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Paint By (the) Numbers
Climate Change & 1.1% Growth
April 28, 2023

Climate 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.

In 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 smoke.

Clean air is more available than it used to be, except for the summer forest fires. There didn't used to be regular summer forest fires.

Headlines yesterday said the United States growth was 1.1% for the first quarter of 2023.

Woo hoo! Wintertime growth of 1.1%?!? Just wait until summer! The forests will have double-digit... what?!? GDP? Gosh darned pollution?

Gross 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?

Define good.

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 bad.

Using less power would be good.

What 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

Hopes and Dreams

Going For The Record
More Snowsnow
April 1, 2023

The Twin Cities received more snow overnight ranging from 6.5 to 10 inches or more, with some of the snow allocated to the March records and some starting off April.

This 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 the roads.

“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

Hopes and Dreams

Another Train Tanked
Ethanol & Corn Syrup
March 30, 2023

BNSF train derails in Raymond MN

A BNSF 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

Hopes and Dreams

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.

The 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.

Cadbury Mini Eggs - King Size 2.2oz

Music Association: Ray Anthony - Bunny Hop

Hopes and Dreams

Russia - Ukraine War
March 25, 2023

Russian war losses against Ukraine 3-25-2023

Year Two
Russia - Ukraine War
February 23, 2023

Russia's war against Ukraine starts its second year today because it's tomorrow over there.

Ukraine, you have our continued support.

Russia has not run out of stockpiled weapons and is being resupplied by Iran and China.

That doesn't mean the war is going well for them or Ukraine. War is for tyrants.

Russia's losses in its war against Ukraine as of February 23, 2023

Russia must return all Ukrainian territory seized in 2015 and 2022.

Russians, do not support the war. Do not support Putin. Rise up.

Music Association: Beyoncé - Rise Up

Hopes and Dreams

Acres of plastic planting pots burned in Kissimmee, Florida on February 16, 2023.

Plastic Pots Pollution
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 Kissimmee, Florida.

Florida public 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 official.

Florida is saying it is just as messed up as Ohio.

Music Association: Anna Nalick - 2am Breathe

Norfolk Southern freight train 32N derailed and burned at East Palestine, Ohio

Oh East Palestine
Norfolk Southern Railroad Derailment Pollution
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 acrylate**, ethylhexyl acrylate, ethylene glycol monobutyl ether, isobutylene, combustible liquids, and benzene residue. The mangled and charred mass of tankers, boxcars, and 100 foot tall 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.
Norfolk Southern train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio as viewed on February 4, 2023
All 14 freight cars of vinyl chloride derailed and were exposed to the fire.  Vinyl chloride is used to make plastic and is shipped as a chilled liquid but quickly turns into an explosive gas at normal outdoor temperatures.

On 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.
Norfolk Southern derailment - burning of vinyl chloride on February 5, 2023
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.

A 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.

Between 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 acceleration.

Federal officials found 36 percent more hazardous material violations on trains over the past five years compared to the five years prior.

Consolidation has left the nation with only seven major freight railroad companies, and six of them — including Norfolk Southern — have adopted 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 from 2011 through 2021” and “all seven railroads said they have increased the length of trains in recent years.”

Better brakes are an important safety measure. Electronically controlled pneumatic (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 year, the FRA 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
                               & Britney 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 derailed.


Paint By (the) Numbers
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 Doncieux, on 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.”

Studying 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 positions in the 19 known paintings of the Houses of Parliament by Monet to determine dates and times of day that the suns were painted. 

Claude Monet, Houses of Parliament (6 of 19)

A more recent study concluded that the haze Monet was painting was industrial pollution (obviously) and that over time his paintings revealed 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 from 
London, Dehli, Beijing, Los Angeles, and Minneapolis.

air pollution 2022 in London, Dehli, Beijing, Los Angeles, Minneapolis
dark, dark red = dangerous?
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

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency released a report showing the decline in Minnesota's greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 to 2020.

MN greenhouse gases 2005-2020

The 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 - Industrial Disease

Time Flies
Timeline File
January 20, 2023

Hey, remember Trump?!?

I 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 imaginable.

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.

No 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

Minnesota Returns
Biggest Comeback Ever
December 18, 2022

Back from the longest, largest points deficit in American football history, the Minnesota Vikings defeated the Indianapolis Colts by 39-36 in overtime.

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

Minnesota Vikings - Biggest Comeback in NFL History

bury the lead - Indianapolis Star for Dec 18, 2022

Happy Holidays
Gift Ideas for Everyone
October 26, 2022

Speedshopping recently, I noticed Halloween-Christmas items jumbled together in a Nightmare Before Christmas 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.

The 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.

panda mopes
a park panda mopes

that's also a costume, isn't it
that's also a costume, isn't it

now that you mention it, the arm rests did feel funny
now that you mention it, the arm rests did feel funny

"Well, it will just have to wait," Clark says while reading his phone
"Well, it will just have to wait," Clark says while reading his phone.

Music Association: Rod Stewart - You Wear It Well

Patients Before Profits
Nurses Strike in Minnesota
14, 2022

Today is the third day and final day of a strike by 15,000 MNA nurses throughout Minnesota. The Unfair Labor Practice Strike is seeking 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.

"The 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 say 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 Public Radio.

More about nursing issues.

Patients Before Profits

Music Association: Lady Gaga - Heal Me

Hopes and Dreams

Bizarro FPOTUS
Trump's Espionage
14, 2022

Donald Trump's Firsts:

1st candidate 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

On 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 Garland. 

Only Donald Trump would steal boxes of higher than classified, higher than top secret (TS/SCI), nuclear weapons documents and take them to Florida, with 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.
Trump's boxes of stolen top secret documents
Between 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, who went on to be the henchman of Joe McCarthy's anti-communist witch 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


Russia-Ukraine War of 2022
Russia - Ukraine War

Covid-19 disease - the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 virus

Presidential Timeline of Donald Trump
Trump Timeline (PDF)

end Israeli apartheid
end Israeli apartheid

China in 1989 (T a n k M a n)
China in 1989

George Floyd, murdered by police, May 25, 2020
George Floyd

voter suppression
Voter Suppression

music videos
Music Videos
October 2018 Twin Cities Calendar
Landmine Hopscotch


Impact Investing
Impact Investing

Gifs of Kittens (part 1)
Holiday Gifs of Cats and Kittens Part 1   Part 2   Part 3   Part 4   Part 5  

Climate Solutions
Climate Change Solutions

Hennepin County Library at Southdale (Edina, MN)
Southdale Hennepin Library,  Edina Library  

Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman

food fraud
Food Fraud

prior posts

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Hopes and Dreams: Stuck on AutoDrive is a novel about inventing the self-driving car. It has:



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