Sunday, June 30, 2013

When climates decouple

At the halfway point of a 2600 mile loop a study in contrasts has been emerging.

A trekker was delivered a reflective respite from the haboobs and high desert heat of north central New Mexico through the desertification of eastern Colorado with its three-mile visibility from wildfire smoke and blowing dust, into the Hat Creek breaks of northern Nebraska, across a western South Dakota prairie lush with waving sweet clover to become a witness of a flooding Big Sioux River basin.

Bob Newland also noted the yucca in bloom throughout the region: likely sign of normalizing West River moisture even as Battle Creek dries.















rare stand of aspen on Minnesota/South Dakota border near divide between the Missouri and Mississippi River drainages





Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A great generation sends another soul home

During an early summer thunderstorm on the morning of 26 June, 2013 Harriet Kurtz checked out of the Brookings Hospital for the last time.

Harriet Mae Craig was born 13 February, 1922 in Norfolk, Nebraska to Ralph A. and Frances (Beidinger) Craig.

The family migrated to Columbus and Harriet attended then graduated St. Bonaventure Catholic School. Later, Ralph, a Union Pacific Railroad brakeman, became a conductor and relocated Frances (Frankie) and four girls to Omaha where Harriet excelled, completed secretary/stenographer courses, then went to work for that railroad. In 1944 she met Sgt. Lawrence E. Kurtz whom she later married. A daughter, Leslie, was born to the couple in 1945.

The young family entered military life moving from Nebraska to Colorado Springs then to Panama, the Canal Zone and in 1947 after the Department of the Air Force was created, Harriet entered civil service in the stenographer's pool where she enjoyed a top security clearance.

A transfer sent the family to Castle Air Force Base near Merced, California and in 1954 a son, Larry, was born. The birth of the Strategic Air Command near the Union Pacific rail head took the family back to Nebraska where daughter Lynn was delivered in 1956.

In November, 1957, Sergeant and Mrs. Kurtz moved the family to Torrejon Air Force Base near Madrid, Spain where they remained stationed until 1961. When the family wasn't exploring western Europe, Harriet managed the household while Lawrence was attaché to the Inspector General of the Air Force.

Harriet returned with her family to the United States, and in 1962 after Lawrence's retirement from the Service, a city girl became a farm wife near Elkton, South Dakota. In 1964 she elected to become a high school teacher, enrolled at South Dakota State College then graduated in 1968. Harriet taught Spanish and English at Lake Benton High School just across the state line in Minnesota until her retirement.

A devout lifetime Catholic, Harriet co-authored a comprehensive history of Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish. Among many other endeavors she was exceptionally proud of this particular achievement.

In 1979 Lawrence and Harriet built a house in Elkton, sold the farm in 1984 then took to the road and traveled the United States extensively until 1995. The couple loved parties, friends and hosted many gatherings. Harriet played bridge until her eyesight failed.

She is survived by daughter Leslie (David) Leech, Elkton; son Larry, Santa Fe, New Mexico; son-in-law David Larson, Flandreau; sister Lizabeth, Omaha, Nebraska; eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband Lawrence, daughter Lynn, two sisters, and her parents.

The rest of Harriet's story is going untold at this writing: she will be missed.



Sunday, June 23, 2013

Schweitzer face of Montana cannabis rights movement

Brian Schweitzer has a weed problem.

The sometimes bombastic, wildly popular Democratic former governor, now chairman of the board of Stillwater Mining Company, has been expected to enter Montana's race for the US Senate although a recent interview with Roll Call seemed to suggest that he'd rather stay in the state he loves than live in DC:
Roll Call: How are you, governor?
Brian Schweitzer: I’m doing fine. I’m actually in Georgetown.


