Archive for the ‘environment’ Category

Surf’s Up: America’s Most Bacterial Beaches

July 10, 2012

Surf's Up: America's Most Bacterial Beaches

Summer’s here, and microbes are cavorting in the waves at beaches across the country. If you like to body-surf with bacteria and paddle through pathogens, the Natural Resources Defense Council has your itinerary ready. It’s their annual Guide to Water Quality at Vacation Beaches.

Call the local visitor’s bureau before you pack the car, though. At a time when great white sharks terrorize bathers on both coasts, some spoil-sport health agencies close down beaches just because some teeny critters might cause stomach flu, skin rashes, pinkeye, respiratory infections, meningitis, and hepatitis. Wimps.

More:

“America’s Dirtiest Beaches,” Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones

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Image (“The Great Wipeout Off Kanagawa, after Hokusai”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Bambi Must DIE!

May 20, 2012

Bambi Must DIE!

“. . . wildlife managers slice intact forests into sunny woodlots that maximize the number of deer and the frequency of encounters between deer and hunters. Private landowners are encouraged by wildlife agencies to crisscross their forest acreage with tasty plantings of clover and wheat in support of what is now a burgeoning population of perhaps 50 million white-tailed deer — in some places as many as 75 deer per square mile.

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la guerra allo scoiattolo grigio

May 17, 2012

la guerra allo scoiattolo grigio

In Italy, the brave people of Liguria, Piemonte and Lombardia are taking arms against a tough invader. An American invader, Sciurus carolinensis, the gray squirrel. Gray squirrels came to Italy after WWII, and are stealing food and habitat from their smaller European cousins, red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris). Those ruthless, bushy-tailed Yanks have even resorted to germ warfare, carrying diseases lethal to local rodents.

“Basta!” said the Italians, mounting a 2 million Euro defense. Under the leadership of zoologist Andrea Balduzzi they’re trapping and sterilizing squirrels in their parks. And squirrels caught outside park borders? Firing squad. War is Hell.

More:

“Parte la guerra allo scoiattolo grigio,” Alessandra Pieracci, La Stampa

English-language summary:

“Squirrel Wars: Italy Vows To Eliminate Its American Invaders,” Worldcrunch

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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BP Oil Spill +2

April 17, 2012

BP Oil Spill +2

While the media fleet sailed with the Titanic centennial story, this week marked the anniversary of another maritime disaster. The Deepwater oil spill happened two years ago, but you wouldn’t know it unless you live on the Gulf Coast. Most media coverage  boosted the recovery of tourism and the fishing industry. Only the editors of the Tampa Bay Times have a weather eye on the future:

“Two years later, spill’s dangers linger,” Tampa Bay Times editorial

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Meat. With a Fluffy Tail.

February 15, 2012

Meat. With a Fluffy Tail.

Squirrel meat. Who eats it? Hillbillies, Hmong, and now hipsters:

“Al rodente: Could squirrel meat come back into vogue?” Heather Smith, Grist

That’s right, squirrel. It’s not just for breakfast anymore.

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Food Fight @ Busboys & Poets February 13th

February 7, 2012

Food Fight @ Busboys & Poets February 13th

February 13, 2012 6:30 pm
Busboys & Poets Bookstore
2021 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 387-POET

Daniel Imhoff will discuss and sign Food Fight: The Citizen’s Guide to a Food and Farm Bill in the Langston Room at B&P. Free and open to all.

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Groundhog Day

February 2, 2012

Groundhog Day
It’s February 2nd, time to monitor Marmota monax and dream of winter’s end. Whether or not you believe in woodchuck weathermen, one thing is certain: you can’t have groundhogs if you want a backyard full of fresh garden veggies.

Groundhogs (aka woodchucks, whistlepigs, and marmots) are insecto-vegetarians and confirmed locavores. If you plan to plant this spring, harvest those hairy beasts now. Celebrate Groundhog Day with critter cuisine.

Serving suggestions:

Woodchuck au Vin

Canadian Fried Woodchuck

Groundhog Pie

Woodchuck Recipes from Michigan (Oriental Groundhog,Waco Groundhog in Sour Cream,Woodchuck Stew, Woodchuck Meat Loaf)

More groundhog lore and recipes here and here.

In his book Groundhog Day, Don Yoder reprints a classic groundhog recipe from Cooking with the Groundhog, published as a fundraiser by a hospital auxiliary in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, home of the “official” Groundhog’s Day Festival (there are more than a few others ). A Georgia groundhog is on Twitter.

Two years ago, whilst stalking the elusive picturebook Geoffrey Groundhog Predicts the Weather, we espied an ad for the Range Kleen Preseasoned Cast Iron 10 Inch Fry Pan on the book’s Amazon.com page and cooked up today’s graphic. There’s obviously no “storybook ending” to this post if you’re a groundhog.

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Image (“Marmot sauté, after John James Audubon”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Bambi Harvest in Rock Creek Park

January 12, 2012

Bambi Harvest in Rock Creek Park

In 30 days, trained sharp-shooters will spend their nights in Washington’s Rock Creek Park. They’ll be blasting away at the urban park’s resident white-tailed deer. Rock Creek’s deer population is about 1900, 385 per square mile. The National Park Service hopes to cull half the critters.

More:

“Final White-tailed Deer Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement for Rock Creek Park,” National Park Service

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Blame Game. It’s Back!

December 7, 2011

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Blame Game. It's Back!

BP Global has charged that its subcontractor, Halliburton Energy Services, destroyed evidence of shoddy cement work on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. BP claims the “Mocondo Blowout” that caused last year’s catastrophic Gulf oil spill was caused by Halliburton’s substandard work.

More:

“BP says Halliburton ‘intentionally destroyed evidence’ after Gulf oil spill,” Vivian Kuo, CNN

 “BP says Halliburton destroyed Gulf spill evidence,” Reuters via Chicago Tribune

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Short Link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-bMA

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Turkeys of Doom!

November 17, 2011

Turkeys of Doom!

Next Thursday, a turkey will be a welcome guest in most American homes, but don’t be fooled. Alive and free-range, Meleagris gallopavo is a danger to life, limb, and giblets. Wild turkeys are flying into windshields and killing motorcyclists on roads across the country. In Canada, too. A bird even tried to take out a sixteen-wheeler on I-75 in Kentucky.

And the big birds have politics. Turkeys hate the media as much as any Tea Party loon:

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