Massive dead zones threaten the Atlantic Ocean

Dead zones in the Atlantic — so called because their lack of oxygen can’t sustain life — have been seen for the first time by scientists.

These areas of extremely low oxygen occurred in the tropical North Atlantic. The levels of oxygen were the lowest ever recorded in the open Atlantic. And while some microorganisms can live in these zones, most sea life can’t, which could lead to massive fish kills…

The oxygen levels found in the open North Atlantic had about 1/2 the concentrations scientists expected to see, lead-author Johannes Karstensen said…

Most dead zones are found near inhabited coastlines, after rivers carry fertilizers and other chemicals that cause algae blooms. When the algae die, they’re decomposed by bacteria that take up the oxygen.

The Atlantic dead zones, by contrast, appear to form in large (60 to 100 miles) eddies, “with the dead zone taking up the upper 100 meters or so,” explains Karstensen, a researcher at GEOMAR, the Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, in Kiel, Germany.

“The fast rotation of the eddies makes it very difficult to exchange oxygen across the boundary between the rotating current and the surrounding ocean. Moreover, the circulation creates a very shallow layer — of a few tens of meters — on top of the swirling water that supports intense plant growth similar to coastal algae blooms,” Karstensen said. “From our measurements, we estimated that the oxygen consumption within the eddies is some five times larger than in normal ocean conditions.”

“Given that the few dead zones we observed propagated less than 100 kilometers north of the Cape Verde archipelago, it is not unlikely that an open-ocean dead zone will hit the islands at some point. This could cause the coast to be flooded with low-oxygen water, which may put severe stress on the coastal ecosystems and may even provoke fish kills and the die-off of other marine life.”

But, hey, as long as there’s sufficient cheap labor available from the local unemployed to clean the hulls of every Cruise Line skyscraper pulling into souvenir harbors – why worry?

Truly dumb, truly serious, self-medication

Global police forces are working together to try to prevent the supply of so-called “diet pills” which can be deadly.

In April 21-year-old Eloise Aimee Parry, from Shrewsbury, died in hospital on 12 April after becoming unwell after she took a substance she had bought on the internet.

An inquest found that she had consumed four times the fatal amount of Dinitrophenol, known as DNP, which is a toxic pesticide…

The International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) has now raised an alert with forces in 190 countries…They declared an “imminent threat” to consumers of DNP, which has also been used in explosives…

Interpol said that some online distributors have tried to mask its supply from customs and police officers by labelling it as the yellow spice, turmeric.

A study last year warned the drug, sometimes used as a weight-loss or bodybuilding aid, could be linked to five more deaths in the UK between 2007 and 2013…It also warned that it could cause breathing difficulties, fast heart rates, fever, nausea and vomiting.

RTFA for anecdotal info. I realize there continues to be no patch for stupid. Still, people – do some research beyond reading reviews at the site trying to sell you self-medicating crap.

Political family values in New York state — father and son charged in bribery plot

A Family that preys together…

Within days of taking over as New York Senate majority leader in January, prosecutors say, Dean Skelos was basking in his newfound power, announcing to his son Adam: “I’m going to control everything.”

“I’m going to control who gets on what committees, what legislation goes to the floor, what legislation comes through committees, the budget, everything,” Skelos allegedly said on a phone call with Adam, not knowing the Federal Bureau of Investigation was listening.

Father and son, both of Rockville Centre in New York’s Long Island, were arrested Monday and charged with running a scheme dating back to 2010 in which Skelos, 67, used his position first as a co-leader of the Senate and then as majority leader to obtain more than $200,000 in payments for his 32-year-old son in exchange for favorable treatment in the Legislature.

Real estate developers and an environmental technology company are among those who were expected to pay Adam Skelos, prosecutors said in announcing their case, which was built using phone taps, e-mails and two cooperating witnesses who recorded conversations for federal investigators.

While undeterred by the January arrest of New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver on corruption charges, Skelos, a Republican, and his son did take steps to conceal their actions, using code words and disposable “burner” phones to pursue their plans, prosecutors said in a six-count criminal complaint against the two…

The arrest of Dean Skelos, just months after Silver, a Democrat, was forced to resign his post, promises to further roil the state Senate, where Republicans hold a slim majority.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has been outspoken in his criticism of the political culture in Albany, where the leaders of the two legislative chambers exert enormous control over budgets, contracts and regulations.

The lengthy complaint against Skelos describes a lawmaker who threw his support behind projects based “not on what was good for his constituents or good for New York, but rather on what was good for his son’s bank account,” Bharara said at a press conference…

RTFA for all the sleazy details. I know you’re probably not shocked or amazed; but, it’s worthy to express your outrage everywhere you get to speak your mind. Sooner or later, we will succeed in shoving scum out of public office.

Maybe not all of them at any one time; but, we keep on keepin’ on.