Saturday, December 17, 2011

Bradley Manning's crime and punishment

Unicycling to the extreme

Unicycling to the extreme

Seeing a person on a unicycle may bring to mind juggling acts, tightropes and circus tricks. Unicycling, however, has developed a new image over the last decade – as a sport driven by the need to find a new challenge.

“I’m sure there’s people that do it to try out for a carnival or to be in parades,” said Steve Bjorklund, owner of Summit Bike and Ski Shop on South Grand Avenue.

A unicycle hangs in the front window of the shop. Inside, they’ll tell you the store sells a handful in the fall and some as Christmas presents.

The main reason Bjorklund sees people intrigued with unicycling is the challenge, and those who really get into the sport are usually the freestyle and trick skier crowd.

Over the years, unicycling has become more competitive. There are team sports, like unicycle basketball or hockey. There are races, tricks and off-road, or mountain unicycling, known as MUni.

Dansun Martin has been unicycling for more than a decade, specializing in urban trials. Trials involve things like navigating obstacles on the streets, climbing and descending stairs, jumping obstacles and balancing along curbs.

A constantly active person, Martin likes to push his own limits. Trials — which mountain unicycling pioneer Kris Holm described as a “function of technical difficulty over short distances” — provide plenty of ways for him to challenge his skills.

Martin said because he is searching for obstacles and not using the unicycle as transportation, he will often walk and carry the unicycle between tricks.

That doesn’t lessen his workout, though. Apart from the challenge of conquering obstacles, unicycles provide better cross-training than bicycles, Martin said, because the unicyclist uses the body’s entire core to balance.

According to health and exercise website, unicyclists burn on average 329 calories an hour, and simply riding one “demands fitness, balance and concentration.”

Unlike bicycles, unicycles have no chain. Coasting is not an option.

“The pedals are directly connected to the wheel,” Bjorklund explained. “The whole time you’re riding it you’re doing work."

Martin said riders usually have a keen sense of where their bodies are in space and are able to correct for balance on the single point of contact with the ground on the bottom of the wheel.

“It’s definitely not for everybody,” he said.

While some find the physical challenge of unicycling attractive, others, like Joe Manlove, just like to stand out.

“I think maybe it’s the whole hipster thing,” said Manlove, who uses a unicycle as his primary mode of transportation. “Once something becomes popular, like biking, you have to switch to something else.”

Manlove sold his car and committed to taking one wheel around town. He said the snowy winter doesn’t faze him; it just slows him down a little.

“Make no mistake, I do fall down a lot when it’s snowy,” Manlove said.

He started on a generic cruiser unicycle but upgraded when he sold the car. Now, Manlove rides a downhill-specialized unicycle with a 3-inch thick tire on a 24-inch rim. It also has brakes, which he says are useless in town but are helpful when going down trails.

Manlove said the unicycle’s benefits include the fact that with no handlebars, his hands stay nice and warm in his pockets. Plus, people around town are nicer to him.

“On a bike, people honk because they are angry,” he said. “On a unicycle they honk because they’re happy to see you.”

Though they are not yet a common sight, unicyclists in Bozeman may be happy to know they are not alone.

“I know a dozen who ride in one form or another and know of half a dozen more,” Manlove said.

For those interested in starting out, Martin recommends trying a middle-of-the-line unicycle, something costing around $150. Prices for cycles with lighter frames and modifications can be much higher, Bjorklund said, thumbing through catalogs.

Whatever equipment you choose, be sure to give yourself at least a week to learn the basics and start in a place where you have something to hold on to, like a fence, Martin suggested.

Manlove offered some advice of his own: “Invest in a good pair of gloves. You will land on your hands eventually.”

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Bears don't hibernate

Via video uplink, students learn about bears' winter behavior

Bears don't hibernate.

No, no they don't.

They hunker down and they get cozy and they live off their fat for winters at a time, but guess what?

"What they do is called ‘denning,' " said educator Alli Depuy to about 80 kindergartners at Rattlesnake Elementary on Wednesday morning, upsetting - just a bit - the supposed common knowledge held by even adults.

Depuy, an education outreach specialist with East Missoula's Alter Enterprises, appeared almost by magic on a giant screen in a kindergarten classroom via a remote uplink.

From a small studio with a green-screen background, Depuy showed the sea of little kids - they could see her, and her them - the winter sleeping habits of a bruin nestled into his den. Video footage of the bear stretching and sniffing out a rodent encroaching in his den and - gasp! - actually leaving the den pointed to only one conclusion, she told the children.

"Bears do not hibernate," she said. "They slow their bodies down, but they wake up. And they move around, and they even leave their den during the wintertime. So bears aren't really hibernators."

The event was coordinated by the Missoula County Public Schools district and Ryan Alter, owner of the company, which develops and builds high-tech devices for field biologists, including a patented remote bear trap, and records wildlife footage through dozens of field cameras.

The educational wing of the company links students from across North America with Depuy, who delivers classroom lessons from Alter Enterprises' tiny, green-screen-painted studio.

Wednesday's presentation was the first within MCPS, but won't be the last as the district pursues "21st century" education - real life meeting real students in the classroom.

The uplink was a teaching moment not just for the kindergartners, most of whom have been reading about bear "hibernation" from their children's book "Bear Snores On." But it was also a learning moment for the teachers, who themselves discovered that bears do not, in fact, hibernate.

"I learned something new today, too," said kindergarten teacher Emily Endris, after the hourlong presentation.

Using video footage from remote wildlife cameras, including some installed in makeshift bear dens, Depuy showed a skunk making its way into the den as the black bear slept, only to be scared off by the bear's awakening.

The bear also pawed at straw placed in its den, trying to uncover a wayward rodent looking for respite from the winter.

All of it means that bears do not always "snore on," despite what the kindergartners' book says. Sometimes they wake up, stretch for a while, or even leave the den looking for some easy food.

Ryan Alter and his company work with wildlife biologists, government agencies and schools, providing wildlife observation and classroom lessons - from kindergarten to college - for schools across the country.

"This is the culmination of a lot of research and development, and a lot of data collecting," said Alter. "We then put it together for education, kind of packaging it."

The company also has an energy and conservation component, and may also soon connect with schools for art education, as Depuy's background is in art.

Endris, the teacher, was happy that her students got a dose of reality to go along with the story they've been reading about bear "hibernation."

"I think the kids really got into it," she said. "We've been reading this story, so it was fun to see the real animals, along with the fictional story we've been reading."

Monday, November 14, 2011

I want to be the third hunter

Hunters attacked by grizzly in Madison County

BOZEMAN- Two men were injured when a grizzly bear attacked them while they were hunting over the weekend in Madison County.

Three men were hunting in a wooded area of the north fork of the Bear Creek near Cameron in the Madison Range on Saturday when they surprised a sow grizzly and two cubs according to Madison County Undersheriff Roger Thompson.

The sow grabbed one of the men but dropped him when his hunting partner yelled. The sow then went to the second man, picked him up and dropped him, then she and the two cubs ran off Thompson reports.

Officials tried to get an Air Idaho airlift into the area, but there were no open places to do so in the heavily wooded area. The men had built a fire and rescuers were able to locate them from the air.

At around 6:30 p.m. Madison County Search and Rescue, Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the U.S. Forest Service entered the area. It took rescuers about 3 ½ hours to get there, Thompson said.

One of the victims, a 16-year-old male from Helmville, suffered a bite to the leg and was unable to walk out. The second victim, a 41-year-old man from Manhattan, suffered a bite to the shoulder. A third man who was with them was not injured. Horses were used to get the injured men out of the area. They were taken to an Ennis hospital.

Thompson did not know if the men had bear spray. He also said there have not been any other reports of bear attacks in this area, but added it was a remote area with not a lot of access.

We have placed a call to Fish, Wildlife and Parks seeking information regarding the future of the bears. We will bring you more information as it becomes available.

Declaration of Missoula (Occupy Missoula)

Declaration of Missoula

October 27, 2011 the Occupy Missoula General Assembly, by consensus of approximately 45 members approved this draft of the declaration. A reminder that this is yet an alive and evolving document meant to reflect current goals of our community and these well change. We invite further comments, ideas, suggestions and concerns. Amendments can be made. The declaration is included in this post, however for ease of sharing with each other, please leave comments at Occupy Missoula forums. And THANK YOU OCCUPY MISSOULA!

Declaration of Missoula, Draft #8, October 23, 2011

We stand just inside the threshold of a new global paradigm. Top-down decision making by the few over the interests of the many has failed us. Many of us are one accident or illness away from bankruptcy, one pink slip away from homelessness. Isolated within our narrow areas of concern, we have been ignored. Now, joined together, we have forced open a door that politicians, the economic elite, and the corporate media had hoped was securely shut, and we find ourselves, along with hundreds of other communities, on the world stage.

