“Save public radio and TV”


With the recent changes in congress, the Republicans just released their budget proposal, and it zeroes out funding for both NPR (National Public Radio) and PBS (Public Broadcasting Stations)–the worst proposal in more than a decade. We need to tell congress that cutting off funding was
unacceptable last time they were in charge, and it’s unacceptable now.

Please sign the petition to save NPR and PBS.

You can join us at this link.
below?

http://pol.moveon.org/nprpbs/?r_by=-18541164-tKJL2fx&rc=mailto

Thanks!

“GMO bacon, chops and even pig poo”


The Enviropig is the trademark for a genetically modified line of Yorkshire pigs with the capability to digest plant phosphorus more efficiently than ordinary unmodified pigs that was developed at the University of Guelph. Enviropigs produce the enzyme phytase in the salivary glands that is secreted in the saliva. When cereal grains are consumed, the phytase mixes with feed in the pig’s mouth, and once swallowed the phytase is active in the acidic environment of the stomach degrading indigestible phytic acid with the release of phosphate that is readily digested by the pig.
Cereal grains including corn, soybean and barley contain 50 to 75% of their phosphorus in the form of phytic acid. Since the Enviropigs can now digest phytic acid, there is no need to include either a mineral phosphate supplement or commercially produced phytase to balance the diet. Because no phosphorus is added to the diet and there is digestion of the phytic acid, the manure is substantially reduced in phosphorus content, ranging from a 20 to 60% decrease depending upon the stage of growth and the diet consumed.
Let’s face it commercialized herds or even wild herds of animals stick.

Why?

Their feces and gas evacuation reeks. Now science is trying to come to the rescue of the amounts of phosphorus emissions released by one animal the pig. Modifying the genes of one of Mother Nature’s pig takes time. Scientists began working on creating an enviropig in 1999, if commercialized the benefits would include reduced feed cost and reduced phosphorus pollution as compared to the raising of ordinary pigs.
What does “genetically modified” really mean?
Enviropigs produce the enzyme phytase in the salivary glands that is secreted in the saliva. When cereal grains are consumed, the phytase mixes with feed in the pig’s mouth, and once swallowed the phytase is active in the acidic environment of the stomach degrading indigestible phytic acid with the release of phosphate that is readily digested by the pig.
Cereal grains including corn, soybean and barley contain 50 to 75% of their phosphorus in the form of phytic acid. Since the Enviropigs can now digest phytic acid, there is no need to include either a mineral phosphate supplement or commercially produced phytase to balance the diet. Because no phosphorus is added to the diet and there is digestion of the phytic acid, the manure is substantially reduced in phosphorus content, ranging from a 20 to 60% decrease depending upon the stage of growth and the diet consumed.

But no one has ever eaten an Enviropig, said Moccia. It’s not permitted yet. Though scientists first produced the pig in 1999, the University of Guelph conducted extensive testing before applying for approval from the Food and Drug Administration in 2007 and Canadian food and health regulators the following year. The University expects the FDA will be first to act and believe the agency is about half-way through its analysis, though the FDA won’t say.

Check out the video.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of  http://bit.ly/dABsB2

Excerpts courtesy of  http://bit.ly/93aLuf

Video courtesy of YouTube.com

“Newly ‘discovered’ dino has heart shaped mojo”


Taking another look ar some ancient dinosaurs remains in the basement of at the American Museum of Natural History, Nicholas Longrich a postdoctoral associate at Yale found a fossilized bone fragment from a previously unknown dinosaur genus.

Mojoceratops, the dinosaur, was  a large plant-eater marked by its gaudy heart-shaped headgear that lived about 75 million years ago in the late Cretaceous period. Its fossils are found in Canada’s Alberta and Saskatchewan provinces.

“Mojo” seems like an unusual name for an ancient dinosaur, but its an early 20th-century African-American term meaning a magic charm or talisman, especially that used to attract sexual partners. So Mojoceratops seems to have been part of the stylish dinosaurs very much into impressing the ladies.

