Hundreds of Scientists Warn of Food Shortages, Mass Extinction in Climate Report; Opposing Arguments ‘Do Not Hold Water’

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a new report warning worldwide governments about the wreaking effects of climate change on Friday.

The New York Times reported on the potential risks:

Failure to reduce emissions, the group of scientists and other experts found, could threaten society with food shortages, refugee crises, the flooding of major cities and entire island nations, mass extinction of plants and animals, and a climate so drastically altered it might become dangerous for people to work or play outside during the hottest times of the year.

The Washington Post also summarized the IPCC’s report:

The report said some impacts of climate change will “continue for centuries,” even if all emissions from fossil-fuel burning were to stop. The question facing governments is whether they can act to slow warming to a pace at which humans and natural ecosystems can adapt, or risk “abrupt and irreversible changes” as the atmosphere and oceans absorb ever-greater amounts of thermal energy within a blanket of heat-trapping gases, according to scientists who contributed to the report.

“The window of opportunity for acting in a cost-effective way — or in an effective way — is closing fast,” said Michael Oppenheimer, a Princeton University geosciences professor and contributing author to the report.

The IPCC report comes in the wake of movie star Leonardo DiCaprio’s speech at the 2014 UN Climate Summit in September.

Posts were made last month on President Barack Obama’s Twitter account in support of action against climate change.

Even with evidence piling in favor of climate change, the president’s tweet  received backlash.

Adam Bryant, New York Times environment editor,  stated last week that the opinions of climate skeptics “do not hold water,” and therefore the paper was “not going to take that point of view seriously.”

But not all skeptics are out to label climate change a hoax and call it a day. Some point out numbers and data that might misinform the public, such as the popular statement that 97 percent of scientists think global warming is a serious issue caused by man.

Others, such as Sarah Palin, the former governor of Alaska, believe in climate change, but don’t agree with the data used to assert it as a man-made issue.

But the most surprising of all climate skeptics might be John Coleman, a former meteorologist and co-founder of the Weather Channel.

Coleman made his stance publicly known via Twitter.

In the end, it’s all weather to him.

Florida Focus: 11-05-2014

In today’s episode of Florida Focus:  A drilling rig accident causes the Kennedy Blvd. Bridge to close; Pinellas Park Police have a bizarre encounter with a suspect; a terror suspect is sentenced in Pinellas County; USF honors Veteran’s Day with a chili cook off; The Blue Ocean Film Festival kicks off in St. Petersburg.


Disney confuses its guests more often than it makes them smile

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Walt Disney World is often associated with images of smiles, but most guests do not smile that much during their visits. Many adults are too busy figuring out maps and programs instead.

Canines and Coffee: The Dogs of Starbucks

"But really, how many people come up and ask you about your dog?""Honestly, Rosco gets me free drinks and girls."
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No shortage of style, innovation at Old 7th Ave. tattoo shop

Tattoo culture in North America has evolved significantly over the 20th and 21st centuries. With the introduction of traditional American style  in the 1940s, connotations of body art have surpassed stereotypes and have become one of the most significant and popular activities of our generation.

Piercer and tattoo artist Chuck Andre, particularly focuses on Japanese styled tattoos. With the evolution of the traditional american tattoo, styles such as Tribal, Religious, Asian and Graphic, to mention a few, have developed and taken over tattoo culture today.Piercer and tattoo artist Chuck Andre particularly focuses on Japanese style tattoos. With the evolution of the traditional American tattoo, styles such as tribal, religious, Asian and graphic, to mention a few, have also developed and taken over tattoo culture.

