“The World According to Jeff Goldblum” Premiere tonight at 9/8 C on National Geographic Network

Panicked over ‘murder hornets,’ people kill bees we need – Los Angeles Times

Vespa mandarinia — a.k.a. the Asian giant hornet or, as it’s come to be known in the U.S., the “murder hornet.”

Vespa mandarinia — a.k.a. the Asian giant hornet or, as it’s come to be known in the U.S., the “murder hornet.”(Gary Alpert / en.wikipedia) By Jeanette Marantos Staff Writer  May 8, 202012:39 PM

People, get a grip. Yes, the Asian giant hornet, now famously known as the “murder hornet,” is one huge scary wasp, capable of decimating an entire colony of honeybees and savagely stinging and possibly killing humans who get in their way.

But since last week, when it was reported that two hornets were spotted for the first time in Washington state, the national panic has led to the needless slaughter of native wasps and bees, beneficial insects whose populations are already threatened, said Doug Yanega, senior museum scientist for the Department of Entomology at UC Riverside. (Bees, for one, are the planet’s pollinators-in-chief, pollinating approximately 75% of the fruits, nuts and vegetables grown in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“Millions and millions of innocent native insects are going to die as a result of this,” Yanega said today. “Folks in China, Korea and Japan have lived side by side with these hornets for hundreds of years, and it has not caused the collapse of human society there. My colleagues in Japan, China and Korea are just rolling their eyes in disbelief at what kind of snowflakes we are.” Advertisement Ad

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ScienceThey’re not really called ‘murder hornets.’ And they’re probably not as bad as you think May 6, 2020

The worries started on May 2, after the New York Times reported that a beekeeper in Custer, Wash., found an entire hive of bees destroyed in November 2019, their heads ripped from their bodies. Then two Asian giant hornets were found near Blaine, just a few miles north, near the U.S.-Canadian border.

One of the hornets was found dead on a porch. The other reportedly flew away into the woods, Yanega said, and since then Washington entomologists have been on the lookout, encouraging residents to set out traps for the hornets so authorities can find and destroy any nests before they can grow. Advertisement null

Queens are the biggest of the world’s biggest hornets. They can grow to 2 inches from their cartoonish Spider-Man-type face (with vicious mandibles) to their quarter-inch-long stinger that can puncture heavy clothing. They hibernate, Yanega said, so scientists speculate that at least two hornet queens hitched a ride to the New World on a cargo ship, the first time it’s known to have happened “in over a century of significant maritime commerce between Vancouver and Southeast Asia.”

Asian giant hornets are native to Southeast Asia, Yanega said, so finding a knob of them at the western point of the Washington-British Columbia border was reason for alarm. A nest had been discovered and destroyed earlier that fall in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, around 80 miles from Blaine, Wash., but genetic tests showed that the dead hornet found on the porch was not related to the colony destroyed in Nanaimo, Yanega said.

Unlke honeybees, hornet queens create their first nests by themselves, he said, feeding their larvae until they hatch and become a little worker force. Then the queen “retires” to just lay eggs while the workers go out and collect food. Her early eggs are sterile, and she can’t create new queens until the fall.

Which is why, if there are nests in Washington, Yanega said, it’s important to find them now. “Queens have to go all the way from April to September before they can have their own reproductive offspring,” he said. “If we can intercept them any time in between there, we can kill them, and that’s that.”

But that’s in Washington, in the most northwest point of the contiguous U.S., and as of today there still haven’t been any reported sightings, Yanega said. In the meantime, freaked-out people across the U.S. have started putting out traps, Yanega said, and state apiarists (beekeepers) in Kentucky and Tennessee have announced plans to put out traps this month.

Unfortunately, the bait in those traps — a mixture of orange juice and rice cooking wine — is attractive to all kinds of native insects, Yanega said, and so far, that’s all people have been catching.

Considering the nuisance they can be at picnics and other outdoor events, some people might not fret about killing bees or wasps, giant or not, “but they are significant beneficial insects,” Yanega said. “They eat several times their weight in caterpillars from people’s vegetable gardens and ornamental plants, so indiscriminately killing them does much more harm than good.” Advertisement https://tpc.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html?n=0

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LifestyleWant to help bees and butterflies? Add these plants to your garden Feb. 28, 2020

Beekeepers in Asia have learned how to adapt to the hornets, using special screens to keep them out, and Japanese honeybees have even evolved to form their own defensive tactics, creating a “bee ball” around invading hornets to suffocate them, according to National Geographic. And in China and other countries, some people think the hornet pupae and larvae are delicious. “People consume them,” Yanega said. “You can buy them in cans.”

In fact, the hornets go by any number of names in Asia. Just in Japan alone, it’s known as the big hornet, the yellow hornet, the great whale bee and the great sparrow bee, Yanega said. The “murder hornet” name came from a TV Asahi television network, he said, which began using the name in one of its programs around 2004. Advertisement null

“It took all that time for that name to be translated into English for our newspapers, and it’s really unfortunate,” Yanega said.

“I don’t want to downplay this — they are logistically dangerous insects. But having people in Tennessee worry about this is just ridiculous. The only people who should be bothering experts with concerns about wasp IDs are living in the northwest quadrant of Washington (state). And really, right now, nobody else in the country should even be thinking about this stuff.”LifestyleLatestPlants Newsletter Eat your way across L.A.

Get our weekly Tasting Notes newsletter for reviews, news and more from critics Bill Addison and Patricia Escárcega. You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times. Jeanette Marantos Jeanette Marantos has been a writer for the Los Angeles Times Homicide Report since 2015 and the Saturday garden section since 2016, a yin and yang that keeps her perspective in balance. More From the Los Angeles Times

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A Surprise May Snowstorm Pounded Parts Of The Northeast In 1977 | Weather Concierge

Weather Concierge
Weather Concierge

Posted by Tom Moore

In May of 1977,  an unusual snow event occurred across parts of the Northeast. Before it was all over, one to two feet of snow blanketed some higher elevations. The snow was accompanied by high winds. Extensive tree and power line damage kept crews working for days to restore power.

Rare Event

Snow is not unheard of in May over parts of the Northeast, but many residents will refer to the Mother’s Day event in 1977. Actually, Mother’s Day (May 8th) was chilly with rain across much of the region. That night and into the next day, some dramatic changes were occurring in the upper atmosphere which would usher in cold air and change the rain to snow.

From parts of the Mid-Atlantic through Upstate New York and into New England, the landscape became whitened with snow on Monday, May 9th and the following night. The last flake didn’t stop falling until early on the  10th.

Heavy wet snow was accompanied by fierce winds across parts of New England. Massachusetts was particularly hard hit. There were blizzard conditions at times in eastern Massachusetts.  There were wind gusts to 55 mph at times.

Boston only picked up .50 inches of snow but that set a record for the latest measurable snowfall. Foxboro, Massachusetts picked up 10 inches and 7 inches fell down to Providence, Rhode Island.  For Providence, it was their only measurable snowfall in the 20th century. Heavier amounts of snow fell west of Boston with Worcester picking up 12.7 inches from the event.

