Your weekly progress report:
• NASA says we’re not all going to die on December 21.
• Even science skeptics believe global warming is real now.
• Ronald Reagan may have his name plastered over every public building in America but have they named a dinosaur after him? I think not. (And people, if ever there were a president deserving that honor, it’s Ronald Reagan.) However, they really did name a newly-discovered species of dinosaur after Obama. I bring you the Obamadon gracilis, so named for the president’s broad smile, not any particular policies right-wingers might find out of date.
• A previously unknown Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale has been found in Denmark’s National Archives. It’s a “somber fairy tale about a lonely candle who wanted to be lit.” So. Yay. I think.
• A reproductive health bill has passed the Philippines’ House of Representatives, over the objections of Catholic bishops.
• Marriage equality appears headed for a vote in Scotland.
• Offshore wind energy projects get a big boost from the DOE.
• UT Austin withdraws its fracking research after bias in the science was uncovered by independent reviewers.
• A federal judge ruled that North Carolina’s “Choose Life” license plates can’t be sold unless a pro-choice option is also available. I seem to recall this issue coming up in Tennessee, but courts denied our similar logical argument.
• The highly endangered frigatebird has returned to nest on Ascension Island 150 years after it was wiped out by feral cats.
• A judge has halted the Keystone pipeline in Texas … for now.
• Doctors used a disabled form of the HIV virus to cure a young girl’s cancer. Okay we can all officially thank the gays now (/sarcasm).
• TV commercials officially have to stop screaming at you starting yesterday.
• Construction workers discovered an ancient agricultural farm beneath a Jerusalem street.
• From a commenter, U.S. Rep. John Barrow donated 79,000 frequent flyer miles to injured troops needing to travel for medical treatment.
Good News, Tennessee Edition:
• FedEx Chairman Fred Smith came out in support of raising taxes on the top 2%. Funny, seems like just last spring that local clown Arthur Laffer was telling Tennessee’s state legislative leaders that Fred Smith was gonna pack up FedEx and move ‘em out of state if we didn’t repeal the state’s inheritance tax.
• Bicycle sharing comes to downtown Nashville.
• Nashville’s Warner Parks get their own iPhone app.
And this week’s cool video is The Mayan Calendar explained. Happy New B’ak’tun to you!