Donation Thursday

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Giving away used clothes may sound simple: You drop them off at a donation center, and then they’re sold to somebody who can re-use them. Right?

Not quite. In reality, donated clothing often takes a much longer journey before meeting its ultimate fate. In the end, it may get re-sold. But it also may end up in the trash, joining the more than 12 million pounds of American textile waste that was sent to landfills during 2013. And that benefits no one.

Goodwill is one of the biggest U.S. landing points for donated clothes: Stores in New York and New Jersey alone collected more than 85.7 million pounds of textile donations last year, Jose Medellin, director of communications for Goodwill NY/NJ, told HuffPost. And his Goodwill region is just one of 164 regional Goodwill organizations across the U.S. and Canada.

As you’re probably starting to realize, it takes a ton of effort to guide your clothes from the Goodwill donation bin to their final resting place. Knowing how Goodwill works can help you make smarter decisions when deciding if another jeans purchase is really worth it for you, for the donations staff and for the environment.

@ HUFPO

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Iceworm Wednesday

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Fred and Bob discuss how to patch the tire in below zero weather.

A top-secret US military project from the cold war and the toxic waste it conceals, thought to have been buried forever beneath the Greenland icecap, are likely to be uncovered by rising temperatures within decades, scientists have said.

The US army engineering corps excavated Camp Century in 1959 around 200km (124 miles) from the coast of Greenland, which was then a county of Denmark.

Powered, remarkably, by the world’s first mobile nuclear generator and known as “the city under the ice”, the camp’s three-kilometre network of tunnels, eight metres beneath the ice, housed laboratories, a shop, a hospital, a cinema, a chapel and accommodation for as many as 200 soldiers.

Its personnel were officially stationed there to test Arctic construction methods and carry out research. Scientists based at the camp did, indeed, drill the first ice core samples ever used to study the earth’s climate, obtaining data still cited today, according to William Colgan, a climate and glacier scientist from the Lassonde school of engineering at Toronto’s York University, and the lead author of the study.

In reality, the camp served as cover for something altogether different – a project so immense and so secret that not even the Danish government was informed of its existence.

“They thought it would never be exposed,” said Colgan. “Back then, in the 60s, the term global warming had not even been coined. But the climate is changing, and the question now is whether what’s down there is going to stay down there.”

The study suggests it is not.

@THE GUARDIAN

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Treacherous Tuesday

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Here’s a thought experiment for you. Ask yourself, “When was the last time I heard any conversation at all about the role of corporations in the United States in the US public media?”

In the abstract, it seems like a silly question. So let me rephrase it:

When was the last time you heard in the media that Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson and Donald Trump both support Citizens United and it’s concept that corporations are people?

When was the last time you heard that Hillary Clinton has said, repeatedly, that repealing Citizens United is at the top of her agenda when it comes to picking Supreme Court nominees? Or that Donald Trump wants to put somebody on the court who will reverse Roe v. Wade, and make it illegal for women to get abortions (and, possibly, many forms of birth control) in the US?

And when was the last time you heard about the role of corporations in education? Johnson and the Libertarian Party think that all state and federal funding for schools — from elementary school all the way through college — should end.

Thom Hartmann @ TRUTHOUT

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Ellyfump Monday

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The number of African elephants dropped by about 111,000 in the past decade as a result of poaching, a report released at the Johannesburg conference on the wildlife trade has found.

News of the worst drop in elephant numbers in 25 years came amid disagreement on the second day of the global meeting over the best way to improve the plight of the animals, which are targeted for their tusks.

Based on 275 estimates from across the continent, the report by the IUCN conservation group put Africa’s total elephant population at around 415,000, a decline of around 111,000 over the past decade.

It is the first time in 25 years that the IUCN’s African Elephant Status Report has reported a continental decline in numbers, with the group attributing the losses in large part to a sharp rise in poaching.

“The surge in poaching for ivory that began approximately a decade ago – the worst that Africa has experienced since the 1970s and 1980s – has been the main driver of the decline,” said IUCN.

IUCN chief Inger Andersen said the numbers showed “the truly alarming plight of the majestic elephant”.

@ THE GUARDIAN

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Sunny Sunday

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“Big rain clouds had been rolling over the whole day with good gaps in between,” says photographer Sigurdur William Brynjarsson, who took the picture on Sept. 20th from Reykjanes, Iceland. “The Moon was almost full and aurora activity was picking up. I knew conditions were perfect to capture a lunar rainbow with the Northern Lights together.”

“I’ve never witnessed a lunar rainbow and lady Aurora dancing hand in hand before,” he adds. “What a night… =) ”

Now that autumn has arrived, rainclouds are mixing with auroras around the Arctic Circle on a regular basis. Those raindrops will turn into snowflakes as winter approaches. Until then, keep an eye on the photo gallery for more moonbows in the Arctic night.

@ SPACEWEATHER

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Saturday Reading

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Menominee Reservation, Wisconsin — Guy Reiter was an archaeologist before he was an activist. But the two merged after a dream six years ago.

“I was in a van and when we drove by the White Rapids I looked over and saw an elder sitting on a dam, in full Indian regalia,” Reiter says. “He flagged me down, I climbed the dam, and he started talking to me in Menominee.”

Menominee is the language of Reiter’s tribe, the Menominee Indians of Wisconsin. The dam is on the Menominee River, where the history of the tribe begins.

Guy Reiter in May. (Photo: Environmental Health News)Guy Reiter in May. (Photo: Environmental Health News)”We were climbing down, and as soon as my feet hit the ground, I woke up, with tears in my eyes,” he says.

Reiter won’t say what the elder said that brought such tears. The dream was a gift, not to be shared. “Anytime I get to experience ancestors is a real profound time,” he says.

But four months later, on an archeological trip in 2010 with other researchers from the College of Menominee Nation, Reiter saw the dam: It was indeed on the White Rapids, a former settlement site for the Menominee people.

@ TRUTHOUT

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