One driver gave this description on a message board from www.americanwx.com about the storm :

I was out driving around the communities between 128 and 495.. Lincoln, Sudbury, Concord…

It was absolutely crazy.  Tree branches were crashing down, roads blocked, no plows out…  I called my boss and said, “I need to come in the driving is dangerous out here”.  He acted like I was crazy.  I told him we had 8 inches of snow on the ground and it was snowing heavily.

Here is another account:

We lived in Lexington at the time and lost many tree branches. My Dad was at a meeting at my school that evening, a mile and a half away from home, and couldn’t get home for more than a day because all the roads were blocked. He had to stay with friends that night.

Farther west, the Berkshires of Massachusetts picked up 10-20 inches of snow. 500,000  customers were without power across Massachusetts. Extensive power outages also extended westward into eastern New York and down into Connecticut.

In New York, a foot of snow fell in higher elevations west of Albany and 5 inches fell in the Glen Falls area. Parts of the Mohawk Valley saw 2 to 3 inches of snow. A couple of locations in the Finger Lakes region picked up 4 inches of snow. One location in the Catskill Mountains reported a whopping 27 inches of snow.

Crews attempt to restore power in western Massachusetts while snow is falling on May 9, 1977. Credit-WMEC.

The higher elevations of northern Connecticut picked up over a foot of snow. Hartford recorded 1.5 inches.

Photo of snow on the ground at Tolland, Connecticut, on May 9, 1977. Public Domain.

Only a trace of snow fell around New York City but that was the latest snowfall on record. Trace amounts fell over New Jersey and much of Pennsylvania. Thunderstorms in southern Pennsylvania were accompanied by 70 mph winds.

The only good thing about the storm was that temperatures in the lower elevations were above freezing and with the higher sun angle, most of the roads didn’t become snow covered.

Northern New England also saw snow but only light amounts fell.

Snowfall map for the May 9-10, 1977storm. Map Credit-Kocin-Uccellini/Northeast snowstorms.

Meteorological Conditions

On May 8th there were two areas of low pressure that were moving eastward. The first one was moving across southern Ontario while the other was moving into southern Pennsylvania. These systems were responsible for chilly temperatures and areas of rain.

Around the East Coast, there was a deep trough of low pressure developing. At the surface, the Pennsylvania low became the one dominant low around coastal New England, with, with a deep upper-level trough aloft. Coler sir flowed down into the Northeast region from Canada. There was also some very cold air aloft that was manufactured by the upper trough.

Map 0Z May 10, 1977, showing a deep upper-level trough on the East Coast. Map Credit-Kocin-Uccellini/ Northeast Snowstorms.

As temperatures fell on May 9th, the rain changed to snow in many locations. Due to the time of year, it was mainly an “elevation” snow event, but parts of southeast New England was proximate to the upper-level trough so significant snow fell at the lower elevations as well.

Surface weather map for May 9, 1977, shows a strong low-pressure system along the East Coast and associated precipitation. Map Credit- NOAA Central Library (Daily Weather Maps).

With leaves on the trees and heavy wet snow falling all you had to do was add significant wind to create havoc with trees falling on power lines all over.

Even though the main snow event was on Monday, May 9th, this event is still referred to as the “Mother’s Day Snowstorm” and it’s usually the one first that is mentioned when the topic of may snow comes up. CategoriesSomething Moore Tagsdamage, event, may, norttheast, powerlines, record, snowstorm, wind

https://www.weatherconcierge.com/a-surprise-may-snowstorm-pounded-parts-of-the-northeast-in-1977/

5 ways to mark the 75th anniversary of World War II’s end

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WWII 75 Years Later

From a Jewish resistance leader’s compass in Israel to a fortified island off France, artifacts and places recall a planet in conflict.

By Maryellen Kennedy Duckett PUBLISHED May 6, 2020

The Collings Foundation restores and exhibits historic aircraft, such as Lockheed’s P-38 Lightning, used by the U.S. in aerial combat and reconnaissance missions during World War II.Photograph by SCOTT SLOCUM, AERO MEDIA GROUP

A version of this story appears in the June 2020 issue of National Geographic magazine.

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The planet’s deadliest conflict officially came to a close 75 years ago, on September 2, 1945, when Japan formally surrendered during a solemn ceremony in Tokyo Bay aboard the U.S.S. Missouri. Germany had signed an unconditional surrender document on May 7 of that year. Here are five ways to commemorate the end of World War II—while at home and on future travels.

Restored aircraft

The nonprofit Collings Foundation maintains a fleet of historic aircraft, such as the WWII-era Lockheed P-38 Lightning (shown above), that tours museums and air shows around the United States. For more than 30 years, its Wings of Freedom Tour has touched down at various airports to honor veterans and exhibit restored fliers. During these events, history buffs can even take the controls—along with an instructor—and soar into the skies aboard a P-51 Mustang fighter plane. null

Island outpost

Hundreds of bunkers, tunnels, and other eerie remnants of Hitler’s defensive Atlantic Wall dot the Channel Islands, an archipelago in the English Channel off the coast of Normandy, France. On Alderney, visitors can see the observation tower called the Odeon and hike the Bibette Head Trail to explore some of the best-preserved German strongholds. A memorial pays tribute to the slave laborers, from places such as Poland, Russia, and Spain, who helped build the fortifications and died on the island.

The Odeon observation tower is one of the many fortifications that were built on Alderney, part of the Channel Islands, during the German occupation.Photograph by ALDERNEYMAN/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO

Storied artifacts

At Jerusalem’s Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, learn about the Jewish partisans who carried out attacks on the Nazis in German-occupied Europe. Recent additions to the collection include a compass used by Jewish resistance leader Shlomo Brandt during covert operations run from a forest where he found refuge after fleeing the Vilna Ghetto, in what is now Lithuania. The center also houses a large online photo archive of Jewish life before, during, and after the war.

Yad Vashem, in Jerusalem, preserves compasses and whistles that belonged to Jewish partisan Shlomo Brandt.Photograph from YAD VASHEM ARTIFACTS COLLECTION, COURTESY IKA BRANDT, REUT, ISRAEL

New book

Follow military historian Ian W. Toll on a deep dive into the final year of World War II in Twilight of the Gods: War in the Western Pacific, 1944-1945 (W.W. Norton & Company, July 2020). The last installment in Toll’s award-winning Pacific War trilogy uses firsthand accounts to detail the ferocious battles and high-stakes decisions leading to Japan’s surrender to the Allies.

Twilight of the Gods, covering the final year of World War II, publishes in July 2020.

Works of art

George Hoshida’s visual diary of drawings and watercolors captures a rare glimpse of life inside the U.S. internment camps where the Japanese-American artist was incarcerated during World War II. Hoshida’s family donated the roughly 260 original works and a separate Hoshida Papers collection containing correspondence, documents, and sketches to the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles. Because of its fragility, the artwork is exhibited only occasionally, but it can be seen online.

