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Game behind gamed: your narrative programming for the day

How The Economic Machine Works by Ray Dalio[1] actually makes a case against austerity[2] and for redistribution, but also for money printing (and, arguably, for bailouts), while stressing the need to keep making productivity-improving public and private investments. However, it could be equally entitled: How The Industrial Age Political-Economy Doesn't Work Anymore, viz. Surviving Progress (2011)... [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Sep 25, 2013 - 28 comments

Coronet Instructional Films

From the mid 40s to the mid 50s Coronet Instructional Films were always ready to provide social guidance for teenagers on subjects as diverse as dating, popularity, preparing for being drafted, and shyness, as well as to children on following the law, the value of quietness in school, and appreciating our parents. They also provided education on topics such as the connection between attitudes and health, what kind of people live in America, how to keep a job, supervising women workers, the nature of capitalism, and the plantation System in Southern life. Inside is an annotated collection of all 86 of the complete Coronet films in the Prelinger Archives as well as a few more. Its not like you had work to do or anything right? [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Nov 1, 2012 - 41 comments

Chinese heavy metals

About one tenth of China's farmland is polluted with heavy metals, with whole villages being poisoned. All too frequently, local governments have reacted by ignoring the problems and even denying treatment (HRW report).
posted by jeffburdges on Nov 9, 2011 - 37 comments

Baltimore Lead Study

An experiment done in the 1990s exposed children to various levels of lead. The lawsuit filed in 2001 by the parents of over 100 participants accuses the Kennedy Krieger Institute that the scientists knowingly used the kids as test subjects in toxic dust control study. [more inside]
posted by hat_eater on Sep 19, 2011 - 51 comments

Tax Soda, Subsidize Veggies

Subsidizing Healthy Foods by Taxing Unhealthy Foods. Mark Bitman proposes a "national program that would make progress on a half-dozen problems at once — disease, budget, health care, environment, food access and more — while paying for itself." [NYT] [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Jul 24, 2011 - 103 comments

Worse than Three Mile Island?

Over fifty years after Los Angeles' first nuclear meltdown, the State of California is finally getting around to decontaminating the radioactive fallout.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Sep 3, 2010 - 35 comments

'Priceless collection' in Russia was never registered so is therefore worthless and does not officially exist, say developers

In 1926, Nikolai Vavilov founded the world's first modern seedbank, and amassed a collection which today contains over 90% unique varieties of plant, contained in no other collection in existence. For his opposition to Lysenkoism he died in prison, and several of his colleagues famously starved to death instead of eating their specimens during the Siege of Leningrad. Now the Pavlovsk seedbank facility has been seized by the Federal Agency for Public Estate Management, and pending a court ruling will be demolished - contents and all - to build a housing development. The collection cannot be moved in time because it is a working seedbank of living plants.
posted by mek on Aug 9, 2010 - 40 comments

planning a revolution? contribute to greater net good by doing better

Moving beyond GDP for an information-based society - If indeed[1,2] "A 'Quantum Leap' in Governance" is needed[3] then, as part of the solution,[4] we might start looking past GDP[5,6] and perhaps more toward "betterness instead of business, pursue awesomeness instead of innovation — and maximize good, instead of quarterly profits..." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on May 16, 2010 - 29 comments

I should be doing my taxes

New York Magazine has crunched the numbers, Park Slope has taken the title of most livable neighborhood of New York. [more inside]
posted by minkll on Apr 12, 2010 - 84 comments

World Government Data

Governments around the globe are opening up their data vaults allowing us to check out the numbers for ourselves. This is the Guardian’s gateway to that information. Search for government data here from the UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand — and look out for new countries and places as they are added. Read more about this on the Datablog. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Jan 25, 2010 - 13 comments

Toxic Waters

Toxic Waters: A series about the worsening pollution in American waters and regulators' response.
posted by homunculus on Sep 14, 2009 - 26 comments

SpaceTime TV: Free Videos on Heaps of Topics

SpaceTimeTV collects and lets you watch all the best educational videos online from full length documentaries (such as the 50 minute long Is There Life on Mars) to short video clips such as this one on glaciers and global warming. There are hundreds of videos on topics including history, space, technology, and nature.
posted by Effigy2000 on Mar 31, 2009 - 6 comments

