American Elephants


It’s Panic Time At Planned Parenthood! by The Elephant's Child

Planned Parenthood is in full panic mode. The organization’s involvement in the trafficking of aborted baby organs has gained so much attention in the news, and in Congress, that Planned Parenthood’s president, Cecile Richards, felt compelled to appear on ABC’s This Week on Sunday to defend the organization.It didn’t really go well.

Richards claimed repeatedly that the videos that have been released were heavily edited, but the full versions were released at the same time as the condensed versions. Richards also claimed that Planned Parenthood does not receive any financial benefit for “donating” fetal human organs for biotech research. She claimed it was just the cost of shipping the fetal material to the research institutions. But their own officials make it clear that this is not so. Medical sources say the need for fetal specimens for “research” is outdated and stem cell research is concentrating on adult stem cells, though some haven’t updated their research methods.

Screen-Shot-2015-07-26-at-6.41.14-PM-489x650It has also been reported that Planned Parenthood is advertising for paid demonstrators — “Activist Jobs”to “earn $1,600 – $2,500 a month to oppose attacks on healthcare access, expand reproductive rights and keep birth control affordable.”

Planned Parenthood has hired the Democratic SKDKnickerbocker PR firm to handle the public relations effort surrounding the growing organ trafficking scandal.

The group has circulated a memo to reporters and producers late Monday to discourage them from airing the undercover videos, claiming they were obtained under false identification and violated patient privacy. If you wonder why some liberal outlets are avoiding the story completely — that’s why.



Here Is Another New Material: Metal Foam! by The Elephant's Child

Here’s another. North Carolina State University researchers have found that lightweight composite metal foams they have developed are effective at blocking X-rays, gamma rays, and neutron radiation, and are capable of absorbing the energy of high-impact collisions. These findings are promising for use in nuclear power plants, space exploration, and CT-scanner shielding.

“This work means there’s an opportunity to use composite metal foam to develop safer systems for transporting nuclear waste, more efficient designs for spacecraft and nuclear structures, and new shielding for use in CT scanners,” says Afsaneh Rabiei, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at NC State, where they first developed the strong, lightweight metal foam made of steel, tungsten, and and vanadium for use in transportation and military applications.

But she wanted to determine whether the foam could be used for nuclear or space exploration applications — could it provide structural support and protect against high impacts while providing shielding against various forms of radiation?

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Metal foams? Vanadium? And uses for blocking harmful rays, and for absorbing the energy of high-impact collisions. Amazing.



The Exciting and Tantalizing Possibilities of the New Materials. by The Elephant's Child

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The potential uses of the new materials sound like science fiction: here’s a new electrically conducting fiber for— artificial muscles, exoskeletons and morphing aircraft. The fiber is made from sheets of carbon nanotubes wrapped around a rubber core, and can be stretched to 14 times its original length and actually increases its electrical conductivity while being stretched, without losing any of its resistance.

An international research team based at the University of Texas at Dallas initially targeted the new super fiber for artificial muscles and for capacitors whose storage capacity increase tenfold when the fiber is stretched. The researchers now believe that the material could be used as interconnects in flexible electronics and a host of other related applications.

The team has published research in the Journal Science describing how they devised a method for wrapping electrically conductive sheets of carbon nanotubes around the rubber core in such a way that the fiber’s resistance does not change when stretched, but its conductivity increases.

I wish they had indicated the amount of magnification in the photo above, for those of us who are definitely not materials scientists.

The researchers have also been able to add a thin coat of rubber to the sheath-core fibers and then another carbon nanotube sheath to create strain sensors and artificial muscles. In this setup, the buckled nanotube sheets act as electrodes and the thin rubber coating serves as the dielectric. Voilà! You have a fiber capacitor.

“This technology could be well-suited for rapid commercialization,” said Raquel Ovalle-Robles, one of the paper’s authors, in the press release. “The rubber cores used for these sheath-core fibers are inexpensive and readily available. The only exotic component is the carbon nanotube aerogel sheet used for the fiber sheath.”

As new materials have been discovered or invented, there is a mad rush for patents on potential uses, I  gather based on informed guesses, by corporations hoping to develop what the scientists discover. Free enterprise at work.

For other posts on the new materials, enter “new materials” in the search function over Bob Hope’s head in the sidebar.



I Pencil, The Movie by The Elephant's Child

The old favorite free enterprise story, in a brand new movie. An explanation of commerce, by the simple story of how a pencil is made.



The Real Ugliness of Planned Parenthood. by The Elephant's Child

RAMclr-072315-fetal-IBD-COLOR-FINAL.jpg.cmsBy now, you have probably seen or heard of the undercover video of the Senior Director of Medical Services released by the Center for Medical Progress, a pro-life group. Deborah Nucatola, an abortion doctor, had a conversation over a quite nice salad and wine lunch with two people  posing as representatives of a company trafficking in body parts of aborted fetuses.

The video exposes the animating principle behind the abortion industry and Planned Parenthood, a tax-payer supported industry. They do not consider abortion as any more problematic than cosmetic surgery.

There’s a lot of pretense at Planned Parenthood. They oppose the use of ultrasounds when the purpose is to reveal the humanity of the child, but use ultrasound to determine which parts of the baby to crush to preserve the desired parts. It’s ugly.  A second video has been released with another Planned Parenthood executive bargaining over prices for the fetal parts. Supporters of Planned Parenthood extol their other services like mammograms,  but its been well established that they don’t actually do mammograms.

