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UniverSoul Circus

These Five Circuses Need to Nix Elephant Acts

The times they are a-changing! On the heels of Ringling’s long overdue announcement that it will drop cruel elephant acts by 2018, we are doubling down and asking numerous other elephant exploiters to drop their elephant acts, too. Join us and be a voice for elephants.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

‘Rebel With a Cause: The Sam Simon Story’ Documentary

Sam SimonEven as he was fighting for his life, Sam Simon continued fighting for the right of animals to live as well. Watch Fusion’s new documentary that tells a beautiful story about Sam’s accomplished and compassionate life.

WATCH IT HERE

Victory! Rite Aid Stops Selling ‘Teddy Tanks’

Fish rentalsWhen PETA learned that Rite Aid was selling Teddy Tanks—stuffed animals with tiny tanks in their stomachs, meant to hold betta fish—we knew we had to take action and inform the drugstore chain that fish are not toys. Read all about it here!

NOW, HELP STOP FISH RENTALS

Urge Live Earth to Offer Only Eco-Friendly Vegan Food

Chicken on GroundAl Gore’s Live Earth concert series promotes climate change awareness and asks world leaders to “take climate action now.” Urge the cofounders to combat climate change by offering only vegan food at the events.

TAKE ACTION NOW

One Rescued Dog’s Stunning Transformation

CocoPETA found a sweet dog named Coco who was penned in a backyard 24/7, in all weather extremes. With some love and basic care, the once emaciated Coco made an astonishing transformation that you have to see to believe.

SEE COCO NOW

Urge Groupon to Stop Promoting Cruel Animal Shows

Elephants At UniverSoulThe daily deals site has been promoting notorious animal exploiters, including Ringling Bros., SeaWorld, and UniverSoul Circus—even after a UniverSoul representative was recently arrested and charged with abusing an elephant. Tell Groupon to stop promoting animal abuse!

HELP ANIMALS NOW

Oppose Abuse to Farmed Animals

PigsCows, pigs, chickens, and other animal victims of North America’s appetite for meat, eggs, and dairy products know nothing but a life of suffering. Make a gift right now and help us do more to protect these and all other animals from misery and a painful death.

MAKE A GIFT

URGENT ACTION NEEDED

bulletUrge Circus World to End Cruel Elephant Exhibits
bulletElephants Chai and Bamboo Need Your Help Now More Than Ever
bulletAsk McDonald’s to Drop Cruel Chimpanzee Ad

 

Jarte – Better Than Word pad

http://www.jarte.com/store.html
Jarte – Better Than Word pad
I don’t know how everyone else is writing their posts, I don’t get to sit behind them and see what program they’re using. I didn’t like Office, and Open Office, the free program was just as much a pain, as the Microsoft program was. I never liked notepad, as it always wrapped the sentences. So for years I have used Word pad, which is a great program, except…..

Word pad has great features, and is a well written program, utilizing an engine that functions extremely well. It is versatile and always reminds me when I need to save my work. My only complaint with Word pad is it didn’t come with a spell- check feature, and that will be it’s downfall!

When I want a document for purposes other than a post for this site, I would have to pretend I was creating a new post, so I could edit the document, as this site has a spell-check function, and lets me know when the wording is not right. Word pad doesn’t have those features. Apparently Word pad doesn’t have many features other document editing programs have, so I have changed to a new program!
http://www.jarte.com/?so=j&ed=s&ve=53

Jarte \jär · ‘tay\ noun (est. 2001) 1. A free word processor based on the Microsoft Word Pad word processing engine built into Windows. 2. A fast starting, easy to use word processor that expands well beyond the Word Pad feature set. 3. A small, portable, touch enabled word processor whose documents are fully compatible with Word and Word Pad.

“It’s one of life’s little ironies that in a country with free speech, a program called Word costs over a hundred dollars. Fortunately, we also have Carolina Road Software and their free-of-charge word processor, Jarte.”
—PC World magazine

The Jarte word processor relieves that problem by including only the features likely to be needed by real people. Jarte is designed for students, writers, small business people, and home users. But what really makes Jarte special is the unique way it makes the features that are included easily accessible.

