U.S. Renaming Mountains, Rivers and More Removing Racist, Misogynist Word


A mountain in northern Colorado getting a new name

The United States Department of the Interior (DOI) proposed a list of new names for more than 660 geographic features across the country last month, the agency announced in a statement.

Led by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, the first Native American to serve as cabinet secretary, the February 2022 release of the list marks the next step in a sweeping plan to remove the racist and misogynist slur “squaw” from the national geographic landscape. Hundreds of U.S. geographic sites, including mountains, rivers, lakes, remote islands and more, currently are named using the word…

“Words matter, particularly in our work to make our nation’s public lands and waters accessible and welcoming to people of all backgrounds,” said Haaland, per the statement.

“Consideration of these replacements is a big step forward in our efforts to remove derogatory terms whose expiration dates are long overdue,” added the secretary, who is a member of the Pueblo of the Laguna and a 35th-generation New Mexican.

It is a delight to witness another step away from our country’s past of official bigotry. And see it led by someone directly concerned and, I might add, I was always pleased to vote for in state elections.

Switchblade, Kamikaze drones…they’re V1 Buzz Bombs, folks!

Recently photos surfaced on social media of a roughly four-foot-wide tan, airplane-shaped drone that had fallen out of the sky in the Kyiv region, crashing into the sandy ground.

While that one failed to explode on impact, the images verified by The Washington Post provide some of the first evidence Russia is using a new and terrifying weapon in its war against Ukraine: a killer drone that can dive bomb into targets, destroying them with little notice.

The Russian kamikaze drones, also known as loitering munitions, will soon be joined on the battlefield by ones sent to Ukrainian forces by the United States, making the war the largest direct conflict between two countries in which they’ve been deployed on both sides. Researchers who specialize in the field say it shows that these drones are becoming the norm in modern warfare, and are likely to make the conflict more deadly and unpredictable.

The American version is called Switchblade. Essentially, a 21st Century version of the V1.

************************

Bradley Bowman, a senior director at the hawkish think tank Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, said loitering munitions reduce the time it takes to identify, locate and kill a target, and they are hard for an enemy to detect, giving off little heat signature.

“In urban combat,” he said, “where the distances are short and you’re up close and personal with your adversary, closing that kill chain more quickly can be the difference between life and death.”

Please, guys. I know you’re writing these press releases for the ignorant. Press as well as civilian readers. It still makes sense to provide real info about the history of weaponry so folks who are interested get the story straight.

Total Vision


Click to enlarge — click a second time for full screen

Tim Murray
Ah Totality!

Photo of the Day selected by: Ryan Mense

This is a composite of three exposures of the eclipse to capture the inner corona, outer corona, and prominences.

Microplastics found in human blood


David Kelly photo Time to change your filter!

Microplastic pollution has been detected in human blood for the first time, with scientists finding the tiny particles in almost 80% of the people tested.

The discovery shows the particles can travel around the body and may lodge in organs. The impact on health is as yet unknown. But researchers are concerned as microplastics cause damage to human cells in the laboratory and air pollution particles are already known to enter the body and cause millions of early deaths a year…

The scientists analysed blood samples from 22 anonymous donors, all healthy adults and found plastic particles in 17. Half the samples contained PET plastic, which is commonly used in drinks bottles, while a third contained polystyrene, used for packaging food and other products. A quarter of the blood samples contained polyethylene, from which plastic carrier bags are made.

Of course, we pollute ourselves. We are one of the least sensible, uncivilized animals on this planet. We convince ourselves otherwise.

I imagine most of the sources for this particular pollutant will continue to affect us. Probably not killing enough people (yet) to worry our politicians. Or sell to the military.