Oil Spills: Good for Everyone, Really!

CREDIT: AP Photo/Bill Haber

CREDIT: AP Photo/Bill Haber.

No one is going to be surprised by the duplicity of oil companies, or their constant attempt at spin. This time, though, they’ve not only taken the cake, they’ve tried to walk off with the whole party, too. Their new line is that oil spills are really good, for everyone. They stimulate the economy, they make jobs, and they help wildlife, oh my yes!

For the past few weeks, the Washington State Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC) has been holding hearings on the matter of a proposed oil-by-rail terminal that could be built in Vancouver, Washington. If approved, it would be the largest oil-by-rail facility in the country, handling some 360,000 barrels of crude oil, shipped by train, every single day. It would also greatly increase the number of oil trains that pass through Washington, adding a total of 155 trains, per week, to the state’s railroads.


But according to witnesses that testified before the EFSEC on behalf of Vancouver Energy — the joint venture between Tesoro Corp. and Savage Cos. and the entity behind the Tesoro-Savage terminal proposal — oil spills might not actually be that bad for the environment.

“The Draft Environmental Impact Statement identifies many economic impacts arising from an accident associated with Project operations, but fails to recognize economic activity that would be generated by spill response,” Todd Schatzki, vice president of Analysis Group — a consulting group that released an economic report on the terminal commissioned by Tesoro Savage — wrote in pre-filed testimony. “When a spill occurs, new economic activity occurs to clean-up contaminated areas, remediate affected properties, and supply equipment for cleanup activities. Anecdotal evidence from recent spills suggests that such activity can be potentially large.”

Schatzki’s pre-filed testimony also includes references to both the Santa Barbara and BP oil spills’ role as job creating events. He notes that the Santa Barbara oil spill created some 700 temporary jobs to help with cleanup, while the BP spill created short term jobs for 25,000 workers. Schatzki does not mention that BP has paid individuals and businesses more than $10 billion to make up for economic losses caused by the spill. Nor does he mention that California’s Economic Forecast Director predicted that the 2015 Santa Barbara oil spill would cost the county 155 jobs and $74 million in economic activity.

For the Columbia River region, the impacts of an oil spill could be equally economically devastating — a report from the Washington Attorney General’s office found that an oil spill could cost more than $170 million in environmental damages.


In testimony given on July 7, another Tesoro-Savage-associated witness, Gregory Challenger, argued that oil spills could actually have benefits for fish and wildlife. Challenger, who worked with Vancouver Energy to analyze potential impacts and responses in the event of a worst-case discharge at the facility and along the rail line, told the committee that when oil spills cause the closure of certain fisheries or hunting seasons, it’s the animals that benefit.

“An oil spill is not a good thing. A fishery closure is a good thing. If you don’t kill half a million fish and they all swim upstream and spawn, that’s more fish than were estimated affected as adults,” Challenger said during his testimony. “The responsible party is not going to get credit for that, by the way.”

To prove his point, Challenger cited National Marine Fisheries Service data that showed that 2011, the year after the BP oil spill, had been a record year for seafood catch in the Gulf of Mexico. And while that’s true, Shiva Polefka, policy analyst for the Center for American Progress’s Ocean Policy program, cautioned against trying to make sweeping statements for how all ecosystems would respond to an oil spill. Following the Exxon Valdez spill in 1989, researchers discovered that crude oil had soaked into the rocky beaches near the spill site, emitting toxic compounds for years that had long-term adverse impacts on salmon and herring populations.

“Does cutting fishing effort benefit fish? Absolutely,” Polefka said. “Enough to mitigate the horrible effects of large oil spills in every case? Absolutely not.”

During his testimony, Challenger also brought up the Athos 1 oil spill, which sent 264,000 gallons of crude oil into the Delaware River in 2004. The spill, Challenger said, took place during duck hunting season, and forced an early closure for recreational hunting in the area.

