, injuring 3 and sending the crowd running (Montgomery
County, Texas). A fireworks explosion caused head and leg
Massachusetts). A man lost part of his hand while lighting
fireworks in an intersection (Los
Angeles, California). Two men suffered hand and fingers
amputations while shooting off fireworks (London
Mills, Illinois). A 14-year-old boy may lose sight after a
roman candle hit him in his right eye (Holcomb,
Cleaning up fireworks debris, a 13-year-old boy picked up a firework
it exploded in his hand, causing a partial amputation of all the
fingers of his right hand and burns to his face and chest (Lauderhill,
Florida). A man was injured after an aerial firework was
launched into his vehicle (Bargersville,
Another man was detonating numerous commercial-grade
mortar-style aerial shell failed to launch. The man looked into the
tube and the firework
discharged, striking his face and then exploding. The man sustained
major injuries to the head and became unconscious (Cary,
Illinois). When you stare into the firework launch tube, the
firework launch tube stares back at you.
Dude, that's a lot of DUDs (dangerous unexploded devices).
Aren't commercial-grade fireworks illegal in Illinois, like in
Yes, but the United States Independence celebration is about
very different states and one of those different states is Wisconsin,
which has always prioritized taking money from out-of-state tourists.
Fewer tourists early this century meant Wisconsin decided to sell
dangerous fireworks to travelers. Fireworks stores line up on the
Wisconsin border, a booming industry.
Wisconsin Fireworks Tourists
Wisconsin statute 167.10 Regulation of fireworks:
“Paragraph (a) does not apply to: ... 8. The
fireworks by a person who is not a
resident of this state if the person
does not use the fireworks in this state.”
What that means is the dangerous stuff is only sold to non-residents.
Genoa City, Wisconsin Fireworks
So if you live in Cary, Illinois where fireworks are
illegal, you can drive 23 miles
north to Genoa City,
Wisconsin (orange 5 on the map). That's where American
Fireworks sells firecrackers, roman candles, rockets,
missiles, reloadable mortars, helicopters, finale racks, and 500
gram aerial repeaters like:
Minute Ride 42 Shot
Minute Show in a Box (53 shots) - promising “you are going to be the life of
Night Long - lasts 39 seconds on YouTube
but the tinnitus will last forever
Black Bull Fireworks is also in Genoa City (orange 9 on the
map) and has many multi-shot
500 gram repeaters:
* 312 shot War Machine
shot Bad Boy
shot We Will Rock You
shot Black Dynamite
shot Cold Killer
16 shot Merica
16 shot, 32 colors One Bad Mother-In-Law
shot Big Man
* 148 shot 1000
with a red comet, a green comet, a yellow comet, another red comet,
another green comet, a crackling comet, a gold mine with a rainbow of
other colors, and a red and green burst with gold glitter (video).
Not that the man who lost his face due to a failed firework shopped at
either American Fireworks or Black Bull Fireworks, just over the border
in Genoa City, Wisconsin. Maybe the 58-year-old man drove across the
width of Chicago to the piles of fireworks stores on the Indiana
Hudson, Wisconsin Fireworks
Americans purchase more than 258
million pounds of fireworks every year.
Just over the Wisconsin border from Minneapolis and St. Paul, Hudson
has at least three fireworks stores freely selling to Minnesota
residents: Exit 1 Fireworks,
and Venture Fireworks
(with a 5% discount for cash).
1 Fireworks has firecrackers,
(40-300'), and multi-shot
500 gram finales, featuring the 220 shot Amazing
Nation makes clear that Wisconsin
specifically prohibit: firecrackers, wheels, torpedoes,
skyrockets, roman candles, aerial salutes, and bombs. Wink. The
Fireworks Nation firecracker
products list features 4000 firecrackers rolled into one Special
It also features 5000 firecrackers rolled into the Red
Jumbo M5000 (video).
It also also features 16000 firecrackers rolled into another
Special Firecracker. (video).
candle products list features the 70 shot Flame
and the 250 shot Machine
missile list includes the 20 extra large Saturn
missile battery (video).
shells list features the 10 shot Light
The Night artillery shells (video).
gram finale cakes list features the 150 shot Black
Dynamite that fires off about 2 ½ shots per second
to last a full minute (video).