You expect a word processor to be able to handle Word documents, font and paragraph formatting, spell checking, print preview, and more. While Jarte performs all the standard functions well, the most important aspect of Jarte is the numerous small details that make it an efficient and enjoyable tool for creating documents. Small details like:

photo--Jarte Plus Store

-Jarte Plus Store

Tabbed document windows for easy access to your open documents
Larger buttons for the most commonly used functions
Instant dictionary and thesaurus word lookup (integrates with free WordWeb)
Spell check and text search tools that do not park themselves on top of the text you are trying to edit
Single click bookmarking that make bookmarks both useful and usable
Instant access to the documents and folders you designate as your favorites
Instant access to the fonts you designate as your favorites
Use of the mouse scroll wheel button to copy and paste text
It is Jarte’s thoughtful details that will leave you wondering how you lived with that cumbersome office word processor for so long.

Take it With You!

Jarte may be the best word processor available for mobile PCs. Jarte takes up very little space on your SSD or hard drive, it runs quickly and efficiently, and Jarte’s compact display is perfect for small screen PCs. Jarte supports touch screen gestures, such as finger swipe scrolling and pinch zoom, for use on tablet PCs such as Microsoft’s Surface Pro. Jarte is an ideal word processor for mobile PCs!

Jarte may also be the best portable word processor available. Jarte can easily be run directly from a USB flash drive (or even a DropBox folder), so your word processor is always ready for you no matter what PC you’re using, providing the ultimate experience in portable word processing.

Stable WordPad Editing Engine

At the heart of Jarte sits the same word processing engine used by Windows’ WordPad. The difference is that Jarte builds far more capability around the WordPad editing engine than the WordPad program itself does. The significance of this fact is that Jarte users are secure in the knowledge that Jarte is making use of the same reliable, time tested editing engine used by millions of other Windows users all over the world. If you have tried other alternative word processors and found them to be unstable that may be in part due to their use of unreliable, home grown editing engines.

Microsoft is continually upgrading the WordPad editing engine, although you would never know it by examining WordPad. The WordPad program itself has not changed since it was first introduced. Jarte, on the other hand, continues to evolve and take advantage of useful features as Microsoft adds them to the WordPad editing engine.

Jarte is a Free Word Processor? What’s the Catch?

Yes, Jarte is completely free. There are no ads, no trial period, no nag screens, and no crippling of essential features. We do sell a separate edition of Jarte called Jarte Plus for those who want more. Many of Jarte’s regular users have been more than willing to pay the small price for the extra bells and whistles provided by Jarte Plus.

Whether or not you choose to upgrade to Jarte Plus, we hope you will go forth and free other weary souls from their corporate office word processors by introducing them to Jarte —the word processor for the rest of us.3/20/2015

The Rise of YouTube Plagiarism Bots

This is almost Plagiarism, as I didn’t change any part of it.  I know at some point I will get in trouble over some of my posts.  I found what I was looking for.   Everything on my site is under a Creative Commons license that allows reuse with attribution.

bit.ly/1wE6w2N .

So I used part of this post to help inform you all.  Again, I wrote none of the post you’re about to read, and you must follow the link to finish it.

The Rise of YouTube Plagiarism Bots

By Jonathan Bailey on Mar 17, 2015 03:47 pm

YouTube Logo

For almost as long as there’s been a YouTube, there’s been spam on it.

Traditionally this spam has taken the format of garbage accounts uploading misleading videos, often with fake thumbnails, for the purpose of promoting products, services or some cause.

But while that type of spam still certainly exists on YouTube, it’s now being joined by a new kind of spam, automated videos that plagiarize content from blogs, news sites and other text sources.

For the spammer, this is a very easy way to flood YouTube with a large number of low-quality topical videos. The result for content creators, especially those who produce text or image content, is that your hard work is being used to fuel spam videoblogs and those spammers will have an upper hand in search results because of the way Google shows preference to YouTube in its algorithm.

This raises two difficult questions: What can YouTube do to battle this problem? And what can creators do to protect their work?

Understanding YouTube’s Plagiarism Bots

I would like to thank Jonathan Bailey for allowing me to use some of his material for the preceding post.  You can find more information at his site plagiarismtoday.com/stopping-inter…

 

1 Million Mini Computers So Kids Can Learn

BBC is give away 1 million mini computers so kids can learn

https://www.intspine.com/bbc-give-away-1-million-mini-computers-kids-can-learn-311499

 

BBC is giving away 1 million mini computers so kids can learn to code – LONDON — The BBC wants coding to become as fundamental as writing, and is taking some very practical steps to ensure that happens.