“There were an estimate of 3,000 birds affected by the oil, and 13,000 birds not shot by hunters not shot by hunters, because of the closed season,” he said. “We don’t get any credit for that, but it’s hard to deny that it’s good for birds to not be shot.”

According to NOAA, seabirds are especially vulnerable to oil spills, because of the way that oil affects their usually-waterproof feathers — when those feathers become matted with oil, a seabird loses its ability to regulate its temperature. Often, it will try to preen itself to remove the oil, which only forces the oil into its internal organs, causing problems like diarrhea, kidney and liver damage, and anemia. Oil can also enter into a seabird’s lungs, leading to respiratory problems.

The full story is at Think Progress. So, there we have it. Oil spills are great! Why, they help everyone. This is such blatant bullshit, I’m rather stunned they are even trying this ploy.

California: Vaccine Mandate.



With California’s strict vaccine mandate now in place, opponents are fighting to overturn the law in court.

The new law, which took effect Friday, bars parents from citing religion or other personal beliefs as reasons to not vaccinate their kids. SB 277 is one of the toughest mandatory vaccination laws in the country and drew many protesters when it was debated in Sacramento.

A group of parents and the nonprofit Education 4 All filed a suit Friday to overturn the law in U.S. District Court in San Diego. The suit claims that the law violates California children’s right to an education under the state’s constitution.

“SB 277 has made second-class citizens out of children who for very compelling reasons are not vaccinated according to the CDC schedule,” the plaintiffs’ attorney, Robert T. Moxley, said in a statement. “We are hoping the court will grant us an injunction while the judicial process takes place to see if this law is constitutional, which it most certainly does not seem to be.”


About 80,000 California students claim personal belief exemptions for vaccines annually.

First, good for you, California! It’s about damn time this ‘religious belief / personal belief’ crap was tossed out. No surprise that anti-vaxxers are fighting this mandate, but on the basis of violating a child’s right to an education? How does that work, when it is a parent’s refusal to vaccinate which bars a child from a public school? Your child doesn’t go to school in a vacuum, there are a whole lot of other children and their health at stake, and no, you don’t get to count on all the other kids being vaccinated as an okay for your little snowflake to run about in a possibly contagious state. I’m not all that comfortable with home-schooled kids not being vaccinated, because again, those kids aren’t in a magic bubble, never coming into contact with others. I was vaccinated, but I got nailed by chickenpox anyway. It was much milder and shorter lived than it would have been minus the vaccination, and it was not at all fun. I just don’t understand how any parent would be willing to see their child with such an illness.

I was also gobsmacked by the 80,000 personal belief exemption claims. Seriously? I know, in the scheme of the total population it’s not all that much, but in terms of a potential epidemic, it’s a huge number. I don’t have any personal reason to be concerned about these diseases anymore, but I am glad I’m not in SoCal anymore, either.

Via Raw Story.

Anal Sex Ignorance.

12517960641912882309Man-and-woman-icon-alt.svg.medIgnorance isn’t good, and in this case, it’s spreading.

A recent study on heterosexual anal intercourse suggests that couples feel that it is a safe way to avoid HIV and other STIs. The study was  presented at the 2016 American Congress of Obstetricians & Gynocologists (ACOG) annual meeting by a team of physicians from the University of Washington in Seatle. One of the authors of the study, Dr. Lyndsey Benson, talked with Plus about the study, its results, and what it means.

The study, named Survey of Motivations for Anal Sex among Heterosexuals (SMASH), surveyed 5,000 American men and women aged 15-50 years old. The study began after a previous study by Benson highlighted “many knowledge gaps” in regards to what Americans knew about anal sex, including information about condom use, frequency of engaging in anal versus penis into vagina (PIV) sexual practices, and knowledge of HIV risks. Benson, the lead researcher, explained that this study was particularly important, as the majority (84 perccent) of new HIV cases in women can be “attributed to heterosexual contact.”