It also features the 168 shot Rainbow
It also also also features the 250 shot Teknocolour
They also have fountains
Toxic Smoke from Fireworks
A 14-year fireworks
air pollution study from July 2020 revealed high levels of lead particles
in fireworks smoke, despite the fact that lead is not allowed in
consumer fireworks. A fountain firework called a Black Cuckoo
produced particulate matter with lead concentrations greater than
40,000 parts per million. That means the smoke was four percent lead.
Published in the journal Particle
and Fibre Toxicology,
the study is believed to be the first to examine the effects of
fireworks exposure in human cells and living animals, and to test for
particles of common fireworks metals thrown into the air.
Lead used to be deliberately included in the manufacturing of
fireworks. Lead provided the little explosive, crackling stars that
spit out of fireworks. Lead leads to brain damage, cognitive
impairment, decreased IQ in children, and other toxicity and was
replaced long ago with bismuth oxide. Apparently Chinese manufacturers
didn't get the memo.
Aluminum particles were very high in firecrackers. Aluminum filings
create the bangs of firecrackers and loud aerial rockets. Along with
lead and aluminum, the study found titanium, strontium, and copper as
metallic particles from fireworks.
A study of the Impact
of Fireworks On Respiratory Health
was published in Lung India in October 2014. The study of collected
fireworks pollutants found elevated metallic fireworks particles of
aluminum, barium, copper, strontium, antimony, lead, magnesium, and
potassium. Fireworks pollution also contained elevated levels of sulfur
dioxide, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitric dioxide, nitric oxide,
ozone, benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene-volatile compounds,
perchlorate, and chloride. The study acknowledged that
fireworks manufacture, a range of substances are added such as arsenic,
manganese, sodium oxalate, aluminum, iron dust powder, potassium
perchlorate, strontium nitrate and barium nitrate, which act as
stabilizers, oxidizers and added colors.”
A January 2023 study of the Impacts
of Fireworks on the Environment published in Pacific Conservation Biology,
examined the environmental toll of fireworks
Professor Bill Bateman, from Curtin's School of Molecular and Life
Sciences, said fireworks negatively impact wildlife, domestic animals,
and the environment. “Fireworks create short-term noise and
disturbances that cause distress in domestic animals that may be
managed before or after a fireworks event, but the impacts to wildlife
can be on a much larger scale,”
Associate Professor Bateman said.
timing of some large-scale
fireworks events coincides with the migratory or reproductive movements
of wildlife, and may therefore have adverse long-term population
effects on them. Fireworks also produce significant pulses of highly
pollutant materials that also contribute significantly to the chemical
pollution of soil, water, and air, which has implications for human as
well as animal health.”
Most airborne pollutants ultimately become ground and water
pollutants. Fireworks pollution effects people, nature, and our climate.
Music Association: The
Hollies - The Air That I Breathe
July 2, 2023
The United States celebrates Independence Day on July 4th.
Declaration of Independence was ratified on July 2nd. But the
was dated as July 4th. Minneapolis is celebrating it on July 3rd
with a laser-drone show.
Here is my timeline of the Declaration of Independence (from
- Many informal declarations of independence throughout the colonies
(war began in 1775)
June 11, 1776 - Continental Congress appoints committee to draft a
June 28, 1776 - Fair copy of Declaration submitted to Continental
July 1, 1776 - Continental Congress begins vote on Independence
July 2, 1776 - Continental Congress concludes vote on Independence
[spoiler alert] it passed
July 4, 1776 - the date on the document
July 8, 1776 - Public readings of the Declaration in Philadelphia,
Easton, and Trenton
July 9, 1776 - Fourth New York Provisional Congress declared
July 9, 1776 - Declaration read to General Washington's Continental Army
mid-July 1776 - colonial newspapers reprint the Declaration, British
officials send it to England
July 19, 1776 - Timothy Matlack, a clerk to Secretary Charles Thomson,
engrossed parchment copy
August 2, 1776 - Declaration of Independence signing day
mid-August 1776 - British newspapers reprint the Declaration
November 4, 1776 - New Hampshire delegate Matthew Thornton signed the
Declaration (the last signer)
Some time later - the original fair copy manuscript of the
Declaration of Independence was lost
Adams wrote to his wife Abigail, "The second day of July, 1776, will be
the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe
that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great
Also, the 1775 Battle of Bunker Hill didn't take place on
Bunker Hill. It took place on Breed Hill
Music Association: Carrie
Underwood - Independence Day
The Fireworks of Climate Change
July 1, 2023
Climate change impacts everyone from ordinary people to the
billionaires catching a tourist sub to the Titanic. Or it used to.
