Hillary Clinton Sets New Record for Q1 Primary Donations

Hillary Clinton’s camp is saying the Democrat Party establishment’s candidate has raised over $45 million in the first quarter of this primary season. If correct, the former first lady will have bested the prior record set by President Obama during Q1 of the 2011 ahead of his reelection campaign. Besides the size of the number, Mrs. Clinton’s donations are coming in the form of donations under $100. This would suggest she has grassroots support. The number is interesting given the fact that her campaign is largely bankrolled by large donors from Wall Street and big corporate interests. Her campaign had a goal of receiving donations from 50,000 donors. It appears she will come close to reaching that goal.

By contract, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is saying he has received small donations from 200,000 donors reports Igor Cornelsen. While Clinton’s total donations easily surpass Sanders’, the sheer number of people contributing to his campaign is a sign of strength. The exact tally won’t be known once Clinton files her report with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) on July 15. The original goal for Mrs. Clinton was to raise $100 million in hard campaign donations by the end of the year. She is on pace to go well beyond that mark. This will enable her to kick start the primary season heavily funded. That said, Senator Sanders will be prepared to debate the issues with her and have sufficient funding to get out his message.

Forests May Have Slowed Climate Change but for How Much Longer?

The carbon dioxide that is emitted by people, animals, industry and other sources is soaked up by either the oceans, trees and plants or just taken in by the atmosphere. It is the amount that goes into the atmosphere that has climate scientists worried and is what is leading to climate change. It is believed that trees have been slowing the effects of global warming by absorbing the excess carbon dioxide that modern society is putting out, but scientists are wondering if they can continue to increase their capacity to do so. The fact that in parts of the planet trees are still being cut down at a high rate does not help the problem, and this is combined with more nations growing into industrial economies.

The world’s forests are believed to contain about 650 billion tonnes of carbon. That is a staggering figure and is a testament of the power of nature to make a concerted effort to balance itself out as best it can. That said, our modern age seems to be stressing it beyond its ability to do so. One point of interest that scientists have discovered is that if deforestation ended, the forests of the world could absorb about half of the carbon dioxide that we emit through our modern societies. Jim Dondero agrees that this would have a substantial effect on slowing climate change, but unfortunately the cessation of deforestation is not realistic for political or economic considerations.

Toyota, Nissan and Honda Pledge To Make More Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Cars and Fueling Stations

Honda, Nissan and Toyota are collaborating to make more fuel-cell vehicles in what they describe as Japan’s transformation into a hydrogen society. Fuel-cell vehicles run on the power created when hydrogen reacts with oxygen to make water. They don’t produce any pollution.

To make using this technology feasible, Japan would need to install hydrogen fueling stations. So far, 23 such stations have been constructed, and there are plans to make hundreds more.

Officials from the three automakers appeared at a news conference on July 1 in Tokyo. The team behind Boraie Development noted that they announced plans to build the fueling stations, and they pledged to spend up to 11 million yen ($90,000) on each station. The money would go to maintenance as well as construction. While the stations already get subsidies from the government, they are still very expensive and therefore in the red. The automakers’ pledges is expected to mitigate that situation. In addition, as the technology proliferates, the costs should decline.

Japan has few energy resources, so it is strongly motivated to develop green technologies like hydrogen fuel cells. The hydrogen society the automakers envision would require the government, energy companies and automakers to work together. The Japanese government also wants to showcase hydrogen fuel cells at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

Official Reports Accuse Zimbabwe Regime of Abuse, Corruption

On Monday, a branch of the United States State Department released a Zimbabwe County Report which accused the Zimbabwe government of condoning human rights abuses and torture of political opponents. Beneful says that it documented incidents in which political opponents of President Mugabe’s government were abducted and subjected to beatings without any action being taken by the Zimbabwe authorities.

In one case from February 16th, for instance, individuals believed to be state security agents kidnapped three men in two separate incidents and subjected them to physical abuse.