This George Hoshida drawing depicts New Mexico’s Lordsburg Internment Camp, one of several in which the artist was confined. Photograph from JAPANESE AMERICAN NATIONAL MUSEUM (GIFT OF JUNE HOSHIDA HONMA, SANDRA HOSHIDA, AND CAROLE HOSHIDA KANADA, 97.106.1FO)

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Drain The Oceans – The Baltic Sea Tuesday May 5 at 9/8c on National Geographic

“Fauci: There will be a surprise outbreak” ( This is from 2017)

Celebrating 50 years

Check out Yosemite National Park Live on Facebook 3p.m. (PDT) April 22

“Born Wild”on National Geographic

Make Paper Straws

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Kids vs. Plastic

Paper Straws

Help keep the Earth healthy by ditching single-use plastic items. You can make a paper straw to use instead of a plastic one, which is one of the top items found at beach cleanups and can hurt ocean animals that mistake them for food.

By Allyson ShawPhotographs by Shannon Hibberd

SUPPLIES

  • Nat Geo Kids straw pattern or printer paper
  • Scissors
  • Non-toxic glue
  • Chopstick
  • Glass jar
  • Paraffin wax
  • Candle warmer or large cooking pot
  • Paper towel

STEP ONE

Print out the Nat Geo Kids straw pattern and cut it out, or use a piece of printer paper cut into 1.5-inch-wide strips.

STEP TWO

Add a long line of glue on the side without the pattern.

STEP THREE

Place a chopstick at an angle on the back of the paper. Then roll the paper around the chopstick until it’s completely covered. (Be careful to roll the paper on top of itself so you don’t get glue on the chopstick!)

STEP FOUR

Wait 10 minutes for the glue to dry, then wiggle the chopstick out from inside the paper tube.

STEP FIVE

Cut both ends of the tube to make them even.

STEP SIX

Grab a parent and put the wax in a glass jar. Melt the wax by either putting the jar on a candle warmer or in a pot of warm water on the stove.Kids vs. Plastic10 tips to reduce your plastic useMake pom-pom puffsPlastic Pollution

STEP SEVEN

Dip the paper tube into the melted wax one half at a time (this part might get a little messy!) Then gently wipe the tube with a paper towel to get off any extra wax. Let the straws dry about 10 minutes before using. PLANET PROTECTOR TIPThese paper straws will last only about a day. Ask your parents to purchase reusable straws made of bamboo, metal, glass, or silicone that you can use forever!

GET THE NAT GEO KIDS STRAW PATTERN!

 

10 tips to reduce your plastic useMake pom-pom puffsPlastic PollutionFight trash!Save the EarthQuizzesHabitatsU.S. states facts and photos

How to SEW a REUSABLE FACE MASK with FILTER POCKET// Medical Mask

This is my favorite one, easy to make and for extra protection use a 3M air filter cut to fit.

In our state non-essential stores are closed, but Dollar tree is open and they sell small fabric swatches in their craft section the rest you can purchase at your local hardware store.

Take care.

“See the World From an Eagle Eye’s View | Super-powered Eagles | BBC Earth”

Today in History: In 1965, Martin Luther King and 25,000 civil rights activists completed a 5-day march to Montgomery, Alabama

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Today in History: In 1965, Martin Luther King and 25,000 civil rights activists completed a 5-day march to Montgomery, Alabama 5-7 minutes King and his followers marched to the state capitol from Selma, Alabama to protest the denial of voting rights to African-Americans MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Today is Wednesday, March 25, the 85th day of 2020. There are 281 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On March 25, 1965, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. led 25,000 people to the Alabama state capitol in Montgomery after a five-day march from Selma to protest the denial of voting rights to blacks. Later that day, civil rights activist Viola Liuzzo, a white Detroit homemaker, was shot and killed by Ku Klux Klansmen. On this date: In 1634, English colonists sent by Lord Baltimore arrived in present-day Maryland. In 1894, Jacob S. Coxey began leading an “army” of unemployed from Massillon, Ohio, to Washington, D.C., to demand help from the federal government. In 1911, 146 people, mostly young female immigrants, were killed when fire broke out at the Triangle Shirtwaist Co. in New York. In 1915, the U.S. Navy lost its first commissioned submarine as the USS F-4 sank off Hawaii, claiming the lives of all 21 crew members. In 1931, in the so-called “Scottsboro Boys” case, nine young black men were taken off a train in Alabama, accused of raping two white women; after years of convictions, death sentences and imprisonment, the nine were eventually vindicated. In 1947, a coal-dust explosion inside the Centralia Coal Co. Mine No. 5 in Washington County, Illinois, claimed 111 lives; 31 men survived. In 1960, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in New York, ruled that the D.H. Lawrence novel “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” was not obscene and could be sent through the mails. Ray Charles recorded “Georgia on My Mind” as part of his “The Genius Hits the Road” album in New York. In 1963, private pilot Ralph Flores and his 21-year-old passenger, Helen Klaben, were rescued after being stranded for seven weeks in brutally cold conditions in the Yukon after their plane crashed. In 1985, “Amadeus” won eight Academy Awards, including best picture, best director for Milos (MEE’-lohsh) Forman and best actor for F. Murray Abraham. In 1988, in New York City’s so-called “Preppie Killer” case, Robert Chambers Jr. pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in the death of 18-year-old Jennifer Levin. (Chambers received 5 to 15 years in prison; he was released in 2003 after serving the full sentence.) In 1990, 87 people, most of them Honduran and Dominican immigrants, were killed when fire raced through an illegal social club in New York City. In 2018, in an interview with “60 Minutes,” adult film star Stormy Daniels said she had been threatened and warned to keep silent about an alleged sexual encounter with Donald Trump in 2006. A fire at a shopping mall in a Siberian city in Russia killed more than 60 people, including 41 children. Ten years ago: Osama bin Laden threatened in a new message to kill any Americans al-Qaida captured if the U.S. executed Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-professed mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, or other al-Qaida suspects. Defense Secretary Robert Gates approved new rules easing enforcement of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” ban on gays serving openly in the military. Daisuke Takahashi gave Japan its first men’s title at the World Figure Skating Championships in Turin, Italy. Five years ago: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani thanked the U.S. Congress for billions of American tax dollars and vowed his war-wracked country would be self-reliant within the decade. British singer Zayn Malik shocked his fans by announcing he was quitting the chart-topping band One Direction. One year ago: UFC superstar Conor McGregor announced his retirement on social media. Apple announced the launch of a video streaming service, Apple TV Plus, that could compete with Netflix and Amazon with ad-free original series and films. Today’s Birthdays: Movie reviewer Gene Shalit is 94. Former astronaut James Lovell is 92. Feminist activist and author Gloria Steinem is 86. Singer Anita Bryant is 80. Actor Paul Michael Glaser is 77. Singer Sir Elton John is 73. Actress Bonnie Bedelia is 72. Actress-comedian Mary Gross is 67. Actor James McDaniel is 62. Former Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., is 62. Movie producer Amy Pascal is 62. Rock musician Steve Norman (Spandau Ballet) is 60. Actress Brenda Strong is 60. Actor Fred Goss is 59. Actor-writer-director John Stockwell is 59. Actress Marcia Cross is 58. Author Kate DiCamillo is 56. Actress Lisa Gay Hamilton is 56. Actress Sarah Jessica Parker is 55. Baseball Hall of Famer Tom Glavine is 54. TV personality Ben Mankiewicz is 53. Olympic bronze medal figure skater Debi Thomas is 53. Actor Laz Alonso is 49. Singer Melanie Blatt (All Saints) is 45. Actor Domenick Lombardozzi is 44. Actor Lee Pace is 41. Actor Sean Faris is 38. Comedian-actor Alex Moffat (TV: “Saturday Night Live”) is 38. Former auto racer Danica Patrick is 38. Actress-singer Katharine McPhee is 36. Comedian-actor Chris Redd (TV: “Saturday Night Live”) is 35. Singer Jason Castro is 33. Rapper Big Sean is 32. Rap DJ-producer Ryan Lewis is 32. Actor Matthew Beard is 31. Actress-singer Aly (AKA Alyson) Michalka is 31. Actor Kiowa Gordon is 30. Actress Seychelle Gabriel is 29. Thought for Today: “The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it emotionally.” — Flannery O’Connor, American author (1925-1964).

