Thursday, April 30, 2009

Watch Out!
A suspected murderer may be on the Appalachian Trail.
Hikers were warned Wednesday that a University of Georgia professor who has been missing since Saturday's triple slaying in Athens, Ga. may head for the Appalachian Trail.Authorities nationwide have been searching for George Martin Zinkhan III, who is wanted in the fatal shooting of his wife, Marie Bruce, Clemson University economist Tom Tanner and Ben Teague.

“Mr. Zinkhan was a hiker in the past and did hike on the Appalachian Trail,” U.S. Park Ranger Eric Barron said.

Federal authorities have also explored the possibility that Zinkhan, 57, could be headed to Amsterdam, where he is an adjunct professor at a university.

A notice posted on the Appalachian Trail Conservancy's Web site warns that Zinkhan may have a gun and advises people to call 911 if he is spotted.

Picture at the link.
Update: Zinkhan has been found dead.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

May The Farm Be With You!

Young Cuke Skywalker learns about the Farm in this short movie Store Wars.
North Country Trail
The New York Times has an article on the North Country Trail.

At 4,600 miles in length, the North Country National Scenic Trail bisects a large part of the continent, slicing through seven states — from glacier-scoured landscapes in Adirondack Park to prairies on the Great Plains — and snaking a distance twice as long as the Appalachian Trail.

“If you want to see a huge cross-section of the U.S.A., the North Country is it,” said Mr. Skurka, a 27-year-old who has hiked the Appalachian and Pacific Crest Trails, as well as a transcontinental trek he completed in 2005 that included the entire North Country Trail.

On course to someday become one of the longest footpaths on the planet, the North Country Trail is among eight original National Scenic Trails designated by Congress, including the Continental Divide Trail, the Ice Age Trail in Wisconsin, the Appalachian and Pacific Crest, and the Natchez Trace, among other routes. (Two new trails, the Arizona National Scenic Trail and the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail, received the designation this year.)

North Country Trail Association.
National Park Service page.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

More Melting
An ice shelf breaks up in the antarctic.

TROMSOE, Norway (Reuters) - An area of an Antarctic ice shelf almost the size of New York City has broken into icebergs this month after the collapse of an ice bridge widely blamed on global warming, a scientist said Tuesday.

"The northern ice front of the Wilkins Ice Shelf has become unstable and the first icebergs have been released," Angelika Humbert, glaciologist at the University of Muenster in Germany, said of European Space Agency satellite images of the shelf.

Humbert told Reuters about 700 sq km (270.3 sq mile) of ice -- bigger than Singapore or Bahrain and almost the size of New York City -- has broken off the Wilkins this month and shattered into a mass of icebergs.

She said 370 sq kms of ice had cracked up in recent days from the Shelf, the latest of about 10 shelves on the Antarctic Peninsula to retreat in a trend linked by the U.N. Climate Panel to global warming.

The new icebergs added to 330 sq kms of ice that broke up earlier this month with the shattering of an ice bridge apparently pinning the Wilkins in place between Charcot island and the Antarctic Peninsula.

Nine other shelves -- ice floating on the sea and linked to the coast -- have receded or collapsed around the Antarctic peninsula in the past 50 years, often abruptly like the Larsen A in 1995 or the Larsen B in 2002.

It is ging to be an interesting couple of decades.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Swiss Ban Naked Hiking!
It appears that one section od Switzerland has banned naked hiking,

Anyone found wandering the Alps wearing nothing but a sturdy pair of hiking boots will now be fined.

Appenzell is considered one of the most conservative regions of Switzerland; it gave women the vote only in 1990.

It is just childish. It is not like the people even see the hikers.

Interestingly, however, no-one actually seems to have seen a naked hiker.

"No, I've never seen one," said a local farmer. "Thank goodness, because if I had they would certainly have got a piece of my mind."

On hike naked day on the Appalachian Trail, cops sit at road crossing in the hopes of seeing naked hikers. They are just perverts. But if you are seen naked by children, you will probably be charged with a sex crime by an overly zealous prosecutor. So be careful if you want to hike nude.

What A Finish!

Amazing, that Carl Edwards gets out of the car and sprints across the finish line.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sad To Hear
A hiker dies in South Carolina.
An Upstate man fell to his death Saturday while hiking near the Foothills Trail in Mountain Rest.John Erich Gistinger, 20, of Fountain Inn, Laurens County, died after falling more than 90 feet near Oconee County State Park, according to Oconee County Coroner Karl E. Addis.