The researchers also discovered that a disconcerting number of Americans were engaging in hetero anal sex as a way to avoid sexually transmitted infections including HIV. More than 70 percent of adults in the study incorrectly believe that vaginal intercourse is higher risk than receptive anal intercourse. Among those that had anal sex, 10 percent reported they had done so as a form of contraception at least once.

The Advocate has the full story. This goes right back to Siobhan’s recent post about Canadian Blood Service’s new policies. Heterosexuals continue to be seen as low risk when it comes to blood donation, but gay men and transgender women are still being restricted and banned.

Cleaning the Plastic Ocean.

Boyan Slat wants to start the largest ocean clean up ever with the help of nets and ocean currents. He began testing his prototype this month.

Boyan Slat wants to start the largest ocean clean up ever with the help of nets and ocean currents. He began testing his prototype this month.

Boyan Slat was just 16 when he realized he wanted to rid the oceans of plastic. It all happened after he dove into the problem in the most literal way while snorkeling in Greece and finding more drifting plastic than fish swimming.

“I thought, that’s a real problem. How can we come up with a solution for that?” Slat recalled during an interview with ThinkProgress.

Indeed, the problem is real and large. Around eight million metric tons of plastic waste enter the oceans every year, according to a 2015 study. In addition, recent research found so-called garbage patches in every major ocean. Plastic is so pervasive that it’s been found in sea ice, and also inside 50 percent of all species of seabirds, 66 percent of all species of marine mammals, and all species of sea turtles.

Once back in his native Netherlands, Slat delved into the topic as people told him that cleaning up the ocean was impossible. Still, Slat, a young inventor who by then already held the world record for most high-pressure rockets simultaneously launched, persisted until he found what he was looking for.

“I saw this animation where they used computer models to show that plastic actually moves” through ocean currents, Slat, now 21, said. “And then I thought, why should you move through the ocean if the ocean can move through you.”

Slat, chief executive officer of The Ocean Clean Up, has taken his eureka moment and turned it into a collection system based on floating barriers attached to the sea bed that use the ocean’s energy to gather plastic waste. After obtaining over $2 million through crowdfunding and more from Dutch government financing, Slat unveiled the first prototype last week in the North Sea, just off the coast of Netherlands.


I am so impressed, I just don’t have words. This is so very important. There is much more at Think Progress.

Cool Stuff Friday: Kid Stuff!

Sometimes, the very best stuff is kid stuff. Now, this first is something I would just love to do, but I don’t have the equipment, know-how, or understanding of how to do this, and do it safely, buuuut, if any of you enterprising science-y people can pull this off, please please take a photo and send it to me.


Tasha Sturm, of Cabrillo College did this hand print on a large TSA plate from her 8 1/2 year old son after playing outside. Is that cool, or what? You can read more about that at Microbe World. I so wish I could do this.

Next up, a kickstarter for a book about a dog and her owner moving to a new place, because everyone knows that moving to a new place can be very unsettling, especially when you’re a child. There’s a bit of a twist…



Vivian the Dog Moves to Brooklyn by Mitch Boyer + Vivian the Dog.

And yesterday, Siobhan blogged about a new children’s book, Introducing Teddy.


Starting as a Kickstarter project, this picture book features Thomas the teddy and Errol who are best friends. They do everything together, riding bikes, playing in the garden, and eating in the tree house. But one day, Thomas doesn’t feel like playing. Even a visit to the park won’t cheer him up. When Errol asks what is wrong, Teddy says that he is worried that if he tells Errol that Errol won’t want to be his friend any more. After Errol reassures him, Teddy admits that he has always felt in his heart that he is a girl teddy, not a boy teddy. When the two meet Ava, she demonstrates that girls can be anything they want, including inventing robots and wearing their hair without a bow. It’s a gentle look at gender identity.

This is Walton’s first picture book and it is inspired by her father’s transition from male to female. In the picture book, she makes sure to keep everything at a level that small children can understand. It’s a book that speaks to gender and will also work for children who may not be transgender but feel that they don’t fit into the limits that society puts them into. It’s a book that celebrates being who you are and not being afraid to tell others what is in your heart.

