Friday, March 25, 2011

What Syria's unrest means to world, U.S.

People gather outside the main courthouse in the southern Syrian city of Deraa. (Khaled al-Hariri/Reuters) 

Another wave of pro-democratic protests hits a country with a long history of oppression.

Unrest in Syria: What you need to know

The uprising in Libya, which provoked military intervention by the United States and its allies to avert a brutal government crackdown, has dominated this week's headlines. But meanwhile, there's new unrest in yet another Middle Eastern nation--one with perhaps greater strategic implications for the United States

Video of locked-out Obama lights up Web

President Obama trying to enter White House (via Yahoo! video/CBS) 

An awkward moment at the White House prompts flashbacks to another classic presidential mix-up.

 They’re just like us: Even presidents get locked out

President Obama returned to Washington, D.C., on Wednesday night expecting to face tough questions on Libya, Japan's earthquake recovery and other major international crises. But a more personal issue stood in the way: he appeared to be locked out of the White House.
Video of the First Family disembarking Air Force One showed Obama approaching the White House and trying to open a french door--that didn't budge. Barely pausing, he walked to the next set of doors, peering in as he passed, and tried a third set of doors with success.

Baseball team's unlikely new giveaway

Fans cheer as Ichiro Suzuki #51 of the Seattle Mariners goes back to the dugout during the game against the Detroit Tigers on July 15, 2007 at Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington. The Tigers won 11-7. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) 

Seattle hopes to lure fans to the stadium with a mixture of stuff that past crowds left behind.

Get your free compost! Mariners plan to give away garbage

If you think about it, most ballpark giveaways aren't very eco-friendly. Cheap caps, thin T-shirt and flimsy seat cushions are inevitably thrust to the back of a closet and then they find a landfill a few years later. Not exactly a good use of resources.
The Seattle Mariners are trying to change that process this year, however, with an unusual series of "compost night" giveaways that will end up helping the environment.
Are you ready for opening day? Not until you follow Big League Stew on Twitter and Facebook!
Yes, instead of getting the usual Ichiro(notes) bobblehead for their desks at work, Mariners fans will head home with bags of soil matter and fertilizer that will hopefully grow their gardens at home (and not, say, end up on the field as a form of protest during another 100-loss season by the Mariners).
Even better, the compost will be made up of garbage that fans left behind during previous games at Safeco Field.
From The Seattle Times:
Not just any compost, mind you, but small bags of compost made from food waste, packaging material, drink cups, utensils and other stuff discarded during past Mariners games and transformed into a garden-friendly mix by Cedar Grove Composting.
Think of it as taking a little bit of the ballpark home, said Scott Jenkins, Mariners vice president for ballpark operations.
"We've had a culture of consumption," said Jenkins. "We need to have a culture of conservation."
Maybe that culture is changing now. In 2008, the Washington Nationals opened the first green stadium in the United States. Three years later, the Seattle Mariners and other Pacific Northwest franchises are working with the Green Sports Alliance so they can take their own steps toward preserving earth's natural resources.

Dangerous breach feared at nuclear plant

Japan Self Defense Force members prepare to transfer worker exposed to radiation at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant (Yomiuri Shimbun/Reuters) 

A suspected leak in the reactor core could unleash uncontrolled quantities of radiation.

Breach suspected at troubled Japanese power plant

TOKYO – Two weeks after an earthquake and tsunami triggered a crisis at a nuclear plant, the government said Friday there is a suspected breach at a reactor — another setback that would mean radioactive contamination at the facility is more serious than once thought.