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Home country: USA
Current location: Georgia
Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
Number of posts: 31,504

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Environmental Scientist

Journal Archives

Native American Burial Mound and Village Site paved over for Marin County homes

A treasure trove of Coast Miwok life dating back 4,500 years - older than King Tut's tomb - was discovered in Marin County and then destroyed to make way for multimillion-dollar homes, archaeologists told The Chronicle this week.

The American Indian burial ground and village site, so rich in history that it was dubbed the "grandfather midden," was examined and categorized under a shroud of secrecy before construction began this month on the $55 million Rose Lane development in Larkspur.

The 300-foot-long site contained 600 human burials, tools, musical instruments, harpoon tips, spears and throwing sticks from a time long before the introduction of the bow and arrow. The bones of grizzly and black bears were also found, along with a ceremonial California condor burial.

"This was a site of considerable archaeological value," said Dwight Simons, a consulting archaeologist who analyzed 7,200 bones, including the largest collection of bear bones ever found in a prehistoric site in the Bay Area. "My estimate of bones and fragments in the entire site was easily over a million, and probably more than that. It was staggering."


Should a Chimp Be Able to Sue Its Owner?

Just before 4 p.m. on Oct. 10, Steven Wise pulled his rental car in front of a multiacre compound on State Highway 30 near the tiny Adirondack hamlet of Gloversville, N.Y., and considered his next move. For the past 15 minutes, Wise had been slowly driving the perimeter of the property, trying to get a better read on the place. An assortment of transport trailers — for horses and livestock, cars, boats and snowmobiles — cluttered a front lot beside a single-story business office with the sign “Circle L Trailer Sales” set above the door. At the rear of the grounds was a barn-size, aluminum-sided shed, all its doors closed, the few small windows covered in thick plastic.

With each pass, he looked to see if anybody was on the grounds but could find no one. A number of times Wise pulled off the road and called his office to check whether he had the right place. It wasn’t until he finally spotted a distant filigree of deer antlers that he knew for certain. The owner of Circle L Trailer, Wise had read, runs a side enterprise known as Santa’s Hitching Post, which rents out a herd of reindeer for holiday events and TV spots, including commercials for Macy’s and Mercedes-Benz.

After spotting a man tightening bolts on one of the trailer hitches, Wise paused to explain his strategy to me and the documentary filmmaker Chris Hegedus, who had a video camera. “I’m just going to say that I heard their reindeer were on TV,” Wise said. “I happened to be driving by and thought I might be able to see them in person.”

The repairman told Wise that the owner wasn’t on the premises that day. Wise mustered as many reindeer questions as he could, then got to his real agenda.

“So,” he finally asked, doing his best excited-tourist voice. “Do you keep any other animals around here?”



Long-awaited US rule on coal dust to be announced

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - Top federal labor and mine safety officials are heading to West Virginia to release a long-awaited final rule on coal dust.

The announcement will be made Wednesday in Morgantown. Among those attending will be U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez and Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. The director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, John Howard, will also discuss the new rule.

For 2½ years, the Obama administration has been working on the rule to reduce miners' exposure to dust that causes black lung.

Black lung, or coal workers' pneumoconiosis, is an irreversible and potentially deadly disease caused by exposure to coal dust.


Wednesday Toon Roundup 4 - The Rest







Wednesday Toon Roundup 3- Economy and Energy



Wednesday Toon Roundup 2- Airplane Riders

Wednesday Toon Roundup 1- Post Earth Day

Obamacare: The Hate Can’t Be Cured

Garry Wills

I fear that the president declared a premature victory for the Affordable Care Act when he said that its initial goals were met, it was time to move on to other matters, and the idea of repealing it is no longer feasible. He made the mistake of thinking that facts matter when a cult is involved. Obamacare is now, for many, haloed with hate, to be fought against with all one’s life. Retaining certitude about its essential evil is a matter of self-respect, honor for one’s allies in the cause, and loathing for one’s opponents. It is a religious commitment.

I am reminded of an exchange that took place between the historian Francis Russell and John Dos Passos. In 1920, two Italian anarchists—Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti—were accused of killing a security guard and an employee of a shoe factory during a payroll robbery to finance their political subversions. Their trial, which resulted in murder convictions for both, was manifestly unfair, and it caused an eruption of sympathy and protest on the left.

Celebrities around the world rushed to the two men’s defense. One of the leaders in this movement, who wrote extensively about the case, was the novelist Dos Passos. Nonetheless, the two men were executed in 1927.

But in the 1960s Francis Russell produced new ballistics tests and interviews to prove that one man, Sacco, had killed the two men at the shoe factory; the other, Vanzetti, was innocent. He tried to show this evidence to Dos Passos, who had given up his leftist ideas by that time. Dos Passos told Russell he could not even hear evidence that would unsettle his personal stake in the matter. He had invested too much of his youthful energy and self-esteem in the case to reopen it even for the slightest reconsideration. It would destroy his very identity, which had been tied up in that passionate commitment.



Police can stop vehicles based on anonymous 911 tips, justices rule

Source: LA Times

WASHINGTON—The Supreme Court has upheld the authority of police officers to stop cars and question their drivers based on an anonymous tip to a hot line.

In a 5-4 decision written by Justice Clarence Thomas, the justices ruled that such stops do not amount to an unreasonable search or seizure, even if the arresting officer did not observe the vehicle speeding or swaying while driving down the highway.

The decision affirmed a ruling of the California courts.

In August 2008, a 911 dispatch team in Mendocino County received a report that a pickup truck had run another vehicle off the road. The caller did not identify himself, but the report included a detailed description of the truck, including its license plate number.

Read more: http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-police-can-stop-cars-based-on-anonymous-911-tips-justices-rule-20140422,0,1123675.story

Today's Antarctic region once as hot as California, Florida

Parts of ancient Antarctica were as warm as today's California coast, and polar regions of the southern Pacific Ocean registered 21st-century Florida heat, according to scientists using a new way to measure past temperatures.

But it wasn't always that way, and the new measurements can help improve climate models used for predicting future climate, according to co-author Hagit Affek of Yale, associate professor of geology & geophysics.

"Quantifying past temperatures helps us understand ancient Antarctica were as warm as today's California coast, and polar regions of the southern Pacific Ocean registered 21st-century Florida heat, according to scientists using a new way to measure past temperatures.

The findings, published the week of April 21 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, underscore the potential for increased warmth at Earth's poles and the associated risk of melting polar ice and rising sea levels, the researchers said.

Led by scientists at Yale, the study focused on Antarctica during the Eocene epoch, 40-50 million years ago, a period with high concentrations of atmospheric CO2 and consequently a greenhouse climate.



Our Past, Our future....
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