We're heading into a cold windy icky spell of weather here but the tomato and melon plants are covered with giant flower pots and should be ok. Looks like the snow and heavy rains went a little east of us here so all is well so far today.
Let's start the week off with this little nugget from CNN Money.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Cybercrime isn't just a threat to your bank account or personal computer -- it's an issue of national security.This does not bode well.
Foreign spies and organized criminals are inside of virtually every U.S. company's network. The government's top cybersecurity advisors widely agree that cyber criminals or terrorists have the capability to take down the country's critical financial, energy or communications infrastructure.
When ever they start talking like that, you know they're up to something.
oh, and this from the Ozarker!
BusinessInsider: Feds And Utilities Face Off Over The Electromagnetic Pulse Threat Coming In 2014
WASHINGTON – As scientists warn of an impending solar storm between now and 2014 that could collapse the national power grid, thrusting millions into darkness instantly, a debate has flared up between utilities and the federal government on the severity of such an event.
But in February, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, which represents the power industry, issued a stunning report asserting that a worst-case geomagnetic "super storm" like the 1859 Carrington Event likely wouldn't damage most power grid transformers. Instead, it would cause voltage instability and possibly result in blackouts lasting only a few hours or days, but not months and years.
Much thanks also to RJ at the Global Glass Onion and the Ozarker at Conflicted Doomer , and to Doug at 3Es News and David at ETF Daily, for their help today! These good friends help make this blog what it is so do, go by and help support their efforts and hard work.
Peak Oil and Energy News
FuelFix: Oil near $103 on growth fears, Europe uncertainty
Forbes: Peak Oil Off: Great Game On
(drumming up African investment no doubt?)
ScientificAmerican: Cheap Fracked Gas Could Help Americans Keep on Truckin'
FuelFix: Futures Movers: Oil futures fall as global markets pressured
NASDAQ: OPEC Official: Current Oil Prices Not Justified By FundamentalsFla.Today: Iraq oil exports jump nearly 15 percent in March
GlobeAndMail: Investors are the casualties in a booming oil patch - Alberta’s oil patch is roaring. Oil prices are flying, pipelines are pumping millions of barrels a day, and companies are engaged in a rollicking spending spree.
EnergyBulletin: Peak oil review - April 23
WashingtonPost: Obama announces sanctions for tech used in human rights abuses in Iran and Syria - Obama’s executive order, which he announced during a Monday speech at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, is an acknowledgment of those dangers and of the need to adapt American national security policy to a world being remade rapidly by technology, according to senior administration officials familiar with the plans. Although the order is designed to target companies and individuals assisting the governments of Iran and Syria, they said, future executive orders could name others aiding other countries through technology in crackdowns on dissent.
(but what about here? in the US? )
Hosted: US, Afghanistan reach deal on strategic pact
Reuters: Turkey says Israel not welcome at NATO summit - Turkey has refused to allow Israel to take part in a NATO summit next month because the Jewish state has not apologized for the 2010 killing of Turkish activists in a raid on a ship taking aid to Palestinians, a Turkish official said on Monday.
Haaretz: Termination of Israeli-Egyptian natural gas agreement serves dangerous precedent Move may be intended to pressure Israel to give up lawsuit for $8 billion in compensation for damages.
Reuters: Egypt cancels gas deal with Israel - Egyptian energy companies, citing a trade dispute, have terminated a deal to supply Israel with natural gas in a step that may further erode bilateral ties strained by a popular revolt that toppled Egypt's pro-Israeli leader last year.
StarTribune: 2 NATO service members killed in bomb attack in eastern Afghanistan
TheAtlantic: Are the Limits of American Power Closer Than We Think? - It's getting tougher for the U.S. to impose its will, but we can still lead the world -- the trick is convincing the world to follow.
WashingtonPost: N. Korea threatens military strike against S. Korean president
Counterpunch: The World’s Largest Open-Air Gulag
IBTimes: India Relying too Much on Other Countries for Critical Weapons? China Thinks So
India is still in celebration mood following the successful launch of Agni-V, its first Inter-continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) on Thursday (April 18) but China thinks India will be helpless without the support of other countries.