My condolences to his friends and family.
Matt Kenseth Goes For A Wild Ride

Good Beer Is Good Business
Craft brewing industry has rising sales.

Craft beer sales continue to rise even as the beer industry feels the pinch from frugal consumer spending and higher costs. Today there are more than 30 craft breweries and brewpubs in Massachusetts, from industry heavyweights such as Boston Beer Company, the brewer of Samuel Adams beers, to small start-ups whose owners deliver their own kegs to local pubs.

“In the mid-’90s, people still didn’t know whether this was a fad or not,” said Dan Kenary, president of South Boston-based Harpoon Brewing Co. “There were a lot of people flocking in, trying to make a quick buck. Now there are people who have grown up with this industry their whole life.”

The Boulder, Colo.-based Brewers Association defines craft brewers as those with annual production of less than two million barrels, that have less than 25 percent ownership by a non-craft alcohol beverage company, and that avoid the use of adjunct ingredients to lighten flavor.

The industry has enjoyed steady growth over the last five years, as craft beer’s share of the $100 billion U.S. beer market rose from 2.7 percent in 2003 to 4 percent in 2008. The Brewers Association estimated craft beer sales last year at $6.3 billion in 2008, up from $5.7 billion the previous year.

Over all beer sales are down. If you make a great product, people will buy it.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Bodies Everywhere?
Hikers have found bodies or the remains of bodies in Nevada, Kentucky, and Georgia.

RENO - Police say a body found in the hills on the northwest side of Reno is that of a 61-year-old Reno woman who had been missing for a month.

Gail Duncan's husband reported her missing on March 23 after she
failed to return from her regular morning walk.


An investigation is underway in two southern Kentucky counties after a hiker stumbled across a body.

The remains were found in eastern Grayson County, not far from the Hardin county line .


Douglas Lee Layton first saw a tooth.

He didn’t think much of it, maybe someone above at Rock City threw it down for luck.

But as he walked down the hill, he started seeing other pieces of bone.

When he saw what looked like a ragged pair of blue jeans, he knew — this was a human body.

That’s how the 52-year-old hiker from Graysville, Tenn., found the remains of an unidentified body that police say may have decomposed for nine to 15 months.

My condolences to their friends and family. I have never found a body in all my years of hiking and hope I never do.

Sad To Hear
A hiker died in Arizona.
A man in his 40s was found dead on a mountain at Thunderbird Park near 59th Avenue and Pinnacle Peak Wednesday evening.

A hiker found the man around 5 p.m. on one of the trails, about a half of a mile into the trail. The man was not breathing and didn't have a heartbeat, said Capt. Shelly Jamison with the Phoenix Fire Department.

My condolences too is friends and family.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Go California Go!
Regulate the crap out of carbon emissions.

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Democrats in Congress worked on Thursday to win over U.S. lawmakers skeptical of climate change legislation, while climate leader California took another major step with low-carbon rules on fuels that could be copied nationwide.

The two moves signaled growing political momentum behind efforts to curb greenhouse gases, which President Barack Obama, a Democrat, has made a policy priority after years of slow going by his Republican predecessor, George W. Bush.

U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern told Reuters in an interview Thursday that "what happens in our own legislative process" will determine the country's commitment to cutting emissions in a global climate deal.

In California, where climate change legislation was passed in 2006, regulators on Thursday adopted a landmark rule to slash carbon emissions in motor fuels and spur the market for cleaner gasoline alternatives.

It marks the first attempt by a government anywhere in the world to subject transportation fuels -- as opposed to the cars and trucks they power -- to limits on their potential for releasing greenhouse gases blamed for global warming.

Remember it is not just California that uses California emissions it is California and 13 other states. They make up 37% of the US population. Schwarzenegger is saying 16 states in this article. It could be for half the population, and that should make California emissions standard across the country.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Drying Up
The global climate crisis is causing some rivers to dry up.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Rivers in some of the world's most populated regions are losing water, many because of climate change, researchers reported on Tuesday.

Affected rivers include the Yellow River in northern China, the Ganges in India, the Niger in West Africa, and the Colorado in the southwestern United States.

When added to the effects from damming, irrigation and other water use, these changes could add up to a threat to future supplies of food and water, the researchers reported in the American Meteorological Society's Journal of Climate.

