Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #13186 on: Aug 3rd, 2015, 10:00am »
As wolves rebound, range riders keep watch over livestock
Originally published August 2, 2015 at 6:32 pm
By Sandi Doughton
Seattle Times science reporter
TEANAWAY VALLEY, Kittitas County — Bill Johnson’s border collie, Nip, was just doing her job when the black cow wheeled and lunged at the dog.
Before wolves returned to this valley, that kind of behavior was rare, said Johnson, who — with Nip’s assistance — was driving a group of cattle up a dusty canyon. Now, cows aggressively confront any canine that gets close to their calves.
“It’s a sign that the wolves have been probing the cattle,” he said.
As part of a project called Range Riders, it’s Johnson’s job to keep cows and wolves away from one another. Every day before saddling his horse and heading into the field, he logs onto the computer to see exactly where the valley’s resident wolf pack has been hanging out.
On this scorching summer day, radio collar signals placed them very near the spot where the cow spooked.
“They were right here at 7 a.m.,” Johnson said, reining in his mount along a small creek. Close examination of the muddy banks revealed a few smeared paw prints. Nearby were piles of scat. Johnson dismounted, poked at the poop with an antler handle knife and declared that the wolves had dined on elk, rodents and robins’ eggs.
Johnson became a range rider shortly after wolves returned to the Teanaway area four years ago. With funding from Conservation Northwest and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), the project helps ranchers hire seasoned cowhands to watch over their herds and keep tabs on wolves in the hope of reducing conflicts with the new predators in the neighborhood.
“Wolves bring up so many emotions on all sides,” said Jay Kehne of Conservation Northwest. “We wanted to find that middle ground and work with ranchers to give them the best possible tools for nonlethal deterrence.”
Seven ranch families around the state signed up this year to receive up to $9,000 each — money the conservation group raises from donors. Under a separate program, WDFW signed agreements with 41 ranchers to provide up to $300,000 in statewide subsidies for range riders and other measures — like automated lights and sirens, guard dogs and special flagging for pens — to discourage wolves from attacking livestock.
Rancher Sam Kayser, who owns the 500 head of cattle in Johnson’s care, was among the first to sign up for both programs. Riding with Johnson in mid-July, Kayser said he hadn’t lost a single animal to wolves.
“The wolves are here, and there’s nothing we can do about it,” he said. “I want to believe there’s room for all of us.”
Kayser still holds to that philosophy even though, just days later, circling vultures led Johnson to the carcass of a yearling steer. Wildlife officials confirmed the animal had been killed by wolves.
“I don’t feel it’s a failure,” Kayser said. “It doesn’t mean I like it, but it’s just one loss in four or five years.”
And under his agreement with the state, Kayser can expect timely compensation for the dead steer. “I appreciate that, and that’s the way it should be,” he said. “I shouldn’t have to carry the financial burden for the public getting to have wolves.”
As in most of the United States, wolves were hunted to near-extinction in Washington decades ago. The animals began making a comeback in the state in the early 2000s. Today, Washington is home to at least 68 wolves in 16 known packs.
With four or five animals, the Teanaway pack is the closest to the state’s urban corridor. The majority of the wolves are concentrated in northeast Washington, where conflicts have been more severe. Wolves killed three cows and a calf north of Chewelah, Stevens County, last month. Last year, a sheep rancher in Stevens County documented 26 wolf-kills and lost an additional 200 animals without a trace.
The state sent in a marksmanto target problem animals in that pack, but he accidentally killed the alpha female.
Shooting wolves is — and should be — a last resort, Kehne said.
A recent analysis of 25 years of data found that livestock attacks can actually increase after wolves are killed. The likely explanation, according to scientists at Washington State University, is that taking out an alpha male or female disrupts a pack’s social structure, leading to multiple breeding pairs instead of just one. If more pups are born, the potential for livestock attacks goes up.
Nine months before Kayser’s calf turned up dead, a poacher illegally shot and killed the Teanaway pack’s alpha female.
