Slate: Howard Axelrod’s The Point of Vanishing, reviewed.
And cold. Roads are still icy. School’s shut, some state offices. Sun’s out though, so things should clear up soon.
NY Times/Letter of Recommendation: The ‘Death in … ’ Books.
“In their defense, there are indeed lessons to be learned from other people’s tragedies: Don’t pitch your tent at the edge of a cliff if you plan on getting drunk; don’t try to befriend the buffalo. Still, no one buys a book with a skull on the cover because they’re hoping for edification.” You will learn loads. Mostly that ill-preparation is a game of chance with Mother Nature, and she often wins.
Guardian.UK: Half of world’s rare antelope population died within weeks.
SF New Mexican: Bootleg trails remain a mystery, but officials hopeful culprits will be found.
This is the most-discussed news in our local area at the moment. Cutting down our gorgeous trees ... chainsaws in our dry forests! ... a whole lotta outrage simmering.
Serendipita: Rodalber Felsenwanderweg.
Kasha-Katuwe, in Germany? Cool.
Archaeology News Network: Chicken study reveals evolution can happen much faster than thought.
“By studying individual chickens that were part of a long-term pedigree, the scientists led by Professor Greger Larson at Oxford University’s Research Laboratory for Archaeology, found two mutations that had occurred in the mitochondrial genomes of the birds in only 50 years.” Sure to scratch up some interest, that.
WesternDigs: T. Rex Fossil Found in Wyoming Reveals Cannibalism Among Tyrannosaurs.
WaPo: The ‘driest place on Earth’ is covered in pink flowers after a crazy year of rain.
Cool. I came within a millimeter of being hired to shoot the lithium mine(s) in the Atacama, last fall.
Archaeology News Network: 10,000-year-old frozen lion cubs found in Siberia.
Guardian.UK: Rosetta finds oxygen on comet 67P in ‘most surprising discovery to date’.
... and we all breathe a little easier?
Guardian.UK: Texas pipeline plans rouse protest and pride from residents of lush Big Bend.
Speaking as a person who’s lived and worked there, it’s another unique ecosystem worthy of protection at all costs. Why must mankind sully every beautiful thing on this planet for cheap oil?
Guardian.UK: World’s oceans facing biggest coral die-off in history, scientists warn.
“The fact that 2016’s bleaching will be added on top of the bleaching that has occurred since June 2014 makes me really worried about what the cumulative impact may be. It very well may be the worst period of coral bleaching we’ve seen.” ‘May be’. Let’s hope for better than the worst-case, shall we?
William Reichard: Wandering, truant.
Guardian.UK: El Niño expected to hit US hard, but not enough to ease California drought.
The post-fire floods often do more damage than the fires themselves. Be prepared, if you’re in such an area.
Side note: Those guys in the photo are ROOFING, not ‘cleaning out debris basins’. You don’t take buckets of cold-patch tar up on the roof to clean debris.
Archaeology News Network: Scientists solve the riddle of deep ocean carbon.
“There has been a long outstanding question about whether hydrothermal vents are a source or sink of organic carbon to the oceans. We have shown that hydrothermal vent fluids contain almost none of the organic carbon which accumulates in the oceans, which means that vents are a sink for this unreactive ‘stored’ carbon.”
naked capitalism: With Shell’s Failure, U.S. Arctic Drilling Is Dead.
“On September 28, the company announced that it had ‘found indications of oil and gas in the Burger J well, but these are not sufficient to warrant further exploration in the Burger prospect. The well will be sealed and abandoned in accordance with U.S. regulations.’After the disappointing results, Shell will not try again.” Well, that’s a relief. Now to watch Russia.
SciAm: The Secret Lives of Horses.
“... research by Jason Ransom of Colorado State University and others has shown that this male-centric view is wrong. Far from being subordinate, mares frequently initiate the band’s activities. The stallions are quite often little more than hangers-on.” Another Western myth, gone.
Haven’t shared a photo on the blog in ages.
On the walk tonight.
NPR: Faced With Spate Of Tremors, Oklahoma Looks To Shake Up Its Oil Regulations.
“You said you wanna rock ‘n’ roll instead
We’re just talking about the future
Forget about the past
It’ll always be with us
It’s never gonna die”
Mashable: Colorado park closes because people can’t stop taking selfies with bears.
“We’ve actually seen people using selfie sticks to try and get as close to the bears as possible, sometimes within 10 feet of wild bears.” Rank stupidity knows no bounds.
The Register.UK: Sierra Nevada snowpack ‘lowest level in 500 years’, say tree boffins.
“And anyway, if California actually has a water problem, Californians could get their entire public supply from the sea for a few dollars per month per Californian - if they felt like actually doing something about the current supply problem other than pointless gesturing.” Okay, Californians, what do you think of The Register’s take?
Mashable: El Niño reaches ‘strong’ intensity, will dramatically reshape world’s weather.
“It ranks as the 2nd- to 3rd-strongest such event on record for this time of year, as measured by the ocean temperature departures from average and other metrics, forecasters said Thursday.” Yep, snowblower’s on my birthday list.
BBC: Everest Sherpas battle crevasses on Khumbu Icefall route.
“The Sherpas say they have finished repairing the route between Base Camp and Camp One, while only a small stretch to Camp Two remains to be done.
‘Now that we have fixed ropes and ladders with all that difficulty, it will not be as difficult for the mountaineers but it will certainly be harder than the usual climb for them.’” What is Everest, a Disney ride? Zero interest, now that’s become a circus. K2 remains the challenge. You can’t buy your way to the summit, and if you did, you’d likely be buying your own demise.