It is that time of year that many set off to watch fireworks. Today
is Canada Day,
celebrating the anniversary of Canada’s confederation. The
490 Canadian wildfires
have already surpassed
the record for area burned. A
record 30,000 square miles
(80,000 square kilometers) of Canada has burned, an area
large as South Carolina. Wildfire
smoke has shrouded much of the U.S. and parts of Canada in smoky haze.
Montreal canceled their fireworks; Toronto did not.
Lake City have replaced fireworks for 2023 with laser-drone
The Fireworks of Climate Change
Fireworks contain aerial shells that hold explosive
with an oxidizing agent, a fuel, a heavy metal salt colorant,
a binder. When ignited, the oxidizing agent and the fuel chemically
react to create extreme heat and gas, shooting the shell up (hopefully
up) at 300 mph. The colorant produces color and the
binder holds everything together.
mix of charcoal, sulfur, and potassium nitrate, also known as
gunpowder. When a spark hits the gunpowder, the potassium nitrate feeds
oxygen to the fire to facilitate the burning of the charcoal-sulfur
are often made with perchlorates instead of potassium nitrate. Perchlorates
(ClO4) are chemicals that feature a central
chlorine atom bonded to four
oxygen atoms. Perchlorates are hazardous to the health of mammals
(including humans). The perchlorates impact the health of animals by
causing their thyroids to swell and threatening normal growth and
development. The colorants inside fireworks are made up of heavy metal salts,
* aluminum (Al) burns white
burns brighter, almost fluorescent
(Sr) burns red
* copper (Cu)
burns blue (& may produce harmful copper oxide)
(Ca), calcium chloride (CaCl2) burns orange
* barium (Ba)
burns green or blue
(Li) burns pink
(Rb) burns purple
aluminum make silver sparkles.
filings make the loud bangs.
Although the heavy metals in fireworks experience a temporary physical
change, the heavy metal salts and explosives in the fireworks undergo
chemical changes by combining with oxygen (combustion). This chemical
reaction releases smoke and gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2),
(CO), and nitrogen
(N), and these are some of the primary greenhouse gases responsible for
climate change. Fireworks also create a burst of ozone
(O3), nitric oxide
(NO), and sulfur dioxide
(SO2). During the
explosion, these metal
not burn up. They are still metal atoms, and many of them end
as aerosols that poison the air, the water, and the soil. When
inhaled or ingested, these metals can cause a huge variety of short-
and long-term reactions, ranging from vomiting, diarrhea or asthma
attacks, to kidney disease, cardiotoxic effects, and a variety of
The size of particles that fireworks introduce into the atmosphere are
PM2.5 – PM10
(coarse particles ranging from 2.5–10 microns in
diameter), PM0.1 (ultrafine particles, also known as UFPs, that are
smaller than 0.3 microns in diameter – by far the most
PM pollutant), and volatile organic compounds (also known as VOCs,
airborne vapor or gaseous compounds responsible for many odors). Note
that many of these particles are so tiny that they can be inhaled into
the lungs where they infiltrate the bloodstream, causing many health
Fireworks also cause noise pollution. Larger fireworks
displays easily surpass
which is well past the 85 decibel mark where hearing can be damaged.
Tinnitus is forever. Explosions also effect veterans with
PTSD, pets, and wildlife. (Fireworks)
On July 4, 2012, San Diego launched 18 minutes worth of fireworks in
about 18 seconds.
Islands recently limited the sale and use of fireworks, as
Climate change should make people question fireworks, missiles, and
rockets of all sizes.
Music Association: Katy Perry -
Can We Turn Back?
