An investigation on the release of mercury in the environment by the Environmental Protection Agency and autism count data collected by the Texas Educational Agency between 1998 and 2002 found that for every 1000 pounds of industrial release, there was a corresponding 2.6% increase in autism rates and a 3.7% increase associated with power plant emissions.
These findings are so significant that they have warranted further investigation.
In researching this more, I found a very enlightening section in the Dallas Morning News regarding industrial sites abutting residential neighborhoods.
Dallas county, alone, has 900 sites that house industrial chemicals.
Poor city planning and haphazard zoning has put industrial areas in close proximity to many residential areas, businesses, and even schools.
I highly recommend you read the entire incredibly interesting investigative report.
As someone who is increasingly interested in finding better, safer ways for the industrialization of our country, I found these stories to be very insightful!
TORONTO – Here’s what stuck in my craw this week…the big story of the week of course was President Barack Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize, inviting controversy and surprise. I for one never expected it….two American women, Elizabeth Blackburn and Carol Greider, share the Nobel Prize for medicine, a first….Herta Mueller, a member of Romania’s ethnic minority who was persecuted for her criticisms of life behind the Iron Curtain, won the Nobel Prize for literature on Thursday, on the 20th anniversary of the Communist collapse…. Islamic extremist Zakaria Amara, 24, became the fifth member of the “Toronto 18” to plead guilty for plotting to bomb RCMP headquarters, nuclear power plants, and attacking Parliament; including plans to behead the Canadian Prime minister….earlier this week there were reports that the Toronto School Board was planning to ban the controversial book To Kill a Mockingbird after a parent complained, it has since been revealed that the woman’s child had never read the book, and the ban was taken off the docket. Mockingbird survives again, for now…..former British Prime Minister Tony Blair may be next in line for the newly created European President, or more accurately, the President of the European Union. Tea time for all….in a historic discovery, Canadian scientists decoded all three billion letters in the DNA sequence of a metastatic breast cancer tumor, identifying the mutations that cause the tumor to spread….meanwhile, University of Toronto researchers have developed a prototype chip that measures estrogen from tiny samples of blood and tissue – a technology they believe will assess a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer more quickly. I hope they all share a Nobel Prize if this works….
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In lighter news, Miley Cyrus has quit Twitter, saying in her last tweet “FYI Liam doesn’t have a Twitter and he wants me to delete mine with good reason” ….oh Miley, so young, so stupid….it’s always the 1.5 million followers that have to suffer….Brazilian police are looking for TV host Wallace Souza who is accused of commissioning killings to boost ratings. His show, Canal Livre, features graphic footage of crime victims. The things people will do for ratings….A 25 year-old woman in Stamford Connecticut was attacked by six other women who didn’t like her performance. The woman suffered bruises and chipped teeth. Tough crowd….A New Orleans man has been sentenced to seven years in prison and fined $15,000 dollars after duping the Egyptian Government into paying 7 million bucks for a shipment of frozen chickens he never delivered. He’s getting more time then some accused killers, the Justice System DOES work….Kelly Osbourne is pissed off because a British body spray she used left her with burn marks all over her body. Lesson; buy American next time….Toronto finally gets a Google Street View application. Huzzah…Guy Ritchie says he still loves Madonna, “And of course, here you go, I still love her. But she’s retarded too.” He said. Aw Guy, you old smoothie you….The FBI is probing whether Anna Nicole Smith plotted to kill her tycoon husband, 91 year old J. Howard Marshall. All she had to do was have sex with him….Who wants to see a movie based on the life of Robert Pattinson? A feature length documentary of the Twilight star’s life is forthcoming. I’ll be sure to miss that one….our Prime Minister Harpo decided he was going to play the piano at the National Arts Center Gala this week in order to change his stuffy and uptight image. Mmm, no, it didn’t work, he’s still a tool….Elizabeth Taylor had successful heart valve surgery this week. She’s a fighter, that’s for sure….child rapist Roman Polanski loses his extradition battle, but his team of Lawyers are appealing. I’m appealing too; let him go to jail….Finally, NASA decides to bomb the moon! In an effort to find water on the moon they plan to smash a rocket onto it’s surface. Nothing like a little regression to cure what ails us…
This week had been rolling along fairly normally until I heard that Barack Obama had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. I was initially surprised at this, since he hasn’t even finished a single year in office. Some wags even suggested that Obama got the award just for not being George Bush. Granted, he hasn’t done much to warrant the award, but he carries a certain intangible that is rare; he galvanizes, communicates, and brings people together. He is a central figure, respected, and I can name no other United States President in recent history who shares those attributes. If I were American, I would be proud. I AM proud, as I view the President of the United States with as much reverence as the Prime Minister of Canada, our present PM Harpo excluded of course. …until next week……
David Hunter, Over and Out. -- The Toronto News desk,
(CNN) -- Three major earthquakes struck within an hour and 10 minutes Thursday morning near Vanuatu in the South Pacific, prompting a tsunami warning that was quickly lifted. Thursday's quakes struck near Vanuatu in the South Pacific.
The first quake, with a magnitude of 7.8, struck at 9:03 a.m. (6:03 p.m. ET) at a depth of 35 km (22 miles) and an epicenter 295 km (180 miles) north-northwest of Luganville, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
For more info visit CNN, and USGS (United States Geological Survey)
In what it is calling Operation Phish Phry, the F.B.I. began arresting 53 people on Wednesday on charges of conducting a vast financial fraud based on phishing — the act of tricking Internet users into revealing their passwords and other information.
