Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Micro moth with unusual characteristics named after Donald Trump

One might call the genitals of this moth oddly shaped rather than proportionately small, but such is the level of antipathy that Donald Trump managed to generate over the last eighteen months that sections of the media rarely let an opportunity to insult pass it by........

Neopalpa donaldtrumpi

Neopalpa donaldtrumpi genitalia
IFLscience!, 18 January 2017:

......."the Donald" has received the honor of having a new species of moth officially named after him: Neopalpa donaldtrumpi.

Totally unrelated to the moths’ namesake, the new species has a strange blonde thing on its head and small genitals.

The golden-haired species has been described this week in the online journal ZooKeys. With a wingspan of just 7-12 millimeters, these moths can be found around the future location of the Great-Wall-Of-Trump, Arizona, California, and Mexico’s Baja California.

Evolutionary biologist Dr Vazrick Nazari discovered the new species and named it in honor of the soon-to-be president. After sifting through a collection of moths from the genus Neopalpa, he noticed that a few specimens didn't match the criteria for previously known species. For one, the study notes it has “genitalia comparatively smaller” than its closest relative N. neonata. Using DNA barcoding analysis and catalogs from various natural history institutions, Nazari showed that it was indeed a separate unrecognized species….

Dr Nazari said he named the moth as such because of its uncanny resemblance to Trump’s iconic hairdo. However, he also stressed that he hopes the name will generate interest in the species and promote conservation efforts for North America’s neglected micro-fauna.

"The discovery of this distinct micro-moth in the densely populated and otherwise zoologically well-studied southern California underscores the importance of conservation of the fragile habitats that still contain undescribed and threatened species, and highlights the paucity of interest in species-level taxonomy of smaller faunal elements in North America," Nazari said in a statement.

Who knows, as expressed by a tweet from the discoverer Nazari (below), perhaps this species’ name could even grab the attention of the tycoon-turned-president himself.

Vazrick Nazari @vazrick

Evans Head Residents for Sustainable Development warn that NSW North Coast in for a "right rogering" as Baird's proposed changes to NSW coastal planning legislation come into effect

Echo NetDaily, 19 January 2017:
The NSW coast is in for a ‘right rogering’ should the state government have its way and implement new coastal plans and policies, according to Dr Richard Gates from the Evans Head Residents for Sustainable Development group.
Dr  Gates said the new planning instruments would suit big developers and give lots of discretionary legislative ‘wiggle room’ for local and state governments to do as they please with the coast.
‘If this stuff goes through you can expect a bulldozer in your backyard anytime soon and high density development,’ he said.
‘We are on our way to a new Gold Coast. I have already seen plans for major developments which are being held back until the new legislation goes through.’
Consultation on the draft Coastal Management State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) and draft maps of the coastal management areas that make up the coastal zone closes on 20 January 2017 (for more detail see: http://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/CoastalReform ).
The community has an opportunity to have its say at: coastal@planning.nsw.gov.au
The new Coastal Management Act 2016, which is contingent on the mapping and other coastal planning instruments, was passed by Parliament on 31 May 2016 and will become operational following consultation on the draft Coastal Management SEPP government sources claim.
The new suite of instruments tears up former  NSW Coastal Policy and replaces three State Environmental Planning Policies (SEPPs) with one.
Dr Gates said the problem was that the environmental maps on which the new instruments were based were not complete, do not exist, or are based on material that was defective when it was used back in the 1980s.

Monday, 23 January 2017

Sydney New Year's Eve display failed on local content

I think the city of Sydney and all those involved in planning the new year's eve fireworks celebration should be ashamed of themselves.  The theme of celebrating the artists 'we' lost in 2016 featured foreign artist's and not our own.  Australia lost many great talents last year and they should have been at the forefront of this celebration but instead it was a most un-Australian event.  Eyes of the world were on Sydney and were told we value their artists over our own.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the work of Prince, David Bowie and Gene Wilder but if we are to celebrate the talent of those who had passed in 2016, surely and more appropriately it should have, without question, been our own artists put on show for the world to see.  We should have celebrated our own people and showed pride in their achievements and presented them to the world as worth remembering. It is for these reasons I find the display on new year's eve, disgusting!

