Thursday, February 25, 2016

Coffee and Provocation

The Horror the Show Ring is Doing to Great Danes
The Great Dane is already a problematic breed --  a dog so big it is dead, on average, at age 6 due to one health problem or another. Rather than fix the problems -- or delist this over-large breed entirely -- Kennel Club and breeder are now complicit in even more increased selection for extreme exaggeration and defect.  A new mutant-looking "Euro" Great Dane has been created.  And remember that in the case of Harlequin Great Danes, about one in four are born deaf, and most of these are put to sleep.

Atomic Bombing the Atlantic Ocean
In February, a meteor exploded over the south Atlantic with more force than the Hiroshima bomb. No one even noticed.

What Do Whales Do at Night?
Thermal imaging cameras are giving us new information.

Some Scary HIV Stats
A new report from the Centers for Disease Control says roughly half of the gay black men in the country will be infected with HIV in their lifetime, and that a quarter of gay Latino men in the United States will be infected with HIV in their lifetime. The good news is that overall population risk are currently 1 in 99; much improved from 1 in 78 ten years ago.  There is a great deal of risky disparity along racial lines, which is itself due to a combination of weights related to poverty, education, and culture. Overall African-Americans have a lifetime HIV risk of 1 in 20 for men, and 1 in 48 for women. For whites, that rate is 1 in 132 for men and 1 in 880 for women.

Grizzlies are in Danger
From The New York Times: "The grizzly bears that live in and around Yellowstone make up almost half the population in the lower 48 states, and now those bears are at risk. In 2015 their numbers in the Yellowstone area declined by 40, to an estimated 717 from 757 — a 6 percent drop that represents the highest one-year mortality since grizzlies were given federal protection in 1975. Despite this decline, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service is currently preparing to strip the animals of their Endangered Species Act protection. The agency is under pressure from the states around Yellowstone — Wyoming, Montana and Idaho — to allow hunting of bears that roam outside the parks’ boundaries. Now, the proposal to call the bears recovered and remove their protection is imminent. If the rule is finalized, it’s likely to allow states to reduce bear numbers by more than 100 practically overnight.... Historically, grizzlies ranged from Alaska to Mexico, with at least 50,000 bears living in the western half of the contiguous United States.... Today only about 1,500 to 1,700 grizzlies survive outside Alaska, in five isolated populations in the northern Rocky Mountains and the Cascades.

British Common Footpaths Vs, American Private Property Signs
There's a history here that goes back to the Romans, and it generates botth good- and ill-will.

Not All Potatoes Are Alike
There is complex chemistry in some spuds, beyond size and skin color.


JoeMama said...

Regarding potatoes, there is much research being done to reduce suspected carcinogens and chemical components that produce "off" tastes in potato chips and french fries.

A typical article can be found here:

jeffrey thurston said...

My Dad ( would go on for hours about the magic of potatoes...

Mark Farrell-Churchill said...

"British Common Footpaths...: There's a history here that goes back to the Romans, and it generates both good- and ill-will."

And has done for quite some time. I was immediately reminded of a character in The Hound of the Baskervilles, a litigious crank by the name of Frankland:

"His passion is for the British law, and he has spent a large fortune in litigation. He fights for the mere pleasure of fighting and is equally ready to take side of a question... Sometimes he will shut up a right of way and defy the parish to make him open it. At others he will with his own hands tear down some other man's gate and declare that a path has existed there from time immemorial, defying the owner to prosecute him from trespass. He is learned in old manorial and communal rights, and he applies his knowledge sometimes in favour of the villagers of Fernworthy and sometimes against them, so that he is periodically either carried in triumph down the village street or else burned in effigy, according to his latest exploit."