environmental disaster

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Personnel of the JGSDF 2nd and 3rd Rear Support Corps (Senso), supported by emergency rescue elements from the JASDF conduct Search and Rescue / Disaster Relief operations in Fukuoka and Oita Prefectures in Northern Kyushu, after extreme flooding and landslides have left many civilians trapped by floodwaters and debris, and entire neighborhoods isolated.

Photos from July 6th, with the most recent being the top photo, taken yesterday on July 10th, 2017.

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It’s hurricane season, and the agencies that protect us from deadly storms don’t have leaders yet

  • It’s officially hurricane season along the Atlantic coast of America — but you wouldn’t necessarily know that from looking at our government.
  • According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2017’s hurricane season, which began on June 1 and ends November 30, will most likely yield a higher-than-normal frequency of big storms along the Eastern Seaboard.
  • NOAA forecasters predict a 70% chance of up to 17 named storms and up to four major hurricanes — compared to the seasonal average of 12 named storms and three major hurricanes.
  • But despite the warning from scientists, residents of those areas along the East Coast most susceptible to serious damage from big storms will enter 2017’s hurricane season — the time of year during which Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast — without leadership of FEMA and NOAA, the government agencies instituted to protect them from environmental disasters. Read more (6/6/17)

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A  Very Short Story About Pirate Librarians
"In the fourth month a border patrol boat shot at them when they tried to pull in to the national harbor. So, no more storytimes."
By Danielle Evans

Veronica admits there was a moment when she thought this was going to be glamorous. Everything was only just beginning to go to hell: walls and checkpoints going up, a scattershot of environmental disasters, self-declared militias on patrol. It seemed like a good plan they had, to be on a boat for a while. It was the kind of idea people had early on, when it still seemed possible that it would end soon enough and well enough, when the present seemed like an opportunity to make history. The kind of story a plucky filmmaker would love twenty years from now: mild mannered booksellers become pirate librarians! A thing they could tell their grandkids.

The pirate business was mostly theoretical. Performance art as much as anything. They raised the money for the boat on gofundme and bought it cheap from a photographer with dual citizenship who had decided to wait things out in Europe. It was a boat and not a ship, even after they painted it and gave it a handmade flag. They were going to sail the great loop, hang out doing banned book readings from port to port, then go home and fundraise for part two, a more elaborate trip involving cutting through Panama and sailing up the west coast. At one of the early read-ins they wore pirate costumes, but only because the local community theatre had donated them at their launch party.

Guns are easier to get now than ibuprofen.

Now, she and Grace are always in leggings and worn out tees, the kind of shirts her husband would have mocked her for wearing even to bed, if she still had a husband, which she did when this started. It has never been as heroic an endeavor as she hoped. They wanted to promote reading and storytelling and art and truth and for three months that was considered safely theatrical because mostly it was, and in the fourth month a border patrol boat shot at them when they tried to pull in to the national harbor. So, no more storytimes.

Continue reading.

Note: This piece was originally written for and performed at Symphony Space’s Selected Shorts: Flash Fiction event in partnership with BuzzFeed Books.

My Solarpunk Manifesto

My solarpunk is not just about flower-covered fashion and far-off futures.

My solarpunk is about sustainability, about community, about anti-capitalism. It encompasses ecofeminism, afrofuturism, radical queer politics.

My solarpunk is about urban gardening and renewable energy, about food sovereignty, and public transportation. It’s solarpunk to take the bus. It’s solarpunk to buy used clothes.

My solarpunk rejects current notions of “environmentalism” that place rich, privileged people at the top. My solarpunk realizes that it is the rich that create environmental disasters and the poor that suffers. My solarpunk realizes that radical change will not come from the corporations, but from the bottom up, from the inner cities and the reservations and the slums.

My solarpunk stands with indigenous sovereignties, with reproductive justice, with antiracism, with anticonsumption, with unions, with liberation theology.

My solarpunk realizes that the world is deeply, deeply flawed. But my solarpunk believes that there is hope, and that hope will come from the communal, not from the corporate.

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Biological Annihilation: Earth’s Sixth Mass Extinction Event is Under Way

What’s going on in Brazil? #09

Sooooo  in spite of a popular saying here being that the year in Brazil only starts after Carnival, a fuckton of stuff has happened since January. I’m gonna try to cover them all quickly, but brace yourselves. Written at 11/02/2017.