UPI: Israeli commandos search ship for weapons
TEL AVIV, Israel, April 23 (UPI) -- Israeli commandos boarded a cargo ship in the Mediterranean Sea, fearing it was attempting to smuggle weapons into Gaza, the army Army said. No weapons were found, officials said.CNN: Witness: Sudanese warplanes strike at South Sudan border towns
The ship was flying a Liberian flag.
The ship was flying a Liberian flag.
ModestoBee: EU set to impose new sanctions on Syrian regime - LUXEMBOURG -- The European Union will ban the sale of luxury goods and products that can have military as well as civilian uses to Syria as U.N. truce monitors start deploying in the conflict-torn nation, diplomats said Monday.
MSNBC: Iran says it is building a copy of downed US spy drone
JapanToday: China, Iceland announce deal on oil-rich Arctic — China and Iceland announced a deal on the oil-rich Arctic region Friday after Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao flew in to Reykjavik on the first stage of a four-nation European tour.
SmartPlanet: The Cost of New Oil Supply - Numerous factors affect oil prices, like supply and demand, geopolitical unrest, natural disasters, monetary policy, and speculation, as I detailed in February. But there is another factor exerting a continuous upward pressure on prices: the substitution of unconventional resources for conventional crude. When conventional oil hit its production plateau around 72 – 74 million barrels per day at the end of 2004, but demand kept growing, we turned to various unconventional liquid fuels to make up the difference, such as natural gas liquids, biofuels, and most recently, “tight oil” from shales like the Bakken Formation in the U.S.
Hosted: Activists: Dozens killed in Hama after UN visit
Alternet: ACLU, Activists Aim to Prevent Secret Service from Violating Their Rights During NATO Summit
TheRealNews: (video) Spring Revival: Occupy Wall Street Seeks to Rejuvenate Movement
JusticeOnline: New Occupy Crackdown Documents Just Obtained by the PCJF - Two days before the NYPD’s eviction of the Occupy Wall Street encampment from Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan, Brookfield Properties' security was in direct communications and sharing information with the US Park Police in Washington DC, and communicating with other cities around the country, according to newly released internal documents from the National Park Service.
BBC: Ofcom to probe Sky email hacking - Ofcom launches an investigation into email hacking by Sky News after the broadcaster admitted accessing the private accounts of "canoe man" John Darwin and his wife Anne; and a suspected paedophile.
DailyFinance: Bank Accounts Hacked: Is Your Money in Danger at Chase?
RedTape: Study: ID thieves robbing the grave; 2.5 million dead hit annually
Domestic Financial News
60 Minutes: The Case Against Lehman Brothers - Via Barry Ritholtz, who says "Other than getting Lehman’s role in the overall crisis wrong, this is a fascinating look at Lehman’s demise"
MarketWatch666: march housing, industrial production, retail sales, et al, week ended April 21stZerohedge: America Awakes To Sea Of European Red As Hopium Hangover Hits
Bloomberg: Wal-Mart Bribery Probe Exposes Retailer to U.S. Fines
Counterpunch: Why Paul Krugman is Full of Shit - Late last week Princeton University economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote a piece on his NY Times blog that history will view as the best evidence to appear in at least several decades of the utter irrelevance of mainstream economics.
also from Counterpunch
WSJ: Number of the Week: Smaller Tax Refunds This Year - $101: How much less the average tax refund was in 2012 compared with 2011, as of the week ending April 6. The U.S. Treasury has paid out less this year in tax refunds than last. That could disappoint consumers, but may be good news for politicians.
Businessweek: A Dodd-Frank Regulatory Exemption Grows by 7,900%
TheAtlantic: Why the U.S. Economy Is Not Biased Against Men
CNNMoney: Wal-Mart shares drop after Mexico report
McClatchy: Debtors filing lawsuits over aggressive collection tactics
BusinessInsider: MAP OF THE DAY: Wal-Mart's Invasion Of Mexico (WMT)
MyBudget360: The big swindle and a fog of debt – hiding the unemployed in the higher education bubble and three years of economic recovery equates to 11.5 million more Americans on food stamps.