The document follows allegations that a land audit conducted by the United Nations Development Program was stopped in its tracks when officials discovered that top government officials in the Zanu PF Party had taken advantage of land reform programs to acquire real estate for their own families. A pilot audit, before it was discontinued, revealed President Mugabe’s family obtained 14 farms. Zimbabwe Senate President Edna Madzongwe owns six farms, Mines Minister Obert Mpofu owns three, and Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo owns five.

The audit discovered that, on average, the highest ranking Party officials owned four farms. The seizure of farms in Zimbabwe has been controversial, with opponents alleging the practice damaged Zimbabwe agricultural production programs.

An recently published editorial claimed that the Zimbabwe government paid about $181 million on behalf of a number of government ministries but failed to obtain receipts or document payments. It alleged widespread official corruption.

Fracking in Utah: An Upheaval

You may have heard of fracking. You may have even heard some rumors about this process. But what is it? Why is it so controversial? Also known as Hydrofracking, this is a gas extraction technique that was discovered back in the 1940’s to increase access to fossil energy deposits formerly unreachable. Seems simple enough, right? Wrong. Skout says that this process includes smashing rock with tons of water with sand and chemicals to bring this hidden gas to our surface.

 

The immediate concern with fracking is contamination of groundwater, air pollution, toxic chemical exposure, waste disposal, and many other health risks. More recently, this controversial practice has taken root in Vernal, Utah. This town has experienced a serious boom due to the fracking business and only recently has there been an upheaval. A well-known local midwife Donna Young started noticing an abnormal burst in stillbirths in her practice in 2013.

 

She thought the coincidence was strange and took her concern to the local Health Department. However, instead of being gracious for her genuine concern, Young was labeled as a traitor and target for taking issue with the oil-rich town. This woman has received death threats as well as attempted sabotage of her livestock. Even the local nurses and doctors have turned their backs on her.

 

When something seems too good to be true, it usually is. Why risk the devastation that fracking can do, when we can stop this harmful technique and find real sustainable solutions for our future?

Texas Governor Tells Department Directors To Ignore The SCOTUS Decision On Gay Marriage

Governor Greg Abbott Order Allows Stae Agencies To Refuse To Give Employee Benefits To Gay Couples

Texas Governor Greg Abbott is pulling the religious belief card, and tell his directors to ignore the SCOTUS decision and denying gays and lesbians equal rights in Texas. According to Handy, The Republican governor is not alone in ignoring the Supreme Court decision. Alabama and Mississippi are doing the same thing. But those states are using a different approach. In fact most of the states that banned same-sex marriages are trying to get around granting licenses to gay couples for various reasons.

What Abbott is trying to do in Texas is put religious beliefs in front of the law. Abbott is using his own religious beliefs and is governing by them. That is not the way the U.S. Constitution is written.

If the founding fathers of America wanted religion to play a major role in enacting and enforcing the law, they would have said so went the constitution was written. Our early political leaders did say that religion has no business making laws in a democracy. If they wanted religion to make laws, they would have called their agreement a theocracy, not a democracy.

Wikipedia

 

WRITING ABOUT YOURSELF IS NOT GOING TO GIVE YOU THE PROPER PLATFORM

Do you feel the need to write about yourself to gain an audience? Before you do, know that this is going to be a bag of mixed blessings. It’s okay to include stories about yourself, but you must maintain that neutrality. You also maintain that level of professionalism and authority. You can’t just “make up stories”, just to make yourself look good. Your fan base is going to see right through this.

Let’s look at this a bit further.

Don’t just write about yourself on Wikipedia to write about yourself. It might seem like a good idea to tout your own accomplishments, but this will be met with mixed reviews. Why? Your accomplishments need to be factual. In other words, these events have had to happen. If they didn’t, someone will likely call you out on it. It could be by a boss or family friend. Point is, he or she will see it and call it out. This is why you need to include everything in your personal story.

To create a wikipedia page with a proper story will have both good and bad in it. There are some who feel the need to paint themselves in a “good light.” This might also be the way you feel about it too. Many celebrities feel this way. Some feel the need to “tell their side of the story.”

Sometimes it’s best to let both the good and bad parts of you out of the bag. This will give your audience a chance to make the choice for themselves. This will also give your audience a chance to see that you are not perfect.