Good Guide - a Guide to Buying Good

"Good Guide provides the world's largest and most reliable source of information on the health, environmental, and social impacts of the products in your home." Now in iPhone.
posted by one_bean on Nov 10, 2008 - 7 comments

Avoiding death by plastic

Talk about plastic accumulating in the North Pacific gyre has popped up on and off for quite a while now. Vice is running a series on the state of the gyre, as part of their "Toxic Series". Given the fact that most plastics are not biodegradable, we need to start looking more carefully at how much damage we are doing to ourselves through our use of plastic, and what we can do about it. [more inside]
posted by TheyCallItPeace on Apr 22, 2008 - 36 comments

We’re too sophisticated to allow bioregional commerce.

Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal by Joel Salatin. This Saturday will mark this article's four year anniversary. Frankly, I was mildly surprised not to have found it mentioned before in MeFi. It's a good read about a sad state of affairs; how our government is turning its own people into outlaws, because freedom has been traded in for an illusion of security. ...but then we already knew that. Don't we?
posted by ZachsMind on Aug 29, 2007 - 110 comments

Kerr Magee had applied to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to call their waste an "experimental fertilizer" and just spread it over the top of the land.

Depleted uranium is now understood to have many medical consequences unique to its modern application as munitions, due to its incendiary, aerosolizing behavior when pulverized. (Rosalie Bertell explains, youtube) It has become a leading candidate for the cause of Gulf War syndrome, and was associated with massive increases in cancer and birth defects in Basra. The EU has called for a moratorium on its use four times, and WHO is deeply concerned with its consequences, but the USA (with Canadian complicity) and Russia continue to use it in Iraq and elsewhere. (prev: 1 2 3 4 5)
posted by mek on Aug 22, 2007 - 52 comments

Walk Score

Walk Score helps people find walkable places to live. Walk Score calculates the walkability of an address by locating nearby stores, restaurants, schools, parks, etc.
posted by chunking express on Jul 23, 2007 - 71 comments

"I would love to see it banished off the face of the Earth."

Bisphenol A: this extremely common chemical leaches out of food packaging and plastics, and was long considered safe. But a number of recent studies link it to developmental problems and cancer in lab animals in doses far lower than the current regulatory limit. Canada and the United States both review the scientific data available in the coming months, but critics already worry the process will be corrupted by industry. Industry, of course, insists that BPA is safe.
posted by mek on Apr 7, 2007 - 32 comments

Toxic Time Capsule

Interactive Toxic Town from Natl Library Medicine This NLM link shows relatively small everyday sources of toxics around town. Most worry over envirodisasters like Love Canal and Libby Montana but toxics in homes, schools, and small biz can add up to a bigger dose for most of us. The toxic town thread from June 2nd shows the incredible scale of industrial negligance at the nasty sites. Time capsules are neat when you stumble into something gramps left in the attic to remember his hey day. But hazwaste sites are time capsules of a different sort, left behind by industries escaping their environmental liabilities. These sites tell the story of utter disregard for the environment and community as hazwaste was poured down floor drains, dumped into soil and unlined lagoons, or directed into nearby streams. Most of us live far enough away from these chemical bullseyes to not be directly affected. But even more unbelieveably, sometimes the industry was able to pawn off its waste as "clean fill", getting rid of the stuff and spreading it all over town. Prime examples: Grand Junction CO and Stratford CT. But you don't need that for your street to harbor toxic waste - there are thousands of small waste sites in various stages of discovery or cleanup embedded in every state, rural/suburban/urban towns alike. Leaking tanks beneath gas pumps, dry cleaners, small industry, farms, nurseries,and even some homes can be toxics hot spots. Vermont's statewide hazwaste site list broken down by town is an example - it would be smart to find the list for your town.
posted by whatstoxic on Oct 11, 2006 - 12 comments

from the unlikely-headline dept.