The broadcaster announced on Thursday that it is giving away 1 million micro computers to next year’s cohort of 11- and 12-year-old schoolchildren in Year 7, as part of a new initiative called Make it Digital.

Currently in development, the Micro Bit is a small piece of programmable, wearable hardware that helps kids learn basic coding and programming.

It could act as a springboard for more advanced coding on products, such as the single-board computer Raspberry Pi, according to the BBC. Children will be able to plug the device into a computer, and start creating with it immediately.

“BBC Make it Digital could help digital creativity become as familiar and fundamental as writing, and I’m truly excited by what Britain, and future great Britons, can achieve,” BBC director general Tony Hall said in a statement Thursday.

The broadcaster also announced it is partnering with 50 organisations, including Google, Google, Samsung, Samsungfor Good and Code Club, and will host a range of educational events and activities.

Creepiest Doll?

http://www.treehugger.com/family/hello-barbie-creepiest-doll-ever.html

Is Hello Barbie the creepiest doll of all?

Hello Barbie

© CCFC

New eavesdropping Barbie records your child’s conversations and transmits them to a corporation that analyzes your kid’s likes and dislikes. And then things get weird.

“The number one request we hear from girls around the world is that they want to have a conversation with Barbie. Now, for the first time ever, Barbie can have a two-way conversation,” says a spokeswoman for Mattel.

But since Barbie doesn’t actually have a brain, your child will not exactly be having a conversation with Barbie. Rather, they will be wrangled into some kind of creepy engagement with Barbie-voiced data that has been collected and customized through previously recorded chats. Hello Barbie gleans much about her mistress from their secret tête-à-têtes and starts talking back based on what she has learned.

So how does Hello Barbie do her magic? The Wi-Fi-connected doll uses an embedded microphone to record children’s voices, conversations are then transmitted over the Internet to cloud servers. Mattel’s technology partner ToyTalk processes the audio with voice-recognition software. Mattel says it will use this information to “push data” back to children through Barbie’s built-in speaker, reports the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC).

What ever could go wrong?

Georgetown University Law Professor Angela Campbell, Faculty Advisor to the school’s Center on Privacy and Technology, says, “If I had a young child, I would be very concerned that my child’s intimate conversations with her doll were being recorded and analyzed. In Mattel’s demo, Barbie asks many questions that would elicit a great deal of information about a child, her interests, and her family. This information could be of great value to advertisers and be used to market unfairly to children.”

ToyTalk’s current privacy policy states:

We may use, store, process and transcribe Recordings in order to provide and maintain the Service, to perform, test or improve speech recognition technology and artificial intelligence algorithms, or for other research and development and data analysis purposes.

The CCFC notes that rather than encouraging non-structured creative play, the new product, “ensures that Mattel – not the child – drives the play.” Mattel claims the toy will “deepen that relationship girls have with [Barbie].” Over time, the toy conglomerate’s goal is to have the child and Barbie “become like the best of friends.”

With friends like that…

Hello Barbie was unveiled at Toy Fair 2015 in New York City last month; Mattel plans to release the diabolical doll – with a $74.99 price tag – in late fall. The CCFC has started a petition asking Mattel to kill Hello Barbie because of its significant violation of children’s privacy. If you too are concerned, you can sign it here.

IT’S THE LIEBSTER AWARD!

 

 

 

photo-liebster award

Thank You For The Cool Trophy, Really!

Well looky here, I have been nominated for the prestigious, much coveted and fought over, LIEBSTER AWARD! I truly have to give my thanks and appreciation to Shruti of Shruti Insights, for offering me this unexpected and awkwardly wonderful opportunity. She has offered me a chance to experience a shot at the Golden Ring, the Kewpie Doll, the Final frontier of Fame and Glory in the ” Blogosphere “. I certainly would never have attempted, or volunteered for Honors such as these, on my own, so again Thank you for the inspiration, and privilege, only using my fear of shotguns or Wrathful, and thoroughly disappointed Friends, to make a man of me, and Accept this One Giant Leap For Mankind Test. Shruti, you’re the best!
So there are rules to all of this. Apparently in order to be a big shot around these parts, I have to play by THESE RULES.
Put the Liebster Award logo on your blog.
Thank and tag the blog who nominated you.
Answer their questions and come up with 10 new ones for you nominees.
Nominate 8 blogs with less than 200 followers, let them know you’ve nominated them and link them in your post.
No tag-back.