The year started with the total meltdown of  our prison system. Basically, gang fights lead to the massacre of some 60 people in a prison in Amazon, then another governor from another state asked for federal help cause they thought they were gonna face the same issue, then our Minister of Justice said “nah” then SURPRISE shit happened and some other 40 people died and more prisons were taken by organized crime and long story shot some couple hundred prisoners were killed by other prisoners in a bunch of different prisons (and by killed I mean decapitated and their heads thrown over the prison walls). Government says situation is under control now but tbh we don’t really know that and we don’t even know how many people died or who’s really in charge in a few prisons, so. 

Then, a few days later, the judge (Teori Zavascki) who was in charge of the investigations of that famous corruption case, Lava Jato, died in a plane crash just when he was going back to the capital to approve on some quite dangerous papers. So our president had to name someone else to fill in the vacancy for the Supreme Court, right? He named Alexandre de Moraes last week… Our former Minister of Justice. Yes. The dude that did nothing on the thing above. And a man who has been linked to organized crime before. Waiting now to be confirmed as the next name to the Supreme Court. Yeah. Great. Also, speaking of the corruption investigations, a bunch of people got named, then the president decided “out of nowhere” to create another cabinet and name one of the accused guys to that position cause then he can’t be investigated by regular police, supreme court only, then a judge decided that that wasn’t legal, then the government appealed and it was overthrown, then another judge decided it was illegal, then the government appealed again and again and again and so on and they’re still fighting on it. 

 And if thought that was enough disaster for a year, there’s more. The entirety of the State of Espirito Santo was left without police for a week and, well, exactly what you think happened happened. Like in those distopia movies, people didn’t leave their homes, and the ones that did probably got mugged or killed. Hundreds of stored were sacked, cars robbed, etc. About a hundred people died, mostly murdered. This happened because police officers found a way to strike cause they happened to be the most underpaid officers in the whole country and their salaries haven’t been readjusted for seven years (and the state government still didn’t concede the increases after this). Federal government sent in the army, didn’t really solve the situation. Troops in other states, especially Rio, threaten to do the same thing now.

Coming back to policies, the High School Program reform was approved by the congress this week and every single teacher I know is pissed off which is probably not a good sign for a High School reform. What it does is making some subjects a mandatory base, like maths and portuguese, and others become optional… Like History, or Geography, or Chemistry, or Physics (they were all previously mandatory before). And now you kinda don’t need to have graduated in the subject you’re gonna teach to be able to teach, just prove you know the thing. And more hours of school for everybody, also. If it all sounds like a shitty idea, it’s because it is. 

On minor news, the new Mayors of Rio and São Paulo have been busy proving me they’re just the assholes I thought they were with the first naming his kid for a thing and the second embarking on a crusade against street art in general. Also, the Yellow Fever is back. Probably due the death of most mosquito predators like a year and a half ago in an area due to the biggest environmental disaster of the history of this country for which no one has been prosecuted yet. And our ex-first lady (wife of Lula) died and people became really mean and shitty about in online. 

I think this about covers it. Not an easy month, not an easy month at all.

For decades, Nigeria’s Ogoniland region was the scene of massive oil extraction by Royal Dutch Shell and its Nigerian subsidiaries. Since then, a series of major oil spills have turned the region, which lies on the Niger Delta, into one of the world’s largest environmental disaster areas.

But Ogoniland’s musicians are not standing idly by; they’re helping to create a new beginning. Their work has resonated with the community, showing how music can be a way forward for the region and its discontented youth.

Take young hip-hop artist MC Kay, who witnessed the impact of a devastating oil spill firsthand. MC Kay’s father died young, leaving him to support the family as a fisherman. But the latest oil spill in 2009 took all that away. Consequently, he turned to music.

“I want to send a message on what is happening in my country that is affecting the poor people and affecting the youth,” he says. “I cannot go to the government and tell them, but I can say this through the music and people will hear it.”

Young Musicians Call For Change In Ogoniland, Nigeria

Photo: Banning Eyre/NPR
Caption: Hip-hop artist MC Kay’s song “January Money,” about the compensation owed fishermen from a 2009 oil spill, spread throughout Ogoniland and resonated with his community.

anonymous asked:

Can you recommend some good books for someone in a slump after finishing all the Outlander books? :)

You want me to recommend books? 😍😍😍

Now, for me, recommendations kind of depend on what kind of thing you’re looking for as well as what some of your other tastes include – i.e. the Outlander series is a good starting point, but I’d need to know more of what you like to give a truly effective recommendation. 

