News Dump — Di In Drag, An Owl’s New Hoot And Playing Apocalypse Games

March 31, 2013

Clever-baby-reading-newspaperRaining this particular Sunday morning and warm — the last few days have been exceptional, temperatures most-amiable and it might be that summer’s coming quicker than expected.
Up here on California’s north coast, however, weather is of the moment, and we have days in January like days in July, which makes any kind of long-range forecasting near-futile.

Today is also considered by another name, but we won’t get into that at all.

Scouring the news, this the classiest bit I found, and timely: Queen singer Freddie Mercury disguised the late Princess Diana as a male model and smuggled her into a notorious gay bar, according to a memoir serialised in Britain’s Sunday Times.

(Illustration found here).

More via Raw Story:

Comedian Cleo Rocos describes in her book, “The Power of Positive Drinking,” how she, Mercury and fellow comedian Kenny Everett dressed Diana in an army jacket, cap and sunglasses for a night out at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, south London, in the late 1980s.
“When we walked in… we felt she was obviously Princess Diana and would be discovered at any minute.
But people just seemed to blank her. She sort of disappeared. But she loved it,” said Rocos, who co-starred in Everett’s television show.
She said she did not know whether Diana was propositioned in the bar in her guise as a male model, but added: “She did look like a beautiful young man.”
The presence of Mercury, Everett and Rocos diverted revellers’ attention and Diana was able to order drinks undetected, Rocos recalled.

Ah, the good-ole bad days. And did the stuffed-shirt Charles get a wind of this adventure?
Really, who gives a shit, but how in the wide-wide-world-of-sports did an awkward clod like Chuck get a hot chick like Di? Yeah, of course, his mum does carry some clout.

And of course, that tid-bit of Princess Diana visiting a ‘notorious gay bar’ comes after last week’s festivities during the US Supreme Court’s near-nefarious pose on the humanity of the gays (sorry, ‘the gays‘ — been watching way-too-much Colbert lately), a most-ridiculous issue in the face of reality, and real-worrisome problems. Treating the gays (oops, shit!) equally is just a legal point — in our supposedly kind of country, all laws should be the same for everybody, which should be the end of oral argument. And keep your moral-pontificating shit to yourself!

If people truly understood what’s coming, that type of passionate outcry would be flung head-long into fighting the ultimate difficulty facing every living creature on the planet right now, and most-likely will include a good shitload of those yet born: Climate change.
This morning, I spied a new climate-change story, but this one seen at a different angle.
From the UK’s Independent:

Inside the Arctic Circle, a chef is growing the kind of vegetables and herbs — potatoes, thyme, tomatoes, green peppers — more fitted for a suburban garden in a temperate zone than a land of northern lights, glaciers and musk oxen.
Some Inuit hunters are finding reindeer fatter than ever thanks to more grazing on this frozen tundra, and, for some, there is no longer a need to trek hours to find wild herbs.
This is climate change in Greenland, where locals say longer and warmer summers mean the country can grow the kind of crops unheard of years ago.
“Things are just growing quicker,” said Kim Ernst, the Danish chef of Roklubben restaurant, nestled by a frozen lake near a former Cold War-era US military base.
“Every year we try new things,” added Mr Ernst, who even managed to grow a handful of strawberries that he served to some surprised Scandinavian royals.
“I came here in 1999 and no one would have dreamed of doing this.
But now the summer days seem warmer, and longer.”

And bad shit elsewhere, but in Greenland:

Some politicians hope global warming will allow this country, fully a quarter the size of the United States, to reduce its dependence on its former colonial master, Denmark, for much of its food as political parties push for full independence.

On the Arctic Circle, a flash flood last summer from suspected glacier melt water — which some locals here blamed on warm weather — swept away the only bridge connecting Mr Ernst’s restaurant to the airport.
It came right in the middle of the tourist season, and the restaurant lost thousands of dollars.
It was an ominous reminder that global warming will bring its problems. Still, for Mr Pedersen and his fjord in Nuuk, the future looks good.
“The hotter, the better,” Mr Pedersen said. “For me.”

Hence, Mr. Pederson recognizes without seeing the enormous problem with combating climate change at any constructive level: ‘For me.’
Whole countries and societies also think/act, ‘for me.’
Yet that is a seemingly-original picture of climate change in northern climes — we know about us down here. Hurricane Sandy, the drought still plaguing the US gut-land, and weird weather all over the place. Humans live just about everywhere.
And one major item we don ‘t have is time.

Environmental writer Eugene Linden thinks it’s too late. Via an essay yesterday at the Daily Beast:

The time to act was at least 25 years ago — back when George H.W. Bush promised to take action (he deep sixed that promise almost immediately after his inauguration).
Given the lag in the climate system, the extreme floods, droughts, storms, storm surges, and tornado swarms are partly a response to greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere of past years that we have since exceeded.
The accelerating release of the greenhouse methane — the crystal meth of global warming — from the melting permafrost in the warming Arctic will continue regardless of whatever actions the developed nations agree to take in the coming years.
It’s quixotic to think that humanity can take any action to reverse the overtaxing of the oceans’ ability to absorb CO2 (evidenced by the seas’ increasing acidity) on any timeframe meaningful to those living today.
The most unsettling thing about the accelerating pace of extreme weather events is that they may signal that even as the momentum in the rise of CO2 makes it difficult to reverse the cause of climate change, we are entering a new period in which change itself comes ever more rapidly.
The retreat of the Arctic sea ice shows us how this works.
The white surface of sea ice reflects about eight times the heat of open water.
So, as the ice retreats, heat that previously was reflected from the surface and trapped below the ice is now absorbed and released, vastly amplifying the pace of change.