We, the members of Occupy Missoula, are outraged by the injustices perpetrated against all life on this planet by private and giant multinational corporate forces which now exert disproportionate influence over the societies of the world. We believe that concentration of wealth and political power in the hands of a small minority at the top has corrupted our processes of civil, democratic governance: permitting imperialism and war through the misuse of the contributions of taxpayers; wasting and degrading our natural resources for private gain; forcing private costs onto the public at large in the form of pollution and threats to public health; and the manipulation of the justice system to benefit corporate interest with constitutional protections originally intended only for natural persons. One need not look outside Montana for examples of these injustices; the Anaconda Copper Company’s reign over the state still echoes in the recent loss of the Montana Corrupt Practices Act, which defended our state against private economic control over its political representatives. Now, the local water supply is in jeopardy with the proposed sale of Missoula’s water utility to the elite multinational investment firm, the Carlyle Group.

Until now we all have been part of developing the system the way it is. We all let this happen. Today, we are united by our realization that we can no longer silently allow ourselves to be the passive subjects of a political and corporate media system that consistently ignores, trivializes, and misrepresents the reality of our concerns, our histories, and diverse cultures. Only by occupation of the streets and public places can our voices be heard.

We believe that a fair society requires a framework for informed and meaningful participation by all people; and that democracy derives its legitimacy from treating all persons, indiscriminately with social, political, and economic fairness. The people of Occupy Missoula have divergent goals and opinions, but are nonetheless discovering a common bond of respect and responsibility for our collective future. We have chosen a horizontal, consensus-driven model to provide that the opportunity and power to effect change will be evenly distributed amongst all.

Many among the economic elite are using their control over politics and the media in the hope that we will dissolve into our constituent parts and melt back into the woodwork. But we will not compromise our futures. We are fortified by our desire and resolve to work together. Unlike owners of huge corporations, we need not be bound by unsustainable greed. A different world is possible. The outcomes we seek will extend to the limits of our compassion, our integrity will determine each step.

People across the world are realizing that they are no longer served by their political systems, and so must occupy the streets and public places. Our political representatives do not represent us; we must represent ourselves. We will be the authors of our own future.

The general assembly of Occupy Missoula, having declared its purpose, stands in solidarity with Occupy movements around the globe.
All other statements reflect the views and opinions of individuals, unless arrived at through the consensus process at our General Assembly meetings.

Occupy Missoula is in Solidarity with Occupy Wall Street:

The Declaration of the Occupation of New York City

As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.

As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power.

We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.

They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage.

They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses.

They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one’s skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.

They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization.

They have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless animals, and actively hide these practices.

They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions.

They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right.

They have consistently outsourced labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workers’ healthcare and pay.

They have influenced the courts to achieve the same rights as people, with none of the culpability or responsibility

They have spent millions of dollars on legal teams that look for ways to get them out of contracts in regards to health insurance.

They have sold our privacy as a commodity.

They have used the military and police force to prevent freedom of the press. They have deliberately declined to recall faulty products endangering lives in pursuit of profit.

They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce.

They have donated large sums of money to politicians, who are responsible for regulating them.

They continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil.

They continue to block generic forms of medicine that could save people•s lives or provide relief in order to protect investments that have already turned a substantial profit

They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit.

They purposefully keep people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media.

They have accepted private contracts to murder prisoners even when presented with serious doubts about their guilt.

They have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad. They have participated in the torture and murder of innocent civilians overseas.

They continue to create weapons of mass destruction in order to receive government contracts. *

~To the people of the world,-

We, the New York City General Assembly occupying Wall Street in Liberty Square, urge you to assert your power.

Exercise your right to peaceably assemble; occupy public space; create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions accessible to everyone.

To all communities that take action and form groups in the spirit of direct democracy, we offer support, documentation, and all of the resources at our disposal.

Join us to make your voices heard!
*These grievances are not all inclusive

There's an abundant resource of water in the air that surrounds us

The scientific principle guiding the technology is one that anyone who's seen dewy leaves in the morning can understand: condensation. As Linnacre explains in an elevator pitch on YouTube

, "There's just an abundant resource of water in the air that surrounds us, even in places like the Negev desert

Welcome to the Sideshow - Don't miss the Earth from the Space Station

The Sideshow

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Did you hear the one about . . . .

CITIGROUP is lucky that Muammar el-Qaddafi was killed when he was. The Libyan leader’s death diverted attention from a lethal article involving Citigroup that deserved more attention because it helps to explain why many average Americans have expressed support for the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Friday, October 21, 2011

10 ways to support the Occupy movement

10 Ways to Support the Occupy Movement

There are many things you can do to be part of this growing movement—and only some of them involve sleeping outside.

by Sarah van Gelder

The #OccupyWallStreet movement continues to spread with more than 1,500 sites. More and more people are speaking up for a society that works for the 99 percent, not just the 1 percent.

Here are 10 recommendations from the YES! Magazine staff for ways to build the power and momentum of this movement. Only two of them involve sleeping outside:

1. Show up at the occupied space near you.
Use this link to find the Facebook page of an occupation near you. If you can, bring a tent or tarp and sleeping bag, and stay. Or just come for a few hours. Talk to people, participate in a General Assembly, hold a sign, help serve food. Learn about the new world being created in the occupied spaces.

2. Start your own occupation.
Use this Meetup site. Or call together friends, members of your faith group, school, or community group. Reach out to people from parts of your community you don’t normally work with. Unexpected alliances keep the movement from getting labeled as partisan or representing only some people.

3. Support those who are occupying.
Most sites need food, warm clothes, blankets, tarps, sleeping bags, communications gear, and money. Many need people to do loads of laundry, to help with medical care, to provide legal support, to serve food, and to spread the word. Some people call in pizza orders from nearby vendors. Support the folks at Liberty Square in New York here, or check in with your local occupiers to see what they need.

4. Speak out. Get into the debates and the teach-ins.
Many occupation sites have workshops and discussions on critical issues of our time. Get into the discussion. Bring your expertise and reading materials to share. YES! Magazine is offering free copies of the current New Livelihood issue to occupied sites (request them by emailing Bring the discussions to other groups you are part of. Listen to perspectives you haven’t heard before. This process represents a critical, but under-reported side of the movement: People are shifting from being passive, frustrated observers of politics to active, powerful players. Instead of waiting for our leaders to do the right thing, people from all walks of life are becoming leaders. It makes us unstoppable.

5. Share your story.
Post how you’re part of the 99 percent on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, or in print. Through this movement, people are discovering others who are also losing jobs and homes, who are overwhelmed by debt or working a dead-end job. Through this sharing, humiliation turns into compassion and self-respect. And it builds understanding of the sources and the impacts of our crisis: A Wall Street system that funnels wealth to the top 1 percent is leaving the rest of us behind. Community plus insight makes us powerful.

6. Be the media.
Show up with your video recorder, camera phone, or laptop and share the stories of the occupation. You can download a selection of posters donated by graphic designers and spread them around. Highlight the human dimension of the protests. It is harder for critics to disparage a movement when people see the faces of those involved.

7. Name the meaning of this moment.
What will make the world better for the 99 percent? How has the power of the 1 percent gotten in the way of your hopes and dreams? Make a sign, write a blog, update your Facebook page, or speak out on the issue that means the most to you. Include the phrase, “I am the 99 percent.”

8. Insist that public officials treat the occupations with respect.
The eviction of the Liberty Square occupation on Wall Street was averted by massive public resistance from those in the square and from others. Other occupations also need support. The 99 percent don’t have the money, political access, and media empires of the 1 percent; the occupations are one of the few ways we are building power. Ask your local officials to respect people's right to assembly.

9. Study and teach nonviolent techniques.
There are many examples of outside provocateurs who spark violent incidents that can discredit nonviolent movements such as this. The corporate media is hungry for violent images. (There’s already been an example of an admitted provocateur from the right-wing "American Spectator" who provoked pepper spraying at the National Air & Space Museum). Learn how to lovingly and firmly interrupt and contain violence, and teach what you know. Here are some resources.

10. Be resilient.
This movement is here for the long term. Some efforts may fade because of cold weather or harsh police responses. Others may self-destruct through faulty process or violent outbreaks. The movement may be idealistic, but it won’t be ideal. Don’t get disillusioned; the demand for a society that serves the 99 percent won’t go away. The movement may morph, but it has become unstoppable. Help it evolve.

The genie is out of the bottle. People will no longer accept the systematic transfer of wealth and power from we the people to the 1 percent. In this remarkable, leaderless movement, each one of the 99 percent who gets involved helps shape history.

YES! Magazine encourages you to make free use of this article by taking these easy steps. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License
Sarah van Gelder

Sarah van Gelder is co-founder and executive editor of YES! Magazine, a national, nonprofit media organization that fuses powerful ideas with practical actions.

The Plutocracy Files

This blogger really has a fix on what's happening with OWS and all its roots and shoots.
Read it at:

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Monday, October 17, 2011

For 15 years, Elouise Cobell pursued a case on behalf of more than 500,000 Indian people due royalties from the federal government

Elouise Cobell, the Blackfeet woman from Browning who won a historic $3.4 billion settlement for Indian people cheated by the federal government, died Sunday night at a Great Falls hospital. See more at:

Saturday, October 15, 2011

"How can you not love this story?"

Wrangler, horse a hit on Letterman show
By RICH LANDERS Spokesman-Review

Erin Bolster and her horse, Tonk
, receive warm applause after being introduced by Late Show host David Letterman.
Montana wrangler who saved boy from grizzly appears on David Letterman

Fans of heroes, horses, wranglers and grizzly bears got it all in one package Tuesday night on "The Late Show with David Letterman."