You can read more about the book here.

Bees Gain Congressional Allies.



Pollinators are under huge amounts of stress, struggling to survive as habitats are destroyed, systemic pesticides are applied to crops, and climate change throws off once-reliable weather patterns. Now, a new bill hopes to give these essential insects and animals a boost.

The bill, introduced Thursday by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), would increase funding and improve cooperation among federal agencies that are working on getting pollinator numbers back up. If signed into law, the bill would set a goal for the USDA and other agencies of conserving, restoring, or enhancing 3 million acres of forage habitat — i.e. fields of flowering plants and shrubs — a step towards the goal of 7 million acres of pollinator habitat set by the White House in 2014. It would also create more financial incentives for farmers to plant bee-friendly plants — including wildflowers, sunflowers, buckwheat, and native grasses — and using natural predators, instead of pesticides, to ward off pests. And it would create grant opportunities to fund programs that monitor pollinator health and numbers.

“It’s easy to forget about the critical role pollinators play in our food systems,” Merkley said in a statement. “But if we’re not careful, we will only realize their importance when it’s too late and our agricultural industry has been decimated by their disappearance. Let’s take action now instead.”

Merkley is right: Pollinators play an essential part in getting food on the plates of Americans — and people around the world. According to a report released earlier this year, 75 percent of global food crops depend on pollination, and $235–$577 billion worth of these crops are affected by pollinators every year. Some crops depend on highly specialized pollinators, and would cease to exist without them: The chocolate midge, for instance, is the only insect that can pollinate the cacao plant.


This week in particular — dubbed National Pollinator Week by the USDA and Department of Interior — has been a major one for pollinator activists. On Wednesday, Minnesota beekeeper James Cook parked a truck full of millions of dead bees outside of the Environmental Protection Agency, a stop that marked the end of the bus’s country-wide tour. He and other activists also delivered a 4-million-signature petition to the EPA, urging the agency to ban neonicotinoids and other bee-harming pesticides.

Protesters rally outside the EPA on Wednesday, June 22, 2016.

Protesters rally outside the EPA on Wednesday, June 22, 2016. CREDIT: courtesy of Friends of the Earth.

The Keep the Hives Alive tour truck arrives at the EPA, carrying millions of dead bees. CREDIT: courtesy of Friends of the Earth

The Keep the Hives Alive tour truck arrives at the EPA, carrying millions of dead bees. CREDIT: courtesy of Friends of the Earth.

“We are, I think, uniquely in the history of the human species blind and deaf to signals that nature is giving us that things are going haywire,” Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) said at a briefing on pollinators Wednesday, where a shortened version of the movie was shown. “We need to learn to pay attention.”

We best stop being blind to this particular problem, or we’re all going to smack right into the “hey, there’s no food!” wall. Full story at Think Progress.

Four More Heads.

Courtesy Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. This front page of Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper ran with portraits of 11 Modoc Indians, who ended up as federal prisoners.

Courtesy Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.
This front page of Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper ran with portraits of 11 Modoc Indians, who ended up as federal prisoners.

The four Modocs dangling from the gallows at Fort Klamath, Oregon, on October 3, 1873, had barely been cut down when the ghoulish souvenir-taking started. Soldiers auctioned off a hank of hair shorn from the head of Modoc leader Kientpoos (a.k.a. Captain Jack) to fit the noose around his neck, and they sold unraveled gallows rope for $5 a strand. Thomas Cabaniss, a physician from nearby Yreka, California, who had worked for the army during the Modoc War, claimed two halters. Other spectators snatched pieces and parts from the gallows. Meanwhile, in a nearby tent, military medical officer Henry McElderry was taking the army’s share of hanging-day mementos.