RC: Georgetown, D.C.?
BS: No. Georgetown, D.C.? God, that place sucks. Georgetown Lake. … Come on, I don’t want that smell on me.
From Greg Tuttle, Billings Gazette:
Friedrick Jozef Schweitzer, who is a nephew of former Gov. Brian Schweitzer, appeared before Judge Mary Jane Knisely and pleaded guilty to felony criminal possession with intent to distribute, which carries a maximum prison term of 20 years. Schweitzer told agents he was a medical-marijuana patient and provider and that the shipped marijuana was for his patients. He also said he believed the package only contained an ounce of marijuana.
In 2004, in defiance of federal law, Montana voters passed an initiated change to the state's constitution that legalized the cultivation, distribution, and medical use of cannabis. Last year, that state's earth hater legislature gutted most of the law and Governor Schweitzer allowed the changes without signing the bill.

Now the legal cannabis industry is all but dead in Montana after raids on dispensaries and arrests of growers. One courageous former caregiver, Montana Cannabis, appealed and lost a lower court decision upholding the federal prohibition of the herb.

AP writer, Matt Volz, brings the story using the malapropism "pot" to describe medicine in his piece published at the Lee-owned Helena Independent Record:
...Chris Williams is stepping up his challenge of the federal operation that changed the face of the industry in the state. The March 2011 raids resulted in the prosecution of dozens of providers, shut down their businesses and caused many others to shut their doors out of fear that they would be next. Several other marijuana providers joined his lawsuit, as did the Montana Cannabis Industry Association, which also is suing to overturn the new restrictive state law and is backing a referendum asking voters to repeal the law in November’s election.
This interested party has voiced frustration with Democratic Governor Steve Bullock, because of his public silence on the issue.

New Mexico, on the other hand, has been virtually free from federal crackdowns. Considered the most restrictive medical cannabis law in the US, that state currently issues 21 permits per 100,000, New Mexico's earth hater governor recently signed additional coverage for cannabis patients. The law was hammered out in legislative committee instead of being codified by the passing of a voter-written initiative.

It has been fascinating watching the fascist right haranguing President Obama for what it calls his "regulatory tyranny stifling economic growth" while selectively ignoring the Obama administration erasing a promising industry and effectively chilling civil liberties.

On what grounds would SCOTUS choose to hear an additional appeal of the Montana law if it gets that far, especially in light of the Court ruling on provisions of health insurance reform as a tax?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Lead could host EMP shelter

Surprise! Today's intersection: New Mexico and South Dakota.
Residents told Ron Curry, EPA’s Region 6 administrator, that a cluster of cancer cases in subdivisions near the Homestake Mining Co. uranium mill show a need for immediate action by the agency. [Olivier Uyttebrouck, ABQ Journal]
Jerri Baker asked Powertech Uranium a question in the Hot Springs Star:
Does that mean they could sell the water and run the aquifer dry? It also brought up the fact that Synatom, a subsidiary of GDF Suez - a water-bottling company mentioned in “Flow” – has 16.4 percent stock in Powertech.
Let's flash back to 2000 where the future looked like:
Dark Angel, an American biopunk/cyberpunk science fiction television program created by James Cameron and Charles H. Eglee. Dark Angel premiered in the United States and Canada on the Fox network on October 3, 2000, but was canceled after two seasons. The show chronicles the life of Max Guevara (X5-452), a genetically enhanced super-soldier, portrayed by Jessica Alba as an adult, and Geneva Locke as a child.
Then September 11 and the anthrax attacks happened. Bill Janklow went on his idea of public radio where he and a then-frequent caller to the midday program discussed a concept that led to the creation of DUSEL.

