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James Gerken
James Gerken is the Green Editor at The Huffington Post. He is a graduate of Colgate University and lives in New York City.

Entries by James Gerken

It's Almost August And Buffalo's Dirty Snow Pile Is Still Just Chillin'

(2) Comments | Posted July 29, 2015 | 10:34 AM

It is almost August and daytime highs are reaching well into the 80s in Buffalo, New York, yet the city still has a giant, dirty snow pile left from eight months ago.

The Buffalo area was hit with two back-to-back lake-effect snowstorms in November, which dropped several feet of snow over a short period. Thousands of drivers were stranded and 13 people died.

When seven feet of snow falls on your city, you have to put it somewhere. Officials dumped it in a big pile next to the abandoned art deco Central Terminal train station.

Here's the snow pile on Nov. 23, and then on Tuesday of this week:

The spring and summer sun has shrunk the pile, but it's clearly still there. It's now compressed into two mounds of nearly solid ice that are up to 10 feet high in some spots, according to NBC affiliate WGRZ. All the dirt and garbage that was also swept up by the city's plows covers the pile and insulates it from a faster demise.

"That pile of snow is like a glacier," WGRZ meteorologist Patrick Hammer says in the video above. "It's actually melting from below," as the ground warms in the summer.

Boston had a similarly snow-heavy winter last year and its massive snow pile hung on until July 14.

"Our nightmare is officially over!" Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) tweeted when the pile was gone. 


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Georgia Pastor Has No Time For Anti-LGBT Hypocrites

(6) Comments | Posted July 26, 2015 | 12:30 PM

Religious people who are critical of the LGBT community and the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage are "hypocritical," Georgia pastor E. Dewey Smith said in a videotaped sermon that was posted Thursday.

Smith, who is pastor of the House of Hope Atlanta in Decatur, Georgia, and the House of Hope Macon, chastised his congregation and others who "demonize and dehumanize" artists and even members of their own choir who are gay while enjoying and benefitting from their work.

"We have done what the slave master did to us," he said. "Dehumanize us, degrade us, demonize us, but then use them for our advantage."

Vocal opponents of homosexuality will cite Leviticus, Smith went on to say, but the same book of the Bible also prohibits eating shellfish, wearing mixed fabrics and sharing a bed with a woman while she's menstruating.

"Here’s my point. We pick and choose the scriptures that we want to use to beat folk up with, rather than look at our own lives." 

"Look at your neighbor and tell your neighbor, ‘I don’t condemn you. I don’t judge you. I will preach Christ to you,'" he said. "You can’t evangelize and antagonize at the same time."

H/T Independent i100


UPDATE: July 28 -- After video of his sermon went viral this week, Smith on Tuesday posted a lengthy blog post to clarify his position on same-sex marriage and LGBT equality, writing that "my sermon was not intended to be a condemnation of gays nor a condoning of same-gender loving relationships."
"Although enumerable [sic] media outlets have used my sermon clip for their own journalistic and editorial priorities, my message was not presented in an effort to 'affirm the rights' of the LGBT community," he wrote. "My sermonic [sic] intentions and ministerial assignment is not to be the 'pro gay pastor.'"
"My personal theology is still based on male and female relationships only," he added. "While this may disappoint many who have encouraged me over the past few days, please allow a mutuality of 'tolerance.'"
His response can be read in full...
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Minor League Baseball Manager Puts On A Show After Ejection

(0) Comments | Posted July 26, 2015 | 11:13 AM


The manager of a minor league baseball team in Florida was ejected from the game on Saturday night and put on what could either be described as a brilliant theatrical performance or an epic temper tantrum.

The trouble began when Pensacola Blue Wahoos catcher Kyle Skipworth argued with the home plate umpire over a foul ball in the top of the ninth. Skipworth was ejected and then manager Pat Kelly came to his aid.

Kelly started arguing and was soon ejected himself. "We knew this was coming," one of the television announcers says in the video.

The manager decided to let the other umpires know how he felt and stripped off his jersey. Kelly even pretended to use the pitchers' rosin bag as deodorant to protest what he thought were some stinky calls.

He later told the Pensacola News Journal that he thought the ump cursed at Skipworth but then lied about it. "Obviously, we have to control ourselves. But when an umpire cusses at you first, it has a tendency to escalate the situation," Kelly said.

"When I'm upset, I do a lot of things," he said. "I'm not very nice for those 30 seconds. But then it's over. I don't ever carry anything over. I don't carry grudges. I get it out of my system and then I am very calm."

The Blue Wahoos, who are the Double-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds, went on to lose Saturday's game 2-4 against the Biloxi Shuckers.

H/T Fox 19...