This image of Kientpoos (Captain Jack) was among those taken by Louis Herman Heller during and after The Modoc War. (Housed at: Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

This image of Kientpoos (Captain Jack) was among those taken by Louis Herman Heller during and after The Modoc War. (Housed at: Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

In 1868, George Otis Alexander, then assistant surgeon general of the United States Army, circulated an order among military physicians requiring them to help the Army Medical Museum’s effort to build its collection of Native crania. The museum had already amassed 143 skulls and wanted to add more.

“The chief purpose … in forming this collection,” Alexander explained, “is to aid in the progress of anthropological science by obtaining measurements of a large number of skulls of aboriginal races of North America.”

The official purpose for collecting Indian skulls was comparative study of racial differences. George A. Otis, MD, of the Army Medical Museum, after studying the “osteological peculiarities” of the skulls collected up to 1870, announced that America’s Native peoples “must be assigned a lower position in the human scale than has been believed heretofore.” Lewis Henry Morgan, a pioneering physical anthropologist who had sought unsuccessfully to be appointed Indian Affairs commissioner, wrote that Native Americans “have the skulls and brains of barbarians, and must grow toward civilization.” Thus did the crude, pseudo-Darwinist science of the time support herding Natives on to reservations to learn English and farming.

 This image of Black Jim was among those taken by Louis Herman Heller during and after The Modoc War. (Housed at: Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

This image of Black Jim was among those taken by Louis Herman Heller during and after The Modoc War. (Housed at: Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

Army doctors in Indian country could augment the collection by gathering skulls and forwarding them to Washington and the Army Medical Museum. Accurate statistical analysis required as many specimens as possible: “… it is chiefly desired to procure sufficiently large series of adult crania of the principal Indian tribes to furnish accurate average estimates. Medical officers will enhance the value of their contributions by transmitting with the specimens the fullest attainable memoranda, specifying the locality where the skulls were derived, the presumed age and sex….”

The army’s medical officers responded enthusiastically, swelling the collection to more than 1,000 skulls by the time of the Fort Klamath hangings. Some remains came from ancient burial sites, such as the mounds of the eastern United States, others from tribal cemeteries captured during military operations. Epidemics were a boon for the collectors, since, besides felling Indians in droves, they tore apart Native societies and made it difficult for survivors to protect their dead against white grave robbers. And then there were the many battles and executions.


This image of Boston Charley was among those taken by Louis Herman Heller during and after The Modoc War. (Housed at: Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

Military medical officers enjoyed easy access to all these opportunities. Plus, they had the surgical skills to dissect away soft tissues and prepare heads for boiling in water or steeping in quicklime to leave only the bare bone the Army Medical Museum wanted.

The Army Medical Museum collection had grown to 2,206 skulls by 1898, when it was turned over to the Smithsonian Institution. The collection had fallen into disuse as academic anthropologists adopted different modes of study, and the museum no longer wanted to maintain it. Almost a century later, the skulls became part of the more than 6,000 individual human remains offered for repatriation by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and the National Museum of Natural History through federal legislation passed in the 1980s and 1990s. The Modoc skulls were among the remains repatriated.

Despite the federal government’s latter-day efforts to make this wrong right, the Army Medical Museum’s collection marks the United States as the only national government ever to officially use warfare to collect human skulls.

This image of Schonchin was among those taken by Louis Herman Heller during and after The Modoc War. (Housed at: Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

This image of Schonchin was among those taken by Louis Herman Heller during and after The Modoc War. (Housed at: Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

Full Story at ICTMN. And before anyone tsks, shakes their head and murmurs, thank goodness we’re past that now, we aren’t. We’re currently surrounded by so called ‘race realists’ and white nationalists who think this is great science, and we should probably do more of this sort of thing. Don’t go dismissing it, everyone thinks it can’t happen to them.

World Blood Day, Oh the Irony.


Happy World Blood Donor Day! (You Still Can’t Donate).

While the husbands of men wounded in Sunday’s Orlando nightclub shooting are crying and praying, they can’t easily offer their spouses the one thing so many others can: their blood.

