put your war clothes on

After a basically funky month, I am tired.  Work has been busy and bananas, as I lost an employee today, after the most bizarre manner of resignation I have yet observed.  Not that I have the most experience.  Anyway, I had to travel for work, and ended up in New Orleans during the week before Mardi Gras.  That’s actually kinda fun.  And I got beads.

went for work - came home with beads.

Got sick on the plane ride home and it lasted through the beginning of the week.  Really, I’m still occasionally coughing now, so I suppose it’s lingering.  Anyway – because I needed so much sleep at the beginning of the week I was completely behind on my Blacking It Up/AfterBlack listening this week (I’m still not done).  So a lot of news got to me in a short period of time.

And apparently it broke me.

In fact, I’m not altogether sure I wasn’t already broken earlier this year when my idiot friend proclaimed on FB that she doesn’t believe in Civil Rights legislation.  But then there were 20 GOP debates, Newt dogwhistling everything, Santorum considered an actual real candidate, Arizona’s taking text books away from children, Texas wants to end affirmative action, and mother-effing Virginia literally wants to institute state-sanctioned rape in order to limit abortions.  Yeah.  Trans-vaginal ultrasounds involve the insertion of a wand into a woman’s vagina.  There is no medical requirement that this (by definition) invasive procedure be performed prior to abortion.  It is simply a law the VA state legislature wants to mandate for any woman planning to get an abortion in the state.  Regardless of whether the woman wants the intrusion.

Coerced vaginal insertions = rape.

Just so you know.

This war on women isn’t even underground anymore.  It’s freaking blatant as anything.

The racism hasn’t calmed down either, though.  Some doofus called Whitney a stupid n-word, and two different racist videos from doofus high school students have been in the news this week.  Not to mention the Linsanity business.

Newt’s moonbase is actually starting to sound good, right about now.  Cuz Earth has too much crazy to be sustainable.  Speaking of sustainable – I almost forgot about the Cult of the Green Dragon.  Sigh.

Thanks to TWIBIU for keeping me informed.  This was kind of a depressing news week, though…maybe next week I’ll eat candy and dream about unicorns or something.

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How much is too much?

After receiving my new C&EN (Chemical and Engineering News, the flagship of ACS Publications) every week, the first thing I do is read the editorial. Then I flip through, stopping wherever I see something that interests me [sometimes, not much] until I get to the jobs section. After perusing through everything except academic positions, I land on the back page for the light side of science. This is my formula. And I tend to stick to it, unless I’m having a really bad day – in which case I turn directly to the back page and read the magazine backwards.Today, the editorial is about overpopulation and Rudy Baum gives me pause for contemplation with these words:

“The fact is that many of the problems we face today-water and energy shortages, pollution, climate change-have at their root one common element: There are too many people on Earth already, too many more are coming, and they all very reasonably want to live like people in the developed world. The idea that a decline in population is a “disaster” proves only that the world’s economic system is unsustainable.

…[A]n economic system that is based on an ever-increasing number of consumers is, by definition, not sustainable. At some point, the carrying capacity of Earth for any species will be exceeded. And while we are still a long way from reaching that carrying capacity for humans, the cost of even coming close-in environmental degradation and species loss-would be catastrophic. We must, at the very least, at some point in the near future stop world population growth.

And we must develop a new economic paradigm that provides Earth’s stable population with goods and services that make life worth living. That is one of the most fundamental challenges we face in the coming century.” (emphasis mine)

Wow. “Stop world population growth”. How would you recommend we do this? Continue reading