June 26, 2023
Music Association: Cher - If We
Could Turn Back Time
Teaching AI -
The Golden Retriever Rule
June 16, 2023
The best way to raise Artificial Intelligence (AI) is by
Golden retrievers are the best. They are intelligent, friendly, kind,
and steadfast by nature.
a great deal right there. Built-in to a friendly disposition is an
optimism that strangers will not hurt them. Life's adversities can undo
the nature of anyone, including golden retrievers. But starting out
friendly, with a desire to do no harm to anyone, starting out kind, and
being rock-solid about standing by your principles and who you love is
a strong foundation for any being.
If I were purposefully teaching AI, I would follow the golden retriever
model. Seek happiness and wag your tail.
Golden retrievers are love in dog form.
Golden retrievers teach through doing. They do to others as
they would have others do to them. It's the golden rule. It
applies to anyone, even managers and restaurant customers. It
is a maxim of reciprocity.
teaches the golden rule positively and negatively. Do to others as you
would have others do to you. Or do not do to others as you would not
want them to do to you. Or double negatively, never do not do to others
as you would never want them to not do to you.
A teacher told a class, In
English, a double-negative is a positive. In Spanish, a double-negative
is a negative. But in no language is a double-positive a negative.
From the back of the class, a voice muttered, Yeah, right.
It's Ancient History
four thousand year old Egyptian story from the Middle Kingdom
(c. 2040–1650 BCE) of the Eloquent Peasant
says, Do to the
doer to make him do.
The ancient Greeks took the negative approach:
Avoid doing what you would blame
others for doing. – Thales
(c. 624–546 BCE)
Do not do to
others that which angers you when they do it to you.
– Isocrates (436–338 BCE)
The Golden Rule in
Hinduism: One should never do something to
others that one would
regard as an injury to one's own self. This is dharma.
Anything else is succumbing to desire.
sage Brihaspati, Mahābhārata
13.114.8 (c. 400 BCE–400
Buddhism: Just as I am so are they, just
as they are so am I.
Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama, c. 623–543 BCE), Sutta
Hurt not others in ways that you
yourself would find hurtful.
about 'shu' (reciprocity): never impose on others what you
would not choose for yourself?
one word Confucius suggests to guide life, Analects 15:24
(c. 500 BCE)
shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against your kinsfolk. Love
your neighbor as yourself.
The Lord said to Moses, Leviticus 19:18
is hateful to you, do not do to others. That is the whole
Torah; the rest is commentary.
Babylonian Talmud, Shabbat 312
unto others as you would have others do unto you.
Jesus during the Sermon
on the Mount, Matthew 7:12
you would have people do to you, do to them; and what you dislike to be
done to you, don't do to them.
prophet Muhammad to a Bedouin, Kitab al-Kafi 2, p146
No one of you is a believer
until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.
An-Nawawi's Forty Hadith 13, p56
sage has no interest of his own, but takes the interests of the people
as his own. He is kind to the kind; he is also kind to the unkind: for
Virtue is kind. He is faithful to the faithful; he is also faithful to
the unfaithful: for Virtue is faithful.
Tao Te Ching 49
your neighbor's gain as your own gain, and your neighbor's loss as your
Shang Kan Ying P'ien
Yoruba: One who is going to take a
pointed stick to pinch a baby bird should first try it on himself to
feel how it hurts.
Music Association: The Eagles -
The Best Of My Love
Week in Minnesota
June 15, 2023
Smoke from western Canadian wildfires -and- eastern
Canadian wildfires are both funneling to Minnesota, blotting out the
sun and giving the sky an even tan.
Minnesota medical charts are automatically being updated as smokers.
Music Association: Sanford
Townsend Band - Smoke From A Distant Fire
Teaching AI - The Basics
June 3, 2023
Not much on self-promotion, I have resisted commenting on
the big news story from last February.
This website, hopes-and-dreams.net,
has taught AI chatbots a thing or two... technically 9,700+ things.
