Times Online: For every action, a re-action.
Fumes from rotting seaweed on France’s northern beaches could kill. “A stretch of beach had to be closed after a horse rider lost consciousness as a result of the putrefying algae. His horse was killed. Local residents have also been treated in hospital.”
Reuters: Bark Beetles in Wyoming.
Forests fall to beetle outbreak. Come see the West green while you can; it may not be for long.
BBC: I’ve been wondering why some birds seem awfully mangy.
‘Feather-eating bugs’ dull birds.: “Brightly coloured birds can become infected with bacteria that eat their feathers. That in turn can affect the health of the birds and dull their plumage. The discovery comes from a study that found that 99% of all Eastern bluebirds surveyed in Virginia, US were infected with feather-degrading bacteria.”
SF New Mexican: So much for the nice greenery we’ve had this year.
Hailstorm knocks leaves off trees in northern Santa Fe. “‘Quarter-sized hail is definitely not that uncommon, actually,’ Porter said. ‘A lot of the hail we get happens on the Eastern Plains, but it is not out of the ordinary in Northern New Mexico. The only odd thing about this storm is that it just happened to hit the Capitol and tourist areas.’” Juli’s got a pic, too.
NewWest.Net: The Frontier’s disappearing.
The Disappearance of the West’s Frontier. “The report indicates that – on average—there is only one BLM ranger assigned for every 200,000 acres of land, and that total funding in 2007 for all Conservation System units amounted to only $2 per acre.” Noone’s guarding the henhouse.
BreakingNews.ie: Use it or lose it?
Bizarre theory suggests time may be running out. So, stop worrying that the universe may continue to expand forever. Perhaps the cosmic clock will just run out and freeze everything in place.
SF New Mexican: A rattler gets the upper hand ...
Boston Globe, The Big Picture: Great eclipse gallery.
NY Times: Perhaps it’s time to make offerings to Helios.
Is the Sun Missing Its Spots? There’s something disconcerting when experts don’t have a clue - yet we lived for millenia ignorant of the Sun’s cycles. I’ve been waiting for some major media sources to spin this as another impending disaster.
GeneticArchaeology.com: Nature on the move.
BBC: Frosted Flakes are next ...
Indian tiger park ‘has no tigers’: “State Minister of Forests Rajendra Shukla said that the reserve, which three years ago had 24 tigers, no longer had any.”
NY Times: Allowing old growth to get older.
Limits on Logging Are Reinstated. “In a move to protect endangered species, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced Thursday that his department had reversed a Bush administration decision to double the amount of logging allowed in and around old-growth forests in western Oregon.”
wikiHow: The ceiling fans aren’t cutting it at the moment.
How to Sleep Comfortably on a Hot Night. We haven’t had an evening thunderstorm in days now. Nights start off hot (stucco homes hold heat late into the night).
Later: Oh, just wait until August 10, eh? I’ll be sure to inform my overworked sweat glands ...
BBC: Beetles destroy pines, fast. Ask any Northern New Mexican.
North America faces beetle plague. “We hit this perfect storm of warm winters, very warm summers and this large expanse of mature lodge pole pine.” Our beautiful piñons all died within three months. Now Old Las Vegas Highway and I-25 are littered with black, dead trunks and an overpopulation of termites. Beetles were so thick that summer, there would be spontaneous ‘fogs’ of them around the trees. Not enough water for the trees to push out sap and enclose the beetle larvae. Unless agencies are ready with pesticides and other means of control, be ready for hand-wringing, verbal diarrhea ... and mass devastation.
NPR: Can aggressive extraction tech cause earthquakes?
Is Drilling To Blame For Texas Quakes? “Natural gas recovery in the Barnett Shale involves drilling down several thousand feet and then drilling sideways thousands of feet more. Liquid is then pumped down the wells at very high pressures, which fractures the strata releasing the pockets of natural gas. Could this be causing little quakes?” Doesn’t seem to be any real scientific testing being done, just innuendo. Still, interesting coincidence.
New West: Had to laugh.
Going to the Sun in a Handbasket. “As you’ve probably read, global warming is causing the glaciers to recede (unless you’re a Republican, whereas you believe the mountains are just getting bigger).”
SF New Mexican: The recovery went smoothly.
SF New Mexican: We get more than you do! Nyah-nyah.
Reuters: I’d give him even more points if he ate it afterwards.
PETA miffed at President Obama’s fly execution. Nothing’s more annoying on a video interview than a persistent fly. Before you assume PETA people dance on sidewalks avoiding ants, remember ... and I’ve mentioned this before ... PETA approves trapping and euthanizing feral cats.
BBC: I imagine the nest might be a bit ... fragrant?
2,500-year-old bird’s nest found.: “By carbon dating solidified stomach contents, peat moss deposits and bone and feather samples from various moulting sites, researchers have in the past shown that colonies of snow petrel have returned to the same sites for 34,000 years and adelie penguins for 44,000 years.”
SF New Mexican/AP: Mark this one down.
SF New Mexican: Helicopter crash near Santa Fe Baldy.
Searchers at crash site; no sign of pilot, hiker CNN gives a blurt, too. The chopper was up attempting to rescue some hikers. If it crashed, as the report states, on the northeast portion of Baldy, then it hit the extremely steep scree and boulder field that is the Lake Katherine-facing side. It is almost a bowl around the Lake, and near-impossible to traverse. The pilot had nowhere near enough altitude to clear the ridge, sounds like, much less the mountaintop. I have a photo here somewhere ... there it is. This is Lake Katherine, from the top of Baldy.
Later: Afternoon Update.
BBC: Now this stat makes me smile.
Hummingbirds ‘faster than jets’. “When measured relative to the length of their bodies, the birds’ top speed, he said, was ‘greater than [that] of a fighter jet with its afterburners on, or the space shuttle during atmospheric re-entry’.” And the hell of the thing is they crash into each other when fighting over food at those speeds.
BBC: History as decoration.
Dinosaur skulls sold at auction. “The auction house would not reveal the buyers, but said the bones could end up as home ornaments.”
SF Gate: Ancient canal discovered.
Archaeologists find canal remnants in Tucson. “Archaeologists preparing for the expansion of a Tucson wastewater treatment facility have discovered the remains of the earliest known irrigation system in the Southwest, a farming community that dates to at least 1200 B.C.”