Good News Friday

Good news, weird news, funny news: we’ve got it all. Enjoy!

• McDonald’s says it will no longer sell chicken raised on antibiotics.

• “Mind your own uterus” say glitter-bombers to aides of anti-choice Nebraska Rep. Jeff Fortenberry. Ha ha ha.

• Ringling Bros. circus announced it is dropping all of its elephant acts and 13 elephants will be retired to its 200-acre sanctuary in Florida.

• A mild El Nino has formed in the Pacific, which means warmer, wetter weather. After the winter we’ve had, all I can say is, bring it on!

• The Senate failed to override President Obama’s veto of the Keystone XL pipeline.

• Better late than never: an 82-year-old billionaire is performing his “first major act of philanthropy” by selling his extensive art collection to give money to the Harlem Children’s Zone. Not to look a gift horse in the mouth but if you’re 82 years old and a billionaire and just now thinking about some major acts of philanthropy you’re kind of a dick. But at least something finally trickled down to the Harlem Children’s Zone.

• There are now 57 Amur leopards in the world, up from 30 in 2007.

• On Monday a federal judge ruled that Nebraska’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

• Congratulations, Michael Jordan: the world’s newest billionaire.

• Tea Party cries Uncle on Dept. of Homeland Security funding. Do you think they’ve finally got the message that government shutdown after government shutdown, ad nauseum, is not a tactic that inspires confidence in their ability to govern? Probably not.

Good News, Tennessee Edition:

• Nashville’s Metro Council voted to ban chaining dogs outside, as well as other pet-tethering restrictions.

This week’s cool video comes from the Memphis Zoo, where their polar bear, Payton, is having the time of his life enjoying a rare snowfall. I am absolutely obsessed with this video. It almost makes the snow seem worthwhile:

4 Comments

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4 responses to “Good News Friday

  1. I’d add a bit of news that is both weird and very good — David Koch (yes, THAT David Koch) will be signing a PRO-SSM amicus brief to go to SCOTUS– apparently a ‘conservatives only’ one that people like Ken Mehlmann and Kenneth Duberstein are starting.

    When you add that to the over 350 Corporations — many of the biggest ones — that have signed a brief supporting SSM, and maybe we are starting to see the first stages leading to divorce in the entirely unsuitable marriage between ‘corporate power’ and the Religious Right.

    It was always an ill-suited ‘marriage of convenience.’ No corporation benefits from, for example, ‘pregnancy-forcing.’ Being anti-Islam doesn’t have many benefits for most ‘bottom lines.’ And — even ignoring the myth of ‘all gays are rich’ — most companies would suffer more by being anti-gay than by angering a group of people with overall lower incomes, larger families, and a religious obligation to tithe that lowers their spendable income even more. And nobody benefits — in the long run and usually in the short — from climate change denialism.

    What seems always to have been the idea is that ‘we’ll support these pathetic issues and pretend to work on their issues to get their votes. But we know that they’ll never get anywhere with their craziness.’ (The affair with the Republican party had the same justification.) Nobody expected that the Religious whackjobs would ever have a shot at actually succeeding, nor did they want them to.

    I even wonder if many corporations are questioning their attachment to ‘free market and low taxation ideologues.’ (Does any corporation benefit from the chaos a Brownback has caused? I can’t see how.)

    Of course some corporations are run by people who are themselves religious or free-market ideologues, but even some of them must be getting pretty disgusted at the raving stupidity of many of the Representatives and Senators they have helped elect. Is there anyone who really wants an Inhofe heading the Science Committee, or some of the other idiots running around.

    Now if only Democrats can somehow remember HOW to exploit a wedge issue — which is NOT by “Triangulation” — we might turn around some of the disasters our own incompetence caused in the last three elections. (Okay, it’s my hobby horse and I’ll keep on riding it until I get somewhere.)

    • After posting this I went over to Joe.My.God — one of the better gay blogs out there and where I first learned the Koch story. Apparently — according to the TIME magazine website — the list of signers for the Conservative brief is now over 300, including Susan Collins, Charlie Baker (Gov. of Mass, if you’ve forgotten), Mark Kirk, Rudy Giuliani and a lot of other names you’ll recognize. And it is a fully worked out defense of SSM from a Conservative point of view.

      • They’ve all been for gay mawwiage since, well, right AFTER the Articles of Confederation were written. It was, in fact, the view of the KKKonservatives of that day that gay mawwiage should be protected, specifically in the Bill of Rights!

        It was the friggin’ Liebrals that stopped it then and who have stood in its way since!!

  2. The El Niño event is good news. Last year there had been the hope of a moderate event. Still the anomalous sea surface temperatures of .5 to 1.0 degrees Celsius are predicted to last through 2015.

    After the first rains and snowfall in California of the winter in December, January was devastatingly dry. Yet incredibly, there was a heavy rain in the deserts east of our mountains in southern California just last week. I know, I went storm-chasing. Coming back home through Julian I was greeted by snow and hail.

    Here are some interesting graphics of both predictions and recorded historical data from the 1997-1998 El Niño. The yellow represents anomalies of .5 to 1.0 degrees Celsius shifting to pink and purple which represent anomalies of as much as 4.0 degrees Celsius or more. Green and blue colors indicate lower than average temperatures.

    This graphic from March/April/May1998 shows SST anomalies of 1.5 degrees stretching almost 2/3 of the way from the east coast of South America to New Guinea. (Click on image for full graph.)

    This graph shows a three-dimensional picture of the 1998 event. Note the highest temperature anomalies occur hundreds of meters below the ocean’s surface. The events appear to originate in deeper water.

    This shows the current predictions.