Smoke From Wildfires Might Lead To Heart Attacks

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

brushfireAn Australian study proposes that wildfires might increase risk for cardiac arrest and other acute heart ailments by nearly seven percent, especially in the elderly.

A time-stratified-case-crossover study looked at cardiovascular health effects of wildfire smoke when combined with ambient air from brushfires surrounding Victoria, Australia in 2006-2007, according to Anjali Haikerwal, MBBS, MPH, of Monash University in Melbourne, and colleagues.

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Wildcat Bitcoin Mining Centers Cause Problems For Utility District

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Bitcoin_logo.svgAn interesting situation has developed in an Eastern Washington county where the public utility district is facing challenges to its electric system caused by the arrival of Bitcoin mining operations attracted to the area due to the low cost of power. The strain from these electricity data centers poses risks to both the cost of power to residents and might if left unabated pose a strategic cost to the credit rating of the utility itself, which will negatively affect the utility’s municipal bond rates for future expansions or debt retirements.

The allure of cheap power is leading to wildcat bitcoin mining that if unchecked could load the county’s power system at a greater level than that utilized by all the county’s electric users.

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PETA Uncovers An Alleged SeaWorld Employee Who Worked Undercover For Years As Activist

220px-SeaWorldORL08-04-01a220px-Seaworld_logo.svgThere is an interesting intrigue building of an employee suspected of being an undercover agent observing and recording events in the animal rights area. What is different is that the agent was not allegedly working for animal activists but SeaWorld. The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has identified a man that it says was a SeaWorld employee who took part in the group’s activities under the name of Thomas Jones. They say that he is actually Paul McComb, 28, who has held various jobs for SeaWorld including work as a human resources representative. SeaWorld has now put McComb on paid administrative leave pending findings of the investigation..
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China Unveils The Latest Crayon Color: Asbestos

270px-Crayones_ceraIt is now commonplace to read about Chinese products pulled from foreign markets for impurities or harmful chemicals due to the corruption and lack of consumer protections in that country. The most frightening such cases however involve products for children like the latest story involving the discovery of asbestos in crayons and toy crime lab kits. It appears that the first fun task in using Chinese crime lab kits is to locate the deadly carcinogen in your toy.

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Denmark Hits 116 Per Cent of Energy Needs With Wind Power . . . Australia Orders Halt To Wind Power Investments

220px-GreenMountainWindFarm_Fluvanna_2004European countries continue to put the rest of the world (including the United States) to shame in amazing reductions of their use of carbon footprints and the use of clean energy. Last week saw a particularly impressive achievement for Denmark which managed to produce 140 per cent of the country’s electricity needs. In the meantime, the vehemently anti-environmental Administration of Tony Abbott in Australia cracked down on wind power to prevent further investments by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

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Australian Minister: Same-Sex Marriage Is Bad For The Cattle Industry

220px-Senator_Barnaby_Joyceblack-and-white-cow-3I thought that I had heard every argument against allowing same-sex couples to marry but leave it up to the Abbott Administration in Australia to come up with an especially whacked out rationale. Agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce has announced that the country must preserve traditional marriage . . . for the cattle. Do it for the cattle.

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Australian Mining Minister Pledges To Block Protection For Millions of Fragile Lands If It Would Limit Mining

Marmion,+Bill+(web+small)170px-Iron_hydroxide_precipitate_in_streamWe have been discussing the horrific environmental record of the administration of Prime Minister Tony Abbott. This includes the decision to dump millions of tons of waste into the Great Barrier Reef. The move that led to international outcry including official condemnation from UNESCO. Much of the criticism has been directed at Abbott putting industry officials in charge of environmental decision-making with predictable results. This week saw the latest such controversy after Western Australia mining minister, Bill Marmion (left) declared categorically that official protection of the Great Western Woodlands, the largest remaining temperate woodlands in the world, will not be supported if it impinges on mining. Period.

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