CharlesHughSmith; The Future Is Unknown, But We Know the Unsustainable Will Implode
NYT: Student Loan Interest Rates Loom as Political Battle - President Obama begins an all-out push on Friday to get Congress to extend the low interest rate on federal student loans, White House officials said, an effort that is likely to become a heated battle along party lines. If Congress fails to act, the interest rate on the loans, which are taken out by nearly eight million students each year, will double on July 1, to 6.8 percent.
Global Financial News
Xinhuanet: News Analysis: One step closer to a global yuan - As China accelerates bold steps to live up to its ambition of a global yuan, London's emergence as a leading Western hub for off-shore yuan trading is likely to add impetus to the Chinese currency's global status.
CNNMoney: China's weak spot for manufacturing
Zerohedge: Interesting Times in the Netherlands
CNBC: Car Makers Gear Up for a Tougher China Market
FT: The sadly unpalatable solution for the eurozone - A consensus has gradually emerged among experts about the first necessary step to solve the eurozone crisis: a eurozone-wide system of banking resolution, prudential supervision and deposit insurance. The idea is essentially to take the nation state out of banking and to make the eurozone – or the European Union – responsible for everything. BBC: Sarkozy loses first poll battle
Reuters: German manufacturing shrinks at fastest pace since 2009: PMI - Germany's manufacturing sector unexpectedly shrank at the fastest pace in nearly three years in April, denting hopes it can drive growth in the euro zone and casting a shadow over upbeat business sentiment surveys.
Reuters: Euro zone slump deepens unexpectedly in April - The euro zone's business slump deepened at a far faster pace than expected in April, suggesting the economy will stay in recession at least until the second half of the year.
Chinese factories enjoyed their best performance this year, the latest purchasing managers indexes (PMIs) also showed on Monday, but economists focused on the euro zone's grim outlook which was worse than any projection in a Reuters poll.
StarTribune: IMF wants European governments to pursue bold actions to deal with their debt problems
NYT: I.M.F. Adds $430 Billion in Emergency Lending Ability
CNNMoney: Europe: 'Dark clouds on the horizon'
Zerohedge: Update: Halt Extended.... Russian Main Sector Trading Halted
FiscalTimes: $14T Spent on Debt-Ridden Global Economy--So Far
Zerohedge: Gold Prices Hover, Trading Sluggish Ahead of Fed Meeting
ETFDaily: It’s Make or Break With Support Divergences In Silver and Gold
M 3.9, Greater Los Angeles area, California
M 5.2, Kepulauan Babar, Indonesia
JohJonsson: Earthquake swarm in Hengill volcano
UPI: Mysterious hum in Canada coming from U.S.
WINDSOR, Ontario, April 21 (UPI) -- A mysterious humming sound that has drawn hundreds of complaints in Windsor, Canada, for more than a year is emanating from Michigan, testing has determined.DesdemonaDespair: Flooding ravages Peru and Colombia – Amazon River reaches record breadth, width, and height
The low-frequency, rumbling noise dubbed the Windsor hum is coming from the area of Zug Island, an industrial site, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.
But officials in River Rogue, Mich., where Zug Island is located, have said they don't have the money to find the precise source of the noise.
"The government of Canada takes this issue seriously," Bob Dechert, a conservative member of Canadian Parliament, said in a news release. "It is important that we find a solution that works for the people of Windsor."
TransitionVoice: Denial, anger and acceptance while circling the drain - Circling the drain is a term used in medical circles to describe a patient for whom death is impending and yet continues to cling to life. With insulation, recycling, and even hybrid cars we’re circling the drain at 70 miles per hour instead of 100 mph.
RealityZone: Light bulb with 20-year life unveiled in US on Earth Day
co2now: 394.45ppm - Atmospheric CO2 for March 2012
Fairwinds: Tokyo Soil Samples Would Be Considered Nuclear Waste In The US
CTV: Japanese teen's ball lost in tsunami found in Alaska - TOKYO — A teenager who lost his home in Japan's devastating tsunami now knows that one prized possession survived: a football that drifted all the way to Alaska.
Officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say the ball with the youngster's name inscribed on it is one of the first pieces of debris from last year's tsunami to wash up on the other side of the Pacific.
A man found the ball while beachcombing on an Alaskan island, and his wife, who is Japanese, talked with its owner, 16-year-old Misaki Murakami, by phone over the weekend. They plan to send the ball back to him soon.
CSMonitor: Spring snowstorm hammers New York, Pennsylvania (+video) - A Spring nor'easter is forecast to dump more than a foot of snow in Pennsylvania, and parts of New York, closing schools and causing power outages. Flood watches have been issued for Maine and New Hampshire
CNN: Big snowstorm shakes up 'crazy' winter
MSNBC: Triple digit temps in Southwest -- and it's still April
DesdemonaDespair: Flooding ravages Peru and Colombia – Amazon River reaches record breadth, width, and height
El Comercio reported Health Minister Alberto Tejada’s alarm at the situation: “In 1971 [the flood] did not have an urban impact because today’s human settlements did not exist.”
Discovery: Daylight Fireball Streaks Over Nevada and California - When reports about a meteor make headline news in Los Angeles, it's time to pay attention. In fact, anything that isn't associated with a high-speed car chase or the latest celebrity DUI is usually worth paying attention to (take it from me, it doesn't happen very often). But tonight, local news stations are reporting excited eyewitness accounts of a daytime meteor that ripped through the skies above Nevada and California on Sunday morning.
According to eyewitness Jenae Neu who spoke with the Reno Gazette-Journal, the fireball was dazzling: "I was outside my apartment and saw a huge bright thing in the corner of my eye," Neu said. "I looked up and saw a huge bright ball with some sort of tail. It looked like it was about 100 yards away and it only lasted about two seconds before it went behind a hill that’s close to my place. It was like nothing I've ever seen. It was crazy."
SeattleTimes: Explosion, fireball reported in Nevada, California
Astronomers say a loud explosion heard across a large swath of Nevada and California on Sunday morning was likely caused by a meteor.DesdemonaDespair: Delaware River at record low levels
ScientificAmerican: Hot Spring Yields New Hybrid Viral Genome
Fuelfix: Drilling in deep Gulf getting busy again
MSNBC: Valentine the sea lion, healed from bullet wound, released back to oceanThe California sea lion that was found with a bullet in her flipper has healed and was released back into the wild on Friday, according to SeaWorld.
The sea lion was rescued on Feb. 11 after beach goers in Oceanside, Calif. noticed the injured animal on the shore.
CNN: 'A ship flying in space:' Earth seen through the eyes of an astronaut
As an estimated one billion people around the globe take part in events to mark the 42nd Earth Day, Paolo Nespoli's images provide a striking reminder of our planet's awe-inspiring beauty and fragility as an eco-system.
PRWeb: 6.7 million bats already dead, White-nose Syndrome could lead to extinction of some species - scientists - More than six million bats are dead, and millions more are expected to fall victim to a disease known as White-nose Syndrome, or WNS. First identified in the northeastern United States, WNS has wiped out an estimated 95% of Pennsylvania's bat population and is quickly spreading across the country. It was most recently discovered in Missouri, Delaware and Alabama. "This is like bringing small pox to the New World. It is surely an unprecedented wildlife disaster for North America," said Bucknell University professor Dr. DeeAnn Reeder.
America in Decline
NOC: “We Don’t Live in a Free Country”: Jacob Appelbaum on Being Target of Mass Govt Surveillance
Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, Video Report: Jacob Appelbaum describes being detained more than a dozen times at the airport and interrogated by federal agents who asked about his political views and confiscated his cell phone and laptop. When asked why he cannot talk about what happened after he was questioned, Appelbaum says, “Because we do not live in a free country. If we did, I could tell you about it.” A federal judge ordered Twitter to hand over information about Appelbaum’s account.USAToday: Half of new graduates are jobless or underemployed - A weak labor market already has left half of young college graduates either jobless or underemployed in positions that don't fully use their skills and knowledge.
