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Daily Archives: July 24, 2017

Popular Science – The Great Pacific garbage patch now has a South Pacific cousin

Follow up to – Research – Humans produce almost 20,000 plastic bottles every second – the article by Kendra Pierre-Louis: “We are living in a plastic age,” Captain Charles Moore tells PopSci. “We’re ignorant of its dangers, and we haven’t learned properly to fear or to respect it.” Moore, the founder and research director of the Algalita Marine Research and Education Foundation, is fresh off of a six-month excursion investigating plastic pollution in the South Pacific. He found that the waters in the South Pacific Gyre—a remote location that begins some 3,800 miles east of Latin America—are currently choked with plastic. That our waste has such a strong presence is disheartening, but not wholly surprising. A recent study found that since the 1950s humans have made 9.1 billion tons of plastic; equivalent to the weight of 93,000 of the world’s heaviest aircraft carriers. But this new garbage patch shows just how far we’ll have to go to clean up our act. Moore estimates that the new patch could cover one million square kilometers, making it 1.5 times bigger than the state of Texas, but the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration cautions that the sizes of these patches can’t be determined with scientific rigor. Gyres are large systems of circulating ocean currents, kind of like slow-moving whirlpools. Though the oceans are home to many gyres, there are five—the North Atlantic Gyre, the South Atlantic Gyre, the North Pacific Gyre, the South Pacific Gyre, and the Indian Ocean Gyre—that have a significant impact on the ocean. The big five help drive the so-called oceanic conveyor belt that helps circulate ocean waters around the globe. But in doing so, they also draw in the pollution that we release in coastal areas….”

Draft Research and Learning Agenda for Archives, Special, and Distinctive Collections in Research Libraries

“OCLC Research is pleased to invite comments to our draft Research and Learning Agenda for Archives, Special, and Distinctive Collections in Research Libraries. The Research and Learning Agenda was produced by Practitioner Researcher-in-Residence Chela Scott Weber who has worked collaboratively with the broad archives and special collections community in the OCLC Research Library Partnership and… Continue Reading

CRS – US Role in the World: Background and Issues for Congress

U.S. Role in the World: Background and Issues for Congress, Ronald O’Rourke, Specialist in Naval Affairs; Michael Moodie, Assistant Director and Senior Specialist in Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade. July 12, 2017. “The overall U.S. role in the world since the end of World War II in 1945 (i.e., over the past 70 years) is… Continue Reading

EPIC’s Voter Data Case Moves Forward After Court Denies Injunction

Follow up to previous postings – States reject demand to provide all voter personal info to Trump election fraud commission – today via EPIC – “A federal district court in Washington, DC has denied EPIC’s motion for an injunction against the Presidential Election Commission and declined to block the Commission’s nationwide collection of voter data.… Continue Reading

Academic institutions in Germany continue to cancel journal subscriptions as costs soar

Diana Kwon – The Scientist: “Major German Universities Cancel Elsevier Contracts – These institutions join around 60 others that hope to put increasing pressure on the publishing giant in ongoing negotiations for a new nationwide licensing agreement. In Germany, the fight for open access and favorable pricing for journals is getting heated. At the end… Continue Reading

Axios – The sky-high pay of health care CEOs belies effort to kill ACA

Bob Herman – AXIOS: “The CEOs of 70 of the largest U.S. health care companies cumulatively have earned $9.8 billion in the seven years since the Affordable Care Act was passed, and their earnings have grown faster than most Americans’ during that time, according to an Axios analysis of federal financial documents.Why it matters: The… Continue Reading

National Archives Begins Online Release of JFK Assassination Records

[At 8am on July 24, 2017] “the National Archives released a group of documents (the first of several expected releases), along with 17 audio files, previously withheld in accordance with the JFK Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992. The materials released today are available online only.  Access to the original paper records will occur at… Continue Reading

Marshall Project Investigation Yields Details on Pentagon Weapons-for-Cops Giveaway

This piece was reported and written by Tom Meagher and Gabriel Dance for The Marshall Project and by Shawn Musgrave of MuckRock, an independent investigative news site.: “You may have heard that the image-conscious Los Angeles Unified School District chose to return the grenade launchers it received from the Defense Department’s surplus equipment program. You… Continue Reading