Quickly to mind, who should have been featured instead; Musicians: Jon English and Stevie Wright. Jon English was a master at rock 'n' roll, ballads, rock opera, operetta, comedy and drama. Stevie Wright was a rock 'n' roll legend in this country and his rock classic Evie pts 1, 2 and 3 could bring the house down (or a bridge). The pick of works from these two could have been put to an impressive light display that we could have been proud of.

As far as celebrating one Australian Actor: Peter Sumner (who, if you want more international appeal, was in Star Wars) who had a long and distinguished career in this country, but he wasn't our only actor loss to choose from.

The limited approach and lack of consideration of celebrating our own people in the City of Sydney NYE display was a telling reminder that this country still suffers 'cultural cringe' when presenting itself to the world.  The only thing Australia and certainly, Sydney, need to cringe about is its dismissal of its own talents lost in 2016.

Celeste Warren

 * Guest Speak is a North Coast Voices segment allowing serious or satirical comment from NSW Northern Rivers residents. Email ncvguestpeak at gmail dot com dot au to submit comment for consideration.

Yamba still in the NBN twilight zone

The National Broadband Network (nbn) was established on 9 April 2009 to design, build and operate Australia's new broadband network.

By June 2017 it should reach the halfway mark in its build.

In 2011 58% of homes in the Clarence Valley local government area and 55% of homes in Yamba had a broadband internet connection.

The official population of Yamba as of the 30th June 2015 was 6,344 and this roughly doubles during peak holiday seasons.

By now over 1,744 homes are without decent upload/download speeds for their existing Internet connections - as well all the businesses internet connections in the two shopping/accommodation/dining precincts and small industrial area in this popular tourist destination.

Yet the given date for commencement of the rollout and current rate of progress, NBN connection for this town is still years away.

In fact, if the completion date of 2020 holds then Yamba is well and truly near the end of the queue.

National Broadband Network status for Yamba NSW 2464:

The rollout of the nbn™ network is planned in this area

Planned availability: Jan-Jun 2019*.
*This is an estimate and could change.

*The speeds actually experienced by end-users via fibre, fixed wireless or satellite will depend on a number of factors including the retail broadband plan they choose, their equipment and their in premises connection.

Given the way the build has been managed so far the extra money may run out before the NBN reaches Yamba and the town may yet have to buy shares in tin cans and string to compensate for the erratic performance of current Internet connections.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Trump Administration attempt to rewrite climate change history was a frankly silly move as Obama had already archived his plans

It has been reported that Donald Trump and his merry band of luddites have been attempting to eradicate evidence that the Obama White House ever had actual climate change policies and what these policies contained, by removing pre-20 January 2017 climate change web pages from the content of www.whitehouse.gov without supplying links to where these previous administration policies might still exist on the Internet.

However, https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/president-obama-climate-action-plan will still lead the reader to webpages such as this:


The Clean Power Plan sets achievable standards to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. By setting these goals and enabling states to create tailored plans to meet them, the Plan will:

Prevent up to 3,600 premature deaths
Prevent 1,700 non-fatal heart attacks
Prevent 90,000 asthma attacks in children
Prevent 300,000 missed workdays and schooldays
Leading to 30 percent more renewable energy generation
in 2030
Creating tens of thousands of jobs
Continuing to lower the costs of renewable energy

Nearly $85 a year on their energy bills in 2030
Save enough energy to power 30 million homes
in 2030
Save consumers $155 billion from 2020-2030

And https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.whitehouse.gov will lead readers to pages such as this:

"A Historic Commitment to Protecting the Environment and Reversing Climate Change

President Obama believes that no challenge poses a greater threat to our children, our planet, and future generations than climate change — and that no other country on Earth is better equipped to lead the world towards a solution.
That's why under President Obama's leadership, the United States has done more to combat climate change than ever before.