Paleontologists originally thought the Mojoceratops was part of that genus, and used plaster to restore the fossil to make the two specimens look identical. For more than 75 years, no one spotted Mojoceratops. Plastering to make perfection was a more common practice decades ago.

Mojoceratops, the dinosaur, was  a large plant-eater marked by its gaudy heart-shaped headgear that lived about 75 million years ago in the late Cretaceous period.

This drawing by Mr. Longrich (at the left) is his rendition of how the Mojoceratops might have looked back in the day.

Mr. Longrich’s finding was published this week in the Journal of Paleontology.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of   http://bit.ly/debL2b

Excerpts courtesy of   http://bit.ly/cIOV5B

Image 1. courtesy of         http://bit.ly/b7iGrk

Image 2. courtesy of    http://bit.ly/989KPR

“Chandeleur Island+shooting in mouth of the angry beast- slick spreads”


“BP will pay for all the costs,” the EPA chief declared.

No Mother Nature and our biodiversity will pay.

First to feel the suffocation of oil, Chandeleur Island off the Louisiana coast was closed to protect the wildlife and to facilitate clean up efforts and to minimize the disturbance to nesting sea birds. Breton National Wildlife Refuge is the  nesting site for many seabirds and breeding season is underway.

The refuge, home to one species of the  endangered brown pelican, least tern and piping plover, is one of the oldest in the country, and spreads across almost 7,000 acres (2,800 hectares).

Endangered Brown pelica

Endangered Piping Plover

Endangered Least tern

Monday at the site of the ruptured well, a mile underwater, a remote-controlled submarine shot chemicals into the maw (mouth of the beast) of the oil gusher  to dilute the flow.  Maybe next they will try music.

Crews using the deep-sea robot attempted to thin the oil which is rushing up from the seabed at a pace of about 210,000 gallons per day.  The approval came from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Two previous tests were done to determine the potential impact on the environment, and the third round of spraying was to last into early Tuesday.

However the effects of the chemicals on wildlife and the ocean were still widely unknown.  With no plan to follow these attempts to shut of this rush of oil is unlikely.  What will happen to the entire ecosystem is unknown.

All of life around the Gulf  is being effected.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of  http://news.yahoo.com

Image 1. courtesy of  USFWS

Image 2. courtesy of  FWS

Image 3. courtesy of  http://bit.ly/bhBnK1

“Operation Helicopter Rescue at National Radio Observatory”


Green Bank National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) the oldest national observatory in the US became Ground Zero for Operation Helicopter Rescue.
When you work in science you must be prepared for everything. It is a common occurrence when studying the stars in the heavens to observe various shooting stars and meteors falling out of the heavens. Nothing quite prepared the staff at the observatory to become assistants and support staff for one military Black Hawk helicopter rescue and the repair of another.

Rescue based at NRAO

On February 19, 2010 A National Guard Blackhawk helicopter took flight from the NRAO airstrip after being repaired Friday morning on its way to the crash site of a downed training Navy helicopter near the Randolph County line Greenbank, Pocahontas County, West Virginia.

The downed chopper was part of a training mission, carried 14 Navy personnel and three members of the West Virginia National Guard. It went down in more than four feet of snow.

Back to the story…
The National Guard Rescue copter landed at the observatory, because they were running out of fuel and needed minor repairs. After the emergency landing the crew ran into staff from the Observatory leaving for the day. Since the observatory has kitchen and dormitory facilities besides nearness to fire rescue services this chance landing became the ideal recovery and warm overnight facilities for the rescue mission. Scientists not only care about stars , but people too.  The facilities were offered to the military for their use. There were 17 people needing rescue.

The National Guard used the NRAO offices as their main base of operation and a make-shift hotel in the 60 bed bunk house and chow  hall on site. A cafeteria worker at the observatory, volunteered to prepare meals. She made lentil soup, chili, hot ham and cheese sandwiches and plenty of coffee. Six observatory employees offered their help in setting up the dorm to house the military personnel and worked with them on the search effort.
 By using sleds local search and rescue crews joined the National Guard and worked through the night to transported all 17 victims off the mountain.