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Kenyans bid farewell to green warrior and Nobel laureate Wangari Maathai

Kenyans bid farewell to laureate Wangari Maathai

Thousands of Kenyans paid their respects to Nobel peace laureate Wangari Maathai on Saturday at a state funeral held in a park where she had once been beaten up for holding a protest.

The last of nine public hearings on the pipeline; controversial decision awaits

In the last of nine public hearings, people got three minutes each to tell two State Department officials their views about whether the pipeline from the oil sands to Texas refineries is in the nation's best interest."

Friday, October 7, 2011

Occupy Missoula call to action and a statement of objectives by Occupy Wall St.

Occupy Missoula!
In Solidarity with Occupy Wall Street.

Saturday, October 8, 2011, 10:00am, Caras Park (By the Fishes Sculpture and the Clark Fork Market)

Occupy Missoula is a nonviolent movement for accountability in the United States government.

We gather in solidarity with the ongoing protest in New York City, Occupy Wall Street, and the growing number of cities whose people will no longer sit back watching corporate and special interests run their government. We are citizens of the United States, and this country is ours. We will take it back.

It is no longer enough to vote and to participate in the political system because our political system has been altered drastically from its intended and proper function. Currently, we are allowed to pick from a few candidates whose campaigns are funded more and more by large organizations, corporations, and special interests. The success of their campaigns depends largely on how the corporate mass media presents them. When our elected officials enter office they then pander to the small groups responsible for their election. Even good men and women cannot make real improvements that benefit the American people.

We are one city in a growing national movement of people who no longer feel that their government works in their best interest.

Please Join Us Saturday.

For More Information:
Statement of Solidarity from Occupy Wall Street, Released October 5, 2011:

“As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies. As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members. That our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors. That a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people, and the Earth, and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power.

We come to you at a time when corporations — which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality — run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here as is our right to let these facts be known.

They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage.
They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give executives exorbitant bonuses.
They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in workplaces based on age, the color of one’s skin, sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation.
They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization.
They have profited off the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless animals, and actively hide these practices.
They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions.
They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is, itself, a human right.
They have consistently outsourced labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut worker’s health care and pay.
They have influenced the courts to achieve the same rights as people with none of the culpability or responsibility.
They have spent millions of dollars on legal teams, but look for ways to get them out of contracts in regards to health insurance.
They have sold our privacy as a commodity.
They have used the military and police force to prevent freedom of the press.
They have deliberately declined to recall faulty products, endangering lives in pursuit of profit.
They determine economic policy despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce.
They have donated large sums of money to politicians, who are responsible for regulating them.
They continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil.
They continue to block generic forms of medicine that could save people’s lives, or provide relief in order to protect investments that have already turned a substantial profit.
They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit.
They purposefully kept people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media.
They have accepted private contracts to murder prisoners, even when presented with serious doubts about their guilt.
They have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad.
They have participated in the torture and murder of innocent civilians overseas.
They continue to create weapons of mass destruction in order to receive government contracts.

To the people of the world,

We, the New York City general assembly occupying Wall Street in Liberty Square, urge you to assert your power.
Exercise your right to peaceably assemble, occupy public space, create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions accessible to everyone.

To all communities that take action and form groups in the spirit of direct democracy, we offer support, documentation, and all of the resources at our disposal.

Join us and make your voices heard.”

– The statement issued from Zuccotti Park by the general assembly at Occupy Wall Street, 10-5-2011

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Occupy Missoula moves to the fish sculpture for the General Assembly - Saturday at 10 a.m.

from OccupyMissoula:

The initial planners who are just trying to get things moving initially picked the xxxx's because of the high visibility on what is the main street of town. We are very happy that it is likely that will be too small of a space for everyone. and the goal is in no way to obstruct the circle square market. SO, the 99% won't fit at the xxxx's, and perhaps it is inappropriate in general. We hear that, and will be moving the GA to fish sculpture next to the river market, so we won't interfere with traffic by overflowing into the streets. Again I want to stress that these decision was only made to get the ball rolling and get everyone in one place so we could reach consensus on a Occupy Missoula location. Please bring your ideas to the general assembly and they will be heard.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

New megaloads to trundle through Missoula after dark

Megaload of mill equipment en route to Missoula

By KIM BRIGGEMAN of the Missoulian

The first of six giant loads of evaporator equipment bound for a Weyerhauser forest products mill in Grande Prairie, Alberta, is scheduled to inch its way into Montana on U.S. Highway 12 late Thursday night.

The initial megaload, transported by Nickel Brothers of Everett, Wash., is roughly 24 wide, 25 feet high and 182 feet long, according to the moving company's website,

It reportedly arrived at a turnout on the Idaho side of Lolo Pass on Sunday. The load will travel only at night after 10 p.m. in six stages through Montana to the Port of Sweetgrass. Its route through western Montana will be along Highway 12 to Lolo, through Missoula on Highway 93 and Reserve Street to Interstate 90, and up the Blackfoot River corridor on Highway 200 to Rogers Pass.

Nickel Brothers has already delivered seven narrower loads to Canada along the same route. The one coming is the first of this width to cross Lolo Pass since a test validation module owned by Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil arrived in the state on May 4. It remains parked at Lolo Hot Springs while a legal battle rages over the Canadian company's use of the same route the Nickel Brothers loads are following.

The Weyerhauser evaporators are being transported from the Port of Wilma in Washington, just downstream from the Port of Lewiston, Idaho. The equipment is for a high-efficiency evaporator plant designed to reduce greenhouse gases and generate electricity from steam.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Pet Fest drew out dogs and people from all over the city to race and socialize

Wiener dog races attract a crowd, but Pet Fest has serious purpose ... adoption.
Missoula's annual Pet Fest drew out dogs and people from all over the city to race and socialize. See more of the story:

Black bear captured in a backyard in central Missoula

A small female black bear's ride on the gravy train came to a quick end Thursday morning when she was captured and relocated after foraging in town for a day, then taking refuge in the backyard of a Plymouth Avenue home.
For more of the story and some great pictures, see

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Geyser man survives two rattlesnake bites

Jim Croff of Geyser has been a rancher his entire life, and whether he is running machinery, out on horseback, or rounding up cattle, it's not uncommon for him to see rattlesnakes going about their business. But on the evening of July 5th, Jim got a little too close to not one but two rattlesnakes.
For the full story, see

Monday, September 5, 2011

Montana FoodCorps has quietly pioneered healthy eating for cities and schools

Members of Montana's FoodCorps, who've been quietly operating in cities and towns across the state for five years now - and whose model has been adopted on the national level, with the launching this summer of FoodCorps in 10 states with 50 new workers.

The idea behind FoodCorps is not only to bring locally produced foods into schools, but also to combat obesity and improve nutrition among kids, by showing them firsthand how healthy food is produced and serving it to them at school.

The end of the Jerry Lewis Telethon—It's about time

The problem with the Jerry Lewis telethon was not that he tried to help people with muscular dystrophy. The problem was the way Jerry Lewis did it. Yes the telethon raised a lot of money. But it also perpetuated destructive stereotypes. Jerry’s message was simple: “crippled children deserve pity.” His critics offered an alternative:“people with disabilities deserve respect.”

Sunday, September 4, 2011

MCPS lunches -- not what we used to eat at school

Last year, Missoula County Public Schools district served up a million meals, according to the supervisor of food and nutrition services Stacey Rossmiller. "We're kind of like the golden arches," she joked Tuesday.

Not really though, given the sort of thought the district began putting into improving school nutrition five years ago, as they attempted to educate children as much on reading and arithmetic as on the merits of making healthy food choices. Full story at:

In wake of fatal Yellowstone grizzly attacks, Bozeman couple shares survival story

Thank God for the bear spray.
Without it, Kevin and Julie Boyer probably wouldn't be alive. Instead, they'd have likely shared the fates of two other hikers who were attacked and killed by grizzly bears this summer inside Yellowstone National Park. Full story at:

Monday, August 29, 2011

Technology, expensive books are changing students' textbook routines

After three years, hauling around so many thick science books really started to weigh on Sam Abel's shoulders and nerves.Not only were her biology and geology textbooks actually weighty, their price was heavy, too, said the 21-year-old University of Montana student.

It's been several years since she's shopped at The Bookstore at the University of Montana. She says she can find more affordable books online. But even less expensive books are heavy, so Abel researched cheaper alternatives that wouldn't throw out her back. See more at:

West Riverside fire blows up; carefully watched by Sheriff's Dept. and citizens

West Riverside fire claims 3,400 acres; some Rattlesnake trails closed
By BETSY COHEN of the Missoulian

Once the inversion lifted Sunday morning, the West Riverside fire came to life, burning vigorously high in the mountains at the top of the Marshall Creek drainage and prompting trail closures in the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area.

As the day warmed, the 3,400-acre wildfire moved northwest, belching out giant plumes of smoke that could be seen throughout the Missoula Valley during the afternoon.