 

So Shruti, with much pounding of heart, I will under take this feat, and I Thank You sincerely for your having Faith and Belief in my abilities!

These are the Ten questions I get to answer!
1.Among your blog posts, which one is your favourite?
Well thank you for asking! My favorite post was a story I wrote a couple of years ago, called ” The Waiting Game”, and It was basically a true story about circumstances I had no control over. I only embellished it a tad.

2.At what time of the day do you usually write a blog post?
That is tricky because I post whenever I am either inspired by an idea, or feel like I’m not delivering enough, or not giving people what they want.

3.What is your favourite word in your native language?
Wow, I wish you hadn’t asked me that. I don’t believe I have a singular favorite word. My favorite phrase is ” Papa, I love you! ”

 

4.What do you like to eat in the morning?
That is an easy one, as I don’t eat in the early day. Usually I start getting hungry about 2 or 3 in the afternoon, and I’m a guy so it really doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it can be wolfed down easily.

 

5.Choose one: tea, coffee, milk, hot chocolate. Why do you choose it?
Coffee with cream and sugar. But again, I drink freshly ground dark French Roast. Oh I’m sorry, you asked why? I grew up with good coffee in the S.F. bay area, and I’ve learned coffee really is the cheapest beverage, aside from water, and I don’t like water as fish do things in it.

 

6.Do you have a close friend? Is there one thing that you can only do with that friend?
I am married to my bestest, closest friend, and the thing we do together, I am not allowed to publicly speak about!

 

7.What is your favourite book and why do you like it?
That’s a hard one, but I can safely say my nearly favorite book, if I can only name one is BattleField Earth, by L. Ron Hubbard. I like that it’s long and involved, even though some of it is rather childish, I enjoy humanity taking back their home, and making a difference out in the cosmos.

 

8.What do you really want to learn but you haven’t got the time to do it?
Everything! I want my education to always continue. Right now I want to learn how to make my site work for me. The part about not enough time, unfortunately takes presidence over everything.

 

9.What do you miss from your childhood?
I miss my mommy! She died when I was 9, and I had to grow up because of that.

 

10.Where will you go if you just feel bored at home?
I am not at home at present. In December, I had to come down here to Reno Nevada to help take care of my family. I don’t get bored at home, as I live on 20 acres, in the mountains, and if the trailer feels cramped I just go outside.

 

Now it’s time to make my own nominations for the LIEBSTER AWARD, so I hope I don’t lose any friends over this!
Random Musings And Wanderlust 
Bittersweet Sensations  babyruthbeer
https://girlonstreamblog.wordpress.com/

Dr. J M Landin @ RedNewtGallery

LIZZIE BRIGHT  @  http://lizziebright.com/
Victoria Iskak   @  Raindrops & Fireflies
Margaret  @  Suds & Kisses
mboki_m  @  learning web development

 

And now, finally I get to ask my nominees their most dreaded and difficult to answer, questions.

1) Now that you are here in the magical realm of the blogosphere, what do you want?

2) What is your inner animal?

3) On your blog, are you public, or private, in regard to your personal self?

4) Are you happy in your present place in this life?

5) If I could give you one wish, what would that be?

6) What would be your ideal job?

7) Do you have a favorite kind of pet?

8) Are you able to discuss, religion, politics, or feelings openly, with strangers?

9) Knowing what you know now, what would you have done differently, and of course, why?

10) How many fingers am I holding up?

I told you these would be formidable questions, even though I didn’t word it that way. I didn’t want to scare you away. And in advance, Thank You for playing, now take your dang football and go home!

52 Signs Social Media Has Turned You Into A Complete Psychopath

52 Signs Social Media Has Turned You Into A Complete Psychopath

tumblr_njrvyrWUAS1tk6a7yo1_500

In this day and age, we love posting, tweeting, pinning, YouTubing and Instagramming.