Not long ago, during a segment of Dakota Midday on Bill Janklow's idea of public radio, Paul Guggenheimer hosted hosted former Assistant Secretary of Defense Frank Gaffney and they talked about the documentary "Iranium." Gaffney is an Islamophobe and a whackjob of the nth order, but I think he's got the weapon right:
Electromagnetic pulses (EMP) are oversized outbursts of atmospheric electricity. Whether powered by geomagnetic storms or by nuclear blasts, their resultant intense magnetic fields can induce ground currents strong enough to burn out power lines and electrical equipment across state lines. The threat has even become political fodder, drawing warnings from former House speaker Newt Gingrich, a likely presidential contender. "We are not today hardened against this," he told a Heritage Foundation audience last year. "It is an enormous catastrophic threat."
Everyone knows that Newt Gingrich is a psychopath. In 2009 he told a group of Zionists:
that the U.S. was facing “some catastrophic problems” because of the specter of an EMP attack on the United States, and that the United States lacked a national security strategy to counter those threats. In the May 2009 speech, Gingrich suggested a pre-emptive attack on Iranian and North Korean missiles that he believed could be used to position a nuclear weapon above the United States and trigger an EMP attack.
He's still on tilt about it.

EMP weapons have been part of the US arsenal for decades and are deployed early in an invasion. Knowledge of their operation has been coming home steadily in the minds of radicalized warriors where in a remote scenario they could be built in Ryder trucks to be randomly detonated near grid junctions. Solar events even asteroid strikes are hopefully more likely incidents in the shadow of pyroterrorism.

Comes this from Joe O'Sullivan writing in the Rapid City Journal:
The Long-Baseline Neutrino Experiment would be a step toward wrapping finite human minds around the prehistoric, pre-earth origins, Big Bang-era particles. The $860 million project, split between the Sanford Lab and the particle accelerator in Illinois, would be funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Here are the geothermal gradients (pdf) of the deepest rock in the former Homestake showing potential for the steam power necessary to generate lighting and life support for large numbers of people sustainably if the planet's surface became a hostile environment. Ceramics could support and insulate the miles of stopes in the old mine connecting a network of gardens, living and work spaces.

Episode one.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Second Amendment, cannabis rights nullified by ATF

Everyone knows that South Dakota is ethically bankrupt.

Second Amendment an absolute? Think again.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATFE) will make sure you lose your Second Amendment rights if you admit to it. From Brian Doherty's piece at Reason:
Merely having a state medical marijuana card, BATFE insists, means that you fall afoul of Sect. 922(g) of the federal criminal code (from the 1968 federal Gun Control Act), which says that anyone “who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance” is basically barred from possessing or receiving guns or ammo (with the bogus assertion that such possession implicates interstate commerce, which courts will pretty much always claim it does). While the BATFE has not yet announced any concerted program to go after people who may have had legally purchased weapons before getting a marijuana card, Morgan Fox of the Marijuana Policy Project says that it’s common practice in medical marijuana-related busts that “if weapons are present, there will be gun charges added on as well.”
The federal laws that restrict gun ownership were passed to deny people of color access to firearms just as the federal law that makes cannabis illegal does. Possession of crack cocaine has been recently leveled to mirror racial equality.

US Representatives Jared Polis (D-CO) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) are bringing a proposal [pdf] to create the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana and Firearms according to story published in the Denver Post. Gene Johnson of the AP writes:
The bill is based on a legalization measure previously pushed by former Reps. Barney Frank of Massachusetts and Ron Paul of Texas. Blumenauer and Polis are due to release a paper this week urging Congress to make a number of changes, including altering tax codes to let marijuana dispensaries deduct business expenses on federal taxes, and making it easier for marijuana-related businesses to get bank accounts.
Industrial Hemp and Medical Marijuana Industry Hits All-Time High in 2013.

Kentucky's efforts here.

State Senator Dave Wanzenreid of Missoula wants to add post-traumatic stress to Montana's list of medical cannabis qualifiers.

President Obama: end the drug war and legalize cannabis now!

Barney Frank holds George Will's feet to the fire on cannabis and the rights of consenting adults.

Democrats: don't let Rand Paul define cannabis rights. Lead or lose.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Ponderosa pine infestation driving Southwest fire season




Colorado's Black Forest Fire is believed human-caused: accident, pyro-terrorism, or a lone psychopath employing weaponized wildfire?