President Obama on America's Clean Power Plan


Cut Carbon Pollution

Established the first-ever national carbon pollution standards for power plants, the largest source of carbon pollution in our country. The Clean Power Plan gives states flexible, cost-effective tools to cut carbon pollution from these plants by 32% from 2005 levels by 2030 while preventing thousands of premature deaths and tens of thousands of childhood asthma attacks by reducing other power plant emissions

Reducing Carbon Pollution in Our Power Plants

Reducing Carbon Pollution in Our Power Plants → https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=li1aHjjqh3w

Set standards to double the fuel economy of passenger vehicles by 2025 and established the first-ever fuel economy standards for medium and heavy-duty trucks

"We want trucks that use less oil, save more money, cut pollution." —Obama on efficiency standards for large trucks: http://go.wh.gov/27R6Zg

Launched the American Business Act on Climate Pledge, with major American companies voicing support for a strong international climate agreement in Paris and making major new commitments to cut carbon pollution, boost clean energy, and increase low-carbon investment. As of the latest round of pledges in October, 81 businesses — representing all 50 states, 9 million people, and a combined market capitalization of more than $5 trillion — committed to support the Paris climate process

The measures taken by the public and private sectors enabled President Obama to set an ambitious but achievable goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions economy-wide by 26-28% by 2025 last November. And in the eleven months since, we've seen unprecedented global momentum in the fight against climate change.
To date, more than 180 countries representing nearly 95% of global carbon emissions have reported post-2020 climate policies to the United Nations. This includes the major economies like the U.S., China, the European Union and India and it includes a large number of smaller economies, developing nations, island states and tropical countries — some of whom are the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

Developed and are implementing a strategy to reduce methane emissions, including new standards to cut emissions from oil and gas development as well as support for new technologies to detect and measure methane emissions

The EPA announced proposed standards to directly reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas sector to help address climate change:

Announced independent private-sector commitments and executive actions to drive down cumulative global consumption of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a class of highly potent climate pollutants

FACT SHEET: Obama Administration Partners with Private Sector on New Commitments to Slash Emissions of Potent Greenhouse Gases

Reduced the Federal Government's greenhouse gas emissions by more than 17 percent and set a new aggressive goal of reducing federal emissions by 40 percent from 2008 levels by 2025

FACT SHEET: Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the Federal Government and Across the Supply Chain

Partnered with agricultural producers to cut emissions and increase carbon sequestration in the agricultural and forestry sectors through voluntary and incentive-based measures

Recognizing the role that forests and agricultural activities place in GHG emissions, in April 2015, USDA announced its Building Blocks for Climate-Smart Agriculture and Forestry - an approach to reduce GHG emissions from agricultural production, increase carbon storage in our forests and soils, and generate clean renewable energy. These actions will foster resilient economies and food systems while also reducing emissions and improving environmental conditions.

Improved monitoring and measurement of land-sector greenhouse gas emissions

Climate Change and the Land Sector: Improving Measurement, Mitigation and Resilience of our Natural Resources​

Announced support for strong international climate action by more than 300 colleges and universities, who signed the American Campus Act on Climate Pledge"

And property developers try to say that Iluka in the Clarence Valley NSW has no koala population

Clarence Valley Council, media release, 18 January 2017:

Koala avoids nasty shock

On the way to work one morning in early January, Iluka resident Mark Starkey was shocked to see a koala high up an electricity pole. Koalas usually prefer good quality habitat with plenty of their favourite food trees.

Thanks to Mark, the koala avoided serious injury. ‘I rang the energy company who temporarily disconnected the power and relocated the animal to nearby bushland’, he said.

Mark was just one of the residents in the areas of Iluka, Woombah and Ashby to receive a brochure from Council detailing ways to help koalas by protecting native bushland, containing dogs, and ways to recognise koala food trees. The brochure also asked residents to ring and report koala sightings. Mark then contacted Council with the details of the koala.

The biggest threats to koalas in our area are loss of food and shelter trees, vehicle strike and dog attacks. Even though there are 100’s of different types of Eucalypts, koalas tend to only eat one or a few species. So even a single tree in your backyard can be important to koalas and other wildlife.

There’s more information about koalas in the Clarence on our website www.clarence.nsw.gov.au (search ‘koala’).

If you’d like a copy of the brochure or if you’ve seen koalas in your area, please ring Council on 66430200.

Release ends.

Koala in bushland at Frazer's Reef, Iluka, in May 2016 at 

When Twitter becomes a lethal weapon

A U.S. District Court’s response to Twitter being used to deliver a strobe effect video to a known epileptic…..

Rule 202 Order_signed 12.19.16_copy by Kurt Eichenwald on Scribd