Porsche 919 Hybrid setting new absolute record for the Nurburgring

Speed is in kilometers per hour, kph

There must be something in the air. On Friday a week ago…news about Romain Dumas and Volkswagen breaking records at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Just five days after Dumas’ made it to the top of the mountain, his colleagues at Porsche Motorsport—the team with which he won Le Mans in 2016—have gone and shattered another record some thought would never be broken. The track is the 12.9-mile (20.8km) Nürburgring Nordschleife, and Porsche factory driver Timo Bernhard drove a Porsche 919 Evo around it in just 5:19.55.

Not that it will sell lots of any brand; but, sooner or later, Americans will realize what Europeans and Asians have known for a spell. Hybrid powertrains, electric plus internal combustion, are great for going faster as well as offering better fuel mileage. Acceleration counts.

The water crisis government swamp-dwellers wanted to hide

The government just released a huge study about chemicals. Mazel tov! You made it through the most boring part of this article. Now for the fun stuff: The Trump administration didn’t want you to see the results of this study.

As you go about your daily business, you’re surrounded by compounds called perfluoroalkyls, or PFAS. They’re used in carpeting, food packaging, clothing, pots and pans, and the foam firefighters use to douse flames, to name a few. That’s because PFAS are resistant to heat, water, and oil. They’re incredibly helpful! They’re also toxic.

According to a major study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday, the EPA has seriously underestimated how much of this stuff human beings can safely be exposed to. The major takeaway? PFAS have thoroughly contaminated many of the nation’s water sources, and they are associated with cancer, liver damage, fertility issues, and more — even in small doses. The study is the most fleshed-out assessment of information on PFAS to date, and it found that the EPA’s exposure limits should be 10 times lower than they are now.

RTFA and learn how EPA chief Scott Pruitt and our Fake President tried to block its publication in the first place.

Facebook PR Campaign says “Your info is safe, now” — WRONG!!

The Cambridge Analytica scandal exposed what wasn’t really a secret, that Facebook is harvesting a lot of user data and that the data is shared with others. The privacy breach revealed that Facebook wasn’t doing enough to protect your privacy and that developers like Cambridge Analytica could take your data and your Facebook friends’ data and use it for whatever they wanted.

Since these revelations, Facebook has been trying to convince everyone that it can be trusted, that it will take measures to stop these practices, that your privacy matters to the company. But while it was performing this massive PR campaign, a different quiz app that had as many as 120 million users left their data exposed for others to see. Facebook was warned about it and needed many weeks to address and fix it properly.

Depending on what quizzes you took, the javascript could leak your Facebook ID, first name, last name, language, gender, date of birth, profile picture, cover photo, currency, devices you use, when your information was last updated, your posts and statuses, your photos and your friends.

RTFA originally published by the hacker who revealed the privacy breach.

Scientists confirm Einstein’s theory of general relativity


Click to enlargeESA/Hubble & NASA

❝ A new study validates Einstein’s theory of general relativity in a distant galaxy for the first time.

This study supports our current understanding of gravity and provides more evidence for the existence of dark matter and dark energy — two mysterious concepts that scientists know about only indirectly by observing their effects on cosmic objects.

❝ Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity, published in 1916, explains how gravity is the result of a concept known as the fabric of space-time. Simply put, the theory predicts how much the mass of an object — in this case, a galaxy — curves space-time…

RTFA. Spend a few minutes thinking about a topic that supersedes all the bigotry and greed that frames so much of our lives. The scientific search for verifiable fact really is a driving force in where our species can grow to and thrive. If our politicians don’t kill us first.

Some Americans getting more physically fit, some growing more obese


The exercise part of the story

❝ It may seem like a contradiction, but more adults in the U.S. say they are exercising at the same time more of them are becoming obese.

About 24 percent of adults last year said they exercise enough each week to meet government recommendations for both muscle strengthening and aerobic exercise, according to a large annual health survey. That was up from 21 percent in 2015.

The same survey says 31 percent of adults indicated they were obese last year, up slightly. Another, more rigorous government study has also found adult obesity is inching up.

❝ In a report…released Thursday, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at survey responses from 2010 through 2015 and found that level of leisure-time exercise was more common in some states than others.

Nearly a third of non-elderly adults in Colorado, Idaho, and New Hampshire met exercise guidelines. Only about one-seventh in Mississippi, Kentucky and South Carolina did.

Higher levels of exercise were more common in people who were working than those who weren’t, the study also found.

❝ Of course, unhealthy eating has a lot to do with obesity. Research indicates that “a change in diet is needed to see any dent or reduction in obesity,” said the CDC’s Tainya Clarke…

RTFA. Better yet, get off your butt and go for a walk. There are more than graphic reasons for reports like this to be called a dumbbell curve.

The Military-Industrial Complex is alive and well under Republican Control


GOP Sen. Jim Inhofe – “a new emphasis on defending America.”AP Photo

The Senate on Monday easily passed a $716 billion defense policy bill that aims to continue Republican-led efforts to build up the U.S. military but could set up a clash with defense hawks in the House over how best to do it.

The massive legislation would authorize more warships and fighter jets, more troops and the largest pay raise for them in nearly a decade, but in some cases it would still lag behind a House version passed in May and the Pentagon’s own designs.

Keep in mind taxpayer dollar$ already fund Pentagon featherbedding greater than the sum of the next seven countries’ spending. China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, India, France, United Kingdom, and Japan combined.

Of a total $716 billion, the legislation would authorize $617.6 billion for the Pentagon base budget and $68.5 billion in war spending in the Overseas Contingency Operations account. It would authorize another $21.6 billion for nuclear weapons programs under the Energy Department.

If the DOD’s budget remained the same among other things it would have been possible to have funded public college for every student in the US and had $12B left over. That’s not how our Congressional war pimps organize their priorities. Colleges and students don’t prioritize kickbacks in dollar$ and job$ and campaign funding to politicians. Democrats aren’t exempt from condemnation. Just that Republicans would rather spend more time in bed with the death and destruction business.

Supreme Court’s Day of Infamy

In what may be the worst decision since the infamous Korematsu case, when the Supreme Court upheld the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, the court Tuesday by a 5-4 vote upheld President Donald Trump ‘s Muslim travel ban.

Like the Korematsu decision, Trump v. Hawaii elevates legal formalities as a way to avoid addressing what everyone understood is really at issue here — namely, prejudice.

Chief Justice John Roberts’s majority opinion downplays Trump’s anti-Muslim bias, focusing instead on the president’s legal power to block immigration in the name of national security…

…We might well be celebrating the fact that the Supreme Court had finally and expressly repudiated Korematsu, which it had never fully done before. Instead, Roberts’s declaration reads like a desperate attempt to change the subject.

The truth is that this decision and Korematsu are a pair: Prominent instances where the Supreme Court abdicated its claim to moral leadership.

RTFA. Please! Noah Feldman cuts through the breast-beating of Trump and his peers. Pimps for bigotry.