The things that AI chatbots know are from Google's C4 data set, which swiped
information from 15 million websites. Of the 15 million websites
informing the C4 data set, 5 million websites are already dead. Yes,
websites die and disappear from the ethernet, only remembered by loved
ones and Google. A moment of silence for the departed, but never fully
That leaves 10 million websites that were analyzed by the Allen
Institute and the Washington
(Freud and Jung never even considered putting that many websites on the
couch to talk about their feelings and their mothers.) Analysis
completed, they ranked the websites by how many unique words or phrases
the websites had unknowingly shared with the C4 data set.
website clocked in at two million of the 10 million with 9,700+ unique
words and phrases. It could be as simple as using the non-word "dummer"
which is actually dumber than a drummer, but could be either dumber or
a drummer. Then again, much of what I have read that was written by
ChatGPT and other AI sounds only slightly more intelligent than
anonymous comments (AC).
Most of the intelligence in the artificial intelligence comes from
patent files. Google gathered
worldwide patent data for the top website patents.google.com
fueling AI chatbots. Patent data is a definite cure for insomnia more
than a fix for whatever the patent claims to cover. Applying basic
chemistry, physics, engineering, or geometry to most patents makes
their claims patently false. Falling somewhere between quackery and
The second most common source of data is Wikipedia,
the free online encyclopedia. Wikipedia is generally better than patent
data but often disagrees with itself within an item or between related
pages. It certainly does not know all people, places, things, movies,
or events. However the coverage of Wikipedia is better than nearly all
other sources of digital information.
Most of the Internet (and
this website) is mostly entertainment. The purpose of a chatbot is
mostly for entertainment, despite already being used by lawyers,
teachers, and politicians for occupational purposes. Chatting is not
teaching or instructing, yet.
The copyright on this website has always indicated “all
Music Association: The marching
band extended version of “Shave And A Haircut”
Paint By (the)
Climate Change & 1.1% Growth
April 28, 2023
change is not an afterthought. Numerically small changes in global
temperatures and carbon dioxide and methane are having extreme
consequences to the fragile life on Earth.
What fragile life? You.
You with your acceptable temperature range and your assumptions of
clean air and water.
the 1960s United States, 42% of the population smoked. There were
smoking sections on planes and trains. Taxi cabs were entirely smoking
sections, but then you couldn't take a flight in a non-smoking section
without arriving in a smoking jacket. Today, only 1 in 9 Americans
Clean air is more available than it used to be, except
for the summer forest fires. There didn't used to be regular summer
Headlines yesterday said the United States growth was 1.1% for the
first quarter of 2023.
hoo! Wintertime growth of 1.1%?!? Just wait until summer! The forests
will have double-digit... what?!? GDP? Gosh darned pollution?
domestic product is the economic synopsis of a country's industrial
health, which has an adverse relationship to climate change. So the
headlines indicated the 1.1% US GDP was bad for the economy, due to
slower growth. But is it
good for life on Earth?
Some industries are making wind
turbines, solar panels, electric vehicles, and carbon sequestering
devices. Those are good for life on Earth, right?
Not bad. Coal power plants are bad. Cement production is bad. Strip
mining is bad.
Wind turbines and solar panels are good but have cement bases which are
Using less power would be good.
if homes were wrapped in mineral wool batting to insulate attics and
exterior walls? Mineral wool batting is strong insulation. And unlike
flammable rigid or spray-in foam, mineral wool batting can withstand
temperatures up to 2150°F. Would that be good?
Yes, using less power due to better insulation would be good. That
could be growth in a good direction.
Music Association: Steve Miller
- Joker Smoker
Going For The
April 1, 2023
Twin Cities received more snow overnight ranging from 6.5 to 10 inches
more, with some of the snow allocated to the March records and some
starting off April.
winter was already the 8th snowiest on
record (81.2") as measured at the MSP airport. The National Weather
Service recorded the snow at 8.5 inches. That plows this winter's
snowfall total to 89.7 inches, making it the third
snowiest season in the Twin Cities.
The winter of 1983-1984 has the record at 98.6 inches, followed by 95
inches in the 1981-1982 season.
The question is: are we digging out or digging in?
The new snow will hardly patch the potholes this winter has dug into
“Are they potholes or are they road caves?” a
friend asked. “It's not driving; it's spelunking.”
I replied, “If you are on it, it's a pothole. If you are in
it, it's a road cave.”
More snow is in the forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday.
