Nov 162012
 

(Rasmussen) More voters than ever now identify themselves as pro-choice when it comes to abortion, and most rate the issue as important to how they vote.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely U.S. Voters shows that 54% describe themselves as pro-choice on the issue of abortion, while 38% say they are pro-life.

via 54% Are Pro-Choice, 38% Pro-Life – Rasmussen Reports™.

 November 16, 2012  Posted by at 5:38 am Comments Off
Nov 152012
 

By Claudia Meléndez Salinas (Herald) A former teacher at the Carmelo School has filed a lawsuit against the school and the Carmel Unified School District for discrimination and wrongful termination for the school’s failure to accommodate her needs as a new mother.

In the lawsuit filed Oct. 30, Sarah Ann Lewis Boyle of Pacific Grove said her troubles with the Child Development Center began in September 2011. Boyle was due to come back to work on Oct. 3, 2011, and she told manager Laura Dunn she would need about 15 minutes between 9 and 11 a.m. every day to pump her breasts. Dunn reportedly told Boyle to start “training my breast not to make milk between the hours of 7 a.m. and 1 p.m.” so that she would not need to pump.

via Ex-Carmel teacher claims discrimination over breast feeding in lawsuit – MontereyHerald.com :.

 November 15, 2012  Posted by at 5:23 am Comments Off
Nov 102012
 

By Juan Cole (Informed Comment) Progressives will have to push Obama to the left if we are to get what we want. As for positive accomplishments, here are a few we should pressure him and Congress on:

5. He needs to have the Department of Justice look into the Koch Brother-backed legislation in two dozen states restricting the franchise by requiring a paid-for state i.d., which is a kind of poll tax. In many states, this legislation violates the 1965 Voting Rights act. We can’t let a couple of sour billionaires undo the achievements of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., achievements for which he gave his life.

6. That use of the Department of Justice would perhaps make its workers and its head, Eric Holder, too busy to go around kicking down the doors of medical marijuana clinics and confiscating their computers, records and cash, in states where the state has legalized marijuana. Obama was elected the first time by the youth, and had promised to cease Federal harassment of pot clinics, but reneged and proved much worse than Bush on this issue.

Holder should stop denying the clear medical uses and benefits of pot. In Colorado and Washington states, the same people who voted for him have legalized recreational marijuana. Moreover, the RAND Corp. concludes that legalization would defund the Mexican cartels. If the the Democratic Party continues on this Draconian path, it should not be surprised when it begins losing elections because a substantial younger constituency deserts it for the Green Party.

via Informed Comment: Thoughts on the Middle East, History and Religion.

 November 10, 2012  Posted by at 6:34 am Comments Off
Nov 092012
 

By Ed Yong (Discover) In Australia, a pair of superb fairy-wrens return to their nest with food for their newborn chick. As they arrive, the chick makes its begging call. It’s hard to see in the darkness of the domed nest, but the parents know that something isn’t right. Whatever’s in their nest, it’s not their chick. It doesn’t  know the secret password. They abandon it, flying off to start a new nest and a new family somewhere else.

The bird in their nest was a Horsfield’s bronze-cuckoo. These birds are “brood parasites” – they lay their eggs in those of other birds, passing on their parenting duties to some unwitting surrogates. The bronze-cuckoo egg looks very much like a fairy-wren egg, although it tends to hatch earlier. The cuckoo chick then ejects its foster siblings from the nest, so it can monopolise its foster parents’ attention.

But fairy-wrens have a way of telling their chicks apart from cuckoos. Diane Colombelli-Negrel from Flinders University in Australia has shown that mothers sing a special tune to their eggs before they’ve hatched. This “incubation call” contains a special note that acts like a familial password. The embryonic chicks learn it, and when they hatch, they incorporate it into their begging calls. Horsfield’s bronze-cuckoos lay their eggs too late in the breeding cycle for their chicks to pick up the same notes. They can’t learn the password in time, and their identities can be rumbled.

via Fairy wrens teach secret passwords to their unborn chicks to tell them apart from cuckoo impostors | Not Exactly Rocket Science | Discover Magazine.

 November 9, 2012  Posted by at 9:28 am Comments Off
Nov 082012
 

(PhysOrg) A study conducted by scientists at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (UK), in collaboration with scientists in Ethiopia, reports that climate change alone could lead to the extinction of wild Arabica coffee (Coffea arabica) well before the end of this century. Wild Arabica is considered important for the sustainability of the coffee industry due to its considerable genetic diversity.

The Arabicas grown in the world’s coffee plantations are from very limited genetic stock and are unlikely to have the flexibility required to cope with climate change and other threats, such as pests and diseases. In Ethiopia, the largest producer of coffee in Africa, climate change will also have a negative influence on coffee production.

The climate sensitivity of Arabica is confirmed, supporting the widely reported assumption that climate change will have a damaging impact on commercial coffee production worldwide.

via Arabica coffee could be extinct in the wild within 70 years, study suggests.

 November 8, 2012  Posted by at 5:14 am Comments Off