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Gaythia Weis
Works at Analytical Chemist.
Lived in Bellingham WA
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Gaythia Weis

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No more "whiter than white", "brighter than bright"?

The science of perceived whiter than whiteness:
"Visual perception of many manufactured white objects is driven by the concentration of fluorescent whitening agents (FWAs) that they contain. FWAs serve to increase overall whiteness perception by enhancing luminance and providing a chromatic blue shift."
"The blue shift is perceived as enhanced whiteness, thus producing a “whiter-than-white” effect."
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15502724.2014.902750?_ga=1.51543657.192332745.1393104906&#.U1KSsOZdXm4

http://gizmodo.com/led-lights-are-ruining-laundry-detergents-white-brighte-1565070690

Via +Ward Plunet 
LED lighting is great. The right bulb gives the same warm incandescent glow you love from a fraction of the energy. But there's a downside: while LEDs make cities look awesome, the most common type of LED lighting dims the ultraviolet trick laundry detergents use to make white clothes look whiter. The future is bright, but it's also kind of dingy.
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I like +Peter Vogel 's explanation on his share of this link better than what I have above.  As he put it:
"Freshly-washed clothes may look dingy under LED light"

"And it's all because those tricky laundry soap manufacturers figured out how to fool us with FWAs (fluorescent whitening agents) that depend on some ultraviolet emission from our lights. There is no such emission in the light from LEDs."
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Gaythia Weis

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Santa Cruz >> If the region's drought seemed abstract, it's about to hit home for Santa Cruz residents.
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Yup, it's going to be an interesting summer... drove past the Shasta Dam reservoir area between Mount Shasta and Redding, CA... it's supposed to be full this time of year, and it was at the level that would usually occur in the fall (by design about a 60ft draw-down).

It supplies most of the water that goes to The Central (CA) Valley, where most of our fruits, vegetables, and e.g. almonds are grown... ugh.
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China's Smog Seems to Lead to US Weather Impacts

These results come from atmospheric modeling of the effects of Asian pollution outflows on regional climate and global atmospheric circulation.   Fine aerosols from the pollution increased precipitation and poleward heat transport.  The Pacific storm track was intensified.

Research source:  http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/04/09/1403364111 _*"Assessing the effects of anthropogenic aerosols on Pacific storm track using a multiscale global climate model"*_

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/15/china-air-pollution-pacific-climate-us-national-academy-sciences
Computer modelling showed intensification of US-bound Pacific storms, driven by fine aerosols from coal power plants and traffic
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Sustaining Human Progress on a Finite Planet

Bend, Stretch, Reach, Teach, Reveal, Reflect, Rejoice, Repeat

+Andrew Revkin on  breaking through the shouting match between alarmist and denier.  Recognizing, in the work of +Dan Kahan at culturalcognition.net the concept that more information may further divide people.   Revkin describes this, as a journalist, as an OMG moment for him.
 
My TEDx talk on a shift in goals (from numbers to traits) that can help us navigate the Anthropocene without too many regrets. http://new.livestream.com/tedx/TEDxPortland2014/videos/47881710 Relevant post: http://j.mp/bendstretchreach
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Dutch Making Room For the Rivers
Can Henk Ovink sell Americans on a new approach to flooding — letting the water in?
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Wyoming Legislature Rejecting Science Standards
"Pretending that the consensus on global warming is wrong sends the message that Wyoming prefers ignorance."

http://www.wyomingnews.com/articles/2014/04/11/opinion/staff_editorials/column155.txt
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Welfare for WalMart

"“Do you think the Walton family, worth a hundred billion dollars, is in need of welfare from the middle class of this country, or do you think maybe we should raise the minimum wage so that those workers can earn a living wage and not have to get Medicaid or food stamps?” Sanders asked the panel."

See: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/01/17/bernie-sanders-rips-walmart-why-should-taxpayers-subsidize-starvation-wages/

Via +Xeno Phrenia 
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+Gaythia Weis I feel like you either didn't read what I said, didn't read the article thoroughly or misrepresented/ignored what I was actually saying. Regardless of how appealing number 4 is, so far it's still a story. Nor did I say we should ignore inequality, simply that minimum wage is a much less efficient way of going about it...

+David Blackwell That's a good point of course. I didn't intend to imply that increasing the minimum wage would increase prices by the same amount. There are several reasons, but one is that many of Walmart's inputs come from countries that wouldn't be similarly increasing their minimum wages. So we would be mostly insulated from that aspect, though that wouldn't have been as true 50 years ago.

The 2% number also ignores that Walmart probably gets some inputs from the US that are supplied by low wage workers, but those costs would eventually filter through to prices. Walmart would also probably raise the wages of workers that were previously higher up the relative pay scale but are now close to minimum wage in order to retain them. Though, admittedly, the effects from both things would still be a fairly small absolute number and none of these estimates are necessarily that precise or accurate.
There are also prices besides Walmart's to consider and it's not clear exactly how much average expenditures for people on minimum wage would go up.

But that's all beside the point really. What bothers me is that people get so hung up on a solution that is both economically inefficient and less progressive than other alternatives. Is the minimum wage some horrible world ending catastrophe? No, it's negative effects are probably pretty small. But it's far from the ideal solution and it's turned into a lightning rod for partisan bickering. All for sub-optimal results and possible negative employment effects. We'd be way better off doing a guaranteed minimum income or increasing the scope of programs like the EITC.
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Black lung investigation honored
"The 2014 Pulitzer Prize Winners: Investigative Reporting"

Awarded to Chris Hamby of The Center for Public Integrity, Washington, D.C., for his reports on how some lawyers and doctors rigged a system to deny benefits to coal miners stricken with black lung disease, resulting in remedial legislative efforts.

See also:  http://www.pulitzer.org/citation/2014-Investigative-Reporting


http://www.publicintegrity.org/environment/breathless-and-burdened
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South Carolina Creationists

This bill passed the South Carolina Senate, but may die in a House committee.

"HB 4482 was intended to designate the Columbian mammoth as the official state fossil and passed the House on a 94-3 vote in February 3, 2014."

The amendment described below was added by the Senate.

Via +Steve Hosford 
 
"After every time the word "mammoth" appears, will be inserted "as created on the Sixth Day with the other beasts of the field".  IN A STATE LAW.
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To be honest, this is pretty funny (when looked at from the other side of the world)!
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Gaythia Weis

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Big Coal: Illegal Clearing
"9.1 acres of forest that impacted 3.92 acres of wetlands and damaged a known [Native American] archaeological site"

The key here is to click through to the link and see the "after" picture.
"Pacific International Terminals, Inc. has planted new trees to address their forest practice violation, but their planting scheme maintains a clear path to continue their geotechnical investigations for the coal port. " 

This, IMHO, appears to be a clear attempt to take carefully calculated efforts to say remediation has been done and paid for, while making sure that the illegal roadway is still open and ready to be used.

See also:
"Warrior Up! To ship coal from the Powder River Basin to China, you have to go through the heart of the Lummi Nation"
http://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/201403/coal-exports-Lumni-nation.aspx
http://getwhatcomplanning.blogspot.com/2014/04/taking-on-big-coal.html
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I've only lived here 2 years, and so am actually not necessarily up on past history.
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Analytical Chemist
Introduction
I'm a chemist with a background in groundwater geochemistry, semiconductor industry quality assurance, Auger Electron Microscopy, and environmental monitoring.

My current passions are science policy, risk analysis and water resources.



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Previously
Bellingham WA
Work
Employment
  • Analytical Chemist.
    Manager, present
  • InfoPteryx LLC