The more severely injured were transported individually by sled with only a rescue worker. All others were transported down the hill in groups.
The sleds met up with a small snow groomer, a track-wheeled vehicle used on ski slopes, which then took them to a larger groomer waiting nearby. The large groomer, which was outfitted with a heated rear section, transported the injured to a group of ambulances waiting about a mile

snow groomer to the rescue

away from the Fire and Rescue team’s Snowshoe area station house.

By 12:30 p.m. Friday Mission Observatory Rescue was complete and all were safe.

“Thanks everyone for your help.” – Nature’s Crusaders

Resources

Excerpts and Image 1. courtesy of   http://bit.ly/9Zd8Wi

Excerpts courtesy of  http://bit.ly/aEpkzo

Image 2. courtesy of  http://bit.ly/daKmwt


“Aussie Toad Wars-battle rages Meat ants vs Cane toads-ants winning “


In the wild west of Western Australia the toad wars are on. The Cane toads are still winning the battle for territory against humans, animals and plants. The imported toxic Cane toad is the nemesis of the environment and is spreading across Australia.

Cat food to the rescue

Humans are leading the attack against the poisonous  Cane toads on many fronts but their efforts have failed.
They have tried battering, gasing, shooting, running over and even freezing the toxic toads out of existence, but  scientists say just a spoon full of Whiskas could stop the warty horde. When fighting a predator war one must fight with another predator or the toads will continue to win the Toad Wars. Their poison kills all comers. The toads reproduce prolifically, eat anything, are incredibly tough, secrete poison that kills pets and wildlife and injure humans. They have withstood various campaigns to wipe them out.

Now an enterprising Aussie research team lead by Professor Shine has discovered a secret weapon to use against the toads. It seems that the newly emerged baby toads are extreemily vulnerable to Meat ant attacks.

Meat Ants or Gravel ants are the most abundant ant in Australia and measures up to 1 cm long. They build large nests underground and use sand, gravel or dead vegetation to line the surface around the nest entrance. The worker ants have powerful jaws and communicate using chemical signals. The workers are very aggressive and often attack in large numbers when they feel the vibrations of an intruder. Meat Ants do not sting but do have a nasty bite and can discharge a defensive chemical which really smells awful. Meat ants are omnivores eating plants and animals. The look for food during daylight hours.  Australian farmers sometimes use the ants as a quick and easy way to remove an animal carcass by placing the dead animal over a nest. Within a few weeks the ants would have stripped the carcass to bones.

Meat ants to the rescue Toad Wars take new turn

Now back to the Toad Wars

So cat food is placed near the shores of the emerging young cane toads. The ants being meat eaters are attracted by the smell of cat food find it a short “hop” (pun intended) to go from eating canned to dining on raw meat. The toads freeze when bitten by the ants rather than flee so the ants are treated to fine  toad a la cart.  Humans and the ants are happy.
Toad mortalities has increased by fourfold with the addition of cat food baits.
Meat ants have already killing millions of cane toads, but seem to be willing to up their consumption.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of  http://www.sciencealert.com.au.html
Excerpts courtesy of  http://bit.ly/bM2M1N

Image courtesy of  http://www.stardestroyer.net/mrwong/Cane-toad-2.jpg

Image courtesy of  http://bit.ly/azVgvl

“Lime in the coconut -no it is an octopus!”


Nature’s Crusaders welcomes the first cephalopod Amphioctopus marginatus to use a tool. Not like a hammer,  but this octopus adopts coconut shells from the muddy shallow sea bottom and makes itself a portable home by putting one shell below its body and one or more above it . Then it anchors its body to half of the coconut shell below by suction.

With its legs extended over the bottom shell, the octopus proceeds to tip toe across the muddy bottom on its eight legs. The Coconut Octopus would be more vulnerable to predators in shallower waters, so it carries these shells for protection and camouflage.
To see this amazing octopus in action click here.