“Wolves are a major predator, and you’re going to have some problems,” Kehne said. “The hope and goal is to use nonlethal methods to keep those problems to a minimum.”
But when all those nonlethal options fail, killing wolves may sometimes be the only solution, he acknowledged.
In addition to range riders, one of the most effective ways to keep wolves from developing a taste for livestock is simply to remove carcasses of animals that die from other causes, said WDFW’s Joey McCanna.
The state recently got seed money to build a facility in Ferry County where livestock producers can drop off dead animals for composting.
“People were leery at first,” said McCanna, leader of a group of wildlife-conflict specialists who work with ranchers across Eastern Washington. “But now we’re at full capacity.”
In the Teanaway area, wildlife officials have been trying to persuade a small meat-cutting operation to stop dumping bones and scraps into a canyon regularly visited by the local wolves.
“They’re up there a lot,” said Johnson, who sometimes packs a portable antenna to get real-time locations on the pack. He sometimes hears them howling from his house, and usually catches a glimpse of the animals once or twice each summer.
Johnson’s duties as a range rider aren’t that different from those of any cowboy. Much of his time is spent moving cattle from one place to another — sometimes to avoid wolves, but more often to optimize grazing. Just having a human around the cows may be the best wolf-deterrent of all, he explained.
In some ways, the programs are throwbacks to the past, when cowboys stuck with their herds. But after predator populations plummeted, many ranchers cut back on staff to save money.
“Range riders are an old concept, but they’re relatively new again for the new generation of producers,” McCanna said.
Researchers from WSU are conducting a multiyear study on the effectiveness of range riders and other nonlethal deterrents. A better understanding of what works will be key as wolves move into new territory across Washington, Kehne said.
“Sooner or later, they’re going to show up outside that 3-acre alpaca ranch on the west side of the Cascades,” he said.
Hostility to wolves remains high east of the mountains, and Kayser said he’s sympathetic to ranchers who are facing much higher wolf numbers than in the Teanaway.
Several fellow ranchers accuse him of selling out. “Some of them say, if you sign that agreement you’re saying it’s OK for wolves to kill your cattle,” Kayser said. “I call B.S. on that. To me, the goal is coexistence.”
Still, he was relieved when the tracking data showed that soon after killing his calf, the Teanaway pack moved off and is now ranging through more distant canyons.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #13191 on: Aug 4th, 2015, 08:36am »
The Medical Kidnapping of Cassandra C
Posted by: Ty Bollinger
Imagine your 17-year-old daughter gets the diagnosis of cancer. You both do research on treatment options and see that chemotherapy is toxic with potentially long standing, irreversible consequences: damage to the reproductive organs, bladder, heart, lungs, nervous system, kidneys, and more. You and your daughter decide not to do it and choose to take a different route; one that is safer and is non-toxic.
Much to your shock, while you are out shopping, your daughter is home and the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF) shows up at your door (with 12 police cars no less, to kidnap your daughter and force her to do chemotherapy against her will and your wishes).
What would you do?
Finally, revealed in The Truth About Cancer’s exclusive interview is the true story about Cassandra Callender (aka “Cassandra C.”) and her real life medical kidnapping and how she was forced to do chemotherapy against her will.
This is the first video interview that Cassandra has given, and The Truth About Cancer is honored to be able to share this exclusive interview with you.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #13192 on: Aug 4th, 2015, 08:42am »
Concorde Mark 2: Airbus files plans for new supersonic jet
New jet could cut flight time from London to New York to just one hour
By Alan Tovey, Industry Editor 12:23PM BST 04 Aug 2015
Supersonic passenger planes could once again be racing through the skies with Airbus having filed a patent for what could become the 'son of Concorde'.
The new jet could fly from London to New York in an hour - opening up the possibility of a transatlantic return journey in a day.
Concorde 2 would be capable of flying more than four times the speed of sound – or more than 2,500mph, according to documents lodged with the US Patent Office by the aerospace and defence group.