Today's intersection: a toilet paper shortage and the petrochemical industry.

Downed power lines are suspected as cause of at least three New Mexico fires as was the case for the Grizzly Gulch Fire outside Deadwood. Once again, Ponderosa pine is the primary fuel.

These aren't natural forests where wildland fires are raging: they're largely second-growth pine monocultures allowed to overrun aquifer recharges after a century of fire suppression. Roads not built for logging because they're erosion menaces are nevertheless carved into hillsides willy-nilly to fight wildfires.



Pyrocumulus over the Thompson Ridge Fire from Baja Waldo.


Suzanne Goldberg brings Guardian readers up to speed:
Carbon dioxide emissions fell last year to their lowest point since 1994, according to the Department of Energy. Methane is up to 105 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas on a 20-year timescale.
From a post at Electric Light and Power:
According to a new report from Navigant Research, global installed biomass power capacity will grow gradually over the remainder of this decade, from 58.6 GW in 2013 to 82 GW in 2020, under a conservative forecast scenario. Under a more aggressive scenario, installed capacity could reach 128.5 GW in 2020, the study concludes.
The electric power grid is an antiquated, vulnerable system and there are hundreds of millions of acres of dead or dying pine. Environmental contaminants from wildfires are circling the globe at increasing rates: how sad the intersection has to result in a collision.

So, BP and their corporate buddies have ruined at least 2000 miles of shoreline and turned the Gulf of Mexico into a massive Dead Zone in part to make polyvinylchloride grocery bags as the lodgepole and ponderosa pine used to make paper infest the Rocky Mountain Complex at the expense of healthy biomes.

Raven Industries in Sioux Falls has lost stock momentum manufacturing airships for surveillance instead of diversifying into ships for timber harvest.

A Montana company is part of an Arizona biofuels initiative intended to avert catastrophe:
Loggers, local officials, environmentalists and researchers spent years hammering out a consensus on the need to thin millions of trees smaller than 16 inches in diameter. The loggers and the environmentalists worked out long-standing conflicts when they agreed that commercial logging operations could make a profit even if they left most of the larger trees in place. [Pete Aleshire, Payson Roundup]
From a piece written by Steven Powell describing research being conducted at the University of South Carolina:
Hydrocarbon-rich starting materials, whether from petroleum or tree resin, can be converted into various forms of what are commonly termed “plastics” through polymerization. With petroleum derivatives, scientists have invested more than a hundred years of research into refining the polymer chemistry involved, and their success in that endeavor is evident in the range of plastics now part of common parlance, such as Plexiglas, polycarbonate and PVC.
Callie Carswell writes from The Goat Blog at High Country News:
Dan Williams, a spokesman for New Mexico Game and Fish, expects it will be a tough year for bears, too. "Without water, there are less grasses and forbs that come out in the springtime that bears mostly subsist on until the acorns, nuts and berries come on later," he says. "Last year, we had a pretty good spring and early summer. There was plenty to eat up high. That resulted in a pretty good crop of cubs. This year, they're kind of in trouble. The grasses and forbs are simply not there. So they're having to come down to look for food elsewhere. It's likely to get worse later on."
And:
An unusually stormy April built up the snowpack in most of northern Colorado to just about average. In the southern part of the state, however, snowpack in the Rio Grande, Dolores, Animas, San Miguel and San Juan basins sat just above 40 percent of average at the start of May. [Carswell, The Goat Blog, HCN]
People in the path of Colorado's Black Forest Fire: sue your landlord, real estate broker or developer if a disclaimer describing the risks of renting or building in or near a dense Ponderosa pine forest was not part of your contract. People building in or near these hazards should be denied homeowners insurance.

Weaponized wildfire (known politically as pyro-terrorism), not ruled out in the Waldo Canyon Fire, is now suspected on the Black Forest Fire and cheatgrass is one of the fuels.

