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wiseyoungravenclaw:

See this guy? This is astronaut Ron McNair, and he was awesome.

In 1959, when he was nine-years-old, he single-handedly desegregated a South Carolina library by going in, picking some books, trying to check them out, and refusing to leave until he could take the books with him.

He went on to be a physicist and became the second African American in space when he flew on STS-41-B aboard Challenger in 1984.

When he was selected for STS-51-L, which was to be his second mission, a special piece of music was composed for him to play on his saxophone for what would have been the first original piece of music recorded in space.

McNair tragically died in 1986 when the shuttle disintegrated seconds after lift-off, claiming the lives of all seven members of the Challenger 
crew.

There’s even a kids’ book about him.

think-progress:

Want to install your own solar panel? In Oklahoma, you’ll be charged a fee to produce your own energy.

“We’re not anti-solar or anti-wind or trying to slow this down, we’re just trying to keep it fair,” Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. spokeswoman Kathleen O’Shea told the Oklahoman. “We’ve been studying this trend. We know it’s coming, and we want to get ahead of it.”

But distributed energy sources also provide a clear value to utility companies. Solar generates during peak hours, when a utility has to provide electricity to more people than at other times during the day and energy costs are at their highest. Solar panels actually feed excess energy back to the grid, helping to alleviate the pressure during peak demand. In addition, because less electricity is being transmitted to customers through transmission lines, it saves utilities on the wear and tear to the lines and cost of replacing them with new ones.

—April 16, 2014

theatlantic:

More Money Buys More Life: The Awful Consequence of Inequality

The income gap meets the longevity gap.

Read more. [Image: Reuters]

… When somebody in Washington proposes raising the retirement age for Social Security or Medicare, he typically says something like: “We can afford it, because we are living longer.” Yes, ”We” can afford it, when the ”We” in that sentence applies to an audience of white rich old men and women who really are seeing their lifespans grow by leaps and bounds. But ”We” doesn’t apply to the millions of poor women whose lifespans are actually declining. Raising the Social Security retirement age disproportionately reduces lifetime benefits for the very people Social Security was invented to protect… 

Film Showing: “Inequality for All” at San Diego Peace Resource Center

Watch this award winning and energizing documentary about the widening income gap and how it threatens the foundation of democracy. And AFTER the film, join the discussion with guests from CPI (Center on Policy Initiatives) about the efforts around earned sick days and raising the minimum wage to a livable one this year!

  • Wednesday, April 23, from 6:30 to 9 PM
  • FREE and open to the public
  • 3850 Westgate Place; San Diego, CA 92105

… The new San Francisco Pride board, elected in the fall of 2013, is composed heavily of candidates who ran on a democracy and transparency slate following the Manning scandal. Now, one of its first public moves is a public reversal of its predecessors’ party line: Chelsea Manning will be an honorary Grand Marshall for the 2014 Parade and Celebration.

—Michael McKee (2014, April 17). Pro-gay parade’s about face on whistleblower: San Francisco pride honors Chelsea ManningAlternet.org.

upworthy:

A Controversial Episode With Harrison Ford And Don Cheadle That Will Haunt You. Make. The. Time.

Yes, it’s nearly an hour long. But whatever you have to clear from your schedule today to make time for this, we highly recommend you don’t miss it. Why? It’s getting brutally attacked by people who don’t want you to see it.

"By studying science we are studying what God was thinking when He created the universe." —Katharine Hayhoe

ecowatchorg:

New Report Reveals Two-Thirds of European Honeybee Pollen Contaminated By Dozens of Pesticides

Poor bees ….

SEE MORE:

http://ecowatch.com/2014/04/17/two-thirds-bee-pollen-contaminated-pesticides/

“This study on contaminated pollen reveals the unbearable burden of bees and other vital pollinators,” said Matthias Wüthrich, aGreenpeace ecological farming campaigner. “Bees are exposed to a cocktail of toxic pesticides. This is yet more proof that there is something fundamentally wrong in the current agricultural model which is based on the intensive use of toxic pesticides, large-scale monocultures and corporate control of farming by a few companies like Bayer, Syngenta & Co. It shows the need for a fundamental shift towards ecological farming.”

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