Sustainability Manager. I like a little bit of everything. And that one over there.
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Tiny European Common Frog

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Tiny European Common Frog

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LJ
39 days ago
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Beaverton, OR
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The Best Emergency Preparedness Supplies

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Though the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the American Red Cross, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention all provide emergency-supply checklists, those lists can be intimidating in their breadth and their specificity. In reality, for the most part you can assemble an emergency kit out of stuff you’d use anyway and may already own. There’s never a bad time to prepare for a crisis by stocking up on gear and organizing it so you know exactly where it is when you need it most. We did 120 hours of research and tested nearly 100 different products to come up with 31 products that will be indispensable in case of a natural disaster—and helpful in everyday life, too.

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LJ
111 days ago
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Beaverton, OR
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LJ
171 days ago
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stephendann: i-am-your-northern-star: argentvagabond: keyhollo...

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stephendann:

i-am-your-northern-star:

argentvagabond:

keyhollow:

Acting like the crows won’t try to cheat the system.

Acting like the crows won’t snatch cigarettes outta people’s mouths.

Acting like murders won’t fight viciously for terf.

Not gonna lie, the mental image of crows snatching cigarettes from people’s mouths and hands like seagulls do with food is pretty funny

maybe this is how we can stop people from smoking 

Aliens: So how did the corvids all end up with lung cancer?

Human: Yeah, it’s a funny story that…

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LJ
171 days ago
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Beaverton, OR
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74 Things That Blew Our Minds in 2017

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This past year, reporters on The Atlantic’s science, technology, and health desks worked tirelessly, writing hundreds of stories. Each of those stories is packed with facts that surprised us, delighted us, and in some cases, unsettled us. Instead of picking our favorite stories, we decided to round up a small selection of the most astonishing things we learned in 2017. We hope you enjoy them as much as we did, and we hope you’ll be back for more in 2018:

  1. The record for the longest top spin is over 51 minutes. Your fidget spinner probably won’t make it past 60 seconds.
  2. Flamingos have self-locking legs, which makes them more stable on one leg than on two.
  3. If your home furnace emits some methane pollution on the last day of 2017, it’ll almost certainly leave the atmosphere by 2030—but it could still be raising global sea levels in 2817.
  4. By analyzing enough Facebook likes, an algorithm can predict someone’s personality better than their friends and family can.
  5. There are cliff-hanging nests in northern Greenland that have been used continuously for 2,500 years by families of the largest falcons in the world. Researchers read the layers of bird poop in the nests like tree rings.
  6. Hippos can’t swim.
  7. Six-month-old babies can understand basic words like mouth and nose. They even know that concepts like mouth and nose are more related than nose and bottle.
  8. Most common eastern North American tree species have been mysteriously shifting west since 1980.
  9. In 2016, Waymo’s virtual cars logged 2.5 billion miles in simulated versions of California, Texas, and Arizona.
  10. America’s emergency 9-1-1 calling infrastructure is so old that there are some parts you can’t even replace anymore when they break.
  11. The transmitters on the Voyager spacecraft have as much power as refrigerator light bulbs, but they still ping Earth every day from billions of miles away.
  12. By one estimate, one-third of Americans currently in their early 20s will never get married.
  13. Donald Trump has a long and gif-heavy presence on the early web.
  14. Somewhere around 10,000 U.S. companies—including the majority of the Fortune 500—still assess employees based on the Myers-Briggs test.
  15. Humans have inadvertently created an artificial bubble around Earth, formed when radio communications from the ground interact with high-energy particles in space. This bubble is capable of shielding the planet from potentially dangerous space weather like solar flares.
  16. Climate-change-linked heat waves are already making tens of thousands of Americans sleep worse.
  17. China poured more concrete from 2011 to 2013 than America did during the entire 20th century.
  18. A lay minister and math Ph.D. was the best checkers player in the world for 40 years, spawning a computer scientist’s obsessive quest to solve the entire game to prove the man could be beaten.
  19. There is a huge waterfall in Antarctica, where the Nansen Ice Shelf meets the sea.
  20. On Facebook, Russian trolls created and promoted dual events on May 21, 2016, bringing Muslim and anti-Muslim Americans into real-world conflict at an Islamic center in Houston.
  21. Boxer crabs wield sea anemones like boxing gloves, and if they lose one of these allies, they can make another by ripping the remaining one in half and cloning it.
  22. Cocktail napkins on airplanes may be essentially useless to travelers, but to airlines they are valuable space for advertising.
  23. Scientists can figure out the storm tracks of 250-year-old winter squalls by reading a map hidden in tree rings across the Pacific Northwest.
  24. On islands, deer are occasionally spotted licking small animals, like cats and foxes—possibly because the ocean breeze makes everything salty.
  25. People complained of an “epidemic of fake news” in 1896.
  26. Languages worldwide have more words for describing warm colors than cool colors.
  27. Turkeys are twice as big as they were in 1960, and most of that change is genetic.
  28. Two Chinese organizations control over half of the global Bitcoin-mining operations—and by now, they might control more. If they collaborate (or collude), the blockchain technology that supposedly secures Bitcoin could be compromised.
  29. U.S. physicians prescribe 3,150 percent of the necessary amount of opioids.
  30. Physicists discovered a new “void” in the Great Pyramid of Giza using cosmic rays.
  31. Daily and seasonal temperature variations can trigger rockfalls, even if the temperature is always above freezing, by expanding and contracting rocks until they crack.
  32. The eight counties with the largest declines in life expectancy since 1980 are all in the state of Kentucky.
  33. The decline of sales in luxury timepieces has less to do with the rise of smartwatches and more to do with the rising cost of gold, the decline of the British pound, and a crackdown on Chinese corruption.
  34. Spider silk is self-strengthening; it can suck up chemicals from the insects it touches to make itself stronger.
  35. Intelligence doesn’t make someone more likely to change their mind. People with higher IQs are better at crafting arguments to support a position—but only if they already agree with it.
  36. Among the strangest and yet least-questioned design choices of internet services is that every service must be a global service.
  37. Steven Gundry, one of the main doctors who has contributed to Goop, believes Mercola.com, a prominent anti-vaccine site, is a site that gives “very useful health advice.”
  38. At many pumpkin- and squash-growing competitions, entries are categorized by color: Any specimen that’s at least 80 percent orange is a pumpkin, and everything else is a squash.
  39. Only 2 percent of all U.S. Google employees are black, and only 4 percent are Hispanic. In tech-oriented positions, the numbers fall to 1 percent and 3 percent, respectively.
  40. The weight of the huge amount of water Hurricane Harvey dumped on Texas pushed the earth’s crust down 2 centimeters.