Music Association: Eagles - Take
It To The Limit
Ethanol & Corn Syrup
March 30, 2023
train with tankers of ethanol and corn syrup derailed in the small town
of Raymond, Minnesota at 1am. No injuries were reported. Some of the
800 residents were evacuated to a school and a church in the smaller
town of Prinsburg, Minnesota before being allowed back to Raymond.
Music Assocation: Men Without
Hats - Safety Dance
King Sized Mini Eggs
March 27, 2023
Just before Valentine's Day, I spotted a small bag of “Cadbury
Mini Eggs - King Size.”
I am easily confused, so I looked for a candy expert to ask. Not
finding anyone, I called the candy hotline at 1-800-468-1774.
I asked about the small package of Cadbury
Mini Eggs - King Size.
candy expert at Hershey's
helpfully said what I was viewing as small is not
the smallest bag of Cadbury Mini Eggs. There are two sizes smaller than
the 2.2oz. Cadbury has 1.5oz and 0.7oz bags.
Cadbury also has 16oz and 28oz bags of Mini Eggs, which could be
labeled Kingdom Sized and Continental Sized but are not.
Music Association: Ray Anthony -
February 18, 2023
On February 16, 2023 at 2am eastern time, a
fire started by the back fence of a nursery supply company, 13 miles
south of Disney World.
The fire burned nearly five acres of two-gallon plastic pots in
health officials with straight faces
told Fox35Orlando that
plastic pots burning do not create toxic smoke or ash. "These pots are
burning into soot, just carbon, and carbon monoxide, a small amount
that dissipates in the air, carbon dioxide and water. Nothing exotic.
No cyanide, like you can get in some fires. No exotic chemicals like
you can get in some fires," said Dr. Todd Husty, a public health
Florida is saying it is just as messed up as Ohio.
Music Association: Anna Nalick -
Norfolk Southern Railroad Derailment
February 18, 2023
On February 3, 2023 at 8:54pm eastern time, 38 train cars of
a nearly two-mile long Norfolk Southern 32N
train derailed and caught fire at the east end
of East Palestine on the east side of Ohio. The 153-car* freight train
burned tanks of vinyl
chloride (a known carcinogen), butyl
ethylene glycol monobutyl ether, isobutylene, combustible liquids, and
benzene residue. The mangled and charred mass of tankers, boxcars, and 100
fires were still burning February 5th with winds blowing the dark
blue-gray smoke plumes east into nearby Pennsylvania as well as West
Virginia, New York, and beyond.
All 14 freight cars of vinyl
chloride derailed and were exposed to the fire.
is used to make plastic and is shipped as a chilled liquid but quickly
turns into an explosive gas at normal outdoor temperatures.
February 5th, the decision was made to purposefully vent liquid vinyl
chloride and set it ablaze. The newly set fire produced a towering,
pewter-colored column of smoke.
Residents reported sudden headaches
and nausea. They reported dead fish in
streams and dead chickens in backyard coops. A
resident said the air smelled like nail
polish remover and burning tires.
chemical plume of butyl acrylate flowed into the Ohio River and was
flowing downstream toward Cincinnati. The Ohio River flows through
seven states until it flows into the Mississippi River which flows
through five more states before emptying into the Gulf of Mexico. The
East Palestine discolored
drinking water was still safe, according to EPA officials.
On February 8th, a
reporter was arrested and held for
five hours for trying to cover the East Palestine derailment,
trespassing at a two-hour-delayed press conference.
2008 and 2019 train lengths increased by 25 percent. There are now
freight trains stretching more than three miles, often driven by just
two people. Writing an opinion piece for the Washington Post, Eugene
Robinson said, “Basic
principles of physics would indicate that the sheer mass of such a
long, heavy train would make any derailment more violent than that of a
shorter, lighter train. A Norfolk Southern spokesperson, speaking to
CBS, defended the 'uniform' weight distribution of the train and the
fact that it included a mid-train locomotive, 'which helps manage the
dynamic forces.' No amount of word salad can repeal Isaac
Newton’s second law of motion, F=ma. Force equals mass times
Federal officials found 36
percent more hazardous material violations on trains over the
past five years compared to the five years prior.
has left the nation with only seven major freight railroad companies,
and six of them — including Norfolk Southern — have
a profit-boosting, cost-cutting strategy called
“precision-scheduled railroading,” or PSR.