Defying federal policy, Patty Sheehan — Orlando’s lesbian city commissioner — announced after the shooting that she was recommending the city temporarily lift the Food and Drug Administration-mandated ban on blood donated from sexually-active gay and bisexual men. In response, Orlando hospitals appear to be welcoming donations from all queer men and transgender women — also included in the FDA ban — but it’s still murky whether the federal government will crack down on Sheehan’s directive and blood will actually get to the injured.

The Orlando massacre, in a grim coincidence, came two days before the World Health Organization’s World Blood Donor Day, observed today. While the mass shooting, the nation’s worst, briefly brought the FDA’s discriminatory policy to the world’s attention, it was quickly forgotten in the barrage of news updates about the Orlando killer and his victims.


The current prohibition has been in place since December, when the FDA amended its ban, so now instead of barring any male donors who had sex with men since 1977, the new rules turn away those who haven’t had gay sex in 12 months. For many, that’s still an outright ban on any gay or bisexual man, no matter the semantics.


GMHC and FCB Health joined together to launch a campaign called the Blood Equality campaign, which will plaster cities with posters that read, “My blood is type O, not type homo” and “My blood is type A, not type gay.”

Democratic legislators like Mike Quigley of Illinois, Barbara Lee of California, and out Wisconsin senator Tammy Baldwin also want the FDA to reconsider the ban, which the agency considers imperative to keeping the nation’s blood supply free of HIV. The three politicians disagree with the FDA’s assertion and jointly released the following statement late on Monday:

“The resiliency of the American people is always magnified after a tragedy, and we are witnessing that compassion as Floridians rally around the people of Orlando, and the local LGBT community, by lining up to donate much needed blood after Sunday’s horrific shooting at Pulse nightclub. However, we find it unacceptable that gay and bisexual men are banned from donating desperately needed blood in response to this tragedy. Blood donations are needed now more than ever, yet gay and bisexual men remain unable to donate blood due to an outdated and discriminatory FDA rule. For years, we have worked through both authorizing and appropriations committees to overturn the FDA’s donor referral policy for men who have sex with men. We’ve made progress; this past year, the FDA reversed a lifetime ban to a 12-month deferral policy. But this revision does not go far enough in ending an outdated policy that is medically and scientifically unwarranted and that perpetuates inaccurate stereotypes. Tragedies like the one we witnessed in the early morning hours on Sunday show how crucial it is for FDA to develop better blood donor policies that are based on science and on individual risk factors; that don’t unfairly single out one group of individuals; and that allow all healthy Americans to donate. Given the enormous response by the citizens of Orlando, including members of the LGBT community, to donate blood to help heal their community, the FDA should lift this prejudicial ban once and for all.”

Nations like Spain have ended blanket deferrals for gay and bisexual men, instead considering the sexual behavior of individuals when deciding who qualifies as a donor.

Full Story Here.

The Daily Bird #20


Click for full size image. Adult bearded vulture. Some lammergeier have been released in the Alps as part of reintroduction programmes. Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo.

In mid-May, a bearded vulture was spotted in the UK. Seriously exciting! This is one of the coolest and most magnificent birds I have ever seen. I would love to see this bird in person.

A spectacular bearded vulture, believed to be the first recorded in the UK, has been spotted soaring over the Severn estuary and moorland in Devon.

If it is confirmed that the vulture, also known as the lammergeier or ossifrage, is a wild bird, it will be the first of its species to be found in Britain and the sightings have already caused ornithologists to rush to the west country hoping for a glimpse.

The lammergeier was filmed on the Welsh side of the Second Severn Crossing at the end of last week, perched on rocks then flying off toward the bridge.

It is believed the same bird was seen last weekend over Dartmoor in Devon about 100 miles away. Though already a sizeable bird, the specimen is thought to be a juvenile. Adults can boast a wingspan of almost three metres (9.8ft).

Josh Jones, news manager at BirdGuides, said the sighting was very exciting. “I think we’re going to have a lot of people wanting to take a look,” he said. “This is special bird and we could get monster crowds.”

