MIT Study Finds That Curbing Carbon Emissions Will Reduce Droughts And Save Billions

220px-Factory_in_ChinaEconomist Brent Boehlert and his colleagues at MIT have issued a new report showing that curbing carbon emissions would represent a huge benefit for agriculture and the nation as a whole by reducing the frequency and severity of future crop-parching droughts and saving American farmers billions of dollars annually by 2100. The study is found in the July issue of Weather, Climate and Society. The study is interesting because the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change has been focused on the hard science side of academia. This is a group of economists who are adding an economic analysis supporting emission curbs.

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Urine For A Surprise In San Fran: City Tests New Paint That Causes Public Urination To Splash Back On Violators

Seal_of_San_Franciscono.pee_.urinate.sign_In the movie Naked Gun, one scene showed Detective Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen) watching a demonstration of a wall that could protect itself from graffiti by spraying teenagers who try to spray paint its surface. San Francisco has come up with a similar solution for those who urinate on city walls and streets. Public urination continues to be a serious problem in cities, even though New York politicians recently moved to decriminalize the offense. The city is testing a pee-repellant paint on walls in areas with high public urination problems. The specially treated walls cause the urine to spray back onto violators.

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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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Federal Court Orders DNA Testing In Rape Case Over Objections From Obama Administration

200px-US-CourtOfAppeals-9thCircuit-Seal.svgdepartment-of-justice-logo1The Justice Department has lost a major case where it sought to bar efforts to determine if a convicted rapist is in fact innocent. The Obama Administration argued in United States v. Watson that Bill Watson should not be able to use a new DNA test that was not available when he was convicted of a rape in 2006. Despite dozens of cases where convicted individuals were proven innocent, the Obama Administration fought to prevent the use of this test even though the Innocence Project offered to shoulder all of the costs. The position of the Justice Department was inimical to the values of due process and the rule of law, in my view. The United States Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit rejected the highly technical claims that neither Watson nor the court should knew the true identity of source of key evidence found at the crime scene.

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Hindu Worshippers Rush To Wash Away Their Sins In River. . . And Crush 27 People To Death

800px-Godavari_river_at_Parnashala_BhadrachalamIndia has experienced another massive death count due to a stampeded at a religious festival. The latest tragedy occurred at a Hindu religious bathing festival on the bank of the Godavari River in the Andhra Pradesh state on July 14. It is a predictable (and avoidable) occurrence. Local police and government officials fail to take proper precautions and a massive group overwhelms organizers. In this case, as soon as access to the river was given, thousands stampeded to get to the water to wash away their sins. In doing so, they crushed 27 people (mainly women) to death and injured 40.

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