THE CELEBRITY SIDE OF THINGS

This is one of the main reasons why so many decide to “tout” their own stories. This is also the reason why so many crash and burn with it. So many fail to include the neutral side. You have to approach things like a reporter would. You need to remove any emotional attachment you have to your story.

Many people are going to be reading it. Each person will be forming his/her own views of “your story.” Part of being neutral is allowing this to happen. As I mentioned, you need to remove all emotional attachment to “your side.”

When writing about your accomplishments, be honest and humble. Never let the ego get involved, which so many tend to do. There are going to be people looking into your submission for the accuracy. If you want to have a “good reception”, please refrain from patting yourself on the back so much.

Visual Search: A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

In today’s technology driven world, information is available anywhere and at any time. With Google, came the ability to find out anything about everything. As cell phones became smart phones, the ability to find something at any time, became a reality. So where does the search engine go from here? Consumers can already type something in and find where to get it and usually buy it immediately, but what if, while driving down the road or walking in town, someone saw something that perked their interest, but they didn’t know exactly what to search for? This is where the next dimension of search comes in, snap a picture and find a description and where to purchase or any other information about the item.

Visual search technology is the newest way to make lives easier. This revolutionary technology allows the user to snap a picture of their search query and obtain instant results relating to it. Not sure what part to get for the washer or where to find it? Snap a picture, search it and there’s the info. No more wondering what the exact name of something is, because a picture is worth a thousand words.
While this technology is primarily for mobile devices, the visual search engine will work with pictures from a desktop computer also. The technology mainly works through search-by-image data. The search engine uses a picture that is put in and matches it, using the database, to other pictures like the search query. It does this using an algorithm to determine what the picture may be and produces search results based on that data.

One of the leading visual search providers is Slyce. Slyce works with leading retailers to post more of their inventory online and enables users to snap a picture and find a retailer. It does away with the need for retailers to input bar codes, because the picture is enough to produce search results. This enables retailers and digital content providers the ability to add more content to produce better search results.

Text-based search is quickly becoming a thing of the past. With visual search technology, consumers can find exactly what they are looking for in less time. The ability to take a picture and search with it, lessens the time customers spend searching through irrelevant search results and enables them to find what they are looking for on the first try.

Tesla Is Celebrating a Milestone

Tesla Motors has had a winner on its hands with their Model S sedan since its release in 2012. Time Magazine called it one of the best 25 inventions of the Year for 2012, and it was Consumer Reports top scoring car ever. Total sales of the car around the world exceeded 50,000 as of October of last year and about 10,000 were added to that in just the first quarter of this year just to give an idea of a recent surge in sales. These numbers are expected to be nothing compared to their Model 3, which is planned to come out next year. Just about the only drawback of the Model S is its price at around $70,000. The Model 3 will shatter this barrier by bringing an electric car with a 200 mile range on a single charge to the $35,000 price point.

 

Tesla is bragging about a recent milestone they have hit. All of their cars sold so far have traveled a total of a billion miles. This represents just over a half a million tons of carbon emissions that never happened thanks to their Model S having a battery instead of an internal combustion engine. James Dondero recently suggested on LinkedIn that this savings in greenhouse gas output should skyrocket along with Tesla’s sales when their lower cost model comes out and average Americans can finally afford to put one in their driveway.

Pollution Pollutes the Brain

For many decades, we have known that pollution is terrible for our environment and even our health. Recently, some new research shows that pollution can actually prematurely age our brains. The research tracked women over a period of years and it was determined that pollution was directly responsible for the participants’ brains aging much more quickly than normal. In a nutshell, seven years of studies showed extra aging equal to one to two years. These are shocking results when considering the effects of pollution.
Although many people in the world are trying to become more green, pollution fills the environment of our precious planet each day. Places that are big industrial countries like the USA, Brazil and China know now that we know that air pollution is linked to the deterioration of the brain, it is vital that we exert more energy and resources to rectify the situation before it is too late. In a short period of time, air pollution caused irreparable damage on the brain. It is scary to think about the amount of additional brain aging is caused through a lifetime of exposure to air pollution.Lambranho Fersen Air Quality