Below find some pieces that I posted onto my Facebook page during the past week. I thought I might share them with you in case you missed the news (or my Facebook page, which is usually filled with petitions for animals, the environment, the disadvantaged, and other BHL (“bleeding heart liberal”) issues:
“As a writer, Deborah Blum says she has a ‘love of evil chemistry.’ It seems that audiences do too: her latest book, The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder And The Birth Of Forensic Medicine In Jazz Age New York, was not only a bestseller, but was just turned into a film by PBS.
Forensic chemistry has come a long way since then, and poisoners don’t exactly run rampant any longer. But poisoning still happens. And as Blum notes in the other branch of her writing—reporting on environmental chemistry for the New York Times—environmental contaminants are, in effect, poisons as well.
Blum helped us to compile this list of the six most worrisome modern day poisons chosen both for their prominence and for the danger they pose. Here they are, progressing from the environmental to the, er, homicidal:
- Carbon monoxide
- Ethylene glycol (antifreeze)
From the article “A Poison Aficionado’s Guide to 6 Killer Chemicals” by Chris Mooney for Mother Jones (January 10, 2014).
“First of all, [Republicans are] deeply committed to the view that efforts to aid the poor are actually perpetuating poverty, by reducing incentives to work. And to be fair, this view isn’t completely wrong.
Republicans weren’t always like this. In fact, all of our major antipoverty programs—Medicaid, food stamps, earned-income tax credit—used to have bipartisan support. And maybe someday moderation will return to the GOP.
For now, however, Republicans are in a deep sense enemies of America’s poor. And that will remain true no matter how hard the likes of Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio try to convince us otherwise.”
From the op/ed piece “Enemies Of The Poor” by Paul Krugman for the New York Times (January 13, 2014).
“Marco Rubio’s latest speech deserves at least honorable mention for the airy way he dismissed the idea of raising the minimum wage: ‘Raising the minimum wage may poll well, but having a job that pays $10 an hour is not the American dream.’
In a sense, he’s right: if the American dream means getting rich, then $10 an hour isn’t living that dream. But most people aren’t and won’t get rich. Raising the minimum wage would mean higher incomes for around 27 million people; in many cases the gains would amount to thousands of dollars a year, which is really a lot in low-income families.
So what are all these people, chopped liver? Well, yes, at least in the eyes of the GOP — or maybe make that chopped losers.”
From the op/ed piece “You’re All Losers” by Paul Krugman for the New York Times (January 13, 2014).
Last night at the Golden Globe Awards (January 12, 2014), hostess Tina Fey described one of the year’s best movies, Gravity, as “It’s the story of how George Clooney would rather float away into space and die than spend one more minute with a woman his own age.”
The “woman his own age” in the film is a fellow astronaut with whom he is lost in space played by the ever-yummy Sandra Bullock . . .