Sunday, November 25, 2007
I cannot believe they did not make a movie out of this story. A 35-year old man hikes back to the site of a plane crash 25 years ago that took the lives of his parents and both his legs.
Photo by Flickr user Clinton Steeds used under a Creative Commons license
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
The President, the Vice President and Karl Rove all new the identity of Scooter Libby and the leaker in the Plame case yet had Sotty get in front of the cameras and tell the American people they would do an OJ and search for the real leakers. They lied. I know surprising. Considering leaking the identity of a covert agent is espionage, I would say further inquiry is still needed. And yes Valerie Plame was covert.
Former White House press secretary Scott McClellan blames President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney for efforts to mislead the public about the role of White House aides in leaking the identity of a CIA operative.
In an excerpt from his forthcoming book, McClellan recounts the 2003 news conference in which he told reporters that aides Karl Rove and I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby were "not involved" in the leak involving operative Valerie Plame.
"There was one problem. It was not true," McClellan writes, according to a brief excerpt released Tuesday. "I had unknowingly passed along false information. And five of the highest-ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the vice president, the president's chief of staff and the president himself."
Photo by Flickr user Darwin Bellused under a Creative Commons license
The 390-million-year-old specimen was found in a German quarry, the journal Biology Letters reports.
The creature, which has been named Jaekelopterus rhenaniae, would have paddled in a river or swamp.
The size of the beast suggests that spiders, insects, crabs and similar creatures were much larger in the past than previously thought, the team says.
The claw itself measures 46cm - indicating its owner would have been longer even than the average-sized human.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Well If you are wondering what to get your congressman/woman or Senator for Christmas, look no further. Senator Feinstein could definitely use a copy.
This week we will go with the traditional blogworld Friday Cat Blogging. This picture was taken of two cats in Porto, Portugal with a Holga Camera.
Photo by friend of the store and EBV Book Club member Christian aka Flickr user ecov ottos
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Ultimately, of course, Judge John Jones ruled that intelligent design is grounded in theology rather than science, and thereby would be unconstitutional to teach in public schools. He was subsequently subjected to death threats. After the town’s voters ousted the school committee members who had tried to introduce intelligent design, Pat Robertson issued a warning: "I'd like to say to the good citizens of Dover: If there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to God. You just rejected him from your city."Go read for the details.
In watching the documentary, I was struck by the parallels between the Dover story and movement conservatism generally. The selling of “intelligent design,” and the idea itself, has much in common with Social Security privatization, supply-side economics, the invasion of Iraq, school vouchers, and other half-baked causes that the right has relentlessly been pushing in recent decades.
Seems that when drought strikes and you refuse to conserve water the only solution is to go to the capitol and pray to God for rain. Hell, you can even schedule the prayer session for the day before a rain forcast to increase the odds it appears that God listens to you. Too bad he still didn't. Still no rain in Georgia.
Perdue won't be the first governor to hold a call for public prayer during the epic drought gripping the Southeast. Alabama Gov. Bob Riley issued a proclamation declaring a week in July as ''Days of Prayer for Rain'' to ''humbly ask for His blessings and to hold us steady in times of difficulty.''
The loudest opposition to Perdue's move has come from the Atlanta Freethought Society, a secular group that is expecting about a dozen of its 125 members to protest at the vigil.
''The governor can pray when he wants to,'' said Ed Buckner, who is organizing the protest. ''What he can't do is lead prayers in the name of the people of Georgia.''
Meanwhile the people of North Carolina have decided that they will try their luck with conservation/reduction. And it appears to be working. Or you could just ask 4th graders to solve your problems for you.
A press release from the Governors office today unveiled a contest for 3rd, 4th and 5th graders to develop a water conservation plan for their community. The contest winner will receive $2000 to implement the plan in their area.Photo by Flickr user digitalens used under a Creative Commons license
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Krakatau is at it again. Now known as Anak Krakatau or "child of Krakatau" the volcano in the place of the giant Krakatau that erupted in 1883 and was the largest explosion ever recorded.
Sending a boom across the bay, the offspring of Indonesia's fabled Krakatau volcano is unleashing another mighty eruption, blasting smoke and red-hot rocks hundreds of feet into the sky.
Even on its quiet side, the black sand on the now forbidden island is so hot that a visitor can only briefly set foot on it.
Photo by Flickr user Yato used under a Creative Commons license
Friday, November 09, 2007
First reader photo is by reader Ryan Garrett. You can see more of his photos both fun and professional. I am going to try and make this a regular Friday thing, where we feature photos taken by our readers. So please send links to photos or your high resolution photos to email@example.com with the subject "Friday Photo Blogging." Photos can be of your herps, wild herps, or just about anything natural. Sierra landscapes, butterflies, plants, ocean creatures ... you get the idea. If you would like a link back to your Flickr account or webpage, let us know too and we will try and accommodate.