Thankfully, Sunday's weather was relatively tame compared to Saturday, when late-afternoon 30 mph-plus winds arrived unexpectedly and sent the fire on a 1,000-acre run - across burnouts and dozer lines, said fire information officer Dixie Dies.

Michigan hiker killed by grizzly in Yellowstone

Michigan man, 59, killed by grizzly in Yellowstone

A grizzly bear killed a Michigan man whose body was found by hikers last week in Yellowstone National Park, officials said today.

The victim was identified today as John Wallace of Chassell, Mich.

Wallace's body was discovered along a trail about five miles from the nearest trailhead. Results of an autopsy concluded that he died as a result of traumatic injuries from a bear attack.

It is the second time a visitor to the park has been killed by a bear this year.

Authorities say Wallace likely died Wednesday or Thursday.

He was traveling alone and had pitched a tent in a campground on Wednesday, park officials said. Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk has previously said that the hiker was found with a snack bar in his closed backpack, but that it appears the grizzly did not try to get at the food.

"We know of no witnesses to the event at all," Wenk said today. "As far as we know he was in good health and out enjoying the park."

Two trails and a section of the Hayden Valley west of Yellowstone's Grand Loop Road have been closed to hikers. Park officials asked hikers elsewhere in the park to stay on the trails, to hike in groups of three or more and carry bear spray.

Wallace's death comes after a female bear attacked and killed a 57-year-old California man in July on the popular Wapiti Lake Trail, several miles away from where the Michigan man was discovered Friday.

The female bear was not killed because officials said the sow was only defending its cubs and had not threatened humans before.

Rangers found grizzly tracks and scat, or bear droppings, near Wallace's body.

The Mary Mountain Trail is closed from March to June because park managers list it as "high-density grizzly bear habitat."

Park employees have been searching for the bear around the Mary Mountain Trail northeast of Old Faithful. That's the area where hikers discovered Wallace's body on Friday.

Traps have been set to try to capture the bear. Wenk said it would be killed if it can be linked to Wallace's death through DNA analysis.

Friday, August 26, 2011

West Riverside wildfire settles down

West Riverside fire moves higher; weather helps firefighters

BLACKFOOT RIVER CANYON - Most of the West Riverside fire has moved into the high slopes around Woody Mountain, and so have the firefighters.

The 2,100-acre wildfire burning five miles east of Missoula made little movement on Thursday, thanks in part to a noon thunderstorm that raced north over Evaro Hill but barely ruffled the fire zone.

Protesting megaloads of oil field equipment bound for an Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil oil sands project

MOSCOW, Idaho - Officials in Latah County say at least four people were arrested as they protested the movement of a so-called megaload through the city of Moscow early Friday.

The Moscow-Pullman Daily News reports several of the protesters passively resisted arrest early Friday as they sat cross-legged in the street in the path of a 413,600-pound load of oil field equipment bound for an Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil oil sands project in Canada. The load was 24 feet wide, 14 feet tall and 208 feet long.

Wild Idaho Rising Tide organized the protest, but community organizer Helen Yost said she was amazed and surprised with how many people showed up. Counter protesters also attended, holding signs supporting the megaloads and the oil sands project in northern Alberta.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Oil lobby resorts to Twitter astroturf to promote Keystone pipeline

Oil Lobby Resorts to Twitter Astroturf to Promote Pipeline
—By Kate Sheppard
Someone in the oil industry appears to be resorting to astroturfing to bolster support for the controversial proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry tar sands oil from Alberta down to Texas if approved by the Obama administration.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Food is getting scarce and bears are getting hungry and getting ready for winter

"That bear can smell trash for 100-miles."

Flathead folks encouraged to check out "Date With a Dog"

Instead of asking potential pet owners to come look at adoptable shelter dogs, the Flathead County Animal Shelter will now start bringing dogs to the people in places where they gather.

Atom bomb survivors join opposition to nuclear power

They convinced us that nuclear power was different from nuclear bombs,” said Mr. Yamada, 80, who was in junior high school when Nagasaki was bombed. “Fukushima showed us that they are not so different.”

LRD light fixtures can be economical, says Bridgelux Corp.

To get the same economics of the computer semiconductor industry, the LED lighting world needs to start manufacturing on the same equipment, says Bridgelux CEO Bill Watkins.
The LED light source maker said today that it demonstrated the production of LED light chips on silicon, a transition that will cut production costs by 75 percent and ultimately result in cheaper, energy-efficient light fixtures.

A great blog: Innovation (Ideas) from Smithsonian Magazine

"Usually I get along fine with my clothes, but lately I’ve been feeling that they’re coasting, that they could be doing so much more for me. In fairness, these are new feelings. I used to be perfectly happy if things matched. But since I started reading about wearable tech, I’ve come to expect my shirt to give me directions and my pants to make all the lights turn green."

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Montana Transportation Department says it will fight judge's megaload ruling

The ruling threw another wrinkle into Imperial/Exxon's plans to begin mining the tar sands in the Kearl Lake area of northeastern Alberta by late 2012.

Study: For healthy choices, shop with a cart, not basket

People who used baskets that they carried instead of carts that they pushed were more than three times as likely to choose unhealthy over healthy food items.

Why, exactly, is a little complicated, and involves something called "embodied cognition," or the notion that bodily sensations can influence our thoughts and emotions. In this case, the researchers say that the act of flexing your arm, as you do when holding a basket, somehow encourages you to choose smaller, easier rewards (also known, in this study, as "vices"), while extending your arm, as when you push a cart, has the opposite effect.

“It’s kind of sad that people are willing to pay for the privilege of holding onto their possessions . . .

“It’s kind of sad that people are willing to pay for the privilege of holding onto their possessions but never actually seeing them.” Lowenheim believes there are only a few scenarios in which storage would be a good option.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Backyard nature site links to earthworm culture, gardening references

My gardening efforts led to curiosity about earthworms and other creatures encountered in the garden. Jim educates us in all these matters - and painlessly encourages our curiosity. You're always a child when you're down in the dirt again.

Everything you need to know to work with the web

Webopedia - everything you need to know

Term of the Day
Recent Terms
Did You Know?
Quick Reference
All Categories

Thursday, June 30, 2011

How to keep bears out of your yard

Some of the topics on this useful site:
How to Keep Bears Out of Your Yard
Bear Identification
Bears and Chickens
Hunting in Grizzly Country
Bear Aware Events

Emergency Contacts
911 or Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks at 542.5500

Bear snatches a backpack from hikers near town

Black bear snatches hiker's backpack at Rattlesnake trailhead
By LINDSEY GALIPEAU | (2) Comments
A sub-adult black bear took a hiker’s backpack at the main Rattlesnake trailhead Wednesday morning.

Taking the drivers' test -- did you pass?

About one in five US drivers— 36.9 million Americans—couldn’t meet the basic requirements to get a driver’s license if they had to take the written test today, according to a shocking GMAC Insurance survey released in May.

Local painter gives us haunting tableaus of rural folks

See Frostad's paintings on her web site:

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Grassroots revolts fail to receive the media attention they deserve

Bank Protest — 6 Revolts the Tea Party-Obsessed Corporate Media Overlooked

Some of the most undercovered stories of 2010 were actions taken by ordinary people standing up for a more just and equitable society.
by Rosa Aguilar, alternet

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
-Martin Luther King Jr.

Some of the most undercovered stories of 2010 were actions taken by ordinary people standing up for a more just and equitable society. People are taking to the streets on a regular basis across the country, but unlike the corporate-sponsored Tea Party — whose spokespeople can’t answer basic questions about the deficit they claim to be so worried about — those who believe in health care, affordable housing, economic justice, education, a living wage, and a better life for all rarely, if ever, get the attention they deserve. Instead, the media, even the alternative media, spent the better part of last year obsessing over the Tea Party and manufactured personalities like Sarah Palin, while ignoring people like 85-year-old Julia Botello.
Last month, Botello was among 22 people arrested for blocking the doors of a Chase Bank branch in downtown Los Angeles. Over 200 people, many of them homeowners facing foreclosure and eviction, took part in the action organized by Home Defenders League and the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment.
According to the Alliance, these families have never participated in an event or protest before, but they have exhausted all other options. Imagine if over 200 Tea Partiers took part in a similar action. Imagine if an 85-year-old Tea Party member was photographed being led away by two cops, one holding each arm. Not only would this video footage be shown over and over again on the cable shows, Julia Botello would be bombarded with interview requests, but because she’s standing in solidarity with people who are losing their homes, she’s only been contacted by two other reporters.
“If we’re united, we’re a better force. We need to stand together,” she says. “I use my voice for the people. I know all of the councilmen and councilwomen in my area. I’m not afraid to speak and ask for better conditions for my community.”
Botello found her voice 10 years ago after falling and hurting her knee on a routine walk home. Her South Central Los Angeles neighborhood was usually dark because the street lights rarely worked. “We usually had only one light that worked, so I went to local council meetings and raised my voice. Why are our streets dark? We need light. My neighborhood hasn’t been dark since.” She’s been going strong ever since. If there’s an action focusing on an issue she cares about, she will do whatever it takes to be there, even if it means rescheduling an overdue eye surgery. “I still have time and I want to keep going.”
In addition to the Chase Bank action last month, several other grassroots actions failed to receive the attention they deserve. These actions, no matter how small, should not be discounted. Let’s hope these voices and demands become too loud to ignore in 2011.
Original article on six grassroots revolts - at

Kim Kardashian's artificially thinned-down thighs are bad for your health

American Medical Association officially condemns photoshopping

Kim Kardashian's artificially thinned-down thighs are bad for your health, says the American Medical Association. Though it's been a common practice in fashion, publishing, and advertising for decades now, photoshopping pictures has also left millions of Americans, particularly women, with unhealthy body image issues.