60Minutes: Hard times generation: homeless kids
Check out this amazing education asshattery send in by RJ today! Wow!
MarginalRevolution: Does Not Compute -- Steven Salzberg from Forbes is right about this: Wow, no one saw this coming. The University of Florida announced this past week that it was dropping its computer science department, which will allow it to save about $1.7 million. The school is eliminating all funding for teaching assistants in computer science, cutting the graduate and research programs entirely, and moving the tattered remnants into other departments. Let’s get this straight: in the midst of a technology revolution, with a shortage of engineers and computer scientists, UF decides to cut computer science completely? Salzberg, however, is critical of Florida Governor Rick Scott for cutting university funding overall (Scott famously decried anthropology degrees in favor of STEM). Salzberg also finds it “unintentionally ironic” that in announcing a new polytechnic just two days ago Gov. Scott said: “At a time when the number of graduates of Florida’s universities in the STEM [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] fields is not projected to meet workforce needs, the establishment of Florida Polytechnic University will help us move the needle in the right direction.”…Meanwhile, the athletic budget for the current year is $99 million, an increase of more than $2 million from last year. The increase alone would more than offset the savings supposedly gained by cutting computer science. (emphasis mine)
Food and Water
Good stuff from Bill Hicks at the Downward Spiral
DownwardSpiral: USDA To Lay Off 1,000 Inspectors--Let Poultry Industry Self Regulate - If you eat chicken that you don't raise yourself, you need to read this story...and perhaps reassess your culinary choices.
Businessweek: Climate Change Main Contributor to Corn Volatility, Study Says
NaturalSociety: Blamed for Bee Collapse, Monsanto Buys Leading Bee Research Firm
Monsanto, the massive biotechnology company being blamed for contributing to the dwindling bee population, has bought up one of the leading bee collapse research organizations. Recently banned from Poland with one of the primary reasons being that the company’s genetically modified corn may be devastating the dying bee population, it is evident that Monsanto is under serious fire for their role in the downfall of the vital insects. It is therefore quite apparent why Monsanto bought one of the largest bee research firms on the planet.
5@5 - Selecting sustainable fish for Earth Day
USFoodPolicy: Supermarket deserts by the numbers - Gina Kolata in the New York Times this week cast doubt on claims that supermarket deserts contribute to the obesity epidemic. The start of her article cites recent research that finds no association between supermarket deserts and risk of obesity. It notes that residents of low-income urban neighborhoods have as much access to supermarkets as residents of higher-income neighborhoods have.
NOC: Is Vermont’s Governor Surrendering to Monsanto?
Internet and Online Privacy News
NOC: SOPA Mutates Into Much Worse CISPA, the Latest Threat to Internet Free Speech
What CISPA will do, if passed, is remove all the legal barriers that currently stop internet service providers, government agencies, and others from arbitrarily spying on internet users. In the name of “cybersecurity,” a term that is undefined in the bill, CISPA will essentially allow internet users to be surveilled by the government without probable cause or a search warrant, which is a clear violation of users’
Science and Technology
TranshumanTech: Chimp prodigy shows signs of human-like intelligence
SingularityHub: Automated Grading Software In Development To Score Essays As Accurately As Humans
Arstechnica: TV-based botnets? DoS attacks on your fridge? More plausible than you think
It's still premature to say you need firewall or antivirus protection for your television set, but a duo of recently diagnosed firmware vulnerabilities in widely used TV models made by two leading manufacturers suggests the notion isn't as far-fetched as many may think.
MSNBC: Heavy elements key for planet formation, study suggests
Understanding how first planets formed provides crucial information about early universe
MSNBC: Russian robotic supply ship docks at space station
Ship is filled with more than 2.8 tons of food, equipment and other gear for the six-man crew
RedditScience: Scientists show that manmade nucleic acids can replicate and evolve, ushering in a new era in synthetic biology.
