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  • Today's comic by Jen Sorensen is New abortion laws:
    Cartoon by Jen Sorensen - New abortion laws
  • Along came ... who?:
    When he died recently, and a few obits appeared, most of us—even folks who worked at Crawdaddy (e.g. me)—had never heard his name for decades, if ever.  Tandyn Almer.  Who?  Seems that he wrote the classic early pot song "Along Comes Mary" for The Association around 1966, and then pretty much disappeared, first from the charts, every way.  Interesting cat.  Also invented "the perfect bong." (James Franco, take notice.)  Now there's a New Yorker piece and a likely very uneven collection of his demos.  Didn't know he co-wrote two very good post-Brian Beach Boys songs, "Marcella" and "Sail on Sailor."
  • Rep. Louie Gohmert proves he's not just a dick in Congress. U.S. Park police said the Congressman was "rude and irate" after they ticketed him March 13 for parking near the Lincoln Memorial in a space reserved National Park Service Vehicles:
    Gohmert took the ticket off his windshield and placed it on a police car along with his business card with a message written: “Oversight of Park Service is my job! Natural Resources Thus the Congressional Plate in window.” [...]
  • ProPublica has a list of best reporting on wrongful convictions.
  • Pennsylvania man charged with hunting deer in parking lot. It happened last November. Arcangelo Bianco Jr. was going shopping at a Walmart and saw the 10-point buck walking around the corner of the building. He grabbed a handgun, stepped out of his truck and began blazing away. He later caught up with the deer up the highway a piece. He faces a hearing May 1 for a "misdemeanor count of reckless endangerment, as well as several hunting violations, including hunting without a license, shooting on or across highways and unlawful killing or taking of big game." Nothing about charges under the Dumbass statute.
  • Wastewater injection linked to 5.7 Oklahoma earthquake in 2011:
    A new study in the journal Geology is the latest to tie a string of unusual earthquakes, in this case, in central Oklahoma, to the injection of wastewater deep underground. Researchers now say that the magnitude 5.7 earthquake near Prague, Okla., on Nov. 6, 2011, may also be the largest ever linked to wastewater injection. Felt as far away as Milwaukee, more than 800 miles away, the quake -- the biggest ever recorded in Oklahoma--destroyed 14 homes, buckled a federal highway and left two people injured. Small earthquakes continue to be recorded in the area.

    The recent boom in U.S. energy production has produced massive amounts of wastewater. The water is used both in hydrofracking, which cracks open rocks to release natural gas, and in coaxing petroleum out of conventional oil wells. In both cases, the brine and chemical-laced water has to be disposed of, often by injecting it back underground elsewhere, where it has the potential to trigger earthquakes. The water linked to the Prague quakes was a byproduct of oil extraction at one set of oil wells, and was pumped into another set of depleted oil wells targeted for waste storage.

  • One more Democrat for marriage equality: Kay Hagan.
  • So you think space tourism will be fun?
    The concern with launch costs might not be an issue if we manage to construct working space elevators before space tourism really takes off (no pun intended). Space elevators (literally elevators that lead to space) would theoretically reduce the cost and energy required to leave Earth's gravity well substantially. However, they may still invoke the ire of tourists. A journey in a space elevator is likely to be a lot longer than a rocket launch. Even an elevator moving as fast as a high-speed train will take 5 days to reach geosynchronous orbit (22,300 miles up). That's nearly a week of constant elevator Muzak. Even the strongest person is likely to be driven to bloodshed before then.
  • Mitt Romney pitches son's company to campaign donors. A $5000-a-head get-together in Park City, Utah, will ask financial angels to the failed presidential campaign to invest in Tagg Romney's venture capital fund. Among the guests will be two presidential possibles for 2016: Former running mate Paul Ryan and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Perhaps Tagg will explain how he's soon going to be a self-made man, just like dad.
  • On today's Kagro in the Morning show, Greg Dworkin discusses Enfield, CT's decision to put armed guards in schools, the pullback from SC's proposed Docs 'n Glocks gag rule, and today's SCOTUS arguments. Armando joins in on the DOMA proceedings, issues of justiciability, standing, etc. underlying the substance. In between, statistical analysis of guns & safety as written up in The Guardian, and two recent #GunFAIL incidents that perfectly crystallize the issues behind those stats. And of course, conservative insanity: TN's "Sharia Sink," and Glenn Beck's insistence that the ethics probe of Michele Bachmann is a Muslim Brotherhood plot.

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