Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Coffee and Provocation

Training Dogs to Find Ancient Loot
Canines may soon be deployed in the fight against terrorists and criminals who loot precious artifacts from war zones.

They Need a Terrier to Find That Gold
In June 1863, a Union shipment of 52 bars of gold now worth $54 million was said to be lost near Dents Run, Pennsylvania. Now the FBI and state conservation officers are digging for it near the Quehanna Wild Area. Sadly, they are not using all the tools at their disposal. A special breed of dog, the Bactrian Terrier, specializes in finding gold deposits.

Rickshaws Were Invented in New Jersey
General Tso's Chicken was invented in New York and Rickshaws were invented in New Jersey.

Chinese Communists to Write U.S. Laws?
Alibaba, which operates as an arm of the communist Chinese state, has joined the American Legislative Exchange Council, a private right-wing group set up by corporations to ghostwrite legislation sponsored by legislators in state capitols around the country.  If Russia can control the President and the NRA, the Chinese figure they can write state law.

Leeches as Wildlife DNA Bank
Scientists have identified mammals present at sites in Asia by examining the DNA in the blood sucked by leeches.

Japan Invents a Raccoon Trap
Non-native American raccoons in Japan have become a nuisance, and the Japanese have invented a live cage trap that is species-specific.

National Geographic Self-Examines Its Own Racism
National Geographic asked a preeminent historian to investigate the magazine’s coverage of people of color in the U.S. and abroad, and what the historian found was not pretty. "What Mason found in short was that until the 1970s National Geographic all but ignored people of color who lived in the United States, rarely acknowledging them beyond laborers or domestic workers. Meanwhile it pictured “natives” elsewhere as exotics, famously and frequently unclothed, happy hunters, noble savages—every type of cliché. Unlike magazines such as Life, Mason said, National Geographic did little to push its readers beyond the stereotypes ingrained in white American culture."

Why Do Some White Men Stockpile Guns and Ammo?
From Scientific American: "Since the 2008 election of President Obama, the number of firearms manufactured in the U.S. has tripled, while imports have doubled. This doesn’t mean more households have guns than ever before—that percentage has stayed fairly steady for decades. Rather, more guns are being stockpiled by a small number of individuals. Three percent of the population now owns half of the country’s firearms, says a recent, definitive study from the Injury Control Research Center at Harvard University."  What's going on?  Basically these folks are terrified, weak, and insecure individuals beset by racial and economic fear who are undergoing a crisis in meaning and purpose in their lives.

Drones to Count Birds and Other Wildlife 
It turns out that a drone in the sky is better than two PhDs in the bush.


Noel said...

Scientific American paraphrases a study from Harvard, funded by an LA-based gun control group, saying that weak, uneducated, unemployed, insecure white men are the real gun owners. All from a "recent, definitive" study, so it must be true.
See...that's the thing. Identifying gun owners as a stereotype, claiming guns are dropping out of style, saying that gun sales are plummeting, that gun companies are going broke, that guns are the problem and anyone who can't see that is stupid. ALL of that does not work. Trump.Got.Elected. The same people that voted for Trump would have voted for Bernie Sanders. Let that sink in a minute....the SAME people.

Shitting on people that don't see how dumb they are is so inside-the-beltway, "don't you see that we need to make these decisions for you, idiots!" that I can't believe it still goes on.
Beat that drum...the Russians! The NRA! The children dying like flies because of the AR-15's! Watch how that works. Trump will get re-elected. Watch.

Yup, watch. And watch the opiod deaths reach 75,000 when the 2017 numbers come out. Watch a dozen children a day die from suicide, a half a dozen teens die every day from texting and driving. Watch that happen while congress gets a pass, state elections go unattended, and the Orange Monster gets pummeled by the [no shit, for real] hostile and biased media. And he won that, BTW. He MADE them biased and hostile and they fell for it. "But he's so duuuumb!!!!!!"

But Russia! But the assault weapons! Want to save lives? Devote some blog space to solving the drug crisis, not arguing gun laws that won't change much, and if they did...wouldn't matter much. 400 million guns in the US, and they aren't going anywhere. THAT is a long bet I'd win.

Lucas Machias said...

A Mideast Nuclear Deal Trump Might Actually Like

Saudi Arabia wants to buy U.S. nuclear reactors—and, in contrast to Iran, it's charming the president.

Not just the Chinese are playing the US.

PBurns said...

On guns: I urge folks to read the article and the underlying work.

1. A massive jump in gun purchases with Obama coming into office. Obama did nothing to push for gun control — actually reduced control.

2. This was not a general increase in gun ownership: it was a very small group of white men stockpiling a large number of guns.

3. These stockpiles are people that have been interviewed, surveyed, and profiled over several years by a dozen researchers. We know who these people are and they seem to fit a certain mold.

grape welch said...

Regarding General Tso's Chicken, have you seen this:

I watched it last year on Netflix. Not only is the dish served in the US not the Chinese original. It changes according to the country in which it is available.

Jennifer said...

Actually, gun laws (and their interpretation) HAVE changed a lot since 2008, when the Supreme Court ruled that individuals have the right to bear arms outside a well ordered militia. Since then many gun restrictions have been dropped. And it wasn't that long ago that the NRA viewed itsi role as teaching marksmanship, as opposed to pushing gun rights. Fresh Air on NPR did a great show on changing gun laws a few weeks back.

Jennifer said...

Correction: the gun laws podcast was on RadioLab 2/24/18, not Fresh Air.