Studio Art major Jessica Reynolds, dedicated her first piece to her daughter's birthday. "I felt like I wanted to honor my daughter and have that constant visual reminder that keeps me pushing through  obstacles that I may over come every single day." Reyonlds said.
Studio art major Jessica Reynolds, dedicated her first piece to her daughter’s birthday. “I felt like I wanted to honor my daughter, and have that constant visual reminder that keeps me pushing through obstacles that I may come across every single day. It’s because of her that I can’t and won’t give up,” Reyonlds said.
For retail manager Stephen Brown, tattooing is a way of expressing himself and thoughts that he is not able to express in words. Tattoos for him are cathartic and allow him to feel like he is creating a 'prettier' and happier version of himself.
For retail manager Stephen Brown, tattooing is a way of expressing himself and the thoughts that he is not able to express in words. Tattoos are cathartic for him. Brown said they allow him to feel like he is creating a “prettier” and happier version of himself.
James Squier pays an homage to Traditional American tattooing with a black and white twist. His favorite works are specific to  portraits inspired by nurses and medical care in wartime particularly during Pearl Harbor.
James Squier pays homage to traditional American tattooing with his own black and grey twist. Some of his favorite pieces are portraits inspired by nurses and medical care during wartime, particularly from Pearl Harbor.
Old 7th Avenue Tattoo shop artist Jill Krznaric specializes in color and Traditional American pinup girls. "Using color brings a piece to life. I think it is essential to truly capture the beauty of tattooing. The girls that I draw for clients have spunk and attitude and I like to achieve that with my palette of inks." Krnaric said.
Old 7th Avenue Tattoo shop artist Jill Krznaric specializes in color and traditional American pinup girls. “Using color brings a piece to life. I think it is essential to truly capture the beauty of tattooing. The girls that I draw for clients have spunk and attitude and I like to achieve that with my palette of inks,” Krznaric said.
Artist and tattoo artist Adam Dunning prefers large scale pieces of body art. Spending days at a time creating a piece, Dunning sees tattooing as taking a piece of art and tediously placing it on human skin. The permanence and outcome of the sketch and tattoo process is one that Dunning would never trade for the world.
Tattoo artist Adam Dunning prefers large-scale pieces of body art. Spending days at a time creating a piece, Dunning sees tattooing as taking a piece of art and meticulously placing it on human skin. The permanence and outcome of the sketch and tattoo process is one that Dunning would never trade for the world.
"Just when the caterpillar thought that the world was over, it turned into a butterfly." freshman Gia Coleman explains her favorite tattoo. "It brings me light in the darkest of times."
“Just when the caterpillar thought that the world was over, it turned into a butterfly,” freshman Gia Coleman said. “It brings me light in the darkest of times.”

Orlando survivors and supporters walk against breast cancer

Over 9,000 survivors and supporters took to the streets of Orlando during the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer (MSABC) benefit walk, Saturday at 9 a.m.

The American Cancer Society sponsored the 3.1 mile walk from Lake Eola Park to the downtown metro area.

The event raised over $730,000 on behalf of ACS to fund breast cancer research, mammograms and information services.

The Last Orson Welles Film sparks competition between production companies

The last film of Orson Welles has left movie lovers with a gaping hole in their hearts for over 40 years but according to The New York Times, the wait may be over.

A Los Angeles production company, Royal Road Entertainment, said on Tuesday that it had reached an agreement with the sometimes-warring parties to buy the rights. The producers say they aim to have it ready for a screening in time for May 6, the 100th anniversary of Welles’s birth, and to promote its distribution at the American Film Market in Santa Monica, Calif., next month.

Welles spent the last 15 years of his life working on the film titled “The Other Side of the Wind”, but was never able to complete it. The conflict surrounding the idealized film is nothing new to the world of cinema. For years there have been battles between his family and the film industry. Production companies around the world vie for the rights to complete and produce the film, but have never been granted permission or access to it. Including industry giant, Showtime.

Mail Online reports that in a phone interview with Welles’ well known companion and collaborator Oja Kodar, who expressed her vision for the film.

She said “The catalyst is the hundred-year anniversary and everybody is moving in a kind of wave. When I finally see it on the screen, then I will tell you that the film is done.”

It is believed that Kodar possesses the 45-minute print of the film. So its fate lies in her hands.

East Lake children’s librarian writes her own chapters

The job of a children’s librarian is one that some believe is boring and only involves stocking shelves with books. Despite the fact that the media or even books we read can portray this idea, the position entails more than what some describe.

“I purchase all the materials for the children. That includes the books, videos and toys that they play with,” children’s librarian of East Lake Community Library Susan Schuler said. “I also develop my own programs.”

This month Schuler has already put together a Halloween Costume Swap and Frozen sing-along program.

While Schuler enjoys putting events together there is one thing she loves most.

“What I love most about my job is what librarians call reader’s advisory,” Schuler said.

Reader’s advisory is assistance from a librarian in finding a book suited for an individual.

