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."