The AMA this week formally denounced retouching pictures and asked ad agencies to consider setting stricter guidelines for how photos are manipulated before becoming advertisements.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Dog rescued from a wire fence

Dog Surprises Officer After Being Freed From A Fence

If you are feeling sad this will cheer you up, but it also may make you cry.

(Bear with the shaky cam -- it's mounted on the officer who is rushing to help the dog.)

2011 Earth First! Round River Rendezvous

The 2011 Earth First! Round River Rendezvous:

*July 5-12, Lolo National Forest, Montana*

*For more information and directions, visit*

This July, join environmental justice advocates and impacted community
members from around the country for the 2011 Earth First Round River
Rendezvous, a week of education and action focused around issues of resource
extraction and environmental injustice in the Intermountain West.

This year’s Rendezvous is taking place about an hour from Missoula, MT in
the Lolo National Forest. The site is located just a few miles off of
Highway 12, and much of the workshops and discussions will address the Exxon
heavy haul project.

Northern Rockies Rising Tide would like to invite our allies and other
interested parties to attend part or all of this week-long event. With
hundreds of experienced organizers and activists from around the country
engaging in workshops, discussion forums, trainings, and bold citizen
action, this year’s Round River Rendezvous promises to be an important and
valuable element in the growing movement for a just transition away from
carbon-intensive, toxic, and unsustainable forms of “doing business.”

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Quinoa has been called "vegetable caviar" and has been eaten continuously for 5,000 years

Quinoa or quinua (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) is native to the Andes Mountains of Bolivia, Chile, and Peru. This crop (pronounced KEEN-WAH), has been called "vegetable caviar" or Inca rice, and has been eaten continuously for 5,000 years by people who live on the mountain plateaus and in the valleys of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Chile. Quinua means "mother grain" in the Inca language. This crop was a staple food of the Inca people and remains an important food crop for their descendants, the Quechua and Aymara peoples who live in rural regions.

Extreme weather's frequency to increase

What's up with the weather?

Scientists say there are connections between many of the severe weather events of the past month and global warming.

"Basically, as we warm the world up, the atmosphere can hold more moisture in it," said Anne Jefferson, an assistant professor in the geography and Earth science department at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

The deadliest tornadoes in decades. Severe flooding on the Mississippi River. Drought in Texas, and heavy rains in Tennessee.

Delist medical marijuana, just as we handled wolf management in Montana

Missoula legislator: Feds should 'delist' medical marijuana, give state control

A Missoula legislator suggested Monday that the federal government "delist" the regulation of medical marijuana and leave it up to state control, just as was done with Northern Rocky Mountain gray wolves this year.

Four-wheeled, battery-equipped cycle gets inventor off-road in Montana

Four wheels, a motor and a comfortable seat - they're part of the common recipe for a car, but add two pedals and 27 speeds, and there's quite a different outcome.

Working dogs sniff out invasive weeds in Montana

Seamus, a specially trained scent dog, waits to be rewarded for finding its quarry of the noxious weed Dyer’s woad, during a training session at the base of Mount Sentinel on Wednesday morning.
For pictures, see:

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Iceland is crowdsourcing its new constitution

In the wake of the devastating collapse of Iceland's commercial banks, the country is drawing up a new constitution, and it's doing things a little differently: It's crowdsourcing the process. For real.

Moguls and celebrities now routinely pay $40,000 to $60,000 for a well-bred German shepherd that is certified as an expert in the sport of Schutzhund, which means “protection dog."

“When you compare the costs of a full-time bodyguard versus a dog, the dog makes a lot of sense,” Mr. Curry said. “And the dog, unlike the bodyguard, can’t be bought off.”

“shadow” Internet and mobile phone systems that dissidents can use

The Obama administration is leading a global effort to deploy “shadow” Internet and mobile phone systems that dissidents can use to undermine repressive governments that seek to silence them by censoring or shutting down telecommunications networks.

Montana engineer's custom controllers help quadriplegics play video games

Montana engineer's custom controllers help quadriplegics play video games
By Stephen Dockery

HELENA - For Ruben Rios to throw a touchdown, it takes a flick of his tongue. To break away from a tackle, he puffs into a tube.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Watching programs on recent nonfiction books and their authors

It's easy to spend the weekend watching Book TV on C-Span2. If you don't have that channel, there are several full-length programs on current nonfiction books and their authors on

Some highlights:

Government's Place in the Market
Eliot Spitzer
Next air time: Saturday, June 11th, at 7pm (ET)
Approx. 1 hr. 2 min.

[Founding Gardeners: The Revolutionary Generation, Nature, and the Shaping of the American Nation ]
Founding Gardeners: The Revolutionary Generation, Nature, and the Shaping of the American Nation
Andrea Wulf
Next air time: Saturday, June 11th, at 8pm (ET)
Approx. 48 min.

Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed, and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon
Gretchen Morgenson; Joshua Rosner
Next air time: Saturday, June 11th, at 9pm (ET)
Approx. 1 hr.

After Words: Henry Kissinger, "On China," hosted by Monica Crowley
Next air time: Saturday, June 11th, at 10pm (ET)
Approx. 1 hr.

The Constitution of Liberty: The Definitive Edition
Bruce Caldwell; Richard Epstein; George Soros
Next air time: Saturday, June 11th, at 11pm (ET)
Approx. 1 hr. 25 min.

Mastermind: The Many Faces of the 9/11 Architect, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed
Richard Miniter
Next air time: Sunday, June 12th, at 7:30pm (ET)
Approx. 1 hr. 5 min.
Book Expo America: Interview with Jorge Castaneda, "Manana Forever?: Mexico and the Mexicans"
Jorge Castaneda
Next air time: Sunday, June 12th, at 8:30pm (ET)
Approx. 18 min.

Idea Man: A Memoir by the Co-Founder of Microsoft
Paul Allen
Next air time: Sunday, June 12th, at 10pm (ET)
Approx. 1 hr. 3 min.

A new bulb for your place

Over the past few years, in conditions of strict secrecy, a multinational team of scientists has been making a mighty effort to change the light bulb. The prototype they’ve developed is four inches tall, with a familiar tapered shape, and unlighted, it resembles a neon yellow mushroom. Screw it in and switch it on, though, and it blazes with a voluptuous radiance.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Why is the Weber Grilling Hotline staffed by so many women?

Ms. Olsen, who was widowed at 51 and has pictures of her grandchildren on her cubicle walls, does not rattle easily. “I’m good at what I do,” she said. “I don’t cry” — unlike some of her male callers — “though I have thrown a headset.”

Instructables: How to do almost anything

Instructables: How to do almost anything

Major sections in this open source, do-it-yourself site include:
Food, Living, Outside, Play, Technology, Workshop
The site includes lots of video and step-by-step instructions.

Four reasons why you need to take cold showers

Frederic P. says:
A friend of mine has no gray hair, and very good skin for her age. Why?

To calm stressed pooches, aromatherapy oils applied to their crates.

Dog trainer uses natural oils to calm stressed pooches.

Dog trainer Lynn Aitchison has been using her aromatherapy talents to help dogs at the Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home (EDCH) after training in the unusual field last year.

She believes the techniques used help the dogs at the home, who are often troubled, become less stressed and anxious.

Salish and Kootnai college students work to keep their native languages.

Salish and Kootnai students study their native languages to keep them from disappearing -- a tip of the hat to the ancestors and a favor to those living in the future

Monday, May 23, 2011

Irony by the sea - Bill McKibben nails it

WHEN I ACTUALLY saw the setting for December’s big climate conference, I wondered if perhaps the UN—bulwark of bureaucratic earnestness—had somehow acquired a sense of irony.

Hilarious! Or cruel?

Norman N. is an 81-year-old man whose son told him that to search for things on Google, you needed to type the search phrase into Twitter, Gizmodo reports.

Norman searches for everything from information on his rashes to soft-boiled grapes (I didn’t know there was such a thing), and perhaps my favorite is an old man’s version of Internet porn: “diane sawyer swimsuit pictures.”

I’m not sure whether or not this is real — old man Norman hasn’t given up since late April, and you’d have to assume that even our notoriously computer illiterate elders would give up after some stretch of getting nothing back.

Failing to care for the returning veterans who are experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder

Are Expectations For VA Mental Health Care Achievable?
by mike_brewer on May. 22, 2011, under Veterans Benefits

Recently a federal appeals court scolded the Veterans Administration for failing to care for the returning veterans who are experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder at alarming rates that are not leveling, even with all the Outreach programs.

The U.S 9th Circuit Court of Appeals stated in a 2-1 ruling that the delays are so “egregious” that they “violate a veterans constitutional rights.”

