Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Coffee and Provocation

Chicago Park to Be 10X Larger Than Manhattan:
Chicago and the state of Illinois are going to turn 140,000 acres of under used post-industrial land along Chicago's southern rim into a public recreation hub called the Millennium Reserve.  The state is giving $17 million to the project, and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn hopes to add private funding which will create jobs even as it preserves creates nature.

Why Is NIH Giving Cocaine to Quail?
Why is the National Institute of Health giving cocaine to quail?  Why, to study unbridled sex of course!  And, as Scientific American makes clear, it's not a waste of your tax dollars, but sound science.

Larry Craig, Coal Lobbyist:
"Wide Stance" Larry Craig, the Idaho Senator who was last seen soliciting sex in an airport men's room (allegedly), has remained true to his school and is now a Washington, D.C. lobbyist for the coal industry.  As I wrote back in 2007, "If Larry Craig wants to go 'Brokeback Mountain,' I could care less so long as places like Brokeback Mountain (i.e. the wild public lands of the American West) remain unviolated long after he is gone."  But Craig will not go off into that good night.  And why would he?  This is a man who has always been willing to drill any hole for a dollar, and rip, rape and ruin any spot better off left alone.  Larry Craig is now a paid apologist for strip mining and Mountain Top Removal?  Of course he is!

Cheetah the Chimp Dead at Age 80?
Cheetah the chimp of Tarzan fame is dead at age 80.  This is true, except for two things:  the chimp is almost certainly not an "original" Cheetah (though there were many of those) and it is almost certainly not 80 years old. Cheetah frauds are an old game, and there does not appear to be any evidence at all that this animal, named Mike, is as old as claimed or that it was ever used in any film whatsoever.

There's a Good Chance the Java Tiger is Not Extinct:
There's evidence coming from the Meru Betiri National Park in East Java that tigers are still present there. They are installing motion-sensing camera traps to confirm. The last recorded sighting of a Javan Tiger was in 1976, and it was officially declared extinct in 1994.  Finding "extinct" species is not that rare, however, as I note in a previous post.  That said, if Javan Tigers are found, this should but in no way be considered a bright sign of optimism -- more of a small spark, too easily extinguished.

North Carolina Whooping Cranes?
A pair of Whooping Cranes are wintering in western North Carolina.  In every article about these birds it's always noted how rare they are (now about 500 in the world) but it is almost never noted that, even in pre-Columbian times, there were never more than 5,000 Whooping Cranes in the world. The reason: these birds are extremely poor parents.

A Village is Drowned and the Fish Celebrate: 
Not as bad as it sounds.  Very cool art.

Coral Can Be Made to Grow Much Faster:
It seems a metal cage with a very weak electrical current running through it creates enough electrolysis to build up limestone which attaracts everything from corals to oysters which both grow with amazing speed.  This is a small bit of good news in an arena long overdue for good news.

If You Really Want to Get Away From It All:
If you really want to get away from it all, but still want to see a doctor and be able to buy groceries in a small store, the island of Tristan da Cunha is the place for you. However, the only way to get there is on the RMS Saint Helena which arrives once a year in February, so start packing now!

Two Bumblebee Species Are Rediscovered:
A rare species of bumblebee was rediscovered in Scotland after 50 years, and now scientists at the University of California, Riverside have announced they too have rediscovered a rare bumblebee not seen in the United States for 55 years.

Jesus Wept:
A brawl between Greek Orthodox and Armenian priests broke out this morning at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, Israel, with the battle being fought with broomsticks. Yes, we have video.   Palestinian police armed with batons and shields broke up the clashes.  Discuss the thelogical, cultural, and geo-political ramifications among yourselves.


Beth F. said...

"Jesus Wept:
A brawl between Greek Orthodox and Armenian priests broke out this morning at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, Israel... Palestinian police armed with batons and shields broke up the clashes."

You just can't make this shit up.

PBurns said...

The title to that little squib is all of John 11:35, the shortest verse in the Bible.