The filings refer to an “ultra-rapid air vehicle” and “method of aerial locomotion” for the aircraft, which would cruise at an altitude of more than 100,000ft and carry up to 20 passengers or two or three tons of cargo for distances of about 5,500 miles.
According to the patent, power would come from three different types of engines:
• “at least one” conventional jet that could be retracted into the fuselage
• one or more ramjets, which use the forward speed of the aircraft to compress the air entering them before it is mixed with fuel and ignited
• a rocket motor powered by hydrogen and oxygen.
Flights in the new aircraft look set to be a wild ride, with the rocket motor used in combination with conventional jets to power a “near vertical ascendant flight” until its breaks the sound barrier when the engines are retracted in the fuselage and the ramjets take over.
GREAT SPIRITS ALWAYS ENCOUNTER THE MOST VIOLENT OPPOSITION FROM MEDIOCRE MINDS E=MC2
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #13196 on: Aug 5th, 2015, 08:59am »
Consciousness versus computers
“Technocrats believe all brains can be directly hooked up to a super-computer. They’re looking at humans beings through the wrong end of the telescope. Everything they see about humans is reduced, shrunken, and ‘automatic’. Technocrats are trained to miss the big picture, even though they incessantly talk about it. They’re visionaries who are blind. Thus, they’re in the grand tradition of religious fanatics.” (The Underground, Jon Rappoport)
Technocrats tend to believe computers, when developed to a sufficient level of complexity that mirrors what the human brain does, DO come alive.
They believe that information-processing alone is a sign of life. But that’s a self-serving fantasy.
Information-processing is one effect of being alive and conscious. The technocrats have it backwards.
Unfortunately for them and their religion, consciousness isn’t measurable. And that’s a bone stuck in their throat.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #13199 on: Aug 5th, 2015, 09:05am »
GOOD MORNING Z & ALL OF OUR UFOCASEBOOKERS
Humans see colour differently in the summer
Colour perception changes between seasons with humans seeing yellow as more green in the summertime
By Sarah Knapton, Science Editor
10:28AM BST 05 Aug 2015
Humans see colour differently in the summer with yellow seeming more green than in the winter months, scientists have shown for the first time
The researchers at York University looked at how colour perception changes between seasons and in particular how humans process the colour known as unique yellow.
Humans identify four unique hues – blue, green, yellow and red – that do not appear to contain mixtures of other colours.
Unique yellow is particularly interesting to scientists as it is stable across large populations – everyone agrees what unique yellow looks like despite the fact that people’s eyes are often very different.
The researchers in the Department of Psychology wanted to discover why this colour is so stable and what factors might make it change. They thought that unique yellow might depend not on the biology of the eye but on the colour of the natural world.
“What we are finding is that between seasons our vision adapts to changes in environment,” said PhD student and lead author, Lauren Welbourne.
“So in summer when there is a much larger amount of foliage, our visual system has to account for the fact that on average we are exposed to far more green.
“In York, you typically have grey, dull winters and then in summer you have greenery everywhere. Our vision compensates for those changes and that, surprisingly, changes what we think ‘yellow’ looks like. It’s a bit like changing the colour balance on your TV.”
The researchers tested 67 men and women in January and June. Participants were placed in a darkened room, allowed to adjust to the light and then on a machine called a colorimeter asked to adjust a dial backwards and forwards until they felt they had reached the point where it had reached unique yellow – with no hint of a green or red.
They found that in June volunteers adjusted more green out of yellow than in January, and added more in January to get back to yellow, suggesting that their eyes were viewing the colours differently.
Miss Welbourne said the research sheds new light on the complex workings of the visual system.
“This is the first time natural changes in the environment have been shown to affect our perception of colour,” she said.
“For me as a vision scientist it is fascinating as it is telling us more about how visual processing works.
“Although there’s no disorder that this can fix, the more we learn about how vision and colour in particular is processed, the better we can understand exactly how we see the world. This can have knock on effects on the way we diagnose and treat visual disorders.”
The research was published in the journal Current Biology.