But, there are plenty of books that I can recommend generally, so…

Originally posted by arrowreactiongifs


Lenny’s Book Recommendations Masterlist

Highest recommendations are in all caps. Sorting by genre/category but in no particular order. Also including links to my reviews for the ones I have reviews for. If anyone ever feels like talking books, please, please, please don’t hesitate to drop by my inbox/chat me up. If you have questions, recommendations, etc. I am always ready to talk books.

*These are by no means the only books I recommend. If you send me a list of your 5-10 favorite books/series, I can probably give you a more specific list of recommendations (this is an open invitation to do exactly this; I love tailoring recommendations). 

Update: Newest additions are bolded

Young Adult Fiction

HUNGER GAMES TRILOGY by Suzanne Collins **cannot recommend highly enough** - dystopic young adult fiction at its best

Heartless by Marissa Meyer - Queen of Hearts origin story

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer (second book is the weakest but all the rest are fantastic; Winter is my favorite) - if you like reworked fairy tales

The Selection Series by Kiera Cass (mostly just the first and fourth books though) - a bit of a The Bachelor/reality dating show but with a dash of dystopia

Graceling Trilogy by Kristin Cashore - some humans with magical/superhuman abilities; fighting against an oppressive ruler; fantasy setting

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher - intriguing narrative structure; does explore a teen’s suicide

HARRY POTTER SERIES by J.K. Rowling (cause duh) - wizard school shenanigans and defeating a dark wizard (if you aren’t already aware)

The Circle of Magic Quartet by Tamora Pierce - fantasy; four children brought up learning specific magical skill sets based on unique, elementally linked abilities

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson - teen girl’s struggles with school and friends after her rape

A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES SERIES by Sarah J. Maas *recommended to me by @bonnie-wee-swordsman​/ @acotargaryen​; fantasy (very sex positive); a human is brought into fae territory as war appears to be brewing and threatening her own human territory as well; as the series progresses, themes related to consent and agency grow stronger in ways that are ideal for YA audiences; Book 2 (A Court of Mist and Fury) is the best as far as both content and pacing

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard - (I’m just starting Book 2) a bit of a cross between dystopic fiction and fantasy (so right in my genre sweet spot); Silvers rule over Reds but one Red girl threatens to upset that balance

Young Adult Historic Fiction

Mine Eyes Have Seen by Ann Rinaldi - John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry as experienced through one of his daughters

A Break with Charity by Ann Rinaldi - Salem witch trials through the eyes of a young woman who knows the accusers

Sisters of the Quantock Hills Quartet by Ruth Elwin Harris - four sisters (artistically inclined) deal with the trio of brothers they love as WW I impacts their lives

ANNE OF GREEN GABLES SERIES by L. M. Montgomery **not really historic fiction as it was contemporary, but SUCH an important book/series for young Lenny** - an eccentric and imaginative orphan girl is adopted by an elderly brother and sister on Prince Edward Island in the nineteenth century

Time Travelers Quartet by Caroline B. Cooney - a teen girl stumbles through time to the Victorian era where she meets a young man and gets caught up in his family’s troubles

Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene - a young Jewish girl encounters a young German POW during WW II

Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse - a young girl’s reminiscences of family tragedy during the Dust Bowl; presented in poems, free verse

Non Fiction

What We Talk About When We Talk About Clone Club by Gregory E. Pence - bioethics and philosophy in Orphan Black

The Romanov Sisters by Helen Rappaport - the lives of the Romanov daughters with quite a bit about their mother as well; also a lot about the family’s life under house arrest and their ultimate deaths

Dead Wake by Erik Larson - the circumstances and events surrounding the sinking of the Lusitania

The Pope and Mussolini by David I. Kertzer - the relationship between the Roman Catholic Church under Pius XI and Mussolini as he rose and took power of Italy

Zealot by Reza Aslan - an exploration of the life of the historic figure of Jesus of Nazareth (what history has recorded as opposed to the Bible’s understanding of the man)

In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson - the rise of Hitler and the Nazi party in Germany as experienced by the American ambassador in Berlin and his family

