Environmental Writers Disagree About Obama

On Monday, Bill McKibben, the writer, environmentalist, and founder of (and, let's not forget, GOOD 100 honoree) took to the pages of Mother Jones to express frustration with Obama's approach to our common climate problem:Despite the deadline of the Copenhagen conference, Obama placed energy second on his priority list, guaranteeing that health care would occupy most of the year.... And then-as with health care-he left it pretty much entirely up to Congress to write the necessary legislation. That kept him from having to bear the blame for a byzantine bill, but it also meant that the Senate-the body from which he came, and whose culture he had to know-could work in its usual style, without White House pressure. Which at the moment means that Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham are essentially rewriting the legislation, to what end no one really knows.Yesterday, Dave Roberts, another of the heavy-hitting environmental writers, chimed in on Grist with a piece called "Is Bill McKibben Right to Be Angry with Obama?":Alas, despite the far-reaching powers people tend to ascribe to the U.S. presidency in general and Obama specifically, it seems to me the real culprit is-yes, I'm going to say the same thing again, I'm boring!-the U.S. Senate.....When it comes to matters under executive branch control, the progress over the last 10 months has been amazing-new fuel-economy rules, new enforcement of efficiency standards, EPA moving forward on CO2 regulations, energy standards and goals for all federal departments, tons of green stimulus money, national retrofit programs, delay of mining and drilling permits, sustained bi- and multi-lateral international climate diplomacy ... the list goes on. Obama is doing what a president can do-more than any president has ever done.Roberts argues that without conservative Democrats in the Senate on board, there's only so much that Obama can do, and that further "White House pressure" in the form of public campaigning wouldn't help. He blames Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), Jim Webb (D-Vir.), and Evan Bayh (D-Ind.).What do you think? Elizabeth Kolbert, want to weigh in?

Some beauty pageants, like the Miss America competition, have done away with the swimsuit portions of the competitions, thus dipping their toes in the 21st century. Other aspects of beauty pageants remain stuck in the 1950s, and we're not even talking about the whole "judging women mostly on their looks" thing. One beauty pageant winner was disqualified for being a mom, as if you can't be beautiful after you've had a kid. Now she's trying to get the Miss World competition to update their rules.

Veronika Didusenko won the Miss Ukraine pageant in 2018. After four days, she was disqualified because pageant officials found out she was a mom to 5-year-old son Alex, and had been married. Didusenko said she had been aware of Miss World's rule barring mother from competing, but was encouraged to compete anyways by pageant organizers.

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One mystery in our universe is a step closer to being solved. NASA's Parker Solar Probe launched last year to help scientists understand the sun. Now, it has returned its first findings. Four papers were published in the journal Nature detailing the findings of Parker's first two flybys. It's one small step for a solar probe, one giant leap for mankind.

It is astounding that we've advanced to the point where we've managed to build a probe capable of flying within 15 million miles from the surface of the sun, but here we are. Parker can withstand temperatures of up to 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit and travels at 430,000 miles per hour. It's the fastest human-made vehicle, and no other human-made object has been so close to the sun.

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via Sportstreambest / Flickr

Since the mid '90s the phrase "God Forgives, Brothers Don't" has been part of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point's football team's lexicon.

Over the past few years, the team has taken the field flying a black skull-and-crossbones flag with an acronym for the phrase, "GFBD" on the skull's upper lip. Supporters of the team also use it on social media as #GFBD.

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