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Headless body found in cave 40 years ago identified as notorious outlaw who died in 1916

Joseph Henry Loveless was a notorious outlaw and vicious murderer, according to newspaper records from the era. The composite image was created using images of his closest relatives and written descriptions.Joseph Henry Loveless was a notorious outlaw and vicious murderer, according to newspaper records from the era. The composite image was created using images of his closest relatives and written descriptions.DUBOIS, ID (East Idaho News) – Nobody could have guessed the identity of a man whose body was found in the Civil Defense Caves in 1979.For 40 years, anthropologists, scientists and investigators from Idaho State University all the way to the Smithsonian and the FBI tried to unravel the mystery of who this man was. The big question none of them could figure out was how long he had been in the caves.The answers were revealed Tuesday during a riveting news conference held by Clark County Sheriff Bart Mary and others involved in the decades-long investigation.The man’s remains were so well preserved, there was still skin on the body. Anthropologists believed that he had maybe only been in the caves for five to 10 years. When the DNA Doe Project finally put the genetic and genealogical pieces together, they learned he had been in the cave since 1916.“Through our research, following the tireless experts of innumerable experts, we have identified Clark County John Doe. His name was Joseph Henry Loveless,” DNA Doe Project team leader Anthony Redgrave said. “Joseph Henry Loveless was born Dec. 3, 1870, in Payson, Utah territory.Loveless was a notorious outlaw, bootlegger, jailbird and a vicious murderer, according to newspaper records from the era.The revelation that the man anthropologists believed had likely died sometime between 1969 and 1979 had actually died in 1916 was a shocking revelation.“This definitely threw most anthropologists — all anthropologists that looked at this (case),” ISU anthropology department assistant professor Samantha Blatt said.Loveless’s torso, arms and legs have been recovered, but his head has never been found. Researchers have not been able to uncover a photo of him either. Fortunately, the wanted poster published from when he murdered his wife has a description of what he looked like, although he was going by a different name at the time.“Walt Cairns, age about 40 years, height about 5 ft. 8 or 9 in., weight about 165 pounds, dark brown hair, slightly gray around ears, eyes bluish brown, medium complexion, has little or no eyebrows, small scar over right eye, tattoo of star on right hand between thumb and index finger, also tattoo of anchor same place on left hand; he wore a light colored hat, brown coat, red sweater, blue overalls over black trousers,” the poster reads.A composite of what Loveless may have looked like was created by combining images of his closest relatives and from written descriptions.Joseph Henry Loveless was found wearing this shirt. His body was also wrapped in burlap.Joseph Henry Loveless was found wearing this shirt. His body was also wrapped in burlap.The story of how scientists and historians identified Loveless is remarkable. Redgrave said this is now one of the oldest cases to be solved using DNA.Road to identificationOn Aug. 26, 1979, a family was searching for arrowheads in a cave near the entrance of the Civil Defense Caves just north of Dubois. Instead of arrowheads, they found something else.Wrapped in burlap and buried in a shallow grave was the headless torso of a man. He was wearing a white shirt with blue pinstripes and a maroon sweater. He was also missing his arms and legs.Earl Holden, the Clark County Sheriff at the time, had the area searched for any other remains, but to no avail. He believed, based on the clothing the man was wearing, that he was likely a gambler from 60 years prior.Coroner Ernest Still performed an investigation and determined the man must have died within the last decade due to the presence of flesh and odor.Joseph Henry Loveless was a notorious outlaw and vicious murderer, according to newspaper records from the era. His remains were found in the Civil Defense Caves near Dubois, ID, in 1979.Joseph Henry Loveless was a notorious outlaw and vicious murderer, according to newspaper records from the era. His remains were found in the Civil Defense Caves near Dubois, ID, in 1979.Still wasn’t the only one who thought that. In 1979, the top forensic anthropologist in the world, Dr. Doug Ubelaker from the Smithsonian Institute, believed the remains could have been anywhere from six months to ten years old.“Already, at the beginning, no one could identify who this person was,” ISU anthropology department assistant professor Samantha Blatt said.Twelve years later, an 11-year-old girl was exploring the cave when she discovered a hand sticking out of the ground. An excavation led by Idaho State University and the Idaho Museum of Natural History uncovered the man’s arms and legs.In 1997, the remains were transferred to the ISU Anthropology Department where they have remained ever since.In March 2019, Drs. Amy Michael and Samantha Blatt with the Idaho State University Anthropology Department decided to ask if DNA Doe Project would be willing to help try to identify the man in the cave.DNA Doe Project is a nonprofit organization that uses a methodology known as genetic genealogy to identify unknown individuals by using their DNA to find their family tree. Volunteers search through records and other sources to piece the individual’s family history together until they are able to identify the person.Led by team leader Anthony Redgrave, 14 volunteer genealogists spent more than 2,000 hours researching Clark County John Doe’s family tree. They found 31,730 individuals in the tree and narrowed their investigation down to 250 “DNA cousins.” Searching through those family trees, they tentatively identified the man as Joseph Henry Loveless.The genealogists discovered Loveless’s parents were Latter-day Saint pioneers from the Utah valley and were polygamists, which made DNA Doe Project’s job much more difficult.“Descendants of pioneers who have done their family history will know that their ancestors had many, many children – often with several different spouses during the time period that polygamy was practiced,” Redgrave said.He explained that often leads to intermarrying, which can affect the DNA in unpredictable ways. It also leads to half-relationships or half-cousins where two people only share DNA with one parent. Redgrave said that even though they had numerous close DNA matches, it was difficult to work with and narrow down to one individual.“We took a lot of extra effort to confirm our potential identity over the course of several days,” Redgrave said.Even then, Clark County Sheriff Bart May wanted to make extra sure the identity was correct.“I felt like we needed to take it a step farther to make sure we were 100 percent correct. So we tracked down living relatives, which was really hard to do. But we found an 87-year-old grandson who was willing to talk with us and meet with us and give us his DNA,” May said.Through the grandson’s DNA, authorities were able to confirm the remains did belong to Joseph Henry Loveless.“This was an amazing case because watching it progress, it was so difficult because of the intermarriages and the Latter-day Saints practice of polygamy. There were many, many complicated family relationships that we thought would take forever to untangle,” DNA Doe Project Co-founder Dr. Margaret Press said.The outlawFinding out the body was Joseph Henry Loveless was one thing. Finding out details about his life was another. To do that, DNA Doe Project searched through eastern Idaho newspaper records.The man they discovered had a notorious reputation.Joseph Henry Loveless was born to Latter-day Saint pioneers Joseph Jackson Loveless and Sarah Jane Scriggins.When he was 28, in 1899, Loveless married Harriett Jane Savage in Salt Lake City, Utah. Five years later, Harriett filed for divorce on the grounds of desertion and failure to support their child.A year after the divorce, Loveless married Agnes Octavia Caldwell in Bear Lake County, Idaho. They had four children together but Loveless wasn’t the type to settle down. In 1914, he was arrested for bootlegging in Burley. A few months later he was again arrested for bootlegging in Burley but he managed to escape from jail — and it wouldn’t be the last time.In 1916, newspaper records show a man named Walter Garron pulled off a daring escape by cutting his jail cell’s bars with a saw and then stopping a train.“The news article is strangely worded but we assume he was being transported to jail on a train and somehow stopped the train in an attempt to escape it,” Redgrave said. “He was somehow caught and put in prison and escaped again anyway.”Walter Garron was just one of the various aliases Loveless went by. Others included Walter Cairins, Curran, Currans, Cairns, Curnans and Charles Smith.On May 5, 1916, Agnes Loveless was found dead in the tent she, Loveless and their 8-year-old son lived in on the outskirts Dubois. Loveless was nowhere to be found and became the prime suspect. The problem was, he and his wife were using aliases at the time. The couple, both suspected bootleggers, were known in town as Charles and Ada Smith.This led to confusion among researchers about who killed Agnes and where Loveless was. They eventually came to the conclusion that Charles and Ada Smith were, in fact, Joseph and Agnes Loveless.On May 12, 1916, the Pocatello Chronicle published an article titled “Under Arrest on Murder Charge.” Law enforcement had arrested a man they believed to be Walter Currans (Joseph Loveless) for Ada Smith’s (Agnes Loveless) murder.“Sheriff John Spencer of Fremont County in Spencer, Ida., charged (him) with beating out his wife’s brains. Her death resulted after 50 hours of intense agony. It is charged that the ax was wielded by her common-law husband in Dubois at an early hour Saturday morning after she had returned home from a dance in that city,” the article read.According to the news article, their 8-year-old son found her and she had been beaten to death with an ax.At Agnes’s funeral, one of their children was quoted as saying, “Papa never stayed in jail very long and he’ll soon be out.”On May 23, 1916, Loveless escaped from jail again by cutting the bars using a saw he had hidden in his shoes.After that, Loveless wasn’t seen again until his headless, dismembered corpse was discovered in 1979. It’s not clear who murdered Loveless, or how he was killed. There is a near certainty though that the murderer is also dead.Despite that, the Clark County Sheriff’s Office plans to continue the investigation and hopefully discover who killed Loveless.“This is one of the most exciting cases we have worked,” forensic genealogist Lee Redgrave, Anthony Redgrave’s wife said.https://fox43.com/2020/01/02/headless-body-found-in-idaho-cave-40-years-ago-identified-as-notorious-outlaw-who-died-in-1916/