QUIET by Susan Cain **an empowering MUST read for introverts** - exploring introversion, its many facets, and how business culture/society at large works for and against introverts

The Lost Painting by Jonathan Harr - the search for and discovery of a lost Caravaggio painting

THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY by Erik Larson - looking at serial killer H.H. Holmes and the development of the Chicago World’s Fair; both in action at the same time and in the same area

War is a Force that Gives us Meaning by Christ Hedges - a look at nationalistic wars in the 20th century and the patterns, similarities between them

Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss - humor, punctuation, and history

Alternative History

The Boleyn Trilogy by Laura Andersen - what if Anne Boleyn had given birth to Henry VIII’s son after having had Elizabeth? A novel centered on that son’s reign and the friends he and Elizabeth have in common

The Tudor Legacy Trilogy by Laura Andersen (a sequel trilogy to The Boleyn Trilogy) - what if Elizabeth I had had an heir? Elizabeth’s marriage to Philip II of Spain is falling apart but she has her daughter Anne Isabel as her heir

Science Fiction/Dystopic Fiction

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (LOVED the adaptation; definitely recommend checking it out along with the book) - looking at women’s lives when reproduction falls under state/government control

THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER/THE PARABLE OF THE TALENTS by Octavia Butler - environmental disaster ensues and chaos reigns but Lauren finds and creates a functioning community amongst fleeing survivors sharing her new and developing religion with them

MADDADDAM TRILOGY by Margaret Atwood (I seriously need HBO to get their shit together and get moving on the adaptation of this trilogy) - the world has ended as we know it thanks to one possibly mad scientist but some of humanity survived along with the humanoid species that scientist engineered

THE FIRST FIFTEEN LIVES OF HARRY AUGUST by Claire North - some people turn out to be capable of being reborn into their same life over and over; they can affect the world around them but largely agree altering things drastically should be avoided… but not everyone is willing to follow the rules

Lilith’s Brood (the Xenogenesis Trilogy) by Octavia Butler (not going to be to everyone’s taste, even for sci fi lovers, but I just LOVE Octavia Butler) -aliens save what’s survived of the human race but seek to adapt themselves so that they can continue a new race/species with the humans; those children face trials of their own as the generations continue to develop (really good series if you’re interested in gender identity/non-binary sexuality, etc.)

Fledgling by Octavia Butler - a young surviving alien whom humans mistake for a vampire must find her way after the rest of her family are destroyed but others of her kind consider her an abomination and want her destroyed too

The Space Between the Stars by Anne Corlett - science fiction lite; a virus wipes out nearly the whole of the human race leaving the survivors scattered across space (where population and government issues had forced many to colonize) fighting to find each other and decide what their collective future should be

Historic Fiction

THE KILLER ANGELS by Mike Sharra - the battle of Gettysburg through the eyes of some of the commanders on both sides

The Stargazer’s Sister by Carrie Brown - a novel about Caroline Herschel

The Girl from the Train by Irma Joubert - a little girl escapes one of the trains headed to the death camps in WW II Poland but after the war is transported out of Poland (which is falling under Communist Russia’s thumb) and adopted by a family in Africa

Orhan’s Inheritance by Aline Ohanesian - deals with the Armenian genocide during WW I

Vanessa and her Sister by Priya Parmar - a novel about the Bloomsbury Group, specifically Virginia Woolf and her sister, Vanessa

Poldark Series by Winston Graham - the lives and trials of a mine owning family in Cornwall in the late 18th century; social/class issues a central theme

Silence by Shusaku Endo - a 17th centuryJesuit goes to Japan to investigate apostasy of a priest there and witnesses the plight of the local Christians **I had no idea until now that Silence movie I’ve seen advertised briefly was an adaptation of this book**

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carré - Cold War espionage in England; there’s a mole giving valuable information to the Soviets and he must be found before too much is compromised

The True Story of Hansel and Gretel by Louise Murphy - a novel about the concentration camps in WW II and two children who try and manage to escape

North and South Trilogy by John Jakes - two young men bond at West Point and their families become fast friends but as tensions rise and war breaks out, they’re on opposite sides of the Civil War

Literary Fiction

The Golem and the Jinnie by Helene Wecker *recommended to me by @dingbatland - two mythical creatures rooted in different cultures find themselves unexpectedly in New York at the turn of the 20th century