"Reduced runoff is increasing the pressure on freshwater resources in much of the world, especially with more demand for water as population increases," Aiguo Dai of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, who led the study, said in a statement.

"Freshwater being a vital resource, the downward trends are a great concern."

You can live without oil. You will die without water. It is going to be an interesting couple of decades.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Where Is The Beer?
Via La Vida Locavore we find an interactive map of Americas breweries. North Dakota only has one. Portland no surprise has the most breweries per capita.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Devil Is In The Details
White House chief of staff thinks there will be a energy bill this year.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. lawmakers will pass major energy legislation, possibly including measures to address climate change, by the end of this year, a top White House official said on Sunday.

"I do know this, at the end of this first year of Congress there will be an energy bill on the president's desk," White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel told ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos."

When asked whether the bill would include a controversial cap-and-trade system aimed at curbing emissions of carbon dioxide, Emanuel said "our goal is to get that done. We will see."

Democrats in the House Energy and Commerce Committee will begin hearings this week on proposed legislation that would limit greenhouse gas emissions and require companies to acquire permits to release carbon into the atmosphere.

Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman has said he wants the bill, which includes measures to boost energy efficiency and develop clean energy technology, to pass the committee in late May and the House of Representatives later in 2009.

My bold. I would have said necessary cap and trade with 100% auction of carbon credits. The media will always give the advantage to the conservatives.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

No Longer Permanent
The arctic ice is going.

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The head of a British team walking to the North Pole on a mission to gauge how fast Arctic ice sheets are melting said on Friday he was surprised by how little permanent ice he had found so far.

Pen Hadow and two other adventurers set off in early March on a 1,000-km (620-mile) trek from Canada's Arctic to the North Pole. The team was set down in an area where scientists had been sure there would be permanent multiyear ice.

But so far, the average depth of the ice has been just under 1.8 meters (6 feet), suggesting they are finding predominantly new first-year ice that is likely to melt in summer months.

"My surprise is guided by the scientific community's expectations of what the ice should be here," Hadow told Reuters via satellite phone from about 620 km from the North Pole.

"In the opening section of the (journey), most would have anticipated multiyear ice, ice certainly more than 2 meters and really more than 3.5 meters thick."

The team said in a statement that the findings pointed to an ever-smaller summer ice covering around the Pole this year.

It is going to be an intersting couple of decades.
Sad To Hear
A hiker falls t her death in Utah.

A 49-year-old woman died and two 14-year-old boys were injured after falling Saturday during a hiking trip on Mount Olympus, police said.

Karin Vandenberg, of Olympus Cove, died after sliding at least a thousand feet down the mountain.

Her friend, Christine Holding, was stuck about two miles up the mountain for much of the day with a dog, said Salt Lake County Sheriff's spokesman Don Hutson, and was rescued by helicopter about 5 p.m.

My condolences to her friends and family.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Should They Be Prosecuted?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Still A Bunch Of Traitors
The conservatives in the south are still a bunch of treasonous racists. They like to say the stars and bars is about heritage not hate. The heritage they are talking about is both racist and treasonous. These are not fringe people. It is the governor of Texas talking about secession. Their hatred of America knows no end.
Uh Oh!
This is not good.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The world's forests are at risk of becoming a source of planet-warming emissions instead of soaking them up like a sponge unless greenhouse gases are controlled, scientists said.

Deforestation emits 20 percent of the world's carbon dioxide when people cut and burn trees, but standing forests soak up 25 percent of the emissions.

If the Earth heats up 2.5 degrees Celsius (4.5 degrees F) or more, evaporation from the additional heat would lead to severe droughts and heat waves that could kill wide swaths of trees in the tropics of Africa, southern Asia and South America. And emissions from the rotting trees would make forests a source of global warming.

It is going to be an intersting couple of decades.

Sad To Hear
A hiker dies in New Hampshire.

PLYMOUTH — Police still have not released the name of a man who died in the woods at Pearson’s Corner last week.

Officer Robert Ugliaroli of the Plymouth police department said Wednesday the medical examiner’s office is still looking into the cause of death and next of kin have not yet been notified. But some new details had come to light since the April 9 incident.

“The man was a hiker who either fell or had a medical issue,” Ugliaroli said. “There was some speculation that he might be a missing man from Waterbury, but that’s not the case.”

My condolences to his friends and family.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Not Surprising
Advertisers lie.

