Life in America’s cancer lands, Salad Inc., The Four Corners Monument

Life in America’s cancer lands: The slow-motion tragedies of environmental disaster

In dozens of communities across the country, families are being exposed to dangerous levels of pollution.

I grew up in a small town in Texas. At least four out of 300 people in my high school graduating class have now died from brain cancer. Is this evidence of a cancer cluster or a coincidence? I don’t know.

I do know that just outside of town, there was an oil refinery and a field where chemicals had been dumped for decades. In the adjacent neighborhood, after residents began to document an elevated rate of birth defects and cancers, the houses were finally bulldozed and the area was declared a Superfund site. At the time, in the early 1990s, this was national news. The toxic chemicals were buried as part of the remediation plan, some of the families were given a settlement, and the situation was “resolved.” Except that these situations are never really resolved.

Sharon Lerner’s recent cover story in the Nation, “Brain Cancer Cases Shot Up in this Florida Town — Is a Defense Contractor to Blame?” details the story of 13 children with brain tumors in a rural area called The Acreage, in the southern portion of the state. The rates of brain cancer in these children were not only five and a half times the average; there were also elevated rates of many cancers in people of all ages. Studies of the area found  radioactive materials and benzene, along with other contaminants in the soil and water.

Richard Clapp, an epidemiologist at the University of Massachusetts, estimates that in the United States there are as many as 100 cases of identified or suspected cancer clusters like the one in The Acreage. There are currently 1,322 sites of contamination on the National Priorities List (the formal name for sites labeled “Superfund”), but that doesn’t include the 385 sites that have undergone remediation, and it doesn’t include many more sites identified by individual states, where oil or other hazardous materials have been deposited.

I grew up in a small town in Texas. At least four out of 300 people in my high school graduating class have now died from brain cancer. Is this evidence of a cancer cluster or a coincidence? I don’t know.

I do know that just outside of town, there was an oil refinery and a field where chemicals had been dumped for decades. In the adjacent neighborhood, after residents began to document an elevated rate of birth defects and cancers, the houses were finally bulldozed and the area was declared a Superfund site. At the time, in the early 1990s, this was national news. The toxic chemicals were buried as part of the remediation plan, some of the families were given a settlement, and the situation was “resolved.” Except that these situations are never really resolved.

Sharon Lerner’s recent cover story in the Nation, “Brain Cancer Cases Shot Up in this Florida Town — Is a Defense Contractor to Blame?” details the story of 13 children with brain tumors in a rural area called The Acreage, in the southern portion of the state. The rates of brain cancer in these children were not only five and a half times the average; there were also elevated rates of many cancers in people of all ages. Studies of the area found  radioactive materials and benzene, along with other contaminants in the soil and water.

Richard Clapp, an epidemiologist at the University of Massachusetts, estimates that in the United States there are as many as 100 cases of identified or suspected cancer clusters like the one in The Acreage. There are currently 1,322 sites of contamination on the National Priorities List (the formal name for sites labeled “Superfund”), but that doesn’t include the 385 sites that have undergone remediation, and it doesn’t include many more sites identified by individual states, where oil or other hazardous materials have been deposited.

Read it all at the Salon.


U.S. Census Bureau:The 2014 Holiday Season

“This festive season, or simply the holidays, is a time for gathering and celebrating with family and friends, gift giving, reflection and thanks. To commemorate this time of year, the U.S. Census Bureau presents the following holiday-related facts and figures from its collection of statistics.”


Hypnotic GIFs That Get Better the Longer You Stare at Them

RippledLines

Fractals—shapes that self-repeat in smaller forms again and again an infinite number of times—typically get represented as psychedelic, bacterial, tie-dye swirls. That’s possibly because the study of fractals gained traction in the 1970s, even though the geometry has always existed in natural forms like broccoli or ice formations.

Erik Söderberg’s fractal animations are certainly psychedelic, but they’re of the M.C. Escher-does-op art variety, rather than the black light posters-in-the-basement kind. The Swedish artist first started playing with repeating geometries in 2011, while considering which shapes appeal most to the human eye. “Humans seemed to prefer straight lines, perfect geometry, and shapes. But nature seemed to flow in a more chaotic, organic way,” he says.

If that’s indeed true, then the overlapping territory—the shared Venn diagram space between “likes perfect geometry” and “chaotic, organic,” shapes—is occupied by the hypnotic, self-repeating patterns Söderberg created for Fractal Experience. And now, he’s continued “the exploration of patterns, geometry, and organic flow” with Fractal Experience—Part 2, a series of bubbling, twitching, looping animated fractals. Söderberg says he rarely maps out the drawings beforehand, preferring to see where the repeating shapes will take him. Animating each one takes him around one or two hours—which is about how long you should stare into them, to get the full effect.