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood - a young woman is accused of murdering her employer and coworker in the mid-19th century and is convicted but there are many who doubt her guilt (inspired by a true case)

ATONEMENT by Ian McEwan **my favorite Ian McEwan novel and a fantastic movie adaptation** - perspective and appearances matter as a young girl’s accusation changes the lives of her sister and the young man she loves with fall out that carries the family through WW II

THE POISONWOOD BIBLE by Barbara Kingsolver - a missionary brings his wife and four girls to the Belgian Congo in 1959 and it changes the family forever; the story is told in first person narration through each of the girls’ perspectives and is unparalleled

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon - an autistic young man tries to make sense of an incident that happened and what it means for his important routines

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden (currently my favorite recent release recommendation) - Russian folktales are woven into a story where the traditions of the rural outskirts of society clash with the power and will of the Church

The Star-Touched Queen Series by Roshani Chokshi - the daughter of a raja is rumored to be cursed but there is one suitor who wants her and brings her to a realm she’s only heard of in stories; rooted in Indian mythology; Book 2, A Crown of Wishes follows the sister of the lead from Book 1 as she accompanies a young (and powerless) prince to the Otherworld to compete in the Tournament of Wishes

The Life and Death of Sophie Stark by Anna North - a young film maker’s life and death are told and examined by some of the people in her life: former lovers, friends, acquaintances, family

MOTHER NIGHT by Kurt Vonnegut - a politically indifferent playwright who ended up working for the Nazis writes his memoirs while on trial for the role he played in the regime

Room by Emma Donoghue - a young woman and her son escape the man who kidnapped the woman and kept her in isolation for years but then must adjust to the real world again; told from the young boy’s perspective

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison - a young, poor African-American girl grows up in Depression Era Ohio; explores race relations, societal concepts of beauty, etc. (Morrison’s first novel)

A Mercy by Toni Morrison - explores the origins of slavery in early America (1692), namely through the women living and working on a farm in Virginia (a group including immigrants, natives, and Africans)

Mystery/Crime/Thriller/Horror

The Yard by Alex Grecian - in the wake of Jack the Ripper, the new homicide division of Scotland Yard is under scrutiny but there also appears to be someone out to kill their detectives; interesting look at the early methods of both the detectives and forensic science

Cormoran Strike Series by Robert Galbraith aka J.K. Rowling (the second is my favorite cause I read revenge tragedies in one of my grad classes) - Cormoran Strike is a private detective in desperate need of paying clients; when a young woman shows up from a temp agency determined to do more than just reception work about the same time an old friend appears looking for answers in his famous model sister’s death, things begin to change for Strike’s business prospects

The Godfather by Mario Puzo - Italian mafia battles in New York following WW II

The Shining by Stephen King - a family settle into an enormous hotel in the mountains to live as caretakers there for the winter but the hotel appears to have other plans for them and especially the gifted son

The Millenium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson (but watch out for book four; it was ghost written after Larsson’s death a few years ago and is not based on his notes for book four) - a disgraced reporter looks for a project to work on while his infamy blows over but gets dragged into a decades old case; a young hacker with her own issues with the Swedish government and social work system becomes involved too and an odd partnership is born; later the woman’s personal and family history begin to cause problems and garner the public’s attention for the wrong reasons

AND THEN THERE WERE NONE by Agatha Christie - a group of houseguests arrive at a large and secluded island home for a weekend away but their host doesn’t appear to be present and what’s more, none of them have met him or her; when people start dying, those remaining begin to suspect one another

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh - when a child is killed in a hit-and-run crash, the authorities investigating find themselves dealing with a confusing mess while a woman somehow connected to the case and who recently relocated tries to rebuild a life for herself 

Fantasy/Fantasy-ish

The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness (third book was my favorite) - a young woman who’s long denied her calling as a witch stumbles across an ancient and powerful text that just about everyone in the supernatural world (that she’s done her best to ignore) wants

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman - a man returning to his hometown for a funeral begins to recall some strange events from his childhood and the young girl he had been friends with

THE NIGHT CIRCUS by Erin Morgenstern **going to do a reread of this sometime this year** - magicians battle with one another through proxies but those two proxies form an unexpected relationship

THE CHILD THIEF by Brom - a very dark and intriguing take on the Peter Pan story that borrows some Avalon mythology, the accompanying artwork is amazing, even in digital form

