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The Remix: Drowning Pool Saved by DJ Sega

In today's remix-happy culture, you never know where songs might end up; new versions sometimes make songs sound older, dance-pop cheese can take on rock intensity, and a track you thought you hated is suddenly on repeat on your iPod. This remix of of the latter variety. Texas metal band Drowning Pool were known for their 2001 alt-radio hit, "Bodies," whose on-air life was...

| Thu Feb. 14, 2008 5:49 PM EST

mojo-photo-bodiesremix.jpgIn today's remix-happy culture, you never know where songs might end up; new versions sometimes make songs sound older, dance-pop cheese can take on rock intensity, and a track you thought you hated is suddenly on repeat on your iPod. This remix of of the latter variety. Texas metal band Drowning Pool were known for their 2001 alt-radio hit, "Bodies," whose on-air life was cut short when the 9/11 attacks made the line "let the bodies hit the floor" seem kind of inappropriate. But it's a pretty unbearable song anyway, revolving around a single muddy note and a guttural, screamed chorus that seems designed to repel:

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World's Largest Sea Sanctuary Created in Pacific

Couldn't come at a better time. Conservation International reports the tiny Pacific Island nation of Kiribati (pronounced: Kiribas) just established the world's largest marine protected area—a California-sized ocean wilderness of pristine coral reefs and rich fish populations threatened by over-fishing and climate change. The Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA) conserves one of the Earth's last intact oceanic coral archipelago ecosystems, consisting of eight...

| Thu Feb. 14, 2008 5:27 PM EST

Kiribati%20Broken%20Bridge%20DSCN0004.JPG Couldn't come at a better time. Conservation International reports the tiny Pacific Island nation of Kiribati (pronounced: Kiribas) just established the world's largest marine protected area—a California-sized ocean wilderness of pristine coral reefs and rich fish populations threatened by over-fishing and climate change. The Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA) conserves one of the Earth's last intact oceanic coral archipelago ecosystems, consisting of eight coral atolls and two submerged reef systems in a nearly uninhabited region of abundant marine and bird life. The 410,500-square-kilometer (158,453-square-mile) protected area also includes underwater mountains and other deep-sea habitat… Agree this is excellent news? Thank them.

Julia Whitty is Mother Jones' environmental correspondent and 2008 winner of the John Burroughs Medal Award. You can read from her new book, The Fragile Edge, and other writings, here.

More Than 40% of World Ocean "Heavily Impacted" by Humans

A new study in Science reports more than 40% of the world ocean is heavily impacted by human activities. Scientists from UCSB and NOAA combined 17 data sets of different human activities, examining overfishing, fertilizer run-off, commercial shipping, and pollution, and analyzed the effects on marine ecosystems, including coral reefs, seagrass beds, continental shelves, and the deep ocean. The team also examined climate...

| Thu Feb. 14, 2008 4:36 PM EST

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A new study in Science reports more than 40% of the world ocean is heavily impacted by human activities. Scientists from UCSB and NOAA combined 17 data sets of different human activities, examining overfishing, fertilizer run-off, commercial shipping, and pollution, and analyzed the effects on marine ecosystems, including coral reefs, seagrass beds, continental shelves, and the deep ocean. The team also examined climate change by three measures: sea surface temperatures, UV radiation, and ocean acidification. These were found to be among the most important factors in global impact.

"This project allows us to finally start to see the big picture of how humans are affecting the oceans," said lead author Ben Halpern, at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) at UCSB. "Our results show that… the big picture looks much worse than I imagine most people expected. It was certainly a surprise to me." The most heavily affected waters include large areas of the North Sea, the South and East China Seas, the Caribbean Sea, the east coast of North America, the Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, the Bering Sea, and several regions in the western Pacific. The least affected areas are largely near the poles. "Unfortunately, as polar ice sheets disappear with warming global climate and human activities spread into these areas, there is a great risk of rapid degradation of these relatively pristine ecosystems," said Carrie Kappel, a principal investigator on the project at NCEAS.

The researchers note there's still time to preserve the more pristine areas. And we can all do our part. Know what you eat. Know what you buy. Buy less. Eat less.

Julia Whitty is Mother Jones' environmental correspondent and 2008 winner of the John Burroughs Medal Award. You can read from her new book, The Fragile Edge, and other writings, here.

Why NOT Lie To Congress?

After yesterday's day-long congressional hearing on the use of performance-enhancing drugs in baseball, the consensus on the matter here at...

| Thu Feb. 14, 2008 4:11 PM EST

After yesterday's day-long congressional hearing on the use of performance-enhancing drugs in baseball, the consensus on the matter here at our F Street headquarters boils down to two things: Roger Clemens was lying (duh), and devoting federal resources to baseball players is a colossal waste of time and taxpayer money. What makes it particularly "f*ing stupid," to quote my colleague Nick, is that nothing is likely to come of it. Sure, we got to learn some interesting things about Clemens' ass and the complications of injecting yourself with foreign substances. But here's the rub:

Mitt Romney to Endorse McCain

CNN's Dana Bash reports that former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will endorse senator John McCain. The endorsement is...

| Thu Feb. 14, 2008 2:41 PM EST
CNN's Dana Bash reports that former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will endorse senator John McCain. The endorsement is expected to happen at a Boston event at 3:30 p.m. ET today.
Two sources familiar with the decision confirmed the news, and said Romney now wants the delegates he won during his campaign to back his former rival.