I do not see it that way.

Got you with the dogs, but this is a very good long-form journalism site, primarily

Some Very Good Dog Stories. Yes, They Are!

What with a four-legged soldier helping to take out the World’s Most Wanted man, canines have been in the news quite a bit this past week. Which gives us an excuse to dive into the archives and surface some essential reading about man’s best friend:
Living in Dog Years, by Bill Vaughn
Dog Dancing, by Emily Yoffe
The Life of a Sportsman and the Lives of his Dogs, by Jim Harrison
Masters of the Hunt, P.J. O’Rourke
Mush, Mush, Mush, Dammit, Mush!, by Elizabeth Royte
Show Dog, by Susan Orlean
Catching Dogs, by Tom Junod

Monday, May 2, 2011

Learn to love what you eat with Foodia

Max Haines-Stiles didn’t start out trying to create the Facebook of food. Foodia actually grew out of a desire to help educate people about the health and sustainability benefits of good food.

The ultimate dog tease -- use sparingly, please.

Oh how you'll Laugh...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wry heat - a Tucson blog

Recent posts in A Wry Heat:

Biofuel from Prickly Pear Cactus
Book Review: Energy, Convenient Solutions by Howard Johnson
Antarctic ozone hole may have larger role in climate change
Earth Day predictions
Does the Chevy Volt produce more CO2 from its battery than from its gasoline engine?
Marijuana causes global warming
Rosemont copper mine would benefit economy and community but is buried in bureaucracy
Yellowstone Super Volcano Update
Death Toll from Biofuels
Observations on Mourning Doves
Jojoba oil, good on the outside, bad on the inside
Greenhouse gas regulations could cost trillions
First Image of Planet Mercury
Do not mess with Javelinas
Obama says Drill Baby Drill
Radiation Fears in Perspective
Earth Fissures in Arizona
Where the Next Big American Earthquake and Tsunami Might Occur
The Measure of an Earthquake
A Nuclear Explosion on Mars
Book Review- Driven to Extinction by Richard Pearson
Humans and the Carbon Cycle
Gasoline Prices and the Obama Energy Policy
New Coatis at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
Big Brother and Fake People
Carbon Dioxide and the Greenhouse Effect
Winter Snowstorms and Global Warming
How Many Haz-Mat Suits Do You Need to Change a Lightbulb?
Science Fiction from the University of Arizona?
A Home buyer’s Guide to Geologic Hazards in Arizona

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

7 poems that shook the world

7. “Somebody Blew Up America” by Amiri Baraka
Named New Jersey poet laureate in August 2002, Baraka believes poetry should rattle readers rather than serving as decoration. Weeks after his inauguration, he recited his poem about 9/11, lines of which allege that the Israelis and President Bush had advance knowledge of the terrorist attacks. The piece rattled quite a few readers, including then-Governor of New Jersey James E. McGreevey, state legislators and the Anti-Defamation League. Accusations of anti-Semitism flew, and the governor demanded that Baraka resign. When he refused, a protracted battle ensued. Unable to fire him directly, the governor and state legislature abolished the poet laureate post altogether, causing concerns over free speech.
... see more

Montanan uses aquaponics to raise plants, fish in same circulating water

Stevensville man uses aquaponics to raise plants, fish in same circulating water

By STACIE DUCE | Posted: Monday, March 28, 2011 4:30 pm |

Ron Pifer of Stevensville stands in front of his pyramid-shaped greenhouse used to grow an aquaponic year-round food supply of fish, fruits and vegetables. Photo by STACIE DUCE

Ten everyday acts of resistance that changed the world

The rise of Solidarity, a popular movement created in August 1980 by striking workers in the shipyards of Gdansk and across Poland, caused panic in the region that had ruled the country since the Second World War. On December 13, 1981, the Communist authorities put tanks on the streets to stop Solidarity once and for all. Hundreds were arrested; dozens were killed.
Despite the tanks and arrests, Poles organized protests against the ban on Solidarity, including a boycott of the fiction-filled television news. But a boycott of the TV news could not by itself embarrass the government. After all, who could tell how many were obeying the boycott call?
In one small town, they found a way.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

New Paint born on Flathead Lake's Wildhorse Island -- first in a century

The first wild horse born on Wildhorse Island in more than a century stands next to her mother.
Read more here....

The firefighter and the kitten - great story brought to us by Gwen Florio

Brett Cunniff thought his 15 minutes of fame were over a month ago.

That's when the Missoulian ran a photo of the young firefighter holding an oxygen mask to a soot-colored, blue-eyed kitten outside a St. Patrick's Day house fire in the lower Rattlesnake.

Cue the "awwwwws" from family and friends and the local public.

But nothing is local anymore, not with the Internet.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Yes! -- Judge puts restraining order on big rig turnouts in Western Montana

Judge stops construction of big-rig turnouts in western Montana

By KIM BRIGGEMAN of the Missoulian

Its test load can come over Lolo Pass, but the Canadian oil company that seeks to haul a parade of massive loads through western Montana can't start building the needed king-size turnouts yet.

District Judge Ray Dayton of Deer Lodge County, in a ruling filed Monday in Missoula County District Court, said there's a "sufficient likelihood of irreparable harm" if Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil begins building or expanding turnouts along U.S. Highway 12 near Lolo Creek.

The Anaconda judge slapped a temporary restraining order on the roadside construction, as well as on further installation of underground utility lines, until the matter is resolved in a preliminary injunction hearing scheduled for May 16 in Missoula.

But Dayton denied a request by Missoula County and three other plaintiffs that would prohibit a high-and-wide test module from proceeding from Idaho to Lolo Hot Springs. He also allowed modification of existing traffic signals on Reserve Street in Missoula.

Both sides found positives in Dayton's decision.

"I think that he recognized the infrastructure impacts that could happen without a full review, and that it was important to stop that part," said Missoula County Commissioner Jean Curtiss.

"Imperial Oil is pleased with the decision, which will allow the transport of the Kearl test safety module to its intended destination near the Lolo Hot Springs," Imperial spokesman Pius Rolheiser said.

Resumption of the test move, which had been tentatively scheduled for Monday night, won't happen until Tuesday night at the earliest. The megaload has rested for the past week at the side of U.S. Highway 12 near Kamiah, Idaho, after experiencing multiple problems on its first move from the Port of Lewiston.

"Our plan is, pending favorable weather conditions and a couple of final signoffs that we expect from the Idaho Transportation Department, we'll resume moving the safety module tomorrow (Tuesday) evening," Rolheiser said.

Rolheiser said if the load moves Tuesday night after 10 p.m, PDT, it will reach a designated layover point at milepost 139 along the Lochsa River early Wednesday and reach Montana in the wee hours Thursday.

Dayton's ruling said no further movement of modules can proceed in Montana until all construction work has been completed.

The National Wildlife Federation, Montana Environmental Center and the Montana Chapter of the Sierra Club joined Missoula County in requesting the temporary restraining order. They're fellow plaintiffs in a lawsuit seeking to force the Montana Department of Transportation to do a more extensive environmental review of the Kearl Module Transportation Project.

MDT director Jim Lynch has said the need to build turnouts of varying sizes for traffic-clearing purposes along the two-lane highways, as well as to park the megaloads during the daytime, was the compelling reason for the department to require Imperial/Exxon to complete an environmental assessment.

Critics of the draft EA, including Missoula County commissioners, branded it insufficient and demanded a more extensive environmental impact study. MDT refused, citing guidelines set out by the Montana Environmental Policy Act.

Dayton was apparently convinced by a Missoula County official that plans for the turnouts needed further study, even though a state environmental agency signed off on them.

Peter Nielsen, environmental health supervisor for the Missoula City-County Health Department, testified at the TRO hearing Friday he thought some of the proposed turnouts pose threats to the water quality of Lolo Creek.

The creek is considered seriously impaired by the Montana Department of Environmental Quality, largely because of road sanding and sediment. Nielsen said 18 streams in the Blackfoot watershed in Missoula County are also listed as impaired.

Nielsen said he made a field examination of Highway 12 from Lolo Pass to Lolo last Tuesday.

"I have evidence that the turnouts are larger than characterized in the EA, they're closer to the stream, (and) they will involve more cutting and filling and vegetation removal ... than characterized in the EA," Nielsen said. "Therefore their impacts are difficult to mitigate."

He testified that no best-management practices, those designed to mitigate the movement of pollutants from the ground into the water, were mentioned in the EA, so he and the public had no way of gauging how the turnouts might impact the watershed.


In his order, Dayton said the modification of traffic signals in Missoula is not likely to cause the plaintiffs irreparable harm. The company proposes to put the signals on swivels that would swing the lights out of the way to let the loads through, then immediately swing them back into place.

Dwane Kailey, MDT's chief engineer, testified that by restraining that work it would impact a separate project scheduled for this construction season to reduce congestion on Reserve Street.

"The one (such project) that I'm aware of is Mullan and Reserve," where the city and state are planning a construction project this summer, Curtiss said. "I imagine they'll do some signal changes, so it does make sense to do things together."

Rolheiser shed no light on how further delays in the Kearl transportation project will affect construction work in the Kearl Oil Sands. The company has an $8 billion project under way near Fort McMurray, Alberta, with plans to begin excavation of millions of barrels of tar-like bitumen in late 2012.

