The largest source of the coldest water in the world's oceans ceased producing Antarctic Bottom Water in 1976. The surface water around Antarctica, which has be been freshening since the 1950's, formed a lid of low-density water stopping the overturning process in the Weddell sea near the coast of Antarctica. The Weddell Sea polynya, an area of open water the size of New Zealand, was the most productive source of cold Antarctic bottom water in the 1970s. Relatively warm salty water is pushed upwards by ocean currents moving over a ridge in the Weddell sea. Before 1980 this salty water reached the surface releasing large amounts of heat, then cooled and sank to the bottom of the ocean. The heat kept the huge hole in the ice pack called a polynya open, and a massive oceanic convection cell formed in the Antarctic winter. read more
On this primary Election Day some voter struggles began before individuals even arrived to cast their ballots. A number of people in Dallas and Denton County found themselves searching for their designated polling place, after struggling with election websites. One polling location in Dallas opened more than an hour late. While the delay did affect some voters, the big challenge appears to have been with folks trying to verify their voting location. read more
A Shreveport woman has been sentenced to 30 years at hard labor for the beating death of her 1-year-old daughter. Caddo Parish District Judge Katherine Dorroh on Tuesday ordered Alasundria Avery, now 21, to serve the first 10 years without the possibility of parole. Avery reportedly told investigators she beat her baby because she wouldn't stop crying. At a pre-sentencing hearing last week, a former teacher of Avery's took the stand and testified that Avery had told her of a traumatic childhood that included molestation. read more
The IRS targeting scandal is of course multi-faceted, but one of its key elements was the use of comprehensive IRS questionnaires to...essentially discern the inner workings of an entire political and cultural movement [the tea party]. Last week, an FCC Commissioner disclosed the existence of the new "Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs," a study that would send FCC into newsrooms to determine, among other things, whether news organizations are meeting citizens "actual" as opposed to "perceived" information needs. The Obama administration FCC is abusing its regulatory authority by attempting to discern the inner workings of American newsrooms. read more
Jonathan Meister was retrieving some possessions he was storing at an ex-roommate's home, when he looked up to find several members of the Hawthorne [CA] Police Department approaching. The South Bay man claims officers didn't give him a chance to explain what he was doing before placing him in handcuffs, beating him and using a stun gun to shock him into submission. The problem began when police reportedly misunderstood Meister's attempts to speak in sign language as threatening gestures. Officers did not realize that when they handcuffed Meister, who is "profoundly deaf" and non-verbal, they took away his ability to communicate.