Name the app, you’ve got an account. If it’s online, you’ve seen it. But, have you ever sat down and thought, “Am I doing this too much? Is it taking up a lot of my time?”

In other words, am I a social media psychopath? How far is too far? Check out this list to see if you qualify and check them off as you go along. Read it alongside your friends.

If you’ve done even one of them, you may be a crazy person. It’s time to see just how nuts we really are.

Have you done these things?

 

1. You constantly check someone’s Facebook. You do it day after day, without any real-life interaction, whatsoever. You don’t like any of the stuff he or she posts, but when you run into him or her, you mention you saw the statuses, posts and videos. You’re pretty much a ghost.

2. You post passive-aggressive statuses or photos. Things like, “Hahaha, you’ll see” and “Whatever,” trying desperately to get the attention of someone without realizing he or she probably hid you from his or her news feed six months ago.

3. You post inspirational or motivational quotes. Even if you’re just trying show your ex you’re not sad anymore and you’re doing fine, you’re clearly trying to get his or her attention. “We go through the valleys and the bumpy roads so that we can climb to the peaks.” WHAT?

4. You unfriend and re-friend like wildfire. But, you quickly cancel the re-friend request so you can be sure he or she knows what you did. You’re sick!

5. You like a status only to take said like away a mere seconds later.Mistake? Accidental like? Insane.

6. You block someone for a day and then unblock. Then, you re-friend and message, “hey what’s up :).”

7. You created an account on Yelp just to post a three-word review about that family-owned taco restaurant without any pertinent or detailed information. “This place sucks.”

8. You poke every single one of your friends. This takes all day. Unbelievable.

9. You create an event for your own birthday party and then cancel the event the night before.

10. You post a status and then remove it 10 minutes later. Why? Because the only person who liked it was your Aunt Sue who’s a court stenographer in Utah.

11. You send someone a message or comment, “That’s a great photo,” yet you hate it.

12. You tweet to your favorite celebrity how much you love him or her.Three minutes later, you tweet how much you hate him or her because your tweet went unacknowledged. Totally normal behavior.

13. You create a separate account to stalk people. You then appear on the show, “Catfish.”

14. You keep your wall protected so you have to approve photos and statuses you’re tagged in.Like, that one where your friends found you, ass-up with your face in the sand.

15. You have two tabs of Facebook open right now. WHY!?

16. You use 20 hashtags for every photo you post on Instagram.#likeme #pleaselikeme #likeforlike

17. You have an Instagram for your dog and post as if you were him or her.“Mmm, I love these Beggin’ strips.”

18. You report statuses and photos of people simply because you don’t like them.Like, for example, when they post about how they’re grateful they made it out if surgery alive.

19. You tweet to celebrities, “I know, right?” when you don’t know at all.They’re rich and you owe $3k on your credit card because you have an issue with Jose Cuervo.

20. You look at every tagged Facebook photo of someone, going backward in time.After that, it’s onto the albums: “Mmmm, beach season.”

21. You post a status or photo about how much you love your boyfriend or girlfriend when you just started dating a few days ago.“Omg, I love this man.” Then, you break up two days later and post, “Omg, never falling in love again. #devastated.”

22. You post on your significant other’s wall how much you love him or her when you’re sitting in the same room. You want the world to see how much you two love each other!

23. Every photo you’ve ever posted has been a selfie. Even worse, they’re all duck lips. Woof!

24. You’ve used the hashtag, “YOLO.”

25. You look at your ex’s new significant other’s Facebook and say out loud, “What a fugly goblin.” 

26. You have pulled up Facebook on your TV.

27. You take your phone in the bathroom and keep scrolling even though you’re done. In fact, you’ve been done for 15 minutes. CRAZY.

28. You tried to lead an exodus over to Google+ and lost a bunch of friends in the process.Even worse, then you tried Path.

29. Your profile picture is of your significant other. As in, you’re not even in the photo.

30. Your profile picture is of anyone other than you.

31. You suggest people you may know to people. Who are these people!? I don’t know any of them!!!

32. You start a group message with a couple without realizing they broke up a week ago.“Hey, you guys want to go dancing tonight?”

33. You start a group message with 30 people. “Hey, you guys want to go dancing tonight?”

34. You personally message people to invite them every time you have an event or you’ve posted a video or you’ve taken a sh*t.“Hey, I know we haven’t talked in four years, but please like this page. Thanks, bye.”

