Midday open thread: Equifax CEO leaves with a fat pension; summer hanging on beyond its usual season

[ Originally published on this site as post ]

Today’s comic by Jen Sorensen is Take a trip back to Normal America-Land:

Cartoon by Jen Sorensen - Take a trip back to Normal America-land

Equifax CEO Richard Smith, 57, retires immediately with an $18.4 million pension:

Smith earned $15 million in total compensation in 2016, including a $1.5-million base salary and $7.3 million in stock awards, according to the company’s securities filings.

As of Dec. 31, his pension was valued at $18.4 million, the filings showed. Smith is entitled to that pension “under any circumstances,” Gutzmer said.

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Fearful after threats of violence, the Guggenheim will not display three works of art:

New York’s Guggenheim Museum will remove three art pieces from an upcoming show featuring Chinese conceptual artists, amid accusations of animal cruelty and repeated threats of violence.

The museum will not exhibit three pieces during Art and China after 1989: Theatre of the World—two videos featuring live animals and a sculpture that includes live insects and lizards—over “concern for the safety of its staff, visitors and participating artists”.

The Guggenheim has been embroiled in controversy since the show was publicised, with animal rights groups calling for the the works to be pulled and a chorus of celebrities condemning the museum.

Today’s total gross out: Hog farm manure foam causes killer explosions:

[S]tarting in about 2009, in the pits that capture manure under factory-scale hog farms, a gray, bubbly substance began appearing at the surface of the fecal soup. The problem is menacing: As manure breaks down, it emits toxic gases like hydrogen sulfide and flammable ones like methane, and trapping these noxious fumes under a layer of foam can lead to sudden, disastrous releases and even explosions. According to a 2012 report from the University of Minnesota, by September 2011, the foam had “caused about a half-dozen explosions in the upper Midwest…one explosion destroyed a barn on a farm in northern Iowa, killing 1,500 pigs and severely burning the worker involved.”

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Summer hanging on later than usual in many cities:

While the West has been feeling the heat, fall-like temperatures dominated the eastern half of the country in August. But just as the calendar flips to astronomical fall, summer-like heat is making a return to many of those same places. So this week we examine the last annual occurrence of a hot, summer-like day in these U.S. cities.

While there is a lot of variation from year-to-year, that last summer-like day is coming later in the year for many of our U.S. cities. This effectively lengthens summer at the expense of the other seasons. Though the calendar continues to turn the same as ever, fall is arriving later while spring is arriving earlier on average — and in many cities, the high temperatures are reaching earlier into the year than they are lasting into the fall. All of this eats into wintertime, which is becoming shorter and less severe than in years past.

Native groups oppose display of British tapestry: These advocates want a 267-foot tapestry finished by Prince Charles kept from public exhibition because it portrays American Indians as “subhuman, warlike savages.” The tapestry, which depicts colonization between 1583 and 1642, was left in storage after it was completed 17 years ago because of its size. The tapestry is based on watercolor drawings of 16th Century artist John White and took 256 volunteers 20 years to finish. The prince added the final stitch in 2000. Planners have pondered bringing it out of storage as part of a commemoration of the 400th anniversary of departure from England of the Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower in July 1620. Images of sections of the tapestry can be found online. Jacqueline Pata, executive director of the National Congress of American Indians, says the tapestry is “racist”: “Unfortunately, too many Americans form their misinformed opinions of Native people based on such inaccurate, harmful depictions of who we supposedly were and are, as somehow ‘less than’ other Americans.”

On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: Zombie Trumpcare is dead. Again. But remember, it’s a Zombie. Another player profile: Oleg Deripaska. Facebook was, by its nature, open to manipulation from the outside. Steve Bannon hatched a plan to do it from the inside. Marriott’s hosting bigots.

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