The arrests were in Southern California, Nevada and North Carolina, while the authorities in Egypt sought to arrest 47 people whom the F.B.I. said were co-conspirators.
VANCOUVER, CANADA (BNO NEWS) – Canadian scientists on Wednesday said they have achieved an unprecedented breakthrough in breast cancer research, opening new doors to new breast cancer treatment targets and therapies.
For the first time ever, scientists at the B.C. Cancer Agency were able to decode all of the three billion letters in the DNA sequence of a metastatic lobular breast cancer tumor, a type of breast cancer which accounts for about 10 percent of all breast cancer cases. The scientists were able to find all the mutations, or "spelling" mistakes that caused the cancer to spread further.
TORONTO – Been a busy week, so let’s get to it….Swiss cops arrested Film director Roman Polanski as he was flying in for the Zurich Film Festival. He faces extradition to the U.S. for statutory rape charges for having sex with a 13 year old in 1977. Polanski claims it was consensual; I guess that means its okay…. 73 year old Dennis Hopper was taken to a New York Hospital this week; eyewitnesses say he was brought into the emergency room wearing an oxygen mask and had numerous tubes connected to him….Spencer Pratt says he’s afraid to have sex with wife Heidi Montag because he’s afraid she’ll get pregnant. Really, we all should have such problems….Tufts University in Boston has a new dorm policy banning sexual activity while a roommate is in the same room. That one’s just too easy….Apparently Canadian actress Ellen Page enjoys shoveling Goat manure, helps her relax…..Madonna, when asked this week if she’ll ever marry again stated: “I’d rather get hit by a train…” now THERE’S a ringing endorsement for marriage….. An earthquake measuring 7.6 hit Sumatra Wednesday with death tolls estimated at 1100, according to the UN….Meanwhile flooding in the Philippines leaves 140 dead after a month of rain falls in just 12 hours….astronomers say a bright flash in the sky over Ontario was likely a meteor streaking momentarily, and was possibly the size of a microwave….Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi cancelled his mysterious trip to St. John’s Newfoundland this week. His reason for cancelling the trip is just as mysterious as why he wanted to go there in the first place…. Chancellor Angela Merkel is re-elected with a majority government in Germany’s latest election, Portugal re-elects the Socialists, and Canada is still stuck with mister poopy-head in office….Lucy Vodden, classmate of Julian Lennon and inspiration for John Lennon’s classic song Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds, has died after a long battle with Lupus, she was 46….A toxicology report confirms that Adam Goldstein, AKA DJ AM, died of a lethal overdose of prescription drugs and cocaine….Jenny Slate, newcomer to Saturday Night Live, drops an F-bomb in the middle of a skit on live TV; “You know what? You stood up for yourself, and I fucking love you for that…” she said, before rolling her eyes and blushing at her mistake…...David Letterman must be blushing too; this week he came out and admitted he had sex with staff members, He also said a man had threatened to expose the relationships unless a payment of $2m was made. CBS employee and 48 Hours producer Robert "Joe" Halderman has been implicated. Didn’t know you had it in you, Dave, or hanging out of you… author, columnist, and Pulitzer Prize winner William Safire has died at the age of 79 after a battle with cancer. Safire penned more than 3000 columns over 30 years for the New York Times and wrote Spiro Agnew’s famous line “nattering nabobs of negativism.”
..On the Lighter Side…..
I nominate Canadian cutie Ellen Page as the Inaugural “National Affairs Girl of the Week” for her Brains, Beauty and Toughness, and her willingness to shovel Goat manure:
Thanks to all our contributors this week, and for making the NAD the great blog that it is. The conversation got a little heavy this week; a lot of religious discussion, and a lot of opinions. Sorry I didn't weigh in on it, but as I said, it's been a busy week. Thanks for reading! until next time...
Dallas state District Judge Tena Callahan ruled Thursday that two men, who prefer to remain unidentified, may divorce in the state of Texas and that the state's ban on gay marriage violates the U.S. Constitution. The men married in Cambridge, Mass., in September 2006 and in the interim since returning to Dallas have decided to dissolve their union.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott tried to intervene, arguing that because gay marriage is not legally recognized in Texas, a Texas court can not dissolve their marriage through divorce.
However, in March 2003, a Texas court became the first court outside Vermont to grant the dissolution of a civil union. The judge reversed his decision after a challenge by Abbott, a Republican.
Schulte, who represents one of the men in the divorce proceedings, was "surprised and ecstatic" by Judge Callahan's ruling and should have the order ready for the Judge to sign within "the next few weeks."
Abbot plans to appeal the ruling "to defend the traditional definition of marriage that was approved by Texas voters."
Cameron Tod Willingham was executed in February of 2004 for the suspected arson of his home that led to the death of his three children on December 23, 1991.
The Innocence Project has taken a closer look at the case, however, and their findings have prompted the Texas Forensic Science Commission to review a report Friday from an expert who has concluded that the arson determination may have been faulty.
Created by the Texas Legislature in 2005, the nine member panel will hear from others including the State Fire Marshal's Office and then release its own report. What happens after that is unclear. This is the commission's first review case; they do not have the authority to determine Willingham's guilt or innocence.
The purpose of this panel is only to determine forensic negligence.