Forecast: Clear and seasonably cold, possible falling iguanas

The concern for people in South Florida is that these iguanas often sleep in trees, so when their bodies go dormant, they appear to fall from the sky onto streets, cars, pools, or even people walking around. And since iguanas are large — adult males can reach 5 feet in length, and weigh up to 20 pounds — this can be dangerous if one lands on top of you.

The invasive species can’t handle cold temperatures very well because they are cold-blooded. In general, iguanas begin to get sluggish or lethargic once the temperature drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit…

Not everyone is concerned about the well-being of these iguanas, though. They are considered an invasive species, so some people are looking forward to an opportunity to rid their yards of these reptiles.

What can I say? Long, long time ago, I had a pet iguana. Named “Hank”.

Brake dust as bad for your lungs as diesel exhaust


Kristian Buus/Getty

Brake dust in urban areas currently makes up around 21% of traffic air particulates, but this is set to rise as regulations on diesel vehicles come into effect. With this information, a team led by Ian Mudway from King’s College London in the UK collected brake dust, produced under conditions representative of modern urban life, to investigate its effects on the immune function of human lungs. The team exposed lung cells to both diesel exhaust and brake dust particles to compare the toxicity of each. Their data showed that both pollution sources increased inflammation markers and impaired the ability of immune cells to ingest bacteria (called phagocytosis), which is the body’s primary mechanism for protecting the lungs against infection.

The study highlights how exposure to vehicle-derived pollution decreases the lungs ability to prevent infection and may be why such infections are more common in urban environments.

There’s good news and bad news in the article. From one of my favorite new tech sources.

Ultimate corporate remedy for 737 MAX safety woes – change the name!

The first of the 737 MAXs ordered by low-cost carrier VietJet have just rolled out of Boeing’s paint shop…in mid-December. But you wouldn’t know it. VietJet has a very large order placed with Boeing for the 737 MAX and those orders were signed off on in a blaze of publicity. But there’s barely a squeak from the airline now as the first 737 MAXs in VietJet colors are parked at Boeing’s storage facilities in the USA. Indeed, it seems VietJet is very keen to downplay its ties with the 737 MAX.

…The usual telltale signage that denotes what type of aircraft a passenger might be flying on is missing. Instead, the airline’s branding dominates, and the 737 MAX 8 name is replaced with 737-8.


Here’s Ryanair’s contribution to the charade — the 737-8200

There are rumors online, today, that other big buyers of the model have officially – albeit not publicly – asked Boeing to make a change in designation of the 737-MAX. The wheels spin round and round and what comes out is just another propaganda stunt instead of material solutions to mediocre design.

White evangelicals believe Trump is their savior


Jim Watson/AFPTrump puts on his pious face

Before the end of 2016 there was little in Donald Trump’s life, or frequently offensive political campaign, to suggest that as president he would be hailed as God’s appointee on Earth, be beloved by born-again Christians, or compared to a biblical king.

Yet that is exactly what has happened in the three years since Trump took office, as he has surrounded himself with a God-fearing cabinet and struck up an unlikely but extremely beneficial relationship with white evangelical supporters.

It’s a relationship that, for the president, has ensured unwavering support from a key voter base and for his religious supporters, seen a conservative takeover of the courts and an assault on reproductive and LGBTQ+ rights.

“It’s incredibly troubling,” said Rachel Laser, president and CEO of Americans United, a nonpartisan organization dedicated to the separation of church and state.

“Trump is conferring unparalleled privilege on one narrow slice of religion,” Laser said. “He confers privilege in exchange for constant loyalty at the ballot box, no matter what he does.”

If you share your bed with garbage, the stink wears off on you. While that can be a two-way problem, the worst end of the brush is painting these religious folk to be as corrupt as Trump, his allies, his whole platform of bigotry and theft.