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Woman Wrestles Gator To Save Dog: 'Dumbest, Bravest Thing I Have Ever Done'

(0) Comments | Posted July 23, 2015 | 10:43 AM

An Inverness, Florida, woman risked her life by taking on an alligator that was trying to eat her dog, Hope.

"It was the dumbest, bravest thing I have ever done, but I wasn't going to let her go," Lori Beiswenger told Bay News 9.

Earlier this month, Beiswenger was planting trees on the nine-hole Point O' Woods Golf Course, which she owns with her husband, when she heard Hope scream. The gator had attacked the dog, and was dragging it into a nearby pond.

Beiswenger waded into the water and began pulling the gator's tail. The gator soon noticed and turned toward her. Beiswenger then hurried back to shore.

Jodie Daniels, a golf course volunteer who was nearby, heard Beiswenger calling for help. He grabbed a shovel and managed to free the dog. "It was quite a shock to pull the dog up and the gator is still attached to the dog," Daniels told local ABC affiliate WFTS.

Daniels hit the gator on the head with the shovel, but it managed to escape. An animal control company came the next day to trap the gator and take it away. 

"I read him his Miranda rights," Beiswenger told WFTS, joking about the way the animal was tied with its arms behind its back.

The gator was killed and sold to a local restaurant for meat.

Hope underwent a three-hour surgery for a severed artery and is expected to have her stitches removed this weekend.  "I love this dog," Beiswenger told CBS affiliate WTSP. "I wasn't going to lose her."

Hope has escaped death in the past: Beiswenger adopted her when she was due to be put down, and the dog later survived getting hit by a car. "She is quite the wonder dog," Beiswenger told Bay News 9.

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Dung Spitting Competition Is A Crappy Way To Prove Yourself

(6) Comments | Posted July 21, 2015 | 11:53 AM

Your mom always threatened to wash your potty-mouth out with soap. These guys may want to, anyway.

Visitors to Irvinestown's 37th annual Lady of the Lake festival last week in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, were treated to a new event: a dung-spitting competition.

It was exactly what it sounds like....

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Bear Eats 20 Pounds Of Dog Food, Promptly Dozes Off

(0) Comments | Posted July 21, 2015 | 10:40 AM


Have you ever had one of those meals that was so big, you knew you had mere minutes to spare between dropping the fork and falling asleep?

One black bear enjoyed such a meal, sans fork, this past weekend. The animal snuck into a garage in Seminole County, Florida, and stole a large bag of dog food. After dragging the bag to a shady spot, the bear ate about 20 pounds of kibble.

You can guess what happened next.  

After rolling around to get comfortable, the bear laid on its back napping for about a half hour, according to Bob Cross, who took the photos. Cross runs a nuisance wildlife removal company called Critter Capture Services and was called to the scene by the homeowner. 

“It was unbelievable that that bear was so relaxed," he told WPBF 25 News in the video above.

Neighbor Art Fischer grabbed the remaining dog food and hid it in his garage so the bear wouldn't go for seconds, according to WFTV. He hopes the hungry critter won't get killed during this year's bear hunting season. "They were here before we were," Fischer said.

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Rabbit The Pawless Poodle Struts His Stuff With New Prosthetics

(0) Comments | Posted July 20, 2015 | 2:16 PM


Rabbit the poodle may have been born without any paws, but thanks to loving caretakers and modern technology he doesn't have to be put down or live a life with severely compromised mobility.

The Yorkie-poodle mix came to rescue organization Bliss Animal Haven in Georgia in March and is now about 3 years old. The organization raised funds, and thanks to an animal prosthetics company in Denver and the University of Georgia's Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Rabbit received his new legs.  

After 10 days of rehabilitation and training with the new legs, he was adopted last week by a woman from Orlando, Florida, who hopes to use him to help with therapy for special needs children.

He is "SO strong-willed and determined," Bliss wrote on its website. "He is super affectionate, too, and handled all of the attention quite well!"

 If you haven't lost it yet, here is some amazing footage of Rabbit set to the "Chariots of Fire" theme: 


Here's another video, showing how Rabbit got around before he was fitted with prosthetics:


H/T Fox 5 Atlanta


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2014 Brought Record Warmth To Land And Sea, Government Report Finds

(0) Comments | Posted July 16, 2015 | 2:37 PM

Last year was likely the warmest year since 1880, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration confirmed on Thursday in a report written by hundreds of scientists from 58 countries. 

The report analyzes four independent datasets of global temperature records, but its authors caution that their conclusion isn't...

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Sneaky Bear Breaks Into Pie Shop, Has A Feast

(0) Comments | Posted July 16, 2015 | 11:18 AM


A bear in northern Colorado made out like a bandit Monday night after breaking into a pie...