From NPR's the Two-Way:
"Three red lights in a triangle ... spotted hovering in the sky" over Lafayette, Colo., on Monday have folks there talking about aliens and UFOs, Boulder's Daily Camera says. Joe Valadez, 47, also posted a video to YouTube of the lights in the sky. Some of the commenters on Valadez's video were skeptical. One user, Lonnie Sexton, 33, wrote: "I want proof as bad as the next guy, but these are just hot air candle balloons folks."
The cause of the Indian Gulch Fire remains under investigation. Maybe they should look here:



This post is live: first uploaded 1 June. Links and comments added as events intersect.

Rewild the West.

Update, 17 June, 10:45 MDT:

Looks like others have come to many of the same conclusions. Brad Plumer writes in a Washington Post piece how the feds encourage and could fix what amounts to sprawl:
The paper [pdf] lists a number of ways to shift these incentives. Congress could pare back the mortgage-interest deduction for homes built in vulnerable fire zones. Or the federal government could work with states to be more cautious about where they build (or at least tighten building codes in fire-prone areas). Or Congress could flatly require homeowners in these areas to buy federal fire insurance. The broader point is that it doesn’t make sense to encourage people to live in fire zones and then spend billions protecting them.
Colorado Springs is a military town: why would it not look like a soft target?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

School of Mines president facing federal ethics probe



So, South Dakotans all knew that the School of Mines and Technology was having "a tough time," right?

An Adelstein connection? The new president at Mines is an earth hater who lost to Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM). Even the Daily Caller panned Heather Wilson, a former New Mexico Representative for District 1:
Wilson is everything Americans despise about politicians, regardless of party. A cursory look at her career reveals profligacy, cronyism, abuse of power, lies, cover-ups and a sex scandal. She’s seldom crossed an earmark she hasn’t liked, including the infamous $398 million Bridge to Nowhere. She is a crony of the first order, landing a cushy state job with a $93,000 base salary for her husband Jay Hone.--conservative activist, Yates Walker, The Daily Caller.
The engineering college is saying nothing about a report calling Wilson's agreements with New Mexico labs unusual, "highly irregular," and that lab operators failed to include or enforce invoicing standards required under federal regulations.

Did someone connected with the lab in the former Homestake turn the screws to get her hired?
According to an October 16, 2012 Santa Fe Reporter article she has had numerous consulting contracts with defense contractors, including Sandia Labs beginning in 2009 and up to her Senate campaign in 2012. Moreover, in the past her congressional staff has included Sandia Labs personnel.--Jay Coghlan, Nuclear Watch
Hello. Who got the stimulus funds in New Mexico? Homestake Mining Co. got 10.4 million smackers.

Barbara Waxer left a comment at a South Dakota-based blog:
Along with many others here in New Mexico, we wish you the best in dealing with Heather the Hack. Heather's insouciant homophobia is well known. You'll also love her non-responses to sexual assault on campus. Amazingly, she knew nothing about incidences of sexual assault and harassment in the military, despite having graduated from the Air Force Academy and served on the Armed Services Cmte.
South Dakota: The Land of Infinite Hypocrisy.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Near East revolution leads to rubber bullets




Here is a good one.   The album version reminds me of Hairy's Hippie Haven in Brookings.

Zionists, terrorists, war criminals: just a few truths being spoken to power. Last year, after Israel executed another round of extirpation attempts in Palestine, an outspoken world leader lashed out:
Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Israel's actions cannot be described as self-defense against Hamas rocket attacks, as the U.S. and other Israeli allies have done. He calls the offensive "terrorism."--AP at HuffPost.
Now, Turkey's Prime Minister reiterates his charges that Zionism is a crime against humanity:
Erdogan, whose ruling party has roots in Turkey's Islamic movement, frequently criticizes Israeli actions against Palestinians but rarely speaks out against Zionism. In November, he accused Israel of state terrorism and of an "attempt at ethnic cleansing," a euphemism that describes using violence to force a population to flee an area.--Suzan Frasier and Matthew Lee in HuffPost.
Couldn't have said better myself.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Rapid City celebrating what God hath wrought



June 9th is a day of celebration in Rapid City: God stalled a supercell over the Rapid Creek watershed and killed sinners in mass quantities. It is likely to happen again. Today the town is a hole filled with the stench of a century of genocide and hopelessness.