TechReview: Quantum Rainbow Photon Gun Unveiled - A photon gun capable of reliably producing single photons of different colours could become an important building block of a quantum internet
ExtinctionProtocol: Science hit with double flops in a week: no dark matter around Sun, cosmic rays source not Gamma Ray Bursts - April 23, 2012 – SPACE - Here’s troubling news in the world of astrophysics, in which astronomers can’t seem to find the dark matter.
Medical and Health
RealityZone: Decoding Medical Bills (Infographic)
DoctorTipster: New Treatment Scheme For Crohn’s Disease Changes The Outcomes
NYT: GAO Calls Test Project by Medicare Costly Waste
thanks for this next one Ozarker!
MSNBC: Brain scans show why some can't resist temptation - Jill, Ann, and Kimberly go off to college with warnings from their parents about sex and the “Freshman 15” ringing in their ears. Months later, Jill has gained 15 pounds and Ann has become a sexual adventurer. Kimberly, on the other hand, has not only maintained her weight, she's been too busy studying in the library stacks to hook up.What accounts for the differences?
It could be the way each one’s brain reward center responds to food and sexual cues, reports a new study.
CNN: Maker recalls 'X-Rock' male supplement - The makers of an over-the-counter male sexual supplement are recalling the product after government tests showed some unlisted ingredients "pose a threat to consumers," the company says.
ScienceDaily: Changes in brain's blood flow could cause 'brain freeze'
WellBlogs: Whom Do Women Call? Husbands Lose Out to Daughters
MSNBC: Birth defects a third more common in IVF babies
Doomsteading, Gardening, Urban Farming
HomeManagement: Use Prickly Plants to Prevent Crime
Thorny Hedges to Deter Intruders and Would-be Thieves
The following blog belongs to SaberKai and is a wonderful blog I highly recommend it!
SabreDancing: Woohoo! The cockpit locker is no more!
PreppingToSurvive: Letting the Police Know that You Have a Concealed Weapon - I was recently reading a blog post on The Firearm Blog that had a link to a YouTube video that Mr. Ayoob had made. In it, he discusses and demonstrates a good way to let a police officer know that you legally have a concealed weapon without alarming him.
ModernSurvivalOnline: Guest Post: Why I Prepare? …………from Ben
GardenOfEaden: HOW TO GROW HIBISCUS
CanadianDoomer: Simple Pleasures: Hot Cocoa
WaldenEffect: How to keep chickens from flying over fences
RealSimple: 10 Unexpected Natural Cleaners
CNN: Betrayal of Trust? Allegations of rape at West Point, Annapolis
ABCNews: George Zimmerman Leaves Jail And Slips Back Into Hiding
CBSNews: Zimmerman to be closely watched while out on bail
IBTimes: George Zimmerman Released From Jail With GPS Tracking Device Fitted Onto Him
NADTA: Marijuana use becoming mainstream – UT Daily Beacon
(what do them mean "becoming"? LOL it's been mainstream for decades now! Try to keep up people!)
Reuters: Norway killer picked victims who had "leftist" look
here's something pretty creepy from RJ disturbing.
The African cake that cries when one eats it — [VIDEO]
LAT: John Edwards' trial set to begin on campaign finance charges
Bloomberg: Republican Group Subject of IRS Complaint on Lobbying
Alternet: Did Fox News Fabricate An Obama Quote?
McClatchy: Ron Paul, supporters say GOP race isn't over yet
DesdemonaDespair: Sugar daddies: The 25 corporate persons who are buying this election
Alternet: GOP Obscures Its Role In Blocking Immigration Reform
TinfoilPalace: Another Time Traveller Chimes In
TinfoilPalace: Curious Case of Criminal Last Names
TheOilAge: Google execs, director Cameron in space venture
TheOilAge: Kremlin prepares austerity program
HubbertsArms: Irish Financial Whistleblower (she's persona non grata).
HubbertsArms: 1 in 2 new graduates are jobless or underemployed
SilentCountry: Earth Unprepared for Super Solar Storm
SilentCountry: Twitter = The Idiocracy Chronicles
DestinyCalls: Timeline shifting events :Or Abe Vigoda never dies P
DestinyCalls: The dead scientist list