How To Research A Rescue

Guardians Of Life

When supporting any rescue of your choosing we recommend and encourage that you do your research first. It is imperative and crucial that you thoroughly investigate them. Otherwise, you could wind up enabling fraudulent individuals, where proceeds do not contribute to animal’s well being.

The How To:
If said rescue has a facility, make sure someone can investigate the facility in person. If you think of sending an animal there, including if you are sending pets there – it is your right to make sure that your pets will be treated well and safe before their new guardians adopt them.
Calling local animal control and other rescues in said area to get references, while also making sure the rescue of your choosing isn’t banned from pulling, is a must. Speak with the Founder or Representative of the rescue you are choosing, ask if they spay and neuter all animals…

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Family dodges danger after UFO drone toy explodes into flames on Christmas Eve

fox43.com

An extremely popular gift over the last few years nearly caused a fire on Christmas Eve for an Illinois family.

Celeste Robinson and her husband bought As-Seen-On-TV UFO drones for their kids and plugged them in Christmas Eve so they could use them first thing in the morning.

The drones were hand held and specifically made for kids.

“We went ahead and put them on the charger, went down to go to sleep and realized there was another gift I forgot to wrap,” Robinson said.

That’s when she said her husband heard a strange hissing noise. They walked to the counter to find the drones hot to the touch.

“We unplugged them and all of a sudden it just started sparking like a firework, just shooting up,” she said.

Panicked, Robinson threw the malfunctioning drone on the floor after it burst into flames in her hand. It burned the carpet and pieces of metal stuck to the floor.

According to the instructions, the drone takes 40 minutes to become fully charged. Robinson said they were only plugged in for a half hour.

Robinson says the scare didn’t put a damper on their Christmas morning. But knows it could’ve ended a much different way.

“We had it sitting on the counter so if that spark would have gone up it would have hit the cabinet and flamed everything else,” she said. “We were so blessed that he heard the noise and he checked it out because we would have been asleep, it could have been our house, it could have been our lives.”

News 4 reached out to the manufacturer to find out what safety improvements are being made.

Right now, we’re still waiting to hear back.

https://fox43.com/2019/12/28/family-dodges-danger-after-ufo-drone-toy-explodes-into-flames-on-christmas-eve/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

I wonder what sharks dream of when they take their little snooze 💤

Digital Exclusive: Dr. Patrick Moore TEARS APART The Green New Deal | Huckabee

Nearly Extinct Pink Dolphin Gives Birth To Pink Calf

 

lifeinsider.me

Uncommon pink dolphin mother gave birth to a charming infant dolphin. She was named Pinky, and the baby dolphin has been seen in the Calcasieu River in Louisiana. The pink calf was there, as well.

This warm-blooded animal became famous 12 years back. Chief Erik Rue was the first to recognize her. The video of Pinky and her child was posted on Pinky’s Facebook page. The dolphins were swimming before a huge boat in the Calcasieu Ship Channel.

As indicated by specialists, Pinky is a Rare River Dolphin who got the pink shading from an uncommon hereditary change. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) recorded stream dolphins as jeopardized. Its populace is diminishing.