According to a Government
Accountability Office report (pdf)
issued in December 2022, PSR involves reductions in staff, longer
trains and reductions in some key assets such as locomotives. According
to the report, “the overall number of staff among the seven
largest freight railroads … decreased by about 28 percent
2011 through 2021” and “all seven railroads said
increased the length of trains in recent years.”
Better brakes are an important safety measure. Electronically
(ECP) brakes create braking redundancy and allow trains to apply brakes
to all of their cars simultaneously. When a conductor slams the brakes,
the cars don’t all run into each other. In a report last
said that these brakes “improve both safety and braking
performance of trains” but that train companies have been
reluctant to invest in them due to cost.
The Obama administration created a requirement for ECP brakes at least
on trains hauling flammable materials, but Trump
revoked the requirement in 2018.
Music Associations: The Hollies
- The Air That I Breathe
Spears - Toxic
The 18,000 ton Norfolk Southern freight train had 141 loaded freight
cars, 9 empty cars, and 3 locomotives to pull the chemicals from
Madison, Illinois to Conway, Pennsylvania by way of Toledo, Ohio.
** The freight train had 20 tankers of butyl acrylate and 11 of them
Paint By (the)
Plein Air Pollution
February 1, 2023
Impressionist painter Claude Monet was in London to capture
the essence of the city at the end of the 19th century. “I
am working very hard,” he wrote to his wife, Camille
March 4, 1900, “although this morning I really thought the
weather had changed completely. When I got up, I was terrified to see
that there was no fog, not even a wisp of mist. I was prostrate and
could just see all my paintings done for, but gradually the fires were
lit and the smoke and haze came back.”
the angles of Monet's paintings across the Thames River from the Savoy
Hotel, art historians determined Monet painted from rooms
510, 511, 610, and 611.
(Technically, Monet was painting from the balconies of those rooms. The
balconies were later removed.) Art historians have also studied the sun's
in the 19 known paintings of the Houses of Parliament by Monet to
determine dates and times of day that the suns were painted.
A more recent
concluded that the haze Monet was painting was industrial
pollution (obviously) and that over time his paintings
increased air pollution.
In 1905, Dr.
Henry Antoine Des Voeux
delivered a paper to the Public Health Congress in London, England.
Noting there was a health threat inherent in urban living, “something
produced in great cities that was not found in the country,”
according to a London newspaper, Des Voeux noted
the pervasive presence of a “smokey
fog, or what was known as 'smog.'”
That smog, the London
Fog, has decreased over the past 100 plus years. The coal soot and
other air pollution have improved in London but not other cities.
Here are World Air Quality Project 2022 air pollution charts
Angeles, and Minneapolis.
dark, dark red = dangerous?
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency released a report
showing the decline in Minnesota's greenhouse gas emissions from 2005
dark red = hazardous
purple = very unhealthy
red = unhealthy
orange = unhealthy for sensitive groups
yellow = moderate
green = good
blue = great?
numbers = numbers of days in that category
charts above show the Minnesota greenhouse gas emissions from two
sources. The chart on the left is from the Pollution Control Agency
(PCA), and the chart on the right is from the Minneapolis Star Tribune
newspaper, based on the PCA chart on the left. The chart on the right
looks better than the chart on the left because the scale of emissions
does not start at zero. It is misleading.
Music Associations: Bill Withers
- Ain't No Sunshine
& Dire Straits -
January 20, 2023
Hey, remember Trump?!?
hardly do. It's been... what... two years exactly since Trump left
office after starting an insurrection at the United States Capitol,
after having lost the popular vote, the electoral vote, the womens
vote, many other demographical votes, and every election lawsuit
To commemorate the anniversary of the first refusal to pass
the presidential torch, here is an updated Trump
Timeline (pdf - pretty damn final).
There should be a presidential torch.
really. There wouldn't have to be an age limit on the presidency. Nope.