Schuler’s hard work is not only appreciated from children and parents, but also from her coworkers and volunteers.

“Susan and I work really well together,” assistant children’s librarian Daniele Forrester said. “We are of the same mind about a lot of things and we end up finishing up each other’s sentences a lot.”

The librarian has evolved over the years, and Schuler believes that if someone is unable to have fun in a position such as hers then they must be doing something wrong.


Finding Right College with Online Dating


Doing things the old-fashioned way is coming to an end thanks to continuing advancements in technology.  Meeting people is now done online, and finding the right college no longer requires paying a visit to the guidance counselor.

According to the Associated Press, there is now a website that has the audacity to turn finding a college into an experience similar to online dating:

There’s even a dating service-like site for higher education: pairs students with colleges based on such as factors as body piercings and whether applicants go to church.

The website’s homepage boasts, “Your dream school is closer than you think.”  Admittedly’s slogan is one small step away from trying to sell high schoolers their very own Prince Charming.

On the bright side, Tech Crunch shows us that Admittedly is aiming to sell happily ever afters instead of one-night stands – a feat that actual dating sites don’t usually accomplish. The problem is Admittedly sometimes pairs students with schools that are unattainable:

But the hardest part of figuring out the college situation isn’t always getting in, but finding one that you love to begin with. Admittedly uses OKCupid-like quizzes to find the right college matches for students. Once that happens, the system identifies whether or not that school is within reach and things that you can do to increase your odds.

Moral of the story? Sometimes Prince Charming isn’t completely right for us, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try. There is more than one Prince Charming in the world. And who knows, maybe one day college searching will become as simple as swiping right or left on a phone screen.


CrossFit STS trainer keeps members on their feet

Hugh Thomas, owner and head coach of CrossFit Strength to Strength (STS), is changing lives, one workout a day.

Each day consists of a warm-up, skill or strength training, and a workout of the day. Thomas is constantly creating new workouts to keep gym members on their feet.

“The community is number one to me, and in the community, you build that accountability and with the accountability you build that friendship,” Thomas said. “You come here to get better, work on our weaknesses and have fun doing it.”

Workouts consist of constantly varied, functional movements, performed at high intensity.

Before opening the CrossFit gym in January, Thomas was a professional MMA fighter for four years, as well as a semi pro baseball and basketball player.

“You’ve got a person who is certified like myself who loves what he does, who can’t wait to wake up in the morning to come and teach people how to get better,” Thomas said.

Thomas is very passionate about helping people push past their comfort zone. He has not only coached and trained professional athletes, but also children and the elderly.

USF International Student Enjoys Homecoming Carnival

International student Faisal Alshahrani doubles over in laughter at the USF Homecoming Carnival as he and his friends joke around while trying funnel cake for the first time. Alshahrani and his friends are a part of INTO USF, a program for international students that provides English language, academic preparation and community. The students, originally from Saudi Arabia, experienced their first homecoming in the United States this year. Although the new environment and culture was daunting, Alshahrani said that he liked the relationship between international students in INTO USF. (Photo by Paige Butterfield)

USF graduate manages Florida representative campaign


Brian Goff, University of South Florida graduate, is the campaign manager for Rep. Amanda Murphy State House District 36 in Pasco County.

Goff works approximately 85 hours a week on the campaign. His duties include coordinating volunteers, writing speeches for the representative, designing mailers, managing the representative’s schedule, planning events and fundraisers and managing the campaign’s budget.

“My duties as campaign manager are pretty much anything and everything” Goff said. “I do everything that needs to happen on a day-to-day basis to make sure that the machine, the campaign apparatus, runs smoothly and efficiently.”

Goff began working campaigns as an intern and has managed three races. Two of them being Amanda Murphy’s.

“The campaign manager runs the campaign,” said Murphy. “Without them you will fall apart. They are the driving force of any campaign, so it’s the first and most important piece.

“He was actually part of the team that brought me into being a candidate and they brought him down to staff my campaign during my special election” said Murphy. “This guy is running 24/7 trying to keep track of all the bits and pieces and make sure that everyone else has the items they need to go out and do their job.”

Voters of District 36 can vote for Amanda Murphy or her opponent, Chris Gregg, November 4th.  This is Goff’s third campaign, and he says he feels confident.