The birth of the calf gives us trust that calves have acquired their mom’s hereditary change which would help in the exertion of expanding the number of inhabitants in uncommon species.

Skipper Rue clarified that the dolphin is pink from its tail to the tip and has red eyes. Its skin is smooth and lustrous.

Pinky isn’t influenced by the earth or daylight however beyond any doubt likes to stay underneath the surface more than other animals.

She’s a fantastic mammal that conveys delight to local people, and visitors love seeing such a superb well-evolved creature.

Bridget Boudreaux spotted Pinky and her calf in the river some a time ago. She saw them swimming and bouncing around. Recognizing the mother and her child was a great encounter for her, and she even requested that the commander stop the vessel so she can see it better.

https://lifeinsider.me/nearly-extinct-pink-dolphin-gives-birth-to-pink-calf/

50+ items that you actually shouldn’t put in the refrigerator

Do you ever feel like your fridge seems to be getting smaller and smaller? Well, it’s probably because you’re putting things in there that you shouldn’t. Many Americans make the mistake of putting everything they get from the grocery store into the fridge, not knowing that it will actually kill the flavor of many foods. By removing these items from your fridge, you’re not only free up space, but you also improve but taste and quality of the items that should be stored at room temperature.

Here’s a handy list of things that really don’t need to be refrigerated.

https://homehacks.co/53-items-dont-need-refrigeration/?utm_source=twitter_ads&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=6b719901-6d93-af27-a55a-306176976dc0

Here Are 7 of Our Favorite Children’s Books With a Vegan Message

chooseveg.com

Kids love animals. So it’s no surprise that the vast majority of children’s books feature animals as the main characters. Unfortunately, many of these books still refer to animals as something, rather than someone—so finding animal-themed books that teach respect for animals is crucial to nurturing our children’s natural love of animals.

I sat down with a few parents at Mercy For Animals to find out their favorite kids books that inspire compassion for animals. Here are our top picks:

1. Sprig the Rescue Pig by Leslie Crawford

Sprig the Rescue Pig tells the story of Sprig, a pig who leaps—or falls—off a farm truck. As the little pig trades a factory farm for freedom, his world changes from grim to hopeful. Inspired by a true story, the book is a fun, funny, and beautifully illustrated adventure tale with a happy ending.

*Sprig is the first in a series of farmed animal children’s books published by Stone Pier Press. Keep an eye out for the next book, Gwen the Rescue Hen!

2. Linus the Vegetarian T. Rex by Robert Neubecker

Young kids seem to LOVE dinosaurs, so this book is a great treat! It’s a very cute story with a simple message—“I don’t eat my friends!”—that resonates with kids and will help inspire them to eat their veggies.

3. A Book of Babies by Il Sung Na

Il Sung Na is an incredible artist, and his books are all beautiful and animal themed. One of our favorites is A Book of Babies, which features all kinds of animals going to sleep with their parents—showing just how alike we really are—and is the perfect read just before bedtime.

4. Care for Our World by Karen Robbins

This is a wonderful book advocating for all life on the planet. The last lines say: “Please care for all people, and all living things, with leaves, legs, or feathers, arms, fins, or wings. This is their world and it’s yours and it’s mine. If we treat it gently, it will last a long time. This world is our home, we need one another. Please care for our world, we’re sisters and brothers.”

5. Steven the Vegan by Dan Bodenstein

Steven the Vegan is about a boy whose class goes on a field trip to a farmed animal sanctuary. He tells everyone that the foods they are eating come from animals. The kids are shocked and all become vegan. This book is great because it normalizes the feeling of being the only vegan in the class and gives kids hope that they can change their friends’ minds.

6. Dave Loves Chickens by Carlos Patino

This is a favorite among very young vegans. Dave, a monster from outer space, loves all animals and doesn’t understand why humans eat them, especially chickens. In this heartwarming book, kids learn about how wonderful chickens are!

7. The True Adventures of Esther the Wonder Pig by Steve Jenkins

This brand-new kids book details the adventures of Esther the Wonder Pig. Rescued by her dads Steve Jenkins and Derek Walter when she was only a piglet, Esther has become an internet sensation, opening hearts and minds all around the world. This is her touching story.

Want more? Click here for 17 of our favorite kid-friendly vegan recipes for the little ones in your life!

https://chooseveg.com/blog/childrens-books-with-a-vegan-message/

How to Protect Your Car from Hail Damage Without parking???

Omar's blog

The sight of your beloved car being wrecked by a hail storm is certainly not pleasant.

In some cases, heartbreaking.  Especially, when it cost you a fortune.

So, what can you do to escape the devastating wrath of the hail-storm?

Apparently, a lot.

With some simple steps, you can escape the terrible fury of this white monster AKA hail-storm.

Following are some of the tips that you can follow to safeguard your car against hail storm.

Sign Up For Weather Alerts

There is an old (and gold) saying that precaution is better than prevention.

No matter who said that, but they are damn right.

The knowledge of a hail storm prior to the event will give you enough time to take appropriate precautions.

This way, you won’t have to prepare an emergency plan at the eleventh hour and can totally ensure that your car is safely tucked away before the…

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“Lions rescued from Romanian zoo released into South African sanctuary”

“Daylight Saving Time 101” National Geographic

Although Daylight Saving Time affects many lies whenever it’s time to change the clocks, 80% of the global population does not follow the practice.

This Winter’s Top 5 Wildlife Webcams | Sierra Club

As the biting cold rips through civilization, people seek refuge in blankets and huddled by crackling fires. But many critters brave the elements and they don’t seem to mind. While winter keeps us somewhat evolved primates in hiding, we still can appreciate this round up of wildlife webcams, all of which showcase some of the amazing adaptations and quirky behaviors. So grab a hot beverage and enjoy the show.

https://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/winters-top-5-wildlife-webcams-0?utm_source=insider&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter

EAGLES CAN CARRY HOW MUCH WEIGHT?

A LITTLE BIRD TRIVIA AROUND THE DINING TABLE

Bald Eagles weigh 6.6 to 13.9 lb and can carry about 3 to 4 lbs. Typical Wingspand (adult) is between 5.9 and 7.5 ft. females are about 25% larger than males averaging 12 lbs. against the male’s average weight of 9 lbs. Lifespan in the wild is 20 to 25 years. Scientific name: Haliaeetus leucocephalus.

Dr. David M. Bird

Imagine being out on the edge of a soggy field in early morning intently peering into some shrubbery for a closer peek at a small songbird. Suddenly you hear a very loud thump only a few feet away and you see a large branch weighing over ten pounds with its heavy end embedded into the soil. Curious as to its origin, you gaze upward to see an adult bald eagle veering away high in the sky. And your first thought might be…..”wow…..what if that log had hit me in the head?!”

