Do You Think Organic Means No Pesticides?
If you think organic produce means no pesticides, you might want to read this piece from Scientific American on organic myths. As someone who hunts organic farms, I can tell you no one is more interested in seeing every deer, groundhog and raccoon taken off the place. A blood free meal? Sorry, that's not possible from the moment you cut down the forest and plant row crops.
PeTA is as Dumb as a Stump:
It seems the idiots at PeTA have a solution for the two million feral hogs running around Texas -- just round them up and put them inside some nice cheap fencing. Over at the Texas Department of Agriculture, they are still laughing.
The End of Service Ferrets and Seeing Eye Ducks:
I was a huge supporter of the Americans with Disabilities Act and pushed hard for its passage. What I did not expect was the level of nonsense that would pop up in the the world of service animals. For 20 years now, a small but pushy group of people have been trying to claim their house cat, ferret or duck as a service animal so they can get it onto airplane flights, into stores, and even into restaurants. Now the U.S. government has put an end to it and defined a service animal as a trained dog that does a service (and under certain narrow circumstances, it may include a miniature horse).
Transgenic Chickens to Stop the Spread of Disease?
Researchers from the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, Scotland (the same place that created Dolly the cloned sheep) have created a transgenic chicken that won’t spread bird flu to other birds. Because about 80 percent of the world’s chickens come from just two companies that sell purebred chicken lines, this may have an enormous (and positive) public heath consequence.
The Toyota RAV4 Powered by Tesla?
Things are starting to look pretty interesting in the world of electric vehicles. Toyota is paying Tesla Motors $100 million for the rights to put the Tesla power train (it works!) into production in the 2012 Toyota RAV4 EV. This may be The One for those of us with dogs (price will matter a lot!) and it's going to be here very soon.
The Story Fox News Will Not Tell You:
You can blame a right-wing, Christian, nationalist, Islamophobe for shooting 80 children on Utoya Island in Norway and bombing an Oslo building that killed 7. And, of course, it was a right-wing, Christian, nationalist, Islamophobe that also bombed us in Oklahoma City. And, of course, it was right-wing, Christian, nationalist, Islamophobes that spurred us to kill 300,000 in Iraq who had nothing to do with the September 11 bombing of the Pentagon and the World Trade Center. Sauce for the goose and sauce for the gander, and a little something to think about.
This Dog Will End Up Dead, Killed by His Owner:
People are idiots, and here's a good example, captured on video. This guy is letting (and even encouraging) his Jack Russell terrier climb difficult rock cliffs without benefit of the rope and other protective features he demands for himself. This is a predictable disaster waiting to happen, same as throwing a dog's ball out in traffic.
I have a friend who loves tacos made from cow tongue. I must remember to send him this ad for Underwood "Deviled Tongue," made by the same people who used to make "Deviled Ham." And how about that corporate slogan: "Branded with the Devil, but fit for the Gods" ? I'm not sure that slogan would pass muster with the fundies these days. In 1918, of course, the fundies did not exist; they are a modern creation.
The Original Polar Bear Club:
A female polar bear wearing a GPS tracking device was recorded swimming for nine days straight and covering a distance of 426 miles. Think about that for a second. You could not walk 9 days straight, and you do not even want to drive 426 miles. Swim it? Unimaginable!
Would Hemmingway Tweet?
J.R. Absher, over at The Outdoor Pressroom, asks a fun question on Ernest Hemingway's 112th birthday. I think not, under the theory that if Leroy Jethro Gibbs does not tweet, neither does Hemingway. Please discuss.
Remove the Mountains and Put Up Solar Panels?
Could mountaintop removal sites in Kentucky serve as a home for fields of solar panels? I suppose that's one way to put damaged land back to good use. By one calculation, the 897 square miles of cleared mountaintop in Kentucky could supply nearly 10% of the electricity needed in the entire U.S.!
An Environmental Republican?
In other news coal news, Michael Bloomberg, the Republican mayor of New York, has donated $50 million of his own money to the Sierra Club to help fight coal-fired power plants.
There Are No Feral Dog Packs in America:
There are no feral dog packs in America... or so I have been told. Nonetheless, The Fayetteville, North Carolina Observor reports that a dog-hunting team has been hired to help help track wild packs in Fayetteville. As many as 150 wild dogs in the city are killing pets and threatening residents, and the city is going to hire a pair of two-person teams with trucks and tranquilizer darts to hunt the dogs which will be darted with a tranquilizer/GPS chip combination "that allow the hunters to find the animals in the woods after the drugs take effect and the animals collapse." Eh? Did I miss a completely new technology being invented? Gun-fireable GPS units with tranquilizer darts? I am betting the reporter has invented something here... or the spokesperson for the company doing the shooting of these dogs has. If there is new tech I have missed, however, let me know in the comments.... it's hard to keep up!
Barbed Wire and Profits:
In the past I have written about the history of barbed wire (yes, there's a dog connection). Now comes a paper from Harvard's Richard Hornbeck that notes the land values connection. As barbed wire dramatically expanded its reach from 1880 to 1900, "counties with the least woodland experienced substantial relative increases in settlement, land improvement, land values, and the productivity and production share of crops most in need of protection" due to the sudden availability of cheap fencing.
No More Pugs to China!
Pugs may have come from China once upon a time, but there's no going back now that Cathay Pacific Airlines has banned brachycephalic breeds due to concerns these short-nosed animals have an increased risk of breathing problems and overheating due to the stress of flying. Shit-Zoos are no longer welcome at Cathay, and neither are Pekingese, English Bulldogs, Boston Terriers and Boxers. Most American airlines no longer take brachy dogs in cargo (though some will take them in winter), and neither does Singapore Airlines. More to follow no doubt!
A Gay Dog Show?
That seems a little redundant. It's not like any of them are totally straight (and no there's nothing wrong with that). And they're not not going to physically exclude heteros (heaven for fend!), so this just seems like a fundraising gimmick designed to institutionalized gay separateness while saluting overt discrimination in the name of rosette chasing. In short, nothing new here!