The Left is heavily invested in Planned Parenthood, and in abortion, and the media have avoided any mention of the story, except to insist that the Center for Medical Progress is some kind of crazy pro-life group, and the video is false and the attack illegal. A reporter tried to ask a question of Josh Earnest, but was silenced with just an emphatic NO. Obama’s Department of Justice is planning to investigate, not Planned Parenthood for sales of body parts, but of the group that busted Planned Parenthood.

Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, made the claim that the trade in body parts was a service to scientific research, but embryonic tissue for stem cells is old discredited science, and the gold standard is now adult stem cells.

Health and Human Services rejected an expedited Planned Parenthood Freedom of Information Request for documents and communications relevant to payment or compensation of fees from Mary Hasson of the Federalist. HHS said it didn’t fit the public’s “urgent” right to know.

“Further, in order to meet second prong of the compelling need standard, the requested information must be the type of information that has a particular value that will be lost if not disseminated quickly, and ordinarily refers to a breaking news story of general public interest.”

There are more videos to come, and the Left is in panic mode. Or perhaps “stonewall mode.” The Left has a lot invested in total sexual freedom for all, but I’m getting pretty tired of school teachers having sex with their underage students, and gender-neutral bathrooms, among other things.

Black Americans are about 12.6 percent of the U.S. Population, but they have 35.4 percent of all abortions.  On average 1,876 black babies are aborted every day. That is just terribly sad.



Colorado’s Dream of “Clean Energy” Sabotaged by Pot Growers. by The Elephant's Child

Steven Hayward noted a recent story from the Denver Post at Powerline. It seems that surging electricity consumption by Colorado’s new marijuana industry is sabotaging Denver’s push to use less energy—as urged  by the White House’s Clean Power Plan to shut down coal-fired power plants because carbon pollution.

Citywide electricity use has been rising at the rate of 1.2 percent a year, and 45 percent of that increase comes from marijuana-growing facilities, Denver officials said Wednesday.

Denver has a goal of capping energy use at 2012 levels. Electricity is a big part of that.

The latest Xcel Energy data show cannabis grow facilities statewide, the bulk of which are in Denver, used as much as 200 million kilowatt hours of electricity in 2014, utility officials said. City officials said 354 grow facilities in Denver used about 121 million kwh in 2013, up from 86 million kwh at 351 facilities in 2012.

I thought this was really funny. Lots of problems with the marijuana industry, not the least of which is pot being put in candies and cookies attractive to children. This is not going to go well.

On the other front, no matter how much the administration pushes “clean energy,” wind and solar are not going to replace electricity produced by fossil fuels. Wind is too intermittent and solar too diffuse. It’s the inherent qualities of the “natural” sources and cannot be remedied by technology. If the subsidies provided by the taxpayers are removed, there will be no wind and no solar. And there is no such thing as “carbon pollution.” Carbon is not a pollutant, but one of the building blocks of life.

Do Denver taxpayers know that they are not only paying extra for “clean energy” but their city actually has a “sustainability strategist” named Sonrisa Lucero? They are requesting guidance from the Department of Energy for best practices and technical help.



Polar Bears Have Survived for Over a Hundred Thousand Years. They Are Not “Threatened.” by The Elephant's Child

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The Hill reports that the Fish and Wildlife Service has released a draft proposal for a plan to conserve the polar bear, which (they say erroneously) was declared endangered in 2008. Well, no, they declared the polar bear “threatened” in 2008. There is a difference. And, according to the most noted authority on polar bears, the bears are just fine.

According to Dr. Susan Crockford, last year:

Survival of polar bears over a  hundred thousand years (at least ) of highly variable sea ice coverage indicates that those biologists who portend a doomed  future for the polar bear have grossly underestimated its ability to survive vastly different conditions than those that existed in the late 1970s when Ian Stirling began his polar bear research.

The agency was undoubtedly told to emphasize the horrors of carbon dioxide, with the big climate meeting coming up, and Obama’s push to get all nations to line up in his attempt to eliminate the dangers of CO². The article in The Hill is, naturally, accompanied by a picture of a baby polar bear. “It’s for the children” or in this case — the polar bear cubs.

The top threat to the survival of polar bears is the increase in carbon dioxide emissions, the federal government’s wildlife agency said.

That’s the main finding released Thursday in a draft proposal of the Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) first ever plan for conserving the polar bear, which was declared endangered in 2008.

“Polar bear conservation requires a global commitment to curb the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere,” Geoffrey Haskett, the Alaska regional director for the FWS, said in a statement about the draft plan. …

The agency identified several threats to the polar bear, but said that the loss of sea ice — caused by climate change — is the top threat. It predicts that three out of the four major “ecoregions” of polar bears will be decreased or greatly decreased by 2050, based on two separate greenhouse gas growth scenarios.

We cannot predict the future. Computer programs cannot predict the future either. Carbon dioxide is what we exhale every time we breathe. It is what polar bears exhale as well. Carbon dioxide is a natural plant fertilizer and essential to life on earth. There has been no warming whatsoever for 18 years. The extent of Arctic sea ice is at the highest level in a decade, since 2005, Melt is currently the slowest since at least 2004. Polar bears thrive in Hudson Bay, which is ice free three months a year.

A new paper from Dr, Susan Crockford explains that a fundamental problem with polar bear conservation is the fallacy that under natural conditions sea ice is a stable predictable habitat for polar bears and their prey. The essay in Watts Up With That? has a forward by Dr. Matthew Cronin discussing the problem of Lysenkoism in science, and if you scroll down, Dr. Crockford’s Summary, “The Arctic Fallacy: Sea Ice Stability and the Polar Bear,” and links to the paper and blog posts. Read the whole thing, and never fall for cute pictures of baby polar bears again. Don’t you get tired of being manipulated?




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