Resources


Excerpts
courtesy of  National Geographic

Excerpts courtesy of  http://blogs.discovermagazine.com

Image courtesy of   http://wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/Octopus_marginatus.jpg

Video courtesy of  http://www.youtube.com

“Busted by a mosquito”


You may not have any fond memories of these six legged biting, blood sucking creatures, but Finnish police solve a car theft with the help of a hungry female mosquito.

A car was stolen in Lapua, some 380 kilometers (235 miles) north of Helsinki. It was soon found near a railway station in Seinaejoki, about 25 kilometers from where it was stolen.

Female Mosquito after bllod meal

Female Mosquito after bllod meal

A police unit was sent  to  inspect  the car and the police spotted a mosquito engorged with blood resting inside the vehicle. The mosquito along with other evidence was sent to the crime lab for testing. The blood from the mosquito was analyzed and the results came back a perfect DNA match for the man that was being held at the station.

Busted by a mosquito.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of  http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/finlandcrimeoffbeat

Image courtesy of  http://www.sciencecentric.com/images/news/mosquito_300_196.jpg

“Funeral for the grey wolves of Idaho”


Legal wolf hunting tags will go on sales across the state of Idaho on 8/24/09. The wolf slaughter will begin across the state.

Gary Sylte has been running Coeur d’Alene River Big Game Outfitters for 30 years. Back in the day Gary says it was rare to see a wolf in the region but now that’s changing (because they have been under federal protection to balance out the prey -predator situation in the region). So now if The motto if you can see them you can shoot them!!!0-WolfMom-02-wall-(1024x768)

“I put cameras up in my designated hunting area just to see what the movement is on my elk (like he owns them). Last year I only had one wolf in the camera, this year we had three or four pictures of wolves,” he said.

After being reintroduced in Idaho in 1995 and 1996 the wolf population has steadily grown to the point that this last May the animals were taken off the federal endangered species list making way for wolf hunting in Idaho.

It will be the first wolf hunt that’s taken place in “modern” ( How does one define shooting threatened animals is? -editor) times in the state of Idaho.

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission has set a quota on the wolf hunt at 220 this season to include a total of 30 in the North Idaho panhandle.

“If a hunter harvests a wolf they’re required within 24 hours to report that harvest, they need to bring in that pelt within five days for the pelt to be tagged,” Cooper said.

Many are not happy about wolf hunting. Northern Idaho Wolf Alliance has planned several protests in the coming weeks against it. This action is opposed by many environmental groups across the country. Why kill something just for the sake of hunting it?

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of KXLY.com/Global/story.asp?S=10952454

Image from Nature’s Crusaders files

//

“How many saltwater crocs are expendable for cash?”


On the table in Northern Australia is a five year proposal not a saltwater crocodile management program. The Government says it wants to allow the hunting of 25 animals over the next five years to give the indigenous people a way to make money??? Something is wrong with this picture -who will really profit I ask?

Long enough to shoot?

Long enough to shoot?

All crocodiles taken would be a minimum size of 3.5 meters or 11.5 feet and hunters would use center-fire rifles of not less than .30 caliber. A telescopic sight must be fitted and the shot, which must be to the head, must be taken at a distance of no more than 50m from the animal.

The animal could not be shot while it was in the water and “the entire body of a crocodile must be above the watermark before a shot is discharged”.

Further, a guide must back up the safari hunter “with arms to shoulder” to finish off the crocodile in the event the hunter only wounds it.

“Environment” Minister Alison Anderson said the plan was not intended as a measure to control crocodile numbers, but to foster indigenous employment and enterprise. Let us encourage indigenous people everywhere to wipe out wildlife for MONEY!! Such great modeling behavior.

Animal welfare groups have condemned the plan, but Aborigines, professional hunting groups and pastoralists strongly support it, although they consider the quota of 25 animals over five years much too low to generate any genuine business for anyone.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,,25340280-30417,00.html

Image courtesy of http://www.adventure-tours-australia.com/gulf-top-end/images/crocodile-saltwater.jpg

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