"Until we have clarity on the next steps ahead of that preliminary injunction hearing on May 16, it's difficult to talk about timelines," Rolheiser said.

He added he's unsure when and if the company will begin work on the traffic signal modifications in Missoula, saying, "We haven't yet developed a plan as to whether we'll proceed with that work."

The lawsuit follows MDT's decision in February to approve Imperial/Exxon's proposal to move, over the course of nearly a year, more than 200 oversized loads manufactured in South Korea from Lolo Pass to the Canadian border at the Port of Sweetgrass.

They're reportedly the largest loads to ever travel Highway 12. The test module weighs 490,000 pounds, stands three stories tall and 24 feet wide, and is nearly 250 feet long. All require 32-J oversized dimension permits from MDT, which Imperial/Exxon says it was assured by MDT could be secured.

The proposed route through Montana begins at Lolo Pass and passes through Missoula on Reserve Street, up the Blackfoot on Highway 200 to Rogers Pass, and along the Rocky Mountain Front to Cut Bank and the Port of Sweetgrass.

Retro YouTube - Classic TV, Retro Commercials, Vintage Hollywood clips

Retro YouTube - you can even pick a decade from these diverse ytubes.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Fracking drinking water

Democratic report: carcinogens injected into wells
Sat Apr 16, 9:58 pm ET

WASHINGTON – Millions of gallons of potentially hazardous chemicals and known carcinogens were injected into wells by leading oil and gas service companies from 2005-2009, a report by three House Democrats said Saturday.

The report said 29 of the chemicals injected were known-or-suspected human carcinogens. They either were regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act as risks to human health or listed as hazardous air pollutants under the Clean Air Act.

Methanol was the most widely used chemical. The substance is a hazardous air pollutant and is on the candidate list for potential regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act.

The report was issued by Reps. Henry Waxman of California, Edward Markey of Massachusetts and Diana DeGette of Colorado.

The chemicals are injected during hydraulic fracturing, a process used in combination with horizontal drilling to allow access to natural gas reserves previously considered uneconomical.

The growing use of hydraulic fracturing has allowed natural gas production in the United States to reach levels not achieved since the early 1970s.

However, the process requires large quantities of water and fluids, injected underground at high volumes and pressure. The composition of these fluids ranges from a simple mixture of water and sand to more complex mixtures with chemical additives.

The report said that from 2005-2009, the following states had at least 100,000 gallons of hydraulic fracturing fluids containing a carcinogen: Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Wyoming, North Dakota, New Mexico, Montana and Utah.

States with 100,000 gallons or more of fluids containing a regulated chemical under the Safe Drinking Water Act were: Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Oklahoma, Mississippi and North Dakota.

The report said many chemical components were listed as "proprietary" or "trade secret."

"Hydraulic fracturing has opened access to vast domestic reserves of natural gas that could provide an important stepping stone to a clean energy future," the report said.

"Yet, questions about the safety of hydraulic fracturing persist, which are compounded by the secrecy surrounding the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing fluids. This analysis is the most comprehensive national assessment to date of the types and volumes of chemical used in the hydraulic fracturing process."

The investigation of chemicals used in fracturing was started in the last Congress by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which then was controlled by Democrats. The committee asked the 14 leading oil and gas service companies to disclose the types and volumes of the hydraulic fracturing products they used between 2005 and 2009 and the chemical contents of those products


Online: House Energy and Commerce Democratic site

Law of Mother Earth expected to prompt radical new conservation and social measures

Bolivia enshrines natural world's rights with equal status for Mother Earth
Law of Mother Earth expected to prompt radical new conservation and social measures in South American nation, Sunday 10 April 2011 18.17 BST

John Vidal reports from La Paz where Bolivians are living with the effects of climate change every day
Link to this video

Bolivia is set to pass the world's first laws granting all nature equal rights to humans. The Law of Mother Earth, now agreed by politicians and grassroots social groups, redefines the country's rich mineral deposits as "blessings" and is expected to lead to radical new conservation and social measures to reduce pollution and control industry.
The country, which has been pilloried by the US and Britain in the UN climate talks for demanding steep carbon emission cuts, will establish 11 new rights for nature. They include: the right to life and to exist; the right to continue vital cycles and processes free from human alteration; the right to pure water and clean air; the right to balance; the right not to be polluted; and the right to not have cellular structure modified or genetically altered.
Controversially, it will also enshrine the right of nature "to not be affected by mega-infrastructure and development projects that affect the balance of ecosystems and the local inhabitant communities".
"It makes world history. Earth is the mother of all", said Vice-President Alvaro García Linera. "It establishes a new relationship between man and nature, the harmony of which must be preserved as a guarantee of its regeneration."
The law, which is part of a complete restructuring of the Bolivian legal system following a change of constitution in 2009, has been heavily influenced by a resurgent indigenous Andean spiritual world view which places the environment and the earth deity known as the Pachamama at the centre of all life. Humans are considered equal to all other entities.
But the abstract new laws are not expected to stop industry in its tracks. While it is not clear yet what actual protection the new rights will give in court to bugs, insects and ecosystems, the government is expected to establish a ministry of mother earth and to appoint an ombudsman. It is also committed to giving communities new legal powers to monitor and control polluting industries.
Bolivia has long suffered from serious environmental problems from the mining of tin, silver, gold and other raw materials. "Existing laws are not strong enough," said Undarico Pinto, leader of the 3.5m-strong Confederación Sindical Única de Trabajadores Campesinos de Bolivia, the biggest social movement, who helped draft the law. "It will make industry more transparent. It will allow people to regulate industry at national, regional and local levels."
Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca said Bolivia's traditional indigenous respect for the Pachamama was vital to prevent climate change. "Our grandparents taught us that we belong to a big family of plants and animals. We believe that everything in the planet forms part of a big family. We indigenous people can contribute to solving the energy, climate, food and financial crises with our values," he said.
Little opposition is expected to the law being passed because President Evo Morales's ruling party, the Movement Towards Socialism, enjoys a comfortable majority in both houses of parliament.
However, the government must tread a fine line between increased regulation of companies and giving way to the powerful social movements who have pressed for the law. Bolivia earns $500m (£305m) a year from mining companies which provides nearly one third of the country's foreign currency.
In the indigenous philosophy, the Pachamama is a living being.
The draft of the new law states: "She is sacred, fertile and the source of life that feeds and cares for all living beings in her womb. She is in permanent balance, harmony and communication with the cosmos. She is comprised of all ecosystems and living beings, and their self-organisation."
Ecuador, which also has powerful indigenous groups, has changed its constitution to give nature "the right to exist, persist, maintain and regenerate its vital cycles, structure, functions and its processes in evolution". However, the abstract rights have not led to new laws or stopped oil companies from destroying some of the most biologically rich areas of the Amazon.
Coping with climate change
Bolivia is struggling to cope with rising temperatures, melting glaciers and more extreme weather events including more frequent floods, droughts, frosts and mudslides.
Research by glaciologist Edson Ramirez of San Andres University in the capital city, La Paz, suggests temperatures have been rising steadily for 60 years and started to accelerate in 1979. They are now on course to rise a further 3.5-4C over the next 100 years. This would turn much of Bolivia into a desert.
Most glaciers below 5,000m are expected to disappear completely within 20 years, leaving Bolivia with a much smaller ice cap. Scientists say this will lead to a crisis in farming and water shortages in cities such as La Paz and El Alto.
Evo Morales, Latin America's first indigenous president, has become an outspoken critic in the UN of industrialised countries which are not prepared to hold temperatures to a 1C rise.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Whiff of victory

Whiff of victory
Heavy haul opposition heartened
by Alex Sakariassen

Even before Imperial Oil's test module shorted out power to 1,300 residents and excessively delayed traffic in Idaho Tuesday, opponents of the Kearl Module Transportation Project (KMTP) detected a hint of victory in the air. More often than not, opposition groups have faced defeat—most notably last month's release of a Finding of No Significant Impact by the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT).

But Imperial began publicly shifting its focus in recent weeks, away from the hotly debated rural highways and toward the Interstate Highway System.

Calling Ryan's bluff

Obama Calls Ryan's Bluff

By Paul Krugman, The New York Times

15 April 11

Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, sounds upset. And you can see why: President Obama, to the great relief of progressives, has called his bluff.

Last week, Mr. Ryan unveiled his budget proposal, and the initial reaction of much of the punditocracy was best summed up (sarcastically) by the blogger John Cole: "The plan is bold! It is serious! It took courage! It re-frames the debate! The ball is in Obama's court! Very wonky! It is a game-changer! Did I mention it is serious?"

Then people who actually understand budget numbers went to work, and it became clear that the proposal wasn't serious at all. In fact, it was a sick joke. The only real things in it were savage cuts in aid to the needy and the uninsured, huge tax cuts for corporations and the rich, and Medicare privatization. All the alleged cost savings were pure fantasy.
Nez Perce, CSKT seek to join lawsuit against oil equipment megaloads

By Kim Briggeman, of the Missoulian:

Two tribes along the route of the Kearl Module Transportation Project have asked to take part in litigation designed to halt it.