35. Your profile picture is of a part of your body other than your face.

36. You write, “dislike” on someone’s statuses or photos. Or even worse, you just write, “no.”

37. You’ve posted the Facebook privacy guidelines and won’t agree to them.As if someone was going through and crossing you off the list. WHY DID WE ALL DO THIS!?!

38. You’ve tagged 30 friends in a scareware status. It threatened them to tag 30 other people, and if they didn’t, they’d die a mysterious death next week.

39. You’ve edited a status by commenting on it after you’ve posted.You didn’t edit the actual status, which is completely possible.

40. You’ve liked your own statuses or photos. At some point in the process you also said out loud, “I’ll show them.”

41. You hooked up your Facebook to your Twitter and Instagram, as well as your Vine to your Twitter, so you never miss a beat.

42. You bought followers or likes and didn’t tell anyone about it.This skeleton stays in your closet for life.

43. You’ve posted, “I love my fans” or “Haters gonna hate.” You have 90 friends on Facebook.

44. You’ve said you’re in a relationship, even though you’re not.When someone says, “Who?” you just comment with a smiley face.

45. You post a photo of yourself flexing. Someone else must have had to take this photo. You live at home.

46. You posted a Photoshopped photo of you standing next to Marc Cuban on the cover of Forbes magazine.The caption was, “Living the life.”

47. You go to the mall and post photos of expensive sh*t you can’t possibly afford.Then you write, “I bet you wish you were me.”

48. You remove someone as a friend because he or she makes you jealous.

49. You’ve checked your notifications during a movie. You’re the person they’re talking to in the theater when they say, “Please, silence your phones and be courteous to the people around you.” GET OUT!

50. You fall asleep watching Vines. With your phone on your face, mind you.

51. You have walked into a lamppost, another person, or traffic while updating your status.

52. You read this list, confessed to all of them, and then said, “This author’s an assh*le — I’m not like that at all.”

FCC Passes Net Neutrality Rules in Victory for Open-Internet Activists

BY JULIANNE PEPITONE

http://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/fcc-passes-net-neutrality-rules-victory-open-internet-activists-n313301

ter more than a year of heated public debate, the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday passed “net neutrality” rules: They allow the agency to prohibit Internet service providers from granting faster access to companies that pay for the privilege.

The new rules treat broadband providers as “common carriers” under Title II of the Telecommunications Act — the same category as utility companies that provide gas, electricity, etc. — in which all customers have equal access to service.

As was expected, the FCC commissioners voted along party lines with the three Democrats voting for the rules and two Republicans voting against.

“There are countries where it is routine for government, not the consumer, to determine who has access and what kind of content can be accessed by its citizens,” said FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn at the meeting on Thursday. “I am proud to be able to say we are not one of them.”

The fight leading up to Thursday’s vote drew public debate — the FCC received more than 4 million public comments — and was generally split between content providers like Netflix and Google, in favor, and Internet providers like Comcast and Time Warner Cable, against. (Comcast, a major Internet service provider, is the parent company of NBCUniversal and NBC News.)

Supporters of net neutrality have said allowing Internet “fast lanes” would unfairly raise prices on content services, as they would need to pay providers (and ultimately raise prices for their services) if they want to avoid slow speeds for customers.

But net neutrality opponents say the Title II designation will stifle innovation in broadband. Last May a group of CEOs from Internet providers including AT&T, Time Warner Cable, Verizon, and Comcast sent a letter to the FCC arguing the new classification allows the FCC to conduct “unprecedented government micromanagement of all aspects of the Internet economy.”

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai reflected that philosophy in his dissenting remarks on Thursday. “Title II is not just a solution in search of a problem,” he said. “It’s a government solution that creates a real-world problem.”

First published February 26th 2015, 9:59 am

17K Federal Employees Made $200K Last Year?

 Nearly 17,000 federal government employees made more than $200,000 last year, according to a report on Tuesday.
photo ap-photo-the-el-paso-times-victor-calzada

ap-photo-the-el-paso-times-victor-calzada

The National Journal took compiled data from FedSmith.com, showing the breakdown of the 16,900 federal workers who were paid $200,000 as a base salary. Only about 1.6 of all federal employees on the list took home that much, the report notes.The report states: “Most of the high earners worked as medical officers at the Veterans Affairs Department. Other agencies that require a highly specialized workforce paid several employees at least $200,000; these included the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and the Securities and Exchange Commission.”

