Today we’ll discuss
- Horrible mudslides in California
- A robot building dwellings for humans on mars
- And Arizona’s pardoned criminal sherriff joe arpaio wants to take senator Jeff Flake’s seat.
Here we go!
Today is WEdnesday, January 10th
- First, on the docit – The southern California mudslides.
- This morning, the hills of southern California slide away after heavy rains broke up the top soil causing massive mudslides.
- This is the same area effected by the massive wildfires last year.
- Imagine waking up in your normal routine when a 6 foot high wall breaks through your home, this is a real instance some folks had to deal with this morning in California
- In a lamen’s explanation of mudslides, mudslides occur when too much rain mixes with the top layer of earth and while on an angle, begins to shift.
- This shift gathers momentum down a slope, building in strength as it melds with more earth in similar conditions.
- Unfortunately, flat land or valleys are how mudslides come to a conclusion.
- At this time, 15 are believed to be lost, with roughly two dozen still unaccounted for.
- SRC: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/10/us/montecito-mudslides-california.html
- Gerrymandering is back in the hot seat… and it has a familiar battlegrounds – the state of north Carolina
- Real quick primer on what it means to gerrymander
- When you vote in a public election, your votes are gathered and counted in districts or boundaries.
- This is wisconsin’s voting districts in 2004 the lines represent boundaries of each voting district… win more districts, win the election.
- Some states count the districts separately and divide the electorial college points casted, but the majority of the states simply cast all he points to the winner of the most districts.
- These districts are made by legislators in the state – so if a state has more republicans than democrats, or visa versa – they can elect to redraw the boundary lines to favor their party!
- This is what it means to gerrymander – redrawing voting districts to favor voting outcomes.
- Here is wisconsin’s voting districts in 2012, after republicans redrew the boundaries.
- Because they were able to move more republican voters into different districts where democrats might win, they now are assured most of the state votes republican.
- Back to north Carolina, here is their current congressional district maps
- Tuesday, a panel of federal judges struck the map down as unconstitutional, stating republicans redrew the lines to a crazy extreme to favor them.
- Problem is – Gerrymandering is so common (just google how many times your own state has redrawn the lines) that finding it illegal or giving political advantage to one party over the other is difficult.
- One year it may favor democrats, the next republicans – it’s truly is a seedy underbelly to American politics
- This this decision to block or repeal a district map has been tried many times before (mostely unsuccessfully, but sometimes successfully), what makes this so unique is the opinion written by the lead judge from the panel
- He stated it violates the 14th amendment’s guarantee of equal protections.
- I went and read the 14th amendment (which has 5 sections). And that does seem like a bit of a stretch.
- Here is the exact text of the first section, where judge Wynn pulled his reasoning from:
- So you be the judge! What do you think?
- All three judges on the panel found it unconstituational.
- Src: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/09/us/north-carolina-gerrymander.html
- And finally, former Arizona Sherric, convicted criminal, and President Trump pardonee Sherriff Joe Arpaio wants Jeff Flake’s senate seat
- Back in 2017 Jeff Flake announced he wouldn’t run for re-election sighting how lost the republican party was
- Some thought a scandal was brewing and that fueled his reasoning.
- No scandal was afoot, at least not that we know of yet and now Joe Arpaio announced Tuesday he was going to run for Flake’s senate seat.
- Flake’s current partner in crime in Arizona is war hero, former President candidate, and cancer fighter John McCain.
- McCain has recently been diagnosed with a brain tumor and undergoing continuous treatment.
- Flake’s seat is a hotly contested one already and McCain’s seat might be considered up in the air shortly thereafter given his medical situation.
- Possibly two more seats in the senate to watch closely given the status of the republican party.
Now it’s time for the quick 3 – I give you 3 headlines and if you want to know more, click on the sources below to read the full article.
- A self-aware, AI robot might eventually be building dwellings on mars in preparation for human arrival.
- German Space Agency DLR built Justin with just this in mind, check out more below
- Src: https://www.i4u.com/2018/01/126546/archeologists-discover-ancient-aztec-map-universe-mexico
- There’s now an austronaut American girl doll
- If you don’t know what an American girl doll is, they’re expensive, yet high quality dolls that stand roughly 2 feet high.
- The astronaut doll hopes to be a role model for STEM – science, tech, engineering and math
- Src: http://www.cnn.com/2018/01/10/health/luciana-vega-american-girl-astronaut-trnd/index.html
- And speaking of STEM, Nernad Bursac, a billogical engineer at duke has created a fully functional muscle from scratch.
- Born in a petri dish, synthetic muscles can be created from a handful of skin cells…
- Learn more below.
- Src: https://www.wired.com/story/scientists-figure-out-how-to-make-muscles-from-scratch/
That’s been today’s bruce show…
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