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Just 2 percent of the growing number of self-proclaimed green products on store shelves make completely legitimate claims on their labels, a report by consulting firm TerraChoice Environmental Marketing said on Wednesday.

The remainder commit "greenwashing" sins, that is they mislead consumers about the environmental benefits of a product or the practices of a company, said TerraChoice, which runs the Canadian government's eco-labeling program and counts companies as diverse as Canon and Husky Energy among its customers.

It is good that people want green products. It sucks that corporations lie.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Too Funny!
Fox News and the conservative movement are having a tea bagging party tomorrow. David Shuster last night on Countdown.
The people who came up with it are a familiar circle of Republicans, including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, both of whom have firm support from right wing financiers and lobbyists. … We can only speculate why widespread tea bagging made [Neil] Cavuto think of the Million Man march, unless he got them confused with Dick Armey. And in Cavuto’s defense, if you are planning simultaneous tea bagging all around the country, you’re going to need a Dick Armey.

Sad To Hear
A hiker is found dead in California.

SUNOL — A man found dead over the weekend along a hiking area in Sunol Regional Wilderness has been identified as a 39-year-old Antioch resident, the Alameda County Coroner's Office said.

Anthony Wallace was found about 4 p.m. Saturday by a hiker near Alameda Creek, downstream from the park's popular Little Yosemite area, East Bay Regional Parks Police said.

My condolences to his friends and family.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Sad To Hear
A hiker fell to his death in the Smokies.

TOWNSEND — A 73-year-old hiker died Friday after a fall in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, according to park authorities.

Robert Lyons of Louisville, Ky., was hiking the Chestnut Top Trail with his wife around 5:30 p.m. when thunderstorms rolled in and the couple turned back toward their car, park spokesman Bob Miller said in a news release. Lyons stumbled and fell about 20 feet, tumbling down a steep slope, Miller said.

My condolences to his friends and family.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Solar City?
In Florida, a developer and utility are claiming to build the first solar powered city.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Florida utility and a real estate developer are aiming to bring the country's first solar-powered city to the Sunshine State.

FPL Group Inc's utility Florida Power & Light is working with the realty group Kitson & Partners to construct what the utility says will be the world's largest photovoltaic solar plant in a planned, environmentally friendly city near Fort Myers in southwestern Florida.

Called Babcock Ranch, the city will aim to build 19,500 houses and about 6 million square feet of retail, light industrial, and office space when it is completed, the developers said.

It will have a photovoltaic solar plant. So, it will use power from somewhere else at night.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

You Can Take It With You
When you die. A bookshelf that can be reconfigured into a bookshelf.

Monday, April 06, 2009

More Melting
More first year ice.
Arctic ice continued its decline this winter, with hearty old ice increasingly being replaced with quick-to-melt young ice, according to a new report by NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

This winter's maximum Arctic sea ice extent was 5.85 million square miles (15,150,000 square kilometers)—about 278,000 square miles (720,000 square kilometers) less than the Arctic average between 1979 and 2000.

"That's a loss about the size of the state of Texas," said Walter Meier of the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colorado.

"We used to have a winter ice maximum about twice the size of the lower 48 United States," Meier added.

This year's ice cover was not a record low, but it did continue a dubious streak. The past six years (2004-09) have seen the least Arctic ice at the time of maximum cover, in winter, since satellite records began in 1979.

The new ice melts faster than old ice. When the ice around Greenland disappears, their glaciers are going to melt faster. Meaning more warming, melting, and sea rising. It is going to be an interesting couple of decades.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

More Going
The Wilkens ice shelf has broken off Antarctica.

OSLO (Reuters) - An ice bridge which had apparently held a vast Antarctic ice shelf in place during recorded history shattered on Saturday and could herald a wider collapse linked to global warming, a leading scientist said.

"It's amazing how the ice has ruptured. Two days ago it was intact," David Vaughan, a glaciologist with the British Antarctic Survey, told Reuters of a satellite image of the Wilkins Ice Shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula.

The satellite picture, from the European Space Agency (ESA), showed that a 40 km (25 mile) long strip of ice believed to pin the Wilkins Ice Shelf in place had splintered at its narrowest point, about 500 meters wide.

"We've waited a long time to see this," he said.

The Wilkins, now the size of Jamaica or the U.S. state of Connecticut, is one of 10 shelves to have shrunk or collapsed in recent years on the Antarctic Peninsula, where temperatures have risen in recent decades apparently because of global warming.