LORD OF THE RINGS by J. R. R. Tolkien (I’m not a fan of The Hobbit though) - the ring of power must be destroyed to prevent a dark lord from taking over MiddleEarth and an unassuming hobbit is entrusted with the task

The Midnight Queen by Sylvia Izzo Hunter - a (wrongfully) disgraced student of magick meets up with a professor’s daughter who longs to learn and truths begin to emerge along with powers neither understand yet

Classics

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas - Louis XIII’s musketeers seek to protect the country and their king from the machinations of Cardinal Richelieu

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas - a young man’s life appears to be falling into place before he is falsely accused of conspiring to restore Napoleon and imprisoned for twenty years; when he escapes, he seeks revenge on those who locked him away

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell - when a young woman’s family circumstances force them to leave their home in the southern countryside and relocate to an industrial town in the north, she becomes acquainted with one of the mill owners and the poor conditions faced by the workers and their families; romantic, socio-economic, and philosophical tensions arise

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE by Jane Austen - bad first impressions can still lead to deep love and understanding… eventually

PERSUASION by Jane Austen - when a woman’s former flame returns, she laments the advice that she’d followed years before in breaking off their engagement but is it too late or does he still have feelings for her too?

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT by Fyodor Dostoyevsky **possibly my favorite novel of all time but it’s definitely not for everyone** - a young man firmly believes that the ends justify the means, even when it comes to murder… until he tries it and finds himself wracked with guilt; can he be redeemed and if so, how?

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy - a flirtation becomes an affair and a woman must decide how to handle her husband and her lover as her life changes against the backdrop of a drastically changing Russia

The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton - a young woman learns the hard way just how difficult it is to keep running in the circles of high society when one has no money and must rely on the generosity of one’s friends, especially when rumors start to fly

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens - a family is threatened by the changing tides in revolutionary Paris and they fight to escape to the safety of London 

(**personally, my favorite Dickens novel is Our Mutual Friend but A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations aren’t as intimidating and are excellent for getting used to Dickens’ style**)

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck - a family is forced off their property by the banks and circumstances during the Great Depression and Dust Bowl, so they head west where there are supposed to be plenty of jobs in California but will they survive the journey and will those jobs still be there when they and everyone else in their situation actually arrive

The Moon is Down by John Steinbeck - a town is invaded in WW II and order is imposed by the invaders but it proves not to be as gentle as the invaders would have the people believe and the townsfolk aren’t as compliant as they first appear

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez - **you either love magical realism or you hate it; I LOVE it** - the story of the Buendía family and the town they founded, Macondo, where unusual things tend to happen

Guilty Pleasures

Virgin Series by Radhika Sanghani - a young woman wants to lose her virginity but her embarrassing experiences in the past and navigating societal expectations have her worried it will never happen **very funny and body/sex positive*

The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory - a novel about Catherine of Aragon and her marriages to two princes of England, Arthur and then his younger brother, Henry VIII

The White Queen by Philippa Gregory - the first in her Cousins War/War of the Roses series (I need to 1. watch the Starz adaptation of this book and 2. get around to reading the next books in this series)

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory - a novel about Anne Boleyn’s sister, Mary, who had an affair with Henry VIII first and then watched her sister’s rise and fall

abcnews.go.com
Trump administration withdrew memo that found 'ample legal justification' to halt Dakota Access pipeline
The legal opinion was withdrawn two days before an easement was approved.
By ABC News

Two days before the Trump administration approved an easement for the Dakota Access pipeline to cross a reservoir near the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe reservation, the U.S. Department of the Interior withdrew a legal opinion that concluded there was “ample legal justification” to deny it.

The withdrawal of the opinion was revealed in court documents filed this week by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the same agency that requested the review late last year.

“A pattern is emerging with [the Trump] administration,” said Jan Hasselman, an attorney representing the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. “They take good, thoughtful work and then just throw it in the trash and do whatever they want to do.”

The 35-page legal analysis of the pipeline’s potential environmental risks and its impact on treaty rights of the Standing Rock Sioux and other indigenous tribes was authored in December by then-Interior Department Solicitor Hilary C. Tompkins, an Obama appointee who was – at the time – the top lawyer in the department.