  41. Russian scientists plan to re-wild the Arctic with bioengineered woolly mammoths.
  42. The NASA spacecraft orbiting Jupiter can never take the same picture of the gas planet because the clouds of its atmosphere are always moving, swirling into new shapes and patterns.
  43. During sex, male cabbage white butterflies inject females with packets of nutrients. The females chew their way into these with a literal vagina dentata, and genitals that double as a souped-up stomach.
  44. If all people want from apps is to see new stuff scroll onto the screen, it might not matter if that content is real or fake.
  45. Cardiac stents are extremely expensive and popular, and yet they don’t appear to have any definite benefits outside of acute heart attacks.
  46. Animal-tracking technology is just showing off at this point: Researchers can glue tiny barcodes to the backs of carpenter ants in a lab and scan them repeatedly to study the insects’ movements.
  47. One recommendation from a happiness expert is to build a “pride shrine,” which is a place in your house that you pass a lot where you put pictures that trigger pleasant memories, or diplomas or awards that remind you of accomplishments.
  48. Some ancient rulers, including Alexander the Great, executed a substitute king after an eclipse, as a kind of sacrificial hedge.
  49. A colon-cancer gene found in Utah can be traced back to a single Mormon pioneer couple from the 1840s.
  50. In November and December 2016, 92,635 people called the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line to ask for turkey-cooking advice. That’s an average of over 1,500 calls per day.
  51. In the United States as a whole, less than 1 percent of the land is hardscape. In cities, up to 40 percent is impervious.
  52. ​Half of murdered women are killed by their romantic partners.​
  53. Among the Agta hunter-gatherers of the Philippines, storytelling is valued more than hunting, fishing, or basically any other skill.
  54. The familiar metal tokens in the board game Monopoly didn’t originally come with the game, to save costs. Popular bracelet charms of the Great Depression were only added to the box later.
  55. Thanks to the internet, American parents are seeking out more unique names for their children, trying to keep them from fading into the noise of Google. The median boy’s name in 2015 (Luca) was given to one out of every 782 babies, whereas the median boy’s name in 1955 (Edward) was given to one out of every 100 babies.
  56. America’s five most valuable companies are all located on the Pacific Coast between Northern California and Seattle.
  57. President Kennedy secretly had Addison’s disease, a hormonal disorder, which he treated with injections of amphetamines and steroids from Max Jacobson, a doctor whose nickname was “Dr. Feelgood.”
  58. Some of the most distant stars in the Milky Way were actually “stolen” from a nearby galaxy as the two passed near each other.
  59. Hummingbirds drink in an unexpected way: Their tongues bloom open like a flower when they hit nectar, and close on the way out to grab some of the sweet liquid.
  60. New York City has genetically distinct uptown and downtown rats.
  61. The search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 created one of the most detailed maps of the deep ocean ever.
  62. People who can’t find opioids are taking an over-the-counter diarrhea drug. Some are consuming as many as 400 to 500 pills a day.
  63. It used to take 10,000 pounds of pork pancreas to make one pound of insulin. (Insulin is now made by genetically engineered microbes.)
  64. Astronauts on the International Space Station can’t enjoy the yummy aromas of hot meals like we can on Earth because heat dissipates in all different directions in microgravity.
  65. “Sex addiction” isn’t recognized by the psychiatric community in any official capacity, and it’s actually a deeply problematic concept that risks absolving men of agency in sexual violence.
  66. The peculiar (and previously unidentified) laughter that was recorded for the Golden Record was—well, we won’t spoil it for you until you read the story.
  67. The oldest rocks on Earth, which are 4 billion years old, have signs of life in them, which suggests that the planet was biological from its very infancy.
  68. Fire ants form giant floating rafts during floods. But you can break up the rafts with dish soap.
  69. Until this year, no one knew about a whole elaborate system of lymphatic vessels in our brains.
  70. People are worse storytellers when their listeners don’t vocally indicate they’re paying attention by saying things like “uh-huh” and “mm-hmm.”
  71. China’s new radio telescope is large enough to hold two bowls of rice for every human being on the planet.
  72. Scientists calculated that if everyone in the United States switched from eating beef to eating beans, we could still get around halfway to President Obama’s 2020 climate goals.
  73. The reason that dentistry is a separate discipline from medicine can be traced back to an event in 1840 known as the “historic rebuff”—when two self-trained dentists asked the University of Maryland at Baltimore if they could add dental training to the curriculum at the college of medicine. The physicians said no.
  74. Naked mole rats can survive for 18 minutes without any oxygen at all.
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LJ
201 days ago
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Beaverton, OR
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HRC Is Free