Western Montana’s Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, as well as the Nez Perce of Idaho, filed a motion in Missoula County District Court Wednesday asking to have their say in the suit against the Montana Department of Transportation.

“We’ve got some cultural interests in the area and we really would like to know a little more information on how potentially this could impact those areas,” CSKT spokesman Rob MacDonald said.

The Nez Perce tribe “supports the plaintiffs in the filing of the lawsuit and has filed an amicus brief because the tribe believes it brings a unique perspective to the issues involved with the case because of the tribe’s treaty,” McCoy Oatman, chairman of the Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee, said in a statement.

If permitted by the court, the tribes will join four plaintiffs, including Missoula County, in arguing that MDT failed to analyze or disclose potential adverse impacts in its environmental assessment of Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil’s transportation plan.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Strange election discovery in -- wait for it -- Wisconsin!

The Madison Cap Times is calling for a federal probe into the two-day delayed "discovery" of 7,582 votes for David Prosser, just enough to put the election out of the range of a state-funded recount for the "presumptive" winner Joanne Kloppenburg.
Without a federal investigation - given that Gov. Scott Walker loyalists would control an administrative State Board of Elections review - we can only maintain the deepest suspicions over what is occurring, and that it may be another theft of an election by the Republicans.
You have to go back to the 2000 Florida standoff to find a figure who so matches Katherine Harris as does Waukesha County clerk Kathy Nickolaus, who claims to have made a "mistake" unheard of before in the Badger State.
As the CapTimes and other Wisconsin outlets have noted, Nickolaus kept election results on her personal computer, even though she had been formally warned not to do so. She was given immunity from prosecution in 2002 for campaigning for Republicans on taxpayer's time. Furthermore, as the CapTimes notes, Nickolaus is "a former Republican legislative staffer who worked for Prosser when he served as Assembly speaker and with Gov. Scott Walker when he was a GOP rising star."
The Republicans have already brought in the lead attorney for the GOP in Bush v. Gore to ensure Prosser gets reseated on the high court.
But nothing short of the immediate impounding of the Nickolaus personal computer in question and the ballots of Waukesha County will ensure an untainted federal investigation - that is assuming the Obama administration has the resolve to ensure that election crimes were not committed. The email from Nickolaus's personal computer - if not yet removed from the hard drive - would be valuable enough in and of itself to see if there was coordination of this 48-hour "mistake."
BuzzFlash at Truthout was publishing during the 2000 Florida election - and we can say that, based on that experience, only the full force of a federal investigation can resolve the highly suspicious emergence of 7,582 votes for Prosser, after a considerable delay, by a county election chief with a history of not following vote-counting security measures and has personal relationships with both Prosser and Walker, not to mention an ongoing history with the Republican Party as an operative.
If the White House and the Department of Justice get weak-kneed about this one, it will be like letting Bush get anointed by the Supreme Court all over again.
Let the investigation into vote fraud in the Waukesha County election clerk's office begin with experts from DC.

Mark Karlin
Editor, BuzzFlash at Truthout

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Together, as the new, we'll be speaking with one voice. Shouting, actually -- trying to drown out the talk from dirty energy and dirty money.

"I wish there weren't so many groups. It's confusing. I don't know who to volunteer for. Wouldn't it work better if you all got together?"
This isn't quite as obvious as it sounds. Different groups have sprung up at different times to fill different niches. You wouldn't look out at a marsh and say, "It would be much nicer if there were just one kind of frog to keep track of." Diversity has some very real purposes.
But there are moments when unity is essential -- and this is one of them.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Dangerous days in Montana

Dangerous days 

The Legislature's about to go from bad to worse

The 2011 Montana Legislature is moving into its final weeks. If you thought there were already enough bad ideas, arrogant attacks on citizen-passed initiatives and idiotic quotes that make our state a national laughingstock, wait till you see Dangerous days in Montana.

Warming brings unwelcome change to Alaska villages

Inupiat Eskimo villagers in the Chukchi Sea village of Kivalina rely on wild animals to survive, but a recent arrival associated with climate warming is causing health concerns.
Beavers have colonized the Wulik River, Kivalina's main source for water. Beaver feces carry a microscopic protozoa that can cause giardia, known to campers elsewhere in Alaska as "beaver fever." Diarrhea and vomiting are symptoms. Kivalina hunters using the Wulik as a corridor to inland caribou herds have been warned to boil water before drinking it.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Worst That Could Happen

Missing in the Japan Catastrophe -- Thinking the Unthinkable
By Tom Engelhardt
Seldom more than thrice annually did any layman or stranger travel the old road that passed the abbey, in spite of the oasis which permitted that abbey’s existence and which would have made the monastery a natural inn for wayfarers if the road were not a road from nowhere, leading nowhere, in terms of the modes of travel in those times.  Perhaps, in earlier ages, the road had been a portion of the shortest route from the Great Salt Lake to Old El Paso; south of the abbey it intersected a similar strip of broken stone that stretched east- and westward.  The crossing was worn by time, but not by Man, of late.
I traveled that “old road” when it was still relatively new and heavily trafficked, and I was already a grown-up.  I also traveled it when I was a teenager -- the version with “broken stone” -- through the blistered backlands of what had once been the American West, coming upon the “sports,” the mutants, “the misborn” who, in those grim lands, sometimes looked upon human stragglers “as a dependable source of venison.”
And if you’re now thoroughly confused, I don’t blame you.  Let me explain. For more, click here.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Celebrity resolutions for 2011

Ten celebrities share their 2011 wishes for animals
  • Colbie Caillat with her dog, Plum. The purebred golden retriever was found starving on a street in Taiwan and was adopted by Caillat. Yvonne Bennett/The HSUS
We asked some favorite celebrities to share their resolutions for animals in 2011:
GOTHAM CHOPRA: "We ask people everywhere to express peace, love, and kindness toward all animals through their thinking, feeling, doing, and being. Happy New Year!"
—Gotham, Deepak, Cleo (the family dog!) and the whole Chopra family
COLBIE CAILLAT: "My resolution is to tell all my friends to adopt their next pet, not to buy a puppy from a pet store, and to help stop puppy mills!"
JACKIE EVANCHO: "I hope all kids will resolve to be kind to animals and not do anything to harm them."
JORJA FOX: "My resolution is to support he HSUS’s effort to end dogfighting, and all they’re doing to help at-risk communities."
CAROL LEIFER: "My hope for the new year is that people will only admire fur coats that are on their original owners."
NIGEL BARKER: "My 2011 New Year's resolution is to become fully aware of where all my produce comes from and how it got there, basically being responsible for what food goes on my family's table. And to grow my hair in a show of solidarity for seals!"
HAL SPARKS: "I will introduce at least 20 new people to vegan and vegetarian cuisine in hopes of bringing them closer to a cruelty-free diet. I will continue to encourage everyone to practice Meatless Mondays and... I will also pet 32% more cats this year."
RON BURNS: "We hope people brighten their homes by adopting the many colorful critters waiting in shelters."
TAMAR GELLER: "May those of us who share our lives with dogs train ourselves to see and recognize all the efforts our dogs are making to understand us, connect with us, and make up happy. May we accept them even half as much as they accept us."
—With love, Tamar, Clyde, G-Ma, and Cricket
PATRICK MCDONNELL: "My resolution is to do all I can to help make more people aware that animals are sentient beings. Taking action, even by making small, seemingly insignificant changes, can make a big difference in the lives of animals. It's really about awareness and kindness."
We thank our friends above for sharing their New Year's resolutions and hope you will join us in resolving to make 2011 a great year for animals! Watch highlights from 2010»
Learn more about these celebrity friends of animals:
 Nigel Barker, internationally renowned as a photographer and judge on the show America's Next Top Model, has just authored his first book titled Nigel Barker's Beauty Equation: Revealing a Better and More Beautiful You.
Celebrated for his original and distinctive portraits of dogs and cats, painter and author Ron Burns is also noted for his longtime support of the animal shelter community. Burns shares his studio with his wife and best friend Buff and “furgirls” Loganberry and Emma. Find him online at
Grammy-winning, platinum-selling singer songwriter Colbie Caillat is a spokesperson for The HSUS’s Puppy Mill Campaign. Check out her CDs, “Coco” and “Breakthrough,” and watch for her new CD coming out this spring.
Author Gotham Chopra and his father Deepak recently collaborated on a book titledWalking Wisdom: Three Generations, Two Dogs and the Search for a Happy Life.
Major recording artist Jackie Evancho is currently working on her full length cd for a spring 2011 release date. Find her online at
Jorja Fox, star of the hit TV series CSI, has been a long-time supporter of The HSUS and our End Dogfighting campaign.
Tamar Geller is a best-selling author and life coach for dogs and their people. Her latest book is 30 Days to a Well-Mannered Dog.
Carol Leifer is a comedian and a comedy writer. Her book of humorous essays is titledWhen You Lie About Your Age, the Terrorists Win.
Patrick McDonnell is the creator and cartoonist of MUTTS™ and author of a number of books. Find more at

Comedian Hal Sparks is the former host of Talk Soup on E! and his recent comedy special, Charmageddon, is available now on DVD.