“The government-to-government relationship between the United States and the Tribes calls for enhanced engagement and sensitivity to the Tribes’ concerns,” Tompkins wrote. “The Corps is accordingly justified should it choose to deny the proposed easement.”

Tompkins’ opinion was dated Dec. 4, the same day the Obama administration announced that it was denying an easement for the controversial crossing and initiating an environmental impact statement that would explore alternative routes for the pipeline. Tompkins did not respond to a request by ABC News to discuss her analysis or the decision made to withdraw it.

On his second weekday in office, President Donald Trump signed a memorandum that directed the Army Corps of Engineers to “review and approve” the pipeline in an expedited manner, to “the extent permitted by law, and as warranted, and with such conditions as are necessary or appropriate.” “I believe that construction and operation of lawfully permitted pipeline infrastructure serve the national interest,” Trump wrote in the memo.

Two weeks later, the Corps issued the easement to Dakota Access and the environmental review was canceled.

The company behind the pipeline project now estimates that oil could be flowing in the pipeline as early as March 6.

The analysis by Tompkins includes a detailed review of the tribes’ hunting, fishing and water rights to Lake Oahe, the federally controlled reservoir where the final stretch of the pipeline is currently being installed, and concludes that the Corps “must consider the possible impacts” of the pipeline on those reserved rights.

“The Tompkins memo is potentially dispositive in the legal case,” Hasselman said. “It shows that the Army Corps [under the Obama administration] made the right decision by putting the brakes on this project until the Tribe’s treaty rights, and the risk of oil spills, was fully evaluated.”

Tompkins’ opinion was particularly critical of the Corps’ decision to reject another potential route for the pipeline that would have placed it just north of Bismarck, North Dakota, in part because of the pipeline’s proximity to municipal water supply wells.

“The Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux Reservations are the permanent and irreplaceable homelands for the Tribes,” Tompkins wrote. “Their core identity and livelihood depend upon their relationship to the land and environment – unlike a resident of Bismarck, who could simply relocate if the [Dakota Access] pipeline fouled the municipal water supply, Tribal members do not have the luxury of moving away from an environmental disaster without also leaving their ancestral territory.”

Kelcy Warren, the CEO of Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the project, has said that “concerns about the pipeline’s impact on local water supply are unfounded” and “multiple archaeological studies conducted with state historic preservation offices found no sacred items along the route.”

The decision to temporarily suspend Tompkins’ legal opinion two days before the easement was approved was outlined in a Feb. 6 internal memorandum issued by K. Jack Haugrud, the acting secretary of the Department of the Interior. A spokeswoman for the department told ABC News today that the opinion was suspended so that it could be reviewed by the department.

The Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribes are continuing their legal challenges to the pipeline. A motion for a preliminary injunction will be heard on Monday in federal court in Washington, D.C.

The Corps has maintained, throughout the litigation, that it made a good faith effort to meaningfully consult with the tribes.

The tribes contend, however, that the Trump administration’s cancellation of the environmental review and its reversal of prior agency decisions are “baldly illegal.”

“Agencies can’t simply disregard their own findings, and ‘withdrawing’ the Tompkins memo doesn’t change that,” Hasselman said. “We have challenged the legality of the Trump administration reversal and we think we have a strong case.”

things that upset me #3

#3 The Aral Sea

The Aral Sea, for those who don’t know, was formally one of the largest body of inland water, comparable to the Caspian  before it became an environmental health crisis. It’s size as been steadily depleted since the 1960’s from mainly Russian Irrigation projects in Central Asia- in creating one of the largest cotton markets in the world. In the early 19th Century the Aral Sea was home to thriving fishing communities and cultures of Central Asia. Now it is the stem of socio-economic and health problems in the area. The pollutants in the sea have become health hazards and the high salinity has depleted fish leading to many fishermen losing their jobs. This has also led to lost of local culture. 

It pains me to see such a beautiful natural occurrence become what it is today. I hope the ASBP (Aral Sea BAsin Project) and the five countries of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan will be able to help revive the sea despite the tempting oil/gas fields that lay in the area. The Aral Sea crisis is a good example of globalisation gone wrong and poor management and disregard of the long term environmental issues in my opinion. I could go into detail, but I’m afraid I do not have enough knowledge yet on the Soviet/Central Asia relations and independence of states/countries in the area…

If you are interested in the culture that thrived around these areas prior to the disaster I suggest reading the manga “Otoyomegatari” by Kaoru Mori. It focuses on the lifestyle of the nomadic people and traditional patrilocal cultures, whilst also observing the areas contact with the Western world and the Russians.

