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Don Cornelius dead at age 75

If you are over the age of 40, you understand the impact that Don Cornelius had on American life. Back in the ’70s, it was rare to see shows that involved Black people. Soul Train provided an atmosphere which promoted music and cultural harmony. Don Cornelius’ influence on our society cannot be underestimated. My prayers go out to his family and friends.

From RS:

Don Cornelius, who created the long-running R&B and dance-music showcase Soul Train, was found dead in his home in Sherman Oaks, Calif., early this morning. He was 75. Law enforcement officials suspect suicide; the body was found with a gunshot wound to the head.

Trained as a journalist on WVON, an African-American talk radio station in his native Chicago, Cornelius conceived of Soul Train during the Civil Rights movement, noting there was no showcase for black music on national television. Soul Train debuted in 1971 and quickly became a popular stop for major acts such as James Brown, the O’Jays and Michael Jackson. Cornelius hosted the show from its inception until 1993; Soul Train ended its long run in its original form in 2006.

The show had a huge influence on popular culture and the pop charts. One of its themes, “TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia),” became a hit record, and references to Cornelius and Soul Train have appeared in dozens of songs over the years. Cornelius famously closed each episode with the parting words, “We wish you love, peace and soul.”

(Read more)

By |2012-02-02T04:41:29-04:00February 2nd, 2012|Music|Comments Off on Don Cornelius dead at age 75

Extreme weather getting worse

From Climate Progress:

The pace of extreme weather events has remained remarkably high during 2011, giving rise to the question–is the “Global Weirding” of 2010 and 2011 the new normal? Has human-caused climate change destabilized the climate, bringing these extreme, unprecedented weather events? Any one of the extreme weather events of 2010 or 2011 could have occurred naturally sometime during the past 1,000 years. But it is highly improbable that the remarkable extreme weather events of 2010 and 2011 could have all happened in such a short period of time without some powerful climate-altering force at work. The best science we have right now maintains that human-caused emissions of heat-trapping gases like CO2 are the most likely cause of such a climate-altering force.Human-caused climate change has fundamentally altered the atmosphere by adding more heat and moisture. Observations confirm that global atmospheric water vapor has increased by about 4% since 1970, which is what theory says should have happened given the observed 0.5°C (0.9°F) warming of the planet’s oceans during the same period. Shifts of this magnitude are capable of significantly affecting the path and strength of the jet stream, behavior of the planet’s monsoons, and paths of rain and snow-bearing weather systems. For example, the average position of the jet stream retreated poleward 270 miles (435 km) during a 22-year period ending in 2001, in line with predictions from climate models.

A naturally extreme year, when embedded in such a changed atmosphere, is capable of causing dramatic, unprecedented extremes like we observed during 2010 and 2011. That’s the best theory I have to explain the extreme weather events of 2010 and 2011….  [T]he ever-increasing amounts of heat-trapping gases humans are emitting into the air puts tremendous pressure on the climate system to shift to a new, radically different, warmer state, and the extreme weather of 2010 – 2011 suggests that the transition is already well underway. A warmer planet has more energy to power stronger storms, hotter heat waves, more intense droughts, heavier flooding rains, and record glacier melt that will drive accelerating sea level rise. I expect that by 20 – 30 years from now, extreme weather years like we witnessed in 2010 will become the new normal.

Finally, I’ll leave you with a quote from Dr. Ricky Rood’s climate change blog, in his recent post, Changing the Conversation: Extreme Weather and Climate:“Given that greenhouse gases are well known to hold energy close to the Earth, those who deny a human-caused impact on weather need to pose a viable mechanism of how the Earth can hold in more energy and the weather not be changed. Think about it.”

That’s from the conclusion of a comprehensive must-read analysis by uber-meteorologist and former Hurricane Hunter Dr. Jeff Masters.  Masters has the most comprehensive review I’ve seen — with images and graphs — of the remarkable extreme weather of last year. (more…)

By |2011-06-25T09:11:30-04:00June 25th, 2011|Environment|Comments Off on Extreme weather getting worse

The greatest man-made lightshow

In 1962 we blew up an H bomb in the atmosphere. I’m not sure why we did this. Maybe we wanted to see if we could rain radiation down on the Russians. I don’t know. Anyway, the bomb was set off over the Pacific Ocean over 2000 miles from Hawai’i.

More of the story can be found here.

By |2010-07-05T13:15:48-04:00July 5th, 2010|Domestic Issues, Ethics, General|Comments Off on The greatest man-made lightshow
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