Found HERE.


While the equatorial diameter of Earth is 27 miles greater than its diameter measured from pole to pole, the two diameters for Venus are virtually the same, making the planet an almost perfect sphere. – Provided by RandomHistory.com


Salad Inc.

Can plant factories save us from climate change?

After an earthquake and tsunami decimated northeast Japan in 2011 — an unexpected weather incident that scientists are still struggling to understand — the Japanese government built Sanriku Fukko National Park. A triumph of weather-conscious design, built in part to revitalize the area’s flagging economy, the park boasts reconstructed pine forests, tidal flats and seagrass beds hugging the coast. And deep within the park’s faux-natural artifice sits exactly one farm.

Not just any farm, however. Sanriku Fukko now hosts the world’s largest indoor farm, producing up to 10,000 heads of lettuce each day under the artificial glow of LED lights. Housed inside a former semiconductor factory, the 25,000-square-foot farm — a partnership of GE Japan and indoor farming company Mirai — is one in a series of weather-resistant, futuristic “plant factories” across Japan.

The cultivation room is a spare, modernist operation: slick orange floors and concrete walls rising above a grid ?of thin metal racks. Each day, approximately 30 people mill about the plant, some dressed head-to-toe in white jumpsuits and surgical masks, tending to thousands of precisely arranged, bright green leaves. Bathed in the bubble-gum glow of 17,500 blue and red LEDs, these modern farmers spend eight hours per day doing everything from seeding empty racks to packaging heads of harvested lettuce. Is this the global future of farming?

More than 150 natural disasters have struck Japan in the past 30 years, thanks in part to four tectonic plates underneath the islands’ crust. Then there are the storms: Two massive typhoons hit Japan just this fall. Climate change has caused a marked increase in the “frequency and intensity of extreme weather events” in Japan, according to a study by the World Wildlife Fund. The tech-savvy nation has consequently become a world leader in disaster preparedness and climate change adaptation. Sanriku Fukko’s indoor farm, brainchild of plant physiologist Shigeharu Shimamura, resulted from the Mirai-GE partnership immediately following the 2011 earthquake.

Continue reading this HERE.


iadaM0QeBke


THE LATEST TWIST IN THE BIZARRE PROSECUTION OF BARRETT BROWN Interesting case you should know about.

Sexual Cannibalism Is Even More Twisted than You Thought

Krampus: Santa’s Sadistic Sidekick

39 Dishes from the First Christmas Menu, Published in 1660


The Four Corners Monument

The Four Corners Monument is the only place in the United States where you can be in four different states at the same time -Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. This is the place where the corners of the four state meet. A granite and brass monument has been erected to mark the spot. The novelty of these intersecting boundaries makes Four Corners a popular tourist destination. The monument is located in the desert on the Navajo Indian Reservation, and despite its remote location and lack of facilities (there is no electricity or running water, and no telephones or cell phone coverage), hundreds of tourists pour past the admissions gate every hour because of the unique photo opportunities the site provides.

“The Monument seems to evoke strong emotions in people,” reads the guide to the monument on travel encyclopaedia Wiki Travel. “Visitors are either vastly underwhelmed by this attraction, even angry they drove so far out of their way to see so little, or they are inordinately pleased with running from state to state and having their picture taken.”

four-corners-monument-6[2]

Much more HERE.


A Brief And Booty-Filled Guide To The History Of Erotic Photography (NSFW)

Note: This article spans the history of erotic photography. Consider yourself warned.

Since the dawn of time — or at least the dawn of the daguerrotype — one subject has captivated artists of all mediums and movements alike with its beauty, intrigue and mystique. The odalisque, au natural, in her birthday suit. naked.

Yes, nude photography — ahem, erotic photography — has captivated artists, theoreticians and consumers for over 150 years. Prior to 1839, nude renderings were namely produced via drawings, paintings and engravings, all of which lacked the detail and veracity of the photograph. Thus, there was something inherently more illicit about an erotic photograph than a painting of the same subject, for they were considered closer to real life.

Taschen’s “1000 Nudes” chronicles the early years of the erotic photography industry, from its birth in 1839 until those nudes became classically modern circa 1939. The compendium of NSFW snapshots comes straight from the collection of the late Uwe Scheid, a prominent collector of erotic artworks and member of the German Photographic Society. Schied authored the book along with Munich-based Hans-Michael Koetzle.

The sepia-toned history of sexually suggestive imagery covers genres from the surreal to the pornographic and every nook and cranny in between. Below is a brief preview of the book, courtesy of Taschen.

c. 1855:

o-NUDE-900

Much more found HERE.

Visit These Often