Wal-Mart urges Congress to raise minimum wage and "unveiled a series of initiatives designed to present a kinder, gentler face for the world's biggest retailer... exploring ways to use the company's heft and resources to have a more positive impact on society." In its bid to turn over a new leaf, Wal-Mart also announced it's going green and lowering health care costs for its workers. Is this a new sign of rethinking the social responsibility of business where the kind of growth matters as much as the amount? Or is it right to be skeptical of it as a ploy to help open more stores like its critics charge?
posted by kliuless on Oct 25, 2005 - 60 comments

Suck it down

Two great tastes that taste great together. Are you a scat fan? Well, Congress will soon vote on a bipartisan measure that would block the EPA from allowing sewage blending. Scientists & environmentalists gave BushCo some flak on this, but notice how bipartisan the bill is: it's sponsored by Bart Stupak (D-MI) as well as Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) The whitehouse site yielded inconclusive results (searched for sewage blending) This issue first caught my attention on another site (rhymes with 'bark') and I discovered it matters, at least to me, because people crap in my drinking water all the time and apparently the municipal waste treatment systems aren't handling it.
posted by Smedleyman on May 18, 2005 - 11 comments

The Health and Environmental Costs of War on Iraq

"Bring 'Em On:" A Certain Four Horsemen Rein Up to Inquire of The Taunt -- or "The Health and Environmental Costs of War on Iraq (PDF)." An independent survey just released by the UK global health charity Medact, finds that "the war on Iraq and its aftermath exacted a heavy toll on combatants and civilians, who paid and continue to pay the price in death, injury and mental and physical ill health. Between 21,700 and 55,000 people died between March 20 and October 20, 2003." According to the BBC, the report says that the "conflict and its aftermath have put the most vulnerable in society - women, children and the elderly - at risk", and "there has been a reported increase in maternal mortality rates, acute malnutrition has almost doubled from 4% to 8% in the last year and there is an increase in water-borne diseases and vaccine-preventable diseases."
posted by fold_and_mutilate on Nov 12, 2003 - 32 comments

fishy articles

The NY Times is running a series of fishy articles about the ocean environment, fish and health. Of note the Java Interactive Feature "Heavy Toll" (see link 1) has an underwater cam of a trawlnet to help visualize ocean floor carpet bombing. Article links 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8
posted by stbalbach on Jul 29, 2003 - 13 comments

Who Needs a Pie?

Dow and Their PR Agency got more than a pie in the face, more like egg all over 'em. Two different activist parody productions exposed their continuing despicable behaviour toward the Union Carbide release in India back in '84 when thousands died and many more continue with serious health problems. Dow and said PR firm tried to get the sites shut down, which just generated a WHOLE BUNCH more negative publicity. The sites were moved, but remain for you viewing pleasure.
posted by acutetype on Jan 9, 2003 - 3 comments

Oh No - Not the O-Zone Layer AGAIN!

Oh No - Not the O-Zone Layer AGAIN! It seems that our wonderful ozone hole over the Earth has split in two... Now you don't need to wear 100 sunblock just on Australia and Antarctica. But scientists *sound* a little happier, or perhaps I'm just reading into it a little too much.
posted by djspicerack on Sep 30, 2002 - 4 comments

"a huge victory for breathers"

"a huge victory for breathers" of course industry "experts" beg to differ: "EPA tends to overstate health concerns," said Dan Riedinger, a spokesman for the Edison Electric Institute.
posted by specialk420 on Mar 27, 2002 - 2 comments

Toxic Exposure Near Ground Zero

Toxic Exposure Near Ground Zero EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman said a week after the attacks: "I am glad to reassure the people of New York...that their air is safe to breathe and their water is safe to drink." Yet now: "Dust taken from an air vent in the apartment building's hallway contained 555 times the suggested acceptable level for asbestos.....Many of those who live or work downtown report strikingly similar symptoms: nosebleeds, sore throats, bronchial infections and an endless racking cough." How long do we need to wait until we see some full blown investigative reporting?
posted by Voyageman on Jan 8, 2002 - 29 comments

Pollution Linked to Birth Defects in Recent Study.

Pollution Linked to Birth Defects in Recent Study. There is no better example of "terrorism" than maiming children simply to further bloat the wallets of the rich. Of course, our fearless right-wing leaders are right on top of the problem.
posted by fold_and_mutilate on Dec 29, 2001 - 32 comments

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