Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 12/22 - Good News Friday: Giving Thanks For The Winter Solstice, Designing For Access

Friday, December 22, 2017, 11:48 AM

This is Good News Friday, where we find some good economic, energy, and environmental news and share it with PP readers. Please send any positive news to [email protected] with subject header "Good News Friday." We will save and post weekly. Enjoy!


Give Thanks For The Winter Solstice. You Might Not Be Here Without It. (jdargis)

The axial tilt of Venus, for example, is so extreme — 177 degrees — that the planet is essentially flipped upside down with its South Pole pointing up. Perhaps counter-intuitively, that means that there’s very little tilt to its upside-down spin and its hemispheres will never dramatically point toward or away from the sun. As such, the sun’s dance across the sky will remain relatively stable — shifting by a mere six degrees over the course of a Venusian year.

Designing For Access (blackeagle)

The show also reveals the challenge of bringing empathy to the marketplace: Most of the more than 70 products on display were initiated by someone who either has a disability or has a family member who does. Frustrated by the lack of solutions created by others, these people were motivated by their own experience and need.

A Sweet New Technology for Diabetics (jdargis)

When the FreeStyle Libre is up and running, however, its true pleasures—a word one rarely attaches to diabetes technology—are clear. Pressing a large physical button on the device primes it to take a reading. Hold it to the sensor and it almost immediately beeps, presenting you with a blood glucose reading and showing a graph of the last few hours, along with indications with other information such as sharply rising or falling levels. The interface isn’t perfect, but it’s hard to overstate how engaging the system is to use, most of all because it left me feeling involved in what was happening to my body.

City Council Passes Bill to Protect Tenants from Mold and Pests (sv)

“Mold abatement and integrated pest management will be codified after 10 years of diligently working with advocates on the passage of the Asthma Free Housing Act, Intro. 385C,” said Councilwoman Rosie Mendez, the bill’s prime sponsor. “After what appeared to be endless negotiations with several mayoral administrations, we passed this crucial bill that will go a long way to eradicating mold, as well as taking preventative measures to address mold and asthma triggers. Asthma has a debilitating effect on an individual’s’ quality of life and, in New York City, there are approximately one million individuals who have been diagnosed with asthma. This legislation will have a direct benefit for tenants and their health and enables the City to recapture funds expended through its Emergency Repair Program, if the agency determines that such work is necessary. I am proud that my partnership with the advocates will result in ground breaking legislation and I am hopeful that other big cities will follow in our footsteps.”

New York City moves to create accountability for algorithms (tmn)

The bill was one of two moves the City Council made last week concerning algorithms. On Thursday, the committees on health and public safety held a hearing on the city’s forensic methods, including controversial tools that the chief medical examiner’s office crime lab has used for difficult-to-analyze samples of DNA.

As a ProPublica/New York Times investigation detailed in September, an algorithm created by the lab for complex DNA samples has been called into question by scientific experts and former crime lab employees.

France to ban oil and gas production by 2040 (sv)

Macron used the hashtag “Make Our Planet Great Again,” a nod to his efforts to push efforts to tackle climate change after President Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accord. Macron has said that he will continue trying to convince Trump to reverse his decision and rejoin the pact.

New York Just Blew A $390B Hole In The Fossil Fuel Industry (sv)

Years of community campaigning by environmental and social justice groups — as well as recent divestment commitments from iconic NY institutions like the American Museum of Natural History and Columbia University — put pressure on New York’s elected officials to cut ties with dirty energy.

A New Kind of Soft Battery, Inspired by the Electric Eel (tmn)

Unlike conventional batteries, the team’s design is soft and flexible, and might be useful for powering the next generation of soft-bodied robots. And since it can be made from materials that are compatible with our bodies, it could potentially drive the next generation of pacemakers, prosthetics, and medical implants. Imagine contact lenses that generate electric power, or pacemakers that run on the fluids and salts within our own bodies—all inspired by a shocking fish.

Using Technology To Be Environmentally Friendly (jdargis)

>There’s also a great app called Haze Today, which tracks the air quality index in real time — that’s ground-level ozone, particle pollution, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide, all of which can affect your health. The index rates most winter days in New York as “healthy” — but in the summer, you see the index start to creep up into the “moderate” and “unhealthy” ranges. It also becomes clear from the app that air pollution is much worse every day in California.

Colors Of The Season (jdargis)

Cities and towns around the world celebrate holidays with festive decorations and traditions.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 12/21/17

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to [email protected]. All suggestions are filtered by the Daily Digest team and preference is given to those that are in alignment with the message of the Crash Course and the "3 Es."


sand_puppy's picture
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Joined: Apr 13 2011
Posts: 2119
Politico: Global Criminal Narco Empire of Iran / Hezbollah

From Politico this week a very significant article was published.

The secret backstory of how Obama let Hezbollah off the hook

An ambitious U.S. task force targeting Hezbollah's billion-dollar criminal enterprise ran headlong into the White House's desire for a nuclear deal with Iran.

By Josh Meyer

Part 1:  A global threat emerges

How Hezbollah turned to trafficking cocaine and laundering money through used cars to finance its expansion.

The campaign, dubbed Project Cassandra, was launched in 2008 after the Drug Enforcement Administration amassed evidence that Hezbollah had transformed itself from a Middle East-focused military and political organization into an international crime syndicate that some investigators believed was collecting $1 billion a year from drug and weapons trafficking, money laundering and other criminal activities.