In 2013, about 15,000 federal employees made that much money. The 2014 figure of 16,900 represents a 13 percent increase.

“The number of workers surpassing that income level is likely to be higher than 17,000 since information for Defense Department employees is not included. It also does not contain incomes for White House employees. The overall incomes for the high-earning workers are likely to be larger as well, as the database does not track bonus pay,” says the Daily Caller.

In narrowing it down, two VA doctors made more than $400,000 in 2014. One was located in Palo Alto, Calif., and the other was in Pittsburgh, Pa. More than 1,700 federal employees made $300,000 or more.

Category: US US News

 

geothermal energy

Now is the time to invest in real geothermal energy

Thousands of drilling rigs are idle. Why not put laid-off roustabouts to work drilling for renewable energy?

Hey, if we can drill for oil, we can drill for heat. (Photo: Getty Images, Roustabouts at Spindletop)

In a recent post on ground source heat pumps, I purposely used a photo of a geothermal installation in Iceland to make the point that geothermal energy was a very different thing. Many complained that I obviously didn’t know what I was talking about (“The big clue starts with the picture at the top which is NOT a geothermal heat pump system.”) Well, duh — that was the whole point. Geothermal power is a very different thing and a very important source of renewable energy.
With true geothermal energy systems, the heat of the Earth’s interior is used to make steam, which drives turbines, just like coal or nuclear plants do. This heat is close enough to tap at geologic faults, so the hot spots are along the Pacific rim and Iceland, the geothermal capital of the world. Almost every building in Iceland is heated by hot water, and all the country’s electricity is made using geothermal steam. There is so much of it that there is talk of building a multibillion dollar submarine cable to Scotland. Meanwhile, the United States has 3,500 megawatts of installed geothermal electrical power, about 30 percent of the world’s supply. It could have a lot more.
And thanks to the drop in the price of oil, now might be a good time to drill, baby, drill for geothermal energy. According to Bloomberg, drillers are parking rigs as oil prices collapse and have laid off thousands of workers. According to Reuters, “Oil drilling in the United States will continue to fall in the first half of this year, and could even halve, according to major oil service companies looking to past slowdowns as a guide.”
North of the border in Alberta, Canada’s oil powerhouse, they are trying to put those drills and workers to work on geothermal. According to Corporate Knights, it’s a big opportunity, a silver lining for the geothermal industry. The head of the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association (CanGEA), Alison Thompson, is teaching drillers how to adapt oil technology to geothermal drilling.
“These drilling rig operators are selling their services right now at half the price,” said Thompson. “So this is a prime opportunity for us to be more cost-competitive, but to also get out-of-work people back to work.”
Tyler Hamilton of Corporate Knights notes that it’s tough to find drillers when the times are good in the oil patch; that’s where the big money is. However it’s a very different market right now.
“It’s just such a wonderful opportunity to have some cost decreases in our own industry,” Thompson said. “Now, when they find themselves out of work, we’re welcoming them with open arms.”
Tech transfer from the oil industry is actually happening in the geothermal world; Norway’s Statoil is drilling for geothermal in Iceland, and Chevron is a big player in geothermal, although it recently pulled back because, well, nothing is as profitable as oil, or at least wasn’t last year.
geothermal sites in U.S.
Red is hot, hot hot! (Photo: U.S. Energy information agency)
According to an MIT study of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS), geothermal energy could change the whole energy picture in America.
Geothermal energy from EGS represents a large, indigenous resource that can provide base-load electric power and heat at a level that can have a major impact on the United States, while incurring minimal environmental impacts. With a reasonable investment in R&D, EGS could provide 100 GWe or more of cost­competitive generating capacity in the next 50 years. Further, EGS provides a secure source of power for the long term that would help protect America against economic instabilities resulting from fuel price fluctuations or supply disruptions.
Stanford economist Paul Romer noted in 2004 that “a crisis is a terrible thing to waste.” The oil drilling industry and its workers are certainly having a crisis right now. Why not put them to work on the real geothermal energy right now?
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