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The Life Slant - page 9

Never Stop Learning

Investing in Education = Investing in our Future

The bell rings and twenty-nine angelic faces look to her for guidance. In that moment she realizes that while as Governor overseeing the statistical lives of her state’s almost four million citizens is a huge responsibility – one she takes seriously, being entrusted with the actual lives of these twenty-nine cherubs is a grander burden.

Initially an eager participant in the new ‘Leaders in School’ program, the Governor is becoming increasingly dismayed as the reality of spending an entire day working as an educator in the public school system is becoming clear. It was bad enough that she had to make her own coffee and breakfast this morning and then actually drive herself to school, but facing a day without her personal assistants seems like cruel and unusual punishment.

The day is only forty seconds old, and she is already looking for a light at the end of an awfully long tunnel.

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Crossing Light

Responsible Right of Way

Once upon a time in a land called America, schoolchildren were taught how to cross the street by their parents or their older siblings.  Red light means the cars stop, and green light means the cars go. Pedestrians were not so confused by basic traffic etiquette.

Wait for the red light and make sure the cars have stopped, look both ways, carefully cross the street.  For decades, first graders across the nation successfully crossed the street without tens of thousands of dollars worth of flashing lights and annoying beeping and counting and pictures of a cute little walking man at every stinking intersection.

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Sydney Australia Skyline

Aussie Glimpse at a 2.4C World

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There is a revived fossil fuel fever taking hold of the climate Down Under.

Burning fossil fuels releases CO2, which triggers the release of two other planetary, heat-trapping gases: methane and nitrous oxide. These three gases together are known as CO2 equivalent (CO2eq).

Currently, CO2eq is 495 parts per million and rising. According to the 2007 United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Fourth Assessment Report, Earth is committed to a temperature increase of at least 2.4C (4.3F), which translates into climate instability with more frequent and intense extreme weather e.g. heatwaves, droughts, firestorms, insect epidemics and flooding.

Dead mangroves in Queensland Australia
Photo credit: digitaljournal.com Tatiana Gerus. 200,000 people from 22 towns were affected from extreme weather, torrential rains and flooding, December 30, 2010.

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Ability Matters, not Age

Pre-employment Predictors of Prejudice

*When you look at job descriptions, many times there are phrases and descriptions of prejudice that, apparently, are not recognized as prejudiced. Diversity is more than ethnicity, race or gender, but I will leave it to you to determine what other factors should be considered. But don’t take my word for it; the U.S. Congress said so in 1967, when the Gen-Xers and Millennials were just a gleam in their parents’ eyes.

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Arctic

Toxic Tar Sands Cooking Our Planet

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On February 24, 2018, the mercury at the Cape Morris Jesup weather station, northern Greenland, soared to 43 degrees (F), 70 degrees above normal – unprecedented. During that month, temperatures in northern Greenland were above freezing for 61 hours, three times the number of hours in any previous year. Terrifying. Our planetary life support systems are rapidly overheating, deteriorating, dying, and dead.

Emaciated Polar Bear
Photo credit: inhabit.com photographer Kerstin Langenberger
As the Arctic melts, the incidence of starving polars will escalate quickly. How much longer will people turn a blind eye to the death of animals and plants as Earth’s rising temperature accelerates from burning fossil fuels?

The Arctic is warming twice as quickly as any other region on the globe. For example, the Arctic has just experienced its warmest winter on record. February Arctic sea ice cover was 521,000 square miles (almost twice the area of Texas) below its normal – the lowest monthly record ever witnessed. At the South Pole, the summer Antarctic sea ice cover reached its minimum extent, the second lowest since the inception of satellite data.

The missing Arctic sea ice and the heat escaping from the Arctic Ocean into the atmosphere is unhinging the polar jet stream. It’s linked to record-breaking flooding, firestorms, heatwaves, droughts, torrential rains, blizzards and even China’s airpocalypse.

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Opiates

Hey Doc – a Little Help? Life In the Era of Opioids.