Bald Eagle

A bald eagle lands in a tree above Brooks Falls, Katmai National Park

It turns out that such an event actually happened! In the early morning light on November 4, 2015, Alex Lamine was filming Mom Berry, one of the adult bald eagles nesting on the campus of Berry College, an educational institution begun in 1902 in Rome, Georgia. The college is home to several pairs of nesting bald eagles and an army of eagle voyeurs who watch the eagles’ nesting activities on a web cam. The first eagle pair showed up on the main campus in the spring of 2012, nesting in the top of a tall pine tree right near the main entrance. Two eaglets were successfully fledged in 2013, one in 2014, and two this past summer. A second nest on a more remote campus fledged three young in 2014, but was not active this year. A bald eagle carrying a 12-pound branch?! Sounds almost impossible, doesn’t it, but it not only happened but it was captured on film as well. This observation immediately raised three questions about bald eagles and eagles in general, and set off a flurry of emails among eagle experts, including yours truly. First, did the bird actually ‘carry’ an object weighing 12 pounds? Second, how much can eagles carry in the air? And third, do bald eagles actually gnaw off limbs from trees?

Amy Ries, who writes a blog for the Raptor Resource Project raptorresource.blogspot.ca/2015/11/how-much-can-bald-eagle-carry was quite impressed with the herculean feat and to learn more about it, she passed on the observation to a number of bald eagle experts. She was inclined to think that the branch was already in a falling motion from the tree and thus, does not support an assertion that bald eagles can fly for any distance carrying a 12-pound object, especially a branch heavy at one end and light at the other, in just one foot.

James Grier, a retired professor at North Dakota State University in Fargo, was the first eagle expert to respond. Growing up in the world of raptor research with Jim throughout all of my life, I am well aware of his decades of climbing to bald eagle nests in the Lake-of-the-Woods region of Ontario to band eaglets in order to learn more about their movements and fidelity to nesting sites. He said that unlike ospreys which carry fish with both feet while also orienting it with the air flow to reduce drag, bald eagles usually just grab either prey or nest materials with one or both feet and carry it dangling and swinging, and yes, sometimes dropping it. Flight conditions are also important, the best ones being high air pressure with a steady wind, and equally critical, lots of room for a good take-off and an ability to stay airborne. Even under such conditions, Jim said that it can still be a lot of work and effort for the eagles to carry large items. He added that sometimes if eagles can get a large item into the air but not all the way back to the nest, they will stop somewhere along the way such as on higher ground, a low tree branch, or an open tree, to get rid of dead weight such as the entrails, further disassemble it, and/or even eat some of it.

Bald Eagle Hunting“I remember being at blinds and hearing the heavy, labored wing-beats from eagles carrying large items into the nest. I could sometimes hear the flapping from a long distance out where it almost sounded like someone beating on the side of a boat it was so loud!” Jim explained, “One of the more interesting items I remember, it wasn’t a big item but a duck that was still alive when the eagle brought it into the nest. The eagle had a hold of the duck by the back and was carrying it in one foot. The duck was looking around and its feet were paddling the air like mad when the eagle landed on the nest with it!”

On the weight-carrying question, Chuck Sindelar, also a long-time bald eagle expert in Wisconsin, was the next to weigh in (sorry… couldn’t help myself!). He believes that an eagle can seldom fly with any more than half of its body weight.

Jon Gerrard concurs with this feeling. He studied bald eagles in Saskatchewan with Gary Bortolotti (R.I.P.) for many years and he quotes a story from their wonderful co-authored book entitled “The Bald Eagle: Haunts and Habits of a Wilderness Monarch”. A female of a pair of bald eagles nesting on the Gulf Coast of Louisiana in the 1890s caught and carried snow geese weighing from 4.5 to 6 pounds for up to a mile and a half to their nest. But here is the key point — the eagle was actually flying downhill! This means that the goose was caught high in the air and the eagle basically glided downward to its nest with its prey. And this was not a one-time occurrence — more than 35 snow goose heads were found in that particular nest at one time. Since the female weighed between 8 to 11 pounds, this suggests a weight-carrying capacity of half its body weight, but for “downhill” flights only.

With all due respect to all of the aforementioned bald eagle experts, I honestly know of no one who has accumulated as many hours of watching these magnificent birds as David Hancock, the founder of the Hancock Wildlife Foundation based in Surrey, British Columbia. He basically lives and breathes ‘bald eagles’! From his late teenage days to today, David has been an avid student of these birds and he is famous for helping to pioneer the web cameras on many of their nests much to the delight of millions of eagle enthusiasts all over the world. Surely he would have some comment on this observation.

And so he did. A number of years ago, he and some assistants were three miles offshore from the Queen Charlotte Islands. They watched a male bald eagle swoop down, catch a large red snapper, and then carry it in its talons at a speed of 25 to 30 miles per hour toward an island. After about three-quarters of a mile, the eagle dropped the fish but then immediately flew down and grabbed it again. Two hundred yards later and about a half-mile from shore, it repeated this scenario, once again relinquishing the fish to the water’s surface. Not to give up on its prize though, this stubborn bird next landed on the fish and used its wings to row it to shore! All bald eagle experts will tell you that these large birds are quite good at swimming with their wings.

Bald Eagle Catching A Fish

There’s more to this story though. Wanting to know more about the fish’s weight, David flushed the eagle off the snapper and weighed it in at one and a half pounds. He also added that the fish “tasted marvelous”!

The whole incident drove David to undertake some weight-carrying tests with some captive bald eagles. He found that for 100 yards, males could carry objects weighing two pounds, and females about three pounds. Upon hearing about this latest “branch” incident, he too felt that the bird was likely carrying it “downhill” or the branch was in a falling motion from the tree, as Amy postulated.

On a related note, I contacted Sergej Postpalsky, a raptor expert in Michigan, and I asked him what was the largest prey he had seen carried by ospreys in his 40 years of studying this species in the Great Lakes. About two pounds, he replied, and on more than once occasion. Not bad for a bird that weighs less than half of a female bald eagle!

The other aspect of the original observation focused on the ‘gnawing” behavior whereupon the eagle apparently was seen chewing on the limb to remove it from the tree. Jim Grier confessed to knowing that bald eagles do engage in that activity, but knew little else about it.

Adult Bald Eagle with two chicks in a nest in a tree on the side of a cliff.

Chuck Sindelar has seen both bald and golden eagles break sticks off standing trees by hitting them with their feet with enough force to snap them off, but did not mention any observations of them actually gnawing on them to facilitate breaking them from the tree. Jon Gerrard has often seen bald eagles at Besnard Lake, Manitoba breaking off limbs in this manner, but none as big as the one collected by the Berry College eagle. He added that they are usually dead limbs. Jon also wondered whether the eagle in question actually did some gnawing at the thick end of the branch before breaking it off because this would not fit with the fact that the eagle was clutching the thin or outer end of the limb before dropping it. He suggested that perhaps the bird gnawed the limb part way through at the thick end, and then flew to grab the thin end and then using its momentum, broke it off at the thick end. Years ago, I watched a video of ospreys in Scotland wherein the birds would dive at a tree with some speed and use their feet to snap off dead branches from trees for nesting material, but there was never any prior gnawing involved.