Melvin Martin:
June 9, 2011, marks the 39th anniversary of the 1972 Rapid City Flood, the worst event in the history of that town, my birthplace, and as I have stated here before, the most racist city in the U.S. for Indians. On the Internet there is next to nothing about how the flood impacted Rapid City's Indian population and nothing at all on the sole “official site” for the flood, that of the Rapid City Public Library. In what is now a portion of the so-called “flood plain” by the creek, there was a vast ghetto of the poorest of Rapid City's poor, mainly Indian people who lived in ramshackle dwellings of every description, from dilapidated old Victorian-types of houses that had been transported there from who-knows-where, to shacks and huts made from all manner of cast-off materials. There were no sidewalks to speak of and the street lights were at a minimum.
Under the Rounds and Daugaard administrations the rates of violent crime in the failed red state have increased dramatically. GOP leadership in the state, especially in Rapid City, has fostered conditions where reported aggravated assaults have increased 100%. Andrea Cook reports in the Journal:
The number, which was higher than the 252 aggravated assaults reported in Sioux Falls, shocked police officials who are trying to figure out what is happening here. Along with the growth in aggravated assaults, the city has experienced an increase in rapes and robberies, also categorized as violent crimes.
South Dakota's red state legislature loves violence but believes cannabis is evil. As the failed red state concentrates on cannabis interdiction and the incarceration of non-whites rather than on violent crime, the state's residents are falling through the cracks.

A heartbreaking plea from Pine Ridge appeared in the rez blogosphere recently:
Far more harm than good has been done by the presence of Christian groups and non-profits on the reservation (non-profits are modern era heirs to the legacy of early Christian groups). Christianity and non-profits on reservations have mostly been about profiteering, exploitation, religious indoctrination, and culture subversion.
The GOP has failed: it's time for real leaders.

Fuck you, Rapid City. Rewild the West.

Read about wildfires, insurance and climate change here and here.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Wild horses pose problems for wolf and cougar habitat

The modern horse was introduced to North America by the Spanish late in the 15th Century.
Artefacts such as projectile points, stone scrapers, bi-faces and large stone chopping/cutting tools found at Kotenski in Russia, a mass horse kill site, are similar to those found on large kill/butchery sites of North America, (Hoffdecker et al 2010, 1087). [Lisa Bond, Gender Roles and the Mass-kill Event: A Cross-cultural Analysis, Heritage Daily--Archaeology News]
From an Associated Press piece in the Casper Star-Tribune:
A scathing independent scientific review of wild horse roundups in the West concludes the U.S. government would be better off investing in widespread fertility control of the mustangs and let nature cull any excess herds instead of spending millions to house them in overflowing holding pens. A 14-member panel assembled by the National Science Academy’s National Research Council, at the request of the Bureau of Land Management, concluded BLM’s removal of nearly 100,000 horses from the Western range over the past decade is probably having the opposite effect of its intention to ease ecological damage and reduce overpopulated herds.
This story aired on Yellowstone Public Radio that reinforces ip's rant on a non-lethal compromise to manage predators, especially cougars and wolves:
The federal Bureau of Land Management announced Wednesday it will use fertility treatment on some 900 wild horses that it hopes to round up in western states during the current fiscal year. The "catch, treat and release" approach comes amidst ongoing controversy over the roundups, which are designed to control the population of horses on federal rangelands.
The BLM argues that reducing herd sizes are necessary to protect the range and to keep the horse populations healthy into the future.

The technology exists to administer this drug to predators without capture even as western states are suing to force the United States Fish & Wildlife Service to remove gray wolves from the endangered species list pressured by livestock producers. The South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks has ordered the extermination of cougars in that state under pressure from hunting industries who rely on tourist dollars.