After a cargo ship hit the bay bridge Wednesday, 58,000 gallons of oil were leaked in to the bay. Beaches have been closed in the East Bay, San Francisco and Marin. Rescue efforts are under way to save as many of the bay's birds as possible and the spill has threatened the opening of the commercial crab season. Many are questioning why it took so long for the oil spill to be announced and efforts put in place to contain and clean it up.
For information on how you can help the bay's wildlife see baykeeper.org
You could see the oil in the water," McNertney said later. "This little duck bird was just stranded in the sand. The tide would come in and hit him, and he'd try to scramble. It was terrible. I felt I had to bring him in."
McNertney's friend, Maaike Snoep, 31, heated some water on a Coleman stove she had brought in the back of a van, and the two began trying to clean oil off the bird.
"It was all over his face, mouth and eyes," McNertney said. "We tried to get it off his beak and his eyes first, but it was just covered with oil. It was disgusting."
The seabirds, many of them recent arrivals after their annual winter migration, became the innocent victims of the aftermath of Wednesday's accident, when a container ship struck the Bay Bridge. The damaged ship spilled thousands of gallons of bunker fuel, which drifted across the San Francisco Bay to the Marin County shoreline and finally out the Golden Gate, soiling beaches along the coast.
Bird and animal lovers rushed to the beaches to help with the cleanup Thursday, only to find that there was little they could do without proper equipment.
Photo by Flickr user savethebay used under a Creative Commons license
The Yellowstone Caldera is rising at a rate 3 times faster than ever recorded before. The volcano responsible for the geysers and mudpots covers much of the area under Yellowstone National Park.
But that doesn't mean Yellowstone is about to go the way of Mount St. Helens.
"There's no evidence of an imminent eruption or hydrothermal explosion," said Robert Smith, a geophysics professor at the University of Utah who co-authored the study.
Yellowstone is situated on a giant, geologically active feature known as a supervolcano.
"It's hundreds of times bigger than Mount St. Helens," Smith said, referring to the active volcano in Washington State.
Much of the park sits in a caldera, or crater, some 40 miles (70 kilometers) across, which formed when the cone of the massive volcano collapsed in a titanic eruption 640,000 years ago.
Photo by Flickr user statico used under a Creative Commons license.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Fish in the Western Atlantic, from Florida to Belize, have been found to hide in logs breathing air for up to months at a time.
The mangrove rivulus, also known as the mangrove killifish, is native to the Americas and is about two inches (five centimeters) long.Killifish photo by Flickr user swordw used under a Creative Commons license.
The fish has long been studied for its many unique features.
It's the only vertebrate known to naturally self-fertilize, for example. In some populations, it can become a hermaphrodite, developing both male and female parts simultaneously, to produce clones of itself.
The animal can also live out of water for up to 66 days, Taylor said, and is one of very few fish species that spend their entire lives in mangrove swamps. Most fish move in and out of the areas as water sources dwindle.
Taylor and his team had previously found that when small pools of water dried up, the rivulus settled into crab burrows. But even those disappear during extreme dry spells.
Ross Douthat states:
This is an indefensible movie in certain ways, but I enjoyed it anyway. It would have profited from Orwell’s dictum about saints being judged guilty until proven innocent: Sean Penn basically treats Christopher McCandless as the questing would-be holy man he clearly took himself to be, while the other side of the story – about a reckless, charismatic kid who smashed up countless lives while chasing down his bliss, and whose pathetic death was a more-or-less inevitable consequence of his own foolhardiness – slips out involuntarily, between the sweeping landscape shots and Eddie Vedder songs.And Brian Beutler responds with:
I think this misses quite a bit. At the beginning of the film, we meet a guy who we might well confuse for an idealist and a renegade. But that sense doesn't last long. By mid-movie, when he's had a chance to reflect upon his actions, to meet and ignore the advice of older people who have cast doubt upon his plans and questioned his motives, he seems arrogant and spoiled--on the sort of quest only the son or daughter of rich parents could ever feasibly embark upon. And when it's too late, after we learn about the events in his past that supposedly drove him over the edge, he seems like a deeply confused obsessive. It might be fair to say that, by the end, his character has taken shape by packing on details that make him look less like Thoreau, and more like Don Quixote, or perhaps Ahab, but without the white whale.I am going to have to lean more towards Ross with this one. It only took a few minutes into the movie for me to remember that I hated the protagonist when I had read the Krakauer book a decade ago. I was in Alaksa near the area where McCandless died a few years afterwards and he was still the laughing stock of the town. That portion of the story was only touched on in the first few minutes of the film and then McCandless was portrayed as quite a sympathetic character.
Nonetheless McCandless was an intriguing character (person). You don't have to like character, or empathize with a character to like a movie. The movie was well worth seeing despite Eddie Veder's voice ringing at all times. The scenery was gorgeous from Alaska, to the desert, to the Grand Canyon. I recommend seeing it on the big screen for that matter, and deal with being torn with thinking McCandless was an idiot and that somehow you still envy him.
Photo by Flickr user Bethany L King used under a Creative Commons license.