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New July 2013

Garden centres ‘want’ Easter choice

The government is urged to end restrictions that prevent many garden centres in England and Wales from opening on Easter Sunday.

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Wanna know what’s happened to the Gulf Coast since the BP spill? Read this blog, now

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Danny E HooksThe oil-spattered Gulf Coast in 2010. How’s it faring now?On the fourth anniversary of the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster, the big question is whether the oil spill recovery is finally over. According to BP, yes it is. Or at least BP is wrapping up “active cleanup” and headed home to get its life back, only further available if the Coast Guard calls it. But to many of the people living along the Gulf Coast, who still have to endure the aftereffects of BP’s blunder, hell naw it ain’t over. Given the tarballs and the oil that’s still drawing a ring of eyeliner along the coast, not to mention all the devastated dolphins and oysters, it’s an insult to even suggest it. “Today should not have to be about reminding the nation that thousands of Gulf Coast residents continue to be impacted by the environmental and economic damage created by the BP oil disaster,” said Colette Pichon Battle, executive director of the Gulf Coast Center for Law and Policy. “The request by coastal residents four years later is the same as in 2010. Clean up the oil. Pay for the damage. And ensure that this never happens again.” There are hundreds of unresolved issues on the Gulf Coast, many of them predating the oil spill. With stories spilling in from all over the place, it’s going to be tough sussing out the true grit from the bullshit. Fortunately the good folks over at the Bridge the Gulf blog got you covered. The blog was created in response to the BP oil spill by Gulf Coast residents and activists who have a direct stake in their communities’ recovery. Many of them have struggled under prior Gulf disasters, like hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Ike, Gustav, and the most recent, Isaac. It’s where you can read about Turkey Creek, Miss., the historically troubled black community that’s the subject of the new documentary Come Hell or High Water. It’s also where you can read about a bunch of other places across the Gulf that have been pricked by storms of both the political and ecological variety. Disclaimer: I served as an editor of the blog in 2012, so I’m biased. But as someone who’s a relentless consumer of news from media sources across the Gulf — and who’s written for many of them — I can assure you that you won’t find a grander assembly of authentic voices and primary sources from the Gulf anywhere else on the web. Among the Bridge the Gulf writer corps are people like Kindra Arnesen, who was a first responder when the BP rig initially broke, and also voices from the Gulf’s top community organizations like Gulf Restoration Network, t.e.j.a.s., Women With a Vision, and the New Orleans-based Advocates for Environmental Human Rights. Bridge the Gulf just relaunched with a new website design, but with the same strong repertoire of Gulf renewal narratives. Below are a few examples of blog’s best content over the years: “On the Road With Cherri Foytlin”: You may have read about Foytlin in Rolling Stone, where she was named as one of “The New Green Heroes” of the fossil fuel resistance — she’s the “Angry Mom.” She walked from New Orleans to Washington, D.C., to raise awareness about health problems along the Gulf believed to be the result of the BP oil spill. She’s been a contributor to Bridge the Gulf since the beginning, as a writer, photographer, and videographer, but here is a rare glimpse of her in front of the camera. “Gulf Coast Residents Appalled by Lack of Concern for Safety After EPA Drops BP’s Ban on Federal Contracts”: The whole BP Deepwater Horizon saga is summarized in this nugget from long-time Bridge the Gulf contributor Karen Savage: “The EPA banned BP from obtaining new federal contracts and oil leases from November 2012 until the ban was lifted on March 16th. Last year, the oil giant pled guilty to illegal conduct leading to and following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, including 11 counts of felony manslaughter, one count of felony obstruction of US Congress and violations of both the Clean Water Act and Migratory Bird Treaty Acts. Through their guilty plea, BP admitted to obstructing an inquiry by the US Congress, providing ‘false and misleading’ information regarding flow rate and manipulating internal flow-rate estimates.” On Friday, the Public Citizen, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, and dozens of other environmental groups demanded that EPA against suspend BP from receiving for federal leases and contracts. “What you missed last week at the BOEM …”: People want to know what the federal government has been doing since the BP oil spill to tighten safety regulations around offshore drilling — especially since it has allowed BP back out to drill in the Gulf. Those safety questions have been handled by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management mainly through a series of nauseatingly boring public meetings. Fortunately, Bridge the Gulf editor Ada McMahon made it unboring for us by attending one and then reporting back in the form of a comic strip: Ada McMahonFiled under: Article, Climate & Energy, Politics

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Ancient life ‘frozen’ by impacts

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Ancient grasses from the Pampas of Argentina were preserved when asteroids struck the area, scientists report.

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Where Is the Humanities' Neil DeGrasse Tyson?

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Cosmos is a hit, again. Neil DeGrasse Tyson is a pop science star. Thanks to him, kids dream about expanding human knowledge of the phenomenal universe. Now: Where’s a liberal arts rockstar to make people care about human culture that much?Read more…

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15 Years Later, The Matrix Still Has Us

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In the early months of 1999, Americans were met with something strange and intriguing: the first trailers for a mysterious new film called The Matrix. They offered a series of haunting images: people leaping across skyscrapers; a woman suspended in air, mid-kick, while a camera swirled around her; and — … More »

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The Walking Dead Characters Have Dumb Ideas

The Walking Dead tried to shake up its formula this half-season, with character-driven episodes vaguely reminiscent of Lost: Behold Michonne, a grieving mother turned samurai. Observe Daryl, the unloved son who struggles with intimacy. Consider Carol, the domestic-abuse survivor who now mercy-kills evil children. That should have made the show … More »

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Saltz on Stefan Simchowitz, the Greatest Art-Flipper of Them All

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The past year has seen collectors and auction houses creating their own art market. They’re essentially bypassing dealers, galleries, and critics, identifying artists on their own, buying works by those artists cheaply in great numbers, then flipping them at vastly higher prices to a network of other like-minded speculator-collectors. Thus, … More »

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New international preschool finds pricey space to fill a gap

<!– google_ad_section_start –> With an increasing number of local parents enrolling their children in international schools, two more international kindergartens have set up shop in Hong Kong since the start of the year to cater to the growing demand. <!– google_ad_section_end –>

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Museum of London photo collection features tragic son Kipling sent to war

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A trove of 2,500 photographs taken by Christina Broom, the UK’s first female press photographer, is on show at museumThe grinning young officer with the thick spectacles is called Jack, and it was because of his terrible eyesight that his father had to pull strings to get him into the army and out to the western front. A year after the image was taken he was dead at the Battle of Loos.The father in question was Rudyard Kipling who, as is well known, was wracked with guilt over the death, writing about it in his poem My Boy Jack.

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Harry Potter Spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Will Become a Movie Trilogy

Back in September, Warner Bros. announced that it had acquired J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter spinoff, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, after the company’s CEO, Kevin Tsujihara, persuaded Rowling to adapt the Hogwarts textbook into an “extension of the wizarding world.” This weekend, in a new profile in the … More »

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Nigerian prisoners killed in Abuja jailbreak

At least 21 detainees shot dead during attempted escape from the cells of the secret police headquarters in Abuja.

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America, Inc. at it’s Finest

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Chocolate Artisan Truffles by Just Chocolate

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New July 2013