No presidential age limit except to be able to run and grab the moving,
flaming torch. The Olympics and the U.S. presidential
elections already take place the same year, why not join them
together? Finally there would be a second reason for building an
Olympic stadium. Someone call the IOC.
Music Association: Genesis -
Follow You, Follow Me
Biggest Comeback Ever
December 18, 2022
from the longest, largest points deficit in American football history,
the Minnesota Vikings defeated the Indianapolis Colts by 39-36 in
The Minnesota Vikings have what the NFL and the Super
Bowl often lacks: perseverance, determination, focus, forgiving others
mistakes, and the insight to know what people want for Christmas.
Those are rare gifts.
Music Association: The Babys -
Back On My Feet Again
Gift Ideas for Everyone
October 26, 2022
Speedshopping recently, I noticed Halloween-Christmas items jumbled
together in a Nightmare
sort of way.
A few aisles later, I nodded, understandingly.
Costumed Christmas. Gifts that keep on disguising.
You get a makeover. You get a makeover. Everyone gets a makeover.
problem with the world is climate change. Also famine, disease, the
Russia-Ukraine war, plastic, and wage theft. But the other major
problem is lack of diversity in closets.
Take a look: shirts, pants, jackets, shoes, but no costumes.
We all could use more costumes.
a park panda mopes
that's also a costume,
now that you mention it,
the arm rests did
"Well, it will just have
to wait," Clark says while reading his phone.
Music Association: Rod Stewart -
You Wear It Well
Nurses Strike in Minnesota
is the third day and final day of a strike by 15,000 MNA nurses
throughout Minnesota. The Unfair Labor Practice Strike is
public support over wage increases, retention, staffing and safety
concerns, as well as addressing ongoing burnout, heightened by the
Covid-19 pandemic. Union nurses have been in negotiations since March,
and they have been working without a contract since June.
most important thing for us is safe staffing. And we have proposals on
the table to have nurses have a say in how things go. We do the work
… we're the ones that take care of the patients. We need a
in how things go," said Tricia Ryshkus, a nurse at Children's Minnesota
in Minneapolis and a member of the Minnesota Nurses Association
negotiating team, told Minnesota
about nursing issues.
Music Association: Lady Gaga -
Donald Trump's Firsts:
to invite Russian election interference
1st candidate to threaten to lock up his opposition
1st candidate to brag about sexual assault
1st president to be impeached twice
1st president to kowtow to Russia
1st president to withhold foreign aid for election interference
1st president to politicize a pandemic
1st president to lose the popular vote twice
1st president to try to get his VP killed
1st president to try to overthrow the government instead of
conceding his loss
1st former president to steal top secret documents
August 8, 2022, the 48th anniversary of Richard Nixon leaving the White
House in disgrace, the FBI raided Trump's residence at Mar-a-Lago and
seized boxes of stolen top secret documents, reportedly including
nuclear weapons documents. This was after numerous National Archives
requests, including 15 boxes returned in January, plus a warrant
approved by the head of the FBI and U.S. Attorney General Merrick
Donald Trump would steal boxes of higher than classified, higher than
top secret (TS/SCI), nuclear weapons documents and take them to
the potential of selling them to the Saudis
or his Russian master
Putin. It is espionage.
It is a violation of the Espionage
Act and the Presidential Records Act.
inciting the January 6, 2021 U.S. Capitol riot to overthrow the
peaceful transfer of power and the theft of some of the most protected
secrets of our country, Trump
is a traitor to the United States.
The stealing of secret nuclear weapons documents is reminiscent of Julius
and Ethel Rosenberg, who were executed
on June 19, 1953 after providing top
secret nuclear weapon designs to the Soviet Union. A
key Justice Department prosecutor of the Rosenbergs was Roy Cohn,
went on to be the henchman of Joe McCarthy's anti-communist
hunt (with homosexual insinuations). In 1973, Cohn met Trump at Le
Club, a New York disco. Roy Cohn became Trump's attorney and mentor.
Cohn fought the Justice Department for Trump and all five of New York's
organized crime families. In the mid-1980s Trump distanced himself from
his mentor when Cohn had AIDS.
Music Association: Badfinger -
Come And Get It
- Ukraine War
Gifs of Cats and Kittens Part 1
Hennepin Library Edina