It will be an intersting couple of decades.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Cut Crime In Half!
Legalize marijuana. From Joe Klein's article in Time magazine.
But there are big issues here, issues of economy and simple justice, especially on the sentencing side. As Webb pointed out in a cover story in Parade magazine, the U.S. is, by far, the most "criminal" country in the world, with 5% of the world's population and 25% of its prisoners. We spend $68 billion per year on corrections, and one-third of those being corrected are serving time for nonviolent drug crimes. We spend about $150 billion on policing and courts, and 47.5% of all arrests are marijuana-related. That is an awful lot of money, most of it nonfederal, that could be spent on better schools or infrastructure — or simply returned to the public.

One ice shelf down more to go.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - One Antarctic ice shelf has quickly vanished, another is disappearing and glaciers are melting faster than anyone thought due to climate change, U.S. and British government researchers reported on Friday.

They said the Wordie Ice Shelf, which had been disintegrating since the 1960s, is gone and the northern part of the Larsen Ice Shelf no longer exists. More than 3,200 square miles (8,300 square km) have broken off from the Larsen shelf since 1986.

Climate change is to blame, according to the report from the U.S. Geological Survey and the British Antarctic Survey, available at

"The rapid retreat of glaciers there demonstrates once again the profound effects our planet is already experiencing -- more rapidly than previously known -- as a consequence of climate change," U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said in a statement.

The less ice there is at the poles the faster the melting will be. Ice reflects the heat back to the atmosphere. Water sucks up the heat.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Notable Quotable
Paul Krugman:
The paranoid wing of the Republican Party promptly warned of a dastardly plot to make America give up the dollar.

Small Island States

Small Island, originally uploaded by ] slowhands [.

Are urging the rich nations to cut green house gas emissions.

BONN, Germany (Reuters) - Small island states have sharpened their calls for the rich to make deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, saying low-lying atolls risk being washed off the map by rising ocean levels.

An alliance of 43 island states, backed by more than a dozen nations in Africa and Latin America, urged developed countries at U.N. climate talks in Bonn on Thursday to cut greenhouse emissions by "at least 45 percent below 1990 levels by 2020."

"The scientific findings about climate change are frightening," M.J. Mace, a legal advisor to the Federated States of Micronesia who presented the demands at the March 29-April 8 meeting, told Reuters.

No one in the US is trying to cut emmissions this much. It really is a global climate crisis for these peoples. Humans can swim but they can not live in the water.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Just How Much?
Does the war on drugs cost? I have been wondering. Reading Libby Spencer's blog I find this quote from Jack Cafferty.
What do you suppose the total price tag is for this failed war on drugs? One senior Harvard economist estimates we spend $44 billion a year fighting the war on drugs. He says if they were legal, governments would realize about $33 billion a year in tax revenue. Net swing of $77 billion. Could we use that money today for something else? You bet your ass we could. Plus the cartels would be out of business. Instantly. Goodbye crime and violence.

People are using illegal drugs the war does not work.
I am not really surprised that coke would try an advertising campaign that is total BS, I am surprised that Australia called them on it.

The newspaper ads, which ran nationally last October and were targeted at mothers, said it was untrue that Coke could make you fat, rot your teeth or was packed with caffeine, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said.

"Coke's messages were totally unacceptable, creating an impression which is likely to mislead that Coca-Cola cannot contribute to weight gain, obesity and tooth decay," it said.

Hey, coke is still fat free! Now, the high fructose corn syrup may cause your body to produce fat. But, coke is fat free!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Baby Steps
Mickey Ds is claiming they will reduce pesticide use.

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - McDonald's Corp, the largest purchaser of potatoes in the United States, has agreed to take preliminary steps to reduce pesticide use in its domestic potato supply, shareholder groups said on Tuesday.

Following the agreement, the Bard College Endowment, Newground Social Investment and the AFL-CIO Reserve Fund withdrew a shareholder proposal that, if approved, would have required the company to publish a report on options for cutting pesticide use in its supply chain.

The investors said McDonald's has agreed to survey its U.S. potato suppliers, compile a list of best practices in pesticide use reduction and recommend those best practices to global suppliers. It also will share its findings with investors and include the findings in its annual corporate social responsibility report.

McDonald's, the world's largest fast-food chain, said the process would support ongoing efforts to make its supply chain sustainable.

It will be interesting to see how sustainable they will become.