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Why you should care about Hillary Rodham Clinton’s second act. by Megan Burbank

Former presidential candidate and popular vote winner Hillary Rodham Clinton is finally free—of the grim job of trying to keep Donald Trump out of office, of the “Lock her up!” and #NeverHillary garbage lobbed at her daily from both the right and left, of needing the good opinion of a menagerie of male journalists now alleged to be sexual predators. Clinton has largely been vindicated by the events of the last few months—by everything from increasing evidence of the Trump campaign’s collusion with Russia (she warned us!) to the growing body of evidence that the coterie of male commentators who antagonized her in their very public coverage were also terrible to women in private. As Jill Filipovic put it in the New York Times, “These recent harassment allegations suggest that perhaps the problem wasn’t that Mrs. Clinton was untruthful or inherently hard to connect with, but that these particular men hold deep biases against women who seek power instead of sticking to acquiescent sex-object status.”

The voice of a woman seeking power—or, more accurately, owning her power—permeates much of Clinton’s memoir, What Happened, which came out in September and which Clinton will be promoting in Portland this week at a sold out event at the Schnitz. If you think that Matt “Secret Button Under Desk” Lauer losing his job is a witch hunt (lol), you may want to steer clear of this book, because it isn’t for you. If you didn’t like Clinton when she ran for office, you definitely won’t like her now. And if you already don’t like ambitious women, you really won’t like an ambitious woman who’s beholden to no one and has nothing left to lose.

But if, like me, you consoled yourself after Clinton’s loss with thoughts of her inevitable jaunty Al Gore-style DGAF era, I have good news: It’s here. Gone are the speeches written by committee, and in strides a delightfully (and justifiably) grumpy, long-suffering public servant who’s nonetheless unwavering in her belief in the promise of America. On the page, Clinton reads as the hyper-competent, mildly paranoid, charts ’n’ graphs-loving policy wonk who will be familiar to anyone who’s followed her career with any seriousness. Her temperament may not be the kind to fill stadiums with screaming fans (although even this is debatable; see Schnitz), but it would be perfectly suited to the presidency.

In a way, this makes reading What Happened an almost painful experience. I did it very slowly and had to debrief over drinks with a friend, because each time Clinton started talking about how her policy team considered adding universal basic income to their platform (yes please!) or how she kept her cool even when being creepily stalked onstage by louche dummy Trump (no thank you!) I just felt like climbing under my desk and crying. The cruel truth is that she would have been such a good president—this book, among other things, is evidence of that—and it still feels (more than) vaguely criminal that instead of governing, Clinton is writing memoirs and drinking Chardonnay (lord knows she’s earned it) and taking nature walks in the Chappaquah woods while being subjected to catty profiles by writers like the New Yorker’s David Remnick, as a large toddler in the White House endorses alleged pedophiles, enacts racist policies, burps out lies on Twitter, and treats himself to yet another round of golf.

In the book’s most powerful sections, Clinton addresses what Trump can’t: gender equality. She goes in hard for abortion rights, writing, “I believe that our ability to decide whether and when to become mothers is intrinsic to our liberty. When government gets involved in this intimate realm—whether in places like China, which forced women to have abortions, or in Communist Romania, which forced women to bear children—it is horrific. I’ve visited hospitals in countries where poor women have no access to safe and legal abortion. I’ve seen what happens when desperate women take matters into their own hands.” She pulls out diagrams to depict how she was treated differently from Trump in the news media’s coverage of the election. And she describes going back to her alma mater, Wellesley, a women’s college, and finding hope in the smart, ambitious young women she meets there. “If this was the future, then everything had been worth it,” she writes.

And that’s what’s weird about What Happened. Clinton is obviously angry—and, honestly, try to find a woman who hasn’t suffered low-grade anger for a year who isn’t also Ivanka Trump—but she doesn’t seem bitter. How is this possible? I wanted to ask as I read. I am so bitter about the election, Secretary Clinton. How are you not?

But she isn’t. Maybe pissing off the GOP for nigh on 30 years requires that a person adopt Pa Ingalls-grade pathological optimism if they hope to remain in public life. Maybe it’s because, whatever chaos Trump has loosed on the world of late, Clinton is a rich white lady who has a nice house in upstate New York, close family ties and friendships (including one with her favorite mystery writer!), and the feverish support of career-minded women throughout the land who know how it feels to be disliked for their ambition and intellect. Guys, she’s going to be okay.

But whatever the reason, though Clinton apologizes throughout What Happened for her loss and relays a sense of guilt at letting her country down, she still has hope, and an unkillable ambition too often misread as entitlement (the two are quite different). Like a lot of women, Clinton is smart and mad and channeling both into getting shit done. She has said she never plans to run for office again, but she isn’t going anywhere. We should all be grateful for that, because it means high-profile, high-dollar support for the work of emerging activist groups, and seeing Clinton in delightful new roles like guest editor at Teen Vogue, visibly uplifting a progressive outlet that supports the voices of young women and women of color. Hillary Rodham Clinton may be free, but she’s such a Hermione that I can’t imagine her abandoning public life anytime soon. I hope she never goes away.


What Happened
by Hillary Rodham Clinton
(Simon & Schuster)

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LJ
211 days ago
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