326,170 Minnesotans live within half-mile danger zone of Bakken oil trains

Transporting oil by rail cars is risky business because North Dakota oil is highly flammable and explosive. Those oil cars cruise past 6 percent of Minnesota’s residents, who live within a half-mile of rail routes carrying crude oil ; a half-mile is considered the evacuation danger zone. Five to seven trains carrying 3.3 million gallons of crude oil pass through the state daily. The state wants to improve safety at train crossings by having railroads share costs for upgrades. Republicans in St. Paul want to study the issue.


A 9,000-year-old spruce taught her a few lessons

Rachel Sussman is author of the book, “The Oldest Living Things.”

She writes in Nautilus magazine: “One of my primary goals with this work was to create a little jolt of recognition at the shallowness of human timekeeping and the blink that is a human lifespan. Does our understanding of time have to be tethered to our physiological experience of it? I don’t think so. Deep time is like deep water: We are constantly brought back to the surface, pulled by the wants and needs of the moment. But like exercising any sort of muscle, the more we access deep time, the more easily accessible it becomes, and the more likely we are to engage in long-term thinking. The more we embrace long-term thinking, the more ethical our decision-making becomes. It is not the job of traditional science to interpret and translate its findings. Art, on the other hand, is a great mediator.”


Hugely popular NWS  weathers website woes

The National Weather Service website attracted 100 million visitors the last month as users sought info about climate, the atmosphere, forecasts and questions such as why didn’t I know we were going to wake up to snow on the ground this morning?

NWS is addressing is its warning and forecast dissemination system, which produces most tech glitches.  The agency operates with one hand tied behind its back because it is forbidden to compete with private companies, even though AccuWeather and The Weather Channel primarily uses NWS data in their broadcasts.


Internet TV gives more reasons to cut the cable cord

This week, Sony began offering an Internet TV service that streams 50 channels — for $50 a month. Apple is expected to launch something similar but even less expensive very soon.  The bottom line for cable and satellite TV providers is watch out, your days of gouging are coming to an end. Live programming, mainly sports, on cable TV alternatives is about the only thing holding consumers back from shoving their monthly cable bill where the sun don’t shine.



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