“Out of all the campaigns I’ve worked on I’ve never lost one yet” Goff said.

The Art of Hairdressing: Shear Talent and Personality

Rosalia Becerra Barragan is not a typical licensed hairdresser. Six years ago, her interests changed from fashion to hair, allowing her to better apply her creativity.

“Ever since I was very young I’ve always been creative and I’ve always been interested in doing hair,” she said. “First it was fashion and then hair really interested me a lot and it allows me to be very creative in my work.”

Everyone is unique, and hairdressers often create clients’ style based on their personality.

“It’s not only just color in a box that you’re going to mix together. You have to determine what their underlining pigment is to get to that result,” Barragan said.

Barragan’s client Laura Rodriguez comes every few months, and today she retouched her “peek-a-boos”.

“I would not trust anybody else with my hair but her,” Rodriguez said. “You feel beautiful… and like a million bucks when you walk out of here.”

Barragan studied at Woody’s Hair Styling School in Orlando and continues to attend advanced education to grow as a professional.

“Hair is always evolving. Fashion is evolving. So you have to keep up with what clients are requesting,” Barragan said.

She currently averages 120 clients per month. But Barragan said her greatest achievement is her clients’ happiness.

“When they’re happy, I’m happy.”

Located at 1128 SE Carlstrom Field Rd., Shear Talent Hair Design specializes in more than just hair. It provides manicure, pedicure and massage services as well.

Wholloween Brings Whovian Swing to USF Marshall Center

In full swing, Doctor Who fans and swing dancers came out to dance the night away and participate in costume contests. Wholloween, an annual event at USF, was held Oct. 23 from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. at the Marshall Student Center’s amphitheater. The event was open to everyone. Roughly a hundred people came out to the event. It was a mixed crowd of Doctor Who themed costumes, self-invented costumes, and non-costumed attendees.

Teaching the dangers of rip currents through interpretive dance

Dr. Charlie Paxton has dedicated his career to raising awareness about the dangers of rip currents. As a Science and Operations Officer for the National Weather Service, he predicts when rip currents will occur. Paxton is currently working on an interpretive dance video project to help raise awareness.

“I like feeling like maybe I’m helping someone. I feel like I’m doing something good,” said young dancer Eliana Vogel.

Paxton’s passion of surfing put him in an environment where he realized there was a problem.  He pursued a Ph.D. in Environment and Planning from the University of South Florida to find a solution. During his studies, Paxton learned that on an average summer day in Florida, eight people drown in rip currents.

“I’ve saved people that have been in panic mode out in the water because they’re being pulled out. It’s important to not panic, to float, to tread water, and to know that if you’re in a rip current, the rip current will eventually let you go,” said Paxton.

“He has a passion for what he studied, and that’s what makes it so easy to work with him,” said USF Professor Dr. Jennifer Collins. “I hope to work with him again in the future.”

Heroes’ Haven Comics celebrates Halloween ComicFest

Halloween ComicFest is celebrated the Saturday before Halloween in designated comic shops around the world. Since 2012, Halloween Comicfest allows comic book fans to get involved in new comics by handing out free specialty Halloween comics ranging from Batman to Archie to My Little Pony. Most comic stores simply hand out free comics, but Heroes’ Haven Comics puts on an exhibition inviting families and fans. Heroes’ Haven Comics, a “Best of the Bay” winner, brings local and big name artists to the event for signings and commission work. They even hold a costume contest.

Coral Skies Music Festival entertains with national headliners Cage the Elephant

The Coral Skies Music Festival brought talented musicians, gifted artist and delicious food to Tampa on Saturday Oct. 25. With headliners such as Cage the Elephant and Bombay Bicycle Club, Coral Skies provided an experience that pleased fans that were still reminiscing about Big Guava. The real stars of the festival were the fans that each had an interesting story about what Coral Skies meant to them and turned a music festival into it’s own world.

Brickworld Tampa 2014 shows off amazing Lego creations

Brickworld was held the past weekend at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa. LEGO enthusiasts were encouraged to attend and to bring the kids for a wonderful learning experience and chance to build your own creations. People of all ages roamed the isles to get a better look at the exhibits. LEGO engineers came together to form teams and were happy to finally show off their work at the Brickworld Exhibition.