The huge, near-insurmountable problem? No leaders with sense and balls, so just an example: Thus we have the delicious irony of Florida having a free-market champion and climate change denier governor, Rick Scott, presiding over the socialization of climate change risk.
Or this absolutely dumb-ass move in making giant climate-change denier and GOP asshole, Chris Stewart, chairman of the US House Science, Space and Technology Committee’s unit that’s responsible for climate change issues. The shithead told The Salt Lake Tribune earlier this month: “I’m not as convinced as a lot of people are that man-made climate change is the threat they think it is. I think it is probably not as immediate as some people do.”
Bullshit — from the Tribune story above:

Stewart’s position on climate change didn’t surprise Tim Wagner, of the Sierra Club of Utah, but it did irritate him.
“If he is overseeing a committee that is supposed to be based on science, but ignoring the science, it doesn’t do much for his credibility,” said Wagner.
“Unless he’s trying to appeal to a specific industry, which is fossil fuels.”
Stewart’s 2nd Congressional District includes the oil refineries in south Davis County.
Donors associated with oil and gas contributed more than $40,000 to his 2012 campaign, his second highest total behind contributions from Republican officials, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.


And while bullshit is tossed about like polar bears, another brick in the wall of climate change, though, no mention is made, which is par for the ugly course.
Via UPI:

A rarely seen great gray owl has taken up residence in Wisconsin, surprisingly far south of its normal Canadian winter haunts, wildlife experts said

A shortage of voles — a small rodent that is a mainstay of owl diets — in Canadian forests has prompted the southern movement of several species of owl into Wisconsin, DNR scientist Ryan Brady said.

Plants and animals get about without a hint to us humans, until they turn up in a new place. Due to climate change, trees are migrating, European butterflies can’t leave fast enough, and all kinds of life forms are en-route out of normal habitats all over the world.

And indirectly involved with a drastic bent on climate change is in the news again this weekend, and has been for awhile — Kim Jong Un and his nuclear toys.
Via NBC: Analysts said Friday there’s a familiar method to the madness coming out of North Korea, where the rookie supreme leader has put rockets on standby, threatened to “settle accounts” with the U.S., and posed near a chart that appeared to map missile strikes on American cities. On Saturday, North Korea said it had entered a “state of war” against South Korea, according to a statement reported by the north’s official news agency, KCNA.
The boy might be trying to act like his daddy and grand-daddy, but shit happens: But if the bluster is predictable, the results may not be.

Nuclear explosions? Good or bad for the environment, the changing climate?
Dr. Jeff Masters, meteorologist and keeper of the great weather/climate WunderBlog, had this to say about the effects of a nuclear exchange on our living conditions — he reviews way-ugly-dark reports on nuclear war from the 1980s and early 1990s conducted by US and Soviet scientists (including Carl Sagan), but added this:

Well, it turns out that this portrayal of nuclear winter was overly optimistic, according to a series of papers published over the past few years by Brian Toon of the University of Colorado, Alan Robock of Rutgers University, and Rich Turco of UCLA.
Their most recent paper, a December 2008 study titled, “Environmental Consequences of Nuclear War”, concludes that “1980s predictions of nuclear winter effects were, if anything, underestimates”.
Furthermore, they assert that even a limited nuclear war poses a significant threat to Earth’s climate.
The scientists used a sophisticated atmospheric/oceanic climate model that had a good track record simulating the cooling effects of past major volcanic eruptions, such as the Philippines’ Mt. Pinatubo in 1991.
The scientists injected five terragrams (Tg) of soot particles into the model atmosphere over Pakistan in May of 2006.
This amount of smoke, they argued, would be the likely result of the cities burned up by a limited nuclear war involving 100 Hiroshima-sized bombs in the region.
India and Pakistan are thought to have 109 to 172 nuclear weapons of unknown yield.

So entered the crazed Kim Jong Un, and you won’t take his toys away by any means other then got to pry them out of his cold, dead fingers — A top North Korean decision-making body issued a pointed warning Sunday, saying that nuclear weapons are “the nation’s life” and will not be traded even for “billions of dollars.”
And so, we’ve got that asshole to deal with, too.

And I had to add this little news item on our ever-changing, techno-lives — people working through a nasty divorce have always bickered like bitches at each other, but Facebook rants could be off limits. If you tangle with your ex on social media, the whole world listens in:

The Georgia Court of Appeals has upheld a judge who pulled the plug on a warring couple’s Facebook fights.
A three-judge panel this week rejected arguments by the husband that a Monroe County Superior Court judge violated his free speech rights by prohibiting both spouses from communicating with each other via social media.
The appeals court turned aside all of the husband’s points that he was treated unfairly in the Middle Georgia county court, despite claims — from Facebook, of course — that his wife benefitted from an ex parte discussion with the judge.
James Lacy posted on the social media site that Emily Lacy couldn’t buy her way to victory.
She wrote: “that’s what you think[,] judge Parrott and my Dad has a meeting the week before our case and guess what you lost your kids,” according to his appeal brief.

Atlanta attorney Randall M. Kessler, former chairman of American Bar Association’s family law section: “Facebook is the new megaphone,” he said. “It sounds like the judges are catching up with society.”

The whole case is pretty ugly — these guys really, really hate each other.
Why can’t the world just be happy, and keenly alive and exuberant? Oh my, ‘keenly alive and exuberant,’ yes, yes, it’s the old, never-ever-used nowadays definition of gay.
And that’s the gay it is…

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