I’ll take ‘Potpourri’ for $1800, Alex

This is long overdue, and I’ve been compiling it for a few days, but better late than never.

1. WTFood: McNuggets have a little too much in common with Silly Putty, via Grist

What do McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets and Silly Putty have in common? One of their ingredients, of course! Mmm:

As it turns out, these two amorphous items share the yummy-sounding chemical ingredient, dimethylpolysiloxane, which acts as an “anti-foaming agent.”

Why does your chicken need an anti-foaming agent? To keep all that delicious deep-frying oil from getting too frothy, of course!

Keep that in mind before you order that 10-piece.

2. Is it cheaper to just let the planet heat?, via The Washington Post

Ezra Klein makes the point that, whatever the state of affairs on the planet in 100 years, ignoring environmental problems and global warming now is a bad choice because it will only become more difficult to reverse as the years go on. And despite the fact that we won’t likely be around after the 100-year scope we have, our children will. But many just hope technology will have solved the problem by then:

If you bet on technology and you’re wrong, it’s not like we’ve got another of these planets waiting in the back somewhere.

This isn’t the first place I’ve read this sentiment, which is critical of relying on technology that hasn’t even been developed to solve our problems, both current and future. If technology develops properly, especially in the realm of energy efficiency, then yes, technological breakthroughs will be a savior for the environment — but we can’t ignore problems in hopes, fingers crossed, that eventually someone else will think of an idea to fix everything.

3. Obama: Our first female president, via The Washington Post

If you haven’t read this piece from Pulitzer-prize winning (uh …) writer Kathleen Parker yet, well, read it, and then read this analysis from Rose at Feministing. Can’t stress enough that you need to read both, as Rose describes how Parker’s comparison of Obama to a woman “is more of a slight against women in leadership than it is of the President.”

And Kathleen Parker, in response to your reference that Obama’s response to the oil spill is indicative of his female nature because it wasn’t “immediate” and “commanding” enough, I will just say that I don’t know of anyone who called President Bush lady-like because of his lackluster response to Hurricane Katrina. You can just say someone didn’t show great leadership without associating bad leadership with women.

4. Mel Gibson: Bonafide Abusive Asshole, via Feministing

Samhita from Feministing says it all — boycott Mel Gibson, don’t give him a dime of your money, because he is a violent and disgusting person. The link provides you with his two most recent quotes, both of which will make your blood boil. I love What Women Want, but I’m never watching it again.

And, in case you’re curious, Maureen at Gawker has compiled a list of all the racist, sexist, violent, anti-Semitic things Mel Gibson has said (on record) over the years. Warning: they are offensive.

5. Is the EPA Afraid to Piss off King Coal?, via The Huffington Post

Rainforest Alliance Network Executive Director Rebecca Tarbotton writes about the EPA approving a mountaintop removal mining permit (without publicly announcing it), which is a big deal because (1) the permit would allow for three miles of clean streams and more than 700 acres of forest to be destroyed, and (2) the permit process has been slowed down and more highly scrutinized by the EPA in the last months. Tarbotton makes a lot of great points, and I highly suggest reading it:

Essentially, everyone from federal regulators to Appalachian residents (everyone except King Coal and some very loud coal state representatives, that is) has acknowledged the devastating impact that this mining practice is having on mountains, drinking water and communities. At issue is not whether mountaintop mining is bad for the environment or human health, because we know it is and the EPA has said it is. At issue is whether President Obama’s EPA will take the gloves off and do something about it.

The science is there. The EPA has agreed with the science. As Tarbotton explains, “A paper released in January 2009 by a dozen leading scientists in the journal Science concluded that mountaintop coal mining is so destructive that the government should stop giving out new permits all together.” Tarbotton says we, the public, are just as much a force to reckon with as the coal industry that the EPA is afraid to anger.


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