Over the next eight years, agents working out of a top-secret DEA facility in Chantilly, Virginia, used wiretaps, undercover operations and informants to map Hezbollah’s illicit networks, with the help of 30 U.S. and foreign security agencies.

They followed cocaine shipments, some from Latin America to West Africa and on to Europe and the Middle East, and others through Venezuela and Mexico to the United States. They tracked the river of dirty cash as it was laundered by, among other tactics, buying American used cars and shipping them to Africa. And with the help of some key cooperating witnesses, the agents traced the conspiracy, they believed, to the innermost circle of Hezbollah and its state sponsors in Iran

To me, the main significance of this article is that I do not know whether I should believe it.  Are these yellow cake uranium, aluminum centrifuge tubes, babies from incubators and WMDs?  Or is this true and factually accurate?

Is this The BIG LIE?  A lie so big and bold that a person simply cannot believe another could lie on such a scale?

I don't know.  And this itself is the primary point for me.  That I cannot know if it is true.

1.  I recognize several of the named sources in this article as Neocons.

2.  The Neocons (and many others) have a well established history of fabricating evidence, then stating that evidence as fact in reputable news sources (like the NYT).

3.  Neocons have an active / current goal of establishing war with Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Iran.

4.  Leo Strauss, the spiritual guide to the Neocons, has explained that it is the duty of the state to create myths that show us who is good and who is evil.  The public becomes united in its hatred of the evil.


Time2help's picture
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Posts: 2915
The Ongoing Awakening

Sixteen Years After Losing His Mother on 9/11, Drew DePalma is Ready to Speak Out (AE911Truth)


It is just one story of thousands from that day. But for Drew DePalma, it’s the one that forced him to grow up very quickly.

On the morning of September 11, 2001, the then-17-year-old lost his mother in the destruction of the World Trade Center’s North Tower. Jean C. DePalma was one of 295 employees of Marsh & McLennan Companies who were among those killed in the event that would be used to launch the so-called “War on Terror,” which continues to this day.

Now, shortly after his 34th birthday, the events of 9/11 may change Drew DePalma’s life again, but this time in a very different — and more positive — way. The New Jersey resident has chosen to speak out about his growing suspicions concerning the world-changing event that claimed his mother’s life. Now, for the first time, he is coming to the conclusion that the official story we’ve been told about 9/11 is not true.

westcoastjan's picture
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Posts: 582
Re Designing for Access

This article resonates strongly for me, a profoundly deaf woman. Any form of proactive advocacy to promote inclusion and acceptance is always welcomed. While I can appreciate the call to employ people with disabilities in the design elements, there is far more to it than that in so far as the market's need to catch up. People, and society need to catch up as well when it comes to attitudes about accessibility and inclusion. Like many of the issues we discuss here, each one person doing their small part helps make a difference.

I continue to experience many barriers to inclusion every day - things that prevent me from being on the same playing field as hearing people, which affects me across the spectrum of my life, at work, home and play. Take for example the widespread use of videos, podcasts and webinars all across the internet. Whether for news, documentaries, music, or for teaching/training, all too often these are not closed captioned or sub-titled, presenting a barrier to the [significant] deaf and hearing impaired co-hort. To use this site as an example (I am not slinging an arrow, just making an observation), people very often post videos that are not captioned or sub-titled to the comments sections of various articles I read. This robs me of a chance to participate equitably in the discussion. This is what a barrier to success looks like.

Each website, each person can be a part of the inclusion solution. My Christmas wish is to see the PP community as well as partner sites establish a commitment to the best practice that all content is accessible to all. We can have all the legislation or policy in the world, but without actual practices to support them, they are useless. People, not policies are what makes change happen.

Thank for thinking about this next time you want to post a video or movie on this or other sites. We all have a chance to be a part of the inclusion solution by stepping outside of the box of one-size fits all thinking. Diversity is something to be celebrated, but it does not happen all by itself. It takes caring effort to be a part of the solution. Thanks!

Merry Christmas,

sand_puppy's picture
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 13 2011
Posts: 2119
Me too, Jan

I am always so happy when the transcript of the podcast is posted.  Thank you PP staff for so diligently including these.

People, like us, who are hearing impaired are perceived as stupid.  Comments, plans and details are mentioned in the room where we are but we don't hear them.  Then we join the conversation again, but are several steps behind everyone else.  This gives the impression of mental retardation, I'm afraid.

My co-workers have (mostly) responded compassionately to my training:

  • Stand close
  • Look right at me, I am reading your lips.
  • Speak up.
  • Enunciate.

And JHK has just posted his Year In Review also.  Recommended!  He makes me laugh.


westcoastjan's picture
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 4 2012
Posts: 582
Me too, sand_puppy

It never ceases to amaze (or hurt) how so many people equate deafness with stupidity... it would seem the need to educate and create awareness is never ending. My own pet peeve is simply that for the most part, everyone assumes everyone else can hear [and I am guilty of that at times as well!]. It is hard when one sees a great link to check out only to find it is inaccessible.frown

I too am very grateful for the PP transcripts, appreciative of the effort that I know is required to create them on a timely basis. Thanks folks! yes


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