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News Station's Weather Anchor Has A Little Trouble With Her Headphones

(0) Comments | Posted July 16, 2015 | 10:05 AM

A weather anchor at a news station in Salt Lake City, Utah, had some technical difficulties with her headphones Wednesday morning -- and a colleague caught it all on camera. 

"Just coincidentally, we had a photographer that was training...

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This Gorilla Is Really Tired Of Living In A Zoo And Having His Photo Taken

(0) Comments | Posted July 15, 2015 | 2:16 PM

Wild gorillas face regular threats like poaching and habitat destruction, but their captive counterparts don't always have it better.

This primate is one of six western lowland gorillas who live at the Bristol Zoo in the U.K. He was chewing on some grass on July 6 when photographer Bob Pitchford started...

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Yes, Black Leopards Actually Have Spots

(75) Comments | Posted July 15, 2015 | 11:50 AM

The black leopards of the Malay Peninsula have remained somewhat of a mystery to scientists. Not only are they rare, but until recently, researchers had trouble tracking the animals because of their seemingly uniform coats. Thanks to a new imaging technique, however, they have confirmed that the animals have spots,...

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Denver The Guilty Dog Wants You To Know She's Had It With Ear Medicine

(24) Comments | Posted July 14, 2015 | 4:46 PM

Denver the Labrador retriever, aka "the Guilty Dog," knows what time it is and she's not happy about it.

Her owner went to administer some ear medicine in this video, posted last week, when Denver put on an especially toothy face dubbed the "McCheesy." We don't blame you, Denver. Taking...

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Megyn Kelly Spars With Journalist Jose Antonio Vargas Over Sanctuary City Policies

(43) Comments | Posted July 14, 2015 | 11:49 AM

Fox News' Megyn Kelly said Monday that the recent shooting of Kate Steinle on a San Francisco pier is a "prime example" of why the policy of sanctuary cities "needs to go."

Steinle was shot on a popular pier in San Francisco on the evening of July 1....

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Ce bébé porte sa première paire de lunettes et voit enfin le visage de ses parents (VIDÉO)

(2) Comments | Posted July 14, 2015 | 10:34 AM

Bébé Piper a une bonne raison de sourire.

Sa maman, Jessica Sinclair, a créé le buzz en publiant cette vidéo le mois dernier. On y voit sa fille essayer sa première paire de lunettes.

"Sa réaction fait fondre mon coeur", a-t-elle écrit sur Facebook.

Piper avait des difficultés...

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Este bebé no para de sonreír tras ponerse las gafas por primera vez... y verle la cara a sus padres

(1) Comments | Posted July 14, 2015 | 9:33 AM

La pequeña Piper tiene motivos para sonreír. Su madre, Jessica Sinclair, colgó en su cuenta de Facebook este vídeo en el que se puede ver la reacción de su hija al estrenar su primer par de gafas.

"Su reacción hace que mi corazón se derrita", escribe Jessica en...

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Baby Can't Stop Smiling When She Sees Mom And Dad With Her New Glasses

(295) Comments | Posted July 13, 2015 | 9:23 AM

Baby Piper definitely has something to grin about.

Her mother, Jessica Sinclair, posted this video last month of her daughter's reaction to a new pair of glasses.

"Her reaction melts my heart," she wrote in the description of the video that is now going viral.

Piper was

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판다는 어떻게 대나무만 먹고 살 수 있을까?

(0) Comments | Posted July 13, 2015 | 5:05 AM

판다가 대나무를 좋아한다는 건 누구나 안다. 연구에 따르면, 판다는 매일 40kg 정도의 대나무를 먹을 수 있다고 한다. 하지만 사실 대나무 잎과 죽순에는 영양가가 별로 없다. 게다가 연구자들은 판다의 내장 미생물과 장 구조가 대나무 소화에 적합하지 않다고 말한다.


그렇다면 대나무를 엄청나게 먹는 판다들은 어떻게 생명을...

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Pandas Get By On Bamboo Because They Don't Move Too Much, Scientists Find

(16) Comments | Posted July 10, 2015 | 3:56 PM

Everyone knows pandas love bamboo: they can eat more than 80 pounds of it every day. But bamboo leaves and shoots don't contain very much nutritional value, and researchers believe pandas' gut microbes and intestinal structures aren't even well-suited to digesting the plant.

So how do...

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Film Crew Uses Heavy Metal To Attract Great White Sharks

(1) Comments | Posted July 9, 2015 | 12:47 PM

Do you like heavy metal music? Then you may have something in common with great white sharks.

A Discovery Channel film crew searching for a large shark nicknamed "Joan of Shark" used an underwater speaker blasting death metal to attract great white sharks. The sharks pick up on the sound...

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