All in all, it was a very interesting anecdote which sparked some very healthy debate among several eagle experts. As Jim Grier points out, “With today’s technologies including the eagle nest cams, more eagles around, and a lot more people watching and taking/recording pics and videos, I think we’re going to get more anecdotes like this, insights into the eagles’ lives that we’ve never seen before, and learn a lot more than we did in the past.”

I could not agree more.
The latest from Dr. Bird

https://www.askprofessorbird.com/single-post/2017/04/20/Watching-Bird-Behavior

How To Protect Yourself From Climate Denial Misinformation

globaljusticeecology.org
Posted on April 5, 2018
By Peter Ellerton

Originally appeared in The Conversation

Much of the public discussion about climate science consists of a stream of assertions. The climate is changing or it isn’t; carbon dioxide causes global warming or it doesn’t; humans are partly responsible or they are not; scientists have a rigorous process of peer review or they don’t, and so on.

Despite scientists’ best efforts at communicating with the public, not everyone knows enough about the underlying science to make a call one way or the other. Not only is climate science very complex, but it has also been targeted by deliberate obfuscation campaigns.

If we lack the expertise to evaluate the detail behind a claim, we typically substitute judgment about something complex (like climate science) with judgment about something simple (the character of people who speak about climate science).

But there are ways to analyse the strength of an argument without needing specialist knowledge. My colleagues, Dave Kinkead from the University of Queensland Critical Thinking Project and John Cook from George Mason University in the US, and I published a paper yesterday in Environmental Research Letters on a critical thinking approach to climate change denial.

We applied this simple method to 42 common climate-contrarian arguments, and found that all of them contained errors in reasoning that are independent of the science itself.

In the video abstract for the paper, we outline an example of our approach, which can be described in six simple steps.

The authors discuss the myth that climate change is natural.

Identify the claim: First, identify as simply as possible what the actual claim is. In this case, the argument is:

The climate is currently changing as a result of natural processes.

Construct the supporting argument: An argument requires premises (those things we take to be true for the purposes of the argument) and a conclusion (effectively the claim being made). The premises together give us reason to accept the conclusion. The argument structure is something like this:

Premise one: The climate has changed in the past through natural processes
Premise two: The climate is currently changing
Conclusion: The climate is currently changing through natural processes.

Determine the intended strength of the claim: Determining the exact kind of argument requires a quick detour into the difference between deductive and inductive reasoning. Bear with me!

In our paper we examined arguments against climate change that are framed as definitiveclaims. A claim is definitive when it says something is definitely the case, rather than being probable or possible.

Definitive claims must be supported by deductive reasoning. Essentially, this means that if the premises are true, the conclusion is inevitably true.

This might sound like an obvious point, but many of our arguments are not like this. In inductive reasoning, the premises might support a conclusion but the conclusion need not be inevitable.

An example of inductive reasoning is:

Premise one: Every time I’ve had a chocolate-covered oyster I’ve been sick
Premise two: I’ve just had a chocolate-covered oyster
Conclusion: I’m going to be sick.

This is not a bad argument – I’ll probably get sick – but it’s not inevitable. It’s possible that every time I’ve had a chocolate-covered oyster I’ve coincidentally got sick from something else. Perhaps previous oysters have been kept in the cupboard, but the most recent one was kept in the fridge.

Because climate-contrarian arguments are often definitive, the reasoning used to support them must be deductive. That is, the premises must inevitably lead to the conclusion.

Check the logical structure: We can see that in the argument from step two – that the climate change is changing because of natural processes – the truth of the conclusion is not guaranteed by the truth of the premises.

In the spirit of honesty and charity, we take this invalid argument and attempt to make it valid through the addition of another (previously hidden) premise.

Premise one: The climate has changed in the past through natural processes
Premise two: The climate is currently changing
Premise three: If something was the cause of an event in the past, it must be the cause of the event now
Conclusion: The climate is currently changing through natural processes.

Adding the third premise makes the argument valid, but validity is not the same thing as truth. Validity is a necessary condition for accepting the conclusion, but it is not sufficient. There are a couple of hurdles that still need to be cleared.

Check for ambiguity: The argument mentions climate change in its premises and conclusion. But the climate can change in many ways, and the phrase itself can have a variety of meanings. The problem with this argument is that the phrase is used to describe two different kinds of change.

Current climate change is much more rapid than previous climate change – they are not the same phenomenon. The syntax conveys the impression that the argument is valid, but it is not. To clear up the ambiguity, the argument can be presented more accurately by changing the second premise:

Premise one: The climate has changed in the past through natural processes
Premise two: The climate is currently changing at a more rapid rate than can be explained by natural processes
Conclusion: The climate is currently changing through natural processes.

This correction for ambiguity has resulted in a conclusion that clearly does not follow from the premises. The argument has become invalid once again.

We can restore validity by considering what conclusion would follow from the premises. This leads us to the conclusion:

Conclusion: Human (non-natural) activity is necessary to explain current climate change.

Importantly, this conclusion has not been reached arbitrarily. It has become necessary as a result of restoring validity.

Note also that in the process of correcting for ambiguity and the consequent restoring of validity, the attempted refutation of human-induced climate science has demonstrably failed.

Check premises for truth or plausibility: Even if there were no ambiguity about the term “climate change”, the argument would still fail when the premises were tested. In step four, the third premise, “If something was the cause of an event in the past, it must be the cause of the event now”, is clearly false.

Applying the same logic to another context, we would arrive at conclusions like: people have died of natural causes in the past; therefore any particular death must be from natural causes.

Restoring validity by identifying the “hidden” premises often produces such glaringly false claims. Recognising this as a false premise does not always require knowledge of climate science.
Flow chart for argument analysis and evaluation.

When determining the truth of a premise does require deep knowledge in a particular area of science, we may defer to experts. But there are many arguments that do not, and in these circumstances this method has optimal value.
Inoculating against poor arguments

Previous work by Cook and others has focused on the ability to inoculate people against climate science misinformation. By pre-emptively exposing people to misinformation with explanation they become “vaccinated” against it, showing “resistance” to developing beliefs based on misinformation.

This reason-based approach extends inoculation theory to argument analysis, providing a practical and transferable method of evaluating claims that does not require expertise in climate science.

Fake news may be hard to spot, but fake arguments don’t have to be.

Category: Climate Justice, Featured, Social Media News Tags: climate change, Climate Denial, critical thinking, The Conversation

https://globaljusticeecology.org/how-to-protect-yourself-from-climate-denial-misinformation/#comments

The world’s oldest known wild bird is about to become a Mum at 67, baffling scientists (Midway atoll, USA)

The ocean update

January 8th, 2018. One Laysan albatross is brazenly defying the norms for her species. Wisdom, the world’s oldest known wild bird, has returned to home port and laid an egg – at the magnificent age of 67 years old.

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