Movement in the Making: Stop the Superdelegates!

Folks across the internet are upset that the nearly 800 members of Congress, state governors, and Democratic Party honchos known...

| Thu Feb. 14, 2008 2:37 PM EST

Folks across the internet are upset that the nearly 800 members of Congress, state governors, and Democratic Party honchos known as superdelegates could decide the winner of the Democratic nomination. If the pledged delegate count (i.e. the delegates won through primaries and caucuses) is close going into the convention, the superdelegates' votes will be decisive, and who knows what they will do: they may vote for the candidate who got the most pledged delegates, or the candidate who got the larger share of the popular votes, or the candidate who won their state, or whomever they think is best for the country, or whomever guarantees them the most/best patronage in the next administration.

Point is, everyday folks are angry that the nomination won't be decided in a purely democratic fashion. MoveOn.org and Open Left are taking action: if you're worried about superdelegates, check them out.

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To Protect White House, GOP Disrupts Congressman's Memorial Service

Congressional Republicans, specifically Lincoln Diaz-Balart of Florida, just interrupted the memorial service of recently deceased Congressman Tom Lantos. At...

| Thu Feb. 14, 2008 12:50 PM EST

lantos.jpg Congressional Republicans, specifically Lincoln Diaz-Balart of Florida, just interrupted the memorial service of recently deceased Congressman Tom Lantos.

At 11:05 am this morning, Diaz-Balart offered a motion to adjourn, which, if passed, would have ended the House's legislative day. It appears the intent was to keep the House from debating contempt citations for former White House Counsel Harriet Miers and White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten, which were on the agenda. According to the Congressional Research Service, "A motion to adjourn is of the highest privilege, takes precedence over all other motions, is not debatable, and must be put to an immediate vote." That means that the members of the House had to leave the Lantos memorial where they were paying their respects to vote on the House floor, for nothing more important than to keep the day's business open.

The memorial service began at 10:00 am in Statuary Hall, which is an old House chamber in the Capitol. Speakers included Lantos' relatives, Bono, and Elie Wiesel. Diaz-Balart's vote was called during Joe Biden's tribute to Lantos.

It was purely obstructionist move by Diaz-Balart, made all the more crass and classless because it was used to disrupt the services of a widely admired public servant who was Congress's only Holocaust survivor. Accusations are flying back and forth about the matter. Incidentally, the motion to adjourn failed and debate of the contempt citations is currently underway.

Video after the jump.

How He Went Down: Mugniyah Assassination Plot Follow Up

As a tense south Beirut buried assassinated Hezbollah militant Imad Mugniyah Thursday and Israel and the region braced for...

| Thu Feb. 14, 2008 12:31 PM EST

As a tense south Beirut buried assassinated Hezbollah militant Imad Mugniyah Thursday and Israel and the region braced for feared retribution and an escalation of tensions, analysts continued to speculate on who killed the elusive terror suspect. (See this piece for a primer).

Former CIA officer Robert Baer, who served in Beirut and extensively researched Mugniyah, offered a model about how things might have gone down. "An old friend of mine," Baer emailed. "Friend may not be the word. Anyhow the Israelis persuaded him to set off a car bomb in a Damascus bus station. He used the Guardians of the Cedars, paid them something like $200,000. Bomb went off as requested."

"Point two is Syria these days is completely corrupt," Baer added. "You buy what you want."

Google Earth Lands in Hot Water in (Surprise) the Middle East

Reports Monday described how the Israeli town of Kiryat Yam is suing Google for slander after a Google Earth user...

| Wed Feb. 13, 2008 7:56 PM EST

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Reports Monday described how the Israeli town of Kiryat Yam is suing Google for slander after a Google Earth user added a note asserting that the town was built on the ruins of a Palestinian locality following the war of 1948. Google has said that it will not remove the note, which appears on the application's "community layer," because it is not "in any way illegal."

But earlier this month another problem developed that is potentially thornier for Google because it involves the company's official cartographic judgment. The problem comes in the form of a letter to Google's CEO from the National Iranian American Council loudly protesting the inclusion in Google Earth of the term "Arabian Gulf"—along with the more common "Persian Gulf."

Only a few years ago, in 2004, Google's co-founders told shareholders that "focused objectivity" was a trait "most important in Google's past success" and "most fundamental for its future." But that was before Google Earth. And if the two complaints this month show anything, it's that a map is a highly subjective thing. Including "Arabian Gulf" was a classic hedge on Google's part, probably an attempt to strive for that ideal of objectivity. NIAC's letter, however, explains the term's somewhat untoward history:

The Three Trillion Dollar War

The Bush administration has spent a lot of money in Iraq since White House economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey was...

| Wed Feb. 13, 2008 6:40 PM EST

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The Bush administration has spent a lot of money in Iraq since White House economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey was fired in 2002 for daring to predict the war might cost as much as $200 billion. An estimate issued last August by the Congressional Budget Office suggested the war will have cost at least $1 trillion before it's over. A September report (PDF) by the Democratic staff of Congress's Joint Economic Committee pegged the cost at $1.3 trillion. Now a new book by a Harvard professor and a Nobel Prize winner in economics claims the true cost could be more than twice that—as high as $3 trillion dollars. If you wanted to pay that off with a single wad of $1,000 bills, your billfold would have to be almost 240 miles wide.