How Baltimore millennial Destiny Watford saved her neighborhood from environmental disaster.


In 2010, when Destiny Watford was 14 years old, New York-based energy firm Energy Answers International got a permit from the state of Maryland to build a massive trash incinerator in Curtis Bay, the South Baltimore neighborhood where Watford and her family lived.

The incinerator would have spewed a boatload of toxic pollutants — including mercury, lead and nitrogen dioxide — that have causal links to lung damage and other respiratory problems.

Curtis Bay already ranked among the 10 worst zip codes in the nation for toxic air pollutants emitted from stationary facilities between 2005 and 2009.

Enter Watford and a dedicated group of young activists: In partnership with local advocates, at age 16 Watford and fellow students at nearby Benjamin Franklin High School launched a grassroots campaign to stop the incinerator from being constructed. 

Using a combination of public art, theater and educational events, they convinced 22 local governments, school systems and nonprofit institutions to back out of their agreements with Energy Answers, from whom the groups had committed to buy energy generated by the yet-to-be-constructed plant.

“Fighting the incinerator was an act of survival,” Watford said. “I live in Curtis Bay, my family, my nephews, my brothers and sisters all live in Curtis Bay. It’s an act of survival because we already have some of worst air pollution in Maryland and the nation.”

And then came the coup de grace.

From a friend of mine sending out the all call: 

Hi Friends, the Lagoon really needs your help right now. Participated in a fish kill cleanup sponsored by Keep Brevard Beautiful and Brevard Zoo today. Two of us filled 18 garbage bags in about 2 hours. The east and west sides of South Tropical Trail by Pineda are REALLY bad. Time is crucial right now… one of the locations the fish had already started to decompose badly, they had sunk to the bottom and were disintegrated as we scooped them. The longer they are allowed to sit in the water the more nutrients are mucking up the Lagoon. Please, please, please share this info with family and friends who are looking for a way to help the lagoon right now. The more carcasses we can get out of the water ASAP the better. Even if you have just 30 minutes on your way home from work - every little bit helps. And if you plan to be on the water in the near future, please bring garbage bags and take what you find with you. The Lagoon gives so much to us and now it’s our time to give back to the Lagoon. Thanks!

Here is more info from Florida Today:

Want to do something about all the dead fish pilling up along the banks of the Indian River Lagoon?

How about putting on some gloves, bagging up some dead fish and hauling them to a local dumpster?

Today (March 23), Brevard County plans to put dumpsters at several locations, where volunteers can dispose of the dead fish washed up on the lagoon banks this week.

The locations will be as follows:

  • Bicentennial Park, 801 W Cocoa Beach Causeway, Cocoa Beach
  • Kiwanis Island Park, 51 Kiwanis Island Park Rd, Merritt Island
  • Kelly Park, Merritt Island, 2550 N. Banana River Drive
  • POW/MIA Park, 5995 N. U.S. 1, Melbourne, at Pineda Causeway
  • Eau Gallie Causeway (will add an extra dumpster there)

The dumpsters will be picked up daily and the fish hauled to the landfill.

The county is targeting cleanup efforts in Sykes Creek; Cocoa Beach; Snug Harbor in Cocoa Beach;  Windjammer Court in Merritt Island; and Grand Canal in Satellite Beach.


Thank you to all who volunteer to help clean up the lagoon, I wish I was still in the area and could help with this. While this is a short term problem we all must look ahead to the long term solutions needed to save one of the most biologically diverse places in Florida. 

anonymous asked:

What is environmental racism? I'm not familiar with the term.

This is a good definition:

The placement of low-income or minority communities in the proximity of environmentally hazardous or degraded environments, such as toxic waste, pollution and urban decay.

And some examples:

Lead poisoning in Flint, Michigan

Nova Scotia group maps environmental racism

Grassy Narrows mercury disaster a form of environmental racism

8

Massive gas leak in California forces out 2,147 families 

A blown SoCal Gas well 25 miles north of Los Angeles in Aliso Canyon has been spewing tens of millions of cubic feet of methane since October. One advocacy group says the current rate of leakage will have the same impact as 7 million cars. SoCal is working to fix it — but it’s going to take a while.