I believe that, I’d be part of those monster crowds.

The same bird is believed to have been spotted in Belgium earlier this month. Some lammergeier have been released in the Alps as part of reintroduction programmes but those birds have dyed feathers so can be easily recognised.

There were no obviously dyed feathers – or rings – on the Severn vulture which suggests it could be a genuinely wild bird. Young lammergeier do travel large distances.

Very exciting. I’m jealous of anyone who has a chance to see this most magnificent being in person.

Via The Guardian.

Cool Stuff Friday

Image via Adidas

Image via Adidas

Stitched with thread produced from discarded fishing nets, Adidas‘ newest shoes are a collaboration with the ocean activist collective and company Parley for the Oceans. The idea for the shoe was hatched last year, but was more of a idealistic prototype than a ready-to-wear option for the masses. Today however, Adidas is releasing fifty pairs of the sneaker, a shoe composed of more than 16 old plastic bottles and 13 grams of gill nets.

This limited number of pairs is due to the difficult task of taking the collected trash and spinning it into fiber suitable for high performance shoes. Plastic bottles are relatively easy to transform into a useable material, but when it comes to the gill nets (which emit the smell of rotting fish) the task is a bit more difficult. Not only is the smell difficult to scrub from the nets, but the nylon is extra tough and requires being ground into a powder before it can be reformed into a material fit for the Adidas sneaker.

To collect these environmentally damaging materials, Parley partners with small countries that have large ties to marine pollution—locations like the Maldives, Grenada, and Jamaica. After partnering, Parley team members help clean up fisheries and other oceanside spots while teaching locals alternatives to using plastic in their businesses. The materials collected by Parley are then distributed not only to Adidas, but also institutions such as Parsons School of Design, which might help change the way new generations of designers think about incorporating these materials into future designs.

An announcement will be made soon on how to win one of the 50 released pairs of the collaborative shoe on Adidas’ Instagram.

Via Colossal Art.

American Apparel.

American Apparel.

Help to make America Gay Again!

American Apparel is taking a jab at the presumptive Republican presidential nominee with a new clothing line that promises to “make American gay again.”

The Pride 2016 collection includes T-shirts, tanks, and hats printed with the play on words of Donald Trump’s campaign slogan.

Created in partnership with the Human Rights Campaign and The Ally Coalition, the clothing line supports the fight for LGBT equality across the country.

30 percent of sales and 100 percent of sales from American Apparel and the HRC stores, respectively, will go to supporting the Equality Act. The bill would protect sexual orientation and gender identity under federal civil rights law.

The clothing line comes with a social media campaign, #MakeAmericaGayAgain, and videos from supporters—including recording artist and Glee alum Alex Newell (below).

I’m getting the tank top. Via Out.

HIV+ Organ Transplants Okayed in California.

Credit: Shutterstock.

Credit: Shutterstock.

Organ donation and transplantation between HIV-positive people is now legal in the state of California.

On May 27, Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 1408, a new piece of legislation that protects surgeons who transplant organs from HIV-positive donors into HIV-positive patients from being penalized by the state’s medical board. President Barack Obama’s HOPE Act technically reversed the federal ban on this procedure back in 2013, but as Medical Daily previously reported, there’s been a delay in uptake. Apparently the National Institutes of Health needed time to “properly iron out the act’s guidelines,” so up until now in California, doctors were criminals and even faced jail time if they condoned HIV transplantation and donation, Tech Times­ reported.


The surgeons at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore had a similar feeling in March when they were approved to conduct the first HIV-positive organ transplant in the U.S. Dr. Dorry Segev, an associate professor of surgery at Johns Hopkins, told NPR that both HIV-positive and negative patients would benefit from the ban reversal when it comes to the organ transplant waiting list.

“Imagine now we take hundreds or maybe thousands of people off of the list, then everybody behind them moves forward,” he said. “So people with HIV are benefited directly and everybody else on the list is benefitted indirectly. And we’re all very excited to get started.”

Full Story Here.