Here is an article on the contraindications associated with the long-term use of PZP, it's environmental effects are noted.

From Lauren Hansard at New Mexico's KOB:
The Valley Meat Company is still waiting for final approval to slaughter horses, but that seems to keep getting farther away.
The Oglala Lakota Nation is pursuing an economic development opportunity according to Tim Huether writing in the Bennett County Booster
Tribal council member Craig Dillon from the LaCreek District confirmed that they are indeed looking at it but said they have a long way to go, but have also come a long way on the project. The location they are considering for the plant is just under two miles north and west of the U.S. Hwy 18 and U.S. Hwy 73 junction which is 12 miles east of Martin. The tribe owns approx. 220 acres there that Dillon said would be a good location. Slaughtering horses ended in the U.S. in 2007 after Congress began prohibiting the use of federal funds to inspect horses destined to become food during 2006.
In evidence obtained through South Dakota Brand Board Inspection records and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests:
Jim Reeves and Lyle Anderson own Spur Livestock, and have a contract with the Bureau of Land Management for a long term holding pasture for wild horses on private lands within the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, as well as on Indian Trust Lands administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. This facility is the Whitehorse Wild Horse Long Term Holding Facility. Wild Horse Freedom Federation received records from the South Dakota Brand Board that reveal on 11/8/2008, while under contract with the BLM, “owner” Spur Livestock sold 34 horses with “BLM tattoos” to JS Farms, owned by kill buyer Joe Simon.--Debbie Coffey, PPJ Gazette.
Two North Dakota counties have asked a judge to rule on horses seized from William Kiefer writes Jenny Michael in the Bismarck Tribune:
Officials in Morton County seized 119 horses after finding 96 dead on Kiefer’s property north of New Salem in late January, and Burleigh County officials seized 38 horses after finding three dead on property in that county. Sheriff Dave Shipman said numerous dead horses were found in a pile and appeared to have been dragged out of view of the road. Others were piled up in barns and a stock trailer.
interested party has jammed this concept into numerous western blogs with mixed success. Selling licenses to track and identify female wolves and cougars then administer these drugs with darts or biobullets could capitalize its application.

From the Wolf Conservation Center:
It’s possible to better manage unruly wolves in estrus with birth control treatments called MGA (melengestrol acetate) and Deslorelin. These oral remedies have been proven to diminish the competitive behavior that females naturally demonstrate during the winter months.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Eve swam to sapience

What characteristics assured the success of one sapient hominid to survive and reproduce amidst a savage, predator-infested environment? Researchers are focused on ancient African river deltas searching for evidence that the earliest humans foraged for mollusks and the eggs of seabirds.
In four studies of carbon isotopes in fossilized tooth enamel from scores of human ancestors and baboons in Africa from 4 million to 10,000 years ago, researchers found a surprise increase in the consumption of grasses and sedges--plants that resemble grasses and rushes but have stems with triangular cross sections. [The National Science Foundation]
These aquatic hominids were no longer reliant on knuckle-walking as the buoyancy of water enables upright wading. Usually, she waded just deep enough to hide from or repel marauding hyenas and just shallow enough to leap away from crocodilians while an infant clung to her, fingers entwined in ample head and body hair.

Shellfish-crushing molars had evolved to replace the canine teeth more prevalent in other primates (now sometimes disappearing in modern humans), because she learned to soften food, especially meat, with fire. Wading and diving into deeper water lead to the development of her voluntary breath control, a trait absent in other primates and a core requirement for the evolution of language.

Some have dubbed her Mitochondrial Eve.

Having adapted logs to aid her migration from deltas to islands to continents beyond her native Africa, Richard Dawkins says her 2.5 million year swim continues to this day.

Humans' genetic relationship to a history of riparian life runs deep.

This post has been updated: originally uploaded in March, 2010. Updated 2 January, 2014.