* I did it. *

I turned down the Vicodin during the pre-op appointment.

When he asked why, I replied, “I like it too much.”

Vicodin

Instead of considering the acknowledgement I’d just made that I am to some degree addicted to opiates, or perhaps even complimenting me on my self-restraint and self-awareness, he pressed the idea that I would need some pain relief over the weekend, and we compromised on a prescription for ten pills of something ‘similar’ to Vicodin.

During interactions with doctors, nurses and support staff in the hours before and after my surgery, I told five other people that I like Vicodin too much. Each time I expected them to make a note in my chart but no one did, although Heaven knows that anything else you tell them gets noted and is then impossible to get deleted, even if it is in error!

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Sarcasm

The Digital Death Blow to Sarcasm

That highly-touted, often-quoted, super- scientific website “Mother Nature Network” on the internet is now reporting that the internet is dealing the death blow to sarcasm. To quote the website: “Of course, that statement could be dripping with sarcasm and you wouldn’t know it. Don’t worry, your sarcasm detector isn’t broken. It’s just that words on a screen — the prevailing mode of communication in the digital age — just can’t handle the fine nuances that sarcasm requires. As a result, sarcasm is dying. And if anything, the internet is dealing the death blow.”

I sure hope that America’s dear friend and ally, that poor self-sacrificing Vladimir Putin doesn’t hear of this. Of course, this report also coincides with and is an indicator of the end of the world, which will happen in just a few months.

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Orca & Trainer

Amnesty For Lolita – 47 Cruel Years

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In a concrete tank four times her length, a 51-year-old apex mammalian predator with a brain more than two times the size of a human, Lolita the orca, paces back and forth exhibiting an indomitable spirit.

Lolita was abducted from the Salish Sea on August 8, 1970 in Penn Cove, Whidbey Island, Washington. She is the only living captive orca, of 45 members from looting the Southern Resident pod, during the gruesome pillage of 1967 to 1973. At least 13 members of her family were brutally suffocated during these ghastly captures.

Orca Capture
The violent and brutal kidnapping of Lolita the orca along with her brothers, sisters and aunties in 1970. Photo credit: Dr Terrell Newby

There is every reason to believe that Lolita is suffering horrendously.

Lolita has been forced to perform for 47 years at the Miami Seaquarium. She exists in a tiny bathtub-like tank in solitary confinement. No human could bear these abhorrent conditions yet still regularly carry on for almost five decades.

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Skyscrapers and Arctic

New Skyscrapers Fueling Arctic Meltdown

* 2017 set a record for the most skyscrapers built in a single year – 144. 2018 is predicted to eclipse it by reaching 160 superstructures. Happy dance. Not.

The fossil fuel energy necessary to produce the concrete and steel in each of those 144 edifices, located in 69 cities (many of which sit empty in China), is cooking our planet alive.

China Concrete Usage
China Used More Concrete in 3 Years than America Used in the 20th Century

In 2018, the Arctic had its warmest winter on record at least 10º(F) above normal. The Arctic is missing 62,000 square miles of ice below last year’s record low.

Minus the ice, the latent heat from the Arctic Ocean transfers immense amounts of energy into the troposphere. It supercharges the polar jet stream which now meanders 10, 20 and even 30º southward, off course. This wayward polar jet stream has unleashed deadly and wild weather around the globe, including recent snowfalls in London and Rome. Keep Reading

Positivity

Positivity with Strategy, a Recipe for Success

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* Positivity is Fickle – Strategy is Enduring*

I like to think that I am an inherently positive person. I grew up in a household that instilled belief, confidence, and encouragement into me on a regular basis. Hearing these things made me feel good – like I could accomplish anything as long as I put my mind to it.

This was great when I was younger, and even to this day I hold these types of values close. Being positive feels good and who doesn’t like to feel good?

Who doesn’t gain gratification from delivering an uplifting message to another person that provokes them into action?

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